Strawberry-Balsamic Arugula Salad

Strawberry-Balsamic Arugula Salad

•2 cups baby arugula, organic
•½ cup shredded cooked chicken breast, organic
•½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced, organic
•½ cup chopped Granny Smith apple, organic
•2 tablespoons light balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
•2 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces
•Half Avocado

In a medium bowl combine arugula, chicken, strawberries and apple. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts and top with Avocado.

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Memorial Day Recipes to Try


Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

Recipe Credit: Green Light Bites


3-4 cups of fresh romaine lettuce, organic, cleaned and torn (you can use the bagged lettuce)

About ½ cup fresh blueberries, organic

About ½ cup fresh strawberries, organic, cut into small chunks

1 oz. (28 g) crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp dressing (recipe below)


Wash and prepare all your ingredients.  Top the greens with the berries and cheese.

Drizzle on the dressing (recipe below)


Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup of lemon juice

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp poppy seeds

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper


Whisk all ingredients together.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Red, White and Blue BERRY Smoothie

Recipe Credit: Super Healthy Kids


2 cups strawberries, frozen, organic

1 cup raspberries, frozen, organic

1 tablespoon honey

2 medium bananas, green-tipped, frozen

2 cups blueberries, frozen, organic

1 ¼ cups almond milk, unsweetened

2 tablespoons flaxseed, ground

Low glycemic fruits in this recipe, means lower sugar


If you do not want the separate layers, just blend everything together at once in a high-powdered blender.

If you DO want to make the layers, start by blending the red layer ingredients together. Pour into individual glasses, about 1/3 full. Set glasses in freezer for 10 minutes.

Rinse out the blender jar to remove any remaining red layer mixture. Then, add your white layer ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Pour the white layer over the frozen red layer, fulling about 2/3 full.  Set glasses back in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Rinse out the blender jar to remove any remaining white layer mixture.  Then add your blue layer ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Pour the blue layer over the frozen white layer, filling to the top.

Serve with a straw.


RED: frozen organic strawberries, raspberries and a bit of honey (can use coconut water to loosen it if needed).

WHITE:  frozen bananas, unsweetened vanilla almond milk (but any milk will work) and a few ice cubes

BLUE:  frozen organic blueberries, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and ground flax.

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She Inspires

Panache and Believe Big – Maru Fava – Believe Big Volunteer

By: Caitlin RogersPosted at 1:36 PM, May 20, 2020

She Inspires is a new initiative from the boutiques at Green Spring Station who are giving back to women and non-profits that inspire them. Panache is a premier women’s fashion boutique specializing in high quality merchandise and impeccable style.

The owner’s sister in law is a two time cancer survivor. Believe Big is a non-profit organization that bridges the gap between conventional treatments like chemotherapy and surgery and complementary treatments like nutrition, acupuncture, and spiritual wellness.

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Believe Big was invited to attend the SIO Conference in New York City

Believe Big was invited to attend the SIO Conference in New York City this past weekend! We were able to connect with top physicians who specialize in integrative oncology from all over the world, discuss options for our phase 2 mistletoe clinical trial, be filmed for Dr. Kelly Turners new documentary (coming out in March) on healing, make connections with companies that have products and resources for the patients we serve, and meet with the Believe Big Institute of Health team to outline our next steps to bring integrative oncology and wellness care in a research and data driven residential center!

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National Relaxation Day

Learning to Relax When Coping with Cancer

Original Source:

Many people with cancer have found that doing relaxation or imagery exercises has helped them cope with pain and stress.

Take the time to learn helpful relaxation skills, such as the ones below, and practice them when you can. You can also take a class, buy a relaxation DVD or CD, or find other exercises online.

Getting Started

For each exercise, find a quiet place where you can rest undisturbed. Let others know you need time for yourself. Make the setting peaceful for you. For example, dim the lights and find a comfortable chair or couch.

You may find that your mind wanders, which is normal. When you notice yourself thinking of something else, gently direct your attention back to your body. Be sure to maintain your deep breathing.

Some people like to listen to slow, familiar music while they practice these exercises.

Breathing and Muscle Tensing

  • Get into a comfortable position where you can relax your muscles. Close your eyes and clear your mind of distractions. You can sit up or lie down. If you’re lying down, you may want to put a small pillow under your neck and knees.
  • Breathe deeply, at a slow and relaxing pace. Concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly, raising your belly with each breath, rather than just your chest.
  • Next, go through each of your major muscle groups, tensing (squeezing) them for a few seconds and then letting go. Start at the top of your head and work your way down. Tense and relax your face and jaws, then shoulders and arms.
  • Continue tensing and relaxing each muscle group as you go down (chest, lower back, buttocks, legs), ending with your feet. Focus completely on releasing all the tension from your muscles and notice the differences you feel when they are relaxed.
  • When you are done, focus on the pleasant feeling of relaxation for as long as you like.

Slow Rhythmic Breathing

  • Stare at an object or shut your eyes and think of a peaceful scene. Take a slow, deep breath.
  • As you breathe in, tense your muscles. As you breathe out, relax your muscles and feel the tension leaving.
  • Remain relaxed and begin breathing slowly and comfortably, taking about 9 to 12 breaths a minute. To maintain a slow, even rhythm, you can silently say to yourself, “In, one, two. Out, one, two.”
  • If you ever feel out of breath, take a deep breath, and continue the slow breathing.
  • Each time you breathe out, feel yourself relaxing and going limp. Continue the slow, rhythmic breathing for up to 10 minutes.
  • To end the session, count silently and slowly from one to three. Open your eyes. Say to yourself, “I feel alert and relaxed.” Begin moving slowly.


Imagery usually works best with your eyes closed. To begin, create an image in your mind. For example, you may want to think of a place or activity that made you happy in the past. Explore this place or activity. Notice how calm you feel.

If you have severe pain, you may imagine yourself as a person without pain. In your image, cut the wires that send pain signals from one part of your body to another. Or you may want to imagine a ball of healing energy. Others have found the following exercise to be very helpful:

  • Close your eyes and breathe slowly. As you breathe in, say silently and slowly to yourself, “In, one, two,” and as you breathe out, say “Out, one, two.” Do this for a few minutes.
  • Imagine a ball of healing energy forming in your lungs or on your chest. Imagine it forming and taking shape.
  • When you’re ready, imagine that the air you breathe in blows this ball of energy to the area where you feel pain. Once there, the ball heals and relaxes you. You may imagine that the ball gets bigger and bigger as it takes away more of your discomfort.
  • As you breathe out, imagine the air blowing the ball away from your body. As it floats away, all of your pain goes with it.
  • Repeat the last two steps each time you breathe in and out.

To end the imagery, count slowly to three, breathe in deeply, open your eyes, and say silently to yourself, “I feel alert and relaxed.”

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Broccoli Burritos

4 servings

Source: Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

Salsa and tahini pack the flavor into these burritos!

About the Recipe

317 Calories · 13 g Protein · 11 g Fiber

Broccoli is rich in vitamin K and calcium, which support bone health.

If the tortilla is made from wheat, barely, or rye, it is not gluten free.


Makes 4 Servings

  • broccoli stalks (2)
  • garbanzo beans (1 15-ounce can)
  • roasted red peppers (1/2 cup)
  • tahini (2 tbsp.)
  • lemon juice (3 tbsp.)
  • flour tortillas (4)
  • salsa (6 tbsp. or more to taste)


  1. Cut or break broccoli into florets. Peel stalks and cut into 1/2-inch rounds. Steam over boiling water until just barely tender, about 5 minutes.

  2. Drain garbanzo beans and place in a food processor with peppers, tahini, and lemon juice. Process until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.

  3. Spread about 1/4 of the garbanzo mixture on a tortilla and place in a large heated skillet. Heat until tortilla is warm and soft, about 2 minutes. Arrange a line of cooked broccoli down the center, then sprinkle with salsa. Roll tortilla around filling. Repeat.

  4. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving 

Calories: 317
Protein: 13 g
Carbohydrate: 50 g
Sugar: 7 g
Total Fat: 9 g
     Calories from Fat: 25%
Fiber: 11 g
Sodium: 725 mg

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Wellness Grants – Update

Thank you to everyone who answered our call for donations last month and helped to boost our Wellness Grant budget. Your support helped us raise over $16,900! Our grants available through the end of the year went from 6% to 18%! Thank you!

We still have $3,000 out of the $10,000 available in a matching gift that we would love to fully raise if you feel led to give! Please also consider sharing this need with your network and corporate connections. Each and every dollar in our Wellness Grant fund goes directly to patient care and helps to release the financial burden a patient and their family is experiencing.

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Giving Testimony – Willie (Lieberman) Barrett

I was invited to the very first dinner when Believe Big was launched, and that’s when I heard Ivelisse’s remarkable, hope-filled story. I was blown away by her testimony about her journey to becoming cancer-free.  

After hearing that inspiring story, it was so easy to volunteer at the Believe Big offices and to donate financially to this cause I wholeheartedly believed in. Believe Big respects the mind, body, and spirit connection and offers their incredible guidance and assistance to anyone on the cancer journey. I know this firsthand, as they helped me when they provided useful information, direction, and emotional and spiritual support as I walked with both my husband and niece on their cancer journeys. Believe Big helps so many of us who have seen our loved ones suffer through cancer. Their tireless efforts to assist others facing this ugly, hideous disease are successful largely due to their supporters’ financial contributions.

I ask each of you to come alongside Believe Big by giving any amount you can, so the word of its mission can spread and more people can receive help.  

Cancer is a journey none of us volunteer to take, but each of us has been affected by it in one way or another. Partnering with Believe Big is an excellent and rewarding way to help cancer patients and their families. The resources and support Believe Big offers are free to patients, but we need to provide the finances so the good work Believe Big does will continue and increase. 

I hope I never, ever hear the diagnosis that I have cancer, but if I do, I know that my first call will be to Believe Big. 

Willie (Lieberman) Barrett
Believe Big Volunteer

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Sugar Alternatives That Won’t Poison You

Posted on: Wednesday, May 29th 2019
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019

You may think that staying slim and eating healthfully means NO sweets, but guess what? There are natural and delicious sweeteners that won’t wreck your diet, and even have therapeutic ‘side benefits.’

No arena of health and wellness is more debatable than what we should be eating. Looking back through time, the foods that constitute a healthy diet have changed so dramatically, you can literally mark the passage of time by the coming and going of dietary fads.

  • Weight-loss clubs and diet pill popping in the 1970s
  • Cabbage soup and liquid diets in the ‘80s
  • The Zone and blood-type diets (along with lawsuits related to diet pills!) in the ‘90s
  • In the aughts, Atkins and gluten-free
  • In the 2010’s, it’s Paleo, raw, and local

Despite this obsessive focus on what to eat, Americans are fatter and in many ways, unhealthier than ever before[1]In 2016, two-thirds of the adult population were considered overweight or obese, according to a U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services study[2]. This health epidemic spans ethnic and cultural boundaries, and is affecting more adults and children every year.

One factor that is contributing to America’s growing problem with weight is our obsession with sugar. You probably don’t need to see the results of a clinical study to believe that the more sugary calories you consume, the greater your risks of obesity[3]. What you may not know, is that what passes for sugar these days is actually a hyper-sweetened extract of one of the cheapest, most heavily-sprayed, GMO-pervasive crops on the planet.

Why Sugar Isn’t Sugar Anymore

Despite a marked decrease in consumption of refined cane and beet sugars over the last generation, we are taking in more dietary sugar overall, thanks to the prevalence of corn-based sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, in nearly everything on grocery store shelves[4].

Switching to corn-based sweeteners is a case of jumping from the funnel cake grease into the fire! Corn syrup has become the go-to sweetening agent for processed foods due to its low cost and high concentration (at least 1.5 times that of cane sugar). Thanks to government subsidies, corn is alluringly cheap for food and beverage companies that need a steady supply of sweetness.

Corn is also a top GMO crop with at least 92% of the nation’s corn supply being genetically modified to withstand large doses of herbicides[5]. Setting aside the shocking effects of GMO consumption, this intense concentration of simple sugar is wreaking havoc on the collective metabolism. Studies abound correlating intake of high-fructose sweeteners to increased risks of obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and more[6].

What About Zero-Calorie Sweeteners?

Aspartame, Equal, sucralose, Splenda, saccharin: they go by many names but do any of them sound truly sweet? Not when you read the nearly 100 scientific abstractsGreenmedinfo has collected on the perils of artificial sweeteners. Chemical fascimiles of sugar, these unnatural compounds can be far worse than the real thing.

Linked to increased risks of kidney diseasemetabolic dysfunctiondiabetes, and obesity, these calorie-free sugar substitutes trick consumers into thinking that previously unhealthy foods can get “a sugar-free pass.” But fake sugars are far from harmless. Studies show consuming synthetic sweeteners generates excessive cravings for the sweet taste, leading to weight gain and other negative effects linked to excessive sugar consumption[7].

While it might be tempting to think that these sugar imposters can help you bypass the weight and still eat the treats, if you value your health, steer clear of these dietary destroyers!

Nature Has the Solutions

Wondering what options this leaves you when only something sweet will do? Fortunately, nature has got you covered. Here are four solutions for satisfying your sweet tooth that won’t rot your teeth, create blood sugar imbalance, or cause weight gain. In fact, these natural wonders pack some amazing health benefits!


Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from xylose – a crystalline sugar found in birch bark[8]. Sweet like sugar but with only 40% of the calories, xylitol is fast becoming the preferred sweetener of health-conscious consumers.

Low-carb dieters will find xylitol appealing, with less than a quarter of the carbohydrates found in cane sugar. It also stands apart from synthetic sweeteners thanks to its natural origins. Besides birch trees, xylitol is found in the cellular structure of fruits like raspberries, and in vegetables like the corn-cob. Even our bodies produce xylitol (between 5-15 grams per day) during normal metabolic processes.

With a glycemic rating of 13, xylitol is metabolized around eight times slower than regular sugar, making it a safer choice for diabetics. Unlike sugar, which provokes the release of insulin in response to its consumption, xylitol is metabolized independently of insulin in the gut. It metabolizes slower and steadier than sugar, making it a much safer sweetener for hypoglycemics and the sugar-sensitive.

And there’s good news for sufferers of cavities or Candida: Xylitol actually discourages the bacterial growth that feeds these conditions. The bacteria that cause candida, dental caries, and even Streptococcus mutans, thrive in acid-based environments, with sugar as their food of choice. Xylitol is non-fermentable, creating an alkaline reaction in the body that bacteria find inhospitable. Xylitol consumption has been shown to dramatically decrease cavities and ear and throat infections, among other infectious organisms.

The dental health community are one of the biggest supporters of Xylitol. Studies have shown that plaque build-up and dental caries can be reduced by 80% with the introduction of moderate amounts of xylitol (up to  half an ounce per day). Research also indicates that consuming  xylitol may increase bone strength and bone density.

*Important Notes: Xylitol can have a laxative effect, so start slowly. It is best to obtain Xylitol from a manufacturer who uses birch rather than corn. Finally, Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, so please keep it away from Fido! Xylitol is sometimes made from corn, which includes GMO corn. Look for the higher quality, non-GMO certified, and best of all: birch tree derived form. 


300 times sweeter than sugar and without caloric content, the Stevia plant has been used by native people to sweeten food and drink for centuries. Stevia’s popularity as a modern sugar substitute grew in the 1990’s, and new research confirms what tribal cultures knew: this plant provides a safe, affordable and tasty alternative to expensive and potentially dangerous sweeteners.

The study[9], published in August 2017, calls Stevia “a suitable calorie-free sweetener,” with both “pharmacological and therapeutic properties, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, and anticancer.” Researchers further heralded Stevia’s positive effects on those metabolic conditions aggravated by excess sugar consumption, namely obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.

Stevia reduces blood sugarreduces blood pressure, combats infections, and reduces risks of diabetes. One study even found that consuming stevia was as effective as a popular oral antidiabetic drug, but with fewer side effects.

If you haven’t tried Stevia in a while, you will be pleasantly surprised by new formulations. What began as a strong-tasting plant extract only available in health food stores, is now widely available in crystallized-sugar form, as a finely distilled concentrate, and in formulations that approximate the less-sweet taste of cane sugar, but without the negative effects!

Raw Honey

Identified as containing more than 181 health-promoting substances[10], honey converts the vital, healing energy of plants into a medium that is perfect for human consumption. Rich in phytonutrients (nutrients absorbed from plants), raw honey is renowned worldwide for having powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties[11].

Raw, unfiltered honey is very different from the pasteurized product you find on most grocery store shelves. Nearly all commercially-produced honey is heated to kill potentially harmful bacteria, reduce crystallization, and improve product flow. Unfortunately, this process also kills the vital, living enzymes and good bacteria which make raw honey one of the world’s oldest-known superfoods.

The bacteria in raw honey serves as a prebiotic: a substance containing helpful microorganisms that aid in the process of digestion. When consumed raw, honey’s natural enzymes aid in the breakdown and assimilation of the many nutrients it contains.

Raw honey is also rich in powerful antioxidants called phenolic compounds, known to play an important role in cancer prevention[12].  These compounds found in honey have also shown promise in reducing arterial blockages and lowering overall risks associated with cardiovascular disease[13].

Perhaps most profound of all is that raw honey contains probiotic strains that are so ancient that one form of Lactobacillus present with certain varieties is believed to be of a lineage 80 million years old. Learn more:  Could Eating Honey Be A Form of Microbial Time Travel?


Blackstrap molasses, known to sugar-refiners as “final molasses,” refers to the thick, brown syrup that is the end result of boiling sugar cane during the production of table sugar. What sets molasses apart from cane sugar, besides the obvious appearance, is its high nutritional value. Unlike its nutritionally bankrupt cousin, a 3.5 oz serving of blackstrap molasses contains more than a quarter of your daily supply of vital minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and B vitamins[14]. Molasses delivers this nutritional punch with much less sugar, thanks to being at the end of the line of the crystalline-sugar extraction process[15].

Molasses has long been a popular folk remedy, treating everything from menstrual cramps to constipation[16]. An old wives’ tale credits an elixir of molasses and milk with having the power to maintain endless youth and beauty. There may be some truth to this, thanks to molasses’ high antioxidant content[17]. Polyphenols, the plant compounds that imbue antioxidant properties, are abundant in molasses, and have been recognized for having anti-cancer properties[18] in clinical studies.

A 2011 study showed that adding molasses to a high-fat diet had the effect of reducing body weight and body fat percentages, thanks to decreased calorie absorption. Researchers concluded that “supplementing food with molasses extract might be a way to address the escalating rates of overweight and obesity.”[19]

Rich in copper, iron, and calcium, molasses can play a vital role in maintaining healthy blood and bones. This makes molasses a great alternative to non-nutritive sweeteners for pregnant or nursing women, or women who are trying to become pregnant. It also makes a great dietary supplement for women at risk of developing osteoporosis.

These four, healthful alternatives to sugar prove that craving a taste of sweetness doesn’t have to cause cavities, promote weight gain, or lead to blood sugar imbalances. On the contrary, when we look to nature, we find natural foods which actually sweeten our health, as well as our palates.











[10] White JW. Composition of honey. In: Crane E, editor. Honey, a comprehensive survey. London: Bee research Association and Chalfont St Peter; 1975. pp. 157–206.










Originally published: 2017-09-11  

Article updated: 2019-05-29

Sayer Ji

Sayer Ji is founder of, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine,Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

© 05/29/2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here

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7 Health Benefits of Antioxidant-Rich Tart Cherries

The Montmorency cherry (or tart cherry) is the most popular sour cherry in the United States and Canada, and is extensively used in cherry pies, jams, preserves and as a juice, among other uses. Montmorency cherries are less sweet than regular cherries, but they have better health benefits than sweet varieties like Marasca cherries.

While both cherries have a variety of phytochemicals contributing both color and antioxidant activity to the fruit, tart cherries contain more. For instance, both sweet and tart cherries are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Tart cherries also contain vitamin A. Here are some of the properties of these tart cherries.

  1. Strong antioxidants: Montmorency cherries’ anthocyanins and other antioxidant compounds provide the consumer with up to 5000 – 8000 ORAC units per one-ounce serving, depending on the concentration. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in food, and 5000 – 8000 ORAC units equals the entire day’s recommendation of antioxidants for an average adult.
  2. Pain relief: The antioxidants in Montmorency cherries may help ease the pain of arthritis and osteoarthritis. In fact, anthocyanins specifically have been compared to ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen for their anti-inflammatory properties. They may also reduce the uric acid and the pain related to gout.
  3. Post-exercise recovery: Recent studies have shown that Montmorency cherry consumption effectively reduces inflammation, muscle damage, and muscle soreness following bouts of exercise. It also accelerates exercise recovery.
  4. Improved sleep: Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Tart cherry juice may also increase the availability of tryptophan, an essential amino acid and a precursor to serotonin, which helps with sleep. According to studies, consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks helps increase sleep time by about 84 minutes among older adults with insomnia compared to the placebo. Their sleep tended to be more restful, too.

The following are potential benefits of tart cherries that need further support outside of the laboratory.

  1. On cardiovascular disease risk: Tart cherries may reduce cardiovascular disease risk due to its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Animal studies have shown a reduction in unhealthy triglyceride levels, but more research in humans is needed. 
  2. Possible anti-cancer properties: The antioxidant compounds found in tart cherries have been shown to reduce cancer growth and proliferation in cell cultures in laboratory studies. This has been demonstrated in human colon cancer cell lines, but more research is needed to establish effectiveness in humans outside of the lab.  
  3. On diabetes: Studies in animals have shown that cherries lower body weight and abdominal fat, which is the type of fat linked with increased heart disease risk, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. For now, we are waiting for the outcomes in human studies.

    Cherries are a seasonal product, available in June and July, but in order to get all the benefits from tart cherries year round, you can purchase cherry juice and dried cherries, which have similar properties to fresh cherries. When purchasing tart cherry juice, aim for 100% juice and avoid juice from concentrate. Frozen cherries’ antioxidant content is somewhat lower than that of fresh cherries; canned cherries’ antioxidant content is lower still, but remains significant.


The recipe of the week is a delicious way to get your daily quota of antioxidants by the end of breakfast. Enjoy!

Cherry Smoothie


  • 1 cup Montmorency tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup Montmorency tart cherry juice (100% juice)
  • 1 cup fresh or partially frozen strawberries
  • 3 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (or vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • Ground nutmeg, to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients, except nutmeg, in a blender and whip until smooth.
  2. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with nutmeg.
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