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Healthy Eating While Battling Cancer

In the updated version of her cookbook, Eating Well Through Cancer, Holly Clegg supports cancer patients and caregivers with delicious recipes for each stage of treatment. Read Transcript


When it comes to cancer, sometimes the side effects

of the treatment make you feel worse than the cancer itself.

That's what motivated Holly Clegg to use her expertise

in developing tasty, nutritious recipes that people with cancer

can eat at each stage of their treatment.

Take a look.

In 2001, Holly Clegg's dad was diagnosed with cancer.

So she used her culinary skills to develop

easy and appealing recipes to help him do the chemotherapy.

Sometimes when you're going through cancer treatment

or even some medications, it can affect your taste buds.

In the updated and expanded edition of Eating Well

Through Cancer, Holly supports caregivers and patients

with simple, tasty recipes for each stage of treatment.

And please welcome back to The 700 Club, Holly Clegg.

Holly, it's so good to see you.

Nice to be back.

First time meeting you.

Well of course it's great to eat healthy all the time,

but especially if you're going through an illness like cancer.

Why is that?

When you're going through treatment,

it's such a challenging time.

But you still need to keep your strength and good health.

And it's important that you stay well nourished and well


Now why are some foods better tolerated

in our system when we're going through cancer and chemo?

Your diet is almost in flux.

And there are foods that are better tolerated that

will ease the symptoms, so it's important to think

about what you're eating as you develop these different side


That's why I divided the cookbook

into the different side effects.

The chapters sort of emphasize what you're

going through at that time.

Now, your dad, he was your Guinea pig

when you were developing these recipes.

How is he doing today?

Because this he was diagnosed with cancer back in 2001 right?

Yeah, he has larynx cancer.

He's hanging in there.

I mean, he's probably-- he's a challenged person all the time,

but he's the toughest person I know.

My hero, and he still enjoys food.

And he loves your recipes, which

we're going to talk about.

Now your book, as you mentioned, is divided up

into chapters that correspond with the stages of treatment.

So let's say, first day of chemo.

What would be a good thing to eat that day?


When you're going through chemo, you

want something light and low fat.

Nothing heavy.

I mean, if you eat fried chicken, you're not

you're going to be sick.

Even if that's what you crave.

So this is a bread pudding Florentine.

This is a great example, because it's a breakfast style


It's more savory than sweet.

Yeah it's a savory bread pudding.

You know I'm from Louisiana, so we have that bread pudding.

But it's easier to tolerate sometimes, breakfast,

so you could eat breakfast all day long.

So that's why I like this.

You can keep it in the refrigerator,

cut it up as you need it, and it's

very fulfilling and satisfying.

Holly, what if you're nauseous?

Often chemo makes people nauseous.

What can you possibly eat at that point?

That again is one of our chapters.

These gingerbread muffins are just

like the essence of spice cookie all in one muffin.

And ginger has the properties to fight nausea

so they're packed with--

That's why your mom always gives you ginger ale when

you're sick when you're little.

Right, and you don't realize what

she knew what she was doing.

And what's great about this.

There's a snack and smoothies section.

And snacks are important.

As I said, sometimes it's easier to eat small meals

throughout the day.

Make these gingerbread muffins, keep them in the freezer,

pull them out for breakfast or a snack.

They're great to eat.

I can tell they're super moist.

I'm really wanting to try one of those.

And this is diabetic, as well.

A lot of my recipes are diabetic friendly.

And gluten free.

And gluten free.

Although this one is not.

No, that is not gluten free.

But they're highlighted throughout the book

because that just--

Some of us like gluten.

I do.

All right, now another side effect of chemo

can be the mouth sores and dry mouth.

Your dad went through that.

What's a good thing that you can eat with that situation?

Well that, you know, of course I understand

the challenges more than ever.

Because my daddy did have those issues and now

10, 15 years later, he's lost his teeth due to the radiation.

So we're back to the sore mouth section again.

You want know blander, softer foods.

And this potato soup, oh my goodness.

It is fabulous.

Nobody has time to peel potatoes,

and it's made with hash browns.

Frozen hash browns?

Frozen hash browns.

You could even make it.

We were talking about that.

What I've learned from my father too,

is sometimes when you have a sore mouth,

serve foods at room temperature or just warm.

Not extreme temperatures

These, of course potato soup in the winter, it's a comfort.

I mean we all love that.

You don't have to be going through cancer

to love all of your recipes.


And now, we're going to make something

that you say even I can make.

Oh, first I want to talk about the glazed salmon.


Well this is in the healthy eating chapter,

and really, this book is about preventative as well.

Salmon is great for you, lot of people are intimidated.

That looks amazing.

Four ingredients.

It's just with-- and it went viral on YouTube.

It's just an easy, very flavorful recipe.

I've got to smell everything.

And if you're intimidated with salmon,

you're going to like this recipe.

I'm going to have you eating salmon.

I'm smelling something sweet.

The soy?

Is that the soy?

Yeah, it has soy sauce, honey, lime juice and Dijon.

Four ingredients, very good.

What are we going to make?

We're going to make-- this is a chicken feta.

And what I like about this recipe, it's five ingredients.

And as Marty said, you can't go wrong with chicken feta.

Anything with feta cheese.

That's right

But you take your boneless skinless chicken breast,

and we're going to do lemon juice.

Your diet is in flux when you're going through treatment,

but a lot of times your taste buds change.

And lemon juice, sometimes that tartness is preferred.

And also, lemon juice can help fight nausea too.

Even a sniff of a lemon.

And that's oregano.

We're going to put half of that.

Just half right now?

It really doesn't matter.

Keep it easy.

You're the cook, you get to do whatever you want.

And then we're going to sprinkle some feta in.

This is the reduced fat feta.

And green onions, give it a little pop.

And then we're just going to do lemon juice, a little

more lemon juice.

And this is such a popular recipe.

And finish up with our oregano.

I think what you'll see, is you probably

have all these ingredients in your house.

If they're familiar, one stop shopping.

So my goal is to let you cook because it's

so much better for you.

OK we're going to put foil on this.

Keep it covered.

And you're going to bake it for about 45 minutes.

Let me get my mitts.

45 minutes to an hour.

You know, just check your chicken.

Doesn't it smell good?

It smells amazing.

I'll just get it out.

And you really smell the oregano.


And we didn't put that much on, really.

No it's just a few different spices,

and I think the lemon is very important with this.

And this actually is in the caregiver section.

And I had someone recently say, you know, I love that section.

It gave me such ideas, because you don't

know what to do as a caregiver.

Look at that.

So it's very important.

OK so as a caregiver, all you need to do

is put some pasta in a Ziploc bag.

Take it in disposable containers, and that way

you don't have to return it and it's easy to do.

I think we need to try this.

You know what?

I love my own food.

Tell us again the name of this dish.

This is the lemon chicken feta.

And we've got a finished one over here.

And it's all soaking in the juices.

That looks so good, this is kind of a big bite.

Here we go, all right.

Let's see.

Oh my goodness, it's so moist.

And the lemon, and all the flavors.

It comes together very nicely.

All right, this is always a challenge.

Right, I swallowed mine so I could talk.

Talking and eating.

Hopefully this book makes a difference in people's lives

in a challenging

Time I love every single thing here.

Holly's book is full of nutritious,

tasty recipes everyone will love.

It's called Eating Well Through Cancer,

and it's available wherever books are sold.

And I love that this book was born out

of your love for your dad, and I love that so much.

As I love my dad too.

We also have a web exclusive interview

with Holly on our Facebook page.

To watch that, just go to,

and be sure to pick up a copy of Holly's book,

Eating Well Through Cancer.

This is great if you're healthy, or if you're going to be sick.

And it will keep you healthy.

That's right.

It's presented today to my father.

Thank you so much.

It's good to see you.

Thank you for having me.

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