As I was reveling in my Saturday night bowl of ice cream with Hershey’s syrup I was thinking about my diet and how I’ve become kind of half-assed about the changes I vowed to make following my cancer diagnosis. I’ve improved my diet considerably and lost a fair amount of weight during treatment, but it’s reached a plateau. I am a size 16 and that is about 3 sizes bigger than I should be. These past few months it has been very hard to exercise because of the pain from my expanders. But there is no excuse for not tightening up my diet. I’ve even tried to justify to myself that I deserve a reward after all I’ve been through, if I want a brownie I’m having a damn brownie. I may not have that many brownies left in my life. I gave up alcohol you guys, I’ve got to have SOMETHING. But in the end it’s not really a reward if I’m not at a healthy weight and in turn, increasing my risk factors for cancer recurrence. I don’t want to become a vegan but I do want to be more consistent with eating clean. Some changes I’ve already made include no more frozen Lean Cuisine type meals and limiting canned soups, or other prepackaged foods with artificial ingredients and preservatives. I very rarely eat fast food. I buy organic or natural chicken and deli meats, eggs and olive oil or natural cooking spray, I rarely have soda, and I also buy organic produce as much as possible. The nutritionist that visited me during chemotherapy gave me this list which indicates which produce you should strive to buy organic. It’s called the dirty dozen-clean fifteen. I may have already posted this, but I think it’s helpful and I do try to adhere to it.
There is so much information about cancer causing foods and toxic products sometimes I wish I just lived off the grid. Everywhere I turn I’m inundated with ads pushing natural this and organic that. And it’s not just food-it’s candles, shampoos, deodorants, makeup, household cleaning products and the list goes on. Let’s examine the food. As a cancer survivor it is recommended I forego sugar, meat, certain produce exposed to pesticides, grapefruit, white flour, polyunsaturated and saturated fats just to name a few. According to breastcancer.org, “research is needed to better understand the effect of diet on breast cancer risk. But it is clear that calories do count — and fat is a major source of calories. High-fat diets can lead to being overweight or obese, which is a breast cancer risk factor. Overweight women are thought to be at higher risk for breast cancer because the extra fat cells make estrogen, which can cause extra breast cell growth. This extra growth increases the risk of breast cancer.” In my case the cancer was estrogen driven and with my body mass index those cells were executing a sneak attack and hostile takeover of my left breast and plotting occupation of my right. I found a website where you can click on a food and it tells you whether it’s good, bad or indifferent to cancer.
Just about everything I clicked on said stuff like “bacon is not recommended for breast cancer” and “cheese is not recommended for breast cancer.” It looks like a plant based diet is recommended. It’s really a lot of information to absorb so I’m going to try and continue to make changes a little at a time like baby steps. I do know there is very little chance I will observe a 100% white sugar-white flour-dairy-gluten-gmo-animal protein free diet but I don’t think it has to be all or nothing.
Next stop-surgery. The next phase of my reconstruction which is the expander-implant exchange, is in two and a half weeks. My pre-op with The Boob Whisperer is Monday so I need to start writing down my questions to be prepared.