Cook for Your LIFE is a nonprofit organization whose 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.
Taking care of yourself is always important, but during cancer treatment it’s crucial. One of the key ways to deal with the rigors of treatment is to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet of healthy, nourishing food.
Our recipes are easy to make, easy to digest, and full of the nutrients and vitamins you need to sustain yourself both during and after treatment.
We believe that it’s not only the act of eating that can be part of the healing process, but also the act of cooking. Cooking is a simple, easy way to take back the sense of control often lost during cancer treatment. Sometimes just the act of heating up a bowl of homemade soup can feel empowering.
Cooking and eating the foods that provide all the nutrients you need doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating, and it certainly doesn’t have to be boring. CFYL founder Ann Ogden is a two-time survivor, so we understand that stepping into the kitchen can be daunting on days you’re feeling tired or depleted from treatment. But cooking doesn’t have to be elaborate or labor intensive to be healing. Even at its most basic, cooking is a way to give yourself a fulfilling combination of nutrition and much-needed TLC.
Increasingly, studies are exploring links between nutrition and cancer, both during treatment and as a means of prevention. CFYL's Ann Ogden is co-author with investigators at Columbia University, on an NIH/NCI funded study, currently in session, that explores ways to successfully make sustainable healthy changes to the diets of Latina breast cancer survivors.
Although it's not known if a certain diet or certain nutrients can keep cancer from recurring, for improved health both the American Cancer Society and the Mayo Clinic recommend a diet that emphasizes a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The Mayo Clinic provides the following guidelines for those in treatment and for general good health:
- Base your diet on fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
- Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and may increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which may, in turn, increase cancer risk.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Our recipes cover foods that satisfy a wide range of needs and cravings, from hearty to light, exotic to comforting. They can easily be adapted to suit your needs as they evolve throughout treatment and into a healthier life beyond.