Cancer Free with Food is an outstanding book that provides delicious recipes, health tips, advice from doctors and other experts, and an empowering perspective that you can easily adopt to help you prevent and heal from cancer and manage the unpleasant side effects of treatment. Liana Werner-Gray writes about the latest scientific discoveries on the role of specific ingredients in making the body an inhospitable environment for cancer and highlights the shift the medical community is making toward a more functional, systems-based, and environmental approach to treatment. This is an extraordinarily relevant book given the poor quality of what most people eat. By teaching us that food can be used as medicine, Liana is pointing us in the right direction. It’s the new medicine for the 21st century.
In my oncology rotation in medical school, I asked my professor what percentage of cancer was related to diet. Expecting a gracious, but insignificant nod to the role of diet as a cause of cancer, I was surprised when he said that 70 percent of all cancers are related to diet. Given this, in her book Liana answers the incredibly important question: If I’ve got or want to avoid cancer, what should I eat?
Ultimately, Cancer Free with Food is a recipe book that answers this question—one that is also filled with an abundance of evidence that diet, exercise, thoughts, feelings, and environmental toxins all can play a role in the initiation, growth, and progression of cancer. We are not at the mercy of our genetic predispositions. There is a lot we can do to stay healthy. If a nutrient-poor diet full of sugar and chemicals, lack of exercise, chronic stress, persistent exposure to pollutants, like heavy metals, can cause cancer, doesn’t it make sense that a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet, physical activity, changing thoughts and reactions to stress, and detoxification can prevent and help heal cancer? To me, it does.
I love that this book is full of great-tasting recipes that are quick and easy to make while packed with high doses of antioxidants and protein, two of the foundational elements of any eating plan whose aim is preventing and treating cancer. Liana’s genius is finding satisfying ways to enhance immune function and facilitate the body’s elimination of cancer-causing compounds. For years, I’ve been preaching the dangers of the typical contemporary refined-carbohydrate diet, like out-of-control inflammation and hormonal imbalance to name just two that are leading reasons people get cancer. By following Liana’s advice and using her wholesome recipes, you can avoid these and other dangers.
One of the key principles for overcoming cancer offered in Cancer Free with Food is never to consume white or refined sugar or artificial sweeteners again. Small amounts of real sugar, as found in ingredients like fruit, honey, and maple syrup, are fine to eat, but not the 152 pounds a year per person averaged in America. Liana admits that she formerly thought of sugar as a kind of recreational drug. But then she developed fulfilling recipes that fulfilled her sweet tooth and was able to stop making herself sick. Cancer loves sugar. You can learn from Liana’s example how to get off it and stay off it by responding to your cravings with genuine nourishment. And if sugar isn’t your “drug” of choice, she shows how to satisfy other types of cravings you may have that could potentially lead you into trouble health-wise. Liana is a real person who has traveled the path before you. You can trust her insights.
Food is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making ourselves prone to developing cancer. The 2008–2009 report from the President’s Cancer Panel found that as a society we have grossly underestimated the link between environmental toxins, plastics, chemicals, and cancer risk. And the authorities have yet to acknowledge how thoughts, emotions, and overall stress also impact and add to the risk—but acknowledgment is sure to come. Liana is ahead of her time in presenting facts that should motivate us all to take a deeper look at how we nourish ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, as well as physically. Her approach to nourishment is comprehensive.