Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fork in the Road

My journey has already come to a fork in the road.  After discussing my nutritional changes with Dr G, my oncologist, today, he had some pretty strong opinions that I have now taken into consideration (all of Dr G's opinions are strong ones).

First thing for me to think about is that a lot of the research I read was conducted on patients with specific forms of cancer (most were breast, prostate & lung cancers, among a few others).  Just like not all cancers respond to the same chemotherapy drugs, not all cancers will respond the same with a one size fits all diet change.  So in theory, even if an all veggie diet worked for breast cancer, that doesn't mean it would work for liver could, but we don't know yet.

Second, not everyone has the same calorie needs.  Some cancer patients lose a lot of weight and need a much higher daily calorie intake, while others may actually gain weight and need a lower calorie intake.  Those patients that need to gain weight, generally cannot get enough calories while eating an all veggie diet.  I generally hover around the same weight, but looking at the last 6 months I have slowly but surely continued to lose weight despite eating normally, so I technically need a high calorie diet.

Dr G. agrees with my "real" or whole food approach.  The less processed your food is the better.  He also agrees that lots of fruits and veggies are good for me, but then there are some big differences.  He said eating only fruits & veggies would actually be bad for me.  He feels I should still eat some meat.  He told me I need things like french fries and milkshakes .   I told him I would gladly eat both of those things, but made at home with healthy ingredients.

So what to do at this fork?  I've decided to go "flexitarian".  Flexitarian simply means eating more plant-based meals (what I have already been doing) but with meat as a side occasionally.  This seems much easier to do as a family and I will still get the benefits of a plant-based diet since that will still be the majority of my food.

I knew this journey would change direction as I went along, but I wasn't expecting it take a turn so soon.  Any flexitarian's out there?  I have friends who are vegetarians, but not sure if I know any flexitarians.

*Photo credit:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SS&S Has Gone Veggie!

Wow, it has been a long time since I've even thought of this lovely little blog of mine.  So much of life got in the way and I abandoned it.  Well, I have decided to resurrect it, but in a new way.

A major change I have made in my life recently is to go veggie.  Yep, you read that right, this meat lover has decided to become a VEGETARIAN.  No more pepperoni on my pizza, or my dad's homemade sausage, or a BBQ chicken breast, or bacon....GASP!  No more bacon!  I did a LOT of research about the link between nutrition and cancer and the information I found was astonishing! (I plan on posting about that info later)  So, 2 weeks ago I made the jump, and I quit meat cold turkey (heehee...pun intended).

So far giving up meat has been easy, I just don't eat it.  The hard part has been finding filling delicious veggie recipes.  A lot of the recipes I find have one of two problems...

     1. They seem more like a side dish.  I need something that is the main dish and that my family will also eat as a main dish (Joe & the kids are going veggie with me to an extent...I'll explain that later too).

     2. They use ingredients that are weird...tofurkey anyone?  Along with cutting out meat I am cutting out processed foods.  That means the more natural the food the better.  No items in the ingredients list that I can't pronounce,  nothing that doesn't look like its original form (ie:corn flakes look nothing like corn and also have ingredients I can't pronounce). A lot of recipes just have you substituting meat or dairy products with processed man-made foods, rather than a healthier alternative (ie: tofurkey, soy cheese, that really how that product looks in nature?)   An easy way to deal with this is to think "would my grandma/great-grandma know what this food is?"  If you answer "no", then don't eat it.

Most of what we've cooked so far have been our recipes just minus the meat (ie:burritos with rice & beans instead of hamburger.)  We've tried a few new recipes...some were good, some were ok, and some were seriously bad, like "smothering them in an entire jar of alfredo sauce didn't fix them" bad.  Tonight's dinner was a veggie meal for me, but Joe & the kiddos used it as a side dish & had some tilapia with it.  It was a green bean potato salad.  I got the recipe here and it was very yummy!

The only problem I had with the recipe is that it uses a store bought honey mustard dressing on it.  I LOVE the dressing it used, but it was filled with ingredients I don't know.  We will make this dish again, but next time I think I will try my hand a making a homemade honey mustard dressing, or find one with better ingredients.  As far as veggies go, it had green beans, potatoes, garbanzo beans, onions & olives (are they a veggie?).  The kiddos also had an assortment of fruit with their dinner.

Girlie insisted I take a picture of her plate.

I'm hoping to post recipes, information I learn, suggestions for going veggie, and lots more.  This blog will become a medium of accountability for me.  If anyone has recipes or suggestions, or information they think I might find yummy or useful, please send me an email (you can do that through the "Let's Chat" tab above).

Hope everyone enjoys following my veggie journey!
Related Posts with Thumbnails