Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breastfeeding is SEXY! I THINK. (Video)

I'm not exactly sure about this one but from what I've grown to know, lingerie and other ways women move their bodies while touching their breasts is considered sexy -- sex appeal to another person. And having a male figure around often contributes to that message, like we have here. But I'm not sure exactly what the male figure's role is either. From where I stand, I would see this as portraying a message about breastfeeding and sex appeal, that goes something like this: this woman is sexy and desired by this man. Breastfeeding is important, so if you breastfeed, then you are sexy. Maybe. But that's just my interpretation, and I'm not sure how relative this is to Nigerian culture, or to this video that is intended to raise awareness around the importance of breastfeeding -- and posted by a YouTube user's channel that aims to promote African music in the U.S.

I'm wondering if this is a commercial for the brand "Oberese,"  since that appears on the screen a majority of the time, or if it's something representing what many of us in the States know as WIC (Women, Infants, Children), since the words "Apple Juice" appear several times in the background and they're trying to also get the message of nutrition across to their audience. There is also a huge significance with the main character wearing a blond wig, which to me sends the message that one must mimic white culture to have a certain appeal or to get this message across, and that leads down the path of discussing more politics, of course, which I 'm always open to doing. But I could be wrong.

I wasn't able to make out everything from the small bit of English spoken during this song, but here is just the bit that I could, and of course the blank spaces are parts of a sentence with words I couldn't:

"Hey, young mothers, give a child a try. Let him you feed on your breasts. Breastfeeding for healthy and wise kids."

"Why you want to struggle for your ________ now. Grow up healthy and strong" Breastfeeding ____ essential for healthy children."

"They are meant to sustain your child. Breastfeeding is __________"

"Young and old mothers, breastfeed your child and you will grow strong and healthy -- just what God created."

"Breastfeed for healthy children."

These are just some early thoughts, and if I had the lyrics things would be much clearer, I'm sure. Maybe I'll do some more research or try and find a translator. I'll post any updates I find, of course. But how do you take this video?

Nigeria - Obesere - Obuntun - Breast-Feeding Awareness

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Book Review :: The Complete Master Cleanse: A Step-by-Step Guide to Maximizing the Benefits of the Lemonade Diet

The Complete MASTER CLEANSE is written by Tom Woloshyn -- a holistic practitioner and former student of Stanley Burroughs -- creator of the Lemonade Diet. Tom began practicing and counseling in holistic health in 1980, after taking a course in the healing techniques of Stanley Burroughs."

But The Complete Master Cleanse provides in-depth guide to "maximizing the master cleanse," and really making it work on an individual basis, through explaining the detox, including providing a historical aspect of the origin of the mono diet, sharing personal and professional stories of his own as well as those who he has treated over the years, providing information on the properties of the ingredients; Water, Lemons, Maple Syrup and Cayenne Pepper, and provides information on how the cleanse works. Some of the information includes explaining the body's pH, increasing energy levels, alleviating allergies and a number of others.

Tom Woloshyn has counseled many people -- from young, healthy to others who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses and given a very short time to live, and inside are chapters on ways to counter that news along with other areas he specializes in -- Vita-Flex, Color Therapy and colon lifts.

I get really excited when I find new avenues of natural and holistic health practices, averting our continued dependence and vulnerability of so many on large companies that only stand to profit. And I have always lived by the idea that the earth has everything we need to sustain ourselves. And indeed it does.

 I have heard countless stories and have also watched just as many videos in various places about the "Lemonade Diet" -- what people have experienced, how they felt and their reactions to it, but there's not really anything in my opinion like reading about it in depth. I really enjoyed the enthusiasm of the author and his outlook, even noting that he strongly believes in the wonders of the detox, but didn't go overboard in even his amazement -- like someone who did the cleanse for over one year straight. It really makes me believe in the honesty of the research. But of course since this is a blog dedicated to breastfeeding and human lactation, I can't help but mention the section on being able to do this while nursing:  "If women can do the Master Cleanse safely, then they can also do it when they are pregnant or nursing." Even though I am far from a professional, there is nothing in me that can see how nursing a baby -- a practice that burns over 500 calories per day, can be safely and effectively administered while on such a strict diet for at least 10 days. In my opinion that's the one part of the book that should have been left out!

Reading through The Complete MASTER CLEANSE convinced me of the power of a holistic approach to begin to take control of your own health in such a simple way. In fact, I have been wanting to go on a cleanse for some time now, but was extremely reluctant, because of low blood sugar (something he mentions as the main concern among most of his patients, btw) didn't think it was possible. I know I would have never had the courage to be on -- as of right now, the 7th day of my very first 10 day detox. But this not only taught me an invaluable way to rid my body of toxins, I also learned a very valuable lesson about privilege. When you find yourself thinking of everything you don't have, think again. Being able to specifically decided to give up eating for a specified amount of time, compared to so many who don't have an option of eating is available to only certain groups of people. Too many people in the world, in our country, our neighborhoods are hungry. I am thankful I eat everyday, and that I have the privilege to detox my body, and I will continue using this lesson to push towards a more just society.

For me, I feel empowered knowing I have more than just a surface knowledge of the way something works, but I need the background, stories to accompany, as well as seeing a healthy level of expectations, knowing what to expect and the various tips on truly getting the most out of an endeavor, and I definitely felt the information provided was neither overwhelming or underwhelming, but was just right. I read it as more than just a few ingredients in a glass, but as encouragement for me to continue searching for more ways to spread the word. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to read and review this book.

In this video, Tom Woloshyn demonstrates the Vita-Flex technique.

Author: Tom Woloshyn 
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Year: 2007
Paperback: 13.95
Genre: Cleanse
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-1569756133

Thank you, Ulysses Press, for providing a copy of The Complete Master Cleanse, for this review.

Note: All opinions are my own and honest, and I am not compensated by the publisher!

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

NIP in Seattle is OK: Ordinance passed unanimously

Last week, a group of mothers, and other breastfeeding advocates went to City Hall in Downtown Seattle, in order to hear  breastfeeding legislation that would take place in Seattle, making it illegal to discriminate against breastfeeding women. I was there with my 5 1/2 month old great nephew. On Monday, they again converged, and on Tuesday,  an article from the Seattle Times shows the ordinance was passed unanimously.

Legislation protecting breast-feeding mothers was passed unanimously Monday by the Seattle City Council, which cited the measure's importance as a public-health issue. "How do local communities take charge of a public-health issue?" asked Council member Bruce Harrell, chairman of the council's Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. Harrell said that breast-feeding is first and foremost about the health of a baby, and that the ordinance "will provide civil-rights protection to every Seattle mother."
 The ordinance will allow mothers to breast-feed at any time, place or manner, making it illegal for restaurant or store management to tell them to leave or to cover the baby with a blanket or towel. The ordinance expands on state protections afforded in 2009 to mothers breast-feeding in public. The new federal health-care act also provides protection for breast-feeding mothers. In public, "many women are not given the opportunity to breast-feed," said Abigail Echo-Hawk, a member of the Seattle Women's Commission. "While there is a state law, many women are not aware of this." Making it a local issue, she said, will bring more awareness to local business owners.
 According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 13 percent of babies are still breast-fed exclusively after age 6 months. Supporters of the ordinance told the council that breast-fed babies have lower rates of infant mortality.
 Michelle Sarju from Open Arms Perinatal Services, an organization that provides birthing services and outreach to pregnant women, said that despite the well-documented benefits of breast-feeding, it is still discriminated against. "What we're talking about on a fundamental level is a woman's right to choose," she said. "We should not tolerate a bias of one choice against a stamp of approval for another."
The City Council agreed.

There is no doubt I support breastfeeding in any arena, but having to attend a City Council meeting to lobby against public nursing discrimination, is pathetic at least. And even though ordinances serve a purpose, they often do not get to the foundation of an issues, and in the case of breastfeeding, an arena infused with politics, cultural implications, women's rights and racism are just some areas of concern. Let's keep working on those.

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Nursing while DETOXING

I just finished reading a book on the Master Cleanse -- one with a review that will show up on this blog in just a little while. I came across the section where the author talks about his client's concerns -- and one of them was if it is possible to do a cleanse while pregnant or nursing.

If you're unsure of what the Master Cleanse is exactly -- also called the Lemonade Diet, it is a system where, in the book I read, consisted of a regimen of drinking nothing over the course of at least 10 days (some people do a long as 40, and more), except a concoction  of water, maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper -- and taking herbal laxatives. People master cleanse for various reasons, but this monodiet is said to eliminate all toxic waste from the body. The author has a very small segment on it:

If women can do the Master Cleanse safely, then they can also do it when they are pregnant or nursing. One friend of mine did the Master Cleanse 5 times in a row for 10 days each, for a total of 50 days, during her pregnancy (with intervals of regular eating in between, of course). another friend did it 3 times for 10 days each, with no ill effects whatsoever. Both women had quick births and delivered healthy babies. 

I wonder exactly how this works, since breastfeeding burns at least 500 calories per day, and wonder about the levels of energy, at the very least. Below are a few threads on the topic, some questions, some message boards and have various opinions -- including releasing all of those toxins into breastmilk, but I haven't found one where someone said they successfully completed the cleanse.

I also  found this video

It seems like most of the threads and other information I've come across seem to not support doing the Master Cleanse while breastfeeding for various reasons. But what do you know? Ever done, or know anyone who has gone on the Lemonade Diet while nursing?

Become a ROSE Sponsor to help end DISPARITIES!

As you know, I will be speaking at a summit this Summer, with its new title Breastfeeding: Reclaiming an African American Tradition -- a meeting with people and organizations from across the United States with the purpose of finding ways to increase the number of Black women who breastfeed in order to help end health disparities. I want to spread the word as much as possible, and invite anyone who is interested in helping support a very awesome cause.

This beautiful sponsorship package was put compiled by one of the ROSE Coalition admins, and is complete with all of the information you need, and allows you to support the event in various ways. The call and cause is important, and I am asking that you share the information with anyone you feel will be interested in having a hand in Reach(ing) Our Sisters Everywhere!


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PEBL Courses at Bastyr University

The Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations -- formerly Seattle School of Midwifery, offers PEBL (Professional Education in Breastfeeding and Lactation) courses, which are taught by Certified Lactation Consultants, gives you credit towards that same goal -- the first 45 hours, and after the 5-day successful completion of the course a Certified Lactation Educator certificate.

I had been going back and forth with the idea of to whether I really wanted to become an IBCLC or not, and was giving the Certified Lactation Counselor a lot of thought and talked to a couple of people about it and -- one who told me, here on the West Coast, for a reason I have not confirmed or completely understand either, Certified Lactation Educator (CLE) courses are generally offered.

I had the awesome privilege of meeting with the director of the school last week when I went to highlight the positive aspects of the lactation station for the Business Case for Breastfeeding project I've been working on, and she answered some questions I had and told me a bit more about the program. And I can say I am definitely can see myself signing up, but the course is expensive! Which is why I am applying for a scholarship through the school, to help with tuition, one that, if chosen, it will deduct between $100.00 and $400.00 off of the almost 900 dollar tuition yes, yikes-- so please keep your fingers crossed for me. Other than that, I am really excited about the classes, and hope to sign up for the session in June.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Breastfeeding Basics and More

Our bodies are perfectly designed, regardless of how we may sometimes feel about them or what society may say! "God would not make something knowing it's not gonna work!" I understand people have different beliefs, and I also know there are complications that pose real difficulties, but I'd have to agree that that was one of the most encouraging lines from this video, and each time I come across ones like these, I am more and more grateful for YouTube.

This inspiring mother of four gives some basic information on breastfeeding using her experiences, and she discusses everything from breast size to feeding positions, to allowing the baby to eat until the baby is done -- and I especially like her method of measuring how much her infant eats during feedings. And in addition to all of the wonderful information, her hair is amazing!! Really! If you don't believe me, check out her other video and see for yourself!

What else would you add to breastfeeding basics?

Breastfeeding Basics & More Part 1


Part 2                                                      Part 3

Breastfeeding Talk At City Hall

I went to Downtown Seattle yesterday, to support the Breastfeeding Legislation at City Hall that was presented to the City Council Civil Rights committee -- a measure that would make it illegal to discriminate against women who nurse in public. And even though I wasn't able to make it to the beginning (I tried, but I was babysitting my 5 1/2 month old, and you know how that is), it turned out to be what I believe was a very impactful event. There were, I'd say, between 35 and 50 people in attendance, so there was not a full house, but I know it was very impactful, and some of them I recognized from other events and organizations, like the director of Open Arms Perinatal Network, or other organizations. And there was even a couple of males in the audience.

Of course I noticed the few Council members were all male of various ages -- one spoke about how his wife nursed their two children, while all of those speaking on behalf of the public were women, but most were women Of Color, and they made up a very powerful group! I walked in just before I heard someone talking about who would continue to feel the disproportionate effects of continued public discrimination, so I'm very glad for the outcome. There was also a brief discussion on sexualization  of women's breasts -- I know because one Counsel member talked about if women "bared it all in public arenas" -- something of that nature, when many agreed they had never seen that -- though I have. I will continue to believe that changing our culture will change our views on infant feeding in public and private arenas, and hopefully we'll one day get to the point where we would not need laws in place for this matter. But I am happy to have been there, and below is a short news clip from the meeting.

 Here are a few other images I took.



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Book Review :: The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook: More than 150 Delicious Recipes Using Only Foods from the World’s Greatest Grocery Store

Cherie Mercer Twohy, is a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts, and can be thanked for not only creating a Trader Joe's genre of cookbooks, but  for also bringing us other titles in the category, including the I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook, and the I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook. This owner of Chez Charie Cooking School in La Canada, California, briefly discusses the inception of these texts that stemmed from dinners with friends and those questions of admiration, to having "shop alongs," helping these same people figure out what to buy when in the store together, to a course on the subject, to printed copies of texts -- one that I have here in front of me.

This author who really does love Trader Joe's has even dedicated a section in the book detailing her admiration titled "How Do I Love Thee, Joe? Let Me Count The Ways:, and talks about everything from always being able to find something new, to happy and enthusiastic employees, celebrating the ways food items are displayed, fair prices, the outdoor floral section and a few others, too, and her Trader Joe's cooking classes, which was inevitable, is according to her website, "Always popular, often sold out."

The only issue I had with The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook was that I didn't find it sooner! I never knew there was such thing as a text dedicated to what is quite possibly my favorite store in the whole wide world, and when it arrived I was in just too happy. The only problem I've ever had with Trader Joe's is I fall in love with something (like Spicy Thai Peanuts) then they're gone, which is something I appreciated about this book that shows how to substitute and what with. I also really enjoyed how the book is organized and definitely liked the selections I made, which are shown below. I was even surprised that one recipe called for frozen garlic cubes -- something I never even knew existed?

I found the dishes were easy to make, but for some strange reason my receipt showed this meal cost more than would have thought, and I ended up spending more money on what I made than I ever would have guessed, which made me scratch my head, since one of the things I have always admired about the store is the reasonable prices. But the dishes were easy to make, and didn't require a long prep time, and although I didn't have to substitute food ingredients, the Blackberry Fool called for a food processor, which I didn't realize was broken until I brought the fruit home. My sister's hand mixer almost worked just as well. Actually, no it didn't -- having a food processor would have been much nicer, but I'm thankful she had a mixer because it was definitely better than nothing.
  1. Linguine with Leeks, Shrimp, and Arugula
I'm not a meat eater, but this recipe sounded delicious and I was right. Keep in mind that the salt and pepper is definitely needed, though, and the freshly grated Parmesan cheese topping the dish definitely added to the flavor. But this was also the first time I had ever tried leaks, and though it probably looks like much more than it is, the recipe only called for two of them -- thinly sliced. Next was the 1/2 pound of shrimp -- TJ's didn't have fresh, so fresh frozen was the option, 1-16 ounce bag of linguine, olive oil, butter, cubed frozen crushed garlic, vegetable broth, 1/2 pound medium shrimp, a handful of arugula, and then of course, the 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.

          2. Green Beans with Red Onion and Creamy Feta Dressing

Looking back I would have changed two things: First, I would have mixed the green beans more with the Feta Dressing, and since I didn't really understand the onions at all, I would have left those out -- which is what I will do next time. But I would not have occurred to me to mix some crumbled feta cheese, lemon juice, plain yogurt and black pepper.

             3. BLACKBERRY FOOL

I almost never add sugar to, or ever make anything that requires sugar, but the Blackberry Fool from the "Desserts" chapter is the exception. The recipe is so simple and calls for one pound of blackberries, 1 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 2/3 cups of sugar and the squeeze of lemon juice. Process the blackberries and lemon, mix or whisk the cream and add the sugar to the mix. My sister and I were so excited about these and ended up loving the taste and creamy texture so much we decided to try and make other 'fools' with different fruits and strawberry, melon and banana are just a few on the list so far.



I'm really excited about this cookbook, and know I will constantly use it for meals, snacks, salads and many other things. I'm so thankful for having the opportunity to review this text.

This video is not an official commercial, but since it was on the author's website as their "Favorite Trader Joe's Commercial that will never be made," I thought it would be nice to also place it here.

Publisher: Ulysses Press
Year: 2009
Paperback: 17.95
Genre: mmm bites/Trader Joe's
Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-1569757178

Thank you, Ulysses Press, for providing a copy of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook: More than 150 Delicious Recipes Using Only Foods from the World’s Greatest Grocery Store, for this review.

Note: All opinions are my own and honest, and I am not compensated by the publisher!

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