Friday, September 29, 2017

When I talk about “healthifying" your favorite meals, this is what’s up. Now if you know me at all, you know I LOVE TO COOK and my favorite meals all have a noodle in it. :D But if I want to stick to my goals, I need to find a way that doesn’t pack on the calories in my plate. Well Food Network got it right with this Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe made with whole wheat pasta and Turkey meatballs. I am so excited to try this one over the weekend!

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs


• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

• 5 cloves garlic (4 smashed, 1 minced)

• 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

• 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

• 1 small piece Parmesan rind (optional)

• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

• 3/4 pound 93% lean ground turkey

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping

• 1 slice stale whole-wheat bread, crust trimmed, bread chopped

• 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

• 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

• 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice, 2 cups water, 1/4 cup basil, the parmesan rind, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Discard the parmesan rind, if used. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup basil, then mix with the turkey, parsley, bread, ricotta, parmesan, egg white, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl using your hands.

Makes about 4 Servings

Friday, September 22, 2017

When Anxiety goes haywire!

This morning I woke up a little unsettled and wondered what was making my anxiety go haywire. I couldn't get into my routine. It seemed like it was taking me a really long time to get ready.

Then, I stepped back for a second and realized I needed to take a moment of gratitude for all that God has done, is doing and is going to do in my life. I had a roof over my head, a place to sleep, the lights were on, a car to drive and a job to go to. Once I did that, a sista straightened her crown and got on with her day thankful that she woke up and had a day to get on with.

What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anybody else love to read?

Sometimes I read a book 📚 to learn something new and sometimes it validates something I already know and practice. So when I read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, it drove the point home that every choice I make today will define the choices I can make in the future. It also taught me that is never too late to begin making better choices to re-define my future. Reading this book allowed me to take an honest assessment of what I am not so thrilled about in my life and make a decision to make changes that will literally change my outlook and quality of life. Personal development is something I practice daily to not only improve my and my family's life but to share with everyone. When I learn something this good, I just can't keep it to myself!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be scary

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be scary it can be a point of empowerment. On the surface it can create an opportunity to cut things out that really don’t matter, figure out where you have money but you just didn’t know it and make a plan to create extra income if you need it.

Recently, I created a budget for my household which, not gonna lie, had me a little apprehensive at first. As I was developing the budget, I realized that I was in as bad shape as I thought I was! I know that’s crazy, right? But it also put me in “fix it” mode. I started to list everything-credit card debt, personal loan debt, from balances to minimum payments to available credit. All I’m gonna say is, it was a sight to behold. And then it got real….

How was I gonna fix this? Notice I didn’t say I don’t know what to do, or, this is never going to get better. I went in with the idea that I CAN AND WILL develop a plan of attack and face this issue head on. I started exploring options. Should I get another, better paying job? Should I keep my job and get a 2nd job? Should I 10X my efforts in my side hustle? Should I start selling stuff on amazon, ebay, craigslist, etc.? Should I do all of these things? All of these are options I will explore and devise a plan around each these to determine the work and time involved to eventually overcome being in the red every month.

The process allowed me to take all of the apprehension and fear and suspicion out of my head and onto paper! That, in and of itself, was a relief! What is on paper, allows me to rationally and methodically plan and attack the issues that are holding me back financially. With all these figures all on paper, I can take control and do what needs to be done. The first lesson in this process is knowledge and with that I have power to implement a strategy to overcome at least one obstacle to my peace of mind.

So creating a budget doesn’t have to be scary. It can be revealing. It can be eye opening. It can put you on the offensive rather than the defensive, if you look into it early enough. That is, if you are brave enough to put a budget on paper before you are in the red, you still have the power to turn things around. But it doesn’t have to be scary. Having the foresight to acknowledge there is a problem but I can’t put my finger on it, should be encouraging to you. Maybe if I map it out I may be able to identify where the problem is.

When you look at your finances and see what you are actually spending every month, it can empower you to make changes that will affect your quality of life in profoundly positive ways. You will find that you can cut spending and save money or even invest money in things that will help you achieve certain goals but you never thought you could because you thought you didn’t have any money. Once you write these numbers down, you will discover that the money is there it just has been misplaced. You have power in everything you do. Creating a budget and sticking to it is only one of those things.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Where were you on Tuesday, September 11, 2001?

This is hard for me to write cuz believe it or not, after 16 years, I'm still raw by it. I was studying for finals when I heard my mother yelling at the tv. But that was normal so I didn't really pay it any attention. Then my phone started ringing incessantly and I tried to ignore it but it just kept on ringing and ringing. They just would not hang up till finally I answered it as snotty as I wanted to be. It was my sister asking me if I was watching tv. I said I was trying to study and ma was being ma as usual😡 and then she told me what was going on in the world. Two planes hit the World Trade Center in New York City. She asked me if I had heard from my other sister and her husband since they were traveling today. We kinda went back and forth a couple of times before it registered with me what was actually going on. Not knowing where my sister and her husband were traveling to or whether they were on a plane, put me in a state of panic. To the point I prayed like I never prayed before. I prayed that my sister and her husband were not on a plane. I prayed for the souls of the people that surely died and would die for this unholy catastrophe. I prayed until my mother grabbed me and said that my sister and her husband were not on a plane but were driving when this happened but they were okay. At least that was a relief. And then I turned on the tv. I saw the buildings burning. I saw the replay like it was Monday night football over and over again as the planes crashed into the buildings. I was horrified and my terror was renewed. I immediately thought of my daughter who was still at school. I wanted her home. My husband was at work and I wanted him home. I just wanted my family home and close to me. So many were not going to see their family ever again and I wanted my family home with me. It wasn't until I saw the first building fall that it occurred to me that a lot of people died that day that did not know the Lord. That was when the real tragedy occurred to me. That is when I was inconsolable. And I cried like a baby.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's been a while since I posted in this group and I truly apologize for that. I have been going through some trials and tribulations recently and I never shared it because I never wanted to be a burden to any of you.

The lesson I learned thru this is that I need to stay in touch during the good, bad and ugly times. I can't withdraw within myself when I am having a trying time. Unfortunately, old habits die hard.

In June, I had gotten sick with the flu, had to move suddenly and my car went up! I felt like I had been pushed to my limits physically, financially and spiritually. It's even hard to put into words right now but let's just say it was probably the most trying time that I had been through in a long time. Needless to say my workouts, my nutrition and my personal development suffered significantly.

At the same time I was going thru all that, I learned that a dear co-worker of mine had been diagnosed with breast cancer and another had recently lost her unborn baby in a car crash. That's when I literally broke down and bawled like a baby. I literally curled up in a ball and bawled. I felt so guilty about feeling sorry for myself over what I was going thru and seemed so small in comparison to the life altering changes these women were going thru. It was in that moment of revelation that God started to bless me. I recovered from the flu. Rae and I transferred to a waaaay better apartment and even though I didn't think I was ready(but God had other plans) I got a new car. I need to share that with you because I owe you that as a means of accountability. We all live this thing called life and you need to see the authentic me that my life is more than a highlight reel. It's not perfect but I am an overcomer. The journey may not be pretty but it is a journey.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Shopping for healthy food

When you make the decision to start living a healthy lifestyle, shopping for the right food can be overwhelming. It can even seem a little expensive at first. But look at it this way…this is the initial investment into healthy living for yourself and your family. As daunting as it may seem at first, in the long run, it is less costly than medications taken over a long period of time or, in some cases, for the rest of your life.

When I began following a meal plan earlier this year, the grocery bill that first week was almost $300! But then the following week, the bill went down considerably to about $100. That’s because in that first week, I picked up all the pantry essentials that I would need to make sure that I was getting all the nutrients that I needed to make my body function optimally. After that, I just needed to shop for fruits and veggies and any other perishables I needed for that week.

So when you consider living a healthy lifestyle and the COST associated with that, consider the overall value that leading a healthy life will do for your QUALITY of life. A few extra dollars on the front end will seem like pennies compared to the energy you’ll gain, the better sleep you’ll get at night and the results you get from exercise. After a while, you’ll begin to realize that you are just replacing the processed foods for better, whole food that help you live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives.

So don’t think of living a healthy lifestyle as expensive and cost prohibitive. Think of healthy living as an investment in your future.

Monday, January 23, 2017

If today was the last Monday of your life...

Now I ask you…

If today was the last Monday of your life, what would you do with it?

Would you continue to blame “the man” for your condition?

Would you make excuses time and time again about why you are not where you want to be?

Will you continue to complain about why you are not happy?

Will you continue to work your ass off to make someone else’s dreams come true?

Would you die with a lifetime of regret?

OR …

Will you fight with everything you have to have the life you deserve, even to your dying breath?

Will you use your gifts to help and serve people?

Will you use moments where people don’t seem to “get it” and use that as teachable moments to spread wisdom?

Would you put your head down and work hard day and night to have the life you know you deserve?

Will you build a thick skin to rise above tough times and endure adversity until you overcome it and learn from it and become a testimony and be a better person from it and teach others how to do what you did?

What would you do if today was the last Monday of your life?

Monday, January 16, 2017

A lesson in discipline and focus

I feel really good that after having the flu for a week that I feel strong enough to start exercising again and pick up where I left off. A lot of people started the new year sick and unfortunately, many are still suffering and taking a while to recover. In fact, one of my directors at work recently said that she was sick for like 6 weeks with the flu. I was only sick for about a week. What was the difference between her experience and mine?

I’m not sure but I do know this. Even though I was sick, I didn’t take my eyes off the plan that I created for myself at the beginning of the year. The goal that I set for myself included a health and fitness plan that included but was not limited to calculating my numbers-BMR and calorie needs - accordingly. It also included drinking a super foods shake daily and a workout program to help me become flexible, strong and develop more stamina.

Being a Coach for a while, I knew, intellectually, that this health and wellness plan meant that I couldn’t give into the temptation to start eating ice cream or chips just because I got sick. However, putting this into practice was a challenge. I had to exercise discipline and stick to the plan and eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours even when I didn’t want to and at the same time not exceed my daily caloric intake. More importantly, I needed to make sure I ate what my body needed and not load my meals with crap that would only prolong my recovery. Being sick actually developed an area of discipline for me and proved that while I did get sick, I wouldn’t stay there long. I was focused and committed to getting well and staying on the path to achieving my goals. I didn’t let the flu create an obstacle to my goals, I used it to it make me stronger in other ways that will help me exceed my goals. So even though I had to listen to my body and rest while I got well enough to begin exercising again, I focused on my nutrition so that I could still get closer to be goal and not have it derailed entirely.

I think it is about mind set really. I think the most valuable thing about goal setting that I have learned over the years is when you write them down on paper and you set deadlines that you open up and look at every day, you are more likely to achieve those goals. For me, there is something about putting pen to paper that sets things in motion. Over the past couple of weeks, I have proven to myself that when I make a plan and write it down and look at it every day, I create a discipline that make things happen and I get closer to my goals every day.

Take the time to say thanks!

When you have a mentor and a good friend or family member that is truly a 'ride or die', you gotta thank them from time to time. You...