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Coco&Me » Blog Archive » What I can do
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August 31st, 2016

What I can do



“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”  ― C.G. Jung



I believe that how well I react to the given situation would help me to overcome this and see me through to the healthier me again. To react well means acknowledging its existence & accepting it. It means dealing with it head on, working hard to become who I’d want to be.


It’s not me to lament over what happened. I am not going to let the fearful emotions take control of me. I have always been the ‘glass is half full’, happy-go-lucky type & that’s who I shall remain to be.


So in practical terms, what can I do right now? Here’s what I’m thinking at the moment:


1. Eat a well balanced diet.

2. Check my body regularly.

3. Exercise regularly.

4. Breathe well.

5. Don’t dwell on the negative. Never play the victim.

6. Radiate positivity. Glow.

7. Stand tall, have grace.

8. Appreciate everyone with respect & love.

9. Be thankful for the second chance in life.

10. Proceed forward.

For now I would like to share my thoughts with you on the first one:

Eat a well balanced diet. 
Just like how I have my own beliefs that is tailored to just me, I have my own eating system. The current global health & wellness trend is absolutely amazing in that it’s become much easier to buy healthy foods so readily, but on the other-hand I can’t help but feel cautious of how commercialised it has become. Do you ever feel this? I feel slightly overwhelmed by all those heavily branded, need to be instagrammable, touting big health benefits, over hyped ‘products’. They are hitching a ride on the trendy bandwagon, I feel. I also think that I don’t want to be the sucker that laps it up, it’s commercialised health boom is just going to be costly for me!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in love with the clear trend in fighting food causes, being ethical, sustainable, nutrition-led & high moral. It serves in informing us, the public, on the impact of our food choices to our body & to our Earth, & be mindful to try to change it for the better – for us & for our future children.

I just need to train my eye to wade through some of the more colourfully illustrated ones to find what makes sense to me…

What I wonder is this: what is ‘real’ food? Real food to me is made from ingredients that are honest. It means simple. It means unrefined & unprocessed. It means authenticity. It doesn’t need to be prettily packaged or marketed heavily. = It means buying authentic raw ingredients to notch up a meal.

I am still a learner at this (always will be in life!), but in trying to cook as much as possible from scratch at home, I enjoy controlling what is in my food. More than ever before, now that I have breast cancer, I recognise the need to cook healthy & nurturing foods for my self-preservation!

Here’s some pics of what I’ve been eating lately!


Coco&Me blog - homemade cauliflower soup - www.cocoandme.com

(Lunch: I made cauliflower soup. Sprinkled lots of rocket salad.)


Coco&Me blog - AZUKI AND PUMPKIN DISH - www.cocoandme.com

(Dinner: Azuki & pumpkin macrobiotic stew, steamed broccoli, daikon radish & carrot pickle, with brown rice.)


Coco&Me blog - sun dried apple pieces for snacking - www.cocoandme.com(Making snacks: sun drying apple pieces on a very hot day.)


Coco&Me blog - boiled chicken breast with spring onion sauce - www.cocoandme.com

(Dinner: Poached chicken breast with ginger & spring onion sauce.)


Coco&Me blog - pub salad - www.cocoandme.com

(Went for pub lunch. Chose salad over the choice of fish & chips…, sigh…)


Coco&Me blog - steamed Japanese sweet potato - www.cocoandme.com

(Snack: Steamed Japanese sweet potato.)


Coco&Me blog - homemade green smoothie - www.cocoandme.com

(Breakfast: Green smoothie. Very filling…)


Coco&Me blog - sea bream, arame rice, nameko miso soup - www.cocoandme.com

(Dinner: Pan fried sea bream, white rice with arame, sautéed broccoli & egg. Together with nameko mushroom miso soup.)


Coco&Me blog - sandwich bento - www.cocoandme.com

(Bento for S.)


Looking for answers within.
You might or might not have realised that this Coco&Me blog is going to have to do a 180 degree turn. It is no more a cake blog, or a blog by a cake baker/ seller. I can no longer continue my refined sugary ways.
It’s taken a bit of soul searching to say these words – I am going to ditch the 10 years of my relentless cake obsession. I am going to renounce my ways.


It is a no brainier decision, I’ve got to, if I want to live a long healthy life that keeps my breast cancer at bay!


So yes, here it is folks, here’s the scenario from now on! This Coco&Me ship is changing course!


Just imagine a typical scene that you might read in a book, set perhaps in an injured warship, it is terribly under threat, so much so that it’s almost been battled to a halt. In the control room, there is the panic stricken confused crew running left right & centre. And to top off their distress, there is the emergency alarm piercing the troubled air.


Then…, the good guys – a brigade of ornately armoured commanders storm in. They authoritatively shout,
“This station and its crew are now under our command! We’re here to help you, lighten your load, drop the sugar cargo!” “Commence with our advance!”


And then we enter the next chapter…

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  1. As a lover of the elegant pastries you once made, I will mourn the beautiful creations you used to share. And your stories about the market where you sold them.
    But your new adventures are sure to be interesting too, and who knows, they might help more of us half-wrecked battleships transform our ways and emerge victorious from this battle against bad eating.
    I enjoyed seeing photos of the very healthy yet delicious-looking dishes you prepared for yourself and your family. Given your cultural origins, and your attention to detail, I think you have a lot to teach us about how to make food beautiful, delicious and healthy. I look forward to learning with you.

    Comment by Astrid - August 31, 2016 2:22 pm

  2. Oh Astrid, how lovely and special to hear from you again! Thank you so much for leaving a comment here, it’s been a while!!! ;)
    To be honest with you, I am mourning too…, :( :( it’s difficult to let go of something I enjoyed doing so much. It upset me as much as it upset me when I was diagnosed. Some people have said they think it is a rash decision. Although I agree with them that I have reacted in a somewhat OTT way, I know that it is a right decision…
    Astrid, I’m so glad you liked my healthy food pics! Thank you!!! xxxxx

    Comment by Tamami - August 31, 2016 2:53 pm

  3. Dear Tamami,
    Thank you for writing this blog entry. For some reason it made me cry. You are such a pure and brave and strong woman. I admire that you are being practical about it and not being negative. Good luck in everything that you decide to do in the next chapter of life, will be supporting you all the way! xx
    PS I also enjoyed the healthy food pictures! You should write recipes for them just like how you do the detailed cake recipes!

    Comment by Louise - August 31, 2016 8:03 pm

  4. Dear Louise, I’m sorry it made you cry…, :( but thank you so much for your very kind words…! – That’s a fantastic idea about writing the healthy food recipes for the blog! That is probably the way forward! I’ll get on to it! ;-) xx so stay tuned! xx

    Comment by Tamami - August 31, 2016 9:04 pm

  5. Dear Tamami,
    That’s a great attitude to have and I think it is definitely the best decision. I have started to eat healthier a couple of months ago and it has made a huge difference. I feel so much better and many health problems I had (with my skin and digestion) are gone. We are always told to eat more fruit and vegetables and yes, it totally makes sense! Looking forward to the new version of Coco&Me, I have no doubt it will be just as fabulous!

    Comment by Cynthia - September 1, 2016 2:57 pm

  6. Dear Cynthia,
    thank you so much for your support! :)
    Wow, that’s amazing that your skin and digestion problem was solved from just a couple of months of healthy eating! :) yay to you! :) – New version of Coco&Me~! Yup! Getting exciting now! xx

    Comment by Tamami - September 1, 2016 4:55 pm

  7. Hi, stopped by your blog today to see what you have been upto and read about your cancer diagnosis. Wishing you a complete and speedy recovery.

    This blog is by one of my favourite bloggers. She was also diagnosed with cancer years ago.

    Please do keep us updated.

    P.s your brownie recipe is my favourite go to recipe for any event/gathering. It’s a crowd pleaser.

    Comment by Ns - September 1, 2016 8:57 pm

  8. Tamami, I think you have made the right decision. You alone are the best judge of what your body needs right now, and you must do what ever you can to take care of yourself. While I will definitely miss the wonderful dessert recipes and photos you used to share, as well as hearing about the anecdotes of the market, I am also eagerly looking forward to this new chapter unfolding. I love your positivity and I think with your attitude and your decision to eat healthy, you already have a headstart on the way to health. I will be cheering on you all the way through and hopefully mending my ways through your inspiration :). Please do think about sharing the recipes when you can…All the dishes look wonderful, I am particularly looking forward to the cauliflower soup recipe. Lots of love – Poornima

    Comment by Poornima - September 1, 2016 9:33 pm

  9. Poornima,
    Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Yes, unfortunately, I don’t think I will be posting sugary desserts anymore, but, all is not lost I hope, as I was thinking maybe I could explore ‘healthier’ desserts that uses healthier ingredients using my extended dessert knowledge. A lot of the healthy desserts I see online look like deflated pap, obviously developed by someone who has little knowledge of the function of eggs and flour. We’ll see…!
    And, yup, will post cauliflower soup recipe one day for you then! :)

    Comment by Tamami - September 2, 2016 6:25 am

  10. Tamami, you can and you will.
    You have already done the hardest thing which is keeping your mind positive and having a realistic outlook on things.
    I’m sorry you have to take a break from your beautiful creations in the sweets-land. Sometimes I take a break too. But cooking can be as much fun too (though in baking I like the preciseness, the elaborate embellishments, the science…) because: trying out new ingredients is fun and there is almost no chance of messing up.
    Well, I look forward to hearing from you. Don’t tire yourself out, take care and lots of love from your internet friend!

    Comment by Minik - September 3, 2016 12:34 pm

  11. Minik,
    And finally we are on the third and final message! ;-)
    I am totally on your side of the pond when you mention about the preciseness & the science in baking! Loved all of that too.
    Thankfully I’ve always been keen on savoury cooking anyway, & actually, y’know me, I love reading up on the science-y stuff about it! I’m planning to write savoury recipes for this blog with science-y tidbits, a bit similar to my scones recipe perhaps! So stay tuned!!!!!!! ;-)
    – Well, hope all is well too in Minik-land! xx

    Comment by Tamami - September 3, 2016 4:00 pm

  12. It’s totally funny now that I think about it, leaving messages on each post, bhahaa.
    The savory science tidbits sounds really great. I would definitely love reading that in your words and explanations! xx

    Comment by Minik - September 4, 2016 8:37 pm

  13. Hi Minik!!! Oh it’s been an absolute pleasure to find messages from you on separate posts! As you can imagine, although my body is busy fighting off the illness, my mind is bored from not working anymore, so, getting messages here on this blog has been one of the few sources of fun nowadays…! xx

    Comment by tamami - September 5, 2016 9:17 pm

  14. Hello Ns!!!!
    So sorry my reply to you is late…, the comment that you’ve kindly left went in to the ‘pending’ folder because of the link!!!!
    Speaking of which, thank you Ns for the link to such a lovely blog, I can understand why you read it!
    Ps: awww, brownies… sigh, I could do with a big slab of it right now…!
    Ps2: Update – very little to no nausea from the second chemo! YAYY! Next session is 15th, of which I’m not so anxious about this time! :)

    Comment by tamami - September 5, 2016 9:33 pm

  15. Best wishes on your next chemo! For me, the least processed & packaged the better the food. Your photos look delicious! It is a daily struggle to find veggies & main dishes that don’t emphasize meat that the grandchildren will eat. The youngest grandchild has the biggest sweet tooth. The other two,& myself, are fussy over what sweets we can & will eat.

    Comment by Jonquil - September 6, 2016 7:12 pm

  16. Thank you Jonquil!!!!!
    Ah yes, I totally agree, cooking every single day for children is a challenge when wellbeing is the core consideration! Mine sometimes complain that it’s always fish or vegetables! Lol. (it’s rarely meat, and even if it is, it is chicken breast). But rather I get a sore ear and them developing a good palette and good health than feed them dumbed down kiddy meals! :)

    Comment by Tamami - September 7, 2016 12:25 am

  17. Hey Tamami! Hope you’re okay and the chemo went well. I’m definitely checking in more on this site ;)
    Oh I read that site too (userealbutter) she has such nice nature photographs, swooooon… I didn’t know about her being ill, she’s all good now!
    http://cococakeland.com —> she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer too. I think the treatment is over now and she’s okay (she’s made a “Fuck Cancer” cake). I like reading about her. Nice words, a lot of colorful cakes… Just a site I follow, maybe you’ll like it too.
    Hugs for you Tamami!

    Comment by Minik - September 14, 2016 9:28 pm

  18. Hiiiiii Minik!!!!
    Thank you so much for your leaving me a comment! With the link, it got shelved in to the ‘pending’ folder…, so I have only realised now! Apologies…!!!
    And yes! I know of that blog too!!! When I was researching about breast cancer, I discovered it (and the fuck cancer cake!) It was a very interesting read, very honest! It’s also good to read that life just carries on!
    Cheers Minik for checking up on me, I’m fine I’m fine. Just had the 3rd chemo yesterday, so I’m staying low today… But not to worry, the nausea is almost non-existent, just feeling a bit lethargic. I’ll be bouncing back to my old self in a couple of days! :-) xx
    Hope all is well also in Minikland! xx

    Comment by tamami - September 16, 2016 4:06 pm

  19. Sorry to be a bit late commenting… wow, that is a huge decision and I’m sure can’t have been easy to give up something you’ve clearly loved doing for such a long time. But you know better than anyone else what’s best for you, and I can only admire your courage and positivity in the face of the unknown… xx

    Comment by Rachel - September 17, 2016 6:23 pm

  20. p.s. the pumpkin/adzuki stew looks gorgeous, I’d love it if you posted the recipe! :)

    Comment by Rachel - September 17, 2016 6:23 pm

  21. Dearest Rachel! :) It’s never ever late to hear from you my darlin, always a pleasure to hear from you~! :)

    Huge decision…, yes, but the best thing for me to do like you say… It’s difficult to cut ties with, but I’m trying, I’m trying…!

    Re: the adzuki pumpkin stew? I’ll definitely post the recipe soon then! It’s a feel-good, beautiful dish, yet simple to make!

    Comment by Tamami - September 17, 2016 7:04 pm

  22. Dear Tamami,

    I stopped by the blog today as I realised that I hadn’t seen you at Broadway Market for a long long time and found out about your cancer diagnosis. I wish you a complete and fast recovery. I admire your positive attitude to life!

    I will of course miss all your cake recipes etc but only you know what you and your body needs right now. Look forward to follow you on your new journey.


    Comment by Diana - September 17, 2016 8:29 pm

  23. Oh Diana…,
    thank you so much for leaving a comment here, I remember you and your friends – always happy when choosing cakes, which made me happy too! :)

    Yes, my body has chosen a new path for me. This new journey is going to lead me to a better me! :) Hope to hear from you again one day!

    Comment by Tamami - September 17, 2016 8:49 pm

  24. Hi Tamami, at the risk of seeming like a crazy stalker, I am back again. Just wanted to check how you are doing and is the chemo going ok? Are you getting plenty of rest? I hope everything is going as well as can be expected. Thinking of you everyday and praying for a fast recovery for you…Love – Poornima

    Comment by Poornima - September 23, 2016 8:26 pm

  25. Hi Poornima! :)
    This is very sweet of you! Thank you for being worried for me!
    I’m doing fine, I had my 3rd chemo session just over a week ago, and again, the nausea was not so bad, which is a blessing!
    Currently I’m slowly (but surely!) working on my next blog post which is a recipe, to kick start the healthy Coco&Me! Lol! xx

    Comment by tamami - September 24, 2016 6:49 am

  26. T,

    I hadn’t checked your blog in awhile and was so sorry to read about all you and your family have been going through. A good friend of mine is also going through a similar thing with breast cancer, she is in the midst of doing six chemo treatments three weeks apart and then another six weeks of radiation therapy five days a week.

    I find that the bad things we go through always have some benefit, if only to learn about ourselves and maybe help someone else down the line who is going through the same thing. It sounds like this experience is changing your focus and I will be interested to see where this all leads you. A real food cookbook could be in your future…!

    Best wishes always,
    Heidy xx

    Comment by Heidy - September 24, 2016 1:49 pm

  27. Heidy!
    It’s so lovely to hear from you again, thank you for always leaving a comment! :)
    And thank you for telling me about your friend – it’s interesting to hear about other people’s treatment plans, I’m doing three sets of ec chemo (which I have completed!), then twelve weekly sets of taxol chemo. My doctor doesn’t even go in to the details of radiotherapy yet, as I ‘think’ she wants to first see how the chemo part works out for me.

    I believe so too Heidy, about what you say about benefits. Difficult to channel on days when in the depths of the dark tunnel, but I will take this challenge on, and I believe I will come out of it with greater understanding and insight. There’s yin and yang in every experience I think, so perhaps I can look forward to a pretty damn good yang out of this experience! Lol! :)

    Comment by Tamami - September 25, 2016 3:37 am

  28. Hi Tamami! I’ve grown up reading your blog, and it was you who got my younger self believing that I could bake anything! I am sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis, but I am glad to hear (or rather read) that you have chosen to fight this and to remain positive. Chemotherapy is definitely not something easy to go through, but I hope you will continue to fight on and continue to hang in there through all the side effects.

    I am on the journey of eating healthy as well, shall we encourage and spur each other on? :)

    Sending you love and strength,
    Jo xx

    Comment by Jo - October 10, 2016 9:52 am

  29. Dear Jo!
    Thank you soooo much for the amazing comment!! I feel honoured…
    Oh my gosh, I guess I have been blogging for some time then…! Time flies! I guess a 10 year for a young person is different to a 10 year for an adult who’s sense of time has stood still!! I often feel this when I look at my children – my 12 year old boy has surpassed me in height ages ago, & my 8 year old daughter has the same size feet & hands as me (half-German blood!).
    Yup, let’s keep encouraging each other in eating healthy! I definitely need people to spur me on!!

    Comment by Tamami - October 10, 2016 2:20 pm

  30. Dearest Tamami, what a shock to hear of your health probs. I think of you as a kindred spirit in the kitchen-toy-shopaholic-world combined with a passion for good food. I was showing an old calendar to a new friend recently and he chose the pic of the hot cross buns phot

    Comment by Rebecca Milsom - February 14, 2018 1:30 pm

  31. Oops… which were inspired by your everlasting encouragement! (Just like St Valentine. Hug.) My next calendar will also acknowledge you under a photo of twin loaves of Japanese bread. The recipe was developed for an Irishman who, in spite of heroic efforts, could not replicate the extraordinary bread he had had i

    Comment by Rebecca Milsom - February 14, 2018 1:35 pm

  32. Oops… which were inspired by your everlasting encouragement! (Just like St Valentine. Hug.) My next calendar will also acknowledge you under a photo of twin loaves of Japanese bread. The recipe was one I developed as a gift for an Irishman who, in spite of heroic efforts, could not replicate the extraordinary bread he had had in Japan. Love, Rebecca x

    Comment by Rebecca Milsom - February 14, 2018 1:37 pm

  33. Dear Rebecca! How seriously lovely to hear from you again! Sorry to have shocked you with this news…!!! But I’m happy to report to you that I have now completed my treatment and now cancer-free. :) I had to stop the work I loved loved loved doing but nothing compares to good health right? :) / Great to hear that you are still busy baking fantastic bread! :). xx

    Comment by Tamami - February 14, 2018 4:11 pm


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