Side-Effect Friendly Smoothies

Eating the recommended amount of fruit and veggies (8 – 10 servings per day) can be difficult when you aren’t feeling well and your taste buds change due to chemo.  Smoothies are great because the nutrients are blended and ready to be absorbed without a ton of effort from your digestive system.  All you have to do is put all the ingredients in your blender and you’ve got a delicious meal! Here are five easy smoothie recipes from Naturopathic Doctor, Melissa Piercell, that we love.

 


Green Energy Booster

Raw salad might not be appealing during chemo treatments so this smoothie is great for someone looking for a tastier way to get more greens in their diet. It’s a surefire energy booster because of the concentrated chlorophyll and iron in each leaf. Low appetite? This also makes for a great meal replacement option, thanks to the protein and fat in the nuts and hemp hearts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of your favourite greens (ie. spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • Chocolate almond milk (enough to cover ingredients)

Combine the greens, cocoa, cinnamon, hemp hearts, almond butter and chocolate almond butter in a blender. Blend until smooth.


Easy Berry Blast

Berries are high in tissue healing antioxidants and detoxifying fibre. Enjoy this quick and easy smoothie choice for a busy morning.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of your favourite berries
  • 1 scoop protein powder (such as Vega sweetened with stevia, vanilla or berry flavoured)
  • Almond milk (enough to cover ingredients)

Combine the berries, protein powder and almond milk in a blender. Blend until smooth.


Peaches and Cream

Calcium is important when it comes to bone strength (especially for those who have had chemo). Here is delicious bone-building smoothie that’s perfect for the summer when peaches are in season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup organic plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Organic cow’s milk or goat’s milk (enough to cover ingredients)

Combine the peaches, vanilla extract, Greek yogurt, maple syrup and milk in a blender. Blend until smooth.


Chemo Brain Smoothie

If chemo is making you lose your appetite, this is a great meal replacement. High fat is good for cognitive decline and mental fogginess typically reported in those going through chemo. Fat has twice the calories that protein and carbs have, so this smoothie will surely fill you up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons of your favourite nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed
  • Coconut milk (enough to cover ingredients)

Combine the banana, avocado, walnuts, nut butter, flax seeds and coconut milk in a blender. Blend until smooth.


Headache Be Gone

Sadly, cancer treatments can leave us feeling like we’ve been hit by a truck. This smoothie is a great choice for someone experiencing inflammation, headaches, or any type of surgery pain. Pineapple, turmeric, ginger and papaya all have anti-inflammatory properties. This recipe should be considered a snack because it doesn’t have any protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 cup frozen papaya
  • Coconut water (enough to cover ingredients)
  • Honey, as needed

Combine the pineapple, turmeric, ginger, papaya, coconut water and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth.


Melissa Piercell is a Toronto-based Naturopathic Doctor who strives to encourage her patients to take an active role in their health in order to enjoy a balanced lifestyle. She utilizes all of her training tools to provide the best care for her patients, young and old. Melissa has a special interest in motivating her patients to improve their lifestyle, by making changes that are long-term and realistic. She stresses the importance of remaining well nourished and active. Find out more about her practice by visiting her website.

 

Sex & Chemotherapy

A few people have asked me about having sex during chemotherapy treatment. To put it simply, it is NOT safe to have sex until 48 hours after treatment. If you don’t want to wait you can use condoms but do not have unprotected sex until that time period has passed.

Why?? Because you can transfer the medicine given during chemotherapy treatments to your partner during sex. Your partner could start losing their hair and have other side effects as a result of being exposed to the chemotherapy drugs. To me, that risk is not worth it and it would be selfish of me to take that risk with my husband’s health….we can wait a few days if need be.

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