10 years ago, I was on a fast-track to diabetes, autoimmune issues and Lord knows what else, had I not figured out how to take care of myself.
You are what you eat--I spent too many years fueling my body with Twinkies, Doritos and Dr. Pepper!
Read more of my stories and check out easy recipes on Heather's Natural Health
I found a great book to give to someone (or maybe yourself) that will help make that transition easier.
"The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen" shows you how to use food as medicine. It was created for cancer patients going through treatment but I think it's good for anyone who wants to learn how to cook and eat better.
If you have a chronic disease, adding whole foods to your diet can only help.
Rebecca Katz created the cookbook--she has excellent credentials--Masters of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education and culinary training from a school I would love to attend: New York's Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. She also works with patients at a cancer center in California. Rebecca stopped by the TV station so I could interview her. She has seen the dramatic difference between cancer patients who eat nutrient rich foods and those who don't.
Her top 5 cancer fighting foods include: garlic, onions (anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial) Dark, leafy greens from the cabbage family including kale and broccoli and spices like turmeric, found in curry dishes (anti-inflammatory, aids in digestion).
I recently interviewed an M.D. Anderson Cancer researcher about the health benefits of turmeric/curcumin.
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen includes 150 science based recipes designed to taste good and be good for you!
She shared some of the recipes with us:
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen/Emerald Greens with Orange
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
6 cups stemmed, chopped Swiss chard in bite-size pieces
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
Heat olive oil in a large saute' pan over medium heat, then add garlic, red pepper flakes, cranberries and orange juice and saute' for 30 seconds. Add the chard, salt, zest and saute' until chard starts to darken. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the greens to a bowl, then bring the liquid in the pan to a boil. When the liquid thickens a bit, stir the greens back in, along with the maple syrup. You may want to add another pinch of salt.
You can also put pomegranate seeds over the greens just before serving.
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen/Almond Muffin Mania
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup organic milk (or almond milk)
2 organic eggs
1/4 cup unrefined organic coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare mini muffin tin by oiling each cup. Combine almond meal,spelt flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined. Separately, combine agave nectar, mashed banana, milk, eggs, oil, almond and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well with rubber spatula.
Spoon batter into the muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until muffins spring back from touch. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen before they pop out.
*For ginger/lemon muffins, add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the dry ingredients/ Omit the extracts and add 3 tablespoons chopped, peeled fresh ginger, 3 tablespoons of lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to wet ingredients.