The truth is I have not been consistent with my workouts and healthy eating for months. I have been stress eating lately, which has led to eating more and working out less. Yes, I have gained some weight, not as much as before I started my weight loss journey but enough to make feel uncomfortable. I am not proud of it, but I am not denying it either. When I gain weight, its goes to my breasts, thighs and stomach. It also settles on my butt and face. I am not perfect, I am a human being, life happens.
With my stress eating, working the night shift and hormones, my face has been breaking out more. My weakness is that I am a big bread lover, rice lover, chocolate lover and candy lover. It’s been a fact that working the night shift can make losing weight a struggle. Working nights created an imbalance in my cortisol level and hormones. The cravings are high and I am often sleep deprived. The shift I work will not be my excuse. I do believe that weight loss is possible working the night shift. I believe the first step in helping yourself is admitting the truth and facing the problem at hand. It’s never too late to start over.
I was feeling sad and terrible about my weight gain but then I told myself this is my journey and there will times that my diet is great and times it’s not. I just have to get back on the horse and ride it. I did it before and I will do it again and better. My journey continues and I am back putting the work in.
“Stop hating yourself for falling off track or not being where you thought you’d be. Life doesn’t stop because you decide to be mean to yourself. Move Forward. Begin again.
I miss you guys now back to new goals.
I am sharing my cure for seasonal allergies and lack of sleep with the use of essential oil therapy. A couple years ago, I found out from an ENT doctor that I have allergies. My allergies were not seasonal but year round. The allergy symptoms I suffered from were congestion, fatigue, itchy skin, sneezing and coughing. Basically feeling like crap all the time. The worst part is that I would be tired before I started working my 12 hour shift. I felt I did not have the strength to take care of patients, and at the end of night I would feel exhausted. My allergies were so bad that I called out sick multiple times. The allergies caused me to lose my voice two times. I often had fever and multiple respiratory infections because of my allergies. I got tested by ENT, and was told that I was allergic to some trees, mold and dust mites. I got the allergy shot as ENT recommended. I did not get relief from symptoms immediately so I used essential oils. My favorite essential oils are peppermint and lavender. I love the peppermint oil because it treats seasonal allergy symptoms by reducing congestion. Also, peppermint oil provides great relief for colds and sinuses.
According to Dr AXE.com, peppermint oil is one of the best reliefs for seasonal allergy symptoms because it relaxes muscles in your nasal passages and helps to clear out the muck and pollen from your respiratory tract during allergy season. It’s considered one of the best essential oils for allergies because it’s an expectorant and anti-inflammatory. Another great benefit of peppermint oil is that it increases energy and increases alertness. When I used the peppermint oil, I would drop a few drops on my finger tip and smell it. Right away I would feel my congestion leaving and I would be able to breathe. Peppermint smells very minty. I always have small bottle of my peppermint oil in bag or uniform pants pocket. My mom loves peppermint oil. She uses it to relieve her headaches. She would rub her temples, forehead back and neck or just breathing in. Peppermint oil reduces most of my seasonal allergies and it’s natural.
Lavender oil is my go to essential oil therapy for helping to calm down after a 12 hour shift. It also helps to put me to sleep. Lavender’s oil is an antibacterial essential oil. A few lavender oil benefits include: reducing anxiety, stress, and relieves pain. I rub some of the lavender oil on the bottom of my feet and put some in my palms and breathe in deeply. Also, I rub it on my temples and on my body. Also, you can add it to your bath.
I hope that peppermint and lavender essential oil provide with you some relief. Both essential oils can be strong so you can dilute the oil with carrier oil. I use jojoba oil.
- Salt fish/ Cod Fish
- 1 can of Double Deuce Ackee
- One half onion diced
- One plum tomato diced
- Sprinkle salt
- Sprinkle black pepper
- 2 tablespoon of cooking oil or more
Cooking the saltfish
- Soak the saltfish in cold water for 1 hour to 2 hours in order to help remove some of the salt. Salt fish has a very salty taste.
- Put salt fish with cold water on stovetop to cook.
- You will know when the saltfish is cooked because it will break apart easy.
- Drain the water from the saltfish. You can run cold water on the fish to cool it because it will be hot. Put the fish on a plate, remove the bone from the center of the fish and break into pieces.
Cooking the Ackee
- Drain the water from the can of Ackee.
- Boil a pot of water then add the Ackee to it.
- Cook for 5 minutes until soft. Do not overcook.
- Use strainer to drain the water off the Ackee.
- Heat frying pan on the stovetop until hot – add 2 tablespoon of cooking oil.
- Sauté onion and ripe tomatoes
- Add saltfish
- Set aside the onion, tomatoes and saltfish on one side of the pot, on the other side, add Ackee then gently stir.
- Sprinkle black pepper and sprinkle the salt ( option)
- Cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Serve with rice and fried dumplings or cooked foods. Please be careful when eating the saltfish because small bones can still be in the fish.
I can’t be a pessimist because I’m alive. To be a pessimist means that you have agreed that human life is an academic matter, so I’m forced to be an optimist. I’m forced to believe that we can survive whatever we must survive. But the future of the Negro in this country is precisely as bright or as dark as the future of the country. It is entirely up to the American people and our representatives-it is entirely up to the American people whether or not they are going to face, and deal with, and embrace this stranger whom they maligned so long”. Please check out my blog for a Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish recipe. My blog link is in my bio. Thanks. I cannot be a pessimist because I believe we were created by God for a higher calling, but not just to work and die. Nowadays the world is filled with so much negativity; lets us focus on the good and the good we can do.
Why I am getting bloated? No one likes the feeling of being bloated. The number one reason why is because it’s uncomfortable. I hate when I feel bloated from my period or when my body is retaining more water from me consuming more sodium and eating certain foods. Bloating is an issue we are all facing. But it is important for us to find out what foods make us bloated so that we can reduce the intake of that food. Bloating can be managed by being aware of the foods we eat and how they make us feel afterward.
What causes bloating?
- Increasing sodium intake causes more retaining of water.
- You may be allergic to gluten and wheat or have an intolerance to carbohydrates, if you feel more bloating, diarrhea or nausea after you eat carbohydrates.
- Lactose intolerance causes diarrhea, nausea, bloating after ingesting dairy products.
- Eating too much fatty food can contribute to bloating.
- Eating too many vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, beans.
- Constipation can cause bloating.
- Eating large meals.
How to help with bloating
- Reduce your sodium intake.
- Get a gluten sensitivity test by your doctor if you are experiencing gluten intolerance or go gluten free.
- If you experience abdominal cramps and bloating, you can go lactose free. Also, you can go to your doctor have a hydrogen breath test. The hydrogen breath test will check to see whether or not you are digesting milk products properly.
- Exercise frequently to feel less bloated.
- Drink a lot of water to flush out your system.
- Take digestive enzyme supplements to help your body break down the foods.
- My favorite vegetable to help me with bloating is celery. It is great for bloating because it’s a natural diuretic, so it helps the body get rid of fluids.
- Take your probiotic supplement or try Greek yogurt
- My favorite fruits that help with bloating are pineapple and papaya because they help break down proteins in the stomach and make digestion smooth.
- Make sure you are free from constipation by adding fiber to your diet.
- Eating smaller meals throughout the day to control your hunger, helps with bloating.
“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying”. The most common question I received about weight loss is how I get rid of bloating. Bloating is an issue we are all facing. But it is important for us to find out what foods make us bloated so that we can reduce the intake of that food. Bloating can be managed by being aware of the foods we eat and how they make us feel afterward. . This is my favorite picture from the summer.
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”.