Food glorious food!

As you can tell, this blog is all about matters of the heart…

My Parents raised me to believe there are two types of people in this world: Those who eat to live, and those who live to eat. My family has always firmly fitted into theno greater love than food latter category with our Decembers full of Christmas food planning and with us regularly looking for new things to try.

I have to admit that I am completely obsessed with food and eating. There’s always something out there to try or imagine eating, and anyone who has spend more than bout ten minutes will say it’s my favourite topic to discuss. Actually they would say that I never stop banging on about it. I spend my days thinking about how to cook recipes, or where I can get the food I can’t cook myself.

Food is bit of a difficult subject when it comes to cancer treatment. It is so essential to keeping strength (and spirits) up but most regimes don’t exactly encourage feasting. Weight loss is one of the most common side effects, and with the wigs available these days one of the most visual.

Loss of appetite, sickness and taste changes has been and remained one of my biggest ongoing concerns throughout this journey. When I was told I could lose my taste buds I was honestly appalled. Food actually cheers me up, so being told I may not be able to taste it for several months seemed unnecessary and cruel! Thankfully I didn’t experience too many taste changes during my first treatment, I only went off chocolate. Seeing as it was Christmas, my siblings were certainly glad as they got all I was given!

Transplant was a bit of a different matter. Mainly because it somehow took me from being a teen foodie to totally obsessed. 4 weeks of either being unable to eat or having only food from ‘the muck truck’ (as a friend used to say) has changed me. Those long weeks of mouth sores and sickness mean I now want loads of food, great food, nearly all the time. I definitely drove my parents to almost insanity watching cookery shows in isolation (still do) because they couldn’t possibly see how discussing food, looking at menu’s, planning meals or just daydreaming could be at all comforting to someone so restricted at that time in eating. Each to their own I guess, and I am certainly one out on my own! There is nothing worse than feeling physically hungry but being physically unable to swallow even water…

I wouldn’t say that I have experienced terrible side effects taste wise….though my mum would definitely say no good has come of my new love for sausagey picnic products! I just don’t know what it is, I’ve always liked a cocktail sausage or sausage roll, but generally being a lover of quite exotic and fresh food would only ever really eat them at you know, picnics or kids parties….my love for scotch eggs is also quite something else!

Let me shout it from the rooftops though- food is vital to getting better. It will keep your strength up, a healthy weight makes you less susceptible to infections. If nothing else, we all have certain foods that just make a bad day better. For me that’s a takeaway Bao from my favourite gourmet takeaway, for some that’s a pot noodle. Each to their own.

If you’re currently on treatment, and want to take an aspect of your care into you own hands, eat yourself better. That’s not going ‘raw’ and eating only linseeds and blueberries by the way, but stuffing yourself silly with a variety of great food to help you thrive through treatment. It’s hard but by golly, I’ve seen the difference it makes. Calories vs. Cancer. Flapjacks are recommended, always.

Here’s to being a foodie, being ‘food happy’ and treating yourself. I’m certainly food happy right now after a feast from the ever delicious, mastercheffy Hokkei. A delivery from them to the hospital always brightens up what may have been a long and frustrating day (as today was!) and I’m quite sure squid had never entered here previous to me ordering from them! Mmmm salt and pepper squid…..

So that’s a slight introduction to me and food…..there will be much more to come. The next few blogs are all going to be centred on my stomach. After all, I am on a rather hefty dose of steroids!

Next time be ready to hear about the nemesis of all inpatient foodies….The hospital food trolley!

*dun dun DUUUUN*

Keep Smiling

Emily

(As always, I’d love to hear your recommendations to do with food, of any sort! I want restaurants to visit, if you know of any particular good ready meals, unusual foods that should be on a foodie bucket lists….just if you have something to say about food, tell me! Also, if you are a producer or owner of any foodie business, please know I’m always up for a visit*hint hint*)

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Posted on October 23, 2015, in Em's Blogging. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi Emily, we are delighted to have found your blog! Well done & keep up the great work! It is amazing & thank you for sharing the wealth of information that you have gathered through your journey. The post on food is very insightful. We had a dialogue on it with a patient too. We’d love to connect with you, as we are a social enterprise working towards connecting patients with each other etc. Please, let us know if you’d like to contribute to our blog section of the website or have any tips to share with us- we’d love to hear from you! appyCarers (www.appycare.co.uk).

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  2. Hello Emily/
    I really enjoyed your blog about food.
    Love
    Janet Sanders.

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  3. Believe it or not, my daughter Leah loved the food in Bristol Children’s Hospital! When we returned home to N.I. Ireland I was sent to scour the shops for sausage rolls that tasted just like the ones she got in hospital in Bristol!
    Initially after her bone marrow transplant Leah found it very difficult to eat and she hated the high calorie drink supplements that the dietician put her on alongside her TPN. Then about 4 or 5 weeks post transplant we were allowed to stay overnight in the Clic Sargent hostel and I cooked her favourite chicken fried rice – she ate it and said it was one of the nicest meals she had ever tasted – no more TPN or high calorie drinks after that!
    Personally I loved the cheese on toast that one of the Health Care Assistants on the Transplant Unit used to make – cheese on toast is one of my comfort foods.
    I’m glad that you’re enjoying your food. ❤️

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  4. Take a look at the Royal Marsden’s Cancer Cookbook for ideas about dishes that will tickle jaded tastebuds, or help you to cope better with treatment. Recipes are from reliable cooks such as Nigella Lawson and Ruth Rogers of the River Cafe. There are also plenty of lovely pictures to feast your eyes on.

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  5. Hi Em,

    OMG, WOW, you might have to shut me up here, but, there’s an ab fab Spanish restaurant in Caerleon called Curros. Squid to fall in love with; the best this side of Spain, tappas, beautiful steaks, lovely pepper sauce, delish.

    Here’s an idea for the home – there’s a food company called Lantmannen Unibake Ltd., they still do a range of Eurobuns products, one called Americana and one of their lines are Skinny Baked Donuts – they come in boxes of 24; frozen. Before you think frozen sounds weird, these are specially designed; you take one outa the box, on a plate, room temperature, make a cuppa, 5 minutes later, it’s defrosted – the softest dough you can imagine; not covered in trans-fats; they’re baked not fried, they’re dusted with icing sugar, not rolled in loads of granulated sugar; they have the most beautiful plummy jam and are packed with it; not like the disappointing ones you get that are either nearly empty and more centrally located than the ones that creep up on you, you know, you take a little bite and splurge, it’s all down your shirt! I used to have them delivered to us by a company called Holdsworth; based in Crickhowell, but I’m sure Lantmannen could point you in the direction of a closer supplier.

    Tried Persian food last week; massive disappointment; lovely looking restaurant, will remain anonymous for obvious reasons. I was expecting a luxurious meal, with some relationship to “Indian”; nah, more like Turkish; very plain – apart from the Ocre, which was hiding in the meal – omg, let’s just say it’s like chewing into a lemon; the face I pulled was uncontrollable. Owner explained to me that “Persian” actually relates to old style Mogul – Persia and Afghanistan, not modern high end Iranian cooking!; now I know!

    I work for a national food manufacturing company based in Cardiff; used to have my own bakery; I hope soon to tell you about some Christmas items I’ve trialled – there is one worth note now though; Co-op 4 packs of Boston Bombes; truly gorgeous – not sickly stodgy, sticky to the mouthy like chocolate ones – these are fab.

    Happy tasting Emily; happy days being ahead for you and your loved ones; watch out for the coughs and colds and if you’re anything like my girls, no need to say “make sure you keep warm”!

    Best wishes sent every day and love to you and yours as always, from Andrew. xxx

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