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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness – Reduce Your RiskTip #3 – Eat Your Protection



3. Consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Eat seven or more servings daily. The superstars for breast cancer protection include all cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower) ; dark leafy greens (collards, kale, spinach) ; carrots and tomatoes. The superstar fruits include citrus, berries and cherries. Note: it is best to eat cruciferous vegetables raw or lightly cooked, as some of the phytochemicals believed to offer protection against breast cancer are destroyed by heat.
I find getting lots of fruit into “The Beasties” is easy, same for spinach (try this no-prep Trader Joes Cookbook recipe for spinach lasagna), broccoli, carrots and toms, but some of the others are a struggle.
I LOVE cabbage and brussel sprouts, so was delighted to see them on the list, but my family acts like I’m suggesting ingesting raw sewage, do you have a great (especially if it’s kid approved) recipe you’d like to share?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness – Reduce Your Risk Tip #4 – Exercise regularly the rest of your life



4. Exercise regularly the rest of your life. Many studies have shown that regular exercise provides powerful protection against breast cancer. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking) five or more days a week. Consistency and duration, not intensity, are key!

A study of more than 3,000 women from Long Island, N.Y., found that women who engaged in 10 to 19 hours of at least mild exercise per week from their reproductive years on had about a 30 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer. The effects of physical activity were strongest among postmenopausal women, based on the data analysis.
According to the American Cancer Society, the average woman in the U.S. has about a 1-in-8 chance of developing breast cancer and a 1-in-36 chance of dying from it. As scary as this statistic may be, women have the power to diminish their risk of breast cancer. Exercising regularly not only keeps body weight in check and reduces fat cells, but it also boosts the immune system which reduces the number of cell-damaging “free radicals” in the body. More importantly, it’s never too late to start. Lauren McCullough, lead researcher at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, notes that “evidence suggests that if you start [exercising] after menopause, you can still help yourself.”
The key to regular exercise is finding something you enjoy, I hate repetition so I rotate hill hikes with jogging, swimming, yoga & dance as well as a bit of weight training.
What’s your favorite form of exercise?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cycling Los Angeles – LA River Bike Path – Heron Gate



 We’ve lived n NE LA for almost (gulp)12 years  and I absolutely love finding new areas to explore, especially when they are so close to home.
Case in point, the LA River bike path which proved to be something of a revelation. Sure we’ve driven over the river many times but it mostly looked like a grotty cement gully.
However we were in a peddling frame of mind this weekend & with a 20% gas hike this week we had no desire to drive far.
We chose to enter at the “Heron Gate” located on Fletcher drive and take the path south which is almost completely flat, this is very important for little legs, with training wheels.
It’s a delightful ride and I was astonished by the rapidly moving water even in October, when we haven’t seen major rainfall in 6 months. The quantity and variety of wild life was also surprising. We saw Ducks, herons, egrets, kingfishers & Moore hens as well as a red tailed Hawk that circled for much of the ride.
Mile markers are helpfully painted on the path so the children could proudly boast with accuracy that they had cycled 5 miles (2.5 each way).
A short stop at rattle Snake Park made a good rest stop especially on the wayback when we realized that 5 year old legs contending with training wheels had exceeded their limit.
The bike path does have a rail long it but I would be nervous with a toddler on a trike if peddling themselves as they could quite easily roll under.
Some of the streets that run behind Riverside drive are pretty rundown (as well as industrial) so not an area I’d want to spend time after dark, but by day the path was well trafficked by a steady flow of bikers, bladers & walkers all of whom were pleasant and smiley.
Next time we will head north up towards Griffith Park

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fill up your water bottles, strap on your helmet and take to the streets of LA this Sunday – CicLAvia!


This weekend is one of our family’s favorite events in Los Angeles as  CicLAvia shuts down the streets of downtown LA for five glorious hours of pedal power and smiling.
On Sunday, October, 7, 2012, we will be exploring the  expanded route and checking out the new spurs to Boyle Heights, Chinatown, and Expo Park.
CicLAvia makes the streets  safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike. There are activities along the route. Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the CicLAvia.
Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States.
Hints for families. Much as I would love to ditch the car, getting 4 bikes on a crowded train is just too difficult, especially for the children so we park  near little Tokyo where it’s flat. It means the home stretch is down hill, with the promise of green-tea ice cream as an incentive!
**Hint for very young cyclists. Most streets slope down at the sides which makes it hard for kids to balance and they end up tangled in trash in the gutter!
Instead put the children towards the middle of the road and have them follow a line, this prevents them from weaving around and suddenly crossing in front of an unsuspecticting adult.
We also have the children ride in front, not only to prevent anyone getting left behind, but also to prevent other cyclists from getting too close, as the kids are prone to riding unpredictably and stopping suddenly.
BICYCLING:
There are a few feeder rides – where groups will meet up and ride together to CicLAvia.  (updated 10.03.12)
CULVER CITY - Culver City Bicycle Coalition will be meeting at Media Park at 8:30am and leaving at 9:15am. For more information go to CCBike Website
GRANADA HILLS - A group will be meeting at the Fitness Unlimited Gym on Balboa and Devonshire (16836 Devonshire Street, Granada Hills,) at 7am and riding out 8:30am to meet up with CSUN Bike Collective at the Noho Redline Station. For more information go to Midnight Ridazz Page
MAR VISTA - Bikerowave will be meeting at their shop located at 12255 VeniceBoulevard, Mar Vista,  at 8am and riding at 8:45am. For more information go to FB Event Page
MONTEBELLO - Montebello Bicycle Coalition will be meeting at outside of The Daily Brew 137 N. Montebello Blvd at 9:15am and rolling out at 9:30am to the Atlantic Station to Soto Station. For more information go to FB Event Page
NORTHEAST LA (HIGHLAND PARK) - Flying Pigeon Los Angeles will be meeting at the Flying Pigeon store located at 3404 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065 at 9:30am and riding out a little before 10am. For more information go to FB Event Page or Flying Pigeon Website
NORTHEAST LA  (LINCOLN PARK) - Crankheads Cycling Crew will be meeting at Parque de Mexico(Mission/Main/Valley intersection) at 8am and riding at 8:30am. For more information go to FB Event Page
NORTHRIDGE/VAN NUYS/ NOHO - CSUN Bike Collective will be meeting at CSUN Bike Collective 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, California 91325 at 7:30am then meeting up at Van Nuys Orangle Line Station at 8:30am then to NOHO Metro Redline Station. For More Information go to FB Event Page
PASADENA - Arroyo Seco will be leaving at Hahamongna Watershed Park  at 8:30am and making their way down Pasadena for a Cyclocross Adventure. For more information and stops along the way go to http://bike.arroyoseco.org/index.htm
SANTA MONICA - Santa Monica Spoke  will be meeting at the Santa Monica Pier at 7:30am Riding at 8am. For more information go to FB Event Page
SOUTH L.A. - East Side Riders BC will be meeting at  W.L.C.A.C 10950 South Central Ave, Watts, California 90059 at 8:30am. For more information go to FB Event Page
WEST HOLLYWOOD -  I. Martin Bicycles will be leading a ride from the shop located at 8330 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA meeting at 8:30am. Linus Bikes and Clif Bar will have bikes for demo and goods to eat! For more info go to FB Event Page
WESTWOOD -   UCLA Bicycle Coalition.  Meet at Bruin Bear up at 8:45, roll out at 9. For more information check out the FB Event Page                             
To have your feeder ride added, email ciclaviavolunteer@gmail.com with info and relevant links.
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GO METRO:
Metro Rail provides convenient access to the heart of the action at CicLAvia.
Five Metro Rail Lines serve the event. Get more information on stations along a line, including street address and parking information, by clicking a line name below. Individualized trip planning assistance is also available at metro.net.  For information about Metro Bus detours on 10/7/2012, visithttp://www.metro.net/service/advisories/update/special/487/.
Exit at one of the following stations to get to CicLAvia:
Westlake/MacArthur Park Station
7th Street/Metro Center Station
Pershing Square Station
Civic Center Station
Union Station
Exit at one of the following stations to get to CicLAvia:
Chinatown Station
Union Station
Little Tokyo/Arts District Station
Soto Station
Mariachi Plaza Station
Exit at one of the following stations to get to CicLAvia:
Expo Park/USC Station
Jefferson/USC Station
23rd St Station
Pico Station
7th Street/Metro Center Station
Exit at one of the following stations to get to CicLAvia:
Grand Station
Pico Station
7th Street/Metro Center Station
Bikes are welcome on Metro Rail, but trains are especially crowded during CicLAvia. Please follow a few safety rule:
Do not board the first car of the train.
Walk your bike on the platform and in the station.
If a train is too crowded, wait for the next one.
Be courteous to other passengers when entering and exiting.
Avoid blocking doors and aisles.
Give priority to wheelchair passengers.
Bicyclists under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Fuel powered, 3-wheeled, tandem, recumbent, trailered or over 6-foot long bicycles and all mopeds are not allowed.
For more information on taking bikes on Metro trains and buses, please check Bike Metro’s webpage. Or this video.
Several Metro bus lines also serve areas near the CicLAvia route. However, be aware that each bus has only two bike racks and only folded bikes are allowed on board Metro buses. If you plan to take the bus to CicLAvia, please check service advisories; many routes will be on detour around the event.
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COMMUTER TRAINS – Metrolink and Amtrak:
The route is two short blocks from L.A. Union Station, terminus for many Amtrak and Metrolink trains. Metrolink has a convenient new $10 Weekend PassSee Metrolink schedules, maps, and more at their website. Check out Metrolink’s new special bike cars, which should be running on all lines for CicLAvia.
To walk or bike from Union Station to CicLAvia: go out the front (west side) of Union Station, cross Alameda Street, then CicLAvia is directly behind the Plaza (on Main Street)
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CAR:
More than other modes, if you go by car, we recommend arriving early. Major streets will be open and smaller streets and alleys will be blocked. Many route-adjacent blocks will be open only to local traffic. Carpooling is encouraged. Folks might also try driving to Metro Rail stations, then arriving by train (Metro station parking information here) See parking suggestions belowDownload a pdf of parking lots near the 10/7/12 CicLAvia route here. 
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PARKING:
Street parking or pay lots are generally available within a few blocks of the route. People arriving relatively early, should be able to find on-street parking almost anywhere along the route. L.A. City metered parking is generally free on Sundays. Due to street closures, we recommend not searching for parking too near the route, but parking ~4-6 blocks away and walking or bicycling the rest of the way. If you park, please use common sense security measures against theft: lock your car and don’t leave valuables out in the open.
Are there bathrooms along the route?
Yes. There will be portable toilets, including ADA accessible ones, at five of the six hubs along the route (see 10/7/12 Route Map for details). The Soto Station will not have portable restrooms.
Where can I find water along the route?
There will be hydration stations at the six hubs along the October 7th route (see 10/7/12 Route Map for details).
The water stations will be set up as taps (water fountains connected to LADWP fire hydrants), so in the spirit of conservation, CicLAvia asks participants to bring their own water bottle. There will also be CicLAvia water bottles for sale at all rest stops, courtesy of REI.

Are skateboarders allowed on the route?

Yes.  Along with skates, rollerblades, etc…Basically anything without a motor.

Is CicLAvia stroller friendly?

Yes.  CicLAvia is for everyone – especially children and their families.  There will be ample space for strollers along the route.

Is the route handicap accessible?

Yes.  With no starting point, individuals requiring handicap-accessible areas can enter wherever.  There are minimal inclines along the route’s 10 miles, and any portion deemed steep will have proper signage.
For more information on how disabled participants can enjoy CicLAvia, please visit: Some Tips for Wheelchair CicLAvia Participants.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month -Reduce Your Risk Tip #2


2. Minimize or avoid alcohol. Alcohol use is the most well established dietary risk factor for breast cancer. The Harvard Nurses’ Health study, along with several others, has shown consuming more than one alcoholic beverage a day can increase breast cancer risk by as much as 20-25 percent.

Why Drinking Alcohol Is Linked to Breast Cancer

Woah, this little fact came as something of a surprise to me, and a most unwelcome one at that. Did you know about the link between breast cancer and alcohol consumption?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month-Reduce Your Risk Tip#1



1. Maintain a healthy body weight (BMI less than 25) throughout your life. Weight gain in midlife, independent of BMI, has been shown to significantly increase breast cancer risk. Additionally, an elevated BMI has been conclusively shown to increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer.
Are you doing anything for breast cancer awareness month?