#328 Breast Cancer, Nausea and Toxic Burden - What You Should Know to Safely Care for Yourself

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When it comes to nourishing your body after breast cancer, especially when you don’t feel well, simple familiar choices can be easy to turn to, but are those choices always in your best interest? 

In this episode I’ll give you some information on a recent turn of events with a toxic chemical used on grains that you might think of as healthy or turn to in moments of nausea. 

Let’s face it, nausea is not an uncommon experience when it comes to breast cancer treatment and it can be challenging to know how to find comfort and stay in a metabolically healthy space. 

No worries though, I’ve got you covered. 

I’ll fill you in on the latest when it comes to what grains you might want to eat and I’ll give you some healthy, sugar-free ways to support yourself when nausea it gnawing at you. 

This is an episode you don’t want to miss. 


Referred to in this episode: 

Work with Laura 


Quaker Oats class action alleges products contain high levels of pesticide  

The 6 Best Teas for Nausea:

Chlormequat: What you need to know about this problematic pesticide 

Effects of the plant growth regulator, chlormequat, on mammalian fertility 

The effect of aromatherapy with peppermint essential oil on nausea and vomiting after cardiac surgery: A randomized clinical trial 


Pruvit Keto//OS Pro Dark Chocolate + MCT Ketones - Keto//OS Pro Supplement for Energy Boost, Better Digestion 

Follow me on Social Media: 







Read the full transcript below: 

Laura Lummer 0:00
You're listening to better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a certified life coach, and I'm a breast cancer thriver. In this podcast, I will give you the skills and the insights and the tools to move past the emotional and physical trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis. If you're looking for a way to create a life, that's even better than before breast cancer, you've come to the right place. Let's get started.

Laura Lummer 0:33
Hello, hello, you are listening to Episode 328 have better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach. That's me, Laura Lummer. And today is our Tuesday terrain talk, where we dig into important information for you to have when it comes to supporting the terrain of your body, creating your healthiest body so that your body can do the work it's supposed to do. And we're going to talk today about something that just has recently come to my attention in this way, and how it impacts us as breast cancer survivors. So I have many clients who are either in treatment for metastatic disease or in treatment for their some other type of diagnosis of breast cancer, whether it's the first time or a recurrence of some kind. And Nausea is a big problem. And nausea can not only be a problem when you're in active treatment, but with some of the medications that we take that are ongoing for years afterwards. And we are trained to kind of treat nausea I say trained, I think it's kind of old wives tale and old school form of conditioning that if you're nauseous, eat carbs, right eat crackers, eat greens, and we have this idea that it will it will soak up the nausea. And that's kind of how it's promoted. Like it'll soak up extra stomach acid, the carbs will act like a sponge in the stomach and soak this up and it will treat your nausea. And I'm not saying that that's wrong. What I'm saying is when we have cancer, and we're looking at a metabolic approach to supporting ourselves, the last thing we want to do is turn to high carbohydrate foods. Because that is one thing we know that cancer feeds off of right. But more importantly than that, we have to consider the toxic burden when it comes to eating grains. Now, let me share a little story with you. So one of my friends forwarded me this Instagram story recently. And I'm not I don't remember who the woman was was talking about it. But she was referring to a lawsuit a class action suit that's been proposed against Quaker Oats because of a pesticide that is being found in their products. So I get this Instagram post and I take Instagram posts with a grain of salt. So I decided to look into this myself. And just a reminder that this is just it's a proposed lawsuit. It's not a finalized lawsuit, they have not been proven to have done anything wrong. So I'm gonna say that upfront, I'll just tell you what the lawsuit involves. So I started to look into this, because it's a big concern right on the one side, you've got the metabolic approach of high carbs and managing our blood sugar and insulin responses. On the other piece of the metabolic approach. You have the toxic burden. So when we're consuming foods that are high inflammatory foods that have pesticides and pesticide residues in them, and that spike our glucose on our insulin, that's like a triple whammy right. So I thought it was an important thing to talk about. Because there's also this health halo and oats are one product one food that has a really big health halo. What do you think is more healthy than a warm, gooey delicious bowl of oats, right? Hot oatmeal. I know I'm a huge fan of oatmeal. I've loved oatmeal. I haven't eaten in a long time, but I used to eat it a lot. And I used to use old fashioned Quaker Oats from my oatmeal. I put cinnamon in it and cardamom in it and no sugar in it or anything like that. But to me, that was healthy. And I think a lot of people think that so no, I don't look at that as healthy for my diet and my specific lifestyle because I I won't stay in ketosis if I eat a bowl of oatmeal. But if you think that this is healthy, and it works for you, and it's part of your healthy lifestyle, I think it's important to know what's going on with how these foods are being treated, meaning how they're grown and harvested. So I looked up this lawsuit and here's what the claim is. So the lawsuit is claiming that lab tests have shown that Quaker oat products contain up to three 100 parts per billion of a pesticide called Chloroquine. And the Environmental Working Group says that most a person could consume of Chloroquine in one day is 30 parts per billion. So they're claiming 30 parts per billion is a safe amount to ingest without facing potential health risks. And yet, they're saying these products have been tested and found to have up to 300 parts per billion of karma caught on them. So I started doing a little more research what are they claiming tested positive for korma quiet and the list includes Quaker simply granola, oats, honey and almonds, Quaker old fashioned oats, Quaker oatmeal squares, Honey Nut, Quaker oatmeal, squares, brown sugar, Quaker instant oatmeal, maple, and brown sugar, Quaker chewy, dark chocolate chunk. So those are the products that are listed in the lawsuit that were tested positive by the Environmental Working Group. Now, the Environmental Working Group, I think, is a great resource. It does a lot of testing is like a consumer protection group. But also in all fairness. It also has been accused many times of over exaggerating things and making some products seem much more toxic or dangerous than they are. I'm not saying that's proven or not, this is just like, I want to share both sides of the story with you. So we don't think that, you know, it's not fanatical or something. Right. So this lawsuit has not been proven. This is just what's been filed. And the Environmental Working Group, sometimes its integrity has been brought into question. But an interesting thing about this is that yes, the Environmental Working Group did propose this and did say that it tested these products. But then the studies went further. And in order for something to be published in a scientific journal, it's got to be peer reviewed. So the scientific method has to be applied to it by multiple people and come out with the same result multiple times. And that's what happened in this situation. And so the testing of these products and the levels of Chloroquine in these products, was published in a journal that I'm going to talk about here in a little bit. So let's talk about what korma quat actually is, it is a pesticide in it's used to stunt the growth of stems in different plants, including ornamental plants, fruit trees and cereals, the active ingredient in korma quat chloride, a little bit of a tongue twister works by inhibiting the growth of certain plant hormones that are responsible for promoting plant growth. This way, it keeps the plant at a certain height. So it makes the stem a little stronger and it makes the plant more resilient to breakage. So when they're growing cereals, which are basically grasses, then farmers use this pesticide to make the crops a little stronger so they get more of a harvest and the plants don't break and fall over. And that's what korma quad chloride is used for. So it limits the plant height, it creates sturdier plants and they're more resistant to falling over, they're less likely to fall over. So humans are exposed to chlorine aquat through ingesting it by eating produce, or plants or plant foods that have been sprayed with it, inhalation or skin contact all those ways we can absorb Chloroquine into our bodies. And here's where things get interesting. So Chloroquine was approved in the late 1960s for use in the United States only for ornamental plants. It was not approved and is still not approved for use on food crops in the United States. So how in the world? Are we finding that these food products are testing positive for Chloroquine? What if it's not legal in the United States? Well, other countries allow the use of Chloroquine in their agricultural crops, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union. And the United States allows the import of foods like oats sprayed with korma, quat, from Canada, and some other countries. So the big food companies can import these grains where this pesticide has been banned in the United States has been used on these grains. And so that's how it's showing up in our food supply. So let's go back now to the study. So it gives a lot more validity to a claim like this when it's peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal. So it recently 2024 in February 2024, there was an article published in the Journal of exposure science and environmental epidemiology. And they published a study where they looked at samples and not a lot of samples. This is a small study, but it was Sam polls of urine in adults in the United States from 2017 through 2023. In this study, there were 21 samples from pregnant women in South Carolina, from 2017 25 samples from Missouri collected from men and women between 2017 and 2022. And 50 samples from men and women in Florida. So that's a total of 96 Urine samples from different states in the United States from 2017 to 2023. And the chemical Chloroquine showed up in 69% of the 2017 samples, then it showed up in 74% of the samples that were taken between 2017 and 2022, that it showed up in 90% of the samples from 2023. Now, again, this is small study. But when you're looking at 50 samples of urine, and 90% of them have this chemical that's bound on food products in the United States. I think it's time to do a little more investigation a little more studying to see where's this exposure coming from? Is it coming from the fact that we're using more ornamental plants and we're touching them and playing with them and guarding them? Is it coming from the food sources from eating oats and wheats and other grasses that may have been sprayed with this? Well, the danger to that is in the early 1980s, there was a study that came out that talked about the impacts of chlorine aquatic exposure on reproductive toxicity and fertility. And this was a study that looked at these Danish pig farmers who observed that the reproduction declined in their pigs when they were raised on korma quat, treated grains. So then I was thinking, well, holy hell, right. It's affecting I mean, it's a hormone blocker in plants, if it's affecting the reproductive system of animals that are being fed it and we are animals as well, does it affect human hormones and human reproduction. So I did some investigation. And really, there's not a lot of research on the impact on human hormones or reproduction, because it's not something that was supposed to be in the human food supply. So now, not only are we importing grains that have this corn aquat sprayed on them, but the EPA has proposed that we allow this clonal quad to be sprayed in our food supply in the United States on crops, including barley, oat, triticale, and wheat. And the EPA is saying that they're making this proposal because they don't believe that Chloroquine poses a significant risk to human health or to the environment. But critics of Clurman quad say that it has major potential health impacts, and that those potential health impacts outweigh the agricultural benefits of reaping more of these grains through harvest of sparing more of them from breakage. So critics are arguing with them in saying that they're really emphasizing the need for very careful consideration when it comes to allowing this chemical to be sprayed on more crops in the United States. Even though through some loophole, we're already bringing crops into the United States sprayed with it. So this is something really important to think about. This is one of many examples of different pesticides. And you have to take it upon yourself, I guess, to think about where you feel safe. I know that we're supposed to trust that the EPA determines what's safe, and we just kind of go with that. But I don't have a lot of competence in that for me personally. So we have to ask ourselves, what do you feel safe with? If you know that a food is allowed to have X amount of parts per billion of a pesticide in it? Are you okay with that? If you are fine, go for it. But then there's are these companies really testing are these companies being watched over? Because we have a lawsuit that comes up this as we've tested all these products, and they're way in excess of what's allowed? That's kind of scary, right? So it's up to you to decide where you feel safe when it comes to that where you don't, I have linked to articles where I got all of the references. All the resources that I use for this podcast are in the show notes here, where you're listening to this podcast, just scroll down and click on them or where you're watching it on YouTube, and read them for yourself, read through some of the studies read through some of the articles about it and make a decision on whether or not eating these products or consuming things that have been made with oats that are not organic, right, the same problem does not exist on organic grains organic oats, but if they're non organic, this is an issue that I think you should be aware of. Now I started off by saying what concerns me one was, of course just that any kind of toxic A city that isn't supposed to be in our food supply is in our food supply is of concern to me. But also because for our community of breast cancer survivors, and how many of us have to deal with nausea, and think that this kind of thing is safe, and we could be really impacting the toxic burden on our body. So for that reason, I want to talk with you about some things that you can use to help when you're feeling nauseous to help calm your stomach, that aren't going to spike your blood sugar that aren't natural remedies, and that have been proven many times over to help to reduce nausea. Now, most of us, I think we're nauseous, we don't want to eat food sounds kind of gross. And so it can be easier to turn to liquids instead of foods. And teas are an excellent go to when we're feeling nauseous. Now, I've linked to an article in the show notes for this episode that talks more about these teas, and gives you a little more detail about each one of them. But some of the teas that can be really beneficial if you're feeling nauseous, or chamomile, peppermint, ginger, and fennel. These teas are made from these herbs, these plants that are known to help reduce the symptoms of nausea, then there's foods. So when we're in chemotherapy, we hear all the time, don't lose weight, don't lose weight. And I should probably do a podcast on that because there's weight loss through kick Axia, which is dangerous and bad. We don't want to go down that route. That's when cancer is taking charge of our body. And it's literally consuming something this is why cancer used to be called consumption back in the day, it starts to consume your muscle and when we go into Cassia is a very dangerous place to be we want to avoid kick Axia. But in today's population, we have a lot of people who need to lose weight to get to a healthier body fat level. So is it always the right thing to advise someone don't lose any weight. You know, when I was first diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, and I turned to digging into the metabolic approach even deeper to getting into therapeutic ketosis to really managing the amount of fats and restricting carbs to being pretty much vegetables only and 20 grams carbohydrates a day, I started to lose a lot of weight. I've lost over 50 pounds, since my original diagnosis. And my oncologist started getting very concerned. He's like, are you trying to lose weight? And yeah, I was because I know that fat tissue is a metabolically active tissue, and it's metabolically active in a way that does not serve our healing. So it was very important to me to get excess body fat off of me. And I recently had a body analysis done. And I compared it to one that I had in September of 2020. And I mean, I was proud of myself because I lost only three pounds of muscle. But my body fat percentage went from 35% to 18%. So did I lose weight? Yes. Do I lose muscle? Not really. I lost a lot of body fat. And I think that from the results we're seeing now with where my health is and what happens disease that that's pretty positive outcome. So that's kind of a long story when it comes to foods about nausea. So why I share that with you is because when you're going through chemotherapy, you're encouraged Eat, eat, eat. Yet in the metabolic approach, we encourage people to go into chemotherapy in a fasted state. And the comments that I've heard from my clients and from other women that I know who do chemotherapy in a fasted state is that it tremendously benefits and reduces the experience of nausea. And then to even stay in that fasted state for up to 48 hours after that chemotherapy treatment and many people reap a tremendous amount of benefit from that. So kind of goes against what the doctors are saying when they're constantly saying II and I know in the infusion room that I go to there's bowls of candy and bags of chips and cookies everywhere. So there are very different opinions when it comes to what you do with standard of care and the metabolic approach when it comes to nausea. But I do want to offer this suggestion that a really beneficial food is bone broth. And as I said fennel tea is something really great for reducing nausea when I make my bone broth. I put fennel and ginger into the bone broth when it's cooking. So I put the chicken carcass I put onions leeks, a bulb of fennel, I put sage like sprigs of fresh sage fresh thyme fresh rosemary so I get lots of those herbaceous oils because this is what Aromatherapy is right we take these plants we take these herbs and extract extract the oils from them and these are We all have lots of benefits to us and metabolic benefits. So when we're cooking with them, you're putting it in there with some fat, right, because I have the fat from the chicken that I cooked first is in there, then I add the water because when we're extracting, you know things from these plants, we want to have water, we want to have some fats. So whether they're water soluble or fat soluble, they're bringing them out into you're getting it into the broth. So I cook my bone broth with a bulb of fennel, and I take like a thumb of ginger and put ginger in there as well and then strain it out when I'm done. So those are really good foods, Adding ginger, shaving ginger to things and using bone broth, which is really a great source of protein, and a great source of other vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Another thing so it's interesting because somebody in the breast cancer recovery group recently posted a question about being nauseous but trying to stick to the metabolic approach as a comment in the group. And some people responded by saying eat anything, even if it's just a milkshake. But obviously, if you're following the metabolic approach, you don't want to have a milkshake. That's our standard milkshake with ice cream and sugar in it. But a milkshake could definitely be something if it was made with a clean source of almond milk, which just sounds weird to say almond milk because it is more like an almond juice, right? I mean, almonds don't produce milk. But anyway. So if you have a clean source of almond milk or a whole fat, grass fed pasture raised dairy, and you're using that, so let's say you did heavy cream, you put some fibrous berries into it like raspberries or blueberries or strawberries, you can use organic cacao to get a little bit of chocolate in there. Even I use exogenous ketones, so it's a ketone supplement, and my favorite one is the dark chocolate one. So I would put some exogenous ketones in there to get that energy up and have some ketones in your drink, and also psyllium husk so psyllium husks are used a lot in carb restricted cooking, because they can make the crust of it you can use them for making the crust of a quiche. You can use them to hold meat together. Like if you're making a meatloaf or meatballs. Oftentimes use bread crumb and bread crumbs in traditional cooking. You can use psyllium husks and replace that so it's very high in fiber. So I would say if you want to have a milkshake, add some psyllium husk into that milkshake. And make sure that you're keeping the sugar content as low as possible in that so that you're serving yourself by staying in that metabolic state. You're getting some high fiber from the berries and the psyllium husks and that may help to soothe the nausea as well. And then there's some aromatherapy so I talked about herbs and herbal oils and the benefits they have to us when we use them in food. But we can also inhale them and use them topically on our body to treat things like nausea. So peppermint essential oil is actually something in Ayurveda, when babies have colic, you take peppermint essential oil, put a couple drops in a base oil because it can be really strong. We don't want to burn anybody who has sensitive skin. And we have to remember that essential oils are medicine, I mean, these are really high grade therapeutic things that we can use for our health. So you put a couple of drops into a base oil so that you toned down the impact and the sensitivity from your body. And you would put it in the baby's belly button, because essential oils are absorbed through our skin into the nervous system and they can have a tremendous impact on our body. So peppermint essential oil, both putting it in the belly button, or inhaling it by just putting a couple drops in the palms of your hands and inhaling it. There is Ginger essential oil as well. Peppermint and lemon essential oils together are something that are used for inhalation purposes, we don't want to be putting essential oils in our mouth, because they can burn the sensitive mucous membranes in your mouth. You want to inhale them, you want to put them in a base oil, if you're going to use them topically, you can put them in a diffuser. So even something like putting peppermint, ginger, lemon things, essential oils of that nature in a diffuser that's near you in the room that you're in can also help to quell feelings of nausea. But no matter what you turn to, I think the most important takeaway from this episode is know that it's safe for you know that you're not going to be taken whether it's a natural product, or whether it's a product that we consider to be healthy. How is that product grown? Even when it comes to essential oils, you want to get a good quality essential oil, because oftentimes, cheap essential oils have solvents in them and companies use those solvents as a filler or a buffer if you would into these essential oils. And so there are chemicals and we don't want to be inhaled. laying those either. So regardless of what you feel you need to support yourself, know the source, so that you're not adding to the toxic burden, especially if we're in treatment, because we're already taking in a lot of toxic medications for the right reasons for reasons that we want to be taking them in. But we want to make sure that in other areas, if we can reduce that toxic burden that we're doing it, okay, so I would love to hear your feedback on this, check out the articles that I've linked to in this episode by just scrolling down and clicking on it and read them and see for yourself. And I'd love to hear from you. So you can find me, I'm the breast cancer recovery coach on Instagram and Facebook, you can join my free Facebook group, the breast cancer recovery group and have discussions and ask questions about things like this. Or if you want coaching, and you want to be a part of a really amazing community of women who are very focused on everything from emotional, mental and physical health, and creating a life that's better than before breast

Laura Lummer 26:01
cancer. Come and join me in my life coaching membership better than before breast cancer life coaching membership, or just have a personal session and we can talk about the things that you want to do to support your best health, your optimal health and your best life. You can find all the details for my programs on the breast cancer recovery coach.com my website and I will talk to you again very soon. Take care of friends.

Speaker 1 26:29
voices in your head you'll forget courage to the test laid all your doubts your mind is clearer than before your heart is full and wanting more your futures Give it all you know you've been waiting on.



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