What are we supposed to eat after cancer? I reckon this is has to be one of the most asked questions by anyone that has had cancer. A question, I have been asked a lot. Even after diagnosis, I was thinking about my diet because it was colon cancer. This can apply to anyone to be honest, we all would like to know more about which foods will keep us fit and healthy. I have thought long and hard about how to blog about food as it is a very conflicted area when it comes to cancer, in fact, this is my third edit. So, I have decided to walk you through a typical day of eating for me. Let me be clear, I am not telling anyone what to eat, or to remove from their diet. These are choices I have made that I feel are beneficial to my health. I have read and researched and this is what I have determined to be the best nutritious route for ME!
When I wake up
I always drink filtered water before any coffee. I bought a jug that filters from MAKRO (buy three filters in a pack and one filter lasts one month) as I haven’t connected my fridge filter yet! Some mornings, I have warm water (filtered) with a quarter lemon. Kris Carr a well known cancer thriver wrote an article about the benefits. Lemon or not, just get that water in. Then, I have a regular coffee with soya milk. I used to have almond but much prefer soya with coffee. I know that eating before coffee is better but I am human and that coffee is a must have!
Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal of the day, I enjoy every moment of it and cannot skip it! Ask anyone that knows me! My go to brekky is oats.
- 1/4 cup oats (3 1/2 cups filtered water)
- 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen also work)
- Tbsp chia seeds
- Splash of soya milk
- 30g raw unroasted mixed nuts
After my oats, I have a second (and final) coffee with my nuts. I don’t like them on my oats and it also makes my coffee nutty too! I am a creature of habit but sometimes I try new things. I recently made banana breakfast bars which I have eaten recently, I just added some fresh raspberries for some natural sweetness. I froze half the batch. I need to mention that I now have a B12 spray that is easily absorbed which is the only vitamin that I NEED as a vegan, however, I posted about my other supplements on the previous post.
I tend to make enough supper from the night before to eat for lunch (it’s hard to cook for one!) that being said , I love a good salad for lunch. My go to salad is a Middle Eastern style but honestly, I often chuck in whatever is available.
- Handful baby spinach and handful of lettuce of choice, then I chop it
- Raw onion diced
- Tomato diced (peeled -drop in hot water then it peels easily)
- Peeled cucumber, as much as you like
- Half an avocado
- Cup brown lentils/black beans/protein of choice
- Handful pumpkin seeds ( sometimes sunflowers seeds) which gives a nice texture nad crunch!
- Nutritional yeast (great for vegans)
- Half lemon squeezed and olive oil for dressing and flavour
- Fresh chopped mint ( and parsley if you have/like)
- Himalayan rock salt for flavour
I have pickled beetroot also to add some colour (I boil a batch weekly and pickle at home)
You can add whatever you like, I sometimes add Swiss chard, fresh chilies and/or sprouts but depends if I can get them! Just try to get the rainbow in. Sometimes, if I feel hungry, I will have a slice of whole wheat bread with vegan margarine.
I am pretty religious about my smoothie as it allows me to get some goodness packed in quickly. I am pretty standard with it, never varies too much. When I make it varies, I basically drink it when I feel for it! Morning/afternoon or sometimes, I have it as a dessert in the evening!
- 1/2 cup mixed frozen berries
- 1/4 cup frozen cranberries
- Banana (I often peel, chop and freeze when they are turning)
- Large handful of kale
- Tbsp Organic powdered Wheatgrass (I have Supergreens but they give my heart burn??? Don’t know why!)
- Cup of filtered water (add more or less to suit)’
- I sometimes add a scoop of vegan protein
I often make too much so have to drink two glasses.
The easiest supper that I make is a stir fry, there’s lots of debate about cooking food at a lower temperature, ie. steaming but that gets boring and I feel that I have made so many huge changes already. The jury’s out for me!
- Vegan paneer/Tofu
- Chopped onion
- Ginger and garlic (any form, just get it in)
- Fresh chilies (as many as you can handle!)
- Shredded coleslaw mix (so easy and no chopping, save some for the next time)
- Pak choi (Love this!) or baby spinach, Swiss chard or kale – anything green and leafy!
- Cauliflower and/or Broccoli (Cruciferous)
- Spices depend on your taste and style of cooking, I love Thai flavours, so lemongrass and basil (or go the soya and sesame flavoured route but try to make your own flavours and not sugary ready made ones)
- Coconut milk
I have packed loads of veges in, protein and some healthy fats. You can eat with rice of choice, I tend to eat it just so. Sometimes, I’ll make a Japanese style soup with Udon noodles and then I can drink the nice broth. Curries are perfect too and you can get that turmeric and pepper in! Another favourite of mine is to blend black beans and a bunch of other stuff to make burgers or meatballs. As I don’t like to eat too much ‘white stuff’, I love roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon/fresh rosemary. As I said earlier, I will eat the remainders for lunch the next day. It goes without saying that white bread, pasta and rice are not great (Basmati is the best white rice) and it’s better to stick to whole grains (whole wheat/rye bread, oats, buck/bulgar wheat, pearl barley, quinoa, brown rice etc.) which provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined.
- Organic brown ricecakes (whole wheat toast) with natural peanut butter
- Homemade hummus with vegetables (peppers, carrots, cucumber, celery)
- Peeled apple, grapes or fruit – Yes, there is sugar in fruit but please don’t tell me it is worse than sugary drinks, cereals etc. etc. and the vitamins and nutrients provided in fruit far outweigh the sugar.
- Lentil/chickpea crisps ( I found some in my local supermarket which I love)
- Vegan cheese (make a pizza or toastie)
- Oat yoghurt
- Vegan chocolate
- Digestive and Oreos for a treat
- Filtered water (cold or warm)
- Green tea
- Chai tea (basically any herbal tea)
- Homemade juice ( I still haven’t bought a juicer but I hear carrot juice is power, so plan to buy soon!)
By my reckoning, I have had the 12 portions of fruit and vegetables, which is my daily goal! There are literally so many fruit and vegetables you can eat as part of your daily meals. I have protein at every meal, healthy fats and carbs (some not as great as others). My aim is to make my meals from scratch and remove as much processed food as possible. I am not a saint and I sometimes stick some Vegan meat-free nuggets in the air fryer but you get my point!
I am beginning to get more used to vegan baking, scones are easy as I can just use a plant based milk and vegan margarine and I recently made a vegan chocolate tart. Flaxseed meal is a replacement for egg. Plus, there are so many amazing people out there with great recipes and my favourite is @healthylivingjames as his meals (and baking recipes) are so easy and tasty! Just have fun with it and don’t feel obligated to even follow a recipe. I hope this helps and feel free to send me your favourite vegan recipes.
Enjoy! Love, Jojo xoxo