Happy 2016 my friends, I am so super glad that we are all still together in “the land of the living”. As most of you know the 2nd half of 2015 got a bit rough for us after hubby was diagnosed with small intestinal cancer in March. Although he had surgery and the tumor was removed, little did we know that in less than 3 months later two additional tumors would appear on his liver and a lymph node.
This diagnosis came with the realization that he would have to undergo Chemo treatment every other week for 12 weeks and it was rough going for him. The poison that is supposed to kill the cancer also takes a toll on an otherwise healthy body but he did great. After his 6th chemo treatment the CAT Scan revealed that one of the tumors was undetectable and the other one had shrunk in size by 50%. Needless to say, we were both extremely happy.
I am not sure if you’ve ever had to endure a full day at a Cancer Treatment Center but it’s not fun and really boring, however, The Junior Board volunteers at this Helen Graham Cancer Center makes it better when they come around with a cart full of goodies all for .25 cents each. Now you know, it’s rare to find any place that sells full size snacks for only a quarter.
On our scheduled treatment days I would normally pack a lunch with a few snacks and we never really took notice of what was available on the cart. However, after this 6th treatment we decided a special treat was in order so we checked it out and decided on a Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar with both of us choosing the Blueberry flavor.
To my surprise they were really good and hubby and I were hooked, we even kept the wrapping as a reminder to locate stores that sold them when we would no longer be buying them at the Helen Graham Cancer Center.
You know me, I even posted pics of the Fig Bars on Instagram #foodie and then the following two weeks instead of purchasing one for each of us, I purchased two including the Strawberry flavor which was equally good. One evening after work I stopped in at Shoprite to pick up a few items for dinner and to my surprise there was a full display of the Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars in even more flavors.
It’s funny how life works…with hubby having only two more treatments it was great to not only find a store that carried the Fig Bars but even more amazing was an Instagram Contest that I had entered which was sponsored by @bunniekins I actually won!
I not only won one box of Fig Bars but five in my choice of flavors and you’ll never guess when they arrived – on a Monday, the final day of hubby’s chemo treatment and just a week before the New Year – a year that we pray will be cancer free and healthy!
I love how this story ended – how about you?
Superfoods for Seniors
Wow it seems like it has been forever since I last featured a chapter from the Superfoods for Seniors book, but it has been on my desk at work for the longest time so I guess it’s time to begin again.
The last chapter we discussed was Tummy Tamers, and this week we will pick up with “Bowel Disease Basics”. As most of you know, my hubby was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Cancer and had surgery approximately one year ago in March. Although the cancerous cells were removed, they have since noticed a growth albeit small one in a lymph node and have been monitoring him closely. We are not claiming the possibility of it being cancerous, we are however, eating right as not aggravate the cells.
According to the book, the 17 Superfoods that help to cure intestinal ills are as follows:
Cooked Rice – the starch is tough enough to withstand stomach acids and encourages the growth of probiotics which is a valuable bacteria.
Oats – soluable fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel that slows food down in your intestines, giving your body the chance to make butyrate. Rolled oats are best and are great with blueberries, another soluble fiber.
Yogurt – packed with probiotic power, look for those labeled “active cultures”.
Yogurt is an easier calcium source to digest than milk.
Lentils – a great source of iron for people with anemia often found in people with IBS. If you prefer not to eat beans, try other iron rich foods like clams or chicken.
Artichokes – High in magnesium which is hard to absorb if you have IBD or celiac disease. Try steaming and dipped lightly in mayo with lemon juice or plain yogurt with Dijon mustard. Other foods high in magnesium are green peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, okra, scallops and beans.
Butterhead Lettuce – switch from iceberg lettuce to butterhead lettuce to get 4x more vitamin K which helps the blood to clot properly. If you bruise easily, have excessive bleeding or nosebleeds you may be vitamin K deficient. Butterhead lettuce includes Bibb or Boston, try adding these to your salads instead.
Orange Juice – fortified with Vitamin D because people with IBD or celiac disease often absorb less Vitamin D than average, which is also a risk for osteoperois.
Turkey – high fat foods can cause cramping and diarrhea so cut the fat with turkey which is lower in fat and can add zinc to your diet. Zinc had wound-healing powers which may be loss if you are taking steroids for IBD.
Chickpeas – add more folate-rich chickpeas to your diet to help control colon cancer risk. If they are too high in fiber for you, try eating raw spinach or canned condensed chicken noodle soup.
Pumpkin – just ½ cup of pumpkin will provide as much Vitamin A as a whole cup of carrots. Vitamin A helps to protect the lining of your intestines.
Lima Beans – if on steroids which robs your body of potassium, then eating Lima Beans which are rich in potassium will help to replace it. Lack of potassium causes confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, kidney damage, paralysis and irregular heart beats.
Marinara Sauce & Olive Oil – both contain high levels of Vitamin E a powerful antioxidant.
Cranberry Juice Cocktail – contains higher amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E and C. Helps to reduce the minimum steroid dosage needed to control ulcerative colitis symptoms.
Collard Greens – leafy greens such as collards, kale, and turnip greens can help you add calcium without milk’s consequences.
Sardines – rich in calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fish oils sardines also contain selenium which help lower the increased colon cancer risk associated with IBD.
Rainbow Trout – contains omega-3 fish oils which can help prevent relapses of Crohn’s disease but limit your consumption to 12 oz or less per week because some may contain mercury with PCB’s.
Pineapple – has been linked to the improvement of ulcerative colitis symptoms in older adults. Fresh pineapple is better than canned or in a gelatin.
Disclosure: I am not in the medical field so please check with your own physician before making any changes to your diet.