About Sonja
Thanks to Sonja Goedkoop for guest blogging.

Sonja Goedkoop, MSPH, RD, is a clinical dietitian at the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center. She has a passion for promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. You can follow her on twitter @SonjaGoedkoopRD.

Resolutions Slipping Away? Reset, Recharge, Remain Positive

You started the New Year with ambitious plans to be healthier and lower your cancer risk: you swore you’d give up desserts, exercise daily or lose 15 pounds in a month. Now it’s three weeks into 2015 and you realize your resolutions may not have gone as planned. What do you do now?34611286_s

It’s easy to set New Year’s resolutions that are overly ambitious, vague, or unrealistic, as described in AICR’s recent Resolve This; Not That. If working long hours has prevented you from going to the gym daily, that same barrier is probably still going to limit your progress in the New Year.

Instead of harping on what you haven’t achieved, focus on the positive. Remind yourself of the healthy behaviors you have engaged in over the past couple of weeks. Research shows that just thinking positively is enough to make you more successful and likely to achieve your goals. Even if you’ve hit some road bumps, challenging times can help us reassess our goals and avoid the same setbacks in the future. Continue reading


Giving the Gift of Flavor

I love giving food-related gifts during the holiday season. They are fun for everyone, from food connoisseurs to your friend whose idea of cooking is boiling water for pasta. I try to give gifts that are tasty, healthy and encourage the recipient to try something new. While everyone indulges a bit over the holidays, it’s great to help others prevent cancer through healthier food and fitness-related gifts.

One of my favorite ways to flavor and season vegetables is also turning into one of my favorite gifts to give. Working with individuals trying to lose weight, I often hear people talk about how much they dislike vegetables. Flavored balsamic vinegar and olive oil can change that.

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Why olive oil? It’s rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and including it in your diet can help lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. However, since olive oil is also high in calories, highly flavorful oils – like lemon or walnut – can boost the taste of your food with small amounts. Continue reading


Thanksgiving Turkey – Porchetta style

The forecast for a chilly, November weekend got me excited to try out AICR’s new recipe for porchetta-style roasted turkey breast. I’ve never cooked a whole turkey, so starting with just the breast seemed more manageable than an entire bird. Since the turkey takes several hours to roast, I knew it would be the perfect way to warm my apartment and fill it with scents from two of my favorite herbs—rosemary and sage. These herbs are also packed full of cancer-protective flavonoids and phenolic acids.

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Porchetta is a traditional Italian roast pork dish that is stuffed with garlic, salt, rosemary, sage, fennel, and other herbs (such as coriander or red pepper flakes). The pork cut is generally high in fat (e.g. pork belly) with a crispy skin and very salty seasoning. I love that this recipe keeps all the flavorful spices found in traditional porchetta, but instead can be enjoyed with a lean turkey breast and less sodium. The skin still crisps up nicely and the broth keeps the turkey juicy.

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