5 Healthy Habits for Memorial Day

Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness, Breast Cancer Charities, Breast Cancer Facts, Health Tips, iGoPink Blog, Motivation & Inspriation, Nutrition & Recipes, Think PINK Tips!, Uncategorized, Wellness & Fitness No Comments

Happy Memorial Day Banner with Text

Celebrate Memorial Day and the start of summer with these 5 healthy habits.

1. Plan Ahead! Make healthy meal plans, grocery lists, and check restaurant menus and nutrition before you arrive at the table. Be sure to download the iGoPink Shopping List

2. Have a Potluck! Bring a homemade
dish so you know all the ingredients in at least one item. Easy Dish Idea: Fruit or veggie kabobs

3. Stay Hydrated! Skip or limit the sugary cocktails and sodas. Instead drink plenty of water and enjoy water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers and bell peppers.

4. Eat Before the Party. Don’t show up hungry! Have a healthy snack or fruit about 30 minutes before the gathering to help you avoid overeating.

5. Move around! By just sitting around the food table, you will most likely indulge on more food and sweets. Start up a frisbee game, talk with friends and relatives, and get moving!

Making wise nutritional choices is one of the best defenses against breast cancer. Download our Healthy Eating Grocery List to help you at the store! You will also receive our quick, easy, and delicious Watermelon Tomato Salad recipe.
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Have a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend!



Feeling Beautiful Again Program Serves Patients with Beauty & Hope

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The Breast Cancer Charities of America is serving women across the nation through their Feeling Beautiful Again program. This service provides women who are battling breast cancer with a beauty bag of hope. If you or someone you know is battling breast cancer, request a free Feeling Beautiful Again bag!

The Feeling Beautiful Again kit, which comes in a reusable pink tote, is full of beauty products to make a woman feel feminine and beautiful again. Amongst the lip gloss, blanket, nail polish, and more, women will also find education information on breast cancer, a step-by-step workbook and the organization as a whole.

“We often hear that after losing a breast(s), eyelashes, hair and dealing with the skin changes that come with cancer treatments, a woman feels less feminine and less like herself,” said Erica Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of The Breast Cancer Charities of America. “With these Feeling Beautiful Again bags, we hope to help remind a woman that she is beautiful and strengthen her self-image.”

This little act of kindness can brighten a woman’s day and give someone struggling through the emotional and side effects of breast cancer a new lift on life.  If you or your company may be interested in setting up a ‘Beauty Drive’ to assist with collecting the items put into these bags, or if you know of someone who may appreciate or be in need of a Feeling Beautiful Again bag, please visit www.iGoPink.org/FeelingBeautifulAgain or call us (936)231-8460.



Adriana Story: iGoPink Scholarship Recipient

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Meet Adriana, 2015 iGoPink Scholarship Winner and daughter of a breast cancer survivor!

The iGoPink Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship awarded to graduating seniors in the Houston & surrounding areas who are affecting by breast cancer. All qualifying applications will be submitted to the committee and considered for aid.

This is Adriana’s Story…

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“When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer it felt as if someone had stolen our sense of security and comfort. At first, all we expected was for my mother to have the mass removed from her breast. But further testing had revealed the horrible news; she had to go through chemotherapy and radiation to prevent a more aggressive cancer from occurring.

My parents were heart broken. We started praying before dinner. It brought us closer as it changed our lifestyle. When the time had come to cut my mom’s hair because it had started falling out in clumps, my sister, mom and I all cried. Being a woman and stripped of such a simple but signifying thing is truly devastating. I remember the day my mother had told me with tears in her eyes that she wouldn’t come to my track meets or be around any of my friends because of how disgusting she thought she looked. My heart broke and ached at the thought of having such low confidence from a cruel and unwavering disease.

The following months were a trial of faith and courage, but we survived as a family. My mom’s hair grew back think and curly. From her spirit you wouldn’t have guessed a woman as strong as her has cried on the floor in pain from side effects of medications. Most of us don’t receive stares when we visit public places or have to explain to a second grade class why their teacher is bald. Although cancer is such a dreaded thing it taught us to have faith in the Lord. It has brought our family together. I guess it could be a blessing in a way; opening our eyes and helping us appreciate valuable time spent with love ones and good health.”

Learn more about the iGoPink Scholarship Program and how to apply HERE

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A Valentine’s Day Gift That Keeps Giving

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This Valentine’s Day, give a gift that keeps on GIVING!

Skip the flowers and chocolates.

Show your Valentine that you care by supporting breast cancer patients in their honor.

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How do I donate in my Valentine’s honor? 

 

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Step 1) Select an amount to donate.
                No matter how large or small, you donation makes a difference in the lives of patients battling breast cancer.

 

Step 2) Dedicate your donation to your Valentine, a family member, cancer survivor, or loved one.
                Check the box next to “Dedicate my donation in honor or in memory of someone.” Choose 1 out of 4 FREE e-cards, add a personal message, and preview your card.

 

Step 3) Press “Send”
                Complete your donation and send the e-Card to your Valentine!

 

 

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Your gifts help provide support to breast cancer patients and their families during their darkest times.
Thank YOU for helping the Breast Cancer Charities of America make a difference this Valentine’s Day and EVERY day!


January 2016: Take the 31 Day #iGoPinkChallenge

Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness, Breast Cancer Charities, Breast Cancer Facts, Breast Cancer Help, Health Tips, iGoPink Blog, iGoPink News, Media Center, Motivation & Inspriation, Nutrition & Recipes, Think PINK Tips!, Uncategorized, Wellness & Fitness No Comments

iGoPinkChallenge Guide Banner

This January join us and take the #iGoPinkChallenge! Complete the challenge of the day by making healthy choices with the help of the #iGoPinkChallenge January guide. On social media we will also share daily tips, recipes, and workouts – so be sure to follow us on Facebook and online!

Ready to take on the #iGoPinkChallenge? Click HERE to download the FREE iGoPinkChallenge January Guide.

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This January you can also join BCCA’s Jen by going Vegan! Take the #iGoVeganChallenge by eating a plant-based diet without meat or animal products. Click here to download the FREE #iGoVeganChallenge guide.

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Get Inspired and Involved!

1. Print and post the guide on the fridge, wall, office or a visible location that will remind you to keep on track! Complete the guide by checking off your daily challenge, writing down what you ate and drank, and documenting your workout.

2. Check in online! Share a picture or video with a description of what you ate, recipes, workouts and healthy tips on social media with hashtags #iGoPinkChallenge #iGoVeganChallenge and mention @iGoPink (Facebook and Twitter) or @_iGoPink (Instagram)! We will be announcing a winner every week who will receive an iGoPink bracelet and shirt PLUS we will share your post on our iGoPink social media accounts!

3. Check back daily! Follow us on social media and the iGoPink blog for more healthy tips, recipes, workouts and inspiration!

4. Subscribe to receive weekly emails! Get motivated and become part of the #iGoPinkChallenge group. Sign up here below:





Become an iGoPink Fundraiser | Give the Gift of Charity

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How do I raise funds for iGoPink/The Breast Cancer Charities of America?

Thank you so much for helping BCCA raise funds to continue our program services and help patients with breast cancer!

You have the opportunity to create a team or raise funds individually to support patients with breast cancer. To get started raising funds online, we have shared tips on how to get the ball rolling and spread the news about your campaign. We are THRILLED that you have chosen to show your support and we will be here every step of the way to cheer you on!

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Getting Started Tips

 

1. Set Up Your Fundraising Page

It’s easy to get started and set up your personal or team fundraising page!

 

2. Personalize Your Fundraising Page

Let’s get personal! Update your online fundraising page to make it your own, to honor a friend or family member, and so that your page is easily recognizable to people that know you and your cause. You can add your own text, pictures, or even video!

Remember, potential donors will be interested in your cause, but they are primarily interested in YOU. Make sure you tell them why you are getting involved, what your connection is to iGoPink/BCCA, and how their donation will help support women with breast cancer – it doesn’t have to be long!

 

3. Self Donate To Your Page

Make a Donation to your OWN Page. Why? Friends, family and page visitors are more likely to donate to your page when they see that someone has already contributed. Donating some of your own money also demonstrates to potential campaign supporters that your are serious about helping the cause.

 

4. Update your Facebook profile to show your support!

Share your campaign with your friends, family and followers on Facebook! Simply choose the image or images you like, save the photo, and update your Facebook profile photos.

Idea: Take a group photo with your team, make and snap a picture of a homemade sign asking for support, create a photo collage of why YOU are raising funds for breast cancer, and so much more.

 

4. Share on Social

Now that you have updated your Facebook page photos, now it’s time to get social! Start fundraising through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and your other social media accounts with these tips:

  • Share the news. Post an update that you are fundraising to support women with breast cancer! Be sure to share your fundraising page URL, explain why you are supporting the cause, share inspiring stories, and encourage your family and friends to donate.
  • Create a Facebook Event. Setup your own Facebook event page, invite your friends, and post updates on your progress! Learn how to create your own Facebook event by clicking here.
  • Tag Your Friends and Donors. Start on Facebook by tagging those that have already donated and thanking them for their donations. When you tag someone your post gets shared in your activity feed and the other person’s activity feed too. This also sets the frame that people are already donating to your page!
  • Set Goals. $200 by one week, $400 by two weeks, etc. Use your social media accounts to update followers on your progress towards each goal and ask for people to help you get over the next hurdle.
  • Consider Gifts. Offer your own gifts to friends and family who helped you reach your goal. Or provide a raffle or prizes for certain giving levels. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just a token of your appreciation.

 

5. Individually Email 5-10 Closest To You

Ask family and friends for donations! Getting your “inner circle” to donate to your page will help you build up some momentum. It’s also good to start with the people you are most comfortable with. Don’t have their email? Send them a text!

Sample Email Fundraising Strategy:

  • Day 1 Email #1: Send 5-10 very close contacts (family and your closest friend or two).
  • Day 2 Email #2: Send to 10-15 close contacts (your entire circle of good friends).
  • Day 3 Email #3: Send to as many other contacts you feel comfortable sending a message to (co-workers, friends, friends of friends, distant relatives, your address book, etc.).

 

Thank you so much again for becoming an iGoPink Fundraiser! Remember to have fun and know that your all of your hard work is going to help support women battling breast cancer. Through the generosity of people like you, we can PRESS forward in the fight against breast cancer and continue our program services that focus on Prevention, Research, Education, Survival, and Support. Happy fundraising!



December On-The-Go! Quick Fitness Tips

Health Tips, iGoPink Blog, Motivation & Inspriation, Uncategorized, Wellness & Fitness No Comments
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Feeling swamped during the holidays? Between the Holiday Parties, family get togethers, shopping needs and added temptations for treats it’s easy to find yourself losing motivation and time in the day to fit in your normal routine.

 

Here’s a few quick tips [with a Pure Barre twist] to feel like you’re keeping your strength and balance during the holiday rush.

 

Strong corechallenge your abs virtually anywhere! [2 min series and repeat as many times as you’d like]
     *need a semi-soft surface like a mat or carpet

 

Take your hands lightly behind your thighs, take your feet hip width apart, round down to where you feel your waist line engage, and make your movements sharp. Maybe you go back and inch up an inch, you lower down slow and come up quick, maybe you extend your arms and maybe you reach overhead and do the same series. For a deeper challenge add a soft ball in between your hands and add squeezes on it for every movement. Just work make sure your abs are the focus, not your low back or momentum.

 

To work your lower abs after you’ve already done the above series – lie down on your back and do your best to zip your legs together so they’re nice and tight. [you could even place that same ball in between your legs for bonus inner thigh work] and try to tuck your hips up toward this ceiling. Avoid the conventional habit of swinging to get a big range of movement: instead press your low abs into the floor. This will shift all the focus to your lowest abdominal section. As you get stronger you’ll really feel this change and won’t feel like your upper body is engaged. Switch up your movements and leg spacing for 1 minute each. The last 15 seconds of each series should be tough but remember to breathe! Repeat as many times as you can!

 

This is a great option to do even while watching TV or during the commercial breaks!

 

Happy Holidays to all!

advisory board jaimeeJaimee Myers

Jaimee is a member of The Breast Cancer Charities of America’s Advisory Board and the co-owner of Pure Barre in The Woodlands, Texas and Hughes Landing in The Woodlands, TX. She has been an athlete all her life – from competitive ski racing to collegiate soccer to Ironman triathlons – and spreads the Pure Barre technique to clients, who see results while having a great time. While living in the Seattle area a few years back, she decided to give Pure Barre a try to put a change in her fitness routine. From the first class she was thoroughly humbled by the fatigue in my muscles and that good deep soreness the next day. She decided to get involved and spread the Pure Barre technique with her friends and family – she believes in it and the sense of community it brings to everyone who takes a class. Pure Barre is all about small, isometric movements that anyone can benefit from – it strengthens, arms, abs and legs without creating bulk.

Learn more about Jaimee



Give the Gift of Love

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Give the gift of LOVE! Show a family member, breast cancer survivor or loved one that you care by making a donation in their honor.

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Send an eCard with your donation by selecting “Dedicate my donation in honor or in memory of someone” as shown below.

Step 1: Visit the “Give the Gift of Love” page at http://bit.ly/GiveGiftofLove

Step 2: Click on a box to select a donation amount or fill in an amount in the “Your Donation” box. Choose “one-time” for a one time donation or “monthly” for a recurring donation.

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Step 3: Select the “dedicate my donation in honor or in memory of someone” box. (optional)

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If the box is selected, a new section will appear as shown below.

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Step 4: Choose “In honor of” or “In memory of”

Step 5: Fill in honoree’s name (required), recipient’s name and email address (optional) if you would like to send a notification email to the honoree.

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Step 6: Enter a message that will be visible to the recipient in the text area box.

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Step 7: To include an eCard, select one of the four available images – or leave “No eCard” selected.

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Step 8: Click “Preview” to preview the message that will be sent and visible to the recipient. Select “Close Preview” to continue and complete donation.

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Step 9: Complete form by adding your information. If preferred, check box as shown below to help cover all fees so that 100% of your donation goes to The Breast Cancer Charities of America.

Step 10: Click on “Send Your Gift” button once the form is complete, send your donation and the eCard to the recipient and honoree.

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Thank you for sending the gift of LOVE and helping the Breast Cancer Charities of America make a difference! Through the generosity of people like you, we can continue our program services that focus on Prevention, Resources, Education, Survival, and Support.

To give the Gift of Love, please click here.

Please join us in the fight against Breast Cancer by giving the gift of Love, Hope, Cheer, Charity or Time this holiday season.

Every gift matters. Together we CAN make a difference!



Coping with Cancer

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Cancer does not only have an effect on the physical self but it also affects the emotional, spiritual and cognitive self. Cancer can also have an effect on those around you that love you. Finding ways that you and your loved ones can cope through the pain and emotions of cancer is important. Here are some positive coping skills to practice when you are having a difficult time.

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Lauren Hollis, CCLS

Lauren is a member of The Breast Cancer Charities of America’s Advisory Board certified child life specialist that works for Texas Children’s Hospital and has worked for the renowned children’s hospital for over five years. Before working for Texas Children’s Hospital, Lauren was an advocacy coordinator and program specialist focused on the prevention of teen dating violence, bullying and sexual abuse in children and adolescents in the state of Oklahoma. Lauren has a strong passion for helping and educating others. Outside of work, Lauren is working on her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling where she wants to help children and families who are struggling with a crisis, trauma or grief. Lauren and her husband also enjoy spending the weekends remodeling their home together, which is her husband’s childhood home that he spent the first 15 years of his life building memories in.



Successful Change – Keeping Your Momentum

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For most people who make the choice to change — whether it’s exercise more, lose weight, start a meditation practice, or really ANY type of change — there’s always a “tipping point” sometime within the first month or so… Will the momentum carry forward or will we start to lose steam?

Change isn’t always easy. In fact, most of the time, change is very challenging. Even when we want to make positive changes like losing weight or meditating more or increasing our commitment to exercise, we always meet with resistance.

Where does this resistance come from?

Well, it can come from many sources, both internal and external. But, mostly it is our own resistance that gets in the way. And, it’s not something to beat ourselves up about. It’s just human nature.

There is an aspect of our body-mind that the Chinese sages called “Po”. Roughly translated, it is our core survival instinct. It is that part of us that holds on to life at all costs, that is most active when we are under serious threat.

Letting go of old patterns and habits is a sort of “death”. Any change means that something is ending — or “dying” — and we are entering a new phase, an unknown area.

Our “Po” is trained and programmed to react strongly to the threat of “death” and “the unknown”. And, this is a good thing. But, it can sometimes be overly expressed, leading to anxiety and fear when we really have nothing to be afraid of.

This part of ourselves can be very subtle in resisting change. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how we are sabotaging our own growth. Being aware that this tendency exists, and being on the lookout for it is a good first step to overcoming it.

Remember, this part of you isn’t something bad. It’s a very important component in a healthy, thriving mix of all kinds of qualities that work together to keep us in balance.

But, when we find ourselves resisting change and losing our motivation to change, we can be certain our survival instinct is playing a role. It wants to keep things how they are because, after all, it is SAFE to stay with what is known even if it isn’t 100% healthy.

According to the ancient Chinese Medical sages, the “Po”, or core survival instinct, is primarily expressed through the Lungs. The emotions it generates are grief, sadness, and feeling threatened. For all of these emotions, we are called upon to let go, to release resistance.

It is no coincidence, then, that the breath is what provides the key to overcoming grief, sadness, panic, and other emotions that keep you “stuck”. Letting go of old emotional, mental, and physical patterns requires that we keep our breath open, deep, and gentle. If we are resisting and feeling threatened by change, we’ll start to tighten in our chest, and our breath becomes shallow. We may feel a “pit in our stomach” which also blocks the diaphragm from moving freely.

When you begin to notice resistance popping up, when you start to notice that you are losing motivation to continue moving forward with an important change, stop for a minute and BREATHE. Breathe gently into your belly. Slow down. Breathe light and openness into that resistance. Let your breath create space and help you relax into the moment. You can do this while driving, while listening to someone talk to you, while watching TV. You can do it anytime, anywhere! And, it doesn’t cost a penny.

What you’ll find is that change becomes easier, and there are less conflicting thoughts and emotions blocking your path. You’ll find it easier to continue your reduced sugar diet, or your 5 day a week exercise plan. You’ll find that writer’s block start to lift, so you can continue writing that book you said you would write.

Whatever the resistance is, wherever it resides, your breath is the key to letting it go.

 

Read more about Successful Change – Keeping Your Momentum.

 

Advisory Board ChrisChris Axelrad, M.S.OM., L.Ac., FABORM

Chris Axelrad is on the BCCA Advisory Board and a specialist in hormonal, mind-body, and reproductive wellness using Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Therapeutic Nutrition, and Mind-Body Coaching. Chris has a full-time practice, The Axelrad Clinic, and is currently the President of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), a specialty board dedicated to excellence in holistic fertility care. He is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Chinese Bodywork. After receiving his Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine in 2003, Mr. Axelrad completed extensive graduate and post-graduate studies not only in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but also Western endocrinology, psychoneuroimmunology, neuroendocrinology, nutrition, mind-body disciplines, and interpretation of lab results.

Learn more about Chris