Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Having Cancer is the one time in your life when you need to concentrate on yourself first before all the other people in your life. If you don’t make your well-being a priority you won’t have the stamina to do the things in life that might have seemed effortless before.

Someone close to me has joined the Cancer Club, what an unexpected blow. I had hoped this members only Club would stay quite exclusive; the fewer members the better. Remembering the initial days and months of my initiation into the C Club led me to think of the research I did and the steps I took to arm myself for battle with this most formidable of foes.

One of the first things I looked at was my diet. Through the reading I did, I decided to take a holistic approach to my diet and  decided I wouldn’t go on a “diet” but to make a lifestyle change. I have always been concious of the importance of eating healthy and have studied nutrition for years. There is a significant difference in my mind to eating according to a formula such as the “Food Pyramid” and eating for optimum immune system support. When trying to eat more naturally & to support a body that has had or is going to have surgery, chemo, radiation, hormone therapy – whatever the challenge the fuel being put into the body needs to be mindfully chosen to enhance your health not harm it.

There are a few things I would suggest as the first steps in making your food choices healthier and once adopted as your new program for health should become a permanent part of your eating habits. If you search you will find much of the same information I am suggesting and if you visit a naturopath will probably have similar advice. The benefit of visiting a naturopath is that they will know you from their questionaire and the diagnostics they may use to tailor a plan specifically for you. I don’t want to in any way discourage you from visiting a naturopath or a dietician.

First steps Elimination of the least beneficial things in your diet and lifestyle choices.

  • The Number ONE food change to make would be eliminate everything white from your diet. No more white sugar, no more white bread, no more white flour, no more white pasta, no more white potatoes, and no more white rice.
  • No more cold cuts of any sort. Ham, salami, all of it is loaded with nitrates, fat and salt and is of no benefit to your body that is fighting cancer.
  • No more soda pop, no more sugared drinks, & even more important than sugared drinks is diet drinks which are absolutely forbidden.
  • Cut down on fat and salt. Try to stop eating chips, popcorn, etc.
  • Reduce the amount of red meat in your diet.  (tricky that I know, when I was undergoing treatment and for a long time after I had low iron) giving up red meat wasn’t recommended for me. You can cut down on red meat to a couple of times a week just keep it lean and not fried.
  • Get rid of – (throw it right out) any and all instant packaged convenience foods that besides being loaded with salt is also loaded with chemicals and preservatives that does your poor body a great deal of harm.

If you are able to achieve some of these things Fantastic, don’t stress yourself out over it. Just tell yourself you will feel better (and you will) if you can support your immune system and make it easier for your body to concentrate on the most important task at hand.  I will talk more about what should be INCLUDED in your Cancer Fighting Arsenal next post. If you are interested in visiting a site with fantastic food advice, nutrition recipes and much more visit the Real Age web site which includes a section by the Drs. Roizen and Oz.


I know from experience that in the coming days and months for some people undergoing cancer treatment, food becomes  part of the battle. Trying to eat when you don’t want to, but you need to. Trying not to lose too much weight, trying not to gain too much weight. There are some soothing foods, comforting foods, foods that seem to make you feel good as soon as you start eating them. I will get to them in the next post and will include some recipes from time to time. Meanwhile you will find that most of the recipes I have featured on this blog are truly delicious and healthy.  Stay strong.

Learn wisdom from the ways of a seedling. A seedling which is never hardened off through stressful situations will never become a strong productive plant. Stephen Sigmund

there is always light at the end of the tunnel

there is always light at the end of the tunnel


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The author of ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food” Michael Pollan whose golden rule is one worth living by as much as one is able- “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” answers questions from readers about how the Eater’s Manifesto should be interpreted by people who live in a cold climate.  The answers are one’s that many of us struggle with. Should I buy local when the only organic product available has been shipped from another country or continent?  Read the article for Michael Pollan’s answer. What would you do?


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Eat for a Future

OK Kids the biggest risk to your health is heart disease. Heart disease is affecting younger and younger people every year. Here is a strategy to minimize your risk, if you are young and healthy and want to stay that way learning now to Eat for a Future might be one of the most important things you ever do. It is most very significant for the young person whose health has been compromised. Today more and more of our young people are facing serious health challenges at younger ages. NEVER doubt for a moment that all life is created equal and precious. You who feel marginalized, overlooked, spurned by the in-crowd have more in common with the stressed weight obsessed young social butterfly than you know. The isolation and loneliness so many of us live with is a crushing burden. A burden that is harder and harder to bear if you develop vitamin deficiencies, weight control issues and health problems. Unfortunately the skinny among you can have just as much or more to worry about when it comes to blood pressure. If you: smoke, eat too many salty food/snacks, don’t exercise, and eat poorly you may be at even greater risk of High blood pressure.

The thing is that having a larger perspective and imagining a future that is healthy and happy is something you can and should do. You must value your life, I know it’s hard sometimes to care about tomorrow in this screwed up world but take it from me when you are really standing face to face with your mortality the vast majority of you will wish for the choice to choose life. Take pleasure in the small things, be the best person you can be. I have tried sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully to inspire those close to me to eat in a healthier way. Imagine if you will that you have been told that unless you change your habits that you will develop a terminal illness. How does that make you feel? Like a large foot just kicked you in the stomach? Well my dear, it is quite literally true that unhealthy lifestyle will kill you sooner or later. The problem really is this; for you cynics out there that say “I don’t care.” You think that dying young is preferable to dying sick and old, but you don’t get it yet; you will be young and sick and dying.

The most difficult hurdle to cross is accepting that you have to make a change and following through with the desire to change. My eldest son was critically ill during the blackout of August 2003 with life threatening antibiotic resistant pneumonia; learning at the age of 19 that life can be fragile was a difficult lesson for all of us. (more…)

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Last night I assembled what was in the fridge on the counter for dinner. One large salmon steak cooked (our eyes were bigger than our stomachs so we each only ate half the night before) A small bowl of stir fried zucchini, onion and spinach (leftover) A bag of new red potatoes and 1 package of tomatoes on the vine. The tomatoes were begging to be used soon, so voila Speedy Roasted Tomato Potato was the result. We loved it. Hope you do too.

12 ozs cocktail size tomatoes

3 med new red potatoes

1 vidalia onion

2 tblsp olive oil

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp basil

pepper to taste

½ tsp sea salt

freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking dish with parchment paper. Scrub potatoes, prick with fork microwave 3 minutes. Remove slightly cooked potatoes, cut in 6th‘s, Cut tomatoes in ¼’s, and thinly slice onion. Drizzle olive oil over all, stir and add herbs with pepper and salt. Stir. Grate desired amount of parmesan over top. Bake uncovered for ½ hour. Serve.   Health bonus- this ” mediterranean diet” type dish is lycopene rich and gluten free.

Bon Apetit!


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dscn0449A rainy spring day seems like the perfect time to make a pot of homemade soup. Its pouring here today so while the garden soaks up Mother nature’s bounty I’m going to go make some hot nourishing soup.

Pumpkin Soup

Recipe information: I first made this soup in the fall of 2006. Jay’s 1st year of College, it quickly became a favourite. Best made with fresh pie pumpkin (use butternut squash if pumpkin not available or a combination) The bright and beautiful flesh of the  pumkin and butternut squash are rich sources of nutrient prized for their hefty doses of the antioxidants vitamin A and beta-carotene. It feels great to eat something that is as good for you as it is to eat.


1 small sweet pumpkin (aka. Pie pumpkin)

Or 12 cups peeled and large cubes Butternut Squash

3 carrots sliced

1  large onion

2  stalks celery

1  large piece celery root (aka celeriac)

2  small cloves garlic

2  tblsp. Butter

2 sprigs thyme

½ tsp ground coriander seed)

2-3 tblsp. Curry Powder (optional- jazz up flavour)

1 bay leaf

1 carton organic chicken or vegetable broth

add water or milk to obtain desired thickness

Pinches of salt and pepper.

generous pinch of nutmeg


  • Peel pumpkin or squash. Cut in half discard seeds. Chop pumpkin into cubes (approx 12cups)
  • Chop onion & celery. Mince garlic. Saute until onion softens 3-4 min. Stir in pumpkin. Add thyme, bay leaf and coriander. Stir. Add broth.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover & simmer 20min. or until pumpkin is soft. Remove thyme & bay leaf.
  • Puree with hand held blender or food processor until pureed, then strain back into saucepan. (My family actually prefer this soup not too smooth)
  • If soup is too thick add more broth. Keeps well refrigerated up to 3 days.
  • Just before serving garnish with cream, nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

Bon Apetit!

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Fast Facts

Aging, Lack of Vit. B12 linked to Brain Shrinkage

A University of Oxford Study published in ‘Neurology’ tested 107 men and women aged avg 73 scanned with M.R.I. showing  no brain impairment were followed for 5 years. Blood tests were used to measure the levels of Vitamin B12. The group with the lowest levels of  Vitamin B12 lost twice as much brain volume as those with the highest levels.  The difference was significant even after allowing for initial brain size, age, sex, education, cognitive test scores and various measures of blood chemistry.  Other studies suggest that the elderly develop deficiency at a higher measure B12 level. Pending the results of further trials it is suggested that diet in the elderly needs to be well managed to ensure better than adequate B12 levels.

Authors. A. Vogiatzoglou, MSc, H. Refsum, MD, PhD, C. Johnston, S. M. Smith, DPhil, K. M. Bradley, FRCR, FRCP, C. de Jager, PhD, M. M. Budge, MD and A. D. Smith, DPhil, FMedSci
World’s Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of:
vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Food Serving
Cals Amount
Foods Rating
Calf’s liver, braised 4 oz-wt 187.1 41.39 689.8 66.4 excellent
Snapper, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 145.2 3.97 66.2 8.2 excellent
Venison 4 oz-wt 179.2 3.60 60.0 6.0 very good
Shrimp, steamed/boiled 4 oz-wt 112.3 1.69 28.2 4.5 very good
Scallops, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 151.7 2.00 33.3 4.0 very good
Salmon, chinook, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 261.9 3.25 54.2 3.7 very good
Beef tenderloin, lean, broiled 4 oz-wt 240.4 2.92 48.7 3.6 very good
Lamb loin, roasted 4 oz-wt 229.1 2.45 40.8 3.2 good
Cod, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 119.1 1.18 19.7 3.0 good
Halibut, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 158.8 1.55 25.8 2.9 good
Yogurt, low-fat 1 cup 155.1 1.38 23.0 2.7 good
Cow’s milk, 2% 1 cup 121.2 0.89 14.8 2.2 good
Egg, whole, boiled 1 each 68.2 0.49 8.2 2.2 good
Authors. A. Vogiatzoglou, MSc, H. Refsum, MD, PhD, C. Johnston, S. M. Smith, DPhil, K. M. Bradley, FRCR, FRCP, C. de Jager, PhD, M. M. Budge, MD and A. D. Smith, DPhil, FMedSci

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