It’s October, time for the leaves to change color, for cooler weather, the NC State Fair, Halloween, and Breast Cancer Awareness month.
In honor of all our mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, friends, and loved ones, I want to share how you, and those you love, can help prevent breast cancer.
This article is focusing on prevention and by no means do I mean to imply that getting a diagnosis of cancer means you did something wrong. On the contrary,
Cancer is indiscriminate and even if we have done everything we can to avoid this diagnosis, it still can strike even those who seem the most healthy.
I want to take a moment to close our eyes, breathe, and remember those we love who have suffered with this terrible disease.
Lot's of research is being done in the area of mindfulness, loneliness, nutrition, and nutrigenomics, and the findings are promising. My goal is to help you, and your loves ones start new today towards a more fulfilled life of joy, health and happiness.
The study of epigenetics tells us that our genes do not determine our health.
I hope this makes you as relieved as it did me. This means I have power over the expression of my genetic material from my parents. This in no way means you ignore a BRCA1-2 mutation, or any of the other identified Tumor Suppressing Gene mutations. You and your doctor should decide what is right for you.
This means, adopting a healthy lifestyle full of love, joy, companionship, good food, sleep may help you avoid expressing genes that can harm your body.
Here are 8 ways you can have control over your health and happiness:
1. Eat whole foods. First let me say that what foods work for one person, may not work for the next, so listen to your body. Which foods leave you feeling energetic, healthy, and keep you eliminating toxins?
Choose those foods in their most natural form, organic if possible, and avoid highly processed versions.
When you finish a meal, you should not want to take a nap! You should feel satiated, leading to energy, I mean that is why we eat!
2. If you need to have convenience items, read labels….my rule of thumb is, if you can cook it in your kitchen from the ingredients on the list, then you can take it home!
While it is best to avoid processed foods, there are times when we all want convenience foods. So, avoid things like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sodium Sulfite; I mean seriously is that lurking in your cabinet!
3. Get moving! We work at desks staring at a computer, we drive home in a car, and then we sit in front of the TV after dinner!
It is no wonder we have so much trouble with our weight!
If joining a gym makes you want to go hide in a closet, get a step tracker, join a walking group, or create a group at work and walk during lunch. The idea is to get moving; our bodies were made to move.
4. Manage your stress. Did I hear you say you were not stressed?
We live in a world of constant interruptions, tragedy, rushing around, and working long hours.
Oh, and don’t forget our bodies are constantly bombarded with stressors in the form of toxins, viruses, and bacteria!
So how do we manage our stress? Control the things you can.
-Stop and breathe several times throughout the day,
-get 7-8 hours of sleep,
-instead of grumbling about the way someone slighted you at work today, roll down the window and sing to your favorite play list on the way home!
Do things that make you happy, give you joy and find time to be thankful that you were able to practice "the pause" and choose how to respond to the irritation at work!
4. Stay connected! There is evidence that isolation, and loneliness, is a common factor in disease and survival of disease.
Loneliness is more related to how you perceive your connectedness to others, in other words, you can live in a full house and still feel isolated.
So, if you have found yourself sitting at home alone, or you feel alone, it is important that you reach out to others.
Some ideas are, join a local church, look for meet-ups where you can meet people who share your interests, take some classes, or even get a part-time job in something you love.
We are social beings and we need to share company with others whom we enjoy being around.
5. Detox your home. We are exposed to toxins all throughout our day and often we are unable to do anything about it, but your home is your Safe Haven.
I encouraged you to create a safe space at home where you eliminate toxins such as toxic cleaners, detergents, soaps, dryer sheets, lotions, and cosmetics.
A good resource to determine if your cleaners, or skin products, are safe go to Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Cleaners and Skin Deep.
6. Mindfulness. Mindfulness is all the rage in research and even the Time Magazine release a Special Edition “The New Mindfulness.” The research is very compelling and mindfulness is something we are definitely missing these days.
We are constantly on our phone, computers, watching TV, always feeling like we need to look for the next best thing; but the truth is our body, mind and spirit, crave being in the moment.
Take a few minutes each day to stop, breathe, meditate, take a walk without any noise, just be in the space you are in for 5 – 10 minutes each day.
In my blog, Lesson from the Thai Wild Boar Soccer Team, I discuss some of the research. In one study people were able to increase their immune response as much as 70%!
8. Gratitude. I know you have heard this from me before, but I cannot express enough the power of gratitude.
In my blog about Gratitude, I share how powerful this practice can be and how it can shift your mindset from one of lack to one of abundance! I mean who could not use that!
So, while I did not talk about all the supplements, blood tests, mammograms, etc., today I wanted to share with you how you can change your environment and possibly the way your genes are expressed.
While you may not have the BRCA 1-2 gene, the medical community believes there are many other genetic variations that lead to cancer. We do know that 1 in 9 women will get cancer by the time you are 80 years old.
So choosing a healthy lifestyle, not only may help you avoid breast cancer, but will create a happier healthier you in the process.
If you, or someone you love, need support in choosing a healthy lifestyle, please reach out to me for a free consultation.
Choose life in abundance, say no to highly processed foods, clear out the chemicals and toxins and live life to the fullest.
Have a safe and wonderful October.