Michael's Story: Our newest Team Member's battle with Cancer and Clean Eating

June 27, 2015

An unhealthy diet full of processed and artificial ingredients is a proven cause of cancer and many other chronic diseases. While prevention is truly the best 'cure', there are definitely ways to manage, and possible even reverse this, and all other, devastating diseases through clean eating and a holistic lifestyle. We're happy to welcome Michael to the Eat Your Cake team, and wish him many happy and healthy years ahead! 

Straight out of high school, Michael Thompson enrolled in cooking school and embarked on a 10 year journey in the food industry. Being overweight all his life, at the age of 25 he decided it was time to make a change. He did some research and found a program that taught about changing your lifestyle bit by bit and incorporating foods and activities that help with energy and fat loss. After losing 70 pounds and successfully changing his lifestyle, he met his wife Kyoko and began a new life with her. Thankfully, she had as much of a love for food as he did! 

Three years into their marriage big things were happening. Kyoko gave birth to twins, just as Michael was being laid off from his union job in mental health. Franticly seeking employment led to a pretty sweet gig after 6 months of pounding the pavement. Unfortunately, it was all for naught. Three days into his first week of employment in a fantastic fine dining establishment he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, metastasized (spread) to the liver. He was immediately booked for emergency surgery, as the colon tumor was bleeding and Michael was close to death due to lack of blood. The surgery was successful, but now Michael was faced with a BIG decision. At first, it seemed as though there was no decision to be made. Chemotherapy is just what you do in this situation…….there is no other choice….. right? WRONG!

This is not a forum to debate the merits of chemotherapy, if you are ever faced with this decision I would hope that you would know all the options available to you. Michael did not. After four months of chemo, Michael was not doing well. His cancer was getting stronger, he was getting weaker and hope was almost non-existent.  For Michael, he had chemo injected into a port in his chest once every two weeks, and then he’d have to take a “balloon” home that was attached to his chest to slowly administer the chemical cocktail for 3 days. The first week would be full of really strong side effects, and then the second week they would mellow out a bit. Among the laundry list of effects was nausea, vomiting, hiccups for days (literally), fatigue……but at the same time the jitters, EXTREME aversion to cold…..even lukewarm water felt like fire (and this was the dead of winter) and many, many more.

During the second week of chemo Michael made an effort to get together with friends. One friend, let’s call him Kevin, mentioned that he did not like what he saw happening to Michael. Michael was having the life sucked out of him. So Kevin asked “Do you understand that there is a choice?” Michael had this strange feeling wash over him. It was a feeling of peace! He had not ever even considered that he had a choice in the matter. So immediately he went home and began researching, and you know what he found? TESTIMONY! There are many people coming to the realization that cancer is a part of us! We all have the dormant gene. This must mean there must be something (or many things) out there from nature that could help. People were being diagnosed with cancer, refusing chemo…..and being healed!

Michael’s journey with cancer is not over. He doesn’t have all the answers (or any for that matter!!). He is however surprising the doctors. Michael has a conventional oncologist as well as a holistic M.D that specializes in cancer. Both them, and his general practitioner have all noted that it is extremely odd that Michael is not dead, let alone walking around and able to work. They mentioned that the younger a patient is, the stronger cancer tends to be, and Michael was diagnosed when he was twenty nine. The cancer in Michael’s liver has grown very little since his first diagnoses two years ago, and it is unclear why. All he knows is……..it’s not because of chemo.

After a year of distress, fear, chemo, a WHOLE lot of self-pity and confusion Michael decided rather than waiting for the end to come, he'd do something useful that might help others and provide for his family at the same time, but what? He started brainstorming and watching lots of Dragon’s Den. He came up with a business idea involving organic food and children. Though his initial idea didn’t pan out (maybe one day) he had been watching Eat your Cake become a reality through social media, and it just so happens he knew the founder! So he approached Joanna about working with her and the rest is history!

Although there is no way to prove that unhealthy eating caused Michael's cancer, he believes that that as well as not eating the things his body needed growing up is the root cause. Genetics are always a factor too and Michael’s family is full of cancer patients. Especially with that disposition 25 years of overeating junk that is laced with chemicals, antibiotics, trans fats, refined sugars and hydrogenated oils was bound to have an adverse effect on his health. He honestly just didn’t know any better. His mother came from a large impoverished family, so of course her mindset is to get the most food you can for the smallest amount possible. Unfortunately, now that mindset is detrimental to our health.....as Michael can attest.

Through Eat Your Cake, Michael hopes to assist with not only offering a service that will help feed you safe and nutritious meals, but also to help educate a little bit about why nutrition is such a key part of our health. Being a part of a program that helps people lose weight and feel healthy is pretty much all Michael want’s out of his work life now. Lightening the workload of busy people is an added bonus!

 Michael's 23rd Birthday- before making significant changes to his diet and lifestyle.

Not so fat.jpg

Michae today with his wife and twin boys.

Pictured above: Michael's 23rd Birthday, before making significant changes to his diet and lifestyle (top left). Michael after a 70lb weight loss through clean eating (middle), and Michael today with his family (top right)

So, what does diet have to do with Cancer? Plenty!

The food industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and highly competitive. Major food producers are constantly looking at ways to lower costs, increase profits, and lengthen the shelf life of their products. As a result, the nutritional value in the food they produce is virtually destroyed. Processed foods are stripped of valuable fibre, vitamins and minerals, and  loaded with artificial ingredients created in laboratories that we were never intended to ingest. Chemical additives, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners make it look and taste good. Chemical preservatives are added to make it last longer on the shelf, and synthetic vitamins and minerals are added, in an attempt to restore the nutritional value destroyed by all the processing.
Look at the ingredients on the labels of the food in your pantry: if the label has ingredients you have never heard of, or cannot pronounce, beware!

It doesn't matter what the nutritional value on the label claims: no processed food product can match the nutritional value of vitamins and minerals contained in raw organic fruits vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Even if the FDA approved these additives for human consumption, and they don’t make you sick immediately after you eat them, doesn’t mean they are healthy.

And just because an artificial ingredient doesn’t cause any noticeable effects on a lab, rat doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to eat.
There’s no way the FDA can test the long-term effects that all these artificial ingredients combined have on the human body over a lifetime, because every body is different, and we are all eating different combinations of these artificial substances everyday.

Unhealthy diet and lifestyle are proven causes of cancer and many other diseases. Combined with the fact that we live in a toxic world and we’re constantly bombarded with environmental toxins, the problem is compounded. Which is why it’s increasingly more important now to limit the amount of toxins we put into our body via the food we consume and products we use.

So what does a Cancer-prevention diet look like?

Include a wide variety of y of organic vegetables and fruits. Green leafy, and cruciferous vegetables are key players.

Get plenty of plant-based protein from raw nuts, beans, legumes, and grains such as quinoa.

Fill up on antioxidant-rich fruits and seeds. Yes, this means chocolate! Cocoa, in its raw form, contains one of the highest antioxidant contents of any food.

Avoid trans-fats and eating anything out of a box or can as much as possible.

Use natural health and cleaning products on your body and in your home to avoid chemicals. 

Drink plenty of water!

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