Breast Cancer Awareness month is nearly over, but I'll not be left out of the loop! Since high school, I have joined the millions of women in the fight against breast cancer. In my younger and cuter days (and by cuter I mean I could smile and bat my eyes and people just handed over the money!) I raised over $1,000 to go towards the research. I know that isn't much, but it was a big deal when I was 17! It is one of the most studied cancers, and you guessed it -- I'm going to give you even more motivation to get off the couch and run because as advanced as medicine is these days, there's nothing quite like some holistic peace of mind!
So for the next few minutes, put away your thoughts of "Aunt So and So ran her whole life and still got cancer!" or "Uncle John smoked his whole life and never got cancer!" Nothing is 100%, but things are looking up for us runners and we've got something to distract people from badgering us with, "Running is bad for your knees!"
According to the International Journal of Cancer, runners have a ten-fold decreased mortality rate when compared to walkers. Those who ran approx. 15 miles a week have a 95% (close enough to 100%!) decreased mortality rate than those who were only logging about 4.5 miles/week. This suggests that it's more than just meeting the exercise expectations, but to exceed them! Now, I'm not saying you've got to run MARATHONS, but cool it with being a couch potato and get moving!! Plus, Tennessee is the 4th fattest (not a nice word, I know) state, which technically makes us the 4th most likely to have cancer! So, if there's ever a time to jump on the bandwagon, now is the time! Plus, jumping is good exercise :) (And while you're jumping and running, don't forget the importance of a properly fitting sports bra!! From personal experience, Moving Comfort and Enell make excellent supportive sports bras, and any Fleet Feet across the nation can provide you with the proper fitting.)
BUT WAIT!! THERE'S MORE!! FOOD! This wouldn't be Fuel for the Run without some fuel knowledge!
Eat Green! And red, and orange, and yellow, and blue, and purple! The brighter the produce, the more antioxidants (mini cancer fighting SWAT team) you produce has. And while you're being more active, chop up your own produce! Buying pre-sliced products exposes the surface to more oxygen and poses a risk for higher nutrient loss!
Be Controversial Okay, maybe you weren't reading my mind, so have some soy! Previous animal studies suggest a bad link between soy and breast cancer, but fortunately researchers realized we are NOT animals and those phytoestrogens could even be protective. So rejoice, because now you can use those soymilk coupons found in the Sunday paper! Plus, edamame is trendy. Now you get to be cool AND fight breast cancer!
Cut the Crap Now I'm the bad guy. That's right. I'm not saying get rid of the sugar because of the obesity epidemic--though it is a very good reason. Sugar and packaged treats are incredibly processed and all those names you can't pronounce? Chemicals. No one loves cookies more than this girl, and let me tell you, you've got to cut down. Plus, the less you consume the less you crave and less you can tolerate!
Fired Up While your grill will likely be going into hibernation soon, still keep in mind that those yummy crunchies surrounding your fillet are not ideal. That chemical reaction causing those black crusties are also causing carcinogens. It may take some trial and error, but try wrapping meats with aluminum foil before grilling.
And the best part? The recipe! And you better believe I'm not leaving out the pumpkin!
Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 8 oz. strong coffee (or desired shots of espresso)
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk
- 3 Tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
- sprinkle of cinnamon
1. On medium heat, mix together soy milk and pumpkin in a sauce pan. 2. Remove from heat and add vanilla, spice, and sweetener. 3. Froth with frother or use blender for 30 seconds. 4.Pour Coffee into a large mug and add mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
*Recipe adapted from www.eatingbirdfood.com
***Thank you to our neighbors, at 2 Cute, for the fantastic breast cancer awareness shirts that we are sporting in the picture above!