Health is Wealth

I think everyone has heard the term Health is Wealth. Have you thought about what that actually means? Or maybe I should ask, what does it mean to you. To me it means that being healthy is priceless.

As one ages, the issues of health and healthy habits become more of a priority. The things that you used to do in your 20’s differ in your 30’s, and the things you used to do in your 30’s change in your 40’s. I can remember in my 20’s being able to eat whatever I wanted without thinking twice. Now, I have to think long and hard before a spicy meal because…acid reflux.

Growing up, sickness and disease is something you associated with old folk. Diabetes or “dia-beat-us” as my granny used to call it was not something I thought about until my diagnosis in 2012. That was the year my view of health began to change.

Then there’s the issue of things that impact our health. Things we can control, and things we can’t. Environment, medications, food, stress, and genetics. Let’s Talk about meditation for a moment…whew. If you watch television then you know the number of commercials advertising “new” medications to manage “this problem” and “that problem “. When considering medications do you research? How many of you read the leaflets that come with medication? Or do you just throw them away? Or are you more of a take the holistic approach? Some of these medications today are like poison!

Commercials today sound something like this…

“Are you having a hard time managing your blood sugars with just ______? Now you can take _____ just once a week to get your A1C under 7.” Warning: this medication may cause heart failure, liver damage, kidney failure, night sweats, suicidal thoughts, uncontrollable flatulence, and chronic diarrhea. Ummm no thanks!

Food and diet. The saying is definitely true, you are what you eat. There is so much garbage put into the things we eat that nothing is safe! Hell, you can’t even eat lettuce these days without the possibility of dying or becoming violently ill. Lettuce and spinach out here killing folks like the plague! Vegetables and fruits sprayed with pesticides that kill bugs, yet humans consume them…apples so shiny they look like they’ve been rubbed with Vaseline. Then there’s organic, which I try to buy whenever I shop, but hell how do we even know it’s really organic? Bottom line, everything in moderation. Reduce salt and omit unnecessary sugar when possible. Fact is, we need to eat to survive. Learn how to read labels. Understand the different fats. Sugars, sugar substitutes. When I was diagnosed as Type 2 in 2012, I immediately became a label whore 🤷🏽‍♀️.

Genetics also play a huge role in our health. The more you know, the better chance you have at being proactive instead of reactive. I know and knew that predisposed to diabetes, but it got it me! Fact is, I could have done a better job at prevention, but I didn’t. Now I’m in the managing stage. I also know that there is a risk for high blood pressure and Alzheimers. With theses things I can do my part, which will aid in prevention. Always remember, proactive is better than reactive.

As a black woman, I know that we as black people have a tendency to avoid the doctor, especially black men! Reoccurring heartburn doesn’t always mean taking “soda” aka baking soda. Sometimes it’s a warning of something more serious, like heart issues. BC powder is not a cure all, and neither is castor oil. As times change, so must we.

The more you know. A few helpful tips.

• It is recommended that women start getting Pap Smears at the age of 21 every 2-3 years until the age of 65. This is standard practice unless there are health issues or concerns. They may be recommended at an earlier age and more frequently for women who are sexually active.

• A healthy individual should see the dentist every 6 months. Oral health is super important!

• Men: Prostate exams should begin at age 50 unless there is a risk factor involved. I read that age 40 is recommended for African American men, who have a higher risk factor of prostate cancer.

• First mammogram for women should happen around age 40 if there are no risk factors including a first-degree relative meaning mom, dad sister etc…They should be done annually. Early detection is key in diagnosis!

• It is recommended that individuals get their first colonoscopy at age 50 or sooner if there is a first-degree relative meaning mom, sister etc…who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer before age 60.

These are just a few facts gathered from the internet and personal experience. Pay attention to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, look right, or smell right, get it checked out. Ask questions! Don’t go into the doctors office afraid to speak up! Yes, it can be embarrassing, but remember, the doctor can’t treat what you don’t tell them about. And be persistent if they don’t do what you ask. In that moment, they work for you. If you aren’t satisfied, request a new doctor or a second opinion. If you can’t afford health insurance, check out state offered assistance where you live. You only get one body. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.

Until next time…💛

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Top 5 Fall Favorites of 2018

1. Ginger loaf from Starbucks. This is one of their seasonal offerings every Fall and holiday season! It’s moist, delicious, and taste just like grandma made it!

2. Cozy Sweaters & Boots. I am obsessed with cute cozy sweaters and who can resist a comfortable pair of boots or booties? I know I can’t! Although the current 80 plus degree weather here in the Bay Area won’t allow me to be great! So they will have to wait. Recent purchases below. Ginger loaf from Starbucks.

(Forever 21)

(H&M)

3. My Dutch Oven! Soups & Stews scream fall to me! I love all kinds of soup but my favorite is loaded potato soup. Creamy potato soup topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream, and chives 😋. Below you’ll find the link to my favorite recipe and a pic of the Dutch oven I use.

https://lifemadesimplebakes.com/2017/10/loaded-potato-soup/

4. Fireplace my favorite place to be on a cold night. Cuddled up in front the fireplace, fire burning, playing trouble with the kids…but again, I’m still waiting on Fall because Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.

5. Warm Soft Pajamas. My current obsession, Walmart gowns. Yes y’all, Walmart, and they come with matching socks. They have a new line of sleepwear that is soft, warm, and economical. Disclaimer: if you experience night sweats, this isn’t the gown for you. Picture below.

What are some of your Fall Favorites? Share them in the comments.

Until next time…💛

Forgiveness

How could I possibly forgive if I’m still angry?

I was mad at my ex husband. Mad at my daughter’s father. Most important, I was mad at myself! I was mad at what I allowed. I was mad about the things I didn’t say. About the things I didn’t do. I wasn’t in the space to forgive. Holding on to anger and not forgiving in my mind kept me in control (such an illusion).

I used to say, “I don’t have to forgive, I ain’t Jesus”. How silly. Holding onto resentment festers in your spiritual and physical body like a disease. When we don’t forgive the person that has wronged us, our actions are fueled by hurt which prevents us from healing. In order to forgive and heal we have to release the hurt.

And newsflash, you may have to forgive without the apology you thought you deserved.

My most powerful act of forgiveness was forgiving myself. So often when we think forgiveness, we think external. We don’t think about all of the things we hold ourselves hostage to. I had come to terms with several things.

Making my children victims of divorce

Not completing college

Not returning to church

And that was my short list.

Forgiving doesn’t mean you’re weak.

I used to hear people say that forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it’s for you. Truth be told, I didn’t understand what that meant until I realized that it frees YOU!

Yesterday I had a very “interesting” encounter with my daughter’s father. The pre-forgiveness Jazmine would have responded with a much harsher tongue. My response would have been laced with anger. Forgiveness allowed me to respond from a place of peace and contentment and see things from a different perspective.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive peace untold peace and happiness. “ ~ Robert Muller

Until next time…💛

Tasty Thursday #10

On the menu tonight….shredded teriyaki chicken over jasmine rice. Tonight’s recipe is simple, easy, and delicious.

Weapon of choice…

If I had to rate this device on a scale of 1 to 10, slow cooker feature only, I’d give it a 3 and that’s being generous. I have my old tried and true that slow cooks everything to tender perfection, but this thing, save your coin and but the $19.99 special during the holidays.

Slow cooker tip: soups and stews in the slow cooker is a great way to incorporate vegetables that your kids will eat! Or you can just lie and tell them that if they eat them they’ll gain super powers 🤷🏽‍♀️

What you’ll need for this recipe…

Ingredients

6 large boneless skinless chicken breast

1 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2-3 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)

1/2 tsp of fresh grated ginger

2 bell peppers (I used one red and 1 yellow)

1 tbs sriracha

Minute brand Jasmine Rice (Microwave friendly)

Directions

• Place raw chicken breast in slow cooker

• Combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and sriracha

• Whisk until combined then pour over chicken

• Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours

• Once done, shred with 2 forks or tongs and serve over a bed of rice

My only gripe with this device, the chicken wasn’t as tender as I wanted it to be. With my dented tried and true, it would have been perfect, but I know for next time. I’m calling this a semi victory 😆.

Bon appetit 😋

Beating Procrastination

Procrastination – “the action of delaying or postponing something” Also known as a form of avoidance.

At one point in time, my name should have been Jazmine “Procrastination” Williams. I was the queen of procrastination. Test on Tuesday, cram on Monday. 10 page paper due on Friday, stay up until 1AM on Thursday. Project due on 11/2, start on 11/1. You see where I’m going with this.

Procrastination is how I dealt with things I didn’t want to confront. Things like…

👉🏾 Debt

👉🏾 Toxic relationships

👉🏾 Showing up on time

👉🏾 Saying no

👉🏾 Bad Credit

Procrastination makes a small problem a big problem.

Beating procrastination takes self discipline and commitment. It also takes focus.

Things I did/do to beat it:

✔️ Checklist

✔️ Calendar reminders

✔️ Changing my thoughts (mind over matter. The mind is a powerful tool that controls your level of procrastination)

✔️ Confronting problems (Huge for me) Ignoring them won’t make them go away

✔️ Accountability partners (sometimes you need help, and that’s okay)

I still deal with procrastination and I believe everyone does on some level, but using the tips I provided will help to change the behavior.

How do you beat procrastination? Share some tips in the comments. Let’s beat it together!

“The best way to get something done is to begin.” ~ Unknown

Until next time…💛

What you see, is what you get

I’ve always taken pride in being a solid individual. A solid friend. A solid partner. A solid daughter. A solid sibling. A solid parent. I almost used “real”, but it’s a term used so loosely these days that it’s lost a bit of its je ne sais quoi.

There is so much pretending these days that it’s almost impossible to separate the real from the fake. How many people do you know act one way in one setting but are completely different in another? And you’re like, “sis/bro is that you?”

I used to adjust, and at times suppress the things I loved about myself to fit in. To gain access into the “in” crowd. Please hear me, if at anytime you have to change, adjust, or alter who you are to gain a “seat at the table”, sis, that ain’t your table! The day I stopped trying to change my quirks and the things that made me ME, was the day things began to change. Doors began to open. Opportunities presented themselves.

My unique blueprint looks something like this...I’m very strong willed with a hint of stubborn. I speak fluent sarcasm and don’t mind telling you exactly how I feel. I’m sensitive and passionate about things that matter. I love being black. I love being a woman. I love being a mother. I love being a committed partner. I don’t follow trends, nor do I follow crowds. I have a unique fashion sense, if I like it, I wear it. I’m frugal. I love my grey hair and I don’t dye it, and it’s not because I’m allergic. I’m awkward. I’m an introverted extrovert. I am organized chaos. I’m strong and sometimes I’m weak. I cuss, a lot. I’m somewhat of a freak, depending on the day of the week. I hold grudges (fight me). If it doesn’t interest me, I lose focus. I wear my hair natural because I want to and I love it. I don’t shave during the winter (it keeps me warm). I like sugar in my grits (fight me).

The day we accept individuals for who they are, without judgement is the day we open ourselves up to a whole new world. When it comes to Jazmine, what you see, is what you get!

Until next time…💛

Tasty Thursday #9

On tonight’s episode of Tasty Thursday….it was a fail! I had a taste for peach cobbler so why not make one. My work day was a bit longer than usual and I got a late start on dinner. I initially had plans on using a different recipe I’d done in the beginning of the week, but life happens.

I had two pre-made deep dish pie crusts. Yeah yeah yeah I know it’s not the peach cobbler homemade crust but by this time I was aiming for peach pie. I had abandoned the peach cobbler idea all together. I had 4 large peaches that I picked up from the farmers market at my job yesterday. They were beautiful and slightly firm. I also know, most peach cobblers use jarred peaches, but I was trying to make this diabetic friendly and avoid a coma.

I noticed when I was peeling the peaches that something was different. They had no smell…odd I thought. So ate a piece and I’ll be damned, they had no taste either. It appeared that they had been previously frozen, but I didn’t care I still wanted it. I sliced them up, threw them in the bowl and started adding flavor. I threw in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, a splash of vanilla, needed some acidity (only had a lime), threw that in too. Threw it in the pie crust. Cut up the second crust and made a lattice. Baked it at 375 until it was golden brown. It smelled amazing!

I pulled it from the stove and it was beautiful (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) See below…

I even added cinnamon/sugar on the top.

Before I continue…I made what I call hood tacos for dinner. Ground beef, taco seasoning, crunchy shells, cheese, sour cream, the end. I made the kids my version of Taco Bell’s Mexi-melts and they devoured them. They even asked for more. I made a few more, then made my tacos. I bit into the first one and thought hmmm, something is off (but I ate the entire thing). Started eating the second one and I definitely knew something was off! The damn cheese tasted musty! The doggone cheese was spoiled. I asked the boys did their food tasted off…verbatim “yes, it did” ….I said, “and y’all ate it anyway?” They responded in unison, “yes”. I threw away the tacos I had left because now it was ruined.

But guess who had a peach pie? 🙋🏽‍♀️. I cut into it and put it on my plate. It even had the juice like my daddy’s peach cobbler. I sat down, tasted it, and it tasted like shit! Y’all I was so mad! 1) I ate old ass cheese and 2) nasty ass pie. As I’m typing this I’m hella hungry and now afraid I’m gonna have bubble guts shortly.

Not every Tasty Thursday will be a good one and I’ll be sharing the good and the bad. Tonight I’m taking my L like a champ!

Until next time…💛

Parenting in 2018

Parenting today looks much different from what I experienced growing up. My parents are part of the old school generation. They mirrored what they experienced, while unconsciously repeating patterns.

Parents of yesteryear lived by the “spare the rod spoil the child” philosophy. They also lived by the do as I say, not as I do teaching. Not all, but a large majority. They parented with ego creating resentful children who vowed that they would never raise their children the same way, welcome to New Age Parenting. Just because it worked 50 years ago, doesn’t mean it will work today. The same way some of the old ways still work.

What makes parenting in 2018 different? Simple, the children. It seems as if children of today are born different. It’s as if they have different wiring. There are a few outside factors which I believe influence how parenting today has changed.

1. Too much access…to everything.

2. Two words, SOCIAL MEDIA!

Parenting today requires a different level of discipline and an expert level of overseeing. I’m not a spanker and never have been. Fact is, I’ve never had to, not even when the did unbelievable ish. Not bragging, but there are alternatives. Understand, whoopings don’t always work! Fact: whoopings made me sneaky and rebellious. I learned nothing from being whooped with a belt, other than learning how not to get caught doing wrong.

How I parent in 2018:

Respect ~ I respect my children. Yes parents, you can respect your children and still maintain authority. Choosing to respect you child’s opinions, space, thoughts, feelings and ideas don’t make you any less of a parent.

Follow the Leader~ when parenting I lead by example. I try to always model behavior I want to see them to follow. I don’t require of my children what I don’t do myself. For example; how can I be on them about keeping their room clean and I don’t keep mine clean? How can I demand communication from them but poorly communicate? This is where I differ from several other parents that I know and that’s okay. My kids, my choice.

Discipline ~ I’ve been told that I’m not a huge disciplinarian 🤷🏽‍♀️, however, what I choose works.

Being Real ~ no sugarcoating anything. I talk about everything from politics to sex to drugs to black history to religion. No topic is off limits.

Paying Close Attention ~ there are very few things I miss. I pay attention to words (both spoken and unspoken), looks, body language, sleep habits to name a few.

I Love hard ~ each and everyday iI tell my children I love them. I don’t just tell them, I show them. I hug them. I kiss them. I want them to not only know what love feels like, but what it looks like when it’s genuine.

How do you parent in 2018? What works and what doesn’t? I’d love to know.

Until next time…💛