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Tuesday 27 August 2013

Food and Chemo

Following the salt blog yesterday, Thinky sent me this. I have added my experiences in red.

Try eating foods that are more on the spicy side. The enhanced spices may kick start your taste buds. But be careful of too much spices, if you are on radiation or have sores in your mouth too much spice may burn. (Spicy is OK - loving chillies at the moment.  Salt added stuff makes me run round the kitchen like Road Runner with a burning tail)

Use plastic eating utensils, and when drinking a canned drink, pour it into a glass this tends to help with the metal taste. (Definitely yes on putting canned drinks in a glass.  I have always hated "fake" sugar drinks and can really notice if there is aspertan in stuff after chemo.  Putting ice in glass helps)

Cold or frozen foods often taste better to those going through treatment. Unless your receiving oxaliplatin (Eloxatin]), which makes it difficult to ingest anything cold. (That's why I am back on ice cream!)

Many people swear by sucking on hard candy like lemon drops or citrus fruits. (Sucking lemons?  Isn't life crap enough when on chemo?  LOL.  Sucky sweets are better than chewy ones, that's for sure)

Acidic things sometimes work...lemon or crystal light in water...ketchup or BBQ sauce on meat...minestrone, one person says to put pickles on everything as it will neutralize the metallic taste. (Very counterintuitive.  Will give it a try)

Marinate meats in fruit juices, sweet wines, salad dressings, or other sauces. (Yes, but want acidic things.....)

Do not eat one to two hours before and up to three hours after chemotherapy to prevent food aversions caused by nausea and vomiting. In addition, avoiding favorite foods before chemotherapy helps prevent aversions to those foods. Your favorite foods may become your least favorite if you try to eat them during treatment and have a bad experience. (This I totally disagree with.  I took this advice first time round and didn't then eat for 3 days.  It was BAADDDDD.  I eat through chemo, whilst I can still taste stuff normally.  The anti-nausea medicine works for me.  The nausea doesn't kick in until 8 or 9 hours later, if at all)

Rinsing with baking soda and salt mixture 50/50 before eating may help neutralize the bad tastes, and as a bonus it helps to heal those sores in the mouth. (You spend a lot of time slooshing on chemo.  I have complained about the yellow tooth from Mouthwash thing before.  This may just be a bridge too far to rinse before and after.  Don't beat yourself up about it)

If the smell is bothering you, use your exhaust fan to remove the cooking odors or cook outside. Or you can buy precooked foods or eat room temperature foods so you don't smell it cooking. (Beware of added salt content)

Try other protein sources (such as poultry, eggs, fish, peanut butter, beans, or dairy products) if red meats don't taste good. (Variety is GOOD)

Ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes and other extreme sweet foods help many. Sometimes it takes a strong flavor punch to get the taste across. (I LOVE chocolate when on chemo.  Can take it or leave it otherwise.)

And lastly it may seem simple but try to eat the foods that smell good and taste good. Try some foods that you may not regularly eat, they may taste good to you.

Getting enough to eat is very important during treatment, it's not uncommon to loose 40 or 50 pounds due to lack of desire, loss of taste, sores in mouth, etc. So when you find something you can eat, and you like it, go for it. You may get tired of the same thing but it's only for a short time. Most people report that their taste starts to return to normal 3 to 6 weeks after treatment has ended. (Glad to see I am bucking the trend here.....)

The most important thing to remember is to just eat.  As my friend, H, tweeted to me last night, it's hell. It's even more hellish if you are suffering from an eating disorder.  My advice

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

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