Every spring, nature and our psyches awaken with a fresh start,
as though a seasonal alarm has gone off. It's time to renew our commitment to health, our purpose, each other, new growth, creativity, gardening and to reconnect with the outdoors and planet.
I planted red clover seeds in the garden last week to renew the soil and I'm thrilled to see them sprouting. I've just finished writing and videotaping an online Spring Yoga Cleanse that focusses on cleansing the liver and gallbladder and have been enjoying beets, kale, cabbage, broccoli sprouts along with rosemary tea as staples in my diet to support my liver. We'll share some of these spring foods with you in this ezine, along with our enthusiasm for breast health.
Sadly, on our farm, we noticed that 3 of our five beehives had not made it through the winter, leaving us with just 2 healthy hives. I am reminded of when Rachel Carson wrote about widespread deaths in insects and birds decades ago in her book, Silent Spring. The deaths were caused by the now banned pesticide, DDT. She then passionately defended the environment, and her activism led to important changes in American science policy. She taught us that global change is possible. Inspired by Rachel and the bees, we can move forward in group consciousness to pollinate the globe with education and service to women's health and our collective future.
Join us in our efforts to inspire change, inside and out!
Sat Dharam Kaur ND
Creator of the Healthy Breast Program, co-founder MammAlive Foundation
Julie Groulx RMT
Healthy Breast Program co-ordinator, co-founder MammAlive Foundation
The Healthy Breast Program Travels to China
by Julie Groulx RMT
I wasn't sure what to expect when I received my flight ticket via email in Chinese! I was preparing for my first trip to China and had little idea what would be in store for me. Although China has a relatively low incidence for breast cancer in women (1 in 40 Chinese women, compared to 1 in 8 Canadians), Asia has seen a rise of 20-30% in reported cases in the past decade. I couldn't help but wonder what has changed in Chinese society, the environment and in agriculture.
My first stop was at Wahe Guru Ashram. I arrived late in the night and was greeted by friendly faces. A few dogs and one of my lovely hosts. I felt at home immediately and taught the Healthy Breast Foundations and Yoga Program next day.
Although China has a relatively low incidence for breast cancer in women (1 in 40 Chinese women, compared to 1 in 8 Canadians), Asia has seen a rise of 20-30% in reported cases in the past decade. I couldn't help but wonder what has changed in Chinese society, the environment and in agriculture.
I was touched by the open hearted welcome I had received. We explored and learned together and then off I went to begin a teaching tour of China. Our plan is to cover 6 cities in two weeks, offering 1 and 2 day workshops to breast cancer survivors, yoga students and women interested in breast health and cancer prevention. My next stop was a one day workshop in Xi'an. Although my assistant and I were only there for a short time, our lovely organizer gave our taste buds a culinary tour of the region. I facilitated a workshop for 10 enthusiastic women and the course was very well received!
Stay tuned as The Healthy Breast Program continues on an adventure from the south to the north of China, ending in Beijing. We are proud to welcome 11 new Healthy Breast Yoga teachers into our growing family of teachers, practitioners and educators.
Our global community of women educating women continues to grow as Healthy Breast workshops are being offered around the globe, including by Nam Nidhan from Chile who recently taught in Taiwan at the Breast Cancer Foundation!
We are thrilled that the Mammalive Foundation is partnering with Mujér de Luz to expand it's reach. We are now registered as a non-profit organization and have a board of directors! Our next step is to form a charitable organization.
Upcoming Healthy Breast Training Programs
The Healthy Breast Program is now composed of three different streams: the Healthy Breast Foundations Program, the Healthy Breast Yoga Program and the Healthy Breast Practitioner's Program.
We have several Healthy Breast Programs coming up soon. If you have already attended one of these programs, you may attend the same program again at half price. For groups of ten people attending the Healthy Breast Program and/or Mind-Body Approaches to Cancer and Health, each person in the group can attend at half price. Bring your patients, colleagues and friends!
The Healthy Breast Foundations 12 week Online Program, begins on the following dates:
June 6- August 29 2014, September 5- November 21 2014
The Healthy Breast Free Intro Workshops, with Julie Groulx, Toronto, Lotus Yoga Centre, June 13th & June 11th 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
The Healthy Breast 12 Week Foundations Program (with yoga class), with Julie Groulx, Toronto, Lotus Yoga Centre, www.lotusyogacentre.com, July 18-20, 26-27 & August 2-3, Friday 6:30-8:30 pm & Sat-Sun 12:4:30 pm, contact Julie for more information.
I am thrilled to partner with Dr. Gabor Maté in teaching the program in May. For those of you who may not know him, he is a brilliant doctor and writer, author of "When the Body Says No" and several other wonderful books. Please come to the whole May course (Foundations + Yoga) if you can, or to his workshop May 30, 31.
What is a Hormone and What Causes a Hormonal Imbalance?
What Is a Hormone?
A hormone is a chemical messenger which moves through the bloodstream. Different hormones are produced by different glands, such as the adrenal glands, ovaries and thyroid. They can be fast or slow acting and help to maintain a constant environment inside the body, despite outside changes. Hormonal secretions can be rhythmic, tied to the solar and lunar cycles (estrogen and progesterone), instantaneous (adrenaline), or active over very long periods of time, such as the action of growth hormone throughout childhood.
Hormones are able to act by binding to particular receptors in
or on the cells of their target tissues. The receptor has an affinity for that particular hormone and for substances that mimic that hormone, such as phytoestrogens, xenoestrogens and metalloestrogens. The hormone then affects the cell nucleus to create a specific protein, which acts as an enzyme with a characteristic action. The action causes a shift in the body's metabolism. See more ...
|Understanding the Hormone Puzzle
by Sat Dharam Kaur ND
Hormones and their effects on breast health are a fascinating study, one I never tire of researching. Each new detail leads to practical considerations of how hormones can be balanced to reduce breast cancer risk or prevent a recurrence. There is so much we can do once we know which hormones may be veering off course. I love sharing simple healthy breast solutions with women.Here's a little quiz to test how much you know about breast health and hormones.
1. What hormone, when elevated, causes a 7-fold increase in breast cancer risk?
2. Which hormones, when elevated, can increase breast density?
3. What does a hormone need to do before it can act in the body?
4. Which protective hormone is produced between 1:00-3:00 a.m.?
5. Which hormone increases breast cancer risk three-fold when it's levels are elevated?
6. Which hormone should be high in the morning and low in the evening?
7. Which gland is most susceptible to the damaging effects of radiation exposure?
8. What's the name of the protective estrogen metabolite the body makes?
9. Which hormones are elevated and increase breast cancer risk when you consume meat?
10. Which hormones are elevated and increases breast cancer risk when you consume sugar?
11. Which hormone can inhibit breast cancer growth when cancer is not present, yet increase cancer growth when cancer cells are already present.
Want to know the answers? Go here
|Sleep Affects Your Melatonin Levels
by Cynthia Orlandella
"...the wind hums low with sweet exultation, sings its lullaby, while you sleep ..." - John Geddes
Sleep is vital for our longevity, our physical and emotional well-being, and is one of the most important and inexpensive treatments for health restoration. Best seller sleep-help books are right up there with relationship woes or financial worries. Strategies, drugs, tools, applications, and websites are marketed to help the many sleep deprived souls get a good night's sleep. See more ...
How to Sleep 101 by Cynthia Orlandella
There are many easy solutions to promote a restful sleep. If these suggestions don't work, seek professional help. You may be dealing with menopausal symptoms or side effects from a prescription drug. Your emotional life may be in ruins or life stresses are just too overwhelming. That is when you need to speak to your doctor, or health care practitioner. Sleep is essential to your emotional and physical well-being and healing, especially after a cancer diagnosis, so demand a solution!
To set the stage for a blissful night's sleep, trust that in the time you spend sleeping, you are giving your body the "heal or restore" message. This is one of many dialogues you will want to have with your healing body, maybe the most important one. Have a little chat with your sub-conscious before you try to sleep; "Here we are in bed again. I just want you to know, dear self, that even though we have struggled in the past with relaxation and sleep, I want to give you this time to restore, revive and rest deeply so we are ready for tomorrow. I am supporting you in every way I know with the food I eat, exercise, meditation (etc.) and I know you are tired, so rest and sleep sweetly dear body." This chat will also help quiet the internal negative chatter and your body, listening, will respond to your gentle urging and loving support.
To optimize your sleep, check out these 34 tips:
How to Deal With Menopausal Hot Flashes Using Herbal Medicine by Sat Dharam Kaur ND
Women undergoing treatment for breast cancer often experience hot flashes as the ovaries stop producing estrogen due to chemo, removal of the ovaries, or the natural aging process.
Here are my secret herbal formulas that invariably work in short order to decrease or eliminate hot flashes. Use one or the other - seldom will you need to use both. Black Cohosh
Black Cohosh Formula as a tincture: contains 50% black cohosh; 25% astragalus; 25% schizandra. Use 50 drops (1/2 tsp) of the blend in a little water 3 or more times daily. It is safe for women with a breast cancer history, and also strengthens the immune system.
Rehmannia and Scrophularia by Golden Flower Chinese Herbs: contains 10 Chinese herbs that build the kidneys and the blood and body fluids (yin) and reduce heat (yang). The beauty of this formula is that it balances what is deficient, and after several months you can usually stop taking it. It is also safe for women with a history of breast cancer. See a naturopathic or Chinese Medicine doctor who can prescribe it for you.
Foods that Help You Manage Your Estrogen
by Sat Dharam Kaur ND
Foods that help balance estrogen levels can be divided into those that:
- Act as phytoestrogens, which block estrogen receptors, preventing potentially harmful estrogens or chemicals from attaching to receptors: flaxseed, organic soy, red clover sprouts, mung bean sprouts and pumpkin seeds
- Help the liver break down hormones: rosemary, dandelion, turmeric, garlic, broccoli sprouts, cabbage and other brassicas
- Help the bowels and kidneys eliminate hormones: oat bran, psyllium, wheat bran (avoid if allergic), chia seeds, flaxseed, legumes, water
How To Go Organic On a Shoestring by Julie Groulx RMT
When talking about food - there is food and then there are pesticide-laden foods. Pesticides are hormone disruptors that can cause breast cancer. Many pesticides contain organochlorines - combinations of chlorine and carbon that cause breast cells to mutate and grow. For a list of pesticides known to cause breast cancer in animals and humans, go here. The food production industry has seen tremendous growth in the past 50 years, yet the cost of organic foods are often astronomical and not accessible to the general population. With the subsidization of pesticide and monocrops by governments, healthy food is still unaffordable to many. Transitioning to an organic diet can seem like a hefty task.
Here are a few suggestions on how to transition to organic on a budget:
- Get to know when your local markets and farmers' markets take place. Pay special attention to some Korean grocery stores. They sometimes sell organic for less. Talk to the farmers to learn which grow organically.
- When possible go local. Local food will often taste better and be less expensive that exotic fruit.
- Buy what's in season. Organic berries in the winter are far more expensive and less flavorful than when they are in season. Stock up during picking season and freeze them yourself for winter months.
- Find out what food programs are available in your area.
- Consider buying shares in a farm. Get to know farmers and what CSAs deliver in your area. One of my favorites in Toronto is Wanigan Farms. www.wanigan.com They'll deliver weekly, biweekly or monthly and deliver it to your door. See more ...
It's my belief that we cast a vote with every purchase that we make. Access to affordable fresh and healthy food is a basic human right. Let your government know that pesticides must go. Share your tips with us on our Facebook page.
Be an Activist: Celebrate Rachel Carson Day, May 27
Let's celebrate Rachel Carson Day, in honour of Rachel Carson's birthday, May 27.
We can honour the spirit of Rachel and be fuelled by her passion for the environment by doing what we can in our own corner of the world to preserve the sanctity and safety of the environment. Here's how:
- Remove more toxins from your home and commit to using the home-made cleansers listed below.
- Reduce your meat and dairy consumption and eat more organically grown food.
- Source and purchase more locally grown food - grow some of your own
- Find an area near you that needs cleaning up or environmental defense - a shoreline, a park, a wilderness area - and actively participate in protecting the environment.
- Sign this petition to protect Ontario's bees - they are being decimated (including the beehives on Sat Dharam's farm) by neonicotinoid pesticides. Inspired by Rachel's determination to save the birds and other species from DDT, we can save the bees and ourselves by banning the neonicotinoid pesticides.
Our Monthly Breast Health Challenge
Consume rosemary tea daily to reduce harmful estrogens
and deter cancer growth. It's as simple as pouring boiling water over a small stalk, steeping for 10 minutes, and enjoy!
Look for a rosemary plant or two you can keep in your kitchen window or plant in your garden for this purpose. If unavailable, use 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary per cup.
Some of the health benefits of rosemary include:
- It's a powerful antioxidant and slows down the aging process
- It contains carnosic acid, which improves memory and cognition and may help to prevent Alzheimer's
- It protects the eyes against macular degeneration
- it inhibits growth of breast cancer cells
- Nahid Azad, M.Sc., Homa Rasoolijazi, Ph.D., and Sara Soleimani, M.Sc. "Neuroprotective Effects of Carnosic Acid in an Experimental Model of Alzheimer's Disease in Rats". Cell Journal. 2011 Spring; 13(1): 39-44. Accessed October 16th 2013.
- Cheung S, Tai J. "Anti-proliferative and antioxidant properties of rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis." Oncology Reports. 2007 Jun;17(6):1525-31. Accessed October 16th 2013.
- Peng CH, Su JD, Chyau CC, Sung TY, Ho SS, Peng CC, Peng RY. "Supercritical fluid extracts of rosemary leaves exhibit potent anti-inflammation and anti-tumor effects." Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007 Sep;71(9):2223-32. Epub 2007 Sep 7. Accessed October 16th 2013.
Love Your Body
Natural Cleaning Tips
by Kathrin Brunner, CNP
Your hormonal health and the health of the earth are important and I know that making the transition to using more natural products can be difficult. I've compiled some of my favorite concoctions for you to try this month.
Mix vinegar and water 1:1
All Purpose Scouring Cleaner
2/3 cup baking soda
1/2 cup castile soap
1/2 cup water
Combine in a spray bottle and shake before use. Rinse with water. Make in small batches as you need it, will get cakey if stored.
Simple Floor Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1 bucket hot water
If desired, add a few drops of essential oil.
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
Mix and test on an inconspicuous surface. Spray onto surface and polish with rag.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, then spray on white vinegar. Allow to sit for 2 minutes so vinegar can do its work, then scrub with brush. The combination of these two ingredients deodorizes and disinfects!
Oven and Stovetop Cleaner
Cover surface with baking soda and wet with water. Allow this paste to sit overnight for best results. The next day, grime will be loose enough to wipe away. Remember to rinse well with water before baking and cooking!
Other Useful Tips
Cut a lemon or orange in half and sprinkle baking soda on top to make a handy cleaning scrubber, great for bathtubs and greasy dishes!
To unclog drains, try pouring 1/2 cup baking soda down drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Allow to foam. After a few minutes, follow with about 1 liter of boiling water.
To keep drains clear, use a net to catch hairs in the bathtub and sink.
These recipes are all I use to keep my house fresh, clean and shiny. What are your favourite natural cleaning products, tips and tricks? Share them on our Facebook page.
Recipe of the Month
Kale and Tempeh Stir Fry
Yields 8 servings
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
2 large onions
6 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh ginger root
1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 package tempeh (250 grams)
1 bunch kale
½ cup water
Bragg's liquid aminos
Chop onions and garlic. Peel ginger and mince. Warm the oil in a wok and add coriander and cumin seeds, while stirring. Add chopped onions and sauté on low heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add turmeric, sea salt, garlic, and ginger and continue to stir to prevent scorching. Wash and slice mushrooms and add to other ingredients, stirring often. Crumble the tempeh with a fork or food processor and add to other ingredients, stirring as needed. Wash and chop kale and add to wok with the water. Stir until kale is gently cooked. Add Bragg's liquid aminos and pepper to taste.
Healthy Breast Program at the JCC in Toronto
The Healthy Breast Program is being offered as a series to the public at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto at Spadina and Bloor on Wednesday afternoons 12:15-1:45pm, over 4 weeks from July 9-30 or Aug 6-27. Thank you to Daya Kaur for teaching this initiative. If you know anyone in Toronto who can benefit, please pass on the link.
Our Annual Fundraisers!
MammAlive Foundation Update
We are excited to share that we have applied for non-profit status to support our mission of creating a global community of women educating women in breast health and cancer prevention.
We'll be holding two annual fundraisers that our Healthy Breast Educators can initiate annually in their own communities. Two of our fundraising goals this year are to create scholarships for the Healthy Breast Foundations program and to generate funds to offer our programs free of charge in underserved communities and two Toronto hospitals in 2015.
Please contact Julie if you would like to attend or contribute to one of our events, organize a local fundraiser, sponsor a student or host one of our workshops. Help us spread the word about breast cancer prevention!
Experience yoga to stimulate your immune system, improve your lymphatic system, and increase awareness of breast health. Support the Mammalive Foundation with your class donation. Every small contribution counts.
The MammAlive Foundation was founded in 2012 by Sat Dharam Kaur and Julie Groulx to support a vision of women empowering women through breast health education. The causes of cancer are multi-factorial and there are preventative strategies that are available today. Empowering women to take a proactive approach in preventing or reversing the disease is essential. This can be achieved by forming a global network of healthcare practitioners, yoga teachers and advocates who are passionate about women's health. We can spread our message of hope, wellness and accountability towards global change for one another, our daughters and Mother Earth. We invite you to work with us. You may forward this ezine to friends, students and patients by clicking below.
| Quick Links |
Rachel Carson started the environmental movement with her book, Silent Spring, published in 1962, after she noticed that the birds were dying due to use of DDT. A marine biologist, ecologist, environmentalist, writer and activist, Rachel was born on May 27, 1907 and died on April 14, 1964, of breast cancer.
Rachel fearlessly spoke out against environmental degradation to government, corporations and politicians, and used her writing ability to educate others. She continues to inspire us today.
Focus on Research
Did you know that the strongest hormonal link to breast cancer is IGF-1, a hormone produced in your liver?
When IGF-1 levels are elevated, there is a 7-fold increased risk of breast cancer.
Research shows that we can keep IGF-1 levels lower by
- avoiding sugar, sweets and high glycemic carbohydrates
- using vegetarian sources of protein rather than relying on meat, dairy or fish. Increased soy consumption lowers IGF-1 levels.
- exercising an hour a day
- eating less than 500 calories one day a week or a few days a month
Signs that Your Endocrine System May Be Out of Balance
The following signs may point to a hormonal imbalance:
- weight gain
- difficulty losing weight
- difficulty gaining weight
- memory loss
- breast cysts
- breast tenderness
- ovarian cysts
- uterine fibroids
- hair loss
- irregular periods
- heavy bleeding
- hot flashes
- drinking several coffees per day
- craving sugar
- cracking skin
- fatigue easily
- anxiety, panic
Support Your Endocrine System with Herbs
The following herbs help to balance the adrenal glands:
- Holy Basil
- Siberian ginseng
- he shou wu
- licorice root
To support an underactive thyroid gland, use:
- kelp (except with auto-immune disease)
To assist breakdown of estrogen, use:
- milk thistle
To elevate progesterone production in your ovaries, use:
To improve your thymus gland and immune system, use:
Please work with a naturopathic doctor or herbalist and consult your primary healthcare provider before using any herbal formulations.
Are you looking for a Healthy Breast Practitioner who is also a health care provider, practitioner or clinician?
Are You a Healthy Breast Educator? Please tell us how you have been sharing The Healthy Breast Program.
For those of you who have taken the Healthy Breast Foundations Program and/or the Healthy Breast Yoga Program and have fulfilled certification requirements please remember to fill out the annual MammAlive Association membership renewal form and submit it with your membership fee.
The online membership form and membership policies can be accessed here and active membership is now required to teach the program.
If you are already a member of KY-WHA or Mujer de Luz and are a certified Healthy Breast Educator or Healthy Breast Yoga Instructor, you do not need to pay an additional membership fee, but please still fill out the online form.
Our deepest gratitude to you for being an important part of our growing global community.
MammAlive Association Monthly Meetings
In order for us to stay connected and develop and promote the Healthy Breast Program, the MammAlive Board of Directors and general members meet monthly "virtually".
The monthly meetings will be held Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:30pm EDT (Toronto time) on the following dates in 2014:
May 6, June 10, July 8, Aug 12, Sept 9, Sept 30, Oct 14,
Nov 11 and Dec 9.
If you are a Healthy Breast Educator or Yoga Instructor, you are required to attend 4 annual virtual meetings (as an associate MammAlive member) or listen to their recordings.
The dates for the annual mandatory meetings in 2014 are Tuesdays 7:00-8:30pm EDT (Toronto time) on the following dates in 2014:
June 10, Sep 9 and Dec 9
You must be a member of the MammAlive Association to attend any of these meetings. Fill out the online membership form here and click "Submit " at the end.
Are you passionate about breast health and have time and enthusiasm? We have several volunteer positions available. Let us know if you are:
1. A culinary artist who can enter recipes on the MammAlive website and help compile a cookbook to be used as a fundraiser.
2. A researcher and writer who can put together a monthly research article for this ezine (we'll give you the themes) and add new research to the MammAlive website.
3. An environmental activist who can create a monthly online petition that we can collectively sign and share to make the world a friendlier place for breasts. (We'll tell you what to focus on)
4. A volunteer co-ordinator to communicate with volunteers.
5. A fundraiser co-ordinator who can help with programming our fundraising events.
6. A computer geek who can help create online forms and research questionnaires.
7. A lawyer who can help us create a charitable organization.
8. A graphic designer who can help design newsletters and promotional material or create a new layout for the manual.
9. A marketing specialist who can help us create databases and strategies to spread the program.
Other ways you can support us:
1. Share our Ezine with your contact list.
2. Promote some of our events.
3. Submit your breast stories, meaning mandalas and breast drawings for our blog.
4. Hold a fundraiser for The Mammalive Foundation.
5. Review a research article, and more.
6. Offer our program at your facility.
7. Sponsor a student.
8. Support our community programs. Make a donation to help us spread educational programs about breast health and cancer prevention.
If you are interested in a Volunteer Position, please send an email and summary of your relevant experience to Julie.
Communicate Your News!
Send us a recipe, research, personal Breast Story, or Community News to go into our newsletter. We are interested in hearing about your upcoming Healthy Breast Program classes or fundraising events! Please submit an email and photo and we'll try to include it in our next issue.