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Even though I grew up in the Po valley, I have always felt more Apulian than Emilian, especially when it came to food. I definitely always preferred cavatelli with broccoli than a lasagna.  Moreover, I love vegetables and I like to experiment with unusual ingredients, such as couscous or quinoa, to name a few.  We can say that the basis for a healthy diet has always been there! But, as I love vegetables, I appreciate salami and sausage and it is here where the problems start…

Because of the cures I was subjected to, I had to rethink everything! The side effects (and forgive me if I call it for what it is “bloody anal fissures”! ) forced me to adopt a strict diet: no meat, and above all no sausages, no products made out of white flour such as pasta and bread, white rice, cheese, especially when fatty. Today, my diet consists primarily of whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables. It was as if my body asked for a natural purification period. This regime straighten me up alright!

Yet, I did not give up and I continued to try to create appetizing recipes, also because during chemotherapy is not advisable to lose weight. This was a good excuse for me! Still, my taste has definitely changed. From the beginning, I felt the need to eat soups. ” … and yet… I never liked tortellini in stock, how is it possible? “. It was as if – again – my body required to ingest more fluids because it felt the need for them.  And through all this, my mommy was there by my side, holding a carrot, an onion and a celery ready to fix me the classic “brodino”. Yes! you heard it right! The one we prepare for babies. I never knew how she could manage it, but she was always able to transform any boring food in something very tasty! Through lots of vegetables, we started to eliminate even industrial stock…

The change in my eating habits that my body, and I found this out later, imposed me, fits in very well with most of the principles that underlie different theories about food claiming to be able to help fighting cancer.  And this made me think!  Although I have not yet decided to follow any one of these theories, particularly,  there must be a truth in all of them if they overlap in so many ways! Although I do not believe in any extreme diet, I do believe that it is worthwhile to investigate them and their principles. In this blog, I intend to investigate the relationship between food and breast cancer in particular. From the start of chemotherapy, this need of changing my diet had given me the idea of writing down or filming some of the recipes in order to make them available to the public and, especially, to those women who find themselves in a situation similar to mine. Only now, that the cure is finished, I have enough energy to share my experience.

In general, the recipes that I propose are simple recipes, just like the non industrial vegetable stock mentioned before. They are not master-chef dishes. Most of the time they are only suggestions to help you varying your diet and have the feeling of eating many different things even if the choice has become incredibly limited. I want to clarify that I am not a nutritionist (maybe one day I will become one).  At the moment, I follow my instinct and I rely on the knowledge that I have always had and that I am slowly gaining.  Although my recipes have the ambition to be healthy, it does not necessarily mean they are dietetic. There is a big difference between the two things. Furthermore, I always say it about myself that “I am a woman, I am not a saint!”. This means that once in a while I give up! So, if you, like myself, are starting to walk on the right path,  forgive me if occasionally I will share with you these exception to the rule. Most likely those will be traditional recipes or those ones belonging to my mom’s recipes repertoire for which she often gains the nickname of “tempting the devil!” :-).  After all, we have cancer, it ‘s true, but we can not deprive ourselves from everything! This is my opinion.  At least, I am not able to do that (yet).  At the end, what does “healthy” really mean? In reality, I believe that we all already know what healthy food is from what is not, but I also firmly agree with the Latins expression:  “virtus in medio stat”, the virtue is in the middle.  It is not ‘just what you eat that you have to balance, but also how much you eat (and, on this second point, I am still working on … ).  Moreover, as someone once told me … it is not just the quality of what we eat that counts, but it is also the quality of our thoughts! This aspect should not be underestimated. Especially when recovering from an illness, your state of mind must be positive, though – I know – is not always easy …

However, I am doing the best I can. I hope with all my heart that it is enough …

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