A new website created in memory of the late Mary Hartwell aims to help people with serious illnesses and other conditions that can make it difficult to eat.
Blendingbene.com has been engineered by Hartwell’s husband, David Hawkins, with the assistance of holistic nutritionist Marla Meneghin, for people who literally can’t stomach many kinds of food.
Hawkins says the name means “blending well.”
“Bene is the latin root word for… benefit, beneficial, benefactor.” Hawkins explains.
During the last two years of his wife’s two-year battle with cancer (she died Sept. 16, 2011), Hawkins says she was often nauseated by food, and the type of food that would trigger the nausea could change rapidly.
“What frustrated me was my inability to efficiently find or buy good ingredients and skillfully prepare or blend drinks so that when Mary asked for something she could get it while still in the mood,” Hawkins says in a message posted on the website.
“During her first 30 days of chemo, she threw up 90 times,” Hawkins recalls.
He says the site is intended to help friends and family of people who have the same kind of difficulty tolerating different type of foods.
The idea is that they can buy and shop from local vendors and farmer’s markets working with “local blenders” to “’tune’ the drink to the drinker.”
Hawkins says the initial phase, building the website look and feel, is complete, and work is underway on developing “an online interactive recipe builder” that, among other things, makes use of vendors from local farmers markets.
He plans to to build an app that would make it easy for people to funnel recipe ideas into the site.
“I’m modeling this on the Facebook idea, so that people can use it for free and there’s advertising later on,” Hawkins says.
The idea is to use profits from the site to help fund the Mary Hartwell Memorial Scholarship for nutritionists.
Hartwell was and Hawkins is a director of White Rock Farmers’ Market, society which is a co-sponsor of the scholarship.
Once www.blendingbene.com is completed, Hawkins says people will be able to use the website to create nutritional drinks and smoothies for someone battling cancer, or morning sickness, or any other medical condition that makes maintaining nutrition a challenge.
Recipes can be adjusted for thirst, taste and texture to make them palatable to match specific symptoms.
Meneghin has been working with Hawkins to develop the website.
“It’s very exciting,” Meneghin says, describing Hawkins’ vision for the site as “amazing.”
“It’s from the heart.”
Meneghin hosts an online program for the site, the Blending Bene Nutrition Show at www.truthcentralradio.com