An essential resource and cookbook for anyone diagnosed with cancer, filled with nearly 100 nourishing recipes designed to support treatment and recovery.
A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, frightening, and uncertain. Like many others, you may be unsure about what to do next. You'll want to learn more about what's ahead and what you should eat to nutritionally support your body at a time when eating and cooking may simply be too challenging. The Living Kitchen will help cancer patients and their caregivers navigate every stage of their cancer therapy, before, during, and after treatment.
Within the pages of this indispensable guide, certified nutritionists Sarah Grossman and Tamara Green provide easy-to-understand, research-based nutritional information on the science behind how food relates to your health and the effects of cancer. As experts in cancercare cooking, Sarah and Tamara have included nearly 100 healthy, easy-to-prepare, whole-food recipes specially designed to relieve specific symptoms and side effects of cancer and its therapies (including loss of appetite, sore mouth, altered taste buds, nausea, and more) and to strengthen your body once in recovery. With energizing snacks and breakfasts; superfood smoothies, juices, and elixirs; soothing soups and stews; and nutrient-rich, flavorful main dishes, these are recipes that you, your family, and your caregivers will all enjoy.
At once informative and inspiring, empowering and reassuring, The Living Kitchen will educate cancer patients and their caregivers about the power of food.
About the authors
TAMARA GREEN and SARAH GROSSMAN are certified nutritionists and the founders of Living Kitchen. They offer private chef, consulting, and meal planning services to clientele throughout Toronto, bringing nutritional support, education, and food to cancer patients and caregivers, as well as people maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Living Kitchen works with clients suffering from a myriad of health issues, including cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, and hormonal imbalance.
Excerpt: The Living Kitchen: Healing Recipes to Support Your Body During Cancer Treatment and Recovery: A Cookbook (by (author) Tamara Green & Sarah Grossman)
PROPER NUTRITION IS KEY
Hearing the words “You have cancer” is an overwhelming and scary experience. During this time, you and your loved ones will work closely with your health care team to figure out the best plan for you. Regardless of the treatment, be it surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or alternative therapies, supporting your body through your diet is essential. Proper nutrition can help keep your body strong as it undergoes intense therapies to kill cancer cells, and what you eat can mitigate common side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Colorful vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and good fats possess antitumor, antiangiogenesis, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic properties. This means that many of the foods you can eat have powerful anticancer nutrients that work to support your health and recovery. These foods act synergistically with each other and with treatments to help speed up recovery time and make some therapies more effective.
SAFE, SUPPORTIVE, AND NOURISHING RECIPES
The recipes in this book are designed to be easy to prepare, wholesome, and delicious. They are meant to be enjoyed by you, your loved ones, and caregivers. We have created this book to feed everyone. What you eat right now, following your diagnosis or during treatment, is important for your health and recovery. But we believe that eating should not be an added stress on top of everything else you’re going through, so we want to make it as simple and as tasty as possible. Our recipes work with all types of treatments and are intended to lessen side effects, as well as guide you on what to eat before, during and after cancer.
Medical treatments can be effective at killing cancer cells; however, they also harm normal cells in the process. This harm is what leads to side effects (hair loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, taste changes, suppressed immunity, low white and red blood cell counts, and fatigue) in the areas of the body where there is constant and normal cell division, growth, and repair, like the digestive tract, mouth, hair, skin, and bone marrow. Please remember that everyone experiences symptoms differently and at different stages during treatment, so what happens to one person may not happen to you.
WHAT DO I EAT NOW?
The big question we get asked by our clients is “What do I eat now?” There is a lot of concern before and during treatment about what to eat, and many people are also concerned about what their families will eat while they’re off receiving treatment. We always encourage our clients to eat a plant-based diet that includes whole, unrefined foods made from scratch. And while we’ve seen different diets (such as vegetarian, ketogenic, and gluten-free) work for different people, as nutritionists, we don’t feel there’s one “best” diet. But we do know one thing: The common thread between all these different diets is the importance of eating an abundance of fresh produce. You’ll learn much more about what to eat during treatment in Chapter 2.
Advance Praise for The Living Kitchen by Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman
“The Living Kitchen is just what cancer patients and their caregivers need. If you or a loved one has just been diagnosed with cancer and you want to know what you should eat, look no further. This step-by-step guide will put your fears at ease and provide you with truly delicious, healing foods to eat during every phase of your journey.”
—Kelly Turner, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds
“The Living Kitchen is a well-researched book and a most welcome alternative for cancer patients and caregivers. It’s a useful resource for anyone with cancer or for anyone who will be helping to provide meals for someone with cancer.”
—Dr. Ellen Warner, MD, medical oncologist, Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Research Institute and professor of medicine, University of Toronto
“The Living Kitchen is a beautiful and important book. With recipes backed in real science that don’t disregard elegance and flavor in favor of their therapeutic properties, this is must-have for anyone on a cancer journey. It’s mouthwatering but more so, it’s filled with empathy and a real understanding of the various types of hardship cancer brings on. Armed with this book, you’ll feel comforted, satiated, and (perhaps) even filled with pleasure during one of life’s most difficult times.”
—Liz Moody, Food Director of mindbodygreen and author of Healthier Together
“The Living Kitchen brought me to tears, not because of the tenderness and brilliance that fill each page, and not because of the deliciousness of the recipes—but because I immediately saw how much easier it would have made my mother’s life (and my own, as one of her primary caregivers) during her battle with cancer. Here is a book that gives those healing, and their families, that most sought-after of gifts during an illness: immediate, tangible, and practical support.”
—Lily Diamond, author of Kale & Caramel
“There is no question that after undergoing a major cancer surgery and reconstruction, patients who are systematically well nourished heal faster and suffer fewer wound complications than those deficient. In today’s era of empowering patients to make cancer-related treatment decisions for themselves, The Living Kitchen serves as an important guide. The topics of ‘what can I eat after a cancer diagnosis?’ and ‘what foods may help me during wound healing after surgery?’ commonly arise with my patients. Having read this informative book, I feel far better educated and equipped to engage my patients in these types of important dialogues about food as medicine for our bodies.”
—Dr. Toni Zhong, MD, Belinda Stronach Chair of UHN Breast Reconstruction Surgery and director of the UHN Breast Reconstruction Program
“The Living Kitchen is brilliant, beautiful, and so incredibly needed. With so many questions that come with a cancer diagnosis, one mighty area that can empower those suffering and their caregivers is to know that the foods we prepare and enjoy are part of the solution—part of healing and recovery, as well as prevention. From how to eat to prepare for treatment to what to eat after, with meal plans and accompanying recipes, this book isn’t just for patients; it will nourish the whole family. This book is an essential resource for every kitchen, whether your home has been touched by cancer or not. I truly can’t recommend it more highly.”
—Meghan Telpner, bestselling author of The UnDiet Cookbook and founder of The Academy of Culinary Nutrition
“Finally, a book to answer the question, ‘What should I eat now that I have cancer?’ The information in The Living Kitchen is presented in such a clear, positive, and visually beautiful way that it will be easily digestible no matter where you are in your cancer journey. This way of eating—mindfully, organically, and supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms—is how we should all be eating throughout our lives. Food is indeed the best medicine.”
—Dr. Jennifer Lang, MD, OB/GYN and gynecologist oncologist
“The Living Kitchen is a beautiful reminder that no one should face this diagnosis alone. Tamara and Sarah’s compassion, empathy, and knowledge shines through every page of this book.”—Jessica Murnane, author of One Part Plant and host of One Part Podcast
“The Living Kitchen brings together the how and why of eating for self-care and recovery. Sarah Grossman and Tamara Green take us from science to practical, and then to delicious, on a journey that teaches us the importance of food for physical and mental health.”
—Laura LaChance MD, psychiatrist and nutritional psychiatry researcher at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
“The Living Kitchen is a beautiful testament to the power of real food during and following a cancer diagnosis. Prioritizing healthy eating during cancer can be exhausting and difficult, but Sarah and Tamara have taken this stress away by curating an exquisite guide of informative yet easily digestible material and accompanying recipes that are simple and deeply nourishing for the body and soul. This book is an authentic, mindful collection of wholesome food and wholesome information that simply strives to empower those that wish to improve their nutrition during cancer. Having personally been through cancer, and seeing patients daily in an adjunctive cancer care setting, I know this book will be a welcome and crucial ally in anyone’s cancer journey.”
—Dr. Martha Sharpe, ND, naturopathic doctor with a clinical focus on adjunctive cancer care at Marsden Centre for Excellence in Integrative Medicine, and cancer survivor
“The mouthwatering pictures of recipes in The Living Kitchen will inspire any reader, with or without a diagnosis of cancer, to pursue healthier eating. I will have copies of this book available in our clinic so that all of our patients, whether chronically ill, obese, or fit, have access to these simple, luscious, and health-promoting recipes.”
—Rachel Farrell, CEO, Harmony Health Medical Clinic and Family Resource Center
"This is exactly the attractive, easy-to-follow book I have been looking for. . . . Moving and empowering, this book is a must-read for anyone trying to incorporate nutrition into the practice of a healthy lifestyle."
--Ronald P. Ciccone, MD, integrative family medicine