Here is some great advice on starting the new year right- thanks to Dacia Breeden, RD who is a featured speaker at YSC’s upcoming Regional Symposium in Jackson, MS. Join us in Jackson on January 23 for her awesome session on nutrition after a breast cancer diagnosis, an interactive cooking demo and a day filled with education and connection! Register today.
When I was a kid, one of the most common vegetables my mom cooked was green peas. I was NOT a fan. I would sometimes move all my little green peas around, trying to hide them under my mashed potatoes, hoping my mom would believe I ate them or at least some of them, so I could have my chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Of course, she would discover my little green pea tricks and then encourage me by saying, “just taste and see…you never know, you might actually like them!”
Sometimes, I still feel like that little kid, preferring my chocolate chip cookies to my green peas. I always remember something my mom did, though, which has helped me to choose the healthy foods first. See, as a young child, I loved drawing; especially landscapes with mountains and trees and a pretty sunset. One night during supper, when I was trying to rearrange my green peas again, Mom looked at me with a smile and told me something I’ll never forget. “Those are not really green peas,” she whispered. “They’re actually little green trees that would love to sit on the peak of your mountain of mashed potatoes. And look here! We can add a little sunset!” she smiled with her arm reached over, as she dropped a dollop of butter onto those tall fluffy mountains. And so it was accomplished…the moment I began to love those little green peas. In fact, I no longer wanted to eat my potatoes without my little green trees! She had used my love of art to help me see food in a different light, like a canvas, if you will.
A change in perspective, a change in the way I saw my food is what I experienced that day so long ago. I think that is what often times is required of us when we are trying to make a change, any change; but especially, when it comes to the food choices we make. We just need a reminder of what food was really designed to be. See, most of the time, we are making food choices solely based on our taste preferences, but when faced with a health crisis we must shift our perspective to a different facet of food, the beautiful healing power that it can provide to our bodies.
So I end with one question for you to ask yourself before taking that next bite, “Is this food giving to or taking away from my fight with cancer?” I would dare to say we’d all take a second helping of those little green trees. Wouldn’t you?
Just taste and see! Here are 5 cancer fighting foods to try for the New Year.
– Blueberries: Add to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, muffins or pancakes.
– Broccoli Sprouts: Add to sandwiches, salads, or soups.
– Mushrooms: Add to salads, scrambled eggs, stews, or stir-fries.
– Pomegranates: Add as a garnish for salads. Add the juice to smoothies or iced tea.
– Walnuts: Toss them into a salad. Add to your favorite baking recipe.
For more healthy cooking ideas, visit CookForYourLife.org.