Meatless and Surviving

So I decided to go meatless this week. Like for real no meat this whole week. I did so great that now the debate is will I add meat back in?! I decided to do this once a month in preparation for my fall runs and races. However between a few friends and a few blogs I follow and I have been fulfilled and eating too good.

I think when you tell yourself you aren’t going to have something the more you want it. All the food I’ve made this week has had me in my bag. Everyone who knows me knows I meal prep all year long. Even my family meals, because it ensures that we can eat dinner and meals within reason. I would encourage everyone to meal prep. Although it’s a lot of work to cut and prep and cook food ahead of time the wins during the week surpass anything I could think. I’ve been meal prepping since I returned to work from being a stay at home mom a few years ago! It started with wanting my kids to have the same level of home cooked meals they had when I was home with them all day!

So how strong has the meat demon been on my back?! Hella strong. I was making my family’s plates like Lawd let me touch just one piece but nope I would just say no and fix my plate with my selections and I was fine. My kids asked me if I was going to be a vegetarian all my life?! I let them know I’m not sure but I’m not dieting at all just replacing things to live a healthy lifestyle and of course I offered them a few bites but nope they wouldn’t bite. I’m going to tell my other food is super healthy and see if they leave me selections alone. It’s worth a try!!

So the reason I decided I was going meatless is it was a suggestion from a friend of mine who is training for her Fall runs. We run together and I was talking to her about my goals. I have so many on my calendar that I want to make sure I’m super ready. When I’m preparing for runs I find my body weight won’t change but how lean I appear looks more refined in the Fall then the Summer!!

So instead of allowing the meat demon roll up on me, I listened to a few of my friends and my meals have been great. I’ll keep you updated should I continue this journey more than one week in a month but for now I reign victor!!

Shout out to Quorn I swear there food was awesome all week I had such variety and I know meatless shouldn’t taste good or at least I thought, but this brand hands down can take all my money it’s so good!!

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To Toi or Not to Toi…Throw her back edition

My kids when see me jamming out to an “old skool” jam always ask how was I before kids? I always laugh and tell them I was super fun. I was but I try to incorporate that into my present life as well. However my life from its blast from the past until now is not quite one in the same.

Social Butterfly Natasha

Back in the day especially in college I was a lot more adventurous. I remember coming home from college that first semester and being super disappointed because the clubs weren’t the same. The people I was around wasn’t as outgoing as they were at Penn State. I was bummed out. I actually like a true nerd walked around Walmart crying when I saw the back to school supplies and knew I wasn’t going back to school. Either way without alcohol I still was the type to not miss a party and not miss the opportunity to dance the night away! Now I have moments when that happens. I’ve exchanged my dancing shoes and that’s fine too!!

I had an alter ego like Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce and her name is Natasha. I say is because I can call on her in any moment. She’s definitely ruthless and more cut throat in her techniques. She’s outgoing and doesn’t care. Natasha is on standby ready to be tagged teamed in.

Drama Queen

Depending on who you ask I still have residual drama queen tactics and will call upon my petty when necessary. Back in the day I never came out of petty mode. I used to be dripping in petty. I could pop off without being provoked. Now a days I stray away from that instinct because it really isn’t necessary. No more days fighting and arguing with folks over stuff that don’t matter. Momma I’ve made it!! Super far cry from the past! Now I just watch people more and if something doesn’t seem right I just disengage. I try not to get too involved with things that no longer serve a greater purpose. I know that sounds cliche but the reality is I don’t have that kind of time like I had or gave into!

Who got feelings?!

I definitely had feelings but a lot of times I would be the one to say what I needed first, oh how dumb I was in my early 20s. Hurting people’s feelings should have been a class cause I would have aced it!! I wasn’t always as diplomatic or politically correct as I try to be now. Such a defense mechanism to hurt first so the other person wouldn’t realize they hurt me. As a full adult who takes credit for her wrongs I know that isn’t the way to handle things.

Sharp as a whip

My mouth really is a two edged sword. I really can end people or at least that’s how I came off. First of all I like to argue. I like to go back and forth and in the right energy which most times were the worse energy I could end you without breaking a sweat. I definitely grew up around no nonsense parents and they ain’t play and I felt like I definitely took that and ran with it. I could appear the good girl and catch you off guard and come for you. It’s funny how all of these reality shows show this type of woman and I could have given any network major ratings before it became a style. Now I’ve stopped watching these shows and moved on from this behavior.

All of these things could be seen as negative. I could hear someone say why even tell people this?! Simple it’s what made me, ME! Flaws are a spice of life. Although the parts of me that are deemed negative, I’ve worked constantly on. This is how you have growth. When I could have read someone for filth but I have to eat it, I know that’s growth!! This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever tap into any of these parts when necessary. I will and do. If Natasha has to come out then so be it. She can make an appearance but she has to go back in the vault. I don’t live in negative spaces like it’s a full time job.

Oh and by the way even if you never blog about it, you too have to live with the private and public persona and challenges. You too have to make a decision to allow what’s made you over take you! We all are flawed I’m just the first to admit it!

So for today’s #tbt (throw back Toi) I can admit that my life has changed from my younger immature days. I am constantly proud of my life and I’ve come a long way when I was taking over from the 99 and the 00! (I know you read that in your best Juvenile voice)

Ask Toi: How do I deal with my Parents thinking I’m not following old school parenting with my own kids?!

This is multilayered. This could have come up if you’re making comments about new school parenting is better. It can come up if you do something that an old school parent thinks is too new school. It could come up if you ask for advice from old school parent but then do the opposite.

Depending on when it comes up is how you proceed. There’s no doubt that old school parents believe and hold to their old school values. That can be from diapering to discipline. So if you are stating how better the new school way is better often times old school parents hear “you think you’re a better parent,” or they hear, “you think my ways are wrong.”

If the argument of who is better comes up during a time when the new school parent does something in front of an old school parent that could mess with the new school parent and you think you’re not good enough. You may feel pressure for approval and it can mess you up if you aren’t feeling it. If you ever ask an old school parent advice and then don’t take it, it could come off as a “why you ask?!” This is probably the most irritating interactions.

So here’s the thing:

1. Parenting is subjective: you won’t ever get to the point where you feel 100% feel that you are quite finding your rhythm and old school parents are super high fiving you! It would be nice but not everyone has that happy mesh.

2. Old school and new old school ways are within you. You will fuse them but only how much depends on you.

3. Try not to take everything said to heart. Between your own parents and finding your way and the world with their long laundry list of to dos and not to do it will be hard to find your actual way. It’s okay!

4. Trust your instinct-this is hard but necessary

When I had my first child she was born 6 weeks early and had to stay a few days in the NICU. I was fortunate that it wasn’t a longer stay. I relied on my own mother to guide me. She gave me basic parenting skills. However my child had a lot of health issues therefore I had to rely on the doctors for a lot that first couple of years. Probably more than I would have all things considered. A lot of folks was knocking me for it. I trusted my instinct, and did some give and take with those around me. I pushed through! You’re not choosing one side over the over. You’re choosing what you need to feel successful in parenting. Also it’s okay that old school won’t agree. Parenting comes with thick skin. Take things with a grain of salt. No the things that our parents did when we were younger will work now, times have changed but what’s the same is wanting better for your child, keeping them safe and healthy, and working hard to provide. Be gentle with yourself but stand strong in your decisions.

Never Skip A Nail Appointment

Now let’s keep it real, one not everyone can go to the nail salon on the regular basis. Two those who can go will miss an appointment from time to time but………never miss a nail appointment. The reason is simple, you miss out on your self-care, me time and a word from time to time. You can be creative and get your time in for yourself even if you have to be creative to make it happen!

I remember the days when I was a stay at home mom complaining about getting my nails done. First of all my fiancé at the time always encouraged me to go. However during that time in my life I was on my complaint mode. Everything was more than it needed to be and nothing was super serious. So I skipped a thousand times over. I would then complain about missing and to be honest I was just a miserable human!

Today I went and got my nails done and I laughed when an older woman came in. She sparked conversation and she was telling me about how she’s 85 years young and she has yet to skip. Can I tell you, she was fly?! She said to me never forget who you are. Everyone knows when you go to a nail or hair salon there’s either tea or a word there. Today was a word. She told me about her husband who had passed away 5 years ago. She said that he encouraged her to have balance. She told me to do the same! She said her life was more fulfilling not because she got her nails done every 2 weeks but because she took the time out for herself to make sure she was good. She asked me how often did I come. I told her every 2 weeks she asked, faithfully?! I let her know that yes I do! She said take care of you because no one will pour into you like you! I stopped sipping my wine and she said no baby keep sipping this is your time! I usually go on Saturdays but I switched it up today and was met by the most encouraging woman ever!

Before I left she told me to keep doing what I am doing and that all things would work out!! She also said make sure you take care of you! I said yes ma’am! Listen she put a lot of young women to shame. It made me think of how that’s how it really should be when you come into the presence of an older woman. You really should always get a word but we need more women being examples instead of trying to compete! That woman was a beam of beauty, poise, and light! May she be blessed!

So ladies, never miss a nail appointment!

Wholeness in all levels of life

It’s Summer time.  Ladies you are going to be hit on even more than before.  I don’t care if you have on a dress that looks like a curtain its coming. With Summer fling in the air let me help you wit a few reminders. We women are trying to “live our best life.” With that being said the concept that as long as you are connected to someone you have won mentality needs to be adjusted.  Single is not a death sentence and everyone you see married isn’t happy.  Wholeness is the move no who you are connected to.

Single and Satisfied

Ladies not being attached is a beautiful thing. However there is a lot of things that we need to be doing while you are single.  Let me help you now these are not the list of things to help you secure a man.  If you want to be with someone in due time it will happen.  There is no get a man quick theory to apply.  You will most likely find him as you live.  You have to get out of your home to find him or as the good book says he will find you.  You need to be out here living.  You not having someone to share moments with can be annoying.  However the one thing about being single is that you don’t have to check in with another person. You simply desire something, make a plan and execute that plan. Something that married women forget about.

If you haven’t traveled, gone on non church conferences that are simply about bettering yourself, taken a girls trip, solo trip, or just carved out “me time” you are living your single life wrong. The most common reason people complain about being single is because they are only focused on living this “life” attached.  Yes you get tired of being around your girls, or doing things on your own,  but half the time if you are only staying local I could see why. Change your environment. Go where the water is blue, explore your city, get out. Single doesn’t have to be boring unless you choose that for yourself. I’ll come back to my single lades in a minute.

Married and Miserable

News flash, not all married folks are miserable.  Married folks got struggles just like the single folks do.  People think, well you may have 2 incomes, a warm person to lie down next to you and bam life is solved.. Wrong. Some individuals spend so much time on getting with someone and less on themselves that they join just for joining sake. Just to have a new last name. Just to have a wedding. Just so they can be on social media frauding.  They have no sense on what it means to really join to another human.  They have no concept of being there for someone in their lowest state. They have no concept when the sex goes left and they start wanting more.  They have no concept when one person stops working or is unable to work. They have no concept of when you have kids in the midst and how hard it is to make this family structure work.

How about the times when you want kids and can’t?  These are the things that when you are single you think you are strong enough to handle until life happens…. Marriage is beautifully flawed. Most folks only see the glitter and gold but they have no idea the fire that goes to make gold shine. If you aren’t ready to commit to the bad then pause your desire to enter this lifelong commitment.

Ride or Die

When you hear Beyoncé tell Jayz that she’s her ride or die, does it make you feel warm and fluffy?  The concept of ride or die needs revamped.  Sometimes we ride for things that we shouldn’t.  You are not a rider in a marriage if you constantly deal with a cheating spouse.  You are not a ride or die just because you know he or she is lying but you stay just to show loyalty.  Things do happen.  Relationships are hard.  Sometimes you riding for the wrong team mate.  Let me say that real loud for the ones in the back, stop riding for the wrong team mate.  If you are unmarried the list of what you tolerate should be small.

Marriage sometimes makes you take  step back but even in that don’t be no fool.  How many times have I heard of a single person taking a boyfriend or girlfriend back and the question is why?  What have they done to earn that spot in your life?  What are they doing behind doors that makes you tolerate that?  Please understand that this pattern won’t get better over time.

Single, married, divorced, and separated the battle to move around in these statuses are overwhelming a lot of people.  Married people suffering all kinds of stuff in silence, single people losing their minds literally to be married, divorced people trying to do all kinds of things just to make their wife or husband they claim they don’t want suffer, is all too much.

Being with someone is great when you put the energy into being in your own skin that much better. Whole people coming together with another whole person makes a bomb power couple.  Being a whole person makes one bomb woman or man regardless if you are connected or not.  Being whole and getting over the hurt in your failed marriage will make you a better whole person instead of finding the mate you left in another form and complaining as if its everyone else’s fault that you haven’t done your inner work. Wholeness takes work.  It is a daily job.  The undertaking moves past doing only to attract.

The work goes into being happy all

around. This is why in some marriages one person can’t carry another miserable person. This is why in life, miserable people need not be overwhelmed with status but in inner peace.

National Girlfriends Day

Happy national girlfriends day to all of my girlfriends. Girlfriends make life that much better! They are understanding, real, and dependable. They are the glue in your life that you never knew you needed.

When I was in my 20s I used to say things about keeping my circle small because I didn’t want to deal with drama from other females. Truth moment is that the one who was about the drama was me. My relationships with females had more to do with me than what others were capable of doing. Family you don’t choose but friends you do. Anyone I attracted was a reflection and is a reflection of who I am! I’ve taken full responsibility of that today. I was warned many a day about it and was super blind! However as I mature some relationships don’t carry that much weight as they did back in the day!

My girlfriends mean the world to me. Each have different functions but all of them are super dear to me. They are some of the most encouraging people I’ve met. They make me feel like I can do anything. They keep me accountable. I am a better woman, because of my girlfriends. I would like to thank them and they know who they are!

If you are lucky to have good girlfriends nurture those relationships. Spend time, remember special days, be there for them, celebrate them, hold their hand when they need it, and be their biggest cheerleaders! Girlfriends are like diamonds in that they are truly rare! Cherish them and send them a message today of all days letting them know how much they mean to you! Don’t take for granted their place in your life!

Happy National Girlfriends Day!!!

Love is….Making Room

So it’s another episode of Love Is. Let me say my recap is going to offend some but I’m not holding back.

Nuri and Yasir are getting super close and spending a lot of time together. They look like the perfect couple! However major red flags. As much as I love the realness of their relationship let me say, if I was in the dating world right now, I’m quite sure I would be in the sex store because my tolerance for some of this behavior I tolerated from the men I dated in my 20s could not and would not be tolerated now!

  • Yasir has a job! Thank the lord for employment. A man without a job is a hard pill to swallow. Only a woman who truly loves you will ride the unemployment rodeo but for so long!
  • Kudos to Nuri having the ability to support her man BUT ladies do not ever silence your voice to make your man feel like a man. He needs to be able to have his light next to yours without feeling a certain way! Period! This is not up for discussion!
  • Valentine’s Day foolery-Yasir doesn’t believe in it and Nuri does but like some women she muted that desire to make sure Yasir didn’t feel a certain way! This is a huge no no! Whatever you allow in the beginning and it’s not genuine you will lose in the end! Be honest with yourself and your new boo!
  • New love is great but lying in any way will lead down the wrong road!
  • Not all Hotep men, but some use intellect as the hustle. As articulate as Yasir is his demeanor is off putting. Not just based on my personal experiences, but be careful with any man who is a smooth talker. That smooth talk is the game. If a man is not sincere they will use that smooth talk to gain a place in your heart but will leave you lacking! Guard yourself!
  • Yasir thanks to Sean redeemed himself by making room, he finally found a way to come back to Nuri, and celebrate Valentine’s Day! Had Nuri been clear he would have had no choice to either shit or get off the pot! Relationships should be give and take and never one sided!
  • Yasir spent Valentine’s Day initially with Ruby! Technically he went home aka Ruby’s house and Ruby finally let Yasir know that she put the work into him and Nuri basically came in and reaped the benefits. Men are not projects if your man isn’t making moves it could be you are not the one he wants to make moves with. It’s sucks and maybe it hurts to hear but no truer words ever said! Stop investing years to a man who will not give you what you need. Yasir is making moves with Nuri because he loves Nuri! He was stagnant with Ruby because he no longer wanted to be!
  • Next week looks like an episode of Love and Hip Hop. So we shall see! Until then be careful with love, make sure that the person you are falling for is making room for you too!