Eating is such a tricky thing when you are going through cancer treatment. Either you are not hungry, are nauseous, or have terrible acid reflux. Even though I received very strong Chemotherapy treatment I did very well compared to the other people on my hospital floor. Mealtimes were challenging as I could hear many people down the hall being sick from just seeing food.
I was lucky to be in a very good university hospital in California. They really tried their best and had a menu from which you could pick your meals for the coming lunch and dinner every morning. The staff was fantastic and they even had nutritionists who did their best to work with what the hospital could offer. That being said, the meals were lacking real substance and nutrients. The vegetables were either frozen or from cans and the main protein was far from great. I always felt hungry after eating. I was so used to nourishing organic vegetables and proteins at home – you can taste and feel the difference.
My amazing wife would bring extra food from home, mostly pureed cooked vegetables which were a powerhouse of nutrition. I understand that not everyone has access to organic food or the energy to prepare high-quality meals. Many of you dealing with Cancer and still trying to work or take care of a family. I hear from a lot of you who continue to work through chemo or radiation treatments, taking off only when absolutely necessary because you don’t have a choice.
So what can you eat when you have cancer?
I should start by saying that I am not a nutritionist and am open to all ideas when it comes to nutrition. The following is what I have learned from working with a nutritional coach and what helped me feel better. What should you eat during your cancer treatment and once your treatment is over? I always aim for maximum nutrition with the least amount of energy expenditure. As a general rule, I would suggest eating at least one or two different kinds of steamed organic vegetables with your lunch and dinner.
Why cooked vegetables vs raw?
Raw vegetables are great but most of us are lacking the energy to digest them properly. Cooked vegetables, by this I mean steamed, are already semi-broken down and much easier to digest. It is easier to eat a bag of spinach steemed than it is to eat it raw. Cooked vegetables contain concentrated nutrients and are much easier on the digestive system. Raw vegetables have a higher chance of containing bugs which can cause unnecessary stress on your body. Always wash your vegetables really well, especially broccoli and kale. I like to steam my vegetables let them cool off and eat them with a light vinaigrette or even some tahini and salt. You can get creative with the dressing and it will help you eat more vegetables.
7 to 13 servings of varied vegetables per day???
This will sound insane but this is the recommended amount of daily vegetable servings we should be eating to get the recommended amount of nutrients our bodies need to thrive. This is about 7 servings per meal or 13 servings per day. Even as a compliant adult who has organic cooked vegetables with each meal I am far from 7 servings per meal. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who has time to prepare that amount of vegetables on a daily basis and if you have kids it is even harder. This is when we have to get creating and hide vegetables in pasta sauce or in smoothies but even then we are far far away from the ideal.
My Nutrition Hack
My first hack is to take whole food vegetable and fruit caps. They provide me with the nutritional equivalent of eating a variety of 30 fruits and vegetables each day. This is a game-changer for me and so many who are looking for ways to bridge the gap between what they know they should be eating and what they actually eat. I have been taking these daily and have noticed increased energy levels, fewer cravings for carbs and sugars as well as a bigger interest in fresh vegetables which is amazing!
Organic lean meat vs red meat
Eating some type of lean organic meat regularly helps to provide much-needed protein and energy to the body. Organic chicken, organic turkey, wild game, and a little lamb or bison are excellent. I would stay clear of beef which is just too hybridized and really not healthy unless you can get non-hybridized meat straight from a local and reputable ranch. Eggs and Beef were not recommended for me when I had active cancer. They were said to have too much iron and it seems that even though many of us show up as anemic, we have too much biounavailable iron in our system. (iron that the body is not able to process)
Raw dairy is best!
Dairy should be avoided unless it is raw. If you pay attention you will notice that you will have more phlegm/mucus or will feel bloated after you eat dairy. The reason behind this is pasteurization which basically kills off all the active beneficial properties of dairy products. Raw goat or raw cow milk and cheese are good in moderation but pasteurized milk is best avoided even if it is grass-fed organic.
Freshly juiced organic carrot juice is excellent, I try to have some at least 2-3 times per week. I recently started adding some organic aloe juice to it and have been enjoying how I feel on those days. Aloe helps to oxygenate the body and stimulates the bone marrow to create more red and white blood cells which most cancer patients and survivors are low in.
I realize this article is quite simple but it lays a good framework for a healthy diet. I am especially excited about my vegetable and fruit capsules which help me get optimal whole-food based nutrients every day even when I don’t eat as well as I would like. For those that can’t swallow pills, they also come in chewable form.
What did you eat or are you eating during your cancer journey?