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Mushrooms Go Pink for breast cancer!22.10.12

When I was 25 my boyfriend and I decided to head over to London on a 2 year working visa. We didn’t have any jobs lined up, we just thought we’d wing it. And we were deadset on professional jobs, no bars! Oh how confident and risky we were!*

It was going to be a big adventure for both of us, especially me, who had never lived out of home before**. Being the pedantic perfectionist that I was (and still am) I made lots of lists – what to pack, which forms needed to be filled in and most importantly, which health issues needed to be sorted out before we left (uh, we didn’t want to rely on the NHS for emergency dental care!).

Next on the list…

One of the appointments on my to-do list was obviously getting a pap smear and breast check. I was a very good girl (still am!) when it came to these things, so had had many checks before and was always given the all clear.

So off I went to my gyno to get the icky stuff done. I told her about my trip and she was excited for me. She spent a bit longer on the breast check than normal, but I just thought she was being super thorough.

Turns out she was.

Next thing I know I have a referral for an ultrasound in my hand and I’m sitting in my car bawling my eyes out. I’m usually super positive, but this scared me to the core.

Then, as only a care-free 25 year old could, I suddenly thought “What if I can’t go to London because of this?”

Jeez I’m funny. What about dying of Cancer Christie? That should probably be your main concern.

Time to check it out…

Fast forward to later that afternoon (after I had called my Mum and my boyfriend and scared the hell out of them), and I was sitting in the waiting room at the hospital.

My name was called and I went into the cold white room with the lady in the white coat. Cold jelly was put onto an ultrasound scanner and pressed all over  my left breast.

It seemed like an age as she checked and checked and checked. While more thoughts started getter darker, more worried and darker than ever.

That’s it…

Then all of a sudden the woman stopped checking and said “That’s it”.

“That’s it?” I said. “What do you mean?”

“There’s nothing there. Your doctor must have been being overly cautious because of your long trip overseas. You’re free to go”.

I felt dizzy as I walked out of there. How could it be possible to feel such a broad range of feelings in one day? So many thoughts rushed through my brain.

I was clear. I was relieved. I was not going to die of cancer. I was going to London.

Thought I’d break up this heavy blog post with this bit of light relief above. Cute huh?

Why am I telling you about my breast check?

October is breast cancer awareness month, and today October 22nd is Pink Ribbon Day. Since my little scare back in 2005 I have been even more cautious about getting checked out and leading a healthy lifestyle to reduce my risk – not just of breast cancer – but all cancers.

A few years back I started working with the Australian Mushroom Growers Association through my food blog. I have always adored mushrooms so it was a natural fit, but I am even more privileged to work with them in light of some amazing new research.

Did you know that mushrooms are the only fresh produce item that the Cancer Council has allowed as a partner? Well they are. And that’s because of this fascinating new research.  It has found that women who ate only 10g of mushrooms a day had a 65% lower risk of breast cancer (Zhang 2009) and two other studies in 2008 and 2010 showed similar results.

Keep your eyes peeled at your local supermarket and green grocer for mushrooms sold in pink containers this month, as a portion of the proceeds will be donated by the Australian Mushrooms Growers to directly support breast cancer research. They are hoping to raise $50,000 this year – and that’s after already donating a whopping $180,000 in the last three years. Show your support by buying pink mushies!

Want more detailed info? Watch this video if you have a few minutes…

Don’t have time to watch the video? No worries. Here’s a few facts for you.

5 Healthy Reasons to Eat Mushrooms

  • Mushrooms are not a fruit OR a vegetable. They are a FUNGI. Yep, they are their very own biological kingdom.
  • A serve of mushrooms provides over 20% of the RDI for each of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and the minerals selenium and copper.
  • Australian research suggests that women eating 10g mushrooms or more daily have a 50-65% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those women who don’t eat mushrooms. There are unique compounds in mushrooms that may protect us from both breast and prostate cancer.
  • Mushrooms naturally have vitamin D. They are the only non-animal food to have natural vitamin D, generated automatically when they are exposed to light.
  • Not only are mushrooms very low in kilojoules and energy density, research reveals that they are filling and dampen the appetite at subsequent meals.

Win a Girls Day Out for yourself and 3 friends!

Last but not least, the Australian Mushroom Growers are taking the girly theme to the next level. This month, one lucky mushroom fan will win a luxurious pamper day for herself and 3 friends. Enter at the website here or on their Facebook page here.

Hungry for Mushroom Recipes Now?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Check these out from my other blog:

Are you vigilant about getting your breasts checked? If you are, get the word out there! And big thanks to the Mushroom Growers for supporting such a worthy cause!
Christie x

This post is proudly sponsored by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association as part of their Mushrooms Go Pink Campaign for 2012.

*Turns out our confidence was a plus, as we both secured professional jobs within 2 months of hitting London. By the way that boyfriend is now my husband. **My Mum will like me mentioning that I lived at home until I was 25, it’s her pride and joy.

  • Seana Smith

    Lovely post Christie, I’m glad that you didn’t have a lump in your breast, and even gladder that you did check and that your doctor was cautious. My friend who has finished treatment was at the GP to check a lump the day before flying out on a 5-week trip. Well, she did have the lump and she never made the flight. But she’s well now, thank goodness. 

    Must check out your recipes, but for today I’ve got a pumpkin curry on the stove, and Anzac cookies coolling.  Hooray!

    • Christie Connelly

      Oh I’m so sorry to hear that Seana. It is so important for us all to get the word out there about this horrible disease that affects so many Australian women!

      You’ve got me craving pumpkin curry now… :)

  • Mushroom Enthusiast

    Thanks for the insight Christie. And with all those healthy mushrooms you should stay on the pathway to good health (and give you the energy to cope with Poppy!).

    • Christie Connelly

      Let’s hope so! Thanks :0)

  • Sonia@ LIfe Love and Hiccups

    This is such a fabulous cause Christie. Thank you so much for getting me involved. I am so glad your Dr was just being overly cautious – but it is enough to shake you up for life isnt it. Thanks again hun xx