Healthy Eating During Treatment for Breast Cancer

Healthy eating helped Annette Ramke, a four-year breast cancer survivor, feel her best as she endured cancer treatment.

Health Monitor Staff
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Healthy Eating, Treatment, Breast Cancer, Annette Ramke, Survivor
Photo by Steve Legato

Radiant? Who gets called that while undergoing chemotherapy? Annette chuckles at the irony. “People commented, ‘You look great.’ ” What’s more, she says, “I had more energy, too.” And that's despite a long treatment road—including surgery, chemo and a year on a medication to fight HER2-positive breast cancer.

After her 2008 diagnosis of Stage I invasive breast cancer at age 36, the Pennsylvania mom gathered the best modern medicine had to offer. But she was determined to do her part, too. “I knew I wanted to do whatever my doctors recommended—and as much as I could—to make sure I’d make it through treatment okay and be healthy again. I wanted to throw as much at the cancer as I could!”

Healthy eating with breast cancer
She made some significant food switches. Like serving up meals based on fresh vegetables and whole grains—and ditching the takeout pizzas and meat-and-potato dishes. The results were undeniable. “I noticed I made it through my surgeries more easily. I recovered faster. I actually had some good days and some good weeks!” She also felt more hopeful and optimistic—more capable of beating her cancer.

Today Annette spreads the word about healthy eating with the help of fellow cancer survivor Kendall Scott, whom she met at New York City’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where both studied to become holistic health coaches. To share what helped them thrive during treatment, they wrote a book and created a website,, where they offer recipes and support.

Try Annete’s Cashew Kale recipe.

November 2013