In the spirit of healthy eating and living, watch this recent interview of White House Chef Cristeta Comerford speaking on the Today Show with Matt Lauer. If you're trying to figure out some creative menus for this weekend or for the rest of the summer, you'll get some great ideas here.
As a speaker, trainer and consultant on the go, I appreciate the value of fresh foods and nutritious meals for fortifying my energy while I work. First Lady Michelle Obama is on a White House crusade to reverse the obesity levels in this country.
She is featured in the August 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens (see photo to the left).
Share your thoughts and ideas of your own recipes in the comments section. And think about trying out these two healthy recipes with your family and friends. (The recipes were created by the Better Homes and Garden food editors.)
Enjoy your weekend.
Fruit Pocket Pies
3/4 cup fresh raspberries and/or blueberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. smashed apple jam or apple butter
12 slices soft whole grain white or soft whole wheat bread
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 lbs. of apples for Smashed Apple Jam
Method for Smashed Apple Jam
1. Peel, core and slice 4 pounds apples.
2. Place apples and 1/2 cup water in a 4 or 5-quart heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until very tender. Remove from heat.
3. Mash apples with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender. Return to heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes until the jam thickens and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
4. Transfer to a covered container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Method for Fruit Pocket Pies
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash berries and spread to dry on paper towels. Meanwhile, stir together sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
2. For each pie, spoon 1 tablespoon of smashed apple jam in the center of a bread slice. Top with 3 to 4 berries and another slice of bread. Gently press the top slice around the fruit. Trim crusts from bread using a serrated knife.
3. Bake pies for 18 to 20 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and bottoms are browned. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
*Makes 6 servings
Chopped Green Salad with Herb Dressing
4 cups torn spinach and/or romaine
1 small cucumber, seeded, if desired
3 oz. broccoli florets, blanched and shocked* (1 cup)
3 oz. tender fresh green beans, blanched and shocked* ( 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed
1 1/2 cups halved green grapes
1 recipe Fresh Herb Dressing
On a large cutting board, cut lettuce and cucumber into bite-size pieces. Add to a large salad bowl. Add broccoli, beans, edamame, and grapes. Toss gently to mix. Drizzle about 1/3 recipe fresh herb dressing over vegetables. Toss gently to coat mixture with dressing.
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh Italian parsley, basil, or thyme
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
In a screw-top jar combine orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, herb, mustard and pepper. Cover and shake well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Stir or shake well before using.
Raspberry vinaigrette: Prepare as above, except substitute raspberry vinegar, and add 1/4 cup mashed fresh raspberries.
Serve salads in small tumblers or cups with lemon wedges, if desired. Pass remaining dressing, if desired.
*Notes: Before chopping lettuce, wash lettuce and remove excess water from leaves by patting dry with paper towels. Salad dressing clings better to dry lettuce. For Shocking vegetables: Bring a saucepan half filled with water to a boil. Carefully add vegetables and cook 3 minutes (do not wait for water to return to boil to start timing). Drain in colander and immediately add to a bowl of ice water to halt cooking. Drain well before using.
Click To Play The South African National Anthem Below
A Boston Visit To Remember
The week of June 22, 1990 will always hold a special moment in history for me. That was the week when newly released Nelson Mandela visited America for the first time and stopped by Boston for a visit before heading to New York City, Washington DC to meet with President George HW Bush, and several other cities in the US. Married at the time, my husband was one of the dignitaries on hand to officially greet Mr. Mandela. My three children sat through several rehearsals with the late great community leader Elma Lewis, finally learning all the words to the South Africa National Anthem, "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika." They sang with a giant children's choir at the Hatch Shell where the Boston Pops strike up a tune every 4th of July.
Thousands Lined The Streets To See Mandela
There were thousands of people lining the streets to get a glimpse of this famous man unfairly locked up for 27 years. He was visiting our city with his stalwart wife, Winnie, his children and grandchildren. His granddaughter would end up calling my son from Europe, once the Mandelas left the United States. The fast friendship of these two pre-teens was a bonus from the trip.
Franklin Park in urban Boston bust to the seams with people waiting for their Mandela. All along the motorcade route people shouted the name Mandela! The late Senator Ted Kennedy used his booming voice to shower Nelson Mandela with praise. It was a magic moment in history where apartheid did not destroy or define the character and courage of Nelson Mandela.
And now 21 years later, he is still a great man. A bit frail, but still a powerful voice of possibilities. This past Monday, July 18, Nelson Mandela celebrated his 93rd birthday. It was a big deal in South Africa, although under-reported in America. More than 12 million schoolchildren sang a special version of Happy Birthday before starting their lessons in South Africa. And now two decades later, there is the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa that coordinated the festivities.
67 Minutes Of Service
In 2009, Nelson Mandela's birthday was declared an international day devoted to public service, and is recognized worldwide by the United Nations. The day served as a call to volunteers to find a good cause for 67 minutes, one minute for every year Mandela spent in active politics.
I visited South Africa for the first time in 2009, and I am still reflecting on the complicated relationships of the people of that great nation. I ran into Winnie Mandela in my hotel restaurant during that trip, and found her to be warm and engaging. I reminded her that I had met her in Boston during her 1990 visit, and she smiled from ear to ear as she hugged me closely.
There won't be another Nelson Mandela in my lifetime or yours who lived long enough to enjoy life after decades of imprisonment, torture, and suffering. At 93 Nelson Mandela still has much to teach us about patience, dialogue, vision and social justice.
Happy Birthday President Mandela. May you live in peace and comfort during the rest of your days on earth. You have given much to your country. You have given much more to the world.
Your Comments, Reflections, and Tributes To Nelson Mandela are Welcome.
For more information visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation at www.nelsonmandela.org
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Food, Conversation and Culture Go Hand In Hand. Watch this video and find out why no diversity professional can ever ignore the power of food.
Then give us your feedback on how food impacts your cultural relationship with others in the comments sections below..
Photo Left: Gary Morton
1992 Leader of Tomorrow Student Member
Now the Managing Director of the Boston Chapter Leaders of Tomorrow
Student members of the Boston Chapter Leaders of Tomorrow Program (LOT) of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) recently participated in a nationwide case competition in Connecticut, sponsored by the NBMBAA. Although the young team did not win, they made an impressive showing, and are fired up to compete again in next year’s competition.
Below is a commentary written by the LOT’s Director, Gary Morton. Morton is one of a growing number of young professionals who joined LOT as a high school student in 1992 and remained connected to the program. After graduating from high school in Boston, he continued on to finish Bentley University and is currently enrolled in graduate school. Married and the father of two, Morton works for Liberty Mutual in Boston.
I am very proud of Gary and have watched his leadership role grow through the years. I co-founded the Boston LOT program in 1991 when I served as the Chapter President. It has been so fulfilling to see the group expand through the years, and exciting to see Gary and others take an active leadership role as LOT alum.
Congratulations to the team. May you continue to excel in the years ahead.
-Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA
The Boston Chapter Leaders of Tomorrow Program
by Gary Morton
We were very proud to rigorously train, educate, mentor and advise a group of 12 committed student Leaders in graduate level Business Analysis fundamentals, ultimately taking 5 them to the 2011 LOT National Business Case Competition on June 24th - June 26th to compete for $30,000 in scholarships at the University of Connecticut’s School of Business.
This was our first year participating in this nationwide competition and the students competed against 24 other teams. They trained with us for several months, learning fundamental business concepts including SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), Porter’s Five Forces, and financial analysis techniques. Also, they studied other factors that impact business decisions such as economic indicators and environmental conditions. Further, the practice sessions were full of exercises that enabled the students to practice public speaking and work on presentation skills.
The students arrived at U Conn on Friday where they were warmly greeted by the Senior Administrators for the U Conn School of Business as well as the newly appointed President of the National Black MBA Association, Kimberly Corbin. Orientation was followed by a college tour and pizza party, which allowed students from various chapters to socialize and network before the next day’s competition. Saturday, we competed in the first round and presented on the Harvard Business Case for Natura, a Brazilian beauty company.
While our team did not advance to the final round, they performed very well. They exhibited poise, confidence, professionalism, expertise during the MBA-level presentation they gave before a panel of judges.
The final round that afternoon was followed by an awards gala in the evening where the National Black MBA Association’s LOT National Case Competition Committee spoke on the history of the program and its immense value to high school students across the nation. During the ceremony, the finalists were announced.
The results were the following: 1st place – Dallas, 2nd place – Chicago, 3rd place – New Jersey, 4th place – Westchester, 5th place – Toronto. Following the ceremony, students danced the night away at post-gala party.
Much applause to the students for their enthusiasm and dedication and to the LOT leadership team that worked tirelessly on a weekly basis for several months to teach MBA-level material. This was a great experience for both the chaperones and student alike! We’ve already started planning for 2012!
This is a moving message Michelle Obama delivered last month to young African women who have hopes, aspirations, and dreams like women everywhere.
Listen to this 43 minute speech and discuss the role of women leaders in your network of friends and colleagues. This speech is an excellent centerpiece for workshops, discussion groups or forums you are planning in the future.
You can download a copy of the speech below.
And after you have listened to the speech, please share your comments with us below.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the keynote address to a U.S.-sponsored Young African Women Leaders Forum from Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, Johannesburg. Forum participants include young women from across sub-Saharan Africa who are leading or involved in social and economic initiatives in their own countries. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/YoungAfrica to follow the First lady's trip.
This summer is filled with nonstop social, political, and employment-related activities.
These events are ideal for those looking for a new job, new business deal, or new professional relationship to nurture.
Here in Boston there will be a steady stream of family reunions, weddings, conferences and conventions all summer long. The Urban League Conference kicks off on July 25th with the State of Black Boston with CNN anchor, Soledad O’Brien headlining the luncheon. Blacks in Government bring their National Training Conference to Boston in August where many of the nation’s top federal, state and municipal professionals will gather for food, refresher courses, and fellowship.
You can read all about these meetings by clicking HERE.
Both meetings were favorably represented in a recently published Associated Press article. Click HERE to read more.
But that’s just Boston. Go to any major city on the planet and there is a meeting taking place, speakers like me presenting their messages, and companies on full display with their goods and services. There are church conventions in Orlando (Young People’s Division & Women’s Missionary Society Quadrennial), speaker conventions in California (National Speakers Association National Convention) and business conferences in London (Global Economic Business and Finance Research Conference). Take your pick. There’s a meeting, social event, or conference taking place every day of the year somewhere in the world.
The big question is how prepared are YOU to take full advantage of your next meeting, conference, convention, or family reunion.?
Here are 10 Ways To Successfully Network at the Next Summer Event coming your way.
1. Take your business cards everywhere you go. You can even start a new professional relationship with someone at a funeral this summer with your business cards. (Don’t laugh, I’ve done it!)
2. After exchanging business cards and before reaching home, write a note on the card reminding you where you met the person, the date of the event and what follow up is needed. (For my Asian friends, writing direcly on the card is a no-no. So write your notes elsewhere and keep them close to yours cards.)
3. Create a business card file using a three ring binder and plastic business cards sleeves you buy at your office super store. Create a system of categorizing the cards and file accordingly.
4. FOLLOW UP in a few days or weeks with those whose business cards you’ve collected.
5. If you’re attending a conference or convention, post pictures, video clips, audio clips and journal entries on your website or social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
6. Before following up with your new contacts preview their biographical profile at Linkedin.com. You don’t have to belong to Linkedin to preview someone’s profile, and you might find out you have more in common with that VIP whose card you now have (same school, worked for the same company, etc.).
7. Send out HANDWRITTEN notes re-introducing yourself and thanking the person for meeting you at X event.
8. Set up a regular phone schedule to connect with your new contacts. Remember that some of your contacts are very very busy and might take 3-6 tries to get them on the phone. Ask for a 15 minute phone meeting at their convenience.
9. Be careful with sending gifts to your contacts. With government staff, gifts are frowned upon and often now allowed. I know of at least one multinational company that will not allow its employees to receive gifts. Instead send the handwritten note and a photo of the two of you at X event.
10. Speaking of photos, take your camera EVERYWHERE. Your smart phone, camera, a small pocket camera or a flip video camera will work. Send your photos and video clips to your new contact. If appropriate post them on your webpage or Facebook.
(That is exactly what I did when I met Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts recently. Click HERE to see those photos.)
Enjoy Networking All Summer Long!
Your Comments and Networking Suggestions are Welcome.
Play John Philip Sousa's Stars & Stripes Below...
I love the Fourth of July, Parades, and The Stars and Strips Forever.
Yes you can be a card carrying diversity professional like I am and still show patriotism and love of country. Through the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors, Black, White, Brown, Asian, and Native American, on July 4th the United States of America can suspend its conflict, and strife long enough to celebrate its freedom. The freedom to stand on a street corner and berate Congress for not helping to improve the economy without fear of being arrested and killed. The freedom to call a public official "stupid" when indeed that may be the case. The freedom to form a new group to stop corporate greed and corruption without fear of disappearing in the heat of the night. The freedom to march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC for any cause, any protest, any campaign without being thrown in jail never to be heard of again.
That is the America I love. We are far from perfect... but we have surely come a long way.
And I love American Patriots like our second US President, John Adams. Not Thomas Jefferson whose pubic profile is much bigger than Adams. I LOVE John Adams, and do you know why??? Because he never owned slaves and forbid his loving wife, Abigail, from bringing them to his home when they married in 1764
Abigail’s father had owned slaves, but she became a champion of freedom by not owning them as a married woman. In fact she helped a young free Black obtain an education in Braintree, Massachusetts when neighbors wanted to keep the young man ignorant.
John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson
Abigail and John Adams never owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and fathered several slave children with his mistress Sally Hemings.
Both Adams and Jefferson were signers of the Declaration of Independence. Both were freedom fighters. Both were US Presidents. And both died on July 4, 1826.
But my favorite will remain John Adams because he did not own slaves.
My Own Family's American Heritage
I feel that strongly about Adams vs Jefferson because my own family roots go back to their era. As a proud member of the Gaines Family of Georgia, my family can trace its heritage back to the mid to late 1700s, to Louise and William Gaines who were born in the 1780s, married and had 14 children. Their slave master had a sense of decency, did not separate the family and allowed them to live as man and wife their entire lives. It is from their heritage my mother’s people celebrate our American legacy every other year at our family reunion. Next year we will bring the family reunion to Boston for the first time.
Modern Day Patriots
I love July 4th because of the Martin Luther Kings, Ralph Abernathys and Rosa Parks of America. Their struggles made it possible for me to live and educate my children in neighborhoods that historically would not have welcomed a Black family to settle in and make a home for themselves. The sacrifices of those civil rights heros will help me celebrate this day with even more intensity.
And let’s not forget the sacrifices of Cesar Chavez, the courageous Latino farm worker in California and civil rights leader of the 1960s and 70s. And dare we forget the 1982 death of Chinese American Vincent Chin, killed by angry Whites who thought he was Japanese and blamed him for the auto industry’s slump in Detroit. His tragic death mobilized countless Asian Americans to organize against hate crimes.
And we must celebrate the life of Wilma Mankiller, the warrior woman Native American activist, and First Female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She died last year after years of advocating and leading her people.
This is the America I know and celebrate on July 4th. Bravery. Courage. Advocacy. Civil Rights. Social Justice. Seeking the American dream for all people, no matter what their ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, social class or religion may be.
It’s a young history, compared to the people of Africa, Australia, Asia, Latin America, South America or Europe. But it’s a history deeply rooted in triumph over struggle and equal access over oppression.
It’s All About The Music
For me, the best part of July 4th aren’t the barbeques or beach parties. It’s watching the Boston Pops Concert that starts at 8pm. I drove by the Hatch Shell this past weekend and saw all of the activities in preparation of tonight’s festivities. People were already getting ready to stake out their spot for the open air concert and fireworks.
I will happily settle in front of my television set and excitedly wait for the orchestra to strike up John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” I will have my flag and march around my house while the orchestra strikes up the tune.
I’ve even included an audio clip of Stars and Stripes Forever at the top of this article so you can start a tradition of your own when you celebrate your own version of Independence Day this year or next.
So Happy Birthday America. You’re 235 years old with so much more work to do. But you’ve come a looong way from the early days when men and women dared to dream.
God Bless America. Happy Fourth of July!
**Your comments are welcome.
Other Countries Celebrating Independence Day In July:
Abkhazia (Georgia) - July 4
Algeria - July 5
Argentina July 9
Bahamas - July 10
Belgium - July 21
Burundi - July 1
Cape Verde - July 5
Columbia July 20 and August 7
Laos - July 19
Liberia - July 26
Malawi - June 26
Rwanda - July 1
Solomon Islands - July 7
Slovokia - July 17
Vanuatu - July 30
**The Republic of South Sudan, the newest gained its independence on July 9, 2011
The Multicultural Symposium Series Webinar Series features current topics designed to enhance personal development both on and off the job. All you need is a computer and a phone to join each webinar. Open to Members of the Multicultural Symposium Series.
Visit www.mssconnect.com for complete information.'
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.