Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why Are Americans So Fat!?

It's no surprise that Americans are very obese. In fact, statistically, the United States is the fatttest nation in the world. Surprised? You shouldn't be. You probably have a little extra weight hanging off you right now. Don't be ashamed, most of us do. We are one of the richest countries (economically) and have some of the best technology YET we are the unhealthiest nation? Doesn't make much sense right? Something isn't adding up.

I've touched on health on this blog more than a few times, mainly because, having knowledge doesn't do you any good from a hospital bed. Health is essential to a long prosperous life so I push for that as much as I push for equality in this crazy world we live in. It always baffles me how some of the smartest, most intelligent people in our nation can also be some of the most obese. It takes self control and patience and that is not a easy attribute to have in our country where we live so fast paced and have fast food on EVERY corner. I ran across this article on Huffington Post that I thought would help some people out who are interested in making that lifestyle change. Some of the things mentioned are things I've been doing for some months now and have worked tremendously. More specifically, eating a lot of (baked) fish and cooking my own meals. Here is the full link for those interested---->[CLICK HERE]. Read below:

Right about now, a whole bunch of Americans are quitting their New Year's resolutions to lose weight -- if they haven't quit already. What a shame. Americans can't really afford to pack on any more pounds. With more than 225 million overweight people, the Unites States is the most obese country in the world, at a cost of $117 billion a year. It's an understatement to say we're facing a pandemic.

The world's 10 leanest and longest-living nations are Japan, Singapore, China, Sweden, France, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Greece and Israel. Why? They consume, prepare and burn their food in a manner that enables them to stay healthy and lean. Let me share examples from a few countries:


They eat mainly rice, fish and vegetables -- naturally high in carbs and fiber, low in calories and fat -- and their primary protein source is fish, high in Omega-3 fatty acids; they rarely eat the red meat Americans consume in such heart-stopping portions. Rather than sugary beverages, they drink antioxidant-rich green tea.

The Japanese prepare their food by boiling, grilling, steaming and serving it raw.

They burn what they consume through much more active lives than Americans. For the business of everyday life, they travel by foot.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dr. King's Last Speech

"Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! And so I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!"

R.I.P. to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His legacy continues to live on today in so many ways. I for one, think he would be proud of how Americans of every race, color, culture and creed have reacted to the earthquake in Haiti. I feel we have made tremendous strides as a nation, but I firmly believe we still have a long way to go. An issue that is still present, besides institutional racism, is sexism. As it has been very well documented, Dr. King, like most men during the Civil Rights Movement, would exude behavior that would force one to believe that he felt women were inferior to men. So, while fighting for the rights of Blacks, one could infer that King stunted the growth of Black women simultaneously. Furthermore, King's adulterous behavior (as documented by his colleague Ralph Albernathy) displays another side of a leader who otherwise is portrayed as being without a noticeable flaw or weakness. Despite these flaws, many would choose to overlook them, and some would even praise Dr. King, as if committing adultery and benefiting from sexism makes him "real." It is imperative to understand that a protection of a patriarchal society, then and now, does nothing to benefit our progression to the top of this metaphorical mountain top. It is finding a way to right a wrong. It is, passing a student with a grade of a "C" despite his overall percentage falling well below what would usually grant a student the grade. This behavior is something that comes as no surprise, as countless leaders, whether Black or White, reciprocated this same behavior during Dr. King's era where the media wasn't as prominent in the social lives of political figures.

I say these facts, not to diminish this influential leader and his accomplishments, but to point out that none of us are without flaw. While we most certainly SHOULD learn from the rhetoric and overall message of Dr. King, we should also make an attempt to dissect his flaws, as to understand the vast array of issues and imperfections that are still present in ourselves, and in society as a whole.

We are still climbing towards the mountain top...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Haiti Earthquake

I have no words. I'm completely speechless. I'm sure you all have long heard about this tragic event, but seeing a visual of the people on the streets like this is saddening. I can only hope and pray for everyone there, as well as those in the U.S. and across the globe that have family there that they have not heard from. I'm usually not one for randomly donating money, because I believe sharing your time with others is a lot more valuable, but in a situation like this, there doesn't really seem like there are many more options for me or most people at the moment. You can read below on how you can donate using your cell phone via MSNBC. Oh, I'd also like to give a middle finger to Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson for their comments regarding this tragedy. Some people's ignorance is so great, it doesn't allow a bit of compassion to show.

-Text the word "YELE" to 501501 to donate $5 to the Yele Haiti foundation.
-Text the word "HAITI" to 20222 to donate $10 to the Clinton Foundation Haiti Relief Fund.
-Text "HAITI" to 25383 to donate $5 to the International Rescue Committee.
-Text "HAITI" to 85944 to donate $10 to the International Medical Corps.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Soul Food Junkies (Trailer)

Byron Hurt put together this short trailer for an upcoming documentary he's working on, on the topic of soul food. I see that he uploaded it around August of 2009, so hopefully he still plans to release it in full. The issue of health within Black (and Latino) communities is one that really needs to be brought to the forefront and hopefully this documentary does just that. In our neighborhoods, we have fried chicken establishments, McDonalds and Gyro restaurants on every corner, but we're forced to drive miles upon miles to suburban areas in order to find a moderately healthy restaurant or grocery store. Our grocery stores are often filled with filth, expired foods and a high abundance of sugary, fattening foods. Our culture encourages us to indulge in these foods that are high in fat, sodium and cholesterol simply because they taste good, and they are what's available. During slavery, we were forced to eat these foods, as they were left overs from our owners, or foods they did not want to eat themselves. However, eating these foods regularly will not equate to a long, prosperous life. Soul Food is apart of our culture, and while I don't think the food should be abandoned (it's too good to give up completely, lol), I believe it should be eaten in moderation, like other unhealthy foods. Moderation meaning, not every week or everyday. In fact, it should be noted that there are healthy alternatives to all the foods we consume and are personally addicted to. It just takes a little research. I hope through some of these post I can encourage some to not go on a diet, but go on a lifestyle change. The foods we consume in high volume (from our neighborhoods mainly) are the ones that have most of our relatives in the hospital because of high blood pressure or diabetes. I'm not asking anyone to sacrifice this food, as it is a vital part of our culture, or not eat stuffing on Thanksgiving. I'm just saying, please do it in moderation, and please make wise choices and seek alternatives.

You may recognize Byron Hurt for putting together the highly controversial (and much needed) documentary, "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" a few years back where he tackled the issues of sexism, masculinity and homoeroticism, amongst other things, in hip hop of course. I STRONGLY encourage you all to support the man and buy the documentary [HERE] if you are interested in hip hop culture or are a fan of the music. It is very thought provoking. The trailer is below.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oscar Grant: 1 Year Later, Has Anything Changed?

Well, answer the question, has anything changed in your opinion, regarding police brutality? Check the post I made about a year ago regarding this tragic incident [HERE].

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"You Want The Chicken!" - Dave Chappelle

For the record, I don't think foreigners are any more racist than some White Americans have been in the past in the United States, or more racist than some are now. BUT, I think they are more open about it, which is good because in America it's now (somewhat) discreet and effects other facets of our life that aren't so obvious. Such as, institutional racism (i.e. economical, political, social). At least when it's out in the open (via the media) we can do a better job of correcting it and attacking it directly. Thoughts?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jay-Z's "On To The Next One" Video Broken Down

This video caused A LOT of controversy upon it's release on NYE. People were on twitter making all kinds of accusations (me being one of them) based on the obvious imagery presented. Skeptics will call it "artistic" or a "coincidence" without realizing that these symbols have been in his clothes, music and other videos for years. Does anybody know for sure if Jay-Z is involved in the Illuminati and some of it's lower factions? Sure, but they aren't the ones debating online so it's not helping any of our arguments. And the ones that have been saying it for years now (Prodigy, Jaz-O, etc) come off as jealous hasbeens so no one believes them. I'm not telling you what to believe, but please, don't be naive. You have to ultimately ask yourself "Why is he putting these images in a upbeat/club songs video?" Even if you do believe he is, but you don't care, you may ask "How does this even effect me?" Well, it may not effect you directly right now. But one day you'll have kids (if you don't already) and I know I wouldn't want them watching this video 20 times a day on BET/MTV.

Again, I don't want to tell anyone how to think. I just want to put the facts out there and encourage everyone to really look below the surface. In closing, I'd like to use this as an example. As a college student, I was around Greek members on a regular basis. In fact, I'm friends with some of them. Being around them constantly, I've become aware of certain gestures and steps they do together to celebrate their brother/sisterhood. Seeing as how I am NOT a Greek member, however, I would not wake up one day, make a (rap) video dressed in their colors and symbols and flash imagery related to the fraternity/sorority. Why? Because it's disrespectful and there would probably be some repercussions. I would though, under one circumstance...if I was myself a Greek member...