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Touring Wisconsin Food

Cooking and Cancer -When life deals lemons, make yellow food to support LiveSTRONG Day and the Lance Armstrong Foundation

Today’s post is my entry in the LiveStrong with a Taste of Yellow -08 food-blogging event. This event is sponsored by the food blog winosandfoodies and is one of over 500 community events organized to raise cancer awareness and funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people battling cancer. The Foundation created LiveStrong Day and chose the color yellow to symbolize cancer survival. Thus, foods featured in the blogging event are yellow.

My entry is Lemon Poppy Seed Bread.

It’s extremely easy to make, exceptionally light and flavorful, and has a higher nutritional value than most sweet breads.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 package lemon cake mix (with pudding in the mix)
  • 3-ounce package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two large or three small loaf pans. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Stir in cake and pudding mixes, yogurt, and poppy seeds. Mix together. Add hot water. Mix well. Pour into loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes if using large pans or 40 to 50 minutes if using small pans. Remove loaves from pans.

For an extra 50 calories per serving, substitute cooking oil for the yogurt. Serves 20. Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 150; Fat: 4 gm; Protein: 3 gm, Carb: 25 gm; Cholesterol: 35 mg; Fiber: Low

I used the yogurt instead of the oil which I think gives the bread a wonderfully light, non-greasy taste.

I found the recipe in The Cancer Survival Cookbook. The book was written by Donna Weihofen, RD, MS who is a nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, and by Christina Marino, MD, MPH, a physician who trained in the culinary arts at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland, and is, herself, a cancer survivor.

I wish I had had this book during the years my mom battled cancer. She died April 12, 2007.

My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002. Over the next 4 1/2 years, she underwent four surgeries and four bouts of chemotherapy. After each bout, news that the cancer was gone was replaced a few months later with news that it had returned. What a roller-coaster, -one we never got used to. Mom suffered the mouth sores, diarrhea, vomiting, weight gain, and weight loss all described in the Cancer Survival Cookbook. And, in retrospect, how pathetic were our attempts to give her comforting food. Saltine crackers can’t touch cancer nausea. And no matter how much ice cream and fruit we mixed into Boost, we could never make it palatable. But Mom bore it so stoically; we watched her spirit grow stronger as her body weakened. We watched eating change from a pleasure to an ordeal. My dad and I struggled to get basic nutrition into her body which on so many fronts kept rejecting it.

The focus of The Cancer Survival Cookbook is good nutrition for the cancer sufferer. The authors explain the cancer-fighting abilities of different foods. Their recipes are for dishes that maximize nutrition while minimizing the discomfort of ingestion and digestion. All the recipes are easy to prepare, so even non-cooks and tired cooks have a fighting chance. Plus, the authors describe strategies for getting a cancer patient to eat at those times when s/he is not up for the effort.

Recommending this book is my way to support cancer patients and their families. Mom LOVED lemons! How appropriate that yellow is the color for LiveStrong Day 2008.

16 Comments

  1. Cristi – hugs to you and your Dad as the anniversary of your Mum’s passing approaches this week. I bet she appreciated all the effort you made with her meals. Thank you for participating in LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow with this delicious cake.

  2. Sorry to hear your sad story, you mother sounds like she was a wonderful person. My family has been struck by the exact same cancer and I always wonder in the back of my mind, whether it will be my destiny too. I must book myself in for a test. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Sorry to hear your sad story, you mother sounds like she was a wonderful person. My family has been struck by the exact same cancer and I always wonder in the back of my mind, whether it will be my destiny too. I must book myself in for a test. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Sam. Ironic you should mention the colon cancer screening. I’m going in next week for my first colonoscopy; my doctor said I needed to because of my mom’s cancer. If I think about the test, I get nervous. Fortuately life is busy and that worry has to take a number and wait in line. Good luck to you.

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  7. The band is part of the “Wear Yellow Live Strong” educational program. The program is intended to raise money for cancer research, raise cancer awareness, and encourage people to live life to the fullest. The band sells individually, as well as in packs of 10, 100, and 1,200 as part of an effort to raise $25.1 million for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in cooperation with Nike who manufactures the “live strong” bands in Austin

  8. The band became an extremely popular item in the United States by the end of the summer of 2004, especially among those following Armstrong’s Tour de France effort. They soon gained immense popularity worldwide. It first appeared on a majority of the contenders at the 2004 Tour de France. Personalities such as 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, news anchor Katie Couric, actor Matt Damon, and several athletes at the Athens Olympic Games wore the band. Appearances on and endorsements by popular TV shows such as Oprah, also raised its profile enormously.

  9. What can I say? I enjoyed reading this post and will surely come back for more. Thank you!

  10. So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  11. What can I say? I enjoyed reading this post and will surely come back for more. Thank you!

  12. Thanks for reading and pausing to comment. Sadly we all have people in our lives whom we care about and are battling/have battled cancer. Live Strong With Lemons is just one of so many wonderful ways to support our loved ones.

  13. I’ve been one of your major follower this year… your brilliant and educative post really beats my imaginations each time drop by to read blogs… i say keep the good work

  14. What kind words. Thank you. It’s so nice to get comments, good or bad, – tells me that sometimes my posts are read. I appreciate it. Thanks.

  15. It’s great to hear from you and see what you’ve been up to. In your blog I feel your enthusiasm for life. thank you.

  16. Great! It’s really unique and beautiful! and soooo vintage. love it!

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