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Banana Bread with Dried Plums

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When we become more conscious of what food does to our body, especially when we are in search of wellness, we tend to cut out a lot of old favourites. Choosing a long and healthy life over your famous mac ’n’ cheese or coffee and muffin routine is an easy choice, right? For many, it is at first, but food also brings us comfort and conjures up fond memories, and it is hard to let this all go, long term. And then if we temporarily fall off the wagon, the guilt and visualization of the delicious buffet that you have just set up for your cancer cells, really doesn’t help anybody.

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For this reason, from time to time, I am going to include a healthier alternative to something we might be missing from our lives, to keep us from feeling the guilt, and to help us to create new, fond food memories. New soul food, if you will.

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Cherry Season, 3 Ways

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When certain fruits or vegetable come into season, underneath all of the welcome back party feelings, a part of me starts to panic. It’s a bit like when you start worrying about going home on the first day of your vacation. What if I don’t get the chance to take full advantage of it before it leaves us again for another year?!

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(A cherry pitter, although niche, is indispensable for the short cherry-filled weeks. They also work for pitting most olives.)

The summer is full of this strange, delicious seasonal produce anxiety. I find the only way to remedy it is to properly roll around in the local bounty. Eat lots of it as is, while you transform the rest into culinary creations to be appreciated both later that day and later that month, when it has abruptly stopped showing up to the farmers markets.

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The Green Smoothie

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Green smoothies are in great abundance these days. They are as synonymous with healthy eating as bliss balls, almond butter, and kale chips. Green smoothies make healthy eating easier, and we would sure be sad without them. But let’s talk about making a modern version, that is lower glycemic and full of real, whole-food nutrition.

Choosing fruit that is lower glycemic and leaving the skin and seeds intact is a good way to start. This way we get the antioxidants from the fruit as well as the fiber, seeds and pectin from the whole fruit. This slows down the absorption of the sugar into your blood stream, and therefore keeps your blood sugar in check so that your cancer cells won’t be enjoying an all you can eat buffet. Berries and cherries are a great example of this (and those hand-staining pigments mean they are PACKED with antioxidants), so are kiwis, pears (blend smoother than apples too), and plums.

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Now for the vegetables. I like to use a combination that will add juiciness (cucumber, celery, Napa cabbage, broccoli stems, bok choy bottoms) and also the green plant-blood business (kale, spinach, collards, swiss chard, parsley, mustard greens, dandelion greens, bok choy tops). The watery vegetables tend to be milder in flavour so you can add more, while the green ones tend to be a little more intense and bossy, so you might want to add less.

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Turmeric & Ginger Tea

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When you give up or cut back on coffee, it can feel as though that rich and peaceful time in the morning becomes as watered down as you peppermint tea. There are some interesting and appropriate substitutes out there: green tea is a great option for crushing cancer and dandelion root tea can fill the dark and mysterious void while supporting the liver. The following recipe is another option, and is what I like to think of as a ‘breakfast cocktail’ as it requires a bit of bartending and I would pay someone to make it for me every single morning. PS -It works wonders if you feel a cold coming on.

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Fresh ginger is known to help with nausea, and have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Fresh turmeric is one of the best-known cancer fighting foods and a substance derived from it, called curcumin, is found in natural supplement form for people fighting cancer (or other inflammation-based diseases/disorders).

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