Maintaining a healthy body weight and making good food choices that give your body the right nutrients can sometimes be a challenge. But if you’re preparing for cancer treatment, now more than ever is the time to focus on your body’s nutritional needs. The fact is that maintaining a healthy body weight may contribute to your recovery and the success of your treatment plan.
Keep in mind that a thin, underweight body may not be able to tolerate the stress of cancer treatment. At the other end of the spectrum, there is evidence that being overweight may increase the chance of cancer recurrence. So whether your goal is weight loss or weight gain during treatment, you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to heal while carefully eliminating foods that no longer serve you.
The following recipes may be helpful if you’re trying to increase your weight or avoid weight loss. They are from More Smoothies for Life by Daniella Chace (Random House, 2007).
For best results, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Served chilled.
Peanut Butter Cup
1 cup organic milk
1 cup ice
¼ cup nonfat dry milk or protein powder
1 tablespoon organic flaxseed oil
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
Use organic milk or a milk substitute such as rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, or soymilk; whey also works well in smoothies because it dissolves easily, making creamy drinks. It also contains detoxifying agents such as glutathione that help remove metals and environmental chemicals from our bodies. If you are allergic or sensitive to dairy products, however, try one of the alternatives such as soy, rice, or pea protein.
Chai Crème Frappe
1 cup chai tea
1 cup milk
½ cup ice
¼ cup nonfat dried milk
1 tablespoon honey
Nonfat dry milk adds creaminess to recipes and a substantial dose of protein. Each tablespoon adds more than a gram of easily metabolized protein.