Are You Feeding Or Fighting Cancer?
Claire is a rule-follower.
She is a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a music teacher. She is also on the other side of breast cancer and thyroid cancer. She’s been through the treatment, announced clear, and now beginning her ‘survivor’ chapter.
Her doctor sensitively points to her belly. “You see this fat, right here? Losing this is your best measure of prevention, your best cancer defense.”
Claire’s been on the rollercoaster most of her adult life.
• Body Attack workout programs
• Nutritional shakes
• Green drinks
You know the drill.
Middle-age comes with waistline expansion despite eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Oh, well. We are wise to let some things go. We all get soft in the middle, right?
And then the double cancer diagnosis. Double!?!
Fear, uncertainty, overwhelm. Casseroles, compassion, and carnivals ensue.
Then comes the ‘therapy’. Cancer treatment steals her every ounce of energy, along with every strand of hair and disrupts life as she knows it. She feels changed, invaded, and jaded. Tired and worn out.
And adding insult to injury, the one ‘perk’ of treatment, weight loss, is now creeping back on. Right around her middle. The exact place on her body the doc is pointing to.
Clothes that became too loose, are now too tight. Talk about being emotionally wrung out. “Weight loss. Yay! One good thing to be grateful for.” Psych.
More time used up and money spent clearing out the closet….again. And this is where Claire is today. At her post-cancer check-up. “Everything looks fine,” her doc says with a smile, “except……..
……..you just need to lose a few pounds.”
……..Just eat healthy and get some exercise….and try not to stress about it.”
Yeeeeaaaaa, right. Good Grief. Been there done that. Here I am again.
Is this episode…….we’re going to cover
1. Why following the rules may be the very reason Claire is struggling in the first place.
2. The waist weight – carbohydrate – cancer fate connection.
3. The ONE variable Claire can control that solves both of her problems: cancer cells and belly fat
How To Fight Cancer With Foods That Prevent Cancer – Why HEALTHY Eating FEEDS Cancer - Episode 15
All any of us wants is simply to know.
To know that our actions and our effort will yield desired outcome.
To KNOW foods that prevent cancer.
Cancer is a costly and complex condition. Why then is it treated so simply? Cancer gets lumped in with all the other ‘standard of care’ directives like, “Just get off processed foods”, “Lose a few pounds” “Try to avoid sugar….if you can.” “Eat plants-based, organic, and whole.”
Cancer seems to be all about feeding and fighting.
Are you feeding cancer?
Are you fighting cancer?
It’s human nature to want to come out swinging.
• Stand up to cancer.
• Beat cancer.
• Survive cancer.
• Let food be thy medicine!
• Forks (not knives) are our weapons!
• Cancer is fought in the kitchen!
• Eat the rainbow!
• Get 2 – 4 servings of fruit every day!
• Eat lots of vegetables, the sky’s the limit!
• If you have to eat meat, choose organic and lean animal protein.
• Use organic honey instead of sugar.
• Fortify your nutritional arsenal with juicing, wheatgrass shooting and green drinking.
• Opt for organic, gluten-free versions of your favorite foods.
And then there are the even more vague, self-love charged directives like ‘nourish your body’, ‘satiate your belly’ and ‘satisfy your soul’? Eat mindfully, sustainably, ethically, locally. There’s much to live up to!
So many rules to follow.
1. Rule Following.
Each one of the ‘rules’ or dietary mantras listed above are suggestions. What do they suggest?
A) That food can heal.
B) That organic is ideal.
C) That carbohydrate is king.
A) Food can heal?
Can food actually heal? Or is that our body heals itself when we get out of its way? Of all the nutritional and dietary directives, the strongest one is ‘stop eating.’ But that’s a topic for another episode.
B) Organic is ideal?
Is organic ideal? There is nothing about a food ‘being organic’ that makes the food have super-power healing properties. It’s more about what is not there. Organic implies that the food is raised or produced as naturally as possible. Yes. Real food, without pesticides and additives, is best.
C) Carbohydrate is king?
Is carbohydrate king? The past few decades has certainly led us to believe this is so.
At its very foundation, a Plants-Based diet is a carbohydrate-based diet. Fruits. Vegetables. Whole grains. All carbohydrate. Even the directive to choose plant protein over animal protein adds even more carbohydrate to our diet. Rice. Beans. Quinoa. All high in carbohydrate and low in protein.
We get some protein but it comes with a surplus of…..
Whole. Real. Organic. Carbohydrate is carbohydrate is glucose.
The ring around Claire’s waist? Glucose.
It’s no wonder we are a nation of belly fat. The push to consume lots of carbohydrate/plants generates far more glucose than our body needs. Glucose is sugar fuel for all cells.
And a steady and abundant influx of glucose is the perfect condition for cancer cells. Our high carbohydrate, low fat diet eating directive has us generating lots of glucose and has us eating it far more often. Carbohydrate consumers can become consumed by cravings and be perpetually hungry.
That’s because glucose is such a short-lived fuel. This is why the uninformed advise us to ‘eat more’ AND ‘eat more often.’ Cancer cells are thrilled. “Get 5-6 servings of colorful carbohydrate (vegetables) every day.” “Snack on carbohydrate (fruit).” “Up your carbohydrate intake (vegetables) in shakes and juicing.”
And then the whole grains, beans, and dried fruit further help to meet cancer cell fuel demands.
Cancer cells demand lots of glucose. And because they rely on glucose as their primary if not sole source of fuel, they are equipped with extra sensitive insulin receptors. Insulin is 100% necessary for enabling a cancer cell to access glucose. And in the human body, where there is glucose there is insulin.
Plants-Based eating drives carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrate consumption drives glucose surplus. Glucose surplus fuels cancer cells and drives waist weight. Waist weight drives estrogen production. Estrogen production drives breast cancer.
Fuel (glucose) and Catalysts (Hormones)
The very rules Claire is following are the reason she is struggling. Let’s look at the connection.
2. The “Waist Weight – Carbohydrate – Cancer Fate” Connection
Waist Weight is directly proportional to Cancer Fate.
A) Waist weight (belly fat) generates cancer supporting inflammatory markers.
B) Waist weight (belly fat) generates estrogen which drives breast cancer.
C) Waist weight (belly fat) is generated by the same two catalysts that drive cancer.
The two variables that generates all human waist-weight are glucose and insulin.
Waist weight isn’t caloric, its hormonal!
All that carbohydrate from our plants-based diet generate a surplus of glucose. All carbohydrate digests to glucose which becomes our blood sugar.
Here is where we can make sense of the “sugar feeds cancer” idea. Sugar isn’t just sweetening our cakes, it makes up our rice cakes, organic whole wheat pancakes, gluten free pizza crusts, fruit and protein smoothies, green juices and roasted root vegetables.
All carbohydrate, even the ancient, real, sprouted, farmers market, did I mention organic, is sugar. All carbohydrate is sugar to our body. All carbohydrate digests into blood sugar aka glucose.
This is fuel for all cells. This is what cancer cells thrive on.
None of the mentioned carbohydrate are bad or off limits. They’re just not doing what we’ve been led to believe they are doing. (Good News: All of the healthy cells in our body can use an alternative fuel that cancer cells can’t use.)
When we follow the rules of the “get enough nutrients in the form of colorful fruits and vegetables and get lots of healthy whole grains and eat beans and rice instead of animal proteins” directives, we are over-consuming glucose-generating carbohydrate.
Here is where belly fat makes its entrance.
Excess glucose (blood sugar) gets stored as…….belly fat. We wear our excess blood sugar around our waist. Excess blood sugar didn’t come from the fat we ate. Protein may have contributed some, but not very much.
Waist weight is carbohydrate.
How do we know this? Because insulin responds to glucose. And our cells respond to insulin. Cells allow glucose to enter when insulin is present.
Guess which cells are most sensitive to insulin?
Cancer cells are the most sensitive of all because their very survival depends on glucose.
Of all of our healthy cells, the adipose tissue cells around our middle are especially sensitive to insulin. This is why we store excess glucose there. The glucose gets converted to another form of fuel. A form our body can store, our body can carry around and our body can use at a later time.
Most people know insulin as the blood sugar lowering hormone, the diabetes hormone. Most don’t know that insulin is also the Fat Storage Hormone. Insulin is a purely anabolic hormone. It is all about growth. (Think cancer cell growth.)
When insulin is raised we are in fat accumulation mode. Fat accumulation and something even worse. Fat lockdown. All that carbohydrate we’ve been instructed to eat drives insulin up.
So the very rules Claire’s been heroically following have not only contributed to her belly fat but have kept her from being able to shed it. The only time the human body will release body fat is when insulin levels lower.
The plants-based directive has us unknowingly in an insulin dominant state more often than not. All we need do is check our middle. Our waistline is our “insulin belt.”
Got belly fat? Got insulin.
And that belly, as it accumulates, begins secreting both inflammation-stoking compounds and hormones like estrogen. Claire’s belly fat is accumulating because of her diet rule following and it’s stimulating breast tissue growth with more estrogen production.
This is the “Waist Weight – Carbohydrate – Cancer Fate Connection”.
3. And finally, the one variable Claire, or any of us, can manipulate to control both waist weight and cancer fate?
It’s quite small, isn’t it. Is anyone even aware of it? Who would be thinking, insulin??
Insulin’s role in waist weight is visible. We can see our waistline expand. And once we know the connection, we can apply right action.
But insulin’s role in cancer cell establishment goes a bit further than simply enabling cancer cells to get their glucose. It has to do with the telltale characteristic for which cancer was named. Crab. But that’s for another episode.
The world would have us controlling our food. Controlling quality. Controlling quantity. SHIFT would have you smarter and shifting from controlling to knowing. There is no food off limits when you know food’s limits.
And by ‘limits’ we mean seeing food through the lens of insulin.
Eating to keep insulin low means body fat burning is a ‘Go!’
And when body fat burning is a ‘go’ we are in full health and cancer risk-reversal.
So… foods that prevent cancer are any foods that do not feed cancer.
Claire is significantly thwarting cancer. She is using up her belly fat daily. She is on her own personal, liberating, health restoration journey. She is invigorated, re-energized, certain, and loving where she’s going. And she’s really loving the idea of going to her next post-cancer checkup when her doc will ask, “Wow, how did you do it?” And Claire will reply with some much deserved and well-earned swag….., “I finally got my SHIFT together.”