Hot & Healthy

Hot & Healthy

Hey TBG readers!

This month is our “green issue”, so what better way to celebrate it than to interview someone with a very “green” diet?

TBG’s Mandilyn Kerr sat down with Leah Kelley, a MSU freshman, to talk about her diet as a vegetarian. Kelley tells us why she became a vegetarian, the challenges she faces and what people should consider if they want to become a vegetarian.

Also, be sure to look at the end of the article for a healthy recipe that Kelley shares with us and try it sometime!

Don’t forget: this Sunday is TBG’s annual print issue launch party! Stop by Schuler Books in Okemos between 4-6 p.m. to enjoy free food and entertainment, along with a free copy of our 2010-2011 print issue.

Sex & Health stories in the print issue include an article about the implementation of the tanning and a collection of my Hot & Healthy recipes.

See you next month for our final issue of the year!

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Hot & Healthy

Hot & Healthy

Hey TBG readers,

Admittedly, this month’s recipe didn’t go as planned. Instead of eating delicious fudge brownies, I ended up scraping baked-on brownie out of the pan.

The main reason that the recipe didn’t work is probably because I didn’t have the right pan; a round casserole dish was recommended. So, that’s a good guess as to why the brownies/pudding ended up looking like a swamp instead of dessert.

And to top it all off, it didn’t even taste right. Sure, the initial taste test wasn’t that bad, but eating an actual serving size after filming the video wasn’t much fun.

I also totally admit that this isn’t the healthiest recipe; however I wanted to try out a dessert and this one is a bit healthier than most. According to the recipe, one serving is 330 calories. Eh, not bad.

This recipe may have ruined my dessert optimism temporarily, but there may be a way to fix it. Here is my challenge: try out this recipe and send us the video. It won’t be too hard to do better than I did!

Thanks and see you next month!

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Hot & Healthy

Hot & Healthy

Hey TBG readers!

Welcome back to another edition of Hot & Healthy! This month’s recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup (much like the kind you would find at McAlister’s Deli) is from It’s one of those recipes that calls for a lot of ingredients, but once you throw them all together, just heat and serve.

Again, there are a lot of ingredients and I even had trouble remembering all of them (as you will see in the video), but the effort is well worth it. My batch of soup ended up tasting a lot like McAlister’s!

So, hopefully this soup can spice up a dinner with your friends or your significant other sometime during the month of February. And for a fun song about soup, check out this clip from one of my favorite TV shows, BBC’s The Mighty Boosh.

Thanks and see you next month!

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Hot & Healthy

Hot & Healthy

Hey TBG readers,

Welcome to the holiday edition of the Sex & Health section! This month’s recipe is both good for you and really easy to make. It’s the perfect dish to bring to a company party or a family gathering, and since it’s all about the veggies you can serve it to vegetarian or vegan guests alike.

The recipe, from the Food Network’s Giada De Laurentis, is available here. I made a few minor changes to the recipe while I was making the video to accommodate the portion I needed.

This month, the Sex & Health section features an article that focuses on the 10 percent tanning tax and it’s effect on both tanning salons and customer usage. Don’t miss it!

As always, thanks for reading. Have a happy holiday season and we will see you in 2011.

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Hot & Healthy

Hot & Healthy

A couple walks on MSU's campus

Michigan State University received a big honor this fall…and no, I’m not talking about the football team’s great season. Back in October, MSU was ranked second in the nation in terms of sexual health, which is obviously an important issue to students.

Trojan Sexual Health Report card study, which was conducted by Trojan brand condoms, Sperling’s BestPlaces and Rock the Vote, calculated the results from two studies, according to a press release.

This is great news for MSU and the student community. It is so important to be sexually healthy and responsible, so it’s good to see MSU’s efforts recognized.

Another good thing: the return of Hot & Healthy! Next month, our favorite food video series will return with more recipes, which are delicious and good for you. If there is a recipe you want to see featured, be sure to comment below.

Thanks again for reading, see you in December with a new Hot & Healthy video!

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Good Hair

Good Hair

Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary, “Good Hair”, brought attention to hair and ideas of beauty in the African American community.

According to a review by Ann Hornaday for The Washington Post, Rock was inspired to make the film after one of his young daughters asked why she didn’t have good hair.

Chris Rock's documentary focused on the pressure for black people to have "good hair" (photo credit:

“The concept of ‘good hair’ — which, simply put, has come to mean ‘the straighter the better’ in the African American community,” Hornaday wrote.

So, what really is good hair?

“Healthy hair is good hair,” said Rhonda Stokes, owner of Rhonda’s Reflectiosn Styling Salon in Lansing. ” Hair comes in all different textures; no texture is better than the other.  And it depends on the individual.  But for most African American women, good hair is healthy hair.”

Stokes said that African American hair requires more effort and attention to keep it healthy.   She has clients that come in to get their hair done as often as once a week, because they are unable to style it themselves or would prefer that a professional style it.

Hair is an important beauty priority because women want to look their best, Stokes said.

According to Stokes, as long as it is nice and neat, it is beautiful.

“I would say the most beautiful styles would be styles that are nice and neat,” she said.  “Whether it’s short, long, or even natural.  Something that’s beautiful and every hair is in place…something that looks like you take care of your hair.”

At Michigan State University, young African American women wear their hair based on their own personal preference.

LaTrice Davis, an advertising senior, prefers to wear her hair straight using a pressing comb and a flat iron.  She said that she has her hair styled about every two weeks, which costs about $45 per visit.  She then wraps her hair at night in a silk scarf to preserve the style from getting frizzy.

Davis said having her hair styled bi-weekly is not always possible on a college budget, so sometimes she waits longer in between hair appointments or finds a friend to style her hair for her.

Long hair is a desired style, whether it is straightened or curled with a curling iron, is seen as attractive to men, Davis said.

“In the African American community, beauty…correlates to having longer hair, which is why a lot of black girls get hair extensions,” she said.  “Because having long hair makes them look a lot better to….most guys.  They prefer girls with really long hair.”

However, more natural styles like locks are another way of having beautiful hair, Davis said.

“Most of my friends…that have locks…which are dreadlocks or forms of dreadlocks, they are more like earthy…they are content with themselves and they don’t believe in straightening their hair,” she said. “And they feel that having natural hair is more beautiful.”

Susah McPherson, a senior studying interdisciplinary studies in social science, wears her hair in locks, which she has re-twisted once a month and ties her hair up at night.

McPherson said that while she prefers to wear her hair in a natural, low-maintenance style, having beautiful hair is dependent on personal preference.

“I think it’s to each his or her own,” she said.  “It depends on what the person prefers.  I am an advocate for natural hair, but if you want to add artificial hair to your hair, and that makes you happy and that adds to your beauty, then go right ahead.”

According to McPherson, hair can be representative of personal style in the African American community.

“It represents a person’s style, who they are, their identity,” she said.  “It shows how you… value your looks and yourself, if you put a lot of time into your hair and maintenance.  To someone else it may seem like it is not maintained or styled to their liking.  But to that person it could be styled how they like it and it fits them well.”

According to Davis, beauty associated with hair is also a personal viewpoint.

“I have a cousin who has locks and she puts lock’s in her daughter’s hair, because she believes that’s what beauty is, because it makes you natural,” Davis said.  “It’s not chemically processing your hair.  It’s not straightening your hair.”

Although society may have standards that explain what good hair is, it’s the wearer’s opinion that’s important, whether the person wears their hair straight, in locks, or another style.

“They are just two different…styles that come with two different mindsets,” Davis said.

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Is There Still a Place for Feminism on Campus?

Is There Still a Place for Feminism on Campus?


A word most often heard in history classes, associated with bra-burning and the revolutationary times of the 60’s.

The Women's Study Lounge in the Union is a reminder of a more sex-segregated time at MSU (photo credit: Emily Lawler).

Many students at Michigan State University have misconceptions about the feminist movement and are unaware that it still exists.

“I haven’t heard anything about it on campus.  I never hear anything about it, ever,” said Kelsey Hansen, a telecommunication and criminal justice junior.  Hansen refers to feminism and her experience with it at MSU.  She said the only thing she knew about feminism’s purpose was the effort to equalize the rights of women to the rights that men have.

Hansen is not alone, and that is the general notion that most students have.  However, there is an organization on campus that is fighting to bring awareness and clarification to what feminism is.

The MSU Women’s Council is a progressive feminist organization on campus,  said Chelsea Gladney, a junior who co-chairs the council.  The group meets once a week and has approximately 35 regular members.

“‘Feminism is the radical notion that women are people too,'” said Gladney, quoting the slogan that the MSU Women’s Council has printed on their t-shirts.

Many of the weekly meetings held by the MSU Women’s Council focus on the stereotypes that members and feminists in general face.  According to Gladney, the portrayal of feminism as an aggressive and negative movement is inaccurate.

“It’s supposed to be strong and it’s supposed to be empowering, not in any way demeaning to anyone,” she said.

Gladney pointed out that while feminism is characterized by activism, it is also a belief system that can be held by anyone and is an international concept.

“Feminism is for everyone, it really is for everyone.  It’s not just for middle-class white women who have all the opportunities.  It’s for black, Asian, Hispanic, men, women, lesbian, gays, transgenders, it’s for everyone.  It’s not just for people of this country.  We have a very different form of feminism than [other nations] do somewhere else, but they still have their own forms of feminism.  It’s international,” Gladney said.

A fact that students may be surprised about is male participation in feminism.   Gladney said that the MSU Women’s Council has three male members that attend the weekly meetings, and if a man believes in women’s equality he is a feminist.

Killian Lynam, a general business and pre-law junior, said that he believes that feminism belongs at MSU and society in general.

“I think that [feminists] are advocates for women’s equality.  I don’t think that they are any different than people who advocate for racial equality.  I think there is definitely a place for [feminism],” said Lynam.

Lynam said that misconceptions, such as all feminists are lesbians, is the result of ignorant thinking.

“I think that feminism is a really misunderstood concept.  I think that the sort of radical element pierces through most people’s minds, when really it shouldn’t be taken as threatening,” Lynam said.

Kristina Banister Quynn, a visiting assistant professor who teaches WRA and IAH classes at MSU, uses women’s texts and feminist ideas in the way she teaches and the readings she assigns to her students.

Dr. Quynn explained that feminism might not be as prevalent and visible today as it has been before, but that it does still exist.  She cited the Take Back the Night event, hosted by the MSU Women’s Council, which occurs on campus each year as a strong example of feminism on campus.

“The Take Back the Night march here on campus, which I think is very well attended, and it’s about women getting together and having a candlelight march through spaces where they would feel uncomfortable walking alone at night, and say ‘We won’t be afraid, we will take back the night, and be able to walk on our own,’” she said.

Female mannequins model "kiss me" shirts in a union storefront (photo credit: Emily Lawler).

Female mannequins model "kiss me" shirts ins in a union storefront (photo credit: Emily Lawler).

According to Gladney, the Take Back the Night (TBTN) occurs annually at MSU and will be held on Apr. 20 of this year.  The event is held to support survivors of sexual assault and encourages them to stand up and tell their stories.  Workshops for both men and women are available during the day.

“These events help women and men heal and come together as a community.  TBTN lends strength, and I like to think that it lets everyone know that they are not alone and that people are still working for their cause… Working to end violence against women comes along with feminism.  We want to end violence towards all people,” Gladney said.

Feminism has not transformed, but rather, transitioned into a more inclusive movement of women from all backgrounds, Quynn said.  There are now multiple types of feminisms, such as pro-choice or lesbian Chicana feminisms.  This inclusiveness moves toward including all women, not just middle-class Caucasian women.

According to Quynn, although the negative stereotypes regarding feminism still exist, it can come back into a positive light.

“Nothing shuts down conversation or makes people more wary than claiming to be [a feminist].  I can, however, claim to be studying and interested in issues of sex and gender, and immediately people’s ears perk up.  All in all, I think labels come and go, fading in and out of popularity, and who knows maybe ‘feminism’ will make a come back,” Quynn said.

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Taming the 21st Birthday

Taming the 21st Birthday

Katie Frey celebrated her 21st birthday for four days.  Sounds like the perfect formula for an epic hangover, right?  However, the MSU student decided to only drink during one of those days.  The rest of the time she chose to spend with family and friends, completely sober.

“I’m really glad I chose the way I did.  I got to celebrate with all the people that I wanted to and in a way that I could remember everything,” Frey said.

Frey spent the evening of her birthday having dinner with her family.  She had one glass of wine at dinner and went for a couple of drinks with her best friend later that night.  After that she spent the next two days without alcohol having game nights with friends in East Lansing and her hometown.

“I really wanted to spend quality time with all my friends, and most of my friends are under 21,” Frey said.

Finally, on the fourth day of celebrations, Frey had a picnic with her extended family and also her boyfriend’s family.  Again, she didn’t drink, deciding that she had plenty of time to go out to the bars later.

“I really believe that life can be just as rich and wonderful and fun and adventurous and crazy without alcohol,” Frey said.  “Drinking can be fun, but if you let it consume your life, you miss out.”

Andrew Rutherford, who turned 21 during finals week in December, cited safety as an important element to remember.  Rutherford said that his mother, who works at Sparrow Hospital, sees people being brought in to have their stomach pumped all the time.

“I think a lot of people just think that people go out with their friends, and they’ll go to the furthest extreme they can get,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford decided to take a break from finals and celebrate his birthday with friends at a local restaurant.  He had a few drinks throughout the night and paced himself.

Rutherford said that he had too much going for him to mess it up by getting into a risky situation.

“I think people on their 21st birthday, it’s like they made it and they just don’t care for a night, and that can be really dangerous,” he said.

While some individual students are shying away from the stereotype of overindulging on their 21st birthday, managers of East Lansing bars are also encouraging celebrating carefully.

Paul Stewart, manager of Crunchy’s, said that he wants customers to enjoy themselves while celebrating responsibly.

“Being able to go to the bars is part of college life, but it shouldn’t have ill-effects against your college life,” Stewart said.

In order to achieve safety for customers, Crunchy’s and many other East Lansing bars are members of the Responsible Hospitality Council (RHC).

According to the RHC webpage, “The purpose of the RHC is to adopt practices that promote responsible advertising, safe on-site management, community stewardship, compliance with state and local liquor laws and responsible alcohol consumption by our patrons.”

Stewart, who is an executive board member of the RHC, explained that the RHC has specific rules for patrons celebrating their 21st birthday.  According to a Best Practices document, a few of the rules include:  the celebrant and designated driver are identified, the table may only have one server, no one is allowed to order directly from the bar and service will be refused to the table if it needs to be stopped to any member of the table.

According to the website, there are currently 17 establishments that are members of the RHC.

Francisco Delatorre, manager of Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub, said that Harper’s tries to avoid hosting 21st birthday parties.  He also said that patrons are not allowed to become very intoxicated because his employees are trained to recognize the signs of too much to drink.  He advised that students not drink too much on their 21st birthday and to definitely not drive after drinking.  According to the RHC webpage, Harper’s is a member of the RHC.

Chelsea Grantham is another MSU student that chose to not drink too much on her 21st birthday.  Grantham said that she drank less on her 21st birthday than she had on previous birthdays because she wanted to have fun and remember it, too.  Grantham also said that she didn’t want to adhere to the stereotype of getting too drunk.

Grantham said that students might feel pressured to drink more on their 21st birthday because strangers will buy them drinks, and people are encouraged to do “more shots than average.”

It is possible to not have to be carried home after turning 21.  Some MSU students are not always overindulging, and bars are encouraging that.  Either way, students should be careful while celebrating.  After all, being able to remember the experience and the stories that go with it is half the fun.

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Student Unemployment: Job Loss Hits Campus

Student Unemployment: Job Loss Hits Campus

Michigan State University’s students not only contribute to the institution academically, but also as employees who assist in its vital functions.

Student jobs can include “department aides, computer assistants, food-service workers, laboratory attendants, research aides, tutors, and computer assistants to name just a few,” according to MSU’s Human Resources Web site.

As of Oct. 10, there were approximately 9,814 students employed on-campus, said Wendy Coduti. Coduti is the Experiential Learning & On-Campus Coordinator at Career Services, located in the Student Services building.

Coduti said that the likelihood of students losing their job due to financial cuts would depend on the department they work for.  The number of student employees has fallen this year by one percent.

There is currently no information available about the average amount of time it takes for a student to find a job on campus, Coduti said.

Coduti cited Residential & Hospitality Services, formerly known as Housing & Food Services, as employing the biggest percentage of student employees on campus.

According to the Residential & Hospitality Services Web site, the department employs approximately 3,300 students per year.

Many cafeterias on campus are run with the help of student employees. (photo by Emily Lawler)

Peter Weiss, a chemical engineering junior, said he recently experienced the loss of a campus job due to lack of funding.

According to Weiss, he was employed on-campus by a genetics lab, which was located in the Biomedical Physical Sciences building.  His duties included assisting the professor in charge with experimental research.

“Recently, the grant which supplied funding for the particular project I was on was not able to be renewed, resulting in the imminent termination of my work there,” Weiss said.

Weiss said that although he did not depend heavily on his income from that job, only about five percent reliance, it had provided helpful spending cash.

Weiss said that he believes student employment on campus is very important and should be valued.

“Regarding the importance of student jobs on campus, I think they are essential to the overall student body’s investment in MSU,” Weiss said.

“Students working directly with university programs and research feel that they are a part of advancing MSU as a whole, which probably helps MSU in the future when the university looks for donations,” Weiss said.

While some students may experience job loss, work-study students will see an increase in available jobs due to stimulus funds, according to an MSU news release.

Due to research awards and a federal grant of $350,000, over 300 students will acquire work-study jobs this year, the release said.

According to the release, work-study jobs differ from other student jobs on-campus because employers are partially reimbursed the amount paid to students.

Students acquire these jobs by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and demonstrating financial need, it said.

Student employees may earn up to $3,000 per year from their on-campus jobs, the Office of Financial Aid’s Web site said.  Students are paid a minimum of $6.95 per hour.

According to the Web site, holding a job on campus can help a student reduce the reliance on loans, and pay for other educational expenses.  Other benefits include time management, discipline and references to use for future careers.

John Beck, Associate Director of Labor Education in the College of Social Science, said that he believes that student employment on-campus is very important and that students are good workers.

Beck said that he was a student at MSU in the early 1970s, and he worked in a cafeteria dish room and as a resident assistant (which is the equivalent of a resident mentor).  Skills such as teamwork and human relations gained from those jobs helped him later in his career, he said.

An on-campus job is preferable, as a student would have more of an opportunity to work in a job that is related to their major and therefore future career, Beck said.

Beck cited a job as an opportunity for a student to prove to a prospective employer that they are able to balance multiple demands on their time.  He said that a college job would not only provide a break for a student from academic “brain work”, but also instill valuable work habits such as punctuality.

Through student employment, MSU students help the university run smoothly while picking up some valuable skills for their resumes and a little extra cash. Cafeteria workers, laboratory assistants and resident mentors are all important roles the university can employ students in, even with the economic downturn.

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