Beyond the Pink Ribbon: Breast Cancer Awareness

October is breast cancer awareness month. It’s nice to wear a pink ribbon, buy something pink from a store, and even to donate to various walks. I’d like to go beyond that and commit myself to fighting cancer by taking preventative measures. Although we cannot control the environment or genetics, there are major lifestyle changes that make a huge difference in our body’s ability to ward off illness. Here are my 6 tips, and I’d love to hear yours!

1. Eat smart. There are so many diets out there these days! Pescatarian, vegan, paleo, clean eating, gluten free– which is best for you? Only you know your specific dietary concerns. If your health has been generally good, a good place to start is 3 veggies, 3 fruits, and 3 whole grains. Add to this, lots of water and vitamins. Sporadic healthy eating will just not do.This must be a lifestyle change!

2. Self exams: A BSE (Breast self exam) should be done at least monthly. Need more information? Check here . In addition to self exams, annual exams should not be skipped.

3. Rest. This is your body’s opportunity to reset and repair. Sleep is important for mental wellness as well as the rest of your body. Make a commitment today to make sure you get adequate sleep. Information on cool iPhone apps to help with sleeping found here.

4. Move your body. Exercise is essential whether it’s walking, gym time, an outdoor sport. Studies have proven that 30 minutes of cardio 5 times a week shows to have amazing health benefits. Not time? Break your cardio up into two 15 minute sessions if you must!

5. Be mindful of hazardous chemicals. When possible, choose non-toxic materials for your home, organic foods and natural cleaners. Research DIY cleaners if there are allergy concerns as well. My video on my favorite non-toxic cleaners can be found here.

6. Constantly educate yourself on health. Your lifestyle can be a model to others around you—your spouse, friends, children, and coworkers. There is no need to preach health to others. By you simply living it, you will influence people more than you know!

If you are a cancer survivor, there are a number of studies being done all over the country of which you can participate. These studies often include counseling and advising on a new diet and lifestyle to prevent the recurrence of cancer. Please research this in your area to participate. UCSD Cancer Research Center studies for participants found here.

Here’s a video you can share with others in honor of all the breast cancer survivors, and to help others begin to be more proactive:

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Easy Turkey Rollups

In my last post titled, “Lean Abs“, I mentioned making good choices for meals and snacks. My easy turkey rollups are perfect for snacks, lunches or picnic finger foods. Not only are these rollups great for children, they are great for children to assemble. Fun, easy, and healthy? What is there to lose? I used Tofurkey for the demo, but feel free to use carved turkey, or any other sliced meat. They can also be wrapped in lettuce. Check out this quick video on how to put them together:

3 Easy Gym Tips

Staying fit and keeping active for many is no easy feat. With work, children, travel, and catching up with friends and loved ones– it is sometimes hard to lock down a set schedule to head to the gym or get outdoors and be active. An active lifestyle helps relieve stress and maintain weight, but it works best in conjunction with a nutritious diet and plenty of rest. When I think of all the reasons I have skipped physical fitness, it mostly comes back to being tired or being too hungry. To remedy this, I have learned to snack. Snacking between meals should not be out of boredom, but out of purpose. It should hold a person over till their next meal, and it can also fuel a person before a tough workout. In these summer months, I will periodically blog about easy snack ideas so that we can all stay on track with our fitness goals. Here are a few things that consistently keep me feeling energized and light and ready to tackle a tough workout:

3 Easy Gym Tips
1.Smoothies and shakes:Add protein powder, fruit and any green and you instantly have a high protein, low calorie drink that helps you stay on track with your daily fruit and vegetable intake. Click here for a great shake recipe.

2. Nuts: You need only a small handful to provide you with fuel from protein and fat. These are very easy to store in the office or in your gym bag for emergencies.Does anyone else get cranky when they are hungry??

3. Water: spend a little money on a good refillable water container. It’s worth it. If you are feeling thirsty, you are probably already a little dehydrated!
4. Greek yogurt: Low calorie, high protein, and delicious.
5. Berries: These are full of antioxidants and they are brain food. If you are sharp and alert, you will have the mental power to PUSH during your workout!

Here is a link to my video pertaining to fitness and food tips: