My Inspiration

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“Let me tell you about my inspiration, the one dear to my heart…..”

… my loving and beautiful “Ace of a husband” who was diagnosed with prostate cancer for the second time within the last year.  He is my champion of sorts, my virtuoso, a maestro who is skillful, first-rate, wonderful, adept, and one marvelous man.”

The symbol I chose for this collection of work is the “Ace” because we will win this hand that has been dealt to us and I will give my heart to the one I love through a balanced and nutritional diet. And, as we all know, in the game of life generally it is good to have a few aces in your hand.  The “ace” signifies the highest card in its suit in most card games.  I have been dealt many hands over the years that have challenged my abilities, stamina, love, and faith.  By the grace of God, I have always been able to adapt.  I may not have won “the jackpot” with a royal flush, but somehow I have always kept a “full house” of many happy times around the kitchen table.

My love of cooking has always been good therapy for me.  Many of my best meals followed a stressful day at work. It brings me a lot of joy to make a newfangled morsel, but even more joy to have my family and friends enjoying my meals and engaging in happy times around the kitchen table.  I have a talent for creating a new recipe with what is already in my pantry. Anti Cancer Edibles (ACE) are the manifestations of cooking to feed the one I love with cancer.  The “ACE of hearts” signifies my will to win this hand and give my heart to help the one I love, who is my true inspiration.

Initially, so many touted a totally raw or Vegan diet.  This was daunting to me, especially having cooked with meat for such a long time. I have many friends who eat totally raw or Vegan, and we all respect each others opinions.  I respect them and they respect me.  We share our journey.  I researched and read about many different diets and heard phrases like, “you can’t have this and you better totally eliminate that.”  Daunting truly was the only word that came to mind, partially because I didn’t know how creative you can be with other ingredients.

Finally, to help sort it all out, we visited a nutritionist.  I wanted to know how to stop this cancer from growing while still keeping the happy in the kitchen.   After pouring over many expert opinions, we have decided to do what works best for us.  The nutritionist recommended we limit my husband’s carbohydrate intake of grains to 30 grams (because carbs turn to sugar), cut out almost all red meat, and eliminate almost all sugar, especially refined.  I tried to wrap my head around how I was going to transform my carnivore of a husband into a green eating machine.

When we initially got this nutrition news, I literally drove around for an hour crying, trying to figure out how in the heck I was going to manage this one.  For example, my husband loves oatmeal, and has had a bowl every morning for the past few years.  Not just a little bowl, but a big one loaded up with all the goodies such as maple syrup, walnuts, dates, and blueberries.  That big old bowl of steel-cut oats boasted a whopping 60 carbs!   And other grains, we both love them all! I have a pantry filled with them.  It does sound pretty healthy, doesn’t it?  I mean he’s a big guy.

Since I decided to step up to this challenge of getting my husband healthy, I also want to share with others what I have learned along the way. When anyone is diagnosed with any disease, it can totally overwhelm you.  My Dad was also diagnosed years back with prostate cancer, and my Grandfather with liver cancer, and my mother with cancer of the uterus.  So the motivation goes a bit deeper than my current situation.  I have a goal and it is for this program to show you how you can eat real simple with good nutrition without skimping on good taste during complicated times.  We want to help you keep the happy in your kitchen for both you and your loved ones.

Eat Real Simple is about change and a new beginning because this is the game of real life.  We must be willing to adapt because you really never know what hand you will be dealt next.  So ACE was born.  Anti Cancer Edibles encompass healthy greens, lots of veggies, a little meat, (which should be organic, lean, and grass-fed), a little fruit, little to no sugar, (especially refined), very few eggs, little to no dairy, and no more than 30 grams of carbs from grains, bread, or potatoes a day.

I believe we can eat green, green and more green while still enjoying a little of everything else in moderation. I have risen to the challenge and like so many other challenges in the past this one will not get me down.  A positive attitude and a happy disposition guides me to providing a healthy, cancer fighting diet for my loved one.  And now I will create and compile healthy simple palette pleasing dishes from my personal deck of recipe cards. Hopefully ACE’S are high! As my research and kitchen testing reveals there are lots of healthy choices, so let’s eliminate the word daunting and make what happens around the kitchen table a delight with the ACE’S in all of our lives.

Please check back often as my new passion evolves.  I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and comments along this journey.

I hope to inspire you and others to keep the happy in your kitchen.

Good health and happy eating to all,

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     Jill Flint Smith