I couldn’t help but chuckle whenever I remember when as a young cooking enthusiast, I proudly brought a sponge cake with fruit toppings which I made, to the birthday party of my nephew. I thought I have mastered the art of folding the beaten egg whites into the cake mixture only to realize that there were still pockets of flour inside the cake after slicing it. I think I was 18 years old then. I’ve come a long way now, and as a food technologist and all those years since, cooking and baking is no big deal now. I didn’t train to be a chef really, but since we had a course on “Principles of Cooking” where we were taught what ingredients or manipulation that can be used to bring the desired texture or taste of the food, replicating a dish without a recipe is easier.
Fast forward to the present: As a cancer patient, I realized that the simpler, the less processed is our diet, the better for our health. We should avoid using cooking oils, sugar flour or starch, cream or dairy, instant seasonings and the like in our food. Better if we can eat our veggies raw or use boiling, steaming or broiling as methods of cooking to prevent the synthesis of harmful chemical compounds. This means we say goodbye to breads, cakes and pastries, or pastas with lots of cream and cheese and fried food.. And worst of all, we should stay away from food products which are not frozen or bottled or dried which have shelf lives longer than 3 days. Otherwise, preservatives were used on them. Likewise, avoid food with artificial flavor or color.
I still love watching cooking shows or restaurant reviews though. I wish I could go to my kitchen to whip up those mouth watering desserts or fancy dishes featured on TV which I am now capable of doing. But who’s going to eat them? I don’t have the heart to give it away to a relative or friend knowing what’s not good for me is not good for them, too. But I have to confess, that 100% avoidance is not yet happening for me, but having started, I’m getting there.