Behind a great man (Part 2)…

A Moment of Reflection

by Lilia M. Fiallo

This article is a continuation of the previous edition…

It is important to think, to decide what you desire, before embarking on a change of life, since if things are not what you dreamed possible, it is impossible to turn back and regain the time spend. And what is worse, the aftermath of a defeat cannot be deleted.

It is matter of dignity and self-respect.

Respect is a sense of great value among human beings. This sentiment follows a host of factors as fundamental in coexistence, that together with the intelligence, understanding, peace, harmony, are constant in everyday life.

Prepare yourself to stand out and be a wonderful spouse! The father said to his daughter Alein, when he surprised her, talking animatedly with a youngster. How far was he from reality in those words?

Perhaps, what he wanted to say was:

Study, progress and project yourself towards a bright future. Love yourself so you can appreciate what you currently have. Do not throw away your youth in the trash, because at such a young age, she could not take care of a home and have family.

With maturity, responsibility and aplomb, placing the feet on the ground, everyone can decide to project his/her life with someone who deserves his or her company.

He longs for his future, a woman with morals and values, intelligent and outstanding accompanying it forever.

The standards of urbanity by common sense enhances self-esteem, to apply in public, worth prudence, certain rules of etiquette, glamour and protocol, get to know them. How prepared are you to ride beside your husband, before thousands of looks? You never know the future and the turns that life takes. What if tomorrow, time surprises you as a spouse of an outstanding public figure?

Nobody is born knowledgeable. An advisor of image and take note of the rules that you must follow for certain events, for example, if he does not take you by the hand, do not intend to take him by the arm. If he walks with his arms down, calm and serene, and does not seek your hand do not attempt to crab him by the arm. Walk quietly, as if you were at home.

It is noticeable positive or negative change that a man who committed his life suffers. In the eyes of known and unknown, not indifferent passes, that scruffy character, without visiting a hairdresser, with dirty shoes, detached trouser hem, dirty suit and his tanned shirt.

And how is she now? Nothing to do! it seems that she was disappointed of her new life. Always in slippers, with unkempt hair, wears clothes that looks good, leaves much what to think, with a face that produces compassion and many questions.
How important is it what we decide to look forward to in life? Don´t need to be rich or poor, with a beautiful childhood or otherwise, don’t´ need anything like that. You need love yourselves, to value and respect yourself, and to give your best to the people surrounding us.

That your partner is regarded and admired by how well he or she looks. That your hearts beat of love, understanding and peace. To let God see, that there is a great man behind a great woman: You!
That is the meaning of life, giving the best of ourselves. If you are still thinking about it, it is better that to continue contemplating a fantastic bachelorhood.

Lilia M. Fiallo was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where, between tasks and free time, she found a place to write about subjects, somehow forgotten by others. With gold letters engraved in her memory, she began her working life, in the heart of the technical part, of the air traffic control of her native country. In the midst of aeronautical phraseology and codes, the world of aviation gave her one of the highest experiences, because of the precision required by this craft, where a single mistake could cost many lives. It is there, where in her concern to communicate her ideas, she begins to write with dedication, themes a little relegated by society, the Church and the State. Discovering a truth that nobody wants to talk about, but much more real and every day, than it seems. It is thus, as it appears, her first work, “Parir por parir”. You can find her book at for sale in Amazon and if you want to connect with her send her an email to

Our Closest Star

by Nilsa Ricci

Summertime – a word that rings loud with excitement and warm promises for many people. For those living in Central New York, summer means that the snow is 100% gone (knock on wood).

In all the fun happening under the sun, it can be easy to put a pause on health precautions. However, the sun is unforgiving and our decisions can have lasting health consequences.

In the United States, melanoma of the skin is the fifth leading cause of cancer.1,2 In 2019, it is estimated that there will be 96,480 new cases of melanoma and that 7,230 people will die.2,3 Compared to Caucasians, Hispanics are less often diagnosed with melanoma.4 However, a higher percentage of Hispanics diagnosed with melanoma die, often because they are diagnosed too late.4 This discrepancy is due, in part, to the lack of: medical care access among many Hispanics, awareness about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure, and adequate skin protection.4

While there are several different types of melanomas,5 ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major risk factor for most of them.1 The most harmful UV rays from the sun are UVA and UVB rays.6 UVA rays can indirectly damage the DNA of skin cells and are associated with skin damage (like wrinkles), as well as with some skin cancers.6 UVB rays can directly damage the DNA of skin cells, causing most sunburns and skin cancers.6 Since UV rays are strongest from 10am – 4pm, try to limit your exposure to direct sunlight especially during these hours.7

Sunscreen, when used as directed, is able to reflect or absorb most of the harmful sunrays.8 The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 (filters ~97% of UVB rays), broad-spectrum coverage (protects against UVA and UVB rays), and resistance against water.8 It is recommended to use the “teaspoon rule” when applying sunscreen: 1 total teaspoon of sunscreen for the face/head/neck, 1 teaspoon for each upper extremity, 2 total teaspoons for the front and back torso, and 2 teaspoons for each lower extremity.8 Sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before sun exposure, reapplied every two hours (at least), and reapplied after sweating or water exposure (even if the sunscreen is labeled as “water resistant”).8

Everyone should self-examine skin spots and moles for the following ABCDE features9:

A = Asymmetry: One half is different from the other half.

B = Borders: Undefined or irregular boundaries.

C = Color: Varied pigmentation that may include shades of black, brown, tan, red, white, or blue.

D = Diameter: Larger than 6 millimeters across (although some melanomas may be smaller).

E = Evolving: Looks different from your other spots/moles or is changing in size, shape, or color.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you notice any of these features. Remember that early detection and treatment can improve the rate of survival.

Let’s enjoy our closest star in a safe way. Happy summer!


Nilsa Ricci was born in Florida to a Colombian father and a Peruvian mother. She graduated in 2016 from Columbia University in the City of New York with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior. She is currently a medical student at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is on the executive board of the school’s chapter of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA).

Buying Produce In-Season- How to find A Farmer’s Market Near you!


Choosing fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to stretch food dollars. In general, locally and regionally grown produce is less expensive than produce from out of state.

  • Food that doesn’t have to travel long distances may retain quality longer.
  • Out of season fresh fruits and vegetables may cost more due to transportation and storage requirements.

The freshest, in-season food can best be found at your local farmer’s markets. There are many benefits to buying fresh, nutritious, delicious and locally grown foods at a farmer’s market. Here are some of the benefits:

  • The produce is picked at the peak of freshness, flavor and nutrition.
  • Knowing where your food comes from.
  • The taste is so much better.
  • Farmers offer some great recommendations on how to prepare fresh produce.
  • Purchasing fruits and vegetables from the markets directly supports the farmer.
  • Consumers anticipate what’s coming in season.
  • Buying in-season, local produce connects the community with the environment.

Use your EBT benefits and Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program coupons at participating farmers markets. Vendors will post signs to share what type of coupon benefits they accept.

In Syracuse, both the Downtown Farmers Market on Tuesdays (8-1 pm) and CNY Regional Market on Park St. (Thursdays and Saturdays 7 am- 2 pm) accepts EBT benefits and Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program benefits. Stop by the Visitor center to redeem benefits for special tokens that can be used at the Regional market all summer.

Visit our nutrition educators from Cornell Cooperative Extension at the CNY Regional Market on Park St. each Thursday this summer between 11 AM-1:30PM. Sample seasonal produce recipes, learn tips to select, purchase, prepare and store produce picks of the week!

In addition to farmer’s markets, you can find fresh, local produce at road side stands or CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).

Try this tasty, low cost recipe for fresh sweet corn! No cooking is needed!

Fresh Corn Salad

 Makes 6 – 3/4 cup servings

5 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off (do not cook)

1 red onion diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

3 Tbsp.  olive oil

3 Tbsps. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves- cut into thin strips

  1. Toss the corn kernels in a large bowl with the onion, green pepper, olive oil, vinegar,

salt and pepper.

  1. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil.
  2. ENJOY!!!


The worry Gene

by Aixa G. López

Do you have the “worry gene”? Stop worrying and start living!

I have always been a very aware person. For some reason, I notice everything around me even when I am not trying to pay attention. It’s odd because one of the stories my mom used to tell about me was how absent-minded, I was when I was a baby. I was so distracted when I was 3-yrs. old, she took me to a therapist to see what was wrong with me. They did a psychometric test on me, and she told my mom not to “worry” about it.

Funny, how we worry about everything. If there’s a character trait I would adjust about myself, it’d have to be the “worry gene.” I call it like that because one of my supervisors once told me that I had it. He said to me, “you have the “worry gene.” You worry about everything and 90% of the time those things you worry about never happen and the other 10%, have a solution”.

People like us are usually good planners, extremely responsible, well organized, great problem-solvers, and very aware of other people’s needs. Those are all great character traits that everyone around us benefits from. I can make a great case on how worrying makes you more responsible and makes your life better, but I can also tell how much impact it has had on my physical and emotional health. It’s like a never-ending marathon. The more you run towards the goal, the more the finish line moves away from you.

What’s the point then? Why do we need to have everything perfect so that we can have fun and enjoy life? I have come to realize that if we engage in this type of behavior, what seems perfect today won’t look as perfect tomorrow. So, how can we keep the benefits of having the “worry gene” and minimize the disadvantages?

-I try not to create a “mental story” and play along with it. When this happens, instead of thinking about all the things that can go wrong, I try to create a mental picture of what would I do, IF something goes wrong. I prepare for it and let it go. That calms my anxiety and allows me to enjoy the experience.

-The second thing I try to do is to take a moment to let my worry go so that my emotions don’t get in the way (a tough thing to do). Sometimes it requires a day or two before you can process the fear that produces worry and anxiety. Then, I just let it go and move on. Yes, move on.

-I try to enjoy the moment and be present. I try not to think about the past or worry too much about the future. I try to enjoy what I’m doing at the present moment. I try not to control anything and enjoy the silence that allows me to reflect and ponder things outside of the box of fear and uncertainty.

Do you have the “worry gene”? Stop worrying and start living!

I hope that if you struggle with the “worry” gene, the same way I do, that you can learn how to stop worrying and start living!

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa shares with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learned along the way.

The Rock Bottom Myth

by Maximilian Eyle

Everyone is familiar with the concept. We see it in movies, books, and on stage. Someone’s life spirals downward until they are struck with a lightning bolt of clarity and begin to make amends and change their ways. The message is clear: What do people who use drugs need to do? Hit rock bottom. How do we help them? Tough love or they’ll never learn. In many cases, we are afraid to show support or compassion for fear of becoming an “enabler”. There is an assumption that the person needs to be “torn down” before they can decide to change their behavior. The problem is that this concept is patently false. Not only that, but it has led to disastrous public policy results.

But what about all of the stories from people who described “hitting rock bottom” before changing their behavior? The key here is precisely defining what we mean by Rock Bottom. Many people do decide to make a change in their lives once they recognize the damage that their behavior is causing. However, this does not mean that they have to be coerced or “lose everything” to reach this point. What it does mean is that they experienced a shift in perspective. To quote Dr. Peggilee Wupperman, a professor at both John Jay and Yale University, it means that “they reached a point when they realized their life was extremely (and distressingly) different from the life they wanted or a life that fit their values.” Yet it is extremely important to recognize that this can be achieved without being torn down in therapy or experiencing severe material or emotional loss.

This idea that fostering shame and suffering is somehow the right thing to do is the natural conclusion of the Rock Bottom Myth. As a result, we turn our backs on our instincts for compassion and support. Tragically, this only makes things worse. Dr. Wupperman is a vocal critic of this philosophy. She points out that: “Despite widespread (and erroneous!) beliefs, shaming does not stop dysregulated behavior. In fact, the reality is the opposite. Shame actually increases the chance a person will continue to engage in dysregulated behavior.” This should not come as much of a surprise. We know that many people use mind altering substances to self-medicate their trauma and to ease their suffering. Consequently, when we increase the trauma and suffering in their lives – they will often consume more, not less.

It is imperative that we disengage ourselves from the punishment approach to substance use. The failed War on Drugs, the AIDS crisis, and the overdose epidemic are just some of the examples of how our determination to shame and marginalize people for their substance use has only served to worsen the problem. We have the opportunity to rethink our approach using evidence-based strategies that emphasize compassion over stigma, and empowerment over persecution.

Maximilian Eyle is a native of Syracuse, NY and a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He works as a media consultant and writes each month about a variety of issues for Spanish-language papers across New York State. Maximilian has a love of Hispanic culture and learned Spanish while living in Spain where he studied and worked as an English teacher. He can be contacted at

Let’s Get Cooking!

Let’s Get Cooking! Bringing Families Together around the Table

Ever wonder how to nudge your child and even adult family members to try new foods, and enjoy eating family meals together? Children learn by doing so try involving them in the decision of what to eat and have them help with the preparation of the meal. If they make it there’s a great chance, they will try it!

Our Let’s Get Cooking! family meal cookbook may be just what you need! It is more than a cookbook. It teaches basic, step-by-step, easy to prepare, low-cost, nutritious one-dish meals and kid friendly snacks. It was written for families with children in mind. Let’s Get Cooking helps you to plan meals ahead of time and helps you to eat healthier meals for less money.

The cookbook also features:

• 127 recipes from “Snack Ideas” to “Meatless Meals” to “Desserts”!
• Information on where to apply for SNAP benefits and the WIC program
• Foods/ingredients that can be purchased with WIC coupons
• Kitchen Hints- to help you plan meals and snacks based on My Plate guidelines. Check out the Smart Meal Planning Tips- Get Ready to Shop! on page 12 for tips to help you plan how much and what to buy based on family size, ages, and foods you have on hand!
• Best time to buy fruits and vegetables by season
• Tips to stretch your food dollar and save time by planning ahead
• Food storage guides, sample daily menus and healthy purchasing tips
• How to follow a recipe, store foods to prolong shelf life and average yield of common foods (like how many apples, bananas or potatoes are in a pound; how many cups of pasta in a 1-pound box and how many cups are in a pound of flour).
• Substitutions for different kitchen tools and ingredients
• How to measure foods, use unit pricing and read a Nutrition Fact’s Label
• How to practice food safety in the kitchen- even what to do in case of a kitchen fire!

Each recipe provides a recommended serving size, number of servings and the Nutrition Facts per serving (calories, fats, carbs, fiber, protein and key vitamins and minerals).

Please visit our website to find recipes listed by each chapter: Kitchen Hints, Snack Ideas and More for Kids, Soups, Salads and Vegetables, Breads, Muffins and Mixes, Meat Poultry and Seafood, Meatless Meals, One-Dish Meals and Casseroles, Desserts.

For more recipes, tips and more also visit

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This Institution is an equal opportunity employer.

How much produce can you buy for $10?


Vegetables and fruits can fit into any budget! For $10 you can buy 18 portions of vegetables and fruits; 1 cup tomato, 3 cups of green beans, 3 cups of corn, 4 cups of peas, 1 cup of pears and 6 cups of peaches. That’s almost 4 days’ worth of veggies and fruits for one person! Buy fruits and veggies in all their forms – fresh, frozen and canned.

Celebrate the season by purchasing fresh vegetables and fruits when they are in season. They are easy to get, have more flavor and are usually less expensive. Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce and they usually start up by June.

Buy frozen and canned year-round, it’s usually picked and packed at its’ peak when its chock full of nutrients. Look for canned or frozen veggies that have not been pre-sauced and say “no salt added”, “low sodium” or “reduced sodium” on the label. Look for fruits canned in juice or light syrup.

Frozen and canned produce is one of the greatest kitchen hacks to save you time in the kitchen; it comes pre-cut and/or pre-cooked! But keep it simple with fresh produce, when you buy these pre-cut, pre-washed, ready to eat and processed foods are convenient, but cost more than when purchased in their basic forms.

The trick to buying all the vegetables and fruits you need to keep your body strong is to make a list before you go to the grocery store. Check the local newspaper, online, and the store ads before you shop. You save money by buying only what you need and getting the best price, leaving more of your food budget for delicious wholesome produce loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Want a side of physical activity with your vegetables and fruits, along with the satisfaction of an amazing accomplishment? Plant your own! Start a garden- in the yard or in a pot on the deck- for fresh, inexpensive, flavorful additions to meals. Herbs, cucumbers, peppers, or tomatoes are good options for beginners. Browse through a local library or online for more information on starting a new garden.

Lastly, plan and cook smart. Prepare and freeze vegetables for soups, stews or other dishes in advance. Add leftover veggies to casseroles or blend them to make soup. Overripe fruit is great for smoothies or baking. There are plenty of ways to make use of all of your veggies and fruits, for more ideas visit For more recipes, tips and more also visit