What Do I
By: Karen J.
Co-Publisher, On the
Recently, I've found myself wondering if I'm getting
wishy-washy as I get older. You know, where you can't quite
make up your mind what you believe about an issue? I'm having
that problem with the current discontent running through the
GLBT community with regard to the President's lack of movement
on the promises he made us.
On the one hand, I can certainly identify with the
impatience. We haven't merely waited a long time for what most
Americans take for granted, we've waited forever. And we've
been disappointed so many times that it's nearly impossible to
I was right there with him when HRC President Joe Solmonese
responded to that appalling Justice Department brief by sending
a letter to President Obama:
"Last week, when your administration
filed a brief defending the constitutionality of the
so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act,' I realized that
although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves
to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard,
and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives,
loves, and families are equal to yours.
...as an American, a civil rights advocate, and a human
being, I hold this administration to a higher standard than
this brief. In the course of your campaign, I became
convinced-and I still want to believe-that you do,
too. I have seen your administration aspire and
achieve. Protecting women from employment
discrimination. Insuring millions of children.
Enabling stem cell research to go forward. These are
powerful achievements. And they serve as evidence to
me that this brief should not be good enough for you.
The question is, Mr. President-do you believe that it's
good enough for us?
If we are your equals, if you recognize
that our families live the same, love the same, and
contribute as much as yours, then the answer must be
Yeah! Take that, Mr. President!
But then..... just yesterday, in the Oval Office, the
President signed the "Presidential Memorandum on Federal
Benefits and Non-Discrimination" expanding federal benefits for
the same-sex partners of Foreign Service and executive branch
government employees. In a statement made preceding the
signing, he said:
"But this Presidential Memorandum is just a start.
Unfortunately, my Administration is not authorized by
existing Federal law to provide same-sex couples with the
full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married
couples. That's why I stand by my long-standing commitment
to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of
Marriage Act. It's discriminatory, it interferes with
States' rights, and it's time we overturned it."
Alright! Thank you, Mr. President!
See what I mean? Wishy-washy.
You can read his entire statement, including his support of
the "Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009",
by going to "Wrongs that We Intend to Right
Today" and "Remarks by the President" on the White
Then, since I can't seem to make up my mind, how
about telling us what you think?
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We'd love to hear what you think about President
Obama's performance so far --- or anything else that affects
our community. Just write to us at email@example.com .
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The Last Word on Label
Fit in a Year - Week
Finally, the last word
We have to look at a few more
things. WARNING: here comes the math....
Start with carbs. When we read
the carbohydrate data, remember that 1 gm of carbohydrates
equals 4 calories. You need to figure out how many
calories you're getting from the carbohydrates in this
item. If your daily goal is 1700-2100 calories, you'll
want to spread those carbs out during the day. And if
it's all sugar--especially if it's corn syrup in one form or
another--consider putting it back!
And while you're looking at the carbs,
notice the dietary fiber info listed there. You want to
shoot for 20-30 gms of fiber per day. Or 14 gm per 1000
calories. Whichever is mathematically easier. This
is an important number.
The next thing to look at is protein
which is given in grams. You need about 0.8gm per kg of
your body weight. Because one kilogram equals 2.2 lbs, if
you weigh 154lbs, you weigh about 70 kg, so you need about 56
gms of protein (or a bit less than 2 ounces). More if you
are working out. Keep in mind that protein takes many
forms, not just animal. You get it from grains, legumes,
And finally, let's look at fat.
It is also given to you in grams. Remember that 1 gram of
fat equals 9 calories, and you want 25-30% of your daily total
caloric intake to be fat. Let me say this clearly:
NO TRANS FATS. Even if it says zero, be sure to read the
ingredient list to be certain you do not see partially
hydrogenated anything. The majority of your fat should
come from vegetable sources. Fish is fine. And very
little animal fat. If it's liquid at room temperature,
it's ok. But don't scrimp on fat. Your body needs
it. So eat it, and make it top quality.
While this labeling system is supposed
to be helpful, it seems anything but. It's not even
successful at keeping the food processors honest--watch out for
the fake serving size. You have to be on top of your
nutrition game. If you use that entire packet of salad
dressing you got at the drive-through, are you actually eating
2.5 servings? Is the serving size for the cereal
My advice and my practice is to eat as
many foods in their original form as possible. Keep the
ingredient list short and sweet. Think about the recipes
your grandmother or great-grandmother used before foods became
industrially whitened and denatured. The ingredients in
the package are listed in descending order with the ingredient
in the largest quantity listed first. Look for "whole"
grains on the ingredient list and you'll automatically get more
fiber and protein. And if you can't pronounce it, don't
Really, I do everything I can to avoid
reading labels. Every morning, I pack food to take to my
studio: a sandwich including lettuce, spinach, tomatoes
(unless it's pb&j) on whole grain something, a banana,
apple, grapes, carrots, celery--whatever raw fruits and veggies
I have on hand--and I then munch this food all morning.
And I don't have to read anything. Easy.
Simple. Real food. No calculator
We haven't even talked about the
percentage column....do we really want to go there? How
about instead, we focus on eating as many raw fruits and
veggies--organic when possible--as we can every single
day. Seems like a good trade--eating all the
phytonutrients and enzymes that we possibly can instead of
doing that math...
I'm going to leave it at that. If
you want to know all about the percentage of daily intake, let
me know. Meanwhile, I've got some grapes to eat