I’m sure you know someone who has struggled with cancer. But what can you do to survive it?
We’re here today with Chris Wark, the inspiration behind the popular blog and podcast, Chris Beat Cancer. Chris is a speaker and personal health coach with clients all over the world, including celebrities and even medical doctors.
We’re going to explore the relationship between diet and cancer. Specifically, how a poor diet can lead to cancer and speed its growth, and how a clean, nutrient-dense diet could help reverse it.
Now here’s a note before we get to the interview…
My promise: I always treat my guests on this show with respect, no matter what. There’s enough disagreement, controversy, and drama out there (trust me, I starred on a Reality TV show).
You probably realize by now that I’m not a fan of low-fat, calorie-restricted, processed food diets. I’m also not a huge fan of juicing fruits (for most people) and a few other things you might hear about in this interview and others.
Personally, I eat most of my calories from fat instead of carbs. Do some people do better with more carbs than fat? Yes.
Can a low-fat diet be a healthy one when it’s made of clean, whole foods? Absolutely.
For instance, Chris has the goal of reducing his risk of developing cancer and is getting great results by eating whole food carbs, fruits, and limiting animal protein.
I might not eat exactly the same way as Chris and other guests on the show, but we can learn a great deal from each other. Chris is a true inspiration and it’s an honor to have him on Fat-Burning Man.
Now, on to the show with Chris Wark, who skipped the chemotherapy and beat cancer with a whole food diet.
On the show with Chris, you’re about to learn:
- What Chris ate before he was diagnosed with cancer
- How to navigate the profit-driven world of cancer treatment
- The truth about what “effective” means in the cancer industry
- Why some doctors say nutrition doesn’t matter
- What to eat if you want to live forever, and much more!
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CHRIS WARK: HOW TO FIGHT CANCER WITH FOOD
Abel: In 2003, at 26 years old real estate investor and musician, Chris Wark, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. After surgery, he refused chemotherapy and chose nutrition and natural therapies to heal his body.
In 2010, he went public with his story and mission to inspire people to take control of their health and reverse disease with a radical transformation of diet and lifestyle. His popular blog, Chris Beat Cancer, was born.
Chris, love your blog man. It’s blunt, honest, and inspiring. For the people listening, walk us through what happened when you were diagnosed.
I was 26 and having stomach and abdominal pain for most of the year. I found out I had an ulcer, ignored it, and hoped it would get better.
Instead it got worse. I finally went to the doctor—I’d never had any health problems or even been in the hospital before.
They misdiagnosed it as an ulcer, gave me some medicine that didn’t work, and I finally ended up at a gastroenterologist and he said we could do a colonoscopy. They did the colonoscopy and found a golf ball sized tumor in my large intestine on the right side, which is the ascending colon right by my appendix.
They ran a test to see if it was cancer, and it was, so I had to go into surgery right away.
I was in total shock. I’m like, “Wait a minute, this is not in the life plan. I don’t have time for cancer. I’m in the middle of doing stuff.”
I was completely clueless about cancer. I’d never had any family or friends diagnosed. I didn’t know anybody in this situation.
It was December 22, 2003. They wanted to get me in surgery the next day, and I basically asked if we could at least do it after Christmas, so they scheduled it for the 30th (8 days later).
They took out a third of my large intestine. They took out the tumor and a bunch of lymph nodes. I was told it was stage 3C, and that I’d need 6 – 9 months of chemotherapy.
“You’re going to be a full blown cancer patient.”
When they told me that, initially I accepted that this was my life now. But there were a few things that happened in the hospital that I considered to be serendipitous because they were so weird that it got my wheels turning.
The first meal they served me in the hospital after surgery was Sloppy Joe’s—high school cafeteria mystery meat slopped on a bun.
They had just split my guts open, removed a third of my large intestine and my colon, and they’re like, “Here, eat this Sloppy Joe.”
I was not a healthy eater. I ate typical fast food junk. I was a Standard American Diet guy. I was a total ectomorph, 6’2’, 150 pounds, always been thin, never had a weight problem and super high metabolism… and because of that, I always thought I could eat whatever I wanted.
I did eat some of the Sloppy Joe because I hadn’t eaten in three days. But it got me thinking… “Why are they serving horrible cafeteria food to sick people in the hospital?”Why are they serving horrible cafeteria food to sick people in the hospital? @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
A couple days later, I was still in the hospital and the surgeon came in to check on me before I was sent home. I asked him if there was any food I should avoid. I didn’t want to go home and eat some hot sauce and melt the stitches.
I was clueless.
He was like, “Nah, just don’t lift anything heavier than a beer.”
That was his dietary advice.
The implication was pretty clear that it doesn’t matter what you eat.
The crazy thing is, there’s so much evidence that colon cancer and most cancers in the U.S. are common in industrialized nations and rare in developing countries. Colon cancer is a western disease, and the surgeon should have known that.
He should have known that colon cancer rate in sub Saharan Africa, Uganda, is 50 times lower than in the United States.
Abel: And when you look at history, the prevalence of cancer is is unprecedented.
I’m glad you brought that up. People like us say that cancer is a man made disease. You’ve heard that. It’s exploded as a result of our choices, our diet, lifestyle and the industrial revolution, but the cancer industry tries to discredit that by saying “We have a mummy with cancer. It’s always been around.”
The rates of cancer are unprecedented. The diagnosis rate right now is higher than it’s ever been in history!
The industrial revolution—that’s really when cancer rates started to skyrocket. Men and women started working in factories, eating processed food, and smoking tobacco. There’s direct correlation between all of those work and lifestyle habits and the skyrocketing rates of cancer in the 20th century.
The cancer death rate tripled between 1900 and 1950, and that was largely from cigarette smoking.
My surgeon, he doesn’t care. I go home, I’m recovering from surgery, and I wanted to get off the pain meds. I had this strong internal resistance to being on pain medication. What I found out is that morphine and all opioid-based pain medications cause cancer to spread, and no-one knows this.
My instincts were telling me get off this pain medication. I got off it pretty quickly and one of the first things my wife and I did—we are Christians—so we prayed. I was like, “God, if there is another way besides chemotherapy, just show me.”
As I sobered up, I was really thinking about my life and my future. I was just thinking I didn’t want to be poisoned.The idea of poisoning my way back to health doesn’t make sense. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
But I don’t know what else to do. I feel like there’s something I could do. I need to change my life or something… like there has to be a cause, something had to have caused this, and maybe I had something to do with it. I just had this nebulous mental state trying to piece together why I was sick and what I could do about it.
We prayed and two days later I got this book from a man in Alaska that I had never met. He was a business acquaintance of my dad, and he heard I was diagnosed with colon cancer, and sending me this book was a pretty bold move. Most people wouldn’t send their client’s kid a book about healing cancer with nutrition. It was called God’s Way to Ultimate Health.
I start reading it and I knew immediately it was an answer to my prayer. The guy who wrote it had colon cancer and he healed it without chemo or surgery.
He converted to a raw food diet. He ate tons of fruits and vegetables, tons of juicing, especially carrot juice. Initially he was 100% and then was about 80% raw.
I called my wife, “I got this book, it’s a raw diet and this guy healed his colon cancer!” And she’s like, “You’re still doing chemo, right?” But I finally understood that I didn’t need chemo, I needed nutrition.
I started getting calls from family members and they’re saying, “We heard you’re not doing chemo and you really have to do it. You have to do what the doctor says. Don’t you think if there was something that worked better they’d know about it and be using it?”
All I know is I prayed and I got this answer, and this is what I want to do. That created a lot of confusion and conflict and stress and anxiety for me. I had this clear answer and everybody around me was saying don’t do that.
Except my mom. She’s been a health nut for a long time. She was the mom that was driving across town to some little hole in the wall health food store to buy wheat germ.
She has stacks of prevention magazines on the toilet and takes supplements and stuff like that. She totally supported me. And as it turned out, she had amassed a nice library of books on healing your body with nutrition.
She had Paul Bragg, Doctor Schultz, Hulda Clark’s The Cure for All Cancer. So, I really went nuts and started reading and researching and learning as much as I could. In order to appease my wife and mostly her family (who loved me and wanted me to get well) I went to see the oncologist to hear what he had to say.
TALKING TO YOUR ONCOLOGIST
We get to the cancer clinic and the parking lot is packed, and the waiting room is packed. I sit down and look around at all these people in the waiting room and it’s kind of like your first day at school. You’re sizing people up and kind of seeing where you fit in, and I’m scanning the room and everyone there was 50, 60, 70, 80… I’m 26. Everyone was twice or three times my age… and I was like, “God, I don’t belong here.”
The TV was on and out comes Jack Lalane. The guy was on the Today Show and starts going off about nutrition and how we’re sick because we’re eating all this junk food, too much meat and dairy. He says we need to start juicing and eating vegetables. He’s super fit at 85, ranting on the TV and I’m glued to it.
It’s like a tractor beam. I’m watching this and it feels like destiny. I turn to my wife and I’m like, “Can you believe this is on right now?” The thing he said that really jumped out at me is this: If man made it, don’t eat it.
We talk to the oncologist, and he gives us the standard pitch. He’s a busy doctor and sees dozens of patients every day. He looks through his file. He says, “Okay, you’ve got stage 3 colon cancer. You’ve got a 60% chance of living five years. We recommend you do five 5-fluorouracil plus leucovorin and chemotherapy.” The standard pitch.
I asked him a couple questions that changed the entire tone of the conversation. I said, “I’m on the raw food diet. Can I do that with the chemo?” He said, “No. That will fight the chemo, so you can’t do that.”
Then I said, “Well, are there any other alternative therapies available?” He said, “No, there are none. If you don’t do chemo you’re insane.” That was the scariest moment of my life.
Since then I’ve talked to hundreds of cancer patients, and in the cancer industry unfortunately many doctors use fear to manipulate you and intimidate you into saying yes to chemotherapy. 60% of the income that a private practice oncologist makes comes from the markup on chemo drugs.In the cancer industry doctors make a profit off the drugs they prescribe. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
They buy them at wholesale, mark them up to resale price, and sell them to you.
There’s a big conflict of interest there.
I walked into the clinic confident in what I was doing. I walked out of his office terrified.
I went to the desk and made an appointment to get a port put in to start chemotherapy. We went to the car and cried. It was one of the lowest moments of my life.
Fortunately, I had four weeks before I had to get that port put in because I was basically still recovering from surgery. So I had a lot of time to think, soul search and research. I went back home and kept juicing and eating raw. When that appointment came around, I was a no show. I just didn’t go.
I got a certified letter that the oncologist was concerned about my health and to please call us immediately. They were leaving messages on the answering machine. This was 2004. They eventually left me alone.
I found a naturopathic integrative nutritionist and he connected me with an old oncologist that came out of retirement, who was very much open to alternative therapies like IV Vitamin C and anything that was nutritional or nontoxic that might support the immune system.
He understood the immune system was key to my recovery.
Dr. Roy Page was his name. He’s deceased now, but he was in his 70’s at the time. He had been an oncologist for a long time and knew these prescribed treatments didn’t work.
Cancer industry lingo is very deceptive. When I say “this treatment doesn’t work,” I mean this treatment doesn’t cure cancer… it doesn’t restore your health.
When an oncologist says “this treatment does work,” he means: it shrinks tumors. You can shrink a tumor and that means the treatment works, but you’re not cured and as soon as that round of chemo is over, the cancer starts growing again and usually much faster.
Just this morning I read a new article that just came out—research from Russia—that found 23% of breast cancer patients that had neo adjuvant chemo (which is chemo before the lump was removed) made their cancer aggressive and the cancer mutated. Cancer tumor evolution—the tumor cells mutated and become resistant to chemotherapy. That’s 1 out of 4 that had chemo before surgery to shrink the tumor a little, and the cancer became chemoresistant and aggressive.
Abel: I read in your blog that 4 – 6% is what chemo could have done for your case.
Right. So effective treatment means that it can shrink a tumor a certain percentage over a period of time. It depends on your type of cancer.
The cancers the cancer industry has had the best success with (in terms of actually curing some people) are blood based cancers—childhood leukemia, hodgkin’s disease, non hodgkin’s lymphoma, and testicular cancer. For those four cancers, they’ve made big strides in longer survival rate and cure rate. If you lump those four together, about 90% of those cancer patients live ten years. Which is pretty good.
When you’re talking about epithelial cancers, which are solid tumor cancer: breast, colon, lung, liver, pancreas, brain, ovarian, cervical, prostate, (although prostate is slow growing so it’s not a big risk for most people), the cure rate is abysmal. In 60 years, the death rate of all cancers since chemotherapy was introduced (taking the good ones and lumping everything together) has only come down about 5%. It’s ridiculous.
You can count on one hand the cancers they’ve made improvements on—those are the ones they parade. Give your money for cancer research, because look at all these strides we’ve made with four cancers, but don’t look at the hundred others.
So when my doctor told me that I had 60% chance of living five years with chemo for colon cancer, he flat out lied to me. For stage 3C colon cancer in a young adult, the survival rate was more like 28%, and the ten year survival is somewhere around 16 – 18%—even with chemotherapy.
I don’t consider myself lucky. The reason I’m still here is because I made some specific, and very deliberate choices and radically changed my entire life.
I took full responsibility for my health and my situation, and it’s sad because in the cancer industry, doctors and a lot of patients propagate this idea that it’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. You’re unlucky. It’s genetic. There’s nothing you did to cause this and there’s nothing you can do to help yourself, so you just do your thing and I’ll do mine.
You just get enough calories during treatments. So pizza is fine. And Wendy’s Frosties are okay—just make sure you get enough calories during treatment.Cancer treatment clinics are full of donuts and candy. It’s worse than hospitals. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
And they’re telling people, “There’s nothing you’ve done to contribute to this.” That should be criminal.
We have so much epidemiological research. Scientists and researchers from around the world for the last century have been publishing papers on disease rates, cancer, diet and lifestyle. We have this ridiculous amount of data—not just the cultures in Africa. The cancer rates are half in Mexico than the U.S. There are dozens and dozens of countries whose cancer rates are 10 times to 20 times to 50 times lower depending on the types of cancer.
The cool thing is, it all comes full circle. All the healthy populations around the world have few things in common.
1) They’re not eating a western diet. They’re not eating processed food.
2) They’re eating very little animal products, little meat and dairy. So in the poorest parts of the world you don’t have access to loads of steak, chicken, fish, or pork. It’s a very special occasion that you feast on something like that. These people are subsisting on very simple, humble food from the earth.
If you’re in rural Africa, China, India, southeast Asia, or South America, they’re eating starches like rice, beans, corn, potatoes, plantains, and fruit. None of them are vegan, but they’re subsisting on plants.
If you look at the research of countries as they become industrialized, as income grows and wealth grows, the first thing people start spending money on is meat.
Abel: The richer you are, the worse the meat gets.
In America we feast every meal. It’s tons of meat, dairy, sugar, oils, salt. It’s got to be just a taste sensation.
I was laughing this morning because usually most mornings I eat a giant bowl of oatmeal: It’s got flax, hemp seeds, berries, molasses and lots of stuff… and I was thinking, this is so bland. I bet if I served this to ten people, they would not like it. It’s not sweet enough. But I’m happy eating this.
There’s a shift that happens where you realize you don’t eat for pleasure anymore.
I eat for survival, I eat for health, I eat for nutrition. I’m not saying the food I eat tastes terrible, I want it to taste good. But I had to flip that switch in my brain when I realized I had to eat huge amounts of broccoli.
I eat for survival and the way I feel. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
This is what I ate in the first phase of my anti-cancer diet:
- 64 ounces of carrot juice. I drank that throughout the day (5 pounds of carrots plus beets, celery, and ginger root).
- Several multi day juice fasts, ten days in the beginning, and three, four or five days at a time periodically.
- Fasting during breakfast (maybe eat some green apple or grapefruit—low sugar)
- Lunch and Dinner was a giant cancer fighting salad: there’s a post, but basically all the cruciferous and allium family veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, red cabbage onions, mushroom, spinach, red- yellow- green peppers, garlic, cayenne pepper, oregano, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. It’s delicious. It’s a huge salad, and it took forever to eat it.
I was going through raw food cookbooks and it’s too much work. I don’t have time for that. If you look at a raw food recipe it might have 4 or 5 ingredients and my salad has like 20. I want to eat all of these 20 things every day, I don’t want to leave anything out, so the salad became very simplistic.
Abel: In a way, salads are the ultimate man food because you just throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl and eat it.
It’s definitely fast food. I did that for 90 days and at the end of that I was really thin from the juice fasting and the surgery. I was 6’2’ and 130 pounds. My nutritionist was saying we needed to add a little cooked food and animal protein.
I had been on a raw vegan diet, but didn’t ever become a vegan, so I was like man I just want to live, so if I need it, okay.
At night I’d start eating sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, and cooked vegetables. A couple times a week I’d try to have a piece of wild caught salmon or some lamb. So that helped—cooked food has about twice the calories of raw, so that helped me gain some weight back. And when I was in raw mentality, you can get really sucked in and it can make you crazy.I realized maybe cooked food isn’t evil like some raw foodists want you to believe. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
The healthiest people in the world eat tons of cooked vegetables. You don’t have to be raw to have optimal health.
We all have freedom to eat and explore and do whatever you want, but when you look at the research on the healthiest longest-living people in the world, that’s more important to me. We all know they eat tons of plant food, very little animals, stay away from processed food—PLUS fresh air, sunshine and exercise.
Poorer cultures get this and we don’t, because we’re in a house or office all day, not working out in the garden, growing food, raising livestock, building things outside. We’re sedentary, ⅔ of us are overweight with ⅓ obese.Obesity is the second leading cause of cancer. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
When you carry excess body fat, it causes a cascade of problems in the body, one of which is hormonal and hormones fuel cancer growth. Eating too much meat and dairy fuels cancer because you’re eating a lot of hormones. Dairy has 60 plus hormones, any animal protein is going to raise IGF-1, which is insulin like growth factor—which is cancer rocket fuel.
Not to mention zeno estrogens, BPA, and man-made chemicals that are hormone-mimicking agents. Controlling the hormones in your body is critical to health, and obesity just wrecks that.
So, anyway you need to get the weight off, just get it off. If you need to smoke some crystal meth for a few weeks—just kidding. But then the problem most people have is they go back to their old habits. I’m all for people getting the weight off if they can then adopt a super healthy lifestyle and maintain it.
Abel: It’s not necessarily that difficult, it’s just a matter of doing it. Traveling the world and meeting people from other countries, it was interesting asking why they thought America got fat.
There was this one guy living in Bali who said, “Here’s why I think Americans are fat: Generally speaking, we’ll sit down with the family and have a meal and have a bit of rice, vegetables we grew in the backyard, and maybe a fourth of a chicken, and the whole family will share that and be satisfied.”
In America, we get like a whole bucket of chicken for ourselves. The difference between those is enormous.
It’s too much, it’s overconsumption. In 1900 arguably we were healthier, but our calorie consumption has jumped. We are just eating more food. And one of the biggest sources were eating more of isn’t carbs, it’s oils. We are eating more fats and oils than we were a hundred years ago. That segment—protein, fat, and carbs has grown the most.
People don’t get it. A tablespoon of oil is 120 calories. That’s 1 ½ bananas.
Abel: If you’re considering how many fried foods we’re eating or the hidden oils… Even if we go out and get a salad, it’s covered in mayonnaise.
Oils are the hidden source of calories that people don’t talk or think about. Liquid calories, sugary drinks, are a huge source of calories and people get that. But the oils are a problem too.
A block of Kerrygold grass-fed butter is 1600 calories. You know what else is 1600 calories? An entire loaf of ezekiel bread. Exact calorie count. Which would you rather eat if you were starving, an entire loaf of bread or a block of butter?
Note from Abel: I decided not to answer this one! 😉
I’m a little controversial because so many people in the health world are against grains and beans, but some of the healthiest populations around the world eat grains and beans. Of course GMO grains are terrible and hybridized grains can be problematic. I don’t want to dismiss those things. But grains are not the devil and they’re not the reason we’re all sick and fat.
My biggest pet peeve is the idea that is propagated by people that phytates are bad.
Abel: There’s a lot of that from the paleo community. Some subscribe to the belief that “no grains and no legumes ever” is the solutiom. But phytates are not bad for everyone. It’s not that simple.
Phytates are awesome. In fact phytic acid is an inositol IP6. It’s phytic acid and it’s a very powerful anticancer nutrient. It inhibits the growth of almost every type of human cancer. And the cancer cells sucks it up rapidly. You can track cancer by the uptake of IP6 in the body. They love it and it kills them. You want it in your body and you get it from beans and grain. Beans are great for your colon health because of IP6.
The problem people have with grains is the same problem we have with meats now. The quality of our food is so low, it almost doesn’t matter if you’re eating grains or meat or GMO product, if you’re in America, you need to watch out. Go for old school stuff they’re eating in the other half of the world or who have intact traditions that tell them how to eat. It’s way old, before Jack Lalane.
Chinese people have been eating rice for thousands of years. That’s not the reason their diabetes rate has gone up. The reason it’s gone up is they’re eating more meat and oils.
Rice is a great grain. I like teff, it’s my favorite grain, it’s what’s used to make Injera. I eat oats every day. Quinoa, I love for its nutritional value, but it’s never tasted good to me. Millet and spelt are great and those are in Ezekial bread. I’m a little sensitive to wheat, so I avoid it. Ezekial bread doesn’t bother me maybe because it’s sprouted.
Abel: Well it’s fundamentally different than the super processed wheat bread you find in the supermarket today.
It’s actually flourless—so the difference between it and white flour bread that’s been bleached, stripped of all its minerals, and then a few synthetic nutrients are added back in—it’s a huge difference.
THE THREE THINGS THAT CAUSE CANCER
Abel: Sometimes radical lifestyle changes come with a diagnosis. But what is one thing that you could say to people on the other end who maybe don’t have cancer… but are probably going to? What can they do now to stop cancer before it happens?
There are basically three things that are causing cancer: Diet and lifestyle, environmental pollution, and stress. Those are the three main umbrella causes of cancer. Now there are some that are viral and bacterial, but when we’re talking about western cancer—the number one killer is lung disease, then colon and breast cancer. These are western cancers.
1) Diet & Lifestyle: The number one thing you can do is start eating like other cultures. Stop eating the American diet. Stop eating fast foods and junk foods, and return to a whole food plant based diet. When you look at the healthiest cultures in the world, they eat mostly plants and starchy veggies (potatoes, rice, and beans) which some parts of the health world think are terrible but I think are wonderful.
There’s a great book called The Blue Zone… which is all about the healthiest, longest living cultures in the world and how they eat and live. Move your body. Take the stairs, work at a standup desk, joint he gym, rock climb, run, do karate, ride your bike. Any movement is good. Anything you can do—I worked out at crossfit gyms and now I’m at an iron tribe gym.Movement is life. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
2) Avoid toxins: There are some serious man made toxic chemicals, 80,000 plus in our environment. There’s a synergistic toxicity we don’t understand. How the environmental pollutants, food additives and all this stuff interacts with each other in the body, so taking steps to reduce your toxic exposure is very important.
I think so many people in your audience have seen these things, but switching to nontoxic body care products, cleaning products, laundry detergent. If you work in a paint factory, you’re in a toxic work environment every day. You should probably try to get a new job. Working in some sort of toxic chemical factory is a bad idea.
Hairdressers have a higher cancer risk than many other professions because of exposure to dyes, bleaches and other salon chemicals. Your workplace is very important.
3) Reduce stress. I think stress is the underlying cause of most diseases in the western world because stress and anxiety suppress your immune system, and stress leads you to destructive behavior like drinking, smoking, drug use, prescription drug use, promiscuous sex, and overeating.
Really face down the stresses in our life, forgiving those you need to forgive, and face the problems you’re avoiding or running from. Things you’re ashamed of, own them and forgive yourself—that is key.
Every cancer patient I’ve ever talked to – that’s hundreds – had major chronic stress in their life leading up to diagnosis.Every cancer patient I’ve talked to had chronic stress leading up to diagnosis. @chrisbeatcancer Click To Tweet
This kind of stuff like an abusive relationship, divorce, loss of loved one, terrible stressful work environment, money problems. Those kinds of long-term chronic stress situations, like unresolved problems that persist, weaken your immune system and that anxiety and stress makes you very vulnerable. So, dealing with stress is so key to not only healing cancer but preventing it, as well.
The truth is simple. Diet and exercise matter. The pillars of health are diet and exercise. It’s not a superfood supplement, it just basic human need that is not being fulfilled. Diet, exercise, and reducing stress as much as possible.
Our culture is so bombarded with stressful information. If you lived in rural Africa, you would not know all of these problems going on in the world. But because you live in the U.S., you’re bombarded with Black Lives Matter, transgender issues, are we about to go to war, ISIS, elections, Paris bombings.
We are bombarded with so much negativity, and fear and stress that no person can handle it. You cannot handle it.
It just weighs you down. We’re all basically carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders if you’re tuned in on major media.
I know about these things, but I just get the headline. I don’t tune into Fox news every day and let it pollute me with anxiety.
Abel: “News Fasting.”
Media fasting, news fasting. I don’t watch the news. The only reason I know any news is because of Facebook. I see headlines and I’ll occasionally click on it. But I try to stay away from any negative media. We’ve got enough problems in our own personal lives, and that’s enough.
Your own personal problems are enough. We all need to solve our own little problems.
WHERE TO FIND CHRIS WARK
You can find Chris on his website, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
The real good stuff is on my website. I’ve got 50+ interviews with people who have healed cancer with nutrition. That’s so important. That’s mostly what I do. I just love to find and interview people who have healed. I’m compiling a database of free resources.
I have a free guide, called 20 Questions for Your Oncologist that takes a patient through every question they should ask their doctor. Most people are clueless, and doctors are not telling patients what they need to know. If you ask the right questions in the beginning, it can dramatically alter the course of your treatment. You can make a very wise, informed decision if you have all the facts. Most cancer patients are making a fear-based decision, not an informed decision, so that free guide is there to help you make a great decision.
LEARN HOW TO DROP 20 POUNDS IN 40 DAYS WITH REAL FOOD
BEFORE YOU GO…
One thing that so many people are missing from their health equation is community. Some of the healthiest cultures use food as a time of communion with each other, a time to celebrate food, and to come together in a common space.
If you’re searching for such a community of people who care… welcome to The Tribe.
It seems like every day there’s a new study, article, or paper that just adds to the confusion and conflicting information about health, food, and fitness. If you’re already on your Wild journey, but your family or friends are still lost in the health hustle… that can be really tough.
So my wife, Alyson, and I created a private group called The Fat-Burning Tribe to share outrageously tasty Wild recipes, fat-burning workouts, and healthy living courses all in one place… along with an incredibly active and super-supportive Facebook group to share personal victories and get support when you need it.
Alyson and I are active in this community, and even hop in front of the camera for live Q & A with Tribe members.
PLUS, we just came out with our new Monthly Meal Plan—30 days of awesome fat-burning recipes for things like Wild Brownie Bites, Mock Potato Salad, and even mouthwatering Chicken Parmesan! And you get our best kitchen tips and tricks for things like making bone broth and daily food prep!
These meal plans make it simple for you to eat like a rock star while getting into the best shape of your life!
Here’s a note from Shannon who completed the Wild Diet 30-Day Challenge in the Fat-Burning Tribe and lost 19 pounds!
Alyson and Abel, Thank you for changing my life!!!! I feel so much better and have more energy. I feel like a more pleasant person, I have more confidence and I’m handling stressful situations much better. 30 days in and I can’t wait to see how far I get by 100 days.
Danica lost 14 inches in one month, and says this:
Finding this lifestyle has changed my life…in just one short month. I have lost 23 pounds and over 14 inches. My work relationships are better. I have so much energy, I tried racquetball and zumba for the first time. I started wearing makeup and making cute hairdos, that isn’t something I have done in years.Thanks Abel and Alyson!!!!!!
Danica, this might be the first time someone has linked eating Wild to making cute hairdos. But I totally support that.
Right now, you can join us for just $1 for your first month.
And if you’re already a member, don’t forget to ask me your question for our next Q and A! See you in the Tribe!
Have you or someone you know healed themselves with real food? Leave a comment below to share your story.
Uncle Pete says
“And one of the biggest sources were eating more of isn’t carbs, it’s oils. We are eating more fats and oils than we were a hundred years ago.”
Kindly provide the data and studies that support this claim.
Abel James says
Hi Pete, thanks for the question. From the data I’ve seen, we (Americans) are pretty much eating more of everything – carbs, sugar, fat, meats, etc. (not just one particular macronutrient).
We’re eating fewer nutrients, more calories, and vastly more processed food than ever before. There isn’t just one problem as I see it, but many.
Abel your’re the man as always. It is good to keep an open mind. Inspiring story no doubt. One thing i couldn’t get past was the loaf of bread vs butter comparison but hey whatever works right? Thanks for the show!
Abel James says
Thanks for listening, Jason – I think people could hear me chuckling in the background at the comparison! 🙂
Wow, really powerful and thought provoking podcast today. Thank you so much. Abel I think you are real hero in the Paleo community. Many of us need to be reminded that the “paleo” diet is just one of many healing protocols and that in actuality the diet with the most evidence behind it is the one that your guest talked about – grains, beans, plants, plants, plants. Thank you for the trip outside the paleo rabbit hole!!! You and Alison are so cute together! Love you guys. Rock on.
Abel James says
Thank you so much for that, Christy! Alyson is the best, I agree. 🙂
I find this so interesting and thought provoking. I have to wonder if Chris’s naturally thin body type is a factor in why he can thrive on a higher carb diet, and why it works so well for him. Personally I gained about 10lbs in 10 days eating squeaky clean vegan (organic lentils, black beans, rice, lots of leafy greens, veg and fruit) for a kidney cleanse I HAD to do. It was a huge bummer for me, but I was able to lose it in 7 days with The Wild Diet, and I felt much much better. I don’t do well with grains, even organic, they give me panic attacks I have realized. So yes, I would eat a block of butter over Ezekiel bread (which I used to love). As you said, Abel, you have to find what works for you. And we all agree on staying away from processed foods, and getting those veggies in! Awesome as always ^_^
Abel James says
Glad you’re feeling better, Carissa! I’m with you on the butter 🙂
Another great podcast! I love that you interview all different view points. I agree this was VERY thought provoking. Although, I have had an amazing experience with a high fat diet, I agree with several things Chris Wark recommends like less stress and exercise are a must. And of course veggies are awesome. 🙂
I have to say I always blown away when you said the Wild Diet is a LOW protein diet! I have read the Wild Diet and love it but for some reason was under the impression it was more moderate protein.
*was not always 🙂
Abel James says
I’m glad you brought that up – The Wild Diet isn’t necessarily “low protein,” but it tends to be lower than most approaches to paleo. It all depends on what you’re comparing it to.
Eating Wild, we do our best to go for veggies first, pastured and wild meats (to hunger), and ancestral fats. Protein is scaleable based on size, sex, and activity, but overeating protein has it’s drawbacks. More to come on that!
Fascinating stuff! Thank you for having such an open mind, and for having him on your program. I’ve just read Dr. Jason Fung’s book, The Obesity Code, plus have watched his online presentations – I think he sums it up best with an analogy about two people whose cars won’t start: One person is out of gas, the other person needs new spark plugs. What works to get the empty tank of gas car going, isn’t going to work for the bad spark plug guy. Just like putting new spark plugs in the empty gas car isn’t going to work either. This applies to health and nutrition – all the bickering over which diet is best is so absurd and tedious. Everyone needs to find his/her own solutions and stop trying to push their own agendas.
Love how you both emphasize News Fasting, ramping up the veg, and lifestyle changes, too. Your common denominator is the “no sugar” – but he eats molasses?? Interesting.. I didn’t think his oatmeal recipe sounded very bland at all. Thanks again – this was truly informative! <3
Abel James says
Thanks for listening, Jen. We eat a tiny bit of blackstrap molasses sometimes, too – reminds me of mom’s cookies back in the day!
Congrats to Chris for being healthy and sticking to what he thinks is “healthly” but respectfully I cringed from so many things he was saying about nutrition…btw who eats “4000 calories a day”? I finished the episode but definitely wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites…
Abel James says
Thanks for sharing your feedback, Brian.
Abel, thanks so much for another great show. As a Cancer Survivor, I’ve looked and searched for years for an anti-cancer diet that will assure a cancer free life. Unfortunately, there seems to be no one size fits all for Cancer Prevention either. I’ve had friends who chose the alternative route but did not succeed. That’s because there really is no–do this and you’re safe forever for everyone. It’s a very personal journey. The body will keep giving us cues that we are on the right track. It’s so important to stay open to those cues. Which makes me wonder have you interviewed anyone with a similar success story as Chris who chose more of a paleo-type diet to heal?? I know of many success stories with paleo-type diets and MS recovery but not cancer.
This was a great show! Very thought provoking! I would love to read more about cancer healing/preventing diets. I did feel though that Chris was staging the doctors as the “bad guys”, when he did the main treatment for that specific type of cancer, which is tumor removal surgery. This already put him at around a 65% 5 year survival rate with just the surgery. The chemotherapy could have possibly added 10-15% on that 5 year survival rate and it was a personal choice whether this was worth the damage it could do to his body. Obviously, he made a good choice for his situation! However, I do think it is important to note he did not “cure” his cancer through diet alone. He aided his cancer recovery through diet and exercise, after doing the main treatment for this type of cancer at the doctors suggestion.
Really good listen. The whole time i kept waiting for you to ask Chris about how the sugar in carrot juice and all those fruits didn’t feed the cancer. I had thought that was the first thing that had to go in a diet – sugar. I’d still rather have the olive oil than the banana, because i’d be hungry again in an hour
What a great interview! I listened to it yesterday and i still can’t stop thinking about it. Super inspiring, and a great example of how whole food nutrition is the best medicine in life. I was glued to the entire podcast. It didn’t get me to change my stance on wheat (not eating it, and I am all the better for it), nor did he convince me to reduce fats. (I personally think his cure had FAR more to do with the massive amounts of clean veggies he ate plus the removal of stress, toxins and processed foods, and far less to do with his decision not add real butter into his diet.) However, I do understand his reluctance towards fats, heck it is a global mindset that isn’t going to change quickly. But of course fat in the diet is not bad, as we here all know. I love using butter and cream in cooking to add flavor, but I happen to agree with some of his concerns regarding oils, even the healthy ones because “more” is not always better. (For example, I cannot bring myself to add pure coconut oil in my smoothie, but I will heap on the unsweetened coconut flakes to get the whole-food fat/fiber/nutrition profile with a nice flavor add. And bullet-proof coffee is never going to be my thing. Tried it once, that was it. I still remember the massive gut ache I got, lol)
Tim in MA says
Powerful episode Abel! This one really hit home for the “why” in eating clean.
Abel James says
Appreciate it, Tim!
Abel, I really like your show although cannot BELIEVE some of the statements you were letting go unchallenged. Being a good interviewer does not mean you can’t disagree or challenge what your guest is saying, just do it with respect and facts.
Thanks for the podcast and keep up the great work.
Abel James says
I hear that Nick, thanks!
This was a very interesting interview. A different perspective and I appreciate that. All the extras aside the base story of the young man having colon cancer at 26 and then his “battle” with convention medicine, was very important.
Thanks Abel, this podcast just gets better and better.
My grandfather is 92 and an example of clean living and hard work. He is big on fasting and on eating according to this old saying “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper.”
Abel James says
Thanks so much, Ryan!
Abel, it’s so refreshing to hear this interview. Obviously Chris has “some” very different opinions and perspectives than those of us who follow an ancestral/paleo/wild diet but it’s always good to hear different perspectives and opinions. I think we all want the truth and getting to the truth means being open, hearing all sides and making our own decisions from there.
As you’ve mentioned before Abel, it seems the being healthy may be more about what your “not” eating than what you “are” eating.
I think Chris made a lot good points, however, one that made me cringe was his point about eating dairy and meat fuel cancer is because you are eating a lot of hormones. If that was the case, then people like the Maasai, who mainly eat meat and milk (dairy) would be plagued with cancer, which we know is not the case at all.
One of the best discussions I’ve heard so on the topic of living a long life without disease was Chris Kresser’s interview with Dr. Peter Attia. Here’s the link for anyone interested: https://chriskresser.com/the-keys-to-longevity-with-peter-attia/ If someone were thinking that a high vegetable/fruit diet might be optimal for longevity, I would highly recommend listening to that interview for a more “expert” view on what the scientific data suggests may be the optimal path. Hint, high quality fat does NOT appear to be the enemy.
You are doing an amazing job bringing the truth about health to the world Abel. Thank you for all that you do.
Abel James says
Thanks so much for the kind words, Tim. Thanks for sharing Chris’ interview with Dr. Attia – they both do great work!
People who ask for the research about the effect of natural supplements or protocols always annoy me because it seems to be just a way of shutting down the conversation about these items. A lot of research is simply not there because there is no real incentive to conduct research on natural products unless they are looking for a way to exploit a component within the natural substance in order to make a patented product.
While meat and fats may be ideal for fat burning, the conversation was regarding healing cancer and I’ve seen more testimony regarding healing cancer with a plant diet versus healing cancer with a meat diet. I’ve read that meat diets tend to create acidity within the body and that an acidic body is an ideal environment for epithelial (solid tumor) cancers.
Although the human body appears capable of consuming a varied diet, it does seem to me to be more evolved (or designed) to handle dietary items that are abundant or more readily or naturally available in our earthly environment.
PATRICK OGALA says
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