A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Spring and Summer 2006
Spring and Summer 2006 Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story
I completely missed getting a newsletter put together during this past spring season. I want to thank all of you who have told me that you have missed it and also inquired to make sure I was OK. Thank you very much for caring and also for your thoughtful comments about my newsletter. I was traveling more than usual (and more than I have told myself I would!) to speaking engagements around the country. I just loved every place I visited and all the people I met, but I found there were just not enough hours left over until now to pull the information together that I would like to share with you.
I also want to gratefully thank all my readers who responded to the request in my last newsletter for prayers and support for the journalist Jill Carroll after her kidnapping in Iraq on January 7, 2006. Jill grew up in my neighborhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and one could hear and feel a collective sigh of relief with her safe release on March 30, 2006. Words are inadequate to express the depth of appreciation of your support. Thank you again.
The summer season is now in full swing. It is always too short here in Michigan! Take the time to heed the following advice of Henry David Thoreau by visiting a local farmers' market or a local farm stand to enjoy the season's delicious and locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables!
Live in each season as it passes;
All continued best wishes to all of you for health, healing, and hope,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD
I. Upcoming Cancer Survivorship Conferences
I. Upcoming Cancer Survivorship Conferences
* The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) will hold it annual nutrition and cancer research conference in Washington, DC on July 13-14, 2006. This year there will be a full afternoon devoted to research focused on nutrition and cancer survivorship. There is still time to register. Information is at www.aicr.org (http://www.aicr.org) .
* Cancer Survivorship: Embracing the Future - co-sponsored by The National Cancer Institute, The American Cancer Society, and The Lance Armstrong Foundation. October 4-6, 2006, in Bethesda, MD. Innovative research findings will be shared along with opportunities to network with experts dedicated to the advancing the field of cancer survivorship research. Special Note: Survivors may apply to be part of the Survivor-Researcher Mentor Program, in which survivors may learn about cancer research in depth and also have a chance to provide input of value from a survivor's perspective. Additional information about the conference and the mentorship program application (due by July 14 so don't delay if you are interested!) is available at: http://www.blsmeetings.net/Survivorship06/gen.htm
* LiveStrong Summit - sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, October 27-29, 2006 in Austin, TX. Through this summit, the LAF will lead a cancer survivorship movement that plans to broaden awareness of and meet the unmet physical, emotional, and practical needs of cancer survivors. More information and application to attend is at: http://www.livestrong.org/site/c.jvKZLbMRIsG/b.1579935/k.CF7A/Summit.htm
* CURE Patient & Survivor Forums - September 16-17, 2006 in Washington, DC and November 4-5, 2006 in San Diego. Sponsored by CURE Magazine (Cancer Updates, Research, & Education). More information at http://www.curetoday.com/patientmeeting .
II. Cancer Survivorship Survey
There is a very interesting on-line survey on the Lance Armstrong web site related to the multiple issues of concern to cancer survivors who have completed treatment. The data being collected are being used for a doctoral thesis and to help the Lance Armstrong Foundation further clarify its mission and develop materials and information for use by cancer survivors.
Although the survey does not include many questions about the benefits of nutrition during and after therapy, it does provide an opportunity to write in what else you think would have been helpful after your cancer diagnosis. I took advantage of that space to highlight the benefits of having RDs on staff at cancer centers providing proactive and individualized nutritional care both during and after therapy as a component of true comprehensive cancer care. I urge my readers who are also cancer survivors to do the same. Here is the link to the survey:
Note: it is a lengthy survey and easily takes the estimated 45 minutes to thoughtfully fill it out. Don't try to do it when you are in a hurry!
III. Great Article to Read from Physician-Cancer Survivor-Author
Wendy Harpham, MD writes a regular column for Oncology Times. Here is a link to an excellent article she wrote explaining her perspective about the difficulties of being a cancer survivor, never knowing if that little twinge represents something to worry about, when to call the doctor, etc, etc. Her words brought tears to my eyes! Hopefully she has helped the oncology community at large understand and respect just how much effort on the part of the patient goes into showing up for an appointment, treatment, etc. http://www.oncology-times.com/pt/pt-core/template-journal/oncotimes/media/WendyHarpham-Beginning-OT-Feb102006.pdf (PDF file)
I gave a copy to my own primary care physician, who was grateful to read it. He subsequently made copies for all of his medical students and residents to read.
IV. New Foods to Try
* Earl Green Tea by Zingerman's. If you like the taste of Earl Grey tea but prefer to drink green tea, the Earl Green Tea is the perfect combination. I think this tea is GREAT and worth every penny! I drink it nearly every day. It is especially tasty as iced tea. Available by mail order from http://www.zingermans.com
* 100% Organic Whole Grain & Flax Pasta by Lifestream/Nature's Path Foods, Inc. I found these in my regular grocery store. My husband (who has a much more discerning sense of taste than I do) immediately said, "What are these? They taste great, not like the usual whole wheat pasta!" He felt that the addition of flax meal eliminated a bitterness that he usually tastes with 100% whole-wheat pasta. A great combination of whole grain and omega-3 fatty acids, too!
* Dry Roasted Edamame by Seapoint Farms - Edamame are green (immature) soybeans that are a common snack food in Japan. Instead of being boiled, these are dry roasted and very lightly salted. They are delicious and easy to pack in my suitcase or briefcase when traveling. I found them in the snack aisle of my regular grocery store.
* Pomegranate Molasses - I have started seeing recipes with this ingredient, which I did need to purchase at a grocery store specializing in foods from the Middle East. I have used it to marinate and bake salmon (1/4 cup pom-molasses, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic - yum, yum!) and also to marinate and bake tofu (Mix 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. Pom-molasses, 1 tsp. Sesame oil, 1-3 tsp. minced fresh garlic, 1 tsp. Chinese 5-spice. Slice 1# firm tofu block into 4-6 rectangles, your choice of size and shape, and place into baking dish. Pour marinade over tofu to marinate 15-60 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until marinade is nearly dry.)
* Sumac - a mildly astringent and beautiful spice made from the ground red berries of the sumac shrub, often used in Middle Eastern foods. Sumac is a common ingredient in the Lebanese salad called fattoush, which means "moistened bread" (a great way to use up dried out pita bread). A typical recipe for fattoush can be found at http://foodgeeks.com/recipes/recipe/6444,fatoush_salad.phtml . Don't save the sumac only for use in this salad though. Use it to flavor grilled veggies, chicken, salmon, or even tofu. In addition, use it to spice up frittatas and omelets. Research has demonstrated that this spice has hypoglycemic, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant activities. Worth seeking out at a market that specializes in Middle Eastern foods.
V. Books to Suggest
* A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, by Jack Bishop, Houghton Mifflin, 2004. This is not a new book but new to me. It is absolutely fabulous. I want to try every single recipe. It is a great example of how a chef cooks ultra-healthy foods for his own family, including his children. I like the author's philosophy of "shop local (patronize your own growers as much as possible), cook globally (use olive oil and a wide variety of herbs and spices regularly), and keep it real (most recipes can be done in a hurry)." Here is an example of a simple and delicious recipe I made for some neighbors who came over for dinner: Red Lentil and Basmati Rice Croquettes with Romaine-Mango Salad and Cucumber Raita. I served this salad entreé with easy to make turnip chips (recipe also in the book) and a simple salad made from watercress and oranges.
* The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment, by Jill Nussinaw, MS, RD, Vegetarian Connection Press, 2005. What to do with all those vegetables you see at the Farmers' Market? Here is the book to show you how to serve them up in flavorful ways that you and your family will love. It won't be difficult to increase your veggies to 5 or more servings per day with recipes from this book.
* Attitude! For Your Best Lived Life, By Karen Okulicz, K-Slaw, Inc, Belmar, NJ, 2006 - I have copies of all three books by this author including Try! The Survival Guide to Unemployment and Decide! How to make any Decision. All of them are gems, easy to read books to guide you through the changes needed during difficult times in your life. Just because they are easy to read does not they are quick to read. With any book read with intention, they should be read thoughtfully while reflecting on one's own situation and then making a conscious choice to put at least one tidbit of wisdom into practice within one's own life. I keep a quote about attitude up on my refrigerator to review each and every day: "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing," by Abraham Lincoln. More information can be obtained at http://www.GuidesForYou.com .
* Breast Cancer Answers: Practical Tips and Personal Advice from a Survivor, Judy King, New Page Books, Franklin Place, NJ, 2004 (statistics currently being updated for a new edition). This book includes a wealth of clear and concise information for anyone faced with a breast cancer diagnosis. For instance, I found more information on post-mastectomy pain in this book than I received from either my surgeon or oncologist! A significant strength of this book is the very good description of how to evaluate the research behind news headlines for choosing nutrition and complementary therapies, conventional cancer treatments, and even clinical trials. Summarizing the vast amount of nutrition information of relevance during either cancer treatments or recovery is a Herculean task, and I commend the author for consulting a Registered Dietitian with expertise in oncology nutrition. Other health care professionals working with oncology patients have also had input into this helpful book.
VI. Some of my favorite web sites, email newsletters and updates - all are free of charge unless indicated otherwise (Please note that this list is not all-inclusive - I have highlighted many other web sites in past newsletters.)
* The American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network - a good web site and email newsletter to keep up to date with legislation of concern to everyone interested in cancer prevention, treatment, and recovery. http://www.acscan.org/site/pp.asp?c=cnJHJIPuB&b=83243
* Cancer Advocacy Now - the web site of the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship that provides an email newsletter with regular updates on legislation that impacts cancer survivors, including action points for contacting your legislators in Washington, DC. http://www.canceradvocacynow.org/
* CancerCare provides teleseminars and array of high quality services for anyone diagnosed with cancer - http://www.cancercare.org
* Cancer Decisions - www.cancerdecisions.com by Ralph Moss, PhD. A weekly email newsletter from a long-time observer of conventional and alterative cancer therapies. All newsletters are archived on his web site and topics can easily be found with a search function.
* CURE Magazine (Cancer Updates, Research, and Education) - a well-written and visually beautiful magazine with a wide range of in-depth articles of interest to cancer survivors - http://www.curetoday.com
* Environmental Nutrition Newsletter - the only newsletter I still receive that I pay for (available in print or by email). It worth every penny for the research they do sorting through the recent nutrition findings (including dietary supplement research) and then translating those findings into recommendations for our everyday nutrition choices. http://www.environmentalnutrition.com/
* Food Reflections - Monthly email newsletter providing a "how to" message on food, nutrition, or food safety for health professionals, educators, and consumers. Subscribe at http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/subscribe-FR.shtml
* Lance Armstrong Foundation - http://www.livestrong.org - they have a very informative email newsletter that includes information about new legislation of concern to cancer survivors with "action alerts".
* Organic Consumers Association - a great email newsletter to keep up to date with concerns within the organic foods industry, includes action alerts for writing your legislators in Washington. http://www.organicconsumers.org/
VII - Real Life Label Reading Confusion!!
Yep - it happens to all of us! Read the nutrition information carefully and think about the information on the label compared to what you are really eating. Here is a real life example of confusion, even misrepresentation, showing how easy it is to be fooled by the nutritional labeling on foods.
I purchased an 8-ounce box of whole-wheat lasagna noodles. The package contained 11-12 noodles, just the right amount for a whole pan of lasagna using a typical 9x13 inch-baking dish. Each serving is listed on the label as 2 ounces, with each serving containing 9 grams protein and 6 grams of fiber. Sounds great - right? Well, that means there are four 2-ounce servings contained in the 8-ounce box, so when using the whole box of noodles to make the 9x13 inch dish of lasagna, one serving for these noodles would be 1/4 of the entire baking pan. Yikes! When was the last time you ate 1/4 of a pan that size of lasagna for lunch or dinner? So a more realistic breakdown for that labeling would have been to say there were 8 servings per package, with each serving then containing 4.5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Still good but not nearly so impressive as the unrealistic labeling suggested.
The reverse of this confusion is often true, too. Look at the labeling for snack foods or desserts, when the nutritional content is often listed for only one ounce, however we almost always eat many times that amount! Remember the old ads, "Bet you can't eat just one!" Hmmmm.....Become a smarter label reader and become a healthier you!
VIII - Book Ordering Information
Both editions of A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English version ISBN 096672383X) and the Spanish version (ISBN 0966723821) can be ordered from any bookstore, library, Amazon.com, and directly from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by calling 1-800-843-8114 or going to AICR's web site <http://www.aicr.org>.
Discounts for orders of 10 or more copies are available for both editions by calling AICR at 1-800-843-8114 - asking to speak to Candis Navarette. Many cancer centers, health care professional offices, and places of worship have ordered books in larger quantities to have available to give as educational and support information or to resell.
Bookstores and libraries may order directly from the book wholesalers Ingram or Baker & Taylor.
Personally autographed copies of A Dietitian's Cancer Story are now readily available through Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's easy to order the book directly from this full service independent bookstore at their web site, http://www.nicolasbooks.com , which has a space to indicate how you would like the book inscribed. They will happily mail the book anywhere in the world and have already sent copies with personalized autographs as far away as Australia and England.
IX - Newsletter forwarding guidelines
This e-mail newsletter may be reproduced, printed, or otherwise redistributed as long as it is provided in full and without any modification. Requests to do otherwise must be approved in writing by Diana Dyer. Please email that request to Newsletter3@CancerRD.com with "Reprint Request" in the subject line. Please tell me which section of my newsletter you are requesting to reprint and where it will be published.
X - New subscriptions to this newsletter
You may have received this newsletter because a friend forwarded it to you. If you wish to sign up for your own free subscription, please visit my web site at www.CancerRD.com , click on Newsletter and follow the directions. I aim to send the newsletter 3-4x/year. Be sure to add NewsCancerRD@cancerrd.com to your list of accepted email addresses (i.e., spam filter).
XI - Removal from future Email updates from Diana Dyer
I know that life changes with time. Thus, if you are not interested in receiving future updates and announcements from me via Email, please unsubscribe at my web site http://cancerrd.com/newsletter.asp .
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Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
"Information and inspiration for cancer survivors"
Proceeds donated to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors'