#289 A Better Way to Think About Food After Breast Cancer

Subscribe on iTunes
Watch the full episode on YouTube

How many times have you found yourself labeling food as “good” or “bad”? 

How often have you felt guilty or ashamed of yourself for making a “bad” choice or doing the “wrong” thing when it comes to what you eat? 

The fear of food is a real thing, and it can lead to a lot of unhealthy behaviors like, oddly enough, eating more of what you think of as “bad” food because…why not go all in? 

But it can also increase stress when it comes to making healthy decisions around food. 

In this Tuesday Terrain Talk episode, I’ll give you some food facts that you might find surprising, and by the end of the show I hope you’ll have a new perspective on thinking about food. 

I’ll offer you a different way to think about and approach food that will hopefully reduce stress and improve your food choices at the same time. 

Check it out now. 

Referred to in this episode: 

The 5-Day Sugar Reset 



Read the full transcript below:

Laura Lummer 0:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Hey, friends, welcome to another episode of Better than before breast cancer with me, Laura Lummer, the breast cancer recovery coach, this is our Tuesday terrain talk. And I'm really looking forward to this talk. Because as you heard in the introduction, at the time of this recording, next week, I will be doing the five day sugar reset. And this whole month, as I've talked about in previous episodes, in my membership in my life coaching membership, we've been focusing on metabolic health. And something that comes up a lot when we talk about metabolic health, obviously, is going to be food, food is a major factor when we're talking about our metabolism. But it's one one of many factors. But it's one that we put a lot of thought into. And I gotta say, it's one that we put a lot of fear into. And the more people start to look at their terrain at look at their lifestyle, the more I see people go into fear, because we have this good, bad mentality like we have this labeling thing going on? And I think it has, it has a lot to do honestly, with the way that nutrition is marketed to us through public service announcements, right? What our government sends down the pipeline and says we should do and we shouldn't do, what media decides to highlight. I saw some ridiculous study the other day, I mean, I'm not even go into it on the show, it was so ridiculous. And it was something about how eating meat increases type two diabetes. And it's like, That's ridiculous. Well, we know that diabetes is a disease of blood sugar and insulin mismanagement and how overweight affects it. And it has a lot to do with carbohydrates and sugar, right. And eating meat is not going to have a big impact on those unless you have a specific genetic variant that's going to cause your blood sugar to go up when you eat lean proteins. But there's just some things that are said that we have to really dig into and say is this clickbait you know, what is going on here who funded this study? This is an important thing, because it's amazing how many studies you can look at that talk about how sugar is something we don't have to worry about. And it's funded by some sugar association or some branch of somebody that has something to do with selling sugar. So we have to really think about messaging that comes to us. And I'm not saying it's all bad. I am saying question everything. I am saying think about it for yourself, but not in the terms of feeling like you're being duped or lied to. But by asking a better question. In I think, because most of us don't want to sit down and start reading through all kinds of studies on every kind of food. And when it was looked at and how it was looked at and how people's lifestyle affected it, that's just too much. We don't want to do that. So what is the important thing when it comes to food is the important thing, if it's labeled good or bad. If somebody said, This is how much you should have this is how much you shouldn't have, or is the important thing, how your body feels when you put that food in you. So when we look at food as good food and bad food, and I'm going to go into a couple of really specific examples for you in just a second. But that in itself, the labeling of good and bad aligns with right and wrong. Right. So firing do good. That was the right thing. If I did bad, that was a bad thing. I was wrong. And when we bring self judgment into the way we nourish our diet, when we go it's good. It was I did the right thing. It's bad, I'm wrong. We go into this shame spiral. And then what do we do we increase our level of stress, and what is stress due to our body? Nothing good. Right? It doesn't support our health in any way. We talked about that so many times. So when it comes to food and this fear of food, let's really think about why we're afraid and why we think some foods are good, because somebody just said it. Now with respect to what I talked about here and the cohort that I work with, right? I work with people who have had cancer or who have cancer, I have cancer. I'm in the cancer in process. So I use food as a part of my recovery process my healing process, right. I have a goal for what I put In my body, and that goal is to to keep me in therapeutic ketosis. Sometimes I'm good at doing that. Sometimes I'm not sometimes it's a struggle. Sometimes it's easy as can be, right? I'm only human, nothing is easy all the time. So we have to think about why are you eating? Why do you eat? Do you just eat for fun? Do you just eat because it tastes good? Do you want food to accomplish something for you? Do you want to feel a certain way in your body? And it's a question only you can answer. But it's an important question. Because if we keep our questions focused on good and bad food, we're missing a big point. This is like when we're in relationships, and we focus our thoughts on what the other people are doing, instead of what we're allowing, instead of where our healthy boundaries are. So when it comes to nutrition, and it comes to our bodies, much better question is, how does my body feel when I put this thing into it? Okay, let's talk about this idea, and how wrong or how I guess skewed good and bad can be when it comes to food. All right. I think if I asked you or just about anybody, what's a good food or bad food? Here's oatmeal. Here's a Snickers bar, the full sized Snicker bar, not the little tiny one you get when you go out trick or treating. Here's a regular sized Snickers bar. And here's one cup of oatmeal. Which one is a good food? You're gonna say your meal, right? So let's look at what's in oatmeal. Under just a couple of points. I'm not going to compare an entire nutrition label, but with respect, especially to carbohydrates and sugar. Let's talk about this. One cup of oatmeal. Contains 27 carbohydrates. One full sized Snicker bar has 30 carbohydrates. Hmm, interesting. Now you're gonna say Oh, come on, Laura oatmeal has fiber. Yes, it does. It has four grams of fiber per cup.

Laura Lummer 7:03
a Snickers bar only has about point eight. So the oatmeal has got the snickers on the fiber by about three and a half grams. Not a landslide, right. Then we look at sugar. Now of course, is a Snickers bar gonna have a lot of sugar. It does. Does oatmeal necessarily have a lot of sugar? No. But do you ever eat oatmeal without adding something sweet? Most people don't. They add raisins, bananas, milk, it could be almond milk, or it could be whole milk or whatever kind of milk, even low fat milk which is going to have more carbohydrates. And I'm going to add a sweetener, brown sugar, regular sugar, honey, agave. So let's talk about what happens if we add just a tablespoon. And most people say well, I just add a teaspoon. I don't think so. I think that if you take a sweetener and you drizzle over something, you're gonna be surprised at how fast a tablespoon adds up because it's only three teaspoons, right. And a teaspoon is a pretty small measurement. So if we're looking at a Snickers bar, it's got 20 grams of sugar. So full size Snickers bar is going to have 20 grams of sugar. Now, a tablespoon of honey because I went with if we're going to have a cup of oatmeal, we're most likely going to have brown sugar, which people again has a health halo because brown sugar is just white sugar covered in molasses. But for some reason, if things are brown, we just think they're better for us, right? It's brown sugar, it's healthier. It's not it's just sugar. But let's look at putting a tablespoon of honey. On our cup of oatmeal. Once the oatmeal was cooked, a tablespoon of honey has 17 grams of sugar in it. So you got 17 grams of sugar. On your bowl of oatmeal. If you put a tablespoon of honey, you've only got four grams of carbohydrates and you got 20 grams of sugar in your Snickers bar. So there's only three grams of sugar difference if you eat a tablespoon of honey, agave or some other kind of sugar on top of your own, which most people do. And yet if you sat down to a bowl of oatmeal, and I've done this many times in my life, sat down to a bowl of oatmeal and put bananas on top and put cream over the top and felt like I was doing something good for myself. And it isn't that I'm not doing something good. I'm not judging oatmeal. But I'm just saying look at the perception that we have. That one food is bad and when food is good when these measurements of sugar and carbohydrate are very similar to each other. Now there's other nutrients I'm just trying to give you this example of how easy it is to misperceive food based on messaging and marketing. So you might think wow, I don't understand my blood sugar's high all the time, but I eat really healthy because I have a bowl of oatmeal with a drizzle of agave or a drizzle of honey and of course we think of honey as a hell seafood, but it's just sugar. Right? It may be a natural sugar, but it's sugar. And so it's going to impact your glucose. So, again, even thinking good food, bad food, it confuses the whole food thing even more. More importantly, how do you feel when you eat it? How does your body respond when you eat it? Right? If I have a bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of honey, am I going to feel differently than I will if I eat a Snickers bar? Maybe Maybe you will, maybe you won't. But it's an interesting thing to explore and to change our mindset from good and bad and right or wrong to curious to being very curious and getting curious about our own body. This is one of the things that I love about the science of Ayurveda. And I studied ru VEDA at the California College of ru VEDA for two and a half years I did an internship, I worked with creating ru Vedic programs for people, most people hear that word in the recite what I hear what, but it's the Indian system of medicine. It is a beautiful ancient science. And it's just, it's a lifestyle science. And one of the beautiful things about it is it's just rooted in understanding your body. It's rooted in noticing when you're hungry, and when you're satisfied versus eating until your stuff is rooted in understanding what foods do to you and eating in a mindful way. And I think that's such a beautiful approach and such a healthier approach to food, rather than good food and bad food. Because when we look at food that way, we develop fear, or judgment, or shame or guilt, that increases our levels of stress that increases our cortisol, that is not good for us. So the more I step into this, you know, working with people on metabolic health, the more we really focus on health, coaching and supporting our terrain, the more I see this come up, and I want to encourage you to drop the labels and take a different approach to food. Another fear that I hear all the time is protein. I'm not getting enough protein, not enough protein. And you know, I hear that from so many people. But we've got to bring ourselves back to the basics. Because who says how much protein you're supposed to have? There's a standard sight point eight gram to one gram per pound of body weight. Some people say you ship 30 grams of protein for every meal that you eat. But what's the point of the protein? Why are we eating the protein? Because as we age, we lose lean body mass muscle and muscle gosh is built up of proteins. And so we want more protein. But is it really a good thing to eat a lot of protein if you're not even doing anything to build muscle? Because you can't just eat protein and grow muscles. You got to exercise? So are you exercising? Do you need more protein? Is this something that you have to work into your lifestyle? Do you have plenty of protein for the way that you're already living? Right? So it's if we can get more curious about what is this food? What is the goal of consuming this type of food? How does this food serve me? How do I get to know my body a little bit better? You know, there's a lot of concerns in our community, the breast cancer community about osteopenia and osteoporosis, a lot of the drugs and treatments that we take for cancer affect our bones, cancer affects our bones and definitely affects my bones. And so people talk a lot about calcium, but you know what a super important thing to do to build bone mass is strength training. Resistance training increases bone density. So when we just focus on the food, or on the element of a food, you know, people are like, Oh, turmeric is good, because it's got curcumin, so let me go buy bottles of curcumin, right? And we get so focused on these little tiny things that really aren't going to develop a super healthy lifestyle for us. Because we're so concerned with what's good, what's good, what's bad, what's right, what's wrong, instead of what's good for me. What works for you? Do you know your body? Are you doing all the things you can to support your body and support its ability to have and sustain a really strong immune system? Or are you going in full force unworried about what you put in your mouth because it's good or because it's bad, right? Now, if you asked me well, or what do you think about processed food? Of course, I'm going to tell you don't eat that shit, right? But even then we don't have to label it as bad. I mean, I don't even label it as food. Like if you're gonna eat, you know, candy bars and fire roasted Cheetos and things I just, you know, it's a lot of chemicals. And it's a lot of things that should not go into a human body. But sometimes people enjoy it from time to time. So do I want to call it bad? No, because again, anytime we're looking at good and bad, we go into shame. But if you're gonna eat fire roasted Cheetos and snickers bars and watch, watch them down with a Pepsi, ask yourself, How does this make me feel? Do I like the way this makes me feel? Now? I didn't say do I like the way this tastes? Let's be real clear on that, because you may like the way it tastes. But do you like the way it makes you feel? Some people say to me, I don't feel any difference. I can eat that stuff all day long and not feel any difference. And I will always challenge that statement. Because maybe you've been eating that way for so long, you don't even notice how bad your body feels. When you put it in, you're just kind of used to this low level of inflammation or bloating or digestive distress that you believe is normal, when it really isn't. So could you step away from those foods? How would you feel if you tried to step away from some of those foods? And then when you step back in, and I already know the answer to this, because I've seen it with myself and every client I've worked with who's done this process, when they clean up their diet, and then they go back to something they used to love. And they go back to this indulgence. They say, Oh my god, I cannot believe how fast that hit me. I cannot believe how horrible that made me feel. And that's not a I told you. So Oh, are you see? There you go. It's just like, what a beautiful awareness. Isn't that awesome that you learned to listen to your body that you learn to tune into your own needs. And so even as we come up at the time of this recording, next week, I'm going to be doing the five day sugar reset. That's not just about cakes or cupcakes, it's just about learning the difference of what foods do increase our glucose because as people with cancer live with cancer, healing from cancer, treating cancer vulnerability to cancer, we want to be aware of that. Because we know that there's a lot of evidence that cancer thrives in a high glucose environment, among other things, that this is one very controllable factor for us. So again, more important than good food, bad food. More important than and I hear this all the time. Well, what about beans? And what about rice? Is this bad? It isn't bad. But does it serve your body in the way you want it to serve your body? Does it achieve the goal of eating food? Why do you eat food? What do you want from food? If you just want to eat food, because food tastes delicious, and you just like deliciousness, that's cool, right? That's your goal. If you want to use food, because you want food to support your immune system and support your health and have the healthiest body and the best level of energy and the best kind of digestion, then you've got a different goal. And you're gonna have to get curious about food in a different way. Okay. So, really, I wanted to talk about just really becoming aware of the way you think about food. What's your fear level, when it comes to food? What are you afraid to put in your body? What are you afraid to learn about? Because sometimes even when I say so, for instance, the five day sugar challenge, people say, Oh, I don't want to think about it differently, because I don't want to have to give up my fill in the blank. And can I just say, again, you are a grown up, and you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. But why not learn a little more about what things might help you feel better, might help support you to have a long and healthy lifespan, and might just help you that no matter how long your lifespan is to feel better, to have less brain fog to have more energy. And in order to do that, you got to start to understand how your body works. And so the best question isn't, is this a good food or bad food? But how does my body respond when I put this food inside of it? Okay, if we can start looking at that start practicing that start becoming very aware of that, I think you might find that making food choices, is going to be much easier for you much less shameful for you much less guilt ridden for you. Like, what's the why behind it? You know, why did I eat this today? I was bored. That's why That's interesting. It's interesting. I turned to food when I'm bored, nothing wrong. No judgment necessary, right? Then you get to know yourself. And the more aware we are of why we do what we do. Interesting, the more automatically our behaviors begin to change is pretty fascinating. But if we go into judgment, that's just never gonna get through there. All right. So let's put some attention this week into becoming more aware of our fear of food and into understanding more about how food impacts your own unique, special bio individual body because it's going to be different for everybody. Right? And that's another reason why we can't use labels like good and bad. You know, I gave you the oatmeal example. Maybe you'll know works for you. Maybe it makes someone else As Phil not just in gives them, you know, elimination issues. So does that make it a good food or bad food or just the right food for specific bodies? All right. So let's think about it and ease off on the pressure and the fear and the judgment and the guilt that we deal with. Oftentimes, too, oftentimes, with our thoughts about food. All right, my friends, and I hope you do join me in the five day sugar reset, you can join me for free, it's going to be awesome. We're going to look at one tiny little thing, one little habit, we're gonna look at thoughts around the foods you choose each day, one simple step, we're gonna kick it off on Monday. I think it's October 30. It's Monday, October 30. We're gonna kick it off with a live kickoff call to just help you get in the right mindset and the preparation and get in the place where we do stay curious. We don't judge ourselves. And this is not a diet, we're not doing a five day diet, right? We're going into a five day exercise in awareness, okay, of how we treat ourselves with food. And then we'll wrap it up on Friday with another live call where we can get coaching What did you discover what was easy? What was hard? What was fun? What did you like, What didn't you like, and explore again, those thoughts, what worked for you, what do you want to carry forward to serve you? And maybe what do you want to leave behind? And how do you do that? Right, it's gonna be really cool and a lot of fun. It used to be called the five day sugar challenge, but I did call it a reset because I just see so many people changing their mindset around foods that have a major impact on their blood sugar. After going through this program, it's a lot of fun, we're gonna have a pop up private Facebook group so you can engage with other people in the reset and be able to talk about you know, things that work for everybody and support each other and we'll have a good time Alright, so join me at the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash sugar and I will see you next week in the foundation reset alright take care my friend




50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.