Health Campaigns Collide

Two noteworthy health campaigns, National Nutrition Month and National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, share the month of March. I am committed to blogging about National Nutrition Month throughout March, but I don’t want to miss the opportunity to discuss colon cancer awareness. Today I will attempt to tackle both topics in one post.

In the community where I live, the wrath of colon cancer  has hit home hard. Here in Wilmington,  just last year, two beloved residents and mothers lost their battle to  this devastating disease at the young age of 41.  Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing either of these women, I have recently come to know some of their loved ones. This personal connection, as well as the fact I am a local health care provider,  has heightened my sense of responsibility to do my part.

In today’s post I plan to:

Share nutritional advice on colon cancer prevention so you can do your part by taking good care of yourself and modeling good eating habits to your children.

• Share photos from  the First Annual Blue Ribbon Run  held at the loop of Wrightsville Beach, NC. Both the 5 K and fun run events were  organized  within our community  to raise awareness and support for finding a cure for colon cancer.

Before I get started, let me alert you to the fact that your genetic make up is a large factor in predicting cancer risk. This is especially true for colon cancer; the risk is higher for individuals who have relatives with colon rectal cancer or polyps.

That being said,  the risk is also higher  in  those who use  tobacco, are overweight and have more belly fat, live sedentary lifestyles  and consume a poor diet. These are the risk factors that we can and should control.  Interestingly enough, the American Cancer Society estimates 35% of all cancers have a nutrition connection. So what constitutes a healthy diet in terms of colon cancer prevention?

No real surprises here!  The American Cancer Society points to the same good wholesome foods encouraged for “Shaping you Plate” and suggested by the US Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate recommendations :

• Limit red meat and processed meats. Good protein sources include  poultry,  fish, nuts, beans, eggs  and soy products.

• Eat more fruits and vegetables.

• Watch portion sizes  and avoid empty calories (sweetened beverages, desserts, snack foods)  to avoid obesity and weight gain around the midsection.

• Limit alcohol.

• Include nonfat or lowfat dairy sources such as skim milk , nonfat yogurt and low fat cheese.

• Increase fiber intake, especially from  whole grains such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa.

In addition to what you eat, cancer prevention calls for balancing your intake with your physical activity to  maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, it’s time to increase the amount and intensity of physical activity you get. Here are some pictures from the First Annual Blue Ribbon Run my daughter was kind enough to take.








I love events like this because they not only raise support and awareness for good causes, they encourage individuals and families to adopt healthy behaviors.

What steps will you take so nutrition and physical fitness collide?



Diane Boyd, M.B.A., R.D., L.D.N.


Let’s Get Physical

Somethings in life just seem to go together. Take for instance bread and butter, cake and ice cream, soup and salad, and dinner and a movie. The same holds true for exercise and nutrition; they go hand-in-hand.  With the use of this year’s National Nutrition Month logo, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, does a great job reminding us that “Getting Your Plate In Shape” also means balancing food with physical activity.

Today I want to use this post to introduce you to a new feature I am planning  on my blog: Physical Fitness Tips and Exercise Suggestions. While most of my posts are about food and nutrition, starting next month, I want to occasionally mix it up. My friend and co-worker, Austin Howlett , has agreed to help me with the physical side of things. Austin holds a degree in exercise science from UCNW, he is a certified strength and conditioning coach, and he is the director of Cape Fear Sports Enhancement. Austin  personalizes individual and group sports conditioning programs and  tailors them  to age, gender, body type, sport and competition level. His goal is the overall health of the athlete and improved performance.

Anyone who has trained with Austin will attest to his knowledge,  professionalism, and dedication to making you the best athlete go can be. Oh, did I mention he is also a really nice guy?

My first post on exercise/physical fitness will be on core strength and  will  debut the week of April 23. I planned this so I could enjoy the Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness (SCAN) conference in Baltimore, on April 20-22. This way I won’t have to burn the midnight oil to post by Monday!  Registered Dietitians are never finished learning; we must earn 75 continuing education credits every 5 years. When I return I will be sure to share with you what’s current in the field of sports nutrition!

I hope you are as excited as I am about my new feature.  What exercises or insights would help you achieve your goals?  As always, I love to hear from you and promise to reply!

Diane Boyd, M.B.A., R.D., L.D.N.

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