JEWELS FROM THE ROVING STOVE

From VIP entrances in Versace to service entrances in my apron

  • Julie Anne Rhodes

Breast Cancer Prevention Foods & Tips

I’ve lived with a deep seeded fear of the “C” word ever since my beloved Grandma Ellie (my first favorite person on the planet), lost her battle with what began as breast cancer, spread throughout her body, eventually settling in her lungs.

Four generations: Grandma Ellie in the center

Today a diagnosis of stage one or stage two breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. In fact, studies show that mammograms catch up to 85% of all malignant tumors early enough to treat, and that most stage three or stage four tumors found are in people who had not had a mammogram in two years or more.

Still, prevention is a much more desirable method than treatment in my point of view. After seeing and feeling the benefits of the recent anti-inflammatory cleanse I did, I will never underestimate the use of foods that heal our bodies again. We may already be more than halfway through breast cancer awareness month, but these simple adjustments to your diet and other helpful tips could help save your life any month of the year.

Grandma Ellie with her grandmother, mother, and first born

1). Studies have shown that drinking three cups of green tea a day cuts your likelihood of getting breast cancer by 50%. That is significantly high enough for me to adapt my taste buds and and start brewing away!

Dad, Miriam, Grandma Ellie, Sid, and Grandpa Bill

2). People who eat a diet rich in dark leafy green vegetables (ie. spinach, kale, Swiss chard etc.), sea vegetables (such as nori, kelp and Wakame etc.), and colorful vegetables tend to have lower rates of breast cancer. Mom wasn’t kidding when she said “eat your vegetables!”

3). Sorry Dracula, but garlic boosts the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. I’d rather have stinky breath than chemo any day.

4). Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, aids in reducing estrogen.

My travel lust hails from Grandma Ellie and Grandpa Bill

5). Cruciferous vegetables (which include the leafy greens, but also cabbage, broccoli, Cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas etc.) are a great source of fiber and help detoxify the liver, so the toxins are not irritating and inflaming cells that could turn into cancers. If you already have pre cancerous or cancerous cells, cruciferous vegetables also act as an estrogen binder in your GI tract to reduce stimulation and growth of the bad cells.

6). Monounsaturated fats (ie. olive oil, walnut oil, and flax seed oil) have tumor suppression properties – proof that not all fats are our enemies! Another bonus is they boost good cholesterol.

Supplements can also aid in prevention. Inflammation plays a key role in many cancers – colon cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer as well as breast cancer. Aspirin taken in moderation, but at least twice a week can reduce the incidence of inflammation.

She chose to die living, rather than live dying

Most of us find sardines and cod liver oil off-putting, and most likely do not eat enough salmon and dairy products to give us the 2000 units daily that we require. Some doctors recommend taking a vitamin D tablet, and getting a few minutes of sun daily to increase the levels of vitamin D in our systems.

Please remember these are general guidelines. Although rare, there are medical conditions that can react badly to a diet rich in the vitamin K found in leafy greens, plus any medications you may already be taking could have an adverse effect with some supplements, so it is always best to check with your doctor first. Once you have the all-clear, these are simple changes to make, and could very well save your life. Here is a client favorite recipe to get you started on the right track.

White Bean, Butternut Squash, & Kale Stew

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Butternut Squash, •peeled, seeded, cut

2 cups vegetable broth

1 large bunch kale, thick stems trimmed,

2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage

2 15 ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1/4 cup Peccorino cheese, freshly grated, plus more for garnish

Directions:

1). Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers, and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add butternut squash and broth, bring to boil, cover, and simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.

2). Mix kale and sage into stew. Cover and cook until kale wilts, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add beans and olives and stir until heated through. Stir in 1/4 cup of cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with additional cheese sprinkled on top to garnish.

Serving Suggestions: I love this with a nice, fresh crusty loaf of bread, but it also great served over rice (I prefer brown basmati).

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