Kevin Raymond heals brain cancer with a macrobiotic diet
Kevin Raymond was originally diagnosed with brain cancer in 2004. He had the traditional treatments of surgery and radiation, and was told by his doctors that they had got it all, but six months later the cancer returned with a vengeance.
Chemotherapy was the recommendation by doctors, but after receiving only one treatment, he says he knew that it was not the right path for him.
By chance, he came across a book that detailed the healing benefits of eating a macrobiotic diet. He then attended a two week seminar held at the Kushi Institute located in Becket, Massachusetts to learn how to heal his cancer using the macrobiotic dietary principals.
Kevin shares his experience at the Kushi Institute:
When I was diagnosed with brain cancer (oligodendroglioma) in 2004 I knew nothing about cancer treatment options. I knew that some people got cancer and got better with treatment, some died with or without treatment. I decided right away to be one of those who got better with treatment. I was convinced that surgery was my only option. Possibly radiation, and, or chemotherapy depending on how the surgery turned out. I had surgery followed by 6 weeks of radiation “therapy”.
Since I was determined to recover quickly I had asked my doctor if it would be a good idea to change some of my eating habits. I described my standard American diet (SAD) consisting of equal parts animal protein, refined sugar products such as donuts, ice cream, plenty of coffee and baked goods, etc. I was told not to worry about my diet, “just eat whatever you feel like eating, you really don’t need to be concerned with your diet at a stressful time like this”. So on my doctor’s advice I returned to my previous dietary habits and within 6 months a routine checkup revealed that my cancer had returned with a vengeance.
I was encouraged to, “start chemotherapy immediately”. Feeling that there must be some other way to heal myself I began researching alternative healing and diet. I had the good fortune to stumble across a copy of “The Cancer Prevention Diet, Revised and Updated Edition: The Macrobiotic Approach to Preventing and Relieving Cancer” by Michio Kushi, among many other alternative dietary approaches to healing. Of all the books I read it was the only one that seemed to make some fundamental sense to me. Healing with food.
I knew after one round of chemotherapy that it was not for me. My wife and I enrolled in the macrobiotic program offered at Kushi Institute. Once we arrived and had attended the orientation on what to expect during our stay, I was convinced that we had made the right choice. I had never even heard the term macrobiotic before. However, in the time I spent at the Kushi Institute, I was able to learn enough about the basics to return home and begin to practice daily preparation of healing nutritious foods. Within six months of beginning my macrobiotic approach my doctors were shocked to proclaim that there was “no evidence” of cancer and “not sure what you’ve been doing, but keep doing it”.
It has been 8 years now since I discovered macrobiotics. I am still practicing and am still cancer free. I do not believe I would be alive today if I had not discovered macrobiotics when I did. And now I have a wonderful gift to share with the world.” Kevin Raymond, February 2013
Kevin shares details of his recovery from brain cancer
In 2002, the Kushi Institute, the world’s leading macrobiotic educational center, located in Becket, Massachusetts, presented five cases of healing cancer to the Cancer Advisory Panel for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAPCAM) at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. A panel of 15 physicians and scientists reviewed all the evidence presented and unanimously recommended that the Kushi Institute receive government funding for a clinical study on macrobiotics diet for those diagnosed with breast or melanoma skin cancers.
George Yu, a clinical professor of urology at George Washington University Medical Center, and the person who presented the cases on behalf of the Kushi Institute, offers one explanation of why macrobiotics might help. He says that the diet’s reliance on fermented foods like miso have good bacteria, which produce many enzymes. He explains. “Those enzymes may have some way of keeping the body in balance, breaking food down, preventing inflammation, and decreasing toxic accumulation.” The simplicity of the diet also improves the elimination process, which contributes to its detoxing effect. Yu says approximately one-third of people who adopt a macrobiotic way of life recover from their illness after three to six months on the diet. “Why it doesn’t work for the other two-thirds, I don’t know,” he admits.
Macrobiotics is much more than just a diet; it is also a way of living your life in balance. Exercise along with rest; socializing along with solitude; adopting sensible sleep habits and keeping a tidy home are all considered aspects of leading a macrobiotic life. Most people associate macrobiotics with the nutritional regimen that was developed by Japanese writer-philosopher George Ohsawa in the early 20th century. This diet was later popularized in America by Michio Kushi in the sixties and seventies. Macrobiotics has an emphasis on eating whole grains, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and beans, along with restricting your intake of meat, dairy products, refined sugars, and processed foods. Macrobiotics aims to provide the body with essential nutrients while limiting the accumulation of toxins within the body. The diet is based on the Eastern concepts of yin and yang, which are the two contrasting universal energies believed to be present in all things, including food. By consuming foods with the least pronounced yin and yang qualities (like whole grains and vegetables), one can supposedly achieve a more balanced condition and initiate a healing process. It’s thought that the standard American diet, with its emphasis on red meat (overly yang) and sugary foods (overly yin), can throw the body out of balance and lead to disease.
Make up approximately 40 – 60% of the diet. Traditionally grains are the base of various cultures throughout the world.
- From brown rice to oats to millet and spelt, there are many different varieties of grains available.
- Grains are soaked overnight to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and to increase the absorption of nutrients when consumed.
- how to soak brown rice and other recipes
- How to soak grains, nuts and seeds.
Approximately 20 – 30% of diet
- A variety of leafy vegetables, root and sea vegetables are an important supplement to every meal because they are rich in calcium, beta carotene and many other vital nutrients. Some include: bok choy, carrot tops, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, daikon greens, dandelion greens, kale, leeks, mustard greens, parsley, spring onions, turnip greens, watercress, acorn squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, buttercup squash, butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, hokkaido pumpkin, onion, pumpkin, red cabbage, and turnips.
- Okay to eat these occasionally: celery, chives, cucumber, endive, green beans, green peas, iceberg lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes, romaine lettuce, snap beans snow peas, and sprouts.
- Eat plenty of roots vegetables: burdock, carrots, daikon, dandelion roots, lotus root, parsnip, radish.
- Sea vegetables are also a mainstay of this diet are a great source of iodine and minerals.
- There are also certain vegetables that should be avoided or used sparingly, they include members of the nightshade variety: potato, tomatoes, peppers of all kinds except for black pepper.
Approximately 5 – 10% of diet
- Although all organically grown dried beans are featured prominently in macrobiotic recipes, author Michio Kushi recommends that you eat the smaller size beans such as lentils, chickpeas, black soybeans and azuki beans more frequently than navy beans, lima, or other large varieties beans, which contain more oil and fat than their smaller counterparts.
- beans are washed and then soaked for 8 hours or overnight in filtered water to make them more digestible.
- organic tofu, tempeh and natto are eaten daily.
- Soups are the most flexible dish, and may be made with vegetables, grains, or beans, and use a variety of seasonings.
- Miso is a common base for these soups because it is rich in nutrients and enzymes. Miso is stirred in at the end of cooking so the enzymes remain intact.
- Asian seasonings, sea salt, rice malt and the sea vegetable kombu are used to add flavor to foods.
- Garnishes may include Asian pickles, freshly grated ginger root or horseradish, fresh scallions or onions.
Foods to avoid:
- All refined sugars, white flour and white rice should be avoided when following a macrobiotic diet. This means no cookies, muffins, chips, popcorn, or bread products.
- Dairy and meat products also should be avoided when following a macrobiotic meal plan.
- Fish is allowed for occasional use.
- The food has not been genetically altered and is organically grown when possible
- Beverages are non-stimulating (non-caffeinated)
- Water should be spring or filtered for drinking and cooking
- Video demonstrations of various cooking methods that are used for the macrobiotic diet
- Website of the Kushi Institute for more information on their hands-on healing program
Macrobiotic Book List