Cancer, diet & exercise

When a healthy cell replicates it does not always succeed. This results in the failure of the replicated cell to be correctly programmed. This is a normal biological process.

All healthy cells have a pre-programmed life cycle. However if cells do not replicate correctly they may not have this ‘used by’ date. They are ‘eternal’ cells, which we refer to as cancer cells.

Cancer cells circulate in our bodies all the time. Our immune system can eliminate them when white blood cells, called Natural Killer Cells, are stimulated through physical activity and released from the spleen – which is why exercise is so important. However if other factors enter the equation such as poor diet, inactivity, or possibly a virus or trauma of some form, the immune system may be overwhelmed. This can result in these cancer cells evolving into tumours.

A high functioning immune system is the best defence against getting cancer, or in fact any disease. So the question is ‘what do I have to do to boost my immune system so that it can prevent cancerous cells developing into a tumour?’ And if tumours are already present, ‘how can I supercharge my immune system in order to kill those tumours?’

From a nutritional perspective it is not complicated, but from a habit perspective it may require some effort. The reality is that you have to eat right if you are going to avoid cancer, or beat it if it is already present.

A high fibre, nutritionally rich, plant based diet is highly recommended. Pursuing a diet like this will support your immune system while also mitigating cancer stimulating foods, such as highly processed food products.

This way of eating is not so much an elimination of foods that conflict with your efforts to avoid or deal with cancer, but rather a process of replacing bad for good. The really interesting thing here is that it will become self perpetuating – your body really wants these healthy foods and will start rejecting unhealthy foods naturally.

This is what you can do:

1. Alkalise your diet. Eating alkaline foods is very simple: fruits and vegetables, in abundance. Animal products are all acidifying. Red meat, processed meat etc. are all to be avoided. Some fish is fine and three to four eggs per week (as per the Mediterranean Diet).

The acidifying component of any food is protein. And it turns out that there is such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing’. Excess protein causes a condition known as acidosis, which triggers a flood of free radicals which in turn can become cancerous. The most acidifying foods are beef, cheese, dairy in general, processed meats like bacon and peperoni, and processed carbohydrates (like chips and biscuits).

2. Alkalising smoothies. These help your body to heal, alkalise and detox your kidneys. Place fresh fruit, organic frozen berries, some silverbeet leaf, and fresh orange juice in a blender. Feel free to be creative – bananas, paw paw, avocado, pear and any in-season fruits. Berries offer an abundance of nutrients that are very useful for detoxing and cancer, anti-angiogenisis compounds in particular (they can prevent or slow the growth of cancer).

3. Juicing. There are plenty of arguments about juicing vegetables, however if you are supercharging your immune system this is very helpful. Juicing provides an abundance of enzymes, an abundance of minerals, many micronutrients and alkalinity. Very useful to do.

4. Glucose (refined sugar / added sugar). Cancer cells make energy anaerobically and are therefore dependent on glucose for fuel. This includes processed foods like noodles, white bread, pastries etc. – refined starch is pure glucose.

This excludes sugars in fruit. Sugar in fruit is a complex carbohydrate and behaves very differently to refined (simple) sugars. Please don’t exclude fruit from your diet in the mistaken belief that it contains sugar. Fruit has a strong alkalising effect due to the high mineral content, as well as an abundance of micro nutrients.

5. Alcohol. It will destroy all of the above efforts by doing the complete opposite to what you are trying to achieve. Very sorry!

6. Supplements. Australians consume billions of dollars worth of over the counter supplements each year and there is no evidence that they work. The science tells us that they can’t work – vitamins and other micronutrients perform in combination, in food. The exception to this is professionally prescribed supplements which are purposed to solve a specific problem. If you have questions about supplements please contact me.

When I was doing my cancer treatment I had been given bad advice about taking certain supplements which ultimately were discovered to be blocking the functions of my principle treatment. As Hypocrites famously said – let food be thy medicine. This is what your body understands, not massive overdoses of ‘important nutrients’. If you over supply nutrients to your garden the plants will start to die. A similar principle can happen in your body when you over supply particular nutrients.

7. Exercise. This is the last thing most people want to hear. As a personal trainer for many years I have heard every excuse in the book. However disease doesn’t listen to excuses. You really do need to commit. This was always the case, but now that disease is making you revisit this idea there is only one answer – you must do exercise if you want to be well and fully recover.


Your health is directly dependent on the healthy functioning of your metabolism. Your metabolism comprises the biochemical systems that make your body function properly – for example insulin is a biochemical system that regulates glucose levels and fat storage. There are many of these systems and they are all dependent on activity in order to function properly – and most notably exercise and movement enables these systems to successfully interact.

Exercise floods your body with Natural Killer Cells. These white blood cells are the only immune system cells that can detect and destroy mutated cells – ie: cancer cells. They are released from the spleen when there is a rise in heart rate due to physical exertion. Exercise that involves resistance is the most effective. So do exercise and let your immune system target and destroy cancer cells. I specialise in exercise for cancer, If you would like help please contact me.

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