Early this summer my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. When you find out this kind of news about a loved one, you go through a gamut of emotions—surprise, fear, worry, helplessness—as it seems all you can do is wait for more information.
In-between her surgeries this summer and the long-awaited results from the oncologist, I did what I felt like I could do: come up with healthy, immune-boosting recipes.
I found myself googling things I’d never thought I would, like “Healthy foods for cancer” and “Nutrition for cancer treatment.” Not surprisingly, there was an overwhelming amount of information on the subject.
When it was decided that chemotherapy would be the necessary route for treatment, I wanted to give my mom an easy, cool summer treat, full of antioxidant-promoting vitamin C and other immune-boosting vitamins and minerals.
I was reminded of one of our favorite local ice cream shops with the strawberry-beet ice cream I had tried recently. Strawberries, in their own right, are little immune boosters, and the addition of beets kicks the healthy quotient up a notch (And might even give cancer a good kick in the ass?). So in went the strawberries and beets, mixed with creamy coconut milk.
But here’s the thing I really wanted to share with you today. My mom was prompted to get her annual well-woman check-up when a friend of hers, recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, shared a status update requesting her friends to be sure and get their check-ups. For whatever reason, that request, woman to woman, allowed her to discover the cancer in the early stages.
A little reminder on Facebook.
With all the negativity and ugliness that seems to come out of social media these days, a loving reminder from one woman to many women was all it took for my mom to take action. And thank goodness she did.
My mom has been a trooper so far, and we all know she will get through it with flying colors. Her attitude is inspiring, and we’ve spent some much needed quality time together. Laughter, tears, and the occasional really bad boob joke.
So, if this is the reminder you need, then I’m happy to provide it. As I see it, we have to take care of each other. And every little bit counts.
- 3 cups strawberries (1 lbs), tops removed
- half of one medium beet, peeled and diced
- 1-13.5oz can full fat coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth (this may take 2-3 minutes depending on your blender).
- Pour mixture into a popsicle mold (I used this one). Insert popsicle sticks and place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until frozen.
- When ready to eat, allow popsicle mold to sit out of fridge for a couple minutes and run warm water over the outside of the molds for a cleaner removal.