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Grayslake dietitian’s recipes in cookbook aimed at fighting cancer.

Kristen TrukovClinical Oncology Dietitian with Cancer Treatment Centers Americcafeterifacility Zion. | Joe Shuman~Sun-Times Media

Kristen Trukova, Clinical Oncology Dietitian, with Cancer Treatment Centers of America in the cafeteria at the facility in Zion. | Joe Shuman~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 7, 2012 1:56AM

ZION — Demand for cafeteria food led to the recent publication of a cookbook aimed at fighting cancer.

Chefs and dietitians at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, located in six states, spent months collaborating on recipes for patients. Many of the recipes in the cookbook titled “Wholesome Temptation: Nutrition Tips and Recipes from Cancer treatment Centers of America” came from CTCA cafeterias and staff, like registered dietitian Kristen Trukova of Grayslake, who is on staff at the Zion CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center.

Trukova contributed four of her own recipes to the 159 in the finished book.

“I think it’s great. It’s something we always thought about doing. We really organized it,” Trukova said.

The book targets two types of patients, she said. The first type has no difficulties eating, but wants to eat healthy foods. There are also recipes for the second type of patient, the ones who struggle with nausea and taste changes, Trukova said.

“It’s also really nice for caregivers to have,” Trukova said.

The cookbook is divided up into seven sections targeting specific areas for both types of patients. One section is full of recipes for nauseated people, another section for people with declining appetites, another for antioxidants and so on.

Steve Birch of Monan, Ind., said the recipe book was a good idea.

“One of the biggest issues you have as a caregiver at home is meals,” Birch said.

His wife is being treated at the Zion CTCA.

He said time is a factor when caring for his wife. He’ll start cooking a meal, but by the time it’s ready to serve, she won’t want to eat. Or he will run out of time and end up nuking a can of soup, which he knows is full of sodium and preservatives.

Trukova said most of the recipes in the book are meant to be simple, quick and easy.

A team of about 35 CTCA chefs and dietitians worked on the cookbook, according to Carolyn Lammersfeld, national director of nutrition for CTCA. The idea came from multiple requests from patients who liked what they ate in CTCA cafeterias and wanted nutrition tips, she said.

“The intention of the book is designed to help people with cancer treatment. A lot of recipes will be healthy and tasty,” Lammersfeld said. “I think the recipes will appeal for anyone who is trying to eat healthy.”

Staff are starting to tuck recipes away for a future second edition, she said.

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