Patient First: Super Snacks For The Game

— The big game is this weekend, and let’s be honest – some of the best parts of game day are tailgating and parties. It just wouldn’t be football season without a buffet line of chips and Buffalo wings!

Here’s the kicker: gorging on game day treats can ruin any healthy eating plan. Making a few nutritious adjustments to your favorite football snacks can make a healthy difference.

Try these healthy game-day snacks:

1. MAKE IT YOURSELF

 Do you love guacamole? Try mashing fresh avocado and adding your favorite salsa to make a great guacamole without the preservatives and mystery-ingredients of store brands. Pair with baked tortilla chips to enjoy this healthy snack.

2. WING IT

A healthier alternative to deep-fried Buffalo wings is a baked version. Once the chicken is baked, simply add hot sauce and enjoy.

3. FORGET THE LOADED NACHOS

Replace cheesy nachos with a colorful platter of low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, and colorful vegetables with a Greek-yogurt-based dip.

4. BEST CHIPS EVER

Do you think home-made potato chips sound too time-consuming? Think again! To make your own sour cream and onion potato chips, cut a large baking potato (either Russet or Idaho) into 1/8th inch thick slices. Arrange one third of the potato slices in a single layer on a large microwave-safe plate. Coat the tops of the potato slices with cooking spray, and sprinkle one-third of a packet of dry ranch dressing mix over them. Microwave the uncovered plate on high for 4 minutes, turn over the potato slices, and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, or until the chips appear dried, crispy, and begin to brown. Remove the chips from the plate and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Repeat this procedure with the remaining potato slices and enjoy.

5. SLOPPY SLIDERS

While the taste brings back memories of childhood, the nutrition here is all grown up.  Make Sloppy Sliders using 95% lean ground meat and add mashed kidney beans for additional protein and fiber. Spice your sliders to taste, serve them on mini whole-grain buns, and top them with diced tomatoes to complete this delicious, healthy snack.

EXTRA POINTS

Still worried you may over-stuff yourself with healthy game-day snacks? For many people, the out of sight, out of mind trick works. Sit away from the food table, and focus on the game. Cheering for your favorite team takes a lot of energy and may even burn some extra calories

Here’s another tip. Take a small plate and fill it with the snacks you will enjoy during the game. Remember your meal plan, portion sizes, and resist going back for seconds. Eat slowly and spread your snacks throughout the game to help with portion control.

You may think tailgating and healthy eating may not go together, but a few changes to your favorite football snacks will ensure your diet plan is a winning play.

Brought to you by Patient First.

Charm City vs. Windy City Basketball Showcase

— Four of the nation’s top basketball teams packed Baltimore Polytechnic Institute on the afternoon of Saturday, January 27, 2018 for a showcase of top talent from Baltimore and Chicago high schools. This is the second time the four teams competed against each other, after urban lifestyle retailer DTLR launched the event last year.

Hundreds of fans attended the tournament. The afternoon began with a fast-paced game between St. Francis Academy representing Charm City against Chicago’s Morgan Park. St. Frances ranks No. 1 amongst Baltimore teams and quickly handed its competition a 95-75 win Saturday.

The second game of the tournament had audience members engaged and on their feet.

Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) plays and Poly (Baltimore)

Apeture Photography

Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) plays and Poly (Baltimore)

Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) and Poly (Baltimore) remained neck and neck during all four quarters. In the last 3 minutes of the game, Simeon pulled away, toward victory, winning 71-64.

“This all started with us talking smack in Chicago about how good the Baltimore basketball teams were. These two cities have so many similarities. The public school systems lack dollars— the kids don’t have jobs in the city,” said Jeff Bowden, DTLR Marketing and Outreach Director.

Midwest Marketing Ambassador, Michael Jones said the tournament brought together powerhouse teams.

“We have schools who have tradition, good programs and it’s to create a new rivalry,” said Jones. “These teams have never played each other before, so we are trying to showcase their talent in different regions.”

Fans said the city of Baltimore is excited about the energy this competition has brought to the city. “The future is looking bright,” organizers said.

They hope to build momentum; invite women’s rival high school teams to compete next year and would like to consider expanding to other cities where the DTLR brand is also growing in popularity.

“We have to do things as a private industry to give back to the community because it’s lack of dollars, lack of resources and these kids don’t have hope. We want these kids to know we are an outlet, said executives. “Let’s have some fun.”

BGE Crews Aiding in Puerto Rico Recovery Efforts

— BGE is deploying crews to help restore electric service in Puerto Rico as part of a contingent of Exelon utilities responding to the request to provide mutual assistance. BGE joins its sister utilities – Atlantic City Electric, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco – in repairing infrastructure destroyed during the hurricane in September.

Twenty-one BGE line workers and support staff are expected to depart for Puerto Rico in mid-February. In advance of their departure, BGE vehicles including bucket trucks, are being transported via barge to the island. Those vehicles are expected to arrive in Puerto Rico in early February.

“We are happy to provide assistance to the people of Puerto Rico and do so without jeopardizing our ability to respond to outages in our central Maryland service area, said Stephen J. Woerner, president and chief operating officer of BGE. “Our employees look forward to helping Puerto Rico rebuild its electric system and are committed to making a significant impact in getting Puerto Rico back to normal.”

BGE’s support comes after the Edison Electric Institute EEI and other power industry groups received a request from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for mainland companies to provide assistance. Exelon is sending approximately 140 utility workers as part of the U.S. response, bringing to nearly 1,500, the number of restoration personnel from EEI member companies. With these additional crews, including the Exelon team, the total number of power restoration workers will increase to more than 5,500.

In addition to deploying restoration crews to Puerto Rico and other areas affected by recent hurricanes, BGE employees, along with the Exelon Foundation, have contributed more than $800,000 to disaster relief efforts, including aid to Puerto Rico.

Baltimore’s Jearlean Taylor: A Model of Triumph over Tribulation

Jearlean Taylor has worked as a model on runways, has been in several publications including Essence and Heart & Soul magazines, and has been featured on a billboard located at Charles and Penn Station in Baltimore earlier this year. The 50-year-old Taylor has been modeling for nearly 18 years, with interview, speaking and modeling engagements coming up in Baltimore, Atlanta and Colorado.

The story of Taylor’s modeling career is one of success, but also one of triumph over a difficult medical situation. She has had a successful modeling career despite wearing two ostomy bags.

“My life has proven to be a journey of unexpected challenges,” said Taylor. “I was diagnosed with a rare form of vaginal cancer— Rhabdomyosarcoma, at three-years-old. Rhabdomyosarcoma or RMS is a childhood cancer that starts in any organ that contains skeletal muscle cells.”

She added, “I was cancer-free a year after my diagnosis, but left with permanent ostomy— colostomy and urostomy, which aids my bladder and bowel functions, which caused me to wear two ostomy bags.”

According to the website for the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA), an ostomy refers to the surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes.

Taylor, who is a twin, talked about the challenges she faced growing up.

Epic Media Photography

“My outward appearance is one of beauty, high fashion, grace and charm,” she said. “My inward existence was one of low self-esteem, shame, insecurity, and on-going medical complications. While others appeared to be living a ‘normal life,’ I struggled with self-pity, unhappiness, depression, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts.”

She continued, “I was hurting internally. I looked good on the outside, but when you have been dealing with this for so many years, you try to hide your hurt, depression and the disease. But I was tired of hiding and dressing up the outside. I started journal writing and wrote about everything I ever felt. I wrote about cancer, the ostomy bags and what these experiences were like. I felt God was talking to me, and telling me to get it all out. I just kept writing. It was healing for me.”

Taylor’s journal writing birthed her book Pretty Girl Blues, which was published in 2013.

“We have the ability to make a difference, to change lives, be a role model and all that we can be,” she said. “I am blessed to have my desires, passions, and dreams come true.”

Taylor also started J & Company, a Christian modeling business.

“I actually started modeling when I was almost 30-years-old,” said Taylor.

“I was at Mondawmin Mall, and an associate approached me from Travis Winkey’s modeling studio. They asked if I was interested in a modeling workshop. I decided to go. Afterwards, I decided to take the modeling classes with the studio and it turned into a passion. I progressed, which helped with my self-esteem. I am glad that person came up to me from Travis Winkey’s studio.”

The legendary fashion icon talked about Taylor.

“Jearlean worked really hard,” said Winkey. “She learned the technique and science of what we were doing, and always did a wonderful job. I am really proud of Jearlean. She is special.”

When asked about his influence on Taylor’s life, Winkey said, “It is innate in me to bring out a person’s confidence. That is how my father raised me and my 15 brothers and sisters. When I started dancing, people told me I was too short to be a model. The rest is history.”

Taylor is a graduate of Southwestern High School and attends Bethany Baptist Church, where Dr. Therm M. James Sr. serves as pastor. She is the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions

including the Fashion Umbrella Foundation Impact Award. She is also an Ambassador for ConvaTec, an international medical products and technologies company. She works as an administrative assistant for a company in Columbia, Maryland.

“The challenge was that I had to have these bags,” said Taylor. “It impacted school, work and relationships. But we don’t have to be defined by our circumstances. God already knew the plans He had for my life. Now I understand why I went through what I went through. It gave me my purpose in life.”

She added, “My purpose is to inspire someone. It could be a person living with HIV, diabetes, cancer or some other disease. I pray and hope they see there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are so many open doors and blessings. That’s the God I serve. He made a way out of no way, and gave me internal healing. It’s not just for me— it’s also for someone else.”

For more information about Jearlean Taylor and her book, visit: www.prettygirlblues.com.

Johns Hopkins Holds 36th Anniversary MLK, Jr. Commemoration

A historic part of the legendary Civil Rights Movement was in Baltimore recently for the 36th Anniversary Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration program held January 19, 2018 at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Turner Auditorium. Minnijean Brown Trickey of the famed “Little Rock Nine” was the keynote speaker for the event.

The Little Rock Nine collectively resisted opposition to the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957, with protection from federal troops. The teens’ courageous act took place three years after the Supreme Court ruled in the Brown vs. Board of Education case that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

Minnijean Brown Trickey responds to a question from James Page, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Courtesy Photo/Johns Hopkins Medicine

Minnijean Brown Trickey responds to a question from James Page, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

During the program, footage of the students making their way into the school under the protection of federal troops was shown.

James Page, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine asked Brown Trickey questions in a “conversation-like” setting in front of the packed auditorium. They included one question posed by students from Commodore John Rogers Elementary & Middle School. Thirty students from the school attended the event with their teacher Jamie Cassermere.

The question was: “Were there times when you wished you weren’t black, so you wouldn’t have to go through what you were dealing with? If so, can you tell us when? If not, why?”

Brown Trickey responded: “No American magazines had my images in it except Ebony and Jet. So it was up to my mother and other women to assure me that I was beautiful, that I was smart, and I was special. That’s a lot of work. I have six kids. I really thought I was beautiful. But that came from home and that came from my friends. In a segregated society, we were engulfed with where we couldn’t go. We didn’t go places where we couldn’t go. Instead of riding the bus, we walked.”

She added, “My dad’s business was based on white people, because he was a landscaper, stone mason, and whatever other stuff he did. That was really an important thing because I was never taught anything about hating white people. We didn’t have time for hate. We only had time to deal with how important I was, and how special I was.”

Referencing back to American magazines of that time that did not publish her image, nor perhaps images of any person of color, Brown Trickey said to resounding applause, “I never thought I wanted to be white, but I did want to see my own image. The Little Rock Nine cracked that one.”

Page talked about having the opportunity to sit with Brown Trickey.

“Of course, the civil rights leaders were people too – some of them children,” said Page. “Minnijean Brown-Trickey was only sixteen – the age my daughter is now – when she stood up to bigotry in order to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. I can’t imagine the bravery that must have taken. And yet, after having the chance to sit down with Ms. Brown-Trickey, and seeing her charm, her approachability, and, more than anything, her humbleness, she reminded us that each of us can be a part of history. As Ms. Brown-Trickey so eloquently put it, it is ‘little rocks that can make big avalanches.’”

The event featured musical performances by Unified Voices of Johns Hopkins (UV), and a reception.

Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D. was presented with the Ideals Award. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award was presented to Hopkins employees making exemplary contributions to their communities. They were: Renee Blanding; Darren Brownlee; Ariel Hicks; Carrie Holdren-Serrell; Rhonda Johnson; and Darcenia McDowell.

Brownlee is an assistant administrator with Johns Hopkins Hospital and Bayview Medical Center. He mentors to Baltimore youth through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.

“In this city and others, there aren’t that many black male mentors,” said Brownlee. “When the challenge and task was asked to mentor, I knew that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to pay it forward. My Little Brother is 16, and his name is Khiree. He was like the little brother I never had. I know that one day, he will do the same.”

He added, “I was really inspired by Ms. Brown Trickee’s experience and humility. She talked about how we are seeing some of the same things today. That puts me into place to do what I can do and what I should do. It also points out what we can do together to be of service to others and change our nation. Even today, she is still fighting for change, service, non-violence and activism. That is something that resonated with me and I plan to move forward with it.”

CCBC Welcomes Award-Winning Journalist And Social Activist Jeff Johnson As Guest Lecturer For 2018 President’s Distinguished African-American Lecture Series

— In honor of Black History Month, CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis welcomes award-winning journalist and social activist Jeff Johnson as the guest lecturer for the 2018 President’s Distinguished African-American Lecture Series. Scheduled from 11:10 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15 at CCBC Essex (Romadka College Center), Johnson will speak on the topic Unclaimed Legacy: Who Will Lead the Next Social Movement?”

Johnson is currently managing principal for the Baltimore-based strategy firm, JIJ Communications, where he provides strategic insight and messaging consulting to clients in the private, public and entertainment sectors. Over the last two decades he has developed expertise in communications, political engagement and strategic consulting to create a unique career committed to developing solutions and systemic change. The focus of his lecture is to encourage young people to help their communities by taking an active role in social activism and continuing the legacy of great social leaders from the past.

Johnson formally served as national director for the Youth and College Division of the NAACP. In 2014 he worked with comedian Steve Harvey on his New York Times best-seller, Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success and he provides regular content on the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show.

Johnson commits much of his personal and professional life to the development of leadership and social impact infrastructure serving on several boards including Vote Run Lead, The Cleveland Foundation’s African-American Philanthropy Committee and the historic Lincoln Theatre in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to Johnson’s lecture, the National Black Anthem (Lift Every Voice and Sing) will be performed by CCBC’s cast from Choir Boy, a play by Oscar-winning playwright and actor Tarell Alvin McCraney. Appearing in 2017 at the college, the production was directed by CCBC Professor Precious Stone with performers from throughout Baltimore County, Baltimore City and the surrounding metropolitan area.

CCBC’s President’s Distinguished African-American Lecture Series is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required. For tickets, contact the CCBC Box Office at 443-840-2787 or visit a CCBC Student Life Office.

Baltimore Couple On Mission To Transform Shipping Containers Into Housing For Homeless

Christian Wilson and his wife, Pamela, are on a mission to turn empty shipping containers into housing for the city’s homeless.

The couple, who are both retired from the maritime insurance business have worked over the years to help the homeless and others say there are a countless number of empty shipping containers in American ports all over the country, and Baltimore is no exception.

The Wilsons want to recycle those empty, unused and unwanted shipping containers into homes for the homeless.

“We are currently working on this project daily and have already received

a promise of financial assistance from PNC Foundation to create the first model,” said Christian Wilson, who now serves as executive director of Heart’s Place Services, Inc., a nonprofit that works with the homeless in helping provide food and other services.

The couple has dubbed the potential site of the project, “Hope Village.”

Wilson pointed out that other places around the world have successfully turned shipping containers into nice homes. Recently, the Aedis Real Estate Group in Los Angeles launched a plan for the first shipping container-built transitional housing project there.

The containers reportedly will be transformed in a truncated six-month construction timeline with plans that call for craftspeople to assemble the container components off-site while the building’s foundations are laid.

Off-site, the project will include the installation of finishes and fixtures and, once the foundations are prepared, the units would be crane-lifted into place.

Initial drawings of conversions by the Wilsons reveal steel shipping containers they say are “high-cube,” meaning that they can fit on a typical Baltimore City lot with a wraparound porch and small gated back yard.

“These containers can be retrofitted for about $20,000 to $25,000 and will be offered to the working homeless under a rent-to-own mortgage arrangement, because most people don’t understand that most homeless people work at minimum wages, but can afford a mortgage arrangement of $300 a month,” Wilson said.

From the drawings of the various sizes, Wilson noted that in the collection of containers are some that can be used as a mother/daughter arrangement and there is also a complex of small service housing for the mentally impaired with a living arrangement for a service provider.

“While this will not cure the homeless plight in the city, it will offer a beginning for many families that need suitable housing at a cost that they can afford,” he said. “We believe that with this model available for inspection by many interested personnel in the city and state that they will agree to participate.”

The couple has met with City Council, the Department of Housing, the city legal, business and planning departments whom they say enthusiastically support the project.

“We have already contacted a facility in Baltimore City who has the space to produce these homes under our direction and is available within the city, thus giving young men and women an opportunity to learn trades in construction,” Wilson said.

Initially, the Wilsons would like to produce 100 units and plan to work with organizations that provide services to the homeless to identity individuals to occupy the homes.

Current statistics show that there are approximately 3,000 homeless students in the city’s public school system. In 2016, the Abell Foundation identified 1,400 unattended youth walking the streets.

“As an aside, from the discussions that I have had with the financial markets, those engaged in the plight of the homeless families and children all have shown agreement with Hope Village as

a means of resolving not all, but have a very serious positive impact on the lives of children and adults within the city,” Wilson said.

“Every one of them that we have met with in the service industries agreed that this is a great solution to the problem. We cannot cure the mental issues, but we can give some dignity to a mother or father who is struggling with children in a car, on the streets in an abandoned building or couch surfing at a relative or friends house somewhere.

“We may even be able to have a positive impact on crime in this city because people will feel important enough that their government and society thought enough to help them in their time of need.”

Black Leaders Need to Stand Up for Black People

I am fond of saying, “weak people take strong positions on weak issues.”

There is no better example of this than the embarrassing behavior of the weak Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the National Urban League (NUL).

These groups have all feigned righteous indignation about the alleged negative comments made by President Trump two weeks ago about Haiti, Africa and El Salvador.

Yes, our president can be extremely hyperbolic at times, but the essence of what he said was very true. Those countries, including many in Africa, are basket cases.

So, all of the aforementioned radical liberal groups ran over their mothers to get to a news camera to denounce the president for his alleged statement.

With all the issues facing the black community, CBC members joined other Democrats to attempt to pass a resolution through the U.S. House of Representatives to censure Trump for his comments, a symbolic gesture that must have kept Trump awake all night.

Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP called Trump a “racist.” Wow. I am sure that Trump is going to change his ways now.

Marc Morial, the president and CEO of the NUL said, “President Trump’s crude comments further reveal the repugnant racial motivations behind his administration’s immigration policies.”

Trump must be shaking in his boots.

I challenge my readers to find any issue directly related to blacks in the U.S., i.e. American citizens that these groups have put so much political and emotional

capital in. It seems that these “media-appointed” black leaders care more about those in the country illegally, homosexuals or other groups that have no connection to America than they do the very people they “claim” to represent.

Juxtapose their reactions to Trump’s alleged comments to their relative silence on the murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago in 2014. He was murdered by Chicago police who claimed it was in self-defense but the actual video revealed that the police lied and that McDonald posed no threat to the policemen.

Former Democratic congressman and Obama’s first chief of staff and Chicago mayor at the time of the police murder, Rahm Emanuel refused to release the video until after his campaign for re-election in 2015, which he ultimately won.

Emanuel has proven his total disdain for blacks with his actions, not his rhetoric. Chicago is one of the most dangerous and violent cities in America. Where was the CBC’s outrage at this? Why was there no attempt to censure Emanuel? Why are they not marching through the streets of Chicago?

The NAACP and the UL have not convened a meeting or massive demonstration against Emanuel to denounce him as a racist. Oh, I forgot, he is a Democrat; therefore, he can’t be racist.

Just because you are the head of an organization, doesn’t mean you are a leader. Can you name me the leaders of the white community? But, I digress.

Members of the CBC are willing to oppose the short-term, Republican-sponsored spending bill, because that bill didn’t include a long-term fix for President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; even though this move would have devastating effects on the black community, the same group they “claim” to represent.

Can you name me one issue that was of specific urgency to the black community that the CBC has ever shut down the government for? Name me one member of the CBC who has a bill passed in his name? Name me one member of the CBC who has his name attached to a bill that became law, i.e. Sarbanes-Oxley, or the Hyde Amendment.

To the NAACP and the UL: Why is amnesty for illegals a “moral” imperative, but the high crime rate in the black community isn’t? Why wasn’t the double-digit black unemployment rate under eight years of Obama a “moral” imperative?

Remember the famous quote from former chair of the CBC and congressman from Mo., Emanuel Cleaver from September 2011: “If Obama were white, we’d be marching on the White House.” This remark was made in regard to Obama doing nothing to reduce the black unemployment rate, which was around 17 percent at the time.

Why do these “media-appointed” leaders make everyone else’s issues their issue? When have you heard the illegals speaking out against the high unemployment rate in the black community or discrimination in college admissions?

When have you seen the homosexual community speak out against housing discrimination towards blacks or lack of access to capital for black business owners?

Can anyone explain to me why these radical, black liberal groups are ignoring the needs of their own community to focus on the issue of those who have absolutely no connection to our community?

Your first obligation as a parent is to take care of your own family. Period. Do you really think Michael Jordan gave a damn about Magic Johnson getting injured during a game in which they were playing against each other? Hell, no. So, then, why are we fighting everyone else’s battles at the expense of our own community?

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org.