– Did you know that every one out of eight woman are at risk for having breast cancer.
Risk factors for breast cancer
1. Age- The older we get, our risk increases
2. Weight gain- Overweight woman are at higher risk
3. Estrogen- Oral contraceptive pills and Hormone replacement used for long periods of time increases risk
4. Non organic, GMO processed soy
Prevention is the key:
1. Exercise daily for at least 30-40 minutes.
2. A balanced diet, limiting refined carbs and sugars. Rich in fibre. Add at least 9-12 Phytonutrients in your diet (components from the plant that have anticancer properties). Example-colored fruits and vegetables, green tea. Green tea has anticancer properties.
3. Healthy microbiome. Healthy gut means a healthy you. Diet rich in fiber. Fibre feeds the good bacteria. Avoid antibiotics unless you absolutely need them.
4. Mindfulness – relaxing to calm down, deep breathing, yoga or meditation. Helps to boost your immune system.
5. Toxins- Buy healthier personal care products. Avoid “Parabens”, which are toxins commonly found in beauty products, as they can influence estrogen receptors.
6. Gratitude- Being thankful daily. Keep a journal and write down three things that you are grateful for daily.
Read the Transcript Below the Bio
Breast cancer is now forecasted to hit 267,000 women this year. This interview with Dr. Elizabeth Boham reveals how you can prevent and treat breast cancer. Check out the questions and brief answers below the bio.
Elizabeth Boham, MD, MS, RD is a physician and nutritionist who practices functional medicine at The Ultrawellness Center in Lenox, MA. Through her practice and lecturing, she has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of optimum health and wellness with a focus on breast wellness. She witnesses the power of nutrition every day in her practice and is committed to training other physicians to utilize nutrition in healing. Dr. Boham has contributed to many articles and wrote the latest chapter on Obesity for the Rankel Textbook of Family Medicine. She is part of the faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine and has been featured on the Dr. Oz show and in a variety of publications and media including Huffington Post, The Chalkboard Magazine, and Experience Life. Her DVD Breast Wellness: Tools to Prevent and Heal from Breast Cancer explores the functional medicine approach to keeping your breasts and whole body well.
PODCAST QUESTIONS & HIGHLIGHTS:
– What is the profile of a breast cancer patient
– What factors lead to breast cancer and how to prevent it
– What are the latest tests and treatments
– Her own story of breast cancer and healing
– Which supplements she recommends
The #1 recommendation for anyone dealing with breast cancer diagnosis
– Busting of myths on Mammograms, Soy, Aluminum and more
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Reena: Hi, everyone and I am Reena Jadhav. Welcome to the Live Longer podcast and today we have Dr. Elizabeth Boham who is an MD, MS, RD, a physician and a nutritionist who practices functional medicine at the Ultra Wellness Center in Lenox.
For her practice and lecturing, she has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of optimal health and wellness. She’s witnessed the power of nutrition every day in her practice and is truly committed to training other physicians to utilize nutrition and healing. She’s contributed to many articles, written the latest chapter on obesity for the [inaudible 00:40] textbook of family medicine. She’s, in fact, part of the faculty of the Institute For Functional Medicine and has been featured in the Dr. Oz Show which is probably where you saw her last and of course in a variety of publications and media, including the Huffington Post, the Chalkboard Medicine, and Experience Life.
Her DVD Breast Wellness Tools To Prevent And Heal From Breast Cancer explores the functional medicine approach to keeping your breast and your whole body well. You can check her out at dr.boham.com. And of course we will be putting links to her website and her social media and Twitter accounts in our show notes so make sure to check those out later. We are so excited to welcome you today, Dr. Elizabeth. How are you?
Elizabeth: I’m great. Thank you, Reena, for having me. It’s a pleasure to be with you and with all of you.
Reena: Let’s talk breast cancer for a moment. What are the statistics these days?
Elizabeth: Yeah, as many people know it’s unfortunately very common with one in eight women at risk for having breast cancer within their lifetime and typically the risk goes up as someone gets older. But there is a risk when we’re young as well and that’s why I got so interested in dealing with breast cancer and breast wellness.
When I had a breast cancer at the age of 30 and was very surprised and shocked that this happened to me and knew I needed to figure out some different things that were going on my body and all the systems in my body that were may have influenced my risk of getting cancer.
Reena: Let’s start with that: Your own experience.
Why do you believe you had cancer at such an early age?
Elizabeth: You know, I think for with all of us that get cancer and especially cancer at an early age, there’s often many things that come in to play that influence our risk of if we get cancer or not. So I don’t think it’s just one thing and I look for that one thing for a long time and I know many of us do. I think its many things that come together and influence out risks.
For me personally, I think was in the middle of my residency program so I had a lot of stress, I was working nights at that time and I think that that contributed to my immune system not working as well as it could for that period of time. I also think I probably had some exposure to some toxins at a young age. I’ve been looking a lot at the role of the microbiome and imbalances in the gut flora and how that influences our risk of cancer. And I know that I, unfortunately, had a lot of antibiotics as a child cause I had some chronic urinary tract infections. I am sure that influenced how my body detoxified from toxins of the environment, could process estrogen and influence my immune system as well. So I think that’s an important area for us to look at as well.
So I think it’s some many things that come into play and that’s what I really tried to look at when I’m working with somebody who has had cancer or who has cancer, cause we want to look at all the systems in their body. In many times when we work to improve the different systems in their body and support those lifestyle factors that can help really tremendously with healing.
Reena: Have you seen from a functional medicine perspective in healing a patient? What is your approach and strategy typically?
Elizabeth: Absolutely. So in functional medicine, we’re always focused on really gathering all that information about the patient. So we really work to take a detailed history when we’re talking with that patient and from their whole life, so early life experiences, we pay attention to their birth and amount of antibiotics at a young age and problems that they had when they were younger, health history when they were younger, intolerances to food for example; chronic infections. We pay attention to what sort of symptoms they had over their lifetime, not just what’s going on at that moment, but their whole life’s experience because that really lays the foundation for understanding what imbalances may be going on in their body. And when we can figure out that individual person’s imbalances, then we can work to remove them or replace what they need and that really helps for us to be more successful in treating a patient.
So for one person, their cancer risk may have been contributed by their diet and their lack of exercise or weight for example, because we know that impacts a person’s risk of disease. But for somebody else it may be more related to toxin exposure and then we really need to support detoxification in their body. Or for somebody else it may be some imbalances in their immune system function. We always focus on those lifestyle factors really. That forms the foundation of good health, making sure we’re getting good sleep, we’re doing good movement every day, exercise right, keep making the right food choices, managing our stress well. But then we, as I said, we also look at is there an imbalance in the systems in their body and what can we do to really re-balance that.
Reena: That makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk about a little controversial topic of mammograms and testing for breast health.
What are your views on mammograms? Are they safe? Should people be getting? How often should they be getting? At what age should mammograms really start?
Elizabeth: That’s such a great question and it really is controversial, because for a couple of reasons:
One, we don’t have a much better screening method at this point in time. So I really hope that we continue to work to develop a better screening method so we can have a screening tool that has less radiation.
And the other is that everybody is an individual. So I think it’s really an important conversation to have with your individual physician and talk about the latest research which is encouraging us to continue to have the yearly physical exams with our physicians but then making that decision about when a mammogram should start for that individual person. So it really is an individual decision at this point in time.
Reena: In your practice, so what do you recommend? So if I was your patient, how do you decide whether to recommend a mammogram, especially since it turns out that sometimes the results from these mammograms may or may not be accurate in capturing what’s going on in the breast tissue?
Elizabeth: I really take a very detailed history, understanding that person’s family history, and making sure that they’re having their yearly physical exams and their breast exams yearly. After that, it really depends on the person’s age and what their individual risks are.
There are some screening modalities, thermography is — can be used though I don’t think we have enough research there to say that if you get your thermography that you don’t have to think about mammograms at all. Some women will recommend ultrasounds. So it’s a combination of different screenings to really determine what’s best for the patient.
But we have to remember that mammography or any of these screening tools are not prevention. They’re early detection. An early detection is great, it saves lives and it’s wonderful. But what we want to also really focus on is prevention. Prevention as much as we can in the first place.
Reena: I couldn’t agree more with you. So let’s talk prevention.
Actually, before we jump into prevention let’s talk who is at the highest risk for breast cancer these days. Is there a profile?
Elizabeth: You know, a woman’s risk increases as she gets older, you know. That’s true with most cancers and is true with breast cancer. So as we get older our risk does increase. In addition, our risk increases when we gain weight, so overweight women are at a higher risk. Women who have been on birth control pills for a long period of time or are on traditional hormone replacement therapy at least we know they are at an increased risk. Things that increase a woman’s estrogen in their body increase their risks, so that’s probably the connection between or at least one of the connections between body weight and hormone therapy. And the reason is, in our percentage in our body fat, we can convert other hormones into estrogen. So one way that we can modulate and lower estrogen levels in our bodies is by lowering our percentage of body fat.
So those are a few things that increase our risk if we — when we delay having our first child that can increase our risk, not breastfeeding increases our risk. The process of getting pregnant and breastfeeding changes the breast tissues so it will actually decrease the risk of getting breast cancer later in life.
Reena: Got it. So let’s talk about prevention then. You know, I think what I’m hearing you say is pretty much every woman should look at prevention as the first step to breast health.
What age and what age would you say, cause you mentioned as we get older we have a higher risk. What’s that age range or age cutoff that you would say, “We women really need to say, ‘Okay, from this year on I need to focus on prevention more aggressively? Or at least I need to prioritize it'”?
Elizabeth: I think it happens at that we should be talking to our young adults about it honestly. I mean, I was 30 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had no family history, I had no known risk factors, I was really interested in nutrition and exercise, and thought I was taking really good care of myself. So it was a complete shock as many of us realize as that they can be quite shocked when it happens. So I think we can’t say, “Oh, this is when you have to start thinking about it.” I think unfortunately we want to be talking to our everybody about prevention because the good great thing about things that we can do to decrease our risk of cancer, that often decreases our risk of other diseases as well.
Reena: Absolutely. What do you recommend as a prevention protocol?
Elizabeth: Yeah, so as we were talking earlier it’s very individualized. But in general, we’re always talking about making sure we’re getting good regular exercise every day. So really every study has shown that movement and exercise; 30-40 minutes every day is one of the best things we can do decrease our risk of breast cancer as well as many, many diseases.
Making sure with our diet that we’re really working to balance our blood sugar. So what that means is that you don’t want to overdo refined carbohydrates or sugars of course, but at any one meal or in general. You want to balance your blood sugar, you want to eat foods that keep your blood sugar more balanced. So at every meal you want to make you have a good healthy fat, you have some good source of protein whether it’s a vegetable protein or some animal protein, you have a lot of fiber and you really watch or limit the amount of refined carbohydrate and sugars. And when you eat that way, that helps your blood sugar stay more stable. As a result, you don’t get these insulin spikes and blood sugar spikes which can be the growth of cancer. So that’s a really important thing that we can all do.
Making sure we’re getting enough vegetables and phytonutrients in our diet. phytonutrients are those amazing components of plant foods. That’s what in your vegetables, your fruits, your spices, your teas, and coffees. Those phytonutrients are components from plants that have amazing properties in our bodies as well, so they have a lot of cancer-fighting properties. You want to — what we always say is, “Eat from the rainbow,” try to get some natural foods that contain — that are red and orange and yellow and green and blue and purple and white and tan every day. And we’re recommending about 9-12 sources of phytonutrients every day. And people can really sneak that in. You can have a little bit of spinach with your eggs in the morning for example or some blueberries on the side or add and making a super stew having a lot of garlic and onions and red peppers and great, great kale and great ways to get in all those amazing phytonutrients every day.
And the other thing that I think is critical for all of us is to have some regular relaxation exercise that we’re doing. Some we’re doing for our self every day. Something that’s really helping our body calm down and relax and de-stress. Some whether it’s breathing exercises, maybe you’re using an app that encourages you to meditate or maybe you’re doing some yoga or yoga later at night time. Many of these things are really critical for improving the functioning of our immune system. Not only does it make us feel better, but we know that when we calm down our body and do things that lower cortisol levels and the stress response in our body, our immune system actually works better. Those natural killer cells, those are the cells that go throughout our body and find things that it should get rid off; infections, cancer cells. They work better. So I think that’s a really important thing for prevention for everybody.
What is your routine? I mean, now that you’ve had breast cancer in the past. I’m sure it’s something that’s a priority in your life to prevent it from reoccurring. Tell us a little bit about your prevention strategies and tactics.
Elizabeth: So I make sure I pretty much exercise most days. I love to exercise. I’ve always been an exerciser so that is a time for me to de-stress. But also it’s kind of like my time so I loved that. I make sure I really focus on getting my phytonutrients. But I also make sure that I do stuff for fun because that’s really important for me to lower that cortisol level and that stress level. So I make sure I make time for my family, for my friends and time to do a yoga class and do things that I really enjoy. I think that’s really important.
The other thing, I mean, I also pay attention to my microbiome. We’re learning so much about how the microbiome is critical for overall health, for our immune system and for cancer prevention. And as I said earlier, unfortunately, I had way too many antibiotics as a child and so I had to pay a lot of attention to my microbiome. I take some good probiotics, I make sure I’m getting a lot of fiber in my diet, I get in some extra fiber with things like ground flaxseed, I will also have some green tea. We know that green tea has EGCG in it which is a phytonutrient that can stop angiogenesis which is the process of blood vessels going to a cancer cell which allows cancer to grow. So the green tea really has some great anti-cancer properties in it. So I’ll have some green tea in the morning. Those are some of the things that I do to take care of myself.
Reena: Well, that sounds wonderful.
Let’s talk about the microbiomes. Definitely getting a lot of more attention these days. I think there are some new tests that have come up, there’s new literature, new research around the critical importance of it. But what extent has research found that there is a link between [inaudible 00:17:48] health and breast cancer?
Elizabeth: There are a few things that they’ve been researching and definitely more research needs to be done. But an interesting study has been showing that as a woman’s need for antibiotics increases, so does her risk for breast cancer. So they to look over that it goes a 20-year period of time and added up how many times somebody needed antibiotics over the 20 years and saw that as a woman’s intake of antibiotics increase, so does her breast cancer risk.
And there could be of course a lot of reasons for that rate. Some people say, “Well, maybe those women just have worst immune systems and that’s why they get more infections and need more antibiotics and maybe their immune system is not as strong and they get more cancer.” But the other theory is that that shift that occurs when we take antibiotics is doing more than just killing off the bacteria that are causing infection in our body. So it’s those antibiotics are shifting the microbiome and the — If you need antibiotics once in a while, once in a blue moon, I don’t think that’s much of a problem. But when we’re getting a large number of antibiotics I think we’re definitely seeing shifts in the microbiome and it’s important to recognize that that good bacteria that lie our intestine and actually our whole body. That good bacteria is really an important — has an important impact on the functioning of our immune system.
So I always say to people, “We want to avoid antibiotics unless we absolutely need them.” And again, it’s important to really have that conversation with your individual physician. But so often people go, “Oh, I don’t feel good. I’ve got this cold. Maybe I can just take an antibiotic and it will go away,” cause sometimes when we got the flu or cold we just want it to go away. But you really want to step back and say, “I only want to take an antibiotic if I have to,” and that’s an important thing to remember. You want your own immune system to get rid of the infection. And if it’s a virus, the antibiotic is not going to do anything except potentially cause [inaudible 00:20:14] some harm.
And I was saying earlier, the other thing we — is fiber. Fiber, fiber, fiber feeds that good bacteria in our body. So when we’re really focused on getting a high fiber diet through all of our vegetables and nuts and seeds and beans and [inaudible 00:20:34]. All that rich fiber feeds the good bacteria and allows them to grow in our body. And so when we’re eating a diet that’s — when somebody is eating a diet that’s refined and processed and low and fiber, we see an unhealthy shift in the microbiome and it would be interesting to see over time how much we can see a connection with cancer. We know there’s been a lot of research looking at the microbiome and other cancers, but there has been a lot looking at breast cancer as well.
Reena: There’s a couple of myths out there, Dr. Elizabeth. One of them is estrogen replacement therapy.
What are your thoughts on: Does estrogen replacement therapy or any hormone replacement therapy play a role in breast cancer?
Elizabeth: Well, that’s a great question and it is of course really complex and it depends on the hormone therapy that we’re speaking about. So when it’s health initiative I think that was in — that studied it that was done and came out in 2001 maybe? So it’s a while ago. And they know the connection between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk. But we have to remember that that was done using synthetic — Oh, I’m sorry. A pregnant horse’s urine estrogen, right? So they used Prempro or Premarin which is not a bioidentical estrogen.
So because of that many of us has been saying, “Well, what about, what if we use a more natural form of estrogen? One that’s considered bioidentical. Identical to the type of estrogen that you have in your own body,” and then it’s really an interesting conversation. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough research yet to really make a full recommendation. But we do know that a woman’s estrogen level in her body increases, so does her risk of breast cancer. So even if it’s just our natural estrogen, what our own body is making, that does influence out risk. So it is complex.
We do know that if a woman has breast cancer, estrogen therapy can cause it to grow, especially certain types of breast cancer. The estrogen receptor, positive breast cancers. So I don’t think we have enough research. But if somebody is going to use hormone therapy because they have symptoms and they need some help with some of their symptoms, you want to really think about using a bioidentical hormone therapy. Something that’s identical to what your body makes and pay attention to the dose. We use to give high, high, high doses of estrogen and some types a little bit goes a long way.
When I’m working with a patient, I really look at their personal family history, but I also pay attention to how their body metabolizes estrogen and what their potential individual risk is. So we do that through sometimes genetic testing, looking at how their body is getting rid of estrogen and metabolizing it, and then paying attention to why are we thinking about using hormones and figuring out if hormones are the best way to treat this person.
So I think that I never do a knee-jerk response. I don’t believe that if woman’s hormone starts to decrease we have to replace them. I don’t think that’s true at all. I think that there are times where hormone therapy can be beneficial, but we need to that carefully and thoughtfully and mindfully and really pay attention to what we’re doing and look at how somebody is responding to it and their body is tolerating it and handling it.
Reena: I might be going to have to ask you what I call a question in the [inaudible 00:24:39].
Do you use something like DIM PRO for women that don’t process estrogen or hormones very well? They may have methylation issues and I think that given the toxic exposures we have, I think all of the bodies are struggling with having a highly effective detox internal procedure. Do you do things like offering DIM PRO which is actually something that I take just — which is why I’m asking. Do you believe these kinds of natural supplements work and is that something that you recommend?
Elizabeth: Absolutely. I will use DIM often or I will often also use sulforaphane. This comes from broccoli extracts or cruciferous vegetables. These components can help the body metabolize and detoxify estrogen as well as other toxins in the environment, and they can be phenomenal at helping the body. So I think there’s some really good research there so we use those often.
And the other thing that we talk about is really what you can do nutritionally to support your natural detoxification systems. And that’s really again those cruciferous vegetables, so that’s broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussell sprouts. They have components in them that really help support your natural detoxification system and you really want to get some of that into your diet every day.
So to supporting your natural detoxification system is really important and we can do through cruciferous vegetables, through a high fiber diet, through making sure we’re having regular bowel movements, eating enough fiber, that we’re drinking enough water, that we’re sweating with exercise and then even things like lymphatic massage or massage or helpful to sauna use for detoxification support.
Reena: Absolutely. I think it truly does have to be done every day, isn’t it? It used to be you could have a couple of pieces of broccoli and get away with that and that was enough. And I think now that in the world we live in, you’re right. It needs to be on the daily menu. So —
Elizabeth: Yeah. And some of us don’t detoxify as well as others. And I know for myself that I don’t — just based on some of the genetic testings that I’ve had and so I know that it’s really important for me to focus in on that and for many of my patients as well. So when we figure out based on somebody’s history or some of the genetic variations that they need to support detoxification then we really focus on that.
Oh, wait. You were mentioning the environment has just — it’s being flooded with all chemicals and toxins, xenoestrogens, pesticides, plastics. What people are putting on their lawn with this belief that our lawn should look a certain way.
Elizabeth: And it’s getting into our water supply and the antibiotics and growth hormones we’re using in our food supply. I mean, it is very hard to avoid, but we need to both work to avoid a lot of toxins on our own and work to change what we’re doing to our environment as well.
Reena: And that’s all about education. Cause I think — I know I was shocked the first time I heard that there were more than 250 toxins found in the placenta of newborn babies, indicating that there are so many toxins that a woman just doesn’t process out very well and they go into the fetus. And so in my mind, I thought, “Wait a minute. That means I must have more than that circulating around my body, my blood at a given point in time.” And it was just eye-opening, cause you don’t think about it that way. We don’t think of living in a toxic world. We think we live in a beautiful clean world and then the truth is just very far from that.
Let’s talk about another very controversial topic which is a preventative mastectomy. Which is, of course, something that Angelina Jolie and few others have brought to national news. What are your thoughts on that?
Elizabeth: Yeah, so this is another one of those very individual decisions. I think that this kind of ties in with the whole question you asked earlier about mammography. Unfortunately, in some situations, mammography is picking up things that are not a problem for women and it’s causing us to go back again and again and again for repeat imaging and repeat testing and repeat biopsies. And it’s enough to sort of push a woman over the edge and say, “I just don’t want to deal with this anymore.” And I think so that’s one reason that women are making that decision because the screening test is not great because it’s leading to a lot of anxiety and over-worry and over-testing.
But on the other hand, with some women who are at very high risk, that’s really the women who have a variation in their BRCA gene. That does increase the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer for some women substantially. The decision they make, it may be the right decision for them to look at a mastectomy so they don’t have to continue to be screened regularly.
But it’s a big surgery. It’s a big surgery with a big [inaudible 00:30:31] so it should be thought through really carefully. And again, you really need to have that conversation with your doctor individually and see what’s the right decision for you.
Reena: But is that something that you would recommend?
Elizabeth: It’s so hard to say. I mean, it depends on that individual person, so it’s not something I’m typically recommending. But there may be somebody, given their risk factor analysis, what they’ve gone through, their personal history, their genetics that we know about that it may be the right decision for them.
Reena: What about soy? There’s another [inaudible 00:31:16] part. Soy! And there are two different camps. Which side are you on? What are your thoughts?
Elizabeth: I’m going to say I’m done the middle. But a really great study came out a few years ago. I think it was called The China Study. They really showed that there is no that there is no increased risk of breast cancer with soy. Though it’s important to know that they were measuring natural sources of soy. Meaning, tofu or edamame and somebody’s diet and their risk of breast cancer. So I think that when a woman — I don’t think that a woman needs to be concerned about those non-GMO natural sources of soy. Unfortunately, our food supply is full of a lot of unhealthy sources of soy. So I think it’s important that we read labels and we avoid a lot of processed soy.
For example. Here’s a good example: So in a lot of bars and cereals, they’ll put something called texturized soy protein isolates? That type of soy I don’t think has been well-studied and so we really don’t know how that influences our risk. I also recommend staying with organic soy and non-GMO soy, because again that we know can have some actual helpful benefits for all of us. It’s a great vegetarian protein source and actually can lower and affect estrogen levels in the body because it can block our own body’s estrogen and the estrogen receptor. But we have to careful with where we’re getting our soy from and there’s a lot of unhealthy soy in the environment. So — But if you stay away from processed food, you’ll get a lot less of that and really reach for whole food sources, then I’m not really worried about soy.
Reena: What about deodorants and antiperspirants? So there was this whole conversation in our aluminum and how those might be potentially creating the toxic overload that potentially leads to breast cancer. What are your thoughts on that?
Elizabeth: With all of our body care products, including deodorant, you want to go toward ones the one that doesn’t have unhelpful ingredients in it that are paraben free. I stay away from aluminum on my deodorant and I choose — I don’t want to use antiperspirants, cause I don’t want to stop the perspiration process. I just —
Reena: You don’t want it to stop. You want —
(Both speaking at the same time)
Elizabeth: Exactly! Exactly. And the environmental working group, the EWG, is a great website with lots of great resources of healthier of body care products. But you also want to — When you’re looking at your body care products, look for that word paraben. You want to stay away from paraben. It may be methylparaben or other forms of paraben on there. It’s found in moisturizers and other face creams and washes, body washes. You want to stay away from those because they can act that they are xenoestrogens. There are toxins that can influence the estrogen receptors in a body and shift to our hormone imbalance. So those are things you really want to avoid as well.
Reena: That makes a lot of sense.
Let’s talk about someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. What will you recommend over the top two or three things that they do immediately?
Elizabeth: The number one is to avoid as much added sugar in their diet or pass. Well, it doesn’t you can’t have a little bit every once in a while. But as we know, the food supply has so much added sugar in it and it’s something that you really want to avoid. So I think the number one thing is; go to a whole foods diet that is — and get rid of those packaged food as you were just mentioning.
And the second thing I think is to give your body time to rest every day. So what really helped me was journaling. When I was going through treatment I had a journal, I would meditate every day, I was writing in my journal and I started to do a gratitude journal at that time. And what I did is every day I would write down three things I was grateful for and it was amazing what that did to me and how that helped me in the healing process. How it helped the fear go away and it helped my body calm down. And it helped me really change my focus of one of fear to one of, “Okay, I can do this.” And that was so helpful for me.
So I always recommend with my patients; get a journal, start doing — writing down your three things you’re grateful for every day. And some days you’re going to write down, like you’re going to be like, “I can’t think of anything and then you just write down the sun, moon,” cause you can’t think of anything. You’re just making up stuff. But then over time I think the body really and the mind really starts to feel that gratitude itself and then really shift your — that mind process. And that’s really important I think for healing.
Reena: I couldn’t agree more. I have a similar story. When I fell sick a few years ago I had read about the importance of gratitude, the importance of visualizing your healing. And I went out and got a couple of journals and none of them really worked for me. So I actually created a journal that’s called My Heal Journal and it’s literally designed for exactly what you’re sharing which is you write in it daily, you keep it right next to your bed, it’s the first thing you do in the morning, it’s the last thing you do at night. And of course, in addition to gratitude, it allows you to track meds, your moods, the things you’ve added, things you’ve removed, notes, reminders, test results. So it’s sort of your partner in healing in your healing journey with the assumption that you —
Reena: Yeah. Yeah, and it’s — I couldn’t agree with you more. It made the biggest difference in my life as well. Just the ability to change my contacts from one of, “Oh my god I’m so sick I might die,” to “Oh my god how lucky am I to be alive.”
Reena: What a fantastic recommendation there. I think everyone who’s on the journey to healing should have a healing journal of some sort. They should be journaling.
Any other such great insights or text in the works? What’s the hottest, latest, newest breakthrough treatment in breast camping?
Elizabeth: Two things I think are really interesting. One is the concept of terrain and I talked a lot about this in my DVD. On breast wellness, like you’re mentioning is not just focusing so much on that breast cancer cell. But thinking about the terrain in the body, all of the things that feed that cancer cell, the soil in that — in your body. So the terrain, what we can do to create a healthy terrain in our body because that influences whether or not that cell. That cancer cell will grow and proliferate and [inaudible 00:39:09]. So it’s important to really focus on that terrain.
Elizabeth W. Boham, MD, MS, RD
Physician and Medical Director
The UltraWellness Center
55 Pittsfield Road, Suite 9
Lenox, MA 01240
Phone (413) 637-9991
Fax (413) 637-9995
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