What to Eat During Chemotherapy

What to eat during Chemotherapy is a question on everyone’s mind as they get ready to begin.   It seems like I’ve asked everyone I know who has been through Chemo that question.

One universal statement has been a warning not to eat your favorite foods during Chemo because you won’t like them when you are done.  I now understand this statement, and have put all my favorite foods on hold.  No longer am I tempted even to try them because I know I won’t like them when done.   They are treats to look forward to and nothing else!

The other common ground I’ve found with Chemo friends is “WHITE FOODS” as unusual as that may sound.  Most of the people I’ve spoken with said they have been able to eat cottage cheese, potatoes, yogurt, bananas, cereals, and cheese.   I’ve been able to eat these foods as well.  Before Chemo I ate alot of chicken.  I can’t tolerate it now.   So I have had to find ways to get alot of protein because this is so important during Chemo.

My Chemo Nurse explained to me it is very important to keep the protein high because you don’t want muscle loss, the protein helps your body and blood counts stay up, and it keeps your blood sugar even.   My attempts to do this have really helped me.  I eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours.

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Here’s what I’ve been doing.  Take away what you can tolerate from this.  Also, I would appreciate your ideas about what works for you!

1)  Cottage cheese –  high in protein so I mix it in anything I can.   I make mashed potatoes and instead of milk blend in cottage cheese.  You can’t taste it and it makes the mashed potatoes very creamy.   Also, my vegetable intake has gone way down.  So I have now started mixing in cooked spinach and broccoli into this mixture to help keep my blood platelets up.   The potatoes make the vegetables palatable.

A dear friend came up with 2 muffin recipes that contain cottage cheese.  This has been really helpful because they are appetizing and again, you can’t taste the cottage cheese but it really boosts the protein.

Also, I’ve mixed cottage cheese in jello and blended it with a little bit of cool whip for a dessert.   It tastes good to me, especially if you need a snack before bed to keep up your blood sugar through the night.

2)  Peanut Butter – I’ve stayed away from peanut butter for years because of the calories, but it has been a very important staple to me now because of its high protein values.   When I was a kid, my sister and I used to LOVE our favorite cereal with a little spoon of peanut butter on the side of the dish to take with every bite.  I remembered this and resurrected this old habit.  For two days it was the only thing I could bring myself to eat.  My Oncology Nurse Practitioner said it was a good choice because of the Vitamins in the cereal and protein in the peanut butter.

I’ve also added a little bit of peanut butter to the cottage cheese muffins and it tastes delicious to me.

3)  Yogurt – I try to buy Greek Yogurt and regular Yogurt.  Sometimes the Greek Yogurt isn’t that appetizing to me, so I mix them half and half as Greek Yogurt has alot more protein.  If I can’t do that, I mix good old cottage cheese into yogurt to boost the protein values.  If I can, I add a small amount of fruit like bananas to help my potassium.

4) Ginger – ginger helps nausea.  Another wonderful friend made me homemade ginger snaps and gingerbread muffins.  On days when the nausea feels high, these really help with a cup of Ginger Tea.    I doubt I will ever be able to eat ginger again after Chemo, but for now, it really helps the nausea!

My goal is to come up with some vegetarian casseroles that are high in protein.  When I do, I will let you know!

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2 comments

  1. What do you know about drinking wine – red and/or white. There’s so much conflicting information out there. I’m Italian, and wine with dinner is usual.

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