America’s Nutrition Coach Dr. Ro shares tips to help you live healthful after a breast cancer diagnosis. Hear her speak at the 2016 Living Beyond Breast Cancer Conference: Individual Treatments, Shared Experiences.
It isn’t easy. Only those who have had the experience truly know what it feels like to receive a breast cancer diagnosis. Even with the notion of having to contemplate what happens to your family, how the kids will be cared and provided for, loved and nurtured; all at the same time that you must do all you can to survive has to be among the most daunting of life’s challenges.
But, as the poem so beautifully penned by Maya Angelou instructs, “And Still I Rise,” you must! So instead of allowing yourself to be paralyzed by fear let’s take a short time-out to re-assess how best to arm yourself for what could arguably be the fight of your life, with five simple tools to improve your health, stave off unnecessary weight, and feed your body (and soul) what it needs to heal and improve yourself overall. I will say more about each of these tips plus provide more helpful information to support you throughout your experience with breast cancer, as your opening keynote speaker. I hope you’ll join me in Philadelphia on Saturday September 24, 2016 at the 2016 Living Beyond Breast Cancer Conference: Individual Treatments, Shared Experiences, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
I hope to see you there, but for now…Here are my simple tips that, if practiced consistently, will result in a big pay-off!
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
For breast cancer survivors, this is of paramount importance because doing so can lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence. If you are a breast cancer survivor (or know someone who is), the decision to maintain a healthy weight literally improves your survival. Several studies suggest that gaining weight after a breast cancer diagnosis increases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, breast cancer deaths and mortality overall. Here’s how you can protect yourself:
- If you are overweight or obese now, lose the excess pounds gradually and consistently because you are more likely to keep them off using this strategy
- I recommend losing the weight 15 doable pounds at a time. Studies show – and my patients agree – that their weight loss is more achievable, regardless of goal weight, when they can wrap their brains around a small amount at a time and build from there to reach the goal
EAT A HEALTHY DIET
Even though scientists may not fully understand the role of diet in breast cancer survival, what we do know is that a balanced diet of mainly colorful vegetables and fruit, high-fiber complex carbohydrates, lean protein – including beans and seeds as sources – and healthy fats, all increase positive health outcomes.
I recommend that you design your plate so that half of what you put on it consists of vegetables and fruit, for the remaining half divide that in two, making one-quarter a 3 to 4 ounce portion of lean protein (fish, chicken, turkey, small amounts of red meat, beans, include eggs and egg whites, seeds and nuts); and the final quarter of the plate should consist of whole grains (quinoa, brown, wild, and black rice; whole grain or gluten-free pasta).
I also recommend that you
- Cut processed foods and replace them with as many whole, fresh, unprocessed or minimally processed foods as possible
- Cut added sugar
- Drink water with every meal and snack, add lemon wedges to reduce inflammation in the body which can result in conditions that run the gamut from achy, painful joints and muscles to breast cancer. Inflammation in the body shows itself as chronic disease
Many studies show that breast cancer recurrence is less likely in the lives of active survivors. That’s not all; breast cancer deaths and those from other causes are reduced for those who lead active lives.
To start: Hit the mall, a track at a local school, or the pavement in your community and just walk. Make it a daily commitment. Add hills and or time, gradually to increase calorie burn. Add to your routine by doing exercises such as squats while vacuuming the carpet or brushing your teeth.
GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Inadequate sleep can interfere with your body’s ability to lose excess pounds. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night for your best results.
Dedicate 15 minutes of your day to get centered, quiet and to re-organize your thoughts in a way that supports your healing and increases your personal spiritual power. Use this time to connect to a power greater than yourself and to be reminded that through that power you are not ever alone.
There are 15-minute mindfulness practices in Dr. Ro’s Final 15 because like you, the patients in my office practice and the clients in my coaching practice lead very busy lives. So for them and for you, I provide prayerful meditation and walking meditation practices to help cope with stress. It works wonders.
To give your very best to the healing process for breast cancer or any disease requires that your body be at its best—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Try these simple tips and give your body, mind, and spirit the boost needed to fully support you.
See Dr. Ro’s special presentation on Saturday, September 24 for the 2016 Living Beyond Breast Cancer Conference: Individual Treatments, Shared Experiences in Philadelphia!
For Dr. Ro’s weight-loss Strategy and 3-phase meal plan, tasty recipes, and 15 minute workouts and stress-reliever mindfulness practices, pre-order her new book, Dr. Ro’s Final 15: Eat 15 Servings A Day, Lose 15 Pounds At A Time (Rodale) here: https://everythingro.com/final-15-book/
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