NEW YORK RED

On a recent Sunday, I decided we needed a pancake breakfast at home.  I got out the package of pancake mix that I ordered from Barlow’s (Black-owned business, check them out; link below.)  The pancakes were delicious, but while I cooked them, I was reminded that I don’t make the best-looking pancakes in the world.  Ha!  Distorted, contorted, misshapen, oh my!  Each is a different shade of “doneness” (a cultural diaspora!).  But they taste good…so don’t judge me!

Growing up, my mother would make pancakes every Sunday for breakfast.  We’d have bacon or sausage and eggs and orange juice; I always looked forward to her pancakes!  I could smell them cooking when I woke up.  They were always round and the same size, evenly done on both sides.  If she ever burned or messed any of them up, we never knew!  No matter how much I practice, I can never get them to look like hers – I’ve practiced for years!  Ugh…

Maybe I took after my father with the pancake situation.  Daddy wasn’t much of a cook in the kitchen, but boy could he grill!  Remembering back to the times when my mother was admitted to the hospital for a few days, my father tried his best to ensure that life for me and my brother didn’t miss a beat.  In advance of my mother’s hospital stay, my Aunt Dottie would braid my shoulder-length hair in those infamous three plaits I always wore in the hopes that my hairdo would keep until my mother came home.  Auntie fixed it so all Daddy had to do was brush down ‘dem edges.  Lord, I wish we had edge control back in those days!  But like I said, he did the best he could.  Whew!

So, back to the pancakes.  Yeah, Daddy tried it – he cooked the pancakes on Sunday because he knew we would expect them.  As they say down here in the South – bless his heart!  His pancakes were all kinds of shapes and sizes!  When we got our plates, my brother and I exchanged looks, shrugged, and dug in anyway and they were really okay.  Besides, the choices were – eat or starve until Mommy came home!  Nevertheless, when I cook my funny-looking pancakes, I think back with fondness about those times with my father – and put that butter and syrup on my ‘cakes and enjoy!  

Moral of the story – do your best!  If you’re not really good at something, just do the best you can, don’t overthink it.  Somebody will view it as such and appreciate it.  Perfection is overrated anyway!  

Success has a simple formula: do your best and people may like it. – Sam Ewing

Barlow’s (https://barlowsfoods.com/) Check them out and order your pancake mix – they are delicious!  Four simple organic ingredients go into the mix – you can taste the simple freshness!  #supportblackowned

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Spring is here!  Yayyyy!  Summer is my favorite season of the year, but spring is a welcome appetizer!  I love it when the birds begin harmonizing like SWV and Jodeci, the sun starts planting deeper kisses on our skin, and the Earth ushers in a revival after winter!  It’s time for refreshment and renewal and I’m here for it!

Speaking of being here for it…I’m doing a new thing!  I’ve been having sessions with an awesome nutritionist and I am learning so many new facts about food!  Like many of you, I have gained a few COVID pounds during the pandemic.  Now that spring is here, I’m ready to get myself in shape!  Woooo, lookahere….the methods I used to lose weight during my 30’s and 40’s don’t garner the same results as I approach 60, or at least not as quickly. The struggle is real!

A few months ago, I signed up for the Weight Watchers three-month promotion.  I lost five pounds in the first month, but the program did not work for me.  Why? Simply put, I need someone to hold my hand.  For me, success in this type of program means in-person weigh-ins and counseling sessions through a customized program, but COVID restrictions ruled that out.

Enlisting the assistance of a nutritionist is just what the doctor ordered (pun intended).  I am learning about reading product labels and what to look for, how many servings of fruit and veggies to include in my daily diet, getting assistance with my exercise goals, tips on how to get adequate sleep/rest, etc.  During our virtual sessions, she tunes in to my needs and provides advice that suits my lifestyle and what I’m trying to accomplish.   

So yeah…at the very least, I must include five (count ‘em five) servings of fruit and veggies, combined.  Minimal!  Now, if she told me I had to include five cookies in my daily diet, I’m all in! Ha!  Five servings of fruit and veggies don’t seem like a lot, but when you barely ingest one or two veggies on a regular day, it’s an adjustment!  Luckily, she gave me a daily meal plan template to structure my meals around the required servings of protein, grains, fruits, and veggies.  

I’ve got the juice!  A few years ago, I juiced regularly, but the practice fell by the wayside so I sold my juicer at a yard sale.  I’ve picked it back up again – purchased a new juicer and now I’m on my way!  I bought a Hamilton Beach juicer, from Target that’s relatively inexpensive at around $60, and I like it!  Click here to view or purchase.  The big mouth at the top allows me to insert small fruits without having to cut them up. One of the downsides to juicing is the big mess it makes!  To combat that, I put a grocery bag in the pulp receptacle to catch the pulp.  It makes cleaning easy – just pop out the bag and throw it in the trash when you’re done!   If you desire to keep the pulp for other uses, using a large plastic storage bag in the receptacle instead would give you easy clean-up AND storage!   

My first juice endeavor is Morning Glow Detox – a recipe I found online at  3 Healthy Detox Juice Recipes.  It’s a sunshiny orange delicious concoction of carrots, oranges, golden beets, ginger, turmeric, and lemon!  Try it!  I’ve also listed some other great resources for juicing recipes and methods below.  Juicing is a great way to conquer your daily required servings of fruit and veggies. To me, juicing doesn’t replace a good ole plate of crispy Brussel sprouts, and I’m not advocating for juicing as a meal replacement, but it is a great enhancement to your diet to include more of the good stuff!  And it can curb your appetite!  Make several different juices to drink throughout the day.  They’re best enjoyed freshly made, but most can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.  I make my next-day supply of juices at night before going to bed.

I am so excited about my sessions with my nutritionist and finding new methods of healthy eating – using meal plans, cooking at home, being mindful of how my body reacts to certain foods, the proper use of supplements, creating a sleep plan, etc.  As I go along, I will continue to share about my new undertaking of self-care.  

As you grow older, your health and wellness plan needs to change; what works yesterday may not work today.  I’ve learned that the best way is to have a plan with attainable goals included.  Knowledge and mindfulness are power – where you are, where you plan to be, and what you need to do to get there is key.  Wellness is a journey, not a destination!

Juicing Resources

Juicing with Drea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OasOy1cdlUk

Juicing for Clear Skin & Weightloss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxNPGhHkTc4

3 Fresh Juice Recipes:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bOlsvr7CUE

I also ordered a book called “The Juicing Bible” (click here to purchase), the crème de la crème of resources on how to use natural foods to cure what ails you.  Can’t wait to receive it!

 

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A few days ago, as I prepared to make my grocery store run to pick up a few “essentials”, I stopped short at my reflection in the mirror.  One month into this pandemic quarantine stay at home shelter in place situation has done a number on my hair! I’m missing my periodic visit to my hairstylist or barber for a trim and/or to spruce up my ‘do!  These days certainly call for bad hair day alternatives – a baseball cap or sporty fedora…or…a head wrap!  Scarves, turbans and head wraps are extremely versatile and offer the opportunity of wrapping your head in variety of colorful fabrics to suit your mood and style.  Here are 5 links to fun and easy “how-to’s” that will have you on your way to becoming a head wrap expert!

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Essence Magazine recently shared “5 Easy Head Wrap Tutorials to Try Before Your Next Zoom Meeting“, which will provide a great start to variety of head wraps.  Click on the title link to be on your way!

I was drawn to YouTube as well because there are a number of tutorials offered there.  Here’s one that caught my eye because of the gorgeous fabrics!

I learned also that the structure and look of the head wrap depends on whether your hair is long or short.  I also learned you can create a tall turban even if you don’t have a bushel of hair! Like so:

Head wraps are also a great way to cover hair loss as a result of bouts with alopecia, or from chemotherapy treatments for our warrior sisters battling cancer.  Tune in to ZsjaZsja!

Finally, here’s one for my sisters with the big curlies or long braids!

There are many many awesome tutorials on Youtube that are easy to follow and just entertaining to watch!  Choose the one that speaks to your style and start wrapping!

For my grocery store journey, I went with one of the turban style head wraps featured in the Essence Magazine article, added earrings, lip gloss and was out the door!  Which of these did you like the most?  Do you wear head wraps, scarves or turbans as a regular style choice?  Tell me your head wrap story in the comments!

 

 

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