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

Sweet Potato Soup ~ with apple

sweet pot soup

 

Simple and Healthy

 

I made Sweet Potato Soup Thursday. I’m having the second helping today and am enjoying it

1] peel, chop, boil 1 good sized sweet potato. When nearly soft, chop into chunks a good sized Gala apple with the skin on and add to the pot. When both potato and apple are very soft but not falling apart, drain.

2] Pour half of the mixture into a blender. I used a Ninja mixer. Add half of 2 cups of chicken broth (if it doesn’t have salt, add to taste). Add half a cup of plain yogurt, preferably Greek. Mix well.

3]Pour into a large bowl or pot and set aside. Then repeat the process. Place remaining potato/apple mixture in the blender,  the remaining 1 C of broth, another 1/2 C plain yogurt, and wiz.

4]Pour this into the bowl with the other half of the soup. Add boiling hot water to obtain the consistency you desire. Mix well with a large spoon, careful not to splatter it out of the bowl. Eat what you want and refrigerate the rest for later in the week. I have not tried to freeze this because I eat it right up.

Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:7, New American Standard Bible [NASB]

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

 

 

 

 

Multi-Grain French Toast ~ a breakfast brew-ha-ha, my second attempt

Bkfst Casserole Savory (2)

Healthy Home Cooking, Cooking For One

 

My second try at a Breakfast Casserole or Baked French Toast using multi-grain bread. This one is ‘savory’ (2 beaten eggs, then beat in 2 C 2% milk, 1/4 finely chopped pecans, 1/2 pkg Hormel less fat real bacon bits, Lawry’s season salt to taste and my advice is take it easy, ground pepper, 1 rounded Tbs sugar). Spray baking dish well. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min or till done. I had to moosh the bread down and crush the crusts to get them to absorb the liquid. It rose back up in baking. I could’ve cut off the crusts but that would’ve eliminated seeds which are healthy. ~ Can serve warm with maple syrup or honey, raspberry jam, sprinkled confectioner sugar. Or eat as is. ~ 3 servings.

In my first casserole/French Toast/bread pudding attempt I used multi-gran bread, the egg and milk bath (no seasoned salt) and apples with brown sugar. Didn’t crush the bread and it didn’t look as good coming out of the oven. I called it bread pudding, which it wasn’t. It tasted good.

BTW, there will be a third attempt. This is a work in progress. And a fourth and fifth…gotta get it right someday as I eat my way thought the test trials.

ELIMINATE THE WHITES ~ talking food here

white bread
White Bread ~ a huge No-No in my life. Converts to sugar, turns to fat, goes straight to my belly.

Killing Belly Fat Is Murder!

First, let me put my disclaimer out. I’m not a doctor, not a nutritionist, not a certified diet counselor, but I did slowly loose 60 lbs over a period of five years and have kept it off. In fact, I’m still slowly loosing weight and my doctor says I’m very healthy. If you are going to begin a diet or new type of eating lifestyle ~ consult with your doctor.

How did I achieve this weight loss feat? I wish I could take the credit, but I can’t…entirely. A major factor was my young adult daughters moved out and with them, so did the junk food. One got married. The other two decided they’d live with friends because they were now “adults.” I can’t take credit for the Twinkies, chips, boxed mac ‘n cheese, Chinese noodle packets, microwave popcorn, and sour gummie worms moving out with them.

The other issue I can only partially take credit for. I started walking my dog instead of letting her out in the backyard to do her business. Simply taking a half to three-quarters of a mile walk twice a day did wonders for me. It jump started my metabolism. I believe walking is the best exercise there is for most people. Still, I have to give honor and credit where it’s due. It was my relationship with God that got me walking. I heard Him say (in my inner being) that I should walk the dog and I obeyed. Then I heard Him tell me to change my diet and I obeyed again. So, these are my diet and lifestyle creds. If you are going to make changes in your diet and exercise routine, consult your doctor, and definitely enquirer of God first.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 [NASB] ~ Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

IMG_2259
My Harlequin Sweet Potato Salad with tons of veggies (celery, carrot, onion, green pepper)

I began a food research campaign. I read articles on WebMD, listened to Christian broadcasts featuring Dr. Don Colbert, and began listening to healthy cooking shows and health-conscious chefs on TV. I became serious about this and developed a very simple lifestyle/eating plan for myself. Basically, I eliminated (or nearly so) all white foods and processed foods. This include white breads, white potatoes, white pasta, white rice, sugar and artificial sugar substitutes, and salt. I eliminated (or nearly so) all white beans. My first choice in beans overwhelmingly is black beans, followed by dark  red kidney beans. My choice in potatoes is a sweet potato or yam, followed at a distance by new red-potatoes with the skins left on. My choice in rice is brown rice. However, I make sure I do not eat carb loaded foods at every meal (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans). I don’t eliminate carbs because many of them are healthy, but I never-ever eat them at three meals a day, seldom at two.

There are whites in dairy. I eat dairy, including white milk, mostly low-fat. NO, I do NOT stir in chocolate syrup to make milk non-white. LOL Aside from it being an excellent source of protein, I’ve been diagnosed with hypo-thyroidism which has added to my difficulty in losing weight over the years. In America, dairy products have iodine in them and the thyroid needs iodine to function properly. Salt also contains iodine. It’s my choice for me to cut way down on salt, because I also in recent years have had a tendency toward high blood pressure. Since I changed my diet and have lost so much weight, I was able to come off high cholesterol statin meds, which have negative side effects but do prevent heart attacks and strokes. It’s my goal, as I continue to loose weight, that I’ll get off my high blood pressure meds.

Various conditions require the elimination of certain foods that might be healthy for everyone else. Thyroid is one of those conditions and there are others. I find Dr. Colbert is very good in explaining this, so is Dr. Oz.

Never say never! I’m addicted to and drink un-sweetened iced tea with LOTS of lemon slices squeezed in and seltzer water with unsweetened flavor added (lemon/lime, berry, and the like). I keep my house well stocked with these. I was addicted to Diet Coke, and will on occasion order that in a restaurant, despite it being loaded with the dreaded aspartame. I don’t purchase Diet Coke in the grocery or keep it in my house. That’s the key, don’t keep it in your house. If you have others living with you, you need to enlist their support. Have a family meeting, get everyone to pray over healthy eating issues.

I’m not a killjoy. After church on Sunday I often go to lunch with a friend. I attempt to choose wisely, but have been known to order a burger with fries. On my birthday, I indulge in a slice of birthday cake. At another’s birthday party, I’ll also have a slice of cake. Ditto for rich foods and dessert on major holidays. Did you know January 22nd is National Blonde Brownie Day? No, I do not eat blonde brownies on Jan 22. Nor do I indulge on National Chocolate Cake Day. I’m also not diabetic and can recuperate from an occasional unhealthy sugar and starch laden meal.

1 Corinthians 5:8 [KJV] ~ Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

12 grain bread
If I have bread, it’s 12 or 15 grain whole wheat bread

Turkey Sausage Toscana Soup ~ Killing Belly Fat Is Murder

IMG_20151011_130937The last time I went to see my doctor for a regular check up, I’d lost another 4 pounds. That’s 44 pound gone in all (yippee). However, my doctor detected that my triglycerides were going up. That is a huge clue that means I’d been eating carbs. Yes, I had to confess; it was true.

Oh dear, found out and nothing to do but explain to my doctor. Yes, I’d been eating on the run lately. Eating prepared foods. High in carbs, sugar, salt. Not good. So, I vowed to get back in the saddle and fight the urge to eat bad carbs.

Here’s a tasty recipe, while not carb free, the carbs are all healthy veggie carbs.

Turkey Sausage Toscana Soup

  1. Spray the bottom of a 1 pt pot. Coarsely chop 1/4 – 1/2 C sweet onion, 1/8 – 1/4 C green pepper (mine came off the vine in my garden) and saute until translucent. If you need more spray, add 1 – 2 Tbsp water instead and continue to saute.
  2. Add 4 C chicken broth (low sodium if you’re watching salt), 1/2 package frozen spinach and bring to a soft  boil. (If you’re not counting carbs you can add a 1/2 can of rinsed and drained white beans here. I didn’t add the beans to mine.)
  3. Remove the casing off of 2 Turkey Italian Sausage links (I used Shady Brook Farms). Cut into bite-size pieces and drop into the boiling liquid. Season to taste with any or all of these (salt, pepper, celery seed, garlic powder, paprika, basil, oregano).
  4. Add 1/4 C – 1/3 C halved cherry tomatoes. (I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden.)
  5. Not to thicken, but simply to give body, add 1 level tsp of corn starch to several Tbsp cold water and shake until smooth. Add to the soup. Simmer about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. If you don’t want the carbs in corn starch, leave this out.
  6. Can serve with grated Parmesan cheese, or eat as is.

Serves 3 for lunch, 2 for dinner.

Deadly Designs 1400

In my new release, DEADLY DESIGNS, sharp-shooting, feisty and sassy female private detective Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels has embarked on a new, healthy way of eating. Even though she’s been injured by the villain, she insists upon cooking a meal with organic chicken for the hero. In the previous book in the series, HARMFUL INTENT, she went undercover at an organic cooking class and it changed her way of eating and viewing food.HI Price Reduction $1.99 PP

 

Sauteed Fish ~ killing belly fat is murder

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“Baked fish again! That’s so boring,” ~ is the dieter’s lament, but it doesn’t have to be a breaded fish fry either. If you’ve cut waaay down on starch and carbs it’s essential to stay away from the dredging flour and bread crumbs.

Even if you’re not watching your waistline, it’s a good thing for every cook to have a basic sauteed fish recipe in their arsenal.

If I were to make a literary comparison, this would be a sub-genre, rather than a specific story.

  • Fish
  • Pan Fried Fish
  • Sauteed Fish

Rather than a specific recipe, it’s a way to cook no starch, low carb sauteed fish. If you’re like me, every time you make it, the dish will be slightly different. This depends upon your whim and what ingredients you have on hand.

You want flavor, so the first step is to saute some veggies and garlic. I took a small tomato chopped coarsely, two sliced cloves of garlic, and 1/8 to 1/4 C coarsely chopped red onion. Saute until tender in olive oil or canola oil. I stirred in a handful of fresh basil leaves. [But, you could just as easily add some coarsely chopped red, orange, or yellow sweet pepper, or use oregano instead of basil. Or anything else you’ve got on hand.]

I have a secret seasoning (so please don’t tell anyone). I use an old Mrs. Dash shaker and mix together 1 Tbs garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp celery salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp chili powder. I love garlic, but if you don’t, when you saute the veggies, use one fresh sliced clove of garlic instead of two.

Sprinkle the secret seasoning to taste (here after called SS) on one side of four average size fish fillets. I often used flounder. Turn that side down in the pan. Do this with all four fillets. Make sure the heat is on medium to medium low, so you don’t burn the fish. Make sure you have enough oil so that you don’t burn the fish, but it shouldn’t be swimming. [Get it…fish swimming. Just a wee bit of humor, very wee.]

Sprinkle SS on the other side of the fish while they are in the pan. It only takes a minute of two for the fish to cook. Turn them once and cook another two minutes. Handle as little as possible, or the fillets will fall apart.

I arranged all four fillets on a plate for the photo, but when I serve I use a spatula and place two fillets on a plate, serving two people. Obviously the recipe is easily doubled or tripled. I serve this with steamed broccoli or with a fresh garden salad.

This is a recipe my heroine Veronica Ingels, gal PI, would like. As my contemporary series progresses, she gets more and more into healthy eating (all while hunting bad guys). However, this dish is good for anyone, but is especially good for those of us in mid-life who are heart-smart and waist conscious.