Thursday, January 24, 2013

Health Matters - Shame on N.A.A.C.P. NY!!!

Benjamin Jealous -President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

As I was reading an article on the court case where the American soft-drink industry argued against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s restrictions on super sized sugary drinks, I was shocked to see that the New York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) was standing with the soda industry.

Of all the years that I have known of the NAACP, I have attended events and supported their causes, I never really spent time reading up on their current roles and events on their website. I assumed that they understood the needs of the people that they claim to serve and so I decided to go on and take a look at their website to see if they understood the plight of the health disparities that exist among the colored people.

According to their website in the Advocacy & Issues column they wrote the following in their health section:

The NAACP brings our national voice to assist in the eradication of these racial and ethnic disparities, with a focus not only on disease prevention, but on the social and environmental factors that affect health and wellness.

The NAACP is committed to eliminating the racial and ethnic disparities in our health care system that plague people of color in the United States. African Americans continue to have the highest incidence, prevalence and mortality rates from chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Additionally issues like HIV and infant mortality have continued to overwhelm the Black community. Systemic imbalances in the health care delivery system disproportionately affect African Americans and Latinas more than their White counterparts.

This gives me even more reason to pause, wonder, scream and cry out loudly at the N.A.A.C.P. How is your support of super size soda advancing the lives of the colored people? There are many diseases and illnesses that are associated with poor diet which includes the excessive consumption of sugary drinks (soda). In fact, the number of cases of those with diabetes are on the rise and even more so in children. Type II diabetes which was once associated with older people is now becoming common with children. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2011 nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. In addition, an estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes raises a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Racial and ethnic minorities continue to have higher rates of diabetes after adjusting for population age differences. For adults, diabetes rates were 16.1 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 12.6 percent for blacks, 11.8 percent for Hispanics, 8.4 percent for Asian-Americans, and 7.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites.
Mayor Bloomberg of New York

The New York State Department of Health indicates the following:

African Americans
Have the highest prevalence of diabetes of all racial/ethnic groups (U.S.).
Have the highest rate of adult obesity as compared to any other racial/ethnic group (U.S.).

American Indians/Alaska Natives
Have an infant death rate 40 percent higher than the rate for Whites (U.S.).
Are 60% more likely to have a stroke than their White counterparts (U.S.).
Women are 2.4 times more likely to have, and to die from, liver and inflammatory bowel disease cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic White women (U.S.).

Asian Americans
Have three times the incidence of liver and inflammatory bowel disease cancer as the non-Hispanic White population. (U.S.)
Vietnamese women have rates of cervical cancer that are five times higher than the rates for White women. (U.S.)

Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders
Have almost double the rate of diabetes and are almost six times more likely to die from diabetes as White residents. (U.S.)
Native Hawaiian women have the highest incidence and mortality rates of endometrial cancers for all U.S. women.

Among children ages 2 to 5 in New York, 20.1 percent of Hispanic children are obese, compared with 13.8 percent of African Americans and 12.4 percent of Whites.
Have a death rate due to diabetes that is 40 percent higher than for non-Hispanic Whites. (U.S.)
More than a third of Hispanics in the United States do not have health insurance.

Hazel Dukes President of New York Chapter of N.A.A.C.P

Here's what matters most - the health and wellness of the people. The generous donations of the big companies seems to be more important as you host galas for recognizing celebrities and each other within your organization. However, on the local levels, the people who are in need of your true representation are counting on you to care, really care about their health. It is obviously not enough to have it written on your website for we all know that actions speaks louder than words! Your actions as it relates to the health and wellness of the people is rather loud and clear.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Winter Run - The Test

It's winter and the chances of me running outdoors is almost negative one. However, there was a beautiful bright sunny day where the temperature was in the 40's, so we decided to hit the track. Naturally, as soon as we arrived, the wind decided that it was time to pick up speed and challenge us. It was so windy, it felt like a surprise test to see how serious we were about our run.

We did our warm up, walked for a couple laps and then it was on........
At times the wind was so strong we could hardly breathe, some people turned in the opposite direction and jogged backwards to avoid the pressure.

Not only did we get our run on but there was the brief sideline work out which included burpees and such. Yes, the weather did a bait and switch on us but we worked through it and I can say with full confidence that I am so glad we did.

Have you ever had a time when you just did not feel up to working out, going to the gym or taking that walk? Have you reluctantly managed to get that work out in and realized how great you felt about it in the end? Well, it's still early enough in the year to follow through on your fitness plans. Take the time to actively work on your fitness goals. How about it?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Have You Heard??? The Flu Season's Gone Wild!!!

It's all over the news. The World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Health, local and statewide health organizations are all discussing the influenza outbreak particularly throughout the United States. Could this be one of the worst outbreaks we have had in a while. It certainly appears so. The big question is why? and... Did you get your flu shot? Well according to the latest news reports, there seems to be a shortage of the vaccine. It is confirmed by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden who said "We're hearing of spot shortages." I would say that speaks volumes. Perhaps it's time to head to your local pharmacy and find out if they are administering the vaccine there. The problem here is that the flu shots are normally administered in the fall and by this time they are almost finished. Looks like the manufacturers may have to come up with more - I'm sure they wont mind at all.

Interestingly, parents are discussing the flu out break calling other parents out on sending their sick child/children to school which causes their child to become sick. Meanwhile, jobs/bosses are telling their employees to get to work - flu and all. What's a parent to do? One cannot stay home with their child nor can they call out sick even if they have the flu. Ridiculous, I know but this is a very real issue.

Although the number of reported cases of flu have peaked in some areas; as the virus spreads to other states there are increased number of new cases. Sadly, there are reports of deaths which is rather frightening. In fact after reading an article that titled 'Flu Season Epidemic Likely a Boom for Funeral Homes and Death Care' I'm considering staying indoors until spring with as limited human contact as possible.

What's going on you ask? Let's hear what Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institute of Health has to say.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases......

Monday, January 7, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough - The Tough Gets Going!!

Another week of Cross Fit and what a week it was. Yesterday's work out has me in a state of shock yet wanting more. The warm up was like a full work out (for me). After we were finished with the warm up, I would have been happy to clap my hands and start high fiving my husband saying "Great Job!!!" but noooooooooo, it was just the beginning of what would be my most intense work out of the Cross Fit experience.

Flash back to the day before, Saturday's work out of the day was like a piece of apple pie compared to Sunday. It was not easy by any means, it was just not as intense for me.

After my week of Cross Fit, this is how I feel that I should look


**Back squat 3×8-12
**3 high box jumps x3 sets
Scaling: Every 2 minutes for 12 minutes: 3 back squats @ heaviest set of 10+, 20 double-unders
Beginner Scaling: Every 2 minutes for 10 minutes: 3 back squats @ heaviest set of 10+, 15 lateral jumps


**Bulgarian Split-squat 3×8-10/side – weaker side first; A2: Scapular wall-slides 3×8
Beginner scaling:
**Reverse lunge 3×8-10/side (no alternating) – weaker side first; A2: Scapular wall-slides 3×8
**5 sets: 30 seconds jump switch lunge, 30 seconds rest, 30 seconds, maximum strict pull-ups, 90 seconds rest


**Push jerk 4×2 [Beginners instead perform: Push press 4x4]
**Lateral lunge with overhead reach 4×8 (alternating)

**For 12 minutes: On the odd minutes perform 3 push presses, on the even minutes perform 10 heavy kettlebell swings–the goal is use the heaviest weight possible without having failed reps.

SUNDAY!!! Lord knows I should have gone to church!!!

**Front squat 3×4-6
**Pullup 3×5 (add weight if needed)
**10-8-6-4-2 reps for time: front squat at 60-70% of today’s sets, burpee pullups.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflections of 2012!

Whizzing by or what? That's time for you. As 2011, came to an end, I had some things I needed to complete and by all means, it was not coming along with me for my to do list in 2012. I made the decision to do it and my mission was accomplished :-)

2012 was a great year for me. It all began shortly after the stroke of midnight. There were some tough lessons that I had to learn, but I was open and ready. January was the major transition month, the enlightenment period. It was during that month that I learned that it was necessary to let go and let life have its way. It was not a smooth sailing process, far from it. I was on a mission to get back to enjoying my life on my terms.

And that's just what I did. I had so many plans for 2012 and as you know, 2012 was already planned for me.


It would begin with me as a board member of my undergraduate college and attending the first meeting of the year. Imagine that!

On February 14th, 2012, The Day That Changed My Life received it's copyright. How lovely a Valentine Gift is that from the United States Patent and Trademark Office?!! (I'm doing the "Can't Touch This" dance :-)

Marching along to celebrate my birthday, another year to add to my time here on earth and fulfilling my assignment. I go insane about celebrating a personal New Year for me, I celebrate my birth and welcome the time added to my life. It's really a wonderful gift!

In May, The Day That Changed My Life had it's own team that participated in the Revlon Run Walk in New York City. Our team walked as a survivor, in support and in memory of their loved ones who were diagnosed with cancer. This was another great accomplishment as we walked to bring awareness to Womens' Cancers.

By late spring early summer, I was in talks with the publisher for my upcoming book. The book that I have been working on for some time now. The great thing about this book is that its' time has come.
Summer trip to see the Yankees. My most favorite baseball team with my neighbor who is also a Yankee Fan. By the Fall of 2012, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and on December 24th, he transitioned on to the other side of life. Needless to say, my assignment to bring awareness and make a difference in the area of cancer never ends.
Received an invitation to MD Anderson Cancer Center's announcement of the Moon Shots Program. This was an exciting time for me, just hearing that they were aggressively working to end cancer.(You should be dancing with me on this announcement right here :-)

By Fall of 2012, I received some fantastic news. My audio book The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey (Parents Edition) was the best seller and most popular audio book of that genre (giving thanks!!!).

Even more great news, after some negotiations with the publisher, I signed the contract. The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey the book will be published/released in 2013.

The most important part of my life is my family. I love them more than anything in this whole wide world. The time I spend with them is priceless. This year, my youngest daughter moved on to campus and it was quite the transition for our tightly knit unit. In October, Sandy came through her campus and wouldn't you know it - selected her dorm room to make it's mark. While she was huddled in the lounge with the other students, a large tree branch pierced it's way through the roof, landing on her bed and allowing the rain to come through and destroy everything - from her laptop, paper work, clothes, etc. What it did not get was her. She was safe!

Another joyful moment was the trip to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. It was the night before Christmas and we went to the pediatric ward to deliver gifts to the children who were spending Christmas in the hospital. Can I tell you, nothing beats spreading good will and cheer to others. The smiles on the faces of the children and their parents made it all worthwhile. In fact, we cannot wait to do it again.

2012 my meditation was finally consistent and I was able to see the great benefits of doing so. I did quite a bit of traveling as a speaker at conferences. By late Fall early Winter, my calendar for 2013 was being filled with meetings and speaking at events for 2013. There will be quite a bit of traveling and of course there are some things that I have planned to do since way back when which has remained on my must be done list in 2013. However, you know how it goes, I am open to the plans that were already made for me in advance. I know that I am here on an assignment. It will all get done :-)

December 31st, 2012
New Years Eve, my family and I have a tradition. We go to church to give our thanks and praise for the past year, with great expectations for the coming year. We sing, we dance and we have a fun time. This New Year's Eve was even more special as a family, we have so much to be thankful for!

2013, I welcome you! I am ready for all that is ahead. I accept the detours, the adjustments and the challenges. I will celebrate the accomplishments, the victories and the ability to enjoy my time here. Like the years gone by, I will never let a day go by without giving thanks!

Here's to a wonderful 2013 filled with joy, happiness, contentment, gratitude,
peace and love!
Reflections of 2011
Reflections of 2010
Reflections of 2009
Reflections of 2008