Exercising Regularly Can Decrease the Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

Weight gain is common for those undergoing breast cancer treatment, but putting on pounds can be extremely dangerous for patients with breast cancer. According to a review published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, exercise and avoiding weight gain is the strongest method to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Researchers found that women who gained more than 10 percent of their body weight during or after breast cancer treatments were more likely to be at risk for breast cancer-related death. Possible reasons for the increased risk include the rise of circulating insulin-like growth factor, sex hormones and proinflammatory ctyokines caused by obesity.

The review included 67 published articles studying the impact of different lifestyle choices such as diet, weight and smoking habits on breast cancer survival. While no specific diet has been proven to improve breast cancer survival, the review authors recommend at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, including 75 minutes of vigorous exercise and around two sessions of strength training to build up muscle.

Healthy lifestyle choices can also lead to mental benefits as well. Authors Julia Hamer and Ellen Warner wrote that “making positive lifestyle changes can also be psychologically beneficial to patients by empowering them, since the feeling of loss of control is one of the biggest challenges of a cancer diagnosis.”

Hamer and Warner emphasized that these recommendations are not guaranteed to stop breast cancer recurrence, but regardless if exercise changes the prognosis, patients can benefit from improving their overall health.

Being Nice At Work May Be Killing Your Career

Sugar, spice and everything nice might be society’s traditional recipe for acceptable women, but it’s not a great way to pay the rent. According to a new study out of Israel’s Tel Aviv University, being nice puts women at a disadvantage in the workplace.

“We found that women were consistently and objectively status-detracted, which means they invest more of themselves in their jobs than they receive, and are compensated less than their male colleagues across the board,” explained Michal Biron, a professor at Israel’s Haifa University who worked on the study.

That, unfortunately, is nothing new — as the funny video below proves. But the researchers also found that women who broke out of traditional gender expectations and acted more dominant and demanding, rather than nice and agreeable, managed to up their salaries. Nice women, on the other hand, got fewer promotions and lower salaries than everybody else.

[youtube id=”bm3YfMtgEdI” width=”600″ height=”350″]

The real world truth hurts

To discover this latest piece of the elusive gender income gap puzzle, researchers from Israel and The Netherlands randomly selected 375 employees from a Dutch electronics company and compared tenure, education and performance data to promotion statistics and income. They also compared education, performance and experience to income and rank.

“… dominant women were not punished for reflecting such female-incongruent traits as extroversion and assertiveness,” explained Renee de Reuver, a researcher from Tilburg University who worked on the study. “In fact, we found that the more dominant a woman is at work, the less likely she is to be status-detracted. We found a similar pattern among men – the more dominant a man is, the more likely he is to be better compensated.”

Unfortunately, the news goes south pretty quickly. Leaning in can only get you so far.

“But alarmingly, dominant women were still found to earn less than even the most agreeable men who aren’t promoted,” de Reuver continued.

Apparently, dominant women get paid more than agreeable women, and dominant men receive more than agreeable men. But men across the board receive more than women across the board. Even the most submissive men get higher salaries than dominant women.

Culture change (is hard)

It’s easy to say that women should just be more dominant, but that’s tough in a culture that trains women to be submissive from childhood.

“We have witnessed dramatic changes in the definition of traditionally male and female qualities over the past several decades. But some people still really cling to the idea that some qualities are exclusively male and exclusively female,” explained Sharon Toker, a professor at Israel’s Tel Aviv University who worked on the study. “Some professional women are still afraid to exhibit a trait that’s incongruent with presumed notions of female character. The result is financial retribution.”

It might be easier to just stop training people to reward masculine characteristics in the workplace. Besides, women generally don’t have any idea this is going on.

“We found that women aren’t aware that more agreeable women are being punished for being nice,” said Biron. “The nice women we polled in our study even believed they were earning more than they deserved.”

As a society, we need to quit punishing women for being women. But in the short term, if you’re a women, try being more of a jerk. It could just pay off.

Whiskey Wednesday: Not Just a Man’s Drink Anymore… Women Embrace The Whiskey Revival

Think whiskey is just a man’s drink? Think again.

Women make up about 37 percent of the whiskey drinkers in the U.S., according to Fred Minnick, who wrote a book on the subject entitled “Whiskey Women.”

I am one of these whiskey loving women. My gateway to whiskey was Southern Comfort. I moved on to Jack Daniels then Jameson. I craved more, and in search for different and unique tasting whiskey.

I have a ways to go before I feel comfortable calling myself a “whiskey connoisseur,” but these classes have become a fun hand-on-way to cultivate my whiskey palate. Thanks to Paul Ayo for helping shape me into a whiskey lover and getting me past Southern Comfort. Two of my four favorite whiskeys are a direct result of his tastings. I’ll now share with you my four favorite whiskeys.

Templeton Rye

Rumored to be Al Capone’s recipe during prohibition, this is my favorite whiskey. I fully admit that the history of the rye adds to the allure. It’s smooth going down with a bit of spice. The smoky smell while slowly sipping on a glass really does it for me.

Sazerac Rye

This rye is made by Buffalo Trace and marketed to be used in Sazerac cocktails. It doesn’t quite have the smokiness of Templeton Rye, but has a slightly sweeter taste. This whiskey is a good choice for cocktails but is just as great served up on its own.

High West Whiskey Campfire

I describe this whiskey as drinking bacon in a glass. It’s super smoky, thus the campfire name. This whiskey also happens to be the world’s only blend of scotch, bourbon and rye whiskeys. The creators fell in love with a dessert of honeydew melon drizzled with a peated syrup, which gave them the idea to blend the whiskeys.

Jameson Whiskey

This is the whiskey of choice for many restaurant kitchens across Acadiana. If you are going to do a shot of whiskey, this is the one for you. Next time you are at a bar order Jameson with ginger beer and a splash of lime, you can thank me later.

Two Women Make History by Becoming First Female Soliders to Graduate from the Army’s Ranger School

The Ranger School, established in 1952, is a grueling (and often sleepless) two-month course meant to determine those soldiers possessing the key abilities needed to become a part of the Army’s combat leadership elite. The Pentagon describes Ranger School as a premier course “teaching Ranger students how to overcome fatigue, hunger, and stress to lead soldiers during small unit combat operations.” Following an announcement earlier this year that the course would be made available to potential female Rangers on a trial basis, two women will make history on Friday as the program’s first female graduates.

“This course has proven that every soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential,” Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh proclaimed in a statement announcing the historic graduation. However, the future for the two female graduates is currently uncertain. While their fellow male graduates are allowed to apply to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, the two unidentified female graduates currently have no such opportunity, further proof that progress in true equality still has much further to go in the (hopefully very near) future.

In fact, by 2016, the Pentagon has ordered that women must be able to participate in all combat units. “There is an understanding that doing this right takes a period time,” Juliet Beyler, director of enlisted personnel management, said following the Pentagon’s initial announcement in 2013.

SCIENCE PROVES FOOD IS ALSO THE WAY TO A WOMAN’S HEART

It’s long been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And in a win for food-loving women everywhere who’ve long proclaimed the same, scientists at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine have finally proven that women respond more to romantic cues on fuller stomachs, too.

Scientists tested the theory by viewing brain activity in response to romantic stimulation in women who had fasted, and in women with full stomachs. In the most unsurprising news to anyone who’s tasted the powerful aphrodisiac also known as pizza, they concluded that women demonstrated greater brain activation in reward-related neural regions after eating, meaning they are more open to, um….other rewarding activities shortly after a satisfying meal.

“This data suggests that eating may prime or sensitize young women to rewards beyond food… it also supports a shared neurocircuitry for food and sex,” reported the research’s first author Alice Ely, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine. Looks like George Costanza had the right idea, all along.

Wine, dine, and be happy.