SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Fighting breast cancer

October 16, 2012

Constant chemo cravings

Navigating food choices isn't easy

As a health professional, Patricia D’Imperio urges her patients to make the most nutritious food choices.

The chiropractic neurologist is a nutrition role model, who searches out wholesome food for her family.

Then, there’s Doritos.

When D’Imperio has to have them, she’s unstoppable. “I’m a craver of salt,” says the owner of Healthy Living in Bayville, N.Y. “It’s not one; I’ll consume an entire bag and have to get it out of my system. I can’t stop even though I know better.”

D’Imperio, who finished her treatments for breast cancer, is struggling with an occasional craving for a salty snack as she tries to eat the best diet possible to stay cancer-free.

She’s not alone.

“Some days I’m good, some days I’m not so good,” says Cynthia Newsome, who is finished with radiation treatments for breast cancer.

The Dairy Queen strawberry shake beckoned, and Newsome responded.

“It was good,” says Newsome, weekend anchor for NBC Action News in Kansas City, Mo.

You may have an itch for a particular ingredient, like D’Imperio and salt, which hits every two months or so. Perhaps you associate a certain food with a positive experience you want to recall. Whatever the reason, if you learn to manage your food urges, you can splurge without the guilt, while developing more healthful habits.

While you’re educating yourself, you’ll also look for ways to let your loved ones know how you’d like to be supported.

Getting into a breast cancer recovery nutrition program can help.

Find a registered dietitian who will show you what you can eat.

If you need to lose weight to reduce your risk of a breast cancer recurrence (or your risk of other diseases), you don’t want a diet that feels like punishment.

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Fighting breast cancer
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