It’s day 2, and there seems to be a common theme to these first few recipes: pumpkin. It’s fall, ya’ll! Pumpkin has amazing health benefits. It is a great source of carotenoids, phytosterols, L-tryptophan, Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamins A & C. Being full of all these immune boosting properties, how could pumpkin be a bad choice? And to think, we most often use them to decorate our porches around Halloween. Here’s a great article to check out about the benefits of pumpkin: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/30/pumpkin-seed-benefits.aspx
When my niece was going through chemo last year, she often mentioned that she was just not hungry. I knew it was important for her to eat, but understood that a big meal for her was not practical. So to help keep her strong, we opted for protein shakes since they were quick to prepare and easily digested. We choose to use whey protein for her shakes. There’s so much I could say about whey, but I’ll spare you all the details and tell you that whey helped keep her Hemoglobin levels above average. Studies have shown that maintaining Hemoglobin levels (optimally above 10) are very important for patients going through chemo, and if they drop too low, the patient could potentially need a blood transfusion. I’m not saying that whey alone kept her levels high, but I am saying that her blood tests did not lie. When compared to others around her going through the same treatment, the only difference was the whey and a double dose of Juice Plus. Don’t just take my word for it. Research it for yourself. Make an educated decision for you or your loved one going through chemo.
So now, on to the recipe:
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). I opt for organic, it’s only a few cents more. I usually get 4- 1/2 cups from one can.
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 – 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (Read your labels to see how many grams of protein each scoop contains. Shoot for 20 grams).
Ice cubes OR 1/2 of a frozen banana (the banana adds extra sweetness)
Add all to blender and blend to your desired consistency.
There are plenty of good protein powders out there but there are also some “bad” ones. Be sure to watch the sugar grams. Watch out for powders that are sweetened with refined sugars. Look for natural sweeteners like Stevia, Xylitol, monk fruit, honey etc. Some protein powders are soy based protein, so be sure to read the ingredient list. If you don’t eat soy, and many cancer patients should not, look for whey protein as mentioned above or a vegetable protein. (There is a lot of research on soy and breast cancer. When researching, be sure to read from reputable sources.)