Originally posted on Nov. 17/17
This post is courtesy of one of our incredible "Veggie and loving it!" subscribers,
In his words ...
I have been living for the last couple of years with one of the rarest but most difficult types of cancer. Called pleural mesothelioma, this cancer grows in the tissue lining the lungs and is the result of having worked unprotected around asbestos form much of my career. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is difficult to treat, and while I have been undergoing traditional treatments like chemotherapy, I have also embraced some alternatives for wellness.
Focusing on Plant-Based Foods
I have not been adhering to strict vegan diet, but when I read up on the health benefits of plant-based eating I realized I could start to feel better if I ate better. I have been incorporating more vegetables into my diet and have been looking for more plant-based protein, trying to eat more beans, seeds, soy, and nuts. Having been a meat-eater my entire life, cutting some animal products out of my diet hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth the effort. I find I have more energy and the side effects of chemotherapy have not been as severe as they were previously.
How a Vegan Diet Can Help Cancer Patients
I like to share my experiences in the hopes that I can help others, and that means reaching out to talk about different things I have learned and tried. Eating a more plant-based diet is working for me, but I also did my research to find out why and to be sure this wasn’t just something I was imagining.
Here are some of the important things I learned:
Animal fat affects cancer survival. I did my research and found out that more fat in the diet, especially animal fats, can negatively impact survival rates for all types of cancer. I actually have a chance to live longer by eating less fat and more vegetables.
A vegan diet boosts the immune system. I have learned more about my immune system while researching cancer than I ever thought I would. The immune system is important in the body’s fight against cancer cells and tumor growth, and it turns out that a diet without animal products helps the immune system function better, specifically against cancer cells.
Plant-based foods are better for overall health. Studies show that diets with more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and other whole foods are better for health generally than those with meat, dairy, and processed foods. By switching to more plant-based foods I have seen improvements in my health, from less fatigue to better tolerance of chemotherapy.
During my research, I was fortunate to come across Veggieandlovingit.ca and have the opportunity to speak with Kimberly. She has been a ray of inspiration to me, and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with her in spreading cancer awareness.
Kimberly, thank you for having such a kind heart!
It is I, that must thank Virgil for being so forthcoming, and sharing information to all those that may benefit.
More information can be found on this topic @ www.mesothelioma.net . Search Vegan. It discusses one of the most compelling findings from modern research: A diet without or with minimal animal products can prevent cancer and may even promote healing in cancer patients. If you are living with mesothelioma, a vegetarian or vegan diet may be able to improve your quality of living.
Please feel free to comment, or leave questions below. I look forward to hearing from all of you, that this topic resonates with!
For more helpful Tips, Recipes, and Weekly Meal Planner, Join the Veggie network!
Originally posted March 20/17
Pondering my monthly budget, I realized that I had never researched how much money could be saved, eating less meat.
I think everyone generally believes eating healthy is expensive (organic foods included). A recent study actually shows otherwise.
If you look at total grocery costs, animal products are the most expensive items, costing more than double the cost of a serving of vegetables or legumes and 60% more than the cost of a serving of fruit. Ref. Drewnowski A. The cost of U.S. foods as related to their nutritive value. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92:1181–1188. [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar] illustrates that, when compared, a plant-based diet saves you approx. $750 a year.
As per Dietitians of Canada, Vegetarian diets usually exclude meat, chicken and fish. Some vegetarians choose to eat eggs and dairy products, while some exclude these foods too.
Like any other style of eating, the nutrients you take in depend upon the food choices you make. It is important to know how to replace meat with nutritious alternatives like legumes, nuts and seeds and soy. Not to worry, the recipes I feature on our site, will always try to incorporate these items.
For example, I am currently working on a recipe where (ground sunflower seeds) will take the place of panko, for coating/breading zucchini sticks. Another idea might be replacing ground beef with lentils, in a lasagna dish etc... have fun with it, be creative!
Originally posted April 21/17
As Vegans we need to ensure we get the protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B 12 and Omega 3's that are required.
This is not an easy task, when trying to feed yourself or your family and ensure you/they get all the nutrients needed daily.
Keeping track of Recommended daily Intake values (RDI) can be extremely difficult.
I confronted Susan Mcfarlane, Registered Dietitian, with this dilemma. She is a Vegan herself, and understands our concerns.
Her advice was simple and complete. "Use a list" of foods that should be eaten every day. By "default" you are accomplishing a balanced diet, and taking in a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and oils. Using the list daily, meal planning can be made easy and more enjoyable.
In addition, including a rainbow of colours, when choosing fruits and vegetables, can vary your intake and achieve more balance.
Susan also mentioned, it is a great idea to seek out a Registered Dietitian, as a Vegan.
I agree, having a daughter who is 9, loves being Vegan, but is "picky at best".
Thanks go to Susan Mcfarlane (RD) Ottawa, Ont. Canada, for her collaboration, and welcome advice.
I have this list available in pdf form as well (great for your purse/refrigerator) . If you wish to have your own personal copy,
let me know via the CONTACT page:)