Trying to achieve balanced nutrition becomes a very complex issue when you are experiencing advanced disease symptoms. You may feel constantly bloated; you may feel full after eating a few bites; you may be in pain or not feel like eating at all. At the same time, you may be losing weight and look like you're gaining it as a result of ascites buildup.
Cancer cells in the peritoneal cavity can cause inflammation of the bowels and possibly the stomach, diaphragm and other organs. These are what I call "outside-in" problems. In other words, your bowels/stomach may be empty but the external pressure on them caused by the cancer results in constriction and inflammation which in turn causes you to feel full, bloated - simply not hungry.
This frustration is felt by the patient and the caregivers alike. It is important for all parties to understand the physical complications of ovarian cancer in order to be compassionate and helpful about how to achieve dietary goals. In an advanced setting, small amounts eaten/drunk frequently are much more achievable than a "meal".
The dietary suggestions which I am presenting herein are based on my own experience and include adhering to an 85-90% plant-based diet.
Within an advanced disease setting, eating is the first and constant challenge and secondly, daily bowel movements. The tendency is often to revert to eating patterns that you had as a healthy person. Comfort foods like cream soups, cheese, bread and pasta are all inflammatory as are processed meats, egg yolks, sugar, French fries, chips and sodas.
As explained, inflammation in the abdomen is already present as a result of the cancer so compounding it with "comfort" foods such as those mentioned above is not necessarily a good answer. In some cases, these products are providing vitally needed calories but who or what are these calories feeding - you or your cancer? If you've figured out that you simply need to toss a laxative into the mix, you've resolved the problem of achieving bowel movements while consuming inflammatory foods but have also created a new dependency on bowel stimulants and more importantly, haven't gained nutritionally.
If you are dealing with a partial bowel obstruction, most dieticians will advise you to avoid foods with fiber that can't be chewed to less than 1cm in size. But by using a high-quality masticating or auger-type juicer, you should be able to enjoy all raw vegetables and fruits again. Remember that using an inexpensive centrifugal juicer causes heat - over 30C or 112F - that greatly depletes the enzymes and nutrient values in food and defeats the purpose of juicing.
Juicing can provide a great deal of your nutritional needs, volumes of microscopic roughage and high quality food in a form that is gentle on the tummy. Start by checking out the Superfoods tab and play with the ingredients. Juice your selections - then put both the juice and its pulp in a blender, add any other desired ingredients and puree. Because you're using 100% of the fruit and vegetables, you might want to thin out the mixture using spring water, almond milk or pure, organic juices. I recommend any of the following:
Juiced beverages cannot be made ahead of time - they quickly lose their potency. So, sip the contents over an hour, or freeze. I make a "potion" that ends up being a volume of about 2 cups and can report successful "results" not only once a day, but many days - twice!
When you are committed to a plant-based diet, there is a challenge in identifying foods which will provide the vitally required protein to maintain body mass and fight cancer. Your daily protein requirement is a formula calculated by a dietician based on your weight, physical activity level and health status. In my case, the targeted amount of protein required was 65 grams per day. That seemed like an enormous amount but here are some non-meat-based suggestions which will help you meet your goal:
Juiced/pulp and pureed:
Lastly, if you're traveling or away from home for the day, you may need to bring some nourishment with you. Check with your local Health Food Store - there are some very good organic, plant-based meal replacement products on the market with ingredients that you can read, pronounce and understand.
The following article is from LifeExtension:
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