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Fabulous Father’s Day

Fathers' Day (film)

Fathers’ Day (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the mere fact that most holidays center around food. I always like to broaden the meaning of the holiday so that there is more of an appreciation for a day of thanks than just food.

The history of Father’s Day dates back to the early 1900’s. The third Sunday in June is dedicated to showing our gratitude to all the dads who work hard and are committed to their families. President Calvin Coolidge  helped create this tradition to “establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.” In 1972 president Richard Nixon signed a law making Father’s Day a national holiday.

Quick Facts for Father’s Day

 In the US, in 2011 there were…

·         about 70.1 million fathers

·         24.7 million were raising children less than 18 years of age and 21% of these dads had 3 or more kids

·         1.7 million fathers were single

·         176,000 dads stayed at home and were primary care givers while their wives stayed in the workforce

 http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff11.html

On Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, it’s nice to have a BBQ and fill up on your favorite fare but be aware that the day is a day of appreciation and not an excuse to stuff your face.

You can show your “favorite” dad appreciation by:

  • giving him a massage
  • taking over his chores for the day
  • organizing his closet
  • telling him you care and how much you love him
  • sharing a bear hug
  • watch a favorite movie

You know your “dad” the best, make it count. Think of something personal that will mean something to both you and him. It will last a lifetime instead of the short time it takes to eat a meal.

Dads work hard and deserve a day to relax, play and be recognized for all they do. Celebrate family, celebrate life, celebrate DADDY DAY!

 

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Livin’ Large Summer Kick Off

Picture by, BT Book Smart, http://btlooksmart.com/work-your-body-shape-the-right-way-your-guide-to-looking-your-best/

Memorial Day weekend is here! If you have been reading my blog there have been a few things I spoke about recently that can help make a difference in your weight loss journey for summer or anytime:

1. http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/do-not-throw-in-the-weight-loss-towel/

2.http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/3-secrets-to-shape-up-and-strip-down-for-the-summer/

3.http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/3-secrets-to-shape-up-and-strip-down-for-the-summer-supplements-1/

4.http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/3-secrets-to-shape-up-and-strip-down-for-the-summer-supplements-2/

5.http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/3-secrets-to-shape-up-and-strip-down-for-the-summer-3/

6.http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/renew-or-re-do-your-new-years-vow/

Lost the weight and are ready for summer great! Losing weight is not easy, especially if it is slow but if this describes you, please do not get distracted, slow and steady can win the weight loss race.

Maybe it has been difficult for you and not realistic at this time to find a diet/lifestyle you can live with or the one thing to motivate you. Do not beat yourself up. Most women are not a size 0 or even a 6 for that matter. The average American woman wears a size 14. So do not feel isolated or alone.

In fact, it may not necessarily have any health consequences either. There was a piece in the NY times written by Harriet Brown entitled, “Thinner May Mean Sicker” it explains that a few extra pounds is not necessarily related to more health complications than normal weight, “In 2005, The National Health and Exam Survey was analyzed and it was found that the biggest risks of death were associated with being at either end of the spectrum — underweight or severely obese. The lowest mortality risks were among those in the overweight category (B.M.I.s of 25 to 30), while moderate obesity (30 to 35) offered no more risk than being in the normal-weight category.”

Variety is the spice of life not everyone is going to be small. If you are comfortable in your own skin, eating 5-7 servings of vegetables, free range or grass-fed antibiotic free protein, healthy fats like coconut, avocado, nuts/seeds and olives sans the 100 calorie snack pack or commercially prepared healthy snacks like non-fat yogurt, and you are involved in some sort of activity… Enjoy Life.

Just be happy and as beautiful as you are. There are many people who try and do not achieve long-term success because of various reasons. These reasons are not important. What is essential is that you know family and friends love and care about you regardless of a number on the scale.

Check out H&M model Jennie Runk, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/h-m-model-jennie-runk-plus-size-life-article-1.1344749. She is gorgeous, looks great on the beach and Jennie is not super thin. What she says here is an important message for girls, boys, women and men, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEvVjNlJSY0.

Jennie Runk

Runk is a size 14 and livin’ large with her new-found success. She models cloths in the sizes that most women would wear them, unlike the ultra thin models who do not emulate most of the population. My vote is that fashion uses all shapes and sizes of men and women and bring sexy into style for all body types. Everyone is sexy in their own unique way. Let’s just hope this is the start of a fashion revolution!

In my career, I meet so many men and women who get disappointed and just feel badly because they did not reach a weight goal. I think the most important goal is just to make positive changes in your life. No matter how small, use the change as a stepping stone and keep going.

What is more important than what you look like on the outside is being a genuine caring person. If you bubble over with positive energy, it is likely to get positive attention.

NO matter what your size, love yourself and wear it well.

Have a summer filled with lots of happiness and fun!

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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in weight loss

 

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For The Love of God

For the love of God, someone do something for this child! President Obama, Angelina Jolie, Christiane Amanpour, anyone!!!

This is horrific, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/world/asia/afghan-debts-painful-payment-a-daughter-6.html?hp&_r=0, please save this child’s life.

Naghma Mohammad, this beautiful and happy 6 year old child deserves the chance God gave her, to be human not a statistic of human trafficking.

 

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Slavery: We Have a Choice, They Don’t

Human Trafficking (TV miniseries)

Human Trafficking (TV miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My blog is one that is dedicated to health. Although much of what I write about is related to lifestyle and choice. The issue of human trafficking is about health, the physical and mental health of victims whose right to make choices have been stolen and lack of care results in anything but good health for the victims, the community and the world.

This blog is dedicated to the victims of human trafficking and slavery. Abraham Lincoln fought to abolish slavery and Martin Luther King, Jr. (the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful leadership for civil rights) worked to achieve his dream for human equality for people in the America. However, slavery still exists in the U.S. and is global epidemic, not just a National tragedy.

According to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, https://www.freedomcenter.org/slavery-today,

“An estimated 12 – 27 million people are caught in one or another form of slavery. Between 600,000 and 800,000 are trafficked internationally, with as many as 17,500 people trafficked into the United States. Nearly three out of every four victims are women. Half of modern-day slaves are children.”

I have seen programs on television that address this issue but when you see a “story” on T.V. I do not believe it has the same impact when you hear the voices of those who have been victimized.  Katie Couric‘s show with Jada Pinkett Smith hit home,  http://www.katiecouric.com/on-the-show/2013/01/14/jada-pinkett-smith-and-the-war-on-human-trafficking/, meet 3 survivors of human trafficking:

1. Asia Graves who at the age 14 left home and met a “boyfriend” who became her pimp. With help she has overcome her past and is in school on track to becoming a lawyer. She now is an advocate and helps girls like herself. Take a few moments and learn how easy it is to make a difference for victims now and those who are at risk for victimization in the future.

2. Minh Dang is a young woman from outside of San Jose, California, who hid a terrible secret for years. At just 10-years-old, Minh was sold into sex slavery by her very own parents. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley

3. Ima Matul came to this country from Indonesia when she was 17-years-old and was hired as a nanny in Los Angeles. She spoke no English, her employers never paid her and kept her passport. She was desperate and escaped.

After watching these stories and listening to the horror, share your feelings with us and please get involved, be a hero and help save lives!

For more information on how you can make a difference, see these groups below or find your own way to help on a local and more personal level.

Organizations that Help Victims of Human Trafficking

  • Fair Girls: Helps prevents the exploitation of girls worldwide with empowerment and education. Through prevention education, compassionate care, and survivor inclusive advocacy, FAIR Girls creates opportunities for girls to become confident, happy, healthy young women, http://fairgirls.org/
  • Bet you cannot imagine being involved in such a horrific crime as slavery, you may be indirectly and unknowingly be guilty, many of us are, just because we purchase commodities that are fuel the slave market.  Do you know how many everyday products you use that are made by slaves? Justin Dillon demonstrates the kinds of products that increase our slavery footprint, http://madeinafreeworld.com/.
 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in sex, SLAVERY

 

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Handling Hurricane Sandy: Weathering The Aftermath of The Storm and Our Future

Picture from CBS.com

For those of us hit by Sandy, it still seems unbelievable. Trees lying on the ground, everywhere, after being pulled up by their roots. Seeing the gaps in the soil where the trees once stood and all the phone lines on the street, homes and cars crushed, it is almost surreal. No street lights, power, heat, gas, refrigerated foods (for me this is devastating as I eat mostly vegetables and meat). It is chaotic to say the least.

I am lucky, all my friends, family and neighbors are all safe but so far Hurricane Sandy has claimed about 170 lives and has created around $50 billion in damages in the U.S., http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/vergano/2012/11/03/bloomberg-climate-sandy-sea/1677463/.  This is just in the U.S., other countries affected by the devastation of Sandy, like Haiti which has suffered devastating earthquakes and hurricanes in recent years, are also in a recovery period. Read about FiFi, who gave birth in the middle of the storm,  “Tell people we need nappies, cooking utensils, protein.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/02/aftermath-hurricane-sandy-haiti-disaster. Time will go on, we will survive this and move forward.

However, thinking about the future is a bit worrisome as I never want to experience anything like this again. I fear for the lives of my children.

Are hurricanes created by mother nature? Or, are they “man made” disasters just waiting to happen again as a result of global warming? Do we have the ability to avoid these catastrophes in the future?

There is a report done by the US Global Research Program 2009, citing “global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.”  The potential effects of climate change, to use a poor play on words, are chilling. “

If there is even a remote chance we can control this we should. If Sandy is a sign of what’s to come. Even though this storm created so much disaster, it may not be the worst of it and if the quantity of storms increase our lives will change as we know it, for sure.

The Earth is in crisis every day as it bears the burden of pollution, deforestation and our “carbon footprints”. Polar bears are dying. Water levels are rising, the eco-system in Alaska is in turmoil, http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev2_038171.pdf.

No matter if you believe in global warming or not, “there is little disagreement that sea levels worldwide average about a foot higher than a century ago due to seawater expanding in a warming ocean in the face of climate change. That extra increase is due to ice sheet melting in Greenland and elsewhere, which was not (originally) accounted for in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.”  See above link from USA Today.

Dr. Knabb of the National Hurricane Center  was quoted as saying “This is not just going to be a coastal event.” People from Virginia northward should be prepared for a “long-duration event.” He was right, this is a first of its kind for the North and it has taken a week just to get back on our feet. Although we are making progress, we are not walking yet.

Whether you believe in global warming or not it does not hurt to take preventive measures just in case.

There is a price we will pay for the luxuries we use:

air conditioning/heating, electric, transportation, fuel and air pollution, deforestation for homes, paper goods, etc…

We need to take responsibility and care for our planet. What can we do?

http://globalwarming-facts.info/50-tips.html

http://planetsave.com/2008/11/28/five-ways-to-prevent-global-warming-that-big-media-wont-tell-you/

http://ecowatch.org/2012/manmade-warming/

Get active or donate to Greenpeace, http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/. Click on this link, https://secure3.convio.net/gpeace/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1220&s_src=topnav&__utma=1.322668886.1352029231.1352029231.1352029231.1&__utmb=1.1.10.1352029231&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1352029231.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=246906116, to support the request to “David Novak, CEO of KFC, to create a global deforestation policy that ensures that eating a Yum! meal doesn’t drive the destruction of the world’s remaining rainforests?”

Educate your children, http://globalwarmingkids.net/groups/index.html.

Calculate your carbon footprint:

http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/index.htmhttp://www.cooltheworld.com/kidscarboncalculator.php

What are your thoughts? Please share your views.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in global warming, hurricane

 

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Help Horses Run Free

Poor Body Condition - March 2012

Poor Body Condition – March 2012 (Photo credit: BLM Nevada)

“Thousands of wild horses are being rounded up by BLM…At least 158, including aborted foals, are dead from a recent Nevada roundup.”

Please sign the petition,  https://www.ifr-ors.com/ors_2_live/clients/FRER/savewildmustangs2010-05/index.cfm?cfid=130087&cftoken=96389285&Z=ABC#orsformtop, and help save these wonderful animals.

Thanks Ms. Hilary Wood for all your efforts.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Horses

 

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No More “Secret” Ingredients

How to make caramel from sweetened condensed milk
High-fructose corn syrup for sale
English: A pile of plain M&M's candies.

Image via Wikipedia

Looking at these pictures may start your mouth-watering for any one of your favorite treats. But before you bite, check out last weeks blog, valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/secret-ingredients-are-not-a-secret/, and read on as I continue to open up a can of worms.

When you are eating your favorite treat and you focus on its appearance, I suggest you take a closer “look” and focus on the ingredient list to uncover the secrets in the foods you eat. What looks good on the outside may contain harmful dyes, preservatives and additives on the inside. Ingredients like hydrogenated oil, MSG, corn syrup, and the others I have mentioned here are dangerous villains when it comes to your weight and health.

Many commercially prepared processed foods contain deadly ingredients in order to prolong product shelf life, enhance eye appeal and mouth feel. Oh, and let’s not forget, increase the bottom for the food companies.

In fact, as good as the food looks on the outside is as bad as it is on the inside. For example, the pretty olors that draw you to a handful of M&M’s are made from petroleum and other toxic materials that are extremely hazardous to your health.

Here’s a short list of what is lurking in your pantry:

Caramel color (used in soda and many other products) sounds benign, as do all the other additives I am mentioning, but is made by heating sugar with ammonium and it has been linked with cancer.

Yellow dyes#5 and 6 are thought to invoke allergies and hypersensitivity/hyperactivity reactions, kidney and adrenal cancer and these ingredients are possibly contaminated with cancer causing materials.

Blue #2 has been linked to brain cancer.

BHA has been determined by The Dept of Health and Human Services as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”.

Propyl gallate is likely to increase inflammation in those with asthma and cause skin and stomach issues.

Mycoprotein (or Quorn pronounced Kworn) is a high protein vegetarian food developed by the chemical manufacturer, ICI. It is produced by fermenting a fungus and culturing it in huge vats. “The company that makes Quorn has tried to describe the product as ‘mushroom in origin’, which is stretching the truth quite a bit and they have been taken to court over it in the USA“. The result, allergic reactions including vomiting and much more.

Despite the health effects, these products remain on the market! Why? How?

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in artificial colors, Food, Food Label, health

 

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