Tag Archives: exercise

Breast Cancer – Lifestyle Risks, What Are They? – Jill Sung

28 Oct

It’s almost Halloween, and I can’t think of anything scary to wear. Let me know if you have any suggestions so I’m not staring into my closet considering re-using a costume! But, I was thinking that scarier than horror movies and something that I can’t yet understand how scary it is, is finding out that I have cancer. I can’t imagine how I would deal with it, and really respect all the people who’ve received that news, and their families who have helped them deal with it.

Since this is still breast cancer awareness month, I thought I’d focus on what are the preventable things one can do to decrease their chance for breast cancer.

What you intake…

  • Alcohol – Breast Cancer risk increases with the amount of alcohol one drinks. 2-5 drinks a day increases your risk of breast cancer by 1.5 times (it can also increase the risk of mouth, throat, liver, and esophageal cancer). 1 drink a day slightly increases your risk…this is all compared to those who drink no alcohol.
  • Oral Contraceptives – usage is associated with a slightly higher risk, but this risk declines once usage is stopped. 10 years after stopping, you’re back to the same risk as if you never took oral contraceptives. But be sure to weigh your risks and benefits before deciding to stop or start.
  • Hormone Therapy – use is related to an increased risk, even if just for a few years. Talk to your doctor about post-menopause hormone therapy risks and benefits especially as it relates to osteoporosis, stroke and heart disease.

Things you do…

  • Physical Activity – Even as little as 1.25 to 2.5 hours of brisk walking a week, decreases your chance of breast cancer by about 18% (shown in the Women’s Health Initiative research). More hours is even better.
  • Being Overweight – is associated with a higher breast cancer risk, especially after menopause. After menopause, your ovaries decrease estrogen production, but your fat cells continue…And where your fat cells are located (waist is worse than hips) affects your risk.
  • Pregnancy – early and many decreases your risk…but sometimes, this just can’t be helped!

Tobacco smoke, environmental toxins, diet, and vitamin intake still need better research or are still controversial, so I’ll leave those alone for now. Thanks to the American Cancer Society for this great information! I hope you and your children all have a safe and fun Halloween!


4 things that actually make life easier when you have a baby – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

23 Mar

Chowing down a sandwich at Bouchon Bakery

As a first-time mother to a baby daughter, Asami, I now comprehend what other people were talking about when they said life as a new parent is tough.  But in addition to the rewarding feeling of seeing your baby smile and grow, I have actually found a few things that are – surprise – much easier now that I have to take care of a baby:

I always have perfectly luscious lips

With my baby daughter, I have to change diapers every couple of hours.  Right before I apply some ointment to my baby’s bottom, I take some Aquaphor Healing Ointment out of the big tub and apply it to my lips.  Voila – Luscious Lips!

No need for annoying upper body strength training

As a bottom-heavy person, I’ve always sacrificed my upper body strength training for doing lower body work outs.  Now I have to lift a 12-pound baby so many times a day, my arms have naturally become more toned and strong.  I don’t have to even have to motivate myself to do an arm work out.  And the weight will naturally get heavier without my having to push myself!

Breastfeeding – the best weight loss program ever

You can eat pretty much whatever you whenever you want in whatever quantities you want and you STILL lose weight!  Need I say more?

Peace of mind – for the most part

Pregnancy and even more so motherhood sweep through your brain and make you forgetful, thus the term new mommy brain.  But along with important names and sales figures, you also forget and frankly stop caring about a lot of petty things that used to clutter your brain.  What is left is peace of mind – for the most part…

Get Your Groove On – Jill Sung

29 Jan

I received an invitation the second week of January for a healthy brunch amongst friends. Little did I know what I was getting myself into! Three weeks later, I’m semi-regularly updating my exercise habits on a shared Google spreadsheet seen by friends and acquaintances, while being offered weekly encouraging communications from my “encouragement partner”, Amy.

The first email was a little bit tricky, I saw the words “brunch” and “get-together”, and without reading the fine print, jumped on the food-wagon…who says no to brunch?!  Okay, in re-reading the email, it wasn’t tricky. I’m just no good at details.

THE DEAL: set 2 attainable weekly goals (eg. sleep by 11pm, exercise 30 minutes 3 times a week, eat green veggies 7 meals a week)

TIME FRAME: 2 months (that’s 8 whole weeks of discipline! longer than most gym attendance memberships…)

THE METHOD: check in regularly to log your “success”, support a partner with similar goals, meet up at parties/brunches/yoga/events 2 times a month

Wish me luck in my goal of 20 minutes of solid exercise 3 times a week and no sugary snacks 3 times a week. And I’ll see you in 5 more weeks. Hopefully by then, I’ll have formed new habits and can start anew on other personal projects!

Beating the Holiday Blitz – Jill Sung

3 Dec

Essence of Vali - sleepingWith the holidays already upon us, I sometimes get overwhelmed with all that I have to do (presents, family get-togethers, Christmas donations for children via NY Cares’ Winter Wishes) …December is just too short  a month!  But one has to stay healthy or all that busy-ness can turn to tiredness…and overdosing on caffeine can be a vicious cycle.

This holiday month, I plan to stay healthy and sleep well so I won’t need to cover up the under eye shadows and ruin every family Christmas picture I make it into. Exercise is important and helps you sleep better at night. So when I’m in the city, I try to ride my bike or walk wherever I go – building exercise into my schedule is easiest for me because I know I’m horrible at going to the gym. Although it’s harder to do when I’m in the Texas suburbs or when I’m traveling, I try to give up driving to the grocery store or sitting in the hotel room, by walking to the grocery store or walking laps around the hotel. (A UCSF study found that for every extra mile walked per week, there was a 13% less chance of cognitive decline for older women- it’s never too early to start building good habits! Cheesy but true.) My sister loves her pedometer.

If I know I can’t sleep, I use Essence of Vali sleep products – plant-based aromatherapy that is really affordable and easy – just dab a little on your pillowcase at night and you’ll find drifting into lala land easy enough (watch out for samples with JUARA soon – Valerie, the aromatherapist founder, has graciously shared some of her soothing concoctions with us). And this will sound self-serving, but I swear that our Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask really works. If I know I have a tough day the next morning, I sleep with this mask on – a thin layer goes on invisible, and while I sleep, the patented turmeric ingredient removes all the age-creating molecules I built up during the day. Turmeric is the miracle root of Asia – super detoxifying for the liver and the skin – it’s been shown in research as having extremely strong anti-cancer activity. But don’t get me started – I love Turmeric.

Okay, gotta run, 22 days til Christmas and I’m already behind…