Berry Chocolate Cancer Fighting Smoothie {Guest Post}

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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! 🙂

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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:

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, arugula)
  2. Orange and Red colored fruits and vegetables (these foods high in carotenoids)
  3. Leafy Greens (lettuce, spinach, chard)
  4. Flaxseed
  5. Fish high in omega-3’s (salmon, sardines)
  6. Mushrooms (shiitake are great!)
  7. Pomegranates

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.

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Berry Chocolate Cancer Fighting Smoothie
Serves: 2 servings
 
Nutrition Facts (for 1 serving): 209 calories, 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into blender and whirl until well combined.
Notes
If you want the smoothie to keep you feeling satisfied all throughout the morning, I highly recommend adding a scoop of protein powder.

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.

If you want to learn more about breast cancer prevention through nutrition, check out my book. Or you can tune into my blog www.breastcancerdefense.com

Be Well!

~Natalie

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18 Comments

  1. June 11, 2013 / 1:05 pm

    Love this smoothie! Thanks Natalie and Nicole

    • June 11, 2013 / 10:34 pm

      Your welcome Calvin! I hope it makes it in to your daily morning routine:)

  2. June 11, 2013 / 6:35 pm

    My aunt passed away from breast cancer three years ago, so this is something that’s near and dear to my heart too. I’m surprised but happy to hear that it’s possible to reduce the chance of cancer just through diet and exercise!

    • June 11, 2013 / 10:37 pm

      Amy, I am sorry to hear about your Aunt. So many of our loved ones have been affected by breast cancer, that’s why I believe it is important to spread the word on how lifestyle can make a huge difference! All the best to you ~

  3. Mimi
    June 11, 2013 / 6:51 pm

    I have been told to avoid flaxseed because I had estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer.

    Reasoning: Because flaxseed has phytoestrogenic effects, patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer should use with caution.

    Yet, you list flaxseed as one of the top 7 breast cancer fighting foods. Please let me know your thoughts.

    It is so difficult to figure out what is good and what is bad to eat to prevent breast cancer recurrence.

    • June 15, 2013 / 10:14 pm

      Hi Mimi,

      This is Natalie, the author of this guest post. Nicole so kindly allowed me to guest post on her awesome blog! She notified me of your comment right away, but I wasn’t able to answer it until now because I was traveling.

      Yes, there is a lot of conflicting information about phytoestrogens and breast cancer. After I reviewed the medical studies about flaxseed and breast cancer, I was surprised to find that it was in fact, a breast cancer fighting food. I have a section about this in my book, with the research citations, if you are interested in investigating this topic further. But in case you don’t not want to check out my book, see this great free article from the AICR about flax and breast cancer.

      http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/flaxseed.html

      I hope this helps!

  4. Mimi
    June 11, 2013 / 11:34 pm

    Wow! I see how this works. You post what ever you want, and if someone disagrees with you. then you don”t post their comment. You should not be giving advice if you cannot medically back it up.

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      June 12, 2013 / 12:04 am

      Mimi, I’m sorry. I just got around to approving several comments. All comments are automatically approved unless they are from first time commenters. Please see above. I apologize for the delay and I hope Natalie can shed some light! ~Nicole

  5. June 12, 2013 / 11:41 am

    Great guest post! And I think I have everything to make this already – totally making this for my breakfast. Can I assume the nutritional info is without the extra protein powder?

    • June 15, 2013 / 10:18 pm

      I am glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope you like the smoothie!

      Yes, the nutritional info is without the addition of protein powder. I did not list it with protein powder, because they all vary so much in calories, protein, etc…

  6. June 12, 2013 / 3:13 pm

    Can’t go wrong with berries and chocolate!

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