Food changed my life

In the second of our series on how food can change lives Connell McNelis tells us how food helped him regain his health and passion for life College of Naturopathic Medicine and led him to study Nutritional Therapy with CNM.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal kidney cancer which had spread to other parts of my body. The chemotherapy drugs were making me feel horrendous, so I made a personal decision to come off them. I started to research ways to help myself, and everything I found out seemed to point to nutrition.

My first step was attending a raw food health retreat. This gave me the foundation I needed to try and follow a vegan diet consisting of a whole food, plant-based diet, cutting out meat, dairy, sugar, and all processed foods. This was extreme, and very difficult for me at first, but gradually became easier. I had never really eaten much fresh fruit or many vegetables and I had lived on a diet of sugar and processed food, for convenience.

I used to drink a lot of fizzy pop, milk and protein shakes. But somehow I managed to drastically change my diet, going vegan and juicing organic vegetables every day. It’s been two and a half years since I began doing this, and so far my scans have been clear. No-one can forecast the future, but I can honestly say that I am now in the best shape of my life, and food has played an important part in that change.

I have never felt so good, from running a half marathon, to spending quality time with my family.

I love waking up in the morning and making my shot of wheatgrass before my vegetable juice. By eating this way I know that I am alkalising my body with all those leafy green vegetables giving me the tools to help prevent disease.

What I learnt from my research was that nutrition is the first and best defence in preventing disease. A modern diet provides a perfect environment for cancer to develop and spread. Processed food is generally so lacking in nutrition, or full of things that aren’t good for us, that it’s no wonder to me that more and more people are getting sick. In contrast, changing your diet can boost your body’s chances of healing.

I’m not recommending what I do as any kind of treatment of, or cure for cancer. I’ve gained the most enormous passion for life, and I just want to share knowledge which might in some way help support others who are struggling with their own health journey. So I’ve set up a website with information on what I’m doing, called

I work full time as a Design Engineer, but I’ve now also embarked on a Nutritional  Therapy Diploma Course at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, so that I have some credentials when talking to others about nutrition.

I’m really enjoying my studies, and feel like a sponge when it comes to all the fantastic knowledge I’m gaining. I truly believe that learning how the body functions, and the effect that food has on that process, is the most powerful knowledge that any of us can have, when it comes to health.


“What I learnt from my research was that nutrition is the first and best defence in preventing disease”. Connell McNelis.

CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine)
is the UK’s leading training, provider in a range of natural therapies, including Diploma Courses in Nutrition, Herbal Medicine,  Acupuncture, Homeopathy,  Naturopathy,  and, Natural Chef Training,  all based on, the naturopathic approach.

Colleges, across the UK,  Ireland,  Finland, South Africa and the USA.,
For further information visit, or, call 01342 410 505.

Food changed my life Thrive Health & Nutrition Magazine