Health + Wellness

Be a Pro at Meal Prep in 10 Steps

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small something if you click on or make a purchase.

I’ve been an avid meal prepper for a few years now and I always get asked how. I’ve heard it’s too hard, time consuming, and just doesn’t work for people, meaning they can’t stick to their meal plan. Here are my top 10 tricks to help you out.

  1. Create a menu. In order to meal prep, you first need to know what you plan to eat. Best practice, use Pinterest. Pinterest is my go-to for new meal ideas that I can recreate to fit my lifestyle. Also, my meal planner is great to plan out meals as well as create a shopping list of what you need.

2. With creating a menu, you want to stock up on staple pantry items. Staple items are items you have in your pantry at all times. This saves on time creating a shopping list and money. I have a Staple Foods List that are foods I always have in my pantry at any given time. They’re items I always use.

3. Premade foods aren’t always on my list, but when I know I’ll be short on time, I’ll opt for those. I also buy prepackaged foods from time to time.

4. Kitchen essentials are a must. It’s more than just pots and pans. The right tools like a set of knives, a blender, a food processor, peelers, cooking utensils, etc. are vital to have woth your meal preparation. Even more important are meal prep containers. I bought mine off Amazon and they are amazing.

5. Switch it up a little. Meal prep doesn’t have to be boring or mundane. Mix and match your ingredients and meals. Spice it up. Keep things interesting and sexy. Yes, meal prep can be sexy. Have fun with it.

6. Batching is something I take part in and not just with blog posts and videos. I batch cook my meals and freeze some for future meal preps. I have a freezer full of already prepared meals that just need to be heated when ready to eat.

7. A slow cooker is you’re friend and also helps with batch cooking. I use this mainly for beans, soups, and chilis.

8. Turn leftovers into new meals. I hear many people say they don’t eat leftovers which is crazy to me. Take those leftovers and create something else.

9. Freeze meals. Sometimes I’ll make too much of something and won’t be able to eat it all in that week, so I’ll freeze the rest. This is especially so if I’m making burgers, meatballs, or anything else from scratch.

10. Have fun! Turn on some music, listen to a podcast, add your kid(s) to the mix and make it a family affair.

Meal prep doesn’t have to be this daunting feat. It can be as easy or as hard as you make it.

Happy meal prepping!

Health + Wellness, My Life

21 Reasons to be Happy and Why I’m Not

I’ve been unhappy for quite sometime now, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay all the time. What’s not okay is to continue on this path and not do anything to change your emotional direction. I won’t go into specifics of what I’m not happy about, but let’s discuss why I should be happy.

  1. My son is healthy, thriving and hitting every milestone.
  2. I’m almost at my one year mark of breastfeeding.
  3. My Budget is finally working for me.
  4. Debt is dwindling.
  5. My tax refund is going to help me out a lot.
  6. My meal planner is coming out tomorrow! Wooohooo!
  7. I’m finally coming out with a cookbook sometime in March.
  8. My students are progressing significantly in writing.
  9. I’m not living paycheck to paycheck.
  10. I went to the doctor on January 21, and all of my results came back negative and/or normal. I have an absolute clean bill of health.
  11. I can afford to pay all of my bills.
  12. For once in my life, I have no bills that are late and I have nothing in collections.
  13. My son and I wake up every morning: alive and kicking,
  14. I’m finally going to start therapy.
  15. I’ve been able to let go of a lot of toxic people, and I’ve been able to recognize my own toxicity.
  16. I’ve been consistently practicing yoga.
  17. Drinking a falling of water a day has become increasingly attainable.
  18. My skin is clear and my bowels are regular.
  19. I’ve been cooking more and eating out less.
  20. I still have money in the bank from last check.
  21. There’s food in my pantry and fridge.

The list could go on, but with all of these positive things, I’m still unhappy. I’m excited to be starting therapy soon to be able to better understand this emotional turmoil I’m experiencing.

Have you ever felt unhappy despite everything in your life going perfectly well and it’s all positive? How did you cope with it? Did you ever get to the root of your unhappiness?

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness, My Life

God and Religion

I, like most other black millennials, was brought up in the church. I was told we had to go to church every Sunday for worship, and every Wednesday for bible study. I was told I had to be in the choir until I was 18 (church rule). I was told that I had to be baptized and asked numerous questions about Jesus Christ that all the answers had to be “yes.”

When I went off to college, I still went to church because I felt obligated to. Even after college because I was living at home, it wasn’t an option. If I lived at home, I had to go to church. Most Sunday’s, I’d sit at Starbucks until church was over. I didn’t belong to the same church as my mother (for that very reason. I didn’t want her checking up on me.). When when I moved out on my own, I would still sometimes go to church. That stopped 3 years ago.

Growing up, I always had questions about church and why things were just so. If you are a black millennial, or a black person of any age, more specifically a black womanizer, you were taught to be seen and not heard, meaning you question nothing. You sit there and question nothing. That didn’t work for me. I was quite the inquirer.

Growing up, anytime you asked question that went against what you parent said, you were always hit with the “becuase I said so.” That’s not the way to raise or teach a child: to just follow what someone else says. That’s why we are all in the rat race now, following what someone else says, doing what we are told and not thinking for ourselves.

When I would sit in church and listen to the pastor, I felt there were so many holes in their stories. For one, the day “Jesus” rose, changes every single year. Why? In the Bible, Jesus is described as having hair like wool, yet he has always been depicted as this tall white man woth blonde brown hair and blue eyes. There are these 10 commandments that we must follow, which I agree with all of them, but isn’t that more so common sense of things we shouldn’t do? Isn’t that something that is expected?

Jesus was born to a virgin. Be that as it may, why is it that woman cannot bare children today without a man? It’s said that when Adam ate the fruit from the tree, Eve was punished and that’s why women have periods and are made to carry and birth a child. So god punished female animals too, becuase if I’m not mistaken, some femal animals have periods, and they birth babies.

We are told that our bodies are temples. People worship in temples. So in essence, shouldn’t I worship where my body is? It’s also said that avid is within all of us. Doesn’t that make us all God? God is everywhere, so couldn’t I worship my God wherever I choose? So if God is wherever I am, then can’t I worship and pray at home? Is my own home not a temple?

I don’t believe in religion for several reasons. All of these religions apparently worship the same God, they just use a different name. So that leads me to believe religion is man made. Also, religions have these tiles of how things should go (rest on the sabbath, can’t eat certain foods, can’t indulge in too much of this or that, you have to worship this way, you have to come to church, you have to give tithes, etc.). Isn’t religion supposed to be about living a purposeful, righteous, fulfilled life, helping others and being an upstanding person? “Suppose” being the keyword.

I believe that God is within me, therefore, I am God. Do I feel people need to worship me? Absolutely not. Another thing, God created and brings forth life. Don’t women create and bring forth light? I believe in pantheism, in that God is everywhere and is everything that is good. I believe in my ancestors and praying to them for guidance to watch over Malakhai and me. I believe in the spirituality of my history.

I’m not willing to believe in something becuase someone else said so. Most Black millennials don’t attend church and here’s an article on that.

As for the Bible, I think it has good intentions, but much gets lost in translation. It’s like trying to directly translate from Spanish to English: it just doesn’t work.

I will teach Malakhai to believe in a higher power, and that he needs to live his life as a good black man. I want to teach him to have his own mind and beliefs. To know that there is always someone watching him and watching out for him to ensure his safety. If you don’t stand and believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.

I don’t knock anyone who is religious at all. I don’t think anything less of them. I love everyone, no matter their beliefs. I think that once we all find our purpose and live in it, we will lived and lead much happier, healthier, stress free lives.

Health + Wellness

Yoga for Constipation

Many people practice yoga for different reasons, whether it be to tone, meditate, or to become more flexible. However, did you know yoga is a way to help with constipation? No? Well you’re in luck. Just a disclaimer, I am not expert, but I know what works. Over the past week, I have gotten back into yoga and I’ve noticed I’ve been having bowel movements 3-4 times a day. That may seem like a lot, but in reality, it’s not. You should be having a bowel movement after each meal. Let’s look at some poses that have gotten things moving.

Poses that involve side bending, or side bending period, energizes the digestive juices by stimulating the gallbladder and liver. This twisting motion tones the obliques, or love handles, and wakes up the abdominal organs.

This pose is a familiar pose and is one of the most well known ones. Down Dog allows the spine to tract, creating space in the body that’s usually compressed. This is a full-body stretch that permits a release of tension, adding to a build-up in the digestive tract.

This last pose really does it for me. Sometimes I have to stop in the middle of a flow to run to the bathroom. It’s similar to wringing our a wet rag, but you’re wringing out waste. This twisting pose massages the digestive tract to encourage detoxification, or a bowel movement.

These are simple poses for whenever you need to get things moving along. It’s always helpful to add in a little bit of yoga to your daily routine, even if only for a few minutes.

Health + Wellness

Yoga Makes Me Horny

Yes, you read that right. I’ve been practicing yoga for over 9 years and I have to say that after a 30-60 minute session, I’m ready to get it on and get it in. I’ve always wondered why and I finally decided to put Google to use and this article came up.

The Workout That Increases Your Sex Life

Yoga consists of many hip openers and stretches that open the entire body. For some who sit all day, aren’t getting any blood flowing in their pelvic region, which can stunt your libido.

For someone who is on a celibacy journey, having an increased libido is not easy, so I’m order to combat that, I’ve tried adding cardio to burn off that excess sexual energy. No such luck. Add to that, I’ve increased my veggie and fruit intake as well as adding protein smoothies.

Being vegan and practicing yoga puts your sex drive through the roof, but one of my goals this year was and is, no sexual activity of any kind. So I guess I’ll have to deal with it.

If you are a woman experiencing decreased libido, get in downward-facing dog so you can get in downward-facing dog. (See what I did there?)

Health + Wellness

Don’t Let the Smile Fool You

In the above pic, even though I’m smiling in all three, only one I’m actually happy in. That’s the one from 2018. The left two are from my freshman year in college. I was attending Stephen F. Austin State University. I was severely depressed. I was self medicating through alcohol and sex, tons and tons of sex with different men. I’m not ashamed of where I’ve been, because it has made me stronger and the person I am today.

During this time, I was trying to build a bond with my biological father who didn’t want to build a bond. I even went to this university to be closer to him. No such luck. Even though he lived 10 min away, I rarely saw him.

I only had one friend there and my roommates disliked me. I was alone. I begged my mom to let me transfer to the University of Houston over Christmas break, but she made me finish out the year. I don’t think she knew how desperate I was. Had she made me stay another year, I’d likely not be here writing this post.

I gained 60 lbs from indulging in food and alcohol. I didn’t workout and I stayed in my dorm room. I was experiencing life being on my own and not having any structure. It was devastating to say the least. You’d think I’d be glad to have gotten out of my parents house.

The following year I transferred to UH and things turned around. I had more structure, I was working out, lost the 60lbs I’d gained and I was with my friends from high school. I started therapy (and ended shortly after), I published my first book, was still having sex but not as much and not with nearly as many men.

Now, in 2019, I’m a completely different person. Have you ever suffered from depression? What caused it and how did you get through it, or are you still going through it?

Health + Wellness

Open and Fearless

I’ve never been the one to do the whole “words for the year” thing. It just wasn’t me. Still isn’t. I’m all about manifesting this year and I want to manifest openness and fearlessness. I’m going to be open about just about any and everything in order to not close off any opportunities, relationships, career advancements, anything. Nothing is off limits. But in order to be open, I have to be fearless.

Fearfulness causes you to be afraid and closed off to anything new and positive changes. In order to manifest, you have to feel and say what you want with no hesitation, stipulations, or conditions. For me, I have to let the fear of rejection, failure, and not being enough, die. No more living in the past and going off of past experiences. All of that last fear is going to interfere with future endeavors.

What are you manifesting this year, or do you have word(s) of the year that you want to work on?

Health + Wellness

Don’t Let the Holidays Ruin Your Health and Fitness Goals

Many people are on a health and fitness journey and I often hear too many times that people will hault their journey until after the holidays. They do this in order to pig out and forgo any progress they’ve made, basically setting themselves back a few steps.

Why do this? What’s the point? Say you’ve lost ten pounds so far. You’re really going to risk gaining that ten pounds back and some? Priorities are clearly out of sort. 

Being vegan, I don’t typically partake in the food that everyone else indulges in, though I do make my own vegan version of these same foods. The difference is calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol, and what’s called “the itis.”

I am off work the next week, but that doesn’t mean that I am not meal prepping. In fact, I meal prepped before this post went out (last night). I have calorie goals since I’m breastfeeding as well as health goals when it comes to food choices. I’ve been on a roll and I dare not mess that up.

So how can one stick to their health and fitness goals through the holidays? Continue to do what you’re doing. Don’t hault your journey for foods that aren’t going to do anything but put you to sleep and gurgle your stomach. Also, don’t be so strict on yourself. Enjoy those foods, but in moderation. Don’t pig out. 

In order to reach these goals, you have to continue striving towards them, pushing through any obstacles that seem daunting. 

How do you stay on track during the holidays?

Health + Wellness

Yeast Infection, Vaginal Odor, and Bacteria Vaginosis (BV) Natural Remedies

As a woman, our vaginas go through so much: periods, birthing a child, irritation, discharge, and then yeast infections, odors, and BV.

I’m not too keen on putting chemicals in or even near my vagina. I suffer from BV and it’s not just sexually transmitted. It can come from sweating profusely (according to my OBGYN).

So after some trial and error, I’ve concocted a list of remedies that are tried and true.

1. Sleep without underwear. Hell, sleep naked. Let your body, mainly your vagina, breathe. You’ve been wearing underwear and clothes all day, let everything air out at night.

2. Go commando. If you are one of those lucky ladies who doesn’t have discharge (I envy you and you are abnormal) don’t wear underwear at all.

3. Stop washing with soap. Like most modern ovens, your vagina is self cleaning. It cleanses once a month (your period). I’ve found that just washing with warm water does wonders.

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4. Tea tree suppositories. Now I’ve been using these for years, and I typically use them in between my periods. They are safe, chemical free, and proven to cure all three ailments.

5. Probiotics. I take probiotics daily, and I’ve found that not only does my gut feel better, so does my vagina.

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6. Boric acid suppositories. I’ve personally never used these, but I know many women who have and swear by them.

7. Coconut oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil rubbed internally and externally. If you didn’t know, coconut oil is an anti fungal, and tea tree oil is an antiseptic. So together, they are a powerhouse. Lavender oil is just to help with the overpowering aroma of the tea tree oil.

8. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. These foods are great for cleaning our systems.

9. Drink lots of water. Water naturally detoxes our bodies and it also keeps the vagina lubricated.

10. Cutout dairy. Dairy is a mucus causing substance. It creates yeast in the vagina, despite doctors saying to eat yogurt. If you want to eat yogurt, try Good Karma. It’s nondairy and contains probiotics.

What are some remedies that you have tried and worked?

Health + Wellness

Forgiveness

People y’all about forgiveness like it’s easy as pie. We’re always quick to say forgive and forget, but how can we forgive and forget something someone did to us that put us in a depression? Hurt people hurt people, but we don’t talk about the severness of the hurt.

I was journaling about the people in my life I need to forgive and the unforgivable things they did to me. Do I forgive all of them? No, but I’m working on it. But what does forgiveness actually do? It allows the other person to no longer have any control over you. You relinquish that hurt and pain and you are able to move on.

Harboring past experiences blocks you from future opportunities in more ways than one. Sometimes we lose trust because of someone breaking their trust with us, then we no longer can trust anyone and say no to everyone and everything. We live a life of suspicion of everyone and that’s no way to live.

I know some people forgive someone over and over again, allowing that person to still stay in their life, when the best option is to let them go. Just because you forgive someone, doesn’t mean you need to continue to associate yourself with them. I recently disassociated myself from someone who was using me, causing me pain, dragging me into their drama, lying to me and sending me into a depression.

Keeping these toxic people in your life makes your forgiving them null and void because you are allowing more chances of them doing the same thing that you keep forgiving them for. People throw forgiveness around like they do love and that’s detrimental to your mental health.

Forgiveness should not be taken lightly and should be thought out. When you forgive someone, it’s not for that person, it’s for you. You’re letting what they did go, but you’re not forgetting. When you forgive someone, it makes that person feel small because they don’t have you in the palm of their hand like they thought they did. They can no longer control and manipulate the narrative.

Think about who in your life you need to forgive, why you need to forgive them and what will come of it.

Health + Wellness

Therapy

Sage Yo’ Soul

This is not something that only has one meaning nor does it look the same for everyone. When most people think of therapy, they think of going to an office of someone who is a licensed professional and telling them about their feelings. That is only one form of therapy. Then you have physical therapy which is to recovery from an injury, but let’s stick to therapy that is meant to alleviate emotional barriers.

I’ve gone to therapy and found that it wasn’t for me. So I ended up taking things into my own hands. Below are some of my current forms of therapy:

Music

Dancing

Cooking

Blogging

Reading

Practicing yoga

Writing

Journaling

Spending time with my son

Meditating

Planning in my planners

Talk to others

Walking outside

Exercising

Creating

Gettinf my nails done

I know it seems like a lot, but these are things to help me get through whatever it is I’m going through. They help to clear my mind. Once my mind is clear, I take pen to paper in my journal and write everything out. I’ve come to a lot of realizations and breakthroughs doing a mix of all of these things.

If you haven’t joined the journaling challenge with Sage Yo’ Soul, I highly suggest it. It is day 3 and I’ve already spilled my guts in my journal. I didn’t expect this challenge to start off so strong and deep with it.

What does therapy look and feel like to you?

Health + Wellness

Breakthroughs

I have nothing against therapy, it’s just not something I can do right now, so I have my own form of therapy: yoga and journaling. In my last journal entry I was writing about the negativity I have been experiencing and that has been lurking in my mind as well as the almost unfortunate events it has caused and may cause. Negative thoughts that I created about scenarios that haven’t even happened and may never happen, have cause some negative events and levels of stress and anxiety. Malakhai and I were in almost 3 accidents this week. I realized that those were wake up calls.

At these moments I wasn’t thinking negative thoughts but I had been earlier those days. Is there a correlation? I’m not sure. But I’m realizing that this bubble of negativity stems from somewhere and I finally pinpointed the causes (I can’t disclose them because they involve people close to me and it’s super personal). Now that I’ve pinpointed those causes, I’m on a journey to figuring out how to stop those negative feelings and thoughts when they creep in.

I feel exhilarated right now because I’m finally cracking things open. Journaling is where I came to these conclusions. I’ll admit I do talk to myself and when I journal, it’s basically the same thing. I let my pen do the talking and as my thoughts flow onto the paper, I can see where an abundance of my issues lie. For some reason, seeing it on paper makes a world of difference.

Not all the time do I go back and read my entries, but lately I have been, just to see if maybe I mentioned something before that can trigger something in me or cause me to have an epiphany. I’m always looking for messages or just something in my entires to give me some idea of when this negativity started, why and how I can possibly fix it.

I will continue to journal because it’s extremely therapeutic. What are some ways you deal with things or work out your issues if you don’t go to therapy?

Health + Wellness

Journaling Sessions

Since having Malakhai, it’s been quite hard to journal. I’m a lengthy journaler (I know that’s not a word) and it’s hard to not journal for 1-2 hours. Journaling is my form of therapy that works so well for me. It allows me to dump things out and ask myself questions and as o ask these questions, I tend to be able to answer them through other journaling sessions or ones that I’ve already had.

I had a journaling session one night that turned into 6 pages over an hour (thanks Malakhai for sleeping long enough for mommy to go to journal therapy) and when I was done, I felt relieve, like a weight had been lifted and whatever hold was on me, let go. If you don’t journal, I highly recommend it.

I feel like WOC don’t deal with their mental health as they should but it seems like more and more millennial WOC are seeking professional help. One of my fave podcasts is Therapy for Black Girls (which I think I’ve mentioned before). I tried therapy and it didn’t work but then again, the therapist could not relate to me and I could not relate to her nor was I comfortable.

I think now that Malakhai and I are ina routine, I can now guesstimate when a good time to journal will be. Typically I like to journal in the morning, but now I work around his naps. As long as I get an hour a day, I’m good.

Do you journal? How often and is it therapeutic?

Health + Wellness, recipes

#FOTD: Chickpea Lime and Coconut Soup

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Hands down the best soup I’ve ever tasted. My mom sent me a link on FB and I had all of the ingredients except for the sweet potatoes and coconut milk (I always choose the coconut milk with the fat). This is not my own recipe but I did alter it by leaving out the red chilies (didn’t want any heat). Click here for the recipe.

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness

Apesh*t & Black Panther

No shade, but black women are the most diverse group of women on this planet. It’s true.  We are the only group of women who come in a wide variety of shades and we have a wide variety of hair textures. But the one thing that bothers me is the misrepresentation of the different shades of black women and the unfortunate favoritism of certain shades. Not to mention the treatment of different shades.

I am not a Beyoncé fan (Beyhive do not come for me unless I send for you), but I have a great respect for her latest video, Apesh*t. It is an extremely inclusive video, with black women of shades across the entire spectrum. That made me feel amazing that she did that. In today’s time, women of my skin tone or darker are underrepresented in music videos and all other aspects of media (commercials, billboards, ads, etc.).

Beyoncé is all about the empowerment of black women, just look at her Formation music video. Her live performances always have only black women doing background and the instrumentals. There aren’t too many women with large platforms and popularity as her, advocating for black women in their entirety.

Black women from lightest to darkest have many adversities against them. Light skinned women are always asked if they’re mixed because they’re too light to just be black. They have to have something else in them. They are also seen as stuck up, yet the most sought after from dark skinned black men. Then you have the women of my color who also aren’t seen as just black. Speaking from personal experience, I am always asked where I am from. Many people think that I am from the islands because of my hair texture and my complexion. I’ve been told I’m too pretty to just be black, and believe it or not, that is an insult to my heritage. I am just black. Period.

I’ve also been told that I must be mixed. Well I’ve never seen a biracial black woman as dark as I am. I’m never seen as just a black woman in America. Also, because I speak proper English (thanks to those years spent living in England), I have been bullied and astrocized by black men but more so black women, speaking as if I’m better than them, that’s what they tell me. Not all black women are loud, uneducated, petty, mad, and belligerent.

Then you have those who are in the range in between light and dark who are often left in the abyss. Nobody really talks about them. Most other ethnicities don’t know but there is a rift amongst black women due to the varying shades. The lighter skinned sisters tend to feel like they’re better than the darker skinned and also look down on us. I’m not saying all, but most, and I think they feel like the have a sense of entitlement because society sees them as more favorable.

I am the type of person who looks deeper into everything I see, especially commercials. Rarely will you ever see a darker skinned woman. They are always of light complexion or biracial. Women of my skin tone aren’t seen as pretty.

I also want to take note of Black Panther. A YouTuber that I watch brought up a good point. She said a friend of hers felt slighted because the representation in Black Panther was limited to women of my color and darker. I hadn’t actually paid attention to that during the numerous times that I’ve seen it. After watching the video, I went back and watched it again and realized that she was right. The thing is, in much of Africa, where Wakanda is, there aren’t really any lighter skinned women. Africa is mainly of people my color and darker.

So, with Black Panther not having any lighter skinned women, it was a true representation, not to mention, all the women in the movie aside from Lupita, Sury, and T’Challa’s mother, were bald. This movie really was for our culture despite the representation, or underrepresentation.

A lot of this rift, again, goes back to slavery. Lighter skinned women were favored mainly because they were a product of a slave woman being raped by a slave master, or a white woman manipulating a black slave male into sleeping with her. These children ended up being house negroes. Granted there treatment was still bad but not considerably as bad as field negroes (I don’t use the other “n” word). We are all still experiencing PTSD (post traumatic slave disorder).

I hope that one day, collectively, we can put colorism aside. We are all black and descendants of Africans and African slaves.

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness

White Women Only

If you are not a POC, you won’t understand the significance of this post, but I will try to make it to where you have a gist of the point I’m trying to convey. In the Black community, mostly among Black women, there’s this stigma that anything against what we deem “the norm”, is white. Let me try to explain.

When I began living a plant based lifestyle, at that time, the face was white. Many people said that veganism was a white thing, or eating healthy was for white people. Most of these comments, actually all of these comments, came from other Black people.

See, our poor eating habits stem from slavery, and yes I can already hear people now: “why does everything have to be about slavery with y’all?” Well, a lot of what we deal with today stems from slavery: the racism, discrimination, exclusion, etc. Believe it or not, much of slavery still exists today. We are still underpaid, treated unfairly, and targeted by race soldiers, aka The Police.

Back to what I was saying: poor eating habits. Our ancestors did all of the cooking for the white folk and what was leftover, neck bones, fat backs, chitterlings, oxtails, and any other part of the animal the white folk deemed unworthy, was given to the slaves. That passed from one generation to the next, which is why we have the highest levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and everything else.

What most people, most Black people, don’t know is that veganisn stemmed from our ancestors before slavery, back in Africa. Our ancestors lived a mostly vegetarian lifestyle, consuming some fish. They are off the land. This is why you see so many of those in my generation, millennials, adopting a plant based lifestyle. In the age of technology, I feel like we were the last generation to learn how to research, the first to learn to research using technology. We do the most digging, reading and soul searching, which is why many of us have given up religion (that’s a post for another time). We’ve learned that Black history goes further back than slavery, which is what most white Americans don’t want us to know, which is why Black history month is limited to Black Americans post slavery.

Now to the point of this post: breastfeeding. In the Black community, breastfeeding is not a huge thing, it’s almost taboo. I’ve heard from other Black women that they were told breastfeeding is for white women and we are trying to be like them. Yes, I’m about to bring up slavery again. During those times, Black women weren’t allowed to nurse their babies.  They were made to nurse the master’s babies. Their children were left in the sun and only consumed sugar water. Fucked up? Yes, I know.

Thoughbi haven’t heard these comments personally, and no one in my family breastfed or stuck with it, it still isn’t something normalized. They do bring up formula and he needs to be in a bottle, mainly because that’s all they know. They don’t know or understand the benefits of breastfeeding.

1. Bonding

2. Building the baby’s immune system

3. Emotional stability

4. Fights off all kinds of diseases and illnesses

5. Lose baby weight

6. Can protect your baby from developing allergies

7. Can boost the baby’s intelligence

8. May prevent childhood obesity

9. Decreases risk of SIDS

10. Can reduce your stress levels and risk of PPD

11. Can reduce your risk of certain cancers

There are also many other benefits. It’s not a white women thing, it’s a mothering thing. As women, by nature, we are meant to breastfeed, and yes, I understand some women can’t breastfeed due to many factors. Though I never understood women who just chose not to breastfeed for whatever reason and I feel bad for those who were coerced into believing that Black women don’t breastfeed.

What brought in this post was the picture above. I saw it on IG and I reposted it. Every time I look at it, something in me just said to make a blog post about it to share information to expecting Black Mothers and to reassure Black Mothers who already breastfeed, letting them know that it’s okay.

What do you think about breastfeeding and have you ever been told it’s a “white woman” thing? Did you breastfeed? Why? Why not?

Health + Wellness, Vegan Mommy Things

Trap Yoga

Here we are again with Trap Yoga, only this time I’m pregnant!! It’s always fun going to her classes and I wasn’t going to let boo stop me. In fact, I went just to try to move him down. Needless to say, no such luck, but I still enjoyed myself. I can’t believe these pics are almost two years apart.

58D79C27-4F51-4480-9F60-9B0CAD6F7E5D.png

I love the photos that were shot and shout out to @ShotbySham on IG for these.

Health + Wellness, My Life

Fast Food for Standardized Testing? Nah.

Yesterday my students took their standardized test for the subject I teach (writing). Every year on standardized testing day, some fast food restaurant gives free breakfast. Now I’m all for free, however, the restaurants giving the free breakfast are terrible. This year, it happened to be the worst fast food place of all: McDeath…I mean McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has to be the worst fast food place of all fast food places. Their food is fake, full of chemicals, MSG, and a host of other things that should not be ingested. Everyone knows that they should not go there. Not only that, because everyone was waiting in line for their free meal, kids ended up being late.

Another reason I hate that these places give free fast food on testing day is that the parents will take their kids and give them this terrible food, which causes them to be sluggish, unfocused and sick. They won’t perform as well on their test because of the chemicals affecting their brain and ability to concentrate.

I really wish parents would stop giving their kids fast food. I have a student who gets donuts every morning for breakfast and for lunch they have some kind of animal on steroids because I have never seen meat that big. Then the parent wonders why this child is always sleep. The shit you’re feeding them is slowing them down and shutting their system down. To me, giving your child fast food is child abuse. People never think about what they’re feeding their child is child abuse. Child abuse comes in different forms but that’s a topic for another post.

How do you feel about children eating fast food? If you feed your child fast food, why? Would love to get a healthy discussion going.

Health + Wellness

Motivational Monday: Eating Breakfast at Home

In every job I’ve worked, people always eat breakfast at their desk, in the lounge or break room. I am one of those people. I was one of those people. Every morning, I would pack my lunch bag and walk out the door. Once I got to the school, I would sit at my desk and eat my breakfast as I tried to prepare for the day. Multitasking. However, eating breakfast did nothing but slow me down.

Now this will be a bit of TMI, but I normally have 3 bowel movements in the morning. The first one is once I get up, the second is once I start moving around and getting things ready for work, and the third time is after I eat breakfast. Since school started, I have not been on that schedule, but beginning this semester, now that I eat at home, I’m back on schedule. Getting ready in the morning and walking out the door with no bowel movement, meant I ended up having all 3 (and sometimes 4) at the school and that put a major dent into my preparation time as well.

When we eat, we tend to rush and not take our time chewing, which aids in the digestion process. Believe it or not, eating breakfast at home gives you time to slow down, fully wake up, enjoy your food and be in a better mood for the day.

America is the fattest country in the world and with breakfast being the most important meal of the day, then add in all these fast food restaurants claiming that their breakfast will “make your morning great”, I can see why so many people aren’t morning people. They are sluggish, don’t want to work and are feeling sick from their breakfast. What you have first thing in the morning can determine how the rest of your day goes.

Break + fast =breakfast: you’re breaking your fast. Consuming animal products, aka “death”, first thing in the morning, is going to make you feel like death the rest of the day, the you wonder why you are constipated. When first waking up, you should consume something that will be easily digestible: smoothie, fruit, oatmeal, quinoa porridge, protein shake, smoothie bowl, acai bowl, etc. All of these foods don’t take much for you body to digest, in fact, I normally end up having a bowel movement before I finish any of these foods. Sometimes I’ll have two.

Having a heavy breakfast causes your body to work too hard to early in the day. You don’t want to put you body in overdrive first thing in the morning, using up all of your energy. This goes back to eating breakfast at home. When you are on the go, eating walking out the door, eating on the way to work, eating while working, you aren’t focused on chewing your food to a pulp before swallowing, which slows down your digestion process.

Some tips to eat breakfast at home:

  • prepare the night before
    • overnight oats
    • chia pudding
    • smoothie ingredients
    • cook quinoa
  • Wake up earlier
    • finish preparing breakfast
    • eat breakfast
    • have some coffee or tea
    • read a blog post
    • enjoy your morning

These tips will help you to be able to eat your breakfast at home and have a better start to your day.

Health + Wellness

Motivational Monday: Preparing

It was the morning we went back to school after the winter break, and I was journaling before I got my day started. As I was journaling, I figured that it was too good not to share, so of course I had to make it into a blog post. I was writing about how getting ready for this week has made it possible for me to not rush in the morning. Here are a few bullet points that I will expound upon in a series of upcoming blog posts for my motivational Mondays:

  • Eating breakfast at home instead of at work
  • Go to bed earlier
  • Having my essential oil diffuser in my room with lavender at night and a citrus scent in the morning
  • Seriously meal prepping on Sundays since we have tutorials after school
  • Journaling in the morning (also meditation)
  • Setting intentions for the day
  • Getting up if I’m already awake before my alarm

Doing all of those things prepared me for an awesome week. Keep watch for upcoming posts on each of these points as I explain how it has helped contribute to awesomeness this past week.

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness, Vegan Mommy Things

Eating Healthy is for POC Too

Podcast: Black Girl in Om

Grocery Haul:

Avocados

Blackberries

Blueberries

Strawberries

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Pumpkin seeds

Pecans

Raisins

Kale

Nutritional Yeast

Bolthouse Farms Non-Dairy Milk

Health + Wellness, Minimalism, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Veganism, Minimalism, and Spirituality

I was listening to a podcast the other day (Minimalist Moms) and they were talking about minimalism and spirituality. I consider myself a spiritual person and that more so came to light after my transition to being vegan. When you realize that all these animal products, processed foods and fake foods are not needed to survive, it makes you wonder what else you can live without.

I think after the first year, I began to realize that I had way too many things. I lived with my mom at the time and we lived in this big two story house that had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an office, huge living and dining room, 3 car garage, the works. I was grateful, but I began to feel like I was drowning. That is when I decided to start giving things away. The Purple Heart would come to our house and pick up any donations we had, and every time they came, there was plenty to give away. Even my mom was giving stuff away.

Once I got ready to move into my first apartment, I had bags and bags full of stuff that I was not taking with me. Once I moved and set up my new apartment, I realized that I had so much empty space. I lived in a nearly empty apartment for 14 months. It was depressing. I rarely invited people over because I was embarrassed. I had this huge apartment and nothing to fill it with, nor was I going to fill it.

When my lease was almost up, I went on the hunt for a much smaller apartment. I was elated when I finally found the perfect one. The living room was much smaller and it had a separate dining area; the closet was half the size of the old one; the bathroom was also smaller with a smaller linen closet and smaller garden tub; and the bedroom was about the same size.

Once I had moved all of my things in, I realized I did not have enough space for everything, and again, I had to give and throw things away. Every cabinet and closet is full to the brim with necessities (which is not a lot given how small everything is). Even though I have a baby on the way, there is enough stuff for their things to go. I’m just going to have to let the grandparents and family know to keep things to a minimum.

Being vegan opens your mind to societal norms, values, and morals, and makes you see how everything we’ve ever been taught was a lie. We are told to work more so that we can buy more things. We are manipulated into wanting a bigger house to fill it with expensive things and nicer, fancier, expensive cars. We are told we need all these things to make us happy and to live the “American Dream.”

I often times think about people who are homeless or those who don’t have many or any valuables, and how many of them are happy. There are homeless people who are actually happy; one of them is a friend of mine. I watched his journey moving from Houston to New York. He lives in a homeless shelter and all of his things fit in a backpack. He is the happiest person I know and it amazes me at his spirit and joy. We have talked on several occasions, and I follow his blog, YouTube and social media.

I do plan to live in a tiny house one day soon, but we will see how things go.

Spirituality

My spirituality changed when I became vegan because like I said before, when you realize that you have been told lies all your life about food, what other lies have we been told?

I began to do my research on the history of Christianity and Jesus Christ and what I found out was disturbing. During the times of slavery, Black people were only allowed to read the bible, and only a select few at that, mainly Black men who were appointed pastor by the slave master to keep the slaves in check. The slave masters would drill these lies about Jesus Christ (a white man with blue eyes and brown straight hair, sometimes it was blond, with white skin), and how if we don’t worship him, we were going to this place called hell (funny thing is we already live in hell).

Christianity was forced upon slaves in order to keep them dependent upon the white man and the slave masters, to make them feel that they are all they have. That translates into today. Many Black people work for the white man and are dependent upon him for a paycheck. I did more research and came to the conclusion that church really wasn’t for me. When I lived with my mom, I went to church because that wasn’t an option. I first started going to her church where the pastor is a white man (oh, the irony). I quickly realized that that wasn’t the church for me. I went to two other Black churches and I felt like a slave, being brainwashed into believing the lies coming out of the pastors’ mouths.

Do these pastors not know the history behind the negro church and why only Black men are pastors? Does that not strike them as odd? When I moved out, I immediately stopped going to church and created my own altar for me to worship my ancestors, meditate and journal. It felt right, right from the beginning. I turn on my oil diffuser, meditate for about 10 minutes and then journal. It gives me a sense of peace. I do this normally every Sunday morning, and other times when I feel I need to (mainly when I’m stressed).

I’ve found that more millennials have taken this route of spirituality, letting go of Christianity and the Black church. Our parents and grandparents don’t understand, and even find it demonic or heathenist or witchcraft, but little do they know that when they pray, that is a form of witchcraft. Praying is the same thing as reciting a spell. You pray for things you want, the healing of others, love, righteousness, happiness, etc. That’s casting a spell.

Back to the minimalist side, I keep my altar fairly simple. If you would like a tour, click here. I have updated it and added a couple of new pieces. I will do another post later on with the specifics of everything and why I have everything on it.

Veganism, minimalisim and spirituality go hand in hand.

Health + Wellness

Services

 

 

Book a Talk

You will be able to chat via Skype, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger about living a healthier lifestyle or book editing services.

$150.00

 

 

 

Ghostwriting

This is exclusively for novels. Please also contact me via email to discuss details, moniquasexton@me.com.

$1,500.00

 

 

 

 

Proofreading/Editing

This includes essays, resumes, cover letters, business proposals, flyers, newsletters, emails, etc. For novels, websites and other lengthy projects, please email me for further details (moniquasexton@me.com).

$175.00

 

 

 

Ebook Formatting

This service is for editing and formatting a ready-to-go ebook for upload to Kindle.

$1,200.00

Health + Wellness

Vegan Meal Services

Staple Foods List

I know as well as anyone that starting a vegan or plant based lifestyle can leave most confused and with an empty fridge and pantry. Changing to this lifestyle without any research of foods you can eat and how to eat, may seem daunting, however, this list will get you started. With that being said, I have done the hard work for you and created this list to help new and curious vegans. It is an extensive list of foods you should have in your kitchen at all times. 

$10.00

 

Customized Meal Plns (Vegan Only)

Aside from the meal plans that I already have listed, I can make customized meal plans to fit your specific needs. This will include a shopping list, recipes, and a meal plan chart with daily meals and snacks. Please specify for how many days you want the meal plan to be.

$150.00

Health + Wellness, My Life, Product Reviews

Nourish Juice Bar


Located off W Gray, this juice bar is so amazing and I love the atmosphere. I had been there once before. I ordered the Pink Starbust juice and a Buddha bowl. Both were absolutely amazing. The juice really tasted like candy and the kick from the ginger was perfect. 


The Buddha bowl was a curry style bowl with kale, quinoa, carrots, chickpeas and so much more earthy goodness. The curry dressing added so much flavor. I definitely want to try to recreate something like this.