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!

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…,

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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…

Filed under: Personal, , , , , , ,

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, , , , , ,

Wait! It’s almost time for school to start?

I just simply can’t believe it! It’s August already, where has the summer gone? Of course this means school is about to start and of course my birthday is around the corner! Granted I’ve done the same thing I do during the school year doing the summer, I just like summer classes and summer work better, everything even Lansing is more laid back.

This will be my last year at MSU, this is a bittersweet feeling. I’ve enjoyed my college experience to the fullest but I am ready to graduate and be part of the real world. I’m sure saying that is contradicting the entire purpose of this article because in the real world there are no summer vacations. I am aware of that, but I am just ready for change. Ready to make real money, have a real home, and just live a real life and I know all of these are easier said then done, but I am ready for the challenge.

I keep telling myself I need a vacation before school starts but my family says, you just came from Japan, that was your vacation. No, I need something relaxing and enjoyable! Hopefully the couple trips I have planned for the last couple weeks of the summer come true!

I’m completing my grad apps and have asked for my letters of recommendations. I’m going to the grad expo at Purdue. I’m ready for the future!

Now, continue my journey with me! 🙂

Filed under: Personal,

Young People For

The Young People For fellowship is a group of like minded progressive students who want to make a difference. Myself along with 149 other students have been chosen from students from all over the country.

This weekend the Midwest region met, I met 40 likeminded students who are working for change! I can honestly say there is not one student here, who I do not like. We have shared more here than most of us have with our childhood friends. We have learned about networking, our own personal self and even how to intiate our goals!! This has been an amazing weekend.

I am excited to carry out my blueprint and work with all these wonderful influential people.

My most rememberable quote is: “Vision without action is a daydream! Action without vision is a nightmare!” I love it! 🙂

This will be a proactive year, I have no doubt in my mind!

Filed under: Personal, , , , ,

A day in the life of me

A day in the life of me…

It requires so much, I tend to do tons to keep myself busy. I work 2 jobs and I go to class. Now, that it’s the summer, I’m not doing that much. I’m trying to prepare myself for the future ahead, including graduation, graduate school and the professional world.

I’m excitied to prepare for the future, just simply because I expect so much from myself. I’m especially excited for the Young People For Fellowship this weekend. I want to meet students outside of MSU who are open minded and looking for a change.

Im preparing my graduate school applications and studying the GRE! Debating between staying in East Lansing or going else where.

The journey continues…

Filed under: Personal

Technology Review: QR Code

While at Keio University, we conducted our first survey. When the power point came up on the screen I was very concerned. There was link to survey and a little bar code like thing. The students then pulled out their phones, and started to take a picture, I was then, beyond confused. Shortly after, I realized that the bar code like thing is called QR code and it acts as the web address. All you have to do is take a picture of it and you will be taken to the website. I was stunned! I then started to see the QR code everywhere, like even on the menu at McDonalds.

What is it?

QR stands for Quick Response, because it can quickly be read by a cell phone. Being able to read the code from your phone is not a pricey special application or anything, it is already installed on most mobile phones.

A QR code is very similar to bar code but is much more advanced (a 2 dimensional) . Bar codes in America can hold up to 20 characters, while the QR code can hold thousands.

Just a little history

QR codes were started in Japan in 1994 and used for tracking parts by vehicle manufacturers. As with any technology, someone realized that this technology could also be used elsewhere and is now part of the mobile phone industry and is being used across the Middle East and Europe.

So how do they work?

It takes literally a second.  Any phone with a camera on it can be used the only  addition is the QR decoder software. Take out your phone, use the camera on your phone to take a picture of the bar code and it does not matter how close or far away you are from the code. Task complete, you can now, connect to a web address, download a MP3, dial a telephone number but just taking a picture. Amazing!

Can we use them in the US?

Oddly enough yes! The only dilemma is that American businesses do not use 2 dimensional bar codes. Android and iPhone users can download an application that will allow them to use their camera to read QR code.

In 2008, San Fransisco tested the QR code system. A number of people were given a phone that was compatible and a few stores and restaurants put a QR code in the window of their establishment and people were able to use City Search to get reviews and more about the place before they went in.

Last year, Google attempted to try again to get QR code more well known in the US. Different companies have began using it and Google has made it available on their smart phones. I am guessing they have not succeeded.

Firefox too has attempted to make it more popular. They offer an add-on that can generate a 2D of a URL or a portion of the material on the site.

Conclusion

I am hoping QR code becomes just as popular in America than it has in Japan. I absolutely love the idea of it, I think it is so convenient. I am actually going to download the application on my phone, just so I can be ready and I also want a t-shirt with a code on it

An example of the 2 dimensional code

.

Filed under: Technology Review

I’m back in America. Now what?

Leaving Japan was bittersweet. I was happy to be coming home, but sad to be leaving one of the greatest adventures of my life. I was happy that I was no longer going to be considered a foreigner and although I am still not a majority, I see more people that look like me in America then in Japan.

As soon as I came home, I started to miss the food. I was enjoying sushi, nothing like the kind I eat in East Lansing. I missed the curry especially and even Mos Burger. Those were just the starters.

I missed the clean streets! No trash, no debris but, do not get me wrong I was excited to be driving. Taking the subway was just a little hectic for me.

I was also shocked, usually when I return from a trip I get sick and I didn’t! Boy, was I surprised! I think it was the fact that, people who felt like they were just a little sick wore a mask. They did not want to make anyone else sick.

I even missed something I thought that didn’t even phase me; The Toilets! I went to  a public restroom and realized that the bathrooms were nothing like the ones in Japan. No special toilets with special buttons, and they were even cleaner.

All in All, I definitely enjoyed my experience. It was more than I could ask for. If I spoke Japanese, I could see myself living there.

Filed under: Assignments, Culture, Technology

Oh, Shopping!

Going to Japan I was super excited to shop.  Before I left, I told myself I just wanted a pair of shoes and a purse. When I got to Japan I realized that task would be harder than expected.

One thing that went in my favor in Japan is that I am short. The length of things was no problem. Sizing although brought up a entirely different concern.  I am not the average Japanese girl size, majority of the items that I saw that I liked were One Size. One Size in America I can fit, in Japan not really. That was obstacle number 1.

Obstacle number 2, was shoes. In America, I typically wear an 8, which is an average size. Japan shoe sizes, do not go by numbers, they go Small, Medium, Large and Large Large. Similar to T-shirts in America. Amazing right? Imagine how amazed I was to find out that my average 8 was a Large Large in Japan. Wow! My next question, which I never got an answer to was, people who wear over a size 8 in shoes… what do they do? This still remains a mystery.

Filed under: Assignments, Culture

Courtney A.Griffin

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