Did you know that early detection of lung cancer saves lives and that lung cancer screening services are available at YRMC? To raise awareness of the vital role regular imaging plays in lung cancer survival, we invited Jennifer Harvey, Nurse Navigator, Lung Cancer Screening and Care at YRMC, onto the set at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen! Jennifer supports and guides individuals at risk for lung cancer through the screening process and offers support to those who are trying to quit smoking. In the kitchen together, we talked about who might benefit from regular lung cancer screening, as well as strategies to help with the food and weight challenges people often face when they quit smoking. Of course, we also made a delicious, nourishing meal, filled with flavorful ingredients that just happen to help our bodies heal and detoxify from nicotine!
Lung cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. In fact, more people die annually of lung cancer than cancer of the colon, breast and prostate combined. While both smokers and non-smokers can develop lung cancer, the risks are much greater for past and present smokers. Lung cancer screening is designed to catch cancer at its earliest stages, when survival is most likely, in those who are most at risk. Join us as Jennifer explains the criteria that define high-risk individuals, talks about her role as a Nurse Navigator, and shares what inspires her at work, everyday.
Recipe: Whole Grain Spanish Rice
Statistics show that many people (but not all) do gain weight after smoking cessation. However, the health risks of smoking far outweigh the downsides of weight gain — so don’t let the scale stop you from quitting! Also, developing a healthy relationship with food, the stressors in your life, and your body can be some of the greatest gifts of smoking cessation.
Simple tips that can reduce the amount of weight you might gain after saying goodbye to cigarettes include:
- When you eat, just eat. Taking time out for meals and snacks and eating them without distraction (i.e. no TV, work, computers, phones, etc.) will increase your sense of satisfaction and ‘fullness’ after eating, improve calorie burning, and reduce your cravings for sweets and snacks throughout the day and night.
- Instead of snacking on sweets or processed foods like chips or pretzels, consider creating snacks that resemble little meals. A small meal that includes fruit or vegetables, some protein (chicken, fish, meat, eggs, beans or nuts), carbohydrate (whole grain products, fruit, or beans) and healthy fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, or olive oil) will satisfy your taste buds as well as your belly and your brain. Check out this episode of YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen for great snack ideas!
- Experiment and discover how physical activity helps you move through and reduce stress, fatigue, boredom and food cravings! It’s important to find a way to move your body that is enjoyable, not stressful. Do you like walking in nature or around your neighborhood? How about dancing, alone or with others? Working in the yard or garden, going to a gym, taking gentle or vigorous exercise classes, doing yoga or Tai Chi, or even standing, stretching, and walking in place at regular intervals during the day qualifies as healthy movement that can reduce stress-related eating.
- Eat a larger meal in the middle of the day and a smaller meal at night. Most people burn more calories between noon and 2 pm, so it makes sense to eat more food at lunch!
For other great tips on successfully navigating the challenges of smoking cessation, check out all of the resources available from the American Cancer Society and consider joining thousands of other Americans who have decided to quit on November 21st for The Great American Smokeout!
Remember to also check out all of our informative videos and easy, delicious recipes at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen! Our site now includes an easy link to Your Healthy Kitchen’s YouTube Channel, where you can easily view and access our entire library! You can access these at https://www.yrmchealthconnect.org/your-healthy-kitchen/.