Loading...

Follow Wholesome, LLC - Nutritionist's Recipes and.. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

“What are your thoughts on juicing?”

There is a lot of hype around juicing, especially in the cancer world.

If you want my quick answer to this question, I can tell you:

I don’t have a juicer.

I don’t have a juicer for several reasons, including the fact that they’re expensive, can take up a lot of room, and I always wonder what individuals do with all of the leftover pulp/fiber after juicing. It seems like a lot of waste, and not to mention a lot of unused nutrients!

It likely comes as no surprise that the consumption of whole fruits is better than drinking fruit juice. But contrary to popular belief, the consumption of whole fruit is associated with significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Whereas, fruit juice consumption is associated with higher risk. (1)

What is the big difference? Fiber.

We used to think the role of fiber was simply to bulk the stools for healthy bowel movements. And while that still holds true, we know now it isn’t fiber’s only role. And in fact, likely not even it’s most important role.

Fiber is the fuel source for gut bacteria. That may sound like a bad thing, but it isn’t at all.

When we eat fiber, we provide the good bacteria fuel, and in return, the gut bacteria creates short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Why do we care?

SCFAs = anti-inflammatory

Not to mention several other benefits of SCFAs, such as improving bone health (2) and preventing the growth of bad bacteria.

Let little ones help make smoothies!

When we juice, we don’t just lose fiber, we lose much more. We lose phytochemicals -- cancer and other disease fighting properties. This is because phytochemicals are often attached to fiber.

Consuming smoothies instead of juice allows us to take advantage of the fiber found in whole, plant-based foods. In fact, by chewing food we are able to break down some of the cell structure of the plant leading to increased absorption of phytochemicals. But when we blend our fruits and veggies, the high-speed blade breaks down the cell structures more than our teeth can which maximizes our ability to absorb all of it’s great disease fighting nutrients. (4)

Now, keep in mind all smoothies are not created equal. Many can be loaded with added sugars, juice, and other products not found to protect against disease.

There are thousands (millions? billions?) of smoothie recipes available in the world. And truth be told, you don’t even need a recipe. All you really need is frozen fruit and a liquid. But here are a few of my favorite things to add:

  • Frozen fruit

  • Non-dairy, unsweetened milk

  • Non-dairy yogurt

  • Spinach

  • Ground flaxseeds

  • Chia Seeds

  • Nut butter

  • Old fashioned oats

But for today, I wanted to share with you my favorite smoothie lately. It’s just sweet enough, rather creamy (hello oat milk!), and hits the spot.

In the end, if you are looking for a great way to add beneficial gut properties (fiber!) all while maximizing disease fighting nutrients, smoothies beat out juicing. Plus, it’s a tasty way to consume nutrients for even the pickiest of eaters!

What is your favorite type of smoothie or smoothie addition?

Let us know in the comments below!

Berry Oat Smoothie

Makes: ~3, 16 ounce smoothies

directions

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend. Add more or less milk, depending on your desired consistency.

Enjoy!


ingredients

2 cups organic, frozen strawberries

1 cup organic, frozen blueberries

1 medium banana (fresh or frozen)*

3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1-2 cups spinach

2+ cups oat milk (i.e. Oatly)

Print Recipe

References:

(1) Muraki, I. (2013). Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: Results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ, 347. doi:10.1136/bmj.f6935

(2) Abrams, S. A., Griffin, I. J., Hawthorne, K. M., Liang, L., Gunn, S. K., Darlington, G., & Ellis, K. J. (2005). A combination of prebiotic short- and long-chain inulin-type fructans enhances calcium absorption and bone mineralization in young adolescents. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82(2), 471-476. doi:10.1093/ajcn.82.2.471

(3) Arranz, S., Silván, J. M., & Saura-Calixto, F. (2010). Nonextractable polyphenols, usually ignored, are the major part of dietary polyphenols: A study on the Spanish diet. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 54(11), 1646-1658. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200900580

(4) L Lemens, S Van Buggenhout, AM Van Loey, ME Hendrickx. Particle size reduction leading to cell wall rupture is more important for the β-carotene bioaccessibility of raw compared to thermally processed carrots. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Dec 22;58(24):12769-76.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I love hummus.

I remember the first time I ever had it. I was in the Florida Keys on a family trip. My sister Jackie bought Stacey’s Pita Chips and Sabra Original Hummus.

I told you I remember!

For a while, I only ate hummus with pita chips (it’s all I knew). But now, pretzels, pita, roti, wraps, raw veggies, bean burgers--you name it! It adds a creamy flavor that is rare to find in a plant-based meal.

However, traditional hummus contains added oil.

If you have read our ‘Reducing Added Oils’ blog, you know Alison and I strive (we are far from perfect) to consume a diet low in added oils. Yes, even olive oil. Living a whole food plant-based lifestyle (#wfpb) involves avoiding processed foods. Oils are processed foods since the oil is extracted from the whole olive, coconut, etc.

Even though olive oil is thought to be “heart healthy”, it may impair your arteries’ ability to relax and dilate normally. (1)

Let me explain.

Our blood vessels are lined with endothelial cells. These cells are the barrier between our blood and our body's tissues. Almost all tissues depend on blood supply and the blood supply depends on endothelial cells. (2) As you can tell, endothelial cells are pretty important.

They are involved in blood clotting, the formation of new blood vessels, and recruitment of immune defense cells. All oils, both animal and plant derived, tend to worsen endothelial function. Within hours of consuming fat, our arteries stiffen and the ability to dilate is impaired. (3) If our arteries have a reduced ability to dilate, it decreases blood flow and can result in high blood pressure.

Therefore, impaired endothelial function is an indication of the early development of cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis) and seen in patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and type 2 diabetes. (3)

If you are interested in learning more about this, this article provides a great overview of why oil is not healthy for us.

Personally, I find it extremely difficult to avoid all added oil, especially when going out to eat. If I can eliminate oil in my household, then I know I don’t have to be obsessive when I go out to eat.

Since hummus is a weakness of mine, I am excited about this easy, oil-free, preservative-free option!

Now, a few notes about the recipe. Before you start, you should decide if a smooth texture is a must for you. If so, it’s best to remove the peel of the chickpeas.

I have found two methods that work well to remove the peels:

  1. Remove by hand, straight out of the can.

  2. Bring a small pot of water to boil and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. This will help loosen up the peel.

I know both of these options are a little time consuming, but worth the smooth texture!

I used technique #2 to make it a little easier.

If you don’t feel like you need the wonderfully smooth hummus, you can skip this step.

Since we aren’t using oil, we need something to make it creamy. I achieved this with whipped aquafaba.

Aquafaba is the liquid leftover from cooked or canned chickpeas. The trick to whipping aquafaba is using a hand or stand mixer. Whipping aquafaba takes about 4 minutes to get it foamy with and peaks like meringue.

Here is what my whipped aquafaba looked like. It could use more peaks!

I promise it’s easier than it seems.

Now, time for the complete recipe! Enjoy!

❤️lauren

Oil-Free Garlic Hummus

Makes about 1.5 cups

Print Recipe ingredients

15 oz can of chickpeas, drained liquid (aquafaba) reserved

¼ cup of aquafaba

1 tsp baking soda, optional

2 - 3 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons tahini

Juice of 1 lemon ( 2 - 3 tablespoons )

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Optional toppings: paprika, roasted pine nuts, oregano, etc

recommended kitchen gadgets  

Hand-held mixer and food processor/blender

directions

Bring a small pot of water to boil. While you wait, open your can of chickpeas reserve ¼ cup of the aquafaba liquid and set aside. Then, rinse the chickpeas.

Once boiling, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and the chickpeas to the pot. The baking soda will help loosen the peels. Since the chickpeas are already cooked, only leave them in there for 2-3 minutes (until you start seeing some of the peels float). Remove from the heat and immediately strain and rinse with cold water.

Now, you’ll want to go through the chickpeas and discard as many of the peels as possible for a smooth texture. Add the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt to your food processor.

Next, add your aquafaba to a bowl and whip it with a hand-held blender. This should take about 4 minutes, more or less. Once the aquafaba is creating peaks, add it to your food processor. Blend everything until smooth, about 1 - 2 minutes.

Store hummus in a well-sealed container in the fridge up to 5 days (no preservatives here!). Enjoy!

Print Recipe References
  1. Vogel RA, Corretti MC, Plotnick GD. The postprandial effect of components of the Mediterranean diet on endothelial function. J A Coll Cardiol. 2000;36(5):1455-60.

  2. Alberts, Bruce, et al. “Blood Vessels and Endothelial Cells.” Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26848/.

  3. Oliveira, Rosane. “Is Olive Oil Bad for Your Heart?” Forks Over Knives, 19 Mar. 2019, www.forksoverknives.com/why-olive-oil-is-not-healthy-for-your-heart/#gs.5rvsr6.

*Please note: While Lauren wrote this blog, Alison (Oncology Dietitian) reviewed and approved all of the research.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

“How bad is Diet Coke for me?”

When someone asks me this, the first thing that comes to mind is aspartame (APM).

It’s the artificial sweetener in the beloved drink of so many. But does it increase one’s risk for cancer?

Let’s dive in.

APM was originally approved by the FDA commissioner in 1981, despite the FDA board of inquiry and several FDA scientists advising against the approval of the product due to brain cancer concerns. (1)

Between 1974 and 2018, several rodent studies were done to determine the effects of aspartame. In the end, different conclusions were made regarding cancer risk (2). Although we can gain some insight in rodent studies, in my professional opinion, conclusions based on rodent studies aren’t conclusive enough for us humans.  

That’s not to say all human studies are entirely conclusive either:

  • An 18-week study on patients with diabetes found no serious adverse effects APM intake. (2)

  • A 5-year study of high levels of APM intake found no association with increased risk of hematopoietic (blood) cancer. (3)

  • A 10-year study found no association with an increased risk of lymphoma. (4)

Harvard conducted a long-term study following medical professionals for 18 years. It became the longest, most comprehensive study between the association of aspartame consumption and cancer risk in humans.

What did they find?

Researchers found a positive association between the consumption of diet soda and total aspartame intake with an increased risk in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma in men. Plus, an increased risk of leukemia in men and women. (5)

Meaning, the higher the consumption of aspartame, the higher the risk for these types of cancer.

Further studies also found an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men who consume diet soft drinks containing APM. Interestingly enough, beverages sweetened with natural sugar were not associated with increased risk. (6)

Among other types of sugars researched (lactose, fructose, and sucrose), only lactose (milk sugar) was also associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk. (6)

Why the increased risk?

Aspartame is made from a methyl ester of dipeptide of phenylalanine and aspartic acid.

Whoa! That takes me back to biochemistry and organic chemistry class!

I’ll explain in English.  

This component in APM is broken down into methanol in our bodies and then into formaldehyde -- a known human carcinogen.

APM itself is not a human carcinogen, but what it breaks down into is.

So, what does all of this information tell us?

Short-term human studies don’t tell us the whole picture. Even though the short-term studies found no cancer risk, it isn’t enough--in my opinion. The 18-year study was the first to find risk. Think about this, since APM’s introduction to foods and drinks was in 1971, many individuals have regularly consumed this product for a large chunk of their lifetime.

It is likely true that small doses of APM or Diet Coke here and there may not lead to increased risk, but regular consumption is certainly not recommended.

What if you love your Diet Coke? Consider reducing the amount you consume regularly. Switch to carbonated waters flavored with natural flavors, unsweetened teas, or water flavored with fresh fruit.

Although we know consumption of processed sugars isn’t considered “healthy” for us, I still live by the philosophy of, “Eat real sugar, just less.”

Want to learn more about sugar’s relationship with cancer? Alison reviewed the research here.

Plus, grab some tips on hidden sugar in Lauren’s, Eat This, Not That series!

References

(1) Huff J, LaDou J. Aspartame bioassay findings portend human cancer hazards. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2007 Oct-Dec;13(4):446-8.

(2) Mallikarjun S, Sieburth RM. Aspartame and Risk of Cancer: A Meta-analytic Review. Arch Environ Occup Health. 2015;70(3):133-41.

(3)Lim U, Subar AF, Mouw T, Hartge P, Morton LM, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, Campbell D, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A. Consumption of aspartame-containing beverages and incidence of hematopoietic and brain malignancies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Sep;15(9):1654-9.

(4) McCullough ML, Teras LR, Shah R, Diver WR, Gaudet MM, Gapstur SM. Artificially and sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption is not associated with risk of lymphoid neoplasms in older men and women. J Nutr. 2014 Dec;144(12):2041-9.

(5) Schernhammer ES, Bertrand KA, Birmann BM, Sampson L, Willett WC, Feskanich D. Consumption of artificial sweetener- and sugar-containing soda and risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Dec;96(6):1419-28.

(6) Chan JM, Wang F, Holly EA. Sweets, sweetened beverages, and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population-based case-control study. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Aug;20(6):835-46.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

My favorite herb to use in the kitchen is fresh basil. No matter what variety, I love the crisp scent and lively flavor it adds to dishes.

Not only is Basil tasty, it’s beautiful!

But, it’s so much more than that.

Basil has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits, and for good reason. Basil contains a handful of phytochemicals including a carotenoid called beta-caryophyllene.

This particular phytochemical gives basil it’s anti-arthritic activity which may be attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties (1). As someone living with an autoimmune disease, I am all about anti-inflammatory properties!

Other standout phytochemicals found in basil can actually change gene expression, trigger cell death, and slow cell division (2). This is important when managing and preventing cancer.

To help us understand why these are good, I had Alison weigh in . . .

  • Gene Expression: This process allows a cell to respond to its changing environment. The changing of gene expression can be a positive or negative process. In this case, the properties in basil can essentially change a gene to fight against cancer, rather than fuel it.

  • Trigger Cell Death: This process, called apoptosis, is important to kill off a bad cell before it can become something more dangerous--like cancer.

  • Slow Cell Division: The slowing of cell division can lead to slowing the growth rate of cancer cells, reduce the risk of cancer spread, and stop cancer in its tracks.

This dressing is super creamy, yet Plant-Based!

Isn’t Alison awesome at explaining all that stuff?

In the end, fresh basil is not only tasty, it’s also great for the management and prevention of cancer prevention and reducing inflammation.

Want an easy way to incorporate fresh basil into your next meal? Try our Green Goddess Dressing (recipe below). It can be used on a salad, or even a big bowl full of vegetables and whole grains. Or try our Corn Pesto Pizza!

Green Goddess Dressing

Makes: 6, 2 tablespoon servings | Recipe adapted from: Forks Over Knives

ingredients

We love the dressing over potatoes, Cauliflower, and quinoa!

⅔ cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked)

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (~ 1 ½ lemons)

¾ cup fresh basil (~ 1 ounce)

½ tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon salt

directions

Begin by soaking the ⅔ cup raw cashews in warm water for at least 10 minutes.

Once soaked, drain the water the cashews were soaked in. To a food processor, add the soaked cashews, lemon juice, fresh basil, tahini, maple syrup, mustard, and garlic. Add salt to taste.

Depending your  flavor, you can also add more tahini for a richer flavor. Or, if you would like a thinner consistency, add water or unsweetened non-dairy milk ½ to 1 tablespoon at a time until reaching desired consistency.

Drizzle over an abundance of greens or use as a sauce your favorite dish. Enjoy!

Print the Recipe References:
  1. Bakshi, Vasudha, and Nazia Begum. “Anti-Arthritic And Anti Inflammatory Activity Of Beta Caryophyllene Against Freund's Complete Adjuvant Induced Arthritis In Wistar Rats.” Journal of Bone Research and Reports, IMedPub, www.bone.imedpub.com/antiarthritic-and-anti-inflammatory-activity-of-beta-caryophyllene-against-freunds-complete-adjuvant-induced-arthritis-in-wistar-rats.php?aid=7220.  

  2. Nordqvist, Joseph. “Basil: Uses, Benefits and Nutrition.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 3 Jan. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

All too often, high-protein and low-carbohydrate diets are recommended to my cancer patients by their health care practitioners.

Neither of these recommendations, which are often one in the same, should be recommended for an individual with a cancer diagnosis (with a rare exception).

High-protein diets may actually lead to the progression of cancer. In fact, it increases cancer death by 4x! (1)

Aside from cancer, high-protein intake is linked to osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, accelerated aging, and diabetes, with a 75% increase in overall mortality (or, death). (1)

Research has found a few plausible explanations. One of them being high-protein diets, specifically high in animal proteins, increases a growth hormone known as IGF-1 in our bodies (or, insulin-like growth factor 1).

Let me explain.

IGF-1 is natural and necessary for human development. From birth to our adolescent years, we have higher levels of IGF-1 to help us grow.

So, how much do we want to grow as adults?

Not all that much. We want enough growth for our healthy cells like skin, hair, and GI (gastrointestinal) cells to turnover. Unfortunately, when IGF-1 is overexpressed (we have too much in our bodies) we encounter a problem because IGF-1 is a cancer promoting growth hormone. It is produced in excess by our liver when animal protein is consumed--meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. (2)

Before I go further, it is important to know a normal human cell has some IGF-1 receptors. There are several types of cell receptors. But let’s just focus on an IGF-1 receptor for the moment.

Let’s simplify a complicated process.

A simple diagram demonstrating the difference in IGF-1 receptors on normal vs. cancer cell.

Review the image above. On the normal cell, you can see a few IGF-1 receptors on the surface of the cell. When the IGF-1 hormone attaches to these receptors, cell growth is possible.

Now, take a look at the cancer cell. You’ll notice an increased number of IGF-1 receptors. Research has identified most cancer tumors have increased IGF-1 receptors on its surface, just like this image. When this happens, even more IGF-1 (the hormone) binds to the cell leading to overexpression of IGF-1, or accelerated growth of the cell. As a result, the development or progression of cancerous tumors is possible. (3)

On the other hand, research indicates IGF-1 levels are 13% lower in vegan women and 9% lower in vegan men compared to meat eating and vegetarian eaters. (4)

What’s the good news in all of this?

When individuals switched to a plant-based diet, IGF-1 levels were significantly reduced in just 11 days. (5) This is because the associations of disease and death in high-protein diets are eliminated when the protein is plant-derived. (6)

And in one of the most impressive studies on nutrition and cancer by Dr. Dean Ornish, it was found that a plant-based diet was able to reverse the progression of early stage prostate cancer without surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. (7)

How COOL is that?! #nutritionwin

Although high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets may lead to quick weight loss, at least in the short-term, it shouldn’t be recommended due to its negative long-term effects on health.

So, what should you take away from this?

Protein is a necessary nutrient for our health. It has many responsibilities. But the overconsumption of animal-protein should be avoided.

Not sure which plant-based foods contain significant amounts of protein? Don’t worry, we covered that in our, “But, where do you get your protein?” post.


Not sure how much protein you need per day? I reviewed a quick way to estimate your protein needs in our Facebook Live.

What other questions do you have about protein and cancer? References
  1. M E Levine, J A Suarez, S Brandhorst, P Balasubramanian, C W Cheng, F Madia, L Fontana, M G Mirisola, J Guevara-Aguirre, J Wan, G Passarino, B K Kennedy, M Wei, P Cohen, E M Crimmins, V D Longo.Low protein intake is associated with a major reduction in IGF-1, cancer, and overall mortality in the 65 and younger but not older population. Cell Metab. 2014 Mar 4;19(3):407-17.

  2. Greger, M., MD, FACLM (Writer). (2016, August 22). Animal Protein Compared to Cigarette Smoking [Video file]. Retrieved March 27, 2019, from https://nutritionfacts.org/video/animal-protein-compared-cigarette-smoking/

  3. R Steuerman, O Shevah, Z Laron. Congenital IGF1 deficiency tends to confer protection against post-natal development of malignancies. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Apr;164(4):485-9.

  4. N E Allen, P N Appleby, G K Davey, R Kaaks, S Rinaldi, T J Key. The associations of diet with serum insulin-like growth factor I and its main binding proteins in 292 women meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Nov;11(11):1441-8.

  5. T H Ngo, R J Barnard, C N Tymchuk, P Cohen, W J Aronson. Effect of diet and exercise on serum insulin, IGF-I, and IGFBP-1 levels and growth of LNCaP cells in vitro (United States). Cancer Causes Control. 2002 Dec;13(10):929-35.

  6. T T Fung, R M van Dam, S E Hankinson, M Stampfer, W C Willett, F B Hu. Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: two cohort studies. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Sep 7;153(5):289-98.

  7. D Ornish, G Weidner, W R Fair, R Marlin, E B Pettengill, C J Raisin, S Dunn-Emke, L Crutchfield, F N Jacobs, R J Barnard, W J Aronson, P McCormac, D J McKnight, J D Fein, A M Dnistrian, J Weinstein, T H Ngo, N R Mendell, P R Carroll. Intensive lifestyle changes may affect the progression of prostate cancer. J Urol. 2005 Sep;174(3):1065-9; discussion 1069-70.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Dairy-free Cheesecake That’ll change your world!

Each of us probably have a food (or foods) we just can’t say no to. For me, that food is cheesecake.

When I finally ditched dairy-for good, I thought I had to say good-bye to cheesecake forever. But I was wrong!

To be honest, I debated if I should put this recipe up on the blog. I wondered if I would be doing a disservice to our readers by sharing it since it isn’t specifically ‘cancer fighting’ or whole-food, plant-based.

Then I realized, I’d be doing a disservice to our readers if I didn’t post it.

Let’s be real. I don’t have the most perfect, whole-food, plant-based diet -- I’m human. I enjoy my fair share of treats.

It would be easy to hide behind this screen pretend a lot of things.

Pretend it is always easy to roll out of bed to get a workout it.

Pretend I always enjoy being in the kitchen.

Pretend my 2-year old eats the perfect, balanced diet.

Pretend I don’t have days where I would rather lay on the couch all day and Netflix binge.

We aren’t here to pretend. We are here to be real. Because life.is.real.

Always remember, we are dedicated to bringing you up-to-date research, practical tips to improve your health, and delicious food that satisfies your tastebuds and cravings -- like this dairy-free cheesecake.

I won’t try to hide it (because you’ll find out once you scroll down anyway!). This cheesecake contains tofu. Yes, tofu.

Hear me out. The first time I was tempted to make this recipe, the tofu sat in my fridge well passed it’s expiration date. I threw it away and waited months to even buy it again. I finally had the courage to try it again and it didn’t disappoint me in the least!

(Concerned about tofu, soy, and cancer? Be sure to catch last week’s post: Soy & Breast Cancer)

After my first piece, I looked at my husband and said, “I never thought I would eat cheesecake again.”

Even though I don’t consider this cheesecake “healthy”, I do consider it a healthier version of traditional cheesecake. It is dairy-free, egg-free, easily made gluten-free, free of high fructose corn syrup, and made primarily of almonds.

I’ve had multiple testers of the recipe tell me they couldn’t believe it was vegan and believed it would easily fool the biggest critics of their plant-based lifestyle.

This dairy-free cheesecake recipe is about to change your dairy-free world!

Dairy-Free CheesecakeCookies & Cream Cheesecake

Makes: 1, 9” Cheesecake

Recipe Inspired and Adapted from: Kite Hill’s Dreamy Creamy Cheesecake

directions

Prepare your 9” springform pan for the cheesecake. Be sure it has a nice, tight seal*. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Start by opening your tofu package. Press the tofu for about 5 minutes. (Not sure how to press tofu? This is a good quick video!) This will remove some of the excess water. While you wait, make the crust.  

Using a food processor, blend all cookies except for the 5 you’ll save for the cheesecake filling. Once blended into crumbs, add the ¼ cup melted plant-based butter. Mix until well combined.

Add the cookie mixture to the prepared pan. Press into the pan to form the crust. Line the bottom of the pan, and up the edge of the pan if you have enough cookies. Set aside.

Next, make the filling. Using your food processor, add the pressed tofu, cornstarch, and sugar. Blend for 4 minutes until smooth. You may need to stop halfway and wipe down the sides.

Once smooth, add the ricotta, cream cheese, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt. Blend for another 4 minutes, or until completely smooth.

Pull out the blade and using your hands, break up the 5 remaining cookies into the batter. Fold the batter with a rubber scraper until the cookie crumbs are distributed evenly.

Add the batter to the prepared pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until the center is set.

Allow the cheesecake to cool completely. Once cooled, add to the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours. Although, the best cheesecake is make a full-day ahead of time!

When ready to serve, drizzle with warmed, dairy-free hot fudge.

Enjoy!

* Note: When I cook my cheesecake, I add a rimmed cookie sheet on the rack below the cheesecake to catch any almond oil that drips from the springform pan. I highly recommend since my first test run of this recipe led to a smoky house because of dripped almond oil to the bottom of the oven!

ingredients

Crust:

12 ounce package, Classic Creme Cookies, divided

Reserve 5 cookies for filling

¼ cup plant-based butter, melted (e.g. Miyokos or Earth Balance)

Filling:

1 cup cane sugar ( e.g. Thrive Market Cane Sugar)

1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch

16 ounces extra firm, organic tofu

8 ounces Kite Hill Ricotta

2, 8 ounce containers Kite Hill Plain Cream Cheese

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

⅛ teaspoon salt

5 reserved Classic Creme cookies from crust ingredients

Optional:

Dairy-free hot fudge (e.g. Coop’s Microcreamery Hot Fudge)

Print the recipe
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

One of the most controversial topics in nutrition and cancer is soy.

An oncologist says one thing. A dietitian says another. Plus, thousands of nutrition articles on the internet tell both stories. All of the back and forth is enough to pull your hair out and ultimately you decide to avoid soy completely.

In my professional opinion, you should include soy in your diet.

Why?

Soy contains protective benefits against breast cancer and other hormone fueled cancers, like prostate cancer.

Let me explain.

Soy naturally contains the phytoestrogen isoflavones. Isoflavones are phytochemicals with powerful anti-cancer properties. When people hear the word “estrogen” many automatically associate phytoestrogens to human estrogen.

Phytoestrogens from soy (and other foods like flaxseeds) are not the same as human estrogen.

Instead we should be more concerned with estrogen found in animal based products since it is identical to human estrogen. In fact, human estrogen and chicken estrogen are identical (1).

Soy milk is a great non-Dairy option

Although phytoestrogens look similar in chemical structure, it doesn’t work the same as human estrogen. I reviewed this in our Facebook Live and in our dairy post.

But what does research reveal about soy and breast cancer?

Phytoestrogens from soy have been found to lower breast cancer risk (2).

Breast cancer patients who ate the most soy lived significantly longer and had significantly lower risk of recurrence than those who ate less soy (3). In fact, drinking just 1 cup of soy milk (or consuming the equivalent amount of phytoestrogens), may actually reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence by 25% (4,5).

Even better, this risk reduction was found in both women with estrogen positive (ER+) and triple-negative breast cancer. (6)

Why does soy intake reduce risk? Research believes the reduction in risk is related to the BRAC1 and BRAC2 genes (7). These genes are tumor suppressor genes and are responsible for repairing DNA damage. If someone has genetically mutated (or, changed) BRAC1 or BRAC2 genes, their risk for breast cancer is greater than those who do not have the gene mutation. Soy is believed to reactivate these BRCA genes to repair DNA damage--just as they were intended to. The great news is that research also demonstrates that soy consumption can benefit even those with BRAC1 or BRAC2 gene mutations (8).

Tofu is a very common soy product, but you should moderate your consumption as it is a processed food.

What about GMO (genetically modified) soy? Good question.

Unfortunately, when pesticides are sprayed on crops in soy fields, it has been found to have toxic effects on human tissue (9). Although by the time the soy reaches our table the pesticides are highly diluted, even at an incredibly small dose, the pesticides were still found to have estrogenic effects and stimulate the growth of ER+ human breast cancer cells (10).

Thankfully, when choosing non-GMO and organic soybeans, high levels of the pesticides have not been found (11). But, you should know there are no direct human studies that suggest any harm in eating GMO crops--however, no studies have been done (12).

“Okay, Alison, what’s the bottom line?”

One shouldn’t be fearful of consuming whole, soy food products such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc. In fact, the consumption of soy has demonstrated a decreased risk in hormone positive cancers and the development of recurrence for those who have encountered a diagnosis. And although studies still need to be done in GMO crops, your safest bet would be to choose organic, non-GMO products until we have long-term research proving otherwise.

Please enjoy some organic edamame on your salad or Pad Thai!

Still have pending questions? Ask them in the comments below!

Have an amazing recipe that includes limited processed soy? Share it below!

References
  1. L Aksglaede, A Juul, H Leffers, N E Skakkebaek, A M Andersson. The sensitivity of the child to sex steroids: possible impact of exogenous estrogens. Hum Reprod Update. 2006 Jul-Aug;12(4):341-9.

  2. Nagata C, Mizoue T, Tanaka K, et al. Soy intake and breast cancer risk: an evaluation based on a systematic review of epidemiological evidence among the Japanese population. Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2014;44(3):282-95.

  3. Chi F, Wu R, Zeng YC, Xing R, Liu Y, Xu ZG. Post-diagnosis soy food intake and breast cancer survival: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(4):2407-12.

  4. Bhagwat, S., Haytowitz, DB, and Holden, JM. 2008. USDA Database for the Isoflavone Content of Selected Foods, Release 2.0. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/isoflav

  5. Nechuta SJ, Caan BJ, Chen WY, et al. Soy food intake after diagnosed breast cancer and survival: an in-depth analysis of combined evidence from cohort studies of US and Chinese women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;96(1):123-32.

  6. Chi F, Wu R, Zeng YC, Xing R, Liu Y, Xu ZG. Post-diagnosis soy food intake and breast cancer survival: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(4):2407-12.

  7. Bosviel R, Dumollard E, Dechelotte P, Bignon YJ, Bernard-Gallon D. Can soy phytoestrogens decrease DNA methylation in BRCA1 and BRCA2 oncosuppressor genes in breast cancer? OMICS. 2012;16(5):235-44.

  8. Magee PJ, Rowland I. Soy products in the management of breast cancer. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012;15(6):235-44.

  9. Richard S, Moslemi S, Sipahutar H, Benachour N, Seralini GE. Differential effects of glyphosate and Roundup on human placental cells and aromatase. Environ Health Perspect. 2005;113(6):716-20.

  10. Thongprakaisang S, Thiantanawat A, Rangkadilok N, Suriyo T, Satayavivad J. Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013;59:129-36.

  11. Bohn T, Chura M, Traavik T, Sanden M, Fagan J, Primicerio R. Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans. Food Chem. 2014;153:207-15.

  12. Butler D, Reichardt T. Long-term effect of GM crops serves up food for thought. Nature. 1999;398(6729):651-6.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Alison raided my pantry.

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, we took a peek inside my pantry and Alison gave some of her best tips & tricks for particular foods/ingredients. One of the items we needed to work on was our sandwich bread.

The bread we had was Private Selection Multigrain Sliced Wide Pan Bread. Sounds healthy, right? While the first ingredient was “whole wheat flour”, the second ingredient was “enriched wheat flour”, which is truly white, refined flour. This limits the amount of fiber (and nutrients!) the bread contains.

Did you know, it is estimated, if American adults consumed at least 15 grams of fiber per day, it would save our country $80 billion a year? Why? Because that is how much money goes in to managing constipation every year. (1)

Even as someone who watches what she eats, the word “multigrain” deceived me.

When a package says “multigrain”, “stone-ground’ or  “seven-grain” it doesn’t automatically make it healthy.

So, what kind of bread should we buy?

Dr. Michael Greger has a little hack to help us narrow down our bread choices -- the Five-to-One Rule (2).

It’s simple. If the ratio of grams of carbohydrates to grams of dietary fiber is five or less, buy the bread! If it’s more than 5, put it back on the shelf. Here’s how you do the math:

Total Carbohydrates (divided by) Total Fiber5 or less = passes the testMore than 5 = fails the test

Let’s put the Private Selection Multigrain Sliced Wide Pan Bread to the test.

The first ingredient may be “whole wheat flour”, but a lot of the other ingredients are junk—for a lack of a better word.

Let’s see if the Private Selection 100% Whole Wheat Sliced Wide Pan Bread is better.

It’s better, but still not there.

Luckily, the bread that I recently snuck in the cart without my husband looking meets the Five-to-One Rule!

Keep in mind, just because a brand has one product that fits the bill, it doesn’t mean the others do too. Dave’s Killer Bread White Bread Done Right is a 10.5 and their Honey Oats Flax is a 7.7.

What about Brownberry 12 Grain Bread? Nope.

Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Wheat Bread? Scores a 3!

This ratio can be used with breads, cereals and any other types of packaged foods! It’s important to note, this is a general rule of thumb. If you aren’t finding products 5 or below, reach for the products that are closer to 5. For example, if a product scoring 6.5 is the lowest you can find go with it and avoid the product that scores a 12.5.

Want to see other packaged foods that make the list? Request our Five-to-One cheat sheet below!

Want to see a more from Dr. Greger himself? Watch the video below.

The Five to One Fiber Rule - YouTube

Do you have a favorite bread that meets Dr. Greger’s Five-to-One Rule? Let us know in the comments!

references

(1) The Five To One Fiber Rule. Michael FACLM - https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-five-to-one-fiber-rule/

(2) Greger, M., & Stone, G. (2018). How not to die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease. London, England: Pan Books. Pages 375 - 376.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview