Thursday, April 28, 2011

Calling All Travelers!!!

The weather is nice and that means it's time for some VACATION!!!  Are you unsure where you should venture next???  Well I have the perfect resource to help you out...

I found a great site that offers FREE travel guides.  If you are a traveler like me and also love free stuff, then you're excited and smiling!!  Check them out and sign up for your guides to get ideas on where the next map will lead you!  I signed up for a few Georgia and Tennessee guides.  Even though I have been to both states several times, there are a lot of wonderful places waiting for me to visit.  You have the option of getting them mailed to you or downloading them.

If you get a chance, TAKE A TRIP to my MapItOut segment!

"The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing."" ~Daniel J. Boorstin
Happy Traveling!

Surviving the No Sugar Battle

I'm still alive! Still eating, even though my choices are limited as I informed you all in my last post. I had a successful trip to the grocery store this week and was able to get some NEW snacks without sugar. Check me out:
  • Lightly salted Quaker Oats rice cakes
  • Dry roasted almonds
  • Dry roasted sunflower seeds
  • Pecans
  • Multi grain Tostitos
  • Steam fresh frozen vegetables (no preservatives)
  • Steam fresh frozen whole-grain wheat rice
  • Low sodium Cheese Nips
  • Original unflavored grits
  • Cucumbers
Not the most exciting products, but they are definitely helping me maintain throughout each day. I'm actually enjoying the rice with all meals, so I think I'm going to stop buying white rice even after the doctor clears me (fingers crossed). The steamed vegetables taste the same and are actually healthier for me than canned vegetables, so I will also continue buying these (Plus I always see great coupons for various brands #WINNING).

I am very proud of myself and think that maybe this happened as a wake up call to get me to eat even healthier than I was before. I definitely have no intentions of taking any type of vitamins in the future unless my doctor recommends it, so I guess it won't hurt me to eat as healthy as possible going forward to get my vitamins from food.

Like they always say, "Too much of anything can be bad for you"! Guess they were right. Each day I continue my new eating habits, I pray for continued health and the strength to eat right live a long, happy, and healthy life.

What do you struggle with in terms of eating? Do any of you have any food allergies or restrictions on what you can eat? If so, please share your journeys!

Well, I'm off to finish eating my grits and looking forward to my morning rice cake snack.

"Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them." -Mahalia Jackson

Until my next health drop,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Allergic Reaction = NO SUGAR :(

So my blogger friends, I've been a little ghost since last week. I had an allergic reaction to preservatives in vitamins and I feel as though my dermatologist has sentenced me to life in prison and thrown away the key. She informed me that I cannot have food/drinks with sugar in them and also must drastically decrease my intake of 'white foods' for TWO WEEKS! Can you hear me crying? The girl that LOVES sweets!

Anyone that knows my diet, knows that it's already limited. I already don't like condiments other than ketchup, i don't like mixie foods like potato salad, tuna salad, etc and there's a laundry list of other things I don't eat. So to remove all my desserts, great drinks, and white foods such as mashed potatoes, white rice, etc from my diet, was like telling me "Ms. Junior you can no longer eat". Tears, Tears, and more Tears!

After eating ham over the weekend and totally forgetting that it was cooked in brown sugar and honey, I'm definitely suffering from an itchy back and realizing that my dermatologist truly meant NO SUGAR! The hardest part for me is seeing everyone else around me enjoy all the things I love and can't eat. I just feel hungry and left out, which makes me quite sad. However, I will say that I've been chewing Trident Layers (sugar-free) gum and it's my new favorite snack!

OK! Enough of my whining, because I could go on for days. So now my goal is to make it through the next 8 days and find substitutes to cheer me up. Today, I created a list of things I can and can't have. Check it out:

Don’t Eat/Drink

• White Rice
• White bread

• Potatoes (French Fries, Chips, Mashed potatoes)
• Sugar (Sweetened beverages, Candy, Cake, Pies, Ice Cream)
• Meat (Ham, Bacon)
• Beverages (Tea, Soda, Milk, Fruit Juice)
• Certain sugary fruit (Oranges, Strawberries)

Do Eat/Drink

• Whole Grain Pasta/Bread (Brown Rice, Wheat bread)
• Vegetables without seasonings
• Beverages (Water)
• Meat (Chicken, Fish, Seafood, Turkey)
• Snacks (Plain roasted: Almonds, Cashews, Sunflower seeds, Pecans, Sugar Free gum)

I definitely have a higher level of respect for anyone that suffers from food allergies and/or are diabetic. There are a lot of struggles that come along with this. But, I will continue to be strong. My boyfriend said maybe God was trying to tell me something and he could very well be right. For all I know this allergy is changing my eating habits for the better and preventing me from being a diabetic one day. Hopefully, when I go for my checkup she won't tell me that I have to continue this diet, even though I am planning to cut back once I am able to have all those great things again.

"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.”- Mark Twain

Until my next med story,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saving, Saving, and more Saving!!

Is there something that you've been dying to do, but don't think it's in your budget? Well, I suggest you rearrange your budgets and cut some costs in various areas to make that extra money available for saving.  Saving provides you more opportunities to do the things you want, need, and love to do in life.

I'm all about saving money and I like to do so for a number of reasons:
  • It's nice having money in case of emergencies
  • I love having extra money to take big trips
  • I like being financially responsible
  • I love knowing that I'm not wasting money on certain things
Why do you like saving? What's your motivation? Please share, because I'd love to hear your take!!

I do several things to save a lot of money and also get the most out of the money I spend. Here are few of my methods:
  • Clip and use coupons
  • Join store rewards programs to gain points for shopping
  • Use Ebates, which gives cash back checks quarterly on purchases
  • Participate in paid survey programs
  • Cook during the week as much as I can to avoid spending money at restaurants/fast food places
  • Wait to buy big ticket items around a holiday when there are huge and great markdowns
  • TRY to only buy clothes if I really need them for an event
  • Save all additional money from yearly raises
  • Do private tutoring and save all income from it (NOTE: Set your own hourly rate;))
  • Only do major grocery shopping once a month
What do you do to save money? Share with others and help them become financially responsible :)

"Today, there are three kinds of people: the haves, the have-nots, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-haves." -Earl Wilson

Until my next two cents,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Peace, Love, and Hip Hop

Today I am super excited about the new activity I will be partaking in. Starting next week, I will be attending a Hip Hop class weekly. Everyone that knows me well, knows that I love to dance and exercise. So this class is the Best of Both Worlds for me!!! You get to learn dance routines but you all incorporate working out into it.

Get out there and have fun while you live!!!

Are there any activities in your community that you could join? There's a way to find out: Go LOOK or ASK SOMEONE!!!

Stay fit and have fun while you can! I know I will.

Check out Peace Love Hip Hop and just maybe they have something in your area.

If not, check your local gyms and recreation centers for workout and dancing classes that you may be interested in.

If you have a teenage daughter or son, this could definitely be something that you could include them in.  Now that's a real benefit. Not only will you be having fun, but you would be having fun with your kid(s).

Check out my LockBody segment for other great workout ideas!

"There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good". ~Edwin Denby

Until my next dance move,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Junk Mail is a Pain!

Do you ever go to your mailbox and suddenly get annoyed when you realize that there was no REAL mail for you in there, but there was tons of JUNK mail? Well, I know I do, and today I got tired of being tired.  I did some research and was able to opt-out of several mailings that I am tired of receiving. I know I CAN'T be the only person annoyed by this.

I am GLAD to share the different resources that you can use to put an END to your junk mail days soon!
Below is a main junk mail site that explains all the guidelines and privacy rights about how your information is shared and the different routes you can take to minimize your Junk mail.  In addition to this site, I have also included other sources that I found from articles and immediately used.


Main site:  Junk Mail

  • DMA Choice:  After signing up and entering your email address, be sure to confirm your email and then go through and use the 'Manage My Mail' option to opt-out of credit offers, catalogs, magazine offers, and other mail offers.
  • Valassis (Val-Pack)
  • Abacus: Email- with your First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name, and Current Address and also your Previous address if you moved in the last 6 months.
Please note that it may take 5-6 weeks to be fully removed from the different databases, so don't fret if you receive junk mail over the next few weeks. If I notice that these sources were not successful for me, I WILL LET YOU KNOW:)

"Don't read that trash; read this”- William Faulkner

Until my next Trash Drop,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's In Your Temple?

The past year or so I've been more conscious of what I put into my temple, my body. I've been eating less salty and sugary sweets each day and consuming more fruit and taking my vitamins. What are you putting in your body?

I've always heard "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" and this can definitely be true. If you don't take vitamins, remember to get your vitamins from other sources such as fruits and vegetables. I take Fish Oil pills for a healthier heart and also Biotin for healthy hair, nails, and skin. In addition to this, I eat oranges and apples on a regular. I want to be healthy for myself and my family. I have a love for chocolate, chips, and soda, but I try to eat those in moderation. I may eat dark chocolate daily BUT I only eat one small piece. I'm still working to cut down on my chip intake since they are so salty, but I've definitely made progress over the years. Last year I gave up chips for a while to help decrease my intake and it worked well. While you need your fruits and vegetables, don't forget to fill your temple with our lovely friend, H20! Like milk, it does your body good!! Soda sure taste great, but I know it's not the best for me, so I definitely drink at least 3-4 bottles of water each day at least 5 days a week.

Let's cut down on the diseases and health issues by taking care of ourselves and eating right as much as you can. You get out what you put into your body. Remember that the next time you realize you are sick pretty often and don't have enough energy. That means you are not providing yourself with the right contents to make your immune system fight off germs and give you energy.

For more great information on what you can do to get more vitamins in your system, check out some of the sites below and also my LockBody segment.
Healthy Eating Everyone!!

"When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease." ~Terri Guillemets
Until my next vitamin drop,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Don't Wait, Do Your Part TODAY!!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love love to VOLUNTEER and do so as much as I can throughout the year. Today I signed up to be a Junior Achievement volunteer and will be going to local schools from Kindergarten-12th grade to educate students on financial principles and responsibility. To say I'm just excited would be an understatement.

I always give back to my community in any way possible. I hope to have children in the future and would love to see the next few generations stand up for our children in the communities. We must educate them to ensure they have all the tools necessary to be successful. There are tons of students that don't have the privilege of having parents or role models to prepare them for the future. I take responsibility and I'm willing to do my part.

Are you doing your part? Is there anything that you are great at that you could share with a child or someone in your community to better them? If so, stand up and do so!

It has always been said that kids are a product of their environment and I love knowing that I am contributing positivity and knowledge to my community to make the best product I can in others.

It doesn't take days or months or help someone or volunteer your time, so check out the local organizations in your community and see if there is anything that you can do.  I'll even go a step farther and provide you with some suggestions below.  Do your part today and volunteer your time now for a better environment and community for future generations.
"Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls." ~David Thomas
Until my next volunteer tip,
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