Receiving a diagnosis of breast may contribute to feelings of loss of control over your body. Although there are many things you may not be able to control during and following diagnosis and treatment, you can take charge of two important factors; what you eat and whether you exercise.
How you feel during your recovery may be influenced by what type of surgery and treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation) you have, as well as your fitness level prior to diagnosis. Regardless of your particularly path, however, you can regain feelings of wellness by taking charge of your nutritional and exercise needs.
Some of the concerns you may have could include appetite and weight changes due to stress, hormone levels, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, as well as decreased activity levels following surgery and treatment. Healthful and mindful eating especially when coupled with regular exercise, can help both to manage your weight during your treatment period, as well as to feel better during this time.
The following are some suggestions for managing dietary concerns relating to breast cancer and to chemotherapy and other treatments:
1. Eat light meals at regular and frequent (every 3 to 3-½ hours) intervals.
2. Eat unprocessed foods. Avoid foods containing hydrogenated oils, soy protein isolate, sugars and preservatives.
3. Emphasize eating lean proteins (look for organic meats where available, and avoid GMOs), organic fruits and veggies (especially those where the skin/peel is thin), as well as whole grains.
4. Eat healthy fats. Dietary fat in the correct amount is important for the absorption of certain important vitamins (A, D, E and K). Healthy fats include those found in, for example, certain fish, nuts and seeds, avocados and olive oil.
5. Stick to complex (nutrient-rich) carbohydrates. These will be found in your colorful fruits and veggies as well as in whole grains.
6. Look for antioxidant foods. Good sources include red berries of all types, blueberries, pomegranates and beets.
7. Also eat plenty of dark green leafy veggies such as spinach and kale. Consider "green drinks" (blending raw spinach or kale with other fruits and veggies such as carrots, beets, apples berries) for an easy way to insure getting the necessary amount of these "superfoods".
8. Avoid sugar. Sugar provides little nutrition and lots of empty calories.
9. Avoid or dramatically reduce use of sauces and dressings. They are usually of little nutritional value and, while they may add flavor, they also contribute excess calories. Instead, try using fresh herbs and seasonings.
10. Take a daily probiotic (check with your doctor first).
Welcome to all of the beautiful women fighting (and beating) breast cancer! Journey to Wellness LLC is the culmination of my imaginings during the past 18 months following my own diagnosis. This website is created so that we can share experiences, insights and information regarding fitness, nutrition and ways to continue to feel and look well throughout our journeys with breast cancer.