Few people talk about the transition from cancer treatment to cancer thriver. But with more than 11 million cancer survivors in our country today, it’s time to start talking about how to be healthier after cancer. Survivors face a range of issues after active treatment and one big question: Will cancer come back?
In Suzanne Boothby’s new e-book, The After Cancer Diet, she explores ways survivors can live a preventative lifestyle so they can continue to thrive. Along with her own research and nutrition coaching experience the book includes advice and insight from her father, Dr. Richard Boothby, a cancer physician for more than 25 years. They talk holistically about all the ways to maintain health including food, drinks, exercise, stress, happiness and detoxing.
All cancer thrivers should know sugar feeds cancer cells and helps them grow faster. Foods high on the glycemic index (like sugars) cause the body to secrete insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF). These hormones promote cell growth and inflammation, inhibiting the body’s natural defenses against developing cancer. So learn to live a sweeter life without all the white stuff—including sugar and white flour. You can start by cultivating more love in your life. Find small ways each day to do something sweet for someone else. Go to a store, buy 5 postcards and send them to old friends. Volunteer or donate to a local charity. Host a dinner party with close friends or make a care package for someone. You can replace sugar with natural sweeteners as you work on your diet.
One of the easiest tips for eating well is to keep it simple when creating everyday meals. Suzanne shares some of her favorite throw-together meals that showcase whole foods that will satisfy any appetite. I love the Powerhouse Combo: kale, brown rice and salmon. This meal is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can be customized with condiments to suit your taste palate.
I love that the book features recipes for mocktails—festive cocktails without the alcohol. Recommendations for alcohol consumption can be confusing, but the latest research for preventing cancer says you must limit alcoholic drinks—1 per day for women and 2 per day for men. So why not keep the fun and enjoy an extra boost of antioxidants. My favorite recipe is the Watermelon Crush—a combo of watermelon, strawberries, lime and ice. You’ll be surprised how much this looks like a Cosmo!
Just as you clean your house on a regular basis, Suzanne teaches survivors how to clean their body on a regular basis. She includes safe ways to cleanse the body and keep healing. Some of the easiest ways to detox include switching to organic foods, using glass containers instead of plastic and even simply eating less at night and letting your body truly rest and digest.
For more tips, check out The After Cancer Diet: How to Live Healthier Than Ever Before or watch this Book Video.
Suzanne Boothby is a Brooklyn-based wellness writer, health coach and cook.