Tag: Health

Remembering B Smith (1949-2020)

At age 70, Smith succumbed to early onset Alzheimer’s, which she had been battling for years. She died Saturday at her Long Island home with family nearby.

Plenty of media have described Smith as the “black Martha Stewart.” And superficially, one could see why: Both women had been models (Smith appeared on the covers of several fashion magazines, the first brown-skinned black model to be featured on Mademoiselle’s cover in the 1970s). Both had a genius for cooking and entertaining. Both eventually built an empire based on their skills (food, decorating, entertaining, home keeping). And when people (mostly white people) called Smith the black Martha, they meant it as a compliment. Smith saw it as well-intended but shortsighted.

“Martha Stewart has presented herself doing the things domestics and African Americans have done for years,” Smith told New York magazine in a 1997 interview. “We were always expected to redo the chairs and use everything in the garden. This is the legacy that I was left. Martha just got there first.” True, but Smith made up for that by diving into everything she did with passion.

Born to a steelworker father and a mother who was a part-time housekeeper, Barbara Elaine Smith left her Western Pennsylvania hometown of Scottsdale for a modeling career right after high school. Barbara became B. as her modeling career took off. After a successful career with modeling agency Wilhelmina and several lucrative corporate contracts, Smith became interested in restaurants.

She married her second husband, Dan Gasby, in 1992, and together they created an empire that encompassed bestselling cookbooks, the weekly show and a lifestyle magazine that was briefly published by American Express. Eventually there were also housewares, bed linens and even an At Home with B. Smith furniture line.

Smith opened her first eponymous restaurant in Manhattan’s theater district in 1986. Two more B. Smith restaurants followed: one near her weekend home on Long Island and the other in the historic Union Station complex in Washington, D.C.

Smith had been showing signs of forgetfulness for a while. In 2013, after she lost her train of thought while she was doing a cooking demonstration on NBC’s Today, she sought a doctor’s opinion.

The devastating verdict: tests indicated she was in the beginning stages of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She and Gasby went public with the news in 2014. Smith put on a brave face and told the public she intended to live and enjoy life until she couldn’t.

The B. Smith who appeared in a public service announcement the following year was a woman whose wattage had dimmed considerably. Her disease was progressing swiftly. Her famously radiant smile flashed less frequently. Her sparkling eyes looked vacant, she forgot things easily and she once got lost in Manhattan for several hours.

Despite that, she and Gasby did several interviews to educate the public and destigmatize Alzheimer’s. They also wrote a book, Before I Forget, about dealing with the disease. They were determined to try to make a difference, as Alzheimer’s is known to be more prevalent in women and African Americans.

It’s a hard call that more and more Americans are going to have to make, as more of us are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Last year, the Alzheimer’s Association estimated 5.8 million people have the disease; 200,000 of those have early onset.

African Americans Among Those Hit The Hardest By The Coronavirus

The coronavirus has now infected more than 1.2 million people across the country, and African Americans, Hispanics and other minority populations are disproportionately being affected by the virus and the illness it causes: COVID-19.

A mid-April analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) showed that in the majority of states reporting data that include race and ethnicity, black Americans account for a higher share of confirmed cases and deaths compared to their share of the total population. An earlier report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied a handful of states and found that among patients for whom information on race and ethnicity was available, black Americans were hospitalized at higher rates than whites for COVID-19. What’s more, in New York City, the U.S. community hardest hit by the virus, more Hispanics per capita are succumbing to the illness than any other ethnic group.

Infection rates have been especially high in the Navajo Nation, which has land in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, with more than 2,700 cases and 88 deaths as of May 8. The KFF analysis shows that Native Americans make up more than a third of cases in New Mexico but only 9 percent of the state’s population. In Arizona, Native Americans account for 7 percent of cases and 21 percent of deaths, but 4 percent of the state’s population. Utah did not release racial data on its cases.

“The data is clear and has been clear for decades: African Americans, Latinos and other minority groups live sicker and die younger,” says Stephen Thomas, a professor of health policy and management and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. “We cannot close our eyes or put up blinders to the disproportionate impact of this disease on racial and ethnic minority communities.”

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that fewer than 20 percent of black workers and roughly 16 percent of Hispanic ones are able to telecommute. About two-thirds of employed Hispanic adults say they would not get paid if the coronavirus caused them to miss work for two weeks or more, a Pew Research Center survey found.

“African Americans and Latinos and other minority groups are the ones out there in the warehouse, emptying food trucks, delivering your Grubhub or Uber Eats. They’re out there at risk” for catching the coronavirus, Thomas says.

Health experts, including Birx, stress that while African Americans and other minority groups are not more inherently susceptible to getting infected by the coronavirus, they are more likely to have a harder time recovering if they are infected.

“We experience social factors that are constantly putting us in a disadvantaged place to respond to an epidemic and to recover from diseases,” Rodríguez-Díaz says, pointing to unstable housing and lack of access to health care as two of the circumstances that aggravate health outcomes and disproportionately affect minority populations. “Social factors represent a significant [role] in our ability to be healthy. And if we don’t have access to those social resources, then we are in worse conditions to deal with a pandemic.”

You can ead the rest of the article on AARP.

“Rona” Life Hack #12

A lot of stores are running out of paper goods rather quickly. Paper plates? Gone. Paper towels? Gone. Toilet tissue? Gone. Napkins? Gone.

Well, don’t fret – I may not be able to teach you how to create your own toilet tissue, but I can at least help out with the paper  plate issue. Head to the party aisle & there you are likely to find plenty of party plates, napkins, cups & the like. They may cost a little more than “regular” paper plates, but there will be plenty to choose from and you can even match them to your current home décor.  Not to mention they come in different sizes and you can mix & match. Happy shopping!

 

 

“Rona” Life Hack #11

Most of the stores are out of many of the essentials like toilet paper, napkins, masks, hand sanitizer & even soap. Some of these things we can’t create ourselves (like napkins), but other things we can. In this post, I’d like to discuss how to make your very own hand sanitizer!

All you need is rubbing alcohol and some aloe vera. You can include some essential oil if you’d like to help cut the smell (but it’s not really necessary). Essential oils would be vanilla, lavender, jasmine or even lemon juice. Mix 3 parts alcohol and 1-part aloe vera & voila! – you have your very own hand sanitizer. You can use either aloe vera gel or actual aloe vera for those of you agricultural buffs out there. You can also add some water to loosen things up a bit. Whip these ingredients really well, put them in a bottle & be sure to label it so you don’t forget what it is!

The rubbing alcohol is obviously the cleaning agent & aloe vera is the moisturizing part of this concoction. You may not have access to store-bought products right now, but that shouldn’t keep you from staying safe & clean!

“Rona” Life Hack #6

It’s tough to exercise when you’re supposed to be indoors all the time. Even without all the fancy exercise equipment, fun classes and instructors yelling at you, it’s still possible to get a good workout in. Just a grab a towel & do some stretches on the living room floor. Go to Instagram or YouTube and find your new favorite workout “coach” & get busy!

There’s cardio, anaerobic exercises, stretching, yoga, jump rope even pushups & pull ups. You can do crunches, planking and more stretching! I admit, the first week of being shut-in, I didn’t get much of a workout in. I ate & ate, but it wasn’t until this past weekend I decided to get out and do a little at-home conditioning. It’s amazing how much you can do for free in the comfort of your own home.

So if you can’t get out to exercise, then get up & get moving!

 

“Rona” Life Hack #4

One of the few places that are still open right now are the doctor’s offices. It’s definitely not a place anyone wants to be, but now is the perfect time to knock out those doctor’s appointments. Dentist, general practitioner, dermatologist, chiropractor, orthodontist, podiatrist, optometrist, whatever it is, go for it now!

I have already knocked out a few of these appointments myself. There was no line, no waiting & questions asked – I was able to get in right away and take as much time as I needed with my doctor. Grant it, everyone had on masks and gloves and I even had to have my temperature taken just to enter the office, but I am glad that I got it out of the way.

For those of you with insurance, go now – medical offices are open & everyone working there is happy to help people who don’t have the Coronavirus.

Corona Life Hack #1

With the Coronavirus running rampant here in the U.S., I thought I’d take this time to share some Life Hacks. So, I’m going to share 19 hacks (named after COVID-19)  over the next 19 days. Feel free to share them, like them & of course, use them!

Here’s the 1st one:

Everyone is buying canned goods right now. You’ve seen the shelves for yourself – completely empty – there are NO canned goods available.  I’m actually glad there aren’t any canned goods left, they aren’t healthy anyway – just loaded with sodium. Instead, you should be buying FRESH vegetables. I know it can be a pain having to cook them every day not to mention you run the risk of them spoiling if not cooked soon enough. But for health reasons, it’s worth it! Less sodium & more nutrients and even cheaper to buy. Nobody buys them fresh so the store will always have a full selection so Happy Eating!

#FitnessFridays: Lita Lewis

Born in Los Angeles, California, raised in Sydney, Australia, returned to the United States and made Brooklyn, NY home for 10 years before moving back to her birth city of Los Angeles.

She has traveled the world motivating people to pursue their dreams and reach their goals. From her earliest experiences, surrounded by this rich combination of cultures, lifestyles, and body types, Lewis developed a keen sense of what beauty is and what it is not. Working tirelessly to transform and break traditional molds of the “Americanized” fitness image has been the staple of her brand.

With an African American and Samoan ancestry, Lewis developed a deep love and admiration for foreign cultures, ethnicities and a genuine appreciation for diversity in people from all walks of life. Regardless of who you are and where you come from she learned that true wealth is health!

The way Lewis sees it, fitness and health isn’t about being skinny or curvy—it’s about being the best version of yourself. That means honoring your body by leading an active lifestyle, fueling yourself with whole nutritious foods and finding time to rejuvenate your mental and spiritual peace.

The motivational speaker and life coach is all about building strong minds and bodies whilst sharing her positive messaging via social media. Teaching young women to become the best version of themselves, whether skinny or curvy frames, her philosophy is all about accepting, embracing and building strong minds, being healthy for life, finding inner balance and pursuing and accomplishing personal growth- Your best you!

Lewis is also widely known for giving light to fans experiencing breakups, firings,
deaths, and many of life’s other challenges. Even as massive as Lewis’ social media platform has grown, Lewis has greater ambitions than being recognized for her beauty and popularity although she does not shy away from owning her reputation of being the poster child of strength and sensuality. She promotes her dislike for stereotypes, unhealthy fitness gimmicks and most of all, the notion that femininity and sexiness cannot also be tough, bold and durable.

In addition to her accomplishments on the stage, in the gym, and on the web, Lewis is also an incredible public speaker and motivational life coach. She can often be seen on the lecture circuit as a guest speaker. She enjoys the personal reach this platform provides, allowing her to
speak her mind and to share her insights and experiences pertaining to holistic health and benefits of daily exercise.

As vast as the Lita Lewis brand is, authenticity, organic beauty and eminent class are reflected back in all it touches. Her loving and compassionate spirit, coupled with her transformational message of maintaining inner and outer strength and positivity continue to help, inspire and eternally transform all that she touches.

#MedicMondays: Aaron McDuffie Moore

Born to free African American parents during the Civil War, Aaron McDuffie Moore (1863-1923) was trained to be a school teacher, but after several years teaching high school he entered Leonard Medical School at Shaw University. He graduated in 1888 and became the first black physician in Durham.

In 1898, Moore and other investors founded the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., and later persuaded the Duke family into backing a hospital for African Americans. When Lincoln Hospital opened in 1901, Moore became its first superintendent. After Mutual’s office moved from Main Street to Parrish Street in 1905 Moore moved his own medical practice there and in 1908 he and others opened the Bull City Drug Co., a pharmacy, on Parrish Street with a second branch, on Fayetteville Street in Hayti.
Moore also founded the first public library for African Americans, as a book collection at White Rock Baptist Church. The collection and its patronage rapidly grew and led to creation of the Stanford L. Warren public library.
Moore’s home was on Fayetteville Street next door to White Rock. It was demolished during Durham Freeway construction in the 1960s.

#FitnessFriday: PowerHouse Sports Academy

PowerHouse Sports Academy is a Fitness Company established on January 31,2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. In their short existence, they have been extremely successful in changing the lives of many by the way of fitness and proper nutrition. Because of their success they have been able to expand to three locations throughout the Atlanta, GA area (Tucker, Midtown, and Decatur). Regardless of the fitness goals that any client has required of the PowerHouse Trainers they have been successful in helping clients reach and succeed their fitness goals promoting a healthier lifestyle for many and also upcoming generations. We will love for you to join us and our family as we continue to strive to not only change lives in Atlanta, Georgia but lives across the world.