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Diet and Nutrition - Together!



  • sugarmaple
    sugarmaple Member Posts: 40

    Hi old friends ;) Thank you, Pebbles, for starting this group. I definitely have not been going to the gym like I used to, and I’ve put on about 10 lbs. Aaaaand I LOVE sugar and baking goodies with sugar-ha! Sugar is my go to for stressed out days.

    I’m looking forward to having this group as support on our journeys. Go gals!

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 703

    I've been having a rough patch with overeating. I'm telling myself it's the seasonal grief plus I have an important observation coming up at work that I'm really nervous about. that'll be over with by tomorrow evening. So Thursday morning I go back up to my full dose of tamoxifen (went down to 10mg so I could have the energy to prep for the formal) and hopefully recommit to a more conscientious diet.

  • GreenHarbor
    GreenHarbor Member Posts: 187

    Sugar maple, welcome! I also find that cutting back on sugar is hard- it’s so tasty! Salamandra, I think one of the hardest things about a healthy eating plan is not letting stumbles (emotions, a special event, holidays, busy at work...) derail you. You’ve recognized that this is a stressful time for you; just do the best you can. Good luck at work today! Ingerp, congrats on the UVA basketball team! I’m feeling in a rut with weekday lunches. My go to has been yogurt with a little granola mixed in. Anybody have good ideas for something that’s easy to eat at my desk, healthy and tasty? I do have access to a microwave to heat things up.

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514

    Thanks, GH. I'm a little bleary-eyed this morning. Besides living in Cville I'm also an alum. It was quite a night.

    Re: sugar I *so* sympathize with the sugarholics. I've always had a sweet tooth, and thought it would be near impossible to cut back. Baby steps have worked pretty well for me, and of course it REALLY helps just not to bring the stuff into the house. I'm sure that's harder for women with kids still at home, but it's just my husband and me these days and he was never into sweets.

    And I totally agree about cutting yourself some slack. We were at a friend's house last night watching the game and I felt no guilt at all about eating one of their super-cute Virginia cupcakes (and then another!). I'm firmly in the camp that calories on vacation (or when your team wins a national championship!) don't count.

    Re: lunches, I'm fortunate to work at home and my usual lunch is a scrambled egg (okay with a little bit of cheese in it). Many days hubs will make himself a big salad to take in to work, and one of my kids in particular learned in college to cook a big pot of something on Sundays and eat on it through the week. He's now 27 and often takes chicken and broccoli in to work for lunch. My oldest is a personal trainer and has been on a mostly meat-and-veggie diet for several years (and of course is in great shape).

    If anyone wants a little more help diet/nutrition-wise, my DIL is a registered dietitian and has her own business. I believe a lot of what she does can be done virtually. You can PM me for her contact info.

  • LPLlibrarygirl
    LPLlibrarygirl Member Posts: 82

    Hi All,

    You are all so very inspiring! I did write on the day this thread started but our power went out and everything I wrote disappeared. So I will try again! I feel that I was doing a good job at eating a healthy diet and eating a lot of anti-oxident, anti-inflammatory foods after my diagnosis in October. Now that I am working more and back to a lot of other activities I am not doing as well. I am too busy and too tired. I have cut back on sugar (desserts, pastries) and I have been alternating treat days with no sugar days so I guess that is a start! I took a gentle yoga class that has ended and I take a gentle exercise class for BC women, once a week. I walk when I can but I know I am not getting the 150 minutes of recommended exercise per week. I am hoping that as the weather improves my progress will as well.

    Ingerp-today I received an email saying my name was drawn in a random drawing for a Casting for Recovery weekend! I have never been fly fishing but will give it a try. My husband is probably more excited about it than I am! It was good to read that you had a wonderful time.

    Good luck everyone and keep posting progress, as well as trials and setbacks.

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514

    LPLLibrary--if it helps, I'm pretty sure most of the women in your group will have little/no experience. The weekend is a little about the fishing, but mostly about the rest of it. You'll have a wonderful time!

  • GreenHarbor
    GreenHarbor Member Posts: 187

    Happy Saturday, everyone! I thought I’d follow Pebbles’s lead and share a favorite recipe. I’m not a big veggie person, but this soup has a little of everything. It’s filling but not heavy. It freezes well, too. Mashing some of the beans gives it a little thickness.


    1 15.5 oz can cannellini beans (or other small white beans), drained and rinsed

    1 tbls olive oil

    1/2 large onion, diced

    1 carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)

    2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)

    1 sm zucchini (about 8 oz) diced

    1 clove garlic, minced

    1 tbls chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried

    2 tsp chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried

    Salt and pepper

    4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium if possible

    1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (I like petite diced), undrained

    2 c lightly packed baby spinach leaves (I give them a rough chop if the leaves are really big)

    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional, but tasty!)

    In a small bowl, mash 1/2 of the canned beans with the back of a spoon. Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onion, carrot and celery. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 min. Add garlic, thyme and sage. Cook 1-2 minutes more. Add zucchini, tomatoes w/ their juices, salt and pepper, broth, whole and mashed beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat and add baby spinach. Let sit for a few minutes until spinach is wilted. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve in bowls topped with a little Parmesan.

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 199

    Greenharbor and Pebbles, both of those recipes sound amazing! Thanks!

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486

    Green Harbor - thank you for posting the recipe! I might give it a try this week, sounds delicious and healthy.

    SugarMaple - welcome to the group! On page 1 you’ll find my recipe for Almond Butter Cookies which have no sugar and no dairy but are delicious. It’s a healthier way to satisfy the sugar craving! It’s sweetened with honey, which happens to be a breast cancer fighting food.

    LPlibrarygirl - I totally understand. I too was super vigilant when this first happened and even through rads and then it’s been harder since I went back to work full time in Jan. I’ve maintained my weight but haven’t lost more yet, still need to push and figure this out!

    Purplecat - let us know if you try any of the recipes out!

    Ingerp - that fishing trip sounds like such a great thing to do. I’m counting down now to our first real vacay since all this started, which will be in Italy about a month from now.

    Salamandra - its all about balance and you deserve your moments of eating what you want too. You’ll get through this time, and then once you decide to be conscientious again I think it will help lift your spirits too.

    RiRi - so encouraging to hear you’ve been able to lose weight still and have had no SEs except hot flashes. You are best case scenario! I’ve also had very little SEs so far, like you just hot flashes sometimes, and only in the couple hours after I take my dose, not ongoing. Haven’t been able to lose weight though but haven’t gained.

    TC73 - I’m amazed and impressed you did a 5 km run! Even at shuffle pace that’s more than I can do. I’ve been up and down in weight too, we’re all here to help one another through it, and hopefully get to our ideal weights and stay there!

    Dani - let me know if you try the recipe and what you think! You, me, librarygirl and a few others have a similar challenge it seems which is how we can get our 150 min of exercise a week in when we all have busy and tiring work schedules. I’ve started to take 20 min walks during my lunch break, but not everyday. I still have to figure it out too.

    Applejuice and Naesha - so glad you’ve joined our group too. Hopefully the almond butter cookie recipe I posted on page 1 helps with sweet cravings - note they have no cane sugar, just sweetened with honey.

    Tonight my husband and I have a date night to see Dumbo and we decided we would walk to the theater to be a little healthier (it’s a 20-30 min walk).

    In the meantime, for weekend cuteness, here is Domino getting a bath.


    And here she is all clean post-bath behind still dirty big brother Tucker!


  • l8blmr
    l8blmr Member Posts: 50

    I'm stocking up on all my favorite healthy foods since the temptation to eat poorly during holidays with family and friends can be overwhelming. Here is an Easter candy suggestion- Ghiradelli 86% cocao bar with a dab of fresh ground almond butter. I allow myself two small squares/day. Savor with fresh raspberries and a cup of tea.

    Wishing you all a peaceful Easter weekend.

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486

    L8Blmr thank you for the suggestion! I’m also figuring out how to enjoy sweets without compromising my no sugar diet, especially with Easter this weekend.

    Found this great recipe for brownies made from black beans and unsweetened cacao. They are delicious and 1 serving is only 150 calories according to MyFitnessPal! Even my husband likes them, he says he can’t believe they are made of black beans.

    Domino and Tucker did not get any due to chocolate content but they got to look and not touch


  • RiRi11
    RiRi11 Member Posts: 70

    PebblesV thank you so much for sharing the brownies recipe! Im going to try to make the

  • Jenkins00
    Jenkins00 Member Posts: 99

    Thank you Pebbles for starting this thread! Perfect timing for me as I finished chemo a month ago. I was doing really well with walking and eating but that all changed during my last infusion. I am dealing with fluid retention and my MO encouraged me to keep active. I am trying but my muscles are hurting from the fluid retention and it doesn't help I sit at work.

    Anyway, I have been heavy for 5 years. I was in great shape then my thyroid went belly up, hurt my knee doing Zumba which required surgery and gained 50lbs. Now on Tamoxifen until reconstruction/ovary removal then MO will put me on an AI.

    Good luck everyone! I am so happy for this group.

  • 2002chickadee
    2002chickadee Member Posts: 79

    Hi all, I love this thread too -- it's the whole package towards healthier us. I had just gotten started with losing my lingering pregnancy pounds when I was DX'ed. From Nov 2017 to today, I've lost 20 lbs. I think there were a few factors, the biggest, I'm guessing, being more mindful of portion size and cutting back on drinking. I was probably a 4-7 night drinker before (moderate, glass of wine usually, but obviously frequent), now I have 0-3 drinks a week. I don't miss it. Throughout chemo I tried really hard not to junk out on the days I felt like it and focused on healthy eating as much as I could, and my weight stayed stable. I dropped a few more pounds post chemo and before starting ovarian supression (oct 2018) and the AI (dec 2018). I have been very concerned about gaining weight on these drugs, but from December to March I stayed stable, and happily in April I've lost a few more pounds. I think the most recent drop is due to the nicer weather and being more physically active as a result (walking more and some biking). I'm thinking as a rule I will only try to lose weight in the warmer months! It's so hard when it's cold, your body just wants to be cozy, still, and warm.

    I still have about 5 pounds to go to get to where I want to be on the BMI chart, but my main goals are 1) continue to eat as healthfully as I can and 2) work through all my body problems to get back to being able to exercise really robustly again (I can relate Jenkins00!!). Even though I was overweight pre-DX I was really fit, and I miss feeling that strength in everyday life and 3) try to tame the sugar beast within me. Love me some sweets.

    Thanks for all the great recipes and tips!

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486

    Hi everyone,

    With Easter weekend there will be lots of sweet temptations, so I decided to try and be good and baked the almond butter cookies and black bean brownies tonight to bring with me to my sister’s tomorrow. Recipes for both posted earlier in the thread. They are the only two no sugar dessert recipes I know so far lol so I’m going with what I know.

    How is everyone else doing and what are your plans to stay healthy even with all the temptations of Easter weekend?

    RiRi - let me know what you think of the black bean brownies!

    Jenkins00 - congrats on completing chemo! I can completely understand being in shape and then heavy, that was my case too. Was pretty fit in 2014 and 2015, then gained about 40 lbs and then the breast cancer hit in 2018. Lost 30 lbs and am now trying to lose the last 10-15 lbs but am on tamoxifen and it’s much harder, also I think the first and last pounds are the hardest. It helps to do this together!

    2002chickadee - congrats on keeping up with the weight loss and what an inspiration you are! For me too it was / is about portion control and cutting processed foods. I think though that I have to up the ante on exercise to push through that last 10 lbs.

    Anyways, for our Easter weekend, here are pics of the black bean brownies and almond butter cookies I just baked, and also freshly groomed Domino and Tucker ready for the weekend!




  • RiRi11
    RiRi11 Member Posts: 70

    the babies 😍 the bows ❤️ i cant take the cuteness!!

    Happy Holidays to all!!

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514

    Just checking in before I head to the gym. I actually put my big girl panties on and got on a scale last week. Not happy but not surprised. I was in pretty good shape two years ago but hadn’t weighed myself since. I’m up about 15 pounds. For now I don’t have a specific goal in mind—but I would like to know it’s possible to lose weight while on an AI. I’ll <probably> start a weekly weigh-in to see how it’s going. I won’t have a particularly big weekend (no kids at home so no Easter celebration) so we’ll see where I am on Monday. Good news/bad news is I have some fun weekends coming up, including my end-of-treatment trip at the end of May. Trying to keep in mind it’s more about long-term health than the scale. I’m being pretty diligent about the sugar and alcohol, still not great about more veggies, but I have been increasing fiber. I’d say I’m doing pretty well on my less-sugar-in-2019 resolution

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857

    Good to find this thread. Diagnosed end of February with IDC and DCIS, lumpectomy 2 days ago with 3 nodes excised. Triple negative. Pathology and treatment recommendations still to come.

    One of the things I struggled with most on first diagnosis was my self-image as someone who is very healthy and in good shape. Cancer diagnosis really blows that all to heck, doesn't it? So I'll need to work my way back there as I go through treatment.

    I have long had a pretty healthy diet. Until a month ago I was going to the gym about 3 times a week for cardio and weights. Then we left town for 3 weeks for family reasons, and as soon as we came back came the pre-op appts and the surgery.

    Today I got on the floor for the first time in a month to restart my habit of morning abs/core work. Yesterday it was sunny and warm, though windy, so we (my husband and I) went for a short walk. It was probably less than a mile but felt great to be out.

    I'll be glad to be able to do weights again after my post-op surgery appt. Whether or not I'll feel like it is another thing! Right now I'm just trying to focus on today. What can I do today to make a good life?

  • Spoonie77
    Spoonie77 Member Posts: 532

    This thread is wonderful. Will be following along.

    Had gained about 15 pounds over the past 9 months, thanks to stress eating after dx. Thankfully have lost about 5 pounds in the past month or so. Am really trying to cut out most processed carbs/gluten/processed sugar, mostly Keto, lots of water. It's tough, because like alot of you, I love my carbs. I think I could eat all the bread in the world and still want cake! Winking I think what works for me is if I get to "choose" what I eat, I'm tempted to make poor choices. But if I plan out each day ahead, and stick to it, I do better. Less being at the whim of my taste buds and what they crave in the moment.

    Good luck all with the holidays and such. May the Force be with us!

    Pebbles -- OMG those bows on your furbabies!!! Toooooo much CUTENNESSSS! LOL SillyHeart And of course, that recipe for black bean brownies sounds amazing. Wonder if I could make it in one serving batches....I don't know if they would all survive through a day or two if they were ALL sitting on my counter! Maybe if froze them. Have you tried doing that at all? Hmmm.

  • GreenHarbor
    GreenHarbor Member Posts: 187

    Ingerp, it is possible to lose weight on an AI. Just don't count on it happening fast. I've lost 7.7 lbs since New Year's. I'm trying to think of my weight as just one measure of my overall health. Like you, I'm trying to think long term.

    Welcome, MountainMia! I'm impressed that you were doing core work on the floor just 2 days post op. Despite heading to the gym 3x/week since January, I'm still not sure I have abs. ;-) Cancer does mess with our self image, doesn’t it? Until I was diagnosed, I was under the impression that my life was completely under control. Your healthy eating and exercise habits will help your treatment and recovery.

    My husband and I still make Easter baskets for each other. Easter wouldn’t be Easter with out jellybeans. I’m going to work reeeeeeally hard to spread them out over the next week. Hugs to you all!

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514

    GH congrats to you and thanks for giving me hope!!

    Mountain—please share your ab routine.

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857

    Ingerp, abs routine is stuff I learned about 5 years ago in a mindfulness class, and 2 years ago when I rehabbed knees. I don't know the names for most of the moves so can't be very specific. Usually I start on my hands and knees but can't do that right now as not supposed to support body weight yet. I do "bird dog" moves first, and then stretch my back with some gentle yoga stretches including cat and cow. I don't ever plank from hands to toes or elbows to toes because it hurts my bunions. I also don't do push ups, even from my knees, because they hurt my wrists to be bent like that.

    Then I get on my back and with feet on the floor and knees bent, simply pull my belly muscles in towards the floor. I count that out to 50. These are much more gentle than sit-ups because you're not lifting your head, too. Then I do a variety of leg/core strengthening exercises including glute bridges, dead bugs, etc. I do some kind of twist so my back stretches through both directions to the sides. Then I finish with 50 more of the belly muscles.

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514

    Roger that. Thanks!

  • InnaB2018
    InnaB2018 Member Posts: 766

    Just came back from vacation. While i was doing an hour or yoga and an hour of Zumba every day and walking up a storm, I still managed to gain a few pounds due to overeating, and a glass of port every day. Of course, the fact that this was my sixth week on steroids added to the mix. Have to survive 2 more weeks of Prednisone, and then, hopefully, the weight will go down. No more overeating and alcohol until my exchange surgery in May. Best laid plans of mice and men...

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514

    Remember, Inna--vacations don't count. (No really, I never put any restrictions on myself when I'm on vacation. There's enough time at home to think about calories and exercise.)

  • InnaB2018
    InnaB2018 Member Posts: 766

    Ingerp, that’s how I look at that as well.

  • tdallen
    tdallen Member Posts: 3

    I am so happy to find this thread. I was diagnosed on January 4th and proceed to eat my way to a 10 pound gain before my double mastectomy on February 27th. I am hoping to lose that 10 pounds, plus the 15 or so I already wanted to lose before my exchange surgery sometime late summer. I am encouraged that it is possible to lose weight on Al!

  • debrac
    debrac Member Posts: 63

    Tdallen, Me too, love this thread. It’s helping me a bit more balanced. I was diagnosed in January too. At first I did’t want to eat or buy anything, kinda froze at the grocery store wondering what to buy.

  • Flower216
    Flower216 Member Posts: 87

    Hi! This is a great thread! 

    I gained 10 lbs during chemo....all I wanted to eat was carbs and cheese!!! And I was not moving much! So I joined weight watchers 6 weeks ago when I began radiation, I'm following the program and moving more, and the weight is coming off sooooo slowly. (My RO said this is normal).  This is my last week of radiation. I am worried what will happen when I begin Arimidex.  But I have to say that the wonderful people on this board have inspired me to keep eating healthy!

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514

    Well the joke was on me. If you remember I got on the scale last Monday (it’s my only day of the week at that location of my gym and where I always used to weigh)after almost two years of not doing that and was all prepared to weigh again tonight but the scale was broken. (I hope it wasn’t me who broke it?) Maybe next Monday. . .