Youth and Self-Advocacy

Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Start Your Day Right

The term “breakfast” comes from two words: “break” and “fast”. It literally means breaking the fast that occurred during long hours of sleep at night.

Most nutrition experts are in consensus that this is the most important meal of the day. And it’s because it benefits the body in more ways than one. Not only does it provide nutrients that supply energy necessary for the day, it also helps sharpen one’s focus, uplift one’s mood, and prevent starvation.

It also aids in weight loss by boosting the metabolism. When you’re asleep, the body’s ability to burn fats and calories slows down. Eating breakfast can jump start the body’s metabolism. It’s a common mistake for dieters to skip breakfast. They think they’re losing weight doing this but the exact opposite is true.

To help you start your day right, here are some simple, easy to prepare, and delicious breakfast ideas that you’d want to prepare for yourself and your family.

Breakfast # 1 – Avocado, Boiled Egg & Whole Wheat Muffin

Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. Eggs, meanwhile, supply the body with protein and B vitamins. And the whole wheat muffin makes sure that you get enough fiber for the day.

Servings: 2

Preparation and Cooking Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 whole wheat English muffins, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 2 soft boiled eggs


  • Spread mustard and dill on the bread slices.
  • Top with avocado and serve with soft boiled eggs.

Breakfast # 2 – Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Pesto & Banana Smoothie.

Make this nutritional powerhouse with lycopene and vitamin C rich tomatoes. Pesto is also highly nutritious and at the same time, it adds a unique flavor to the scrambled eggs.

Servings: 2

Preparation and Cooking Time: 10 minutes


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted


  • Beat eggs with water. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Cook tomatoes until soft.
  • Add eggs and stir while cooking.
  • Spread pesto sauce on bread.
  • Top with scrambled eggs.

Ingredients For the smoothie:

  • 1 1/2 cups Cherries frozen
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop of Protein Powder
  • 1 Banana
  • Ice Cubes


  • Put all the ingredients in your best glass blender. Select the maximum speed and voilà!!!.

Breakfast # 3 – Yogurt, Fruit and Almond Butter Parfait

A multi-layered fruity treat that can help you start your day on a healthy sweet note. Almonds and almond butter are high in antioxidants and healthy fats. Yogurt is a good source of protein. And we all know that fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Serving: 1

Preparation and Cooking Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 3/4 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons roasted almonds, chopped
  • 3 strawberries, quarter cut


  • Mix honey, almond butter and yogurt in a bowl.
  • In a glass, put a layer of grapes and top with yogurt mixture.
  • Alternate with almonds and strawberries until you fill the whole glass.

With these healthy and delicious breakfast ideas, you know that you’re off to a good start.… Read more

Why Should You Wear the Right Shoes for the Operating Room?

Shoes for the Operating Room

Working in the operating room can be extremely tiring, especially if you need to operate on patients. In fact, the operating room is one of the hospital’s most sensitive and busiest places.

Working inside requires you to practice not only proper hygiene but also wearing the right outfit.

No matter what your role is in the operating room, wearing a great pair of shoes for operating room nurses, doctors, and any other medical staff can help you a lot. The following are just some viable reasons behind the importance of wearing the right shoes for the operating room:

  • Maximizes your level of comfort – Keep in mind that being assigned in the operating room may require you to work for extremely long hours. Some operations may even take at least 24 hours to complete. With that in mind, you can’t just wear any shoes while inside the room as this might only cause extreme discomfort.

This is especially true if you need to move too much because of the specific tasks that require your attention. In such a case, wear the proper operating room shoes – those designed to give you comfort. Most of these shoes are also built to be breathable, further maximizing their ability to give you comfort while you are finishing up your job.

  • Improves your productivity – Another reason why wearing the right operating room shoes is important is that this footwear plays a huge role in boosting your productivity. Other types of footwear may look good on you but they are not equipped with all the features you need to provide you adequate support.

Operating room shoes, especially those that come in the form of surgery clogs, feature ergonomic designs. With such a design, you can gain the kind of support you need to fulfill the huge demands and pressure of your job. It is a big help in making you more productive, especially when there are surgical procedures and operations you have to deal with.

  • Supports your posture – Among the usual problems experienced by nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals working in the operating room are sore and aching legs after every 12-hour shift. Note that your job might involve staying on your feet during the majority of your shift.

You might even need to perform intense procedures and lift heavy equipment. These tasks can significantly put pressure and stress on your joints. You can handle that problem by ensuring that proper posture is supported. This is possible by wearing the right shoes for operating room nurses and doctors.

Most of these shoes even feature comfortable insoles. Furthermore, they have sturdy and strong interior support, which can improve your posture and prevent back strain as much as possible.

  • Good grip – A high-quality pair of operating room shoes also boasts of its sufficient grip, which is a good thing when exposed to slippery floors in the operating rooms. Hospitals, particularly their operating rooms, are cleaned regularly.

However, rushing to your patients during emergencies might still make you prone to slipping accidentally. Fortunately, you can wear shoes dedicated to operating room staff like you so you can avoid being in an accident due to certain slip hazards.

Wearing proper shoes for operating room nurses and doctors is indeed a wise move to make you more productive and efficient in the workplace. You will thank yourself once you start wearing it, especially upon noticing how it improved your ability to deal with your daily tasks more efficiently. … Read more

The Future of Advocacy

With the National Forum on Disability Issues ( coming up this Friday I have been helping to plan a viewing party for the staff where I work. Between this and all of the other political happenings going on at every level I have been thinking a lot about policy and advocacy. Some very important laws and policies that improve civil rights and services for people with disabilities, and their families, have been passed in the past 40 years. Many of these improvements were put in place largely due to the tireless advocacy efforts of individuals with disabilities and their allies, who joined together to advocate for change. As we look forward to the next 40 years of change, who are the advocates that will continue to carry the torch of inclusion and civil rights? What is your center doing to be involved in training this next generation of disability advocates?

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with the new “Advocacy Specialist” at my local CIL. I and a few other folks that have been involved in advocacy and policy work for the past few years were there to help the new person get a sense of where to start. Our discussion made me think that we all have to start somewhere as advocates and that start can be made much more effective and smooth when we have a mentor and good resources to rely on.

As you work with the youth in your center to become more effective self-advocates, and advocates for disability rights, how do you approach the task? Do you use a curriculum or other standardized approach, or do you play it by ear? What has worked well for you and what resources do you recommend to help get people involved in the issues (local, state, federal)? I would love to hear what others are doing in this area. Please take a few minutes and share your thoughts.

I’ll start: here is a resource that I think is worth recommending “The Capitol Insider” put out by the ARC. This is an excellent site with a lot of information about current policy issues at the federal level and all kinds of basic advocacy information that address a wide variety of disability issues. This site has something for the seasoned policy advocate and first timers too. I particularly like the “Public Policy” link under the What We Do tab. Here is a quote from that page to give you a taste of what the site is all about:

“Effective advocacy requires knowledge of existing law, pending legislation, and the political players and processes as well as the unmet needs of constituents. Here you’ll find the information you’ll need to advocate on all issues that are critical to the intellectual and developmental disability community at the national level. Use this page as your first stop in keeping yourself informed on federal disability policy.”Read more