A cookbook to battle cancer’s side effects

The Living Kitchen co-founder Tamara Green on launching a food delivery service with a focus on healthy eating

Tamara Green is all about promoting healthy living. She launched a food delivery service called the Living Kitchen with her partner Sarah Grossman in 2010 and has now released a cookbook on Jan. 22 by the same name. The book aims to help individuals battling cancer stock up on antioxidants and essential vitamins, using dishes that target common cancer side effects.

“As we worked more with people with cancer, we found that one side effect is loss of taste,” explains Green. “Having a cancer patient be able to taste the banana in a smoothie is the best feedback for us. It’s so easy to take for granted the simple joy of enjoying your food.”

During her time at TanenbaumCHAT, to say that Green was a busy teen, would have been an understatement.

“I was the musical director for Guys and Dolls, I was on the baseball team, and I even won most improved player,” she says.

After CHAT, Green went to McGill University to study sociology and environmental studies.

“My degree really led me to where I am now,” she says. “During my time at McGill, we launched an urban gardening community. It really blew me away that you could grow your own food in the city all year round.”

From that moment on, Green was committed to local, sustainable nutrition and using food as a means to heal and protect our bodies from disease.

After graduating from university, Green decided to explore the benefits of superfoods and attended Toronto’s Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN). The year-long intensive program taught Green to view food not just as nutrition, but as medicine.

“It was truly eye-opening to realize that what you eat impacts your health more than you realize.”

“It was truly eye-opening to realize that what you eat impacts your health more than you realize,” she says. “I had always suffered digestion issues, and through the knowledge I gained was able to heal my gut.”

In a serendipitous moment on her first day of attendance at IHN, Green sat next to Sarah Grossman, who would become her business partner.

“We created the business toward the end of our year there.”

Initially, the Living Kitchen was focused around cooking workshops but slowly evolved into a food delivery service for people wanting high-quality, healthy meals using locally sourced ingredients.

“Eventually it all became about cooking for people,” says Green. “After all, food is alive and food is life. That’s really where we got our name,” says Green.

As the growing company started taking on new clients in droves, they began working for more and more cancer patients.

“We would see huge changes from when we started to work with them,” says Green.

If you or a loved one is afflicted with this complex disease, Green breaks down a few easy first steps to get your nutritional health moving in the right direction.

“One is to eliminate all refined sugar and carbs. Next is to eat the rainbow — the brighter the food, the higher it is in minerals and antioxidants. And three is to add healing bone and veggie broths to your diet, which can be a great way to get sustenance when nausea rears its ugly head,” says Green.

The book is aimed to welcome readers to its pages, saving the scientific mumbo-jumbo for textbooks, although a lot of scientific research went into it.

The Living Kitchen is available for purchase on Amazon, and at Indigo and independent bookstores.

Article exclusive to TRNTO