AICR iTHRIVE Plan: Nourish and Nurture Yourself after Cancer

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Life after a major illness like cancer, may at times seem as overwhelming as the experience of navigating through the disease. Here at AICR we often hear from cancer survivors who are looking for help with what to do to boost their odds for a longer, healthier life. AICR’s Cancer Prevention Recommendations are a blueprint for overall healthy habits and one great place to start. And with the New American Plate (NAP) Challenge you can integrate diet and physical activity recommendations into your lifestyle with weekly challenges that are specific and realistic.

Yet patients, survivors and their families also care about other spheres of life, including emotional and spiritual health, that need care and attention for feelings of overall well-being. That’s why AICR is partnering with iTHRIVE Plan to offer you a unique program that can help nurture your spirit and your body in addition to physical activity and nutrition.

Here’s what AICR’s iTHRIVE Plan can do for you:

  • Constructs a personalized wellness plan to help you get started and keep up with simple daily steps that become new healthy habits
  • Works to your strengths and helps you address areas that need more care and attention
  • Provides an empowering environment for your choices that lead to stress management, rejuvenation and meeting of spiritual needs
  • Complements AICR’s other resources, like NAP Challenge that help you put the recommendations into practice

“As a specialist in oncology nutrition, I think those with cancer will love having access to this program because it is customizable and comprehensive. It goes beyond nutrition and physical activity into areas happening outside of the doctors’ office like stress relief, spirituality and rejuvenation. This plan lays out specific steps to move forward, make changes, and heal well.” – Angela Hummel, MS, RD, CSO, LD

You simply sign up, take a 10-minute assessment, choose the area you want to address and select steps you would like to take. With each step you select, you will get a list of simple daily actions to help you take that step. You can repeat actions and steps as often as you like, or move on to new ones. Here are some examples:

  • Stress Management: you may choose cleaning out clutter as your goal. The daily actions may include identifying a specific area to declutter one day, sorting items another day, or finding a place for items you keep.
  • Strength training: choose simple in-home exercises with no equipment, like arm circles. The daily action comes with illustrations and specific instructions. Start small and build up each day.
  • Rejuvenation: if the weather is nice you may want to spend more time outdoors enjoying nature. The daily action may include a walk around a park or simply finding a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy.

This program is for you – so although we are offering you specific actions to help improve your health, you will be in control of your goals, steps and actions all along the way. At AICR we know the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity, but we also know the importance of nurturing all areas of your life. In fact, there is evidence that addressing these other areas of health offers benefits for cancer patients and survivors. The American Society of Clinical Oncology recently endorsed Clinical Practice Guidelines from the Society for Integrative Oncology for Integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment.

About the Program:

AICR worked with the iTHRIVE Plan team using the expertise and experience of both groups to adapt their program for the AICR audience.  Dr. Lise Alschuler and Karolyn Gazella are cancer survivors and they developed the original iTHRIVE Plan. Their program meets the Commission on Cancer Survivorship Care Plan mandate and is being used in Cancer Centers. Dr. Alschuler and Ms. Gazella  are experts in using an integrative approach to educate and help people improve their health with lifestyle strategies.

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Author: Alice RD

Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention into action by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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