Martin’s Dream

Five Score

August 28, 1963
At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
Image Credit

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream.  He had a dream for his children, for my grandmother’s children, for me and for my children.

…A dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed,

‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.’

I have a dream . . .

At the Lincoln Memorial, in the year of the Centennial Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the significance of the occasion was highlighted by carefully and not-so-coincidentally chosen words.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that day… Continue reading


How We See Us vs. How Others See Us

I came across a post by The Good Curl that spoke about the “Brown Paper” syndrome that still seems to be prevalent in the Afro Canadian/Afro Caribbean/Afro American community.  She was not impressed with India Arie’s new album cover, claiming that her skin-tone did not seem to be as dark as it naturally is and challenging India’s foothold on self-acceptance.   She was questioning how black people see each other and themselves.

Just for fun, I did a Google Image Search and found what I like to call “The Many Shades of India.”  Here is just a handful below.  How many can you count?  It’s more than fair to say that the power of lighting is astounding…


The Many Shades of India
Photo Credit

My response to The Good Curl was that it is often hard for others to see you the way you see yourself. Continue reading


Before Mark Zuckerberg’s entrance to the social network scene, there was Hi5, Friendster and ICQ.  MySpace even ruled the roost for a minute.  When Facebook finally eclipsed all the others, everyone I know jumped on the band-wagon.

I resisted.

Twitter came along.  Many people I know started tweeting.

Still, I resisted.

Humble Pinning Beginning

say goodbye to family and friends

I had no idea!
Image Credit

Then one day in 2011 my brother showed me the latest and greatest in social bookmarking, mood boarding, self-indulgence, vicarious living, virtual hoarding, time-wasting, or whatever you want to call it.

Bro: “You haven’t heard about Pinterest?”
Me: “Wassat?”

He laughed and fired off an invitation to the invitation-only site.  “Prepare to lose hours and hours of your time!” Continue reading

This Is Not a New Year’s Resolution

Happy 2013!

With a new year come new aspirations, new bucket list items, new hopes, new dreams. I won’t use the word resolution, because we all know what tends to happen with those!  However, knowing about the importance of goal-setting and focus, I’m looking forward to the new challenges in store for me in the coming year. Continue reading

I Love My Hair – Now

Crooklyn’s Troy
– the look on her face here says it all –
photo credit

When my mom had me, it was the seventies and she was all about the Afrocentrism thing. Black Power, Nubian Pride, Mama Africa, yadda yadda yadda… She cut off her perm and grew an afro. She cut her best friend’s shoulder length hair into an afro too, much to the chagrin of her friend’s ultra conservative, ultra traditional West Indian mother. But not before she gave my six-year-old head a matching afro.

After that, I spent most of my time either telling people I wasn’t a boy , feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t have shiny, straight hair like my friends at school (all races, including black), or avoiding cameras at all costs. Pretty traumatic, actually… by kid standards.

Eventually, I did get a perm (against my mother’s will – a story for another day), but by that time, the damage had already been done. To this day I bob-and-weave when anybody pulls out a camera.

Fast forward to last week, when I came across this video –

All I can say is where was this when I was growing up? At the time, I was so desperate to conform to the beauty standards du jour that I didn’t realize my hair was, in fact, beautiful and versatile and a part of me that I should embrace and be proud of. I was just too young to see.

Hindsight is 20/20. Thanks Ma!

And thanks to vinegarandwater for sharing.

What were your childhood hair experiences? How did you feel about your hair growing up?

Is Eight Really Enough?

A short time ago, I saw a news report on CTV that claims that the “eight by eight” rule (eight 8 oz glasses of water per day) is too much for the average person. According to the report, this recommendation is based on guidelines, set out in the 1940s, that failed to communicate that this daily intake was actually for all fluids, including fruits, juices, and other foods containing liquids.


This report made me start wondering. Is there really such a thing as too much water? What happens if you drink too much? How do you know how much to drink?

Water Intoxication

This happens when too much water is absorbed by the body’s cells. The cells swell, throwing off the electrolyte balance between the inside and the outside of the cell. The swelling can cause the cell to burst. Other effects of the swelling include irregular heartbeat, excess fluid in the lungs, and seizures. Behaviour similar to alcoholic intoxication and even death may occur.

I remember having to go for an ultrasound once and being told to drink something like 40 oz of water. I was warned to make sure to start drinking at least eight hours before the appointment and to spread it out over as long a period as possible. Of course, I ignored the advice and waited till a couple of hours before to drink the water. Well, by the time I got to the doctor’s office, I was feeling so sick that I actually threw up! I had to reschedule the appointment and the nurse was non-too-impressed with me.

The moral of that story is that it’s not how much you drink, but how fast you drink that could cause a problem.

While it is possible to drink too much water, it is very rare that the body is unable to process the amount taken in. As long as the water consumed is spread out over a reasonable period of time, even in large quantities, a normally functioning set of kidneys will be able to process it without a problem. As a matter of fact, kidneys in good working order can handle as much as fifteen liters per day.

And who would drink fifteen litres per day, let alone MORE than fifteen liters?

How Much Then?

The average daily intake – according to the Mayo Clinic – for a man is 13 cups, or about 3 litres, and 9 cups , or 2.2 litres, for a woman.

Alternatively, there are a few ways to calculate daily water intake.  Simply multiply body weight by 0.5, which works out to one ounce per two pounds body weight. Or choose an appropriate multiplier (0.5, 0.6, or 0.7), according to the level of activity.

Here’s an example:

 Body Weight: 120 lb
Fitness/Activity Level: Low
0 to 30 minutes per day, 2 to 3 times per week – walking, yoga, stretching
30 to 60 minutes per day, 3 to 5 times per week – brisk walking, low-impact aerobics, light weight-lifting
60 minutes or more, more than 5 times per week – marathons, martial  arts, body building
Equation: 120 lb * 0.5 120 lb * 0.6 120 lb * 0.7
Amount to Drink: 60 oz 72 oz 84 oz

So what’s the right answer?  How much water should we be drinking?

My internet findings confirmed one thing: there is no right answer to this question.  Depending on what site you are on, the answer might be different.  Are you active?  What kind of activity are you doing?  How much do you weigh?  Are you a man or a woman?  Are you pregnant? Are you suffering from an illness or a disease?  What altitude do you live at?

The conditions and criteria are varied and numerous.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day,  the best thing to do is to listen to your body.  Adjust the intake with the level of physical activity or changes in the weather.  Most importantly, drink!

That was actually the conclusion of that news report I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Tips & Tricks

If you are like me, you don’t have a problem drinking water.  In my To Do (or Not Do) List for Retention post, I stated that I take in an adequate amount of water per day.  I no longer have to make a conscious effort to do so.  It just seems to happen on its own.

But for people who have more trouble doing that, there are a few little things you can try:

  • keep water handy by carrying it around or keeping it on your desk in a bpa-free bottle (personally, I use a glass bottle)
  • improve taste by adding lemon or lime, filtering to eliminate “metal” taste, or diluting fruit juice (1 part juice, 3 parts water)
  • avoid or minimize caffeinated drinks, as they can contribute to dehydration
  • eat foods with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes
  • learn to recognize signs of thirst and drink BEFORE feeling thirsty, because thirst means dehydration has already occurred

What’s Hair Got to Do with It?

When we get the proper daily intake of water that our bodies need, we improve and maintain our hydration level.  This, in turn, means that our bodies are better able to metabolize the food we are taking in and to properly absorb the nutrients needed for healthy, long, shiny hair.  Water also flushes out the toxins our body doesn’t need, and helps with elasticity.

The healthier the body is from the inside, the healthier it looks from the outside.

I’ll drink to that!

How much do you drink? What do you do to make sure your properly hydrated?