I've always had a healthy appetite but not always a healthy diet, and this contributed to three decades of ill health: chronic sinus infections, digestive complaints, hypoglycemia, weight problems and, at 34, early-stage cervical cancer.
A nutritionist's advice to change my diet - replacing sugar, white bread and processed foods with fresh vegetables, fruits and home-cooked meals - dramatically improved my health and persuaded me to rethink my life. After 10 years spent working in finance and journalism, I quit my reporting job at the Financial Times in London and trained to be a nutritionist.
Luckily my cancer was caught early and following treatment I returned to full health. Since this experience I have become a passionate advocate of cancer prevention. This is what inspired me to write Zest for Life, for I want to show how easy it is to boost one's defences against cancer while leading a normal, busy life.
Healthy eating doesn't have to be dull or complicated; in Zest for Life, which is based on the traditional Mediterranean diet, I want to show that healthy food can be simple to prepare, affordable and delicious, making it easy to eat like this every day for the rest of our lives. As a mother of three children, I know how important it is to cook healthy food your family will enjoy; let me assure you: all the recipes in Zest have been approved by my kids and their friends.
I offer nutrition consultations, teach health-cooking classes, work with children in schools and advise cafeteria operators on healthy school meals. If you want to know more about my work, please visit my website, www.nutrelan.com. Also, check out my health-cooking videos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/connermid?feature=mhee. And read my cancer-prevention blog at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/nourish.