Ladies First Newsletter
March 2017
Are you dense? 
Vermont's New Breast Density Reporting Law: What It Means For You 

If you have had a mammogram in the past few months, you  probably received a letter telling you how dense your breasts are. This letter is the product of a new Vermont law that was put into action on January 15 th , 2017. The law requires a breast density report to be sent out after every screening mammogram.

About 40-50 percent of women have dense breast tissue. While dense breast tissue is not dangerous, it can make mammograms less accurate for detecting breast cancer. Dense breast tissue is composed of more fibrous and connective tissue than fatty tissue. This fibrous tissue shows up as white on mammograms while fatty tissue shows up as grey. Tumors also show up as white on mammograms. Finding cancer in dense breasts has been described as "finding a polar bear in a snowstorm". A polar bear is easy to spot when surrounded by gray rocks, but harder to locate when surrounded by white.

Knowing that you have dense breasts is half of the battle. It is important to know your breasts, keep an eye out for changes, and continue to have your breasts examined regularly by your primary care provider. There are other screening tools that are available to screen for breast cancer if you have dense breasts or are at high risk for breast cancer. Ultrasounds and MRIs are tools that can be covered by Ladies First.

Knowledge is power. Knowing your breast density can help you make decisions for your breast health. The only way to know if you have dense breasts is to have a mammogram. Mammograms are covered by Ladies First. If you are over the age of 40, talk to your doctor about the best time to start getting regular mammograms. 

For more information about breast density, visit

Move U!

Staying Active in Winter Time

Let's face it: it is cold outside. It's so easy to snuggle up with a book and kiss those New Year's resolutions goodbye. 

Here are some ideas and tips to help you stay active when it's cold and snowy. 

1. Embrace it: The first step to exercising in the cold is knowing that it will be cold- and that is okay!  Dress right: wear clothes that keep you dry, not just warm. Dress in layers with a water-wicking fabric (polyester or nylon) as your base. Don't forget a hat!

If exercising outdoors is really not your thing:

2. Work out at home: it takes a lot of discipline, but the reward is great and you don't even have to warm up the car to drive to the gym. Working out at home also gives flexibility with your busy schedule.  Find some home workout inspiration here. 

No matter how you choose to stay active: 

3. Set a big goal and break it down into smaller goals. Do you want to run a 5k in the Spring? Start by running for a few minutes at a time. Do you want to hike a certain mountain in the summer? Start by walking up a few hills at a time. Breaking goals down into baby steps helps you enjoy mini accomplishments as you go. Click here to learn about setting "SMART" goals. 

Adventures in Food
Sweet Potatoes! 

Sweet potatoes are a healthy, versatile treat. They are a good source of vitamins A and C as well as other vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of fiber, which can keep you fuller, longer. Even though they are sweet, they will not spike your blood sugar! 

Here are some easy ways to use sweet potatoes: 
  • Add half a cup of mashed sweet potato to your oatmeal to add fiber, protein, and sweetness- all in one! 
  • If you are feeling adventurous for breakfast- try these recipes for sweet potato toast . It can be made in the oven or even the toaster! 
  • Pack this recipe for a sweet potato and quinoa salad  for lunch- fill it with veggies and you will be full until dinner.  
  • Speaking of dinner- need something quick and easy? Try this recipe for sweet potato hash. It is ready in half an hour and can be modified to use whatever veggies you have on hand. 
  • Use mashed sweet potato in place of butter or oil in cakes, sweet breads, and muffins. You'll save calories as well as lower the dessert's cholesterol and saturated fat.
Around Vermont
RiseVT: embracing healthy lifestyles in Northern Vermont

Rise Vermont is a community-based initiative to help you stay active and healthy! RiseVT hosts free classes and events in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. They also work to connect you with outdoor resources to get you moving. Click here to check out their healthy waypoints map, you can find playgrounds, trails, recreation fields, and more! 

Click here to see RiseVT events

You can also follow their Facebook page for motivation, inspiration, and exciting events! 
Here's to a healthier you!