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  • Writer's pictureSimone Coleman

Food During Cancer

Eating healthy during a battle with cancer is important. It’s not easy as most may think especially when there’s a lack of appetite. During my treatment doctors wanted me to be sure to keep my normal weight and eat as normal. My meal planning consisted of trying to eat healthy foods such as whole grain breads and cereals, drinking 100% fruit juices, eating lots of vegetables and fruits, limit foods high in sugar. I’d often choose lean meats and salads with meals when my taste buds allowed.

It’s been quite some time since finishing treatment and I still have major challenges in my eating habits. I’ve found that I can no longer tolerate eating chicken, it doesn’t agree with me. I have however been able to cook with turkey and make lettuce wraps, taco salads, and even white chicken chilli. Additionally, there has been a reduction of red meats in my meal plan. A lot of what I eat now seems repetitious but it works. With my taste buds altering and my interest in certain foods decreasing it causes me to stick to what I know works and pleasing to me.

My doctors also stated that cancer can damage cells in the oral cavities. Proton cancer treatments changed my senses of taste and smell. Because my cancer was to a certain part of my brain, doctors said I could experience some of these changes but they would hopefully come back to normal. Needless to say, I still battle with this particular topic to this day.

I struggled with this at first because it became frustrating to eat and fellowship with others who invited me out to eat. I had to pray about this diligently because I began to lose interest in eating out at all. The body goes through changes during and after cancer, a lot of which we can’t even control or let alone describe. I continue to face this challenge but I make it a point to ask God to help me make better food choices that benefit my temple and is pleasing to him. I also love to look up recipes on Yummly, Pinterest, and use my Instapot to prepare my meals. Everyone has their challenges, some patients gain their taste buds back post treatment while other still struggle.

As we approach the winter months, I have a few go to recipes I enjoy during these cold months. One of my go to‘s is McCormicks White Chicken Chilli. I substitute the chicken with ground turkey and jazz it up with a few spices and herbs.

Ingredients include:

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1 package McCormick® White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) Great Northern beans, undrained

Every journey has its challenges and although I am on the other side, I embrace the changes! Gods got you today and always!

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