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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This Blog has a New Address!!

To continue following my Blog updates; Click on the link below to be REDIRECTED:

MizzAnythingBut.blogspot.com



Monday, March 3, 2014

Ditch Table/Sea Salt: Switch to Pink Himalayan Salt

In the last year I've been working on becoming healthier and switching out the harmful things we use daily with natural ingredients in their oldest forms. An item closest to it's natural state with minimal processing is what our bodies NEED. This however has been a journey, not something that happens overnight. You have to be willing to forget everything you think you know in order to do good research and find the best version of the truth. In learning about salt recently I switched twice. I switched from the brand Diamond Crystals Table Salt to Morton's Sea Salt. Table salt is heavily processed and has anti-caking agents (ie. chemicals such as cancer causing Fluoride-post coming soon on this) to make it remain the same consistency. Table salt according to one of my sources is considered the "destroyer of health".  It's missing 84 trace minerals and iodine which some brands add. It's void of all the necessary nutrients our bodies need to function. Due to the chemical structure being altered our bodies actually see it as a "toxic invader" and sodium chloride causes the body to bloat, retaining water, and raising blood pressure. Think of how many of your family members could benefit from this information/alternative alone.

Once I learned about table salt, I switched to sea salt, but then I learned about the pollution the ocean has been going through for quite some time. Beaches, the coral reefs, sea animals, and the ocean's ecosystem is turbulent from trash, over-fishing, oil spills, and even radiation from Fukushima's nuclear disaster that is still spilling out onto the ocean and affecting the west coast as we speak. Very soon we will have to quit eating seafood unless we're positive about where it came from. Sea salt is no longer a healthier alternative. So I switched to Pink Himalayan salt and I love it! I use less salt and the food is even more delicious.

What Are The Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt?


  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Strengthen bones
  • Detoxifying the body of heavy metals
  • Increasing libido
  • Promoting a stable pH balance within the cells
  • Increases hydration
  • Reducing the signs of aging
  • Promoting healthy sleep patterns
  • Prevents muscle cramps
  • Aiding in vascular health
  • Supporting healthy lungs and respiratory function
  • Improves circulation

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Sweet Stuff: Dangers of Natural & Artificial Sweeteners

On the topic of health that I've been too preoccupied with but too tired to share anything about I'd like to make an informative post on sweeteners. I think people are just ignoring the most threatening thing to avoid which is basically SODA. It makes me crazy when people give it to their kids soda because if you haven't heard; cancer is the #1 cause of death in children. It used to be accidents. In life, you can do everything right and still be affected by these things, or do everything inherently wrong and not be affected. The point is not to live in fear, but to be sensible, why gamble with your family's life? I pray for a long and healthy life for my family like any mother would. So if you love your kids, please stop giving them soda. In case you didn't know before here are: Reasons you Shouldn't Drink Soda

The problem with soda isn't just the sugar content, but the chemicals used to make it. Aspartame is #1. It's found in a variety of soft drinks, yogurts, candies, fillings, puddings, etc. Pregnant women are advised against coffee and liquor, but soda is never mentioned despite the risks associated with apartame; Pregnancy & Aspartame .


Today we're finding that people are trying to keep the calorie count down in an effort to lose weight, or keep health risks down, but really this what you should think: 

So Sucralose is the same thing as Splenda, and recently I realized it was in my greek yogurt! It's like is there anything not tainted anymore? I stick to whole foods, natural things that don't come from a package as much as possible. Greek yogurt is actually good for you but only when it's organic and sweetened with regular sugar, because you can't trust any of the sweeteners these days.


I was watching the Dr. Oz show, and he previously endorsed that Agave syrup/nectar is good for you. Today however, he recanted that statement after bringing in an expert on sugars. Apparently all these different sugars both natural and chemical cause insulin resistance. Agave is now shown to raise triglycerides, increases belly-fat that surrounds organs and  ultimately raises chances for heart disease.

The Bottom-line? 

  • ALL sugar is just bad for you. Fruits are the only tricky exception. See link below on how fruits stack. 
  • Artificial sugars like splenda, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup and natural agave might be the absolute worst for you long term. 
  • Sugar causes insulin resistance 
  • Sugar suppresses the immune system by 40% 
  • Sugar causes inflammation and acidity in the body which equates to disease and cancers. 
  • If you're really going to choose the lesser of all evils just stick to Stevia, such as Sweet Leaf drops (I just learned about this product from a gastric bypass patient, will update you when I know more), or Raw Honey. Maple syrup might be expensive, but it's better than using Aunt Jemima on your pancakes.
  • Grams of Sugar on Nutrition facts ÷ 4 = # of teaspoons of sugar in product. Take a sandwich bag and dump that many teaspoons of sugar in to see how ridiculous it is. 
  • One can of soda equates to just about 12 teaspoons of sugar.
DAILY RULE: Before purchasing an item or putting it in your mouth, ask yourself; Did we have this product or consume this product before the industrial revolution? What did we eat before grocery stores? You'll realize that people ate grass-fed meat, home made churned butter, lard, whole milk from cows they raised themselves, bread they made at home from scratch, and non-gmo crops they farmed themselves.

Sources:









http://www.clickorlando.com/lifestyle/health/Consumer-Reports-Caramel-coloring-danger/-/1636830/24071896/-/ldhhhsz/-/index.html

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/sugars-transported-liver-convert-glucose-2090.html

How Fruits Stack

Monday, February 24, 2014

Exposé on Braggers of Materialism

If you know me very well you'll know that I'm not into brands, yet I'm a flashy girl who likes nice things like the average person. Who doesn't want to look good? Now for most people that doesn't make sense so let me break it down for you; I wouldn't buy "red-bottom" shoes because they're "Louboutins" but I would buy them because my favorite color is red, and I fell in love with them at first sight not knowing who made them when I found them at some clearance sale for $40 with my coupon. If you're still not clear about what being materialistic is and how I feel about it, let me do this in a Q&A form:

Q: What is materialism?
A: məˈti(ə)rēəˌlizəm/ noun 1. a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.

Q: Michelle, you say you're not a materialistic person then why do you like fancy things, such as cars, homes, and clothing?
A: Being materialistic has nothing to do with your likes/preferences/tastes for things and has everything to do with the attitude that you live to acquire and only accept the things are expensive, luxurious, and/or popular. As stated in the definition, being materialistic would cause you to not be comfortable with living within your means, and not furthering one's self spiritually. The sole quest would be to further yourself materially. I like nice things but only for a bargain price. For my $600, a purse or shoe should have my name on it in real gold, not the name of some narcissistic idiot who thought they could take over the world with it. Just saying.

Q: Michelle, didn't you say you made a wish-list for your husband for holidays and anniversaries?
A: Yes, I did, because my husband needs help in getting an idea of what to buy me. I'm not extreme or particular. It's the thought that counts, so why not make it easier for him when he's got a demanding job and we have a lot going on at home. It's better than not celebrating an anniversary at all. I have simple items on the wishlist such as scented candles, chocolates, books, and makeup. Higher end things I have on there are like gold hoop earrings because why not if it's a gift?

With that being said, you will never catch me with jeans on that cost over $100 that look like I got them at the thrift store and yes I know about quality because you better look like a G if you spent a G on an outfit. Raise your standards without raising the price.

I feel that success is no longer measured in whether you are happy at the end of the day. Success is no longer about whether or not you've reached your goals. Happiness is no longer measured by a smile on your face, a content heart,  and overwhelming gratitude that you feel blessed to be alive. Individuals today are now measuring their happiness by: How many things did I acquire? How many people did I impress? Who has a bigger/better __________ than me?

Are we striving to better ourselves or are we striving because we need to look successful? While it's a rat-race for everyone to keep up with one another, it's also a disgusting charade on social media of people boasting about what they have and making up lies about the things they don't have. Take these rappers for instance, I was pretty surprised by it:


Published yesterday via Mark Dice on ThisIs50.com 


What irks me the most is the fact that we're breeding the most aggressive people in today's consumer economy; KIDS!
So you're talking about buying and doing xyz and you don't have some of the most necessary and basic things for your kids? Really? 
Everything on earth is part of a material world, a temporary prison in which we come back through the laws of karma. If we raise our consciousness and remain humble when we triumph over adversity maybe we have a chance at some real happiness even if it is temporary.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

4 Rules for Re-Defining "Normal" in Motherhood

Before I became a mom, I said I would zip my ass back into shape in 6 months, I would give birth without any drugs, I would breastfeed for over a year, I wouldn't yell, I would just talk to my kids, I wouldn't let my kids eat this or that, etc. We're all blissfully ignorant until life is happening and we're losing control right before our eyes. Nobody knows what their experience will be like, our judgments are shaped by those experiences. Sometimes it's not other people who take you down that road, but you and your expectations of yourself. I have a two and an almost five yr. old and I'm no where near where I used to be. Today it hit me after seeing a video that I might never really reach my very realistic idea of perfection, even though someone out there is out there showing and telling the world it can be done because they did it. All you know is that you've been unable to do it. 

Too much is happening daily. Responsibilities get bigger, lifestyle changes become harder to manage, marriage becomes tougher as there is more adaptations to be made, and kids keep sucking the life out of you daily. If you pay attention and make an effort, sex becomes hotter, and you become happier and grow wiser. Valentine's Day just passed last Friday, and I was stressing the fact that it wasn't going to be special if we took the brats with us to the restaurant that we wanted to go to so badly. Instead I calmed the fuck down and told myself this is temporary; find another way to make the night special. By the way I have vent how I hate when stupid people on FB go on posting "why do we need a day to show people we love them, how you should love them and treat them daily". Every year it's always that one dumb person saying that, it never fails. I just want to say; hey you there, maybe when you grow up one day and pull your head outta your ass, you'll realize that; regardless of how much effort you put in daily if there's any time left between working and a blood sucking family, it's just not the same. Maybe then you will realize we need these wonderful holidays to pull out all the stops, to actually dedicate a day to be blissfully, tooth rotting sweet, romantic and special. That's my new definition of "normal". My husband and I dedicate the weekends to quality family time but Monday-Fri is a grind, we barely get to cuddle, or share anything heartfelt. Valentine's Day for me is the day to stop and admire my girls in the pretty dresses I dress them up in and take pics of every year. It was the day for me to forget about being fat and get dressed up and sexy-ed up to enjoy a scrumptious meal I prepared and the treats he brought home for us the indulge in while the smell of scented candles took over our home. 
Our smallest even though she's only two years old is the ultimate cockblock. It doesn't matter what time it is day or night, this child will wake up and cry when you're trying to get your freak on. So Valentine's night is also great holiday to have to dedicate for a night of pleasure. You can tire them out all day in hopes for a deeper slumber.

Normal used to be a peaceful night out to dinner and sex. Now normal might mean dragging your children with you and  the possibility of them ruining the evening because you had to squeeze fingers in public, and yell in the car ride there and back. If you're a first time mom or a mom trying to find yourself in all this effort of trying to get back to normal, I have 4 ground rules for re-defining normal. If you have a lot of outside help (ie; sitters, family members nearby) keep moving you probably can't relate because you're not on our level. Sorry, but you can take your hand off the heat when it gets too hot.  
  1. Reinvent yourself- Accept what is, change what's unbearable. Find the new you as if you're now a blank slate, like a brand new computer with different specs, or even think of it like upgrading software. Thought it was hard being in a relationship and losing your identity? Individuality is even harder to maintain with kids, but finding more to life than being called mom helps.
  2. Make time for yourself- Nights up, a few hours here and there, have dad take them out, or you go shopping and leave them home. I once hid in the pantry to eat a snack to get a break. 
  3. Never stop doing the things you love- Personally, I love dressing up, doing my nails, my hair, reading, staying up, listening and singing to ridiculous songs, dancing, and watching my shows. I talked to a friend who said she finds herself depressed sometimes and told her to get Spotify so we can share this music we used to listen to, and she said she's "too old" to listen to ______ music. You're never too old for anything that makes you feel vibrant. REMEMBER THAT
  4. Forgive yourself-you're trying to do the best you can and making mistakes sometimes. When you fall short, you feel horrible and it's okay. I say this because I learned to do this only today after I had my own melt-down, which was neither the first nor the last. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My First Encounter with a Pecker

I read an article that had this picture on the site and it instantly took me back to a childhood memory. It was highly exciting to me as it was to me when I was in 2nd grade. The first time I had seen a real mature adult penis was in a newspaper looking for a story for my current events homework. There it was; in all it's male, flaccid, burly and long but circumcised glory. I was so curious about the male form and wanted to share it with my friends so I cut it out and took it to school the next day. An older girl who lived next door overheard me showing it to my friends that day and that same afternoon she told my mom. Needless to say I never saw a dick again until JHS and if I did I sure as hell wasn't going to share it with anyone. Since then, I always assumed they all looked the same.

As I was walking on the treadmill the other day, I watched one of my favorite shows "Sex in the City". Two of my really close friends and I always watched the show since High School, and while it's been 10 years since; we're still the crazy girls we were, always talking about life, clothes, boys, and sex. I've always identified with Charlotte and Samantha from the show. In this particular episode, Charlotte dates a man who's uncircumcised and she's completely weird-ed out. Her reaction to all the skin was too obvious to take back and the guy ended up going and getting circumcised for her before their first sexual encounter. I can imagine reacting the same way. I think I've always found the penis to be highly erotic until I found out about uncircumcised penises. In my mind they're supposed to be the way they are in porn. They're supposed to be all muscular, pure man, veiny, with a big beautiful pink mushroom top, long, and thick, clean looking, and that extra ridge...ohh my...Okay calm down Michelle, let's not get too carried away...

When I found out about uncircumcised penises for the first time, I eventually looked it up online. I was honestly turned off. However 85% of men in the world is Au natural...While I really didn't care to publicly go into detail with how much penis interaction I've had or have not; I'm an open book so I will just go ahead and say that I've only been fully intimate with my husband and I can't imagine all that extra skin.

Then I looked up what were people's preferences and it's split down the middle to a 50/50. 50% of women preferred no skin, and 50% preferred skin. I don't know what skin is like and I don't think I want to know. One of my friends told me how her boyfriend had a stench to it, that alone made me feel like tossing my cookies because I'm big on smells. So the way I see it is this; if it's cleaner, it's better, if it's got that amplified ridge, it's better, if it's less sensitive which means lasting longer than 20 mins than those with skin, it's better, if it's associated with less risks for STDs, it's better. However because my opinion is biased since it's pretty much aesthetically and experience basedIf I had a son, I'd probably make the decision based on hard research. The fact that skin is the way God intended it also makes me wonder. Hope to hear from you all on this topic. In the meantime check out this video, it's so fitting for this post. I couldn't help myself, lol. We're really not all that innocent!




Check out the debate:
http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-females-prefer-males-who-have-circumcised-penises

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chicken & Spinach Pita Pizza Recipe

Hey guys, I know I've been slacking with the recipes and health posts. I will share some more very soon. For tonight here's a very fast recipe idea. It nets about 450 calories, 46g protein, 33g carbs, 14g fat and 6g fiber. It's fast if you cook a bunch of chicken breasts ahead of time, healthy, delicious and very filling. What's more is my older daughter loves it!


Chicken & Spinach Pita Pizza Recipe 

Ingredients:

1 whole wheat pita or other flatbread
3/4 cup cubed chicken breasts (cooked/preferably grilled) 
3 tbs. marinara sauce
baby spinach or frozen spinach thawed
cooked mushrooms (optional) 
1/4 cup mozzarrella cheese or feta cheese

Steps: 


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spread marinara sauce over the pita. Top with spinach, chicken, cheese.
  3. Season as desired with salt, pepper, oregano etc. 
  4. Bake for 6-10 mins, depending on your oven and desired crust preferences. I love marinara so I add an extra tbs and cook for 9 mins. 
Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My First Garden

If you know me very well, you know I'm a person of my word. I don't talk, I take action. I'm proud of myself as I started my garden like I said I was interested in doing for this years' resolutions. It felt great to be outdoors, doing my own thing. It feels empowering to take the first steps into taking back the food system for the purpose of greater sustainability. If you want to feed your family gmo-free, this is the best thing you can do.

I started some things by seeds because I'm just one of those people who would rather not take the shortcut. I like the idea of starting something from scratch. Since we've stopped buying orange juice, we rely heavily on actual oranges, and why shouldn't we? We live in Florida right? So I decided to use the seeds from a super sweet non-GMO batch of oranges. I love it soo much. I learned that you have to germinate the seeds. I did it like a science experiment we did in elementary school. It was a learning experience for the girls as we put them in a bag wrapped in damp paper towel and waited for them to sprout. I'm learning about all this and so far, so good. The plants I started so far are: Banana, Oranges, Avocado, Basil, Cilantro.I planted them in small pots since the weather has been crazy. I will re-plant them into the ground when they're bigger and sturdier.

Orange seed germination:



Still waiting for the avocado seed to sprout:




The banana plant burned from our recent low temps so I replanted it into a pot. The sprouts of the oranges I planted into the pot to the far right. Hopefully I'll have progress pics in a few weeks.




If you know anything about gardening, please feel free to share any insight you think I might need in the comment box below. I have to get veggies started next, and hopefully I can re-grow some things from the chart above. The most important thing is take action and have fun doing it!







It takes more than just a good looking body. You've got to have the heart and soul to go with it. -Epictetus 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ironies of LOVE

This is one of my new favorite songs along with Drunk in Love by Queen Bey. This video premiered 2 days ago! I <3 Shakira, not so much Rihanna but she's definitely moving up in my list of favorites.



I love my jams. I love songs I can dance to, sing along to and feel I can relate to. It kinda makes me reminisce though. Is nostalgia ever truly a bad thing? I miss the way certain people used to make me feel. Even if it was pain, they were still experiences and feelings that rocked my world, a story of feeling alive. They say some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Each of them to serve a purpose in your journey. There are people you let go and make peace with never seeing again, but then they come back. What do you do? They're not causing any physical, emotional, or mental harm. You're not morally conflicted either, so you let them come back in the form of vague online interactions. What's the reason for coming back? Who even knows?


 

Whatever the cause, I take it for what it is, and how it makes me feel. Nothing more, nothing less. I like the way I feel. It puts things in perspective. I appreciate the people who've resurfaced because like the song says; "I can't remember to forget you". The past remains the past but those memories will always be fresh. They were mere fleeting emotional rides I went on when they were in my life. Instability, rebellion, rage, and a yearning for love and  freedom encompassed my young life, a bunch of mixed emotions I don't know how to put into words. I read this quote today and it totally resonated with me. The quote was:

Love, love, love. It’s the reason we get married and divorced, buy homes we can’t afford, have children we don’t know how to raise. Love is infatuation. Love doesn’t exist. Attraction exists, friendship exists. ~ Dr. Willard Evans



Could this be true? When I think about being with someone I think of the companionship and the intimacy. If that person is giving me all their attention, and I can share things and have that deep connection with them, then my needs are being met. At the end of the day all that still translates to is the need for a good, hot friend and a really good fuck. The quote is true. Love is infatuation, love will make you happy, make you sad, make you crazy, make you do things you never thought you would do, love will change your life, love will destroy you. Choose love anyway because in the end, you would willingly die for the very thing killing you... Just because it makes you feel alive and that's irony. I wouldn't have it any other way. Occasional brushes with danger keep reminding me.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

6 Types of People in the Workplace


“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
― Ellen Goodman



I haven't worked at many places, but through my experience and from some of the discussions my husband and I have there is a workplace dynamic that encompasses each person's motivation, habits, and personality. I decided to sit down and put pen to paper and came up with 6 workplace personalities. 

  1. The 30 Minute Worker: This person comes in early, doesn't really do much work during work hours aside from 30 mins here and there, and leaves later than everyone else to make the impression that they are hard at work. This person usually takes a lot of breaks to smoke, socialize, or grab a refreshment. They're lazy, often call for redundant meetings, and are always irritated if lunch will be late. It's a Snicker's commercial if you make this guy delay his lunch break. This guy believes in "fake it till you make it". Remember; there are no shortcuts to success. 
  2. The 9-5'er: This person generally gives 0 fucks on any given day. They're there to get their tasks done, collect their paycheck and go home to their personal life. They're usually social butterflies and have no real ambition to move up. This person doesn't care to meet any new goals other than getting to Friday. He/she usually uses up all sick/personal/vacation days before the year end. They work hard enough to get by but generally don't go above and beyond for the company. They might often make mistakes, and be seen as unreliable. Got something you need her to check out on Friday night before something gets deployed in the system? Sorry, she left her work laptop at the office, or is unreachable, and won't respond to your emails.  
  3. The Avoider: This is a person who really works hard, a workaholic if you may, but he/she isn't motivated by what chances there may be to move up the corporate ladder. This person is always plugged in and almost always willing to do your share of work. They stay late and work. Work is the scapegoat for something this person is avoiding. This is the person who volunteers to stay late despite having a family at home, and doesn't have a problem with the  projects piling up as long as you leave him/her to the peace and quiet of their cubicle to do their work. People like this usually have high stress environments at home or in their personal life and avoid all conflicts. They rather do the work for you instead of train you. 
  4. The Misguided Dreamer: this person is trying to find their way in the corporate world. They keep going back to school in hopes of "making it big time", driven not by ambition but by $ cash money $! The American dream has never been more out of reach to this person as they spend all their efforts and money furthering their education, and sinking into debt, rather than applying that education in the real world and standing apart from their peers. This person's certifications is impressive on paper but the lack of  well-rounded experience is apparent. This is a double edged sword. You need the piece of paper to get your foot in the door but it will only take you so far. Higher education is great, don't get me wrong, but why are you pursing it? To be an expert in your field or because it will take you to the next level, qualifying you for the next tax bracket?
  5. The Know it All: this individual can't effectively communicate with others without being annoying and acts aggressively superior. This person is the snitch when shit hits the fan, the person who is quick to point fingers when things go wrong, and feels that their ideas and beliefs are the only way, you cannot persuade this person to think outside of the box. They insist they're way of tackling a hard and newer project is the best way. They don't like learning newer technologies and resist change in the work environment. If it ain't broke why fix it? They genuinely want to be friends with their co-workers, but they can't help themselves from acting bossy. This person is motivated by power. 
  6. The Alpha: This is the ideal employee every company wants to have. They're fresh with innovative ideas all the time, a gem to work with, reliable, meets all deadlines or finishes work ahead of time. They're not afraid to assert themselves or speak up. They find themselves involved in majority of projects, and lead all discussions in meetings. This wizard is usually the go-to person to fix something when you don't want your boss to know you screwed something up. Everyone secretly envies this person's tenacity and leadership skills, and some will be stupid enough to try to discredit this person's work. The alpha is the alpha because he or she thoroughly finds passion in what he/she does, they genuinely care to raise company quotas, to earn recognition for hard work, and to recreate themselves in each days challenges. More importantly it's never been about the money, it's about personal growth and ambition. In this role, your contribution to your team will not be undervalued if you are not the leader, you still give your best in the roles you take, and hold yourself accountable for problems that may arise. 
What can we learn from this?  What's your motive? 



It truly doesn't matter which person you are in this typology, or if you fit the bill at all. Question your position and ask yourself what am I working for, other than the obvious reasons like to put food on the table. Are you happy or are you comfortable? You can't be the 30 min'er or the 9-5'er wondering why you're getting passed up for managerial positions. Likewise you can't be pursing a lifestyle that your efforts and talents don't match up to, but of course proceed anyway. We're just part of an "entitled" generation and I get it, but how's that working for you? Check this widely used test out and see what your personality type is: Jung-Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment

In depth description and careers that fit your assessment can be found here: Type Descriptions and Careers





Thursday, January 16, 2014

Do You Buy or Eat Tyson Foods? The Walmart Meat Supplier

I normally don't go to the extent of telling readers to boycott any particular brand. I'm not paid for my opinions or my posts on things I've reviewed. However, I do get paid for advertisements on my page but again, not for my content. This is the most cruel thing I've ever seen done to animals. Please watch this video and boycott Tyson Foods. Its a long shot to ask people to give up eating pork, but please look into where your food is coming from and go the humane way to say the least. Even if they decide to clean up their act I would never trust a company that has a history of such horrifying acts.


VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED:





And yes, I'm a bit of a tree-hugger...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As Honest As I'll Ever Be Pt. 1

I think no matter how many dreams you make come true, there is, nor will there ever be; Perfection. Its unattainable, yet we strive for it anyway. Nobody's life is perfect despite how it looks on the outside. We're all struggling with something, fighting battles and living with fears nobody knows about. We stress big and small things, lash out, overreact, and let anger get the best of us sometimes. Somehow being human got confused with feigning perfection, as people conceal their flaws and presumptuously flaunt their perfect lives. However, it's how we surpass our obstacles and continue smiling, laughing and embracing happiness that we live a full life. I'm not saying we should run out into the streets and spill our guts to every person that walks by, but we shouldn't feign perfection either. It's self-serving.

I spent a great part of 2013 trying to find a balance between fitness goals, motherhood, learning different things, growing spiritually, reading as much as I could, experimenting with life essentially. I learned to love myself in the past 4 years more than anything else. Though I love myself, I realized the deep appreciation I didn't have before when I was the most critical to myself yet at my most beautiful. I'm currently farthest from my fitness goals and in retrospect it's my own fault. I didn't love myself enough before to appreciate what I had. I was on a diet my entire life, as a child, as a teen, as an adult.

The thyroid controls not only metabolism but hormones as well.We learn that years of yo-yo dieting can be damaging to your body and metabolism, but who gives a shit when you have a dress you want to fit into, when you have negative self talk consistently pushing you, standards society subliminally planted in our minds of the ideology of beauty that bombards us daily, and the judgement of family and friends who are first and foremost quick to give you advice you didn't ask for. That damage can't happen to me right?  Just because I don't use a blade to cut myself, doesn't mean I'm not cutting myself daily with my thoughts, with critical self-talk. As I grew a deep appreciation for my body after creating two beautiful babies, two things that didn't stop despite a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem were:

  • Yo-yo dieting habits- what is eating normal anymore? I'm not even sure.  
  • The "Never Good Enough" syndrome of daily negative self-talk that fuels further trials and failures of diets and exercise to improve oneself
What caused me to realize this? 

  • Hair Loss and hormonal imbalances. 
I said I would reveal all this after I came up with a solution, and when I felt ready. The truth is we're never ready, and I'm not entirely sure I will find a solution. After I stopped breastfeeding my 2nd daughter exclusively for 6 mos in 2012 (while not taking prenatal vitamins and still trying to lose the baby weight), I experienced an explosion of hormonal problems. My face was taken over with cystic acne which took 3 mos to clear up, and 1 month of birth control. After that my hair started falling steadily since Dec 2012. In the last year I've lost more than half of my hair. You would never know thanks to my curly locks and styling products. I've been to Drs, got every panel of bloodwork done that they could think of, seen the dermatologist and there's no solution. Everything has come back normal. 

Before and After Washing Hair May 2013
If you've never lost your hair you don't know the desperation and devastation that comes with it. It's absolutely the most depressing thing to ever happen to a woman and I don't wish it on anyone. The only thing that my doctor explained is that "hair is an internal thing, if you're stressed, if your hormones are out of wack, or if you're dieting and exercising too much, you will continue to lose your hair." She suggested prenatal vitamins and rogaine, that the answer is not in a shampoo. Maybe it's postpartum related even she said. Well fuck me, because my baby is two years old and I think I'm beyond being "postpartum". I do experience a lot of stress at times and I'm always trying to lose a better part of 20 lbs my whole life as my Junior High School time capsule revealed a few months ago. As handfuls of hair fell out I would compulsively count strands last year, researching how much was normal and how much was abnormal. I would change shampoos, each of them varying in the amount of hair that fell, then looking in the mirror of my just washed and dripping hair and have a full blown panic attack at the sight of how much of my scalp was peeping through my wet hair. God bless my sweet husband who would put me in a tight bear hug and tell me I'm beautiful and he loves me even without my hair and that everything would be okay. He knew what I was going through, it's all I obsessed about. I miss feeling free to color my hair. I haven't colored my hair since April 2012, I miss straightening my hair, I never do it anymore because it's far too thin to look decent, it always pastes to my head.  A short hair cut will only make me look older something I learned to feel that isn't what a 28 year old should ever encourage. 

So what will I do? 

Well I stopped having panic attacks that's for one. How? I came up with a solution that I made peace with. If I can't find a solution to regrow my hair, or at least stop the falling, I will shave my head and wear wigs. Pretty simple yet radical, because that's what I am; radical. That's the only way to be in control of this situation, I fully understand why cancer patients do it. I pray, I read, I grow. I grow a deeper appreciation for the here and now and enjoy "what is". I will continue trying to be positive, and fabulous through it. I am still trying new things on a holistic approach and I truly BELIEVE with ever fiber of my being that I will surpass this obstacle like every other one I have in the past. I will keep trying, aspiring, and searching for something that works for me. With each day's struggle to remain focused, positive, and joyful for every dream that came true for us, I tell myself: You are that same beautiful girl you used to be, -20 lbs or not. I am no longer self-inflicting emotionally. 



As usual, I keep it real and will let you know what happens next...Just remember: There's no such thing as Perfect. “Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” -Unknown

Thursday, January 9, 2014

10 Healthy Changes you Should Make in 2014


I resolved to making resolutions for this year but for some reason I grew to hate the whole "New Year's Resolutions" cliché. Instead I came up with things I want to change for mind, body, and soul health, and I'd like to call them my "Healthy Changes for 2014".


  1. Change all pots and pans to "cast iron, enamel-coated cast iron, or stainless steel". The Teflon on non-stick pans are detrimental to your health. It's mainly cancerous. I mean what's the point of eating your vegetables to stay healthy if chemicals have leached into them and everything else you cook? I don't know.... It's like if I'm gonna try to eat organic I might as well get some new pots and pans too right? Be sensible about what's in your control and what's not regarding your health. 
  2. I want to start my own organic garden! I don't know when or how but I better do my homework from now until April if I want to get this going for the spring. This will serve as practice for my long term goal of opening up my own organic dairy farm. I have no idea how urban farming works but it's a industry that needs more attention and growth for greater sustainability and power over our current tainted food system. 
  3. Our next big investment needs to be a water filtration system for the pipes. FL water is hard as fuck. It's full of crap that disrupts your endocrine system. The skin is the largest organ, it immediately absorbs all the crap you put on it including chlorinated water, and  that leaves the kidneys and liver to filter the junk out. Sure it's a hefty price to pay in the thousands range but so worth it. Don't believe me? Call up one of those companies and ask for the demonstration. You will want to steal the small filter they bring, to wash your hands in that water that comes from it ALL Day, no exaggeration, I promise! If I can't get the one I want, then I'll just have to settle with one we can install by ourselves.
  4. Avoid toxic people. It's not necessarily just the people who talk crap to you, but the people who bring out the worst in you. The bullshitters who think you're stupid enough to believe their crap, the people who ruminate about the same problems daily, the people who irk you in some way that causes your brain to spit out negative thoughts.  Keep anger, resentment, and even jealousy at bay. 
  5. Avoid rumination yourself. It was listed as one of the top 10 things miserable people do which gets them stuck in the past. Moving on is hard when you're pissed. When I'm pissed I lose control. I've worked hard on controlling my thoughts and feelings for the past 3 years, I only want for good thoughts, good vibrations, and positive energy in my life. If you like to dwell on a problem and talk about the same damn thing over and over here's a solution: Write a journal or call someone and vent it out quick and never speak about it again. However, avoid calling the person who will keep bringing it up. I usually get pissed at my husband and I just get it out right then and there, take a deep breath, then calmly both sides take turns talking out grievances. We come to a resolution, we apologize to each other, and it's over. No need to bring it up again unless there is a 2nd offense and no need to bitch and complain about the same damn thing for the next 3 days. Last week, I found myself ruminating and I need to get it together fast.
  6. I'd like to find a holistic Dr. that is covered by our insurance for our family, especially the girls. It might be like trying to find a needle in a haystack but there has to be a conventional doctor out there that practices both western and alternative medicine. I've been disappointed by doctors, and find that thorough research of my own helped me more than anything else, it would just be nice to get my money's worth when we go see the Dr. 
  7. Start eating only grass-fed meat/dairy/butter. I'm currently doing research on this topic which I will share my results to an issue I've been struggling with. To just cry out and say this is my problem; blah blah, blah doesn't make sense and serves as only rumination. I'm trying to find a solution before I delve out the details so others can benefit from it. 
  8. I want to finally invest in a bread machine to make my own bread. Yea I know it's not that expensive for a bread machine but I want a really good one and I wanted to make sure it's worth the cost. I've been efficiently making my own bread since July 2013, and it would be a whole lot easier and faster if I had a machine to do the work. If you're not sure why I don't just buy bread click here to find out why you shouldn't eat store bread. 
  9. Get outdoors more, it's healthier than being locked up inside. This will be hard for me, we usually do afternoon walks with the kids when the weather permits, but to be honest I hate the outdoors for the bugs, the heat/humidity,  and the sun is intense out here. Sure I go outside to take my kid to school and back, but I'm not outside long enough to absorb the sunlight and vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D is linked to many diseases. 
  10. Work towards a worthy cause.  I want to volunteer or make an effort towards something bigger than myself. I don't know what or how, but I'm tired of hearing about disgusting organizations like the Red Cross scamming people and not using majority of the money towards relief efforts. Before we were parents we participated in three annual Relay for Life events, but fell off as we became busier with our family. 

If there's anything I want to keep doing, it's to keep dreaming. Literally. I have been a dreamer/idealist from the very beginning when I was too young and inexperienced to know that it would eventually lead me to scramble in the dark by myself, but I continued to dream anyway. When I think about all the times I was disappointed and depressed, I could sit and dwell in a stew of bitterness and false ego, or I can live in gratitude and think of all the times negative turned into positive.




Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Month of Motivation

Happy New Year Everyone!!! Everyday is a struggle to remain positive, but more so coming back from my trip than it was before. 2013 was a great year filled of positive outcomes and positive affirmations, and overcoming the negative. I'm not gonna bore you with the new year new me bullshit everyone posts. The holiday went by so quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to NYC but plans didn't go without the added stress as usual. What can I say? Drama calls my name. I don't recommend ever going on a vacation longer than 5-7 days even if it's your hometown, even if you're visiting family you haven't seen in forever. I got homesick on the first day and then again by the 5th day. I was there for 11.5 days! It's nuts! I enjoyed having the help of family to take care of the girls and watching them while I gallivanted all over the place at all hours of the day and night. We recently lost our sitter who had a baby of her own, so I'll be looking for someone which will take a while again.

If you do visit New York I highly recommend going to Melody Hookah Lounge in Astoria. I had a blast! The music was great; they played Arabic, House, Techno, Top 40, Rap, Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Latin, etc., and the appetizers and drinks were awesome. They also had a belly-dancer who was pretty good too. The dance floor was kinda small, but overall it was a great night. I let myself drink, smoke, and dance without a care in the world. My husband and I fought like old people about going out to the nightclubs in the first place, but I wasn't having that. If he didn't want to go I was still going to get out there and let loose on my own.. Eventually he caved even though clubs aren't his scene and I learned something about myself when I was there. If I become resentful or angry enough I could very well lead to my own self-destruction. A dark hostility took over me, I felt trapped by something invisible bounding me to be just mother and wife, and I rebelled as I did when I was a teenager. I found myself still fighting for my own sense of individuality and it's crazy that I experienced that at this point of my life. If the opportunity had presented itself at the time to escape, to fuck up, to go wild with abandon I would've done it. The feelings pass but that was the true moment I realized why I don't currently live in NY and why FL kept me grounded as it does most people.

This is my life. 
The culture of NYC as the city that never sleeps can easily cause people like me with an addictive, impulsive personality to easily fall off track. Being born and raised there I never felt bound to any rules, and went with the flow. Moving to FL when I was 18, sort of made me soft. I worried about things, I lived under a rock and I essentially became a different person. When I visited this time, I lost my inhibitions, I lost my worries and just lived for the moment when I was out and about. During the day I would get bored and miss home for the privacy of sitting alone with my own thoughts and feelings but by night I was a bird; energetic and willing to go anywhere and do anything. Being free-spirited has always been me, I hate being tied down. I took the train, the bus, walked, went to Long Island City, Times Square, Rockefeller, Ice Skating in Bryant Park, shopping at Queens Center Mall, had a girls day with two of my closest friends, caught a movie, refused to make time for anyone I didn't speak to regularly, and this time I had such a different appreciation for all of it. I missed the city experience but hated it at the same time. I was a tourist for the first time in my home state.  Now I'm officially a Floridian. I observed so much, and found gratitude for the opportunity to experience both ways of life. If you're not careful though, some of the inevitable negativity crawls up into you from being in that aggressive environment for too long.

I'm going to continue striving for a magical and blessed year. As 50 says; "Turn shit into sugar". Keep praying and believing in something greater than anything you've ever imagined. Since January is the month for sparking all sorts of motivation check this out, you'll love it; 37 Things You'll Regret When You're Old. Be Ahead of the Game.

I did all of this in 2013 and hope to do even more of it in 2014! You all should too!

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