Post image for Strawberry, Basil and Watermelon Smoothie for #Waunstrong Wednesday

Strawberry, Basil and Watermelon Smoothie for #Waunstrong Wednesday

July 10, 2013

When my youngest daughter Lauren was first diagnosed with cancer I still recall the disbelief; the every waking moment constant reminder followed with the companion thought of ‘this can’t be.’ I cried more tears in my pillow than I have over anything else in my life but the truth is, the tears had to stop and I had to do something. Anything. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more powerless in my life; isn’t it our lifelong job to fix our kids booboos? But this time it would take modern medicine pumping her full of chemicals that while seeking to eradicate the cancer would also cause unwanted results too. Still, when given the opportunity, my first response was to do what is a lifelong passion. Help with meals and fix her food. During those first weeks we stocked her freezer with casseroles and soups that we proportioned into pieces and froze for lunches and dinners and I made more green smoothies than I can recall.

Now I know they are popular and good for you but I sure struggled with that notion because those green smoothies are in a word UGLY. If our eyes play a role in how food appeals to us; then green smoothies must require a blindfold. Or a mantra at the very least; I know this is good for me, I know this is good for me, repeated over and over while their green goo is ingested. Lauren didn’t seem to mind them but still, when my friends with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America provided me with a recipe for a Strawberry and Watermelon Smoothie, I was quick to get on-board. These are light and refreshing and good for you? Winner winner chicken dinner!


Lauren is visiting her ‘homeland’ right now; taking a much needed break from the rigors of chemotherapy and is visiting her half sister Hannah in North Carolina, where she was born and where Hannah is going to college and staying for summer work…they are obviously happy to be with each other!

While some of those tears I shed were due to the abject unfairness of a  young girl being dealt this hand, I also believe that her youth is what has helped see her through this trial with relative ease. Relative being the key word. She’s dealt with hair loss and bruising, nausea and heartburn but she has also been rewarded with the treatment being successful. With only a couple of weeks of chemotherapy remaining in her treatment plan, her lump is gone. What could easily be felt in an area on top of her breastbone as a sizable lump, there is nothing there…and that has been even further solidified by scans that can not discern the lump either. Words simply can not express the relief. Still scheduled to have a lumpectomy and radiation, Lauren has nonetheless exuded calm and determination and has been at times more stoic than I could have ever expected. It’s a joy to see her radiate such happiness; she was determined and she is beating this thing, doggone it!


flaxseedI was asked a couple of weeks ago by the folks at Linwoods if I would like to sample some of their ‘super foods.’ The Linwoods range of delicious, nutritious ‘Super Foods’ is the perfect solution for those who want to ensure that their diet comprises the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are so important to our daily diet. I love that their range of ground seeds, nuts and berries can add a healthy boost to almost everything you eat. For those with dietary restrictions it’s also important to note that all of their products are GLUTEN FREE and have NO ADDED SUGAR. Among the samples of Linwoods foods was a packet of Ground Flaxseed; perfect for this smoothie. I’ve been adding them to cereals in the morning and salad dressings during the day and I’ve certainly found that’s it’s easy enough to incorporate some ‘super’ into my foods that just might be a bit lacking because of my own time constraints.  I’m sharing these samples with Lauren too; staying #Waunstrong remains a huge part of her success in this process. I was pretty excited they had ground flax seed; I needed some for this smoothie and wasn’t sure where I was going to find it; it was prophetic I tell ya!

For Those Who Have Asked How to Help: Thanks to everyone who has been following this journey, those who have relentlessly prayed for Lauren, asked for updates, sent her cards and even bought her a blonde wig. It has all helped to lift her up and for that we are both most appreciative. I just know she has bigger and better things to come!

I’ve had a lot of people ask how they could help and as many of  you know; often in times like this, beyond the support and the prayers comes a need for cold, hard cash. Lauren was insured when she was diagnosed but in order to keep her health insurance in force there is a $450/month payment to COBRA. Though grateful for her having insurance and for someone currently subletting her apartment, it’s amazing how many of her bills are not covered and the stack is growing; it’s a lot for someone who has already lost her job because of cancer. I thought I would share with you the fundraising site at that has been setup for those who might like to contribute and help. In whatever way, we both thank everyone for supporting Lauren in her fight…it’s working!

Strawberry and Watermelon Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Serves: One serving
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 cup seedless watermelon
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 8 ounces coconut water
  • 1 tsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of Agave syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Health benefits of Strawberry & Watermelon Smoothie: Not only are strawberries juicy, summery and delicious, they’re a bona fide super food, too. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), strawberries offer a wide range of health benefits. Watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins: vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, and promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy.

Thanks to the folks with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America for providing the recipe for the
Strawberry, Basil and Watermelon Smoothie and for providing the health benefits.

I was provided with samples of the Linwoods products however all commentary is my own.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna Dawson July 31, 2013 at 12:45 am

Hi , i just love my green smoothies, i have been drinking them for a few months now, but really need to lose some weight, so will have one for breakfast, one for lunch and a meal in the evening, is this a good idea? Thanks in advance for the advice. Best wishes :)


2 Ashely Brown July 16, 2013 at 3:26 am

Outstanding recipe!! I really can’t hold myself anymore to give a try. While reading your recipes, I couldn’t help but visualize how these would taste . Thanks for sharing your journey and recipe with us !!.


3 Kate | Food Babbles July 14, 2013 at 9:10 am

I’m a huge green smoothie fan, no blindfold required ;) but I definitely hear what you’re saying. Although tasty, they’re not very visually appealing. This lovely smoothie you’ve created however, most definitely IS appealing in every way. You know my love of strawberries and basil together, throw in some watermelon and you’ve got me hook, line and sinker. Yum! So happy to hear Lauren’s treatment is working. What wonderful news!


4 Creative Culinary July 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Basil is unique and sounds strange to some but once tried…it’s usually love at first taste isn’t it?


5 Alex Dumpfree July 13, 2013 at 6:38 am

Umm…really a mouthwatering smoothie!! It also seems delicious and nutritious. A charming recipe of liquid refreshment.I would love to drink it anytime….:)


6 laurasmess July 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Lauren is amazing. I can’t believe that she’s enduring this experience with such stoicism, calm and strength. I would be a mess!!! I went through a cancer scare last year, and through my mother’s lumpectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy two years before that. It’s horrible. Poisoning the body for the greater good is something hard to fathom, but ultimately necessary in a time when we have no better alternative. I am SO glad that Lauren is going well. I hope that she has a blast during her time away and that your family continues to be blessed with strength, peace and positivity in the weeks to come. This recipe is gorgeous, so are the photos… the vibrant crimson is only outshined by the smiles from Lauren and her sister! So gorgeous. Thanks for this wonderful post xxx
laurasmess Most Recent Post: Broad Bean Salad with Lemon, Mint and Goats Cheese


7 Creative Culinary July 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Thank you Laura…it has been such a combination of emotions…both for her and for her family but we are feeling lucky that this scourge seems to be on the wane. Hope you and your family are all doing well now.


8 john@kitchenriffs July 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Glad to hear Lauren is doing well! Hope things continue smoothly. Which bring me to this smoothie – really terrific! I love watermelon, and it’s always fun to try it in new ways. Plus this has such great color. Thanks for this.
john@kitchenriffs Most Recent Post: Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail


9 Creative Culinary July 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Watermelon is SO close to being just a liquid refreshment anyhow…why not blend it and drink it? :)

I love reading the health benefits too…maybe not the plethora accredited to those green things but enough to make this a win-win for me.


10 dddfizz July 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Oh I wish I could have this one at this hot end of the day… the sun still burns our skin, we’re not used to this in hungary… but I bet I could survive it with that delicious smoothie:)
dddfizz Most Recent Post: Plastik-Ersatzteile einfach selber 3D-drucken


11 Creative Culinary July 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

It would definitely help you make it through a hot day…I know those only too well in Colorado!


12 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef July 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

What an incredible journey she’s been on. It’s wonderful that she’s faced it with calm determination. This smoothie would suit me down to the ground. I love strawberries and I love watermelon.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef Most Recent Post: Cooking With Spices – Spice Giveaway


13 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm

That’s an understatement! I love them both too…and that touch of basil was just the icing on the, well, smoothie. :)


14 Lizzy (Good Things) July 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Another absolutely delicious post…. bookmarking these for our summer!
Lizzy (Good Things) Most Recent Post: On truffle hunts, the Truffle Festival AND a delicious giveaway!


15 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Thank you Lizzie; they have made me a believer in healthy smoothies…see they can be pretty too! :)


16 Miss Messy July 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm

How refreshing! This looks amazing! :)
Miss Messy Most Recent Post: Nutella and Coconut Mini Muffins


17 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

You hit the nail on the head…it is just that. We seriously loved it!


18 Paula July 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Each update on Lauren gets more and more positive and I can imagine how delighted and relieved you all are with this wonderful progress. She looks wonderful and happy!
Loving the look of this smoothie, quite a delightful visual change from the green smoothies.
Continued best wishes to Lauren for a full recovery.

P.S. *Winner winner chicken dinner.* Love it! #Waunstrong


19 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

She is really doing great…heading into the home stretch for which I am eternally grateful. I seriously loved this…so light and refreshing. Not JUST good for you but actually good!


20 Tanya July 10, 2013 at 10:14 am

Sounds refreshing! I need something like this on a hot day like today. Its going to be like 107 here today. Going to try and stay indoors as much as possible.
Tanya Most Recent Post: Three Key Characteristics of a Smart Social Media Policy


21 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Oh yuck…yes you do. I would dive into a tub of ice cubes I think and sip on one of these! :)


22 sippitysup July 10, 2013 at 9:26 am

Spoken like a true warrior-mom! XOGREG


23 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

That I am Greg…my girls think I am over protective but they just don’t know…it’s just being a mom! I promised to love them forever; I know no other way.


24 Mildred Russoniello July 10, 2013 at 6:00 am

My fingers are crossed and all my prayers go out to your daughter! Know how hard it must be for both of you ~ Wishing you both the strength to get through this a day at a time.

Millie Russoniello


25 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Thank you so much Millie; we have been so blessed with support and such positive results. I love this girl; the thought of her not making it crossed my mind ever so briefly but I’ve been encouraged by others and rightly so; she is doing great.


26 Gail July 10, 2013 at 5:10 am

Sounds good I am a Breast Cancer Survivor and trying to lose weight and stay healthy and am going to try this smoothie to gain strength as I am on breast cancer dragon boat team and love how you feel after your practice and a race.


27 Creative Culinary July 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for leaving a comment Gail and hope you are doing well. This is such a light, healthy and refreshing drink…you should try it…and good for you to continue to work to improve your health!


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