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Frequently Asked Questions


Diana, do you have a favorite cookbook?

This is a very common question that I receive from cancer survivors and others simply interested in a anti-cancer cookbook to use. In fact, much to my surprise, the most frequently used search word that people use to find my web site is *recipe*.

I use a wide selection of cookbooks that I have been collecting for years. They are all vegetarian or *plant-based* cookbooks. I list some on my web site's page of suggested books and many in the resource section of my book. Most get regular use; some have fallen apart with use!

The book Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé ©1971, did nothing less than change my life when I found it in 1975 browsing the library stacks while taking a study break. In fact, finally getting my second copy of it autographed by the author last year was a life highlight for me (my first copy literally fell apart). I still use several recipes from that book and always get asked for my Tabouli recipe when I take it to a potluck, which is based on the recipe from this book.

I have used and loved many cookbooks in the meantime but have recently become a fan of cookbooks by Lorna Sass, in particular her Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen, William Morrow & Co., ©1992. The original edition of this book is out of print, but it is now newly titled as Lorna Sass: Complete Vegetarian Kitchen. I knew I would love this cookbook when I read its dedication, which is very simply dedicated to Mother Earth. In addition, the author's first paragraph states "When I changed my diet a number of years ago, I discovered a beautiful symmetry: What is good for our health is also good for the health of our planet."

Diet for a Small Planet was my first introduction to thought and opinion that eating a vegetarian diet was healthful both for our body and our planet. It made sense to me as a biologist turned nutritionist. A long time ago now, I had first wanted to be an environmental biologist but followed the advice I received (yikes - can't be 30+ years ago!) to be *practical* and enter a profession that would have defined jobs and career-paths, leading me to a career as a Registered Dietitian (RD). My BS in Biology was considered unconventional as as platform for a career as an RD way back then (maybe even now) but I know it has given me many different perspectives, which have been valuable, and many of my colleagues have found helpful and even interesting. :-)

Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen includes frequent *eco-tips* and quotations by cookbook authors, organic food growers, philosophers, and spiritual leaders that remind us of the vital connections between the earth, food, eating, and life. One example:
....Food reveals our connection with the earth. Each bite contains the life of the sun and the earth. The extent to which our food reveals itself depends on us. We can see and taste the whole universe in the piece of bread!
-- Thich N'hat Hanh, Peace is Every Step (New York: Bantam, 1991)

This book is good for my body and soul. It has made me realize that even as an RD, I have come full circle to my original goal. I have always been an environmental biologist, using a plant-based diet to optimize my personal internal environmental biochemistry along with my food choices optimizing the health of our planet. Thus, I urge you to try to find this book at a used book store or check it out at your local library. I don't feel that I could improve it in any way.

As a final note, when I first made Tabouli back in the mid-70's, not only had I never eaten it, I had never heard of it. I can still remember that night like it was yesterday. My husband and I ate the entire recipe - enough for 6 - it was that good! The experience on that evening was a *defining moment* for me; it opened my eyes by making me both aware of and wonder what other wonderful experiences I had been missing in life simply because I had not yet been exposed to them. Be adventurous - try something new. Not only might it be good for you, better yet, you might actually enjoy it! Life doesn't get any better than that :-)

faq posted 9/03

Back to Main QandA Page


WBC Count What research studies have you funded with the proceeds from the sale of your book? posted 9/02, updated 9/05, updated 12/06
WBC Count Has your WBC count finally gone back up to normal?
WBC Count What do you think helped your WBC count finally get back to normal? posted 8/02
Lab Tests Can you recommend a web site or relatively user-friendly book that would explain the particular lab tests I am having done, results and what that means? posted 4/02
Coffee? Do you ever drink coffee? I just cannot give it up! posted 8/03
Black-outs What did you eat during the recent black-out? posted 9/03, updated 10/03
Cookbooks Diana, do you have a favorite cookbook? posted 9/03
Cookbooks Diana, I am a student entering the field of dietetics. One of my assignments is to find a Registered Dietitian on-line, view the web site, and ask a few questions. I am very impressed by your web page. I do hope you have a few minutes to answer a few questions. posted 10/03
Cookbooks Why don't you put calories and other nutrients on all of your
recipes? How can I figure this out myself?
posted 8/04
Cookbooks I could not get a flu shot this year. Are there immune-boosting foods that you can recommend? posted 11/04, updated 1/05
Cookbooks How do you know you are cured? posted 5/05
Cookbooks Can you give me some advice about self-publishing a book? posted 7/05




These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.

Contact Diana:

Phone: 734/996-9260

Fax: 734/996-9262

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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