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Online Nutrition Certification Exclusively for Health Professionals | Fast-Track | Online | On-Demand | At Your Own Pace | Unparalleled Expertise

The Two Staple Nutrition System For Cancer Patients

- Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP


The Two Staple System gives you an exact blueprint to follow everyday that is a practical, easy-to-follow formula, which allows you to put your nutritional knowledge into action in the everyday life. This simple nutritional system will create a flexible structure, which allows you to choose the foods and recipes that best suit your taste preferences and lifestyle. The key to success is to make this as simple, realistic, and as easy as possible.

The Two Staple-System Explained

The reality is that you only have to concern yourself with two food staples on this program, low fat protein foods and healthy carbohydrate foods.

1. Low Fat Protein Foods provide the building blocks of your body’s structure: its muscles, bone, skin, hair, and nails. They are vital for the optimal performance of your immune system and the manufacture of specialized body proteins. On this program you will consume a low-fat protein selection at every meal (three meals per day) - one low-fat dairy protein selection (at breakfast) and two low-fat flesh protein foods (one at lunch and one at dinner) per day, which will provide you with most of the protein you need. Some additional protein comes from various carbohydrate foods such as beans, peas, and grains. You will also get the bulk of your calcium, vitamin D, iron, and vitamin B12 requirements from these daily protein foods. 

Keep in mind that in the management of cancer the more of a plant-based diet you consume the better. This means that you can choose plant foods that contain protein in place of dairy products, fish and poultry, as much as you are able, provided you ingest sufficient protein to support your muscle mass and immune system. Some plant foods high in protein include: Soy Products – tofu, miso, soy beans, soy nuts etc Beans and Peas – minimum serving size is one cup in order to achieve 8-16 gms of protein.

2. The Second Staple Is Carbohydrate Foods, which are converted by your body into glucose that powers every cell in your body. By not over ingesting carbohydrates and adhering to a walking program for a minimum of 30 minutes per day, you will prevent the conversion of carbohydrates into fat. Many healthy carbohydrates are high in dietary fiber and other protective nutrients that help fight cancer and other degenerative diseases.

What Else You Should Know - Except for your intake of oils (food preparation, salad dressings etc.), you do not need to formally regulate the portion sizes on this program, unless you are beginning from an over weight state. If you are at or near your ideal body weight then you should eat the amount of food that your body tells you it needs, and get the grams of protein you need, which a minimum of one gram of protein for every kilogram you weigh. (To convert pounds into kilograms divide by 2.2.)

Low Fat Protein Foods

Flesh Protein:

Chicken breast (skin removed) turkey breast (skin removed) Cornish game hens, fish, seafood (note that soy products such as tofu and veggie burgers, etc, are alternate choices in this category)

Dairy Protein:

low-fat cheese (less than 4% M.F.) plain yogurt (less than 2 % M. F.) milk (less than 2 % M. F.), egg whites, protein shake (whey, egg white or soy-based)


Category 1 Carbohydrates – should comprise 50% of your carbohydrate intake each day and include non-sweet vegetables that are low glycemic and rich in anticancer nutrients: See Examples Below: 

  • Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, boy choy, turnips 
  • Greens – rapini, spinach, asparagus, romaine lettuce, etc 
  • Beans and Peas of all types (emphasis on soy beans, edamame if possible, along with chick peas, red kidney beans, lentils, black beans) 
  • Other – zucchini, mushrooms, onions, garlic, tomatoes, red peppers etc

Category 2 Carbohydrates – should comprise 30% of your carbohydrate intake each day and include sweeter fruits and vegetables that are higher glycemic but also include important anti-cancer nutrients: See Examples Below: 

  • Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes 
  • Most sweet fruits including as wide variety of colours as possible, with emphasis on red grapes, raspberries, cranberries and blueberries 

Category 3 and 4 Carbohydrates, which are the starchy carbohydrates such Bread, Pasta, Rice and Potatoes – should comprise no more than 20-25% of your carbohydrate intake each day, with maximum emphasis on Category 3 Carbohydrates, which are High In Fiber, whereas the Category 4 Carbohydrates are white bread, white pasta, white rice. The best choices include:

  • Brown Rice 
  • Other Whole Grains (wheat, quinoa, etc) 
  • Whole grain, spelt, gluten-free pasta 
  • Whole grain and flax breads

Category 5 Carbohydrates – should comprise no more than 5% of your carbohydrate intake each day. These include sugary treats such as: 

  • Low fat granola bars 
  • Rice Crispy Square 
  • Low fat muffin 6 of 13 
  • Other sugary treats

The Two Staple System Meal Plan

With this program, you eat three meals each day. At each meal you must choose a low fat protein staple and surround it with two or three healthy carbohydrate foods. For breakfast your protein staple comes from a low-fat dairy selection. If you are lactose intolerant then I suggest that you find a lactose-free, low-fat dairy alternative, or egg white-based breakfast selection, or use the Adeeva protein shake (whey protein to strengthen your immune system) option. For lunch and dinner, you can choose a low fat protein staple from the low-fat flesh protein selections, and surround them with two or three healthy carbohydrate foods. If you are hungry between meals then it is best to eat some fruit or from time to time you can use a Category 5 Carbohydrate treat (eg low fat granola bar)

Two Staple Nutrition System Summarized

1. Breakfast: Dairy Protein Meal - one low-fat dairy selection with two healthy carbohydrate selections 

2. Lunch: Flesh Protein Meal - one low-fat flesh protein selection with two to three healthy carbohydrate selections 

3. Dinner: Flesh Protein Meal - one low fat flesh protein selection with two to three healthy carbohydrate selections

Adapting The Program For Vegetarians And Those Seeking More Soy Foods

Vegetarians can substitute a number of different soy products for the flesh protein meal, as can non-vegetarians who are trying to include more soy products into their diet (something we encourage). Most soybean products are moderately high in protein, but you should eat them with beans, peas and some whole grain products such as brown rice or other whole grain products to get additional protein, at any given meal. Tofu, miso, tempeh, and texturized vegetable proteins are all reasonable sources of protein. If you are a vegetarian be sure to take a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement that includes the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 and iron.

Of course, soy milk or rice milk can substitute for a low-fat dairy selection in the morning.

Four Other Components To Track Each Day

As well as making sure you have one dairy-protein meal, and two flesh protein meals, every day, you must keep track of three other things to ensure that your diet is as healthy as possible - oil, fluids, and fiber.

1. Oils

You should add one to two teaspoons of monounsaturated oil to your diet every day to help get the health-promoting benefits provided by these fats and to acquire the bit of linoleic acid (an essential fat the body needs) from these sources You could mix olive oil with vinegar to make salad dressings or use it to sauté your vegetables or to brown some chicken or turkey breast etc.

The rest of the fat in your diet will come from the small amounts of fat that are present in the low-fat dairy and flesh protein selections, as well as in some of the Category 5 Carbohydrates snacks and treats allowed in small amounts

2. Water and Fluids

Try to drink at least six to eight glasses of fluids every day. If possible, drink distilled water or water that has undergone a process of reverse osmosis and deionization. You can drink some soda water, mineral water, or water from a deep spring. We also recommend that you drink 3-6 cups of green tea each day. Matcha Green Tea is reported to have a very high yield of the anti-cancer nutrients known as polyphenolic catechins.

3. Fiber

To help detoxify your colon you must satisfy your body’s requirements for dietary fiber.

This will naturally occur as you focus your diet on carbohydrate intake from Category 1,2 and 3 carbohydrate choices, as well as using two tablespoons of ground flaxseed powder per day . Additional fiber can be acquired from pysillium husk fiber supplementation. Using a high fiber breakfast cereal, low fat popcorn, beans and peas, broccoli and apples, are also great ways to attain a higher fiber score each day.

4. Protective Vegetable Broth

To fortify your body with optimal amounts of anti-cancer nutrients from food that block key steps in the progression of cancer and support immune function, it is essential to have 8 ounces of the Protective Vegetable Broth, three times daily between meals (see the Protective Vegetable Broth Recipe)

Solution-Substitutions Snack Foods

High-Risk Foods


1. Ooey-Gooey


cheese cake

low fat muffins

Chocolate Cake

fresh fruit,


Whole Grain bagels


raisin bread,


low-fat cookies (e.g., Fig Newtons, gingersnaps, or graham crackers)

2. Chippy-Dippy


potato chips

melba toast, low-fat biscuits or rice crackers with salsa, 

Nacho Chips

melba toast, low-fat biscuits or rice crackers with hummus (chick pea spread)

cheese twists

low fat popcorn (less than 1.5 grams fat/3cups),

cheesies etc

Pretzels, roasted chestnuts


lupine beans

3. Frozen desserts


ice cream sundaes or

low-fat frozen yogurt, sherbets,


frozen fruit ices (very occasionally)

Note: Do not have these at home. These frozen desserts are items you may choose on occasion if you are out for dinner and everyone else is having a rich dessert and you are feeling a bit deprived. These become your solution-substitutions in these moments.

4. Bars


chocolate bars

low fat granola bar or nut-seed bar.

Don’t load up your home with these tempting sweet things or you will likely over consume them. The best snack to have in your home is low fat popcorn, fruit salad, whole grain rice crackers and salsa or hummus.

Global Integrative Medicine Academy

The Global Integrative Medicine Academy was created to satisfy a need, expressed by many health professionals, to establish credentials as experts in Nutritional Medicine. But, health professionals also needed to be able to complete the programme with a minimum impact on their career, family, and lifestyle. That is why the Advanced Nutritional Medicine and Sports Nutrition Certification Program was created.