Mike Herbert, ND, answers questions about his book, Stay Healthy During Chemo.
What are the 5 steps a patient can take to stay healthy during chemo?
- Step 1: Change your thinking and develop an attitude focused on healing (the emotional framework.)
- Step 2: Detoxify to promote healing from the inside out.
- Step 3: Eat the best foods to create a healing chemistry in your body.
- Step 4: Supplement your diet correctly to support the healing momentum.
- Step 5: Exercise and rest to speed the healing process.
Why is nutrition a critical part of staying healthy during chemotherapy?
Nutrition supports all cells. When undergoing chemotherapy, our body requires nutritional support more than ever to protect the healthy cells and vital organs. Optimal health starts with correct nutrition because what we eat changes the body’s chemistry and the environment where the cancer is living. Change is needed for a positive outcome.
Why are most cancer patients placed on a non-restricted diet by their nutritionist or oncologist?
Most people lose weight during the chemotherapy process and oncologist often recommend high-calorie foods like milkshakes and pasta. These may keep the person from losing weight, but does not help the healing process towards being cancer free. It’s always best to eat foods that have high nutritional value, not just high in calories.
Why is it critical to eliminate sugars from your diet before, during and after chemotherapy?
Sugar is cancer food; it feeds cancer cells. Medical science has known for decades that sugar is fast energy for cells and speeds up the cellular duplication process. To reverse this process, it’s best to avoid all sugar sources and foods that turn into sugar like simple carbohydrates.
What do you recommend to eat and drink on days a patient is having a chemo treatment?
Eating the right foods is crucial for optimal health even on a chemo day. I recommend easy to digest foods like steamed veggies with brown rice or quinoa and large amounts of liquids, like green tea, peppermint tea, or purified water. Drinking a half a gallon to a gallon of water-like liquids flushes out toxins that may otherwise stay in the body.
What are some of your favorite recipes in the book?
It’s hard to narrow down 100-plus recipes to just a few personal favorites. My top picks are: The Blueberry Smoothie, Lentil Squash soup, Mediterranean spinach with pine nuts and raisins, Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw, Chia and Banana Pudding, and soft almond cookies are tasty and nutritious.
Mike Herbert is a PhD naturopath with more than 15 years in practice as a wellness consultant, with a particular emphasis on nutrition and natural healing. When his life was touched by cancer, he turned his full attention to investigating cutting-edge studies on the link between cancer and nutrition. He is the author of Stay Healthy During Chemo.