The Power of Self Affirmation

From University of Pennsylvania  |  Annenberg School for Communication

If you're looking to adopt better wellness habits or steer yourself away from self-defeating choices, you might want to consider self affirmation, particularly when you look at the results of this University of Pennsylvania study which reveals the neural mechanics of self-affirmation.

Excerpt: "Researchers have long marveled at the almost magical power of self-affirmation: Minority students who reflect on their core values do better in school. People with opposing political views become more open to hearing one another, while people with bad health habits become more amenable to happing up. The simple act of focusing on the sources of meaning and purpose in our lives is incredibly effective at lowering defenses and changing behavior."

For the complete article, click here.

 

 

 


Want to really get moving? Go to sleep.

From Shape.com  |  By Adam Bornstein

Excerpt: " Even with the very best diet and fitness routine, if sleep is off, you're wrecked. Here's why: No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. But sleep (or lack thereof) is the enemy of muscle. Scientists from Brazil found that sleep debt decreases protein synthesis (your body's ability to make muscle), causes muscle loss, and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries. Just as important, lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to recover from exercise by slowing down the production of growth hormone—your natural source of anti-aging and fat burning that also facilitates recovery."

For the complete article, "Why Sleep Is the No. 1 Most Important Thing for a Better Body," click here.


Patrick McIntosh

Extreme Survival.
Intrepid Traveler. South Pole Trekker.

Meet Patrick McIntosh, the 58-year-old Brit who trekked a grueling 138 miles to the South Pole unsupported, (e.g., he and his guide carried all their own supplies and equipment), after recovering from three types of unrelated cancer diagnosed within the same year. His aim? “I wanted to do something to keep spreading my message that eating the right foods and taking exercise is the key to surviving cancer, along with early diagnosis." Click here to read more about Patrick and his epic feat.


Something to Laugh About

From cancercenter.com

Most of us have heard it many times before: Laughter is the best medicine. Why then do we keep forgetting this? We like this piece from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America for how it reminds us to give humor a place of honor in our daily travels while shedding an interesting light on the benefits of laughter, especially for anyone living with or beyond cancer.

Excerpt: "Over the years, researchers have conducted studies to explore the impact of laughter on health. After evaluating participants before and after a humorous event (i.e., a comedy video), studies have revealed that episodes of laughter helped reduce pain, decrease stress-related hormones and boost the immune system in participants.

Today more than ever before, people are turning to humor for therapy and healing. Medical journals have acknowledged that laughter therapy can help improve quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Many hospitals now offer laughter therapy programs as a complementary treatment to illness."

For the complete article, click here.


Megan Pischke Porcheron

On Board for Beating Cancer.
Mindful. Mentor. Maverick. All-in.

From Teton Gravity  |  By Morgan Titlton

The story of how professional snowboarder Megan Pischke Porcheron beat breast cancer is filled with irony, determination, fight and grace. It is also infused with a desire to give back which she does, continuing with her commitment to B4BC ocean & mountain retreats for breast cancer survivors and through her Chasing Sunshine video which documents her journey and the different treatments she went through, from my chemo to  acupuncture, cold cap therapy and more.

Excerpt: "Something was just off—on a deep physiological and energetic level. It wasn’t connected to paranoia or fear, and professional snowboarder Megan Pischke had every reason to trust the foundation of her body. She was the powerhouse athlete who could dominate big mountain lines in Alaska comps, stop at the bottom to breastfeed and then head back up for the next lap.

For more on Megan, click here.

 

 

 


Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude

From the Huffington Post | By Natasha Dern

Excerpt: “A strong, positive and resilient attitude will help elevate you to unimaginable heights.

…A positive attitude is not about displaying a phony smile, a happy face and a perky disposition. It is simply a way of responding to life in a manner that allows us to accept the duality, the contradictions, the contrasts of our experiences.

“…We can either regard our dilemmas with anger, bitterness or frustration. Or we can look deep within and find the source that is beyond all circumstances and then pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward knowing all things will work in our favor.”

For the complete article, including more on maintaining a positive outlook, click here.


Calm

Calm is an app that makes meditation accessible and simple, especially for people just learning the art of meditation. Learn online, when you want, wherever you are, in as few as 10 minutes a day. It’s like a gym membership for your mind.

Using the scientifically-proven technique of meditation, you can develop a healthier mind by familiarizing yourself with the present moment and ridding yourself of much of the distractedness that leads to unhappiness, according to Calm.

Click here to sign up for a free year membership to Calm


Patrice

Cheer-Full.
Patrice, in foreground, at the Mission Training Center

As a cheerleader, she reached the top of the heap, though she’d not tell you that herself.  Still, accolades, including being named an All-American and winning a state championship her senior year as well as three league titles during her high school years, reveal the truth of just how driven, competitive and talented this smiling, considerate 21-year-old truly is.

A 2015 graduate of Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, CT, she went on to study business administration until January of this year when her life twisted in a direction no one saw coming. Now she’s channeling all that fierce, upbeat determination in a new direction, with the Adventure Project cheering her on.

“I was diagnosed in January (2017) with Hodgkin's Lymphoma,” said Patrice.  “I was heartbroken when I found out but having my friends and family around to support me means the world to me.

“Going to Mission Training Center has not only helped me physically gain strength but mentally. Suzy (Patrice’s Adventure Project coach) has helped me push myself to work harder and persevere through the pain. It's been an honor to work with her and (be part of) such an exciting experience.”

To read more about Patrice, click here.


Morgan

Flipping Cancer On Its Ear.

Student. Athlete. Fighter. Friend. Morgan Galdenzi is the complete package. There's no keeping this irrepressible young woman down.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor at 16 years old, she went on to graduate with honors from her Connecticut high school in 2015. She is currently in college, studying for a degree in social work.

An accomplished athlete, she was also a varsity cheerleader throughout high school and co-captained her league and state champion squad her senior year. "Even though I was diagnosed with my brain tumor at 16, cheerleading and my teammates really helped me through and I loved every second of (high school),” she said.

Her story: Morgan had two major craniotomies, after the first full resection at 16 years old during her junior year in high school. She had just been inducted into the National Honor Society. She was on the Varsity Cheerleading team, which had won its league and state championship the year before.

"On March 30th, 2014, I went over a friend's house to finish an Honors History project. My Mom was called an hour later to come right away. She made it in time to witness me having a grand mal seizure. The EMTs came and brought us to (the hospital). They told us that night I had a large tumor and it would have to be removed. The surgery went well but they told us it was a very rare pediatric tumor and was malignant. I was discharged a couple of days later and was back in school the next week. I had four weeks of radiation and six months of oral chemo. I rarely missed school and went right back on the Cheer team the following week!

I had my first recurrence in January 2016. I had to come home from college. I told my parents, don't withdraw me because I am going back ASAP. I had my second brain surgery and was back at (college) the following week. I finished the semester that year and had a great summer. I had my MRI (which are every three months), four days before we were leaving for Puerto Rico (December 2016). We found out the tumor came back again. This was scariest of all--less than a year had gone by since my surgery. I still wanted to go to Puerto Rico, the first night was emotionally rough but the rest of the vacation was great. I decided I can't just stop my life and dwell on the negatives or be scared of what may happen.

Luckily, the May before my mom and I went to see Dr. Mark Kieran, the famous neuro-oncologist. He had mentioned an inhibitor drug they were starting to give pediatric brain tumor patients who have the Braf v600e mutation. When the tumor came back and (the doctors) wanted to operate a third time, we said, no, and called Dr. Kieran. He looked at the MRI and said it was time to treat. So we did and after two months on meds the tumor was gone. I take the TAF/MEK combo--very minimal side effects. I decided to stay home from college Spring 2017 (in case I had side effects) but once again I said, "Do not withdraw me. Tell them I will be back!!!" I took two classes at (our local community college) and worked at Athleta that spring and summer. When August came, once again I returned to college. I changed my major to Social Work and am so happy with this decision. I can't wait to give back to others and help them, the way I've been helped.

Through this entire journey I exercise every day, and this has kept me alive and healthy."  - Morgan Galdenzi

Her short-term athletic goal: "Increase my endurance and become a faster runner."

Her long-term athletic goal: "To complete a half marathon."

Personal Motto: "Carpe Diem."