Blog | Eating to Prepare for Surgery

breast cancer juicing mastectomy tips prepare for surgery

(always check with your doctor regarding any diet. This is just information on what I personally did)


Breast Cancer | Mastectomy | Juicing
I would not consider myself a healthy eater in the past. I loved fast food, and did not take very seriously eating fruits and veggies. I really didn't think it would make any difference in the way I felt. If I wanted to loose some weight, I would usually do a low-carb diet, which did not lend itself to eating much fruit either. With recently getting diagnosed with breast cancer, and having to prepare for a mastectomy, I have completely changed my tune on that!

Worried about protein? Add seeds! I was so impressed wth the results from juicing, I will always do it in the future. My skin has never looked better, and I am able to keep my weight down as well. Plus, I have so much more energy and just feel all around fantastic. When I am away or on vacation I can feel the difference of missing a few days of juicing. Once you start I'm sure you will love it too!

I call it juicing, but it really is more of an emulsifying. Juicing removes the fiber, but using a product like the Nutri-Bullet or Nutri-Ninja blends all the fiber in, keeping the food whole. Fiber is super important after a surgery. If you are preparing to have a mastectomy, make sure you plan to be on medications for pain for a while. Part of that planing is understanding that those medications can cause digestive unbalance. Your doctor may tell you to take a stool softener, or laxative. I have found that in addition to that, the fiber in the juicing helps to keep your digestion balanced. It also helps keep your body hydrated.

I started juicing a few months before my surgery. I had heard that spinach and other greens can build up your blood and help your body through the trauma of surgery. I do feel like it helped quite a bit. The surgery went very well for me and I did not loose a lot of blood. Also, I feel like I healed rather quickly, which isn't usually the case for me. I had my drains taken out in just 7 days after my surgery. 

You can see in my pictures that I use a HUGE cup for my daily juices. If you are not that excited about it, you can always start smaller. Most juicers come with a few different size cups.

If you are unsure which ingredients to add, please check my chart at the bottom of this page. It details different fruits, veggies and seeds, and what their health benefits are.

If you are apprehensive about getting started here is some a quick start tips:

GREENS - Fill half of the cup with greens. I like to buy fresh each week and mix it up. Some of my go to favorites are spinach, kale, swiss and rainbow chard and collard greens.
Juicing | Kale
VEGGIE - Add a few baby carrots or another veggie of choice.

Juicing | Organic Carrots
GO BANANAS - Bananas add sweetness and makes a thicker, creamy texture, more like a shake. I buy bananas for the week, loose the peel and freeze them. That way they don't get overripe by the end of the week. 

Juicing | Bananas
FRUIT - Add organic fruit of your choice. I like to buy frozen organic fruit from Costco in large bags and just keep it in the freezer.  The have a great berry blend and some tropical fruit blends that I just love. Plus that way you don't have to do too much shopping during the week. 

Prepare for a Mastectomy | Frozen Fruit
JUICE - I like to add a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice. It add tartness and lots of health benefits.

Mastectomy Surgery | Juicing Cranberry

SEEDS! -  Seeds make your shake more filling. Chia, pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame… oh, and don't forget the goji berries!!! Check out my chart at the bottom of this page to see the benefits of each different seed. All nuts and seeds you use for your shake should always be raw (not roasted) and unsalted.

Seeds to use in juicing
WATER - Water to fill line and blend. If you don't use frozen fruit, add some ice.

Juicing for surgery prep

Do not EVER use: Apple Seeds, Cherry Pits, Peach Pits, Apricot Pits, Plum Pits

Another tip, if you don't like the taste of your finished juice, experiment more. You can add some organic apple juice to sweeten it up more, or change up the greens. I have found that spinach is the most mild flavor in juicing.

Seed and Nut Overview

Rich in monounsaturated fats with can help reduce the risk of heart disease up to 30%! Also high in magnesium and potassium. All nuts and seeds should always be raw and unsalted for juicing.
Also high in monounsaturated fat, cashews have oleic acid that is especially healthful for diabetics. They also make a thicker shake.
Chia Seeds
chia seeds
My personal go to seed of choice. They have protein and fiber which make them idea for energy! They are high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 which help your body stabilize blood sugar and slow carb digestion. They are also a good source of iron, calcium and zinc. I know, right? I add about 3 tablespoons to my shake every day.
Flax Seeds
Flax Seeds
They are the KING of Omega-3!  They also have dietary fiber and organic compounds that help lower cholesterol and strengthen bones. I add a tablespoon to my shake.
Goji Berries
Goji Berries
Renowned for slowing the aging process, boosting brain cell counts, and protecting the body against disease. Great as a source of Vitamin A which boosts immune! They can be expensive though. Try to find them in a bulk bin at your local health food store. I add a about tablespoon to my shake, 2-3 times a week.
Wow. Just 2 tablespoons of these seeds has about 11 grams of protein!!! Plus they have Omega-3 and Omega-6 which can help regulate your immune system and hormones!! Yes please!
Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
The green ones, also called pepitas. Containing phytosterois that lower cholesterol, strengthen bones and immunity and can DECREASE the risk of cancer, yay! They also have high zinc content and have protein and iron.
Sesame Seeds
Sesame Seeds
A super little seed. Just 1/4 of a cup contains 35% of the daily recommended amount of calcium! Plus it has the mineral copper, which has anti-inflammatory properties. 
Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower Seeds can help kill cancer cells!
Did you know that these snack seeds can help lower LDL cholesterol? They are the richest phytosterol content of all snack seeds! They also have vitamin E and selenium. Selenium has been known to activate DNA repair in damaged cells, detoxifying the liver and KILLING CANCER CELLS!

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  • Lana Swain on

    Leslie, really enjoyed the information about the benefits of all the seeds.
    I am glad you are doing so well.
    Your sister, lana

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