About Me

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2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Thursday, February 24, 2011

SINS, day two

I'm really thankful that I planned and prepared healthy quick meals this week!! If you would have told me this past Sunday that I would be entering the SINS Blog Transformation Challenge on Wednesday I would have laughed. I would have thought I couldn't hang with such amazing athletes. Then I got really inspired reading about it and realized that I'm an amazing Cathlete in my own right. This challenge is really one to myself and becoming accountable via my blog to other awesome and fit-minded bloggers. I've gotten a lot of encouragement from those other bloggers already. It's fantastic, inspirational and motivating! Thanks everyone!!

When stress peaked out this afternoon I thought about shoving a bunch of M&Ms in my mouth. I didn't, though, because I knew it would mess up my carb percentage for the day and I just wouldn't 'give in' on day 2 of this challenge. Oh, and I also had 2 healthy and ready to eat meals in the fridge. YES!! I love when my planning skills rescue me!

One of those meals is Kale-Bean salad, and the other is Deluxe Tuna Salad from Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific cookbook.

It starts with these ingredients

Add a couple of these, too

And turns into this beautiful dish!

It's delicious! I love the veggies in it!

Those 2 anti-cancer packed mini-meals gave me the fuel to jump my way through Cathe's 4 Day Split Bootcamp cardio workout this afternoon. My post-chemo knees usually avoid this one due to all the jumping. However, since I've been doing Cathe step workout sans the step lately my knees have been happier so I decided to follow the rotation schedule and give it a go. I felt incredibly energetic and my knees held up very well (though tomorrow I may be singing a different song!?). My almost 3 year old niece jumped and ran along with me off and on. She was so cute, and it was fun to have someone to high 5 after a few of the drills. 

Onto Day 3 of 60.... 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entering SINS

I can't believe I'm doing this, but here I go!! 

I'm joining the Strong is the New Skinny's Body Transformation Blog Challenge! I want to make the best fitness progress of my life. I feel like I've been building up to this for a loooong time. Chemo is long since over, and my body is ready to get fitter. Losing weight and gaining muscle is a powerful way for me to squash out a third cancer recurrence, and this challenge will keep me motivated. I've got some very tough competition, but ultimately this competition is with myself. 

My Goals:
I'm starting today, Feb 23. 

Lose 10 pounds by April 23. That's 60 days away. (No, I'm not going to share how much I weigh right now. ha!)

Increase my lean muscle. My awesome and always effective Cathe Friedrich strength DVDs will surely help me! The only way I'll have to judge this, I think, is by how much I can increase my weight load. As I am able to increase my weight load in specific exercise, I'll let you know.

Increase my daily vegetable intake. I want to average at least 6 servings of veggies a day. I'm following an anti-cancer diet that focuses on plant based foods so that shouldn't be too difficult. 

Stay within my calorie range of 1550- 1800 per day, and my carb range of 164- 195 grams per day.

I'm excited, focused and glad to be in such good and fit company! Thanks for challenge, SINS!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amazing & Delicious Kale

This is what I'm drinking, besides beloved filtered water, these days. I add just 1 packet of Sun Crystals and enjoy the refreshing anti-cancer slightly sweet tea the rest of the day. It's been a wonderful substitute for soda! Did you notice the tea kettle? It's one of my Ikea finds from trip to Texas. It's microwave-able and dishwasher-able. My life is better now.

 I made Diana Dyer's Kale-Bean Salad. It is absolutely divine. It's one of those recipes that taste so good that it's hard to believe it's a healthy anti-cancer food. 
Gather all veggies that need chopping. Grab the rest of the ingredients, too, as long as you're organizing.
These dressing ingredients = awesome. 
Cut the stalks off the kale. I used the standard supermarket variety of kale. I wish Whole Foods was closer so I could have gotten organic kale. I'll make a point to do that next time I make this salad. I assure you that it WILL be soon.
One bunch is LOT of chopped kale. The roses are my Valentine's Day gift from a special man. They smell wonderful and are oh so pretty. 

What, did you think I was going to elaborate on the special man? Ha! 

Back to the salad....
I followed the recipe's instructions and used the blender for the dressing. I don't think it was really necessary though. Next time I'll just use a whisk and a medium bowl and burn off a few calories.
Here is the finished salad. When I tossed it most of the beans and veggies went to the bottom. Luckily, I have a long spoon. A truly amazingly delicious and pretty easy to make anti-cancer salad.

What makes kale such an important anti-cancer food? It's rich in organosulfur compounds which are also known as glucosinolates. These compounds are broken down into potent anti-cancer compounds called isothiocyanates. These bad boys are powerful inducers of cancer destroying enzymes. Scientists have found that sulforaphane (which is a glucoisnolate formed when kale is chewed or chopped) works by altering gene expression which helps to clear carcinogenic substances from the body. 

That's a lot of long words to say that eating kale helps clean out cancer and other toxic cells out of your body. That excites, motivates and inspires me!! How about you!If you'd like to read even more long words and in depth info about kale kicking cancer's booty click here. Or you can watch 2 short clips of the Dr. Oz show. He recently talked about glutathiones and their power and importance.  http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/superhero-antioxidants-pt-1 

Post a comment and tell me if you're inspired to eat more kale! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Power in Numbers

My cancer clinic, The West Clinic, has fantastic support services. Many of those services are funded and made available through Wings Cancer Foundation. I am forever grateful to West Clinic and Wings. Today I'm especially thankful because I got to have a complimentary BodyGem test. (Read about my first visit with this wonderful lady here.) This test measures your RMR, resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body needs to breathe, digest, and keep your heart beating while in a resting fasting state. That's right, fasting state. I've wanted to get my RMR tested for years, but never had the opportunity (or funds) until now. Thank you West Clinic!

There are a couple different math formulas that give an estimate of your RMR. Here is one that does the math for you. And here is a different one. I got 2 very different numbers from these sites, by the way. This link gives a good explanation of RMR and BMR along with the 2 most used formulas for the math whizzes out there. I learned today that calculating your RMR using any of these formulas is just an estimate though, because the math just can't account for your lean muscle and body fat. This is why the BodyGem test is so helpful! 

Since this test requires fasting I made the appointment for mid-morning. I arrived early because, sadly, Monday mornings at West Clinic are very busy which makes it hard to find a parking place. I'm thankful I'm healthy enough to be able to park in a spot farthest away from the building and walk. I had to wait for awhile because they had to update my insurance information. Meanwhile, I did my best to keep a restful relaxed disposition since that's an important aspect of the test. 

I used my self-guided imagery and breathing techniques to get me into a nice restful state for about 10 minutes before the test started. I use my best memories to create a peaceful trip to and from the beach for my guided imagery. The test itself was pretty simple- my nose was comfortably pinched and I wrapped my mouth around the breathing tube and all I had to do was relax and breathe. It lasted about 8 minutes. It felt much shorter to me, which was cool. 

My test results are very intriguing to me. My RMR, according to BodyGem, is 1440 calories. The good  news is that there are no good or bad RMRs. The number just is what it is. It's information, and info = power. Right?! Today I learned that the more muscle you have the higher your RMR. The reverse is true, too; RMR decreases as you lose muscle. Over the past year I have lost muscle due to cancer treatments (including the steroids I needed during chemo) and not being physically able to work out consistently. Now that a lot of my physical healing is behind me, I've been able to get back to consistently working out. You all know by now that I love my Cathe DVDs! I've been focusing on strength training for the past couple weeks just based on my intuition. Now I know my intuition was spot on! The stronger my muscles get, the stronger my metabolism will become and my risk of another recurrence will decrease. 

I'm, also, going to use this new information to tweak my daily calorie intake. I now know that I need to eat at least 1440 calories a day. I'm between lightly and moderately active, depending on the day, so I use these formulas: 1440 X 1.375 =  1980 and 1440 X 1.55= 2232 So, in order to maintain my weight I should eat between 1980 and 2232 calories a day. Since I want to LOSE weight, I have to lower that range. A pound equals 3000 calories. I want to lose about 1 pound per week. So I need to reduce my calorie range by 3000 for the week. 3000/7 = 429  So, my target calorie range is now 1550- 1800. There's power in numbers!!

Actually, that calorie range is pretty close to what I've been following the past few weeks. I'm glad I'm on the right track! So far I've lost 7 pounds. Yay!! I'm quite thankful to have this powerful information to help me lose weight which will reduce my risk for another cancer recurrence. That's what I'm all about these post-treatment days- giving the chance for another cancer a good beat down!

What are you doing to prevent cancer or a cancer recurrence? Have you had a BodyGem test? Tell me about your experience!