Mid Week Motivator: My Favorite Groceries


Developing a healthy relationship with food has meant consistency in my pantry and fridge. Week in and week out I purchase the following items. I know they will fit into my food budget, full of good fats and keep me fueled properly. I have covered how to eat healthy on a budget here

Coconut Oil – since discovering this gem I have never gone back! This bottle of goodness is simply amazing and also has so many uses beyond cooking.

Whole Oatmeal Oats– not only is this a healthy breakfast but I have used this to substitute flour (which I never think to purchase), to make muffins or cookies.

Bananas– The great thing about these is they get better as they age. There is no need for them to go to waste. When they are overripe they still can be used, full of nutritious goodness.

Spinach– raw or cooked this is one item I make sure is in my grocery cart.

Mixed Nuts – a great source of protein and available either with out salt or non at all.

Popcorn kernals- this is a new favorite since I discovered how to make microwave popcorn instead of using packets.

Plain Yogurt- either low fat or greek I usually purchase a container and measure out what I need each day.

Chia Seeds– another new addition, I add them to my oatmeal or yogurt. The secret is to soak them in water to get the most out of them. Also add them to your beverages.

Coffee– because I need my one cup if French pressed brew to get my day started off. I do use a small amount of flavored creamer.

Frozen Yogurt– a little sweet to end the day. Just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

This certainly is not an exhaustive list but these items help keep me in check. I know they will leave me feeling satisfied and fuel me with needed energy.

What foods do you always purchase to help keep you on track?

My Relationship With Food Now


I am a recovering binge eater. There was a time when food was my primary relationship. It really was. It was was not just mindless eating. At least for me it wasn’t. I have touched on this in a previous post.

Today I want to talk about how far I have come. My relationship with food will always be complicated. These days, it is in a good place. When I was in the midst of losing weight, counting calories was a huge part of my life. This continued once I reached my weight goal, or what I believed to be my goal. More on this in another post.

My attitude towards food began to change because God intervened. That is the truth. I longed for change, to be released from this desire for food. God used the circumstances of my life to do it. When I lost my job and had little money for food, I had to choose my food carefully. It had to last and in turn it had to be healthy. There was no option to be able to binge eat. That was God right there. Here is a post I

That was five years ago. Yesterday it struck me as I was grocery shopping how far I have come. I was hungry as I shopped. One of the worst things to ever do! However, I bought what I needed and was excited to buy fruits and vegetables.

I have learned that it is alright to be excited about food. To look forward to eating and enjoying food. When I was binge eating, I was trying to fill a God sized hole within myself. After I lost weight I was afraid of enjoying what I ate. Fearing that by doing so I would fall back into bad habits.

This lead to a period of seeing food as a necessary evil. I feared straying over my daily caloric intake, obsessing over how many calories I burned with each work out. That somehow if I was not as strict I would wake up the next day fat. In fact I felt like I thought more about food than during my worst binges. For my mental and physical health I had to find a balance. Something that is easier said than done. For a time I had to stop tracking my calories.

Eating is not a utilitarian endeavor though. I have taste buds that need to teased and tantalized. It is ok to look forward to a meal and enjoy eating it. These days I am up and down. The difference is I allow for grace. No longer do I think through all I ate that day. Or chastise myself for a poor choice.
From time to time I use My Fitness Pal to help track where I am at but it is no longer gospel to me.

Food will always be in my life, it is necessary to eat. Today, I eat to fuel my body while enjoying it.

Mid Week Motivator: Five Reasons To Buddy Up


It can be hard to get out there and commit to a healthier lifestyle. As with anything else in life, this cannot be done alone. Especially when you are starting out. When I started working out, having a buddy there was hugely important. Here are my five reasons to buddy up.

1. Accountability– When you know your friend(s) are setting aside their time as well, it gives you more reason to get up and GO!

2- You Work Harder– No matter the kind of work out, you will push yourself a bit more. Lets face it, being competitive is in our nature.

3-It Is Bonding– I can attest that a few of my close friendships were forged by working out together. When sweating alongside someone, nothing is hidden.

4- You Learn New Things– Your buddy may know more about using weights and you know about running. I have learned how to get more out of my squats and push ups from one buddy. I in turn helped her learn how to pace herself while running.

5- You Become More Motivated– The more you work out, the more it becomes a habit. There will be times you are not able to meet up with your buddy. Do not let this not stop you!You can text your buddy and brag on yourself. You will see that going out there alone is not as daunting as it once was.

You may start working out with a friend and it just does not work. For whatever reason. As with any relationship, this cannot be forced. Or its a scheduling issue. You may end up meeting up for a few weeks or from time to time.

What other benefits have you found working out with a buddy?

You are Beautiful!

What is a perfect body? Through my health journey, I have thought about my body a lot. There are things I have to learn to love about it. Accepting that my body is built differently than everyone else’s. You can read my post on embracing this here.

Something that we are not told. Both men and women are given numerous messages that beauty is defined by young, toned bodies. New mothers, comparing themselves to actresses or other celebrities find themselves lacking. Middle aged men and women are chastised for looking their age. Advised to seek surgery or shots to prevent wrinkles.

We forget that the models are Photoshop. Even their perfection is just not perfect enough. Again we compare ourselves to the impossible. In this comparison we fat shame, skinny shame, age shame. Can I just please stop all that?! When people are “shamed” it really reveals the shamers own fears. For some reason, the fact that someone is thin naturally or comfortable in their bodies brings out the worst in others.

In doing so we forget that our bodies are unique to ourselves. That there is no magical way of eating or exercising to create the impossible. We need to be realistic about our bodies, there are going to be some things about that will not change. Things we have inherited from our ancestors. For instance, I know no matter how many squats or donkey kicks I do, I will never get a booty.

Healthy living is about loving your body. Embrace all that your body can do! Don’t take for granted good health. While many of us are pining away for perfect six pack, someone else is unable to breath properly. Try making a list of all you do just to get ready for the day. Think of much more difficult any of that would be if you were paralyzed or without one limb.

If you do seek out plastic surgery, do so with open eyes. A procedure can not bring you happiness. It is why so many get sucked into returning under the knife. Nothing is ever just right, there is always something else to “fix”.

It is all about perspective and motivation. Essentially what is your heart behind wanting to lose weight? To getting that procedure done? What are your expectations for your life from this? The reality is, these things will not fix your heart, heal wounds.

Our bodies are freaking amazing! Love your body, not some image of what it “should” look like. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Embrace yours, because you are beautiful. Yes, you. Gorgeous, actually.
Go on, tell yourself in the mirror. Post a selfie with the hashtag #gorgeous.

Mid Week Motivator: Learning New Skills

I confess that despite growing up in Miami since the age of eight, I have never properly learned Spanish. When I was in elementary school I took classes but in highschool I rebelled. I opted instead for French. Which I also took at the college level.

Please do not ask me to speak it. However, I do get excited when I catch a phrase in a film before the subtitle!

But then Jon Acuff set out a challenge for the summer. Learn or work on a skill for fifteen minutes a day. #Dosummer is what he is calling it. Fifteen minutes is easy to fit into my schedules. Fifteen minutes a day, every day quickly adds up.

I knew mine would be to learn Spanish.

But I was not sure how to go about it. I do not have extra money to take a class. In the past I attempted to learn by checking out language cd’s from the library, listening to my dvd’s in Spanish instead of English and using a language app on my phone. All of which I would become frustrated, lose motivation and give up.

I am too old to learn a new language, I would say to myself. But I live in Miami. If I want a better day job to support myself, Spanish is a must. I needed to face my fear on not being perfect at it.

Just as with my writing. I could always write. It was not until I sat down and focused that I improved. Because of this I am a better writer today.

Then I came across a free app called Duolingo. And it seems I am learning! I understand more when out and about. I am feeling more confident in asking my friends to converse with me en español.

My old excuse will just never fly! I will never be too old to learn something new. I do not know if I will ever become easily fluent but I can try. Once I have this Spanish down, I will blow the dust off my French.

What skill have you wanted to work on?
What is holding you back from trying?

100 Days of Happiness


Recently I participated in posting about happiness in the everyday for 100 days. (#100happydays). The idea is to find at least one thing, person, food etc that gives you a sense of joy. This was a natural fit for me. It is an exercise in thankfulness. Looking at the everyday with fresh eyes.  Taking a second look at all that I do have and often don’t think about.

I practice thankfulness. On my computer is a file dedicated to a list of thankfulness. It now numbers in the thousands. Keeping this list has helped to create a new perspective about my life. As well as happiness itself. From the start we are told that happiness is attainable. A goal that will be achieved through accomplishments or status.

But is our expectations for happiness realistic. That by saying I will be happy I do this or meet the one we are actually limiting joy in our lives. What if instead we looked at happiness as a gift? As something given to us as a gift. What if we also stopped looking at perfection in our lives as happiness?

The truth that has been revealed to me about happiness is that it is often found in the midst of trials. Not in having everything in my life exactly where I hoped it would be, but in the messiness of it. Step back to discover  that one thing, moment, food or thought that brought you happiness. Once you find one, another will emerge and another.

Some days will be harder than others. It may seem impossible to find one good or nice moment in your day. However there is always one thing. It could of been that cup a coffee or a bad joke that made you laugh. There is something good happening everyday.

The last week of this were hard. I am grieving the loss of my cat Hershey. Even so, I found things and moments of happiness. Then were the days I played catch up, which is totally fine. Or even combining a few events or days together.

If you choose to do it, know you don’t need to post it. Unless of course you want to. Posting can help inspire others. I had some good conversations about what this was about.

In doing this I hope you discover how much you do have. That brings with a sense of joy in your life.

Mid Week Motivator: C25k


I have completed C25k ( Couch 25K)! This coaching app helped me to get back into running. It doesn’t matter if you have been running for a while and have gotten into a slump. Or if you haven’t run at all. It meets you right where you are at and trains you to complete a 5k.

I must admit the last few weeks were rather scattered with my efforts. Finding it too hot to run out side, I opted instead to complete the work outs at home. Keeping moving for the duration of the 30 minutes. Then there was the week I wasn’t feeling well. Then the week I lead at camp.

But I kept on doing it. I was determined to finish this time around. All that is left is to run a 5k. I think I will begin training for a 10k next.

Finish what you started. If you don’t finish well use that as way to take stock. Ask yourself the hard questions, why was it hard? What caused you to lose motivation? Were you stuck too much in your head?

The first time I used C25k all the above affected my ability to finish. This time around I reminded myself how I had done this before and will again. That it is alright to go at my own pace. To meet myself where I am. But not allowing myself to stay there.

Saying Goodbye


I said goodbye to a friend the other day. My dear Hershey boy was an old man at 24 years old. He had not been eating much and had gotten down to a tiny six pounds. And so I made the best decision for him, to let him go. To end his suffering and to prevent any unnecessary poking and prodding.

The first night home was strange. His favorite resting spot was now empty. I found myself petting it a few times during the night. No more will I hear his gentle purring next to me. Or his begging meows for his weekly serving of wet food. No more scolding meows when I would come home and not immediately pet him.


He was my best friends cat first. The first time I met Hershey he was teasing her blind dog Woofer. His constant companion was another cat named Jake. The two would get into trouble outside. Hershey starting up fights, leaving Jake to finish them.

By the time he came into my care, he was older and more settled. My friend could no longer care for him and I offered to take him home. I had never owned a cat. He was wary of me as he did not know me. But soon we found our way.


That was about eight years ago. In that time he became my ride or die. It was him who was there for me when sick late at night. He gave me cuddles when it hurt just a bit too much to be alone. Having him in my life was an assurance of love. In turn he showed me what it was to love.

Right now, I feel alright. I do not think it has fully hit me that he is gone. Sunday after I got home from church was when he got his wet food. Maybe it will hit me then. My only regret was not wiping away the gunk from his eyes one last time. I did kiss him and stroke his one ear just so. Quickly the anesthetic was injected, and he lay down. Then he was gone, free from pain.

I am not sure about adopting another. It will not be for at least a few months at least. If I do it will definitely be from the local shelter.


Mid Week Motivator: Back At It


This past week I went off my usual habits. It is not necessarily a bad thing. It can happen, I was leading at my church camp. While one is at camp, one eats the food provided. The days were packed from start to finish leaving no time for working out.

The key is getting right back at it once life returns to normalcy. Back to my usual eating habits and exercise routine.

My plan
– drinking more water, I did not consume quite as much as I usually do.
– watching my portion sizes and what I eat. Which for me means plenty of fruits and vegetables.

– easing back into my work out routine. I had a whole week without consistently doing so. Easing does not mean easy but allowing myself a few days to acclimate.

That is how I will get back into it.