Cook For Your Life, Inc.
At Cook For Your Life it’s our mission to teach healthy cooking to people touched by cancer. We turn nutrition guidelines into practical, easy recipes that are designed specifically for the different stages of treatment, and to promote healthy survivorship. Good food gives your body the strength it needs to get through hard days, the courage to stay healthy when treatment is over, and comfort when your soul needs it most.
Cook For Your Life started in 2007 after founder, Ann Ogden, was in treatment for her second cancer diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer. Ann took a break from her successful career in fashion to focus on her treatment. Suddenly immersed in the world of hospitals and cancer treatment, she became aware of how little her chemo buddies knew about healthy food. Growing up with an Italian mother from a family of chefs and a father who was a Master Baker she was easily able to adapt recipes to help her cope with side effects and eat well even on the worst days. But for her treatment friends it was a different story. She started giving cooking tips and advice, which eventually led to her first free hands-on cooking class.
From these small beginnings, Cook For Your Life free hands-on cooking programs have directly served over 9,000 patients in the NYC area. CFYL continues a long-term collaboration with researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health on NIH funded research projects that explore dietary behaviors in cancer survivors. Ann is a peer reviewed and published co-author on several papers resulting from this work
CFYL has partnered with Drexel University to develop new recipes and to expand our monthly cooking program at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge NYC to their Hope Lodge in Philadelphia.
To bring the warm atmosphere of our classes to a wider audience, CFYL created a subscription-free website that launched in February 2012. With over 1,000 recipes that are easy to make and full of the nutrients and vitamins needed both during and after treatment, the website and the associated social networks serve as a platform for education and ongoing support for all in the cancer community. Over 62,000 people use the site each month. To date we are proud to have served more than 3 million people touched by cancer.
In 2015, Ann published the Cook For Your Life cookbook to great acclaim. It was nominated for a James Beard Foundation cookbook award in the 'Focus on Health' category, and won the 2016 Books for A Better Life Award for best cookbook.
Ann and CFYL understand that taking care of one’s health is always important, but that during cancer treatment it’s crucial. Eating a balanced diet of delicious, healthy, nourishing food is vital to mitigating the difficulties of cancer treatment and to enjoying a healthy survivorship. It’s our goal to make that easier for all.