Eat MORE to Reduce Your Risk of Disease

Vegan Cooking Class

Vegan Cooking Class

Kelli Roberts ~
When asked about disease and health issues, how often do we hear people say “Well, it runs in my family”? Most often, what runs in the family are poor eating habits, more couch sitting than race walking, and a reliance on chemicals to clean our bodies and homes.
According to the National Institute of Health, only 5-10% of cancers are inherited. That means that 90-95% are directly due to lifestyle and environmental factors – such as unhealthy food, lack of exercise and exposure to toxins. Some of these are not under our control, but there is still a lot we can do to put ourselves closer to the side of health, and further away from disease.
One of the factors that is most directly under our control is our weight. Research has found that women who are overweight or obese are more likely to be at risk for developing breast cancer, and for recurrence after diagnosis.
The good news is that there are so many ways to add in foods to lose weight. No more staring at a plate, wondering how the little bit of food on it will take care of those hunger pangs. When you follow a plant-based diet and build your meals around fruits and vegetables, itʼs easy! Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Instead of a big bowl of cereal with a few berries on top, start with a big colorful fruit salad and a creamy dressing, and top that with some nuts or granola.
  • Pile on the veggies to make your next sandwich. Create a filling sandwich or wrap with arugula or romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pickles, red bell pepper slices, sprouts, avocado, mustard, hummus, and some baked tofu or broiled tempeh.
  • Instead of juice or dried fruit, enjoy the whole, fresh fruit; the water and fiber will make you feel full with fewer calories.
  • For your next pasta dinner, toss warm pasta with steamed broccoli, chopped tomatoes, shredded kale, olives, pine nuts or walnuts and a spicy tomato or vegan pesto sauce.
  • Blend up a delicious smoothie, filled with nutrients and fiber. Add a little good fat, such as almond butter or avocado, or protein powder to make it extra satisfying.

Fruit Salad with Cashew Cream

Create a beautiful fruit salad with a variety of colorful in-season fruits: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, mango, orange, grapefruit, peaches, apricots, apples, pears, avocado, dates
Add some nuts and seeds for texture and healthy fats: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts
Top with a sweet cashew cream: Blend together 1 cup of cashews (soak for 20 minutes if you donʼt have a high-speed blender), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons maple syrup a dash of salt, and    -1 cup of water to get a thick and creamy consistency.

Blueberry Cardamom Smoothie

  • 1 Banana (frozen is best)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1 1/2 cups liquid – use nut milk, coconut water, or water

Blend and enjoy!  Makes 1 large or 2 smaller servings.

Kelli Roberts
Kelli Roberts is a skilled Vegan Chef with a certificate in plant-based diet from Cornell University, and is a certified health & nutrition counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been vegetarian for nearly 20 years and vegan for 11, and has spent hundreds of hours learning about the benefits of a vegan diet and healthful cooking techniques. Kelli teaches vegan cooking classes and programs to transition to a plant- based diet (online and in person), and offers individualized nutrition and lifestyle counseling. She is also a Level 3-certified TriYoga teacher. With this training, she leads vegan yoga retreats that offer a complete package of wellness, including yoga classes, group meal preparation, health and nutrition information, and techniques to bring this knowledge actively into our daily lives.

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