I wrote the following article in 2013, and it was published on RXGirl.com
MYTH: You should avoid eating fat.
FACT: Despite the fact that fat carries more than twice the amount of calories per gram when compared with carbohydrates and protein, fat takes longer to empty from the stomach and thus keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Fat also adds flavor to foods and heightens the dining experience. In addition, you must consume some fat in order to maintain proper cellular health. Omega fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, all of which are healthy forms of dietary fat, actually lower LDL cholesterols in the blood.
MYTH: Healthy foods are more expensive.
FACT: Many unprocessed foods such as grains, fresh vegetables and fruit are extremely cheap. Think about it. You can purchase a five pound bag of potatoes for a couple of dollars, or you can buy a bag of potato chips for $3.49 or more. And I don’t need to tell you that the bag of potatoes will provide sound nutrition and far more food bulk than the chips. I am not a big fan of certain natural food markets because they are grossly overpriced, so I visit other markets which have very reasonable prices on their unprocessed foods. Processed and fast foods may be more convenient, but they are more costly over time, especially if you eat them frequently.
MYTH: Late night meals will make you fat.
FACT: Your body doesn’t process food differently once the sun comes down. The problem that many people have is that they restrict their caloric intake too much during the day, usually by skipping meals. By the time they get home from a busy day, they are starving, and will eat an excessive amount of calories to satisfy their hunger. Another issue is the mindless munching on snack foods which people often do while watching TV or sitting at the computer.
As long as you eat a reasonably sized, healthy meal, nighttime eating shouldn’t result in weight gain.
MYTH: You can eat any foods you want as long as you do it in moderation.
FACT: It’s okay to indulge in a calorie dense or unhealthy food item once in a while, but if you make it a regular practice to eat junk foods every day, you are doing your body and your health a huge disservice. Trust me, a chiseled physique can never be built on a pizza diet (I know, wishful thinking, right?). Your body requires high quality protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed or minimally processed carbohydrates to function optimally and to support a healthy metabolism.
MYTH: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.
FACT: Spacing your meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism running in high gear. It is true that breakfast is an important meal because it provides essential nourishment, regulates mood and energy levels and boosts mental clarity. People who skip meals are notorious for eating excessive amounts of food when they actually do eat, and those meals are usually unhealthy and of poor nutritional value. If you are prone to skipping meals, try keeping a food journal to monitor your meal consumption throughout the day.
MYTH: Carbohydrates will make you fat.
The truth is, carbohydrates are usually consumed in excess by many people. What this does is cause a sharp increase in blood glucose, which triggers insulin release so that the glucose can be converted to glycogen for storage in the liver and muscles. Only a certain amount of this glycogen can be stored, with the excess being stored as body fat. Once the blood glucose level falls below normal, carbohydrate cravings are triggered which many individuals succumb to.
When you cut carbohydrate intake, you will experience a rapid weight loss initially as the body drains glycogen stores for energy. What also occurs is that water is released as the glycogen is utilized, resulting in weight loss from the increased urination which results. But after about two weeks, the increased urination ends, and along with it, the rapid weight loss.
When I was a child, American history was taught in a very static manner. We were expected to memorize important dates and factoids, to the point where epic points in history like the Industrial Revolution, though pivotal and vital to the development of America, seemed dull and uninteresting. It took imaginative historical books which I have read over recent years, and shows such as “The Men Who Built America”, for a keen interest in American history to ignite within me.
Most recently, I stumbled upon “The Men Who Built America” right around Halloween when I was searching on Amazon Prime Video for an entertaining show to watch. What caught my eye was the fact that the television series was described on IMDB as a miniseries which “shines a spotlight on the influential builders, dreamers and believers whose feats transformed the United States, a nation decaying from the inside after the Civil War, into the greatest economic and technological superpower the world had ever seen. The Men Who Built America is the story of a nation at the crossroads and of the people who catapulted it to prosperity.” Those words were enough to draw me in.
Check out these descriptions of the episodes:
|1||“A New War Begins”||Ruán Magan||David C. White, Keith Palmer||October 16, 2012|
|Cornelius Vanderbilt grows from a steamboat entrepreneur to the head of a railroad empire, and gets into a heated rivalry with James Fisk and Jay Gould; the up and coming John D. Rockefeller founds Standard Oil. Many business owners lay their own rail lines which leads to the Panic of 1873. Later, Rockefeller starts to expand his wealth by diverting his business from the railroads to a new innovation, oil pipelines.|
|2||“Bloody Battles”||Patrick Reams||David C. White, Keith Palmer||October 23, 2012|
|Andrew Carnegie builds an empire around steel, but finds himself struggling to save face after the ruthless tactics of his business partner, Henry Clay Frick, result in both the Johnstown Flood as well as the bloody 1892 strike at the Homestead Steel Works.|
|3||“Changing the Game”||Patrick Reams||David C. White, Patrick Reams, Keith Palmer||October 30, 2012|
|J. P. Morgan proceeds to banish the dark with the direct current electric light of Thomas Edison, but the two soon face serious competition from the alternating current of George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. As the 19th century comes to a close, the titans of industry must try to work together to stop a new threat in budding politician William Jennings Bryan, who threatens to dissolve monopolies in America.|
|4||“When One Ends, Another Begins”||Patrick Reams||David C. White, Keith Palmer||November 11, 2012|
|Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan team up to help elect William McKinley to the U.S. presidency by paying for his 1896 campaign, to avoid a possible attack on monopolies. However, fate intervenes when McKinley is suddenly assassinated, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assumes the presidency and promptly begins dissolving monopolies and trusts in America. Meanwhile, Morgan buys out Carnegie Steel to make Carnegie the richest man in the world, and Henry Ford designs an affordable automobile with his Model T and starts his own business, Ford Motor Company, which sets a new business model for companies to follow.|
It was mostly my interest in finance which locked me into this series, but I also truly enjoyed learning about the historical impact which these great men had on a sophomore nation. If you’re looking for a great series which is relatively short (you could binge watch this over a weekend), then this is for you.
I’ve been working with Scent Beauty as one of their brand ambassadors for several months now, and I absolutely love the fragrances they sell. So far, I have seven scents from their line:
- Intention, Transcend, and Balance from the Phluid Project
- Rise and Shine, I Am Bright, and So Serene from Scent Organix
- Cher – Fragrance Foundation’s 2020 Awards Winner
Here are links to the fragrances I just mentioned:
So you may be asking, do I actually use any of these fragrances? The answer is a resounding YES.
Intention from the Phluid Project is the perfect blend of spicy, floral and sweet, with the following scent profile:
Pink Pepper, Rosebud
Tonka Bean, Cedarwood
Intention has only a hint of sweetness which comes from the cherry, but is well balanced with the other tones. I love this fragrance and wear it often.
I also love the dual phase feature of all three fragrances in the Phluid Collection. They are just gorgeous! All you do when you need to use a Phluid Collection fragrance is to shake the bottle to mix the phases, then spray onto your skin!
Then there’s Transcend, which is mildly reminiscent of Prada Candy, but is a much softer expression, a tropical beach with hints of fruit and sea salt and sultry warm notes like vanilla. It is my current favorite!
Dragonfruit, Pineapple Leaf
Tiare Flower, Sea Salt
Palo Santo, Vanilla Orchid
In stark contrast, Balance is a very clean, crisp fragrance, and one which to me is a men’s fragrance, despite Scent Beauty’s claim that all of its scents are unisex. Here are the notes:
Cardamom, Iced Grapefruit
Black Tea, Clary Sage
Vetiver, Atlas Cedar
Rise and Shine from Scent Organix is a beautiful, light, clean fragrance which just makes me happy when I smell it. Here is the scent profile for Rise and Shine:
Tangerine, Lemon Spritz
Peach Blossoms, Orange Zest
I Am Bright from Scent Organix, while also light and fresh, has more of that tropical citrus vibe. This is more fruit-forward than Rise and Shine, but not in an overt fashion. I love it as well!
Juicy Pineapple, Salted Coconut
Orange Flower, Lemon
Then there is So Serene, which I love to wear when I go into the office. It is very subtle, and no note overpowers any other. It imparts a relaxing vibe which keeps me at an even keel.
Mandarin, Violet Leaves
Green Tea, Lime
The last scent I have in my Scent Beauty collection is Cher Eau de Couture, which is a very intense, smoky, deep and complex fragrance. It’s as commanding as Cher is! It just declares itself, as a sultry, clove-dominant scent. I do love it, but I don’t think I would ever dare wear it during the day. This is something I can imagine someone of either gender wearing on a steamy date night!
Bergamot, Clove, Neroli
Jasmine, Rose, Orange Flower
Vetiver, Sandalwood, Vanilla Orchid
To order any of these amazing fragrances, please use the following link so that Scent Beauty knows that I referred you:
Though I thoroughly enjoy international travel for a multitude of reasons, the most meaningful trips I have taken have admittedly been the ones I took in an effort to learn about my ancestral roots. The first time I went on a heritage trip was in September of 2014, exactly six months after I had ordered genotype testing through 23andme. Despite the fact that I already pretty much knew the bulk of my heritage (Japanese and Hungarian), I was even more determined to visit Japan and Hungary after I received the test results. It took me a full six years to visit Japan, but I was able to do so in March of this year, and made a point of visiting both prefectures which my grandparents were from.
It turns out that my determination to visit my ancestral countries, occurred right at the beginning of the surge in heritage travel which has swept the globe. One of the driving forces behind this boost in travel to ancestral lands has been the popularity of genetic testing kits such as the ones offered by 23andme. From personal experience, I can definitely tell you that a trip which is taken in an effort to learn about one’s heritage is definitely different from a trip which is taken for vacation purposes.
Thanks to AirBnB, people can stay in dwellings which are more reflective of the culture which they are visiting, and thus more authentic and rich. According to AirBnB, there has been a 500% increase since 2014 in travelers who use the AirBnB service to book accommodations and experiences. Close to 80% of these trips are taken either with one travel partner or alone, which suggests that these treks are indeed meant to establish connection with mother cultures.
It’s no surprise that AirBnB and 23andme have joined forces and are offering services specific to heritage travel on their websites. On 23andMe, customers who receive new ancestry reports, are now able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb Homes and Experiences in their countries of origin. Correspondingly, Airbnb has dedicated pages which correspond with 23andMe’s genetic populations, making it a breeze for customers to book accommodations in the countries which emerge on their reports.
If you’re thinking of booking a heritage trip but are hesitant, take it from someone who has not only visited her two main countries of origin, but who has also visited the other countries (Italy, Greece, Germany, France) which had popped up on the genetic testing report, and just GO.
Has someone ever just completely disappeared from your life, without any explanation? It is an incredibly confounding experience, and has occurred more than once for me. What blows my mind is that older adults, people in their forties and fifties, have exhibited this bizarre and rude behavior in recent years, so the phenomenon of “ghosting” cannot be pegged as a young person’s habit.
I honestly think that when a person ghosts anyone for reasons such as, they’re not feeling the same way about the other person (usually a dating scenario), or they have become bored with someone, the act of ghosting is truly a sign of immaturity and lack of emotional availability, which means that the ghostee is actually lucky to be cut loose. However, when someone completely disappears without an explanation, whether it’s a dating situation, a more serious relationship, or a friendship, the person being ghosted often grapples with extreme mental anguish because there is no closure.
Even if the explanation for the person’s ghosting on another might be painful to hear, I bet most individuals would prefer to hear that explanation instead of scratching their heads in bewilderment, thinking, what in the world HAPPENED? I completely understand that feelings can change, but I also was raised to believe that you should offer a reason why you no longer wish to talk to or associate with someone. If you don’t respond to texts, etc., and the ghostee can clearly see that you are doing fine, you are basically indicating to that person that they aren’t even worthy of any bit of respect. And while there are situations in which the ghostee might have done something egregiously wrong, in most situations, the person doing the ghosting is merely fickle, disrespectful, and narcissistic. That’s been my observation in every situation in which I have been ghosted.
What are your thoughts on being ghosted? If you have ghosted someone in the past, why did you choose to ghost someone instead of providing a reason why you wanted to discontinue communication?
Among the memories from my childhood, teenhood, and early adulthood are all the incredible concerts I had the good fortune to attend. I grew up in the 1970’s – 1980’s, and was exposed to all kinds of music during that time. I was able to see most of my favorite artists perform live, some in front of massive coliseum-sized audiences, and others in cozy local venues like the Troubador. Little did I know that when I was cheering Poison and Ratt that those bands were about to hit it big on the music scene.
Here is a partial list of some of the artists I was able to see live between 1976 and 1989:
Elton John (Dodger Stadium, 1976)
Rolling Stones (1981, 1989)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1980, 1981)
I thoroughly enjoyed being in the audience, rocking with the music, lighting my lighter (who remembers doing this?), and singing along when the lead singer would prompt the crowd to join in. There was always a palpable energy at concerts, a buzz, and I’m not talking about the burning weed which circulated through the air. The audiences were always so pumped, so excited to hear a favorite band play live.
I also remember wanting so badly to attend the US Festival on Labor Day weekend in 1982, but my mother staunchly refused. Then there was another US Festival which I desperately wanted to attend on Memorial Day weekend in 1983, but my mother once again refused, pointing out that I had final exams the following week. Some of the girls in my class threw caution to the wind and attended the festival, so I was able to live vicariously through them when they described the experience. An estimated 570,000 people attended the 1983 Labor Day weekend US Festival, which is no surprise since tickets were a mere $20 for each day of the event.
Here’s a video of the full concert which Van Halen performed during the 1983 US Festival:
Other festivals have come to the forefront in popularity in, recent years, but now that we have spent the bulk of the year in lockdown, avoiding COVID, live concerts, with the audience standing in front of the band members, are nearly extinct. We now rely on livestreams and virtual concerts, which don’t even come close to creating the same magic that a live concert in front of a packed audience can do.
Ventura County Fairgrounds recently hosted a drive-in setting for a live concert which apparently went pretty well. The audience was limited to 500 cars, I wonder if this will be the new norm for concerts? At any rate, I am thankful that I was able to see so many incredible artists live, when concerts were still fun.
How many of you have gotten sucked into a TV series during this year’s lockdown? I have to admit that I definitely fell into the binge watching abyss back in June, when I watched season 1, episode 1 of Grimm. It didn’t grab me immediately, but after several episodes which I watched over three separate days, I noticed that I was developing that all-consuming curiosity, that compulsion to watch one episode, and since the next episode would be ready within seconds after the previous one concluded, I allowed the binge-watching to occur over and over.
Since I don’t really watch a lot of television, the Grimm sessions haven’t distracted me from essential things I need to address in my life, but I have definitely spent more than one Sunday evening glued to the tube, learning about all the wesen (aka, creatures) which are only visible to the Grimms. For those of you who are fans of Grimm, check out the site which offers an encyclopedic list of wesen.
I began to wonder what the wesen see when Nick Burkhardt shows up. There is a scene between Nick and Monroe, and Rosalie which explains what the wesen see in the Grimm when they woge (show their physical selves to the Grimm):
Monroe: It’s your eyes.
Nick: My eyes?
Rosalee: It’s how we know you’re a Grimm after we woge.
Monroe: They turn black.
Rosalee: Not exactly black.
Monroe: No, you’re right, actually. Black’s too weak a word. It’s more like infinite darkness. And we see ourselves reflected in that darkness. We see our true wesen nature.
Since I love fairy tales, fantasy and certain types of horror (vampires, etc.), this show is right up my alley. Especially now that lockdown has really put a damper on going out at night, I truly enjoy sitting at home and watching what is currently my favorite television series. It doesn’t matter that Grimm aired from October 28, 2011 to March 31, 2017, for 123 episodes, over six seasons. It also doesn’t matter that Grimm was canceled due to the writers’ strike. I have been immensely entertained by the series, and since I am only on season 2, I still have quite a few episodes left to binge watch!
I’m sure the majority of you are well aware about the importance of good dental health, but have you ever thought how important good dental health is in your pets? Just as in humans, the mouths of your pets are teeming with bacteria, and some of those bacteria can enter the digestive tract, respiratory tract, and bloodstream, and cause disease, particularly in the heart, lung, and kidneys.
Another factor to consider in our pets is the fact that we have domesticated these animals over the millenia, and as a result, they no longer depend on hunting to procure their food. This means that the natural form of teeth cleaning, in essence, gnawing and tearing at the flesh of their prey, has, for the most part, been eliminated, and replaced with dry kibble and canned foods. Eighty percent of pet dogs and cats who have had no dental cleaning or intervention show signs of oral disease by the time they are 3 years old.
I take all of this very seriously with my pets, and I am diligent about taking them in every six months for non-anesthetic dental cleaning. It’s worth the financial expense, even though I struggle to pay for their dental care twice a year. The way I see it, I’d rather take them in for regular dental cleaning than to put them at risk for a myriad of diseases, and have them suffer needlessly as a result. I’ve been taking them in for regular cleanings from the time they were young adults, and they have had mild issues with no need for a more aggressive cleaning with anesthetic. I realize that they may at some point need cleaning under anesthesia, but until we cross that bridge, I will continue to take them in for the anesthesia-free option.
There are definitely some limitations with non-anesthetic teeth cleaning for pets, such as the fact that only the plaque above the gum line can be removed. The veterinarian examines the pet’s teeth and gums to determine if there is any inflammation or sign of infection, and if there are any findings which are beyond the scope of the non-anesthetic cleaning crew, the pet is referred for cleaning with anesthesia.
Overall, if you aren’t paying attention to your pet’s teeth and gums, you should. It’s a good idea to ask your veterinarian at your next visit what he or she recommends in the way of dental care. There are dental chews which help to clean the teeth, and some very brave pet owners actually brush their pet’s teeth. Your vet will help determine the best care regimen for your beloved pet.