Notes from the Farmers’ Market ChefPosted by hclibrary on Oct 22, 2012 in Cancer, Reviews | 0 comments
by Barbara Cornell
Everyone must know by now that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Why, my newspaper today actually came printed on pink paper! A lot of media are clamoring for our attention this month. Let’s look at a few books that will help us through the maze of women’s health, especially breast health.
Booklist Online is a publication of the American Library Association for “librarians, book groups and book lovers.” The October 1, 2012 issue features a “Read-alikes” article by Donna Seaman on “Good Food, Good Health.” I thought I’d check out a few of her eight choices and tell you what they offer.
The Betty Crocker Cookbook for Women, 2007, is more than a cookbook. It is a “complete guide to women’s health and wellness at every stage of life.” Before they get to the recipes—which are clear, simple and beautifully photographed—the Betty Crocker editors write for over 30 pages on the “Ages and stages of life.” Their healthful advice touches on choices when eating out, stress, exercise at different stages of life, and much more. Also chiming in with a Q & A and with sidebar notes on many recipes is cardiologist Dr. Rita Redberg. With its additional charts on health concerns and recommended screenings by age, this is a book that should be valuable throughout a woman’s life.
More specific to the fight against cancer is The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, 2009, by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson. The authors offer “nourishing, big-flavor recipes for cancer treatment and recovery.” The goal here is to strengthen the body’s cells to reduce cancer growth, decrease inflammation, maintain healthy blood sugar, withstand the rigors of chemotherapy, and—perhaps most important—improve appetite. Before we get to the recipes, there is a lot to read–all in a very engaging and encouraging style. The authors stand behind the science backing up their recommendations. I can’t endorse or deny their claims, but I know that faith and a positive attitude are extremely important in recovery. This book is like comfort food and helps you feel there’s someone fighting with you!
Breast Cancer: 50 Essential Things You Can Do, 2011, by Greg Anderson, founder of Cancer Recovery International, is very pink—you can’t miss it. Mr. Anderson’s book is enthusiastically endorsed by Christiane Northrup, M.D., “a leading proponent of medicine that acknowledges the unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit.” The book is self-described as a “life-saving guide, a roadmap for women on the journey through breast cancer.” I think that having 50 essential things to concentrate on and “check off,” if you will, must be a helpful way to focus energy. At the end of the book is a short section on “Food as medicine” with some helpful advice on what to banish from your kitchen and what to stock up on.
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, 2012, by Florence Williams, is not exactly a health book although that’s where we have put it in the Howard County Library System. It’s more of a, well, humorously serious science book with a bit of cultural anthropology thrown in. She says, “We love breasts, yet we can’t quite take them seriously.” She uses her own life experience to illustrate the stages women go through and how we view our bodies. To a person who is going through a life-altering breast disease, I would say: “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry—but read this book!”
I am left with a thought– if only it were so easy to banish such a horrible disease simply by how we eat. Have a happy and healthy Breast Cancer Awareness Month.