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!