About Lexa

Eternal optimist, always wearing a smile. Must haves: sunshine, fitness (jogging, weight training, & CrossFit), reading, good food, writing, music, and fun with family and friends.

Saturday’s Grind: Motivation

It is five days before Christmas and my top priority today is getting my workout in. The past week has been hectic… hence… no posts.

Since time does not permit a visit to the gym, my home gym is my companion this morning.

Staying fit isn’t about a gym membership or fancy equipment; it’s all about self motivation and working with what you have.

My companions this morning….

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3816.jpgThis was last year’s Christmas gift from hubby!  Sweet!   It’s great for HIIT Training.

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We bought this rack of weights for $50 bucks from someone who was cleaning out their basement!!  /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3822.jpgThe stepper was also given to me.  I”m so blessed! Until I get a bench, this baby has dual purposes.  :) And although the kettle bell is a light 20 pounds…  A lot of reps can make it feel like much more!  Lol!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3825.jpgThis treadmill is old as dirt, but it works.  My treadmill died.  This one belonged to a friend who used it as a clothing rack.  She gave it to me and I am grateful.  It works for me.

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And look who joined me for my workout!  How cute is he!!!  Lol!  :)

Stay motivated and have a fabulous day! :)

Model Your Truth

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Good Morning!

The sun is shining so bright this Saturday morning! Yay, I can seriously appreciate it after a week of cloudy and rainy and snowy days. ..am whippin out the shades! :)

Remember the Pointer Sisters?

I am so excited…. and I just can’t hide it!!

Why? Cuz I’m headed to the gym. Lol!!

Happy Saturday and enjoy the day! :)

The Conversation

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Pic taken before a big football game.

My handsome son B’Dazzle is 12 years-old.

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The recent killings of several young black men has been a frightening wake-up call.

My son too can become a victim of driving whilst black, walking whilst black, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, whilst black, being educated, articulate, and confident….whilst black, but be wrongfully profiled as being someone else….

… a drug dealer…a thug…a rapist…a killer..a kid up to no good…or some other derelict deserving of police scrutiny or brutality.

I don’t like it,  but I am just another mother of a black male who must have “the conversations” about how to dress and how to behave on the street, especially in the presence of the police.

Deny it all you want, it’s real! The black and minority men in my family and in my circle have too many stories of harassment by the police.

Take that hood off your head…

..is what I recently told my son.  We were at the mall shopping. His hoodie was tightly covering his head.

My son: Why?

Me: Because black men who wear hoodies on the street are often profiled (by non blacks and sometimes other blacks) in a negative way.

As we walked through the stores, the dialogue continued and he intently listened. He understood my message and quickly snatched his hood off his head.

“The conversation” isn’t new or revolutionary to responsible black/minority parents who are active in their children lives. The conversations have taken place for centuries.

It’s just that more recently there may be more of an urgency to having the talk.

In just a few years, B’Dazzle will be driving and enjoying more independence and is scares the heck out of me. Ignorance about his locs will add another dimension of negativity to the profiling ish!

In my neighborhood, I can count the number of boys on one hand, who look like him. I hope for the best, but realistically know that one day while walking, he could be stopped by the local police…

Am I just another paranoid mother of a black male?  No way!  I’m just another black woman who has hopes, prayers, and dreams for her son to grow up and become a dynamic black man who makes his contribution to society.  His life matters as all should.

“All Lives Matter” is the fundamental message of Nate Parker’s powerful film, #AmeriCAN. The video was created in response to the recent incidents surrounding the death of several black men.

Peace! :)

A Fast Eat Clean Dish!

So it’s Friday late afternoon, early evening. In an hour I am meeting friends to paint and sip wine. Sounds like fun right? I can’t wait!

I’m due for meal number 5 of the day and don’t have much in the fridge because I haven’t done my shopping yet. I bought a pack of chicken breast tenderloin and used the rest of the veggies in the fridge.

Because I will have a sip or two of wine this evening and… because I’m trying to grow my guns for March’s competition, I wanted to make sure NOT to skip a meal.

Here’s an example of a quick dish that requires little prep and cook time.

Chicken Breast Tenderloin

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Sweet Onions & Red Peppers

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Baby Carrots

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And you get a nice healthy stir fry. Oh yeah, I added broccoli!

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Mmm…. a quick healthy protein filled dish. I’m tossing it over a bed of leftover brown rice. This is solid proof that you can cook and eat clean quickly and without sacrificing nutrition.

Happy Friday! :0)

Are You Still Thankful?

Happy Post-Thanksgiving!

I am up early this Black Friday morning. Hubby left for work and B’Dazzle has 10 o’clock football practice.

One place you won’t find me today is engaging in the BF frenzy. I’m sipping on my java watching GMA (Good Morning America). Grown behind men are throwing themselves on to boxes of TV’s. Why? Some folks have lost their minds!

Another image shows a poppy-eyed suspect in the back of a police car… then there’s a blurb of a witness talking about the girl who punched a guy in the face over a Barbie. Why?

Seriously, I just don’t get it.

In 24 hours, folks go from being oh so “thankful” on Thanksgiving Day to out-and-out Greed the very next day. What the heck?

TV’s are a dime a dozen– always on sale somewhere. The retail industry is more competitive than ever, so with Wi-Fi and a little patience, you can find a great price on whatever you want or need.

When our 25 year-old daughter was little, on Black Friday, hubby and I would hit the stores before sunrise to get whatever the hot item was. But still, we didn’t fight over stuff; that’s just silly.

These days, I’m all about the simple life, with absolutely no interest in crowds, lines, traffic, and chaos.

Our extended family usually does huge gift exchanges. This year, I am putting them on notice, to give to a charity as an alternative to giving me a gift that I don’t want or need.

I am still in the mode of gratitude. I am thankful for the love, warmth, and support from my family, extended family, and friends. My life is wonderful and I don’t take it for granted. I am wealthy in health, spirit, and attitude.

Yesterday was relaxing. Our family shared good ole fashion soul food—I still cooked some clean eating food for me too. Lol!

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My pooch Alex.  I can’t believe he sat still for a pic!

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My peeps!

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Thanksgiving isn’t the same without football

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According to my daughter, we’re the “coolest 40 something’s” around. :)

Today’s agenda? Football practice, the gym, and begin the holiday house decorations.

I hope you enjoyed your holiday and if you’re going shopping, be safe!

Happy Friday! :)

Thanksgiving Food Prep

Three days from now and around this time (8:27 p.m.), most people will be rubbing their bellies trying to digest dinner. Maybe even contemplating second or third helpings, or another trip to the desert table.

I was not feelin the kitchen after work this evening, but I’ve been on a roll cooking my share of Thanksgiving dinner, so just like I push myself to go to the gym some days, I pushed myself to cook another dish.

This year’s Thanksgiving eve, I just want to chill and don’t want to be slaving in the kitchen. Everything, except the salmon will be cooked in advance.

Here is six pounds of a blend of collard greens and kale. I wanted to cook the greens vegan style, but my peeps wouldn’t have that. But I think for Christmas dinner, I am just going to cook them without the smoked meat.  That stuff is bad for you! :0(

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I cooked them using smoked turkey legs. However, I just couldn’t contribute too much to the clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and added fat. I’m serious! I parboiled the four (4) smoked turkey legs in a handful of fresh garlic cloves and crushed red pepper.

The legs boiled until the skin begin to fall off. I then remove them from the pot and take off the skin, fat, and bones. It’s still unhealthy, but slightly better than with the excess fat.

I layered the greens in the pot with a little of the broth from turkey legs, sweet onions, and this seasoning.

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The outcome is amazing! I compromise this way because I understand that 20+ folks coming for dinner have not interested in eating clean. A small section of the kitchen counter will be dedicated to clean eating.

I am just about done my cooking.

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The garage freezer!

On Saturday, I cooked six pounds of mac and cheese and  B’Dazzle helped me with 15 pounds of yams by peeling them for me. I’m so lucky! He’s an awesome kid and did a super-duper job. :0)

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On my way home today, I was deeply saddened when I saw a long line at the local food bank. The parking lot was full, an attendant directed traffic, and a long line of cars sat along side a busy roadway waiting for their turn to pick up donated food. I haven’t seen it like this before. A recent and sudden surge of casino closings in Atlantic City has many families struggling… struggling to find work… struggling to provide food for the family… struggling to pay rent/mortgage… heat… electricity… etc…

Regardless of where you live, if you are blessed to enjoy the festivities of a holiday dinner or a daily meal, heat, or a warm and safe place to sleep, I urge you to help someone in need. Invite them to dinner or give food, clothing, or whatever it is you can offer. Every bit of help can make a difference to someone in need.

Don’t judge, be kind, and be generous.

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Sweet dreams!