Thanks for tuning in to our first Sherry Strong Facebook Live of 2019 on January 30. Our goal is to come to you once a month with exciting new guests to hopefully further your knowledge about health and wellness!
On Wednesday night’s show, we featured some of my favorite snacks that are easy to make AND delicious! Eating healthy isn’t really something new to me. I’ve always tried to eat clean, but when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I learned how healthy eating helps fight my disease! I instantly began to incorporate foods that are known for cancer prevention, as well as swapping ingredients that are better for you and staying away from foods that can help cancer thrive. I no longer eat wheat, refined sugar, dairy and I avoid caffeine for personal reasons. This may not be right for every cancer patient, but it’s what works for my body. You have to find what works for you! The easiest way to do that is by eliminating certain food groups like conventional dairy that are known to cause inflammation and see how your body reacts without them for 30 days!
I get asked about the sugar feeds cancer topic ALL the time! So I’ll lay it out here. Refined white sugar is bad for ALL of us. It is linked to many diseases and ailments in the body, not just cancer. So I choose to stay away from it. But I do allow myself to have organic raw local honey, organic maple syrup or natural sugar from fruits like organic berries. I try to avoid fruits that are high in natural sugar like peaches, pineapples and bananas. I stay away from all refined carbs, any white starches and most grains. And I always chose organic whenever possible. I know organic anything is expensive so a great alternative is going to your local farmers market and talking to them about what they spray their fruits and vegetables with! This is a much cheaper option! You can typically fill up a whole bag with farm fresh fruits and vegetables for around $20-30.
One of the questions I get asked the most about my diet is do I miss the foods I was eating before. I can honestly say, I don’t miss anything. There is a healthy alternative or swap for everything I used to eat. I loved cheese but it didn’t agree with my gut, so now I use almond cheese and I love it!! You just have to research and find healthy alternatives for the things you used to love! And remember,you can start making small changes one week at a time. You don’t have to radically change your diet overnight! I made gradual changes as I learned more and more about what worked for my body and what would help fight my disease. Everyone is different, so find out what works for you!!
What I like most about these snacks besides being tasty and good for you, is that they are great to take with you when you’re out with the kids or running errands in your car! I take the granola and protein balls on the plane with me everytime I travel so I have a healthy snack to reach for when I need a little pick me up!
One of my favorite go-to snacks is this grain-free granola by Minimalist Baker. It’s packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients like chia seeds and so many yummy organic nuts, you won’t even notice it doesn’t have oats in it!! The flaxseed meal in this recipe is great for digestion/constipation (for all you cancer girls out there like me!). Most store bought granola is loaded with refined sugar. This recipe is sweetened with organic maple syrup and a little organic coconut sugar! If I need to purchase grain-free granola in a pinch and I don’t have time to make my own, I love the grain free coconut cashew granola by Purely Elizabeth. It’s available at places like Whole Foods and online at Thrive Market.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- 1 1/4 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries (or other dried fruit)
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and position rack in center of oven.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut, nuts, chia seeds, flax seed, cinnamon, coconut sugar and salt.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the coconut oil and maple syrup and pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Spread the mixture evenly onto a large baking sheet (may require two depending on size) and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven, add dried blueberries, sunflower seeds and stir.
- Increase heat to 340 degrees F and return to oven for another 5-8 minutes or until deep golden brown.
- The coconut oil will help this granola crisp up nicely, but be sure to watch it carefully as it browns quickly.
- Once the granola is visibly browned and done cooking (approx. 27 minutes), remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Store in container with an air-tight seal and it should keep for a few weeks.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Martin and I love homemade chocolates! My friend and acupuncturist, Tina Berisha came up with this recipe, so we call it, “Tina’s Love Chocolate” or “TLC” chocolate. I love making my own organic chocolates knowing most sold in the grocery store are loaded with additives and refined sugar! This is just sweetened with organic maple syrup and you can play around with the amount! I don’t always add the full ⅓ cup! It depends on how sweet you like it! I also like to mix things into the chocolate to change it up! You can add peppermint essential oil or extract for a minty chocolate, almond extract, pistachios, dried berries and caramel or organic peanut butter! Just make sure the ingredients you’re adding aren’t loaded with refined sugar.
- 1 cup melted cacao butter
- 1/2 cup organic cacao powder
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp organic cinnamon
- Sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan
- & whisk together over low heat.
- Pour the mixture into chocolate molds.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or freeze for 2 hours.
- Store in fridge for up to 1 month.
PROTEIN ENERGY BITES
These protein bites are another easy on the go treat!! Martin loves them so we make a batch in our house almost weekly! They are a great sneaky way to get in some much needed protein if you eat a mostly plant based diet!! We made these a lot during chemotherapy when I needed to gain weight and I didn’t have much of an appetite! But they are great for everyone. Kids love them as an after-school snack as well!!
- 1 cup organic old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup organic coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
- 1/2 cup organic ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup organic chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup organic raw honey
- 1 tbsp organic chia seeds
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup protein powder
Combine all ingredients well with your hands in a medium/large bowl. Cover bowl and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Once chilled, use a tablespoon or melon baller to form into balls and serve!
If you try any of these recipes, snap a photo and share or tag us on our Sherry Strong social media channels. We’d love to know what you think. Stay tuned for our next Sherry Strong Facebook Live. We’ll post a tune in alert as soon as we can! Our guest speaker is my dear friend and essential oil guru, Carol Lindsey Baker! We’ll be talking about how you can use EO’s to help boost your immune system, help with chemo side effects and make homemade cleaning supplies!! We’ll be taking more of your questions too!! Look forward to seeing everyone then! XOXO — Sherry