Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's New? The 2011 Cancer Victory Garden™ Calendar

I am member of the The Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of The American Dietetic Association, which has created a gorgeous 2011 calendar inspired by my blog at called the Cancer Victory Garden calendar. These calendars will make delightful holiday gifts for almost everyone you know, including cancer survivors, gardeners, friends, family members, teachers, day care providers, and professional colleagues.

Each month features a beautiful picture of a different cancer fighting vegetable or fruit, along with text that discusses its health benefits and strategies for growing the produce in a home garden.

One or more calendars can be shipped to your home or work address.

Each calendar costs $10.00, plus a flat rate shipping charge of $5.00 (for 1 or more calendars).

To order calendars, make your check out to: ON DPG #20
(Check total = no. of calendars x $10/each + $5.00 shipping)

Mail the check to:
Maureen Leser
56 Boston Drive
Berlin, MD, 21811

Calendars will be mailed to the address on your check, or to another address as requested.

Funds from the sale of these calendars will be used to defray member costs of educational programs. In addition, ON DPG is making a donation to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors’ Nutrition Research Endowment at the American Institute of Cancer Research, which has provided research funds from proceeds of the sale of my book A Dietitian's Cancer Story (also a great gift!) since 2001 for AICR funded research projects that focus on defining nutritional strategies for cancer survivors to optimize the odds of long-term survival and increased quality of life.

If you have questions about the calendars, please contact my friend Maureen Leser, MS, RD, CSO, LD, at or call her at 240-994-0533.

If you are a member of the ON DPG you can preview the calendar at the ON DPG website:

If you are not a member of the ON DPG but are interested in previewing the calendar, please contact Maureen at She will email a pdf that previews the calendar.

I have already seen these calendars, was given several complimentary copies, and also purchased several additional copies to give away. I hope you consider purchasing one or more - you will love them!

I'll end with how the calendar begins!

"Life begins the day you plant a garden"

~~ Chinese Proverb

Truer words could not be spoken!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Monday, November 1, 2010

Eating raw broccoli helps bladder cancer survivors

Just across my desk (i.e. computer) is research (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Jul;19(7):1806-11) showing a significant increase in survival after bladder cancer diagnosis when consuming a modest amount of raw broccoli.

In a study examining dietary intakes of people when first diagnosed with bladder cancer at a major cancer center in New York, researchers found that the patients who ate 1 or more servings/month of raw broccoli versus less than one serving/month had a 43% reduction in death from all causes and a remarkable 57% reduction in death from bladder cancer when looking at data after 8 years of follow-up. Intakes of total vegetables, total fruits, and other cruciferous vegetables did not show any benefits on either overall survival or bladder cancer survival.

Prior animal and in vitro (cell studies) data have shown potent antiproliferative effects of dietary isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables on bladder cancer cells. This study was unique because it looked at both raw and cooked food consumption since cooking (especially cooking greens for hours!) can substantially reduce or destroy isothiocyanates contained in cruciferous or Brassica vegetables. 

Further follow-up studies with human subjects are clearly warranted but in the meantime, eat your broccoli and other Brassica vegetables, some of them raw, and the rest only very lightly steamed or stir-fried, and save any steaming liquid to use for future soup stock. Of note, although intake of kale and collard greens was evaluated and found to offer no survival benefit in this study, my comment above about the usual cooking technique (i.e., boiling for hours on end) for these vegetables may have rendered their intake inconsequential in this type of study.

Cruciferous vegetables do have a wide variety of glucosinolates, which are metabolized to a wide variety of isothiocyanates that could have different levels of protection against different types of cancers. Eat them all, enjoy them all, in a variety of different ways! And I'm just taking a wild guess, but I'll bet that most regular readers of this blog eat kale, broccoli, and other Brassica vegetables, raw or cooked, more than once a month. :-)

Photo: Garlic Scape-Kale Pesto - this is not raw broccoli, but a delicious way to eat another raw cruciferous vegetable. Believe it or not (actually I'm embarrassed to admit this), I still have some garlic scapes in my refrigerator (the tops are dried out but the stems are in great shape!), so I'm going to try making this pesto using raw broccoli florets instead of kale. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Where kale (and broccoli) is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD