On November 2, Author Grace O was the featured speaker at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the USC Keck Medicine complex. She was invited there to speak about her cookbooks and her FoodTrients website to Keck physicians and staff along with cancer survivors and their supporters.
Grace O told the crowd of over 75 people in the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute Seminar Room about how she began her journey with food and its healing properties. She spoke of the influence her parents had on her while growing up. She talked about her adventuresome palate and her willingness to try any herb or supplement to discover how to create delicious recipes with it. And she described the process of writing the Age Gracefully Cookbook and the Age Beautifully Cookbook.
USC gynecologic oncologist Dr. Laila I. Muderspach, MD, introduced Grace O. Laura Asok, PhD, Director of Development at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center along with Mary Aalto, Volunteer Library Coordinator of the Jennifer Diamond Cancer Resource Library at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, coordinated the event, which sold out in a matter of hours.
The participants were treated to a full lunch featuring recipes from Grace O’s cookbooks prepared by her chefs. Lunch consisted of a salad of Wild Rice, Quinoa, and Golden Berries; chilled Green Tea Noodles with Edamame and Tangy Ginger Dressing; Chicken Curry with Moringa leaves over Coconut Lemongrass Rice; and for dessert Prune and Walnut Bars, and Baobab Butter Squares. Drinks included Pomegranate Iced Tea and Mint Agave Tonic.
After Grace O spoke, Barbara Weller, editor of the FoodTrients website and cookbooks, explained the health benefits of many foods. For instance, the Chicken Curry with Moringa leaves contains turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory; and moringa leaves contain potassium, which helps balance sodium and regulate blood pressure. The Coconut Lemongrass Rice is made with coconut milk which contains lauric acid, an anti-inflammatory that is also antibacterial. Ms. Weller encouraged people to sign up for the FoodTrients email newsletter at www.foodtrients.com. She also handed out copies of Dr. William Li’s list of the Top 100-plus Cancer-Fighting Foods, which can be found on the Eat To Beat Cancer website at www.eattobeat.org/food. Dr. Li is the founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, which has discovered and gathered evidence that fruits, vegetables, herbs, seafood, tea, coffee, and even chocolate contain natural substances (bioactives) that can prevent and intercept diseases.
Grace O also showed the crowd some exotic plants and fruits they might not be familiar with such as moringa, ashitaba, dragon fruit, and cherimoya, which have a variety of health benefits. The moringa plant comes from Africa and its leaves provide protein, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Ashitaba is a plant native to Japan. Its leaves when chewed raw can lower blood sugar and detoxify the body. It also has antifungal, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties. Dragon fruit from Central America has carotenoids, lycopene, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and phosphorous. Cherimoyas are a tropical South American fruit full of iron, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
“Cancer prevention is a cause that is close to my heart because my mother died of cancer when I was only 19 years old,” said Grace O. At the end of the program, she signed copies of her Age Beautifully Cookbook for the attendees.
To learn more about disease fighting foods, Grace O’s delicious recipes and her cookbooks, visit FoodTrients.com