Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eating For Health and Giving Thanks

As this holiday approaches, I reflect on all that I have to be thankful for. So much has happened to me over the last year that as I sit here with a head of hair, my health and happiness, I breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to eating turkey. Of course my mind eventually wandered to food. What I started to think about is the change in my eating habits over the past year. The transformation has been dramatic. First there is what I ate before cancer, then what I ate during cancer and what I eat now. These are all very different things.
Before I had cancer, I ate a lot of refined sugar, a lot of animal protein and very few raw fruits and vegetables. My favorite breakfast was a cup of coffee and three oreo cookies. Yum! I would have a piece of chicken and some nuts for lunch and then a salad and some sort of animal protein for dinner. I thought that I was eating pretty well so I never took any vitamin supplements.

Then I got diagnosed with cancer and I ate everything in sight. I ate three squares and two snacks each day to "gain my strength" for the battle ahead. I put on a quick five pounds before my surgery as I enjoyed every piece of chocolate cake that came my way. I was sure that I would lose the weight after my surgery and sure enough I did.

When I underwent chemotherapy, I actually gained the weight I had lost right back. I kept trying to quell the nausea from the chemo with food. I craved a french fries and a chicken sandwich on many occasions and ate them whenever I could. Unfortunately, the greasy french fry cure that works for a hangover doesn't quite cut it for chemo. It just added inches to my waistline. Eventually, I would find that ginger calmed my stomach and chicken with brown rice in a little bit of cream of mushroom soup was a calming meal for my tumultuous tummy.
Now I have finally dropped a couple of the pounds that I gained and I am getting back into good physical shape. I cut out most of the refined sugar in my diet. I stick to whole grains and very little red meat or chicken. I try to eat salmon to boost my Omega- 3's and lots of berries for their antioxidant properties. I take vitamins regularly now to try to boost my immune system so it doesn't go haywire again.

This year, as in years past, I will enjoy eating too much and watching football on the last Thursday of November. I can't wait for some pumpkin pie and whipped cream! Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


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