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Recently I spoke to a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has dense breast tissue and the cancer was found after it had advanced. (That’s another story.)

After suffering from high blood pressure for many years, I have been looking at diet and exercise as a way to correct my pressure. I wondered if the same issues that apply in my quest for a more balanced blood pressure could also apply to cancer. So I spoke to Dr. Sam Schikowitz, a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist located in New Paltz. Dr. Schikowitz has extensive training in naturopathic modalities as well acupuncture and other forms of Asian medicine.

Funny, but his two main suggestions–eat healthy and exercise–not only help cancer patients but help all of us live life to its fullest.

Eat the Right Stuff

  1. A diet high in protein and fat helps people lose weight. It  also improves the long term cancer survival rate. According to Dr. Schikowitz, “You want (a cancer) patient’s blood sugar to be regulated because cancer cells love sugar.” He says cancer patients who consume increased amounts of sugar, may risk speeding up their own deaths, since cancer cells thrive on sugar.
  2. Stop smoking and stay away from others who smoke as well.  Many studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health show a direct correlation between the smoke from cigarettes and breast cancer.
  3. Be careful of toxins in your diet. According to Dr. Schikowitz, most toxins come from toxic animal products.

    I asked the doctor how hard is it to remove these toxins from our diet. Although it takes some effort, it definitely is reflected in feeling better and looking better. Some of his suggestions include buying organic products, free range chickens, light tuna, canned salmon and whole grain brown rice. And yes, antioxidants and green tea are helpful, he says, but usually in conjunction with an overall approach to a healthy lifestyle.

    Frozen foods are a good second choice to fresh. And of course, stay away from foods with a lot of preservatives and additives.

Develop an Exercise Regime

  1. First of all, according to Dr. Schikowitz there is no pill out there that does what exercise does for you. So your first step is to come up with an overall exercise plan.
  2. What’s great about exercise is that, in general, it improves your mood while it improves your body’s metabolism; and it reduces all types of illnesses.
  3. One of the great bi-products of exercise is that it is a great regulator of blood sugar. It also helps you think better, feel better, and affects your immune systems.
  4. The most effective way to change how your metabolism works is to develop an aerobic training program. I know I am doing aerobic exercise, when I am breathing heavily for an extended  period of time.  (Aerobic training is effective in burning sugar.) Use short sprints and interval training as part of your exercise program. Do three individual sets of an exercise rather than one long set.

For more information about Dr. Sam Schikowitz and his philosophy about keeping healthy, visit his website .

Look for a follow up: I asked my press contact at the National Institutes of Health about their current studies on the relationship between diet and cancer. Let’s see what they come up with.

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My husband, Clay and I often go to the movies. In fact, we reserve Friday as date night which usually means dinner out and a movie…I admit that some weeks there is just nothing good to see. And sometimes we turn to DVDs.

Recently my son suggested Sleep Dealer, a Spanish subtitled movie mostly set in Mexico. Sometimes Clay hates subtitles because while reading you miss the action. But in this movie the setting is the story.

It tells the tale of a young man, who lives in a remote village who must travel to Tijuana to earn money for the family when his father is killed. At first glance this appears to be a simple plot, but it is set in the future.

Although the film is set in the future, so much of the story is a comment on the current issues we face. For example, there is a 15 ft border fence separating us from Mexico, but we use their workforce to work remotely with a newly created technology.  America keeps our county safe using drone patrols over our southern neighbor which manytimes results in wrongful deaths.

A thoughtfully done movie, well worth seeing.

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I’m a little behind on sharing my Hudson Valley adventures with our loyal blog readers. Two weeks ago on June 5, I ventured to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park for a cooking  demonstration entitled, “A Taste of the Hudson Valley.”  The two-hour presentation was described as “a culinary exploration of the unique and delicious foods that thrive across the Valley. From farm-fresh produce to artisanal goods, you will learn all about the gems that can brighten your dinner table and delight family and friends.  You will go home with a copy of the recipes – plus a greater appreciation of the foods of your area!” Boy, they weren’t kidding. I loved every minute of it. 

I’m not a  “foodie,” but I left wanting to be one. It’s almost like you are watching a Food Network show, but it’s right in front of you. You can watch the Chef prepare a meal and discuss the recipe step by step. Our tasting included: 

  • Sautéed Duck Breast with Pinot Noir Sauce
  • Asparagus with Mustard-Herb Vinaigrette
  • Spiced Berry Crisp
  • My delicious food!

    You also learn fun cooking tips from the Chef, for example we learned an easy way to peel a garlic clove just by using two bowls. I’m not going to give away the secret though, you’ll have to attend a demonstration to find out. The presentation is fun and enlightening, the Chef allowed for guests to speak up and ask questions and had a great time answering them. 

    The CIA is beautiful and the Saturday morning cooking classes are perfect for those who love food and are interested in learning new skills. The CIA just recommends that you know how to boil a pot of water! A trip to the CIA is a great day trip and when you are on the campus you can smell the food wafting through the air. I can’t believe this was my first visit, it will not be my last. I suggest taking a day class, eating at one of their five fabulous restaurants, and signing up for any of their cooking demonstrations. Your taste buds will not be disappointed. 

    The demonstration’s Chef Rob Mullooly, was also kind enough to talk to us about the environmentally friendly practices that the incorporating into their restaurants at the CIA. 

    See more videos of my day!

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    Summertime in the Hudson Valley brings back a certain amount of lush-ness in our lives. Everything is green and plentiful. It is also the season of farm market freshness. The Hudson Valley area is lucky enough to be surrounded by a number of great farms.

    One such farm is the  W. Rogowski Farm in Pine Island. This Memorial Day the farm will host a plant swap and gardener’s potluck luncheon. Gardeners are invited to bring healthy plants and seeds, gently used gardening books and magazines, as well as gardening tools in good condition to trade with other gardening enthusiasts.  Bring a fully prepared dish to share for a communal potluck lunch right after the swap.  Additionally we are collecting all types of gardening tools—such as rakes, hoses, spades, etc.—to donate to the first in a series of community gardens to be established around Warwick.

    Gardeners should register, advising the farm as to what items they will bring to swap, and what dish they will share.  Email to FarmerBeanne@aol.com, or call 845-258-4574 to register. The farm will provide tables to display swap items and light refreshments for the morning check-in, a refrigerator and microwave for potluck dishes, as well as plates and eating utensils.  Please bring a folding chair, and if you have many items please bring your own table. Please visit their website for more information.

    It sounds like a fun day and a joyous way to welcome summer. Be sure to pick up our July issue for more information on what local farms and farm markets are offering this summer.

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    This is the second gorilla video I’ve posted on this blog. It’s not because I’m obsessed with gorillas, but it’s because I find the whole connection people have with animals and nature amazing. With today’s world becoming increasingly hectic, it really takes simple, pure love to put everything in perspective. Such as the love between a man and a gorilla. Here is the back story to this amazing video: “In the African jungle, conservationist Damian Aspinall searches for Kwibi, a lowland gorilla he hasn’t seen for 5 years. Kwibi grew up with Damian at his Howletts Wild Animal Park in England. When he was five, he was released into the forests of Gabon, West Africa as part of conservation programme to re-introduce gorillas back into the wild. Now Kwibi’s 10 years old, much bigger and stronger. Will Damian find him? Will Kwibi attack him?” Watching this video seriously gave me warm, fuzzy feelings and made my day a little brighter.

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    One of the perks I love about my job is finding local events that I feel our readers would love and connecting to Hudson Valley residents. One event that was recently brought to my attention is “Hudson Valley Women in Transition.”  Whether you  know a woman who is looking to change careers or start dating again, this event is for them. On May 13th, Image Consultant Jacqueline M. Peros, owner and founder of JMP Image & Style Consulting, will provide the ABC’s of Image that will help you capture your unique you. Mrs. Peros will discuss Appearance, Behavior & Communication strategies that will put you in the driver’s seat of your career.

    $20 includes hors d’oeuvres and raffle ticket. Proceeds will benefit the Grace Smith House. Even though it may be short notice, if you’re interested in attending this event please RSVP to Susan J. Ragusa at susan@causeevent.com. The event will be held at Pamela’s On the Hudson in Newburgh from 6pm-8pm. I suggest checking it out. If you remember we also wrote an article on Susan last December. She is a great friend to Hudson Valley Life and a very interesting Hudson Valley resident. Here’s to Hudson Valley residents making positive changes!

      

      

     

     

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    The big new Disney nature film “Oceans” was released last week in the U.S. on Earth Day (a French version came out last year). A while back, Hudson Valley Life was able to interview explorer and ocean advocate Jon Bowermaster, who helped edit “Oceans: The Threats to Our Seas and What You Can Do to Turn the Tide,” the companion book to the movie. To find out more about Jon, read our story and check out Bowermaster’s website to see what he’s up to these days. The movie looks like a must-see for those who love films about our natural world. It uses innovative cameras to capture unique views of marine life.

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