Fresh Living

cancerkitchen.jpgIt’s rare that I’m blown away by a cookbook (which have been known to prop things around my house), but The Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treament and Recovery, Rebecca Katz’s second book (co-written with Mat Edelson), is rad. My friend and I made recipes out of her other collection, One Bite at a Time while I was in chemo and they were sustaining and delicious.

This new book takes it many steps further with menu plans, a food glossary, and suggestions for addressing common chemo side-effects with food–from anemia to constipation to depression. And the section “Cancer-Fighting Tool Kit” offers specifics on what to eat before, during, and after treatment to “lessen the impact of side effects, improve appetite and immunity, and overcome changes in the sense of taste or impaired taste buds, which is a common consequence of treatment.”

It’s also full of general tips: Consume a wide variety of foods, get others in your life on board with the healthy eating process, munch small portions, “ginger is one of your best friends during chemo,” etc. And oh, right! The heart of the book is made up of recipes, recipes, recipes. The soups, veggie dishes, smoothies, and desserts, and more are based on anti-inflammatory, insulin-balancing, energy-giving, and antioxidant-rich foods. And they look deeelish. She’s tested them again and again with her clients and others.

Since 80 percent of cancer patients are malnourished, eating well is one of the few ways people can empower themselves during a time when lots of control must be handed over to doctors and chemicals, she says. And sometimes a balanced diet can make all the difference in a precarious recovery and between survival and thrive-al.

With a master’s in nutrition, Katz is a big believer in applying what we know about cancer and nutrition to help clients heal, possibly protect themselves from recurrence, and truly enjoy eating–despite the obstacles. She talks about her belief in “the power of yum,” which she explains in her intro: “The power of yum in action is showing people that good nutrition and great taste can join together joyously on the same plate.” Yum.

Related Article: Cancer-free-a-versary and a Chemo Cocktail Recipe.


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