A New Phase of my “Breast Cancer Diet”

 Sep. 20, 2011 7:57 am 
It turns out there are a whole bunch of cancer-preventative nutrients in natural foods which nearly 100% of my recipes destroy in one way or another — not that I meant them any harm. Despite my evolution to organic foods and recipes, I find myself a football field’s length away from where I need to be if what I’ve been reading is true: plant foods provided by mother nature, in the form she provides them in (without man-made additions) is really REALLY good for you.

Note I’ve referenced plant foods which, of course, eliminates my beloved animal foods (including beef, poultry, and fish). My studies on this are still on-going, but for now it seems that ingested beef winds up creating an environment in your body that welcomes the creation of cancer cells. Chicken seems to be even worse, and fish — as most of us should already know — has higher levels of mercury and other nasty pollutants than we really should be eating… as lovely as shrimp, scallops, lobster, flounder, and all my favorites can be.
So I’m at the starting line of a whole new way of cooking and I got a whiff of what’s possible just the other day when I came across a Portobella Mushroom /Roasted Red Pepper dish. I found the recipe in a book called “Eat To Live”, and then — not unlike me — I misread it and wound up making my own variation, which turned out to be great. I was stunned to find how much I liked it, and even more stunned that I’d made it without any oil, butter, salt, sugar, or other tricks I’ve used throughout the years to add levels of flavor. It turns out nature provides many levels on its own: all you need to know is where to find them (even still, there are some minimally pre-processed ingredients here).
With that in mind, here’s the “Ah Ha” recipe. Please remember I’ve been off salts and other additives (mainly eating veggies juices and salads) for 3 weeks, so the tastiness of this dish for me is likely to be different for you. If you’re not working to prevent yet another breast cancer, you might find this to be a nice starting point for something more to your taste. On the other hand, you might find you like it as is.
Portobella Roasted Red Pepper Mushroom (appetizer or sandwich)
4 large Portobella mushrooms, stem removed
1/2 large red onion, sliced thin
3/4 c. tahini (unsalted sesame seed butter)
2 medium roasted red peppers, seeds removed (home made or from a jar)
1/2 c. water
1 medjool date, seeded and chopped small
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 c. watercress
2 slices whole wheat pita bread (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°. Place mushrooms upside down on an oven pan, then fill with slices of red onion (about two slices of onion each). Bake until the onion is soft (about 30 minutes). 
Meanwhile, put the tahini, red peppers, water, date, garlic, liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and lemon juice in a blender and blend for about 1-1/2 minutes (really blend it well). It’s color will be similar to Russian Dressing.
When the mushrooms and onions are done, remove from the oven. If you want to serve as a sandwich, cut the whole wheat pita bread in half and place about 1/4 c. watercress in the bottoms. Cut up the mushrooms and place inside the bread with the onions, then drizzle with the sauce. If you want to serve this as an appetizer, don’t use the bread at all. Instead, place the mushroom and onions on 4 plates, drizzle with the sauce, and top with about 1/4 c. watercress (it’s actually quite pretty).

Making Breast Cancer Choices

Sep. 5, 2011 12:59 pm

I’ve written three updates, and all three have failed to post… which tells me it’s not time to post much.

What I CAN say is that my treatment of choice is likely going to involve minimal surgery with follow-up treatment being a diet of fresh fruits and veggies (raw, cooked, and juiced) and more exercise. I’ve been on the fruit and veggie diet for about 10 days and have lost 7 pounds — without being hungry. (The advantage to weight loss is that fat contributes to making estrogen which is assumed to play a major role in creating many breast cancers.) Hubby has also introduced me to a new aerobic sport which we play in our driveway. It’s called Pickleball, and if you haven’t tried it, you might find you love it (just Google it).

I’m not turning my back on western medicine entirely, of course, but I AM listening to my body which, it turns out, has strong opinions: no mastectomies, no chemotherapy, no drugs with toxic side effects. I figure I owe it to myself (and my body) to listen to what it’s telling me, while still getting a second opinion and all other due diligence.

Hubby is still experimenting with his juice mixes, making greener and greener juices gradually to let my taste buds build up to enjoying more nutrient dense cruciferous veggie juice (cruciferous being heavy hitters when it comes to breast cancer). I’ve sipped each glass as if I were commenting on different wines: “too grassy”, “heavy overtone of kale”, “gag” and, most recently “delicious”. His ego still refuses to follow some wonderful recipes I’ve gotten elsewhere, but first he needs to know I appreciate his prowess with the juicer. And he’s covering the bases even if the taste could be more equisite. We’ll get there.

In the meanwhile, I’ve found a satisfying replacement for my morning coffee (which is now on the “no-can-do” list): hot water with lemon and lime juice, sprinkled with cinnamon and a bit of cayenne. It might be an aquired taste, but I wish you could have been in my body when it got its first taste… perfection!

So things are going well. There’s more to learn, but so far everything feels just fine. And there’s lots of love in every corner of my life. How great is that?

Breast cancer again… for the third time.

Bring on the Fruits and Veggies 

Aug. 26, 2011 7:13 am
About a month ago, I learned I have a third primary breast cancer. The first one was 11 years ago; the second was 5 years ago, and now this. All three have been unique (in other words, none is a recurrence of an earlier one). And what this means, put bluntly, is that I’m a high risk breast cancer patient/survivor.

First, and most importantly, breast cancer doesn’t scare me. It saddens me, but it doesn’t scare me.
Second, despite wishes to the contrary, none of us get out alive: despite my illness, I’m as likely to be hit by a truck as the next guy.
Third, because I now know my body is an equal opportunity breast cancer maker, it seems wise to adjust my diet… at least enough to bring things into better balance. And thus, I’m embarking on a juice journey of fruits and vegetables (oh, let’s toss in some ginger, shall we?). The idea of adding juicing to my treatment plan came from this: www.fatsickandnearlydead.com. If you happen to subscribe to Netflix, they’ve got it under “Documentaries”. It’s worth watching if you’ve got aches, pains, diabetes, arthritis, a serious illness, or just want to lose some weight.
As it happens, while I’ve been at the stove all these years, my dear hubby has been satisfying his never-ending appetite with “snacks” of juiced fruits and veggies. Which means for 30 years I’ve been working on becoming a gourmet cook while he’s become a gourmet juicer. How lucky (all things considered) can a girl get?
Although I’ll have the tumor removed (and perhaps be even more aggressive), it makes sense to give my body a chance to be part of the healing process. As much as I’ll miss some of my favorite dishes — at least as regularly as I’ve been eating them — I have to confess I’ve been neglectful of my fruit and veggie intake. And by that, I mean I often ignore them other than as ingredients I add to a dish starring something other than fruits and veggies.
This will be new for me, but hubby’s been offering up some very tasty juices which I’ve taken between solid foods. I’ll move off the solids soon, and go with a juice fast for a bit, to return to solids foods again when my body’s ready. And I’ll know when that is because my body, bless its heart, is very good at letting me know what it needs.