Tips for de-bloating our bodies

Sophie Costa-Anchor Staff

We all have those days where were just feeling puffy and like everything we’ve eaten and drank the past few days is just sticking right to us. There is nothing worse than the feeling of being bloated; fortunately there are some helpful tips and tricks to reduce the uncomfortable feeling during the unfortunate but inevitable bloating experience.

Drink tons of water– I know it sounds strange to drink more water when you feel like you’re about to burst and you may even be hesitant about this advice. However, if you aren’t drinking a sufficient amount of water, your body will hold on to any water that is already in your body and will therefore not excrete any. This means that the water in your body will be used for everyday bodily functions and can cause you to appear and feel very bloated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink throughout the day. This is also an everyday tip, not just a bloating tip.

Sweat it out- Another way to banish the bloat is to sweat it out. Even just a little cardio workout will diminish bloating instantly and make you feel brand new. Not only can exercise get rid of water retention it also acts as a preventative measure towards feeling bloated. Regular exercise will greatly improve the way you feel when it comes to being bloated.

Eat Regularly- One of the worst things you can do when you are feeling bloated is to restrict your calories. Even though you may feel a few pounds heavier and your jeans aren’t fitting like they did a few days ago, its only temporary and calorie restriction is never the answer. The best foods to eat during this time are cucumber, bananas, papaya, asparagus and peppermint tea. All of these foods reduce puffiness; contain probiotics and aid in the workings of your digestive system.

Stay away from salt- The worst foods to consume when feeling bloated are undoubtedly anything with a high salt content. It is no secret that salt is the biggest culprit when it comes to water retention. Kale, broccoli, and cabbage are cruciferous vegetables, which contain raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferment it, which produces gas and, in turn, makes you bloat. However, eating these vegetables on a regular basis actually prevents bloating and leads to a stronger digestive system. It is always a good idea to eat fresh vegetables and cut out any processed foods or foods with high sodium content such as pre packaged and frozen meals.

These are just some of the tips that may help you reduce your bloating, but the best thing to do when it comes to feeling this way is to wait it out and not to anything harmful or drastic. Bloating is uncomfortable and not something we want to deal with but just keep in mind that it will eventually go away, especially if you follow these tips.

Superhero Central – from prince, to king, to superhero

Sara Massa-Anchor Staff

Graphic by Andre Glover

“Black Panther” released on Feb. 16, and is taking moviegoers and critics by storm, but before you see the film, you should know about the comic book history of Wakandan King T’Challa.

T’Challa was born in the (fictional) African country of Wakanda, son to T’Chaka the King of Wakanda at the time. T’Challa’s mother, N’Yami, passed away while giving birth to her son, which fueled a deep hatred with T’Challa’s adopted brother, Hunter, who was passed over as heir to the throne because of his younger brother. After King T’Chaka remarried and his second wife left him for another man, the king was murdered by a Dutchman named Klaw who came to steal that which gives Wakanda its wealth and technological edge: the precious metal Vibranium. T’Challa took revenge and maimed Klaw with his own weapon and the man ran off. Following his father’s death, T’Challa went to go study across Europe and America, then returned home to Wakanda and challenged his uncle S’yan, who was the then Black Panther. After defeating S’yan in battle, T’Challa received the heart-shaped herb that, when taken, would enhance his physical abilities and spiritually link him to the Panther God, Bast.

Graphic courtesy of Marvel

Now proclaimed King and the holding the mantle of the Black Panther, T’Challa goes against many challenges and villains. One we are familiar with is Eric Killmonger, the villain that has appeared in trailers for the “Black Panther” film. In the comics, he was born with the name N’Jadaka in N’Jadaka village and was a small child when Klaw came to plunder Wakanda for Vibranium. His family, with many others, was enslaved by Klaw, and they were sadly killed before Klaw could be stopped. Kaw took N’Jadaka before escaping to the United States, where N’Jadaka was able to escape. But not knowing how to get back to Wakanda, N’Jadaka changed his name to Eric Killmonger and lived in Harlem. It will be very interesting to see how the film adapts and changes Killmonger’s comic book origin story.

Returning to T’Challa, we have also seen a group of warrior women protect him throughout the trailers for the movie. Those would be the Dora Milaje, which means “Adorned Ones.” When a tribal war broke out in the comics, T’Challa brought back peace by condemning the Jabari tribe and then picking women from other tribes to train as his personal guards and wives-in-training. We have actually already been introduced to this group in a short scene from “Captain America: Civil War” when T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is walking to his car and is stopped by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). She is then introduced to Ayo (Florence Kasumba) who says, “move, or you will be moved.” Another member of the Dora Milaje is Okoye (Danai Gurira), who was see in the trailers for “Black Panther” as the warrior who warns T’Challa not to freeze, to which he responds, “I never freeze.”

There is more to the history of King T’Challa than what meets the eye, and I hope they bring justice to this hero in his solo film and other films to come. Most of the cast for “Black Panther” will be returning to fight in “Avengers: Infinity War” and we will hopefully see more of Wakanda as well.


2 Dope Queens

Britt Donahue-Asst. A&L

Photo courtesy of NPR

Stand-up comedy is considered one of the few truly American art forms, but like so many aspects of American culture, it hasn’t always been welcoming to women or people of color. Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are here to show us all that black women are as hilarious as any white guy, while laughing at the idea that they would ever have to prove anything to anyone.

Jessica Williams is best known for her work on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” and Phoebe Robinson is the author of the New York Times bestseller “You Can’t Touch My Hair: and Other Things I Still Have to Explain.” They are both amazing stand up comedians, and together they host the podcast “2 Dope Queens” from WNYC studios in Brooklyn. It got its start as an offshoot of “Blaria LIVE!,” a monthly stand-up show hosted by Robinson and Williams that featured diverse comedians from all over the United States who do not always have access to traditional stand-up spaces. They continue to host live shows, and the audio recordings are released in podcast form. When the podcast premiered in April 2016, it spent seven days at number one on the iTunes chart, and it’s easy to see why. Williams and Robinson have an amazing chemistry and stage presence that shines through even in a purely auditory medium. They always manage to find the funniest people in America who aren’t nearly as famous as they should be, and give them a stage to shine on. Each show features three guest performers who come on stage and tell a story, often dealing with issues of race, gender or sexuality which are always hilarious and often a little NSFW. Robinson and Williams are unapologetically open and honest about their experiences as black women living in 21st century America, and they get the same level of candor and hilarity from their guests.

This month, February 2018, the Dope Queens are hosting a four-part comedy special on HBO, so steal your parents log-in info, and tune in Friday night at 11:30.

“Atlanta: Robbin’ Season” is almost upon us

Alec Ematrudo-A&L Editor

It’s about to be another great year for Donald Glover. Between the highly anticipated releases of “Atlanta: Robbin’ Season,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and rumors of his last studio album as “Childish Gambino,” this year should be pretty big for Glover. It’s been over a year since the season one finale of “Atlanta” aired. Donald wrote and created the show, using the dream-like and cinematic visuals that made his music videos so popular.

Photo courtesy of Screen Rant

The first season of “Atlanta” was met with high praise from both critics and fans alike. The series was extremely well-written, and it’s easy to see that Glover knows his audience and has a really good understanding of the humor that young adults tend to enjoy. What I appreciated about the show is that the writers very quickly establish that they’re showing us a conventional narrative in very unconventional ways. Atlanta, while taking place in the real world, isn’t afraid to show some crazy stuff like an invisible car. Glover blurs the line between what’s real and what isn’t and that dynamic was an unexpected yet interesting aspect of the show’s first season. Not much is known about the show’s second season except that our favorite trio of characters from the first season are back. This includes Earn Marks, Paper Boi and fan favorite Darius. According to Glover, the show’s new subtitle, “Robbin’ Season,” refers to the few weeks before Christmas where robberies and theft greatly increase because everyone is trying to steal all the big packages and gifts.

It’ll be interesting to see where Glover takes the show in its second season and if it will be able to match the witty charm of the first. Despite the popularity of Donald Glover, “Atlanta” was still undoubtedly one of the surprise hits of 2016.   I will definitely be tuning in on March 1 for the season two premiere. Stay tuned for my review of the premiere, here in The Anchor!

Superhero Central:  An arrow full of love

Sara Massa-Anchor Staff

Graphic by Andre Glover

One thing I love about superhero culture in all forms, is the relationships that become of them: families, friends and romantic relationships that seem to inevitably tug at the heartstrings. Once of my favorite couples in both the Marvel and DC universes is that of Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance, better known as the Green Arrow and the Black Canary. Ever since officially interacting in the 1969 “Justice League of America” issue #74 where Green Arrow, who was in the Justice League of America, and Black Canary, from the Justice Society of America (from another universe), were matched against each other to fight. The result was Dinah’s husband Larry Lance sacrificing himself for his wife who was about to be attacked by a villain in the comic. She decided now that her husband was dead, she would move to Earth-1 and join the Justice League, which kicked off the long and bumpy road that would be Oliver and Dinah’s relationship.

Dinah became a character that would appear multiple times in different comic series like “Green Lantern/Green Arrow,” “Action Comics” and “Detective Comics” where we got to see their relationship evolve and see them fall in love. But, like any normal relationship, they had their ups and downs. In her own series in 1993, Dinah thought Oliver was cheating on her at a party and she broke off their relationship. Before they could get back together, Oliver was killed in issue #100 of “Green Arrow.” His eventual resurrection took place in 2001, and the two reunited in “Green Arrow” issue #6; where Dinah begged him to call her Pretty Bird, which was an affectionate nickname he came up for her (aww).

Photo courtesy of CW

After an actual cheating on Oliver’s part, another break up, getting back together and then getting married in their own “Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special,” followed by another sad separation after Oliver was on trial for multiple counts of murder, Oliver and Dinah’s relationship returned to one that was very platonic in nature. Until, that is, the DC Rebirth, where they were together once again.

We also get to see this relationship in the video game “Injustice 2” where if Oliver and Dinah are pitted against each other, they talk in flirtatious back-and-forth. In the television series “Arrow,” we get to see that Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen has had romantic feelings for both Lance sisters: Sara, who was the “original” Black Canary and Dinah Laurel Lance who took over the mantel after her sister Sara was killed. Laurel was a previous relationship before Oliver’s time on the island as was Sara (who was with Oliver while he was still with her sister), but the connection that Oliver had love affairs with two out of the three women who took up the Black Canary mantel is quite interesting.

Oliver and Dinah’s relationship is very legendary in comics, television (cartoons included) and probably in most incarnations of the DC universe. I just hope they do a good job once it comes time to showcase that relationship in the DC cinematic universe now that we have expanded the world with last year’s “Justice League.”

RIC professor honored at Sundance

Britt Donahue-Asst. A&L

On Saturday, Jan. 27 the 2018 Sundance Film Festival awards were announced, and Rhode Island College’s own Emily Danforth was honored with the Grand Jury Prize for the film adaptation of her YA novel “The Miseducation of Cameron Post.” The film adaptation was directed by Desiree Akhavan and stars Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role.

Danforth’s debut novel, published in 2012, takes place in her hometown, Miles City, Montana in the early 1990s. It tells the story of Cameron Post, an orphaned 12 year old taken in by her religious aunt and grandmother. When Cameron is caught making out with the prom queen, her guardians ship her off to a gay conversion camp called God’s Promise. While she is there, Cameron meets a diverse group of teens who have also been sent off by religious family members hoping to set their children back on what they see as the right path.

While it’s clear she doesn’t support conversion therapy, Danforth is careful in her presentation of the adults at God’s promise. In a 2012 interview with Slate’s Curtis Sittenfeld, Danforth says: “in reading a novel, I want to see a more full picture, and I don’t think all of the people that would devote their lives to doing this kind of work can be so easily pigeon-holed as just monsters. There’s something more complex there in that they really believe that they’re doing the Lord’s work.”

Unfortunately the film has not been picked up for distribution yet, so it doesn’t have a national release date, but keep an eye out at your local theater. In the meantime, read the book and be sure to congratulate Professor Danforth next time you see her around campus.

Journey into night: HBO’s “Westworld” gears up for season two

Alec Ematrudo-A&L Editor

Photo courtesy of HBO

This past Sunday, during the Super Bowl, HBO aired the first real trailer for the highly anticipated second season of “Westworld.” This was a big move by the premium cable network, as they haven’t run a Super Bowl ad in twenty years. The network clearly has a lot of faith that the show to continue to do well.

The trailer itself was nothing short of incredible. Set to a piano cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway,” viewers were treated to a visual extravaganza of chaotic and beautiful images from the upcoming second season. The trailer starts off as a fake ad for the Westworld theme park and then quickly turns into something far less peaceful. Robot bulls run down the halls of the park’s design center, goring everyone in their path. Security tries their best to shoot the beasts, only to find that their bullets have little to no effect. After several quick flashes of scenes towards the second half of the trailer, we were finally shown that the second season will premiere this coming April. This is much sooner than most people expected considering production only recently wrapped up.

Little is known about the plot for the second season and that is probably for the best. This is a show that challenges the viewer and rewards them for paying close attention and trying to sleuth their way through the complex narrative. The less we know going in, the better.

For those who have never seen “Westworld,” I have to say, wholeheartedly, that this is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It’s such a well thought-out show and is definitely not a show to watch while on your phone. Every scene and line in this show is integral to the plot and filler is not something that one needs to worry about. For those who shy away from the excessive sex that HBO generally offers, do not worry. While there is sex, it’s far less prevalent than in “Game of Thrones” and other shows from that network. Although there is graphic nudity in every episode, it is usually presented in a non-sexual manner.  

The second season of “Westworld” premieres on April 22, and I implore you all to catch up on season one before then.

Benefits of cutting down on animal products

Sophie Costa-Anchor Staff

Many people are dead set against cutting out animal products from their diets and it’s not surprising as to why. The change from a diet with animal products to one without is in fact not a difficult transition physically, but mentally preparing yourself can be pretty difficult. If you are someone who isn’t sure about completely cutting out animal products, you can always at least cut down on them! Here are some great benefits to cutting out or cutting down on consuming animal products that will help you in the long run.

Longevity – Studies have shown that living on a meat-free diet leads to a longer life. Harvard Medical School says that cutting out just red meat alone could prolong your life by up to 20% and that one daily serving of unprocessed red meat actually increases your chances of death by 13%. Even just cutting out red meat alone from your diet can be helpful and aid in improving your health.

Heart health – Diets that include meat, dairy and eggs are very high in saturated fats; even just removing some of these products from your daily diet can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Beauty – If you are looking to exude a natural glow from your skin, look no further. Cutting out dairy does wonders for your skin and the vitamins (such as A and E) from fruits and vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, squash and mango are known to slow down the signs of aging, increase blood flow to the skin for hydration and reduce damage from UV exposure. Not only are vitamins great for your skin but if you are also someone who suffers from breakouts, try eliminating dairy products and watch as your skin transforms!

Weight loss – Cutting down on excessive amounts of animal products, especially cheese and milk, can result in weight loss. Of course with any diet or lifestyle choice that you embark on, if its not done correctly, your goals will not be achieved. Keep in mind that just because something is vegan, it may not be healthy. Processed food is still processed food. If you cut out animal products for weight loss, make sure that you eat fresh and healthily, not just vegan junk food.

Betterment of animals and the environment – Even if you are just cutting out animal products for your own benefit, you are still helping animals. Whether it’s intended or not, eliminating animal products from your diet helps not only you but also the environment and global food supply.

“Altered Carbon”: Netflix hops on the cyberpunk bandwagon

Alec Ematrudo-A&L Editor

Remember back in the early 2010s when film and television were obsessed with zombies? As a still avid and loyal “The Walking Dead” fan myself, I remember all too well the trend of zombie content that spewed out onto our television set, trying to capitalize on the unprecedented success of  the aforementioned show. Almost directly before the zombie phase, the world was obsessed with vampires and werewolves. Even though I’d argue that we’re currently riding the wave of eighties nostalgia features such as “Stranger Things” and “IT,” we’re also easing into a cyberpunk phase. We’ve been here before in the seventies and even the eighties, but following the success of “Blade Runner: 2049,” it would appear that film and television are fully embracing it once again.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Netflix alone is releasing two cyberpunk-style features this month. They just released “Altered Carbon” and later this month, “Mute” comes out. I’ve spent the last week binging “Altered Carbon” and I have to say that it visually looks a lot like “Blade Runner.” This isn’t a bad thing, though. The “Blade Runner” films set a precedent for what industrial and urban cities should look like in the future. “Altered Carbon” takes place several hundred years in the future and tells the story of Takeshi Kovacs. He’s the only surviving member of what are basically space special forces. The story deals with the concept of being able to move someone’s mind and consciousness from body to body with a new form of technology.

If that sounds super confusing, it is. I don’t want to say more because a show such as this really shouldn’t be spoiled. The show itself is actually really compelling and is definitely a solid entry in the cyberpunk genre. I have my issues with some cheesy dialogue here and there but it’s nothing that can’t be overlooked. The show’s pilot season consists of ten episodes and is available for streaming now on Netflix.

Rating: ⅘ Alec Heads

Superhero Central – thunder, lightning and “Black Lightning”

Sara Massa-Anchor Staff

Graphic by Andre Glover

Another year, another new show. The CW has started 2018 with the premiere of a new superhero series, “Black Lightning.” The first episode premiered on January 16 and started off hard, introducing us to the central family and the problems plaguing the city all in the first scene accompanied by Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) speaking her inner monologue. Our main character, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), sits in a police station with his youngest daughter Jennifer as they wait for his older daughter Anissa (Nafessa Williams) who has been arrested for protesting the acts of a very dangerous gang called the 100. On the way to a fundraiser for the school that Jefferson is principal of, the family is pulled over and Jefferson almost arrested for a crime he didn’t commit due to racial profiling. This is when we first get a taste of Black Lightning’s powers. As he lets his anger get the best of him for a moment, street lights flicker, and static fills the police scanner.

We find out as the episode goes on that Jefferson was an Olympic athlete and used to be the vigilante Black Lightning, but gave it up for his family and his now ex-wife Lynn Steward (Christine Adams). But when Jennifer and Anissa are taken by the 100, Lynn gives Jefferson permission to break his promise to her in order to save their daughters. With the help of his tailor friend and mentor Peter Gambi (James Remar), they make a better superhero suit for Jefferson, and he goes to save his daughters. It won’t be until two episodes later that Anissa will discover her own powers and join her father as Thunder, and later, Jennifer as Lightning.

Photo by intern Marco Scotti

Black Lightning first came into DC comics in 1977 and resurfaced for the “Prime Earth” saga in 2011. Even in the comics, he has his daughters by his side to help keep the streets of Metropolis’ Suicide Slums safe. These additions to the CW DC lineup expands the television DC universe even more in size and in content. Hopefully, they will be able to join in on one of the next big crossover events that have become a regular occurrence for the CW hero shows.

This teamup has already been teased, through a commercial featuring a locker room and all heroes from their respected TV shows (Team Arrow from “Arrow,” Team Flash from “Flash,” Super-Girl from “Supergirl” and the Legends from “Legends of Tomorrow”) gearing up for a big fight. All of the heroes exit the locker room, leaving Black Lightning behind saying, “Everyone’s got time for a suit up, but nobody’s got time to wait for the new guy to charge up!” I just hope he’s charged up for the rest of the season of “Black Lightning,” which will only have thirteen episodes total before seeing if it gets renewed for a season two.