Episode 20: Celebrating Holiday Traditions with Malena Perdomo

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Celebrating holiday traditions with Malena means focusing on family. We start this episode like so many others, by talking about Malena’s cancer connection. In particular, her family history and how genetics plays a role but isn’t the whole story.

How you live your life has a huge impact on how your genes manifest. For Malena, prevention is key! As a dietitian, she’s well aware of the role nutrition plays in cancer prevention, but like many of us, she struggles with self-care including keeping stress in check, making time to exercise, and not overindulging in alcohol.

If you struggle with these things too, you’ll want to listen carefully when Malena talks about how she stays motivated. I love how she calls it her “free happy(ness) booster”!

“I try to find activities that I like. I think the motivation really comes with tracking and journaling and making sure that you are getting at least three days of moderate or high intensity activity per week.”

Malena Perdomo, MS, RDN

We talked about alcohol. How could you not this time of year? But especially this year because that’s how many Americans got through the pandemic.

But alcohol is a double-edged sword. It takes the pressure off (temporarily) and your mind off it’s worries, but it interferes with sleep, makes you feel horrible after it wears off, and can turn into a very disruptive habit.

Finally, we talk about the important things in celebrating holiday traditions. Connecting with others, remembering loved ones who’ve passed away (recently and long ago), and keeping their memories alive in special ways like cooking the foods they cooked or just holding on to familiar flavors (whether you cook them or buy them).

I hope this episode sparks good vibes in you and helps you appreciate the holidays this year no matter where your loved ones are. Make the dishes they love(d) and hold them close.

Highlights from the episode and a link to the whole episode are below.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  • 2:53 Reducing risk when you have a family history of cancer.
  • 5:45 To mastectomy or not to mastectomy: a very personal decision.
  • 7:00 Very real financial considerations.
  • 9:13 What to do for cancer prevention.
  • 12:05 How to motivate yourself.
  • 16:35 Getting REAL about alcohol.
  • 26:37 Being social, relating to others, and family traditions.
  • 30:17 Celebrating the holidays during COVID.
  • 34:55 Keeping the memories of our loved ones alive with traditions.
  • 41:06 The foods that speak of Christmas and one that has a special kick!

Links mentioned in today’s podcast:

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