When it comes to cancer, there’s nothing like bonding with someone who’s been there. As my guest, Susan Buckley and fellow dietitian says, your family and friends may have the best intentions and wishes for you, but no one gets you quite like another survivor.
I believe that shared experience makes all the difference.
In this episode we talk about all the things related to cancer. The deeply personal decisions about treatment course. And the importance of not second guessing your choices for treatment and reconstruction. The important thing is longevity – life – and however you achieve it, that is the right decision for you.
We talked about that sometimes cancer happens even if you’re doing everything right. Most breast cancers are diagnosed in women (and men) who have no family history.
But even if you are genetically predisposed, it is all the more reason to pay attention to diet and lifestyle. In the great debate over nature vs. nurture, copious evidence has shown that nurture (lifestyle) plays a more important role than nature (genetics).
“Lifestyle effects the way that genes get expressed.”Susan Buckley, RDN
Bonding with someone who’s been there meant we got to talk about lab work and markers of inflammation (the root of all maladies), and how to reduce it with proper self-care including plenty of sleep and stress reduction. And if you’ve never tried forest bathing (taking a walk in nature), there’s no better time to start!
One of those important labs is Vitamin D. If you don’t live at the equator, odds are you’re probably low in Vitamin D, which plays a vital role in hundreds of metabolic pathways and diseases. The bottom line? Test to find out your base level, supplement if needed, and retest to make sure the intervention is working.
And as dietitians, bonding with someone who’s been there, means talking about diet, of course!
We talked about the evidence for eating soy and flax to prevent breast cancer, eating organic and how to find out which foods you should buy organic and which are okay to buy conventional, the role of GMO foods, and how to choose the best cancer-fighting foods (hint: they’ve had to fight for their survival too!).
As a final note, we talk about what to look for in cookware to help you create delicious, healthy, toxin-free meals.
Highlights from the episode and a link to the whole episode are below.
Here are some highlights from our conversation:
- 2:34 Surprised by cancer even while doing everything right.
- 4:17 Surgery? Reconstruction? Radiation? Deeply personal decisions.
- 8:50 Taking care of yourself and eating to prevent recurrence of cancer.
- 10:39 Optimizing Vitamin D – test and supplement accordingly.
- 14:35 The evidence for eating soy.
- 15:56 The benefits of flax seeds.
- 17:45 Reputable places to find nutrition information (because nutrition information is always changing).
- 19:45 The genetic connection (for nutrition and medications).
- 21:45 Exercise for health and cancer prevention.
- 23:40 Sleep to reduce inflammation and immune system.
- 24:05 Stress reduction and meditation.
- 32:06 Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.
- 33:25 Getting out into nature – shin rin yoku – forest bathing.
- 36:10 Foods with optimal cancer-fighting power.
- 38:09 A reason to eat organic.
- 47:10 To GMO or not to GMO?
- 55:00 The role of environmental toxins in disease initiation/progression.
Links mentioned in today’s podcast:
- Google scholar
- American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
- National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)
- Environmental Working Group (EWG) – Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 and Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
A new podcast will be released every second and fourth Thursday of each month.
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