Cooking with Cancer

Individuals who are experiencing or have previously experienced cancer can be overwhelmed with long lists of things they can’t eat. On June 3, SFC’s The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® Program delivered a free two-hour cooking and nutrition class to Community Action’s Spanish-speaking cancer support group in Kyle.

There were lots of questions about food during and after cancer treatment:

“Can I eat rice?”

“Can I still make mole?”

“Do I have to buy everything organic?”

The cancer experience is stressful already without being told to completely change your diet, and dealing with changes in appetite and taste as a result of treatment makes eating even more complicated. The class was open to current patients, caregivers and survivors. A discussion was facilitated around making healthy meals that use familiar ingredients, still taste great, and don’t take too much time, money, or energy.

Our class facilitators prepared:

  • a nopales salad to show an extra healthy twist on a familiar ingredient

  • a chicken and vegetable stir-fry to show a one-dish meal that combines lean protein, high-fiber carbs, and fiber-filled veggies to help balance blood sugar

  • marinated beets as a nutrient-packed side that also brings the anti-inflammatory properties of beets

  • cinnamon ginger tea highlighting that cinnamon and ginger are anti-inflammatory and support healthy digestion and immune function

The participants loved the recipes, and enjoyed learning more about cooking with cancer as well as sharing their stories and experiences with one other. One participant shared, “I didn’t think I would be able to eat things that taste good ever again.” We were thrilled to be included!

Our free classes for cancer survivors are made possible by grants from the Hospira Foundation and The Mamma Jamma Ride.

This year’s Mamma Jamma Ride will take place on September 26 and individuals who commit to fundraising will ride anywhere from 15 to 100 miles. Registration is open and the free training rides are already starting! Sustainable Food Center is one of the nine beneficiary organizations of the Ride. To find out more about free classes for cancer survivors, contact