Know Thyself

Nothing appeared amiss on her mammogram, but my mother knew the burning in her breast wasn’t normal. Her physician suggested she was imagining things, but Mommy insisted upon being tested again. That’s when a radiologist discovered the tiny tumor that subsequently tested malignant. My mother’s self-awareness helped her detect her cancer early when it was still treatable.

In this issue, physician and writer Mana Lumumba-Kasongo updates the latest breast cancer screening recommendations and describes the steps black women should take to reduce their risk, increase their earlydetection rates and protect themselves from the aggressive strain that strikes sisters at young ages (“Battling Breast Cancer”).

“Velvet Teddy Bear” crooner Ruben Studdard is slimming down and reshaping his body. In “The Biggest Winner,” find out how he lost 80 pounds and shifted to a vegetarian diet, plus get tips for shaping up and going veggie yourself. Even if you aren’t ready to become a vegan, there are several other options to try—one may be just right for you.

Think healthy eating has to be expensive and involves too much time stooped over a hot stove? Not so. It’s possible to eat convenience foods cheaply and mindfully. Our editors did it for $20 per day—no cutting, no chopping, no cooking (“The Real Health Real-world Food Challenge”). As your life kicks into high gear this fall, grab meals that won’t hurt your wallet or your cholesterol levels.