Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

 

This smoothie is a simple one to make, and tastes so delish! Smoothies are generally a great option for people undergoing chemotherapy for gorgeous goji smoothie1cancer, since experiencing nausea, mouth and throat sores are common side effects. Smoothies allow you to consume some nutrient-rich calories, they go down pretty easily, and they don’t take much time to make. Whether facing cancer, or not, this is an easy recipe that will help boost energy, support the immune system and aid in weight loss. For more smoothie recipes like this one, be sure to join our FREE 7 Day Smoothie Challenge! It starts Monday, December 8th!

Goji berries are full of antioxidants, those handy little cancer-fighters. Antioxidants minimize free radical damage that injures cells and damages DNA, causing cells to grow abnormally (which can lead to what we know as cancer in the body). Gojis are also a great source of Vitamin A, which is not only important for good vision, but also healthy cell growth and a strong immune system. Some preliminary studies using goji berry juice have found benefits in mental well-being and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health.

If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries in large amounts or in supplement form: There may be some possible drug interactions with gojis. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure drugs. If you have concerns, check with your doctor, but enjoying goji berries in moderate amounts (even a few times per week) is not likely to be a problem. And that’s a good thing, because you won’t want to miss out on this healthy, yummy treat!

Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

12 ounces cold water

1/4 cup dried goji berries

1 large very banana, preferably frozen

1 cup strawberries, frozen

2 tablespoons hempseeds

Add water and gojis to a blender and let sit for 5 minutes to soften berries. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If the banana is not frozen, add a few cubes of ice and blend. Serve and enjoy.

Super Simple Overnight Oatmeal

 

Today we have a guest post from our friend Kirsten Scarcelli of Nourish Yourself Now, our Portland, Maine affiliate who offers plant-based cooking classes and much more! Read on for her simple breakfast recipe and give it a try! This one requires almost no time or effort. :)

Super Simple Overnight Oatmeal

As fall quickly approaches, and we are getting back into busier work and school schedules, do you find yourself needing to get out the door fast in  the morning? No time to make a healthy breakfast? Here is a tasty, super quick recipe that you can prepare the night before (this also works well, if you travel a lot!). I found the original recipe in Dr.McDougall’s “Starch Solution”. I adapted it slightly. Give it a try. It has lots of protein, soluble fiber, and no cholesterol and is a good source of iron and manganese. And best of all, it tastes yummy and will keep you full all morning.

SUPER SIMPLE OVERNIGHT OATMEAL

Serves 1

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plant milk or water
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Sliced banana, berries or other fruit (optional)

Stir together oats and cinnamon, and then add plant milk (or water) in a bowl or air tight container. Make sure everything is well coated.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, if using plant milk. If using water, you can leave bowl out on the counter, if room temperature is preferred.
In the morning eat cold or reheat on stovetop for a few minutes. You might need to add extra liquid.
Top with fruit and enjoy.

Tip:  I like my oatmeal very thick, so I pour boiling water over the mixture and stir. I wait until cooled, and then cover it up and leave bowl out on the counter overnight. Yummy!

Recipe adapted from: The Starch Solution, John A. McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall

***If you would like more support with food and your health, with a holistic (or whole-body) approach, try out a complimentary health consultation via phone with one of our health coaches. You will also find lots of support, information and plenty of delicious recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen.

Juicing for Life

 

Mean Green Smoothie

Mean Green. By Michelle Reaves.Chellereaves / Wikimedia Commons

Are you considering jumping on the juicing bandwagon? There’s no denying the juicing movement that’s sweeping the nation. Food and health blogs post creative concoctions, touting the health benefits of juice and its tastiness. It’s easy to get swept along in a sea of vibrant oranges, deep green kale, and bright yellow lemons.

Due to the recent rise in popularity, grocery stores are flooded with “natural” and “fresh” juices in the grab-and-go aisles. With so many easy choices, why bother with juicing at home? These neatly packaged bottles are a much faster option, and much easier than having to buy the produce, spend the time juicing, and then cleaning up afterwards.

Homemade juices are worth the effort. First of all, you have control over what goes into your juice. If you don’t like kale, but do like blueberries, you can easily make a spinach blueberry juice instead of having to stick with predesigned flavor combinations. Also, when you are making the juice yourself, you know exactly what goes into it. You can’t say the same for store bought ones. Naked juices have long marketed its line of juices as “all natural”—and recently the claims have been found to be false advertising (to the tune of $9 million).

Here are a few more reasons why fresh juice made at home is better than pre-packaged varieties found in a store.

Pasteurization. Almost all commercially produced juices are pasteurized to prolong the shelf life. Pasteurization involves heating the juice to 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and then cooling it down quickly. The heating process kills all the microbes that can cause spoilage or food borne illnesses, but it also destroys any heat-sensitive vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants.

Since juices are supposed to be packed full of nutrients, manufacturers often add the vitamins back in after the pasteurization process. However, the vitamins and minerals added after processing may not be as readily absorbed by the body as naturally occurring ones. Making fresh juice when you want to drink it ensures that your drink retains all its nutrients.

Added sugars. Pasteurization also mutes the flavor of fresh juice, so many companies add in sugar to improve the taste. Making your juice reduces the need to add sugar; or, if you do find the need to sweeten your recipe, you can add in sweeter fruits, or a sweetener of your choice. Manufacturers are likely to rely on corn syrups or artificial sweeteners, neither of which is healthy. Drinking fresh juice rather than bottled juice ensures that you don’t end up consuming empty calories.

Fiber. Some bottled juices are processed in ways where almost all of the insoluble fiber is stripped away, and some of the soluble fiber is removed as well. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the body, reducing insulin spikes—which over time could lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. Fiber also has a host of other health benefits like lowering cholesterol levels to keeping you regular. Most home juicers allow you to keep at least some of the fiber from the fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to juicing, try to buy organic since you’ll be using most of them whole, especially if you use a juicer. Be sure to wash the fruit and vegetables prior to using them—a quick and inexpensive produce cleaner is to dilute a little bit of vinegar with water and spray on the produce before rinsing. If you use cherries, plums, peaches or other fruits with large seeds, pit them prior to tossing them in the juicer.

Here are a few simple and nutritious juice recipes to get you started on your juicing habit.

Mean Green. The original “Mean Green” juice featured in the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead kicked off the current juicing craze. Packed with leafy green vegetables, the Mean Green is a great way to sneak in some extra heart-healthy fiber into your daily diet. It’s also highly versatile, as you can swap ingredients for others as needed.

Serves one. Juice the following ingredients together and serve immediately over ice.

6 kale leaves (try baby kale for a less fibrous final product)

1 cucumber

4 celery stalks

2 green apples

1/2 lemon

1 piece of ginger

Orange You Glad to See Me. This juice is packed with vitamin C from oranges and

Mango Kiwi Juice. Image courtesy of Alexandre Duret-Lutz / Flickr.com

Mango Kiwi Juice. Image courtesy of Alexandre Duret-Lutz / Flickr.com

lemon to boost your immune system and beta-carotene from the carrots to help keep your eyes healthy. Ginger helps with digestion, and gives the juice a spicy kick!

Serves one. You can opt to use a manual citrus squeezer for the oranges and lemon, before switching over to a electric juicer for the carrots and ginger.

8 carrots

2 oranges

1 Meyer lemon (try to find Meyer lemon instead of regular lemon as it imparts a smoother, sweeter flavor)

1 small piece ginger

Juicing is a great way to increase your vegetable and fruit intake—rather than slowly chewing through eight carrots, you can juice them with some lemons and oranges for a delicious afternoon drink. Making them at home may take a little longer than just grabbing a bottle from the store, but the health benefits are worth the effort.

 

 

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health and wellness writer from Los Angeles. She is a big fan of juicing and always tries to have a pitcher of some fresh concoction in the fridge!

10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

 

10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

One amazing oil we love to use on a daily basis is coconut oil, and you’ll find several recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, that include this incredible ingredient.

90% of coconut oil is saturated fat – but fear not! This is not the type of fat we need to be concerned about (stay away from trans fats, instead!). Half of the fat in coconut oil is Lauric Acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is converted into monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Many experts recommend taking up to 3 tablespoons of unrefined, virgin coconut oil each day to experience its benefits.

Read on for 10 reasons why we love coconut oil (besides the flavor!):

  1. Cooking: Coconut oil doesn’t break down at high temperatures and it has amazing nutritional properties. Great for cooking eggs, stir-fries, baked goods, and as a replacement for dairy (butter). Perfect for use in raw food recipes too.
  2. Healthy, Glowing Skin: Excellent massage oil, effective moisturizer for dry skin, and anti-aging. Use it daily for happy, glowing skin.
  3. Reduces Joint and Muscle Inflammation: Can be applied topically or consume regularly to help in reduction of joint inflammation.
  4. Hair Care: Helps provides essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. Try massage 1 teaspoon through hair, leave in for 20 minutes and shampoo and rinse.
  5. Heart Disease: The Lauric Acid in coconut oil helps prevent various heart problems and can lower cholesterol.
  6. Weight Loss: Coconut oil boosts metabolism and helps in taking off excess weight. In 1940, farmers tried to fatten livestock with coconut oil, but discovered that the opposite happened!
  7. Digestion: Improves digestive system by easing acid reflux and aiding in proper bowel function, helps in the absorption of nutrients and contains anti-microbial properties to help in dealing with fungi and parasites.
  8. Healing and Infections: Protects against infections, speeds up healing of bruises, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial.
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day has shown remarkable improvement for dementia.
  10. Protects against Cancer and HIV and other Infectious Diseases

20 Foods to Make Your Salad Sexy

 

20 sexy salad foods

For so many years we thought of green salads as being your basic lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomato combo, with some store-bought dressing to top it off. Oh, and plenty of cheese. Now that we have expanded our foodie minds and opened our refrigerators to new ingredients, out salads have become far more nutritious and delicious! When you add nutrient-rich whole foods to your salad, you’re helping to increase energy, maintain a healthy weight, fight disease, get glowing skin, and feel more balanced and renewed. We’ve gone from so-so salad to SEXY SALAD, and it’s easy to do!

To start, let’s get away from the basic ice burg or even romaine lettuce. Try other lettuce varieties and add other greens, such as baby kale, collards, beet greens, arugula, watercress, spinach and mustard greens. You’ll get an abundance of nutrients from these greens, including calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E and K – just to name a few!

Making your own dressing is easy: a little olive oil, water, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, then add vinegar, garlic, pieces of avocado, ginger, etc., as desired. Be creative!

Here are 20 foods to add to your leafy greens. What do you like to add to your salad?

  1. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  2. Marinated mushrooms
  3. Red or green cabbage
  4. Peas
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Sunflower seeds
  7. Pecans
  8. Avocado
  9. Asparagus (raw or cooked)
  10. Radishes
  11. Pumpkin seeds
  12. Lentils
  13. Sauerkraut
  14. Peppers (raw or roasted)
  15. Berries
  16. Apple
  17. Fresh mango
  18. Chia seeds
  19. Brown rice
  20. Quinoa

Cook for Your Life

 

Today we have a guest post from our friends at Cook for Your Life. The Kicking Kitchen and CFYL share very similar goals in offering food and cooking support to those affected by cancer, and so we are so pleased to introduce you to this wonderful organization!

Good nutrition is always important, but during cancer treatment and recovery, it’s crucial. At Cook for Your LifeCook for Your LIFE we believe that good health starts in the kitchen. Our mission is to improve the health of people touched by cancer by giving them the practical knowledge, tools and inspiration to cook their way through treatment and into a healthy survivorship. Though the idea of cooking through treatment may seem a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be, and we’ve learned that making even the simplest meal or snack can be extremely empowering.

CFYL’s founder, Ann Ogden, is a two-time cancer survivor, ex-fashion designer, and avid cook. During her time in the chemo suite for breast cancer treatment, she learned that though she was able to make herself a comforting and healthy meal for her post-infusion bad days, most of her chemo buddies had no idea what they should eat, let alone how to make it. Ann knew first-hand that a cancer diagnosis can leave a sense of powerlessness, she thought that by teaching her fellow cancer patients how to cook she could instill in them, even if just a small amount, a sense of control. After this realization she couldn’t see herself going back to her fashion career; she was more interested in getting people to lay off skirt steaks rather than worrying about skirt lengths. Her travels around the world in her fashion career informed her understanding of taste. Because of this, she was able to adjust to her chemo palate — kimchi on the days she wanted to taste something, and a bland soothing risotto for the days she was nauseated. She started giving tips to her friends with cancer and then expanded to teaching 101 cooking classes at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, where she still teaches classes today 6 years later. Now, with the help of a small staff, Ann runs www.cfyl.org where cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors can find healthy, healing recipes, read about current cancer and nutrition news, and even watch cooking videos – all free of charge!

In little ways cooking can remind you of your strengths – it certainly did for Ann. There’s nothing more empowering than putting nutritious food into your body, especially at a time when you often don’t have control over what goes into or what’s going on inside of your body. Even just steaming a few vegetables can be extremely satisfying.  If you’re unsure where to start, or if cooking intimidates you, The Kicking Kitchen and our website www.cfyl.org , are great resources.  Our site is designed to help people take dietary recommendations from their doctor or registered dietician and turn them into real, healing meals. At www.cfyl.org, you can find recipes based on what type of treatment you’re in, dietary restrictions, or even how you’re feeling. Great resources like The Kicking Kitchen, and CFYL can help you fight cancer with your forks and Cook for Your LIFE!

 

Refresh Your Diet with Leafy Greens This Spring (Recipe Included)

 

Cashew Kale recipe from TheKickingKitchen.com

Spring is finally here! Even with the rain it brings, spring is one of my favorite seasons. Spring is a time of renewal and growth. We see it in nature as flowers bloom, grass turns greener, buds begin to open and the ground drinks up refreshing rainfall.

I’ve always loved springtime because I feel like it offers the opportunity for a fresh start. I finished cancer treatment just before springtime a few years ago, and moving into this new, life-sustaining season helped me to move onto a new phase in my cancer journey.

This doesn’t mean we need to make dramatic overhauls in our lives just because spring is here – and we can often feel the pressure to do so! But simply by opening the mind to new things – new foods, new people and relationships, new habits, and new opportunities – we begin to lose some of that stagnancy we often find ourselves in over the winter. And the days just seem a little brighter, clearer and more energized.

Another reason why I love spring is the abundance of food that becomes available, especially leafy greens! Leafy green veggies (kale, spinach, collards, chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and lettuces) bring vitality, energy and amazing nourishment to our bodies. They are the food most missing from modern-day American diets, and the food we usually need most. Greens are high in dietary fiber, calcium and iron. They also contain high levels of vitamin K, magnesium and folate and cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as vitamin C, lutein and carotenoids.

My first recommendation to clients who want to improve their diet for any number of reasons (increase energy, lose weight, balance moods, fight or prevent disease) is to add in more leafy greens. If you do nothing else – just get those greens in on a daily basis, if possible. Make a greens salad, steam greens or sauté kale, collards or spinach with a little olive oil, sea salt and garlic. Or try the recipe below from Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen.

Cashew Kale

Yield: makes 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large carrot, thinly sliced into rounds (about 1/2 cup)

2 bunches kale, thick stems removed, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 to 3 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup raisins

Directions:

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the carrot for five minutes. Add the garlic, kale, tamari, cashews and raisins and sauté a few minutes until cashews begin to soften. Serve and enjoy!

Green Juicing

 

Join Annette in her kitchen as she shares her favorite, go-to Green Juice with you. 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

3 Health-Boosting Plant Oils to Add to Your Kitchen

 

Three incredible plants oils we love for a healthy, happy lifestyle are Coconut, Hemp, and Olive. 3 Plant Oils for Optimal HealthIf you don’t already include them in your diet, you may not have know what you’re missing….until now! Read on to learn more about these oils and their benefits. We hope you feel inspired to try them out, if you haven’t already.

Coconut Oil. This nutrient-dense oil is obtained from the coconut and is high in saturated fat. But don’t be alarmed! Because of its high lauric acid content, this saturated fat is good for the body and optimal health! Coconut oil has a reputation for being one of the healthiest oils on earth when it is not hydrogenated. Look for virgin coconut oil, which is good for baking, stir frying, and as a dairy replacement for butter. It is solid at room temperature like butter, but will liquefy around 86°F. It doesn’t break down in heat or light and become rancid like many oils.

  • Maintains healthy cholesterol
  • Good for your heart
  • Helps support thyroid
  • Strengthens Immune System
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps stimulate metabolism
  • Can help prevent cancer
  • Helps brain function
  • Benefits your skin
  • Higher smoke point for cooking – can safely cook at high temperatures. Smoke point is 350°F.

Hempseed Oil. This oil has one of the healthiest ratios of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats. Most experts agree that the best ratio of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ranges from 2:1 to 4:1. Hempseed oil has a ratio of about 3:1, or maybe slightly less. Unrefined hempseed oil has a nutty taste and a grassy-green color. It works well in a salad dressing or add a tablespoon to your smoothie!

  • Lowers risk of heart attacks
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Strengthens Immune System
  • May offer protection against colon, breast and prostate cancers.
  • Reduces the amount of side-effects of chemotherapy
  • Anti-aging
  • Counteracts Cardiovascular Disease
  • Fights Psoriasis
  • Helps with Hormonal Balance
  • Rejuvenates hair, skin and nails
  • Good for digestion
  • Low smoke point for cooking of 330°F – don’t cook at high temperatures

Olive Oil. Olive oil is a monounsaturated (MUFA), Omega-9 fatty acid. It’s high concentration of MUFAs, promotes  “good” cholesterol (HDL) while lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL). Olive oil is also gentle on the digestive system, and the unrefined, good quality stuff is loaded with antioxidants and valuable nutrients.

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Decreases risk of heart disease
  • Helps in Cancer Prevention
  • Aids in Digestive Health
  • May help prevent gallstones soothe ulcers
  • Supports overall Bone Health
  • Improves Cognitive Function
  • The smoke point for cooking olive oil ranges from about 200 to 438°F, depending on the quality of the oils. The more refined it is, the higher the smoke point. Extra virgin oil, for instance, is best kept for uncooked uses, as it becomes carcinogenic when heated at even low temperatures.

 

 

References:

https://www.healthambition.com/150-uses-coconut-oil/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/522893-will-coconut-oil-shrink-my-cancer/

http://www.naturalnews.com/030971_coconut_brain_function.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html

http://hempworld.com/hempworldhotels_com/htms/Health/Therapeutic_Hemp_Oil.html

http://www.veria.com/herbs-supplements/hemp-oil-good-for-so-many-things

http://www.livestrong.com/article/137249-benefit-hemp-oil/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/439679-does-hemp-oil-have-all-the-omega-3/#ixzz2ScjL89Na 

http://www.naturalnews.com/029202_olive_oil_smoke_point.html

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5883617_hemp-seed-oil-cancer-treatment.html

http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/olive-oil-benefits-uses-460609

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mompreneurs – Balancing Motherhood, Work and Eating Well

Illustration credit: Yoshiaka

Illustration credit: Yoshiaka

To say it’s a challenge to balance motherhood, work (whether at home or outside) and eating well often seems like a bit of an understatement. It’s not hard to feel overwhelmed and that we can’t seem to do more than head to the drive-thru or order another pizza. But we know we should do better: for our children and for ourselves. Here are some tips to help you out of the momrpreneur-and-food maze:

1) Cook once eat twice: when planning your meals, think ahead for how you can “repurpose” leftovers from one meal and then make extra food when you cook and use again in the next day’s lunch or dinner. Whether you are making one cup of beans of two, steaming one head or broccoli or more, there’s not really more work and it saves you time the next day.

2) Cook in bulk on the weekend: Mornings tough cause you’re always rushing out the door? Make a big batch (in your crockpot) of steel-cut oatmeal on the weekend and then scoop out portions throughout the week to warm and go. Do the same with other grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa). Cook protein foods like beans and tempeh on the weekend as well and use them throughout the coming days in dishes. Prep veggies and salad fixings and place in containers to have handy throughout the week. Veggie dishes can be cooked ahead and can, in general, be enjoyed for several days as well. Create trail mixes, make kale chips and bake some healthy treats your family can enjoy during the busy week.

3) Enjoy convenience: It costs more but can sometimes be the saving grace we need: you can grab cut fruit and veggies at the produce store. Some grocery stores have veggies chopped and packaged together in fresh stir-fry mixes or veggie dishes ready to just sauté and enjoy, check the produce section. This makes dinnertime a little easier and, though it is a bit more expensive, is much healthier and cheaper than a meal out.

4) Soup’s On!: Have a weekly soup night. Soups are a nutritious and easy way to create a meal. Add a salad with everyone’s favorite toppings and you’re set. Leftovers can be the next day’s lunch. Soups can be varied based on the season and what you have on hand. They can be made the night before and simmer in your crock-pot during the day.

5) Ask for Help: Sometimes as women and moms we feel like we have to do it all. It’s not easy for us to ask for help. And then we wonder why we are feeling run down and frustrated. Ask the people (partner, children) you live with for support around food shopping, preparation and cooking. Create a communal cooking night where the whole family creates the meal – maybe make-your-own burrito night – where all can be involved in prepping and cooking the ingredients (and cleaning up afterwards!). Or get even more creative: find another family that would like to share cooking duties. Maybe once a week you cook a double batch of what you’re making and share with them. They return the favor on another evening. You can have 2 or more families in such a meal-share arrangement.

It definitely requires some forethought and planning but being a busy mom and eating well don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the effort you make to provide healthy food for both yourself and your family will pay off in great well-being and energy to enjoy your days.