July 1, 2010

New Day, New Way of Life

It's been a very long road since December; a road twisted and winding, but I feel I'm finding my way. Accepting a cancer diagnosis has been difficult, but not impossible. I also have the firm belief that everything in this life happens for a reason. 
Since this news, which I now accept and embrace, I've managed to change my diet, mindset and focus. I know that diet alone will not cure cancer, but what a healthy diet will do, along with other positive life changes, is strengthen your immune system to fight whatever is thrown your way. I purchase organic food whenever I can, (especially meat and dairy products), and am extremely conscious of chemicals, additives, and anything artificial. I've become quite the "label reader".  If I can't pronounce an ingredient, it goes back on the shelf.
From December till now, I've read just about every legitimate Google post, medical abstract and research paper I could get my hands on regarding the relationship between cancer, diseases and lifestyle. I've hidden myself in corners of bookstores scanning and purchasing paperbacks about food; what it is and what it should be.  I'm by no means a dietician, but I want to share this experience and knowledge, hoping it may help others, cancer or not. The previous recipes I've posted in this little blog weren't always the best choices or the healthiest ones, but I also feel that anything in moderation is okay. Life is meant to be enjoyed after all.  So if you make the Frozen Irish Cream and Cookie cupcakes, please have just one.   :)
First and foremost, if following this blog, you'll be encouraged to eat only fresh fruits and veggies, certified organic or grown in your garden without pesticides. Since everyone usually has an abundance of zucchini by mid-summer, I thought I'd start with a healthy summer veggie dish.

Pasta With Tomatoes and Zucchini
serves 4-6
(print)

Ingredients:
 1 pint of organic grape tomatoes
1 large organically grown zucchini
4 cups of cooked pasta (preferably whole wheat or whole grain)
1/2 cup organic broth - chicken or vegetable
3 cloves of minced garlic
sea salt/pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4-5 basil leaves, sliced into strips
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil

Generously season a pot of water with sea salt; bring to a boil.  Wash veggies, then slice into chunks. Season with cracked pepper.
Finely mince fresh garlic; set aside. Add pasta to boiling water, cook until slightly firm (al dente). I like using Barilla Plus pasta as a variation to whole wheat - it's delicious!

While water is heating, coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Heat for a minute or two, then add tomatoes, zucchini and garlic. Season to taste with sea salt and more cracked pepper. Saute until tender, then add minced garlic.
Add broth, simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
Add pasta to mixture and continue cooking (about 2-3 minutes).  Gently fold in basil leaves and grated cheese - serve hot.  Enjoy!
Good To Know:  Squash is a high-fiber, low calorie, nutrient rich veggie you can enjoy on a low carb diet.  The anticancer properties of lycopene, found in tomatoes, are especially beneficial when consumed with fat-rich foods such as olive oil and nuts.  Tomatoes however, should be avoided by people with reflux disorders.  (From Jonny Bowden, Ph.D, CNS, author of Living the Low-Carb Life) 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

i am so glad you are back to doing this ---
this looks delicious ---i have cooked a similar dish ---but without the zucchini ---i'll have to add the zucchini next time

ml

Libby said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your recent news!!! :( BUT...it's so great that you are blogging about healthy foods. I definitely plan on following with you more on this. I've been trying to cook healthy foods for my family as well in the last few months so I would love some new recipes :)