+
Chris Paul
Images courtesy Chris Paul/Koia

Chris Paul is bringing plant-based food options Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul aka CP3 is not only one of the best players in the NBA, but he's also one of the biggest cheerleaders for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Paul doesn't just support various HBCUs, he's also committed to helping shine a light on the schools and provide students with healthy plant-based options. The 11-time NBA All-Star has been a vegan since 2019, and today, he's an investor in Atlanta's popular Slutty Vegan restaurants and recently partnered with Koia brands, leaders in 100% plant-based nutritional shakes. His plan is to take the shakes into vending machines across the nation at HBCUs and offer students in places often without a lot of healthy food something he believes in.

Paul chatted with Upworthy about that mission and what led him to embracing a plant-based lifestyle.


UP: What was the initial inspiration to begin eating a plant-based diet?

Paul: I was trying plant-based after games and I saw I wasn't feeling as heavy. So, I said let me try it full-time. It took one week. And I never looked back. I was a fan of pulled pork, and my chef used to make these chicken wings that were pretty fire, but for me, it's bigger than that. I'm so visual, as in "Game Changers" they show you about blood pressure. It stuck with me. In everything I do is about recovery and how your body feels. I'd played so many years without being plant-based and I'd wake up the next morning being achy and sore, and for that to be gone… it's amazing.

UP: With all of the work you've been involved in with the league regarding social justice issues, do you look at plant-based eating as a part of that work? Given the health disparities in the Black and brown community?

Paul: I think there's a lot of synergies there and that's because of the food deserts and the wealth disparity and food access. And alongside all of that is education. I've been playing in this league for a long time, and this didn't impact me until the age of 33 to 34. So, how do you educate people? And when you do educate people? There are so many people who're stuck in their ways. Then there are fast-food and liquor stores on every corner [in Black and brown communities].

UP: When the young guys come into the league, do they look to you? Do you talk to them about plant-based eating?

Paul: I talk to them or show them. I'm always a sponge to give them the tools they need. But I won't force it on anyone. This young guy recently asked me why I never have ice on my knees after games. He said he was gonna try it on All-Star weekend. After that weekend, he's been plant-based ever since.

UP: How did you get involved with Koia? Why this particular product?

Paul: Koia had a lot of the same values that I have and my team has. They're all about educating people and still having a great product. Whenever you partner with any company, besides the health benefits and the quality of the product, you hope your values align. And while we talk about sales, you also want to be able to make real change and educate people along the way.

UP: So, did you say you wanted to have these Koia products in Historically Black Colleges (HBCU)? Was that always part of the plan?

Paul: We're in the process of rolling this out. This was part of the conversation… how do we get these products into these areas where a lot of times these kids aren't exposed to these? So, putting the products into HBCU vending machines becomes a conversation starter and exposes these kids at an earlier age, and by doing that, they have access. In a lot of areas where these HBCUs are located there isn't a Whole Foods or a fresh juice place with these options. So, we're at least starting off making these assessable.


UP: What's the first school where the Koia products will be available?

Paul: One will be Winston-Salem State University, where my parents and all of my family went.

UP: Why do you shine a light on HBCUs? What's the inspiration for that?

Paul: I was in Houston and my stylist and I were trying to figure out what to do for attire for the season, and we came up with the idea of championing Black designers or designers of color. I wore a Texas Southern hoodie, where her dad went to school. Because it's part of my DNA anyway, as everyone from my family went to an HBCU, except me, so, we started wearing clothes from different HBCUs, talked to different designers. In the process, I started learning more about how these schools started. When you dive into and start understanding that HUBCs were created because Blacks were not allowed to attend primarily white institutions, you dig deeper and realize a lot of the HBCUs are folding because they don't receive the proper funding.

UP: Talk about the partnership with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame series you're hosting between two historically Black colleges and universities -- Norfolk State, Morgan State, Hampton, and Grambling State.

Paul: This gives eyeballs on these schools and similar exposure that other schools are getting and makes sure that kids understand that HBCUs aren't less-than. When I was coming through the system trying to figure out what college to go to, HBCUs didn't even recruit me. They didn't because they felt they didn't have a shot. When I was growing up, that wasn't the blueprint for the NBA. You have to go to one of the big schools to be recruited. But, today these kids have so much power, with social media and entertainment networks, now schools will come to you. So, if you have three of the top schools who decide to go to Xavier, guess what? There'll be so much more money going to Xavier and that school will be all over TV.

UP: Are HBCUs becoming feeders for NBA?

Paul: Not something that's going to happen overnight. But, a lot more kids are aware and understand the power of their influence. Look at what Dion Sanders is doing at Florida State. These things take time and I think they will continue to grow in the next few years.

UP: Are you glad players such as LeBron and Carmello Anthony and other Lakers players aren't plant-based? Do you think that gives you an edge?

Paul: (laughs) I'm never going to say what works for other people. I have to tell my story. But, I will say, your health can dramatically change by what you put into your body.


Rebekah Sager is an award-winning journalist and published author. She has contributed to The Washington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, Playboy, VICE, and more. She is a senior staff writer at Daily Kos

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

Pop Culture

TikTok star's surprising method for finding good Chinese food is blowing people's minds

Yelp can be a helpful tool for scoping out food joints, but maybe not in the way you think.

Photo by Debbie Tea on Unsplash

Different cultures view service differently.

Content creator Freddy Wong has a brilliantly easy way to find authentic Chinese food.

As he reveals in a mega viral video that’s racked up 9.4 million views on TikTok and 7.7 million views on Twitter, the trick (assuming you live in a major metropolitan area) is to “go on Yelp and look for restaurants with 3.5 stars, and exactly 3.5 stars." Not 3. Not 4. 3.5.

He then backs up his argument with some pretty undeniable photo evidence.

First, he pulls up an image of a Yelp page from P.F. Chang’s. With only 2.5 stars, one can tell the food is “obviously bad.” Alternatively, Din Tai Fung—a globally recognized Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant—has four stars.

Sounds good right? Wrong. In this case, “too many stars” means that “too many white people like it,” indicating that the restaurant is being judged on service rather than food quality. According to Wong, if “the service is too good, the food is not as good as it could be.”

He then pulls up the Yelp page for a couple of local Chinese restaurants, both of which have 3.5 stars. The waiters at these establishments might “not pay attention to you,” he admits, adding that they might even be “rude.” But, Wong attests, “it’s going to taste better.”

@rocketjump

Why I only go to Chinese restaurants with 3.5 star ratings

♬ original sound - RocketJump

"The dumplings here are better [than Din Tai Fung's]. I've been here," he says of the 3.5 star Shanghai Dumpling House. Considering his Twitter profile boasts a “James Beard Award winning KBBQ Gourmand'' title, it seems like he knows what he’s talking about.

So, why is this 3.5 rule the “sweet spot”? As Wong explains, it all comes down to different “cultural expectations.”

“In Asia, they’re not as proactive. They’re not going to come up to you, they’re not going to just proactively give you refills, you need to flag down the waiter,” he says, noting the different interpretations of service.

"People on Yelp are insufferable,” he continues, arguing that “they're dinging all these restaurants because the service is bad,” but the food is so good that it balances out the bad service. Hence, a 3.5-star rating. His reasoning is arguably sound—people do often give absurdly scathing reviews that in no way accurately reflect a restaurant’s food quality.

“A good Yelp review doesn’t mean it’s a good restaurant — it simply means the restaurant is good at doing things that won’t hurt their online rating,” Wong said in an interview with Today, adding that “highly rated Yelp restaurants are often those with counter service and limited menus, minimizing potential negative interaction with staff.”

He also added the caveat, “I don’t have anything against those places, but I think people who only eat at the ‘highest rated’ restaurants on online review sites are only eating at the most boring restaurants.”

A ton of people in the comments seem to back Wong’s theory.

best chinese food

100% accurate, some say

TikTok

Plus, the theory seems to not be limited to just Chinese restaurants, further implying that maybe there’s more of a cultural misunderstanding, rather than any real lack of quality.

thai food near me

No drink refills but the food is fire.

TikTok

yelp reviews, yelp

2.8 is the new 5

TikTok

One of the gifts that our modern world provides is the opportunity to truly experience and appreciate other cultures. Since food is easily one of the most accessible (and enjoyable) ways to do that, perhaps we should prioritize seeking authenticity, rather than rely on a flawed and superficial rating system.

As Wong told Today, “I hope it encourages people to go out and eat more food from not only Chinese restaurants, but restaurants representing the whole world of cultural cuisines.”

Trevor Noah announces he's leaving "The Daily Show."

Soon, "The Daily Show" will have a new face with a different style of delivering the news in a way that takes a bit of the sting away. Comedian Trevor Noah delivered some unexpected news to his live studio audience, and I'm sure I'm not the only one having some big feelings about it. Noah announced that he will be leaving "The Daily Show" in pursuit of other things, including doing more standup.

Keep ReadingShow less
via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less