Taking Cooking & Nutrition Demos to a Whole New Level with the EDIBLE Project

Written By Carrie Han
Christy and Geremy standing in the kitchen

So you're sitting in the audience at an ELLICSR Kitchen demonstration, watching carefully as Geremy, the wellness chef, intricately bastes trout while Christy, the registered dietitian, enthusiastically talks about all the healthy nutrients found in the dish. Boy, I can't wait to make this at home, you think to yourself as you breathe in the mouth-watering scents filling the air.

But once you get home, you find yourself fumbling to replicate the en papillote technique that looked so easy when Geremy did it. You wonder if the fibre in your Brussels sprouts will make the diarrhea you've been having since finishing treatment worse.

As great as the ELLICSR Kitchen Cooking & Nutrition Demonstrations are, wouldn't it be even better if you could practice cooking recipes specifically tailored to your symptoms beside Geremy and Christy?

That's what I've been working on as a summer research student. I've been helping to create a hands-on cooking and nutrition class called Eliminating Digestive Irregularities caused By Late Effects of abdominopelvic radiation, or EDIBLE for short. EDIBLE is designed specifically for endometrial and cervical cancer survivors who are experiencing long-term digestive upset after getting radiation treatment to the abdomen.  

But what if you're not an endometrial or cervical cancer survivor? EDIBLE is just one program we're working on to help transition the ELLICSR Kitchen from promoting general wellness to interactive, symptom-specific workshops. Here's what you can look forward to:

  • Smaller class sizes for a more interactive experience and a close-up view of the demonstration
  • Discussion with registered dietitian Christy and other survivors on foods to help manage the side effects and symptoms you may be experiencing
  • A chance to practice culinary techniques with the help of Geremy, the wellness chef
  • Tasting the healthy and delicious foods you helped make

Before we can get these classes rolling, we need to do some research to see if it is feasible and effective on a larger scale. That's why we're doing the EDIBLE pilot project this summer. Our first EDIBLE class started last month and all the participants loved it! I had the pleasure of sitting in during the class and, as a lazy health-conscious food lover, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about all the new and easy ways of preparing healthy meals.

Working at ELLICSR this summer has been incredibly rewarding, particularly when I got to interact with patients and see their excitement during the classes. I believe these tailored, cancer-specific classes will give cancer survivors a much more enriching experience. I am grateful that I was a part of the evolution in making it happen. 

In the meantime, anyone can still come by the ELLICSR Kitchen Cooking & Nutrition demonstrations that happen every month as a part of Community Connections.