And We Like Buffets Because…??

I’m sure there is no other country on this planet that has as many buffet chain corporations as America. Matter of fact, does any other country have buffets? Buffets just seem to be another American pastime. All you can eat for a fairly decent price, and best believe everyone will make it their business to eat their money’s worth. Of course it’s a great idea but no one ever takes into the factors that really come along with buffets. I decided to break it down into three categories: the good, the bad, and the just plain nasty.

THE GOOD

Paying 6-15 bucks for an opportunity to eat all that you can fit into your stomachs and purses if you’re really desperate. You get to pig out on the usual foods that you necessarily wouldn’t be able to. It’s your opportunity to taste those dishes that you know are totally bad for you but hey, if it’s in front of you why not scarf down a few. You don’t have anyone telling you to eat your vegetables because come on let’s be real, who eats healthy food at buffets?

THE BAD

The thing that racks my nerves is that all the food is just out in the open. People pick, prod, and scramble through food just because they have the option to pick the best out of what they want. Kids walk around sneezing and doing all kinds of things, people talk over the food as they put them on their plates. Some people even have the nerve to put things back on their plates that they all of a sudden don’t want. This is making me sick just thinking about it.

THE JUST PLAIN NASTY

Ever notice that they bring out this food in amazing fast time?  To me, there’s something wrong if food comes in and out as quickly as it does at buffets. Also, I know you all know about this one: when you pick a plate out of the bin and it still has food on it (gag) so you put it to the side and pick up another one that’s clean. Seriously, what makes you think that plate is even cleaner than the one that actually had visible food on it?!??

On a serious note, buffets are doing nothing but promoting the ever climbing obesity rate in the United States. We are eating our lives away just for the sake of being able to do it for cheap. Who could resist food when it is put in front of you like that? Buffets allow no type of portion control, actually the word portion doesn’t even make sense in the same sentence as a buffet. Besides, the plate thing should be enough to turn you off from them anyways. (ughk)

Health Tip: Sunscreen and Sunblock..Yes You Need It Too

Everyone enjoys a good tan in the sun but it is still important to protect our skin while we are doing so. Most African Americans think that because we have more melanin in our skin than other races, we aren’t susceptible to skin cancer and sunburn. On the contrary that is untrue. Although our chances may be lower, we are still at risk. We are entering the middle of summer and the sun will be shinning brighter than ever. It is important to be aware of the different types of rays that you will be encountering, which are UVA, UVB, and UVC.

According to an article from Optimal Health Today, “UVA, UVB and UVC are all types of radiation that are given off by the sun. UVC is absorbed by the atmosphere and never reaches the earth’s surface. UVB is partially absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer and in the atmosphere, with the remainder reaching the earth’s surface. Most UVA reaches the earth’s surface”.

“UVB is commonly associated with sunburn, and together, UVB and sunburn care considered to be the main cause of basal and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as a significant cause of malignant melanoma. UVA, which penetrates deeply into the skin, is also thought to be a factor in premature ageing and skin cancers.”

Higher SPF sunscreens don’t give you a higher level of protection, it just determines the length of time it will protect you’re skin. If you are continuously in the sun, don’t forget to reapply. Also, there are some common sense things you know such as if you are in the water, you are going to need to reapply more often.

We tend to interchange the words, sunscreen and sunblock. Let’s define each one: “Sunscreens absorb UV rays, while sunblocks deflect them. A sunblock, properly applied, prevents all UV from reaching the skin. Sunblocks used to be easily recognisable as the bright white stripes that skiers and lifeguards once wore; they are now much more cosmetically acceptable.”

All in all, no one is safe from the harms of the sun, so it is important to keep ourselves protected at all times.

Enjoy the sun!


America, the Beautiful Still?

This post was inspired by a tomato. YES, an effing tomato, a $2.49 hothouse tomato to be exact.  You see, I have been trying my hardest to eat “healthier” and live a better, healthier lifestyle in general. Yesterday I went to the store to get some produce and as I checked out my hothouse tomato, the register read $2.49….

**scratched record sound**

$2.49!?! For a tomato?!??! “Um sir, you can take that tomato off my bill, thanks.”

I walked to my car defeated and disappointed. I had plans for that tomato, it would have been an aid in the beginning of my new healthy living lifestyle. Instead, it would spark a firestorm of thoughts and emotions. The truth is, I couldn’t afford a $2.49 tomato. I had to choose between eating healthier or paying bills, and I had to choose the latter.  At that moment, I felt like many Americans who want to eat healthier, but can’t afford the rising costs of produce and other nutritious foods because they have bills to pay.  More so, I thought about so many African-Americans in this country who are bombarded with statistics of our demographic having the highest rates of heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.,etc. Yet if you go in most of our neighborhoods, I bet that you cannot find ONE decent supermarket with adequate produce. If you do, I am sure you will be paying a load of money. However, the selections of alcohol and junk food is phenomenal…much to choose from and very inexpensive (insert sarcasm face). While the media and the First Lady are off promoting healthy eating, the problem is most Americans are not and cannot follow suit. 

From there, I thought about the high school and college graduates itching to go college or back to school to obtain post-graduate degrees, but are apprehensive due to the economy. For fear they’ll be in debt for the rest of their lives and no job to show for the years of hardwork and the ton of student loans.

I thought about how hypocritical and full of sh*t America can be sometimes. Don’t tell me to eat healthy or that I am not eating healthy, but you do nothing to assist in the problem. Don’t tell me to get a master’s degree, but then turn me down for jobs and I’m left paying off student loans. Don’t tell me to be all that I can be, but fail to pay for my family’s well-being and my medical bills when I’m injured in your wars. Don’t tell me that there are too many teenage pregnancies, but then try to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Don’t go over our President’s presidency with a fine tooth comb, but when the last one was off effing up the country that put us in this predicament in the first place, you turned your head, or worse, failed to vote.

Yes, I am talking to you America, get it together.

Ticked,

A disappointed citizen

Health Corner: Supplements

Either we take supplements now, wish we had the discipline to take them on a regular basis, or  should be taking them because of a deficiency we have. It seems as though supplements are becoming fairly popular today with Americans because we feel as though we are doing something to keep ourselves healthy without doing the work. According to Consumer Reports, the rise in supplements from 42% in 1988 to 53% in 2006 has fueled the growth of the supplement industry to 27 billion dollars.

Most people don’t know that supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration like drugs are. This means that the people who makes these supplements do not guarantee safety if you decide to take them.

Also, we try to use supplements as a scape goat to the underlying issue. We try to mask our unhealthiness with these pills as a way to justify a healthy diet in some way. In reality, these supplements will do nothing without you actually having a healthy diet; they aren’t wonder pills.

I actually am not a fan of multivitamins. Sure, they are convenient because they give you a healthy mix of all the necessary supplements you need without having to take a billions pills, but that is also the down side to it; you don’t get a full dosage of each supplement. More or less you don’t actually need all of the supplements you are consuming.

Overall a healthy lifestyle needs to include healthy eating, living, and supplement intake if you choose. Honestly, you can get everything you need if you eat the right foods, which will eliminate those hard to swallow pills that you dread taking every day.

Health Tip: Chocolate

I decided to pick a food that you guys actually recognize for once. Who doesn’t like chocolate!! Well, there are actually a few people in the world who don’t like chocolate and it baffles me to no end; but then again people look at me strangely when I tell them that I didn’t start eating fish until a year ago.. 0_0. Don’t judge me. Anyways, chocolate actually has numerous benefits to our body, but it depends on what type of chocolate you consume.

The chocolate in snicker bars, milky ways, or any type of candy bar will have little to no beneficial value to you, and all possible value flies out of the window with all the other mix of ingredients in those items. So what kind of chocolate should you consume that will actually help your body? Let’s take a look:

DARK CHOCOLATE

Yes. Dark chocolate. Why oh why does it have to be dark chocolate??? I don’t know about anyone else but I absolutely hate dark chocolate. It’s very rich, bitter, and a acquired taste. Most of us are use to milk chocolate which basically has all nutritional value taken out of it.

Just to give some facts to you guys, I’m taking quotes from this article I found off of WebMD titled, “Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate “.

Dark chocolate is a powerhouse for antioxidants.

“Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate … and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.”

Basically, don’t try to take the edge of the dark chocolate by downing it with milk to get that milk chocolate taste to it. It’s going to take the benefits away from the chocolate.

Dark chocolate also can help lower blood pressure when taken in moderation.

“Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure — if you’ve reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.”

This can be very important for the African American community, seeing as most suffer from some sort of heart and blood pressure issue.

As I thought about this post, I discovered something in a Harry Potter movie. Once again don’t judge me and I promise not to get too technical with the lingo. In a specific scene Harry was fighting some kind of demon that causes him to feel as though he will never be happy again. His teacher always told him to eat chocolate after attempting to learn how to fight against the demon. Why chocolate you ask?

Chocolate actually releases endorphins in your body that can make you happy. I thought maybe that was just in the movie until I found that the chocolate really can do that for your mood. Feel free to do some further research on it.

Happy chocolate eating! (dark chocolate that is..)


A Little Hard Work Won’t Kill You..

We like to multi-task. We get more things done when we juggle more than one objective at one time. Multi-tasking saves time. Just because you are “accomplishing” more than one thing, doesn’t mean the outcomes are effective. So you ask, “Where are you going with this?” When it comes to our health, we try to find the thing that will help us the quickest, for instance the Sketchers/Adidas rounded shoe soles that supposedly help shape and tone your butt and calves. Yes, they do have some effect on your body but truth be told, they will not produce the results that you want. Marketing teams create these images of you being able to knock this aspect of exercising out of your routine. Your wearing the shoes expecting for your legs to tone; great. The catch is that if you don’t really walk in the first place except for where you are going, it wont be effective anyways. What’s the solution? Take yourself on to a gym and work it out!

It doesn’t take much time guys.

Every adult should have at least 30 minutes of activity a day; whether it be brisk walking or any type of activity. If you want weight lost, then it’s obvious that you will have to put in more activity than 30 minutes to be effective.

Calories burned vs. Calories consumed. This is the grand equation to weight lost. If you burn more calories than you consume in one day you will loose weight.

We are still young, therefore it is still fairly easy to manipulate our bodies into what we want them to be. The older in age we get, the harder it will be to get in the kind of shape we would like.

Health Tip (Kinda): Why I Decided To Go Natural

If you didn’t already know, the women of CT are uniquely in three stages of haircare management; relaxed, transitioning, and natural. January 1,2011 marks my one year anniversary of transitioning into natural hair. “Transitioning” is the term used for when you are growing out your natural hair along with your relaxed hair. It has been an experience like no other and I just felt the need to share my own personal story of why I decided to take the step and go natural.

I actually tried going natural after I graduated. At the time I wasn’t educated about the management it would require and sadly gave up after a short time. A lot of people decide to go natural because they wish for a longer length that they just cant accomplish with relaxed hair. I have never had an issue with length; my hair has been past my shoulders since childhood, so for me it was wanting a change. I was tired of the hair salons and getting relaxers every few weeks; I wanted something different.

Everything we place on our skin and hair all seep into our bodies. Therefore, all of the chemicals you place on your body and in your hair make it into your bodies. I decided that I wanted to limit the amount of chemicals or harsh impurities in my body. It’s really that simple; I didnt decide to go natural because its starting to become a fad because honestly I was trying it when it wasn’t popular. Many people don’t understand why I have decided to do this because I have long hair; because it’s not to please anyone but me.

Anyone want to share their own personal hair struggles? If you guys would like I can talk more about my routine and the natural products I use, just leave some feedback!

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