Mosquitoes; does anyone love them? No. They rank right up there with ticks, skunks, and moles. Not an attractive insect, but when it visits you, it leaves a visible, physical response in its quest to love you. No, we don’t love them, but do we need to eradicate them? Should we be changing its future? I am referencing a CNN article, Australian experiment wipes out over 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes, By Jessie Yeung, CNN, that is speaking about experiments done in Australia. While I personally detest mosquitoes, I am unclear how I feel about the impact this might have on our eco-system. I only know it doesn’t feel right to me. I understand it will reduce disease in our species but what about the species who feed on the mosquitoes that have been genetically modified for our comfort and safety? I am concerned we are redirecting and changing the order of nature. Maybe we don’t care if mosquitoes become endangered. Maybe we pick and choose what gets to live because we are bigger and more evolved. Survival of the strongest and craftiest, or fittest? The article states this “shouldn’t” be a huge hit to the eco-system, because it’s only in one place now. All good until you realize that nothing attractive to others stays in that original place. We are rampantly spraying back yards with harsh chemicals to control the mosquitos in this country right now, with a full-on marketing campaign to support it. People truly detest mosquito bites. Therefore, it stands to reason when this genetic modification is shown to stop them, even where mosquito-borne diseases are minimal, there will be a bandwagon-style rush to reproduce it. We are currently contaminating our grass, trees, and the rest of the eco-system with chemicals to make mosquitoes only fly as close as your neighbor’s yard, so, hey, why not eradicate them? We aren’t worried about any impact 5, 10, or 50 years down the road anyway, are we? Where does it stop?
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine).
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Is happiness a choice? It is according to Dr. Tylisha Johnson. Dr. Johnson is the Founder, CEO and Chief Strategist of Transcending Horizons Enterprises Business Strategy Agency. She utilizes her excellent competencies in education and diverse corporate, nonprofit, entrepreneurial, administrative, and supervisory and life experiences to help people “Soar Beyond the Limits” in business and life. Dr. Johnson’s A.I.M.is to effect change as she Activates, Inspires, and Motivates others to Aspire Higher by speaking at a variety of events for youth, women and entrepreneurs.
Tylisha is truly a ray of sunshine, and clearly practices what she preaches. Since she is helping people in so many ways, we narrowed down what she should share with Exposure Magazine readers. Considering all the press surrounding the recent suicides, we chose to discuss being happy. Dr. Johnson chooses to be happy. Yes, she does believe it is a choice and that there is a true path to finding that happiness. When happiness becomes a choice, one must understand it will require an exchange. Choice involves letting something go. You must choose to let go of sadness, despair, disappointment or negativity to allow the exchange for happiness. These are sometimes hard choices, but they do have to be made consciously. One must CHOOSE to be happy.
Tylisha has formed an acronym for the word happy to describe how one gets to that happy space.
(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 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.
When the day is done and YOUR days are done, what is it that will be said of you? We are blessed to be on this earth for as many days as our Heavenly Father grants us. What are you doing with your days? Are you living your life as if every single moment of every day matters? Are you just trudging through life wishing the day away? Are you impacting the world or spending your time taking the impacts? Will you bless those around you or will you waste your time judging others. I can’t say how you will spend your time, but I know how I am going to spend mine. I will spend my time learning and growing. I will spend time sharing and caring about others, and raining blessings everywhere I go. Some will accept them some won’t, but that won’t determine whether I continue or not. It is my personal mission to help and encourage others. This has been true as long as I can remember. I am not sure anything makes me happier. I encourage you to dig deep and ask yourself what you want to really be known for 30 years from now. What is it that is important to you? How would you write your own obituary? She watched a lot of great TV? He didn’t have very many friends, didn’t go out much? Died with lots of money with no one to give it to? It may seem morbid, but at the end of the day, what you accomplish in this short time on earth is what you will be remembered for. Decide what is important to you. Make a plan to accomplish each and every goal you have because you can create a legacy of meaningful accomplishments through kindness, caring, and determination! I am blessed to be a blessing.
Everyone repeats the statement “Fake it until you make it”. Yes- I am putting it right out there- I HATE this saying so much! Why? Because it feels like saying, “please go ahead and pretend to be something you aren’t”. Lie to people’s faces because eventually you will believe it, too. Then, if and when I make it, it won’t be a lie anymore. Is this sound advice? NO! Control your mindset! Wear the most important fashion you can EVERYDAY; The cloak of confidence! Seriously, let’s face reality and create a positive mind space where we admit who and what we are at this precise time, and recognize we have room to grow and develop. We are in fact on a journey! It’s why we don’t start at the finish line. There is plenty of learning along the way! Enjoy the journey and the growing process. Don’t be fake, or say things that just “look” like you are successful. DO things that create success. Be up front if you are working towards a promotion or a rank or advancement of some kind. Put it right out there for everyone to see and hear. You can’t FAKE confidence; you FEEL it. You also can’t have it unless you claim it as yours. Sometimes people will try to dig at you to make you think you don’t deserve to be confident or successful, or that you are less than what you have already achieved. That is simply a reflection of their own inadequacies and weaknesses. Don’t FAKE it- you will come off as FAKE! Stand in your confidence! Learn everything you can to be strong, educated in your field, a leader and believe in yourself and your talents and gifts. BELIEVE you will achieve your desired goals and you won’t have to fake it, because before you know it, you will have it! Use your talents. Don’t waste time faking it. Make it happen! #BELIEVEYOUCAN #BEREAL
How about plant protein specifically, instead of what probably just came to your mind. Are you aware that the average American consumes almost twice the protein the body needs? The formula is: at least 10% of your daily calories, but not more than 35% of calories, from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine. Protein is essential, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Excess protein can’t be stored in the body, and is more difficult to eliminate. There are many health challenges that can occur because of excess protein over time. Excessive protein consumption has been linked to certain cancers, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. Consider deriving these protein needs from some plant based alternatives as opposed to meat and dairy forms. There are many alternative plant based protein forms. Since protein is made up of amino acids, they are considered essential and foundational for great health. Our skin, hair, nails, muscles, and much more are healthy (or not) because of the protein we take in. Some forms of protein come with unhealthy fats that, given our family medical history, we don’t need. Because of my family history of heart and stroke issues, I chose to reduce my animal proteins. I haven’t eliminated them, I just work hard to diversify my diet. I ask you to consider spending the next 30 days experimenting with various meal choices, where maybe 1-3 days per week you eat only plant based proteins. This isn’t an all or nothing experience. It’s about being aware that food is fuel and that nutrition is key to excellent health! Anything eaten in its whole form will be better for your health. Consider using whole grain bread for toast with almond butter, which packs a whopping 16 grams of protein in a ¼ cup. Or perhaps a smoothie with a ¼ cup of flax seeds ground into it, which provides 7 grams of protein. Proteins are very valuable, as they produce feeling of satiety as well as being good for your body. You will feel full longer. With cooler weather upon us, consider making a soup or chili, but use 4 kinds of beans instead of meat. Experiment and enjoy the process! Protein builds strong bodies!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."