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  • Writer's picturecarrie berry

Bolognese Hot Pockets

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

Frozen puff pastry is definitely one of the greatest inventions for the busy mom - it only takes literally 5 mins prep if you have a pre made sauce ready in the fridge. Probably not too healthy for you with all that butter, but definitely not what I would consider an unhealthy or preservative loaded item and i am happy to eat it once in a while. Especially now that I have weaned off eating meat, I don't feel guilty eating butter or empty calories. I feel like my health and lifestyle have improved exponentially and this is a just a little cheat meal for me, plus my baby loves it too!

To make this, quarter one sheet of puff pastry, spoon in a 2 tablespoons of Easy Vegan Bolognese, sprinkle a little bit of cheese, then wait for the pastry to soften a little bit and just fold them over and pinch the edges shut. Instead of the vegan bolognese, you could also substitute with normal bolognese, pesto, roasted veggies, kimchi and gochujang, salmon with mayo, just cheese, or any type of pasta sauce - the options are endless! After the puff pastry has softened a bit more, further taper off the edges with a fork, and brush the tops with an egg wash (one egg whisked). Bake these in an oven preheated to 180 degrees C for 20 minutes.

I know that the bolognese recipe is vegan, but this (not so much recipe but a) meal suggestion is vegetarian and technically not a healthy one. But i figured that if I have a hard time identifying with strictly this or that diet, many people must experience the same thing. It's perfectly ok if like me, you want to eat as healthy as possible but you still eat cheese or butter. I had the intention of trying harder with cutting dairy, but I had not been well enough to venture out in search of a good vegan cheese so this cheddar will have to do for the moment. And butter is what gives me butterflies and rainbows at the end of a long day so it's gonna take me some time to find something good enough to replace it. Despite this not being a perfectly healthy meal, it was so delicious and fast and impressive in presentation and I urge you to try it!

Having read many books after my cancer diagnosis and having spoken to many people about their lives post cancer, I've decided that a plant based diet seems to be my best bet at reducing breast cancer recurrence. After completing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and starting hormone therapy, my oncologist believes that the chance of me not dying from breast cancer ever is at 96%. The doctor gave me a choice of doing chemo or not, but my survival rate was 93% before doing it, and that just wasn't good enough. I want to make it 100%. I also want to beat the odds of under 1% leukemia risk from chemo side effects, under 1% leukemia risk from Neustala injection side effects, under 1% lymphoma risk from breast implant side effects, under 1% lung cancer risk from radiotherapy side effects, and under 1% endometrial cancer risk from hormone therapy side effects. How much under 1%, i do not know. Many of my fellow breast cancer fighters eat a traditional Chinese diet high in meat consumption supplementing with TCM herbs, and some believe that they should eat whatever they like as long as they maintain a relatively healthy diet, but personally those secondary cancer numbers loom over my head every single day, and being an active participant in preventing the remaining 4+% risk is vital to me. Currently both Jerry and I eat a predominantly but not entirely plant based diet, meaning that we eat an obscene amount of vegetables, we don't have dairy except on cheat meals like these hot pockets, but we still have eggs and seafood a few times a week at the urging of my doctors and nutritionist. Every single day I eat at least 560 grams of fruits and veggies, and i eat as many known anti cancer foods as I can, such as tumeric and black pepper, flax seeds, camomile tea, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, pomegranates, all berries, nuts and seeds. Making sure you have enough protein when not eating meat is incredibly hard work, and my awesome nutritionist has taught me to supplement with lecithin, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nut butters, nuts and quinoa among other things. However, this change alone, along with eating humongous amounts and varieties of fruits and vegetables, has minimized my chemo side effects to barely any. Out of all the 12+ side effects you could possibly get, i only had about 4 if you don't count hairloss - fatigue, diarrhea, mild finger numbness and neutropenia (low white blood cells), and i attribute this to my nutrition. Right now I am at day 15 of radiotherapy and i still have no side effects from it (fingers crossed!!!).

For anyone who wants to be healthier, feel better, prevent disease and live longer, i urge you to read and look at evidence based research on how your diet can help you achieve your health goals. No one should feel at the mercy of disease, everything can be reversed and you can be in control of your life. Remind yourself that being healthy doesn't mean saying a final goodbye to your favorite steak or dessert - lifestyle change is rarely a cold turkey movement and we should all pat ourselves on the back for trying our best. Just be conscious and purposeful about your actions (as with everything in life), and take it one step at a time. I look back on my life of cigarettes alcohol and KFC with a small head shake of disapproval, because thinking back it did not make me that happy/it just wasn't that tasty at all (especially cigarettes...ugh) - I wish I had known to dig deeper and do things with my mind and soul rather than for self confidence/convenience/mindlessness/social approval. Nowadays every bite of food that i eat serves a purpose. A garnish used to be totally unnecessary and expensive in the past, but now i know that a scattering of parsley or any herb on top of your pasta serves to provide an intense hit of vitamin A, antioxidants and improves inflammation, ultimately lowering your cancer and heart disease risk. If anyone wants to share more about nutrition, healthy meal ideas and anti cancer info, please dm me on instagram!

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