Eating During Cancer Treatment

Jun 1

I have known a number of people over the years who have suffered from the horrible disease cancer. It is always heart wrenching to see someone go through treament and all the side effects that come with it. Recently my friend and popular tv host Paula Sands of Paula Sands Live! was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and I felt compelled in some way to try to offer her some kind of help or support. Since what I do for a living is cook I figured if nothing else, I could do some research and offer her some suggestions on what she should eat during her treatment.

Here are some of the basics I have learned combining both medical and homeopathic advice.

1) Eliminate refined sugars from your diet. Natural sweeteners like honey or agave nectar are much better sources for sweetening and locally sourced honey has the added benefit of building immunity particularly toward respiratory type ailments.

2) Elimate as many processed or pre-packaged foods from your diet. This is always a good rule of thumb. The more you can make from scratch, the less likely you are to consume potential carcinogens.

3) Drink plenty of water. This helps both with keeping you hydrated but also with flushing toxins from your system.

4) Get plenty of protein, fiber and calories. Weight loss is a very big concern with cancer treatment, which can actually result in a weakened immune system so this is not the time to go on a crash diet. Great sources of protein are greek yogurt, organic cage free eggs and whey protein which can be added to almost anything. I am also a firm believer in increasing your omega 3 fatty acids and chia seeds are an amazing source of this essential nutrient. Flax seed is a mega dose of fiber.

5) Eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for cancer patients. It is the time your most likely to not feel nauseated and therefore more likely to be able to get down a substantial nutrient dense meal.

6) Incorporate spices into your diet that are digestive aids. Cumin, ginger and cinnamon are well known for their digestive properties. One teaspoon of cumin mixed with water can be just as effective as Pepto Bismol in soothing an upset stomach. And in countries like Morocco, Ginger tea and ginger cakes are often served at the end of a meal to help the digestion process.

Here are a couple of breakfast recipes to try:

Super Shake
Yields: Approx. 2 Servings

1 Banana
1 Mango, Peeled
½ Avocado
2 tsps Agave Nectar or to taste
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup organic whole milk
2 tsps Chia Seed
1 Tbl Whey Protein

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, puree using an immersion blender or place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Breakfast Quinoa

1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsps local honey or to taste
2 tsps chia seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbls Pistachios
2 Tbls Raisins
2 Tbls Dried Cranberries

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Add vanilla, honey, chia seed, ginger, cinnamon to quinoa and stir to combine. Adjust sweetness to taste. Top with pistachios, raisins and dried cranberries or whatever fruit you like.

One Response

  1. Becky says:

    These recipes sound wonderful… I will have to give them a try!
    The research you’ve done, the recipes you’ve created, and the tv segments you have done with Paula re: eating while undergoing chemotherapy will help so many people!!!
    Thanks for all you are doing for Paula… you are a sweetheart.

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