I feel compelled to write about my personal dietary choices. I've gotten a few comments about something I said in my interview with Fitness Magazine (Oct. issue, back page).
In response to a question about an obsession or guilty pleasure, I said bacon. I go on to explain that when you're sick, everyone has opinions about what you should or shouldn't eat. But I like all food, and one of my favorites is bacon.
I am a certified Personal Trainer (ACSM). I am not a nutritionist or registered dietitian. I never give nutrition advice other than the most general, "eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes a lot of fruits and vegetables". Anything beyond that I always recommend talking with a registered dietitian, ideally one who has experience with your type of cancer if you are a cancer survivor. If you have questions about your diet, talk to an RD.
Early on in my disease treatment, I thought very carefully about dietary changes. I did my research and considered various diet recommendations.
In the end, I decided to keep eating what I always had - a well-balanced diet, freshly prepared. During chemo, there were days when I ate whatever I felt I could manage. Interestingly, what I often craved were very healthy foods: kale, broccoli, seaweed. (OK, there were days when all I wanted was fat and salt.) I considered giving up dairy, giving up meat, giving up the occasional glass of wine. But I chose to continue eating everything because I like everything.
Maybe it's just because I've given up enough. I've given up body parts. I've given up ideas of myself. So many hopes and dreams were taken from me. Not that I don't have an excellent life, for which every minute of the last 9 years I am fabulously grateful. But I have also lost a lot, sometimes it seems like maybe too much. So for me, food was the line in the sand.
Plenty of people have told me over the years that this choice is a mistake. But if it's a mistake, it is my mistake. I do not offer this as advice to anyone else.
I love food; I love all foods. I love all aspects of food: buying, growing, preparing, eating, and feeding others. And among food, bacon is right up there on my top 10 list. But not just any bacon - good bacon. I have to give a little shout out here to Max Bauer, one of the best butchers I know. And they have GREAT bacon. It's their homemade bacon; you have to ask for it. They are in Traverse City, MI, near where I spend part of my summer every year. Well worth a trip in for my Northern Michigan friends!
Back to bacon. I don't consider it to be a "guilty pleasure". I refuse to feel guilty about eating it. It's just one of the many foods I eat with great pleasure.
But this is just my personal dietary choice.