The ONE Thing You Should Do this Weekend to Prevent the Most Common Cancers

Do you know someone who has (or had) breast cancer? Or lung cancer?

My guess is you answered yes to one or both of those questions.

According to the National Cancer Institute, lung and breast cancer are the most common in the United States.

Okay . . . this isn’t meant to depress you. So I’m going to turn this discussion around. Over the last few weeks we have covered what you should NOT do in terms of cancer prevention. Now we’re getting to the fun part.

The part where we talk about the FUN (and of course, evidence-based) things you CAN do to prevent cancer.

Because, as you know by now, 5 million cases of cancer can be prevented each year.

So what is the ONE thing you can do this weekend to prevent lung and breast cancer (the most common cancers)?

Physical activity.

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You know, exercise, ejercicio, moving your body. You get it, right?

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PREVENTS CANCER

It’s true. Physical activity prevents cancer.

How?

Great question.

It is hypothesized that physical activity directly effects levels of various hormones and growth factors in the body. Physical activity also improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin as well as decreasing oxidative stress and inflammatory markers. Furthermore, physical activity indirectly decreases cancer risk by lowering the risk of being obese or overweight.

Bottom line: physical activity both directly and indirectly decreases the risk of breast and lung cancer.

What Counts as Physical Activity?

If thoughts of slaving away on a treadmill are filling you with dread, don’t worry.

Because there are TONS of ways you can get physical activity.

According to the studies showing physical activity reduces cancer risk, any bodily movement that results in increased energy expenditure (above resting) counts.

So if you like treadmills and running, do it! If that’s not your cup of tea, do something else. Go for a hike this weekend. Ride a bike. Take a vigorous walk. Go to a yoga class. Take a spinning, barre, or boot camp class. Dig out your roller blades from the back of the closet. Grab some weights or use your body weight for resistance training. You get the picture. Find something you enjoy, but is also physically challenging, and do it!

And while you’re at it, do it on both weekend days.

OTHER REASONS TO MOVE YOUR BODY

If preventing breast and lung cancer isn’t enough, there are literally hundreds of other reasons to engage in physical activity.

Here are just a few reasons to move your body:

  • Exercise decreases your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Exercise help keep blood pressure at healthy levels
  • Physical activity is associated with improved mood
  • Physical activity decreases perception of pain

Seriously. It’s hard to argue against exercise.

Even better is physical activity can be free. That’s right —no matter your budget, you can do something.

YOUR TURN

My personal practice is to do something every single day. Some days that means hiking. Other days it’s running, biking, or going to an exercise class.

What do you do? What do you plan to start this weekend? Shoot me a message — I’d love to hear all about it!


In health and happiness,
Skye

A Recipe for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Over the last two weeks, I’ve received dozens of questions about the big holiday on Thursday.

You know. Thanksgiving. The day devoted to family, food, festivities, and football.

For some of us, this sounds like heaven on earth. For others, it can induce some serious stress.

Regardless of the camp you’re in, there are ways to enhance your day to make sure your Thanksgiving is both happy and healthy.

Just follow my five step recipe for Thanksgiving success and you’ll be well on your way!

Step 1: Exercise in the morning

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First things first. Start your Thanksgiving with a sweat. This way you’ll get a shot of stress-relieving and feel-old hormones that will be sure to help you feel fantastic for the rest of the day.

Does this sound too boring to you? Then make it a social event and rally a group to sign up for a Turkey Trot or head to a Thanksgiving themed class. Organize a group hike.

Prefer the solo approach? Hit the gym, walk, bike, jog ... the options are endless.

Just make sure to start your day with a sweat.

Step 2: Have a healthy breakfast

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It can be tempting to fast all day and binge at dinner. However, I NEVER recommend this approach. Why?

If you head into your Thanksgiving meal totally famished, a few things will happen. One, you’ll be a grump. Coupling that with your annoying Uncle could be a recipe for disaster. Two, any alcohol you have will go straight to your head. Which could precipitate awkward conversations about politics with your right or left wing extremist relatives. Three, you are more likely to binge on the first thing you see. Which could be the weird hor d’oeuvres your cousin brought that doesn’t even taste good.

Having a good breakfast doesn’t mean you need to eat a Denny’s grand slam. Instead have a lighter breakfast that will leave you feeling great and that loads you up on nutrients.

Need some inspiration? Try this green smoothie (from this post) or my favorite oatmeal (in this post).

Step 3: Avoid the pre-meal snacks

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Now, this one depends on your personal preferences. If you wait all year for a special artichoke dip or special appetizer, please savor and enjoy each and every bite.

But if you’re just grazing on food mindlessly to kill time until the big meal, skip on the snacks. And if you feel like you must snack on something, have some raw veggies.

Bottomline: Indulge in the foods you love on Thanksgiving and pass on those that aren’t doing it for you.

Step 4: Seriously enjoy your meal.

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I mean this. Thanksgiving comes once a year (unless you’re Canadian-American). So savor and enjoy the holiday.

Appreciate the feast. Breathe in the delicious aromas. Relish in the fluffiness of the mashed potatoes, the complex seasoning on the stuffing, and the heartiness of the gravy. Truly taste the wine and cider.

Consider Thanksgiving a serious holiday for your senses. And enjoy every moment.

Step 5: Lose the guilt

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Really.

There is no reason to feel guilty for enjoying your Thanksgiving meal. If you find yourself feeling guilty for eating your favorite holiday foods, may I offer you a suggestion?

Gently close your eyes and take a few deeps breaths. On your inhalation, breathe in celebration. On your exhalation, breathe out any guilt or anxiety you feel.

Seriously. Give this a try.

And if you need more help on savoring the day and losing the guilt, check out my post here.

Now you have my cooking-free recipe for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

I’m wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and better Thanksgiving.

With gratitude,
Skye

Are You Taking Care of Yourself After Las Vegas?

Unless you’re superhuman, your nervous system is on overdrive.

The events over the last few months have been horrendous — natural disasters, manmade forest fires, and acts of violence. Even if you did not directly experience any of these events, you have been impacted.

And whether you realize it or not, your mind and body are under stress.

People have asked me what they can do to support their minds and bodies during this time. 

So today my goal is to provide you comfort and actionable ways to take care of your whole self and support your sympathetic nervous system.

Please note this post is not meant to minimize the direct impact millions of humans experienced. I recognize the grief I’ve experienced pales in comparison to the heartbreaking loss others have suffered. Even so, I want to acknowledge the stress we are all experiencing and provide ways to help us all cope.

Here are three actionable and evidence-based ways to help support your nervous system.

 

1. Meditate

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By now, you know I am a huge fan of meditation. Particularly during stressful times. 

 

So what type of meditation is best?

 

There isn’t one type of meditation that is better than others. However, there are types that have been better studied. For example mindfulness meditation, a form that focuses on awareness and being in the present moment, has been shown to decrease stress and improve mood. 

 

Want to learn more about how to meditate? Check out my post on How to Meditate.

 

2. Fuel Your Body with De-Stressing Foods

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While it can be easy to reach for comfort food (like chips, cakes, and fries), they may actually make your mind and body feel worst.

Green leafy vegetables — spinach, kale, lettuce — are a great way to support your body. They are full of wonderful micronutrients that decrease stress and promote feelings of wellbeing.

Berries, which contain antioxidants and phytonutrients, improve your body’s response to stress. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and reduce surges of stress hormones. Omega-3’s can be found in fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and egg yolks. 

3. Move Your Body in Ways that Make You Feel Good

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Exercise can be a serious stress reliever so don’t neglect it during tough times. 

Right now focus on forms of exercise that make you feel you good and is supportive to your wellness. 

My personal picks right now include yoga, running, and biking.

Action Time

There you have it. Three actionable and evidence-based ways to help support your stress and wellness. Which will you choose to incorporate into your wellness routine? Let me know below!

Until next time,
Skye

 

 

3 Things to Do to With Your Extra Hour to Make You Feel Your Best (+ F R E E Guided Meditation)

Daylight Savings — the one day a year where your wish for more hours in the day comes true — is just around the corner.

While I do not fully understand the rationale for converting to daylight savings time, I fully appreciate the gift of an extra hour.

And as a bonafide hater of time wasting, I’m giving you inspiration on what you can do with your extra time to make you feel your best.


1. Meditate (+ F R E Eguided meditation)

The number one reason folks give me for not meditating? They don’t have time.

Guess what? This weekend you will have a whole 60 minutes extra. And what can you do with 10 of those? Meditate!

You know I am a huge fan of meditation and have previously discussed it’s scientific-basis. If you want to feel more peaceful, relaxed, and centered meditation is for you. Check out this post to learn more.

And to make meditation as simple as possible, this week I’m posting a FREE guided meditation. All you have to do is find a comfortable seat and press play. I’ve got the rest!

I’d love to hear how this works for you, so please drop me a line and let me know.


2. Move

Whatever you enjoy doing — walking, hiking, biking, running, Zumba-ing, yoga-ing — just do it!

Grab a friend or do it by yourself. Just get your blood pumping — it will make you feel (and look) better.

Other benefits include decreased stress, decreased blood pressure, and decreased risk of chronic disease (such as diabetes).


3. Sleep

I’m imaging some fist-pumping from you with this one.

Sleep is an incredibly important determinant of health that is often ignored. Your brain literally needs sleep to perform optimally and to help you feel your best.

I recently attended a training from an expert sleep physician. The bottom line? When it comes to health, sleep is as important (if not MORE) as diet and exercise.

You can expect more sleep info coming your way, but for now take my word for it.


Start your week off right by trying one of these three options. You’re mind and body will thank you.

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Sending you light until next time,

Skye