I recently found out that someone I met on my First Descents trip last month, passed away this week from cancer. She had two beautiful kids, friends and family who loved her dearly. At first, I am sad because life can be so unfair sometimes. But after the sadness starts to pass I realize how angry I am. Because cancer doesn’t have to take away the people we love. It doesn’t have to be a scary thing and it CAN be prevented.

People don’t like change. I get it. If you’ve eaten certain foods your whole life, why change now? Especially when you go to see the doctor and they tell you that it’s not your fault that you got cancer, and eat lots of protein (meat) during treatment so that you don’t lose too much weight. But what if there was something else you could do. What if your doctor had more than one class in nutrition during his/her eight (or more) years of schooling. What if you did your own research on how to cure cancer?

The answer to all of these what ifs, there IS another way. There is something else that YOU can do right now, whether you have cancer, or want to make sure that you never get cancer. EAT PLANT BASED FOODS. EVERYDAY. Stop eating meat and dairy. Your conventional doctor won’t tell you this because they have the pharmaceutical industry/meat and dairy industries in their pocket. And it’s not their fault, they were not educated in nutrition.

My oncologist was a very understanding lady, but when it came to nutrition she knew diddly squat. She sent me to the dietitian, and when I told her I was going vegan and all I was going to eat were salads, juice and smoothies. The dietitian was even worse. She put the Standard American Diet (SAD) pie chart in front of me and gave me the whole, “But you have to eat meat to get enough protein”. I told her I was going to eat vegan regardless, so she could either start talking to me about plant based protein or we would stop talking.

I ate plants, drank juice and smoothies throughout the entirety of my treatment. I had stage IIIc ovarian cancer. The five year survival rate is around 39%. I cried when I first saw that. But you know what, I’m not crying anymore. I am going on year number 4, my hair is longer than it’s ever been (and healthier!) and I am surviving! And sure I’ll attribute 3% of that to chemo because that is how effective it is. But that other 36% — that is mine. That is what I did to beat cancer.

Since I was diagnosed I have filled my book shelf and time and energy on cancer books, research, groups, other people who have been diagnosed, other people who have healed. I have learned a lot.

You know what the main sources of “spontaneous” remission are? Radically changing your diet and taking control of your health.

I truly believe that eating a plant based diet will prevent you from getting many of our generation’s worst diseases. Eating plants to try and reverse your disease is also promising. And there is plenty of science to back this up. Sure, you won’t be seeing it on the mainstream news anytime soon. But the information is there and available to you if you want it.

Back to change. Most of us don’t like it. We’re happy the way things are. But you know what will be the biggest change you will ever encounter? The day you’re told that you have cancer. One in three Americans will be diagnosed in our lifetime. Don’t let that day occur. Take control of your health, eat your vegetables and stop eating meat and dairy. I promise you’ll live a much longer. and healthier life.

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