Giving is good for your health: The “Help Robinson” Cause

Rob's fundraiser Now if you are following me, then you know that I ENJOY community service. When I accepted an award back in January, a part of my acceptance speech was, “To whom much is given, much is required.”  I live my life in service and fellowship with those who have the same belief when it comes to SERVICE!

The principle of service is so near and dear to me that it is my focus for today’s post. In honor of man-up Thursday I salute Rob Robinson! Rob, is an elementary school teacher where I rest my head every night, the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Over the years, Bed Stuy has had its ups and downs. It went from being a crackhead’s haven and no one wanting to come in to a gentrified dwelling and everyone rushing in to snap up its historical brownstone. Here’s the thing, gentrification doesn’t benefit everyone. As a matter of fact, gentrification tends to push out people. The people who were there when crack vials and needles littered the streets are not considered when gentrification takes root. Rob teaches the children who gentrification would seek to cast aside.

Knowing this and holding steadfast to the Igbo and Yoruba Proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child,” Rob has made it his mission to make sure that the young ladies experience what some of them seem to believe is a but a dream never to come true. This man is on a mission to take the young ladies in his class plus a young lady in foster care and one who recently loss her mother to the American Girls store in NYC. This is what I call a REAL man. He cares for home and heart as well as others!

I don’t know about you, but in a way I was privileged. We didn’t have much but I know that I had more than some of these young ladies even begin to imagine that they can have. How can I not support their dream? How can I not share their dream with others. I hope that you find it in your heart to make their dream come true. These children come from struggling backgrounds. There is no way that their mothers could begin to put out the dollar amount necessary for them to go to the American Girl store. Now I wouldn’t ask you if I haven’t done so already to give to this cause. It is indeed a worthy cause. Children deserve to grow old on special moments. I know I have. With that being said, I hope that you find it in your big generous hearts to give to the “Help Robinson” cause.  Believe it or not, there really is a health benefit to of giving! If you don’t believe me click here to read all about it.

Words of Wisdom: “One knee does not bring up a child.” ~Tanzanian Proverb

In health,

Maliyka

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Do you need Plan B…

plan b The morning after pill and I are intimately acquainted. I am sure that it is acquaintance of a lot of women. Both of my experiences happened when I was over the age of 18 and did not have to worry about the pesky issue of parental consent. One of my experiences was way before they made “Plan B,” rather they gave me a pack of birth control pills and told me to take half of the pack almost in a hr interval or something like that. The second time around it was less pills but the result was the same…nausea being one of them. The difference between the first and last time I needed to stop something before it started, I had to go to a health provider. The second time, it was to my local pharmacist.

First things first, what exactly is the morning after pill or Plan B as it is now called. For all the lost and confused, don’t make up stories. It is not the same thing as the abortion pill. If you are pregnant unfortunately it won’t work.  The morning after pill works by delaying ovulation when sperm meets egg by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Depending on the type of pill, thickening of the cervical mucus may occur. That is it. Mystery solved.

A few years ago, legislation was put in place to make the morning after bill available over-the-counter. The catch, you had to prove that you were age 17 or older. Recently, a Federal judge ruled against the age limit going so far as to blast the Obama administration stating that,  “It had let election-year politics trump science and were making it hard for women of any age to obtain emergency contraception in time for it to work.” As a result of the ruling, the morning after pill will now be able to girls/women 15 years and older. The FDA has a mnonth to make it happen and it looks like they are making ithappen.

That’s great news right? Perhaps. While there is nothing wrong with giving a 15-year-old control over her body afterall a long time ago she would have been a married woman by that age she must also be responsible. The morning after pill should not be used as a form of birth control. It should not give one license to engage in risky behaviors. If the morning after pill is not taken within the window time period more than likely it will not work. Even if it is taken in the window period it may not work. This is no miracle pill. It an emergency option for an unplanned situation. Yes young people have sex. That is clear given that teenage pregnancies occur. However, most of these teenagers really do not understand the consequences involved with having sex.

So yes while I see no issue with making the pill available to those who are considered to be legal adults, I need adults to understand that conversations must be had with our young people. We must take our heads out of the sand and stop denying that they are having sex. They are and sometimes more than grown people. We all know about abstinence. Most adults actually see the benefits even though they love sex you can raise your hand and some will even admit that they should have waited. These babies may have women parts but they don’t really understand how said parts work. For them sex is something to do. It is really more than that. It is emotions, heartache, headache, frustration, etc. It is devastation, accidents, incurable diseases, nine months later. So while the morning after pill is available to even more girls/women than before, lets not delude ourselves into thinking that a problem does not exist. It does and until we are honest with ourselves that issue will remain.

Words of wisdom:  “Sex: the thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble.” ~John Barrymore

In health,

Maliyka

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. If you haven’t feel your boobies pun intended  You may just save your life. On a monthly basis, you should be checking your breast for any abnormalities. You may not realize, but the breast are made up of different components however there are several areas that are more prone to developing cancer than others.The most breast cancer types are ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma (Source: CDC). As of 2008, 10,203 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,589 women died from breast cancer.

As with most health conditions, it is best to be proactive. Something that doesn’t take long could end up saving your life. For those of you who do not know how to check your breast I have given you a gift…direction. It is also important to know that men can also develop breast cancer. It is important that they look at their breast area as well.

How to Examine your breast

In the mirror:

  1. Stand undressed from the waist up in front of a large mirror in a well-lit room. Look at your breasts. Don’t be alarmed if they do not look equal in size or shape. Most women’s breasts aren’t. With your arms relaxed by your sides, look for any changes in size, shape, or position, or any changes to the skin of the breasts. Lookin the direction of for any skin puckering, dimpling, sores, or discoloration. Inspect your nipples and look for any sores, peeling, or change  the nipples.
  2. Next, place your hands on your hips and press down firmly to tighten the chest muscles beneath your breasts. Turn from side to side so you can inspect the outer part of your breasts.
  3. Then bend forward toward the mirror. Roll your shoulders and elbows forward to tighten your chest muscles. Your breasts will fall forward. Look for any changes in the shape or contour of your breasts.
  4. Now, clasp your hands behind your head and press your hands forward. Again, turn from side to side to inspect your breasts’ outer portions. Remember to inspect the border underneath your breasts. You may need to lift your breasts with your hand to see this area.
  5. Check your nipples for discharge (fluid). Place your thumb and forefinger on the tissue surrounding the nipple and pull outward toward the end of the nipple. Look for any discharge. Repeat on your other breast.In the shower:
  6. Now, it’s time to feel for changes in the breast. It is helpful to have your hands slippery with soap and water. Check for any lumps or thickening in your underarm area. Place your left hand on your hip and reach with your right hand to feel in the left armpit. Repeat on the other side.
  7. Check both sides for lumps or thickenings above and below your collarbone.
  8. With hands soapy, raise one arm behind your head to spread out the breast tissue. Use the flat part of your fingers from the other hand to press gently into the breast. Follow an up-and-down pattern along the breast, moving from bra line to collarbone. Continue the pattern until you have covered the entire breast. Repeat on the other side.Lying down:
  9. Next, lie down and place a small pillow or folded towel under your right shoulder. Put your right hand behind your head. Place your left hand on the upper portion of your right breast with fingers together and flat. Body lotion may help to make this part of the exam easier.
  10. Think of your breast as a face on a clock. Start at 12 o’clock and move toward 1 o’clock in small circular motions. Continue around the entire circle until you reach 12 o’clock again. Keep your fingers flat and in constant contact with your breast. When the circle is complete, move in one inch toward the nipple and complete another circle around the clock. Continue in this pattern until you’ve felt the entire breast. Make sure to feel the upper outer areas that extend into your armpit.
  11. Place your fingers flat and directly on top of your nipple. Feel beneath the nipple for any changes. Gently press your nipple inward. It should move easily.
  12. Repeat steps 9, 10, and 11 on your other breast

For those of you who need visual instructions here is a video that will help you breast-cancer-awareness-breast-self-exam.html

In health,

Maliyka is health