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Diet & Lifestyle

You have cancer.  I hate to break it to you if you did not know already, but every single human on earth has cancer.  The question is whether or not your cancer grows fast or slow and how well your immune system is able to deal with said cancer.  Many people live and die never having a single run in with the C-Word, but knowing that you already have cancer, why not start making some changes to make sure you are one of those people that never have to deal with it?  


I will help get you started on your new journey, but it is up to you to make the final choices in which direction your new road leads.  I ask that you read what I have to say then go and do your own research with my help as a starting point.  I listened to everyone and did copious amounts of reading before I made any critical decisions, some were so obvious that no research was needed.  When looking around be very observant to what you are reading.  Find the sources of studies and be very skeptical about studies or research done with or by any group who might have an interest in whatever you are investigating.  I have found many studies to be biased based on where I am reading them and you will notice trends when looking through government sites which can be misleading and certainly skeptical of alternative therapies and sometimes blatantly denying or discrediting them.  Our government has been wrong before and just because the end of the web site says .gov does not mean it is more credible than one that ends in .org.


We are still learning and trying to understand the relationship between diet and lifestyle in regards to cancer.  There are clear links to certain lifestyle choices and certain type of cancer such as smoking and lung cancer and poor diet along with colon cancer.  This is not to say everyone who smokes will get lung cancer nor poor diet will always lead to colon cancer, but once diagnosed there is no longer an option on certain aspects of your life.  


Upon diagnosis you might have a doctor tell you there is no need to change anything unless you smoke.  If you choose to believe this, do not be surprised when your chemo works, but you somehow find yourself back in the hospital a year or two later with your first recurrence.  Think about it logically.  You got cancer one way or another, you may have been born with it, but for the most part cancers are developed over a span of time and sometimes it takes a few years to grow big enough to even cause symptoms.  You were living your life one way and your body turned on you, so isn’t it logical to change the way you were living in the hopes it has the opposite effect?  I try and find as many things that have potential to aid in my recovery and I do not rule anything out until I have done my research.  If it can help, won’t counteract any other treatment and is obtainable and feasible why not?


The focus on your changes must be directed on nutrition, physical activity, mental health and tobacco use if applicable.  Also, if you are diagnosed and live, work or encounter toxic chemicals, or known carcinogens it might be time to think about a change of scenery.  Cancer is a vast and diverse disease with over 200 forms and any part of the body can be affected.  Some cancers are much more common than others, but they are all equally as difficult to face.


When diagnosed it is imperative to avoid certain things in your diet.  There are many carcinogens you may have been eating your entire life unknowingly much like myself.  My diet is basic, simple and full of nutrient rich, mostly organic foods.


First of all get to know your fruits, veggies, dairy and meats.  Produce and meats today are not what they were for our grandparents and theirs.  Over time we have started throwing every type preservative, pesticide, growth enhancer and antibiotic into our foods to help preserve boost or increase taste and lower costs.  This has lead to a flood of foods that are detrimental to our health.


-Avoid pesticide and GMO ridden fruits and veggies. (Try and buy organic as much as possible especially any fruit or veggie where you eat the skin.)  This basically rules out every single fast food chain in the world.  Sorry guys, no more late night McDonald’s runs.


-Buy non-GMO, hormone, nitrate and antibiotic free meats and dairy.  The meat industry has started packing our meats with chemicals and enhancement drugs to force growth and muscle production and preservatives to extend shelf life.  Foods are not meant to last weeks on end, but our clever scientists have found ways to make them last ages beyond what they should at our expense.


-Watch your sugar and carbohydrate (carbs become sugars once in the body) intake.  Cancer needs sugar to thrive and in theory limiting your sugar intake can help slow tumor cell growth.  Some studies say this is true, others say it does not matter.  Like I have said all along, if it can help and there are credible sources saying so why not try it?  I no longer eat any added sugar and cut out all fruits.  I went to the extreme and also limit my carbohydrate intake to less than 150g per day and when I was first diagnosed I was around 50g a day (basically a hamburger bun and that was my daily intake.)  Cutting out sugar and carbs will not only help aid in your battle, but it will make you more healthy overall.  You WILL lose weight and you will feel better overall.  Oh and a little note on ‘diet’ or ‘sugar free’ foods.  STOP.  These foods are EVEN worse than eating sugar as they are sweetened with chemical sweeteners that actually have been linked to CAUSING cancer.  You might be cutting out the calories, but at what expense?  If you do not believe me do a quick search for the word Aspartame.  Don’t bother looking at aspartime.org as you will only see all the great benefits is has to offer…. Shocker.

-Know your water!  The water you drink is as critical as any food you eat.  Over 40% of American watersheds don’t meet required standards for health regulations, but we still drink from them.  In other countries this number is often quite a bit higher.  Your body is over 50% water when you are an adult and as a child that number is substantially higher.  Most tap water in our country has a small amount of chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride added to kill off bacteria which accumulates in pipelines and storage sheds.  There are studies saying that in small dosages these chemicals are perfectly fine, but why would you want to ingest a toxic chemical if you don’t have to?  Most water runs through metal pipes which bleed off heavy metals which end up in our bodies storing in our bones and organs.  Invest in a good water filter at the minimum and change it every 3 months, especially if you live near large scale farming areas where an abundance of pesticides are used.  I bought an ionizing alkaline water machine since there is enough evidence for me to justify the hefty price tag that came along with it.  If this is not an option for you, make sure you find a good alternative.


*I have an alkaline water machine in my home which has helped immensely.  I no longer buy bottled water since it is a machine that offers 3 levels of alkaline water and also has a setting for filtered only water.  When I bought my machine I signed up to be a distributer mainly because they are expensive and I could use it as a tax write off at the end of the year.  If you are interested in buying one I can help you out just e-mail me.


-Get Physical!  Start a daily routine of exercising.  You no longer get the luxury of being lazy.  If you were not an active person before your diagnosis, it is going to be extremely hard to start the change after being diagnosed.  You will be overwhelmed with everything in regards to your new life and adding physical activity on top of that might be hard to start.  I promise you once you get on a regular routine, you will start to feel the difference even while in treatment.  Your body needs movement and oxygen rich blood to help fight the cancer.  The best and most efficient way to get oxygen in your blood is exercise.  I try and do a minimum of an hour a day.  My go to activities are walking, jogging, biking, yoga, jumping rope and body weight movements such as push ups, sit ups, burpees, pull ups, lunges and air squats.  You dont need to buy a gym pass or start crossfit training, in fact I do not recommend that as you need the majority of your body function aiding in the healing process.  


-If you are a dry cleaning addict with your wardrobe, you might want to ask what chemicals they are using.  Most dry cleaning companies use chemicals that are known carcinogens and only recently we are starting to see relationships with the laundering practice and cancer.  It is still not a clear cut theory, but again- why risk it?  There are all natural and organic dry cleaners out there which might be a little more costly, but worth it when you have cancer.


I always ask myself one simple question when making a choice regarding things in life, and that means everything, “Is it healthy?”  You need to live your new life by a new motto which is LIVE HEALTHY.  


These are changes that are not too difficult and are all equally as crucial as the next.  There is far more you can do and I personally have done to success thus far.  These all will cost a bit of money, but if you are facing a more severe form of cancer, I would implore you to pursue them.


First thing I would recommend is finding an integrative or naturopath doctor that specializes in cancer.  I found a great one in Orange County which I can recommend Dr. Rita Elethorpe.  All the doctors that work with her are exceptional and can help you immensely.  If you are not in Southern California ask around and find a credible doctor that can help guide you.


You will want to run a food allergy test, I was shocked to find that I had severe allergic reactions to 7 foods I ate on almost a daily basis!  Once I cut out the foods that I was having a reaction to my severe allergies which plagued me since a child entirely went away along with my daily morning nausea which was an awesome bonus!  These foods cause havoc on your intestines and digestive system which makes it more difficult for your body to absorb necessary nutrients from the foods you eat.  These issues also cause a drop in your immune system since your body is constantly having to fight off substances that it can not tolerate.  Nearly every human on earth will have allergic reactions to numerous foods and never know it, once you have cancer it is important to cut out anything that might hinder your body in any way.


Cancer is a tough hand to be dealt, and it is going to be hard to try and stay positive at times.  The only advice I can give you in that arena is to trust yourself.  Make decisions based on your research and whatever you are most confident in.  There is no correct answer to anything in regards to cancer, but personally I have made decisions and truly believed that they are working.  Whether they are working or not, might not actually matter as the placebo effect has been proven to work all throughout history.  I do not let my cancer get me down, it might punch me in the gut and knock the wind out of me at times, but I live everyday as happy and as positive as humanly possible.  Surround yourself with loving friends and kind people.  Cut out all the bad and negative aspects of your life.  You will immediately be able to see who your true friends are when the chips start to fall apart along with your hair.  You need to be calm and at peace everyday in everything you do.


Do yoga and learn to meditate.  Become peaceful.  Simplify your life and remember to breathe and everything will be ok.  


If you want any help our input feel free to e-mail me Ryan@ryansepicbattle.com


Ryan C.