Sunday, September 4, 2011

Small Portions, (and chemo. Ick.)

Small portions are, I think, the key to "fighting chemo" and fighting cancer. I learned this from my mom, who, when I used to put heaping portions of food in front her, would react by eating NONE. The smaller the portion, the more she would eat. You can always have seconds!

I also learned this idea from my absolutely most favorite cancer cookbook author, Rebecca Katz, whom I so highly recommend to you. She has a number of cookbooks out, and I would run out and buy at least one for yourself so that you can cook for your cancer fighter. They are: "One Bite at a Time" (aptly named), and "The Cancer Fighting Cookbook."

Do you see all the tabs on top? I hope that is an indication 
of how loved/used this cookbook is to us!

Undergoing chemo often makes you lose your appetite. You can experience nausea or an upset stomach. There are hundreds of different combinations of chemo cocktails, frequency, and, of course, the individual's body that is undergoing chemo. So there is no way to predict how your patient will react and whether he or she will experience a loss of appetite or a disinterest in food. But it is likely that she will encounter it at some point.

My recommendation? That you put tiny, nutritious bowls of food in front of your patient whenever think of it.

-A tiny bowl of blueberries
-A handful of spiced pecans (recipe to follow)
-A homemade mini-muffin. (Take any muffin recipe and cook them in mini muffin tins/paper)
-A mug of Rebecca Katz' Magical Mineral Broth (which contains so many nutrients and minerals, and replenishes your patient, but is just the most soothing-barely-there-drink.)
-Slices of avocado, sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with olive oil
-A smoothie in a teensy little cup
-Little containers of apple sauce (the kinds kids take to school for lunch)

Sliced avocado with sea salt and drizzled with organic olive oil. 
Full of healthy Omega-3 fats!

If you can tempt their taste buds, they may just ask for more. The other day my mom was so out of energy that she hadn't even made breakfast, and had been sitting in "her chair" since waking.  I arrived, and made her a little bowl of nourishing, warm brown rice (that I had waiting in the fridge, and just heated up.) She devoured it in seconds, and said "I had no idea that I was hungry! May I have another bowl? And then lets go out!" It turned her day around.

This recipe is from my delightful friend Devon.  These are so easy to make, and completely addictive. I adapted it slightly to remove the refined sugar. Don't worry about the fact that there is butter in here.  A little bit every now and then is ok. Everything in moderation.

Spiced Pecans

4 Tbsp. Agave nectar (or, alternatively, 1/3 cup sugar, if you must)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 lb. pecan halves

-Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
-Heat all ingredients (except pecans) in a large saucepan until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved
-Add nuts and toss until coated
-Pour onto baking sheet (with sides)
-Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
-Stir nuts occasionally as they cool, so they don't clump together
-When cool they will be crunchy, delicious, healthy snacks!
-Store in airtight container

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