When I hit my 40’s I started dreading every birthday because it seemed like after that milestone, each year I would really be “feeling my age”. It’s sort of a sad realization that as I turn 47 today, I am now most definitely closer to 50 than 40. My goal has changed however, from aging gracefully to living to see another birthday. Today I celebrate making it to my 47th birthday as my proudest accomplishment to date.
Last week I started sharing with you the 9 key factors for Radical Remission from Dr. Kelly A. Turner’s book. I decided to take the first factor and break it up into 3 parts, the first being to reduce or eliminate processed sugar. I have read and researched many different resources and found consistent themes in most of them. “Eating healthy” means different things to people and since that is typically the extent of advice given to patients in the hospital, I felt there needed to be more details. In addition, my hope is that each week, giving you bite-sized chunks of information will be easier for you to digest versus vomiting everything I have learned all at once. I have done that before and found it to be more overwhelming than effective. And I apologize for the visual reference as we speak about food… my bad.
But anyways… let’s dive in!
Part 2 of Radically Changing your Diet: Reduce or Eliminate Dairy and Meat
Did you ever stop to think that we are the only species on the planet that drinks the breast milk of another animal? Cow’s milk is packed with hormones and proteins designed to make a baby calf grow over 2 pounds a day… say what?? So if a human is drinking that, what is happening to our bodies? Research has also shown that the main protein in milk (casein) makes cancer cells grow, both in petri dishes and lab rats. “In fact, researchers have found that they can turn a rat’s cancer on or off simply by feeding, or not feeding it casein.”
That’s scary stuff for a cancer patient and definitely reason enough for me to resist dairy … most of the time. 😉
With regard to meat (which includes any animal protein… including fish and eggs), I have read so many books that promote a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPB). It’s becoming more and more popular and thankfully it is easier to find plant-based options in most restaurants these days! I was first introduced to this term by Rich Roll in his book Finding Ultra, which is an incredibly inspiring book about his transformation from being a 40-something, winded from climbing a flight of stairs, to an extreme ultra-endurance athlete.
For as long as I can remember, I focused on getting in protein, protein, protein, but come to find out that really eating too much can actually be quite harmful. According to Dr. Michael Greger (author or How Not to Die and founder of Nutritionfacts.org), there has been a long-time protein enthusiasm that has caused somewhat of a frenzy around eating meat … i.e. Paleo, Atkins, etc.) But with these obsessive diets, we have to ask ourselves…are we eating the right amount?
What is the recommended daily protein allowance anyway?
An article published by Harvard Medical School states that the RDA of protein is .8 grams per kg of ideal body weight. That’s about 54g of protein for a 150 lb person. To do your own calculation, take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2.2 and then multiply by .8 and that will give you your daily protein target.
Just to give you some idea of how much protein is in some of the common sources of protein, a 4oz steak contains 35g of protein, but did you know that 1 cup of black beans has 39 grams? Lentils have 18g per 1 cup and tofu has 20 g per 1 cup. You can easily look it up… you may be surprised at just how much protein you’ll find in non-meat sources. Even I used to wonder how vegetarians got in enough protein if they didn’t eat meat!!
Over the past year I kept reading that I should not eat animal products, but it wasn’t until I really understood why, that I took it seriously. Animal proteins stimulate production of the body’s naturally occurring hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which has been shown to promote the growth, proliferation, and spread of cancer cells. Red meat is also very inflammatory and promotes an acidic environment in the body (in which cancer cells tend to thrive). Basically, for the majority of people with cancer… meat is something to consider reducing considerably if not eliminating altogether. To read more about meat and cancer patients specifically, read this article: https://www.cancertutor.com/faq_meat/
“In Defense of Food” is a Netflix documentary that I highly recommend. Michael Pollan is a writer and shares his journey about researching the food we eat. Instead of some complex pyramid or chart about what to eat, he dials it down to a very simple philosophy:
- Eat Food
- Not too much
- Mostly plants
It really makes you stop and think about where your food comes from and how to feed yourself and your family, so if you have an hour this weekend… take time to watch it!
For myself I have almost completely eliminated meat, fish, eggs, and dairy with the exception of the cottage cheese in the Budwig Protocol (mentioned in previous blogs) and the occasional cheat… a girl’s gotta let her hair down every now and then… ya know!
I have huge respect for people in this nutritional space to whom I am deeply grateful because of the information they have shared to help educate people like me. If you are hungry for more information, trying to heal from a disease, please check them out:
So whether you decide to put a few more vegetables on your plate at dinner, integrate Meatless Mondays or Tofu Tuesdays, or even go vegetarian for a month… realize that every decision you make to better your health will all add up. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it helps you celebrate many more birthdays ahead! Giving up all these things may be radical and really hard, but you can do it whether you go cold turkey, or just make some daily adjustments. Next week I’ll delve into what I typically eat and how I have found some great replacements for the things that I have had to eliminate. If you are finding this helpful, please leave a comment below and/or share with a friend. I would love to know if there is anything specifically you’d like me to include in a future post!
Onward and Upward!
“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:29