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Has anyone drastically changed their diet since their diagnosis? Has it helped?

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all having a good Thursday. It is nearly Friday!

I was just wondering if anyone on here has drastically changed their diet since their diagnosis and whether it has helped them at all? My oncologist never even mentions diet, and nor do the oncology nurses. I am seeing a dietitian tomorrow to see what, if any, changes I can make to improve my health. I have been keeping a food diary for over a week now, so that should help with my consultation tomorrow.

Some of the things I have done include the following: I have not had any chocolate, cakes or sweets to eat in ages. I can't remember when my last sugar "fix" was. I am drinking less black tea and not eating as much bread, I haven't had a glass of wine in months (I have never really had much interest in alcohol anyway) and I am trying to eat fruit and other healthy snacks at mealtimes, rather than at random times throughout the day. I am also reading one of Kris Carr's books and in it she mentions that eating a more alkaline diet is better for us than an acidic diet. One of the things I want to achieve is to eliminate all inflammation, to feel healthier and to have more control over my disease so that I can move towards NED and stay stable.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions?

Thank you!

Sophie x

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Hi Sophie

I’ve started to take CBD oil capsules and turmeric paste which I make myself..it’s called golden paste and has black pepper and coconut oil in it..it’s anti inflammatory and I’m sure it helps with pain as I didn’t have it for a week when on holiday and I noticed the difference

I’m eating pretty much the same..not one for cakes and biscuits..I like fruit and veg

I must confess to drinking wine regularly as I enjoy it and it relaxes me..quality of life etc

I think sometimes it’s easy to become obsessed with diet which focuses on mbc and I’m trying to put my diagnosis on the back shelf if possible

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

Thanks for your response.

I actually made my own turmeric paste and smeared it onto my body recently and I ended up looking jaundiced! I'll have to try it with black pepper and coconut oil next time!

I know what you mean about how it can be easy to become obsessed with health, but if I can make changes that can improve my life I am open to some suggestions.

Sophie x

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I eat too many carbs. I try to cut down and feel nauseous and irritable. Any tips from carb addicts who have kicked it?

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I like carbohydrates too, Nstonerocks. Have you tried keeping a food diary to see if you can pinpoint a pattern in your eating? I am not an expert by any means, but how about if you gradually cut back on what you are eating, and replace it with "good carbs" such as fruit, nuts, beans, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes and so on? How about substituting white rice for brown, or wholemeal pasta instead of white? I haven't had many carbohydrates this week and I feel really good.

Sophie x

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I do like brown rice. Rarely eat pasta anymore and have mostly switched to seeet potatoes instead of white. I like veggies but so so with fruit. Weird. I could eat a loaf of whole grain bread. I can’t have any cookies or cakes in the house because I will inhale them. I’d say my big problem is bread. I should do the food diary. Thanks for responding

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You're welcome! I have been keeping a food diary for the last 10 days because I am seeing a dietitian this afternoon to see if she can offer me any handy dietary tips, or recommend any supplements. I have found it really useful. I can look at my patterns of eating and it has made me more mindful of what I am consuming.

Enjoy your Friday!

Take care,

Sophie 💘

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Hi Sophie

Haha re golden paste..sorry shouldn’t laugh but the image of you covered in golden paste..prob better than fake tan products

Barb xx

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Hi Barb!

I did look a sight, and so did everything the turmeric came into contact with! My countertops turned yellow (don't ask!) and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the stain out of my bath when I washed it off! But I did.

Sophie x

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Sophie, a kind little hint, try eating it next time :)

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I have done that too! I add it to curries, chillies and other food. I just wanted to see if it would work as a poultice. Haha!

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Make golden milk instead or if you want a lighter version use a tea

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Also I strongly suggest reading radical remission andduzanexsummers book which has many doctors ideas at are helpful.

I list 10 lbs in a couple months by changing my diet snd now I gave very little interest in the wheat and sugar I invested before. I cheat when I feel like it!

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Thank you! I'll have to read the book. I have lost 10lbs too, but it's been since February, so it's been very gradual.

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Did you read knock out as well?

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No, I've not read that book. I'll have to take a look after I have finished this one.

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It’s really good and surprised me

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That was a great mental visual I must agree lol

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That's a great idea of making a tumeric paste! I used to buy capsules. I still haven't got around to checking if it's ok to take with iBrance though.

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Hi

I mentioned it to my onc and it’s fine to take turmeric

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

I take Montmorency cherry capsules, which also helps with inflammation. I have also noticed that I am sleeping better now. I don't know if it's because of those capsules or something else.

Sophie x

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Great! I will start again as I strained my knee at work and it would probably help a bit.

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Me again

If there was a problem it would be mentioned in the drug interactions..seems only grapefruit is not advised

Barb xx

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And we can't consume pomegranate products either! : (

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Also pomegranate

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Hi Barb,

What's wrong with grapefruit and pomegranate? Are you told to avoid them if you are having chemotherapy? I'm having hormone therapy and bone strengthening infusions. I was not told anything about grapefruit. I'll have to look back over my drug interactions to be sure.

Take care,

Sophie 💘

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Hi Sophie

It’s ibrance that interacts with grapefruit and it’s mentioned on their website..I wasn’t aware to avoid pomegranate though..damn i love those!!

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

Thanks for letting me know. I don't take Ibrance. But I know that on the day of my infusions I'm not allowed to take my Adcal D3 within 4 hours of treatment. I asked my GP if I should take it 4 hours earlier and she just said to skip it on that occasion, otherwise I will overdose on vitamin D.

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Hi

It’s really much cheaper to make the paste than buy capsules

I order the organic turmeric from amazon..good value

Barb xx

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Turmeric is a very good antinflammatory but when I asked integrative medicine at Sloan about it they said it does interfere with the ibrance. I will ask again to make sure I heard right. I at times sprinkle the powder form in my food.

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Epinto, thanks for sharing that. Please do recheck for all of us? I'd also love to know the "how" it interferes. I have also been wondering if it might be ok to consume these no-no things, like pomegranate and grapefruit while we are in the 'week off' period from taking iBrance.

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Turmeric pills are frowned upon

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I haven’t been told by my onc or breast care nurse about a diet , just said a balanced diet , but at HAVEN they said apply the 80/20 rule and eat healthy 80% of the time. I’m vegetarian (not vegan) and snack on nuts, dried apricots , pumpkin seeds , olives, humus , low fat cheese , black grapes and dark chocolate (my fav /treat is Godiva 72% from Sainsbury’s as its smooth not dry ). I have porridge with blueberries and peanut butter on gluten free brown toast for breakfast before taking my ibrance/Letrozole with water .My weaknesses are ice cream , cheese and the odd slice of home made cake when in cafes , but i try not to eat too much ! I eat plenty fruit and veg , and I avoid tea and coffee one hour before or after a meal as it affects the absorption of iron .I have hot water with a slice of lemon instead of tea/coffee .I agree with the 80/20 rule as you have to have some pleasures! x

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That's really good to now, thanks! I do like Godiva chocolate. I'll have to look next time I'm in Sainsbury's. I love how there is such a variety of options in Sainsbury's now. I could probably be vegetarian, as I have never been a big meat lover, even as a child. I eat it a few times a week, if that. I love to have porridge in the morning too. I normally add three pieces of fresh fruit, with a serving of dried fruit, and I drink 3 litres of water each day. I take my Letrozole at around 8:00am and then again 12 hours later.

Are you going to a Macmillan coffee morning? Most around here are next Friday, but there is one in town tomorrow. I am tempted to go, but I know I would be drawn to the homemade cakes! We'll see!

Sophie x

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Since starting ibrance my tastes have changed. I haven't eaten chips (French fries?) or fried food since February, I no longer crave sweets and chocolate, I can now take or leave cake and biscuits - all foods I couldn't resist while on tamoxifen.

I've also stopped eating potatoes and bread - I've realised that I've never liked them but eaten them almost daily for 50 years! I've also lost the taste for red meat. I keep planning to eat more green veg but don't seem to get round to it. I'm still eating quite a lot of fruit which I've always done.

I haven't lost any weight but I have stopped gaining it :-) and I do feel better.

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Hi Julie,

It sounds like you have a healthy diet!

I haven't had much fried food lately either. My husband and I cook a lot from scratch. I have a few packs of biscuits in my cupboard that I haven't eaten and a box of Roses that I haven't touched (I love Roses!)

There's a Macmillan coffee morning being held in my town this morning, but I'm not attending. If I do, I'll probably call off the wagon and eat too much cake.

Take care,

Sophie 💘

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Well, I am the worst carb addict I know. Not overweight but would live on cake and cookies if I could. My oncologist nor anyone on my medical team has ever in 2 1/2 years suggested that I change to any Keto, vegan, sugar free , etc diet. I chose to give up recreational alcohol with the occasional glass of wine every once and a while. Never was a real drinker.

My oncologist swears there is no scientific evidence to support that sugar causes, feeds or promotes cancer cell growth.

HERE’S MY RANT.... Why is it that every one else all of the sudden becomes a damn expert on how “I” should eat?!?!?

I have actually come to avoid some of my friends because of this 😢. I am judged because I am not paying out of pocket for stem cell treatments and eating a keto diet????

Soooo, nope, I haven’t really changed my diet. If this disease is going to take me out at some point, I’m going out on my own terms until someone can give me a darn good reason to do something different.

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Hi Becky,

I must admit I get a bit annoyed with the "experts" too. A well meaning friend advised me to give up sugar, as she said it feeds cancer. I wanted to tell her it's oestrogen that feeds my cancer, not sugar! I'm cutting back on sugar to be healthier all round not because I view it as the cause of my disease.

I'm sorry to hear that you have had to avoid some friends because of their judgemental attitude. If they were to walk in our shoes I would hope they would show more compassion and understanding, not berate you for what you may or may not be doing.

Take care,

Sophie 💘

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Hi Becky

Good rant and I agree with you..people always have to have an opinion on health issues and it can be hurtful if it seems that they’re saying you’re responsible for your cancer by continuing to eat sugar etc

I’ve added things to my diet rather than cutting things out I.e the turmeric and cbd oil capsules..I’ve also started having some red meat as I’m anaemic from the Ibrance

I think sometimes people don’t realise they’re being unkind but they should keep their opinions to themselves

Barb xx

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Barb

I also eat a lean burger often. I felt it would help with lower bc counts and be good protein and source of iron. I try to put a lot of veggies on them.

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I hear you. I thought about all the “advice” and am going to modify my carb laden diet to lose some weight and feel better. I don’t think there is any definitive research that eating a certain way will help in treating cancer, but there is research about what might predispose you to cancer. I know I feel better when I eat protein and vegetables. So I’m going to go with my gut and try to “eat” my vitamins. I eat too many sweets if given the chance so I’ve stopped buying boxes of cookies and any cakes. I have little willpower. My onc did say to cut back on sugar. Cancer cells are hyper metabolic and devour sugar. She said what makes them light up in Pets scans is basically sugar. You can’t go wrong cutting back on sugar at any rate. I agree that once in a while I’ll treat myself under controlled conditions so I don’t scarf down a chocolate cake, but I need to lose weight besides the cancer thing. 🍰

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I agree with you Becky and am just changing my diet because it feels like something I can control. I too have friends that think they know what and what I should not be eating but ultimately its up to me and they have no idea what they would do unless they walk in our shoes.

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Well that is all true but I see both sides of the fence to be honest. I think friends sharing their thoughts about diet changes are friends who are concerned and really want the best for you, not because they're trying to be mean.

It is a fact that the docs use a glucose solution to show up cancer in scans so it makes sense that the cancer may use sugar to its advantage. That aside , sugar is quite toxic to our bodies, so even if one didn't have cancer no-one should be eating lots of it. It's proven that sugar is bad for our bodies in many ways so any sugar that is eliminated is going to help us overall be healthier, whether it stops the cancer or not, most likely you will end up feeling better. Just my two cents 🙂

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You are right. I know they just want to help. And I also agree that cutting out too much sugar is good for everyone. 😊

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Hi, read that turmeric or curcumin contains phytoestrogen which might not be good for ER+. Not sure if it's true. You might wanna check it out. Thanks

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Thank you! I am seeing a dietitian in just over an hour, so I shall ask her.

Sophie x

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What did the dietitian say about turmeric?

I take it to help with pain but now concerned that it could fuel oestrogen positive cancer

Can’t win sometimes

Barb xx

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Hi Barb!

I asked the dietitian about turmeric and she said she didn't know the answer to that. She did mention that I might want to lay off of soya products though. But I don't really see how plant oestrogens can fuel oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, as our disease is fuelled by human hormones, not plant. I will have to ask my GP or one of the oncology nurses.

Sophie x

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Hi

Yes it’s all a bit confusing..the Japanese women eat tofu and soy all the time and apparently don’t suffer with menopause symptoms which suggests they’re getting oestrogen from plant sources..that’s why I stopped using soya milk

I’m going to ask my oncologist next week so will post what she advises

Barb xx

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Hi Barb,

Yes, it is confusing. I would be interested to learn what your oncologist has to say, as I am not scheduled to see mine again until the end of November. I used to drink soya milk, but I now drink whole cow's milk or unsweetened almond milk.

Sophie x

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Hi

Yes I stick to cows milk or coconut milk

Barb xx

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I avoid all sugars, except a tiny bit of maple syrup in my morning coffee. I rarely drink wine anymore and don't eat meat, only organic turkey or chicken. I have an instant pot and have a recipe for an ok chocolate lava cake that I use 85% chocolate for and that's my desert with some fruit. No white flour, no white rice. Lots of quinoa, veggies and two daily fruits. I do eat out at least once a week and cheat because that's usually not very low fat.

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I eat organic chicken and turkey too, but I am more interested in fruit and vegetables than meat.

I ordered an instant pot from Amazon recently, so it will be interesting to see how I like it! It was my husband's idea.

Sophie x

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My son got me my instant pot and it was the best present ever. I use it daily...dinner is done in minutes!

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That sounds great! My in-laws in America have been raving about their instant pots, so we looked on Amazon and they are available in the UK too, so my husband ordered one. It should arrive early next week. I like the idea of making yoghurt and main meals.

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Hi Sophie,

I usually eat a pretty clean diet but do have my moments. I ordered a couple of books from Kris Carr and am going to transition into eating a more plant based diet. It makes me feel like I am in control of something. She is very inspiring don't you think. Also, check out Chris Wark. He is also a cancer thriver and is very inspiring. Maybe we can keep each other motivated. She recommends the buddy system. My friend has someone who doesn't use their juicer so am going to get that from them in the next week so looking forward to trying some of Kris's recipes. Good luck and I think eating better can only be helpful.

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Hi Kim!

I am hoping to do the same thing. I am reading one of Kris Carr's book at the moment: It's the Crazy, Sexy Diet book. I am taking my time with it, writing notes and I shall see where I go with it. I do find her inspiring! I saw a dietitian this afternoon and she was very pleased with what I have been doing so far. She said the fact that I don't eat much processed food and that I eat lots of fruit and vegetables helps. I just have to keep up with my calcium intake and eat more niacin-rich food. I like the idea of a buddy system! I have a magic bullet. Would that work as a juicer?

Have a good evening!

Sophie x

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That's the book I am reading and doing the same. I am out of town next week on a work assignment so am going to spend some evenings meal planning and figuring out what to buy when I get back. I will have to eat as well as I can while out of town. I have heard that the magic bullet is not a juicer but like Kris thinks, it's better than not doing it, so I would go for it. Juicers are pretty darned expensive so am happy that I have one given to me. I would love to go see a dietitian. I will have to look for one in my area.

Have a good weekend.

Kim

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Good for you! It finally feels like I am taking back control. I am feeling stronger, don't have loads of pain like I did, and I feel healthier too. I told the dietitian that I actually feel a lot like I did before my diagnosis. That's annoying about the expense of juicers! I might just stick with my magic bullet for now. I would definitely recommend seeing a dietitian if you can. It felt very empowering seeing her today, and getting some tips and recommendations on how I can improve my health. I'm off to a cancer conference tomorrow, which includes talks, information on cancer services available in my area and lunch.

Enjoy your weekend,

Sophie

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I've been meaning to do the same thing, see a dietician. Thanks for the encouragement that it felt worthwhile. I eat pretty healthy already but feel I need to balance things out better. My husband does a lot of our cooking because of my schedule and cooks more meat and less veg than I prefer.

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If you are interested in seeing a dietitian, then I would definitely recommend it. I kept a food diary for 10 days, was weighed when I arrived for my appointment and answered questions such as what I was hoping to get out of my consultation, what medications I am currently taking and so on. She commended me on eating such a healthy diet, with minimal processed food. So if you want to make some changes, you can receive the help and encouragement you need to move forward.

My husband is a big meat lover too, whereas I am not that interested in it. I could quite easily go a week or two with no meat. If your husband is the main cook in your family, could you ask him to cook less meat or just up the vegetable content of meals? When I do eat meat I see it more as a garnish, with the vegetables, beans or other ingredients as the main focus on my plate. The British diet is quite varied, but also quite meat-based really, and I discovered that the American diet is even more heavily reliant on meat as the main source of protein.

All the best!

Sophie x

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Yes been there with the discussion. It's a sore point. He is stubborn.

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I eat the way I always did. I try to add more fruit but I’m guilty of overindulging in chocolate. So many people suggested smoothies and cure all’s and I find them overwhelming. If you eat something and it doesn’t cause you issues then eat it. The healthiest of people get cancer so anyone that suggests a diet change will fix you has no idea what they are talking about IMO

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Thanks for your input. I ate a fairly healthy diet before my diagnosis, so you are right that diet does not always protect you from cancer. My sister-in-law ate an even healthier diet than me, and she also has cancer. But I have made a few changes and I must admit I do feel healthier and better.

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