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Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Little Grace...

It's been a few days since I have checked in. 

Life has stretched us this past week and Love has trumped the schedule.

A sweet mother-in-law has needed her family and we have spent the days talking low and hugging long...

Lung cancer and the ensuing treatments have left her body weak and her heart failing.  And yet, she smiles... mostly listening to the family visit and share and laugh around her bed.  She closes her eyes and smiles...

It is the Blessing of a Life Well Lived... surrounded by love.

Schedules and Work and Appointments have faded this week past as we have set aside time to soak in the moments with her knowing how quickly they dwindle.

So... a little grace for the posts not yet written.  We will continue this 31 Day Journey in the days to come. 

Tomorrow morning we somehow say Good-bye, and hug her frail frame and dry the eyes that fill with tears and begin the long trip home...

Prayers for Grace are whispered this night.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Getting Personal...

For years I have had an ongoing battle with my primary care physician over my cholesterol levels.

The numbers have been inching higher and higher year by year.

Dr. Kyle has repeatedly perscribed statin drug to lower the cholesterol levels, and I have repeatedly said no.

So... I am stubborn.  And so is he...

Perhaps you are having a similar battle?  Maybe not... but this is where the story gets personal for me.

Last year my total cholesterol topped 260.  It was 263 to be exact.

A desirable normal total cholesterol level would be below 200 mg/dL.

200 -239 is borderline high.

Over 240 is considered high and dangerous.

Obviously I have fallen into the dangerously high levels.

It is something of a family "gift" I suppose... my mom was on statin drugs and so is my brother because of abnormally high cholesterol levels.

Dr. Kyle said it is not up for discussion.  The high levels of cholesterol in my system will set me up for heart disease... take the statins he said!

And this is where my struggle lies.  There are so many side effects associated with statin drugs.  Such as muscle pain and damage, liver damage, increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes and neurological effects (memory loss and confusion).

There had to be a better way!

Enter The China Study...

Remember, I had picked up the book because of our cancer research... I was intrigued by the claims of being able to "dramatically reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes just by changing your diet."

I was not prepared to read that Dr. Campbell's research in China and the corresponding studies in England had established an indisputable link between elevated cholesterol rates and cancer risk...

"We compared the prevalence of Western diseases with diet and lifestyle variables and, to our surprise, one of the strongest predictors of Western diseases was blood cholesterol."

Seriously, what was cholesterol doing in the middle of a cancer study??

What Dr. Campbell and his team had found as they studied the rural Chinese communities was that as blood cholesterol levels rose the incidence of Western diseases (cancer, heart disease and diabetes) also rose.

The other astonishing finding was that rural Chinese participants had blood cholesterol levels far, far below the Western average... like really, really low cholesterol readings...

In America, our average blood cholesterol readings are between 170-290mg/dL.  In China, the average readings were between 94-129mg/dL.  That's almost 100 points lower!

My brain started setting off alarm bells... with my high cholesterol was I at a higher risk for cancer too?  Maybe it's not just heart disease that I should be worrying about!

Ok, now you've got my attention.

And as mom and I often did, I decided to set up my own "unscientific" test...

I had 6 weeks until my follow-up physical and blood work (to see if the statins were lowering my cholesterol).  What I chose to do is perhaps not the smartest thing to do (according to Dr. Kyle), but I needed to know if there was anything to this China Study Diet...

For the next 6 weeks I chose to follow the Whole-Food Plant-Based diet as closely as I could.  And not take the statin drug.  (Please know that this should never be construed as medical advice for you or a loved one... this is just a personal journal of my truly unscientific experiment!)

The first week on the diet was the hardest (more on that in the coming days!) but I knew if there was any chance to tell if the diet worked on lowering my cholesterol I needed to be as consistent as I could...

Amazingly I made it through the 6 weeks (and actually found I missed the animal-protein foods less and less!)

The results were well worth it... After 6 weeks on the diet, my total cholesterol level had dropped to 231!!!!

From 263... a 32 point drop in 6 weeks.  Dr. Kyle was impressed. 

I was doing a happy dance (and just a little shocked to be honest) but incredibly impressed by the results.

I am continuing to apply the diet in my life and hope to see the numbers drop to even healthier levels.  But now I know that The China Study has merit, and have begun to advocate strongly for a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet.

That is the reason I am sharing in this 31 Day Write Journal: Beating Cancer, 31 Days to Healing.  If you or a loved one is searching for answers.  A plan. For a bit of hope... Keep on trucking with me...

The China Study Diet is simple, wholesome and surprisingly delicious.  It is very do-able,  It reaps amazing benefits.  And can be started today.

Looking forward to sharing the tips and recipes that made a transition to Healthy easy and fun...

See you back tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Brain Cancer and a Case Study

Dr. John Kelly shares a story in his book, Stop Feeding Your Cancer, that highlights the amazing effects of the China Study diet.  It is the story of how brain cancer stopped a 34 year old woman in her tracks.

Her name is Melissa and her is how Dr. Kelly shares her story...

"At surgery, Melissa's tumour was classified as a grade 3 anaplastic glioma.  These are usually serious tumours of aggressive malignant cells that quickly infiltrate surrounding brain tissue, making it almost impossible to completely remove the tumour.

Melissa's neurosurgeon had been circumspect about her prospects while she was under his care in hospital, but as soon as she got home she had checked her prognosis on the Internet.  Best predictions were that she would probably live for five or six years.  The quality of those years would depend very much on how effective chemotherapy and radiation treatments turned out to be; this is the great variable in all cancer treatments.  From her reading, one thing seemed certain: the remnants of the tumour that the surgeon had been unable to remove would, despite any conventional treatments, some day begin to grow again.  It would continue to grow until there was no more room for it inside her head.  Then she would die.  This was not a prospect that was easy to live with, even for someone like Melissa, who was strong, resourceful and full of natural optimism.  It horrified her that nowhere was the possibility of a cure even mentioned. The situation, in the medium term, was hopeless.

In the absence of any hope, Melissa made the decision to end the relationship with her boyfriend... and attempt to adjust to what she called the emptiness of her new world.

Much of this happened before I'd read The China Study.  It was while I was in the process of considering my best approach to a study with my patients that Melissa telephoned to say that she was not well and thought that the tumour had returned.  She had developed a fever and the mild headaches that she had on a continual basis since her surgery had become much more severe and were now reminiscent of the headaches she had before the cancer was first diagnosed.  I detected her overwhelming anxiety and tried to reassure her.  In truth, the symptoms didn't sound too serious to me but in the circumstances, and because I wanted to have some quiet time with her, I decided to visit her at home.

I examined her and was able to quickly assure her that her hour had not yet come.  This time at least, she was in the clear.  She was simply suffering from a viral infection.  She perked, but the intense anxiety was evident in her eyes.  I could see that she was struggling with understandable despondency and I was grateful that I had The China Study to talk about.  I told her the whole story of how the book had been given to me and that while I had very little experience of using the diet with patients, Professor Campbell's and the other studies had convinced me that animal protein likely had a great deal to do with the way cancers grew.  I asked her to give the diet a trial and suggested that because brain tumours do not normally metastasize the diet might be particularly effective in her case.  I emphasized that if an animal-protein free diet stopped her tumour from growing she would be cured.

I could see that Melissa was far from convinced, but I had brought a copy of The China Study and I handed it over.  My strategy got half a smile from her.  Her expectations were grim diagnosis, surgery plans and despair management - and I was giving her a paperback gift.  I made her promise to prioritize reading the book, to start the diet and to phone me to let me know how she was getting on.

Melissa phoned three weeks later and I could instantly hear in her voice that she was feeling better.  I offered to drop by to see her after I finished at the office.

A striking transformation had taken place.  She gave me a full smile and in spite of reciting her reservations about the inconvenience of the diet it was obvious that she was in a much more positive frame of mind.  She told me that she had begun to feel better within two weeks of starting the regime.  She admitted that, as a discipline, it hadn't been easy.  All of us are prone to comfort indulgence when we are under stress, and food "fixes" are often alluring.  But she said she developed a new emotional energy once she dove in.  Simply committing to the diet had made her feel that her destiny was to some extent now back in her own hands  The awful burden of despair that had plagued her since the tumour had been diagnosed was gone.  More revealingly, her headaches had miraculously disappeared.

Every time I saw Melissa I encouraged her and congratulated her on her progress. Neither of us expressed any doubts about her future or allowed any negativity into our discussions.  It could not have been going better.  However, as the day of her visit to her neurosurgeon and her next MRI scan approached, I did feel a certain amount of apprehension.  We had striven for positive thinking together and been rewarded with positive results.  But the science had yet to be tested and, I confess, I wasn't certain yet what to expect.  I felt it my duty to have a cautionary work with Melissa.  But she would have none of it.  At least on the surface she continued to portray utter confidence in her recovery and seemed fully convince that the diet was working.  She told me in no uncertain terms that she was looking forward to the scan as a rubber stamp of confirmation.

As it turned out, the results could hardly have been better.  The tumour had reduced considerably in size and what now remained was a smaller, five-centimeter calcified mass situated in the left frontal lobe.  Her immune system appeared to have walled off what remained of the tumour from the rest of the brain.

The neurosurgeon was delighted.  He indicated that what remained of the tumour could probably be removed in a straightforward surgical procedure.  He performed the operation a few weeks later and the histology now indicated that the tumour had changed into a low-grade astrocytoma.   As far as the neurosurgeon was concerned, Melissa had been cured.

All this took place some three and a half years ago and during that time I have only seem Melissa twice.  She has had the appropriate follow-up scans and all the reports show that the tumour hasn't returned.  She has made an excellent recovery in every possible way and now leads a normal, happy life."

This is just one case study... the results speak to a better ending than many experience on this cancer road.  For Melissa, she credits the diet for the transformation... and I am inclined to agree... however, for even the most cynical among us, we can agree to an element of curiousity at least.

The China Study diet is a novel approach to cancer.  It has intrigued and fascinated me to no end!

More tomorrow...

Grace to you this night, My Love,

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Sunday Blessing

What a sweet Blessing for Dad to celebrate with a cherished grandson
and his beloved...

Wedding Bells have rung,
Toasts have been raised,
First Dances danced...

Dad was enjoying every moment
and we don't take one minute of this for granted!
God is so good...

Wishing all Love's Best to the Happy Couple!
We love you Jeff and Chloe!!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Now to the Bad News...

Yesterday we shared a beautifully long list of plant-based foods that Dr. Campbell advocates in the Whole-food, Plant-based Diet.

Today we share his list of foods we should minimize and/or avoid altogether.  It's a short list, but it hurts... I'm just going to lay it all out on the line, fast and furious (kind of like ripping off that bandaid, just want to get it over with!)

Foods to Minimize:

Refined Carbohydrates - pastas (except whole grain varieties), white bread, crackers, sugars, and most cakes and pastries

Added Vegetable Oils - Corn oil, peanut oil, olive oil

Fish - Salmon, tuna, cod

Foods to Avoid:

Meat - steak, hamburger, lard

Poultry - chicken, turkey

Dairy - cheese, milk, yogurt

Eggs - eggs and products with a high egg content (i.e. mayonnaise)

Are you still with me?  Feeling overwhelmed?  Asking if you could really do this?

I've been there.  And like most Americans, the idea of giving up virtually all meat products, including beef, chicken, fish, cheese, milk and eggs, seemed impossible.

Dr. Campbell shared quite truthfully when he made the following statement,

"Giving up virtually all meat products?  You might as well ask Americans to stop breathing.  The whole idea seems strange, fanatical, or fantastic.

He continues, "This is the biggest obstacle to the adoption of a plant-based diet: most people who hear about it don't seriously consider it, despite the truly impressive health benefits."

And that is true.  It took a very fortuitous turn of events to open my eyes (and heart) to this radical way of eating and living.

I stumbled across mention of The China Study while reading responses to an online cancer blog.  It was just a sentence or two, but the hope that sprung up when reading of the results people were experiencing compelled me to order a copy of the book and start my own study.

About this time, my daughter stumbled across a documentary while surfing channels one night.  It caught her attention and before long had captured her husband's attention as well.  When I arrived that weekend for a visit (with The China Study packed in my bags), they both said you have to watch this documentary with us...

It was called "What the Health."

And it was powerful.  Especially in conjunction with the research I was currently gleaning from The China Study.

It stuck with me.  Created questions that demanded answers.

And this 31 Day journal has been a place to share my experiences with the research, the data, the results.

I don't often do this, but as we slide into the weekend, I would challenge you to download "What the Health" and watch the documentary.  Come back Monday and let's talk...

The focus of this work is to offer hope, encouragement and light to an otherwise dismal and hurting journey... Might we be reminded that we are all seeking a road to wholeness and health...

It is a joy to be journeying together.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Good News... Or the Bad?

So, which do you want first??

If you are intrigued with the benefits of the China Study and want to give it a try, what does the diet consist of?  That was my first question!

Right!  So, do you want the Good News first or the Bad?  {And truly, it's all Good News!}

Dr. Campbell's research was clear and unmistakable... a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet was the key to less disease and better health.

But back to the details... What exactly is a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet?

To make it easy, Dr. Campbell drew up a large graph (page 237!) and here it is... in a nutshell...

Eat All You Want of Any Whole, Unrefined, Plant-Based Food (while making sure to get lots of variety!)

The wonderful variety of foods that make the list are:

Fruits:  Orange, okra, kiwi, red pepper, apple, cucumber, tomato, avocado, zucchini, blueberries, strawberries, green pepper, raspberries, butternut squash, pumpkin, blackberries, mangoes, eggplant, pear, watermelon, cranberries, acorn squash, papaya, grapefruit, peach


Flowers - broccoli, cauliflower

Stems and Leaves - spinach, artichokes, kale, lettuce (all varieties), cabbage, Swiss chard, collard greens, celery, asparagus, mustard greens, brussel sprouts, turnip greens, beet greens, bok choi, arugula, belgian endive, basil, cilantro, parsley, rhubarb, seaweed

Roots - potatoes (all varieties), beets, carrots, turnips, onions, garlic, ginger, leeks, pinto beans, white beans

Legumes - green beans, soybeans, peas, peanuts, adzuki beans, black beans black-eye peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, white beans

Mushrooms - white button, baby bella, cremini, portobello, shiitake, oyster

Nuts - walnuts, almonds, macadamia, pecans, cashew, hazelnut, pistachio

Whole Grains (in breads, pastas, etc) - wheat, rice, corn, millet, sorghum, rye, oats, barley, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, kamut, spelt

And that's the good news... pick any, and actually many, from the above list... in any combination, in all the glorious varieties and fill up with all the amazing goodness!

No counting calories, points or servings, no portion controls, or eating specific amounts of certain foods at specific intervals.  No fancy tools, nor complicated mathematical ratios... just wholesome, healthy plant-based foods!

The simplicity of this "diet" is absolutely revolutionary.  And it works.  The testimonies are undeniable.

Can't wait to start sharing some of the amazing recipes that have won me over to the Dark (leafy, green) Side!

Tomorrow we round out the "diet" with food groups/items that we should minimize.  Trust me, it's a much shorter list (albeit, the tougher one).  Sharing ways to maximize our health is the core of this study, even if it means minimizing some of our beloved food groups...

Hang in there... nothing good ever comes easy.  And preventing, even reversing cancer is worth all the hard work of putting these principles into practice!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Guiding Principles, Part 2

...And we continue with the lessons learned from Dr. Campbell's China Study...

Principle 5

Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of noxious chemicals.

Jane-speak:  This one is huge! Follow me here... there is a widely held perception that cancer is caused by toxic chemicals, think artificial sweetners, aflatoxin, nitrites, etc...  I believe we are looking for a scapegoat, a reason we got cancer... but Dr. Campbell and his team uncovered a startling truth in their studies:  the toxin that may initiate cancer is controlled be nutrients we eat.  A whole-food, plant-based diet can actually repress the chemical activity (cancer growth) of said toxin. Go to Principle 6 for an even more radical revelation.

Principle 6

The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages (before diagnosis) can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages (after diagnosis).

Jane-speak:  The same good nutrition maximizes health at every stage of a disease.  Research has found that many chronic diseases, including cancer, can take years to develop.  So, if you are doomed to get cancer, or suffer heart disease or become diabetic does it really make any difference what you eat?  The answer is a resounding Yes!  A whole-food, plant-based diet has shown amazing results in reversing advanced heart disease, helping diabetics get off medication and even reversing early stage cancers.  That is radical!

Principle 7

Nutrition that is truly beneficial for one chronic disease will support health across the board.

Jane-speak:  You don't need a different diet to reverse heart disease and a different diet to protect against cancer or a different diet to undo diabetic damage.  One simple dietary change can maximize health for diseases across the board:  a whole-food, plant-based diet.  Extraordinarily simple!

Principle 8

Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence.  All parts are interconnected.

Jane-speak:  We are what we eat.  Our food choices have an incredible impact on not only our metabolism, but also our energy levels, our emotional and mental well-being, and most importantly how our bodies respond and react to disease.  All of these seemingly separate areas are inexplicably intertwined. 

These 8 Guiding Principles provide a solid foundation for Dr. Campbell's work on nutrition and disease.  There is an undeniable link between a whole-food, plant-based diet and improved health.

Getting excited yet?  It is so empowering to know that we can make a positive difference in our own health.  Are you ready to dig into the whole-food, plant-based diet we keep talking about???

Yes!  Me too... Whole-food, Plant-based Diet Coming Up!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Guiding Principles, Part 1

The China Study is an incredibly detailed accounting of Dr. Campbell's life work.  A study of how nutrition and disease are completely entwined.  After four decades of dedicated testing, research and complex, peer-reviewed studies, Dr. Campbell shares his revolutionary data in The China Study.

The lessons learned have been distilled down into 8 Guiding Principles...

Principle 1

Nutrition represents the combined activities of countless food substances.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Jane-speak:  Our bodies are amazing.  We have been created to pull nutrients from whole foods in an infinitely complex process. The astounding network of digestive cells we each possess can derive maximal benefit from whole foods just as they are found in nature.  No processing necessary!

Principle 2

Dietary supplements are not a panacea for good health.

Jane-speak:  Vitamins and mineral tablets, powders and liquids are no substitute for good, old-fashioned whole food.  In simpler words, a pill cannot overcome the dangers of a diet filled with unhealthy, processed, red meat, sugary, fast-food meals.

Principle 3

There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.

Jane-speak:  This principle came as a light-bulb moment when I began working through my high cholesterol issues.  More on that early next week... But it is truly amazing to think that all the nutrients we need can be found in plants.  Hard to accept when we're so in love with Big Macs and Super-Size Fries!

Principle 4

Genes do not determine disease on their own.

Jane-speak:  While it is true that the origin of every disease is genetic, it is also true that nutrition plays a crucial role in determining which genes, good or bad, are expressed.  So, a good whole food diet can be incredibly helpful in keeping errant genes dormant.  And that is a really good thing where cancer genes are concerned!

Stay tuned... More China Study insights tomorrow... Each principle will be put into practice in the coming weeks as we dig into the whole-food, plant-based diet that Dr. Campbell advocates.

And yes!  We are getting to the heart of this incredible diet.  I'm praying that you are beginning to feel hope rising.  There are lessons to be learned from Dr. Campbell's work... extraordinary lessons for better health, less disease, and a way to take back the life we long to live!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Is It Really that Simple?

The China Study has demonstrated amazing benefits that reach far beyond reducing our risk of getting cancer.  Some of the benefits that Dr. Campbell shares of this healthy lifestyle include:

*  live longer
*  look and feel younger
*  have more energy
*  lose weight
*  lower your blood cholesterol
*  prevent and even reverse heart disease
*  preserve your eyesight in later years
*  prevent and treat diabetes
*  vastly decrease the need for pharmceutical drugs
*  keep your bones strong
*  avoid stroke
*  prevent kidney stones
*  alleviate constipation
*  lower your blood pressure
*  avoid Alzheimers
*  beat arthritis

Do you find yourself on this list?  Is there something you desperately need to turn around?  A better life that you need to take back?

The price?  Simply changing your diet...

And, of course, it is not a simple thing to do.  But we will spend the following weeks learning just how to do that... So stick with me... it is a tasty and very empowering step in our journey to a life lived well!

Dr. Campbell's goal in sharing the China Study was to redefine how we think about nutrition - to eliminate confusion, make health simple and base his claims on peer-reviewed nutritional research.  He has condensed all the data and lessons he has learned over the past 4 decades into 8 Guiding Principles...

Join us tomorrow as we start applying each to build a strong foundation for a healthier life than we've ever lived!

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Dark Secret...

While Dr. Campbell was working at Virginia Tech, he began coordinating technical assistance for a nationwide project in the Philippines working with malnourished children.

It is the springboard for Dr. Campbell's life work exploring the undeniable relationship between diet and disease.  He shares the story much more eloquently than I could ever... here's an excerpt from The China Study explaining the dark secret he uncovered among the children of the Philippines:

"Part of the project [in the Philippines] became an investigation of the unusually high prevalence of liver cancer, usually an adult disease, in Filipino children.  It was thought that high consumption of aflatoxin, a mold toxin found in peanuts and corn, caused this problem.  Aflatoxin has been called one of the most potent carcinogens [cancer causer] ever discovered.

For ten years our primary goal in the Philippines was to improve childhood malnutrition among the poor, a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Eventually, we established about 110 nutrition "self-help" education centers around the country.

The aim of these efforts in the Philippines was simple: make sure that children were getting as much protein as possible.  It was widely thought that much of the childhood malnutrition in the world was caused by a lack of protein, especially from animal-based foods.  Universities and governments around the world were working to alleviate a perceived "protein gap" in the developing world.

In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret.  Children who ate the highest-protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer!  They were the children of the wealthiest families... [they] were from the best-fed families. The families with the most money ate what we thought were the healthiest diets, the diets most like our own meaty American diets.  They consumed more protein than anyone else in the country (high quality animal protein) and yet they were the ones getting liver cancer!

How could this be?

I then noticed a research report from India that had some very provocative, relevant findings.  Indian researchers had studied two groups of rats.  In one group, they administered the cancer-causing aflatoxin, then fed a diet that was composed of 20% protein, a level near what many of us consume in the West.  In the other group, they administered the same amount of aflatoxin, but then fed a diet that was only composed of 5% protein.  Incredibly, every single animal that consumed the 20% protein diet had evidence of liver cancer, and every single animal that consumed a 5% protein diet avoided liver cancer.  It was a 100 to 0 score, leaving no doubt that nutrition trumped chemical carcinogens, even very potent carcinogens, in controlling cancer.

This information countered everything I had been taught.  It was heretical to say that protein wasn't healthy, let alone say it promoted cancer...

So, faced with a difficult decision, I decided to start an in-depth laboratory program that would investigate the role of nutrition, especially protein, in the development of cancer. My colleagues and I were cautious in framing our hpotheses, rigorous in our methodology, and conservative in interpreting our findings... By carefully following the rules of good science, I was able to study a provocative topic without provoking knee-jerk responses that arise with radical ideas...

What we found was shocking.  Low-protein diets inhibited the initiation of cancer by aflatoxin, regardless of how much of this carcinogen was adminstered to these animals.  After cancer initiation was completed, low-protein diets also dramatically blocked subsequent cancer growth.  In fact, dietary protein prove to be so powerful in its effect that we could turn on and turn off cancer growth simply by changing the level consumed...

But that's not all.  We found that not all proteins had this effect.  What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer?  Casein, which makes up 87% of cow's milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process.  What type of protein did not promote cancer, even at high levels of intake?  The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy.  As this picture came into view, it began to challenge and then to shatter some of my most cherished assumptions."

What followed is the Break-through Study that has turned what we know about nutrition on its ear, giving undeniable evidence of the power of a plant-based diet.

It's time to start re-thinking the connection between diet and disease!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Sunday Truce...

There are times in the fight when a truce must be made.

A time-out from battle.  A call to peace in the midst of conflict.

This is never more true than when in the fight of your life.  And Beating Cancer is all-out war.

Today is our Sunday Truce time... no hard stuff, no decisions, no China Study.

Take a breathe.  Re-focus our thoughts.  Center on Hope.

Let Grace lead you to a place of peace and gratitude.

It is your legacy...

Begin living it today!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Stop Feeding Your Cancer

Dr. John Kelly was downright skeptical when he was challenged to review Dr. Campbell’s work.  As a general practitioner he had seen his fair share of cancer through the years.

After reading through the comprehensive results of The China Study and Dr. Campbell’s subsequent follow-up, he found himself unable to ignore the importance of the science and the urgency of the message…

“Cancer has visited my own family and, like so many others, I have personally dealt with the stress it brings to lives, and with the frequently helpless confusion.  Patients’ first reactions on hearing their diagnoses are consistent.  Alarm and distress are compounded by ignorance.  The headlines about cancer are well known and circulated in the popular press; it is virulent, it is indiscriminately fatal and treatments are complex and often brutal.”

Dr. Kelly chose to devise his own straw poll study in his clinical practice.  Compelled by the scientific findings in Campbells China Study, he put forth the question… “What would be the fate of my cancer patients if they followed Campbell’s study and rigorously adopted the animal-protein-free-diet he advocated?”

He stresses that as a medical practitioner he was committed to the well-being of all his patients and was not discouraging them from continuing conventional cancer treatments.  His field test involved adding in the whole food plant-based diet alongside whatever treatments the patient was already indergoing.

The trial that Dr. Kelly proposed was not a conventional, full-scale clinical trial.  "As with any doctor on the frontline of health care, I had seen too much suffering and too many lives cut short by cancer to be blasé about the disease.  My reasoning was that any study that proposed widespread remedial value demanded the most rigorous and transparent field-testing.”

So Dr. Kelly proceeded with his own study, with his patients’ help.  He made a pact with himself to avoid psychological prompting and to resist coaching individuals' response to recovery.  His job, as he saw it, was merely to introduce the facts, urge the diet and to observe and record.  The field-test spanned eight years.

What transpired was nothing short of remarkable…

One of the case studies in Dr. Kelly's book, Stop Feeding Your Cancer, was about a patient named Ronan.

Ronan was in his mid-sixties when he developed colon cancer.  He had a portion of the cancerous colon removed and made a rapid recovery.  His surgeon felt that he was doing well, but suggested a follow-up with his general practitioner, Dr. Kelly.

Dr. Kelly followed Ronan's progress and was the one who called for scans 7 months later when Ronan came to him with jaundice.  The scans showed multiple secondary lesions or cancer deposits on his liver.  

Ronan's cancer had come back and had metastisized.

Dr Kelly brought up the subject of The China Study and talked with Ronan about the possible association between animal protein and cancer growth.  Ronan agreed to read the book, but did not see the significance in it and went back to the surgeon who removed the section of liver where the cancer was located.

Ronan did agree to cut down a little on cheese, in a nod to the strict plant-based, no dairy diet that was recommended, and Dr. Kelly, true to his word, did not prompt or coach Ronan to comply.

Several months later scans discovered new cancer deposits in the soft tissue of the pelvis.  The cancer had come back.  

This time Ronan was treated with radiation, more surgery and finally another course of chemotherapy.

At some point in the grueling treatment, Ronan hit a turning point.  He came to Dr. Kelly and with the conviction of a man with one last chance, Ronan decided to surrender to the animal-protein-free diet.  

According to Dr. Kelly, "Almost immediately after adopting the diet, Ronan began to feel considerably better, and after three weeks he became quite enthusiastic about his new regime."  

At the time of writing his book, Dr. Keely shared that Ronan was more than 18 months out of treatment and appeared fit, well and optimistic, maintaining a full and active life on the diet.

I will be sharing more of Dr. Kelly's case studies in the next weeks, but  after a decade of work with hundreds of cancer patients in his clinic, Dr. Kelly has become convinced beyond any reasonable doubt of the link between consumption of animal protein and cancer growth.

The question still ponders, was it the simultaneous course of chemo and radiation or the whole-food-plant-based diet that gave Ronan a second chance?

Excited to see transformation and conversation beginning as we walk this journey and discover ways to Beat Cancer...

So glad you're here!  

Friday, October 6, 2017

Lessons from China...

Yesterday we talked about the ominous rise in Cancer rates around the globe.

I'll be honest, it makes me just a little crazy.  As a mother, a wife, a daughter, I am consumed with a desire to keep my loved ones safe.  But how to do that?  How to protect them from a disease that is growing, despite the billions of dollars spent on medical research?

Perhaps that is why The China Study resonated with me.  The study was incredibly comprehensive in scope.  Thousands of test subjects over more than a decade.  This is no small feat.  Nor are the results.

The Cancer Atlas was just the beginning.  It displays the cancer deaths of common cancers across China.  In doing so it pinpointed huge disparities in cancer frequencies and their locations across the country.  Dr. Campbell took those disparities and began an expansive study with China and England digging into these results.

What Dr. Campbell and his team discovered was literally a radical change in the way we should think about disease and nutrition.

In a nutshell, here is the Jane-speak version of The China Study results... (you remember I am not a doctor, right?)  This is about as lay-person basic as it gets.

When the data was drilled down, it became apparent that the critical variable in the way cancer clustered was the type of diet consumed.

As Dr. Campbell's team cross-listed their results with the Cancer Atlas they found two groups of diseases emerging:  Those that were typically found in economically developed areas - they called these diseases of affluence.  And diseases that were typically found in rural agricultural areas - they called these diseases of poverty.

Here are some of the common Diseases of Affluence:

Cancers - colon, lung, breast, childhood brain, stomach and liver
Coronary Heart Disease

Here are some of the common Diseases of Poverty:

Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Peptic Ulcer,  Digestive disease
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Parasite Disease

Dr. Campbell's study then added in dietary habits of each group.  This is where it gets really interesting.  You're still with me, yes?

Ok, in rural China, the areas of the agricultural poor, their main diet was primarily whole-food, plant-based with less than 10% animal proteins.  These areas put a spotlight on the Diseases of Poverty,

As certain areas in China developed and accumulated more wealth, people began changing their eating habits, lifestyles and sanitation systems.  And this resulted in diets much higher in animal proteins.  These areas put a spotlight on the Diseases of Affluence.

Now, the hard part... getting honest with ourselves...

What do our diets most resemble?  The wealthy plates of the affluent?  Or the plant-based, whole foods of the rural poor?

Dr. Campbell answered that question for us.  {Spoiler: It's not pretty.}

The common US diet is a rich, extravagant one, consisting of over 80% animal protein, not to mention that it's highly processed, laden with sugar and unhealthy oils.  That makes us fall on the side of the rich and economically affluent...

Which means that we are most likely to be affected by the Diseases of Affluence... remember that list?  Cancer, Diabetes, and Coronary Heart Disease.

Dr. Campbell's recommendation?   You guessed it... It is way past time to adopt a diet that is completely (or mostly) whole food, plant-based, free from animal proteins and processed foods.

So easy to type... so incredibly hard to implement. (I know... I have radically changed how and what I eat these past months... and am anxious to share what I've learned.)

Stick with me...  Tomorrow we start looking at real life case studies and how this study {this radical change in diet and nutrition} is making a huge difference for cancer patients.

The China Study is offering Hope to many who will never hear a word about diet and nutrition from their doctors.

Perhaps it's time to start the Conversation...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Is It Just Another Fad?

Many of you know our story.  It is the heartbeat of our lives.

When Cancer showed up at our house it knocked us to our knees.

Mom knew, likely from the beginning, that the deck was stacked against her.  We, naive and unschooled in the ways of cancer, were confident that she could beat it.

Pancreatic Cancer had other plans.  And they were ugly and wrenching and the stuff of nightmares.

It is the reason that we are so passionate about finding a Cure.  In our lifetime.  And yours.

But so many "miracle" treatments are just fancy snake oil.  We've seen a few.

You might call them fads or trends in the multi-billion dollar cancer industry... Who to believe?

And with your life or a loved ones at stake, what do you do?  Who do you trust?

We're right there with you... Questioning, Researching, Investigating, Scrutinizing... if something sounds too good to be true, we have found that it usually is...

So, why, you might be asking, am I so excited about The China Study???

{Disclaimer:  You know I am not a doctor, Right?  Nothing, I mean nothing I say should be taken for medical advice!  Please, Please talk with your oncologist and/or cancer team about all treatment options}

Perhaps a little background might help...

When Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010, she began the conventional treatment of Gemzar chemotherapy and radiation... Her tumor was inoperable.  The doctors said that Gemzar and Radiation were the Gold Standard of treatments and were her best option...

But they failed her.  As they have failed countless other loved ones.  I have lost count of the tears we have shed as these Conventional treatments have failed.  Over and Over again.

Utterly... Completely... Failed.

And yet, tomorrow morning, hundreds of new pancreatic cancer patients will hear that their only option is the Gold Standard treatment.  A Gold Standard that has not changed in over 40 years...  And we are somehow expecting different results today?  Different than yesterday's?  Or the week before?

I am not as naive as I was 6 years ago when we sat with mom in that sterile oncology office and begged for hope...

Oh, but it gets worse.  Pancreatic cancer is not the only monster in the dark.  Cancer rates of all kinds are increasing around the globe. 

What in the world is going on??  

Something has to change.

And maybe, just maybe, we're going to have to get serious about Change.  Really serious.

The China Study, at its core, spoke to the researcher in me.   This is no fad.  Nor an easy, 1-2-3 fix.

It is really serious about affecting change.  And sharing real, honest-to-goodness results from very real people.

Perhaps it's time to Rethink the Gold Standard for Cancer treatment. 

Tomorrow we dig into the recommendations from The China Study and see what it's all about...

Every, last, really serious bit of it!  Join us... Yes?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Secret Ingredient

I am not about to make you wait... there is too much at stake.

The China Study is filled with information (387 pages worth!) and if you are like me, you skip to the last chapter immediately to see what gives.

Well, here's the skinny...

The secret ingredient to a good diet, according to Dr. Campbell and his research team, is simple.


That's it.  {You're welcome.}

We should eat Plants.  Every day.  All kinds.

Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple and Red.

Sweet, Tart, Wholesome Plants.  Not animals.  Just Plants.

The secret to dramatically reducing our risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

And I might be over-simplifying just a bit.  There's so much more (387 pages!)

But you deserve to know what we're getting in to.  Right from the start.   We are getting radical.

Changing our diets is not for the faint of heart.  Yet, it is the very crux of so much that is wrong with our health.

When I first heard about the China Study, I was reading a book by Dr. John Kelly called Stop Feeding Your Cancer...

It is a fascinating read and fully engaged me from the first page.  Dr. Kelly had been introduced to The China Study and was compelled to follow-up with these dietary recommendations in his own practice.

His book is filled with case studies of many heroic patients who agreed to follow the diet and share their stories.  

It peaked my interest and I began a journey into a new, and might I add, revolutionary chapter in our cancer journey...

And it involves Plants.  Lots of delicious, nutritious, amazing plants...

Don't be scared off.  Stick with me.  The stories are nothing short of miraculous and you deserve every chance in the world in this fight against cancer.

If a diet could change the way your body healed itself, would you be interested???

Come back tomorrow... it just gets better and better!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What is the China Study?

And why should it matter to me?

Let's start at the beginning, and see if we can make some sense of it all...

In the early 1970's the premier of China, Zhou Enlai, was dying of cancer.  Realizing he was dying of a terminal disease that few understood, he initiated a monumental survey across his nation of the death rates of 12 different kinds of cancer.

The Premier's initiative reached into 2400 Chinese counties and tallied 880 million citizens.  This is the most ambitious biomedical project ever undertaken.

The data results provided explosive insights into cancer's nature and prompted Dr. T. Colin Campbell to partner with China and England to set up the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted.... this is The China Study.

So, what did the Premier's original survey actually reveal that was so important?

Well, after all the data was collected from those 880 million citizens around the country, the results were tallied and arranged in a color-coded chart/map.  This map or Cancer Atlas as it is called, revealed that the cancers found in China were definitely geographically located.

In other words, there were areas or counties where certain types of cancer were very high and there were areas where the same cancers were almost non-existent.

And this is important because the Chinese population is relatively homogenous genetically.  Meaning that the Chinese people have a very similar gene make-up.  But the cancers did not affect the population equally, leading the scientists to believe that the cancers were more likely due to environmental and/or lifestyle factors rather than genetics.

Secondly, the incidences of these cancers across China showed huge variations.  There were some cancers that occured 100 times more often in certain counties than others.  To the scientists these variations provoked even more questions...

1.  Why was cancer so high in some rural Chinese counties and not in others?

2.  Why were these differences so incredibly large?

3.  Why was overall cancer less common in China than in the U.S.?

The more Dr. Campbell grappled with these questions, the more he felt compelled to find the answers...

30 years ago, he put together a world-class scientific team and took on the challenge.

And it was a Huge Challenge.

The team set out to gather extensive data from 65 counties in China and administered blood and urine tests to 6,500 adults.  They used expansive questionnaires on diet and lifestyle as well as analyzing food samples from marketplaces around the country.

When they were done, they had more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet and disease variables.

Let that sink in... more than 8,000 connections between how we live/what we eat and the type of diseases we may get (not just cancer, but heart disease and infectious diseases as well).

The work of Dr. Campbell and his team fills the pages of his book, The China Study.

It is amazing in scope.  And presents a clear and concise message...

"... a good diet is the most powerful weapon we have against
disease and sickness..."
                                                        ~ Dr. T. Colin Campbell

Join us this month as we discover just what Dr. Campbell means by "a good diet."  It is a study that can have profound implications for each of us.

So excited you are here! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Beating Cancer... 31 Days to Healing

We're a day late to the party!  But we're here and ready to dance!

Yesterday was the launch of the 31 Day Writing Challenge 2017.

And I was no where near my computer.  {So Much Happening Right Now!}

But we are diving in today.  Big.  Because even a day late can't stop the excitement bubbling up over this year's topic...

Beating Cancer!  Yes.  Beating Cancer... 31 Days to Healing

If you or a loved one are facing the formidable diagnosis of cancer, then please, please join us.

There is Hope.  There is Good News.

And that Hope comes in the form of the largest, most comprehensive study ever undertaken on the coorelation between our diet and cancer.

It is called The China Study.

It is compelling.  It is radical.  It is beyond exciting.

In a nutshell, we are going to discover if it is possible to not only reduce our risk of getting cancer in our lifetime, but perhaps even reverse it.

And we are going to take it a part piece by piece and put together a plan.

A plan to give each one of us a path to walk, a framework for taking back our health... a clear, decisive blueprint for Beating Cancer!

Day 1     What is the China Study?
Day 2     The Secret Ingredient
Day 3     Is It Just Another Fad?
Day 4     Lessons from China...
Day 5     Stop Feeding Your Cancer
Day 6     A Sunday Truce
Day 7     A Dark Secret...
Day 8     Is It Really that Simple?
Day 9     Guiding Principles, Part 1
Day 10    Guiding Principles, Part 2
Day 11    The Good News... Or the Bad?
Day 12    Now to the Bad News...
Day 13    A Sunday Blessing
Day 14    Brain Cancer and a Case Study
Day 15    Getting Personal...
Day 16    A Little Grace...
Day 17    The China Study in a Nutshell
Day 18    Tips for the Journey...
Day 19    Where Do We Start When our Mind Goes Blank?
Day 20    A Sunday Prayer
Day 21    A Tex-Mex Hit!
Day 22    Another Case Study...
Day 23    A Message from the Professor
Day 24    The China Study: Center for Nutrition Studies
Day 25    Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen
Day 26    What I Ate Today...
Day 27    A Sunday of Thanks
Day 28    The China Study and Pancreatic Cancer
Day 29    A Eureka Moment
Day 30    Forks over Knives
Day 31    The China Study Resource List

In Grace and Love,