Category: Living Well Written by Britney Spear, Regional Content Editor
The weather might be sending Detroiters mixed messages, but spring is here and it's time to get your house in order!
As the season changes, many want to take their pad from drab to fab. But, what's the best way to do it? There are quick, simple ways to spruce up your home for the spring. Here's a list of things you can do to brighten up your living quarters, and start enjoying the longer days ahead!
Here are a few quick fix solutions for some of the most common household cleaning problems:
Soiled bathtubs: a paste of Comet and water (scrub vigorously until clean)
Mirrors or windows: combine 1 gallon of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol, and 2 squirts of dish soap (combine in spray bottle)
Toilet stains: one tablet of Polident (drop in and let dissolve then flush to remove rust)
Stinky car odors: a few briquettes of charcoal (place under the seats)
Coffee maker: powdered dishwasher detergent (shake it into the bottom of pot and let sit for an hour)
Ugly carpet impressions: one or two ice cubes per impression (place and let sit until carpet rises)
Follow these simple steps, are you're sure to spruce up your home for the spring in no time!
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @MissBritneySp
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 11:16
Category: Living Well Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
No alarm clock rang this morning, yet I jumped up at 4:30 a.m. bursting with energy. The same aches and pains, but less in some way. My first act of the morning, pop open that fresh bottle of cold water… ahh. I have to keep it in my head that something done for 21 days becomes a habit, or at least So they say. I cross my calendar in purple marker, indicating that I just completed Day 6 of my juice fast. Going six days without eating will really bring some insight to your life.
“Why?” Most people give that response when I tell them that I’m juicing and withholding solid foods for a long period of time. The next questuon, “Is that healthy?” I’ve learned to never really challenge people on the way that they eat or the definition of what is “healthy,” especially my circle of family and friends. For me, I needed to change my life. Yes, I want to shed 100 pounds off my frame so that I can move like I believe I want to move. For me, it’s more that.
I want to cleanse myself of what I’ve become. And it’s been a long time since I’ve done something out the box. Nobody in my neighborhood is cleansing. Doing the juice-only thing has been relatively easy thus far. Because I’ve done a fast before, I knew what to expect in the first few days. Those are like boot camp in the world of fasting. They are hard on your mind, your body and soul. It’s a shock to not eat.
Think about it. Our entire beings are revolved around the preparation and consumption of food. My family and I love to cook and we love to eat. That’s nothing new, right? But the more I learned about my family, the more I realized that back in the day, we use to be small. All my aunts were small, my uncles were skinny and nobody had money to eat out. I’m kind of taking it back to the old school for a little while to see what my really family booty, hips, feet and breasts look like, not this flabby hanging frame I have.
My real body.
So, six days ago, I started a personal challenge to juice my meals for 60 days and eat raw fruits and veggies afterward for another 30. Throwing in an extra 9 days to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle will make it a 99 days personal challenge.
Thank God for youtube because I was encouraged by others videos that it could be done and that there were transformations out there. It was were I started. That led me to blogs. I love Raw Raw Life. I saw it in their faces in their bodies and in their struggles. I like to read about the struggles cause I know this won’t be easy.
It was also where I got my plan of action. Any challenge needs a plan of action. What I’d need, how’d I’d manage it all and who I could call on for support.
I’d bought a nutribullet a few months earlier and had been making killer smoothies and thought I’d start with that to make my juices. I couldn’t afford an expensive juicer but through this process, I plan to get one. People have complained that cleaning traditional juicers are a pain in the next but I find that the nutribullet is super easy to clean. It mixes it all up together not separating the pulp from the fruit or Veggie like a traditional juicer would.
On a juice fast, its customary to drink 64oz of juice and 3 liters of water a day just to get the amount of nutrients your body needs. It’s important also to the cleansing. Sabrina Nelson, over at the DIA last Friday night said to drink more water that juice to speed the flushing process. I’ve found drinking that large amount of juice and water difficult. Most of the time my stomach is full. Yes full and pretty satisfied, for now.
Next week cravings.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 17:10
Category: Living Well Written by Michigan Chronicle
NYC Teen Pregnancy Ads Try To Shame and Insult Teen Girls Into Not Having Babies
Well yeah, this makes all the sense in the world: New York City’s Human Resources Administration is going all in with a new “straight talk” campaign that uses ads and text messages to stereotype, ridicule and ostracize teenagers into waiting to have babies—a tactic Mayor Bloomberg and other city officials think will totally stop teen pregnancy.
The ads feature images of crying babies—most of them children of color—alongside messages like, “Honestly, Mom… Chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?” and “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.” They also encourage readers to text “NOTNOW” to 877877 “for the real cost of teen pregnancy,” where teens are directed to choose an “adventure game” that spits out “scenarios about Anaya being ignored by her ‘baby daddy’ and shunned by her parents,” including one in which “Anaya” asks users if she should go to the prom with her boyfriend Louis despite that she’s pregnant and will “look HUGE in my dress.” Advise Anaya to go to the prom and her response is, “My BFF called me a ‘fat loser’ at prom. I was devastated.”
Bloomberg insists the campaign will make “very clear to young people that there’s a lot at stake when it comes to deciding to raise a child.”
“By focusing on responsibility and the importance of education, employment and family in providing children with the emotional and financial support they need, we’ll let thousands of young New Yorkers know that waiting to [become] a parent could be the best decision they ever made.”
Of course, an even better way to help teenagers make rational decisions about sex and its consequences would be to both educate them about and give them access to quality reproductive health care and affordable, effective birth control—tactics that youth advocates who actually work with and have the trust of teens say are much more effective than awkward, goofy, out-of-touch bus and subway ads and cellphone “adventure” games that shame teen moms in general and black teens and single mothers in particular.
“The latest NYC ad campaign creates stigma, hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people,” said Haydee Morales, vice president of education and training at Planned Parenthood of New York City. “The City’s money would be better spent helping teens access health care, birth control and high-quality sexual and reproductive health education, not an ad campaign intended to create shock value.”
Truth is, New York City’s been doing a damn good job of reducing teen pregnancy within its borders; the Department of Health and mental Hygiene recently reported a 27 percent reduction in teen pregnancy rates over the last 10 years, with about 72 pregnancies per 1,000 girls. Advocates credit the drop to the city’s comprehensive sex ed in classrooms and onsite clinics in some public schools where teens can get information, emergency contraceptives, birth control, pregnancy tests and confidential referrals.
For the 20,000 per year who do end up pregnant, the last thing they need is naysayers telling them they screwed up and that they and their kids are going to be nothing more than abject failures sucking the life out of “the system.” Natasha Vianna, a former teen mother, laid this point out beautifully by recounting her own experience on The Push Back, a blog hosted by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy:
“As a teen mom, my life has seen some insanely high peaks of hell and it wasn’t because of my pregnancy or motherhood, it was because of the crappy experiences I had to endure with people who were (and still are) judgmental and bitter. When I wanted to apply for college in high school, my guidance counselor told me not to bother – that I should focus on trying to graduate high school first and apply to a community college if that even happened. When I turned to people for support, they threw statistics into my face and told me I was what these very ads portrayed. I wasn’t. I’m not. And most teen moms aren’t. Until today, I still hear the ‘Well, you should have thought about that before becoming a mom.’
“It’s this very concept of shaming teen moms that drives us into a deeper hole of isolation. I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was a teen mom, I didn’t want to ask for help, I refused to apply for any aid, and I put myself in unhealthy situations so I wouldn’t have to face the judgment of others. It was horrible. Yet, no one ever bothered to talk to me about the occurrences in my life that led up to my pregnancy. Or what my life was like before becoming a pregnant teen. No one knew that I was already depressed in high school. No one knew that I already faced many of the adversities that teen moms face, too. My life may have been exactly the same if I hadn’t become a teen mom, but no one cared to look at me until there was a baby involved (that no one really cared about either).”
In other words, judging, lecturing, shaming and stereotyping teenagers—pregnant or no—gets them, their babies and us absolutely nowhere. Same for spreading subliminal messages that black fathers don’t ever support the women they impregnate, that the only way anyone can raise a smart, financially-stable, successful human being is to be heterosexual, educated and married, and that black women of childbearing age need to be bullied into planning their pregnancies. Acknowledging that teen pregnancy is an outcome, rather than a cause, of poverty and that the best way to keep teens from getting pregnant in the first place is to give them quality sex education, healthcare, contraception and a choice about when they’ll become parents goes a much longer way in keeping teen pregnancy numbers in check. Perhaps New York City could slap that on a billboard or two.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:00
Category: Living Well Written by Grace A. Derocha
Children today are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more frequently than ever before. Michigan ranks 15th in the nation for prevalence of diabetes, and diagnoses have increased by 15 percent in the last five years. In fact, diabetes is now considered to be one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adolescents. Like many chronic diseases, some groups, including African Americans, have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Wondering how to determine whether your child could potentially be affected by this preventable disease? If your child is overweight or obese, his or her risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes increases dramatically.
What you need to know about type 2 diabetes
The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes as a group of diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body's inability to produce enough insulin or use it effectively. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.
Type 2 diabetes, previously referred to as adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.
Before 1990, type 2 diabetes was rarely seen in children. Since then, the number of diagnoses in children each year has increased at a rapid rate – a trend doctors believe to be the result of the high prevalence of obesity in youth. As more children become obese, the number of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes increases at a similar rate.
Untreated diabetes can be extremely dangerous and even fatal, so it is important for parents to be aware of some of the warning signs associated with this disease.
Here’s what to be on the lookout for:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Sudden vision change
- Sugar in urine
- Fruity, sweet or wine-like odor on breath
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Drowsiness, lethargy
- Heavy, labored breathing
- Stupor, unconsciousness
- Frequent infections
- Blurred vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
- Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
People with diabetes often display no early warning signs, making it extremely important to consult with your doctor to determine if you have diabetes.
Remember - you do have control by making healthy choices – a valuable lifestyle you can, and should, share with your children. Families can help prevent childhood obesity, and even type 2 diabetes, by encouraging everyone to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. It is also important to choose whole grains and lean protein sources when planning meals. Portion control is a key component to a healthy lifestyle, along with plenty of exercise and daily, physical activity.
Editor’s Note: Grace A. Derocha is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:00
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