Most peculiar

It’s been a funny old week – definitely not the amusing type.

I am now in to my second week of cycle 1 of chemotherapy and have experienced some odd and some deeply unpleasant (won’t go in to that!) effects. Changing tastes:

Firstly I have absolutely no appetite –  a novel and curious feeling for a devout foodie.

Secondly – for a few days when I did feel the urge to eat it was for foods I never normally eat. I longed for shop bought fish, chips and mushy peas – the combination tasted like nectar! Another night I sent my poor husband to the shops to buy a tin of Baked Beans (reminiscent of a pregnancy midnight raid!) and wanted only beans on toast with cheese on top. This, unlike the fish ‘n chips, was a total  disappointment – unsure whether my tastes are changing or just that I have not eaten processed foods for so long.

I have gone off tea and coffee and am enjoying powdered skimmed milk as a hot drink!

I am seeking much stronger flavours  – no subtlety to my palate at the moment.

Somethings I eat have no flavour yet I can smell them. Flavour is the combination of taste -what your taste buds pick up (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and  potentially umami) and the smell of the food. The roof of my mouth seems to be completely inert at the moment (the same feeling when you have burnt it).  The roof of the mouth is the palate – and presumably where the terms palatable  / having a pleasing palate come from. I can only assume this change is what is affecting my dietary choices and experiences.

All very odd and quite fascinating … as long as it settles down!

 

Irony

…a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.

I believe I eat healthily. I have a number of friends who frequently message me, after seeing something I have posted on my Instagram account @jfb50, asking me, ‘What on earth is that?’ or ‘So what does that do?’  I even have one particular checkout assistant at my local supermarket who quizzes me on everything that passes along the belt – ‘How are you going to cook that?’ and one day popped up in the spice aisle when I was looking for sumac and followed me around the supermarket asking me all about the food I was buying!

I eat a balanced diet and thoroughly enjoy what I eat. I ‘listen’ to my body and respond to any dietary preferences. Talking of preferences – I avoid taking tablets of any kind if I can – unless prescribed.

So…with this in mind, this week, I ‘willingly’ signed the consent forms for a 6×3 week treatment cycle of chemotherapy. The impact of these toxins: the destruction of the flora in my large intestine that I have nurtured with my daily kefir and frequent meals of beans and pulses; the stripping of calcium from my body and all manner of other unpleasantness that I don’t really want to think about! But of course, the pay off is, I hope, the destruction of anything lurking in my system that shouldn’t be there.

I know that the food I eat will heal me and my positive attitude will see me through 🙂

Any tips gratefully received 🙂

Changing tastes

I have been informed that when I start chemotherapy food just won’t taste the same. Now for a food lover, I find this prospect quite unnerving. Talking to other people who have undergone the same therapy, I have been warned that sometimes taste preferences change from day to day, or the desire for sweets goes – not a problem for me..phew, or I will have a bitter or metallic taste in my mouth, or I will no longer enjoy red meat – again…phew -don’t eat it any way.

This all got me thinking about how my taste buds have changed over the years and foods I once enjoyed I now know longer eat or vice versa. I distinctly remember when I started to enjoy ‘grown up foods’ – in my early 20s. Until that age I couldn’t bear foods such as parmesan or blue cheese or very oddly – kedgeree!. It wasn’t until my late 30s that I could eat and enjoy olives – I frequently tried as they always looked so delicious. As I have got older my once ‘sweet tooth’ has gone and I will choose savoury over sweet every time.

I understand the medical reason – I was born with approximately 10,000 taste buds that are replaced every two weeks or so but over time they aren’t replaced and the numbers start to decrease and so flavours that were once too intense are now more palatable. I ‘get’ this but still find it fascinating.

What foods did you dislike as a child and now enjoy?

Cooking is therapy

Having had a day last week that was very different to the norm and not the sort of day I would like to repeat, it was wonderful to receive a postal delivery of dry ingredients that I had ordered prior to my op. I always get very excited when new, to me, flavours arrive.

This is my comfort zone, my area of contentment and my normality – cooking is my therapy.

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I use lots of spices in my cooking and have always been relatively confident playing around with combinations (with only the very occasional flavour disaster). My latest delivery contains sumac and za’ater – two spices I have not used myself although I have eaten many Persian and Middle Eastern dishes. So, while I recover and am relatively housebound I will enjoy spending my time conjuring up recipes. Watch this space …

1 in 8

Well it seems that never smoking, drinking very little ( I mean very little) alcohol, never abusing my body with drugs, eating a very healthy and well balanced diet and leading an active life and being a sensible weight just isn’t enough. I found out this week that I have an unwanted companion – of the malignant variety. At this point I then felt I should smoke 20 cigarettes – normal or ‘herbal’, drink a bottle of whisky (don’t even like whisky – sorry all those people I have just offended) and eat a whole rack of doughnuts. Obviously, I didn’t!

After feeling sorry for myself and wallowing momentarily in self -pity I then started to think logically.

Because I have never smoked or done drugs, drink all most no alcohol, eat a very healthy and well balanced diet, lead an active life and am a sensible weight, I am in the  best position to beat the b…er!

My battle commences…