Creating Healthy, Appetizing Meals for Cancer Patients by guest blogger Jillian McKee.
Cancer patients face a myriad of difficulties that range from large, such as undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, to small, such as the fact that food often tastes different during and even after cancer treatment. However, even smaller issues can take on greater importance, as an OncoLog article points out that cancer patients who lose just 5 percent or more in body weight may have a harder time tolerating chemotherapy and have higher mortality rates.
Cancer patients often experience symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, sore mouth and/or throat and dry mouth during treatment. In addition, the emotional effects of having cancer and the stress of having to deal with treatment and fears and anxiety that are associated with cancer can cause patients to lose their appetite or have regular nausea or vomiting.
Because of these issues, many cancer patients need a specific nutrition plan to help them maintain a healthy weight and nutrition level despite not feeling well or hungry.
If you or your loved one has a cancer diagnosis, such as having been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is a good idea to design a nutrition meal plan for before, during and after treatment. Many patients do not have the energy to go to the store or make meals during treatment or when they do not feel well, so loved ones may want to go for them or cancer patients may want to go to the store and prepare some meals on days when they feel better to have items on hand later on.
Examples of some nutritious, healthy food that should appeal to cancer patients and be gentle on their bodies include the following:
- Clear broth soups with pasta, such as noodles or stars
- Fruit juice, milk, tea, water, electrolyte-rebalancing sports drinks
- Mild cheeses, such as American, cream cheese, or cottage cheese
- Scrambled eggs
- Baked chicken
- Whole wheat bread for turkey sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and peanut butter toast
- Mashed potatoes
- Well-steamed vegetables that are tender and soft
- Enriched cereals, both hot and cold
- Fruit sherbet
- Greek yogurt
- Canned fruit
- Corn (off the cob)
- Protein snack bars
- Tuna fish sandwiches
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies
- Pita bread and hummus
If you are looking for ways to add protein to the diet, considering making tuna or turkey melts with cheese and add grated cheese to soup, mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. Also, try making yogurt drinks and smoothies with some protein powder mixed in.
Adding calories to someone with an upset stomach or poor appetite can be difficult, so appeal to the specific cravings of the cancer patient and add calories to meals and treats. For example, offer granola, which is high in fat and calories, for breakfast or add to yogurt for a snack. Try dried fruit as a snack or a treat.
Speak with your doctor for additional nutritional tips and to find out what areas of the meal plan needs additional focus, such as adding protein or calories. Remember that a healthy, nutritious diet will help the patient feel better with more energy and experience an improved quality of life. Spending the time and energy to create a workable meal plan is always worthwhile.
About Jillian McKee
Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.
Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jillian/
Cantonese Egg Foo Yung
3 oz oyster mushrooms
1 cup finely diced Bok Choy stalks
1 sweet red pepper, diced finely
1/2 cup onion chopped
3 T vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 T dry sherry or dry vermouth
1 cup chicken broth
1 T each soy sauce and chili sauce
hot red pepper sauce to taste
1 T cornstarch
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan, except 1/2 c chicken broth and cornstarch.
Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup broth and add to sauce pan and heat and stir until thickened.
Place oil in a saute pan and saute the veggies until soft.
Remove from heat.
Place eggs in a bowl and add sherry or vermouth. Mix but do not beat.
Add cooled vegetables.
Heat 1 T of oil in a pan, when hot, ladle egg/veggie mixture into pancake sized rounds and cook on medium heat. Turn and cook until brown on both sides.
Plate and dress with sauce.
Check out my Friday Fast Food Tips video: http://ow.ly/bU2xz
I read a lot!
Anything that has to do with food, farming and good health.
The book The Jungle Effect has been recommended to me over and over and finally I had the opportunity to read it.
Seems that there are "cold spots" all over the world where certain diseases are virtually non-existent.
The inhabitants from these areas only retain their disease-free status when they eat the indigenous food. If they move elsewhere and adopt a more modern diet the incidents of the disease rises to the level of modern times.
The factor making the area disease-free is the food not genetics.
Each disease has a different "cold spot".
There is Okinawa, Japan for breast and prostate cancer.
Cameroon, West Africa for bowel issues.
Iceland for depression.
Crete, Greece for heart disease.
This is just to name a few!
This book tells stories of patients that have come to see the author, who is an MD, either because they are showing signs of a certain disease or they wish to avoid the disease.
With a lot of research and travel to these cold spots the author really delves into the native foods and dishes and finds the scientific reason for the health benefits.
This book is fascinating and affirms that what you eat has a huge impact on disease.
Check it out and get cooking. Pick the health concern that is most importnat to you and look at the cold spot and the foods eaten there.
Gatta go chop some veggies!
The Jungle Effect on Amazon!
Better Write It Down!
I have a great memory.
When it comes to a "to do" list or "to buy" list I can pretty much wing it!
I am not going to lie here, I have gotten into the car after a marathon shop, waiting in line and checking out and found....I forgot the asparagus and I was making asparagus soup for dinner.
Hello! Bad language is followed by getting back out of the car and going back into the store. Grrrr! Who has got the time for such nonsense?
What a waste of time, not to mention a waste of money as I always find a few more yummy thing I just have to have!
So I make a list.
Actually I have a list of all the common ingredients I use in my meal preparation, on my ipad and my computer.
As I am creating the menus for the week, I check off the stuff that I need to get. Easy!
It also helps with a impromptu inventory of what I already have.
No more, "yes dear I bought more avocados and we have 4 rotting in the fridge, ouch."
They say that for every minute you spend in a grocery store over 30 minutes, you will spend at least $1 per minute.
Get out fast!
Wonder why they rearrange the store so frequently? It keep you running around in circles looking for the food on your list but passing all kinds of alluring treats.
Marion Nestle has written a great book titled " What to Eat" that has a whole section on the psychology used by food stores to get us to buy more food. They are just so tricky.
Really interesting and lets you see through the "matrix"!
So do a little list building of your own.
Once you have the basics down you can add new stuff as you start to add to your diet.
Having a list will help you to speed through through the store, save you from buying impulse items, have the food to create complete healthy meals and avoid the need to grab something yucky because there isn't anything in the house to eat.
Let me know how you do.
Digestive Health - Asparagus
Spring is the time for all those cleansing veggies.
After a long winter of heavy warming foods our bodies welcome the spring vegetables and their ability to lighten us up for the hot summer months to come.
One of my favorite vegetables is Asparagus.
This spring power-house is not only full of folic acid but is a super digestive support food.
Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that helps the body produce and maintain new cells. In particular, red blood cell formation is dependent on adequate levels of this vitamin. It may also help cells resist changes in their DNA associated with the development of cancer. Folic acid plays a very important role in pregnancy by significantly reducing the incidence of birth defects known as neural tube defects (malformations of the spine and brain).
Asparagus is also high in fiber and protein. Fiber helps everything move on through the system at a healthy rate.
Asparagus also contains significant amounts of the nutrient inulin, which is referred to as a “prebiotic.” Inulin bypasses the first segments of digestion and arrives at the large intestine undigested. Because of this, it is an ideal food source for certain kinds of “good” bacteria in our intestines that are associated with better nutrient absorption.
So go out and grab a bunch while it is fresh and in season.
Two of my favorite ways to cook it is:
Roasted with olive oil, garlic and herbs on a pizza pan in a 400 degree oven until brown or
Sauteed in a pan with garlic and when browned add some balsamic...yum and so quick.
I must admit I will easily polish off a bunch on the way home from the store!
Don't forget to make it organic and local if you can!
Friday Food Tip - Eat Seasonally!
Check the first in a regular series of Friday Food Tips to help you pick out healthy food when you go grocery shopping!
Click the link below!
Friday Food Tip
I am a digestive health coach. I help my clients have more energy and a eliminate digestive problems by eating food they love!