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July 2008 posts

Nutritional Influences on Breast Cancer Risk

The following are general guidelines given by the American Cancer Society in reducing your risk of Cancer.

  • 5 or more servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables daily
  • Choose whole grains over refined grains and sugars
  • Limit red meats, especially high fat or processed
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • 30-45 minutes or more of moderate - vigorous activity, 5 days per week
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol

Below, some other Breast Cancer related research:

  • 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily were associated with 23% less risk of premenopausal breast cancer as opposed to 2 servings per day
  • Increasing dietary whole grains and legumes (beans) may be associated with decrease risk of breast cancer
  • Olive oil appears to be protective, and in countries in which olive oil is the predominant fat, there seems to be lower rates of breast cancer
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids, such as the fat in fish, flax, nuts, is deficient in most Western Diets and this deficiency may be associated with a greater risk of breast cancer
  • The risk of breast cancer is increased at high levels (greater than 2 drinks per day) of alcohol intake.  Red wine appears to be the safest option
  • 3.8 hours of exercise per week has been associated with up to 72% less breast cancer


The Last Lecture

Many of you may have seen this lecture before or heard of Randy Pausch in the last year.  Randy was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006.  As a professor at Carnegie Melon University it was tradition to ask the professors to give a hypothetical lecture on what matters to them most.  This lecture is called "The Last Lecture" and was given for real by Randy Pausch. 

Randy's lecture has since gained international attention and has been viewed by millions on the Internet.  In the lecture, Randy taught the important lesson of living life daily, fulfilling your dreams and not worrying about the future. 

This ultimately is living in the now, being present and learning how to find joy, happiness, and fulfillment in everyday life.  I often ask my clients, "what is the purpose of life if you are not having any fun?"  What I know is that the purpose is not waiting for something to go wrong, waiting for a surgery, diagnosis or death. 

As Randy Pausch puts it, "I don't know how to not have fun," he said in the lecture. "I'm dying and I'm having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there's no other way to play it."  "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully."

Randy Pausch passed today in his home.  If you have not taken the time to watch The Last Lecture, please do.  It will be worth your time.



In Health,


One Great Way to Eat Quinoa

If you don't already know about this super-grain called Quinoa, pronounced "KEEN, wah," it is time to learn a little about it.  This food is highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high, making it a healthy choice for vegetarians.  Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein.  It is a great source of dietary fiber and is high in magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.  Another great thing is that quinoa is gluten free.  Because of all these characteristics, I consider it a super-food.  Below is one of my favorite summer recipes with quinoa.   

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


2 cups quinoa

4 cups hot water

2 cups peas, lightly cooked fresh or frozen         

1 medium red onion, diced

1  red pepper, cored, seeded and diced            

½ cup black olives, sliced   

1 green pepper, cored, seeded and diced           

1 cup golden raisins

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped                            

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted  

½ cup vinaigrette dressing


It is best to soak the 2 cups of quinoa in water for 12-24 hours before cooking.  Drain the quinoa before cooking.  In a large saucepan bring 4 cups hot water and 2 cups quinoa to boil.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and cool.  When quinoa and peas are cool, place into a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except pine nuts.  Toss with ½ cup of vinaigrette dressing.  Garnish with pine nuts which have been toasted in a dry skillet until golden.  Serve warm or cover and chill before serving.  Makes 8 servings.


Wine vinaigrette dressing


¼ cup apple cider vinegar                            

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard                             

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ cup olive oil                                              

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine

Salt and Pepper to taste 


Whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, and chopped garlic in a bowl.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and wine, whisking until well blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste.





Some of the Many Health Benefits of Yoga

I have been fortunate to find Yoga and recently taken several classes in San Juan, Puerto Rico at It's Yoga Puerto Rico.  Before the first class, I found myself wondering if the class would be in English or Spanish, if I would be able to follow along or be lost in the language.  To my pleasant surprise, this little studio, full of devout students, felt like home.  What I realized is that Yoga is Yoga, it can be practiced anywhere, by yourself or with a teacher, all you need is yourself and a mat.

Below are some of the benefits of Yoga:

  • Increased Flexibility
  • Increasing lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons
  • Massaging of all Organs of the Body
  • Complete Detoxification of the Body
  • Toning and Strengthening of the muscles

Not to mention the deep relaxation and stress reduction that comes from a regular yoga practice. 

I encourage you to find a yoga studio close to you and give yoga a try.






What are you waiting for?

So many times I hear clients say something along the lines of, "When I heal from this surgery, I will be back to normal" or when I finally lose these last 10 pounds, my life will be perfect" or "after I land that new job making $100,000 all of my problems will go away." 

Why are we waiting to be perfect?  To be happy and fullfilled?  Why not allow that feeling to be present now.  Below is a piece that a patient gave to me to support one to feel enough right now.  I believe it is taken from a book called Heart Thoughts.

"I am perfect exactly as I am.  I am neither too much nor too little.  I do not have to prove to anyone or anything who I am.  I have come to know that I am the perfect expression of the Oneness of Life.  In the Infininity of Life I have been many identities, each one a perfect expression for that particular lifetime.  I am content to be who and what I am this time.  I do not yearn to be like someone else for that is not the expression I chose this time.  Next time, I will be different.  I am perfect as I am, right here and right now.  I am sufficient.  I am one with all of Life.  There is no need to struggle to be better.  All I need to do is to love myself more today than yesterday and to treat myself as someone who is deeply loved.  As I am cherished by myself, I will blossom with a joy and beauty that I can barely begin to comprehend.  Love is the nourishment that humans need to fulfill their greatness.  As I learn to love myself more, I learn to love everyone more.  Together we lovingly nourish an ever more beautiful world.  We are all healed and the planet is healed too.  With joy I recognize my perfection and the perfection of Life.  And so it is."

"If we wait until we become perfect before we love ourselves we will waste our lives.  We are already perfect right here and now."

An example of a personal affirmation that one can repeat throughout their day is:

I am perfect, I am sufficient, I am one with life.

Hope this helps you feel that you are what you should be, here and now,