Life under the dark cloud of breast cancer is difficult. Normal life as you know it ceases to exist and life instead becomes a relentless conveyor belt of scans, tests, stress, fear, surgery, drains, pain, physio, needles, bloods, anxiety, tears, hormones, chemo, hair loss, sadness, […]
Today I went to a Maggies centre for the first time. Less than a year ago, Maggies opened a new centre at St. Barts Hospital, London. This just happens to be a stone’s throw from my office, so I decided to pop over in my […]
The menopause is not just about hot flushes and no more periods. It is about taking some time to re-set yourself: adjust your crown and move forward. How come nobody really talks about the menopause? I honestly didn’t know much about the menopause before it […]
I don’t know about you, but I love a foodie instagram post. I also love food websites, twitter posts about food and foodie blogs. There is something so inspiring about seeing photos of nice food: I feel the need to go away and make something amazing in my kitchen. I am particularly fond of the healthy eating writers and bloggers. It is not just because of breast cancer that I want to eat healthily; it was important to me for a number of years before cancer (so yes, I do ask myself “if I ate healthily, why did I get cancer?“). But, having had breast cancer does reinforce the need to eat healthily, avoid certain foods, limit others and eat plenty of the “good stuff”.
I have previously written about eating during chemo, but with treatment behind me, I am now focusing on eating delicious, nourishing, healthy food and experimenting with new recipes and new ingredients. And with this renewed energy in the kitchen, I thought that it might be helpful to review a few breast cancer cook books and recipes which would be suitable whether you are going through treatment or have finished treatment and, like me, you are keen to maintain a healthy diet.
During chemo I bought two recipe books. The first, “The Breast Cancer Cookbook” by Professor Mohammed Keshtgar, a consultant breast cancer specialist at the Royal Free London. This book was recommended to me by a friend who had cared for her mother through breast cancer. And I remember her telling me that she and her family continued to eat recipes from the book long after the breast cancer treatment ended. That said a lot. So I bought the book. And there are some gorgeous recipes in it. This is a review of the coconut fish curry with cauliflower rice. Whilst writing this blog post, I actually found the recipe online at Prima magazine so you can try it out, but please do consider getting the actual book because there are lots of other lovely recipes to try (plus some generally helpful information about eating healthily).
This curry is really nutritious and so easy to make. It is one of those recipes that looks like it is going to be complicated and take a while, but take my word for it, it is not. It takes me around 20 minutes to make and that includes both the preparation and cooking time (and I am by no means a particularly good cook). It is versatile: the recipe asks for cod but sometimes I make it with salmon which is delicious. You can also add other things into the curry – today I added broccoli, but you could also add other vegetables such as kale, spinach or cabbage (just to add in a few more vitamins and minerals).
There is the option to add chilli flakes if you wish – this will depend on your mouth and taste buds if you are going through chemo. If you leave them out the curry is still delicious – but it smoother and gentler on your mouth. The recipe serves the curry with “cauliflower rice” which is just very finely chopped cauliflower. However, there is no reason why you can’t serve it with rice (possibly wholegrain to maintain the healthiness of the meal) or couscous.
Some of the key “good for you” ingredients are:
Fresh ginger: this is a powerful anti-inflammatory which helps reduce pain, alleviates discomfort and pain in the stomach and can help with nausea.
Ground turmeric: there is a lot of information about turmeric around the internet. One of the main components of turmeric is curcumin which is understood to have some pretty significant healing properties. It is recommended it for its anti-inflammatory properties. For more information you can read what Jane Clarke has to say about turmeric in her Nourish blog .
Cod or salmon: Fish is an excellent choice of protein. Cod is a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is especially rich in lean protein and vitamin B-12. On the other hand, salmon is a particularly excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12) but it is their content of omega-3 fatty acids which sets it apart from other fish.
I have previously written about the types of gifts that you can give someone who is going through cancer treatment and one of the popular choices is to give what is commonly called, a “cancer care package“. These are boxes or bags or baskets full […]
Walking. Now there’s a word we often hear during treatment for breast cancer. “Go for a walk.” “Walking is good exercise during treatment.” “You can’t beat walking as exercise during cancer treatment.” “Make sure you exercise: walking is a good one.” But seriously, going for […]