Friday, October 20, 2006

not much left

I just crawled out of bed, where I was reading Cancer Vixen, a beautiful graphic novel written by Marisa Acocella Marchetto (and a testament to the fact that each cancer story is so different, yet we do share much common ground). My favourite moment is when the author yells, "Cancer, I am going to kick your ass! And I'm going to do it in killer five-inch heels!"

It's a rainy day in Ottawa and I am fighting off the cold my young son brought into the house. I feel like fixing myself a nice comforting, healthy snack. But the question of what to eat is not one that is easily answered.

I've been reading (or rather skimming the chapter summaries of) Foods that Fight Cancer: Preventing Cancer Through Diet. It is, all in all, a positive book, full of beautiful pictures of leafy greens, bright citrus and even lovely dark chocolate and red wine. However, the author's list of foods to avoid leaves me cold:
  • Fried foods (fair enough)
  • Processed foods (makes sense)
  • Red meat (in excess)
  • Alcohol (in excess)
  • Smoked foods (ack!!!)
  • Marinated foods (double-ack!!!)
I understand that this is not so terribly restrictive but add to this the 'foods to avoid' one from the (very helpful) information session that I attended this week on lymphedema management and prevention:
  • Processed and refined foods
  • Coffee (oh no!!)
  • Alcohol (bye, bye red wine)
  • Sugar
  • Saturated fats
  • Red meat
  • Dairy
  • Chocolate (so much for my daily guilt-free fix)
  • Salty foods (no more Vietnamese noodle soup?)
  • Spicy foods (might as well eat Pablum for the rest of my life).
'What's left?', I ask you. Fruit, vegetables, water....flax seed.

OK. Going to make vegetable soup now. I'm going to use broth with salt, though. Because it's all I've got and, as the lymphedema trainer said, "You've still got to live your life."


amanda said...

Man, don't get bogged down in all of the dietary stuff. Eric and I got ourselves so worked up just trying to follow all of John Hopkin's diet recommendations while he was in the transplant program...high magnesium, organic (but no fresh vegetables or fruits unless we knew the source--to prevent exposure to foreign strains of bacteria from imported produce), and everything pre-packaged and single-use. Oh, and high-calorie when he was having trouble keeping food down. It was insane.

Just eat, and try to make sure to get in a semi-balanced diet. You've got enough to worry about.

sassymonkey said...

Laurie I'm going to be posting about another book with a very similar theme this week on BlogHer. It stresses a moderate approach to food to avoid. And includes yummy recipes.