Coffee seems to be one of those foods that’s either vilified or celebrated in the media. Since having my daughter, I am on Team Celebrate Coffee, but it seems most important to determine what works for your personal constitution. I talk about this on my podcast with nutritionist and chef Rebecca Katz (episode 15, Nourish Yourself with Cancer-Fighting Foods). You can certainly make this smoothie without the coffee component. Between the coffee, the raw cacao, and the cinnamon, this is a smoothie that’s packed with antioxidants.
Pick-Me-Up Smoothie Recipe Makes 1 serving
I love a great protein-packed smoothie for after a yoga practice or workout. This is not one of those — this is more of an, “I’ve been playing with my daughter for 5 hours and it’s 10am,” or, “I have to dive into this Excel spreadsheet for four hours and I need an energy boost,” type of smoothie.
I have a Nespresso machine, so it’s easy for me to take a quick shot of espresso. If you don’t have espresso at your fingertips, you can substitute with a small amount of French-press, Aeropress, or whatever type of regular coffee you brew. Just start with a little bit and add more to taste so it’s not too strong!
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 shot of espresso
1 1/2 teaspoons raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup of ice
optional: 1/2-1 teaspoon maple syrup
On this episode I interview one of my nutritional heroes, Rebecca Katz (@RebeccaKatzYum).
I grew up in a foodie family (I mean, I am Italian-American after all…) and I’ve been cooking and learning about food for as long as I can remember. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer (you can read all about it here), a dear friend (thank you, Joanie), sent me Rebecca’s book and I’ve been a superfan ever since. Here’s why:
* Her recipes are really. good. — I do not exaggerate when I say that every time I make one Jason raves. These days he’ll just say, “Is this a recipe from that Rebecca lady?”
* They’re easy to execute — I’m a home cook, not a trained chef.
* She explains the science behind healthy eating in a way that’s empowering and relatable.
And that’s why I wanted to do this episode. Weeding through information about food can be overwhelming and even disheartening. This episode distills Rebecca’s four-pillar approach to a cancer-fighting diet. And, if you take this approach, you have a shot at preventing other diseases, too (think diabetes and heart disease). On the episode we talk about:
* Rebecca’s background as a chef and nutritionist and how she came to write The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen
* Her new online course, which brings the book to life
* Anti-inflammatory foods, especially the ones we overlook like ghee! olive oil! ah-voh-cah-dohs!!
* Foods that regulate blood sugar and why they work the way they do
* Her recommended subs for refined sugar and why it’s important to have sweet treats sometimes
* Coffee. It ain’t so bad. (Yahoo!)
* How to reduce oxidative stress
* The little tiny foods we often overlook that can powerfully regulate NfKappaB
At the beginning of the interview, we talk about Rebecca’s background and what it took to create a book that references so many nutritional studies. If you want to jump right to the questions about the four-pillars, it starts at minute 15:30.
Did you know? There are more antioxidants in a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon than there are in a 1/2 cup of blueberries.
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It’s safe to say I’m green-tea obsessed. It hold promise for many different types of health benefits (including cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention) and there are so many varieties and delicious blends that I never grow tired of it. Since reading David Servan-Schreiber’s book Anti-Cancer, I try to drink it regularly, so I’m often experimenting with different recipes. This one is my current favorite summer iced tea. It requires some prep, but you can make a big batch and drink it over the course of a few days.
Minty Green Tea Cooler Makes 6-8 servings
For optimal health benefits, add a squeeze of lemon to your green tea. Catechins are the uniquely powerful anti-cancer substance in green tea, but they can be difficult for the body to absorb. Adding citrus (or vitamin C) has been shown to boost absorption — one study showed that the rate of absorption was 5 times higher with a bit of lemon juice.
Also, I recommend steeping your green tea for 10 minutes (again, for optimal health benefits). If this makes the taste too strong for you, try steeping for 5 minutes instead or adding a bit more agave nectar.
4 cups of water
4 teaspoons of loose jasmine green tea or 4 tea bags
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint, plus more for garnish
3 teaspoons agave nectar
Lemon and mint for garnish
1. Bring the water to boil in a saucepan.
2. Turn off the heat and add the green tea, agave, and mint.
3. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
4. Pour the tea mixture through a strainer into a sturdy glass container.
5. Refrigerate for at least an hour, then serve over ice and sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon and few mint sprigs. I like to do half of the tea mixture and half sparkling water.