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Time to stir the pot - Why all the fanboys for canned sugar?

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

I see post after post where advice is given to drink that Ensure and Jevity and all other variations of carbo sugar crap, sprinkled with a few vitamins and minerals. Is it people choose this path or are just not aware of the far better benefits of a protein based drink?

This is not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination but treatment really destroys lots of tissue cells. Proteins are the building blocks the body uses to rebuild damaaged cells and create new tissue.  Carbo may provide calories but is not nearly as effective at repairing the body as protein.

Amino acids are an essential part of cell building too and nearly all protein and supplements have these essential materials to allow the body to repair as fast as possible.

Both carb and protein have 4 calories per gram. Getting some protein powder and mixing with milk or water is a far better way to get calories and provide the body the material it needs to make repairs.

Please help me understand what I am missing?

ok, game on. :-)

don

 

 

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3849
Joined: Mar 2012

Actually, I think this will be a far less emotional topic than the tube topic.

For me....it was easy, that's the long and short of it.  Pop a top and get'her down.  There's a good chance that had you been treated before I was....and I knew all I had to do to get more protein was mix some powder with water or milk, I would have given that a go....as it was (in my mind)....trying to figure out a healthy diet at the time was too boggling.  I have never been a particularily healthy eater, so I would have been starting at scratch.

p

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 2008
Joined: Jun 2012

No two ways about it for me, just plain easier...I pick the Ensure up with my other groceries and, like P, just have to pop-a-top. I actually only drink one a day now. I tried to give that one up but after a week noticed a decline in my energy level. I am all about "easy". 

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1131
Joined: Jan 2013

That's what she said!

I'm on the easy bandwagon. When I'm running out the door to work (or taking something to eat to work), a can of Ensure is quick and easy...shake, twist and drink... 350 calories in less than a minute. The canned stuff I had for the PEG wasn't bad at all in the sugar department but of course I wasn't drinking it (It smelled nasty).

When I'm home and have the time, I'll fire up the Vitamix and do a proper shake for sure. 

"T"

cureitall66's picture
cureitall66
Posts: 879
Joined: Aug 2012

Certainly not a bad idea, Don. I'm all about being healthy as best we can. Unfortunately, my loved one spent 6 hrs a day driving to and from tx daily as well as the time at the facility getting tx and it was near impossible to have the time to mix it up. It was much easier for us to have the bottles handy quickly...and the Ensure and Boost just seem to work for us. Now, six months out of tx he does have himself a carnation breakfast with milk every morning...the closest he can get to healthiness before heading to work.

Glad it worked out for you...time was of the essence for us though.

~C

 

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1546
Joined: Jan 2010

The Jevity offered me a lot more than just protein, as I was on the high fiber version, I appreciated the added vitamins, and it was easy to use. Didn't clog the tube, didn't require me to blender up stuff, and believe me, I was in no shape to be messing with a blender in the kitchen.

Of note, I regularly use protein powder, and various nutritional powders mixed with milk now.  They taste great, are easy to get down, and they work. I tolerate dairy extremely well. I am very glad I can enjoy it now.

I figured out very early on in my chemo that I didn't want to consume any of my favorite foods or beverages during treatment, as the associated chemo-induced nausea would likely leave me hating them for the rest of my life.  A very kind man, with a large basket of fresh-baked loaves of sourdough bread, strolled into the infusion room on my first day. He started handing them out to everyone who was sitting in there hooked up to a pole.  I was horrified.  I didn't want to reject his kindness, but one of my most favorite foods in the world was about to be lost forever...

I advise waiting, to use the real foods afterwards.

 

Deb

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1409
Joined: Jul 2010

You are correct. First off, garbage in, garbage out. Eat as well as you can, and as we all know by now, swallowing is easier said than done. Personally, I use 60-100 grams of Muscletech whey protien and skim milk mixed in a Bullet blender within one hour after my workout 7 days a week. Good quality, and a 5 lb bag is $35.00 at SAM'S. Breakfast is Greek yogurt with grape nuts or granola, or oatmeal with raisins and dark brown sugar. I eat what I want for dinner, as long as it slides down the pipe. 

Way too many fillers and not enough quality protien with the crap people talk about here. I figure if you gain 2 steps forward, the chemo and rads knock you back 1-2 steps. 

Good post Don!!

sin9775's picture
sin9775
Posts: 198
Joined: May 2013

I know my brother's nurses suggested the Ensure stuff for him.  Just recently I believe you posted about all of the sugar in Ensure; I just read about how cancer cells feed off of sugar!!  A pretty scary thought for someone like me who is somewhat addicted to the crap, and it should be even scarier for someone who is battling the beast.  It seems to me that drinking that stuff, that one would be feeding the beast instead of killing it off!  Just sayin'.

~Shawn~

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1131
Joined: Jan 2013

Ensure+ has 22g of sugar (so does an 8oz glass of OJ). That's about half the sugar in a can of soda. It's still a lot BUT it has 350 calories and 25% of many vitamins and minerals you need daily. I totally agree that it's not the best source of nutrients and what Foo is saying is spot on. 

The other side of the coin is... consuming an Ensure (or most pre made nutrition drinks) is more beneficial than say... a bowl of ice cream (and I LOVE ice cream!). Many of us consume foods high in sugar, fat and salt (canned soup or a fast food burger and fries for instance) as opposed to an all natural or healthier choice. For many (including myself) it's a matter of convenience and calories. 

I eat as healthy as I can and Marcia cooks from scratch all of the time. We keep a 6 pak or two of Ensure+ around for those times when convenience outrules a healthier choice. When you're trying to consume 2500-3000 calories a day it can come in handy. 

"T"

 

meaganb's picture
meaganb
Posts: 237
Joined: May 2012

I did not drink Ensure or Boost. I tried using them at first but they just made me feel like crap. Instead I drank Bolthouse smoothies. Still premade but in more cases there was less sugar & I could read all the ingredients on the label. I still only managed to take in about 1600 calories a day for several weeks but I was overweight when I started treatment so losing a little was not a big deal for me. Even doing this I still have had issues with my glucose numbers post treatment. I went from normal fasting glucose numbers of 78-80 up to 92-94 at 6 months post treatment. While those numbers aren't even high enough to indicate pre diabetes it was still concerning for me. It has taken me 6 months of eating clean & avoiding a the majority of carbs to get my numbers back to normal. I feel like I ate well before treatment, did the best I could during & went back to clean eating afterwards & it has still been a struggle for me. I can't imagine what I'd be dealing with if I had only consumed boost & ensure during trreatment. But in others' defense, that is what Drs recommend & its very hard for somevto go against Drs orders. You always want to believe they have your best interest at heart.

katenorwood
Posts: 1862
Joined: May 2012

Hello Don !

I'm not by any means a medical professional....nor would I want to be.  I've had time to do research as my dx is slow growing (thank heavens !) and have linked up with researching how cancers can take hold of some and not others.  DNA and the building blocks of our bodies do use forms of protiens....and there are breaks in our RNA.  Some are environmental....others geno, weak links so to speak.  And yet other's are inherited.  So when in the middle of a battle...tx's and not given any information on why we find ourselves here we do the best we can.  Most institutions offer ensure....boost ect., as it keeps a person knowing they have to have something to get them through.  It's all mind blowing....and a bit confusing in the beginning.  But .....the more information a person can recieve, the better quality of life or a least a good chance at one we will have.  You make me smile sir....continue to stir the pot....you have a kind and good mind !  Hugs sent !  Katie 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

Well actually the way that I see it, Ensure Plus is the best way to pack calories in while you can't take in anything else solid. It does have more than just a sprinkling of Vitamins and Minerals, and also has 13G of Protein...

Carbs is where it's at...

I don't particular care about the nutritional value or long term effects... I'm purely packing in calories... Once done with treatment, I'll concentrate on my diet and what is best for me.

It's certainly much better than starving to death, and I'm pretty sure that it has everything you need to survive under the conditions..., and it offers much more bang for the buck than trying to eat solid food, with major pain under those circumstances.

 

Could you get as many calories mixing something up yourself.., maybe, probably..., but I don't want or feel like doing that several times each and every day, when I can just grab a few cans of Ensure...

 

Anyways..., my thoughts...

Vitamins and Minerals [–]

Vitamin A  • Vitamin C • Calcium • Iron • Vitamin D • Vitamin E • Vitamin K • Thiamin • Riboflavin • Niacin • Vitamin B6 • Folate • Vitamin B12 • Biotin • Pantothenic Acid • Phosphorus • Iodine • Magnesium • Zinc • Selenium • Copper • Manganese • Chromium • Molybdenum • Chloride • Choline

 

Nutrition Facts

Serv. Size 1 bottle

(8 fl oz)

Calories 350

Calories from Fat 100

Amount Per Serving

%DV§

Amount Per Serving

%DV§

17%

11g

Fat

5%

1g

Saturated Fat

 

0g

Trans Fat

 

4.5g

Polyunsaturated Fat

 

5g

Monounsaturated Fat

3%

10mg

Cholesterol

9%

220mg

Sodium

11%

400mg

Potassium

17%

50g

Carbohydrate

0%

0g

Dietary Fiber

 

20g

Sugars

26%

 

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

It appears there is a fairly common misperception that warrants clearing up.

Protein shake prep is nearly as easy as grabbing a can!

Really, it does not require any machines or utensils; just a cup and a working wrist. I know you all can come up with these two items.

Over time what follows is my refined method of on-the-go protein shake. I will go real slow; otherwise, it happens too fast, really. LOL

1) Open protein powder tub and put one or two scoops of protein powder into 16-20 oz cup with a sealing top. 10 seconds.
 
2) Add 4 -5 ice cubes, more or less depending on size. 10 seconds

3) Add water/milk to maybe 12 oz., more or less to suit your fancy. 10 seconds

4) Secure the top then Shake, shake, shake and away you go!!!!!!!!

Literally, out the door in less than 45 seconds. It honestly is that amazingly simple.

The ice cubes do a great job to smooth, blend, and cool the otherwise pasty mess the protein mix makes when not properly mixed. The ice adds just the right amount of coolness. You can adjust this too with more/less cubes but make sure you have enough in there to agitate the powder thoroughly.

It is just SO much better for our bodies while repairing the damage received during treatment. More ppl. really would benefit by the extra 45, well 40 seconds net over grabbing a can. Remember those sugar cans are not formulated for those who are undergoing trememdous tissue damage and repair. It's mostly offered just to shove calories into your body to fuel basic body function, not repair the body in any way. Nothing in that stuff builds or repairs tissue.

The other pet peeve I had was the chats with the "expert nutritionists". What a bunch of dummies. They go to university to learn how to flip out a chart showing you weight xxx pounds and your activity is such and such so you should consume x grams of protein, y grams of carbs, etc. My God! Where is the the slider to factor in you are being brutalized by letal chemicals and radiation destroying body tissue?? DOH!

Not a single one of them ever showed me or explained that what they were suggesting was in any way tailored or was adjusted for the ravages and wrath upon a person undergoing chemo and/or radiation treatment. It was the same textbook page ripped out for everyone who was 105 or 15, no matter what the ailment causing the weight loss. What a load of crap!

During the time a human body is subjected to cancer treatments and during recovery, the body needs far more "stuff" - building blocks and materials such as protein and amino acids, the buildfing blocks of healthy tissue generation and subsistenance.

So, no muss and no fuss and literally only seconds more to treat your body and recovery to something that really does make a big improvement.

And not to offend any of the "easy" responses, I suggest one look in the mirror while in the depths of hurt and say what do you want, longer hurt or being well FAST? For the few extra seconds, the choice is a no brainer to me.

Of course, I did not do my doctorate in nutrition but the school of common sense carries the load pretty far down the path of life. 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

I think as many things on here, it's a matter of choice...

I can't necessarily say which is or isn't better for you during treatment... I do know what Ensure has in it as for vitamins and minerals... Most of the protein powders that I remember don't have any, or near any...

Yes, they do have max protein, and they also have carbs and not as much in the way of sugar.

But for me, I was mainly concerned with keeping my weight up..

I would highly suggest that each individual go through their MD and communicate with him/her and if they recommend a nutritionist their advice.

JG

 

peggylulu's picture
peggylulu
Posts: 367
Joined: Dec 2012

with everthing that John said . First of all I was told by my Doctor and my team to drink Ensure and that's all that I took in for at least 6 weeks and I was told nothing to eat or drink that was hot or cold or it could cause me more throat pain . Never had any problems with my bloodwork either.

Peggy

janetluvsron's picture
janetluvsron
Posts: 108
Joined: May 2013

kidneys, too much protein at once is hard on the kidneys, the chemo especially cisplatin can shut down your kidneys.

I think they want the ensure and boosts to add calories and regulated proteins in one sitting.

I see have seen patients in dialysis from chemo side effects.

we need the protein for sure and I do mix the whey protein in with smoothie but do have to watch the amount and watch his labs.

calories to burn, protein to heal, any way we can get them in is to each his own, i happen to do it both ways for ron.

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Phrannie - I need your help stirring the pot! Too many "it's easy" crowd around here. It is YOUR health and survival we are talking about gang! Come on, nutrition is beside hydration and pain management are the golden gates to getting on the mend. comne on girl, put on those S..kickers and let's go kick some. After reading this you will have steam shooting out your ears. LOL

Cureitall - As I describe in my other post, mixing up a glass of this sort of protein drink is less than a ONE minute affair. And if the survivor is going six hours for treatments then one minute represents .02% of just that time, an amount he/you could likely afford. You can always mix up a pitcher and put in the refrig. That makes the per serving time even less. Even doubling the recipe makes the time go to .01% extra. :-)

Deb - I agree. If one digs around into the various canned offerings there are some offering a wide range of ingredients that broadly covers the minimum nutritional reqirements.  God forbid, if cancer were to return but do would you still chose a can over what you are now intaking, that is, the protein and vitamin/mineral supplements? just curious if as noobies getting stormed with so many things the first go around, most just are numb and grab what the "doctor orders"?

luv4lacross - Thanks, finally. It would take a poster with an vignette take from the gym to know where I am going. :-) Hope you are doing well in your new locale and routine!

As to the enormous volume of bogus products, even many reommended by licensed nutritionists -- it just makes me scatch my bald head and wonder. Clearly, body builders are the most clued in of all special interest group in fine tuning nutritional intake to produce the greatest result; that is, muscle development, quick repair and maintenance. Excluding the point when crossing into the "roidland" of pro builders, there is lots of really solid relevant, useful, and practical experiences and product out there.

With respect to pricing. Adding to the last comment comment but this time inwardly focused to the health products industry. I've never seen so much manipulation of the facts to alter the appearance of a product, whether it be cost or ingredients or whatever. A simple even self imposed industry guide to post all labeling in a single standard measure such as 50g would go a huge way to clear the fog. But, as we know all know it is the fog that keeps consumers lost and more likely to pick their product by random rather than based on truth.

I spent a lot of time tracking down protein powders, whey mostly, some soy. btw - soy protein is much cheaper and seemingly juast as good. I tracked back to where the dozens of these health food companies and manufacturers obtain their raw materials. There are no true 100% whey protein powders available and if so, it would taste really awful and be prohibitly expensive. Rather, the highest percentage commercially available is 80% whey for example, clocking in at around 25g per ounce. Here is a link to a raw materials company that supplies it in 100 pound brown bags, clearly not for any end users.

http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/wheatproteinisolatewpi50lb.aspxperformance.

Even at this percent, there is a pretty good premium on the per gram cost of the protein. The non isolate products contain less protein per volume but the cost per gram of protein also is more reasonable.

This goes to the heart of why pricing is so manipulated. Remember, we are so far discussing just one raw ingredient. As you say, the "fillers" THEN start going in and you can easily see that you can pay whatever you want. But I would say this is one of those "you get what you pay for" things since there is very else where they can squeeze any other profit margin. I mean how much cost can you squeeze from mixing and bagging(or tub) and affixing a label?

If someone has time and energy. Yes - really the non-easy crowd. You can start with the isloate product and start adding and mixing your own supplements and even pure carb powder in the form of maltodextrin, to create your own super tuned protein powder.

I started this path. No suprises to hear, LOL. Where I got stuck was making the stuff drinkable. It was terrible!!! This is one of the secrets to me in that industry. How they fine tune adding taste compounds to get a really good taste. My hats go off to those few companies who really have dialed in the taste component of their products. This is where I gave up but had enough knowledge to make solid choices of what is available from the dizzying variety.

sin9775 - Everyone does realize that the stuff they shoot into your veins during a PET is sugar water and some radioactive material right? The underlying principle is cancers are hungry cells and love sugar and just drink it up and that is what causes the lighting up on PET since the radioactive material is concentrated in those cells. I am sure eating raw sugar does not make cancer grow faster.  Let's be clear, I don't want a rain down upon my head for that one! Nevertheless, the association between sugar and cancer is ironic.

"T" - Any of the canned sugar is better than eating a tub of ice cream but we are comparing canned sugar pushed by the docs vs the protein/carb powders. And I totally "get" why people have the cans around, My view is it is a very small step beyond to mix up a half or gallon of the powder stuff and stick inside a plastic milk carton and put in the fridge. To each his own.

I FIGHT TO THE DEATH to do the most to repair my body and restore my health as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Is this proven? who knows but I do know mind over matter is proven, so if one believes then I do think that path is more effective.

Meagan, Thank you, oh enlightened one. This thread shows that most are not sufficiently educated to the various facets of drinking canned sugar water. I had not thought about the diabetic angle until you mentioned it, just knowing less simple simple carbs the better. I have no issue with polycarbs, just the monocarbs.

The state of currently served medical expertise served to the masses is ages behind in current nutrition science. Yes, I said it and yes I believe that. While doing my research and sharing my finding with the "experts" and nutritionists they were really glued and amazed and taking in what I was conveying. Even suggested UI teach a class, yeah right. Maybe most were shocked someone would go to such lengths researching a topic. LOL

Like I said earlier, when all they and everyone else can spout a single answer for all then something stinks.  Even something as simple as this calculator makes accomodation for weight and activity level with respect to amount of protein to consume.  And, we all know the brutal punishment rads and chemo do to our bodies creates vastly greater impact on what the body needs during these times.

http://www.musclemilk.com/protein-calculator/

In no way am I disparaging the well intentioned medical professionals who serve us each and every day. Nor am I disparagting anyone who accepts blindly their recommendations without having sufficient alternative options. 

I think the most angst I have is just they and I live in entirely different worlds. Theirs is a world of "standard of care", that set of golden rules and procedures deemed to be appropriate when delivered as suggested. That golden set which drives the insurance industry, that which drives medical malpractice, that which drives teh bigOCare, and many other things.

Obviously, they deal with lives and life and death issues are first and foremost so ultimate safety and being conservative always trump some new fangled idea. Malpractice worries run rampant in their field. They HAVE to follow the rules. They know if they recommend anything outside the standard of care they are subjecting themselves and their associates to huge legal and professional liabilities that can destroy their career as well.

I come from the opposite world where we live "outside the box", innovate very day, every thought is new and fresh. When one starts thinking or living inside the box, their world, we die. Tech moves at the speed of light, several generations of the future are always in the works, that is how we work and think. Rather than the decades of clinical trials and vetting and HUGE sums of money invested by the drug companies to get their product in front of doctors and practioners who then can represent these as vetted and safe therapies and products to you and I. I get that.

Katie - Oh dear Katie! Glad to see your posts and do hope you are continuing the fight. You are so in tune with the soft side and you are so right that when being faced with cancer and the onslaught of side effects, having someone hold a can in front of you and say just drink x of these a day will keep you going is a godsend. I do get that. I just wish people could force open just enough mental space to think about how vital basic fuel of your body is and critical to one's well being and accepting a can of sugar water is really short changing your ability to recover more effectively.

Okay done for now.

John,
Wait for my calorie pissing contest post for your response. :-)

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1131
Joined: Jan 2013

 "we are comparing canned sugar pushed by the docs vs the protein/carb powders."

 

Foo,

There is no comparison. The protein powders contain more vitamins, minerals and BCAAs then any canned nutrition and are better for you. I use EAS Whey (vanilla) and Cytosport Monster Mass. The Monster Mass has 50g of protein, 76g of carbs, only 6g of sugar per serving (4 scoops) and contains a whopping 610 calories per serving but it's a heck of a big shake as you mix it with 20oz of water or skim milk. Mix it with 20oz of whole milk and throw in a banana and it's over 1K in calories! But dang! it's a heck of BIG shake to finish. By the time I finish one of those, I'm practically floating! The straight whey powder is easier to consume. 

You're spot on and my team was perfectlly fine with my choice of nutrition powders. Which brings up the point to always check with your team before taking anything. High consumption of protein, especially when you're basically sedentary through treatment and recovery (I was so sick that it was difficult to climb a flight of steps) can be hard on the kidneys. If you're taking in that much protein, you have to drink a ton of water to flush your system. There was a time during treatment that they told me to back off the protein intake as my bloodwork showed my kidneys were struggling. 

I'm doing at least 2 whey shakes a day at home but I keep a 6pak of Ensure in the fridge and probably do 4-5 a week. The rest is made up of soft and solid foods I can get down.

"T" 

 

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

I agree that it certainly does not hurt to check with the medical folks before hitting the protein too hard. It could very well be that most do not  consider such product for the sedentary or "disabled" abi-normal types. Certainly, likely body functions get throw off normal as well and as you say the protein may effect other functions.

Humm, I no drink water then. I make big protein shake then when get thirsty drink muscle milk (very light protein mix). Still here. I figure the water in them was good enough. LOL

I used to make them with milk but as you say the more you pack the load the more a meal it becomes. I found a nice balance of water and powder that went down nice and did not feel so heavy like it can get.

Getting over the "350" can club is really easy as nearly all the product does at least 200 in a small scoop and mixing with whole milk boosts it to 350 and that is a very easy drink, at least as easy to consume as the canned sugar.

Reasonably, it seems around 450-500 in 8-10 oz liquid is about the general limit of "drinkable" unless you really want something that has a lot of "weight" or viscosity to it. There is only some much you can pack in before it just gums up. Fat  provides twice the calories but I never went down that path to see what sorts of fat components one could source to calorie-load the drink. Milk seemed to offer a decent boost in calories. don

 

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

I agree that it certainly does not hurt to check with the medical folks before hitting the protein too hard. It could very well be that most do not  consider such product for the sedentary or "disabled" abi-normal types. Certainly, likely body functions get throw off normal as well and as you say the protein may effect other functions.

Humm, I no drink water then. I make big protein shake then when get thirsty drink muscle milk (very light protein mix). Still here. I figure the water in them was good enough. LOL

I used to make them with milk but as you say the more you pack the load the more a meal it becomes. I found a nice balance of water and powder that went down nice and did not feel so heavy like it can get.

Getting over the "350" can club is really easy as nearly all the product does at least 200 in a small scoop and mixing with whole milk boosts it to 350 and that is a very easy drink, at least as easy to consume as the canned sugar.

Reasonably, it seems around 450-500 in 8-10 oz liquid is about the general limit of "drinkable" unless you really want something that has a lot of "weight" or viscosity to it. There is only some much you can pack in before it just gums up. Fat  provides twice the calories but I never went down that path to see what sorts of fat components one could source to calorie-load the drink. Milk seemed to offer a decent boost in calories. don

 

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3849
Joined: Mar 2012

sentence my post goes to CSN hell....

so I'm trying this new way....type one sentence, then go back and edit the post...let's see if this works, huh?

Part of the problem is that most of the people answering in this thread have already been through treatment, and can only answer what they DID....it's already done, and the reasons they did it that way was because that's what the Dr. said, and it was easy at a time when anything easy was like a bright light in a dark room.  I haven't "enjoyed" an Ensure for almost a year....LOL.

There's a very good chance I would have given your way a go if you'd been here first....anything to heal faster (course you manage to get in 16 hours a day of sleep....a VERY healing thing to do....and I couldn't have managed that...can't force sleep like you can food). 

The food thing you have to offer is great for those who are just starting treatment....as long as you tell them to run everything by their Dr.'s.

p

Now let's see if this will actually post....gawd I've wasted a lot of words the last 3 days.

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 2008
Joined: Jun 2012

For anyone starting this journey who can prepare the drinks or has a caregiver to prepare them, no doubt they will probably benefit. If I had found this site b4 tx or if my doctor had instructed me to make my own protein shakes, I probably would have done so. I pretty much did what the doctor recommended and ran with it. I will say, if I had been on my own, without wonderful caregivers, there was a point in my tx where I might have passed on feeding simply due to the prep involved.

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1131
Joined: Jan 2013

Foo,

Essentially, you follow a body building diet....high in protein, low in fat and low glycemic carbs. I did it 10 years ago when I was heavy into natural body bulding. I took all sorts of supplements to grow. But I was also hitting the gym 3-4 day a week, weight training as well as doing cardio on my off days (and really hitting it hard!).

Prior to treatment my exercise consisted of a hike 1-2 times a week (weather permitting) of about 3-5 miles here in the Shenandoah Park or GW National Park and I wasn't consistent with it. I was working a 40 hour week and playing 100+ shows a year. I weighed 235 prior to my 2nd heart atttack last October. 

Then came cancer. I hit the wall 3 weeks into treatment and it was downhill from there for me. Between the surgeries and the chemo/rads I just dwindled away. I could barely eat. My muscle mass disappeared. At this point 10 weeks out today, I'm beginninng to see some daylight but I'm still far from any assemblance of abi-normal. It's funny. My waist is now  32" and I weigh 170 at 5'10" which is in the normal range for BMI but dang I'm skinny!. 10 years ago I had the same waistline but weighed 225! (I was BIG) I wouldn't mind getting there again but I'll settle for a solid 200 with a 32" waist.

Concerning fats. Fats are essential to healing as well but they should be "good" fats.... omegas 3-6-9. Back in my body building days I was on such a low fat diet that I needed to supplement to get some fat into my system. I currently use flaxseed oil and recently started back on fish oil. Another good one is Udo's Oil. They both contain "good" fats. Flaxseed oil is known to help inflammation issues as well. You can add a tablespoon of flaxseed to a shake once a day. It has a slight nutty flavor to it. 

Ideally, getting 4-6 small meals in a day with a good balance of protein, low glycemic carbs and "good" fats is a great way to eat. The whey powders, meal replacements are a great and easy way to feed your body and muscles. Other things like eggs, fish, chicken and beef, low glycemic carbs like rice (brown), whole grains etc. and the good fats are the main building blocks. 

During that time 10 years ago I was a certified personal trainer so I knew all this stuff like it was second nature. Ideally for body building you would consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight but unless you're hitting the gym hard that's too much protein. I'd have to research what would be a healthy ratio for healing as opposed to building. Did you figure that one out? 

As I heal I would like to get back to the gym. If I get to the point where I can perform again, I won't be doing 100+ shows a year so it will free up time to get back to the gym. Cancer was/is a huge wake up call to take care of myself better. I did it before... I just need to get off my arse and do it again. 

"T"

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Hey "T",

You can spend mucho time learning about all there is to feeding your body well. I saw a short doc on pro lady bodybuilding and the daily routine, expense, and dedication to operating at that level is really something. One thing they said echos your statement about many smaller meals, I think she ate 6 or 7. Since women bodybuilding does not pay enough to surivie the ladies do other side jobs like meeting folks with fetishes for musclebound ladies. LOL I just took a double take when they showed her doing squats with a 200+ pound dude on her back. I laugh because I can hardly sqat with nobody on my back. LOL

I've seen the figure of 1gm of protein per pound while building mass. You know that is a LOT of protein and I'd have to say that the most I would consume daily might be 100 grams max, so I don't think I got anywhere near those thresholds where other body functions start to stress.

Healing vs building - I sort of put them in the same bucket., Remember, the start point is canned sugar water sprinked with vitamins and minerals to a protein based liquid diet. Even now, looiking back on all the material I read, this was not discussed. Then again I did not refine my researching to the next level and just accepted that which is common in the health and fitness industries.

don

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

I too have drank protein mixtures, various minerals, vitamins, niacin, dessciated liver, etc...during younger years when healthy and active in sports.

But to me the key is what you mentioned, "which is common in the health and fitness industries"..., but with the added comment, "to those in good health and fitness levels".

Enduring cancer treatment and recovery isn't being in good health, it's surviving treatment.

If your MD's sign off on a high protein, self regulated diet, mixing, preparing, etc...great.

As for me, I was less interested in all of that, I just wanted to get calories in me, with as little time and enrgy involved as possible. Something that I could easily digest, wasn't going to cause me any other problems, constipation, dierreah, or anythung else...

 

I think it all boils down to personal choice given what the MD recommends..., and in my case that was Ensure Plus, which by the way, is much more than a can of sugar water.... I would consider a can of sugar water more like sodas, no nutritional value... Again, look at the list above, Ensure Plus has much more benefit than sugar water.

JG

 

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi John,

You are right, product such as Ensure Plus are far more rounded in offering sufficient protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamimns, and minerals; all the things a body needs to be healthy.  Ensure Plus  http://abbottnutrition.com/brands/products/ensure-plus-retail

There are many canned nutriution aids, so my comment about "canned sugar" is made in jest, of course. Reading the details of Ensure Plus is made for oral consuption so what about the PEGGers, this leaves them out. No doubt there are other products with similar nutrutional balance for PEG use so each person should study and think about what is one of the most critical aspects of one's treatment and recovery.

My point is to QUESTION the wisdom of using a single benchmark standard for everyone in every condition. Common sense again just screams a body under stress and suffeirng severe tissue damage and surely higher than normal body function to repair and rebuild damaged tissue needs something different.

No one should just accept the same stanard label for all situations. Yet, that is what is peddeled by most docs. It just NOT make any sense. What does, who knows but in my mind blindly following such "canned" guideance is even more wrong that tilting your intake to  a more protein based diet, especially, given the undisputable results protein has on the body.

Thanks for all the feedback, this thread is finally getting some momentum! Even John is chiming in. LOL

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3849
Joined: Mar 2012

can go down the tube.  I used Ensue Plus the entire time I was sick...both orally and in the tube.  It was the quickest way to get what I thought I needed with the smallest amout of muss and fuss.  Sometimes I'd mix it with milk to make it more liquid, and get "eating" done faster....

You know that Hondo eats what the family is having, even tho he's got a tube for life.  He just mixes it with broth, water, milk....whatever....blends it till it'll go down the tube.  Just about anything you can eat, can be whipped with liquid to make a tube meal.

p

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Yes, I was poking at John and others about "following the rules". It just struck me funny that the Ensure Plus instructions stated ORAL USE. My unerstanding with homemade PEG food is you just need to ensure everything is reduced to a liquid consistency so it does not clog the system. Hope all is well up there, don

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Duggie88
Posts: 570
Joined: Feb 2010

Your stirring the pot............back in the day I still remember when they rolled it and smoked it.

 

Anyway, I am going to sit back, tap open a beer ensure and watch the debate. Where the hell are my pretzels.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

Ummm, I mean pot licker..., LOL.

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jim and i
Posts: 1683
Joined: May 2011

I haven't jumped in to this "pot" but finally could not resist. There is a big controversy over the sugar feeds cancer issue. Most medical doctors disagree that sugar has any effect on cancer. Most Rad and medical oncologist have candy on the reception desk.

As for the kidney issue, Jim's Rad oncologist explained that the body needed the protien to rebuild the damage from treatment. The kidney damage only comes into play when the body has to much protien and needs to eliminate it. The rebuilding of tissue damaged during treatment uses all the protien so no need for kidney to eliminate.

Considering convenience, I agree the canned is more convenient than creating and blending food. I tried to make PEG food from nutricious fresh ingredients. It took all my free time, but I was willing to do it if it saved Jim's life. )This was after treatment.) The problem was not enough calories and Jim was exhausted and kept loosing weight. So back to the Jevity but we did not return to the protein shake since Jim was done with treatment. Jim stopped losing weight but did not gain any and he was 15 lbs under weight, tired all the time and depressed. We added in one whey protien drink per day  in place of a Jevity meal and he began to gain strength, energy and weight. He reached normal weight within a couple of months and gained back muscle which he had totally lost during treatment. His oncologist is baffled by his great health and says he is the healthiest sick person he knows. The oncologist had given Jim less than a year to live in June of last year. He is totally baffled that Jim continues to have no symptoms of matastic, terminal cancer. Yes Jim drinks Ensure when we are going out somewhere or to dinner at families homes because Jim isn't comfortable using the PEG in front of others, but that is rare.

The oncologist told us to continue what we are doing because it is working. He even stretched his next appointment to six months because Jim is doing so well. So I say, what ever works to keep you going in a good quality of life, DO IT!

Debbie

 

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Debbie,

HUGS HUGS and more HUGS. Now, why do you let me stand along getting assaulted by all these "other"-minded folks? For those who have followed my journey through treatment and recovery thus far (5 weeks) know that I pretty much glided over all the side effects except some turbulence was encountered along the way.

I swear by the positive effects protein has on your body during times of stress and recovery. It is just makes so much common sense having a supply of protein and amin acids on hand, ready for the body to accept tie while recovering from the damage done by chemo and radiation. 

There is no way to change minds or even expect exploration into earnest research of their own into this topic. When pople see me they all comment profusely how well I look so soon after all the torture. Even when I met Phrannie at two weeks post, things were looking pretty good. That said, even today, inside, I still struggle with being really tired and feeling like an 80 year old creaky old dude but I am mapping plans for physical activites to get my body strong and linber again.

I guess with life there are always some who push, those who draft, and those who lag. God bless my Mom who passed last fall. She was so patient as her young preschool grabbed all the appliances, taking them apart to see how things worked!! In the genes I guess LOL don

ps- of course taking things apart does not mean any of it got put back together. That was later LOL

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi Debbie,

Making your own liquid nutrition is a delicate balance of many factors. Somewhere I posted my efforts to develop my own nutritional mix but finally gave up after trying to make it taste decent, very tricky stuff. LOL

The trick is to pack alot of calories into the smallest amount of liquid, so the idea of caloric density comes into play. Things like cooking oil or mayonaise pack the most calories in the smallest volume. Remember fat has 9 calories per gram while carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram.  Additonally, cooking oil or mayo have very little water to dilute the fat, so a gram of oil is nearly 9 calories. 

What happens is when you take any fresh item and throw in blender is the water in the vegs or whatever dilutes the density, so you can end up with a 100 calories in a full glass. No good for our purposes. 

You generally need to look at powder form of foods such as protein mixes, carbo mixes, dry milk powder, pure oils. All these things are very high in calories per volume. When you add water or mil to the powder mix you have control over how dense to make the liquid. The same calories are in that drink no matter how many ounces of liquid is added. You just need to find the right amount of liquid to have a consistency that is acceptable to either comsume orally or via PEG.

don

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm with you on a one size fits all, there isn't one nor should there be...

As we all preach here, we are all different..., and that holds true with treatment, recovery, PEG, NO PEG, Ensure, Boost, Protien Powder, blended food, meds, pot, and solutions...

We each find, are directed or migrate toward what works best for us, fits our needs, our schedules, our comfort levels...

Bottom line, we find what helps us survive with as little pain and discomfort as possible... LOL

For some that might come by way of a long tortourous trial and error period...ARGGG!!!

We survivors and those in the mix can only offer our experiences and what worked for us, or not...

JG

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

So true. It just is difficult to stand by watching someone stumble around when they just need to flip the light switch. Everyone is different, hasw their own set of fliters, pace, and mode of operation that gives them the most personal comfort. Hopefully, this thread just gives folks the awareness there is another light switch on the wall to reach for. don

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3849
Joined: Mar 2012

One of the best parts of this forum is the multitude of ideas a person can go to....if one thing isn't working for them then there is an alternative.  More times than I can count, I'd find out about something on here, and learned early in treatment, that all I had to do was tell my Onc. and ask for it.  He was more than willing to ok anything that wasn't a detrement to the treatments.  Be it lotions and potions, diet, pain killers, spit and rinses.....all was fair game.  The more ideas we put out on here, the better someone else's treatment will be.

p

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

 

I use Boost but only as a filler because my wife makes all my food. When I am on the road and don’t have time to stop and eat, it makes it easy to just pop the top off and pore it down the tube with a bottle of water. I am not reading the calories because I eat twice as much as anyone I know. I am starting to get a little Fat in the middle might have to go on a diet and then maybe I will just keep it.

 

Take care

Hondo

robswife87's picture
robswife87
Posts: 182
Joined: Mar 2013

We used it because it was cheaper to buy the Walmart brand and our insurance did not cover anything for the feeding tube.

Once i got the Blendtec I start liquifying real food, as to keep the sugar down. Rob is a type 2 diabetic and his sugar did stay a little on the high side because of the ensure. 

He only used 1 can per feeding and mixed in protien powder, water, benecalorie, hemp oil to add more calories with no more sugar. His sugar never spiked over 140 doing it this way. He only used 3 cans per day which was under the acceptable level of sugar he should have. I also put fiber powder in each meal

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

Glad to hear you got the nutrition plan in place and the liquid nutrition is working. One thing to consider adding is an amino acid powder that is a key building block with protein to rebuild tissue and muscle.

My situation was I was able to keep eating orally. I can not brag enough about the 10 buck baby food grinder I started using to purree solids when I was struggling eating. Of course, I did drink lots of protein powder drinks along the way and I swear it improved the speedo of recovery. I've been back on solids 100% since about week 3 post. best to you, don

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