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Oncology dietitian appointment

Hello Ladies,

I had an appointment this afternoon with an oncology dietitian at the hospital where I am being treated. I showed Gabriella my food diary for the past week, and took along all my supplements and prescribed medications to show her. We talked about soya, dairy, caffeine, sugar, oats, water, calcium, exercise complementary therapy, and more. She said there is still debate about soya, which I have read about, but that consuming it or not is down to personal choice. She said to keep dairy in my diet, make sure I have enough calcium, and that she would not recommend anyone drink more than 1-2 caffeinated drinks a day. I don't drink much caffeine, but I asked for anyone else on here who may have wondered. She also said to keep eating oats for the fibre. For anyone looking for complementary therapy in the UK she said to look through the Cancer Research site for recommendations.

Another thing she mentioned was to keep exercising, but to not feel guilty if I don't feel like doing it as often as I have been, and to enjoy food (I do!) She was very caring and compassionate.

Some of the things she said to avoid are fermented foods if I ever have to have chemotherapy, and blood tests that check for allergies. Gabriella said that if anyone suspects they have a food allergy to see a dietitian about it, not just go ahead and do it without a proper medical consultation.

Sophie x

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Thanks Sophie. Sounds like a very reasonable dietitian and I agree with her.

Sandra

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You're welcome, Sandra. I think so too. She said that if I need any further advice, to just email her and she will be happy to help. It's nice to have such resources to draw from if I need advice.

Sophie x

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She sounds sensible..I’ll cut down on caffeine..don’t touch soya or even like it...but apart from that a healthy diet...which is what I thought anyway

Thanks for sharing

Barb xx

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Thanks, Barb. She was very sensible. I felt comfortable with sharing my concerns and questions and she listened to everything I had to say. I didn't feel like she was in a rush or that I was being over the top.

Sophie x

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Nor should she...that’s what she gets paid for

Hope it put your mind at rest...there’s so much conflicting advice out there and much of it is totally incorrect but we all want to do our best for ourselves...glad about the dairy!!.. makes sense especially for the ladies with bone mets

Barb XX

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Thanks, Barb. I didn't pay for the appointment though, as Gabriella works for the NHS. Talking to her did a lot to put my mind at rest. She said that there is so much misinformation out there, but if I am told anything or am unsure about something to just ask her. I will be able to do that and not worry about being judged. There are so many so-called experts out there. I had a lot of people giving me unsolicited advice after I was diagnosed. "Don't do that when you become neutropenic" etc etc. Hmm... I have never had chemotherapy, so my neutrophils are fine thank you!

Sophie x

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From what I read there are different kinds of phytoestrogens in plants and the ones in soy are non carcinogenic.

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That's interesting. I think the jury is still out when it comes to soya. I just decided to err on the side of caution and listen to two hospital pharmacists who told me to avoid it.

Sophie x

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Another note on the soy... it makes a difference if it is GMO or not. If you eat it, it is best if it is not modified.

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That's a good point, Faith, and along the lines of what I was thinking too. The trouble is, when you look at food packaging there are so many items that now contain soya in its many forms (soya flour, soya lecithin, soya protein etc) so my thinking is that these are probably GMO products. Even a lot of the so-called "health" food bars contain soya, so it does make me wonder. I avoid those and prefer to make my own confectionery these days.

Sophie x

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Hi Sophie

Definitely make your own things then you know exactly what’s in there

Barb xx

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I agree with you, Barb. I prefer homemade food! I just don't get that same sense of satisfaction when I eat out anymore, unless it's a really good restaurant.

Sophie x

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I read that women who eat a lot of soya bean curd mainly in Asia..don’t suffer from the menopause which makes me think it must mimic oestrogen

Anyway I don’t even like it ...my hubby used it all the time and if I put soya milk in my tea by mistake...ugh vile

Barb xx

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Yes, I have heard that too, Barb. My oncologist was also telling me a while ago that Japanese women tend to have a lower incidence of breast cancer than we do here in Europe. I'm not keen on soya either, although I used to love eating edamane beans.

I've always had my tea black, even as a tot. I am funny about hot milk! I will have almond milk in my porridge, but that's about it.

Sophie x

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I like almond and coconut milk in porridge with some cinnamon and raisins mixed in

Barb xx

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Thanks for the suggestion, Barb. I'll have to try that.

Sophie ❤

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The low incidence of breast cancer in Japan might also have something to do with the high seafood intake, since they get a lot of iodine from it.

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I hadn't thought of that, Autumn. I don't eat seafood though. I have never been able to stomach the smell or taste of fish or any type of seafood. I even take a vegan alternative to cod liver oil, as that would upset me too. It's only been in recent years that I can tolerate it enough to make someone else a tuna sandwich or something like that. Someone once tried to trick me into eating some tuna, probably in the mistaken belief that once I tried it I would be "cured" of my dislike of anything fishy. But when I put it on my plate, my husband sussed what was going on and warned me! I don't think it would have been a pretty sight if I had eaten it and then thrown it all back up again!

Sophie x

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I hate fish too

Barb xx

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I like tofu. I eat it about once aweek

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I was told that soy in it's natural state is not bad for you, it's when it's been modified for supplements and used as additives. I love tofu and do eat it. I just eat and drink anything in moderation.

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Yes. I have read the same and talked to a dietitian about soy as well. Soy got a bad rap years ago when a study was done on mice, soy and tumors. The dietitian I spoke to said it doesn't apply to humans. In fact, she explained it as if we have little parking spots on our cells. Cancer cells goes to fill these spots and take over the cell. The phytoestrogens from plants and soy fight for these spots too and block the cancer from landing if they get there first. It isnt just soy that has phytoestrogen. Some greens do too. In Asian cultures people have lower rates of cancer and they consume a lot of soy. Asian cultures also dont use dairy. We all have to make educated choices for ourselves. There is a lot of info out there. Have a nice day everyone.

Nancy - I think of you whenever I am at NYU getting my shot. Maybe one of these days I will run into you there! I was there on Monday. My bum is still reminding me. Darn that faslodex is tough.

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Hey let’s meet up. I’m going today for the blasted shot. Last month not so bad. I will pm you with my appts. Great info on soy. I do like my tofu

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I am working until 530pn today and I would think you would be on your way home. Definitely we should meet up one of these days. We can brainstorm on how we can solve the worlds problems and find a cure for us all!

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Thanks Sophie for reporting back ... glad I’m on the right track x

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You're welcome. I made a note of what some others had brought up so I could ask Gabriella.

Sophie x

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Thanks for sharing, diet has been really important to me since my diagnosis last year- it helps my energy but also makes me feel like I’m doing something to try and help myself.

I also went to a dietician who specialises in cancer and she said much the same as the lady you met..

She said nothing will poison me, but avoid anything processed as much as possible and sugary things. She said eat loads of fruit and veg , nuts and seeds, try to buy as good quality meat as I can afford and fine a couple of times a week, oily fish, loads of water, avoid fizzy drinks, alcohol okay but not a lot, go for organic dairy and Greek yoghurt a good snack with stewed fruits. She also said white tea good as lower in caffeine and higher antioxidants than green tea. I was really fatigued and when she looked at my food diary she said more protein - hence greek yogurt and I’ve started having eggs for breakfast.

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You're welcome. That's how I feel about my diet too. It is something that I have control over and making changes has helped me feel better too. It sounds like the dietitian you met was on the ball too! Do you like apple sauce? I make my own, and when I do I add it to natural Greek yoghurt. I like to add cinnamon or cloves to it, and it is lovely!

Sophie x

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I’ve heard cloves really good for us - will try adding that to my apples , thanks!

I’ve been juicing every day since November ( messy but worthwhile!)

Been juicing with celery ginger and lemons as good antioxidants and anti inflammatory. I had chemo so my immunity has been pretty low. Dietician didn’t suggest that it was just from reading different things. My kids hate it and pull faces

As I drink it at breakfast!

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You're welcome! I just love the smell of cloves and other spices while I am cooking. It's so comforting.

I've been juicing too, although I sometimes cheat and have a low sugar V8 variety. My husband isn't keen either! Must be the colour!

Sophie ❤

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Haha cloves remind me of work!!

They’re marvellous for tooth pain when mixed in a dressing

How would you use them in cooking?...,remember I’m a rubbish cook!!

Barb xx

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That sounds interesting, Barb! I didn't know you could use cloves for tooth pain and I am hoping I never have to find out! I cheat when it comes to cloves, and most other spices. I just use ground cloves that you can buy in a jar. If I am making apple sauce all I do is chop up the apples, add a splash of water to the pan (as apples will start to cook in their own juices as they reduce) and keep stirring until they turn soft and mushy. Then while the apples are cooking I will add cloves, or maybe some cinnamon or nutmeg. So you don't have to be a great cook! I'm not the best of cooks either, but I like to experiment in the kitchen. Some people like to add sugar, but I like my apple sauce unsweetened.

Sophie x

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Of course ground cloves...silly me.

Might have a go

Barb xx

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You are so right about cloves. One Naturepath person trying to help me with cancer told me to take 6 drops of essential oil of cloves in a gel cap 3 times a day. I have to admit I did not keep it up for long.

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Sounds good. That is pretty much what we eat too.

Thanks to both of you for sharing!

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Thanks Sophie. I think she pretty much confirmed that what you are doing is good. I don't eat or use soya so I am good there. I don't eat dairy though but I do take calcium supplements. My past bone density tests have all been good. I think all we can do is try and rely on experts, eat healthy, exercise and take the appropriate supplements to help support our bodies. I am really glad you got to see her and I like her approach.

Kim

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You're welcome, Kim. Yes, she did reassure me that I am on the right track. When Gabriella looked over my food diary she was really impressed with everything I had recorded. She told me to not obsess so much over everything I eat and that if I fancy a treat every once in a while to go ahead and have it and not feel guilty. I was happy to hear that, as I told her I have always loved food but it seems like it has become my enemy since my diagnosis, as there is so much conflicting information out there!

Sophie x

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I like that she said have a treat once in awhile. I try so hard to eat healthy and avoid sugar but every once in awhile that chocolate chip cookie just has my name written all over it. My weakness!! :) There is a ton of conflicting info and sometimes I wish I had not looked into so much of it. Makes your head spin.

Kim

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I know what you mean! My weakness is cake and chocolate, but I have been able to curb my sweet tooth for the most part and just have it occasionally. I have made some of my own recipes for sweet treats and that has been enough for me. I made some raw vegan brownies recently and they tasted rich and were satisfying, but they only contained four ingredients! I posted the recipe on here recently if you want to take a peek!

Sophie x

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I have the recipe printed and am going to try them. I love the Bliss Balls you gave us the recipe for. I also follow on Instagram - The Big Mans World and he has a cookbook I bought that has recipes for alot of good things without all the refined sugar, white flour, etc. I have made a couple and they are yummy and satisfy my sweet tooth. My mom always had dessert for us when I was growing up so I always need just a little something sweet in the evening. I like dark chocolate and try and get the bars that are at least 72% cacoa.

Kim

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Hi Kim,

Let me know what you think of the brownies. I was surprised at how dense and rich they tasted without eggs, flour or added sugar. It's fun trying out healthier dessert options!

Sophie ❤

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Very informative. Thanks

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You're welcome.

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