Before I hand over the post, I wanted to add a personal note about breast cancer and the timeliness of this post from Natalie, who is passionate about breast cancer and nutrition. One of my employees, a breast cancer survivor, was re-diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer has metastasized to her lungs and liver; she is undergoing chemotherapy right now. Our department has rallied around her, as has the entire hospital. She is such a strong, powerful, and positive woman. I feel honored to have her in my life! That said, here’s Natalie! 🙂
Hi! I’m Natalie, a fellow dietitian friend of Nicole!
I first met Nicole in college. The dietetics program is pretty small, so we had almost all the same classes together. One of my first memories of her was coming into class on crutches. I asked her what happened, and she said, “oh I ran a marathon this weekend and hurt my leg”.
I thought to myself, “a marathon?!”… At that point in my life I wasn’t doing much else but partying and studying. I was truly impressed by Nicole’s drive and dedication.
For those of you who don’t know Nicole in person, she writes exactly the way she talks. Every time I read one of her posts, I can hear her voice. She’s got a great sense of humor!
Because Nicole’s blog is titled Prevention RD, I thought it would be a perfect place to raise some awareness about one of my passions, breast cancer prevention. That’s where this tasty smoothie comes into play.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimates that 38% of all breast cancer cases in the U.S could be prevented if women ate healthier diets and exercised more. This awesome little statistic proves that we really do have power against breast cancer
There is no magic bullet against breast cancer, but the food we eat, and the amount we exercise can really make a big difference. Over the past few years, I have learned so much about the specific lifestyle that can help reduce our risk. Many foods have been studied to see if they have any impact against breast cancer. Some have shown consistent, positive results over and over. Based on my research, these are the top 7 breast cancer fighting foods:
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, arugula)
- Orange and Red colored fruits and vegetables (these foods high in carotenoids)
- Leafy Greens (lettuce, spinach, chard)
- Fish high in omega-3’s (salmon, sardines)
- Mushrooms (shiitake are great!)
We need to eat these powerhouse foods as much as we can. A smoothie makes it very easy to do this.
The smoothie recipe I am sharing with you today, includes 3 of these amazing foods. And yes, it still tastes great too! I have a smoothie like this every morning for breakfast. Sometimes it varies slightly, depending on what I have on hand.
- 1 banana
- 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries and/or strawberries
- ¼ avocado
- small handful of kale (can be fresh or frozen)
- 1 small carrot
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed
- heaping tablespoon of raw cacao or cocoa powder
- about 10 raisins
- 4 ice cubes
- water, about 6 ounces (just enough to make the smoothie spin)
- optional – 1 scoop of protein powder (I am currently using Sun Warrior, Warrior Blend)
- Place all ingredients into blender and whirl until well combined.
Both my husband and I usually top our smoothies off with a tablespoon of almond butter. I know it sounds strange, but it’s sooo good! The end result is a creamy ribbon running through the cold smoothie.
This recipe is highly adaptable. Play around with it to suit your tastes. Sometimes I will add a splash of pomegranate juice if I have it on hand. I will also use spinach if I don’t have kale. Chia can also be substituted for the flax.
I hope this smoothie makes your mornings more healthy! Thanks to Nicole for letting me give a little shout out in the name of breast cancer prevention.