chemotherapy and eating

place setting with omelet

December was a difficult and busy month for me, and I turned to food for comfort a lot. I mean, A LOT. Too much eating, too much food. Chemo doesn’t help, because when I feel crummy (especially when I feel nauseous), I turn to sweet and high-fat comfort foods to distract myself from what’s happening.

Now that the holidays and their special food temptations are past, I’ve been trying to eat more mindfully. For one I’m trying to make the most nourishing and healthful food choices. Back to my lower carb, moderate protein lifestyle.

I also do things to try and bring my attention and focus into the present, onto the food and how good it tastes, so that I’ll really experience it, and savour it, and be satisfied with a much smaller portion than I’d choose if I were stressed.

So I pretend things like, “What if you were eating this in an expensive restaurant with some dear friends,” or “Imagine you’re on a silent retreat at a monastery and you’re surrounded by people who are spending hours each day in meditation.”

As silly as it sounds, these scenarios snap me out of my typical eating habits, which include not paying attention to what I’m eating. (I can’t tell you how often I eat and read, or eat while staring out my balcony doors, lost in thought or already rushing in my mind onto the next thing I need to do.)

I’m also making a point of sitting down at my dining room table to eat, and setting myself an attractive place, with things that please me visually. I “plate” my food whenever I can, garnishing it with colorful spices or grated cheese.

This is today’s breakfast – a 3-egg omelet puffed to perfection and stuffed with chevre and romano cheese, with a mug of rooibos tea.