user:

pass:

Remember me

March 2016 is National Nutrition Month

Nutrition is Key to Good Health so I wanted to share some important news happening now regarding our food…

GREAT NEWS!!!

GMO “DARK ACT” BILL  HR.1599/S.2609 did NOT pass!!  

NOW WE ARE HOPING THAT OUR CONGRESSPERSONS AND SENATORS WILL PASS  A MANDATORY GMO LABELLING BILL JUST LIKE THE 64 OTHER COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD THAT REQUIRE IT INCLUDING EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, CHINA AND RUSSIA!

If this is to happen, then your Senator and Congressperson needs to hear from you!!   For their Washington Phone Number go to: https://www.congress.gov/members

WellfleetFarmImage8-14

March 1, HR.1599/S.2609-the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, is somewhat of a misnomer, as it is known as the DARK Act by consumers (Denying Americans the Right to Know) about the GMO ingredients in our food.

This is critical for you to know because what this bill wanted to do, if it had passed, was 3 main things:

  • this would  prevent any GMO labelling in this country,
  • make it harder for companies to voluntarily label their foods made with Genetically Modified Ingredients- as an example, Campbell’s soup recently announced that it was going to label whether their soup contained any GMO ingredients. If this bill had passed, it would have been harder for Campbell’s to do so.
  • AND NEGATE the laws that have already been passed in VT, ME, CT and others across this country.

Other important things to know about this bill:

1-The most important reason to label foods as having GMOs or not is that these seeds are produced with the ability to withstand the use of pesticides. Glyphosate is the main pesticide that is used on these GMO crops and Glyphosate has been associated with many health issues including GI dysfunction, liver and kidney dysfunction and kidney failure, neurological disorders such as autism and parkinsons disease as well as cancer.  Because the pests have become so resistant to the glyphosate, they are now using a combination pesticide that mixes glyphosate with 2,4-D which was an ingredient used in Agent Orange in Vietnam. This is concerning especially with young children and teenagers whose bodies and brains are growing and changing and the cells are dividing rapidly.  There are 5 main GMO crops in the US: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Sugar Beets and Cottonseed. Corn and Soybean are almost ubiquitous in many of our food products today.

2-it’s ironic that this is happening in the US where we produce a lot of food because this is not something that is new or novel. There are actually 64 countries that already have Mandatory laws that require that GMO labels are put on their food products including Russia, China and most of Europe.  The European Union actually passed Mandatory GMO labeling laws in 1997…if it can be done for those countries, certainly it can be done for the citizens in the US who are requesting labelling.

3-there was a proposal that was debated about putting bar codes on the food so that consumers could scan the label with their smart phone to figure out whether they contained GMO’s,…it seems to me that companies could certainly state up front whether they have GMO ingredients in them or not especially since 90% of Americans want to know what is in their food and believe that food should have labels which state whether there are GMO ingredients in them.

4-GMO labeling has been touted as increasing the cost of food which just is not true. Companies change their labels all the time without significant increases in their cost.

Until next time, Living the Good. Better. Best. Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 2016-National Cancer Prevention Month and Heart Health Month!!

With Valentine’s around the corner, February is a great month to celebrate Cancer Prevention Month and Heart Health Month, the #1 Health Issue in the US.  Many people with cancer also can develop heart disease in one form or another.   One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy and prevent cancer is through good nutrition-maintaining an “ideal body weight for you”, consistent physical activity and regular stress management.   There are several terrific resources to help you provide the right fuel for health!

For Good Nutrition, these are some of my favorite Nutrition Books for those trying to Prevent and Heal from Cancer or Heart Disease:
IMG_3914IMG_3915IMG_3917

I love Food for Life because it provides practical information on how a plant based diet that includes the basic four food groups-whole veggies, whole fruits, nutrient rich grains and legumes help to fuel the body and keep it healthy for the long term.  In fact, the group in the US with the longest life spans live in Loma Linda, CA and are predominantly vegetarians.  They have many seniors and centenarians who live vibrant lives with fewer health problems and sharp minds.

For those who have a family history of heart disease or a personal history of heart disease, Dr Dean Ornish’s book is outstanding.  He has spent his career researching the benefits of treating even severe heart disease with lifestyle modifications including a low-fat, vegetarian, nutrient dense diet to prevent and/or reverse heart disease even in those who have severe forms. His results found that when compared to the standard treatment group, his Opening Your Heart program saw a reversal in coronary artery blockages and improved quality of life after 1 year even without the use of surgery.  The more closely individuals followed the program, the greater the results!!

For those who have a personal history of cancer, the American Cancer Society’s Nutrition book for Cancer Survivor’s is quite comprehensive and addresses the major issues of maintaining a healthy weight with changes in either weight loss or weight gain, nutrients that help with recovery, pesticides, GMO’s, food additive, and organic foods, supplements, tips during treatment, issues of fatigue, the immune system and symptom management. It is a great resource for anyone going through treatment!

In Addition, try out these great Apps which you can download to your Smart Phone:

IMG_3911IMG_3912IMG_3913

For those trying to attempt preventing or healing from Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity or Cancer, I highly recommend the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart…just try it for 21 days or during the month of February and see what changes you notice…For those who are undergoing Cancer Treatment, I highly recommend the Dana Farber Nutrition App-full of helpful recipes for a variety of special diets as well as ones helpful for symptom management such as Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation and Mouth Sores-Awesome Resource!

Until Next Time, Living the Good, Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 2016-Environment-using resources to Live the Good, Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

Recently we heard in the news that the water in Flint, Michigan has been contaminated with lead due to a change in the water supply in an effort to save money.  While this is difficult to believe in the US, this is a good example of how we need to be more aware of our environment.  There are other situations out there, some as dramatic and some less dramatic.  As parents, we can use this as a teachable moment!

I wanted to share 2 fabulous Apps for Healthy living for your family as well as a Must Read Book for all parents who want to give their kids a chance at a healthier life for the long term!

Detox Me  WCPP-Smart-Scan-200x300 photo 4

1. Detox Me App gives tips on creating a green, non-toxic lifestyle at home and work. It will guide you through evidenced based strategies for assessing and modifying your lifestyle according to your goals for living an environmentally friendly lifestyle for you and your kids.  It was created by SilentSpring.org

2. WCPP Smart Scan App is a great complement to Detox Me as it will provide info about your environment- the food,beauty, cleaning or chemical products’ ingredients to list whether they are green/ safe, yellow/ caution or red/ potentially toxic. Created by wcpponline.org. Both are Free! Try them out and feel free to leave comments

3.   Book of the Month which confirms the info on the above 2 Apps is Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber.  Sandra grew up in Illinois along a river that, unbeknownst to the community, had been a dumping ground for Dry Cleaning Chemicals.  Sandra only found this out after she was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer at age 19, when she was in college and did her own investigation into how she could have gotten this type of cancer.  It is a great read and Sandra weaves her experience and scientific knowledge into an easy to read book written in her signature poetic style…Great to read during the winter when we are often slowed down by the weather!!  Enjoy!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December- Choosing Hope, Miracles and Light

 

10365819_10203259672272663_8068174143899658073_nDecember is a month when we can feel easily overwhelmed with all that has to happen for the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays…Black Friday, CyberMonday, GivingTuesday and we haven’t even tackled grocery shopping, cooking, buying presents, sending out Christmas/ Holiday cards and letters, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, work parties, going to services!!  …the list goes on and on.  These are the tasks of the season….

As parents, we can stay grounded in the wholehearted and soulful meaning of the holiday season….a season of HOPE, MIRACLES AND LIGHT!!   Hanukkah is a celebration of hope, miracles and bringing light into the world…..Christmas happens near the longest and darkest days of the year, when the birth of Jesus brings light into the world.  Jesus invited us to do unto others as we would want others to do unto us.   Similarly, in the Islamic religion, 2015 is a very significant year because this month, Mohammed’s Birthday falls on December 24, one day before Christ’s Birthday.  Mohammed is the Prophet of the Islamic religion and his main message was  Peace and Mercy for all humanity.  In fact, the word ‘Islam’ translated in Arabic means “Peace”.  So the 3 main Monotheistic religions stemming from Abraham all have significant events this month!

As parents-moms and dads, we can ask ourselves…in this holiday season, how are we bringing light, hope and peace into this dynamic and often times uncertain world?  How are we shining our light in the world?  Perhaps we need to set our own rhythm for the holidays, one that fits with our purposeful meaning of the season and for our children.

Maybe there is someone who is sick in our family, or neighborhood… Maybe we enjoy shopping but want to limit the amount per person.  Maybe we have decided that we will skip the cards this year or decide to spend one day giving back to the community by bringing a warm meal to a neighbor who is undergoing radiation or chemotherapy or by volunteering with our kids to make blankets for a homeless shelter.

Maybe we will choose to spend a day just with our kids…no errands, no presents, no chores….just spending time doing something that our kids enjoy…one on one time with mom or dad or both.   When I look back on my childhood, it was not the big moments but the little moments that meant so much to me…the time spent responding to my questions, helping me with a problem, enjoying my company and caring about the things that I was interested in…this is what children need, want and crave.  How do you navigate the holiday season as a parent….

I believe, that in this holiday season, one of the most fitting gifts that we can give our children is the gift of our unconditional Love for them and remaining grounded in the Hope for their life and this world!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November-Focus on Gratitude Living the Good Better Best Life Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

IMG_3797 Gratitude is a key ingredient of good health. Each day we can find something to be grateful for, especially when we know all those who have significant life challenges or health challenges…each day that we can wake up, see, hear, get out of a nice warm bed and walk, breath fresh air, have a family that we love and share a good meal for breakfast is a gift.  This month of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my daughter, and good, wholesome, nutritious food to eat.  I share this picture of today’s lunch.  A tuna fish salad sandwich.  I combined the tuna fish with cut up Gingergold apples and craisins mixed with some dijon mustard.  I spread this on a whole wheat tortilla wrap and sprinkled fresh chopped kale.  I have also found my Vitamix is a great way for bringing more wholesome, nutrient dense foods into my diet.   It is so incredibly helpful to make quick easy meals or drinks especially for busy moms.  Each morning now I put a few ounces of water into my vitamix and throw in a whole grapefruit-(I only peel the skin off) and the Vitamix blends it into delicious fresh grapefruit juice in a matter of about 30 seconds.   This one is obviously from a pink grapefruit and it was so incredibly delicious and satisfying!!  There are so many healthful recipes out there but I thought I would start November by sharing this one with you!  This will add really wonderful antioxidants and phytochemicals to your body to give it the best chance for staying healthy and well nourished for the long term…Bon Appetit!

photo 9Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal?…it can be a Healing Tool…well this month with a Focus on Gratitude, I am starting a Mini-Gratitude Journal and I encourage you to do the same….there are so many benefits for healing and a great gift to give to our children!!  Nov 1:  I am grateful for WONDERFUL AND THOUGHTFUL COLLEAGUES who offered their support to help me with my patients especially Claire S. and John R.  Nov 2:  I am grateful for the support of my Self-Attunement Meditation Teacher who has taught me how to connect with my authentic self!!  (It has taken me years to do this!!)     Nov 3: I am grateful for the colorful foliage and the ability to see it!

12209274_10208161453618412_1720321082_o

Nov 4: So grateful for my wonderful mentor, Dr Howard Koh, who has been a Champion of Cancer Prevention for 30+ years and has helped guide me with his wisdom about Cancer Prevention along the way  Nov 5:  Grateful to my generous and thoughtful daughter who made me a very delicious and wholesome smoothie for breakfast this morning…she did it without even asking! Nov 6: Feeling grateful for supportive colleagues on a busy oncology inpatient unit  Nov 7: Feeling grateful for an easy commute to work                                                                                                    Nov 8: Feeling grateful for smart and dedicated colleagues who helped me with a busy assignment especially Catherine, Stephanie and Colleen!  Nov 9:  So grateful for a Magnificent poem Love After Love by Derek Wolcott Nov 10: Feeling lucky that I’m still young enough to enjoy  going out to dinner and to have fun at the Lila/Jarle Bernhoft and Allen Stone concert with a dear friend Nov 11:  Feeling Gratitude towards all the Veterans who have dedicated their lives to giving us a safer, better and more free life Nov 12: Feeling happy to know that almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, filberts [hazelnuts], macadamias,  pine nuts, and pistachios have been found to be beneficial for heart health (Del Gobbo LC, Falk MC, Feldman R, Lewis K, Mozaffarian D. Effects of tree nuts on blood lipids, apolipoproteins, and blood pressure: systematic review, meta-analysis, and dose-response of 61controlled intervention trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2015 Nov 11).   Nov 13: Sending out positive thoughts to all the first responders in Paris during the terrorist attacks there today Nov 14:  Feeling grateful that my daughter chose to be part of the Dreamfar Marathon Training Team with her high school…Go Kels!!                                                                                                                                  photo 11

Nov 15:  Grateful for a beautiful sunset to enjoy   Nov 16: Grateful to a good friend, Anne, who joined me for a Community Educ talk about how we can be a Force for Good in the world  Nov 17:  Grateful for the new movie, In Defense of Food, based on Michael Pollan’s book!  Nov 18: Feeling so fortunate that I was able to spend some time in Maine today, be outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine! Nov 19:  Blessed with hearing to enjoy the bird songs Nov 20: Sick today, but thankful it’s only the flu and not anything serious Nov 21: Enjoying Journal Club at work today Nov 22:  Remembering JFK today and Grateful to have grown up with inspiring leaders like JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King Jr. who shared their wisdom with quotes like, “Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country” Nov 23:  Glad to have a day off to rest Nov 24:  Thankful for the support I receive from my community Nov 25: Feeling lucky to have time to meditate so I can rejuvenate my energy before the long work weekend        Nov 26:  Thanksgiving Day!  What a memorable Thanksgiving meal with all my co-workers..having fun while working!!  Nov 27:  Blessed to be able to walk to and from work-de-stressing before work Nov 28: Thankful for parking at work  Nov 29:  Glad to be back home again Nov 30 Grateful for a Meditation Teacher who challenges me to practice  Meditation Whole-Heartedly, Whole-Mindfully and Whole-Soulfully!

May you Each Find the Grateful Moments in Each Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October-Breast Cancer Awareness Month Living the Good. Better. Best. Life Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

Aurelie + KelsAs a Mom and long time Clinical Oncology Nurse/ Nurse Practitioner, one of my most passionate goals, as a parent, is to keep my daughter healthy and cancer free for the Long Term.  I know that I only have the most influence in the first 18 years of her life but I also know these are some of the THE MOST IMPORTANT TIMES FOR LONG TERM HEALTH!!  What we eat in childhood, the exercise habits that we establish and the environments that we are exposed to set many of the risks for good health or disease throughout our entire life.   I am a human parent.  I do my best. I make mistakes. I learn. I readjust.   I try to improve my parenting skills and I try to develop better habits for the benefit of my daughter as well as myself.

This month, of Breast Cancer Awareness, I am thrilled to share that there is good news in the Breast Cancer Community for all of us who are working hard, and hopefully having fun, to give our kids a better life!   Dr Susan Love (Dr Susan Love Research Foundation) and Nancy Brinker  (Susan Komen Foundation) are collaborating to raise the bar to find the cause of breast cancer in the hopes of preventing it!!! They are launching a new digital service which can distribute videos and timely information about breast cancer and its ROOT CAUSE!!   For anyone who wants to help in this effort, I highly recommend enrolling in the HOW Study…Health of Women Study…an international online research study for women and men WITH and WITHOUT breast cancer…already over 52,000 have enrolled in this study!

For those who want to PREVENT Breast Cancer as well as SURVIVE with Breast Cancer, the two best things that I can suggest is to Eat Nutrient Dense Whole Foods as well as get 20 minutes of Aerobic (pumps up the heart rate) Exercise Every Day….for Life Long Health! Recommended Reading of the Month:

http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources

It has much useful information on Nutrition and Good Health!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September-Focus on Nutrition

WellfleetFarmersMkt8-14

In our family, a couple times a year, my mom, my sisters, my cousins and I get together to go out to dinner and reconnect, have fun and treasure our moments together!! We usually try to choose a healthful, fun restaurant in Boston!  This summer, we had another “Cousin Reunion”.   Most of the time though, we are responsible for buying the groceries, cooking and cleaning for our families.   One of my favorite places to buy healthy food in a FUN FUN FUN setting is at the LOCAL FARMERS MARKET!!  Farmers Markets tend to be rich with wholesome Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, Granolas, Honey and often the Organic varieties from Local businesses.  Nutrition is a Key to Life Long Health and this is equally true of Cancer!

So this month, September, is devoted to NUTRITION because it is one of the most helpful strategies to deal with any health issue, PLAIN AND SIMPLE!   I am recommending 2 App’s that I have found to be incredibly helpful when trying to choose healthful foods to eat.

1.  21 Day Vegan Kickstart (FREE APP for your Smart Phone)-Designed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, this is a gem which will help you switch your habits to Healthful Lifestyle Choices and Nutrient Dense Whole Foods.  Did you know that it takes 21 Days to Change a Habit?  Hence, this is key to making positive nutrition changes.  It gives you all the Breakfast-Lunch-Snack-and Dinner Menus + Recipes so it guides you along the way…Eazy Peezy!!  

2.  Dana Farber Nutrition (FREE APP for your Smart Phone)-What I LOVE about this App is that it has a menu which provides Recipes according to Symptom Management (key for those Surviving Cancer especially when undergoing treatment with Chemotherapy and/ or Radiation), Food Type, Meal Type, and Special Diets.  if you find a recipe you particularly like, you can save it to your “Favorites” and then generate a “Shopping List” so you won’t forget an ingredient when you go to the Grocery Store.  Have a Nutrition Question?  There is even a section to ask questions of the Professional Nutritionist …what a gift!!!  Try both these Apps…they are both gems which will support you in your Healthful Lifestyle Choices!!  

Whenever we talk about Nutrition today, I have to be honest that there is good news and bad news regarding Food in our Culture!!    First, the good news…We have so much food available to us through our food chains, transportation systems and our global economic connection!!  We are a very fortunate generation indeed!!   We have the OPPORTUNITY  to choose some of the most nutrient dense whole foods available to many on a daily basis so that we are fueling our bodies with the best nutrition to keep us healthy for the long term!!  We do have the ability to live long and productive lives to about 120 years old!  That is amazing.    Did you know that at the turn of the 20th century (1900) that the average age of life was only about 49 or 50 years old?   That is a testament to the power of our grandfathers, grandmothers, scientists and entrepreneurs who worked so hard to build a better life for us.   In 100 years,  we have almost doubled life expectancy.

The bad news is that with this innovation and the drive to make our life more efficient and easier, our food has changed so much in the last 40 years that many of us are not even aware that it is far from the food that past generations ate.  While we have access to nutrient dense whole foods, many are unknowingly choosing processed, fast foods, which have a longer shelf life and many more potentially harmful fats, sugars, chemicals and salts.   These food choices have not only contributed to the rates of obesity but also the increase in type II diabetes in all age groups, including children that were not seen before, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune dysfunction.

To get our bodies back to their healthful state, we need to help our kids learn that Nutrient Dense Whole Foods are key to Life Long Health!!   If we stock our kitchen refrigerators and cabinet shelves with wholesome, healthful foods then our kids have the best chance of choosing healthy foods for their bodies.  As the Health Manager of the Home, Moms are key to this strategy!!  Have you taken an inventory of your food pantry or refrigerator items ?   The fall is a great time to purge unnecessary items or food that is unhealthy.   Of course, this is a process, and may take time and support from other members of the family who do shopping but the sooner we begin the better off for our kids health and our OWN!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August continues with Safety-Teen Safety-Living the good, better, best life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

photo

Join us next on 9-1-15  from 7:20-7:27am EST and every other tuesday on DaybreakUSA with Angie Austin @ http://810klvz.com

Dan Siegel MD is a Pediatric Psychiatrist and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which teaches and promotes Mindfulness Meditation.  Dr Siegel is another of my Go-To-Resources as a parent and this book is one of my favorites.  It is the Recommended Book of the Month for all those who have teenagers.  He says that teenagers are the most courageous and creative souls on the planet and harnessing that courage and creativity in positive ways are the challenges for parents.  Courage and creativity can come in the form of inventing a new product, a new idea, painting, photography, travel (the 16 year old who travels alone round the globe in a sail boat!!!). This courage can also come in other forms and calls for our awareness and guidance…cigarettes, alcohol,marijuana, drugs and heroin are pervasive in our culture. 

It is important for parents to communicate with their kids about the safety surrounding these powerful substances.   While the legal drinking age and cigarette use in many states is 21, most teens start drinking in high school and some will start using tobacco (cigarettes/ecigarettes/ chewing tobacco)  and today these can get mixed with drugs, narcotics, marijuana and heroin.  Have you talked to your teen about safety with drinking, marijuana or drugs?  Have you asked them what their views are on drug use?  Let them know that drugs can affect the things that are important to THEM….their looks, their driving, their energy or health and their sports activities.  Let them know that even teens can have problems with addictive substances.  Above all else, be a good role model for your teen about responsible drinking, driving, tobacco and drugs….this is when An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure!  Have a blessed day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July is devoted to Safety-Living the good, better, best life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

 

RileyFlySheetPhotoJoin us 7-21-15 and every other tuesday on DaybreakUSA with Angie Austin from 7:20-7:27am (EST) @ http://810klvz.com

This is a picture of my horse, Riley.  She is a UVM Morgan.  Some UVM Morgan’s have been found to develop Malignant Melanoma, just like people do.   Many horses are also prone to Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the eye.  So I thought that I would showcase Riley so that kids can think about how they are going to protect their animals from sunburns ( and most importantly, themselves!!!).  Riley has her fly sheet on and her UV Protective Fly Mask to not only protect her skin from the mosquitos but also protect her body, face and eyes from the UVA and UVB rays from the sun!!

One way that Kids learn how to take good care of themselves (and also become safe, caring and protective parents) is by caring for a pet.  The habits that we establish as kids often become the habits that we utilize as adults.  Caring for a pet is a wonderful way for kids to learn about sun safety.  To keep Riley safe from the sun, I make sure that I am aware of the time of day when the sun is most intense (10am to 2pm) and provide shade during those times and prevent long times out in the sun during those times unless she has shade.   I protect her skin with SunProtective Clothing and apply the US Forest Service Bug Spray which is natural and non-toxic!!   If there are any sensitive areas, I can also apply a Broad Spectrum Sun Screen to any intact skin with an SPF Factor of at least 15 and no more than 50.

Just like our pets, as parents it is so helpful to incorporate these sun safety practices with our kids to protect them from the delightful yet potentially harmful rays of the sun!  Remember to avoid unprotected exposure to the sun, including tanning salons, wear Sun Protective Clothing (there are many wonderful and fashionable lines out there today) or seek shade, wear UVA/UVB Protective Sun Glasses and apply Broad Spectrum Sunscreen which has an SPF factor between 15 and 50 and reapply every 2 hours or so.  Above all, hope you are having a joyful, re-juvenating and fun-filled summer!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June is Cancer Survivorship Month-Working Every Living Day towards Love Nutrition Exercise Serenity and SPIRITUALITY

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

Join us 6-22-15 and every other tuesday on DaybreakUSA with Angie Austin from 7:20-7:27am (EST) @ http://810klvz.com

FORGIVENESS:

Today we addressed how we as parents can RESPOND to the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, SC by being good role models for our children/teens to  help kids deal with this horrific tragedy as well as the many others that they see and hear in our world today.   As parents, we can help our kids to focus on FORGIVENESS, just as some family members did this past week which was so admirable, spiritually mature and a main message of Jesus’ life on this earth…by releasing anger, hurt and hate from our hearts by drawing pictures, writing letters, talking and praying.  In this way we still hold individuals accountable for their behavior but we are able to release our own anger, hurt and hate from our hearts and bring the message of God within us to the world-one of kindness, compassion, peace, joy and love.   These are my 3 favorite books that I would highly recommend to you on Spirituality and Children by Mimi Doe and Robert Coles….How we as parents can help our kids discover their innate Spiritual Nature!!

Working with people with cancer every day, I have found that this experience stimulates a thirst for exploring one’s spirituality and God’s presence in our lives…why God?  How could this happen?  Many of my patients have turned to God and God’s presence in their lives to draw on their strength and resources to understand and navigate the meaning of this experience in their lives!  So this month, we focus on Spirituality and our role as parents in helping our kids explore and discover that they are innately Spiritual beings!

So What is Spirituality?

To help explain our role as parents in helping our kids tune into their spiritual side,  I would like to share a poem I wrote in my Junior HS English class

Oh God you must help me

I have a friend who’s confused

He doesn’t believe you are there

Help me explain how I know that you are

Here on this earth everywhere

 

A short time ago

I neither could find

The God that I longed for to see

I thought that God lived in the sky with the stars

How far from the truth could I be?

 

But I finally found where my real God exists

For think to yourself while I say

You will find that God breathes in the eyes and the smiles

Of the people we meet everyday

 

Do you see now my friend that God does exist

That God’s even a part of thee?

And by helping your friends

You are loving your God

And that is all that God asks you to be.

Aurelie Cormier 1973

This poem gives the basis of our Spirituality:

God lives in us- “God breathes in our eyes and smiles” and is expressed through us by our kindness, compassion, caring presence

God is love-“by helping our friends we are loving our God”…we manifest God’s loving presence in the world through our being

God is our connection to all beings in this life-“……God is out there in the Universe, but most importantly,  God lives inside of us and connects us to all we meet in this life”

We are innately spiritual beings and when we realize this it gives our life purpose, meaning and a focus

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May is Pregnancy Awareness Month! Working every living day towards Love Nutrition Exercise SERENITY and Spirituality!

photo

Join us 5-26 and every other tuesday on DaybreakUSA with Angie Austin from 7:20-7:27am @ http://810klvz.com

Almost 18 years ago, I became aware that I was pregnant.  Like many women who are 40 years old when they learn that they are pregnant, at first I was in shock.  Quickly, that shock turned into utter amazement and excitement!   OMG I thought, I am going to have a baby!!!  Those were precious days and little did I realize what utterly miraculous events were about to unfold over the next 18 years!  I was very fortunate in that I was a Women’s Health Clinical Nurse Specialist for patients with breast and gynecological cancers at a wonderful community hospital.   I had been co-leading a Breast Cancer and Gyn Cancer Support Group as one of my many responsibilities in my job and my patients had taught me far more than one could ever imagine.  One of the best things that they taught me is that some cancers are probably linked to environmental toxins.  It was a novel idea at the time but it prepared me to be vigilant when I was pregnant to keep my environment as non-toxic as possible, at home, at work and at play.   That was valuable information.

One of the best gifts at the time was that I had a friend who was a teacher of Self-Attunement Meditation.   I had been doing Mindfulness-Based Meditation for a while but was unfamiliar with Self-Attunement Meditation.  I decided to learn more while I was pregnant and actually had instructional sessions once a week while I was pregnant and continued with the practice each day on my own.   It helped to give me an incredible feeling of Serenity during my pregnancy despite the stresses of my job and all of my other responsibilities while I prepared for the day that my miracle baby would arrive.   In hindsight, it was a true gift that helped to bath my baby with those calm feelings and I attribute this practice to the amazing, adaptable, miraculous child that my daughter has been and continues to be.  I know that Serenity is part of the life of W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. not only for ourselves as parents but also, and most importantly, for our children…This month is dedicated to the practice of SERENTITY!!
photo 6

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April is Exercise Month! Working Every Living day towards Love Nutrition EXERCISE Serenity and Spirituality!

EXERCISE-KEEP MOVING FOR             LIFE LONG HEALTH

photo

Book of the month!  Kelly McGonigal PhD has collected research from around the world and the synthesis of this research is exciting!  Why would a book called “The Willpower Instinct” be included as the book of the month on exercise?  It turns out that when we exercise on a regular basis, we create positive changes in our brain and one of them is to improve our willpower to carry out more positive health changes in our life!!  So not only is exercise the key to losing weight when we want to trim down but it is also the key to developing greater willpower to bring more positive healthful changes to our life!!

Of course, with any exercise, it is so important to find what excites you, what gives you pleasure, where your passion lies so that you can enjoy the moment and also look forward to the next day or the next time!   It also helps to find a group of like-minded people who can support and encourage your efforts…so go out there and find something you enjoy and be patient…it takes at least 21 days to develop a habit so give yourself lots of positive self-talk along the way!!

IMG_2670Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 15.07.04IMG_3301

There are so many benefits to exercise!! -My daughter has been involved with Cross Country and some years Track and Field at her high school.  It is so beneficial for teens to exercise and the benefits can extend well into adulthood.

Of course, we like to have outdoor adventures as a family and she loves to bike so we had some bicycle vacations, one of which was at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine!   You can see that there are tremendous views to see from the trails at the Park, voted one of the 10 Best National Parks in the Country, it is well worth the trip!!

Last year, at the age of 57, I decided to run my first marathon!  I was inspired by a patient of mine that encouraged me to run a marathon.  I had been running for over 20 years but had never considered it before.  With his encouragement and recommendation of trying the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC (mostly flat and the course goes by all the major historic monuments in DC…a real bonus!!) I decided to go for it!!!  Towards the end of my training I started to loose my energy.  I wasn’t sure I could actually do it.  One day I was talking to a dear college friend who I knew had run the Marathon before.  I wanted to get her advice and she had so many encouraging words.  One of the best pieces of encouragement was that she told me that, if it would help, she would run the last 6 miles with me.  OMG…I was totally surprised and knew at that moment that having that support would help me to finish.  Lynn met me at mile 20 and did run those last 6 miles with me.  I finished my marathon and felt that having the support and encouragement of a dear friend got me to the end!!!  It was an amazing experience to cross that finish line after 7 months of training.  I highly encourage having a support network of encouraging souls around you when you try something new, especially a new habit like exercise.  It can make all the difference!!!

Did you know that Regular aerobic exercise  helps with weight maintenance?  The biggest secret to losing weight is actually exercise!! Did you know that when you exercise, that your body has a better ability to burn fat for an hour or so after you stop exercising!!! Not only that, but when we keep our bodies at the right weight for our height we have a significant reduction in cancer risk. It is estimated that obesity and overweight contributes to about one-fifth of all cancer deaths in the US.  For Life Long Health, keep moving!!  You might be surprised how much fun you have doing it…I was pleasantly surprised that I actually ENJOYED my first marathon and hope to try more!!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March is National Nutrition Month-5 Strategies to improve your child’s nutrition!

Cauliflower Crust Veggie Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Veggie Pizza

One thing I have learned in my work every day working with people who have cancer is that nutrition is key!!  Our food has changed quite a bit in the last 40 years, there are many more chemicals sprayed onto the agricultural crops and these chemicals or pesticides are getting into our bodies and our kids bodies where they are creating a variety of disorders and or diseases.

1.  Diet for good health-MyPlate-5 major food groups

1/ 2 your plate should be full of colorful fruits and vegetables:

try to eat organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains as much as possible to avoid the chemicals that are sometimes added which can affect health of small bodies especially our kids bodies.

colorful veggies: broccoli, spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, zucchini, beets, butternut squash, carrots, yams, and cauliflower

colorful fruits:  blueberries, watermelon, kiwi, mango, papaya, oranges, grapefruit, avocado, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries,

1/ 4 whole grains:  oatmeal, brown rice, wheat, quinoa, barley, bulgar wheat rather than white flour

1/ 4 protein:  fish, eggs, lean meat, beans (black beans, kidney beans, cannelloni beans, lentils

nuts-walnuts, almonds, cashews,

seeds-flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

glass of low fat milk or cup of low fat yogurt

good oils- organic olive oil and organic canola oil

2.  Avoid processed foods and reduce use of sugar and salt-

3.  Drink lots of water (rather than juice) to stay hydrated-

4.  Create a healthful environment for food at home-Go thru your pantry or shelves and purge anything that isn’t healthy.

5.  Once a week ask your kids to help Plan the meal-Here is one recipe that my daughter created that we have found to be a family favorite!!!

Amazing Cauliflower Crust Veggie Pizza

1 c. shredded cauliflower

¾ c shredded mozzarella

1 Tbsp flax seeds

1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 Tbsp sunflower seeds

1 egg

Toppings:

Tomato sauce

goat cheese

red pepper/green pepper

artichoke hearts

baby spinach

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp chopped fresh garlic

 

Turn oven on to 350

Shred cauliflower in Food Processor

In medium bowl, Microwave cauliflower X8 minutes

Shred part skim mozzarella cheese in Food Processor;

Mix ½ c cheese into cauliflower

Combine flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and mix

into cauliflower

Hand beat egg and mix into ingredients, form into ball.

Oil pizza pan, place flourless dough into center of pan

And press crust out to form dough

Bake in oven @ 350 X10-15 minutes

Top with tomato sauce, ¼ c mozzarella and remaining

Ingredients-or add your favorite veggies

Bake in oven X10-15 minutes more

Viola-guiltless pizza!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 2015-In Celebration of Valentine’s: Focus on Love

IMG_3397

 

Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”              M. Scott Peck MD

This is my favorite Definition of Love because it gets to the heart of what love is and is not.  It defines love on many levels:  Romantic love, Agape love,  Friendship love, etc.   It also fits well with the work of being a Parent.  It goes well with this Heart that my daughter made when she was in Pre-School.  It has long since lost meaning for her but I have kept it all these years as a reminder of why I do this work as a Parent…the Love of my daughter, woven into the tapestry of a family!  Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday and a day that we celebrate to express our love to those we hold dear!  In truth, as a parent, everyday is Valentine’s Day!!  Being a parent is the most selfless, important, hardest, best, joyous, most satisfying, rewarding, heart-wrenching job I have ever had.  It is a challenge at times especially now that my daughter is a teenager.

What keeps me grounded is something that I learned from Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn when I took a retreat with them on Mindful Parenting!!!  They said that being a parent is like being on an 18 year retreat….our kids become our best Spiritual Teachers!!  When we practice being in the present moment, we come to a place where we accept ourselves for who we really are, we love ourselves in this moment  and we become our best and most compassionate selves.  In this present moment, we are then able to see the wholeness and best in our children.  We can see them through a lens that captures who they really are, rather than what we want them to be, and allows us to nurture and cultivate the best of who they are growing and developing to be.   Being a Mindful Parent is a daily practice of Love in Action!!  If you have not read it already, I highly recommend this book, Everyday blessings:   The inner work of mindful parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn!  It has been my compass as a Parent on many occasions!!

IMG_3396

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 2015

Trying to figure out what you would like 2015 to look like?   Here are 3 Tips for setting up your Wish List for 2015 and sticking to it!!

1.  Brainstorm-write down all your intentions for 2015: Goals, dreams, wishes for your Best Life.   Make it fun, put together a collage as a family of what you see your dream life or dream family to be.

-Write down your Personal Goals for 2015

-Write down your Professional Goals for 2015

-Write down your 2015 Family Goals: invite your kids to share their thoughts about what they would like to do as a family.

-Write down your goals with Each child-invite each of your children to share what they would like to do only with you

2.  Organize your space

Take time to organize your space, declutter and reorganize home environment. It frees up your energy and time so that you can focus on what is really important and have more fun.

-Hire a housekeeper to clean in the spring and fall to help do a thorough cleaning

-Hire a Personal Organizer to help you reorganize your space-a fresh set of eyes to help make your space more efficient, less cluttered.

3.  Focus on your intentions at the start of every day

When you wake up each day, set your intentions for the day….what do you want to do for the day, how do you want your day to go.

  • If one of your goals is to exercise 20-30minutes/day, then when you wake up, set you intention to exercise.
  • Remember that your intention can not only be what you want to get DONE that day but how do you want to BE…your heart felt environment…loving, peaceful, joyous day!  Here is to a Blessed Year!!!

 January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that most cervical cancers are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus(HPV)? There are over 100 different types of HPV.  Some HPV’s can cause common warts, plantar warts and laryngeal papilloma’s.  Some however can cause cancer.    The most aggressive forms of HPV (#16, 18, 31 and 33)  are the biggest culprits in causing some cancers seen in women and men.  There is a vaccine that has been available for almost 10 years now to protect our daughters from the most aggressive forms of cervical cancer-the HPV vaccine!   The vaccine is given in a series of 3 within 6 months of each other.   It is used to prevent the most aggressive forms of Human Papilloma Virus that can cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in girls; it is also used to prevent oral and throat, penile and anal cancers in boys and is also effective for preventing genital warts.  If you have a son or daughter that is 11 or 12 years old, talk to your pediatrician about getting the HPV vaccine which can prevent these cancers.    As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!!! Have a blessed day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December is Choose Hope Month

What do you choose hope for?

Hope to be cured? Hope to remain disease free?  Hope to enjoy this moment with your kids?  Hope to celebrate a wedding?  Hope to celebrate the birth of a grandchild?  Hope to see one of your children graduate from High School?  College?  Maybe just hope that you can have a pain free day?  There is always something to hope for….What are your hopes and dreams?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November is Pancreatic, Lung, Stomach, Carcinoid and Cancer Caregivers Awareness Month

It takes a lot of strength, energy and resiliency to deal with cancer and its symptoms and its treatment. Cancer does not exist in a vacuum, however.   There is a whole network of family, children, friends, and community that extends their kindness, energy, strength, compassion and resiliency to help the person with cancer!  This month of the Familyphoto6-14Thanksgiving Holiday, let us give Thanks and Acknowlegement to all those who CARE for the person with CANCER!  It could not be done without them!!

 

 

 

October is Breast and Liver Cancer Awareness Months….

There are so many researchers, non-profits,  and Breast Cancer Survivors who have been working for years to eradicate breast cancer!  There are about 12 or 13 different types of breast cancer and all require different approaches to treat.  Wonder if we worked just as hard to try to PREVENT breast cancer in the first place as we do to try to figure out how to treat it?  What do you think?

September…our kids are going back to school, a Fabulous summer is coming to a close and new energy is emerging!!  

This month is the Granddaddy of Cancer Awareness Months!!!!  This month highlights Childhood Cancer, Gynecological Cancer, Leukemia/ Lymphoma and Mulitple Myeloma, Ovarian Cancer, Prostate Cancer and Thyroid Cancer!!  

WOW…that’s a mouthful.  Do you know what Cancers that are being diagnosed in your town are above average with what would be expected?   These are the ones in my area….Check out the ones in your area: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/admin/dmoa/cancer-registry/data/city-town/cancer-incidence-in-mass-2005-2009.html                                                                                      

Dover, MA: Thyroid, Melanoma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma(NHL),Breast

Natick, MA: Brain, Bladder, Oral Cavity, Thyroid, Melanoma, Pancreas, Multiple Myeloma, Ovary, Larynx, Leukemia 

Needham, MA: Thyroid Cancer, Non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Melanoma, Larynx, Brain/CNS, Breast

Newton, MA: Thyroid, Oral Cavity, Testis, Melanoma, Brain, Breast, Kidney, NHL, Ovary

Wellesley, MA: Testis, Melanoma, Thyroid, Pancreas, Multiple Myeloma, NHL, Stomach, Bladder, Oral Cavity, Leukemia

Weston, MA: Stomach, Oral Cavity, Bladder, Melanoma, Thyroid, NHL, Pancreas, Breast, Kidney

There appears to be a high number of above average thyroid and melanoma cancers in our geographical area!  Some of these cancers are preventable with knowledge and simple lifestyle changes!   Imagine a world where we first and foremost work to prevent cancers ….that is the world I work towards every day….what do you think?

August is only one of two months out of the year that doesn’t have Cancer Awareness so you choose what you would like to dedicate this month to!!             My vote is National Health Promotion Month!!!  

What would you like your month to be dedicated to?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Home

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment