Monday, May 20, 2013

Healthy Breasts

In response to the recent news of Angelina Jolie undergoing a double mastectomy as a “preventative measure” for breast cancer, I would like to offer an alternative solution to a problem and fear faced by many women. The thought of getting breast cancer or any other cancer for that matter can be
devastating for women and their families. However, there is a solution that allows us to feel empowered, pro-active, and fearless. 

The key point I would like to make is that our diet and lifestyle is the best preventative medicine. Hippocrates, the founder of Western medicine, said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". I believe this quote to be true, as people who are not as excessive with their intake of food tend to live healthier lives. The scientific proof of this is well-documented in T. Colin Campbell‘s book The China Study. It is undeniable that our diet and lifestyle have a direct impact on our health.

In my field of Diet and Lifestyle Counseling, I use a means of Oriental Diagnosis, which uses physiognomy and acupuncture meridians as a way to assess a person’s overall condition. While this type of diagnosis does not use fancy equipment, it is quite accurate. A skilled practitioner is able to detect a potential problem long before it is detected by medical testing. Thanks to this type of diagnosis, my clients are able to make dietary and lifestyle adjustments to cleanse their bodies, strengthen their blood and immune system, and restore their condition back to balance. Many of our clients have had complete success in recovering their health naturally, while others choose to combine medical treatment with a dietary approach to healing. Macrobiotics is not opposed to Western medical treatment when needed. It is my experience that that the two approaches to health can be complimentary. My clients who have had medical treatment heal and recover more quickly when they eat well.

In Oriental medicine there is an up-down correlation between different organs in the body. Each organ system is seen in pairs. For example, the lungs are paired with the large intestines. The breasts, while not exactly part of the lungs happen to rest on top of the lung area so there is also a correlation, which simply means that the key to healthy breasts is having a healthy digestive system. When we eat excessive foods, such as meat and dairy, combine it with sugar and other refined sweets it is just a disaster waiting to happen. If a problem does not develop in the breasts, sooner or later, a problem is likely to manifest in another part of the body. This being said, having a mastectomy is not the cure to prevent cancer, rather it is a set up for a problem to develop elsewhere. I would like to send a message to all women and say, let’s take care of our breasts and our entire body by eating a plant-based diet, or at the very least, by eating more grains and vegetables.

For healthy breasts (and a healthy body) here are my top “Power Breast” foods:

1.Whole grains, especially brown rice, millet and barley.
   *Grains strengthen the digestive system and are low in fat. 
2. Have a bowl of homemade miso soup 5 to 7 times a week.
   *Miso soup is very easy to make, it takes about 10 minutes to
     make and is very strengthening to the digestive system.
     Miso soup helps to build good intestinal flora and cleans the intestinal villi.        
     A small bowl a day helps keep the doctor away!
3. Eat one serving of quick steamed leafy green vegetables 5 to 7 times a week.
    *Quick steamed greens are rich in minerals and fiber which helps the overall functioning of the
     digestive system by keeping it clean and active to do its job eliminating excess.
     Just remember, do not overcook your greens, they need to be crunchy!

Below is a recipe for millet cooked with sweet vegetables.
This is a miso soup recipe from a previous post.

Millet with Sweet Vegetables
Millet is a whole grain with overall “settling” qualities. Energetically it is very helpful for breast problems because it helps to draw excess from the upper body and allows it to discharge naturally through the digestive system. As an added bonus, it is also very balancing for the central organs and especially helpful in stabilizing blood sugar.
1/3-cup of diced onion
1/3-cup of diced cabbage
1/3-cup of diced carrots
1 cup millet; washed several times to remove any debris
3 1/4 to 4 cups of water -When serving millet as a breakfast porridge use 5 cups of water
A small pinch o sea salt - about 1/16 of a teaspoon

* Place onions on the bottom of the pot with just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Add a tiny   
   pinch of sea salt (literally a few grains) and cook 5 minutes or until the water begins to evaporate.
* Layer cabbage, then carrot and millet on top of the onions.
* Add water and another tiny pinch of sea salt.
* Cover and bring to a boil on a medium flame.
* Place a flame deflector underneath the pot and simmer on low for 40 minutes.
* Remove grain from the pot, place in serving dish and cover with a sushi mat.
* The texture and consistency should be slightly moist and fluffy.

Here are some of my favorite Millet and sweet vegetable combinations:
Onion and cauliflower
Onion, leeks, parsnips
Onion, sweet potato
Onion, cabbage, parsnip

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