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Get Fit Challenge: Tips for maintaining your holistic health

MINNESOTA SPOKESMAN-RECORDER — When trying to live a more healthy and well-rounded life, it is important to focus on more aspects than your physical appearance. Yes, our hair, our nails, weight, and clothes are all important. However, the inside has to match the outside.

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By Brandi Phillips

When trying to live a more healthy and well-rounded life, it is important to focus on more aspects than your physical appearance. Yes, our hair, our nails, weight, and clothes are all important. However, the inside has to match the outside.

As we end this journey of the Sister Spokesman “Get Fit” Challenge, brought to you by Wellife 360, we want to remind you to focus on the whole person. As we journey toward increased wellness, mental (intellectual), physical, spiritual, and social wellness are keys to our complete wellness.

In terms of weight, it may be close to impossible to lose, gain, or maintain it, if we do not check the other key holistic health factors mentioned above. So, let’s explore how focusing on all aspects of your health is beneficial to achieve your desired weight.

Mental (Intellectual) – This a two-fold approach. What we think and what we choose to learn on our journey counts. If we consistently tell ourselves we cannot do something, it will be much harder to accomplish. Also, if we’re not open to explore and try new things, pay attention to our body, and logically put together a formula that works for us, we will not be able to reach our weight goals.

Physical – This is an aspect that many of us focus on. We consistently do more, or fewer, workouts. We buy gadgets and gimmicks. We look to makeup and movie stars to help us look more beautiful. Truth is, unless you take a close look in the mirror at your body and design a plan (or get a professional fitness plan), your weight goals may never be reached.

Spiritual – Most of us neglect this area of our whole self the most. The spirit is what dwells within us, and our emotions are what come out of our internal spiritual life.

But as humans, we tend to focus on the emoting. If we take the time to look within and find things that feed our spirit, things that bring us joy and feel safe, it will show on the outside. Also, the more we stress, the more our bodies maintain and retain cortisol levels in the body, leading to more stored fat.

Social – What does socializing have to do with losing weight? First, it helps you feel happier and connected, feeding your spirit and producing good emotions because you are getting out and mixing and mingling. Second, by being social, you may meet new people who are on a similar healthy living or weight loss journey.

Overall, in order to reach our healthy weight potential, we must look at the whole person, instead of just one aspect of ourselves. No matter what your health or weight goals, you should pay attention to all aspects of your life so that your whole person can be happy, healthy, and strong.

This article originally appeared in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

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Activism

UC Berkeley Students Protest Supreme Court Abortion Decision

Two pro-choice activists, Danielle Roseman and Alisa Steel currently believe the law will be overturned. However, they said, “our voices are our best asset to combat (this) and we will continue to protest.” Both seniors at University of California, Berkeley, they decided to organize a campus protest on Sproul Plaza, which took place May 3. 

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By Sarah Clemens

When it comes to reproductive health, the future looks both unprecedented and regressive.

A Supreme Court draft to overturn Roe v. Wade, the controversial ruling that declared the right to abortion, was leaked on May 2, 2022. In the draft, Justice Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” The very act of leaking a supreme court draft is unprecedented. The last time it occurred was in 1973 with the original Roe v. Wade decision. In a press release the Supreme Court said the leak was authentic, but “it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member.” Final or not, thousands have already begun to protest.

Two pro-choice activists, Danielle Roseman and Alisa Steel currently believe the law will be overturned. However, they said, “our voices are our best asset to combat (this) and we will continue to protest.” Both seniors at University of California, Berkeley, they decided to organize a campus protest on Sproul Plaza, which took place May 3.

The Daily Cal newspaper estimated that “hundreds” attended. After contacting Roseman on social media, they both co-wrote answers to questions posed by this reporter.

“We knew the only way for our voices to be heard was to create a peaceful protest,” Roseman and Steel said. They weren’t alone.

NPR documented protesters across the country with similar stances on the issue from Washington to New York. Some states have existing laws in place that protect abortion rights. Others do not.

The original Roe v. Wade court case happened when a Texas woman by the name Jane Roe alleged that Texas’ abortion laws were unconstitutional. Almost 50 years later, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott supported a law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, with no rape or incest exceptions.

When asked by a reporter, “why force a rape or incest victim to carry a pregnancy to term?” Abbott responded, “It doesn’t require that at all, because, obviously, it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion.”

Despite overwhelming backlash, abortion becoming illegal appears preordained. Yet, throughout history around the world abortion has never stopped despite its illegality. In the 19th century, a doctor named Ann Lohman was called “the wickedest woman in New York” for her practice of giving women abortions.

When California state Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) made a statement on the new bill, she cited this history. “Unlike women before me, I grew up without having to face the choice of a back-alley abortion…If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Supreme Court will not prevent abortions, instead they will unleash unsafe and often deadly abortions.”

For many years the battle over abortion has been heavily stigmatized. As a result, there is a strong defeatist attitude among many voicing concerns on social media. Roseman and Steel thought otherwise.

“With our voices, we can mobilize, protest, sign petitions, get the word out, and send a shockwave to the politicians who think they have control over our bodies. So get out and get loud!”

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Activism

COMMENTARY: Pay Attention — Roe v. Wade and the Far Right’s Extreme Plans

For the most part, the judges who are letting states eliminate access to abortion are the same judges letting states limit voters’ access to the ballot box. They’re the same judges who restrict the government’s ability to regulate harmful corporate behavior. Many of them are the same judges who tried to deny millions of Americans access to health care provided by the Affordable Care Act. 

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Ben Jealous serves as president of People For the American Way and Professor of the Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

By Ben Jealous

Things are about to get worse for millions of vulnerable people in our country.

It looks like the far right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to reverse Roe v. Wade, the nearly 50-year-old ruling that recognized a pregnant person’s right to have an abortion. Abortion is legal today, but pretty soon that will no longer be the case in most of the country.

A leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling expected to be released in June indicates that the Court will rule that there is no constitutional protection for abortion. Bans will go into effect in many states immediately, and others will follow soon. That will leave millions of women and LGBTQ people — and their spouses and partners — less free and less in control of their own health, lives, and families.

Like many laws and policy decisions handed down from on high, the harm will fall hardest on those with the fewest resources and political power — people of color and low-income people. It is hard to take.

How did this happen?

In the long term, it happened because opponents on the right to choose spent decades building a movement to make it happen. They invested time and money to elect like-minded politicians. They pushed Republican presidents to fill federal courts with judges who were willing, if not eager, to restrict or ban legal access to abortion. They made it a top priority when deciding whether and how to vote.

In the short term, it happened because Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. To energize the Republican Party’s ideological base, Trump promised them judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade. They took the deal Trump offered. They turned out to vote. And with help from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Trump gave them kind of judges they wanted.

And now that they have the power to impose their will, Americans’ freedom will shrink and American families will suffer.

In fact, many are already suffering. Anti-choice activists have harassed and sometimes killed abortion providers. Judges have been letting state legislators pile on more and more restrictions on abortion care. As a result, in some states, the right to abortion care may exist in theory, but in reality, it is virtually nonexistent, because clinics and providers have disappeared.

There are hard times and hard decisions ahead.

There are also lessons to be learned and acted on.

One important lesson is that the Supreme Court has a big impact on our lives, even though most of us don’t think about it in the day to day. We should all pay more attention.

We should pay attention when the far right tells us what they plan to do with their political power. They have been loud and clear about their intent to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But many Americans refused to believe that the threat to Roe v. Wade was real. They just could not imagine a 21st century America in which women and doctors are treated like criminals for seeking or providing abortion care.

We no longer need to imagine that kind of scenario. We’re about to live it.

And that’s why we also have to pay attention to the consequences of our voting behavior.

For the most part, the judges who are letting states eliminate access to abortion are the same judges letting states limit voters’ access to the ballot box. They’re the same judges who restrict the government’s ability to regulate harmful corporate behavior. Many of them are the same judges who tried to deny millions of Americans access to health care provided by the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court justices and other federal judges who are put in place by the president and U.S. Senate have jobs for life. That means we are stuck with Trump’s judges for many years to come. And that means we all need to think long and hard about who we vote for — and about ever passing up the opportunity to vote.

Ben Jealous serves as president of People For the American Way and Professor of the Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. A New York Times best-selling author, his next book “Never Forget Our People Were Always Free” will be published by Harper Collins in December 2022.

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Activism

In a Major Win for Black Health, FDA Publishes Proposed Rule Banning Menthol Flavored Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

While the proposed ban wouldn’t take effect for at least two years, this move is a major win for Black health in America. For decades, Big Tobacco has used menthol-flavored tobacco products and flavored cigars to target African Americans. Eighty-five percent of all African American smokers smoke menthol cigarettes compared to 29% of white smokers. Menthol cigarettes increase addiction and make it harder to quit.

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African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council Co-Chair Carol McGruder. Photo courtesy of AATCLC.
African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council Co-Chair Carol McGruder. Photo courtesy of AATCLC.

By Keisha N. Brown

After more than a decade of inaction and a citizens’ petition lawsuit brought by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) and its partners, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the American Medical Association, and the National Medical Association, the FDA is finally moving a proposed national ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes and flavored cigars.

While the proposed ban wouldn’t take effect for at least two years, this move is a major win for Black health in America.

For decades, Big Tobacco has used menthol-flavored tobacco products and flavored cigars to target African Americans. Eighty-five percent of all African American smokers smoke menthol cigarettes compared to 29% of white smokers. Menthol cigarettes increase addiction and make it harder to quit.

“We are working towards a day where no Black people in America die from preventable deaths due to tobacco,” explained AATCLC Co-Chair Carol McGruder. “This critical move in the rule-making process by the FDA helps make that day a reality.”

In order to ensure loopholes do not exist to allow Big Tobacco to continue to hook Black Americans with these products, AATCLC is urging the FDA to expand their rule to ban menthol, not just as a characterizing flavor, but as an ingredient altogether.

Formed in 2008 and based in California, the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council is one of the country’s leading public health education and advocacy organization taking on Big Tobacco to save Black lives. The AATCLC works at the intersection of social injustice and public health policy. Working with health jurisdictions, elected officials, community-based organizations, tobacco researchers, activists, and the media, the AATCLC is leading the fight to end the sale of menthol and all flavored tobacco products.

Learn more at www.savingblacklives.org.

Keisha Brown is a media relations liaison for the African American Tobacco Control Leadership

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