Guest Post: Ashley Morgan

Confidence Is Beautiful, Confidence Is Ashley!

Photo of Ashley sporting a bob hairstyle posing for the camera with a big smile on her face. She is wearing a pretty blue & white patterned crew neck top
Ashley Morgan

Hi, my name is Ashley Morgan. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, and teacher and I am also blind. I was born 3 months premature and only weighed 2 pounds, 1 ounce. The doctors gave me too much oxygen, and it damaged my retinas, causing me to be diagnosed as legally blind.

Growing up, I had no vision in my right eye, and I had very little vision in my left eye. I could see things only if they were very big and close to my face.

My parents made sure that I had a normal childhood. I went to public school throughout my education, and I had all the normal childhood experiences. I went to birthday parties, sleepovers, rode my bike, and roller skated. Most of my friends were sighted, so I was very much a part of the sighted community. Throughout early elementary school, I used a closed circuit TV, allowing me to read and write in print.

At the age of 11, my parents enrolled me in a school district that had a visually impaired program. At that time I learned braille and how to use a long cane. Doors began to open for me upon learning these new important skills. When I entered middle school, I was a dual media learner, using both braille and print.

While in middle school I decided that I wanted to be a teacher of the visually impaired when I grew up. After graduating high school, I went on to college, attending Kent State University, where I majored in Educational Studies and attending graduate school at The Ohio State University, where I received my Master’s in teaching the visually impaired.

Going to college as a young woman who is blind was very difficult, but so rewarding as well.

I learned how to be a greater self-advocate for myself, and I explored my passion for teaching on a deeper level. Once I received my Masters, I began teaching the visually impaired in 2010. Then, during my first year of teaching, I lost the rest of my sight as a result of Closed Angle Glaucoma, becoming totally blind with no light perception.

I’ve held numerous teaching positions in the past 7 years. I feel blessed to educate children who are blind and visually impaired and to educate the sighted community about blindness. I don’t view my blindness as a disadvantage, but rather a gift.

My greatest gift that I can give to someone is knowledge. I love educating children who are blind and I love educating the sighted community about blindness.

It is so satisfying and rewarding to me when I can teach a child a new braille contraction and then watch that child use it in applications. I love working with children to help them use their assistive technology and watch them flourish in the classroom.

My newest venture is being a Younique presenter. Younique is a cosmetics company whose mission is to uplift, empower, and validate women. I believe that I bring a unique aspect to the Younique family since I am blind.

My blindness has allowed me to see beauty in a different way for I believe that our emotions and actions are what make us beautiful.

What really matters to me is not how that person looks but how they feel, their actions, and how they interact with those around them.

What really matters to me is not how that person looks but how they feel, their actions, and how they interact with those around them.

I believe what we wear whether its clothes, jewelry, or makeup can evoke emotions. And it’s those emotions that make us beautiful. I want to be able to help women experience make up with their senses: feeling, touching, smelling, and hearing and not focusing on sight.

I believe that my disability does not define me, but rather has molded me into the woman I am today. I have embraced my blindness. We all have a story to tell, and that gives us powerful connections to others and allows us to sometimes make positive change.

You can contact Ashley through her Younique site at www.youniqueproducts.com/WildHeartAshley

 

Guest Post: Lisa Salinger

Creative Thinking … It Tastes Just Like Chicken

Originally Published June 05, 2016 on BlindAlive by Lisa Salinger

Veggie topped pizza with broccoli, tomatoes, yellow and red peppers, and cheeseHave you noticed how many things are said to taste “just like chicken?” From frog legs to tofu turkey, to alligator meat, the refrain is the same: “It tastes just like chicken.” I doubt that anyone is actually gullible enough to believe this. After all, nothing tastes exactly like chicken except for, well, chicken. So why do we say it? My unproven theory is that we want to compare something that’s new and unfamiliar to something we know and like, or even love. It’s why parents tell children that their liquid medicine tastes just like candy. The parents know it’s not true, but to them, the health benefits of taking the medicine are preferable to the consequences.

I’ll never forget my first taste of whole wheat pizza with vegan cheese. A delivery order to my office had been confused, and we ended up with four of these pizzas, and only one traditional one. Some of my coworkers were not pleased, but they were hungry, so they dug in. Comments followed quickly. “This doesn’t taste like pizza. It’s awful!”

A friend of mine sometimes refers to me as Polly the Peacemaker. Polly is for Pollyanna, who always looks on the bright side, and peacemaker comes from the fact that I’m happiest when everyone in my world is getting along. So you can see why I couldn’t just let the negativity continue.
“That’s because it’s not really pizza,” I said. Only something that sounded so offbeat would stop the conversation in its tracks.

“I don’t really think of it as pizza. If I did, I’d be really disappointed. I think of it as Vegan flatbread, and it’s pretty good. The crust is different, but it’s kind of nutty, and it has texture, and the cheese doesn’t taste like standard Mozzarella, but it’s a nice mix with the veggies that are on top.”

If you feel like you’re just eating a healthier version of pizza, and you don’t really like it, you’ll just feel cheated, or at least I have. But set that notion aside, and maybe substitute a mental script like, “I am making healthy choices and am enjoying Vegan flatbread.” It may just sound like a game of semantics, but why not recognize the unique differences of each food you try? After all, not everything tastes like chicken, and that is as it should be.

If you’ve found a helpful food substitution or a mental trick that works for you, please let us know. You can always respond via social media or on our Facebook group.

Guest Post: Jennifer O’Neal

7 Reasons Why Morning Exercises are Crucially Important for Your Health

Over the next few weeks, Bold Blind Beauty will be undergoing changes to enhance the site. One of our more recent changes, a Guest Submission Policy, will continue to strive to connect sighted and non-sighted communities while stamping out misconceptions concerning people who are blind or VI (vision impaired). Since accessibility is a crucial component, feedback, especially from screen reader users on featured guest’s links is important. Without further ado here’s Jennifer O’Neal:

Image is of a woman running during a hazy golden sunrise.Generally, exercising on a daily basis is a very good practice. While a lot of people tend to do their fitness routines and exercise workouts in the evening, there are those who find morning exercises more beneficial and much important.

By and large, morning exercises are seen to be more essential than exercise done during other periods of the day. Research and studies show that exercising early in the morning brings more benefits and here are the reasons why:

  1. Burns more fat
    According to research in recent years, morning exercise can burn fat 20% more than exercise done in the evening. The reasoning behind this is when you exercise in the morning on an empty stomach, you burn previously stored fat which can assist you in reaching your target fitness goal faster and more efficiently. You also may want to include equipment such as a stationary bike in your morning exercise routine to burn more fat. Know that exercise bikes help weight loss quickly.
  2. Enhances metabolism
    When you exercise early in the morning, you could actually enhance your metabolism significantly. After your workout, your body replenishes itself from food intake throughout the day. Hence, this process allows your metabolism to work more efficiently. If on the other hand, you do your workout routine later in the day, you lose the opportunity throughout the day for your body to replenish itself.
  3. Increases concentration
    Morning exercises are found to delay the decaying of your brain tissues. Brain tissues are essential for your full focus and concentration. Therefore, when your morning exercises become a habit you can increase your metabolism while also improving your concentration and brain functioning.
  4. You’ll start your day in an awesome mood
    When you do your daily exercises in the morning, you actually increase the production of your endorphins. Endorphins are the main hormones responsible for good, positive, and happy moods.
  5. Increases metabolism
    Metabolism is the process where the food you consume is being decomposed and turned into the energy your body needs to function. The better metabolism you have, the better your body will function all throughout the day. Exercising in the morning can largely help you increase your metabolism. When you finish your workouts in the morning, it boosts your metabolism.
  6. Improves physical and mental energy
    Working out in the morning can be your instant coffee and energy. Any type of movement is considered to be a source of energy which is needed especially if you are required to be fully awake. In addition, it has been found that exercising in the morning can improve focus and mental awareness all day long.
  7. Develops strong self-discipline
    Waking up and exercising in the morning on a daily basis requires self-discipline. Subsequently, making morning exercise a habit enhances your self-discipline.

In conclusion, these are some of the most apparent benefits of working out in the morning. Although only a few could really get up and do their exercises, this kind of habit is largely crucial and beneficial in your overall health and wellness.

Author bio: Jennifer O’Neal is a lifelong cyclist, enjoying the thrill of an outdoor ride as much as the one on her indoor cycling bike. She regularly contributes to allexercisebikes.net, a leading provider of exercise bike reviews and education. In her article, she always mentions how exercise bikes help to weight loss & helps you to stay fit.