Tag Archives: health

The Thing About Taxes

I will preface this by saying I am not well-researched in the areas of politics, national financing, or whatever actually goes into this mess, in the United States or elsewhere.

But I think it might be worth mentioning my thoughts on a few things, based on personal experiences, and some things I’ve heard that just… don’t make a lot of sense.

Taxes aren’t inherently bad.

The word “tax” in itself has come to have largely negative connotations–if you’re being “taxed” by something, you’re being weighed down or put upon. We have classic examples of people, like the Sheriff of Nottingham from the Robin Hood stories, who abuse taxes.

In a truly ironic state of affairs, my dad is adamantly against any kind of raise in taxes, but he also works for the state of Minnesota, and part of our taxes are what pay his own wages.

But if taxes are being abused, for things like… oh, say, a giant wall, or a football stadium… then, yeah, I wholeheartedly understand the aversion.

I don’t think anyone is ever entirely sure what taxes are used for, but there’s obviously some mismanagement going on somewhere, and that’s the bad thing. Taxes themselves? They have some truly positive possibilities.

Let’s just, for the sake of imagination, pretend that a perfect world is possible. What should taxes, in a perfect world (and my opinion) be used for?

  • Protecting/conserving the environment
  • Researching and developing important new innovations in energy, transportation, and health (cure for cancer, anyone?)
  • Providing/maintaining a basic standard of health and well-being for everyone
  • Paying first responders, health professionals, and peace-keepers
  • Educating people well
  • Preserving culture by investing in arts, museums, libraries, archives, and community centers
  • Community improvements, like road construction, parks & rec, etc.
  • Providing some kind of safety net and/or rehabilitation programs for those who are  out of work and/or homeless. (This would include retirement, and being out of work due to an injury, veteran benefits, and other things of that nature, in addition to being in a bad situation for other reasons.)

Some people are really put out by the thought of providing for others. Which… I get, to some extent. At the moment, it’s hard to fathom providing for myself, let alone anyone else in the country–but that’s because a lot of things in “the system” are broken. They’re not being used the way they should.

If I had the peace of mind that came with guaranteed good health, the basic ability to learn the things I need to know without being in debt for the foreseeable future, and the reassurance that life as we know it wasn’t on its way to being toasted out of the Earth like a bad virus, I would happily give away a third or more of my income for the rest of my life.

In a perfect world, what would your taxes be used for?

What would you be willing to provide, to make your own life and the lives of others easier?

Obesity is Contagious?/ BLOG 3

Throughout the world, beauty is defined in numerous ways. In some countries, being heavier is considered healthy and beautiful. But, as we all can tell, in most culture and/or countries, the standard for what is beautiful, sexy, and attractive leans more towards being thin. Because of social media, women in particular are proceeding that in order to be attractive, you need to be a certain size, weight, or have a specific body shape (coco cola, etc.) Even though weight gain is no longer looked down upon, hence the weight gain for body building; there are still cases of obesity and how contagious it is. In the article http://www.newsweek.com/weight-gain-contagious-and-you-could-catch-obesity-your-neighbors-study-finds-789547, researchers found that people were up to 57% likely to be obese if a friend or family did the same during that time. Because of the environment you live in and those you surround yourself with, it would more than likely affect your consumption intake.

Also, you should consider yourself. Just think, when you were in a relationship, did you and your significant other eat out a lot? Consider this, when you were together, you just wanted to do everything together, and when you ran out of things to do, eating out was fun (in it’s own way.) In the article, https://www.livestrong.com/article/130602-people-gain-weight-after-marriage/, it talks about couples who gained weight after marriage (in my argument, you can gain it even while dating.) This correlates with obesity being contagious and how much easier it is to gain weight because of those around you and their influence. Because of weight gain, health conditions can slowly draw it’s way into your life and slowly build up on your insecurities, leading back to what the world/society considers as the standard of what is attractive.

Staying Healthy in School

It’s that time of year where everybody is hacking and sneezing all over the place. If you aren’t sick, the person sitting next to you in your Media Studies class probably is. The best way to deal with the sickness is to avoid it altogether. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself healthy while on your grind.

-Antibacterial wipes

Our cellphones are great for keeping us connected at all times, but they’re also breeding ground for the germs that will make us sick. Check out this article from CBS regarding how much…stuff…is on your phone.


The best way to prevent flu-causing bacteria from being transferred to other surfaces, including yourself, is to clean your phone. Bye, bye, germs!

-Drink lots of water

Yes, even if you hate the taste of it. Water is necessary for the body to function properly. It keeps everything moist and doing what it’s supposed to do. Here’s an article about how water can prevent you from getting the flu. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-203142/Why-water-ward-flu.html

There are lots of simple ways to stay healthy this time of year, and these are just a few examples. Take the time to keep yourself healthy!

Invest In Yourself

Who doesn’t want to feel good? No matter what your age, race, gender, weight, healthy eating in combination with exercise will positively impact YOUR overall health. Yes, I said YOU. There are so many other weight loss products on the market right now that promise miraculous weight loss and boost in energy. The only promise they will fulfill is a dent in your bank account. The only proven way to look and feel better is through good old fashioned eating healthy in combination with exercise.


Think of eating healthy as an investment to your body. Eating out is not only expensive but can lead to poor food choices. The top 5 benefits of eating healthy according to Heathline.com highlight why committing to a healthy diet can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

1) Controls weight

2) Improves mood

3) Combats disease

4) Boots energy

5) Improves longevity

I get it, everyone has really busy schedules, but the gym doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. The top 5 benefits of exercise according to naturalbalancefoods.co.uk highlight why adding just 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times per week can change your life.

1) Get a natural high

2) Sleep better

3) Look good

4) Get a healthier mind

5) Improve your health

Do all of these benefits sound like something you are interested in? There are obvious benefits to each action but you cannot be successful with one without the other. Imagine the endless possibilities that eating healthy in combination of exercise will bring to your life.

Your Mental Health, You Should Care

Being a college student is stressful in itself due to deadlines, major projects, and weekly assignments. Many students work a full time job while juggling multiple courses and some students have families too that they need to take care of. Personally, I have had a terrible past year for my mental health due to a stressful job and major life events but I have recently been working on bettering my mental health by leaving that stressful job and starting a new one that is a lot less stressful with a lot of fulfillment throughout my day.

When trying to understand how to improve my mental health, I stumbled upon a study from the University of Michigan (www.uhs.umich.edu) that provides 10 ways to better your mental health and they include sub points as well. Such as, take care of your body by drinking more water, get enough sleep, or eat nutritious meals. There are so many important aspects to improving your mental health and even the littlest of steps can make a huge difference.

As a college student, I often stay up late working on homework or writing papers and then I work early in the morning so my sleep schedule gets ruined during each semester. Sleep is a very important factor in maintaining a adequate mental health routine. There are a lot of other factors associated with not getting enough sleep which are laid out in www.livingly.com

I wish you all the best of luck with improving your mental health because there is always room for improvement especially during the semester. I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully these links come in handy.

Let’s Talk Teavana

Yes, I know, another post about tea.

In my last post on tea, I talked about shaking up the coffee-drinkers routine by adding tea to the mix. With different flavors for all palates, great health benefits, and less caffeine jitters, tea is truly a great option for people who are tired of coffee or want to add another caffeine addiction to their day (I, personally, drink both because I love having multiple beverages to choose from at any given time).


Now I want to talk about bad tea, and how certain companies sell it by thriving off the terrible, terrible sugar epidemic in America.

Basically, I want to talk about Teavana.

Continue reading Let’s Talk Teavana

Could a vitamin D deficiency lead to pre-mature death?

Image Credit: Getty Images

Late this winter I was feeling worn out, run down, and straight up exhausted. After suffering through weeks of this I finally threw in the towel, and made a visit to my doctor. Turned out, my excessive exhaustion was the result of a vitamin D deficiency. After picking up a bottle of vitamin supplements at the local pharmacy, I decided to get on the computer to investigate my prognosis further.

The main purpose of vitamin D is to aid calcium, and phosphorus absorption in our bones. It also helps cell communication throughout the body. If you are healthy, active, and get outdoors enough than the suns exposure should regulate the vitamin within your body with no extra supplementation needed. People that live in climates that force them to be indoors, those with darker completions, and individuals that wear a lot of sun protection are more likely to suffer from this particular deficiency.

Recently, a study was released from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, which caught my eye. It suggests those with lower levels of vitamin D in their body are two times more likely to die a premature death than those with higher levels of the vitamin. Diseases such as Osteoporosis, Cancer, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, and Diabetes have all been linked to vitamin D deficiencies.

These findings are both scary, and startling for someone who has just learned of their own vitamin D deficiency. Interestingly enough, I am not alone in this battle. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population is living with the same problem, some unknowingly. Suffering from fatigue, muscle cramps, or chronic joint pain may be an indication that you are also in need of vitamin D. There are endless resources to acquire this information, however the best way to know for sure is to visit your doctor.

Visit Headlines & Global News to read more!

Design Meets Healthy Living: Three Personal Favorites


I am hooked on my devices: the iPhone, the iPad, and even the Sync system in my car. I also love great design. I think that great design paired with desirable technology can inspire healthy lifestyle choices. Bottom line, if it looks cool, or makes you look cool, you are more likely to do it.

Here are three of my favorites.

 TERA Fitness Mat

Where do put home exercise equipment? While I prefer to go to yoga class and practice with a group, a trip to the gym is not always possible. However, it can be difficult to feel the same motivation when you are alone. I was excited then, to learn about  TERA, an interactive fitness mat that actually senses your movement and responds by training you. BONUS: It is also a beautiful wool area rug.  

 Fitbit Bracelet

Do you have any idea how far you walk in a single day? The fitbit bracelet tracks your activity level and even how well you are sleeping.

Lifefactory Water Bottle

Do you drink enough water? I drink about 12 glasses a day, and as silly as it sounds, it is because I love my water bottle. I love how it looks, how it feels in my hand. Another plus, this bottle is non-toxic glass protected by a stylish silicone sleeve—basically, the bottle is unbreakable.



Take the Poo to the Loo, yo.


Mr. Poo is an excellent subject for my introductory blog post (that’s right, Lady Procrastinator over here, hello). What a wonderful example of using media and potty humor to spread the message of a serious social issue. This might not be the most tailored blog post, but I’ll be damned if anyone beats me to posting about this. It’s just too good.

Mr. Poo. the face of Unicef’s recent health campaign in India, aims to decrease the number of people defecating in public (which is estimated to be half the population, which is a lot of public poo). It’s a big task to take on, but I think Mr. Poo can handle it.

The humor in the video is interesting because it mixes more juvenile/cartoon graphics with a funny, catchy tune that just happens to drop verbal shit bombs many times over (pun intended). Am I that square that I didn’t think an organization like Unicef would use (what is commonly referred to as) a profanity in a campaign? Does the word shit have a different place in India as far as social acceptance goes? Or is Mr. Poo and his Bollywood-dancing poo fools just that bad ass?


There is a definite entertainment factor to Mr. Poo and his jingle, but is the video effective? Do you think it will inspire change, like the radio show Taru did in Abirpur?

Let’s discuss below, cool? Cool.



Are e-cigarettes really better for you?

Are e-cigarettes really better for you?

*Disclaimer* I don’t smoke. I never have, and at this point in my life I probably won’t start. So I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers. I do know a lot of people who use e-cigarettes and that’s why I wanted to look into it.

With the price of cigarettes up to almost $10 a pack, people are now looking into ways to save money without having to give up smoking. So they are now turning to e-cigarettes. These are touted as less expensive and a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes.

I almost feel like this is cheat smoking. You’re still smoking, it may not be a traditional cigarette but you’re still smoking. Nicotine is bad for you and these have just as much and sometimes more than a regular cigarette. 

Not to mention, there is no regulation on these. Makers of e-cigarettes can put whatever they want in them and none the wiser for us. There are no rules and no limit to what they can put in these things.

If you really want to give up smoking, than do that. I know that is way easier said than done but it is possible. To think that going from a traditional cigarette to a e-cigarette is going to help you stop smoking sounds crazy to me.

I know this is starting to sound like an anti smoking campaign, it isn’t. I really don’t care if you or anyone smokes. What you do is your business and I honestly mean that. But I feel that the makers of these things need to be honest.  No one really knows the health risk or benefits yet so they should slow down on the “this is healthier” track they’re on.