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5 Daily Wellness and Breast Cancer Prevention Tips

POSTED BY Pink Ribbon Cooking / November 4, 2013

Pink Ribbon Cooking

Migrating or transitioning to a healthier diet and lifestyle is not easy for many people.  Our daily lives are fraught with temptation, vices and bad habits we have built up throughout our lifves.  Modifying our bad behaviors, habits and diet is akin to quitting a substance, like tobacco or alcohol.  For each of these substances there exist physiologial, psychological and emotional/social triggers.  We must recognize that our diet does have a physiological, psychological and emotional/social hold on us. 

Regradless of the hold We need to be able to take one step at a time into wellness and fitness.  Trying to look at it longer term is not always the best approach.

Here are 5 things that will can help you in your fight against breast cancer.

1. Exercise.  

No matter what your exercise thrill is, locomotion and movement have a positive affect on our mind, body and soul. We are not in a competition so go soft and ease into it if you have not exercised in a while.  Try walking at first.  A light walk is also a great way to suppress your appetite, allowing you to reduce calories while also avoiding them when you get that craving.

In July I read a fascinating article by Gretchen Reynolds of the NY Times on How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells, it is worth the read.

2. Add a whole grain.  

Add a new or different whole grain to your pantry this week.  Whole grains contain higher amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals and compounds only found in plant based foods.  Additionally whole grains promote a balanced blood sugar, reducing the amount of insulin your body produces to counteract the spike in blood sugar common to refined grains and flours.  

We like Oatmeal, especially steel cut oats.  But here are some more that you might like to try

Bulgur wheat (great for tabbouleh)
Buckwheat
Barley, preferably hulled
Cornmeal, coarse ground
Kasha
Quinoa
Wild rice
Wheatberries

3. Eat seasonal fruit.  

Apples, pears, plums, clementines, tangerines, and berries are still in season in many markets.  Including more plant based foods in our diet increases the amount of phytonutrients and phytochemicals that our body needs to maintain optimum health and wellness.  When you are able to try to buy organic produce.  This also helps support the economics of smaller food systems, which, in turn, promote choice in the stores.  Non organic selections can contain higher residual levels of chemicals and pesticides.  

Beyond the phyto-based properties, eating plant based foods allows us to increas our fiber, feel fuller and consume less calories.

4. Cook tonight.  

If you are control oriented person (my wife calls that a control freak), like me, then cooking for yourself and those you love is a natural process. 

According to the American Heart Association nearly three quarters of the sodium we consume is hidden in the processed foods we eat.  

By cooking your own meals you choose how much sodium and other ingredients go into your food.  Excess sodium promotes inflammation, which is a known risk factor for breast cancer, among other chronic and degenerative diseases.

This infographic offers some of the sources of hidden sodium and offers our daily recommended amounts.  I can attest that sodium levels are the hardest part of working our recipes for nutritional acceptability, and only when we remove processed foods are we able to offer a recipe that has a great flavor, health attributes and that cravable factor.

Tracking down the salt in food with Professor Saul T. Too much sodium increases your risk for high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. By taking the right steps to reduce your sodium intake, your blood pressure can begin decreasing within weeks. About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Six in 10 adults should aim for 1,500 milligrams a day; others for 2,300 milligrams. Sodium adds up, and sodium levels in the same food can vary widely. Fat free chips can have 180 milligrams per ounce; white bread, up to 230 milligrams per slice; ready-to-eat cereal, 250 milligrams per cup; chicken breast with added solution, up to 330 milligrams per 4 ounces. Foods that you eat several times a day can add up to a lot of sodium, even if each serving is not high in sodium. Read Nutrition labels to find the lowest sodium options. A bowl of regular chicken noodle soup can have 840 milligrams of sodium, but lower sodium chicken noodle soup can have 360 milligrams of sodium. Most of the sodium we eat comes from foods prepared in restaurants and processed foods (not from the salt shaker). Tips you can use to reduce sodium: Choose fresh, frozen (no sauce), or no salt added canned vegetables; Know terms that commonly indicate higher sodium content, like pickled, cured, brined, and broth; Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan at http://go.usa.gov/p3C. For more tips on reducing sodium in your diet, visit http://go.usa.gov/YJxF. This infographic is brought to you by Million Hearts. millionhearts.hhs.gov

infographic courtesy of Millionhearts.hhs.gov

5. Eat Breakfast.  

Simply put, you should begin your day with a 300 to 400 calories, protein oreinted breakfast.  By eating breakfast you will fend off more mid mroning cravings and you will put a quality calorie where and when it is needed so your body may function the way it should.  For some eating breakfast is difficult, both from a time and behavior factor.  

A simple egg preparation on a slice of whole grain toast is a great way to begin the day and it can be done in less that 5 minutes.

Healthy Egg Recipe for Cancer Patients

From personal experience I can say that if you take the time to prepare a nutritious breakfast and fit in a 15 minute walk you will reap the rewards throughout the day. 

Fighting cancer can be delicious, and it should be.  Plan for tomorrow and take that first step of your wellness and prevention journey.  

Do you have a daily wellness tip to share with others, leave a comment.  We look forward to hearing form you

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Comments left by other guests:

Mary,

Thank you so much for this post; I appreciate the compliment.  We eat with all of our senses and good chefs use that to their advantage. 

It is a big part of how Pink Ribbon Cooking’s strategy to help people migrate to a healthier diet. I believe that if someone can see the end product and it is a photo of the real recipe, without styling it, they will make it.

Thanks again and come back often!

Curtiss

 

By Curtiss Hemm on January 23, 2014

Your food photographs are wonderful. Since breast cancer treatment I have worked hard to maintain a healthy weight. Smaller portions are hard to get used to, but I found that if the food is plated nicely, garnished and colorful, it becomes more special, like eating a treat. While your recipes contain all healthy ingredients,your photographs are the perfect invitation to eating better.

By Mary Carr on January 22, 2014

Amelia,

Bridget had the same issue.  We find that time is our biggest hindrance to wellness.  Fitting in time to shop is the biggest one.  If we ave healthy foods we eat them.  That choice tree needs to be supported in our house or we fail.  Exercise is also subject to time.  Getting our dog made me walk everyday and I am grateful for that.  He is a constant reminder that walking can be fun and when it is done with your pet or kids it is fun family time. 

Yes we all gotta start somewhere smile

By Curtiss Hemm on November 4, 2013

I find it’s harder since the end of chemo to stay vigilant making healthy choices. I am trying to make sure I am drinking enough water each day (like I did during chemo - and I notice a huge difference already) and eating at least two Peices of fruit each day. (Gotta start somewhere!). Next week I will starting taking short walks at least twice a week.

By Amelia Lushia on November 4, 2013

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