Foods to Help You after Cancer

Voice America radio has a program hosted by Becky Olson and Sharon Henefin called Breast Friends and I was a guest expert on the July 14, 2017 show. . (Broadcast link here) 

We touched upon several topics related to recovery and the hour flew by.  Because we view health and healing as a process, we looked at the many physical, emotional and spiritual forces at play in the healing experience. 

Becky talked about her habit of worry and a wonderful mantra that she calls up when she catches herself feeling anxious:  “Don’t put demons where none exist.”  Isn’t that powerful?

I shared some of the affirmations listeners hear on my recording Beyond Cancer, including

I know that my positive thinking helps to calm my body, creating space for healing
I have found and use my voice to express my feelings
I know that when I practice deep relaxation, I give my body the support it needs to rest and revitalize
I am a vital part of my medical team and actively participate in the healing process.

Using words and images like this on a regular basis can change your thinking for the better, and this in turn lowers your level of stress hormones. 

We also talked about my book Food Becomes you - Simple Steps for Lifelong Wellness.  The book fits right into the context of recovery and immune building after cancer treatment. Why?  Because food is such a powerful source of energy, and when the right foods are a part of your everyday life, you are building strength from within. 

I wished we had more time to talk about specific foods, but simply stated,  the best foods are those that are in their whole form, not packaged or processed.  A former guest on the show described them as foods with no labels.  

My book lists foods to include in your pantry and refrigerator.  When recovering from cancer or any serious illness, I recommend including the following foods in your diet as much as possible: 

    onions

    mushrooms

    garlic

    dark leafy greens

    orange foods (carrots, sweet potatoes)

    beets

    ginger

    cinnamon

    turmeric

    nuts

    wild salmon

    green tea

These foods may be described as medicinal in nature.  You’ll find many of them in recipes in my book.  

If you are not accustomed to eating foods like this, start slowly. Add them to foods you already eat. Do your best to eat several of these foods every day. 

If your diet today is mostly restaurant food or highly processed foods, don’t be discouraged.  Take it slow and as you add healthier food into your diet, notice how it makes you feel.  You may have adjusted to not feeling so great, popping antacids or advil to manage symptoms, but when you change your food for the better, even a little bit, everything changes.  After all, food truly becomes you.