Did You Know? Prediabetes Increases Cancer Risk

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According to a new study published in Diabetologia, prediabetes increases a person’s risk for several cancers, including endometrial, liver, stomach or colorectal cancers. Fortunately, researchers noted that lifestyle changes can treat and even prevent this condition. You can read more about the study here, but this is a reminder that doctors are making people aware that prediabetes is a disease in itself. If you or someone you know has prediabetes,  please seek help, as this can save your life or the life of a loved one.

As a Health Coach, I can help you make simple, effective, lasting diet and lifestyle changes. You will learn how to eat foods that nourish and satisfy you – not ones that leave you feeling sluggish, sick, and bloated. I will also teach you how to manage your stress, find an activity you love, get better sleep, seek a form of spirituality that fulfills you, and much more. In addition to working with me, you can also join your YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. I am facilitating the Diabetes Prevention Program at the Culver-Palms Family YMCA in Culver City. We started our first class for our September 2014 session on Tuesday night! This is a great way to learn more about healthy eating and living, so I encourage you to work with a Health Coach, talk to your doctor, or join your local YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

You are in charge of your health. The decisions you make on a daily basis determine how healthy you are – your health is in your hands. Make good choices. I can help.

Love Your Body

MeandTim

{Here’s a picture of me and my boyfriend Tim, taken a little over a week ago <3}

In a time when, “thin is in” it can be easy to justify going to extreme measures to make your body match an ideal that society has created. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly felt bombarded with images of women who are far thinner than I am – thinner than I’ll ever be. I don’t wish I looked like them, but there was a time when I’d stare at those images; I’d dissect every part of a woman’s body and wonder why mine didn’t look the same. I wondered why my thighs weren’t as thin; why my cheekbones weren’t as prominent; why my stomach wasn’t as flat. It didn’t take very long before I started to cut back on the amount of food I was eating.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I slowly began accepting myself. When I went to college, the acceptance and love for my body grew. I became a Healthy Eating and Living Intern at the Student Center. For “Love Your Body Day” my fellow interns and I ordered shirts that said, “I <3 My Body.” We wore them around campus and observed people’s reactions (most were positive :)). I was happy to be wearing one, because it was true. I wanted to inspire others to love their bodies, too. If you’d given me a shirt like that to wear when I was younger, I don’t know that I would have, because I wouldn’t want people to look at me and think that I actually loved my body. How could I? I was no model. But in college, I did love my body. I truly learned to care for myself. I didn’t diet. I shopped for healthy food. I walked for miles every day. I ran by the lagoon. I danced. I filled myself with love, laughter, and happiness. I was fulfilled.

I cringe when I hear how much women torture themselves to look a certain way. I feel saddened by the amount of pressure many people feel to be thinner, prettier, taller, etc. I wish that we could appreciate our bodies for everything that they do for us – that’s part of how I healed. I thanked my body for taking care of me. Instead of wanting to look a certain way, I just wanted to be healthy. I still feel this way.

I wish that we could spread more love; instead of calling ourselves or others fat, my hope is that we will look at ourselves and others for who we really are; the numbers on the scale, the size of our skirts, the fact that we don’t look like a small percentage of women who are incredibly tall and thin doesn’t define us. There was a time when being thin was everything to me. Now, I think it shocks people that being skinny isn’t my ultimate goal. It’s not even on my list of things that I want. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or because I love and accept my body, but I genuinely don’t want to stretch myself out to be a few inches taller and a few pounds lighter. I love my curves. I am passionate about helping women be healthy and learn to truly love their bodies, too.

Instead of focusing on being a certain weight, I would rather we all strive to be our healthiest, happiest, most radiant selves. When we learn to love ourselves and enjoy life, if we have weight to lose, it will come off because we are feeding ourselves healthy food, and are taking time to be active, as well as to relax, and connect with nature, ourselves, and people who lift us up. To me, that’s what life is about. If you’re on your wellness journey and are struggling to love yourself, accept your body, and heal, I’d love to help. If you have an eating disorder, I can refer you to a specialist who can help. Wherever you are on your health journey, know that there are people who can help. The fact that you’re beautiful won’t change as your weight changes. And, you can learn the tools to take care of yourself, too. You’re worth it. <3

Vegan Bagel Burger

BagelBurgerI live next to a delicious gluten-free bakery, so I picked up some vegan, gluten-free bagels, and they’re delicious! I make this burger bagel whenever I want something really filling; I actually made it today, but could only eat half of it at a time, so I saved the other half for later in the day.

If you want something tasty, satisfying, and easy-to-make, read about how I put this together and get one for yourself!

A Perfect Dessert Smoothie

TropicalIslandSmoothie

I absolutely love this smoothie! This blend of strawberries, pineapple, and coconut is perfect. I truly feel like I am on a gorgeous, tropical island when I am drinking this smoothie. I can honestly say that it makes the perfect dessert, as it’s refreshing, sweet, and satisfying. This is the same as my Tropical Island Smoothie – please try it and share it with friends and family. It’s so good that I feel that I have to share it again and again!

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

SlicedOranges{Sliced oranges on my cutting board – yum!}

When I went to visit my friend Felice in Ojai, we picked oranges from the gorgeous orange orchard that was essentially in her backyard. Ojai is filled with delicious, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and people often leave bags of oranges on the side of the road where you can make a donation (based on trust and honesty) and take some home for yourself. I’ve also seen people leave out avocados with a small donation box next to them. I love the idea of living amongst a group of people who are genuinely committed to helping each other.

Felice has a beautiful young daughter named Phoebe, and together, the three of us picked lots of oranges. For the remainder of my trip, I had freshly squeezed orange juice at least once a day. I even got to take a big bag full of fresh oranges home with me. This was in the fall; even though I am enjoying my summer, I still want one more cup of freshly squeezed orange juice from those yummy Ojai oranges.

My parents actually have an orange tree in their backyard. They swore to me that the oranges are bitter, but I was so excited to see them that I decided to pick some for myself. This was several months ago, but they were tasty! I was happy that I could have freshly squeezed orange juice for just a little longer. Some oranges were a little sour, but combined with the sweet ones, my juice was perfect. I am thinking that I’ll step into my parents backyard and see if I can gather any more oranges. I may just be able to squeeze enough for one more cup :).

I would definitely recommend squeezing your own oranges, instead of buying orange juice from the store. By then, the juice has been pasteurized, and it has lost almost all of its nutrients. It’s best to buy (or pick!) your oranges and make freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning (or whenever you’d like). That way, you get all of the nutrients – right in your cup – and then straight into your body! In addition to lots of vitamin C, oranges also have fiber, folate, vitamin b1, vitamin b5, and minerals such as potassium, copper, and calcium – wow!

Start thinking ahead for fall and grab those oranges when you can!

YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program

Berry Smoothie

I am excited to share that for the past several months I have been working with the Culver-Palms Family YMCA! After giving a few health and wellness workshops, I was asked to become a  member of the Healthy Lifestyles Committee and to help bring the amazing Diabetes Prevention Program to the Culver-Palms Family YMCA. In the time that I have been here, I have given more workshops, spoken to members about how they can make healthier food choices, encouraged people to try new fitness classes, and much more. Additionally, I am so happy to share that our Diabetes Prevention Program will start in September!

In case you haven’t heard, The American Diabetes Association reports that in the United States, in 2012, 29.1 million people had diabetes; 21.0 million people were diagnosed, while 8.1 million people had diabetes, but didn’t know it. Additionally, 86 millions Americans have prediabetes. Wow! These statistics are alarming, especially because complications that arise from having diabetes include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputations, and nervous system disease.

Thankfully, there are many ways to help prevent and in some cases even reverse type 2 diabetes. I am proud to say that the YMCA has been doing an excellent job of providing people with lots of information on how to stay healthy and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is supported by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance on a nation-wide level and is also part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led National Diabetes Prevention Program.

The YMCA’s year-long Diabetes Prevention Program starts with 16 weekly sessions and is then followed by 8 monthly maintenance sessions. At the Culver-Palms YMCA, participants will meet with me. This is a weight-loss program and we do want our participants to lose 7 percent of their body weight. If you join the program, you will have tons of information, support, and guidance. Since this will take place in a group setting, members will be able to reach out to people who completely understand what it’s like to need to lose weight, eat healthier foods, and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As this is a prevention program, people who already have diabetes do not qualify to join. However, I feel strongly that everyone should receive assistance, so if you already have diabetes, please contact me for more information on other programs that are right for you.

During the course of the Diabetes Prevention Program, members will learn how to stay motivated, be active, manage stress, eat less, make better food choices, and much more. If you are interested in joining this program, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a BMI of 25 or more (unless you are Asian or Pacific Islander, in which case your BMI must be 22 or greater); some participants will need lab values from their doctors (such as their A1c levels, fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour plasma glucose, and/or confirmation of having had Gestational Diabetes (GDM) during previous pregnancy).

I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful, generous, positive, inspiring community. I truly feel right at home, here at the Culver-Palms Family YMCA. If you’d like to sign up for our Diabetes Prevention Program, be sure to take this risk assessment quiz, and contact me for more information at christinatanios@ymcala.org. I am looking forward to working with you!

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