Learning to manage the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be difficult for both patients and caregivers.
If you are struggling it is important to speak to your doctor, as there are many medications that can help.
When I was going through cancer treatment, I found that there were many little things I could do when cooking to reduce my side effects.
The recipes below have been created with cancer side-effects in mind. Try them out and see for yourself!
Ditch the idea of 3 squares and aim to eat little and often, around 5 to 6 times per day. Eat small, nutritious snacks in between meals and drink nutritious drinks. Try creamy lemon yogurt, boiled eggs, mocha chocolate mousse, fruit and nut clusters, high protein hot chocolate, dulce de leche cookies or our apple pie smoothie. Our miso peanut honey spread is also a really delicious treat to spread on some plain crackers.
If you are experiencing the taste changes that often come with chemotherapy, try using different herbs to give food more flavor. For example a cilantro marinade can transform plain broiled chicken into something totally delicious. Other tasty options include tuna with herbs, coconut lime twice-baked sweet potatoes, grilled chicken in rosemary marinade, soy poached salmon or our amazing miso lime sauce which can be eaten with your favorite protein or drizzled over veggies for great flavor. If you are having taste issues with water, try Mint Water, Pomegranate Water, Ginger Tea, Fennel tea, or Canarino.
It is very important that nausea be tackled both via medicine and nutrition. Speak to your doctor about starting anti-nausea medication, and make sure you are taking it at the correct times.
To ease nausea, avoid foods with strong odors, and try more bland foods. Our fish en papillote is great, as cooking fish in paper reduces odors. Foods which are room temperature or cold can be easier to tolerate- try our cold beet soup with honeyed ricotta, pea and asparagus soup, or our chocolate orange pudding. Some studies have shown that ginger can be helpful to ease nausea, although further work is needed to provide a definite role. If you are interested in having more ginger, try our ginger poached pears, ginger tea or this gingery carrot and lentil soup.
While many patients struggle to maintain weight during cancer treatment, there are some patients who will gain unwanted weight due to their cancer treatment. If you find that this is happening, you should speak to your doctor, as they may not want you losing weight during treatment.
If you want to put a halt to weight gain, focus on eating high fiber veggies, which will fill you up for a small amount of calories. Enjoy them with a source of protein such as meat, fish, nuts, tofu or beans to make a meal of it. It doesn’t have to be boring either! Try our spicy tatsoi, wilted kale and walnut salad, spaghetti squash primavera, tofu scramble , brussels sprouts with pecans and dried cherries, or pureed vegetable soup with collard greens.
These are just a selection of recipes, but our website has almost 2000 others for you to enjoy! Our unique search filter means you can search by your needs, so you can bring the joy of eating back.