Managing Cholesterol

Type of Piece:          Informational Web Content

Audience:                 General Public

Written For:             Client of The Search Agency

You need fat to survive.  As strange as it sounds, as you read this, cholesterol is being circulated throughout your body to keep it working, being used to grow necessary tissues and produce chemicals indispensable to the body such as hormones, and Vitamin D.  This is true for both “good” and “bad” fats, though it is important to distinguish between the two.

To perform its essential functions in the body, cholesterol must travel through the bloodstream, and in order for that to happen, it must be encased in a package called a lipoprotein.  Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) make that travel possible and act as vehicles for cholesterol through the body.  Both are composed, partially, from the fat you eat.  HDL, known as “good fat” or “good cholesterol” is most important since it is responsible for carrying cholesterol away from tissues to the liver where it can be removed from the body.  Having too little HDL hinders your body’s ability to eliminate cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease.

LDL, or “bad fat,” on the other hand, while still necessary, can become problematic when allowed to rise to levels above 130 – 160 milligrams per deciliter in your bloodstream.  Because LDL is responsible for carrying cholesterol to your tissues, including your arteries, when levels rise too high, it can build up in the bloodstream and may even adhere to the artery walls as plaque.  This condition, known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, reduces the arteries’ flexibility and narrows the passage through which blood can flow delaying or even cutting off necessary oxygen and nutrients to the tissues.  Sometimes, pockets of plaque can even burst open releasing their fatty contents into the bloodstream which are then covered with blood cells, leading to blood clotting and even heart attack.

When plaque builds up in the coronary artery which feeds the heart, the condition is known as coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease.  To maintain healthy levels of “good” HDL and “bad” LDL fats, you must make smart diet choices.  Fats that can raise your LDL levels include saturated fat and trans fat, found in most animal fat.  You can usually spot these fats, which harden at room temperature, including shortening, butter and margarine.  Fats that support a healthy level of HDL can be found in many nuts such as walnuts and some vegetable oils such as olive and safflower and fish such as salmon and mackerel.

For an average adult, daily calories coming from fat should fall somewhere between 25% and 35% of their recommended caloric intake.  It’s also important to strive for the majority of the fat in your diet to come from unsaturated fats.  To reduce LDL levels in the blood, no more than 7% of daily calories should come from saturated fats with the additional 18% to 28% coming from unsaturated fat sources.  Diets deriving less than 20% of their calories from total fat can hinder the body’s ability to use some vitamins and other nutrients and can even lower HDL levels to the detriment of heart health.

With heart disease as the leading cause of death in men and women, learning about fat and cholesterol and the roles they play in a healthy body has never been more important.  The educated consumer has a running start making the best choices for a longer healthier life.


Access Chartway

Type of Piece:          Brochure

Audience:                 Continental Airlines Employees

Written For:             Chartway Federal Credit Union

As a Continental Airlines employee, you’re working not only around the clock, but around the world.  You need access to what you’ve earned anytime, anywhere.  So how can Chartway keep up with you? Afternoon to after midnight? Alpharetta to Australia?  The key word is access.

The Access Chartway Program gives our members the freedom to make financial decisions whether it’s high tide inHawaii or midday in Dublin.  Even if you can’t get to one of our 24 branch locations, your accounts, as well as all of Chartway’s financial services, are still only a call, click or ATM visit away.

  • Our Call-24 system allows you to check your balances, make transfers and much more from any touchtone phone, using our toll free number.
  • Our free E-branch service provides convenient home banking on the worldwide web.  Most all of our teller services are here, at the click of a mouse.
  • Our international network of affiliated ATM’s offers Chartway members global access to their accounts. Members can even make deposits, free at any ATM in the CU24 network.

Want approval for a loan at midnight-in Milwaukee?  Call our toll-free 24 hour personalized lending assistanceprogram and speak with a real person any time of the day or night.

As a Continental Airlines employee, you’re not exactly standing still.  At Chartway, neither are we.  We may not be landing in three different cities in one day, but with Access Chartway, wherever you are, we can always help you reach your financial destination.

Nodding to Inada

(Originally posted 4/17/11 in Southern Oregon Arts)

On Tuesday April 12th,Southern Oregon Arts first tweeted the invitation to come to Southern Oregon University’s Friday the 15th reception for former Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Inada.  The Mail Tribune article from March 25th linked from that tweet simply stated, “Former Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Fusao Inada will be honored with a poetry event in his name Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, at Southern Oregon University….  The opening reception Friday, April 15, at SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art, is free and open to the public.”

Lawson Inada (standing right) and Todd Barton (seated left) kick off Friday night's event with the first piece titled "As you Like It"

I arrive early to the event on Friday, quickly noticing the age disparity between myself and my fellow attendees.  Indeed Inada himself approaches me soon after seating begins and asks, “Are you under 35?”  When I reply in the affirmative, he continues, “What are you doing here?”  But it’s clear from the broad smile on his face and the playful glint in his eye he’s delighted to see everyone, from new faces such as mine to a number of wiser folks who knew him when he began teaching at SOU in 1966.

The reception begins with a brief greeting from Dr. Diana Maltz, SOU Department Chair for Language Literature and Philosophy followed by an introduction for Inada by Filipino-American poet Rick Barot, a professor of poetry at both Warren Wilson College and Pacific Lutheran University.  Barot speaks to Inada’s inspiring and transporting poetic voice as well as his incredible life story which includes a childhood spent partially in Japanese-American Internment Camps during World War II.  Barot reads “The Legend of Targets” from Inada’s collection Legends from Camp “The soldiers shot, and between rounds, we dug in the dunes for bullets. It was great fun! They would aim at us, go ‘Pow!’ and we’d shout ‘Missed!’’  Barot points out how, through these lines, Inada artfully translates humanity’s simultaneous atrocity and absurdity, but also how this skillful poet manages to more than capture a moment in history, somehow making it hold still to be explored and realized by his reader.

When Inada steps up to the mic, even after such a grand introduction, he remains humble remarking how honored he is to be asked to speak and sparing no praise for his “supporting cast” Todd Barton (SOU Music Instructor and Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Composer in Residence) and Terry Longshore (Associate Professor of Music and Director of Percussion studies at SOU).  Inada and Barton begin with a Shakespeare-inspired, conversational piece “As you Like It.”  Call and response between Inada’s spoken verse and Barton’s wooden recorder flute loop back through the speakers to create improvisational medleys and conversations.  Listening feels very much like talking a walk through the park with good coffee and a large group of good friends.  Just as Barot promised in his introduction, Inada transports the audience into his moment.

As the next piece “Fresno” begins, I fear it will be lost on me.  A native East-coaster, I’ve never been to Fresno, though I see a number of experienced heads in the crowd bobbing, and I hear knowing laughter from many who have known that city.  But then Inada diverts the poem into the national parks near Fresno and I’m right there with him again.  I don’t need to have been to Yosemite itself.  Growing up, I sat around campfires in dozens of this nation’s parks.  And then Inada diverts again, tugging me along (in a direction my own family would never have gone), choosing the city over the campfire.  It’s a testament to his mastery of this craft that I follow him eagerly, now laughing and bobbing my head with the rest of the crowd as Longshore illustrates Fresno through chaotic synthesized sound.

Terry Longshore captures the esence of Fresno through his synthesized percussion

When Inada announces “Tolman Creek Road” will be the final piece of the evening, it seems so soon, such a brief time we’ve been here, too early to be finishing.  But no time for mourning, we’re already running with the waters of Tolman Creek, musing and laughing with Inada at the absurdity he reveals through the juxtaposition of Taco Bell with the Universe itself.  Inada flirts with paradox since everyone sitting in the audience has seen a Taco Bell with his or her own eyes and yet (just as Barot described it) through Inada’s verse, Barton’s musical swirls and loops and Longshore’s melodic percussion, the Universe seems the “real” tangible thing with Taco Bell becoming abstract and far away.  What part of Earth, of the Universe, isn’t flowing in the water molecules of Tolman Creek?  The entire audience is flowing with it as Barton plays the last notes.

I find Barot accurately described several of the most unique qualities about Inada’s voice.  Taco Bell and the Universe is just one example of how this poet spins together his words in such a way that his message, beautifully and simply woven, inspires both despair and elation.  His verse is mortally and undeniably serious while simultaneously self-aware of its own absurdity.  Inada’s is poetry that laughs at itself.  The austere school teacher and the class clown live together (as one even!) in his words.  Barot also acknowledged how ordinary and simple Inada’s lines can sound.  He described it as deceiving since what sounds simple actually contains layers of meaning and meticulous crafting.  It’s that intangible and ultimately indescribable quality to Inada’s work that make him great.  Poems from other authors, seemingly more witty and pleasing to the ear, have fallen far short of moving their audiences as far.  His verse is the plain-faced prima ballerina who outshines all the prettier dancers behind her as soon as the music begins and her feet start to fly.

All three of Friday night's performers stand to receive the accolades of an appreciative audience.

Throughout the evening I watch Inada greet people he remembers as well as those he’s never met.  Everyone gets a smile, a handshake a sincere welcome.  Many have taken classes from him.  Some worked at the university when he started in 1966.  An SOU librarian from the late 60’s recalls for the crowd when Inada brought his class over to her building for the first time.  For these few moments on the evening of Friday, April 15, 2011, young and old flow together, (much like the waters in Tolman Creek) creating our own Universe around and through the masterful artistry of Lawson Inada.