The Tennessee Voice: The Voice of Tennessee’s blind
Vol. 4 Fall Issue
I just got back from Murfreesboro today where April Meredith and I attended a meeting with Representative DesJarlais office concerning the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act, (TIME). During the meeting, it occurred to me that we have been fighting for people with disabilities to have the right to earn at least the minim wage for the past 75 years, and even if it takes 25 more years, we will continue to fight until the capacity of every person who is disabled is truly realized.
That brings me to my point, sometimes the things we try to accomplish don’t come easy. Sometimes we have to win a hundred small victories until the wall finally comes tumbling down, and often times we have to win those battles in our own lives as well as in the world around us. If you have been fighting a battle in your life, I encourage you not to give up. Keep on fighting! If there’s one predictor of success, it’s perseverance. Please remember that myself and the affiliate board are here for you if you need us. We’re just a simple phone call or email away.
With Hope and Love,
James Brown, President
National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee
First things first. For the record, I never will give a synopsis or detailed review of the films themselves because not much irritates me more than when someone spoils the content of a movie I have not watched yet. The readers who have not yet watched the featured movie can safely peruse my critiques and get an idea of whether or not the film would be worth their while. The readers who have already seen it will ideally gain a deeper understanding from or even associate with my double-sided perspective. What I do hope to give to everyone is some insight into the audio described movie quality based on the fact that I used to have sight but now enjoy life on the other side of the proverbial fence as a blind individual. Sometimes I will address my different approach to watching movies now that I have seen before with vision and thus without audio description. However, for this issue I am discussing my viewing experience of a movie I had never seen before – Don’t Take My Baby.
What fall season would be complete without watching at least one good horror movie? I am not talking about a zombie apocalypse, a masked slasher series, a psychological thriller with a plot twist, a mysterious alien invasion, or any story that takes the seemingly every day norm and morphing it into a grotesque nightmare. I am not even referring to Tim Burton films which include several of my favorite Halloween-sequel flicks, that are not exactly terrifying, but certainly cater to those of us who value his ability to make creepy beautiful and gothic timeless. Frankly and honestly, I will say that sight is a great asset in order to fully appreciate Burton’s artistic imagery; but, I digress. I am actually not here to delve into that sensitive topic, but actually another, and one that brings me to this issue’s movie.
Don’t Take My Baby is an emotional drama that feels more like a documentary as viewers watch a young man and woman’s romance and post-partum trials. Now you may be wondering why I have considered this to be a horror. This is because it addresses the legal and moral debate regarding the state’s right to automatically challenge, when the parents happen to have disabilities, the couple’s ability to provide appropriate care for their newborn. In this case, the father is legally blind and the mother is paralyzed. Although this particular factually-based story takes place in England, it still brings home a horrifyingly realistic reminder of America’s ongoing struggle to meet requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and ADA while ensuring the welfare of biological, adopted, or foster children. As a parent of three, the thought of being placed under such scrutiny based on false assumptions or having my precious little ones removed from my custody without provocation, just because I happen to be a blind mother, absolutely terrifies me. Therefore, I strongly recommend that everyone watch this movie. It is dialogue intensive; and, what audio description is needed is quite seamlessly woven into the natural flow of the events. Whether sighted or blind, this is the 2015 must-see horror film for anyone who cares about the equal treatment of all parents. Don’t Take My Baby is guaranteed to force all audiences to reevaluate their own prejudices about the disability community and society as a whole. This frightening tale may even scare viewers into action.
Editor’s note: Although naturally drawn to the arts from an early age, Jon was recruited to join TNABA in 2013 and served as VP of the Memphis chapter from January to September of 2015. Jon liked working in the background to help set up the infrastructure of TNABA activities; but, his favorite aspect of adaptive sports is how they combat the psychological issues of living with a disability by encouraging social interaction, community involvement, and teamwork of people with various capabilities. In January 2016, he hopes to launch his biggest personal interest – blind archery.
WHAT IS TNABA?
TNABA at a Glance:
TNABA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides sports and recreational activities for blind and visually impaired men, women, and children of Tennessee.
We are the state chapter of the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) and are recognized by the U.S. Olympics Committee as a Paralympics Sports Club that provides world Class programs for adaptive athletes and wounded warriors of all kinds.
We provide adaptive programs on 3 different levels:
Leisure or Recreation
Health and Fitness
Together with USABA, we provide local, state, regional, national, and even international opportunities for our members.
The History of TNABA:
TNABA was originally formed in 1979 with individuals from the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville and primarily served to engage blind and visually impaired athletes in Paralympic sports and to compete in regional and national tournaments from 1980 through 2003. During this period of time, goalball, swimming, and track and field were the major sports offered. Many individuals went on to compete in the Paralympics, though specific records are no longer available. Over the past 34 years, TNABA has dissolved and resumed several times as interest and desires changed. TNABA, in its current form, was reestablished in 2009. A broadening of programs and expanded outreach to people of all ages has resulted in an expanded organization from one into, now, two metropolitan areas; Nashville and Memphis, with the prospects of more chapters coming on board in the near future.
TNABA served an estimated 300 athletes in 2009 and has grown to impact the lives of over 2,500individuals in 2014, providing opportunities to participate in 10 different sports and health related programs within this time frame. Some of those programs included: golf, tandem cycling, exercise and fitness classes, yoga and nutrition, bowling, and also Goalball.
The Purpose and Need for TNABA:
Obesity is one of the most serious problems facing our society today. It not only affects people’s health, but their mobility, productivity, and social lives. The issues caused by obesity alone put strain on our communities economically, socially, and physically. This is true within the blind community and is often at a higher rate proportionally. Simply put, people with blindness or some level of visual impairment, have one of the highest rates of obesity out of all groups, either disabled or not.
An estimated 45 – 50,000 blind and visually impaired children were registered in public schools systems nationally in 2014 (nces.ed.gov). Of those students, only 17% to 20% of those were included in modified adaptive physical education classes or extracurricular sports and recreational activities. Once they graduate high school that percentage drops to 10% to 14%. Most alarming is that less than 6% of mature adults over age 55 are active when it comes to health and social activities.
According to Elizabeth Holbrook from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), adults with visual impairment are 1.5 times more likely to be obese or morbidly obese compared to the general population. Reflecting a growing health disparity with the general population, adults with blindness are taking an average of eight daily prescription medications to manage co-morbid conditions including: cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal diseases. Although in its
infancy, research in this area indicates that the heightened disease rates among adults with blindness are hypo kinetic in nature; meaning, they are due to low levels of physical activity.
Adults without vision loss average roughly 7,600 steps per day while adults with visual impairments engage in considerably lower levels of physical activity, averaging just 4,500 steps per day. This level of activity is substantially lower than that needed to produce health benefits and is usually done at very low intensities. The disparity that exists between persons with and without visual impairment begins very early life, with noticeable differences in physical fitness appearing during childhood.
How are these numbers possible in a country that has so much opportunity? Three major factors contribute to this growing epidemic; lack of knowledge, lack of resources and support, and transportation. Although physical education teachers, while working on their college degrees, take limited hours of class that address and prepare them for teaching people with disabilities, they report they still lack adequate training, resources, and many times there is not enough funding in their school’s budget for purchasing adaptive physical education equipment to create an inclusive environment for a students with visual disabilities.
Coaches, community recreation program directors, and parents are unaware of simple adaptations that can be made to give their child the equal playing field of their sighted peers.
A study recently completed by the U.S Paralympics shows that only 1 out of 3 Americans know about the Paralympics or adaptive sports programs. This leads to adults with disabilities feeling left out or inadequate athletically and that doing daily exercises are simply impossible or not needed. Funding, qualified staff, and lack of facilities and space are the greatest problems that face those agencies and on-profit organizations that train, support, and provide opportunities and education to those with disabilities.
In 2014, the Tennessee Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) reported 25,957 Tennesseans with visual disabilities were registered for vocational rehabilitation services in Tennessee, and that number does not include children and people not receiving VR services. In 2015 the estimated total number of Blind or visually impaired individuals, of all ages, living in Tennessee is 35 to 38,000 statewide. The average annual income for most blind individuals is between $12,000 and $15,000. This statistic shows that lack of funding for gym memberships and even lack of transportation can easily be major factors as to why blind citizens of Tennessee lead sedentary lives.
Studies have shown that students that participate in physical activities are more likely to attend college, and adults that participate in recreation activities have higher social skills and a higher likelihood of achieving gainful employment. It is no secret that sports teach valuable life lessons such as teamwork, commitment, confidence, and, most of all, self-worth. In short, healthy people equal a healthy community.
The Mission of TNABA:
Currently, TNABA has contact with approximately 100 blind or visually impaired individuals throughout the State of Tennessee. The mission of the Tennessee
Association of Blind Athletes is to enhance the lives and overall health of all blind and visually impaired Tennesseans by promoting physical fitness and socialization through inclusive adaptive athletic and recreational activities, and through advocacy and educating our community on their exceptional athletic and overall abilities. Be assured, we are by no means limited to just the blind and visually impaired. We do not set limits based on age or ability. We want everyone to get involved and participate at whatever level they are capable of!
This TNABA mission can be broken down into four major objectives;
Sports and Recreation
Health and Fitness
Information, Education, and Advocacy
Let me briefly explain each objective.
Under Sports and Recreation, it’s just what it sounds like; just get out and play and get active!Some sports can be competitive, but, initially, we provide great recreational activities just to have fun. After playing a while, once everyone knows the structure of the game and feels comfortable with it, if some desire to take it to the next level by going into a state tournament, we will do our best to facilitatethat. Once you get really good, if you want to go on to try your mettle against others within the region or the rest of the country, we can coordinate those opportunities, as well. First and foremost, enjoy yourself!
The next objective is Health and Fitness. This is really important. Those of us that are disabled, as mention earlier, are much more likely to lead sedentary lives and have a lot of health issues such as:
High Blood Pressure
and a lot more
Unfortunately, being blind or visually impaired, these health issues are compounded. Adaptive Sports, such as those provided through TNABA, can offer a means to fight off these health issues and, hopefully, get you happy, healthy, and whole again!
TNABA provides fitness programs such as our Run/Walk events and yoga/exercise programs, which provide education on healthy living and fitness. Statewide, there are opportunities for workshops and publications that provide tools in order to make healthier choices. Consultations with health and nutrition specialists gives helpful advice and guidance for a healthier future.
The third objective encompasses Information, Education, and Advocacy. Being informed helps you to make wise decisions in order to better your life and your life situation. With information at hand, one can feel confident and secure about who you are and what you are capable of. Too often we hear what we can’t do, and often it is said with good intentions, but it comes across as pitying or condescending. Getting educated on opportunities and resources that are available, can do wonders for yourself, but also to teach others. Sharing our knowledge and experience might be just the thing to turn someone’s life around! Which leads to advocacy; speaking up for those who don’t know how or cannot. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. Take what you know, what you learn, and share it with others so life can be better for everyone. If TNABA can be a resource for you, please don’t hesitate to contact your area chapter to see what we can do together.
Through the use of various publications, holding demonstration activities, and by personal testimony, all are used to help educate the public regarding the common misunderstandings of blind and visually impaired individuals and their potential. A few ways TNABA does this is by:
Using social media through Facebook and YouTube videos to show visually impaired athletes in action and to tell their incredible stories.
Holding Annual Adaptive Sports Conferences that highlight different activities and sports adapted for people who have visual challenges.
and hosting “Community Days” that are organized several times throughout the year.
NOTE: All are designed to let the public see adaptive athletes in action and to try their hand at adapted sports (with equipment to simulate blindness).
These educational efforts also are used to help build membership and recruit supporters.
The fourth and final TNABA objective is consulting. TNABA would love to come alongside you personally, or your group, to work together to see how we can mutually benefit each other. If TNABA, as an organization, doesn’t have specifically what is needed for your success, trust me, someone in our Membership probably does! Networking and maintaining communication does so much in lifting us all up. There is strength in numbers and many minds can find a quicker solution.
TNABA also provides consulting for Physical Education teachers, coaches, parents, students, and other community members, to ensure that blind individuals are provided opportunities in adaptive PE classes, desired after school extracurricular activities, and community- based programs that allow them to participate in activities alongside their sighted peers.
Ok. We’ve gone over the three levels and the four objectives. Now, let’s look at some specifics about TNABA.
TNABA is open to any individual that supports the mission of TNABA regardless of visual acuity. Membership dues are paid annually and are $15 per adult and $10 for Youth & Juniors. TNABA-Memphis, our local Sports Club, has also included a Family Membership for $25 which includes two Adults and two Children.
Programs & Services:
TNABA currently offers 12 programs and services. Most programs are offered statewide; a few are club
specific. Current programs include;
Night Out with Predators*
Outreach & Consulting
Let’s broaden our perspective a bit, so you can see how TNABA fits into the general organized structure. We start on the local level where we have, currently two Sports Clubs; Nashville and Memphis. Those are under the State Chapter, based in Nashville, which is, subsequently, an affiliate member of the National organization; the United States Association of Blind Athletes or USABA.
What is USABA?
The United States Association of Blind Athletes is our national organization. They are based out of Colorado Springs, CO at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
They primarily work to help on a national level with providing competitions, training camps, and advocacy. USABA presides over the Community Sports
Clubs like TNABA. You can find more information about them at
What are the U.S. Paralympics?
The Paralympics are the same as the regular Olympics, except they are for people with physical disabilities. They take place two weeks after the regular
Olympics’ closing ceremony in the same location of the host country. The Paralympics are different from the Special Olympics in that they are for people with physical and visual disabilities and the Special Olympics tend to have athletes with multiple disabilities including those with cognitive issues. In the
Paralympics, athletes must qualify to be on the team and the Special Olympics are designed toward more inclusive team environments.
In 2010 TNABA was recognized by the U.S. Paralympics Committee as a U.S. Paralympics Sports Club. This means that, through our adaptive programs and activities,
we meet their qualifications for providing a certain amount of adaptive Paralympics Sports hours each year. This gives TNABA more resources for funding, marketing, and diversity
TNABA in 2014 – 2015 served 76 members for the year.
These individuals represent:
43% visually impaired
4% youth under 18 years of age
96% adults from 19 years and up 67 years of age this can be further broken down into:
2% other ethnicity
In addition, our programs and services impact even more individuals through Outreach. TNABA athletes and staff conduct demonstrations, motivational speeches, consulting with physical educators and community agencies on adaptations to their existing or new programs. The number of non TNABA members, both visually impaired and sighted, has been inestimable.
How can TNABA impact the local communities it serves and the State over all? Using the Tennessee Department of Education Statistical Report of 2013-2014
(tennessee.gov), we find the Davidson County
School System figure of approximately 72 (.09%) students registered as visually impaired and the Shelby
County School System figure of 85 (.057%) visually impaired students, we serve less than 1% and, with614 visually impaired students registered statewide,
we serve .064% total statewide. There is a lot of areafor growth in service and education!
958,280 total students enrolled statewide
81,038 total students enrolled in Davidson County
149,164 total students enrolled in Shelby County.
Make muscle pain a memory with ginger
When Danish researchers asked achy people to jazz up their diets with ginger, it eased muscle and joint pain, swelling and stiffness
for up to 63 percent of them within two months. Experts credit
ginger’s potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the
production of pain-triggering hormones. The study-recommended
dose: Add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of
chopped ginger to meals daily.
Cure a toothache with cloves
Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist? Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain
and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a
natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic. Bonus:
Sprinkling a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your ticker.
Scientists say this simple action helps stabilize blood sugar, plus dampen production of
artery-clogging cholesterol in as little as three weeks.
Heal heartburn with cider vinegar
Sip 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of
water before every meal, and experts say you could shut down
painful bouts of heartburn in as little as 24 hours. “Cider vinegar
is rich in malic and tartaric acids, powerful digestive aids that
speed the breakdown of fats and proteins so your stomach can
empty quickly, before food washes up into the esophagus,
triggering heartburn pain,” explains Joseph Brasco, M.D., a
gastroenterologist at the Center for Colon and Digestive Diseases
in Huntsville, AL.
Erase earaches with garlic
Painful ear infections drive millions of Americans to doctors’ offices
every year. To cure one fast, just place two drops of warm garlic oil
into your aching ear twice daily for five days. This simple treatment
can clear up ear infections faster than prescription meds, say experts at
the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Scientists say
garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur
compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing
bacteria. To whip up your own garlic oil gently simmer three cloves
of crushed garlic in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil for two
minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks, suggests Teresa
Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Best Choices From The
People’s Pharmacy. For an optimal experience, warm this mix
slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in your ear canal.
Chase away joint and headache pain with
Latest studies show that at least one in four women is struggling with
arthritis, gout or chronic headaches. If you’re one of them, a daily
bowl of cherries could ease your ache, without the stomach upset so
often triggered by today’s painkillers, say researchers at East Lansing
’s Michigan State University . Their research reveals that
anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their brilliant red
color, are anti-inflammatories 10 times stronger than ibuprofen and
aspirin. “Anthocyanins help shut down the powerful enzymes that
kick-start tissue inflammation, so they can prevent, as well as treat,
many different kinds of pain,” explains Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D.,
professor of food science at Michigan State University . His advice:
Enjoy 20 cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) daily, then continue until
your pain disappears.
Fight tummy troubles with fish
Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel
diseases…if your belly always seems to be in an uproar, try munching
18 ounces of fish weekly to ease your misery. Repeated studies show
that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly
reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and, in some
cases, provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription
meds. “EPA and DHA are powerful, natural, side effect-free anti-
inflammatories, that can dramatically improve the function of the
entire gastrointestinal tract,” explains biological chemist Barry Sears,
Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in
Marblehead , MA . For best results, look for oily fish like salmon,
sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.
Prevent PMS with yogurt
Up to 80 percent of women will struggle with premenstrual syndrome
and its uncomfortable symptoms, report Yale researchers. The reason:
Their nervous systems are sensitive to the ups and downs in estrogen
and progesterone that occur naturally every month. But snacking on 2
cups of yogurt a day can slash these symptoms by 48 percent, say
researchers at New York ’s Columbia University . “Yogurt is rich in
calcium, a mineral that naturally calms the nervous system, preventing
painful symptoms even when hormones are in flux,” explains Mary
Jane Minkin, M.D., a professor of gynecology at Yale University .
Tame chronic pain with turmeric
Studies show turmeric, a popular East Indian spice, is actually three
times more effective at easing pain than aspirin, ibuprofen or
naproxen, plus it can help relieve chronic pain for 50 percent of
people struggling with arthritis and even fibromyalgia, according to
Cornell researchers. That’s because turmeric’s active ingredient,
curcumin, naturally shuts down cyclooxygenase 2, an enzyme that
churns out a stream of pain-producing hormones, explains nutrition
researcher Julian Whitaker, M.D. and author of the book, Reversing
Diabetes. The study-recommended dose: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of this
spice daily onto any rice, poultry, meat or vegetable dish.
End endometrial pain with oats
The ticket to soothing endometriosis pain could be a daily bowl of
oatmeal. Endometriosis occurs when little bits of the uterine lining
detach and grow outside of the uterus. Experts say these migrating
cells can turn menstruation into a misery, causing so much
inflammation that they trigger severe cramping during your period,
plus a heavy ache that drags on all month long. Fortunately, scientists
say opting for a diet rich in oats can help reduce endometrial pain for
up to 60 percent of women within six months. That’s because oats
don’t contain gluten, a trouble-making protein that triggers
inflammation in many women, making endometriosis difficult to bear,
explains Peter Green, M.D., professor of medicine at Colombia
Soothe foot pain with salt
Experts say at least six million Americans develop painful ingrown
toenails each year. But regularly soaking ingrown nails in warm salt
water baths can cure these painful infections within four days, say
scientists at California ’s Stanford University . The salt in the mix
naturally nixes inflammation, plus it’s anti-bacterial, so it quickly
destroys the germs that cause swelling and pain. Just mix 1 teaspoon
of salt into each cup of water, heat to the warmest temperature that
you can comfortably stand, and then soak the affected foot area for 20
minutes twice daily, until your infection subsides.
Prevent digestive upsets with pineapple
Got gas? One cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating
within 72 hours, say researchers at California ’s Stanford University .
That’s because pineapple is natually packed with proteolytic enzymes,
digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins
in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.
Relax painful muscles with peppermint
Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Stubborn knots can hang around for
months if they aren’t properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler,
N.D., author of the book, The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies.
His advice: Three times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10
drops of peppermint oil. The warm water will relax your muscles, while
the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves — a combo that can
ease muscle cramping 25 percent more effectively than over-the-counter
painkillers, and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says
Give your back some TLC with grapes
Got an achy back? Grapes could be the ticket to a speedy recovery.
Recent studies at Ohio State University suggest eating a heaping cup of
grapes daily can relax tight blood vessels, significantly improving blood
flow to damaged back tissues (and often within three hours of enjoying
the first bowl). That’s great news because your back’s vertebrae and
shock-absorbing discs are completely dependent on nearby blood vessels
to bring them healing nutrients and oxygen, so improving blood flow is
essential for healing damaged back tissue, says Stengler.
Wash away pain injuries with water
Whether it’s your feet, your knees or your shoulders that are throbbing,
experts at New York ’s Manhattan College , say you could kick-start
your recovery in one week just by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of
water daily. Why? Experts say water dilutes, and then helps flush out,
histamine, a pain-triggering compound produced by injured tissues.
“Plus water is a key building block of the cartilage that cushions the ends
of your bones, your joints’ lubricating fluid, and the soft discs in your
spine,” adds Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., author of the book, The Good
Mood Diet. “And when these tissues are well-hydrated, they can move
and glide over each other without causing pain.” One caveat: Be sure to
measure your drinking glasses to find out how large they really are
before you start sipping, she says. Today’s juice glasses often hold more
than 12 ounces, which means five servings could be enough to meet your
Heal sinus problems with horseradish
Latest studies show sinusitis is the nation’s number one chronic health
problem. And this condition doesn’t just spur congestion and facial pain,
it also makes sufferers six times more likely to feel achy all-over.
Horseradish to the rescue! According to German researchers, this eye-
watering condiment naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities,
helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more
quickly than decongestant sprays do. The study-recommended dose: One
teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat
topping) until symptoms clear.
Beat bladder infections with blueberries
Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, whether you opt for them fresh,
frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection
(UTIs) by 60 percent, according to researchers at New Jersey’s
Rutgers University. That’s because blueberries are loaded with
tannins, plant compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria
in the bladder, so they can’t get a toehold and create an infection,
explains Amy Howell, Ph.D. a scientist at Rutgers University .
Heal mouth sores with honey
Dab painful canker and cold sores with unpasteurized honey four times
daily until these skin woes disappear, and they’ll heal 43 percent faster
than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai
Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates . Raw honey’s
natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed
the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.
Fight breast pain with flax
In one recent study, adding 3 tablespoons of ground flax to their daily
diet eased breast soreness for one in three women within 12 weeks.
Scientists credit flax’s phytoestrogens, natural plant compounds that
prevent the estrogen spikes that can trigger breast pain. More good news:
You don’t have to be a master baker to sneak this healthy seed into your
diet. Just sprinkle ground flax on oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce or add it to
smoothies and veggie dips.
Cure migraines with coffee
Prone to migraines? Try muscling-up your painkiller with a coffee
chaser. Whatever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at
the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong
12- ounce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your
medication by 40 percent or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the
stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more
Tame leg cramps with tomato juice
At least one in five people regularly struggle with leg cramps. The
culprit? Potassium deficiencies, which occur when this mineral is
flushed out by diuretics, caffeinated beverages or heavy perspiration
during exercise. But sip 10 ounces of potassium-rich tomato juice daily
and you’ll not only speed your recovery, you’ll reduce your risk of
painful cramp flare-ups in as little as 10 days, say UCLA researchers.
Quinoa is a trendy food these days. It is a South American seed, generally found in the health food or vegetarian section of the supermarket that substitutes very nicely for rice or couscous, with none of the carbs. However, this is also an ingredient often ill-treated. The following is a key to unlocking quinoa, which if done properly can be very healthy and especially delicious.
There are two important things to note about quinoa from the outset. First, it has no discernable taste of its own whatsoever. The benefit of this is that it takes on the flavor of whatever you prepare it with very well. The downside however, is that if not seasoned properly, it can be extraordinarily bland. The second thing is that if undercooked, quinoa can be offensively bitter. You have to give it the time and love necessary to become all that it can be.
The very first thing that I will recommend is always boil quinoa in some sort of broth and season with at a minimum of salt and pepper. It adds richness and body, making it infinitely more interesting that the wallpaper paste variety flavor that can be coaxed from mere water (typically if using store-bought broth I use two boxes of either chicken or beef broth to one bag of quinoa). Next, it is important to cook the quinoa sufficiently. Bring the broth to a boil on high, then reduce the temperature to medium high heat. Let the quinoa boil for a minimum of 40 minutes, but make sure that it is actually done. A key to recognizing if the quinoa if fully cooked is that when raw it looks granulated like couscous, but when completely cooked through, in addition to being about three times the size of its raw state, the quinoa grains will be opaque in the middle, but have a white halo around the outside edge.
So those are the basics, but you can make your quinoa even more interesting:
First, Italian quinoa:
In general, for an Italian profile, I like to boil my quinoa in chicken broth. To this I add of course, salt and pepper, but first I like to sauté some chopped onions, minced garlic, and cubed chicken in olive oil in a wok. To this I add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, I add the quinoa and reduce the heat to medium high and add two cans of diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, onion powder and garlic powder. When the quinoa is fully cooked, it is great by itself, but it also makes an amazing bell pepper stuffing. Just cut the top off of a whole bell pepper, remove the seeds, and fill it with the quinoa. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake on a cookie sheet in the oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Next, curry quinoa:
For this take on quinoa, boil in beef broth with salt and pepper. First, however sauté chopped onions, minced garlic, and then either ground beef or stew beef. To this add turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ground clove, a dash of nutmeg, onion powder, garlic powder, two or thre bay leaves, and about a cup of apple juice. The spices are all bold, so be careful. Add the broth, bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and reduce to medium high heat. Cook fully. This can be served in various peppers and baked with cheese or served as a side.
Finally, Mexican quinoa:
I think this one might be my favorite. First, sauté onions, garlic and ground beef in a wok or frying pan (w/ salt and pepper). Then add beef broth, two cans of black beans, and two cans of diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add quinoa. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. When fully cooked, can be used as a burrito or taco filling or served as a side. Also good with mozzarella/Colby shredded cheese or just anything else you might put on a taco or burrito. (The ground beef can be omitted for a vegetarian version).
I hope this helps to demystify the enigma of quinoa. Enjoy
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