#MyNourishedLife

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Thanks to Dr. Dae for chatting with us on Twitter.  She gave us some great healthy lifestyle ideas!  In case you missed it, here’s a summary:

Q: Dr. Dae, what do you mean by “nourished life”?
A: To nourish, is “to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc. What we need to be nourished more than food, it is to be loved, acknowledged and supported in our goals and dreams. Think of nourishment as the rich and luxury of life in small ways that lift our spirit, or make us smile.

Q: In terms of food, how do we nourish ourselves?
A: Nourishing foods support the health of your body and mind. For example, who doesn’t like watermelon in summer? Watermelon contains phytonutrients—plant-based chemicals that reduce heart disease, regulate blood sugars, help w/digestive health.

Nourishing foods can also be vegetables that our grammy made for us that bring back memories of our childhood like collard greens; great soups on a snowy day; a lovely piece of salmon or snapper; oatmeal; brown rice with veggies; or a handful of trail mix as a snack to last you until dinner.

Q: Before eating or cooking, how SHOULD we be thinking of food?
A: Food is fuel! It can be delicious and nutritious fuel too. There are benefits to finding healthy nourishing foods. A mentor @DrDavidKatz says love the foods that love you back! When you eat something that came from a seed you get all that energy. It’s a wholefood. When you eat an Oreo get nothing.

Rule of thumb: If you have to take Tums or digestive support before you eat something that is not a nourishing food for you. Think of food as the provider of your energy.

Nourishing foods reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is part of the healing process for us all, but when it happens every day (especially internally) it causes disease. Counter inflammation with a plant-based diet, reduce stress, get enough sleep and drink water.

Q: How do we make nourished time for ourselves?
A:  It is important to plan nourishing time. Give yourself 10 minutes a day or once a week. In 10 min. you can take a walk in nature, meditate, call a friend to say hello, read something, or dance to your favorite song. Meditation can be alone or in a group. It starts with deep breathing. Just start with taking 10 deep breaths.

Q: How can this “nourishing time” help me live better?
A: Think of the difference in your energy level when you are depleted versus when you are nourished. When we are nourished we feel more relaxed, less stressed, faster healing, more open to new possibilities. Nourishment is love. Loving ourselves creates more space to share love with others.

 

A Legacy of Health

Tanya Torres, Bilingual Patient Navigator and Community Outreach Coordinator

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Tanya Torres leading an educational session at one of our community partner sites.

It is such an honor to be able to do the work that I do. I’ve met wonderful people working here at CBCC. It’s also a great honor when I’m able to meet respected health care professionals who understand what we do and have similar interests. One of those people is Dr. Elmer Huerta.

I was asked to be a guest on Dr. Elmer Huerta’s radio show in February to talk about CBCC, and it was so exciting! I’ve been listening to his show, Cuidando su Salud (Taking Care of Your Health), since I was a little girl. I almost feel like I know him! My whole family loved listening and always got something out of the show. It meant a lot to have someone whom we knew we could trust to give us reliable health information—and in Spanish! Dr. Huerta was like my health teacher—an extension of my first health advocate, my dad. I’m a daddy’s girl. My dad always had us listen to the show since he is the biggest health advocate in my family.

My dad made sure that my sister and I went home to El Salvador during the summer in order to appreciate a different point of view, a different kind of life, and of course my heritage. He grew up in the country where the nearest doctor was miles away, so you only went to the doctor if something was wrong. Of course, by then it may be too late. When his older sister died of breast cancer, he knew that if the family had kept regular doctor visits, she might have lived. This prompted my dad to action, and he made sure that his two daughters were well educated about health matters. Raised by the women in his family, he realized that women’s health is often neglected. Usually he saw that they were too busy looking after everyone else to be proactive about their own health.

That is exactly the reason that he made sure that his family, especially his two girls, listened to Dr. Huerta’s radio show. It engrained in our young minds that maintaining health is a priority. Who knew that I would become a navigator and continue his efforts by encouraging good health among Latinas from different countries? Who knew that my job would lead me to meet the person who helped to start my family’s journey to a healthy life? It’s a small world.

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Dr. Elmer Huerta, health radio guru.

Saturday Inspiration: Is My Living in Vain?

Wanda Lucas, Executive Director

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In the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” the character Mr. Bailey gets to see the lives he touched and how different his community of Bedford Falls would be had he not existed. Then there’s the movie “Pay It Forward” where little Trevor creates a program where the recipient of a favor does a favor for three others rather than paying the favor back. How often do you think about your own personal imprint in this world?

Recently, Capital Breast Care Center dedicated its mammography room to the late Zora Brown, a breast cancer advocate, activist and women’s health champion. She was very instrumental in getting the center opened, and also created its name. During the dedication, women who are trailblazers in their own right spoke with pride about their relationship with Zora. Those present felt the spirit of this great woman through these words and could not avoid being touched emotionally. I smile as I find myself walking pass the plaque bearing her name and wonder if she be proud of our recognition of her. But more importantly, would she be proud of the work that Capital Breast Care Center is doing? 

I often think of my own demise since my cancer diagnosis. Common questions arise such as:  “Will I have regrets? Will I have accomplished most of my ‘bucket list’?” “Will I have time to say goodbye to those I love?” However, I spend a great deal of time wondering what others will say about me after I am gone.

As I greet each day, I must remember to make the time to pay it forward and find ways to make a difference. I may not want a plaque in my memory but I would like to leave this world knowing that I made an impact somewhere, somehow and to someone.  

“If I can help somebody as I pass along then my living shall not be in vain” – these words taken from  a popular gospel song resonate strongly with me. When it is all said and done, I hope my living will not be in vain.

Mary’s Heart

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Mary Gleason, RN, MSN, FNP-BC is a nurse practitioner who has worked at CBCC.  She enjoys the environment that the staff creates and appreciates the work that is done here.  These are her thoughts on why she cares about CBCC.

I am invested in Capital Breast Care Center because I find that both the women who seek care and the women who work there to be inspiring.

The staff at CBCC is warm and welcoming.  When I first arrived, I was so glad to have the support and kindness of the staff to help get me on my feet.  Everyone is here to help; they share what they know.  The staff is very passionate about what they do.  It is inspiring to be among women who love their work, and it definitely translates to patient care.

The empowered women who walk in the doors to Capital Breast Care Center arrive ready to take control of their breast and cervical health despite potential cultural, financial, or personal challenges. They come from all walks of life and I’m honored to be a part of their care. I find it rewarding to turn the, sometimes daunting, process of obtaining a mammogram or Pap smear into an educational, positive experience.

At Capital Breast Care Center, one is surrounded by a staff of women who value every patient and create an environment that reflects this caring. Watching this happen on a daily basis is heartwarming.

My Life of Questions

Tesha Coleman, Program Director

Teshas boys outside

Mommy, who picked the colors of traffic lights; why didn’t they want blue?  If sausage is made from a pig, is it made in the mud?  Mommy, everyone we know has a cell phone, and God made everything; why can’t He make Himself a phone?  Why do you always like to drive on streets with traffic?  Why can’t we call them all roads instead of streets, lanes and avenues?  Why didn’t they make more words instead of having words that sound the same with different meanings? 

These are just a few questions that have come up over the years in what I call ‘The Coleman Car Conversations’.  My three boys are ages 9, 7 and 5.  I am so amazed at their learning process and how they try to make sense of the world.  Sometimes I can answer their questions, but other times I just have no clue.  As I think about how comfortable they are in their brazen curiosity and inquisitiveness I begin to wonder… At what age does this stop?  I often wish that we as women would have the same courage and empowerment to ask questions until we understand.  Maybe these guys are future scientists and researchers.  Who knows?  Until then I will do my part and ask questions like:  Why are mammogram appointments missed so often?    Why do we wait days, weeks or months before we tell someone we found a lump?   As I sit in my car in traffic that I chose on streets, roads and highways answering random questions, I hope that my day is filled with women who are not fearful or embarrassed.  We at CBCC strive to continually provide encouragement, knowledge and empowerment to our women to ask, ask and keep asking!

Take an Iron Man pose and ask away!!!

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Mommy, have you had your mammogram this year?

A Guarded Heart

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You already know how important mammography screening is to us, but we also work hard to promote total health for women.  A holistic approach to your health reduces risk for breast issues as well as a mélange of other things that affect women’s health.  Contrary to what some may think, cancer is not the biggest killer of women.  The month of February offers a unique opportunity to join a nationwide dialogue about women and heart disease, American Heart Month.

Heart disease is something that can affect ANYONE, yet some people think of it as more of a men’s issue.  Well, we want to debunk that myth for your own good.  Heart disease is the number one killer of women.  Not knowing could put you at risk.

The modern woman juggles the many, many details of her life with precision and skill.  Her life is a Imagewell-tuned clock.  While her productivity has its benefits, the cost of her labor is often high.  In the midst of the daily grind, it is vital to remember this:  It is just as important to manage your health as it is to manage your schedule!  It is even more important to manage your health as it directly impacts your ability to function within a schedule.

Know that no one has endless energy.  There is a breaking point.  Today’s fast-paced society says that go-getters only rest when the job is done, but know that you are not weak for needing to rest.  Stress plays a significant part in destroying heart health.  A weak heart cannot support you in realizing your goals.  Do not make a habit of compromising your sense of balance and well-being.  Everyone has to push and give extra effort to meet a goal sometimes, but this should definitely not be a lifestyle.  You need to recharge!  Speaking of recharging, what are your eating habits?

ImageFast food hurts you.  This does not exclusively apply to the drive-thru; it can also mean simply not making time to eat.  Nourishing your body with heart healthy foods is important, and there should be time set aside during the day for you to take meals without rushing.  You may have a tendency to grab a snack for lunch instead of food, or eating too fast may disrupt your digestion.  Make your mealtimes a conscious and deliberate choice to support your heart.

There is a common theme here:  time management.  There is so little time in one day. Do you neglect yourself?  Your heart definitely works hard for you.  Take care of it, and tell another woman why it is a good thing for her to guard her heart!

#WellnessWednesday: Hello Sunshine

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Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin”.  It helps develop healthy bones and teeth and supports immune, muscle, and nervous systems.  It may also help reduce your cancer risk.  Emerging research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Do you know if you are vitamin D deficient?  If so, your doctor may suggest supplements. Adults between 19-70 years should have 600 IU per day.  71 years and older should have 800 IU per day.  Vitamin D deficiency is much higher in non-Hispanic blacks–31% compared to 12% Mexican Americans and 3% Non-Hispanic Whites.

Need to boost vitamin D?

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Get some sun!  15 minutes, 3 times a week during peak hours makes a difference.  Be sure to use sunscreen.

Eating foods rich in vitamin D can help.  Here are just a few:

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Vitamin D Fortified Mushrooms are a good vegetarian/vegan option.

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Fatty fish like sockeye salmon is an easy way to boost your vitamin D.

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Milk is a natural source or vitamin D, but many milks are also fortified with vitamin D.

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It’s the yolks in particular that contain vitamin D.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Twitter Highlights: Cervical Screening Chat

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Our navigators, Brittney and Tanya, tweeted about cervical health and screening on January 23rd for Cervical Health Awareness Month.  If you missed it, here is a quick recap:

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What is a Pap test?  How often should women get them?

A Pap test is used to detect ANY change in the cervix, including cancer.  Regular cervical screening means getting a Pap once every 3 years.  CBCC offers Pap tests to women who are eligible.

Why is screening important?

Cervical cancer is easily detected through screening.  Early detection may make it easier to treat.  However…

50% of cervical cancer cases occur among #women who are rarely, if ever, screened.

10%-20% of cervical cancer patients were screened but did not receive follow-up care.

What keeps women from getting screened?

Some women do not want to get screened because they fear the results.  An abnormal Pap doesn’t automatically mean cancer.  Inflammation, infection, growths, and hormonal changes are examples of common noncancerous cervical changes.

How do I prepare for a Pap?

  • Do not use tampons or vaginal creams/deodorants.
  • Avoid intercourse or douching.
  • Schedule your Pap when you do not have your period.

How can women lower risk of cervical cancer?Image

  • Do not smoke.
  • Are you under 26?  Consider an HPV vaccine.
  • Be selective. Don’t have multiple sexual partners.
  • Leave plenty of room on your plate for veggies and some fruit.

What does HPV have to do with cervical cancer?

Did you know HPV puts you at risk for cervical cancer?  If you Pap test is unclear your doctor may want to schedule you for an HPV test.

Knowing What Is Normal For You

Do you know what your “normal” is? Know your body so you’ll know when something’s wrong. The goal is education that equips women to make informed decisions.

Dr. Dae’s Healthy Diet Tips for Menopause

By Dr. Daemon Jones

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Creating and maintaining a healthy diet can have a strong positive impact on menopausal transition symptoms. In general, increasing the amount of foods that come from plant sources helps to balance out menopausal symptoms.

Back to Basics: Fruits and Vegetables

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Plant-based foods are chock full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals necessary for healthy cell function. Examples of plant-based foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.  It is important to make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables, at least 5 servings per day but aim for 10. A serving size for cooked vegetables or fruit is ½ cup. The serving size for raw fruits or vegetables is 1 cup.

Hydrate with water

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Drinking water is essential for staying hydrated. Water is necessary for getting rid of toxins and eliminating excess hormones from the body. Drinking 8-10 glasses a day is a good rule of thumb for water intake.

Fiber balances hormones

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Foods like whole grains and beans may help reduce menopausal symptoms, lower cholesterol levels and balance hormones. Fiber binds to excess cholesterol and excess estrogen in the body. Avoid high-fat foods because they raise cholesterol levels and increase heart disease as well.

Beware of processed foods

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Salt and sugar in processed foods can aggravate menopausal symptoms and pack on the pounds. Foods that are known to have high amounts of salt are smoked meats, canned soups and canned foods. Sugar can be hidden in such items as marinades, salad dressing, spaghetti sauces and products found in jars and cans, peanut butters, and baked goods. It’s also found in candy, cereals, protein bars, and ketchup.  Whenever possible it is better to prepare food yourself so you know how much salt and sugar is added.

Calcium and Iron are important nutrients to replenish

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Calcium supports bone density. During menopause, the chemical changes in the body can cause bone density to decrease. Foods that are high in calcium are clams, sardines, broccoli, legumes and dairy products. Among its other benefits, iron boosts the immune system. Iron levels may be impacted especially if women are having heavy bleeding. To replenish iron stores eat red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables and nuts.

These tips will help ward off excess weight. Extra fat on the body produces excess estrogen that creates an imbalance in our female hormones worsening menopausal symptoms.  Adopting at least 80% plant-based diet can transform your weight and reduce or eliminate your menopausal symptoms.  Try Dr. Dae’s 10 servings of vegetables per day for 10 day challenage and see the difference in your energy and your life!

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae

ImageDr. Dae’s Bio:  Dr. Daemon Jones is your diabetes reversal, hormones, metabolism and weight loss expert. Dr. Dae is a naturopathic doctor who treats patients all over the country using Skype and phone visits. Visit her or schedule a free consultation at her website www.HealthyDaes.org/