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Running for Hope – Eagles 5K

eaglesThe Eagles Soccer Club is hosting their first annual 5K race with a 1K family and kid fun run on Saturday, February 8 at Pleasant Valley Park, 152 Westpark Road, Camarillo. All participants will receive a complimentary goodie bag, t-shirt, and finisher’s medal.  First, second, and third place finishers in each age group, as well as the overall winner will receive gift cards.

The timed 5K begins at 9:00 a.m., with a 1K/family fun run at 10:00 a.m. and an award ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Package pick-up takes place Friday, February 7, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Roadrunner Sports, 1714 Newbury Road, Newbury Park, where runners will receive a 10% discount (20% for VIP members). Registration fees for the 5K are $45.00 for adults and $25.00 for children. For details and registration click here.

“We expect a great day with friends and families of the Eagles and the local community,” said Eagles Soccer Club parent Jill Fairweather. “We wanted to help raise money for the Cancer Support Community for all who have been affected by the disease.”



Seven Tips for Winter Wellness

Determined to stay well this winter? Nutrition expert and CSCVVSB educator Susan J. Speer, MS, RD, CSO, FADA offers seven simple tips to help fight winter bugs, lift your mood and rev up your energy.

  • Breathe. Take a minute or two several times a day to breathe deeply and slowly. While you are breathing, actively relax your body. Clear your mind and settle in the present moment. Deep breathing triggers your body’s natural relaxation response, building resistance to stress and strengthening your whole system.
  • Move. Exercise is a proven immune booster, just don’t exercise to exhaustion. And if you can be active outdoors, it will literally broaden your horizons and lift your spirits. Don’t like to exercise? Play instead. Get a hula hoop, join a dance class, take up badminton, play Frisbee with your dog. If the weather is inclement, consider the virtual outdoors in a game of golf or tennis on Xbox Kinect or Nintendo Wii. Have some fun. As Newton said: “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.”
  • Laugh. A 2010 literature review on laughter found that laughing upregulates over 20 genes that can increase production of infection-fighting antibodies. Laughing at a funny video has been shown to increase immune activity for up to 4 hours. Plus, it feels so good. Happiness is contagious. Spend time with people who are positive, be silly—just the act of laughing works, so fake it ‘til you make it.
  • Go Halvesies. Make half of every meal and snack fresh produce. Colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with healthy phytochemicals that can detoxify, strengthen, and calm your system. Filling half your plate with plants will help push unhealthy foods up into the corners (and eventually off your plate). Too much sugar, fat, caffeine, and alcohol are surefire immune busters.
  • Stay Hydrated. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you don’t need fluid. Heated indoor air is drier and you use more moisture to warm and humidify cold outdoor air in the winter. All liquids count, but plain water is always best. Stay toasty and hydrated with healthy herbal teas: try ginger turmeric tea for the anti-inflammatory effect; settle an upset stomach with tummy mint tea or soothe your nerves with sleepytime tea.
  • Don’t Scrimp on Sleep. Although some people claim they feel rested on just a few hours of sleep a day, research shows that most adults need 7-8 hours a night for optimal well-being. Limit your screen time and develop a relaxing evening ritual that eases you into restful sleep.
  • Count Your Blessings. Distress releases hormones that eventually weaken your immune system. Best antidote to distress: gratitude. Take a few moments every day to recall what is right and good in your life: the people and events that you are grateful for or that you appreciate.  Count your own attributes and accomplishments. If your list is short, start paying attention. You might find a moment of joy in noticing the warm sunshine on your face. Boost your happiness quotient by expressing your gratitude.

Here’s to a happy, healthy new year!

Photo Courtesy of Mark Brandes Studio

Photo Courtesy of Mark Brandes Studio

Susan Speer is a certified oncology nutrition specialist and director of nutrition services at the Cancer Center of Ventura County at St. John’s Hospitals. She has been developing and teaching programs in health promotion and disease management for more than 30 years and is the 2012 recipient of the Cancer Support Community VVSB’s Award of Excellence.  

Participant Profile: Amelia Tena

ameliatenaAmelia Tena is a nine-year, two-time breast cancer survivor who enjoys life to the fullest and believes in the power of being her own biggest advocate. First diagnosed in 2004, Amelia underwent a lumpectomy, four chemotherapy treatments and 39 radiation treatments. A recurrence in 2006 led to the difficult decision to have a mastectomy.

For the past eight years Amelia has been a source of encouragement and inspiration for her fellow support group members at the Winnetka location of the Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara. “It has helped me in a lot of ways, meeting people, educating myself, having the support of other patients,” says Amelia.

Jacqueline Nederlk, MSW, LCSWI coordinates the CSCVVSB Latino Outreach Program that provides Amelia’s support group. “Amelia motivates the participants and provides hope through sharing her own experience with breast cancer and volunteering for CSCVVSB,” says Jacqueline.  “Amelia calls participants to remind them of groups and events. She is very persistent and encouraging.”

A healthy lifestyle is a big priority for Amelia, who does tai chi and yoga offered by the CSCVVSB Latino Outreach Program. “It’s one of my favorite things to do to help me focus on my mind, body and soul,” she says.

Amelia’s cancer experience showed her how important it is to advocate for yourself and stay informed of all your options – a message she shares with other cancer patients as a volunteer with the Aliada program at the Cancer Support Community. As an Aliada, Amelia helps Spanish-speaking cancer patients navigate the health care system and stay informed throughout their cancer journey. “The more knowledge you have, the better control you have as a patient with your health and your emotions,” says Amelia.

Volunteering and working as a Health Promoter for a local environmental organization keep Amelia busy, but she still finds time to do the things she loves: spending time with her husband’s granddaughters, staying in touch with her sisters in Peru, walking outside, and reading.

“I am an extremely positive person, enjoying every moment of my life,” says Amelia, who has not let cancer steal her enthusiasm. “Life goes on and it’s beautiful to wake up every morning and see your family around you. I am so grateful to God for being the light of my life.”