As I’ve expressed to my readers many times, one big concern I had about having breast cancer was gaining weight. I know that sounds silly, but it’s not.
First of all, being a size and weight that I feel good at and like in the mirror is very important to me, I worked hard to get it and maintain it over the past 5 years and did not want cancer to take it from me.
Secondly, my breast cancer feeds on estrogen. Estrogen is created by the ovaries, but it is also created by fat, so maintaining a healthy weight reduces my risk of a recurrence, which is my biggest life goal!
I’m currently on two treatment that often lead to weight gain. Those are tamoxifen and ovarian suppression.
I worked hard during chemotherapy to eat healthy and stay as active as possible, I gained about 3lbs (which is low, a lot of women gain more). That was great but starting the hormonal treatment afterwards was quite scary for me, but I am happy to say that after 5 months on the tamoxifen and in my second month of ovarian suppression, not only have I avoided gaining but I have lost the 3 chemo pounds.
Although I have not been on a diet, I have recently (early September, when I started the ovarian suppression) made some changes to the way I eat to hopefully avoid weight gain and it seems that they have helped.
1. I continue to track my intake as I have for years, however I reduced my calories by 100 a day. I try to be active enough to get them back though!
2. I have snacked on fruit all day for years. I believe fruit is very healthy and have not stopped that, however I have replaced a few of my fruit snacks with vegetables. That has been hard for me because I do not like the typical snacking vegetables like baby carrots, celery sticks, and sliced cucumbers. I have tried and tried but it’s not going to happen! So I instead have been eating cherry tomatoes, sliced peppers and sugar snap peas in place of some of my fruit snacks. I try to have 4-5 serving of vegetables, and at least 3 kinds of vegetables, a day,
3. I have 1-2 servings of nuts or avocado a day (yes these things are high-fat, but they are also very nutritious especially for a vegan like me, and fill me up so I don’t snack on junk)
4. I very rarely eat fried foods.
5. I very rarely drink alcohol.
6. I drink loads of water.
These are all changes that should be relatively easy to make, and that I consider changes but I can keep up with the rest of my life, or until I stop caring whichever comes first! let’s hope they continue to keep me at a weight and size I feel good about even after being shot into an early menopause and losing so much of my physical stamina.
I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes these days:
3 cups dry pasta (i use quinoa based)
1/2 diced eggplant
1 can diced tomatoes or salsa (for a spicy kick)
whatever veggies are around and appealing (zucchini, mushrooms, peppers all work well)
onion and garlic powder
1. place all ingredients in a pot, mix well, and cover with water so that there is about an inch over the ingredients.
2. Bring to a boil, and then then lower to simmer until the eggplant is soft and noodles are cooked and most of the water is about evaporated, approximately 20 minutes