In this section, you will learn easy to understand Cooking for Chemo techniques for cancer fighters. It is highly suggested that you begin by reading the Introduction to Cooking for Chemo and work through reading each lesson in the presented order.
The cooking ideas, techniques, and tips build on what you read in each previous lesson. To get the full benefit, start at the beginning and read your way through.
Remember, it is not the recipes on our website that will help you overcome eating related chemotherapy side effects, it is the Cooking for Chemo ideas, techniques, and tips that will enable you to learn to adjust your cooking for your specific flavor and food preferences.
All of these cooking theory and techniques are discussed in greater detail in our cookbook, “Cooking for Chemo …and After!”
Foundations of Cooking for Chemo
These articles are the foundation of everything Cooking for Chemo. They focus on teaching you how to understand the eating experience and how your taste perception changes during cancer treatments. You will also learn about flavor and how understand what you are tasting and experiencing while you eat.
Everyone is different. If there is nothing else that you learn from Cooking for Chemo, this is the single most important idea that you can take with you. Because everyone is different, not every solution is as simple as one size fits all. Because of this, you will have to do much leg work and at home participation to adapt these techniques that I will teach you to your own personal situation.
This article introduces you to Cooking for Chemo. It presents the material you will learn, why you need to know it, and the learning objectives of Cooking for Chemo.
Understanding the Eating Experience is the most important lesson of Cooking for Chemo.
The very first idea you must understand when cooking for someone undergoing chemotherapy treatments is how flavors and the eating experience are perceived. In my experience, I have learned that it is not the flavors of the foods that cancer patients eat but their perception of these foods that have changed. Chemotherapy plays havoc on the entirety of your body, not just the cancer cells it is targeting. This is why your hair falls out, your skin gets sores, and your nails become brittle. The same effects can also be felt on all of your sensory organs as well.
Learning how you perceive flavors helps you to identify what flavors taste delicious, and which ones taste gross.
This exercise takes everything that you’ve learned in the previous exercises and allows you to practice experimenting with the five flavors in a controlled environment.
This article continues the discussion of the five flavors, and teaches you about what happens when you mix them in varying quantities.
Herbs and spices form the basis of the aromatic portion of the eating experience. This article focuses on the differences between herbs and spices, and their roles in cooking.
The aromatic portion of the eating experience forms the basis of many culinary experiences. This article explores this idea and explains to you how to understand good smells, bad smells, and their link to hunger and nausea.
Learning your flavor palate takes a little bit of work, but it is well worth it! Up until now, we have been discussing what flavor is and where it comes from. Understanding the simple culinary theories on flavor is very important. By understanding flavor and its root, you can begin to understand how to develop flavors you love. You also learn to omit, augment, or modify flavors that you don’t like. Many dishes or recipes may also contain a food that you may not care for, but was important for a specific flavor quality that needed to be extracted.
The skill of identifying individual scents and smells is a strength that every cancer fighter needs in their arsenal. This skill allows you to identify which aspects of a recipe are beneficial to your appetite, and which ones are damaging to your appetite.
Strong Smells and Pungency are highly linked to induced nausea. This article discusses this idea in detail.
Understanding the function and relationship of individual components in a recipe helps you during the cooking process. Understanding the function of an ingredient allows you to quickly make substitutions or replacements on the fly.
This at home exercise helps you to identify the tastes, smells, and components in a recipe. It also teaches you how to utilize a tasting journal to create a log of foods that you have had success with and those you have not had success with.
Application of Cooking for Chemo
Articles in this section focus on practical applications of Cooking for Chemo techniques.
What are metallic tastes? What causes them and how to combat them. This article focuses on teaching you how to understand metallic tastes.
Palate cleansing is the single most important weapon against metallic tastes. This is why Palate Cleansing gets an article all to itself.
Loss of Appetite is a side-effect that can actually kill you. It is vitally important that you learn how to combat Loss of Appetite to avoid cachexia.
The first step in combating nausea is identifying the source of your nausea. This article teaches you how to identify the source of your nausea.
After you can identify the sources of your nausea, we can now focus on cooking-related solutions to nausea.
Mouth sores suck. They hurt and can make eating extremely painful. This article teaches you everything you need to know about mouth sores.
Dysphagia, is an unfortunate side-effect of head and neck cancers. It can be short term or permanent. This article gives you helpful and practical advice on how to address this issue head-on.
Chemo diarrhea is a real thing. This article teaches you everything you need to do to handle this embarrassing side-effect.
Chemo constipation is no fun. Not only is it uncomfortable, but getting backed up can have negative consequences on your appetite.
This article takes all of the previous information and puts it into a short but effective explanation that anyone can understand. This article is the perfect article to send to a friend who wants to cook for you.
More Cooking for Chemo Info
This section focuses on general cooking, nutritional, and sanitation information.
This article discusses the essential ingredients that you need to have in addition to the actual recipes that you intend to cook. Having a well stocked pantry gives you versatility and the ability to put together new dishes on the fly.
Does the idea of all the different forms of salt give you a headache? This article discusses this concept and breaks down the differences between the different salts in an easy to understand manner.
Umami is a word you hear all the time these days. This article discusses the relationship between umami, savory, msg, miso and soy.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that cleanliness is next to godliness. In this article I teach you why a properly sanitized cooking environment is extremely important to a cancer fighter’s life.
Cross contamination is a potentially life-threatening situation for a cancer fighter. This article teaches you what cross contamination is and how to avoid it.
Preparing and Cooking your food in safe ways helps to reduce the incidences of food borne illness.
I know that salad tastes great, but there are a few concerns you need to think about if you are eating raw veggies during chemo.
This article teaches you how to properly store food to prevent food poisoning.
This article teaches you how to defrost frozen food in a safe manner to avoid food poisoning.
What is the difference between a nutritionist and dietitian? This article explores the difference between the two and their functions.
Macro nutrients are the first concept that you need to understand to properly comprehend nutrition.
Calories are a unit of measurement. They are commonly used to discuss the energy values of different foods. This article discusses calories in depth and explains how to use them in your life.
The best recipes in the world are the ones that you make for yourself. This article teaches you how to craft healthy recipes that you’re going to love.
Designing a menu for the week is the first step in not only eating well, but keeping your grocery budget on track.
Grocery shopping on a budget helps you save money and eat better. This article teaches you how to make a budget and stick to it.
What is the deal with organic food? Is it healthier for you? Isn’t that why organic grocery store chains exist in the first place? This article discusses what organic food is and whether it really is worth all the hype.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of chemo treatments during the holidays, this article is for you.