Category Archives: Nutrition

Reduce Your Cancer Risk in 3 days or Less

A true story of drastic change that you can replicate.

Hearing a cancer diagnosis for yourself or a loved one can be overwhelming. Hearing a cancer diagnosis for a second time can be devastating.

My mission is to show you how to create health. Controlling blood sugar and insulin is one of the most powerful steps you can take.

This inspirational story demonstrates how motivation and commitment can make powerful changes quickly:

Rob is a youngish man in his 40’s with a recurrence of prostate cancer. His PSA levels are rising, a sign that there may be more cancer cells growing.

Note: All men over 40 should get their blood levels of Free PSA and Total PSA measured at least once each year.

Rob already had his prostate removed with surgery.  Now his doctors wanted to do radiation even though they could see no tumors on his scan. So what were they planning to radiate he asked?  And what can I do besides radiation therapy?

We knew we needed to change the environment of his cells, just as we change the soil in a garden to get healthier plants.

Rob is diabetic and takes insulin, the hormone that helps blood sugar get from the blood into the cells. Rob’s blood sugar was way too high and so were his insulin levels.

Bad news: If you have high blood sugar, high blood insulin, pre-diabetes or full blown diabetes, you are 40% more likely to get all forms of cancer and to have a recurrence of cancer.

As both insulin and blood sugar drive the growth and spread of cancer, the first step is to lower both. I put Rob on a very strict low low low glycemic diet. Glycemic means the power of food to raise your blood sugar and trigger the release of the hormone insulin.

A low glycemic diet is an anti-cancer diet.

After only a few days on his new diet his blood sugar and insulin levels were heading in a healthier direction.

To both prevent cancer in the first place and to prevent recurrence, limit your sugars, sweets, grains, sweeteners, breads and pastas.

Eat a diet composed of vegetables of every color of the rainbow, healthy proteins and healthy fats and oils. In a few days you can change your physiology dramatically.

To Learn More: For detailed guidelines. recipes, food lists and meal plans, read my OutSmart Cancer QuickStart Guide.

These are simple steps that you can take right now to create a body where cancer cannot thrive. You, too, can drastically reduce your cancer risk in only a few days.

By: Dr Nalini Chilkov

The ONE thing you can do NOW


If you do just one thing to protect your health, do this.

In another post I talked about watching my mom and dad battle cancer while still in their 50s. What I did not share is that they are both alive at 86 and 88.

So what is survival really about?   

For one thing, it is about loving life and holding life and health as precious. I know for my dad it is about laughter. To this day you can throw out any topic and he has a joke he can tell on that subject. Of course, laughter and joke telling are about sharing and connecting to others.

All of these factors are keys to longevity, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Thriving, Not Just Surviving

Because of advances in treatment and early detection, more people are now surviving cancer. In fact, there are 14 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today and that number is expected to rise to 22 million by the year 2020.

I was interviewed recently and asked one question:

If you could only recommend ONE THING to change the course of cancer risk, cancer healing, cancer recovery and cancer survival, what would it be?

That was a tough question since cancer risk factors vary for all of us, but ultimately I would strongly recommend this one action for your health:


Adding lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices everyday dramatically increases the number of potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cancer fighting plant chemicals in your body.

  • RED: tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon, pink grapefruit, red grapes, raspberries, pomegranate, radicchio
  • BLUE/PURPLE: blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, purple cabbage, purple carrots, purple cauliflower
  • GREEN/YELLOW: spinach, collard greens, dandelion greens, parsley, cilantro, kale, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, chard, celery, oregano, thyme, rosemary, dill, sage, tarragon, basil
  • ORANGE/YELLOW:  papaya, mango, pineapple, cantaloupe, peaches, apricot, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, kombucha squash, pumpkin, tumeric, saffron
  • WHITE: garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, ginger root, coconut

These bright rich colors in plant pigments actually enter the nucleus of your cell and turn genes on and off. That is why it matters what you eat. Your food is talking to your genes.

How many colors do you eat every day? Every week?

Pear & Apple Green Red 4-16-15What to do if you struggle to eat this way consistently?

Every day I take a big heaping teaspoon of Paleo Greens (a concentrated powder of a broad spectrum of deeply colored organic fruits and vegetables) and a big heaping teaspoon of Paleo Reds (concentrated powder of organic orange/red/purple fruits and vegetables).

I know I may not get 10-12 servings of fruits and vegetables I need EVERY day, especially in my busy life, traveling and eating away from home.

This is my insurance policy! It’s easy. I simply drink my GREENS and REDS powders to take my morning vitamins and herbs. It’s a great way to start the day.

Greens and Reds concentrates are also a rich source of electrolytes. Therefore these fruit and vegetable powders can be mixed into water and taken after your workout, after surgery, the days of your radiation therapy, and also during and after chemotherapy to replenish and balance lost minerals.

Give your body what it’s craving for a month and see how much better you feel!

By Dr Nalini Chilkov


A Healthful Approach to Weight Loss

For many people, weight loss is a challenge. Sure, it’s easy to drop a few pounds on a crash diet—but as you’ve likely discovered, this type of weight loss rarely lasts. Many people end up in a seemingly endless cycle of dieting/regaining weight/and dieting again. The side effect of this approach is that each time you diet, you lose muscle; and each time you regain weight, the muscle you lost is replaced with fat.

Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

The first step in having a healthy relationship with food begins with your spirit, which connects with your mind (intelligence), emotions, and physical self. It’s important to consider your cultural heritage when choosing a diet, and to pay attention to choosing foods that are balanced and appealing in taste, smell, color, and texture. It’s essential to also consider the source; in other words, to choose fresh and wholesome foods from the earth, prepared with love and consumed with the intent to deeply nourish.


A Healthful Approach to Weight Loss


I counsel people to avoid extremes in life. The extremes of both self-indulgence and self-deprivation have equally harmful consequences for human life that results in a distortion that alienates and harms the spirit, which is ultimately what we live for.

We must find in every aspect of life an opportunity for growth through simplicity, charity, stability, prayer, common sense, study, hospitality, and love. Diet isn’t just about what we eat, it is also about when, why, where, who we eat with, and how we eat. To develop a healthy relationship with food, we must remember these four important guidelines: 1) balance, 2) moderation, 3) self-discipline, and 4) heartfelt joy.

On a physiological level, understanding the biological mechanisms behind weight gain is helpful for losing excess fat and achieving your optimal weight. I explain this in depth in my book, Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease,” Healing Arts Press, 2013.

The following excerpt from my book offers a glimpse into the real cause of obesity, with a focus on abdominal obesity, the most common and health damaging type of fat:

Metabolic Syndrome, Hormones, and Abdominal Obesity

Hormones–the body’s chemical messengers–are increasingly being recognized as playing a primary role in whether an individual successfully maintains lean muscle mass or instead easily accumulates excess fat. In addition to the glucocorticoid hormones produced by the HPAT axis, hormones produced by the pancreas (insulin), ovaries (estrogen) and testes (testosterone) are key players in body composition.

In recent years, a particular constellation of physiological traits has become well known as metabolic syndrome (sometimes called syndrome X). The primary characteristics of metabolic syndrome are abdominal obesity, cholesterol abnormalities (high triglycerides and low HDL), hypertension, and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance refers to the decreased ability of cells to respond to insulin, which means that blood glucose is not able to enter cells. While cells starve for energy, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, triggering the release of even more insulin. This causes the body to store all available calories as fat, even when dieting. A variety of chronic diseases are associated with metabolic syndrome, most notably, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, many forms of cancer, such as breast, colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancer are linked to metabolic syndrome.

The vast majority of people suffering from metabolic syndrome are overweight and sedentary. It’s important to note, however, that while obesity is the greatest risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome, eating a diet high in carbohydrates and not getting enough exercise can cause metabolic syndrome even in people of normal weight.

The sex hormones estrogen and testosterone have also been garnering attention for the role they play in body composition. Researchers have noted that men who have metabolic syndrome are also likely to have low testosterone levels. This relationship, referred to as the hypogonadal/obesity cycle, appears to be initiated by low testosterone levels, which cause an increase in abdominal fat. This sets off a chain of events that begins with increased aromatase activity, which leads to increased conversion of testosterone to estradiol, and further reduces testosterone levels and increases the accumulation of abdominal fat. This results in a variety of health problems ranging from cholesterol abnormalities, low energy and memory difficulties to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and prostate cancer.Maintaining healthy testosterone levels is critical for maintaining lean muscle mass and avoiding excess fat gain.

Women also suffer the fattening effects of hormonal imbalances, which vary according to her stage in life. Too much estrogen causes water retention, most notably in the abdominal area. This bloating is most noticeable in the menstrual cycle when progesterone levels drop and estrogen levels increase, triggering menstruation. As women age and enter perimenopause, progesterone levels decrease and estrogen dominates, and bloating can become a constant issue. After menopause, most women find that excess weight easily accumulates, particularly in the abdominal area. This is because when the ovaries shut down their production of estrogen, secondary production sites such as body fat take over the job of supplying estrogen, and the body wants to hold on to this resource. Balancing hormones is an essential component of losing excess fat and building lean muscle. It likely comes as no surprise that instead of hormone replacement, I recommend a lifestyle approach that includes specific herbs and supplements to support hormonal balance. (For more information on my approach to balancing hormones, see my posts on Optimizing Hormones Naturally Versus Hormone Replacement Therapies: Part I and Botanical Hormone Support, Part II.) 

For healthy weight loss, I recommend the following delicious smoothie as a nourishing replacement for breakfast or lunch. Rich in a variety of protective phytonutrients, muscle building protein, and healthful fats, this smoothie is a meal in a glass.

Meal Replacement Smoothie

  • Whole foods multi-vitamin and mineral smoothie mix: 1 scoop
  • Undenatured whey powder: 1 scoop
  • Fish oil and essential fatty acid blend: 1 tsp.
  • Powdered blend of antioxidant botanicals: ½ tsp.
  • Sea vegetable blend: ½ tsp.
  • Coconut milk powder: 1 tbls.
  • Fruit anthocyanins: 1 tsp.
  • Yogurt (whole milk, sheep, goat, or organic Greek cow): 1 cup
  • Pomegranate juice: 2 oz.
  • Organic peach or apricot juice: 2 oz.
  • Frozen or fresh berries or mangos: 3 oz.
  • 1 tsp. honey: optional

By Donnie Yance

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Serves 1.

What is the role of Diet and Nutrition

The role of nutrition during the treatment of cancer is to keep your immune system thriving and your body healthy enough to keep fighting. It is a very individualized goal, depending on your treatment, side effects and your preferences. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery all have different ways that they effect people’s bodies and side effects may keep you from eating a balanced diet.

Benefits of proper nutrition during treatment include: (from

  • Feeling better
  • Keeping up your strength and energy
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and your body’s store of nutrients
  • Better able to tolerate treatment-related side effects
  • Lowering your risk of infection
  • Healing and recovering faster

Managing Nutrition Related Side Effects:

First and foremost, during treamtnet it is important to ensure you are getting enough calories and protein. Without enough nutrients, your immune system can weaken and allow for other illness to occur.  Therefore, when you are facing challenges with poor appetite or not feeling like eating, remember that there are no off limits foods. You eat whatever you can tolerate.Some recommendations that may help during days of you not wanting to eat are:

  • To help remove bad tastes, rinse your mouth before eating with a solution made of 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon of salt, and 1 quart of warm or cool water.
  • Bland foods and foods served cool or at room temperature may be easier to eat than hot and spicy foods.
  • Sip fruit juices, sports drinks, or flat soda throughout the day.
  • Consume ensure or boost like beverages
  • Eat larger meals when you want to eat
When You’re Feeling Well
For many women facing breast cancer, side effects do not cause any change in their ability to eat. In this case, it is important to eat take a plant-based approach to healthy eating, in combination with being physically active.

Plant foods contain natural health-promoting nutrients called phytochemicals, which are the basis for a cancer fighting diet. Physical activity is important even as you’re going through treatment as it helps to fight fatigue and prevent muscle loss.

Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Eat some meatless meals each week, substituting legumes (dried beans and peas) for meat.
- Eat colorful fruits or veggies at least 5 times a day.
- Include high fiber foods each day, including legumes, whole grain breads and cereals.
- Consume beverages that don’t add a lot of simple sugars. Water is the one of the most affordable “health foods” around!

Eat Your Greens!

One of the loneliest parts of the produce section is the area where they pile up the greens– kale, spinach, chard, mustard greens, turnip greens and the like. Not that many people know how to cook them, and fewer actually know why they should. However, these humble and inexpensive foods pack an enormous amount of vital nutrients into just a few calories, and should be a regular part of everyone’s diets.

Kale is in the same family as broccoli and cabbage, and shares many of the same health benefits. The organosulfur compounds found in kale act as anticancer agents by activating detoxifying enzymes in the liver that neutralize potential carcinogens. They have specifically been shown to stop the growth of breast cancer cells. Kale also protects against cataracts, due to lutein’s ability to protect against damage from uv light. Vitamin A is also very abundant in kale; it has been shown to help prevent emphysema from smoking or being around second hand smoke. Continue reading


Meatless Monday Eggplant Spinach ‘meatballs’

So, we have been cooking for a long time. During the past 4 years, more leaning to meatless meals.  Yes, sometimes more raw or ‘gads!’ vegan.

Tried these on Tuesday for ‘Meatless Monday’.  Yup, that is how it started.  The recipe comes from a blog we follow ‘oh my veggies‘ written by Ashley Jennings.  It is well photographed, well written and researched. A beautiful food blog. You should subscribe to her. Original recipe here

Well, let’s just day that, although we all try for ‘perfection’ whatever that is, we all need forgiveness. Not sure if the ricotta cheese or the spinach were too wet, but we should have noticed when our ‘balls’ did not look like hers on the cookie sheet.

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Anyway.  This was a reminder to us that no matter what things look like, it’s the the taste that matters, RIGHT?

And, the taste was wonderful! Go make them. And watch out for how moist everything is.

We are going to do it again soon. Try, try again!


Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Create a masterpiece collage by combining the best of summer vegetables and an array of colors.   When we eat a rainbow we are benefiting from the super antioxidant and cell protective power of phytochemicals.  Every color in our plant foods has a different gift, a different function in our cells. One of the keys to cell protection is creating meals packed with red, yellow, orange, green, red, purple and even white (as in garlic!).  See how many colors you can eat in a day. Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free. Ingredients Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Organic Balsamic Vinegar (aged is best!)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried  basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • 3 bell peppers, red, yellow, green, core and cut into quarters
  • 2 green zucchini  trim and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 yellow zucchini  trim and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 12 mushrooms (crimini or white button) cleaned, stems removed
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 large red onion sliced into 4 rounds
  • Extra olive oil for brushing the vegetables


  • In a large bowl toss all of the vegetables except the eggplant and onions together and drizzle enough olive oil to just coat lightly.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Brush the eggplant rounds  and onion rounds with olive oil  and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the grill. If you have a vegetable rack for the grill, this really keeps the vegetables from falling through! Place the vegetables on the grill. Baste occasionally with dressing until tender and lightly charred. Remove to a platter and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve warm or room temperature.
  • Another fun addition is to grill thick slices of fresh pineapple or fresh mango!!

Ginger Green Smoothie Refresher

Ginger Green Smoothie Refresher is simple, cleansing, quick, easy and filled with super nutrients.

Rich in super antioxidant cancer fighting cell protection with a hint of ginger that adds spiciness as well as support for digestion and  enhanced inflammation control.  Ginger root is also powerful for enhancing normal control of nausea.

Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free

2 servings


  • ½ cup filtered or spring water
  • 1 large organic cucumber, peeled and cut into ½ inch rounds (approx. 10-12 ounces)
  • 2 large organic apples, with skin, seeds removed, cut
  • into quarters (approx. 12 ounces)  preferably tart and green
  • 2 organic celery stalks (approx. 3 ounces) cut into quarters, leaves removed
  • 2 cups organic kale leaves and/or spinach leaves, spines removed from the kale (approx. 2-3 ounces)
  • 1 inch square slice of fresh ginger root with peel (approx. ½ ounce)


  1. Place in a blender and blend until smooth

Enjoy immediately!!


  • add 4 ice cubes
  • add ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • add ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • add 2-4 fresh basil leaves (try Purple Thai Basil for a more subtle flavor)
  • add ½ peeled and seeded lemon or lime

Arugula and Shaved Fennel Salad

This is a remarkably simple crunchy salad that is filled with cancer fighting plant chemicals. Arugula is a zesty leafy vegetable in the cabbage family rich in sulforaphanes which promote normal detoxification function. Fennel is an aromatic vegetable rich in Vitamin C and a phytochemical called anethole which promotes normal inflammation function by blocking a damaging and cancer promoting cell factor called tumor necrosis factor. Fennel is a member of the parsley family is also rich in quercetin, limonene and beta-carotene.

6-8 servings

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and egg free


  • 2 bunches arugula leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 large fennel bulb. ends trimmed
  • 1//4 cup snipped cut chives
  • Tear the arugula leaves in to pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Thinly slice  the entire fennel bulb into paper thin strips with a sharp paring knife.
  • Add the chives and toss with dressing.

Serve immediately


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Optional additions

  • roasted golden or red beets
  • crumbled goat cheese or sheep’s milk feta cheese
  • pitted  kalamata olives
  • dried cranberries
  • canellini beans or garbanzo beans
  • toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • roasted butter nut squash, cubed
  • sliced chicken breast or salmon

This recipe is adapted from Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten Free Recipes for the Whole Family by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, M.S., C.N.

16 Tips for Managing Stress and Preventing Burnout

  • Eat breakfast. Emphasize protein rather than carbohydrates at breakfast.
  • Eat protein at every meal to support stamina, endurance and immunity
  • Include healthy fats and oils to calm your system
  • Keep blood sugar stable by eating regular meals
  • Eat something healthy BEFORE you go to a holiday party
  • Stress depletes B vitamins, C, magnesium and zinc. Include nuts, seeds, berries, whole grains, fermented foods.
  • Avoid excess sugar and sweets
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Avoid Caffeine. Try a cup of Ginseng Tea instead
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise every day (even if only a 20-30 minute walk)
  • Practice good sleep habits. Get at least 7 hours each night.
  • Consider boosting your resilience with nutrients and herbs that support your capacity to deal with stress, combat exhaustion and burnout
  • Use a digestive enzyme with heavy holiday meals
  • Take 10-30 minutes of sacred time daily to rest, relax, meditate, unwind
  • Practice gratitude and random acts of kindness to boost your immune system and decrease your stress

The positive effect of kindness on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain has been proven in research studies. Serotonin is a naturally occurring substance in the body that makes us feel more comfortable, peaceful, and even blissful. In fact, the role of most anti-depressants is to stimulate the production of serotonin chemically, helping to ease depression. Research has shown that a simple act of kindness directed toward another improves the functioning of the immune system and stimulates the production of serotonin in both the recipient of the kindness and the person extending the kindness. Even more amazing is that persons observing the act of kindness have similar beneficial results. Imagine this! Kindness extended, received, or observed beneficially impacts the physical health and feelings of everyone involved! – Wayne Dyer

By: Nalini Chilkov