Summer Snacks Galore

It’s definitely summer in Seattle, and temperatures are forecasted to stay in the 80s for the next week. It’s hot out there, y’all!

Whether you have children home for the summer, are running from errand to errand in the heat of the late afternoon, or are just looking for a refreshing way to relax and enjoy the summer – here are some exciting new snack ideas to keep you and your family happy, healthy and hydrated!


Greek Yogurt Blood Orange “Creamsicle” Smoothie
Serves 2

1 cup of Stonyfield Organic Nonfat Greek Yogurt
2 whole, peeled blood oranges
Zest of 1 blood orange (optional)
1 Tbsp organic raw honey
½ cup frozen mango chunks
4 ice cubes

Directions: Combine all ingredients and blend on high.


Frozen Fruit Kabobs
Wooden Skewers
Melted chocolate
Directions: Skewer the fruit and drizzle with chocolate. Freeze on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours or until frozen.


Fruit-Infused Waters
Benefits: Hydration. Hydration. Hydration. With a less-than-reliable thirst mechanism in later years, it’s common for water reserve to drop too low.

Directions: Clean and slice up to 1 cup of any of your favorite seasonal fruits or veggies and add them, along with a few sprigs of fresh herbs, to a 1-quart pitcher. Fill with water and let steep in the refrigerator for two hours or longer. Serve as is, or strain out fruit mixture. Try, say, a strawberry-lime-cucumber water:  Slice 12 large strawberries, one lime and one-fourth of a cucumber; add a few fresh crushed mint leaves along with ice and water and let steep. Note: For stronger flavors, muddle or crush fruits and herbs.

Fiftysomething Diet 5 Healthy Summer Treats 2


Join us at Stella Steps Out!

This year marks BABES Network-YWCA’s 25th anniversary! And we are celebrating this incredible milestone at Stella Steps Out – our annual gala fundraiser to benefit BABES.

BABES Network-YWCA is a peer education and support program for women living with HIV; a sisterhood of women facing HIV together. BABES was started by a group of HIV positive women in Seattle, Washington who came together to share information, experiences and support.

Stella Steps Out
Friday, September 5 at 6:00 p.m.
Lake Union Cafe
3119 Eastlake Ave E | Seattle, WA 98102

2014 Honoree: Jesse Chipps
Co-founder and founding director of BABES Network


Purchase tickets now for special early bird pricing, available through August 11!

This lively evening event, hosted by Sister Glo Euro’N Wei, will include a silent auction, dinner, wine and the always popular dessert dash.

Event proceeds will support BABES Network-YWCA, which ensures that women living with HIV and their families are empowered and connected to a supportive community.

For questions about this event, please contact Caroline Brown: 206.461.4481,

Thank you for your support!



Build your Financial Health @ the Financial Empowerment Center

YWCA Health Access tends to focus on serving the physical, mental and emotional health of women and families in Seattle and King County. But we also recognize the importance of and advocate for financial health in our communities. No matter what we have going on with our physical health, our finances play a role. It can be hard to move forward with our lives if we are struggling with old hospital bills that we can’t ever seem to pay down. It can be challenging to make to the doctor for our annual check-up when we’re working two or three jobs.

The YWCA and Neighborhood House collaborate to put on the Financial Empowerment Center, where community members can meet one-on-one with a Financial Counselor – for free! Working with a Financial Counselor can help you get your finances in order, make solid financial decisions, and start building a strong financial foundation that will serve the long-term success of your family. When we have healthy finances, it’s easier to care for the other aspects of our lives. And when we’re physically, mentally and emotionally healthy, it’s easier for us to thrive and care for our loved ones.

Call for an appointment with a Financial Counselor or to learn more about what services are available: 206.923.6555

FEC Flyer 0614


Summer’s Here! Outdoor Cooking Tips

With the holiday weekend fast approaching, I’m sure families all over the Puget Sound Region and across America are preparing to BBQ. Summer is here!

Earlier this week, Health Power for Minorities sent out some outdoor cooking tips in their July newsletter – to keep us all healthy and safe. Below is information directly from HPM’s newsletter. To sign up for their newsletter, click here.


Outdoor cooking can be great fun when one considers everything that goes into:

  • The Cooking, especially different styles of grilling, barbecuing, and adding other seasonings, and
  • The Eating, including adding the sides, dressings, trimmings, and social activity.

These tips will help you in Cooking Good and Eating Healthy!


Physical Safety First:

  • When carrying food to another location use cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40oF or below
  • Be sure the grill is in a well-lit area.
  • Be sure the ventilation is good, and the grill is not near trees, shrubs, or buildings.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fire
  • Have water nearby in a squirt bottle in case the fire flares up

Food Safety Next:

  • Keep all perishable foods, like foods with dairy products meat and poultry cold to limit bacterial growth.
  • If the outdoor temperature is less than 90oF, they should not sit out more than two (2) hours.
  • If the outdoor temperature is higher than that, perishable foods should not sit out for more than one hour.

Preparing the Food:

  • Wash hands before and after preparing foods.
  • Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly.
  • Thaw food in a refrigerator or microwave, but if a microwave is used; cook as soon as thawing is done.
  • Marinate (soak in a savory sauce to enrich the flavor or tenderize) meat in the refrigerator, not at room temperature
  • Don’t use the same plate or utensils  for raw and cooked meat and poultry.  The juices from raw meat can contaminate the cooked food

About the Cooking:

  • Use a thermometer to be sure the food has been cooked to a safe temperature inside (You can’t tell from the outside).
  • Desirable Internal Temperatures (in Fahrenheit Degrees) for poultry, hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks and more are provided in our related blog post.
  • There are also tips about marinating food  including reusing marinade, what kind of containers to use, and how long to marinate different foods;

Grilling Hamburgers

  • Don’t keep uncooked ground beef in the refrigerator in the supermarket wrapping for more than two (2) days. . .
  • Be sure the grill is hot before cooking burgers to avoid their sticking to the grill.
  • Don’t salt burgers before they’re cooked because it draws the juices out, and More.

Enjoy cooking out, while staying safe!

Principal Outdoor Cooking Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
For more Health Power Cooking Good and Eating Healthy Tip Sheets, click here. 

Take the Test. Take Control.

National HIV Testing Day is Friday, June 27th.poster-nhtd

When was the last time you were tested for HIV?

… Let’s back up. What is HIV? Here’s a really helpful definition from

“HIV” stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. To understand what that means, let’s break it down:

H – Human – This particular virus can only infect human beings.
I – Immunodeficiency – HIV weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. A “deficient” immune system can’t protect you.
V – Virus – A virus can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body of its host.

HIV is a virus – like the flu. But it’s a virus that our immune systems aren’t able to clear out of our bodies. When we have HIV, “we have it for life.”  HIV attacks a key part of the immune system, the T-cells or CD4 cells. says: “Your body has to have these cells to fight infections and disease, but HIV invades them, uses them to make more copies of itself, and then destroys them. . . . Over time, HIV can destroy so many of your CD4 cells that your body can’t fight infections and diseases anymore. When that happens, HIV infection can lead to AIDS, the final stage of HIV infection.”

There are about 50,000 new HIV infections in the US each year. About 15,500 people with an AIDS diagnoses in the US died in 2010. And while 15 years ago, an HIV/AIDS diagnosis was considered a death sentence, today there are many medications and medical treatments that have been successful in keeping people living with HIV/AIDS healthy and thriving for years and years.

However, 1 in 6 people living with HIV/AIDS don’t know that they’ve contracted HIV. In order to receive medical treatment and stay healthy, it’s super important to know your HIV status.

Friday is National HIV Testing Day. Before Friday, find an HIV testing site near you to take a test. You can find HIV testing sites and other services near you with the HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator. It’s quick and often free. Knowing your HIV status is the first step to prevent the spread of HIV.


In June, there’s a health fair on Broadway


16th Annual Rainbow Health Fair!

We are so excited to host the 16th annual Rainbow Health Fair on Saturday, June 28,from 1-5pm at All Pilgrims Church on Broadway and Republican at the Capitol Hill Pride Festival. At the Rainbow Health Fair, our mission is to offer traditional and holistic health services and education from culturally competent providers to lesbian, bisexual, and queer women and gender queer and transgender people, especially those with limited access to care.

Our vision:
A world where people of all genders and sexualities have access to the resources they need for optimal wellness.

Here’s the thing:
To make it happen we need YOU.

We need you to come by, say hi, and maybe even…

  • Get a free pap test or mammogram. Yeah, it’s nobody’s idea of a good time, but trust us, our providers love working with LBTQ patients – and did we say free?
  • Free mammograms for eligible people 40+ only
  • Free massages and acupuncture
  • Free snacks and water
  • Lots of great information for your health and wellness
  • Health resources in Seattle and the Puget Sound
  • Insurance info and enrollment
  • Win a sweet raffle prize from Babeland, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Rat City Roller Girls, SIFF cinema and more!

We’ll be posting more soon about the awesome providers we have lined up for you, but in the meantime, save the date to come see us at Capitol Hill Pride!

The Rainbow Health Fair: free, fun, safe and queer!!


To stay up-to-date and informed about the Rainbow Health Fair this year and every year, visit the YWCA’s LBTQ Health Blog!

To be cured of HIV

For about a year, there has been much discussion about the possibility of a cure for HIV. Visit POZ’s website to learn more about the many different aspects to this conversation.

For BABES Network-YWCA’s summer newsletter, we asked the question: What would it be like to be cured of HIV?

Some people in our community have been living with HIV for 6 months and some have been HIV+ for 30 years. Each person’s life has been impacted by their HIV diagnosis in different ways and have done their best to live healthy and engaged lives. Being cured of HIV is not something BABES Network has often thought about – but now that we could possibly have a cure in 10 years, we think it’s important to consider what that would mean for us as individuals and for our communities.

Different people in the BABES community wrote in and shared their thoughts on this question. Here are two of their stories.

I was asked recently what my life would be like without HIV, if we had a cure.  I was shocked to realize (and am probably the only person in the world with HIV) that I had never even thought about that possibility in spite of being well informed on the medical advances in that field.

When I stopped to think about it, the first thing that crossed my mind was I would no longer have to watch those I care about and love die from issue’s related to HIV/AIDS.  That would be a day to celebrate. It would also be a sad day as most of the world would not be able to afford it, even if it were as cheap as an aspirin tablet. Much as it is today with our treatment options. But, nonetheless it would be a great day for humanity.

On the personal side, it would make no difference to me at all.  I would not rush out to get cured, even if I could have it paid for by someone else, again much like today.  But the possibility of a cure raises questions I had never even considered,  questions of self-worth and the value of my life to the community if I no longer had some of the conditions that have made me somewhat unique,  my Hemophilia (bleeding disorder), AIDS and Hepatitis C infection. These are difficult dilemmas I’m sure I will be wrestling with for many years to come.



Ever since Timothy Ray Brown (the Berlin patient, 2007) was cured of HIV there have been quiet conversations among family and friends about the possibility of a cure. But that’s all it was, just talk. Today, because of Mr. Brown’s treatment we know so much more, and a cure is becoming nearly a reality. So what would a “CURE” mean to you?

In my life, for me, that idea creates more questions than answers. Would everyone still living get the cure? Would we be required to get the cure? Would AIDS service organizations just close up shop or would they be phased out over time? Would there still be case management and/or clinics like Madison? Would those of us who have AIDS and are disabled be required to return to work after the cure?  Would HIV/AIDS funding be cut from the national budgets? Would prevention still be a priority? Would there be support groups for people who are cured and trying to find balance in their new reality? And most importantly, how would I spend all that time that is being taken up with doctor’s appointments and self-advocacy?

I was diagnosed on July 1st of 1985 just seven days after my 21st birthday. My whole adult life has included living with HIV. Quite frankly, I did not expect to live this long and, I’m not sure that I know any other way to live. Please don’t get me wrong, I want a cure to be available. No one should have to live with our reality. But I’m also afraid of the unknown. I’m pretty adept at advocating for myself and use a minimum of services but if I run into trouble I have that safety-net of case management. I just survived breast cancer, am turning fifty and I’m entering yet another phase of my life. If the cure was available to everybody in ten years when I’m turning sixty would I go for it? I honestly don’t know but I hope so.

But here is something I do know! Along with continued self-care, medical care and self-advocating, we as HIV + people need to start having earnest conversations on policy regarding the “CURE”. As always, we need to be proactive. We need to look at the science and both the pro’s (and there will be many) and the con’s and create smart policy. Otherwise we may be just as overwhelmed as the day when we were first diagnosed.


Visit the BABES Network-YWCA website to learn more about our program and to get in touch with a BABES Peer Advocate, email us or give us a call at 206.720.5566 or toll-free at 888.292.1912. Email us to start receiving newsletters and/or e-newsletters.

How is your child’s dental health?

Our dental health is an essential component of our overall health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings can go a long way to keep us healthy.

Did you know that caring for our dental health should start as early as one year old? For those of us who have young children, it’s super important for us to model good dental health and teach our children good habits.

Public Health – Seattle & King County has shared a video with lots of tips and educational information to help us care for our children’s dental health.

Learn more about why dental health is important for young children and what you can do to promote your health!

How does our trauma impact our health?

It’s May! This month not only do we recognize National Women’s Health Week, but we also honor and celebrate mothers.

As I watch news updates on the status of the Nigerian young women being held captive, my thoughts continually go back to their mothers. As a mother and grandmother myself, I can only imagine the agonies these mothers must be experiencing each moment their daughters are being kept away from home.

In the United States alone, approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year. As a health educator, I understand the negative impact of trauma that a family experiencing an abduction and the community surrounding them has. And with the world watching what happens to these Nigerian young women, we are all invested.

On Monday, Boko Haram released a video of the kidnapped girls. The New York Times reported that the video was “an unwelcome window into [the] children’s forbidding new world was opened to the grieving parents.” The Nigerian government had arranged a first showing of the video in Chibok, Nigeria, to identify the girls, but it had to be halted abruptly when the parents became overcome with grief.

“The families became upset and they started crying ‘this is my child,’ ” a senior state official said. “They started shouting. They had to stop the filming.”

Continuing to watch the newscast Monday night, I began to feel a knot in my stomach as my eyes filled with tears. I thought about everything I have been taught relating to stress and an individual’s living environment and how adversities such as these can negatively affect the blood pressure, heart, and various other parts of our health. Below is information shared from the Office on Women’s Health during this week – National Women’s Health Week.


As government officials around the world continue to strategize to bring these young women safely home, let us remember their families and each of us as we endure this ordeal and be ready with physical and mental health services in the aftermath. What can we do to take care of ourselves when faced with high-stress situations? Sometimes we are affected just by hearing the stories of other’s trauma. Sometimes the trauma is ours.

To talk through stressful situations or traumas, feel free to contact the YWCA to schedule an appointment! Call 425.922.6192 or email Mental Health Director Chris Bingham.


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