Today´s Post is not Random neither the S for the day...
Because today, 8th of March it´s International Women´s Day...and since the day I started this blog I knew I would like to send you all a special message!
It´s also not a message just for women…or men…it´s a message for every one, for all of us…all of us in the lives of so many women!
For decades this day celebrates the many accomplishments women from around the world, made and keep making on a daily basis…the fight for equal rights, for education, for leadership, to be heard…to be equally considered in their professional careers…. and the story goes more or less like this:
High education, career start, career progression, family and kids, fight for work flexibility, fight to carry on with the career progression, family carer, keep the house and family sane and all the rest that comes with it….perfect moms, perfect wives, perfect professionals, fit and in shape and if all this is done on high heels, nicely dressed, with lipstick on and with your legs waxed…you have nailed it!
Today, there will be free museum entries for all women, flowers will be given on the tube stations and shops are painted with pink colours everywhere….
But today´s post it´s about something else!
One month ago I wrote to my good friend Kelly G. and told her that I would like to write a post for the day today, but with a slight different message.
Kelly is this beautiful woman and human being that has dedicated most of her life taking care of women, women becoming mothers and women with breast cancer as a nurse and a researcher and I knew she would be the perfect person to share this post with. She is also a March woman who cooks and bakes amazingly well and loves cook books!
In the last weeks we shared pictures and information and many many thoughts …
Today I want to tell you about all these women, who I studied, witnessed or met during my professional career working in Clinical Research and Breast Cancer. Women that like any other very likely fought for all the above, that nailed it at being perfect or did it all to achieve perfection, that worried day after day about nurturing their families and others but not themselves...-being diagnosed with cancer, however, changed that- their fight was now different!
Today´s post it´s also about the other women and men that were there with them in the waiting rooms, quietly seated!
There were husbands and daughters, sons and sons in law, friends, neighbours, boyfriends, girlfriends…and sometimes when I passed by I could not avoid thinking…what happened? and when did it start for them?… And there were moms pretending that everything was fine to protect their children…because that´s what moms do isn’t it?
I saw women being diagnosed at a very early age with quite aggressive types of breast cancer, cases of women that fought throughout their cancer so they could become a mom and others that kept going no matter what and kept looking after their families, and jobs…
Breast Cancer is the top cancer in women both in developed and developing world. Most women when faced with a diagnosis come to realise how tough they have been on themselves throughout their lives and with time they start to be gentler and care more for themselves and therefore others too.
Women that give other women permission to do just that…to be kinder, to simply be, instead of trying to do it all…
“I was always trying to be healthy and do the right thing, but I did it as another thing that had to be done on my list. Being diagnosed with cancer changed that, now I take the time to really nurture myself from a place of gentleness, not as something I have to do but something that makes me slow down and appreciate how precious life is.”
Science has been evolving in a smart way, patients are better treated and more and more things move towards personalised medicine where one can be treated according not only with their cancer but with their own genetic information with the aim to respond better to treatment!
On all these years of meetings and conferences and papers read, the word was and still is ´Prevention´ and ´Early Diagnosis´of course, and lifestyle habits…good diet, no smoking, a balanced amount of exercise…and we know that genetics plays a major role as well and Breast Cancer is a good example of that…but women should also be reminded to to Slow down and be gentle with themselves.
Interesting enough that all the times I thought about this and passed by these women, and by the women in my life, women of my life fighting for their lives…I still carried on running from one place to the other, stressing and worrying too much about almost everything…I am lucky enough to have two Canadian K´s in my life that from time to time drop me a message and remind me to slow down….
The world is fast and demanding…doing more, knowing more, travelling more is addictive and it´s hard to stop and relax but we should all be reminded from time to time to find a place of quietness, happiness and contentment…
In an era of Superheros my S today goes for them…all women around the world that every day fight for more and better and for the ones that fight for their lives! And for all the other Superheros without capes, the ones in these women lives, who support them, who nurture them… and may they always remember that is OK not to have it all right, it´s okay to Slow down and make space for Self-care.
And as for our kids…that we are able to raise strong and passionate women and boys who grow into men able to understand them, to care and to be kind….
And go ahead…enjoy your free entrance to a museum or the free flower on the tube…and let them be a reminder of this message…
A Healthy and Nourishing Recipe
Roasted Beetroot and Goat´s Cheese Salad
Just before I left London, Kelly G. offered me this book, “The Living Well with Cancer Cookbook”, which is not a book only for patients but for everyone that has an interest in knowing how diet and different foods play a major role on our health and well being. It´s amazingly well writing in a light and very positive tone; written by an experienced nutritionist and a well known food writer (Catherine Zabilowicz and Fran Warde) who together with Maggie´s charity centre developed this essential guide for patients and their families and friends.
I love all the recipes, they are easy to follow and all ingredients are of easy access. Each recipe has an introduction paragraph explaining the goods of each ingredient and how it will help and why! You can find the book on amazon and the best part is that all royalties go to support Maggie´s!
I choose a Beetroot Salad because this spring mood is inspiring to more and more salads and the combination of roasted veggies, balsamic vinegar and goats´cheese looked super appealing! Indeed all ingredients come together with a blast of flavours in your mouth…and so easy to make!
Recipe Introduction Paragraph
“Beetroot has a delicious earthy taste and roasting seems to enhance it, the combination of beetroot and goat´s cheese makes a really appetising and nutritious salad, and the balsamic vinegar adds a lovely sticky twist. The better quality your vinegar, the finer the result. Walnuts are high in fat and a great source of omega-3 which may help with weight loss (during the disease). They also contain melatonin, which can aid sleep. Rocket has a slightly bitter taste and is a great digestive aid; it is also high in vitamins especially vitamin K, which is good for bone health.”
The roasted caramelised flavours together with the reduced cooking juices and the balsamic vinegar are an amazing combination with the goat´s cheese!
The recipe uses shallots, but I used red onions instead and loved the result. Also it mentions addition of some oregano which I didn’t add.
- 400 g of beetroot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 75 g rocket
- 50 g goat´s cheese
- 25 g walnuts chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Wash and scrub the beetroot and cut into edges (no need to peel).
- Place the pieces in a roasting tin, add the olive oil and seasoning and toss to coat them evenly before placing in the oven.
- Roast the beetroot for 25 minutes, then add the prepared onion cut into wedges as well, to the tin, tossing them with the cooking juices. Cook for further 25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and slightly caramelised.
- Pour over the the balsamic vinegar and toss again before returning to the oven for further 8 minutes.
- Place the rocket on a serving dish or plate, top with the roasted vegetables and spoon out any cooking juices. Crumble the goat cheese over and scatter with the walnuts.
Happy Women´s Day
Love…be gentle with you and others
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