Passing the BALL we are in this together

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Campaign Materials

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Tales From the Garden #23

By Xianping He

Asian Media Access (AMA) has successfully hosted the Bicultural Active Living Lifestyle (BALL) Training to color youths in North Minneapolis. B.A.L.L. is the action piece to the philosophy of bi-culturalism, is the ability of immigrants and refugees to beidge two cultures, the American mainstream culture and their culture of origin, into one that allows them to live healthfully and happily.

After the B.A.L.L. training, our youths learnt to establish and maintain a positive self-esteem and cross-cultural image; and understood that there is no dominate culture, and all cultures are equally important. Everyone should be proud of their own culture.

The youths also using I statement to show how they define themselves as bi-cultural, such as “Speaking in two languages is a strength not everyone has, and proud to be.” “I used to think that American food was disgusting and not as good as my own culture’s food, but now I see that American food is really good, just like my own culture. I must learn to be open to other cultures, while maintaining and honoring my own.” “ I used to think wearing my hijab was weird and made me look different. I now realize it does make me look different and identifies me, but so does my personality. I am more that what I wear.”…

Every youth was identified themselves as bi-cultural, and explored how unique they are, and was proud of being themselves.

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BALL Announcements

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1. Does Having a Variety of Foods From Different Cultures Apart of Bicultural Healthy Living?

Is having a variety of foods from different cultures part of a bicultural lifestyle? Does it lead people toward a bicultural healthy life? Bicultural healthy living is when an individual identifies himself/herself with two different cultures and balances them out in his/her life. Bicultural individuals keep their cultural traditions or ethnic practices while adapting and practicing customs from the new culture they have moved into. With this bicultural definition, it makes sense that an individual living this lifestyle will definitely eat foods from different cultures on a regular basis.
Nowadays, many people are incorporating different kinds of food into their meal throughout the day. . Examples of associating foods with a bicultural lifestyle would be eating kentucky fried chicken (KFC) with rice and Asian pepper, Indian chicken curry with barbequed ribs, having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner along with a variety of Asian dishes, having a hotdog as a snack then having asian dishes for a meal…etc. Basically incorporating different kinds of food from different cultures with your own. Being able to embrace who you are and eating ethnic foods from your culture while also eating new foods from around the world is when you have a healthy bicultural lifestyle. Another reason why having a variety of foods from different cultures is a part of a healthy bicultural lifestyle is because you are remembering the types of authentic dishes that you and your ancestors made while also incorporating new things.
Being able to accept your culture and live among different cultures will bring more positive thoughts and feeling. A healthy life is not just about the body, but also about the mind. Those who refuse the thoughts about who they really are may find it hard to live happily because negative ideas are constantly influencing their thoughts.
It may be hard sometimes to ignore comments from people who do not eat the same food as you. Papaya salad from Laos has a fishy smell because of the crab paste, stir fry may also have a stench depending on the ingredients, chicken feet and animal organs may look unappetising to others…etc. They may say it is too smelly or it looks weird, they might even make fun of you. In the end, when embracing yourself and your culture, no bully or comments will be able to bring you down.
When an individual feels the need to change who they are and deny their cultural background in order to fit in with their new surroundings, they are not living a bicultural lifestyle. It is not healthy because there is denial and this can lead to a problem in the future, not being able to fit in or identify who they are. The world is beautiful because of all the people from different cultures. Embracing your own culture and living a healthy bicultural lifestyle will make life happier and a lot easier. Overall, this is the goal for Asian Media Access’ Bicultural Healthy Living project, helping people accept who they are and their traditions while living among different cultures.
Having a variety of food from different cultures is definitely part of a healthy bicultural lifestyle. This is because the acceptance of your individual self and culture will bring more positive thoughts which will result in a peace of mind. Having a peace of mind will lead to a healthier mentality. Food is a part of who we are and where we came from. This is one of the most important reasons why food is apart of a bicultural lifestyle, without it we are left with an empty piece in our culture.

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2. Low Blood Sugars

Low blood sugar, which is called hypoglycemia, means your body does not have enough sugar in the blood to fuel all of your body’s cells. Typically a low blood sugar is defined as anything below 70 mg/dL (3.8 mmol). It is also sometimes called an “insulin reaction” or “insulin shock”.
When your blood sugars drops below this level, you may begin to feel a variety of symptoms. As your body runs short on fuel, you may feel shaky, nervous, anxious, or irritable. You may begin to sweat or get the chills. Your heart may race. As your brain operates on less sugar, you may feel confused or delirious or get a headache.
Each person feels different low blood sugar symptoms. Some don’t feel any symptoms at all, which is called hypoglycemia unawareness. It is important to learn and recognize your own symptoms.
Sometimes, you may feel like you have low blood sugar even when you don’t. This can happen when you have had a high blood sugar for a long-time, such as at diagnosis, and your body is first coming back into the normal range. Although it may feel unpleasant, these symptoms will go away in a week or two and you will feel better than you did when you had high blood sugars all of the time.
You may also feel symptoms of low blood sugar when your blood sugar is dropping rapidly. Your body is sensing the rapid loss of sugar for fuel and sending you warning signals.
Don’t guess whether or not you have a low blood sugar. It is important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar and confirm before treating it. Studies have shown people are not good at guessing their blood sugars (but often think that they are).
According to the American Diabetes Association, if you feel symptoms of low blood sugar and are unable to test your blood sugar, err on the side of caution and treat the low blood sugar. Severe low blood sugar can lead to accidents, injuries, coma and death. It is a life threatening scenario.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Courtesy of the American Diabetes Association:
Nervousness or anxiety
Sweating, chills and clamminess
Irritability or impatience
Confusion, including delirium
Rapid/fast heartbeat
Lightheadedness or dizziness
Hunger and nausea
Blurred/impaired vision
Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
Weakness or fatigue
Anger, stubbornness, or sadness
Lack of coordination
Nightmares or crying out during sleep
Basics of Treating a Low Blood Sugar:
Eat or drink something with 15 grams of carbohydrate, preferably glucose tablets or something with dextrose as this works fastest to raise blood sugar.
Beware of treating with foods containing high amounts of fat or fiber as this will slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
Always carry something to treat a low blood sugar with you. Keep extra supplies in your car’s glove compartment, your purse, pocket, backpack, home and work.
If you are having frequent low blood sugar episodes, talk to your health care provider to see what changes to your diabetes management routine may be needed.
Avoid a high blood sugar after a low blood sugar by learning how to not over-treat your low blood sugar.
If you yo-yo between high and low blood sugars, find out how to get off the blood sugar roller coaster.
Treating Severe Hypoglycemia
According to the ADA’s The Complete Guide to Diabetes, the elderly or those who take diabetes pills like sulfonylureas are more likely to suffer from a severe hypoglycemic episode. With severe hypoglycemia, blood sugars go from low to dangerously low as the body goes too long without glucose. This can lead to unconsciousness and coma or death.
It is important that the people around you are aware of low blood sugar symptoms. It is ideal that someone at work and someone at home who you trust is trained on how to deal with an emergency scenario involving you becoming unconscious from a low blood sugar.

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