Michael Sieverts is a brain cancer survivor since 2000. He is the instructor for Cancer Support Community’s qigong classes in the parks. Roxbury Park classes meet every Tuesday & Thursday from 10:30a.m. to 12 noon and at Clover Park every Monday and Friday from 9:30 to 11:00a.m. Free to all those affected by cancer. Call 310-314-2555 for more information.
(Photo by Bill Aron)
Nutrition-Part 1 (adapted from “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan and Maira Kalman):
Eating should be a source of pleasure. The reality is that we’re omnivores, and people have been thriving on a wide variety of diets for millenia. Michael Pollan says that the field of nutrition today is like the field of surgery in 1650—promising, and interesting to watch, but not yet deserving of our total trust. The popular press has made a total hash of the field of nutrition by using the latest headlines to sell papers— findings which gyrate wildly. Margarine, fats, carbohydrates, —sometimes they are the villains, causing all sorts of health problems—then they regain or fall out of favor. And the government is under the sway of the agriculture and food lobbyists; federal dietary guidelines and recommendations are compromised and getting worse.
But don’t stress too much, it’s not difficult to make good food decisions, especially now. Make sure to enjoy yourself, to make eating a pleasurable, slow, and social, function. Follow some simple guidelines, and use your self-awareness to inform you whether what you’re choosing to eat is helping you or causing you setbacks.
Whenever feasible, do your own cooking with organic, local, seasonal, sustainable fruits and vegetables. (Support farmers and the local economy with your money—you are voting for a healthful food system.) Not only can you control the ingredients and the cooking methods, but you are taking an active role in your fight for recovery. Plus you will save money by not eating out. It’s estimated that as much of 2/3 of the cost of medical care in this country is attributable to our poor eating habits. Cooking is a profound way to influence your health: “The best public health tools are a sharp chef’s knife, two cutting boards and a salad spinner.” (Preston Maring, MD, associate physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente Oakland)
Restrict wheat, dairy and try to eliminate sugar—but aim for “90-10”: allow yourself some small indulgences to retain feelings of pleasure, since mood affects how you digest. A happily-enjoyed burger is probably providing better-absorbed nutrients than an organic raw kale salad that you are forcing down. Savor what you eat.
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT FROM MICHAEL:Nutrition-Part 2 (adapted from “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan and Maira Kalman):
CSC’s Brain Tumor Group—for patients & family members—meets the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 7-9pm. No RSVP required. 1990 S. Bundy Drive, Suite 100, LA, CA 90025. 310-314-2555. CSC validates parking. This blog originally from 'Your Brain After Chemo' http://www.yourbrainafterchemo.blogspot.com/