BY LIZZY SMITH One of the hardest aspects of chemo treatments for me was neutropenia because I couldn't eat fresh fruits of veggies. One more frozen pizza and I thought I was going to scream. Except, I soon learned, I could eat delicious fresh foods-- if I cooked the heck out of them! (Now before you do the same, please discuss this with your doctor.) So since I did tandem stem cell transplants, I was prepared the second time around. I did my transplant as an outpatient but moved into a Marriott Residence Inn, which had a full kitchen, for almost two weeks because it was just three miles from Huntsman Cancer Institute and Hospital where I was treated. And I went shopping before I got there. I picked up spinach, garlic, apples, bananas, berries, tomatoes, asparagus and green beans. I ate like a queen (granted, I'm one of the "lucky" ones who didn't struggle with nausea or diarrhea during transplant and I craved foods-- lots of food-- and I actually gained weight). One of my favorite recipes is right here. I still cook up this one because everyone in my family loves it. Plus with loads of garlic, it has tons of nutrients for the cancer-fighter. To watch my live cooking demo, click here: Satueed Green Beans With Garlic Sautéed Green Beans With Garlic Ingredients: -Green Beans (fresh or frozen) -Fresh Garlic (peeled) - I buy the bags of fresh garlic already peeled and ready to go at either Walmart or Costco. It's in the produce section -Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about 3 tablespoons) -1 tablespoon Soy Sauce (or more if you like) -1 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil - Sea Salt (to taste) 1. Coat the bottom of a large fry pan with olive oil. Heat oil on medium high setting on the stovetop (about a 7). 2. Add garlic and stir frequently so the garlic doesn't burn. (I slice the garlic up so it cooks faster. 3. Once the garlic is a soft yellow, add the green beans to the pan. Stir to coat the green beans with the oil/garlic mixture (usually takes about a minute or two). 4. Add the soy sauce. Stir to coat. 5. Add the sesame seed oil. Stir to coat. 6. Salt the green beans to taste. 7. Use a garlic press to add additional garlic to the green beans. I usually use about four cloves of garlic. You can use more or less depending on your taste. 8. Once the green beans have blended with the oils (about 4 minutes), turn the stovetop down to about a 3. Allow green beans to cook thoroughly, about 10-15 minutes. Stir frequently so garlic and green beans don't burn. Especially for the neutropenic patient, allow additional time to cook thoroughly. If you cook on low and continue stirring, it is hard to over-cook them. Serve and enjoy!
about the author
Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.