My post-chemo re-feeding plan

Standard

I’m adjusting all over again in feeding myself to recover gently and providing a big boost to my very poor immune system.  It’s draining to do this consciously but also exciting to have the freedom to do so!

When I was in hospital, I had to force down protein to recover.

During chemo, I had to “eat well” but not have too many antioxidants in my diet and certainly not take any supplements that the oncologist didn’t prescribe.  (I was only on iron supplements during this time.)  I was not to eat spicy foods for a couple of days after chemo.  I couldn’t tolerate dairy for a few days afterwards either.  I had to eat to maintain strength and so I ate in a manner that would sustain me rather than feed me because nutritious food that I once consumed, would also feed the cancer cells.  Catch 22.

Juicing

I’ve decided to get massive nutrient intake through juicing.  This way, I drink a single glass of the green liquid (starting off on alternate days initially) and get all the nutrients from:
1 carrot
1 apple
half a bunch of spinach (this stuff is as difficult for me to stomach as chicken livers!)
half a lemon
fresh ginger

I couldn’t swallow all that food, whole, in a single sitting.

Banting

A couple of months ago I listened to Prof Tim Noakes speak about this diet.  It’s prescribed mainly for the insulin-resistant (diabetic) but it’s become popular as a weight loss plan.  It’s not a new discovery and prescribes a high fat intake and so few carbs (which convert to sugar / energy), they may as well be zero.

I was very excited as I heard him speak because I’ve known for many months that cancer cells like sugar.  I even had a chemo-pal who’d eat a cupcake before chemo so that the ravenous cancer cells would unwittingly, in their frenzied feed, ingest the drugs!  It’s an interesting take.  Without going into all the detail, here’s an excerpt from the book explaining the exact reason I’m trying it.

“In order for this process [banting / ketosis] to affect cancer cells, you would replace carbohydrates with healthy fats and protein.  By cutting out the ‘food’ of cancer cells – glucose and fructose – you cut off their life-support and force them to die.  When cells are deprived of this fuel, they have to resort to using fat-based ketones.  Normal cells can switch between glucose and ketone bodies, but cancer cells lack that flexibility.”

Nothing to lose, right?  That’s my point.  I’m being reasonable about it and trying it out for 3 months.  I gave chemo a fair chance and didn’t do anything to muddy the results.  Now I’m in charge:-)

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