Healthy Living Blog

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Tina Miller, MS RD Meijer Healthy Living Advisor,


Tina Miller 2011Nearly 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer.   After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • If you are age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • Women ages 50 to 74 need mammograms every 2 years. You may choose to start getting mammograms earlier or to get them more often.

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member has had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

In-Store Women’s Health Event, Saturday October: On Saturday, October 5 from  11 am –  2 pm all Meijer stores will be offering a Women’s Health and Wellness event that provides Health solutions for women of all ages.  The event will feature:

-Free copies of fall Meijer Healthy Living Naturally recipe booklet

-Healthy Food Demonstrations with free samples (Elite stations will sample until 4 pm)

-Pharmacy staff will provide Women’s Health and Breast Cancer information from the American Cancer Society

-Just in time for cold and flu season, FREE samples of Cold EEZE 2 pc Quick Melts 

Reducing Breast Cancer Risk

  1. Move More:  “Nearly 30 studies have shown that women who exercise at moderate to vigorous levels for three or more hours per week reduce their risk of getting breast cancer by 30% to 40%”, according to Dr. Anne Tiernan, Cancer Research Center internist and epidemiologist.  The risk reduction effect from exercise is equal to the effects seen by taking the medication tamoxifin, without the added side effects.


  1. Eat the Right Foods:  A diet loaded with vegetables and fruit provides antioxidants that work to protect body cells from damage and can help reduce risk for cancer.  New research is highlighting the protective effects of some specific plant foods.


Soy:  The decades old debate over the benefits and risks of soy and breast cancer risk may have just been settled. Isoflavones from soy may reduce risk for breast cancer according to a very recent review of studies conducted by L. Valladares and colleagues of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile.  Soy isoflavones, dietary or supplemental, reduces risk of breast cancer according to epidemiological studies, by competing with estrogen for estrogen receptors that are involved in the development of hormone positive tumors.


Mushrooms:  While mushrooms are very low in fat, they do contain a fatty acid (conjugated linoleic acid – CLA) that is usually found exclusively in animal products like meat, milk and cheese.  CLA gives mushrooms, such as button and crimini, their cancer-prevention/cancer-curing status.  The CLA fatty acid binds to specific enzymes that cause the production of some estrogen to be blocked. This blocking action prevents estrogen dependent tumors from growing in healthy women. In women who have existing tumors, blocking the estrogen effectively cuts off the tumor’s food supply and the tumor stops growing. For this reason some fungus experts advocate eating button mushrooms to cure breast cancer.


Whole Grains: Refined carbohydrates (sugars, starches, white flour) have higher Glycemic Index scores which are associated with greater risk for Breast Cancer.  Choose whole wheat or whole grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta.  Check NuVal™ scores when shopping for grains; those with higher scores will more likely be a better source of fiber and whole grain.


  1. Use BPA free Plastics: Emerging scientific studies suggest that many plastics may leach chemicals if they’re scratched or heated. Research also strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in these products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.  Use glass containers for reheating foods in the microwave and stainless steel bottles for take along water and other beverages.


  1. Maintain A Healthy Weight:  Overweight and obese women have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who maintain a healthy weight, especially after menopause. Being overweight or obese also can increase the risk of the breast cancer recurrence in women who have had the disease.


  1. Get Screened: Early detection leads to the best results in treatment of breast cancer.  Perform monthly self-exams and get routine mammograms as recommended by your health care provider.



Kale, Pear and Asiago Salad with Honey-Lime Drizzle


Servings: 6


1 (5 oz.) package Earthbound Farms® Organic Baby Kales (about 6 cups)

1 ripe Anjou, Bartlett or Comice pear (NuVal™ Score: 96), halved, cored, thinly sliced

1/4 cup shaved Asiago cheese

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (NuVal™ Score: 82)

1/4 cup Meijer Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup honey

1 tbsp.  Meijer Dijon Mustard

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. sesame seeds

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


1. Arrange sliced kale and pear on a large platter, forming a mound. Scatter the cheese and walnuts over top.


2. For the drizzle, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, honey, mustard, rice vinegar, lime juice, sesame seeds and cayenne. Drizzle over kale and pear salad, and serve.


Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 230, Fat 15g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 135mg, Carbohydrate 24g, Fiber 3g, Protein 4g.


Source: Meijer Healthy Living (



Lentil and Garden Vegetable Soup


Servings: 8


1 tbsp. Meijer olive oil

6 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced (1½ cups) (NuVal™ Score: 99)

1 (8 oz.) pkg. sliced baby bella mushrooms (or sliced white button mushrooms) (NuVal™ Score: 96)

1 small onion, coarsely chopped (NuVal™ Score: 93)

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, coarsely chopped (NuVal™ Score: 96)

1 tsp. minced fresh garlic

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 (14.5 oz.) can Meijer Naturals diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (16 oz.) pkg. Meijer Naturals dried lentils, rinsed and drained (NuVal™ Score: 94)

6 cups Meijer Organics vegetable broth (NuVal™ Score: 5)

Finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (optional) (NuVal™ Score: 99)

Shredded Parmesan (optional)




1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, garlic and seasoning; cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add tomatoes; cook and stir 2 minutes.


2. Add lentils and broth; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


3. Spoon soup into bowls, top with parsley and Parmesan (if desired), and serve.


Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 270, Fat 3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 600mg, Carbohydrate 48g, Fiber 11g, Protein 14g.


Source: TryFoods International (



Edamame Couscous

Serves 4


1 cup frozen Meijer Edamame, shelled

1 cup uncooked couscous

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. Meijer olive oil

1 (3.5-oz.) pkg. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed; sliced (other mushrooms can be substituted, such as white button, baby bella or crimini)

4 tsp. lower sodium soy sauce, divided

1/4 cup sliced green onions


1. In a medium saucepan bring 1½ cups water to boiling. Add edamame; cook 30 seconds. Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat sesame and olive oils in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce; cook 1 minute more.

3. Fluff couscous mixture with fork. Gently fold in mushrooms and green onions. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 327, Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 1.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 242mg, Carbohydrates 42g, Fiber 4g, Protein 15g.