We managed to get to London just fine yesterday with some skilled driving by the Bear. It was carnage out there but we had been so looking forward to the appointment with the dietician that we felt we had to go by hook or by crook.
We met Kelly McCabe at the London Oncology Clinic and from the start it was brilliant. Kelly is so empathetic, incredibly knowledgeable about not only diet but her knowledge of chemotherapy drugs and their side effects and more, and full of interesting facts. Luckily for us the next patient was unable to make it and thank goodness as we filled those two hours very easily! It was probably me gassing and rambling on that filled the time but it was such a breath of fresh air to have someone that supported the diet and supplements and reinforced so much of what I have already been doing and what we have put in place since July last year.
The first thing that Kelly told me was that no matter what we decided during that appointment did not mean that I had been doing anything wrong and that it would have done any damage to me. Well of course I know she was being kind and didn’t want to upset me but as it turns out I have been doing everything pretty spot on. I always believe that supplements and changes should be made periodically anyway especially as medication, seasons, illness and so many other factors come into play as time goes by. The resounding fact that I wanted Kelly to know was how well I have been feeling but I was concerned as I didn’t know if too many antioxidants could be affecting the chemo and have a counterproductive effect.
Overall there aren’t that many changes needed to be made to my supplements but Kelly does think I should be able to get them all from food however as I feel well that if I wish to continue them that I can carry them on. That was the other thing, no matter what advice she gave there was no pressure to actually go away and make those changes if I felt really strongly about them.
On asking about my day to day I explained that I have become vegan and every now and then have fish, I exclude sugar as much as possible too. She said that there is no evidence that in triple negative breast cancer that sugar increases or stimulates the growth of canSer. She said in others it can but not triple negative. That said she was happy for me to avoid simple sugars as much as possible but to get slow release sugars from certain carbohydrates like oats/ porridge. She said that actually eating certain starchy vegetables combined with protein would not be absorbed as sugars in their entirety because the proteins slow down the absorption rate. Bonus! Her recommendation is a small portion of low GI carbs at each meal or at least three times a day. She suggested avoiding white potatoes but continuing with things such as sweet potatoes. With regards to sugars she did say that it wouldn’t hurt me to have a dessert every now and then, once or twice a month, if I wished and that dark chocolate is a must for snacking on as they are full of flavinoids which are essential in a healthy diet. (I knew that too as red wine contains them! J)
She did advocate avoiding dairy (apart from a small amount of skimmed milk which does not contain the hormones from the cow) however she really wants me to include eggs. I have to admit this week I had a craving for eggs and had three in one day! That’s the thing with me – if I really get a hankering there is some reason for it. Intuition I hope. My body must be crying out for protein. Kelly explained that by not having enough fuel from slow release carbs that the body would deplete my muscles into protein. (I did know this factJ) I explained that I had been following the alkaline diet and that eggs are classed as acidic and that I was concerned about the hormones in food. She said that chickens and other meats do not contain growth hormones. The EU food policy says that no animals can have growth hormones in their foods or have them injected into them. This was a revelation. This still doesn’t make me want to eat meat probably because of the moral dilemma but also I believe the healthier option is to go for plant based foods. Anyway back to eggs. Eggs contain the most amount of amino acids that your body needs. Kelly recommends up to ten eggs a week and is essential in the diet especially when I do not eat meat. I am not convinced about the hormones so we will continue to buy ours from the little farm shop where it is totally organic and where we can feed the chickens too! J
We were unsure on this info and started researching this morning as we thought growth hormones were only stopped in beef. The question popped up,’ Well then how do chickens mature in such little time like 38 days?’ Kelly said selective breeding but for the sake on knowing for sure we checked it and she was right. Growth hormones and genetically modifying is banned in the UK and EU. The way they get chickens to mature so quickly is selective breeding and using the standard breed is the Cornish Cross. The Cornish cross’s greatest virtue is also its greatest vice: its phenomenal rate of growth.
Kelly also thinks that I should introduce fish into my diet more regularly up to three portions a week for their omega 3 oils. Oily fish such as mackerel and sardines are the kind to go for and to avoid farmed fish such as salmon due to the colours that are added to them. Again I love fish so this pleases me and plus it makes it easier to eat out plus on the alkaline food chart eating certain fish sometimes if good.
I told Kelly my typical day’s diet;
Breakfast: Green Juice followed by quinoa with nut milk.
Lunch: soup or salad with spinach, beetroot, avocado etc.
Dinner: Beans, lentils, spelt pasta or carmague rice sometimes but lots of veggies in stir fry’s and salads in the summer.
So the summary is to increase my slow release carbs, fish and eggs and continue with the organic foods. I am also to introduce fruits such as berries and the odd apple. Whole fruits were her words, as they contain the skin which contains fibre and the sugars are processed differently to say fruit juices. It all goes back to the 80:20 rule. Let’s face it the body is a clever thing and although the optimum ph is 7.5 the body will make it acid if it is too alkaline and so on. Also the gut has a completely different ph to 7.5 so will constantly change the foods to be more or less acidic. That doesn’t mean the alkaline diet isn’t right. Let’s look at what is included; the healthiest foods there are! So continue with the 80:20 rule it is.
Onto the supplements; there were a few she was unaware of such as IP6 and inisotol and was honest enough to say that she would research it. I think that is very honourable and shows her interest in the subject and helping me out. I am going to email her the documents that I have on these things. She agrees with the high levels of vitamin d that I take combined with calcium.
Selenium she feels I can reduce to 50 mg a day however she feels eating two Brazil nuts would be sufficient enough. This was really interesting subject. She feels that most people in Europe are deficient of selenium and this is traced back to the economic change when we ceased to import wheat from the states and Canada. The excess rainfall throughout Europe washes the selenium out of the soil and hence the wheat grown is replete in selenium. At this point in history a dramatic increase of cancers were recorded!!
Kelly really supports the mushrooms that I take. She said despite the studies and scientific studies made in Japan are hugely different to the UK she still feels that as those countries like Japan and China use mushrooms like reishi in conjunction with their other forms of treatment and it is very successful. That’s great. I am pleased about that.
She has advised me to stop taking n-acetyl cysteine, cla, chlorella, omega 3 (if I have the fish) and matcha green tea, co enzyme q10. She feels that there will be no need to take vitamin b12 if I eat eggs nor do I need indole 3 carbinol with all the veg I am eating. To be honest she feels that everything can be found in foods.
She really supports me taking Bromelain and Curcumin as the studies are all pint to that helping canSer.
We discussed exercise too and Kelly says that exercise is scientifically proven to assist with coping with canSer. Only 5 times a week 20-30 minutes a time and nothing too strenuous. I have to admit I haven’t really been feeling like it this week and have only exercised 3 times. She said chemo and canSer can cause chronic tiredness and by exercising can make acute tiredness. Acute tiredness actually alleviates chronic tiredness… strange huh? OK point taken I must do more…
Overall Kelly really supported my diet and that for me says the ten point plan is on the money. She shared some really good websites for me to research and has offered her assistance whenever I need it. I think she will be regretting giving me her email address! Ha ha! I really like her and can’t wait to keep in touch. In fact I am sending over lots of info on naltrexone, afa’s and more. I will be updating the nutrition page of the website with some new facts given to me by Kelly so watch this space.
We got home in super quick time from London due to everyone being scared off due to the snow and today has been a day of wondering whether we will be able to fly to Hanover tomorrow for my treatment on Monday. Currently the status is good but who knows An early night tonight as we have a 4am start! It’s ok I am already in my PJ’s… J