Courtney A. Griffin ~ Writer | Designer| Social Media Junkie | Soon to be entrepreneur

The life of a Michigan State University College Girl, turned Chicago Native. Continue the journey with me!

WebMD How to Wreck You Heart, An Analysis

When I need to find health related information, I generally go to WebMD.  This website serves to provide creditable and easy to understand patient-based health information. WebMD serves as a central hub for any medical or health related research you may want to find. The article, (How to Wreck Your Heart: What not to do for your Heart’s Health) was published on January 10th, 2012 by freelance health and science reporter, Shahreen Abedin. This article looks at heart disease in a different light; heart disease is a serious concern of many Americans as many people are dying from it each year. The article’s intent is to tell readers what not to do for your heart’s health; the author does so by telling you how in fact to wreck your heart. She showcases many things I’m sure many Americans do on a regular basis nothing thinking that it affects their overall health specifically their heart.

WebMD has a small Senior Staff and Editorial Team with only 9 individuals and a growing list of freelance colleagues across the country ranging from journalist to actual MD’s. Shahreen Abedin has previous experience on numerous well-known and well trusted sites including Medicine Net, Time magazine and many other health magazines. Before writing freelance for WebMD she was the Senior Medical Director at CNN. Oddly enough, she is also a New York attorney, who is currently not practicing and focusing on spreading healthcare news to the world. Elizabeth Klodas is the editor of the article, she is also not a part of the WebMD Senior Staff or Editorial team but is a Cardiologist and Founder of a Cardiovascular Imaging company, Cardiovascular Imaging Consultants. She has a strong background in heart disease and her main focus is prevention. Although her expertise is the sciences, she is also writer and author of the book, Slay the Giant: The Power of Prevention in Defeating Heart Disease, a guide for understanding and improving overall heart health.

The (How to Wreck Your Heart) article is found within the Heart Disease Health Center Tools and Resources box. There are similar articles within the tools and resources box that pertain to heart disease and ways to maintain good health including Exercising for a Health Heart and 15 Tips to Lower Cholesterol. The page also has multiple places where readers and visitors can sign-up to receive emails and newsletters from WebMD. There are also a couple rotating advertisements including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Health Careers at Capella University these are focused toward the general audience of WebMD. Individuals who are interested in health and may be considering health careers and individuals who care about health and may be willing to donate to health cause.

This article is very informal; it is obvious that the intended audience for this article is someone who is or maybe at risk for heart disease. The intended audience may also be someone who knows someone very dear to them who may be suffering from heart disease and wondering what they could do to help. The article gives step by step instructions on what not to do if you’re trying to prevent heart disease. It is clearly very medical based and although it does not include reference to other publications, it does quote numerous individuals, including their health related credentials.  “When you toss the smokes, your heart risk goes down within just a few days of quitting. Within a year, your risk is cut by half. After 10 years of living smoke-free, it’s as if you never smoked at all, says Nieca Goldberg, MD, Cardiologist and Medical Director of the New York University Women’s Heart Program.” Here Dr. Goldberg is telling specific facts and why you should listen to her. Her title as a Medical Director gives her authority and shows her connection to heart disease.

The step-by-step guide is very inviting; the information is presented in a manner that anyone could understand. The guide is also easy to skim for someone who may not have a magnitude of time to read for specifics. In my opinion, the idea of numbering the steps was amazing and very thought out, very rarely are people willing read a long text heavy passage for leisure. The article is written as what to do “if” you want to have heart disease. “7.Forget your growing waistline — just buy some bigger pants.”  The article also highlights keywords that may deserve further clarification. These words are not uncommon words, but are other health conditions that may relate to heart disease.

My favorite part about this article is that it is very patient-based.  As a writer, I am very interested in making information for patients as easy to read as possible. The information given is not intimidated and is simply meant to inform an audience. As a young woman with a heart condition, this article was informative to me. I was diagnosed with a Mild Mitral Valve Prolapse my senior year in high school and ever since have been interested in heart disease. I feel like the writer was speaking directly to me and although a writer must be very careful when writing in second person and speaking directly to the audience, here it is ideal. I felt like I was being directly spoken to by a physician or a friend who cares deeply about me. This approach is generally more widely accepted versus a highly technical article trying to do the same or even worse, use scare tactics.



Filed under: Health, Personal, , ,

A quick update

An update on my life… In about a month I will be receiving both of my bachelor degrees from Michigan State University in the mail. A month from that, I will begin graduate school at DePaul University. I am very excited about my future, and very pleased on how my pass has been. For about 2 weeks, my business Just The Beginning LLC has been official with the state of Michigan. JTB is currently looking for partners, interns and customers.

As usual…I am doing many things at one time…but I’m used to being busy! I need to keep busy!

Regardless… Continue my journey with me…

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Just the Beginning

Just the Beginning is a business I began my sophomore year in college because I knew I enjoyed web and document design. My initial intent, was to just create, graphics, websites and stationary, throughout the years, the business had expanded in my mind and I hadn’t realized until partnering with someone to help me develop my business and looking at my old business plans. The idea was so simple, now it is so vast. That is a good thing right? I do not want to get in over my head. I believe my plan expanded as I furthered my education and became more proficient. Creating stationary is great, but combining it with consulting and other things makes it more marketable in my mind.

I am generally the one to toggle more things than one and I think I am finally ready to do this. I am so excited. I think this is a great junction in my life to reconsider the business and make it big. The idea has come, expanded and now it is ready to be unleashed.

Remember… this is JUST THE BEGINNING!

Filed under: Personal, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

National Summit: YP4

After the midwest regional training…all I could think about was the National summit in January. January finally came, as did the National summit and it was a well anticipated wait! The staff was amazing, the speakers were amazing and of course the fellows were beyond amazing! Never had I been in a room with some many accomplished, driven, like minded, well rounded students. We were all there because we want social change. Somethings small, something very large. No matter what each individuals blueprint was, you could tell they were focused, and were determined to make a change.

We were told to be ready just in case we failed because a ideas are not feasible at this time. Administrators are not as open-minded and comfortable with change for that to happen. We were given the groundwork for implementing a blueprint on an idea of our choosing. We were given a serious of motivational talks from people who were in our shoes just a few years ago. Seeing these people talk was beyond motivational for me! I enjoyed it so much.

I was able to meet new people; get out of my Michigan State University comfort zone and interact with students from all over the US. Granted I did not meet anyone from Texas, if I decide to go to any of my choice of graduate schools, I will know someone in that area. Awesome!

YP4 was a great opportunity and I am glad I was chosen to participate. I have made connections that will hopefully last a lifetime. It would also be great to see some of my fellow fellows projects implemented in the world.

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Beginning of the end: Last undergraduate course at MSU

I can’t believe it’s about that time, graduation from
Michigan State University. Monday I will begin my last
undergraduate semester on Michigan State Campus. It feels like just
yesterday was 2006 and I was an incoming freshman. Straight out of
Winans Academy high school in Detroit, MI, majoring in Biology,
terrified as terrified could be. I have definitely changed from
that person. No longer majoring in Biology, but dual majoring in
Professional Writing and Media Arts and Technology. I do still have
an interest in the sciences. I want to take some courses in medical
writing. I am also not as terrified of the large MSU campus, I know
where the majority of the dorms and buildings are on campus. I
know, the need to know faculty and staff. I love MSU! I have
executive positions on 3 different registered student
organizations. I have learned to adapt, and I’m proud of myself for
doing so. I am excited to see what the future holds and where it
takes me. If it is anything like my experience at MSU I’ll be more
than grateful.

Continue my journey with me…

Filed under: Personal, , , ,

1st disagreement of 2011

As I’m trying to make the decision as what to do after
graduation, I am continuing to argue with my family who want me to
stay in Michigan after graduation. I am applying to Michigan State
for graduate school in Digital Rhetoric and Writing but, I am still
pursing other options. Both my family in Detroit and Muskegon want
me to stay in Michigan. They want me to stay near them. Although,
that would be nice it is just not the plan I have for myself. They
have lives their lives and decided to stay in Michigan. I myself
just do not have the desire. The job market in Michigan is not the
best and I feel I can better mature elsewhere. I love my family
dearly, and I feel I can show the same love from anywhere in the
world. I also know they want the best for and from me and will
support me in whichever decision I make. I just want them to know I
am making this decision for myself and no one else. As selfish as
that may sound. Now, as I try to make my decision and take my
family suggestions and opinions into account, I have to realize
this is my life and no one else’s! Continue my journey with me!

Filed under: Personal, , , , ,

A big decision!

I never knew I was so bad at decision making, but with
graduation rapidly approaching (in 4 months), I’m not exactly sure
what i want to do with my life! Who knew finding plans for after
graduation would be more of a hassle than graduation from high
school? I thought by choosing the right college, I’d be set for
life. Wrong! Choosing between graduate school, full-time work and
being abroad is definitely more demanding. I told myself to make a
pro and con list of the possible outcomes. I love traveling, I’m
ready to start my career but I also want more education. Is there a
way I can do all 3? Technically yes! Would I be happy doing all 3?
Probably not! And the questions continue… After taking with my
cousin I have finally been able to cancel out one option, not in
entirety though. I really want to go to graduate school, although
graduate school will always be there. There’s always time for
working and supposedly, there is always time for travel. I guess I
still have some pretty big decisions to make. Continue my journey
with me…,

Filed under: Personal, Uncategorized, , ,

Red Meat May Boost Women’s Heart Disease Risk

Taken from:  Henry Ford, Womens Newsletter

I saw this article and I had to share it.

Eating fish, poultry, nuts and low-fat dairy lowers the chances, study shows

MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) — Women who eat a lot of red meat may be increasing their risk of developing heart disease, Harvard researchers report.

Substituting fish, poultry, low-fat dairy and nuts for red meat can significantly reduce that risk, however, the study authors suggest.

“This study is one of many showing a link between eating red meat, processed meat and full-fat dairy products, and heart disease,” said Samantha Heller, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist.

It seems obvious that people should reduce their intake of meat and dairy foods. “But there are many people who feel it is almost impossible to give up or limit butter, steak, ham and cheese,” she said. “Americans are also concerned with getting enough protein. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] says that most Americans have plenty, if not a surplus, of protein in their diet.”

If people looked at this as a matter of simple swaps, it may be easier to make some healthy changes, she added.

“So, instead of a ham-and-cheese sandwich for lunch, have a peanut butter-and-banana sandwich. Jump in the Meatless Monday trend, and have whole-grain pasta primavera for dinner on Monday. Make Sunday’s chili vegetarian, with lots of vegetables and beans. Try a veggie burger on a whole-wheat bun for your cookout. Swap cheese and crackers for low-fat cheese and apple slices,” Heller suggested.

The report is published in the Aug. 16 online edition of Circulation.

For the study, a team lead by Dr. Adam M. Bernstein, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, collected data on 84,136 women, aged 30 to 55, who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study over 26 years, from 1980 to 2006.

Over that time, there were 2,210 nonfatal heart attacks and 952 deaths from heart disease, the researchers noted.

Bernstein’s group found that women who ate the highest amount of red meat were at the highest risk for heart disease. However, eating poultry, fish and nuts was associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

In fact, compared to one serving a day of red meat, women who ate one serving a day of other protein-rich foods had a:

  • 30 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of nuts.
  • 24 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of fish.
  • 19 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of poultry.
  • 13 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of low-fat dairy.

“You don’t need to have hot dogs, hamburgers, bologna or pastrami,” Bernstein said in a news release from the journal’s publisher.

“Although this study included only women, our overall knowledge of risk factors for heart disease suggests that the findings are likely to apply to men as well,” he added.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that “a number of prior observational studies have explored the complex relationships between various food types in the diet and the long-term risk of coronary heart disease.”

While most studies have shown that fish intake is associated with decreased risk for coronary heart disease, the findings regarding red meat consumption and risk have been mixed. Some have shown no increased risk, others have found the risk is only associated with processed meat, and in others a relationship was seen only with total red meat consumption, he explained.

This new observational study of women found that higher intake of red meat was associated with higher risk of heart disease.

“However, it is important to acknowledge that this is an observational study, rather than a prospective, randomized clinical trial. Whether a shift in protein source in the diet would actually reduce coronary heart disease events remains to be demonstrated,” Fonarow said.

More information

For more information on diet and heart disease, visit the American Heart Association.

Filed under: Health, Personal, , , , ,

Let’s try a healthy lifestyle!

Generally every January people decide they want to eat right, start exercising etc. I need not pretend I tend to do the same things myself but just simply because that is around Spring Break time and I need to get fit (lol). Now, I want to try something different, I have decided to try it again, but this time, I really do want it to be something long term, a lifestyle. I know, easier said then done, but doable none the less. This time I am determined. I have friends working out with me and healthy eating at home.

My first day working out was yesterday, the intent was to run around the track, but for a person who hasn’t done anything athletic other then walk from the car to the building, that was a hassle for me! To complete a mile, you had to run around the track 4 times, sounded easy enough, in total I ran around one complete time and briskly walked the rest. I told myself, that was good for day 1 and of course I plan to improve. We have decided to go to the track, 3 times a week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, once again easier said then done. I am exquasted today, it is literally going to take everything out of me to run today, but I am going to go!

I have also attempted to start my healthy eating, for the most part it is no sweets and less carbs. To be truthful that doesn’t even sound that easy to me, but I am going to try. I have realized everything about me is convenience, so I have to make my food choices convenient for me. I purchase granola bars and fruit for breakfast, and I am still debating about lunch, generally it’ll be leftovers from our “healthy” dinner or some kind of fruit.

This is only day 2… and I will make sure to keep every posted on how this works for me..

Continue my journey with me…

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My take on Fall Fashion

For as long as I can remember Fall and Winter have been my
favorite seasons! Not only because when I was little I was able to
play in the snow, but I got to dress up in coats, boots and hats. I
love winter clothes! Myself and others at Michigan State are
looking forward to the upcoming fashions. Although, I did enjoy
this summer as far as the fashion. Starting from my 2 pair of
sandals from Japan to up-tenth amount of dresses and shorts that I
bought. I keep telling myself, if I had this much fun during w/
summer fashion, this winter is simply going to be GREAT! I’ve
already began purchasing a few winter things and I am considering a
few others, for example UGGS as much as I hated them in the
previous years, something in me wants a pair this year. Of course
the ones I saw though are big and fluffy and aren’t that clunky on
the bottom (that’s the part I hate by the way, oh and that everyone
on campus has a pair). I may become a member of the team this year.
My big thing this year will probably be shoes b/c I love them so!
Different styles from suede heeled boots to leather flat boots! I
also am in to sweaters, I plan to wear big sweaters this fall/
winter too. I refuse to purchase any coats this year b/c I usually
buy one each year and I do not need another coat. This was supposed
to be an informative article about the upcoming fashions, but some
how turned into and article about me! I apologize, it’s late! I
will although post an article very soon w/ pictures of this fall
and winters fashions soon! I promise!

Filed under: Personal, , , , , ,

Courtney A.Griffin

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