Dani Mathers Under Investigation

Playboy model of the year sexually harasses woman in gym

By now you have probably already heard about Dani Mathers photographing a woman naked at an L. A. Fitness gym and posting it on her Snapchat account. I won’t post a link because I don’t want to link to the woman she violated and further disrupt her life. You can look up the story if you are not familiar with the details, but what you need to know is that Mathers photographed the woman and posted it next to herself grinning and covering up her mouth like it was a joke with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.”

Like Virgie Tovar said in her blog earlier this week, this incident is being referred to as bullying or body shaming when, in reality, it is a case of sexual assault. A woman was photographed nude without her consent, and many people are calling for her arrest as a result. Had it been a stalker who did this, he might already be in police custody.

L. A. Fitness banned Mathers for life upon hearing about the crime. Mathers also lost her radio show job when it became public, but L. A. Fitness took it a step further and did the right thing by their client by filing a police report on her for the crime. If the woman Mathers harassed comes forward to file charges, Mathers could face a misdemeanor charge.

I would love to be hopeful that this case will make people take personal privacy and body shaming more seriously, that it will wake people up and suddenly develop some sense of humanity, but given our fat phobic culture, our pocket cameras and lack of propriety on the Internet as a culture, I can’t say that I will hold my breath.

What I will do, though, is thank L. A. Fitness for standing up against this crime and ask that all other businesses do the same. A representative of the company made it clear that not only did Mathers explicitly violate the company’s policy against using cell phones and cameras in the locker rooms, but that, “Her behavior is appalling and puts every member at risk of losing their privacy. Her membership has been permanently revoked, at all our health clubs, and law enforcement has been notified.”

The spokesperson also reminded the public that not using phones in a locker room is “common decency,” which every human should know without having to be told.

 Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A dozen-plus facts you need to know

How do we all sleep at night, again?

Out of all of the end-of-the-year posts I read this year, Peter Daou’s “The Top Ten List You Shouldn’t Be Reading” probably affected me most. Sure, there were posts that made me feel warm and cozy about humanity, or that simply reassured me that the world, indeed, had not ended yet and I am not a zombie, but Daou’s post points out some staggering facts that we really need to consider. For example:

Did you know that the percentage of gun owners in this nation is higher than the percentage of youth who attend college, though over a million lose their lives to violence every year? After the Sandy Hook shooting, by the way, the NRA saw membership increase by a whopping 100,000 people. Come on, Americans! Put your guns down and let us move forward, for crying out loud. I’m tired of hearing that mass shootings are “a price we have to pay for freedom.” No, it’s not, it’s a price this country is paying in blood for your absurdity.

Peter points out so many other staggering facts for us to soberly ponder—such as how 300 kids die every hour from malnutrition, though it only takes 25 cents a day to feed a kid. Did you know that the leading cause of death for a pregnant woman in the world is murder? And though fracking uses 2 to 4 million gallons of water per well, while 1.6 million people face economic water shortages. How much longer are we willing to let these gross economic disparities occur? How much longer are we willing to let the majority suffer with nothing while the minority comfortably enjoys massive profits, extra homes and resources, and the prerogative to lay off or fire millions of people to make even more?

Guys, we have to do something. We can’t just sit around smoking and drinking and eating Cheetos and doing whatever we do to numb ourselves from the pain of the world. Hell, you might be experiencing one of these issues yourself. Some politicians are putting the pressure on. You might know that Hillary Clinton is pushing for measures against violence against women, or that Bernie Sanders is finally introducing a climate change bill in response to this past year’s massive record temperatures. But we have to do something, too. We have to put pressure on our politicians to make this change, we have to be ready to spend time or money to these causes, and we have to use our wallets as weapons every chance we get to stand up against oppression.

De-stress during distress

Here are a couple of healthy coping mechanisms.

If you’re alive, you’re going to have stress in your life. It’s that simple. But sometimes life gets so stressful that you feel as if you could truly collapse beneath it all. I have been in constant stress overload before and simply lived in survival mode only to really collapse afterward; I have also had stretches of stress during which I let out my emotions and learned to use coping mechanisms that were healthy. I heartily recommend the latter.

Whether you have a relative in the hospital (or you, yourself, are very ill), you’ve lost a loved one, you’re struggling financially, or you’re experiencing other types of stress, here are a few mechanisms I would suggest for coping. Please feel free to add your own in the comments.

Relax. This will do wonders for your body and your mind. Obviously it’s a very difficult things to do, so you’ll have to force it. Set up an elaborate scene—a candlelit bath if you need it, complete with candles and music—and just soak. Take a nap, cuddling in your comforter, after some hot cocoa. Sleep does wonders for an aching spirit. Your body needs this. Neglecting our self-care is the first thing we do in survival mode, so make an effort to practice it instead.

Read a book. If you’re not a reader, watch a movie. The point is to escape, however briefly, and get your mind onto something else just for a bit. My daughter had RSV for weeks as a premature baby and I was beside myself with fear and craziness. We had to use a nebulizer to treat her every few hours. I thank Nickelodeons' film Barnyard for getting me to laugh so hard I threw up—first time in my life for it, believe me! My body just had to release that built up tension. This week, while my poor husband has been passing a kidney stone, I’ve been up with him and during his brief periods of sleep, I’ve read two excellent supernatural books that helped me keep my mind busy. Without them, I think I would have been a wreck.

When my daughter was in the hospital as a preemie, I used to work or do some school a bit online when I returned to the Ronald McDonald House—we were thousands of miles from home—and then read on the Internet: fanfiction, preschools at home, anything to distract me. I would do the same when passing gallstones to try and keep my mind busy and away from the pain.

Breathe. I know these sound so simple and easy, but when you’re in crisis mode they are anything but. If you take five minutes to just inhale as deeply, as long, as you can, and then exhale slowly until your lungs are empty, and repeat it a few times, I guarantee you will be a bit more calm afterward, if not a lot.

Pretty nasty news

Find out what you’re really eating and other disgusting tidbits!

It’s only Wednesday, so you probably haven’t maxed out on your weekly quota of gross-out news. Get ready to ban yourself from the Internet for the next few days with these doozies, though…

The nasty food you eat

Think your ice cream and candy are innocent sweet indulgences? Think their only devilish ingredient is that awful white sugar we all love to hate? Think again. Try beaver anal secretions, animal bones, crushed bugs, sawdust, and even human hair! That’s right, folks; fast food and fast groceries have turned us into fast cannibals. For even more disgusting ingredients that may make you never want to eat bread, red or pink food or shredded cheese again, click here.The nasty crap you drink

If you’ve seen that stupid Pinterest experiment about making Mountain Dew glow, well, it’s a hoax. I know, I was disappointed too, as we tried the experiment and everything! Yeah, we got duped bad. But don’t fret, Mountain Dew can still gross you out: apparently the drink will dissolve a rat. This stuff seriously comes from PepsiCo itself, who, upon faced with a lawsuit about an apparent dead rodent in a product, countered the claim with something to the effect of “Well, that’s poppycock, since our lovely drinks would make a small mammal disintegrate in that time period.” Hmm. So what is your product doing to our intestines, then?

The nasty low-fat food you try to lose weight with

You know those low-fat muffins, candies, and other junk food sold as “healthy” alternatives to, say, potato chips and cookies? It turns out that they may not be as healthy as you thought. In fact, many of these foods are full of refined wheat, sugars, and other junk while they are also devoid (or have a reduced content) of healthier carbohydrates and heart-healthy oils. A good rule of thumb is to snub anything that says “A lowfat food!” with a bunch of day-glow wrapping surrounding it, or just read your labels carefully.

The nasty food with a nasty bad rap

As a Midwesterner, I know our fried chicken, fried okra, and pretty much fried everything (I know a sno-cone stand that sells fried hotdogs, Oreos, and Twinkies!) often gets a bad rap. And I’ll agree that grilled and steamed foods are much healthier than our yummy, juicy breaded and deep-fried gold. But it turns out that some of the hype may be wrong; a new study may prove that heart disease, at least, is not caused by fried foods. In fact, it may simply be the oil used for cooking that is to blame rather than the food itself. Olive and sunflower oils are thought to be safe for use for people worried about their tickers.

Nontoxic Rice Cooker

If you eat a lot of rice, then chances are pretty good that you own an appliance called a rice cooker.  Rice cookers are considered to be a Godsend by many people.  They allow you to have your rice come out perfectly nice and fluffy every single time.  Plus rice cookers make it possible for you to have your rice cooked unattended.  Furthermore, they allow you to keep your rice warm all day long.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to most of the rice cookers sold in stores.  They have a nonstick coating that is made of toxic materials like Teflon.  So if you have made the switch to stainless steel with your pots and pans, then you are going to want to change out your rice cooker as well.

When opting for a rice cooker without a nonstick coating, you can choose to buy either one with an inner pot made of stainless steel or clay.  Both will be able to cook up good rice with just a press of a button.  However, you do need to realize that a clay or stainless steel rice cooker will be somewhat different from a nonstick one.

Since neither a stainless steel or clay rice cooker has a nonstick coating, there is a high probability that the bottom layer of rice will stick to the pot.  To help lessen the chances of this happening, make sure you cook your rice with a sufficient amount of water.  Also, try applying a thin layer of oil or butter to your rice cooker before adding the water and rice.

BB Cream for healthy skin this summer

As someone who is of Asian descent, I have long heard of BB cream.  It has been said that BB cream is the secret behind Korean stars’ flawless skin.  Also, it was rumored that many Hong Kong TVB stars used BB cream.  For instance, Fala Chan, one of TVB’s most promoted stars has been said to be a loyal patron of the cream.

Thanks to the endorsements of so many Asian beauties, BB cream has become a runaway hit in Asia.  Over time—and perhaps also thanks to the Internet—news of the BB cream has hit the western part of the world.  So now BB cream can also be found in the USA.  In fact, you even have a couple of different BB creams to choose from in the United States.So what is this BB cream?  It is a beauty balm or blemish balm.  It works like a moisturizer and primer.  Plus it helps to blur skin imperfections.  Many people feel that the beauty balm alone is enough to give them beautiful and radiant skin. 

If you are willing to pay in the $30 - $40 price range for BB cream, then you can choose from Smashbox, Boscia, Stila, Clinique, MAC or Too Faced.  However, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly beauty balm option, then you are best buying the one from Garnier. 

Blemish Balm is great for the summer.  Most Blemish Balm come with sun protection.  So not only will you be improving your skin tone by using the beauty balm, but you will also protecting your skin from the harmful rays.


Night Shift Workers at Greater Risk of Diabetes

Altering natural circadian rhythms can lead to a decrease in insulin

Working the night shift doesn't just put you out of touch with the majority of the world. Staying awake to work while most people are peacefully asleep might be an alienating and lonely experience, but scientists have recently discovered that it can have more concrete negative effects on your health, too. Namely, workers assigned to the graveyard shift have a much higher risk of diabetes than people who get to work during daylight hours. 

Researchers at Harvard Medical School slowly weaned test subjects off a normal night's sleep by shifting their sleep periods forward four hours at a time. By the time they got them sleeping during the day and staying awake all night, they were able to monitor their hormone levels to discover something surprising. Participants had much lower levels of insulin than normal after just three weeks in the lab. Their glucose levels began to rise. Three of the 21 subjects had blood sugar levels high enough to qualify them as pre-diabetic. Their pancreases just weren't working as they were supposed to.

It turns out the body stops functioning properly once it's deprived of daylight. Even those test subjects who were severely sleep deprived, but were allowed to sleep at night, had insulin levels that were closer to normal. It was the daysleepers who demonstrated dangerously low levels of insulin. These results explain the higher rates of diabetes and obesity that run rampant in night shift workers--and may help to explain the host of other medical problems that have been categorized under the term "shift work disorder."

It looks like the body has a pretty good idea of when it's supposed to sleep and when it's not--and it doesn't take kindly to adjustments in its inborn programming. Human circadian rhythms can't really be changed to fit the needs of people who must work at night. For janitors, bartenders, and other moonlight laborers, the health risks are just an irreversible part of the job. There's not a whole lot they can do to improve their condition short of seeking another line of employment. 

For those of us who have the privilege of controlling our sleep cycles somewhat, we can likely benefit from making sure we get sufficient darkness and light in our daily routine. Getting some sun in our eyes and on our skin can actually be good for us, while keeping things dark at night can help us sleep when we're supposed to. Everyone who can should maintain good sleep hygiene in order to keep those insulin levels where they should be.


Health Benefits of Ginger

A natural food ingredient that can help with multiple health symptoms is ginger.  For instance, it can really help to lessen feelings of nausea or upset stomach.  Usually, the recommendation is to use ginger root to alleviate such symptoms.  However, ginger ale can also be used. 

Personally, I once have had experience with horrible feelings of nausea while at work.  My co-worker noticed my situation and offered me a ginger ale.  At first, I was quite skeptical about the drink being able to help me.  Yet about 20 minutes after finishing the ginger ale, I noticed a mark improvement in how my stomach was feeling.  After a little while, I felt completely better.  So ever since then, I no longer questioned the power of ginger ale.  Since ginger ale actually does include the ingredient of ginger, I also started believing in the power of ginger itself.

Since ginger can help those suffering from nausea, it is a good thing to have when you are going through morning sickness.  Also, if you have a tendency to feel sick due to motion, ginger can also help.  So try to have some ginger near your side, if you happen to feel nauseous a lot. 

Besides alleviating nauseous feelings, ginger can also help with other digestive symptoms.  It can help to reduce the impact of diarrhea, and can even act as a flatulence remedy.  Furthermore, ginger has been known to help you digest your foods better.  So you might be able to try some ginger instead of taking other prescribed medications for aid with digestion. 

The Truth About Milk

Milk is something that most kids are taught to drink from the time they were little.  Parents always tell their children about how drinking milk will help them to grow taller and stronger.  However, not everyone believes milk is wholesome and healthy.  There are groups of people online who strongly believe milk is a toxin that is extremely deadly and poisonous.  So what is the real truth about milk?

Alan Aragon is a nutritionist who recently did his own research on the health benefits and dangers of milk.  He read through the many studies and findings that have been discovered over the years about milk, and made his own conclusions about them.  So what is Alan Aragon’s verdict on milk?

For starters, he believes there is some truth to milk helping people to burn fat.  The calcium in the milk is what is able to help up the rate of fat burning in the human’s body.  However, Aragon did note the fact that milk is not a miracle weight loss solution.  You cannot expect to get rid of belly fat just because you drink milk while pigging out at dinner buffets.

Something Alan Aragon definitely agrees with is that milk can help to promote the growth of strong muscles.  Also, Aragon does agree with milk being a wonderful post-workout fuel source.  The reason is that the protein in milk can be broken down quickly.

What about the fear of antibiotics in milk?  There is no concrete proof for it affecting milk consumers.  However, if that is your only reason for not drinking milk, you can always get the antibiotic-free milk. 

Orange Juice vs. Oranges

Growing up, there was always orange juice at my house.  Every time I opened up the doors to the refrigerator, I would see the carton of orange juice.  My dad loved the taste of the fruity drink, and my mom liked the fact that it was a healthy beverage.  Over the course of time, I developed a liking for the juice as well.  I had a glass with my eggs and toast for breakfast.  Then at dinner, I had some orange juice to wash down my meal.  I enjoyed the taste of the freshly squeezed juice, and my parents were thrilled to see me picking this healthy drink over a can of soda.

However, as I got older, I heard a lot of people talk about how orange juice was not really all that healthy.  They said orange juice was just as bad as the soda pop, and that it was a lot healthier to just eat the oranges instead.  Was what they were saying about my juice of choice true?

Yes, I do agree that a glass of orange juice can often contain as much sugar as a can of soda.  That can easily be seen on the carton’s nutrition info.  However, to say that orange juice is just as bad as soda pop is a bit much.  Soda does not contain any nutrients.  Meanwhile, orange juice is packed full of vitamins. 

Oranges contain the same sort of vitamins without the extra sugar.  So yes, eating oranges is healthier.  However, if you are unlikely to eat an orange, drinking orange juice might not be that bad of an idea.