Wednesday, January 28, 2009

He Is 1/2 White

I like the man, and I hope he does a better job with this country then his predecessor. For he couldn't possibly do any worse. Or so we will see. What has kind of bothered me of sorts, is the medias near obsession with the black side of his heritage. Oh, and if you have not figured it out yet, I am referring to our current president, Mr. Barack Obama.

Do not get me wrong, he seems to be gifted and talented, but even in a democracy, you are only as good as your houses are to you. Oh that's right. Mr spanky shiny new president could have all the right ideas, great ways to implement them and if our congress/senate/ does not back him, he might as well flush his ideas right down the toilet with the rest of the garbage.

But I got side-tracked. Why don't they ever talk about his white mother? They harp on his African American heritage. Don't misunderstand me, I acknowledge the fact that he is half black, but what about his white side? Let's play devils advocate here for a second. What if he was half black and half Asian, or half Native American, or half anything else for that matter. Do you not think the press would be exploiting his other nationality? You darned right.

But let's look at his past a bit more closely. His father did not come from slaves, so their playing thee oppressed black man is not being bought into, at least not by me. And correct me if I am wrong, but Mr. Obama did have some advantages and did make it through high school, and on to college. Why? Not because he was a black man but because he was someone who had goals. He had a game plan. He was on a mission, and one he obviously completed (With a little help from Oprah, in my opinion), but he made it none the less.

So should his 'African American' side be constantly harped on? Not in my book. I just wonder how he would be treated, viewed if his other side were not white.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

5 Steps

I got this tiny flyer from my Doctor when my husband and I went to her thee other day. Hubby needed to see her and she handed me this little flyer. There were five powerful things on this flyer and things I have already started to implement into my life. Something we have been doing for a long time, others we are still working on. I will list them now and expand my thoughts and opinions on each of them.

1) Less animal products:

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but let me tell you, there is more to just cutting down or out red-meat. People assume that red meat is thee only antagonist out there. Any and all meat is culprits. Everyone flocks to chicken automatically and then fish. But trust me as long as you are consuming animals and their by-products, you are still not eating healthy.

And lest we forget meat derivatives, such as cheeses, butter, and anything related to these items. Fear not, you can still let go of these things and not feel deprived. It is something you can do overnight? Possibly, but I do not recommend it. Baby steps. But there are many who get this far and stop reading now. "Who me? Give up meat? You have got to be out of your mind." May be, but let me give you an example of how easy it is.

My husband, Mr. Macho Cuban, who grew up in a home that had no idea what the word vegetable was, sat down last night at dinner and had a super-filling meal and never touched a lick of meat. So the old adage of, "What do you eat?" Does not apply in my home. Give me a call let's do dinner and then tell me my eating lifestyle is lacking...I think not.

2) More plant products:

Please do not tell me you added a salad to your dinner. Blah blah blah. Yeah yeah yeah, whatever. But let's get down to brass tacks, we are talking heavy duty veggies. Like more than canned green beans on your plate. Throw some Swiss chard out there, put together a fan-flipping-tastic stir-fry and use things you have never seen or used before. Step outside your comfort zone and experiment, you will be surprised what you try once you add more vegetables and cut back on the meat. You will be forced to try new spices and herbs and your palette will come alive and your taste buds will thank you for it.

3) Less refined, processed, artificial foods

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a man on a mission. I already have gone through my cabinets to rid them of things that were processed. Luckily for me there was not a lot to lose. Did I throw it out? No, I ate them and then vowed not to buy those things again. Do I miss them? No, for I know the harm they were doing to me (what little I was consuming) and my family. But again, we took it one step at a time. First it was boxed cereals. We no longer have any in our home. then it was salad dressing. Now they are gone as well. There was little of anything in our cupboards that we had to get rid of, but what little was there is now gone. Everything we do, save for a few items (pasta, some canned tomatoes, and some sauces, but even those I am trying to figure out how to make from scratch) is homemade.

Some may say, "I don't have time." Well make the time. But do it in tiny, small steps. Pick one thing and work on it. Does not matter if it takes you 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month. Only you can determine what is right for you and your home. You can do this.

Remember this. If you can't pronounce what is on the label, then you do not need to be eating it.

4) More whole foods:

Most people automatically think of whole wheat bread. Ahhh, but do not be fooled. All breads are whole whole, because it is part of the wheat kernel, but is it whole grain? That is what you should be looking for. And even if it is whole grain, it is usually stuffed with preservatives to be able to keep it on the shelf. Real whole grain bread is usually kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Our homemade bread only lasts about 3 days...if it makes it that long. A loaf usually only makes it 2 days, tops. So we do not need preservatives in this house.

Preservatives are pumped into everything you eat. Why do you think food you purchase in 2009 can stay fresh until 2011??? What the heck is that anyway. Food was not meant to be around that long. It goes against the grain of Mother Nature. I am not saying that all of you need to become grain grinding nerds, but think of where your food comes from and how many stages removed it is from its point of origin.

5) More exercise:

I remember when my husband went to a nutritionist and she asked him for 15 minutes 3 times a week. (A walk around the block) and he flat out told her with all the defiance he could muster, that he could not incorporate that into his schedule. Give me a flipping break. He was being lazy. You want something bad enough, you make the time. If you can sit and watch an episode of Soprano's then you can take a walk to the end of the block or all the way around. Small steps people.

Once you are in a routine, then you will soon crave, if you will, exercise itself. It clears my mind and calms me down. No one to bother you and it is only 15 minutes out of my day. And who knows, you may meet your neighbors. What a concept.

Please read over what I have posted. Look and see what you can do with your life. If it is only one thing then so be it. That is one more thing you are doing today that you were not doing yesterday. And there is always tomorrow!

Good Luck

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let It Go!

Well tis the new year and many of us (not me) start by trying to follow a new regimen. I say why wait til the first of the year. If you are overweight, and it is July, then get out and walk. If you are looking to rid you house of stuff, then have that garage sale. If paper piles are taking over your home, then sit down, and go through them. Will this transformation happen overnight? Absolutely not. But your mess did not get there overnight so do not expect it to get cleared up overnight. Baby steps. People dive in with both feet and then get discouraged when their plan fails. So don't set yourself up to fail. One thing at a time.

There are plenty of sites that can help you over the hump of organizing. And do not think that just because your get some organization in your life that you will now be popping open your daily planner and checking to see what you are supposed to do next. People are under thee impression that with organization comes the loss of spontaneity. Oh so no. It just means you will be able to better find things, know when you can be invited to dinner somewhere, what time appointments are. And hopefully you will learn to be on time if you are someone who is constantly late, and you know who you are.

One that I use to frequent is Fly Lady . Now here is the deal with this site. You sign up for daily Emails...lots of them. They are reminder for you to follow. Like put your shoes away, make your bed and such forth. You scoff now, but once you get into a routine, you will be surprised how automatic decluttering will become. It's just a reconditioning of the brain. For many of us it is just laziness. You may not want to admit it, but if you step back and see the situation it is a form of laziness. 'I don't have time." Well listen here sister. If you have to plop your backside down for an hour reality show then you have time to do some cleaning/decluttering. And before you know it, things will just be automatic and you won't be giving a second thought to what you are doing.

Learning to De-clutter is something that most people know how to do, they just don't implement their knowledge. It's there, we know it, but we seem to be stuck in a hoarding mood. Let it go. You can't take it with you, and just what the heck are you doing with the 1973 edition of Better Homes and Garden. I mean really. Clip the recipe and recycle the magazine or donate it to the library. Give your junk to someone else. Let them deal with the clutter.

Also, clutter breeds critters. And unless you are planning to be an epidemiologist, then I say let the roaches breed elsewhere, not in your home. And that's just the tip of the iceberg on what junk collecting brings into your home.

Then there is the issue of, "Honey, where is that paper from last week?" Heelloo. Read the darned thing, clip what you need and let it hit the recycle bin. Or better yet, use it for cleaning your mirrors. That is what I do.

And how many people do you know are unorganized and successful in their lives. I doubt the Donal Trumps of the world have to walk over a pile of shores. Granted he probably has someone to do it for him, but you get where I am coming from.

I am planning a garage sale in the next week or so, and what does not get sold goes to Goodwill or some other organization that needs our help. And when all is said and done, I feel so liberated when this stuff is gone. I look at my parents who are pack-rats for sure, teetering on hoarders, and I know how I feel when I visit them. And I truly do not want to get like that , or have my children have to come visit me and spend all their time cleaning. That is not their job. So do yourself a favor and take a good look at the 'Stuff' you do keep and ask yourself honestly is it worth it or are you just keeping it for keeping sake.

Friday, January 9, 2009

To Clip Or Not To Clip

...that is the question.

Raise your hand if you clip coupons? But ask yourself this, what do coupons let you buy? CRAP. Have you noticed that all coupons are for processed foods? Why can't we have coupons for produce? I could use a little off the nearly $35 dollars a week I spend on produce every single week.

There are some stores, such as Publix gives you BOGO=buy one get one free. But guess what, they are for items I would never eat or buy for that matter. Do not get me wrong, I am not bashing this grocery store. In fact I wish I could afford to shop there, but that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future.

But here is just a list of a few of the things I could buy, but won't.

Atkins Advantage Shake-I don't do anything Atkins. Anyone who says rice and potatoes are evil is not right in the head

Attune Granola Bars-We make our own granola

Aunt Jemima Pancakes-We make our own and can you read all the ingredients on the back of the box and know what their purpose is?

Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breast-Ack! Meat pumped full of hormones and way.

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks- I thought fruit came from plants, not from inside boxes! Did I miss something?

Campbell's Select Harvest Soups-We make our own soups.

Chatam Village Croutons-Deep Fried, and yet these things are touted as healthy. For sure if it comes from bread it has to be good. Anyone every hear of oven fried?

Del Monte Tomatoes-These I would actually buy. We use so many canned tomatoes, that I need to take stock in some company.

Entenmann's Little Bites-Sugar ladened treat. We make our own sweets, and no one goes into a diabetic coma afterwards either.

General Mills Fiber One Cereal-I know they are trying, but I guarantee, that there is still some sort of processed sugar in that box of supposed goodness.

This is only one page of the BOGO. suffice it to say it would not be worth my while to even purchase these items, since it has been my sole purpose to rid my home of processed foods. Am I good as gold? Not yet, we still have some lingering item to get rid of, but I could not see just throwing out food for the sake of cleaning my cupboards. One step at a time.

I am curious whether or not I should write my grocery store, like people write their congressmen, telling them why don't you have produce with the BOGO, or how about some organic products, and there is the non-dairy milks we could use a little help with. But I do not think my one little letter will make a huge impact, but then again...who knows!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quit Whining

My head hurts, there's nothing to pack for lunch, traffic was a terror, the dog had an accident on the new white carpet, I burned the rice for dinner (OK, maybe not in my home), thee Internet was down all day, it rained, I missed the bus, they were out of that item, and this is just the tip of thee iceberg. I could sit here and rattle of oodles of excuses, as lame as they are.

We complain about the simplest thing and don't give a care as to how childish we sound. There is an adage I go by, "There is always someone worse off than you." Truer words were never spoken. But that does not seem to change our whining little attitudes. It's all about us and what we are going through. Guess what, It's Not All About You." There is more to life than incessant complaining. So get over it, and we are tired of hearing about it as well. So move on.

But if you keep whining, you might want to think of this guy and then sit back and wonder if all your whining is worth it.

Get Back Up