Taking Care of Ourselves: Breast Cancer Awarenes

Unfortunately, many have experienced the loss of someone dear to them due to this cruel disease. And while we are all aware that breast cancer exist, we must make sure that we are taking the steps to ensure our health. I have been left heart broken a few times in my lifetime learning that someone I cared about passed to this disease. It is so important that women educate themselves on understanding the signs of cancer as well as monitoring themselves at home.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides a great deal of information on how to perform an exam at home, early detection, the stages, treatment, support and much more. And there are several other sites out there that are credible in providing similar details.

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Bracelets serve as great reminders to be aware of breast cancer and other illnesses. I made these to distribute at Women’s Wellness & Fitness Day.

As women, we are so engulfed into being mom, wife, our careers, basically taking care of others that sometimes we do not take the time to check in on ourselves. We matter so much to our families. They are depending on us; for this reason, we have to take care of ourselves. So if you have reached that plateau in your life for annual mammograms, get it done. Even if you haven’t reached that age, it doesn’t hurt to monitor at home. We have to strive for great health, our families are counting on us.

Jewels, let’s always do what we can to stay healthy for ourselves and our loved ones. Your health truly matters. Without good health, we are good for nothing.

Raise awareness for breast cancer, Jewels.

The Keto Diet: Does it Really Work?

Ever since I can remember, I have always sought out the next diet fad. One may work for a little while, eat wrong and you gain every bit of what you lost back. Or worse, it is not healthy or doctor approved. But mostly, diets are extremely difficult because we are not eating enjoyable food. Essentially, that is truly what it is.

Well, just to give a little bit of history. I can recall doing Tae Bo with my sister after she had my niece to attempt to lose weight, to tell you how long ago that was my niece is now in college. She lost weight, I gained. I have tried cutting out all the white foods, that lasted for a few days, and I lost nothing. How about joining the gym in December in hopes of actually going through with my tenth year in a row New Year’s resolution. EPIC FAIL! Nothing has worked. Atkins, personal trainer, gym for two weeks then off, Miami Beach Diet, going vegetarian for a while, drinking a gallon of water a day. None of these fads work. And this is not to say that they don’t. Perhaps they just don’t work for me.

I have been successful with Quick Weight Loss Centers; however, if you cheat, or not even eat all of your food, you will gain, or your weight will stall. And when this happens you have to eat dissatisfying foods to get back to losing. By the way, the food was not bad, it is just that I was always hungry. And bonus, you could only eat their snacks. That got pretty expensive, pretty fast.

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Bacon Fried Cabbage, yum!

So, I was left thinking that I should just accept being fat. Earlier this year, my cousin introduced me to the Keto Diet. Bacon? What? That sounds so unhealthy. But when I saw the weight dropping from her body, I was like healthy or not, I have to give this a try.

Well fast forward to now, I have lost over thirty pounds, I have a ton of energy, and I feel great! I could have never said that with Quick Weight Loss. I was tired and hungry. With keto you are full off of the healthy fats you are consuming, which has allowed me to fast up to thirty-seven hours. One day I hope to reach seventy-two hours. But the point is, KETO WORKS!

Keto is not a diet where you can just say don’t eat this, eat that. Well kind of. Yet, it requires a lot of knowledge. This is especially so if you are anything like I was, keto is so unhealthy. You do not have to eat bacon. And healthy fats are not the same as McDonald’s.

While I would love to post a before and after picture, I am completely embarrassed at this time. But all of my family and friends that have seen me recently see a major difference. Post baby, I am down over fifty pounds. In clothing, I have gone from a size 18 to some 12s but comfortably and loosely size 14 clothing. All in all, I feel so much better. And the biggest component to my desire to lose weight is to have the ability to keep up with my outgoing daughter. I could be much smaller if I had not enjoyed my summer vacation as much as I did the last month of summer, but what the heck. My body paid for it. I surely was not feeling my best and drained.

Well…What is keto? Keto is a high fat, low carb diet. Essentially, you will want to calculate your macros. Simply google “macros calculator” and follow the directions from there. As far as carbs, it depends on who you talk to. I see weight changes as long as I do not eat over 27g of carbs a day. But I like to stay under 20. 20g of carbs should be your goal. That is the ultimate number for weight loss. However, some people suggest not going over 50g of carbs a day. As I have mentioned, there are so many thoughts on what is really keto and how it works. With that being said, I am not telling anyone how to eat or what keto really is. Anytime I share about anything related to food and weight loss it is from what has worked for me. I am not a doctor. I just know what has worked for myself and my friends.

Now there is some extra calculating that goes into this such as net carbs. I will get into that later on. For now, please know that you must avoid sugar, bread, pasta, carbonated drinks, aspartame. Consume meat, fatty oils such as avocado oil, olive oil, nuts- my favorites are pecans and almonds, and dark and green leafy vegetables. Pork skins go great with many dishes. They’ll become your best friend. There is so much to share. But at least you can start with something as easy as eggs and sausage for breakfast, a salad with avocado, cheese you shred- I’ll explain later, bacon, chicken- I use rotisserie chicken sometimes,  a boiled egg, you can add sliced almonds, pecans- whatever you like as long as it is low carb, and a low carb salad dressing. For the dressing, you can never go wrong with ranch or cesar. I love the Olive Garden Italian dressing and their Parmesan Ranch. They have like less than 1g of carbs. And for dinner, a shrimp and asparagus foil pack is great or instead of shrimp you can have chicken or steak or salmon. You eat really good with Keto. The recipes are endless. Simply google or pinterest them.

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Meal prepped salads for lunch

Lastly, caffeine is your best friend. If you like coffee like that. I am an addict, so I have to have it every day. I have a post that shares how I have my coffee. But to add to it, I normally have black tea iced or hot with stevia and heavy whipping cream. Or, I’ll have iced coffee with heavy whipping cream or half and half with stevia. And sometimes, I drink my caffeine beverages black with or without stevia. This is due to dairy products sometimes cause your weight to stall. You cannot have milk because it contains sugar, but there are many dairy products you can consume- I’ll get into this later. Again, there is just so much to this way of eating.

I truly support low carb/ keto lifestyle because I am not limited on what I can eat. I am fuller longer, and I have so much more energy. Stay tuned for more news and facts about the keto diet. If you are uncomfortable with the fact that keto is a high fat diet, try low carb. When we cut a drastic amount of carbs and sugar from our diets, you are bound to see results.

To good health Jewels!

Summer Time Fine: Time to Strut Your Stuff

While the sun is my enemy, I do love that Summer gives me a chance to show off some skin. I absolutely adore my legs. I think they’re HOT! I may be plus-size but that means absolutely nothing. I do not let my size hinder me from showing off some skin. I think my legs are one of my best attributes, and I just live to show them off.

Ladies, we all have parts of our bodies that we like to show off and make us feel extra sexy. No matter your size, strut what your momma gave ya! We all have a physical feature that brings out our inner sexy. So this Summer what is it that you’re going to strut?

It’s so vital to be confident in the skin you’re in. When you are confident in yourself, nothing else matters. The only time I may consider what someone is saying about me is if they are buying my clothes. Other than that, I can care less. Be you. Like the Isley Brothers said, “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do.”

Legs all Summer long!

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Here’s my philosophy about dresses: You cannot wear one without heels on, or super cute (and I mean top of the line) flat sandals. I just cannot do a dress with flats, looks so weird on me, unless I have on tights. Plus, heels make your legs look sexy!

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In case you’re wondering these shoes are by BCBG, hot right? 😉

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And…Summer just wouldn’t be Summer without short shorts, but these aren’t booty-short shorts lol. Got these at Forever21+. They were only $10, and they are high waisted, which is a plus for cropped tops.

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Legs, Legs, Legs! Button down chambray shirt with the black shorts from above, equals cute outfit! When I sit the shorts rise up, lol. It’s just about summer time, so show off your stuff ladies!

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Be you, be sexy, you are FINE! Bring on the heat Summer I’m ready to strut my LEGS! 😉 Jewels, please share the physical feature of yourself that you like to strut and why. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Being Athletic Despite Your Size: Acroyoga in Nawlins

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I was just here two weeks ago, and I had to come back to visit the newest member of my family. Most of my time was spent away from the new baby. I was too busy enjoying the beautiful weather.

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So many times plus size ladies feel as though their size hinders them from doing athletic things. I’m all for being active. I believe in good health, but sometimes I too feel as though because of my size I can’t participate in certain activities. Well…my best friend proved me wrong yesterday. She has been practicing acroyoga for several months now. I must say, my girl is darn good. I admire her flexible skills, but never had I thought my thick self would be doing acrobatic moves.

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She insisted I get up and try it. I kept telling her, “No thanks.” I didn’t want to hurt her. She kept insisting, so I got up and made an attempt. I was very nervous, yet successful! It was so fun! Having all of your weight balanced on someone else is nerve wrecking so I did not do too many moves in the air. However, I did enjoy being the base. It was such a test of my strength.

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All in all, I had a blast. It all started with going to The Fly Sunday evening at dusk to see the sun set on the Mississippi River, and it turned into an experience I’ll never forget. As well as, a teachable moment for me. Never allow your size to dictate what you can and cannot do, especially when it comes to sports. Being active is a great way to stay healthy. Which is quite crucial to living a long beautiful life.

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Jewels, make attempts at things that may seem awkward for a big girl to do, because you never know how fun it can be. Don’t let your size be your excuse.

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The glorious Mississippi River and all it’s awe.

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To trying new things Jewels! 😉

Detox: Day FOUR & FIVE

Detoxing is a long, draining, and depressing process, BUT the results are priceless. By day three I was tired of eating and I hated the smoothies. I also stopped drinking the tea. I know, very bad. Therefore, by day four I had 1 smoothie and I also ate a salad that evening. I could not help myself. I had no energy and I felt like I had to eat something to help regain strength so I had a salad. Not to mention, I drunk hardly any water that day.

When I woke up, I was not surprised to see that I had gained a pound: lack of water and nutrients.

Day five. I ate absolutely nothing throughout the day, no smoothie, was not hungry, but by the end of the day I had a salad. Did not drink the detox tea either.

I did not get on the scale the sixth day because I just knew I had gained weight. The detox, even though I was only truly devoted for three days, still had great results. I am not bloated like I was when I started. My digestive system is much better. AND…today I got on the scale a whopping 12 pounds down. Three days of really following the cleanse and three days of trying to just stay a float of being healthy and I feel better and lost a little over ten pounds. It was definitely worth it. I want to do it again! I think the second time around it will be a little better, and hopefully even better results.

Of course, now I am back on track with putting fruits and veggies in my diet. As well as back to snacking on healthy foods throughout the day: nuts, boiled eggs, greek yogurt. The detox did some good, and I highly recommend this to anyone who just wants to cleanse, even if it is for three days. I know for sure a day will not be enough, maybe two, but three did it for me. Next go round, I am hoping I can get to five days. I am happy walking away from this knowing three days can do the trick for me.

A major plus is also the inches I lost around my waist, FOUR! Plus, my face is slimmer. I am very happy about my results.

Best wishes to those you will attempt the cleanse. You can do it!

Cheers to good health Jewels!

Detox: Day THREE

The entire day I have felt drained. No energy whatsoever! Early part of today, I did not have any cravings for food, and I had to make myself drink the smoothies. However, by tonight I desire FOOD.

Today, I ate less. The snack I had after breakfast was blackberries and raspberries, barely a half cup portion of it. The remainder of the day I had about 6 or 7 almonds, 2 Brazilian nuts, 1 boiled egg, and three smoothies (replaced the three meals of the day). I also drunk a good amount of water today and two cups of detox tea.

Despite feeling like I may possibly faint, I was not hungry. I managed to go the gym and workout for a good thirty minutes. The last thing I wanted to do was over do it. For some reason I believe in pushing myself; unfortunately, at the gym I was not able to do that today, for obvious reasons. So for those who do decide to detox and workout, keep it light until you know how your body will be.

At this very moment, I WANT FOOD. But, fortunate for me I am going to sleep; therefore, no eating! Whenever you feel like you’re going to grab food, make yourself go to sleep, that way you can’t eat, haha.

By the way, I weighed myself this morning, and not to my surprise only a whopping 2.4 pounds gone. Maybe over indulging in the nuts yesterday did that or the lack of water. But, today was a new day, and I think the scale will have better results.

Cheers to the completion of DAY THREE!

Detox: Day TWO

Where do I begin? Immediately woke up and felt a few pounds lighter (you know in the morning you always feel refreshed and lighter than the day before). So I had to weighed myself, and to my surprise five pounds smaller, yippee. Yesterday was easier than today. I was at home yesterday. Today I was at work; and during lunch I was watching other people eat and the smell of their food was really getting to me. I really wanted to quit, but I kept thinking about the five pounds. My biggest struggle of today was not having anything salty to eat. I was craving fried and salty foods.

Whenever I have done detoxes in the past I have experience headaches. Today was no different, the headache was really bad and was hours before it past. I did not drink as much water as I would have liked to today, so hopefully that will not affect the scale, fingers crossed.

The book says not to have more than a handful of nuts while snacking, but I had a couple of handfuls of nuts today. I couldn’t help myself. The scale will determine my success of today in the morning.

No meat, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, nothing fried, no processed foods, only water, tea, and organic fruits, veggies, and nuts, must say this was a healthy day.

Cheers to Day TWO!