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The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions is comprised of diverse health care disciplines, including nursing, health care administration, athletic training, public health and health care informatics. We are united by the common goal of training the next generation of health care professionals and leaders to effectively address health care challenges. The content of this blog includes perspectives on current health care topics, discussion about health care trends, a showcase of successful alumni and faculty and posts about our passion for our respective fields.
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Category: Healthy Living
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By Danielle Henderson
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Growing up, I remember always being disappointed when vegetables were put on my plate, but I never asked myself why. In high school I was excited because we were allowed to go off campus for lunch, which meant I had one meal of day with “freedom.” There were plenty of fast food options within walking distance and once my friends and I started to drive, possibilities were endless.

As a freshman in college I continued this eating out trend. But once I moved off campus, I began to cook often. While I was eating healthier than I had ate since living at home, it wasn’t until I graduated and began teaching health in a Brooklyn, New York high school that I started to learn the power of food.

The health teacher before me left materials in the classroom, including a yellow DVD titled King Corn. Out of desperation for an in-class activity one day, I played the DVD, which discussed corn in America. I learned that everything, and I mean almost everything is made with corn. This led me to watch a second documentary about food, titled, Food, Inc.

After watching Food, Inc., I decided I was done eating meat. I thought this would last one week, but it turned in to six years of being a vegetarian. My family was skeptical, my friends were skeptical, but I stuck with it. My main motivator was that I wanted to practice what I was preaching to my students.

Fast forward six years, I came home one day, and my mom was watching a documentary about food. I asked, “What are you watching.”  She replied, “A new documentary, ‘What the Health’, I’m going to become a vegan.” I looked at her with a blank stare, sat down and we started it over. We were both surprised to learn how food has cured chronic disease in so many.

After reading more books (two of my favorites are “How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease” by Michael Gregor and “Food: What the heck should I eat?” By Mark Hyman) I decided to embody a plant-based lifestyle. But really, the biggest thing I’ve learned, is to pay attention to how food makes me feel. It’s not about losing weight or the new fad diet.

Food is fuel.

When I eat fried food, I don’t feel good. When I eat a fresh salad filled with vegetables, nuts and an olive oil based dressing, I do. To date, I have been plant based for almost two years. I still eat out, for there is always a healthy option. Sometimes I have to be bold and ask the waiter or waitress, but I have never been turned away. I’ve learned to cook so many new things and really I embrace the journey I am having with food. I encourage everyone to find the foods that make them feel good physically and mentally. It is one thing you can do to be the best you.

The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions helps students prepare for rewarding careers in the healthcare field. Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us using the green Request More Information button at the top of the page.

References

  • Anderson, K., & Kuhn, K. (Producers), & Anderson, K. and Kuhn, K. (Directors). (2017). What the health. [Video/DVD] Santa Rosa, CA: A.U.M. Films & Media.
  • Greger, M. (2015). How not to die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease. New York: Flatiron Books.
  • Hyman, M. (2018). Food: What the heck should I eat? (1st ed.). Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
  • Kenner, R. and Pearlstein, E. (Directors). (2009). Food, inc. [Video/DVD] Los Angeles, CA: Magnolia Home Entertainment.
  • Cheney, I., Ellis, C., & Woolf, A. (Producers), & Woolf, A. (Director). (2007). King corn. [Video/DVD] Balcony Releasing.
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By Xochitl Wilson
Bachelors in Dietetics, 15 years plus in Nutrition Education, Health Coach and former GCU student

As I was prepping my meals for the week, the thought that has crossed my mind since 2006, how is it possible that the United States suffers from food insecurity? Specifically, Arizonans. Guilt and helplessness overwhelmed me because I’m able to open my refrigerator and have the option to choose between a variety of milk types to make pancakes. Helpless because I’m only one person that wishes she had a magic wand to prevent disadvantaged children, adults, and seniors from finding themselves without food. We can go around and round about some of the choice’s adults make and why they may see themselves in undesirable situations. However, the question should be, what can I do to mitigate food insecurity within our communities?

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By Delia F. Begay
Student, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Many health issues are affecting millions of people throughout the world. One of the many health issues is known as cancer. There is not just one type of cancer but instead over 100 types of cancer (NIH, 2015). Depending on the location within the body where cancer starts, that is where its name is derived from. Healthy human cells grow as needed, die off, get removed and regenerate. However, with cancer, those cells continue to grow, divide more, become more abnormal, do not die and often spread into surrounding tissues. These masses of tissue are known as tumors and tumors can be malignant (cancerous), or benign (non-cancerous). Cancer is a genetic disease which is a change made within the gene that controls the cells normal healthy functions.

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There are many different elements involved in patient treatment, and nurses need to stay in-the-know about all of them. If you’re a registered nurse, then Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Healthcare Professions can help you stay on top of the latest trends in health care while gaining the skills necessary to further your career. When you’re always learning, you’ll stay informed about different types of treatment, including pet therapy.

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By Dulce Maria Ruelas
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, as a public health practitioner, awareness is ongoing. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in all race and ethnic background women (Lee et al., 2017). Most recent data (2014) positions breast cancer at an incidence of 236,968 new cases a year, which is a rate of 123.9 percent and 41, 211 deaths. This translates to a 20.5 percent yearly death rate among women (CDC, 2017). Current data (2014) records that the highest rate of incidence was in women ages 70-74 (CDC, 2017). In 2009 United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended there be biennial screening for women ages 50-74. The screening recommendation age has now shifted ten years. This means that screening now starts at age 40 and the timing from yearly to biennial, (Qin, Tangka, Guy, & Howard, 2016) thus then decreasing potential mammography’s among average-risk women of all ethnicities.

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By Dulce Maria Ruelas
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Smoking is no longer an individual economic burden but a population health complexity because of the ramifications of secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke, environmental conditions, healthcare utilization, mortality rates, disability and quality of life. Tobacco control was initiated with the 1964 surgeon general’s report of the effects of smoking on public health (Levy, Meza, Zhang, & Holford, 2016).

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By Dulce Ruelas
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Public health is about health promotion and education. However, sometimes prevention discussion is needed to stop the exacerbation of a chronic condition or creation of co-morbidities. The conversation that surrounds diabetes is a combination of these terms.  Being a college student with diabetes can be cumbersome but manageable. Whether you are living on campus or commuting to classes, note that juggling diabetes and college life is possible.

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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness around the world. According to the American Cancer Society, one in five deaths in the United States are caused by cigarette smoking. Quitting smoking is not easy and it does not happen overnight. However, there are many benefits to quitting. Two weeks to three months after quitting, your circulation improves and your lung function increases. After one year of being smoke-free, your heart attack risk drops dramatically. Ten years after quitting smoking, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who still smokes.

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By Veronica Perez, MPH, CHES
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing & Health Care Professions

The dangers of tobacco and cigarette smoking are well-documented. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no safe tobacco product because all forms of tobacco are addictive and harmful to health. In recent years, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have become popular with teens and young adults. E-cigarettes (also called “vapes” or “vape pens”) are devices containing nicotine and flavorings that heat liquid into an aerosol which is then inhaled by the user. Use of e-cigarettes is commonly called “vaping.” As conventional cigarette smoking rates decline, vaping rates are on a steady climb among youth and adults. These devices are viewed by many as safer than cigarette smoking…but is vaping a safer alternative to smoking?

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