by: Byron Hurt (cnn)
A friend of mine called me Thursday evening and asked, “Did you hear the news about Sylvia?”
I knew right away which Sylvia my friend was referring to. Something must have happened to Ms. Sylvia Woods, the pioneering restaurateur whose soul food gave so many people comfort.
As I thought about the social and historical significance of Sylvia, what struck me is that my friend didn’t refer to Sylvia as “Ms. Woods” or “Sylvia Woods.”
She simply said “Sylvia.” It was as if she were calling to inform me that a family member or a close personal friend had just passed.
Though Sylvia Woods was not a blood relative, she felt like one to me, and to anyone who frequented her world famous Harlem restaurant. It was a place where you were home. You could let your guard down, relax and dig in.
In her restaurant, framed pictures show Sylvia smiling next to wealthy entertainers, powerful politicians, important foreign dignitaries and famous athletes. The photos are a testament to her wide array of fans across racial and cultural lines.
Legendary restaurateur Sylvia Woods, known internationally as the Queen of Soul Food, passed away on Thursday, according to a statement issued by her family. She was 86.
“Sylvia gallantly battled Alzheimer’s for the past several years, but never once lost her loving smile,” her family said. She died peacefully surrounded by loved ones at her Westchester home.
Woods’ world-renowned Harlem establishment, Sylvia’s, has drawn celebrities, politicians, tourists and locals alike to eat its famed soul food for more than 50 years.
Woods and her husband, Herbert, opened the Lenox Avenue restaurant in 1962, featuring southern cooking staples like cornbread, collard greens, and fried chicken.
“We lost a legend today,” New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said in a statement. “For more than 50 years, New Yorkers have enjoyed Sylvia’s and visitors have flocked to Harlem to get a table. In her words, the food was made with ‘a whole lot of love’ and generations of family and friends have come together at what became a New York institution.”
- By: Jenée Desmond-Harris (Theroot.com)
- Obesity is more common in African Americans than in other ethnic groups. But when it comes to black people and weight, that’s where the agreement seems to end. Is food the culprit? Is exercise the solution? Is there even a real problem to begin with, or should we be focusing on health — or even self-acceptance — rather than the number on the scale?
- Against the backdrop of the first lady’s mission to slim down the nation’s kids, black celebs getting endorsements after shedding inches and a booming weight-loss industry.
- For the 10th in the series, we spoke to Dr. Ian K. Smith, author of The Fat Smash Diet, Extreme Fat Smash Diet, The 4 Day Diet and Happy: Simple Steps for Getting the Life You Want. He is a medical contributor on The Rachael Ray Show and host of the nationally syndicated radio show HealthWatch on American Urban Radio Networks. He was also the medical and diet expert for six seasons on VH1’s highly rated Celebrity Fit Club. In addition, he is the creator and founder of two far-reaching national health initiatives — the 50 Million Pound Challenge and the Makeover Mile — and was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
- As African Americans, Smith says, “We have to separate aesthetic beauty versus medical fitness.” He told us about why he believes the Steve Harveys and Tom Joyners of the world have a role in spreading this message and why, even though he is a self-proclaimed “diet guy,” physical activity is his most important prescription for health.
- The Root: According to the latest statistics, African Americans are 1.5 times as likely as whites to be obese. What’s going on, from your perspective, with black people, obesity and overall health?
- Ian K. Smith: There are a lot of cultural entrenchments that keep us on the wrong side of the scale. African Americans, for generations, have eaten a certain way that, while satisfying one’s appetite and one’s sense of taste, has had deleterious effects on us from a physical standpoint. We didn’t think about this 80, 90 and 100 years ago — it was just the way we ate. The way in which we eat has had this long-lasting impact on us, and it’s been a very difficult habit to break. Dietary habits are some of the most notorious habits to try to break.
- The other part of it is that it requires either education or the belief that you can connect the dots between eating poorly and one’s health. I think we’ve lagged behind the curve in the African-American community in making that connection. I think we’re starting to do that now as we see the skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes and heart disease. But what we’re seeing now is a manifestation of years of dietary neglect and years of lack of knowledge as to the fact that eating poorly will have negative effects on us.
- TR: When it comes to African Americans and obesity, what is the biggest myth or misunderstanding?
- IKS: There’s so much. African Americans have to really listen to messages and the advice about the dangers of poor eating habits and lack of physical activity. Here’s the deal with us: We have to not just pay lip service to the idea that we have to change our habits. There are not many people on Earth, regardless of education, who don’t realize that eating poorly is going to lead to medical complications. That battle is won. Just like people know that drugs are not good for you, but people still use drugs.
- What we have to figure out in the African-American community is how to get people to realize that even a slight modification in behavior can make a major difference in the risk profile that we disproportionately suffer from. That’s our task. We have to keep sounding the bell. The Steve Harveys of the world, the Tom Joyners, the local school board members … everyone has a role to play in the fight.
- TR: If you could make just one suggestion for people to implement in their daily lives with respect to weight and health, what would it be?
- IKS: Physical activity. Physical activity is the absolute number one thing that promotes better weight management and long-term health. Diet plays a big part, too, but if I could only write one prescription, it would be 30 to 40 minutes of moderate physical activity four to five days a week. Physical activity can affect your blood vessels, it can affect the blood flow to your heart and to your brain, your muscle, your balance, your bone. I’m a diet guy, but if I had to choose one, I would choose physical fitness.
- TR: Are there any other cultural, historical or psychological issues that you think make the black community’s relationship with weight and health unique?
- IKS: From a cultural standpoint, [we] have had a very romantic version of what is considered to be healthy physically. When African Americans have historically talked about being healthy, our image is much different from the medical definition. So we’ve had to spend the last years or so trying to reconcile what we’ve grown up believing is a great body habitus, versus what is a proper body habitus for good medical clearance.
- You have celebrities and a lot of [influencers] who are overweight or obese and are saying it’s fine, it’s beautiful, there’s nothing wrong with it. That message is a very dangerous message. As African Americans, we need to separate aesthetic beauty versus medical fitness. And yes, you can love yourself aesthetically being overweight, but we should not settle for that when it is medically damaging.
- Follow Dr. Ian Smith on Twitter.
- Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root‘s staff writer. Follow her on Twitter.
Born and raised in Cameroon, West Africa, and now living in Milwaukee Wisconsin for over 10 years, the founder of Afro Fusion restaurant, Yollande Tchouapi has experienced the growing void of West African culinary voice and point of view on local urban culinary fashion and entertaining trends and decided to act upon it.
Inspired by the passion to share with her community and the world the unknown beauties and treasures of her African culinary heritage, kitchen and home fashions, and driven by the unquenchable desire to empower local hardworking African farmers and craftsmen through Fair Trade NOT Aid, Afro Fusion Cuisine brands LLC was born in April 2012.
The concept is fresh, hip, urban but yet authentic. Afro Fusion brands are developed from Yollande’ childhood experiences in West Africa and enhanced by the contribution of family and friends in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It is comprised of:
1-Afro Fusion Spices and Sauces called Tastes & Treasures of Africa: Authentic Afro-ethnic culinary flavors, blends, and techniques. Each recipe has been carefully recreated and tested in order to deliver the most authentic flavor and taste possible.
2- AfroChic Kitchenware and AfroGlamc hostess line incorporates traditional authentic African inspired themes with a refined modern look. I have designed each item so that your kitchen reflects authentic African ideals, yet screams modern and chic.
3- On Demand African cooking Classes in our commercially accredited Kitchen overlooking Lake Michigan.
4- Easy, Simply and Tasteful African recipes by Afro Fusion Cuisine- African cookbooks and publications.
Afro Fusion is proud to render our product design and development to the highest degree of authenticity. In doing so, we also hope to encourage the African cultural practice of bringing families and friends together to share a relaxing and delicious meal. We strive to help you create memories and social time in the Kitchen, African style!
Afro Fusion Brands will create a lifestyle of new and exciting authentic experiences with every meal!
Afro Fusion’s Philosophy and Charity: Fair trade and social responsibility
Afro Fusion supports the local Wisconsin economy by choosing produce and products grown by local farmers.
Afro Fusion aims to improve educational opportunities for youth in Wisconsin and Africa. Without the gift of my education, Afro Fusion would not exist. In the spirit of returning a life altering gift, I have created the Afro Fusion Education Fund. A portion of the profit from every product we sell is placed in this fund to be awarded as scholarships to help these youth gain access to vital education.
Join us for our official launch at the World African Festival Aug 4-5 to experience the Thrill of a culinary Safari! We will be in front of the Miller Stage, booth B11
Opt in our regular update by TEXTING the word AFRICA to 55469
Join and LIKE Afro Fusion Cusine on Facebook and Twitter @afrofusioncook.
Free Admission to Summerfest on June 28 from Noon – 3:00 p.m. with the Donation of a Nonperishable Food Item and Klement’s Product Label
WHO: Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Klement’s Sausage & Summerfest
WHAT: First 1,500 patrons will receive free admission to Summerfest with the donation of a nonperishable food item and a Klement’s product label (8 oz. or larger)
WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Noon – 3 pm
WHERE: Henry Maier Festival Park
200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Mid-Gate Promotions Booth Milwaukee, Wis.- Klement’s Sausage and Summerfest are teaming up to help feed the hungry this summer. The first 1,500 patrons donating a nonperishable food item and a Klement’s product label (8 oz. or larger) will receive free admission at the mid-gate promotions booth from Noon – 3 pm on June 28, 2012. Food donations will benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Summerfest fans will have the opportunity to see Foo Fighters, Rodney Atkins, Eric Benet and many more that night. 330,000 people rely on Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin each year, 105,000 of whom are children. With school out for the summer, most children are looking forward to summer fun and family vacations,
but for far too many children, the summer also means they will be missing the one regular meal they received through their school lunch program. 59% of Wisconsin children rely on free or reduced priced breakfast and lunch during the school year. When school isn’t in session, these children rely on meal programs during the summer months to get the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Join us in the fight to end hunger.
A new report shows how a number of major fast food chains are falling short on their pledge to offer healthier options for children.
Last year, 53 restaurant chains agreed to offer at least one ‘healthful’ entree and one ‘healthful’ side dish on every menu as part of an initiative called Kids LiveWell.
But the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) revealed that the ‘healthy’ options offered by Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Denny’s and Sonic are loaded with calories, sodium and cholesterol.
Rounding out the list of fast food chains with worst children’s meals was McDonalds, which did not sign up to the Kids LiveWell pledge.
The worst culprit, the PCRM found, was Chick-fil-A, which launched a Grilled Nuggets Meal (served with low-fat chocolate milk and waffle potato fries) as a healthier alternative to traditional nuggets.
Unfortunately it still contains 840mg sodium, and the same amount of cholesterol as a Big Mac.
Also on the list was the Sonic Kids’ Jr Burger Meal, which has the equivalent sugar of two Twinkies thanks to a caramel dipping sauce served with otherwise healthy apple slices.
And at fast food giant McDonalds, which announced its own pledge last year to make its kids’ meals more healthy, offers a cheeseburger Happy Meal that has the same sodium content as 13 orders of McDonald’s kids’ fries.
Burger King’s Hamburger Kids Meal may seem harmless with just apple slices and fat-free milk by way of accompaniment, but PCRM dieticians found that it had almost as much cholesterol as six slices of pork bacon in total.
The report explained: ‘Restaurants are increasingly marketing “healthy” versions of kids meals, but often these meals feature the same unhealthy entrees paired with healthier sides, like apple slices instead of french fries.
‘Along with those apple slices, kids are still getting cholesterol-laden chicken, artery-clogging cheeseburgers, and cancer-promoting processed meats,’ it warned.
We are all familiar with sexual harassment as a subject matter for workplace investigations. However, with an increasingly wired workforce dependent on electronic communication, we are in a new era in which employees are becoming victim to “textual harassment”.
Unfamiliar with the term? The objectionable workplace behavior is not touching or grabbing, but forms of electronic communication such as emails, text messages, instant messages and even comments posted on social media.
There are now a number of cases which show how textual harassment in the workplace occurs. A good example is the recent decision, McIntosh v. Metro Aluminum Products. Here, an employee complained that after ending a consensual sexual relationship with her supervisor, he sent her a stream of unwanted sexually charged text messages over a three month period.
These messages included, “any horny girlfriends” and “this is your boy toy” and “can I date your daughter” among other things. The employee told the supervisor verbally and through text that the messages were unwelcome, but he persisted nonetheless.
The employee experienced severe stress, and eventually left the workplace. The Tribunal concluded that the text messages constituted sexual harassment and awarded the employee $30,000 in damages.
From a workplace investigation perspective, textual harassment cases can be challenging. Because the electronic communication is often in the form of texting or instant messages, the messages themselves may be lost as employees tend to delete them quickly. As a result, the best evidence may be the employee’s recollection of what was sent, as opposed to the actual message.
NEW YORK, NY, JUNE 12, 2012 – Summer is coming up soon and Slawsa is the right topping for any meal. Cook with more flavor and impress your friends, family and fellow foodies by having Slawsa turn a traditional meal into an impressive, savory feast. Slawsa has become the little darling in the condiment marketplace. This innovative gourmet topping is a must-have for any grilling event to top meats such as hot dogs, brats, hamburgers, pork, and grilled chicken to shrimp, scallops and fish. It is perfect as a zestful spread for sandwiches, wraps and tacos and even great as a dip for tortilla chips. Slawsa is all about options and adds the right amount of flavor to any dish making it colorful, delicious and memorable. This is a new world condiment that stems from a family recipe. Slawsa has versatile ingredients that are key to making an inspiring and interesting meal. After tasting Slawsa, one will fall hard, and will never go back to using traditional condiments.
Slawsa is for keeps in the kitchen, family festivities, holidays or an outdoor gathering. Slawsa comes from company, Nicole Foods that is dedicated to creating innovative products with a focus on flavor. It is a unique condiment that can add flavor to any dish. The taste is a combination of sweet, tangy with heat undertones and is typically served cold on hot or cold dishes. Slawsa is a unique blend between a ‘slaw’ and a ‘salsa’ with a relish-like consistency containing healthy ingredients. It is fat free, cholesterol free, gluten free and contains less sodium than traditional condiments. Slawsa is a gourmet topping that can be purchased from the relish section in stores in the Southeast, Midwest and Central states and via online at www.Slawsa.com. For additional information on Slawsa and store locations, visit www.Slawsa.com or ‘Like’ them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Slawsa and follow them on Twitter @Slawsa.
by David White
The arrival of summer means the arrival of wedding season. For many couples, the walk down the aisle is less daunting than planning the reception.
Big or small? What’s the budget? Who gets invited? Will your family be offended if your crazy uncle is asked to stay home?
With so many decisions, it’s no wonder that most couples ask their caterer to select the wines. Beware of such a move. While some caterers have great portfolios, most are guilty of outrageous markups on pedestrian wines.
Fortunately, selecting the perfect wines for your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. Here are five simple tips.
1. Bring Your Own Wine.
Many venues will let you bring your own wine and only charge a “corkage fee” for service and stemware. If this is an option, go for it. Carting in your own wine can save lots of money.
Earlier this year, two friends whose caterer wanted to charge $25 per bottle asked me for help. We inquired about corkage, and learned that the caterers’ fee was just $8 per bottle. So we visited one of my favorite wine shops and selected four different wines that averaged out to about $9 each. By skipping the caterer’s wines, my friends saved nearly $1,000.
If corkage isn’t an option, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many caterers have wiggle room in their wine prices.
2. Skip the Champagne.
Under European Union trade laws, wine can only be sold as “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France and is made in the “traditional method,” which is a very expensive process.
While real Champagne is a treat, it’s quite expensive — even “budget” options cost upwards of $35 per bottle. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable sparkling wines from regions outside Champagne.
Consider Cava, a delightful sparker from Spain that’s produced just like Champagne, but using native Spanish grapes. Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy that tends to be a bit sweeter, is another option. Many top Cavas and Proseccos can be purchased for around $10 each.
After all, no one is going to ask if they’re drinking “real” Champagne while toasting the bride and groom.
3. Avoid the familiar.
Napa Valley makes some exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. But it’s nearly impossible to find a decent bottle for less than $25. Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley produces some lovely Chardonnay, but most cost $20 or more.
Fortunately, the world is awash in affordable, great-tasting wine. Finding such wines is as easy as opening up your palate to unheralded regions.
4. Remember the crowd.
While values are found outside the wine world’s more popular regions, there’s no sense in terrifying your guests. So avoid esoteric grape varieties and choose wines with wide appeal.
Washington State Merlot, for example, is always a great value. Other regions for affordable reds include Chile, France’s Côtes du Rhône, and Italy’s Chianti. For whites, it’s hard to go wrong with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or South African Chenin Blanc.
A rough rule of thumb? Stick to wines with easy-to-pronounce names. Guests won’t be afraid of them.
Most couples consider multiple venues for their reception before deciding where to celebrate. Selecting your wines might not be as important, but the process is typically more fun.
If you’re looking for one white and one red, try to sample at least five or six of each before making your decision. Serve everything blind, pouring the wines from paper bags to mask their prices and where they’re from. Hopefully, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and learn the least expensive option is your favorite.
Your wedding is a celebration — not a wine tasting. So stick to these five money-saving and stress-reducing tips and have fun.
David White, a wine writer, is the founder and editor of Terroirist.com. His columns are housed at Wines.com, the fastest growing wine portal on the Internet.
MILWAUKEE, WI – Seeds can add a nutty, salty flavor to snacks and meals, but they also have health benefits. Seeds offer anti-inflammatory properties, promote heart and bone health, and supply essential minerals. TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, explains how various seeds can boost a meal’s nutrition.
Pumpkin seeds are rich with protein minerals, including magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, and zinc. They are thought to promote prostate health, strengthen bones, and reduce inflammation. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over a salad, add them to trail mix, toss the seeds with pasta, or blend them into a muffin mix.
Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can have a positive impact on cholesterol. Add them to yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal to get a boost of fiber, calcium, and protein. Dr. Andrew Weil, integrated medicine expert and author, recommends soaking two tablespoons of chia seeds in water for 15 to 30 minutes, then stirring the mixture into your water or sports drink for added stamina during a workout.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, which serves as an antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties. They also offer copper and selenium, protecting your muscles. Add sunflower seeds to a fresh salad, mix into chicken salad, sprinkle over meat, or grind them up for a spread.
Sesame seeds are a rich source of copper, which may provide arthritis relief. They also contain calcium and magnesium, which may lower blood pressure, protect against osteoporosis, and more. Mix them with steamed vegetables, sautéed fish or chicken, or add sesame seeds to homemade bread.
Flaxseed contains alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat, which may positively impact cholesterol, promote bone health, protect against heart disease, and reduce inflammation. Look for milled flaxseed, ground flaxseed, or flax meal, which is easier to digest, helping your body absorb more of the nutrients. Include it in muffin or pancake mixes, or blend flaxseed into a fruit smoothie.
Sacha Inchi nuts (“Inca Peanuts”) contain omega-3 fatty acids and tryptophan, an amino acid, which can help the body control appetite and sleep. They are also a great source of protein. Use Sacha Inchi nuts in a trail mix or purchase roasted nuts at a health food store.
Roasting tip: When purchasing any of these seeds, buy them raw. Roast seeds at 375 degrees, because higher temperatures may diminish the beneficial nutrients that seeds offer.
TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded more than 64 years ago, TOPS is the only nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind. TOPS promotes successful weight management with a “Real People. Real Weight Loss.SM” philosophy that combines support from others at weekly chapter meetings, healthy eating, regular exercise, and wellness information. TOPS has about 170,000 members – male and female, age seven and older – in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. Membership is affordable at just $28 per year in the U.S. and $32 per year in Canada, plus nominal chapter fees. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.