Beth is a woman in her 60s who came to us while getting treated for breast cancer.
She has been receiving two types of treatments in cycles for a couple of months and their impact was significant.
The side effects from the medicines greatly affected her appetite, her digestion and her tolerance to food flavors, tastes and textures.
Cancer treatments are sometimes as hard to handle as the disease itself. The most common side effects are nausea, decreased appetite, altered taste, fatigue, and generally it’s safe to assume the psychological aspect of dealing with such an aggressive treatment also takes its toll on the body. All systems are out of balance.
She was looking for help with her food intake and entire approach towards food: the preparations, finding creative healthy ideas, and learning some useful cooking tips. For the rough days when her symptoms were at their worst, she needed our assistance regarding calorie retention, nutrient boosting and most importantly, hydration.
Sounded like something we can help with.
Since Beth was also at high risk for dehydration, Sara created special menus for her, based on dishes that were cold and refreshing, nutrient dense, had neutral flavors, and were high in fluids. Our main goal was to find ways in which she can take back control of her nutritional balance on a daily basis, and hopefully this nourishing diet would also have a positive impact on her psychologically.
One of the best dishes that are perfect for cases like Beth’s is Gazpacho or cold soups.
The benefits are obvious: they are high in fluid, they are easily digested due to the blended texture, they are based on vegetables and/or fruits which are packed with nutrients- vitamins, minerals and fibers. Plus, the quick preparation of these cold soups definitely scored them some extra points.
Eating cold food is more palatable to someone with altered taste and a sensitive palate. Healthy fats can also be a great addition to the gazpachos- such as avocado, nut butters or nut creams. Proteins like chickpeas, edamame or other beans can also be pureed into the mix. And a variety of vegetables and fruits can be mixed together to create all sorts of refreshing, and nutritious dishes.
We use the phrase “eat your water” when we advise our clients to eat more vegetables and fruits that are water-rich, in order to better hydrate our body. In Beth’s case it’s not only “eat your water” but also ”drink your food”.
Cold vegetable soups are a perfect solution: they are refreshing, especially now when the temperatures are rising, they are based on water-rich vegetables and allow the body to easily absorb the “good stuff” that gets lost in cooking preparations.
Gazpachos are also a good idea for the days before the 9th of Av, since many don’t eat meat and it’s quite hot outside.
Gazpachos! (we have a 1+1 special today so you get 2 recipes…)
Cucumber and avocado gazpacho: (Recipe #1)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup almond milk / 1 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender, starting with ½ cup water. Blend until smooth.
2. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
3. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Beet Gazpacho: (Recipe #2)
4 large beets
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves
2/3 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1. In a large pot, cover the beets with water, and bring to a boil.
2. Cover, and reduce to a simmer. Let the beets cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.
3. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature (remove the beets from the water to speed this process up). Save the cooking water!
4. When the beets are cool, use your hands to remove and discard the skin.
5. Put the beets, along with the cilantro, garlic, cucumber, onion, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender. Add two cups of the reserved cooking liquid, and blend until smooth. Add more liquid as needed, along with salt & pepper to taste.
6. Serve the soup cold, topped with micro greens, extra cucumber, red onion, cubed beets, cilantro, and yogurt.