“With each month, each year, and even each day there are new breakthroughs and possibilities in the fight against cancer. Let it motivate you. Let it be a reminder of all the work we still have to do in the fight against cancer”. –Stefanie Spielman

October is breast cancer awareness month, and this year Zest Juice Co. is joining the fight! We have created a pink limited edition “Smoothie For Hope” to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund For Breast Cancer Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

The Stefanie Spielman Fund For Breast Cancer Research was created to provide a reliable income for breast cancer research to guarantee that the OSUCCC – James would remain at the forefront of new advances in cancer research.

And, that it is!

At age 30 during a time when breast cancer was taboo to be talked about, Stefanie Spielman was diagnosed with the disease, and refused to keep it quiet. Her mission was to fight this disease any way possible and support her fellow breast cancer heroes. Her passion in life was to continue to fight and continue to live, refusing to be defined by her diagnosis.

I could not possibly be more excited that Zest Juice Co. is joining the fight against breast cancer. As Stefanie’s niece, her passion and mission to fight cancer was one of the reasons why I became a dietitian- to fight the same fight through nutrition.

Did you know that more than 30% of the most prevalent cancers could be prevented through diet and exercise alone? Study after study shows the astounding benefits of a 2/3 plant-based diet and its role in cancer prevention.

At Zest (and who am I kidding, in my everyday life too) I talk a lot about phytochemicals and their cancer fighting potential … mostly because they are so powerful and deserve all the attention they receive! Phytochemicals are the cancer fighting compounds found in plants that give them their unique colors and smells, intended to enhance their survival in the outside plant world. In humans, they go to work in our bodies to serve the same purpose of enhancing our survival.

Every plant has a different combination of phytochemicals, all of which interact in unique ways and contribute different beneficial effects. By eating an array of plant-based foods, you are maximizing your phytochemical intake, thus maximizing your cancer fighting potential. The saying “eat the rainbow” couldn’t stand more true.

The Smoothie For Hope for breast cancer awareness month was created specifically with phytochemicals in mind. More than just a delicious smoothie made up of strawberries, banana, oats, chia seeds and avocado, it represents what a cancer preventative diet should look like.

While there’s no one single food that will prevent cancer, eating habits rich in fruits, vegetables, seeds and whole grains pack a mean punch against cancer.

For more information on the effects of food and cancer, check out http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your- cancer-risk/diet/ and https://cancer.osu.edu/news-and- media/news/crops-to- clinic-reseachers- test-cancer-fighting- foods.

And even beyond that, let it stand as a reminder. A reminder in the hope in finding a cure and living in a cancer free world. A reminder that miracles happen everyday. A reminder to celebrate life.

To the breast cancer heroes. This is for you. From my family at Zest and my family at home to yours, we’re in this together. Continue to fight, continue to live.

Emily Fitz, RD, LD