Friday, November 1, 2013

Cup size vs Reality

Cup size does not relate to self worth! 
We are here to guide you through the fitting process, which can be involved and complicated.  Especially
since c
up sizes can differ from style to style and no two companies are alike. It is very possible to buy
3 bras and have 3 different sizes. 

Having learned the principals of style, structure and variations in bra design, we can put you in
the right cup size for you.  We promise!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bust bounce

I not sure where I found this, but the information is mostly straight on. Tissue containment is the key for comfort and support. Most inexpensive sport bras flatten breast tissue. Mashing the tissue into a uni-boob. Without cup size separation the uni-boob moves up and down freely in your bra. Layering only squashes the tissue more. Though it may not move, mashing and squashing is probably not that healthy for your tissues.
The theory then would be to divide and conquer to minimize the bounce for healthy breasts.
If your sports fit does not look like the one below it's time to find a better way.

How to Weigh Your Breasts: 7 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow

Have you wondered how much your breasts weighed? If so you may have discovered that it's harder to weigh things that are attached to the rest of your body. These steps aren't perfect, but should give a useable estimate.


  1. 1
    Fill a bowl to the brim with warm water.
  2. 2
    Weigh empty baking tray and record the weight (or set the scale to zero when weighing the empty tray).
  3. 3
    Place full bowl in the tray.
  4. 4
    Fully submerge one breast in the bowl of water. Allow the displaced water to overflow into the tray below.
  5. 5
    Compute the weight of the displaced water by taking the difference between the weights of the full tray and the empty tray.
  6. 6
    Breast tissue is less dense than water. Multiply the weight of the water by 0.9 to compensate for this. This is the weight of your breast.
  7. 7
    Most women are not completely symmetrical. Repeat all steps with the other breast.

    Click here for direct link.

10 simple ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer

breast cancer risk reduction
It’s now about half-way through Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I’ve been seeing pink wherever I go. But no sparkly pin, embellished wine glass, or pink sports jersey is going to make us more aware of the fact that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. We’re already aware because we’ve all been effected by it, either directly or indirectly through a woman we know and love.
It’s time to focus on prevention, focus on the fact that there are a number of environmental factors and lifestyle choices that significantly increase our risk of developing breast cancer, and that these risk factors can be avoided.
10 simple ways to prevent breast cancer
  1. Go anti-antiperspirants: sweat is natural ladies – own it! Aluminum, the active ingredient is most antiperspirant deodorants, mimics estrogen and can also cause direct damage to DNA. While no direct causal link between breast cancer and aluminum has been clinically demonstrated, breast tissue has been shown to concentrate aluminum, which is troubling given aluminum’s DNA-damaging abilities. Most interestingly, the aluminum is concentrated in the same area where the highest proportion of breast cancers are diagnosed. Hmm… Check out my DIY all-natural detoxifying deodorant which has  an ingredient that actually pulls metals and toxins from the skin, or see #2 for some resources to help you purchase a safer deodorant. 
  2. Detox your beauty and personal care routine: the US has one of the shortest lists of chemicals that have been banned for use in cosmetics – 11 compared to over 1,000 banned by the European Union! Worse yet, the industry’s review council has reviewed only 20% of the ingredients used in personal care products (some “review council,” huh?). Some of these chemicals – including parabens, triclosan, and ethylene oxide, just to name a few – have been linked to hormone disruption and/or irregular breast development, which can increase the risk of breast cancer. Luckily, a number of organizations have stepped in to help protect consumers. Use the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to help you learn about the ingredients in your beauty products and find safer options. If you’re an iPhone user, check out the awesome new app Think Dirty (every time you use it during the month of October, they will donate a dollar to the Breast Cancer Fund – how cool is that!?).
  3. End your toxic relationship with plastic: this terrible product is just everywhere nowadays! Plasticizers including BPA have been linked to a slew of ailments including hormone-disruption which may increase the risk of breast cancer. Guess what? BPA-free plastic is not necessarily any safer than plastic with BPA! In fact, BPA-free is a load of B(P)S! Literally. Many manufacturers have replaced BPA with its chemical-cousin, BPS, which has the same nasty record. See 10 ways to end your relationship with plastic for ideas and tips. 
  4. Loose those extra pounds once and for all: a number of studies have concluded and the Surgeon General warns that gaining more than 20 pounds between age 18 and midlife can double the risk of developing post-menopausal breast cancer (wowza). Anne McTiernan, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, has even stated that a quarter of all breast cancer cases could be prevented by women achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. This is because estrogen is stored in fat, and elevated estrogen levels increases the risk of breast cancer.
  5. Get moving – even if it’s just a stroll: a recent study found that moderate physical activity (walking for an hour a day) reduced breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women by 14%, while vigorous physical activity (running, etc. in addition to walking for an hour) reduced breast cancer risk by 25%. Another recent study found that moderate exercise in pre-menopausal women can benefit the way in which their bodies handle environmental estrogen.
  6. Load up on antioxidants: antioxidants benefit our bodies in so many wonderful ways, the greatest of which is their ability to negate the effects of free-radicals, nasty little buggers that damage cells, opening the door for cancer. Antioxidant-rich foods include berries, apples, pomegranates, beans (small red, kidney, pinto), artichokes, prunes, and cacao. Check out this recipe for anti-aging chocolate, named for the high antioxidant content of its yummy ingredients!
  7. Quit smoking: researchers have found that the rate of new breast cancer diagnosis was 24% higher in smokers than in nonsmokers, and 13% higher in former smokers than in nonsmokers. Enough said. While quitting smoking may not be a “simple” thing to do for many, it is a “simple” way to reduce the risk of breast cancer. If any smokers are reading this, I hope these statistics are the last push you need to finally quit.
  8. Limit alcohol intake: studies have shown that drinking 2+ alcoholic drinks a day can increase your risk of breast cancer by at least 20%. The American Cancer Society recommends that women consume only alcoholic drink or less a day. Alcohol may affect the estrogen levels in the body, which may account for this increased risk.
  9. Limit your soy intake: natural plant-based estrogens in soy may provide healthy benefits in low doses, but may be a risk factor for breast cancer in higher doses. This is an issue since soy is ubiquitous in our modern, highly processed food system. The high prevalence of soy is really just another great reason to cut back on processed foods as much as possible. I play by the precautionary principle and so really flat-out avoid soy (to read more, see Why soy is NOT a health food).
  10. Prioritize purchasing hormone-free, pasture-raised meat and dairy: modern-day large-scale meat and dairy products unfortunately includes the use of growth hormones. These hormones end up in the meat and dairy products conveniently found at a grocery store near you, and eventually make their way into the consumer. This is a major problem since these hormones can mess with our own hormones, which spells Trouble (note the capital “T”). Choose hormone-free, preferably pasture-raised meat and dairy to avoid this risk.
Sources and further reading: 
Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please know that I only recommend or endorse products and services that I personally approve of and appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting Body Unburdened!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Viva La Boobies! 7 Things to Know About Breasts

Breasts are amazing - they are beautiful, they nourish babies, and they have an intelligence of their own. 

Breasts have so many incredible benefits for the health of humanity, the power of women, and the nurturing of the future generations. 

Your breasts deserve a medal of honor - plus nurturing, pampering, and respect. 

Yet, our breasts are suffering from the dangerous effects of rising environmental toxins in our food, water, air, and toiletries, degrading media, restrictive fashion, and lack of empowering health education for women. 

I had a dream a few weeks ago that I was at a conference and the organizers asked me to get up on stage and speak about breast health. They said it was vital that we get more people to understand and value the importance of caring for our healthy breasts and that in order to get people's attention I needed to be topless to speak. While I was still pondering whether or not I felt comfortable with being topless on stage, I woke up.  

A few days later Angelina Jolie announced her decision to have her healthy breasts surgically removed because of her potential cancer risk. This action has inspired me even more to realize how vital it is that we join in this conversation and speak about how to naturally care for our breasts, how our environment, diet, and lifestyle impact our health, and why breast health is more important than every before. 

Thus, my intention is to share positive inspiring information to support women to love their breasts and learn about ways to naturally care for our amazing breasts. 

Let's uplift breasts to the status level they deserve!

7 Amazing Things to Know About Breasts

Breasts want freedom. 

Bras restrict the movement of lymphatic fluid through the breasts, underarm, and shoulders, thus causing toxins to build up in the breast tissue. Underwire bras are the worst culprit, as the metal also can disrupt the energy flow through the breast area. A recent French study has shown that women who don't wear bras actually have perkier breasts even as they age. Exercising, dance, and rebounding without a bra also allows the body's movements to support lymphatic flow and proper drainage of the breasts. The natural movement of the breasts as the body exercises and moves is another essential component to lymphatic health in the breasts. 

Breasts need massage. 

There is no muscle tissue in a women's breasts, so breasts need assistance to enhance circulation through the breast. A woman's breasts are mostly fat tissue along with milk ducts, connective tissue, nerves, and lymph glands. Self breast massage is an important regular practice for women to support their blood and lymph circulation and reduce build-up of toxins and hormones in the fatty tissue of the breasts. Massage your breasts daily with a natural cold-pressed vegetable oil, such as coconut, almond, or jojoba oil. You can also add pure essential oils such as rose, jasmine, or clary sage to your massage oil base. I'm not talking about "man-handling" here, I'm talking about gentle self massage in which you get to know what your breasts feel like, notice any changes, and use gentle lymphatic and circulatory movements to enhance health. 

Breasts are hot.

It has been well-documented that a woman's breasts will synchronize with her newborn baby to become the perfect temperature. When a mother and baby are skin-to-skin postpartum, her breasts will naturally adjust their temperature to regulate the baby's body temperature optimally. A mother of twins will have each of her breasts match the ideal temperature for each one of her twins. A women's breasts are more reliable and efficient than any baby warmer. So breasts are totally hot - just not in the way people usually talk about. 

Breastmilk has a gazillion medicinal uses. 

Breastmilk is pretty much the most amazing food substance available to mankind. Mother's milk is completely unique and not possible to replicate (despite what you may have heard from the formula companies). It actually changes minute by minute, day to day, to provide exactly the right nourishment and immunities that a baby needs as determined by the breast through receiving information from the baby's saliva on the areola. There are over 400+ identified nutrients in human breast milk, including probiotics and an abundant source of stem cells. The first milk that comes out is colostrum, which is rich with immune factors and is considered to be "liquid gold", and extremely important for the life-long health of the baby. Breastmilk is also used by wise mamas for many purposes including putting on diaper rash, earaches, pink eye, sore throats, and many other healing needs. When a women breastfeeds the breastmilk bathes her milk ducts as it passes through to her baby, thus providing increased breast health and preventing breast cancer in direct relation to how long she nurses. 

Breasts are energy centers.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete system of health that has been practiced for thousands of years, based upon the movement of energy through the body on the meridians (energy lines) and acupoints (nodes of energy on the meridians). There are six meridians that run through the breast area, and three of them are the Kidney, Liver, and Stomach meridians where most breast lumps and cancer develop. TCM treats breast cancer by addressing the energy stagnation and movement of qi. Acupuncture and TCM are holistic ways to promote breast health and can be used in combination with other health care treatments as well. Massaging the acupressure points along the meridians, or holding these energy points around the breasts, can help with promoting breast and whole body health and vitality. Underwire bras can also interfere with the energy moving through the meridians in the breasts, another reason to let your boobs go free, or invest in a soft supportive natural fiber bra. 

Breasts are a lot like canaries.  

You've heard about the canary in the coal mine? Miners would take canaries down in the mines with them, because the birds were so sensitive that if the environment was toxic the canaries would die, and then the miners would know to get out of there immediately! Breasts are extremely sensitive, they receive information from the environment and their tissues collect toxins and hormones, like jet fuel and flame retardants. When breastfeeding, the saliva from the baby is absorbed into the areola and the breasts then immediately respond by providing the nutrients and immune factors that the baby needs based upon the breast's incredibly sensitive receptors. Breast cancer is now the most common form of cancer for women in the US, and it's not because breasts or our genes are the problem. Our breasts are the canaries letting us know that our environment is toxic and we must make changes in our health, diets, exposure, and detox. Due to the over 70,000 chemicals now used in the US over the last 100 years, we are living in a toxic soup and exposed to chemicals in our air, food, water, homes, cars, clothes, and more. Our breasts are letting us know that we need to create a healthy change for our longevity and the future generations. 

Breasts are beautiful. 

Your breasts are perfect for you. All kinds of breasts are beautiful. Breasts change in shape and size over life, and that's okay. Some men like large breasts, others prefer small breasts, and some like medium sized. Whatever shape or size of your boobs is just right. Love your breasts! They have superpowers, they are intelligent, and they are amazing! In Mongolia, when a baby fusses, everyone lifts up their shirt and shakes their breasts for the baby, and the baby calms down and looks around amazed. Everyone laughs and smiles shaking their boobs, including mom, grandma, and grandpa too! So smile and love your boobs, they are awesome. 

Viva La Boobies!

Be well, Kara
P.S. Like this article? Read the follow-up: Why the Best Thing About a Bra is Taking It Off


Printed with permission from: Kara Maria Ananda's Blog

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bra sizes get an update, but will they fit any better?

The Jockey Fit Kit is a two step process that can be done at home to help you find your best bra fit. The bra has been around for over a century and we still can't find one that fits. It's been estimated that as many as 85 percent of women in the U.S. wear the wrong size for their frame. If you've ever found your bra strap hanging down by your elbow, you're familiar with this fact. It's not only slightly embarrassing in a high-powered meeting, a poorly-fitted bra can cause sagging, neck and back pain. You'd think by now we'd have a better solution, aside from paying a custom fitter upwards of $400 to fix the problem.

"The entire bra purchase process is flawed," Dustin Cohn, Chief Marketing Officer for Jockey International tells Yahoo Shine. "Women are asked to measure their breasts with a tape measure. A woman's breasts are three dimensional, so it doesn't make sense to measure them with a two dimensional method. This changes the way bras support a bigger, bustier woman."

Jockey, the brand once known best for making men's sporty underwear, is strategizing a new way to mass market bras with more customized fits. But first they need women to let go of everything they know about the bra alphabet (A,B,C and so on.) 
The company's self-created measurement system, called the Fit Kit ($20), offers 55 sizes using a combination of the 10 cup sizes and multiple band sizes. Measurements are based off of the shape of women's breasts (i.e. volume) rather than actual bust size.

It all sounds promising. "But is anyone ready for measurements like 1-30, 7-36 and 9-42?" asks the New York Times' Stephanie Clifford. The volumetric sizes number 1 through 10 in cup size from small to large, and then combines with band size. So instead of being a 32-B, someone might find they're a 2-32.

The kits are a do-it-yourself compliment of customization. Each comes with color-coded measuring tape, cups, protective lingerie wash bag and video instructions for taking measurements. The bras, which start at $60 and come in five styles, are sold separately. 

"It's the closest thing to a custom bra that you'll find," says Cohn.
Still, it might take some adjusting. "I wish their sizing system was more translatable to the standard system," writes blogger Charla Welch, of Bra Crusader, in her review of the kit. 

But Jockey isn't the only game in town revamping the fitting process. True&Co, an online retailer, combines mathematical principles with a questionnaire to measure customers for size. “We have an algorithm that defines 2,000 body types,” True&Co's Michelle Lam told the New York Times back in February. 
If you're not ready to part with the traditional ABC's of bras, consider a few tips from the pros for finding the right fit.

First take your measurements. There are plenty of simple step-by-step instructions online (like this one) that take the confusion out of the numbers game. 

Prepare to road-test
Don't rely on what the tag says because all bras fit differently. The bra should lie flat against your breastbone, the nipple should be at the center of each cup, the cups should not have wrinkles, and the back of the bra strap should rest in the middle of your back, not hike up. Straps should not be loose or you will not get the proper support. Avoid demi's if you have full boobs and want good support.  "It helps to think of your bra like a seesaw,"  Susan Nethero of Intimacy Boutiques tells Redbook. "If the band is too loose and rides up in the back, the girls will sag. If it is level all the way around or lower, they'll be lifted."

Take care of your brasWash by hand or in cold water on the delicate cycle in a lingerie bag. And always air dry. Bras can last for two years if you take care of them well, according to Good Housekeeping. Still, don't expect your bra to stay the same over time. Like anything else, they tend to stretch. Nethero suggests buying a bra that fits best on the last hook so you can use tighter hooks as it loosens.

If all else fails, you can skip the whole thing. One recent study claims you'll stay perkier without any long-term support at all. Given the complicated process of finding that support, it's something to consider. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Topless Women in Public Not Breaking the Law, Says NYPD

topless, women, in, public, not, breaking, the, law,, says, nypd,

Ladies of New York, you are free to walk bare-breasted through the city! New York City's 34,000 police officers have been instructed that, should they encounter a woman in public who is shirtless but obeying the law, they should not arrest her. This is a good step towards gender parity in public spaces.

This decision means that breast exposure is not considered public lewdness, indecent exposure, or disorderly conduct. It also notes that, should a crowd form around a topless woman, the officer should instruct the crowd to disperse and then respond appropriately if it does not. Relative coverage is no longer a factor.

This policy shift comes after several years of litigation and protest. In the 1992 case People v. Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two women who were arrested with five others for exposing their breasts in a Rochester park, holding the law void as discriminatory.  The ruling was put to the test in 2005, when Jill Coccaro bared her breasts on Delancey Street in New York, citing the 1992 decision, and was detained for twelve hours. She subsequently successfully sued the city for $29,000.

In 2007, Go Topless, a national organization supporting gender equality in shirtlessness laws, established Go Topless Day. Dozens of women protest – often topless – in thirty cities around the United States, promoting equal rights to be shirtless. Protests usually include chants of “Free your breasts.  Free your minds” and a song “Let ‘em Breathe” to the tune of the Beatles’ “Let it Be.”

While some who have witnessed these events have suggested that "[t]his is extreme liberalism and why America’s in decline” or “[i]t’s degrading to women,” others have been supportive. One man even said he would encourage his wife to join them.
Though bare-breasted women might shock the sensibilities of some in the public, it is encouraging to see the police responding positively to gender bias, even on such a seemingly small scale. After all, no one thinks twice about a man shirtless on a summer day. However, the female nipple or chest is still considered “lewd.” By reminding its officers of this, the NYPD is publicly declaring that it will no longer perpetuate unconstitutional gender discrimination, a standard to which all law enforcement should be held and a decision for which it should be applauded.

Click here for original article.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thinking Peaceful Thoughts....

It's been an unsettling week or so around here ..."here" being far and wide.
So I offer to you some peaceful thoughts.  

Considering we have so many blessings in our lives if we just take a moment to remember them: our health, the roof over our heads, that it is Springtime and so many things are blooming, we have friends and family, functional plumbing and electricity, easy access to food and clean water...and so much more.

Take a moment, step away from the electronics, the TV, the radio and remember how blessed we all really are.  May you find peace no matter where you are at, and are able to share it with your neighbor.

Peaceful Blessings!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Your Girls Love Carrots!

The more carotenoids you have circulating in your bloodstream, the lower your risk of breast cancer, finds a new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

You'll find carotenoids -  plant-based antioxidants - in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, bell peppers, tomatoes, papaya, and other orange or dark green vegetables and fruit.  Research indicates that these antioxidants stifle tumor growth and reduce the spread of estrogen-positive and estrogen-negative breast cancers.

Curves ~ Diane Magazine March 2013