Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ― Hippocrates
What do I eat to feed my temple pod? As a cancer survivor I get this question a lot. Intuitively we know that eating a village of Keebler Elves is not in our best interest. But we don’t always know what to eat because of conflicting information. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease you have probably been given diet recommendations from the American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association. I’m not a fan of these diets because they don’t go deep to create a healing environment. I remember what Me-Maw use to say, your body is a temple and you need to treat it as such.
In my healing journey I have found what works for me. But that doesn’t mean it will work for you because each temple is different. As Anne Sexton wrote, put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard. Healing starts with self-awareness. You’re gonna need to do a little work to find out how to feed your temple pod.
When I eat whole grains like wheat, rye, oats and barley I bloat like a hot air balloon. And I have turbo farts. Yep, I power up that balloon. Am I sure it’s grains? Yes. I kept meticulous notes for 30 days. I’d eat a serving of grain and boom! Air and farts. I also felt tired and drained. And my poop was always loose. Yep, we are going there. Poop gives you lots of valuable information, check out the Bristol stool chart.
Grains cause me all kinds of issues and so I stay away from them. BUT you may thrive on grains. Keep a food log for 30 days and see if grains cause any distress. For me distress equals inflammation and your body can’t heal if it’s stressed. On a joyful note I can eat small amounts of sour dough bread fermented with wild yeast. Bet you didn’t know I was a wild yeast wrangler uh? Ye Haw.
I’ve coached people with all kinds of ugly diseases. And when they tell me they don’t like vegetables I say, eat your damn veggies. I’m not saying you need to be a vegetarian or vegan but at least half of your plate needs to be organic veggies. Vegetables create an alkaline healing environment within your body. Eating veggies is a no brainer. It’s the basis of how to feed your temple pod.
In the morning I make a green smoothie with dark leafy greens, beets, blueberries, turmeric and ginger. For lunch and dinner, I eat cooked veggies and salads. My temple pod really digs this. I get plenty of fiber without the hot air balloon ride. You will need try different vegetables and listen to how your body responds. You’ll figure out what to feed your temple pod.
When it comes to fruit, I limit it to 2 servings. My favorite fruits are organic berries and oranges. If I eat a high sugar fruit like a banana, I sprinkle it with cinnamon to balance out sugar.
Before cancer I ate a lot of cheese and yogurt. In the morning I’d have my whey protein drink. I thought I was being super healthy. So, imagine my surprise when I ran across Dr. T Campbell and his research on cancer and dairy. Dairy has the ability to turn on cancer cells. Not only that it is full of sugar, fat and hormones. As it should be! Baby cows need those things to survive and thrive.
Within 2 weeks of not eating any dairy I noticed my joints stopped hurting, my stomach stopped cramping and I wasn’t snotty. I know gross but I didn’t realize the mucus until it was gone. I do use small amounts of organic full fat Greek yogurt to make salad dressings. So far, my temple pod seems to be okay with this arrangement. But for the most part it’s no-no moo-moo for moi.
I tried vegetarian and vegan diets. I was physically and mentally exhausted. When I talked to my functional medical doctor, she said meat is nutrient dense and that I might need to eat it in order to stay strong. I also have some B-vitamin issues. So, I added small amounts of meat to my diet and began to feel better.
It’s an uneasy relationship but I practice utmost gratitude when it comes to eating animals. And I have high standards. I will not eat meat from traditional feed lots. From time to time, I will order chicken in a restaurant but it’s extremely rare and it’s because I am traveling and feel weak. I do eat small amounts of organic, pastured raised beef and chicken from an organic co-op. It’s more expensive but a little goes a long way. No one needs big pieces of meat at each meal. I also eat pasture raised eggs and yes I know the name of the chicken who laid them. I invite you to research how meat is produced in the country and then make decisions about your well-being.
I love fish and I eat it a few times a week. And I want to make sure I’m getting the best fish possible. You want to feed your temple pod, not glow in the dark. I visit EWG’s Guide to Seafood to make sure I am on track with eating clean and sustainable fish. They have a very cool tool that uses your weight and age to produce a list of good seafood.
Nuts are my superfood and my favorite snack. They are jam packed with nutrients that my temple pod adores. I eat them every day. They don’t make me toot and so I’m good to go. If they make you toot, then try soaking them overnight. I really like walnuts, almonds, cashews and brazil nuts.
I love beans but like grains and nuts they can cause me to toot-toot. To help with that I place the beans in a bowl, cover with water and add a pinch of baking soda. I have to snap a lid on because our kitty cats love to lick the water and then hack it up on the kitchen counter. I know! Gross. But really who controls their cats? I let the beans soak for at least 48 hours and into the Insta Pot. Best beans ever! I still need to be careful, so I don’t have more than ½ cup serving at a time a few times a week.
When I stopped eating 7 servings of grain a day and stopped being afraid of fat, something shocking happened. My cholesterol dropped 35 points. My LDL went down, and my HDL went up. For me, fat is good. My brain feels better. And I very particular about where my fat comes from. I use olive oil, ghee, coconut oil and eat avocados. I don’t use ANY vegetable oils like corn, canola and sunflower. Trans Fat is evil but if you are eating whole foods you don’t have to worry about it. My temple pod needs fat and I’m good with that.
Candy. Cookies. Ice Cream. Sugar causes major inflammation in the body and is responsible for many dis-eases. If you do some research, it won’t take long to find the sugar and cancer connection. And I believe it’s true. Cancer loves sugar. But cancer can also convert fat and protein into fuel. I know, cancer is a sneaking bastard. And vegetables, fruits, beans and grains all convert to sugar because that’s what your temple pod needs for energy! The key is to eat whole foods and stay away from simple sugars. I do eat dark chocolate that is at least 72% cocoa. It’s tasty and good for me.
What’s more important that reducing junk food and sugar? Losing weight. I was not obese, but I realized I was providing a never-ending smorgasbord of toxic fat for cancer to feed on. I had to cut off the head of the snake. So far, I’ve lost 20 pounds and have plans for another 20. It’s not hard. You know what’s hard? Cancer treatment. An Amputated foot. Open heart surgery.
What I basically feed my temple pod is a modified Mediterranean diet. I also value clean water, exercise, a little vino and eating with people I love. There are lots of resources that can help you embrace this lifestyle. One of my favorites is call The Blue Zones. Blue Zones are geographical locations where people live better and longer than we do in the United States. And guess what? They eat whole foods. They follow the advice of Michael Pollen, eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
What to feed your temple pod? I think there are some basic guidelines we can all follow. Eat whole foods. Know the quality of your food. Don’t go hog wild and pig ass crazy with portion sizes. Pay attention to how your body feels after you eat. Keep a food log. Tune into what makes your temple pod feel really good. It’s not hard. Trust me.
Need some help figuring it out what to feed your temple pod? Then contact me about scheduling a session. You talk. I listen.