During a recent lecture about my experience living with a small bowel obstruction, I shared my anti-cancer smoothie recipe. Full of raw nutrition and healthy fats that fuel me until midday, this smoothie is formulated for its ease of digestion and nutrient density.
Although no longer suffering from episodes of small bowel obstruction, I have maintained my ritual of blending a breakfast smoothie for its anti-cancer benefits. I thought it was high time to write a post on my smoothie recipe and stick my little toe into the exceedingly controversial waters of diet and cancer. Here’s the recipe with commentary to follow.
Blend all ingredients on low until incorporated:
- 2 cups raw milk kefir
- 1 raw egg yolk
- ½ to 1 avocado (depending on size)
- Small handful organic blueberries
- Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil (I use Brain Octane Oil from Bulletproof®.)
- Various superfood powders
- Whey protein concentrate
The first thing you might notice is that this smoothie recipe is relatively low in carbohydrates. Blueberries are a low-sugar fruit. The small handful does not appreciably raise my blood sugar, as a one-hour post-prandial check with a glucometer shows a reading below 100. Additionally, the raw milk is fermented a full 48 hours with a kefir culture, resulting in a fairly sour beverage nearly devoid of the milk sugar lactose.
The counterpoint to the low carbohydrates is the abundance of healthy fats, chiefly from egg yolk, avocado, and MCT oil. Together, these ingredients make up the nearly 800 calories that, when consumed around 7 a.m., keep my blood sugar stable without any hunger or dips in energy or mood until my 1 p.m. lunch.
Although I’m not practicing or advocating strict dietary ketosis, a long period of stable blood sugar following a longer overnight fast of 12 to 14 hours (time-restricted eating) has anti-cancer benefits. I also sleep better back-loading carbohydrates toward the end of the day, consuming a moderate amount during the midday meal and the most carbohydrates (such as whole grains) with the evening meal.
I rotate though various superfood powders, but my mainstays feature mixed greens, mixed reds, camu camu (high in vitamin C), collagen, and whey protein. When sourcing whey protein, choose a concentrate instead of an isolate, the former being a whole food while the latter is not.
A couple of caveats apply with this recipe. For some, dairy is not a good option and should be avoided. Egg yolks should only be consumed raw when sourced from chickens freely roaming pastures that are not treated with chemicals. Eggs of this sort are obtainable from a small family farm or backyard coop.
I initially developed this smoothie as a low-residue breakfast that extends the period of relative rest for the digestive system following an overnight fast prior to a midday meal containing fiber. This strategy decreased the occurrence of episodes of small bowel obstruction and the associated pathology of small bowel intestinal overgrowth, buying me time while I healed from those conditions.
I also think of this smoothie as my anti-cancer breakfast because of several key nutrients. Blueberries and the superfood powders are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, enhancing immunity and regulating proper cell function.
Collagen heals the digestive track and is a rich source of L-glycine, balancing dietary sources of the amino acid methionine that some cancer cells are partial to for their metabolism.
Raw egg yolks are rich in choline, vitamin A, and the detoxification powerhouse glutathione. Raw milk and whey protein concentrate also raise glutathione levels. Although the presence hasn’t been verified by laboratory analysis, it has been suggested that fermenting raw dairy produces the immune-stimulating compound GcMAF.
Those promoting a strict plant-based diet may be concerned with the assertion that consumption of animal-based foods can be an anti-cancer strategy. This is an enormous topic, the answer being well beyond the scope of this blog post. The association between diet and cancer is a multifaceted issue that must include a lengthy and nuanced discussion of food quality, nutrient density, cancer type, and individual metabolic needs—all within the overall context of other lifestyle factors. One example of such a nuanced discussion is the article I wrote about the benefits and risks of dairy consumption.
There is nothing magical about this recipe, and some will wish to focus on different anti-cancer foods. But give it a blend if it resonates with you, and share your smoothie variations in the comments below.