Cook for a Cure

(Family Features) If you love to entertain and want to support a good cause, now you can do both at the same time.

Currently, in its 16th year, Cook for the Cure is a program that gives those with a passion for cooking a way to support the fight against breast cancer. Through culinary-based fundraising, events, auctions and the sale of select products, the partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen for the Cure(r) has raised more than $10.7 million for the cause.

“It adds another layer of purpose to one of life’s great pleasures, cooking and enjoying food with family and friends,” said Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. “The program continues to fuel passionate cooks with simple, creative ways to support a meaningful cause.”

You can make a difference by hosting a party that lets you Cook for the Cure by raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Here are some ideas to get you started:

* Organize a fundraising bake sale. Get the neighbors involved in baking, promoting and selling – it’s a great way to bring people together. Your contribution could be these Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars.
* Host a potluck brainstorming party. Invite people who share your passion for helping others to bring their favorite dish and think up creative ways to support the cause as a group. Vote on a project then let everyone pitch in to get started. Cooking good food, sharing time with friends and giving back to the community – that’s a recipe for a truly great party.
* Share on social media. Sharing baked goods with friends is a pleasure.

Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars
Recipe courtesy of Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love & Sugar
Makes: 12-16 bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
fresh berries

Line 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, bringing up over sides.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, and stir until well combined. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of cake pan. Set aside.

In a bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half the whipped cream into cheesecake mixture and place remainder in the refrigerator to use later. Spread cheesecake mixture evenly in cake pan.

Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours, or until firm.

Use parchment paper on sides to lift bars out of pan then cut into squares. Use remaining whipped cream to top cheesecake bars then add fresh berries, as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Photo courtesy of Chris Scheuer of The Cafe Sucre Farine (cupcake)

#13792
Source: KitchenAid

New Year, New Family Habits

Simple ideas to make healthy eating easier

(Family Features) When your family is transitioning back into a regular routine in the new year, it’s the perfect time to recommit to healthy eating habits throughout the day. Getting the whole family on board may be easier than you think – just keep the focus on flavor and fun.

If you’re short on ideas to jumpstart better family eating, try these tips:

Keep it simple. Busy families often rely on the convenience of boxed meals, but you can get the same easy, delicious meal in a much healthier way. Everything cooks in one pot for easy clean-up, and this Cheeseburger Mac recipe swaps ground beef for leaner ground turkey. Not only is this an easy weeknight dinner, but leftovers can be packed in a thermos for lunch on chilly days.

Have fun. Try using creative shapes, textures, and colors to make mealtime and lunchboxes more fun. Use cookies cutters to easily create butterflies, flowers, dinosaurs and more. Allow your kids to get involved in packing their own lunchboxes or helping with a meal. If your kids have a love of space or are learning about it in school, this bento box is definitely out of this world. Grapes create the dark backdrop while Swiss cheese is the perfect place for a moon landing. Clementine crescent moons and mini sweet pepper planet rings round out the meal.

Make a family promise. To keep the momentum going, rely on a resource like the Power Your Lunchbox Promise website, which offers everything from healthy lunchbox ideas to after-school snacks and dinners. All meal ideas have been approved by a registered dietitian, meet USDA guidelines and are kid-friendly. What’s more, for every Power Your Lunchbox Promise made on the website, health-conscious companies supporting the initiative will make a $1 donation to Feeding America’s programs that support families and children. Learn more at poweryourlunchbox.com.

Cheeseburger Mac

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

1          tablespoon olive oil

1          pound lean ground turkey

1          small onion, finely chopped

1          cup mini sweet peppers, chopped

1 1/2    teaspoons paprika

1          teaspoon sugar

1/2       teaspoon salt

1/2       teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2    cups water

1          cup milk

3          tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2    cups whole-grain dry macaroni

1          cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add turkey, onion, and peppers. Cook 7-10 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.

In a small bowl, mix paprika, sugar, salt and chili powder. Add to turkey and stir. Add water, milk, tomato paste, and pasta. Mix well. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and top with cheese.

Space Exploration Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

1/2       cup red seedless grapes

1          whole-wheat sandwich round

2          slices low-sodium deli-sliced turkey

1          slice Swiss cheese

1/2       slice low-fat cheddar cheese

1          clementine, peeled and segmented

3          mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings

1          package freeze-dried fruit

Add grapes to bottom of a large section of bento box to create space background. Place bottom of the sandwich round on top, add turkey and sandwich round top.

Lay Swiss cheese on cutting board. Using a small bowl or other round objects, cut into a circle. Place on top of the sandwich to create a moon.

Lay cheddar cheese on cutting board. Using small star cookie cutter, cut out stars. Add to space around moon.

Pair with clementine “crescent moons,” pepper “planet rings” and freeze-dried fruit.

3 Keys to Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the key components to a healthy and cancer preventative lifestyle, but, despite the prevalence of health and fitness information, many people find this difficult to achieve. The primary reason for this is that, while basic human physiology is the same, every person is different. We have different body types, different motivations, different preferences, different natural ability, and different methods of learning.

The key is to find what works for you, but don’t get discouraged if the first thing you try doesn’t work. Think of it like trying out a new restaurant. If you like it, you’ll go back. If you don’t like it, you don’t swear off all restaurants, you just don’t go back to that one. When you’re creating a healthy lifestyle routine, don’t get frustrated just because the first things you try don’t work or because you don’t enjoy them. Just try something new!

A Little Direction

While you have to find what works for you, research is the first step. With the right information, you can create a beneficial routine and we want to help!

One of the components of achieving a healthy weight is fat loss and, according to BodyBuilding.Com, there are three key factors to effective fat loss that applies to everyone: 1) Goal Setting; 2) Nutrition; and 3) Exercise. Without all three working in tandem, it will be harder to keep weight lost off.

Set Goals

The first step is to figure out what you want to achieve. This is your long-term goal. Identify where you are now, where you’d like to be, and when you’d like to get there. It is important to be realistic about your goals and the timeframe it will take to meet them. You can’t rush weight loss and good health. There are no shortcuts. For it to be permanent, you have to do it right.

Once your long-term goal is set, you need to set smaller, short-term goals. These will help keep you motivated on the way to your long-term goal.

To make sure this goal-setting works, they need to have several qualities:

— They must be specific.
— They must be measurable.
— They must be adjustable. (If you get the flu and your timeframe gets thrown off, just update it)
— They must be realistic.
— They must be time-based.

Look at Your Diet

Nutrition facts and measure tapeOnce your goals are set, it’s time to address nutrition. Diet is the most important component to fat loss (80-90 percent) and we’re not talking about fads and trends. Your diet is your eating lifestyle, which you should be able to maintain all year-round. The only thing you should change about it is the amount of calories consumed, based on what your goals are.

Your weight loss diet should include the following six principles:

Adequacy: Get the amount of energy (calories) and nutrients you need.
Balance: Don’t overdo it with any specific type of food.
Energy Control: Know how many calories you need to consume for your energy level and allow for that without going over.
Nutrient Density: Choose foods that provide the most nutrients for the least energy.
Moderation: Be aware of and moderate portion sizes. Keep high fat and sugar foods to a minimum.
Variety: Eat a variety of foods each day.

Time to Exercise!

Exercise helps you to build muscle, which, in turn, helps you burn more calories and lose more fat. It also encourages self-confidence and gives you a way to destress. The best exercise program for losing fat combines cardio (mostly high intensity), weights, and flexibility. There are a variety of factors that must be considered and specified when creating such an exercise plan. These include:

Frequency: How often you exercise in a given time period.
Time: How long your exercise sessions last.
Intensity: The level of exertion of your exercise.
Type: What form of exercise is being performed.
Specificity: Performing the specific exercise to achieve your goals.
Overload: Increasing intensity to increase/improve ability.
Adaptation: Exercise/training must progress via overload or performance may start to decline.
Progression: Intensity must become progressively greater.

Can’t I Just Start Running Everyday?

The answer, yes, you can, but it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve your goals with running alone. Taking control of your health is more complicated; while this may be discouraging at first, it is really the only way to do it right. There are a great many factors associated with good health and taking an analytical approach to each of them will help you achieve your greatest potential!

Not All Cancers Have a Lifestyle Link

The link between lifestyle and cancer has been long established and government agencies and medical professionals have been trying to encourage healthy choices as a way to significantly lower one’s cancer risk. According to an article published back in 2008 in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes,

…5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle. The lifestyle factors include cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity, and physical inactivity.

The link between cancer and lifestyle is not new, but it’s not the whole story. It is true that the lifestyle choices we make can lower or increase the risk of cancer, but did you know that this does not necessarily apply to EVERY cancer? At least not yet…

Evidence of a Lifestyle Link

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), our risk for many types of cancer correlates to physical activity, diet, and weight, however, for some cancers, it is uncertain whether these three factors play a role. A link to lifestyle may, in fact, exist, but more research is needed to present concrete evidence of it. For the following cancers, there is evidence that choices regarding physical activity, weight, and diet can lower or raise risk:

— Breast Cancer
— Cancers of the Mouth, Pharynx, and Larynx
— Colorectal Cancer
— Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer
— Esophageal Cancer
— Gallbladder Cancer
— Kidney Cancer
— Liver Cancer
— Pancreatic Cancer
— Stomach Cancer
— Ovarian Cancer

The Missing Link

While AICR/WCRF reports found evidence connecting the lifestyle factors of diet, physical activity, and weight to the above cancers, they did not find strong evidence of a connection between lifestyle and the below cancers:

— Bladder Cancer
— Cervical Cancer
— Nasopharyngeal Cancer (rare in the U.S., common is Southern China – Cantonese-style salted fish is probably the cause of this cancer)
— Skin Cancer (while excessive sun exposure is directly related to skin cancer, there is no strong evidence to link diet, physical activity, or weight, with the exception of arsenic in drinking water)

Not Enough Evidence… Yet

Unfortunately, evidence was too limited to examine for the following cancers and more research is needed to determine the presence of potential lifestyle links:

— Cancers of the Musculoskeletal System (Myosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Fibrosarcoma, Liposarcoma)
— Cancers of the Nervous System (Central Nervous System Lymphoma, Spinal Nerve Tumor, Cranial Tumor, Sellar Tumor, Meningoma, Glioblastoma)
— Leukemia
— Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s)
— Multiple Myeloma
— Testicular Cancer
— Thyroid Cancer

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the healthier choices you make and the more informed you are of your health risks, the better off you are. At reveal23, we offer inherited cancer risk testing, analyzing up to 94 genes, so that you have all the information you need to take full control of your health. We can help you find out what your DNA is saying about you behind your back so you know exactly what’s going on. Buy your easy-to-use testing kit today! https://viazoi.com/shop/

Early Detection and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2017. Except for skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, and while it is sometimes found after symptoms appear, many women with breast cancer do not exhibit any symptoms, which is why breast cancer screening is important.

Benefits of Early Detection

Breast cancer that is found early is easier to treat successfully and the best way to find it early (should it exist) is to get screening exams regularly. It is also important to perform self breast examinations and pay attention to any changes in the breasts. Any unusual changes should be reported to your doctor right away.

The point of a screening test is to find potential breast cancer before it causes symptoms, like a lump. Once clear symptoms appear, it is much more likely that the cancer is at a more advanced stage and has potentially spread, which makes it harder to treat successfully.

Mammograms

mammogramThe most common breast cancer screening test used for early detection is a mammogram, which is a low-dose x-ray of the breast that looks for changes in tissue that could indicate breast cancer. There are two types of mammograms, a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram.

A screening mammogram is used to look for breast cancer in women who do not have any breast problems or symptoms. A diagnostic mammogram is a mammogram that is used to look at the breast of a woman who has a breast change or problem.

Mammograms can identify masses and calcifications in breast tissue that could indicate cancer. They can’t actually prove that an abnormal area is cancer, however.

Breast Ultrasound

If there is an abnormal finding on a mammogram, a breast ultrasound is often the next step. An ultrasound is useful for looking at a breast change seen on a mammogram, as well as other breast changes, such as those that may be felt but not seen on a mammogram. If a mass is felt or seen on a mammogram, an ultrasound can be used to determine if it is a fluid-filled cyst (not cancer) or a solid mass.

Biopsy and Diagnosis

When a mammogram and breast ultrasound indicate the presence of POTENTIAL cancer, a biopsy is the next step. During a biopsy, which may be done with a needle or an incision, a surgeon removes cells from the suspicious area to determine whether the cells are cancerous.

Whether or not a biopsy confirms a cancer diagnosis, remember that you could get a second opinion. It may mean another biopsy but a second opinion can be helpful when you’re having difficulty with a diagnosis or non-diagnosis.

After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis – Breast MRI Scans

While a screening MRI may be recommended for certain women with a particularly high risk for breast cancer, breast MRIs are typically used for women who have already been diagnosed to help measure the cancer’s size and look for other breast tumors (in the diagnosed breast and in the other). Breast MRI scans are not recommended as a screening test for the average woman because they tend to report more false positives (find something that isn’t actually cancer), which could lead to unneeded tests and biopsies.

Understanding Your Breast Cancer Risk

Some doctors are more aggressive in their breast cancer screening recommendations than others. For a woman with a high risk of breast cancer, this can be very helpful, but perhaps not so much for a woman with a low or average risk. Being well-informed of your own breast cancer risk can help you work with your doctor to set-up an appropriate screening schedule that does not subject you to unnecessary tests. To find out whether you have a genetic predisposition for breast cancer, order our Women’s Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Test today!