Archive for December, 2008

Breast Cancer Foods
December 31, 2008

cruciferous VegetablesEating cruciferous vegetables, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower can help protect women against breast cancer. UCSB professors, Wilson, Jordan and Azarenko have shown “how the healing powers of these vegetables work at the cellular level”.


Their paper was published in the December Journal of Carcinogenesis.


So much has already been written about the virtues of cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower that it seems at first like old news. What makes their research exciting is that it looks at the cellular level having similar positive results as the drugs Taxol and Vincristine.


Is there’s a Choice?  Get similar results from eating your cruciferous vegetables with-out increased toxicity!haralee-slaw

Here is a quick recipe: Haralee Slaw


3 cups shredded cabbage

2 carrots shredded

2 apples peeled and shredded

1 small sweet or red onion, thinly sliced in rings

2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro or Italian parsley

¼ cup chopped walnuts



2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

1 teaspoon Soy Sauce

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ teaspoon dry mustard


Toss the slaw, shake up the dressing, pour on top and enjoy!





Winter Weather Wonders, Humbug
December 23, 2008


I mean not to whine too much, but the weather here is truly frightful. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow is tedious. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, any where but here.

All those Christmas songs are fun to sing, but living them is NOT FUN!


It rarely snows in Portland, Oregon. The city owns about 4 snow plows and 3 sanders. I may be exaggerating a wee bit; the city of one million people has 5 plows. This being Oregon, we do not salt the roads. Chains on cars are required. Have you ever tried to put on tire chains?


What this all means is that with 18 inches of snow/ice and temperatures in the 20’s, the city is at a stand still. Roads have been closed, as well as airports, bus routes and Amtrak. No one can get in or out. Power outages are the worse. Keeping up good cheer is hard to do in a cold dark home.


I grew up in New England so I am familiar with the snow but I have lived in Portland for over 30 years.  I know those of you in snow climates are saying “BooHoo, put on boots and a hat!”

Let me explain, we don’t own snow shovels. We don’t own warm clothes or boots. We own rain gear. Rain is not just warm snow. Rain doesn’t have to be shoveled.

I am dreaming of a rainy Christmas. Nice and warm and soggy, just like the ones I used to know.


Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!



Exercise in Breast Cancer Survivorship
December 16, 2008

I have been very fortunate to be a participant in an exercise study for breast cancer survivors for the last 23 months. The study just ended and the preliminary results are significant. Looking at bone density, and the impact of exercise looks very positive. The study was funded by the American Cancer Society, and the Komen foundation.


Two groups were randomized, one attending a stretching, yoga class and the other a strength training class.  The exercise results from both groups show very positive health improvements. Total body mass reduction, flexibility increases, less falls and bone density level gains.


Besides all the numerical health benefits, the emotional and personal gains are outstanding. To be a part of a land mark study that is pro active for your own health, and help other women going through breast cancer in the future is an honor.  I was able to exercise with a good friend and become friends with other women who also happen to be breast cancer survivors. I am stronger than I was 2 years ago in many ways.


To become a part of a study near you look at Dr. Susan Love and Avon are looking for women to join their army who are healthy as well as those with health issues.

Bone Density

Bone Density

Menopausal Musings
December 9, 2008

It is that time of year for ‘The Party’. That means gifts, party clothes and socializing. Not to sound like a big old Scrooge, but spare me the forced party this year. Whether that is the official work party or the fund raising party sponsored by a business colleague, let’s not kid ourselves, they are not usually fun.

The work party; wouldn’t you rather go home early and get paid for the whole day? The money spent on the “party” per person amounts to that and you know, because you have worked on the party committee in the past!

The fund raising party, it would be easier to just give a donation.


If a gift exchange is involved:

Try to find out who has your name ahead of time.

Pray for no Secret Santa!

For some reason many people think menopausal women want chocolate, but in truth a good gift suggestion is dish towels, followed by pot holders.

Try to get the word out that you don’t want wine, chocolates, soaps, lotions, candles, food or books but DO want Dish Towels.

I know some of you are saying; what is wrong with pampering products or food and alcohol items and for the love of God why not books? Let me explain. Do you really want a tower of chocolates, or soap that smells like chocolate, some bad wine or a book written about chocolate?

Once again let me suggest, Dish Towels!

If your gift exchange is the swap number affair, you bought your own dish towels.

If you are a re-gifter, this is not good advice. Re-gifters love the tower, wine and soaps, etc. They have a party to go to that is not work related and now you have bought their present. Again; I say Dish Towels.


For the menopausal woman, you know the party rules:

Don’t drink too much if at all.

Don’t wear high heels because you will be standing and chatting for the first hour.

Don’t tell anyone how you really feel about them even if THEY are drunk.

Don’t complain about anything.

Don’t talk about religion, politics or sex.

Smile and be gracious to everyone wishing them “Happy Holidays”.

Thank everyone for being such a good: manager, boss, co-worker, assistant, etc.

Look at people’s pictures with a nodding smile.

Leave as soon as possible with-out calling attention to yourself.

Ho Ho Ho!



Dish Towels

Dish Towels

Seeing Red
December 3, 2008

The first Ladies know the Power of Red

The first Ladies know the Power of Red

The Original Red Power Dress

The Original Red Power Dress

Red is a powerful color. It is a color that gets your attention. It is associated with seduction, romance, and now a study from the University of Rochester shows men find women wearing red more attractive.




The study on men measured the affects of color in assessing a woman’s attractiveness, and red won. An interesting point from the study says that the men “were unaware that the color red turns them on”.


Don’t ask me why research and time was allotted to this study. I am just commenting on the results because red is my favorite color.


Pictures of the US Senate and Congress show many women members wearing red suits. Do they get along better with their male counterparts when dressed in Red? I thought it was just a powerful color, not easily overlooked before I read this study. If men find women wearing red more attractive a conclusion can be made that they will cooperate and collaborate more with their female counterparts.


Case in point, when President Elect Obama and Mrs. Obama met at the White House with President Bush and Mrs. Bush, both wives were in red dresses. Conclusions can be made that if you are a woman and need to get along with men, wear red. Going to a party and don’t know many people, wear red. A social or business meeting with not your favorite people, wear red. Mrs. Bush, Mrs. Obama, and Mrs. Claus know to wear red!