Monthly archives of “February 2015

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STEP into Black History Month

Have you heard of stepping? Stepping is a performance where your body is used to create sounds with a mixture of foot movements, hand claps and spoken word. This art form is said to have been derived from African ancestry. Our fabulous intern, Yohana, shared that tomorrow, Feb. 27, the Portland Trail Blazers will be celebrating Black History Month as it comes to an end. With this, they have invited members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council* will show us their best stepping routine.

Can’t make the Blazer game but interested in learning or trying step on your own? It’s an excellent form of exercise. Check out a previous performance here.

*The National Pan-Hellenic Council, also referred to as the Divine 9, is made up of nine historically African American Greek lettered fraternities and sororities. The Rho Beta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Xi Upsilon chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. will both be stepping in two separate performances.  

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Yohana 

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Where Heart Health Month and Black History Month meet

Did you know that in 1893 when there were very few Black cardiologists, Daniel Hale Williams an African American performed the first successful open-heart surgery? He also founded the first non-segregated hospital in the United States.

As we celebrate Heart Health Month and Black History Month in February, it is important to acknowledge the correlation between the health disparities of Black women and heart disease. Black women are twice as likely to suffer heart disease in comparison to White women.  Black women also die from heart disease more often than all other Americans.

Heart disease is often known for being the silent killer since many of the symptoms are not present or they can be easily overlooked. Women sometimes have heart attack symptoms that differ from men. They might have chest pain that is temporary with not much pain or no chest pain at all.

Some of the symptoms that women experience are:

  • Chest pain (temporary and sharp)
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety or fatigue
  • Stomach, back or arm pain
  • Paleness or cold sweat

It is important to take charge when it comes to your health and discuss with your doctor things that you can do to lower your risk of having heart disease.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Viva Vivanista

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Safely Celebrate Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is one of the biggest carnivals to happen every year. It consists of dancing, singing and eating all types of delicious food. Colorful beads  are thrown that represent justice, faith and power. However, with this outdoor celebration there are  some things we should take in consideration as we celebrate Fat Tuesday.

Cameras are everywhere. With nearly every phone having the tool to record anything can be leaked to the internet. Be careful in what you engage in, or choose to do. Know that everyone is watching, and the fun that happens tonight maybe the next viral video in the morning.

If you are choosing to drink be aware of where it is coming from. Don’t let it out of your site. When you are not drinking your beverage place a napkin over the top of the cup. This will help prevent anything from getting inside.

Be aware of your surroundings.  Pay attention with what is going on around you. Create a safety exit route in case you would need to quickly leave for any reason.

When the fun is all over and done, have a safe departure and be cautious on your way home. If you have been drinking, call a cab or friend to pick you up.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by giveawayboy 

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Healthy Valentine’s Day treats – All about apples

As Valentine’s Day approaches so does all of the goodies and sweets that come along with it. But don’t worry, there are many healthy treats that you can make for your celebration while keeping with the theme.  Naturally, our favorites this year are apple treats. They are perfect! They are red, sweet and nutritious. Check out some of our favorite recipes below.

  • Try shaving a heart on the side of a red apple. We love this example.
  • Making an apple sandwich is also a winner made with apples, peanut butter, granola and chocolate chips. Don’t forget that heart shape cookie cutter in place of the core.
  • You’re awesome sauce is a super cute applesauce treat for kids. You are the apple of my eye is also a fun one.
  • If you are really fancy or want to try out your culinary skills, learn how to make a rose apple.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with healthy treats and learn something new! Find additional healthy Valentine’s Day treats on the My apple a day Healthy Holiday Pinterest board.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by sophie & cie

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Groundhog says 6 more weeks of indoor fun

Are you tired of the winter yet? Well yesterday the groundhog has declared that we will endure 6 more weeks of winter. But don’t worry, here are some fun activities to keep you from becoming bored!

  • Host a game night: There is nothing more fun than staying warm in doors with your friends and family sharing laughs. Make some healthy snacks to keep everyone full and ready for some intense competition.  Switch up the teams and alternate games to keep it from becoming repetitive. Maybe even include an incentive for the winning team; this will continue to keep the competitive spirit alive.
  • Self-care day: Take a day, evening or even an hour to cater to you. Try out that facial mask you have been meaning to do, or deep condition your hair. Nothing is pressing you to leave the house and there is no better time than now to give yourself the care that you deserve.
  • Go outside: Yes, this may sound a little crazy seeing the temperature is still very cold, but dress for the occasion. Layer it up and go for a walk, see a new sight. Don’t let the weather keep you from the great outdoors, this is one of nature’s most beautiful times to view scenery.
  • Movies: If everything else fails you can never go wrong with a movie night.  With the amazing invention of internet streaming you don’t even have to leave your house! Cozy up with a warm blanket, grab some hot chocolate and choose from the many selections. You can even use the genre search to find a movie or TV show that you are in the mood for.

Don’t let the continued weeks of winter stop you from enjoying what you love; there is always an alternate route!

 

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Catherine Bulinski 

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National Wear Red Day for Heart Health – Feb. 6th

Mark your calendar for Friday, February 6th as it is National Wear Red Day to increase awareness of the number no. 1 killer of women,  heart disease. Heart disease and stroke  claim the lives of 1 in 3 women.  That’s about one woman every minute! And did you know 80% of heart disease and stroke cases are preventable? Here are some heart healthy tips you should know:

  1. Responsibilities- Take care of your health and know your risks. Attend your regular yearly wellness exams. Monitor your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and be aware of any other illness you may have and its affect. It is time to take charge of your health!
  2. Risks- Try to avoid smoking and second hand smoke. These increase your risk of getting heart disease, stroke and lung disease.
  3. Exercise- Try to do a minimum of 30 minutes throughout your day. This can be distributed throughout your day in 10 minute increments. Substituting stairs for the elevator is also a great way to get your heart pumping. Make your work out fun and enjoyable by trying a yoga or Zumba class!
  4. Relax- Reduce your stress levels and calmly breathe. Receive a good night’s rest, exercise regularly and surround yourself with good company. Take up a new hobby or craft activity.  Continue to do what you love and what puts a smile on your face!

If you wear red, tag us or post a photo on our My apple a day Facebook page. We would love to see your support!

For additional tips on heart health, check out the Go Red for Women from the American Heart Association.

 

 

 

 

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Joey Gannon