The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction Gives Thanks

On behalf of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

We hope you are able to spend time this week with the ones you love, eating delicious food and reflecting on the many things you are grateful for!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent some time thinking about the things that we are truly grateful for. And in honor of this holiday of giving thanks, we wanted to share our list with you.

How many things do we have in common on our lists? Keep reading to find out…

#1 — The opportunity to work with so many courageous women who have battled breast cancer.

First and foremost, we are so thankful that we get to work with such amazing women each and every day. Their stories inspire us, their smiles brighten our day, and it is truly a gift to be able to interact with each and every one of the ladies we work with.

Read the stories from some amazing women here.

#2 — Our team of highly skilled staff and medical professionals.

We never take for granted the amazing staff and medical professionals that we have on our team. We are thankful that we have kind, hardworking, and highly skilled professionals that are able to give our clients the best care they deserve.

#3 — Our health.

Every day we work with women who have fought courageous battles against cancer. And every time we hear a new patient’s story, we are reminded of how lucky we are to have our health.

#4 — Our friends and family.

From loving spouses and children to awesome coworkers and friends, we are thankful to be surrounded by those who love us each day.

#5 — Our freedoms.

We are thankful for all the freedoms we have. From access to the technology and education we need to serve our patients to being able to pursue our passion to help women recover and heal from breast cancer, we are truly blessed.

#6 — Delicious food.

Last, but certainly not least, we are thankful for the delicious Thanksgiving meal we will be indulging in this week. There’s nothing better than chowing down on our Thanksgiving favorites while surrounded by the people we love.

Need some inspiration of what to bring to your Thanksgiving table this year? Here are some of our favorite holiday recipes!

This year, when you’re gathered around your Thanksgiving dinner table, we encourage you to share the things you’re grateful for with your loved ones.

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

What are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Spark Creativity and Find More Joy in Each Day

creativityWhen you feel creative, you feel more happiness in your life because you’re living more consciously and seeking beauty. Following are several ways to spark your innate creativity and live a more joy filled life.

Explore the world of art.

Sculpting, painting, drawing—all are creative pursuits, and all unlock your creative mind. The satisfaction of creating something new is fulfilling, and you’ll find joy every time you pick up a brush or pen. Experiment with colors, details, textures, and dimensions. You should feel free as air while you’re creating.

Even if no one else ever sees your work, you’ll know it’s there and that you did it.

Learn a musical instrument.

Much like creating art, creating music elevates your mood and happiness. Learn the instrument you really wanted to take up when you were in fifth grade and didn’t. As you go down the path of learning to play it, you become one with it and raise your joy factor significantly. You’ll feel happy and joyful every time you pick up the instrument and begin to play.

And no one ever said you had to play only songs that have already been written.

Work with your hands.

Whether you like woodworking, knitting, embroidery, or origami, create something. Anything. Use your hands to form what’s in your mind. The simple act of creating raises your level of joy, no matter what you create or how you do it.


Putting your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and desires on paper creates a record of you—what better way to spend your time? When you journal, don’t hold back. Often, you can break through barriers in your life by simply writing them down. Once they are on paper, they have no hold over you anymore. The power of journaling is, in a word, amazing.

Write that book you’ve always contemplated.

Whether you want to share 101 ways to decorate your home or a new biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, it’s time to write that book you’ve thought about for years. It doesn’t matter if you prefer fiction or nonfiction—it’s the creation of the book, the words flowing on the paper or computer screen, that matter. If you choose, you can even publish your journal.

One major barrier for up-and-coming authors is now gone: you can self-publish now, both paperback and electronically, so you don’t need a publishing house or an editor. Your options are wide open; take advantage of them to create the newest book the world needs.

Do what your heart wants you to do. Start today.

We’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to contact us or leave a comment for us on Facebook!

How to Log Your Workouts and Food Intake

Nutrition FactsAfter you’ve chosen a method to log your workouts and food intake, it’s time to get started tracking your progress.

Keeping records is a vital part of being accountable to yourself and staying on track. You’ll see your progress every day, week, and month, so you can celebrate your accomplishments. If your program needs changes, or if you’re having trouble in a particular area, your log will alert you right away. The following tips will help you easily track your journey to a healthier you.

Have a realistic goal, and write it down.

Before you begin your program, set your goals in writing. One way to set effective goals is to use the acronym SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time framed. What is realistic and attainable for you? Maybe returning to your weight at age 16 isn’t realistic, but returning to your weight at age 25 is. If you’re just starting a health program and have been inactive for a while, a triathlon may not happen this year—but would be a realistic goal for next year.

When you’ve decided on a goal, log it on your tracking tool. The simple act of writing it down sets it in your mind.

Plan your meals and workouts, and log them.

Setting and keeping a workout schedule and meal plan help you stay on track. The rigidity of the schedule is up to you. You may wish to be very specific and write out a menu and exercise plan every week, or you may simply block out exercise time and decide that day which activity to do. You may want to experiment to see what works well for you.

When you log your workouts, be as specific as you can. Note which machines you used at the gym and for how long, how many reps you did at which weight, or how many miles you walked.

Record not just actions, but also feelings.

When you’re trying to exercise and eat right, your feelings play a major role in your motivation to stick to your program. If you stray from your plan, it’s often because of negative emotions. If you can track those feelings, you can identify when they are likely to occur and plan accordingly.

Use logs to motivate, not discourage.

It’s common to feel discouraged if the scale doesn’t budge or you don’t see any progress. Don’t let it discourage you. It’s common to hit the occasional plateau, which is your body’s way of getting ready to move to the next level of weight loss or to that next exercise goal. Keep going and recording everything, and you’ll hit that next target before you know it. Take pleasure in other numbers, such as your dress size and your blood pressure.

Remember that each day is just that: one day.

You may not hit all your goals each day, and that’s OK. Life happens. The key is to keep a one-day slip limited to that day, and get back on track the next day.

Food intake and workout logs help you to see and understand your behavior, and remind you of your commitment to health. Daily tracking is essential for staying true to yourself and your healthy plan. When you have a system in place for tracking, your results are greatly improved.

How has your healthy progress improved by using tracking tools?

When and Why to Choose Organic Foods

organic foodOrganic foods, generally speaking, are grown with fewer chemicals or hormone treatments than supermarket foods. Typical chemicals and additives include growth hormone, antibiotics, pesticides, and herbicides.

Obviously, we would all like to eat wholesome, naturally-grown foods for every meal, but they can be hard to find. Livestock animals eat unnatural diets to make them heavier and ship them to market sooner, and they’re injected with hormones and antibiotics. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are genetically modified to grow faster and larger, and they’re sprayed to keep pests and fungus away.

Organic foods can be significantly more expensive than supermarket foods, and you may wish to vary your eating with the seasons, as organic produce in season is less expensive. If you have a farmer’s market in your area, you’ll find very fresh, organic produce for a reasonable price. Local sources for meat and dairy products are often organic as well, but may not be available in some areas.

You might be asking yourself whether you have to buy everything organic. Certain foods are treated with more chemicals than others, and these are the foods that you should consider buying organic. For these foods, washing, peeling, and cooking do not significantly reduce chemical residues, so these foods are called the dirty dozen or the crucial dozen:

  • Peppers
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Fruits with pits, such as apricots, peaches, and nectarines
  • Farm-raised meats such as beef, chicken and pork
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy products
  • Coffee
  • Berries
  • Apples and pears
  • Tomatoes and carrots
  • Spinach and salad greens such as lettuce and kale

No matter the source, be sure to wash all produce with a fruit and vegetable wash, which can be found at most supermarkets and health food stores.

For foods with low pesticide residue levels, buying organic isn’t as vital. These dozen foods lose the residue with thorough washing, peeling, or cooking:

  • Onions
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Corn
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Avocados

While organic is ideal, it’s not always necessary to spend the extra money. Which foods do you buy organic, or not?

5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

mental healthYour mental health is a vital part of your overall health, yet we often ignore it. When you feel mentally alive, your physical health improves as well. Follow these five tips to improve your mental health and increase your happiness.

1. Address negative beliefs.

Most of us hold negative beliefs, and they have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health. We choose to hold these beliefs for whatever reason, and some may be valid while others are outdated or simply incorrect. Negative beliefs lead to a negative attitude, which saps your energy and alienates family members, caregivers, and friends.

To change a negative belief, you must identify it. Ask a trusted friend for help with this. Once you have determined which are your negative beliefs, ask yourself three things: where they came from, whether they are true, and whether you still want to hold onto them. Letting go of negative beliefs can be difficult but tremendously freeing, and it must be your decision to move forward without them. No one can force you to release a negative belief.

2. Replace the negative with a positive.

Whenever a negative thought creeps into your mind, focus on the positive of the situation instead. The negative thought will float off, and you’ll be happier, more relaxed, and able to deal with the situation as a whole. This is not to say you don’t need to deal with negative thoughts or situations—sometimes you do—but often negative thoughts are holdovers from those negative beliefs you’re trying to lose.

For example, if you’ve lost 10 pounds and have a negative thought about your ability to continue losing, remind yourself that you’ve already lost 10. Tell yourself how good you feel, and encourage yourself to keep going. If you let a negative thought stay in your mind, you’ll fall into it and have a difficult time climbing out of it. Concentrate on the positive, and don’t dig yourself a negative hole.

3. Reduce stress.

Stress causes not only physical problems, but also mental blocks and issues. Reducing stress is one of the fastest ways to boost your mental health. One quick way to feel better is to take three deep breaths: inhale through your nose, close your eyes and hold it for two seconds, and then exhale through your mouth. Exhale as fully as you can, and feel the stress melt.

Several other ways to decrease stress include exercise, meditation, massage, and aromatherapy. Sometimes walking away and being alone for 5–10 minutes or listening to your favorite music is all you need to reduce anxiety. Experiment to find your best stress relief.

4. Take a break from your life.

A change of scenery is always good for your mental health. Take a week-long vacation at least once a year. You’re doing yourself and your family a disservice if you accrue vacation time and never use it. Find the time to do something for you. Get away and explore new places, or take a week off to work on a hobby you never seem to have time to enjoy. You’ll return refreshed, relaxed, and happier.

5. Exercise your mind as you do your body.

We move through each day doing what we must, but we don’t stimulate our minds as often or as deeply as we should. Your mind craves challenge and creativity, and you feel alive and alert when you give your mind a new job. Take a class, learn a new hobby, go to a symphony or museum, or do the crossword in the newspaper. Try something new and excite your brain, as well as improve your memory.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and the more you take care of your mind and exercise it, the happier you’ll be. If you do it consistently, the benefits last long into old age.

What’s your favorite way to take care of your mental health?

Why It’s Important to Get Out of the House and Experience Life

happy lifeIt’s been said that as you get older, you won’t regret what you’ve done, but what you haven’t done. It’s easy to stay home and hibernate, and you certainly need time alone to reflect and think, but you also need to connect—with people, with things, with places, and most important, with yourself.

Life is full of abundance and beauty, and it always has exciting adventures for you to discover. Some are as simple as hearing the tinkle of children’s laughter or watching a tulip emerge from the frost. Other experiences, such as camping in the mountains or going to a rock concert, fill all your senses with wonder and delight. Trying something new is stimulating and memorable, and it makes you feel truly alive as it enriches your life.

It’s easy to fall into the rut of staying in the house and watching TV or reading, and the thought of trying new things can be daunting. However, when you’re ready, adventure begins the moment you open your door. New experiences don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Anything you haven’t seen, heard, felt, or tasted is brand new to you. Following are ten simple and inexpensive ideas to try.

  • Take a different route when you run errands, and try a new store or dry cleaner.
  • Plan a short road trip, and discover an area of your city or county you’ve never seen.
  • Drive with some friends or family to a nearby town and park your car, get out, and explore.
  • Go window shopping.
  • Plant your favorite flowers in your yard or in a window box.
  • Call a friend and try a new coffee shop or restaurant. Splurge on food or drink you’ve never tasted before.
  • Go to the theater and watch a movie from a genre you’re not familiar with. Try a new snack while you’re there.
  • Think about attractions or landmarks your town is famous for. Have you ever seen them? If not, go.
  • Take a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn, such as a foreign language, cooking, or writing.
  • Imagine yourself doing an activity you’ve always been hesitant to try, such as riding a roller coaster or racing go-karts. Then do it.

Once you start exploring the world around you, you’ll be hooked and want more. What adventures are you ready to try?