A one-of-a-kind cookbook and upbeat guide to the "low microbial" diet.
Most healthy people can handle the average levels of mould and bacteria found in food. However, a simple case of food poisoning causing an upset stomach in a normal person can mean drastic illness or even death to a person living with suppressed immunity. Individuals with acute leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and bone marrow transplant recipients are often advised to eat a low microbial diet to help reduce stress on the immune system. Other people who may also benefit from a modified version of this diet include those with HIVAIDS and auto-immune disorders.
This cookbook was based on the low microbial diet developed by health care professionals at the internationally renowned Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret Hospitals in Toronto. Although other treatment centres can vary in their approach to the LMD, the basics stay the same. At the diet's core is the prohibition of most types of cheese and all raw, thin-skinned fruits and vegetables. Confronted by this restrictive diet, many patients, and their caregivers, can be unsure of what is safe to eat and how to prepare it.
Here is where The Immune System Cookbook can help with its 100 quick, simple and delicious dishes that fully exploit the ingredients permitted by the LMD. These inspirational recipes bridge the gap between health, food safety and taste while taking into account the side effects and nutritional issues a patient might go through as a result of treatment.
Millyard, who was on the diet herself for many months, has created palate-pleasing dishes with terrific eye appeal. When you can have almost nothing that is uncooked, recipes like Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Ginger Dressing address that craving for something fresh. Gingered Squash Soup with Grilled Tofu not only provides a complete protein but is also unbelievably easy to make. There's even a low microbial version of Pad Thai. And you can still experience the decadence of dessert with a dish like Twenty-Minute Tiramisu.
With creative, simple and tasty recipes you can serve to the whole family, The Immune System Cookbook will help people with compromised immunity combine all-important food safety with a renewed sense of pleasure in eating.
— Foreword by Dr. Armand Keating, head of medical oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital
— A quick-reference table of commonly restricted foods
— Common and surprising sources of food poisoning
— Recipe analysis indicating nutrients most crucial to the immune system
— Cross-referencing between treatment side effects and recipes that might be appropriate to serve in such instances
— Tips on food safety, handling and preparation, how to save on time in the kitchen and how to adapt your favourite dishes to the low microbial diet
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Karen Millyard is a Toronto-based cook and writer. She worked in publishing before developing leukemia in 1998. Before her diagnosis, Millyard planned to divide her time between writing and catering. This cookbook is the fruit of an unlikely combination of plans and personal events. Millyard has worked as an editor, bookseller and historical interpreter, and in London and Madras. She is the also the author of a non-fiction children's book, City at Night (Annick Press,1998).
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