A journal of my experiences with breast cancer to inform those who are interested and to help any one else who might have just been diagnosed.

“[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Avocado and a Recipe for Easy Homemade Guacamole

You may have been avoiding eating avocados because of their 25-30 grams of fat! The fat is monounsaturated has the same effect on your system as olive oil and nuts. Avocados are rich in sterols, which are compounds shown to lower cholesterol, are packed with vitamins and minerals. Ounce for ounce, they provide more potassium than bananas.
You also don't need to eat much at a time. Cut an avocado into five pieces and have one piece for 55 calories, which you can add to a sandwich instead of mayo, a Tablespoon of which almost doubles that amount of calories. Or, you can make this easy guacamole.
guacamole and chili relleno casserole

Easy Homemade Guacamole


5 ounces Pico de Gallo
2 ripe avocados
1/4 tea. chili powder
1/2 tea. cumin
2 tea. lime juice

Mash the avocados until it is the consistency you prefer. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until well blended. If you like a very smooth consistency, you will need to put it all in a food processor to blend.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Apples and a Recipe for Curried Apple Slaw

Will an apple a day keep the doctor away? Well, perhaps. Did you know...

  • researchers have discovered that women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes?
  • an apple has 4 grams of fiber?
  • apple pectin is known for its ability to lower cholesterol?
  • apples are loaded with flavonoids which reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease?
  • apples only have about 80 calories each?
They are so fun and easy to slip into the daily diet, too. You  can eat them with peanut butter, or chop them in some plain yogurt for a snack, add thinly sliced apples to a sandwich. Applesauce is also good for you as long as you don't add too much extra sugar. Or, you can try this recipe for...

Curried Apple Slaw

  • 1/2-1 tablespoon curry
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 half small red cabbage (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 2 granny Smith apples, peeled if you like, cored, and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 cup  raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces

Mix in a medium bowl curry, vinegar, lemon juice, honey and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add cabbage, apples, green onions and raisins. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir well. Just before serving, add the walnuts and stir again.
source: modified from Hide The Cheese

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wibbly Wobbly Weight Loss: What Is Working For Me

So, what does the changes I have made look like in the day-to-day?

1. You know your self and know what will and won't work for you. For example, I know that if you are dieting that a good, healthy breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and you certainly are not supposed to skip it or you will be ravishingly hungry before lunch. Well, I know that my stomach doesn't even wake up until noon. I have tried to force myself to eat breakfast, and I have found that if it doesn't make me nauseous, then it jump starts my stomach and I become really hungry all day long. That dieting adage just doesn't work for me. Instead I don't eat anything until noon and make sure that I have planned a healthy lunch for then. It is harder to make good choices when you are hungry, so plan in advance.

2. I drink either unsweetened ice tea, ice water or seltzer water with lemon

3. For Lunch:
  • Protein: eggs, chicken strips, tuna, beans, tofu or 1 slice low-fat cheese and 2 slices of turkey, lean roast beef or ham.
  • Vegetables: a salad with the protein on it or a side salad with a sandwich with as many vegetables that I can stuff onto it. Celery stick and carrot sticks or bell pepper rings are good side vegetables to have as well. Sometimes I will have a Tablespoon of peanut butter with them.
  • Acidics and Good Oils: Vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil for a dressing on a salad or on a sandwich (1 Tab. olive oil and 2 Tab. of lemon juice or vinegar is enough dressing for salads for both Steven and I.)  or about a Tablespoon of mustard 
  • Carbohydrates: If I have a sandwich, I will use 2 slices rye, sourdough or pumpernickel or 1 slice whole wheat bread, if I have a salad I will have 4-6 whole wheat crackers. In addition, I will have some piece of fruit such as 1/2 mango or a peach, 1 cup of grapes, apple.
3. For Afternoon Snack:  I make sure I plan for a good snack for between lunch and dinner. A snack might be:
  • Fruit: 1/2 apple or a small pear
  • Protein: 1 Tab. peanut butter or 1 oz. Swiss cheese or goat cheese drizzled with lemon juice
  • Carb: 3 or 4 whole wheat pretzels or 6 whole wheat crackers  OR,
    • protein/carb combos instead of the protein and carb.
      • 14 oz. low-fat mixed berry yogurt with 2 Tab. Kashi Go-Lean cereal. 
      • 1 cup of popcorn with 8 almonds and 1 Tab. dark chocolate chips.
4. For Dinner:
  • Carbs.:one or two servings of carbohydrates such as 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta, potatoes or brown rice would be one serving, double that would be the two servings . No bread with dinner.
  • Vegetables: Fill my plate with non-starchy vegetables, even if I am already having a salad.  
  • Protein: I keep my meats as lean as possible: Lean beef, chicken, turkey, tofu, beans, fish, and shrimp.
5. Evening Snack: Here is where I have what most people would have for a healthy breakfast.
  • Carbs: One serving: a mini bagel, 3/4-1 cup cold cereal such as Kashi GoLean, Grape Nut Flakes or Raisin Bran, hot cereal such as oatmeal or oat bran. Add flaxseed.
  • Protein: Nuts and low-fat milk on the cereal, peanut butter, hard-boiled egg, nuts, plain low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese.
  • Fruit: oranges, berries (on the cereal), nectarine, apple.
  • Treat: A little indulgence in dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate covered almonds goes along way for me to resist other sweets I might see around the house. A little prevention is good protection. I skip this if I have eaten them with the popcorn.
Oh, and by the way, when I was last at my doctor's she went over routine tests with me and remarked that my cholesterol was very good -better than hers!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Fish and a Recipe for Salmon-Wasabi Sandwiches

Baked Paleo Salmon
Baked Paleo Salmon from Original Eating

Fish, especially those high in Omega-3's cut the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer, lower the risk of heart disease and helps to stop inflammation in the body. The fish highest in Omega-3's are albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring and sardines. Because salmon and other fatty fish tend to store environmental pollutants like mercury into their fatty tissue, it is best to choose wild Pacific salmon or farmed salmon from Chile. Canned salmon comes from wild varieties. I have been trying to add fish to my diet at least once or twice a week. If you are having fish as your main meal of the day, a serving can  be up to 6 ounces, or 3 ounces for a lunch.

Salmon-Wasabi Sandwiches

6 Tab. mayonnaise
2 Tab. rice wine vinegar
1 Tab. minced or grated ginger
1 1/2 tea. Wasabi powder or paste
1 tea. mirin
1 can (7.5 oz) salmon, drained and flaked
2 Tab. scallions, chopped
1 Tab. sesame seeds
8 slices pumpernickle bread
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1 cup watercress sprigs

Whisk 3 Tab. mayo, rice wine vinegar, ginger, Wasabi and mirin in a bowl. Add the salmon, scallions and sesame seeds. Mix well. Spread the remaining 3 Tab. mayo over one side of each bread slice. Divide the salmon mixture among 4 of the bread slices. Top with cucumber and watercress and lastly, the remaining bread slices. 

Serving size is one sandwich.
314 calories, 18g protein, 36g carbohydrates, 5g fiver, 12g fat

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Barley and a Recipe for Black Bean and Barley Salad

"Hulled barley (right in photo) is a whole grain, meaning the three parts of the seed—bran, germ and endosperm—are intact, providing optimum nutrition. Hulled barley, as its name suggests, has had its inedible, outermost layer—the hull—removed. (All grains grown for human consumption must have their hull removed, if they have one.) Pearled barley (left in photo) is not a whole grain, since it has been polished (aka "pearled"), processing that removes the nutritious bran layer" -The Delicious Truth

Because of its significant supply of solubble fiber, barley slows the stomach from emptying, keeping blood sugar stable and create a sensation of being full, which might help to control appetite. It can also possibly prevent colon and stomach cancers. A portion is 1/2 cup so it is good as a side dish or added to another dish, like this Black Bean and Barley Salad.

Black Bean and Barley Salad

1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tea. cumin
1 tea. oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tea. salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15-19 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2/3 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
lime wedges

Combine the broth and the barley in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until barley is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer barley to a bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool.
Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, orange juice, oil and spices into a small bowl and whisk to blend.
Add beans, peppers, scallions and cilantro to the barley. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat well. Garnish with lime slices. 
One serving is 3/4 cup.
230 calories, 7g protein, 29g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 11g fat

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Peanut Butter and a Recipe for Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Trail Bars

Enjoy Value-Packed Peanut Butter Year-Round
More peanut butter recipes at Peanut Butter Lovers.
Peanut butter is full of protein and has unsaturated fat. It helps tame cholesterol therefore lowering heart disease because of its fats (it is the same fat that is in olive oil) and sterols, which also fend off colon, prostate and breast cancers. Peanut butter is also a good source of resveratrol, the antioxidant that red wine is famous for. Peanut butter is also rich in vitamin E and is rich in the bone-building mineral boron.  It also have a gram of fiber in every tablespoon. All of these health benefits for about 20 cents or less a Tablespoon. Just watch to make sure they are not sweetened too much with corn syrup or sugar. Since it does contain almost 100 calories per tablespoon, you do still have to limit your portions, however, and use only 1-2 Tablespoons at a time. Here is a recipe for trail bars that are a bit more healthy than those you can buy in the store. Peanut butter stands in for the butter.

Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Trail Bars

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tea. cinnamon
1/2 tea. baking soda
1/8 tea. salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cu firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 Tab. canola oil
2 tea. vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds
1/2 cup bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350deg. F. and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with Pam. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Beat the peanut butter, sugar and honey in a bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Blend egg and egg whites with a fork in a small bowl. Add eggs to peanut butter mixture, along with the oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix. Mix in oats, dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips. Scrape batter into baking dish in an even layer. Bake bars until browned and firm to the touch, 20-25 min. Let cool and then cut into 24 bars. 
One serving is one bar.
175 calories, 4g protein, 24g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 8g fat,