Cancer-Fighting Sweet Watercress Smoothie

Good morning! I’m so happy to slow down on all of this talk on cancer and surgery and get back to more food talk. I do very much appreciate your notes on my recovery from my surgery; I am doing a lot better. Last night I got my first full night of sleep in over a week (!) so I now I really am starting to feel good. Sleep = happiness.

The farmers’ market on Saturday was my first big outing since surgery. Alan was so proud to catch some wild chickens in the background of this photo:

The fridge was a wasteland at this point so I stocked up on arugula, watercress, lettuce and kale. The fresh veggies combined with the rest of the frozen soups I am working my way through should get me through mid-week at least.

Watercress is one veggie that I have mixed feelings about. It’s supposed to be so, so healthy, but I really don’t like the flavor. Besides blending it into a soup, the least offensive way I’ve found to consume it is in a green smoothie.

I ended up making this smoothie for dinner on Saturday night because a. it sounded good and b. it was easy.

The watercress I bought at the market looked like this:

I have seen watercress at the natural food store that is a lot more delicate and tender than what I bought. But, since I was blending it anyway, I didn’t really care about it being tender.

I combined the following ingredients into my Vitamix: unsweetened soy milk, peanut butter, watercress, frozen banana, blackberries, strawberries, flax meal, chia seeds, carob and frozen pineapple:

As a side note, have you tried carob powder yet? I have been obsessed with it for months as an alternative to cocoa powder:

I know it doesn’t have the same antioxidant profile as cocoa or cacao (raw cocoa), but I cannot eat too much cocoa powder because it is way too stimulating for me.

Also, I wanted to show you how I keep my ground flax seeds and chia seeds ready to go in two separate containers:

This amount will be enough for at least a month and I just keep the containers in the fridge and add a tablespoon to my smoothies. Another side note is that Dr. Fuhrman mentioned at the Getaway that he thinks both chia seeds and flax seeds should be ground before consuming. He also said that he now prefers chia seeds over flax seeds, but I believe he is still advising the consumption of both. For now, I try to get about half of a tablespoon of each per day with slightly more emphasis on the chia seeds.

The smoothie turned out so pretty!

Here’s the recipe:

Sweet Watercress Smoothie
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 2
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 bunch watercress, washed
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen blackberries (you can substitute blueberries if you prefer)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  1. Add the ingredients to a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

Since I had been craving something sweet, this hit the spot for sure. I should note that this makes two really big servings, Alan had the other half for dinner.

I suppose I’ll start talking about some of the lessons I’ve learned from this cancer experience as they hit me, but one little thing I’ve started doing is using my “nice” kitchenware instead of saving it for special occasions. Drinking my smoothie from my favorite purple glassware was a treat:

This is totally hokey, but each day is a gift and I want to remember that. What are you feeling grateful for?

I have a full day today between meeting my surgeon to have my stitches removed (this better not hurt), getting my pathology report and meeting my endocrinologist for the first time since my biopsy when he discovered the cancer. The two big items on the agenda will be figuring out the next step in my treatment plan and getting me started on my thyroid replacement medication.

My goal is to provide inspiration for healthy, balanced living. You can find more links on my Recipes and Resources pages.

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    • says

      Thanks, Jonathan. Both appointments went well and I got great results on the pathology which I will share on the blog tomorrow. Thanks for the nice note. 🙂

  1. Abigail says

    Based on what Dr. Fuhrman said at the getaway, I am now putting a mixture of ground flax, ground chia, hemp seeds and finely chopped walnuts in my oatmeal every morning. I add equal amounts of each into a container, mix it all up, and store it in my freezer. Then in the morning I just add 1 big spoonful into my oatmeal while it’s cooking.

  2. says

    Oooh, this post and Abigail’s comment definitely have me considering changing up my 1Tb of flax in my morning smoothies to 1/2TB flax, 1/2 TB chia. I do add 1TB chopped walnuts to my salad each day, but maybe I need to divide that up between walnuts and hemp seeds as well!

    I’m being very mindful of limiting myself to just one ounce of nuts/seeds a day, because I still have weight to lose. While I don’t have a food scale to know exactly what one ounce equals, I am going by Dr Fuhrman’s information that one ounce generally equals 150-200 calories, so I’m splitting the difference to 175 calories of nuts/seeds a day! That essentially equals only 1TB flax, 1TB chopped walnuts, and 1TB tahini (which I use for my salad dressing). Left to myself, without the mindfulness of it, I know I’d eat waaaay more than that!

  3. Charlie says

    Looks great Carrie! It is also awesome to see that you are on the mend. Watercress is a tough one, no farmer’s markets carry this so it’s only store bought. I find it awfully bitter, but maybe a sweeter smoothie is a good to offset this. My wife and I argue about the contents of our morning smoothies…I like it more filling (more nuts, seeds, etc). She isn’t crazy about a lot of nuts/seeds and likes it sweeter. I personally find this tasty, but less filling. Regarding carob powder, we may have to try this. She’s just not a fan of the plain cocoa for some reason.

    • says

      Hi Charlie, I know what you mean about fighting about the contents of the smoothie. My husband prefers sweeter ones over me, so sometimes I will pour my glass and then add some more pineapple or banana to his. That way, everyone is happy. 🙂

  4. Christy says

    Carrie, you look great! Amazing that you are up and about and out at the Farmer’s Market and whipping up new concoctions so soon after surgery! Question: Did Dr. Fuhrman say anything about waiting a specific amount of time to take medications after consuming chia seeds? I remember years ago, Dr. Weill said to wait an hour or two after consuming flax seeds because they will bind to the meds. I wonder if chia does the same thing. Thanks for letting us know to grind them.

  5. says

    You’re so beautiful! & Praise God your surgery went well, girl!

    In Mexico my hubby’s mama always put watercress in our smoothies, I thought it was pretty strong at first but got used to it. I love your recipe! Oh and I also get that soaking chia/flax seeds helps pull out a lot of the great benefits, too and our bodies digest them easier as well. I love how you keep ’em in the fridge and make sure you get either or each day!

    I also choose chia over flax but try to keep them both in my daily eats 🙂 I call them cousins, with chia being the bigger rock star.

    Happy Monday, lovely!

    • says

      Thanks for the message, Nicole! I did not know that watercress was popular in Mexico and, you’re right, it is very strong-tasting. I love that you call flax and chia seeds cousins. 🙂

  6. says

    I just found your blog today and am loving your smoothie recipes. Looking forward to trying them out. We also follow Dr. Fuhrman and I think it is fantastic that you create new recipes that adhere to his recommendations and that you make all the food so beautiful with your pictures! It is inspiring. Blessings to you and may God’s strength be with you in your recovery. Goodness knows you have an advantage fueling your body with the best!

  7. Oly Jacobsen says

    Just borrowed Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s first two books: The Joy of Vegan Baking and The Vegan Table from the library to see what she is all about 🙂 Looking forward to “read” them.
    Good to see you doing so much better … hope for good news from your doctors. We are using your recipes all the time. Lots of healing thoughts <3

  8. says

    Hi Abigail ~ There is a lot of goodness in chia and flax seeds for sure but once a food is broken down, or in the example of an apple, cut open, oxidation starts to takes place. Flax seeds especially are most susceptible to becoming rancid so it is best to buy the whole seeds, as you have done, but to grind them immediately before they are consumed so as to get the maximum nutritional value from them.

    I keep my flax and chia seeds in the fridge and just throw a tablespoon in the coffee grinder which I do not use for coffee but for the purpose of grinding seeds. This ensures that we are getting the best the seed has to offer. 🙂

    Best wishes on your recovery!


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