Archive for August, 2011

Smells like Team Spirit

Smells like Team Spirit

On September 17, 2011, it won’t matter if you are part of a house league or the big leagues, as all Canadians will be drafted to a national team in celebration of the country’s second annual Sports Day.

Participants are invited to wear their hearts on their numbers to demonstrate their love and support for sport by wearing a jersey, team or club uniform to work, school or play on what has been dubbed as national Jersey Day.

University of Alberta - Jersey Day 2010

Presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport, Sports Day is guided by a committee of national sporting organizations and their networks of coaches, athletes and enthusiasts. The day, closes a week of thousands of sporting events and activities across the country intended to encourage and increase national physical activity and love of the game.

Trail and Error – Take the chance to discover “your sport!”

Whether your current level of physical activity is high, low or non-existent or whether you are part of a team or simply a professional spectator, everyone is invited to be a part of the celebration. Take advantage of the numerous open houses, try-it days, competitions and tournaments in your area from September 10-17. Get involved, get active and hopefully get hooked on a sport!

Did you know that physical inactivity is a risk factor in colorectal cancer development?

An inactive lifestyle has been linked to increase the risk of colorectal cancer development. It is estimated that 22,200 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in Canada in 2011.[1] The good news, is that minor adjustments can play a major role in the modification of these statics. By getting your butt in gear and increasing your activity level, you will ultimately decrease your chance of contracting the disease.

Other identified risk factors include:

  1. Poor diet – low in fruits, vegetables and fibre
  2. Obesity
  3. High red or processed meat consumption
  4. Smoking
  5. Excessive alcohol intake

Reducing your risk from the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada can be made simple with a few line changes in your daily routine.  First play change – take advantage of the national Sports Day festivities. Leave your laziness, excuses or old routines behind and take a shot at the different sports or activities being offered in your hometown, you may surprise yourself and find a new love!

For more information on Sports Day in Canada or to get involved in the week’s events, please visit CBC’s official link:

Sources :

Canadian Cancer Society :

Participaction :

Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada :

[1] Canadian Cancer Society,

The Legacy of a Fighter

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.”
Jack Layton

Canada has lost both a great man and profound leader. Jack Layton, not only triumphantly led his political party to become Canada’s Official Opposition but was an inspiration to fellow Canadian cancer patients through his unfaltering courage and drive to live.

After battling and victoriously overcoming his first bout of prostate cancer in 2009, he was viewed as a symbol of hope and optimism within our country. When diagnosed with a new form of cancer in July, the NDP leader decided to step down briefly ‘to fight this new cancer, so that he could be back in September to continue to fight for families when Parliament resumed.’

He left with the intent and conviction to win yet again.

Sadly, this time his battle was lost. He passed away early Monday morning in his home, surrounded by those closest to him.

In his hiatus speech on July 25, he expressed his gratitude for the numerous letters and e-mails he received from across the nation, “Your stories and support have touched me deeply and I have drawn strength and inspiration from them.”

In his final letter, Layton continued to lead, even in death, by instilling a positive outlook in the hearts of others who struggle with cancer on a daily basis.

“To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.”

To read the complete farewell letter the honourable Jack Layton left behind for his beloved fellow Canadians please see the attached link:

Are We Really “Living the Good Life!?”

Despite Mother Nature’s continuing gift of opportunities for fun in the sun, Fall is only weeks away from rearing its ugly head around the corner. But until then, we will soak up every last drop of warmth on our patios, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and gazing nostalgically at the BBQ, which relentlessly serves up delicious, juicy steaks, burgers and hot dogs throughout the summer season. Ah….is this “the good life”?

Living “the good life” means many different things to different people. There is no clear-cut Webster definition. However, for many today, living “the good life” has taken the back burner to establishing a healthy living style.

Do the bicycles you pulled out of the garage in May with good intentions to oil and use but never got around to haunt you? Maybe you’ve become accustomed to supressing those thoughts to develop and maintain healthy habits at the back of your conscience. You could be due for your own oil change!

Soft Heart By Irwin-Scott

Redefining the “Good Life”

At some point, we’ve all blamed the presence of few extra pounds or skipping the gym on indulgence of the summer weather and food as part of enjoying “the good life.”

But instead of enjoying the season while it lasts, perhaps our focus should be on seasoning ourselves to form lasting healthy eating and exercise habits. Ones, that will help increase our chances of living long and fit lives.

As Fall approaches, it is time to turn over a new leaf by redefining what it means to live “the good life,” while maintaining the ability to enjoy all its pleasures. As Mae West once said, “Too much of a good thing can be taxing.”

Studies have increasingly shown that diets high in red meat consumption and low in whole grains, fruits and vegetables can lead to the development of cancer cells. Similarly, smoking and excessive alcohol intake have also been linked as contributors. Why knowingly enhance your risk? Even a few simple changes to your routine can reduce your chance of developing colorectal cancer and simultaneously keep you on track to better, healthier living.

Reduce your red meat intake

Don’t worry carnivores, we are not going to ask you to become vegetarians. Loving the occasional roast beef, brisket, steak and hamburgers is not going to give you cancer. However, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) does recommend limiting red meat consumption to 1lbs (500g) a week to reduce your risks of colorectal cancer.

Sacrificing fat not flavour

Reducing your red meat and fat intake may seem like a punishment to the gourmands of Canada. However, the important thing to remember is that cutting the fat does not mean losing the flavour and enjoyment of food. The key to moderation is finding substitutions.

Why not try chicken marinated in yogurt, honey and lemon or a piece of grilled fish lightly brushed with garlic and olive oil or even a red kidney bean and lentil curry casserole, seasoned with fresh coriander. There are numerous healthy living recipes to be found online.

On special occasions, indulge yourself with a spicy beef tartar appetizer followed by whole wheat penne with a pesto sauce, a piece of fresh whole grain bread and a small glass of red wine!

Eating less red meat is an easy way to integrate colorectal cancer prevention into your lifestyle. Many have already made steps in the right direction by following the Meatless Monday movement and proving that it is not necessary to completely abolish red meat from your diet to make a difference.

Think baby steps:

  1. Lunches: Rather than put processed meat in your sandwich, switch it up with canned tuna or some whole wheat pita with hummus and veggies.
  2. During the week plan dinners with chicken or fish and fresh vegetables.
  3. Grill up steaks and hot dogs only on special occasions, such as a weekend at the cottage with friends.
  4. Reduce your alcohol intake to weekends and practice moderation. Water can be just as thirst quenching as a cold beer when sitting outside.
  5. Consider and look into ways to quit smoking. Ie. Patches or chewing gums.

Continue to read our blog for more helpful tips on healthy eating and lifestyle habits that will reduce your risk of colorectal cancer development and push you in the right direction to truly living “the good life!”