Three Simple Diet Changes to Get You Feeling Stronger and Healthier

Health and wellness is important for all of us, but especially for those living with cancer. The food choices you make each day will directly affect how you feel. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, food choices matter. Make it a priority to live a healthy lifestyle. Wake up each morning feeling happier, energized and stress free. Not sure where to get started? You’re in the right place! Here are three simple things you can change today:

  1. What’s the deal with whole grains?

Whole grains are not only great for your heart, but they also can help the body in many ways. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber and magnesium.

According to U.S.D.A.’s Dietary Guidelines, you should be consuming a minimum of three or more servings of whole grains per day. The American Institute of Cancer Research has found three compounds present in whole grains that are considered beneficial for cancer: Phytic acid, Protease inhibitors, and Tocotrienols. These compounds help with the spreading of cancer cells.

Be sure to know what you’re looking for. There are many options out there that seem similar but are processed in a way that strips the nutrients from the food.

  • Look for “100% whole grain” on packaging of items like bread, flour, oats or rice.
  • Terms such as “refined” or “enriched” are not to be used interchangeably.
  • Make sure you store them properly in an airtight container, as they may spoil faster than heavily processed foods.

 

  1. How many servings of veggies did you eat yesterday?

According to Choose My Plate, accredited by the USDA, women and men between 19 and 50 should be getting 2½ – 3 cups daily. Women over 50 should be consuming 2 cups and men over 50 need 2½. These are general guidelines based off of a diet with less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise.

Seems simple enough- let’s get started! Try out these suggestions:

  • Replace one of your unhealthy snacks with raw veggies in the fridge to snack on. Try a low-fat salad dressing or veggie dip with broccoli, peppers, carrots, cauliflower or celery.
  • Add a quick salad to three of your meals this week.
  • Try to buy in season to keep the cost down.
  • Take advantage of our two monthly cooking classes and learn to make these yummy recipes packed with antioxidants- at no cost. If you can’t make ours, join us at Giant Eagle Market District UA. Our recipes are also listed here if you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

 

  1. Are you eating enough protein?

Meat, seafood, beans, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds all fall under the category of protein. Oops-don’t forget peas! These foods are essential for your bones, muscles, and building and repairing tissue. It also keeps your skin healthy.

In general women between 19 and 30 should be getting 5 ½ ounces, but women over 30 should only be consuming 5 ounces. With men the numbers vary more frequently. Click here and plug in your information to obtain a more accurate value. Lastly, refer to the chart at the bottom of this page for an easy way to estimate these portion sizes.

“What if I’m vegetarian?” No worries. You can still incorporate beans, nuts and seeds into your diet in order to still get an adequate amount of protein.

Try these tips:

  • Buy a bag of unsalted nuts or seeds to either snack on or add to your salads.
  • Prepare seafood a couple times each week to keep your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio balanced. We have a great salmon recipe here.
  • Look for whole, unprocessed meats without nitrates when grocery shopping.

*As always, be sure you cook your meat to the proper temperature. If you’re not sure refer to this chart.*

Looking for more tips on staying healthy? Be sure to check out our upcoming Cooking for Wellness programs at Giant Eagle on November 19th and December 17th.

 

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Health and wellness is important for all of us, but especially for those living with cancer. The food choices you make each day will directly affect how you feel. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, food choices matter. Make it a priority to live a healthy lifestyle. Wake up each morning feeling happier,… Read more.

Three Reasons Why Creative Arts Heal

Who would have thought that molding warm clay, dancing the cha-cha, or pursuit of countless other creative options could make a meaningful impact on your health and fitness – but it’s true! Creative arts are not only fun. They heal.

#1 Reduced Chronic Stress – Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol instructs the body to suppress the immune system, break down muscle and retain body fat. Slowing down to pursue your favorite passion is a natural and powerful way to combat the negative effects of stress.

#2 Better Alternatives – Too often we turn to sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine to provide the emotional relief we require. The arts provide the means to achieve the same end, but with much better consequences.

#3 Enhanced Social Connections – Those that love, and are loved by friends and family, live much longer, healthier lives. Creative arts provide the glue to enable these connections to form and stick over time.

So what are you waiting for? Go dust off your dancing shoes and unpack those supplies from deep storage. There is no time like the present!

Shawn Ehmann, VidaFit CEO, Master Trainer, Nutritionist, Health Coach – an integrated health and fitness company for busy professionals and cancer survivors. www.VidaFit.comvidafit.JPG1

 

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Who would have thought that molding warm clay, dancing the cha-cha, or pursuit of countless other creative options could make a meaningful impact on your health and fitness – but it’s true! Creative arts are not only fun. They heal. #1 Reduced Chronic Stress – Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol instructs the body… Read more.

Why Yoga will Work for You!

What is Yoga? Will it help me throughout my journey with cancer?

Well, if you’ve ever taken a look at our monthly program calendar, it should come as no surprise that we are big fans of yoga. With yoga classes being offered at CSC at least twice a week, one might wonder, “Why do they think yoga is so helpful?”  That is a great question and here is our answer in short: it helps heal the mind and body in just sixty minutes.

Lorna Borenstein’s mother was battling cancer and was persuaded to start attending weekly yoga classes. Like us, she wanted to know how yoga could truly benefit her mother during and after her fight with cancer. Lorna wrote in The Huffington Post about her mother’s cancer journey and the fascinating facts she discovered through Harvard Medical School of Mental Health and Duke University . Here is what she found:

  1. Yoga Helps Manage Fear, Depression & Anxiety

If you or someone you know has ever battled cancer, you know that it is one of the most difficult times in a person’s life filled with heavy anxiety and often times, depression. Studies have shown that the breathing exercises that are practiced during yoga can “positively affect immune function, autonomic nervous system imbalances, and psychological or stress-related disorders.” Basically put, these breathing exercises can aid the respiratory system and help regulate nerves to heal the body and mind.

  1. The “Mood Boost” Effect

While doing any type of exercise, the human body will release endorphins, which is a chemical in the body that will naturally enhance your mood. Being that yoga is an exercise, no matter how mild it may be, yoga will help your body release endorphins to put a little more pep in your step!

  1. Helps Manage Physical Pain

Research has shown that emotional stress can also cause physical pain, however moderate physical activity, such as yoga, can help reduce and manage the pain. In fact, women who actively participate in yoga after their treatments have reported having less stress and physical pain!

  1. A Yoga Community Can Provide Support

(This is clearly something we know all about!) Having a support system at any capacity is proven to aid anyone in their cancer journey, whether as patients, caregivers, or loved ones. Having a community of people to talk to that understands what you are going through will make the mental healing process feel a little easier.

Still not convinced that yoga will benefit you in the long-run? That’s okay, maybe you just need to find out for yourself! Register for a class and come join us every Monday at 11:00 AM or Thursday at 4:00 PM. Click the link to our website below and find another one of our programs to attend.

Calendar & Events at Cancer Support Community

To read Lorna’s article in it’s entirety, click here.

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What is Yoga? Will it help me throughout my journey with cancer? Well, if you’ve ever taken a look at our monthly program calendar, it should come as no surprise that we are big fans of yoga. With yoga classes being offered at CSC at least twice a week, one might wonder, “Why do they… Read more.

25 Tips to Consider on Your Journey with Cancer

Here at Cancer Support Community we know that being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most trying times in anyone’s life, which is why we make it our mission to help in any way that we can. We’ve been doing some research on ways to help you on your journey with cancer and stumbled upon this extremely helpful list of tips compiled by the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

  1. Adopt a fighting spirit.
  2. It’s okay to discourage false cheerfulness and to share how you’re feeling.
  3. Seek support from your family and friends.
  4. As a member of your health care team, learn about your disease and ask questions.
  5. Be an active participant in your treatment and recovery efforts.
  6. Make positive changes in your lifestyle that will improve your outcomes, such as quitting smoking, incorporating exercise and getting good nutrition.
  7. Find something to laugh about each day. Good humor is healthy for the body and soul.
  8. For safety’s sake, when not feeling your best, ask for transportation assistance to your medical appointments.
  9. Participation in a support group can help you learn from others.
  10. Pay attention to how you are feeling and get plenty of rest, good nutrition, and take time for personal care.
  11. Find ways to express your feelings by speaking with a mental health provider or a cancer center social worker.
  12. Consider complementary therapies, such as massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga to help relieve stress and other symptoms.
  13. Just be yourself and continue to do the things that you already enjoy doing.
  14. Continue your current sports activities as much as physically possible.
  15. Allow yourself private time apart from your family and friends to do nothing, or something important to you.
  16. If you are currently employed, continue to work if physically possible.
  17. Practice guided visualization and/or meditation.
  18. Nourish yourself spiritually through prayer or guidance from a religious leader.
  19. Listen to relaxing music that can bring about serenity.
  20. Read uplifting books.
  21. If you have a significant person in your life, keep the romance going by selecting romantic movies to watch.
  22. Take time for simple pleasures, such as a warm bath, a manicure or pedicure.
  23. Keep in mind that your memory function and energy level will fluctuate according to your treatment and medications. Let your caregiver know when you need help.
  24. Consider writing down your feelings in a journal.
  25. Keep a calendar and or log of activities and appointments to help stay organized.

To help you follow the advice of tip 6, take advantage of Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Smart Cooking program or join us at one of our many exercise programs. Don’t forget to call and register at 614-884-4673!

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Here at Cancer Support Community we know that being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most trying times in anyone’s life, which is why we make it our mission to help in any way that we can. We’ve been doing some research on ways to help you on your journey with cancer and stumbled… Read more.