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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mashed Cauliflower instead of Potatoes Recipe!

I love mashed potatoes, just like everything else that tastes good but isn't good for you. Oh blahhh...I will have my cake and eat it too except I will substitute Cauliflower for all that potato to be super healthy =)~

Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes


Ingredients

1 head of  cut cauliflower florets
3 large white sweet potato (See pic below)
3-4 tablespoons of butter (non hydrogenated for the health kick)
Salt to your taste
Seasoning Salt-to your taste
Chopped onions, carrots, or anything else you wanna add (optional)

Note:
If you're still not satisfied with the consistency, all is not lost. Add 1 cup of Hungry Jack mashed potato flakes.


When you're at the grocery store:

boniato = tropical sweet potato = Cuban sweet potato = white sweet potato = white-fleshed sweet potato = batiste = batata = batata dulce = camote





Steps: 
  1. Cut your cauliflower florets and sweet potatoes. 
  2. Add to pot with enough water to almost cover the cauliflower.
  3. Bring to a boil, and lower heat to simmer for 15 mins. 
  4. Check to see if it's soft enough to mash, if not leave for a few more mins. 
  5. Strain and use a potato masher to mash. I keep some of the water so I don't need to add milk. It's up to you. 
  6. Add butter, salt, and anything else you'd like. 

Enjoy!



Health Highlights

  • Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, on top of the cancer preventing foods list, protector of the Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular systems preventing, heart attacks, strokes, and against kidney failure. Cauliflower also contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and B9 (folic acid). It serves as a good source of proteins, phosphorus and potassium.
  • This recipe is: 
    • Low carb 
    • Low sodium 
    • Low fat 
    • High fiber 
    • Vegan 
    • Dairy free (use your own dairy free butter substitute) 



Hasta Mañana!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Spirit was Killed this Weekend.

Time Management... ughh I hate the sound of that shit already. I remember taking a class called student success in college, a really good class for all freshmen that covered topics like time management. It's been almost 9 years since that class and even though I took a lot of things from that class, I didn't necessarily practice them, until recently. I'm forced into things that mess up all my fun of spontaneity. Having kids makes you grow up, maybe not so much with my first child, but more so with the second. I feel like the glory days are over haha... No, no, no!!! They're not over, they are POSTPONED...yes, that makes me feel so much better. I've been staying up for hours upon hours, blogging, dancing to my music, singing, all the things that keeps me youthful...until I crashed on Thursday night after cooking my lo mein.

"85% of people use music to escape negative things in their life."

I literally crashed. I couldn't move, my body ached, my throat was sore, my heart was racing, my eyes couldn't be kept open, I left my kids with my husband as soon as he came in the door and went to bed. When he came to check on me I had a 101 fever. Fuck...I must be coming down with the flu. After some food and uninterrupted rest for 10 hours, I woke up fresh, like nothing happened to me. I googled to see if maybe I had strep throat, nope, just exhaustion. I was burnt out. My close friends joke about my googling, but I don't care. Fuck it. As the saying goes...

"You can never be overdressed or over-educated." 

I love to be dressed up, even if I'm overdressed at an occasion. Education is my passion and seeing chronic fatigue syndrome online and how sleep deprivation causes heart disease, really opened my eyes. I make all this effort to be healthy, I eat all the right things, watch my weight like a hawk, eat my bad treats I like in moderation, keep up on all health news, and I try to get back on exercise despite all the times I fall off the wagon, yet sleep had been my ultimate downfall. That night I really felt sick and I never wanna feel like that again. It sucked because this meant not only do I need to get to bed at a reasonable time, but I have to sacrifice the part of me that feels exhilarated staying up late like I don't have a damn care in the world. At that moment I cursed my family. LOL. Yea.. I bet some people reading this are like "what the fuck does you're family have to do with this? This is on you, bitch!" LOL well, my family alwaysss made it their business to tell me shit I didn't wanna hear, from my mom, my aunts, and my cousins way back in the day when I was working on my goals like getting married. Bullshit like "Oh you know Michelle, you put on some weight there....Really? I couldn't tell when my ass was standing in front the mirror before I came here, and my clothes felt tight. "You know what you must try?...Michelle just focus on your school and getting a good job". Nobody was saying; "look come over here and see how much of my identity I've lost being a SAHM, Michelle you're going to have to go to bed early, it's not easy, Michelle this is the end of all your fun!" 

So yea that was the realization, that I can't have my pie and eat it too again. Anyone who knows me, knows this very well about me, I want it ALL and I won't stop until I can get near it all. I want the kids and the MILF body. I want the well behaved children without raising my voice, I want to be healthy and toned without the exercise, I want to stay up all night, and sleep for 12 hours at a time. I'm no longer single and childless, and it's finally dawned on me 5 years later. I have no choice but to adapt and move on. Bitching about it didn't change anything. I hate change in fact.

So I am getting to bed early from now on, maybe it'll last, maybe it won't but I have to try. My mom always said;

"It's better to try and fail, than fail to try."

So far tonight I was able to enjoy 3 hours of my alone time with my music and hanging out, I don't know if I am content/satisfied yet. I always want more, but I'm determined to find my balance. Goodnight, I bid you farewell.


"The modern world is personal; people want to know intimate things" -Nigella Lawson 

Hasta Mañana!

West Indian Vegetable Lo Mein Recipe

On Thursdays we stick to a vegetarian diet. This past Thursday I wanted to make something like Spinach and  Roti (a west indian kind of flatbread) and I didn't have the energy so I decided to make a Lo Mein instead. This takes about 20 minutes at most.

Now the difference in a chow mein vs. a lo mein is the noodle size and the consistency. If the noodles are wet instead of dry the taste will be significantly different, even if the ingredients don't vary as much. I didn't fry the noodles after I cooked them either, giving it a different consistency. I use the same recipe when I make a chow mein, but I fry it up in the end. So again, like in most of my recipes, the choice is yours. Great flavor is in the air either way. Feel free to add 1/2 a lb. of meat if you'd like, it definitely tastes even better.


Vegetable Lo Mein Recipe


Ingredients

1 pk (16oz.) west indian style chow mein/lo mein
1 large red bell pepper
1 bunch of broccoli cut
1 small  red onion or 1/2 large
shredded carrots
7 soy sauce packets
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Adobo seasoning salt (I just sprinkle fast going around 3 times). Go easy on this, add a few dashes, and add more later if needed.
1/2-3/4 tbs. ground Allspice (not everyone likes a lot of this spice it's strong, try 1/2 tbs first)
2 tbs. brown sugar
3 tbs butter (non-hydrogenated for the health kick)
2 tbs. oil
3 tbs. west indian chow mein sauce (optional)


I save these soy sauce packets from Chinese food take-out orders =)








                                                             Optional sauce:




I like this brand, you can choose your favorite kind. 















Steps:

1) Dice onions, chop bell peppers, broccoli.
2) Put your pot of water to boil. When the water starts boiling, add noodles and put on your timer. Read the package it should say boil for about 10-11 mins. I watch the the time because it's important, and strain noodles right away when the timer goes off while running the cold water.


3) While your noodles are boiling fry your onions, broccoli, red peppers, carrots in oil, and add all the ingredients EXCEPT the butter on high heat...I usually fry it until it's cooked but not until veggies get soggy, so stick to about 10-12 mins. then take off the stove and remove from the heat.


4) Check to see if your noodles are properly drained. Remove from strainer into a wide pan/foil tray and add butter and spread apart. Let it cool for a few mins. I usually use this time to clean up/wash my strainer and pot.

5) Take your vegetable mixture and pour on top of the noodles, mix rapidly with 2 noodle spoons or with 2 large forks. Taste and add more Adobo to your taste.  


Voilà!


                        

Hope you and your family enjoys it! When West Indian people eat chow mein or lo mein, we must have the hottest pepper sauce available. If you feel a little adventurous skip the Tobasco sauce and get some fire blazing pepper sauce made of habanero/wiri wiri peppers from you're local Caribbean store.

It should look like this:




Hasta Mañana!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Next Best Thing to a Brazillian Wax: Review


Disclaimer: TMI (too much info) will be revealed below. If you are family get the hell off this blog before you read something that might give you nightmares  [lmao], or worse cause you to get verbally assaulted when you come asking me why would I write this stuff... If it's too late...well good for your ass that's what you get for being so damn nosy because I know I sure as hell didn't share it with you. This is my blog and anybody who doesn't like its' contents can f#ck off.




I don't know about any of you other SAHMs, but with such an exhausting day of endless cleaning, laundry and mentally draining kids I look forward to time with my hubby, time to get a little prune-y in the shower, time to pluck my eyebrows, and time to catch up on my shows, a book or online. With this long ass list of shit I wanna do every night it doesn't leave much time for sleep which I desperately need. One of my weekly chores is shaving. Many of you will agree what a task it is to shave all your parts, not to mention shaving your lady parts. Yes the  flower, vulva, coochie, pum pum, punany, vajayjay... Maybe you might not even shave/trim at all because you don't have a problem with hair and your man is okay with it too. Maybe you just forgot about that area's maintenance because you still have on the nail polish on your toes from two months ago even though it looks like they've been through a meat grinder. To each their own. Hey if you like it that way, then good for you and yes I do understand why some women don't take it ALL off completely due to the sexualization of pre-pubescent girls.

What I will say is that I'm very keen on my skin and hygiene, I'd rather it all be off. Every last grain, from front to back. I'm not generally hairy; no hair on my back side, stomach, boobs, and only fine grains on my arms. It's mainly on my legs, underarms, and well yes down south. If there's a lot going on in life, and really busy, believe me it's still groomed into a decent line or upside-down triangle and the rest gone. It's just that important to me. It feels so heavenly between the sheets with your man, especially when he's going downtown. (I don't know about anybody else, but who would wanna do sixty-nine with a rain forest in their face?).  Anyway, I could spend 2 hours easily in the bathroom, exfoliating, putting face masks on, examining my skin, even massaging oils like jojoba, oil, olive, coconut, or Vaseline into my skin. If I don't the texture gets very rough and my skin feels dry.

I'm very fond of hair removal...I love to wax my side burns, upper lip, and under arms.If you wanna learn how to wax yourself at home, leave a comment and I will let you know all the things I use. It's so cheap, once you buy everything. I tried bikini/brazillian and it was sooo horrible. Smooth but fricken insane. The pain is soo intense you feel like you might just rip the hair on your head out too. It's not feasible to spend all that money to get it done either. The next alternative is laser. One of my close friends has it. She says it's phenomenal, she got her other girlfriends to do it, and they all loved it too. I decided I wanted it too, until I no longer had the funds for it... So that opportunity is gone, it's quite expensive unless you just have a mortgage payment laying around to toss here and there.


So instead, I bought a shaver/trimmer recently and it's awesome!! Let me tell you first why I love it!

  • It was $21 with shipping at walmart.com. Of course that'd be my first point, I'm always cheap on myself, lol
  • There's a little pull out piece to trim longer hairs. 
  • It doesn't pull, pinch or hurt. 
  • It works really well for something I spent $20 bucks on. Your skin is nice and smooth in such little time and effort!
  • It's fully immersable, use with or without Shaving gel, in or out of the shower. 
  • It comes with a power charger. No spending money on batteries =)
  • I personally use the Venus Embrace razor afterwards to get in all the creased areas I might have missed. With this electric shaver, you don't use the razors as much, so pretty much save $ on your razor cartridges which are a pretty penny. 
  • It comes with the little brush for brushing off hairs on the shaver, and also a little breathable pouch for traveling. 
  • No irritation/bumps with regrowth! 
Panasonic ES2207P Close Curves Wet/Dry Ladies Shaver

If you don't believe me, check out the reviews for yourself on amazon.com. There's another model #2216 for $10 more, and it has some different features that didn't tickle my fancy. I went with this model because of the comparison in star rating to # of reviews and because I don't have time for any other features. I just wanna mow the lawn and get my freak on before the night's over.




"Emotion is messy, contradictory... and true. "
-Nigella Lawson
Hasta Mañana!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snack Idea: Zesty Guacamole Salad Recipe

Nutritious but with a punch: Cilantro. Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs to use  in dishes! On the contrary, some people may beg to differ and have either a love/hate relationship with it. The next set of recipes coming soon won't have anything to do with cilantro, so be patient if you hate cilantro. You can substitute the cilantro in this with  fresh parsley if you would like, it's up to you. Parsley is extremely healthy as well for its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory effects and for it's vitamin content.

Zesty Guacamole Salad (10 mins)


Ingredients

1 large ripe avocado diced small
1 large tomato diced small
1/2 red onion chopped finely
1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped finely
1 tsp salt
2-3 tablespoons of salsa (optional)

White Corn Chips

Steps:
  1. Chop your avocados, tomato, and onion small. Chop cilantro small too, I personally use scissors to cut the bunch. 
  2. Add all your ingredients together and mix well.  
  3. Eat with white corn chips and enjoy! 








10 Steps to Doing You

When I came to FL back in 2004 I hated this fucking place. I couldn't stand the perky ass Floridians who always felt the need to say "Hi, how are you?" They were so annoying and ready to come over with their ridiculous chatter as if you had been long time friends. In NY, if you looked at someone they were ready to ask you " What the fuck you looking at?!" I was pretty depressed; coming to FL with my family wasn't the problem. It was just too much of a culture shock. I never did well with change. Once my boyfriend got over here, and I learned to drive, and got to school it was a lot better, but still I had such a bad attitude about living here. I couldn't wait for the day when I would be able to move back.Even when I went to class, I couldn't stand being there. College wasn't anything like I imagined either. Remarkably though I made two friends both guys. Steven and Kevin...different classes but they were my buddies. Steven was a white island dude from Bermuda, he was sweet, funny as hell, but he liked to fuck around too much. Everyday we'd meet up for coffee to do our work together and never get anything done because he thought we could just sit outside by the lake and talk about bullshit and about our lives. Kevin was the opposite; he was a focused black guy trying to get his degree in gaming software. He called me "Dre" and we used to chat all the time, work on projects. Somehow lines got confused with both of these guys and now they were thinking they could ask me out and shit even though they knew I had a boyfriend. There both friendships ended, and I was; back to being depressed because I had no friends, until I got a job.

I never made any new friends after Steven and Kevin, until I saw a girl who I knew from H.S. and we were close since. Other than her and one more guy from my hometown (another day another time about him, it didn't end well with his ass either) I didn't make any other close friends in the next four years. I was so focused on how I'd make money back then so I could be on my own and pay my bills. I was taking 15-18 credits a semester, working part time at the college, taking the mortgage brokers course, while my boyfriend did the real estate broker course, so we could "make it" together. No surprise there that we didn't make it because the housing market took a steady dip that year. I worked as a nanny while waiting for my big break at the mortgage company at one point as well even though it didn't last long. My friend who I knew from NY used to say to me every afternoon as I was leaving to the mortgage company; "You're going to do big things boo!" I would laugh as usual, but now looking back, it feels like I didn't do shit. What was my goal back then other than to make money to live on my own...? Oh yea, I wanted to finish my BA in psychology, get married, and have babies. Well then in that case, I did what I wanted to do. The career was supposed to fit in there somewhere, but never figured itself out until recently when we started our own web and software company. Being a SAHM is not enough for me. There's more I want to accomplish,  because I need more personal satisfaction than just taking care of kids for the rest of my life, and I'm gonna get there. If you have someplace you're trying to go: 

  1. Get a notebook, like one dedicated to your self-discovery and jot down all your thoughts, ideas, passions, talents, strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Write down your goal.  For an examples in this list let's use: I want to become a nurse. 
  3. Ask yourself, is this realistic and specific? Yes...it's not like saying "I'm going to work with people".
  4. What is it going to take? People we have the fucking internet...use the goddamn thing, stop watching porn. Nobody's asking you to take a trip to the library and use encyclopedias. You can easily Google: "How to become a nurse" in your state. 
  5. Now that you know what it takes, make mini goals. Get your ass back on the internet, research what schools are around you, options you have for night/online classes, tuition and fees, and government funded help like financial aid. 
  6. ACT NOW! Make a deadline for this goal. A goal is just a dream without a deadline. Don't wait for doubt to cloud your judgment, get back on the freakin' computer and do an online application. 
  7. There, you completed 3 tasks from the chair you're sitting in. Now, make a commitment...you will not withdraw from classes for any reason, you will complete your classes doing the best you can. Again mini goals, ex. I will attend my classes, and study religiously. I will finish this paper due tomorrow. 
  8. Stop making excuses and blaming others for your shortcomings. You don't get to be jealous of others either if you're not getting off your ass to do something. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you as well. 
  9. If you fall off the wagon, get the fuck back on, you're this much closer to your goal! 
  10. Pray when it gets tough, pray for strength, and don't self-sabotage. Make better choices like choosing to stay in this weekend so you can do better on the upcoming exam on Monday. Do your best and God will handle the rest. 
Florida turned out to be a damn good thing for me, despite my bad attitude and bad start. It made me grow, it made me wise, and in the end I believe it made me stronger. Sure I could have kept bitching and complaining about how I hate it here, how I didn't have many friends, I didn't know how to drive etc. but instead I focused on the bigger picture. Times I felt like quitting school, and just becoming a bartender I stayed positive, because that wasn't what I wanted for myself. I never ever imagined being right where I am now, but I stuck with the plan. 
"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” -Joseph Campbell



Much love to Bibi, my college bestie <3

Hasta Mañana

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meal Idea + Recipe: Peruvian Cilantro Rice

I know I said I would share some meal ideas and recipes, but I never got to it. It's been so busy around here. I finally took the time to prepare something for you all.

Meal Idea: 

Baked Skinless Chicken Leg Quarters with Honey BBQ sauce
Fresh Avocado
Baked Sweet Potatoe (I do this with everything since it's 1 of my favorite superfoods!) 
Peruvian Cilantro Rice with Yellow Squash (you can use beans instead if you'd like it's up to you)


Peruvian Cilantro Rice (25 mins)

Ingredients 
1 bunch of  fresh cilantro (rinse before use) 
2.5 cups of white long grain rice washed 
parsley
1 tsp cumin 
1 tbs. salt 
1 onion chopped 
4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbs. oil (I only use coconut) 
 3-5 cups of water (you need enough water to cover the rice and bring to a boil, then some to add as it gets soft) 
2-3 small yellow squash chopped

Steps: 

  1. Add your oil, onions, garlic to your pan and fry on medium heat.
  2. While your onions are frying, blend your cilantro with a little water. It shouldn't take long. This is what it should look like. (You might have more or less it depends on the bunch.)
  3. Add your rice, sprinkle seasonings, salt, and cilantro puree
  4. Add water to cover rice, and bring to a boil on high heat (5 mins). Lower heat when it begins to stick to the pan and add a cup of water, stir, lower heat to low and cover pan. If rice looks like it might need a little more water to cook, then add it. It depends on the pan depth sometimes. 
  5. Simmer for 8 mins, add yellow squash. Cover for the remaining time. 

Enjoy! 




Health Highlights: 

  • Sweet potatoes: high in Vitamin-D & C, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium,  promotes collagen production for elasticity found in youthful skin, high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.
  • Avocado: Cancer protection, heart health, high MUFAs (monounsaturated fats for flatter bellies), high in vitamin E, lowers cholesterol, and good for eye health and lowering cholesterol. 
  • Cilantro: high in antioxidants, removes heavy metal buildup in the body, and very rich in manyvitamins, including folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene, and vitamin-C.
  • Yellow Squash: high in antioxidants for cancer protection, low calorie/low fat, vitamin/mineral rich like all veggies, helps prostate health for men with BPH.

Hope you all like it, feel free to leave questions or comments in the box below.  

Giving our Kids "The Best"

As usual I'm up late reading articles, tonight I saw an article suggesting that today we're going overboard in spending ridiculous amounts of money on our children on things that have nothing to do with necessity. Stated particularly were "$1,200 for gymnastics and dance, $5,000 on preschool, $144 on swim lessons"...etc. I honestly questioned my parenting. Wondering if I was a good mother for not enrolling my 3.5 year old in any type of lessons. I had to really ask myself some questions. Now let me be blunt, I don't give a fuck about "keeping up with the Jones" or whether everyone is doing it.

  • My sole question was, am I depriving our daughter from something crucial to her development? It became clear to me, that's absolutely not a concern. 
  • Is she a happy and loving child? Yes. 
  • Okay, is she just like any other independence seeking, random tantrum throwing 3 year old? From reading about her development on various forums I have to agree.
  • Was it that I really didn't want to spend the money? No, if I can justify it fine. I admit, I'm not frivolous with money, if it doesn't need to be spent especially on something so unnecessary as Gymboree, then fuck it, I'm not spending it. That's it. 
  • My next question was; What is my goal as a parent? Our goal as mothers and fathers is to raise children that can survive in the real world. Preparing them for the real world and molding them into human beings who contribute to the world is my goal. What's happening to humanity anyway?....
  • How do we prepare them for the world? Well with education of course...
  • Do I read to my child? Of course, education is where I put a lot of effort towards. 

I told myself "well there you go, why would dance, or Gymboree, or private school, or anything excessive be crucial to her development? She will go to school to be socialized, what other needs are being unmet?" I couldn't think of any... Somehow we rate our self worth as parents in whether we're able to give our children all the things we didn't have or wanted as children. Hell, I know my mom did too, she wanted to give us the world, and she damn well did, even though we never asked for it. My aunts used to tell her that she's giving us too much too, but even then at age 8, I knew that money didn't buy happiness. Happiness is just a point between two states of UN-happiness. The article explicitly states;

"Simply teaching kids the importance of hard work trumps even innate intelligence in predicting their success, according to Carol S. Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford and author of The Secrets to Raising Smart Children. Children who live in homes filled with books, regardless of the parents’ educational background or occupation, do much better in school, according to a 2010 study by researchers from the University of Nevada. “You can get a lot of bang for your book,” said author Mariah Evans, a sociologist. “It’s quite a good return on investment in a time of scarce resources.”

What parents don't realize in trying to give their kids the best, they forget about the basics. Kids need their thoughts and feelings validated. If parents succumb to material desires and  don't enrich children with love, affection and experiences that reassure them of their importance, children are likely to end up with low self esteem. We all have seen our kids go crazy for something they saw on TV, we go out of our way to get it for our child, and what ends up happening? They're excited for two minutes and a week later they want something else, or want what someone else has. What the hell? We're like that too as adults, we're always wanting more, we get what we want and by that time we want ten more things.

Our parents wanted to give us everything they didn't have but in turn they've overcompensated and our generation has become wrapped up in consumerism. Parent's aren't concerned with whether children are enjoying their childhood, having fun, playing, being silly, they're over-booked in activities, pushed to be competitive, and the focus is on keeping up with everyone else. I have a little confession to make: I like to buy things sometimes no matter how little it is...no surprise there because I like nice things, I desire beautiful things, and because of my upbringing, but to change it....how? I can't stop enjoying things like clothes and makeup, but at least I am in control. I'm aware of it. I' stay grounded and always ask myself is it necessary? Will it matter to me in 6 months?  I focus on leading by example, and stop questioning myself. I'm doing the best I can for my children, and stick to education. If they want to take up a hobby, or an extracurricular activity when they're older, then of course, that would definitely enrich their life through experiences, and by building self-confidence and an identity for themselves, but to start now while they're so young and blossoming makes no sense to me. Building relationships with our children is more important and reinforces my position as a SAHM. We may be home all the time, play with the kids, and sit on the couch a lot and watch movies with the kids on the weekend but quality vs. quantity is there.


If you ever get down on yourself about your child not being enrolled in all these camps, activities, classes, etc. check out the article, it's pretty amazing: Rich Baby Poor Baby; Why Overspending on Kids Is a Waste.

Instead invest in some books. Growing Books Boosts Child Education Attainment.

Read to them, play with them, be silly with them when you can, expose them to different types of music, sing and dance with them, listen, talk and laugh with them as much as possible, cook with them, and give and teach them respect, gratitude and religion if you believe in it. I know these are things I was particularly anxious to share with my parents growing up. One of my fondest memories are cooking side by side with my dad in the kitchen during a simpler time in life. Doing these things whenever I can, lights up the faces of my girls.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seasonal Foods & Guidelines to Good Health

In 2010 I read a book that changed my outlook on weight loss. I was still struggling with it, and still not sure about the best route to go toward my goals. I didn't lose massive amounts of weight but that year I lost about 12-15 lbs from the beginning of the year to the end. Not an impressive amount compared to my goal of 25 lbs. but it was great for me, because I saw results in my clothes, and inches mattered to me more than lbs.

I've been on many different weight loss plans before, and until I get serious enough to incorporate exercise into a strict routine which I don't have, only then will I get the ultimate goal I have in mind achieved. Lots of things work but don't necessary adhere to realistic lifestyles, which is why maintenance has always been my downfall. My focus became geared towards overall good health rather than just losing weight. Thin people suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even worse. Being thin essentially is about vanity, and while I'm vain in many ways, I've learned to love myself and appreciate the body I have. Becoming a mom has given me a whole different sense of appreciation over what I used to complain about. When I changed my diet, and started incorporating healthier habits like taking probiotics, flaxseed oil/fish oil, limitations of dairy, and meat, increasing fruits and vegetables, and staying on top of  my hydration, I noticed the struggle to keep the weight down or to lose a few lbs. was no longer impossible. My Dr said my results are excellent when I have my labs done annually. If I just got a trainer and someone to take care of my home and kids while I put more energy into eating right and exercising imagine the results I could achieve! Again, I'm human, I can only do so much, and I make mistakes along the way, like eating that piece of pie from Publix my husband sabotaged us with when he came home the other night! Ughhh...

However in my pursuit to live the healthiest and happiest life I can, I made it my duty to stick to these guidelines I learned from NY Times Best-Selling "The Fat Flush for Life" by Ann Louise Gittleman,  as a holistic approach to good health:

  • Eating seasonal foods based on Chinese medicine, works with your body's natural rythym to detox the liver, lymphatic system, and get rid of problems like bloating, gas, belly fat, and cellulite. The modern world today bombards our system with heavy metals and toxins, but nature made it simple for us to detox through seasonal foods. 


  • Our focus needs to be shifted to higher nutritional levels not counting calories and fat content. We should be more concerned with antioxidants, phytonutrients, probiotics, chlorophyll  soluble fiber, omega 3s and 9s, and amino acids. 
  • Make the cut to eliminate gum, soda, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, sugars, excess salt, processed/packaged food, coffee, alcohol. I do have some of these on occasion especially around the holidays, but I make a point not to on a regular basis because its at the top of the list for liver stressors, metabolism reducing, bloat and fat stimulating producers as they increase cortisol and insulin in the body. 

  • Massages are great for stimulating the lymphatic system to drain out fats and toxins excreted by the liver after it is metabolized. In my post about acidity and alkalinity, I spoke about the acid being dumped in different areas of the body in order to maintain a proper pH balance. By getting massages we're enhancing elimination, and the lymph-rich areas to massage are the arms, neck, face and chest. It's also a great stress buster. Common side effects of needing better elimination are headaches, sore muscles, fatigue, and pain. My husband had neck pains in the muscles and shoulders, headaches, and sore muscles he assumed was stress from work. In only 1 week of doing massages his sleep was rejuvenated and the complaints subsided. The massager below is a great tool for that, however I admit I don't use it, it's very rough. 

Dolphin Massager
  • Journaling! Just as I am in this blog, get a notebook and start your path to self-discovery. Write down what works, what doesn't, where you need work on, and what you want to try. Journalism allows us to be held accountable for our misdeeds, and our thought process. Being aware of a negative thought process is enough to help you change it. 

In following these guidelines, I feel healthy, look healthy, and slowly but surely the lbs begin to shed, if only I could be consistent. From Jan 6th, 2013 to Jan 15, 2013, I've lost 4 lbs. Not a lot, I know but if I'd keep pushing I would see long term results. I kinda felt like I'd lose it today when my little one started feeling feverish. I don't handle my kids being sick very well at all, but I will keep trying, and try to stay motivated =\. Feel free to share your stories with me. I'm sure we can inspire each other. 

Other things I plan to incorporate soon from the book are CLA-1500 supplement and a recipe found in the book to remove pesticides, bacteria, parasites, and other contaminants using "Parcell's Clorox Bath". I'll let you all know how it goes, and the details later. I need to be good to myself and get to bed right now.

If you are in need of supplements yourself, I personally order from VitaCost since it's the cheapest high quality products I could find:   Click here to save $10 off your vitacost.com order of $30 or more .


Hasta Manana!


Friday, January 11, 2013

The Skinny on Coconut Oil!


I switched to coconut oil for it's wonderful antioxidants, it's good fats called medium chain fatty acids, and for it's ability to boost metabolism. Originally coconut oil and  coconut milk has gotten a bad reputation for being filled of saturated fats, but in the 1940's cows were being fed coconut oil and instead of getting fat the cows grew lean and energetic. Studies prove the effects coconut oil has on metabolism is miraculous. It specifically targets fat on the body leaving your muscles toned. Below are videos you can check out to get different explanations of how wonderful coconut oil is.

DISCLAIMER: Please be responsible and let your physician know before starting any new regimens, especially those with health concerns already. My advice on my blog are based on my own research, opinions, and experiences. I present material solely for educational purposes NOT medicinal. Please be advised that I cannot  and will not be held liable for any possible adverse side effects. Always take any new regimen slowly and within moderation.

Fitness Instructor Liam Sherriff explains how coconut oil can benefit your weight loss.




I know I'm kinda redundant but I'm known for being very thorough and detail oriented. From Dr. Bruce Fife and  Dr. Oz himself:

Coconut Oil Super Powers Pt. 1
Coconut Oil Super Powers Pt. 2








If you're not blown away by the numerous uses of coconut oil, check out: 160 Uses for Coconut Oil

If you'd like to buy the highest grade of coconut oil and get the most for your money It's cheaper and cost effective to order here: Click here to save $10 off your vitacost.com order of $30 or more and Select Schedule and Save. 54 fl oz lasts me exactly 5 weeks, and for $20 every 5-6 weeks you can't go wrong. I use it in everything I eat from eggs, to substitutes for butter sometimes.  

Being Unique is Important


We're all unique in our own way, I have always been creative, innovative, motivated, passionate, and ambitious. I like nice things, but don't ever think for once that I'm fueled by material gains. Originally when I was going to school, I didn't know what I wanted to do specifically, but I knew that I wanted to help people. Psychology has been my strong suit since I was a child, I loved learning about people, the way they think and  why we do the things we do. Books opened a new world for me, and I spent so much time reading. I don't get to read as many books as I would like to now, but I'm always scouring the internet, reading as much as I can. I spend nights I should be sleeping just browsing the internet, thinking and learning. I want to experience more though, and to make a difference in the world.

I wanted to inspired more SAHMs to find the things they love to do. We're unique and we're blessed but we don't even know it... We get to stay at home with our lovely little monsters, and watch them grow, lol. I think that's the most amazing thing. We love them even though they take so much from us. In being a SAHM, I've been going through a lot of self-realization and self-discovery over the years and have been very productive. In psychology, there's a model known as "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", in which we go through physical, personal, social, and cultural needs. Our little monsters as I like to call them, are in the first stages of human development. They only want from us. Their needs are purely self-centered. They want food, clothing, shelter, love, trust, rest,  and play. It will continue to be that way up until they reach adulthood in fact. Their main focus is inward. Thus the cause for children blaming themselves when their parents get divorced. They think everything is about them, and only about how things will affect them rather than everyone as a whole. As we reach adulthood, and our basic needs of eating, mating, and finding security through financial independence is met, we either stay there, or strive for something bigger. Somehow what's going on in the world is important to you, world peace matters to you, you don't know why but suddenly you actually care. That "a-haa..." moment when the light bulb turns on and here we have self-actualization.

Here are a few redundant but good examples to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about.




Now getting back to why we're unique and blessed as a SAHM. It's not only that we get to stay home and enjoy our kids, but now is your chance to find yourself. Working moms are doing the same thing every day, just going through working eight to twelve hour shifts and coming home, and taking care of their home. There's no time and freedom for them to think outside of the box and be the people they want to be, to be unique, to be creative, or do the things they love. My last blog showed that SAHMs are not reporting feelings of happiness or joy. It's so true. SAHMs are starved for appreciation, their self-worth is questioned because society makes us feel as though we're not productive members. They seek adult conversation and are bored of the same thing everyday.



I realized that recently. If I start baking cakes and sharing pics with my FB friends, then all my other SAHM friends start doing the same. If I do certain things with my family or for my family, everyone starts doing the same, I started an online blog, let's see how many will follow suit. This week, on Google+ there were absolutely no SAHM communities for moms to support one another and use as an outlet, so I created one. In only 2 days there are now 3 more groups created by random SAHMs who saw my new community. Instead of copying each other and competing against each other, why not help each other instead? I'm not asking to create utopia, but find your niche through doing the things you love while you're a SAHM. What are your passions? What did you enjoy doing before having kids? Cooking, cleaning and taking care of your family is important, but don't let it become all you do, use time management to figure in whatever it is that you always wanted to do. Maybe there's something you wanted to do but you didn't think it could become possible because you're not sure how to get started or what's the best route. Find your drives and focus.

Here is the community I started: Google+ Community: Stay At Home Moms Everywhere!

My goals for this community are to:

  • Inspire SAHMs to change the things they don't like in their lives.
  • Improve self-worth, values and self-respect
  • Encourage SAHMs to do things that make them feel good about themselves. 
  • Inspire SAHMs to take better care of themselves through diet, exercise (I'm struggling with this too btw, lol) and habits. 
  • Help SAHMs channel their negative energy into something more productive. 
  • Help each other! Networking is the easiest way to get where you're trying to go. 

Join and support us and share if you care. The only rule is there is a zero tolerance for bullying. We need get together not tear each other apart and pass judgement, we have the rest of the world already doing that.


"God gives us our TALENTS, HARDWORK transforms them into SUCCESS."








Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Best Greens Juice

I absolutely love Bolthouse Farms juices. The Greens Goodness Smoothie wins on how healthy it is though. It's a great pick me up when you're hungry before a meal, instead of snacking. I got used to snacking late at night and decided to pick this up to replace the bad calories I'd normally be ingesting at this time. Don't be scared by the name smoothie either. Calm down, it's not really that thick! Yea it says "smoothie" on the container for those of you who wanna puke at the thought of a thick greens juice but in my opinion it's thinner or goes down better than V8 Low Sodium which I also love.



It all boils down to Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll not to be mixed up with chloroform (that makes people go unconscious) is a major detoxifier for our body, it's rich in antioxidants, it naturally attaches to heavy metals like lead and mercury and sweeps through our system taking all the bad stuff with it such as indigestible materials found in foods. Chlorophyll is found in wheat grass, barley grass, and chlorella (a green algae) and is what gives plants its green color and various enzymes that help it thrive and fight diseases, especially cancer. Spirulina and blue green algae are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, fatty acids and carotenoids. All these ingredients combined make for a great recipe for heavy metal buildup removal and detox. Cilantro can also be combined to your greens juice if you plan to make your own. It also removes heavy metals.



I find that it's economical to buy it rather than finding all these ingredients listed and making it on your own. Buying the pill form is not the same due to discrepancies found with proper dosing and absorption. Pill forms of many natural ingredients sometimes do more harm than good. Don't worry, the taste is sweet, there are no added sugars as you can see the nutrition and ingredients here:




Here's the best part, no preservatives, artificial flavors, or genetically modified ingredients!



 Cheers! Drink to your weight loss and/or to your health! The choice is yours! 




SAHMs report Depression, Sadness, Anger. Why?

I read something last night about stay-at-home moms reporting more feelings of sadness, depression and anger. While most SAHMs, including those found on blogs and media act like its all peaches and cream, I openly admit that it's really a task that can beat you down sometimes, its downright HELL let's be honest with ourselves. It is great sometimes, but let's be real, is it like that majority of the time? There's too much things going on. Other SAHMs think by pretending they're so joyfully smiling every moment of the day, that they're better moms than you are...yea competition! They are no different, I know many SAHMs and if God has blessed me with anything, it's the ability to see through all of people's bullshit. I've just grown...let me find the word....tolerant? No. I've grown wiser. It's easier to just take it all in and make mental notes of what not to be like. I will say though, it's a privilege to be a SAHM, and most moms will agree, there's no regret here. We're doing the best we can, and we can see the bigger picture, that these are the years that memories and bonds are made of while a foundation is being built.

What most people outside of the situation don't understand is that, it's not laziness that doesn't get mom back to work, it's just more economical for her to be home. Rising costs of child care and living expenses make no sense killing yourself to go to work, to bring home $50 after-tax paying for daycare, gas, tolls, lunches etc. When mom comes home from work, it's not like she just gets to sit down and relax, she has to do everything else that's not done already like cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping. Why are SAHMs reporting more feelings of depression, anger and sadness though?

  1. Loss of Identity...you spend the entire day looking after little monsters that cry relentlessly, make tons of mess, always need to be fed around the clock, and have so much needs, I'm tired just from thinking about it. As much as I love getting dressed up and wearing make-up as a form of self-expression, does it make much sense taking the time to do it if I'm going absolutely no where and the kids need their breakfast like right now? It's not feasible or productive. I don't let myself get sloppy, but up-kept nails, hair, and little lipstick/gloss everyday does the trick. 
  2. Lack of Support...I personally have been blessed with a husband who helps me so much, that's how I've kept my sanity and get the free time to come online, and do things for myself. The national average on the other hand says Dad's aren't helping out as much as they should, they come home and think the world revolves around them, like mom's been chilling all day. My hubby has on occasion asked dangerous questions though, lol. You know like "What'd you do all day?" instead of "How was your day hun?"

                                   
  3. Lack of a network...Some moms might have family/friends nearby to drop the kids off to get a break, but most don't have that luxury. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, allow parents and children to get a breather. They can spend time with their grandparents and come back refreshed, well behaved, well mannered and missing you. I've seen that for myself with my girls. Especially when their dad gets home from work, the screams omg...yes it makes me jealous, lol. When I get my breaks to go out and do my thing, I come back a better mom, a relaxed mom and I miss them dearly. They reciprocate that feeling too. 
  4. No Breaks...Even bathroom breaks are interrupted, they search for you the minute you go missing, even if you just saw their eyes glued to the TV and you're sneaking off. Vacation days are a joke, even if you're going on vacation, you still have to take care of your kids...unless...you go without them, lol. I can't do that though, I won't be able to enjoy myself because I worry too damn much.


                                         
  5. Sick Days...Are well...Forbidden. I know if I'm sick, I still have to drag my ass around and do what I do everyday, it doesn't matter shit still has to be taken cared of. I've learned however, when I'm sick, to just say fuck the housework, because you can get better faster laying around all day and playing catch up when you get that burst of energy as you get out of the funk. 
  6. You are Your Worst Critic...you read articles on being a good mom, read the baby books while you're pregnant, plan to have a wonderful days and then life happens. Your kid has decided to block up the toilet with toilet paper and you explode, not because you wanted to but because you're trying to finish up dinner, the other child needs to be fed, and you didn't sleep much last night because you needed that time to yourself that much and now you regret it. Now you've lost your temper and you feel like shit, great job, now you're not winning any mom of the year awards as if there were any. You're raising your voice and yelling all day and can't believe the voice shooting out of your face is yes...your mothers. Didn't I always say I didn't want to be like that woman? Fuck! 
  7. Pressure from Society...you're expected to always be on point, your so-called friends even your own family judges what you're doing or not doing right. You're expected to be in the best shape of your life, your kids should never have a tantrum, if they do "they might have problems in school, or might have ADHD", you're compared to other SAHMs, and receive subliminal attacks through statements like "oh my sister-in-law finds the time to exercise, you can too", and "The college educated woman is the stay at home mom...". Really? I didn't know you guys were an expert, from the looks of it I think I'm doing just fine all by myself if we're gonna go there and gonna compare ourselves. SAHMs are in fact alone. You can say fuck what everybody thinks and says all day long, but words are powerful enough for it to get under your skin every now and again because we're only human.



So ladies, if you're a stay at home mom know your worth, I know I do. I don't need my parenting skills, or feelings validated by anybody to know I'm a good mom. My kids are well taken cared of, they are clean, well fed, well groomed, and morals, values, and mannerisms are being taught every single day in every breath I take and that's all I can do. Just give my best and try to stay fabulous through it all. 



I know my husband would laugh his ass off if he saw this, I don't do any yard work, or house fixing, lol. 


If you'd like to read the article here it is: stay-home-moms-report-depression-sadness-anger


Monday, January 7, 2013

Your Weekly Grocery List...and mine =)

As a start to being healthy as I mentioned in my previous blog, I wanted to share my weekly grocery list to go with the new rule of thumb aka new Proclamation, lol...which hereby states;


Sunday-Thursday- we eat 100% solely nutritious meals, not half assed nutritious meals we've been doing for some time, lol. I say Sunday-Thursday because for us personally our weekend starts on Friday, and Sunday is the beginning of the week; a great day home to get organized for the week ahead.

Friday-Saturday is reserved for eating what you want, but within limitations. I don't even wanna say "eating what you want"...it's more of allowing for less than 100% nutritious meals, but with a twist.

So here goes:

  • Lemons for lemon water every morning an hour after rising. 
  • Water (approx 6-7 gallons a week, if you're having a cup of lemon water in the morning and 64 oz each day)  
  • Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness juice 
  • V8 Low Sodium 
  • Almond milk (60 cal) 
  • Bell Peppers-mainly Red, Yellow, Orange, Green. Mix it up however you like. 
  • Broccoli 
  • Cabbage 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Carrots 
  • Cilantro 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Yellow Squash 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Sweet Potatoes 
  • Snow Peas 
  • Choice between bigger vegetable for Thursdays (I make thursdays our day to eat a major vegetable cooked indian-style, like Pumpkin, Spinach, Eggplant, you can do Winter Butternut Squash, or Green Squash. Be creative, do it your culture's way, or try some other cultured recipes. 
  • lean chicken breasts/thighs, or turkey your choice but breast is healthier 
  • your choice of fish and seafood (no farm raised) 

For fruits you can choose what or how much you like depending on what's in season as well. Aim for 3-5 servings of fruit per day. I personally prefer:

  • bananas 
  • yellow apples to eat sliced with either almond or peanut butter for a snack 
  • grapes 
  • pears 
  • long haitian mangos 
  • watermelon 
Grains: 

  • 1 min oats 
  • 100% whole wheat whole grain bread 
  • cream of wheat whole grain 
  • rice of your choice, if you can do brown rice, then great! If not, it's ok to use white rice, but you'll have to be very careful with your portions

As I fine tune our meal plans, I'll update this list. For now this is it. Look out for meal ideas to go with this list later.

The Best Start to getting Healthy

I've struggled with weight gain, hormonal imbalance, and everything that comes with the two paired. I know how hard it can be to take care of your kids, sacrifice sleep, and then worry about life itself. I've said it before and I'll say it again; the laundry is never done, the house never stays clean, and the dishes are always piling up, cooking is never done, bills need to be paid, your nail polish is chipping, your hair needs to be washed, eyebrows need a lineup, time to wax and shave again, and you need a few new things to feel good, like a haircut, haircolor, new makeup, etc. In between those things, you need entertainment, a good book, a good show, or movie, time catching up with friends, in addition to the spontaneous bump-n-grind times with hubby ;). How can you find the time and energy needed now to not only exercise but to plan healthy meals? Eating healthy is seriously easier said than done, and is half the battle. Once you start, how can you stick to it?

That's been my major problem, we'll start eating healthy, being conscious of everything from daily intake of water, veggies to protein ratio, carbs, etc., but then something like an occasion, or something stressful like kids being sick and it's all gone to shit. Other things that make it go to shit also are not being on the same page. Many times I'm  all gung-ho about preparing a nutritious meal, and my other half decides to say "don't worry about cooking hun, let's just get something from Chinese, and watch a movie together"....Yea who can say no to that? Self-sabotage! After all, I am tired, I do deserve to be relaxed and catered to, the kids really did drain me today, I really do a lot around here, it is cheaper than running your stove for the next hour or so...and the justifications prevail endlessly. Somehow, this lifestyle continues of yo-yo dieting (let's call it what it is) and I'm no thinner than I was before even though I incorporate so many good behaviors like, drinking lemon water, no high fructose beverages, lots of tea and water, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and eating fruits and veggies.

I know many of you can relate here, while some of you might say you have it all figured out. If you have, good for you, no need to act like a know-it-all. Just take it as a reinforcement of what you already know and remember this... it just takes one thing or time in your life to knock your ass off that high horse of absolute control, as I used to be "perfect" once upon a time, and somehow life happened.

Here goes:

  • Make a promise, declaration, rule or habit that under no circumstances can be broken. We do weekly grocery shopping at a local produce store and places like Winn-Dixie, Publix, or Walmart (Your local produce store will be the most cost efficient, budget friendly). The rule is from Sunday to Thursday we will eat purely fruits and vegetable based meals. On Friday and Saturdays we will allow ourselves to eat not whatever we want, but nothing but healthy balanced meals... I will give you ideas for Sun-Thurs meals vs. Fri-Sat Meals later, just take this rule of thumb to adapt to first. 
  • I will give you your weekly scheduled grocery plan checklist in my next Post. Be patient. Create a weekly grocery list to add to your checklist every single week. If you're always stocked up with these items, than you can always put something together as a meal rather than relying on Chinese because you don't know what to cook. Pictures will be posted soon as well. 
  • Buy a White-Board! The white-board will keep you organized!! Ideas and meal plans to go on there weekly, so you don't get tired of the same crap all the time. 
  • Diversify your taste buds! Every since I tried Thai food, I've been addicted. So addicted I had to make it myself and I started making the 1 thing I loved. Shrimp/chicken Panang! Spicy food is not only amazing on the tongue but very healthy for the digestive system and as an appetite suppressor, not to mention the Panang is loaded with veggies and coconut milk. 
  • If you're going to have something bad, pair it with something good to have that balance. For example, we want to eat Turkey Lasagna, or Chicken Parmesan on our Friday/Saturday meal plan...so let's add a serving of steamed broccoli, cauliflower with herbs, cabbage and red peppers, or some sweet potatoes and snow peas, or a romaine salad with no croutons, but some walnuts, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, cranberries or prunes and a drizzle of apple cider vinegar. The combinations are endless. 
  • Need a treat? Want to eat chocolate? Fine! Have dark chocolate instead. I never liked dark chocolate until I had Cadburry Royal Dark, go ahead and indulge, it's rich with antioxidants! =) 
  • Drink greens juice daily, it helps remove all the heavy metals and toxins clogging your liver. Greens juice rich in chlorophyll is the way to go, wheatgrass, spirulina, blue green algae, cilantro, aloe etc. The best 1 I found so far is Bolthouse Farms Greens juice. I love it, and definitely more cost efficient than making my own. When I'm not having that, I'm drinking V8 low sodium, which is definitely rich as well. 
  • Get a 1/2 gallon BPA free water bottle. You can get one cheap at Walmart and start using that bottle daily. You will meet your water intake by lugging that around with you all day.

  • Get rid of all oils in your home and replace them with 100% Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil.
It's cheaper and cost effective to order here: Click here to save $10 off your vitacost.com order of $30 or more and Select Schedule and Save. 54 fl oz lasts me exactly 5 weeks, and for $20 every 5-6 weeks you can't go wrong. I use it in everything I eat from eggs, to substitutes for butter sometimes.  

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