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Using Real Food to Help Kick Cancer
by Kendall Scott CHHC on August 26, 2015
by Kendall Scott CHHC on August 26, 2015
For anyone who has ever heard the words “You have cancer,” life as hereto known begins to crumble. Suddenly, thrown into Cancer World, you are left reeling and attempting to figure out: What do I do now? Medical doctors have one set of recommendations about what needs to happen and this usually involves some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But stuck in this life-or-death situation, you want to know: What else is there? There has to be more I can do to up my chances of beating this scary disease. There is.
Unless you are lucky enough to be treated in a center which takes an integrative approach to cancer from the get-go, you are unlikely to find any other ideas coming from those whose primary goal is treating your cancer. But you can put together your own integrative and holistic Cancer-Kicking Team, which may include everything from acupuncture to Reiki and beyond – all of which can be supportive in physical, mental and spiritual ways during your cancer experience. But there is another important and powerful team member, often neglected, which we at The Kicking Kitchen and our friends at Cook for Your Life would encourage you to include: Real, Whole Food.
Focusing on filling your plate with vegetables and fruits in an array of colors, whole grains like quinoa, millet and brown rice and more plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds give your body the nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals it needs to heal faster, stay strong during treatment, and bounce back more quickly. Such a diet is anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, energizing, mood-balancing and cancer-kicking.
Can what you put on your plate have that big of an impact? In a word: yes!
When cancer surTHRIVERS, friends and authors of Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, Kendall Scott and Annette Ramke changed the way they viewed what they were putting into their bodies while going through cancer – when they focused on crowding out the processed foods, simple carbs and sugary drinks and adding in life-giving, nourishing, real food, they steadily and very noticeably experienced greater well being, more energy and better moods than ever before, while in the midst of cancer treatment!
Real food can play a huge role in maintaining and regaining health. In a world in which so much is, to a great extent, out of our control, what we put on our plates and hence into our bodies is a decision over which we do have control. It is something we can take into our own hands and use to support our health and well-being. When framed this way, getting into your kitchen to cook a meal changes from being a dreaded chore to a radical act of self-care.
And don’t worry: We know if you’re living on takeout pizza and ice cream, the idea of eating a more nourishing, unprocessed diet with foods like kale and quinoa can seem downright daunting (we’ve been there!). One of the ways we support you in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, and at CFYL is by offering step-by-step advice and tips on how to get on a better track with food. For example, you may want to focus on simply adding in a leafy green vegetable every day (like kale, spinach, dark lettuces) or just try sautéing up some kale, if it’s a new veggie in your repertoire!
On the other hand, if you’re on a pizza and ice cream diet because you’re in the middle of treatment and feel like that’s all you can actually stomach – well, we’ve been there too. And sometimes you just have to eat anything you can get (and keep) down. However, we also like to suggest making small improvements in these choices that still work for your stomach. Try the organic ice cream or a more natural brand with ingredients you can recognize and pronounce. Try making your pizza from home and add some veggies (enlist some help if you’re too tired to put it together!).
Whether you are facing cancer, or working to prevent it, empower yourself and support your body with the delicious, cancer-kicking goodness of real food.
Bio: Kendall Scott was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 27. She quickly became her own health advocate to do all she could, alongside her doctors, to heal from cancer and adopted a “food as medicine” philosophy. She is a board certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Kendall (and Coauthor, Annette Ramke) recently published Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen: The Girlfriend’s Cookbook and Guide to Using Real Food to Fight Cancer, which was named #3 of The Top 25 Cookbooks of 2012 by The Daily Meal. She and Annette offer support at The Kicking Kitchen, helping women find their groove in cancer, life and the kitchen.
About Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen: Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen is the ultimate resource for the woman who has been handed the cancer card–and for the one who never wants to get it. Authors Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott are cancer survivors, so they know exactly what it’s like to deal with “the Big C.” Here they share girlfriend-style, real-life knowledge and experience about the healing power of food, along with their stories of cancer ups and downs–with more than 100 plant-based recipes for fighting cancer and soothing symptoms of treatment. Whether someone is in the thick of “Cancer World” and wants to know what to expect, or for anyone who wants to do all they can to boost their health, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen offers guidance on not only surviving, but thriving—in prevention and during and after cancer.