Community Views: Go-To Meals with Lung Cancer
Last updated: May 2022
Diet and nutrition can be a worry for those undergoing treatment for lung cancer. Eating can sometimes feel like a chore due to nausea, difficulty swallowing, or stress and anxiety.
As much as it is recommended to eat healthily, some people find that their tastes and preferences change after their diagnosis. Others find they only like eating a few foods, and they stick with those throughout the course of their treatment.
To learn more about community members' go-to meals, we turned to the LungCancer.net Facebook page. There, we ask you to tell us: "On those tough treatment days, what is a favorite feel-good recipe?"
Here is a look at some of the responses from community members.
Several people shared that right after treatment, the food they want most is a big steak. For those who need to replenish protein in the body, steak may be a good choice. Plus, several community members shared that the steroids in their bodies after treatment make foods taste better. They take advantage of that time to eat heavier foods and make up for days when nausea makes eating a challenge.
“I went to Texas Roadhouse for a great steak, medium-rare.”“I always felt pretty good after my chemotherapy infusion. I am guessing that is because of the steroids. Every Friday after my treatment, my wife and I would go to LongHorn Steakhouse and have a ribeye steak and baked potato.”
Milkshakes and smoothies
For many people, a milkshake or smoothie is a comforting choice. They are sweet, cold, and easy to eat. Smoothies can be a great way to sneak in extra fruits and even supplements like protein powder or fiber. Smoothies also work well as meal replacements for those times that other foods do not sound appealing.
“Vanilla milkshake.”“After treatment (radiation), I always went to McDonald’s and got a strawberry banana smoothie.”
Several community members shared different reasons for favoring sweets after their treatment. For some, it was the comfort of a food they have eaten since childhood, like homemade pie. For others, desserts are a go-to because they tend to melt in the mouth, making them easy to eat. Then, there is the fact that sugar makes us feel good, and having a mood boost is never a bad idea after undergoing treatment.
“Warm pecan pie just out of the oven.”“One scoop of chocolate ice cream, one scoop of vanilla. Then I pour on hot fudge and load on the whipped cream!”
Homemade comfort food
Nothing beats a favorite dish made with love. Unfortunately, most people do not have the energy to cook for themselves while undergoing treatment. A couple of options exist.
One is to reach out to friends, coworkers, and family members and ask if they would be willing to make a dish for you for the days you do not have the energy to cook. Other people do a lot of prep work before their chemo or radiation journey begins. They make and freeze small portions of soup, lasagna, or other comfort foods they may feel like eating during treatment.
“Homemade chicken and dumplings.”
Any kind of soup
Soup does wonders in many ways. For starters, it can be a great choice for those who are having trouble working up an appetite or who feel discomfort when chewing or swallowing. Soups with fiber from beans or vegetables can give your body a healthy boost. Another bonus is that soups, even just broths, help you stay hydrated. Hydration is always recommended during cancer treatment.
“I had a lot of soups. They are a good way to help yourself eat, even if it is just a little at a time.”“Homemade lentil soup. It has great protein and fiber.”“Potato soup.”“Progresso tomato basil soup with ‘grown-up’ grilled cheese, made with tomato and bacon!”
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences with us. We appreciate seeing comments and suggestions from so many people in the community. What are your go-to meals after lung cancer treatment?
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