Last Sunday my sister called. I was in bed so I let the answer machine get it. I’m old school and still have a land line :D. Her message was “This is Paige. I’ve got some bad news.”

My other sister Pam has been having health problems and so I thought this must be about her. I braced myself for the worst. We have been waiting to get news about tests she’s been getting and if her problems were indeed cancer. Instead, the unthinkable had happened. Paige’s boyfriend had been killed in a work related accident.

That was bad enough but having to deal with the sadness of that, a few days later, we got news that my sister Pam did indeed have cancer in her bronchial tube. As of writing this, we still don’t know the severity or if it has passed into the lymph nodes yet. So we are still hoping for the best.

My sister Pam has smoked for decades now. I have always begged her to quit. She has tried to quit many times but it never stuck for more than a few weeks.

In January she got the flu and then never seemed to recover from it. Not only that, she had been abusing apsirin for decades and was also dealing with a rare case of ulcers. The ulcers were so severe that she was and may still need surgery to remove 1/3 of her stomach.

Again for years I have begged her to stop abusing her body. She never listened to me and was down right defiant. To me it seemed she was hell bent on destroying herself. I’m happy to report she has changed her tune. She has stopped smoking and stopped taking aspirin. I now have her on a whole foods, plant based diet. Because of her rare stomach condition from the aspirin abuse she is not able to eat solid foods. She had been drinking those god awful “meal replacement” drinks. Those things may help you keep your weight from dropping when you can’t eat. But they are basically a cancer sprouting cocktail. I went through the list of ingredients and was astounded. Let me go through the ingredients with you. The ingredients are U-D Water, Sugar (Sucrose), Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin (Corn), Calcium Caseinate, High-Oleic Safflower Oil, Canola Oil, Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Corn Oil, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan and Lutein.

I have discussed many times on this website the dangers of isolated soy protein. It raises insulin-like growth factor 1, which feeds cancer growth. The “meal replacement” drink crap is basically sugar water with cancer sprouting isolated soy proteins in it. Oh yeah, least we forget the Calcium caseinate. CASEIN! You might remember T. Colin Campbell talks about that in The China Study. The most cacogenic thing we can consume. I was reading the reviews on for a certain brand of “meal replacement” drinks. Cancer patients who are unable to eat are drinking this stuff. People with health problems thinking that this is going to make them stronger. It’s rather shocking and disgusting. So what do you eat/drink when you can’t get solid food down? Pureed vegetables and vegetable broths are good but not enough calories.

I created a special recipe for my sister that equals the calories of the “meal replacement” drink but minus the cancer sprouting ingredients. 5 Cups Rice Milk,  1 1/4 Cups Coconut Milk, 2 Tablespoons Black Strap Molasses, 2 Teaspoons Vanilla and 2 1/2 Tablespoons Canola oil. This may not be the best alternative but it has to be 100 percent better than what she was drinking.

I don’t share a lot of personal information on this blog besides the rare entry about my garden. But I thought it was important to share this. After all this blog is about health and taking control of your health. Can everything I’ve learned since I began changing my lifestyle back in 2006 save my sister’s life? Can we help shrink the tumor and stop the spread of the cancer in her bronchial tube by changing her diet to a whole foods plant based diet? This we will find out.

To anyone with advice please comment. I’d love to hear from doctors and specialist who can give her advice.

  • aissa

    Hi! I have been following your site since turning from a cheese filled veggie to vegan in 2007. I have never left a comment. I hope you and your family are coping as much as you can in such awful circumstances. I worked in a health shop for 5 and a half years that had a very much holistic approach to diet and lifestyle, we often reccomended people look into the plant based diet that the Hippocrates Health Institute suggest, their website is You may well be aware of them already but just thought I would mention it. Also Doctor Jane Plant has written alot on diet and cancer and there is an Irish woman called Bernadette Bohan who recovered from cancer and followed a strict plant diet and juicing was a major part of this, her book is called “the choice, the programme”
    You have prob googled every cancer shrinking food, but I am sure it is complicated by your sisters ulcers, Reishi and Maitake Mushrooms, turmeric, high antioxidant and detoxing foods like wheatgrass and Barleygrass leaf powder and bioflavanoid rich foods.
    Hope this is of some help to you. All the best, Aissa

  • My Vegan Cookbook

    thanks Aissa, I’m gonna check those books out, I hadn’t read them yet.

  • Tina

    I am so sorry that your family is going through such trying times.

    Regarding your sister’s diagnoses, she is really blessed to have a brother that is so proactive and willing to support her in the way that you are. Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, and there is much that she can do to strengthen her immune system to allow it to heal itself. I was an RN for many years, but I truly have more faith in alternative approaches than in most medical ones.

    Here is a link to the site of a woman with a successful cancer reversal 7 yrs. ago following the Gerson Therapy Approach:

    Here is the Gerson Therapy link:
    It can be done at home if necessary and is a simple, but strict approach.

    Hope you find these helpful and that your family finds healing and peace soon…

  • Janet Harmer

    Hi Josh,

    I love your website and use many of your recipes. I just wanted to wish you and your family well. I am recovering from Breast Cancer & decided to forgo chemotherapy in preference of carrying on a healthy vegan diet. You may find the following link gives you hope.

    Best Wishes

  • Julia Goryun

    I’m so sorry to hear this :(
    Your sister really should try green smoothies, I love them myself too! You may be interested in reading this book: Victoria Boutenko – Green for life.
    It really is amazing.
    I wish your sister health and strength!

  • A.Cook

    Hi Josh,
    I’ve been reading for a while, love your blog and your recipes. I have never commented before, but your post touched me. I unfortunately have no medical experience so can’t offer anything in the advice area, but I wanted to at least send some positive wishes toward you and your family; I’m sure this is an incredibly difficult time for you all. Your sister is lucky to have you watching out for her.
    Wishing you the best,

  • j

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister, and it sounds like you’ve got her making the right choices now. I hope that there will be some improvement, or reversal of the cancer if she sticks to it. I went through breast cancer myself in 2005 and when I completed all my treatments (9 months later), I was given the book The China Study. From then on I’ve been vegan and have been having good results with every check up!
    Thanks for all your great recipes BTW…love them, and the pictures are great too!

  • Sandra

    Hi Josh,
    I’ve been a reader of your blog for almost two years now. I am so sorry to hear about your sister’s loss, and your other sister’s cancer diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last month, and I have been telling her a lot of the same things. Luckily, my mom’s cancer has not spread, but she is still going to have to do chemotherapy. I wish the best for your sister and you.

  • sheree

    Oh Josh, I am so sorry! My daughter and I follow your blog and use many of your recipes, which we thank you and commend you on your cooking skills! I am glad your sister is turning herself around. You are a very good brother to help her out like this! I will keep your sister in my prayers.

  • Roselie

    I ‘am so sorry to hear this…I hope things will turn out alright… I have not been through anything similar nor has anyone I know but if it happened I ‘d try the approach of Kris Carr (and those who practice the same) who has cancer as well but manages to keep it under control with a clean raw vegan diet,,exercise and meditation. I wish the best to your sister and you.

  • Ante

    The cause of cancer was discovered 80 years ago by Dr. Otto Warburg. He was awarded the nobel prize for the discovery. In laymens terms cancer is cause by anarobiosis (poorly oxygenated blood/acidic blood) and damaged dna. The human body should be slightly alkiline, around a ph of 7.35, the ph of cancer cells is below 7 and the lower the ph the harder it is to kill and the faster it grows. When the damaged dna becomes acidic cancer cells initiate. When cancer cells become well oxygenated they die or revert back into normal cells. What is needed to oxygenate the blood. Nothing does it better than chlorophyll, ( the green pigment in any vegetable that is green.) The oxygenating effect happens only when the greens are eaten raw. By properly oxygenating the blood cancer cells can no longer spread, but in order to kill cancer, the cancer cells must be properly oxygenated. This is a little more difficult. Cancer cells have a thick membrane that only allows glucose to enter and doesn’t allow oxygen to enter, that is why it is hard to kill. Therefor cancer feeds on high blood sugar. (The most advanced way to test cancer is called a PET scan in which the patient gets sugar and dye injected into there bloodstream and any cancer lights up because the sugar clings to it.) The only thing that breaks down/dissolves that membrane is enzymes that secrete into the bloodstream by the pancreas. In order to acheive this one must only eat foods that have living enzymes(raw plant foods). The human body secretes enzymes into saliva and the small intestine to breakdown food that are eaten that are devoid of living enzymes(all cooked food). When raw food (full of living enzymes) is eaten, pancreatic enzymes to breakdown/digest food are no longer needed and are not secreted at the high levels that they are to brekdown cooked food. This allows pancreatic enzymes to be secreted into the bloodstream which leads to the dissolving of the thick membrane of cancer cells, allowing them to become oxygenated and in turn kills the cancer. Avoiding sugar, which includes sweet fruits and veggies, agave, molasses, refined sugar, refined carbs like white bread or white rice, anything that tastes sweet will starve cancer and eating any of those foods feeds it. I saw above that someone recommended hippocrates. That is a good way to go. Brian Clements of hippocrates is, in my opinion, the most knowledgeable man alive on cancer and healing it with nutrition. If you hit the web in search of which direction you would like to take in terms of helping your sister, you might be emmersed in research for the next month. So I will outline a basic diet plan that she can follow. The fact that she can only drink liquids might be a blessing in disguise because juicing is the most effective way to get all the nutrition from the plant.

    Diet plan for a Cancer Patient
    -One quart of Green Juice (freshly juiced leafy greens, the darker the better,kale, collards etc. wheatgrass is the best for fighting cancer)

    -2 to 3 avocado smoothies a day (avocado blended with water and a tbsp of raw flax oil)

    -Blue green algae, green algae, chlorella

    -As much as possible. Cereal grass and sprout juice. (Wheatgrass, barley grass, brocolli sprouts etc.

    All of these can be sweetened with stevia and there is no limit to the amount that can be consumed. The more the better. Enzyme supplementation can be good too. My recommendation is megazymes.

    Good luck and I hope your sister recovers.

    -Ante Ruich

  • Li

    Wowowow wonderful collection of recipes and beautiful background of yours and how you came to this. Inspiration and you are so cute! You might want to experiment with a healing Indian Kitchari. You can mix different dried legumes and whole grains and spices and throw in some vegetables in this one pot dish. Using a pressure cooker for legumes and grains that take longer helps cut the time down too. Here are some examples:

  • Laura

    Hi Josh,

    I hope your sister isn’t in too much pain. I would definitely say to vary the smoothies so she doesn’t get bored of them, and definitely get some greens in there somewhere (although that could be more in the form of soup).. bananas would be great for calories and some cocoa powder or carob to make everything taste nice. Could think about adding pea protein too for extra umph?

    Take care x

  • Lisa

    I came across your website while trying to find some new and exciting vegan recipes! {ordering your book by the way!}
    First off, I am so sorry to hear about your sister. I’m sure you’re heart broken and confused. Sadly so many of us are uneducated when it comes to what we put in our bodies. 12 years ago my Uncle {he was 28 then and I was 11} who I was very close to was unable to survive cancer. He never smoked but like you know there are a number of reasons cancer gets out of control. By the time we heard of the AMAZING Gerson diet it was too late. My husband and I have read and watched a ridiculous amount of documentaries about the Gerson Miracle…and even though I am not a Doctor…I strongly urge you to read up about it for your sisters sake. After what my family and my darling uncle went through I told myself I wanted to improve my life and help others improve theirs. About 5 years ago I was told about a whole food supplement called Juice Plus. {it’s frits and veggies in caplules its not a juice}I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Bear Grills has been taking it since he was 15!! And if I have my facts straight it’s what he lived off of when he climbed Everest. Anyway, point being…a friend of mine has a relative that has cancer and is taking it. He never lost his hair from the kemo treatment….then he stopped taking it and lost his hair. You should look into it. I take it religiously! I use to be very sickly but now between that, juicing everyday and taking a probiotic I’m doing much, much better. go to if she wants shakes they also have shakes that are PLANT based…not soy!
    Have you ever heard of the juice man? If the Gerson diet is too much for her to handle she should read his book. It’s small but has a TON of great information and yummy juicing recipes.
    Sorry about my spelling! I hope this was some help for you. Thank you for making your book! Can’t wait to get cooking!
    Be well.

  • Lisa

    I’m confused I thought I read that you have a cookbook but now I’m reading that you just put recipes online….oops!

  • Ruth

    I don’t have any nutritional advice, I just want to say, it’s a sad possibility that you might not be able to do anything for your sister’s condition despite your efforts. If that turns out to be the case, please remember to be kind to yourself, it’s not your fault at all. I’m sure this better food is helping her feel better now though. Best wishes for you and yours.

  • My Vegan Cookbook

    Lisa, nope don’t have a cookbook yet, but that is hopefully in the future, so keep checking back here.

  • My Vegan Cookbook

    Ruth, yes, I’m very realistic about all of this. I realize once you start the cancer ball rolling it’s hard to stop. I’m realistic but trying to keep optimistic.

  • Katie Harris

    Your blog entry really interested me. I just found this site a few months ago while shopping for a good vegan cookie recipe, and I certainly found one! thanks for sharing! I will try to remember to keep your sister in my prayers. There is a short book I read a few years ago called “two weeks to live.” I believe it is written by someone named Jan Marcassen. Anyways, it is about cancer patients who tried everything, had no where else to turn, and a Seventh-day Adventist doctor put them on a plant-based diet and they were cancer free. True stories from real people. My point is I believe the right diet can prevent and even reverse cancer growth. There is hope for this “experiment” you are trying on your sister now because it has in fact worked for people in the past. In the bible it says our bodies are the temple of God and we should do our best to take good care of them, thanks for being an awesome health advocate! Best of luck to your sister!

  • Doris

    Dear Josh,

    I was tenderly touched at reading about your sister. My heart rejoiced to read the health plan of action for her strength and healing. You are certainly of the right mind and on the right road to effectively doing her great and lasting good.

    I will remember your sister in my heartfelt prayers to the tenderhearted and all powerful God who loves and cares for us all. I pray God’s blessings on all the truly good and powerfully healing new way of eating she is getting through your influence and loving action.

    Condolences to your other sister on the loss of her boyfriend.

    Thank you so much for sharing such truly healthful and tasty recipes.

    One other important matter, Josh. About the canola oil for your sister. It is hoped that you would research the “health-endangering” properties of canola oil, contrary to long-standing popular belief. You might consider olive oil or a quality coconut oil in the nice line-up of ingredients for your sister’s drink.



  • Tom

    So sorry to hear about your family’s troubles. There are many cancer treatments that are effective but not approved by the FDA because there’s no profit to be made. If you can find a naturopathic doctor who will give her intravenous vitamin C, that has been known to cure cancer. It has also been cured with sodium bicarbonate, you can find the supplements online.
    Laetrile is also very effective against cancer. The drug form has been outlawed in the U.S., but it is contained in apricot kernels(seeds), which are not illegal and con be ordered online. They could probably be ground up and put in her smoothies. Best of luck and take care.

  • Barbara

    I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone, having had my late husband go through the “chemo poisons and the radiation and the outlandish surgery he had. I think it’s a wonderful thing you are doing for yor thing jumped out at me…the canola oil..I would switch that up with Flax seed oil. According the the Gerson woman. Flaxseed oil will not incourage tumor growth. Best wishes

  • Connie Fletcher


    I am so sorry to hear about your sister, and grateful to see that she has a brother like you who is aware of all the “crap” out there. You have some wonderful followers with good advice. Charlotte Gerson has continued her father’s work. I know a fella with stage 4 tongue cancer who is following the Gerson therapy with great success. All the advice you’ve gotten is great. I am a retired nurse who didn’t get into the holistic medical field until I retired from Western medicine.
    God bless you and yours, and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Ruby

    I’m sorry about your sister. I have heard some anecdotal evidence about something called Flor Essence. I actually heard about it from a traditional doctor who successfully treated his prostate cancer with it (among other things). Also acupuncture and traditional herbal concoctions can be used in conjunction with traditional medicines. My personal experience is with animals but I have seen success using these methods on tumors.

  • Gwyneth

    Your drink sounds good except that you could add greens+ or something like that for more nutrients. Re the canola oil. No one should consume canola oil (google detrimental effects of canola oil). Someone mentioned flaxseed oil but better than that (and much tastier) is organic hemp seed oil which supplies needed omega 3′s in the right proportion. Speaking of hemp oil, google Phoenix tears). I have also used Flor Essence with my akita puppy who had cancer and I think it did good things for him.

    A positive attitude and the visualization of the cancers cells being killed off, by your sister and everyone around her, would be helpful as well.

    I wish your sister all the best. Thank you for your wonderful vegan recipe site. It is my hands down favorite!

  • Susie

    Some years ago a friend told us her mother had a tumor and the doctor told her to lose weight before he operated. My husband suggested she take slippery elm capsuels. When she went back to the doctor after taking off the weight he was surprised to find the tumor she no longer had the tumor in her stomach. It’s worth a shot since there are no side effects from slippery elm that I’ve been able to find. I hope this helps.

  • vegancookbook

    Hmm, I also wonder if eating less wasn’t the most important thing she did. Probably more important than the slippery elm. Especially if she had previously been eating a poor diet with lots of animal proteins.

  • Susie

    That certainly would help. My husband was slim, and when he had colitis taking slippery elm did the trick for him. I have to add that I discovered your web site yesterday and love it. I shared it with a friend this morning, and she’s now a fan. Thank you so much.

  • Miguel Sierra

    My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer….any herbal medicine or natural should she take..? what about food..?