Nutrition & Physical Fitness for Survivors and Thrivers

Nutrition and fitness.JPG

Nutrition and Breast Cancer

Maintaining a healthy, nutrient rich diet before, during and after breast cancer treatment is especially important to breast cancer patients because they have unique dietary needs. Making good food choices could help you feel better, stay stronger and improve your overall well-being before, during and after treatment. If you are dealing with a diagnosis and/or treatment know that each person’s treatment plan is different as well as any associated possible side effects. Talk with your medical team to learn how you may be affected by treatment. They may be able to give you additional suggestions on how you can manage treatment aftereffects. 

There are many resources available online and in print about breast cancer and nutrition. Here is a sampling of resources that are breast cancer focused. As always, seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider as needed.

Visit our Facebook page and website Calendar for complimentary nutrition, exercise and wellness classes.


Major Organization Nutrition Resources:

American Institute for Cancer Research


The Cancer Nutrition Center

Dana Farber Cancer Institute

National Cancer Institute

American Cancer Society

The Cancer Nutrition Center

Online Nutrition and Cooking at Home Resources: 

Ann Gaffney Cooking from Hoome.JPG

Photo: Cancer survivor and cookbook author Ann Ogden Gaffney

Cancer Dietitian - Life Style Tips for Prevention and Survivorship

Cancer Support Community

Cook for Your Life

My Food My Health

The Healthy Cooking Blog by Holly Clegg

Plant Based Cooking Talk and Demonstration with Patty Wukitsch, MS, RD, CDN of Hannaford Supermarkets

USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory

The World’s Healthiest Foods

Zest for Life – The Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet

Nutrition Blog Articles

Barbara Spalding's Story: Maintain a Healthy Weight with the New American Plate

A Woman's Diet Might Help Her Avoid Breast Cancer

Being Overweight

HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Diet

How plant-based food helps fight cancer

Top "Power Foods" to Combat or Help With Side Effects

Two New Studies Suggest Diet Can Help Breast Cancer Survivors Live Longer

4 Ways a Plant-Based Diet Can Improve Breast Cancer Odds

Cookbooks that focus on Nutritional Needs During and After Treatment:

Cook for your life book pic.JPG        Anti Cancer Cookbook.JPG         Eating well through cancer.JPG

Anti-Breast Cancer Cookbook: How to Cut Your Risk with the Most Powerful, Cancer-Fighting Foods  by Julia Greer Dr., 2013

The Breast Cancer Cookbook: Over 100 Easy Recipes to Nourish and Boost Health During and After Treatment by Mohammed Keshtgar, 2016

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition (2017): Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson—Updated Edition

The Complete Anit-Inflammatory Diet for Beginners: A No-Stress Meal Plan with Easy Recipes to Heal the Immune System by Dorothy Calimeris and Lulu Cook, 2017

Cook for Your Life: Delicious, Nourishing Recipes for Before, During and After Cancer Treatment by Ann Ogden Gaffney, 2015

Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Tips to Guide you Through Treatment and Cancer Prevention, 3rd Edition by Holly Clegg, Gerald Mieltello, M.D.

Foods to Fight Cancer: What to Eat to Reduce Your Risk by Richard Beliveau, 2017

The How Not To Die Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease by Dr Michael Greger, 2018

The Ketogenic Kitchen by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly, both cancer survivors, 2016

107 Powerful Breast Cancer Meal and Juice Recipes: Fight Breast Cancer by Using Natural Vitamin-Rich Foods  by Joe Correa, 2017 

The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series)  by Edward Bauman, Helayne Waldman, et al., 2012

Local Resources for Fresh Produce:

Farm Fresh Produce.JPG

Including produce in your diet provides nutrient rich vitamins and minerals that will support optimal health. Here are some local resources for fresh produce.

Capital Roots

Delmar Farmers Market

Empire State Plaza Farmers Market

Saratoga Farmers Market

Schenectady Greenmarket

Spa City Farmers’ Market

Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market 

Voorheesville Farmers Market 

Additional Community Resources: 

Community Gardening

Cornell Cooperative Extension - Easy Healthy Recipe Videos


             Chicken wrap:


             Taco night:

Cornell Cooperative Extension - Gardening

Hannaford Supermarkets Dietitian, Nutritionist Resources - Patty Wukitsch, MS, RD, CDN (Delmar, Cairo, Guilderland Hannaford Supermarkets) and Fran Weiss, MS, RD, CDN (Albany, Colonie Hannaford Supermarkets)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Recommended Reading:

Abrams, D., and A. Weil. Integrative Oncology: New York: Oxford University Press, 2008

Beliveau, R., and D. Gingras. Foods that Fight Cancer: Preventing Cancer through Diet. Toronto: McClellan and Stewart, 2006

Mateljian, G. The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. Seattle, WA: World’s Healthiest Foods, 2006.

Murray, M. and J. Pizzorno. The Encylopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005

Lerner, M. Choices in Healing : Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998


Physical Fitness and Breast Cancer

    Trail walking pic.JPG         Fitness image.JPG     Exercise pic.JPG

Living a physically active life style has many benefits especially for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Evidence shows that people who are physically fit have fewer side effects, experience less fatigue and depression and have an overall improved quality of life and well-being. Also, some research suggests those who exercise have a reduced chance of breast cancer recurrence and better survival outlook.

Maintaining your strength during this time may be very challenging. Physical activity for cancer patients does not mean running a marathon or hiking a mountain but it does mean that, in coordination with your physician or healthcare provider, you should discuss incorporating some type of regular exercise into your daily routine that will be beneficial and safe for you. From walking to pedaling, light strength training, stretching or yoga, the benefits of exercise means a better quality of life and ultimately more energy to do the things you love to do.

Exercise Tips:

Get medical clearance from your provider before starting any exercise.

Start gradually and listen to your body.

Do some gentle stretching to warm up.

Stop if you feel pain or are feeling uneasy.

Drink plenty of fluids unless you've been told not to.

Rest if you need to.

Cool down after exercise by walking or stretching.

Exercise Ideas:

Go for a walk. Ask a family member or friend to join you.

Yoga. There are many yoga videos you can view from the comfort of your own home or through YouTube/Zoom.

To Life! is now hosting bimonthly virtual yoga classes. Visit our Facebook page or website Calendar for more information.

Dance in your living room.

Go for a hike.

Gardening or yardwork is a form of exercise too!

Try Qi Gong or Tai Chi. Many videos online.

Go for a bike ride on an exercise bike or the real thing.

Stretch or try exercises that improve your flexibility.

Information Related to Exercise and Fitness:

American Cancer Society

American Institute of Cancer Research



Johns Hopkins Medicine

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 

National Breast Cancer Foundation 

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Pink Lotus

Blog Articles:

5 Strengthening Exercises to Try Post Breast Surgery

Exercise Alters Breast Tumor Gene Expression

Fitness and Breast Cancer

Flexing Some Muscle to Relieve Joint Pain

The Health Benefits of Gardening

Tips for Exercising During and After Cancer Treatment

Yoga for Breast Cancer Patients

Yoga Has Benefits During Chemo in Women with Breast Cancer

Visit our Facebook page and website Calendar for complimentary nutrition, exercise and wellness classes.