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You, your food and…

Your food and you!…

So it’s a new day, a new season, and with all of that comes a whole new set challenges. The fall season kicks off the hustle and bustle of preparing for upcoming holidays and the stress of all those unwelcome bills that come with multiple gift buying, household preparations, and travel expenses. So how do you STILL fit in a healthy eating and fitness plan? Well, you simply stick to the P.L.A.N. and remain focused on your goals (i.e. living a balanced and healthy lifestyle,etc).

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I’m not saying there are no challenges in maintaining your health and fitness goals, but it is more than possible to be aware of what you’re eating, finding and using your “me” time to work out (it’s also an excellent way to deal with stress), and staying balanced in all (or most) areas of your life. Experience has taught me that the best way to do this, is by taking a step back and finding joy in the little things-a crisp sunny Fall day, an invigorating walk along the trails, or simply enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee on the front porch (backyard, on the veranda, in front of your balcony, etc).

For the everyday woman who’s life is at the crossroads and who feels like she needs not just her health and fitness in balance, but life in general, I say, WELCOME! I have found that every woman is unique in terms of her story and her needs, especially at the “crossroads”. Why? The answer is relatively simple. The needs of a woman who is already stressed, out of balance both physically and mentally (i.e. overweight, frustrated, overwhelmed) is different from one who has her career, obligations, and family on track, etc but just needs “some” help losing a few pounds and leaning how to eat healthy!

The sad truth is that most of us women (especially if you haven’t seen 30 in a min😜) struggle with a chaotic and unhealthy life, but rather than valuing ourselves enough to change it, we choose for one reason or another, to stay on that hamster wheel going no where!

We need to admit and own our truth when it comes to our relationship with food and by extension ,  how we relate and perceive ourselves as well as others. we seem to be ignorant of the fact that FOOD plays an important role in our lives and an important aspect of culture. I guess like so many other things in this high-tech age, this is just one more thing that has become lost in the matrix of ” sameness” perpetuated by a media that serves itself rather than the welfare of society at large.

I’m not saying we bear no responsibility in own health, but I AM saying is that, the media bares some responsibility in terms of pushing “unhealthy” images and ideals of what constitutes beauty, a “healthy weight”, “healthy” foods (i.e. so called fat-free, zero calorie) etc. Our current mainstream media has in large part become the mouth piece of big Agra-business and corporations more interested in their bottomless than the wellbeing of society.

This is why I do what I do! I decided to get active and advocate for women’s health and to empower other women to fight back and reclaim their health, fitness. My goal is for women in my zone of influence to become knowledgeable about their food sources and equip them with the necessary tools to gain control of their health and nutrition. I’ll always remember these  wise words of my mom, “knowledge is power” and “the gates of the school-house are still open”!

If You are tired of UN-healthy crap being packaged and marketed to you as healthy, “low” in fat, etc, then get involved and educated about who controls your food- you are what you eat folks! The hard truth is that, if after all that hard work of getting fit and adopting a healthy lifestyle you’re still depending on big Agra-business and the fast food / packaged food industrial machine to give you good (derived from sustainably grown, mostly pesticide free or organic) quality food, dream on. An educated public is an empowered one, and too often that empowerment is in conflict with the bottom line of these corporations.

So what do I do to cut out the crazy and NOT break the bank? I keep it simple. Stick to mostly seasonal produce, buy my produce from local farms, buy organic where necessary (avoid the “dirty dozen”) and get involved in a local or community farm if at all possible. At the end of the day you, and your family are worth the time and effort, believe me! On a side note, my yummy red shrimp pasta dish 👇🏽 did NOT break the bank, contains mostly organic ingredients, and was both healthy and nutritious! #BoomShakaLaka 😜

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As always, you can reach me both here and facebook, or just drop me a line…img_0100-1

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Who’s afraid of the Devine feminine?

Today I. WAS. MOVED. I was moved by the current sociopolitical climate in our nation where the “debased”, inhumane and intolerant  can masquerade as “real talk” or “plain speaking”. I’m also appalled that “this” type of vocal violence seems to breed and stir up the subtle (and not so subtle) poison of bigotry, hate, and misogyny.

So what brought on my latest rant? It’s really quite simple-our current political race! I’m talking about the current climate that has been created by the notion that a woman has not only decided to run for president,  but she also has the nerve to be the woman who beat the embarrassment and pain of her husband’s peccadillos! Seriously? That’s what constitutes political discourse worthy of a presidential debate?!
REAL TALK? The TRUTH is that every second of every day women and girls are discriminated against, assaulted, and undervalued. Some of this has its origins in fear of the feminine, a false sense of “entitlement”, the belief that the feminine equals “lesser” and weaker (a.k.a. prey). The year is 2016, yet this global tragedy continues as “we” point fingers at one another claiming ignorance. Yes we’ve all heard about the countries and regions of the world where this treatment of woman and girls is the norm, obvious, and tolerated (i.e. “honor” killings, sex slaves, etc). But the sad truth is that we here in the West have our own special brand that we “dress up”  in “acceptable ” attire.

While in some instances  our “brand” may be wearing a different mask or appear more sophisticated  ( or simply better tailored to fit into our cultural infrastructure), we also carry the same shame of treating the feminine as other and by extension deem it worthy of “unworthy” treatment. We only need look at the inadequate statics for rape and sexual assault (i.e. under reported, or compromised evidence collection, etc) on the grounds of our U.S. college campuses, to get a small glimpse of this ugly truth we continue to shelter. Need a reminder? I’m sure many can recall the controversial Stanford University sexual assault case in which an unconscious woman was raped by a male student athlete (former swimmer). To add insult to injury, the offender was given what amounted to a slap on the wrist by the judge overseeing the case. 

Yet we tell our young girls, daughters, and sisters, that they are “free” to reach for the stars?  I say, bullsh**t people! Until we drag out bigotry, hate, and the intolerance lurking in the shadows, things will not only remain the same, they will get worse; especially for women and the rest of the “other”. 

Why are women so “incapable” of reigning over their own bodies and decisions? Why are “some” men determined to suppress and oppress women and those they deem inferior to them? I don’t really give a flying you-know-what! The bottom line is that there will always be predators and evil among us, but it is up to us to shine a light on the darkness and root it out. I have my own views of sexuality and gender but being the evolved Homo Sapiens that I am, I recognize that there is both beauty and balance in diversity, that I rule over no other human being, and WE ARE ALL EQUALLY valuable in this space. Let’s not hide the ugly motivations and machinarions beneath the guises of what constitutes “sociocultural”  definitions of gender and sexuality in “our versions of society.

I stumbled upon a powerful piece of art featured in a news publication entitled “Truth is Beauty” created by Marco Cochrane and his wife (both artists are associated with the Bliss Project). The work and the sentiment behind it were so powerful that I was moved at my very core. I had to speak about it and share my thoughts as another woman who stands in solidarity with any and all who have been oppressed, victimized and violated because they are “other” (only I’m the minds of the oppressor, I might add).

We ALL have a role to play on the world’s stage, and it’s time that we ALL say ENOUGH is ENOUGH, and NO it’s NOT ok to victimize others on YOUR altar of bigotry, misogyny and hate! That’s right! SAY NOTHING and the world will continue to ignore and tacitly enable this sickness, while this poison continues to whittle away at our humanity and civilization. In the words of Edmund Burke more than 100 years ago: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was that good men should do nothing”

As the caption states above there’s a “controversy ” surrounding the fact that it’s 1. A naked woman , 2. Located in a public space, and 3. Small minds will never be able to accept or wrap their heads around such a deep truth. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp what the artists are trying to convey to society at large:

I really don’t think there’s anything more to add to that rant, my fellow Homo sapiens…

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“Paying” for Beauty?

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Nordstrom 2016 Beauty Event goodies!

The Oakbrook Nordstrom Fall 2016 Beauty Trend Show hit the ball out of the park in terms of creativity and content (at least for the most part). As a savvy skin care shopper, Nordstrom is near the top of my list when it comes to product availability, style, customer service, and bang for my buck! Who’d have thunk it? A major department store that gives the customer luxury experience as well as price points for all? They did it right this time when so many major retailers are doing it wrong with such things as “restrictive” coupons, misguided marketing campaigns (a.k.a. bait and switch) poor customer service, and anything less than the luxury experience they claim (i.e. Macy’s).

However, let’s get back to the positives and all that was right in terms of showcasing the Fall 2016 Beauty Trends and the awesome fun-filled experience for the woman who knows what she wants-Nordstrom Oakbrook Center, ya did good! While I don’t always comment on these types of events, this time Nordstrom pulled off a creative event in which most went away satisfied (a dramatic improvement over the Spring 2016 Beauty event) having had the luxury experience that we all need a little of from time to time.

This past weekend was all about being the #PhenominalWomanIBe and appreciating myself as a woman. I often tell my clients, “if you are an empty well, there is nothing you have to give to others”; this is so true and unfortunately too many of us think that if we keep being “super woman” others will eventually find us worthy! That’s an untruth many woman tell themselves as they struggle at the “crossroads” of their lives, trying to find contentment as they spin on that hamster wheel going nowhere. I hate to break it to you my sisters, but if YOU do not see the value and unique beauty that YOU bring to this earth, there are few who will see that special essence that you carry within.

I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade or pander to the negative; I’m only stating a simple truth that comes when you realize that a healthy and balanced life requires that you set boundaries (protecting and respecting your inner core). Ultimately, you must grow comfortable in your own skin, realize that you can’t please or be everything to everyone, and take care of both your physical and mental health. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m a skin care freak and as such I’m always looking for new tips, tricks and all things natural for maintaining healthy radiant skin.

So what did I DO this past weekend? Well, this #SkinCareFreak was on the hunt,  and I decided not to miss out on attending Nordstrom’s Fall 2016 Beauty Trend Show in at the Oakbrook Mall (Oakbrook, IL)!😘💄 That’s right ladies, my “crew” and I camped out at the Oakbrook Mall in the wee hours of 4am to get first dibs at the beauty trend items (anti-aging, renewal, replenishment, hydration, etc) coming into the season. Needless to say, it was all about protection for the winter, fragrance and yes, cosmetics!💄🙌🏽

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Early bird gift!

As a health and fitness strategist, I believe in creating working strategies for the “WHOLE” woman; not just shedding the unhealthy weight and relationship with food, but also helping EVERY woman appreciate herself and all of the quirks and imperfections that make her uniquely beautiful in her space. In other words, attending this beauty event was not just about checking out the latest in skin care, but about making sure I did what was necessary to “do me”!  That is not to say that one needs ALL these things to feel good about oneself; but what I am saying is, there is something inherently therapeutic about treating yourself to some “me” time, reorienting yourself, and ultimately getting in balance!

Bottom line? A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling great and loving what you see when you look in the mirror! Get fit, healthy, and change the way you see yourself by growing and developing on the inside out!Blessings!😘

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Getting it right, for YOU!

I’ve since arrived at the conclusion that when it comes to weight loss, fitness, and over all toning and conditioning, every woman’s body responds differently. I’m always amazed at all the lies and downright hurtful gimmicks aimed at women! Dang IT! We women seem to be the targets of a lot of negative media and social attacks! Part of it stems from the larger problems within our society that are currently being stirred up and played out on the  socio-political stage.

Given all the shifting undercurrents we are being subjected to as well as marketing aimed at all of our insecurities, it’s no wonder that women across the board are more stressed, overwhelmed and feeling pressured to not just fit every role created for us, but to also live up to standards that have little or no basis in reality! Don’t even mention those that are being forced upon us by segments of society that seek to strip women of all the socio-political gains we have fought for over the years. Am I pissed and ticked off? Duh!! Yes! WHY  you might ask? Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that “THIS” whole “THANG” (forced social, political, and gender roles) has to do with power and “WHO” gets to wield it over some one else.

It’s unfortunate that we still still live in a world and society where there are those among us who seek to subjugate, control and dictate to other human beings simply because “they” will it to be so. I’m on a rant today because we WOMEN are still forced to deal with this crap in the 21st century while the other segment of the population glibly marches on with their “special” privileges. NOW, with that context nailed down, add to the mix an unhealthy body image, a skewed relationship with food, etc-EXACTLY! A life out of balance and on that hamster wheel going nowhere! 

The most obvious signs of imbalance for us women tends to be an unhealthy image of our bodies (or ourselves in general), weight gain, insomnia, and so forth. How do get off that crazy train? STOP! Do some real soul-searching and then, make a DECISION, get a PLAN, and then, take ACTION! I never said it would be easy, but you’ve got to come to the realization that YOU are WORTH IT! Why we women struggle with self-worth is NOT a hard thing to figure out when you look around the media and society in general. Hmm, I never saw myself as the proverbial feminist before but if that means, NO more trying to please everyone, NO more trying to fit some one else’s ridiculous image of the ideal woman (i.e. shape, color, size, personality, behavior, etc), and DEFINITELY  NO more “trying” to dictate my biology, THEN F***KING SIGN ME THE HELL UP!!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, “back to the regular programming”, ha-ha! Bottom line, we women need to stop beating up ourselves about what we see in the mirror or how others perceive us, and just focus on our individual truths, places that need growth (and do what needs to be done to get there), realize that we need to put our health and fitness at the top of our own lists (because if you’re unhealthy there is nothing you can do for anyone else if you’re dead!), and engage in those things that will bring BALANCE and FULFILLMENT to our lives. Now, that IS my “WHY” when people ask me about why I do what I do, but the real question is, WHAT’S YOUR’S? ARE YOU finally FED UP and sick and tired of being sick and tired??

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