Dietitian | Survivor | Speaker
Hello, My name is Jean LaMantia
I’m a registered dietitian, cancer survivor and professional speaker,
and I’m here to help you feel better about your life during and after cancer.
When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 27,
I had no idea that my journey with cancer would be a gift and lead me to one of my greatest purposes in life. After my cancer treatment finished, I was full of fear that my cancer was going to come back. In fact, I was a nervous wreck. I thought that every little weird feeling in my body was cancer coming back.
Does this sound familiar? I was so stressed about cancer coming back that I gave myself migraine headaches. Not only was I creating new illness in my body, but my worry and stress, I came to learn, was actually compromising my immune system – isn’t that ironic! The very thing I feared, I was opening a door to.
My fear and paranoia hit rock bottom when I found myself, late at night paging the oncology resident trying to convince him that my new headache was my cancer now spread to my brain. His response, was demeaning, shocking and disrespectful – he laughed at me!
He said, “you don’t have brain mets, you’re just hungover” (I wasn’t)….but, the humiliation of the moment brought me to a stark realization…”Jean, you’ve got to get a grip”.
Ironically, I had already graduated (with honours) from the University of Guelph with a Bachelors degree in Applied Human Nutrition and completed a clinical dietetic internship at the Toronto Western hospital. So, I made the decision to take back my power and put that excellent education and training to work for myself.
Since then, I dedicated myself to collect, analyze, and distill an incredible amount of information about nutrition and cancer. Throughout all of this research, I’ve discovered that the diet for cancer survivors and cancer prevention fits into one of 3 main themes, which I call the 3 Keys to Cancer Risk Reduction. I detail this information in my Cancer Risk Reduction Guide, but I want to introduce you to the 3 keys:
The 3 Keys to Cancer Risk Reduction are:
- Support the immune system
- Reduce chronic inflammation
- Choose foods that can act against cancer cells directly
I feel the difference in my own life. I am not as fearful of cancer recurrence, I feel calmer and more in control. That’s because every day I can remind myself of all the things that I did right today. I love when I can share this gift with you since you are in the same boat that I was in.
When I provide advice on cancer risk reduction through diet, know that it comes from someone who is walking beside you on this journey. I have the same questions you have and I will work for you to provide the answers. My advice is meant to serve you and the people you care about.
Please reach out if you are looking to connect. I would love to help you feel confident that you are doing everything you can do to be cancer free.
My Work with Lymphedema
In 2017 I was contacted by physiotherapist Ann DiMenna from the Markham Lymphatic Centre. She was convinced that nutrition could make a difference for her clients living with lymphedema and wanted to work with a registered dietitian who knew about working with cancer survivors, as many of her clients with lymphedema had developed the condition as a result of their cancer treatment.
Lymphedema Clients Go Unrecognized
I was very happy to join Ann and what I discovered was alarming. First off, most of her clients with lymphedema had spent years moving from doctor to doctor in hopes of a diagnosis for their persistent swelling, many of them having been given improper advice which resulted in delays in getting the right treatment.
Nutrition for Lymphedema
One of the first things that I did, was to see what nutrition guidelines exist for lymphedema. Neither of the two large databases for nutrition professionals had information on lymphedema, so I started researching to see what I could find (I really love this part of my work). I found so much that I decided that in addition to incorporating this into my nutritional counselling for these clients that I would put the information into a book. Ann DiMenna agreed to be my co-author, and the Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide was published in 2019.
Helping People with or at Risk of Lymphedema
Now, whenever I speak to my cancer clients, I am always careful when I take a history to determine if lymphedema might be a risk factor and to educate them about this condition. When I work with clients with lymphedema, I am so happy to see that they are able to get positive results with the changes that they implement. In addition to counselling my clients about lymphedema, I have also created a talk called Nutrition for Lymphedema, and I write about it in my Cancer Bites blog and in lymphedema magazines. I am so happy to be able to do my part to support people with this underserviced chronic condition whether their lymphedema is a result of cancer, infection, surgery or they are born with it.
My Work with Weight Loss and Busting Cravings
While I was the registered dietitian at The Adelaide Health clinic for 7 years I had a lot of success helping people to lose weigh, gain weight and conquer their cravings. While I’m no longer working in a gym, helping my clients to achieve their weight goals is still very applicable to the work that I do. Whether you need to gain weight or lose it or quash those cravings, I can help.
Ready to be of service
I look forward to serving you via one-on-one nutritional counselling, on the phone or in person, or through my CancerBites blog, public speaking, my books The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook, The Complete Lymphedema Management & Nutrition Guide and my colourful and amazing Cancer Risk Reduction Guide!
I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. To stay in touch and make sure you don’t miss out on my latest blog or speaking engagements, join my community. I won’t fill-up your inbox, sell your emails and you can unsubscribe any time, no hard feelings.
Personalized Nutrition Counselling
Work with Jean
Achieve your goals with a personalized nutrition session, or book me to speak at your conference or lunch & learn session at work.
The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide
The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook
Cancer Risk Reduction Guide
Nutrition care for your unique needs.
The Latest on Nutrition for Cancer and Lymphedema
Motivating and Professional Public Speaking