March 2011

A Little Stressed Out?

The news is everywhere these days. You see it on television, the Internet, bars, restaurants, radio, newspapers, and magazines and just about anywhere you look. We have global warming, wars, nuclear catastrophes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, financial disasters, you name it we are seeing all of it. Is it any wonder that we all seem to be a bit stressed out? Is this good for any of us? Of course it is not.

It is important that we all take a step back, get some perspective and realize that we need to take care of ourselves. If we are not alive and present on this earth then none of this matters. There are various ways that we can deal with the stress.

Exercise will help enormously. Even better, exercise outside enjoying nature has an extra-added calming factor. Eating healthy foods will help our overall health and help us to feel good. Meditation for just 15 minutes a day has physical as well as emotional benefits. It can lower blood pressure, insulin levels, and give us a sense of well-being.

Laughing has great therapeutic power. Rent a funny movie or read a funny book. Listen to music that you find relaxing. Most importantly, take a break from the news. Turn it off for a few days. Relax and get in touch with yourself and what is important to you. Find your perspective and keep it!

Winning By Losing

I have been participating in the “Dr Oz Move It and Lose It” challenge on Sharecare.com. My goal was to lose 5 pounds, which was something I had been trying to do for months before joining the challenge. I had bought a food diary and diligently wrote down what I ate and my exercises throughout the day. Regardless of the fact that my calories in and the calories burned were less than 1000 calories a day I wasn’t losing anything. Needless to say, I was discouraged.

Then I found a book called the 4 Hour Body. It has an eating plan that works for me. During the week I eat eggs, vegetables and lean protein and one day on the weekend I cheat and eat whatever I want! I eat the same breakfast and lunch every day, which really works for me. I am not good at planning meals. Dinner varies because my husband does all the cooking, but he has been really good about not making pasta, rice or potatoes.

I have never felt healthier and I have lost the five pounds and then some. So what was my problem before doing the diet outlined by Timothy Ferriss in the 4 Hour Body? I don’t think that limiting the quantity of calories works very well for me when the quality of the calories isn’t good. In other words, I can’t lose weight when I eat a chocolate bar for dinner and a bowl of potato chips for lunch. If you look at the calories they are no more than what a regular healthy meal would be but the quality of the calories is lacking.

I am now hooked on eating healthy meals that help me to feel better than I have in years. No more chocolate or junk food meals for me, unless of course it is my cheat day.

March Is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the U.S. Of all women in the U.S., African American women have the greatest chance of developing it, followed by Caucasian women, then Native American and Asian American women. Hispanic women have the lowest incidence of colon cancer.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that this cancer can not only be detected early – increasing the chance of a cure – but also may be completely prevented in many cases. Why and how can that be done? Because nearly all colon cancers start as polyps, and most polyps can be detected by colonoscopy, a procedure that is done using a scope or tube that has a camera on one end and the doctor on the other end. When this tube, which is nearly 6 feet long, is pushed up into the colon while the patient is sedated or under anesthesia, the doctor is able to see the colon directly. If she/he sees a polyp or growth, it can be removed at that time. Removing polyps and growths before they become cancerous is the goal. Not all polyps are cancerous, but again, nearly all cancers of the colon start as polyps.

Who should get a colonoscopy? Since the odds of getting colon cancer is greatest in people who are 50 and older, and increases with age, a screening colonoscopy is recommended when you turn 50 years old or soon after. If you have a first degree relative who has had colon cancer, then you are greater risk of getting it, and colonoscopy should be done 10 years prior to the age that that first degree relative was diagnosed with colon cancer. For instance, if your father had a colon cancer diagnosed at age 45 then you would need your first colonoscopy done at age 35. After your first colonoscopy, you will need to have one every five to ten years thereafter as recommended by your doctor.

The “bottom” line is that if you haven’t had your colonoscopy yet, it is time to arrange it now. Think of it as the ultimate spring cleaning! It can save your life.

In our book, there is a lengthy discussion of colon cancer, all the risk factors – including diet, and how both of us prepare for our colonoscopies in the most “pleasant” way possible (if that is possible at all!) Also for more information, go to:
http://nihseniorhealth.gov/colorectalcancer/toc.html

 

Home | Janet Horn, MD | Robin H. Miller, MD | Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife and Beyond | Excerpt | Author Blogs | Audio/Video | Press Room | Contact

Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife and Beyond

Copyright © 2017 The Smart Woman’s Guide Blog. Designed for WordPress.