Does It Matter What You Eat ~ during chemo?

A roast chickenIt matters what you eat during chemo.

I was told, “It doesn’t matter what you eat during chemo. Eat whatever you want, whatever you can get down.” But I found that only lead to constipation which lead to exhaustion which lead to depression. Oh how I fought that depression and won. So, yes, it does matter what you eat during chemo. Very much so.

Isaiah 55:2b ~ Listen carefully to me:
    Eat what is good, and enjoy the best foods. ~ God’s Word Translation [GW]

I was pretty healthy going into chemo, so I wasn’t having a lot of the side-effects many cancer patients face. And, here’s the real biggie, I’d given my side-effect to God, and I feel he took them. Now chemo has not, repeat, has not been a walk in the park for me. They were, pouring big-time toxins into my veins…very serious, big-time toxins that kill the cancer. But the rest of my body was screaming, “HELP!!!”

I’d not only given my side-effects to God, I’d given my entire treatment to God. Let my doctor and medical staff handle that. They went to school for it. I zoomed in on the spiritual (healing study, prayer, etc.) with the Holy Spirit right next to me. And I zoomed in on the nutrition of healing with the Holy Spirit right next to me. As many can tell, this blog is aimed at Christians, mostly aimed at blood bought, full-gospel Christians. Worldwide, there are more than 30,000 Christian denominations. So, some Christians will identify with what I write more than others, some pretty much not at all. I also have a nonChristian following. Maybe because I’m not condemning. I present my spiritual and nutritional cases in a Biblical context and let them speak for themselves. I don’t condemn Christian who believe differently than I do, and I don’t condemn nonChristians. Jesus called believers to love. In fact, I have quite a large following in India…Christian, non-Christian, I don’t know. Hi, India.

So, after I tried the ‘I could eat anything I wanted during chemo’ theory with sad results, I went on a pretty strict Mediterranean-ish Diet. I say “ish” not because I wasn’t on the diet, I didn’t restrict it to foods found only in the Mediterranean. If the recipe from a country not bordering on the Mediterranean Sea had no food elements that were off the diet I’d include it. Ukrainian Summer Borscht is an example. I’m not a Food-Nazi. I will not look at what you’ve got on your plate…even if it’s all made from chemicals. However, for me, they are pouring enough toxic chemicals into my body to kill the cancer. I won’t add toxic chemicals the food companies put in so they can sell year-round and transport the items all year long in airplanes, ships, and trucks. I personally won’t do that.

I cook most of my food from scratch, but not all. Increasingly, super markets and even some smaller markets sell healthy organic foods, some already prepared (salsa, salad dressings, etc.) There are also some pretty healthy frozen foods out there from all types of food companies. You have to read the label. If it has a string of unreadable, unpronounceable chemical ingredients, I won’t buy it.

Because of copyright laws I can’t post a Mediterranean Diet Food Map, but I can give a link to Wikipedia’s food map and their article on the Mediterranean Diet.

ribbon pink

In HARMFUL INTENT, Brooklyn (NYC) gal private-eye finds herself in Texas where she is the prime suspect of the stalwart sheriff’s deputy in the murder of her cheating husband. She knows the real murderer has something to do with the local high-end health spa. So, she takes a health food/organic cooking class with the spa’s nutritionist and it tonally changes how she looks at food. But will it help her catch the killer?

Harmful Intent 400 P

What’s A Virus Busting Diet? ~ healthy eating in a dangerous world

My people are destroyed for lac of knowledge;… Hosea 4:6 [English Standard Version, ESV]

I’ve researched a great number of websites on antivirual eating/foods. Most of them quote studies and research. I didn’t include those notations. I did select the foods that were common to and showed up on most of those sites.

These are the viruses we mainly deal with in 2020: covid19, the flu, HIV, cancer, hepatitis, the measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and shingles, polio, common cold, rabies, ebolavirus disease and hantavirus fever,  herpes and cold sores. These viruses are much more difficult to heal than bad bacteria which we treat with antibiotics. However, we are not helpless. We can eat a diet that is hostile to viruses. And we can follow the advise of our doctors. And we can pray for healing. You can believe what you want. I, personally, believe food is not the healer. The Healer is God. God can work through prayer, doctors, a healthy diet. I believe healthy food provides a supportive environment for health and healing.

Antivirus Foods to add to your diet:

a garlic

Garlic and Onions: Garlic gives a threefold punch. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. . Raw garlic when it’s crushed or sliced gives the most benefit, but most people can’t eat it that way. When you cook it, peel and crush/slice it right before it goes into the pan. Jarred garlic bits in water is second choice, garlic powder third. Don’t use garlic salt. Studies have associated over salting with stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Garlic is part of the Onion Family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots) Everything in the Onion Family has anti-viral benefits.

            Steamed Broccoli w/Garlic and Red Onion: Combine ¾ C water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1Tbsp fresh sliced garlic in a skillet and bring to a boil over a high hear. Add ½ C very thinly sliced red onion, 2 C broccoli florets and boil at high heat for 5-7 minutes (or to the tenderness you like). Individuals with a thyroid condition will have to boil the broccoli until it is very tender. If there’s too much liquid, drain some of it. At the end, add 1/4  tsp- salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, toss, and serve. You can sprinkle grated cheese on at the table, if desired. Serves 2.

Note: cancer patients who are cautious about frying foods can steam/saute foods. Spray the pan with pan spray, add the onions, garlic, veggies, meat/fish/poultry and begin to cook over a low flame. Slowly add 1/4 C – 1 C water, broth, cooking wine, wine, or even fruit juice. Slowly raise the heat to the desired temperature. Don’t drown what you’re cooking. This steaming/sauteing will remove the fear of carcinogens that comes with pan frying and grilling.

a tea

Black Tea/Green Tea: Tea plants have properties that protect the plant from viruses and fungi. This does translate to human consumption. Tea has been shown to fight a number of viruses.

a salmon

Fish/Seafood with Omega 3 Fatty Acids:  Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, oysters. Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce inflammation and acts as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral agents. Chronic inflammation has been shown to lead to heart disease and cancer.

A orange-4663073_1920

Citrus and Leafy Greens:  provide Vitamin C which boots the immune system. Flavonoid rich foods. Many of the articles I’ve looked at report that when an imbalance of healthy antioxidants and harmful substances called free radicals occur in the body there is increased risk of stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Foods rich in Vitamin C help to restore the balance.

A nut-1569252_1920

Nuts and Seeds: provide supportive Vitamin E, Selenium, and Magnesium. All it takes is a small handful of walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds. Caution: portion control is important. Nuts are a healthy virus fighting food but are calorie dense. Keep the portions small because overweight has no health benefits. 

A yogurt

Yogurt/Kefir: Yogurt is rich in probiotics, the good bacteria that support intestinal health. A large proportion of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. Eating yogurt regularly (daily or at least 4 times a week) can improve immune function because it increases the body’s production of antibodies that fight off viruses. Best is unsweetened plain yogurt, but any yogurt is better than none. At least one brand of Greek yogurt has no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners. It is slightly sweet. Drinking Kefir is also very good.

A asparagus

Foods rich in zinc: Zinc helps to keep viruses from attaching to cells and helps prevent them from replicating. Among the foods with the highest zinc content: garbanzo beans and other beans, asparagus and spinach, mushrooms, dark chocolate, nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts), oysters, shrimp and scallops, beef, lamb, and poultry.

My personal advice: take a multi vitamin every day and add a zinc and a vitamin C supplement to that.

Portions: Imagine your plate is divided into three sections like summer picnic plates. Your veggies go in the large space. Protein (meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese, etc) go in one of the small spaces. Carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potatoes or red skinned potatoes with the skins on, whole wheat pasta, 1 slice of whole grain or multi-grain bread) goes in the other small space. If you are having fruit for dessert put it in one of those little bowls that look like finger bowls. Those are dessert bowls. The ones we tend to use are actually a cereal bowls.

A fruit

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Dream ~ and I don’t cry

Emil Navor, WWII
Emil Michael Navor,  WWII, US Army, Pacific Arena

Yet, this morning I woke up dreaming about my dad’s memorial service, eighteen years ago, when I couldn’t stop crying. I don’t usually do either of those things: dream in my sleep that I can recall, or often cry.

That morning, the tears seemed to come up from my toes. I dremt an exact recall of how my BFF childhood girlfriend Christine Sloat White comforted me on the way out of the sanctuary. Christine died way too early of ovarian cancer, and as was her own personal style, carried herself with extreme dignity, right tot he end thinking of others.

 

Christine Sloat White

Christine Sloat White, Titusville, Fl

 

 

 

 

I only have one digital photo of my dad. So, I dragged out the two boxes of photos I have in my house in NYC, thinking I’d try to take a digital shot of an old snapshot. However, I couldn’t find any. Most of my photos (copious amounts of them) were shipped to Florida, as I’m in transition for a retirement move south. Likewise I only have one digital shot of Christine stored in my computer.

 

As I got out of bed this morning, I flashed to my father’s hospital bedside after the stroke that left him speechless in 1997. My dad had spent a lifetime angry at God over the very early death of his own father, which thrust his mother, sister, and himself into years of hardship. Using the GI Bill, he turned to education and philosophy for answers and obtained a college degree. Much later in life he added two masters degrees. He spoke three languages. None of this made him less angry with God. He spent the overwhelming portion of his adult life as a highly vocal agnostic. Honesty was his strong suit, and he freely admitted thinking about death made him very uneasy.

I visited my dad in the Catholic hospital in upstate New York, following his stroke. He couldn’t speak, but he had full use of his hands. A retired English high school teacher, speech teacher, debate coach, and high school senior play director, he had no trouble using words. He described on paper how he had been drawn to a particular statue of a baby, actually what appeared to be a Middle Eastern mother, father, and infant. He’d ask the nurses or aides to push his wheelchair into the waiting room where the wooden statue was displayed. He’d sit there gazing at it, he said, in a total peace he had never felt before. He wrote on his notepad, “Why do you think that is?”

I asked my dad, “Do you know who is depicted in that statue?” He didn’t know. So, I told him it was the Holy Family. The baby he was so drawn to, the one where gazing upon the infant carved in wood gave him such peace, was in fact, the baby Jesus. He was nonplussed. A shy smile crossed his face.

He also told me in writing how a particular nun who worked in the hospital would come to see him every day and something happened. She lit up the room. He couldn’t wait to see her. I later sought this nun out in her office to thank her for such kindness to my father. I was overwhelmed. I explained to her he’d been an agnostic most of his life and somehow he’d seen light in her. I told her how he had been drawn to the statue of the baby Jesus, and how I believed he’d had a profound experience of the Savior. For the first time in his life, he had experienced the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.

That little visit didn’t go well. She was shocked and horrified. I came to believe, she saw  a man who was going to hell if he didn’t get baptized, make his First Communion and get confirmed. Born again Christians might say she had a religious spirit. That’s a spirit of man-made religious stuff that’s not in the Bible. I’m not being antiCatholic. Christians have in the past, and some still do, make up all kinds of stuff that’s not in the Bible, such as you can’t dance or drink alcohol.

My Bible says Jesus turned water into wine for his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. I’ll bet there was plenty of dancing at that wedding. Jews always dance at weddings. I lived next to a religious Jewish family in Brooklyn for over 13 years. It would be quite usual on Friday evenings and on Saturday for friends to come over to celebrate the Sabbath. I’d often hear them laughing, singing, and feet-stompin’ dancing. And let’s not forget Jesus changed water into wine. That was after the guests at the wedding at Cana had consumed all the wine the host provided. The Bible says wine enough to fill six, large, stone purification water jars. These jars usually held 20 – 30 gallons. That’s a lot of wine. Some Christians insist the ‘wine’ they drank was really grape juice. I take my Bible literally. If it says wine, it means wine. It also says, the headwaiter told the bridegroom this last wine was the best. I’ve never been at any kind of social occasion where anyone has said, “This last grape juice was the best.” However, there have been endless hours spent talking about the merits of one particular wine vs. another.

But I digress. I believe, this precious nun was dismayed because she saw in my dad, a man going to hell. I was so grateful to her for being a representative of Jesus, walking into his room. I was grateful to the nurses and aides who pushed my dad’s wheelchair into the waiting room where he could spend time with the Holy Spirit who obviously did a work in him. I saw a man who had had an encounter with the living God who loved him, offered him peace, and extended an invitation to one day go to heaven.