(Mom, you look beautiful, dahling).
ONE IN EIGHT
You may have heard the startling statistic that breast cancer affects ONE in EIGHT women in this country. Golly gee willikers...If our odds for winning the lottery were that high, we'd probably all run out and buy a ticket. It's important that we (and the women we love) learn as much as we can about the prevention and early detection of this horrific disease.
However, today, I've decided that I will be a Self-Exam Slacker NO MORE. This morning, I took five minutes out of my important Facebook surfing time to mark my self-exams on the calendar. And now, I think I'll watch this Dr. Oz video and figure out the right way to do it. Who's with me?
Photo source: TV Guide
In the time that it takes us to brew up a cup of Keurig coffee, we could all learn how to do a self breast exam...a simple, yet potentially life-saving habit. Please, PLEASE click here to see the video. Then forward it to your mom, your sister, your great aunt Gertrude, and your cousin Fifi.
ARE YOU DOING IT RIGHT?
Here are Dr. Oz's four steps for doing a self exam:
Mom's type of breast cancer is HER2+, one of the most aggressive kinds. Thankfully, though, she was diligent about scheduling her yearly mammograms, and they were able to catch it early. While not everyone agrees on who should receive a mammogram and when, the American Cancer society still recommends that all women over 40 receive yearly exams. And for those who are at a higher risk due to family history or other factors, your doctor might suggest that you start getting exams earlier. My doctor wants me to start next year, when I turn 35.
If you have trouble remembering to schedule your exam, you can take a few seconds to sign up for a reminder email from the American Cancer Society (this is so cool). Click here to get your reminder.
While there are several risk factors for breast cancer, one that's received much attention in recent years is a woman's waist circumference. Studies by the World Cancer Research Fund suggest that women who have excess body fat around the middle have an increased risk for developing breast cancer. None of us likes to talk about waist circumference, though. So let's not. Let's talk about something shinier and happier...like fitting into those skinny jeans! Now that's what I'm talking about.
Skinny jeans doesn't have to mean huge overnight changes. Many people prefer to start off the way my Mom did: by taking one small step at a time. It's very doable! She's lost 35 pounds, and has been able to keep it off by using the simple ideas below:
1. SNACK TIME!
We found it was much easier to start by ADDING new foods, rather than taking anything away. So let's start with some healthy and DELICIOUS snacks! (Try one snack mid-morning, and another mid-afternoon).
2. PANTRY INVENTORY
Consider taking an inventory of your pantry staples. Check out our recent blog post, Wal-Mart Pantry Stapes: Our Top 10 Picks.
3. WHAT'S FOR LUNCH?
Take a break from deli meat, and try some of these healthy and delicious lunch alternatives.
4. SKIP THE ICKY STUFF
Eat foods in their most natural form (meats, produce, dairy, whole grains, etc.). Avoid processed foods/frozen dinners with un-pronouncable ingredients. Here's our most widely-read article: The Nastiest Foods in America, which talks about some of the "icky" foods we would do well to avoid. (Read at your own risk).
5. VEGGIE MANIA!
Eating veggies every hour helps us stave off cravings for JUNK. Start with baby carrots or red bells, and dip in hummus. Here's a great idea for dressing up your hummus: Hummus with Olives and Walnuts.
6. SWEET CHECK
Start thinking about ways to reduce your sugar intake. For the occasional treat, try some of our low-in-sugar, high-in-delicious dessert recipes.
7. WHAT'S YOUR BEEF?
If beef is your main protein, try adding more chicken and fish recipes to your weekly menu.
We're glad you joined us this week to help celebrate my Mom's two years of health! We wanted to let you know that we also have a Facebook page, where we post clean-eating recipes, weight-loss ideas, and book reviews, etc. Click here if you'd like to follow us on Facebook.
Here's to your health!
Katie and Barb
You might also like: