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    Our Time Is Now

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | October 23rd, 2022

    Our Time Is Now

    This past week, I had the opportunity to go to two events, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Central Ohio Chapter 9th Annual Trailblazer Honor and Scholarship Award, and the Lunch and Learn event sponsored by Healthy New Albany titled Resilience Toolbox for Parents: Practical Tools for Families to Support Mental Wellbeing. The event in New Albany, I will discuss in a future blog.

    The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Central Ohio Chapter 9th Annual Trailblazer Honor and Scholarship Award was a virtual event. What made this event special was my friend, Angela Cauley, was one of two women honored as a trailblazer. The second woman was Tracy Townsend, a journalist and news anchor. Angela was honored for her contributions as a food scientist and her work with the George Washington Carver Food Research Institute. The institute was launched by her and her husband, Dr. Ian Blount, with a vision to live in a world where food is accessible, equitable, and inclusive for all people. Their mission is to empower people to use the power of agriculture to transform lives. She was the keynote speaker for this virtual event. She gave an excellent speech. For those of you who regularly read this blog, you might think she was preaching to the choir, but what she said will never get old with me. The theme of the event was ‘Our Time is Now.’ Our time is now to do what we need to do, and she listed three things we need to do now. The italicized text is my interpretation of what she said.

    1. See your healthcare practitioner and get a physical examPreventative care is important. Use this opportunity to get your screening tests like your pap smear (screening test for cervical cancer), mammograms (screening test for breast cancer), and colon cancer screening with either colonoscopy or Cologuard. Know your numbers – blood pressure, body mass index, hemoglobin A1c, lipid panel. Get screened for sexually transmitted infections. Get your eye exam. You do not have to be sick to see your health care practitioner. You can schedule an appointment to see your healthcare practitioner to maintain good health, find any health ailments early, or ensure your chronic disease is under control. Our time is now.
    1. Monitor what you eat- let food be your medicineShe talked about her garden and the joy of picking vegetables from the garden and cooking for her family. She challenged us to think about the types of foods we eat. Think about how our grandmothers used to cook. She talked about getting back to basics. She knows it is hard for women to work, take care of children, care for the house, and come home to cook, but we need to think about what we put in our bodies. If you have never cooked, it could be hard to start cooking. I would challenge you to start with one day a week and do something simple. You can go online and check out some of the videos. Our time is now to change our diet to food that enhances our health. Food can be our medicine. We need to be proactive – our time is now. 
    • Self-care is very important. As women, we spend so much time caring for others that we forget to care for ourselves. We cannot be effective caregivers until we start with ourselves. Self-care is not selfish. We have to make ourselves a priority. Do something for our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Doing something for ourselves has to be just as important as any appointment we have. If you need to schedule self-care time, then do it.  Our time is now to make ourselves a priority. 

    I am so proud of all she has accomplished.  She is a trailblazer, an innovator truly deserving of the award. It pays to know a food scientist. Many years ago, she introduced me to the benefits of turmeric. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.

    “Do you cook with turmeric,” she asked.

    “No,” I answered.

    “Well, you need to. It is great for your heart and cognition. It also reduces inflammation in your body. You need to start cooking with it.” She replied.

    I have been cooking with turmeric ever since, which motivated me to learn about the health benefits of other spices.

    4 Responses to “Our Time Is Now”

    1. Dayna Hale says:

      Would love to see some recipes that include turmeric:)

      • Ngozi Osuagwu, MD says:

        I reached out to our food scientist, Angela Cauley. She makes a turmeric cauliflower wrap, where she seasons the cauliflower with turmeric, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and peppers. A sister of the blog stated she was told by her workout instructor to use turmeric with peppers on her eggs. I use turmeric on my stir-fried vegetables. I would go ahead and experiment.

    2. Linda K. Jackson says:

      Very interesting! Since I’m vegetarian, I’m always interested in checking out new recipes!

    Leave a Reply

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