How To Eat Well While Traveling 

Who’s says you have to eat junk when taking road trips or quick getaways?  Seriously if you have time-  wait. My bad.  I mean, if you make time to prep before traveling, you won’t get stuck eating sh** then feeling like sh**.  


Instead of relying on horrible and packaged rest stop or airport food that ultimately leave you feeling sluggish, lethargic, and Sleepy, take control with a trip to the market before leaving. 


Slice your food if necessary, then wash and dry them. 


Yeah, you’ll need to invest a little time, but I promise, you’ll be glad that you did. 🙂


Pick your favorite fruits and veggies and have fun with packing. I forgot the carrots and celery but I have plenty of natural sugar and vitamins.  Slice and peel the oranges so there’s no mess in the car, train, bus, airplane, or even the beach. 


A great way to monitor your portions is to pick up a box of portion pack snack bags from Walmart.  Mmm- blueberries! 

Don’t forget to wash the appples too. Put them in sandwich bags or gallon size freezer bags. Again, all the hard work is done in advance. 

For a refreshing treat, mix the blueberries or strawberries with some granola. Yummy! 

 

Then enjoy your trip! 🙂

Enjoy your holiday weekend. 

Small Change Net Big Results

While browsing the frozen section of the grocery store for my son for real ice cream as opposed to my liking for natural homemade natural ice cream, I stumbled on, a blast from my past.  🙂

At age 23 Chunky Monkey was my prescribed best friend! Who doesn’t know about Ben & Jerry’s delicious, unorthodox, and addictive flavored ice cream!  I was pregnant with my daughter and was under doctor’s orders to gain weight, which was an enormous challenge for me.  My Obstetrician, Dr. Chong, told me that I was too skinny.  Dr. Chong wrapped his child-sized hand completely around my upper arm and pointed to my branch like boney limbs,

“You need to eat.!  You too skinny!”

Since supersized servings of collard greens weren’t doing the trick, I resorted to fudge sundaes during the daytime at work and Chunky Monkey ice cream at night.  :).  I still didn’t gain weight but continued on with my love for the fatty delectable dessert.

Until recently, when I saw my old treat in the freezer, I had forgotten all about it.  I was curious about the nutritional label and had to sneak a peek at the label.  Back then, I don’t think I noticed food labels. My girl Oprah says it best.  “When you know better, you do better.”  She’s right.

Twenty-nine years later, I finally read the jaw-dropping label. Hoooooly Moly!!

28 grams of sugar X  4  servings is 112 grams of sugar!!!!

300 calories per servings X  4 servings = 1,200 calories!!

300 grams of fat per servings X 4 servings – 112 grams of fat!!!

I’m dying thinking about this… mouth wide open…. thinking about how many times I ate a full pint and what the contents were doing to my body.  It makes me wanna barf.  Ugh!

Looking at me then, I appeared to be the epitome of health, and for the most part, I was healthy, or so I think.  However, my metabolism was high, my body processed the food quickly and at almost 5’9, I weighed 125-130 pounds.   Surely had I continued to eat Chunky Money at this pace with a few other bad food habits, I was on my way to being overweight and dealing with health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and more.

Back then, even though I overindulged in sugary treats like this, I also balanced out my diet with daily servings of fruits and vegetables.   A high metabolism and good genetics kept me slim and trim, and I did not have any health issues. But the fact is, my diet exceeded the daily recommendation for… well. Everything.

Today I thank God for putting me on a path to a better place where I learned to make smarter choices about my health and well-being.

Too frequently though many people wait until a medical condition dictates a lifestyle change.  Particularly women.  Women of color.

In 2014, the CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention) reported the leading causes of death in ALL black females ALL ages were:

Heart disease – 23.2%

Cancer – 22.5%

Stroke – 6.2%

Diabetes – 4.6%

Chronic lower respiratory disease – 3.2%

Alzheimer’s disease – 3.1%

Unintentional injuries – 3.0%

Kidney disease – 2.0%

Septicemia – 2.3%

Hypertension – 1.9%

Heart disease (22.3%) and cancer (21.6%) remained at the top of the list for ALL females, ALL ages.

When you consider the fact that lifestyle behaviors can significantly reduce women’s risk factors for these illnesses it is disturbing.

If you have prediabetes, research shows that losing 5%-7% of your body weight and getting at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity like brisk walking can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

(CDC)

Why do women wait until a doctor tells them that a lifestyle change is in order?  If we learn to listen to our body, it usually sends signals by responding to the food we eat, the beverages we drink, and other behaviors. If you walk up a flight of stairs and you are out of breath, that means something.  When was the last time you had an annual check up?

Take a pledge to live a healthier lifestyle.  Even better, commit to a better lifestyle with a family member, a friend, or a colleague. Try a new recipe, join or start a walking club, take a yoga class, take a strength training class, or something else, just get busy moving.   Please!

Oh and… if you’re gonna get down with Ben & Jerry’s, remember portion control or better yet, try making your own healthy chocolate ice creamAvocado Ice Cream or a quick frozen strawberry yogurt. Making your own is healthier and more fun.

Making small changes in your life can net significant health benefits. Instead of attacking your health with major changes, start with minor changes like drinking more water and less juice or soda, reducing the amount of sugar you put in your coffee or substituting one high-fat food item with a lower fat food item. Take the stairs instead of escalators and elevators or do jumping jacks or pushups during commercials of your favorite TV show.  Over time, you will experience big gains. Whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself because I won’t give up on you.

Grad school is slowing my posts, but I’m still here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Smooches!  🙂

Slow Your Roll


In our busy lives, we often race from one activity to another. I too am guilty of that; however, I make it a habit on my work days to get up early- before sunrise, before anyone is up in my home.  When the house is quite, I have the pleasure of  enjoying the amazing sounds of the birds singing.

Getting up early allows me to move slowly and freely throughout the house but also to take the time to observe the beauty of sunrise, birds flying and singing, and other amazing insects and creatures moving about. 

Earlier this morning, I found this cutie (baby frog) sleeping on the window pane next to the front door.  It’s such an odd place–up off the ground and by the front door handle– I just had to capture him sleeping. 🙂


Please slow down and take the time to enjoy the beauty of each day!

Happy Monday!  

Smooches! 🙂 

Adjust Or Go A Bust

“Remain flexible and teachable so that you can make necessary
adjustments in life.”
Mz Liz

Adjust 

[uhjuhst]

  1. to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapt; accommodate
  2. to put in good working order; regulate; bring to a proper state or position

 

Today marks the end of my third week of grad school. Whew!!  Adding reading assignments, papers, and projects to my already busy schedule is a challenge– challenging but not impossible.

This weekend is about adjusting.  I am making the new addition to my routine fit.  I am adapting my weekly routine.  I am accommodating new tasks.  I am deleting some things from routine (less social networking time) and putting others (my son’s tutoring, basketball, etc..) in order.

Accomplishing anything good in life required adjustment.

If you can’t adjust, you will certainly a bust!    -tfc

Sunday is my meal prep but last week did not work too well, so I had to adjust my routine.

I moved the majority of my shopping day on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to Friday evening. The change frees me up for Sunday.

The second major adjustment is my cooking day. To free up more time to read and to write, I moved cooking from Sunday to Saturday afternoon… umm… I just looked at the clock.  The “afternoon?”  I started cooking at around 5:30 p.m…. the current time is 8:33 p.m., but it is done.  In between cleaning up the kitchen, letting the food cool down, and putting items away, I’m snapping pictures.  🙂

What’s cooking?  A hodgepodge of quick dishes for me and my peeps. The only menu items left to cook are veggies and I’m working on those.   I don’t have enough time to write recipes and all, but I wanted to give you an idea of what’s happening in my kitchen.

 

spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash… it is quick and easy to prepare.


mexican quinoa

Mexican Quinoa is a hit with hubby, is loaded with protein, so it works.


black rice

This black rice will pair nicely with the black-eyed peas.


black eyed peas

My first attempt ever at meatless black-eyed peas.  I add extra goodies like garlic, jalapenos, and substituted water with vegetable broth, so the peas should have a nice 


sweet potatoes

I can’t go wrong with sweet potatoes.


sausage dish

Mom will love this!  Sweet hot sausage and turkey kielbasa cooked in a fire roasted tomato sauce.  Whoever want to indulge can enjoy it over whatever style of pasta they choose, just don’t touch my black rice.  🙂


crock pot

I would be lost without my crockpots!  The third crockpot is full of steel cut oats in the fridge. 

 

The point of this post is to remind you that when trying something new, you have to be flexible.  What works for me may not work for you.  Also, what worked for me yesterday isn’t working for me today.  So no worries.  Take in a deep breath–slowly release the air and keep it moving.  I have a ton of work to do and must go. See Yah!

Happy day to you!! Smooches!

 

 

 

 

Loc Journey Update

October 17, 2015, I started my loc journey.

Perms. Tracks. Braids. Twists. Loc extensions. Full weaves. I am certain  I have worn just about every style available to women.  Today women of all shades, colors, ethnicities can enjoy a plethora of hair styles. Pick whatever style that makes you walk out the door feeling like a million bucks, and it is yours.

On second thought.  That statement isn’t 100% accurate. Although I have the freedom to choose hair style, length, and color, others still do not.   Depending on your profession, your boss and the organization you work for, the conservatives  may  constrict your choice of style.

After my daughter’s employer updated their grooming standards.  She was given this directive.

Do something to your hair or don’t come back to work.

She sports a cool Mohawk. 

  
The style is some what of a coming out for her. She is conservative.  To wear a style that brings attention to her is something  mom does, not her.  Hehe! Finally in her mid twenties, my girl gives authentic living a try and breaks out with a cut she loves.  #happymom  

Within five months, the party is over.  :0(

Been there done that. 

__________________________

Growing up in a small predominately white town, where at age 12 mom sat in the car and I walked into the liquor store to buy her Tanqueray and Pall Malls with no questions asked, wasn’t a town where I saw anyone wearing locs. 

I have racked my brain to remember my first sight of locs. Probably Bob Marley. I doubt that I saw the style  in Ebony Magazine.  

Charlotte, I think, was the first loc wearing sista who I had any kind of relationship with. I met her through a mutual friend. Her locs hung down her back. They are beautiful, I recall thinking.  

Eventually I thought, by the age of 40, my hair would be loc’d.   

My estimate was off by 10 years but finally I started my journey. 

You might be wondering, what was the deciding factor?

Inspiration from my son, my cousin Curtis and my stylist and KinHairitage Salon owner Victoria. While my son is cultivating and exploring his sense of swag, Curtis and Vicky’s funky and brash styles envigorate me.  I can’t wait!!  I tell myself daily, patience girl!   At my high school I see more boys and girls confidently strut the hallways then I have ever seen before. I tell them they inspire me to stay on my journey. They graciously thank me. 

   
 

  

My favorite cousin… He’s so cool! 🙂

Everywhere I turn my head, I see short locs, long locs, red locs, blonde locs, foe locs, and more.  I love it!  Perhaps a more relaxed work environment paved the way for women and men to take the big step. We’ve come a long way, but I still don’t see any news anchors on the major news channels with locs. 

In the early 90’s, a former co-worker, Flo, sued an Atlantic City Casino who denied her the right to wear box braids and won. We scored!!! I wanted to wear braids but they were against company (another casino) policy. The thought of suing never occurred to me. I was happy she won her case. Flo’s win was for all the black women working in the casinos who desperately wanted to wear braids but were paralyzed by fear. Fear of losing ones job.   

Back in October, I walked out of KinHairitage feeling confident and excited about my next hair journey. My Locticican and salon owner, Victoria is my inspiration. Her locs are beautiful. She is beautiful. Her funky, eclectic, and cool sense of style is admirable. Did I mention, she knows her shit!   

 

  

  

After a week of spin class and lifting weights at the gym, my hair looked a hot mess. My best friend’s mom died and I could not bring myself to show up and support her with my frizzed out hair.   

No amount of lipstick, mascara, or eye shadow was going to fix my attitude toward my hair. I looked a hot mess. 

My hair looked bad. I thought I was ready for this part of the journey, but I really wasn’t ready.  

“Hair Heaven” is what we call it.  Another friend hipped me to this beauty supply store. You are greeted at the door with floor to ceiling hair. I am for real! Floor to ceiling hair… All around the store.   

I am NOT a wig person. Hot flashes make it difficult to wear a hat, but desperation will have you do things that you thought you would never do.   

Since that day, I have accumulated three favorite hats… Hahaha! Wigs. Responses to the wigs have been favorable. Even better, my locs hibernate nicely. All I do is moisturize and cover.  

 
My hair is washed retwisted an braided up.    

The back of my hair is shaved but has grown some since this pic. When the weather warms, I will shave the back again.

   The back of my hair. 

  

My first wig!!!

 
After wearing this one for a month, I ventured back to “Hair Heaven.”

 

Never did I think RED hair could work for me. Surprise!!

  

I found these fun shades by shoopbogaboga on Instagram.


  

This day it was COLD out. Pulling a hood over big hair is tricky.

  
 In this picture, I had just level work. I am in my car headed to the gym.  While sitting at a traffic light, I snatched the wig off and put my scarf and hat on.  🙂

I grew comfortable with the vivactious red and went back to the store for another one.  Lol!

   
 

My cousin took this picture during our family Christmas gift exchange. 

Today is 3 months and 13 days that I have my locs.  A week went to see my stylist for loc maintenance.  I am surprised by the growth and they are budding nicely. Allowing my locs to nest under a wig is helping the process.

 
I love my parts.  As my hair grows, the parts will give me greater styling flexibility. 

  

This is the back of my head

 
   
 
Love is in the air!  I’m starting to dig my hair.  My next visit will involve color.  🙂 

Will I wear a wig again?  

Mostly likely but only because, when I work out, I sweat terribly and my hair gets wet and messy looking. 

Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the freedom of the frizzy and untamed look, but my hair hasn’t completely loc’d yet.  As the summer near, the wigs will disappear.  Yay! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy day! Smooches. 🙂

The Essence of Attitude

The original post read “Happy Tuesday!” 

Haha!!  My week is flying by! Whatta ya know.. Today is Wednesday!  Happy Hump Day! 

   
   
Make it a great day; the choice is yours!  🙂