Living the Good Life – from Climb4Life Utah

July 25, 2011

By Jessica Kinghorn, Climb4Life Utah Event Coordinator

We, here in Utah, are excited to celebrate our 10th event this September. We are continually grateful for all the support and encouragement our volunteers and participants have given us over the years.

In return, we hope we’ve provided you with an energizing event allowing you to meet new people, climb, laugh, party . . . all the things that keep all of us coming back for more. This year, we wanted to provide you with more information on not only ovarian cancer, but information on living the “good life.” In the next months, and hopefully beyond, you’ll find on this blog:
• Climbing and other exercise tips from the experts to help you get the most out of your event training or daily exercise
• Nutrition tips to keep you fueled throughout your day
• Delicious, seasonal cancer-fighting recipes
• Inspiring stories and fundraising from those who have been affected by ovarian cancer
• Info on upcoming events like our HERA Climb for Life Utah event September 15-18

Ovarian cancer touches so many lives, young and old, why not do something today to contribute to your own health and the health of those around you? Follow our blog and join our Climb for Life Utah event in September. You’ll be glad you did.

HERA is a nationally recognized ovarian cancer nonprofit organization funding cutting-edge research grants to leading young scientists at respected medical institutions. Our goal is to expand the scientific understanding of ovarian cancer while improving the lives of those battling this disease.

Below you’ll find our first blog installment, an interview with Rebecca Katz, author of the new cookbook The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. Ms. Katz helped us learn more about the science and culinary art behind an anti-cancer diet.

1) What was the genesis of your book, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen?
To empower people at a time in their life when everything is so out of your control. Food has tremendous power to help facilitate healing in your body. It is just as important as the other things you are doing to battle cancer.
Science is telling us that what we eat matters, and the more inhospitable environments we make our bodies for cancer and the more nourished we can make our bodies during treatment and recovery, our outcomes can improve. This can be very empowering when you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis.

2) Tell me about the science behind nourishing yourself when undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment. What are some ways one would treat themselves differently than if they were not going through treatment?
Well, actually, there shouldn’t be any difference. When you’re going through cancer treatment, you are dealing with a tremendous amount of free radicals roaming around your body. Think about your house being really dirty. Free radicals, or your house dust, can damage cells. You are bringing in foods rich in antioxidents and phytochemicals to “clean up the mess.” They’ll help plump up and strengthen the healthy cells that are still around, strengthening your immune system to help you get through treatments better. This practice is no different than when you’re healthy because we need to be proactive in keeping our body cleaned up and in the best shape.

3) How can the theories about eating in this cookbook be applied to the cooking habits of a person just looking to eat more healthfully?
Every day I eat phytochemical, antioxidant-rich foods (like blueberries or dark leafy greens) I am just creating an inhospitable environment for bad stuff to hang out in my body. Why wouldn’t you do that when you’re healthy?

4) What are some key cancer-fighting ingredients that make regular appearances in your book? What makes them so important to good health?
Herbs and spices, for sure. Things like tumeric, cumin, basil, peppermint, parsley, olive oil . . . all of these are cancer-fighting ingredients. Peppermint is one of the allstars for its anti-cancer, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Basil also works hard. It’s not only quite tasty, but is antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and it’s an NFKB inhibitor (like the master switch that prevents cancer cells from spreading.) I designed the recipes so they are nutrient dense. Not one calorie is wasted and every ingredient offers some benefit.

5) What combinations of ingredients can together pack a more powerful anti-cancer punch than when used alone?
Well, for example, tumeric is an incredible cancer-fighting spice, but it is really effective when combined with  black pepper. When used together, the anti-cancer chemicals become much more bioavailable to the body. Really, any time you can combine cancer-fighting foods, you are upping the ante.  Also, the benefits of one food may work better in your body than others, and vice versa. As I like to say, one person’s sweet potato may be another person’s squash.

6) For those with sensitive stomachs because of chemotherapy or other health treatments/concerns, what are some tips to help them get back on the road to eating well?
Start small, with broth. Then move to a soup. The idea is to eat small portions more frequently and keeping yourself hydrated in small sips, not gulps. Small life rafts of tasty bites of yum are going to serve you much better than someone putting a big plate of food in front of you. Then, when you graduate to more solids, think about what kind of an eater you are. Are you a “smooth and creamy” or “crisp and crunchy?”  If you are a crispy kind of person, why not try whole wheat pita chips with sea salt instead of Saltines?  Then, maybe you can graduate to a dip to spread on that. Slow and steady wins the race when you’re feeling poorly. The further away you get from treatment, the more likely your appetite will return.

7) What are some of your favorite recipes in the book?
Magic mineral broth (recipe below).  The success stories I’ve gotten about that recipe are amazing. I feel like it’s my main culinary contribution to the cancer fight. It’s the most nourishing broth with the perfect balance of electrolytes.

Rebecca Katz is a nationally recognized expert on the role of food in supporting health during cancer treatment. As a consultant, speaker, teacher and chef, Rebecca works closely with patients, physicians, nurses, and wellness professionals to include the powerful tool of nutrition in their medical arsenal.
Learn more about her book and gather some recipes
Get updates and recipes
Purchase the book

Magic Mineral Broth
6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
2 unpeeled yellow onions, cut into chunks
1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
1 bunch celery, inculdin the heart, cut into thirds
4 unpeeled red potatoes, quaterered
2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quaretered
1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 8-inch strip of kombu
12 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice or juniper berries
2 bay leaves
8 quarts cold, unfiltered water
1 t salt

REBECCA’s NOTES: Like fine wine, this broth gets better with age. The longer the simmer time, the better tasting the more nutrient dense the broth will be. You can also cut the recipe in half and make it in a slow cooker.

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