Breast Cancer Survivor Niya Brown Matthews on How She Turned Her Negative Into a Positive

I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at age 27 then again at 37.  At this time this disease didn’t run in my family nor did I know anyone with it at that time. It was a simple home exam that I found a lump. Biopsy showed I was already in Stage 2. I couldn’t understand why me, but God reminded me why not me. I turned the negative into a positive.  It was the curse that saved my life. It showed me what was really important in life. God Family Success… in that order. Through chemo, radiation, and lumpectomies  I was able to fight and win. Since my journey I decided to use my story and encourage women to be proactive instead of reactive. Too Fabulous for Cancer Charity Organization was created. Through Charity events we gift women makeovers, stipends, photoshoots to help take their minds off having cancer.. making them feel amazing.
Bio:
Niya Brown Matthews is a Certified Life Coach, Best Selling Author, Motivational Speaker, 2 time Breast Cancer Survivor, Ambassador for Ford Warriors in Pink, and 17 year Real Estate Professional as well as Wife and Mother. She writes inspiring self help books to empower others to overcome their life obstacles and challenges in order to become successful in Life, Love & Career. She attended East Carolina University and is married to retired Super Bowl Champion Eric Matthews of the GreenBay Packers. They are very active in the Atlanta community running their non profit Eric Matthews Matthews Foundation helping low income families and at risk youth. Niya Matthews has been featured in numerous national media EBONY, Black Enterprise, Black America Web, Rolling Out, Mommy Noire & Wendy Williams, ESPN, and Essence Main Stage (twice) as well as featured in Today’s Purpose Woman Magazine to name a few.
She is founder of Two Fabulous for Cancer, a Charity Organization helping breast cancer patients fight the fight as well as the founder of Soulfood Sessions with Niya a Women Empowerment Organization created to uplift, and empower women globally. Her books are sold nationally at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and her website soulfoodsessionswithniya.com
Contact:
Social Media Handles:
IG: @niyabrownmatthews @soulfoodsessionswithniya
FB: @niyabmatthews @niyabrownmatthews @soulfoodsessionswithniya Twitter: @NiyaBMatthews

Breast Cancer Awareness: In Light of October, a New Vaccine is Being Tested

  • Written by Samantha Skinner

A new vaccine is currently in the works and being tested on those that sign up for the task at hand. Hoping that the vaccine targets an aggressive form of breast cancer, it is a cure that so many are hoping and waiting for.

Receiving a grant of $11 million, they are now starting the process and the acceptance of something that might change the fate of so many that are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Those that are going to be able to get this vaccine are patients with the HER2-positive breast cancer because the vaccine hits these specific spots.

There was previously not a way to cut back on these cancer-causing cells, but this new vaccine is not only bringing hope to those patients with this cancer-type, but those patients that are worried about the future of breast cancer.

If this vaccine works, it is going to be one of the biggest breakthroughs that cancer has ever seen and one that is going to bring happiness to a lot of people, especially those that have been developing the vaccine.

The best part is that when the patient is cancer-free, the vaccine is going to work to block the cancer cells from coming back again. The vaccine should work by stimulating the immune systems T-cells so that it can create a strong response overall to the vaccine that is going to be given.

Those that are going to be getting this vaccine are going to be going through a trail run where they test out the effectiveness of the vaccine, but also the long-term symptoms or side effects that might come with it.

As for right now, the world waits, hoping that they found a vaccine that can work to fight cancer causing cells. If this works, then many are hoping it works for other types of cancers.

4 Golden Rules for Breast Cancer Awareness

Written by Samantha Skinner 

Breast cancer is a scary thing and if you are wondering if you are at risk or not, or if you are showing symptoms but are unsure of what to do next, then it might be a good time to speak with someone.

Regardless, having any information about breast cancer, symptoms and when to get checked can put every woman’s mind at ease.

Know Your Risk Factors

It is important to know the risk factors that might be against you. Does it run in your family? Do you do anything that might make the risk higher? Knowing whether or not you are higher risk than others is always ideal.

Know Your Own Breasts

Every woman should know her own breasts. Not only will you detect if something is off right away, but you will have a better chance at detecting something earlier on. Sometimes, even partners find issues before the woman does.

Breast Cancer isn’t Always a Lump

Know that breast cancer can show up in a number of ways. It can be a lump, it can be a change in skin texture or color. There are many ways that breast cancer can sneak up on women but know that a lump is not always the sure-fire sign to having breast cancer.

Know When to Get Screened

It is important that women over the age of 45 get screened regularly for breast cancer, though women can go earlier than that if they wish. Skipping these scans is never a good thing. Going once a year is enough to detect something amiss before it goes too far.

Remember, just because you don’t have a history of breast cancer in your family doesn’t mean that you cannot develop it. It is everywhere and it effects everyone, even men. This is why it is a good thing to keep up on those exams and watch for something that might be different.

Study Shows Moderate Alcohol Consumption Leads To Healthier Heart

Written by Aysha Chaudhry 

A new study in the International Journal of Cardiology finds that people who consumed alcohol 3-5 times a week had a healthier heart than those who didn’t drink alcohol at all.

According to the study, alcohol has a direct effect on “good” cholesterol, and it doesn’t matter what type. Wine, beer, and liquor all had the same positive effect. A few drinks every week, spaced out in consumption, will helps ward off heart attacks. This is because wine, beer, and liquor, in their pure forms and when not mixed with sugary substances or mixers, contain extremely low levels of “bad” cholesterol, and can increase levels of “good” cholesterol.

Of course, everything should be taken in moderation. There are many downsides to heavy alcohol consumption, and those downsides can outweigh the positive cholesterol benefits. However, fully abstaining from alcohol may not give you the heart-healthy benefits a couple drinks a week can provide.

Medical Marijuana To Be Recognized As Treatment Option By Utah and Mormon Church

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reached a deal with pro-medical marijuana advocates to provide Mormons access to alternative medicines.

Previously, the Church and marijuana advocates had been fighting on opposing sides in the wake of the upcoming November elections, which would have determined the fate of medicinal drug use. However, they have been able to reach a compromise that will provide patients with proper treatments, while also establishing a plan to keep marijuana out of the hands of those who want to use it for non-medical purposes.

This is a progressive step for an infamously conservative Church and state, which has been at odds with its increasingly progressive voters. In March, Utah voters were 77% in favor of medical marijuana use. Since the agreement is said to already be in the works, voters now won’t have to await the fate of the medical marijuana industry to be decided by ballot in November.

Why Married To Medicine Star and Entrepreneur Genise Shelton Is Dedicated To Living a Healthy Life: Her Story

Written by Genise Shelton

I’d like to begin by telling you a story. About eighteen years ago, an African American woman in Chicago was living the somewhat typical life of an American married woman.  Some would say that she was living the American dream.  She and her husband owned their own home.  His income was sufficient to take care of the family so she didn’t have to work outside of the home.

She was a homemaker and she was good at it. Taking care of her husband and children was her full-time job and she put everything she had into it.  Her oldest daughter was away at college.  The four youngest were at home, including a one-year old.  The woman’s days were long and filled with all the duties that are required of a wife and mother…dozens of loads of laundry each week, changing diapers, running errands, caring for her husband, cooking meals, cleaning, checking homework etc. In addition to these duties, the woman had to look after her mother. Although her mother lived in her own home, she required some help due to an illness. But overall, life was pretty good for the woman, until 2003.  That’s when everything began to change.

In February, the woman’s brother died of a stroke.  In August, her mother passed away and in September her husband left her for another woman all in the same year.  After her mother’s death, the woman moved herself and her children into her mom’s home, while her husband and mistress took over the family home.

In addition to fulfilling all the duties required of her, she had to find a way to put food on the table now.  She had to go to work. This was especially difficult since she possessed very few marketable skills and little-to-no job training.  Eventually, she found work at UPS during the night shift.  She had no choice but to leave her baby at home with her other children because she simply couldn’t afford daycare.

The job only paid $9 an hour and obviously wasn’t enough to take care of her four children.  The financial pressure was too much for her to bear, so her oldest daughter began to send money home to help with bills and food.  Her daughter also drove her car to Chicago and left it with her mother to make it easier for her to get to work. During this transition, the mother was under a great deal of stress and worry…not just because she was working a low paying job and caring for the kids.  She also had to begin caring for her aunt, who was childless and had developed a serious illness.

And just as it is with many mothers, this woman was so consumed with taking care of her family that she failed to take care of her own needs. After all, that’s what most mothers do…. especially African American woman.  She was in survival mode and didn’t have the energy or the wherewithal to do anything other than to make sure that she took care of her responsibility to others. Unfortunately, the woman’s choice to neglect her health had far reaching consequences that she never expected.

One day in 2006, while talking to her oldest daughter on the telephone, her speech began to slur and she became confused.  The daughter became alarmed and insisted that her mother call 911. By the time the mother was taken to the emergency room, she had suffered a major stroke and a huge pulmonary embolism.  Her condition was so dire, she spent several months in the hospital.  The effects of the stroke left her partially paralyzed, very weak on the right side and unable to walk.  At the age of just 48 years old, this woman no longer was a caregiver. Instead, she became the one who had to be cared for. This story is very tragic, but it is more than that to me. It is personal.  You see, the woman that had the stroke is my mother and I was the daughter who was away at college.

These devastating life altering events led to my passion of health and fitness.  I began to educate myself and found that my own risk factors for obesity, high blood pressure and stroke are very high.  As I thought about my family members; my mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins…all are obese!

I had seen what high blood pressure could do to a person.  After all, my mother had never been treated for it because she refused to go to the doctor. And since she didn’t go to the doctor, her condition went undetected. High blood pressure caused my mother’s stroke.

I also saw what havoc obesity could wreck on an individual.  My youngest brother was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure at the age of 12.  My mother refused to curb his overeating habits due to her misguided guilt over the dissolution of her marriage and her now disability.  She didn’t understand that she was not helping my brother by refusing to insist upon a healthy lifestyle.

I was determined to change this generational curse of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and strokes that haunted my family. I began to read everything I could about living a healthy lifestyle.  I began to eliminate various foods from my family’s diet and incorporate those foods that promoted health. We hired a personal trainer and he began pushing us to meet our goals of fitness.  Most weeks, I worked out 3 to 4 times a week.  However, my goals quickly changed when I saw my trainer’s girlfriend, who was a figure fitness competitor. When I saw her, I made a promise to myself that I was going to look just like her one day.

From that point, I began to train to be a competitor.  Working out went from 3 or 4 times a week to 6 to 7 days a week.  Instead of working out for an hour, my workouts were at least 2 hrs. Since I was small, my regimen was primarily weight lifting, hit cardio, and a strict diet. I placed second in my first all natural fitness competition.  I won 1stplace and overall in my 2ndfitness competition, which promoted me to professional status where I received my pro card as a Pro Bikini Fitness Competitor!

So when I walk that stage competing, winning a trophy isn’t the most important thing for me…what’s most important, is the commitment, discipline and determination that my kids see in me to live a healthier lifestyle in return a long fulfilling life. My prayer is that through competing I can break my generational curse for the future of my children’s children and their children.

For those who do not know my story, I have a blended family. My husband’s former wife died from a rare cancer and left behind three small children. I told my husband that I was dedicated to making sure that we were healthy so that, if possible, our children didn’t have to suffer through losing another parent to illness. I hope that my story inspires you to become a better and healthier you!

Genise N. Shelton

How to Eat Healthy Without Giving Up Sugar?

Written by Benjamin Roussey

After salt and fat, sugar is the big no-no in today’s diet charts. You are encouraged to bid adieu to of all types of sweeteners—table sugar, honey, maple syrup, refined flours, condiments,  fizzy drinks, desserts, even select fruits. 

The diet gurus are right. The excessive intake of sugars can cause obesity that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart ailments, and certain cancers. 

The average American consumes as many as 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day! Though White Goodman at the end of Dodgeball was blowing that number out of the water. It is amazing how entertaining that movie was compared to ridiculous movies like Jurassic World, Thor III, The Force Awakens, and Neighbors II but this is another topic. 

Consequences of sugar-free living 

Giving up sugar altogether is far less effective than avoiding processed foods that contain excess added sugars. There is no scientific basis to abstain from sugar completely. In the worst-cases cenario, it can lead to fear of foods and other such health issues. 

The dieting mindset 

Having a list of what you can and cannot eat leads to creating a diet mindset. The people who have concerns about food—relating to weight or effect of food on body—are more likely to diet. 

The body’s resistance to diet

Research has proved that in the long term, dieting causes weight gain. The brain interprets diets as periods of famine and accumulates fat for future use. 

Dieting leads to stress because of which the body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that leads to fat accumulation in areas such as abdomen. 

Apprehensions about food can cause tension, fear, and depression, the primary symptoms of orthorexia—a condition similar to an eating disorder where the person obsesses over the merits of eating and not eating each item. An estimated 7% to 58% of the population may have this condition. 

Choose good food 

Fruits are fiber rich and dairy products have natural lactose which are both great for the body. Risks of cancer and osteoporosis increase in absence of fiber rich foods. The best alternative is to eat healthy. Plants, whole grains, and fruits are good for the body. Choose them over “sugar-free” foods. 

Millions of Hearing Impaired Could Benefit From This Breakthrough Drug

 Written by Benjamin Roussey
A loss of hearing is categorized as a public health epidemic in the US. This seems apt given the fact that at least 15% of the adult population is suffering from hearing loss, which is almost as bad as the economic situation going on in New York and California as those states continue to make the wrong decisions.

There are plenty of reasons why people start losing their hearing. It could be prolonged exposure to loud noise, a one-time occurrence due to standing right next to the loudspeakers at a rock concert, or a result of aging.Irrespective of the cause, the remedies currently available are cochlear implants and hearing aids. These are known as limited solutions as they cannot set right the damage caused to the inner ear nor bring back regular hearing capabilities. However, quite a few biotechnology firms are in the race to come up with a drug that can actually mend damage to the inner ear.

Decibel Therapeutic, a start-up based in Boston, Frequency Therapeutics founded by a pair of biomedical engineers, Swiss biopharmaceutical company Auris Medical, and Otonomy of San Diego, are some of the names engaged in pursuit of this wonder drug.

  • Decibel is looking at developing medication that can heal the damage caused to hair cells and neurons inside the cochlea or the auditory nerve. The company is also getting financial backup from Regeneron as well as access to its sophisticated research tools.
  • Frequency is focused on the search for small molecule drugs that can re-energize progenitor cells which are dormant to mend cochlear hair cells. The company has completed Phase 1 of the human study successfully and is likely to start on Phase 2 later in 2018.
  • Auris Medical is targeting redressal of tinnitus and hearing loss in the inner ear. Tinnitus is when there is a constant buzzing or ringing in the ears. The research is at an advanced stage of clinical development.
  • Otonomy, meanwhile, is using a three-point approach to the drug development. It aims at curing hearing loss caused by chemotherapy and earlier-stage hearing impairment which is often not pronounced enough to be detected on a hearing test. The third program aims at developing drugs to restore loss of hair cells.

It might take many years before these drugs are available for widespread use, but the progress being made is a definite ray of hope to the 360 million affected people across the globe.

 

 

Magic Leaf: The Aloe Vera Plant and Its All Natural Healing Properties

Written by Antwan Hamilton

Aloe vera plant is often a stemless or sometimes very short-stemmed juicy plant that grows around 60–100 cm (24–39 inch) in height and the offsets spread out wide. The leaves of this plant are thick and fleshy and the color varies from green to gray-green. This medicinal plant offers an influx of healing properties that will keep you physically and mentally young. The aloe vera plant has compounds such as mannans, polysaccharides, lectins, and anthraquinones that are extremely beneficial for human health.This translucent gel is made up of around 96% water, some organic and inorganic compounds, a type of protein which contains 18 of the 20 amino acids found in the body and lastly, vitamins A, B, C and E.

I personally make aloe vera shakes at least three times a week for myself and my kids. You want to take the leaf and slice it on the side all the way down with a small knife. Scrape the gel with a spoon into a blender and mix it with water. Im going to warn you the taste is very bitter. I usually blend mine with some type of fruit or orange juice. People often ask me about my youthful appearance and I direct them immediately to the leaf. Here are some health benefits from using aloe vera:

Boosts Immunity– When the blood is oxygen-rich, it automatically provides nutrients within the cells more proficiently. These healthy cells ensure your body’s ability to ward off infections, thereby strengthening your immune system.

Skin Care – after you have scraped the gel from the inside of the leaf for blending keep the leaves. At night before you sleep take the leaves and put them on the soles of your feet. Put a pair of socks on and while your’e sleeping the remainder of the gel will extract toxins from the bottom of your feet. You also have the option of rubbing the leaves on your face and body.This method will prove to be far better and more effective than many expensive skin creams on the market The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf helps diminish the symptoms of aging skin conditions.

Weight Loss-According to Britt Brandon, the author of The Everything Guide to Aloe Vera for Health, “Aloe vera can improve the effectiveness of your diet and maximize your weight loss potential. With ample amounts of vitamins and minerals that contribute to weight-loss, as well as amino acids, enzymes and sterols, aloe vera ensures your diet is not only supportive of weight-loss, but also improves the body’s absorption and utilization, improving overall health as well as weight loss success.”It’s also an excellent source of protein so it helps muscle development and gives you abundant amounts of energy. As a matter of fact as soon as your’e finished ingesting it you can feel it working instantly. I try to make sure I’m at home at least an hour after consuming because it works very well as a natural laxative. It would suck to drink it and then take off. Trust me.

Treats Constipation-The use of aloe latex as a laxative is well-researched; the anthraquinones present in the latex create a potent laxative that increases intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion and increases intestinal peristalsis, which are contractions that break down food and mix the chyme

Reduces Inflammation– Most of us are already aware that inflammation is the general and leading cause to all diseases. Many people experience this through arthritis and what is called carpal tunnel. Aloe vera can easily replace many different pharmaceutical drugs to eliminate pain and swelling. In some studies, it’s been shown that people who consume aloe vera regularly experience a significant improvement in inflammation issues.

​As you can see this magical leaf takes pride in healing the body both inside and out. The benefits are limitless.You can usually find this leaf in the grocery store, international market, or anywhere that sells plants. This ancient leaf has been around for hundreds of years and is becoming more popular around the world because of its extensive healing properties. If you do decide to buy a plant the upkeep is minimal. The plant can survive temperatures of 40 degrees F and can easily be grown in a container indoors all year long. Aloe prefers plenty of sunlight but survives in light shade as well. So start dumping the pills and start your aloe journey to better health and a better you!

Best Calorie Burners to Boost Your Fitness in 2018

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Like every year, 2018 is no exception to fitness fads. From cryotherapy to electric stimulators that measure your activity levels as you work out, there is no dearth of premium priced fitness trends that have surfaced. However, the areas that have seen significant growth are those that have been around for quite a while.

• Basic body weight training notched up the most growth at 20%. This kind of training involves no equipment and comprises of squats, push-ups, and pull-ups.

• Aerobics follows close behind with various subsections recording notable increase in popularity. According to a survey by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, cross-training was up by 14% while high intensity interval training grew by 10%. Figures were higher by 9% for good old stair climbing.

• Treadmills are recapturing their popularity base among millennials while aquatic resistance workouts are the newest routine on the block for this age group. It is thought that aging baby boomers find water workouts uncomplicated due to vulnerable bone joints, thus making them popular.

• The focus is gradually shifting to low intensity training with a healthy dose of mindfulness. This has been fueled by the view that it doesn’t hurt to spend a little more time exercising than quick fire sessions.

• As a result of the preference for low intensity workout, Pilates and yoga are continuing on their forward march.

• Body bands used for stretching and bodyweight exercises are also doing well with this return to basics.

In an attempt to draw more clients, boutique fitness companies are coming up with attractive deals and offers. These include reduced rates in smaller cities as well as discounts of other kinds. The fitness industry is now focusing on the experience as a whole rather than just facilitating your exercise regimen.

Fitness studios offer a range of amenities such as state-of-the-art lockers, steam rooms, and saunas and with lower taxes Americans can do more things with their lives. Quite a few big names in the industry have also expanded into apparel with offerings being updated on a monthly and even weekly basis to counter the competition. It is now all about selling the workout and not just staying fit!