Sometimes listening to another’s story makes the journey less arduous.

Insightful conversations with business professionals & experts.

For more useful information and resource material listen here to my podcast discussing those pain points we all experience with head and neck cancer treatment.

There is a story in all of us

Get the motivation, guidance,
and support you need to get
your life on track!

When Life Knocks you Down – Finding Strength Resilience & Courage.

1 Episode

What would you do if you had just relocated to another country, life is good and then wham! it changes and you need to draw on all of your strength and courage? My guest today in conversation is Yvonne McClaren, Chief Forager at the Food Manifesto. Yvonne’s life was turned upside down in 2018 when she discovered that her sore throat was more than she thought. With courage and determination, Yvonne began an unexpected journey and she shares her inspirational story with us today.

So let’s go join the conversation.

When all you want is a cup of Tea.

1 episode

Two years ago, Yvonne McClaren made a decision to pack up, leave Australia and go to live in Vietnam with the plan to set up a food-based business. A few months later she was back, diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Join me for this very honest and real conversation as we track Yvonne’s journey from diagnosis to surgery, to learning how to eat real food again. And she’s still a long way from munching on a chicken schnitty. Amongst other things, we talked about: how she is coping on her own how friends reacted how she returned to peak fitness kickboxing again how she’s started a business to inspire nourishing and healthy culinary skills and gaining a life purpose from it all As Yvonne says, ‘Give something a red hot go and if it doesn’t work this week it might work next week.’ You can’t help but love this big-hearted and fearless woman. There is much to learn here, grasshopper.

Soup for the Soul cooking workshop – Head & Neck Cancer Australia

1 episode

Listen to former patient Yvonne from Adelaide talk about her journey learning to eat again and preparing food from scratch after treatment for head and neck cancer in 2018 and learn about how to add flavour to food from former MasterChef 2019 contestant, Mandy Hall. Also listen to expert advice about nutrition before, during and after treatment for head and neck cancer from Darcy Jongebloed, a clinical dietitian from the Peter Mac Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

Woman of Courage Series

Whilst I have not ‘met’ today’s Woman of Courage in real life, as they say, we have most certainly connected by the common (and not ever-welcomed) diagnosis of Head and Neck Cancer. Yvonne, who is 54, has shared her story below via the responses to the questions but to know even more about her and how she is facing life full-on these days, check out her links! Recently she appeared  too as part of the Beyond Five live video segment relating to food preparation and eating for those affected by head and neck cancer, particularly as in Yvonne’s case and others, relating to swallowing.

Success Secrets Exposed

Yvonne, will share her journey on head & neck cancer, her journey of food, stigma and recovery. Her surgery & treatments left long lasting side effects, that effect daily life & increased her awareness of being a voice and a guiding light for other’s on a similar path. Being a passionate ‘foodie’ aided in her recovery but also additional information to support people going through similar mental & physical hurdles when in comes to eating and moving from PEG (feeding tubes) back to oral eating.

She is quickly becoming the poster girl for the nofeedingtubes movement. Focusing on the meaning of food and how it changes in respect to physical, emotional and social situations.

Her message is to go beyond the mechanics of nutrition to also understand there is a lot of embarrassment and shame in eating food particularly socially, for people who have gone through this treatment.

Living with a PEG Tube interview with Melanie Dimmitt

How did tube feeding come into your life? How did you respond to this new way of eating (and life), both emotionally and physically?

What was most challenging about PEG feeding, and how did you manage this? How did tube feeding impact your social and working life?

What tube feeding tips do you have for people who are new to it? What is one of the biggest misconceptions about tube feeding as an adult? Why was transitioning back to oral feeds such an important part of your recovery, and what was this process like? Were there times when you wanted to give up, and if so, what got you through?

Where are you at now in your transition back to oral eating? Do you still have/use your PEG at all? At what point did you decide to start coaching and helping others to do what you did, and what is this work like?

What advice do you have for other people who would like to transition off PEG feeds, and back to oral feeds?

The reality of PEG tube feeding