7 Ways to Keep Your Breasts Healthy

During Breast Cancer Awareness month this October I thought I would share an important article I found on the Women’s Health Magazine website on 7 ways to keep your breasts healthy. I’m trying to abide by all of these tips (although I’m not happy about number 3) and I’ve even recently applied for genetic testing as my mother had an aggressive breast cancer 15 years ago. She is a survivor thankfully. I had opted to not be tested when she was first diagnosed but genetic testing has advanced since then and now I want to know. These tips work for men as well. Don’t forget, men are not immune to breast cancer!

1. Stay at a healthy weight
Being heavy can increase your risk of developing the disease as well as reduce your risk of surviving it, says Harold Freeman, M.D., president and founder of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer and Prevention in New York City.

 

 

2. Break a sweat
Aim to exercise for 45 minutes to an hour five days a week. Regular fitness workouts may help prevent the disease by boosting immune function, warding off obesity, and lowering levels of estrogen and insulin.

 

 

3. Drink less alcohol
Research has shown that two drinks a day could increase breast cancer risk by 21 percent. Instead, try swapping wine for fresh grapes. Resveratrol, found in the skin of grapes, may help reduce your estrogen levels, which in turn may reduce your risk.

 

 

4. Eat your veggies
A low-fat diet can do a lot to reduce your risk, but for even more protection, add some cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, to your plate. They contain sulforaphane, which is believed to help prevent cancer cells from multiplying. For an extra dose of cancer-fighting power, eat them raw.

 

5. Know your family history
“In about 15 percent of breast cancer cases, there is a family history of the disease,” Freeman says. If you have one first-degree relative who had breast cancer, your lifetime risk doubles, and if you have two your risk increases five-fold.

 

 

6. Get checked
All women should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years and annual exams and mammograms starting at age 40. Women with a family history should begin screening 10 years prior to the family member’s age of diagnosis. Ask if the facility offers digital mammography–it allows for adjustments in contrast so the image can be easier to see. Young women at increased risk may also want to ask for either an MRI or a sonogram in addition to the mammogram.

7. Consider genetic testing
“When cancer strikes young women, it’s more likely to be connected to a BRCA mutation,” Mangino says. Two red flags for being a BRCA carrier: being of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent or having a family history of both breast and ovarian cancer. “If you have either of these factors, see a genetic counselor to talk about getting tested,” she says.

 

Stay healthy everybody and let’s kick cancer off the planet! Svaha!

 

 

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The Truth About Power!

TracyI was reading ‘O magazine’ the other night and found a great article on ‘Power People’ that I found interesting and wanted to share with you.

Selected Power People were asked to finish sentences and here are a few examples.  Try to finish them for yourselves afterwards or even before you read what these Power Women have said.  There was a lot more to this article if you want to pick up O magazine to read it for yourself.

Elizabeth Lesser: Co Founder of the Omega Institute

I feel true power when…“I trust my soul’s voice. I feel peaceful yet strong, gentle yet courageous.
Too often people confuse power and …”Ego.
I feel least powerful when…”I am stingy, fearful, or unloving.”
When I need a power boost…“I place my hand on my heart, take a deep breath, and feel my connection with everyone.

Gloria Steinem: Writer and feminist activist

I feel true power when…“I hear someone say that anything I did or said or wrote helped to change her or his life for the better.
Too often people confuse power and …”Money for it’s own sake.”
I feel least powerful when…”I’m misunderstood or am watching people be invisible or humiliated.”
When I need a power boost…”I sit in a circle with (mostly) women who also are trying to create a world in which everyone matters.”

Stacy Schiff: Pulitzer Prize-winning author

I feel true power when…  “I unravel a problem to my satisfaction, which by definition means the problem was someone else’s in the first place.”
Too often people confuse power and…“Money, title, ambition, and a fancy address.”
I feel least powerful when…  “I’m in the presence of a new piece of technology- and it’s operating manual.”
When I need a power boost… “I double the caffeine, turn up the music, and head out for a run.”

Here are my answers:

Tracy Westerholm: Co Creator of Tara Cronica

I feel true power when…“My mind, body and soul feel balanced and I am living in the moment.”
Too often people confuse power and…“Wealth and Occupation.”
I feel least powerful when…“I have neglected my exercise routine and not connected with my circle of close friends who always make me feel grounded.”
When I need a power boost…”I call a girlfriend and if there is no answer I put on my ipod and go for a long run to clear my mind and energise my soul, it’s all about balance.”

Ask yourself these questions and see what you come up with.

Oprah ended the article with this and I couldn’t agree more… The secret is alignment: when you know for sure that you’re on course and doing exactly what you’re suppose to be doing, fulfilling your soul’s intention, your heart’s desire, or whatever you choose to call it. (they’re all the same thing) When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful. And you may stumble, but you will not fall.

Tracy

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Ever had an Obsession? Do Tell!

Jacquie’s take~

post-pic-3-12When I think of the word ‘obsession’ I think of an action or thought or feeling that is all-consuming and thereby counterproductive.  So, yeah, of course I’ve been obsessed a few times in my life!

The biggest obsessions I’ve had have revolved around my kids.  I’m a bit of a collector by nature and so when my girls got into beanie babies 10 years ago I thought I’d surprise them by picking up a few of the really hard to find ones on eBay.   It was an incredible rush to go through the auction process, only to lose out at the last minute to the more savvy bidders who knew all the tricks.  I made it my personal goal to learn how to win and as a result I was able to get some of the most coveted items.  Unfortunately, my girls had lost interest in the meantime.  I soon realized that I had taken away all the fun for them because it was no longer about cherishing what they’d been able to find on their own.

I’ve collected everything from carnival glass, beads, paints, fabric and china just because I like the texture and the colors.  My china is all different patterns because I could never decide on just one look and I like to go to flea markets when out of town.  I used to be obsessed with finding just the right new dinner plates.  I now actually say a little mantra when I feel the urge to pick up something  ~  ”Will this really make your life better?”  The answer is now “No, I like it but I can be happy without it”.

Someone out there will immediately know what having an obsession with collecting means.  I think I have a pretty good idea myself.  I’ve watched enough Oprah to have that figured out!

Bonnie’s two cents~

Obsession–noun

  1. the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
  2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
  3. the state of being obsessed.
  4. the act of obsessing.

Bonnie's PostWell when you put it that way I guess I have.   I was once obsessed with a thought.  A kind of doomsday thought.  The seed for this thought was planted years ago by a psychic I had visited a few times.  The thing with this particular psychic was that she was pretty darned accurate most of the time, some might even say “spot on” in many of her predictions.

I visited her a couple of years before I met my husband John and she told me that I would meet the “one” within the next couple of years.  Check.  She told me she saw me living in a white house beside the water with this love of my life.  Check.  I was a single mother of one when I spoke to her but she said I would have four children.  This made me laugh.  I had not considered step children at that point.  Four children.  Check.  One thing she said, that I didn’t think much about at the time but that would later become my obsession, was this:   “You will have a wonderfully happy life with this man…but it will end too soon.  It will not be a long enough relationship for you.”  She didn’t get into details, in fact that was all she would say about that, and I put it out of my mind.  Until I was with John, living in our white house beside the lake when it hit me.  All the things she’d predicted had come true!  So now when was this relationship going to come to a sudden halt?  The only way I could imagine that happening was if John was to die on me.   And there it was.  The beginning of my obsession with the thought that my John would die early and break my heart.  He travels a lot with work and so every time he was leaving to go away I would sob and worry that I would never see him again.  I was like this for years.  It’s exhausting worrying about ridiculous things.  Poor John kept telling me to stop imagining him with one foot in the grave.  Then I started to worry that it might come true simply because I gave the thought too much of my focus and energy…power of attraction…that kind of thing.  I was going crazy.  Maybe that would be how it ended too soon.  John had to commit me.

I’ve finally stopped the craziness and I don’t obsess over the thought of losing John anymore…much…no really…hardly ever…no…never at all anymore.

I have to share with you the wonderful positive thing that came of all of this obsessing.  I have always (and still do) absolutely appreciated every moment that I spend with my husband.  My silly fear taught me a great lesson in appreciation and when you are always in appreciation of someone it makes for a very strong bond of love.

Tracy’s thoughts~

Tracy

Yes, I have had an Obsession!  His name starts with the letter…I am kidding!  My real obsession was with exercise.  This particular time it had a negative effects on my body and here is why.  I was heading off to Cabo with Jacquie last year around this time and as soon as I booked my ticket I started to work out really, really hard.  Working out for me has always been part of my life but this was more than I was used to.  I did a intense stair routine for an 1 hour at the local track 3 days a week and ran 3 days a week anywhere from 5 -10 K.  I literally lived in my running gear!

When I look back I see that I was obsessed, but at the time I was just stepping it up a bit.  By doing this I completely threw my hormones out of balance.  My endocrine system was turned upside down.  I had my menstrual cycle for 48 days straight and then not at all for 3 months.  Nothing should bleed for that long and live…seriously!  It was a real concern for about 6 months.  I sought help from my Doctor with no luck in finding out what was going on.  I must admit I got very impatient.  I was put on birth control pills to try to balance my cycle.  Test after test, throw a day surgery in there for fun and still no resolution for me.  I finally went to see a Naturopathic Doctor who had balanced my Thyroid after being Hypothyroid after child birth.(slow metabolism no matter how hard you work out you don’t lose an ounce! It sucked big time)  He balanced that naturally so I gave him another try.  I needed to cleanse my system or as he put it take out the garbage and reboot my endocrine system like we do our computers after they crash.  I did a kidney cleanse and took a natural capsule that binds excess estrogen in your system  and I was regular a month later and have been since.  That was my obsession, exercise. Moderation is key!

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My Morning Pages

Typewritter
When you discover or rediscover what your passion is and immerse yourself in it sometimes it can take awhile to get your creative juices flowing freely again.

Tara Cronica is my passion.  Writing content to fill the pages is a process that I have been working on for months.  I wanted to share with you what is helping me get back in touch with my creative side.

My two partners Jacquie and Bonnie both suggested I read the book ‘the Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, where she suggests you write what are called your morning pages. You are meant to sit uninterrupted and write three handwritten pages of what ever comes to mind.  Bonnie does this religiously and loves it.  I do it on occasion as well but I have another version of what also works for me.  I run while listening to music.  Music inspires me to write and running is my form of meditation.  I open my mind to any thought that might want to enter.  As soon as I set out on my run my attitude immediately changes and I feel empowered.  Running to me is my morning pages.  I get exercise, fresh air, meditate and some really great ideas to write about.  I haven’t solved the worlds problems yet but I am working on it.  Try it, I highly recommend it!

http://www.theartistsway.com/

Tracy

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