Mental Health

I applaud MICHELLE OBAMA on talking about her low -grade depression. Talking about mental health issues or depression is a taboo topic. The pandemic has increased mental health issues because the frontline workers are experiencing burnout. People who are in their houses for two to three month because of quarantine may be facing depression and other mental health issues. More than ever people are battling depression, anxiety, insomnia, and  distress to their well being. Today I am here to say “I SEE YOU” who are struggling in silence with mental health issues, you are NOT ALONE  and it’s okay to feel the way you feel.  We are all in this TOGETHER.

The mental health issues I have experienced during and post covid are lack of consistency , indecisiveness in my workouts, lack discipline , sleeping problems, nervousness, restlessness , lack of taking care of myself and get overwhelmed easily. I realized I was mentally , physically , spiritually burned out and suffering from anxiety. These are some  positive ways I have found to cope: 

  • Be real with your emotions that you are feelings. 
  • Ask yourself if these emotions make you feel happy or sad.
  • Take time to heal, don’t rush your healing. Go at your pace. 
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Talk to someone, friend or professional therapy. 
  • Mediation or pray.
  • Keep a journal to track your emotions and moods.
  • Do breathing exercise. 
  • It’s okay to feel not  okay.
  • Focus on each day.
  • Learn to be present in your life.
  • Find your joy back.
  • Find your motivation back.
  • Find yourself.
  • Love yourself. 
  • It’s not a shame to work on your mental health.
  • Learn to be happy.
  • Smiling more often
  • Limit caffeine.
  • Dress up.
  • Put on some makeup.
  • Go outside and enjoy the sunshine.
  • Set a  daily routine.
  • Say no to things that take away your peace.
  • Learn to encourage myself.
  • Set weekly goals.
  • Exercise, move your body.
  • Be nice to yourself and your body.
  • Run your race.
  • You don’t have to be strong 100% at the time.
  • Stop allowing people to take away your peace
  • Do your best.
  • We cannot please everyone.
  • It’s okay to cry.
  • Enjoy your life. 
  • Eat balanced meals.
  • Take your vitamins regularly  
  • You have to move forward, you cannot stay in that place you are in. 
  • Listen to encouraging podcasts 
  • Think positive be positive 
  • I am stronger than I think 

For Help 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish. Learn more

800-273-8255

For help with depression, anxiety and other mental health, please reach out to a therapist, counselor, doctor or talk to someone. Help is there for you.

If you need help, please get help, don’t be afraid of what people may say or the stigma against getting help. Please choose life, the darkness is only temporary.

Rise UP from Andra Day!!

“Self care isn’t just drinking water and going to sleep early. Self care is taking a break when things become overwhelming,saying no to things you do not want to do , allowing yourself to cry, asking for help from those around you, doing things that make you happy”. 
Let’s make self-care a priority. Self-care is one of those things that is essential but we often don’t take enough time for or feel we don’t have enough time for. But taking care of yourself , body , health and mental well- being is so important to not only feel better but also to perform better in the long run. Self care is checking on  your mental state. This week on my blog I am talking about how to cope with  mental health during pandemic. It’s crucial we take care of our mental health and well being. 


Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Rest In Peace Jeremiah Dotson

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same”.Please send prayer for Jeremiah Dotson and his family. Jeremiah was a janitor who worked at New York Presbyterian Hospital, got sick with Covid, and recently passed away. Jeremiah was a kind, always smiling and a hardworking person. RIP and Happy Birthday my friend.

To my friend Jeremiah Dotson, you will be missed greatly. Jeremiah was a janitor who worked at New York Presbyterian Hospital, got sick with Covid, and recently passed away.Jeremiah was a kind, always smiling and a hardworking person. He was a professional writer and self published author. He wrote up to seven books about relationships which are available on Amazon for purchase. https://www.amazon.com/Jeremiah-Dotson/e/B00JFHOTU6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1597543636&sr=8-1 . Jeremiah loved to write and he always hoped to take his writing further. When I first started my blog, Jeremiah gave me tips about writing. He was so proud of me. Let’s be honest, Jeremiah believed in me more than I believed myself. Thank you for believing in me.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Please support Jeremiah Dotson by ordering his books from amazon. Please and Thank You!! Let’s make him #1 on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Jeremiah-Dotson/e/B00JFHOTU6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1597543636&sr=8-1

See You Again Jeremiah Dotson 

Women’s Empowerment

On Instagram people are posting black and white images of themselves with the caption, “challenge accepted”. The challenge accepted involves posting black and white images of oneself as a show of women’s empowerment .  

img_6989

                Women’s Anthem

“Women are fierce. They are powerful. No matter what language they speak, how they dress, or the work they choose to do. What matters is they have a choice, and the freedom to carve out a life for themselves. As long as we know women who are strong and resilient, we must respect them, carry them forward, lift them up. For they are the product of all our other selves, the women we were, the ones we strive to be, the collective struggle of our mothers, our sisters, our daughters. Our salvation will only come if we stand together.” – Lang Leav

img_6971

 

Women supporting Women

img_6972

  Jerk Chicken Rasta Pasta Blog

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Chicken breast
  • Onion- couple or as much as you like
  • 1 Garlic -minced
  • Mix color of bell peppers , as much you like
  •  Thyme herb –  I used couple pieces of fresh dry thyme
  • 1- ripe Tomatoes-  cut in pieces
  • 2 -Teaspoon Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning mild – add more for spicy or  use Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning hot and spicy
  • Sprinkle Original Blend Salt – Free Dash Seasoning
  •  Sprinkle Complete Seasoning Sazon
  • Sprinkle salt
  • Ginger – small piece of fresh ginger
  • Scallion- half of scallion cut in piece
  • 3 Tablespoon of Canola oil
  • 1- 1 ½ cup of heavy cream
  • ¼- ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of penne Pasta
  • 2 cup cold water

Tips

  • You can use any meat such as salmon, shrimp and chicken to prepare this dish.
  • For a larger portion size just double or triple the ingredients.

img_6596

img_6618

Directions :

-Clean the chicken breast, cut it up into pieces, put the chicken in a bowl with distilled vinegar with a slice of lime or lemon and cold water and soak for 1-2 minutes to kill the bacteria off the chicken.

-Rinse the chicken thoroughly with the cold water. Put the chicken in a dish, seasoning the chicken from front to back with Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.  Please don’t be stingy with your season because you don’t want Oprah Winfrey asking you “did you add salt and pepper”.

-Sprinkle Original Blend Salt – Free Dash Seasoning , Sprinkle Complete Seasoning Sazon and Sprinkle salt to the chicken. Also, add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, thyme, tomato, ginger and  scallion. Use a spoon to mix up the chicken with the seasoning and please make sure your chicken is well seasoned.

– Cover chicken with a transparent plastic wrap and let it marinate for at least 1 hour and for best result 24 hours. I like to make it the night before and put it in the refrigerator for the next day.  For short on time, marinate for 30 minutes or 1 hour.

– Cook the pasta according to box instructions, drain and set aside.

– In a saute pot, put 3 tablespoon oil into the pot. When the pot is hot , add the chicken by itself to the pot.

– Cook the chicken until brown on both sides .

– Use another saute pot , add the chicken , onion, garlic, bell peppers, thyme, tomato, ginger,  scallion and 2 cup cold water to the pot ( add enough water to cover chicken breast to cook). Sprinkle additional seasoning , stir and reduce the heat to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and gravy is made.

–  In another pot, add heavy cream on medium heat, when heavy cream is boiling, add the parmesan cheese, stir continuously for one minute or until the parmesan cheese is melted. Turn off the stove.

– Add the chicken and everything in the pot to the heavy cream , stir it up, add the pasta, stir it up , sprinkle more original blend Salt – free dash seasoning  and sprinkle more  complete seasoning sazon stir up and cook for 5 minutes. Serve your jerk chicken pasta with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

The chicken breast clean , wash and cut.

img_6597

The chicken breast with Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning only.

img_6233

The chicken breast with other ingredients mix.

img_6599

prep the jerk chicken night before!!

img_6600

Remove the chicken

img_6592

Fry only the chicken first.

img_6591

Finishing product of fry chicken.

img_6610

Use another saute pot , add the chicken , onion, garlic, bell peppers, thyme, tomato, ginger,  scallion and 2 cup cold water to the pot ( add enough water to cover chicken breast to cook). Sprinkle additional seasoning , stir and reduce the heat to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and gravy is made.

img_6614

Jerk Chicken Rasta Pasta

 

“Don’t forget to give yourself a round of applause for going through your trying times, but still finding the strength and courage to rise, regardless. Today, you’re standing. Appreciate your progress. Although you have more to accomplish, you deserve to smile at your growth”. It’s been a crazy year, please remember to be kind to yourself because you are still a work in progress and not the finished product.

img_6587img_6589

How am I feeling?

                                              I am tired!!
I am tired from fighting coronavirus as a frontline nurse. I’m tired of the racial injustice in this world that we live in. I’m tired of the racial injustice in health care. Black women are 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications than white women.
I’m tired of the racial injustice in healthcare working as a black nurse; I’ve experienced my share of racial injustice inside and outside healthcare. I’m tired of the racial injustice in the medical field and people look at me and think I am dumb because I am black. Yes, I’m black, I am smart, and I am excellent at my job. As a nurse I do not see race, sex or gender or VIP status. I treat everyone as equals with the respect they deserve. I am tired of having to prove myself over and over again with my skills that I’m a strong nurse. While non-blacks nurses lack the skills and knowledge to work there, no one bothers them. When I am saving your life do you see the color of my skin?
I am tired of racial injustice my black brother has faced by cops when he goes outside or hangs out with friends.
I’m tired of my people dying over and over for the thing called FREEDOM.
I’m tired of seeing cops killing black people and walk away without CONSEQUENCE.
I’m tired of seeing cops abusing their power.
I am tired of this double standard placed on black people.
I am tired of doctors not listening to black people.
I am tired of the system failing black people.
I am tired of living in a broken system.
I’m tired of the racial injustice in the healthcare system and I’m tired of the racial injustice in the world.
I am tired that Martin Luther King’s dream has not come true yet. Yes, I am tired today, but my faith is in God because he lays down my burden and he gives me rest.
I’m tired that when you see me you only see black.

                         How can you help?

Support/ donate to Black Lives Matter : https://blacklivesmatter.com/
Protest
Sign a petition calling for justice for Breonna Taylor , Ahmed Arbery, George Floyd and many other black people killed in the past. https://www.change.org/
Vote
Keep listening and learning
Speak out against the injustice

 

I don’t own the rights to this video . Systemic Racism Explained!!

 

Watch this great video shared Viola Davis instagram. I don’t own  the rights to this video by Hasan Minhaj  comedian feature on netflix.

img_6168

img_6184

 

MY LIFE MATTERS img_6132

 

 

How to measure your weight loss without a scale

A scale is a device to measure weight . The scale does not measure hard work, commitment, discipline, cheat days or how strong you are getting. The number on the scale does not define the person you are, so stop chasing the  number.We are allowing the number to define us and how we feel about ourselves. Please don’t let the scale control you.

My advice is when he or she starts a weight-loss journey,  step on the scale because you need to know the number. After the first weight in,  do it weekly or monthly; just not every day. Don’t depend on only the scale as measuring tools. You can take before and after pictures weekly or monthly.  There are times in my weight journey I was doing everything right, but I was not seeing the  results on the scale which was driving me crazy till I compared my pictures and I saw it differently.  In the after picture  I have gained some muscle. I was leaner but the number on the scale was higher. You know muscle weighs more than fat. Also,try to  use your favorite pants or  favorite outfit to help you track your weight loss. It’s very important to focus on how you feel about  your health. Also, using a measuring tape to track your weight loss and put it on a paper and track it every month. You will be surprised at your weight loss and inch loss.

img_5863

For a precise method for weighing yourself, please check out the InBody 720 scale, it’s a special scale that measures body composition and it’s more accurate than regular scale. With the Inbody 720 scale it’s able to measure body composition  which includes intracellular water, extracellular water, dry lean mass and body fat mass.  With the InBody 720 scale I see more than one number because this scale shows me a big picture of my body. I am not focusing on the number on the scale, but lowering my body fat percentage. I got my results at my doctor , he has inbody720 scale. Go to inbody.com , when you reach Inbody website, click on the contact us and on the nearest testing center and then fill out some questions and in a couple of days you find an available location for testing.

This is not my result from Inbody but a sample.

img_5864

Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway”. I have realized that working nights have made my weight go up and down like a roller coaster. I have not given up because my focus is not the number on the scale, but being healthy inside and outside. During the coronavirus pandemic  I was active because that was one thing I can control which created a balance for me in the chaos. My diet is not perfect. Some days, I love to eat chocolate and other days I limit my sugar and eat my salad. I normally eat a balanced diet and workout regularly. 

img_5866img_5869

Curry Chicken, Chickpea and Butternut Squash  Recipe 

                                                     Curry Chicken 

Ingredients:

  1. Blue mountain Jamaican Curry powder 1 Tbsp.
  2. Half piece of onion
  3. Sprinkle salt to taste
  4. Chicken cut in small pieces
  5. Sprinkle Accent seasoning
  6. Sprinkle Complete seasoning Sazon
  7. Garlic -1 crushed
  8. Fresh dry tithes – as much as desired
  9. Half scallion cut in pieces
  10. 1 scotch bonnet pepper for spicy taste (optional)
  11. Fresh Ginger – small piece (optional)
  12. 1/2 cup of oil or 1 cup of oil (depends on the amount of chicken)
  13. 1 carrot – cut in pieces (optional)
  14. 1 potato or sweet potato (optional)
  15. Hot water
  16. 1- can of Goya low sodium chickpeas

 

Instructions:

After cleaning, cut the chicken up in small pieces.

  • Place the chicken in a bowl with distilled vinegar and cold water. Let soak for 1-2 minutes.
  • Rinse the chicken with cold water.
  • Add the chicken, curry, garlic, onion, scallions, dry tithes and ginger to the bowl. Sprinkle the Complete seasoning Sazon, Accent seasoning and salt. Add a small amount of cold water to the chicken to make sure the chicken is mixed well with the curry.
  • In a sauté pot, put ½ cup of oil, heat the pot until hot. Add the chicken by itself to the pot.
  • Cook the chicken until brown on both sides because you want the curry to cook.
  • Remove the chicken, drain the oil from the pot. You can wipe out the pot or use another pot.
  • Add the chicken with the curry mix to the pot, add some hot water to chicken, just enough hot water to cover the chicken and help it cook.
  • Add carrots, potato to the pot and 1 scotch bonnet pepper.
  • Add chickpea
  • Cover the pot and reduce the heat to cook for about 25 minutes or until the chicken makes gravy.
  • You can tell the chicken is done by tasting it.
  • If desired, serve with rice and veggies.

img_4954img_2216img_2220img_4953

                                                                   Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash

Drizzle of olive oil or spray olive oil

Dash seasoning (use any seasoning you like) or salt and black pepper to keep it simple.

Instructions:

  • Wash and dry the butter squash .Use a sharp knife to cut the butter squash in half. Use a spoon to remove the inside of the squash and put it in a baking pan. Drizzle the olive oil or spray olive oil on the top on the squash and sprinkle desired seasoning (dash seasoning or black pepper and salt).
  • Bake at 400 for 15- 20 minutes or until the squash is brown and soft in the inside.  You can check if the squash is done by sticking a fork in the squash and the fork comes out smooth.
  • Remove squash from the oven, let cool off 5- 10 minutes, and then use a fork or your hands to pull the strands of squash away from the peel.
  • Serve the squash with chickpea and Curry Chicken

 

 

img_7579

                                    How to cook chickpeas from scratch

Ingredients:

  •         1-cup uncooked Goya chickpeas / Garbanzo beans
  •         Salt sprinkled
  •         One clove of garlic
  •         10 cups cold water ( or make sure half of the pot is full of water )

-Tips for cooking the perfect chickpeas are to soak it in water overnight in a bowl or soak it in water for 3-4 hours before cooking it.

Instructions:

  •         Put a pot on medium heat with water and salt on the stove. When the water is boiling adds the chickpea and covers the pot and reduces the heat.
  •         When the water in the pot is reduced, add more cold water to cover the chickpeas so they can cook and repeat until the peas are cooked.
  •         Also, don’t forget to frequently stir the peas and cook the chickpea for 2 hours.
  •         You will know the chickpeas are cooked when you are able to squeeze it with your fingers and it is soft.
  •         Drain the water and pour it in a bowl, when the chickpeas cool off, put in the refrigerator. Chickpeas are great for breakfast, add to salad and add to dinner.

 

img_5852img_5853img_5854img_5855

 “Life is a circle of happiness, sadness, hard times, and good times. If you are going through hard times, have faith that good times are on the way”. The battles belong to the Lord.  During quarantine, chickpeas have become important ingredients to have in your house. Chickpeas/ Garbanzo beans have high levels of iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Plus chickpeas are a good source of fiber and protein. Curry Chicken, Chickpea and Butternut Squash with a kale salad. Enjoy!!

img_5851

 

 

Please Stay Home

These are the working conditions in the hospital during the quarantine.  ICU beds are filled to capacity and nurses are burnt out. Nurses are on their feet for long shifts without taking a break.  I remember sitting in my car after a 12 hour shift thinking about how much my feet hurt.  I walked so much it felt like I had just run a marathon. Some mornings after work I have found myself crying because my job as become a war zone: pumps are running low and nurses have no time to chart.  They just keep hanging medications and patients are dying without their loved ones- only with the sound of the monitor alarm.

Nurse’s faces are breaking out because they have to wear masks for long shifts under stressful conditions.  That has become our new normal. When nurses remove the masks sometime they do not recognize their own faces because of the marks left by those masks. Wearing the mask makes me dehydrated and I have to chug water before I put my mask back on.

Nurses are grateful for the community support, food donation and video calls. Nurses love the support because we all are in this together.

I am begging you please stay home and follow social distancing rules because “I stayed at work for you”, “You stay at home for us”

 

 My coworker Stephanie’s face when she removes the mask.

img_5373

 

My coworker Lecille’s experience about working in covid-19.

img_5365

My coworker Angeli’s experience about working in covid-19.

img_5363

 

 

 

img_5364

 

Please stay home because this is not a joke, it’s life or death.   My unit below!!

img_5372

 

A prayer for Front Liners from YouVersion 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the frontliners caring for, protecting, and serving our communities, our families, and us. Thank You for these servant leaders, called to this work, trained for such a time as this, daily risking their own health and safety for others.

Please protect them from harm. Give them courage and strength. Draw close, Lord, and let them feel Your presence throughout the long hours they are working.

Father, please provide everything they need, both for the people they are serving and for their loved ones. Surround them with people who will help and support them and their families, even as they selflessly care for others.

You said we would face troubles in this world, but also that You had overcome it. Please work together with our frontliners, Lord, to ultimately bring about the best outcome possible.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

Shout out to my team CCU at  New York Presbyterian  Hospital . Amazing things are happening right here!!

img_5381

 

I am a Registered Nurse and I have a voice.

This is the second week of quarantine working frontline against coronavirus. This is how I am feeling:

Registered Nurses are overworked, exhausted and scared.

Registered Nurses do not have enough PPE (personal protective equipment) or supplies to use to protect against coronavirus.

According to the CDC, Registered Nurses are supposed to use bandannas to protect themselves because of the shortage of masks.

Registered Nurses are told by the hospital to use only one mask or reuse the mask which is disgusting and unsafe. Registered Nurses are told by the hospital if he or she is test positive and have no symptoms they can still work but wear a mask. This is crazy because we can still spread the coronavirus to our coworkers and the patients we take care of.

I feel like the hospital has failed Registered Nurses, but my trust is in God.

Registered Nurses are supposed the front line defense but the security guard and x-ray technician  is more protective wear  than the nurses.

Other countries around the world such as Italy, China and White Plain Hospital Registered Nurses are wearing hazard suits to protect themselves, but other Registered Nurses have disposable gowns with less protection against coronavirus.

Nurses are left to buy their own masks, N95 masks and face Shields.

Registered Nurses are scared to work with less PPE because we are risking our life when we have kids and family to take care.

Registered Nurses come to work in anxiety and fear of the unknown for a 12 hours shift. Coronavirus has changed our life too because after working a 12 hours shift, we have to homeschool our kids and be caregivers. We are running on empty.

The brown paper bag contains my reuse N95 mask and face Shield.  Registered Nurses are told to reuse masks over and over again until it’s dirty.

img_5254

 

 

We need more help from the hospital, federal government, president of the United States and anyone else who can help Registered Nurses get more PPE and masks.

You can send me a personal message, or you can contact my hospital directly by                 email: @ masks@nyp.org to help us secure more PPE. Thanks for your donation, stay safe and God Bless!!

 

My favorite song “See a victory “by Elevation Worship

The weapon may be formed, but it won’t prosper

When the darkness falls, it won’t prevail

‘Cause the God I serve knows only how to triumph

My God will never fail

Oh, my God will never fail

I’m gonna see a victory

I’m gonna see a victory

For the battle belongs to You, Lord

Proud to be a Nurse

It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” Doe Zantamata

The past couple of weeks have been really tough for everyone especially the nurses, people in healthcare workers, and first responders battling coronavirus. At this time the best thing we can do is follow what Centers for Disease Control and Prevention such as hand washing, staying away if sick, and social distancing. I believe that God is in control yesterday, today and forever. Keep the faith and don’t let fear drive you crazy.   This is what I am doing in social distancing. As a Registered Nurse I will continue to work because hospitals do not get canceled. I will wash my hands, take my vitamins, exercise at home, eat a balanced meal, sleep and prioritize my self- care activity to keep myself calm. Please don’t forget to pray and trust God. Please continue to keep all healthcare workers, first responders and the world in your prayer daily. God got us.

 

           According to Infection Control Protocols  

All personnel entering the room of a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 must don PPE ( Personal Protective Equipment ) appropriate for contact and droplet

  • Grown
  • Mask with eye protection (e.g., face shield , googles
  • Gloves
  • N95 respirators mask

img_5016

coworker Sheerao with full PPE

img_4987

me with full PPE

 

 

img_4998

Me wearing N95 respirators mask

img_4982

me and my coworker Xavier wearing a mask

I’m just out here trusting God. Proud to be a Nurse. Amazing things are happening here !!  New York Presbyterian Hospital .