Hi I’m Kathryn. Welcome to “My Make Again Meals.” One of the things that makes me happiest is when my family tells me how much they loved a recipe I tried. They have even started to say “That’s a make again!” It’s tough cooking for a family. It is a lot of work trying to find easy, healthy meals that everyone will like. My husband teases me when I write “make again” or “yummy” beside a recipe in a cookbook but I need a reminder that that meal worked. And, I have friends who are frustrated with the same battle at their houses. So, I am going to start writing down and sharing the recipes that I find and that my family loves. My goal is to create a catalogue of the food we love and to share the recipes with others.

My story

Cooking has never been my favourite thing. I never really had a natural instinct for food and food prep. I also never had the time to invest in cooking. Meals were just a part of the day and needed to fit into the family’s busy schedule. I always thought we ate fairly healthy. Fast food was an occasional purchase, prepared meals were part of our regime, but generally we ate home cooked meals.

And then my world turned upside down. In February 2015 I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. This news rocked our family to the core. At the end of February 2015 I had a right hemi-colectomy in which they removed the right half of my colon. In April I started five rounds of chemotherapy. Then in July, I had 65% of my liver removed because the cancer had metastasized to the liver. The good news was that the surgeon said he couldn’t see the cancer anymore and that there was only scar tissue remaining. The chemo was working! In September I went into seven more rounds of chemo. It was really difficult to get through. It made me so tired and so unwell. Not sick, just unwell. On December 22, 2015 I finished my last round of chemo and began looking at the future.

In my future I want to be the healthiest person I can be. Before cancer I had run multiple half marathons, marathons and even two ultra marathons. I did yoga and I tried to keep my family on track. I know I worked too hard. I was a grade 8 teacher and that consumed a lot of my time and energy. That’s why finding time to cook was so challenging. And I was stressed all of the time.

I live everyday afraid that the cancer will come back. I want to be healthy and I want to live a long and happy life. To do that I have had to make some changes. The first major change that I have made is that I have decided not to return to teaching. Instead I am going to focus on my health, my family and my newly found interest in making easy and healthy meals.

The second major change that I am making is to change how my family eats. I am steering the family towards a more plant based diet. There are so many yummy options available and I am eager to try them. But, this is very difficult with two teenage boys and a husband that travels. Eating clean and plant-based is becoming more mainstream (thank goodness!) but it is still a challenge to change how my boys view not eating meat and for my husband to find healthy meals when traveling. The best I can do is offer healthy choices and hope for the best!

My hope is that I can help to make others’ lives happy and healthy too and that perhaps other families will say, “That is a make again meal!”