Elena Reygadas, named world’s best female chef, cooks in rhythm with nature
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Elena Reygadas smiling with a green floral background

By Albinson Linares and Valeria León, Noticias Telemundo

Elena Reygadas’ days start early, which explains why she laughs remembering that everything was “dark” when she found out she’d been named best female chef in the world in the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 awards.

“I did not expect it and it has been a very nice surprise; it is very exciting to obtain recognition like this. I want to share it with my entire team; there are many of us in the kitchen and it is always a collective act,” Reygadas, 46, said in an interview with Noticias Telemundo at Rosetta, her first and signature restaurant, which she opened in 2010 in an old mansion in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City.

Over a decade later, the world-renowned restaurant is where Reygadas has dedicated herself to reconfiguring the vast culinary wealth of her country, menu by menu.

“The menu is based on the timeline and the ingredients that nature gives us. Right now, for example, we have a dish with Manila mango that only lasts a little while. We are also using a lot of muscatel plum, which is a moment and when it’s over, it’s over,” said Reygadas, who was named Latin America’s best female chef in the 2014 awards. “It makes us sad because we became very attached to the ingredients, but that also allows us to continue our creativity and move into a new moment.”

On Wednesday morning, before Rosetta opened to the public, the aromas of Mexican herbs and vegetables such as hoja santa, romeritos and avocados mingled with powerful hints of spices and, of course, chiles, which are at the heart of many of Reygadas’ signature dishes.

hearty bowl of Tomatillo soup
A dish at Rosetta has green tomatoes, eggplant, molasses and Ocosingo cheese.

When asked the secret of Rosetta’s success, she credits that emphasis on “biodiversity.”

“It’s a factor that also has its challenges, because sometimes people who visit us are already in love with a dish but, when they arrive, it is gone and they don’t like that,” Reygadas said. “So changing the menu to respect nature’s times is also a challenge at the diners’ level.”

Vegetables play a leading role in many of Reygadas’ signature dishes, such as beetroot tartare al pastor, smoked cheese tortelloni with hoja santa — a Mexican herb — and the famous kale with pistachio pipián, or mole sauce, and romeritos (wild herbs) tacos.

“I am convinced that the vegetable side of the kitchen and the ingredients of Mexico are wonderful; they are exceptional flavors and there are many to explore. That is why we are increasingly focusing more on the vegetable,” she said.

Read the complete article originally posted on Telemundo here.

5 Things To Remember About Being an Effective Leader
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Belva Anakwenze wearing bright orange jacket sitting in large chair smiling

By Belva Anakwenze

Given the current state of life as we know it, finances are top of mind for everyone right now. The accounting industry, known for its quick burnout, is included in that conversation. My career started in corporate America, working long days and nights, to ensure the company’s months would fiscally close on time. In addition to the long hours as month-end neared, I felt like a cog in a wheel and undervalued.

Before I decided to leave the corporate machine, I saw numerous peers promoted into leadership roles for reasons like length of service or technical skill. Obviously, technical skills are necessary in a role of leadership, but just as important is emotional intelligence. Very young in my career, it seemed insulting to report to individuals without the interpersonal soft skills to actually lead, inspire and guide human capital in an organization.

As I began to envision my next chapter beyond the corporate machine, I vowed to honor that I was more than my work product or career choice. I approach everything in my personal and professional life by looking at the whole person. I support small businesses to lend to the growth of local entrepreneurs and communities. When I was looking at schools for my children, I wanted an environment that nurtured them socially and emotionally. I have carried this with me throughout my entrepreneurial career.

My greatest test as a leader came in my years as an income tax franchisee. My partners and I operated five locations and dealt with a myriad of obstacles. Some of our challenges were high employee attrition due to seasonal employment, specialized skill set and more. In addition to the core staff, we also hired an array of positions that all needed to be filled at the same time; store managers, experienced tax preparers, outdoor sign wavers who danced and brought visibility to our stores.

We struggled as business owners and leaders until we began to understand that our staff, regardless of role, were not a monolith. We began to lean into the interpersonal side of our staff members. We got to know our employees as the humans they were outside of work. We took the time to understand the personal needs of our high-performing employees. Taking the time to understand the motivators in our team members’ individual lives allowed us to meet them where they needed us.

One person may have been motivated by money, while another would be looking for professional development, and another would be looking just to be seen as a member of the team. Others may have been looking for simple concessions that allowed them to start their shift 20 minutes later than normal one day a week or a host of small asks that could make the world of difference in their personal lives.

Diversity is diverse in the true essence of the word. There was diversity in life experiences, thoughts, desires and more that all led to each person’s unique lens through which they approached life and their job. The diversity in the needs of staff allowed me to grasp the true diversity of a team. I began leading with care and affection, as a mother would.

As leaders, we have to meet those who we lead where they are. That does not mean inserting our wishes or desired outcomes on them, but truly understanding what our team members want, how they show up as their best selves and more.

Some of the key lessons I learned from my experience as a franchisee that I still use and follow to this day are:

Understand what motivates each staff member and use that as a reward

  • Money
  • Professional Development
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Flexibility

Our team members perform at their best and desire to exceed expectations when they are valued and rewarded in ways that matter to them.

Give team members autonomy to create their own path

Self-efficacy is the best way to have individuals perform up to their potential. When a team member truly believes in their ability and capacity it is easier to reach specific goals.

Work in collaboration

When developing workflow, especially during change and transition, a leader needs buy-in from the team. Give your team space to offer suggestions, feedback and improvements. They will be open about current bottlenecks and improve business efficiency.

Make your team’s job as easy as possible

Invest in technology, training and human capital to help your team. Duplicative work, inefficiencies or stagnation in workflow processes can be extremely frustrating and anxiety-inducing for your team; especially if they want to do well.

Create a company culture where your team can show up authentically

Be kind and nurturing to your team. Remember we all have lives outside of work that are consuming. Have a physiological safe space, so your staff can show up as themselves. The more accepted they are as individuals, the better they will be at work.

A true leader understands the power of undergirding human capital. The most important thing to remember as a leader is that change is inevitable. It is important to handle changes with grace, dignity and humanity.

Money Mistakes Women Should Avoid
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woman seated at kitchen table reviewing financial documents

Financial or money mistakes are not gender-specific: they can happen to anyone. And if you fail to take it into account, long-term financial troubles can ensue. If you’re an ambitious woman and don’t want to struggle with your finances, here are some money mistakes to avoid.

Not Taking Retirement into Account

If you have a stable job, retirement may seem like something far away, but the sooner you start, the better. Starting early will help you stay on track and secure your financial future. However, the reality is that many women are so busy fulfilling different responsibilities that saving up for retirement is the last thing on their minds.

As a woman, not starting retirement saving or planning early enough is among the biggest financial mistakes you can make. Regardless of whether you have kids or not, setting yourself to be financially independent is critical. You can do so by making a retirement plan to keep things in control and gain financial stability.

If you already have a plan but never follow it, it is high time you start. For a thorough plan, you need to assess when you will retire. This means calculating how many years you will work before taking a permanent break.

Then, add up your current expenses to determine how much money you’ll need to live a comfortable life. Knowing what kind of lifestyle you’ll live once you retire and how much you will need for healthcare is crucial. Of course, if you’re having trouble calculating expenses, opting for third-party assistance is always helpful to maximize savings.

According to a recent report by Morningstar, people who receive expert guidance on managing their finances can enjoy 40 percent more income when they retire.

Waiting Long to Upgrade Your Lifestyle after Separation

If you’ve recently opted for a divorce, you may have to move from a stable dual-income household to a single-income household. Major lifestyle changes can occur as a result. The best way to deal with this scenario is to assess your financial needs when you’re going through a divorce process.

This will help you determine if your income is enough to support your lifestyle. You might find that many of your expenses fall beyond your current needs or budget. It is better to adjust them according to your financial income or needs.

Not Saving on Payday Loan Debt Settlement

Payday loan debt settlement is an option that helps people lower debt via negotiations with their lenders. If you overlook the benefits of this option, it can be a big money mistake that will impact your financial reserves. If you don’t want to negotiate it yourself, consult professionals to discuss it on your behalf. The approach will help you and your lender agree on a payoff amount to consider as full payment.

Debt

An important part of financial stability is to live according to your means. So if you lack the cash to backup spending on a credit card, avoid using it unless you have an emergency. Plus, make sure you don’t have late fees that can lower or reduce your credit card scores. If making payments on time isn’t possible, call your creditors to explain your situation. They might consider waiving your fee and give you a new payment schedule.

Lack of Involvement in Family Finances

If you’re not involved in planning or managing your family’s finances, you’re making a big mistake. You and your partner must make financial decisions together. Not knowing where your family’s money goes and how much goes into savings and retirement funds can prove detrimental to your long-term financial stability.

While many women manage the day-to-day finances of the family, such as paying bills, their role in financial planning doesn’t go any farther than that. They don’t focus on investments and retirement plans, leaving these decisions to their spouse. This is a BIG mistake. Start broadening your financial responsibilities by keeping track of finances and monthly expenses.

Building these habits can give you an outlook into what your financial future can look like.

Summing Up

All in all, women must participate in all investment decisions, as well as retirement plans, to prepare for the future. Women who manage their finances tend to be more independent and confident, both of which are essential for a secure future.

Author Bio:

Catherine Burke is a financial writer for online payday loan consolidation. She provides information on successful cash loans and payday loan consolidation to help people get over a difficult patch. She lives in Kansas and has earned a frame in the matter of payday loans.

Black Wealth Transfer and Confronting the Racial Wealth Gap
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The second installment of Bloomberg’s Power of Difference series on Black wealth offered a deep dive into issues that impact intergenerational Black wealth transfer. The three part series, hosted by Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, seeks to highlight and encourage dialogue about the structures that aid in Black wealth accumulation and extraction.

Speakers discussed why wealth transfer remains pivotal to building wealth in the United States and explained how the historical lack of opportunity for Black families to preserve and pass on wealth has contributed to the prevalence of racial wealth inequality today.

 

Inherited wealth plays a pivotal role in advancing the economic launch point for future generations. Despite the pervasiveness of the American rags to riches story, the wealthiest families have certainly benefited from this capital infusion power–about 30% of the Forbes 400 inherited at least $50 million. Middle and working-class families can use transferred capital and assets to boost emergency savings, make down payments on homes, pay tuition for private schools and higher education, and invest in the financial markets or new entrepreneurship.

Black families, however, are five times less likely than white families to receive a sizable inheritance. When they do, the amount is still typically three times lower on average than what white families receive. This disparity has contributed to Black Americans falling behind in wealth accumulation while white generational peers are empowered to move towards further economic stability and advancement. Black families have certainly been capable of growing assets even in the shadow of Jim Crow and other forms of systemic racism that persist to this day. So why haven’t they been able to hold on to this wealth and pass it to their heirs?

Before the Race Massacre of 1921, the Greenwood district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a vibrant, thriving community of Black residents, like many of the “Freedmen’s Towns, and “Freedom Colonies established after the Civil War. Families there owned land, operated businesses, and ran community-sustaining institutions to create property wealth with an estimated value of over $200 million in today’s dollars, earning Greenwood the moniker “Black Wall Street.” When the Greenwood neighborhood was burned to ashes during a violent racial attack, hundreds of residents lost their lives and businesses, thousands of survivors were left homeless and impoverished, and many of them were hunted down, executed, or imprisoned. Laws were passed by the city of Tulsa to impede the rebuilding of Greenwood by survivors and their families. The most disheartening part of Greenwood’s story: this was not an uncommon occurrence.

In Chicago alone, approximately 1,000 Black homes and businesses were burned down during the Red Summer of 1919, a season of racism-fueled on Black communities across the nation. The segregation and violence of Jim Crow, in particular, have been theorized to have had a pervasive impact, stifling Black innovation and entrepreneurship with the threat of violent reprisal for Black wealth building.

In the latest Power of Difference event, speakers discussed how racially driven violence toward Black people like in Tulsa, Chicago, and elsewhere — particularly during the several decades following the abolishment of slavery — was used to rob Black people, destroy their property and intimidate them from building wealth. Government policies, local and federal, often neglected to protect Black communities from this ongoing threat, and instead have codified many racially discriminatory policies such as redlining, government seizures under eminent domain, and disenfranchisement. In turn, such practices have systematically destroyed and eroded the value of Black wealth since the Reconstruction era, with the effects felt to this day.

Pathways to recovery and resilience

Despite economic impediments and discriminatory policies, strategic options and vehicles for securing assets can help more Black families strengthen the economic mobility of future generations. Session speakers painted a detailed picture of how to address these systemic injustices: loopholes in state property inheritance laws can be closed; discriminatory institutional practices and local ordinances, such as those that might assign more value to land according to who owns it, can be revoked; and concentrations of wealth in Black communities, like those created in Greenwood can be systematically encouraged through initiatives that can start at the individual level.

Sean Anderson, a curator from The Museum of Modern Art, discussed the Reconstructions, Architecture, and Blackness in America exhibition he created with scholar and architect Mabel Wilson and 11 Black architects, designers and artists. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the project aims to encourage reflection on how Black communities strive to build and rebuild in the face of economic and social challenges, and “…how history can be made visible and equity can be built”. The exhibition sparks questions about topics such as “What might our nation look like today if all-Black towns of the past had been allowed to thrive?” and “How might Black community spaces be used to prepare for threats imposed by climate change?”

Reggie Lee, Partner and Chief Transformation Officer at The Carlyle Group described the ten-year journey he took to reclaim the family land that his great grandmother, a formerly enslaved person, had purchased during the Reconstruction era. His story serves as a case study for reclaiming and preserving family-owned assets. For example, to keep the newly reclaimed property intact for future generations, using a trust to ensure legacy building.

The panel Q&A delved into reasons for the continued loss of Black assets and different ways better laws, policies, and individual practices could help reverse this trend. Lack of wills and vehicles like trusts, for example, can make family land and other asset claims vulnerable to loopholes in policies, such as heirs property laws (aka ownership in common) or inheritance taxes. However, it is estimated that 70% of Black Americans do not have a will or estate plan.

Click here to read the full article on Bloomberg.

Afro hair comb inventor hopes to inspire young black women
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Afro comb designer would have

By Felicity Evans, BBC

A woman launching an innovative new comb for afro hair wants to use her experience to get other young black women into engineering.

“I would have loved a young me to have been taught by a black woman,” said Swansea-based Youmna Mouhamad. She received an enterprise fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering to help her develop the product. Fewer than 2% of engineers are women from ethnic minorities.

“I want to be part of the change, so that a young person that comes after me is in a place where they feel much more heard and much more accepted,” said Youmna. She was doing a PhD in physics when she first got the idea for the Nyfasi Deluxe Detangler, which provides an easier way of conditioning natural afro hair.

Youmna supported her studies by working as a nanny and the little girl she looked after used to cry with pain when her hair was washed and conditioned.”The whole house would be full of tears,” she remembers. “I wanted her to have a better experience.

“I shifted to engineering because I always had a desire to work on things that I can touch with my hands, and I love the process of taking an idea and actually creating something.” Once Youmna had developed a prototype she looked for women with afro hair to join a focus group to test it. Lenient and her nine-year-old daughter, Goodness, were among the volunteers. “I have got three girls and I do their hair myself,” said Lenient.

“The washing process is dreadful because they don’t want to. Why? Because it’s quite painful for them, especially the combing part.” “And this detangler, the first time I tried it, it was really easy.” Goodness agreed, adding: “The normal comb feels like someone is pulling your hair, when it’s tangled it hurts. But with this comb, it’s very soft and easy to untangle.”

Click here to read the full article on BBC.

5 Ways to Chill Out in a Hectic Life
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According to the American Psychological Association, the country is facing a mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.

This was brought on by the stress created by the pandemic, leaving many people to feel anxiety and worry more. With that in mind, it’s crucial that people prioritize relaxing and reducing stress in order to protect their mental health. The good news is there are numerous things they can do to help them achieve that goal.

“Being busy became such a trend, as though busy equated success – now freedom and flexibility are the symbols of success,” explains Katie Sandler, personal development and career coach. “It’s hard for people to chill out when their systems are programmed to be going nonstop and working nonstop. It takes a minute to down regulate the system in order to actually reduce stress and chill out.”

In a Pew Research Center survey, at least 60% of the adults reported that they sometimes feel too busy to enjoy life, with 12% of them saying they felt that way all of the time. Living like this is one sure way to increase stress and anxiety levels. Having long term stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, and depression, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

While many people want to reduce the stress in their lives, they are not always sure how to go about doing so. Here are 5 ways to chill out in a hectic life:

  • Mindfulness. Keeping yourself in the present moment can go a long way toward helping you lower stress, anxiety, and even depression as well as help you get better sleep and establish a better sense of well-being. Mindfulness is something that everyone can learn and practice anywhere at anytime.
  • Connect with people. Getting together with people we enjoy being around helps us laugh, feel connected, and make us happier. Those populations who are the healthiest in the world, such as the Blue Zones, tend to get together for social interaction regularly. Join a group or find some friends you like to be around and meet up on a regular basis. If you don’t feel comfortable being in person – create zoom social events; something is better than nothing.
  • Be in nature. There are many health benefits from spending time in nature. Even a view of nature helps us feel better and can improve our mood. Be sure to get outdoor time, taking walks, biking, gardening, or doing something else you enjoy. Nature-deficit disorder is real. Whatever you choose, just be sure to spend time outside and in nature.
  • Schedule free time. With the busy lives that people live today it may be necessary to put free time on the schedule. This way it will be a part of your plan and you will have to give it your attention. Don’t let other things crowd out your scheduled free time.
  • Set the intention. The first part of making your life less hectic is to set the intention that you are going to chill out. Setting the intention will get you to formulate your thoughts, plans, and goals. Determine what you want, what you will do to make it happen, and what you want the outcome to be.

“You can’t continue to put off reducing your hectic and stressful lifestyle,” added Sandler. “Having a more relaxing life with less stress takes being proactive and making some changes. You have to put work into it, some of it may seem counterintuitive, but what you get back is beyond rewarding.”

Sandler has worked with many people to help them identify a plan for personal achievement, take steps to reach goals, and identify areas that need to be worked on. She provides people with meaningful tools that they can use to help bring calm and insight into their life. In addition to working with individuals, she offers luxury impact retreats.

Sandler has a bachelor’s degree in psychology anda master’s degree in mental health counseling, has a strong foundation in mindfulness-based stress reduction, and has worked in hospitals and private practice. She previously spent time as a research assistant while at Johns Hopkins, focusing on purpose in life. To learn more about Katie Sandler and her services, or to see the retreat schedule, visit the site: https://katiesandler.com/.

About Katie Sandler

Katie Sandler is a popular impact coach and provides health and wealth coaching and personal and professional development. She offers retreats around the world, as well as private coaching and corporate impact coaching opportunities. She focuses on helping people become more successful so they can live with purpose and make an impact in our world. To learn more about Katie or her services, visit the site: https://katiesandler.com/.

Source:

American Psychological Association. Stress in America 2020https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/report-october

Pew Research Center. How Americans feel about the satisfactions and stresses of modern life.https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/02/05/how-americans-feel-about-the-satisfactions-and-stresses-of-modern-life/

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Manage Stress. https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/health-conditions/heart-health/manage-stress

Staten Island mom creates lingerie line for transgender women after daughter comes out
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South Shore mom Karyn Bello created her own fashion line of lingerie designed for transgender women and hopes to be an example for parents of transgender people.

By , Silive

In 2014, South Shore mom Karyn Bello and her family began navigating uncharted territory when her daughter, Lily, came out as transgender.

Seven years later, Bello, 51, created her own fashion line of lingerie designed for transgender women and hopes to be an example for parents of transgender people.

Her clothing line, named Zhe in reference to the gender-neutral pronoun, includes technology meant to fit transgender women’s bodies and help them feel comfortable in their own skin.

“They’re meant to help trans women navigate through the world and through their clothes comfortably without having to worry,” Bello told the Advance/SILive.com. “They’re much more accessible and safe for them to be wearing.”

Bello’s underwear line is designed to help transgender women stray away from harmful do-it-yourself methods of tucking.

Tucking is a way to disguise the genitalia and create a more feminine appearance underneath clothing or in underwear. At times, it is achieved using duct tape or other adhesives, which can be harmful to the body.

“[These methods] are bad for your urethra; you get UTIs easily,” Bello explained. They’re just bad for your health. I was coming at it from a mom’s perspective. I want you to be healthy and take care of yourself, too.”

The Zhe underwear is made with technology to help achieve a similar outcome in a much safer way. Key features of the underwear include a wider gusset, multi-layered front panel, and spandex support.

Click here to read the full article on Silive.

Latina speaker, author helps women become confident negotiators
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latina Leadership and negotiation strategist Elizabeth Suarez aims to empower women to obtain more money and recognition and become better negotiators.

By Laura Casillas, 9 News

Elizabeth Suarez worked in the corporate world for 15 years. After holding countless leadership positions throughout the U.S. and Central and South America, she not only has extensive insight into a male-dominated industry, but according to Suarez, it also made her realize that more women were needed at the executive table.

“I would say I lived a syndrome of me, myself, and I. There was no other Latina; there was no other woman,” Suarez said. “When I decided to retire from the corporate world, that’s when I realized that what we had to do was basically be better negotiators to be able to be in meetings where people make decisions, the problem, many women, we – Latinas are not present where decisions are being made.”

Remembering all those years in the industry takes Suarez back in time to where her dreams began.

“I started out as this girl who wanted to make a difference in the corporate world,” Suarez said. “I grew up in Puerto Rico, I am of Cuban parents, I went to the university in New York as well as [got] my master’s degree, and I was in the corporate world everywhere.”

Today, Suarez lives in Denver, she is an author, and a coach and a leadership and negotiating strategist. Suarez empowers professionals to obtain more money and recognition, while helping organizations to develop a stronger workforce.

Suarez credits a big part of her success as an entrepreneur to the people who helped push her to take the plunge.

“I have to admit it, I had a lot of people who helped me and who believed in me,” said Suarez. “I had many mentors who believed in me and even today they follow me and want to help me.”

Since then, paying it forward has always been one of Suarez’s mottos as she remembered that her mentors told her, “Hey, remember that you have to help others in your community. This is not just about you. This is about your community.”

So following in their footsteps, Suarez became a mentor of young women and after mentoring for a few years, she came to another important realization.

According to Suarez, it’s difficult for many women to advocate for themselves.

“I always say to people that culturally we have always been told that we have to be grateful – grateful for living, grateful for our health, grateful for our work. And what I’m saying is that, yes, that is important, but at the same time, we have to be able to communicate to other people that we deserve the salary, that we deserve the promotion because we have brought a lot of progress to the company,” Suarez said.

Being a good negotiator, according to Suarez, is being able to be someone who can listen to what the other person is saying. One who can understand the needs of the other person and at the same time, can communicate effectively so that the other person can understand his or her needs.

“This is not about winning everything you want; this is being able to identify a solution that will be a good thing for both people,” Suarez said.

Suarez has a daughter in college and she gives her the same advice that she gives all young women.

“You cannot assume that if they offer you the job that that’s it. I accept it, it’s over, I’m going to party, no no no,” Suarez said.

According to Suarez, women need to take it upon themselves to do a thorough investigation of the going salary for the position that they are applying for.

“There are different ways to find out. There are different apps that tell you this. The average salary of the type of job where you are living, and you have to have the strength to say, ‘This is a competition; we are playing a game. I play, and even though they offered me the job, I’m going to have to ask for more,'” she said.

Suarez encourages women to negotiate in the same manner as men do because, according to her, “Study after study shows that men always ask for more than women.”

“From the beginning, you have to negotiate more,” Suarez said, “and if they tell you that they cannot give you more money, negotiate more things. Free days, bonuses – agree to re-analyze your work in six months, and from there you can get another raise.”

Suarez is the author of the book ‘The Art of Getting Everything,’ and she has been has a keynote speaker at women’s conferences across the country, including the Women in Technology Conference where she spoke to over 650 women about the power of negotiation, networking and self advocacy.

Click here to read the full article on 9 News.

‘Girls aren’t firefighters’: How women are making firefighting more inclusive
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firefighters women making industry more inclusive

By Haley Talbot, Julie Tsirkin and Alicia Victoria Lozano, NBC News.

Capt. Karen Bureker didn’t know whether she wanted to have children when she first became a firefighter paramedic nearly 20 years ago.

But after getting married, Bureker and her husband decided to start a family. It was during her first pregnancy, after six years on the job, that Bureker realized just how difficult the transition from firefighter to mother would be while rising through the ranks of her male-dominated profession.

“It’s really a great job to be a mom, but it’s a really hard job,” she said. “My kids, as they get older, are starting to understand some of the risks that we take. But they love having their mom be a firefighter.”

Bureker, 44, is part of a rare sorority. Earlier this month, she became the first female fire captain at Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue near Portland, where she started her career some 19 years ago. Back then, just six women worked as firefighters in the department, she said.

“We were definitely new to the fire scene,” she added. “The world has changed a lot since then, and our jobs have changed a lot. We’ve had a lot of men with a lot of interest in pushes that have helped move us into a more inclusive and diverse fire service.”

Despite the push for more diversity in hiring, less than 5 percent of career firefighters across the country are women, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Like their male counterparts, these women face increasingly dire conditions as drought, climate change and heat waves contribute to longer, hotter and deadlier fire seasons.

These women also face added mental stress from gender discrimination, plus an increased risk of miscarriage and other reproductive problems from repeated exposure to smoke and other toxins.

“When you think of a firefighter, you think of a man,” said Jenna Gray, who recently attended a fire camp for young women interested in learning more about the profession. “I think it’s really important for young girls to see that they, too, can do these jobs that only men over the last who knows how many years have been doing. It just gives you a sense of ‘I can do anything.'”

Yet a new generation of female firefighters is confronted with a system that was never built to include them. Few departments offer uniforms tailored specifically to women, forcing them to wear protective gear that fits incorrectly and exposes them to environmental hazards.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

Fad diets are out. It’s your lifestyle habits that matter
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Building healthy, long-term habits is key for a heart-healthy diet.

By Sherry Liang, CNN

A full belly makes a happy heart, but your heart will be happier if you focus on sustaining long-term habits.

Heart-healthy eating starts with your eating patterns, according to the American Heart Association’s recent scientific statement, “2021 Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health.”

That doesn’t mean giving up takeout or that five-minute meal kit from the grocery store altogether. The dietary guidance encourages people to adapt these habits into their lifestyle.

The statement identifies 10 features of heart-healthy eating patterns — including guidance to combine a balanced diet with exercise; consume most nutrients through food over supplements; eat whole grains; reduce sodium, added sugar and alcohol intake; use non-tropical plant oils; and eat minimally processed, over ultra-processed, foods.

“What’s really important now is that people make modifications that can be sustainable in the long term,” said Alice Lichtenstein, director of Tufts University’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory and chair of the writing group for the AHA’s new statement.

The statement’s writing group evaluated literature and devised 10 features of heart-healthy dietary patterns. The group also expanded on the guidance, recognizing the need for sustainability and societal challenges that can be obstacles to achieving proper nutrition.

Lichtenstein said eating behaviors have changed since the AHA last published a statement with dietary guidance 15 years ago. Previously, the main options were to eat out or dine in, but eating habits have been less consistent in recent years. There has been a trend — exacerbated by the pandemic — of more convenience food options, such as delivery, meal kits and premade meals.

Make changes that go the distance
The focus of the AHA’s new guidance, Lichtenstein said, is to do what works for you, whatever dietary restrictions or cultural adaptions you want to make. Lichtenstein discourages people from making drastic changes based on fad diets — instead, sustained efforts in incorporating these healthy habits can be more beneficial in the long run.

Lauri Wright, chair of the department of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seconds this long-term mindset. Wright, who was not involved with the AHA’s statement, emphasized the focus on building lifestyle habits, regardless of people’s ages and backgrounds.

“When we’re talking pattern or a lifestyle, we’re not just talking about a diet — something temporary,” Wright said. “This is really a lifestyle, and it really can accommodate all of your individualities.”

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Robert Half