I was 22 years old when I got the phone call from my Dad, telling me the dreaded news, “Mom’s biopsy shows that she has breast cancer.” Up until that time, cancer was something that I only read about or heard about others having, but this was hitting close to home. Too close to home. The next year was filled with scary stuff–her mastectomy and chemo treatments, but she handled it all with strength and grace. Praise God she is healthy and whole today! But, it has made me even more vigilant about my own health so that my boys hopefully never have to get that same scary phone call.
If there was a pill that we could all take to prevent cancer, wouldn’t we all take it? Well, there is!! It’s called a healthy lifestyle!
For most Americans who do not use tobacco, the most important cancer risk factors that can be changed are body weight, diet, and physical activity. One-third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year are linked to diet and physical inactivity, including being overweight or obese, while another third is caused by tobacco products.
Although our genes influence our risk of cancer, most of the differences in cancer risk between people is due to factors that are not inherited. Avoiding tobacco products, staying at a healthy weight, staying active throughout life, and eating a healthy diet may greatly reduce a person’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer. Interestingly, these same behaviors are also linked with a lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
In this week’s newsletter, I would like to share with you some cancer prevention tips from the American Cancer Society:
* Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight.
* Avoid excess weight gain at all ages. For those who are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
* Get regular physical activity and limit intake of high-calorie foods and drinks as keys to help maintain a healthy weight.
Be physically active.
*Adults: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.
*Children and teens: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous activity on at least 3 days each week.
* Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screen-based entertainment.
* Doing some physical activity above usual activities, no matter what one’s level of activity, can have many health benefits.
Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.
* Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.
* Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
* Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
* Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
If you drink alcohol, limit your intake.
* Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.
Homemade Tomato Soup
- 28 oz stewed or whole peeled tomatoes (I used one can of each)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Oregano, dried
- 1 tsp Basil, dried or fresh
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- Saute onions, garlic, salt together in a medium pot. (~10 minutes)
- Add in tomatos (including juices), broth, and spices.
- Simmer 15 mins on low heat.
- Transfer to a blender and puree.
- Serve immediately.
Yields: 4-5 servings