Perhaps because I just sat down to eat my homemade veggie sandwich for lunch or perhaps because I constantly get questions about my diet -- what I'm eating these days and more frequently, what I'm not -- I thought I'd fill everyone in. I don't believe in hard and fast rules about very much and this is particularly true when it comes to food. Why? Because I love it SO MUCH. I love all of it -- meat, cheese (my first love in life, actually...), pasta, seafood, veggies, fruit...everything! In fact, one time during a road trip a friend challenged me to name one food that I really didn't like. The best I could come up with: olives. And even though it's true that I really don't like them (too salty for me!) , I'll still eat them. Despite this, or maybe because of it actually, it was relatively easy for me to give up meat (red, white, and everything in between), dairy (even my beloved blue cheese...), coffee, some fruits, etc. early on in my treatment when I was doing a ton of reading about the positive effects a non-inflammatory Eastern diet (think vegan) could have on one's health outcomes. Now that I'm finished with with treatment, I have relaxed a few rules (not many, really) but here's what a typical day looks for me:
I'm vegan about 90% of the time for breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day. I'll have a bowl of my beloved Ezekiel cereal for breakfast with non-dairy "milk" (I like coconut but almond or rice would do just as well; NO soy for me...it's got the estrogen), and either berries or raisins. As it gets colder, I'll probably go back to steel cut oats for breakfast again and will eat the oats with raisins or frozen berries. Snacks are generally a piece of fruit (I'm lovin' Gala apples these days) or some raw nuts (much healthier than roasted ones) or some carrots and hummus (hummus is a central part of my diet these days). Lunch generally consists of a delicious veggie sandwich. Today's selection: Carrots, broccoli sprouts, cucumber, hummus, pesto, and roasted red peppers on...you guessed it...Ezekiel sprouted wheat bread. Do you people know about sprouts? Well, if you don't, you should. My friend Christy and I have become obsessed with them lately (she's actually growing her own...). Here's a little sprout trivia for you: Famous for it's antioxidant content, broccoli sprouts can contain something like 50 times the sulfurophane found in mature broccoli, by weight, so you get as much antioxidant in 1 ounce of broccoli sprouts as you would if you ate 3 pounds of fully grown broccoli. Now you see why we're diggin' them?
Anyway, all of the rules are relaxed considerably for dinner. This is because I do love food and it is comfort for me (fortunately, that's never caused a big problem for me since I like mostly healthy food) so at the end of a long day I don't really want to be uptight about what I'm eating, particularly since I love catching up with friends over dinner at restaurants and their homes. And I would NEVER want to be "that guest" for which the hostess practically develops an ulcer when determining what he/she can make that will be acceptable. I find those people really obnoxious. So, at dinner I'm a wild fish-oterian. And sometimes a shellfish-oterian. In addition to wild caught seafood, I'll eat inflammatory things like butter, white bread, some cheese (although, I try to limit it to goat and sheep's cheese because those are the healthiest -- the smaller the animal, the better the cheese), and some other dairy if it's in a cream sauce or dessert or something. Also, every now and again (I can only think of two times, actually), I'll eat a grass fed burger. Oh, and I'll indulge in a veggie pizza every now and again, as well. See, I just can't live with hard and fast rules, which leads me to...
Alcohol. I love it as much as I love food. I come by that naturally from my McGihon genes. Now, if I wanted to lead a truly Anti-Cancer lifestyle, I would only indulge in one glass of organic red wine per day. Well, folks, that just ain't happening. At least not during this phase of my life. And I'm okay with that. I have cut back considerably but I will not try to claim I am or will ever be able to keep it to just one glass of red a day. These days I generally have two glasses of organic (to avoid the sulphates) white wine (red still isn't agreeing with me following treatment) about five days a week. If I'm out with friends on the weekend, it might be more. If I'm home alone, I might not drink at all.
What else? I'm not really regular about anything else with my diet and nutrition. I'm supposed to be taking a multi-vitamin and calcium supplements everyday but they cause problems for me (I made the mistake of taking my vitamin five minutes before eating my cereal the other morning and I barfed up all of my breakfast in my kitchen sink...fun times!) so sometimes I take them and sometimes I don't. I also really need to get into vegetable juicing as there is great evidence of its role in good health outcomes but here's the thing: I need to get a good juicer and they're not cheap and it's messy and my kitchen is small. I know, I know. I need to stop making excuses and just do it. Maybe that will be my New Year's resolution?
Anyway, that's it. That's what I am and am not eating these days. Hope that this clears things up for everyone.