Tasty Tuesday: Halloween Edition

This week, with help from our friends at Festival Foods, we have a Halloween Special Edition of Tasty Tuesday! In this video, we’re featuring two easy, healthy snacks that are perfect for sending to school, as an afternoon snack, or to feature at your Halloween get-together! They’re sure to please both kids and adults alike and offer a good balance of carbohydrate and protein without all the added sugars of other holiday treats.

To learn how to make Cheese Broomsticks and Apple Spiders, CLICK HERE!

Let us know how you like these and be sure to check back next week for more Tasty Tuesday recipes!

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkins!

With fall in full swing, this week we’re highlighting a holiday favorite- pumpkin! Pumpkin is a delicious addition to sweet and savory foods alike and offers a rich flavor and smooth texture.

When adding pumpkin to your meal, it brings a great source of fiber which helps with weight control, keeping us full, and protecting against colorectal cancer. Pumpkin is also a great source of Vitamin A and C to name a few. When you’re cooking with pumpkin don’t forget the seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds offer their own variety of nutrients and healthy fats.

Try a few of our pumpkin centered recipes and let us know your favorite! Check back next week for a spooky edition of Tasty Tuesday!

Weekend of PINK!

Join us for a weekend of PINK events!

Saturday 10am-2pm: The Ashwaubenon Fire Fighters will be showing off their Pink Boots at the food court entrance outside Bay Park Square Mall!

Saturday: Apricot Lane will be hosting their PINK fundraising event.  10% off everything in the store with 10% of the net proceeds coming back to BCFF! Come early… because the first 25 people will also get a free swag bag with purchase!

Sunday 6pm: Power of PINK is happening!  This is a yoga event like no other!  Come at 6 and give a $15 donation and you’ll be joining several amazing people as we do yoga for a cause!

Monday Tailgate Party: Join Under the Lights of Lambeau for their annual pink tale gate party!

5 S’s to Sunscreen

The number of skin cancer diagnosis’s are on the rise for a variety of reason.  People are more aware and educated (E.G the work we do at the Breast Cancer Family Foundation), longer lifespans (the sun damage that leads to skin cancers generally accumulates over time), the ozone changes, clothing trends leaving more skin exposed than ever before, and of course tanning booths. Bottom line, we all need vitamin D from UV rays. After reaching our limit though, exposure to UV rays can actually be harmful to us buy breaking down our vitamin D. Adequate amounts of Vitamin D can be obtained safely and cheaply through food and dietary supplements without the risk associated with overexposure of UV Radiation. Wearing sunscreen  helps lower our risk for overexposure and lowers our cancer risk by nearly 40-50 percent and does not cause vitamin D deficiencies. Are you wearing your sun protection this weekend?

Why Tasty Tuesdays?

Our mission at Breast Cancer Family Foundation is to inspire people in our community to live healthy, cancer-free lifestyles and a huge piece of that starts with what’s on our plate. When teaching in the classroom about reducing cancer risk, I highlight the importance of taking care of our bodies from the inside out. Eating more whole foods and reducing the amount of processed foods that we eat goes a long way in not only lowering our cancer risk but also improving quality of life in general. I emphasis to the students that eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to eat the same thing day in and day out or eat food that isn’t exciting or tasty. Going forward with our mission, we wanted to expand this message to the community as well. This has lead us to start thinking about what that next step looks like.

If you’ve been following our Facebook page the last few weeks, you may have noticed something new. For the summer, we have started to highlight some of the delicious, seasonal vegetables that we have growing right in our backyard. With farmers’ markets just around the corner, we want to arm you with recipes to get the most out of your local produce endeavor. I find that it is easy to get stuck in a rut and it’s sometimes a struggle to come up with new ways to cook healthfully that the whole family will enjoy. That’s where Tasty Tuesdays comes in!

Tasty Tuesdays is a way for us to expand our message that eating healthy can be fun and isn’t always one-size fits all. Each week we highlight a different fruit, vegetable, or herb and give you fresh and exciting ways to prepare it. We also break down the nutrient profile of each Tasty Tuesday star and how it can help you reduce your risk of developing cancer. With Tasty Tuesdays, we are proving that eating well can be fun and taste good too! Keep your eye out for a new star every week and join us in tackling cancer one meal at a time!

Prevention begins with Lifestyle Choices

Here at the Breast Cancer Family Foundation, our mission is to empower our community and our youth by providing education on cancer awareness and prevention. Being new to the educator role, I like to share what my job entails with the people I’m close to in my life. When I tell my relatives and friends that I educate about cancer prevention I’m usually met with two comments. The first being “I thought you were a dietitian. How does that fit in with what you studied?” The second is “Doesn’t cancer rely heavily on genetics? How can you teach prevention for that?” These two questions are what makes my job so pivotal in the fight against cancer.

The more that we learn about how cancer begins, the more we learn that, like so many other health crises’ plaguing our population, many cancer cases can be tied into our lifestyle and habits. As a dietitian, I’ve spent many hours studying and learning about how what we eat impacts every facet of our health. From our mental wellness to our physical health, what we eat matters. We’ve known for a long time that diet plays a huge role in diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome but it’s only just recently that we’ve begun to see how big this picture really is.

We are starting to piece together the links between diet, obesity, and cancer and the initial findings are staggering. According to the CDC, “55 percent of all cancers diagnosed in women and 24 percent of those diagnosed in men are associated with overweight and obesity.” That’s huge! And when we factor in the findings that cancers typically seen in older adults are showing up earlier and earlier in our youth because of the spike in childhood obesity, this is definitely cause for alarm. So when my friends and family ask why, as a dietitian, I’m providing cancer-related education, I point them to these sobering statistics.

This leads me to the second question. Although cancer does have genetic links, we know that only 30% of our risk is outside of our control. The other 70% are lifestyle related. I think for so long we accepted that cancer blindly chooses its victims, which can sometimes be true but isn’t always, that we’ve become complacent with our role in our own health. I think for a lot of us it’s scary to accept that many of the choices we make day in and day out have real and lasting consequences. Most of us know that smoking cigarettes and vaping are activities that can cause cancer, but we can forget about the simple things like the food that we eat or how much we’re moving during the day.

Although it may feel like a paralyzing amount of pressure to put on our choices, I feel this is a huge beacon of hope. If we can take back our health as a community with some simple changes, that’s everything. We have so much power when it comes to how our stories play out and it’s my hope that we can see and embrace that power. This is why I chose to educate on cancer prevention and awareness as a dietitian and this is what makes my job so rewarding each and every day.

~Carese Walcyk, RD | BCFF Community Educator

Impact the World Around You

The classroom bell rang. A high school girl made her way through the chaos of bustling students who were eager to get in the hallway. I had just completed my 4th presentation that day.  When I am done speaking, it is common for students to come up and ask me questions or tell me a story of a family or friend inflicted with cancer. All of the other students had left the classroom and this girl just stood there in front of me. I asked her if she had a question as she didn’t say anything.  She stood there and her eyes welt up with tears. She held her finger up indicating she needed a moment before she could say anything. I asked her if she was ok. She nodded yes.  I asked her if it involved a friend or family member. She nodded no. I stood there waiting patiently and empathetically as I watched the tears roll down her cheeks.  After a few minutes, she gathered enough courage to utter what she wanted to say. “Thank you.” A few seconds of pause and she said it again, “ I just wanted to say thank you.” She wiped her tears and walked away. 

I stood there silently, pondering my last few minutes.  I wondered if there was someone in her life who really had cancer. I then thought of what her family life was like. Did she lack a positive female role model in her life and I filled that void, if only for that hour? Did she need somebody to care? I probably will never learn what brought that student to thank me so tearfully. I will however, forever remember how it made me feel.

Initially, I took on my role as an educator to fill an empty space in my own life.  My biggest passion in life is parenting. It truly is the best thing I have ever done for myself.  My last and third child left for college and I was an empty nester.  The ache is real and it hasn’t been easy.  It seemed only natural for me to seek out opportunities where I could impact our youth. I am so grateful for this opportunity as the lives I have touched and impacted have been many in a very short period of time.  A routine of speaking back to back classes, presenting to different schools during any given week can blur together, but then I have moment like that, with a student, where my impact as an educator becomes the reason. 

As Jane Goodall said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference,  and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

~Holly | BCFF Community Educator – Central Wisconsin

Influencing Others to Make Healthier Choices

Personal training and educational public speaking has enabled me to see a bigger picture. I work with clients trying to improve their health and I work with kids who can still be influenced to make healthier choices. I always tell students that preserving your life is easier than the cure of disease. 

The growing health epidemic for our youth is concerning. Diseases including diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart and liver disease are increasing in our youth. Teens with bad eating habits are more likely to suffer from obesity, depression, fatigue, and poor cognitive and physical performance at school. The Breast Cancer Family Foundation is a not for profit organization that is making a positive impact in our schools. We are on the preventive side and talk to middle and high school students about making healthier choices for themselves. I use real stories to connect and engage, speaking about everyday choices that can make an impact on their health. I love what I do and strive to make a positive difference, impacting others to be better, healthier version of themselves. 

For more information, https://bcff.org/

Their Future is in our Hands

Everyone likes to view their generation as a positive contributor to society.  A generation that will leave a lasting impact on the world.  Just like you, I have hope for not only my generation, but our children’s generation.  The sobering fact is, for the first time in history, our children’s generation is not predicted to outlive their parents. This is a statement that simply cannot be ignored.  Why is this? What can we do to stop this from being a reality?

Let’s begin with the WHY.
For starters, life is so different for our youth today than it was when we were growing up.  Technology has invaded their lives and foods have significant amounts of chemicals and sugar pumped into them.  From a time and generation where family sat around a table eating food from the local farmer and veggies from the garden in their backyards to a time and generation where we drive around a building and grab food from outside a window to eat in our cars.  Things are simply DIFFERENT.

WHAT can we do about it?
Every generation has their challenges, but our current youth has a significant amount of challenges that they cannot beat alone.  We need to be stewards of good information for them so they can be equipped with the knowledge to fight this war and hopefully beat it.  At the Breast Cancer Family Foundation, we speak to middle school and high school students about cancer and the connection between their current lifestyle choices and cancer risk.  With cancer being the second leading cause of death in the United States, this is a topic that we simply cannot ignore! The solution starts with prevention.

While in the classroom, we have a small amount of time to share our mission and impact our students in a positive way that brings about change.  From defining what cancer is to understanding that 70% of our choices in life affect our health stories, this is a challenge worth taking on!  In the state of Wisconsin, students are only required to have one semester of health during their four years of high school.  For some, they complete this requirement while in 8th grade. As we go into the classrooms, we consistently hear from teachers the challenges they face with this requirement such as material (it’s always changing) and simply being able to impact the children at a time when they need the information the most!  At the Breast Cancer Family Foundation, we seek to bridge this gap.

Their FUTURE is in our hands.
Our children are demanding a better world for them.  It is our job to listen to this calling and be stewards of hope in this world.  While our mission at the Breast Cancer Family Foundation is cancer related, I like to think that our educators are impacting these students far beyond just cancer.  We talk about having a trusted adult in their lives, being involved in community through volunteerism, and knowing that they have influence over not only their peers, but adults in their lives. They are not just a “dumb” millennial generation, they are courageous and fearless future leaders!  When you redefine what that means for them, looking at how they can reduce their cancer risks through lifestyle choices becomes much clearer and more importantly, easier!

As adults, in a world calling for change, we have a large responsibility and obligation to our youth.  Please join us in our mission to encourage healthy cancer-free lifestyles for our community.  They need our help! Their futures are in our hands!

To learn more about our education program, click here! 

2017 in Review

2017 was a great year!  This past year brought significant growth for our foundation as we set out and exceeded our goal to educate over 10,000 students in Northeast and Central Wisconsin.  We are passionate about cancer prevention and awareness education, which is why we continue to grow our goals each year. Thank you to the educators in our community who invite us into their classroom time and time again.  Your support of our mission speaks to our very hearts!

Beyond the classroom! Although classroom education is our primary program and passion, we also seek to educate the entire community! In 2017 we had the opportunity to present to over 1,000 adults at businesses and clubs!  With a focus on early detection and ways to reduce our risk, our hope is that we are changing the story on cancer locally.  Healthy living continues to be a growing trend!

Live our mission out loud!  We strongly believe in living our mission out loud for all to see.  Healthy living is an active mission and one that our entire team and board of directors take seriously.  Because of that, we continue to host two large events (Titletown Bike Tour in July and Pink Pumpkin 5k in October)  within the community that encourage families and friends to lead healthy cancer-free lifestyles.  Stay tuned for 2018 as we have some exciting additions coming for both events!

Together, with your help, we can change the ending to the story of cancer. It’s true that you can do everything right and still get cancer.  However, healthy living lowers your risk and enables you to fight (and possibly beat it) should you be diagnosed.   Each time we enter a classroom, we increase awareness and provide hope on changing the current trends.

THANK YOU for your support!  Thank you for your support of our mission in the community.  We could not move the needle of change without people like YOU.  From volunteering to financial giving, it all adds up and matters.  From our hearts to yours, THANK YOU!

Happy New Year!