A salad bowl surrounded by meal prep containers

What Do I Eat, Now That I Have Lung Cancer?

Last updated: April 2023

Diet and nutrition are essential topics to talk about after being diagnosed with lung cancer. How can we find a healthy balance between eating right and enjoying the food we eat?

I'm no sugar expert!

I also want to make something clear: I am not here to debate if sugar drives cancer. That conversation is for another time and place (my vice is Mountain Dew!) I want to show that restricting the food you desire is no fun and can be done in moderation. Eat the cookie - but maybe not the whole package.

My diet had nothing to do with my diagnosis

After I was diagnosed, I thought I needed to go on a juice diet and completely change how I ate. To me, it was like my diagnosis was directly related to what I ate. I'm not sure what your story is, but I was diagnosed with lung cancer due to sheer bad luck. It had nothing to do with my diet! Once I realized that, I began to think about how my diet would play a role in this cancer journey.

My husband and I - the ultimate team in the kitchen

My husband and I share the food-prepping and cooking duties in the house. He makes breakfast on the weekends and some meals during the week. I pick up the slack! We're both responsible for our lunches. We have a shared note on our iPhones with dinner ideas, which helps us keep track of what we have on hand - or if we need to go to the store this way. Sometimes even grocery shopping can be too much!

Prepping meals ahead of time is a game-changer

Meal prep ahead of time really helps on those days you may be feeling a bit more fatigued. When I was actively getting chemotherapy treatments, I could figure out what days impacted me the most. I had a lot of help, but I also enjoy being independent. Find the day that you feel the best and meal prep! Pinterest has so many great options for meal prep ideas.

The Instant Pot, my BFF

I have found that using an instant pot for nightly dinners has been very helpful. The meals cook quickly, and there are so many options. My favorite thing to make is a lemon chicken quinoa soup with spinach!

It's all about the balance

Many people think you need to change your diet after a lung cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, you do, but NOT in the ways you may think. You need to make sure that you are getting your fruits and veggies. Juicing was helpful during times when I couldn't eat solid food. You also need to plan your meals around your treatment days. This is even more helpful if you're on a TKI. If that is the case, you may need to adjust the foods you eat based on the side effects you encounter.

Did you change your diet after being diagnosed? How do you handle making meals while in active treatment? Let us know in the comments.

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