Thursday, May 26, 2011

Food to Eat if You Have Cancer...

or if you ever don't want to get it!

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(This list was derived from the above book.)

I've recently been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in my lungs, I'm receiving chemo, Gemzar, and also eating the foods on the following list that actually work together with the chemo so you can heal faster.

Here is a list of food that I eat and why I eat it. 2 words you will see a lot in the book are Angiogenesis which is prevent of cancer cells from growing those tentacle like vessels and Apoptosis which is the death of cancer cells

The book I'm reading states that eating healthy — with the following list of foods — actually works w/chemo to rid your body of cancer. The foods listed stimulate apoptosis (death) in cancer cells and inhibit angiogenesis (growth of vessels). In no where in the book does it say to not get chemo. It says while you are on chemo, to eat this stuff.

And remember, sugar feeds cancer. That's why they make you drink the sugar water to get a PET scan, because all that glucose goes straight to the cancer tumor and it sucks up that sugar so it can grow, so try to get off all sugar.

I've never felt better eating this food. I feel like I could run a marathon, but I get tired fast, lol, seeing that I have lung cancer now. I get out of breath going up and down the steps a few times.

Here's what I'm eating and what it does:

Green Tea, 3 cups a day - it reduces the growth of new blood vessels needed for tumor growth and metastases

Olives & Olive Oil - phenolic antioxidants

Tumeric - Helps stimulate apoptosis (death) in cancer cells and inhibit angiogenesis (growth of vessels). 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of tumeric a day mixed with 1/8 tsp of pepper and a table spoon of olive oil. This combo helps your body absorb the benefits of tumeric.

Ginger: protects against certain cancers, it acts against cancer cells. Also helps w/nausea caused by chemo

Cruciform veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy, etc)contains I3Cs-dindole-3-carbinols which are powerful anticancer molecules.

Garlic, onions, leeks, shallots - they promote apoptosis in colon, breast & lung cancers and prostate. Regulates blood sugars, this in turn reduces insulin secretion an dIGF and thus the growth of cancer cells.

Veggies & fruit rich in carotenoids (carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apricots, beets, etc.) - contain vitamin A and lycopene which have the proven capacity to inhibit cell growths of several cancers, stimulate immune cells which then attack tumors

Tomatoes & sauce - must be cooked, has a whole series of anticancer nutrients, and mix w/olive oil to help your body assimilate the lycopenes.

Soy - (my bc was triple neg, so I'm ok w/soy) blocks the stimulation of cancer cells by sex hormones, they also block angiogenesis. Less BC cases in Asia where they eat a lot of soy

Mushrooms - shitake, maitake, cremini, portobello, oyster.... contain polysaccharides and lentinian which stimulate the immune cells. Often used in Japan as a complement to chemotherapy to support the immune system.

Herbs & Spices - rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint are very rich in essential oils of the terpene family and promote apoptosis in cancer cells and reduce their spread by blocking the enzymes needed to invade neighboring tissues. Rosemary is also an anti-inflammatory. Its capacity to enhance the effectiveness of certain chemotherapies.

Parsley and celery contain apigenin, an antiinflammatory that promotes apoptosi and blocks angiogenesis.

Seaweed - several varieties of seaweed commonly eaten in Asia contain molecules that slow cancer growth, especially that of breast, prostate, skin and colon cancer. (luckily I love sushi!! nothing raw tho, since I'm on chemo)

Berries - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries contain ellagic acid and a large number of polyphenols. They stimulate the mechanisms of elimination of carcinogenic substances and inhibit angiogenesis, also promote apoptosis. (I have a berry smoothie everyday made w/soy milk and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil)

Plums, peaches & nectarines - 'stone fruit' contain as many anticancer agents as berries and are cheaper. A study at University of Texas observed that plum extracts had powerful effects against the growth of breast cancer.

Citrus fruits - oranges, tangerines, lemons & grapefruit contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Stimulate the detoxification of carcinogens in the liver. Flavonoids in the skin of tangerines penetrate brain cancer cells and facilitate their death by apoptosis. if using the skin choose organic. Put a piece of skin in the green tea, makes it yummy.

Pomegranate Juice - it has been used in Persian medicine for years. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been confirmed and has the capacity to substantially reduce the development of prostate cancer (among others) even in it's most aggressive forms). In humans daily consumption of pomegranate juice slows the spread of an established prostate cancer by 67%.

Red Wine (although I am not consuming this while on chemo) - contains polyphenols including the celebrated resveratrol. These polyphenols are extracted by fermentation. Reservatrol acts on genes that are known to protect healthy cells against aging. It can also slow the 3 stages of cancer development – initiation, promotion & progression – by blocking the action of NF-kappa B. Only 1 glass per day, drank with food. (More than one glass daily should be avoided, since it may lead to an increase of cancer)

Dark chocolate (my favorite on the list) Must be 70% or more. Contains a number of antioxidants, proanthocyandidins and may polyphenols. (1 square of dark chocolate contains twice as many as a glass of wine or green tea!) These molecules slow the growth of cancer and limit angiogenesis. Consume 20 grams a day. Do not eat milk chocolate, mixing dairy w/chocolate cancels the beneficial effects of the molecules of cocoa.

Vitamin D- reduces the risk of several cancers. Studies published recently have shown positive effects of vitamin D3 on breast cancer, non-small lung cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.

Now obviously I don't eat every single one of those, but from each category I try to eat one each day. For instance, for breakfast I still have my coffee, (not a fancy Starbucks coffee, just plain coffee) then I make a berry smoothie with soy milk and almond milk, for lunch I will have a veggie filled salad and put my "TOP" dressing on it which is 1/4 tsp of Tumerica, Olive Oil and Pepper, mix that in with some balsamic vinegar, a touch of Agave Nectar and some Dijon mustard and you have yourself a tasty dressing. For dinner I eat more veggies, I like to roast them, throw a cut up onion in a roasting pan with red peppers, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, roast those for 20  minutes, then throw in some zuchinni or asparagus... whatever veggies you like. Serve with some grilled Salmon. Snacks I drink my green tea, eat a piece of dark chocolate or some nuts like mixed fancy ones.

I encourage you to pick up the book, it's my cancer 'bible'. It is so informative and uplifting as well.

Here is Dr. Dave, my hero.

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Photosource: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(I hope they don't get upset with me for using it, it's a great cause)

Dr. Dave's list, to eat or not to eat?

Definitely EAT!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

They're Painting the Donuts White....

flipped donut

Imagine, if you will, a daycare full of small toddlers. It’s snack time. The teacher opens up a bag of innocent looking powdered donuts that a mother has brought in. The teacher gingerly places a mini donut on a napkin in front of each child seated at the little table. The kids eagerly dig into their delicious powdered donut covered with titanium dioxide.

Yes, it’s true, some powdered donuts are covered with titanium dioxide, the same ingredient used to make white artists paint, commonly known as titanium white. (If you’ve ever watched Bob Ross make happy little clouds, you know that he used titanium white paint.)

I discovered that they use titanium dioxide in food several months ago, and I was appalled. Do they really think the average consumer is going to pick one powdered donut over another because it’s whiter? Seriously?

The above day care scenario popped into my head, and I immediately thought, oh my God, we are poisoning our children.

Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring substance. They mine for it. Rocks are a naturally occurring substance as well, but we don’t feed rocks to our children.

Apparently titanium dioxide has been approved to consume. However, it has proven to be a carcinogenic (causes cancer) if inhaled. (nice)

Here’s something to chew on…. every time your child (or you) opens up a bag of powdered donuts covered with titanium dioxide and a puff of the powdered sugar comes wafting out of the bag becoming air born, then is it cancerous?

I assume, since it is air born, that would be YES… so what makes it safe to put in food then?

Titanium dioxide is found in pretty much everything we buy, from food, to makeup, sunscreen, and even toothpaste… oh yeah and other stuff like paint and plastic.

After my bout with breast cancer, I can assure you that I am steering clear of anything that contains titanium dioxide.

Titanium dioxide accounts for roughly 70 percent of the pigment used commercially on a global scale,*

Food manufactures (and the powers that be) think that a little bit is safe, that the amount put in the powdered donut couldn’t hurt a fly, but think about this… it’s not just the donut, it’s the other stuff, the candy, cake mixes, makeup, toothpaste, deodorant… you get the idea. One a daily basis you are exposed to titanium dioxide possibly 100 times a day.

So, what is the average person to do?

READ THE LABLES.

Simply read the ingredient list, and if it contains titanium dioxide, then don’t buy it.

I just don’t need titanium dioxide in my life… unless I’m painting happy little clouds.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE: to eat or not to eatI’d say NOT EAT!

*source: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-titanium-dioxide.htm

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

White Death

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That is what my husband calls white sugar. He's been calling it that for at least as long as I've known him, so that's about 20 years.

Have I listened to him? In a nutshell... no.

I should have.

When I told my best friend Theresa that I had breast cancer, she told me a story about a man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Rather than get chemo*, he decided to stop eating sugar. Apparently, his tumor went away.

Hard to believe, right? That's what I thought.

Until I had my food epiphany. In my "bible", Anti Cancer A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, Phd, there are many, many pages dedicated to why sugar is bad. Specifically refined sugars.

Basically, cancer feeds on sugar. What my best friend said was correct.

We all know about carbs (I hope!) and how they work in the body. I always just assumed that sugar was a simple carb, and that was that. It burned up quickly in the body.

Not totally true.

Our bodies do not know how to handle refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup. It's like giving our cells crack. They go nuts. Imagine having cancer cells in your body, when you eat refined sugars you're giving them the ability to stimulate growth with basically rocket fuel.

Aside from the cancer aspect, which, incidentally, has skyrocketed since the industrialized age, you have obesity, diabetes and heart problems from all this excess consumption of sugar.

(On a side note, do you know how they find out where cancer is in your body? They inject your body with glucose (which is sugar) and the glucose rushes to the crazy cancer cells that are rapidly multiplying!)

I could go on and on about why you shouldn't eat sugar, but I think cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart problems might be good enough... don't ya think?

Sugar, aka white death, also hides out in other refined stuff like cereals, sodas, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, sweet dill pickles... tons and tons of processed foods. Your best bet is to start reading labels and educate yourself.

Also try to steer clear of white flour, white rice & pastas... anything that metabolizes quickly, is like sugar and feeds those growing cells.

What's the answer?

If you are thinking Splenda, Equal or Sweet Low, you're on the wrong blog honey... what part of any of those is natural?

My favorite NATURAL sweetener by far is Agave Nectar. It's made from the agave plant, just like tequila! It has calories, 60 per tablespoon, but the taste is just like that of white sugar. However, it has a much lower glycemic index than sugar. The fewer easily-digested sugars and starches a food contains, the less likely it is to create a spike in blood sugar.† I buy my Agave Nectar at Walmart... yep, you read that correctly, Walmart. My local healthfood store also carries it as well as Wholefoods, if you have one.

I haven't yet tried to bake with agave nectar, but I use it in tea, iced tea (which it's awesome for!) and coffee. Also, in my oatmeal... just a touch. And any recipe that calls for a tablespoon of sugar, like a sauce, I'll use the agave nectar.

For white flour, try to use unbleached flour and whole wheat flour. The less refined the better. For cereals, try to eat oatmeal, natural rolled oats. Not something in a package with added sugars that you add hot water too. Remember, anything instant is processed.

Swap white rice for brown or basmati. They taste better anyway.

Steer clear of syrups, aka pancake syrup, corn syrups and the like. Instead invest in some REAL maple syrup for those wholewheat or buckwheat pancakes.

Whoa, whoa, calm down, I know, maple syrup costs a lot of money, but lets think of it this way, we are investing in our lives.

I also switched to using turbinado sugar (aka cane or raw sugar) in baking and my coffee. It's less refined, and also has less calories. Only 11 per teaspoon versus white sugar, which has 16. In my tea and my smoothies, I use a bit of honey.

Making small changes, like swapping out refined white death sugar, for something more natural like turbinado sugar and honey, will help you stay healthy.

REFINED SUGARS: to eat or not to eat, that is the question.

The answer, NOT TO EAT.


*I would never, ever tell anyone not to get chemo. Follow the advice of your doctor.
Taken from All About Agave.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tumeric

tumeric def

Why did I choose tumeric for my first post? Probably because I used some last night in the French onion soup I made. I try to sprinkle a little bit on everything that is savory. It really doesn't alter the taste of what you are making too much, and the health benefits are amazing.

I first discovered tumeric when I had breast cancer. It was about 3 weeks before my mastectomy surgery and I decided that I would shrink the tumor myself. I did some research online and found a list of things that helped fight cancer. For 3 weeks prior I ate everything on the list, totally cleaning out my system.

The bad news is, the tumor didn't shrink. The good news is, it didn't get any bigger.

My tumor was steadily growing even though I received 8 rounds of chemo. I wish I would have found this list 6 months prior. I really have come to believe that food, good and bad food, really effects your health.

Not that I had eaten badly prior to getting cancer. I actually prided myself in knowing what was good and what was bad to eat. Good fats, bad fats... heck, I'd been to Weight Watchers, I knew how to eat healthy... or so I thought.

There are so many hidden things in processed foods. I hope to open some eyes with my blog. My eyes have been opened, and I have come to see that processed foods are the devil. Beware of them.

I try to eat "clean". (I'll talk about clean another day.)

Back to tumeric... after my epiphany, I went to the local health food store and bought the spice. It is said that tumeric sprinkled on cauliflower has shown to prevent prostate cancer, and prevent the spread of breast cancer to the lungs.

Now that last one, well, it's enough to make me run out and buy tumeric!!

Whether or not you have cancer, you may want to sprinkle on the tumeric. I found a list of 20 health benefits of tumeric.

My bible, Anti Cancer A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, Phd, dedicates 3 whole pages to tumeric.

Here are a few ways that I personally use tumeric, and I don't make Indian food... although I might try in the future!

I saute some broccoli with soy sauce and some Chinese hot chilli sauce and sprinkle some tumeric on it.

Sprinkle tumeric on roasted veggies, in sauces, soups, on eggs, salads... anything savory. Like I said, it really doesn't change the taste much.

TUMERIC: to eat or not to eat, that is the question.

The answer, TUMERIC ~ definitely to eat!