We've got a lot of great articles, recipes and guest bloggers over at The Kickin' Kitchen -- the blog for our book Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen! So grab a cup of tea, stop by and pick up some food for thought (and some for your dinner, too! While you're there pick up our free e-book with meal planner, recipes and cancer-kicking tips.
Do you worry about bone health? Think you need to add more dairy to your diet to increase your intake of calcium? Think again! Osteoporosis is actually caused by the protein in diary and meat! Eating dairy and meat increases the production of uric acid in the body. Calcium is needed to buffer the blood in the face of this acid and guess where that calcium comes from? Uh-huh! - Your bones.
Instead try calcium-rich greens (see the watercress recipe below!) and beans for whole food, nutrient-packed bone health goodness! And don't forget to catch some sunshine! Vitamin D is a necessary partner (along with healthy fats and Vitamin K) for strong bones.
Asian Watercress Salad
Prep time: 7 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 bunch washed watercress
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup baked tofu
1-1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2/3 tablespoons plum vinegar or other vinegar
- Tear watercress into desirable size pieces.
- Mix with carrots in a salad bowl.
- Drizzle sesame oil and vinegar over salad and toss.
- Dice tofu into bite-size strips.
- Serve in individual salad bowls, sprinkle tofu on top of each and serve.
I don’t like running.
No, let me rephrase that.
I hate running.
I think I always have. But especially ever since the days of public school and the Presidential Physical Fitness test. Which President it was that came up with that ridiculous test I never figured out, but I cursed him, out-of-breath and with a pain in my side that felt like swords piercing, as I ran around that school track, trying to reach the demanded distance in the allotted amount of time to enable my government to declare me as “fit”. Well, I didn’t.
In high school I had the system figured out. If I didn’t make the Commander-in-Chief’s cut, I would get a big, black “N” on my gym folder for that category, but nothing else would happen. So why stress? Why worry? There were more important things in life (geek that I am). Like the Periodic Table of the Elements. I still see myself *walking* around the track, flashcards in hand, quizzing myself on atomic weights and symbols. I decided I just wasn’t a runner, and I took up my black thick-Sharpie “N” as a badge I was not proud of, but was powerless to change.
Yes -- You read that correctly! We are so excited to finally be able to announce some big, amazing news!!
The "We" is Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott, and the "what" we are expecting is a book!
But let us back up a bit.
About Annette and Kendall: We are both young cancer survivors who used our time in Cancer World to learn all we could about beating our cancers by taking an integrative approach to treatment and focusing on using food as medicine. We learned all we could about nutrition, holistic cancer support, and looking and feeling our best while kicking cancer.
We and those around us were so amazed at what a difference eating real, whole, plant-based food made in our lives, even while enduring grueling cancer treatment, that we both wanted to learn even more.
Keep reading HERE...
[This was a post I wrote on my Care Pages two years ago on the eve of my Cancerversary for my first cancer diagnosis]
In the world after cancer, there are days on the calendar which stand out with special significance. Dates that remind you of events which have altered life in ways never imagined.
“Cancerversary” is a term I had never heard before I entered this world. And as I recently made an attempt to list important dates in my cancer -related health history, I realized how many there were. Surgeries, beginnings and ends of treatments and, of course, diagnosis.
But is my cancerversary the day I got the mammo that looked suspicious? The day I had the biopsy during which the doctor told me -sure, she had had wrong hunches before, but she was pretty darn sure this wasn‘t good? The day the dreaded phone call came confirming the diagnosis? (and I haven’t even gotten to the second diagnosis yet!)
I realized I can’t just put it all to a day. And as I looked closer I noticed that, interestingly enough, my first cancerversary spans the time between Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Groundhog Day.
1) Just breathe! Simply sit and concentrate on nothing other than your breath for 10 minutes, making sure to take deep breaths in and out.
2) Take a warm shower. Nothing feels quite a wonderful as warm, steamy water running down your back.
3) Practice eye-gazing. Ask a friend to sit straight across from you and gaze continually in each other’s eyes with warmth and care.
4) Take a hike! Get outside and get some fresh air, even if it is just a trip around the block.
5) Say an affirmation. Find or create your own affirmation declaring your intent to be relaxed and stress-free. Write it out or repeat out loud for several minutes.
6) Listen to music. Usually we have music as background noise. Take a few minutes and – doing nothing else— listen to whatever music is relaxing to you. Need an idea: try Enya: Caribbean Blue
7) Cuddle your pet. Spending a few minutes with your fur baby helps you focus on something outside of yourself and is a warm and fuzzy de-stressor.
8) Stretch your body. Take a time-out and simply stand and touch your toes .Then turn your body side to side, raising your arms up in the air. If you aren’t in the middle of an office, do a few yoga poses or dance to music on the radio.
9) Brew some tea. One of these herbs or a mix of all are calming: chamomile, nettles, lemon balm, lavender, and mint.
As we wrap up our holiday celebrations and prepare to bid 2011 goodbye, let’s take a minute to reflect on the 360-some days behind us and consider the year to come. Of course January 1 is just one of many “New Year’s Days” in the calendars of the world. But despite its somewhat random nature, the date serves as a marker, a divider, a chance to pause and take inventory of how we spend the minutes and days of our lives. It’s a chance to let go of old frustrations, mistakes and regrets and focus on new goals, re-set our priorities and begin again with a clean slate.
While plans such as exercising more, losing weight and finding a new job often make their way to the top of our list of New Year’s resolutions, I would argue that another, much more simpler, just infinitely more challenging shift inhabit our top slot. As we toss out the Old, the botched and the blundered of the past year, let’s bring in not the brighter, the shinier, the New, rather, let’s bring in the Now.
If it helps anyone feel better, sometimes even health coaches forget to follow their own advice.
Following a full summer, the furious beginning of fall fell upon me, and with it, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Because I had been so busy, I stopped doing many of the things I normally do to take care of myself. I let important routines and habits fall by the wayside in a rush to stay on top of my to-do list.
Suddenly, however, my body wasn't doing what I wanted it to do, and my mind was not performing as I demanded. It took me by surprise, having being negligent in attending to the sign posts along the way. At first, frustration overtook me - why couldn't I just keep running along with life as usual? What was wrong with me? And what good was this seemingly fragile body anyway?
Luckily, as health coaches we know what to do when a situation like this arises and we aren't sure just how to proceed -- we call a health coach!
Mine assessed the situation beautifully and asked: "What would you tell a client to do in this case?" "I'd encourage him or her to make self care a priority," I answered. " Exactly," she replied.
The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.
Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar and moods, and alleviate cravings.
Creamy Winter Squash Soup
This is a warming, comforting soup for the winter season. Pumpkins and squash are vegetables which grow on the ground, providing grounding and earth-connecting energy. They are rich sources of beta-carotene, precursor to Vitamin A and an important antioxidant. Delicious and nutritious (and easy) – now that’s my kind of soup!
I love encouraging people to get in their kitchens and have fun! This means embracing the mentality of openness, curiosity and exploration. Since pumpkins and squash come in many sizes and varieties, I am only giving relative measurements. Take the challenge and adjust, taste and adapt as you go. Try different types of winter squash and different combinations of seasonings to find your favorites. Soon you will begin to gain more confidence and competence in the kitchen!
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
About 2 cups of onions, diced or sliced in half moons
2 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. white pepper
Additional seasonings such as garam marsala (about 1 ½ tsp)
About 6 cups of squash, in chunks
Vegetable broth, enough to just cover squash
About 3 apples, cored removed and sliced (I like Pink Lady or Granny Smith)