Heal Your Body: Transcend the Diet Dogma and Use Food as Medicine
Confused about what to eat to heal your body? You’re not alone. Nutrition is one of the most controversial subjects out there. Respected professionals fight over whether to eat meat or be plant-based, which vegetables are healthy, and so on. It’s not surprising that this confusion leaves most people wondering if what they’re eating is good for them, but then we throw cancer into the mix and we’re now completely baffled. If we can’t trust medical experts to agree on sound nutrition advice, then what should we eat?
Over the years I’ve dissected the diet dogma to find the universally accepted principles around health and healing. Before we hop in, I want to warn you about perfectionism or “black and white” thinking. You know, the type of thing we do when we strive to eat 100% healthy food and then one cookie sends us spiraling into processed food mania. The foods we eat after we’ve decided “we failed ” are worse than the very cookie that threw us over the edge. What does this mean? You are imperfect, and your diet will be too. Instead of aiming for perfection, measure your success on how quickly you can get back on track, not how clean you can eat.
Here are my top three food tips for cancer prevention, treatment, and remission:
- Avoid processed sugar
Sugar feeds cancer cells as well as every other disease and infection in the body. You can read more on this in the blog post “5 Reasons Cancer Cells and Sugar are Best Friends”. When satisfying a sweet tooth, eat fresh, whole fruits. Lower sugar fruits such as berries have high antioxidant content making them the perfect food for healing. If you’re craving chocolate, grab raw cacao nibs and add them to smoothies or coconut yogurt for a crunch. This is chocolate in its purest form without the added dairy and sugar. Cacao is a great source of magnesium, iron, and protein. When baking, use natural sugar substitutes such as stevia and monk fruit sweetener.
- Drink Bone Broth
Bone broth is rich in collagen and amino acids that are incredibly healing to the body. Bone broth reduces inflammation in the body and provides proteins and minerals that support gut health and overall body function. An estimated ⅓ of cancer deaths are caused by cachexia or muscle and tissue wasting ( NCI). Easy-to-digest proteins, like those in bone broth, may help to shut down this wasting in cancer patients while providing the building blocks to promote growth and healing.
You can’t buy this from the store off the shelf. It is a living food and shouldn’t be shelf-stable! It’s quite easy to make, just like your great-grandma used to do, just make sure to buy bones from pasture-raised animals. Here’s a basic recipe. You can also buy it online from White Oak Pastures. Here’s one of my favorite soup recipes: Healing Chicken Turmeric Rice Soup. Ginger, shallots, and garlic have anti-inflammatory properties among many other benefits!
- Eat organic, high-quality produce and meats
Instead of focusing on being solely plant-based or carnivorous, focus on quality. When eating fruits and vegetables, choose organic (when you look at the sticker at the SKU number it should have a “9” in front of it). When eating animal products, make sure they are grass-fed, pasture-raised animals. We get too caught up in which diet we should be on. Instead, we should focus on the balance and quality of foods. A vegan salad for lunch and animal protein for dinner? This will not make or break your health outcome. What’s important is the quality of food that goes in your body. This means cooking at home as much as possible, using high-quality oils like Extra Virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee, eating fresh, raw vegetables, and making sure most of your diet comes from foods that can rot and spoil (instead of shelf-stable, chemical-laden foods that can sit in the pantry for years). Shopping at Whole Foods Market (or something similar in your area) as well as the farmer’s markets in your area is your best option for finding food without added chemicals, preservatives, or additives. On a budget? Just focus on shopping the perimeter of your grocery store (where the fresh food lives!). If you don’t live in an area where this is an option, there are so many online resources including:
Lastly, The Truth About Cancer is an inspiring documentary series on the holistic treatment of cancer. If you are interested in a holistic method of healing, This book is an amazing resource.
Carly Pollack is a published author, hilarious speaker, and the founder of Nutritional Wisdom, an award-winning private practice based in Austin, Texas. She is a certified Clinical Nutritionist specializing in holistic nutrition whole body wellness. Carly has been awarded Best Nutritionist in Austin five years running and has helped over 20,000 people achieve their health and happiness goals. Her book, Feed Your Soul: Nutritional Wisdom to Lose Weight Permanently, was a #1 New Release on Amazon.
Growing up, Carly struggled with anxiety, immune issues, and an ongoing battle with her weight. Through trial and error, Carly was able to figure out why so many of us fail to achieve the health we so badly desire. Through years of study and self-healing, she found the key to creating permanent change. Carly beautifully marries the science of the body to the wisdom of our intuition.
Having grown up as a quick-witted New Yorker, she was raised without the ability to sugarcoat the truth. You won’t find any nonsense here–just clear and honest information—and some tough love if you need it. Her teachings empower you to shift your thought patterns, change your physical body, properly manage stress, and live your best life.
Carly and her team coach clients virtually all over the country. If you are interested in getting 1:1 coaching, please contact her office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her private practice at www.nutritionalwisdom.com.
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