A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Winter 2004

Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story.

Yes, it is still officially winter on the calendar. However, we have finally had several days with temperatures in the 50's, which feels like summer at this time of year in Michigan! Our snow is now gone, but more importantly, I finally heard and saw my first robin of the year. My heart truly leaped with happiness at hearing it singing; it was a magic moment. Then the search was on to find it. Let the groceries sit in the car - this was far more important :-) There he was, across the street, singing his heart out at the top of a tall tree announcing his arrival and the real beginning of a new year with all its hopes.

Just two days earlier, we had finally taken down our outside Christmas wreaths. I never know quite when to do that as I always hate to let go of that lovely time of the year. However, next year I will start a new tradition. The wreaths will come down on the day I hear my first robin sing. :-)

Let me share one of my favorite quotations with you: "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops - at all."
- Emily Dickinson

May you find what brings you both happiness and hope!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Newsletter Contents:

I.    Cancer Survivorship Information
II.   New Recipes
III.  New Food Products
IV.   Web sites of interest
V.    New Books to Suggest
VI.   Assorted Tidbits of New Information
VII.  Book Ordering Information
VIII. Removal Instructions


I. Cancer Survivorship Information

(A) The Second Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference, 'Cancer Survivorship: Pathways to Health after Treatment' co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) will be held June 16-18, 2004 in Washington, DC. Over the past two years survivorship research has been one of the areas at the forefront of the scientific research agenda in cancer. More information can be found at the following web site: http://www.blsmeetings.net/2010/index2.cfm

Unfortunately, I am already speaking at the Arizona Dietetic Association's annual meeting during these dates, but if I were free to attend, I would seriously consider going. If any of you choose to go, please write me afterwards and share your thoughts about the experience!

(B) The late effects from therapies used with childhood cancers are only recently being given more than scattered recognition within the health care community. For those of you who might be adult survivors of childhood cancers (like I am) or parents of childhood cancer survivors, you will find the following web sites of interest:

(1) President's Cancer Panel minutes from the meeting in September, 2003: "LIVING BEYOND CANCER:SURVIVORSHIP ISSUES AND CHALLENGES AMONG PEDIATRIC CANCER SURVIVORS" are finally up online.

(2) The Children's Oncology Group has published the Childhood Cancer Survivor Long-term Follow Up Guidelines. I have copied this information for myself and also sent it to my primary care physician to read as together we are planning a cohesive plan for assessment of the various health concerns for which I am still at increased risk from the radiation therapy that cured my childhood cancer. http://www.childrensoncologygroup.org/disc/LE/default.htm

(C) Web-based support groups for cancer survivors - Some people live too far away from support groups to attend; some don't want to return to their hospital or treatment center for a support group. An on-line support group is another option available to someone who wishes to have a supportive community going through their cancer journey from others who have also *been there*.

The Association of On-line Cancer Resources ( http://www.acor.org ) is a collection of on-line cancer support communities and other web-based cancer resources. There are many interest groups, one to fit most every need, from those for women with metastatic breast cancer to those for siblings of cancer patients. I recently joined the ACOR listserv for long-term survivors of childhood cancers and have been pleasantly surprised at how much I look forward to reading through the various discussions. How much you participate is totally up to you. I am mainly a *lurker* (meaning I just read most comments without answering back) but there have been a few times I have chimed in with my thoughts or questions.

A few of the many other groups that also offer on-line support groups: Cancer Care http://www.cancercare.org, The American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org, The Wellness Community http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org.


Health insurance is expensive - that's a fact of life in America today. Another fact of life for many cancer survivors is increased difficulty in buying and hanging onto health insurance. But all Americans - even those with pre-existing conditions - have certain rights protected by the federal government and to varying degrees by the states. To see what your state rights are, go to http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net. Karen Pollitz, project director for the Institute for Health Care Research and Policy at Georgetown University has written guides for all 50 states.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has teamed up with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship to offer an excellent series of talks explaining what cancer survivors need to know about health insurance. The information is available online in video, audio or printed (PDF) form. http://www.cancereducation.com/cancersyspagesnb/a/lls/lls0201/index.cfm?rid=29 (this is a long link, you may need to copy and paste it into your browser.)


II. New Recipes

(A) Black Olive Tapenade

* 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
* 1-1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
* 1 garlic clove, finely minced
* 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (or scant 1 Tbsp. dried)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt (only add if needed after final tasting)
* 2 - 3 grinds of black pepper * 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

* Combine all ingredients except oil and salt in a food processor.
* Slowly add the oil and pulse, retaining some bits of olive and caper for texture.
* Taste to adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, this will keep well for a week or two. I only have a mini-food processor, but for those of you with standard size processors, this recipe can easily be doubled.

Makes about 1 cup. Enjoy eating a very healthy traditional food while also saving money. Please write and tell me how you use Black Olive Tapenade. I'll publish the list of ideas on my web site and in an upcoming Email newsletter.

(B) Ayruvedic Saffron and Asparagus Stew - reprinted with permission from Miraval Resort and Spa ( http://www.miravalresort.com/ ), an incredible Arizona desert resort and spa near Tucson.

I was fortunate to spend several days at this beautiful and soothing resort in December 2003, as a speaker at a retreat called Life Beyond Cancer for women cancer survivors. All the food was delicious and prepared with healthy ingredients, but this stew was special.

I pursued getting this recipe and permission to reprint it for all of you because I could discern that it contained ingredients that I had not tasted before. In fact, I did need to purchase two new spices - ground fenugreek seeds and asafetida. I found both at Whole Foods Market, but they will also be available at a good Indian foods market.

Warning - don't be alarmed when you open the bottle of asafetida. It will smell truly awful, but interestingly, the awfulness disappears during the cooking process, leaving the deep earthy taste that attracted my taste buds to this dish. Although I have not done so, onion and/or garlic powder may be substituted to taste.

The recipe and directions are on my web site at http://www.cancerrd.com/recipes/ayurvedicasparagusstew1.htm . Don't be shy about trying something new!


III. New Food Products

(A) Soybean Dip by Oasis Classic Cuisine, in Toledo, Ohio - this is really soybean hummus. It tastes wonderful - another good source of soybeans and their multitude of cancer-fighting components. You could also make this at home. Use my recipe ( http://www.cancerrd.com/Recipes/hummus1.htm ), substituting cooked soybeans (purchase canned or cook at home) for the traditional garbanzo beans.

(B) Tuna canned in olive oil - several years ago, a web site visitor asked me if such a thing was available. I had not seen it at that time, but now it is, right in my regular grocery store! The brand available in my area is called Tonno Genova distributed by Chicken of the Sea. Yes, it is more expensive, but not only is it delicious, the fats are all healthy ones, and the type of tuna used is lower in mercury than the white albacore tuna. I have started buying it and enjoying it. You can read more about what I have to say regarding fish consumption and the concerns about mercury and other contaminants like PCB's on my web site at http://www.CancerRD.com/FAQs/FAQ85.htm .


IV. New Books to Suggest

(A) Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating: How to Choose the Best Bread, Cheeses, Olive Oil, Pasta, Chocolate and Much More, Ari Weinzweig, Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, 2003. This book makes me salivate while reading! It reads like a novel as the author, Ari Weinzweig, takes you through the country and the world on his quest for finding the best ingredients and explaining the many good foods available to eat. Life is just too short to bother with food that doesn't taste the most delicious and give that feeling of contentment upon eating it. Recipes are also included. Come visit Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's been named one of the world's best 25 food markets! http://www.freep.com/entertainment/newsandreviews/zing11_20040311.htm (not sure how long this link will work) Salud!

(B) Spinach and Beyond: Loving Life and Dark Green Leafy Vegetables by Linda Diane Feldt, Moon Field Press, Ann Arbor, MI, 2003. Terrific recipes for increasing your consumption of delicious and ultra-healthy greens of all types. Highly recommended!

You may purchase these books at most bookstores or link to Amazon.com through my web site at http://www.cancerrd.com/booksug.htm .


V. Assorted Tidbits of New Information

(A) Winners of the First Annual Vegetarian Restaurants of the Year Award. Among the winning restaurants are Grasshopper in Boston, Chicago Diner in Chicago, Native Foods in Los Angeles, and Candle Cafe in New York. To see the entire list, and for listings of vegetarian restaurants throughout the world visit the VegDining.com website, http://www.vegdining.com/

(B) Veggie options at baseball parks! Baseball fans are anticipating opening day, but fans at San Diego's PETCO Park, home of the Padres, will now have veggie dogs and veggie burgers in multiple stands this season. To see other ballparks that offer veggie dogs, and to find out how you can encourage your local venue to offer them, visit the Soy Happy website, http://www.soyhappy.org

(C) The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board recently release their latest Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) report. This report on fluid and electrolytes gives healthy guidelines for sodium, potassium, chloride, water, and sulfate consumption. The bottom line:

* Recommends a goal of 1.5 grams of sodium per day.
* Recommends a goal of 2.3 grams of chloride per day.
* Recommends a minimum of 4.7 grams of potassium from natural food sources such as fruits, vegetables, and juices and sets no upper limit from food sources.
* Recommends 2.7 liters of water from food and beverage sources for women.
* Recommends 3.7 liters of water from food and beverage sources for men.
* The committee refrained from making any recommendation on sulfate intake.

The committee emphasized that the recommendations for nutrients and water are based on total diet intake. For instance, most people get approximately 80 percent of their water from fluids and 20 percent from food. Thus, the water recommendation does not translate to a fluid recommendation but rather, an average woman would need to consume approximately two liters of fluid per day to meet her total 2.7 L/day goal of water. (This fluid intake can include beverages with caffeine.)

It is noteworthy that meeting the dietary potassium goal will require approximately TEN servings per day of fruits and vegetables. In addition, the 1.5g sodium goal would be met in as little as ½ tsp of salt per day (which includes the salt added to processed foods.) Thus, meeting these new DRIs, like so many other nutrition goals, will require significant dietary changes among typical Americans. The full report can be viewed on the Institute of Medicine Website at http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309091705?OpenDocument

(D) New Web Site Explains Required Labeling of Trans-Fats in Foods

A 2003 FDA rule requires food manufacturers to list on labels the amount of trans-fats found in their foods. To help consumers understand the new labeling, which must be in place no later than January 2006, the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has created a Web site with helpful background on trans-fats and how to minimize them in the diet. Though found in many food products, trans-fats have been shown to raise levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. The site includes sample "Nutrition Facts" labels showing where trans-fat information will be located.
( http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309091691?OpenDocument )

(E) Tone Your Bones at the University of Alabama

Many women are at increased risk of osteoporosis after their breast cancer treatments. In addition, men who are treated for prostate cancer and others treated with steroids during treatments are also at increased risk for this debilitating disease. I found a lot of helpful information about osteoporosis on this web site. As always, check with your health care professionals before beginning any exercise programs and to discuss other ways to reduce your personal risk or treatments for current disease. Check out the web site at http://www.toneyourbones.org/

(F) Nutrition Data for foods

Ever wonder just what nutrients are in a particular food? There are many places to look, but here are two helpful ones:
. http://www.NutritionData.com - a free on-line resource of 7500+ food using USDA data and restaurant data
. New edition of the *Bible* - Bowe's and Church's Food Values of Portion's Commonly Used, Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, March 2004 (18th edition). Over 8000 foods analyzed by brand name.


IV. Web sites of interest:

The following web sites all contain a large and varied selection of vegan recipes. Every recipe I looked at and those I have tried have all been scrumptious - full of flavor and foods that help promote health. Take a look and try something new like Greek Lentil Stew ( http://www.ivu.org/recipes/greek/greek-lentil-stew.html ).

Quick vegan recipes - http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2003issue1/vj2003issue1quick.htm

Some more web sites to help you buy fresh, buy local, and eat slowly:


VII - Book Ordering Information

Both editions of A Dietitian's Cancer Story, the updated and revised edition published in April 2002 (new ISBN is 096672383X) and the Spanish edition published in 2000 (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 their 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 Jessica Sinacori. Many cancer centers, health care professional offices, and places of worship have ordered books in larger quantities to have available to give as as educational and support information or to resell.

Bookstores and libraries may order directly from the book wholesalers Ingram or Baker & Taylor.


VIII - 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 or have other subscription requests, please Email that information to Newsletter@CancerRD.com.

(Special Note - Please use this Email address only for subscription information. I do not check it regularly, and thus any personal messages to me may not be read or answered in a timely manner.)

For those of you who choose to remain on this list, be assured that I will never share or sell your name or Email address to anyone.

I send my best wishes to all of you for health, healing, and hope!

Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English and Spanish editions)
Available from AICR (1-800-843-8114)
Web site: www.CancerRD.com

"Information and Inspiration for Cancer Survivors"

Proceeds donated to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors'
Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment at the
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)


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