Thinking about switching up your daily habits? Add these reads to your TBR.
“Beat Cancer Kitchen: Deliciously Simple Plant-Based Anticancer Recipes” by Chris Wark
“Beat Cancer Kitchen” is a plant-based cookbook that also gives plenty of nutrition tips to readers on how to take control of their health. Chris Wark was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer at only 26 years old. After surgery, instead of going the traditional chemotherapy route, he decided to radically change his diet and lifestyle. After making several changes, including adopting an all plant-based diet, he is in remission from colon cancer and is still cancer-free to this day. This cookbook is a reflection of his hard work and effort to not only change his life, but to be an advocate for a holistic approach to healing your body from the inside out.
“Overnight, I converted to a raw food diet, eating only fruits and vegetables, all organic. I got really excited about flooding my body with nutrition,” says Wark. “I’ve become a patient advocate. I see myself as a bridge between the conventional cancer treatment world and the holistic treatment world. There’s room for both, and the holistic approach to health needs to be incorporated into medicine. If not, you’re missing most of the picture. You can treat a disease, and you can slow it down with drugs, but oftentimes it doesn’t cure the disease. It just keeps coming back. It’s empowering to show a patient the science and the studies and the survivors who have healed using a holistic approach.”
Both Wark and his wife dedicated much of their time trying to create a cookbook that was both empowering and delicious.
“[Beat Cancer Kitchen] is a combination of juices, smoothies and things that I was eating every day to help my body heal starting in 2004. [There are also] recipes that [my wife and I] discovered and created over the years, and recipes that we created and brainstormed specifically for the cookbook. We wanted to take foods that we love and ingredients that we love and figure out a way to do them in a different way that was delicious and fun and easy to make,” explains Wark. “[The process took] about a year, and we’re just so happy with the way it turned out. Every recipe is delicious and super nutritious and optimized for anti-cancer potential with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, anti-oxidants and loads of phytonutrients that are only found in plant food. It was really important to us for these recipes to be easy, and anyone can make them.”
“Cancer Fitness” by Dr. Anna Schwartz
“Cancer Fitness” by Dr. Anna Schwartz, M.D., helps readers set their own exercise and fitness plans before, during and after cancer treatment to ensure their overall health and well-being while they undergo treatment, whether it’s chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Complete with figures and Q&A sections, “Cancer Fitness” is a great place for cancer warriors to start their fitness journey.
“I was a nurse when I first observed that my patients did a lot better when they moved around and exercised,” says Schwartz, who is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma warrior. “I personally saw that exercise helped me so much; that prompted me to go back and create a life where I was able to pursue exercise oncology as my life’s focus and research.”
Schwartz wrote “Cancer Fitness” to demonstrate her research that exercise was safe for cancer patients, both during treatment and after treatment. She also works with the American College of Sports Medicine, where she and her colleagues have a task force called Moving Through Cancer to make exercise standard for patient care.
“I love talking to patients because that’s where you’re making a difference. Writing this book was incredibly fun; it wasn’t hard to do—it’s my passion talking to patients and getting the word out to them. This is my life’s work and I’m so passionate about it and trying to change people’s lives,” explains Schwartz. “[What I hoped to achieve by writing this book is] changing people’s lives. Getting people out and moving around.”
In line with this vision, Schwartz also developed Cancer Exercise, a free app that features an exercise program tailored to each individual user. Based on things like level of fatigue, treatments and exercise familiarity, the app helps cancer warriors develop an exercise program that works for them.
Both publications are available wherever books are sold.