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:


 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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.

The Future of Transportation Isn’t Just Self-Driving Cars. It’s Public Transit.

Fiat Chrysler and BMW just announced plans to jointly develop self-driving cars. The move puts the automakers in competition with Google, Apple, and other car manufacturers that are also working on driverless vehicles. The question is when, not if, this is going to be commonplace.

Self-driving cars might seem to render public transportation obsolete. But the opposite is true. Autonomous buses have already made their way onto streets. And because Bus Rapid Transit tends to have dedicated lanes, the transition to driverless vehicles should be easier for public transit than for private transport.

The truth is that public buses, subways, trolleys, and trains will complement driverless automobiles by serving as our transportation network’s high-capacity trunk lines. Automated chauffeurs may pick us up for the first mile of our journey, or drop us off after the last mile. But public transit will serve as the backbone of that multi-modal transportation system.

Over the past two decades, public transportation ridership has grown by 34 percent. Last year, Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transit, or 35 million every weekday.

Those who use public transit don’t miss driving. Typically citing convenience and cost, six in 10 riders prefer public transit to other modes of transport.

Americans are giving up their car keys because buses and trains fit seamlessly with the ride-sharing, car-sharing, and bike-sharing services that have revolutionized how we get around.

Consider a survey taken last year of commuters in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Researchers surveyed 4,500 people about their use of public transit, car-shares, bike-shares, and rideshares. They then identified a subset that regularly uses several of these modes of transportation. Nearly six in ten of these “super-sharers” reported that more often than not, they travel on a bus or a train.

These variations of ways to get around— public transit among them— are allowing more households to go car-free, or at least car-lite.

Rideshare services and public transit are also complementary because people prioritize them at different times. In that seven-city survey of commuters, researchers found that Uber and Lyft are the most popular way to get around between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., when buses and subways are typically closed.

Rideshare services and public transit in some cities are even working in tandem.

In Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, Uber has partnered with local officials to integrate ridesharing with real-time bus tracking in one smartphone app. In the future, such partnerships could yield seamless transfers, unified payment methods, dynamic route maps, and even lower transportation costs.

People now expect to get where they need to go on-demand. Public transportation services can meet that need by offering convenient, reliable, and ubiquitous service, both individually and in partnership with others.

It’s important that they do, because a future with less driving creates healthier, wealthier, more sustainable communities. Taking public transit is 10 times safer than traveling by car. Those who rely on shared transportation are generally more physically active than their car-only counterparts. For most Americans, a car is the second-largest purchase they’ll make; skipping ownership bypasses that expense. Plus, increased reliance on public transit reduces U.S. carbon emissions.

Technology may soon take our places behind the wheel and increase our reliance on public transportation in the process.

Richard A. White is a senior advisor with the American Public Transportation

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.”

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:

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

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.

10 Cold Weather Tips for Pet Owners

— Bitter cold temperatures have hit Baltimore and pets are in danger from being out in the cold just as much as humans are. Here are some tips from Baltimore Humane Society for Baltimore pet owners to keep their pets safe from the dangerous weather:

  1. Bring your pets in! If it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet to stay outside for long periods of time. If you have outdoor cats or care for feral cats, check out this site on how to make a kitty enclosure:
  2. Dogs with short coats should wear a jacket! Breeds that do not have an undercoat (dogs with undercoats are breeds like shepherds, huskies, malamutes, retrievers) can get cold quickly.
  3. Keep off of road salt. Not only is it toxic if your pet ingests it, it can be very irritating and even painful to their paw pads.
  4. Wipe your pet’s paws off with a lukewarm washcloth to remove any melting salt so they do not ingest it when they groom themselves.
  5. Consider applying a barrier to your pet’s paws like petroleum jelly to protect their paws while out on a walk.
  6. Keep your pet’s coat appropriately groomed. A healthy coat will work most efficiently in keeping warmth on the body and cold away.
  7. Anti-freeze is extremely poisonous and also tempting to pets due to its sweet taste. If you have it in your garage make sure it is kept up high in a leak proof container. Clean up any that might drip from equipment that uses it. If you believe your pet ingested anti-freeze, get them to a veterinarian immediately!
  8. Pets exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time can experience hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia include low-body temperatures, low-heart rate, low respiration (breathing), violent shivering, and their gums may turn pale or blue. If you believe your pet is experiencing hypothermia, warm them slowly to avoid shock, and get them to a full service vet immediately.
  9. Less time outside may mean a bored pet. Increase your animal’s indoor enrichment! Frozen kongs, food puzzles, and training games all provide mental exercise to tire out a pet who can’t get outdoors.
  10. Cuddle up! Cold weather is the perfect time to spend snuggling and playing with your pet.

And here are two more tips for pets that are not your own –

  1. Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife that may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  2. Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold. Here’s advice from the Humane Society of the United States on how to handle the situation when you see a pet left in the cold. First politely let the owner know you’re concerned. If they don’t respond well, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic documentation will help bolster your case. Then contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak to and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied.

The Baltimore Humane Society, founded in 1927 by Mrs. Elsie Seeger Barton, is an independent, non-profit, no-kill animal shelter, which offers low-cost veterinary care to the public, and a pet cemetery with grief support services. For more information about BHS, and how you can contribute, volunteer, adopt, or foster, visit: or call 410-833-8848.