Dangers of Vaping

VAPE Education: Is Your Child Vaping?

Although Vaping is considered a recent trend, it definitely is not new. Vaping began in Ancient Egypt when they used hot stones to vape herbs, and later evolved into the first “shisha” when introduced in India. (Also known as Hookah)

These practices led to the invention of vaping as we know it today. In 1927, Joseph Robinson came up with the idea of e-cigarettes but later in 1963, Herbert Gilbert made vaping popular with his “non-tobacco smokeless” cigarette.

The Chinese Firm, Hon Lik, created the first e-cigarette in the mid-2000s. While this may of sounded like a great alternative to smoking regular tobacco products, it was not. And as the ole adage says, when something seems too good to be true it usually is.

I would like to share Seven Truths about vaping that I learned from HopkinsMedicine.org as well as from my experience as a high school educator.

TRUTH #1 There are Vape Products that look like Flash-drives

Parents, Teachers and Guardians, please be aware that there are vape devices that go undetected because they look like flash-drives, lighters, and other regular items. These vapes can be charged in a computer and can appear as a flash-drive. If unsure of what to look for, do a quick search on vape devices like Juul and other vape alternatives. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/1/17286638/juul-vaping-e-cigarette

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TRUTH #2 Vaping exposes you to fewer toxins than regular cigarettes.

Now, this does not mean to run out and start “vaping-it-up” it simply means there are “less” toxins, but not toxin-free. It’s like deciding between 1 cup of strychnine or a pinch of strychnine, neither one is a good idea.

TRUTH #3 Vaping is not good for your health

Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes and is highly addictive. It causes users to crave smoking and suffer withdrawals if they do not smoke. Nicotine also spikes adrenaline and raises blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of having a heart attack.

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TRUTH #4 The Chemicals that make up the Vapes are Unknown

There are many unknowns when it comes to vaping. Most importantly, it is unknown how it will affect physical health over a long term period of time. It is still modern so those utilizing it currently are the guinea pigs.

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TRUTH #5 E-cigarettes are just as Addictive as Traditional Cigarettes

E-cigarettes still contain Nicotine just like the regular cigarettes and has been described as addictive as heroine or cocaine. Also smokers have the option to purchase extra-strength cartridges, which contain a high concentration of nicotine. The voltage on the e-cigarette can also increase the amount of substance smoked as well.

Truth #6 Electronic Cigarettes are not the best tool to use to quit Smoking

While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a way to quit smoking, it has not yet received the Food and Drug Administration approval as a smoking cessation device. A study by Smokefree.gov has found that e-cigarettes lead to continuing to smoke both electronic and regular cigarettes. Does not this defeat the original purpose?

Man wonders what to choose. The electronic cigarette or traditio

TRUTH #7 A new Generation is Getting Hooked on Nicotine

Among the youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than traditional tobacco products. Back in 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that e-cigarettes had increased by 900 percent and 40 percent of the young users had never tried traditional tobacco products. Imagine how much that has increased since then.

As an educator in the high school setting, I can verify this claim is true. Back in 2015, most students were curious about vaping because it was marketed as tobacco free and “safe” to use. Since that time, high schoolers have started carrying vapes around that look like flash-drives and other regular items. I posted a picture of these in TRUTH #1.

For this reason parents and guardians must be proactive by not being afraid to check your child’s book-bags, dressers and so on; there is no such thing as “privacy” when it comes to your child’s well-being. Since this smoking phenomenal, I have seen a lot of high school athletes experiencing heart attacks related to smoking (vapes, cigarettes, weed etc…) and it is disheartening because they were so young. There is a strong link between smoking and cardiovascular health, and smoking and cancer. The sooner it is discovered that a child has a habit, the sooner they can receive the help they need. Do not let this happen, be a snoop.

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Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

 

return from hiatus

The Hiatus on Double-Minded Island

Good day mate!

I am back from my hiatus on Double-Minded Island. Double-Minded Island, is an Island shaped like a hand and is a place people end up who are in the valley of decisions.

Hand_Island_Infobox

On the island, as I was reflecting about life and where I wanted to go from this point, a memory of a time come to mind. It was 11 years ago and I had been applying to different alternative teaching programs around the U.S. and internationally. It was a very confusing time. I had been praying for clarification because every opportunity that came appeared to be a good idea, but as we know, not everything that is “good” is of “God.”

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So one day, I was in an old building I used to rent for a business we owned. The new owners had made the building into a used book store that I frequented from time to time. As I stood in line to purchase a book, a man came behind me that looked like a character from a Canterbury Tales novel.

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As I was standing in line, taking my wallet out for payment, the gentleman behind me asked about a picture in my wallet of a family member. After providing some insight about that person, he went on to ask me had I been trying to make a decision lately about moving? I was surprised because I had been trying to decide on whether or not to move.

He told me to hold out my hand, he wanted to use it as an analogy. He held up my pointer finger and said, “This is your who, the middle finger is your what, the ring finger is your when, the pinky finger is your where and your thumb finger is your why.” He went on to say, “Never make a decision to do anything, unless the why makes sense. The why functions like your thumb and without it, you won’t grip very well, or hold on to anything for long.” He told me praying about it will help me make sound decisions.” Afterwards, I thanked him and he mentioned he had to go walk to the store up the road to get medicine for his wife. It was super cold outside that day, as it was circa October 2007, so I was surprised he was walking. After I paid, I went outside to make sure he was ok and there was no sign of him anywhere.

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I got into my car and sat there thinking at how much God must really care to send a man to tell me something like that when I really needed hear it. As I prayed and reflected on the positions I vacillated between; I thought about my hands, my fingers and my why. As I did this, things became much more clear. I began to ask myself, “Self why do I really want to go to these places?” I began to realize a lot of the why was not for me per say, but for the opinions of others.

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We end up on Double-Minded Island because of discontentment. Discontentment usually comes from comparing ourselves to others. It can start small, walking by someone and noticing their designer watch or bag. Trolling through Instagram, FB, or Twitter, and seeing smiling faces on vacations in nice restaurants, water skying and such. It could even come from chatting with a friend and hearing about a really great experience they’ve recently had. All of these happenings could lead to discontentment and unhappiness.

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I am so glad I had that memory after my hiatus to Double-Minded Island because it reminded me the importance of knowing my why behind each decision I make. If you are trying to decide between a decision, and end up on Double-Minded Island and remember:

Pointer Finger – Who

Middle Finger – What

Ring Finger – When

Pinky Finger – Where

Thumb Finger – WHY

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This will get you back on the Boat of Contentment, which is a much joyful and peaceful place.

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I leave you with these last word of encouragement.

Rejoicing in Trials

James 1: 6-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

 

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
emotional vampires, life hacks, sound advice

Identify the Emotional Vampires in your Life

When you hear the word “vampire” the images that may come to mind is Barnabas Collins from “Dark Shadows”

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or Edward Cullen from “Twilight”.

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But I have come to inform you that vampires are quite real, maybe not in the sense of these characters, but when it comes to certain individuals we have in our lives, they could very well be Emotional Vampires and if they are, you need to run the other way, fast!

1049-How-to-Recognize-and-Escape-Emotional-Vampires

Now in order to run from the Emotional Vampires, you will need to be able to recognize them. So I will list six ways to identify these horrible creatures.

  1. Emotionally Draining – The first thing you will noticed about this type of individual is how emotionally and physically drained you feel after being in their company. I am not talking about the occasional time when a particular family member or friend share their issues with you and you feel slightly tired after listening to them. I am talking about the individual who does it the emotional vampire way. Instead of sharing a small problem, they bombard you a plethora of  them while sucking you dry of advice and emotional responses ALL THE TIME, barely stopping to allow you a word in edge-wise. You may ask, “What is wrong with doing this? Plenty of people do this, even I do this!”  But that is not what I am referring to. I am talking about feeling like your head is literally spinning after you finish a conversation with them. #abnormalfeeling

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2. Negativity Overload – After the conversation is long over with the emotional vampire in your life, you still experience this nagging negativity hangover. It is like taking a Benadryl too late before bed and waking up feeling the groggy brain-fog, after-affect.

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You probably did not realize until now, but that cloud of negativity was not coming from you; it actually came from the words of that emotional vampire you have been surrounding yourself with.

3. You feel better when they are not around – Picture yourself listening to the individual; while listening to them you feel bad, after listening to them you still feel gloomy. It isn’t until you have gone a few days, weeks or months, without talking/listening to this individual that you start to feel somewhat normal again. This is because while conversing with them, they not only unload a lot of negativity on you; they also tend to not actively listen to anything you have to say, hardly ever. So going on a detox from this individual may show you just how good life could be without them. So go ahead and press the “Reset” button, for lighter and happier times ahead. #letitgo

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4. Simplicity goes out the Window – Another sign of an emotional vampire is when having, what you believe to be, a simple conversation with them, ends up leaving you in a ball of confusion.

Question Marks Sphere Ball Many Questions Asked

What starts out as a simple statement, ends with the emotional vampire taking things completely out of context; leaving you disoriented and wondering what in the sam hill went wrong. Communication gaps happen, yes, but in the case of the emotional vampire, they are inevitable because the vampire is usually busy being negative, playing mind games, refusing to give straight answers or being overly defensive of their “uncalled for” behavior. This is definitely a trait that you should be on the look out for because simplicity is certainly a thing of the past with them. #byebyesimplicity

5. They make you feel deflated – These emotional vampires tend to deflate everyone around them. They cannot stand to see anyone thriving in anything because they are debbie-downers, and want to make others feel that way too. #downerslovecompany

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A true friend would like for you to be happy and celebrate with you when things are good, and comfort you when things are bad. An emotional vampire does the complete opposite, covertly; they do not bring comfort; nor do they celebrate you. They only do it if it serves themselves in some form or fashion. Most of the time they appear to only “tolerate” you being in their lives. They are really not into you or what you have going on but keep you around for their own purposes. So ask yourself again, why do you entertain such a person? Inquiring minds would like to know.

6. You have a sneaky suspicion the friendship isn’t quite real – With emotional vampires, they only put up with you because a) they need a sounding-board b) they need someone to put down so that they can feel better about themselves c) they need emotional responses to what they are saying [in these cases they will have multiple people they run to for this because your response alone will not be enough] d) they need your energy to empower themselves.

Notice how all of these reasons are about them and not the friendship? This is normally the case with these creatures, I mean, emotional vampires. Once they get the energy and attention they crave, you will be out of sight and out of their narrow minds, until they need another energy fix again.

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What to do if you have been bitten by an emotional vampire:

  1. Establish the no contact rule, this is important because they are sly creatures and can usually lure you back into the friendship before you have time to think about it. Cutting ties will allow you to get back to emotional freedom sooner than later.
  2. Do not try to reason with emotional vampires, it will not work. You will just become tangled up again in their web of deceit.
  3. If you work with the person in a common organization, separate yourself and only deal with them professionally. Do not meet up for dinner, or talk on the phone. Keep everything strictly work related, and AT WORK ONLY.
  4. Develop a support system of people who care about you, and who are willing to talk and actively listen. This marks a healthy relationship.

Well Wishes!

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The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

 

Journey, Blogging, Be Inspired, story time

SOS, Abandon the Flaky-Ship!

I randomly decided to look up what “SOS” stood for and was surprised to find that it did not stand for anything at all. It simply was chosen as a signal because it could be easily transmitted in Morse Code during distress. So that’s what it is, a signal.

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Some of us right now are knowingly or unknowingly sending out distress signals. We could do this by having a short temper, crying a lot, not eating or eating too much, losing interest in a thing called “life” and becoming reclusive to name a few. We may be distressed about our jobs, distressed about our families, distressed about relationships, distressed about organizations we belong to or volunteer for, distressed about friends or frenemies, distressed, distressed, DiSTRESSED! So in the event of this happening, what should one do?

They should asked for help and communicate with someone but what we tend to do is keep everything bottled up until we one day go bonkers!

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So instead of going bananas, go ahead and send out an SOS; reflect on what has been distressing you and plan to abandon the flaky-ship altogether. By Flaky-Ship, I mean Flaky-Shaky-Relationships with family, friends, jobs, and organizations. Do like the guy below and leave the Flaky-Ship behind you. Yes, it looks sturdy, and seems solid, but it is not. It is full of distress, so off you go!

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Definition of Distress

dis·tress
dəˈstres/noun
1. extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.
“to his distress he saw that she was trembling”
synonyms: Anguish, suffering, pain, agony, torment, heartache, heartbreak
2. give (furniture, leather, or clothing) simulated marks of age and wear.
“the manner in which leather jackets are industrially distressed”
Just reading over this definition lets you know that being in “distress” is no cake walk.
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So if you are in a situation that is causing you anguish, torment, pain, anxiety, heartache and sorrow; it may be time to abandon that particular thing FOR GOOD.
Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to exit a bad situation? I mean, you would think it would be quite easy to walk away considering how unpleasant it is for you, but it does not always work that way, does it?
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The reason it is hard to exit bad situations is because we become used to them. We become comfortable feeling the pain, anguish, anxiety and sorrow in our lives; and began to wear them like an old hat. They become our norm. So we walk around knowingly or unknowingly sending out SOS signals, while doing absolutely nothing to address them.
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This has got to stop, I wrote this blog as a reminder to you that it is time to break out the composition notebooks and take inventory of your lives. Are you going to continue on in a distressed state of mind (unhealthy well-being) or a joyful state of mind (healthy well-being)? The choice is yours.
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Family
When it comes to your family, you cannot necessarily “abandon the Flaky-Ship” per say, but you can abandon negative patterns that may occur between you all.
For example, if you tend to argue a lot with a particular family member(s), choose to react in a different manner than you would normally would. Once the argument starts, do not retort with the normal sarcasm.
Instead, allow the person to say their piece and simply say you respect their opinion but have nothing further to say (even if you do).
This way, you are choosing not to argue with them on that day and will leave them perplexed and wondering what in the sam hill just happened.
**This is a great way to throw off the argument pattern.
After a few times of choosing not to engage the family member(s), you will eventually change the argument pattern completely for the better. This method truly works because I have read about it in real-life case studies and it has drastically improved peoples’ relationships with one another.
Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying avoid the pink elephant in the room; I am simply saying, the middle of a heated argument is not the right time to point out the pink elephant. It is best to discuss issues when both parties are not upset, and are ready to listen, offense will be less likely occur at this time.
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It takes two or more people to argue, so if you remove yourself from the equation, the argument cannot occur.
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Friends
When dealing with friends, it can be tricky. There is not a one size fits all method when deciding to abandon a flaky-friendship. This will have to be done on a case by case basis but if you have people in your company that produce constant feelings of pain, sorrow, anguish, anxiety and distress in your life, you may want to consider abandoning that flaky-ship.
Why? Because it is not healthy, and will cause yourself heartache in the long run. Some  of you have been losing sleep, not looking your best, overeating, carry bags under your eyes and nursing constant headaches, all because you have the wrong associations/attachments. Is it really worth it?
*Remember, the reason behind this blog post is to identify, decrease and eliminate “distress” in your lives. 
Organizations
Some of us are linked to organizations that does nothing but bring anxiety, drama, sorrow and pain into our lives. Initially you may of joined for a good cause but “the cause” seemed to have left the building a long time ago.
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When you want to leave, you may be bombarded with these thoughts:
“I may as well stay because it is like this everywhere” or
“I have been in it forever so I can’t leave” or
“my family was in it, if I leave, I will break tradition” or
“I have an important position in this place, I can’t leave my position.”
You get the picture, there will always be something or someone trying to convince you to stay in something, but again, if it is causing you constant “distress”, and your body is sending out SOS signals all over the place, its time to unapologetically, abandon the flaky-ship.
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I hope you all were taking notes in your composition notebooks and are planning to truly reflect on all of these areas in your life after you finish reading, because it is amazing how your body will began to heal itself once you start eliminating rubbish from different areas in your life.
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce

 

Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

wellness wednesday, health tips

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wellness Wednesday! 

Those who know me well, knows how much I loooove researching nutritional and wellness topics. I came across some I was reading about and wanted to share them here.

1. Some Lectins are not good for you. 

This is due to phytohaemagglutinin – a lectin that can cause red kidney bean poisoning. The poisoning is usually caused by the ingestion of raw, soaked kidney beans. As few as four or five raw beans can trigger symptoms. Raw kidney beans contain from 20,000 to 70,000 lectin units, while fully cooked beans usually contain between 200 and 400 units. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-lectins

*A remedy to this issue is to soak, ferment, sprout and cook your beans. This will decrease lectins and free up the good nutrients. 

2.  Four disruptors to your body that you should research and watch out for is:

*Artificial sweeteners (saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, sucrose, neotame, high fructose corn syrup, and sucralose). Sweet and Low, and Splenda are artificial sweeteners and also contains some of these ingredients.

*Herbacides are poisons put on our foods to prevent insects from eating them. The problem is that if we eat them long enough, they can disrupt the cell signals in our bodies causing some things to get crossed up. It is for this reason that we try and get some items “organic” because it would be less harmful to our system. I am not saying to get everything organic, but it would help to at least get organic strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apple, grapes, peaches, tomatoes, cherries, pears, celery, potatoes, and bell peppers. The reason is because these fruits and vegetables typically have a higher pesticide load than the others.

*BPA – Bisphenol A is usually in plastic, and is the reason why there is suddenly a market of “BPA FREE” options when purchasing Tupperware, plastic cups & bags, straws, cups, etc… BPA is a chemical used in plastic and it imitates the hormone, estrogen.  When too much of it invades our system, our body can confuse it with estrogen. This synthetic hormone can create reproductive problems, cancers, obesity, early puberty, and heart disease. So do yourself a favor and eliminate it whenever you can. If you would like to learn more about this chemical, go here www.ewg.org/bpa/

*Avoid Toxic cleaning products that contain nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). NPE is a common ingredient in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners, but is banned in Europe and known to be a potent endocrine disrupter, causing male fish to transform into females. If you would like read more about this go here https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/environment-fish-changing-sex-gender-chemicals-pollution-rivers-water-charles-tyler-fisheries-a7821086.html

3. Other household items that can be potentially damaging is:

*Thermal receipts are unhealthy because most contain BPA.

*Teflon is great for keeping food from sticking on pots and pans, but has been known to cause fever and flu-like symptoms. If you read a medical journal about Teflon, doctors say they are unsure if it is unsafe but if you read a journal from a green living journal, it talks about how Teflon kills birds due to hemorrhaging in their lungs. It seems to be a difference of opinions, so I will leave it up to you to research and decide for yourselves. Here is a medical article https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html and an article from green living  https://greenlivingideas.com/2012/06/13/how-toxic-is-teflon/

*Avoid Hand sanitizers with Triclosan. Triclosan can cause our immune system to be weakened, contaminate our water supply and go seep into our skin causing hormone disruption. I personally use a Triclosan-Free hand sanitizer but of course, I always encourage others to research things and reach their own conclusions!

*Avoid Sunscreens with retinyl palmitate, retinol or vitamin A, oxybenzone, octocrylene, paraben preservatives, homosalate and octinoxate. These all contain hormone disruptors. There are some healthier options, so look into those.

*Avoid deodorants with aluminum. This is possible! After many trials, I finally settled on a really good aluminum free deodorant. It is based on your body chemistry, so trial and error is the BEST way to find the RIGHT deodorant for you!

References

  1. Precision Nutrition
  2. EWG
  3. Green Living
  4. Cancer.org
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The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce