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Feeling good, looking great. |

LIFE Fall 2013


For Vanity Our real life portrait is a model survivor

Next of Kin

Comfort+ and the Astrounauts

How Fit Are Your Neurons? Stay at the top of your game

E C A MBR rve

E ever y cu


Make life a breeze.

f ro m t h e


With InTouch soft silicone and improved stay-cool features, Amoena Energy breast forms feel so comfortable, you might forget you’re wearing one.

Amoena is a registered trademark of Amoena Medizin-Orthopädie-Technik GmbH. © 2013. All rights reserved Amoena Medizin-Orthopädie-Technik GmbH, 83064 Raubling, Germany

Our new InTouch soft silicone may have created the most natural feeling breast form ever—you can only experience it for yourself. The improved three-dimensional pearl surface plus the addition of air-flow channels maximizes ventilation to help reduce perspiration behind the form. All this with the heat absorption benefits of Comfort+ temperature-equalizing technology means you’ll stay cool and comfortable—all day, every day.

Feel the breeze of Amoena Energy.

To find a retailer near you, visit our store locator at or call 1-800-741-0078.

New a en S Amo ION H S FA


e 12 pag



or a long time, I let myself coast when it came to my friendships. Oh, I followed status updates on Facebook, sometimes even “Liked” them. Isn’t that what we do? But I hadn’t written an honest-to-goodness letter in years… until recently. I reconnected with a friend from my youth, and it unexpectedly started a chain of encounters with other people I’d managed to lose along the way. I had a 2-hour phone call with one friend, scheduled lunch with another and sent a care package, just because, to a third. It’s never intentional to lose touch, of course. The demands of every day— the moments, the daily curveballs that we navigate—sometimes become obstacles to really living. But do you know what? When I started connecting again, I re-learned how healthy it is to share my moments. Writing a friend about my workday, or telling her in person, gives it meaning. You all know this, but I needed a reminder: Each moment is precious. We’re glad you’re saving a moment to read this issue. We had such great response to our article about healthy living (“Is Green the New Pink?,” Spring

2013) that we felt we should explore the topic further. “Body, Mind, Spirit” on page 6 reveals new findings about exercise, both for prevention of and recovery from breast cancer. Particularly intriguing is the recommendation not to wait until after treatment before beginning to exercise. As they say, your mileage may vary! You’ll also love meeting the amazing women in these pages. “No Room for Vanity”, on page 18, is a familiar face. Amoena model Michele Torres’ story only hints at the level of passion and spirit with which she lives her moments—but it’s a great hint. And professional bra fitter Ali Cudby (page 23) offers candid advice and her own personal triumph for women in dressing rooms everywhere. So, what are you doing today? What moments will you inhabit? I hope you’ll embrace them. We would love to hear from you.


Features 6 Cover Story Mind, Body, Spirit Taking control through exercise

10 Beauty and Nutrition The Art of Healthy Eating

Colorful new ways to improve your diet

18 Real Life No Room for Vanity Our Real Life portrait is a model survivor

20 Feature Next of Kin: Comfort+ and the astronaunts

24 Mind and Body How Fit are Your Neurons?

Stay at the top of your game with brain exercies

Fashion 12 Fashion

New Amoena styles for Home, Active, Everyday, and Seduction

Regulars 4 Up Front All the latest news on

issues that affect you

23 Professional Portrait

Finding your best fit: Ali Cudby

Lee Thrash, Editor

Publisher Amoena USA Corporation | Editor Lee Thrash Contributors Christina Relf, Dianne Armitage, Beth Leibson, Teresa Werth Art Director Shan Willoughby | Design Stephanie Conboy, Live Oak Design Photography Dorothea Craven, iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, Veer Contact Amoena Life, 1701 Barrett Lakes Blvd., Ste. 410, Kennesaw, GA USA 30144, 1-800-741-0078,

26 Just for You Dragon Boating and Breast Cancer Survivors

28 Portrait

Leading the way: Paula Schneider

29 Survivor Portrait

Creative Soul: Meet Sara J. Weingartner, creator of our breast cancer awareness pin for 2013

30 Feelin’ Kinda Funny

Dianne explores the body-mind-spirit connection

In Canada, visit Feeling good, looking great. |

LIFE Fall 2013


FOR VANITY Our real life portrait is a model survivor

Next of Kin

Comfort+ and the Astrounauts

How Fit Are Your Neurons? Stay at the top of your game

The entire contents of this publication is copyrighted by Amoena, Kennesaw, GA, USA 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents in any manner is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from the publisher. Amoena Life magazine is published twice a year and is available by request. Amoena Life magazine is distributed to subscribers, retailers and medical facilities. No liability for unsolicited manuscripts. Amoena cannot be liable for pictorial or typographical errors. While every effort is taken to ensure the information contained in this magazine is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any use of or reliance on the accuracy of such information. Any information provided is not a substitute for professional care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have, or suspect you have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. The editor reserves the right to edit or abridge letters.

ACE BR EMeve ry curve


On the cover Our cover model, Renee, age 60 has had breast cancer. Hair and make-up John Elliott, photographer Dorothea Craven.



E.D. Awareness:

Ideas that Sparked, and Caught On Inspired by what happens around you? Here are two examples of what can happen when you put an idea out into the universe.

The Cushy: Fast Track to Success

Because of her family history, Danyelle (who asks to be called by her first name) wasn’t exactly surprised by her breast cancer diagnosis in May, 2012. The lump she found at age 38 led doctors to find other calcifications that were cancerous, and she had a mastectomy by September. After surgery, Danyelle realized that one thing she dreaded was driving. “I noticed that the seatbelt made me anxious. I’m a big believer in wearing seatbelts, of course. It’s the law! But one day I came home and was just bawling from the pain in my scarred chest area.” Google searches revealed virtually no options to make seatbelts more comfortable for adults. The Cushy was born. It’s a microfiber-filled seatbelt cover that opens like a book and allows the shoulder belt to rest inside. “When we got the right mix and softness, it felt ‘cushy,’ like a pillow.” Danyelle, a health care professional, created a prototype with the help of her seamstress mom, and submitted her invention to “I submitted my idea January 3, and was selected for the first level of investment January 9!” Clearly, the Cushy has a driving force behind it. Danyelle’s website, Facebook page, and need for more prototypes is proof. “I am so blessed; I feel like I’m walking in my purpose and I look forward to being an advocate for survivors. I want to comfort them.” For more information or to order your own Cushy, visit

4 | Amoena Life

Vital Knowledge for Middle-Aged Women

The latest news and tidbits relevant to you

This featured submission is from nationally recognized artist, Innocente, subject of the Oscar-winning documentary of the same name.

On any given day, nearly 40 percent of American women are on a diet. Our preoccupation with our weight is profound, and new studies are showing that the most troublesome obsessions, eating disorders (EDs), are not limited to young women. According to one source, the rate of EDs among the middle-aged increased by 42% from 2001 to 2010. Until recently, this population was flying way under the ED community’s radar. But emotions and issues that often crop up during middle age—stress over divorce, elderly parents, job-related problems, and even other physical illnesses—can be potent triggers. Breast cancer survivors can be particularly susceptible, especially if they’ve struggled with EDs before their diagnoses. recently posted an in-depth article to help sort out these issues and bring awareness to the forefront. Type “eating” in the site’s Search box to read more. And if you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Eating Disorders helpline at 1-800-931-2237.



you spoke we heard The results of our Amoena Life Reader Survey are online now

Many of you responded, commented, suggested and even complimented us in the Spring 2013 Reader Survey—we are, as always, grateful for your feedback. If you’re interested in the overall results of the survey, or want to know what your fellow readers had to say, we invite you to read our online article. You’ll find it at

See more at

The Painted Bra Art Project

Remember the unusual Facebook “breast cancer awareness” memos, like the one where you mysteriously shared your shoe size? Artist Anna Braden thought that she could create something more appropriate and inspiring, and she did—she painted one of her own bras and posted a picture of it. Her artist friends then responded with their own painted bras. What started on a whim grew into a collection—and raised more than $10,000 for breast cancer support in the first year’s auction. Now celebrating its third year, The Painted Bra Art Project has expanded to include bra painting parties across the country, and submissions from around the globe. Braden says, “I had no idea when I painted the first bra that we would end up with over 400 bras from around the world. I also didn’t realize that we would get several bras from various art mediums such as copper, metal, mosaic and clay to name a few.” The live annual event takes place in Huntsville, Alabama, with proceeds going to The Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund at The Huntsville Hospital Foundation (HHF). Anyone can participate online, however –the 2013 auction runs from October 24—November 3, at


oh, your back: latest research

Could simple antibiotics cure 40 percent of long-term back pain cases? Some European researchers think so. The assertion, delivered in May 2013, was based on a previous discovery that between seven and 53 percent of patients with herniated discs have a certain type of bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes. When treated with antibiotics, 80 percent of study participants experienced significant relief from their chronic pain. While some experts have called this discovery “the stuff of Nobel prizes,” others caution against both the creation of antibiotic resistance, and the assumption that this is a cure-all. More research is needed before widespread use of this treatment.

The American Chiropractic Association

recommends these tips to prevent back pain: • Maintain a healthy diet and weight. • Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor. • Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening. • Maintain proper posture. • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. • Sleep on a medium-firm mattress to minimize any curve in your spine. • Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and don’t twist when lifting. • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues. • Ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

For Your Bookshelf

The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook Issues and Answers from Research to Recovery, 3rd edition By Kathy Steligo

Amoena Life contributor Kathy Steligo has earned “authority” status on breast cancer recovery and reconstruction with her book, now in its third edition, and her website This edition, ten years after the first printing, is nicely updated and in-step with the myriad changes that have occurred in breast care since then. Even if you aren’t having reconstruction, there are excellent chapters on what to expect before, during and immediately after breast surgery, recovery at home and your new normal. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.) Amoena Life | 5


Amoena survivor models are living life to the fullest!

By Beth Leibson

It ’s

safe to say that society has accepted the body - mind - spirit connection ,

especially in times of stress and illness .

R esearch

is firmly behind the idea

that one of the keys to all three is to take care of the first : the body .

S cientists

are now trying to determine specific ways that exercise improves

the risks associated with cancer

Early first menses, late menopause, breast density, age at first childbirth, family history of the disease. There are so many risk factors for breast cancer that are completely out of our control. It feels like there’s nothing much that women can do to avoid initial diagnosis or recurrence of the disease. But that’s not quite the case. “There are things we can do each and every day to reduce the risk of breast cancer, to improve chances of not dying from breast cancer, and to decrease the risk of recurrence,” says Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the American Cancer Society. Ironically, it turns out that one of the best things women can do to preserve their health goes against the wisdom of

6 | Amoena Life

before , during and after diagnosis .

decades. For years, oncologists, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals have told women during and after cancer treatment to take it easy, rest, relax. Focus on getting well and catch up on your reading. But it turns out that one of the best ways to focus on getting well is to get up off that sofa and engage in regular physical activity. Let’s get physical & statistical People who exercise are less likely to get breast cancer than those who are less physically active, says Jennifer Ligibel, MD, medical oncologist at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Specifically, women who are physically active on a regular basis are between

25 and 30 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Ligibel. A study at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungazentrum) in Heidelberg, led by Drs. Karen Steindorf and Jenny Chang-Claude, found that there are some things women can do to lower their risk of breast cancer. Specifically, the researchers found that 19.4 percent of invasive postmenopausal breast cancers are attributed to hormone replacement therapy and 12.8 percent to a lack of physical activity. Combined, these two factors explain nearly a third of breast cancer cases, say the investigators. “That means that two factors which each woman has in her own hands are

responsible for a similar number of postmenopausal breast cancer cases as the non-modifiable factors,” notes Steindorf. Another study, published in 2007 by Dr. Leslie Bernstein of the University of Southern California, found that women who exercised strenuously for five hours a week lowered their risk of invasive breast cancer, particularly of estrogen receptor-negative invasive breast cancer, when compared with women who were less active. The challenge with these studies (and most others that have been completed to date) is that they are observational; none are randomized, observes Ligibel. As a result, it is possible that women who are already doing better—the ones who are in better health, who are eating better, and who are more conscientious about taking their medicines—may be the ones reporting their results to the researchers. “We cannot prove a causal relationship based on these studies,” says Ligibel, though there is clearly a relationship between physical activity and improved rates of survivorship. But the accumulated data are meaningful. In fact, Doyle notes that the American Cancer Society has been publishing articles about the importance of physical activity since the year 2000. “But now the data are strong enough to call our recommendations ‘Guidelines,’” Doyle adds, which is a big step. Of course, exercise is not completely protective, Ligibel notes. “Marathon runners get breast cancer, too,” she says. But it can make a big difference—and it is one of the few concrete steps that women can take to improve their health. Exercise is good for overall health, notes Doyle. It can improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, bone health and body composition and can also play a role in weight loss, which has its own benefits. Regular physical activity can also improve the quality of life, by decreasing levels of stress, anxiety and depression and improving self-esteem, Doyle adds. “It may seem counter-intuitive,” says Doyle, “but exercise can also lessen fatigue.” “Regular physical activity is good for everyone,” says Ligibel. “But there is good evidence that exercise is especially helpful for cancer survivors, especially breast, colon, and prostate cancer.”

“It doesn’t matter what you do, you just need to get your heart rate up, sweat, and do at least ten to fifteen minutes of physical activity at a time.” — Jennifer Ligibel, MD When to Start and What to Do “Today is the best time to start to exercise. There is no point at which exercise cannot help prevent breast cancer from starting in the first place or from recurring,” says Ligibel. Exercise before treatment begins, during treatment, and after treatment are all linked to a decrease in recurrence. In general, moderate exercise translates into a twenty-minute mile, says Ligibel, though the precise definition may vary from study to study. “These women are not marathoners,” she adds. “They spend three hours a week doing moderate walking.” That’s encouraging; exercise can help your life and prolong your life, but it needn’t completely take over your life. Moderate physical activities, according to the American Cancer Society, are ones that you can perform while talking, but not while singing. They include a range of sports and daily activities, such as: • ice and roller skating • horseback riding • yoga • downhill skiing • golf • volleyball • baseball • badminton • brisk walking • mowing the lawn • raking and trimming shrubs • doing housework

Of course, there are many more examples. Both aerobic and strength/ resistance training are important, according to the American Cancer Society guidelines. Most people who exercise focus on aerobic training and as a result, points out Ligibel, most studies likewise look primarily at aerobic exercise. Resistance training, though, can be particularly helpful in improving bone health and density, muscle strength and flexibility. Studies show that weight training can decrease the incidence and severity of lymphedema, notes Doyle. Indeed, the American Cancer Society’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors (2012) states that moderate resistance training during and after treatment can help survivors maintain lean muscle mass while avoiding excess body fat. “Historically, women have been told to not do upper body weight training for fear of getting or worsening lymphedema,” says Doyle. But that is not the case. “Women do not have to be afraid of weight training.” In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, a number of studies have shown that this sort of physical activity is not only safe, but can actually reduce the incidence and severity of lymphedema. The American Cancer Society recommends progressive resistance training, working with a trained exercise therapist and using appropriate compression garments. “It’s interesting,” says Ligibel, “that while more exercise is not bad, you get more bang for your buck with consistent, moderate physical activity.” While it rarely hurts to exercise more, says the medical oncologist and researcher, it is more helpful to perform consistent and moderate exercise— perhaps taking a good, brisk walk every day—than to run a marathon and then take a month off to rest. “It doesn’t matter what you do,” says Ligibel. “You just need to get your heart rate up, sweat, and do at least ten to fifteen minutes of physical activity at a time.”

Amoena Life | 7


American Cancer Society Recommendations The American Cancer Society recommends that everyone adopt a physically active lifestyle. Specifically, the society’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Prevention suggests that:


Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderateintensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week—or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week.


Children and adolescents should engage in at least one hour of moderate or vigorous intensive activity each day, with vigorous intensity activity at least three days a week.


Everyone should limit sedentary behavior, such as sitting, lying down, watching television and other screen-based entertainment.

8 | Amoena Life

Maintaining the Ideal Weight Obesity is also a concern. According to the American Cancer Society, there is a strong connection between being overweight or obese and an increased risk of many types of cancers, including breast cancer among postmenopausal women. While it is best to achieve your optimal weight, the American Cancer Society says that it is helpful to simply avoid weight gain during treatment. And intentional weight loss following treatment may be associated with health benefits, even if you don’t reach your ideal weight, notes the organization in its Guidelines. Even losing just 5 or 10 percent of your weight can play a big role in avoiding recurrence. Healthcare professionals determine a healthy weight for an individual by using the body mass index (BMI), which determines the ideal weight based on the person’s height. To check your own status, you can use the BMI calculator developed by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health; you can access it at: Lab Lessons: How It Works Now that researchers have determined that exercise can help prevent cancer, the question arises: how does this work? One researcher, Lee Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, notes that most of the studies—the ones we’ve been talking about and others—are observational for a simple reason: It’s hard to conduct a controlled experiment with humans. We’re kind of difficult to control. Jones, who has three appointments: Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Associate Professor of Pathology, and Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is conducting studies on mice to explore the relationship between exercise and tumor size. While the results are still preliminary, he has found that tumors grow 30 percent more slowly in female mice on an exercise routine than those that are sedentary. The exercise was all aerobic, not resistance-focused.

Jones is also finding that when female mice exercise while in treatment, particularly during chemotherapy, the treatment is more effective. “When mice exercise, it improves the delivery of chemotherapy to the tumors,” Jones explains. It does not, fortunately, affect the spread of chemo cocktails to healthy tissue; somehow the chemicals know just where to go. “My personal bias, with the limited data,” says Jones, “is for women diagnosed to exercise as soon as possible. Pre-surgery, during therapy, the whole time. We know how bad doing nothing is. Exercising as soon as possible is the way to go.” But no research method is perfect. The difficulty with studies in rats, says Ligibel, is that mice and people are different. People are more complex, she explains; we have more control over what and when we eat, for instance, than mice in a cage. As a result, it is difficult to generalize from studies in rats to behavior in human beings. As a result, researchers have been trying to figure out what causes these improved outcomes in humans. “When people start to exercise,” says Ligibel, “the hormone levels that are linked to breast cancer change in a positive direction.” Specifically, insulin and estrogen levels decrease while levels of other hormones that are better when higher tend to increase. Ligibel and colleagues at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute have shed some light on this phenomenon. Researchers measured insulin and blood glucose levels in 101 women, along with their weight, body composition and circumference of waist and hips. Half of the women performed a 16-week regimen of cardiovascular and strength training while the other half were left to their own devices. At the end of the experiment, the women who exercised had lowered their insulin measurements by an amount that approached statistical significance. In addition, the women who were more active reduced their hip circumference. “Our findings suggest that the effects of exercise on breast cancer prognosis may be mediated, at least in part, through changes in insulin levels and/or changes in fat mass or

deposition,” says Ligibel, who headed up the study. Additional studies are looking at changes at a cellular level, trying to determine how patients can decrease the rate of growth of cancer tumors. The results are still preliminary, though we will hopefully know more soon. Another area that researchers are looking into is trying to determine the volume and type of exercise that is most effective in fighting cancer. “We want to be able to personalize exercise, just as we personalize chemotherapy” for the individual patient. In the meantime, Jones suggests women follow the American Cancer Society’s general recommendations on physical activity (see sidebar). Caveat Exerciser While exercise is important in decreasing cancer risk, you don’t want to run outside and start immediately with a ten-mile jog. Keep in mind any special considerations. “Someone who’s not active at all should probably start with ten minutes of physical activity a few days a week,”

says Ligibel. “It is important to set realistic goals and to work hard at meeting them.” Doyle recommends taking into account how active you were before the cancer diagnosis as well as the type of cancer and treatment received. She recommends that you delay activity if you are anemic; wait until your iron levels rise. If you’re in radiation treatment, avoid chlorine as it might aggravate already sensitive skin. If you have a catheter or port, avoid resistance training in that part of the body (say, the upper body). And if you are experiencing extreme fatigue, don’t push yourself. Patients should also be careful about where they exercise. Someone in chemotherapy who has a low white cell count should avoid public gyms and public pools. And someone who has had a bone marrow transplant should probably stay away from public places for about a year, says Doyle. In addition, for people who are older who have bone disease or significant impairments such as arthritis or

finding A G U ID E

When you’re starting an exercise program during or after treatment, it helps to have a coach who really understands the issues specific to cancer patients and survivors. Here are two ways to find specially trained coaches within the United States:

neuropathy, it is important to focus on balance. You don’t want to fall. The American Cancer Society recommends, in these cases, that patients stick with a stationary reclining bicycle, for example, rather than walking on a treadmill. Ultimately it boils down to this: If you are in treatment, do what you can do now and try to do more when you can do more. Just keep moving. As Doyle explains, the goal is to avoid inactivity. “Exercise has benefits all through treatment and afterwards. It’s an investment in a woman’s health and hopefully will prove to lower her risk of dying from breast cancer.” |

Beth Leibson lives and writes in New York City. She is author of I’m Too Young to Have Breast Cancer (Lifeline Press, 2004).

Livestrong at the Y is a 12-week program designed for adult cancer survivors, designed by the Livestrong Foundation. Specially trained fitness instructors help participants build muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance and improve functional ability. Probably equally important, participants meet regularly with a group of people who really understand what it is like to have been diagnosed with cancer; think of it as a support group with a mission. Instructors help participants develop their own fitness program so they can continue to develop after the program is over. For a list of locations, visit and search “YMCA.” Another option is to look for someone who is an ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer, a specialty certification developed by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Cancer Society. These exercise instructors can design and administer a fitness assessment and exercise program that is geared to the participant’s diagnosis, treatment and current status. Amoena Life | 9




Colorful new ways to improve your diet

Forget all the usual business about diet or calories—instead we’re going to be talking about the art of smart and healthy eating. Take some practical advice from French chef Olivier Chaput, a little theory from diététicienne Bénédicte Van Craynest, add a heaping measure of user-friendliness and you have all the ingredients for a nutritional must-read.

Adding to Your Wealth of Health

From the age of five, when asked what he wanted to do when he grew up, Olivier Chaput’s answer was “to cook!” It’s no surprise that this active and enthusiastic young chef has only one goal—to share his passion for food. His dishes blend tradition with flavors from around the world in culinary harmony.

Bénédicte Van Craynest

The Fruits and

Vegetables of Fall and Winter This season, why not add other colored fruit and vegetables to your plate to boost the antioxidant content?

10 | Amoena Life


Dietitian Bénédicte is a qualified micronutritionist and consultant trained in Active Cell Nutrition. She’s passionate about her profession, the art of cooking, alternative nutrition and wellness education. And she’s excited about teaching how an appreciation for good food and the pleasure of cooking can create a better diet and a healthier lifestyle.

Eating properly means sticking to a varied and balanced diet—anything in moderation but with an emphasis on healthy foods (fruits and vegetables, starches, fish, etc.) and limiting your consumption of sweetened products like candy and sugary drinks, salty snacks and fatty foods (prepared meats, butter, cream, etc.). This dietary balance doesn’t have to be strictly applied to every meal or even to every day, but it should work out over each week. There’s no such thing as a forbidden food or a miracle food, and a few light meals will make up for the occasional feast. The lipids, proteins and carbohydrates in our food are what provides our fuel. Combined with plenty of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, these food calories will be full of nutritional value. So add to your store of health every day by favoring quality foods rich in cell-nourishing nutrition.

Think Seasonal and Regional Choose locally grown and seasonal fruits and vegetables. This is good for the planet, your plate and your local economy. Locally grown fruits and vegetables draw vitamins and minerals from the soil and soak up the sun and so provide you with lots of energy. And they deliver their nutrients to you without being degraded by travel and long storage times. For their feature fall vegetable, Bénédicte and Olivier have chosen the potimarron, also called Hokkaido or Kuri squash.



Apples Blueberries Currants Grapes Kiwi fruit Mandarins Nuts Oranges Pears Raspberries Strawberries

Artichoke Beets Broccoli Brussels sprouts Cabbage (white, green or red)

Carrots Cauliflower Celery Chard Chervil Chicory Endive

Fennel Green beans Kale Leeks Onions Peppers Potatoes Potimarron Pumpkin Radish Shallots Spinach Tomatoes Zucchini


Olivier Chaput



Apples Kiwi fruit Mandarins Nuts Oranges Pears

Beets Brussels sprouts Cabbage (white, green or red)

Carrots Celery Endive

Black Radish Kale Leeks Onions Potatoes Potimarron Pumpkin Shallots Turnips

Chef Olivier Chaput’s Cream of Potimarron and Chestnut Soup with Air-Dried Beef Chips

Directions 1. Dice the onions and sauté in the olive oil. 2. Add diced potimarron and 4/5 of the chestnuts. 3. Cover with water and boil. 4. Salt to taste. 5. When the potimarron is soft, stir in the soy milk. Use an immersion blender to puree. 6. For the beef chips, cut into 3 slices, arrange on parchment paper and bake at 425° for a few minutes.

Ingredients (serves 6) 3 onions 4 1/2 lbs. diced potimarron 1 lb. cooked chestnuts  2 cups soy milk 10 slices of air-dried beef 5 tsp. olive oil Salt

About the Potimarron The potimarron is a member of the squash family with dark yellow-orange flesh and a skin which is edible if grown organically. The flavor is reminiscent of chestnuts. It can be used in sweet or savory dishes and its taste is enhanced by spices such as cinnamon, ginger and turmeric and herbs like cilantro or parsley. You can eat it raw or cooked. Combine it with other vegetables to enhance its taste, vitamin content and your health! The high water content (92%) means the potimarron, like other squash, is very low in calories. It’s a great source of important minerals like potassium and magnesium and brings color to your plate with a wealth of the antioxidant beta-carotene.

What’s an Antioxidant? •O  xygen (the word is within antioxidant) is vital for life and for the production of energy in our cells. • By-products of this energy production are toxic derivatives of oxygen (free radicals). These have to be neutralized by antioxidants which act like firefighters to prevent harmful degradation of the cells themselves. • The antioxidants in our food come mostly from plants: fruits, vegetables, spices, green tea and first cold-pressed oils. • Different colors of fruit, vegetable or spice indicate a different type of antioxidant. • White, yellow, green, purple and red are the five main colors.

antioxidants: use this color guide to choose a minimum of 5 differently colored fruits and vegetables a day.

Compounds of sulphur & selenium: Garlic Onions Apples Celery

Bénédicte recommends adding 1 teaspoon turmeric or ginger, for an extra dose of antioxidants. You can also substitute vegetable chips for the beef chips garnish, if you prefer.

•U  se the produce of the season and of your area to put some color on your plate. • Then add spices for even greater health benefits and to protect the cells in your body.

Turmeric, the Golden Spice  rilliant orange turmeric tops the list of good-for-you spices B thanks to the antioxidant curcumin it contains. A teaspoon daily with a dash of pepper, added to soups, salad dressings or the main course, makes a wonderful addition to your body’s store of antioxidants. Enjoy Chef Olivier’s fall recipe above, using potimarron; or, if you can’t find it, pumpkin is a great substitute.

A chef who’s making a difference Since 2010, Olivier Chaput has been involved in the fight against breast cancer. Moved to do something, he published his Agenda Rose (Pink Diary) in 2011, a collection of a dozen of his recipes. For the second edition—as a united effort in the struggle against this disease—he called on his fellow chefs to offer their own recipes. Retitled L’Agenda des Chefs (The Chefs’ Diary), the 2013 edition once again combined the contributions of various chefs, this time providing a lore of practical daily advice in addition to the recipes. Of the 9,90 euro cover price, 3 euros goes to organizations involved in the fight against breast cancer. |

Get your full

quota of

7. T  o serve, place a few pieces of chestnut in the bottom of each bowl and pour in the soup; garnish with the chips.

Betacarotene, quercetin: Pumpkins Carrots Sweet potatoes Apricots Bananas Papayas Mangos Yellow peppers Yellow tomatoes

Chlorophyll green can hide the presence of yellow compounds like Betacarotene, luteine, etc. Spinach Broccoli Brussels sprouts Kale

PolyphEnols: Eggplant Black currants Raspberries Blackberries Prunes Raisins

Lycopene & polyphenols: Beets Red cabbage Red onions Red radishes Tomatoes Cherries Strawberries Red apples

Amoena Life | 11

>>> ACTIVEWEAR BEATE, breast cancer survivor MODEL


restful pillow mist Who knew you could make a pillow more relaxing? Try a pillow mist and anxieties will vanish like a dream. Photo credit: © Marks and Spencer

do-good water

Every bottle helps fund global efforts to feed the hungry, save the earth, house the homeless and more. Find out more at Photo credit: © Project 7, Inc. 2008

Short Sleeve Top XS-XL Pants XS-2XL

Today we will


every curve

We will allow ourselves a restful night, and wake up to rise and shine.

LOVE every


downtime Comfort day or night, Amoena’s Leisure Form is like a BFF for those lazy days. The washable cover keeps the form clean and fresh. Tuck it into the pocket of a nightgown for extra comfort while you sleep.


we see in the locker-room mirror. BEATE, breast cancer survivor MODEL

Lace Nightdress S - XL

Jennifer Sports Bra 32-44 AA,A,B,C,D,DD Pants XS-2XL

Matte Shiny Pajama Set S - 2XL keep track

Racer Back Top XS-2XL

Counting laps or tracking calories? Experts say to write it down. Try an app like the Workout Journal for your smart devices.

Pants XS-2XL 12 | Amoena Life

Amoena Life | 13



CINCH Show off your fall style in a belted trench coat like this one from Autograph — they’re all the rage!

Karla Panty 6-16

ANNETTE, breast cancer survivor MODEL


Karla Soft Cup 32-42 A,B; 34-42 C,D

Photo credit: © Marks and Spencer

Lighten your load this fall with apps like Happier to help you stay in tune with the important things in life.

Freg Out Planning meals makes on-the-go days way ‘cooler.’ Try a cooler bag like this one and you’ll be carrying your lunch in style. Photo credit: © Debenhams

Michele, breast cancer survivor MODEL


Janina Underwire 32-42 B; 34-42 C,D Janina Panty 6-18

we will


in today’s road; we will joy in our daily landscapes (and escapes). RENEE, breast cancer survivor MODEL

Lara Dots Panty 6-18

Renee, breast cancer survivor

Lara Dots Soft Cup 32-42 AA,A,B,C,D

HAPPY HOUR Say It with Shine Refresh with a shimmery swipe of high gloss. Lip glosses in Rose Gold and Soft Pink are the “in” colors for fall. Photo credit: © M&S


Lara Comfort Soft Cup 32-44 B,C,D,DD

Designer ballet flats like these that fit in your purse will get you to and from that 5 o’clock meeting toute de suite! Janina Pocketed Camisole 6-16

Just Pink October!

Janina Panty 6-18

in time for

14 | Amoena Life

Amoena Life | 15


YOU’RE SO DEEP You could call it a “cool” color but these days, it’s definitely hot. Deep blue nail polish keeps you in trend.

Anna Soft Cup 32-36 A; 32-40 B,C,D Anna Panty 6-18

Play it Prim Love these new neutrals. Asian-influenced prints like this Autograph Oriental print are in-style! Demure and divine! Photo credit: © M&S


Valerie Soft Cup 32-36 A; 32-40 B,C,D Valerie Panty 6-18

We will make

add adornments What about some jewels like this Catwalk Pearl Statement Bracelet to sparkle you through the night? We say yes. Photo credit: ©Accessorize

Anna Pocketed Camisole 32-36 A; 32-40 B,C,D Anna Panty 6-18

Valerie Underwire 32-36 A; 32-42 B,C; 34-44 D,DD,DDD Valerie Boyshort 6-14

WANT TO SEE MORE? View the complete collections at Click on the Store Locator to find a retailer near you.

16 | Amoena Life

This is space for drive to web. Begin with Helvetica Neue W1G Medium, and follo with light. Color can be something from the palette. Size 8/9.5; Kern 20. Always use the arrow icon in 50% gray.

Marks and Spencer and Accessorize are London-based stores that ship internationally. Find them at and

Amoena Life | 17


various different agencies—I am a novelty model. I always get applause when I do runway shows, because of my hair. I did have reconstruction but I have no nipples, and my breasts do not look normal. But you can’t wear a bra or prosthesis when you do runway shows, so I just let it be. I figure somewhere in the audience there may be a woman who needs to see this.” By simply being herself, Michele has become an ambassador for breast cancer survivors. “I figure maybe it’s my job, in some small way. Sometimes people wait around after the show, wanting to talk to me. And backstage, some girls look at my chest when I am changing. I always say, ‘Don’t be afraid—this is what a double mastectomy looks like.’ I think I help to make it normal. It’s also a way of saying, ‘I am a model and I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect—it’s not something to be ashamed of.’” Michele’s new look also helped her to win a modelling contract with Amoena—a fitting coincidence, since she already loved their clothes. “They wanted a breast-operated model,” she explained. “I got the call from my agent and I remember rushing upstairs and putting on my Amoena camisole—a much-worn top that had been my saviour during the early days after my mastectomy. I took a photo of myself in that camisole and sent it to my agent, who sent it on to Amoena. I got the job there and then.” Michele went

But in 2009, her whole existence was turned upside down. “My baby brother, Jon, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. It was such a shock. He fought it for 16 months and died, aged just 46, in October 2010.” She dropped everything and joined the rest of the family in nursing Jon, even trying to ignore a scare of her own when she found a hard lump in her left breast. “I knew it wasn’t right—I went for a scan and biopsy, and I got the results just two weeks after Jon had died. It was grade three breast cancer.” Still grieving for her brother, Michele was catapulted into treatment—a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy: “I told my doctor I wanted him to take both breasts. I didn’t want to be ever worried about breast cancer again. I looked at it as a way of starting over.”.

Finding a new ‘normal’

no room

for vanity

Michele Torres Model Survivor Professional model, TV presenter and voiceover artist Michele Torres is probably heard by millions of people every day. But her recent cancer experiences have given her a different story to tell. Cover model for the spring 2013 issue of Amoena Life, Michele Torres is beautiful, talented and successful—to an outsider, she would seem blessed indeed. And yet when tragedy struck her family in 2009, Michele was forced to reassess her life and rebuild it from the foundations up. Diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer just two weeks after losing her dearly beloved youngest brother to a brain tumor, she was suddenly catapulted into a kind of “no-man’s-land” where her beauty and talent no longer mattered: “When cancer strikes, you don’t know who you are,” she says. “You have to recreate yourself.” She lost weight; she lost her hair and could not rely on her looks to earn her living. But Michele’s resilience allowed her to come back from cancer with renewed optimism and zest for life.

The scenic route Michele, 51, is one of four children, born and raised outside Los Angeles in Ontario, California. Her parents are still happily married after 57 years and she describes her family as “very tight knit.” By her own admission, she had an amazing childhood— she attended the world-renowned UCLA but did not graduate from there: “I partied too hard to really focus on my studies. My

18 | Amoena Life

parents always said I took the scenic route through life, whereas my brothers and sister were more studious. That’s about right!” Michele had been modelling part-time while at UCLA. “Ever since I was about seven years old and saw my first fashion magazine, I’d wanted to be a model,” she says. And while she eventually gained not just one degree, but several, including a Masters in Psychology and Sociology, it was to the advertising world that she was drawn when she started full-time work. Luckily for Michele, this small agency was very hands-on, which meant that she was not just expected to write scripts for TV and radio ads, but to record them herself “It brought together my modelling and my creativity, teaching me how to be in front of a camera and how to use my voice ” In what would still seem to be a charmed existence, Michele slipped easily into a full-time modelling, acting and television career. Her voiceover work fulfilled a very early ambition: “When I was little I used to dial up the speaking clock and just listen to the female announcer telling the time of day,” she recalls. “I was fascinated by it.” 40 years later, Michele is now the voice of AT&T telephone services and several other automated telephone systems, in both English and Spanish.

Having breast cancer meant Michele found out more about herself than she ever knew before: “I had become used to a fabulous life—I was living the dream. But cancer is a great leveller. To have bits of myself taken away was shocking. I felt as though my whole identity was gone.” Her survival instinct fortified by a determination not to let her parents bury another child, Michele knew she would find her feet, although she confesses that re-orienting herself was very challenging at first: “When you’re going through treatment, you cope by simply not having expectaL IF E “They wanted a breast-operated model,” Painting a tions about anything—you are flat. The self that Brighter she explained. “I got the call from my Picture you had known is gone and you have a new Smooth agent and I remember rushing upstairs Moves ‘normal.’ I describe it to friends like a crazy roller and putting on my Amoena camisole. I coaster ride—normally you would get on at point took a photo of myself in that camisole Green Is ‘A’ and eventually get dropped off there again. the new and sent it to my agent, who sent it on Pink? With cancer, you get on the ride and it’s fast and to Amoena. I got the job there and then.” winding and it goes upside down and turns your —Michele Torres stomach inside out, and you get dropped off way over there—it’s like you started in London and are dropped on to model for Amoena’s 2013-14 product catalogs, as well off in Munich. You don’t speak the language and you don’t as appearing in Amoena Life magazine. know how you got there. When your treatments are over you Michele is now looking forward to wearing the new Amoena are supposed to be normal again, but you don’t know who Active collection in an exciting project she’s developing, to you are. You have to recreate yourself. And I don’t think there help other women who have been through breast cancer get are a lot of programs out there to help you deal with that.” back to full health again. “I want to find a personal trainer Committed to keeping her career going, Michele focused who specializes in working with breast cancer survivors, and on voiceover work once she could no longer be in front of the together we’re going to make a video blog,” she explains. camera: “I have a studio in my house, so when I felt strong “We’ll approach it holistically—diet, nutrition, exercise and enough, I could still work as a voiceover artist.” But when her the spiritual side of recovery. And it will be ‘no holds barred’ hair started growing back, she discovered a whole new look. —I will show them my bare chest, I want to be open and “I think my modelling days would have been over had I not honest and let everybody see.” gone in a different direction. But I decided to keep my hair Summing up the attitude that has informed her entire short and grey, and I entered a nationwide modelling contest approach to life, Michele says: “I don’t take myself too for mature models. I was chosen first runner-up out of 7,000 seriously—I can’t. I’ve gone from having what many people entrants. It opened up an amazing new strand to my career.” would consider to be ‘everything’ to losing my entire identity. It Body beautiful is a very humbling experience.” She refuses to tell people what The Wilhelmina Models 2012 Over 30 Model Search was a to do, emphasizing that everybody’s journey is their own, but very high profile contest, run by one of the world’s most stresses that reaching out to others was key to her recovery: prestigious model agencies. As first runner-up, Michele “I made the most of all the help my friends and neighbors felt she had been given a second chance. “Cancer wasn’t offered. Nobody is a ‘no-need woman.’ If you ever thought that what I had planned—it was what I was given. I decided to about yourself, think again. I let go of control and I let people go with it, and this was the result. Now I have contracts with love me. It’s what got me through.” | looking great. Feeling good,

Spring 2013


creation One woman’s trauma of beauty over

Try these gentle, safe yoga poses

Four Corners, One Journey the

Survivors around stories globe share their

Get th

after breast Lifestyle changes

is GLO




Real women, real lives. When we share each other’s life stories, we learn about ourselves, too. Search for “real life” at to read more inspiring articles like this one.

Amoena Life | 19

Breast Form Product Manager

The Future of

Soft Silicone

About four years ago, Amoena embarked on another quest to improve the comfort of our breast forms, and today we’re incorporating the results of that mission. Our new softer silicone is now being used for all lightweight Amoena breast forms, and you’re going to love it. “It wasn’t just about the softness,” says Brigitte Seehaus, Global Product Manager for Breast Forms. “We wanted a lightweight breast form that would ‘bounce back’ naturally after being touched—and most importantly, we needed to ensure its durability over years of wear.” Amoena conducted comprehensive durability testing, plus wear tests with more than 60 women in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Spain. One woman commented, “My husband loves the new softness.” This is a significant compliment! Seehaus continues, “Now we have a complete portfolio of products that are natural, durable and the softest silicone ever.” The future of breast forms looks very comfortable, indeed.


Comfort+ & the Astronauts

Exploring the history of Comfort+ and its connection to humanity’s greatest achievement

You probably don’t hear any heart-stirring crescendo of trumpets and timpani when you put your Comfort+ breast form in your bra every morning. But you could, if you’re of the movie-soundtrack persuasion, because Comfort+ has a connection to one of the most profound and meaningful achievements in human history—space exploration. Comfort+ was born of a proud partnership with Outlast Technologies and utilizes phase change materials (PCM) that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort. Originally developed for NASA, for use in space gloves to protect astronauts from extreme temperature fluctuations, this PCM is now integrated into many different applications and products that we use in everyday life.

The Outlast difference? It’s proactive Outlast® technology provides extra-sensory comfort to the Amoena breast form and apparel—and to astronauts, as well— by proactively working to manage the build-up of heat and moisture. A key differentiator of Comfort+ is that it’s a preemptive technology; it works to balance temperature before the body begins to sweat, unlike reactive technologies that only work once the body has started to sweat to wick the moisture away. In other words, Comfort+ goes beyond. Thirty-five years ago when the first silicone breast forms were developed, Amoena’s main focus was to create a shape and softness that was as close as possible to a natural breast. But

we continued to develop beyond the status quo. Women told us they felt hot between the breast form and their chest wall, so we began testing different methods to alleviate the problem. Then in 2008, we partnered with Outlast to introduce and patent Comfort+ breast forms. Unlike other solutions, Comfort+ forms:

ask your amoena retailer about intouch at your next fitting. Feel the InTouch soft silicone experience for yourself with new Energy. It’s not just the silicone that has gotten softer on Amoena’s Energy breast form, the threedimensional pearl surface on the back has too! And with the addition of air-flow channels, all these features maximize ventilation to help reduce perspiration behind the form. Combined with the heat absorption benefits of Comfort+, and you might forget you’re wearing a breast form.

Absorb—they pull heat away from the chest wall; Store—they keep that heat in the form, until there is a decrease in temperature; and Release—they allow the heat to return to the body, to maintain a near-constant body temperature as a woman wears them. Today we’re adding the temperature-equalizing capability to not only breast forms, but also to some of our textiles and fashion products. Continued performance We like to think of it this way: The greatest thing to happen to breast forms is closely related to one of the greatest adventures in human history. It’s more than just a comfortable solution to help you manage your everyday life—it’s a truly historic achievement. | CMYK

20 | Amoena Life

©Outlast Technologies LLC. Used with permission

Amoena Life | 21

Brigitte Seehaus



Professional Portrait >>>

Comfort+ Unexpected Surprise! Most women who try Comfort+ aren’t expecting the results they feel. Even the savviest consumers around the world have been delightfully surprised to learn what a difference Comfort+ really makes. It can be a moment of clarity and relief you didn’t know you were missing. Read here what three delighted Comfort+ wearers have to say.

CAROLINE — age 40, QUEBEC, CANADA “Since I have been wearing my Amoena breast form with Comfort+, I feel great about myself. The difference in how it feels and wears is incredible. It gives me more freedom and I don’t get that uncomfortable heat and moisture on my skin anymore. I adore it!”

…I feel great about myself… MAGGIE — age 40, Poland

“My first breast form was a one-layer form; I thought, ‘Well, this is what a breast form can offer.’ Changing to Comfort+ was like winning something—a new quality of life. In summer or in winter, my skin under the breast form stays comfortably dry. In combination with Contact, it is the perfect solution. I don’t ever think about reconstruction.”

…the perfect solution….

Ann — Age 64, Queensland, Australia

“My life changed in 1983, when I was diagnosed with cancer, but it changed again when I was fitted with the Amoena Contact in the early '90s. The pain in my neck was gone instantly; I felt whole again. Now I wear the Contact with Comfort+, which absorbs heat and stores it. It keeps the chest wall and the form at the same temperature—how clever is that? My son has moved to hot and dusty Mt. Isa, but my breast form never moves. It stays right there on my chest wall (it takes a lot of perspiration to push off a size 9 breast form, and I just don’t perspire that much)! I wear it for at least 16 hours a day, every day. I never think about it.”

…I never think about it…


finding best fit

Meet Ali Cudby, creator of Fab Foundations®

ENHANCEMENTS Balance enhancers, or partial shapers, are curved to match the body’s shape, perfectly filling the bra cup. Their thin, tapered edges make them invisible under clothing—but the effect they have on your figure won’t go unnoticed. All Balance enhancers now feature Comfort+.

Balance VARIA

Balance Delta*

Balance OVAL *Also available in Tawny; all sizes.

22 | Amoena Life

Tell us your story! We’d love to hear about your surprise and delight! Tell your Comfort+ story at

look at bra shopping in about the same way they think about getting a root canal. When I realized that 75 to 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra, it was my aha moment. “My book: Busted, The Fab Foundations® Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic, my website: Fab Foundations® ( and my latest venture, The Fab Fit Academy all took shape from these insights. I’ve always been entrepreneurial minded; I knew I would eventually start my own company, it just never crossed my mind it would be this! Ali isn’t a cancer survivor herself, but she loves being a supportive part of the breast care community. “I think part of the core message of what I do is helping women look and feel amazing in their bras, which by extension helps them look and feel amazing about their bodies. When women have gone through the trauma of breast cancer, it can be hard to feel great about that part of their body again. If there is one thing I can do to make these women feel comfortable in their own skin, I suppose the message would be, when you are wearing a bra that is comfortable, it enhances how you feel and makes you shine from the inside out.” Does Ali have yet another entrepreneurial idea up her sleeve? You bet! “I think what I’m going to work on next is offering something like the Fab Fit Academy for the consumer audience. I’ve also got a publisher asking me to write a second book, so I’m looking at that too. The response has been so tremendous—and growing in ways I didn’t expect or anticipate—I feel incredibly lucky to be doing something I care about that helps women look and feel better.” And lucky for us that Ali knows there is something beyond the A, B, C’s and DD’s! |

Ali Cudby is an author, blogger, Tweeter, entrepreneur, mover, shaker and perhaps most importantly, this amazing Wharton MBA grad (in Entrepreneurial Management) has made it her business to have your front! Yes, you read it right. Ali is determined to make sure that every woman knows how to find a bra that fits her correctly. Although she was a late bloomer, once she began developing, Ali quickly outgrew the largest sized bra she could find (a DD) because there simply wasn’t anything available in the local stores. As a result, she was always uncomfortable, and found herself constantly adjusting her bra because it didn’t fit correctly. It wasn’t a good look, and Ali found it very difficult to feel attractive or confident when she was embarrassed by her own body each and every day. It wasn’t until years later while she was on a trip to England that she found a store claiming to stock bras for “big-boobed girls.” Ali remembers crying in the fitting room, and not for the usual reason -- these were tears of joy because she realized she could actually find a bra that fit. Not only was her trip to England transformational, but she also says, “When I was talking to my friends, no matter what size they were, they all had the same problem finding a bra that fit. I hadn’t realized it was such a universal problem. Most women

Ali’s Advice: The FabFit™ Formula Take these tips with you next time you go bra shopping. 1. Y  our best bra fit is an important part of your physical and emotional health. 2.Bodies are not one-size-fits-all, so bra measurement systems shouldn’t be either. 3.Focus on fit instead of size. 4. Assess your fit in the band, cup, bridge, and straps. 5. Always try on a bra to know how it fits your unique body. 6.Buy fewer bras of better quality. 7. Take care of your bras to get the most mileage for your money. Amoena has additional bra fit tips at

Amoena Life | 23




Check out these resources — Offers both free and paid plans, and you can customize your “workouts” to what you want to achieve —better memory, improvement in learning names/faces, thinking creatively, even doing faster mental calculations. A mobile version is also available for free in the iTunes App Store.

anagram action How many different words can you make from the letters in this phrase?

BrainAge — This highly rated video game series for the Nintendo DS is based on the work of a Japanese neuroscientist and incorporates simple math problem solving, classical literature, Sudoku and more. You use the touch screen and stylus for a very interactive experience.








_______________________ and Brain HQ—Paid and free subscriptions available. Brain HQ’s exercises are designed to improve Attention, Memory, Brain Speed, Intelligence, People Skills, and Navigation, and have been used in clinical trials.







Set a timer for 3 minutes and get neuro-fit!

Clockwork Brain — The London Times chose this as one of the 500 Best Apps in the world. Fun games for spatial, visual, logic, language, math and memory— and word games are available in 9 different languages.

H o w f i t a re your neurons ? Stay at the top of your game by training every day “Brain fitness” caught on years ago as a way to stave off one of the more troubling effects of aging: cognitive impairment, or dementia. Pencils in hand, adults have been working the daily crossword in an attempt to lower their risk of Alzheimer’s and sharpen their minds since the 1980s. In recent years, studies have begun to give evidence that mental function really can be improved—much the same way that physical health can be improved with exercise—by consciously training your brain’s neurons. Why does the brain need training? Scientifically, when mental stimulation takes place, so does neurogenesis; that is, new neurons are created in the brain and they begin to connect with neighboring neurons, firing together in a sort-of combustion of growth. This, in turn, prevents cell death—you might say it keeps the brain’s power switches “turned on.” There are a lot of reasons the brain slows down as we age, and some decline is normal. The human life-cycle allows for lots of mental stimulation all through childhood and formal education, through career training, and then continuing education and hobbies, but oftentimes those activities lessen as we get older. Unfortunately, other events like illness, depression, reactions to certain medications (like chemotherapy), too much alcohol, head injuries and even poor diet and not enough exercise can exacerbate memory problems and function.




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Be active—physically active. The National Institute on Aging recommends that all adults boost their overall health and well-being with regular exercise. It’s unknown whether this directly prevents or delays mental decline, but it can greatly lower the risks for other chronic diseases.

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Play brain games. You can find them everywhere these days—online, in books, in the app store for your smartphone and on your kids’ video game devices. Some experts recommend 20-30 minutes a day for optimal training.

One thing to keep in mind: Doing the same types of brain teasers repeatedly—like daily crosswords—only reinforces the brain’s already established pathways. It isn’t quite as helpful as trying a variety of mental challenges and tasks. So, branch out to really pump up that frontal lobe.


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Eat right. The food you eat delivers nutrients to your whole body, including your brain, and can have a direct effect on your mood, energy level and physical health. Don’t ignore this important component of mental health. Do something interesting. Take a class, learn to play an instrument, read and stay socially, intellectually engaged with friends and family.

word search

Workbooks— Do a quick search for “brain games” on and you’ll reveal more than 8,000 workbooks with brain teasers and tests that work just like the online versions, if you prefer paper and pencil (and it’s okay if you do)! |

Four ways to work the mind’s “muscles”


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C E N G A G E D T K W M B S S Y X V U F C H M L E R M N R Y W Z O D G V V M A Q M S E X E R C I S E O I A Q T S E C V T R R P R N L H I U V T M C T S R Y T Z T M D E D I W A F H D E H H U O H R S F E D N B A E O L K G O N R T L N B S I B A U Y W O G S E M F E M B T K A S R U A X G Z R E I E I A S U B H B T I X R E Q Q F O E D N R I O K S S K H L R N B A Z Z B G N S G I E C U S Y A U B A Z Engaged Stimulate Exercise Sudoku

Crossword Memory Eat Right Neurons

Alzheimers Get Fit Brain Teaser Hobbies SOLUTIONS

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24 | Amoena Life


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paddling with GO Pink DC, a Washington, DC team. “Friends thought once my hair grew back, the cancer was gone and my life was back to normal. In spite of their best efforts, many of them didn’t understand what it’s like to be a breast cancer survivor. My teammates get it and are my total support group,” she says. That feeling of camaraderie is a global commonality for paddlers.


dragon Boating

breast cancer

survivors: Through the waters to friendship By Teresa Schreiber Werth

Dr. Don McKenzie, a Canadian sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia, launched Abreast in a Boat in 1996 to test the idea that repetitive upper-body exercise in women treated for breast cancer encourages lymphedema. McKenzie believed that by following a special exercise/training program, women could in fact avoid lymphedema and enjoy healthier lives. His theory was proven correct. He is credited with bringing dragon boating to the breast cancer community worldwide, and it is now endorsed as an effective and powerful therapy for survivors, promoting health and raising awareness, driven almost exclusively by women who have experienced the disease.

Dragonheart Vermont team members doing what they love!

Paddle around the world Today there are breast cancer survivor teams in Australia, every province in Canada, Dubai, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. Helen Janisse, 70, of Bell River, Canada, and 10-year survivor, recalls 26 | Amoena Life

her first experiences with a paddle. “I wouldn’t be defeated the first few times I went out with my team, the Wonder Broads. It was so difficult but I would not give up!” Six years later, she competes regularly. She paddles April—September in Canada and, in the winter with a club in Florida. She says, “I like the camaraderie [of the Wonder Broads] and the bonds we have. We don’t chat when we’re in the boat. That’s your time to paddle. But after practice we get together, exchange phone calls and support each other in many different ways.” She notes the inevitable losses that are shared with the passing of team members. In fact, a Flower Ceremony is part of almost every dragon boat festival. “It’s still a very emotional moment for me to remember those we have lost to this terrible disease as we toss our flowers on the water.” When Anne Kist talks about her dragon boating experience, she makes you laugh. “At our first festival there were 150 teams. Our team had been practicing all season by sitting on the side of the coach’s pool and paddling, paddling, paddling. The pool never moved. (Our team didn’t own a boat back in 2000.) Our first experience in a boat was at this festival. We came in 149th and that was only because one team dropped out, BUT we were always first on our lane! That pretty much sums up our perspective, even today,” she says with a wink. Kist, program director and coach of Buffalo, New York’s Hope Chest

Dragon Boat Team is 58 years old and a 17-year survivor. In 2001, she transitioned from her career as a physical education teacher to full-time dragon boating, and she has done it all. She began as her team’s drummer. The team now has two boats, five steerers, and more than 60 active paddlers, attracting 27 new members in the last year. All ages and abilities welcome “The Hope Chest Program is about wellness after breast cancer, getting yourself back in shape and it’s free so it’s accessible to all interested survivors,” says Kist. The team has only two rules. “One: each member must attend 12 exercise sessions between January 1 and the beginning of the paddling season. This is really about health and safety. You have already survived breast cancer and you don’t want to injure your back in the boat. And second, in order to paddle in a festival, you need to have attended five practices.” Team members range from survivors in their forties to the oldest who has been paddling for more than 10 years and is 83! One of the attractions of this sport is that it is open to people of all ages, shapes and sizes. “Most of the women on our team don’t consider themselves athletes,” says List. “Many have never worked out before. It’s all about form, technique, building up stamina and having a good time with other survivors.” Donna LoVerde, 56, was diagnosed in 2008. Three years ago she began

Mary McAvoy of Wellington, New Zealand. Photo by Simon Hoyle

Teamed up on the world stage Mary McAvoy, 69, of Wellington, New Zealand is a founding team member of CanSurvive Breast Friends Paddling for Life. The highlight of her 11 years in the water was representing New Zealand in the International Abreast boat on the Thames River in London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant, June 3, 2012, with Dr. Don McKenzie at the helm. Alyson Purssell, 58, and nine-year survivor, belongs to Paddlers for Life (PFL) on Windemere in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK, and also took part in the pageant. Her team hosted a reception at the Canadian Embassy for all of the survivor dragon boat teams that came to paddle for the Queen’s Jubilee, and Paddlers for Life is growing in Manchester and Scotland. The team plans to

Dragon Facts Antiquity to Modernity

paddle at festivals in Dublin, Ireland (2013) and Sarasota, Florida (2014). “Dragon boating has given me a new lease on life!” proclaims Judy Wilson, 61, an eight-year survivor and paddler with the amaBele Belles of Cape Town, South Africa. (amaBele is the Xhousa word for “breast.”) Her team practices three times weekly in the waterfront at the base of Table Mountain. She was also chosen to paddle in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on an international team of 14 paddlers representing seven countries. When Linda Dyer, 60, and Pam Blum, 54, of Dragonheart Vermont were chosen to represent the US on that same team, they were honored and excited to show the world that there is life after breast cancer. “When you consider that we paddled for 13 miles…one can truly understand the fortitude of the women in that boat. They were indomitable!” In founding Dragonheart Vermont 10 years ago, Dyer has led her team to achievements that have been filled with gratification and surprises. In 2012, they earned a spot and competed successfully, winning gold and silver, in the Club Crew World Championships in Hong Kong, the busiest harbor in the world. She recalls one of the finest moments happening at registration when they got their ID tags with large, bold letters saying, “ATHLETE.” “We looked at those tags and realized we had come a long way from getting an infusion in a chemo chair. That’s really quite a transformation!”

Her club’s mission statement says

Team Dragonheart Vermont celebrates a hard won victory in Hong Kong, 2012.

it all. “The members of Dragonheart Vermont strive to promote breast cancer awareness in our community, to provide hope to other cancer survivors and their families to live each moment fully, and to support our own team members in a spirit of camaraderie and joy. When breast cancer survivors participate in dragon boating, they provide a face to the disease and the statistics. Breast cancer is what brought our team members together. Friendship is what keeps us together. Racing dragon boats is not our point. Our race is against breast cancer. In China, the dragon traditionally symbolizes a good omen. It is the heartfelt hope of Dragonheart Vermont that the dragon will protect us until the race against breast cancer brings an end to this disease at last. Peraques ad fraternitatem, ‘through the waters to friendship.’” | Teresa Schreiber Werth is a retired communications professional and four year survivor of stage 3 triple negative breast cancer. Last winter she joined the Nature Coast Dragon Boat Club in Homosassa, FL. It has opened up wonderful new experiences and friendships all over the world.

Dragon boat racing has its roots in ancient China, where the first races were held more than 2,500 years ago along the banks of the Yangtze River, in the same era in which the Greeks were holding their athletic competitions in Olympia. • Introduced to the modern era in the 1970s • More than 2 million competitors on every continent including survivors and their supportive friends and family members • Low cost and ease of getting started are attractive features • All ages and abilities welcomed • Team bonding integral to the experience • Synchronizing and technique critical for success • Boats: 41-ft. long teak (traditional) or fiberglass and marine plywood (modern), without the head and tail, which are added for festivals • Crew: 20 paddlers/2 abreast, 1 steersperson, 1 drummer • Equipment: 42”—51” paddle (wood, carbon fiber, hybrid, fiberglass), Personal Flotation Device, seat cushion, exercise gloves Amoena Life | 27


Leading the Way

Meet Amoena USA’s new President

Dear Reader, It is our great pleasure to introduce Amoena USA’s new president and general manager, Paula Schneider, by sharing an essay that she, a breast cancer survivor like many of you, wrote recently. We know you’re going to like her.

I never was much of a crier. In fact, for most of my childhood and certainly my adult life, I was large and in charge. Personally, I had it all: an adoring husband, two beautiful daughters and a successful career. I was healthy and happy until that moment in 2007 when I felt a lump underneath my arm. I will never forget the day of my diagnosis. You hear those words that frighten you to the core: you have breast cancer. At that point you have to make a choice. You can continue down the deep, black hole or you can gather all your strength and fight like hell. I’m a fighter. I used my business acumen and I created a wellness strategy much like I would have created a business plan, except the stakes were much higher and my business was to stay alive. I combined Western medicine — chemo, mastectomy, radiation, barfing — with Eastern medicine — meditation, massage, reiki and the power of positive thinking. (As you may have surmised, Eastern medicine was much more pleasant.) It was the most difficult time in my life. The smallest gestures of kindness made me cry. Just looking at my daughters made me cry. Shaving my head made me cry. Having my husband carry me to the bathroom made me cry. Chemo definitely made me cry. There were so many things that made me cry, that I nicknamed myself Chemo Sobby. The hardest thing for most women to do is relinquish control and let others help them. People always ask me how I have changed after going through breast cancer. I wish I could come up with some fabulous catharsis that happened. I adored my family, lived in a beautiful place, and had a great career. I just wanted my life back. I didn’t want to run off and be a Tibetan monk or move to India to become a yoga guru. The most powerful thing that happened to me was the realization that I can help

28 | Amoena Life

other women just like me. In the past five years I have become an advocate for breast cancer research and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars with help from my incredible family and friends. I formed teams, participated in the Avon walk (we kicked pink ass and were in the top three fundraisers every year) and hosted a lavish “Pink Party” for 250 of my closest friends every summer. Although I certainly would have preferred to never have had breast cancer, the experience gave me the greatest gifts. The gift of support from the most remarkable family and friends anyone could ask for, and the gift of making a difference to thousands of women. I calculated (yes, my business acumen again) that if one in seven women gets breast cancer, then the money we raised could have saved upwards of 1,000 lives. What an incredible feeling. I am honored to be President of Amoena USA and Latin America, to continue my quest to help women during what is undoubtedly the most difficult time in their lives. I feel that working with the dedicated team at Amoena, we can make life for breast cancer survivors a little easier and help women feel as beautiful as they truly are.

a creative soul embraces every curve

Since a breast cancer diagnosis means something different to every woman affected and doesn’t discriminate based on a woman’s size or shape, the theme for this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Pin celebrates how important it is to Embrace Every Curve— the curves of our bodies, as well as the curves life throws our way. This year’s pin artist, Sara Weingartner (she previously created a design in 2003), found her inspiration by focusing on a victorious female who has conquered breast cancer. Sara’s design depicts a woman wrapped in the pink ribbon, and to her way of thinking, the ribbon symbolizes all the good and bad that comes with a diagnosis. When asked how she approached the project, Sara shares: “You ask what good can come from cancer? Well, for me, it was about my peak awareness of the preciousness of life. People who cared about me came out of the woodwork and I was wrapped with an amazing outpouring of support. My family was there for me every day. I was truly blessed, which made me see the goodness in the world. I learned a lot about my body and I brought awareness of breast cancer to everyone around me. I connected with a higher being in a profound way. Having cancer also made me care less about trivial things and made me focus on my passions – and of course, next to my family, art is at the top of that list.” A visit to Sara’s website,, feels about as far away from breast cancer as you can get! In this fanciful realm, the first thing you notice is her glorious use of colors and whimsical images. Sara’s creative world is filled with magical characters where you are likely to encounter a laughing pig, a singing moose, a frog driving a car, turtles dreaming, or a mother embracing her child.

Sara Weingartner


Breast Cancer Awareness Pin Artist

The 2013 limited edition pin, Embrace Every Curve, is available at participating Amoena retailers this fall. Net proceeds from the pin sales are donated to deserving charitable breast cancer organizations across the globe. To find an Amoena retailer near you, visit the Store Locator at or call 1-800-741-0078.

She is now ten years out from her breast cancer diagnosis, but remembers clearly what it felt like to be a new mom (her daughter Claire was just one year old when she was diagnosed) dealing with one of the biggest curves life can throw your way. She doesn’t dwell on those times, but counsels anyone currently dealing with a diagnosis to try to find ways to embrace their new normal. From her current perspective, life couldn’t get much better. She and husband David welcomed another member to their family four years ago with the arrival of son Benjamin, and as she says, “I’m in a really different place right now. At one point I realized what I had lost (bodily, and how my future had changed), but I found what I needed was to paint my feelings.” At present, Sara is in the midst of a two-year project creating 42 original works of art for the Minneapolis Children’s Hospitals of MN. Her playful characters are sure to help the children being treated there feel much less like they are in a hospital setting. Grateful that life’s unexpected curves have led her to a much better place than where she found herself just a little over ten years ago, when she ponders this year’s pin design, Sara says, “For me this woman is wrapped with a ribbon of power, love, compassion, knowledge, insight, passion, support, victory, joy, and the understanding of the true importance in life.” |

Amoena Life | 29

Fee ling


I, like nearly everyone I know, am trying to improve myself, and I think it’s unfair that the bar keeps getting raised higher and higher. These days, if you aren’t meditating, practicing yoga, communing with the universe,or otherwise confirming you are into the “new age,” you’re akin to a black and white television: interesting, but definitely a wee bit strange and outdated. Admittedly, I’m a product of the sex, drugs, rock n’ roll era. While those aims weren’t nearly as lofty—upon reflection, they weren’t lofty at all!—they were much easier to obtain. Perhaps our current fascination with the mind, body and spirit is a direct result of having a generation that was so selfindulgent. And speaking of self-indulgent, when it comes to trying to better myself, I want a quick fix. For gosh sakes, I work a full-time job while juggling two other careers. I need Nirvana, and I need it fast! With this quest in mind, I consulted the Internet (of course!). To my relief, I found a website dedicated to my cause du jour— the mind, body, spirit connection. I started with the mind (yes, it was the first choice given) by clicking a link entitled, “Make Fear Your Friend.” As a breast cancer survivor, this was right up my alley, since fear

30 | Amoena Life

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Out of My Mind, Over My Body, and into the Spirits

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and I have been on a first-name basis for way too long. The article told the importance of taking long, slow, deep breaths whenever fear raises its ugly head. It also suggested that posture plays a role in allowing fear to overtake us—so I got to breathing deeply and sitting up straighter. You know what? I actually felt much better. Next I progressed to the body, duly warned by The Internet to be on the lookout, because there is (apparently) a Harmful BPA Chemical on cash register receipts. (I noticed my breath becoming a bit shallower.) Jeez, don’t I have enough problems without having to worry if the receipt I get at the cash register is making me sick? When I attempted to follow the link promising to tell me which stores are guilty, I landed on a Huffington Post page with the blaring headline, “In Memoriam.” I was greatly relieved to discover my link had expired, and I had simply landed on the current day’s news. (At this point, I’m still trying to sit up straight and take calming breaths, but part of me is wishing I’d started my day with a cup of coffee and a Danish—at least I know those are bad for me, so there are no surprises!) I clicked the Back button, but had quite literally lost my mind. No matter what I typed, the previous site would not materialize. How, I asked myself (I don’t think I said it out loud) am I supposed to find out how to manage my spirit when I can’t find the page again?? To my dismay, when I re-Googled the words mind, body, and spirit, I got 75,400,000 results in 0.25 seconds. I don’t know about you, but now my mind is boggled. After several attempts, I managed to locate the lost website. My optionsfor spirit were:

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every curve





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Tell us about your favorite Amoena products or how you’re living well, or comment on our articles. We would love to hear from you! Email with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line.

Unless that last one was about how to change the color of an elephant, I didn’t think it was going to help my efforts to breathe deeply and relax, so I opted for the 7 Affirmations. This particular essay had to do with the Law of Detachment. It told me to let go, because nothing in the material world has any real value, and that attaching ourselves to “things” makes us fearful and worried that we might lose them. So apparently, the fact that I am attached to my mind and body is not a good thing, and keeps me from discovering my spirit. I have now been sitting up straight so long my back hurts, and I’ve been breathing so deeply I’m nearly comatose. I decide that perhaps it’s time for a different sort of spirit, so I grab a glass of wine, run a nice, warm bubble bath, and as I lower myself into the tub for a much needed soak, I chant a mantra right out of the ’70s: Calgon, take me away! |

Join us in conversation. Email



• “7 Affirmations for Letting Go;” • “How to Connect to Your Higher Self” (I think I did that back in the ’70s); and • “Dying, the Elephant in the Room.”

Dianne (Browne) Armitage was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. The eldest of six children, her early aspiration was to write the great American novel. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 and again in 2005, she realises that humour has helped her deal with her diagnosis and just might be therapeutic to others as well. In addition to her work with Amoena, Dianne has written for Dr Susan Love’s website and is a frequent contributor to several other health-related sites.

Fall 2013


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Moret g rea s articlee! onlin



E-mail I am a: q Breast Cancer Survivor

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Breast Cancer Survivor

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Looking ahead at life. Encouragement. Education. Ideas. Support. Friendship.

Amoena Life | 31

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Amoena Life Fall 2013  

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