Banana Strawberry Smoothie Muffins


3 ripe bananas
2 cups packed baby spinach
8 strawberries
3/4 cups almond flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup honey

1 Tbl chia seeds
1 Tbl flax seed
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
1 egg
1/8 cup canola oil and 1/8 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Puree the bananas, spinach, and strawberries in a blender.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, honey, chia, flax, nutritional yeast,egg, oil/water, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Pour the smoothie mixture into the bowl and mix well.
  5. Spoon the batter, filling each cup about three quarters full (slightly under 1/3 cup)
  6. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Allow muffins to cool on a rack and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Salad

Back from Vacation in the Carribean and back to the regular diet!


  • 1-2 large sweet potato, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 head romaine (I used spinach and kale)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • handful or two of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • chopped tomato to garnish (optional)
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (or other sweetener), to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger


1. Preheat oven to 400F . Lightly coat the sweet potato slices with coconut oil. Season with pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping once half way through baking, until lightly charred and fork tender.

2. Prepare salad dressing. Mince garlic  in a mini food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients. Process until smooth. Note that the dressing will seem thin at first, but it will thicken up as it sits.

3. Add greens into a large bowl then the vegetables (and almonds) .  Divide among  plates and drizzle with dressing.

Adapted from: Oh She Glows.

Kale Salad


  • 4 cups chopped kale

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (optional)

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or pumpkin seeds


For the Meyer lemon vinaigrette:

  • 1/8 cup toasted sesame oil 1/8 cup water

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon honey



  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together water and oil, apple cider vinegar,  juice and honey in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. To assemble the salad, place kale in a large bowl; top with avocado, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, and seeds. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.

  3. Serve immediately.

Adapted from: Damn Delicious

Zucchini Squash Saute

  • 2 pounds total summer squash and/ zucchini, Julienned
  • 3 colored peppers chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • smoked paprika seasoning to taste
  • blackened seasoning to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Toast almonds in a large dry skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool.

Heat water in same skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add squash and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisptender, about 5 minutes. Fold paprika, blackened and pepper seasonings. Fold in almonds.

Breast Cancer and Carotenoids

Circulating Carotenoids and Risk of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis of Eight Prospective Studies

  1. A. Heather Eliassen,
  2. Sara J. Hendrickson,
  3. Louise A. Brinton,
  4. Julie E. Buring,
  5. Hannia Campos,
  6. Qi Dai,
  7. Joanne F. Dorgan,
  8. Adrian A. Franke,
  9. Yu-tang Gao,
  10. Marc T. Goodman,
  11. Göran Hallmans,
  12. Kathy J. Helzlsouer,
  13. Judy Hoffman-Bolton,
  14. Kerstin Hultén,
  15. Howard D. Sesso,
  16. Anne L. Sowell,
  17. Rulla M. Tamimi,
  18. Paolo Toniolo,
  19. Lynne R. Wilkens,
  20. Anna Winkvist,
  21. Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte,
  22. Wei Zheng and
  23. Susan E. Hankinson

+Author Affiliations

  1. Affiliations of authors: Channing Division of Network Medicine (AHE, RMT, SEH) and Division of Preventive Medicine (JEB, HDS), Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Department of Epidemiology (AHE, SJH, RMT, SEH) and Department of Nutrition (SJH, HC), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD (LAB); Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN (QD, WZ); Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA (JFD); University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI (AAF, MTG, LRW); Shanghai Cancer Institute, Shanghai, China (Y-tG); Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden (GH, KH); George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD (KJH, JH-B); The Prevention and Research Center, Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD (KJH); Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA (ALS); Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (PT) and Department of Environmental Medicine (AZ-J), New York University Cancer Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY; Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden (AW); Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (SEH).
  1. Correspondence to: A. Heather Eliassen, ScD, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (e-mail:
  • Received February 10, 2012.
  • Revision received October 2, 2012.
  • Accepted October 4, 2012.


Background Carotenoids, micronutrients in fruits and vegetables, may reduce breast cancer risk. Most, but not all, past studies of circulating carotenoids and breast cancer have found an inverse association with at least one carotenoid, although the specific carotenoid has varied across studies.

Methods We conducted a pooled analysis of eight cohort studies comprising more than 80% of the world’s published prospective data on plasma or serum carotenoids and breast cancer, including 3055 case subjects and 3956 matched control subjects. To account for laboratory differences and examine population differences across studies, we recalibrated participant carotenoid levels to a common standard by reassaying 20 plasma or serum samples from each cohort together at the same laboratory. Using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for several breast cancer risk factors, we calculated relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using quintiles defined among the control subjects from all studies. All P values are two-sided.

Results Statistically significant inverse associations with breast cancer were observed for α-carotene (top vs bottom quintile RR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.71 to 1.05, Ptrend = .04), β-carotene (RR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.70 to 0.98,Ptrend = .02), lutein+zeaxanthin (RR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.70 to 1.01,Ptrend = .05), lycopene (RR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.62 to 0.99, Ptrend = .02), and total carotenoids (RR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.68 to 0.96, Ptrend = .01). β-Cryptoxanthin was not statistically significantly associated with risk. Tests for heterogeneity across studies were not statistically significant. For several carotenoids, associations appeared stronger for estrogen receptor negative (ER) than for ER+ tumors (eg, β-carotene: ER: top vs bottom quintile RR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.36 to 0.77, Ptrend = .001; ER+: RR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.66 to 1.04, Ptrend = .06; Pheterogeneity = .01).

Conclusions This comprehensive prospective analysis suggests women with higher circulating levels of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, lycopene, and total carotenoids may be at reduced risk of breast cancer.

Crock pot Vegetable Soup

0.5-1 eggplant quartered into bite size or smaller pieces

4 large carrots sliced

1 cup uncooked quinoa

24 oz of fresh chopped tomatoes

1 small onion chopped

2 cups sugar snap peas

30 oz of vegetable broth

20 Oz of water

1 green pepper chopped

1/2 head cauliflower chopped

black pepper and seasonings of choice and to taste


Place all the ingredients in the crock pot and turn on low for approx 10 hours then enjoy!

The weather outside is perfect for…. exercise

Since the weather is cooling and we have had a mild summer here in Kansas I wanted to encourage everyone to start or increase their activity! My biggest suggestion is to start with something reasonable that you know you will do and build from there.  Do not try to jump into hour a day workouts.  You will burn out very quickly and give up.  So here are my tips.

1. Start of with something reasonable for yourself whether that is 10 minutes a day for 5 days or if you are at a higher fitness level and can do more.

2. Plan your week in advance.  It is important to know what you have going on so you can plan your exercise time accordingly.  Remember, the time does not need to be all at once.  You can break it up and do three 10 minute sessions of exercise.  Ultimately for endurance you want complete it all at once but whatever gets you moving is the key.

3. Take the stairs.  It’s so simple but it can really make a difference.  I try to take the stairs anytime possible.  Let me tell you after a year of walking 5 flights 2-3 times a day at work it stills makes my legs burn and my lungs work.

4. Park at the end of the parking lot.  Again, very simple but most of use want that close spot.  The extra walking every opportunity you have really adds up over the day.

5. Set your goal.  If it’s 10 minutes a day or 60 minutes- YOU MUST HAVE A GOAL!  Then try to increase that goal each week.  Even if it’s just by a minute or distance, overtime you will progress!

6. Most importantly mix it up.  Try to find things you enjoy that you can add exercise to.  For example, I love to be outside so running and biking are great for me.  I feel it is really important to mix up your exercise routine otherwise you are using the same muscles over and over.  You will see more change with the more areas that are working. There are so many options out there!

7. The goal is health and overall well being not weight, inches or how we look.  That is all nice but we want to be fit, and with a diet abundant in fruits and vegetable you will be a lean, mean disease fighting machine.


I am open to any ideas or questions.  In what ways can I encourage others??