Do you wonder if there is a reality beyond the tangible world? Do you believe there is a mystery at the heart of the universe that we will never be able to fully understand? If so, you may be attracted to the teachings of Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism.
Mysticism is usually defined as “a direct experience of ultimate reality.” Kabbalah itself, though, is more than just accounts of mystical experiences. It is also a deeper exploration of life. It contains folklore, superstitions, magic, legend, myth, philosophy, and meditation practices. Among the questions Kabbalah seeks to answer include: What is the world? Who are we? What is the significance of our lives and actions? What is God? How can we come to know ultimate reality in our own experience? How do the body, heart, mind, and spirit fit together?
Last year, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I obtained my Pink Ribbon certification as a breast cancer exercise specialist. And one week later, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). This is a cancer where abnormal cells have broken through the wall of the milk duct and begun to invade the tissues of the breast. Eventually invasive ductal carcinoma can spread to the lymph nodes and possibly to other areas of the body.
I never want cancer again, and I have to work to reduce my chances. This includes nurturing my body with ample sleep, exercise, and nutrition, as well as managing stress. Straight from my oncologists to you, I’d like to share their simplified nutritional guide for healthy living.
- Sodium (no more than 2300 mg/day)
- Saturated fats (fatty meats, butter, cheese) and transfats
- Polyunsaturated (soy bean oil, corn oil) and hydrogenated oil
- White breads and pasta
- Grilled and fried meats
- Processed and packaged foods
- Meats and full-fat dairy products
- Processed meats (e.g. sausages, deli meats, etc.)
- Alcohol and smoking
- A well-balanced diet made up of primarily fruits, vegetables, lean poultry and fish, whole grains and legumes
- 30-35 grams of fiber per day
- Dairy products, non-fat with no added hormones
- Monounsaturated fats (olive oil and canola oil)
- Water as your main beverage.
- Green tea
- Coffee may be beneficial (based on a recent study by USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center that linked coffee intake to reduced risk of colon cancer)
- A healthy body weight and daily exercise
This article is emended from the original version that appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of Connections.
By Vicki McGrath, PJCC Fitness & Wellness Manager
As the PJCC’s leading proponent for the Pink Ribbon Program, the Center’s breast cancer exercise protocol, the irony didn’t escape Vicki McGrath when she herself was diagnosed with the very disease that she was helping women fight. Throughout treatment, Vicki displayed a vigor and attitude that amazed even her doctors: she cycled to chemo and radiation appointments and continued outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking, and golfing. “I was strong and healthy prior to my diagnosis,” says Vicki, a certified breast cancer exercise specialist. “I’m grateful I was able to draw on this reserve during treatment.”
Learn all about Vicki’s story below.