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SKIN CANCER & CANINES – FIVE EASY WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR PET

               dogs-816989_1920 FIVE RISK FACTORS AND                           FIVE GREAT TIPS FOR PROTECTION

It’s #WELLNESS WEDNESDAY everyone and time to review some important facts for SUMMERTIME PET PROTECTION. In particular, we’re focusing on our CANINE COMPANIONS, which are susceptible to the same skin conditions – including cancer – that we are. In fact, skin cancer in dogs is surprisingly similar to skin cancer in humans.

So, let’s begin by reviewing the FIVE MAJOR RISK FACTORS for CANINE SKIN CANCER:

  1. HEREDITY: Some breeds are more likely to develop skin cancers than others. For example, dogs with black coats develop more melanomas in the nail beds. Dogs with thin, short and light-colored coats develop more squamous cell carcinomas.
  2. SUN EXPOSURE: No great surprise here. Harmful UVA and UVB rays cause damage even if most of your skin is covered in fur.
  3. FEMALE HORMONES: Estrogen and progesterone — culprits even for the four-legged girls.
  4. SKIN INFLAMMATIONS AND LESIONS: Remember our Cancer Blueprint from The Single Source Cancer Course? Cells that have been injured — over and over again — become weakened and damaged — and more susceptible to illness and disease, including cancer. This is true for man’s Best Friend as well as Man 🙂
  5. PAPILLOMA VIRUS: It may not be Human Papilloma Virus, but it can wreak just as much havoc with our pups — causing small warts around the mouth that can lead to squamous cell tumors.

Of course, the most vulnerable doggie body parts are those that are more exposed such as the nail beds and paw pads, the mouth and muzzle, and the nose, ears and abdomen.

So, HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR PETS?? In the same ways that we protect ourselves!! And, here are FIVE EASY TIPS:

  1. TALK TO YOUR VET. Make sure you understand the hereditary cancer risks your dog may face based on breed and coloring.
  2. STAY AWAY FROM DOGS THAT APPEAR TO BE SICK.  Remember papilloma here. The best way to treat a virus is to avoid it in the first place.
  3. STOP EXCESSIVE LICKING: This may contribute to the development of cancer-related skin mutations. Treat any skin inflammations, lesions or infections immediately.
  4. HAVE REGULAR CHECK-UPS. Make sure you schedule an annual exam for your pup replete with a full-body inspection. And, always visit your Vet if you notice any lump, bump, sore or discoloration on your pup’s skin.
  5. PRACTICE SUN SENSE. Remember, sun sense is really just common sense. Don’t expose your pup to the hottest hours of the day and the strongest rays of the sun, which are from about 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Always provide a shady area for rest outdoors. And, be careful of piping hot surfaces like asphalt, sand and concrete that can burn and damage delicate paws.

AND, if your pooch spends a lot of time swimming at the beach or hiking in the mountains — or in any other adventurous activity — consider these THREE GREAT OUTDOOR OPTIONS:

  1. SUN BLOCK CLOTHING. You bet. Protective gear like vests and hats are not only good for us – they’re good for Fido as well. These products not only block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays but also are often infused with SPF protection as well.
  2.  DOGGY SUN SCREEN. Yep. It’s special-made for the canine in your life. Just apply to the vulnerable areas we discussed like the nose and ears.
  3. DOGGY SUNGLASSES OR GOGGLES. Affectionately known as DOGGLES. (I know, right? It doesn’t get any cuter than that.) They come in a variety of sizes and styles — designed to please the most relaxed beach bum on four legs or the most discerning of high-brow dog divas. Great protection from sun, spray and wind.

So, there we have it!! The low-down on canine skin cancer. Just as we protect our own health, please protect that of your pet. It will help insure years and years of togetherness for you and your best friend. WOOF!

Thanks for joining me everyone. Until next time have a wonderful summer, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .

TAKE THE COURSE AND TAKE CHARGE!

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THE SCIENCE OF SURVIVAL IN SIX SIMPLE STRATEGIES

 

unsplash_-_pwestra-min6 STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL FROM A 3 TIME CANCER SURVIVOR

Welcome to #Wellness Wednesday Everyone! I recently guest blogged for the wonderful organization I HAD CANCER and I wanted to share the information with you. It’s all about surviving. Of course, it focuses on surviving cancer and the fact that we all just enjoyed another Cancer Survivor’s Day. But, these tips can be applied to any situation in which one is struggling to overcome difficulty and adversity. Practice them every day and see for yourself how much better you’ll begin to feel! Read them in GOOD HEALTH and have a WONDERFUL WEEK 🙂

———————————————————————————————————————————–Gosh, I can hardly believe Cancer Survivor’s Day is just around the corner. And, as a survivor of three different cancers, I’m thrilled to be here for it! And, thrilled to be sharing it with you!

It’s been twenty years since my first diagnosis and one thing I’ve learned is that the cancer process – like life itself — is not linear. It’s a fluid and ever-changing journey. And, one of the most difficult aspects of this journey is feeling that we have no control over the process – or the outcome.

But, we do! There are some very simple things we can do every day to actively participate in our survival. And, they’re all science-based.

So, let’s get to it – 6 SIMPLE SCIENTIFIC STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL:

  • DRINK WATER:   Why? Water’s the most abundant chemical compound in every living human cell. It accounts for roughly 70 percent of our entire body. Water carries nutrients to our cells and flushes accumulated toxins. It feeds our muscles maximizing every physical endeavor. It boosts our mood and improves brain function and memory. And, it decreases anxiety and physical and mental fatigue. Plain H2O. Never underestimate it.
  • EAT WISELY:   Similarly, diet has an impact on our body chemistry and brain. Illness creates stress. And, stress triggers a fight or flight response in the body, which begins to break down important proteins. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium like salmon and bananas reduce the body’s stress hormone, cortisol. Protein from dairy products, lean meats and nuts also help decrease our cortisol and restore the body’s protein levels. Green leafy vegetables and whole grains help fight cancer-related depression.  Proper nutrition regulates our blood sugar and our sense of well-being. And – yippee — a bite of dark chocolate daily will stimulate our brain to produce more “feel good” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
  • EXERCISE:    This isn’t about weight loss, tight buns or toned abs. This is about the mental clarity we gain from moderate exercise in times of stress and illness. Exercise helps reverse the detrimental effects of stress and increases our serotonin and dopamine.  Simple movement helps repair the neurons in our brain that have been damaged by depression.  Just a few stretches or a leisurely walk can help keep our brain fit, our self-image positive and our mood elevated.
  • SMILE:   Yep – in the throes of cancer — just smile. Even if you have to force yourself. The simple act of smiling – forced or natural – tricks your brain into thinking you’re happy. Smiling lowers our cortisol. It helps build new neural pathways in the brain stabilizing our mood and calming our nervous system. Facial muscles in a smile response increase our serotonin and dopamine providing us with energy, feelings of joy and confidence. And, pain-relieving endorphins kick into high gear — creating mild euphoria and heightened self-esteem.
  • AFFIRM:   Now – to the power of the spoken word. Speech is energy. It affects our emotions and the way our brain works.  So, speak positively. When feeling ill say, “I am strong. I am healthy.” When frightened say, “I am fearless.  I am courageous.” Such declarations will literally stop your brain in its “woe is me” tracks. It will force your thoughts down new neural pathways so they begin to reflect your spoken word. Each day speak your words out loud – firmly — in the present tense. And find that in time, you’ll be feeling everything you declare.
  • MEDITATE:   There are many forms of meditation. But, most simply require one to sit comfortably with the eyes closed.  We don’t talk to anyone, we don’t answer phones, we just sit quietly for a few minutes and focus softly on our body and perhaps, our breathing. In this mindful and gentle way our nervous system begins to relax. Our blood pressure decreases. And as our levels of serotonin and dopamine increase, our feelings of mental peace and physical well-being take over. Ahhh . . .

And, there we are. Six Simple Strategies for Survival. May they help you enjoy and celebrate this Cancer Survivor’s Day and many more to come!

TAKE THE COURSE AND TAKE CHARGE!

Reposted from I HAD CANCER, June 30, 2016.

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EASY BBQ MARINADES – ENHANCE FLAVOR WHILE PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM CANCER

shutterstock_272736689                    RECIPE TIPS FOR A                      HEALTHY AND HAPPY BBQ

Happy 4th of July everyone! And as luck would have it, it’s also Monday and the perfect time for another Holiday Version of WHAT’S ON THE #MENU MONDAY. Because summer is in full swing and so much of our time now revolves around the great outdoors and food, it’s time to re-visit an important issue. The classic barbeque. How to keep it safe. How to protect your health. And, how to cook all those burgers, steaks and hotdogs without exposing yourself to harm.

First – it’s time to review! And, time to remember the following 3 facts:

  1. High temperatures during grilling can result in the formation of chemicals such as heterocyclic amines or HCAs. In turn, these chemicals have been linked to the development of certain cancers, including colon, stomach, lung, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers.
  2. HCAs form specifically in the charred or blackened parts of your BBQ.
  3. The formation of HCAs can be reduced dramatically if you marinate your meat before you grill it.

So much for the What. Now, let’s get to the How.

Thanks to researchers at Kansas State University we have 2 Easy Recipes for Marinades that will help protect your health and provide a tasty punch to any summer BBQ.

  • SIMPLE THAI SPICE RECIPE:

Equal parts turmeric, finger root and galangal.

Crush and mix spices together to form a dry rub.

Cover beef, fish, poultry or pork with the rub and let it sit for a few hours before popping on the grill.

Could anything be easier?! Oh yeah – this one:

  • ROSEMARY DRY RUB:

As its name suggests, crush plain rosemary into a dry rub.

Cover your choice of meat with the rub and let it sit for a few hours before grilling. That’s it!

Both methods are simple, tasty and effective. For not only will we be adding great flavor to our meal, but using a Thai Spice rub on our meats before putting them on the BBQ will reduce the formation of HCAs by 40 to 42 percent! Using a dry rub of simple rosemary on our meats before grilling will reduce the formation of HCAs by a whopping 60 to 70 percent. Wow!

Other marinades also may help reduce the formation of HCAs, but remember:

  • Don’t use marinades with high amounts of sugar as these can actually double or triple the HCA levels in our burger or steak.
  • Lower the heat of your grill just a bit to avoid burning.
  • And, try to avoid eating the crunchy, blackened parts of your BBQ.

There we are. Easy recipes and simple tips to keep your summer gatherings safe for friends and family – and tasty enough to use all year long.

Have a HEALTHY and HAPPY 4th of JULY everyone and thanks for joining me! Until next time, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .

TAKE THE COURSE AND TAKE CHARGE!

 

 

 

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10 COMMON CONDIMENTS – KEEPING THEM FRESH AND FLAVORFUL

salt-584_1920                   EVERYDAY FOODS –                       HOW DO WE STORE THEM?

Yes, it’s another What’s On the #Menu Monday – and today we’re going to discuss 10 foods that may or may not need refrigeration – depending upon your source of information. But, these 10 foods are commonly used all summer long, so let’s try to clarify a bit and figure out just how they should be stored to preserve maximum flavor and safety.

Found in just about every kitchen everywhere, these essential products are used by almost all of us every day. Yet, once they’re open how do we store them? Honestly, the jury’s still out on some of these.  But, let’s take a closer look and see if we can’t come up with some answers that make sense.

In ALPHABETICAL ORDER, here we go:

  1. BREAD: Perhaps not so much a condiment as a compliment, bread is the perfect pairing with dinner, salad or soup. And, most sources agree on this one. Bread should not be refrigerated because it will become tough and less tasty. Yet, if you don’t eat bread quickly and leave it on the kitchen counter, it can develop mold. So, how about this. If you’re able to consume that loaf of bread in a few days, by all means keep it on the kitchen counter. If it takes you a week or two to consume that bread, then put it in the fridge after 4 or 5 days on the counter. It won’t be as flavorful, but it also won’t be moldy. And, a little toughness is probably better than having to throw half of it out.
  2. HONEY: Lots of people put this sweet product in the fridge. But actually, it will turn into hardened, crystalized goop if kept cold. Keep it on the counter or in the pantry away from direct sunlight if you want really healthy, happy honey.
  3. JAM: This one is really a matter of personal taste. The typical jam or jelly contains a high amount of preservatives. As a result, they keep just fine in the pantry after opening. However, if you love your jam cold, then pop it in the fridge. As I said, it’s a matter of taste and totally up to you.
  4. KETCHUP: More controversy with this one. Some sources say ketchup is fine in the pantry after opening because of the vinegar and preservatives it contains. Other sources say that just because restaurants keep ketchup on the table, doesn’t mean you should. True, the acid content will probably prevent bacteria from growing in your ketchup even at room temperature. But, the flavor and freshness may suffer. So, let’s compromise. Why not leave it out if you can consume it within a month or two. After that, chill it. Quite simply, it will just taste better longer.
  5. MAPLE SYRUP: Okay, another controversy. Some experts say maple syrup has a very short shelf life and should, therefore, be refrigerated. Others say that similar to honey, refrigerated maple syrup will become goopy and crystalized. So, let’s see. How about this. If you and your family consume maple syrup quickly it’s probably allright to leave it in the pantry. If it takes you a year to consume your maple syrup, then it’s probably better off in the fridge. You won’t have to worry about spoilage. And, it will stay fresher longer. Remember, you can always heat it up if you like warm, gooey syrup on your breakfast pancakes.
  6. OILS: First, let’s distinguish between regular cooking oils and nut oils. Most oils will keep when stored at room temperature. They may turn cloudy and become thick if refrigerated. However, these conditions will disappear once the oil comes to room temperature. Oils with less saturated fat like sunflower or safflower oil should be kept cool – not cold. Place them in a dark corner of the pantry or in the fridge door, which is less cold. BUT, nut oils like peanut oil should be refrigerated. Just like nuts, these oils can become rancid and need the fridge to remain fresh and flavorful.
  7. PEANUT BUTTER: Again, it depends. Most peanut butters contain preservatives, which help keep them fresh. These are fine stored in the pantry. BUT, natural peanut butters lack the preservatives. So, these should be refrigerated and then allowed to reach room temperature before use.
  8. PICKLES: Here we have another food that is high in preservatives. Mainly because of the vinegar, pickles will stay fresh AND crisp in the pantry. You don’t have to worry about contamination. But, if you like your pickles cold, then by all means store them in the door of your fridge.
  9. SOY SAUCE: Salt is a natural preservative. And, this kitchen staple has enough salt in it to keep it fresh, tasty and safe when stored at room temperature for many, many months. It never requires refrigeration, opened or not.
  10. SPICES: Similarly, ground spices never need to be refrigerated. Period. In fact, the humidity of a fridge is detrimental to the flavor of spices. They will keep just fine for years – yes, years – at room temperature. However, many chefs recommend throwing out spices that are 6 to 12 months old. This is only because they may lose flavor over time, not because there is any safety issue. But, for most of us – including me – I honestly keep spices for a year or two and never notice a difference in flavor 🙂

So, there we go everyone. Just a few helpful hints regarding some of our favorite food staples. Enjoy them with every family dinner, barbeque, buffet, party and picnic all summer long.

Thanks again for joining me everyone! Until next time stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .

TAKE THE COURSE AND TAKE CHARGE!

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10 FAVORITE FOODS THAT HATE TO CHILL

farmers-market-532943_1280         FRUITS AND VEGGIES PERFECT          FOR THE KITCHEN COUNTER

WELCOME back everyone to another week of What’s On the #Menu Monday.

Now, last week we discussed 7 favorite summer foods that really should be refrigerated – especially during the hot summer months. And, this week – as promised – we’ll discuss 10 common summer fruits and veggies that do not require refrigeration. In fact, these foods hate to chill. Not only will they lose substantial flavor, they may lose a large amount of their vitamin content as well.

So, even though it may be hot outside, these perineal favorites will do just fine resting in the pantry or sitting on the kitchen counter at room temperature.

Fruits first, please:

1) Apples: When it comes to this fruit, an apple will do just fine stored at room temperature for up to a week. So, if you plan on eating your apple within 7 days of purchase, great. Leave it on the kitchen counter. But, if you don’t plan to use your apple for a few weeks, then pop it in fridge. Just remember, that an apple will begin to lose its texture and flavor after refrigeration.

2) Melons: This fruit requires room temperature in order to ripen properly and sweeten. It will not ripen properly if refrigerated. Once the melon has been cut, however, any leftovers should be kept in the fridge to prevent deterioration.

3) Stone Fruit: The most common summer stone fruits include cherries, apricots, peaches and plums. And, all of them should be allowed to ripen at room temperature – and according to the experts — with the stem end down. Keep an eye on them, though. If they become soft and their sweet smell is obvious AND they haven’t yet been eaten, throw them in the fridge. This will stop the ripening process and give them a few more days of use.

4) Berries: Of course, we’re talking about strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries – all plentiful during the summer months. These fresh fruits, however, have a very short shelf life. So, it’s best to leave them at room temperature and eat them within a few days. They can tolerate refrigeration, but they will lose flavor and nutritional quality. They also may become mushy.

5) Bananas: If you want to eat your banana plain – as is – then let it ripen at room temperature. This is the best way to let it ripen and develop its wonderful flavor. If your banana starts to turn brown, then put it in the fridge to slow ripening. And, if you still don’t get to it, you can freeze that banana and use it in a smoothie or banana bread at a later date.

And, now for the veggies:

 6) Avocados: An avocado simply won’t ripen in cold conditions. So, keep this veggie on the kitchen counter and out of the fridge. Once it becomes slightly soft to your touch it should be perfect for guacamole or a southwestern omelet. Should you have any leftovers, go ahead and refrigerate them. But, remember they’ll lose flavor. And, to slow the browning process try leaving the pit in that leftover half.

7) Tomatoes: This veggie hates to chill. The cold breaks down the cell walls in the flesh of a tomato and results in a mealy and mushy veggie. Refrigeration also will destroy much of the tomato’s nutritional value. So, you might want to buy tomatoes while still hard and let them ripen slowly at room temperature. But, keep them out of direct sunlight which can cause them to ripen unevenly and too quickly.

8) Onions: Here’s another veggie that loves room temperature. In fact, if chilled an onion can become soft and will begin to contaminate other foods with its odor. Onions like air circulation, so keep them in the mesh bag from the grocery and place them in the pantry out of direct sunlight. And, separate your onions and potatoes as the gases and moisture from the potatoes can rot the onions.

9) Garlic: Like its cousin the onion, garlic likes air circulation. The pantry is perfect for storing this veggie and a bulb will keep up to 2 months without refrigeration. Also, the damp air of the fridge makes it likely that produce in the same drawer will take on the garlic’s odor. Refrigeration also can make the garlic sprout early.

10) Potatoes: Make room in the pantry or a dark drawer for this veggie. Don’t store it in the fridge. The cold will cause the starches in the potato to turn to sugar. And, this will result in an “off” flavor and cause the skins to darken during cooking – which can be unappealing. Storing potatoes in a paper bag is a great way to preserve flavor and freshness. Also, remember to keep your potatoes away from your onions – they really don’t get along 🙂

So, there we have it. Ten great, tasty, seasonal foods that really prefer the great outdoors and room temperatures. Take care of them properly and they will provide you with flavor and nutrition all summer long.

And, next week we’ll discuss a few other kitchen staples – food in bags, glass jars and plastic containers. Things we use throughout the summer months. Do we refrigerate them or not? Until then, thanks again for joining me everyone! Stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .

TAKE THE COURSE AND TAKE CHARGE!

 

 

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