Special Holiday Foods: Cancer Fighters on Your Plate

At holiday meals we enjoy foods that may not typically be part of our healthy, cancer-preventive plate, like ham. And some holiday foods have religious significance taking a special place on our menu – like eggs or wine.Easter Background, Chocolate Bunny, Spotted Eggs, Daffodils

Both Easter and Passover combine family, religious and cultural traditions full of meaning and comfort, so we savor these special foods and menus. But you can also dress up your plate and menu with seasonal and other holiday foods that add color, nutrition and cancer-fighting substances.

  • Asparagus: This cheerful bearer of spring adds beauty to your table along with vitamins A, C and K, folate and cancer-fighting fiber to your diet.
  • Hot Cross Buns: If these are staples at your Easter morning breakfast, this year try substituting whole wheat flour for half of the white flour in your favorite recipe. Whole grains contain many cancer-fighting substances and as foods high in fiber, they help protect against colorectal cancer.
  • Spring Greens: Look for tender baby greens – spinach, kale, chard – these are packed with the antioxidant vitamins A and C. They’re great as salads, or added to egg dishes, like frittatas, omelets or casseroles. Try our Kale Frittata with Tomato and Basil.

    Plate for the Seder

    Plate for the Seder

  • Dark Chocolate: A small amount of this phytochemical rich food can go a long way. Serve a beautiful dessert plate with small chunks of dark chocolate, fresh strawberries and toasted walnuts. Or make chocolate covered matzah for snacks and dessert.
  • Herbs: A part of the Seder plate, these symbols of spring can add flavor and powerful cancer-fighting substances at any meal. Learn more about herbs and try our Pomegranate Salsa for color and a little bite.
  • Matzah Ball Soup: So soothing and comforting, you can add a little more color and nutrition with carrots, parsnips, onions and other delicious veggies. You might even try making the matzah balls with whole wheat matzah for more cancer protection.

For more ideas check out our Matzoh Brie, ways to get active this weekend and more Cancer-Fighting Easter recipes.


Our Meeting Menu: Inspiration for Your Holiday Parties

We, at AICR know how tough it is to follow our recommendations on the road – whether for vacation or work related conferences. At our research conference last week we want our attendees to be able to live the message, so we work hard to make sure they get delicious, beautiful and cancer-fighting meals.

Black Bean & Barley Salad for Day 2 lunch

Black Bean & Barley Salad for Day 2 lunch

Months before the conference we begin working closely with the hotel chef talking about our recommendations, recipes and research-based New American Plate. The chef had no trouble embracing our basic food guidelines:

  • Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
  • Limit the amount of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) you eat and avoid processed meats.
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
Mini-tarts. Flavor-filled small bites.

Flavor-filled chocolate and lemon mini-tarts.

Our specifications also include vegetarian options, modest portions of whole grains, and light and small desserts. Continue reading


Challenge Yourself: Putting Weight Loss Apps to the Test

How do you set your weight loss goals into motion and embark on a new plan? AICR’s New American Plate (NAP) Challenge, a 12-week weight loss program, is kicking off now, so I thought this was the perfect time to talk about my first recommendation to any new patient I see seeking weight loss: food records. canstockphoto7929741

Accountability is a key component to behavior change, and is particularly effective for weight loss. Maintaining a healthy body weight will help reduce your cancer risk, and now’s the perfect time to use all your resources that can make this journey a bit easier.

Have you ever noticed you’re more likely to go to a gym class if you’ve committed to go with your friend? Or that you are less likely to overspend at the grocery store when you have a list?

Keeping a food record is one of the best forms of personal accountability. Once you start to learn about your own patterns and triggers to eating, you can identify areas to modify that will help you achieve your weight loss goals. There are many online programs and phone apps that make it easy to track your food intake and learn more about which foods and meals prove the best nutrition. Now the question is, how do you choose the best app? Continue reading