Rachel J. Wong, an oncology dietitian from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, has some helpful tips on what patients and survivors can stock their pantry with to avoid stress eating and stay healthy through the pandemic and beyond.
While some COVID-19-related restrictions are easing, some patients with cancer and survivors may still face more time at home. But Rachel J. Wong, an oncology dietitian from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, has some helpful tips on what patients and survivors can stock their pantry with to avoid stress eating and stay healthy through the pandemic and beyond.
In a recent interview with CURE®, Wong offered some of her favorite go-to snack options that run the gamut from sweet to savory and everything in between.
I tend to really recommend, especially with my patients and survivors, to choose a snack that's nutritious and that's going to keep you more satisfied so that you won't necessarily come back for more or overindulge. So, that means including a snack that has some fiber and protein.
Some ideas there could be having some nuts and some Greek yogurt that you can mix some berries into, and you can even add an extra little sprinkle of granola for example, for some added fiber. A lot of Greek yogurts can carry a lot of protein, upwards of 15 to 17 grams, so it will keep you very satisfied. I really love the combination of yogurt and muesli, which is a less sugary form of granola and it has a lot of fiber in there, so that can be an option.
Peanut butters are a really great staple that can be included in a snack, with celery or with apples or whole wheat crackers, or even with a banana. It's very tasty that way.
And then there are ways of incorporating other veggies. A Caprese salad, for example, with tomato, mozzarella, and a little basil would be very healthy. Cottage cheese is really good, and ricotta. You can do a lot with those. You can have them sweet or savory, as a sweet snack, ricotta can be used, or cottage cheese can be mixed with some honey and vanilla and a little bit of cinnamon, it's a really great snack that can be used in lieu of ice cream, for example at night for your evening snack. And it gives you a lot more protein than you would get from ice cream.
You can also prepare your own smoothies. While often people think of smoothies as a meal replacement, you can have a smoothie in a smaller portion. It doesn't have to have a lot of really calorie dense things in there — or it can, depending on your needs – but you can put a lot of healthy foods in there.
You can put greens in your smoothies, avocados, or hemp seeds, for example. And those have a lot of omegas, so there's a lot of things that you can do with smoothies, or even as a smoothie bowl, there are lots of different ideas.