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Does Eating Cooked Foods Hinder Healing?

“Good Morning Rev. Malkmus, I recently attended your Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center in Plant City, Florida and adopted The Hallelujah Diet. I am a Stage 4 breast/bone cancer survivor. Three years ago, I was given two to four weeks to live.

“I refused chemo and radiation, depending rather on prayer, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that’s how far the Lord has brought me. Recently the Lord has been talking to me about my diet and that’s why I attended your Lifestyle Center in Plant City.

“I am an accountant and work full time. During my entire cancer ordeal I was off from work only three to four months. Here is my challenge: I am having trouble maintaining The Hallelujah Diet 100% while in the process of healing. I feel I am not getting enough calories or fuel for my body. I do not need to lose weight.

If I add more cooked food I’m afraid I will be inhibiting my healing process. It’s all I can do to work 8 hours and then come home and make juice, let alone meal plan. Do you have any suggestions? God bless you!”
Marie N., Daphne, Alabama

Editor Responds

Marie, eating some cooked food should not hinder healing if we don’t eat too much of our food in cooked form. When I had my cancer in 1976, I learned a valuable lesson regarding cooked food: My first year I ate a 100% raw, plant-based diet with lots of raw vegetable juices. The healing results were spectacular, but I lacked energy and lost too much weight.

After that first year on 100% raw, I added about 15% cooked plant foods back into my diet: Things like baked sweet potatoes, whole grains and whole grain pastas, vegetable soups, steamed vegetables, baked squash, beans, etc. The result was I gained weight and energy returned.

I now believe it is imperative that a person consume cooked food whether on the basic Hallelujah Diet or even on The Hallelujah Recovery Diet. I have learned that, on an all-raw diet, it is difficult to consume enough calories. Without sufficient calories, we may not be receiving enough protein, which will often result in a lack of energy and the loss of too much weight.

If the 15% cooked food portion on The Hallelujah Diet isn’t providing you with the desired result, I wouldn’t be concerned about increasing the percentage of cooked to as much as 20% or even 25%. I would however stress the importance of continuing the raw vegetable juices, because they are the key to the rapid rebuilding of the immune system.

On The Hallelujah Recovery Diet the recommendation is six servings of both the BarleyMax and vegetable juices. On the basic Hallelujah Diet (aka “maintenance diet”) the juice servings reduce to 2-3 vegetable juices and three servings of BarleyMax. It has been nearly 37 years now since my cancer experience and I still consume at least one or two vegetable juices daily and at least three servings of BarleyMax daily and sometimes more.

I am now just a little over a year from my 80thbirthday and have found the 85% raw to 15% cooked plant-based diet to be an ideal ratio for me, to give me incredible energy, and endurance for whatever the task.

But I would not hesitate to bump the cooked portion percentage up a few notches if I felt it was needed. Just don’t allow that increase in cooked food to become an excuse to deviate from a 100% plant-based diet. It’s when we add non-garden foods like animal flesh or dairy or refined sugar and refined grains back into the diet that we begin to get into trouble.


  1. Wynona Tuley September 17, 2012

    I have breast cancer and since April of this year I have been on the recovery diet and I was wondering how long to I wait to drink my juice or barley max after I have eaten. I am glad to hear that eating cooked food is okay at 25% , I just couldn’t eat raw all the time . I do have trouble drinking any thing after 6pm because of going to the bathroom all night and not getting any sleep . My tumor doesn’t seem to be shrinking very fast and my hair is falling out more then it should . Got any ideas ?

  2. Nwachukwu Franklyn May 10, 2013

    i need to know if a person having sickelcell can be cured by the Hallelujah diet

    Thanks, Nwachukwu Franklyn from Nigeria

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