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Book review


Book review

Two cancer survivors have created a cookbook that provides cancer patients and survivors with food advice and recipes that care for the body.

Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen: The Girlfriend’s Cookbook and Guide to Using Real Food to Fight Cancer
by Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott
Running Press 2012, 336 pages, $25.50
ISBN: 978-0-7624-4677-3

It’s probably the only anticancer book to be described as “friendly.” Albeit an unlikely adjective for a book about such a serious topic, this co-authored friendly guidebook is just what the doctor should order for patients and those at risk of a cancer diagnosis.

Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen is the work of two cancer survivors (with three cancer diagnoses between them) who were unable to find the resources they needed (and in a format that spoke to them) when they most needed the help.

Now cancer-free but not unscathed, the women are highly qualified to help others to navigate complicated, confusing, challenge-filled, and ultimately lonely cancer journeys. Having developed and tested a “cancer-kicking toolbox” of resources, the integrative approach is fundamental to their book, and central to everything is the substantiated fact that “real food changes everything.”

No matter how you slice it, cancer is a life-changing disease, and it’s so helpful to read the transformative stories of two cancer survivors whose journey took them to unexpected places. Gradually the authors shifted from a diet of takeout pizza and meat and potatoes to embracing green veggies and whole grains. Even during treatment they began to feel more energetic and saw side effects decrease. Then came the realization that with mindful eating, “You aren’t just cooking dinner anymore: you are caring for your body.”

There are strategies and recipe suggestions for helping with fatigue, headaches, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and nausea. Read about hair loss, and the loneliness of living with those who simply do not understand.

Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen speaks to us on the level—one girlfriend to another. Anyone who is dealing with the harsh reality of cancer prevention, treatment, or recovery needs to hear timely truths, not patronizing soft-talk or preaching. This book works because Ramke and Scott don’t mince their words. Instead they offer part guidebook and part cookbook that is peppered with refreshingly honest and insightful personal experiences.

With Mother’s Day approaching, consider this book as one of the best gifts to give someone you know who is immersed in the world of cancer or defending themselves against its possibility.

Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen



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