Monday, December 06, 2010
It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend's pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.
by Author Unknown
Sunday, December 05, 2010
I think that the true meaning of Christmas is love. We find in John 3:16-17 which states, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
It is hard to believe that God loved us so much that he gave His most precious Son to take our punishment for our sins. He paid the price in full, and we are free from condemnation when we accept that free gift of love. This confirms for me that he truly loved us and that the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love.
What are you thoughts?
Monday, November 29, 2010
By Amanda MacMillan and Tamara Schryver, RD
1. Yogurt - Probiotics , or the "live active cultures" found in yogurt, are healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs. Although they're available in supplement form, a study from the University of Vienna in Austria found that a daily 7-ounce dose of yogurt was just as effective in boosting immunity as popping pills. In an 80-day Swedish study of 181 factory employees, those who drank a daily supplement of Lactobacillus reuteri--a specific probiotic that appears to stimulate white blood cells--took 33% fewer sick days than those given a placebo. Any yogurt with a Live and Active Cultures seal contains some beneficial bugs, but Stonyfield Farm is the only US brand that contains this specific strain.
Your optimal dose: Two 6-ounce servings a day.
2. Oats and Barley - These grains contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities more potent than echinacea, reports a Norwegian study. When animals eat this compound, they're less likely to contract influenza, herpes, even anthrax; in humans, it boosts immunity, speeds wound healing, and may help antibiotics work better.
Your optimal dose: At least one in your three daily servings of whole grains.
3. Garlic - This potent onion relative contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; the garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold. Other studies suggest that garlic lovers who chow more than six cloves a week have a 30% lower rate of colorectal cancer and a 50% lower rate of stomach cancer.
Your optimal dose: Two raw cloves a day and add crushed garlic to your cooking several times a week.
4. Fish - Selenium, plentiful in shellfish such as oysters, lobsters, crabs, and clams, helps white blood cells produce cytokines-proteins that help clear flu viruses out of the body. Salmon, mackerel, and herring are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation, increasing airflow and protecting lungs from colds and respiratory infections.
Your optimal dose: Two servings a week (unless you're pregnant or planning to be).
5. Chicken Soup - When University of Nebraska researchers tested 13 brands, they found that all but one (chicken-flavored ramen noodles) blocked the migration of inflammatory white cells-an important finding, because cold symptoms are a response to the cells' accumulation in the bronchial tubes. The amino acid cysteine, released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, which may explain the results. The soup's salty broth keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do. Added spices, such as garlic and onions, can increase soup's immune-boosting power.
Your optimal dose: Have a bowl when feeling crummy.
6. Tea - People who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink, in a Harvard study. The amino acid that's responsible for this immune boost, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea--decaf versions have it, too.
Your optimal dose: Several cups daily. To get up to five times more antioxidants from your tea bags, bob them up and down while you brew.
7. Beef - Zinc deficiency is one of the most common nutritional shortfalls among American adults, especially for vegetarians and those who've cut back on beef, a prime source of this immunity-bolstering mineral. And that's unfortunate, because even mild zinc deficiency can increase your risk of infection. Zinc in your diet is very important for the development of white blood cells, the intrepid immune system cells that recognize and destroy invading bacteria, viruses, and assorted other bad guys, says William Boisvert, PhD, an expert in nutrition and immunity at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.
Your optimal dose: A 3-oz serving of lean beef provides about 30 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. That's often enough to make the difference between deficient and sufficient. Not a beef person? Try zinc-rich oysters, fortified cereals, pork, poultry, yogurt, or milk.
8. Sweet Potatoes - You may not think of skin as part of your immune system. But this crucial organ, covering an impressive 16 square feet, serves as a first-line fortress against bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables. To stay strong and healthy, your skin needs vitamin A. "Vitamin A plays a major role in the production of connective tissue, a key component of skin," explains Prevention advisor David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, CT. One of the best ways to get vitamin A into your diet is from foods containing beta-carotene (like sweet potatoes), which your body turns into vitamin A.
Your optimal dose: A half-cup serving, which delivers only 170 calories but 40 percent of the DV of vitamin A as beta-carotene. They're so good, you might want to save them for dessert! Think orange when looking for other foods rich in beta-carotene: carrots, squash, canned pumpkin, and cantaloupe
9. Mushrooms - For centuries, people around the world have turned to mushrooms for a healthy immune system. Contemporary researchers now know why. "Studies show that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. This is a good thing when you have an infection," says Douglas Schar, DipPhyt, MCPP, MNIMH, director of the Institute of Herbal Medicine in Washington, DC.
Your optimal dose: Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms appear to pack the biggest immunity punch; experts recommend at least ¼ ounce to an ounce a few times a day for maximum immune benefits. Add a handful to pasta sauce, saute with a little oil and add to eggs, or heap triple-decker style on a frozen pizza.
More ways to stop flu spread: See the 10 biggest germ hot spots you haven't cleaned yet-but should
Monday, November 22, 2010
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
The sun hath shed its kindly light,
Our harvesting is gladly o'er,
Our fields have felt no killing blight,
Our bins are filled with goodly store.
From pestilence, fire, 'flood, and sword
We have been spared by thy decree,
And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
We come to pay our thanks to thee.
We feel that had our merits been
The measure of thy gifts to us,
We erring children, born of sin,
Might not now be rejoicing thus.
No deed of ours hath brought us grace;
When thou wert nigh our sight was dull,
We hid in trembling from thy face,
But thou, O God, wert merciful.
Thy mighty hand o'er all the land
Hath still been open to bestow
Those blessings which our wants demand
From heaven, whence all blessings flow.
Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,
Looked down on us with holy care,
And from thy storehouse in the sky
Hast scattered plenty everywhere.
Then lift we up our songs of praise
To thee, O Father, good and kind;
To thee we consecrate our days;
Be thine the temple of each mind.
With incense sweet our thanks ascend;
Before thy works our powers pall;
Though we should strive years without end,
We could not thank thee for them all.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
How many of you have seen “For Colored Girls?” Tyler Perry has done it again. Who else could put together such an awesome cast: Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Kimberly Elise, Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, Anika Noni Rose and Thandie Newsom.
This movie really held my attention from start to finish. As I sat there watching the movie there were all kinds of emotions going on through my mind. Some were painful and some were pleasurable. I think anyone would be able to appreciate this movie. Even though it doesn’t show black men in the best of light, it does show the negative that black women experience when dealing with black men.
I like this movie not because it portrayed black men in a bad way, but because it portrayed a number of issues women, not just black women, deal with throughout life. I also like the way the actresses mixed in the poetry at various scenes. Some may say that the movie was full of male bashing, but I don’t really think that was what Tyler was trying to portray, what he did portray was the reality of life for the black woman. The thing that Tyler portrayed in the film is the realities that black women have faced and are still facing. I also appreciated the age diversity that was in the movie. There was something for the older audience and something for the younger audience. Everybody who saw the movie should have been able to take something worthwhile away with them.
This is a powerful movie. You can give credit to the phenomenal women that delivered each woman’s story in a moving way so that it was possible to relate to each and every character. But I think the main idea or focus that Tyler really wanted us to get was that women must be able to find faith, respect and strength in themselves and I believe that “For Colored Girls” did exactly that.
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