Inspirational cook book focuses on the needs of patients with cancer

Pic 1: Chef Jeanne Rankin launched the new Cancer Focus NI Well Being Cookbook for people going through cancer treatment with a demo at St George's Market. Jeanne co-wrote the book which can be ordered online at www.cancerfousn.org, or call 9066 3281 or email care@cancerfocusni.org.
Pic 1: Chef Jeanne Rankin launched the new Cancer Focus NI Well Being Cookbook for people going through cancer treatment with a demo at St George's Market. Jeanne co-wrote the book which can be ordered online at www.cancerfousn.org, or call 9066 3281 or email care@cancerfocusni.org.

“The Well Being Cookbook” was sent to me recently by the charity Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

The book was written by former chef Jeanne Rankin, along with two staff members from the charity, Niamh McDaid and Deirdre Conlon.

It’s an inspiringly positive book and deserved winning a World Gourmand cookbook award for best health and nutrition book in Northern Ireland. It will now be up for a worldwide award at the ceremony in China next week.

The book is divided into six categories specific to the needs of patients with cancer, fatigue fighting, eating, swallowing and digestion, simple comfort foods, calorie boosters, veggie and sweet things. It also focuses on general well being with instructions on yoga, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation.

The book is primarily aimed at cancer patients to help with their nutritional needs and helping them keep energy levels up during cancer treatment. Some spicy recipes are there to help counteract the metallic taste many patients experience with treatment.

The recipes are simple to prepare and the accompanying photographs portray fresh and attractive food.

Having tried to get into juicing lately, some of the recipes caught my eye. The resulting juice tastes great and you have to appreciate the health benefits, but I still hate cleaning the thing! It’s a small price to pay.

One of the recipes from the the Well Being book includes kale, ginger and chia seeds. Kale is one of my favourite things to eat and is surprisingly good juiced with apples and ginger. Their recipe includes chia seeds which are rich in Omega 3, fibre, magnesium and calcium, and will provide you with sustained energy and prolongs hydration.

Linwoods, the Armagh based health food company, sell chia seeds alongside nearly every other you can imagine! Their seed combinations are great just sprinkled over yoghurt and aid digestion to boot.

Adding seeds to juices or smoothies really ups the ante in the health stakes and actually gives them a lovely nut dimension.

I try to include beetroot into my diet as much as possible now that I’ve discovered I actually like it raw rather than cooked.

The thought of beetroot juice used to make my stomach turn, when I saw bottles of the deep purple juice in bottles in the chemist. But juicing it with beetroot, celery and apple, with a hint of ginger is delicious and healthy too as an added bonus.

An article once said that eating an avocado a day would contribute to naturally lowering your cholesterol. There must be something in it – I eat them regularly and never have a rate over five.

When I first tasted them I thought they were like soap but I’ve acquired a love for them. A friend recently brought me some home from Spain, stowed in her suitcase, along with a big knobbly lemon. A grey, dull Northern Ireland day was temporarily brightened with this treat. The Cancer Focus book features a recipe for spicy guacamole – mashed avocado with lime, garlic, chilli and coriander and is a beautiful, lip smacking way of enjoying this lovely, healthy fruit.

The book is packed with great recipes for every mood and occasion and is available from good local bookshops priced at £9.95 with proceeds going to a brilliant cause.