October is synonymous with more than ghosts and goblins. It’s also synonymous with pink ribbons and balloons, doctor’s visits and mammograms—it’s about Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While the causes of breast cancer range from genetics to environmental factors, a clean lifestyle can not only potentially help minimize risks of certain types of breast cancer, but also aid in managing life for breast cancer survivors. While we don’t have much control over cancerous cells inherited through genetics, we do have some control over what we put into our bodies and what we expose ourselves to in the environment.
Remember, clean living is about paying attention to what we put into our bodies via food, beauty products on our skin, and even the air we breath. It’s about embracing a more wholesome and natural way of life that reminds us that we are the ones in charge of our choices—and that those choices can (and do) affect our health. A few of those choices include:
1. Reading labels. It’s no secret that an ingredient label can be long and confusing. And that can actually be your very first hint that you may want to stay away from that product. If the list is very long and filled with words you can barely pronounce let alone understand, you may want to take a second look at that purchase. The sad truth is that studies have shown a strong link between harmful chemicals and toxins and breast cancer.
Transparency is key here. And while searching for organic products is a great way to avoid those toxins, it’s not the only way. As a general rule of thumb, the shorter the label and the more words you know on it, the healthier the product.
2. Consistently eating healthier. While the act of putting food into our mouths may be an easy process, putting the correct food into our mouths can be rather difficult. Processed foods and chemicals often found in fast food meals are quick, easy, and often a lot cheaper than healthier alternatives. However, while that burger and fries may taste good, they are not doing your body any favors.
Focus on clean, fresh, organic, and hormone-free alternatives that have not been covered with pesticides and added fillers. A diet that is high in vegetables (all those lovely leafy greens) and low in carbohydrates and sugary fruit juices puts you at a lower risk of developing breast cancer, and aids in recovery treatments after any diagnosis. Being mindful and choosing foods without those additives and preservatives gives your body a much-needed break as it works less to filter the food and water through your system.
3. Move your body. It’s not just about the food you eat, it’s also about exercise. Of course, everyone thinks about hitting the gym when it’s time to shed some of those extra pounds, but did you know that moving your body is also important when it comes to clean living and minimizing the risks of breast cancer? Exercising even a few hours a week can greatly reduce the chance of breast cancer for both men and women, especially for women after menopause.
Engaging in physical activity has been proven to help regulate hormone levels, like estrogen, while strengthening the immune system. And a strong immune system is vital to help in the recovery process during and after cancer treatment. If you are unable to engage in strength training, a walk around your neighborhood or office building is a good place to start—with the added bonus of breathing in clean outdoor air that can energize your body and your mind.
4. Think happy thoughts. Speaking of your mind, maintaining a positive mindset is important throughout every aspect of life, including clean living. And one of the best ways to get there is related to everything we’re talking about—eating fresh, clean food and getting exercise. High levels of stress can take a physical and mental toll on your body. Stress depletes your energy, encourages unhealthy diet and exercise choices, and can even impact your joints and heart rate.
A clean mind that has decreased stress levels can aid in accomplishing activities during the day and promoting better sleep at night. Surround yourself with positive thoughts and positive influences. This may be easier said than done, but it’s important to be mindful of all the external factors in your life that create a negative impact on your mind, and subsequently, your health.
While these tips are all great, we don’t just talk around here, we take action. To that end, our friends at Norwex® Foundation for a Brighter Future are partnering with the Cancer Hope Network in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Norwex’s “Party for a Cause” is making a donation for every party held (along with offering some other really great host incentives) in October to raise awareness and funds for life-changing research and support.
Clean living is about mindfulness. It’s about paying attention to factors around you and making the best choices that you can in your given environment. When you make better, healthier choices, you are actively taking steps to provide yourself with a healthier lifestyle, which includes helping to decrease your risks of breast cancer. To truly dive into your clean eating and living journey, check out my website and please schedule a call. Together, we can navigate your journey to an even better version of you in a far better environment.
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