In an op-ed in the New York Times today, Jolie wrote that she has a “faulty” BRCA1 gene, which greatly increases her risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancers. Earlier this year she underwent three months of medical procedures involving the mastectomies. Her risk of developing breast cancer has now dropped to 5 percent.Jolie is not alone in her decision to undergo a double mastectomy. The number of women with early-stage breast cancer who have had double mastectomies has increased by more than 150 percent between 1998 and 2003, according to a study presented at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference. That includes prominent Washington women. In July 2011 The Washingtonian wrote about George Washington University’s chief of breast surgery, Christy Teal, and her decision to undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy—despite not having the gene that increases one’s risk.
DC Superior Court chief judge Lee F. Satterfield began the morning of November 28, 2011, with “a pretty good headache.”
“I thought it had to do with all the things I had to do that day, and I hadn’t eaten breakfast,” he recalls. On the agenda for Satterfield: delivering a eulogy at funeral for a former chief judge in Silver Spring, followed by an afternoon meeting back at his DC office.
But the headache only worsened as the day continued. It was his colleague who finally noticed something odd about Satterfield during their meeting. “Are you okay?” she asked him.
“I just assumed I was speaking normally,” Satterfield says, when in fact, the chief judge had begun to speak “unusually.” He felt an odd sensation on the left side of his body. “It wasn’t numbness—I don’t know how to explain it. But it just didn’t feel right.”
With the support of DC City Council members Tommy Wells and Jack Evans, the DC Department of Transportation expects an August start date for the installation of the M Street cycle track.
“It’s not just about painting some lines on the road. It’s much more complicated than that,” said Wells at Monday night’s Walk the Track event, during which a few dozen cyclists walked the proposed 1.3-mile M Street cycle track from Thomas Circle to Georgetown.
The M Street cycle track will be installed on the north side of M Street between 14th and 28th streets, Northwest, and run west to Georgetown. The bike lane’s installation is expected to cost between $50,000 and $100,000, says Greg Billing, WABA’s advocacy coordinator.
Tommie Smith is no stranger to implementing change. With his infamous Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympic Games where he broke the 20-second sound barrier in the 200-meter dash and won the gold medal, he sparked both conversation and controversy. He went on to break more world records—11, to be exact. But he says it was his time spent as a teacher for 38 years that inspired him to found the Tommie Smith Youth Track Meet for boys and girls ages 5 to 18.
Two days before the fifth annual DC meet, we talked to Tommie about his history as an athlete, his current health routine, and what’s to come for the young runners participating this weekend.
Why did you choose DC as one of the cities to host this track meet?
We saw a need for something like this when it came to the educational process and growth of children. We wanted to open the eyes of residents here. We also happen to have a lot of manpower here, and it’s gotten to the point where we have three generals and have now reached a two-to-one ratio when it comes to DC and Oakland, California, the other city where we host this meet.
Jillian Michaels says two simple sentences have helped her become a “very rich person”: “Eat less” and “Move more.”
“Can you believe that shit?” Michaels told the audience packed into Warner Theatre last night for her Maximize Your Life motivational tour.
Michaels, who became famous for her sergeant-like training and tough talk on the reality show The Biggest Loser (now in its 15th season), spoke about nutrition, exercise, and self-worth for more than two hours to an audience eager to find out how the once-chubby kid from Los Angeles became one of the most well-known personal trainers in the country. Standing in front of a flashy backdrop and pulling examples from her own life, the foul-mouthed, five-foot-three personal trainer wowed a female-dominated crowd with her real talk.
Read on for some of the most memorable moments and helpful health lessons we learned from Michaels’s show.
Confession: I am kind of a couch potato.
Yes, I know, I’m a health and fitness blogger—shouldn’t I be out and about every day, happily sweating from whatever new fitness fad is out there? Sure, and I do, for the most part. But otherwise, you’ll likely find me on my couch, in my sweatpants, binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.
Let me be clear: I don’t hate exercising. But other couch potatoes—though few and far between in Washington—do. In fact, new research shows that some people may have certain genetic traits that predispose them to being less motivated to exercise. In other words, if dragging yourself to the gym is like pulling teeth no matter how in shape you are, your genes could be to blame.
Three weeks ago I ran my first half marathon. Which was also my first-ever race. And I had a terrible cold.
Ordinarily, I’m the kind of person who sequesters herself firmly on the couch at the first sign of a sniffle, but in this case, after three months of getting up in the cold and dark to train and countless weekends of tourist-dodging while jogging around the Mall, it wasn’t an option. I didn’t quite reach my goal of finishing in under two hours (my final time was a maddening 2:00:30) but the experience of running 13.1 miles through the city with all the cheerleaders and crowds was unforgettable.
My runner’s high only lasted for so long, though. A week later, after the cold had enacted its revenge for several days, I was struggling to run farther than a mile and began to worry that all the fitness I’d built up had evaporated. I was also feeling sluggish and unmotivated without a training schedule. In my post-race low, I turned to local running experts for answers.
For the second year in a row, Fairfax and Howard counties have been deemed the healthiest in the Washington metro region, according to a recent ranking conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Overall, the County Health Rankings report found that rates of premature deaths are at the lowest level in 20 years. Violent crime has decreased by almost 50 percent over the past 20 years.
One might call Steve Mekowski a mad scientist. He is, after all, the mastermind behind Goûter, the line of raw and vegan products you may have noticed popping up at your local gym or yoga and cycling studios.
Within the past year, local athletes from every realm—cyclists, yogis, runners—have gone gaga for Goûter, which means “snack” or “taste” in French. But while the brightly colored drinks may look like an average part of the juice craze that’s hit Washington, Mekowski and partner V Orban want you to know there’s a big difference in the products’ ingredients.
“Yoga studios and gyms typically only sell water or sugary drinks,” says Mekowski, a former culinary chef. “I wanted to create a drink that is lighter than juice and more medicinal.” Enter Goûter tonics, raw and vegan bottled drinks that Mekowski created after Orban developed a stomach ulcer and realized she’d have to take medication for the rest of her life.
Not only is March National Nutrition Month, but it also celebrates the health of two organs that don’t get much love: our kidneys. National Kidney Month aims to bring awareness to those two fist-size organs located on either side of your spine, just under your lower ribs. Why are they so important? Think of your kidneys as a strainer—they keep in some things that are good and get rid of things that are bad. They make urine, remove waste, and help produce red blood cells. Needless to say, if they fail, it means seriously bad news for your health.
And that’s just the start of it. Read on for more facts about your kidneys that you probably don’t know.
1. DC has a big kidney disease problem.
One in nine adult Americans has chronic kidney disease, while Washington leads the nation in the number of new cases of kidney disease each year. According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney disease kills more people each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, or leukemia. It’s also the ninth leading cause of death in the country.