Breast Cancer Awareness Month
LinkedIn
pink ribbon on a pink background with the text October is Breast cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer awareness month or National Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins on Thursday, October 1 and ends on Saturday, October 31 2020.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with an average lifetime risk of developing breast cancer at 12 percent. There are about 300,000 cases diagnosed each year, with about 15 percent of those (40,000 people) dying from the disease each year.

A clearer way of looking at it and why it’s so serious is that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer, and 1 woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. Additionally, and contrary to what most people believe, breast cancer doesn’t just end with the female folks, men can develop breast cancer as well (although its rare).

Always keep in mind that screening for breast cancer begins at 40 years old (for average risk women) with annual mammograms, and that catching breast cancer early can save your life.

Why Go Pink for October?
Every October, the color pink shows up in full force. From lapel pins to NFL uniforms, people integrate pink into their wardrobes to support breast cancer awareness month. As an awareness campaign, it’s incredibly successful. But awareness is just the first step. From awareness, public health education and advances in research are possible.

Lydia Komarnicky, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and a member of the board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, says wearing pink “reminds people of the importance of the month of October and to get a mammogram if you have forgotten. More importantly, I think the pink shirt, ribbon, hat, or merchandise of your choice honors those who have successfully beaten the disease, those who are currently battling the disease, and also reminds us of those that have succumbed to the disease.”

History Behind the Pink Ribbon or Breast Cancer Awareness
Charlotte Hayey, who had battled breast cancer, introduced the concept of a peach-colored breast cancer awareness ribbon. In the early 1990s, 68-year-old Haley began making peach ribbons by hand in her home. Her daughter, sister and grandmother had breast cancer. She distributed thousands of ribbons at supermarkets with cards that read: “The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”

Statistics You Should Know
• About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12 percent) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

• In 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US, along with 48,530 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

• About 2,620 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2020. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883.

• About 42,170 women in the US are expected to die in 2020 from breast cancer. Death rates have been steady in women under 50 since 2007 but have continued to drop in women over 50. The overall death rate from breast cancer decreased by 1.3 percent per year from 2013 to 2017. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances and earlier detection through screening.

• For women in the US, breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

• As of January 2020, there are more than 3.5 million women with a history of breast cancer in the US. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

• Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2020, it’s estimated that about 30 percent of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.

• In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in Black women than white women. Overall, Black women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower. Ashkenazi Jewish women have a higher risk of breast cancer because of a higher rate of BRCA mutations.

• Breast cancer incidence rates in the US began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7 percent from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk. In recent years, incidence rates have increased slightly by 0.3 percent per year.

• A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15 percent of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.

• About 5–10 percent of breast cancers can be linked to known gene mutations inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have up to a 72 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 69 percent. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8 percent; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.

• About 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

• The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are sex (being a woman) and age (growing older).

Source: breastcancer.org & smarthomeradar.com

Selma Blair: A Beacon of Bravery
LinkedIn
Honoree Selma Blair speaks onstage during the 26th annual Race to Erase MS in Beverly Hills

By Jaeson “Doc” Parsons & Samar Khoury

It began in 2011. Selma Blair didn’t know where it all came from—the overwhelming fatigue, anxiety, depression, neck pain, and severe vertigo.

She didn’t understand why that after she’d drop her son, Arthur, off at school, she was so exhausted that she had to get back into bed. She was puzzled by the sudden loss of feeling in her leg.

Selma would go to doctors seeking answers, but they dismissed her symptoms, believing her exhaustion and fatigue were the result of her becoming a new mother. As the constant pain continued, Selma began to self-medicate to dull the pain.

“When I first suspected that something wasn’t right with my health, with my brain, was when I was pregnant with Arthur,” Selma shared with DIVERSEability Magazine. “I really knew something was wrong when I ran into a UPS truck…literally. I mean, I just skimmed it, but I realized my perception was really off. That’s when I went to the eye doctor thinking it was just my eyes, but it was a perception coordination thing. I’d felt exhausted for years, but it really reached a point that I couldn’t deny it when I was first pregnant with Arthur, and certainly right after his birth.”

It wasn’t until 2018, when she was filming the movie After, that Selma finally got answers.

“When I was in Atlanta the first time shooting the beginning of the film, I had extreme vertigo on steps; I was walking with Josephine Langford down some steps, and I was like, ‘whoa, something’s really happening.’ I couldn’t feel my left leg or my right side and was having difficulty writing and texting, so I sent my manager a video telling him that something very strange is going on.”

Selma heeded the advice from a new doctor who urged her to get an MRI, during which she was in tears, frightened of what was happening to her body.

The results were undeniable: 20 lesions on her brain—it was multiple sclerosis.

Selma Blair looking stylish in long flowy formal gowm with one arm extended and the other balancing a cane
Selma Blair attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California. PHOTO BY EMMA MCINTYRE /VF19/WIREIMAGE

“I cried. I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic—they were tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control,” she said in an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. “There was some relief in that, ’cause ever since my son was born, I was in an M.S. flare-up and didn’t know. I was giving it everything to seem normal.”

The Journey with M.S.

Multiple sclerosis, or M.S., is a potentially disabling disease. It impacts the brain and central nervous system. It gradually affects the entire body. It causes the immune system to eat away at the protective covering of the nerves.

Having M.S. is an emotional, painful, and unpredictable ride, sometimes leaving people who suffer from the disease wanting to give up.

But, for Selma, that is not the case. “There’s no tragedy for me,” she told Vanity Fair. “I’m happy, and if I can help anyone be more comfortable in their skin, it’s more than I’ve ever done before.”

The 48-year-old actress is resilient, using M.S. as a way to fight, giving hope to others suffering from the disease, and being an advocate for people with disabilities.

Through her journey with M.S., Selma decided that she would open about her disease and not hold anything back from the press or social media. “This is my journey…and all are welcome here,” she writes on her Instagram page.

“It just made sense to be candid. At the time, I was in a long flare and was very symptomatic. It was all new to me, and I just didn’t want to bother playing any type of game of peekaboo,” she said.

This candidness is evidenced through her interviews, such as her appearance on Good Morning America, in which she appeared with a cane and her statement of wanting to make canes chic, which touched many viewers who witnessed the interview, many of whom have their own canes.

Selma poses backstage in hot pink pantsuit and heels, balncing with a cane and smiling
Selma poses backstage during the TIME 100 Health Summit at Pier 17 in New York City. PHOTO BY CRAIG BARRITT/GETTY IMAGES FOR TIME 100 HEALTH SUMMIT

Selma rocks her cane, viewing it as a great fashion accessory. When she first stepped out with a cane at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Selma turned heads, and prompted others to show the same courage. Twitter feeds were filled with praise for the star:

“The real winner of Oscar night is Selma Blair.”

“#SelmaBlair in tears as she attends the @VanityFair #Oscars party made me cry. I’ve often been walking on aid and exhaustion can just hit and you think, how am I going to do this? But you keep going. She is amazing.”

Selma was—an is—an icon.

Advocating and Raising Awareness

Selma aims to bear all and to help raise awareness for those suffering from this little understood disease and those who, like Selma years ago, have no idea they have M.S.

Selma shared her insights into the struggles that impact her not just as a woman but also as a single mother.

“One of the bigger things is honestly the fatigue. As a mom or anyone trying to do something primarily by themselves with a little tiny person witnessing everything you’re doing, it can feel unsustainable. Figuring out intricacies of neurological disorders is a constant reckoning of how to do better, when to sleep, what you can do, what is very emotionally triggering, you know. There are many layers of it that I now see, people with the disabilities are so busy in our minds.”

Through the sharing of her journey, Selma makes it her mission to help those struggling with M.S. and other disabilities. She credits others who have taken this path of openness and advocacy, such as Michael J. Fox, with inspiring her to do the same.

“I remember when I was younger and Michael J. Fox came out. I was

Selma in a sidewise angle smiling hoding on to her young son in a suit smiling
Selma and Arthur attend the 26th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. PHOTO BY AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC

such a humongous fan of his, and seeing him be so candid about something that seemed so far away from me at the time. I’ve kind of held his example, and I’ve learned that there is an intrinsic value in opening up some of your experiences to people, because the conditions we deal with are often very isolating and when there’s someone that’s out there that could possibly really shed a light on it and bring more attention.”

Her grace and humility as well as her willingness to be a light shining into the unknown darkness for people with disabilities is heroic, though she shrugs off such a label.

“I’m not a hero. I make no bones about that in my life. But I am very honored if my experience, my mess ups and my triumphs help other people,” she said.

For those who are struggling with the disease or for those who have recently been diagnosed, Selma offers some insight and advice:

“Some people said you’ll be better right away. Some said no, healing is not linear. It can take two years. I kind of have fallen in between all that, and I think I would tell someone, ‘Your whole mind can change. Try not to be afraid. I’ve learned so many things, and I pray that you continue to search for what can make you happy and calm. But it takes time. I’m just starting to feel like I’m learning now.’”

“Mommy’s Brave”

To 9-year-old Arthur, his mom is a hero, and he does not view her experiences negatively. “He says, ‘Mommy’s not sick. Mommy’s brave,’” Selma shared with People.

Selma’s commitment to Arthur has remained steadfast and honest. He has seen her face these challenges but remains extremely proud of his resilient mother.

Selma with cast of Cruel Intention onstage in a group photo
Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Molly McCook, Emma Hunton and Katie Stevens attend “The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Cruel Intentions” at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)

She stated, “He said, ‘I love when you come to school because you make the kids laugh and you answer all their questions.” She remains completely open about her struggles, even with Arthur’s classmates, explaining to them why she may walk differently.

“I explain what’s happening and that my voice doesn’t hurt, and we have really decent exchanges. I had no idea Arthur was proud of that. I thought ‘I’m probably an embarrassment,’ but to know I’m not was one of my proudest moments.”

Always Resilient

Selma’s resilience started at a young age. She was born outside of Detroit, Michigan, in the suburb of Southfield. Her interest in acting took hold at an early age, and she credits a high school English teacher, Mr. Toner, with pushing her forward, telling her never to give up, which would serve her well in years to come.

Moving to New York, she was torn between acting and photography.

“When I went to New York, the purpose was a toss-up,” Selma stated. “I didn’t know if I could be a photographer or an actress, but with acting, you can at least go to a class and do workshops, but it was hard to just be an assistant for someone without a lot of experience as a photographer and break-in, so they were both passions.”

Over the years, Selma has played many roles with more than four dozen short and feature films. Her most favorite role was her first major picture, the 1999 film Cruel Intentions with Selma starring opposite actors Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Reese Witherspoon.

“It was kind of the dream come true first job. After studying in New York, I went to LA, and my first major part was in a real studio film. And while I had done a few small roles before that, that was really my first substantial role with stars that I had loved and they were basically my contemporaries, but, of course, they are already established actors. I laughed and laughed and laughed, and that’s when I kind of realized I really loved what comedy could be and how it could feel.”

Shining Light, Bringing Hope

Selma’s journey is one of inclusion, a journey that many have been on and, sadly, many more are just beginning. Through her candidness, she is willing to share her triumphs and defeats with the world to help others learn, to be a pathfinder for those suffering from the debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis. She is a hero of advocacy.

And through it all—her slurred speech, aches and pains, exhaustion, and much more—Selma handles it all with a smile, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “…Take this opportunity to be the best you can be, to help your days along,” she said.

For Selma, there is no tragedy—only positivity. “I don’t know if I believed in myself or had the ambition before my diagnosis,” she said to Vanity Fair. “And oddly now I do, and I don’t know if it’s too late.”

This is her journey and all are welcome.

How Cooks Are Helping to End World Hunger
LinkedIn
woman wearing a blue apron that says Cooks Who Feed

Everyone has food waste, even if we try to be mindful about our purchases and how much we are preparing. While we may all account for a little here and there, it adds up to a lot of wasted food.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s estimated that 30-40 percent of our nation’s food supply is wasted. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization estimates that over 800 million people per year around the world do not have enough to eat. One organization, Cooks Who Feed, is taking on the mission of helping to feed the people who need it most.

“When I realized the facts surrounding food waste and world hunger, I felt I had to do something about it,” explains Seema Sanghavi, founder of the organization Cooks Who Feed. “We help make it easier to get involved in helping to end world hunger. One of our aprons will top the list of many gift buyers this season.”

The Cooks Who Feed organization has teamed up with well-known chefs to create a line of aprons that people can purchase. Every apron purchased provides 100 meals to those in need. The organization has addressed numerous areas of concern by working with charitable organizations around the globe that collect surplus food to provide immediate hunger relief.

The mission is helping to end world hunger, but the company is also addressing the environmental impact of food waste. The organization works with three charities that obtain food surplus and provide it to those in need. The charities they work with are Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Second Harvest, and Zomato Feeding India. Over a third of Cooks Who Feed profits go to supporting their charity partners.

Beyond the food benefits that the apron sales provide, they also help to support underprivileged women in India. The aprons are all made in a fair-trade facility, giving the women a way to earn a living and rise above poverty so they can feed their families and help others. All of the aprons are environmentally friendly, handcrafted with natural and recycled fabrics. A lot of details have gone into each apron creating a stylish, functional and eco-friendly product that brings sustainable fashion to the kitchen.

Each of the organization’s celebrity chef ambassadors have created their own apron so their fans can purchase an apron designed by the chef. People can choose the one that suits them or the person they are gifting it to. Some of the celebrity chefs that have teamed up with Cooks Who Feed include:

  • Art Smith – Chef Art is an award-winning chef and co-owner of several restaurants, including Blue Door Kitchen & Garden, Art and Soul, and Southern Art and Bourbon Bar. He also spent 10 years being the personal chef of Oprah Winfrey. He’s known for his Southern fried chicken. Every purchase of his specially designed apron also supports Common Threads, which provides disadvantaged children free cooking and nutrition lessons.
  • Christine Cushing – An award-winning chef, Chef Christine is a judge on the hit Food Network program called Wall of Chefs, and won the 2020 Taste Award for “Best Chef” in a TV series for her food, travel documentary series called “Confucius Was a Foodie.” She also has an artisan line of tomato sauces.
  • Romain Avril – Best known for his appearance as a judge on Top Chef Canada All-Stars, Chef Romain has worked at a one and two Michelin star restaurant. He’s a star chef at such restaurants as Colborne Lane, Origin North Bar, and La Société Bistro.
  • Devan Rajkumar – After several years of high-end catering with the Food Dudes, Chef Romain moved into an executive chef role at Luxe Appliance Studio.
  • Gaggan Anand – Known for his progressive Indian cuisine, Chef Gaggan has repeatedly placed on the Restaurants of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He earned two Michelin stars in the first edition of the Thailand Michelin guide in 2018. He opened the restaurant Gaggan Anand in Bangkok in 2019, and has been profiled in Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

“The greatest lesson in life is taught by our family, simply share our food,” added Chef Art Smith. “By being a part of this great program I’m living that lesson, because every apron purchase shares food with the world. It’s a great feeling to be a part of doing that.”

Cooks Who Feed was founded by Seema Sanghavi. She loves cooking and got the idea for the organization after visiting a nongovernmental organization in India, where women were earning a living by performing safe work. Two years later, she came across information about the food waste problem, and an idea was formed. The mission of the organization is to create a movement, providing 1 million meals per year, which would be made possible by 10,000 apron sales annually.

The Cooks Who Feed aprons come in a variety of colors and styles and start at $55, with free shipping within the U.S. In addition to the celebrity chef aprons, there are others to choose from. The aprons make great gifts for those who enjoy cooking. To get more information about the program or see the selection of aprons, visit the site: https://cookswhofeed.com/.

About Cooks Who Feed

Cooks Who Feed sells a line of fashionable aprons that have been sustainably made and help to feed the world. Working with charities that obtain surplus food, and providing it to the people who need it, the company helps people and the planet. The aprons are handcrafted, eco-friendly, and available online, for retail and for wholesale. To get more information, visit the site: https://cookswhofeed.com/.

Sources:

US Department of Agriculture. Food Waste FAQhttps://www.usda.gov/foodwaste/faqs

World Health Organization. World hunger is still not going down after three years and obesity is still growing.https://www.who.int/news/item/15-07-2019-world-hunger-is-still-not-going-down-after-three-years-and-obesity-is-still-growing-un-report.

15 Minutes of Yoga a Day Keeps Stress Away
LinkedIn
Side view of diverse confident women meditating together on yoga mats sitting near window in sunlight and relaxing

By Yogi Ram

Our modern lifestyle is very busy. Family, career, social life . . . The pressure is high. From a young age, we are encouraged to perform intellectually, physically, professionally and socially.

Unfortunately, a very common result of this constant pressure is . . . STRESS.

Controlled and limited stress is not necessarily a bad thing. Stress can actually help you perform under pressure, excel during a job interview, reach deadlines, etc.

However, constant and overwhelming stress can have a negative effect on your physical and mental wellbeing. It can even lead to a series of health problems such as anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, reduced immune system and much more. According to research, stress can even lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, depression and obesity.

Therefore, it is important – no matter how busy your schedule – to take time for yourself. By reducing your stress levels and calming down your mind and body, you will feel better immediately, and will experience lasting energy, positivity, and health overall.

How Yoga Fits into the Mix

Unfortunately, when people get overwhelmed with stress, they don’t always handle it the right way. Commonly accepted ways to unwind are lying on the sofa, staring at the TV, using drugs or alcohol, eating junk food, or taking medication.

Yet there are much more efficient ways to unwind and learn to control your stress before it starts to control you. One of those ways is a regular yoga practice.

Several studies suggest that yoga can reduce the impact of chronic and exaggerated stress, and that it can also be helpful to relieve anxiety and depression.

When the body is in a state of stress, the sympathetic nervous system automatically activates. In this “fight-or-flight” response, the body temperature rises, the heart beats faster and the muscles automatically become tense, ready to fight or flight.

One of the main benefits of yoga is that it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s “rest-and-digest” system. When in this state, the body spends its energy on healing, recuperating and digesting. As a result, your immune system and overall body and mind well-being improve.

Aside from activating the parasympathetic nervous system, yoga also gives you access to an inner strength and calmness which empowers you to deal with life’s inevitable stressors, fears, and frustrations.

But What If I Have No Time?!

Even though many people agree with these facts, lack of time is a problem that still remains. If you have to carve another hour out of your already busy schedule, yoga could easily become an extra thing to add to your to-do-list.

But good news! It’s not required that you practice yoga for one hour every day. Even if you only practice for 15 minutes a day, you will still benefit from yoga’s effects. Just 15 minutes of yoga can make a tremendous difference in your energy levels and in how you deal with daily tensions and pressure.

No matter how busy your days are, never lose track of your most important duty, which is to take care of yourself. Try to keep that thought in mind whenever you think you are too busy to spend even just 15 minutes a day on your own growth and wellbeing.

To end with the wise words of Buddha, “You yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Source: yogiapproved.com

Reinventing Yourself: Who Will You Be Post COVID-19?
LinkedIn
A woman holding her baby while working on a laptop

By Kimberlee Davis, host & founder of The Fiscal Feminist

There is no shortage of lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the economic and health adjustments we are all scrambling to make, a deluge of new challenges that have yet to be considered still looms around the corner.

As we navigate our way through these rough waters of financial hardships, stress and anxiety, let’s make sure to maintain our sense of control and handle the problems that we are empowered to solve. The best way to do this is by re-evaluating our finances, focusing on our long-term goals, and reflecting inward on our own identity.

From a corporate securities lawyer and an investment banker to an entrepreneur and stay-at-home mom, I’ve reinvented myself many times over. Some changes were for the better, others not so much. I’ve found that the key to making solid transitions is to start them in a quiet place like the unique setting of the quarantine.

With mouths to feed, bills to pay and immune systems to protect, taking stock on the bigger picture might seem like a low priority at the moment, but it really shouldn’t be. Ultimately, who we choose to be – either in business, in wealth, in family or just plain spiritually – will determine our paths forward out of this crisis. Amid the chaos and loss of control, our own sense of self is one of the few things we can control. Plus, sheltering in place gives us a unique opportunity to do some personal observation, self-reflection, introspection, and evaluation because we’re not losing time in the dash to in-person meetings and child soccer practices.

The first question that a lot of us get stuck on is: Where do we start? Having gone through several personal and professional re-inventions, myself, I have found great value in beginning with a deep exploration into my hierarchy of values. This consists of the following important questions:

  • What’s important to my emotional development as a person?
  • What’s important to my economic goals?
  • What’s important to my interpersonal relations and social/ethical perspective?

All three are equally important and must be looked at holistically and practically. We can stand back and look at our lives as they were pre-coronavirus, and examine if we were happy and if our finances survived. In our society we seem to be perpetually busy and for many of us, this outbreak has been a hard stop, forcing us to spend time with our loved ones, get comfortable being alone and taking a moment to think about the things that really matter.

Using this time to think about how your financial situation held up, ask yourself what areas can be improved upon. Did you have enough in your savings to cover a couple months of bills if you were to get furloughed from your job? Did you notice how much less money you were spending on frivolous things like your morning coffee? Taking this time to reflect and thoroughly comb through your spending habits and fiscal well-being will help you plan for the future and give you the knowledge and tools you need to make better choices after this is all over.

Having more idle time also allows us to enjoy ordinary activities such as reading, yoga, exercise, painting, listening to music, cooking and reconnecting with our interests. Instead of succumbing to the pressure and uncertainty, embrace the stillness and relearn how to be thoughtful.

Just because the pandemic is tragic – and, of course, it certainly is – does not mean that it is not also a great chance to spend more time together, talk without rushing and determine how we can continue this in a post-coronavirus environment. There may be wonderful recalibrations to consider which never would have been possible during the rat race of the so-called “normal” life we used to know.

We should all examine the strengths of our relationships and family to gauge how we are surviving as a wife, mother, friend and/or businesswoman. In this state of quiet, what do we value and how do we prioritize it among all the other noise?

While contemplating that answer, it is important not to undervalue your career goals. Often, women will assume financial freedom and professional ambition are lower priorities because of societal pressures. However, though we are free to choose other values as higher priorities, that does not mean that we have to.

To adjust your career path, take this opportunity to learn new skills and pursue interests that have been on the back burner. The internet is full of how-to videos and video-networking/coaching platforms that are just a click or swipe away. Use it as a tool for reinvention – not just a vehicle for killing time as we wait for the economy to reopen. Set specific and achievable financial goals taking one step at a time so as not to get overwhelmed and give up on your strategy in frustration.

Personally, I am rethinking my daily schedule from pre-coronavirus times. I have been taking a four- to five-mile walk at least four times a week, and I am committed to continuing that after we resume our new-normal lives. I am going to make exercise a non-negotiable priority. It clears my mind and gives me a positive attitude.

It is so important that you have good nutrition, get regular sleep, have regular physical exercise, have some down time, nurture your spirit and have some fun with the positive people in your life. Intentional self-care will reap many benefits, and it will increase your energy and sharpen your financial focus.

We all should be looking at our lives as a whole and reflecting on what changes we can be making to provide for a better tomorrow. In all our busyness, it’s too easy to lose track of what is really important. The excuse, “I don’t have time,” is no longer an option. For me it’s health, free time to pursue my interests and family. What is important to you?

Kimberlee Davis is the Host of The Fiscal Feminist, a podcast and platform about women and their relationship with money and finances. Her mission is to help all women of all ages and wealth levels embrace their responsibility to themselves to achieve solid financial footing in both calm and turbulent times. Kimberlee Davis has more than 25 years of finance, legal and corporate experience, her career has included being a corporate securities lawyer, investment banker, and Chief Financial Officer. Currently, she is Managing Director and Partner at The Bahnsen Group, a private wealth management firm.

National Women’s Health and Fitness Day: 5 Simple Ways Every Woman Can Put Her Health First
LinkedIn
Group Of Women Power Walking On Urban Street

September 30th is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day. The day serves as a great reminder about how important it is for women to make their health a priority.

Most women spend a lot of time taking care of others in their family and community, putting their own needs on the back burner. But one doctor feels passionate about making sure women put their own oxygen mask on first.

“Women need to learn to put themselves first when it comes to taking care of their health,” explains Dr. Robert “Bob” Posner, a world-renowned medical doctor who founded the Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program. “There’s nothing to feel guilty about for doing so. You simply cannot be your best and give the best of yourself without making your health a priority.”

Oftentimes, women feel overwhelmed with the things they would need to do in order to get and maintain good health. They envision hours of gym time and a huge salad at every meal. While that’s one way to do it, it’s not the way that works for most people. Women today are busy. They have a full schedule, stress, and a laundry list of daily tasks. They need simple ways to be healthy, or they won’t feel like it’s an effort they can engage in.

The good news is that there are simple things that people can do to get and maintain good health. And the good news it is that those simple things add up quickly to provide great results. Here are 5 simple ways every woman can put her health first:

  1. Sit less. A study published in the September 2020 issue of the journal Preventative Medicine reported that longer sitting time at work is associated with greater waist circumference in those with desk jobs. The researchers recommend interventions so that people are not sitting so long at work. Looking into desks that allow you to stand while working, or getting up for five minutes every hour can help. Even standing whenever you are on the phone can make a difference.
  2. Move more. Engaging in regular exercise plays a big role in how healthy people are. A study in the September 2020 issue of the journal American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that walking for exercise and engaging in vigorous exercise are both associated with a reduction in mortality, including from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Walking just 30 minutes per day can help keep you healthier.
  3. De-Stress. When you feel stressed, you have an increase in hormones that can lead you to gaining weight, feeling depressed, having less energy, and more. Having healthy ways to address stress is crucial. Find something you enjoy and engage in it daily, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. You can do meditation or yoga, both of which will help. You can also take a supplement such as Serotonin Plus to help address the serotonin imbalances that lead to weight gain and the inability to lose weight.
  4. Boost immunity. Having a healthy immune system is always important, but especially during a pandemic. Consider eating immune-boosting foods and taking a natural supplement to boost immunity, such as SeroImmune. Taking an immune-boosting supplement can help provide a layer of defense.
  5. Commit to change. Don’t become overwhelmed with so many changes. Instead, opt for committing to some small changes. Those small changes can be simple, and they will add up. Soon you will see and feel the results of your efforts. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym in order to get results that make you healthier, as well as happier.

“Put it on your daily calendar so that it’s a reminder, or get into the habit of taking time for yourself each day,” adds Posner. “Your health is worth it. I’ve helped thousands of women safely lose weight, boost their immunity, get active, and feel great. My goal is to help more people live their best life starting now.”

Dr. Posner offers a doctor-supervised weight loss program, called SeroFit, that helps people manage their weight, curb carb cravings, and boost mood. His program focuses on carbohydrate cravings being the reason people have weight problems, combined with anxiety and stress-related eating. They are all systems of physiological irregularity in the brain known as serotonin imbalance. He created the program based on this science, providing patients with a Food and Drug Administration-approved appetite suppressant, called phentermine, to help curb the hunger pangs.

Dr. Posner has also developed a new immunity-boosting supplement, called SeroImmune, that will be available in October 2020. The supplement was scientifically developed to provide a boost to the immune system. Key ingredients include vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, maitake mushrooms, and a serotonin blend. Each of these ingredients plays an important role in protecting and boosting the immune system. To learn more about the supplement or pre-order it, visit the site: SeroImmunePre-order.

With decades of medical experience under his belt, along with his free webinars, Dr. Posner offers telemedicine appointments, weight loss products, and more. He founded the Potomac Internal Medicine Associates primary care office in 1988 and Serotonin-Plus Inc. in 2002. He has helped thousands of people to successfully lose weight, and is the author of three weight loss-themed books. To learn more about him and the program, visit the site at: www.SeroFit.com.

About Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program

The Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program is doctor-supervised and focuses on the root cause of being overweight. Founded by Dr. Robert Posner in 2002, the program takes an approach to weight loss that considers the brain connection of serotonin imbalance. The program has helped over 20,000 patients to date. Soon, he will be releasing SeroImmune, which is a groundbreaking, immune-boosting supplement that combines vitamins/supplements clinically proven to contribute to immune health AND the proprietary serotonin blend to boost mood. Limited supplies will be available starting in October 2020. To learn more, visit the website: https://spdiet.com or https://doctorbobposner.com/.

Celebrating National Nurses Day
LinkedIn
Smiling medical team standing together outside a hospital

National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Events and observations associated with the holidays may be canceled or otherwise affected due to measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check with event organizers for details.

On National Nurses Day celebrations and receptions are held across the United States to honor the work of nurses. Among the most popular activities are banquets, state and city proclamations, and seminars. Many nurses receive gifts or flowers from friends, family members, or patients.

Background
May 12, the final day of National Nurses Week, is the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). The English nurse became known as the founder of professional nursing, especially due to her pioneering work during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Due to her habit of making rounds at night, Nightingale became known as “The Lady with the Lamp”.

National Nurses Week was first observed in October 1954, the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. May 6 was introduced as the date for the observance in 1982.

Continue on to timeanddate.com to read the complete article.

My Wheelchair is My Superpower
LinkedIn
Madeline Delp, wearing a pink dress and smiling at the camera on a black cackground

By Sara Salam

Madeline Delp knows no bounds. She applies her strengths, or her “superpowers” as she calls them, to focusing on what she can do—defying and transcending boundaries along the way

Consistent with her trailblazing efforts, Delp serves as the executive director of Live Boundless, an organization that educates people on those with disabilities and provides equipment like wheelchairs to those in need worldwide. Whether it’s coaching people on how to release the mental bounds of fear, showing others how to navigate the physical bounds that come with a disability or providing critical medical resources for people, Delp says her goal is to equip others with the tools they need to thrive.

“We aspire to challenge others to reach for a higher potential in their lives, and in turn, give back to the world around them,” she said.

Delp strives to follow her own credo. She competed in her first beauty pageant in 2016, the Miss Wheelchair North Carolina competition, and won. That same year, she would go on to win Miss Wheelchair USA 2017.

Delp is also the first person to compete in the Miss North Carolina USA pageant in a wheelchair. She placed in the top 10, won Miss Congeniality, and is the first woman in a wheelchair to make it this far in a state pageant in the history of the program.

She also became the first paraplegic girl to BASE jump. She has also rock climbed and gone skydiving. “Focus on your ability and what you can do,” Delph said. “Learn to accept fear as a tool, because when you’re able to look your fears in the face and do that thing that you’re terrified of, you’ll become a stronger person.”

When she was just 10 years old, Delp learned she would never walk again. In surviving a debilitating car crash, she suffered a severe spinal injury resulting in paralysis and incontinence.

Within a short time following this life event, Delp began a homeschooling program, because her high school campus was not wheelchair-accessible and unable to accommodate her. She didn’t see her father for almost a year following her accident. Her best friend was killed in a car accident the next year.

“People and circumstances I had thought would always stay constant were quickly fading away….and as the last domino in a long line of heartbreaks fell, a thick cloud of darkness surrounded me–so much so that I could barely breathe,” Delp wrote in a blog post for Aeroflow Urology.

In the wake of these tragic and angst-laden experiences, Delp struggled with anxiety and depression. She would spend as many as three hours a day waiting on toilets during her tween and teenage years as a result of her bladder challenges.

Delp and her mom moved to Detroit when she was 14 where she started going to a rehabilitation center. She had an accident in front of her physical therapy team while balancing with the aid of a harness on a treadmill.

“As we left, one of the therapists caught up with me and said, ‘Madeline, don’t be embarrassed. This kind of thing happens all the time! We think nothing of it–we are used to it. This is just your new kind of normal. It’s just pee.’”

Triggered by a realization of a new kind of normal, Delp decided to make a change.

“In my late teens I firmly decided that I didn’t want to be that person anymore,” Delp told Glamour Magazine. “I may not be able to walk, but I wanted to find something inside myself that was stronger than all the reasons I had to be negative. So I started trying to push myself in new ways.”

She describes a study abroad trip to Germany during college as a “second life catalyst event.” While not without accidents and incidents, Delp would travel to Germany three more times. She would also walk across the stage to receive her diploma. She graduated from UNC Asheville in May 2017 with a degree in foreign language and a concentration in management.

“I did all these things to show people with disabilities that you don’t have to be stopped by the limitations that people put on you.”

5 Grocery Shopping Safety Tips
LinkedIn
Woman in a face mask while shopping in a supermarket during coronavirus quarantine

Grocery shopping needs to be taken more seriously than ever. Before COVID-19, the way we handled and put away our groceries wasn’t thought about as much, but now, we must take all of the necessary precautions to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe.

Here are five grocery tips for bringing safe, sanitary groceries home:

  • Use Gloves: It’s astonishing how many items we touch when we go to the grocery store. For many people, pushing grocery carts may not cause them to get sick, but these germs can easily spread to elderly and immune-compromised shoppers. To prevent the spread of germs, wearing a pair of plastic, disposable gloves is a great way to keep you and the next person touching your cart safe from any potential illness.
  • Unload Outside: When bringing your groceries home, make sure they are as germ free as possible before bringing them inside. Before you enter your house, unload your groceries in your garage or on your front porch, sanitize them, then bring them inside.
  • Sanitize your Groceries: You never know who could have touched your new groceries, whether it be manufacturers or other shoppers who decided not to buy your product. For extra precaution, use a disinfecting wipe to scrub any boxed, canned or bagged products. Using a sanitizing spray with a washable, reusable rag can also be a great way to make sure your groceries are safe!
  • Wash your Produce: Many of us already rinse our fresh vegetables and fruits before eating them, but the current times call for stronger methods. Wash your produce with warm water AND soap to better cleanse them of any potential germs.
  • Be Thoughtful: We all make sure we have enough to eat, drink, and live off of without having to go to the grocery store too much. However, there are many people with special medical and allergy needs who depend on certain products to survive. Stock up on what you need, but hold off on buying the entire supply of hand sanitizer or canned vegetables in the store. Take only what you need, and be mindful of others.

Natalie Rodgers
Professional WOMAN’s Magazine contributing writer

Why Are Women the Worst Sleepers in America?
LinkedIn
Closeup woman sleeping on bed and hand holding alarm on clock

Nearly 6 in 10 women are found to be poor sleepers, compared to 4 in 10 men, according to research findings from The State of America’s Sleep study from The Better Sleep Council (BSC), the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). The study found when adding school and children in, the incidence of poor sleep increased dramatically for women, but minimally impacted men’s sleep quality.

As part of better sleep month, the BSC launched a research study called The State of America’s Sleep, which sought to track America’s sleep quality over time, and its results unveiled the nation’s best and worst sleepers. It appears the worst sleepers tend to be under stress, particularly at work, financially or in their personal relationships:

Work Environment

Americans who are “under pressure at work” make up 44 percent of poor sleepers in the country.

According to BSC research, about 80 percent of adults who feel they work in a friendly environment, enjoy the people they work with, and enjoy the work they do are excellent sleepers.

Additionally, excellent sleepers are 27 percent more likely to be valued at work compared to poor sleepers.

Financial Woes

Financially stressed adults lack excellent sleep at night. Adults who are concerned about their financial future comprise 72 percent of poor sleepers, and those who live paycheck to paycheck represent 56 percent of poor sleepers.

Interpersonal Relationships

The research found that meaningful relationships impact quality of sleep. Adults who agree that they have a great relationship with their spouse/partner represent 88 percent of excellent sleepers, compared to adults who are in difficult relationships, which is only 9 percent of excellent sleepers.

Daily News

Another surprising finding from the survey was the impact of the day’s news on Americans. Contrary to popular belief that the news is keeping people up at night, adults who agree that they enjoy watching/listening/reading the news every day comprise 64 percent of the best sleepers in America.

Source: Better Sleep Council

Ali Stroker: Staging an Encore
LinkedIn
Ali Stroker sits on stage in a wheelchair smiling wearing a pink and red flroral dress

By Brady Rhoades

Don’t be surprised if one day you see Tony Award-winning actress and singer Alyson “Ali” Stroker on the Big Screen, and don’t think twice if you’re smiling.

“I want to create content that makes people feel good,” Stroker, who won a historic Tony for portraying Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, told DIVERSEability Magazine. “There’s a lot of stress and anxiety in the world and we as artists have the ability to change that.”

Stroker is the first actress in a wheelchair to win a Tony. It happened on June 9 of this year. Hearts fluttered, heartbeats quickened, tears flowed and…

“It’s been unbelievable,” said the 32-year-old native of New Jersey. “For the disabled community it’s really cool to see yourself represented in this arena.”

Stroker, paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident when she was 2, is a role model for the disabled. While she avoids sermonizing, she doesn’t hesitate to talk about the virtues of work, perseverance and independence.

“Putting your destiny in someone else’s hands is never going to make you feel powerful,” she said. “I’m more inclined to tell disabled people to create communities of people you trust, and then create your own work. It’s better to do that than to talk.”

And for all young artists, she has a question.

“What do you want to create?”

That’s a core challenge for Stroker. It’s at the heart of being an artist.

It’s what she asked herself as a child (“I sang all day, every day”) and what she asks herself as an adult, and as a star.

Willie Geist, Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie and Ali Stroker on the Today Show.
Willie Geist, Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie and Ali Stroker on the Today Show. 2019 NATHAN CONGLETON/NBC
TOC: PHOTO BY WALTER MCBRIDE/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES
But it should be stressed that Stroker earned the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for just one reason: she’s really, really good.

“It didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, you did something to overcome being in a chair,’” she said. “It was actually, ‘We’re recognizing you for being at the highest level of your field.’ That’s what I’ve always wanted.”

Stroker was born with a passion for the stage, but it took hold—with the strength of a farmer—when she was 7, in a backyard production of Annie.

“When I got on stage, it was the first time that I felt powerful,” Stroker said. “I was used to people staring at me, but they were staring at me because I was in a wheelchair. And when I was on stage, they were staring at me because I was the star… I particularly feel that I can’t hide on stage and that’s a gift.”

It’s fitting that, 25 years later, she’s wowing crowds on Broadway as Ado Annie, who is so unwilling be anything but herself that her catch-line is, “How can I be what I ain’t?”

“She doesn’t ever apologize for who she is,” Stroker said. “She doesn’t have any shame about who she is. Her wants, her desires, are so clear.”

Ali Stroker winner Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! at The 73rd Annual Tony Awards, broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York, Sunday, June 9 on the CBS Television Network. JOHN P. FILO/CBS ©2019 CBS BROADCASTING INC.
Ali Stroker winner Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at The 73rd Annual Tony Awards. JOHN P. FILO/CBS ©2019 CBS BROADCASTING INC.

Alyson Mackenzie Stroker was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and earned a bachelor of fine arts. She was the first actress in a wheelchair to earn a degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

After graduation, she auditioned for The Glee Project at a casting call in New York City. Stroker is a Mezzo-Soprano but because she is paralyzed, she cannot engage her diaphragm, so she created her own singing techniques “to develop resonance so my voice would carry.”

Stroker guest-starred on Season 4 of Glee, then her agent sent her to audition for a Deaf West Theatre production of Spring Awakening.

In 2015, Stroker won the role of Anna. When Spring Awakening opened on Broadway, Stroker became the first actress in a wheelchair to appear on a Broadway stage.

The show was a smash. So was Stroker.

She has had several stage, TV and film parts, and she will have many more, but to date she is best known for Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

But there’s more to her than her craft. Did you know she’s a strong swimmer, and is learning to surf? Did you know she’s co-chair of Women Who Care, which supports United Cerebral Palsy of New York City? And she’s a founding member of Be More Heroic, an anti-bullying campaign which tours the country connecting with thousands of students each year. She’s also gone to South Africa with ARTS InsideOut, where she has held theater classes and workshops for women and children affected by HIV and AIDS.

She credits a strong support system for her success. That support system includes her parents and boyfriend. “I’m so glad to have a partner who gets it,” she said. “He encourages me when I’m scared to go after the things I want.”

When Stroker won her Tony Award at Radio City Music Hall, she did not emerge from the crowd. She was backstage. Like many old buildings, the Music Hall, which opened in 1932, was not wheelchair accessible from the audience.

Stroker said the Music Hall did the best it could, but was limited by

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Ali Stroker from the cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" performs on April 2, 2019 ANDREW LIPOVSKY/NBC Ali: Ali Stroker on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 NATHAN CONGLETON/NBC
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Ali Stroker from the cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” ANDREW LIPOVSKY/NBC
Ali: Ali Stroker on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 NATHAN CONGLETON/NBC

its infrastructure.

It’s not a problem unique to the Music Hall, but it is emblematic.

For the disabled community, access is a profound word.

Access to stages. To roles. To higher education. To jobs. To Stroker and thousands upon thousands of others, access is opportunity.

“As a society, we have to work on improving access,” Stroker said. “I’ve found that theaters being built now are doing that.”

William Shakespeare famously said that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

If that’s true, then Stroker is a player in the limelight, staging her encore. As she stated in a recent interview with The New York Times, “I know in many ways that this is what I was born to do…it’s so clear I was meant to be in this seat.”

Air Force Civilian Service

Air Force Civilian Service

Breast Cancer

pink ribbon on a pink background with the text October is Breast cancer Awareness Month

Verizon

Verizon