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Archive for the ‘women’s health’ Category

Flourish serves up inspiration in many forms but this UTube video is the ultimate.  If this amazing woman doesn’t get you up

salsa grandma

salsa grandma

and moving…well maybe your butt has been secretly glued to the couch.  It is never too late…you are not too old.  Most of us may not be able to dance as elegantly and beautifully as this amazing woman, but I believe that we all have a little music within us.  So, give it a try when no one else is looking.  Turn up the music and shake it – just a little.   How good does that feel?   Our bodies were meant to move.

Put your dancing shoes on and get going!  It’s Salsa time.

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Don’t you just love those two words!  Makes you giggle just to say them.  Our upcoming Flourish event is all about being “tickled pink”, “in the pink” and all things pink & girlie – pampering, playing, indulging, shopping, eating, drinking, girlfriends, chatting, and laughing.  We’ve got it all put together into one fabulously fun afternoon in Portland’s South Waterfront at the beautiful Rilassi Coffee House.    Tickled Pink is for women of all ages who are ready to carve out a little bit of me time and get their PINK on.   Hope you can join us!

Here’s an invitation with more details or go to the Flourish website and sign up.

tickled pink flyer cc

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deandra-retouched-whimsyDeandra is a role model for flourishing women!   She’s an amazing creative spirit with a courageous heart and a wicked sense of humor who celebrates life and lives it fully each and every day.  We asked her to share just a few of the more interesting moments of her life so far and here’s what she told us…

I’ve sold lingerie, worked a suicide hotline, was a barmaid at a Renaissance festival, read tarot cards and performed as a belly dancer. I have also been a wife, mother, feminist, artist, minister, writer, ritualist, teacher—the list just keeps growing! I follow my passions and have become a collector of experiences. I’ve never been content to let life come to me…maybe because I’m impatient, or maybe because I’m a bit of a control freak.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer helped bring this pattern into sharp relief. Prior to the diagnosis I thought I was searching for something in particular…and after the diagnosis, I realized that I was just searching. I like the act of exploring…I like my passions and they don’t have to “be productive” or have a point. I can just enjoy them.

Giving myself the freedom to play and to follow my interests has led me to reimagine both my life and my work. My current list of things that tickle my fancy include being a part of Pink Phoenix dragon boat team, organizing the super cool annual Clan Mothers Retreat on Halloween weekend, becoming a filmmaker, anything to do with PhotoShop, and the color pink. You might think I would be tired of pink considering it’s association with breast cancer, but in fact, I actually like pink more since my diagnosis. I’m working on a photography project about the color pink…can’t wait to see what I come up with! Check out my blog to see some of the projects I’ve been working on…http://dillydally.demicaro.com.

My new business, Butterfly Underground, is still underground so to speak. In a few months you will be able to see it take flight. Stay tuned!

Who is my hero? I have to admit that I adore Nancy Drew and Wonder Woman! If I could be an Amazon Princess (with cool go-go boots) and a popular detective, I would be ecstatic!

What is my favorite quote? I love quotes and picking just one is practically impossible. The one that makes me laugh is “The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was ‘involved’ but the pig was ‘committed’.”

What keeps you flourishing? Taking time in between projects to rest and renew. I tend to keep busy, so I greatly enjoy curling up with a book and a cup of tea and just relaxing.

If I were a pair of shoes… I would be a pair of Candies (fabulous heels that I wore in high school). They were made of wood candies-shoes and leather, substantial and yet sexy. And they made the greatest tapping noise when walking!

I can’t wait to… I can’t wait to launch the Betty Society, a not-so secret, secret society that I created 6 years ago and now want to take public (sort of!) It makes me giggle, and that’s enough for me.

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Fastest Jam Ever.  And the tastiest!


We found this easy and delicious recipe at Prevention.com.  We think it’s the perfect way to fastest_jamsavor the juicy goodness of Oregon berries all year long.  Just stir and freeze – so it retains all the flavor of the fresh berries.  Plus it has fewer calories, with one-quarter of the sugar used in regular jam.  Next time you’re at the Farmer’s Market, pick up a few extra berries and give it a try.  It’s summerlicious!
Very Berry Jam

Total Time: 20 Minutes + Standing
Yield: 4 Half-Pints

1. Whisk together 1 1/2 c sugar and 1 package (1.59 oz) “no-cook freezer jam fruit pectin” (like Ball) in a bowl. Be sure to buy the right type!
2. Mash 1 c raspberries, 1 c blackberries, and 2 c strawberries (hulled and quartered) in another bowl until fruit is a chunky puree.
3. Pour sugar and pectin into the bowl with the fruit and stir until very well combined. This will take 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Ladle jam into four 8 oz freezer jam jars (either glass or plastic), let stand until set, about 30 minutes, and freeze.

Voila!   Spread and Enjoy.

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The Pink Phoenix Story …

2007_team

You may have seen the Pink Phoenix Dragon Boat Team during the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races.  In fact, you probably couldn’t help but notice them – they’re the team wearing pink life jackets.  You see, this team is made up entirely of breast cancer survivors.

Their name, Pink Phoenix, is taken from the pink ribbons worn by breast cancer survivors and from the mythical bird that consumes itself in fire and rises from its own ashes-a triumphant symbol of rebirth and renewal of human spirit, not unlike the renewed commitment to life after surviving cancer or any life threatening disease.

Interestingly, the team was not founded by a breast cancer survivor, but by an avid dragon boat paddler, Dorothy Atwood, who was inspired by a team of blind paddlers.  Founded in November 1996, with help from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the first team had 25 members.

None of the women had ever paddled before. They ranged in age from 29 to mid 60s and they were in different stages of physical fitness.  This didn’t stop Dorothy. Her desire to share the sport she loved so much had her out several times a week from February through the end of summer teaching and training this new team.

The team has grown from those first 25 members to more than 80! Pink Phoenix has raced in Rose Festival every year since. In fact, the team has raced in venues around the world.

Watch this video of the Pinks in action!   Our own Flourish member Deandra Ellerbe is a proud member of the Pinks.  These are all truly flourishing women.  Go girls!  We’ll be down on the Willamette cheering you to victory.

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“But, I just don’t find myself that interesting!” That’s what we heard when we asked Gabby to be our Flourishing Friend for May.   Excuse us, but we beg to differ and you will too, when you learn how this amazing woman turned one of her life’s gabbyandnatashacraterlakesaddest moments into a vision that is truly making a difference for women everywhere.  Her business is booming these days – Go girl! – but she took a few minutes to chat with us about what makes her a flourishing woman.

Growing up a Military Brat really helped Gabby understand “we are all in this together!”  It takes all kinds to make up this world and that, for Gabby, is what make’s the world a more interesting place.

Born in Germany, she lived most of her life in Georgia until making the move to Oregon several years ago. And, by the way, she thinks Crater Lake is the most beautiful place on earth.   Gabby worked many less than inspiring jobs, but when she took a real estate course as a college elective, she was immediately hooked.   “I could not believe you could buy a home, live there and enjoy it, write off the interest on your taxes and then sell it and keep the profit (most of the time).   I thought why isn’t everyone doing that?  I need to help people do this!”  That was the beginning of her real estate career and Gabby has never looked back!  Sixteen years later she owns her own successful company, Realty Solutions and the profits helped fund her true life passion, the non-profit she started, Jessica’s Hope.

Jessica’s Hope was founded in honor of her mother who lost her life after a 5 year battle with Ovarian Cancer .   Her focus is on raising awareness and money in the search for a test for ovarian cancer.  Gabby wants everyone to know that there is currently no definitive test for ovarian cancer.  Therefore most women get diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.  There is a 90% survival rate with early detection.  Her passion shines through when you talk with her – she’s a woman on a mission!  Gabby funds all administrative costs for Jessica’s Hope through her real estate company so that 100% of donations go to The Ovarian Cancer Institute at Georgia Tech where they are looking for a test.

The Jessica’s Hope website is a great resource for information, inspiration and support.   They also have a very creative on-going fundraising program.  Make a purchase through the online store from one of their great partners and a percentage every purchase goes directly to support the organization.   You can also use the portal to shop at places like Amazon.com and they will give a portion of your purchase price back to Jessica’s Hope.  We all love to shop and this is an easy way to do something good at the same time!

Who is your hero? Cliché but true – My mother is my hero.  Although she is not around physically, her spirit is with me every day.  She had a great work ethic and was very independent. What makes her my hero though, is her kind soul.  She always found the good in someone.  I don’t remember a time when she said cruel or mean things about anyone.   Her favorite saying was “you make your bed, you lie in it”, but I always knew that she would always be there to help get me up again.  In her mind it was the right thing to help other people when you could.

What is your favorite quote and why? My favorite quote is “if you continue to do the exact same thing, you will continue to get the exact same results”.  I am not sure who came up with this quote, but it can apply to your personal life as well as your business life and if something is not working in either, I look for something I can do differently.

What keeps you flourishing? I enjoy life.  I work hard, but I play hard also.  As I have gotten older I’ve learned to take time for me.  It truly is the secret to keeping your sanity.

If you were a pair of shoes, what kind would you be and why? I would be a pair of Michelle K.’s  They are comfortable with a subtle style.  This describes my personality.  I am often told that I have a unique style.  I like to call it comfortable and honest. Michelle K’s are comfortable with a simple, honest style.

I can’t wait to… Wake up tomorrow and see what adventures the day brings.  “The only day you have is the one in front of you, so choose wisely what you do with it!”

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National Women’s Health Week is celebrating it’s 10th year and we want everyone to join the party!

This week is a time to remind all the women you love that taking care of themselves is essential to living longer, healthier, and happier lives. Adult females in yoga class.Women are often the caregivers for their spouses, children, and parents and forget to focus on their own health. Research shows that when women take care of themselves, the health of their family improves. During National Women’s Health Week events are planned all across the country that will help educate our wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends about the steps they can take to improve their health and prevent disease. After all, when women take even the simplest steps to improve their health, the results can be significant and everyone can benefit.

Come Out and Play!

OHSU Center for Women’s Health is celebrating National Women’s Health Week by offering fun events to help jump start the physical activity in your life.  Get motivated and get moving with a kick-off event and FREE fitness classes all week.

Kickoff event May 11, 2009 – Free Fitness Classes All Week with a motivational presentation from Britta Torgrimson, Ph.D., about the many health benefits of exercise (hint – there are probably more than you know about!).

Throughout the week, complimentary fitness classes will be held at different locations throughout the Portland metro area. Classes include: Chi Qigong, Yoga, Aqua Aerobics and more! Many classes will be accessible to people with disabilities.

Space is limited so online registration is strongly suggested.  If you live in Portland, we’ll see you there!

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