Kelly and her husband went on Dr McDougall’s diet upon learning her diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma. The photo above depicts them before and after she had healed from breast cancer.
Kelly Binkoski heals from triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma with a plant-based diet
It was in January of 2012 when Kelly Binkoski was diagnosed with triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma of her left breast. She was told that she would need to have surgery followed by aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.
She was prepared to follow all of her doctors orders and the surgery was scheduled for January 20th. But just two days before the surgery her family watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and she says that the information presented in this powerful film literally changed her life.
The film explored how eating a plant-based diet can help people heal from the many illnesses that are becoming so common in our modern day society. Kelly says that she was very impressed with the portion of the film that detailed the work of Dr John McDougall and his patient Ruth Heidrich, who survived a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her bones and lung by switching to a low-fat/low-protein/high-starch plant-based diet. Kelly’s husband decided to email Dr McDougall the following day and he heard back from him right away. In his response Dr McDougall advised them not to rush into having the chemotherapy and radiation treatments after having the surgery and he also sent them several medical papers and studies so that they could do more research before making a decision.
Kelly says that she wasn’t aware that there was a connection between diet, lifestyle, and the development of cancer before she saw the film, and says that her doctor didn’t seem to be aware of that connection either. She recalled asking her breast cancer surgeon why she would need to have chemotherapy and radiation after the surgery, and the reply was, “We don’t know where the cancer came from and we don’t know if it will come back.” She then asked her oncologist the same question and received virtually the same response. Her husband asked if there was anything that she should or shouldn’t be eating in order to help with the treatments, and the doctor replied, “This is the time for Kelly to eat whatever she wants.” He also recommended that she be seen by a cardiologist for an echo cardiogram to make sure that her heart would be strong enough to handle the chemotherapy treatments.
Following the surgery (a lumpectomy along with a sentinel node biopsy), Kelly and her husband made the decision to attend a 10 day healing program that was offered by Dr McDougall in March. She reports that this was one of the most educational experiences of her life and she saw immediate improvements in her health.
The John McDougall Plant-based Diet
The diet that Dr McDougall prescribes for his participants is low-fat/low-protein/high-plant starch. The meal plan looks like this:
- This diet doesn’t have any animal proteins such as meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products because he says they are toxic to the body, therefore all of the proteins must come from plant sources
- It also doesn’t have any added fats or oils such as butter, olive, corn, safflower, flaxseed, canola oil, etc.
- The diet is based upon the consumption of whole grains, these include: wheat berries, bulgur wheat, corn, barley, buckwheat, brown rice, wild rice, oats, farro, spelt, millet, rye, triticale, and quinoa.
- it includes legumes such as beans, peas and lentils
- with a variety of starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, carrots, yams, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, turnips, yams
- a large variety of non-starchy vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, onion, peppers, radish, scallions, mustard greens, Swiss chard, tomatoes, summer squash, etc
- Fruits are limited to 3 servings a day. This is because the sugar in fruit (fructose) can cause triglycerides and cholesterol to rise in some individuals.
The diet also eliminates all of the following
- all soda, processed foods, fast foods, and refined flours (and all of the products that are made from them).
- all refined sugars, dried fruits and fruit juices (because of their sugar content)
- all foods that are naturally high in fats such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, and olives
- all soy-based foods.
Her results- Kelly reports that her cholesterol dropped 23 points, her blood glucose levels stabilized, and she was able to lose 4.2 pounds during the 10 day program. She continued on with the diet upon returning home and her health continued to improve. She lost an additional 30 pounds and her cholesterol dropped another 27 points. The cancer has not returned.
Dr John McDougall on using his specialized diet