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About Supporting Teacher Ruth's Recovery from Surgery

Our beloved teacher, friend, family member Ruth Hollensteiner has had major surgery and we would like to help make her recovery as simple and easy as possible. As part of her support community, we would like to offer Ruth and the close family who is caring for Ruth (daughter Jasmine and Ruth's sister) ready-made healthy meals and snacks.  We will update this section as changes occur or more info is needed.   THANK YOU in advance for going out of your way to cook, prepare, or have ordered/delivered to Ruth something so deeply important as food is. She has expressed her appreciation over and over again and is so humbled by everyone's care. Thank you for your flexibility as we respond to Ruth's changing needs. 

Special Notes: 

Here we will be sharing dietary preferences and restrictions, as well as suggestions for preparing food in a way that it will most likely be eaten and serve to heal Ruth's body as it recovers from surgery.  Food allergy alert!: Ruth is allergic to pine nuts. NO PINE NUTS, please.  (Pine nuts are commonly found in pesto.) NO GRAPEFRUIT either, please.  How much food do I make/prepare/order for Ruth and her family? We'd like to send Ruth the following each day: --Breakfast --Afternoon lunch/dinner --Snack Due to some space limitations, Ruth is requesting just two (2) servings per meal. That said, deliveries will be made to Ruth in the San Fernando valley a few times a week. We think it makes sense to prepare meals in serving sizes of four (4) so that the meals can last a couple of days. (Plus, we know it's often as easy to cook for four as it is to cook for two.)    Food preferences: Ruth enjoys a wide range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins with just a few exceptions, mentioned here first-- Ruth does NOT like raspberries, blueberries, licorice-flavor (probably including fennel), raisins, or overly sweetened dishes (like curry can be sometimes). She also does not like a mealy or gritty texture (like old watermelon or gritty pears).  Let's also AVOID gas-inducing beans, lentils, tofu, and cabbage, at least initially.    So what *WILL* she eat? Ruth eats all variety of vegetables & fruits (except blueberries & raspberries, which she doesn't love).  Ruth's favorite foods include roasted chicken, potatoes, nuts and crunchy bread. She enjoys cuisines from around the world (Mexico/China/Thailand/Asia generally).     She also enjoys: --VEGGIES OF ALL KINDS including: squash, spinach, kale (though not as the main ingredient), green beans, beets, green onions (raw), white onions (cooked), cilantro, radish sprouts, etc., etc., etc.    --SOUPS, CHUNKY (like minestrone), rather than smooth (like a pureed soup) --SALADS OF ALL KINDS --MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF FRUITS (except blueberries & raspberries, as already mentioned) such as: strawberries, apples, citrus, melon. When cooking for someone who is recovering from major surgery or dealing with cancer, it is wonderful to emphasize a DIVERSE array of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and legumes (BUT we're gonna avoid legumes for at least a week after Ruth returns home). Animal protein, too, will assist Ruth's body to repair it's tissues.    HERBS AND SPICES, too, are FULL of wonderful cancer-fighting chemicals. Why "diverse?" Because everybody absorbs nutrients from foods differently and one's best bet to getting nourished is to consume foods from a variety of sources--something is gonna stick! As one article on this website phrases well: " All of these foods contain their own unique composition of cancer-fighting nutrients, and you need a little bit of each to maximize their benefits."     Assuming affordability is not a problem, let's prepare ORGANIC FOODS. From Rebecca Katz's The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen book: "Whenever possible, I suggest that people in treatment eat organically. That's especially true for those who eat meat and dairy. I realize organic food can cost a bit more across the board, but consider that undergoing treatment means you're already dealing with plenty of toxins in the body; you don't want to introduce more in the form of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs, in your food. Plus, organically grown food often offered more nutrients and phytochemicals [(plant-based nutrients)] than its commercially grown counterparts. As for taste, organic, fresh-picked produce, pasture-raised chicken and fish caught in the wild are absolutely delicious, offering the finest flavors that can land on your plate." (Katz, 2017)   Lastly, food storage. Here's a link with some helpful information about packing, sorting, and reheating foods for Ruth and other additional info: