Cancer cookbook: healthy recipes and nutrition tipsRandall Smitham November 2, 2019 3 Comments
As a cancer survivor, Jean LaMantia knows firsthand the effect cancer treatment can have on appetite. In just one week, she lost ten pounds. I couldn’t even look at food, I couldn’t watch the television in case there was a commercial about food. As a registered dietitian, the issue really hit home. Jean’s experiences, and those of her own patients, prompted her to write this new book: The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook. Recipes that cater to different skill levels in the kitchen, different energy levels, different appetites. So I really think there’s nothing like this book available for cancer patients and their caregivers. And at different stages of cancer, important because the right foods can help empower and energize cancer patients as well as reduce their risk of infection and time in hospital. Jean recommends increasing intake of plant-based foods. So that’s your fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices. She also recommends limiting intake of red meat, refined grains and alcohol, and avoiding processed meats and soft drinks. This is to help reduce dietary sources of inflammation and elevated insulin levels. Dr. Neil Berinstein was Jean’s oncologist, and also consulted on the book. He says until now, evidence-based information on the nutritional needs of cancer patients has been scattered. It will give good advice to patients on how to cope with things like dry mouth and nausea, trouble with appetite of or other nutritional requirements in special situations. I think there are many different sections there that will provide very practical but well researched information for the cancer patient and family. The book includes quotes and insights from other cancer survivors, sharing their advice, experiences and practical tips on how you can apply relevant research to your advantage. For example, the way food is presented can be as important as the food itself. Presentation can have a big impact. So simply by changing the exact same food here you see here on a brown napkin, a white place and a nicer plate with a design and place setting can make a big difference in the appeal for a person who doesn’t have a good appetite. And keep in mind the serving size. Jeans says sometimes, smaller portions are better. Now a program leader at the cancer support centre Wellspring, Jean hopes the book will become another part of a patient’s care team. I wanted to design this book so it could be the go to resource. So it can really open up a lot of doors because it gives you some questions to talk to your care team about. The book is now available online at most major bookstores, and also at the Odette Cancer Centre. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.