I’ve recently lectured about my experience living with a small bowel obstruction. During that talk I shared my smoothie recipe, 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 anticancer benefits.
Full of raw nutrition and healthy fats that fuel me until midday, 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 of raw milk kefir
- 1 raw egg yolk
- 1/2 to 1 avocado (depending on size)
- A small handful of blueberries
- MCT oil (I use Brain Octane® Oil from Bulletproof™)
- Various superfood powders
- Whey protein concentrate
The first thing you’ll 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—it stays below 100—upon a one hour post-prandial check with a glucometer. Additionally, the raw cow’s 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 7am, keep my blood sugar stable without any dips in energy or mood, and without feeling hungry until about the time I return home for lunch around 1pm.
Although I’m not practicing (or advocating) strict dietary ketosis, a longer period of stable blood sugar following a longer overnight fast of 12-14 hours (time-restricted eating) has anticancer benefits. I also sleep better back-loading carbohydrates toward the end of the day, consuming a moderate amount of carbohydrates during the midday meal and the most amount of carbohydrates (such as whole grains) with the evening meal.
I rotate though various superfood powders, but my mainstays are a mixed greens powder, a mixed red powder, camu camu (high in vitamin C), collagen powder, and whey protein concentrate. 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 obvious 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 on unsprayed pastures, obtainable from a small family farm or backyard coop.
I initially developed this smoothie as a low-residue breakfast, extending the period of relative rest to the digestive system, following an overnight fast and before consuming a fiber-containing midday meal. This strategy decreased the occurrence of small bowel obstruction episodes and the associated pathology of small bowel intestinal overgrowth. Thing bought me time while I healed from those conditions.
I also think of this smoothie as my anticancer 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 its 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 animal food consumption can be an anticancer 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, individual metabolic needs—all within the overall context of other lifestyle factors. As one example of such a nuanced discussion, read this article I’ve written on the benefits and risks of dairy consumption.
There is nothing magical about this recipe and some will wish to focus their diet on different anticancer foods. Give it a blend if it resonates with you and share your smoothie variations in the comments below.