The New Year is a great opportunity to create new habits and start eating right. Maria Biondi, RDN, CDN, Wellbeing Coach for NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, suggests the following tips for a nutritious diet and a healthy year ahead.
“As folks look towards the New Year, many of them want a fresh start and to live a healthier lifestyle,” says Biondi. “It’s great that people become excited about their health during this time of the year, and we want to make sure they have good nutrition all year round.”
1. Eat as natural as possible.
Try to choose foods that come from the earth. This seems like a simple rule, but it actually eliminates most foods we eat every day. Cookies, ice cream, and even most granola bars have hidden food additives and added sugars. If possible, try whole foods with little added ingredients. You can try swapping processed food for nuts and a whole fruit as a healthy snack.
2. Eat breakfast.
Breakfast gives you energy and is a great way to begin your day, by starting your metabolism and blood sugar on the right track. In fact, it has been proven that skipping breakfast can put you at higher risk for heart disease, high blood sugar, and a slower metabolism. Whether it’s a quick whole wheat toast with nut butter or avocado, hard boiled eggs, or instant oatmeal, make sure to eat a nutrient-dense breakfast to start your day right.
3. Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
Going long periods of time without eating may slow down your metabolism. A study conducted by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that those who ate six smaller meals throughout the day had better weight loss results than those who ate three larger meals.
4. Switch to whole grains.
Brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa in moderation are great for keeping you full and curbing your sugar cravings. Try swapping out white bread for a whole grain option, as white breads contain less fiber and may have processed sugars and preservatives to keep them on the shelves longer.
5. Spice it up.
For generations, herbs and spices were used to treat various illnesses and ailments in cultures around the world. Today, spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger are recommended to help your body fight inflammation, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. They can also add great flavor to your dish!
6. Mind your gut health.
Our digestive system is filled with good bacteria that helps us fight off disease. Fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics are great ways to improve our gut health. Foods that provide these helpful bacteria include Greek yogurt with a banana, oatmeal, kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles.
7. Drink more water (not your calories).
Drinking high-sugar fruit juices and sports drinks can be detrimental to your diet. This can also be true for coffees with creamers and added sugar. Water is zero calories, zero sugar, and keeps you hydrated throughout the day. On average, it is recommended to consume at least eight cups of water daily. Try a refreshing seltzer or fruit-infused water to add some natural flavor to your drink.
8. Be mindful of your alcohol intake.
If you are watching your weight, avoiding or decreasing your alcohol intake can help. For example, mixed drinks are filled with sugary juices. On average, beer can be 155 calories per serving and could contain as many carbohydrates as multiple slices of white bread.
9. Find your balance.
Many diets claim eating less of something is the key to achieving results. However, you should not deprive yourself of any macronutrients like carbohydrates, fat, or protein. The key is to find the right proportions for you. A Stanford University study concluded that an effective weight loss strategy is to eat less sugar and refined flour, and instead choose more vegetables and whole foods such as whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fruits.
10. Remember to get a good night’s rest.
Getting a good night’s sleep may help you feel more rested and make healthier choices the following day. Try to set a time for yourself to prepare for bed and aim for a goal of eight hours of sleep.
NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, located in Flushing, New York, is a community teaching hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medicine, serving Queens and metro New York residents. The 535-bed tertiary care facility provides services in 14 clinical departments and numerous subspecialties. Annually, 15,000 surgeries and 4,000 infant deliveries are performed at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. With its network of affiliated primary and multispecialty care physician practices and communitybased health centers, the hospital provides approximately 162,000 ambulatory care visits and 124,000 emergency service visits annually. For more information, visit nyp.org/queens.
Congratulations to Jason Reynolds, the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature! In honor of this wonderful new appointment for Jason, here is our story about his 2018 visit to Queens, from the May/June 2018 issue of Queens Library Magazine.
Jason Reynolds wants reluctant readers to know he’s less concerned that they need to understand literature, and more concerned that they can navigate life. “I don’t want you to lead a reluctant life. In order for you not to live a reluctant life, you need to be able to engage with language.”
Reynolds recently spoke to two schools in the South Jamaica community, sharing his life story and how he became a children’s book author. He described his life changing forever at age ten when he purchased a Queen Latifah cassette. From then on, he began writing poetry—lyrics without music—and he continued doing so for twenty years.
While he was growing up, Reynolds avoided libraries, places where he could not have fun. But today, he describes his relationship with libraries as a partnership: “I make the work. But that work needs to live somewhere. It needs to be somewhere.”
Reynolds describes coming to understand that librarians were like tour guides, who could help him navigate the daunting world by showing him where he could go with just a few keywords.
He explained that librarians can show you everything you are looking for and need to see if you provide them with keywords. And to Reynolds, that kind of guidance is everything we are all looking for, whether in a librarian, a parent, or a teacher.
He reveals that the secret to writing books that aren’t boring is “to start your books a chapter late and end your books a chapter early.” What that does is drop your reader right in the middle of the problem and end the book right in a cliffhanger. “That infuriates people, but it drives the desire for reading.” In his opinion, “the best writing is the writing that is not overly descriptive but instead uses the characters to expose the world around them through context. To me that’s sophisticated and that’s not boring.”
Reading, he has said, can be a conduit to wholeness. He talks about how reading gives people permission to be uncertain when they see characters being that way—and about the secrets that are shared between reader and protagonist on the page.
Now that the holidays (and holiday eating) are over, a new year brings New Year’s resolutions. For many of us, that means regular exercise—whether it’s to lose weight, build stamina, or just improve our health overall.
Many people can’t afford gyms and health clubs, or may not have one close by. But if you need a way to take interesting, fun, and free exercise classes this year, visit your local library!
Shape Up NYC is the city’s free, drop-in fitness program with locations across the five boroughs, including several QPL branches. These classes are often created specifically for beginners or people who are less mobile, and there is no class registration—all you need is a towel, a bottle of water, and your enthusiasm!
Last year, we offered nearly 20 types of classes with dedicated Shape Up NYC instructors, and we look forward to scheduling even more this year.
“Our partnership with Shape Up NYC is an important opportunity for our Queens communities to take charge of their health on an ongoing basis, so that it becomes a regular part of their daily routine,” says Doris Jones from QPL’s Programs and Services Department. “Shape Up has a variety of exercise formats designed to match your particular comfort level. No matter when you decide to make that change to a healthier you, Queens Public Library and Shape Up are here to help you for free!”
You can find a schedule of all our Shape Up NYC classes, along with listings of our other exercise programs, health lectures and workshops, and more on the QPL website and in the Events section of Queens Public Library Magazine.
Good luck and visit the Library to get in shape this year!
Taking a Kindness Selfie at Seaside Library!
This past November and December, Queens Public Library celebrated our second annual It’s Time for Kind campaign, with special programs, events, and activities at every QPL location.
Thanks to your generosity, our system-wide food drive in partnership with Food Bank For New York City collected 8,400 pounds of canned goods to help feed our neighbors during the holiday season. That's 4.2 tons of kindness, and almost double the amount we collected last year!
Our unique events included an evening of conversation and healing with Korey Wise of the exonerated Central Park Five; film screenings and talks connected to our Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibit, which told the story of the Chinese communities that offered sanctuary to Jewish refugees during World War II; and storytimes for children across the borough featuring books about kindness.
Library customers of all ages produced kindness chains and other crafts that we displayed in our branches. Our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students made holiday cards to send to our homebound Mail-a-Book customers. We held letter-writing campaigns for troops overseas and veterans here at home. Children and adults took home bookmarks encouraging acts of kindness, and they created books to express their gratitude for people in their lives. Visitors to our branches left stories of kindness on our Kindness Walls and posted online to our Digital Kindness Wall too!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for It’s Time for Kind and helped us show that kindness is a language that we all can speak, both during the holidays and every single day.
Court Square Library, located at 25-01 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, will be closed starting on Saturday, February 15 at 5pm.
We have enjoyed serving you at this location over the past 30 years and look forward to seeing you again when we open a new location in the neighborhood.
Mobile library service will be provided on Mondays from 10am to 5pm, starting Monday, February 24, 2020, in front of the Court House at Jackson Avenue and Court Square West.
Full service is available Monday through Saturday at the following nearby locations:
- Hunters Point (47-40 Center Boulevard)
- Long Island City (37-44 21 Street)
- Sunnyside (43-06 Greenpoint Avenue)
We hope to see you soon. Thank you for supporting Queens Public Library.
JANUARY 8, 2020—The following is a statement by Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott about today's rally at Court Square Library in Long Island City.
My team and I have worked for more than a year to find alternatives and have visited numerous locations. During this time we also have spoken about the situation with the Mayor’s Office, local elected officials, including the Council Member, community members, real estate developers, real estate brokers, local businesses and non-profits, and companies that had planned to occupy or are going to occupy space in the building where the branch is located.
We reached out to and met with Savanna, the current owner, when Citi announced its plan in July 2018 to vacate the building. Savanna made clear it was not interested in working with us to stay there.
The mischaracterization of our efforts is unfortunate. We are fully committed to having a library in a growing neighborhood we have served for 30 years and continue to work to identify affordable and appropriate space. At the same time, the reality is that we have a fiduciary responsibility to manage the short- and long-term implications of securing a new home in an area with skyrocketing rents.
We are meeting tomorrow with members of the community, elected officials, and Friends of Court Square to provide an update about our next steps.
We hope you will join us this month for our special events that pay tribute to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
We also have suggestions below for great books and movies about Dr. King.
All Queens Public Library locations will be closed on Monday, January 20 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. You can return library materials 24/7 at more than 40 QPL locations and renew them by phone at 718-990-8508 or online.
2020 & Sunny Dreams: A Jazz Dance & Poetry New Year Celebration
The New Year is here! Let’s celebrate! Join Kristin D. Takyi and Goussy Célestin for a performance of jazz dance and poetry, in honor of and inspired by many luminaries, including Louis Armstrong and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In dance, music, and spoken word, we will light up the New Year with good thoughts and positive vibes!
Thursday, January 9
East Elmhurst Library
MLK, Jr. Activities
Join us as we remember Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuesday, January 14
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Poetry Writing Program
Join us for our poetry writing program. Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday with some poems that can help us to remember this very special man whose life and beliefs have made such an impact.
Tuesday, January 14
South Hollis Library
Gates of Equality with Urban Stages
Children ages 6-12 will hear the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as told from his speeches and writings. Space is limited.
Wednesday, January 15
Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Craft
Children ages 6-12 will learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s peaceful approach to equality for all humans. They will also create a craft. Children younger than 8 should be accompanied by a grown-up.
Wednesday, January 15
Baisley Park Library
MLK Jr. Day Craft
Children ages 5 and up, come to the Forest Hills Library for a story and craft celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.! Preregistration is not required, but the program is limited to 16 children and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Get your ticket at the Children’s Room reference desk before the start of the program. Early arrival is strongly encouraged.
Thursday, January 16
Forest Hills Library
Adult Book Discussion
We will discuss the book "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.," edited by Clayborne Carson. Books are available for check out at Bay Terrace Library.
Friday, January 17
Bay Terrace Library
Martin Luther King, Jr. Quiz
Come and learn about Martin Luther King, Jr. and all that he did! There will be a quiz for ages 7 and up.
Friday, January 17
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program
Enjoy a reading of a book about Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and use your creative skills to create a banner or sign.
Friday, January 17
Langston Hughes Library
His Dream: A Look at the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Join us to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with two film screenings. 11AM—"King in the Wilderness" (2018): Through personal stories of the people who were around him, this documentary follows Martin Luther King, Jr. during the last years of his life. 1PM—"Selma" (2014): The true story of courage and hope that changed the world forever.
Saturday, January 18
11am and 1pm
St. Albans Library
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Featuring Freedom Fighters
In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Children's Library Discovery Center presents our annual "Freedom Fighters" program.
Saturday, January 18
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Unity Project
Children will create a craft project that is meant to unify our community, then they will learn about the hero Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy.
Wednesday, January 22
Queensboro Hill Library
Dream To Read
The second annual "Dream to Read" is in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday. All are invited to a reading of various books to instill the love of reading. This program is sponsored by the Friends of Rosedale Library. Refreshments will be provided through generous funds from Council Member Donovan Richards.
Saturday, January 25
4 Little Girls: Moving Portraits of the American Civil Rights Movement
Filmmaker Keri Edge explores Birmingham in 1963 with this exuberant dance performance by the Edge School of the Arts (ESOTA) with a special appearance by Omar Edwards and his youth ensemble of aspiring foot musicians, A·Tone·Meant, set to an experimental documentary film that infuses historical authenticity and contemporary dance choreographed to spoken word and '60s protest songs to retell the horrific story of the four young black girls murdered in the Alabama church bombing in 1963.
Saturday, January 25
St. Albans Library
Go Far, Go Together: The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King
This is a multimedia, theatrical reenactment that depicts the day, over sixty years ago, when Dr. King was nearly stabbed to death on September 20, 1958 at a book signing on 125th Street in the heart of Harlem.
Monday, January 27
Book Picks for Kids
I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. (foreword by Coretta Scott King; paintings by fifteen Coretta Scott King Award and Honor Book artists)
I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. (illustrated by Kadir Nelson)
The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. (selected by Coretta Scott King)
My First Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer and Jamie Smith
Free at Last! by Angela Bull
The Cart that Carried Martin by Eve Bunting and Don Tate
Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Raúl Colón and Paula Yong Shelton
We March by Shane W. Evans
My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris and Chris Soentpiet
March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World by Christine King Farris and London Ladd
Martin Luther King, Jr. by Josh Gregory
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Civil Rights Leader by Grace Hansen
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by Lisa M. Herrington
Martin Luther King, Jr. by Kitson Jazynka
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III and AG Ford
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo and Brian J. Pinkney
I Am Brave: A Little Book about Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos
I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos
The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore and Amy Wummer
The Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Ira Peck
Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier
Martin Luther King, Jr. by Lucia Raatma
Martin Luther King...and the Fight for Equality by Sarah Ridley
Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford and James Ransome
Book Picks for Teens and Adults
I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr.
I Have a Dream and Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Trumpet of Conscience by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where Do We Go From Here by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Companion (selected by Coretta Scott King)
The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. (selected by Coretta Scott King)
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (edited by Clayborne Carson)
A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (edited by Clayborne Carson and Peter Holloran)
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard)
A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr. for Students (introduction by Walter Dean Myers)
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches (edited by James Melvin Washington)
I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World (edited by James Melvin Washington)
The Radical King (edited by Cornel West)
My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King and Barbara Reynolds
The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Perspectives on Modern World History) by Noah Berlatsky
The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Valerie Bodden
The King Years by Taylor Branch
Burial for a King by Rebecca Burns
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Encyclopedia by Clayborne Carson
Waking from the Dream by David L. Chappell
The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Jacqueline Ching
April 4, 1968 by Michael Eric Dyson
I See the Promised Land by Arthur Flowers and Manu Chitrakar
Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Life by Marshall Frady
An American Death by Gerold Frank
The Life and Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. by James Haskins
Becoming King by Troy Jackson
Life Magazine: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. by Charles Johnson and Bob Adelman
My Time with the Kings by Kathryn Johnson
Kennedy and King by Steven Levingston
Martin Luther King, Jr. (Routledge Historical Biographies) by Peter J. Ling
The Murkin Conspiracy by Philip H. Melanson
Orders to Kill by William F. Pepper
Killing the Dream by Gerald Posner
Who Killed Martin Luther King? by James Earl Ray
Redemption: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Last 31 Hours by Joseph Rosenbloom
Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides
King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop by Harvard Sitkoff
Chasing King's Killer by James L. Swanson
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Let Freedom Ring by Michael Teitelbaum and Lewis Helfand
Martin Luther King, Jr.: A King Family Tribute by Angela Farris Watkins and Andrew Young
Been to the Mountaintop (2006)
Boycott (2001, PG)
Freedom on My Mind (1994)
I Am Not Your Negro (2016, PG-13)
In Remembrance of Martin (1986)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013, PG-13)
King in the Wilderness (2018)
The March (2013, TV-PG)
Martin's Big Words (2005)
Our Friend, Martin (1998)
Roads to Memphis (2010, TV-PG)
Selma (2014, PG-13)
Selma, Lord, Selma (1999, PG)
We Shall Overcome (2009)
You can remember all of the exciting things that happened at the Library this year with the top twelve Queens Public Library Magazine articles of 2019!
(That's right, it was such a busy and eventful year for us, we couldn't pick just ten!)
From our Black History Month passport challenge to our first robotics competition for kids, from the launch of our new name and our Renewed Promise to the Public to our JetBlue Soar with Reading vending machine, from a hip hop monuments exhibit to the opening of our new library at Hunters Point, relive our best moments from this year.
You can also catch up on new books that are at the Library with articles about their authors, some of whom visited us this year, including Kwame Alexander, David W. Blight, and Wayétu Moore.
For additional library news, book recommendations, and more, read all of our back issues.
Here is the full list of 2019’s top articles:
- Sarah Smarsh: An Experience That All People Deserve (January/February 2019)
- Wayétu Moore: Working Towards Representation in Literature (March/April 2019)
- Walking Through Queens: Helina Cheung’s Passport Challenge Journey (May/June 2019)
- Queens Library Goes Public as We Renew Our Promise to Our Customers and Communities (May/June 2019)
- Kwame Alexander: Books Should Be Both Mirrors and Windows (May/June 2019)
- Empowering Young Robot Builders (July/August 2019)
- Small NYC Museums Worth Visiting This Summer! (July/August 2019)
- JetBlue Brings Soar with Reading Program to Queens Public Library (September/October 2019)
- Don’t Miss These Hip Hop Monuments at the Library! (September/October 2019)
- Hunters Point Library is Open! (November/December 2019)
- A Conversation with David W. Blight, Author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (November/December 2019)
- Margaret Wilkerson Sexton: A Calling That Will Take the Edge Off (November/December 2019)
George Ford, a pioneering children’s book illustrator who received the first Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, reflects on his life in publishing and growing up in the immigrant community of Brownsville, Brooklyn. Ford visited Langston Hughes Library this year to give a talk, emphasizing that the library is always the best place to start if you want to learn new things about yourself.
“I explored new worlds in the library on Stone Avenue, finding not only books but music from all over the world on recordings and tape,” he recalls.
Ford, who is in his nineties, says that before 1950 discrimination against blacks in hiring, renting, or selling houses in certain neighborhoods also applied to jobs in publishing. “No black characters appeared and no blacks were hired,” he says. Ford’s first job was with a greeting card company, where he drew Santa Claus and scenes for Christmas cards.
In 1965, he was encouraged by a Brooklyn Public Library executive to contact Mel Williamson at Viking Press, who was the only black art director at a major book publisher. Ford says that Viking’s editor-in-chief, Velma Varner, was very responsive to the push for more racial diversity in their children’s books. “I was not famous and I did not have a portfolio of printed samples of published work, but I did have lovingly done drawings of two well-known personalities and two of children from my neighborhood–each of a different race,” he says. Williamson encouraged and affirmed Ford’s talent.
Ford says he is very proud to have received the first Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration: “I did not take it as a personal triumph, but rather as a symbol of our collective black pride. It also suggested to me that perhaps I had been successful in creating a work, Ray Charles, that was of great inspiration to black children.”
As an illustrator he has “always admired the expansive and heroic world created in the paintings of N.C. Wyeth and the urgent, restless, and unsettling paintings of Jacob Lawrence.” Ford also commends Brian Pinkney and Javaka Steptoe for “having developed their own distinctive styles after growing up under the influence of such legendary talented fathers as Jerry Pinkney and John Steptoe.”
Today, he says that a noticeable development in publishing has been the rise of independent publishers, such as Just Us and Lee and Low, whose lists are “specifically aimed at and represent racial and ethnic so-called minorities.” It is because of them, he believes, that “a black art student today can realistically expect to pursue a career portraying black life in children’s books.”
Reading is an important part of his work as illustrator. As he explains, “I could not illustrate a book without soaking up the meaning of it by reading—and rereading—the manuscript, as well as everything I can find out about the subject of the book.”
Ford, an avid reader, advocates that people surround themselves with others who will lift them up. He believes that “people who really appreciate you will help you to appreciate yourself for who you are” but also that “confidence in yourself is necessary to achieve anything.”
“Honor your personal thoughts and feelings, even if others don’t agree with them,” he says.
Here is the Library's holiday schedule for the end of December 2019. (Please pay special attention to our opening hours on December 24 and 31. Happy Holidays!)
All Queens Public Library locations will close at 1PM on Tuesday, December 24.*
- Central Library and Flushing Library will open at 9AM on Tuesday, December 24.
- Our other branches will open at 10AM on Tuesday, December 24.*
All QPL locations will be closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25.
All Queens Public Library locations will close at 1PM on Tuesday, December 31.*
- Central Library and Flushing Library will open at 9AM on Tuesday, December 31.
- Our other branches will open at 10AM on Tuesday, December 31.*
All QPL locations will be closed on New Year's Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Happy New Year!
* Queens Public Library for Teens, at 2002 Cornaga Ave. in Far Rockaway, is closed on December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1.