After Kenya Mall Shooting, Volunteers ‘Came Together As Kenyans’

Good News – The Huffington Post
After Kenya Mall Shooting, Volunteers ‘Came Together As Kenyans’
NAIROBI, Kenya — The volunteers kept bringing food, boxes upon boxes of cookies and bottled water. After shoppers and workers were mowed down by al-Qaida-linked militants at a mall in Kenya’s capital, a Hindu religious center 600 meters (yards) away became a place where responding soldiers, police and others could get tea, food and rest.

The scores of Kenyan military personnel, government officials and others who used the Oshwal Religious Center as an oasis didn’t go hungry. Volunteers, singly and in groups, brought tea, cookies, cakes, buttered bread and, most of all, comfort to those who were emerging from the scene of the horrifying terrorist attack, where the corpses of men, women and children were sprawled on floors amid bursts of gunfire and explosions. Some volunteers stayed up all night so there would be a constant supply of hot tea for soldiers as well as humanitarian workers, journalists and others monitoring events inside Nairobi’s Westgate mall. It also served as a first aid center at times. On Monday civilian doctors treated a Kenyan soldier for a bullet wound to his hand.

“This was a place where you got served without questions,” said Eric Mwangi, a police officer. “No one asked you who you were or where you came from. We were always comfortable here.”

It was also a place where people, by bringing items to the center, could show unity in the face of unspeakable atrocities. More than five years ago Kenyans were divided, with members of the Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Luo tribes killing each other in the wake of a disputed election. In the past week Kenyans came together as members of the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab carried out the worst terrorist attack in Kenya since 1998, when the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi was bombed by al-Qaida.

“We will never forget this place. Here we all came together as Kenyans and took care of each other,” said Philemon Kipkurui, a security guard at the center.

President Uhuru Kenyatta praised Kenyans who had helped survivors of the attack. Many had lined up to donate blood. Others gave plenty of groceries, clothing and other supplies – uplifting acts of charity that some Kenyans said they were not accustomed to seeing on such a grand scale.

Kenyatta said in a speech Tuesday that Kenyans had rallied together “in ways that exceeded the wildest expectations.” The day after the assault began on Sept. 21, he made an appearance with Raila Odinga, the former prime minister whose disputed loss provoked the tribe-on-tribe violence after the 2007 elections.

“The response of the people throughout the country has been nothing short of wonderful,” Kenyatta said.

Later in the week, the squat concrete structure that houses the Hindu temple in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood began resuming its normal state. Breakfast was no longer being served, and the military trucks had departed the gated compound.

On Saturday soldiers and police still maintained a security perimeter near the mall. Journalists and camera crews stood by, waiting for the latest news to emerge from the shattered mall.

IKEA: Residential Solar Panels To Go On Sale At Stores In Britain
STOCKHOLM — Swedish flat-pack furniture giant IKEA will start selling residential solar panels at its stores in Britain, the first step in its plan to bring renewable energy to the mainstream market worldwide.

The company started selling solar panels made by China’s Hanergy in its store in Southampton on Monday. It will sell them in the rest of Britain in coming months, it said. A standard, all-black 3.36 kilowatt system for a semi-detached home will cost 5,700 British pounds ($9,200) and will include an in-store consultation and design service as well as installation, maintenance and energy monitoring service.

“In the past few years the prices on solar panels have dropped, so it’s a really good price now,” IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard told The Associated Press. “It’s the right time to go for the consumers.”

The solar panel investment will be paid off in about seven years for an average home owner in Britain, Howard said.

“If you are going to be in your house that long, your energy will be free after seven years,” he said.

Some retailers in the U.S., including the Home Depot and Lowe’s, already sell solar panels. But in other parts of the world, consumers often have to research a myriad specialist firms before making a purchase.

Howard said IKEA aims to launch the products in other countries eventually. It picked Britain as its test market because it has the right combination of mid-level electricity prices and government-sponsored financial incentives that make investing in solar energy attractive to consumers.

“This is a market by market decision,” he said.

The U.K. government offers private solar panel owners the opportunity to sell back electricity to the grid on days when they have surplus production and has a financing plan for solar power investments, which means residents can buy a system for no upfront cost and pay it off gradually.

Green – The Huffington Post
Meatless Monday: Eating to Save the World
Tomorrow is World Vegetarian Day, kicking off a whole month of meatless joy and awareness. Just in time, too, because honey, people need some of both. As a lead-up to World Vegetarian Day, I spoke to two different groups about my favorite subject — eating to save the world.

That sounds like a tall order. Can what we eat end sickness, war, global hunger or environmental catastrophe, basically your Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? I believe it’s possible. As I say in my book, “Feeding the Hungry Ghost,” change your diet, then change your life, then change the world. Any move towards a greener diet results in a stronger, healthier you and a stronger, healthier planet.

A diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds results in longer, healthier lives, according to a June JAMA study. Stanford University finds a produce-driven diet helps the planet live better, too. Growing produce generates less carbon emissions and uses less water than raising livestock and takes less of an environmental toll. Livestock production is also one of our greatest causes of deforestation, which is making for a hotter, less sustainable planet. And a new University of Minnesota study finds if we switch farmland dedicated to livestock production and livestock feed to food for us, we’d have a recipe to end global hunger.

The possibilities are so amazing, I get revved when I do these presentations — and I’m not a big talker by nature. I am, however, a very, very good listener. The best part for me comes after my presentation, when I can hear what’s going on with people in the audience. What they tell me is they’re overwhelmed — food allergies, environmental concerns, a kid who only eats chicken nuggets, no time. I try to offer people some real concrete takeaway, including my number one multitasking tool — eat less processed, more produce. I show how to add greens to your favorite foods, the ones you already turn to for comfort. I provide plant-based incentive by make something vegan to sample — free eats that taste good and do both you and the planet great good, too.

We often feel helpless in our daily lives — God know I do. Superhero? Not so much. No obvious superhero power or even fab superhero gear. And yet, we all have the power to save the world with something we do every day — by choosing what we eat.

Like I said, we could use some joy and awareness, and now’s the time. Today is Meatless Monday, tomorrow is World Vegetarian Day, October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. Let’s observe, honor and celebrate it by remembering eating is an essential, life-sustaining act sustaining act, for you — and if you do it right, for the planet, too.

Black Beans and Kale Save the World

We love black beans in Miami, so I made them for one of my presentations. I added kale to show how easy and how delicious it is to add green to your diet. They were snarfed.

Using canned beans saves you time, making dried beans from scratch will be cheaper — and results in more tender beans. You deserve tenderness but it’s your call.

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

1 hot pepper, like a jalapeño, chopped

12 ounces dried black beans cooked with 2 garlic cloves and 2 bay leaves

OR 2 15-ounce cans prepared black beans with their bean broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar OR 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 head kale or Swiss chard, sliced into skinny ribbons*

sea salt to taste

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they start to sweat, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and both the sweet and hot pepper.

Stir to combine and reduce heat to medium. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes, until they’re softened and aromatic.

Add the black beans. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium, set the pot lid on halfway, leaving a little steam vent.

Cook the beans for an hour, longer if you’ve got the time. Add a quarter cup of water if necessary. The beans should be thick but not over-dry. The goal is a divine beanly sludge.

Stir in the tomato paste, smoked paprika and sherry or cider vinegar. Remove from heat.

Add the chiffonade of kale or chard by the handful. Stir gently, letting the greens wilt into the beans.

Season with sea salt to taste.

Serves 6 to 8.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Diana Nyad To Oprah: ‘The Body Is Pathetic Compared To What We Have Inside Us’ (VIDEO)
Diana Nyad inspired the world earlier this month when she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. The 64-year-old swimmer completed the voyage in just under 53 hours. On Sunday, Oct. 6, Nyad will appear on “Super Soul Sunday” to discuss how she achieved this feat of athleticism, will and spirit.

In this first look at the interview, Nyad sits down with Oprah for a revealing conversation about chasing dreams, pushing limits and daring with intention and purpose. “What you showed us all is what a real warrior looks like,” Oprah says to Nyad in the video. “I can’t even imagine what that pain felt like.”

“The body is pathetic compared to what we have inside us,” Nyad says in the clip.

Nyad had tried to complete the approximately 110-mile swim on four prior occasions but barriers ranging from jellyfish stings to lightning forced her to abandon each effort. She tried three times in 2011 and 2012, and her first attempt was in 1978.

“It wasn’t so much what did I want to do, it was who I want to be,” she tells Oprah.

Watch part one of the full interview when it airs Sunday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.

What If We Thought of Stress as Good?
By Jan Bruce

We have learned to fear stress. With good reason. It’s a killer, coiled at the root of nearly every diagnosis you can think of. When chronic stress goes unaddressed, it kicks off a complex series of physical, mental, and emotional effects that gradually erodes your immune response, digestion, mood, you name it. (More on the effects of stress on your body.)

But could part of our problem be that we have framed it that way? Could our fear of stress be making everything way worse? As the CEO of meQuilibrium, I know full well that no one source, problem, or issue is to blame when it comes to stress — that our response to stress has far more to do with our ability to cope than almost anything else.

Recently, our editor Terri Trespicio posted about her addiction to stress, and it spurred quite a bit of interest and press. She writes,

I’m one of those people who likes stress. I like it a little too much. I think about downtime, but I rarely engage in it. I love to feel busy and active with lots of plates spinning. Oh, I’ll complain about it, sure. But you try to take my stress away from me, and I’ll fight you for it.

She goes on to say that:

… stress by other names is also: excitement, motivation, energy, pressure. And just the right amount will get you to do amazing things. I wouldn’t accomplish a thing without it.

If our thoughts are the catalyst for emotion, and I know this to be true, then what if we changed the thoughts, not to avoid stress, but to embrace it? If we reframed stress as a good thing, would that make us feel any different?

In her fabulous TED talk (“How to make stress your friend”), psychologist Kelly McGonigal confesses that she’s spent years scaring people about the dangers of stress — which may not be as helpful as she thought.

She cites a statistic from some compelling new research: In one study, participants who experienced a lot of stress the previous year had a 43 percent increased risk of dying… but that was only true for those who believed stress was harmful for their health. In other words, perception of stress as bad had as much to do with their health as the stress itself.

“People who experienced a lot of stress but did not view it as harmful were no more likely to die,” she said. “They had the lowest risk of dying in the study.”


This underscores our approach to stress by beginning with the thoughts. And that means thoughts about stress. You can’t eliminate stress, as McGonigal says, but you can become better at it by retraining the way you think about it.

Imagine what that could mean for you — your energy, your sleep, your relationships with other people, if stress were your fuel, not your enemy.

“When you change your mind about stress,” says McGonigal, “you can change your response to stress.”

Start by reframing these common stress symptoms from negative to positive.

Heart pounding: Rather than reading this as a sign of panic, think of it as your body doing what it must to prepare you for whatever it is in front of you, such as a big presentation to your entire team. Understand that this kind of stress in another context (like an amusement park) would be considered fun or excitement.

The jitters. If you feel on edge and hyper aware, maybe even a little antsy, recognize that your body again has come to your rescue, heightening your senses so that you’re both aware and energized. Take advantage of that energy to accomplish the challenge ahead.

The urge to call your mom. The need to connect during times of stress, McGonigal says, is also natural — and critical to your survival. When stress hits, your body instinctually knows it needs the help of other people, and so the hormones it releases help spur you to do that. So do it — when you feel that need to be around or talk with coworkers, or reach out to someone you trust, don’t read it as “I am incapable,” but “I am doing what I’m wired to do” — and by all means do it!

Want to dramatically reduce your stress? Take our 28-day challenge.

Jan Bruce is CEO and co-founder of meQuilibrium,, the new digital coaching system for stress, which helps both individuals and corporations achieve measurable results in stress management and wellness.

For more by meQuilibrium, click here.

For more on stress, click here.

Time Out Tip Of The Day: September 30, 2013
Need a time out? You’re in luck. In honor of Bliss’ Triple Oxygen Month, HuffPost’s GPS for the Soul has teamed up with Bliss spa experts to provide the best tips to take a rejuvenating time out each and every day for the month of September. We want to help you make the next 30 days a time of reflection and renewal. Make sure to check back here every day for your new Time Out Tip, and learn more about Bliss’ new line of Triple Oxygen products by clicking here.

bliss 30

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Linda Cousins-Newton, Storyteller, Shares Her Favorite Natural Beauty Products
We were recently reminded of the miracle that is coconut oil by this lovely Brooklyn resident. But that wasn’t the only beauty secret of Linda Cousins-Newton. The storyteller also shared her favorite natural beauty products.

“I use the Dr. Bronner’s liquid and solid soaps (usually the citrus or rose fragrances) as a body and facial wash,” said Cousins-Newton. “When bathing rather than showering, I also add organic apple cider vinegar to the bath water and sometimes organic sea salt.”

She follows up her cleansing routine by smoothing on African shea butter mixed with Aura Glow Coconut Musk oil combined with Black Rose coconut oil. These oils also add sheen and moisture to her locks along with Nature’s Blessings Hair Pomade. For a pop of color, Cousins-Newton uses Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Natural Origin Bronzer and Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Raisin. Simply gorgeous!

natural makeup

Photo/Art: Raydene Salinas

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