Look To The Yams: New Study Finds Africans, Caribbean Immigrants Healthier than African-Americans ~ Charing Ball

Source: http://madamenoire.com/726801/look-to-the-yams-new-study-finds-africans-caribbean-immigrants-healthier-than-african-americans/

Over the weekend, I had dinner with a long-time friend who was visiting from his adopted home in Korea.

The friend, who is African-American, born and raised in Philadelphia and had only been in the States for a month, said one thing he didn’t enjoy about returning home was the weight gain. So far, he had gained 15 pounds.

“I think part of the reason for my weight gain is because the food over there is horrible,” he said as he took a bite into his second helping of tacos.


But according to new research, it might be environmental.


As reported by the New York Daily News:

“A new study from the city’s Health Department examining health discrepancies among black New Yorkers found that Caribbean and African immigrants tend to have fewer health problems like asthma and obesity than American-born blacks.

American-born blacks are also more apt to smoke and drink than blacks who are originally from other countries, the study says.

Some 53% of American blacks labeled themselves as drinkers, compared with 44% of Caribbeans and 34% of Africans.

No black group drinks as much as white New Yorkers, 70% of whom reported being drinkers, the study found.”

The health distinction between Diaspora and native Africans does not stop there. As the article notes, African-Americans have a greater percentages of obesity, asthma and high-blood pressure than our West Indian and African counterparts.

In fact, the only illness category in which all Blacks rated the same was diabetes (between 13 and 14 percent).

Although this particular health department study doesn’t spell out other factors that might contribute to the health gap (outside of smoking and drinking), its findings underscores previous research, which contrasts the health benefits between African-Americans and traditional South African diets.

In that study, which was published in April of 2015, colon cancer researchers at the University of Pittsburgh switched the diets of 20 African-Americans and 20 South Africans in a two week period span.

And as reported by Think Progress:

“In this time, the Africans consumed traditional American food — meat and cheese high in fat content — while African Americans took on a traditional African diet — high in fiber and low in fat, with plenty of vegetables, beans, and cornmeal, with little meat.

After the exchange, researchers performed colonoscopies on both groups and found that those in the African diet group increased the production of butyrate, a fatty acid proven to protect against colon cancer. Members of the American diet group, on the other hand, developed changes in their gut that scientists say precede the development of cancerous cells.”

You can read the study here.

And of course, none of this is conclusive. Like I said, my friend has been living in Korea. And when not in the States, he tends to only eat fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats anyway.

But if you find yourself ailing from a disease or obesity, and you’re not getting anywhere with modern medicine and other dietary suggestions, perhaps the answer might involve eating like our ancestors, pre-slavery, did?

Image via Shutterstock

Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and the reigning queen of unpopular opinions. She is also from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit NineteenSeventy-Seven.com.

5 Tips that make going vegan easier ~ Mira Marshall

vegan food
Photo: canva.com

Some people can go vegan cold turkey. Others transition to a vegan diet over time. I transitioned to a vegan diet after being vegetarian for more than three years. Here are some tips I’ve tested to make your transition to a veganism easier.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or dietician. This is information that I have learned on my personal journey and want to share to help you with yours. I encourage you to do your own research and make the best choices for you. Please consult a doctor before making any significant diet changes.

1. Be prepared

Maybe you’ve heard this before, maybe you haven’t. Either way, being prepared is essential to succeeding with your new lifestyle. You should always have something vegan-friendly in your fridge or snacks for when you’re on the go. If you’re going to be out and about most of the day, pack a meal or know where there are vegan-friendly restaurants in your area. The last thing you want is to be tempted to eat something non-vegan because you are hungry and weren’t prepared.

2. Try to make the majority of your diet plant-based

When I say “the majority of your diet should be plant based,” I mean around 80 percent.The bulk of your diet should consist of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains. This is something that I’m still working on because I love bread (most breads aren’t vegan by the way) and pasta.

3. Don’t restrict calories

Now this is one of the many perks of a vegan diet. You don’t have to, and, in fact, should not restrict calories. You are already eating whole natural foods, there is no need to limit calorie intake. Give your body time to adjust to your new plant-based lifestyle before limiting calories if you choose to do so.

4. Give yourself some options

It’s a total myth that vegan food is boring. There are endless vegan food options (well…minus meat, dairy and other animal byproducts) to choose from. You might have to get a little creative, but that’s another perk of being vegan. Here are some sites with great recipes to get you started: Sweet Potato Soul/Brown Vegan.

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself 

It’s totally okay if you slip up and eat something non-vegan. This is a lifestyle change, just learn from it and keep it moving. Give yourself some credit, the fact that you’re even considering going vegan is a step in the right direction. Nobody is perfect, which is why we need to encourage and support each other to make healthier lifestyle choices for the mind, body and soul.


6 Things Military Personnel Do That’ll Help You Fall Asleep Quickly ~ Chloe Fox

There’s no such thing as sleeping in when you’re in the military. With physical training often required every single morning before work, many service members are up and at ’em before our first alarm even goes off.

And while the military certainly isn’t perfect when it comes to getting proper sleep — research shows many soldiers don’t get the recommended amount of sleep and some are at risk for sleep disorders thanks to their grueling schedules — there are some lifestyle habits they engage in on a regular basis that may help prime a person for a proper night’s rest.

Thankfully, you don’t need to attend boot camp to get in on this bedtime sorcery. Just take note of the military’s more positive behaviors below, all of which may help you get better Z’s.

  • 1 Exercise regularly.
    The U.S. Army/Flickr
    Those aforementioned PT sessions might sound brutal, but the military is certainly onto something. The benefits of working out regularly extend way beyond your waistline. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people sleep “significantly” better if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. That’s just 30 minutes a weekday if you break it down. PT sessions, for comparison, typically last more than an hour.
  • 2 Stick to a schedule.
    Scott Olson via Getty Images
    Service members embrace being “creatures of habit,” and that discipline helps them get better sleep as well. Regulating your internal body clock — in other words, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day — is one of the most crucial steps to falling asleep easily and quickly. And it’s not too hard to teach your body the habit. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adjusting your schedule by 15 minutes a day until you reach your target sleep times.
  • 3 Plan ahead.
    Camille Tokerud via Getty Images
    Nothing delays sleep like thinking about everything we have to do when we wake up. The military easily takes care of one of the most nagging daily decisions: What you’re going to wear. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines know exactly what they’re going to wear in the morning, and more often than not, they have it laid out ahead of time. Plan your outfit the night before and you’ll have one less distraction as you fall asleep.
  • 4 Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
    Tatiana Belova via Getty Images
    This classic saying among Navy SEALs is usually applied to high-stress combat and training scenarios, but it has relevance for sleep too. While you should do everything in your power to be physically comfortable when you sleep, you can learn to adjust your mindset to better cope with mental discomforts like stress and anxiety.

    Troops are often pushed to the limits when it comes to stress, but they learn to manage it in order to keep performing. If you’re having anxious thoughts that are keeping you awake, try one of these tricks to help you better prepare for sleep.

  • 5 Make your bed.
    The brain thrives on order. Clutter has a tendency to cause stress, which perhaps is why crisp, clean corners of a well-made bed can be so deeply satisfying.

    Making the bed is a requirement of those in basic training — and a habit you should consider adopting as well. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the day when climbing into a neat bed instantly sets your mind at ease.

  • 6 Get out from behind the desk.
    Joint Base Lewis McChord/Flickr
    Few military jobs require sitting behind a desk all day long. Service members are active even when they’re at work, which makes climbing into bed after a long day that much more relaxing.

    Sitting sedentary behind a computer all day may be causing the aches and pains you feel as you try to fall asleep. Try to move a little bit throughout the course of your workday.



Farmer John Boyd Jr. Wants African-Americans To Reconnect With Farming ~ NPR Staff

John Boyd Jr., with his father, John Boyd Sr.

John Boyd Jr., with his father, John Boyd Sr.

Fred Watkins /Courtesy of John Boyd Jr.

As an African-American, John Boyd Jr. might not be what Americans imagine when they think of a typical farmer. But Boyd has been farming his entire life, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him. He grows wheat, corn and soybeans and has cattle at his southwestern Virginia farm.

Boyd has been involved in the politics of farming as well. In 2010, he rode his tractor to Washington, D.C., to plead for settlement funds in a long-running lawsuit against the federal government for historical discrimination against black farmers. He also is the president of the National Black Farmers Association.

Boyd spoke recently with NPR’s Michel Martin about the complicated historical relationship between African-Americans and farming in the United States.

<iframe src=”http://www.npr.org/player/embed/466565785/466748115&#8243; width=”100%” height=”290″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” title=”NPR embedded audio player”>

Click the audio link above to hear the interview. Interview highlights contain some Web-only extended answers.

Interview Highlights

How he describes his role

First and foremost, I’m always a farmer. But I’m always looking to make farming better. So I’m always looking for creative ways to make it better — to find access to markets for African-American farmers and other small farmers. …

I’m a farmer — I love the land. And if you don’t love the land and you don’t love raising crops, then there’s no way possible that you can be a farmer day in and day out because you’re not going to get rich farming.

Did he ever want to do anything else?

My father’s a farmer … and I watched him farm. I watched both my grandfathers farm. My mother’s father was a sharecropper. So I watched both of them farm and they taught me how to farm. And I said “Hey, I’m going to be a farmer.” I didn’t grow up saying I wanted to be a doctor … a lawyer … a dentist. I actually wanted to farm.

[I] always was excited about land ownership. My father taught me very early on that land is the most important tool that a person can possess. And he taught me if I treat the land good the land will take care of me.

He said, “The land didn’t mistreat anybody, didn’t discriminate against anybody.” He said, “people [do].” But if you put down a proper limeseed and fertilizer at the right time, that you can grow just as good a crop as any man.

And that brought out the competitive edge in me. So I wanted to take what he was doing and turn it into something bigger and better and more effective. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do.

On the 30-year lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Basically it was the government discriminating against black farmers. For not lending them money on time, for not processing their loan applications.

I always said farmers are faced with acts of nature such as hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts. But you never should be faced with the actual hand of the federal government. They’re supposed to give you a lending hand up, and not a lending hand down and mistreat people the way the government mistreated black farmers.

On why it matters that black people farm

I think it’s a part of, a great part of history. I don’t care how many generations you go back, you’re only one or two generations away from somebody’s farm. We all came from the farm. That’s why we were brought to this country as black people. We were brought to work the land and clean up the South for scotch-free as slaves.

That’s why it has a negative impact. And it’s because of the bad stigma that we’ve had because of sharecropping, because of slavery. Our people — black people — die from everything. Heart attack, stroke, obesity. And it’s from the foods that we’re eating.

If we had more black people growing healthy foods — not as a megafarmer, but farming right in their backyard. Growing string beans, onions, all of the vegetables. If you were growing these things and eating more healthy foods, we wouldn’t have some of the illnesses that plague us.

I think if we got reconnected with the farm, everything would be better. I would like to see our people go back to land ownership — get back to communities where we came from and really start doing some positive things.



21 Insane Ways To Start Your Day With Eggs ~ B. Britnell

1. Breakfast Quesadillas

Breakfast Quesadillas

B. Britnell / Via bbritnell.com

Find the recipe HERE.

2. Breakfast Pizza with Kale Pesto

Breakfast Pizza with Kale Pesto

Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

Find the recipe HERE.

3. Avocado Bacon & Eggs

Avocado Bacon &amp; Eggs

Lil’ Luna / Via lilluna.com

Find the recipe HERE.

4. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit Braid

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit Braid

Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen / Via melissassouthernstylekitchen.com

Find the recipe HERE.

5. Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast Tacos

B. Britnell / Via bbritnell.com

Find the recipe HERE.

6. Carnitas Chilaquiles with Whipped Jalapeno Cream

Carnitas Chilaquiles with Whipped Jalapeno Cream

Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

Find the recipe HERE.

7. Italian Baked Eggs

Italian Baked Eggs

Damn Delicious / Via damndelicious.net

Find the recipe HERE.

8. Red Potato Skillet Hash

Red Potato Skillet Hash

B. Britnell / Via bbritnell.com

Find the recipe HERE.

9. Breakfast Enchiladas

Breakfast Enchiladas

Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

Find the recipe HERE.

10. Avocado Toast with Egg

Avocado Toast with Egg

Skinny Taste / Via skinnytaste.com

Find the recipe HERE.

11. Bacon & Egg Breakfast Muffins

Bacon &amp; Egg Breakfast Muffins

Recipe Tin Eats / Via recipetineats.com

Find the recipe HERE.

12. Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs

Well Worn Fork / Via wellwornfork.com

Find the recipe HERE.

13. Cheesy Baked Egg Toast

Cheesy Baked Egg Toast

Crazy Adventues in Parenting / Via crazyadventuresinparenting.com

Find the recipe HERE.

14. Savory Breakfast Crepes

Savory Breakfast Crepes

B. Britnell / Via bbritnell.com

Find the recipe HERE.

15. Breakfast Bahn Mi

Breakfast Bahn Mi

Cooking and Beer / Via cookingandbeer.com

Find the recipe HERE.

16. Baked Egg Boats

Baked Egg Boats

The Kitchenarium / Via thekitchenarium.com

Find the recipe HERE.

17. Jalapeno Cheddar Grits with Poached Eggs

Jalapeno Cheddar Grits with Poached Eggs

Little Spice Jar / Via littlespicejar.com

Find the recipe HERE.

18. Breakfast Burrito Bowl

Breakfast Burrito Bowl

Skinny Taste / Via skinnytaste.com

Find the recipe HERE.

19. Breakfast Bake

Breakfast Bake

B. Britnell / Via bbritnell.com

Find the recipe HERE.

20. Baked Eggs Skillet

Baked Eggs Skillet

Kalyn’s Kitchen / Via kalynskitchen.com

Find the recipe HERE.

21. Egg Breakfast Muffins

Egg Breakfast Muffins

Hurry the Food Up / Via hurrythefoodup.com

Recipe found HERE.




7 Very Easy Ways To Eat Healthier This Week ~ Christine Byrne

1. Turn leftover turkey into a healthy lunch sandwich.

Turn leftover turkey into a healthy lunch sandwich.

Leftover sandwiches don’t have to be heavy. Recipe: Five Minute Turkey, Avocado, and Hummus Wrap.

2. Learn to make a healthy, hearty bowl of oatmeal that’s actually delicious.

Toasting the oats before you cook them changes the texture (for the better). Things like brown butter and dried fruit are just a bonus. Here are 13 ways to make your oatmeal even better.

3. The days after a big food holiday can feel a little… sluggish. Start things off right with an easy, healthy breakfast.

The days after a big food holiday can feel a little... sluggish. Start things off right with an easy, healthy breakfast.

Learn more here.

4. Chances are, you’ve already cooked enough this week. Try prepping and packing lunches that don’t require much cooking.

Chances are, you've already cooked enough this week. Try prepping and packing lunches that don't require much cooking.

More great, easy ideas here.

5. Try adding a quick, healthy dump dinner to your weeknight repertoire.

Sit back and let your crock pot do all the work. This simple slow cooker root vegetable stew is a great vegetarian option.

6. Don’t avoid your favorite winter foods, just figure out how to lighten them up a little bit.


7. Need an on-the-go breakfast that’s healthy but also delicious? Try a “breakfast cookie.”

Need an on-the-go breakfast that's healthy but also delicious? Try a "breakfast cookie."

You won’t be disappointed. Recipe here.


Self-Preservation as Self-Care: How to Set Healthy Boundaries ~ Nneka M. Okona

Zora Neale Hurston, the foremother of Black women’s literature, so eloquently penned that Black women were “de mule uh de world” and even many, many years later, we can see how this statement still rings true. Black women are seen as the pillars of strength in nearly every circle we comprise. We are the backbones of our families, the shoulder always called upon to cry on. We are supposed to readily perform strength, on demand, no matter what our emotional or mental state.

We do not belong to ourselves: our bodies, our minds, our emotions, our hearts, our spiritual state. Our emotional labor is prescribed and expected.

Self-care is a phrase often uttered as of late, especially on social media. My thought is that we, Black women, now know the importance of tending to the trauma we have been dealt for hundreds of years and dedicating ourselves wholeheartedly to healing, moment by moment, day by day. And we know that self-preservation, an uncompromising notion of clinging to ourselves and maintaining the sanctity of ourselves, is a defiant, revolutionary act of self-care. Setting boundaries — along with enforcing consequences if said boundaries are willfully ignored — is a crucial part of this, too.

Quick story: for most of my childhood and well into my adulthood, I was a doormat. I was kind and had a giving heart but lacked strong discernment and sound judgment. People sensed this and took advantage, taking and taking and taking until they couldn’t anymore. Until there was no further use for my presence in their lives. Until I was depleted and drained and filled with resentment. And then they’d be gone. Learning to choose myself after this defunct pattern yielded to learning what boundaries are, evaluating where I needed to set them in my current relationships and how I could set them as the need arose in new interpersonal bonds.

Boundaries are the space between you and another person, a space where you end and the other person begins. Setting boundaries is a method of informing those around you how to treat you, how to care for you, how to interact with you in a way that is nurturing, fulfilling and makes you feel safe. It isn’t about forming a tight fence around your inner being. It is about ensuring you feel free enough to be yourself, in totality, with those you bond with, and interactions are healthy, reciprocal and beneficial. And also that your values are acknowledged, honored and respected.

Learning to set boundaries can be tricky when it’s new, especially if those around you are used to a certain dynamic. If it’s a new concept, there’s a chance guilt may set in because it’s uncomfortable but don’t let yourself succumb to guilt. Push through the discomfort. Growth is on the other side.

Truly ready to ensure all of your bonds are healthy, safe spaces? Use these guiding principles as a compass while learning how to set healthy boundaries.

Always choose yourself. Always take care of you. 

Saying no is a complete sentence and requires no further explanation. If you really don’t want to do something, say no. If you were invited to go somewhere with friends but really need to take the night to get some much needed rest, don’t be afraid to say no for fear of disappointing them. It is better to be a disappointment to friends who most likely will be forgiving and understanding than be a disappointment to yourself because you are overexerting yourself. Be selfish, not selfless. No one but you will or is truly capable of putting yourself first and having your best interests at heart.
Firmly and directly assert yourself to those in your life.

Make a list of your values. Honestly determine what is important to you in your bonds with other people and keep these close to your heart. These are things that matter to you, these are things which make you feel valued and loved in your relationships. When behavior veers outside of what you deem acceptable according to your values, communicate that, immediately.

For example, if your partner has a tendency of speaking recklessly or raising their voice when they are upset with you, inform them you would appreciate if they would not raise their voice at you when angry. Make sure to use either “I feel…” or “When you…” statements to articulate your feelings. This is so you are explaining (and owning) how you feel and not casting blame on the other person to put them on the defense. By stating this, you are telling your partner there is a proper way to productively address issues and yelling is not one of them.

Be prepared to enact consequences if your boundary is not acknowledged, honored or respected.

Consequences aren’t a punishment or an angry thing as many of us have come to know. They are also not empty threats to manipulate the other person. Instead, consequences entail taking heed of a pattern of behavior, using that to inform future interactions and stating what will happen going forward. It might mean you no longer correspond with a person as frequently or not at all, and the relationship changes because their actions communicate a lack of respect.

For instance, perhaps a friend insists on calling or texting you late at night. This bothers you and you tell them, directly, to please not call or text you late and night (setting a boundary) and if they continue to do so, you will not answer when they reach out to you so late (consequence). Remember, this is about you. This is about engaging with others on your terms, what makes you feel comfortable and safe.

Ensure the boundaries you set are firm and stand behind them fiercely.

Boundary setting is often a learning curve and is not one size fits all for every person or situation. If a person is a repeated offender of poor behavior, your boundaries may be more rigid than say, for instance, a boss who has all of a sudden become overbearing and situationally difficult to deal with.

It is important to note your boundaries are only as strong as your commitment to following through on them. Stand behind what you say. Don’t let the (temporary) discomfort and guilt that arises prevent you from doing what you need to do to protect yourself. An example of this would be telling a friend you don’t like when they consistently cut you off in conversations because it makes you feel unheard (setting a boundary). Tell them if they can’t take the time to listen, you’ll will limit the conversations you have with them (consequence) but then a couple of days later go back to letting them cut you off mid conversation. You’ve communicated the opposite of what you intended: that what you said wasn’t that big of a deal and they can continue to conduct themselves in this way without any repercussion. It’s rewarding bad behavior and putting yourself back where you started. Prevent that; stick to your guns. Follow through.

Be patient (and gentle) with yourself. This is a process.

This is a journey, a multi-step, methodical, measured, slow journey. It won’t happen overnight and it will be difficult initially. You’ll be pushing back against an old way of interacting and shifting into more positive and healthy methods of engaging. The result, however, is well worth the effort, discomfort and plethora of other emotions that may arise — reciprocal relationships with people you respect who treat you lovingly, kind and nurture you in precisely the way you need.

Self-preservation as self-care is a fine art and boundaries are one component of that masterpiece. Invest in yourself through creating space and a lovingly flow between those you care about is yet another way to ensure you are taking care of you in the best way possible.

Nneka M. Okona is a writer based in Washington, DC. Visit her blog, http://www.afrosypaella.com, her website, about.me/nnekaokona or follow her tweets, @NisforNneka.


13 Insanely Easy Three-Ingredient Desserts ~ Lindsay Hunt, Jenny Chang

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Nutella + Eggs + Flour = Fudgy Nutella Cake

Nutella + Eggs + Flour = Fudgy Nutella Cake

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Nutella cake, frosted with Nutella. That’s all you need to know.

Nutella Cake
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Beat 1½ cups Nutella with 4 large eggs in a large bowl until well combined and slightly increased in volume, about 2 minutes. Fold in the ½ cup all-purpose flour until combined. Scrape into a greased and parchment-lined 8-inch pan and bake at 350º F until the center is just set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Frost with ½ cup Nutella, and serve.

2. Cookie Butter + Eggs + Sugar = Mini Cookie Butter Cakes

Cookie Butter + Eggs + Sugar = Mini Cookie Butter Cakes

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Imagine a molten chocolate lava cake, except instead of chocolate inside, there’s gooey, delicious cookie butter. (Basically peanut butter, except instead of peanuts, cookies.) Drizzle with more melted cookie butter to make it ~fancy~.

Mini Cookie Butter Cakes
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Microwave 1½ cups cookie butter in 20 second intervals until pourable. Beat 5 large eggs and ½ cup sugar with an electric mixer on high in a large bowl until tripled in size, 6 to 8 minutes. Beat the warm cookie butter into the egg-sugar mixture until fully incorporated. 

Divide the batter among the cups of a greased 12-cup muffin tin. Bake in a 350º F oven for 18 to 22 minutes, until the cakes are cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit 5 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and then glaze with ½ cup more warmed cookie butter.

3. Heavy Cream + Chocolate Chips + Caramel = Chocolate Pudding with Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce

Heavy Cream + Chocolate Chips + Caramel = Chocolate Pudding with Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

I don’t know how to explain the miracle of this mousse, except to say that somehow you cook chocolate and water together, and then beat the melted mixture it turns into an amazingly silky pudding. It’s dangerously simple. (P.S. We aren’t counting water as an ingredient.)

Chocolate Pudding
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Cook 2 cups chocolate chips and 1½ cups water over medium heat in a saucepan until the chocolate is melted. Beat on high for 10 to 15 minutes with an electric hand mixer until a fluffy mousse comes together. Scoop into a serving bowl, then top with 2 cups whipped cream, drizzle with caramel sauce, and sprinkle with more chocolate chips.

H/T to Cafe Fernando for the inspiration.

4. Apples + Puff Pastry + Dulce de Leche = Caramel Apple Tart

Apples + Puff Pastry + Dulce de Leche = Caramel Apple Tart

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Dulce de leche is caramelized sweetened condensed milk, which means it’s the richest caramel of all. Spread it onto puff pastry and top with sliced apples and call it a day.

Caramel Apple Tart
Serves 4 to 6

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Unroll one 9-oz. sheet puff pastry and roll to make 10-inch square. Use a knife to lightly score a 1-in. border all around the edges of the pastry. Use a fork to prick holes all over the center of the pastry. Spread the middle of the dough with ½ cup dulce de leche and then layer on 2 thinly sliced apples. Bake in a 400º F oven, until the pastry is golden brown and flaky and the apples are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

5. Pie Dough + Pears + Maple Syrup = Maple Pear Galette

Pie Dough + Pears + Maple Syrup = Maple Pear Galette

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Galettes are the lazy cook’s secret dessert weapon: they’re easy AF to make but look so pretty. Instead of fitting dough into a pie dish, you just fold in the edges to keep the pears in. Don’t worry if it gets a bit messy, that rustic look is so in RN.

Maple Pear Galette
Serves 4 to 6

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Roll 1 pound prepared pie dough into a 12-inch round and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss 1 pound sliced pears (about 4 small pears) with 2 Tbsp. maple syrup and pile in the center of the pie dough, leaving a clean 2-inch border. Fold the edges of the dough in towards the center to contain the filling. Bake in a 400º F oven, until the pastry is golden brown and flaky and the pears are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. maple syrup and serve.

6. Gingersnaps + Lemon Curd + Heavy Cream = Lemon and Gingersnap Icebox Cake

Gingersnaps + Lemon Curd + Heavy Cream = Lemon and Gingersnap Icebox Cake

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Did you know that you can turn cookies into cake by letting them sit with whipped cream overnight? The moisture from the cream seeps into the cookies and makes them soft. So: Whip lemon curd with heavy cream and stack it with gingersnaps to make the easiest layer cake ever.

Lemon and Gingersnap Icebox Cake
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Whip 4 cups heavy cream and 1½ cups lemon curd with an electric mixer in a large bowl until the cream is whipped and holds stiff peaks. On a plate, layer the whipped cream mixture with 1 lb. gingersnaps, arranging the cookies and cream into layers, creating a 4-inch-tall round, the size of a regular 9-inch cake. Frost the outside with a layer of the cream and then refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours). Before serving, decorate the cake with more lemon curd and sprinkle with crushed gingersnaps.

7. Gingerbread Cake + Cool Whip + Orange Marmalade = Orange Gingerbread Trifles

Gingerbread Cake + Cool Whip + Orange Marmalade = Orange Gingerbread Trifles

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

I can pretty much promise that everyone will say “Wow, these look so pretty!” when they see these trifles. You don’t need to tell them that all you had to do was crumble up some store-bought cake and layer it with Cool Whip and marmalade.

Orange Gingerbread Trifles
Serves 4

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Layer 12 oz. cubed homemade or store-bought gingerbread, one 8-oz. container Cool Whip (or 3 cups whipped cream), and 1 cup orange marmalade in 4 glasses, creating 2 or 3 layers of each ingredient. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours to let the flavors and ingredients meld.

PRO TIP: You can use store-bought or homemade gingerbread. I love this recipe of Martha Stewart’s, or you can use a boxed mix.

8. Pumpkin Ice Cream + Self-Rising Flour + Marshmallow Fluff = Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Ice Cream + Self-Rising Flour + Marshmallow Fluff = Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Melted ice cream + flour = cake. It’s optional to toast the marshmallow fluff topping with a blow torch, but it gives the cake that ~toasty s’mores flavor~.

Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Beat 1 pint melted pumpkin ice cream with 1½ cups self-rising flour. Scrape into a greased and floured 8-inch cake pan and bake at 350º F for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert onto a rack and cool to room temperature. Frost with 2 cups marshmallow fluff, then toast the fluff with a blowtorch (optional).

9. Pecan Pie Filling + Butter + Biscuit Dough = Gooey Pecan Pie Biscuits

Pecan Pie Filling + Butter + Biscuit Dough = Gooey Pecan Pie Biscuits

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Call it dessert, or call it breakfast. This is like a shortcut monkey bread, instead of tossing each little ball of dough in butter and then rolling in sugar, you can just toss it all together and then bake it in a skillet.

Gooey Pecan Pie Biscuits
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Cut 1 pound biscuit dough into 16 equal pieces, then roll the dough into balls and put them in a large bowl. Toss with 2 cups pecan pie filling and 1 stick (½ cup) melted unsalted butter. Scoop everything into a medium ovenproof skillet and bake at 350º F for 22 to 27 minutes, until the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot. 

PRO TIP: If you can’t find pecan pie filling at your supermarket, mix together 1½ cups pecans, 1 cup dark Karo corn syrup, and 1 cup sugar

10. Apple Pie Filling + Crescent Dough + Cream Cheese = Apple Cream Cheese Babka

Apple Pie Filling + Crescent Dough + Cream Cheese = Apple Cream Cheese Babka

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Crescent dough is really the MVP of all the canned things. Fill the dough with apple pie filling and cream cheese and twist it all up. It’s the most elegant thing that ever came out of a Pillsbury can.

Cream-cheese apple pie babka
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Unroll two 8-oz. tubes crescent dough onto a work surface. Spread the dough with 6-oz. room-temperature cream cheese, dividing evenly between the two pieces of dough. Reserve ¼ cup from one 21-oz. can apple pie filling, and then use the remainder to top the cream cheese. Roll the dough into 2 logs and slice both in half lengthwise through the middle. Twist two sections together at a time, keeping the cut side up. Arrange both twists in a cast-iron skillet or a baking pan with their ends touching, in the shape of a ring or a wreath. 

Bake at 375º F for 35 to 40 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and cooked through. Mix the reserved apple pie filling and 2 oz. cream cheese and drizzle over the top of the babka. Serve hot.

11. Sweetened Condensed Milk + Heavy Cream + Instant Espresso = Coffee Mousse

Sweetened Condensed Milk + Heavy Cream + Instant Espresso = Coffee Mousse

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Something magical happens when you combine espresso and sweetened condensed milk then whip it with heavy cream: It becomes a fluffy version the best coffee ice cream you’ve ever had.

Coffee Mousse
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Cook 1 tablespoon instant espresso and one 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milkin a small pot over medium-low heat until combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then add 1 pint heavy cream and beat with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with more instant espresso, if you want.

PRO TIP: You can freeze this mixture to make soft serve ice cream.

12. Cranberry Sauce + White Chocolate + Heavy Cream = Cranberry White Chocolate Pudding

Cranberry Sauce + White Chocolate + Heavy Cream = Cranberry White Chocolate Pudding

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Cranberry sauce has finally found its calling: swirled into dessert, like this white chocolate pudding, which is made for anyone with a raging sweet tooth. [Raises hand.]

White Chocolate and Cranberry Pudding
Serves 6 to 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Combine 1 lb. chopped white chocolate and 1 pint heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, whisking in between, until the chocolate is melted. Refrigerate 30 minutes and then beat with an electric mixer on high until quadrupled in size, 8 to 10 minutes. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, then serve swirled with 1¼ cups cranberry sauce.

13. Pumpkin Pie Mix + Puff Pastry + Sugar = Pumpkin Hand Pies

Pumpkin Pie Mix + Puff Pastry + Sugar = Pumpkin Hand Pies

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

This is for when you want your own, personal pumpkin pie. Instead of just filling the puff pastry with pumpkin pie mix, you cook it with some sugar on the stovetop to make a silkier, richer filling.

Pumpkin Hand Pies
Serves 8

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

Cook 1 ½ cups pumpkin pie filling and ⅓ cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the filling is thick and glossy, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. 

Unroll 2 sheets defrosted puff pastry (from one 17.6-oz package). Cut each sheet into 4 equal squares, then divide the pumpkin mixture among the 8 squares. Fold each square over into a triangle to seal the filling inside, then use a fork to crimp the edges shut. Brush the pastry with water, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400º F until the pastry is golden brown and flaky, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Not ready to make these just yet? Pin it for later! And, if you make one of these recipes, make sure to Instagram it and tag it #BuzzFeast. Happy Dessert-ing!

Not ready to make these just yet? Pin it for later! And, if you make one of these recipes, make sure to Instagram it and tag it #BuzzFeast. Happy Dessert-ing!

Lindsay Hunt / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed






24-Year-Old Model Who Lost Her Leg From Using Tampons: “I Was 10 Minutes From Death” ~ Tess Koman


Lauren Wasser was a 24-year-old model and aspiring WNBA player when she almost lost her life to Toxic Shock Syndrome. She told VICE in June about what it was like to lose her leg to the disease and sat down with them again recently to warn women about the potential dangers of tampons.

“I had to come out with my story because I needed to share what was happening and speak for all those little girls who have lost their lives,” Wasser told VICE. “I stand not just for a disability but I stand for women and women’s rights.”

Her story is horrifying: She was using super-plus tampons, “just doing my usual routine” when she started feeling really sick. She got into bed to sleep it off and was found facedown on her bedroom floor days later “10 minutes from death.”

She doesn’t remember much of her hospital stay — she was on life support because all her organs were failing and she was put into a medically induced coma to survive. The first memory she has of waking up was hearing the infectious disease doctor tell her mother they needed to amputate her right leg.

Wasser credits her girlfriend’s phototherapy for helping her get through the subsequent months. Seeing photos of herself in pain and recovering helped her get to the point where she thinks she’s “more beautiful than [she’s] ever been, inside and out.”

Wasser is engaged in an ongoing lawsuit with the Kimberly-Clark Corporation (the company that makes the Kotex Natural Balance tampons she used when she came down with TSS) and the grocery stores that supplied her with the tampons. She plans to continue fighting for transparency from these companies about the health hazards tampons pose for women.

You can watch her entire interview on VICE.

Follow Tess on Twitter.



15 Foods For A Happier Stomach ~ Emma Haak



  • 3. Raspberries
    The Fiber: 4 grams in 1/2 cup

    Try These: Sprinkle over Greek yogurt, or treat yourself to a raspberry buckle for dessert






  • 8. Chickpeas
    The Fiber: 6.2 grams in ½ cup

    Try This: Quick and easy roasted garbanzo beans