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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day - 100th Anniversary

Women's Health: A Year in Review

International Women's Day was first proposed by socialist leader Clara Zetkin at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen on March 19, 1910.

The following year, the first International Women's Day event was held. More than one million women and men across Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland attended rallies calling for the equality of women in society and government.

Now International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th.  It is commemorated by the United Nations and designated in many countries as a national holiday.  And it’s an annual opportunity for women and men from all over the globe to come together, address important issues, and recognize and celebrate the achievements of women.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, and in honor of women everywhere, I'm taking a look back over the past year at issues important to us, from infertility and osteoporosis to cell phones and chocolate.

I've also listed some of my favorite recipes from my other blog, The Naturopathic Gourmet.

And if you haven't already, find me on Facebook.

Happy International Women's Day!
Dr. Sarah Cimperman, ND
Pathfinder International is a non-profit organization working to increase access to reproductive health care through the creation of sustainable community-based programs.
A recent survey by Glamour magazine found that 97 percent of women had at least one negative thought about their body every day. It happened, on average, 13 times per day, but in some instances up to 100 times per day. Thin may be in, but is it healthy? A review of the research reveals why overweight women should focus on fitness, forget about fatness, and learn to love their bodies.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment can mimic or block natural hormones made by the body. They have been linked to irreversible reproductive and developmental problems like early puberty, infertility and cancer.
Studies show that before babies are even born, their bodies are contaminated with up to 358 different chemicals. Many have been linked to cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, weakened immune systems, imbalances in thyroid and sex hormones, and even cancer.
Twelve ways to protect yourself and your family from household toxins.
For pregnant women, excessive cell phone radiation can be especially dangerous. In utero exposure has been associated with elevated fetal heart rates and, in children, hyperactivity, behavioral and emotional difficulties, and problems with memory and learning.
An article published earlier this year in the British Medical Journal concluded that taking calcium supplements was associated with an increased risk of having a heart attack. This meta-analysis was flawed in several ways, yet it raised an important issue. Too many people, especially women, take too much calcium.
You don't need a gym to strengthen bones and muscles. Here are some simple resistance exercises you can do at home or at the park because they don’t require weights or equipment. Together, they will target all major areas of your body: arms, legs, chest, abdomen and back.
Drinking tea has been associated with the preservation of bone mineral density in older women.
I attended the premiere of two new independent documentaries, My Toxic Baby and Latching On: The Politics of Breastfeeding in America, presented by Women Make Movies and New York Women In Film and Television. These are must-see films for pregnant women, expecting parents, and caregivers of infants alike.

One topic I found especially fascinating was Elimination Communication, a method of diaper-free infant toilet training practiced throughout the world. It saves money, reduces environmental pollution, helps develop good communication between infants and caregivers, eliminates skin irritation and diaper rash, and reduces exposure to chemicals found in single-use diapers.
This non-profit organization promotes good maternity care. Through education, advocacy and outreach they give women the information they need to make informed decisions about where and how to give birth.
Wearing high heels has long been associated with foot pain and problems like ingrown toe nails, corns, calluses, bunions, neuromas, hammertoes and other deformities. A recent study shows that women who wear high heels are also at risk for structural and functional changes in muscles and tendons of the lower leg. For healthy feet, ankles and legs, follow these rules when selecting shoes.
I was featured as one of five "notable" healers in the September 2010 issue of Whole Living magazine.
Not all chocolate is good for you and the ingredients make all the difference. The best bars have a high cocoa content, because it’s the cocoa powder that contains healthy compounds shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and cancer.

Dreamy Dark Chocolate Mi-Cuits

These delicious little chocolate cakes are called "mi-cuits" in France (pronounced “mee-kwee”), which translates to "midway cooked." Because their centers are soft and gooey, they may appear only partially baked, but believe me, they are cooked to perfection.

Fruit and Nut Bars

These home-made granola bars are easy to make, healthier than processed bars, and packed full of raw nuts, dried fruit and whole grain oats. They freeze well so make a big batch and keep them on hand for quick breakfasts when you're short on time or healthy, portable snacks. Take them to school or work, the beach or hiking trail, or wherever your day may take you. 

Central Park Salad

I live in the middle of Manhattan, but I can still forage for food. I gathered all of these ingredients within a mile of my apartment except the sea salt, olive oil, and white wine vinegar (which I bought from the source on a trip to Napa). If I can do it in New York City, almost anyone can.

Easy Baked Eggs

This dish makes a quick, nutritious breakfast on busy mornings, but it can also be served as a satisfying brunch, lunch or dinner.

Wild Salmon with Ginger Orange Sauce 

I always keep wild salmon in my freezer for fast dinners when I'm short on time. After you thaw it overnight in the fridge, it cooks quite quickly. You have just enough time to make the sauce and toss a salad before it's ready to eat.

Cherry Salsa with Grilled Pacific Halibut

Spicy and sweet, this unusual twist on salsa is a flavorful accompaniment to grilled fish and seafood. I served it with halibut, but this fresh fruit salsa also pairs well with poultry or pork, and vegetarians will enjoy it over grilled tofu triangles drizzled with tamari.

Blood Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

Citrus peels contain flavonoids like nobiletin and tangeritin that have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects in the body. Studies show that these flavonoids can induce the death of cancer cells (apoptosis) and reduce the chance that tumors will spread to other parts of the body.

Cranberry Beans with Rosemary and Garlic 

Beans are a healthy vegetarian protein and full of fiber. They can help balance blood sugar, regulate the digestive tract, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Dinosaur Kale Chips

You never thought you could eat an entire bunch of kale in one sitting. Until now.

Mizuna with Tomatoes and Garlic

Mizuna is a green leafy vegetable native to Japan and a member of the Brassicaceae family, well known for its antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits. Sometimes referred to as Spider Mustard, it has long and feathery leaves, tender and juicy stems, and a peppery flavor that is reminiscent of mustard greens.

Blueberry Yogurt Clafouti

This delicious dessert is a healthy alternative to blueberry pies that commonly contain large amounts of refined carbohydrates. It is mostly fruit, yogurt, milk and eggs, and it calls for only small amounts of whole wheat flour and honey.

Apple Pecan Tart with Chestnut Pastry and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

This dessert contains whole fruit, nuts and whole grains, with just a touch of maple syrup. It's a healthy alternative to traditional pecan and apple pies laden with white flour, sugar and sometimes even corn syrup.

Chocolate Almond Tarte

This dessert is light, delicious and gluten-free. It is also healthy, full of antioxidants from the cocoa powder and essential fatty acids from the almonds. High in protein and only slightly sweetened with a touch of honey, it is a great way to end a special meal.

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