Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday's health links - the recipe edition

Hi friends! From the title you will see that this is not the traditional health links post! I could not find anything interesting in the news but I have been finding lots of great healthy recipes. So, today I give you links to the most fun way to fight cancer - eating well!
  1. Mark Bittman's salmon roasted in butter.  I think this is the way my sister cooks it. And it's what we're having for supper tonight! New York Times.
  2. Part of the Meatless Mondays movement, baked eggplant marinara. SheKnows.
  3. Building on the reported health benefits of turmeric, and its component curcumin, coconut Thai rice curry. Care2.
  4. Lasagna with roasted broccoli is a great way to get extra vegetables into your dinner plans. New York Times. 
  5. The stands are finally full of beautiful strawberries in my neck of the woods. How about a proscuitto, spinach and strawberry salad? Canoe.
  6. A great selection of spring and salad rolls. Kids love to make them and they end up getting lots of veg. One note - I'm not sure the mashed potato spring rolls are actually good for you, but lordy, they would be great for my state of mind. :-) Huffington Post.
  7. Another great salad - quinoa, pea and black bean with cumin vinaigrette. New York Times.
  8. Finally, great advice on cooking salmon along with great recipes. Huffington Post.
That's it for now. Happy cooking.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday's health links

Welcome to June, everybody! The sun is shining somewhere today, so get outside and go for a walk. :-)
  1. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day might be too much - let your body tell you when to drink and how much! CBC.
  2. Using cancer "signatures" to help predict response to estrogen-lowering therapy. News-Medical Net.
  3. FDA approves new drug for use in treating HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Wall Street Journal.
  4. Using ginseng to help deal with cancer-related fatigue. WebMD.
  5. Looking at HIV drugs to help target breast cancer treatment.
  6. Swedish study finds that the Atkins diet may be bad for the heart. The Atlantic.
  7. Taking a run at the excuses we use not to exercise. Seattle Times.
  8. Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen with five medical breakthroughs they find exciting: omega-7 fatty acids might be a new good fat, combining cardio and strength training on the same day is good for you, stress is bad for your DNA, ceramides may provide protection against cancer, and a skin-cancer drug may provide benefits against Alzheimer's disease. OregonLive.
  9. Fighting cancer? Cooking for someone who is? Trying to prevent a recurrence? The Cancer Project has an online meal planner complete with shopping lists to make meal preparation easier. Now, what you really care about - yes, the recipes actually look yummy. There are curries, soups, salads, stir fries, cookies, and dips. Indian dishes, Thai, Italian, Mexican, and Japanese. A quick scan found Mexican Corn Chowder, Fettuccine with Grilled Asparagus, Peas, and Lemon, Oatmeal Waffles, the kid-friendly Monster Smoothie, Potato and Cauliflower Curry, and the one I'm most interested in doing this week, a mixed-vegetable burrito stuffing called Calabacitas. Looking for interesting quinoa recipes? Lots here, including Quinoa Tacos, Quinoa Loaf, Quinoa Pilaf, Fruited Breakfast Quinoa, and Quinoa Burgers. The Cancer Project.
Just a reminder, Father's Day is this Sunday. Go give your dad a hug and say thanks. And take him a good book or something. Bottle of wine. Fishing lure. You figure it out - but make him feel special. I love you, Dad.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Health links

Hey friends! Hope you are all well.
  1. Vancouver clinic helps women find out their own risk for breast cancer and ways to avoid it. Vancouver Sun.
  2. New blood test may help early stage breast cancer patients predict the risk of spreading or recurrence. Globe and Mail.
  3. Using Herceptin to help target chemotherapy in Her2+ women. Huffington Post.
  4. Disney bans junk food ads from its television channels and other kid-focused platforms. Woot woot!!! Globe and Mail.
  5. Apparently, chia is taking London by storm! I mean, if Gwyneth Paltrow is on board, how long till Jay-Z starts rapping its praises? London Evening Standard.
  6. POM Wonderful ordered to stop making health claims. AFP.
  7. Lightening up meatloaf! The Feed via Not Martha.
  8. If the sun could just be allowed to shine for a couple more hours (!) it will soon be strawberry season here in the Pacific Northwest! Click here to learn about why they are so great for you and head over to my recipe website for some great recipes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Podcasts that will change your life

The best gift I received during cancer treatment was my iPod (thanks, lovely husband). That thing kept me company through many a long walk, sleepless night, or lonely chemo session. And while the portable devices of many of my fellow cancer warriors blasted inspirational rock anthems or cooed soothing new age instrumentals, mine streamed talk. Talk, talk and more talk.

Podcasts were my anaesthetic - calming a brain clenched by anxiety and fear with, well, I guess nothing more complicated than perspective. Podcasts turned my attention from my own state to the state of the world. I listened to stories of political turmoil and war, profound poverty, childhood disease and economic crisis. I cried at the pain and sadness. But cheered for the inspiring people who battle injustice, advocate for the forgotten and bring hope to the hopeless. I listened to stories of health and wellness, logging advice on walking, nutrition and supplements that may help in my own fight. And, most importantly, I listened to stories of humour. Humour about movies, humour about food, humour about life.
Many people will tell you that you will fight cancer the way you live your life. I am someone who cries easily and laughs a lot. No big surprise that my brain would hunger for the two extremes as a way of taking its focus off the unknown.

I still rely on my portable device, an iPhone now (thanks again, lovely husband). Every night it tucks under my pillow waiting for a midnight sleepless spell. Every day it goes on my walks with me, filling my head with things more pleasant to think about than cancer and illness.

So, if you are going through a stressful time, could I recommend some podcasts? Try them out, then go exploring on your own. You will be amazed at what you find, and what you find comfort in.
  1. Stand Up, Walk Around, Even for Just 20 Minutes. Fresh Air, NPR. This interview between host Terry Gross and New York Times Phys Ed columnist and author will change the way you think about personal fitness. This was a life changing podcast for me. If you only listen to one podcast today, make it this one.
  2. Also from Fresh Air, Just What's Inside Those Breasts?, an interview with writer Florence Williams on her new book Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History. I don't care if you have had breast cancer or not, you need to listen to this interview.
  3. Phil Donahue interviews Tavis Smiley and Cornel West on their work The Rich & the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. Click here for Part One and here for Part Two. Listening to these interviews will make you wonder why you waste your time watching network news. PBS.
  4. This American Life and Retraction. One of the most popular stories shared last year on WBEZ's This American Life was Mike Daisey's story about Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer of iPads and other Apple products. Turns out, a lot of the original story didn't pass the sniff test, and Daisey admitted to weaving fiction into his facts. In this follow up interview, Ira Glass confronts Daisey about what he did and why. This is riveting stuff.
  5. Like to cook? Like to eat? Like to laugh till the stuff you have cooked and eaten is spurting out your nose? Check out any of Spilled Milk's episodes. I guarantee Molly and Matthew will give you 15 minutes of happy.
Now, I have to get going on my walk. Where's my phone?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday's health links

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes for my dads. They are both on the mend and their wives are both saints. :-)

On to the links:
  1. New progress in using the immune system to fight cancer. Vancouver Sun.
  2. The importance of testing for stomach cancer. It's an easy test - if you are prone to indigestion, reflux or chronic stomach pain, you need to talk to your doctor about getting one. CBC.
  3. Breast cancer affects 1 in 1,000 men, and they are less likely to survive it than women. Men, if you find a small lump or something feels wrong, get in to the doctor. I know you don't want to go. No, you can't just walk it off. FOX. 
  4. Dire news. If things don't change, 42% of Americans could be obese by 2030. USA Today.
  5. Michelle Obama's plans to eradicate "food deserts", communities where residents don't have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, are at risk. Grocers have only opened a fraction of the stores originally promised. Bloomberg.
  6. Vitamins E and C may not, as previously thought, help fend of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Vancouver Sun.
  7. Already in the arsenal of breast cancer warriors, Vitamin D may aid in the fight against prostate cancer. Renal and Urology News.
  8. Seven foods with more Vitamin C than an orange: papaya, red bell pepper, broccoli, kale, strawberries, kiwi, and cauliflower, with brussel sprouts getting an honourable mention. Huffington Post.
  9. Sad news. The Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch died Friday after a long fight with cancer. Those who look past the teen with the youthful bravado and swagger in the band's early videos would see the brilliant, compassionate, and generous man he became. Montreal Gazette.
Finally, a reminder. The days are getting longer and the sun is shining more. Please don't go outside without your sunscreen. SPF 30, as a minimum, over every part of your body exposed to the sun. Staying out for a while? Reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating. Add a hat and sunglasses and consider clothes with good coverage as well. And, if you have had radiation as part of your treatment regime, make sure the affected area is well covered from the sun.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Health links

Both dads are home from the hospital and today is trying to be a sunny day.

On to the links...
  1. How diet and exercise can impact survival after cancer treatment. CBS News.
  2. ...and how it can impact fatigue levels after breast cancer. CBC.
  3. A comprehensive summary of the risks of prostate cancer, and how to avoid them. Vancouver Sun.
  4. Aspirin linked to lowered risk of lung cancer in women. Vancouver Sun.
  5. ...and to lowered risk of dying from bowel cancer. Huffington Post.
  6. A breakdown on the health benefits of chia seeds. In brief, while they are a good source of fibre, protein and anti-oxidants, they won't replace fish oil as a deliverer of omega-3s. Globe and Mail.
  7. Finally, Nutella settles a class-action suit and admits what we all know - it isn't good for us. Vancouver Sun.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday's health links

Sorry for the dead air. My dad and dad-in-law are facing some serious health challenges and there just hasn't been time for posting. But things are looking good today, so let's get back at it.

On to the links...
  1. Fast food in Canada and the US is saltier than elsewhere in the world. Having just dined at Fat Burger last night, I would have to concur. But it was yummy. So one more reason to employ moderation. Some foods are treats, not fuel. CTV
  2. Exercise during breast cancer treatment helps you avoid depression and fatigue. And, helps cut down on constipation - so it's a win-win-win situation! Toronto Sun.
  3. Using yoga to help fight breast cancer. Vancouver Sun (video)
  4. If you still aren't eating your greens, here is a great summary of what you are missing! Top performers: kale, dandelion, spinach, chard, and collard greens. Seattle Times
  5. Still need convincing? Criminy! Ok, how about this - cruciferous vegetables, like leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower, may improve chances of surviving breast cancer. Huffington Post
  6. Really - still not convinced? What about what you're modelling for your kids? Here are some tips on getting kids to eat vegetables. Among the tips - kale chips, greens in smoothies, planting a garden and, and my favourite, talking with them about why vegetables are important. Don't lecture, but be honest about the risks of a bad diet. Kids get it. Washington Post.
Have a great week!