top of page

Part 4: Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle


  • Meal Planning Basics

  • Recommended Cookbooks

  • Supplements

  • Mind-Body Interventions

  • Aromatherapy

  • Massage

  • Exercise

  • Living Clean & Green

Meal Planning Basics


Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This is a wise approach to healing the human body. We should focus on whole food free of chemicals, preservatives, and pesticides. We should prepare and process food at home to ensure its quality. Often foods of convenience have poor if any nutritional value and contain potential carcinogens and toxins that have to be cleared or stored within the body.


A whole food diet consists of foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds are whole foods. Whole foods retain fiber, phytochemicals, and nutrients that promote healing and prevent cancers. Medicinal foods are plants with healing properties from which over 2/3 of all pharmaceuticals were derived. Super-foods are both foods and medicines, are nutrient dense and contain special properties that boost the immune system. Many spices are considered medicinal and have anti-cancer properties. 



Whole Foods






Super Foods

Goji berries

Acai berries



Hemp seeds

Healing Spices



Green tea



Animals and animal products can be beneficial but are also a source of concern. Milk contains the milk sugar lactose, and the many people have lactose intolerance. Red meat consumption has been linked to colon cancer and should be avoided. An organic chicken with no added antibiotics or hormones is a whole food. A skinless chicken breast baked or broiled with healthy herbs and spices is a healthy option, while chicken nuggets processed with added fats, flavorings, and preservatives is not. Wild-caught salmon is a good source of valuable omega-3 fats, while farm-raised salmon have been fed grain, given antibiotics, and have to be dyed pink to resemble fish. Wild-caught fish are anti-inflammatory, while farm raised fish aare pro-inflammatory. Free-range chickens produce a healthier egg than confined grain fed chickens, and free range chickens fed flax seeds have the additional benefits of omega-3 fats. Honey, and many bee products (like been pollen),  have medicinal properties that promote healing. 


Transitioning to healing meals can easily be achieved with the help of trusted cookbooks. Dr. Pennington recommends the following books to get you started. The goal is a primarily plant based diet of whole foods with added super foods and healing spices.


Recommended Books/Cookbooks:


Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. is a functional medicine physician who has written several excellent books that describe step by step how to move toward a whole-food lifestyle. In just ten days you will see a big difference! Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a holistic physician that promotes a plant based diet to heal the body.


10-Day Detox Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D.

10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook by Dr. Mark Hyman M.D.


For diabetics I recommend:


The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D.

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook by Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D.

The End of Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.


For Immune Health:


Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Eat to Live Cookbook by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.




Dr. Pennington recommends the following supplements for patients with colon cancer:


  • A good multivitamin. When shopping for a multivitamin look for capsules that are taken multiple times a day and that do not contain added sugar or dyes. A liquid multivitamin is fine also.

  • Vitamin D3. Most colon cancer patients are deficient in Vitamin D. The reference range is between 20-100 ng/ml. Although 20 is considered normal, we like to see Vitamin D levels around 50-75 ng/ml. Taking Vitamin D at 5000 IU a day should assist in achieving this level after which a daily dose of 2000 IU should be used.

  • Quality Fish Oil. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that provide powerful anti-inflammatory properties and assist the body in healing. Look for a supplement rich in DHA/EPA with less carrier oil. Krill oil is a good supplement.

  • Calcium and Magnesium. The calcium-magnesium ratio of 2:1 should be achieved with 1200 mg Calcium to 400-600 mg of magnesium. Calcium intake is associated with lower incidence of colon cancer in many studies.

  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a spice that has direct anticancer effects against colon cancer in test tubes.  Dr. Pennington recommends Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin 400 mg a day.


Mind-Body Interventions


Mind/Body therapies are important during the treatment of cancer, and are often overlooked as the best therapy for stress reduction and the promotion of healing. Several modalities are easy, effective, and have virtually no side effects. Consider the following modalities to assist the healing journey:


  • Prayer

  • Support Groups

  • Meditation

  • Visual Imagery

  • Acupuncture

  • Chiropractic treatments

  • Yoga




Essential oils are the organic compounds extracted from plants. They are highly concentrated and have a strong aroma. They are made of very small molecules that easily penetrate the skin, and blood-brain barrier. There are many uses of therapeutic grade essential oils.  Modern medicine has verified the components found in essential oils and their effect on metabolic processes. Many oils have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties while others induce tumor apoptosis, or the elimination of cancer. Although the research is ongoing, there seems to be a clear benefit in utilizing essential oil therapy. The following are recommendations for colon cancer patients. The oils can be diffused, or diluted and applied topically. Dr. Pennington does not recommend using the oils internally. Please check with a holistic physician for aromatherapy care plans and potential drug interactions.


  • Cypress-improves circulation

  • Eucalyptus-improves respiration, purifying

  • Frankincense-build immunity, reduces inflammation, fights cancer, heals scars

  • Ginger-improves digestion, relieves nausea

  • Lavender-helps with relaxation, stress reduction, heals burns

  • Lemongrass-effective against MRSA

  • Myrrh-support skin health, lessens scars and stretch marks

  • Oregano-powerful anti-microbial

  • Peppermint-supports digestion, improves focus, reduces fever, provides headache relief

  • Rosemary-improves brain function and memory, thickens hair

  • Sandalwood-improves energy, spiritual centering


Massage Therapy


Massage therapy is beneficial for relaxation, pain control, and insomnia. It is also good to stimulate healthy lymphatic flow and ease muscle tension. Many massage therapist have additional training in various areas such as reflexology, energy medicine, and the use of essential oils.


Living Clean & Green


Exposures to toxic chemicals during a lifetime create a “bio-burden,” or depot of chemicals your body must deal with, detoxify, or store for later.  Studies show that most Americans have been exposed to over 200 industrial chemicals in their lifetime. Most of these toxins are pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burring coal, gasoline, and garbage. Flame-retardants and oil repellants are also found in clothing and textiles. Teflon used in cookware contains chemicals that are classified as likely human carcinogen by the EPA’s Science Advisory Board. Most American homes contain chemical solvents, paints, gasoline, and cleaning products that may be old or improperly stored. We recommend doing a home inventory and either disposing of un-necessarily housed chemicals or moving them to a site outside of the home. Many household products are easily replaced with safer organic products. The foundation of clean living includes:


  • Clean filtered water

  • Up to date air filters

  • Organic plant based diet

  • Avoid processed and pre-packaged food sources

  • Organic-only personal care products

  • Organic home detergents and cleaning supplies

  • Pesticide free gardening

  • Detox the garage/kitchen areas of unnecessary products

  • Avoid chemical exposures

bottom of page