The first time around with breast cancer I decided not to bother with eating a lot of hippie food. I was going to eat a normal, recommended diet and forgo the quinoa, the seaweed, and other strange things you eat a lot of if you are freaked out about cancer. I did check with my doctors who said that 3-5 glasses of wine per week were safe - no more - so I kept to that number. But I did not cut out red meat, or dairy, or sugar, or white flour, or fried foods. I tried to eat the really bad stuff sparingly but I ate mostly whatever I wanted.
This time around I am ready to follow best practices with food. The metastasis is on my liver so my digestion had become poor anyway. As soon as I heard there was a possibility of a problem on my liver, I went off coffee, sugar, meat, cream and alcohol.
I will probably never drink alcohol again...The evidence on breast cancer and alcohol is becoming stronger, and in my situation I don't need to take chances. Anyway, my poor liver can't handle it right now, and when it gets better (it WILL get better - the meds are shrinking the tumors) I would be a fool to stress the liver again for any reason.
UCSF, a National Institutes of Health cancer research hospital where I get my treatment, publishes a series of booklets on nutrition and specific cancers. I brought home the breast cancer and nutrition handbook last week, and found plenty of things I didn't know.
How about them pomegranates? Research shows that pomegranates contain a compound that eats breast cancer cells. The most powerful form of it is the oil from seed, but you get the effects from eating the fruit or drinking the juice, too. We have great pomegranates here in California (people grow them in their yards) and I have been eating them this month; I also take about 500 mg of the seed oil daily.
Cruciferous vegetables: I knew they were good for you, and I ate broccoli pretty regularly before my diagnosis - hey, even my kids eat broccoli. But I didn't realize how important cabbage is. Its cancer-fighting properties are stronger when it's raw or lightly cooked; it's extra powerful when it has been fermented. I eat sauerkraut almost every day now, and have gone through two jars of Korean kimchee (spicy fermented cabbage) in the last month.
Eat much less red meat (I eat none at all now). Don't eat grilled foods - those delectable charred bits are full of carcinogens. Eat cold water fish, especially sardines and anchovies and other such fish low on the food chain. Of course you knew you should eat whole grains and plenty of fresh produce.
Now if you want to add a little broccoli to your menus, why don't you just steam the florets lightly and dress with lemon juice, olive oil and salt? My hubbie also likes it with parmesan and olive oil.
In Lebanon people eat cauliflower sauteed and dressed with lemon or with a tahini sauce - really tasty. A Beiruti friend who is a fabulous cook served us cauliflower mixed with diced, sauteed potatoes and dressed with fresh coriander, lemon and olive oil. Oh man was that good...
Quinoa is actually pretty tasty, you know. Just rinse it in a lot of water, repeating about four times. The saponin makes it taste bitter so you can't just rinse in a little water - flood those grains. Then cook as for white rice - water to quinoa ratio is 2:1; salt; a fat like olive oil or butter; bring to a boil then simmer on low for twenty minutes. Turn off flame and let stand for five minutes, fluff and serve. It's like South American couscous but much higher protein, with a lightly nutty flavor.
Eating healthy food is a pleasure if you just take the trouble to cook it well. Today my friend made a vegetarian feast for a party, the highlight of which was a raw spinach salad with pomegranate seeds, persimmon chunks, and pecans. Yum...