At the end of August, one of my friends at work mentioned the pop up museum where everything is created out of candies. In order to get tickets, you have to order online. The tickets cost $34 for adults and $26 for kids (4-12). Candytopia is located @ Penn Plaza 145 W 32nd Street New York, NY 1000.
I made a reservation for two at Candytopia on September 5, 2018 at 1:30pm. When I arrived at the event with my friend, there was a big yellow taxi by the entrance. The line was full of people of different age groups waiting to enter Candytopia. While we waited, we had to sign up by computer for the sugar rush. Sugar Rush is a machine with a camera that takes your picture. There are three rooms that the machine takes pictures in.
The place itself is huge. It has a Willy Wonka factory vibe. The rooms are very colorful and the exhibits are made strictly out of candy. It was amazing to see how much work went into making these pieces of art. The workers were bubbly and friendly and they are more than happy to take pictures and videos for you. The interactive experiences include taking pictures and playing with some of the objects.
They let you take your time in each room with different themes and don’t ever rush you out. It’s amazing to see what type of art people can make out of candy. They take you from room to room and there is also a lot of candy along the way that you can eat inside. The whole thing leads up to a huge marshmallow pool that makes you want to scream. In the marshmallow room, the worker instructs you to remove your shoes, bag and phones. If you have signed up for a sugar rush at the beginning, you can use your sugar rush to have the candy machine camera, take pictures of you inside the giant marshmallow, confetti room and sinkhole.
I really enjoyed the Candytopia, it was a fun experience and I got a lot candies. I would advise everyone to check out this pop up museum before it’s gone.
“The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of the everyday”. Every day is not going to be perfect day, but when you learn to make the most out it that is happiness.
Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Blue mountain Jamaican Curry powder 1 Tbsp
- Half piece of onion
- Sprinkle salt to taste
- Chicken cut in small pieces
- Sprinkle Accent seasoning
- Sprinkle Complete seasoning Sazon
- Garlic -1 crushed
- Fresh dry tithes – as much as desired
- Half scallion cut in pieces
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper for spicy taste (optional)
- Fresh Ginger – small piece (optional)
- 1/2 cup of oil or 1 cup of oil (depends on the amount of chicken)
- 1 carrot – cut in pieces (optional)
- 1 potato or sweet potato (optional)
- Hot water
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 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.
- 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.
“The wealthiest place on the planet is the graveyard, because in the graveyard we will find inventions that we were never ever exposed to, ideas, dreams that never become a reality, hopes and aspirations that were never acted upon”. Don’t wait till it’s too late to do something you want to do; right now you are alive and you have a chance to make your dreams come true. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you. Just try; you never know where the trying can take you.
- Practice self-care-
We sometimes work 12 hour shifts, with no break. We stuff our faces with unhealthy food and more coffee than regular human beings should ever digest, to stay wake. We sleep in extremely uncomfortable positions during our break. After our 12 hour shift, we stop caring for our patients and begin caring for our loved ones. The children have to go school. We have to prepare food for our loved ones and do errands before actually going to sleep. It is a never ending cycle. I see it with my own eyes; we care for our patients at 100%, our family at 100 % but ourselves at 50 % or less. As nurses we bring a feeling of safety, healing, compassion, selflessness and caring to the patients. As a Registered Nurse, we tell our patients how important it is to take care of them. As nurses we sometimes forget our self-care, but we will be the first ones to tell our patients the importance of not smoking, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and practicing more self-care. As nurses, we neglect self-care for ourselves. We often don’t practice what we preach, which leads to us feeling stressed, overworked, burned out with life and work, which often leads to increased health problems.
Self-care is increasing your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Self-care can be hiking, exercising, yoga, sleeping, reading, or anything you may like to do which includes spending time with you. Sometimes we feel putting ourselves first is selfish. It’s not. Not only is it healthy, but necessary, so that you can be the best for everyone else around you. Burnout and compassion fatigue is common among nurses. It occurs because we pour ourselves into our work to such an extent that we lose sight of our own well-being. I feel good taking care of myself. It makes me a better nurse for my patients. Self-care is important for nurses because we need that time to refresh and revive or refocus. For example, on Saturday afternoon, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure and foot massage. While sitting in the chair getting my feet pampered, I felt good, and for that hour, I did not focus on the errands I needed to do, dinner I had to make, workouts I needed to do or bills I had to pay. I allowed myself to enjoy that moment. I cherished it by closing my eyes, breathing deeply and relaxing.
- You can break up your work schedule into two or three days so that you don’t have a lot of days in row. If you work in a stressful unit, spread your work days out in the schedule.
- Exercise – exercise 3 to 5 days, try to get 20- 30 minutes daily to produce Endorphins. Endorphins will increase your mood, alleviate stress and increase energy. I like to exercise because it helps me sleep better at nights.
- Vacations – remember to schedule your vacation or staycation into your work schedule. It’s good to have that time off from work to refocus, feel refreshed, reconnect to family, and reconnect with your feeling and self. A person who does not take a vacation or staycation will burn out easily, and in the end, it can hurt them because he or she will start hating their life and job. When we are burned out, mentally we run out of gas so we need those days off to refill. Also, visiting other countries could help change your perspective and make you a better person.
- Bring foods to work, I normally eat dinner 5pm at home before coming to work; I always bring healthy snacks to eat. Bring healthy foods to work because when a person eats a lot of high fat, high sugar and high carbohydrates at work, it makes you feel tired, sleepy and sluggish.
- Getting your sleep on is easier said than done right, especially working the night shift. I aim for 5- 6 hours sleep, I normally take melatonin 5mg and use lavender essential oil. I make sure that the room is completely dark; I have thick curtains that keep out the sunlight in the morning times.
- Take a break at work. Please take a break if allowed at your job. On your break you can rest, read an interesting book or listen to music to help take your mind off work.
Happy Labor Day guys!! It’s my Birthday. Happy Birthday to me!! My birthday prayer to you “I declared it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart. I have not missed my window of opportunity. God has moments of favor in my future. He is preparing me right now because he is about to release a special grace to help me accomplish that dream. This is my time. This is my moment. I receive it today!! This is my declaration”. For a birthday gift, please follow my blog and share it with others. Please remember you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.
I went to a seminar in July about Obesity, Diet, and Behavior. In the seminar, the speaker discussed ways to control food cravings. Food craving is an intense desire to consume a specific food and it’s different than normal hunger. The ways to control food craving are mentioned below:
- Drinking water before eating. The speaker recommends drinking two 8 ounce glasses of water, half an hour before meals to help reduce cravings and hunger. This also reduces your calorie intake.
- Increase your protein intake –increasing your protein intake will help you stay full and satisfied to reduce craving. Try to have protein in every meal.
- Eat solid food as opposed to liquids – The speaker states that liquid foods do not provide quite the same hunger satiety as solid foods.
- Fill up on fiber – increase your fiber intake to help reduce your craving. My favorite fiber foods are reduced sugar cranberries, celery, oatmeal and many other fruit and vegetables which are high in fiber. If you are unable to get your fiber intake, you can use Metamucil fibers supplement. Please make sure you increase your water intake to prevent constipation and bloating from the fiber.
- Control stress – reduces stress in your life. When a person is under more stress, he or she tends to have a high craving for unhealthy foods. The speaker states stress glucocorticoid hormones like cortisol, promotes weight gain, especially visceral abdominal fat. If you are carrying weight around your belly its more than likely caused by stress. You can reduce stress in your life by exercise, prayer, mediating, eating well, using essential oils and talking to someone to relieve it.
- Get regular and restful sleep – The speaker states that sleep deprivation has been shown to lead to strong cravings. Practice going to bed at time the same time if possible to create a habit for your body. I work the night shift so what helps me to sleep is keeping my room dark, no television. My curtains are thick, so they keep out any light – including the sun. You can use blackout curtains, blinds or shades to keep the light out of the room. Also, I use essential oils. I use lavender oil to help me sleep and relax. I use peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil to help relieve my congestion and to help breathe easier so I can sleep well. When I cannot sleep I use melatonin 5mg or less.
- Reduce spontaneity and impulsive snacking with planned meals. Prepare meals weekly to reduce impulsive cravings. Always have healthy snacks in the house. Do not buy or reduce the amount of junk food in your house because when you are stressed out you will eat them.
“I cannot control everything in my life, but I can control what I put in my body”.
I would like to say thank you to the Badia Seasoning Company for sending me all these free seasonings. I have been using the Badia Complete Seasoning for over five years. My mom was the first person who told me about it. I can still remember when she first used it like it was yesterday. She would season the chicken and other meats with it and it would taste amazing. Great flavor from just one seasoning. I have incorporated the Badia Complete Seasoning into many of my dishes. I love that it is low in sodium so that I can still use it as I continue my weight loss journey. I appreciated the love and support I have been receiving for my blog. I pray that my blog will continue to inspire and motivate other people to make their health a priority. I hope you guys are having happy summer and in good health. Love you guys!!
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase”. My advice to everyone is never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. Believing in yourself and stay on the course. Also, to my followers, thank you for supporting my blog and my journey. !!
Today I want everyone to say to themselves, I love myself.
Let’s be honest; we are the first one to put ourselves down, saying that we cannot do it and that were not good enough or we don’t deserve better.
We are always criticizing ourselves. We do more self harm than self love. Learn to love yourself being overweight and while being healthy.
Self love is loving your body.
Self love is believing that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Self love is continuing to learn and grow. So give yourself time.
Self love is building your confidence up.
Self love is loving yourself first.
Self love is realizing that you are good enough.
Self love is knowing your worthy.
Self love is being patient with yourself.
Self love is allowing yourself to make mistakes and also being able to learn from them.
Self love is talking kind to ourselves.
Self love is being your own cheerleader.
Self love is knowing that you are your own competition.
Self love is knowing you deserve love.
Self love is taking care of yourself.
Self love is having respect for your body.
Self love is knowing you deserve the best.
Self love is knowing you don’t have to fit in with other people because God created you to stand out.
I have realized that no one is going to make me happy but me.
Today, let’s learn to talk kindly and positive to ourselves.
My direction for you is to look in the mirror everyday and repeat:
“I am blessed, I am prosperous, I am strong, I am healthy, I am confident, I am secured, I am disciplined, I am focused, I am attractive , I am valuable , I am well- liked, I am fun to be around, I have a good personality. The right people are in my future. The right opportunities are headed my way, I will accomplish my dreams. I will overcome every obstacle. This is my time. I have God’s favor. I am enough. I am worthy. My future’s so bright, I have to put on my sunglasses!!”
I am happy , I have a great smile. My best days are in front of me and not behind. I am content in myself and God promise for me. Without faith it is impossible to please God .
“Love yourself first and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world”. I love the expression of the little girl; she says go auntie, go auntie strut your stuff. We should have confidence to strut our stuff, whether we lose or gain weight because the weight does not define who a person is. Enjoy your life and enjoy the journey.
I was doing a kickboxing DVD when I stopped working out because I was physically tired. I came home in the morning to sleep after a 12 hour shift. I was disappointed that I stopped the DVD so I continue to work on my pushup. I have been doing a pushup challenge for a couple weeks. I was supposed to do 22 push up, but I did 23. In life we can be physically tired but mentally we can go the distances if we push ourselves.
Two weeks ago I was only able to do six push up. I am happy I can push up in the 20s without modifying them. I struggle everyday to get up after a 12 hour shift and get my workout in. I don’t rely on motivation, I choose to get up and fight for what I want every day.
I have learned a lot from my failures; failures have been my best teachers always encouraging and Challenge me to be better. So my advice for you this week is to step out of your comfort zone and get out of your way. Don’t be afraid of failing. My competition is the person I see when I look in the Mirror. Be your own competition and run your own race.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than seem, and smarter than you think”.
When I started my weight loss journey, it was hard because I had gone through trials and errors to find what workout and what diet would work best for me. In the beginning of my weight loss journey, I lost a lot of weight, but now as the months go by I am still looking at the same number on the scale. It’s always so hard to lose those last 15-10 pounds. Here are my tips if you are facing plateaus in weight loss.
- Do strength training – you need to lift heavy weights because the heavy weight is going helps you to build muscle and burn more fat. I know a lot of women who do not like lifting heavy weights because they are afraid they will bulk up like men, so they stay doing only cardio workouts. If women lift heavy weights they will have a more toned and leaner appearance.
- Change up your workout – If you were only walking in beginning of your weight loss journey and you reach a plateau, you can start by adding two dumbbells in hands and walking at same time will change your intensity. Add more strengthen training and cardio to balance it out.
- Add High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – High Intensity Interval Training improves your performance by giving you more stamina and endurance. Also, it helps you burn fat. High intensity Interval Training helps you to burn more calories during the day after the workouts because after the burn, you will burn extra calories even if you’re just sitting around after your workout.
- Sleeping – make sure to get 6-7 hours or more of sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to increased cortisol – a stress hormone. According to research, high cortisol levels produce high insulin levels and when it drops, a person may crave sugary or fatty foods.
- Drink water – I cannot say this enough – drink your water. Make sure you drink half your body weight or increase to a gallon a day. The benefits of water are endless, so drink up.
- Go over your nutrition plan to see where you are making the mistakes in your diet. The things to consider in your nutrition are: is your diet high in carbohydrate, high sugar, high fat and less water or less veggie. Are you committed to your nutrition plan? Have you been consistent in your diet? Are you having too many cheating days in your diet?
- Go over your workout plan see where you are making the mistakes in your workout. Are you doing too much cardio or less strength training? Is your workout boring? Do you need to change up your workout plan? Are you committed to the workouts?
8.Do some self reflecting. Stop lying to yourself, be honest about your weight loss struggle and get help.
“If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” Aaliyah
- 4-6 frozen meatballs, store bought.
- First, defrost the meatballs in the bowl.
- Then cut the meatballs into halves.
- Sprinkle Sazon Complete Seasoning and Sprinkle Accent seasoning on the meatballs. Use a spoon to mix the seasoning and the meatballs.
- Add 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil or olive oil to the frying pan.
- When the oil is hot, add the meatballs facing down until brown. Then do the other the sides.
- Half red peppers or any color peppers.
- Half Onion.
- 1 clove of garlic.
- Put in the bowl and sprinkle Sazon Complete Seasoning over onion, pepper and garlic.
- Add 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil or use the oil you prefer to another frying pan.
- When the oil is hot, sauté red peppers, onion, garlic until brown.
- Get sauce pan
- Add the sautéed red peppers, onion, garlic and meatballs to pan.
- Pour the amount of Ragu marinara sauce you want.
- Sprinkle Sazon Complete Seasoning.
- Put some dry tithes.
- Stir well.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Cook pasta according package directions …
Add your pasta to plate, put some meatballs with sauce, and add your choice of veggies. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese. ENJOY.
“Never give up everyone has bad days. Pick yourself up and keep going”. Yes, summer is here, if you have not accomplished your weight loss goal, don’t get discouraged or beat yourself up. July is a new month to set new goals, whether are drinking more water or exercising 30 minutes a day just keeping going taking one day at a time.
When it comes to losing weight, nutrition is greater than exercise. The famous saying is that ‘what you eat in private you will wear in public.’ The rule of thumb is that good health consists of 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. If a person can cut down eating unhealthy foods everyday, over time those changes will add to big changes and weight loss. We all know someone who has stopped drinking soda or given up unhealthy eating for a while, and a short time later, had dramatic weight loss change.
It’s important to know what you put into your body. If you want to lose weight you cannot put garbage into your body and expect weight loss. That doesn’t add up. My nutrition is not perfect, I still struggle with it. Some days I want to eat that chocolate cake or have an extra slice of pizza, but I know I cannot do that every day and expect to lose weight. That’s just not possible, so you have to find your balance. My advice for you is start by cutting out one unhealthy habit a week and continuing. Eventually you will be surprised by the changes to your bodies.
I found that my problem was a lot of unhealthy late night snacking. To fix that problem, I replaced my unhealthy snacks with yogurt and fruits. Eating healthy snacks and drinking a lot of water eventually led to no snacking at all. I am learning to control my late snacking because I am not ignoring this problem and I have realized why I eat so many snacks. Often it is due to me being tired, bored or the fact that it’s 3am and I need something to keep me awake at work. Please make time to get to know yourself and why you eat certain things because for every action, there is consequence. Everyday is not going to be perfect when it comes to nutrition. You just have to learn to have balance between nutrition and exercise.
My Five Simple Nutrition Tips
- Drink water- drink half your body weight in water.
- Cut down late night snacking after dinner, if you must have a snack, try light fruits. Have a light healthy snack after dinner but not too late. Late and overnight snacks more easily contribute to extra calories and increase weight gain, which I know from working nights.
- Cut down sugar – I do not add sugar to tea or coffee. If I eat products which contain sugar I just make sure that there is no more than 15 grams. I limit my coffee to just cream when I work.
- Limit carbohydrates by eating more complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, cauliflower rice or oatmeal. You can also eat 100% whole wheat bread, pumpkin. I am still struggling with that one because I love bread and rice. I have used bulgur wheat for my substitution for rice. It is low fat, high fiber, high protein and rich in vitamins and nutrients.
- Limit sodium intake – reduce your intake of sodium to alleviate being bloated. When you go grocery shopping, please read the ingredients in your foods and you might be surprised at the amount of sodium in some of your favorite dishes.
“Just because you don’t see results after a day, or even a week, don’t give up. You may not see changes, but every smart choice you make is affecting you in ways you’d never imagine”.