Eating over the festive season

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Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid and or New Year’s, the holiday season often involves friends, family and festive meals. It is a time of celebration. 


If you’re currently going through cancer treatment, eating might not be the first thing on your mind. You might tire more easily and treatment may mean that you have trouble joining in with all the festive eating and drinking. However, staying nourished during treatment is extremely important to your overall health, as the right foods can give you the strength necessary to fight your cancer.


During and after treatment cooking can offer some normality in life. You may desire to return to routine tasks and carry out your everyday activities. Food preparation can be an integral part of that. Many people love cooking and sharing dishes with family and friends. For some, this pleasure may be lost and or diminished during treatment, but it can be very therapeutic to reconnect with food, trying new recipes and cooking for health. Cooking may be physically challenging as you try to combat fatigue and maybe a loss of appetite, a common occurrence following treatment. Preparation of even simple meals may be tiring, but they can contribute to improved strength and tolerance to activity. Cooking can be a great mood enhancer. It is a creative activity that can be carried out with and for other people, and the benefits should not be underestimated. It brings people together during the festive season and provides a strong sense of both purpose and achievement. 


Many people who have cancer have few or no problems with eating. But some do. If you find the festive season challenging due to your own and or others expectations and or treatment and subsequent side-effects book an appointment with one of our experienced dietitians to get tips on how to navigate the festive season. 


Jeanne Fourie (OCV Dietitian)