Did I ever tell you that my husband had cancer?
You will already know that, of course, if you follow his Sacred Practices blog, if you take Yoga with us, or if you’ve read his new book, Warrior Pose.
I didn’t know Bhava when he had the cancer. We met one year after his recovery. When we met, I fell head over heels, swoosh, in love.
Every day since, that love is affirmed, strengthened, deepened. I am grateful for a decade now of oceanic bliss, and a vibrant aliveness that grows and expands, even with another birthday just celebrated and time flowing by.
It could be said that this entire site is something of a paean to that love, exemplifying one aspect of a shared life: the foods we love, and the way we love them. Everything that shows up here was made first, lovingly, for him, and sometimes by him, or with him.
So I thought, in honor of his book, his recent birthday, his vibrant aliveness, and the healing that is in Mother Nature’s foods, I’d write a little about our food habits and what we do, as often as we can, to keep the cancer far, far away. It’s a good practice for all of us. I invite you to share it with anyone who could use the guidance and Bhava’s inspiration.
8 Healthy Food Habits to Keep Cancer Away
1. Eat Fresh
You want high energy? Eat high energy foods. Eat foods that “eat the sun,” foods that are locally grown, recently picked, farm to table, lightly cooked or raw.
Bhava and I eat something raw daily. How much depends on the season. But in every season, the food you eat should be as alive as possible. Simply put, make it fresh.
2. Eat Organic
If you have cancer, EVERYTHING YOU EAT has to be organic. No toxins. No microwave. No exceptions.
3. Eat Vegetables
If Mother Earth loves you and food is her way of showing you, vegetables are her super heroes. They have the power to save you, even from your worst habits!
Did you know, as an example, that apart from being startlingly beautiful, artichokes have three unique cancer-dissolving molecules? Try adding a handful of artichoke hearts to your meals, or enjoy this vegan spinach artichoke dip for a healthy snack.
We eat vegetables of every color, shape and size every day, and we eat them chopped, juiced, blended, raw, steamed, lightly sautéed, or baked. We are not shy when it comes to vegetables, nor should you be. Be bold. Try every kind, every which way. Let it be an adventure. Ask your local grower for tips on preparing vegetables you are not familiar with. Allow a relationship to blossom.
4. Eat Brassicas
There is a saying that “Cancer hates cabbage.” In fact, cancer hates the entire cabbage family, called the Brassicas, whose kin include broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, bok choy, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, and watercress.
Numerous scientific studies are finding that Brassicas help fight cancer due to their relatively high content of glucosinolates, which have shown anticarcinogenic properties. In our house, our daily cornucopia of vegetables will always include broccoli, cauliflower, kale or collards. We also enjoy watercress and mustard greens in the Spring.
5. Eat (Blue) Green
Power up your vegetable nutrition by treating yourself to a daily dose of algae. My favorite is spirulina, a fresh water, blue-green algae similar in makeup to the sea vegetables of Japanese cuisine: dulse, kelp, nori, kombu, arame, wakame, and chlorella.
We make a morning fresh pressed Juice or Smoothie four to five days a week, always with a heaping spoonful of spirulina, sometimes with chlorella too, or with the VitaMineralGreens blend of land and sea greens because they give us sample jars every time we go to BhaktiFest, and because it is true quality.
Detoxifying, rejuvenating, immune supporting and liver loving, blue green algaes are a must. Be sure to source well : clean, non-toxic, organically cultivated.
6. Eat Berries
The antioxidants in berries help fight cancers. Bhava has blueberries and strawberries with every breakfast, and I always toss a handful into our Smoothies. Lately, my favorite berry for a Smoothie is the Himalayan Goji. For a sweet treat, add blueberries, raspberries and Goji berries to a Fig Smoothie.
7. Eat Turmeric
Oh Turmeric, how do I love thee? Let me count thy ways….
The most researched spice in the world today, turmeric is revered for its cancer-fighting, tumor-reducing potency.
I believe so fervently in turmeric that once, a few years ago, when there was a false suspicion that Bhava’s cancer had returned, a voice inside me silently shouted, “But that’s impossible. Not with all the turmeric he takes!” Turns out that voice was right.
Again, don’t be shy. Add it to everything ~ smoothies, sautés, home-made ghee, almond milk. If you are overly generous, its astringent aftertaste will overpower. But with measure, it goes with anything.
8. Eat, Don’t Eat
Occasional Fasting is good for you. It gives your digestive system a rest, promoting proper metabolism, deep tissue cleanse and proper elimination. It’s a bit like tidying up your room weekly, or taking the garbage out. Once in a while, we just need to do it. My husband called this his Organic Chemotherapy: Regular 24-hour fasts were central to his healing.
Start by skipping dinner on Mondays. Once you feel comfortable with that, consider skipping breakfast on Tuesday. By lunchtime you will have completed a 24-hour fast. Or, simply reduce your portions. Eat less. Give your body a chance to catch up, a pause to heal.
I like to focus on the positive. When you choose to eat as nature intended, you enjoy rich flavors, colors, aromas, textures, and an aliveness that excites. But since we are talking about cancer, a life-threatening disease, it is important not to mince words. Here is what not to eat: red meat, pork and poultry, dairy, sugar, processed foods. We know they feed cancer. Best to avoid altogether.
Forever? Maybe not. But until you are recovered, absolutely. A whole food, plant-based diet is essential if you want to reverse chronic disease.
If you need convincing, read the science… Or dive into Warrior Pose, my husband’s true story of overcoming the worst odds: a broken back, a broken spirit, and suddenly “terminal” cancer. I have three copies of this highly acclaimed book to giveaway. Just comment below and you will be added to the drawing. We draw randomly and anonymously, and will pick names from the proverbial hat on Tuesday. Please leave an email address or a way to contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be made public. We love and respect you too much for that.
Wishing you golden health, vibrant aliveness, deep love, and the
clarity to remember: You matter. Live accordingly.
Congratulation to Warrior Pose book winners Chris, Emma and Anne. We wish all of you could have won, but it is available at Amazon for a bit less than retail, and at libraries across the country.
- Fight Cancer with Food (oprah.com/health)
- Is Eating red Meat Dangerous for You? (mindbodygreen.com)
- Healthy Foods That Help Defeat Cancer (healthhealing101.com)
- Beautiful Brassica’s (botany.com)
- Greens and Artichokes Stew (Saveur)
Such simple and wise guidance – thank you! And for getting me hooked on vitamineral greens. You and Bhava are such inspirations for food as both medicine and love. Xo
Thank you, Pamela. You are an inspiration too!
I actually just finished the book. I get my books from the library, but this is one I would LOVE to own. It has inspired me to return to a regular Yoga practice and read your recipes!! Everyone on the planet should read this book. Much Love, Nancy
Thank you, Nancy!
You both are so inspiring. I so appreciate this invaluable knowledge that you share with us!!
Always love reading your posts. It’s as if I my senses can taste and smell the goodness you’re writing about 🙂 And I’d love to hear what Bhava shares in his book.
Wow! A truly loving, uplifting and inspiring communication. Thanks ! Peace , Kevin
Thank you, Kevin. Peace to you!
I’m intrigued by your post. How difficult is it to change one’s entire orientation towards food and eating?
Hi Chris! It is not difficult at all – as long as you orient towards delicious foods with an open mind and some patience. In a week you will have new taste buds and a greater appreciation for nature’s wisdom. In two weeks you will feel awesome and be thankful for the immense pay-off. I hope you will read Bhava’s book. Think you would enjoy it. Love to you and your family!
Thank you Laura for a fabulous blog of healthy foods that provide the best defense against cancer and other illness. And thanks to your commitment to vibrant health, and to Bhava for writing such an inspiring book that is a testimony to the power of self healing actions!
Ok,ok fasting! I know I need that. Today’s the day. Love all your inspiring helpful blogs.
Enjoy the joy of loving yourself well, Cynthia. Thanks!
I’ve enjoyed your blog posts and the recipes immensely! Thank you so much for the inspiration and direction. ~ Namaste ~
Diane, Thank you for taking the time to write. I wish you inspiringly good health!
I heard Bhava speak at Soulscape and was so toughed by hearing his story. Keeping my fingers crossed I win his book! And I love your blog. Will you be speaking in North County anytime soon?
Oops…I meant to say I was so “touched”.
Thank you for sharing this information with all of us. This statement (or exclamation) “But that’s impossible. Not with all the turmeric he takes!” hit home a little too much for me. It’s amazing how hard we have to work to stay here with those we love. Love really helps, so does loving oneself, and taking care. I love all the advice you have suggested and shared. I am so curious to know what Yoga poses helped. Many thanks for sharing.
Heather, The Yoga poses that helped the most are the deeply relaxing, restorative, meditative ones, like Pascimottanasana, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, all twists, etc… and deep, deep breathing with single-pointed attention on each and every breath for long, releasing holds in each pose. Daily Yoga Nidra was essential, along with gentle walks to see the sunrise, sunset, and all nature’s beauty in the hours between. If we didn’t call it Deep Yoga, we could have called it Slow Yoga. God bless you!
Laura, Such a great reminder and what a wonderful motivation! In gratitude!
I love the simplicity…in our crazy world it’s refreshing to know that coming back to basics can really make a difference!
Loveyour blog… and your breakfast recipes .
Would love to read the book too!
I love the common sense -eat like your grandparents did! Fresh, wholesome foods infused with love. You are an inspiration and light in this world. Blessings to you both. Namaste
Yes, eat like your grandparents did! Then it is not only healthy, true food, but happy memories!
Food is the best medicine……your words are true…..as a cancer warrior and now a happy vegan I am LIVING proof xo
Lee, Bhava’s working title for his book Warrior Pose was “Living Proof.” Glad to know the club is growing. Congratulations and Namaste!
Laura, thank you for this inspiration. It came at a perfect time, as I embark on a 5-day juice fast starting tomorrow. I’ve been preparing all my veggies since yesterday and super excited to get started! Many blessings to you and Bhava.
Thanks, Nayeli. Good to hear from you!
This is amazing to discover I am a cancer survivor and have craved green veggies for the last 5 years ! Now I know why. Our bodies are much smarter than we are. Very happy to have discovered thisinformation thank you. You and your husband are inspiring
Congratulations! You are a hero and a living messenger. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful wisdom and lifestyle practices. Your husband’s book sounds very powerful and inspiring. I’m excited to read it and share it with others!
This just confirms my longtime feeling that Bhava is one blessed man to be wed to you, beautiful Laura! Thank you a million thank yous for sharing this bounty with us too.
Rebecca! Thank you.
Oh, and divine Laura, are there certain brands of spirulina you recommend? I want to start adding that to my morning drink too. Thank YOU!
PS – If I’m selected, please donate Warrior Pose to some other blessed soul as I already treasure my hand-signed version! Love to you both for all the wisdom and nourishment you share with us.
I like Hawaiian Organics ~ And thank you for the donations. Love you, Divine Beauty! XO
Dear Bhava and Laura, you are an inspiration! Always grateful for your wisdom and guidance. Looking forward to reading your story, Bhava. I’m going to share this blog with some friends.
In appreciation and love, Federica
Thank you for always sharing so freely. I am looking forward to reading Bhava’s journey.
I heard bava interviewed on an internet talk show and i was fascinated by his story! What an amazing turnaround from a very dynamic fellow…. I now follow his blogs and love the depth of your teachings! I would love to read his book and pass it on to some who need that inspiration!!
Thanks, Kate. So glad you heard Bhava’s interview and are joyfully participating in the message of healing and empowerment. Thank you.
Reblogged this on Ready for Insight and commented:
An inspiring article inviting us to tap into the healing power that is in our food. It’s the perfect time of year to eat fresh, eat local and consciously create a relationship with what we eat. Eat well and Be well!
Such an inspiring, upbeat article. Thank you as always. I had to reblog….
Thanks, Alex. You are so wonderful!
Thanks Laura for your food insights. Glad to see we are on the same path of healthy eating. Dean and I just did an 8 day detox of mostly ‘busy salads’. We lost weight (although that wasn’t our goal) and feel great. As for WARRIOR POSE, I am OK not to win the book as Dean and I have already read the wonderful story of Bhava Ram’s transition into healing and I want others to enjoy it. In fact, the book jumped out at me at the local library and I devoured it. I intend to purchase a copy as it is a book I want to own, be able to underline certain passages and be able to loan to friends. I have told so many people about it already. We are also appreciating his music and highly recommend it as well – Songs of My Soul by Bhava Ram. Are you singing with him? I also think I hear his son Morgan singing on Sri Ram. You are both amazing!
Thanks, Dudley. You and Dean are such inspirations yourself. We are grateful to you both.
Inspirational blog post! Thank you for the reminders to eat healthy, local, and watch the portion size. The book looks great. I’d love to read it.
So beautiful for you to share such an inspirational tale. And, thank you for all off the natural tips on fighting off cancer. I truly believe treating your body with relentless kindness is the best defense.
Relentless kindness! Love that. Thx, Britt.
Any time. : )
Love the article, sista! Beautiful –
Love you, sister Jules!
Thank you for your beautiful site and this wise article on healing with food. My only criticism has to do with categorizing red meat, pork, poultry and dairy in the same group as sugar and processed foods.
I understand that confinement raised animal foods are deleterious to one’s health, but pasture-raised, heirloom breed animals (and their raw, un-homogenized, cultured dairy) translate into high quality nutrient dense food that builds blood, bone and tissue very quickly and efficiently.
These ancient animal foods, or what I refer to as ‘grease, guts and bones’ enhance immunity (gut restoration) and skeletal mineralization through the action of collagen and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D & K2; nutrients essential for mineral deposition in the boney structures of our bodies, and not provided by plant foods in the forms and quantities required.
Organ meats and offal in particular (being 10-100 times more nutrient-dense than muscle meats) prove necessary to feed and repair our adrenal system in this modern, stress-overloaded, sedentary lifestyle we currently lead.
Our wise ancestors consumed the nutrient dense parts of animal foods to build and repair, as well as to provide energy. Whereas, they consumed the mostly indigestible cellulose-dense plant foods medicinally, to detoxify and cleanse with the seasons.
Both food groups are necessary for many of us to stay balanced and enjoy radiant health!
Thanks, Annie. You make an intelligent and compelling case. While all that may be true, this is a post about foods to reduce cancer, which puts us in the latter category of your penultimate paragraph above: needing to consume “cellulose-dense plant foods medicinally, to detoxify and cleanse.”
The science on plant based foods to reduce cancer is indisputable.
I appreciate your feedback. There are so many ways to heal!
Healing Foods: Keeping Cancer at Bay & Warrior Pose Giveaway | Food: A Love Story
Hi my name is Aloke, General Surgeon by profession, from India. I have been working in southern african countries for over a decade (Mozambique mainly) and moved to Botswana this year. Just when life was looking good i was diagnosed with throat cancer (upper esophagus). In fact i just got the confirmation biopsy report only yesterday! I have a loving wife who just wont let me go. I have a small girl of 6 years whom i am not willing to let go. So we decided to fight it out. Surgery/chemo/radiation is non curative in my case. I have started herbal medicines from India. I truly believe mind can guide the body to heal. I am trying to get hold of books, Deep Healing, and warrior pose. I have also written to Bhava Ram on twitter to help me.( no reply yet from him). I need your help and guidance to come out of this. I have to survive atleast another 15 years for the sake of my child and wife. I will await your guidance and from anyone else willing to help me fight to survive. Namaste.