Monthly Archives: June 2016

Healthy fruit on summer tips

unduhan-27There’s nothing that screams “summer” more than sinking your teeth into a perfectly juicy slice of watermelon, giving us one more reason to seek out the very best of seasonal summer produce. Farmer’s markets abound and it’s locally grown, organic fare galore. According to a PBS article and CUESA, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, there’s a wide range of fruits and veggies that are fresh for the taking, so you’ll want to get your hands on them before it’s too late. And what’s more? We’ve narrowed down a list of 4 specific fruits and veggies that also boast some serious health benefits.

1. Green peppers

Although all peppers are rich in antioxidants, green peppers in particular boast the highest water content, not to mention they’re a great addition to any summer salad. As mentioned in this SF Gate article, green peppers contain zeaxanthin, which keeps eyes healthy and may reduce the risk of age-related eye disorders. Vitamins C and E, which are found in this crunchy snack, help keep the body from developing infections, protect your cells from damage, and support a strong immune system. The SF Gate article also noted that one cup of green bell peppers contains 2.5 grams of fiber — daily recommendation for women is 21 to 25 grams, and for men is 30 to 38 grams — which will help the digestive system work more efficiently.

2. Watermelon

Like I said, there’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a juicy slice of freshly cut watermelon on a hot summer’s day. And for that reason, of course, watermelon has made the list. As Allison Krupp of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market told us, “Watermelon contains 91.5% water. While it’s rich in vitamin-C, it has many cancer fighting properties, as being linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.” And how can we be sure? Watermelon is among the richest sources of lycopene, which is a cancer-fighting antioxidant that’s found in red fruits and veggies. In addition to helping heart health and soothing sore muscles, National Geographic even claims that this juicy treat could act as a natural Viagra! However, it should be noted that you’d have to eat a large amount before seeing the effects of improved circulation that could benefit more than just the heart.

How to treat the cancer

The statistics are staggering: 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This means that cancer will very likely affect each and every one of us at some point in our lives — whether it is through our own personal diagnosis or through that of someone we love. In light of this, I’d like share eight things that we as survivors and potential targets of this disease need to know.

8. We’ve come a long way baby.

The idea that cancer is a modern disease is a common misconception. The first known case of cancer actually dates back to 1600BC. Although cancer claims the lives of millions of people each year, researchers are making progress against this disease. We now have cures or effective treatments for some forms of cancer and people are living longer than ever before despite having a cancer diagnosis.

7. Prevention is critical. Let’s face it, if you don’t get cancer you don’t have to worry about treatment.

According to the World Health Organization, one-third of cancers are preventable through lifestyle choices. We should eat lots of fruits and veggies, exercise often and maintain a healthy weight. We should protect ourselves from the sun, limit our intake of alcohol and red meat and never smoke.

Although these measures can help keep some cancers at bay, it’s important to also remember that vegans who exercise often can get cancer. People who have never smoked a day in their life can get cancer- even lung cancer. Those who have undergone a mastectomy can still have a breast cancer recurrence in the tissue that lines the chest wall or in the skin. When it comes to cancer, there are no guarantees… but making lifestyle choices can significantly reduce the risks of certain cancers.

By the way, there is now a vaccine that helps prevent HPV-related cancers (All three of my children have been vaccinated for this already) and there are lots more cancer-preventing vaccines in development.

6. Screening catches cancer at earlier stages when it’s most treatable.

Screenings are simple to get done but lots of people don’t do them because they don’t like the procedures or they can’t seem to find the time. But screening absolutely, positively saves lives.

Take colon cancer for instance — today, colonoscopies help catch the cancer before it starts, or help to catch the cancer early when the five-year survival ratecan be as high as 90 percent. Other simple screenings include skin checks, self breast exams, mammograms, PAP Smears, and HPV DNA Tests to name a few.

New and simple screening tests coming down the pike. Keep an eye out for abreath test that could be used to both diagnose stomach cancer and predict which individuals are at high risk for the disease.

5. Cancer is not just one disease.

Cancer is not just one disease. It’s a family of 400+ different diseases – and is characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. We also now know that just as no two people are exactly alike, no two cancers are exactly alike. This is why standard treatments don’t always work the same for everybody.

4. Precision medicine is transforming the way some cancers are treated TODAY.

Precision medicine matches treatments to the genetic makeup of the patient and his or her tumor. There are several personalized medicines that are becoming standard in cancer treatment today. For instance, oncologists can now prescribe targeted therapies to lung cancer patients whose tumors have certain mutations and to melanoma patients with the BRAF mutation. As a result, patients are experiencing better outcomes with fewer adverse effects compared to standard chemotherapy.

The bottomline: Knowing your cancer’s genetic makeup can help your doctor find best treatment for you right now. To learn about personalizing your cancer treatments, visit

3. Immunotherapy is just beginning to change the way cancer is treated.

Precision medicine is the driving force behind this movement. One study at Duke University is targeting cancer with a genetically engineered polio virus. Another aspect of immunotherapy called checkpoint inhibitors, drugs that pull off cancer’s invisibility cloak by blocking the switch that turns it on, also shows great promise.

To learn more about how immunotherapy works and why it offers such tremendous hope, read and listen to this NPR article “Harnessing the Power of Immunotherapy“. In fact, immunotherapy offers such great promise that one day we may have a new kind of doctor called immuno-oncologists.

2. If your physician isn’t up-to-date on the most recent advances in cancer, find a new doctor.

While many doctors are knowledgeable about the latest advances in treating cancer, there are those oncologists who are not. Has your oncologist explained to you that no two cancers are alike? Has your doctor spoken to you about molecular profiling and tumor testing? If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, has your doctor spoken to you about a recent FDA-approved immunotherapy regimen?

With each passing day, researchers learn more about cancer and how to better fight this disease. If your oncologist is not up-to-date on the latest and greatest advances in cancer care and or precision medicine, then make the switch to a new oncologist.

1. HOPE is the most powerful weapon we have against cancer today.

Cancer is a thief- it tries to steal away our hope, our dreams and our lives- but we cannot let it. Today in 2015, we have a really good template to cure some cancers and prolong life in other cancers. We are gaining ground every day. Although I do not think we will ever see a day where cancer ceases to exist, turning this disease into more of a manageable condition rather than a potential death sentence gives me tremendous hope.

What is The Healthy People Do

Our alarm goes off and we hit the snooze button. That happens a few more times. Then with no time to waste, we leap out of bed, dash into the shower, fly out of the house wearing a wrinkled shirt and grab a quick coffee on our way to work. Basically, we live every morning as if it were “Groundhog Day,” always promising ourselves we’ll do it differently tomorrow.

Though this kind of morning routine affords a couple of extra blinks of sleep, many in the medical field insist that beginning the day under such stress is just not healthy. It sets a chaotic tone, inviting further stress as the hours progress, and completely undermines any good the extra rest may have provided.

But there are a number of things we can learn from those of us who have our stuff together to rewrite our morning routine almost entirely. We partnered with Tropicana to bring you the healthy person’s guide to starting the day right.

1. They set a sleep schedule and stick to it

Eradicate some of the chaos by setting a bedtime and sticking to it. It may seem like a funny thing for adults, but it’s incredibly important. Our bodies get out of whack if we go to sleep at 10 p.m. one night and midnight another. It’s an energy-drainer, so set a bedtime and do your best to stick with it. It’s surprising how quickly a new routine will stick.

2. They wake up early — as early as 6 a.m.
Provide yourself with enough time to accomplish your morning goals and this will change the entire rhythm of your day. And knocking out a few small, easy things in the morning — like making your bed as soon as you get up — helps to build your momentum to accomplish things throughout the day.

3. They drink a lot of water

You haven’t had anything to drink since last night, so it’s good to rehydrate yourself. The water fires up your metabolism.

“You never want your pee to be dark yellow,” says personal trainer and marathon runner Angie Knudson, 34. “That means you’re dehydrated. Water helps to regulate sodium levels in the body.”

4. They exercise before the day gets going
Morning exercise will provide a reliable boost of energy, and even a light workout delivers a sense of accomplishment. “Things accumulate,” says Alfred Gallegos, 28, a personal trainer based in California In the morning, there’s no excuses, and you don’t have the same energy level for exercise at the end of the day.”

5. They eat a hearty, balanced breakfast
Give your body the energy it needs to get through an active day. “I eat eight egg whites with spinach, kale, tomato and avocado,” says Michael Dreishpoon, 50, who hits the gym six days a week. “There’s tons of protein in that, and good fats in the avocado.” Later, Dreishpoon will turn to a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and grapes for carbohydrates and natural sugars.

6. They meditate
There are various forms of meditation, but the morning — just after waking up or exercising — is the ideal time for it. Stephen Sullivan, 37, an actor in Los Angeles, engages in transcendental meditation for 20 minutes each morning. “It helps ground me, and center my emotions,” he says. “I feel a greater sense of gratitude for the day and my life in general.”

Healthy Eating Tips

unduhan-26Eight years ago, I nearly died. In fact, at the time, no doctor understood how I hadn’t. My body was so emaciated that my heart rate had slowed to 36 beats a minute, about half of what’s considered normal. I was in constant pain, all bones, barely even able to sit. I never wanted to be that thin, so nothing about my body was attractive to me. I’d always wanted to be She-Ra. Or Beyoncé—who, to me, has the ideal body. I’d look in the mirror and ask myself, How did I get here? This was not supposed to be my story.

I’ve always been a perfectionist. When I went to the University of Vermont as a premed, my goal was not just to graduate with honors and become a doctor but eventually to cure some major disease. I worked hard. When I wasn’t putting in time at the library or in class, I was dealing with all the ordinary stresses every student faces. I drank too much and ate whatever—pizza, wings. Food wasn’t good or bad; it was just food.

During my junior year, I studied abroad in Australia, where the sunny beach culture inspired me to get outside. I started running 3 to 5 miles a few times a week. It cleared my mind, and I loved the endorphin high. As I lost a little weight from my 5-foot-11 frame, I also attracted more attention. I remember a guy at a bar said, “I’m in love with your body. You’re so strong and lean.” I was, like, Yay, strength!

A New Obsession

After about six months, however, something in me changed. My running had become less of a joy and more of an obligation. I ran through it all—torrential­ downpours, injury, exhaustion—with no exceptions or excuses, because it was less painful to endure the hard workouts than the hell I’d give myself if I skipped them. If I slacked off, my inner dialogue turned hateful: You’re lazy. You’ve failed yourself. Exercising made me feel like I had control over my life. Putting in 5 miles before anyone was even awake made me feel secretly superior.

That’s when the food changes started, too. I had to make sure every bite I put into my mouth was super healthy: lowfat yogurt and cereal for breakfast (carbs were OK as long as they weren’t white), a smoothie for lunch and brown rice with veggies for dinner. I had an ironclad policy: always the same meals, same time, same chair, same utensils. This rigidity annoyed my friends. “Why can’t you just eat with us?” they’d ask, to which I’d respond, “I like eating this way.” It was a lie. But when you’re obsessed, you’ll say whatever you can to end a conversation.

When I moved back to Vermont for my senior year, people knew I’d changed. I was 20 pounds lighter and I was no longer my happy, social self. I stopped hanging out with friends because I never wanted to be challenged on my new lifestyle. And I stopped going to parties for fear that if I stayed up late, I’d be too tired to work out the next morning. I was lean, strong, in control—and also totally alone. For comfort, I relied heavily on my obsessions, which masked my anxieties like a Band-Aid I knew how to apply just right.

A Near-Death Experience

At the end of the year, I graduated from college with a 4.0 GPA (and 0.0 quality of life). I joined AmeriCorps and moved to Santa Rosa, California, to teach at-risk youths—a perfect prelude to my career in pediatrics, I thought. Really, though, I was just happy to get far away from everyone I knew. I felt horrible about lying to my friends and family all the time. I’d promised them that my weight loss was just from the stress of graduating, though I knew that wasn’t true. I was terrified of myself and the way I looked. I remember worrying, When is this going to stop? Never. It never will!

Alone and with zero accountability, I became my sickest. I’d get up every day at 5 a.m. to put in two hours at the gym. Nothing could keep me away. Once, I was so feverish with the flu, I felt like I might pass out on the treadmill. But rather than quit, I staggered over to the recumbent bike and started pedaling. I thought, At least I’ll be seated if I faint. After the gym, I’d come home to eat half a nonfat yogurt before going to work, then sip organic chicken stock for lunch. Now I avoided anything that wasn’t 100 percent natural, which included pesticides and processed food. I never drank anything other than water or coffee, and certainly not alcohol, which I considered toxic. I still ate alone, but when I couldn’t avoid joining friends at a restaurant, I’d look up the menu in advance to find something safe.

Weekends were always hardest, with no fixed schedule. I’d stay busy to avoid anything I didn’t want to do, like going out for drinks. Instead, I’d drive to the local Safeway, where I’d wander the aisles for hours, just browsing. It was like window-shopping on Rodeo Drive—the food was all so beautiful, but I couldn’t “afford” any of it. I’d stare at bags of Chex Mix or boxes of Lucky Charms and recall all the good childhood memories I had of eating that food. Just being around it reconnected me with all I’d lost, and I’d fantasize about a happy, carefree life I no longer had.

By winter, my parents, frightened by my weight loss, insisted I start therapy. It didn’t help. My BMI eventually fell to 12.5, a full six points below the official “underweight” classification. My hair was falling out, and my body was covered in lanugo, fuzz to help me conserve heat. At night, I’d routinely have heart arrhythmias and run to the kitchen to crisis-eat an apple with peanut butter to get me through until morning.

A Desperate Intervention

My increasingly worried friends eventually contacted my mom, a nurse. We’d always been close, and she was flying out from Vermont to visit me every four weeks. For her, it was probably like watching someone you love slowly jump off a bridge. I remember waking up in the middle of one night to find her fingers pressed against my neck, taking my pulse. When I asked her what she was doing, she told me she was worried I was going to die if I didn’t stop eating this way.

One day in May, while I was standing in front of my class of 5-year-olds, my heart suddenly started racing. Panicked, I called 911, and a friend drove me to the hospital. They ran labs, but other than being emaciated and having electrolytes out of balance, I seemed fine. Not long after I was discharged, my mom flew out again and asked me to walk with her near a creek by my house. She pulled out her cell phone and said, “Rachel, I have our lawyer’s number on this phone. You’ve become a danger to yourself. So, you can either go to a treatment center, where you’ll get help and be respected, or I’ll put an involuntary hold on you right now, and you’ll go to a psych ward and get a feeding tube. Which would you prefer?”

You always hear that when you hit rock bottom, you’re going to want to change, but I didn’t. Instead, I felt angry. But I also had a moment of clarity: My masquerade was over. That thought seized me with a fear so debilitating that for a split second, I thought about just running. But when I saw the look in my mom’s eyes and how deeply my disease was affecting her, I stayed. Filled with a deeper sadness than I’d ever known for the loss of my meticulously curated lifestyle, I chose the treatment center.

A Plan for Recovery

Two days later, I checked in to the Center for Hope of the Sierras, in Reno, Nevada. There are no locks on the doors, but leaving without permission will trigger a police alert. I learned I was suffering from severe orthorexia, which is an obsession with healthy or “correct” eating. At first, you might be able to live with your healthy addictions and even appear to be strong and vibrant. But in reality, you’re constantly battling your own thoughts, and your behavior becomes overly restrictive. Though orthorexia is not yet classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, some experts think it’s related to obsessive-­compulsive disorder, because you become fixated on controlling every little aspect of your eating. Others think it should be classified as a new eating disorder, alongside anorexia. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with both. Here’s how I picture the disorders: Orthorexia is my left hand, anorexia my right. Once one clasps the other, everything gets intertwined and it becomes difficult to know which behavior stems from which disorder.