With her clever wit and wisdom, certified nutritional consultant (CNC), Leanne Ely, is bringing people back to the dinner tables each evening. Leanne has a simple philosophy, “Make it and they will come.” She is author of the Saving Dinner series; Leanne also dishes out recipes and advice with her syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva.

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Saving Dinner

by Leanne Ely, Certified Nutrition Counselor

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This morning as I was reading my email, I saw an ad for chemotherapy. Yes, you read that right. A long time ago in a place not so far away, this would have never happened. Cancer was talked about in hushed tones, fear was the plumb line and there was no such thing as a print ad or commercial for cancer products!

But it's not like that today. Cancer is as ordinary as the common cold and while still feared, it's talked about a lot more openly, and it's discussed at the dinner table. Thankfully, the options for treatment has improved dramatically.

On one hand, I'm happy to see this disease taken out of the closet. On the other hand, I'm alarmed that a disease with so much money spent on research, hasn't been cured. If not cured, at least significantly curbed. Somewhat anyway! It seems that I am always reading about increased and growing rates of cancer. 1 in 3 people get cancer nowadays. 1 in 9 women will get breast cancer… it's scary!

Where cancer-fighting chemicals hide

And while I am pro-research, I'm also pro-personal responsibility. Research has shown that we better our odds the better our nutrition. Phytochemicals are the name of the game and they're mostly hiding in fruits and vegetables-if we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, we're going to get those lovely phytochemicals doing their jobs inside our bodies.

And guess what? To get going with an increased intake of fruits and vegetables, it starts with a trip to the grocery store-there's the pro-personal responsibility part of the equation. There is a direct correlation between the quality of your health and the food you put in your grocery cart every week. The quality of our food affects us right down to the very cells of our bodies.

Think of it this way. Our bodies are huge mosaics made up of minuscule cells. Those cells are tiny snapshots of who we are in our entirety. Each mosaic piece is important because it defines that one small area. It isn't until you step back and look at everything that you can see a whole person. This illustration shows why each cell is so significant; each one delineates and reflects its own cell health, which in turn paints the big picture of our bodies and our health overall.

A recipe for good eating, good health

It boils down to eating well to maintain and boost the integrity of each of our cells. If we have healthy cells, we have healthy bodies. It's sort of living life in a microcosm if you think too hard on it. However, thinking in such minute terms helps us to grasp the importance of just one bite of healthy food! Eating that one bite could save a cell!

Here is a recipe that will tickle your cells' mitochondria and at the same time, put a smile on your face and satisfaction in your tummy. Enjoy!

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes, with juice drained, but saved
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped (remember to remove stems)
pinch of sugar
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup lowfat milk (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook till onions are translucent. Add the drained tomatoes, garlic, basil and sugar.

Cook this mixture for 10 minutes or so, stirring every so often. Stir in the broth, drained tomato juice, bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. If you prefer creamier soup, blend in a blender in batches otherwise, serve it up, top with a sprig of parsley and enjoy!

Leanne Ely is New York Times Bestselling author and the Dinner Diva at SavingDinner.com. For more information, check out the website, www.savingdinner.com

@ 6:49pm ET on May 15, 2008
There was a time when I wouldn't eat a piece of fruit for weeks and weeks! That is unimaginable to me now, I can't go a day without two or three pieces. I have not only changed my habits to lose weight but I want to be healthy too. Thank you!

@ 12:00am ET on May 16, 2008
Wow, I didn't think of it like that Skini..I'm liked that now, too!


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