Anti-cancer Smoothie Recipe
My goal every day is to eat a healthy, balanced diet that’s full of veggies and fruits of all of the different colors (#eattherainbow). When I was going through treatment and my parents were staying with me, they’d put on daytime television every day. And one day, Kristi Funk was on Megyn Kelly talking about foods that fight breast cancer. Both Megyn Kelly and Kristi Funk are now controversial people (Megyn for her comments and Kristi for her questionable science / stats) so ignore that portion of it. The point is, she talked about a smoothie she drinks every day to fend of breast cancer. I loved this idea so I looked up the recipe and that’s where my smoothie started. She had some weird, fad-esque stuff in it that I chose not to purchase. I just stuck to the ingredients I know are good for me. Then I came across Kathy Mydlach Bero, whose story of going from stage IV inflammatory breast cancer to no evidence of disease (NED) with non-traditional treatments got me super interested in how she did it. What I found was simple and something I was already doing: she eats lots of organic fruits and veggies and makes sure to eat the rainbow every day. So I incorporated a few more things into my smoothie based on her must-eats list. I also talked with some nutritionists and friends in the breast cancer world, as well as my health nut family members, and made some modifications from their recommendations too. So it has evolved some over the course of the last year. My copy is hand-written and taped up on my wall in my kitchen right next to my blender which makes it easy to follow (and on days when I was feeling too sick to make it, friends and family could make it for me). In terms of volume, it makes enough for me to split it evenly between 3 days. It has a LOT of ingredients and can be annoying to make but since it makes so much, I only have to do it twice per week (I will admit I usually take that 7th day off).
So what does it do for me? First and foremost, it makes me feel more energized. If I’m feeling fatigued or even like I may be starting to get a little sick, it wipes that out. I haven’t had 1 cold since I started drinking this smoothie, which is incredible given I had low white blood cell counts for so much of chemo. Also, I love knowing everything anti-cancer I want to eat in a single day is in this smoothie and I never have to worry about getting it through meals. It alleviates some of my stress about eating well and makes me feel like I’m kicking cancer’s ass every time I drink it. If you’re counting your colors eating the rainbow every day, it checks off red, yellow, light green, dark green, and blue. So all you have left to eat are orange, white, and brown (which are super easy colors). I’ll share more on how I track my colors in an upcoming post! Nothing is powder that may have sneaky ingredients or artificial fillers or preservatives. It’s all stuff we all know is good for us. So basically this smoothie predominantly a bunch of good fruits and veggies. And with all the sugars from the fruits (and cacao nibs), you don’t need to add sugar to sweeten it. This isn’t a nasty hold-your-nose health drink either. It actually tastes good.
Food science is such a tricky road to navigate because frankly it’s so hard to study the individual impacts of a single ingredient in our complex bodies in true, controlled studies with large sample sizes. And animal studies just don’t cut it because our bodies don’t act the same way mice do. So I am not going to make any claims about curative factors of these foods. I base my decisions for eating on tried and true ingredients and eating strategies.
Ingredients (all organic):
1.5 cups almond, cashew, or dairy milk*
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 dried dates
1 teaspoon (about 1 inch shaved nib) of fresh turmeric root, grated (Whole Foods has these, substitute with ½ tsp dry turmeric)
1 teaspoon (about 1 inch shaved nib) of fresh ginger, grated (substitute with ½ tsp dry ginger)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp black pepper
1 green apple
2 stalks celery
2 packed cups spinach or kale (I usually rotate every batch)
½ lemon squeezed
2 cups berries (equal mix of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
1 mug of green tea (do this first: microwave water for 1 minute, add green tea bag and let steep until the end, then dump in - I usually chill with a ice cube or 2 so you’re not adding hot liquid into your smoothie)
3-4 fresh mint leaves
1 inch diameter bundle wheatgrass
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend together. My blender is filled to the very max after adding all this stuff (which is why I usually add the green tea at the end based on space - and just drink whatever amount of green tea doesn’t fit). I usually blend on high for 2 cycles on my blender to really liquefy everything (Cuisinart SPB600, 48 oz). I split this into 3 days-worth so it’s about 16 oz per day. It tastes better cold so you can refrigerate it before you drink, or just drink directly after blending. Also, feel free to add in any other fruit you have on hand or that you really like. I’ve tried adding mango and strawberries and both were a nice addition!
When I'm traveling on a road trip, I make a batch to bring with me if I can. If I'm flying, I just bring with me a few of the powders I have from yoursuper.com. They make organic powder blends of different ingredients and I add them to milk. It's nowhere near as powerful as the smoothie, but they give me that green+berry boost I want in my day.
*I was always into non-dairy milks until we started suppressing my estrogen and now I use organic cow milk to help keep up my bone density.
Let me know if you try it out and what you think!