Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rotary Clubs of Evanston and others host Evanston Mayoral Candidates Forum February 22

The Rotary Club of Evanston (the one that meets for lunch on Thursdays), the Rotary Club of Evanston/Lighthouse (the one that meets for breakfast on Tuesdays), the Chessmen Club of the North Shore (the club having a benefit on March 18), the Kiwanis Club of Evanston (the one that hosts PizzaMania annually) and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce (the one the most engaged business of Evanston belong to) are hosting an Evanston Mayoral Candidates Forum.

Wednesday, February 22
Rotary International's auditorium, 3rd floor
1590 Sherman Ave.
Evanston, IL

5:00-6:00 p.m. WCGO 1590 AM starts broadcasting with pre-forum interviews

5:30-6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

6:00-7:30 p.m. Candidates Forum

All the Evanston mayoral candidates are expected: Gary Gaspard
, Steve Hagerty
, Brian Miller
, Jeff Smith
, Mark Tendam .

Christian Farr, NBC-5 reporter and neighbor, is set to moderate.

John Hewko, Rotary International’s General Secretary expected to start off the program.

Admission is free to the public, but an RSVP is requested.

Journalists and other media folks can contact Rotary staffer and Rotary Club of Evanston member Jane Lawicki before February 22 for a press release and other details.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Kemone's Food Fight

Kemone with papayas at Mariano's.
I’ve known Kemone Hendricks since she was a high schooler at ETHS. I led and she participated in an Evanston Arts Council and City of Evanston joint workforce development project called ArtSkills 2000, which gave Evanston kids summer jobs. She was a paid photographer with 19 peers. She and I got back in touch recently to talk about the business of photography, as well as health and wellness. This is some of what we talked about.

Q: Kemone, to me you look like the same skinny kid who I met about 17 years ago, but actually your body has gone through some big changes, besides giving birth twice. You’d gained some weight and you weren’t feeling good physically. What do you attribute the weight gain to and what do you attribute your weight loss and better health to?

KH: My weight gain started when I became depressed about the relationship I was in. I had started to eat a lot and also drink alcohol almost everyday to comfort myself. Food became a drug to me and I would eat to the point I would feel like throwing up sometimes, even if I was full I would continue eating. Eating became my happy place, the only time I would truly feel happy was while I was eating my favorite foods, but the weight gain made me even more depressed. The person whom I was in a relationship with also enjoyed eating and encouraged me to eat more and applauded my weight gain.

I always wanted to break the cycle, but wasn't quite sure how to. I was disgusted when I looked in the mirror and started hating myself. I didn't even recognize the person in the mirror anymore. I became so disgusted with myself I started searching the internet for the fastest way to lose weight. I associated losing weight with also losing the unhealthy relationship I was in. That thought made me feel free and happy, because if he wasn't around I wouldn't have anyone encouraging me to eat and promoting the very thing that made me hate the way I looked. All I wanted was to be the Kemone I once was—sometimes sad, but usually really happy, energetic, not caring what people thought of me. Deep down I knew I could never get her back the wound was too deep. But maybe somehow I could create a new Kemone, someone better than her? Someone kinda like her? Someone stronger than her? That wouldn't let this happen to her again?

So it began. A journey I'm still on this very day. I'm a all-or-nothing person, so if I commit to doing something I will succeed. But I'm also very impatient. I wanted it now! I couldn't stand the person in the mirror another day. So I got a gym membership, started taking one of the best appetite suppressant pills, worked out almost everyday, barely ate, drank lots of water and ignored everything else around me and before you new it I felt alive again. Hearing people say “OMG. You’re getting so skinny" became a drug to me.

Q: Your path to better health has included paying attention to what your body is telling you it needed, not what a diet guru might prescribe. What are some of the foods your body is telling you it wants to feel its best?

KH: So I soon realized that trying to starve myself left me with little to no energy. My body started telling me it needs fruits, veggies, something else to keep it going, but not too much to slow it down. So I would fast some days drinking green tea with 100% pure honey, water, and soup broth when craving flavor. I would do that for two days straight sometimes only one and then on the days that I did eat I would eat lots of fruits, protein (chicken breast), protein bars (no sugar added, gluten free). I wouldn't eat after 7 o'clock and if I did get hungry after that, I ate fruits only. Then I would cycle that same routine thru out the week. If I did eat something “bad” I would detox it out by drinking one of my favorite detox teas.

Green tea with a hint of mint is amazing, pure honey is amazing, blueberries do wonders for you, Fiji water best tasting water ever.
Papayas. I enjoy papayas.

Q: What didn’t work for you on your quest toward wellness?

KH: As mentioned, starving left me tired. But what also didn’t work for me was eating solid foods everyday. To me even a salad was like a gateway to wanting to eat more and something less healthy. It was all or nothing with me. Once I knew this was the days of fasting I could set my mind to eat and succeed.

Q: When you fall off the wagon, what foods do you go for? Chips?

KH: Tacos. When I fall off the wagon I go for tacos! Always. There's just something about authentic Mexican tacos! ;-)  For me, anything not made at home—I would go to a restaurant—was not good for me.

Q: What are some of your favorite sources for good-for-you food?

KH: I'm not too picky about where I buy my food and I know I should be! I do love Mariano’s, Trader Joe's, Valli Produce, Village Market Place on Dempster in Skokie and Rogers Park Fruit Market

Q: What are some of your favorite sources for solid information about nutrition?

KH: While I read a lot of things on the internet and follow a couple different health pages on Instagram, I just pretty much stick to the basics and create my own nutritional plan based on my bodies needs and vitamins that my doctor says I'm lacking.

Got your own questions about how to eat better to feel better? Consider asking Chelle, Michelle Gillespie, that is. She and I are starting a column/podcast called Ask Chelle, so she can share eating wisdom in between Health Hacks workshops.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thank you, Dan Kelch...

for bringing Lulu's back and continuing to include some of my old favorites and introducing me to some new ones.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Maudlyne Ihejirika on Being a Refugee

"I was that little boy."

In case you missed it, award-winning journalist +Maudlyne Ihejirika talked to WCGO's Daniel French in late January about the book she wrote with her mother, Escape from Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War, colonialism, lasting tension in Nigeria and other African countries and being a refugee. I was in on the conversation too, though I spoke little. Maudlyne was just too interesting to interrupt.

Bookends and Beginnings got a shout out.

You might recall I posted a piece about our Evanston neighbor and her book back in July.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Law and Your Community :: February 9

_______________This in from the Evanston Police Department_________________________

Evanstonians are cordially invites you to...

The Law and Your Community Information Session

The Law and Your Community is a program designed by NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives). The program is an interactive presentation to develop, strengthen, and revitalize community and law enforcement relations.

The Information Session is an opportunity to introduce the program to the community and provide an overview of topics covered.

We look forward to you joining us for an evening of healthy dialogue and positive engagement.

Thursday, February, 9, 2017

909 Lake Street (EFD Fire Admin Building)
Evanston, IL

*Space is limited - Only 30 spaces available

*Light Refreshments will be served

RSVP with your contact information to Officer Enjoli Daley at 847-866-5018.

For more info about NOBLE please visit:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Evanston Police Dept's Citizen Police Academy applications due February 3

This in from the Evanston Police Department...

Evanston Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy is now accepting applications for its next session, which begins Wednesday, March 1.

The free 13-week program gives participants the opportunity to learn about the world of law enforcement while developing a partnership with the police department. The program's interactive curriculum includes:

    •    Tour of police headquarters;
    •    CSI practices;
    •    Mock trial;
    •    Exercises in self-defense;
    •    Explanation of use-of-force decision making;
    •    and much more.

The program is open to anyone who is at least 18 years of age and lives or works in Evanston. Classes and discussions take place on Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and are limited to 30 students. The program ends with a graduation ceremony and reception.

For more information, go to online or call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, Evanston residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Chilling at King Spa

I go to King Spa almost monthly. It feels like a vacation, because it's such an uncommon-to-me atmosphere and I leave feeling good, body and soul.

By uncommon-to-me, I mean that it is a Korean-style spa. Most of the staff seems to be Korean. The televisions are tuned into Korean programs. Most of reading materials are in Korean. I’m not Korean. That said, it feels as common-to-me as going to my neighborhood pool. Little kids try to swim in the hot tubs (to the annoyance of some). There are signs telling us the rules and minders, a combination of lifeguards and librarians, making sure we observe them, rules like no water in the hot rooms and only whispers in the hot tubs. There are lockers, towels, showers, and what I call a concession stand, but with tasty, healthy Korean/Asian food. No hot dogs here.

If you’ve never been there, I wholeheartedly encourage you to go.
Here’s some tips.

* Entry costs $35. Discounts are available via coupon sites and on their website, but I think the best deal is found next door at Super H Mart. Their customer service desk staff sell passes for $20 each, if you give them cash. Note that while the spa is open 24 hours, the customer service desk closes at 9 p.m., last I checked.

* The locker key issued to you includes a fob that allows spa staff to track your purchases — food, slippers, facial masks, plus facials, massages, scrubs and other services. You’ll pay for those items on your way out.

* Hot tubs are not co-ed. They’re accessible only through locker rooms and include lots of nakedness. If one is not used to this, this can be challenging at first. To me, the scene by the hot tubs is like an impressionist's painting. This I believe: a) If any of the other women in and around the hot tubs looks at you at all, it won't be for too long. No one there cares much about your looks. b) You won't have the most unusual, noteworthy body in the place. One more tip: Before going into the cool tub, spend as much time as you can in the hottest tub. If you do that, the cool tub will feel refreshing, not freezing.

* Hot rooms are co-ed. You’ll be issued blousy shorts and a top. No one looks good in them, but no one looks bad either.  No dust or dirt on the floors, but in the hottest rooms, those floors get very hot, so wearing socks is a good idea.

I hope you’ll go and enjoy it.

[ Photos courtesy King Spa's website ]