Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Minorities have the worse health conditions in the U.S. ! 0_O

 April is National Minority Health Month

The Health status of minorities in America is that bad that there is a month dedicated to the overall health status of minorities in the United States. As a minority living and studying in the United States, it is impossible to overall health status of minorities: African American/blacks, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian. 

Minorities have the worse health conditions in the United States, with African Americans leading the pack. For instance, in 2005, the death rate for African Americans was higher for heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, pneumonia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homicides.

Let's touch on stroke for a bit. Stoke is the third leading cause of death among American adults.Interestingly, 80% of stroke is preventable.
African Americans are 1.5X more likely than white adults to have a stroke and are 50% more likely to die from it. African Americans suffer disproportionately more than whites and every other minority group in the United States when it comes to diseases and illnesses (

American Indians/Alaska Natives are 60% more likely to have a stroke than white adults in the U.S. The women are more likely to have twice the rate of stroke than white women, be obese,& have high blood pressure.

What is a Stroke? 
A stroke is basically cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain, a condition known as ischemia. This may result from a blood clot that blocks an artery, or a blood vessel break. Brain cells become necrotic and because the brain controls the body, many functions are affected, most commonly speech and weakness or paralysis of the body. 

Common Symptoms of a Stroke  
  • sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • sudden severe headache with no known cause
 Risk Factors for Stroke
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Poor diet
  • Physical Inactivity
  • High Cholesterol
  • Alcohol abuse
It is very important for people to be aware of their risk factors for stroke, and to recognize the first symptoms of a stroke.

How can you recognize that someone is having a stroke? (FAST) 

        Facial weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or an eye drooped?
rm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
peech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
ime to call 911 

Research has shown that eating lots of fruits and vegetables and regular exercise can reduce the risk of stroke, cancers and heart disease.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Money Tip #2: Become a member of a Federal Credit Union


Once again, I have a great tip on saving money or building wealth. I am all about Working to build financial freedom. I know too many people who are in debt and cannot ever seem to save a few dollars for several reasons. This tip will help you, yes YOU build some wealth. There are several reasons why Federal Credit Unions are a better alternative than your average bank. Before you think that federal credit unions are one step below your average bank, they are not. Federal Credit Unions are insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), which is backed by the U.S. government. The NCUA seal is identical to FDIC, which insures banks in the United States. In fact the NCUA and FDIC are identical in that they both protect your money, provided you stay within the coverage limits of $250,000 ( 

Here is why you should consider a Federal Credit Union over a bank:
  1. Credit Unions (CU) offer higher interest rates on your savings account. This was one of the biggest reasons I opened an account at a CU.  I was earning 0.01% on my savings account at my bank, which was practically nothing, I mean zero. I switched over to a Federal Credit Union and I am now earning between 0.125 – 0.25% APY. This makes a big difference from the lousy 0.01% that I was getting. The reason that Credit Unions offer higher interest rates and smaller fees (another reason you should consider a CU) is that they are not-for-profit. Most banks are not.
  2. By opening an account at a credit union, you become a member and you are considered a part owner of the credit Union. A great perk is that since Credit Unions are not-for-profit, any profit that they do earn goes to you (the members) in the form of dividends. Nice right!
  3. Credit Unions offer lower rates. They offer lower interest rates on credit cards, loans. In fact, credit unions are more likely to offer loans to small business owners in the community than your larger commercial banks.
  4. Credit Unions have great relationships with their members in the sense that they provide additional financial services to their members. For instance, the credit union that I joined, does free-tax preparation for its members and provides classes on foreclosure prevention, financial guidance and home-buyer education and counseling. Typically, such services are not provided at large, commercial banks. 
By the way, anyone can join a credit union, all you need to do is live, worship, work or go to school in the area. When searching for the right credit union for you, this site can help.
For more information on Federal Credit Unions, refer here.  
I hope this helps, 
Lilia :o)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Health News: HIV/AIDS & a Kidney Transplant

In the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, a male, kidney recipient was contracted with HIV from the kidney of his donor. This is first case where a kidney recipient has been contracted with HIV from a live donor. Unfortunately, neither the donor nor the recipient knew they were living with HIV one year after surgery. Can you imagine this happening to you or a family member?

Although live organ donors are tested for infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, when they go for these tests are not regulated. This begs the question, what are health officials doing to make sure this NEVER happens again? In response, to this the state Health Department has recommended that live organ donors undergo a second round of blood tests within a 14-day period before the transplant operation.

Unfortunately, it takes tragedies like this one to occur before policies are implemented and regulated to protect the health status of individuals.

For more on this story, click here


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Money Tip: Make loan payments during Grace period

A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life ---Suze Orman

Hello lovely people, 

I just wanted to share a great money tip. If you know me, you that I am all about saving MONEY. Don't get me wrong, I love to spend on nice things, but saving money for when I will need it later on in the near/distant future feels safe. I'm all about delayed gratification. Just knowing that I have financial security is a wonderful feeling. Its like having job security or food security and the other securities out there. Not knowing if you will lose your job position today or tomorrow or not knowing where your next meal will come from is one of the worse feelings in the world. 

The TIP: We all have loans from an undergraduate institution, such as a Perkins Loan or a Stafford Subsidized loan. Therefore, repayment does not begin until you are completely out of school (with a 6 months grace period). My tip don't wait until the first month of payment before you begin payments. For example, I have a Perkins loan of $2,300 (not bad right?). Over the past 3 months I have being making $50 monthly payments on this loan (Sometimes more if I can). Every time I make a payment, the principal amount of this loan decreases each time. If I continue on with this, I can completely pay off this loan WITHOUT paying any interest, which means Mo' Money in my pocket. Nice Right?!

So, if you have a little to spare each month, put it towards small college loans, because when time actually comes to paying that loan, it won't be that much (if any). No reason to be paying uncle Sam all this extra money; money that you can use on whatever you like.

Hope this helps, 


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Food for Thought

           "Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them." - Washington Irving
After spending hours upon hours in the library, I thought that I would share some of the food and beverages that keep me going, even when I think about leaving. There are few things that one needs when planning on spending several hours at the library. Besides the obvious assignments and readings that you will be working on, you will need FOOD. Food is usually the first thing on my mind, when I plan on being in the library for quite some time. 
I am the most productive during the day. Emphasis on day, because once night takes over, I have less motivation to keep working. Although, I am productive during the week, I am my most productive on Saturdays and Sundays, only when I am at a location where distractions are to a minimum. Usually the library is not that busy on the weekends, especially Saturdays. Therefore, I take advantage of the quietness. 
The foods that I will list, are the the foods that keep ME going. I refer to them as my POWER FOODS. You may like them, You may not and that's okay

Bananas: It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6. 
Nuts: almonds, pistachios, and cashews. I love this trio because they are a great source of dietary fiber, calcium, energy, and other essential minerals such a zinc, magnesium. In addition, they increase HDL cholesterol, which means they lower the bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.
Teas: My all time favorite are peppermint and green teas. I usually stay away from coffee (simply for taste) and sugary drinks, like soft drinks.
And for something sweet: dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which aids in the destruction of free radicals in your body, causing premature aging among other disasters. 

Water: Must stay hydrated. 

Grilled chicken sandwich
. I specifically go for sandwiches because they are not messy, its filling and delicious.

Important to note is that I stay away from greasy food, because they often leave us feeling lethargic and at times when I need to be productive for long periods of time, I cannot afford to feel sleepy or sluggish.

I hope this helps. Please share some of your power foods.

Happy studying,