I have always struggled with consuming the right amount of water daily. However, a few years ago a friend of mine stopped by my office and offered me a bag full of wonderful organic herbs from her garden; including mint. She bragged about how adding mint to her drinking water increased her water consumption daily …I tried it and I love it! Now I infuse my water with mints, berries, and lemons daily.

According to Dr. Robert Parker, BS, DC (Parker Health Solutions), “there are three essential elements necessary for our bodies to sustain life. In order of necessity they are air or oxygen, water, and nutrition from food. Proper hydration is critical for maintaining health on a cellular level. Every cell in the human body is reliant on water for proper function.” The USDA explains, “whether drunk from the tap or a bottle or eaten in foods, water has important health benefits.  Insufficient consumption can lead to muscle spasm, renal dysfunction, increased risk of bladder cancer, and even death”. Drinking water infused with fruit or herbs is a smart and tasty way to hydrate and cleanse without getting overloaded with sugar and calories.

There are many health benefits of infused water including appetite control, hydration, immune defense, heartburn prevention, blood sugar regulation and weight management. My absolute favorite infused water includes: Green Tea, mint, and lime. This combination has helped to sooth my headaches and is an excellent breath freshener. It also benefits your digestive system, protects your immune system, and supports fat burning.

In addition, lemon infused water has been known to provide great beauty benefits; supporting healthy skin texture and appearance as well as regulating our pH level, supporting good kidney health, providing a good dose of Vitamin C, and supporting the fight against cancer.  Below you will find a chart that list the variety of infused beverages and its health benefits:

Infusion Health Benefits
Green Tea, Mint, Lime Fat burning, digestion, headaches, congestion, and breath freshener
Strawberry and Kiwi Cardiovascular health, immune system protection, blood sugar regulation, digestion
Cucumber, Lime, and Lemon Water weight management, bloating, appetite control, hydration, digestion

Try it out and let me know what you think.

This article was originally featured in PVAMU CAHS Family and Consumer Sciences Facebook Page and will be featured in the PVAMU CAHS TRIAD Magazine July Special Edition.
Danielle Y. Hairston Green, Doctoral Candidate



Entrepreneurship can be a very scary venture for adults. Oftentimes, it means quitting jobs, changing locations, and taking risks that can have a long-term impact on the entire family. Unlike adults, when teens decide to become entrepreneurs the risks are minimal and can also be a life changing experience for both the teen and the entire family. It is a rewarding experience and parents are always very proud of their children and seem to brag a bit more about those who are creative, innovative, and cutting edge.  However, it still can be a little scary for adults and oftentimes a difficult journey.  Parents try to encourage their teen’s creativity and support the growth of their entrepreneurship despite its difficulty and cost. There are some things to keep in mind to ensure that the entire family can successfully support the venture of your young entrepreneurs. Rather your child is pursuing a business idea or a career in the entertainment industry here are 6 things to consider:

  1. LISTEN: Parents spend so much time talking that we forget to listen. Trust me, our teens have a lot of valuable information to share that is always worth listening to. Let your teens talk through all of their business ideas with you. Sometimes when they are able to hear themselves discuss their ideas they will begin readjusting and thinking about the reality of their vision and map out milestones that will ultimately lead to success.
  2. ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS: As your teen moves forward in their business or music pursuit it is okay to be curious and ask questions. You may actually stumble upon a question that they haven’t considered. This will also offer you an opportunity to see how dedicated they really are and if they’ve done their homework. Every now and again challenge them to a 60 second elevator speech…keep them on their toes.  They may not acknowledge YOUR BRILLIANCE right away but eventually you will see how they have applied the knowledge you ‘dropped’ on them.
  3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOCAL TEEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS: There are lots of programs that are being implemented all over the country in various cities that help to groom teens to become entrepreneurs. Check local Pan Hellenic chapters, 4-H programs, YMCA, local community colleges, and community and economic development organizations. Of course that that may mean those awesome weekends you’ve planned to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING are looking super busy all of a sudden. This will force the entire family to start finding creative ways to manage their time. There are some cool smart device apps that are free and assist families with sharing calendars and keeping one another updated on tasks completed and incomplete.
  4. TAP INTO YOUR NETWORK: Parents tend to know other parents that could either use the services of their teen entrepreneur or have teens who are interested in the service. Either way chances are you have a network of friends that are connected to the purses that other teens, whose interest in the teen entrepreneurs service, will tap into. It’s okay to connect them. It may even inspire other teens to become entrepreneurs.
  5. SHARE YOUR TEENS BUSINESS ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA: There is nothing more thrilling than a teen watching their parents Instagram, skype, or Facebook about their business. It further reinforces that you are supportive.
  6. IT’S NOT A TRAGEDY IF YOUR TEEN BEGIN TALKING ABOUT THE OPTION OF NOT ATTENDING COLLEGE: In the beginning of your teens entrepreneurship they may begin to fantasize about becoming famous and not seeing the need to attend college. Don’t freak out! Let them dream. Heck it may become a reality. Besides, college isn’t for everyone especially an emerging CEO; not that earning an advance degree wouldn’t help. It simply may mean that they would pursue academia at another time and perhaps become a non-traditional student. Continue to save their college fund just in case. Your teen will either use the money it to invest in a four year education so that they will one day become a CEO of a fortune 500 or you’ll use the money to invest in their business so that they can grow their already growing enterprise.

Whatever the teen’s entrepreneurship is…have fun! It may even inspire you to do more. Remember, helping your teen become a young business owner isn’t cheap it may require a financial investment, as well as investment of time.  But, there is so much more your teen will get from the experience including time management, money management, communication, and leadership development. For more information about creating young teen leaders please visit: Youth Embracing Life and Leadership.

Danielle Y. Hairston Green

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 edition of The Young 22 Magazine

Photo features:

New Recording Artist Enspire and The President & CEO of The Young 22 Magazine and Trippy Matrimony

Saving the friendship!

Over the past 12 years the rate of divorce have declined nationally from 8.2 per 1,000 total population to 6.8 per 1,000 total population.

divorce2-640x2670Falling in love and the excitement of a wedding day filled with onlookers, well wishers, best friends, family members, and lets not forget HATERS (because they will show up) is the best experience imaginable. It is an exciting time filled with butterflies, second thoughts, and extremely high emotions. We get married because we are truly in love and we can’t imagine our lives any other way.  Believe it or not some people get married because, well, they believe it is the logical or perhaps biblical next step. Whatever the reason that leads  a couple to marriage, what we do know is that it is a beautiful day. But, what we don’t know or anticipate is…the end!

We don’t anticipate the end because we don’t enter into the union assuming that an end exist; except for “till death do us part”.  But even that statement isn’t enough for us to believe that an end exist. So, how do you prepare for the END? Do you prepare for it? Why would you? All of the answers to these questions can be found in my book I Didn’t Plan for The End! Well, this book doesn’t exist but if it did…that is what I will title it.

So, I was married in 1996 to my high school sweetheart. He certainly wasn’t who I thought I would marry because honestly he really got on my nerves. He, in my mind, was a typical teenage silly boy and I really tried to avoid him and his friends at all cost. But, when I took the time to get to know him I discovered that I really enjoyed his company, our uncontrollable laugher, our incredible differences, and how we were able to balance each other so well: I’m aggressive and he is passive, I want to talk…he doesn’t, I want to travel the world….he likes riding around in the city blasting his music, I like to try a different recipe every day…he prefers chicken and rice daily, I like to discover the lesson in an undesirable behavior…he is the disciplinarian. Despite the differences, we were definitely a cool duo with a tight bond. But, the end happened (you can read about it in my book) and we both weren’t prepared for it!

Three children later and I found myself…by myself. Although our ending wasn’t mutually accepted we did agree that we wanted to do whatever we could to preserve the friendship so that we can peacefully continue the business of co-parenting and enjoy the ‘awesomeness’ of each others personality.

Most people who know the both of us would probably say “I still don’t get why you two aren’t together” or “wow, yall have a very weird relationship”. But, it is possible to have an awesome relationship with your ex (a platonic relationship). So here are the top 5 lessons that I learned during this journey (I have about 100) to get us to this very comfortable place in our lives:

Lesson 1

IT IS NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU: The moment that we both realized that our separation was less about how I felt about him or how he felt about me, and that it was more about what we felt about ourselves and our personal, spiritual, and emotional growth at that time, we were less angry about the change and more focused on trying to understand who we are as individuals. The anger wouldn’t allow us to move forward and blocked all healthy communication and progression.

Lesson 2

WE HAVE A BUSINESS TO RUN: We were like business partners in a fortune 500. Our children were the fortune 500 and we were the Co Executive Officers. Despite what was going on in our romantic life (or lack thereof) we had a business to run. Like most companies, despite what’s going on outside, once you get to that board room…its time to focus. So we both had to get out of our own way so that the health of our children would not be impacted. We had to plan out who would do the soccer games, PTA, After School Pickup, Parent Teacher Conferences, Field Trip. We even had what I coined ” The state of the children address”. We met up for dinner twice a year to discuss, in detail, what was going on with the kids, financial planning, college preparation, my expectations of him, his expectations of me…are YOU DATING? and that brings me to number three.

Lesson 3

Who is NIKKI, HEATHER, TRACI? Of course I really don’t care who he is dating and I know he don’t give a flying cow who I am dating. However, if it is serious and it is someone who will be involved in my children’s life, I want to meet her. Now trust me, everyone isn’t ready for this lesson. You have to be completely OUT of your feelings and in a good place otherwise the HATER alert (mostly coming from you towards his new mate) will be turned waaaaay up! Meeting the significant other is critical, not only to the health of your relationship with him but also the relationship that he has with his significant other (but if yall still slipping and sliding on the side…don’t go there). But seriously this is beneficial for everyone. Once you have an opportunity to meet one another and get a feel for each others personality and discuss expectations, non-negotiables, etc. it works! Child support payments aren’t missed, I’m not yelling (the whole neck motion), weekends aren’t missed, needs are met, and everyone’s happy. She’s not second guessing what he’s doing when he’s at my house dealing with the kids, acting a hot fool when he’s on the phone with me talking about our children, or if he is spending time mowing my moms grass; trust me some females believe that once you divorce you divorce EVERYONE. That’s ridiculous. GROW UP!

Lesson 4

LAUGH: Stop acting like just because yall are not together he has somehow lost his ability to make you laugh. If it is funny… LAUGH (unless of course its humor to avoid critical issues). I am completely entertained by my kids dad’s weird humor and my kids enjoy seeing that we can laugh together and can still be serious and hold each other accountable without being disrespectful towards one another. This lesson is difficult for those of us who have never learned how to be friends or laugh with one another before jumping into a romantic relationship. It becomes weird and awkward when trying to be friends  after the separation; but its worth trying. Remember: He’s a permanent fixture in your life. Enjoy it.

Lesson 5

SAY THANK YOU: Raising kids, balancing healthy relationships when you are divorced/separated, working, having a social life, going to school…its not easy! I don’t get extra money on my tax returns because I was able to balance all of this, my job salary hasn’t increased because we get alone so well, and we don’t get “best divorce families of the year” trophies at the OSCARS. Balancing all of this can seem very thankless…so THANK each other. Every now and again send a Thank You Text, acknowledge his support on social media, or simply remember his birthday. it really goes a loooong way.

So, there you have it! Separation or Divorce doesn’t mean you have to lose your friendship. Sometimes saving and preserving the friendship is more valuable than trying to force the ROMANCE. These same lessons may not apply to someone divorcing/separating without kids involved; it simply worked for me. It definitely is a start if you are interested in saving the health of your friendship with the person who you once committed to love…’til death do you part’.

Danielle Y. Hairston Green

Doctoral Candidate

Insuring Your Life!

I am a grandma! Yes! I never knew how much of a blessing it would be to become a grandma because initially I was more concerned about being so young (I was 36 when I found out my first grandbaby was coming). But as the years progress, and grand baby number 2 and 3 arrived, I began to realize that this ‘grandma thing’ is pretty cool. Every year millions of babies are born to young families confused and unprepared for the challenges of raising a family. Of course, with the support of family and friends it becomes easier, more manageable ,and ultimately more enjoyable. But, the one thing that is often overlooked in many conversations is discussions concerning “Life Insurance”.

Despite popular belief, research shows that African American families DO buy life insurance and that many decisions LMRAregarding life insurance is connected to the idea that black families don’t want to burden their loved ones with financial hurdles upon their death which has been known to cause such a divide in families; arguing over expenses, where to bury a loved one, who will plan the repasts, who will eulogize the services, can the family afford the tombstone/marker etc. In fact, a “2013 study conducted by LIMRA, an insurance marketing and research consortium, stated that while 85 percent of Americans realize the need to purchase life insurance, only 62 percent of all Americans actually have it. The study also said that 44 percent of U.S. households had individual life insurance as of 2010 — a 50-year low. In 1960, 72 percent of Americans owned individual life insurance” (as cited in Nelson, 2015). Additionally, the same research revealed that African American families tend to own more life insurance policies than the general population (76% African American, 62% White American, 52% Hispanic) as reported by the Life Insurance Marketing Research Association and the Non Profit Life Foundation (Dilworth, 2012).

However, many Americans are still without insurance, and as a FACEBOOKER, I have witnessed several families over the past year reach out to their friends via GoFundMe in a desperate plea to receive donations to help bury their loved ones. Family members scampering to uncover the mystery of “where is mom’s policies” because, despite knowing that the life insurance exist, they simply do not know where the policies are, what insurance company the policies were drawn under, or Who is the beneficiary (which is another set of drama). When my father passed he didn’t have his own individual policy but he worked and had the policy through his employrr. So, it made it easier for us to identify where the policy was but because we didn’t know who the beneficiary of the policy was it was a nightmare trying to get information about the policy. We spent days having every family member call the insurance company just to find out that it was my oldest sister who was the beneficiary (why we didn’t realize it was her in the first place is a WHOLE ‘nutha blog) what a relief, at that point we felt confident that burying my dad would be an expense that we could manage.

insuranceSo, just recently, a few months after the birth of my grandsons, I purchased life insurance for all of my grandchikdren. I spoke with their parents about the insurance, where I will have the polices stored, the face value of the policies, and the beneficiary. I also have two individual policies for myself, a policy with my employer, and individual policies for my children. Although no one wants to believe or even talk about death or life insurance (when a child is born) or when a loved one begin to age or become ill, It is critical. Failing to invest in life insurance can cost your surviving family members emotionally and financially and can ultimately damage the family unit.

If you are a member of that 28% of Americans without life insurance or have not already prepaid funeral expenses (as my mom did), this is the time to consider investing. Insuring Your Life is the best thing that you can do for your family. Don’t leave your family devastated and unable to properly mourn. There is nothing worse than trying to figure out how you will bury someone you love because of their failure to plan.

Danielle Y. Hairston Green

Doctoral Candidate

Single Parenting While Black (and a woman)!

My Son and I circa 1991
My Son and I circa 1991

According to the Census Bureau American Community Survey (2013), single mothers across all ethnicities have increased by 80% since the 80s. The survey also shows that 25% of all white mothers are single. Conversely, the same survey revealed that 72% of all children in the African American Community have single mothers.

However, statistics also reveals that the UNITED STATES alone has the highest rate of single moms compared to any other developed nation. While African American women bearing children has decreased, despite the high percentage of single moms, compared to that of white women.

I have been a mother since the age of 18 and have spent ten years of that time as a single woman. I have faced many challenges as a young mother; economic, academic,  and discrimination (gender and socioeconomic status). I have also faced many challenges as a black woman raising boys (and one daughter) without a father in the home; teaching them about the journey of a man, a black man, and constantly being questioned regarding the value of my efforts because I am a woman “trying to do a mans job”. In addition to the challenges of shielding them from what statistics have claimed to be there fate.   Balancing it all has be an incredible journey. A journey that I believed to have traveled successfully.

But, I am so sick of reading articles in the media and listening to journalist assume that because we are black single females raising children that somehow we don’t have support; we are alone. The erroneous assumption is that there are no grandparents, fathers, father figures, aunts, uncles, community members, ore even educators involved in our lives.

Single parenting (while black) doesn’t mean that we are ALONE. Single parenting (while black) doesn’t mean that there are no support systems, that the father is nowhere to be found (or worse that we don’t know who they are or where they are).  Single parenting (while black) doesn’t mean that because we don’t have degrees  we are not educated, and that we are incapable of raising our children without public assistance or section 8 (statistics shows that white families are the primary receivers of public assistance and section 8). According to the USDA (2013), 40% of SNAP benefits went to white families compared to 25.7% of African Americans.

Raising them as a single Mom has been the most rewarding and humbling journey of my life!
Raising them as a single Mom has been the most rewarding and humbling journey of my life!

Many of my friends and colleagues are single women raising children without a male in the home. In some, cases there are grandparents in the house, a grandfather in the house, a male companion, healthy relationships with the fathers, or even another supportive woman in the home as is the case for many of my friends and also was the case for me. But, like many single black women raising their children without a male in the house we ARE educated, our children are not criminals, drug addicts, murderers, or thugs.

Black Moms Matter…we do!  So, stop dismissing us based on our marital status and treating us like criminals. Our kids have a chance. Just get out of our way


 Single Moms Raising Boys Discussion Group

Danielle Y. Hairston Green

How do you stand?

April 1968 Riots in Baltimore
April 1968 Riots in Baltimore

History repeats itself. Baltimore riots in 1968 that lasted 9 days in April as a response to the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. This triggered riots in over 125 other cities across the country.

I have been a community advocate for quite sometime. I probably was a little bit of an advocate when I was a teenager but I didn’t have a name for it. I believed (and still believe) that if their was injustices happening in our community against my peers, family, and community members I would stand up and be counted and I would represent the voices that couldn’t be heard. I loved working in the community and meeting the needs of limited resource families. I loved working with teenagers and developing them into future leaders, politicians, educators, and advocates. I love reading my former students blogs and posts about how they will stand up for injustices, give back to the community, and run for political offices so that they could be apart of the solution.

I see this happening in Maryland. I see the faces of those advocates and community members (some of whom have been portrayed as thugs; although some may have truly been just that and simply joining in on the ‘fun’). I am witnessing their emotional, physical, and spiritual fatigued and they are ‘done’ doing their typical ADVOCACY. They have decided, perhaps without much thought and planning, to just simply shut the city down. Be loud, be angry, don’t turn the other cheek, and destroy; opposite of what they have done in the past. Perhaps unnoticed, unsupported, thankless, tireless advocacy. I’ve worked with groups in Maryland in the past; The Urban Leadership Institute, Girls Believe, Dare to Be King, etc. I’ve met community leaders in Maryland and watched their work and the impact that they were making on their community and the youth. I have also watched their voices go unheard; not unlike thousands of other cities across the country. I am also incredibly surprised and impressed at how enemies came together (crips/bloods) as a united front…what a beautiful uniting of opposing forces.

I get it.

As much as I “GET IT” I would be incredibly angry if this rioting was happening in my neighborhood. Yes, I would be intensely upset. I would be literally watching the value of my neighborhood be reduced to nothing at all and when the crowd has settled, and all of the fighting has gotten out of their system, my neighborhood would be left in shambles; “broken window theory”. I commend that courageous mother that, despite being in the midst of incredibly high emotion; anger and embarrassment and the opinions of others that she was a coward and emasculated her son, chose to snatch her child out of the midst of the rioting in her attempt to prevent him from being apart of the growing number of black men….dead. I certainly agree with my Facebook Friend that the media “is focusing on this narrative as a way to objectify us for rising up”. This saddens me. Although, I know that, as a mother, I would have done the same thing. Because despite my passion for advocacy, social change, and the betterment of my people I don’t want my children to die senselessly. I can only pray that another city does not get ripped apart and I also pray that another life isn’t taking senselessly by another police officer (white, black, or other) or by another man or woman (white, black, or other).

2015 Baltimore Riots in April.
2015 Baltimore Riots in April.
We take stands differently! I don’t condemn how the people of Maryland has chosen to express their anger and take a stand. I will only express disappointment to those who claim to be advocates and change agents that don’t pause today and begin strategically thinking about What if?

How do you stand?

Danielle Y. Hairston Green, MA

Doctoral Candidate

Senior Citizens Get Techy With IT!!

Panthers United

Participants and Panthers United Members pose for a picture! Participants and Panthers United Members pose for a picture!

The Waller County Citizens Assistance Coalition (WCCAC) has been conducting computer basics classes at the Waller County Public Library in Hempstead, TX. Participants are a diverse group of residents and have been in attendance at the weekly sessions. These participants have computer experiences ranging from no experience to moderately knowledgeable and owning laptops, tablets and other electronic devices. Computer Basics sessions have been held weekly from March 20th and will continue until the end of April.

As a part of the ‘Senior Tech Initiative’, Panthers United collaborated with WCCAC to assist with providing this much needed senior service. Panthers United is a Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) recognized student organization that is supported by the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. Panthers United created the ‘Senior Tech Initiative’ as an opportunity for students to bridge generational gaps while supporting Senior Citizens…

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Have you heard of Selenium?



Selenium is an important mineral for making many of the body’s processes work correctly. The National Institutes of Health states that “Selenium is a trace element naturally present in many foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement”.  It has been used for underactive thyroids, osteoarthritis, hay fever, infertility, cataracts, and preventing miscarriages to name a few. According to WebMd “most of the selenium in the body comes from the diet. The amount of selenium in food depends on where it is grown or raised”.

As a thyroid patient I found it particularly interesting that it’s recommended to take selenium with your normal thyroid hormone dosage to help to control your thyroid levels; it will also improve the mood and general feelings of well-being among thyroid patients. Research has shown that patients who have been diagnosed with skin and lung cancer as well as heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid…

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Nutrition and Allergies: Keeping Bailey and Baby


Bailey and Baby Say Hi to Bailey and Baby!

I have suffered from allergies since I was an adolescent and am completely allergic to animals; especially cats even though we have had cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds in my house as far back as I can remember. I don’t remember too many things helping me with my sneezing attacks (which typically lead to Asthma attacks) aside from a hot face cloth and some tea or a nice dose of an antihistamine and a few pumps from my inhaler.

At some point my mother thought it would be best to simply pay for me to receive allergy immunotherapy which involved a series of shots over an entire year. The shots were administered weekly and then less frequent as the time progressed and by the end of the year I was able to be around cats and dogs without problems. According to the American Academy of Allergy…

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Natural Hair, Nutrition, and Coconut Oil?

Natural Hair

Danielle and Domonique Natural hair experience!What’s On Your Plate Today? (April Edition)

What’s On Your Plate? (April Edition)

I spent a few years debating if I wanted to allow my hair to go natural or not.  My daughter has always been natural and my mother wore her hair natural for several years. I’ve always been completely fascinated by those who were brave enough to take that leap. Just recently I decided to give it a try. After a year of not chemically processing my hair it has turned out beautiful. I’ve been on the internet for weeks trying to find the best product for my “new” natural hair.  At the same time my daughter was looking for ingredients to make homemade lipsticks. How ironic that we stumbled across the same product that works for both; coconut oil, and it was in the food section of Walmart. Really?

Of course my curiosity has been peaked…

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