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Notes from my On Stage Cooking Class at The Del Mar Fairgrounds – Foods That Fight Cancer

See Chef Marian - Pavilion Stage (outdoors)

See Chef Marian – Pavilion Stage (outdoors)

Sorry it’s taken a couple of days, but there were other blogs in me that needed to be said. As promised, here are the Foods That Fight Cancer notes.

Isn’t that cool? When you come to one of my Cooking Classes you never have to scramble to write notes cause here they are?


Yep. I would much rather you listen, take it all in and then know you have the info for review right here.

I do my shows just like my blogs…. it takes a lot of research. I don’t want to tell you just what I know to be true. I want to  double check how I am thinking and why – to give you research that backs up my personal findings. And sometimes I find enough research that makes me have to re-think what I do. It’s a win/win all the way around, no matter what I find out for you!

So, where do I start? How ’bout with the American Institute for Cancer Research?

They created this table of the latest findings, as well as some ‘tried and true’.


Recently Updated


I think that of all the quotes I have used on stage, the one I like best comes from the National Cancer Institute:

“The easiest, least-expensive way to reduce your risk for cancer is just by eating a healthy diet,” says Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, PhD, MPH, RD, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute.

And when I take this one step further and say “Food is your best medicine”, I mean it! I did the research, and here’s what I’ve got for ya!


Several large studies have found that those who eat more garlic are less likely to develop various kinds of cancer, especially in digestive organs such as the esophagus, stomach, and colon. Ingredients in the pungent bulbs may keep cancer-causing substances in your body from working, or they may keep cancer cells from multiplying. Experts don’t know how much you need to eat to prevent cancer, but a clove a day may be helpful.

Now don’t forget what I told about people calling you last minute saying they are coming over for drinks before going out for the evening…. You don’t have to go thru the ‘routine’ of cutting a head of garlic in half, sprinkling olive oil, salt and pepper then roasted it in tin foil (which may or may not give you Alzheimer’s – the jury is still out) ~ instead grab some bulbs of garlic, 350 degrees in the oven till their gushy with brown on top, squeezed onto thin slices of a multigrain baguette, with some red grapes on the platter, maybe a nice Pinot Noir and you are good to go! Speaking of grapes and wine ….

Red Grapes

The skin of red grapes is a particularly rich source of an antioxidant called resveratrol. Grape juice and red wine also contain this antioxidant. According to the National Cancer Institute, resveratrol may be useful in keeping cancer from beginning or spreading. Lab studies have found that it limits the growth of many kinds of cancer cells; in men, moderate amounts of red wine have been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.


As a tasty treat, berries are hard to beat. But their juicy goodness also may make them one of the foods to fight cancer. Berries contain particularly powerful antioxidants, meaning they can halt a naturally occurring process in the body that creates free radicals that can damage your cells. Compounds in berries may also help keep cancers from growing or spreading.


Some research has found that eating tomatoes may help protect men from prostate cancer. The juicy red orbs can help guard the DNA in your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Tomatoes contain a particularly high concentration of an effective antioxidant called lycopene.

I want to remind you to put a drop or two of olive oil with those tomatoes to help release the lycopene. And speaking of oil, I showed you my squirt bottle. I mean, why waste hundreds if not thousands of calories on oil in your pan when you can squirt three lines of oil instead, do the same job and use those extra calories you’ve saved to either slim down or eat extra food? lol

Cruciferous Vegetables

The group containing broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower — may be particularly helpful in protecting you from cancer. Researchers have found that components in these veggies can protect you from the free radicals that can damage your cells’ DNA. They may also shield you from cancer-causing chemicals, help slow the growth of tumors, and encourage cancer cells to die.

Green Tea

Tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which may help prevent cancer in a variety of ways, including keeping free radicals from damaging cells. Lab studies have found that catechins in tea can shrink tumors and reduce tumor cell growth. Some — but not all — studies in humans have also linked drinking tea to a lower risk of cancer. Both green and black teas contain catechins, but you’ll get more antioxidants from green tea, so you may want to consider a cup or more in your anti-cancer diet.

And don’t forget what I told you about steeping that tea 20 minutes to release the antioxidants! I like to bring a tea bag with me…… especially roasted Dandelion Root, so that I can order a hot green tea and add more powerful Dandelion Root. Don’t be afraid to ask the waitress how long the green tea steeped… and ask for another tea bag if she says 5 minutes, or she doesn’t know!

Whole Grains

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, whole grains contain many components that might lower your risk of cancer, including fiber and antioxidants. A large study including nearly half a million people found that eating more wholes grains might lower the risk of colorectal cancer, making them a top item in the category of foods to fight cancer. Oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread and pasta are all examples of whole grains. 


This orange-colored spice, a staple in Indian curries, contains an ingredient called curcumin (not the same as cumin) that might be useful in reducing cancer risk. According to the American Cancer Society, curcumin can inhibit some kinds of cancer cells in laboratory studies and slow the spread of cancer or shrink tumors in some animals. 


Leafy green vegetables like spinach and lettuce are good sources of the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein. You’ll also find these nutrients in vegetables that are more traditionally eaten cooked, like collard greens, mustard greens, and kale. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, some lab studies have found that chemicals in these foods may limit the growth of some kinds of cancer cells.


Certain fruits and vegetables and other plant foods get plenty of recognition for being good sources of antioxidants, but beans often are unfairly left out of the picture. Some beans, particularly pinto and red kidney beans, are outstanding sources of antioxidants and should be included in your anti-cancer diet. Beans also contain fiber, and eating a high-fiber diet may also help reduce your risk of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

I was reading an article on Coconut in the Huffington Post, by a woman named Shannon Kadlovski and quite frankly she is one of those people who is promoting Coconut in cooking. Here’s what she has to say:


Coconut is in fact a nutritious superfood that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s incredibly healthy, nourishing and versatile. Coconut is rich in antioxidants, which help to slow down the aging process and protect the body from free-radical damage. They help to nourish the skin and prevent/treat skin conditions, as well as help to boost metabolism.

But here’s an area where Dr. Andrew Weil and Chef Marian don’t agree with this article …. Neither of us wants to ingest it, because the jury is still out on the oil. There just hasn’t been enough time to do conclusive studies. So both of us recommend you slather it on your skin for smoothing, instead of putting it into your frying pan!

Coconut Water

The water from inside the coconut is incredibly nourishing. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes and potassium, and is a much healthier alternative to sports drinks, as it contains no artificial sugars or colours. It is incredibly hydrating and refreshing. You can drink the fresh water right from the coconut or purchase store bought coconut water.

I’m good with Coconut Water. It makes sense to me. And I do feel more hydrated when I drink it. But still…. I don’t drink it every day. Maybe a couple of times of week, after I’ve had a glass of wine… or beer. Especially beer, cause that really dehydrates you!

We crankin’ it out again this Thursday at The Fairgrounds. 2pm on stage. I’ve got a ’20 something’ with me on stage showing you how he creates his meals. He cooks both vegan and raw and he’s going to tell you why and how. Then, I am going to create my veggie sandwich. My infamous veggie sandwich I should say! lol It’s in my Cookbook and it’s absolutely delicious. Another vegetarian lunch to add to your repertoire of food you crave!

Hope to see you at The Fair!

Happy Eating,

Chef Marian

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