I wanted to share this blog as I have had many messages asking me about what I ate throughout chemotherapy and how I kept my energy levels balanced, as much as I could, through nutrition and also keeping as active as I could.
In this blog I wanted to share a simple pasta dish recipe and ideas for meals when you have those days you crave carbs. Chemotherapy left me having carb munchies, similar to a terrible hangover and all you want to do is eat foods that usually don’t hold much nutritional value. Throughout treatment you need to keep your energy up as much as you can for obvious reasons and eating the right foods certainly made things ‘easier’ for me. There’s another issue, having no appetite the other end of the spectrum, here again is where problems with food choices got me at times very confused, I knew I needed to eat but I certainly didn’t want junk food as for me I knew this would make me feel worse after.
I would like to point out here also that you need to eat, so I am certainly not saying you can only eat certain foods I just want to give you a few ideas all based on my experience and I really hope it helps as a starting point. You could also share this blog with love ones and friends so they can get their head around some meal ideas for you, as of course there are times where your energy does drop and at this point having meals cooked for you is a complete saviour.
I’m starting with ‘Carb, stodgy’ foods as I know this is something I craved at times and I understand this is the most confusing of foods to know what is good and what is bad.
If you are following my journey you will know that I chose to change to a plant based lifestyle after 1 round of chemotherapy so I hope to share all I learnt with you over the next months. I am not a doctor or nutritionist and this is all based on my experience with chemotherapy, I think through such rubbish times I did quite a good job in giving my body nutritional food at a time when the drugs were stripping everything good and bad.
A Simple Scummy tomato spinach Pasta (Plant based/Vegan)
This is so simple, fresh ingredients and a good lot of nutrients. I would have this and any left overs would be fine for the next day lunch or dinner.
3 Tbsp Olive Oil – 1 x Onion – 3 x Garlic Cloves Crushed – – 1 Small bag Spinach – 1 Red Chilli — 1 handful fresh parsley chopped – 25 cherry tomatoes – 1 Tsp Bouillon – 1 Tsp Dried oregano – 1 Tsp Thyme – 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree — 1 Juice of lemon – Salt & Pepper.
200 g Spelt Spaghetti (you can also use whole wheat spaghetti or lentil pasta here just avoid the white pasta if you can. Of course if you are gluten intolerant avoid wheat, however you can use the lentil pasta or gluten free pastas)
Put the pasta on to cook as per packet instructions.
In a frying pan put the oil, onion, garlic, chilli, thyme and oregano. Let these cook for 5 minutes then cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add those to the pan with the tomato puree and the 1 tsp bouillon. Let this cook for another 5 minutes adding some salt and pepper. Add the juice of 1 lemon and stir that in and then add the bag of spinach to the top with the fresh chopped parsley and put a lid over the top to cover and turn the hob off. Meanwhile drain the spaghetti when cooked and then add that back to the pasta pan, to that pan add the sauce and spinach and stir it into the spaghetti until all mixed together. Serve it up.
I love to top mine with nutritional yeast and a little extra fresh parsley.
Tip – if you are feeling it cook up some broccoli and once done add this to your pasta for some extra green goodness.
This is so simple, tastes great and removes that carb crave but giving you goodness in the process. Show this to your partner or family member and get them to cook it for you on the days you don’t feel up to it.
I am going over the next few weeks share my favourite meals with you. Hoping to give you some inspiration and in turn give you that goodness our bodies are craving. Cooking kept me sane through chemo, in fact it was my therapy I am so passionate about it and if I can help in any way I will.
I am also looking into working with my nurses and hosting some cooking classes for those going through cancer treatment so I can share what I have learnt and also have some fun in the process.
Another Tip, get out and walk. I walked every day through chemo it gave me time to process my thoughts whilst keeping active. Doing so got my body moving and made me feel less tired, as much as there are times you want to sit and watch box sets through fatigue there’s nothing quite like a good walk to shake of the worries and to get some fresh air.
Helpful Product Links
Bouillon Powder :- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marigold-Vegan-Bouillon-Powder-Less/dp/B002E2HTLU/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1532890787&sr=8-1&keywords=boulion
Nutritional Yeast :- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marigold-Engevita-Yeast-B12-Pack/dp/B00A4C48LQ/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1532890843&sr=1-4&keywords=nutritional+yeast
Spelt Spaghetti :- https://www.amazon.co.uk/PACK-Organic-Wholewheat-Spaghetti-BUNDLE/dp/B00V6HNM1A/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1532890870&sr=1-3-spons&keywords=wholewheat+spaghetti&psc=1