Short intro about the blog

This blog is about our journey to healing with Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thoughts on Protein

Wow. Two posts in two days! It must be a holiday weekend. Anyway, I wanted to address a comment I keep hearing everytime I mention to friends and family that we've gone vegetarian. “What about protein?” “Make sure you're getting enough protein!” “What are you doing for protein... lots of beans?” Because of these well-meaning questions, I wanted to do some research into protein and find out how much a body really does need. My findings surprised me, so I'd like to share.

It looks like the recommended daily intake of protein for a man is 56g. Now Adam is on the slim side, so he probably doesn't require that much. I need far less being a women, closer to 46g. So I decided to do a “protein audit” of our current diet, looking closely at what we are consuming and how it measures up to the demands of our bodies. We are getting far more than we need, and we aren't even trying. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of beans, and mental images of having to shovel forkfuls of rinsed kidney beans into my mouth to keep up with “protein demands” made me feel a little low. Thank goodness that is completely unneccessary. To look at an average day, here is how the protein grams add up:

oatmeal with walnuts, flax seed and a banana – 9g
leftover vegetable pot pie with cabbage salad – 14g
pumpkin soup and green salad with quesadillas – 26g

That comes to a total of 49g already, and I haven't even added up the snacks yet. Throw in a rice cake with peanut butter, a cheese stick, fruit, and a handful of mixed nuts and we have consumed a whopping 68g of protein in one day. Some days we'll be having fish (between 20-30 grams per 3 oz. serving) and occasionally I make eggs (6g per egg). On those days, we might even total 70 or 80 grams. And that's on a vegetarian diet! What would we be taking in if we were still on meat?!

You might be asking what the concern over protein is all about. Well, I have researched a ton of cancer diets, and the vast majority of them have one key thing in common. They are vegetarian. They are also sugar-free for the most part. Why? Cancer feeds on sugar and protein. I was under the mistaken impression that cancer requires only sugar to grow. That is why Adam was on a carb-free diet while on the Burzynski treatment. But, if cancer only grows on sugar, it should have starved to death. Unfortunately, it didn't and that's when I read the fine print.... cancer can also thrive on excess protein. Yes, we do need to make sure that Adam has adequate protein to fulfill the needs of his body, but too much protein floating around in his veins gets lapped up by cancer cells and makes them happy. We do not want happy cancer cells. We want them to be miserable, groaning and writhing with agony. So for that reason, Adam needs to watch his protein intake in addition to completely avoiding sugar. The easiest way to do that is to avoid meat. The great thing about vegetarianism is that by removing the meat from his plate, Adam can fill that empty space with more vegetables. The mistake many vegetarians make is they replace that missing meat with white starchy carbs, or horrible imitation foods like soy ice cream and vegan protein bars. Unfortunately those people are missing the point, and will not reap the benefits of “Going Veg”. I'm still a big fan of meat, as long as it's grass-fed and spends it's life frolicking in rolling pastures. Commercial meat will never find it's way into our home again. But, I do now fully believe that meat should be eaten in moderation, and vegetables need to take center stage in one's diet. And for the time being, Adam and I are really enjoying our new healthy lifestyle, and hope that we can inspire others to do the same. It feels really great over here!!


  1. Dear Vanessa:
    I heard your story on blogtalk radio, Warrior Catholic. I lost my wife at 35 years of age to a rare lung cancer. We had two small boys at the time.
    I am sorry to hear the suffering you as a family are going through and will keep you in my prayers. When I went through it, I didn't know anything about redemptive suffering or the Catholic theology of suffering and feel it would have helped us both tremendously to be able to offer our sufferings to God uniting them to Christ's suffering, for the sake of the body.
    I know his hand of love and compassion will surround you.

  2. Hello, My Dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was a pre-teen and fought it for over 15 years with diet and supplements.My husband, 37, is now on his 4rth cancer diagnosis, having treated it with diet and supplements for the last year, some of it since his first diagnosis back in 2009. Because of the sugar issue as well as alkaline vs acid, he also avoids all fruits. However, I see that you do have sugar in carrots, beets, and fruits. I'm curious about this, please explain! Sarah, homeschooling mom of 5 ages 7 months to 10 years