Mar 27, 2020

Thoughtful Thursday on Friday

      Happy Friday! In case you have not noticed, I am posting this on a Friday instead of Thursday again. This whole coronavirus situation has thrown off my days especially this week. One plus is that I have motivation to do thhings like blogging. For some reason I have started a few books but have not gotten through them yet. I also have to finish all the different courses I signed up for. One mountain at a time... Anywho, here are some bible verses for today:












Next week, I am going to start adding in quotes as well. I am liking making my own images better than having to go digging through to find ones on Pinterest. Who knows how all of these will end up. Peace & Blessings all. Have a great weekend

Mar 25, 2020

Why you should start keeping a journal


     Surprise, I am posting what I was going to share on Tuesday on Wednesday again. I  have  to be honest, I forgot what day today it is with all this going on. One week down, more to go of this pandemic. At the moment, I have been trying blog, exercise, get organized, & learn more. I think that is one plus side of this situation: it gives people more time to learn new skills or do something that they enjoy. 

One thing that I find peace in is journaling. I have been keeping a journal since I was 10/11 years old. I like to get things off my mind whether in written or verbal form. There are so many great things that you can take away from writing daily. Below are a few reasons why you should try journaling from Lifehack & Becomingminimalist:


-Form a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals
By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, & how you feel you learn more about yourself. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel. Committing our desires to paper holds you accountable to yourself. Writing out our goals provides the opportunity to articulate them clearly and makes their achievement appear closer.


-Improve Mental Clarity & Focus
Journaling can help declutter your brain. When you have a problem, write about it, moving the thoughts or problem from your head to the paper. By releasing it from your mind, you are problem-solving rather than problem-storing.Writing things out can also help your focus become clearer and easier to understand.

-Gain Insight and Understanding
At this time in the world, journaling can be used to gain new insight & some understanding about your life. I know that may freak some people out. We all know people who do not like to be alone because then they are alone with their thoughts. FYI: I am not that person. I actually like being alone to think about life & all kind of things. 
By journaling you are able to see different issues including: Themes in your life, If you are reaching or switching goals halfway through, & Your dating or relationship habits among other things. A journal also helps in showing how you solved problems in the past. Everyone should practice self-reflection when you have time, which at this point it is all we have.


-Tracks your Personal Growth & Development
No matter what you write, some personal growth takes place over time. Journaling is a powerful tool with growing & developing as a person. There are times we may feel like we have not accomplished anything, despite the effort and energy invested. A journal is helpful for looking back and be reminding you of your past successes.Whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development, there is a chance that you will see yourself growing as a person. 
I know that some of the reasons overlap or go hand & hand. I think times like these can help with making people more self-aware. Whether you are now paying closer attention to how you interact with others or how you are treating yourself. Mental health, especially is  extremely important. I am glad that many are now wanting to bring attention to it in general & on a personal level.

Peace & Blessings, all. Have a great day & have faith that everyday is going to be a better one.


Mar 20, 2020

Thoughtful Thursday on a Friday

     So, this week has been a total bust. I had scheduled this for yesterday but the day go away from me. In my last post, I mentioned I was going to start doing something different. I made my own graphics partly to post today. I used  canva to design them for the moment. Actually, I pulled some bible verses about faith & one about trust to post today. I think in times like these, that is all we have. We need to have faith & trust in God, each other, & ourselves. This too shall pass like many other events that have happened. All you can do is look back & see how you handled, hoping for the best outcome for all.  Here are the thoughts for today:











The events of the last few weeks have felt changed all of our lives. I hope & pray that everyone takes this time to find clarity in their lives. Enjoy the things that you usually do not have time to, relax, & be thankful that we have the chance to experience life. Peace & blessings, all & have a great weekend!!!


Mar 18, 2020

Fitness Tuesday on a Wednesday: How to handle your Mental Health & Anxiety during a crisis



     Good day, everyone. I was going to post this yesterday but I ended up having to go try to do some errands before things closed down. The mood is not only somber due to all of the social distancing but I think literally not doing anything is causing some people anxiety. A while ago, I did a post on managing stress. 

This stress post is a bit different due to the situations we are all in at the moment. Some people are self-quarantining here but many have to still go to work until told otherwise. All of that is putting stress at an all-time high for many. According to the CDC, stress can lead to change in your sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, chronic health problems becoming worse, & increased alcohol or drug use. Below are a few suggestions on how to navigate the stress & anxiety that you may feel right now from the CDC, Today, & Mashable:

-Read news from trusted sources 

Read & look at sources that you trust to get your information that are accurate. For sure look at the CDC & WHO for update information pertaining to the virus in the US & other parts of the world.

-Curtail your social media time 
Unfollow or mute anyone who is putting out inaccurate reporting. If you're finding social media useful for getting information on friends in affected areas, pay attention to how much time you're spending online. Also, social media can increase anxiety in some who already have it so be mindful of that. Cutting down on the news alerts you receive on your phone will help as well.

-Watch your conversations

Think about how you are talking about the virus and with whom. We all deal with situations differently. Some maybe of us worry more that others. Check to make sure that your worrying is being considered helpful meaning taking sensible precautions. Constantly worrying & thinking about it, focusing on the worst scenario in the situation is not helpful for anyone.

-Try mindfulness 

Doing a daily 10-minute meditation with apps like, HeadspaceCalm, and Aura might be useful. Trying deep breathing exercises or breathwork can help relieve any stress or anxiety as well. Focus on the positive & the things that you can do at this time,not what you can not do. Writing down your thoughts in a moment of chaos can help you get a hold of your negative thoughts also.
-Practice self-care
Make sure to get your nutrients by eating fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Sleep has a direct impact on the immune system. If you’re sleep deprived, your immune system is compromised. Stress has a negative impact on your immune system too by weakening it. Get some sunlight by going for a walk. Sunlight can also aid in lowering your blood pressure. Being in nature can help with calming the mind.
All of these tips can help in this time. I am going to try to at least do three post a week for the moment since I clearly have a great bit of time on my hands. I might even post on social media. Other than that I will be finishing the Reiki courses I paid for (finally), read some books, and watch what is going on in the sports world since all sports have been cancelled. 

Anywho, tomorrow I am going to do something different with the thoughts that I will post. I a going to try my hand at making some myself ones. We will see how it goes when I get ready to post them. Peace & Blessings, all!! Try to enjoy the rest of your day!

Mar 16, 2020

Review: Instant Pot Southern BBQ Cooking Sauce

      A new week & its' Y2K twenty years later. If anyone was old enough to remember Y2K (I was a Senior in high school in 2000), everyone freaked out, bought a bunch of random crap thinking the world was going to end. With the coronavirus, I know that the average, healthy person will be fine. Staying too focused on the news & other media will have you stressing out from fear & anxiety. I am going to write a post on how to cope with both of those tomorrow.

Around here, I am going to keep it lighthearted. I think when times are chaotic, that keeping a positive attitude, while staying in a high, good vibration helps. We all know how one negative thought or one person freaking out from fear can spread kind of like everyone going & buying all the toilet paper in the city (which I still do not understand). 

Today, I am going to share the second review from the Instant Pot sauces I received from Influenster. This flavor was Southern BBQ. Now anyone who knows on thing about me: I do not like barbeque sauce. I usually put white sauce on my barbeque. I did try it though.  Again, I received the sauce complimentary to review for testing purposes.


Ingredients
-1 Tbsp oil
-2 lbs meat (I used pork, cubed)
-1/2 cup water
-1 jar-Instant Pt Southern BBQ sauce


Directions
-Set Instant Pot to saute', adding oil.
-Add pork to pot, cook for 5 minutes while stirring frequently.
-Add sauce & water to pot, do not stir.
-Close pot & turn the Pressure Release Valve to the sealing position.
-Cook for 6 minutes on the High Pressure/Manual setting.
-When finished cooking, use the Quick Pressure Release to release the pressure before removing the lid.

Below is the end result: 
I put the pork over brown rice. The verdict is that it was not that bad. Cooking this sauce was different than the Lemon Herb in the I added 1 lb more of meat & I added a little less water. It helped give the sauce a better consistency than the with more water & less meat. The sauce also somewhat spicy. The two sauces were two opposite ends of the spectrum: one had little flavor & the other had a lot. I would try this again but next time I would use a different type of meat & add some vegetable to mix it up.

Happy start of the week. Peace & Blessings, all & keep safe out there.




Mar 12, 2020

Thoughtful Thursday

Happy Thursday!! I was going to post my last review of the Instant Pot sauce I received yesterday but I was tired. I am back to not going to bed again until 1 or 2am for some reason. In Atlanta this weekend, it was the first time I have been able to sleep through the night in a while. Probably because the mattress was soft & I did not have someone snoring in my ear. Anywho, here are some thought for this Thursday:



















Peace & Blessings, all. Have a great day!!

Mar 10, 2020

Fitness Tuesday: Essence Wellness House

     Last week, I totally slacked & posted once. I was too busy trying to get ready to what I am talking about today. Last Saturday, I went to Atlanta with my former co-worker/podcast co-host/friend Whitney for Essence magazine's Essence Wellness House. Just to warn you, this is a bit picture heavy. This is a picture from right when we got to the event. 


 It was a day long event from 7:45 am-7:00 pm. With the ticket we bought you were able to go to one exercise class & two workshops. The exercise classes started at 7:45 but we did the class that was from 8:15 am to 9:15 am called AB Blast: Standing Sculpting Abs & Core with Dashaun Johnson better known as the Guru of Abs. Let's just say this: my whole body has just finally stopped hurting. It was not only an ab workout but a total body one at that. Afterwards we took a picture & got the email to get a free ab workout to do at home.


After that we ate breakfast which was Greek yogurt, fruit (blueberries & strawberries), honey or agave nectar, & granola. While we were waiting for them for the next event to start, we went to one of the vendor's that was there called The oil bar. It is a really cool premise: you pick a base (shea butter, aromatherapy spray, cocco butter, etc), then a scent of your choice. I ended up buying two of the candles that were made just for the Wellness House, some sea salt scrub, & a spray. They label it with the scent you picked so you can reorder it on their website if you want to. 

We also meet the owner Ernie, who we took a picture with. We talked to him about opening a location in Huntsville (he did say that he was looking in Birmingham). Afterwards, he did a talk called The Tea on CBD with Ernie Dennis that was moderated by Lifestyle Editor, Jasmine Grant. It have been using CBD for about a year & I did find out information that I did not already know. I am going to go more in depth about the oil bar & the CBD talk in another post. 

We did a quick manifestation moment after this workshop. It was positive affirmations to put in high vibration state to help us create what we wanted. We then had lunch next. It was a salad that you had the option of grilled chicken or grilled shrimp, a variety of topping with either ranch or a champagne vinaigrette dressing. I did the grilled chicken but for some reason everyone was about the shrimp so much that they ran out of six pans & had to make more.

The last workshop we went to was Top Tips for Relationship Wellness & Sustainability with Dr. Aaron Turpeau & Derrick Jaxn. I was interested in this one because I follow Derrick on You Tube. On his channel he gives short clips of dating & relationship advice. They both gave the male prospective on dating & relationships of all types. Going to do a post on this as well to go more into the topic but they did give some great gems for women to take with them in all relationships.

This was taken at the end before we left the event. I learned information that I did not know along with meeting some nice business owners. Overall, I would most definitely go to another Wellness House. I know the next one is July 4th to 5th in New Orleans. If you have a chance to go to one in your area, I suggest giving it a try. I will be posting about some of the take-aways from the House next week.

Peace & Blessings, all!! Have a great Tuesday!!

Mar 4, 2020

Review: Instant Pot Lemon-Herb Cooking Sauce

     Happy Wednesday. I have been trying post at least two times a week. I will probably get back to posting three times again. The days I will post are going to be Tuesday thru Thursday for right now. Today, I am going to share my review of one of the Instant Pot sauces that I received a few weeks ago from Influenster to try. I received these complimentary to review for testing purposes. The two I received were Southern BBQ & the other was Lemon-Herb. 


In the box came the two sauces plus a little brochure telling you how to use the sauce. I used the Lemon-Herb sauce first.


With the sauce that I received, I cooked it similar to how the brochure suggested. Here is the recipe for how to cook the meat of your choice & sauce.

Ingredients
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 lb chicken breast, cubed
-1 bag frozen cauliflower rice
-1 bag frozen broccoli
-seasoning

To cook chicken
-Set Instant Pot to saute setting for 11 minutes
-Add oil to pot
-Add chicken to pot
-Cook & stir for 3 to 5 minutes
-While chicken cooks microwave broccoli & cauliflower rice according to bag.
-Once broccoli & cauliflower rice are cooked, add to pot with chicken.
-Add sauce to pot (DO NOT STIR). Here is what the sauce & chicken looked liked once cooked.

-Close & lock lid. Put Instant pot on Manual/High Pressure Cook setting for 7 minutes.
-When timer goes off, use Quick Pressure Release to release the steam. Remove the lid.
Here is what the end result was once I added the broccoli & cauliflower rice:


My verdict was that the sauce was okay. The one con of it was that I felt like it need more flavor. I did add extra seasoning to the sauce once it was done cooking. The sauce was easy to use & it works with best mainly with poultry & seafood. You can cook it meatless as well. You can add just your vegetable & noodle of choice.

You can find this sauce in Wal-Mart near the spices & seasoning. I would check & make sure they have it the store you are wanting to go to first. Next week, I will be posting my verdict of the Southern BBQ sauce. Peace & blessings, all. Have a great Wednesday.

Feb 27, 2020

Thoughtful Thursday

     Thursday is here, meaning that this week is almost over. Even though I am still unemployed, I am always running around doing things for other people. I end up not finishing the things I need to do for myself like writing more on the blog. Keeping up my motivation is something I am dealing with at the moment. Here are some motivation quotes for today:












Today I am going to work on my post for next week (hard to believe it is going to be March), finish my Reiki course finally & some other things things I have been putting off for the last few weeks. Peace & Blessings, all & have a great Thursday!!!

Feb 25, 2020

Fitness Tuesday: Why you should try Breathwork


     Happy Tuesday!! Hard to believe that it is the last Tuesday of Black History Month, February, & Fat Tuesday also. Already decided what I am giving up for Lent & what I am picking up as well. Will go into that next Tuesday since it is wellness related. Besides that, I went to my first Pilates class in about 3 years yesterday. It did wonders for my neck & back. For the first time in a long time, I went through all day Monday with no neck, back, or shoulder pain. 

Today I wanted to talk about Breathwork. One of the things that I love about the beginning of the year is seeing all the new trends & ideas that are coming out of the health & wellness space. I did Breathwork around when I started mediating regularly, after my car accident in Fall of 2016. However, I fell off some reason. Most do Breathwork while they are mediating, which is how I was doing it. Now, many are doing it by itself, which is useful during a work day or a stressful time when you can not meditate. Here are a few reason from mindbodygreen why you should try adding Breathwork to your day:


Helps with stress & anxiety
Doing repeated sessions of Breathwork have been found to lower levels of the cortisol, the stress hormone. Having high level can cause chronic inflammation. Controlling your breathing in a stressful situation can help tell your body relax, reducing the release of cortisol.

Aid in lowering blood pressure
Practicing breathwork to music for  around 10 minutes a day can reduce blood pressure. It has been found that in people with hypertension after practicing slow, deep breathing there was a drop in their blood pressure. 

Reduce symptoms of depression
Pairing breathwork with other stress reducers can help in reducing the symptoms of depression. People who engaged in breathwork & yoga together for 12 weeks saw a decline in depressive symptoms. A study done found the breathing-based meditation eased severe depression in some people. It also helps with boosting ones mood by reducing the part of the brain that controls the fight or flight response. 

Make focus sharper
Practicing breathwork in a regulated way can help with the amount of noradrenaline, a natural chemical messenger that affects attention and certain emotions, in our brain and ultimately enhance focus.

Help with pain management
Breathwork through slow deep breathing has been found to help reduce the perception of chronic pain, helping them better cope with physical discomfort. It can also help alleviate back pain by breathing through your diaphragm, creating blood flow and movement in that 
back & spine.


If you would like to learn more on Breathwork here are some articles & books to read:

Articles

Feb 20, 2020

Thought Thursday


     Happy Thursday!! This week my schedule went down the tubes. Since I have been without a job, I did set a certain time to get up & at least get some task done. Well... this week none of that happened. I am trying to create some structure in my life again. I feel like it has gone on a tailspin the last few weeks.

I have still been going & working out (going to start doing 4 days of weight & 2 days of yoga or pilates a week). Also, I have not getting good sleep AT ALL!! The mattress I sleep on is firm (that is what happens when you let the fiance' pick the mattress). So, next week with Lent starting I am going to do what I do every year which is give up something. Usually, it has been food related but this year I may do something nutrition related & something that affects others. I do pick up a new, positive habit as well. 

I am going to share those next week. Plus, I will be posting some of the other topics that I have been working on. Until then, the quotes about this week have to do with having & finding balance in your life. 





















With always being busy & on the go all the time, I think we all forget that we have to take time to look at our "self care". Many of us wear different hats in our professional & personal life. All of us need to take some time for ourselves today to do something that brings you joy in your life. 

Peace & Blessings all & have a great Thursday.


Feb 14, 2020

Thoughtful Thursday: Friday Edition

   Happy Valentine's Day!! So, I usually do not post on Fridays regularly at the moment but I decided to today. Mainly, because I was so busy yesterday that I just got time to post this. Kind of fitting with it being Valentine's Day & all. Even though I am in a relationship, I have my own opinions on  Valentine's Day: I think that it is a little overrated. Another story for another time though. Here are some thoughts about love for today:














 Peace & Blessings all, Have a great Friday & Valentine's Day!!

Feb 12, 2020

Tropeaka Review

     Happy Wednesday!!! Lately, I have been taking a few supplements outside of the pill ones that I take. My sorority sister (weird to think that I have known her for 15 years now) who lives in Maryland posted about Tropeaka on IG. Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I am all about trying new things.

Tropeaka is located out of Sydney, Australia so when you order from the US, you will have to wait about 10-14 days. Mine took longer than that. I had ordered my product before the wildfires in Australia. I ended up getting mine closer to 3 weeks. Right now I still use my Vital Proteins collagen peptides, Tropeaka, & FNX (which I am a brand ambassador for). Here are four of the products that I have tried so far with information & my review on them.


This infusion tea uses a combination of herbs to help with better sleep. The blend contains organic Chamomile, organic Lemon Balm, organic Passionflower, organic Lavender, organic Scullcap Root, organic Rose Petal, Orange Peel. I usually will drink this about 2-3 hours before bed so I will not be getting up going to the bathroom during the night. Since this tea is loose, I put it in my tea ball one of my friends bought me to use for loose tea. 
Acai contains vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, manganese, copper and magnesium. These vitamins assist the body in staying healthy and provide a powerful source of energy metabolism to power through your daily activities. It supports a healthy body and is known for its vitality and nutrient-dense qualities. Also is a natural pick-me-up for a quick energy boost!
Lean Protein: Vanilla
This protein is easily digestible &  non-bloating. It is sweetened with high-quality natural vanilla beans. It uses organic ingredients including protein from Golden yellow peas, Herb & Spice blend, & Maca Powder.  It also has with sprouted activated brown rice, organic Sacha Inchi which is a wholefood protein full of minerals & omega 3,6, 9, Monk Fruit, Natural Vanilla Bean, & Green Tea Extract.
Goji Berry
This powder uses organic Goji Berries. It is low in calories, low in fat, and high in antioxidants.  Gogi Berries are considered a "Superfood". They have trace minerals, vitamins, & phytonutrients.

My opinion is that the protein is easy to mix. You just add it in cold water. Now the Acai & Goji Berry are a different story. I was mixing both of those in cold water & they both were leaving clumps (like alot) in the mixture. Now, I end up heating my water first then adding them one at a time. This is the best way to mix the Goji Berry 100%. The Acai still has clump but not as many. The important thing is to use a fork for the mixing as well. 

This brand is great for may diet types since it is dairy, soy and gluten, which means that vegans and vegetarians can use it. I would suggest trying Tropeaka if you are looking to add some supplements into your daily routine. Peace & Blessings, all have a great Wednesday!!