Jane Fonda On Her ‘Strained’ Relationship With Fashion~ Jamie Feldman

Jane Fonda already has best-selling exercise videos and an incomparable acting career under her belt. Now, at the age of 77 (yes, really) she has another title to add to the list: fashion icon. 

Fonda stuns on W Magazine’s June 2015 cover in a Giambattista Valli dress and cape. Inside, she shows off her famous figure in the likes of Lanvin and Nina Ricci, and while she looks perfectly at home in the designer duds, she doesn’t necessarily feel that way. “It’s a hoot that, at my age, people are calling me a fashion icon,” she said.


In fact, when it comes to style, Fonda admits it started out as an afterthought. “Truthfully, my relationship to fashion has always been strained. When I was starting out as an actress in New York, I worked as a model because I needed to pay for acting classes. But I didn’t have what it took to be a model. I hated all the emphasis on how I looked, and I never paid much attention to clothes.” 


Fonda can rock just about anything (remember that green Balmain jumpsuit from the 2015 Grammys?) with the confidence and sophistication of a true fashion icon, whether or not she thinks so.

Head to W Magazine to see the entire interview, and be sure to pick up your copy of the magazine, which hits newsstands June 2. 

fonda 3

#SayHerName: Why We Should Declare That Black Women And Girls Matter, Too ~ Lilly Workneh

Tanisha Anderson. Rekia Boyd. Miriam Carey. Michelle Cusseaux. Shelly Frey. Kayla Moore. 

These names are etched into tombstones that stand over the graves of black women killed by police — and were echoed at a vigil in New York City on Wednesday, where dozens gathered to show that these women should not be forgotten. For the first time, families of all these women came together to reflect on the lives of their lost loved ones and publicly share memories of their slain relatives. 

It’s not surprising if some of these names don’t sound familiar — but, activists say, it’s also not acceptable. As a national conversation around race and law enforcement has grown in recent years, the experiences black women have with police have largely been excluded. 

This was the central focus of this week’s vigil, which was part of a campaign titled #SayHerName. 

The African American Policy Forum, along with the Black Youth Project 100 and several other community organizations, rallied together to plan the event. The groups say the #BlackLivesMatter movement — which launched in response to the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and has inspired thousands of people worldwide to raise awareness around the injustices affecting black people — has become especially focused on the lives of black men, with women and girls seemingly an afterthought. 

While the dozens of protests and rallies that have swept the country as a result of the deaths of men, including Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Tony Robinson, have been both powerful and necessary, efforts to amplify the stories of black women who have died at the hands of police pale in comparison, AAPF Associate Director Rachel Gilmer told The Huffington Post. 

“When we wear the hoodie, we know that we’re embodying Trayvon. When we hold our hands up, we know we’re doing what Mike Brown did in the moments before he was killed. When we say ‘I can’t breathe,’ we’re embodying Eric Garner’s final words,” Gilmer said. “We haven’t been able to do the same thing for black women and girls. We haven’t carried their stories in the same way.” 

The #SayHerName campaign is a reminder to, as writer and activist Dream Hampton has noted, offer a more complete — not competing — narrative about policing and race.

“When you bring women to the narrative, it very much complicates our understanding of what police violence is and actually builds a much more structural-based argument around the problem,” Gilmer said. 

To put it simply, if these lives and stories aren’t widely recognized, they won’t be remembered and police reform will be incomplete, said Kimberlé Crenshaw, a co-founder of the AAFP.

“We don’t have existing frames to understand and talk about black women. If people don’t have a frame, they forget the facts,” she told HuffPost Live on Wednesday

“If we’re to use these stories as a way of thinking about how police reform has to be attended to some of the problems that happen, we have to include women in that to make sure that all the ways that black bodies are victimized by police are part of our demands and part of the reform,” she added. 

While the deaths of black women by police do not occur as often as those of black men, Crenshaw says this does not provide sound or logical reasoning for overlooking them. Instead, she encourages people to continue to give life to these stories, recite victims’ names and give their cases the recognition they deserve amid a national debate that often excludes them. 

Dozens turned out to fulfill that mission on Wednesday — here’s what it looked like:



Here’s What Real Healthy People Actually Eat For Breakfast ~ Carolyn Kylstra

Breakfast is a very important meal! The food you eat in the morning can have an impact on how hungry or satisfied you feel later in the day.

Here's What Real Healthy People Actually Eat For Breakfast

And if you choose the right stuff, it can also give you some great energy! All good things.

We asked a bunch of healthy people to share what THEY eat in the mornings. Because it can be good to know that you have more options than that same old bowl of cereal.

NBC / Via reddit.com

These people think about healthy and delicious eating a LOT. We talked to registered dietitians, personal trainers, health editors, book authors, nutritionists, and healthy food writers. Some are legit experts with degrees after their names, and some are more like you and me. Only…a bit more focused on eating green things.

And here’s what they suggested.

1. Baked Egg in Avocado

“This recipe is not only makes for a mouthwatering breakfast, but also comes packed with protein and healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. Hello healthy heart!” (Get the recipe here.)
—Wendy Lopez, nutritionist, and Jessica Jones, MS, RD, co-hosts of Food Heaven Made Easy

2. Almond Butter and Salami on Toast, with Fruit

“My husband finds it totally weird, but I’ve recently fallen in love with adding a couple pieces of thinly sliced uncured salami to my whole wheat almond butter toast in the mornings. It adds a bit of savoriness that tastes especially good with some fruit on the side. Hey, you’d eat almonds, salami, and bread together on a cheese plate — this is just the breakfast version.” 
Anjali Prasertong, creator of Eat Your Greens and Contributing Editor to The Kitchn

3. Greek Yogurt With Protein, Chocolate, and Blood Orange

Greek Yogurt With Protein, Chocolate, and Blood Orange

Holly Perkins

“I love this breakfast because it has well balanced macronutrients (macros) at 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. It is high protein Greek yogurt with a scoop of whey protein “pops,” super dark chocolate and blood orange. Who doesn’t love chocolate for breakfast?? It balances my blood sugar to give me stable energy throughout the morning, has tons of protein, and awesome antioxidants in that bright red blood orange.”
Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., author of Lift To Get Lean and creator of Women’s Strength Nation

4. Eggs and Avocado Toast with Blueberries

“This is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts — Ezekiel toast with smashed avocado and a poached egg, topped with fresh herbs, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. It’s the perfect combo of whole grains and healthy fats. The side of blueberries and the herbs lend a dose of antioxidants. And the capsaicin from the red pepper turns the metabolic fire up a touch.”
Michele Promaulayko, Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Health and author of 20 Pounds Younger

5. Flaxseed and Almond Milk Pancakes

Flaxseed and Almond Milk Pancakes

Jorge Cruise / Via jorgecruise.com

“Who doesn’t love pancakes for breakfast? Unfortunately most pancakes aren’t too healthy for you, especially when you top it with sugar-filled syrup. However, when you make them out of flaxseed flour and almond milk, you’ve made a perfectly healthy, delicious morning favorite. Top with some butter and you are set.” (Get the recipe here.)
—Jorge Cruise, ACSM- and ACE-certified trainer, and author of Stubborn Fat Gone!

6. Wild Blueberry Ginger Smoothie Bowl

Wild Blueberry Ginger Smoothie Bowl

EA Stewart / Via eastewart.com

“This Wild Blueberry Ginger Smoothie Bowl has a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and fat to keep you energized all the way to lunch! As a delicious bonus, wild blueberries are rich in antioxidants, and ginger is a great natural anti-inflammatory. It’s easy to make your own bowl! Just blend plain Greek yogurt with frozen wild blueberries and ground ginger, then sprinkle on your favorite granola, or a combo of chopped nuts and seeds. Enjoy!”
EA Stewart, RD, integrative dietitian nutritionist and blogger at The Spicy RD

7. Fruit, Veggies, and Sprouted Toast

Fruit, Veggies, and Sprouted Toast

John and Diana from The Minimalist Baker / Via minimalistbaker.com

“Most days of the week I keep it simple for breakfast with a green smoothie (not pictured) and a plateful of fruit with sprouted toast. I like smashed avocado with hemp seeds on half, and almond butter with sunflower seeds on the other.”
—John and Diana, co-creators of The Minimalist Baker

8. Vanilla Green Protein Smoothie

Vanilla Green Protein Smoothie

Katie Webster / Via healthyseasonalrecipes.com

“For breakfast I make sure to have protein, because it helps keep me full all morning long. I have been making these green protein smoothies a ton lately. They have two servings of produce.” (Get the recipe here.)
—Katie Webster, creator of Healthy Seasonal Recipes

9. Frittata Bites

Frittata Bites

Tammy Lakatos and Lyssie Lakatos / Via nutritiontwins.com

“We love these little nuggets. They’re super satisfying and a great breakfast when we’re in a hurry. They’re the perfect on-the-go protein, veggie and fiber combo to start our morning! We easily whip them up and often make them in advance and put them in the fridge or freezer and then grab them on the way out the door with a piece of fruit.” (Get the recipe here.)
The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CFT, registered dietitians, personal trainers, authors of The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure

10. Scrambled Eggs and Arugula

Scrambled Eggs and Arugula

Katie Yip / Via instagram.com

“Another great way to get your protein and greens in for the day is by adding fresh arugula to scrambled eggs.”
Katie Yip, New York City-based Pilates teacher

11. Apricot Granola

Apricot Granola

Danielle Omar / Via foodconfidence.com

“Granola is like upscale cereal. I love it because it’s super versatile. One batch gives me several breakfast options. I can sprinkle it on Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or chia seed pudding. I can even make muesli with it.” 
—Danielle Omar, MS, RD, nutrition consultant and founder of foodconfidence.com

12. Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Smoothie

Amelia Winslow / Via eating-made-easy.com

“I’m often rushing around in the morning, and smoothies make a great portable breakfast. My latest favorite is made with 1/2 a small avocado, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 1 frozen banana, 3 frozen green figs (sold frozen at Trader Joe’s), 1/2 tsp vanilla and a large handful of baby spinach or kale. You’d never guess something so green would taste so good!”
Amelia Winslow, MS, MPH, creator of Eating Made Easy

13. Healthy Pancakes

“I start each day with by hydrating and eating a healthy breakfast. Most mornings this includes a protein pancake topped with fresh berries, and a variety of drinks: water, my apple cider vinegar cocktail and coffee or green tea. The protein pancake recipe is simple and includes a scoop of protein powder, egg whites, 1/2 mashed banana and ground flax seed.”
Brittany Mullins, Virginia-based health coach and personal trainer, and creator of Eating Bird Food

14. Whipped Banana Oatmeal

“I love oatmeal because it keeps me full all morning and provides a blank slate for all kinds of mixins and toppings. My favorite is my whipped banana oatmeal, which is naturally sweetened with banana, topped with a sprinkle of crunchy granola and a drippy drizzle of almond butter. Made with milk, it’s got your whole grains, protein and healthy fats all in one.”
—Kath Younger, RD, founder of Kath Eats Real Food

15. Kale Smoothie Bowl

Kale Smoothie Bowl

Rachel Beller

“I love powering up my mornings with this simple vegan Kale smoothie bowl. It’s under 300 clean calories and a whopping 10 grams of fiber! 

1 Frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen kale
1/3 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk 
1/4 cup Vegan yogurt (Greek yogurt or Kefir works too)
1 TBS chia seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon 

Fiber up and enjoy!”
—Rachel Beller, MS, RD, president and founder of Beller Nutritional Institute, LLC

16. Crustless Spinach Quiche

“Breakfast is always such a rush in the morning and often folks skip breakfast or grab a sugar-rich granola bar. I love the fact I can make these in muffin tins and store each in individual bags for the week. Simply combine a frozen bag of spinach, 5 eggs, 1 cup 2% milk, and 1 cup shredded cheese in a bowl. Pour into our muffin tins. Bake. We have protein-rich breakfast for a week keeping us full until lunch!”
—Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LDN, author of Eat Well And Be Fabulous, and founder of Skinny Louisiana

17. Eggs, Bacon, and Spinach Muffin with Ezekiel Toast; Coffee with Soy Milk

“These are tasteful and keep me fuller longer on the days I know I will have an intense training session and have a busy day. It provides me with the protein, healthy fats and good carbs I need to stay energized.”
Idalis Velasquez, NASM-certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist

18. Chocolate Brownie Oatmeal

Chocolate Brownie Oatmeal

Anjali Shah / Via pickyeaterblog.com

“I absolutely love this dish because it’s creamy, rich, and delicious: it tastes just like a decadent dessert. But thanks to the power of raw, unsweetened cocoa powder, whole grain oats, and just a dash of sugar — it’s filled with antioxidants and fiber and is so good for you! You can enjoy this guilt-free for only 250 calories and ~5g sugar for an entire bowl of oatmeal.” (Get the recipe here.)
Anjali Shah, board certified health coach and owner and food writer at The Picky Eater

19. Avocado and Salmon Omelette

Avocado and Salmon Omelette

Carlene Thomas / Via instagram.com

“Many Americans are lackluster about getting enough vegetables and protein at breakfast! This omelette keeps me full on smart fuel the whole morning. Between the microgreens, avocados, peppers and salmon, you’re getting lots of foods that help keep your hair, skin and nails healthy. The little bit of strong cheese gives lots of flavor without the calories and fat since a little goes a long way!” (Get the recipe here.)
—Carlene Thomas, RDN, LD, dietitian nutritionist and healthy living blogger

20. Homemade Soup

Homemade Soup

Cheryl Harris

“I’m a fan of non-traditional breakfast. Today breakfast is one of my favorites: homemade soup. Turkey bone broth with carrots, celery and noodles is a nice blend of protein, carbs and fiber, and a soothing and nourishing way to start my day.”
—Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, registered dietitian nutritionist, wellness coach at Harris Whole Health, and blogger at Gluten Free Goodness

21. Ham-Crusted Quiche

Ham-Crusted Quiche

Jorge Cruise / Via jorgecruise.com

“Skip the carb-filled crust of a normal quiche and replace it with ham. Add your eggs, mushrooms, some cheese and seasonings and you have a great way to start your day.” (Get the recipe here.)
—Jorge Cruise, ACSM- and ACE-certified trainer, and author of Stubborn Fat Gone!

22. Avocado Hummus Toast

Avocado Hummus Toast

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I want to eat something that will leave me full and satisfied. This avocado hummus toast is one of my favorite savory breakfast dishes because it is packed with protein and healthy fats that will keep me going for hours!” (Get the recipe here.)
Lisa Lin, creator of Healthy Nibbles and Bits

23. PB&J with Fruit

PB&J with Fruit

Aaron Flores

“A healthy breakfast is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a side of fruit. Although not a typical breakfast, for me, it is a very filling and satisfying meal. The bread comes from a local bakery, the peanut butter and jelly are both homemade and the fruit comes from our CSA box. It’s simple, but with exceptional ingredients, it feels like a 3-star Michelin meal.”
Aaron Flores, RDN, California-based nutritionist specializing in intuitive eating and Healthy at Every Size (HAES)

24. Veggie Frittata

“Here’s a vegetable frittata I made for breakfast recently, using leftover broccoli from the previous night’s dinner and a fresh tomato on top. I love breakfasts that include vegetables because it makes it easier to get those 5 servings in by the end of the day. And there’s always some vegetable in the fridge that needs to be used up.” 
—Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS, The Nutrition Diva

25. Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

Nita Sharda / Via carrotsandcake.ca

“I am by no means a “morning person” so for me, making breakfast ahead of time is crucial. ​I love this recipe for Baked Oatmeal because I can prep it ahead of time, it has only a few ingredients and it’s loaded with fibre to keep me full for the morning. To keep things interesting I switch the type of fruit I add, some times it’s berries, apples or even pumpkin puree.” (Get the recipe here.)
Nita Sharda, RD, owner of Carrots and Cake Balanced Nutrition Consulting

26. 3-Ingredient Pancakes

3-Ingredient Pancakes

Tammy Lakatos and Lyssie Lakatos / Via pinterest.com

“We love these because they are so easy to make when you have a pancake craving. They are light and fluffy and packed with protein and unlike most pancakes, they aren’t only carbohydrates, so they keep you satiated for hours, preventing cravings and overeating. Each pancake is only 75 calories!” (Get the recipe here.)
The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CFT, registered dietitians, personal trainers, and authors of The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure

27. Egg, Avocado, and Cheese Toast

Egg, Avocado, and Cheese Toast

Emily Dingmann / Via anutritionisteats.com

“My favorite breakfast is without a doubt, avocado toast with a fried egg. Not only is it a great source of protein, healthy fats and whole grains but it keeps me satisfied until lunch! And it’s insanely delicious.” (Get the recipe here.)
Emily Dingmann, Minnesota-based nutritionist and creator of A Nutritionist Eats

28. Ham and Egg Cups

“This dish is SO easy and a great source of protein! Lay a slice of ham in our muffin tin. In a separate bowl, combine 4 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 1 cup of cheese. Pour mixture into each muffin tin. Bake for 20 min at 350. Done! A great breakfast dish loaded with protein!”
—Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LDN, author of Eat Well And Be Fabulous, and founder of Skinny Louisiana


One Photographer Is Using Social Media To Celebrate ‘Queer Icons’ Of Color ~ Katherine Brooks


Jahmal. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

Icons are an essential part of the visual history of religions, including those of the Catholic, Coptic and Orthodox Christian traditions. From the familiar Mary and the Archangel Gabriel to the more obscure Saint Menas or Theotokos of Vladimir, iconic depictions venerate the figures we consider holy or miraculous, marked by a defining saintly feature — the halo.

For artist Gabriel Garcia Roman, the halo is a particularly mesmerizing aspect of spirituality. Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, he immigrated to Chicago at the age of two. There he grew up in a Mexican household heavily influenced by Catholicism and religious imagery. As a kid, Garcia Roman recalls being transfixed by halos in fresco paintings, which, to him, combined suffering and strength on the dark walls of his church. “I saw the halo as a badge of nobility and selflessness,” he explained to The Huffington Post. “So I try and bring that feeling into my work. I want the viewer to be mesmerized like I was as a kid and still am.”

His work, “Queer Icons,” consists of wildly vibrant portraits that mimic the splendor of religious iconography, with one very important caveat. His subjects are not centuries-old saints. His subjects are very real individuals who identify as QTPoC (queer and trans people of color).


Sonia. 2015, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle and silkscreen, 11×14, image size 8×10. Image by Gabriel Garcia Roman. Poetry by Queer Icon Sonia Guiñansaca 

Inspired by a desire to show the diversity of a population that often goes underrepresented, Garcia Roman renders friends and friends of friends, whether they are organizers, activists, poets or artists, in saturated colors and decadent patterns, halos always in tow. Much of his series highlights QTPoC “icons” — “people who are working at gaining visibility with issues or simply the identity of being a Queer person of color,” Garcia Roman said.

“The subjects in ‘Queer Icons’ are people of color, who maintain separate, individual identities within the queer community,” Garcia Roman writes in a statement on his website. “These explorations of the edges of genders take place in the nuances of the contemporary urban world. A simple eye shape, an angle of a mouth, the tilt of the head — indicate a queering of conventional forms and roles … Much like traditional religious paintings conferred a sense of safety, calm and meditation into a home, the works in this series aspire to a similar sense of refuge, drawn from the inner grace of the subjects out onto a world that might not always be safe.”


Mitchyll. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

Drenched in deep purple and electric pink, his contemporary icons incorporate sprawling text and geometric backgrounds that set them apart from the icons of yore. To create them, Garcia Roman first photographs his subjects, then silkscreens colors and patterns onto the printed photos using a chine-collé technique. The artist has described his icons as a combination of martyrs and warriors, made distinct by their penchant for fearlessly staring down the viewer. Like the portraits of American painter Kehinde Wiley or South African photographer Zanele Muholi, both of whom Garcia Roman cites as influences, his work is defiant and uncompromising. 

“I’m absolutely inspired by the stoic portraits of Jan Van Eyck and Albrecht Durer too,” he added.

For some of the portraits, especially those that depict poets or spoken word artists, he allows the subjects to take part in the process, providing them with a Sharpie and tracing paper and instructing them to hand write some of their work around their image. “I wanted to give them a canvas to speak about their identity,” Garcia Roman told Mic. “I wanted to amplify their voice.”


Kathy. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

Garcia Roman posts the finished products online, on his Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr pages. “I am very active on social media,” he said to HuffPost. “Right now my Tumblr page is getting a lot of hits and I get excited when I get a notification that one of my images got re-blogged because I know that it’s being seen by people outside of my own circle.”

His goal: to ensure that young people come across his images and see these “icons” as examples of powerful leaders. One way he’s achieving this outside of the Internet is by making inexpensive digital reproductions, “so that people who can’t afford to own an original piece can have access to them.”

See a preview of the series here:

    Hiroshi. 2011, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Matsuda. 2011, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Kim. 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Kenny. 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Bruce & Tenzin. 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Giselle, 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Gerardo. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Jairo. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Sidra. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Julissa. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle and silkscreen, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
    Bakar. 2015, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle and silkscreen, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman


29 Things Vegetarians Can Make For Dinner That Aren’t Pasta ~ Deena Shanker

1. One Pan Mexican Quinoa

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

Recipe here.

2. Raw Vegan Tacos

Raw Vegan Tacos

Recipe here.

3. Brown Butter, Peas, and Mint Omelette

Brown Butter, Peas, and Mint Omelette

Recipe here.

4. Smoky Black Bean-Beet Burger

Smoky Black Bean-Beet Burger

Recipe here.

5. Coconut Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew

Coconut Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew

Recipe here.

6. Asiago White Beans With Farro, Kale, and Tomatoes

Asiago White Beans With Farro, Kale, and Tomatoes

Recipe here.

7. Quinoa Coffee Chili

Quinoa Coffee Chili

Recipe here.

8. Millet Bowl With Chickpeas, Red Pepper, and Snow Peas

Millet Bowl With Chickpeas, Red Pepper, and Snow Peas

Recipe here.

9. Bean, Kale and Egg Stew

Bean, Kale and Egg Stew

Recipe here.

10. Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Recipe here.

11. Mushroom, Lemon, and Lentil Salad

Mushroom, Lemon, and Lentil Salad

Recipe here.

12. Grilled Panzanella With Poached Egg

Grilled Panzanella With Poached Egg

Recipe here.

13. Stuffed Acorn Squash With Kale and Creminis

Stuffed Acorn Squash With Kale and Creminis

Recipe here.

14. Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup

Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup

Recipe here.

15. Tomato + Mozzarella Barley Salad

Tomato + Mozzarella Barley Salad

Recipe here.

16. Mediterranean Crescent Ring

Mediterranean Crescent Ring

Recipe here.

17. Shakshuka


Recipe here.

18. Cauliflower “Cous Cous” With Leeks and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Cauliflower "Cous Cous" With Leeks and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Recipe here.

19. Cheesy Quinoa Vegetable Bake

Cheesy Quinoa Vegetable Bake

Recipe here.

20. Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

Recipe here.

21. Portabella and Halloumi “Burgers”

Portabella and Halloumi "Burgers"

Recipe here.

22. Potato and Zucchini Frittata

Potato and Zucchini Frittata

Recipe here.

23. Kale and Quinoa Minestrone

Kale and Quinoa Minestrone

Recipe here.

24. Meatless “Steak” Sandwich With Tahini Sauce

Meatless "Steak" Sandwich With Tahini Sauce

BTW, the “steak” is seitan. Recipe here.

25. Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry

Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry

Recipe here.

26. Tortilla de Patatas, aka Spanish Potato Omelet

Tortilla de Patatas, aka Spanish Potato Omelet

Recipe here.

27. Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille

Recipe here.

28. No Noodle Pad Thai

No Noodle Pad Thai

Recipe here.

29. Quick Red Lentil and Spinach Curry

Quick Red Lentil and Spinach Curry

Recipe here.

The Story of Hubble’s First Photo—25 Years Later

Originally posted on TIME:

It ain’t much, is it? For all of the jaw-dropping, eye-popping, gobsmacking images the Hubble Space Telescope has sent home over the years, the smudgy, black and white picture above right is in some ways the most important. That’s because it’s the first picture the telescope took, on May 20, 1990—a quarter century ago.

The subject of this first-ever cosmic screen grab was the binary star HD96755 in the open cluster NGC 3532, about 1,300 light years away. HD96755 is the vaguely snowman-shaped object at the top of the image; the smaller one, below it and to the right, was a stellar bystander that simply photo-bombed the image. NASA released the picture along with a second one, top left, taken of the same objects by a ground-based telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert, to show that the $2.5 billion Hubble could do a better job. Which it did. A little.


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For Everyone Who’s Ever Felt Bad About Their Body — #mybodyis ~ Jordan Shalhoub

We brought in professional athletes of all shapes and sizes to discuss insecurities they might have with their seemingly “perfect” bodies, and they proved that body image issues don’t affect one shape.

Achieving the “perfect body” becomes a constant pressure at a young age, even with the fittest of the fit.

For Everyone Who's Ever Felt Bad About Their Body — #mybodyis

From dancing…

For Everyone Who's Ever Felt Bad About Their Body — #mybodyis

… to football, there’s always a push to look like the ideal athlete.

For Everyone Who's Ever Felt Bad About Their Body — #mybodyis

But, throughout their time as an athlete, they all realized their “flaws” were what made them unique, and even gave them an added advantage in their sport.

For Everyone Who's Ever Felt Bad About Their Body — #mybodyis

And when all is said and done, there’s only one thing that matters:

For Everyone Who's Ever Felt Bad About Their Body — #mybodyis

After all, perfection is overrated.

For Everyone Who's Ever Felt Bad About Their Body — #mybodyis

Michelle Obama Addresses Tuskegee University Graduates ~ Kim Chandler

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — Michelle Obama on Saturday invoked the storied history of Tuskegee University as she urged new graduates to soar to their futures, saying the past provides a blueprint for a country still struggling with the “age-old problems” of discrimination and race.

The first lady gave the commencement address at the historically black university in Alabama. Obama described how the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed first African-American pilots of World War II, endured humiliating slights as they shattered racial stereotypes about the capabilities of black men and how the university’s students in the 1800’s made bricks by hand to construct campus buildings so future generations could study there.

“Generation after generation, students here have shown that same grit, that same resilience to soar past obstacles and outrages — past the threat of countryside lynchings; past the humiliation of Jim Crow; past the turmoil of the Civil Rights era. And then they went on to become scientists, engineers, nurses and teachers in communities all across the country — and continued to lift others up along the way,” Obama said.

The defining story of Tuskegee is the story of rising hopes and fortunes for all African Americans. And now, graduates, it’s your turn to take up that cause,” Obama said of the university founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington.

The first lady, taking head on the issue of racial discrimination, mentioned the strife that has occurred in Baltimore and Ferguson — and the slights she and the president have endured — as she addressed the school’s 500 mostly African-American graduates.

“The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is those age-old problems are stubborn, and they haven’t fully gone away,” Obama said.

The first lady said she and President Barack Obama have dealt with the sting of daily slights through their entire lives. “The people at formal events who assumed you were the help and those that have questioned our intelligence, our honesty and even our love of this country.”

She said those little indignities are minimal compared to “nagging worries that you are going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason” or the “agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal.”

Obama said the frustration is “rooted in decades of structural challenges that have made too many folks feel frustrated and invisible. And those feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country.” But those frustrations are not an excuse to give in to despair and anger, Obama said.

She said history provides a “blueprint” for moving forward through politics and voting and education.

“Those Airmen, who rose above brutal discrimination, they did it so the world could see just how high black folks could soar. That’s the spirit we’ve got to summon to take on the challenges we face today,” Obama said.

Like the students who made bricks so future generations could attend college, Obama challenged students to do their part, mentoring children, volunteering at food banks and after-school programs and helping others achieve their college dreams.

Obama became the second first lady to visit the private school. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first in 1941, when she flew with a black Army pilot to show support for the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

A crowd of nearly 4,000 heard the first lady’s remarks during graduation. Tickets were largely limited to family members of the 500 graduates. Sarah Jordan, 21, had her mortar board emblazoned with “Law School Bound” and decorated in shiny pink and black. The Pasadena native is headed back to California for law school after getting her English degree Saturday.

“This is such a dream come true for me to have her here. She’s a role model for everyone,” Jordan said. “It means everything especially because I am an aspiring lawyer. I definitely look up to her,” Jordan said. Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

The first lady described the anxiety and criticism she initially endured over crafting her role as first lady, and how she learned to put it aside. She said a cable news program once called her “Obama’s Baby Mama” and that her self-described primary job as Mom might not be what some want to hear from an Ivy League-educated lawyer.

She urged graduates to likewise put aside negative voices and stay true to themselves and their dreams in deciding their paths.

“No matter what path you choose, I want to make sure that it is you choosing it and not someone else,” Obama said.

The Tuskegee speech is one of three commencement addresses Obama will give this spring. The first lady last visited Alabama in March. She accompanied President Obama and their two daughters to Selma for the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.


21 Tips to Release Self-Neglect and Love Yourself in Action ~ Tess Marshall

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

The most important decision of your life, the one that will affect every other decision you make, is the commitment to love and accept yourself. It directly affects the quality of your relationships, your work, your free time, your faith, and your future.

Why then is this so difficult to do?

Your Family of Origin

I grew up with nine siblings. I had two older brothers, three older sisters, three younger sisters, and a younger brother.

I never fit in. My sisters were tall and thin with beautiful, long, lush hair. By eleven years old, I was short and very curvy. My hair was fine, thin, and wild.

For the most part, my siblings did as they were told. I was outspoken, out-of-control and rebellious.

I wore my sister’s hand-me-down school uniforms. I rolled up the hems on the skirts and popped buttons on the blouses. My look was unkempt.

I was teased and bullied at home and at school. Yet I didn’t go quietly into the night. I fought for my place in my family. To protect myself, I developed a good punch and grew a sharp tongue.

I was 27 years old and married with four children when I became desperate enough to seek out my first therapist. I felt alone, stuck, and unlovable. I was determined to change.

After six months of working through my childhood issues, old thoughts, beliefs, and events, I felt alive again. It was like stripping off several layers of paint from an antique piece of furniture. I found myself restored to my original beauty.

Cultural Influences

We’re taught by society that our worth is found in the idols of our culture—technology, status, youth, sex, power, money, attractiveness, and romantic relationships.

If you base your self worth on the external world, you’ll never be capable of self-love.

Your inner critic will flood you with thoughts of, “I’m not enough, I don’t have enough, and I don’t do enough.”

Feelings of lack are never-ending. Every time a goal is reached or you possess the next big thing, your ego will move the line.

Shift Your Self-Perception

Feeling worthy requires you to see yourself with fresh eyes of self-awareness, , and love. Acceptance and love must come from within.

You don’t have to be different to be worthy. Your worth is in your true nature, a core of love and inner goodness. You are a beautiful light. You are love. We can bury our magnificence, but it’s impossible to destroy.

Loving ourselves isn’t a one time event. It’s an endless, moment by moment ongoing process.

It begins with you, enfolding yourself in your own affection and appreciation.

Read on for steps to discover your worth and enfold yourself in affection and appreciation.

1. Begin your day with love (not technology). Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Enfold yourself in light. Saturate your being in love.

2. Take time to meditate and journal. Spend time focusing inward daily. Begin with 5 minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of journaling each morning. Gradually increase this time.

3. Talk yourself happy. Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. Put a wrist band on your right wrist. When you’re participating in self-abuse of any form, move the band to your left wrist.

4. Get emotionally honest. Let of go of numbing your feelings.Shopping, eating, and drinking are examples of avoiding discomfort, sadness, and pain. Mindfully breathe your way through your feelings and emotions.

5. Expand your interests. Try something new. Learn a language. Go places you’ve never been. Do things you haven’t done before. You have a right to an awesome life.

6. Enjoy life enhancing activities. Find exercise you like. Discover healthy foods that are good for you. Turn off technology for a day and spend time doing things that make you feel alive.

7. Become willing to surrender. Breathe, relax, and let go. You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different. Your plan may be different from your soul’s intentions.

8. Work on personal and spiritual development. Be willing to surrender and grow. Life is a journey. We are here to learn and love on a deeper level. Take penguin steps and life becomes difficult. One step at a time is enough to proceed forward.

9. Own your potential. Love yourself enough to believe in the limitless opportunities available to you. Take action and create a beautiful life for yourself.

10. Be patient with yourself. Let go of urgency and fear. Relax and transform striving into thriving. Trust in yourself, do good work, and the Universe will reward you.

11. Live in appreciation. Train your mind to be grateful. Appreciate your talents, beauty, and brilliance. Love your imperfectly perfect self.

12. Be guided by your intuition. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.

13. Do what honors and respects you. Don’t participate in activities that bring you down. Don’t allow toxic people in your life. Love everyone, but be discerning on who you allow into your life.

14. Accept uncertainty. Suffering comes from living in the pain of the past or the fear of the future. Put your attention on the present moment and be at peace.

15. Forgive yourself. Learn from your mistakes and go forward. Use this affirmation, “I forgive myself for judging myself for __________ (fill in the blank i.e.: for getting sick, for acting out, for not doing your best.)

16. Discover the power of fun. Self-love requires time to relax, play, and create face-to-face interaction with others. Our fast-paced world creates a goal setting, competitive craziness that doesn’t leave room for play. Dr. Stuart Brow says, “The opposite of play isn’t work, it is depression.”

17. Be real. Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-see).

18. Focus on the positive. Go to your heart and dwell on and praise yourself for what you get right in all areas.

19. Become aware of self neglect and rejection. Become conscious of your choices. Ask yourself several times throughout the day, “Does this choice honor me?”

20. Imagine what your life would look like if you believed in your worth. Dedicate your life to loving you. Make it your main event.

21. Seek professional help. Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be accepted and loved. If necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor, or coach. It’s the best investment you can make.

Because we are all interconnected, when I love me, I also love you. Together through our love, we can heal ourselves, each other, and the world. Love is our purpose, our true calling. It begins with and within each of us.


Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed ~ Ali Velez

Cookie Monster is a great life coach who really listens to his clients.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

He knows how to relate to what they’re going through.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

No matter what the problem is…

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

He will try to find something positive in the negative.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

When all seems hopeless, he helps you find your passion…

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

And provides the perfect comfort.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

What are you doing with your life? Listen to Cookie Monster! This is all the life advice you will ever need:

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com



27 Delicious Recipes For A Summer Potluck ~ Christine Byrne


1) It travels well. If it won’t make it through an hour on the passenger seat of your car while you swerve through summer traffic, it doesn’t make the cut.

2) It can be stored and served at room temperature. Heating it up when you get to the party is too much of an imposition on your host. And, refrigerator space is limited and, frankly, better used for beer.

3) It doesn’t take long to make. You have a party to get to.

1. Sweet Corn and Roasted Jalapeno Hummus

Sweet Corn and Roasted Jalapeno Hummus

Recipe here.

2. Blueberry Pie Bars

Blueberry Pie Bars

All the deliciousness of a pie without the fuss of crimping a crust. Recipe here.

3. Caprese Chopped Salad

Caprese Chopped Salad

Lettuce salads can be a mess to toss when you’re making a big one for a large group of people. Also, they wilt when they sit out for too long. Caprese stays fresh for hours, and the vinaigrette and basil continue to flavor the tomatoes as it sits. Recipe here.

4. German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

Helen Rosner / saveur.com

Minimal ingredients, minimal prep work, maximum bacon flavor. Recipe here.

5. Asian Watermelon Salad

Asian Watermelon Salad

Izy Hossack / buzzfeed.com

Really, this one is all about throwing delicious things into a bowl in vague quantities and ending up with a pile of deliciousness, no matter what. Recipe here.

6. Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad

Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad

Recipe here.

7. Grilled Corn and Cheddar Quinoa

Grilled Corn and Cheddar Quinoa

Recipe here.

8. Salted Dulce De Leche Bars

Salted Dulce De Leche Bars

Because summer dessert doesn’t have to be all pie, all the time. Recipe here.

9. Antipasto Skewers

Antipasto Skewers

Recipe here (but really, you can skewer whatever you want.)

10. Pea Salad

Pea Salad

Recipe here.

11. Cookies ‘n Cream Sheet Cake

Cookies 'n Cream Sheet Cake

Super easy, and it travels well. Recipe here.

12. Vegan Green Goddess Dressing with Grilled Veggie Kebabs

Vegan Green Goddess Dressing with Grilled Veggie Kebabs

These taste great at room temperature, and they’re a side dish that vegans andcarnivores will love. Recipe here.

13. Chili-Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

Chili-Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

I understand that roasted potatoes don’t scream “summer” but really, does anything pair better with grilled steak? Roast ‘em the night before and refrigerate, but make sure they have enough time to come to room temperature before serving. Recipe here.

14. Salty and Malty Brown Butter Treats

Salty and Malty Brown Butter Treats

No one will call you immature for bringing rice krispie treats to a party if they’re laced with brown butter and studded with malted milk balls. Recipe here.

15. Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Skewers

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Skewers

Simple can taste really great if you know what you’re doing. Recipe here.

16. Snickers Dip

Snickers Dip

Don’t think, just do. Recipe here.

17. Potato Salad with Dill and Horseradish Aioli

Potato Salad with Dill and Horseradish Aioli

Recipe here.

18. Mango and Black Bean Salad

Mango and Black Bean Salad

Recipe here.

19. Favorite Three Bean Salad

Favorite Three Bean Salad

Recipe here.

20. Mojito Fruit Salad

Mojito Fruit Salad

Not all fruit salads are 90% cantaloupe. Recipe here.

21. Greek Tortellini Salad

Greek Tortellini Salad

Remember tortellini salad!?!?!? Why did everyone stop eating tortellini salad? Recipe here.

22. Blueberry Cornbread

Blueberry Cornbread

Recipe here.

23. Hogs in a Blanket

Hogs in a Blanket

Chris Court / foodandwine.com

Make classic pigs in a blanket a little bit more high-brow by using andouille sausage. Don’t worry, it’s not actually any more difficult, and there are still only five ingredients. Recipe here.

24. Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

Recipe here.

25. Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Jennifer Martiné / myrecipes.com

Recipe here.

26. Kale and Corn Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

Kale and Corn Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

Recipe here.

27. Ginger and Vanilla Peach Upside Down Cake

Ginger and Vanilla Peach Upside Down Cake

Don’t flip it out of the pan until dessert is served, and you won’t have to worry about anything getting smushed or falling out of place. Recipe here.


In Israel, biracial German author probes her Nazi heritage ~ Aron Heller

In this Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 photo, German author Jennifer Teege poses during the Jerusalem International Book Festival. Tiege is the granddaughter of Amon Goeth, the notoriously cruel camp commander of the Plaszow concentration camp portrayed by actor Ralph Fiennes in the Academy Award-winning film "Schindler's List."(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 photo, German author Jennifer Teege poses during the Jerusalem International Book Festival. Tiege is the granddaughter of Amon Goeth, the notoriously cruel camp commander of the Plaszow concentration camp portrayed by actor Ralph Fiennes in the Academy Award-winning film “Schindler’s List.”(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

JERUSALEM (AP) — When Jennifer Teege stumbled upon a book in a Hamburg library seven years ago, the biracial German woman who was given up for adoption as a child was stunned to discover a deep family secret that shook her to the core.

Her maternal grandfather was the brutal SS Commander Amon Goeth, who ran a concentration camp in Plaszow, Poland, in World War II and whose cruelty was so chillingly portrayed by actor Ralph Fiennes in the 1993 Oscar-winning movie “Schindler’s List.”

“It really turned my world upside down,” said Teege, who has written a memoir about her soul-searching experience entitled “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me” — a reference to the Nazis’ racist ideology.

In Israel, her story resonates on many levels. The country is home to the world’s largest community of Holocaust survivors. It is also the place where Teege lived as a student for several years, became fluent in Hebrew and first saw Steven Spielberg’s epic movie — long before she knew the dark secret of her origins.

Discovering that she traced her lineage to a man described as “the symbol of evil” sent Teege into intensive psychotherapy. Her therapist broke down in tears when he heard her tale, she said.

“It was very difficult for me to deal with this because I have a very unique relationship to Israel and with the Jewish people,” said the 44-year-old Teege, now a mother of two. She spoke to The Associated Press on the sidelines of the Jerusalem International Book Fair that showcased her book’s Hebrew edition. An English version is coming out in April.

Goeth was notorious for shooting Jewish inmates for sport at the concentration camp in Plaszow, a Krakow suburb, and for getting his dogs to attack them. The German industrialist Oskar Schindler saved more than 1,200 Jews by bribing Goeth and other Nazis to have them work in his factories rather than be sent for extermination in death camps.

Known as the “Butcher of Plaszow,” Goeth was convicted as a war criminal and hanged in 1946.

Teege’s astounding revelation and the book that followed were just the latest chapters in her troubled biography, from a childhood spent in foster homes to a prolonged estrangement from both her biological parents, to her struggles with prejudice in Germany because of her dark skin and the suicide of her grandmother, with whom she was very close.

It all led to several bouts of depression, but she said that finding out about her ancestry helped bring a “sense of closure.”

“Life is like a puzzle, so today I have a lot of pieces that were missing,” she said. “It is a story that you would never ever invent because no one would believe that it is true. But it is true.”

Teege’s maternal grandmother, Ruth Irene Kalder, was a secretary in Schindler’s factory and it was he who introduced her to Goeth, whose wife remained in Austria while he ran Plaszow.

Their affair produced Teege’s mother, Monika Hertwig, whose memoir “I Have to Love My Father, Right?” was the book Teege found in the Hamburg library that set her on her journey.

Teege’s mother had a brief affair with a Nigerian student but was already in another relationship by the time Teege was born in 1970, and she was sent to an orphanage as an infant. She maintained occasional contact with both her mother and grandmother until she was formally adopted at the age of seven. When she was 13, she found out that her grandmother had killed herself and only much later in life did she track down her biological father in Africa.

In her early 20s, long before discovering her family legacy, she followed a friend to Israel, where she learned Hebrew and completed an undergraduate degree at Tel Aviv University. She then returned to Germany, married and started a family.

She sees a physical resemblance between herself and Goeth but believes he would turn over in the grave if he learned he had a black granddaughter with close ties to Israel and Jews.

She said one of the things that motivated her to write her book was reading an interview with the grandniece of Nazi leader Hermann Goering, who told the AP in 2008 that she had herself sterilized to end her blood line.

Teege rejects the premise of such an extreme measure.

“You decide who you want to be. It is your character and you set an example that you can be different. It is not connected to genes,” she said.

The hardest part for Teege was reconciling how Goeth, a killer of Jews, was also the man her grandmother deeply loved.

“I cannot understand how she could have loved him. I think this was the biggest problem that I had,” she said.

In Israel, Teege met with one of the few people left in the world who actually came face-to-face with Goeth.

Rena Birnhack, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who was on Schindler’s list — the famous list naming those who were to be spared for labor — remembers being confronted by a tall, daunting Goeth at the “selection” line after the Krakow ghetto was liquidated.

Goeth decided who would be deported to Auschwitz and who would live a bit longer in his labor camp. Under a blanket, Birnhack held two puppies and offered them as a gift. Goeth let her live.

Decades later, reading Teege’s book, Birnhack found out Goeth kept the puppies and Kalder raised them in their home inside the Plaszow camp. She asked her granddaughter to track down the author and they met in the Israeli city of Haifa last week.

“All the memories came rushing back,” an emotional Birnhack said of the meeting. “Among the hundreds that he killed, he kept me alive … I can’t forgive the Germans for what they did to us but I have sympathy for Jennifer.”


Follow Heller on Twitter @aronhellerap


Read Leonard Nimoy’s 1968 Words of Wisdom to a Mixed-Race Teen ~ Robert Kessler

Leonard Nimoy (Getty Images)

Leonard Nimoy (Getty Images)

Leonard Nimoy, who passed away Friday at the age of 83, was best known for his portrayal of Spock on Star Trek. In addition to the legions of Star Trek fans who revered him, Spock and, by extension Nimoy, was considered a hero by many people who’d ever felt different.

In 1968, one of those people, a teenaged girl whose mother was black and whose father was white, wrote to Fave magazine asking Spock, who was half-human, half-Vulcan, how he’d handled the rejection of not fitting in. Nimoy was so moved by the letter that he penned a response, which Fave then published the following month. Nimoy’s letter is both touching and inspiring.

“It takes a great deal of courage to turn your back on popularity and to go out on your own,” Nimoy writes. “Although inside you’re not really like members of the pack, it’s still frightening to decide to leave them, because as long as you’re popular, you have at least someone to hang around with.”


Here it is in full, courtesy of My Stark Trek Scrapbook:






When You Don’t Like Yourself ~ Alex Lickerman M.D.

Some people have the misfortune to have been born to abusive parents who belittled them and prevented them from developing a healthy self-esteem. Others are born predisposed to view themselves in a negative light because of their physical appearance, a disability, or for no reason anyone, including themselves, knows. Research has consistently supported the notion that it’s difficult to be happy without liking oneself. But how can one learn to like oneself when one doesn’t?



People filled with self-loathing typically imagine they dislike every part of themselves, but this is rarely, if ever, true. More commonly, if asked what specific parts of themselves they dislike, they’re able to provide specific answers: their physical appearance, their inability to excel academically or at a job, or maybe their inability to accomplish their dreams. Yet when presented, for example, a scenario in which they come upon a child trapped under a car at the scene of an accident, that they recoil in horror and would want urgently to do something to help rarely causes them to credit themselves for the humanity such a reaction indicates.

Why do self-loathers so readily overlook the good parts of themselves? The answer in most cases turns out to relate not to the fact that they have negative qualities but to the disproportionate weight they lend them. People who dislike themselves may acknowledge they have positive attributes but any emotional impact they have simply gets blotted out.


Which makes learning to like oneself no easy task. Many people, in fact, spend a lifetime in therapy in pursuit of self-love, struggling as if learning a new language as an adult rather than as a child.

Before such a change will occur, however, the essential cause of one’s self-loathing needs to be apprehended. By this I don’t mean the historical cause. The circumstances that initially lead people to dislike themselves do so by triggering a thought process of self-loathing that continues long after the circumstances that set it in motion have resolved, a thought process that continues to gain momentum the longer it remains unchallenged, much like a boulder picks up speed rolling down a mountain as long as nothing gets in its way. For example, your parents may have failed to praise you or support your accomplishments in school when you were young—perhaps even largely ignored you—which led you to conclude they didn’t care about you, which then led you to conclude you’re not worth caring about. It’s this last idea, not the memory of your parents ignoring you, that gathers the power within your life to make you loathe yourself if not checked by adult reasoning early on. Once a narrative of worthlessness embeds itself in one’s mind, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to disbelieve it, especially when one can find evidence that it represents a true account.

But a narrative is just that:  a story we tell ourselves. It may very well contain elements of truth—that we are unattractive, that we do fail a lot of the time, or that our parents didn’t find us all that lovable—but to proceed from facts such as these to the conclusion that we’re deserving only of our own derision constitutes a significant thought error.


The problem is that we common mortals can hardly avoid deriving our self-esteem from the wrong source—even those of us whose self-esteem is healthy. We look to what in Nichiren Buddhism is termed the “smaller self,” the parts of ourselves that seem better than those of others and to which we become overly attached. In other words, we ground our self-esteem in things about ourselves we perceive as unique: typically our looks, our skills, or our accomplishments.

But we only need to experience the loss of any one of these supportive elements to recognize the danger of relying on them to create our self-esteem. Looks, as we all know, fade. Unwanted weight is often gained. Illness sometimes strikes, preventing us from running as fast, concentrating as hard, or thinking as clearly as we once did. Past accomplishments lose their ability to sustain us the farther into the past we have to look for them.

I’m not arguing that basing our self-esteem on our positive qualities is wrong. But we should aim to base it on positive qualities that require no comparison to the qualities of others for us to value them. We must awaken to the essential goodness—to what in Nichiren Buddhism is termed our “larger self”—that lies within us all. If we want to fall in love with our lives—and by this I don’t mean the “we” of our small-minded egos—we must work diligently to manifest our larger selves in our daily lives. We must generate the wisdom and compassion to care for others until we’ve turned ourselves, piece by piece, into the people we most want to be.

In other words, if we want to like ourselves we have to earn our own respect. Luckily, doing this doesn’t require that we become people of extraordinary physical attractiveness or accomplishment. It only requires we become people of extraordinary character—something anyone can do.

A simple thought experiment supports this notion: think right now of your favorite person and ask yourself, what is it about them that attracts you the most? Odds are it isn’t their physical appearance or their accomplishments but rather their magnanimous spirit; the way they treat others. This is the key quality that makes people likable, even to themselves.

Treating others well, it turns out, is the fastest path to a healthy self-esteem. If you dislike yourself, stop focusing on your negative qualities. We all have negative qualities. There’s nothing special about your negativity, I promise you. Focus instead on caring for others. Because the more you care about others, I guarantee the more in turn you’ll be able to care about yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to explore Dr. Lickerman’s home page, Happiness in this World(link is external).


13 Vegetables That Magically Regrow Themselves ~ Ariel Knutson

Growing vegetables from seeds is cool, but growing them from kitchen scraps is totally badass. Does it require some time? Yes. Is going to the grocery store easier? Definitely. But if you’re crazy enough to attempt these there are a lot of benefits. Upcycling your basil stems and onion butts (heeheehee butts) will save you money and you can do it indoors. Just make sure you use fresh scraps (not stuff that’s been composting for a week) and remember to pay attention to your baby future plant, making sure it has the water and light it needs.

1. You can grow scallions from their discarded roots.

You can grow scallions from their discarded roots.

Growing scallions from their roots is arguably the easiest vegetable to regrow. Change the water every day and you will see results in a week. Find directions here.

2. You can grow garlic sprouts (which are edible!) from a garlic clove.

You can grow garlic sprouts (which are edible!) from a garlic clove.

Or you could just use the garlic clove. Find directions to grow garlic sprouts here.

3. You can grow romaine lettuce from the bottom of a head of lettuce.

You can grow romaine lettuce from the bottom of a head of lettuce.

You don’t need to put romaine lettuce in soil, but if you do, the leaves will grow to twice the size. This also works for cabbage. Find directions here.

4. You can grow carrot greens from discarded carrot tops.

You can grow carrot greens from discarded carrot tops.

This looks like more of a fun experiment than something you’d actually want to eat. Carrot greens can be a little bitter, but you can try chopping them up with some garlic, vinegar, and honey to sweeten them. Find directions on how to grow them here.

5. You can grow new basil from basil cuttings.

You can grow new basil from basil cuttings.

An endless supply of basil?! Make sure to change the water often so the plant doesn’t get slimy. Directions here.

6. Lemongrass can grow from its discarded roots.

Lemongrass can grow from its discarded roots.

The bottom of a lemongrass stalk is too tough to use in cooking, so this is a nice way to avoid throwing out half the plant. After about three weeks of leaving the lemongrass stalks in water you should begin to see roots. Then you’ll need to plant the lemongrass in soil in a sunny location. Find directions here.

7. Celery can grow from a leftover celery bottom.

Celery can grow from a leftover celery bottom.

How crazy does this look?! After three days in water you should replant the celery bottom in soil. Find directions here.

8. Onions can grow from the root end of an onion.

Onions can grow from the root end of an onion.

It seems strange that you could just chop off an onion bottom and plant it in soil and something magical happens. Find directions here.

9. Bok choy can grow from bok choy scraps.

Bok choy can grow from bok choy scraps.

Very similar to growing celery. Find directions here.

10. An avocado pit will grow into an avocado tree.

An avocado pit will grow into an avocado tree.

Growing an avocado plant requires a lot of attention, and will take anywhere between five to thirteen years to produce avocados (if it ever does) . If you’re feeling ambitious and have a lot of free time, why not? Find directions here.

11. A sweet potato will sprout vines that may eventually grow new sweet potatoes.

A sweet potato will sprout vines that may eventually grow new sweet potatoes.

This will take some real estate. Find directions here.

12. Ginger roots can sprout and grow more ginger.

Ginger roots can sprout and grow more ginger.

It may take a few months for shoots to sprout and up to a year for the plant to grow harvest-worthy roots, but at least this project is low-maintenance. Find directions here.

13. A pineapple can grow a pineapple from its crown.

A pineapple can grow a pineapple from its crown.

Yes, you can grow a pineapple indoors, but it will take up to three years. Find directions here.


A Queer African Tale: On Trauma, Gender Transitions and Acceptance ~ Ola Osaze

When I first embarked on this journey of queerness I was a woman. I went to lesbian bars because that’s what non-hetero women did, while ignoring that nagging voice in me that spoke of an identity more complicated than gay. In these bars I was usually the most femme presenting person in sight and, in retrospect, the prettiest thing around — my black body sticking out like a flagpole in a sea of weather-beaten white faces. I didn’t think myself pretty then, blinded as I was by ideologies that maintained people like me — dark-skinned African women like me — could never be beautiful. With my long braided hair extensions and dark brown lipstick-ed lips, in my form fitting clothes and my undulations on the dance floor, I rarely got the attention that I longed dearly for because, then as it often is now, a high femme expression of femininity was reviled in lesbian spaces.

My friend Candy – the tall and husky white butch dyke I used to hang with who had a thing for fucking femme cis boys – called the lesbian bar I frequented “the chicken rotisserie room,” because “every dyke in there is over fried and over done.” She was referring to the way all the mullet-bearing and flannel-wearing white dykes in there repeated the same pick-up lines and carried on the same tragically doomed relationships with each other. I went there often because I thought that’s where you go to find love. What I found instead were the empty expressions and foolish acts of betrayal at the arms of forlorn dykes, many of them white, many of them confused out of their minds about what this life was supposed to give them.

There was Star, a stout stonebutch with a shaved smooth dome, who had the shaded blue image of a star carved into her left hand, right between the thumb and forefinger. Everyone called her the resident “wigger” and it took me a while to fully understand the awfulness of such a term or the depths of confusion that would lead a white person to mimic a mode of blackness they think they understand. She talked with a Southern black drawl, peppering her language with tired sayings America liked to call ebonics, making college-educated me feel like I’d gone white. And she called me as much when she was trying to pick me up. On that night I strolled into the club with newly done braids, wearing a tight black on black button-up and jeans combo. I walked in there imbuing my steps with a confidence that I didn’t even halfheartedly possess. Through my thick glasses I stared into the cavernous hall of the club. A few disco balls dangled from the ceiling, buckled here and there by water da mage. Disco lights flashed red, blue, yellow, and purple while something resembling techno music droned on overhead through speakers precariously nailed into the walls high above the dance floor. People swayed, moving in dreamlike motions. I took all this in then eyed the bar where the bartender stared into space, boredom a more prominent feature on her face than her actual facial features.

Why am I here, I asked myself. I’d left the comfort of my warm apartment on the outskirts of Charlotte near the college I attended. I’d driven through the unusually cold January night and here I was, for what? I sauntered to the bar, ignoring that internal voice that teased me for daring to venture out alone, daring to be in this lesbian meat market alone. Was I looking to get laid? I couldn’t figure it out so I got a tequila shot. “And you’re the prettiest thing in here,” Star said, leaning towards me from her perch on the barstool. I was so desperate for acknowledgement that I leaned right in, gobbling her attention right up. On the dance floor she moved in a way that let me know I was supposed to respond rather than initiate, I was supposed to let myself be dominated. She grabbed my hips and slid her hands down the back of my jeans as she pulled me closer to her, but I wrenched myself free because I didn’t want to give in, or at least not in the way she demanded. After a few run-ins at the club, Star stopped coming to the bar for some unknown reason. Did we make out? No. I was too disturbed by the stereotype she was performing. As confused as I was by my black identity, her performance of swagger and ebonics both intimidated and repulsed me.

I moved on to Angel, another butch white dyke I met through an online lesbian dating site. She was everything I was supposed to stay away from: newly out of prison and on parole, drinker of Robitussin like it was water, passionate about alcohol, weed, cocaine and ecstasy. She had a mother long dead and a rich father who wanted nothing to do with her “because I’m a druggie bulldagger,” she laughingly revealed. I wondered what he reacted the strongest to — the drugging ways or her gender nonconformity. The latter I was inexplicably drawn to, wanted to try on in my own way but didn’t yet have a lexicon to capture and understand, trans not being a word or identity I was familiar with at the time.

At night, steeped in herb and alcohol, we’d fuck relentlessly, exploring each other’s bodies and surfing our mutual highs when the drugs in our systems crested, then devolving into grouchy teeth grinding trolls when their effect wore of. I was so feverish with desire for everything her body was about and weed took that feverishness to a ferocity I didn’t recognize. One night, Peter, her drug dealer friend came over to her apartment and all three of us occupied her brown threadbare precariously tilted couch, passing the pipe from hand to hand, smoking and watching crappy TV. I climbed onto her lap, took her face in my hands and stuck my tongue in her mouth. She in turn clasped me closer to her warm cough syrup smelling body and the make-out was epic. We looked up after what felt like hours later to discover Peter had quietly slinked out.

The first time I smoked bud, it was with Sam, a thirty-something slim-framed white man in his 30s. We spent so much time together that everyone at Gray’s bookstore, where we both worked, thought there was something going on. I can’t tell you why I chose Sam as my friend. Maybe it was because in a way we were both outsiders, him the oldest in the group and me the sole immigrant, African for that matter — an exotic species to the staff who’d known nothing but bible belt America their entire lives. “You need to get back to your roots,” one black man in his early 20s said to me, befuddled by my musical excursions into the worlds of Fela and Nine Inch Nails; by “roots” he meant Hip Hop, not Afrobeat.

One night, sitting on the steps of a co-worker’s house, a ruckus party was happening around us. Sam, his easygoing nature creating an isle of calm around us, was as perplexed as I was by the drunken college kids — many of them screaming at nothing but just sheer air, fueled by a chemically induced joyousness. Sam and I chatted about nothing special. He passed me what I thought was a rolled cigarette. I took a hit, after he told me what it was. I choked, spat in mild disgust. “That’s disgusting,” I said handing the burning spliff back to him. The end glowed deep orange suddenly; smoke trailing off it curling into a blue haze. I noted that. Noted also the feel of seeing something as mundane as smoke anew. As the curiously jubilant people around me came into sharp focus, I noted the hidden truths seemingly unearthed by this thing that charred my throat and smelled like skunk. That was the beginning of my belief in the church of weed and my dependence on it for connection with others. Thanks, Sam, wherever you fucking are.

My two-month affair with Angel brought a sexual freedom, the likes of which I’d never seen. The weed, drugs and booze probably had a lot to do with that, but just as crucial was the absence of gender when we were in bed. I didn’t feel like a girl or any gender in particular. We were just two warm soft bodies — one black, the other white — fitting together in ways that made sense for us. I remember sitting up in her bed one night my hands still sticky from her, letting my eyes roam over her body in the dim light of her bedside lamp, settling on her flat chest and square shoulders, wanting her again, wanting a body like hers.

In spite of these self-discoveries that led me to question a gender I’d assumed was unquestionable, we were dysfunctional. For we traversed the terrains of coy sex to reckless sex to passionate sex, but we never had sober sex. And how unready was I to be out about being queer. I couldn’t dare come out to my very traditional Nigerian family, most of who were either back home, in the case of my parents and extended family, or in the case of my sister, had escaped the oppressive 2nd class status of Nigerian womanhood for the UK. The only relative who lived in the same town as me at the time was my older brother and, given that year in the early 80s when we were both still in Nigeria and he did those strange unwanted things to my 7-year old body, I didn’t like to be around him much and didn’t like to reveal any details of my personal life to him. I remember clearly the day I tried to introduce Angel to a co-worker we’d run into at the local Hollywood Video. Anxiety over being seen with my gay lover by a straight co-worker forced me to momentarily forget her name. High as she was at the time, she laughed it off like it was nothing, like she didn’t expect anyone to remember her name — least of all her lovers.

When she later dumped me for the love of her life who was getting out of prison, I too swallowed the heartbreak like it was my lot in life to be left for someone else. What never came into our relationship were the realities of our lives outside our drug-fueled fuckfests. I never told her about the lifetime of physical and sexual abuse at the hand of my family I was doing my damndest to flee. Nor did she know about the ways I was hustling for under the table jobs or lying about my immigration status to claim jobs that paid me a pittance and called it wages. Or how every other Saturday I drove my Dodge hooptie to the other side town to sell plasma for $25 a pop. During intake at those vampiric clinics, right after the blurb about gay men not being eligible to sell their fluids, the form would ask me if I was Nigerian, because apparently Nigerian blood, like gay men’s blood, is tainted by AIDS. I needed the $25 something fierce so I decided to shirk my Nigerian identity, all hundreds of years of Yoruba and Edo history, all 19 years of my born-and-bred-in-Port-Harcourt life, to lay in a stupor for the hour or two or three it took to drain the requisite amount of blood out and pump the plasma-less gruel back into me. “Make sure you eat,” the attendant would say to me as I stumbled out of there disoriented and ashamed.

Driven by deep feelings of unworthiness, I spent my early queer years chasing broken white women like Angel. I surrounded myself with people, white people in particular, that so ardently invested in a vision of me that was anything but me. Dating broken white women became a way to reprise a powerlessness that years of sexual abuse and generations of blackphobia had tricked me into believing in. I drowned this feeling of powerlessness in weed and seeking out relationships in which I could engage in yet remain completely hidden from view. Neither did I really want to know these lovers either, because that required a deeper level of engagement that I was unprepared for. This is what happens when you can’t bear to look yourself in the eye in the mirror: you can’t bear to look at anyone else either.

As I write this essay, I’m well into my 30s, no longer that twenty-something who wandered wide-eyed into the chicken rotisserie room. I am now living full time in a body that’s beefy and slim in the places I want, square shouldered and hairy in the places I like. People call me “sir” and “man” and throw a male-gendered “dude” my way in salute. I tell the ones that will listen that I’m neither a man nor male-privilege-seeking. I’m starting to occupy the complicated transgender space I spent years carving out for myself.

And yet. Why am I staring at the ruins of another weed-soaked and silence-filled relationship? Why am I once again looking at that confused twenty-something, the me who tried to escape childhood trauma by drowning in invisibilizing relationships?

Rather than cast that confused twenty-something aside, I’m realizing I have to take her hand. I’m learning she still has much to teach me.