Let’s Move Day (5K Run) – Sunday, September 23

America is known as a “fat” country, particularly in size. The statistics prove this. Maybe we’ve allowed complacency to get to us and our health deteriorates in the process. For instance, we work hard for the money, we indulge on snacks in between meals, we sleep less, we eat less and junk more on fast food, ultimately leading us to miss out on the essential needs for our bodies. Well, how about changing that mindset today.

To change your mindset, you’ve got to change the way you think. Learn to say no. Be in command of your thoughts. Once you control your thoughts, you control your habits, and eventually your actions. Sounds good so far?

My church is hosting a 5K marathon on Sunday, September 23 beginning at 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Flushing Meadow Corona Park (Queens, New York). This is part of a nationwide health initiative, known as “Let’s Move Day!”. Only $15 to register for persons interested to run. Anyone and everyone is invited. There will also be health presentations and screenings on-site. Also, we’ll have representatives from the White House and the NYC Mayor’s Office. Did I get your attention?

If you’re interested to take part as a runner, let me know and I’ll send you a form to complete. Check out the Web site to learn more of this initiative.

To live healthier, start doing something about it and change those negative statistics. Why not start now?

Four Ways to Keep Your Bones Strong

I volunteered to serve as a guest blogger for Dr. Burt, a chiropractor in Calif. I’ve never met the guy but because of social media I was given the chance to write. I love the opportunity to connect online and meet people and because of this encounter, I get to write for an extended audience. I personally thank him for allowing me to write for his blog. It’s quite exhilarating.  This is the article I wrote:

There’s a saying that goes, “Sticks and stones may break my bones” and isn’t that true? When an object that’s ten times greater than your body mass is thrown at you, your body probably would get bruised or worse broken. I think we take the bones that make up our body for granted not realizing that the very thing that makes us up is the same thing we need to take care of to keep us in shape, in form, and in health.


When you wake in the mornings and rise from the bed, it took your meta-tarsals, your phalanges, your tibia, your femur, your fibula, your gluteus maximus, and many other bones to work in order for you to do just that one action.


Before I get ahead of myself and recite an in-depth physiological motion involved with just getting up, I want to emphasize four points to help you stay on track when dealing with your bones.


  1. Stretch. After getting up in the morning, do stretching exercises for three minutes. It doesn’t take much of your time but stretching can increase your blood flow and gets your muscles in motion. Stretching will make you feel alive and ready to start the day. Your posture when you stand up might also improve.


  1. Calcium Intake. Thank your body by giving it the nutrients it needs. Drink milk or eat green and leafy vegetables (the greener, the better). These also help to prevent osteoporosis. 


  1. Be Active. Walk, jog, swim, play tennis, play basketball, climb the stairs…get the picture? The point is to move around. Your bones need to be strengthened, not weakened. Of course, when doing these activities, be consistent; don’t over-do them to a point where you hurt yourself. The key is to stay active in moderation.


  1. Lift Weights. Whether you do it at a gym or purchase your own, weight lifting in moderation contributes to your body’s strength performance, improves your musculoskeletal system, and can lower back pain.


Bones are necessary to get around in life and a part of daily living. How would you manage to do the menial tasks like picking up a fork or tie a shoe lace if your femur or your phalanges no longer worked? Sadly, some people face that situation yet amazingly and with resilience still go on. But you have your limbs, your bones in tact, so use them and use them well. Your bones deserve the loving care it does so it works to keep you around. 

To see my blog post on the Dr.’s site, here’s the link. (Do share with anyone you know who could benefit, thanks!)


Running the Race

A long-time college friend of mine (pictured) is taking part in a marathon and she needs your support. Will you help? See below for her message and a link to her page. Thanks in advance for your support!


Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to be a part of Team in Training‘s San Diego Rock n’ Roll endurance event. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years, and I’m glad that I’ve finally had the opportunity to participate in this great cause to find a cure for cancer.


Let’s be honest, everyone knows someone that has been directly affected by cancer.

I’ve known people who lost the battle to it and people, like my dad, who continue their fight.

I’m also pleased to have two classmates that won their battles with blood cancers and are doing amazing things with their lives today. They’re good friends and I can’t imagine not having them in my life!


So, in short, I have a reason to smile. I hope you’ll partner with me by making a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures.

For those who donate at the “super” level or higher, I’ll proudly wear a ribbon with you or your loved one’s name in honor of the fight with cancer, just let me know the details.


Thanks for visiting my page. I appreciate your support! Please come back and visit as I update you on our progress!


God bless & GO TEAM!


Ariel 🙂

Didn’t get the Flu Shot? Tips you can do to survive the Cold, if you get it.

A few days into the new year and I’ve caught the cold…Aarrggh! But in three days it’s ending and I wanted to share my tips on how to overcome it should you get it, especially for those of you who didn’t get the Flu Shot. To be clear, I am NOT a health expert, but these are tips that have helped me when I got this nasty bug.

Get Adequate Sleep

Rest is very important when you get a cold, but when you get it, sleep an hour or two earlier than you usually do when you go to bed at nights. So, if you’re like me and sleep at 11 p.m. make it a habit during the cold to get into bed by 10 p.m. or 9 p.m. Also, turn off all lights in your room and keep it as dark as possible. Light makes you feel like it’s morning and signals your brain to wake up, so all lights should be off. Trust me, you’ll wake up feeling rested than before.

Bundle Up!

When I have a cold, I often feel colder than usual, and since I live where it gets below 20 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, I layer myself with as much clothing as possible. Don’t laugh, but when I go to work, I wear not one, but two pairs of stockings. My legs feel that much warmer and snug for it and I lessen the chance of progressing my cold if I keep myself as warm as possible. In addition, I wear gloves, a hat, and two scarves. I tell myself that the more petite I am the more layers of clothing I need, but I add that no matter what body mass you are, layer yourself and keep yourself warm.

Drink lots of Water

Someone once told me that drinking too much water, becomes like medicine, but practically, water is what the body needs and is like medicine. The more you drink of it, the more your body will thank you. While you go through the cold, your body is fighting off the bad things and needs added fluid for that. I try to drink at least a liter on my desk at work and when I am home, I drink it after meals. Also, don’t worry that you will go to the bathroom frequently, it’s just the body is doing some housecleaning to purge out the bad stuff, so it’s a good thing. I’d also add, drink warm liquids: soups, tea, porridge, etc.

Cut out the Dairy!

To prevent mucus or phlegm build up, prevent yourself from drinking or eating anything with dairy. This includes: milk, cheese, ice-cream, butter, cream-cheese, even milk in coffee/latte. When I cut these out, my nasal passages were cleared up and I breathed easier, but here’s a bit more information on what the doc’s say about what you can and shouldn’t take on this.

Wash your hands!

Especially when you’re getting a cold or going through it, more than usual, wash your hands. I always make it a habit to wash my hands with soap and water or use Lysol products. The amount of germs that gets on your hands when you touch a doorknob, or use a computer keyboard, or a phone, or bathroom faucet is too many to count! To limit the spread of germs, washing your hands will help. It also helps to wash before and after you eat. I’m sure you don’t want to go through another Avian Flu or H1N1 episode. I sure don’t.

Did I miss anything? If you have any remedy that’s helped you decrease the cold or cold-like symptoms, let’s hear it!

More Than Just a Bookworm

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience:  this is the ideal life.  ~Mark Twain

Books have always been my love. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer was one of my favorites, but it was always my love for reading that made me who I am today.

When I was younger, you would always find me reading. In the kitchen, while the television was on, in the bathroom, while I was to do chores, in the garden, at the airport, hence the term “bookworm.” The name never bothered me because one way or another someone would turn to me to get an answer because I seemed to know a lot about a little bit of everything, all because of reading books.  I always wanted to form or join a club where others had that love and fortunate to add, I got the chance to join one recently.

Surrounded by eleven beautiful, academic and philanthropic women who liked to read, I felt for the first time I was truly bonding. I began to learn that we collectively as a group were more than just bookworms. Some lessons I learned from our first meeting.

  • People have stories to tell. I hardly knew anyone, first of all, but after we got through the “Two Truths and A Lie” game as an ice breaker, our wall barriers of privacy were broken and our comfort levels increased. Some of the women I learned had traveled to places like Austria, Switzerland, speak German, have eight siblings, plays the cello, likes the color brown and many more. I found it so fascinating to learn about these women and for them to learn about me. I discovered that I really can’t judge a book by its cover until I take a peak at its pages.
  • Reading a book with others encourages more reading. Anyone can pick a book and read it, but how likely are they to be motivated to read another? I find when I do things with others that have similar interests, I become more focused, more driven, and encouraged to read more. Each woman in the group has a love for reading and instantly the passion to read is ignited. I am in total bliss!
  • A book club promotes team effort. Think about it. There has to be someone to invite book club attendees, someone to send out announcements, someone to arrange meeting locations, someone to handle food arrangements, someone to take minutes, someone to choose the books to read and someone to start the discussion. One person couldn’t do it all and even if they could it’d take the fun out of organizing the program for everyone else. For me, I find team effort involves letting go of self, letting go of “it’s all about me” and be open to let others do things. It might reveal a talent that went undiscovered. So, yeah for team effort!
  • Reading increases mental health. I tell people I’m not as smart as they think I am (especially because I wear glasses), but I just love reading. Though, I do find when I learn new words, learn how to structure a proper sentence with clarity and understanding, I speak more refined and come off intellectual. Though, in essence, reading truly increases my word lingo and lexicon and meaning and I can communicate better. Try it! You might just impress someone.

I’m really glad to be part of this book club and I know it’ll be successful since all the girls showed such excited anticipation for the  next meeting. We’ll be having game night! Our first book will be by Iyanla Vanzant because she’s really quite inspirational and her life story is truly heartfelt. The founder of this meeting decided to make it an all girls book club, which is fine and somehow I think it’ll bring us girls closer as sisters. It never hurts to have a group to be involved with that shares your interests and helps you grow positively, that’s why I joined these other bookworms :).

I’ll never stop reading, it’s part of me.

Ganoderma Luciderm

It’s unlike any ingredient known in the United States, but recently I was introduced to this species, which is presumed to have tremendous effects for people.

At the meeting, I came in with a skeptical mind. I kept thinking to myself: Oh, it’s got to be another gimmick. There have been so many ads about pills, tablets, juices to help people that it’s almost as though the one thing everyone hasn’t found is the fountain of youth. And all the products tried don’t seem to live up to their name.

Being objective, though, I listened to the testimonials shared. One woman claimed after losing her son last year, she had a hard time coping with life and her blood pressure was raised extremely high. She was on the verge of a stroke, when she was introduced to one of the ganoderma products. After taking them, her blood pressure dropped significantly and she even lost weight as a result. Her husband claimed that he didn’t know what was in the tea she drank, but even her energy increased.

Another person said that after trying the product, the backpain they once had was gone, and the flu that another person had was gone instantly when the ingredient was added to their tea. I’m like, that’s what they all say. So I did the most logical thing, I did my research.

One article I discovered defined ganoderma as an amino acid and protein that’s found in Reishi mushrooms. According to the Chinese it’s known as the “magic herb.” It can aid in certain defects like: cancer, the common cold, cataracts, hypertension, hair loss, and more. It’s even said that the Reishi mushroom had such healthy benefits that it’s been used over hundreds of years by Asians to cure or heal certain types of illnesses. But it’s the ganoderma found in the products that has helped many people.

After the meeting, I inspected the products being sold. Some were coffee bags, tablet capsules, soap, Latte, mocha, chocolate and green tea bags. All of them included the ganoderma ingredient. The most popular was the black tea, which apparently has such low caffeine that you won’t necessarily become addicted to drinking more, nor would you end up having a headache if you didn’t have it. The downside is, if you’re allergic to mushrooms, these products are not for you.

I’m still skeptical when it comes to herbs, but if it helps people I always say try it. Out of sheer curiosity I tried the chocolate tea (and shouldn’t because I’m allergic to chocolate), but after trying it I didn’t feel the oncoming headache when I drink or eat chocolate. Magic? Not sure, but it tasted good.

If you’d like to find out more about these products and search the products yourself check out this Web siteIf you want to know what something is like try it for yourself or else someone else will write your opinion for you and I’m pretty sure you’re above being influenced.

Thanks for reading. I do apologize for not writing a blog in a little while, but I’m working out some “kinks” in my life. I’ll be writing more soon. Have a great weekend!

Hidden Talents

“Some people were born with greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them,” so said the Theodore Roosevelt character played by Robin Williams in Night at the Museum.

Ever digged real deep into your soul and figured out what makes you stand out from the rest? Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out what they’re good at and it takes them years, others know right away or were born being told that they were destined with a certain skill and they perfect it as they grow.

Talents are implanted in everyone of us, we just have to tap into it.

Last Sunday, my church organized a Health Fair in the Queens borough. There were so many assortment of products: pineapples, mangoes, soy shakes, water, oranges, cherries, Noni juices, even horsebackriding for kids and Tae-Bo classes for adults. There was also a medical team taking blood pressures and a blood drive.

Before the fair began, I was asked to design a banner. Being budget conscious, I skipped getting a high-end and costly banner and decided to use lots of colored assortments of poster boards. My creativity kicked in on ideas to do the banner, but wanted to capture the health message as it relates to our church’s values (which is a vegetarian diet). I decided to portray the image of a basket filled with all sorts of fruits, vegies, grains, etc. and place that basket on an open green field as it basked under the rays of the sun. (Remember now, this was all made from poster boards.) Below is the result.

It took four days to work on the basket and fruits and four hours to do the meadow and the sun. We spent less than $30 on poster boards.

Months prior, selected leaders were chosen to handle booths. I was chosen to lead one group and was put in charge of selling: pineapples, mangoes, and coconuts. We would also be critiqued and judged as to the presentation of our booths. I worked with two other people. Though we scurried around trying to get all the props and fruits for the day of the fair, we couldn’t have been happier with how everything turned out.

From the picture, you can see how close we were to other booths, so we had limited space, but we used what we had. Everyone who stopped by our booth remarked how it reminded them of being on an island, which was our purpose. We called it “Island Fruit Garden.” As added bonus to our customers, we provided a sheet filled with health benefits and a recipe that included the fruits sold. Our team won first place for the booth and we raised over $200.

I must confess, I didn’t volunteer for the job because I doubted if I could lead a team. But the assurance from my team members combined with the effort and time put in from everyone was outstanding. Our team worked tirelessly to make sure we didn’t skip any detail and I am ever so grateful for the teamwork.

If it wasn’t for the event coordinator realizing my talent, I wouldn’t have been able to showcase what my creativity could do. I am also truly thankful to the coordinator for tapping into my talent box and bringing me out of  my doubting zone. Sometimes it takes another to build another person up.

Some were born with greatness and others with greatness thrust upon them. Don’t let doubt overpower what you know you can do. One can never tell what inspiration they can bring to others if they just decided to get out of their comfort zone and get the job done. I know it’s easier said than done, but at least trying is better than not doing anything.

If you could inspire others using your talents, what would it be?

A Substitute for Cow’s Milk

I attended a workshop Sunday and learned a new recipe. Instead of drinking cow’s milk or soy milk, try cashew milk.

If you’re like me, the sound doesn’t seem enticing, but after watching how the milk was made and tasting a sample, the milk actually tasted…good.

According to the health expert who spoke at the seminar, cashew is noted for its magnesium content (surpassed only by sunflower seeds). Since cashew is rich in magnesium, as well as vitamins B1 and B2 (superior to almond and walnut), its use is recommended in case of:

  • Nervousness, irritability, depression, weakness, and abnormal tiredness.
  • Spasms in hollow organs: the colon (irritable bowel), the uterus or the cornorary arteries.

Here’s the recipe for the Cashew Milk.

Blend in a blender until creamy, about 1 minute the following:

2/3 Cup raw cashews

1/8 Teaspoon salt (seaweed salt)

2/3 Cup water

1 Tablespoon honey (agave nectar)

Add 3 1/3 cups of water

Add 2 cups of Almond Milk

Mix well and refrigerate. Shake well before serving. Should serve up to 8.

 Bon Apetit! : )


Extend Your Life by Doing This…


I watched the Dr. Oz show one day and they happened to speak about myocardial infarction (heart attack). It was mentioned that when someone has a heart attack, doctors might ask if the person flossed. According to research, when left undetected by brushing, the bacteria in the dental plaque can seep into the gums, get into arteries, and cause buildup and blockage of the vessel, which could lead to a heart attack or some form of heart disease. The result of which can be devastating.

My memory sifts back in time nine years ago to the wee hours of a Sunday morning. The phone rang and a few minutes later my mom commanded everyone to get dressed and be buckled in the car. “What’s going on?” I asked. “Uncle B had a heart attack,” mom says. “We have to get to Chicago.” The drive from our home to Chicago usually took four hours (which included traffic), but this was one time my family was less concerned about the speed limit.

Every minute being in the car seemed like an eternity. “How much further to Chicago?” my sister asked. “Not long,” dad said.  During the ride, mom kept in touch with my aunt who would update us on our uncle’s situation.  The news didn’t seem to get better.  I hope he makes it, I whispered to myself. He’s strong; he doesn’t know how to give up.

We approached the “Chicago” exit and applauded to know we were nearer–then mom’s cell rang. “Dear God no!” were the only words uttered from my mom and like a ripple effect the entire crew in the car was overcome with tears. To our dismay, uncle B, who made us laugh everytime we were in his company, who wouldn’t allow anyone to touch the remote when Venus or Serena Williams played, who would go to the ends of the earth to protect his wife and kids–died. (He was in his 50’s.)

I miss my uncle dearly and wished he was still alive. Since his passing, my eyes have been opened and my mind kept aware of a disease so prevalent in America today. Heart attack is one of the biggest causes of death in North America and the number of lives lost to this disease continues. We may not have control over everything that happens to us, but we have control over how we choose to live.

If flossing can help prevent a heart disease and extend my life, I’ve already launched myself into the habit. It may seem menial and even daunting to do after every meal but it’s worth sweating this small stuff.

The Best Beverage in the World

It’s called water.

It’s been around for ages and there’s nothing new about it…but why has it filled the thirsts and delights of so many?

There’s nothing fancy about it either…it’s tasteless, odourless, colorless, and dear I say (somewhat) priceless–depending on where you buy or get it. It’s also a lot of other things, too. But it dawned on me last week how important and vital this liquid form we call water is.

I developed a huge headache one morning and couldn’t figure out why. I had gotten adequate rest (about seven hours) the night before and had consumed my daily food portions enough to fill my stomach. Then, as if the health version of Tinker Bell sprinkled her fairy dust on me, I wished to drink some water. I drank off one bottle, then another, then another. Within minutes my headache was gone. Usually I would take an Ibuprofen or Advil to help delay the headache throbbings, and would become so dependent on them they became my answer to every headache I got. This time, I broke free from that dependence and went instead to water (the beverage of ages I call it).

I learned from one of my cousin’s (who’s a nurse) that I was dehydrated and should drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Now, if you’re like me you’d be saying that’s a LOT of water. But here’s why. Our bodies are made up of water. That’s right, water (60% of water that is). Interestingly, our brain is made up of about 85%, even our bones (as hard as they are) make up about 10 to 15 % of water. That’s why it’s so important to drink water to replinish it. Water for our bodies is like gasoline is to cars (non-hybrid that is). We just can’t live without water.

I asked my nurse cousin jokingly, well, what kind of glass is that to use? and, what’s the conversion from glass to bottle? (Is there any?) She told me that a bottle of water contains .5 L and we’re to drink 250 mL daily. That’s about 3-4 bottles of water daily. That sounds better, but even that amount can be alot. It’s already enough drinking half a liter of water!

“Never mind how much,” she says to me, “Think about the benefits!” My skin might give a better glow, it can feel smoother, and I won’t feel as fatigued. My headaches will dramatically decrease too, and I’d feel rejuvenated and more alert. Not bad for a beverage that has no taste, no color and doesn’t pass a smell (a sweet one that is). My nurse cousin added that with these benefits, water will increase my likelihood of going to the bathroom more. This is only because my body is flushing out the bad stuff from my system and the water helps my body to be cleansed.

One other thing my nurse cousin mentioned is that one could drink TOO much water and be intoxicated. I’ve never heard of any situation like that, but I’ve learned that depending on one’s body mass, size, height, etc. water intake will vary, though a good start to daily drinking it is around 3-4 bottles a day. 

Since that discussion, my daily intake of water has taken root even to a point that every time I eat I forego the sugary drinks and choose instead to drink water. I would cheer at doing this, but it’s not been easy. Though, I remind myself that if I want to be healthier I’ve got to start taking care of my body.  Every time I think of drinking water, I think how much more care I am providing for my body to prevent catching anything (like the flu). 

No wonder water has been THE beverage that’s outlasted all others…Now, if only I can get passed drinking more than one bottle a day.