Thursday, January 21, 2010

Load Up on Phytochemicals

I received good news on my annual and quarterly tests for which I am grateful. However, those tests brought me back to what I need to eat to give my body the necessary antioxidants and nutrients to stay healthy. In a way it is a full time job making sure the ingredients are on hand, particularly if one is not inclined to love cooking or the preparation of such. I am an inspired cook and eater; otherwise, I'll go for whatever is the easiest to fix.

When I had my health bobble in 2007 with breast cancer, I decided that it was my diet that was the major contributing factor in allowing the cancer to develop. I have no family history of cancer, did not take hormone replacements and exercised somewhat regularly. After the diagnosis, surgery, and as I was going through chemo, I started researching how best to change my diet to give my body the best nutrients to not allow those free radicals to go wild if at all possible. One of the things I discovered was phytochemicals and how to incorporated them in your every day diet. I was very diligent in doing so the first year; but as good health reports continued to come in, I started slowly reverting back to eating what is easiest to fix for the most part. However, with another good report, it came to me to get back to concentrating on what my body really needs to stay healthy.

Here is a recipe for a excellent breakfast smoothie incorporating all those foods that are loaded with phytochemicals. I do not measure but if the taste is not just right, something is added or subtracted on the next batch.

1/2 Banana
Orange juice
Skim milk -- can use soy milk
Add a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt, if on hand
Tofu, if on hand
Flax seed, ground
Wheat germ
Wheat bran

Grab a handful of strawberries, fresh or frozen.

And, grab another handful of rasberries, blueberries, or any other kind of berry, fresh or frozen. When the berries are frozen, I let them sit in the orange juice and milk for a few minutes to defrost.

Use a half of a banana or a whole one if it suits your taste buds.

I grind the flax seeds in the coffee grinder.

Use a tablespoon or two of the ground flax seed along with a like amount of wheat bran and wheat germ.

Voile! The blender is ready to go.

Do not wait to develop a nasty medical condition to make sure you load up on phytochemicals. :D Do it now. If you want to know more, google phytochemicals because you'll find them in carrots, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, pomegranates, rooibos, sage and teas.

Until next time, God bless.


Rae said...

You are so smart to do this. Based on my oncology experience it really does make a difference. People who had healthy diets did so much better in fighting their cancer and keeping it in remission. Just think what could be prevented if we ate healthy like that beginning in childhood. You are making great choices.

Lynn said...

Thanks for the validation, Rae. Since I do not care what I eat as long as it satisfies the hunger, it is hard for me to be consistent in making and preparing good choices. But, I've rededicated myself to do so. :D

wenn said...

that looks delicious!

kate said...

yummy, tasty phytochemicals! I've always believed your diet should be colorful, the more colorful the better, every color has its benefits and the reds are the best :) I try to get as many antioxidants as possible since my grandmother and mother have had breast cancer (and like you overcame it), sadly it will be my turn some day too.

DJan said...

It looks so delicious, but considering how many calories are in that drink, I probably would gain weight if I did one of those each day. I do eat all of those things but more veggies and less fruit, flax seed is a regular part of my diet, too.

SquirrelQueen said...

That does sound yummy. It might have a lot of calories but if it replaced a meal it shouldn't matter. It would be far healthier than most meals.
Great information Lynn.

Lynn said...

I did a calorie counter on the recipe with these portions:

1/2 c orange juice, 1 c skim milk, 1 c strawberries, 1/2 c raspberries, 1/2 c blueberries, 2 T yogurt, and 1 T each of wheat germ, wheat bran, and flax seed. The recipe is calculated as one serving of 350 calories. Add in 2 oz Tofu and the calorie count is 390 calories.

I'm glad the question came up because I can now drink it all without worrying about the calories.

Mary-Austin said...

Yea... its one of my goals too ... eat healthier! I need to give this one a try. I have not heard of phytochemicals. I'm will google it though! Thanks for the information!

Lynn said...

Forgot to add the banana when doing the calorie counter, but add 50 calories for 1/2 of a medium-sized banana. The entire smoothie will run between 400 (without tofu) and 450 calories with tofu.

Kate, maybe you will not be next. Just do those monthly self-exams, annual mammograms and keep loaded up on phytochemicals. :D