We are so excited to share you with the second interview in our #boobyluv interview series. We introduced this series last week, and included the first interview, which was with host Dr. Maureen Borghoff. In case you missed it, read more about our project to help women everywhere re-gain the power of breast luv, and breast health. And enjoy the powerful words of Meghan Telpner below.
Meghan Telpner is a Toronto-based author, speaker, nutritionist, and founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Her humorous, engaging and real approach to living an awesome, healthy life has garnered her a world-wide following and extensive media attention. Meghan’s Academy of Culinary Nutrition, is growing a global tribe of vibrant living advocates and her bestselling and award-winning book UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health is creating a revolution in how people think about their health. With an equal passion for both vibrant living and business, Meghan works with health focused independent practitioners and small businesses to find their unique voice in a crowded marketplace, stay ahead of the curve, cultivate community and convert passion into profitable ventures. For more visit MeghanTelpner.com.
1. It seems like everyone is aware of the pink ribbon campaign and breast cancer awareness activities that take place in October. The messages that proliferate are about coping with a diagnosis, finding a cure. We share a common interest in shifting that conversation to “prevention.” What does prevention mean to you?
Prevention is so far from from what people assume – breast exams and mamograms. Cancer prevention is not about waiting until you have something and feeling lucky that you caught it early, but taking steps every day to work to build health, to prevent cancer from ever appearing in the first place. Yes, early detection can be helpful, but wouldn’t it be even more awesome to never get cancer at all? To me – that’s what drives my disease preventative lifestyle.
2. And why are you passionate about breast health, and women living healthy vibrant lives?
I am passionate about breast health because I have breasts. I am also passionate about liver health, kidney health, reproductive organ health, brain health and… well, you get the point. I do what I can personally, to work to ensure a total healthy body. We are systems and no organ stands alone. Disease in one organ will affect the rest of the system. My grandmother Rose was 48 when she passed away from cancer. My uncle Abe was 32 when he died from cancer. My grandfather, father and mother-in-law have all had cancer. I wouldn’t say it runs in my family – it’s just running in westernized populations.
For the world, our planet, and the communities and families that make up the global population to thrive, we need vibrant health. I think it’s become clear that the people who we have thought were taking care of us and our best interests, perhaps are not, and it therefore becomes up to individuals to empower themselves with the knowledge, skill and freedom to make the choices for their personal health. That is what drives my passion – helping to share that knowledge, share the options, offer hope and allow people to choose health with confidence, and not be left to feel victimized. We can play an active role in our health – and that, to me, is the most empowering thing in the world!
3. Too often we talk about breasts only in two (maybe three) contexts: female sexuality, usually as it is contained by male sexuality; and when something goes wrong with breast health – namely breast cancer (maybe we talk about breastfeeding, usually when it has been shunned publicly). Why do you think there is a silence around talking about breasts outside of these topics/angles?
It’s hard to say. I mean, breasts are beautiful – from both a male sexuality perspective, but also from a personal view. I also don’t know, however, if breasts are the only things we think about only when there is a controversy or crisis around it. When I had Crohn’s disease and was seeking answers, there was no one talking about that either except in the extreme ways. We often fail to pay attention to things when everything is fine – it’s when things go awry that dialogues open. When a celebrity gets ridiculously large breast implants, we talk about it, when someone has breast cancer we talk about it. I have healthy, petite, B-cup boobs. I keep’m comfy in a wire-free, organic bra (which is insanely hard to find), and they’re just kind of there. I love my boobs, but there really isn’t that much to say about them. We tend to ignore the stuff that’s just kind of normal.
4. We believe that women are unsure of their breasts, and that for many women, their breasts are a source of fear. Perhaps pink ribbon campaigns are in part responsible for this fear, perhaps there is a fear of the sexuality of breasts, or of the power women can hold. Many women are not used to touching their breasts even. What is your opinion of our culture of breast fear?
Perhaps the fear stems from what fear usually stems from – the unknown. We always hear about the worst case scenarios. And the media often portrays breast cancer as the consequence of bad luck. We do these walks and runs to raise money for awareness, but what about the water everyone’s drinking from hormone-disrupting plastic bottles, or the sunscreen they’re passing out that’s loaded with carcinogenic chemicals? If there was more support for prevention measures, and it was easier to get information on what each of us can do to work towards healthy breasts, and healthy bodies, the fear would dissolve and the conversation would start to change.
5. Imagine yourself talking with a young girl about body image, body health and growing into a conscientious woman. What would you impart to the conversation of breasts?
Healthy breasts are part of a healthy body. Just like we brush our teeth to care for our teeth, and we walk, dance and stretch to have healthy muscles, we also need to take care of our breasts. If we want to go through our lives with all of our parts in tact, we need to take great care of all of them.
6. How has breast health, or breast health touched your life. In what personal ways are you invested in projects that raise awareness of breast health?
These questions were hard for me to answer, I think because I have never thought that much about my breasts. I dry skin brush everyday, and I floss everyday, and I massage my breasts with breast oil a few times a week. I take saunas, I do yoga, I take holidays, and I love my work. So I don’t really give that much thought to any individual part of my body. I am a whole person- and I work to take care of my physical, emotional and spiritual health in a whole way. Given the work I do as an educator, author and speaker on the topics of health, happiness and awesome living – my connection to these types of projects is really about the importance of opening up the conversation, sharing what we collectively know, and offering men and women the opportunity to learn how they can play an active role in the prevention and maintenance of optimal health, and also be clear on options if things don’t go as planned.
7. Leave us with a final word. When we say “breasts” you say:
I am 35 and married. I don’t yet have children but they are in the plans. So at this stage of my life, when I think of breasts, I think: Mine. Because they are. My breasts are the ones I know best, and I hope to keep mine happy and healthy for life.
Read all of the interviews in the #boobyluv series, and stay tuned for more.