Minnesota


Image belongs to rightful owner

Searching the internet for the best and most exciting news and events in our community left me feeling very sad. With multiple tabs opened of websites from different local news reporting sources, all I could find were the negatives. Majority of the news that popped up were the major reports that involved the whole country or the really big negative events in Minnesota. There weren’t much recognition to the positive things happening in our community. Reading about so many things happening made me feel many different emotions; sad, mad, scared, helpless, etc. I had to search else where for community news and events that showed the exciting and fun community Minnesota also has, other than all of the bad that does occur in other states too.

Realizing that even though I was overwhelmed with negative emotions, this was something to learn from. From all of the sad and negative news, we should definitely be aware and keep at the back of our mind to be prepared and safe from danger. Also, just because all we see may be negative things, that doesn’t mean there is no positivity or light at all.

Overall, negative news and what is happening right now is definitely something to keep up with so we can be aware. I am not trying to say that we need less negative news; in the end, it would just be nicer to also have more reports on the positive local community. For example, North Minneapolis has so many businesses, organizations, stores, and people trying to make it a better place for everyone. They offer so many opportunities to their local neighbors and even outsiders. I was able to have the opportunity to walk around the Northside and interview a couple of businesses and organizations. There are so many good things happening but no one really talks about them.

Minnesota is so vibrant and has such a great sense of community connection wherever you go. The diversity, community, nature, food, nightlife, families, etc. There are so many things to look forward to in Minnesota and I’m so thankful to be able to call it my home. I feel like we have to remember to look for the positive things and not let the negatives take over completely. Be aware and know but also spread positivity.  

A Reminder To Be One With The Community

After reading the article titled “The Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research Walks Beside, Not In Front of, Diverse Hawaiian Communities to Control Diabetes,” it made me think about the good point that Dr. Marjorie Mau, a lead principal investigator of the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research, addressed on how they walk beside the community rather than in front of them. When trying to help the community, I think that it is best to make them feel like family; to feel comfortable and at ease with you. With the information we get about health issues in our communities, it definitely makes us want to address it and help those who may need some guidance. With this, we have to also remember that we can not just try to budge into their lives and take over, even if it is for good intentions.

The article mentioned how the Partnership for Improving Lifestyle Interventions (PILI) project addressed obesity by adapting an existing weight loss education program. They used local languages and examples that were relevant to those in the community. There was also a program added to help participants with the support of family members and the community; this program was culturally adapted based on its community. Personally, I have never thought about letting myself be apart of a research. The whole concept of trying to improve health by researching is amazing but when I think about allowing research programs work on my body, it just doesn’t sound too pleasing, depending on what it is. So after reading this article, I realized that maybe it isn’t too bad. Also, I loved how the research program approached the topic of research and what they were focusing on. Without a doubt, I think that their approach/idea on research and community can be applied to other things.

Dr. Mau and the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research definitely has good intentions to help the communities, mainly focused in Hawaii. The overall thought of walking besides them/the community and helping with issues they/the community care about can definitely help with the factor of gaining trust and opening up for help/guidance. Since our goal for the concept of Bicultural Healthy Living is to help support people in living healthily within cultures people adapt to, applying these ideas and strategies will greatly benefit the community and our goal.

Remember to lend out a helping hand but also remember to think about who those you help are as a person. Diversity is all around us but sometimes we forget that we live in a world where every culture is different but it is normal. Every community may be different so it is important to help with things that matter to them while making them feel like family.

 

 

To read more about the article, “The Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research Walks Beside, Not In Front of, Diverse Hawaiian Communities to Control Diabetes,” click the link: https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/news-events/features/community-health/diabetes-risk-and-native-hawaiians.html

Be Active!

Asian Media Access is celebrating the many health benefits of outdoor parks and recreation activities in honor of July’s National Park and Recreation Month. National Park and Recreation Month highlights the important role local parks and recreation activities play in keeping our community(ies) strong and healthy. During the month of July we encourage people of all ages to get active outdoors!

Children with access to safe parks are more likely to be physically active — and active kids perform better in school. For people of all ages, physical activity can reduce the chances of becoming obese. Plus, spending time outdoors can improve mental health. Visit Discover the Forest, https://www.discovertheforest.org/?m=1, to search for a forest or park near you!

Keep up with our Facebook page, Bicultural Active Living Lifestyle, to stay updated on some of the latest events in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Community. Also check out our Bicultural Active Living Lifestyle (BALL) webpage, http://ballequity.amamedia.org/, for more events and coverage. Together we can get our community(ies) to all the great programs that our public parks and recreational facilities offer.

For more information on our events or just more about us,
email us at amamedia@amamedia.org
or call us at (612)376-7715

Shedding a Tear

Having a couple of days off and building up the adventures to the awesome fireworks on the 4th has been amazing. Spending my weekend in Duluth, MN, I saw and realized a lot of things. People everywhere were in a very good mood and everyone was just so happy. This feeling that I was getting reminded me of how proud I am to be an American. There have been many things happening that has been hurting how I felt, about who I am and as an American. Being Asian American, a person of color, there were times when I felt like I did not belong, even though I was born in this country. I have many hopes for my country because I know it’s an amazing place. Times are hard but on the 4th of July, looking around and enjoying everyones’ smile and laughter, it made me feel at peace and very thankful.

            Happy and thankful, I remember why people love this place. The freedom and opportunities we can get here, it gives people hope. Despite all that has been happening, everyone still got together to celebrate Independence Day in America. The multiple fairs across the country just shows how much we all do love this place.

As fire works fly across the skies of America,

we watched in awe, as I shed a tear.

Master Of Meditation


Image belongs to rightful owner.

Hello everyone. Did the title of this blog post get you? Sorry, it won’t be about the master of meditation but it will be about my thoughts and experience on meditation. Feel free to keep reading or if you aren’t interested, check out our other posts!!

Anyways, during my sophomore year in college, I had taken a class on religions of the world. Three fourths of the way through the class, there was an assignment that required us students to physically attend a religious event at a site of our choice. My friend, Nancy, and I decided to go to the Zen Meditation session at Bluestone Zen Practice Community (dedicated to the practice of Zen and the fundamentals of Buddhism). I never really thought about how hard meditation could be. It just seemed so easy, having to sit most of the time. After this session and lessons from class, I realized that meditation was more than just having your eyes closed and breathing.

Nancy and I entered the building not knowing what to expect. It was around 7am so there were no lights turned on. Curtains were not put up either so it created darker/dimmed lighting. Candles were lit and it was quiet, but in a way where everything just seemed so soothing and peaceful. The session finally started when it was time. We all sat on a pillow on the floor. There wasn’t much talking at all and so Nancy and I just did our best to follow along. The whole experience was eye opening, showing me that there is so much more to it. Having to clear my mind while meditating was so much harder than I thought. I kept talking to myself in my head and thinking about trying not to think. I just couldn’t seem to clear my mind, and still haven’t mastered it. In the end, I appreciated the art of meditating a lot more. I definitely saw how this could be a really good routine for my body and mind.

After reading the article written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on lessons from meditating with the Dalai Lama, it made me feel a sense of comfort and happiness. He talked about how he had a personal one-on-one meditation session with the Dalai Lama. The part that I loved from his article was the part where he talked about how the Dalai Lama smiled and laughed while replying back with “After doing daily for 60 years, it is still hard.” I felt so comforted that someone as holy as the Dalai Lama was so sweet and encouraging. The overall article also talked about how Dr. Sanjay Gupta became a changed man because of this experience and the decision of applying what he learned to his everyday life routine.

Giving things a chance before judging was the reminder that came to me after this experience and again, after reading this article. Meditation is a way to calm the mind and help people with their body. It is just so cool to me now because there is such a deep meaning to it, and it helps a person in so many ways. Keeping the body healthy and staying in shape is so important but sometimes we forget to help the mind. Definitely give meditation a try. It won’t be easy but it will definitely benefit and satisfy you.

 

 

I highly recommend you to read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s article. Click the link below to go directly to the webpage.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/health/sanjay-gupta-dalai-lama-meditation/index.html

EBT At Farmers Markets!


Image belongs to rightful owner.

“Thirteen farmers markets in Minneapolis now accept EBT and offer a Market Bucks coupon to help low income residents purchase more healthy, fresh food at affordable prices.”

I know how expensive it can get when trying to find healthier ways to eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always so expensive. But hey! Are you with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)? If yes, there may be a way for you to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits more affordably.

SNAP is delivered via an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card and guess what? Over 30 farmers markets across Minnesota accept EBT!! Going to local farmers markets to purchase your greens and fruits can be a cheaper alternative compared to super markets and grocery stores.

“In 2010, the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD), Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy worked together to make Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) services available at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and Northeast Farmers Markets, which has accepted EBT since 2006. Partners also launched an incentive program called ‘Market Bucks’ to encourage EBT customers to use their benefits at the markets. Customers who spent at least $5 in EBT received an additional $5 in Market Bucks, essentially doubling their purchasing power for healthy foods.”

This all sounds great! I grew up shopping at the local farmers markets in Minneapolis and Saint Paul and it has always made it a bit easier for my family. In my opinion and from experience, it is definitely way more affordable compared to grocery stores; and now that more and more farmers markets are accepting EBT, it is going to help families of lower income more. The program trying to promote the use of EBT benefits at farmers markets is also so awesome, you spend but also earn money at the same time!

Overall, I think shopping at farmers markets for majority of your food is a great choice and should already be apart of your shopping routine. You save more and the veggies you get are probably way fresher. Try thinking about stopping by a farmers market to check it out! Even if you’re not apart of SNAP, still try checking out the farmers markets around you. I recommend you to because I personally love them. You can look up farmers markets in your area by googling it or if you’re in the Minneapolis areas, click the link below to see the list of farmers markets in Minneapolis.

 

Information received from the City of Minneapolis, MN website. Read more about it by clicking on the link below.
There are also EBT brochures, fliers, and postcards in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali if you would like to have it in hand.

http://minneapolismn.gov/health/living/eating/community-gardens

Does Your Loved One Have Depression?


Image belongs to rightful owner.

The article, Why Asian-American Seniors Have High Rates Of Depression But Rarely Seek Help,” written by Kimberly Yam has great detail showing culture differences and how it affects the daily lives of many. I loved how this article was able to snap a reminder into my head about my parents and grandparents. I will be restating some of the things from the article and giving my opinion on the topic.

In the Asian-American community, health is one of the biggest topics that become touchy to talk about, especially with the seniors. Overall health problems are not usually brought up unless one is really needing help; but with mental health many seniors do not seek help for it at all. According to the American Psychological Association, “Asian Americans are almost three times less likely than their white counterparts to seek mental health services.” One of the main factors to this is fear of being shameful. With the Asian culture, pride is very important and that is why some things may not be said or done in order to not “embarrass” the family.

We have to remember that most of our elders have experienced trauma from many of the world and life tragedies that has happened. Adapting to a new place and experiencing the feeling of being separated because of culture and language can have a huge influence on how one may feel. Our seniors/elders in the Asian community may hide their feelings of sadness and loneliness in order to avoid burdening the family. With this, the younger generation of sons, daughters, relatives…etc., should reach out when they feel that there may be some kind of loneliness.

When reading this article, I started thinking about my grandfather. When he was still on this beautiful planet, I met him once when he came to visit my family from Laos. He was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. He smiled a lot and didn’t talk about things much. When we went for walks, he seemed so peaceful. He always stared at the sky and just looked and admired the landscape. Thinking back now, I wish I spent more time showing him many beautiful things in life. I also wish I talked to him more about his past, present, wishes, happiness, and sorrows. Just thinking about how he was when he had visit made me realize that he had a lot of sadness and pain still in him. This realization definitely made think more about checking on my loved ones.

Loneliness and depression can happen to anyone. It may be harder for some to express the fact that they have these feelings. In the Asian culture, admitting that you need help isn’t really a thing. Elders may probably address mental health issues in different ways, like headaches, sleepless nights, pain in the stomach…etc. So it is important for loved ones to ask and spend the time to really try and help.

I am Asian American and when I was reading this article, the descriptions and beliefs about the Asian American culture definitely fit mine. My thoughts and culture may not fit every persons’ but overall, being able to fit and connect to these descriptions and beliefs made me more aware of possible emotions and thoughts my elders may be having. Mental illness is not thought about a lot at all in the Asian community. I hope that my brief article will inspire you to just really look after your loved ones also and remember to be aware of possible symptoms of depression or loneliness.

Read the article by Kimberly Yam at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/asian-american-senior-mental-health_us_591c53eee4b041db8965c58e
This article is definitely worth putting time into reading. I loved everything about it.