(Originally published in May 2018 Exposure Magazine)
Migraines are a common occurrence for many people. Women suffer them at a higher rate than men. According to the Food and Drug Administration, migraines are three times more common in women than in men and affects more than 10 percent of people worldwide. Drug therapies are super common and are very effective for some people. There are many options for treating migraines; however, drugs are the most common. There is a new drug, recently FDA approved, that has shown very promising results in several early clinical trials. It is considered a preventive drug rather than the traditional treatment drug. It is called Aimovig. This drug has been approved by the FDA for two types of migraine sufferers. It can be prescribed for episodic events, which are occurrences of zero to 14 days per month, and chronic events, which are 15 or more days per month. This drug focuses on preventing the migraine. There are quite a few other drugs in testing in this family of drugs for prevention as well, since the early studies are showing great success. This is great news for people who have migraines regularly. The only two side effects shown in the clinical trials were soreness at the injection site and constipation. This is probably a small price to pay for relief. Keep in mind that other common causes such as stress, sleep, specific foods in your diet, bright lights, etc. should be monitored and managed as well. Obviously, serious consideration should be given to controlling the factors that could be contributing along with any drug therapies. For more information on Aimovig, other therapies, and the clinical trials etc., visit FDA.gov.
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine 2018.)
Protein bars are great for people on the go. Are they good for you? This is a common question. With contradictory opinions on every food, diet, lifestyle etc., we encounter, the noise is deafening. Unfortunately, it leaves us in position of feeling confused, rather than confident.
Perhaps a better question to ask is “why” we are eating them. Ae we using them for a meal substitute, or as a better option than a candy bar, or as a boost after a hard work out? Deciding what your needs are will help you better decide which bars are right for you. For most people, the top concerns are calories and sugar. When choosing a bar that fits your needs, think about what your purpose is. If it’s to cut calories and sugar, be aware that the ones that taste better to you may not serve that need. Be aware that certain elements of protein bars can cause uncomfortable digestive issues as well. Once again, asking why one wants to ingest them is a valid question.
Marketers work to lure you with names that remind you of things we already love but are diet wreckers. Stick to reading ingredients and look for natural ingredients that are as whole as possible. You can easily avoid all chemicals and artificial ingredients by going to the internet and making your own protein balls, bites, and granola bars. You can control the sugar and the ingredients. You don’t have to make the bars to last for weeks on a shelf by using preservatives. There are many reviews on line; you can weed through them, and then taste test them for yourself.
I encourage you to take control of this particular type of food in your diet and create one you love with whole ingredients that serves your needs, your body, and your lifestyle. Be your own chef; it may save you dollars, your stomach comfort, and your health!
(Originally published in the March 28, 2018 Exposure Magazine.)
“Fall down seven times, rise up eight.”
The Japanese proverb, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight” has created an amazing movement. This movement was put in motion by music multimedia artist and entrepreneur Michael Nova. It has been a movement born of pain, scraped knees, perseverance, and the ability to not only stand up, but rise above the challenges in life, and find yourself and your center during adversity and succeed anyway. It started for Michael as a young boy, and that seed of an idea that was planted of falling and rising again grew. He has used his own experience of feeling different, and repeatedly being knocked down, to inspire and help people in their journey toward rising again. Nothing about his journey has been easy. Between health challenges, starting new businesses, almost facing bankruptcy, and maintaining and growing his musical career, he found a true purpose and passion. He used his own experiences to fuel his passion to overcome and succeed when no one believed in him or his dream. He founded the not for profit Rise up Eight to create a platform to share people’s stories of falling and persevering, rising again and stepping into their greatness. He has written a free downloadable e-book called Overcoming Adversity: 8 Ways to take Back Control of Your Life…Now! This e-book can be found on the riseupeight.org website. Michael chuckles when he describes what a labor of love this project is, and notes that it is completely self-funded. He described himself as a Do It Yourself – DIY guy. While this may have not been the easiest or fastest route, he is exceptionally happy and proud of each step and connection he has made along the way. You can read many stories and listen to interviews with some incredible people that Rise up eight has connected him to. Michael is continually in search of new connections and inspiring stories of people who have overcome adversity and went on to create success anyway. He continues to touch lives through his Rise up eight mission, as well as through his music, which is called X: THC (The Human Condition). Michael has found tremendous peace and acceptance through his music as well as using it to express himself. As a person who describes himself as an outsider who didn’t quite feel like he fit in, he is refreshingly honest and kind. His ability to easily connect with others is proof that he has lots of amazing company outside the norm. One of the most inspiring gifts Michael has is his voice. His voice exudes trust, kindness, acceptance and love. If you are that person who is struggling and has just fallen down… and needs a hand up- Michael Nova has created a beautiful space for you to be inspired, connect and heal at riseupeight.org.
To connect with Michael Nova you can visit riseupeight.org
(Originally published in the March 26th Exposure Magazine.)
What does a young single mom who was raising her son alone do when she struggles to find resources to connect to? She creates her own Not-for Profit faith-based organization called Tigerlili Resources. She felt an overwhelming push from God to create this entity to help women succeed when they felt most vulnerable and alone. Tigerlili Resources originated in Florida and has continued to grow in its outreach and various ministries. What started as a simple organization to empower single moms in the St. Louis Area, like it had in Florida- has become so much more. While they are still very involved in connecting moms to services, clothes, and coaching for job interviews, etc., another mission became important. Through connecting with law enforcement agencies and social services, Meredith became aware of the need for aid in helping young women out of the sex trafficking trade (Yes- it is not just somewhere else- it is in your city, too). The Tigerlili Resources outreach program The Scarlet Line- The Road to Redemption was formed from this need. You can watch Meredith tell her story of “Invisible Amy”, and how powerful this motivator was in the creation of the House of Rehab, and even why this became an important outreach for Tigerlili Resources. She is actively working to fund raise for The House of Rahab to come to fruition. A Black-Tie Gala ball is scheduled for May 11th in St Louis. Meredith, true to form, has become a warrior fighting to save every girl that finds herself in this position. One might not understand how this happens. I was shocked to learn just how easy it is for these young girls to fall prey to this type of victimization. Most have no money, limited family involvement, they struggle in school, and don’t have many people paying close attention to their behavior and movements. These girls are easy prey for the traffickers because they are often lured in slowly, given gifts, shoes, clothes, makeup, and jewelry they couldn’t otherwise afford. Meredith works closely with the law enforcement and is often called down to intercede when these girls are arrested or found cowering in a closet or hiding somewhere. Part of the difficulty in working with these young women is that the pull of having all the things that make her feel special often override rational judgement. Differentiating right or wrong becomes distorted. Purchasing a prostitute that is 15-17 years old is only a class A misdemeanor. The penalty doesn’t match the crime. Fortunately, Meredith doesn’t discriminate in the helping. Her heart is so big. She is also working on a 12-step rehabilitative sex addiction program for the people who are soliciting the girls. This is a full-service program designed to end trafficking and for those who solicit. For more information please go to www.tigerliliresources.org and click on the Scarlet Line tab. If you wish to further this mission please visit http://www.tigerlilipb.org/give-now.html. You will not find a more compassionate child of God than Meredith Seithel Mittlestadt, who literally puts her faith in action every single day!
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine January 24, 2018).
Andrea A. Moore believed she could be more and do more, so she decided to venture into coaching. As fate would have it, she was drawn to youth and women, desiring to empower them into becoming strong, creative, bold human beings! Hence the Passion Pusher community was born.
She was influenced greatly by her mother. Her mother was a foster parent and showed great compassion and love, yet a firmness and directness that Andrea herself represents. Andrea’s business has grown in many directions. She multitasks as a wife, mother, successful entrepreneur and PASSION PUSHER. She became completely focused on helping others connect to their passions and enhance their dream building. She teaches people to learn to love what they do, and works with people to find their true self and connect with their personal passions. She created a business called Mindset Empowerment Coaching. She is completely fueled by helping other grow. She herself has a personal coach as well.
Andrea moved from Racine WI to Killeen TX to build her dreams further, even though it meant being farther away from family. It was a leap of faith, and has been rewarded with fabulous relationships and personal growth. She currently works with people by both individually coaching and group work. She does some coaching by phone, and some by using zoom conferencing. One of her greatest passions is helping people get unstuck, slap fear in the face, and step into their greatness. Seeing people make those breakthroughs and watching it help them grow physically, financially, and spiritually fuels her daily.
She has co authored 2 books available on Amazon.com. The first, co-authored with Wynter Snow, is called “Blue Girls Turned Gold”. The second is “The Unexplained Pain- A Sisters Cry” by Alwayz Moore, which chronicles her pain in losing her sister. Pain does fuel growth. It can also create being stuck. Luckily, Andrea is here to help you connect to your passion and, get unstuck and live your ideal life! You can connect with Andrea A. Moore at email email@example.com. You may also follow her on social media by joining the Passion Pusher Community on Facebook/IamAndreaAMoore/
(Originally posted in Exposure Magazine on December 4, 2017).
Women….there is a Goddess within all of us. Audrey Davis-Dunning, CEO & Founder of Get Your Goddess, believes this with her whole heart. She has made it her mission to help women reclaim their power by connecting with their Inner Goddess. Although all women have one, somewhere along the line, many tend to lose touch with that Goddess and their confidence along with it. During Audrey’s 24 years of teaching women of all ages, she has found an unfortunate negative common denominator. The recurring theme is, “I’m not good enough.” Women say self-deprecating things to themselves while others are body shaming themselves on a daily basis. After years of experience, Audrey decided to make a change on how women view themselves. The Get Your Goddess Principles were born out of a desire to improve future generations of women by allowing them to reclaim their personal power. Audrey also wanted women to learn how to accept themselves exactly as they are, perceived flaws and all. Learning to love yourself, love your body and accepting that you are a Goddess is the foundation of Audrey’s teachings and Goddess mission.
Audrey has developed a program that embody five specific principles designed to acknowledge and celebrate the Goddess within you. Those five principles are Power, Beauty, Movement, Music & Achievement. Each principle is full of self-discovery and self-love activities and messaging. She revels in presenting this program because it allows women to step into their power. Audrey often shares this message at conferences, via social media and shares additional practices in her private Goddess trainings such as her most popular package called Unapologetically Goddess. She is also creating a Junior Goddess program for young girls. Make no mistake about this, Audrey’s purpose is very clear. She has created Get Your Goddess to inspire women of any age or race everywhere to embrace their Inner Goddess and move powerfully in the world like the Goddesses they are!
Please Get Your Goddess in gear at www.getyourgoddess.com to find more information and follow all the latest happenings.
(Originally published in the December 2, 2017 Edition of Exposure Magazine).
What a joy this beautiful lady brings when she shares her gifts with people. Chenoa Alamu is a talented, kind women that resides in Springfield, IL, and inspires others when she plays her violin. In October 2017, she was invited to participate in the Colour of Music Festival held every year in Charleston, SC. It is a music festival for black classical musicians founded by Lee Pringle. The festival just celebrated their 5th anniversary. She believes she was invited through word of mouth, but isn’t sure. She received an email over the summer asking her to be join them, and was elated her scheduled permitted her to participate.
Sherri: Can you share with us about how you became interested in the violin?
Chenoa: As the story goes, my mother took me to my first classical music concert when I was two years old. The Suzuki Violin Method, founded by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, was coming to tour the United States with Japanese children. She told me I showed an interest in the violin during that concert and wanted to enroll me at that age, but was told I was too young. She waited, and at age three, I started violin lessons. As they say, the rest is history!
Sherri: How does the violin relate to your life in terms of happiness and health? When you play or listen to music, does it affect you physically?
Chenoa: I experience immense joy when I play the violin, especially in an orchestral setting. Within the past few months, I’ve been listening to music set to frequencies that have helped me tremendously with my anxiety levels. I would say music has affected me more emotionally and mentally than physically. However, I do have some of my favorite songs chosen for my gym workouts that help keep me in the groove.
Sherri: How do you feel that being an African American woman has impacted your journey?
Chenoa: Growing up, I was told by white male teachers that I had two things going for me as a violinist: One, I am African American, and two, I am a female, I carried this as a sense of pride. However sometimes, I felt torn between two worlds, White and Black. My black friends didn’t understand what I did, although they supported me, and I didn’t quite feel accepted by my white peers, whom I grew up taking violin lessons with. This created a feeling of being off balance constantly. This may sound strange, but it wasn’t until I participated in the Colour of Music Festival that I TRULY felt I belonged, and had something to contribute. I was treated as an equal, not only among my peers but among people who LOOKED liked me and shared the same passion as I did as a classical musician. It was a very powerful experience for me. It boosted my self-esteem as a violinist, as a woman, and as an African American. Having a sense of identity is very important, especially for people of color! Although these two factors haven’t hindered me from experiencing and enjoying this wonderful field, they did have an impact.
Sherri: What is your greatest wish for inspiring the world with your gift of music?
Chenoa: I am blessed to be in a field that has afforded me many opportunities to travel, both in this country and abroad. I’ve met people literally from all over the world, who speak different languages, have different religions, sexual orientations, and no matter what, it’s MUSIC- we are all moved in some way through music. Beethoven’s 5th symphony is the same no matter who you are, where you come from, what teacher you studied with, or the music school you attended. It truly is the world’s UNIVERSAL language. I pray more people realize this, and continue to use music as a tool to bring us closer together!
(Originally published in Exposure Magazine.)
As we stroll through life we are presented with people and opportunities that change us. This lovely lady I speak of has changed me in the short time I have known her. Micca Donohoo is a registered dietician who knew early on she wanted to help other people live a healthy life, push away from the table, push away the guilt and shame related to their food choices and manifest a better healthier lifestyle. Not necessarily just by learning about your plate choices, but by the choices we make in our head. She refers to it as manifesting your health, not being on a diet. She helps people of all shapes, sizes and ages.
Sherri: Being a dietician for over 16 years has brought many types of people your way. What type of person would you say you enjoy helping most?
Micca: I worked with bariatric patients for over 10 years from start to finish, pre-surgical to lifetime post op. I see surgery simply as a tool, embedded in the concept of a lifestyle change. To create any lifestyle change, there needs to be adequate and continued support. I loved being that support.
Sherri: If someone wants to make some small yet significant changes immediately what would you recommend?
Micca: 1. Put yourself on your own to do list. YOU are important. 2. Schedule healthy snacks during the day. Honor your hunger! Hunger is a sign your body is requesting fuel/food. 3. What is your plate size? Plates should be 9-10 inches in diameter for best results. We eat with our eyes first. Our eyes LOVE a full plate. When working on portion control, its more appealing on a smaller plate.
Sherri: You are about to start on a new adventure. Can you share a little about what you are creating?
Micca: My vision is to create a loving space to be able to serve the bariatric surgery community in a global way. I envision this program to be flexible, and accessible to all, anywhere at any time. This new branch of NiCHE Nutrition and Health will include a virtual community, a monthly resource toolkit, online courses, and personalized coaching. To build a healthy and loving community, I aim to partner with local, national, and global medical experts that share my vision.
Thanks to Micca Donohoo from NiCHE Nutrition and Health for sharing a way to help our friends to better health! You can contact Micca at NIche Nutrition And Health by clicking on the Contact button.
Proverbs 3:27: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Today, especially in the United States, we are so richly blessed. Most of us don’t wonder whether we will have water, food, heat, lights, etc. We take it for granted those luxuries are there. Yes, they are luxuries. Many people around the world don’t have any of these things regularly. They often must humble themselves to receive these things from the kindness of strangers. When was the last time you were that stranger? What have you given lately to help someone in need? Not because you wanted to look good, but simply because God has blessed you with more than you need and likely more than you deserve. Simply look in the mirror and ask if you have been a good steward of your blessings. The fabulous fact is that if your answer is no, you can change that with your next breath. There are people all around you in need. Some will simply need a kind word or a smile. These cost nothing but a little effort. Some will need clothes or shelter, and if you have more than you can use, share. Some will need the fast food you just bought or the overflowing freezer you have. This article was inspired by a friend who has been struggling with so much difficulty in her life. She has shown courage, compassion and kindness to so many that she deserves to be reached out to. In our conversation, she was thanking me for helping her family and I simply said that I would rather die broke than broken. Helping others helps you. It heals you and builds you. It’s a two-way blessing. I ask you to stop for a minute and ponder when the last time was that you responded to someone out of compassion and kindness by helping with whatever ability you have. It isn’t difficult, or time consuming, or expensive to simply be kind. If you need a new pair of gloves, buy two and drop one at the nearest homeless shelter or give it to someone who lives on the street you go by every day on the way to work. People NEED people. Sometimes all they need is to know someone cares, or listens. If you aren’t doing these things, I assure you that you are likely broken. So, “If you had to choose, would you rather be broke, or broken?”
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."