Jerry Baldassaro says a cancer diagnosis three years ago led...

Jerry Baldassaro says a cancer diagnosis three years ago led him to change his eating habits significantly and feels much better as a result. (July 22, 2013) Credit: Alejandra Villa

Jerry Baldassaro, of East Meadow, didn't think too much about what he ate until he was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago. "You start realizing every little thing you do can change the course of your life," he says.

He and his wife, Patti Anne, 58, who battled colon cancer, would eat late and finish most nights with ice cream or cake. He routinely skipped breakfast and lunch because he was busy with his publishing business. But the daytime deprivation doubled his nighttime portions, he says. "I'd have two lamb chops instead of one, an 8-ounce steak instead of 4-ounce one."

Now, he and Patti Anne, who have three children and one grandchild, have one-egg omelets or fruit and yogurt for breakfast. He makes time for lunch and snacks on pumpkin seeds, which he calls "critical" because they're filling and help curb his appetite.

"I know that if I have a balanced diet and I don't overindulge, I feel so much better," says Baldassaro, 59, who is 10 pounds lighter since changing his eating habits. "If you're going to be here for a long time or a short time, at least feel good."


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