Webinar update: I have great news - A wonderful group joined me for the webinar this past Monday. They asked great questions and we made it through all the information!

Not so great news - the recording didn't work!! I did get a month free of the software, but it's not available for replay. So I decided the only way to make it up to you is to offer it AGAIN! Join me for the second time around - Fact or Fiction: Debunking Cancer Nutrition Myths.

It's Monday, August 25th at 7:30pm. Back to our topic, something I wish I didn't actually have to address!

aretheyaquack.jpgNutrition Info: Who Do You Trust

This is something I have to deal with daily. Questions from the community and from cancer survivors regarding something the read, heard, saw on the news or someone told them. When it comes to nutrition, everyone seems to think they're an expert. Even well intentioned individuals can be the source of misinformation.

I could give you story after story of questions I get, but let's just pick a few to highlight.

Let's look at a few examples:

Food Babe: You may have heard of Food Babe as the one who petitioned Subway regarding their bread ingredients, and Kraft regarding the additives in their "cheese". She makes a lot of claims and presents herself as an expert. Here's an interesting blog post from a farmer in Minnesota. I saw the link via a Dietitian Farmer on Facebook and thought it was very well done.

"Vani Hari is better known as the Food Babe. She started her online company FoodBabe.com in 2011 to "spread information about what is really in the American food supply." Her background? Based on what she writes, you would think her college degree is in nutrition, food or health. But no, she is a computer programmer."
Read more here: 10 Things I Wish the Food Babe Knew

Dr. Mercola:
Joseph Mercola operates a very successful business via his website. Wikipedia has a nice overview, if you want to know more about it. He has practiced in an office in Chicago in the past but no longer practices. However, he makes a LOT of money through his marketing techniques and questionable "science."

Per quackwatch.org: "Joseph Mercola is a D.O., in Illinois, and operates one of the internet's largest and most trafficked health information sites. In 2012, Mercola stated that his site had over 300,000 pages and is visited by "millions of people each day" and that his electronic newsletter has close 1,500,000 subscribers. The site vigorously promotes and sells dietary supplements, many of which bear his name."

Read more here: FDA Orders Dr. Joseph Mercola to Stop Illegal Claims.

Although there are plenty of sources opposing the information Dr. Mercola is spreading... that doesn't stop Dr. Oz from inviting him on his show (or it doesn't stop Dr. Oz allowing Dr. Mercola to pay him to be on his show, I'm not sure which it is!). Which brings me to my next questionable source of information...

Dr. Oz:
Holy Moly. If you're not already clued in... Dr. Oz is pretty much a reliable source of crazy talk and sales. I honestly used to think he made some sense, back when he was on Oprah once a week. But once he switched to be his own show EVERY DAY for an HOUR, he seems to have run out of evidence based things to say, therefore he has decided to fill up his time with a bunch of crazy talk. And if you didn't know, he was questioned by the US Senate this summer based on his questionable claims that he makes as he sells products (that are unproven) right and left.

Read more here: CNN Article - Congressional hearing investigates Dr. Oz 'miracle' weight loss claims

Places to check on credibility:

One of my favorite websites to check for credibility regarding health related issues is www.quackwatch.org. They do a very thorough job of searching backgrounds, any citations and also debunking any misinformation that the person might be giving. Of course snopes.com is a great place too, for those urban legend type emails or facebook posts.

In addition to checking the facts of the information you hear, you will want to double check the credentials of the person giving it to you.

First off - do they have a degree or credential in the area of study that they are advising on? 

For nutrition, there are two credentials that are accepted under the licensing laws, which depends on the state. Registered Dietitian credentials (RD or RDN) are accepted in all states and Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) is accepted in 12 states.

To become a Registered Dietitian, you must complete a course load approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). You also must complete an internship approved by the same body and also pass an exam.

In order to become a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO), you must document 2,000 practice hours in the area of oncology and pass an additional exam. This is a relatively new credential, as I was part of the first group to take the exam in 2008. I have to retake the exam every 5 years to maintain the certification. I took it again in 2013 so I'm good until 2018! Phew. :-)

In addition, I have completed a Master's in Public Health Nutrition from UNC- Chapel Hill. I'm proud to say that US News and World Report has ranked UNC as the #2 School of Public Health in the nation. Woot woot!

The standards to become a CNS include an advanced degree in nutrition, regionally accredited nutrition education, 1,000 hours of supervised experience, and a rigorous exam in science-based clinical nutrition. I actually don't know many people with this credential, I think it might be more popular in other parts of the country.

Is the Degree or Credential Legitimate?

Another layer of challenge when evaluating the person giving you information is whether the degree or credential came from a legitimate agency. I explained above the credentialing body for RD's and CNS's. These credentials require degrees from a legitimate college or university.

However, it is known that some "colleges" have created their own accrediting agency and then proclaim themselves "accredited." Therefore, you can't always trust the college info a school provides about itself.

To find out if an agency is legitimate, consult the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a private agency that accredits the accreditation agencies (www.chea.org). Some "Institutes" or "Colleges" will offer credentials or degrees for a weekend or semester and are mainly just a profit making business, not an educational institution. Better check to be safe!

Use Common Sense!!!

Ok - the last line of defense when evaluating information is your own common sense. If it sounds a little wacky... it might be. If it sounds too good to be true... it probably is! And if you can't find any information to back the person up from a legitimate and/or evidence based and unbiased source... steer clear!!

Just because someone is popular, or made a lot of money, or has done something a long time does NOT mean they know what they're doing. But it usually means that they're making a lot of money!!

It's up to you to protect yourself from false information. Please be cautious.

Hope you can Join me on Monday!
- Julie

Reminder to sign up for Webinar: Don't miss the Webinar version of my most recent seminar - Fact vs. Fiction - Debunking Common Cancer Nutrition Myths. It's at 7:30 Eastern Time on August 18th. The webinar is free, but space is limited.

Nature's Sweeteners

I've done a few articles recently on sweeteners. Here's the run-down, in case you missed them:

The bottom line is that neither sugar, nor artificial sweeteners are anything that you absolutely should avoid 100% of the time. However, they are both things that you make seek to consume only in moderation. Especially given the amount of sugar that the typical American consumes. It's in a lot of things that you may not even realize!

The typical American consumes 23 teaspoons of added sugar EVERY DAY!


Other sugar stats:

  • 23 tsp is almost 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 200 years ago, the average American ate 2 pounds of sugar in a year
  • Today, it's 3 pounds a week!
  • Sweetened beverages account for the largest percentage of sugar intake
  • One 12 oz. can of soda has ~11tsp of sugar

Enough craziness!

My suggestion to you is to buy things plain.

Yes - plain cheerios, plain corn flakes, plain yogurt, plain oatmeal, plain tea. 


Why? Because then you get to control exactly how sweet it gets and exactly what type of sweeteners you want to add. Call me a control freak, but something has to get this under control and it's not going to be the profit making food companies. At least not until consumers demand it.

How Do I Sweeten Naturally?

Ok, so now that you've bought everything plain, you're wondering how you can get it to taste good enough to eat, right? I mean, plain yogurt tastes like sour cream! Personally, I love sour cream... but not usually with my granola. It's great on chili though!

Here are some ways that you can add sweetness to your foods that are pretty close to how the food was produced:

  • Dates are great to blend or mix in (smoothies if you have a good blender, or purreed and mixed with baked goodies if you have a food processor). If you cut them into small chunks, they're awesome in oatmeal!
  • Fruit, especially perfectly ripe fruit, can be a great way to add sweetness. chopped fruit topped with plain cereal and plain milk is pretty dang good!
  • Honey or maple syrup are simple sugars like white or brown sugar but may have a few extra plant chemicals that you wouldn't get from the sugar. I like to use maple syrup or honey mixed in the plain yogurt, or in my oatmeal.
  • Stevia leaves. NOTE that this is an actual plant you can grow! I have one growing in my yard right now. Last year I couldn't keep it alive because my daughter kept eating all the leaves til it was naked! Seriously, the leaves are super sweet! These are great for blending into smoothies or purees, or brewing with your hot tea for added sweetness.
Let me know what you think! I'll be sure to share some of my favorite recipes that taste sweet but aren't loaded in sugar.

- Julie

PS - below the references is a very telling infographic. Wow!

Center for Science in the Public Interest
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

sugar infographic.jpg
[Infographic by OnlineNursingPrograms.com]

debraporch.jpgI hope everyone has had a good week. When it's summer I often find myself trying to balance the desire to be outside, with the necessity of getting work done. Occasionally I get lucky and can accomplish both at the same time. And sometimes, I get a double bonus and I get to work with another dietitian while outside. Woohoo!

This picture is of the "office" that Debra Benfield, of Body in Mind Nutrition, and I shared as we planned out the Mindful Eating series that Cancer Services will be offering to GYN Cancer Survivors this fall. We've got some fun things we're planning! More details to come.

Recipes I want to try:

A few things that I want to share this afternoon before heading out for the weekend. First are some recipes I came across this week that I'm planning to try. I thought you might like to as well! I love the idea of a week of meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Perfect!

The other recipe is for a peanut butter pie. YUMM! And cancer fighting with the flax and soy in it.

In addition, I had a great turnout for the seminar at Cancer Services this past Monday. And I had multiple requests to offer it as a webinar so people could tune in to the information from home. Well.... your wish is granted! Join me on Monday, August 18th via internet as I cover 15 cancer nutrition myths. 15 myths in 60 minutes means I'm going to have to talk fast!

Webinar: Fact vs. Fiction - Debunking Common Cancer Nutrition Myths:

  • Does sugar feed cancer?
  • Is organic food necessary to fight cancer?
  • Should I follow an Acid Alkaline diet?
  • Do microwaves or teflon pans cause cancer?
  • Should I do a colon or foot cleanse?
Get all your questions answered August 18th at 7:30 Easter Time! The webinar is free, but space is limited.

That's all for this week. I'm off to do a triathlon relay this weekend and am looking forward to plenty of time outside where I don't have to get work done!!
- Julie

FactorFiction.jpgFirst off - if you're local to Winston-Salem and are interested in coming to my seminar this Monday from 6pm - 7pm titled "Fact or Fiction: Debunking Cancer Nutrition Myths" be sure you RSVP to our office (336-760-9983 or csi1955@cancerservicesonline.org). We will cover the following common questions as well as others!

  • Does sugar feed cancer?
  • Is organic food necessary to fight cancer?
  • Should I follow an Acid Alkaline diet?
  • Do microwaves or teflon pans cause cancer?
  • Should I do a colon or foot cleanse?

And yes - next month, I plan to offer this as a webinar so you can join in from anywhere!

Back to the topic at hand...

The Truth about Artificial Sweeteners

I've covered sugar in a few recent topics. Check them out here (does sugar feed cancer?) and here (The mystery of sugar: difference between simple sugars and complex carbs).

But what about artificial sweeteners? There are so many different kinds, it can get very confusing! Splenda.  Saccharin.  Asparatame.  Acesulfame K.  Stevia.  Sugar alcohols.  When it comes to cancer, there is a lot of controversy over artificial sweeteners and what they do to the body.

FIRST, it's important to understand that for most people, the consumption of simple sugars in the form of corn syrups and added sugars FAR OUTWEIGHS any health risk from consuming artificial sweeteners.  So if you're someone who regularly drinks sodas, sweet tea and eats a lot of sweets, it is definitely worth your effort to cut back and switch to 'diet' drinks. This article is to focus on which artificial sweeteners have the least risk. The increased risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease from consuming sugar drinks probably outweigh the risks posed by artificial sweeteners.

I keep all things in perspective. :-)

What's Wrong With Drinking Something Sweet? 

I have mixed feelings about artificial sweeteners. In general, I think that the less "artificial substances"  we consume, the better. I also think that drinking artificial sweetened drinks keeps people accustomed to sweet tastes. How sensitive your taste buds are to sweetness is called "sweet acuity".

A large portion of sugar intake in America is from our fluids. So if you choose to take in fluids that are calorie free, which ones are the safest?

The best beverage choices for nourishing our bodies is water, seltzer water, seltzer mixed with a little juice or unsweet tea. I would even add some black coffee or to the list, based on the phytochecmicals you can get. But sometimes we just want something a little different!

What Do We Know About Artificial Sweeteners?

When it comes to cancer, artificial sweeteners have had a lot of buzz, but most of the well designed studies (required by the FDA before they can be approved as a food additive) do not show a clear causal relationship between artificial sweeteners and cancer. While different countries have different conclusions on current data, it's still safe to say that consuming artificial sweeteners in moderation is a fine choice for most people.

Of course, you do not NEED to consume artificial sweeteners to have a healthy diet. It's up to you to make that choice for yourself.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) did an article on their website at the end of last year called It's Sweet.... but is it Safe? It's a great resource. If you want more than I've got in this article, you'll definitely want to check it out!

According to the same article, here is a short list of artificially sweetened drinks and which sweeteners are used. If your favorite diet soda is not on the list, you can tell which sweetener is used by looking at the ingredient list on the beverage you are considering. 

  • Coke Zero: Aspartame, Acesulfame-potassiumfoodadditivestowatch.jpg
  • Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea Drink Mix: Aspartame, Acesulfame-potassium
  • Diet Coke: Aspartame
  • Diet Dr Pepper: Aspartame
  • Diet Mt. Dew: Aspartame, Acesulfame-potassium, Sucralose
  • Diet Pepsi: Aspartame, Acesulfame-potassium
  • Pepsi Next: Sucralose, Acesulfame-potassium (and High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Sugar)
  • Red Bull Sugar Free: Aspartame, Acesulfame-potassium
  • Sam's Choice Diet Cola (Wal-Mart): Aspartame
  • Tab: Saccharin, Aspartame
  • Vitaminwater Zero: Erythritol, Stevia Leaf Extract

The short answer for what ones are safe can be found from the CSPI's guide to food additivies, which can be found at www.chemicalcuisine.org. [Photo credit: image to the right comes from CSPI].

On the short list they suggest to avoid Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin. So based on the list above... that leaves you with Vitaminwater Zero. Yikes.

Should I Avoid Artificial Sweeteners Completely?

Is having an occasional diet soda (or a regular soda for that matter) going to cause a problem?


But the more important question is whether that diet soda is providing your body anything that supports its function. Next time I will discuss some real food and more nourishing ways to add sweetness to your foods.

What Does Julie Do? It always amuses me that people actually care what I do. But they ask!! I rarely drink soda. If I want a special drink, I'll have a Le Croix, maybe mixed with juice (virgin mimosa, anyone?). If I have soda, it's probably a regular soda about 1/2 the time and diet soda 1/2 the time. And I probably drink 2 sodas a month, on average.

I invite you to share with me (via email or facebook) if you have a favorite "diet" drink that doesn't contain Aspartame, Acesulfame-K or Saccharin.

Stay Sweet!

- Julie

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

English: Brown Flax Seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often get great questions from either my in person seminars or via email. These questions are things that I'm sure my readers are interested in as well, so I am planning to share the periodically with you.

This one came through email and is a common question I get from breast cancer survivors and anyone else with hormone positive cancer.

Q: I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago. My question is about flax seeds. My cancer was very early stage, but strongly hormone receptor-positive. I have heard that flax seeds and flax oil should be avoided for women with hormone-receptor positive cancer. Is this true? I am grateful for any help you can offer.

A: Great question! The short answer is that flax is perfectly safe. I would suggest the ground seeds (grind yourself or buy it ground) rather than the oil. There is a lot of good lignins in the seeds that you don't get in the oil. The AICR reports up to 4tbsp a day safe for breast cancer prevention. Here's a link to their fact sheet - it's great!

Julie's Expanded Answer:

I think it's important for people to understand that you cannot get human estrogen in food. Plants DO NOT produce human estrogen!! And eating animals that have been treated with hormones does not mean that you are absorbing human estrogen from them either. Human estrogen can come from within your own body, or via synthetic hormone pills. That's it!

Regarding this question, and a similar one about soy and estrogen, it's important to understand where the facts are.

FACT 1: Some plants have phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant estrogens. Please do not get confused. These are NOT THE SAME AS HUMAN ESTROGEN!!! Plant estrogens just means that the chemical structure is similar to human estrogen. So far, studies suggest that plant estrogens are actually beneficial to our bodies. They have been shown to help lower cholesterol, and also compete with human estrogen in the context of estrogen receptors.

FACT 2: Flaxseeds are one of the top sources of lignans, which is one of the three major categories of phytoestrogens. In some studies it was shown that women who consumed higher amounts of lignans actually had lower rates of breast cancer.

FACT 3: You can also get lignans from other food sources, such as vegetables, grains, fruit, tea, coffee, legumes, nuts and seeds. All things that are really great for you!

FACT 4: Flaxseeds are a good source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. That means it's good for your heart and for cancer fighting benefits! However, it's not nearly as active as the omega-3 fatty acids you would find in fish or fish oils.

I find this quote from the fact sheet especially helpful for the breast cancer survivors out there:

"Tamoxifen is an adjuvant therapy for breast cancer that seems to work principally by competing with estrogen for binding to estrogen receptors. Health professionals often question whether the lignans in flaxseeds could interfere with tamoxifen. However, studies of mice injected with ER+ human breast cancer suggest that in both high- and low estrogen conditions (modeling pre- and postmeno-pausal breast cancer), flaxseed either enhanced or maintain the effectiveness of tamoxifen in decreasing tumor growth, decreasing cell proliferation and increasing apoptosis. However, no results of clinical trials of flaxseed use during tamoxifen treatment are currently available. Research is in progress regarding flaxseed use during treatment with aromatase inhibitors."
Personally, I would be comfortable consuming it but if you don't, there are plenty of other ways to get a nutritious diet. I would avoid the oil, or supplemental versions of flax since you would be missing out on all the great benefits of the rest of the flax seed.

If you want even more information than this, then you should really just read the fact sheet!!
- Julie
JulieonVaca.jpgCheck out my office for today. Not so shabby!!

I'm on vacation, but doing a bit of writing today from our family cabin in Washington State. It's funny how "work" doesn't seem so hard when I'm doing it in such a beautiful location.

As you may remember, my last article was to work through the fact vs. fiction of the "sugar feeds cancer" statement.

If you missed it, here's the bottom line: there's nothing about the cancer that "feeds" on sugar more than any other cell in our body. At this point, it has not been shown that eliminating dietary sources of sugar and carbohydrate actually results in slower growth of tumors. It does result in your body having to work extra hard to make the glucose that it needs to function.

For today, I'm going to discuss the truth about sugar. What are food sources of sugar and how our bodies process them.

Which foods have "sugar"?

Just like in my last article, this is not a simple question! The term "sugar" is actually a very generalized term. I think the average consumer hears the word sugar and imagines table, or white sugar. Like the kind you would add to your coffee or use in baking. In fact, there are many different types of sugar. And that's what makes this issue so complicated!

Typically, we nutritionists describe sources of dietary sugar as either "simple sugars" or "complex carbohydrates". All sugars are considered as part of the carbohydrate group. Obviously some carbohydrates are more nutritious choices than others.

Simple Sugars:

Simple sugars mean that the food is very close to the way that your body would absorb it. Therefore, it doesn't take much digestion prior to the intestines being able to absorb it.

Most of the sugars absorbed by our bodies is in the form of glucose.

Glucose is used by cells of our bodies for energy. In fact, the brain runs most efficiently on glucose and the body will do whatever it can to ensure adequate glucose for the brain.

Even if you don't provide your body food sources of glucose, your body will make the right amount of glucose for your brain to function. However, this process of making glucose in the context of not eating any carbohydrates causes stress on your body.

Table sugar is actually made of two basic sugars, fructose and glucose, bonded together. When we consume table sugar, our digestive system breaks up the bonds and we absorb the fructose and glucose separately.

Glucose is absorbed into the blood and carried for use by all our cells. Fructose is absorbed as fructose and then converted by the liver into a glucose-like substance that is treated as glucose by the body.

Lactose (or 'milk sugar') is made of glucose and galactose bonded together. Our bodies break up the lactose into glucose and galactose and they are abosrbed in the same way. Galactose is converted quickly into glucose after it is absorbed and is then treated as glucose.

Complex Carbohydrates:

Complex carbohydrates are also broken down into the basic sugars before they are absorbed. However, the digestive process requires more work, and there are many other nutrients that are included with the sugars in a complex carbohydrate. This includes fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytocemicals and others. All things that your body needs!

Some examples of complex carbohydrates are:

  • oats
  • wheat (noodles, bread, tortillas)
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • popcorn
  • teff
  • barley
  • corn
  • beans
  • fruit
  • potatoes
  • winter squash
You'll notice that these are all whole grains, fruits and starchy vegetables, which is why many people refer these foods "healthy carbs". In fact, many of them can be found on the American Instute for Cancer Research's list of Foods that Fight Cancer!

Hopefully this clears some things up for you. If you have more questions, email me and I'll be sure to address them in the next article. Until then, I want you to guess how many teaspoons of sugar the average American consumes in a day. GO!

- Julie

Many people have heard the statement that "sugar feeds cancer". I have had patients whose friends, family or other source told them to completely avoid sugar. I've even heard some well-intentioned, but somewhat misguided health professionals tell this to patients!

This series of posts will hopefully set the record straight regarding what we know about sugar and cancer.

The Facts About Sugar and CancerCancerDietitianGraphic.jpg

Our bodies need sugar, specifically glucose, for energy. Every cell of our body, especially the brain, needs glucose to live. The sugar that we need comes from 2 places. One is from the carbohydrate that we eat.

When we eat carbohydrates (either complex carbs, like whole grains or simple carbs like syrups), our body digests them and breaks them down into glucose for the body to use.

The second source of glucose is actually from our body. Our body will make the sugar we need if we don't get enough from our food. 

Therefore, even if you cut out all intake of sugar or other form of carbohydrate, your body will make the sugar you need from fat and protein. This is not the ideal situation for your body, as it can cause your body to go into a stressful state. There is a certain amount of carbohydrate that is important for healthy cell function.

Cancer cells use sugar for energy just like the rest of our body. Cancer does have a higher metabolism than other cancer cells, which is why it takes up sugar at a faster rate and therefore causes the "glow" or "light up" on a PET scan. But there's nothing about the cancer that "feeds" on sugar more than any other cell in our body.

At this point, it has not been shown that eliminating dietary sources of sugar and carbohydrate actually results in slower growth of tumors. It does result in your body having to work extra hard to make the glucose that it needs to function.

Sugar and Insulin

When we digest and absorb sugar from different types of foods, our bodies produce insulin to process the sugar. This is a normal and essential part of metabolizing food. However, if you eat too much sugar or carbohydrate, it results in a large amount of insulin being produced.

Insulin tells our cells to grow. Too much insulin can tell our cells to grow too much. Some people think that too much insulin could cause cancer cells to grow more. There's not enough research right now to fully understand how insulin and cancer are related, but we know that too much sugar, and too much insulin is not good for our health.

Bottom Line

Simply put, sugar does feed cancer. BUT, sugar (glucose) also feeds the rest of your body. For those who are going through treatment, remember that your healthy cells need energy especially during this time. Avoiding sugar completely will not help treatment, but it could leave your healthy cells low on energy.

My next post will address the various sources of sugar and how you can make the healthiest choices when it comes to your risk for disease. More from me later!

- Julie

This past Monday, I had the privilege of participating in an event with Guide Posts of Strength, in High Point. To find out more on the event, you can check out the news story here. But the best part is to get recipes from the chef they brought in!

A Happy Coincidence

I met Chef Chuck a few months ago, only I didn't know he was a chef! All I knew at the time is that he was a young adult cancer survivor who came in to the Young Adult Cancer Survivor Symposium that Cancer Services and Wake Forest Baptist Health Cancer Center put together.

Then I noticed he was commenting on the Cancer Dietitian Facebook Page and I checked into his website - http://www.thechefsrecovery.com/. I still had no idea that we were going to be presenting at the same event this week until I was sent the flyer late last week. It was a fun surprise!

Chuck shared some great tips on making healthy foods at home, which is one of my focus areas for survivors and anyone interested in optimizing their health and nutrition status. The truth is that the more you can put food together for yourself, the better it is for your health. However, that requires an important variable that many of us don't have a lot of. TIME!

The best thing to do is pick the things you want to do for yourself, and find the best store bought option that you can for the others. Here are some of the items that my husband and I find the biggest nutrition benefit to make at home. Click on them for my favorite recipes!

And here's the recipe Chuck taught us on Monday. It's a great one you can make yourself!

Chef Chuck's Homemade Lentil BurgersChefChuck.jpg

  • 2 Cups Cooked Lentils
  • 1 Medium Sized Red Onion Chopped and Sautéed
  • 2 Bell Peppers Chopped and Sautéed
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Cup Hemp (Optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin Ground
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon to 1 1/2 Teaspoon Celery Salt
  1. In a food processor or blender, add lentils, veggies, and bread crumbs. Blend and pulse until mixed.(If desired leave a few tablespoons of lentils and veggies un-blended)
  2. Season with seasonings and pour mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Press patty to desired burger size. (If you reserved some lentils and veggies,carefully press them into each patty).
  4. Sear in a non-stick skillet to a golden brown color and serve with desired condiments and toppings.
Feel free to top it with the Remolaude. Or you can KISS like me (Keep It Simple Stupid). I use plain greek yogurt and fresh basil leaves. Yummy!!

The Chef's Remolaude Sauce

  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Ketchup
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Mayo (Your Preference)
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Chill and serve.

Thanks Chef for the great ideas!! Be sure to follow him on Facebook and check out his cookbook

Announcements and Reminders:

For those of you interested in coming to any of my upcoming seminars in person, or via web, here's the run down:

  1. Thursday, June 19th at 7pm: Fighting Cancer With Nutrition and Mindfulness Webinar with Wendy Kuhn, Health Coach. Sign up here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EA57DF85824C3B.
  2. Saturday, June 21st I will be presenting: Fighting Cancer With Your Fork Seminar for the Sisters Network Breast Cancer Survivor Conference. Details Here: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/sisters-network-greensboro-nc-2241713917
  3. Monday, June 23rd 6:30pm: Fighting Cancer With Your Fork Webinar for Triage Cancer. Details here: http://triagecancer.org/webinars/
    Sign up here: https://www.anymeeting.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=EA56DE86864E3D.
  4. Thursday, July 17th at 11am: Ask the Cancer Dietitian Q&A session at Cancer Services, Inc. Email csi1955@cancerservicesonline.org to sign up.
  5. Monday, July 28th at 6pm: Fact vs Fiction - Debunking Cancer Nutrition Myths Seminar. Email csi1955@cancerservicesonline.org to sign up.

I hope to "see you" sometime soon!

- Julie

Upcoming Webinars

I want to invite all of my readers to join me for one or both of these upcoming webinars I will be speaking on. The first one is next Thursday, June 19th at 7pm, titled "Fighting Cancer with Nutrition and Mindfulness". I will be co-presenting with Wendy Kuhn, a health coach out of Chapel Hill. We are going to tag-team to give you the down and dirty on a cancer fighting diet and how to incorporate mindfulness into your eating routine and your day!

Register for this FREE webinar at this link:

The second webinar I'm presenting is "Fighting Cancer With Your Fork", in collaboration with Triage Cancer, a non-profit out of southern California that connects conference organizers with cancer speakers for a variety of topics. The date is Monday, June 24th at 7:30pm (Eastern time). I will cover the top 12 (or 13 or 14) most researched foods when it comes to nutrition and cancer!

Register for this FREE webinar at this link: https://www.anymeeting.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=EA56DE86864E3D.

I hope some of you can join me! Now back to the Brussels. :-)

Revolutionize Brussels!

My intern, Jessica, developed the recipes for smoothies I shared in the last few articles, and she did some smoothie classes around Winston-Salem. She demonstrated and sampled the creamy cado smoothie and everyone loved it! Be sure to try one for yourself. :)

Here's a great printable of the recipes if you want to share with your friends and co-workers: Smoothie_handout.pdf

Another project we worked on while she was interning is to do a cooking video. It was a bit of work to plan out what and how to do the video in a short amount of time, but I think she did a great job. You can learn how to make this recipe in less than 4 minutes!

If you asked Jessica what inspired her to create this recipe, she would tell you it's because a friend of hers said she hated Brussels sprouts. Jessica saw this as a challenge and made this recipe for her. Guess what? Her friend loved it!!

Well.... my friend, Scott, told me last night that he doesn't like Brussels sprouts. So I guess this is a challenge to him too. :)

Or, if you really can't stand the thought --> Make this same recipe with cabbage instead of Brussels sprouts! They're both in the cruciferous vegetable category which is one of the top cancer fighting foods. Enjoy!

Here's the video:

Here's the recipe:

  • Oil (to coat pan)
  • 1 bag Brussels sprouts, sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup pesto (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or to taste)
  • Parmesan cheese, if desired

  1. Heat pan and coat with oil.
  2. Saute sliced Brussels until they turn bright green.
  3. Add pesto and mix over low heat.
  4. Add toasted walnuts, and mix.
  5. Top with parmesan, if desired.
  6. Enjoy warm or cool.

Seriously, it's so yummy! But let me know what YOU think!
- Julie

photo 5.JPG

Last article, my nutrition intern shared some awesome smoothie recipes.
I hope you tried out at least one of them over the weekend!

Here she is doing a demonstration of the creamy cado smoothie at the YWCA Senior Health & Fitness day today:

I know it sounds weird to drink avocado, but almost everyone who tried them said they're REALLY yummy! And kids love them too!

When you get a recipe on this site, you know that there is good reason to eat them. So today's
article talks about why these smoothies are so good for you!

What's so cancer fighting about these smoothies?

By Jessica Beardsley, Cancer Services Nutrition Intern

Blueberries - Touted as a superfood, this summertime berry is native to north America. Blueberries provide the following nutrients:
•    Vitamin C
•    Vitamin K
•    Fiber
•    Phytochemical anthocyanin, a powerful cancer fighting agents that are concentrated in the skin of the blueberries

You can find two types of blueberries in the store: cultivated and wild. The cultivated blueberries are much larger, fitting about 90 in a cup compared to 150 wild blueberries. Wild blueberries have almost twice the skin per cup compared therefore twice the antioxidant power as the cultivated variety. *Note, I usually find wild blueberries in the frozen section of my market. They are great for making blueberry pancakes or smoothies! [1,2]

Tofu & soy - Edamame and soy products like Tofu and soy milk are a great staple to have in your kitchen. Soy provides:
•    Complete protein
•    Excellent source: selenium, manganese, and calcium
•    Good source: magnesium, iron and copper
•    Isoflavones: genistein and daidizein
•    Saponins which may lower cholesterol and protect against cancer
•    Phenolic acids which have potential to stop cancer cells from spreading
•    Phytic acid, an antioxidant
•    Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (polyunsaturated fats)

Tofu comes in many varieties including soft, firm, silken, and fermented. The silken tofu is a great for smoothies as it lends a soft, creamy texture and takes on the flavor of the foods that you blend with it.

Soy and Breast Cancer
- It's not so controversial anymore!
A common misconception is that breast cancer survivors should avoid soy. Current research on breast cancer survivors shows that it is safe to consume food sources of soy. It is not advised to consume powdered or supplement form of soy isoflavones. [3,4]

Spinach - Spinach, that dark green leafy vegetable made popular by that cartoon sailor man is another cancer-fighting food perfect for your summer recipes. For examples, spinach is a source of:
•    Fiber and folate
•    Carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin, both powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in your body befofe they can do harm

Research has shown that dark leafy vegetables can stop or slow the growth of certain skin, lung, stomach, and breast cancers. [5]

Great taste and cancer fighting nutrients all in one cup. What's not to love?!

Try one today!
- Julie

1. http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/blueberries.html
2. http://www.superfoodsrx.com/nutrition/nutritional-research/wild-vs-cultivated-blueberries-56.html
3. http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/soy.html#research
4. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2012/08/02/the-bottom-line-on-soy-and-breast-cancer-risk.aspx
5. http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/foodsthatfightcancer_leafy_vegetables.html
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