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.

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