Inspired Advice: What Changes to Your Diet and Exercise Routine Have Helped You Since Diagnosis?

graphic reading, Feel-Better Foods and Exercise Routines

Those who have faced an ovarian or gynecologic cancer diagnosis have so much to offer to others going through a similar experience – be it support, tips or friendship. Inspired Advice is a blog series that tackles specific topics – from managing feelings of isolation to navigating a new diagnosis – and shares advice and reflections from our OCRA Inspire Online Community. They are, in many ways, the experts.*

Finding what’s best for your body

An ovarian cancer diagnosis can cause different symptoms in different people, so a dietary and exercise approach that works well for one individual may not be the best fit for someone else. We hope you find the suggestions below to be helpful. But please remember, it’s best to consult with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes.

Stepping up exercise…one step at a time

  • “I got back on my treadmill as soon as I was able and also walked outdoors. I was surprised how weak I had become. I didn’t let neuropathy get in the way. I found supportive shoes that protected my feet and allowed me to walk safely. Every hike I completed, no matter how small, buoyed my spirits and left me wanting to do more.”
  • “I walk for exercise every day.”
  • “I exercise daily, which generally means a vigorous walk. If the weather doesn’t allow a walk outside, I use the exercise bike.”

Forgoing processed foods…

  • “I eat mostly non-processed foods and try to stick to a low-carbohydrate diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and healthy fats.”
  • “I had already started moving towards whole foods, mostly plant based. My commitment has been much stronger because of the diagnosis. I don’t know if it will make a difference in longevity but I feel better.”

And favoring protein and organic meals

  • “I eat more organic food than I used to.”
  • “I was always a good eater but made sure I incorporated protein as often as possible to keep my energy up.”  
  • “I switched to a vegan diet but couldn’t find enough foods I enjoyed eating to stay with it. I’ve added organic chicken, fish, eggs and dairy back into my diet. I still try to eat a lot of fresh organic fruits and vegetables.”

Putting down the alcohol and picking up the H2O 

  • “I try to minimize my intake of sugar in all its forms, including alcohol.”
  • “I drink much more water on a daily basis.” 
  • “I learned to drink, drink, drink to keep my body hydrated.”

More dietary advice for treatment days and beyond

Find information on how to manage a poor appetite caused by chemotherapy, as well as tips for post-treatment diet and exercise

OCRA’s ovarian cancer online support community through offers a safe and private place to share encouraging feedback, compassionate support, and honest personal experiences. There are members from across the world who share their questions, concerns, successes and struggles with honesty and courage. Learn more or join our online Ovarian Cancer Inspire community.

*Sharing ideas and experiences can be extremely helpful but, as always, we advise speaking with your physician before making any dietary changes or adding herbs, teas, vitamins or supplements to your routine.

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