Last Monday I had the pleasure of speaking at Stillwaters Counseling Center in Waukesha to the Young Mothers with Cancer Support Group. It was a friendly gathering of many familiar faces and a few new ones. A special thanks to Molly, Kara, and Therese for being there to support ME as this was my first time speaking on “Fighting Cancer with Your Fork.”
For the past several years, I have been doing a ton of reading related to this subject, have been listening to quite a few thought leaders in this arena, and I’ve been testing my culinary skills, by creating “anti-angiogenic” meals, for Molly and a few others. (An anti-angiogenic substance is something that inhibits angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels which is how some cancers grow.)) In fact, how this invitation to speak came about was the Stillwaters Counselors would see me in chemo clinic each week and I was always serving up some really healthy, very easy, super tasty, kick cancer’s a$$ meal for Molly and company. And thus the invitation to share my knowledge, thoughts, and culinary inspiration (LOL! I am SO not a great cook).
Wanted to share a few thoughts from Monday’s talk with you – whether you are battling cancer yourself, have battled it in the past, or are trying to avoid that type of battle in your life, I think you will find these tips very simple and beneficial.
- Eat from the RAINBOW every day! Choosing a variety of fruits and veggies is important because different vitamins, minerals, phytochemcials, antioxidants and more are abundant in different colored foods. My RAINBOW looks like this: Red, Orange, Yellow, GREEN, Blue, Purple, Brown and White. ROYGBP + Bonus! Aim for at least FOUR different colors every day. Make a rainbow chart and have fun with your children, hubby, significant other coloring in your “edible” rainbow for the day. And notice my emphasis on GREEN – we all need to add more of these (leafy greens) into our daily diet.
- The American Institute for Cancer Research publishes guidelines for food, nutrition, physical activity and prevention of cancer every 10 years. Their recommendations are based on peer-reviewed research. A couple highlights from the last report in 2007 include: (1) Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight; (2) Be physically active as part of every day life; and (3) Eat mostly foods of plant origin. There are actually a total of 8 recommendations but I thought I would just share those 3 to start…don’t want it to be too overwhelming.
- Experiment with new recipes and new foods! Be creative. Try to be seasonal to help manage budget and obtain best produce. Learn about “new” powerful foods that perhaps you currently don’t eat on a daily basis: flaxseed, beans, lentil, legumes, quinoa, pomegranates, beets, avocado, eggplant, berries, herbs, teas & spices. You truly can start to kick cancer in your kitchen with these foods.
If you’d like to do some additional reading and research, here is a list of websites I frequent for cancer updates and information:
A few of the reading materials I have enjoyed over the past years, relating to cancer (and mostly more “fun” than “science”…I will list my nitty-gritty science resources in a later post), include:
- Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
- Cracy, Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr
- The Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz (she has a new book coming out soon too)
- AntiCancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD
- American Institute for Cancer Research: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity & the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Prospective by AICR
Hope these few tips and resources are helpful to at least one of you out there….and if so, then it was worth the post! Coming soon…more details from my talk regarding the colors of the rainbow, what they offer in terms of food benefit, and some simple ways to incorporate these whole foods into your daily diet. Until then, get COLORFUL!