Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 2017 Meeting Minutes:

YVI February 2017

Call to Order: 3:10pm

Present: Karen, Barb, Jonathan, Shawn, Mike, Lika

Old Business:
1) Tabled for further discussion at a later time:
Intervention & Prevention of children not in school dying or seriously compromised in health - DSH is not always efficient, and is too small to come up with a uniform plan to take proper action.
2) Study for the purpose of making educational curriculum

A) Trauma Informed Care – in process for use within prison system

B) Childhood abuse trauma causing brain disorder

Both are available to be studied, though the Trauma Informed Care may take someone going to prison system to see if we can get a hold of what they have, to modify it for the court system to be able to teach the attorneys and judges to learn about how childhood trauma is what brought them into the court system, as opposed to being a common or cold criminal.
The childhood trauma causing brain disorders has several resources online to study, and to bring to therapists, school counselors, shelters, etc. for better education on how to deal with these issues.
If we have people in DHS, DFC, teachers, etc. please get a hold of me, so we can set up a meeting to ensure that we have a wide enough group to be able to study and make the educational curriculum. Barb has offered to volunteer to be the editor of this curriculum, when it is up for availability.
3) Petition (state level) to ensure stiffer punishments and in-house therapy for 1st time offenders to have to take AND to be deemed low risk by the group leader before being released back into the community. Special accommodations include victims of female perpetrators.
Please see the current wording in a separate document, and give your ideas to better wording to make it worthy of making into a petition, ASAP.
New Business:
1) International Women’s Day will not be a YVI event.
Adjournment: 4:25pm

Issue 1: Need Volunteers for Study:
Trauma Informed Care – A packet for therapists, counselors, & general public:
Studies show that childhood trauma leads to brain anomalies, where proper development is hindered, altered, etc. and how therapists and group leaders can assess if a person has had abuse issues. It is used in prisons, to determine the root of prisoner behaviors.
Trauma informed care is grounded in and directed by a thorough understanding of the neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma and the prevalence of these experiences in persons who seek and receive mental health services.
Here is an article from a psychologist about how trauma affects behavior, trust issues, and how human relationships are also negatively affected into adulthood, so, the thing of being told, “You’re an adult, now”, is of absolutely no use, what so ever. It can take years to overcome a single trauma, depending on how bad the PTSD sets in.
We need to assign people to a group, to look more into this, to come up with an education packet to give to the legal system before incarceration, as we can learn from the Menendez brothers who killed their father for beating their mother, and threatening to kill her. They were tried as cold hearted killers, when it was trauma from domestic violence. Since the prison system already is putting this into place, and the lawyers, especially DA’s and Public Defenders, judges, and civilian therapy places that need to learn this process. 
If anyone knows any teachers who can help develop this, it would be great, but, we can put this together by brainstorming, but, everyone needs to be willing to do their part to learn about how this relates and how it will affect people. This needs attention.

Petition Needs Edits:
We, the undersigned citizens of Wisconsin, understands that sexual abuse by a teacher is damaging, and is just as if not more damaging to teenage boys, since the maturity and understanding of this type of relationship has negative consequences since it is assumed that all boys want sex from teachers. There are also few supports in place for the male children to get support, therapy, and long term help to get through the situation.
Even at that, those who perpetrate female children already do not get stiff enough sentencing, as described by those of us who work with sexual assault survivors, where a man was charged with a sexual assault on a child back in 2005, and in 2013, sexually assaulted his 4 year old son. He served 1.5 years, went to live with a friend in 2015, and sexually assaulted his friend’s 5 and 6 year old children. These children were threatened, forced to use sex toys on themselves and each other, then forced perform sex acts with him and with each other He was set to serve a life sentence, and only served 2 years, and his most recent victim is a 16 year old girl, who he strangled her during the rape, and is looking at 9 counts of felony charges. Although he was ordered to stay away from all minor children, since he took both male and female victims, he violated this grossly.
This is why we demand that upon the first arrest for sexual assaults on children must go through a 2-3 year in house therapy action for sex offenders to be let out into the public, upon being deemed low risk (not safe) by those in charge of the programs. If they do not complete this program in house, there is a great probability that they will not do it on their own, just to assault more child victims. This is NOT acceptable!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chinese New Year - International Style

So, today is the Chinese New Year, I didn't have the crisis line, so, here is what I made to celebrate, international style, and vegetarian friendly. Of course, again, I do not have a kitchen, I have a science lab that brings out good things to eat.  It's all about celebration here, in Racine, WI.

1st (appetizer?) course: Lettuce salad with celery, dried cranberries, raisins, and walnuts, with an Asian sesame dressing.

2nd (main) course: Baked 4 cheese ravioli with diced tomatoes seasoned with mild red pepper, minced green bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and fresh basil; topped with Malicki brand mozzarella cheese. It was delicious.

3rd (dessert) course: Anasazi beans, from Adobe Milling, which I cooked low and slow until a soup type consistency with sugar, and mochi added to give it a meaty type texture. In Japan, it would be made from dry red beans, but, I figured if this one is good for the ancient Native Americans, it's good for me, too.

We have enough to have lunch for all of us tomorrow, so, that makes me happy. I love my home made inventions...  And to think we eat from around the world, on a regular basis at my house.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Restaurant Inspired; Homemade Goodness

I ended up with a little over 9 pounds of fresh oranges. And, I went to the Asian store, Ahn Chau’s in Milwaukee. So, even though I’m looking at more Japanese foods, I ended up thinking about Chinese food on the way home from the store.
I start with all fresh ingredients, or, at least as much as I can. Everyone seems to love Beef with Broccoli, but I like the spicier Orange Beef, so, I kind of merged them. I’ll call it Orange Beef with Broccoli, inspired from the traditional Chinese restaurant dishes, but healthier in my home made dish.
Plated Orange Beef w/ Broccoli
2# beef roast. I cut it into 1” cubes, coat each piece in flour
1 large onion, cubed in 1/2’ squares
2 pounds of cut broccoli (fresh or frozen)
In a large wok, heat 3 TBS peanut oil, 1 tsp sesame oil
Put the floured beef into the wok, and let brown. When all sides are fairly brown, add the onion and broccoli, and let beef get nice and caramelized.
Nice dark brown, caramelized meat, with the nutty smell of the flour getting cooked.

Grate the zest of 1 orange, cut in half, and hand juice the orange in a bowl, and set aside.

The finer grate allows for easier eating, with a stronger orange flavor in the dish.

In a small mixing bowl, mix 1/3-1/2 cup of soy sauce, 2-3 TBS Sriracha sauce, 1-2 TBS raw honey, blend together, black pepper to taste, and thicken with 4 TBS cornstarch.
When the meat is nice and dark, add the orange zest & juice, then gradually pour the sauce all over, while stirring for even coating over the whole pan. Sprinkle black sesame seeds as a finisher, quickly stir, cut the heat, and sauce will thicken as it sets. Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy.

Final product, before you put it over a bed of freshly steaming rice.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Food & Life: What to Eat, What to Cut

I’d been thinking a lot about various things, and how a common theme with just about every culture, in every country, life revolves around food. Whether it’s celebrating a wedding, birthday, graduation, birth, holiday, or how about ‘just because’, and even mourning a loss, we use food to bring people together. And, lets face it... We all have our favorite “go to” food, that we look for at any gathering, and it differs depending on the cultural foods we’ve all grown up on. It’s fun to go to these, because we all have our special foods, and we like to try other people’s. Even if we bring what we love, we also like to have other cultural foods.
With rising obesity and Type 2 diabetes on the rise, so many of us are trying to be better about eating healthier, and, sometimes, we fall short, and could use the help of a Registered Dietician or a Nutritionist. I remember so many times, that, these people are so happy to give out good tips of what is better than others, but, my problem? It revolves too much around your standard Middle America type foods. Even when you go to these offices, it seems as if 99% of the people are Caucasian, middle class, and very plain in what they offer... From my own experiences, even the ones that are Hispanic or African American, they are usually the receptionist, not the nutritionist. Not much help.
So, this prompted me to write to these places, and I’ll be sending these letters off when the weather is good enough to make that trip, or, when I’m going out on errands, anyway. Here are the places I’m writing to:
This is an agency where dieticians and nutritionists go to become members of their profession, or might be registered through this place. So, sending here is targeting the very people who are taught how to educate us, as the general public about health and nutrition:
National Agricultural Library; Food and Nutrition Information Center; 10301 Baltimore Avenue; Beltsville, MD 20705-2351.
The other agency I wrote to is the USDA, with their FNS office, since these are the people in charge of the farming practices and whatnot, in hopes that they will help coordinate the types of foods that are pushed for healthy eating.
United States Department of Agriculture; Food and Nutrition National Office; 3101 Park Center Drive; Alexandra, VA 22302
Here is my letter, and if you want to send one, just correct the spacing issues to make sure that it flows better. I really think that these agencies need to remember that we come from so many different cultures, that they need to incorporate ethnic foods. Those of you who know me know that I’m just as passionate about serving tasty food that is also good for your health, as I am about child advocacy. I hope that this helps, because aside from making my cause successful, I’d love to work with these people. In the mean time, please write them and let them know that you want them to incorporate healthier and authentic versions of ethnic foods, so we can enjoy our tacos, sesame chicken, and more, not just poached fish & chicken with mild flavorings. You may want to add soul food and Cajun food to your list of must haves, too, since those are popular foods, too, along with southern recipes.
January 9, 2017

My Full Name
My Full Address
My City, State Zip
My Phone Number

Agency Name
Specific Office
Full Sending Address
City, State Zip

Dear Food Information Manager;

I am writing in regard to my experiences and concerns with the various people I have seen over the course of years, regarding the advice and teaching that I have received from various Registered Dieticians and Nutritionists.  I’ve had several, not only for myself but for my son as well as accompanying others to their appointments as well.

With the growing concern with childhood obesity, the consumptions of highly processed “easy” food, and the lack of physical activity, it is good to push programs that help people find ways to eat healthier, to consume foods that are nutritious and delicious.  Nutrition rich food that tastes good starts with fresh ingredients.  I think we can all agree on that.  My son and I both have a chromosome animally called 16p11.2 micro deletion, which increases our appetites higher than the normal person, while slowing down our metabolism lower than the average “couch potato”.  This makes it very difficult to keep up with the average expectations of those who are actively losing weight under the supervision of our doctors, in conjunction with staff who guide us in our weight loss journey by helping to teach people how to make better decisions with their food choices, for better health in the long run.

While I find these to be helpful, here is my problem.  Every single nutritionist and dietician that I’ve been to, has been the typical Caucasian person, most likely from a middle America background, whose expertise is in the usual, run of the mill white picket house meals.  While this may be good for those who eat this way, it does not help those of us who come from a multicultural background.  The part that is a bit disturbing to me is that statistics show that the African American and Latino communities seem to have the most severe cases of obesity and the related consequences of their weight such as various cardio-vascular and respiratory issues.  Add in the Asian population from S.E. Asia, and all three cultural groups are at high risk of type 2 diabetes, many who come here as 1st generation immigrants, may be unfamiliar to American foods, and because they are poor, may not be able to afford certain types of food.  This also affects the following generations, if they are also unable to learn “American cooking”.  So, in a nutshell, we are asking them to give up all of their home foods, which are also comfort foods, which rarely produce positive results.
We can see in various statistics, that, minorities, especially those who are the poorest and meekest, are usually the ones with the highest failure rates of being able to eat a healthier diet.  When we look at what the restaurants serve, it is true, that the meals can be carb/sugar heavy.  This is typically not the way these foods are home cooked.  I found this especially true with not only my own heritage of Japanese cooking, where what we see in Japanese restaurants is rarely what is consumed daily in people’s own homes, but, Chinese foods as well, as I’ve experienced at a friend’s, whose family came here to the U.S. back in 1983.  What you see at “traditional restaurants” in these Asian style meals is not the traditional meal at home, yet, this is what I hear dieticians and nutritionists caution against, with eating many different types of ethnic foods.  Comparing any ethnic meal, whether it’s Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, or other, is like saying that Perkin’s or Denny’s is the same as what is eaten in every middle class, Caucasian homes.  We know this is not true, when we consider foods such as homemade chicken noodle soup vs. what you get at these restaurants, and the fact that Denny’s adds bacon to about 60% of their foods.  It’s this same logic that applies to ethnic foods, as well.

Here is another frustration in dealing with dieticians and nutritionists; while they are happy to let you know how to cook healthier, they are absolutely clueless as to how to adapt authentic ethnic foods to make them a better healthy choice.  One told me to “just add a tablespoon of salsa”, when I asked how I could make Spanish rice be healthier.  When I inquired as to when to add it, she looked confused, and just suggested that I add it to plain steamed rice on the table, after the meal was dished out.  I tried explaining that this defeats the purpose of having hot, steaming rice, because if the salsa came from an open jar, it would have come out of the refrigerator, and this would make the rice on the plates, cold.  She then got quite snippy, and said, “Then just add it to the pot”.  So, I asked about how to adjust the recipe, since the amount of water to rice has an impact on the texture, and one tablespoon isn’t enough to make a pot of rice for everyone, and she got quite a bit more annoyed, in a demanding question, “How am I supposed to know”?  Well, I would expect that when dealing with a multicultural society, and you’re trained and registered to give advice about healthy eating, that answers like this are important to answer, rather than telling people to not to eat their own food, and to eat Middle American poached chicken for white families who have lived here for the last 10 generations or more.

This makes it look as if the medical authority is discriminatory against ethnic people, because often, other family members are not willing to stop eating their cultural foods, and expect that working mothers have time to make 2 separate meals while also taking care of a whole family, often while also caring for elderly relatives as well.  This, on top of the fact that discrimination is all over, from quality healthcare in general that is accessible, quality education, and how our black and Hispanic populations are arrested at higher rates and longer incarceration rates than our white population for similar/equivalent crimes, just comes across as if other people aren’t as important than the average white American.  We must remember that we all came from immigrants, and each of our ancestors brought over a part of their heritage, which includes the types of foods that are eaten.  As people, each culture shares that common theme of meals to celebrate family, mourn at funerals, time with friends, and more.

It is my hope to be able to work with different agencies to take authentic recipes and make them healthier, without compromising the integrity of the flavors.  It’s issues like these that I chose International Relations as a major, even though I did get into healthcare for a while.  My passion is food, and my dream is to feed the planet. 

Thank you for your time in reading this, and I hope to hear from someone soon, in hopes that we can make an impact on celebrating the cultural diversity in our fine country by making healthy eating for everyone, to which I’m sure that many people would enjoy, since so many of us love Italian, Mexican, Asian, and a wide diversity of foods.  So, let us embrace that, rather than generically water down ethnic foods to Betty Crocker or Hamburger Helper standards.


Lika Saliscente-Phipps
Founder of Youth Voice Initiative

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Healthy Food vs. Ethnic Food: Match Not Met!

So, okay, I was lucky enough to be able to try some new (well, new for me) TV dinners thanks to some free coupons. I know it’s not like I’m buying frozen dinners made by Dragon’s Wok or whomever... but, you know, being American, and also being that I grew up in a multiethnic place, I love my various ethnic foods. I also realize that there are many times that these ethnic foods may or may not be the healthiest, if you need a low sodium, low carb, high fiber, high protein diet is not exactly attainable. But, it would be nice if these flavors were more authentic.
I was eager to try these new TV dinners, because it’s a grade or two up from their original & standard line. So, I figured that since they advertise it as a Market Place item, that it should be at least slightly more premium. One of the items I got was the Sesame Stir Fry with Chicken. Well. I was disappointed. Mike heated it up for me, eager for my opinion on this particular dinner, as it’s the perfect size for a light lunch. The veggies were steamed, and the chicken was probably also steam cooked, and the nice browning on the chicken like you see in the picture was just plain not there. The noodles were also chopped in 1/4” pieces, not long like the picture, and all of the stir fried sesame sauce was in the noodles. So, you have to mix it up, and mix it up good to even attempt to get the flavor spread out. At least the veggies were still a bit crisp, so the texture was good.
So, being that I grew up on authentic Asian food, since I did live in Japan the 1st 8 years of my life, as well as the fact that one of my best friends, Earnping and her family are Chinese, and have experience via owning a Chinese restaurant as well as the fact that they lived in other Asian countries and brought the recipes with them, the actual flavor of this TV dinner is so middle-white-America, it is so not authentic in flavor... NOT authentic flavor. I can remember that much from my childhood as well as from when I took the trip to visit Japan this past summer. My uncle, Masaki, is an awesome cook, and everything he makes is to delicious, I wish I could keep him and my aunt with me... I also don’t like instant rice, real Asian food starts with real rice and real noodles. 
Thing is, there are so many of us who are wanting to eat healthier, but want to keep the authentic flavors, it’s not easy finding those options, if you don’t know how to cook the original. This is very disheartening, because I’ve tried the other ethnic type foods as well, such as the ravioli or lasagna, and those are so tamed down and put in a different direction, that the ravioli and lasagna is not authentically Italian anymore... My son Chad has loved Italian food since he was old enough to eat it, and at the ripe age of 8 months old (yes, months, not years), wanted that spaghetti sauce with tyke sized pasta, just right for a baby to eat. By the time he was 2, he was accustomed to homemade sauce, and refused any form of canned or jarred pasta sauce, insisting that he, “can’t want to like that”. My experience with Italian food is that my son’s dad, David is half Sicilian, whose grandfather came over from there, and Dave’s father grew up learning Italian before English, and learned how to cook from his family. I also learned how to cook this authentically Sicilian style spaghetti sauce with meatballs, lasagna, etc, and it was father-in-law approved, which made me very happy. On the same note as above, no instant noodles. Pasta starts with authentic semolina noodles.
At our house, it doesn’t stop with Asian & Italian food. We love Mexican food, as well, and I’d spent literally hours upon hours over the course of a couple of years to perfect my tacos, fajitas, guacamole, and Mike’s flautas. We all love food that is bursting with flavor, and Mike’s granddaughter, Selena, has a Mexican & Puerto Rican background as her dad knew how to cook excellent Mexican food, and her adopted dad knows how to make Puerto Rican food. I was happy as a homemade apple pie to hear from Mike that my Mexican food is in line with the food he learned how to make from his former sons-in-law. On another note, our housemate, another David, is Puerto Rican, and also has given us tips on how to blend flavors to make it match fuller to either custom way of making things.
I also learned how to make a lot of different Eastern European foods from a Serbian client, where I was taught how to make a fillo dough layered cheese mix, similar to lasagna layers, but has a cheese and sour cream base to the stuffing, from the Russian influences in that region. I also learned how to make Serbian stuffed cabbage rolls, which are different from what we are used to here, as well as the nuances that make the difference between Hungarian vs. Serbian goulashes, and paprikash, which is Serbian goulash with sour cream added. Fortunately, these Eastern European foods tend to be healthier in the first place, from the long standing farming industry. My maternal grandfather was the son of a 1st generation Hungarian American mother, and a Hungarian immigrant father. While I was much too young to appreciate it properly, that is where I picked up the flavors of Hungarian meals.

Thing is, I’m also wanting to learn about cooking American ethnic foods as well, along the line of Soul Food, to expand my horizons, and some creole foods as well. But, I am not experienced in eating these foods, much less knowing how to make them, and even if I google the recipes, I’d have no idea if they are authentic or not. Especially considering my inexperience, I could use some help, here. Another area of authenticity is Western European recipes, as well as the diverse foods of African cuisines.
So, I guess I am in a dilemma. I do not have the original or ethnic recipes for a lot of these types of food, such as Korean sweet & spicy beef, Thai ginger beef, Mexican style refried beans, Spanish rice, or some of these other delicious ethnic foods, I do not know how to make the authentic meal and then find a way to keep the integrity of the flavors while making it a healthier meal. Anyone have any advice, a recipe, or know anyone who could give me suggestions?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Job Search Websites

General Job Search:
Government Job Sites County/State/Federal:
News Paper/Classified Job Sites:
Career Specific Job Sites:
Schools, Colleges, Universities, Financial Aid:
Websites for Entrepreneurs:
Career Exploration:
Miscellaneous Websites:
Tutorials/Computer Training:
Government and Benefits Websites:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Holiday Double Header

So, again, I do not have a kitchen, I have a science lab that produces good food. Well, most of the time, it’s good. I’ve had my fair share of flops, too, but, it’s not a total waste if you learn from your mistakes. Professional Chefs will assure you that often, it’s the flops that are the best teachers, and you can’t learn if you don’t try, and you win most, and lose some. It’s all part of the game.

But, here it goes... I like to do crazy things, and had 2 home made dinners for this double day holiday by serving 2 totally different cultural meals, all homemade to celebrate. People in Wisconsin know that there doesn’t need to be a reason, just that it has to be festive, even if the reason is just for the heck of it.

Christmas Eve dinner:
Lasagna Meat Mix:
1# ground beef
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the good kind)
1/4 cup dried parsley
4 TBS garlic powder
1&1/2 TBS oregano
1 TBS basil
1tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

3 TBS minced garlic
1 medium onion, minced
1 small green bell pepper, minced
12 oz tomato paste
8 oz tomato sauce
16 oz diced tomatoes
3&1/2 TBS oregano
2&1/2 TBS basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Saute veggies.
Add tomato products. 3 cans worth of water from paste, and a little bit more (I just rinse out the cans. Simmer to blend flavors.

1 pkg egg roll noodles, using 4 per layer (it's what I had)
2 pkg Prosciutto wrapped mozzarella (again, it's what I had)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8oz mozzarella, shredded

Grease 9x13 cake pan place some sauce on bottom.
Layer 4 noodles over sauce
Place prosciutto wrapped mozzarella evenly on bottom
Layer another 4 eggroll noodles
Layer sauce, and another layer of noodles
Lay out meat mix, top with noodles Cover top with sauce
Sprinkle shredded cheese mix over the top Bake @ 300 F for 1 hour, 15 minutes

I don’t always have the stuff I need, but, I am getting good at punting. This was super delicious, good enough for even a 4* restaurant.

Christmas Day Dinner:
1) Sushi Rolls - mix and match variety: Takuan (a yellow pickle made from Japanese radish called daikon), seasoned shiitake mushroom, Japanese omelette, and guacamole packets
2) Spinach salad topped with fish flakes and my special dressing.
3) Miso soup
4) Tonkatsu (Japanese style pork cutlets) breaded with instant mashed potato (baked, instead of deep fried, to make it a bit healthier)
5) Kombucha or coke with dinner
6) Green tea ice cream wrapped in green tea mochi and green tea.

Christmas Table.JPG

Sushi rice:
5 – 6 oz cups of sushi grade rice (I use Botan/Calrose)
Rinse rice until the water is clear
6&1/2 TBS rice wine vinegar for sushi
6 TBS sugar
5 tsp sea salt
Add 7 – 6 oz cups of water (or, if you use a rice cooker, fill water to the 5 line)

Cook to perfection, covered.
Remove from heat.
Fluff out into a large pan, fanning regularly.
Allow to cool to room temp.

Using a roller and seeweed (nori) for sushi, layer some rice, and add whatever ingredients you like.  I used:
  • Seasoned (reconstituted) shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ cup prepared dashi
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 1&½ TBS sake or dry white wine
Simmer mushrooms until tender, slice
 Japanese style omelet
  • 3 eggs
  • 1&1/2 TBS mirin (sugar water)
  • Beat well, cook on low heat, slice
  • Use 2 - 10oz packages of frozen spinach.
  • Thaw, squeeze excess water into the liquid leftover from mushrooms
  • Divide into 4-6 small dishes, sprinkle fish flakes
  • Add more soy sauce to spinach liquid
  • Drop a couple drops of sesame oil
  • Simmer to reduce a little bit
  • Cool to room temp, spoon onto spinach salad
 Miso soup
  • 6 cups dashi broth
  • Miso paste to taste
  • Tofu, cubed (I like the extra firm, after excess water is taken out)
  • Kombu kelp
It was good.  I also welcome anyone who doesn't otherwise have a place to go, to come sit at my dinner table, anytime.  I enjoy feeding people good food. So, any food places out there want to hire me? I have a lot to learn, but, I also have a lot to offer.