Baking for a Cause with The American Cancer Society

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I am not going to lie, I have never really been a girl who likes to spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen becuase it’s very time consuming and I am not a huge fan of washing dishes.  However my new life plan to get fit by making healthier food choices and exercising on a regular basis has encouraged me to spend more time in the kitchen; surprisingly enough I actually like it.  I find time in my daily routine to cook at least 4 dinners every week and on Sundays I try to bake something.

I actually love baking because it makes my apartment smell great and it’s a really relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  When the American Cancer Society asked me to share one of my favourite recipes for their A Healthier Holiday Table initiative I was more than happy to do so and I immediately knew which recipe I wanted to share…Hello Low Fat Banana Bread!

Eat Healthy with The American Cancer Society

I met the good folks of The American Cancer Society last summer when I attended BlogHer’12 in New York City; it is a good cause that is near and dear to my heart.  Over 4 years ago I lost my best friend Kevin to cancer and since then my life has never been the same.

Thanks to my new friends from The American Cancer Society I have learned a lot about how your diet can affect/reduce your risk of getting cancer. For instance studies have shown that eating large amounts of processed meat increases the risk of stomach cancers; all the more reason to join me on the vegetarian wagon. Eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies every day can help prevent your risks of cancers, and drinking more than 1 alcoholic drink per day increases the risk of mouth, liver, breast and colon cancer.

5 Reasons Why I Love Banana Bread:

- There is a low fat option

- You can eat it with tea or coffee for breakfast

- You can eat it with fruit for a snack

- You can eat it as dessert after a meal

- You can eat it on the go

I used the Joy of Baking Low Fat Banana Bread Recipe and made a few minor changes.  The recipe is easy to bake and your home will be filled with the scents of bananas and brown sugar. YUM! If you decide to bake Banana Bread I would love to see your pics. Enjoy!

You Will Need:

1 cup (240 ml) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large   bananas)1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 cup (120 ml) low-fat plain yogurt1/4 cup (60 ml) canola, vegetable, or corn oil3/4 cup (165 grams) light brown sugar

1 large egg or 2 large (60 grams) egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla   extract

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (65 grams) whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the baking soda and yogurt. Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the batter.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg or egg whites, and vanilla.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt.

Then combine the banana mixture with the oil mixture and then add to the flour mixture. Stir just until all the ingredients are moistened. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 – 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Love Always,

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Buy Pink…October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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In honour of October being breast cancer awareness month I am dedicating this post to everyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer in one way or another.  I have been fortunate enough to be cancer free for the first 32 years of my life, but I know that some other people have not had this same fortune.

Breast cancer and other types of women’s cancers are causes dear to my heart because as a woman I could be affected by them at any time. This is why I chose to volunteer my timefor the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers and during the month of October I try to buy as many Pink products as I can in support of breast cancer awareness month.

Glamour Magazine recently published an article titled “7 Things No One Ever Tells You About Breast Cancer” and after reading this month’s Glamour Magazine I felt the need to share.

Did you know?

We’re not trying hard enough to end breast cancer.  A lot of money raised for breast cancer research is allocated towards developing treatments instead of finding a potential cure.

You should be able to pick your breasts out of a lineup. Do you know what your breasts look like? Well you should because then you will know if something looks wrong.

Your paycheck could determine whether you live or die. Women and families who have access to good health care have their tumors diagnosed at a much earlier stage (and size) than women who may not have access to good health care.

Your lifestyle can help prevent breast cancer. Women who exercise on a regular basis, women who maintain a healthy weight, women who limit their alcohol intake and women who give birth before their mid-30s have a lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer might be caused by a virus. It is said that 5 different viruses (one of which is HPV) can potentially cause breast cancer, but this is still being studied in research labs.

Beating it makes you badass. Not everyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer dies from the disease.  Being diagnosed at an early stage, seeing your doctor on a regular basis, keeping a positive attitude and finding treatment can all help you beat breast cancer.

If you get breast cancer you might hear these lies. Not very breast cancer diagnostic is the same and not every breast cancer patient is the same; therefore not all treatments will be the same. Not all patients have to have an operation as soon as possible and not all patients have to have a mastectomy.  Check with your doctor and get a second opinion to make sure that you find the best breast cancer treatment for you.

Many companies and corporations such as the NFL, Revlon, Essie and Nestle all have products that support breast cancer research.  Before you buy something in October check to see if a portion of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research.

Did you buy anything Pink this month?

Love Always,

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Friday Faves: Good Deeds, Family, and Savings

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Happy Friday.  Today is the last day in our Old School Video series, every Friday throughout the summer I featured one of my favourite Old School Videos.  Starting next Friday I have some new surprises in store for everyone, so be sure to keep reading My Diary Entry.  This song brings back a lot of memories for me.  Every time I hear this song I just want to start doing the Running Man Dance.  Music affects so many of us in so many different ways, whenever something monumental happens in my life I always remember what song I was listening to and what music video I was watching.

This time last week I was getting ready for my volunteering activities with The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.  This was my second time volunteering for the 2-day event and just like last year, I had a great time.  I reconnected with some returning volunteers and I made some new friends.

The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers hosts walks in various cities throughout Canada to raise money for cancer research and patient services. This year The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers had over 1700 participants and raised over $3.7 million.  I was very impressed to see a lot of individual, family and corporate participants.  Some of the corporate participants included L’Oreal Paris, TD Bank, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bank of Montreal and Royal (Toilet Paper).

To see more photos from The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers check out my album on Facebook.  If we aren’t friends on Facebook, then just send me a friend request, I promise to accept.

Have a great weekend and enjoy these great posts from my Blogging Friends:

Save Up – Top 5 Reasons We Don’t Save Money

Blonde on a Budget – Summer is Almost Over and I’m Falling for Fall

Serendipity’s Guide To Saving – It’s Not Right But It’s Okay

How’s Married Life? – Long Way to Go

So Over This - How Far Would You Go For Family?

Love Always,

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Sometimes We Just Need a Friend!

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Good Morning Everyone.  Today is a very special day for me because today is the very first guest post here on My Diary Entry.  This blog is normally used for my personal thoughts and feelings; I use it as cheap therapy.  However today is going to be different.  If you are a regular visitor here on My Diary Entry then you know that I like to volunteer my time for various charities.  I prefer to volunteer my time rather than donate money because time is more valuable and it also gives me a chance to meet some great people.

David Haas is a Guest Blogger at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  He recently reached out to me and asked if he could write a guest post on My Diary Entry about the different support services that are available for families dealing with cancer.  David knows from reading my blog that I support various charities such as The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers as well as Ovarian Cancer Canada, so of course I was more than happy for David to write a guest post.

Whenever we are going through a though time in life I feel that our support system of friends, family, co-workers and public services can help make the tragedy a little bit easier.  I hope that you enjoy this guest post by David Hass about the Support Networks for Cancer Patients and their Families!

“Though medical advancements are providing better treatment for cancer patients, there are still some things that the medical community cannot provide their cancer patients. Radiation treatment, chemotherapy and surgery can help cure the cancer, but it cannot cure a patient’s state of mind — their well-being. 

Cancer support networks, though very valuable, are not widely promoted by peers, medical authorities and other professionals. Yes, many doctors recommend support groups to their patients, but most doctors do not stress just how important these groups are to patients. 

I have a friend who battled mesothelioma — for privacy purposes, we’ll call him John. Along John’s journey with cancer, his doctor gave him much information, but his doctor could never give him the type of support that his cancer survivor network gave him. While recovering from the treatments, John attended these group sessions, learning new things about other patients and gaining advice from patients who were in remission. These members were able to help each other emotionally, something that the doctors, and even many friends, could not do. 

John learned how to stay optimistic, and the doctors even told him that his optimistic mindset was helping him recover. Positive thinking and optimism helps release special neurological signals to important body functions, such as the immune system. 

Cancer support networks offer unique information

Your doctor can tell you the facts about your condition; they can tell you about your future treatments and what the side effects will be. However, your fellow peers in the support group can tell you what worked for them in their fight with disease.

Patients in remission return to their support groups to help new patients, giving them information that no doctor has. Helpful tips, advice and opinions are only a few things that experienced cancer patients can offer.

Support groups are not just for patients

Many patients’ friends and family members attend these types of groups to get a first-hand look at what it is really like to live life with cancer. Too much surprise, many people discover that cancer patients who attend these groups have a very positive outlook on life; they embrace their future with complete confidence.

The uplifting tone creates a special atmosphere, an atmosphere that accomplishes amazing things. 

If you have cancer or you know someone who has cancer, find a support group near you. It is very important for every cancer patient in any stage of their condition to attend these groups and be surrounded by genuine people who know exactly what you are going through.”

This document also lists specific studies and research findings on the benefits of cancer networks.

Check Out David Haas at The Mesothelioma Blog.

Photo by Jesslee

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