Up Your C’s with Citrus Medley Summer Cooling’s

Up Your C’s with Citrus Medley Summer Cooling’s

I have had a blast sharing the summer cooling series here. Life cannot be better than drinking juices and smoothies that you enjoy due to their rich, natural taste while being nourished while doing so. What an excellent way to keep a healthy body and mind need. This week’s featured juice is my “Citrus Medley made with oranges, grapefruits, and ginger. It is refreshing and is also loaded with vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system. And with everything that is happening with COVID-19, we all can benefit from a more robust immune system. It also helps to keep our skin smooth and elastic. Did you know that one orange contains all the vitamin C that we need daily? In addition, citrus fruits have reasonable amounts of other vitamins and minerals that our body needs to function correctly. These are B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and copper .

Citrus fruits also helps to fight or protect against cancer, it is low in calories, helps to reduce the risk of kidney stones, helps to protect the brain by fighting neurodegenerative diseases, and their nutrients help to boost our heart health. Not only is this juice great to cool you down for the summer, but you can consume it all year round to receive the tremendous benefits.

Next time you visit the grocery store or farmers market, be sure to grab yourself a few oranges and grapefruits then pop them in your juicer for a delicious healthy drink. If they happen to be on sale, do not be afraid to buy extra as this helps save on cost.

Until next time, be good to yourselves and others.

WE ARE HAVING A…..!!!! GENDER REVEAL

What an exciting time in the lives of the Chance Family. We have had a predominantly wonderful time with this pregnancy, and we are beyond excited about expanding our little family. Life is not always a bunch of roses, but it is incredible when it throws you a rose. We cannot wait for the baby to grace us with their presence, and guess what? Time is moving fast, so this anticipation will be over very soon.

My Little Family

We did not want a grand celebration for personal reasons, so we kept it small and intimate. I was so excited to have my neighbors on board, and I cannot begin to tell you how remarkable they are. Elza, Clai, and Shelly, we love you guys so much. We also had a few family members on a video call.

Once we received the envelope containing the gender of our little nugget, we handed it over to our beloved neighbor Shelly and keeper of the Gender. We waited for what seemed like forever for the perfect sunny day to get it done. It took us about 4-6 weeks, and Shelley was incredibly tight-lipped about everything. I voted her “best secret keeper.” Finally, on the morning of Saturday, May 21, 2022, we decided to do it once and for all. The day started out very dull, gloomy, and windy but at around 10am the sun came out in its full glory and we were most thankful to God.

Items for gender reveal

Smoke Cannon– The keeper of the gender purchased those on Amazon, and it was so lovely of her to get four of them, one for each family member.

Balloons – We purchase balloons and other small items such as table covers, colored drinks, and can spray at Walmart.

WE ARE HAVING A…..!!!! GENDER REVEAL

Venue

We had our gender reveal on our complex. The trees and grass were luscious and green; we thought that was the best place to get it done. What is better than a lovely spring morning in nature and adequate spacing.

Guessing the Gender

I did not mean for it to take so long to reveal the gender, but I could not find the right time. I am bad at keeping secrets, and I have had a few slip-ups, but this proves that people do not always listen as keenly as they should during conversation or fail to trust what they hear.

Big sister…Aliyah

It was fun having others guess the gender of the baby. Some looked at the shape of my stomach and changes in my facial features before making a prediction. I found this hilarious because I wear all my pregnancy the same way, especially regarding my bump. One person said, “oh, you are having a boy, look at the shape of your belly, and your nose have gotten big, lol! The following week he said, “I think I am going, team girl because your nose does not look big anymore.” The majority concluded that it was going to be another boy. All in all, we had a good laugh.

Honestly, I could not tell myself because I felt almost the same way I did with my daughter and son, even though I was sure that my son would be a boy from the beginning (I may share that story in another post). Hubby has always maintained that it was a girl. Well, that was his desire, so what else. However, as the pregnancy progressed, he became a bit wavering, especially since everyone said I carried a bump resembling a boy. Finally, he almost conceded that it was going to be a boy. Yet, he held fast to hope and sang his “it is a girl tune.”

Oh, baby! The Reveal

It was very short, about an hour, as I said to the point. Of course, my daughter and hubby were team girls, so they wore pink, and my son, a team boy, wore his blue shirt. I was neutral, so I wore neither pink nor blue. At times, I felt split because my daughter wanted a sister and my hubby a baby girl, and rightfully so. I wanted that for them but, on the other hand, I felt that having a boy would make my son happy. God had the final say and whatever he gave us was His best.

So my husband, daughter, son, and I were each given a gender reveal smoke cannon from Shelly along with the instructions on how to use it. Shelly told us to twist in the opposite direction using both arms while pointing the cannon away from us in a relatively safe direction. I knew that my son would need some help because he is only four years old. We aimed and twisted on the count of three, but only my cannon released the long-awaited secret. I laughed while watching hubby and my daughter struggle to release theirs. Everyone erupted in cheers as the beautiful pink smoke surrounded us. My son was not as pleased but still said he would love the baby girl. See the video below.

big brother…Jedidiah

As soon as our celebration was over, we headed to church and returned home for a heart-healthy plant-based lunch with our cousins Audrey, Serena, and Sheldon. The day was beautiful and well spent.

With the happiest heart, I tell you all that I will be having a baby girl; yes, it is a GIRL HOORAY, and ALL PRAISES BE TO GOD FROM WHOM ALL OUR BLESSINGS FLOW.

Gender reveal video

SHE DID IT!!! HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION 2022

High School graduation is an important and unforgettable time in an individual’s life and family. It signifies their transition into adulthood and symbolizes the result of their hard work, discipline, and commitment to making it to this critical juncture. They have every right to be proud of their accomplishments.

My daughter is only seventeen and will not turn eighteen for a few months. As I helped her prepare for this important day in her life, my heart became flooded with so many emotions. We have been through so much together. From her birth, I hardly ever left her side. My pathway and every decision I made included her, and I mainly lived and shaped my life to be a positive example to her. I still cannot wrap my head around how quickly time has passed and how grown she is now. I am pleased with the person she has become and grateful that she remained focused and absorbed the lessons, disciplines, and standards taught to her. I am incredibly thankful to God, who has carried her through and continues to be her guide and protection in life.

May your path continue to be paved with much success and happiness.

Senior year was tough, and as you know, the pandemic changed a lot for her and others. They missed many things and time with their friends as they attended school remotely. My daughter was anxious that they might not have their usual prom or graduation, but God is truly amazing.

As I watched not just my daughter but all those young people walk across the stage to collect their certificates while beaming with so much happiness and hope for the future, tears gathered in my eyes. While I am excited to see so many young people positively moving onto the next phase, the prospects that await them, on the one hand, fill my soul. Still, I am petrified of those uncertainties that are not so favorable and can cause devastating results. In my heart, I asked God to guide and protect them everywhere that they may go. I asked him to reveal himself to them because many do not know who he is or do not acknowledge that he is the source of their lives. Consequently, they are left open to the wills of the evil one who has been waiting all this time for the right opportunity to destroy their hope, dreams, and lives. Yet, the hope inside of me burns deeper, and I know they will be an asset to this world.

Teenagers, I know that you may begin to feel grown and capable of making the best decision for yourselves. Listen and heed the wisdom of those who have been there already and desire the best for you. You will need them, and being an adult does not mean that you no longer listen to or accepts the guidance of others. The bible tells us that “the way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

May each of you take the time to encourage, support, and help the younger ones around you that you know. While they are now adults, they still require much guidance and experience from us to make it.

So to all graduates, and specifically my beloved daughter Aliyah, congratulation. Put God first and be excellent in all that you do.

SHE DID IT!!! HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION 2022

Five Reasons Why You Should Eat Mulberries

Whenever I think of mulberries, the nursery rhymes “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” and “All Around the Mulberry Bush” comes to mind,” comes to mind. The lyrics are also pretty catchy; I will post the videos at the end just in case you are unfamiliar with it.

How I learned about Mulberries

Several years ago, I was on a bus in the Bronx when I noticed a lady of Asian descent under a tree picking, eating, and filling a bag with whatever was on the tree. After seeing the same lady on several occasions, I became inquisitive, so one day, I walked over to the very spot and noticed a large tree loaded with small fruits resembling blackberries but smaller. Of course, I did not dare try it at the time. Fast forward three years later, I was now living in Brooklyn when I visited a friend, and right across the street was another lady of Asian descent picking from a nearby tree. After she left, I walked over to the tree, which was the same-looking fruit. Though I was 30-plus weeks pregnant then, I decided to try it, and to my amazement, it tasted sweet and delicious. I then checked and discovered that wild fruits are edible and very nutritious, so I started picking and eating them whenever I passed a tree. A word of caution, though, not all wild fruits are edible, so exercise care. Nevertheless, I called them wild blackberries, shared my knowledge with those who would listen, and even encouraged them to try it. Interestingly, after posting about them on my Instagram, I only recently learned it is called Mulberry.

Why Eat Mulberries?

  1. Helps Sweet tooth

Mulberries are wild berries with a wonderfully sweet flavor. They also serve as a beautiful snack, sweet enough to replace treats loaded with added sugars. In addition, they contain lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which provide numerous health benefits. 

2. Healthy Heart

A diet rich in mulberries may limit cholesterol, reducing the potential for atherosclerosis when an unhealthy amount of plaque builds up on artery walls.

3. Brain Health

Mulberries contain high levels of flavonoids. These compounds may hold significant benefits for long-term brain health, such as reducing the likelihood of e cognitive decline, which may lead to mental diseases and disorders. 

4. Promotes Eye Health

Mulberries are high in vitamin C. A diet rich in vitamin C can limit the risk of developing several types of cancer. Also, vitamin C helps produce collagen, which provides the structure for many body parts, including skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Therefore, adequate intake of vitamin C is critical for bone health. One cup of mulberries is said to contain 51 milligrams of Vitamin C.

5. May Prevent Chronic Disease

Mulberries are also rich in phenolic acids, which can play a role in cancer prevention and diabetes management. 

So next time you are in the park or otherwise out in nature, try this delicious and healthy fruit after verifying that it is mulberry.

Five Reasons Why You Should Eat Mulberries
Here we go round the Mulberry Bush.
All around the Mulberry bush or Pop Goes the Weasel

My First Born Is Almost An Adult/PROM

For that matter, motherhood and being a parent is such a humbling and fulfilling experience. I had my daughter in my early twenties, and while she came as a surprise, I quickly made light of my new reality and slowly eased into my role as a mother. After all, she was on her way whether I was ready to be a mom or not.

My daughter Aliyah is dear to me, and I love her. She has always been pleasant, intelligent, and friendly as a child. She was a great joy and would put a smile on everyone who came in contact with her. Today, she is grown, a senior, and in a few weeks, she will be a high school graduate. But, interestingly, her personality has not changed much, and I love how easy she takes life and is not in a hurry to take on adult matters that do not concern her.

Apart from a few lazy moments related to chores, she has made parenthood a walk in the park for me, and I am thankful to God for her.

Where did the time go? My baby is now a young woman, and I am by no means ready to see my little girl become an adult. Heaven’s know that I want to bask a bit longer in the beauty and purity of her being a child. But growing up is inevitable, and there is nothing that I can do about that. However, knowing what she may have to face in this unpredictable world scares me sometimes, especially since I can no longer hold her under my wings or protect her from certain places, people, and things that will cross her pathway. She will have to apply the skills we have taught her over the years to navigate this world and make the best decisions.

This moment in our lives is equally joyful and painful at the same. However, the best feeling for me is seeing my daughter prosper and blossom into a beautiful, intelligent, and confident young woman. Slowly, I am learning to loosen my grip and release her into the Lord’s care, and I pray that she will achieve all that she desires for her life.

She looked stunning for her prom, and I was elated that she had the best time. Here is a short clip of her.

The making of a Queen. Prom 2022

Graduation will follow, and I will share that here.

-Blessings.

My First Born Is Almost An Adult/PROM

Top Five Benefits of Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is essential not just for adults but for children as well. I often notice a parent taking steps to change the way they eat but continue to feed their children unhealthy foods. Good nutrition is necessary for current and future generations, young and old. So why not make it a family goal? There are many benefits of good food, but my top five would be:

  1. Long and healthy life – Research shows that eating a rich, nutritious diet will extend your life, keep you looking younger, and live better.
  2. Reduces or prevents disease – A diet rich in healthy foods will reduce your risk of having or preventing various lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
  3. Healthier children/family – When children’s health becomes a top priority, and parents make every effort to feed them nutritious and healthy meals, they are less likely to become sick, perform better, and ultimately become healthier adults. Health-conscious adults will then raise healthy children, thus forming healthier families.
  4. Mental Clarity – When you eat and drink healthy foods, your body will detox naturally, and you will see and analyze things more transparently, thus making better decisions.
  5. Self-Esteem – A nutritious and healthy diet will undoubtedly boost your confidence. Knowing that you look good and feel good inside and out will take your confidence to the next level. You will be more willing to do the things you always want to do without reservation.

Good nutrition is a great way to improve your life and your family. So be sure to add some nutritious and wholesome options to your table each day.

Be well.

Top Five Benefits of Good Nutrition

My Journey From A Animal-based Diet To Plant-based Part 2

The idea of change became realistic to me each day, and I began to contemplate how I could go about doing so. In my heart, I felt that I not only needed to change my diet and break free from the toxicity all around. There were people and situations that I did not want to entertain in my life anymore simply because they were not suitable for growth, development, or future, and certainly not what God had planned for my life. Change is especially challenging when you do not have the right influence around you to meet you where you are. So the idea of migrating came to my mind, and that thought became an intense desire and ultimately an action. 

My Journey From A Animal-based Diet To Plant-based Part 2

Coming to America

Even though I was scared of leaving everything behind and living pretty decent then, I just had to go! So I booked a flight and was already making plans before I left, primarily related to my daughter. Initially, my stay was supposed to be temporary and would only become permanent if certain things materialized within a given period. As soon as I landed, I began setting things in motion with the help of a few individuals. Things start to happen whenever you have a purpose and move toward that particular purpose in mind. I achieved my short-term goals within a few weeks and decided that the United States would now be my home.

 I knew that this was an excellent place to hit the reset button and take control of my life. I mean, what better time than now? After all, I was starting all over in a new country. Reading more became a considerable part of that change, and gradually I began to understand the importance of eating natural whole foods and vegetables. This was difficult because I hated most vegetables, but I was determined to make that change. I did not leap directly from a predominately meat-based diet. Still, each day, I began incorporating different vegetables into my diet and replacing junk food with healthier ones. It also really helped that I was working with someone who was into eating healthy and exercising. That motivated me a lot. My diet soon became mainly salad with chicken or tuna in a given week. If I ate rice, it was a very tiny portion; otherwise, I did not want it at all. I also changed my bread to whole grain and purchased those with the lowest calories. I was getting good at this, and even though I was not exercising regularly, I began to melt those extra pounds. I was back to where I wanted to be weight-wise within a short period.

Change is hard but possible. There first two pictures I took just before changing the bad habits that I had picked up. In the last picture, I was back to the old me and I loved it.

Since I was doing well, I decided that why not take this lifestyle journey to the next phase? I literally went cold turkey, dropped every meat or dairy product I was still eating, and embraced an entirely plant-based diet. I also removed whatever junk or unhealthy foods I had from my home…just like that, I tossed them in the garbage. Whenever those urges kicked in, I also had a plan to better manage how I eat my favorite not-so-good snacks. If I felt for chips or anything of the sort, my strategy was to buy it outside. And the leftovers go straight to the garbage. Otherwise, I ensure that I have someone to share with, mainly my daughter, to avoid overindulging.

Interestingly, I did not force my daughter into my new way of life. I was patient with her, and because I introduced her to the diet that she knew and was accustomed to, I wanted to take it as slow as possible and learn to appreciate the lifestyle on her own. While I no longer prepare certain meals at home, she was permitted to eat chicken, fish, and dairy products when we attended outside functions; otherwise, her diet was predominantly plant-based. I, however, restricted beef, pork, shrimp, and other kinds of seafood. A few years ago, she decided that she no longer wanted chicken and is currently a vegetarian.

It has been almost a decade since I went plant-based. Along the journey, I have had moments where I slackened up. I messed up big time!!!! When I was pregnant with my son, I could not eat anything that I was accustomed to eating and for a short period, I ate chicken, chicken feet, fish, and pizza. At the time, I was the only one eating plant-based in my home. Hubby was a vegetarian and a lover of pizza. So at that critical moment, I did not have the support to help me through my first plant-based pregnancy. Certainly did not help that my sister was there to prepare it, and she is a star of a cook. Luckily, I could catch myself as soon as I felt better and get right back on track. With my current pregnancy, the same thing happened. I could not eat plant-based, but I willed myself not to fall back into eating meat or its by-product not. This showed my growth, especially as it relates to control. 

I gained a lot of weight with my son. Yet I trusted the process and continued eating plant-based and exercising to get back to my comfort zone.

With each day, we gain momentum and better control of our lives and else. It is not about where or how you started, or even the many times you mess up. It is about small wins, progress, and never giving up on what you desire for your life. Our health is our wealth, and baby steps in the right direction far outways no attempt to make a change. So please, take control of your life; you are unique and valuable.

-Be blessed

My Journey From A Animal-based Diet To Plant-based Part 1

Have you ever heard someone say, “easier said than done”? This simple expression is so true, and I am a living testimony. It is so hard to do the right and good things for us in most instances, even though we tell ourselves that we will do it. I have always wanted to practice a healthier way of living, and for many years, I tried to do that with not much success. Whenever I got into that “it’s time to do it mode,” I would get pumped up and commence that journey. For a while, it felt good because I was doing it daily. Finally, I convinced myself that I got this, and I never looked back. But, unfortunately, no sooner did everything halt, and I was back to square one, basking into the same old, annoying dirty, unhealthful habits and practices. This goes for various situations in my life that we know need improvement, whether it be my attitude, my inability to forgive, my relationship with God, family, and friends, and this list could go on. Today, however, I am talking about the burning desire I had inside to live a healthier life and how I finally transitioned from eating a predominantly animal-based diet to a plant-based and became more physically active.

Many of us are aware of the importance of good health and have already begun to take steps to do better by making better choices. And I, for one, know first-hand how difficult this could be at times. It is even fair to admit that it is not easy to break habits after many years of doing things that were not so good for us because it has become so deeply rooted inside of us. Of course, some people would argue that it is “easier said than done but I like to tell myself that even though I struggle with something, there is no rule that I cannot and will not overcome it once I have patience, consistency, and perseverance. Yes, it may take time, but it is possible with the right mindset.

A little background into my life

I grew up in rural Jamaica, West Indies, in St.Thomas. The primary source of living for people in that community was farming which included growing our own foods and domestically rearing livestock. Both couples would work the land in many homes, and the women would take the produce to the market to sell. Whenever the children were old enough, they helped out on the farm. My parents had four girls, and I was the second child; I am sure my dad would have wanted a son to help him with specific tasks, but he accepted his blessings and made the best of it. Years later, my brother came along. So my sisters and I would assist with taking the goats out to the field in the mornings to feed and bringing them home just before sunset, especially when our dad had to be gone for the day. Even though my dad did not take us to the farm much, I loved accompanying him. I have helped with the farm by throwing the seeds into the holes as he plants and harvests. We carried water in buckets on head bottles in hand from the community standpipes many distances from our home, fed the chickens, and even prepared them for sale to local small businesses. Of course, house chores were a must as well. I enjoyed this at a very young age, but most of it was not as fun when I was in my teenage years. However, I absolutely loved planting and took pleasure in doing so.

Growing up, I was of a skinny frame, and I really disliked eating most vegetables. My appearance earned me a few nicknames like thread, thready, anancy, lack of flesh, want fat, needle eye, etc. Jamaicans are known for nicknames. As we say in my dialect, I may have been “mawga”(skinny), but I was strong, fit, and healthy. 

An old picture of me in my teenage years

By the time I was in my late teens, I knew that I wanted to take a healthier path, even though I did not fully understand that. I knew that I did not want to be sick, overweight, and unhealthy. I often expressed that I wanted to look well in my old age. Interestingly, being young at times caused me to think that it was not that pressing to change anything because I had plenty of time and appeared to be relatively healthy.

I grew up in rural Jamaica during those times, when there were not many fast food restaurants, supermarkets, etc., especially in the country areas. We ate primarily natural whole foods from the farms and domestically raised grass feed animals. My mom would send me to the butcher shop every week to get freshly slaughtered meat to buy, not like all these frozen meats today. However, basic stuff like rice, flour, cornmeal, canned food, etc., was purchased in bulk for our home whenever my mom went into town or the city. There were, however, a few small groceries or food shops, but we did not often visit because it was a long walk. In fact, I cannot remember eating cook food from any local shops in my community as a child; we ate homemade food which was freshly cooked every day. For breakfast, boiled yams, green bananas, breadfruit, steamed callaloo, cabbage, fish, liver, kidneys, ackee, saltfish, salt mackerel, egg sandwiches, etc. Dinner was rice and peas, plain rice, dumplings, chicken, beef, pork (rarely because my dad did not eat that), chicken backs, soups, yam, banana, sweet potatoes, and more. These were often combined to make our meals for the day. We were well fed, and if there were leftovers (ova-nite-food), that was our breakfast the following day. We also had an abundance of fruits which we ate throughout the day.

Occasionally, Mommy would treat us to a few snacks or buy us ice cream on Sundays from the ice cream man who rides around our community on a bike. Then, she fed us many cow’s milk which she purchased from a local company named serge Island by the case. Otherwise, we got milk from the cows or goats. Whenever mommy bought us Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), I loved our special treat. I was so excited. And when she finally took me to KFC in Kingston, Jamaica, forget it, I was psyched. Talk about “country come to town.” Everything in town looked so different and more excellent in my young mind. And that chicken, oh that KFC chicken, was finger-licking good.

I later became aware of the practices of the Rastafarian culture in my country. They believe in healthy living and eat ‘ital” food which we call vegan or vegetarian but predominantly natural whole foods. Initially, I thought that eating “ital” must have been bland and tasteless. It certainly did not help that I am from a culture that embraces various food flavors, so of course, my taste buds were already ‘bruk bad'(spoiled), so anything outside of that was unfathomable.

At 17 years old, I learned of Vegan/Vegetarianism through my Aunt, a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA). In the SDA faith, of which I am also, we embrace and promote healthy lifestyle practices, one of our doctrines. So while members alternately refer to themselves as vegan/vegetarians, we are more like health reformers. At this point, you maybe be thinking about what is the difference. While all these adjectives are acceptable to some extent, several practices and beliefs separate us from the mainstream vegan culture. (I will speak about this in a future post, God’s will). Okay, so I visited and spent some time with my SDA aunt, and that was when I became fully exposed to a plant-based lifestyle and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

My Aunt ate nothing from animals or its by-product. She ate whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lots of fruits and vegetables. , At that time, when she offered food to me, it tasted disgusting, especially the “vegetarian cheese.” I literally caught gas because I did not eat much of anything during my stay. I must add that plant-based/vegan/vegetarian foods/products have come a mighty long way. I also attended church with her on the Sabbath, which gave me a deeper insight into the world of healthy living and worship of God. I never felt more at home in my life, and that’s when I knew that I had found where I needed to be. I was sold out! Unfortunately, as I said before, change is a gradual process, and even though I knew what I wanted and tried to achieve that desire for a while, it took years to get to where I am today.

As I became an adult, fast and junk food became a more significant part of my life, and I ate it more frequently than average. Then, I started working in the city and lived there for a few years. I had my own money and access to whatever fast food or snacks I felt for. Before I knew it, I bought food outside for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Over time, I began to suffer from heartburns, allergies, headaches, and my sinuses were affecting me real bad. My face broke out in pimples, and at one point, I swore that I had heart problems because of how sick I felt inside. On top of that, I started to gain weight, which made me most uncomfortable. Certainly did not help that most people complimented me more on my physical appearance when I felt most self-conscious about my weight gain.

I knew that I needed to take back control of my life, and for a few years, I struggled with getting back to eating healthier homemade food and shedding the few pounds that I had gained. I thought that if I started going to the gym more, it would be fine, but I was very inconsistent with it, and I still ate way too much outside instead of preparing healthier meals at home. And those meals prepared at home were white rice, flour, fried food, and way too much meat, cheese, milk, etc…homemade but still not so good for me. Looking back, I really did not know better, and I did not understand the whole aspect of eating well and what implications awaited me if I did not get it together.

To be continued…..

My Journey From A Animal-based Diet To Plant-based Part 1

This pic was taken in July of 2011.

What’s Bumping??? 25 Weeks Pregnant and Counting

I am so happy with the way my pregnancy has been going lately. I am especially delighted that most of the awful pregnancy symptoms are long behind me, and now I can enjoy this journey. My family and I are anxiously looking forward to the birth of the newest member of our family, and they are very supportive.

 I still have a lot of backed-up tasks to catch up to, but daily I have been making strides. I am also proud that I have been able to get back to blogging and have been consistent.

So here I am, 25 weeks pregnant, and Baby C is already kicking up a storm. Since my last post, I have done my anatomy scan, and I am pleased and most thankful to God that everything is looking well. I am enjoying this stage of my pregnancy which, to me, is most beautiful. The physical changes that have already taken place and continue to occur are just mind-blowing. Unlike my other two previous pregnancies, I am more in tune with my body to recognize the smallest of things. My significant cringe moments occur whenever I look at my abdomen and see my core disappearing, and in its stead is a considerable bump. I had worked hard to get where I was fitness-wise, but a tremendous blessing is temporarily occupying that space, which is fine. Being pregnant seems more of a reality to my kids,, especially my toddler son, who now looks at me on some days and says, “mommy, your tummy looks like a watermelon. Physically, I seemed to carry my bump real well and find its shape cute.

What’s Bumping???                             25 Weeks Pregnant and Counting

My little one currently favors resting low in my abdomen, which is most uncomfortable when I sit or whenever he or she is moving. Sleeping is a task,, especially at night; I have not slept in my bed twice since being pregnant. Instead, the sofa has become my comfortable place for sleeping, and I can only do so in a fowler position or completely upright. I also have frequent back pains, which get worst if I do too much of anything.

Unfortunately, since my Anatomy scan in April, I have not returned to my usual OBGYN for my monthly pre-natal check-up because my health insurance has changed, and that practice does not accept the new one. In addition, my OBGYN is incredible, so I am not a happy camper in this regard. Hopefully, I will find someone else with whom I will be comfortable soon. Besides, I cant wait to see what my little one is really up to on the inside.

How I am feeling this week:

A bit tired and breathless – On some days, I am like an energizer bunny, just going and going, while on other days, I feel like I have been running a marathon, especially when I go up and down the stairs or carry my toddler.

Absent-minded – Oh how I struggle with remembering things. I constantly have to reset several of my passwords, and I had to change the pin for my bank card because I could not remember it no matter how hard I tried. I even grab the wrong towel when showering and only notice when I needed to get out. Asking my toddler to fetch the right one for me is becoming annoying, and he tells me that I have a “big head and a tiny brain because I cannot remember anything.” Pregnancy brain is real.

Clumsy – I cannot measure the distance between the stove and my stomach well and will get an occasional burn to my tummy or I will feel the direct heat from the stove which is my cue to step back. I bump into or trip over things as well.

Excited – Hubby found the cutest vintage wooden cradle, and I cannot wait for us to start refurbishing it. I will most definitely talk about that in a separate blog. We are also doing work in our bedroom preparing for our new baby. Hubby, by the way, his name is Ewart, is beyond excited about this pregnancy, and he wants it to be a girl. As for me, I have no preference but to pray for a healthy, beautiful baby girl or boy. I am also curious about seeing how my son will relate to the new baby; he loves the bump, frequently speaks to the baby, and gives endless kisses. My daughter is the most easy-going teenager ever, and she wants a sister. If we had a baby girl who is anything like her big sister, I would be elated because I know our journey will be amicable. Having two small kids to care for as a mom at the same time will be a first for me as my daughter and son are 13 years apart. I have tasted what it is like to be pregnant and have a young child, and it is not always easy. However, I am ready for the thrills, spills, and quarrels.

What else am I up to at my 25 weeks mark:

Gardening

I have been working on my deck garden to make it ready with delicious fruits and vegetables for the summer. I currently have grapes, strawberries, potatoes, herbs, and raspberries growing. I have also planted corn, cucumber, okra, watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Along with several of our neighbors, my husband and I are currently planting a small garden. I am thrilled to show them that growing our foods is not such a bad idea. I have been trying to get them on board for a few years, and I hope that this garden will turn out well and that next year, everyone will start their garden in their backyard space and work on our group garden—the more, the merrier.

What I am mostly eating

Currently, I enjoy eating mangoes, grapes, strawberries, and pineapples the most. I also love to drink smoothies and ensure that I add sea moss which is said to have great nutritional benefits, like minerals. I also like to eat Chipotle and Taco Bell, and yes, they customize it to make it plant-based. 

I am not a fan of anything sweet and just recently started having a little ice cream or frozen yogurt now and then. However, a slight saltiness does well for my tastebuds. I do not care much for junk food, but lately, I eat onion rings. I’m not too fond of the taste of most beans except red beans.

I try to stay on the go (active)

I am currently walking and exercising to keep active. Although, to be honest, I have been taking it easy getting back into the jest of things. So if I do not feel well on a given day, I do not force myself. Mentally, I am also trying very hard to get back into spending more time with God and less time on social media and other things that tends to distract me.

Overall, things are going well, and I am most content and thankful to God because, without Him, there would have been no me, my family, my new baby, or you all.

The next pregnancy update will be the gender reveal, so please stay or get connected so as not miss it.

-May God continue to bless you and your family.

LIMIT OR KEEP JUNK FOODS OUT OF YOUR HOME!

People interested in leading a better lifestyle often struggle with how to go about doing so. And if you have ever been on a healthy journey, you know that it is not always fun and exciting. It can be hard when trying to break no good habits after practicing them for so long. So it is best to detoxify before moving toward this new phase as it cleanses and prepares the body for something different and better. People often ask what the best way to detoxify is, and if you did like me when I just started my journey and plugged this question into a search engine, the large number of solutions that popped up would make your head spin and leave you confused. There is just way too much that you may not know what is best for you. There are intermittent fasting, coffee enemas, cleansing programs, teas, and even pills that you can take, and mind you, nothing is wrong with this as some of these ideas, certainly not all, can be helpful.

However, the best way to detoxify, cleanse and rejuvenate your system is to refrain from putting toxins in your body! And the place to start is by looking at what you are eating. Unfortunately, we live in a time when so many obesity-causing, disease-causing foods loaded with chemical additives are available to us. What is most interesting is that everyone promises to be safe and healthy for us. Some go as far as to tell us that we will be okay with proper balance without even doing the necessary testing, and of course, we buy into this scam. Before we know it, we are food addicts; some even develop a disease.

Let me be the first to say that I have a few processed foods that I love to eat, and cutting back or letting go was not easy. After starting my plant-based journey, I remember that I would fall into the temptation of eating a snicker bar around my menstrual cycle, and I also love to snack on Cheetos. So to excuse my habit, I called them my cheat food, and, for a while, it settled my guilt. After that, it took me some time to get over it, but I am so happy I did. But even today, I still enjoy chips or other junk food, but I am careful not to overdo it. I especially have to be mindful because even though I eat only plant-based junk food, junk is junk, and the result will be the same if I become excessive. 

One of the best ways to detoxify your body is to avoid as much as possible junk or processed food by not eating out too much and significantly limiting or stopping the habit of bringing it into your home. My home has never really stocked with lots of junk food, but I had several. So what I did was stop buying it altogether when I went food shopping. I did not want it in my house and I especially did not like it around my children, twenty-four-seven. A phrase says, “out of sight, out of mind,” this could not be more true because since adopting this principle of not bringing too much junk into my home, my family and I have been able to limit our consumption.

Your environment must reflect those things in your best interest, and this means the type of food in your home, so limit or keep junk foods out of your home. It makes your journey manageable and more possible because you are not constantly swimming against the tide. For example, whenever I feel the need to eat chips, and I do at times, I buy just enough for the moment. I also give specific snacks to my children as treats, which helps to take their minds off wanting to eat them every day, especially my daughter, who had become a bit more accustomed to eating junk food than my son.

So if you have been contemplating eating better or have already started a healthy lifestyle journey but have been struggling because you still have junk or too many processed foods around, begin to get rid of them slowly. When you finally do, please do not bring them back. If you are worried about your kids, there is no need; they will gradually adapt to the new environment. When they see you eating healthy, they will be motivated to do the same.

LIMIT OR KEEP JUNK FOODS OUT OF YOUR HOME!