The Fork In The Fight: Introduction to Ayurveda

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Go here to learn more about them, and to read the first three posts in their first segment of The Fork In The Fight series.

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 3: Introduction to Ayurveda

This is the third post in the second segment of the Fork In The Fight series.  In this three-part segment, we will be sharing a recipe for the soul in finding retreat in creativity, a recipe for the body with a delicious navy bean stew, and a recipe for the mind as Andrea introduces the world of Ayurveda. Stay tuned!  Check out Part 1: Recipes For Calm And Creativity and Part 2: Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew.



Introduction to Ayurveda

Ayurveda means “Life Knowledge” and is traditional Indian Medicine.

The beauty of Ayurveda is in the shlokas, or chanted phrases, through which the knowledge has been preserved for over 5,000 years. Ayurveda teaches us to how know and love ourselves, to care for ourselves in the way that is unique to each of us.

Based on the five elemental system of ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth, Ayurveda describes three doshas, or biological humors: Vata (ether + air), Pitta (fire + water), and Kapha (water + earth). Each of us is made up of all five elements, and therefore, all three doshas; however, most of us have one or two dominant doshas that characterize our physical and psychological make up. This personal combination of Vata, Pitta and Kapha is known as our prakruti or constitution.

A few highlights of Ayurveda’s unique approach to wellness are it’s complete definition of health, use of spices to promote and sustain good digestion, and it’s acknowledgement of our individuality.

Svastha, the definition of health, according to Suśruta Samhita, Father of Surgery, literally translates as: “to be situated in oneself.” The power in this message to me is that my healthy is not your healthy, and it is certainly not everyone’s healthy. We are all situated differently. That said, the full description of Svastha includes not only our present state, but our constitution (that perfectly complete way in which we were created, and ideally, entered the world). Many Ayurvedic Dosha (personalized constitution) surveys invite looking back on our childhood to answer questions about ourself to determine our prakriti. For most of us, our true self has been tossed and turned through our journey of life. For instance, we may recall joyfully playing with our siblings in the yard, and now struggle to maintain contact, let alone connect playfully. We may recall great comfort from a parent’s treasured home-cooking, and now have little connection to what we eat.

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Svastha encourages understanding what YOUR “healthy” means.

Svastha in full is: One who is established in Self, who has balanced doshas (primary life force), balanced agni (digestive fire), properly formed dhātus (bodily tissues), proper elimination of malas (waste products), well-functioning bodily processes, and whose mind, soul and senses are full of bliss is called a healthy person. In Sanskrit:

Samadosha samāgni ca sama dhātu malakriyaha/
Prasanna ātma indriya manaha svastha iti abhidhīyate //
– Suśruta Sū 15/38

This complete picture of health can and must be approached from all aspects of life. We could have the best diet (not meaning restrictions here, rather consistent practice for food intake) for us, but without a calm, content, and easeful mind while we eat, not be able to process certain foods. We could have perfectly functioning bodily systems, but prevent ourselves from sneezing or using the bathroom when we need to, and end up with UTIs and sinus infections. We could be the picture of health, as some would say, with strong bones and muscles, but without finding ways to rest, joyfully and completely, be putting our future selves at risk for injury.

A few of my favorite recommendations that work for most people will appear in the next five posts of The Fork in the Fight. Please note that the number one recommendation is to meet with an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Practitioner or Doctor before implementing a new regimen:

Recommendation 1

Food: Make lunch your largest meal, and enjoy it mindfully! Take your time, step away from the screens, and if you are going to have dessert, this is the best time of the day as your digestive fire is the strongest! I like to prepare my food to appeal to all the senses: using my hands to feel the vegetables as I chop and the spices before and after grinding, listening for the soft sounds of beans bubbling on the stove, displaying my dish in bowl or on plate in a way that satisfies the eyes so much, there is no text message or TV show that would better suit, and finally closing my eyes to inhale the healing aroma and allow the taste to permeate tongue and heart. I often sigh deeply after the first few bites of good food when I am paying attention. 😉

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A healthy diet is good for your body and your creativity. Have fun with this Ayurvedic recommendation!

With love and gratitude,

Andrea and Grace

Put A Fork In It! Send us your comments, suggestions and food-fighting ways to support a healing life.

The Fork In The Fight: Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Go here to learn more about them, and to read the first three posts in their first segment of The Fork In The Fight series.  Look forward to reading Part 3: Introduction to Ayurveda later this week!

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 2: Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew

This is the second post in the second segment of the Fork In The Fight series.  In this three-part segment, we will be sharing a recipe for the soul in finding retreat in creativity, a recipe for the body with a delicious navy bean stew, and a recipe for the mind as Andrea introduces the world of Ayurveda. Stay tuned!  Check out Part 1: Recipes For Calm And Creativity.



The Recipe
 

We are both soup lovers and this navy bean stew is no exception! It’s perfect for using the last of your winter root vegetables before spring seasonals arrive. Andrea’s best friend, who is vegan, told her this is the BEST recipe she has made her (and Andrea has been cooking with her for 10 years!). Even if you are tempted to substitute in some animal products (like cream or cheese), we dare you to be bold and try it this way first because it’s just that good. 🙂 It’s easy to add more later.

Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew
(adapted from Gillian McKeith’s You Are What You Eat)

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Fresh ingredients chock-full of vitamins and minerals!

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. dried navy beans (or lima beans)
    • This will cook to 1lb. of cooked beans
  • 3 carrots, diced
    • Try daikon radish, red or golden beets, watermelon radishes, or a variety of turnips
  • ½  of a rutabaga, peeled and diced
    • Try jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) for a nuttier flavor
  • ½ a red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp turmeric ground or 1 tsp peeled
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
  • Handfuls of pea shoots, arugula, thinly sliced kale, or a local green of your choice

 Directions

  • Prepare by soaking the ½ lb. of dried beans overnight (or for several hours) and cooking in a large pot of boiling water. Perfectly cooked beans are soft in the center but not split on the seams. Remove from heat and let the beans cool in the water completely. P.s. By starting with dried beans, you are eliminating the extra processing and sodium that can be found in canned beans.
  • While the beans cool, you can cut, peel, dice, slice and chop your way through all the vegetables.
  • In a large pot on medium heat, add the onions, bay leaves, and a splash of water, stirring occasionally. Once the onions soften, add the rutabaga, carrots, and enough water (or vegetable stock) to cover. Let boil and then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the beans and remaining spices and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Top with fresh greens and serve immediately with a hunk of fresh bread.
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Share this simple, nourishing dish with your friends and loved ones!

Tips and Hints

  • If you are have leftovers and want something new, the soup does well with a bit of raw milk cheese and day old bread on the bottom of the soup bowl!
  • While the beans are cooking, you can roast the vegetables! This will bring out the sweet and nutty flavors that make the soup divine. Andrea suggests roasting with coconut oil salt & pepper

BONUS Recipe!

 Antioxidant Supplement ‘Jam’
(from William Siff of Gold Thread Herbs) 

A jar filled with antioxidant goodness.

Ingredients

  • 1 large mason jar with lid
  • 1 cup rose hips, roughly
  • 1 cup of pomegranate or blueberry organic juice concentrate, roughly
  • 1 handful goji berries, elderberries, and/or hawthorn berries
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • Citrus peels, to taste
  • Fresh ginger, to taste

Directions

  • Pour the rose hips into the mason jar until half way full and cover with juice.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients and let sit for several hours until it becomes paste-like. If you are using seeded berries, be sure to let them soak in water.
  • Take 1 tablespoon every day! You can add it to a cup of hot water or onto a bowl of porridge.
  • The jam can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months.

 

With love and gratitude,
Andrea and Grace

Put A Fork In It! Send us your comments, suggestions and food-fighting ways to support a healing life.

The Fork In The Fight: Recipes For Calm And Creativity

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Go here to learn more about them, and to read the first three posts in their first segment of The Fork In The Fight series.  Look forward to reading Part 2: Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew and Part 3: Introduction to Ayurveda later this week!

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 1: Recipes for Calm & Creativity

This is the first post in the second segment of the Fork In The Fight series.  In this three-part segment, we will be sharing a recipe for the soul in finding retreat in creativity, a recipe for the body with a delicious navy bean stew, and a recipe for the mind as Andrea introduces the world of Ayurveda. Stay tuned!


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Andrea’s California retreat.

 

Solitude & Retreating – Andrea

Over the past month, emerging from the wilderness of ocean waves in Big Sur for a retreat with Scott Blossom, and hours in front of books, family or movie classics, I’ve found that turning inward, away from the social engagements beginning to brew, has been a very sound choice. Even with my partner and husband away for one month on his own sabbatical of sorts, with solitude and quiet setting in around the clock, longing for even more has not been uncommon for me. I have canceled a few appointments, and gotten to bed early. A few nights I have also stayed up late watching a new favorite television indulgence, sipping wine and writing. These, too, have been a practice of healing. There are many ways to wander inward. Cooking, Meditation, like the practice we shared in Breathing Into Self-Awareness And Ease, Yoga, and writing are my top four. What are yours? Not sure, but want to try something creative and different? We encourage you this month to fight for some YOU time. Take a stab at something creative. Find stillness in the gentle movements of your hand while painting, drawing, or writing.

Stillness & Creativity – Grace

Boy, do we all know that life can be messy and unexpected, and sometimes just completely overwhelming! There can be moments when it all seems too much or we lose sight of reality. It has taken mistakes (loads) and time (a lot) to teach myself to breathe, to be gentle, to seek happiness in all moments, and most importantly, to act positively and decisively when I feel stress creeping in. I learned much of this along my cancer journey, but I continue to turn to use these newfound superpowers everyday and you can easily master them, too. The most helpful of them all has been meditation (followed closely by x-ray vision).

I am a creative person and a voracious reader. During treatment I didn’t always have the energy to think creatively or concentrate on reading but I still yearned for those outlets. This is how I stumbled upon “doodle meditation.”

After finding an interesting audiobook or podcast, I’d grab a pen and paper. As I sat listening to these stories, I would begin to doodle. I never had anything in particular planned, but I always started with a single point and drew outwards from it, balancing a squiggle here, with a squiggle there. I made a point not to concentrate on my drawing, but rather to let my hand and mind doodle freely as I listened. I would feel more relaxed after even a few minutes of this, and my buzzing and whirring anxieties would be calmed.

Whenever I find myself stressed or too caught in a moment, I start up doodle meditation. It’s the easiest thing in the world and absolutely everyone can do it.

How to Doodle-tate:

  1. Find a great audiobook, podcast, or music. If you are looking for a book that can’t help but make you excited to be alive, try “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.
  2. Next, take out a piece of paper and pen. I like to use felt tip pens but any pen and paper will do.
  3. Starting with a single point, draw a shape in the middle. Any shape!
  4. From there, draw what comes naturally. An arrow pointing left or a small spiral twisting right? Or three polka dots under a zigzag?
  5. Perhaps most important to this whole process, don’t stop to think about what your doodle looks like or what should come next. Practice freeing up your mind and just letting the pen move.
  6. Keep doodling for as long as you like!

Doodle meditations are a simple and fun way to take a break and I hope that you find joy in them! If it seems too unstructured to start with, I recently came across Zentangle and would absolutely recommend them. While my doodles weave randomly, Zentangles are “artistic meditation” that use patterning beautifully. On LacunaLoft, Mallory recently posted about coloring for stress and shared a gorgeous free coloring and creativity guide, too!

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Andrea tried the doodle-tate exercise and loved it. Isn’t her drawing whimsical?

We would LOVE to see what you create so if you try doodle meditation and want to share your creations, please comment and we will reach out to you. We may even feature your doodles in our next series!

With love and gratitude,

Andrea and Grace

 

Put A Fork In It! Send us your comments, suggestions and food-fighting ways to support a healing life.

The Fork In The Fight: Breathing Into Self-Awareness And Ease

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Please enjoy the third post of a three post installment in their new series, The Fork in the Fight.   Check out Part 1: Our Story and Part 2: Butternut Squash Curry Bisque recipe!

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 3: Breathing Into Self-Awareness And Ease

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In Grace’s story, she mentioned how her experience taught her to be her own friend and to be self-examining. In Yoga, the practice of swadhyaya, or self-study, is a Nyama, or daily observance recommended for practitioners. This looking inward can be beneficial to all humans, regardless of present tragedy or bliss. A safe way to practice is to find a comfortable seated position with the spine tall. You can use blankets or pillows to prop yourself up if needed.  Make sure you are warm (or at your preferred body temperature) and in a quiet space where you can be uninterrupted for 5-25 minutes.  Close your eyes. Start to notice your breathing. “Awareness is central to contemplation because it reduces the distance between us and that of which we are aware.” (Thomas Ryan, Prayer of Heart and Body) So often we are caught up in our surroundings that we are not aware of the feeling in body. As you notice your breath, be aware if it feels shallow or deep, easy or constricted. Also notice where you might be clenching — like the jaw, fist, buttox, pelvic floor, or shoulders. Do your best to release and let go without judgement.

Continue for as long as you have time — scanning the breath and the body, releasing, relaxing and letting go. You may find a few sighing exhales to be especially healing. You can carry this practice with you. In a challenging moment, even if you can’t close your eyes, notice your breath, your body. What can release and let go? Can you slow and deepen your breath, softening your physical presence to invite ease into your present situation? As you prepare to come back to the present moment, be mindful of the serenity you have cultivated, and take time to transition slowly and quietly to your next activity.


We are excited to explore our shared experiences of recovery, relationship building, and self-love with you. Stay well and take time for yourselves during this busy holiday season.

With love and gratitude,

Andrea Ridgard and Grace Van Velden

The Fork In The Fight: Butternut Squash Curry Bisque

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Please enjoy the second post of a three post installment in their new series, The Fork in the Fight.  Check out Part 1: Our Story and look forward to reading Part 3: Breathing Into Self-Awareness later this week!

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 2: Butternut Squash Curry Bisque

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The Recipe

This soup is our mutual favorite for cold winter nights and frosty winter days. It is hearty, flavorful, and comforting. As with all recipes, we believe in using fresh, seasonal, and unprocessed ingredients whenever possible. This can be easily adapted for vegan diets, locally available produce, or taste preferences – as those can change so often during and after treatment. For some ingredients, we have included potential substitution ideas or additional notes in [brackets] should one of them not work for you. For all ingredients we recommend local and/or organic when possible.

Butternut Squash Curry Bisque

Ingredients
+ 1 large or 2 small butternut squash [acorn squash]
+ 1 cup of apples, chopped*
+ 1 cup of sweet red onions, chopped
+ 1 cup of carrots, chopped [purple carrots to boost antioxidants]
+ 2 tablespoons of ghee [coconut or olive oil]
+ ¼ cup of ‘milk’ [raw, organic, whole milk, organic soy milk, or any non-dairy milk]
+ Curry to taste, at least 1 tablespoon [homemade recipe below]
+ 3 ¾ cups of vegetable broth [homemade or store bought]
+ 2 bay leaves
+ 2 tablespoons of local honey** [local maple syrup as a vegan option]
+ 1 bunch of cilantro or tulsi [parsley or another herb if preferred]

Homemade Curry
+ “Make your own by combining and grinding equal parts coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard, fenugreek, cardamom, poppy seeds, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and 1/3 the amount of any one of the other spices, cloves” –Chef Johnny’s Korma Power, Eat, Taste, Heal, p. 229

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Directions

After setting the oven to 350ºF, prepare the butternut by slicing lengthwise and drizzling the faces with ghee/coconut oil/olive oil. Place the squash face down on a cookie or baking sheet and bake for one hour. Roughly 10 minutes before the squash is done baking, chop the onion and sauté over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of ghee or sesame oil. Add chopped carrot and apple once the onion becomes more translucent and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Once ready, remove the squash from the oven to cool and stir in the curry to the onion-apple-carrot mixture.

Into a new pot, scoop at least 3 cups of squash from the skins and add the vegetable broth. Stir in the onion-apple-carrot mixture, add 2 bay leaves, and top with a lid to let simmer. After one hour, remove the pot from the heat and take out the bay leaves. Blend, in small batches if necessary, and return the puree to the pot. Once the puree has cooled to eating temperature, stir in the milk and honey. Ladle the butternut squash curry bisque into a warm bowl and garnish with cilantro or parsley and a touch more ghee or oil if you are in need of the good fats.

*Ayurveda recommends enjoying fruit separately from other foods, so you could substitute the apple for extra carrots and cinnamon, or just enjoy the recipe as is occasionally, and if you have good digestive strength.
**Honey should be added only after the soup is done cooking as the honey’s beneficial enzymes and some nutritional value will be lost under high heat.

The full recipe can also be found on Andrea’s website, Grounded Here: http://groundedhere.com/butternut-squash-curry-bisque/

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We are excited to explore our shared experiences of recovery, relationship building, and self-love with you. Stay well and take time for yourselves during this busy holiday season.

With love and gratitude,

Andrea and Grace

The Fork In The Fight: Our Story

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Please enjoy the first post of a three post installment in their new series, The Fork in the Fight.  Look forward to reading Part 2: Butternut Squash Curry Bisque recipe and Part 3: Breathing Into Self-Awareness later this week!

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 1: Our Story

Andrea Ridgard and Grace Van Velden


Andrea’s Story

There was light in their eyes. We met Adriaan first. He was working with our friend, Holly, who invited us out for drinks after work. His laugh was, and still is, the most captivating of any I know. I don’t recall the exact next steps of our relationship from there, or even the date when we first met, but I know I instantly fell for Paula’s loving presence. There could not be a more genuinely loving being in my life. Chris and I adopted this delightful couple as friends, mentors, our first real family-friends of our own—as family. Our connection grew as Chris and I would just stop by the Van Velden home, often after church on Sunday. We’d discuss world affairs, marriage, careers, family, and always it would be accompanied with tea and milk as well as some of the more authentically polite exchanges I have witnessed. Of their children, I most remember David at this time, curious, and eager to sample cookies that we shared when we gathered. He’d emerge from the world of video games and adolescence to say hello and sit with us for a moment. Jane was coming into her own, and Grace was as elegant as ever, even as a teen. These young people were mature, connected, beautiful, and welcomed these new friends of their parents as their own. During this time, Grace was in remission, and preparing for university. She’d decided on Michigan. When Paula shared with us through tears on the couch in their cozy family room that the cancer was back, it was as if time froze, and us with it. We began talking about food, and healing beyond the medical procedures and treatments. Without hesitation, I offered to consider cooking for her myself. It was one of the more important quick proposals I have made (I tend to be one to jump in feet first!)

At the time I had just begun working with a new farm business incubator and was getting to know the local food scene. I was geeked about sharing local, organic and fresh food with Grace. My husband and I had recently bought a home with the intention of growing a bit of our own food as well. Not only did I have the opportunity to support a friend and her family through a tremendously trying time, but the chance to share my love for growing and cooking food were meeting needs of my own to tangibly express love, care and healing energy.

Throughout the process of sharing food, Grace and I began to cultivate a relationship of our own. As she regained strength and the treatments became fewer, we were able to spend more time together. I began cooking for her roommates when she resumed her school work, and was able to learn about her ambitions in Public Health. Everytime I think of starting a wellness center, bed and breakfast or any cooperative healing space (which is quite often), Grace immediately comes to mind as an integral part of its success. We have become family, and now colleagues as well. The deep and loving connection between my husband and I and the Van Velden family, and the way I saw Grace’s family wrap their arms around her is the blessing I wish upon caregivers and patients alike. Of course, there is much to learn from experience, and I imagine that in our journey you will see the challenges we faced, and ways we recommend doing some things differently. But with the main ingredients of love, patience, and respect, building a nourishing life even in the midst of turmoil is possible and an incredible gift to all involved.


Grace’s Story

At seventeen, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a rare and painful form of juvenile bone cancer. I underwent ten months of chemotherapy and a fourteen-hour surgery that replaced two-thirds of my right humerus with an allograft. Facing mortality at that young age was terrifying and isolating, but it taught me to become my own friend, to be self-examining, and to be resilient of spirit even when my mind and body cannot. It was these powerful lessons that enabled me not only to survive my re-diagnosis at twenty, but to thrive in spite of it.

I credit much of this ability to those kindred spirits who drenched my soul in positivity, who crawled into the hospital bed to cuddle me while the nurses weren’t looking, who laughed with me, who cried with me, who carefully styled my wig and dressed me, and who filled me with healthy and healing food. Yes, food. During treatment it seemed like there was little in my life, or even in my own body, that I had control over. Andrea gave me back some of that power.

It is an incredibly intimate thing to be fed by someone when you are ill. It is something that many of us share only with mothers or perhaps close family. When Andrea heard I had been re-diagnosed, she told my family she wanted to cook for me. In my second diagnosis, I wanted to be kinder to myself, and to focus my energy on building myself up. Andrea is an especially talented cook, and it was through her healthy, fresh, and delicious meals, that I felt that I was enabling my body to keep fighting. I looked forward to her menu emails, and our banter over the deliciousness of cinnamon (or in my opinion, the lack there of) kept my heart happy.

Having cancer was a powerful event in shaping my character, and being a survivor has become one of the most positive experiences of my life, something of which I am proudest. My exploration with Andrea into which foods made me feel great and which ingredients were the best for me, has grown into a life passion for healthy living, cooking, and gardening. Since battling cancer twice, I have fallen in love, graduated from university, lived abroad in my native South Africa, travelled, and moved across the United States to start a new chapter in a full and happy life. And, I have had the distance of time to reflect.

I once believed that having cancer meant my body had failed me, and I’m sure many others are burdened with this thought. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It took me time to appreciate my body as an ally. I am not sure that I ever would have fully learned this had I not begun to focus on feeding my body, and my soul, while I was in treatment. I am grateful for the love of healthy food and the connection to my body that was built as Andrea and I began our friendship.

It may seem small, but I know that food can be an empowering building block when facing seemingly insurmountable health issues. It is a way to nourish your own body, a way to lend strength to someone you love and who may be struggling with the side effects of treatment, and it is a way to deepen the connection between the patient and the caregiver who share, in different ways, the emotional weight of battling cancer. My and Andrea’s story is one of many possible stories. I hope that through our posts and recipes you will feel inspired to share your own food and recovery stories, and more emboldened to throw the spatula at cancer.


Our Story

From the beginning, our arrangement for food preparation was an open conversation. Below is an excerpt from one of our first exchanges in March 2011, after the re-diagnosis and before treatment began.

Grace: Andrea, your food is absolutely delicious!
Andrea: so glad you like it!
Grace: especially the amaranth & date bars, but really, I love everything
Andrea: How are you doing? ooh, glad you like those! I like them too (saved a few for us)
Grace: and so does my boyfriend, I had to stop him from eating all of it
Andrea: haha! Yes, keep them for you!
Grace: I’m doing really well, thank you. I’ve got a good grip on what’s going on and the track ahead. It really is going to be such a wonderful treat to look forward to these meals
Andrea: OK, so glad to hear all of that. And please continue to be honest about how you like the food and if you have special requests
Andrea: I am trying to do some research about what would be most healthy and healing for you, but want to include you when and wherever you are interested. I know you have a lot going on, so I will stay out of your way, but don’t hesitate to make suggestions or inquiries, OK?
Grace: I will be 100% honest. I think it’s going to take a little getting used to but I’m pleased to be getting such raw & fresh food. It really tastes fantastic and I would love to cook with you sometime, too. Absolutely will let you know what I’m thinking 🙂
Andrea: You are so welcome. So happy to be working with you in this way. I know you and I have not spent so much time together yet, but I feel so close to your family. You are so dear to me, Grace.

This was an experimental process bathed in a lot of love… just like The Fork in the Fight is. Sharing our story with you is new and exciting, and yet, we don’t know how it will land with you. We invite you to keep us posted by commenting, asking questions, sharing what worked for you and what did not work for you when eating or feeding a loved one in treatment. We look forward to learning how we will all grow in this process of sharing our stories.

In each The Fork in the Fight post, we will include ingredients and instructions, photographs, and conversation surrounding why that recipe was picked. As this is a forum for focusing on healing and restoration from diagnosis, throughout treatment and all the way to remission, occasionally (including in this post!), we will also share a non-food related “recipe” for something we have learned along the way: a breathing technique, a yogic practice or position, or a strategy for staying self-loving.

We are excited to explore our shared experiences of recovery, relationship building, and self-love with you. Stay well and take time for yourselves during this busy holiday season.

With love and gratitude,

Andrea and Grace