All posts tagged: Health

Fundraising in Honor of My Dad

Join me & my family in our efforts to support the Liver Life Walk in honor of Kit Van Valkenburg. My dad died from complications due to his liver transplant in August, 2018. He had been diagnosed with liver disease over a decade earlier, but his doctor believed he had likely been suffering from the disease many years before then. According to the American Liver Foundation, millions of Americans have liver disease but don’t know it. As participants in the Liver Life Walk, my family and I are hoping to help in the fight against liver disease in honor of my dad, and raise funds to support the ALF’s mission to “promote education, advocacy, support services and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.” Every dollar we raise will make a difference in the lives of the millions of Americans living with liver disease. By making a donation in honor of Kit Van Valkenburg, you will be helping the American Liver Foundation provide critical funding for public education, patient support services, and …

Why I’m Vegan

Why are you vegan? I’m asked this question all the time and the full answer is far too complicated for me to answer succinctly. Instead, I tackle the interrogation with a simple answer – “for the environment, animals, and my health” – but the truth is there’s far more to it. Sometimes my response is enough, but more curious folks will press further. How is being vegan better for the environment? But aren’t dairy cows treated well? So where do you get your protein? In such moments, I wish I had a packet I could give them and say “read over this and that’s your answer.” Although realistically I can’t walk around with copies of a document highlighting the facts that informed my decision to go vegan, I can share one digitally. So here’s my web-based Why I’m Vegan fact sheet for those who are curious and for vegans who need a reminder of why they made changes to their lifestyle. Let’s start with one of my favorite facts: “Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 …

25 Reasons Why I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton

Here are 25 reasons why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton this November: Hillary Clinton is the most experienced person to have ever run for President of the United States. She has spent her entire career fighting for the rights of children. The next President will potentially have to fill multiple Supreme Court seats, and I trust that she’ll make sound appointments (who won’t vote to repeal Roe v. Wade or the Marriage Equality Act). America’s wealthiest citizens should pay their fair share in taxes, and her policies reflect that. Hillary Clinton supports Planned Parenthood. She’s also a champion for women’s reproductive rights and equal pay. She believes that community college should be free for every American. She knows that global climate change means that the future of our planet is in jeopardy. I want a President who will protect and strengthen the Affordable Care Act. She’s a strong advocate for gun reform. Not only is Hillary exceptionally intelligent and diplomatic, but she’s tough too! She cares about building a more robust middle class. In 1995, at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on …

Video of the Day: “Fighting For Flint”

The Flint, Michigan, water crisis is an immense tragedy that is largely underreported on a national level. What has happened in Flint is an abomination – so why haven’t we been hearing about it everyday on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News since the unearthing of this calamity? Why is this community being overlooked? In an interview on The Real, Russell Simmons discussed environmental racism and declared that the same sort of disaster would never happen in a place like Beverly Hills, and he’s absolutely right. Because Flint is largely impoverished, their plight has been systemically ignored. Please watch and share Fighting For Flint from Elite Daily, which features the stories of Flint citizens whose lives have been destroyed by this catastrophe. And if you are in the position to donate, please look into giving to the Flint Water Fund and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Practicing Self-care

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political welfare.” – Audre Lorde About a month ago I had an incident that made me realize I need to focus more energy on my well-being and prioritize practicing self-care. I believe that in order to be my best self (which means doing my best for others too) there are certain steps I should take to ensure my emotional, mental, and physical health and happiness, and you should too! 1. Understand the importance of your health and wellbeing. As I get older, I realize that when my body and mind are out of whack, everything’s out of whack. I know it’s a common phrase to hear, but it’s true: when it comes to our mental and physical health, everything is connected. In order to do my best as a student, daughter, friend, sister, and partner, I have to first do what’s best for my body and mind. 2. You must find time for rest and relaxation. In this day and age (thanks, in part, to the demands …

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day! Historically, women have been erased or excluded from countless professional arenas. This occurrence of exclusion and erasure is particularly true of the sciences, but is also evident in tech, politics, and the arts. Luckily, numerous publications (such as Women in the World and MAKERS) will be celebrating the successes of so many women in honor of International Women’s Day, and I’m excited to read about some of the amazing trailblazers who have made the world a more vibrant, interesting, and accepting place. In addition to celebrating these successes, it’s imperative to know the facts about global women’s issues. Please read and share these statistics on women’s health and safety worldwide, which were gathered from UN Women and DoSomething.org. Be sure to check out these sites to learn more about what they are doing in the fight for women’s equality. Approximately 35% of women worldwide have experience physical and/or sexual intimate partner crime or sexual violence committed by a non-partner. In some countries, up to 70% of women have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. Women who experience physical or sexual abuse committed …

If You Care About Our Environment, Then You Must Watch “Cowspiracy”

As a vegetarian for the past decade or so, I’ve been well aware of the ethical implications of eating meat, but I was never fully educated on the extreme impact animal agriculture has on our environment. About a month ago I decided to become vegan for three reasons: animal welfare (because eating dairy and eggs causes just as much harm to animals as eating meat does), the positive impact a vegan lifestyle has on the environment, and for health reasons. I was inspired by a number of vegans on YouTube (who I will post about in a few weeks), and documentaries available on Netflix, but watching Cowspiracy has cemented my decision more than anything else. The truth of the matter is, if you want to leave a planet for our children and our children’s children to thrive on, then we need to start making changes. There is so much that the general public isn’t aware of when it comes to animal agriculture, pollution, and sustainability, but the information is out there and we do have the power to make a difference. If you think of …

Suggested Reading: Angelina Jolie Pitt’s ‘Diary of a Surgery’

Although I’ve written a Suggested Reading‘s post for two of my favorite magazines (Bitch Media and Fast Company), I’m going to start sharing my favorite articles, books, and magazines more often. Most of my reading is done online, so expect that I’ll mainly be sharing pieces from The Atlantic, Jezebel, Slate, and Salon. This week I’d like to share Angelina Jolie Pitt’s opinion piece from The New York Times titled Diary of a Surgery. In the article, Jolie discusses her decision to have a mastectomy after discovering her likelihood to develop ovarian cancer, based on her family’s history. “I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know that my children will never have to say, ‘Mom died of ovarian cancer.’” I commend Angelina Jolie for bravely sharing her story with the world. After hearing about her battle with cancer (from her mother’s diagnosis and eventual death, to her recent mastectomy), there are certainly women who will take note and make cancer screenings a priority at an early age. As an advocate for women’s health, Angelina Jolie is …

Lessons Learned: Post-Graduation

This past spring I was swamped. I had two jobs, an internship, and a full course-load. I was also trying to finish my thesis project and last semester of my undergraduate career. Now that I’m maybe 1/1000th as busy as I was then, I don’t even know how I made it through. College was a lot of fun, but I was running on an empty tank for the last two years and was happy to finally get to re-fuel. That was a seriously dorky analogy, but exactly how I felt. In the midst of the most stressful year of my life, I sat down and thought about the lessons of college – specifically my last year. I wrote them down and ended up with a pretty intense list. Now that I’ve graduated I have a few more thoughts. LESSONS FROM UNDERGRAD (IN PARTICULAR, SENIOR YEAR) Know who you are. Know your self worth. You are stronger than you think. People will always doubt you. At least a handful, if not more. You doubt others too. …