10 Day Challenge: Five Foods

Sorry I’m getting this out so late. I’ve been swamped. Just finished a 25 minute jog in place followed with TurboFire’s HIIT 15! I’m dripping in sweat. I’m sure you didn’t come here for this, so let’s get down to business.

Five. Fries.

Oh goodness. These are the worst things EVER, but they are great! I love them almost no matter what style. My favorite are McDonald’s. I don’t care that they manage to survive without molding for months after being made, they taste DELICIOUS. I don’t know what they do but they manage to have no real competition for me. The only thing I really like at McDonald’s.

Four. Steak.

I don’t who you are, what diet you’re on, but I cannot go without my steak. There are certain times that I truly crave it. Not just beef, but steak in particular. It doesn’t subside with any other sort of protein and I feel energized and ready to take on the day. I like it cooked medium rare – seared on the outside, just slightly bloody on the inside. When cooked right, it melts in your mouth like butter. I think I know what’s for dinner tomorrow.

Three. Avocados.

I love avocados because of a lot of things. First, they have amazing health benefits.

The folate contained in avocados is mostly responsible for reducing the risk of heart disease, especially compared to people who have a diet low in folate. The vitamin E in an avocado has also been linked to a healthy heart, something needed to keep you successfully burning fat all day long.

Another health benefit of avocado is that it is extremely helpful in preventing both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis. The many different antioxidants found in avocados help reduce inflammation, a major concern for sufferers of either type of arthritis. Avocado nutrients responsible for this health benefit include vitamins C & E as well as manganese.

Perhaps the biggest health benefit of avocados is that by adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients. This means that when you combine other fat burning foods with avocado, you can improve your nutrient absorption up to 400%!

Avocados provide many general health benefits, in addition to its fat burning benefits due to its vitamin E and glutathione, which protects you against tons of diseases including several forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Avocados also help reduce the signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and promote eye health.

Second, they are extremely filling – at 1/4 of an avocado as a serving, that’s all you really need to fill you up during snack time.

Third, they are versatile. I eat them alone, on salads as well as use them as a replacement for mayonnaise on my sandwiches. Their creamy goodness more than makes up for the lack of mayo.

Two. Wine.

Nope, it’s not a food, it’s a drink, but it’s made from grapes. Again, used in moderation (no more than two glasses for men, and one glass for women), it has awesome health benefits.

It’s been well documented that moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin your blood. This is thought to be one of the primary cardiovascular benefits from wine (red and white), as well as hard liquor and beer.

Non-alcoholic phytochemicals in wine, such as flavanoids and resveratrol, act as antioxidants and prevent molecules known as “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body.  Although some studies which have focused on the health benefits of resveratrol use much greater dosages than you’ll find in an average glass of wine, resveratrol has been shown to prevent blood clotting and plaque formation in arteries by altering lipid profiles and plasma viscosity.  Findings from a recent study suggest that resveratrol can produce potent anti-thrombotic agents that can potentially improve cardiovascular health and lower the risk for coronary heart disease.  In animal studies, resveratrol reduced tumor incidence by affecting one or more stages of cancer development.

Red wine provides much more resveratrol compared to white. That’s because the longer the skin is kept on the grape during the wine making process, the greater the concentration of resveratrol in the wine. In the case of white wine production, the skin is removed before fermentation, giving white wines a lower concentration in resveratrol compared to red wines. Also, wines made in cooler climates have greater amounts of resveratrol too. Thus, red wine from cool climates have the most resveratrol.

One. Shakeology.

Yes, I am a representative for Beachbody, but I’m also a believer. Before I started drinking Shakeology daily, I had high blood pressure. Every doctor’s appointment was scarier and scarier. I’m awful with taking daily medications and was prescribed medication to keep it down. After drinking Shakeology, I don’t have high blood pressure. It’s completely within normal regions and I’m tempted to take my blood pressure meds a day or two for the days leading up to my appointment and most of the time I forget. I go to the doctor’s nervous, reading and watching those numbers, wondering if this time missing my pills were going to send me to an early grave. But as of my last doctors appointment (well, urgent care since I have an ear infection), completely normal. No plea from the doctor to PLEASE take my meds. Nothing. Not even a mention.

In short, I’m a Shakeology user, buyer and believer. I have heard so many other awesome stories. This is just mine. I am not a doctor, so I’m not suggesting you jump off your meds for it. For me, it was a lifesaver.

These are additional health benefits:

  • 17 grams of Protein
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Prebiotics
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Phytonutrients
  • No Caffeine
  • No Gluten

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The Many Keys of Baby Raising

Seems every parent knows that having a child means that you have an automatic magnet for your keys. My daughter loves my keys, digging in my purse to get them (or my wallet, both signalling my future as a mother of Ms. B).

Well, last week, I was out with the wonderful Ms. B. As I’m sure other babies will attest, she finds her car seat limiting to the amount of trouble she can get into.  That leaves two options for me – a high chair or my arms. Although I love holding my precious baby girl in my arms, I also like to eat in as much comfort as humanly allowable – who doesn’t like to sit her car seat, but rather a high chair and enjoys playing with my keys.

During my lunch became a game of “Pick my Keys Off of the Floor in Between Bites”. Ms. B was well entertained by the “game” she started, laughing each time as I bent down to pick up my keys. After the third time, my girlfriend (who was with me at lunch) suggested I get a retractable key chain. What? I asked. A retractable key chain so that they can throw it, but you don’t have to bend over to find or pick up your keys. It was the PERFECT suggestion! So this is what I bought:

It is the best invention ever! Well, not EVER, but all I do is clip this to her clothes and she can play for minutes (I really wish it were hours) without dropping it on the floor or screaming or crying and whatnot. She was so happy to have it connected to her and kept trying to pull it and it just pulled away and snapped back!

What’s even better is since I keep this device on my keys, I never have to fish in my purse when trying to carry baby, baby bag, purse and whatever else I try to put in my arms. I take it out of the ignition and clip it to my collar – pull it when I get to the door. Works so well for keeping my hands free and getting in and out of the house easy.

What tips do you have to keep your babies entertained in a restaurant?


This week’s Link’N Blogs!

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Sixteen Pounds Eleven and a Half Ounces

I’m pleased to report that Ms. is back into the 25th percentile! The background story is here. Yay!

At first weekly, now monthly, I go to the doctor just to get her weighed. I need to make sure that she’s a-okay. At one point she was as low as the 5th percentile. I’m happy that she’s still growing and growing big!

Today, she had her first pizza crust. She gummed it down to nothingness.

The only issue that I’m having with Ms. B is that she is so interested in EVERYTHING, she hates going to sleep. Putting her to sleep is a struggle, plus I think she’s teething. What ends up happening is that she needs to be breastfed to go to sleep. So, a tired, irritated baby girl wants to breastfeed. PAINFUL!

She’s 9 months old now. I would love to stop breastfeeding, but at this age, she still needs to eat at night. I will probably wait until she turns one before I stop. Am I crazy?




Aloha Friday Blog Hop

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10 Day You Challenge: Six Places

Today is all about places that I want to go. This is actually harder than I thought. I figured, I could pick some vacation places, and that’d be it. Choosing six places to go can be more than just the superficial. Enjoy!

Six. Anchorage, AL

I’m not sure why, I just always wanted to see what Alaska had to offer. I love cold weather, so it’s definitely a place for me to be.

Five. Seattle, WA

Went to Seattle when I was in college. It’s the number one place that I’d want to live if not in California. It rains 9 months a year and for most people, that would be a turnoff, but I would welcome it. The greenery, the city life, it was just so much fun to be in.

Four. DisneyWorld, Orlando, FL

With all of this, need I say more?

Three. The White House, Washington D.C.

Not a tour, I want an actual visit. I would like to meet the President and the First Lady. I would like to go to a White House dinner. I would like to ask the President some hard questions – regardless of who’s in office/

Two. Paris, France

I have family in France, and it is the city of love. I went once when I was a teenager and completely fell in love myself. I would love  to return as an adult and get a different view of the land. Actually my favorite city was Nice, but since I have my hubby and kids, they have to see le Louvre and la Tour Eiffel. I took some beautiful pictures of EVERYTHING, even before digital, but alas, they were lost many years ago.

One. Haleiwa, HI

As I mentioned last week, my best friend lives in HI. I miss her and her family dearly and one of these days, she’s supposed to show me how to surf!


You can still work out on vacation:

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“Thin” Doesn’t Run in Our Family

For Labor Day, I had some family over. As a hard-working single mother of three children, she tries her best everyday. She’s a heavy gal, like me, but the more time that I spend with her, the more I realize a couple of things. First, she lumps me in with her every weight discussion we have, regardless of the purpose of the conversation. Second, she doesn’t think that our family can be “thin”.

Lumping… I like that word for this, mainly because that’s exactly what it is. When discussing weight, she says “we” can’t be thin, “we” have never been thin and “we” shouldn’t look to be thin. I will say that I’m not quite sure what her interpretation of “thin” is. Is it something like this?

Victoria’s Secret

Or is it like this?

Dove’s Real Woman Campaign

 To be frank, I have been “thin”. I was a size 5 at one point in time – for about six months. I felt weak and unhealthy, so I put on a little weight, taking me to a size 7 for another six months. I maintained it until I fell into a major depression, losing my best friend, I ate. Then before I got healthy, I fell into another depression, putting me at then-all-time high of size 18. But’s that’s all an aside, the point is I can be thin and each person is there own.

There is power in our thoughts. When we lump ourselves in with someone else, you feel safe, you feel safe to not make a change. When you can hold on to the idea that you and this other larger person are the same person, if they don’t do it, then you don’t actually have to try. Don’t let your attachment to your current self stop you becoming the person you want to be.

Our family… like a lot of black families, the women, especially, are large. My mother is larger now, maintaining a size 5 until her third child in her thirties. She never took it off, but she was tiny for a long time. My sister is also thin, donning a size 3. It’s not our family, it’s our decisions. We make awful decisions. We use food to console us, we eat too much, and we eat fried and starches.

That’s it. No genetic differences, no “big bones”, no “phat”. We are just big. You know how I know this… when other people who previously said they were big-boned and couldn’t lose weight, actually loses weight (through diet and exercise or procedure), they drop to a svelte size 5 or 7 and all perception of “big-bones” disappears.

However, we do have different body shapes. I can never look like that Victoria’s Secret model above and I’m ok with that. But I will be thin… thin and HEALTHY!


If we would change our thinking, we would be thinner.

Joining the Drop it Like It’s Hot Blog Hop



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10 Day Challenge: Seven Wants

As I cruise the internet through other blogs, I’m finding some open ended questions. I realize that I don’t really share a lot about myself on this blog, although I’d like to, so I’ll be doing more question and responses on here.

I’m coming in a bit in the middle of this challenge, and maybe I’ll come back to them at the end, just to complete it. But, for now, I’ll start with Seven Wants.

1. New Car

Both of our cars are paid off and I’m very comfortable with that fact. Sometimes, I just want a new one, I envy those with the latest and greatest. But I know that I’m sacrificing for a larger goal – debt freedom. But as soon as I get there, this is the car I want! BMW X3. I will get there!

2. New Refrigerator

This is probably a need, since it’s leaking, but it’s on my wants list because it’s still functional as a refrigerator, as we’ve been using it. I love this one from LG.

3. Go to Hawaii

I have seen my best friend in ages. She has her own struggles and children and I have mine, but who can turn down going to Hawaii for a vacation!


4. KitchenAid Mixer

I don’t bake, but this mixer seems like it will make life easier. I use all of my appliances, so I know this will get good use.


 5. Maid Service

I have a newborn… need I say more?


6. Indoor Pool

I love swimming and I’d love to have a pool that I can actually swim laps in.


7. Happy Healthy Children

Need I say more?


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Fill in the ____ Friday

  1. Over this Labor Day weekend, I will be working on my website and getting in a date night with hubby.
  2. With the political debates going on right now, my thoughts are that I wish that we could get a real political candidate that spends more time telling us what he’s going to do right than what the other person did was wrong.
  3. Today, my plans got all screwed up. I thought I had a couple of hands to help around the house, and that didn’t happen and now I have some errands to run. C’est la vie d’une mere.
  4. The best thing I’ve cooked recently was pan-fried fish lightly covered in crushed croutons, fried in bacon grease with a side of mixed vegetables. Hubby said it was awesome!
  5. The last thing I bought was a great pair of DKNY shoes from Macy’s. I was in desperate need of flats and hadn’t been lucky in finding any. My feet are incredibly narrow for the size (9 or 10) and I finally got it at a clearance for $16!IMG075.jpg
  6. The best movie I saw this summer was mmmm, did I go to the movies this summer? I can’t recall seeing any movie this summer, so I doubt it.
  7. The best book I read this summer was ummm, read is past-tense. I’m in the midst of reading Outliers and have been for the last two months, which constitutes the summer, right?

Link up!

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Linkin’ Up

I’m having so much fun reading all the new blogs across the blogosphere and there’s another linking list here. Broaden your horizons and see what’s out there!

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Habanero Cranberry Sauce

Want to make food a little tastier? Feel free to add spice. Check out this recipe: The sweet and SPICY flavor of these beauties made for one killer cranberry sauce. If you are not a fan of extreme heat in your foods PLEASE CAREFULLY SEED THE PEPPERS. OK, there’s the disclaimer, now here’s the recipe 🙂



1 tsp coconut oil
1 fresh habanero chili, minced (I left the seeds IN but please adjust to suit your taste)
1 1 lb bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 water
1/3 cup PURE maple syrup (add more after the dish is done if you want it sweeter)
1 tsp cinnamon or to taste


Add all other ingredients and bring to simmer. Lower heat and simmer until sauce is desired consistency. For me that is about 20 minutes but if you want a lumpier sauce a bit less.Heat coconut oil over med-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add minced habanero and saute until softened, about 1 minute.

Let cool for a bit and taste. Add a bit more syrup if desired.

Enjoy the heat!

Linkin Up at:

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