The more frequently asked questions that I get are centered around food–specifically what do I eat, is food really that important, and comments along the lines of, “my oncologist says that I can eat whatever I want.” To address this last one first, of course you can eat whatever you want; it’s a free country. But that doesn’t mean that you should. The fact is that there are certain foods that fight cancer and other foods and drinks that have been shown in studies to raise your risk of cancer.
And since the biggest concern is to kill the cancer if you are a patient, or to never have it come back if you’re a survivor, I advise to pay attention to what you eat and drink. I understand liking the advice that you can eat whatever you want. Wouldn’t that be great? That’s like every dieter’s dream. Chocolate chip cookies for everyone! But I think most of us know now that even if you aren’t dealing with a serious health condition, “eating whatever you want” probably isn’t the greatest for your health.
January is my cancerversary month so I am focusing the blog on lessons I have learned in my journey. Since being diagnosed with the first of two back to back cancers in August of 2013, I have done a lot of research into what foods kill cancer, which foods create an environment in your body that is less than optimal for cancer to thrive, and which foods do the opposite.
Even though I had a really healthy diet when I was diagnosed, a very big lesson I learned is that food absolutely makes a difference in terms of cancer. All those veggies and green smoothies may not have prevented my cancer (obviously) but it sure as heck helped me be strong enough to get through it as well as I did with very few side effects. And I had to throw some nasty chemicals at my aggressive cancers. Eating well now is giving my body what it needs to rebuild while searching for abnormal cells to fight.
I have written on the blog about what I recommend for a diet to create Permanent Remission (here) and I have also written about the connection between drinking alcohol and cancer (here). I have even written about 3 surprising foods that fight cancer by boosting your immune system (here).
But simply knowing something is good or bad for us doesn’t always make us change our habits, does it? After you go read those blog posts linked above, you will know that what you eat makes a big difference in your overall health and specifically in creating an environment in your body that is conducive (or not) for cancer. Is that information enough to change your afternoon donut and triple macchiato habit? Maybe, maybe not.
There are some great books out there on ways to establish new healthier habits. I have read a few myself. Did reading them make me create new habits? Sorry to say, they did not! And guess why? Because, as I said above, knowing something doesn’t make us do the thing!
So what does? The answer to that question is the key to coaching. It is accountability. This is why I went into health coaching instead of becoming a nutritionist or registered dietician. I don’t want to simply hand out information, although I do a lot of that. I want to coach people to make positive changes in their lives. I want to hold my beautiful cancer survivor clients accountable to actually do the things they say they want to do to be healthier. Be honest, you probably know what you should be doing to live a healthier life. Amiright? And not just in the food department. What about in your job? Work-life balance? Exercise? Quiet time to reflect or to be creative?
These are all factors in our overall health and absolutely do factor in to creating the most inhospitable environment to cancer in our bodies. I invite you cancer survivor women to join my 6 week coaching group beginning next week. It is not too late to join! I have some people going for the Tuesday at noon PST group and some people in the Thursday at 5pm PST time. We meet via Zoom video conferencing so you can be anywhere with internet access. Check out the Coaching page for more information.
Get accountability for the changes you want to make in my Group Coaching program. You won’t regret it!