Archive for NUTRITION & RECIPES

Soy for Lung Cancer: 2 Tofu Recipes to Potentially Help Inhibit Malignant Growth

Soy

Meet GUEST BLOGGER Faith Franz.  Faith is a writer for The Mesothelioma Center, an organization that provides support and resources for people and families with this rare disease.  Faith also likes to spread the word about the benefits of alternative medicine.

Tofu –it’s what’s for dinner. (If you’re trying to naturally prevent lung cancer growth, that is.)

In a recent 2013 article, researchers from the University of Arkansas found that soybeans with a high oleic acid content could inhibit the growth of several cancers by up to 70 percent. Among the malignancies:

  • Lung cancer (growth reduced by 68%)*
  • Colon cancer (growth reduced  by 73%)*
  • Liver cancer (growth reduced by 70%)*

This was certainly not the first study to identify anti-cancer benefits in soy. Other studies exploring the correlation between soy and lung cancer date back to 1985, and one published this month indicates high-soy diets may correlate with longer cancer survival rates. (That study found that women who ate more than 21 grams of soy protein per day were more likely to reach five-year survival after a lung cancer diagnosis.)*

However, this study was the first note these specific bioactive benefits in three individual soy protein isolates. The University of Arkansas was also the first organization to identify two of the three high-oleic acid soybean varieties, as part of an ongoing soybean breeding program.

Oleic acid – the main fat component in the much-acclaimed olive oil – is also associated with breast cancer inhibition.

Lab workers tested each of the soy isolates against cell lines from lung, colon and liver cancer samples. They found that growth for each type of cancer significantly slowed after exposure to the soy isolates, and that higher doses produced greater results.

Several other food-derived compounds offer lung cancer inhibitory benefits. These include reservatrol, an antioxidant in red wine, and curcumin, the main component of the Indian herb turmeric.

Tofu, Two Ways

Tofu has a bad reputation as a bland, oddly textured food. But when prepared correctly, nothing can be further from the truth.

Just like you wouldn’t serve raw, unseasoned meat, you can’t serve raw, unseasoned tofu. It needs a zesty marinade and some added fat to taste its best.  It also needs to be pressed to remove excess water; without pressing, it’ll be soggy, no matter how long you cook it.

You’ll need to be sure to purchase tofu that’s certified organic or made from non-genetically modified soybeans. (The health effects of genetically modified foods are not completely known, but what we do know suggests that they’re not ideal for health). While the study uses soybeans that are bred to have higher-than-average oleic acid concentrations, there are several natural ways to breed non-modified high-oleic acid soybeans.

The following two soy-based recipes are full of plant-based protein (more than 15 grams per serving):

Crispy Baked Garlic Tofu (serves one)

Ingredients:

1/3 package organic tofu

1 whole egg

1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

-  Thinly slice tofu; press between paper towels for five minutes to remove moisture.

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

- In one bowl, whip together the egg and garlic paste. In another bowl, blend together the Panko, onion, cayenne, thyme, salt and pepper.

- Dip each tofu slice into the egg mixture, then roll in Panko coating. Arrange on a greased cookie sheet, then bake 10-13 minutes until crispy). Serve warm.

Easy Tofu Stir Fry (serves one)

Ingredients:

1/3 package organic tofu

1 floret fresh broccoli

½ cup sliced carrots

½ onion

1 can baby corn or water chestnuts

¼ cup organic soybean oil

Teriyaki sauce and soy sauce, to taste

1 serving brown rice or soba noodles

Directions:

-  Cut tofu into cubes; press between paper towels for five minutes to remove moisture.

-Cook rice/noodles according to package.

- Add vegetables, oil, teriyaki sauce and soy sauce to a wok (or skillet). Sautee for 5 minutes; add tofu cubes. Sautee another 4-6 minutes, flipping the cubes so each side gets firm and brown.

If desired, add another dash of teriyaki or soy; serve over the rice or soba noodles.

Do you cook with soy? If so, what are your favorite tofu or tempeh recipes? If you try out either of these recipes, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

*Sources:

Seaman, A. M. (26 March 2013). Soy tied to better lung cancer survival among women. Reuters. 

Rayaprolu, S. J., Hettiarachchy, N. S., Chen, P., Kannan, A., & Mauromostakos A. (2013). Peptides derived from high oleic acid soybean meal inhibit colon, liver and lung cancer cell growth. Food Research International; 50 (1).

Organic or Conventional: the 2013 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

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Exposure to pesticides in foods has been linked to many health conditions including cancer.  After all, it makes sense that we put both into our bodies and on our bodies affect our bodies.  To help guide consumers on what produce they should really try to buy organic (grown without the use of pesticides), the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization, has released its annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  This guide does change slightly from year to year.

 

The Dirty Dozen includes the 12 most pesticide-laden foods.  When choosing fruits & veggies listed on the Dirty Dozen (see below for list), try to buy ORGANIC.

2013 Dirty Dozen List

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Hot peppers

*Kale, collard greens and summer squash should also be purchased as organic.  Click here for more info on why EWG recommends this*

 

The Clean 15 include the 15 least pesticide-laden foods.  If the fruit or veggie is listed on the Clean 15, it’s ok to buy it as non-organic or conventional.

2013 Clean 15 list

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Grapefruit
  5. Kiwi
  6. Eggplant
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Sweet peas – frozen
  11. Cabbage
  12. Avocados
  13. Pineapple
  14. Onions
  15. Corn

 

*  Keep in mind that the information above is based on produce bought at supermarkets. If you shop at farmers markets, ask about their growing practices. Even if what they sell isn’t certified organic, many local farmers use as few pesticides as possible, making the foods on the Dirty Dozen become good choices, even if they aren’t certified organic.

 

*  The EWG also maintains that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.  So it’s better to eat conventionally-grown produce than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

 

*  You can download the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce app on your smart phone using these links:  for Android phone; for iPhone or iPad; for Windows phone.   

 

 

Recipes for Nutritious, Delicious, Cancer-Fighting Smoothies

Chef Frank Caputo of Cancer Treatment Centers of America Western with Rob Harris, caregiver extraordinaire

Chef Frank Caputo of Cancer Treatment Centers of America Western with Rob Harris, caregiver extraordinaire serving up the most delicious & nutritious smoothies

 

Last week I had the honor of attending a Blogger Summit at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Arizona with some of the most incredible and inspiring kick-ass cancer bloggers EVER.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about many of the new resources I learned about here.

 

It is at this conference where I first learned that severe malnutrition and weight loss play a role in at least one in five cancer deaths.  Additionally patients who are well nourished throughout their treatments are better able to tolerate their chemo and radiation.  This is why Cancer Treatment Centers of America places such a huge emphasis on nutritional counseling and includes a board-certified nutritionist as part of each patient’s medical team.

 

Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to add vital nutrients to any diet.  At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, you can order custom-made nutritious, delicious smoothies from the smoothie bar inside their cafeterias.  BTW, every meal or smoothie prepared at any CTCA facility uses fresh, healthy, organic ingredients.  CTCA Western in Arizona even has it’s own organic farm located next to the facility.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

 

Thank you CTCA for sharing these delicious, nourishing smoothie recipes.  Each recipe contains vital nutrients that can help to ease side effects from cancer treatments:

Super Greens Smoothie which is rich in antioxidant and phytochemicals.

Take a handful of kale, wheat grass, spinach, broccoli, and green apple.  Blend it with coconut water or vegetable stock.  It’s my personal favorite!

 

Electrolyte Replacer Smoothie can help to quench your thirst and keep your electrolytes in balance.

Blend coconut water, bananas, fresh orange juice with a dash of cinnamon.

 

Protein Power can give your body that extra protein boost it sometimes needs.

Blend plain yogurt, frozen fruit, milk protein powered, lemon zest and cinnamon.

 

Detox Delicious is a natural and safe beverage that can help cleanse without stripping the body of benefits.

Blend parsley, spinach, broccoli, lemon juice, raw garlic, green apple and tahini or sesame paste with vegetable stock.

 

Immune Support helps to support up your immune system, which as we all know can get weakened from cancer treatments.

Blend carrots, broccoli, pineapple, kale, blueberries with cherry juice.  YUM!

 

 

 

 

10 Green Juice Recipes

My son Ethan "enjoying" a green smoothie.

My son Ethan and his delicious green juice.

 

I LOVE the color green… light green, bright green, dark forest green, any shade of green.  I especially LOVE  green juices and green smoothies.  They’re nutritious and delicious.  Incorporating more vegetables (and fruits) into your diet can help boost your immune system which often times becomes weakened during cancer treatments.  Juicing or blending veggies into a drink is the easiest way to get lots of them into your body in one sitting.

 

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Reboot with Joe posted their Top 10 Favorite Green Juices.  I am reposting these recipes below as finding good green juicing recipes is no easy task. ;-)  Enjoy!
Morning Green Glory Juice

4 – 5 large kale leaves
1 large handful of spinach
3 romaine leaves
1 cucumber
3 celery stalks
1 green apple
1 lemon, peeled (You can leave the peel on but it will taste very bitter)

Rainbow Bright Green Juice

3 kale leaves
3 celery stalks
4 carrots
2 fuji apples

Mean Green Hulk (my personal favorite)

2 cucumber
4 celery stalks
2 zucchini
6 kale Leaves
6 spinach leaves
1 lemon
2 Tbsp. ginger

The Cabbage Patch Juice

6-8 Green Cabbage Leaves
6-8 Swiss Chard Leaves
3 Carrots
1 Apple
1” piece of Ginger

Pucker-up Parsley Juice

1 bunch parsley
2 lemons
1-2 thick slices horseradish root
2 cucumbers

Green Carrot Ginger Juice

2″ (5 cm) of ginger root (you may add more ginger if you like)
1 medium cucumber
4 carrots
3 stalks kale (tuscan cabbage)
1/2 pear

Green Citrus Juice

1 Green apple
1 navel orange, peeled
3 big handfuls of leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach, romaine, etc)

Lemon-Lime and Bitters Juice

1 Lemon
1 Lime
1 cup Watercress
2-3 Green Apples

Substitutions or Additions:
Lemon – yellow or ruby grapefruit, orange, mandarin, tangerine
Lime – yellow or ruby grapefruit, orange, mandarin, tangerine
Watercress – cucumber, green cabbage, spinach, kale, radicchio, endive, beetroot leaves, rocket (arugula), chicory (witlof), collard leaves, dandelion leaves
Apple – other types of apples, pear, kiwi, green grapes

Crisp and Clean Green Juice

1 large wedge green cabbage
2 small pears
1 bunch romaine leaves
1” ginger root

Joe’s Mean Green Juice 

1 large wedge green cabbage
2 small pears
1 bunch romaine leaves
1” ginger root

 

Kale & Butternut Squash Saute

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Kale & Butternut Squash Saute… DELISH!

 

WedMD writes this about kale… “Move over Popeye and make room for the “queen of greens,” kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.  Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.”

 

Now most people who know me know that I’m obsessed with kale and am in constant search of new ways to prepare it.  Thanks to Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, Kale & Chocolate and Pink Kitchen, I’ve made some delicious, nutritious, cancer-fighting meals using my favorite green superfood.  I’d like to share a new yummy recipe using kale I just made from Fitness Magazine.

Kale & Butternut Squash Saute  *Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons of high quality olive oil
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 1/2 cups chopped fresh kale
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt AND pepper
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

 

METHOD 

1.  In a large skillet,heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add squash, onion & garlic and cook, stirring constantly until squash is slightly tender, about 7 minutes.  (** Next time I prepare this dish, I instead will lightly toss the squash with olive oil and then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until brown and then add it to the sauteed onion & garlic.  I prefer that consistency for the squash.)

2.  Add kale, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook until kale is wilted and tender, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.

3.  Add cranberries and nuts; toss to combine.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.  And enjoy!

 

 

 

Don’t Mix Grapefruit With Some Medications

 

Alan LOVED to eat fruit, any kind of fruit… but his favorites were strawberries, blueberries and grapefruit.  However, I remember when he was taking sutent (typically used to treat kidney cancer), “chemo-in-a-pill” as we called it, he was not allowed to eat grapefruit… or drink his favorite soda Fresca which is made from grapefruits…. but why?  I mean, aren’t grapefruits good for you???  After all, they are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, potassium and other phytonutrients.

 

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…

Furanocoumarin, a compound found in grapefruits (as well as limes, pomelos, Seville oranges) can interact with certain medications.  According to a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, grapefruit or its juices can interact with more than 85 drugs- of which 43 have the potential to cause serious, possibly even fatal, side effects.

Below is a sampling of some of the drugs that can interact with grapefruit:

“Crizotinib: a drug that’s used to treat certain forms of cancer. If patients on this drug eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice, it may cause torsade de pointes, a serious, often fatal, heart problem. It can also cause bone-marrow suppression, or myelotoxicity.

Oxycodone: an opioid narcotic used to treat pain and is also commonly abused. If mixed with grapefruit, it can cause respiratory depression or inadequate intake of breath, a serious condition.

Cyclosporine: an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs. If mixed with grapefruit, it can be toxic to the kidneys and lead to renal failure.”  (source: Globe & Mail)

So while some foods and drinks may strengthen the effect of the medication and produce an outcome similar to overdosing, others can weaken the effect of the medication. This can make the medication ineffective, and result in a lack of symptom relief or worsening of the disease.

 

**** When taking any medication, always read the warning label, and speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about food and drug interactions.

**** Also check out Chemo101.com, a super informative & easy-to-use site that helps to educate cancer patients and caregivers about chemotherapy drugs and their side effects as well as various medical terminologies, insurance basics, patient assistant programs and more.

**** Click HERE  to see a recently updated list of medications that interact with grapefruit compiled by Canadian researcher Dr. David Bailey, who first described this interaction more than two decades ago.

 

(Sources:  Dana Farber; Globe & Mail; LA Times; NY Times Well Blog)

 

 

Food Safety Tips During Cancer Treatments

 

Anyone can get sick from eating “bad” food.  But cancer patients, whose immune system is already weakened from chemotherapy and radiation, are even more susceptible to infection from food or food poisoning which is why  food safety is such an important part of cancer care.

So here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)… 

When your immune system is weak, you need to stay away from bacteria and other organisms that could make you sick.  With this in mind, Compliance and Safety Training, a top supplier for safety training videos, has compiled Food Safety Tips: A Comprehensive Resource.  Although the tips below were written for the general public, they are especially important for cancer patients  to follow:

1.  Keep your space—and stomach—clean.  Maintain a clean and orderly kitchen.

2.  Practice smart shopping.

  • Purchase non-perishable items first.
  • Never choose packaging that is torn, dented, leaking, rusted, bulging, or otherwise damaged.
  • Check expiration dates and buy fresh products.
  • Note the “best before” label.

3.  Be alert for food recalls or alerts.

4.  Ensure safe storage.

  • Follow storage and cooking instructions as outlined on the label.
  • Set the correct temperature for your fridge (40 degrees F, or less) and freezer (0 degrees F, or less)
  • Cook (or freeze) fresh meat or fish within 2 days; beef, lamb, pork, and veal can last up to 5 days.
  • Preserve meat and poultry by wrapping it securely; you’ll also prevent the juices from leaking and contaminating other foods.
  • High-acid canned food (tomatoes, pineapple) can safely last for approximately 12-18 months on your pantry shelf.
  • Low-acid canned food (fish, vegetables, meat) can keep up to 5 years, if in good condition and in a suitably dry and cool location.

5.  Always wash your hands and, if needed, the food in question (even if it looks clean!).

6.  Keep sinks and counters clean, as clean as possible at all times.

7.  Beware cross-contamination. Keep raw and cooked foods apart. Food safety must always be a priority.

8.  Thoroughly cook your food. Undercooked food is a haven for germs and bad bacteria; ensure your food is hot all the way through with a food thermometer that can measure that internal temperature at the thickest part.

9.  Avoid eating raw meat and all raw seafood. 

10.  Put the fridge to good use;

  • Keep marinated meats (always in a covered dish!) and all perishable leftovers in the refrigerator (microorganisms won’t have a chance to multiply).
  • Don’t leave perishable food out for more than two hours (or, if it’s really hot, an hour at most).
  • Try to consume leftovers within 4 days.

11.  Thaw thoughtfully with these food safety tips:

  • The fridge offers the safest (but slowest) means of thawing. Meats in particular should always be thawed in the fridge.
  • Submerge your food in cold water for quicker thawing; be sure to change the water every half hour, and start cooking immediately when the food has been thawed.
  • Microwave thawing is fast but not as safe or healthy for your food; at least, be sure to cook immediately after thawing.

12.  Maintain the right temperature for your food; serve or maintain hot food at or below 140 degrees F, and cold food at or below 40 degrees F.

13.  Our oncologists also made the following suggestions:

Wear food service gloves when touching raw meat;

Thoroughly wash foods that you cut in to-even if you don’t eat the rind- like lemons, limes, oranges, watermelons, etc.;

Use paper towels (rather than cloth ones that get re-used time after time until washed) to dry off both your hands and foods after washing.

As always, with anything related to your cancer care, talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns.  Also, ask them if they have any other food safety suggestions they’d like you to follow.  And please post them below.  Knowledge is power…. share the power p-l-e-a-s-e.

 

FREE Meals & Groceries for Cancer Patients Living in MD, DC & VA

 

If you live in MD, DC or VA, check out Food & Friends- they provide FREE, nutritious meals and groceries as well as nutrition counseling to people living with a life-challenging illness (HIV, cancer, etc).

 

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…  To become eligible for services from Food & Friends, cancer patients must meet the following criteria:

  • Patients must have active cancer;
  • Their nutritional status is compromised because of inadequate food intake due to chewing/swallowing difficulties, lack of appetite, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, or inability to prepare or procure food;
  • Patients are currently managing side effects & conditions from chemo, radiation or palliative therapy.

There are no requirements for income or insurance coverage.  And all services are provided at no cost to recipients.

  

Food & Friends Home-Delivered Meals will deliver 3 nutritious meals a day, up to 6 days a week to patients & their families who live in Maryland (as far north as Hagerstown), Virginia (as far south as Fredericksburg) & Washington, DC.  They offer 11 different nutritional plans to choose from.

 

Food & Friends’ Groceries-to-Go Service is available for those individuals and families who either live outside their freshly-prepared meals delivery area OR those clients who are healthy enough to prepare their own meals.  2 bags of non-perishable groceries plus frozen soups and entrees (prepared by Food & Friends Chefs) can be delivered either weekly or every other week.

 

Food & Friends’ Nutrition Counseling & Education can provide individualized nutrition counseling, cooking classes, bimonthly workshops on nutrition and other wellness-related topics such as stress management, & much more.

 

For more information, please contact Food & Friends’ directly by clicking HERE.

FREE Home-Delivered Meals to Cancer Patients in LA

Project Angel Food prepares FREE nutritious meals for cancer patients living in Los Angeles Country.  With the help of professional chefs and volunteers, Project Angel Food delivers meals directly to a your home or to a nearby pick-up point.  Clients have the option of receiving either hot meals prepared daily or frozen meals that are delivered once a week.

 

Eligibility for meals is based on the inability to obtain food and/or prepare meals due to illness.  The application is a simple one-pager that requires your doctor’s signature.  Qualifying illnesses may include, but are not limited to cancer, HIV/AIDS, stroke, heart disease & kidney disease.  Again, the patient must live in Los Angeles Country.  Click HERE for Project Angel Food’s Eligibility/Consent Form.  Any questions about client eligibility, please contact  Client Services at (800) 761-8889 or (323) 845-1810.

Once a new client is approved for service, a call will be made to conduct an intake interview. A nutrition assessment, conducted by a Registered Dietitian, is part of the intake process. Special diets are available according to each person’s medical requirements.

Nourish Your Body with Vibrant Veggie Soup

 

 

Good nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment Eating healthy, good-for-you foods during and after treatment can help patients feel better and stay stronger.  Proper nutrition can help them keep up their body weight and strength, keep body tissue healthy, and fight infection.

 

In light of the cooler weather, I asked one of my favorite nutritionists and wellness warriors Elise Museles of Kale & Chocolate to suggest a warm soup recipe that was nutritious, delicious and downright amazing.  Elise sent over her very own recipe that she created called “Vibrant Veggie Soup”.  I just made a pot and it is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S, plus it contains tons of vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients making it super healthy and super good-for-you.  Thank you Elise!  You’re THE BEST!!!  So without further ado, here’s the recipe…

Kale & Chocolate’s Vibrant Veggie Soup  *Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic
4 carrots
5 celery stalks
2 tablespoons of high quality olive oil
4 cups of vegetable stock
1-2 cups water, depending on desired thickness
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
6 cups vegetables, chopped (broccoli, asparagus, red pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, etc.)
3 cups fresh spinach leaves (reserve until the end)
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, oregano, and/or thyme)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional for an additional kick)

METHOD

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in soup pot and add in onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Sauté until lightly browned then add in fresh herbs to coat vegetables. Next, add in vegetable stock, water, tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly and then place chopped vegetables into the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for about 30-35 minutes. When veggies are soft, turn off heat and add in 3 cups of fresh spinach leaves. Place lid back on pot for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to steam. Season with sea salt and fresh pepper.

 

 

 

 

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