“Scanxiety”

Most cancer survivors are familiar with the word “scanxiety”; if not the word, then I am certain they can relate to the feelings of anxiety, terror and worry that come with each “scan”. Has the cancer returned? Has it spread?    How will I ever cope with going through chemo again? These are just a few of the questions that were going through my mind as I awaited the results of my recent bone scan.   How did it turn out? Well, they say a picture paints a thousand words, and this one was taken minutes after I got my test results:

happy flo

Happy Flo after her good report!

YES! That pesky back pain was not (as I had feared), from metastatic breast cancer, but rather the result of nothing more than some minor arthritis. Not only did my oncologist give me a clean bill of health, but she also discharged me from the cancer clinic! That’s right folks, after three and a half long years, I am no longer considered a “cancer patient”.   You know what that means, right? I am CURED! Enough of this healthy living crap, I can go back to living the way I did BEFORE I had cancer. Hello barbequed steak! Welcome back soft serve ice-cream!! Don’t even bother to re-cork that wine!!! I am CANCER FREE and there is no way that cancer can touch me now!

Well, not exactly, although I do think that some people see it that way. The reality is, I got a good report, THIS TIME. The reality is, there is still no CURE for cancer. The reality is, the very treatments that saved my life, are known to CAUSE cancer. The reality is, for the rest of my life, I will have about a 30% chance of having a cancer RECURRENCE. The reality is, the only way I will ever truly know if I SURVIVED cancer, is if I die from something else.

Don’t get me wrong, I am over the moon with happiness about my good health. I am also overwhelmed by the show of support from my family, friends and colleagues who celebrated this good news with me.

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My wonderful colleagues decorated my office in celebration of my good report.

But don’t fire up the barbeque just yet. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I will repeat what you have probably heard from me many times before: my best defense against cancer is still my lifestyle choices.   If only one good thing could come from me having cancer, then I hope it would be the opportunity to share this message with other survivors.

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An Unlikely Angel

For those of you who know me personally, or have read my book, it should come as no surprise that I believe in angels. Just as I am sure that there is a Divine being called God, who oversees the workings of the universe, I am equally sure that He has assigned angels to each and every one of us to watch over, guide, and help protect us. I also believe that the loving energy of the angels is sometimes manifested to us through a fellow human being, as was the case for me this morning.

Before I introduce you to my angel in human form, let me tell you about the events leading up to the encounter. About 8 weeks ago, I started to feel a nagging little pain in my middle back. The biggest fear that cancer survivors like me live with, is the fear of the cancer returning. Even though I am currently cancer free (as far as I know), for the rest of my life, I have about a 30% chance of having a recurrence. Since breast cancer commonly metastasizes to the lungs, brain or bones, this little back ache caused me serious concern, as you can imagine. It also concerned my doctor enough to send me for a bone scan.

So off I set this morning, Miraculous Medal pinned safely to my bra, in search of St. Claire’s Mercy Hospital for my bone scan. Having visited St. Claire’s a couple of times, I thought I had an idea of how to get there. Once again however, I was reminded to never, EVER trust my warped sense of direction. Before I knew it, I was in the bowels of downtown, driving around aimlessly, making wrong turns, and going up one-way streets…….the other way. A sincere thank you to the “gentleman” in the rusty red truck who was kind enough to chase after me for a quarter of a mile, waving his fist and shouting obscenities, in order to alert me of my mistake. God love him.

I eventually found the hospital, but was not so lucky in finding a place to park. After circling several lots, (and encountering what I assume to be the cousins of rusty red truck guy, judging by their fist-waving and obscenities), I finally decided to hold up illegally in a “permit only” lot. So, fingers crossed, off I dashed for the hospital, already ten minutes late for my appointment.

St. Claires

I am pretty sure the ghosts of the kind old nuns are still roaming the halls of St. Claire’s, pictured above.

One would assume that when one enters the MAIN doors of a hospital, and is standing in the MAIN lobby of said hospital, that one would be greeted by a receptionist of some kind, who could direct lost souls such as myself. Not the case with St. Claire’s. After several trips up and down the elevator, and harassing fellow patients for directions, I finally found a narrow hallway that led to, what looked to be a receptionist of some kind, sitting behind a desk.

“Can you please tell me how to get to Nuclear Medicine?” I asked.

“Take a number and have a seat,” she replied, rather Nazi-like.

“Please, I am just looking for directions,” I pleaded.

“TAKE A NUMBER AND HAVE A SEAT!” she practically shouted. “Or I will call security and have your sorry arse dragged out of here!” Well, she didn’t actually SAY that last part, but I KNOW she was thinking it. So I took my seat.

About 15 minutes later, my number was called.

“I am looking for nuclear medicine”, I timidly repeated, so as to not rouse Nazi-receptionist’s anger again.

“My ducky you are in the wrong area,” she sweetly answered. “Go to the first floor waiting area, take a number and have a seat.”

And so I did. Again.   But this time I was in the right place and before I knew it, I was injected with some radio-active crap and sent on my merry way.

On the drive home, I happened to pass a lovely super-market touting a sale on fresh produce. Since I was lost anyway, I figured there was no harm in checking it out. True to their word, it was a vegan’s paradise: Cauliflowers, 3/$5; shitake mushrooms, $1; and avacados, buy one get one free. I happily filled my cart and set off to the check out.

No sooner had I loaded all 18 items onto the conveyer belt, than I glanced up to see a sign: 8 items or less. I looked to the cashier, “I am so sorry, I didn’t see the sign, it’s my first time shopping here,” I said.

“No worries,” she said, “I’ll check you in.” Just then, her evil step-sister pushed her aside and took over the cash.

“Mam, this lane is for 8 items or less”, she growled at me.

“But by the time I put it all back in the cart, you could have it checked in,” I said with a sheepish smile.

“Mam, PUT YOUR ITEMS BACK IN THE CART”, she practically shouted, “Or I will call security and have your sorry arse dragged out of here.” OK, she did not actually SAY that last part either, but I KNOW she was thinking it!

I hastily re-carted my groceries, all the while enduring Medusa like dirty looks from my fellow shoppers. Red-faced and indignant, I headed off to the next lane, followed closely behind by an elderly gentleman, who looked something like this:

old man

“Don’t mind her. She’s a real bitch, “ said elderly gentleman.

“Thanks,” I smiled, relieved to finally have found a kind soul in this mean city.

“I was going to try to sneak in there myself with ten items, but if she turned me away, I was afraid I might tell her to go shag herself!” he responded. “It’s like this. I am dying of cancer, and I don’t have time for that sort of crap. Life is just too short.”

“I am sorry to hear that, “ I said, “What kind of cancer?”

“It started in my prostate, but now it has spread to my bones,” he continued, “I don’t have a lot of time left and I am not wasting a minute of it around negative people like her.”

As our groceries were being bagged, we went on to share our stories, one survivor to another.   Before I left, he squeezed my arm and said, “Best of luck to you. I’ll say a prayer for good results.” What an angel.

Ok, I will admit, you probably would not hear the words, “bitch”, “shag” or “crap” coming from the mouth of an authentic angel. But after dealing with rusty red truck guy and his cousins, Nazi receptionist, and evil step sister cashier, that man was truly an ANGEL!

Be kind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cha-Cha-Cha-CHIA! Week 3 of the 5 Weeks to Healthier Eating Challenge

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I know, I know….I missed a week in my five week series. It was supposed to be posted last weekend, but my week was a little crazy (I’ll tell you more about that in another post.) A sincere apology to my fans. YES, I said fans. Plural. There was a time when I had just the one fan, Mom. But last weekend, I found a second one, Elaine. (Hope your surgery went well, Elaine. Sending loving thoughts.) So, as to not disappoint my fanSSS, here is part 3 of my 5 part healthier eating challenge featuring my favorite super-foods.

Just to re-cap: Here’s the challenge: 5 weeks, 5 super-foods, and 5 ways to prepare them! We all want to eat healthier, right?   However, the secret to healthier eating is NOT to obsess about all of the foods you CAN’T eat, but rather focus on adding new, health promoting foods to your existing diet. For 5 weeks, I will be presenting one food a week for you to try….or to try in a new way.   All you have to do is try just one of the five recipes presented each week and decide….is this a food I can live with?

If you missed week 1, “Hail to the Kale”, click HERE. For week 2, “Get Keen on Quinoa”, click HERE.

Week 3: cha-cha-cha CHIA!

Chia pets have been around since the seventies: you simply moisten a terra cotta figurine and the chia seeds sprout to produce hair or fur. Here is what an early chia pet looked like:

chia pet 2

Through the process of evolution and insane marketing, this is what a modern day chia pet looks like:

chia duck

Did you know however, that chia seeds have more uses than just growing beards on Duck Dynasty dudes? They are super good for you!

First of all, let me tell you five of the benefits of eating chia seeds, taken from our book 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It (thanks, Susan!)

  1. They make you feel full, which may aid in weight loss. When left in juice or water for about 15 minutes, they absorb the liquid and thicken the consistency (great for smoothies!).
  2. They are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. If you want to learn more about Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 fatty acids, you can read pages 49 to 53 in our book. I don’t want to go all technical on you, but here is my understanding: Omega 6 is bad, Omega 3 is good. Omega 6 increases the inflammatory response, which is the root cause of all evil in the body, such as cancer and heart disease. Omega 3 creates an ANTI-inflammatory response. Many people take fish oil capsules to increase their daily ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids. However, just one tablespoon of chia seeds contains the Omega 3 equivalent of FIVE fish oil capsules!
  3. One ounce of chia seeds provided 18% of your recommended daily dose (RDA) of calcium, once again dispelling the myth that only dairy contains calcium.
  4. While you can get 30% of your RDA for calcium from a cup of milk, you get ZERO fiber from milk…or from any other animal based product for that matter. Chia seeds on the other hand are a good source of calcium AND fiber, giving you 42% of your RDA. Fiber is not just good to get your bowels moving, it also has anti-cancer properties by helping to move toxins out of the body. And did I mention that fiber helps you to feel full, which really helps when you are trying to lose weight.
  5. One ounce of chia seeds contains 4 grams of protein. Used in a smoothie or sprinkled on your morning cereal, it is a great way to get in a dose of protein early in your day.

Now for five ways to eat these delightful little seeds:

1. Sprinkle Them Everywhere

You can add a tablespoon of chia seeds to pretty much anything you are eating! While sitting around the staffroom table at lunch time yesterday, the topic of chia seeds came up. (We are a very health conscious staff!)   One woman said that she “hides” chia seeds in many foods that she makes for her kids, such as pancakes, burgers, pizza, and muffins.   Chia seeds are also great sprinkled on your cereal, and will give your smoothie a rich, thick consistency, helping you to feel full longer.

2. Create Your Own Smoothie

smoothie post

Smoothies are a great way to start your day with a cancer-fighting punch! There are many possible ingredients for smoothies, and since the possibilities are endless, I have created this generic recipe for you to follow.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk (or cow’s milk if your body really needs that added fat and cholesterol. Regular cow’s milk contains 8 grams of fat and 30 mg of cholesterol per serving, whereas the same amount of almond milk contains only 3 grams of fat, and ZERO cholesterol. Both almond milk and cow’s milk contain the exact same amount of calcium, 30%)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit, if using fresh, throw in a handful of ice cubes to cool the mix
  • 1 cup greens, try spinich, kale, lettuce or other greens of choice, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries, remember, when it comes to cancer prevention, the darker the berry, the more anti-oxidents
  • 1 tablespoon nuts, such as cashews, almonds or walnuts, optional, but gives it an extra boost of protein

Directions

Always look for organic produce. Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth! Here is where you can use your imagination to create your own unique smoothie recipe. Try combining anti-oxidant powerhouse berries (such as blueberries or blackberries) with fruit, such as a banana or frozen mango. If your smoothie is a little tart, try adding a teaspoon full of natural sweetener such as agave, pure maple syrup or honey, or some fruit juice.   If it is too thick, just add more liquid to get the desired consistency.

3. Chia Seed Chocolate Pudding

choc pudd

Using very little sugar and all wholesome whole ingredients, you can make this chocolaty dessert that just happens to provide a boatload of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana very ripe
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2-3 tablespoons pure powdered cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or 10 drops stevia or 1 tablespoon honey (if you don’t have healthier alternative to sugar, I guess you can use 1-2 teaspoons of sugar),
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions

In a blender or processor, blend water and banana until very thin. Add other ingredients except chia seeds and blend very well. Stir in seeds with a spoon. Let it sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally while it thickens up. Pour into 2 or 3 small dessert dishes, garnish with berries (optional) and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

 

4. Strawberry (OR Blueberry) Chia Seed Jam

Jam

Simple and fun and you’re turning jam into an Omega-3 powerhouse! Magic!  (Now I know what I will do with all of those wild blueberries my mom picked for me!)

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound strawberries (or any berries) washed, hulled and chopped into quarters
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (or less if you don’t want it sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions

If using blueberries or raspberries you do not need to chop, just wash.

Add fruit along with sweetener to a saucepan and heat over medium heat.

Once the berries heat up, carefully smash them with a fork or masher until you get the consistency you like.

Allow the fruit to come to a boil and allow to gently boil for about 5 minutes until it forms a sauce.

You can taste it here to see if you’d like to adjust the sweetener.

Stir in 2 tablespoons chia seeds and stir allowing to cook for one more minute.

Remove from heat

Wait until the jam thickens about 10-15 minutes. It will thicken as it cools. If it’s thin, add another teaspoon or two and stir well and allow to sit.

When it’s cooled to room temp, you can eat.

Keep in airtight jar in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

5. Almond Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding

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This light and fruity dessert also makes a great breakfast food or snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package fresh strawberries hulled
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Puree almond milk and strawberries in a blender until smooth; pour into a bowl. Stir chia seeds, honey, and vanilla extract into the strawberry puree.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

So, there you have it folks, 5 good reasons to eat chia seeds and 5 delicious ways to prepare them. If you are serious about eating for cancer prevention, I encourage you to sign up for our FREE 4 day Cancer Plan 4 Life Kickstart program, (click the button below) where you can access these plus hundreds of other delicious, cancer-fighting recipes. Survive and Thrive!

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Healthy & Powerfully Feminine‏

Hi everyone!  I noticed a few people have come on board with the “Healthier Eating Challenge”.  In case you missed it, you can find my post (and recipes) on kale HERE, and my quinoa post HERE, with 3 more super-foods to feature in the coming weeks.

But, let’s take a break from that.  I have recently cyber-met a lovely lady who is taking on a fabulous project to help cancer survivors everywhere.  In this post, she tells us about her project and links us to her site, where you can find more information.  So please take a few minutes to read Mireille’s post:

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Mireille Parker is a transformational life coach who works with female entrepreneurs to incorporate their femininity into their business for more ease, flow and fun in their lives. After going through a health crisis with breast cancer, Mireille knows the importance of empowering our bodies to heal, developing our feminine essence and balancing it with our masculine to work smarter, not harder, and putting the structures and boundaries in place that support our well-being. Originally from Australia, she is now living an active life in Switzerland and has recently completed her first novel, Wonderlust. She is also a dancer and yoga-fan, who balances green juice with champagne, prioritises weekly massages and loves being in nature. 

What does it mean to be a healthy and powerfully feminine woman?

 

How would it feel to have a healthy relationship with your body, to be in communication with her, to be proud of your imperfections, to cultivate gratitude and tend to your mind, conscious of what you’re putting in to it just as you are with your body?

 

Imagine being pleasureful, playful, fun and full of joy and passion, sensual and present, lit up from the inside, appreciating your beauty, pampering yourself and being in a loving, supportive community.

 

This is who you are. This is your female essence. You are vibrant like the trees and the sky. You are alive like water and sunlight. You are feminine, powerful and healthy.

 

It’s a gift to be a woman.

 

For years we’ve tried to keep up, we’ve pushed to get ahead and become disconnected to our bodies.  But this is a new era. It’s the age of the healthy and powerfully feminine woman.

 

In the Healthy and Powerfully Feminine Interview Series, starting September 22nd, we’ll be going deep about not only physical/external health, but also how to be healthy on an emotional and spiritual level.

 

I’ll be interviewing ten incredible women from around the world, including…

Women who have healed menstrual and digestive issues, precancerous conditions & endometriosis.

Your very own Susan Gonzales, stage III cancer survivor and advocate for holistic healing.

Plus, mentors on feminine leadership, women’s empowerment, health & nutrition, lifestyle design for moms and wellness and weight-loss through pleasure & sensuality.

We’re talking about how to empower our bodies to heal and be healthy, how to create more flow, ease and fun in our lives, developing intuition and guidance, the importance of beauty, how to deal with our emotions and cultivating our feminine power while being successful in our careers.

 

For more information, come join us at www.healthyandpowerfullyfeminine.com

5 Weeks To Healthier Eating Challenge. Week 2: Quinoa

 

Here’s the challenge: 5 weeks, 5 super-foods, and 5 ways to prepare them! We all want to eat healthier, right?   However, the secret to healthier eating is NOT to obsess about all of the foods you CAN’T eat, but rather focus on adding new, health promoting foods to your existing diet. For 5 weeks, I will be presenting one food a week for you to try….or to try in a new way.   All you have to do is try just one of the five recipes presented each week and decide….is this a food I can live with?

If you missed week 1, “Hail to the Kale”, click HERE.

 

Week 2: Get Keen on Quinoa

The first thing you should know about quinoa is how to pronounce it. Repeat after me: KEEN-WAH. Yes, that’s it, keen-wah! The next thing you should know is that quinoa is packed with good nutrition. In our book, 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, my smart and witty co-author, Susan, devotes a whole chapter to quinoa (p. 267). Here are some interesting facts taken from there:

1. One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories, which is similar in calorie count to white rice (242 calories per cup). However, as you will see below, quinoa is much richer in nutrients and therefore a healthier choice. Try serving your next stir fry on a bed of quinoa!

2. One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the building blocks necessary for cell growth and function.

3. Quinoa contains ZERO cholesterol. (Did you know that only food from animals….meat, eggs and dairy…contain cholesterol?)

4. It contains 5 grams of fiber, which is 20% of the recommended daily allowance, or RDA. (Did you know that meat, eggs and dairy contain ZERO fiber?)

5. One cup of quinoa gives you 15% of the RDA for iron, which is necessary for healthy blood; 19% of the RDA for folate, which is an important B vitamin; 58% the RDA for manganese; 28% of the RDA for phosphorus; and 30% of the RDA for magnesium…all of which are important for strong bones.

So there you have it, five good reasons to make quinoa a part of your healthy eating plan. Now here are five of my favorite ways to eat it (Remember to always RINSE quinoa well before cooking it):

1. Cheesy Mexican Fiesta Casserole

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If you have a taste for Mexican, you will love this casserole! The sauce is so cheesy, you will never believe that it is dairy-free. I use the leftovers to make quesadillas, served with guacamole and salsa on the side. This is my favorite quinoa recipe.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 3 tablespoons flour of your choice avoid white flour and experiment with healthier choices like chickpea flour or brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne careful not to make it too hot!
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

(Here’s a cheat: rather than combine these spices, you can use a package of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning)

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast. If you are making the switch to plant based eating, this is a necessity in your cupboard!
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or plant based milk of your choice
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 19 oz. can well rinsed black beans

Directions

First cook quinoa: bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add one cup of quinoa, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed (as you would cook rice). Transfer to large mixing bowl. Next sauté onion, garlic, green pepper and tomato in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with quinoa and add cooked black beans. Stir all ingredients.

Now it is time to make your cheese sauce: Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour, spices, and nutritional yeast, stir to combine. Add in milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.

Add your cheese mixture to the bowl of ingredients and mix well.

Transfer to a casserole dish, top with a sprinkle of paprika, and bake for 20 minutes.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with salsa and/or guacamole!  Use leftovers to make quesadillas.

2. Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

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Eat quinoa for breakfast? You sure can!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 teaspoons agave nectar OR honey OR pure maple syrup for sweetening (for overall good health, ditch the white sugar)
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries or other berry of choice, organic if possible

 

Directions

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar, or honey or pure maple syrup over each serving.

 

3. Best Veggie Burger In The World

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Yields 8 burgers

One of the things I missed most when I switched to mainly plant-based eating, is hamburgers. I tried various veggie burgers, but could not find one I really liked….until I met the quinoa burger! Trust me, even the carnivores in your life will love this one!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa if you can’t find red, white will do
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms of your choice
  • •1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (Add other seasonings of your choice to spice it up the way you like it…unlike meat burgers, you can try the mix “raw” and season to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 flax egg mix one tablespoon ground flax seed, with one tablespoon warm water and allow to set 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans toasted, then finely chopped (use a food processor if you have one) To toast, put in oven on 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes, turining once
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared salsa OR organic ketchup OR barbeque sauce

Note: If mix is too soft, add a little flour so that it can be made into patties.

 

Directions

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and seasonings; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Prepare flax egg. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, nutritional yeast, pecans flax egg, and oats; stir to combine. Scoop 1/2-cup portions of the mixture and shape into 8 patties, about 3 inches wide. Roll the burgers in flour to hold them together for cooking.

Heat olive oil in frying pan, and fry the patties, about 5 minutes per side OR bake for 30 minutes on greased sheet, turning once, OR cook on BBQ as you would regular burgers.

4. Sweet and Sour Neatballs

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(I apologize, I don’t have a more appetizing picture…this is a pic I took myself…trust me, they taste better than they look here!)

“Neatballs” are my version of meatballs. You might notice that the recipe for making them is exactly the same as my burger recipe, but you form them into balls rather than patties.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa if you can’t find red, white will do
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms of your choice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (Add other seasonings of your choice to spice it up the way you like it…unlike meat burgers, you can try the mix “raw” and season to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 flax egg mix one tablespoon ground flax seed, with one tablespoon warm water and allow to set 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans toasted, then finely chopped (use a food processor if you have one) To toast, put in oven on 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes, turining once
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared salsa OR organic ketchup OR barbeque sauce

Note: If mix is too soft, add a little flour so that it can be formed into balls.

 

Directions

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and seasonings; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Prepare flax egg. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, nutritional yeast, pecans flax egg, and oats; stir to combine. Form mixture into balls, and roll in flour to hold them together.

Heat olive oil in frying pan, and fry the balls for about 5-7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Here’s how to make the sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • Thicken with 1 tablespoon corn starch or tapioca starch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water

 

Directions

Bring water to a boil. Add honey, vinegar, and ketchup. Stir until combined. Stir in corn/tapioca starch mix and stir until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and pour over neatballs. Bake 15-20 minutes on 350 degrees.

 

5. Honey Quinoa Salad

quinoa 4

No tribute to quinoa would be complete without a quinoa salad. There are lots of quinoa salad recipes out there, but this is my favorite. I like it cold, but it can be served warm.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup honey roasted peanuts
  • juice of one fresh orange (or 3 tablespoons orange juice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Directions

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. (In the same way you would cook rice) Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add honey and gently toss to combine. Set aside and cover for 10 minutes allowing honey to soak. Add all remaining ingredients. Transfer to serving bowls and serve warm or chilled.

 

So there you have it folks, 5 great recipes to choose from to get you back on track with your healthy living plan.

 

If you like these recipes, and you would like to learn more about eating for cancer prevention, please sign up for the Free 4 day Cancer Plan 4 Life Kickstart Program.  Just click below.  Bon Appetit!

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5 Weeks To Healthier Eating Challenge. Week 1: Kale

Here’s the challenge: 5 weeks, 5 super-foods, and 5 ways to prepare them! We all want to eat healthier, right?   The secret to healthier eating is NOT to obsess about all the foods you CAN’T eat, but rather focus on adding new, health promoting foods to your existing diet. For the next 5 weeks, I will be presenting one food a week for you to try….or to try in a new way.   All you have to do is try just one of the five recipes presented each week and decide….is this a food I can live with?

Week 1: Hail To The Kale!

Kale recipe

I recently shared a simple kale recipe on Facebook, and it practically went viral! (Well, mini-viral at least.)   So I can only conclude that there are people out there who are as enamoured with kale as I am. Who would have thunk it?

In our book, 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, my esteemed co-author Susan, talks about 9 of the health promoting benefits of this fabulous super-food (pg. 193). I would now like to share with you 5 of these benefits. (Just because I know you have a short attention span, and 5 is a nice, easy number to work with.) So here goes:

  1. Anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to your health, the inflammatory response in the body is the root of all evil! Inflammation is the underlying cause of arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and a number of auto-immune diseases. Kale is an incredibly effective ANTI-inflammatory food, which may prevent and in some cases, even reverse the inflammatory response in the body.
  2. Iron content. It is a common misconception that most vegetarians are anemic. In fact, kale is a great source of iron and per calorie, it has more iron than beef!
  3. Calcium content. Move over milk! Kale contains 90 mg. of calcium per serving. This is more calcium, per calorie, than milk, and as an added benefit this calcium is more easily absorbed by the body than is the calcium from milk.
  4. Low calorie. One cup of fresh kale has just 30 skinny little calories, and less than one milligram of fat. (Plus loads of fiber to keep you feeling full longer.)
  5. Cancer-fighting kick. Here is why I love it!   Kale belongs to the cruciferous family of veggies, along with broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These veggies are extremely high in phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole 3-carbinol, which are not just fancy words, but have also been proven to protect against cancer.

So there you have it. Five good reasons to eat kale. Now let me share with you 5 of my favorite ways to eat it.

1. Kale chips. A delicious snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating.

kale chips

1 bunch of kale, washed and stems removed.

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (I use “herb infused” olive oil for extra flavor)

Desired seasonings to taste (sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.)

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F. Make sure kale is COMPLETELY dry. Tear kale into pieces, toss in a bowl with olive oil and seasonings. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

2. Quick kale. Ok, I don’t actually have a name for this recipe, (or a picture, sorry) so I just made that one up in a pinch. This is a quick and easy side dish, which I also use on top of pasta.

1 whole Large Bunch Of Kale, Or 2 Regular Bunches

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2-3 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced

Salt And Pepper, to taste

1/2 Lemon, Optional

Thoroughly rinse the kale in cold water, soaking if necessary to remove grit. Tear the kale into chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and quickly stir it around to avoid burning.

Throw in the kale and toss it around the skillet. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and continue cooking until slightly wilted but still crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Or longer if you like.)

Remove the kale to a plate and serve!

Option: Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top.

3. Colorful Kale and Cabbage Stew….try saying that fast 3 times. It is quite the mouthful…and quite the delicious tummy full too! With super foods like kale, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic, this stew is a winner for cancer fighting nutrition. (And a great Fall comfort food)

kale stew2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups kale, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 medium red potato, cubed skin on, well scrubbed
  • 2 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium stock pot, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cabbage and kale with about 1/2 cup of water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add vegetable broth and carrots and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Then add the sweet potato and red potato, and continue to simmer, covered for about another 20 to 30 minutes. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

4. Kale and Quinoa Salad. As beautiful to look at as it is to eat.

kale salad blog

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice…about 2-3 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste taste to see if you need it

1 tsp. chia seeds or ground flax seeds for thickening

Salad:

  • 4-6 cups chopped kale leaves (about 4-5 ounces)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 avocado sliced or cubed (optional but recommended)
  • additional lemon juice and seasonings to taste

Directions

Heat a saucepan that has a lid. Add the rinsed and drained quinoa and the garlic and toast it until almost dry. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing in a small bowl or measuring cup: whisk together the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons broth, chia/flax seeds, chile powders, cumin, and salt. Allow to stand until the chia seeds start to thicken the dressing.

Place the kale in a large serving bowl. Add half of the dressing and massage it into the kale using a wringing motion until the kale is very tender. Two minutes of massaging should do it, but the longer, the better. Add the quinoa, black beans, carrot, and bell pepper, along with the remaining dressing. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, check the seasoning and add more lemon juice, chile powder, cumin, and salt, as needed. Stir in chopped avocado, if desired, or serve with slices of avocado on the side.

5. Kale Chowder

kale chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 heaping tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 heaping tsp dried rosemary
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 cups kale, de-stemmed, finely chopped

Directions

Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes and stir. Then add in the carrots, parsley, and rosemary, and cook for five more minutes while stirring.

Add in the vegetable stock and chopped cauliflower. Simmer until the cauliflower is softened.

Place the soup into a blender, but leave some pieces of carrot and cauliflower behind so it will be a bit chunky. Blend the rest of the soup until it’s smooth and then place it back in the pot.

Add in the chopped kale. Simmer for another 10 minutes until the kale is fully cooked.

Kale recipe

 

So there you have it folks, 5 great recipes to choose from to get you back on track with your healthy living plan.

Another thing I really love about kale is that it is so easy to grow from seed. My mother, who is a fabulous gardener, has it growing in abundance. So needless to say, kale is finding its way into many of our meals. If you have more kale than you can digest right now, don’t fret, here is an easy way to “keep” it: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place kale in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, just until it turns a bright green color. Immediately put it in a drainer and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Place in containers and freeze.  Of course, you would not make chips with this “blanched” kale, but it works great in other recipes.

If you like these recipes, and you would like to learn more about eating for cancer prevention, please sign up for our Free 4 day Cancer Plan 4 Life Kickstart Program. Bon Appetit!

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Set Them Free!!!

 

tatas

As I was scrolling down through Facebook this morning, this hit me in the face.   Is it just me, or does anyone else find this ad offensive?

Can anyone tell me how setting one’s ta-ta’s free by going bra-less is in any way “supporting breast cancer”?

And what’s up with trying  to make breast cancer look SEXY?

Here is a picture of me a few days after my mastectomy.

post mastectomy

Pale, skinny, and bald. Believe it or not, I was even wearing make-up here! (I can tell by my neatly drawn on eyebrows.)  Sexy? I think not. (Cute? Maybe.)

Or how about this?  (Taken from the Scar Project).  Folks, this is what breast cancer REALLY looks like.

scar project

So, needless to say, on October 13th I will not be setting my lone ta-ta free. It will be held snugly in place in my mastectomy bra, right next to the bag of rice that currently serves as my left ta-ta.

However,  since November is prostate cancer awareness month, I would like to issue  a challenge of my own: On November 13th, lets…..

SET THE BALLS FREE!!!

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Click below to get your……

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