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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Of interest to women...

Recently, I had the welcome opportunity to read an entertaining and informative slim volume, "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano. Ms. Guiliano, born in France, is a businesswoman who rose through the ranks of Veuve Clicquot using her personal business manifesto as well her own brand of savoir faire. With a master's in French and German, and a command of many other languages, Ms. Giuliano's talents as an entrepreneur are in high demand. The authoress of three volumes, her confidence and soignee are very much appreciated.

In "French Women Don't Get Fat", Ms. Guiliano begins a dialogue in which she compares and contrasts the lifestyle choices of American with French women. Skillfully intertwining history and anecdotes, she illustrates the pathway that each culture takes to achieve their goals and ideals. For example, the constant need for technological connectivity has displaced civility, and the art of human interactions such as flirting, socializing and friendship. Also, she make the point that while one culture has a relaxed, friendly and nonstressed relationship with food, the other has a love/hate, schizophrenic attitude towards food and food rituals.

Ms. Guiliano presents an opportunity for us to re-examine the ways that we interact with both food and with the world around us. In more ways than one, she challenges us to see our experiences through different eyes.

Ms. Guiliano's other titles include:

French Women for All Seasons

Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire

French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook(April 2010)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Of interest to mothers

Two new items, one a book and one a research article, attracted my attention recently. "Get me out" by Randi Hutter Epstein, MD is a book chronicling the development of obstetrics throughout history. The other is an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, reveals the truth behind two famous obstetrics pioneers.

"Get me out" is a thick tome, rich in information and details about the movement of the birth process from the women-dominated home to the male dominated hospital setting. Along the way, there are various schemes, secrets, deals and plots, and many people who did things we look at askance today in the name of "science". There are also heroes, and those in-between, but the real recommendation of this book is in the flow of the story, and the unfolding of the big picture behind birth.

Mr. Don Shelton, in writing on the careers of Mssrs. Hunter and Smellie, aims to reveal that much of the knowledge that is taken for granted now was obtained under the most horrendous conditions. Body snatching, the abuse of the poor, the indifference to the marginalized-these were all taken for granted in the quest for knowledge. Well-known is the perpetual experimentation on slaves; this study reveals that poor whites fared little better in the search for clues as to how the human body worked. The gem of this study is that it gives both pause and food for thought as to how some of the medical miracles and advancements were obtained.

Friday, February 5, 2010

GO RED! For Women 2010!

Today is the day to pull out your red clothing, red shoes, red wig,your garnet and ruby jewellry, red power suit...it is time to GO RED! for women and to help save lives-including your own. Here in San Jose, the American Heart Association and its heart ambassadors, including San Jose's Community Doula, Doula Angelita, will be going red to spread the word about heart health and how to keep your heart happy and working well.

Your heart pumps blood ceaselessy throughout the body. All organs are nourished as well as the happy fact that the blood carries oxygen so that your lungs can fill with air. The heart is hard-working and uncomplaining, pumping, adjusting, finding a way to keep the flow going even when it suffers damages. One of the most important facts about the heart is that it takes a licking and keeps on ticking long after parts of it have died due to disease.

With the Go Red! initiative, the American Heart Association has a whole series of videos, on-line tools and outreach opportunities to keep your heart alive and well. Most of the advice is well-known: healthy diet, daily exercise, positive outlook, and getting adequate rest are all important ways to keep your heart healthy and happy. Additionally, there are recipes, opportunities to connect with others looking to improve their heart health, and ways to spread the word on heart health throughout the community.

To keep your heart healthy, the simplest point of reference is the ABC of Heart Health. This involves avoiding tobacco, become more active, and choose good nutrition. This message is simple, portable and fits in perfectly with the GO RED! philosophy. GO RED! is the slogan to signal the wake-up call to action for each one of us. GO RED! is not for one day only, it is a life-long committment. GO RED! for women is a way to women to think about taking good care of ourselves so that we can continue to care for the others who enrich our lives.

Doula Angelita, as a proud heart ambassador, will sponsor a series of Go Red! forums online every Friday in February. This Friday's forum will talk about the GO RED! system for maintaining heart health. She will also take questions from the general San Jose community regarding heart health. To connect with her or with the San Jose Heart Association, send an email to: sanjosecommunitydoula@gmail.com.