Post-Cleanse

I made it!  I made it through 6 days (my event was in 6 days so I didn’t do the whole 7) of no bread, sugary drinks, processed foods, juice, pasta, cereal, and the list goes on.  Read my original post here.

I did the cleanse to lose some of the weight that I have gained while at law school (that wasn’t in the brochure) and because it was Barrister’s this past Friday. I also wanted to jump into a healthier living style where I eat mostly fruits and vegetables and stop snacking on unhealthy foods.  Here is a photo after the cleanse:

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Overall: I lost about 5 pounds which is not bad for a week.  I actually think it could have been more, but I don’t think I ate enough fruits and veggies, and I didn’t eat tomatoes on meat and tomatoes day because I don’t like tomatoes.  Instead I substituted fruits and veggies.  I did not eat a ton of meat either.  I did not eat the soup except for one bowl.  It sounded good when I made it, but I just couldn’t motivate myself to eat it.

The positives: Eating non-processed foods really does make you feel much better than eating processed foods, meat, and other non-natural foods.  I had more energy throughout the week, it was easy to go to bed, and I just felt healthy.  I also saved a lot of money.  I wasn’t going to Starbucks, I had to remember my lunch because  there aren’t healthy options at most lunch places, especially not just fruits and veggies.

The Cons: I didn’t get to eat a lot of the things I like and I don’t particularly like the taste of fruit.  It almost seems like a tradeoff; if you enjoy eating it, it makes you feel worse afterwards, but if you don’t enjoy eating it, you feel better after.  When I worked at the mall, almost every Sunday we would all go to McDonalds.  I couldn’t resist, the Egg McMuffin is just so good.  Afterwards though I would feel sluggish, sleepy, unmotivated, bloated, etc.

 

In the future: I’m hoping that I will continue to eat healthy and will not gain it back.  This was a good starting point that showed me what I am able to accomplish if I have a little self-discipline.  I want to eat at least a few servings of fruit as a snack, and maybe some yogurt in the evening.  I also need to stop snacking at night.  On this plan I didn’t eat anything besides green tea after 7pm.  I was a little hungry, but it was not unbearable.  I think it made me wake up feeling lighter and I slept better.

I also need to get in the habit of running more often.  It seems like I always hit the roadway strong for a month and then I get just a little busier and I stop.  I hate building back my endurance every time this happens. I have gotten into strength training a lot so I want to also get on a schedule to lift every night.  Bikini season is almost here….

Let me know if you have any questions about the cleanse.  I would probably do it again, but I want to eat like that every day so I won’t have to worry about gaining an extra 5 pounds.

 

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My cleansing story-Part 1

I have a special event Friday and I have noticed I have been gaining a little weight recently and need to slim down a little so I will be doing a 7 day cleanse diet.  I found this on Pinterest and have done a little research to see how it works for other people and it seems to have pretty good results.  See below.

I decided on this one specifically because I like to eat (unlike juice diets) and I wanted something that would be different every day because I don’t like to eat the same things every day.    I’m a little nervous because I have never done anything like this before and I want to be able to do make it 7 days.

I will let you know how it goes.  I’m hoping to lose about 10 pounds and use that as motivation to eat healthier and keep the weight off.  Have you ever done a cleansing diet before?  How did it go?  Any advice?

Men’s Role in the Violence Against Women

With the gang rapes from New Delhi and Steubenville, Ohio, the issue of violence against women is at the forefront of the news.  For some people, the fact that so many women are raped, whether in India or the US, is surprising.  Not to me.  All it takes is walking down a popular street where you hear people cat calling you, making sexual comments, and shouting at you.  This is sexual harassment.  Somewhere along the line, these men (and yes they’re generally all from men) were encouraged either directly or by never having been disciplined.  Then it’s a wonder why the men who raped the high school girl in Ohio show no remorse for their actions and even bragged about it to others.    Then these seemingly small encounters turn into bigger things: sexual assault, abuse, and rape.

Here are a few statistics on sexual assault both globally and in the United States.

22 million women in the United States have been raped in their lifetime.

(National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. (UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2/28/00)

Almost one-third of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.

(FBI, Uniform Crime Reports 2001)

One out of every five American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

(The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

Factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 15 out of 16 will walk free.

(Probability statistics based on US Department of Justice Statistics)

*http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html is the main source for where I got these statistics.

This article does a much better job than I can of talking about how the problem of violence against women is not an Indian problem, and American problem, an African problem, but rather a global problem.  While it may look different for different cultures (honor killings, rape, spousal abuse, etc), it all has the same cause and effect.  We treat women like commodities and we do not do anything to teach our men how to be real men.

For another look at the effect of the way we interact with little boys and men, check out this Vlog which splits the responsibility between adults in our community, and media.  We have to stop showing men that the idea of a man is someone who is tough, gets lots of girls, knows how to fight, and makes more money than a woman.

 

What are your thoughts?  Why do you think men rape?  How can we stop it?  Do you think these high profile rapes will encourage change?

Who speaks for women?

Let’s talk about politics for a second.  The statistics are startling for women leadership in politics. Women represent half the residents of the United States, yet we don’t even come close to the same representation as men.

There are 6 woman governors, out of 50 (CAWP).  Women hold 90, or 16.8%, of the 535 seats in the 112th US Congress ; 17, or 17.0%, of the 100 seats in the Senate and 73, or 16.8%, of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. In addition, three women serve as Delegates to the House from Guam, the Virgin Islands and Washington, DC (Stats here).

There are volumes of books dedicated to why this is true so I won’t get into it.  What I do want to discuss is what we can do about it.  It’s an interesting time in politics because women’s issue are at the forefront of the presidential campaign: health insurance, access to women’s health, birth control, abortion, rape, and the  fundamental question who gets control over a woman’s body yet we lack seeing women discussing these issues.  Not only had I thought we had finished this debate, but I thought more women would step up.

I’ll always remember learning about Abigail Adam’s letter to John Quincy Adams telling him to not ‘remember the ladies’.  In her letter, she writes, “do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

How do we remember the ladies now?  One way we can do this is by increasing women leadership so we have someone to speak for us in a more broader scale.  This isn’t to say women speak with one voice; women can come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences that shape their opinions.  However, we can elect people and showcase women who represent the idea that a woman should chose.

Look at the Democrat and Republican National Convention.

Sixteen women spoke at the Republican National Convention the first day compared to twenty eight at the Democratic National Convention.  Less than five women spoke on the second day of the RNC compared to twenty one for the second day of the DNC (Miss Representation).  The DNC doubled the amount of speakers in two days.  Which party is more favorable to women?  Democrats.

This isn’t a political issue persay, but it is clear that one party has done more for women.  What are you looking for in a candidate?  Do women issues persuade you towards one party?

For a full list of women in state executive offices, see the statistics at Center For American Women and Politics

For more information about women at the DNC and RNC, visit the Miss Representation website. 

There’s a war going on

Have you ever flipped through a beauty magazine and felt bad about yourself afterwards?  I’m not sure I’ve ever felt bad about myself after reading a fashion magazine, but I would definitely say I’ve felt insecure after the Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show.   In fact, three out of four women have felt worse about themselves after reading one of these fashion magazines.  Magazines tend to focus on thin white girls with perfect skin, eyes, makeup, and proportions.

There seems to be a war going on against fashion magazines.  Well there is a group out to stop them.  Spark Summit, a young womens’ activist group is seeking to get beauty magazines to stop photo shopping their models and start  featuring more diverse models.   Just last week, two teens sat down with the editors of Seventeen where Seventeen pledged they would not use Photoshop in their magazine.  However,when Spark Summit teens asked Teen Vogue to do the same thing, Teen Vogue handed them a copy of their magazine and told them ‘to do their homework’ objecting they did not photo shop their magazines.  I can’t say I’m a reader of Teen  Vogue or Seventeen (I much prefer reading online bloggers), but I find it hard to believe a fashion magazine does not do any photo shopping.   Besides, editor-in-chief Amy Astley, could have at least been a little nicer to the girls considering the backlash of talking down to their core age group of readers.  If you already don’t use photo shop, make your readers even happy and reaffirm your dedication to putting diverse models of all sizes and ethnicity in your magazine.

 

 

Wonder Woman

I once got into a fight with a guy I was dating about a woman balancing a successful career and a strong family life with kids.  I was worried about how I would manage it all; at 24 I want a successful career but I may want to have kids in the future.  His opinion was that I would make it work without considering all the societal factors that I have no control over.  I worry about sacrificing my body for this little creature for 9 months (I really love caffeine, drinking, and being able to see my feet), sacrificing my time at work during the last months before giving birth and someone else getting a promotion, about a lack of sleep, about being able to afford a kid, about my future husband splitting all the parental duties with me, about having to worry about someone else before myself for the rest of my life.  Sure motherhood is rewarding, but it’s not just motherhood I’m worried about.

Women have been in the workforce for over 50 years.  It seems that we would have the work/motherhood balance thing figured out by now.  But no.  Women are now expected to be superstars at home and in the workforce while they still earn less than men; “white women earning 77 cents on the man’s dollar, African American women earning 63 cents and Latina women earning just 57 cents”.* Women with children make “7% to 14% less than their childless female peers”.* Women also are not getting help from their employers or our governing policies.  Did you know that the United States is the only developed country without paid family leave?

This isn’t just about women though.  Men should also be encouraged to spend time with their significant other before she gives birth and to stay at home with their newborn baby. Employers should provide paid family leave to both men and women.  Taking care of a baby is not just a woman’s priority and many men probably wish they could stay at home, but don’t want to miss opportunities at work.  Many families also have to deal with financial obligations and therefore only one parent can stay home.

Stay at home dads should not be made a joke of.  Men need to learn to respect woman as their equals.  It seems that too many men think parenthood is below them; that their job and title is more important than their love of family.  Men, it seems, get to choose.  Women, however, pick up the men’s slack.  When he is not helping out at home, the woman cleans and cooks even after her own 8 hour workday.  It just doesn’t seem fair.  I hear jokes on a daily basis about a women’s position in life.  It makes me angry.  It should make the good men of the world angry.   It’s not just a woman’s issue.  Pretty soon, the wives, girlfriends, mothers, grandmothers, and daughters are going to get tired of doing all the work.  How about they enjoy a cold one after a long day at work?  How about the man make a sandwich?  Women are expected to do it all, but we can’t.

What do you think about family equality in the workforce? Do you think you can have a successful career and home life?  What do you think helps you to do this or would help you to have this balance?

 

*http://mama.imow.org/bigideas/revolution-stalled

It Costs More To Be A Woman


I know women get paid less, get less promotions, and get shafted in health care, but it is becoming evident that now we pay more for other needs as well.  I recently read an article that discussed such discrimination from deodorant to hair cuts, and even more major purchases like cars and houses.  Let’s look at some of these discrepancies.

It costs more for a woman to have her dry cleaning done even if it’s a button down shirt just like the styles men wear.  Cleaners use the excuse that they are not the same size and cut and do not fit into their presses so they spend more time cleaning them. *

“A study done at the University of Central Florida found that on average, women’s deodorant costs 30 cents more per ounce than men’s, even when the only difference between the products was the smell.” *  Further, razors and razor blades cost more than a man’s equivalent.

Women pay more for haircuts as well.  Even if the woman has a man’s hair style, she will still pay more for it.

Women pay, on average $200 more for a car then white males, and that number is $400 more for a black female. *

“When it comes to home loans, the Consumer Federation of America found in 2006 that women were 32 perecnt more likely to end up with high-interest subprime loans, even if when they had better credit ratings than the men.” *

“The National Women’s Law Center has just issued a new report that found more than 90 percent of the best-selling health plans charge women more than they do men.”  In addition, women have to pay more for maternity care as well.*

So what does this really all mean?  Sure a couple bucks here and there shouldn’t matter, but it does. Marie Claire estimates women spend an additional $1,351 a year in extra costs and fees just because they are a woman.*

What can we do about this then?  First off, stop buying products made specifically for women.  Society has convinced us that we are so different that we can only use ‘feminine’ products, but your boyfriend’s razor is going to do the same job as your own pink, green or blue razor.  Second, make a fuss about this if you notice it.  People are generally allowed to get away with things because nobody ever stops them.  Notify your representative, speak to a manager, or inform your friends.  Knowledge is power. Third, learn to haggle.  Women make less than men and spend more on things like cars and negotiable items because women don’t want to ask for more money or a lower cost.  Speak up.  I know I definitely struggle with this one.

Leave any other suggestions in the comment box.    Have you noticed gender pricing?  How do you think we can stop it?

*Turns Out Being Born a Woman is a Major Financial Mistake

**Why Women pay More

To learn more about gender rating in insurance plans, the NY Times published an informative article you can see here. 

I Stand with Planned Parenthood

Abortion is a hot topic.  People tend to feel very passionate on either side.  I totally get it: one one side women believe abortion ends a human life and on the other side women feel no one should tell her what to do with her body.  In the end, the only person who can decide what’s right for them is oneself.

I also get Planned Parenthood is controversial in itself.  Pro-life activists have many examples of Planned Parenthood acting in opposition to rules, laws, and their own stated principles.  But behind each event is also a story.  We don’t hate someone because he or she made one mistake in their life.

I am pro-responsibility.  I wish we lived in a world where our sexual education was so good and preventative care was so meaningful that no one ever needed an abortion.  However, things happen.  And it’s not Planned Parenthood’s fault.  The Susan G. Komen organization pulled their funding from Planned Parenthood this month due to strong pressure from anti-abortion organizations.  As a daughter of a breast cancer survivor I find it disheartening that we would give up any resources for women to get female medical services.  Below is a graph of what Planned Parenthood does.  The vast majority of their services are preventative care.  Even though Planned Parenthood performed some abortions, they also prevented  around 620,000 unwanted pregnancies.  It’s not worth giving up the many services Planned Parenthood provides just to stop a few abortions.  Regardless of how you feel about abortions, you should support women’s health.

With that in mind, below is a petition going around the internet to stand with Planned Parenthood to focus on the positive that they do for women.

This is for all the anti-choice, anti-women people out there.

Listen up.

You can spend every minute of every day trying to force the rest of us to live by your ideology. You can go after federal funds for health care and pressure private organizations like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to stop funding breast cancer screenings for poor women. You can try to make it impossible to get birth control.

But you know what you can’t do? You can’t win. You can’t break us. Planned Parenthood isn’t just a family of organizations. It’s a movement. It’s women and men of all ages who believe that health care — including reproductive health care — is a basic human right. We are millions strong. We are everywhere. We act, we give, and we do whatever it takes to make sure that Planned Parenthood is there for the women, men, and teens who rely on them.

Know this: When you go after Planned Parenthood and the people they serve, you go after ME. I stand with Planned Parenthood. I stand with them against anyone who wants to stop women from receiving the health care they need. I stand with them today, tomorrow, and for as long as I need to.

Sign the petition here.

**I wanted to keep this post as noncontroversial as I can, but abortion is a controversial topic.  This post is not in opposition to abortion or in encouragement of it.  I do, however, support debate and research.

***Resource