The Permanent Remission Diet

Sometimes I hear people say that food doesn’t matter in health. Or all food is converted to glucose in the blood and that fuels all cells so it doesn’t matter what you eat. Or all calories are the same inside the body. These opinions, sometimes even made by medical professionals, are ignoring new studies that show that what you eat and drink actually does matter a great deal.

The nutrition world has turned on its head in the past 25 years and anyone who took the one required nutrition class in medical school 30 years ago and hasn’t kept up to date, is doing a disservice by repeating these fallacies. Food does matter. Every bite you eat either feeds your cells vital nutrients or creates inflammation in the body. In fact, there is now a large body of research data that suggests that anti-inflammatory diets like the Mediterranean Diet lower the incidence of chronic diseases and improve longevity—chronic diseases including cancer, especially cancers of the breast and colon.

“But Laren, I’ve got to live! I don’t want to be on a strict diet.” I hear ya. After surviving brutal treatment, you may feel you deserve to live a little. Have whatever you want. Ultimately it is up to you how strict you want to be with your diet. I won’t judge (I promise)! As I’ve written before, happiness is a big factor in longevity as well. I’m not saying you can’t have cake on your birthday or an occasional glass of wine. Life is a balancing act and meant to be lived! Unfortunately studies do show a link between alcohol and cancer [see previous blog post on this] so “living it up” has its risks if Permanent Remission is what you’re going for. I find that a 90/10 rule of eating anti-inflammatory vs. special occasion food is a balance I can live with.

Over the years, I’ve distilled this anti-inflammatory way of eating into 7 guidelines to follow. It may seem like a challenge at first but you get used to it. And I haven’t felt deprived! I’ve managed to live this way while serving a lot of delicious food at our meals. I know I’m feeding my body what it needs and that feels good too. By the way, the anti-inflammatory diet described below will also help digestive issues, brain fog, energy lows, stubborn extra weight, skin issues, and joint pain. If you suffer from any of these conditions, it might be worth giving this diet a try for a month and see how you feel.

7 Guidelines for a Permanent Remission Diet

  1. Eat real, whole foods, preferably organic, with lots of vegetables and berries. For a strict approach, eliminate dairy and gluten.
  1. Limit alcohol to max 2 glasses a week (the fewer the better).
  1. Avoid white foods like white flour, white rice, sugar, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn.
  1. Avoid toxic foods like trans fats, fried foods, color additives, preservatives, stabilizers and emulsifiers, and known carcinogens like nitrites/nitrates.
  1. Eat good healthy fats like nuts, avocado, coconut and olive oils.
  1. Eat minimal meat and when you do, choose humanely raised, antibiotic-free, local meats and ocean-friendly seafood.
  1. Eat slowly and enjoy a beautiful meal, preferably with loved ones.

Bonus points for adding in known cancer fighting foods like mushrooms, and healing the gut with probiotic rich fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso or kombucha.

Give these diet guidelines a try and share in the comments below what you’ve made. It’s always nice to have new recipes to try.

Bon appétit!


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