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Jul 25, 2019 10:17AM
I have lost a bunch of weight since Dx... about 35 lbs so far. I made a lot of changes to my eating post Dx. I have never been obese but i have carried an extra ~40 lbs for two decades (it crept on 5 lbs at a time...).
How have I changed my habits?
-I too do intermittent fasting and occasional extended fasting. I generally eat between noon and 9 pm. I do this for health benefits and anti-cancer benefits and it is not hard once you get used to it!! Black coffee or tea is ok in non-eating window. You can read about fasting and "fasting mimicking" and Dr Valter Longo at USC. I began doing this during chemo to help with SEs. I began enjoying the feeling of awareness of hunger and an empty belly.
I exercise in the am -- for me it's better to exercise before eating or I can get nausea from exercise on a full tummy. I have my coffee, take my hike, shower, clean up house, make a few calls or do some errands and it is noon already and I can eat lunch. I was an exerciser before, so I have kept that up (also a cancer benefit). Exercise alone will not drop weight.... or I would not have been heavy before... But combined with lean eating, it accelerates weight loss and makes sure you don't lose muscle. I do pilates 2x per week and 3x hill hikes. Pilates is the first form of "gym workout" I genuinely enjoy... you leave there feeling limber, stretched out, and worked out all at once. It's good for body awareness as you only focus on one area of your body at a time. And you never have to do things past a count of ten!
- I have given up junk, empty calories, and empty carbs for only nutrient dense "medicine" foods. No more white flour white sugar white potatoes, booze breads etc. Only nutrient-dense carbs like lentils, quinoa, beans. It's a matter of realizing what you CAN eat and focusing your shopping list on things that feel like treats but are good for you.... almonds and other nuts and seeds, avocados, salads, organic eggs or lean meat, berries, and low glycemic fruits, etc. Eat from the best anti-cancer foods lists!! Greens, alliums, cabbages, mushrooms, blueberries, etc. I never worry about calories -- only whether or not the food is delivering a lot of nutrients and anti cancer compounds per bite and is a food a cave person would possibly have eaten. NO frankenfoods like cheetos; no processed foods. My big treat is a few fries from someone else's plate! I miss fries!! I do not miss dessert at all now that I have been eating this way for a year. In fact, if I take a bite of someones dessert it tastes way too sweet now.
I had some comfort eating and drinking issues before, with a sweet tooth and a nightly cocktail. Now, an apple sliced up and dipped in almond butter feels like dessert... it is delicious and sweet but it is all nutrient dense. There is a kind of granola they sell in bins at whole foods (Paleo Cocoanut Granola) that's all seeds etc and low carb... feels like dessert at this point to sprinkle some on cottage cheese. I will eat fats via some dairy but try to keep to <20% of calories for recurrence prevention. Mostly I eat the rainbow of veggies, using 2-3 vegetables per meal, plus deep sea fish, nuts, seeds, and berries. A bit of cheese and dairy. Once in a while some grass fed organic red meat or chicken. If you make a tiny steak plus a green salad, brussels sprouts, and broccoli, that is a large plate of food and it is all lean and healthy.
In a nutshell, eat abundantly from the "approved anti-cancer foods" list and do not worry about calories too much. I am lucky to live in an area with abundant tempting produce. This diet would be hard in a food desert.
Exercise is also a large recurrence reducer. Literally your muscles, when working out intensely, generate a lot of pressure on the blood flowing through them. This pressure pulverizes any damaged cells but is fine for healthy cells. So every time you are pushing yourself in exercise, you are killing cancer. That's a motivator!
A big thing is getting out of sugar burning and into fat burning for fuel (ketosis). You have to maintain a clean (v low carb) diet for abut a month before this switches over. In the meantime you can feel pooped and crabby. But if you stay with the low carbs past the 30 days, it gets easy. The energy levels pop back up and the weight loss begins. Most people do "Atkins" keto which is lots of cheeseburgers. I do more of a vegan keto with is a lot of low carb veggies and not too many animal products.
Last-- a dog can get people out and walking. A 20 min walk 3 x a day is wonderful exercise. Women who exercise 30-60 mins per day have much lower recurrence rates.... that's 3-6 hour per week. If you cant do it every day a couple of long walks on the weekend or some gardening or other physical labor, can bring you up to that range.
Lets be good to ourselves!!!!
pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads.
7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
12/27/2018 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left)
2/11/2019 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes