October was breast cancer awareness month and everywhere we read about risk factors, tests, genetic pre-disposition, hormones, should we do this..or should we do that but basically NO WHERE (except in books like The China Study) do we read about the link between eating animal protein and the disease. Certainly we have all heard, over and over again, that if you have a family history of breast cancer you are at an increased risk of getting the disease, but one study found that “less than 3% of all breast cancers can be attributed to family history.” Though other studies suggest higher percentages, the bottom line here is that “just because a person has the gene for a disease does NOT mean that they are destined to get the cancer; prominent studies reported that only a tiny minority of cancers can be solely blamed on genes. There are at least 4 important breast cancer risks that are affected by…nutrition!” The China Study goes on to explain the link between what we eat and hormone levels. If we combine the science of genetic testing (perhaps on our young daughters) and nutrition (keeping estrogen levels low by avoiding animal protein) it is believed that we can greatly lower the number of cases of breast cancer. The interesting part is that we will also lower the risk for all other cancers as well as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, diabetes and diseases of the brain, like Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimers is the big one that I worry about. Mom had it. Her mom probably had it (though we didn’t call it that in those days) too. If anyone should be protected against this, despite a family history, it should be ME. Mostly by coincidence, I do most everything that is recommended to protect against this disease. From daily exercise, to word games, to eating a plant-based diet and nurturing relationships, I should be the poster child for fighting the Big A. It certainly remains to be seen–if not by me, than by Mitch or my kids who will, if I get the disease, not only have their hands full, but will shake their heads saying “genes ruled!”
It makes me incredibly happy to see my students exchanging books like The China Study, Vegan for Dummies, The Kind Life and lots of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. I love the buzz going on when one says “did you hear about so and so going vegan and not having to take medication anymore?” or “Did you hear so and so lost 15 pounds since she started eating only plant-based foods.” The best stories I hear are when my students physicians comment on how well their blood work has come out and they want to know what they are doing, or even better, when they tell me how mentally happy they feel. YAY!!!!! I am totally blown away with how open-minded and willing to learn and make changes these people are!!! YOU ALL IMPRESS AND INSPIRE ME IN WAYS YOU WILL NEVER KNOW!
So here it is another VFT and I honestly don’t know what’s on the menu yet. Leaning towards middle-eastern with the homemade hummus and Israeli salad, and the yummy falafel from the bistro. With some fresh pita bread and some fruit (fruit gets so hard when summer is over!!!) it’s a meal. And maybe some no-pig, pigs in the blanket for an appetizer. They are easy and always a hit. All I do is buy a package of soy dogs and cut them into 5ths. I use Pillsbury Crescent rolls and take half a crescent roll and wrap it around the piece of soy dog. Then I follow the directions on the crescent roll package for the traditional pigs in a blanket. Served with spicy mustard, leftovers NEVER happen! I highly recommend these for parties. As I have mentioned before, these usually appeal to even the meat eaters. I buy these:
to make these:
Have a Thankful Thursday. Be kind. Think kind. Eat kind. Trust me, it feels good!
A little later in the morning…I am thinking I might actually try a brand new recipe that has been calling me…so Derek, if you are reading this, it’s still up in the air! Surprise……….
Bon, I think you (and many others) ARE on to something….
And I don’t think your epitaph will be “genes rule”…. It’ll be something more like “nutrition and exercise rule”.
I keep hearing about a connection between soy and breast cancer, but now I don’t believe it. Soy is a plant based protein, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancers.
I just had a Mammo and for the first time in 6 years I was told that the results are normal and there is no need for further testing. Someone finally caught on that my breasts are dense (just not as dense as their brains).
Oops – was that a little surly? I’m feeling a bit snarky lately – it’s stress (work) related. I’ll just go pour myself a glass of wine (red – for it’s antioxidant properties) and I’ll be fine in no time !
Judy Amberson says
well I had a Mammo about a month ago-and for the first time, (never had an abnormal mammo) I was told that I needed a re-check of one of my breasts because it was too dense to see through with regular mammography. Had a recheck and all was well thank god. So I guess as we get older we develop dense breasts due to the fat build up and ligament loss. Doc Oz had a segment on his show about this along with most women wearing the wrong bra size, and wrong sports bra while exercising. Just a note about proper bra size too.