Confront Your Fears: Gain Confidence

“Fear is an idea-crippling, experience crushing, success-stalling inhibitor inflicted only by yourself.”

-Stephanie Melisa, Sales Barista

The next time I am paralyzed by fear, I will remind myself of the day I zip lined seven lines thousands of feet above the jungle in Belize.

As a reminder that I can do anything; this gets framed. Amazed does not even begin to describe the feeling of knowing I zip lined over a jungle.

Other than doing an occasional cartwheel, my fear of heights keeps my feet on the ground.

July 4th weekend, I drove 12 hours from Hotlanta to the shores of South Jersey. Two days later, I sat in Row 16, Seat B flying to Placencia, Belize.

The trek to Jersey was planned but Belize was a bonus filled with surprises and lessons. Belize is south of Miami, Florida and is only an hour and forty-five-minute flight from there. The small country is located in Central America, south of Mexico, east of Guatemala, and north of Honduras.

We (My bestie and God-daughter) arrived in Belize City but our accommodations were in Placencia, so we needed to take a short flight to get to our final destination. Quick flights and short destinations mean a small aircraft.

After seeing the 14 passenger Cessna, two of us were apprehensive about going airborne on such a small aircraft. Tropic Air has an excellent safety record but I was still afraid. On a single-engine turboprop, you see and hear everything. The security of being surrounded by 40+ rows of seats on a 737 disappears. On this plane, I felt naked and afraid.

The last and only time I flew on a similar airplane was in the late ’90s and I swore I would never (never say never) do that again. My nerves, calmed by a strong cocktail from an airport bar, helped me and my girls board the plane.

My friend and I sat behind the pilot; my brave god-daughter sat in the cockpit beside the pilot. Takeoff was slightly un-nerving, however, the view was breathing taking.

Pilot and co-pilot.

The scariest part for me is flying so low that you see everything on the ground and that set my imagination in motion. Oh, Lawd! What if the plane crashes? Whelp, my thought was, if something happened, at least I died doing something fun and joyful. When you are above the clouds you know you are thousands of miles above the sky but the fluffy white clouds take the sting out of it because you cannot see the ground.

This was the takeoff on our return trip. Scary but beautiful.

The drive from Belize City to Placencia is two hours so by flying, we saved time and experienced the most astonishing view over the Pacific Ocean. I am thankful that fear did not stop me from living out such amazing moments.

Our marvelous home for the week. Naia Resort and Spa.

A doctor could not have prescribed a better getaway. Naia Resort And Spa is phenomenal. If you are looking for leisure time away from the hustle and bustle of over-crowded resorts, this is a wonderful option. I almost feel like I am giving away a secret. Hahaha! The staff is attentive, super friendly and passionately cares about your stay.

Sometimes during the best times in life, you will synchronously face unexpected and trying ordeals but when this happens you have to decide which mindset you choose to live in. Wallow in the negative energy and bitch about everything or celebrate and appreciate the goodness in your life. We always have a choice.

For most of the trip, I relaxed by the pool or the beach and did a lot of reflecting on my life. I took in the sights and sounds of the ocean and allowed my mind to select its destinations.

Power lives in stillness. Not too long ago, someone in my tribe told me that I needed to sit still. You see I am in constant motion. Taking care of home and family. Full of ideas and to-dos. Building a business. Familiarizing myself with my new community. Always interacting with someone or something. Belize was just what the spiritual universe ordered.

So yeah, I partook in an activity that I never wanted or planned to do. I zip-lined for the first and last time in Belize. My girls eagerly planned the tour. My body language told them I was cool with “the plan,” but my private thoughts spoke differently. “Hell no! I ain’t doin’ that sh**!”

The day came. We dressed for the jungle and jumped on the private shuttle and headed out. In my mind, I am still thinking, at the last minute, I will just back out.

Whelp.. that didn’t happen.

I am suited up but still thinking,
I am not doing this ish!
They are excited.
I am terrified. My smile is fake.

False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.

The above is so true. I had to be pushed off the landing by the guide (all 7 times) because I could not bring myself to leap. Why? Because I falsely believed that I would either have a heart attack (no known heart issues) or fall to my death.

Even after getting stuck on a line and did not experience heart failure or die, I was still convinced that on the next line, my fate was inevitable.

The reason I got stuck was that my left hand gripped the line too tight. The looser the grip the faster you go. The tighter your grip, the slower you move along the rope and you risk stopping. Hence. My problem. Ugh!

Giving up was not an option.

Just before the guide pushes me off of the landing.

I later learned the guide asked my God-daughter if he should come and rescue me. Her reply was, “No, she is strong!” She saw A different type of courage and strength in me that I did not see in myself. This common for many people.

Aside from being stuck on a zip line, I was in an unusual and peculiar place. The tables turned. Instead of me coaching someone through fire and off of a ledge, I was being coached to the landing.

N’Talia’s loud and commanding voice instructions… Auntie! Put your left hand upon the rope, now put your right hand over your left… Like a drill Sargent in basic training, she literally screamed the instructions (more like ordered) to me. You know–the kind of voice that suggests you don’t have options.

Her voice compelled me to do what she said. Thankfully, while manually pulling myself toward the landing, my back faced them, so I could not judge how far out I was.

Eventually, after manual pulling myself along the lines, my feet touched the ground (the small deck like landing). While my feet were on the ground, my legs shook uncontrollably like they were cold and I had been buried in the snow for hours.

I fought back the tears. I made it safely but felt like I experienced the greatest scare of my life and almost died.

Frederick Douglas once said, if there is no struggle, there is no progress. When I realized that six more lines remained, the internal struggle began. I thought I would zip one (1) line and be done. You know… one and done. Nope.

I quickly learned not to grip the lines and made it through the remaining lines without incident. Toward the end, my eyes slightly open, I tried to enjoy the beauty above the jungle. I tried. It was difficult. But I tried.

I am glad I did it. I am stronger because of it. Today I face new fears in other ways. But I will forever keep the courage I gained in Belize in my heart.

The best memories!
Photos with our zip line tour guides
Scrumptious dining!
The food at Rumfish is outstanding!
Fresh and delish.
1981 named after Belize attained independence is located on the resort. We enjoyed good food and a relaxing environment.
Oranges are plentiful in Belize. Our guide stopped and picked fresh oranges from trees. Sitting in the van, we ate them roadside. A little known secret is that many of the oranges that are labeled “from Florida,” are actually imported from Belize.
Yes. I am vegan. Yesssss! I cheated and ate fresh Lobster in Belize. How could I not? Life is short. Never deprive yourself. The lobster was literally, to die for. 🙂
Naia Resort consists of a studio, one, and two-bedroom bungalows situated on the beachfront. The privacy and comfort surpass traditional hotel rooms. My new go-to.
The resort is plentiful in fresh fruits. During breakfast, we enjoyed breakfast with a view of the beautiful ocean and the pool.
The airport is small but the service is friendly and efficient.
This is baggage claim.
Belize City is so small, mail pick-up and passenger check-in share a desk. 🙂

Hanging out on the docks at the resort.
While relaxing on the docks, a staff member spotted us and brought
us fresh coconuts to sip from.
After Ziplining, we floated down a river… a much-needed calmness after dangling in the sky.

I have way too many pics to share with you from my trip to Belize but wanted to share a few images from the spectacular trip.

Facing my fear of heights thousands of miles away from home was worth the trip. And although the fear still exists, I am confident that I have the gumption that can push through other fears. Being stuck is a mindset that we accept. If ever I feel stalled, I will remember that acceptance of my perceived inability to move forward is a choice and you should remember the same.

Finally, frequency in confronting your fears will help you to gain self-confidence to try more new things. The two are synonymous with success. And when I write the word success, I do not mean everybody else’s version of success for you. I mean your beliefs and your convictions of what it takes for you to live a happy and fulfilled life. Averting your fear will stall your progress and keep you in a space where you will constantly wonder, what if? What if I had taken the job? What if I had taken the photography class? What if I had traveled to (you fill in the sentence)? Why would you want to do that? Create new memories where you learn, grown, and change for the better.


Hemp Powder: Why You Should Add It To Your Diet

To keep the body in good health is a duty… Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. -Buddha

Next month marks the second anniversary of my plant-based lifestyle. Whoop! Hands up; high five y’áll!

I have to say again, that the surprise conversion to a vegan lifestyle, has taught me the only thing that is certain in life is inception and dissolution.

Through a summer of getaways to Belize and Mexico, family vacations to St. Kits, Bahamas, and Puerto Rico, lengthy road trips, and the daily grind of life, I managed to stay on track with only a few faux pas (shrimp & lobster).

I continue to look for new food products to use in my kitchen. It is funny how when I ate meat, I looked for new recipes but not fresh spices or other ingredients. I did, however, look for healthier ways to prepare traditional dishes but often walked passed the unknowns in the produce section. Now, I am all in to find new food.

While shopping for the first time at, Buford Market, I was happy (more like elated) to pick up Navita’s Organic Hemp Powder.

Why the excitement? Because this stuff is packed with nutrients!  Four tablespoons include: 

  • Protein – 13 grams 
  • Calcium – 48 mg
  • Iron – 7 mg
  • Potassium – 417 mg
  • Magnesium – 249 mg

Regardless if you eat meat or not, these nutrients are vital to your overall health.

Protein is found virtually throughout the body. It is responsible for hormone production, it makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. Protein is the building blocks for amino acids. When you eat protein, it is broken down into amino acids, which are then used to help your body to build muscle and regulate immune function. 

Plant-based protein sources are found in seitan, tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentis, chickpeas, nutritional yeast, spelt and teff, hempseed, green peas, amaranth and quinoa (grains). Ezekiel Bread and other breads made from sprouted grains, oats and oatmeal. Wild rice, chia seeds, nuts, nut butters, and other seeds, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. (source: healthline)

Other non-plant based sources of protein are meats, seafood, poultry, and eggs.

Calcium with Vitamin D supports bone health. As we age, the body loses bone density, and adequate intake from childhood through adulthood can slow the process of bone loss. 

Calcium sources include leafy green vegetables such as kale, collards, and bok choy. Broccoli, fortified soy milk.

Iron is famous and known for energy production. You may not be aware that iron is also responsible for growth development, the synthesis of hormones, and for transporting oxygen around the body. 

Examples of iron-rich foods include beans, lentils, nuts, leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, parsley, seaweed, watercress) meats (liver, chicken, lean meats, seafood, tofu, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals). Medical News Today recommends consuming Vitamin C with iron-rich foods to increase the body’s absorption rate.

Potassium is a mineral found in many foods and is required for normal cell function. Your body needs potassium for almost everything it does, including proper kidney and heart function, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission.

Good sources of potassium include fruits, such as dried apricots, prunes, raisins, orange juice, and bananas. Vegetables, such as acorn squash, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli. Lentils, kidney beans, soybeans, and nuts milk and yogurt. Meats, poultry, and fish.

The body needs magnesium to stay healthy. It is a nutrient that is important for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, making protein, bone, and DNA.

You can find excellent food sources of magnesium in legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables (such as spinach). Fortified breakfast cereals and other fortified foods. Milk, yogurt, and some other milk products.

This post is a little longer than planned; however, I wanted to show you how and why you should include a variety of food sources in your diet. This Hemp Powder is loaded with essential nutrients.

I encourage you to stay open-minded to try new foods and combinations. If you eat meat, consume leaner cuts, eat red meat in moderation, and avoid processed and deli meats. To preserve processed meats and deli meats, salt and other additives or added to the food. They are higher in saturated fat than lean, unprocessed meat, and they can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Try to drink more water and incorporate more fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and nuts into your diet.

Annual doctor visits and blood analysis will help you to maintain viable health and to determine your nutritional needs. Finally, if your goal is to lose weight, I highly recommend that you avoid trendy diets. They are a temporary fix and, in most cases, when you return to “regular” food, you gain the old weight back and sometimes even more weight.

Instead chose proven methods that involve consistent lifestyle stages. A modified diet (nothing extreme) with gradual changes like swapping out your favorite high fat treat with a healthier version (oven-baked chicken vs fried chicken). Make a commitment to educate yourself and to learn about new foods and how to incorporate them into your diet.

Start an exercise program that includes a combination of strength training and cardio. If you are unfamiliar with weight training, find a knowledgeable trainer to learn proper technique.

While working with the trainer, do not be afraid to pick their brain by asking questions. Use the time to educate yourself and to build confidence so that you work alone.

Use social media to learn different exercises. There are no shortage of fitness pages to follow on Instagram.

Whatever you do, keep it moving and stay consistent. The old quote, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

There is no one giant step that does it. It is a lot of little steps. – Unknown

96 Years Young and He Keeps It Movin’!

Vic! 🙂

Vic’s metal cane sways from right to left when he walks. Slightly hunched over, he creates a rhythm with a periodic pause but confidently steps forward along the busy paved trail. There is no doubt in my mind that Vic is enjoying his morning stroll.

Although I walked passed Vic once, I could not bring myself to move past him a second time without talking to him. When I first got to the park, I had something on my mind. Vic changed that. I was blown away by his perseverance and enthusiasm for life.

Vic is a 96 year-young, U.S. Marine Corps, WWII, and Vietnam Veteran. His cap is a badge of honor. Whoop! Whoop! Vic has arthritis and moving hurts, but he says, “you gotta keep it movin’!” Those are his words. He also said that “movement helps to maintain cognition.” Walking keeps him mobile and independent, the way he likes it because he doesn’t want to have to rely on his children to care for him. I walked with Vic for a bit, we high fived and talked.

Vic agreed to a selfie because I told him I wanted my mom to see him. Although physically able, she is less mobile and Vic instructed me to bring mom to the park so he could talk to her. I love this man!

Vic should serve as an inspiration to all of us. If he can move, so can you! As a WWII and Vietnam Veteran, this warrior probably has more physical, mental, and emotional scars then I will ever know; yet he took the time to inspire me and to brighten my day. I thanked Vic for his service and the uplifting conversation.

The image of Vic is yet another face of wellness. While his story is incomplete to me, he projects positivity and fervor. I hope to see him again soon. Changing your lifestyle for the better does not cost large sums of money. More than anything else, it takes a desire, commitment, consistency, and a supportive community of people around you.

By the way, I was so into my walk this morning, that I covered 6.2 miles!

Wanna talk about it? Got something on your mind? Email me today at

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” 
― Rumi

I Listened To My Body: It Warned Me About A Health Issue

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,

but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

(2 Timothy 1:7)

Photo taken (by me) at the Gaylord Hotel, Grapevine Texas

Eat well. √

Exercise daily. √ 

Get enough sleep. √

Minimize stress… Well I am pretty sure that I have my stress levels in check but to be perfectly honest with you, sometimes we think we are doing a good enough job of managing stress when in actuality we are not. We package and shelf it nice and neatly on the inside, and that is where it (the pressure) quietly does its dirty work. I’ll get back to the stress in a minute.

For about two months, maybe longer, I had experienced occasional headaches. Something I rarely get. The headaches were random, so I wasn’t too concerned. We have two blood pressures devices at home, so I started to occasionally take my pressure. First thing in the morning, before you start moving around is the best time to check your pressure; so that is what I did.

My average reading has always been in the area of 117/72.

  • My readings were in the area of 180/99 and sometimes higher!!

Long story short, the diagnosis is hypertension.  

Anyone who knows me will corroborate, I am a health, wellness and fitness devotee. Wellness is a way of life that I take pride in. I do all the right things–not to perfection–but enough to look and feel vibrant and to have excellent physical health.

So when the doctor confirmed my suspicion, I was crushed. Honestly, I think it was an ego thing. You know–

How is the wellness professional gonna tell somebody how to prevent hypertension, when she has it?

It comes down to pride. The fact is, I am genetically predisposed to hypertension. Family history prevails over my lifestyle.

Know your body. Be aware of what your normal is and be prepared to take immediate action (see a doctor) when your ordinary is out of sorts.

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The Value of Reading Food Labels

We are one month and twelve days into 2019. Even if you did not commit to a traditional New Year Resolution, I bet you set some type of goal for yourself. How’s it going?

The top objectives for people in the new year are to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, and to save money.

If your goal has anything to do with eating healthy or losing weight, pay close attention. The most important new skill you should adopt is to learn to read food labels. Read before you buy.

Vegan Avocado Wrap

Case in point, look at this mouth-watering avocado wrap.

So you’ve bought this beauty.

Now you can’t wait to sink your teeth into it.

You sit down, open the package, and prepare to dig in.

Then, you notice this small 1.4 oz. packet.

The sweet chili sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and spice that you think you crave. Mouthwatering.

Thankfully you have the conscious mind (yes you do) to flip the packet over and you read the nutritional label.


Look. At. This. Mess! Bulging eyes!!

1. I rarely count calories, but this is a bit much.

2. The sodium content is all wrong! 530mg? That’s salt baby!!! If you’re monitoring your blood pressure, DON’T DO IT!

3. For the sugar addicts, 23 grams of sugar in a 1.4 oz. packet is preposterous!

The chili sauce is a precise example of why you must remain disciplined to read the labels on everything you buy.

If you are ever going to reach your goals, I urge you to commit to taking the first step to read the label before you buy anything for consumption.

Also, there are many Apps where you can search menu items from popular restaurants. When I trained for my figure competitions, I used MyPlate to track my macros. You can search for food by restaurants and get nutritional values.

Here I did a random Chic-Fil-A menu search. when you tap on the food item, the App gives you total calories, protein, fat, and carbs. It’s simple but helpful. If you are aware of the nutritional value of the food you are about to eat, the knowledge may deter you from completing the order and inspire you to change up. 🙂

This post is short and sweet but I need you to understand the connection between what’s on your plate and how snug your jeans fit.

Set aside your fitness regime because no matter how hard you exercise, if you’re not eating right, your clothes ain’t gonna fit right. TTYL