How to Stop Worrying about Cancer (and Other “Stuff”)

If you’re here, you’ve probably got some worries–about diet, at least. Perhaps you’ve also got bigger worries that have prevented you from thinking about what you eat.

Many people considering a whole foods plant based diet have done so out of concern for their own health or that of a loved one.

My own worries about getting cancer (statistics show almost 40-50% of Americans will) were greatly relieved by taking major action: quitting all animal products and adopting a whole foods plant based lifestyle.

While it may seem difficult to eat healthfully yourself, there is often more stress and worry involved if you’re taking care of others. Particularly when healthy food is automatically equated with bad taste.

Fact is, many people think their diet is already healthy enough and–though they may not admit it–accept the chances they may suffer from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other preventable diseases rather than give up their favorite foods.

Recently, when worried by my decision to return to the U.S. after over 20 years in Japan, a friend suggested I read the Dale Carnegie classic, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” I had read the book twice 25 years ago–once as a student and again as a graduate assistant for Dale Carnegie Training–but you wouldn’t have known it.

There is a saying that “To know something and not to do it, is not to know.” Similarly, having read and forgotten something is the same as not having read it. Indeed, Dale Carnegie himself even admits in the book’s preface that:

“I wrote this book, and yet frequently I find it difficult to apply everything I have advocated here. As you read, remember that you are not merely trying to acquire new information. You are attempting to form new habits. That will require time and persistence and daily application”

Because I’m no longer living in a vegan household and out of my normal routine, there is a lot more opportunity to stray from what I know is best in terms of diet and exercise.

Family members and friends can have a significant influence on your diet, causing many who try to adopt or stay with a whole foods plant based diet to be side-tracked. On the other hand, having the right partner or friend encourages you to keep making baby steps in a positive direction.

Please understand that a whole foods plant based diet is not about achieving perfection. Re-reading “How to Stop Worrying” provides common sense techniques to eliminate worries in order to replenish my energy for caring for myself and others. I am also re-dedicated to writing and teaching with the sole wish that you feel better and better, every day.

This post is also available in: Japanese