Healing the Earth; Healing Ourselves
Issue #5

It's been a busy few months. We were thrilled to teach the Healthy Breast Foundations and Yoga programs as a 4 day course in Toronto in May, followed by 2 days with Dr. Gabor MatÚ teaching Mind-Body Approaches to Cancer and Health. The experience was profound and many of the participants continue to meet weekly via Skype to integrate what they learned. 
Julie and I attended the June Summer Solstice gathering of 2000 Kundalini Yogis in New Mexico and promoted the Healthy Breast Program there. We've been invited to teach the Healthy Breast Program in Brazil in 2015 and will also return to China and Madrid. Here we are with my daughter, Gurushabd (centre), after three days of intensive meditation.

It's good to be home with a somewhat lighter schedule, time to garden, and connect with all of you. We hope the rest of your summer is relaxing and nourishing. Please consider joining us for the next Healthy Breast Foundations Webinar Series, beginning Friday, Sept 5.
     This month's ezine focusses on living a greener life, taking steps to heal ourselves as we heal the earth.


in gratitude,

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 Link Between Pesticides and Cancer

Certain pesticides have a proven link to specific cancers in children and adults, including breast cancer. Eating organic food may help to decrease our risk of being diagnosed with cancer. 

If it is unaffordable for you to buy all of your food organically grown, have a look at the following list to know which foods are best purchased organic.
Do You Know About Permaculture? Have a Little Extra Space Around Your Home?

Check out this inspiring video on how to build your own forest garden, feeding yourself and your family while coaxing nature to work with you.
Miracle Farms, a 5-acre commercial permaculture orchard in Southern Quebec, Canada
Miracle Farms, a 5-acre commercial permaculture orchard in Southern Quebec, Canada
Genetically Engineered Food and Cancer -
Is there a Link?
by Sat Dharam Kaur, ND
The health risks of genetically engineered foods are largely unknown, and it has not been proven that they are safe for human consumption. We expose ourselves to potential health risks when we eat GM food. These include increased allergies from consuming foreign proteins, neurological effects and hormone disruption from increased pesticide exposure, reproductive effects, liver and kidney toxicity and cancer. Many years of research are needed to confirm or disprove these health risks.

            Several studies on mice have shown no harmful effects when GM corn was consumed for 90 days. One controversial study, in contrast, found that rats that were fed Roundup-tolerant genetically modified corn over a 2 year period developed more cancers than rats that were not fed the GM foods. The female rats in the study died 2-3 times sooner than controls, and were more likely to develop large breast tumors. [i]

            Until proven safe, we would be wise to avoid genetically modified foods, and encourage organically grown food instead. Foods that are commonly GM in Canada include corn, soy, beets, and canola. Buy these organically grown.


Food Tip:  Avoid genetically engineered foods until proven safe.


Sign this petition to request mandatory labelling of GM foods in Canada.

[i] SÚralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S et al. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Nov;50(11):4221-31.

The Benefits of Vitamin D - the Sunshine Vitamin

Have you had your shot of sunshine today? Vitamin D is produced in the skin on exposure to sunlight. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it reduces risk of breast and colon cancer when our levels are adequate. 

Time spent outdoors is associated with reduced breast cancer risk during all phases of a woman's life. 


How much sun exposure is needed? Only 5-10 minutes of exposure of the arms and legs or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week. Do your sunbathing between 10am and 2pm to avoid damaging UVB rays and maximize the beneficial UVA rays.


Have your 25(OH) vitamin D levels tested and spend more time outdoors if it is less than 100 nmol/L, or supplement with approximately 3000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.


Vitamin D deficiency is common in at least 60% of women. Raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40 to 60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three fourths of deaths from these diseases in the United States and Canada. See more ...

Our Monthly Breast Health Challenge

It's easy this month - spend 10-15 minutes outdoors between 10am and 2pm to soak up sunshine and increase your vitamin D levels. During this short period, don't use sunscreen, as it will block your capacity to make vitamin D.

What to Avoid in Sunscreens 

by Sat Dharam Kaur ND


                    In summer months, many of us use sunscreens to protect from ultraviolet radiation and prevent burns and skin cancer. Sunscreens are often added to cosmetics and other products for light stability. 


Unfortunately, animal studies have shown that many of the chemicals in sunscreens are estrogenic, and can stimulate breast cancer cell growth. The harmful chemicals include oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, benzophenone-3 (Bp-3), homosalate (HMS), 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC), and octyl-dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA). Propylparaben and methylparaben may be added to sunscreens as preservatives - these are also estrogenic. Future studies on the estrogenicity of chemicals used in sunscreens and cosmetics are needed to determine their safety. We do not know the long term effects of sunscreen use on breast health - particularly if they are used annually beginning at a young age.

Healthy sunscreens will include zinc oxide, vitamin E, shea butter, glycerine and other natural ingredients. One safe product is by Aubrey Organics.

Living a Greener Life (With Fewer Bites)!
by Sat Dharam Kaur ND

Two summers ago my family and I moved to a 105 acre farm outside of Owen Sound, Ontario. It was something my husband and I had dreamed of for many years - being able to grow our own food, be off the grid, participate fully in the seasons, and expose our children to a simpler life before they went off to college. It's a life I love, although there is always work to be done - wood to pile, gardens to dig or weed, fruit to pick and trees to plant. And in the winter, snow to plough.

This summer the berries were particularly succulent, and with the intermittent rain came an army of ...
MOSQUITOES! In an effort to survive berry picking, I researched natural mosquito repellants and came up with the following blend, that works well for a few hours, along with a mesh mosquito suit. Here's the recipe: 
Natural Insect Repellant

100 ml cold-pressed almond oil
20 drops citronella essential oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
15 drops tea tree essential oil
20 drops rose geranium essential oil
20 drops neem essential oil
15 drops eucalyptis essential oil

Mix together the above ingredients in a dark glass jar or dropper bottle and test on a small area of skin to be sure you don't react to any of the oils. If all is well, apply liberally to exposed skin and venture outdoors!
Upcoming Healthy Breast Training Programs
The Healthy Breast Program is 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:
Healthy Breast Foundations Program, Nov 12-16, 2014, China
Healthy Breast Program Retreat (Foundations + Yoga), 
May 9-14, 2015, Owen Sound, ON, Canada 
July 20-24, 2015, Madrid, Spain
Recipe of the Month

Sweet Potato Canoes with Black Beans, Shiitake, Rosemary and Kale


Serves 6


6 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 (4-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped 
1 teaspoon dulse powder flakes
1 1/2 cups (or one 398 ml can) cooked and drained black beans

1 cup shiitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced
6 cups kale, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
Juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 lime
Bragg's Liquid Aminos or sea salt

freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400░F.

Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Start the onions, mushrooms, beans and greens about 15 to 20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done.

In a wide, deep saucepan or wok with a cover, heat the olive oil over low-moderate heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped rosemary leaves (not the stems), and dulse flakes and cook, stirring, for about one minute. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the kale is soft.  Stir in the lemon and lime juices, and season to taste with Bragg's liquid aminos (or sea salt) and pepper.

To serve, slice each sweet potato lengthwise, without cutting through the bottom skin, and open up the middle as though it were a canoe. Spoon the beans and greens into the center. Enjoy!

Community News

Healthy Breast Program at the JCC in Toronto
For the fourth time, Healthy Breast Yoga is being offered to the public at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto at Spadina and Bloor on Wednesday afternoons 2:30-3:30pm, Oct 1-Oct 29, 2014. Thank you to Daya Kaur for teaching this initiative. If you know anyone in Toronto who can benefit, please pass on the link.
In This Issue
Pesticides and Cancer
GMO Food and Cancer
The Benefits of Vitamin D
Our Monthly Breast Health Challenge
What to Avoid in Sunscreens
Living a Greener Life
Upcoming Programs
Recipe of the Month
Community News
Vandana Shiva
Focus on Research: Rosemary
Environmental Toxin Quiz
Environmental Tips for Breast Health
How to Make your Own Sunscreen
Monthly Association Meetings
Healthy Breast Educators
Communicate Your News
Quick Links

Find more about our Upcoming Workshops
Spotlight on 
Vandana Shiva and Preserving Seed Biodiversity

Vandana Shiva, an eco-activist based in India, is a champion of non-GMO food and encourages global citizens to preserve seed biodiversity. Do what you can to propagate hardy seeds endemic to your area, and support local organic farmers. See Seeds .

Focus on Research: Rosemary
Research shows that Rosemary extract possesses anti-tumor properties against breast cancer cells, including those that are ER+, ER-, and HER2+. Rosemary extract enhances the effect of chemotherapy (tamoxifen, trastuzumab, and paclitaxel). The active constituents in rosemary are carnosic acid, ursolic acid and rosemarinic acid. Carnosic acid works synergistically with curcumin to help inactivate breast cancer cells. See more


Food Tip:

Grow rosemary indoors and pour boiling water over a sprig to make tea
How Much Do You Know About the Environmental Toxins Affecting Your Health? Take the MammAlive Quiz! 


1. What is the name of the chemical added to plastics to make them soft and flexible, but that also mimics the hormone estrogen?


2.  What is the estrogenic chemical added to plastic to make it hard, found in the lining of canned foods, composite dental filings and some water bottles?


3. Name the heavy metals, called metalloestrogens, that are able to bind to the estrogen receptor? 


4. Which are the foods highest in PCBs?


5. Where are fire retardants most concentrated in our homes and what can we do about it?


6. Name the most important 5 supplements that help your liver detoxify environmental chemicals.


7. Name 3 herbs that support liver detoxification.


8. Which 2 foods taken together will help to decrease the harmful effects of pesticides on breast cells.


9. What is the best way to eliminate environmental chemicals from your fat cells?


10. What is the name of the estrogenic preservative added to cosmetics that we should avoid?




Here is an information sheet on other  Common Environmental Contaminants


MammAlive's Environmental Tips for Breast Health

1. Read the labels of personal care products, taking care to avoid phthalates and parabens. 


2. Avoid artificial air fresheners and other scented products.


3. Store acidic, oily or liquid food in glass, stainless steel or lead-free ceramic containers rather than plastic ones. 


4. Purchase organic foods whenever possible. 


5. Use pots and pans that are steel clad, enamelled, cast iron, and avoid non-stick coatings. 


6. Use a solid-carbon-block water filter on your kitchen faucet to filter drinking and cooking water. 


7. Choose natural or less toxic cleaning products, and ensure that products are fragrance-free, such as baking soda and white vinegar. Avoid chlorine bleach. To whiten clothes naturally, rinse them in lemon juice and let them dry in the sunlight.


8. Select home furnishings made from natural fibres, avoiding fire retardants and Scotchguard.


9. Take your shoes off at the door to avoid tracking pollutants into your home.


10. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting. Carcinogens such as brominated fire retardants tend to collect in dust and carpeting. 


11. Use building materials, blinds, flooring, and furniture made from wood, metal, or natural fabric. Avoid using PVC in siding, window frames, blinds, or furniture. 


12. Choose to paint rather than wallpaper your walls.

Choose building materials, paints, stains, and sealants that are identified as "low VOC" or "no VOC." 


13. Choose electronic equipment that does not contain PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers. 


14. Control household pests without resorting to pesticides. Seal the holes through which pests enter your home and control them by using borax, diatomaceous earth or sticky traps that do not contain pesticides.


15. Fight weeds without using herbicides. Instead, prevent weeds by planting ground-cover on open spaces and control weeds by pulling them out, mulching, spraying them with vinegar, or coating them with soapy water.


16. Choose toys and baby items that have no polyvinyl chloride, PVC, phthalates or bisphenol A. Untreated and unpainted wooden toys and untreated cloth toys are safe alternatives. 


For more detailed suggestions, go here


How to Make Your Own Sunscreen

Make your own natural sun screen, with practical guidelines here.using goji berries, olive oil, shea butter, zinc oxide and other safe and healthy ingredients.

Do your Part to Decrease Global Warming. Plant Trees!

"We have a responsibility to protect the rights of generations, of all species, that cannot speak for themselves today. The global challenge of climate change requires that we ask no less of our leaders, or ourselves." 

Wangari Maathai

One of the simplest yet most effective actions we can take to reduce climate change is to plant trees. Join thousands of women internationally who plant trees, inspired by Wangari Maathai and her Green Belt Movement

These are Sat Dharam's honey crisp apple trees, ready for planting this fall!

Our Annual Fundraiser

We'll be holding an annual fundraiser that our Healthy Breast Educators can initiate 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.

Healthy Breast Yogathon
Saturday Oct 4, 2-6pm,  Lotus Yoga Centre, Toronto

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. 
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 now be held Thursday evenings via Skype from 7:00-8:30pm EDT (Toronto time) on the following dates in 2014: Aug 14, Sept 11, Oct 16,  Nov 14 and Dec 11.


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.


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 looking for a Healthy Breast Practitioner who is also a health care provider, practitioner or clinician? 

Our readers have been asking for a list of health care providers who are trained as Healthy Breast Practitioners. Here is a list of graduates from our January 2014 Healthy Breast Practitioner Program who are also naturopathic doctors.


Mandy Seifi ND 

(North York)

Nadia Lamanna ND

(Richmond Hill)

Patrice de Peiza ND

(North York)

Stefanie Trowell ND

(East Toronto)

Stefanie Shaun ND  


Arla Kasaj ND

Ellie Fuke ND


Caroline Bearss ND 


Melissa Howe ND

Owen Sound

Sat Dharam Kaur ND


Communicate Your News!

Send us a recipe, research, personal Breast Story, or Community News to go into our newsletter. Please submit an email and photo and we'll try to include it in our next issue. 

This Month's Breast Health Partners

About Us

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. Help 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.