"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes." Psalm 119:71

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Change in Taste

At my last meeting with my nutritionist we discussed the likelihood that my PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is the highest contributing factor to me getting cancer. Namely because women with pcos have a large amount of estrogen compared to their progesterone. And breast cancer is a hormonally-driven cancer where estrogen matters a lot.

If you want to know more about how PCOS-related insulin resistance also likely contributed to me getting cancer, read the next paragraph, if not skip down...

Scientists believe that the components of Insulin Resistance and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome actually favor the growth of breast cancer cells, creating an environment ripe for the development of this disease. While studies are still on-going, preliminary data suggests that increased levels of insulin in the blood increase the formation of breast cancer cells.

My nutritionist will be closely monitoring my hormone levels from here on out to make sure I stay out of that danger zone regarding my estrogen.

But the insulin issues- well, they're mostly taken care of with diet. Which is why everything I'm eating lately has almost no sugar or wheat. I'm eating very little carbohydrates and very little red meat. And fruits and vegetables are, of course, most important.

So far it's been easier than expected. (Of course, I've had the best motivation possible- staying healthy during chemotherapy!)

Some of my best discoveries:

-Smoothie King. My Starbucks addiction has taken a major hit and Smoothie King has luckily been there as a replacement. All last week I enjoyed a Starbucks mocha nearly everyday to celebrate chemo ending, but now I'm back on a no-sugar diet so I settle for the Mocha Coffee Smoothie (with no turbinado) at Smoothie King instead.

-Quinoa pasta has been my favorite health food find. Pasta is a big no-no. Even whole wheat pasta. Thankfully my love for Top Chef came in handy and I remembered a gluten-free episode that featured pasta made of Quinoa. Quinoa is a protein (something I'm supposed to consume a lot of) and the pasta tastes (to me anyway) just like regular pasta, maybe even better! It looks like this...

and you can get it at Kroger. And it's also organic!

-Sweets are completely restricted but I found that sometimes I just need something chocolate! Lucky for me I found Endangered Species chocolate bars that are organic. If I buy the ones that are 88% pure cocoa, then I can eat half a bar for only 5 grams of sugar. I usually can't even eat half a bar though, so this is a pretty healthy alternative to sweets.

I found a tip online today that I can't wait to put into practice. The suggestion is to grate vegetables into all of your recipes while you cook so everything has double the vegetables, but the thin slices don't change the flavor much.

If you know us personally, you'll understand just how many groans have risen from my husband's side of the table lately. He's doing a good job at least trying most of the food I've been serving up. But we've got a long way to go before I get him to give up all of his sugar-packed, preservative-stuffed snacks like Dr. Pepper, Frosted Flakes, and honey buns!

Our game plan-
We're trying to make eating differently more fun so we've made it into a competition. We're going to start combing the health food websites for interesting recipes. Terry and I will each take turns cooking some of the more challenging dinners and we'll keep track of who makes the most delicious meals. We haven't decided yet what the winner gets though. Probably just some guilt-free cash to spend on whatever we want!


  1. Can you find a way to make quinoa chicken tenders and grated veggie taquitos? If so, Terry wouldn't have to change a thing! ;)

    I still haven't tried quinoa yet, but I really want to. You might need to post a few of the best recipes you find with all your healthy tips!

  2. By the way, your chocolate is slavery-free. (http://www.johnrobbins.info/blog/is-there-slavery-in-your-chocolate/) It's something I've been very conscious of lately when buying chocolate, and super saddened to discover my beloved Guittard is not slavery free. :(


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