5 Things You Should Know Before Going To The Grocery Store

One topic that came up once I was diagnosed with Stage IV bladder cancer was the topic of nutrition. I started to think I must change my diet and immediately go all organic, but for most of us like myself that's just not in our budget.

Consult an oncology dietitian

This first thing I did do is schedule an appointment with an oncology dietitian. Your doctor's office should provide free access to an oncology dietitian to assist with meal planning and of course eating well through bladder cancer.

1. Schedule the appointment with the oncology dietitian as soon as you can. Most medical oncology offices only have one oncology dietitian in the office so getting the appoint planned early is very important.

2. Do your homework: Google foods you like to eat or beverages you like to drink. Find out a little bit about their nutritional value if you can. You want to have a good conversation with the dietician and be prepared. Write down your questions, so you remember them when it is time to see the dietician.

3. Talk about what foods the dietitian recommends should be organic. For me, the dietician advised me fruits and vegetables should be organic; the dietician may refer to these as the "dirty dozen."1 The dirty dozen includes strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, and spinach. That is because the "dirty dozen" can be contaminated with pesticide residue.

4. Ask the oncology dietitian for any resources they can provide you. The dietician should be able to provide you with handouts and even a book called "Eating well through cancer." If the dietitian does not have a copy, you can find the book on Amazon relatively inexpensively. The book provides a lot of great tasty meals and desserts that bladder cancer patients can incorporate into their everyday diet.

5. Always make a grocery list! That is a must-have for me. When I am at the grocery store, I can get distracted very quickly, so having everything written down I need or have it on a smart phone is a huge help to ensure I don't miss anything. Also don't feel you have to get everything at Whole Foods. Your local grocery stores now have extensive selections of organic fruits, vegetables and other natural products that can be even less expensive.

Improving your overall health

Most of all have fun with it and enjoy the fact that what you are putting into your body is healthier, cleaner and can be helping to fight cancer and improving your overall health. As always if you have any nutritional questions consult your dietitian or physician.

Editor’s Note: With heavy hearts, we regret to inform readers that on February 27, 2021, Curtis passed away from stage IV bladder cancer. Curtis’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to impact many. He will be deeply missed.

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