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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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Seed Crackers

It seems like there are so many healthy options out there for dips, spreads and stuff that tastes good on chips or crackers, but not as many healthy chips, cracker or ‘vessels’ in general. If you buy crackers that contain nuts and seeds, who knows how long they have been sitting on the shelf for and how rancid their fats might be, but if you buy gluten-free or whole-grain crackers, they can be full of refined carbs that cancer cells gobble up. My usual answer to this is to have plenty of fresh, chopped up veggies -carrots, cucumber, broccoli etc, in your fridge, ready to dip into your guacamole/green hummus/sprouted lentil dip, whenever you are feeling hungry. I appreciate that this is not always realistic, as it requires planning ahead, and feeling well and energetic enough to prep veggies on a regular basis (having a personal chef helps, too).

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Enter the seed cracker. These crackers were created out of a need for something plain-tasting that contained lots of fiber and healthy fats, lasted longer than a couple of days and could handle being dipped. They are the perfect snack to have around to keep your hand out of the cracker box and to help keep you on top of your nutrition game. If it seems ridiculous to you that I just recommended that you make your own crackers if you don’t feel well enough to chop up some veggies, send this recipe to a friend or family member who keeps offering their help. Trust me, they want to help you, they just don’t know what to do. Making you some crackers will make them feel SO GOOD! Everybody wins. And if you feel well enough to make them yourself, make some extra ones for someone who doesn’t. It’s called cracker love, pass it on.

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A coffee grinder ($20) reserved just for flax-grinding is a great way to ensure that you are getting the freshest flax fats possible. Store the flax seeds whole in your freezer and grind as much as you need, right out of the freezer when you need it. Notice how rough the grind is for this recipe -just let it go for about 5-10 seconds.

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Sprouted Lentil Hummus

Every time the little tails start to grow out of the sides of soaked beans, I am amazed. Each time, I think it might not happen, but somehow, miraculously, it always does. How can something that is so dry and sold in the bulk section, actually come to life and turn into an enzyme-rich vegetable? So cool.

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Although it takes a little more planning, soaking and sprouting your legumes (chick peas, lentils, black beans, mung beans etc.) is more than worthwhile. You can eat them raw, once sprouted, or simmer them the same way you would have after soaking, but they will require less time. There are several benefits to sprouting your legumes before cooking them: they will retain more enzymes and therefore be easier to digest (ahem, less gas), increased protein and lower glycemic -all good things for cancer crushers and the average Joe who is focused on prevention.

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Adding a piece of kombu to the legume’s cooking water while cooking (in this case, beluga lentils) will also help with digestion (prevent gas) while adding its sea vegetable super powers.

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Kale Chips

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By now we have all heard of kale chips, if not tasted them, tried making them ourselves or gasped at their high price tag at the grocery store. The first time I ever heard of them, was when I spotted them in a health food store in Southern California. I read the ingredients, bought them, took them home, shared one, possibly two, ate the rest, read the ingredients again and went back and bought more. It went on like this for the duration of my vacation, and by the end of the week, I was certain my insides were green because my teeth certainly were, and I had ordered a food dehydrator on-line (for about the same price as my week-long kale chip-a-thon had cost me) to meet me at home for some fun experimenting.

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It took some trial and error but eventually I figured out a basic recipe that could be enjoyed as is, or swung in other directions with some different herbs and spices.

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