The idea that weight gain can occur during chemo goes against the classic notion of what being a cancer patient means. Many do experience terrible weight loss, but for others, the problem can be keeping the weight off. During Breast Cancer Awareness month it’s worth noting that for women being treated for breast cancer, the mix of anti-inflammatory steroids they take during chemo and the hormone blocking drugs they’re often given afterward to protect against recurrence, can present these women with the double whammy of bloating during treatment followed by weight gain from the abrupt onset of drug-induced menopause. But being overweight can increase the chances of recurrence too, so what’s to be done? First of all, be prepared. If you have to go on hormone blockers, talk to a registered dietitian about tactics. Secondly, don’t despair. This is not about deprivation and dieting, it’s about tweaking your lifestyle to stay healthy and cancer free. A good place place to start on the plus side is to increase your intake of the low calorie, nutrient packed fresh fruits, veggies and dark leafy greens that are so good for us all, and eat more whole grains, beans and healthy lean proteins. On the minus side, avoid eating too much red meat and saturated fat and cut out or cut drastically down on refined carbs including the white foods, bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, on sugary treats like candy, cake and cookies, and also on processed snacks like chips. We are a nation of snackers and grazers, and at Cook for Your LIFE we know how hard making these last changes can be, but it’s not impossible, which is why we’ve come up with this menu of ideas to help you swap out that cheeseburger or those snacks for something that’s not just nutritious and good for you, but delicious and totally satisfying too. Check it out.