Happy Birthday Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen!

A and K Toasting with Joyce

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen!!! One year ago today our book was published, and since then we have had such an amazing response and huge buzz about KCITK. We’ve met so many wonderful people who have shared their stories, supported us and allowed us to support them. Today we want to say thank you to all of you and have some fun stuff in-store. Check it out below!

 

** Facebook Giveaway (Oct 2-4)! Visit our Facebook Giveaway page and read the instructions there to enter to win a big bunch of goodies, including our book, two other books (Helping to Heal and Square Foot Gardening), healthy treats, sea veggies, up-cycled bejeweled kitchen utensils and more!

 

Girlfriend's Cookbook& Guide: Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen ** A special gift when you purchase a copy of Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen Wednesday and Thursday ONLY (October 2nd  and 3rd)! You will receive our 7 Day Juicing Challenge ($69 value) complete with juicing and whole food recipes, detox audio class, and grocery list. You will ALSO be entered to win a FREE one-hour coaching call with Kendall or Annette!

Already have a copy of KCITK? Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen makes a perfect gift for someone facing cancer or anyone trying to eat and live more healthfully! 

—->>>Here’s what you do:

  1. Purchase your copy of Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any local bookstore on October 2nd and 3rd.
  2. Come back here and enter your information, including receipt number, in the form below.
  3. You will be sent a confirmation email. Follow the instructions to confirm and you will be sent your 7 Day Juicing Challenge!
  4. Be sure to add support@kickingcancerinthekitchen.com to your contacts or check your Junk Mail so you don’t miss it! Your name will also be entered in a random drawing for a FREE coaching call with Kendall or Annette. The winner will be notified by email on Friday October 4th! (THIS HAS ENDED.)

**All rules subject to change. One winner will be randomly chosen for the coaching call with either Annette or Kendall. Winner will not be able to choose their coach – depends on availability.

Super Simple Overnight Oatmeal

 

Today we have a guest post from our friend Kirsten Scarcelli of Nourish Yourself Now, our Portland, Maine affiliate who offers plant-based cooking classes and much more! Read on for her simple breakfast recipe and give it a try! This one requires almost no time or effort. :)

Super Simple Overnight Oatmeal

As fall quickly approaches, and we are getting back into busier work and school schedules, do you find yourself needing to get out the door fast in  the morning? No time to make a healthy breakfast? Here is a tasty, super quick recipe that you can prepare the night before (this also works well, if you travel a lot!). I found the original recipe in Dr.McDougall’s “Starch Solution”. I adapted it slightly. Give it a try. It has lots of protein, soluble fiber, and no cholesterol and is a good source of iron and manganese. And best of all, it tastes yummy and will keep you full all morning.

SUPER SIMPLE OVERNIGHT OATMEAL

Serves 1

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plant milk or water
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Sliced banana, berries or other fruit (optional)

Stir together oats and cinnamon, and then add plant milk (or water) in a bowl or air tight container. Make sure everything is well coated.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, if using plant milk. If using water, you can leave bowl out on the counter, if room temperature is preferred.
In the morning eat cold or reheat on stovetop for a few minutes. You might need to add extra liquid.
Top with fruit and enjoy.

Tip:  I like my oatmeal very thick, so I pour boiling water over the mixture and stir. I wait until cooled, and then cover it up and leave bowl out on the counter overnight. Yummy!

Recipe adapted from: The Starch Solution, John A. McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall

***If you would like more support with food and your health, with a holistic (or whole-body) approach, try out a complimentary health consultation via phone with one of our health coaches. You will also find lots of support, information and plenty of delicious recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen.

Juicing for Life

 

Mean Green Smoothie

Mean Green. By Michelle Reaves.Chellereaves / Wikimedia Commons

Are you considering jumping on the juicing bandwagon? There’s no denying the juicing movement that’s sweeping the nation. Food and health blogs post creative concoctions, touting the health benefits of juice and its tastiness. It’s easy to get swept along in a sea of vibrant oranges, deep green kale, and bright yellow lemons.

Due to the recent rise in popularity, grocery stores are flooded with “natural” and “fresh” juices in the grab-and-go aisles. With so many easy choices, why bother with juicing at home? These neatly packaged bottles are a much faster option, and much easier than having to buy the produce, spend the time juicing, and then cleaning up afterwards.

Homemade juices are worth the effort. First of all, you have control over what goes into your juice. If you don’t like kale, but do like blueberries, you can easily make a spinach blueberry juice instead of having to stick with predesigned flavor combinations. Also, when you are making the juice yourself, you know exactly what goes into it. You can’t say the same for store bought ones. Naked juices have long marketed its line of juices as “all natural”—and recently the claims have been found to be false advertising (to the tune of $9 million).

Here are a few more reasons why fresh juice made at home is better than pre-packaged varieties found in a store.

Pasteurization. Almost all commercially produced juices are pasteurized to prolong the shelf life. Pasteurization involves heating the juice to 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and then cooling it down quickly. The heating process kills all the microbes that can cause spoilage or food borne illnesses, but it also destroys any heat-sensitive vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants.

Since juices are supposed to be packed full of nutrients, manufacturers often add the vitamins back in after the pasteurization process. However, the vitamins and minerals added after processing may not be as readily absorbed by the body as naturally occurring ones. Making fresh juice when you want to drink it ensures that your drink retains all its nutrients.

Added sugars. Pasteurization also mutes the flavor of fresh juice, so many companies add in sugar to improve the taste. Making your juice reduces the need to add sugar; or, if you do find the need to sweeten your recipe, you can add in sweeter fruits, or a sweetener of your choice. Manufacturers are likely to rely on corn syrups or artificial sweeteners, neither of which is healthy. Drinking fresh juice rather than bottled juice ensures that you don’t end up consuming empty calories.

Fiber. Some bottled juices are processed in ways where almost all of the insoluble fiber is stripped away, and some of the soluble fiber is removed as well. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the body, reducing insulin spikes—which over time could lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. Fiber also has a host of other health benefits like lowering cholesterol levels to keeping you regular. Most home juicers allow you to keep at least some of the fiber from the fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to juicing, try to buy organic since you’ll be using most of them whole, especially if you use a juicer. Be sure to wash the fruit and vegetables prior to using them—a quick and inexpensive produce cleaner is to dilute a little bit of vinegar with water and spray on the produce before rinsing. If you use cherries, plums, peaches or other fruits with large seeds, pit them prior to tossing them in the juicer.

Here are a few simple and nutritious juice recipes to get you started on your juicing habit.

Mean Green. The original “Mean Green” juice featured in the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead kicked off the current juicing craze. Packed with leafy green vegetables, the Mean Green is a great way to sneak in some extra heart-healthy fiber into your daily diet. It’s also highly versatile, as you can swap ingredients for others as needed.

Serves one. Juice the following ingredients together and serve immediately over ice.

6 kale leaves (try baby kale for a less fibrous final product)

1 cucumber

4 celery stalks

2 green apples

1/2 lemon

1 piece of ginger

Orange You Glad to See Me. This juice is packed with vitamin C from oranges and

Mango Kiwi Juice. Image courtesy of Alexandre Duret-Lutz / Flickr.com

Mango Kiwi Juice. Image courtesy of Alexandre Duret-Lutz / Flickr.com

lemon to boost your immune system and beta-carotene from the carrots to help keep your eyes healthy. Ginger helps with digestion, and gives the juice a spicy kick!

Serves one. You can opt to use a manual citrus squeezer for the oranges and lemon, before switching over to a electric juicer for the carrots and ginger.

8 carrots

2 oranges

1 Meyer lemon (try to find Meyer lemon instead of regular lemon as it imparts a smoother, sweeter flavor)

1 small piece ginger

Juicing is a great way to increase your vegetable and fruit intake—rather than slowly chewing through eight carrots, you can juice them with some lemons and oranges for a delicious afternoon drink. Making them at home may take a little longer than just grabbing a bottle from the store, but the health benefits are worth the effort.

 

 

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health and wellness writer from Los Angeles. She is a big fan of juicing and always tries to have a pitcher of some fresh concoction in the fridge!

Be Your Own Best Advocate

 

For some of us, receiving a cancer diagnosis was the first time, aside from routine doctors’ appointments, that we became intimate with the medical establishment. For others, the road to our diagnosis has been paved with weeks, months or sometimes years of not knowing, going from physician to physician, test after test, trying to figure out what is going on with our health and our bodies.

In either case Cancer World is a place in which most of us, as grateful as we are for our doctors and hospitals, spend too much time in waiting rooms, testing areas, chemo chairs, being poked and prodded by medical professionals.

We are cancer patients in their world and it sometimes feels as if a piece of our personal identity, and sometimes our humanity, is taken with that term.

Many of us were brought up to not question authority, or at least not too much. We were taught to smile, be agreeable and compliant and not cause a ruckus.

All of that translates into a cancer patient who shows up for her appointments, takes her medicine and follows doctor’s orders. This means we get the tests and treatments we need and have a better chance of kicking cancer.

It also might mean that we don’t speak up, don’t share our concerns, questions and frustrations as we should with those overseeing our medical care. We may have questions or concerns that are dismissed as unimportant or silly, or we might let ourselves be talked to by physicians and other medical staff in ways that aren’t appropriate – whether rude, condescending, impatient or patronizing. Kendall was once named “pukey girl” by a nurse because her pain medication after surgery was causing her to vomit. Annette had a doctor rudely argue with her that she hadn’t had a very painful procedure performed, twice – when she had – just because he saw it as unsuccessful. No, we’re not kidding!

In this Cancer World, which is so overwhelming and distressing, we learn, sooner or later, that we either speak up and speak back, or we take the hit and wait until we get to a private space and then punch a pillow or cry. We’ve both had instances where, rather than speaking up in the moment, we go home, consider what happened and wish we had stood up for ourselves.

Being our own best advocate becomes necessary if we are to persevere. We need to empower each other and ourselves to ask questions, demand fair and kind treatment and have our wishes and humanness respected. We must strengthen our voices and not be afraid to speak our truth and let doctors, nurses, and technicians know when they are lacking in respect and care.

Sometimes, though, we just don’t have the energy or spirit to do so. In these times it is invaluable to bring an advocate with us to appointments and tests. Someone who will listen, speak and act according to our wishes on our behalf when we need some support. A friend, neighbor or family member can be an advocate for us.

Cancer requires a lot from us. And this also includes strengthening our voice and being empowered around all aspects of our care and treatment.

As Billy Joel always says: “Don’t take any shit from anybody!”

Have you experienced this sort of treatment from a health care provider? How did you handle it?

Cancer-Kicking Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

 

gorgeous goji smoothie recipe

This smoothie is a simple one to make, and tastes so delish! Smoothies are generally a great option for people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, since experiencing nausea, mouth and throat sores are common side effects. Smoothies allow you to consume some nutrient-rich calories, they go down pretty easily, and they don’t take much time to make. You can also take your smoothie and pour it into molds to make popsicles! – another ideal food during cancer treatment, and perfect during the summer, whether you’re facing cancer or not.

Whether you are going through conventional treatment or working on healing naturally,* this smoothie is full of restorative, healing, cancer-kicking foods that will nourish your body. Goji berries are full of antioxidants, those handy little cancer-fighters. Antioxidants minimize free radical damage that injures cells and damages DNA, causing cells to grow abnormally (which can lead to what we know as cancer in the body). Gojis are also a great source of Vitamin A, which is not only important for good vision, but also healthy cell growth and a strong immune system. Some preliminary studies using goji berry juice have found benefits in mental well-being and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health (1).

If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries in large amounts or in supplement form: There may be some possible drug interactions with gojis. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure drugs (1). If you have concerns, check with your doctor, but enjoying goji berries in moderate amounts (even a couple times per week) is not likely to be a problem. And that’s a good thing, because you won’t want to miss out on this healthy, yummy treat!

Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

12 ounces cold water

1/4 cup dried goji berries

1 large very banana, preferably frozen

1 cup strawberries, frozen

2 tablespoons hempseeds

Add water and gojis to a blender and let sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If the banana is not frozen, add a few cubes of ice and blend. Serve and enjoy.

 

*Does healing cancer naturally (without the use of conventional medicine) sound crazy? It’s been and continues to be done successfully! Annette and Kendall chose to take an integrative approach to healing from cancer, which means they combined what they considered to be the best of both conventional and alternative (natural) therapies. Look for more info on this in a future blog post!

(1) Source: WebMD

 

10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

 

10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

One amazing oil we love to use on a daily basis is coconut oil, and you’ll find several recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, that include this incredible ingredient.

90% of coconut oil is saturated fat – but fear not! This is not the type of fat we need to be concerned about (stay away from trans fats, instead!). Half of the fat in coconut oil is Lauric Acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is converted into monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Many experts recommend taking up to 3 tablespoons of unrefined, virgin coconut oil each day to experience its benefits.

Read on for 10 reasons why we love coconut oil (besides the flavor!):

  1. Cooking: Coconut oil doesn’t break down at high temperatures and it has amazing nutritional properties. Great for cooking eggs, stir-fries, baked goods, and as a replacement for dairy (butter). Perfect for use in raw food recipes too.
  2. Healthy, Glowing Skin: Excellent massage oil, effective moisturizer for dry skin, and anti-aging. Use it daily for happy, glowing skin.
  3. Reduces Joint and Muscle Inflammation: Can be applied topically or consume regularly to help in reduction of joint inflammation.
  4. Hair Care: Helps provides essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. Try massage 1 teaspoon through hair, leave in for 20 minutes and shampoo and rinse.
  5. Heart Disease: The Lauric Acid in coconut oil helps prevent various heart problems and can lower cholesterol.
  6. Weight Loss: Coconut oil boosts metabolism and helps in taking off excess weight. In 1940, farmers tried to fatten livestock with coconut oil, but discovered that the opposite happened!
  7. Digestion: Improves digestive system by easing acid reflux and aiding in proper bowel function, helps in the absorption of nutrients and contains anti-microbial properties to help in dealing with fungi and parasites.
  8. Healing and Infections: Protects against infections, speeds up healing of bruises, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial.
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day has shown remarkable improvement for dementia.
  10. Protects against Cancer and HIV and other Infectious Diseases

20 Foods to Make Your Salad Sexy

 

20 sexy salad foods

For so many years we thought of green salads as being your basic lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomato combo, with some store-bought dressing to top it off. Oh, and plenty of cheese. Now that we have expanded our foodie minds and opened our refrigerators to new ingredients, out salads have become far more nutritious and delicious! When you add nutrient-rich whole foods to your salad, you’re helping to increase energy, maintain a healthy weight, fight disease, get glowing skin, and feel more balanced and renewed. We’ve gone from so-so salad to SEXY SALAD, and it’s easy to do!

To start, let’s get away from the basic ice burg or even romaine lettuce. Try other lettuce varieties and add other greens, such as baby kale, collards, beet greens, arugula, watercress, spinach and mustard greens. You’ll get an abundance of nutrients from these greens, including calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E and K – just to name a few!

Making your own dressing is easy: a little olive oil, water, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, then add vinegar, garlic, pieces of avocado, ginger, etc., as desired. Be creative!

Here are 20 foods to add to your leafy greens. What do you like to add to your salad?

  1. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  2. Marinated mushrooms
  3. Red or green cabbage
  4. Peas
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Sunflower seeds
  7. Pecans
  8. Avocado
  9. Asparagus (raw or cooked)
  10. Radishes
  11. Pumpkin seeds
  12. Lentils
  13. Sauerkraut
  14. Peppers (raw or roasted)
  15. Berries
  16. Apple
  17. Fresh mango
  18. Chia seeds
  19. Brown rice
  20. Quinoa

Surviving Cancer, Beautifully

 

Our guest post today is from the Founders of Surviving Beautifully (read more about their mission at the bottom of this article).

————————————————————————————————————-

“Beauty” and “cancer” are not words one thinks of together; and in fact so many women are still told it’s enough to survive.  

Even though life seems to stop the moment you hear those words “you have cancer,” there are still family dinners, school functions, vacations, work and a myriad of other of life’s events. You face the world with a set of new and unfamiliar and frightening challenges. But you have to face the world, and yourself. And feeling good about yourself is a huge part of healing.

Actress Helen Mirren made a very powerful statement when she said, “The way we look is part of our human condition. It is tribal and social and personal. I don’t think it’s superficial; it’s quite profound.” This statement is never truer than when appearance is forced to change due to an illness.

surviving beautifully logo

 

 

 

Surviving Beautifully’s founder, Lana Koifman, now a 5-year breast cancer survivor, knows exactly how this feels. How to worry about whether you’ll emerge whole from surgeries. What to do when your hair thins but you don’t want people to know. But most of all how to maintain your sense of self as a beautiful, whole person.

During treatment, Lana wanted answers to her beauty questions. But it took many lonely hours on the internet and in the library to find the information she sought. Simple questions, such as, “Can I use a self-tanner to brighten my complexion during treatment? And there were more complex issues: “What will my breast look like after the expander is fully inflated?” Lana found information by doing her own research. Unfortunately, she learned by trial and error about reconstructive surgery: truly, by trial and error, because when she did not like the result of her nipple reconstruction, she had another surgery to get it to look more realistic. She says: “If I had had up-to-the-minute information, I might have spared myself that additional, painful procedure. And I’m not the only one.”

Since then, Lana has set on a journey to help other women. She counsels dozens of women to

Lana and Victoria

Victoria Tillotson, Ph. D. and Lana Koifman: Founders of Surviving Beautifully

give them the hope that they can emerge from their battle with cancer whole, feeling like themselves, and with a renewed outlook on life!

Surviving Beautifully was born of this struggle; not just against a cancer, but against fear and lack of information. Our website and forthcoming book aims to give solutions to aesthetic issues, and most of all, hope!

There is another important piece to concerns about aesthetic issues arising from cancer treatment. Sometimes choices are made to forgo surgeries out of fear that cancer treatments will leave them horribly scarred; that they will be less than what they were before.

As Lana notes: “The news of Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy was front page news. At the same time, I learned that my childhood friend was losing her battle to Stage 4 bone cancer, which metastasized from an untreated breast cancer that was diagnosed five years ago. It is difficult to believe that in this day and age a diagnosed breast cancer would remain untreated, but it is painfully true. She chose not to have the mastectomy which [doctors told her would likely be life-saving] because of its physical effects. My friend realized she made a wrong choice when she broke her leg last winter and was told that the cancer had spread to her bones. Five years ago, my friend made a choice not to have a mastectomy because ‘she did not want to be deformed and be less of a woman at the age of 45.’ Now she is dying because of that choice.”

It is crucial that women and men know that they DO have options! There are opportunities for reconstruction, scar treatments and a lot of help with body and aesthetic issues. At Surviving Beautifully, we hope that the knowledge of possibilities will lessen fears and allow people to make better choices about health care. We bring you experts in all fields – from plastic surgeons to makeup gurus to dermatologists to radiologists to psychologists – who give up-to-the-moment information to help you make good decisions, have hope, and survive beautifully!

About Surviving Beautifully: Surviving Beautifully was founded by a breast cancer survivor to provide expert answers for women with beauty and body issues during cancer treatment.

Our aim is to give sophsticated, up-to-the-minute, compassionate and empowering advice from medical doctors and other experts.

Our team includes renowned oncologists, radiologists, general and plastic surgeons, oncology nurses, complementary and complementary medicine practitioners, aestheticians, hair stylists, makeup artists, fitness experts, counselors, dermatologists, dentists, nutritionists and celebrity survivors.

We provide advice on skin care, hair care, dental care, breast reconstruction, hair loss (alopecia), eyelash and eyebrow loss, nail issues, makeup application, physical fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

We provide the information you need to survive your way. Every day.

Why You Shouldn’t Be “Vegan” or “Vegetarian” [Ditch the Diet Labels]

 

We sometimes get asked, are we vegetarian, vegan (or what)? Well, we are neither and Why You Shouldn't go Vegetarian or Vegan: Ditch the Diet Labelsboth and definitely the “what.” Confused? Let us explain: Honestly, we don’t like using labels very much (unless we’re reading the ingredients on a food product label, of course). Our walk and talk is more about focusing on real, whole food, more plant-based food and less about forcing ourselves to fit in a box or be part of a dietary trend. We’re not down with filling our plates with an ideology instead of health-boosting food that nourishes your body, mind and spirit.

And so we would also tell you not to necessarily become “vegan,” vegetarian” or anything else, unless of course you want to: If that is where your beliefs and passion lie and what makes you feel your best, that’s fabulous! Otherwise, we think labels are best left on boxes, and our food is best for enjoying and nourishing our bodies.

If you must label our approach, you could call it flexitarian with a focus on plant-based, whole foods. Flexitarianism is, in theory, a mainly vegetarian diet (or veggie-focused) but does allow for some animal protein. For us the meaning of this approach is broader, and we use it to refer to the practice of becoming aware of your body and its needs at every stage in your life and responding with personally appropriate dietary decisions. We are all unique and have different needs at different times in our lives, especially during cancer treatment. If a little quality animal protein gives you some needed energy during your cancer fight or otherwise, we aren’t going to scold you. In fact, we’ll even commend you for figuring out what your body needs.

We believe, and most other experts agree, that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the way to eat for optimal health. However, you can vary that quite a bit when experimenting with vegan, vegetarian, grain-free, nut-free, raw and every diet in between.

Allow yourself room to explore and alter your diet depending on your unique needs and situation. This is where bio-individuality comes into play. Bio-individuality means that we all have different bodies with unique genetic makeup, blood types, metabolism, genders and ages, so one diet is not going to be perfect for everyone. If we said that everyone should eat a vegan diet all of the time, we’d be wrong! One diet can’t possibly be the answer for every body, every day. Needs change from one person to another, based on age, makeup, location, climate, disease, treatment for disease and other changes throughout your life.

Many foodies and diet experts may tell you that their beloved diet is the right way to eat, that it’s THE answer. And it probably is – for them and for others. But not for everyone. In fact, it may be completely wrong for some. So don’t stress over figuring out the EXACT, perfect diet (there isn’t one), and then put yourself in a neat little box and label yourself (unless, as we said before, you believe passionately in a certain diet and want to give yourself that title). It’s entirely up to you! But if you’re just trying to eat well, and can’t seem to find your diet niche, just try to eat whole foods, get the processed and artificial stuff out, eat more/mostly plants and be flexible. Oh, and have FUN! :)

Cook for Your Life

 

Today we have a guest post from our friends at Cook for Your Life. The Kicking Kitchen and CFYL share very similar goals in offering food and cooking support to those affected by cancer, and so we are so pleased to introduce you to this wonderful organization!

Good nutrition is always important, but during cancer treatment and recovery, it’s crucial. At Cook for Your LifeCook for Your LIFE we believe that good health starts in the kitchen. Our mission is to improve the health of people touched by cancer by giving them the practical knowledge, tools and inspiration to cook their way through treatment and into a healthy survivorship. Though the idea of cooking through treatment may seem a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be, and we’ve learned that making even the simplest meal or snack can be extremely empowering.

CFYL’s founder, Ann Ogden, is a two-time cancer survivor, ex-fashion designer, and avid cook. During her time in the chemo suite for breast cancer treatment, she learned that though she was able to make herself a comforting and healthy meal for her post-infusion bad days, most of her chemo buddies had no idea what they should eat, let alone how to make it. Ann knew first-hand that a cancer diagnosis can leave a sense of powerlessness, she thought that by teaching her fellow cancer patients how to cook she could instill in them, even if just a small amount, a sense of control. After this realization she couldn’t see herself going back to her fashion career; she was more interested in getting people to lay off skirt steaks rather than worrying about skirt lengths. Her travels around the world in her fashion career informed her understanding of taste. Because of this, she was able to adjust to her chemo palate — kimchi on the days she wanted to taste something, and a bland soothing risotto for the days she was nauseated. She started giving tips to her friends with cancer and then expanded to teaching 101 cooking classes at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, where she still teaches classes today 6 years later. Now, with the help of a small staff, Ann runs www.cfyl.org where cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors can find healthy, healing recipes, read about current cancer and nutrition news, and even watch cooking videos – all free of charge!

In little ways cooking can remind you of your strengths – it certainly did for Ann. There’s nothing more empowering than putting nutritious food into your body, especially at a time when you often don’t have control over what goes into or what’s going on inside of your body. Even just steaming a few vegetables can be extremely satisfying.  If you’re unsure where to start, or if cooking intimidates you, The Kicking Kitchen and our website www.cfyl.org , are great resources.  Our site is designed to help people take dietary recommendations from their doctor or registered dietician and turn them into real, healing meals. At www.cfyl.org, you can find recipes based on what type of treatment you’re in, dietary restrictions, or even how you’re feeling. Great resources like The Kicking Kitchen, and CFYL can help you fight cancer with your forks and Cook for Your LIFE!