D'Fine your diet

D'Fine your diet

17 September 2013

It was the “father of modern medicine”, Hippocrates, who, back in 400 BC, said “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”.

It’s a long held concept that our diet, environmental factors and living habits are the cause of diseases and that the body is designed to heal itself, with the aid of foods rich in the right nutrients.  

It’s a concept embraced by noted Brisbane chef, culinary teacher and author Alison Taafe. Taafe has just released her third cookbook, Eat for your Life, which she acknowledges was both closest to her heart and the most challenging to write.

Her sister Laura de Pre Moore’s breast cancer journey and return to good health provided Taafe with the inspiration to put her chef’s skills to work to devise healthy recipes based on clinically approved raw foods, juices and limited animal fats in the fight to save Laura’s life.

Laura, who continues to undergo conventional treatment and adhere to the diet, was declared cancer-free in May.

“It was written, not only for Laura, now 44, but all those who suffer ill health – as health should be our number one priority, Taafe, 48, said.

“Since Laura’s first diagnosis in 2007 and second in 2010, I have been catapulted, out of necessity, into saving my sister’s life.”

An initial operation to remove Laura’s tumour was followed by chemotherapy, radiation and many side effects. In 2010, secondary cancer tumours were detected in Laura’s bones and she was told she has as little as two years to live.

After exhausting all traditional medicines available in Australia, Taafe took up the challenge. “I started researching alternative treatments and luckily discovered the Hoxsey Treatment at the Bio Medical Centre in Tijuana, Mexico. Immediately, I started making arrangements to take Laura there,” she said.

Alison established a charity – Eat for a Cure – and began hosting dinners and lunches to raise the necessary funds for the 2011 trip.

“Once in Mexico, Laura was prescribed – first and foremost – the Hoxsey tonic (a powerful combination of nutrients), supplements, a very strict diet and a strong mental attitude. With my background in culinary world, this positive approach was like waving the chequered flag in front of me. It was the start of the challenge to keep Laura alive through the power of healthy, nutritional food and supplements. So I created a diet and Laura adhered to it.

“Incredibly, Laura was declared cancer-free both in Mexico and Australia in 2012.”

Today, Laura is cancer-free, remains on her strict diet and has returned to work at her home-based business, Twinkle Toes, in Wakerley.

“As a chef, I had to completely rethink my approach to food. We’ve been through such an incredible experience where healthy eating has contributed to my sister’s recovery. 'Eat for your Life' is my way of sharing that newfound knowledge with others.

“I want everyone who has chronic health issues to know how healthy eating can help change their condition – and maybe even their life.”

Taafe acknowledges that she is neither a doctor nor a dietician.

“I am a chef with the goal of helping people manage, and perhaps even reverse, disease through food.”

Her advice is to get back to basics.

“Make everything from scratch like they did in the olden days. This way you know exactly what is in the food you eat.”

“Read labels is my big message.”

 Eat for your Life is a result of three years’ research and writing, and features more than 200 recipes aimed at fighting cancer, heart disease, diabetes and which boost immunity. It includes nutritional information and tips and hints to eat for health. It also has chapters on eating prescriptively to fight other chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood cholesterol – all of which various members of Alison’s family have experienced.

The book is available online through Alison Taafe’s website www.alisontaafe.com.au for $30 plus postage and handling. All proceeds from the sale of the book for to Eat for a Cure.