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Finally, let's concentrate on the issues that are impacting Black Relationships.

Many African Americans have significantly improved their social and economic standing since the Civil Rights Movement, and recent decades have witnessed the expansion of a robust, African American middle class across the United States. However, due in part to a legacy of racism and discrimination, African Americans as a group remain at a pronounced economic, educational and social disadvantage relative to European Americans. Economically, the median income of African Americans is roughly 55 percent of that of European Americans. Persistent social, economic and political issues for many African Americans include inadequate health care access and delivery; institutional racism and discrimination in housing, education, policing, criminal justice and employment; crime; poverty; and substance abuse. African Americans are frequently the targets of racial profiling. They are also more likely to be incarcerated. African Americans also have higher prevalence of some chronic health conditions and out-of-wedlock births relative to the general population. These problems and potential remedies have been the subject of intense public policy debate in the United States in general, and within the African American community in particular.

SOLUTIONS:

1. Education
Falling Behind: The Economics of Education and how it Impacts Community Wealth. Let's evaluate, from early childhood education to higher education, how the economics of education disadvantages African American and Latino students and their communities.

2. Health
YOU'RE FIRED: Is it our DNA, HMO, or Us!
Let's talk about the state of African American Health for a change. How are the ways that we eat impacting our relationships? Positive eating habits lead to positive attitudes about ourselves and about others.

As the national debate on Social Security, let's talk about the escalating healthcare cost and diminished employer paid health benefits are occurring it is imperative that we understand the impact certain proposed strategies and policies can have on our present and anticipated future lifestyle. If "healthcare of equal high quality" is the goal, policies and practices that have perpetuated race-based disparities in health status must be exposed and eliminated to ensure that we protect the legacy that has been entrusted to us to keep.

The State of African American Health across the lifespan continues to reflect the disdain, neglect and inequality the American healthcare system has demonstrated toward Black people specifically and other People of Color in general. Disparities in health status between Blacks and the majority population have existed since race based records have been kept. Despite tremendous gains in clinical research, integrative technology and medical delivery systems the gap in health status continues to increase in a scientific milieu (decoding of the human genome) in which race is a social construct. We must assure the integrity of the debate with experiential counsel.

3. Economic Empowerment
Building Wealth Eroding Debt. Let's engage in useful information and opportunities for discussion regarding how the African American community can begin to narrow the wealth divide that exists in this country. Let's share useful insight regarding the importance of wealth building and how home ownership and entrepreneurship can be used as means of building wealth in the African American community. Readers can also discuss credit management, community investing, and the use of intellectual assets as means of building wealth.

Other Black people who can assist us: Earl G. Graves, Jr., President of Black Enterprise Magazine, Damita Barbee, President of the Urban Financial Services Coalition, a non-profit organization of minority professionals in the Financial Services Industry, and Emanual Slater, Co-Founder of Business Plan for Black America.

4. Political Activism
From the Precinct to the Presidency: Non-Partisan Political Activism and Accountability in the 21st Century. Discussions about political activism can focus on the political empowerment challenges faced by African American's and the African American Community as a predicate to advancing the NAACP's political action agenda. Discussions can also focus on elected representatives from the U.S. Congress, political consultants, and political policy and research experts, as well as other congressional insiders.

5. Faith/Community
The Black Church and its Faith Leaders: What Is The Church's Role in Solving Contemporary Social Justice Issues? What is the Black Church doing to help the Black community? This dicussion can identify solutions for the continuing social justice problems plaguing the African American community and other communities of color. Readers can identify 3 important areas of concern and outline identifiable and measurable responses from the Religious community.

Morality vs. Religion: Who or What Controls the Message? This discussion can identify who is dictating or determining the message for the Religious community. A special focus can be on the impact and role the media (i.e. news outlets), political environment and clergy are playing in influencing the faith community's response, to the current issues of morality and religion.

6. News Media
News Media: The Civil Struggle: The Role of the Media. Discuss the goals of the civil rights movement, and the roles and responsibilities of journalists.
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quote:
Positive eating habits lead to positive attitudes about ourselves and about others.


I wondered if you could expand on this one area a little, as it comes up frequently and I wondered what are the main issues stopping people eating a healthy diet?

IMHO, food and diet is one of the most important and 'easy to fix' areas of health care. Because it is possible to eat a healthy diet without it costing the earth.

Which of these do you see as being the priority or 'getting in the way'?

Education about eating a balanced diet.
Bad habits, lack of incentive.
Access to fresh ingredients/product.
Cost of purchasing food.
Taste for partiuclar kinds of food or cooking styles eg. soul food, fast food, sticking to the same kind of food group.
The amount or size of meals consumed.
Hormones and chemicals in food.

I'm sure there are more...?
Your thoughts please.
.
(Yep, this is my pet topic, lol)

What tastes better? A fresh, juicy, naturally sweet peach or a can of tinned peaches?

Most of the time the unhealthy food only tastes 'better' coz it is loaded with sugar and salt and 'your' tastebuds are conditioned to be satisfied by sugar and salt instead of flavour.

Once 'you' cut out the salt and sugar overload, your palatte becomes a lot more able to taste actual flavours - rather than chemicals - and a lot more discerning.

Once 'you' know how things are supposed to taste (not just sweet or salty), 'you'll' find that natural flavours taste better every time.

Like the old saying: 'Good taste is it's own reward!' And they weren't just talking home decor.

Eating healthy can be delicious and really does make a difference to how you feel and your energy levels.

With diabetes becoming so widespread and at younger ages, a diet high in sugar and processed foods needs to be changed. Offering an alternative is the best way to go.

In th UK and Australia, over the past few years it seems every second TV program is about cooking or a celebrity chef talking about food and ingredients or promoting their cook book or DVD.

I don't know if that's the case in the USA? While a lot of these cookbooks and DVDs have become 'food porn' - look, but don't cook - they are also have useful tips and info about buying, storing, preparing foods.

And there is a mass of food info and recipes freely available on TV or the internet.

Like him or not, Jamie O's food IS simple to prepare and tastes great. He is particularly good on short cut tips. http://www.jamieoliver.com/ and BBC's http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/ has great info and a helpful forum.

Of interest too, is Hassan M'Souli's recipes... he is Moroccan but now Sydney-based:
http://www.africanoz.com/af_food/af_food.html (other good Australian/African links from this page too) I'll post some recipes of his soon. Yum!
quote:
What tastes better? A fresh, juicy, naturally sweet peach or a can of tinned peaches?


A can of peaches. When you are on the go and have the taste for something, you want a guarantee. There is no gurantee that fresh peach is sweet and if it's sour, it's a waste of money and leaves you less satisfied than before you bought the product. The can of peaches is always sweet, always reliable. That is what packaged/processed products offer. And it's not as if it's comprised of lips and assholes in the shape of peaches. These things are real fruit. We're raised on enough "factory" shows as kids to know what goes into most of those cans.

quote:
Most of the time the unhealthy food only tastes 'better' coz it is loaded with sugar and salt and 'your' tastebuds are conditioned to be satisfied by sugar and salt instead of flavour.


Sugar and salt enhance. If you have parents or older relatives who are passionate about cooking, you always notice that seasonings and spices are a large part of good food. Sure, I could poach some chicken in water and taste it's natural "flavor" but why would I do that when I could season it up right and enjoy it?!?

quote:
Once 'you' cut out the salt and sugar overload, your palatte becomes a lot more able to taste actual flavours - rather than chemicals - and a lot more discerning.


I don't agree with that. People have different palettes, different elements of taste that they enjoy. I run across a lot of people who are scared to death of anything "spicy." They think it "destroys" that taste of things. I think that's a bunch of bullshit and I always have to re-season anything they "cook" because it tastes completely bland. Some people can't take sweets. Some people can't take salt. Some people can't take seasoning. Some people can't take sour. Etc.

Whatever you eat, enjoy it fully. I just don't ever really believe people on this strictly organic/healthy/vegan/whatever diets are truly happy. They are always the first ones miserably bitching and complaining about what is on someone else's plate. Everyone needs a frosted donut or a box of blue juice every once and again. LOL!

I think Jamie Oliver really did a lot to dispel the whole idea that British people eat a lot healthier than Americans. When he did the school lunch program, there were grown kids who didn't even know what the hell a potato looked like!! We here in the US might not be able to spell it, but we certainly know what it is! Big Grin And British food takes some real warming up to. It's bland! I've never had much success with Jamie's recipes ( much prefer Nigella Lawson who takes a lot of her cooking cues from the States and other countries in Europe).

PLUS, I would never take the advice of anyone who comes from a country that has produced the most craptastic product of all... VEGEMITE! tongue (Kidding with you, art_gurl Wink)
i learned to cook from my mother and I am just waiting for my daughters to be old enough to learn from me.
One of the hardest parts to learn about cooking from my mom was measurments as she used her hands to measure salt, sugar and spices. i am still learning to mix combinations of spices and other things and I'm 41.

Frenchy ( I love you!) you are right about bland foods. It is a violation of the palette and agianst God who created them, not to add spices to cooking.
quote:
Originally posted by Blacksanction:
Frenchy ( I love you!) you are right about bland foods. It is a violation of the palette and agianst God who created them, not to add spices to cooking.


But I do believe it is possible to eat very good food that is also healthy. One can spice food without using salt and sugar. One way is to use fresh herbs. And very often we can use natural sweeteners rather than processed sugars. Ever try using grated carrots in a tomato sauce? It works Smile Every morning for breakfast I have oatmeal and honey. And it's almost always healthier to cook your food from scratch than to eat the pre-made stuff from the grocery store Smile
Salt and sugar have just as much merit as any other spice. It is not necessary to completely cut them from your diet. Very good and healthy food can also contain salt and even the dreaded white sugar, HonestBrother. tongue

What I find particularly hilarious is that people go on and on about "healthy" food and yet, they shop at grocery stores. Unless you grow it or by it from where it's grown, you don't really know what the hell you're buying and cutting up and putting into your "from scratch" meal. Everything in a grocery store needs to have a reasonable shelf life. Preservatives/processing are not the devil.

Carrots have their own sweetness, but they are certainly no substitute for sugar. Especially if you have a real sweet tooth. And honey tastes like honey. It doesn't just sweeten up what you already have. Etc. Reminds me of this guy on the Food Network who "renovates" people's favorite recipes into ones with lower fat and calories. Unfortunately, his shit is always so far from the original taste that the whole fun of the show is seeing people scrunch up their face in disgust at the result. "Too much starch in potatoes? Use beets in your hash browns instead! They give it a sweetness!" Oy. ek

IMO, it's best to go with the original. Start having problems, use moderation. Mind what's on your own plate. If I want to sit down to a breakfast of 60 Ho-ho's and 20 Twinkies, that's between me and my insurance company. It's not a cry for some "Born-again Vegan" to convert me. Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
...I just don't ever really believe people on this strictly organic/healthy/vegan/whatever diets are truly happy. They are always the first ones miserably bitching and complaining about what is on someone else's plate. Everyone needs a frosted donut or a box of blue juice every once and again...
bsYou are just tryin' to irritate me aren't you??!!

I have been a vegetarian for over 10 yrs and have never wanted what was on somebody else's plate. Nor have I ever craved any glazed donuts or boxes of blue juice!! (am I taking this personal??) Wink

Anything that can be made with meat has a vegetarian substitute that tastes just as good, and is just as spicy and/or flavorful - I can almost guarantee that none of you carnivores would be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test.

As has been expressed here by many, it's aaallll in de spice!!
TVP/Tofu/etc have their merits (and can certainly be hooked up), but I would never mistake them for a chicken leg. Ever. tongue

I didn't say that people with restrictive diets want to eat what is on other people's plates, only that a lot of y'all spend a considerable amount of time worrying about what is on other folks' plates and trying to convert them over to your eating style. If that is not you, then it's not you, AG.

That's all I have to say.

quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
Salt and sugar have just as much merit as any other spice.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Eek Eek

you knew I'd bite, huh? laugh

Geesh....THEY'RE NOT EVEN ON THE SAME PAGE...LOL!!!

I don't mind ya teasin' but Frenchy...
there is no way you can get rid of salt completely, it's in so many foods already, natural or otherwise... I'm talking about ADDING TRUCKLOADS OF IT like most people do. Razz

Thank goodness you are going to France... get into the markets there and eat da real thing...
(tip: tell the French you prefer tinned peaches to fresh ones and you'll be assassinated! Quelle horreur!)

Healthy food does not equal misery. Healthy food tastes freakin great IF YOU CAN COOK!!
And anyone can cook great tasting food.

And I sure as hell can. Wink Take a detour to Sydney and I'll prove it to ya. Cynic! LOL!!! Big Grin Roll Eyes Razz kiss

I'm not saying anyone has to cook the way I want... just be passionate about what they put in their mouth. Cool

I'll post some recipes tomorrow that will make your eyes water... did I say that? Eek LOL.

AG: I was vegetarian for a few years and felt great... but I do love ALL the other kinds of food groups too much... specially seafood.
.
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Well, no one asked me Wink but I'd say some middle ground might be applicable here. I'm not a fan of tofu and grapenuts and I don't care what you put in it to spice it up. But I do agree that many blacks eat in an unhealthy manner and too many of us die of 'lifestyle disease': hypertension, diabetes, alcohol abuse, etc, etc.....

I'd say it would help if we could think about ways to MODIFY: portion control, for instance. Don't eat TWO helpings of mac and cheese; order chicken or beef with vegetables at the Chinese restaurant instead of fried rice and chicken wings; pizza with veggies instead of mushroom or sausage; a little less fried chicken, a little more baked or rotisserie-style.

Walk a few extra blocks instead of taking the bus right to your door; take the stairs occasionally instead of the elevator.

All things can be done and enjoyed... in moderation.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
Salt and sugar have just as much merit as any other spice. It is not necessary to completely cut them from your diet. Very good and healthy food can also contain salt and even the dreaded white sugar, HonestBrother. tongue


I still use salt and sugar, Silly Smile Just not as much. And as for carrots in the tomato sauce, I started doing that when I learned it from some Italian friends of mine. What they taught me was that's the way the ORIGINAL recipes were.

And a lot of ethnic foods are lot like that: healthier if you go back to earlier more authentic versions. They had a very low rate of heart disease in Asia UNTIL American Fast Food started showing up. They were healthier just eating the same stuff they had been eating for centuries.

So I don't do tofu-turkey and substitutes and healthier versions of old recipes. I think a lot of that stuff is nasty and doesn't taste good. Instead I go back to more authentic versions of ethnic cuisines.
quote:
Originally posted by art_gurl:
quote:
Positive eating habits lead to positive attitudes about ourselves and about others.


I wondered if you could expand on this one area a little, as it comes up frequently and I wondered what are the main issues stopping people eating a healthy diet?


Sure. People who merely eat food because it "taste good" are in what I call the infantile stages of health consciousness. In the infantile stage of health consciousness, the primary concern is "will the food taste good?" instead of will this food provide my mind and body with the nutrients that it needs. Typically, people who never grow out of this infantile stage of health consciouness will not develop an interest in healthy living until the body literally communicates an urgency to do so by causing them pain, disease, tumors (cancer), or bone decay. Unfortunately, only when pain is felt or their lives are in jeopardy do they begin to take heed to public warnings and doctor's advice.

The most important aspect of healthy living, however, is for people to understand that whatever is taken into the body will affect the body and the mind. Our minds (brains) are not disconnected from the rest of our bodies. The mind and body work together to create one whole being. Thus, what is put into our bodies will impact our thinking, behavior, emotions, and energy levels. Let a child consume a product high in sugar (a candy product, for example) for a number of hours and watch his or her behavior change dramatically. Observe the behavior of the drug attict who abuses drugs, or the alcoholic who comsumes liquor. Likewise, if you know someone who is always negative and angry, inquire about this person's health. There is indeed a connection between what we consume and our behavior.

I don't like to generalize, but never have I encountered a vegetarian having a negative or angry disposition. Typically, vegetarians are very mild-mannered and pleasant people to be around. People who eat poorly and have very little concern for their health are usually upset, hostile, and moody, primarily because they are constipated (meat stays in the digestive track much longer than vegetables--2 weeks). In fact, if you were to put a hunk of meat in a bag and let it set in your home for 2 consecutive weeks, your entire home would stink as a result of the meat decaying. Well, that is what is taking place inside your (hot) stomach. Ideally, you are to have at least three bowl movements/waste relief, per day if the body is treated well and is getting the mositure (water) it needs and deserves each day.
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quote:
Originally posted by Ms_secondhalf:
I'd say it would help if we could think about ways to MODIFY: portion control, for instance. Don't eat TWO helpings of mac and cheese; order chicken or beef with vegetables at the Chinese restaurant instead of fried rice and chicken wings; pizza with veggies instead of mushroom or sausage; a little less fried chicken, a little more baked or rotisserie-style.


I don't want us to spend too much time discussing the topics of food and health consciousness, because there are so many other important issues that are impacting our relationships as well. However, I do agree with your suggestion, and we also need to abandon this immature state of mind that tells us that if we cannot suck down a bag of Oreo cookies that we are somehow being "deprived" of something. To the person who thinks that they are being "deprived" of something simply because they can no longer eat like a five year old child, I say grow up. It's time to stop making excuses for why you are being stubborn about changing your lifestyle and attitude.

The body requires LIVE foods, not dead foods--or foods that require death to take place in order for you to eat it. Fruits (including international/imported fruits), vegetables (all different colors), beans, lentils, nuts, legumes, grains, seeds, Olive oil, etc. These are the foods to which your body and mind will positively react. And these foods provide just as much, and in some cases, MORE protein than dead meat.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Finally, let's concentrate on the issues that are impacting Black Relationships.

Many African Americans have significantly improved their social and economic standing since the Civil Rights Movement, and recent decades have witnessed the expansion of a robust, African American middle class across the United States. However, due in part to a legacy of racism and discrimination, African Americans as a group remain at a pronounced economic, educational and social disadvantage relative to European Americans. Economically, the median income of African Americans is roughly 55 percent of that of European Americans. Persistent social, economic and political issues for many African Americans include inadequate health care access and delivery; institutional racism and discrimination in housing, education, policing, criminal justice and employment; crime; poverty; and substance abuse. African Americans are frequently the targets of racial profiling. They are also more likely to be incarcerated. African Americans also have higher prevalence of some chronic health conditions and out-of-wedlock births relative to the general population. These problems and potential remedies have been the subject of intense public policy debate in the United States in general, and within the African American community in particular.

SOLUTIONS:

1. Education
Falling Behind: The Economics of Education and how it Impacts Community Wealth. Let's evaluate, from early childhood education to higher education, how the economics of education disadvantages African American and Latino students and their communities.

2. Health
YOU'RE FIRED: Is it our DNA, HMO, or Us!
Let's talk about the state of African American Health for a change. How are the ways that we eat impacting our relationships? Positive eating habits lead to positive attitudes about ourselves and about others.

As the national debate on Social Security, let's talk about the escalating healthcare cost and diminished employer paid health benefits are occurring it is imperative that we understand the impact certain proposed strategies and policies can have on our present and anticipated future lifestyle. If "healthcare of equal high quality" is the goal, policies and practices that have perpetuated race-based disparities in health status must be exposed and eliminated to ensure that we protect the legacy that has been entrusted to us to keep.

The State of African American Health across the lifespan continues to reflect the disdain, neglect and inequality the American healthcare system has demonstrated toward Black people specifically and other People of Color in general. Disparities in health status between Blacks and the majority population have existed since race based records have been kept. Despite tremendous gains in clinical research, integrative technology and medical delivery systems the gap in health status continues to increase in a scientific milieu (decoding of the human genome) in which race is a social construct. We must assure the integrity of the debate with experiential counsel.

3. Economic Empowerment
Building Wealth Eroding Debt. Let's engage in useful information and opportunities for discussion regarding how the African American community can begin to narrow the wealth divide that exists in this country. Let's share useful insight regarding the importance of wealth building and how home ownership and entrepreneurship can be used as means of building wealth in the African American community. Readers can also discuss credit management, community investing, and the use of intellectual assets as means of building wealth.

Other Black people who can assist us: Earl G. Graves, Jr., President of Black Enterprise Magazine, Damita Barbee, President of the Urban Financial Services Coalition, a non-profit organization of minority professionals in the Financial Services Industry, and Emanual Slater, Co-Founder of Business Plan for Black America.

4. Political Activism
From the Precinct to the Presidency: Non-Partisan Political Activism and Accountability in the 21st Century. Discussions about political activism can focus on the political empowerment challenges faced by African American's and the African American Community as a predicate to advancing the NAACP's political action agenda. Discussions can also focus on elected representatives from the U.S. Congress, political consultants, and political policy and research experts, as well as other congressional insiders.

5. Faith/Community
The Black Church and its Faith Leaders: What Is The Church's Role in Solving Contemporary Social Justice Issues? What is the Black Church doing to help the Black community? This dicussion can identify solutions for the continuing social justice problems plaguing the African American community and other communities of color. Readers can identify 3 important areas of concern and outline identifiable and measurable responses from the Religious community.

Morality vs. Religion: Who or What Controls the Message? This discussion can identify who is dictating or determining the message for the Religious community. A special focus can be on the impact and role the media (i.e. news outlets), political environment and clergy are playing in influencing the faith community's response, to the current issues of morality and religion.

6. News Media
News Media: The Civil Struggle: The Role of the Media. Discuss the goals of the civil rights movement, and the roles and responsibilities of journalists.


I don't have anything to add (yet) - But I thought this needed to be kept alive. We moan and complain....Anybody have a thought about solutions for the * core * problems?
quote:
Originally posted by Blacksanction:
i learned to cook from my mother and I am just waiting for my daughters to be old enough to learn from me.
One of the hardest parts to learn about cooking from my mom was measurments as she used her hands to measure salt, sugar and spices. i am still learning to mix combinations of spices and other things and I'm 41.

Frenchy ( I love you!) you are right about bland foods. It is a violation of the palette and agianst God who created them, not to add spices to cooking.


That measurement stuff irks me.

I have a family with great cooks and bakers and most of my stuff is bland and mediocre.

Was raised with breads and cakes being baked from scratch nearly daily. I can't duplicate any.

No one uses recipes for anything. They don't even use substitutes for spoons and cups. Like their finger to measure water or whatever.

Everything is by sight.

*grumble*

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