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Growth and Intentions 

It’s a new week and a new season! I don’t know about you, but this has been a very turbulent year for me thus far; filled with tremendous growth as well as loss. Each day I am reminded that the only constant in this universe, is change!

We all must submit to the growth process (personally and otherwise) if we are to move forward and progress. If achievement and change are what you seek, you must participate in that process. Even as I write these words, I’m speaking to myself as I too have had to step into this shift as well. My new self-hosted site: http://freedomatthecrossroads.com is now up and running and I encourage all of you (new and current followers) to engage with me there!

You want progress? Movement? Growth? Then, you must commit to the process and set your intentions in order to stay the course and manifest that vision you have for yourself!

Keep striving and reaching for the stars, follow your passion and purpose, and find FREEDOM AT THE CROSSROADS…🌍👣🌴🌱

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Feeling Thankful: Time To Grow!

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Yes, it’s true! It continues to be an awesome journey as I pursue my passion and purpose to impact as many lives as possible by helping women all over the globe, achieve freedom at the crossroads! To all my followers, colleagues, and visitors, please follow me to our new awesome space at freedomatthecrossroads.com! 

Join me as we expand this platform to further connect, engage, and gain freedom at the crossroads! Blessings on the journey to fitness, health, growth, and the freedom to pursue your passion and purpose! YOU are WORTH IT and YOU are BEAUTIFUL!

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Nuts not fluff: Incorporating Nuts and Seeds As Part of a Healthy Diet

my-first-design-1People often ask me why I’m so obsessed about seeds and nuts and I could rattle off a whole slew of information (see sources below) about why they’re so great. After watching their eyes invariably glaze over from information overload, I’ve since discovered that less is more, and simplicity is a gem worth appreciating. The simple answer lays in the fact that we (meaning homo Sapiens) are at our optimal health and fitness when we adhere to a diet that is both diverse and nutritionally dense. This is in both the historic and evolutionary record ( I won’t bore you with the details) as well as the current health crisis many in the industrialized (as well as underdeveloped nations) are facing in terms of ever-increasing numbers of diabetes, cancer, as well as autoimmune diseases.

It is no small coincidence that our propensity for, and our over indulgence in so-called “quick” and “processed” foods have a strong connection or link to the incidence of the above mentioned diseases and associated syndromes. The bottom line, is that processed foods, our dependency on them, coupled with a lack of adequate exercise (daily), has brought us to the brink of a near pandemic. Add to that unsustainable environmental and agricultural practices, and a grime picture begins to unfold for the human race; but a solution for one problem at a time please.

In simple terms, nuts can be defined as “small dry hard-shelled dry fruit or seed with a separable rind or shell an interior kernel” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition). A much more detailed definition is provided by the National Institutes of Health (see National Institutes of Health website) which states that nuts are “nutrient dense foods with complex matrices rich in unsaturated fatty and other bioactive compounds: high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds.” Translation? nuts constitute a dense powerhouse store of complete nutrients (i.e. fats, fibre, carbohydrates, etc).

All that being said, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. While nuts are nutrient dense, they do contain fat and that means you must balance their intake with other sources of vital nutrients that contain fewer calories as well as fats. The key take away here is “BALANCE”; in terms of nutritional intake (i.e. amount per serving, etc) as well as lin proportion to other nutrient sources. For instance, a balanced intake of nuts (and or seeds, i.e. sunflower walnuts) at one sitting relative to other nutrient sources, would be equivalent to 1/3/ cup or 1 and 1/2 oz of nuts 3-4 servings per week for a 1,600 calorie diet and 4-5 servings per week for a 2,000 calorie diet (American Heart Association: 2013 Healthy Diet recommendations;Eckel, Robert H. et al. “2013 AHA/ACC).

While similar to seeds in terms of nutrient content, seeds are, in simple terms, the embryonic stage of a plant housed in a protective outer shell or hull. The dietary guidelines for seeds are similar to those for nuts, but the caveat remains the same; balance, balance, balance, is the mantra we should all stick to when it comes to nutrition, health (mind-body) and fitness. Why am I pushing them? I’m a firm believer in balance and the pivotal role it plays in our health and fitness within the context of a healthy and free lifestyle. My own personal experience alone has driven home the inherent power of a well-balanced and nutrient dense diet; not only that, from a physical fitness perspective, a poor diet will doom you to failure and injury (i.e. failing to fuel your body the nutrients required for both recovery and muscle growth).

From a female perspective, I’ve come to learn the importance of incorporating dietary balance into my daily regime as a means of negating undesirable effects of changes in hormonal levels, stress, and illness recovery. While nutrition and fitness alone can not wholly stave off the negative impacts of illness, disease, time, and so forth, they are powerful resources in our arsenal that are available to help us achieve optimum fitness, health, and the freedom to pursue our goals and passions.

Remember, getting fit and healthy requires that you first make the decision, develop a plan, and take action. For more information as well as assistance regarding how to get started on your journey, join the FitTribe of fellow women who are getting stronger everyday!

Please follow me at my new website:

http://www.freedomatthecrossroads.com

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References

Eckel, Robert H. et al. “2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk.” Circulation, vol. 129, no. 25 suppl 2, Dec. 2013, doi:10.1161/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.

Ros, Emilio. “Health Benefits of Nut Consumption.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc3257681/.

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Stumped?

It’s another Monday,  another week, and one more autumn in sight. I don’t know about you, but while I’m still grasping on to the last rays of summer, my heart can’t help but beat a little faster at the thought of autumn and all the goodies it will bring.  Yeah I know it’s going to be a bit “crispy” and the days will grow shorter, but what’s important is the C.H.A.N.G.E.!

Don’t you just feel like change is in the air? Like an air of expectation is just hovering around you, waiting for you to get a clue? Yes, I was feeling a little bit like I was trapped on that, dare I say it? Wow,that hamster wheel going NO where! I don’t know how I got on it, and I’m stumped at the fact that I’m just finally arriving at the realization  that I’ve been on it these last few weeks.

All that dissatisfaction, pent-up frustration and malaise I was feeling? Now THAT, was my inner self chomping away within and urging me to wake up! Some how, I had allowed personal and health challenges to whittle away at my focus, determination and passion! Damn! What a scary reminder to ALWAYS be vigilant in staying the course and to take care to both nourish and focus on your objective; regardless of whether it’s health, family or carrier oriented.

Okay, now that I’ve had my wakeup call, it’s time to ditch the malaise of that hamster wheel, flex some muscle, and get perspective! I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that my eyes are wide open, the adrenaline is pumping, and now? Well, I’m UNSTOPPABLE! I wonder though, who else is out there feeling “stumped” about where she (or he) is on life’s journey, at the crossroads and trying to get health and fitness, in balance?

All I can say is, welcome to the journey and embrace the change…

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Sometimes you just need to…

Life is full of challenges, ebbs and flows, etc. When it comes to living a healthy and passion filled life, quality is key. In order to fulfill your passion and potential, you must operate at your optimal physical and mental states. So what’s the good news in all of this? Well, by making yourself a priority when it comes to your fitness and health (i.e. recognizing that you can’t give from an empty well, or fully explore your innate potential) you are creating a pathway through which your life can begin to shift into balance. In my experience, I’ve that one of the most visible indicators of a life out of balance is poor health, stress, anxiety and being “stuck” (i.e. feeling trapped in a situation or state).

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Other “physical” manifestations of imbalance is the big “WG” a.k.a. weight gain; that’s right ladies, that ever increasing number on your bathroom scale that makes you want to scream in frustration because you’re at that point where a simple inhalation results in an additional five pounds! Wow, been there done that, NOT buying the t-shirt again gals, lol. So what am I getting at? What I am trying to say is that, all is not lost, yes you can shed the unhealthy weight, get rid of undue stress and fatigue, etc. The real and lasting solution is to first STOP and reflect on your current state, make an honest decision (about what you need to do in order to change your state), get a plan, and take ACTION.

It’s one thing to look in the mirror and gripe about weight gain, and being in a rut, but it’s a whole other level truth that makes you jump off of that “hamster wheel” going nowhere and, make a serious and actionable plan to change the course of your life. For those who are wondering, I don’t claim to have all the answers, BUT I do know how to get sh*t done because I’ve literally L.I.V.E.D. that journey and I had to dig deep for the courage and aggressively grab hold of the resources necessary to achieve my fitness and health goals. An added bonus to all of that is, other areas of my live began to shift in to balance as well and I’m now unlocking my power and potential for other goals for the future.

Sometimes you just have to dive in regardless of your fears or perceived limitations or barriers, other wise you’ll find yourself indefinitely stuck in that awful crossroads slowly losing your health, positivity, power and potential in a death spiral. Yes it sounds a bit melodramatic, but for anyone who knows that pain, you recognize that the struggle is real. I’ve got no illusions about how hard it can be to make that break, but once you decide, plan, and take action; the process becomes easier and the goal is in sight. I’m both a physical and visual person, so fitness (and health) is a favored way to create movement and progress toward achieving a desired goal. Getting outdoors is an excellent way to not only recharge the body and mind, but it also a great way break away from the crossroads (i.e. hamster wheel).

A brisk walk along the beach trails, forest preserves, etc, will (if you’re like me) help you activate your mind and body to engage in something new. Remember, exercise comes in  several forms and regardless of fitness level, the KEY ingredient here Is ACTION! Moving the body activates all your body systems as well as the mind and the best gift you could ever give yourself or your family is a healthy, strong, and positive version of yourself. I’ not saying it will not be a challenge, what I AM saying is that YOU need to invest in yourself recognize your own worth if you ever hope to have others make the same calculation. Bottom line? if you do not value yourself first, no one else will do it for you!

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In other words, “do not cast your pearls before the swine…” (Matthew 7:6, NIV).

 

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Who are Y…?

You know what I’m learning? The more I reflect on the inner me, what it means to be me, my truth such as it is, I realize this whole personal development thing equals POWER! Lately I’ve found that my thoughts and words to paper, are more focused inward within the context of this thing called health and fitness. 

Why? Because there in lies the true solution and powerful momentum necessary to break free of the “Matrix” (damn I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten tired of watching “Neo” break free from the deception of mediocrity and bondage) of the hamster wheel going nowhere! 

Yes, it’s NOT just about finding or discovering “your truth”, it’s about being brutally honest about yourself, who you are, your situation, and ULTIMATELY, YOUR STORY! Boom Shaka Lanka, BOOM! Before I started my business, I used to run away from “PD” aka, Personal Development stuff, because I thought it was a load of poo poo, peddled by psuedo motivational gurus eager to lighten your pocket with a bit of “enlightenment”, hahaha.

That’s not to say there aren’t any charlatans out there causing more harm than good (I’ll leave it to God and the universe to mete out their just desserts), BUT the real truth is, we ALL need to reflect, expose and grow as individuals if we ever hope to tap into our inner potential and unique gifts. As I sit here typing ( yes at 0115 in the a.m.), my heart weeps for all the lost opportunities, gifts, and development that I and others out there could have accessed, if only we had made the DECISION (after a long hard look in the mirror), made a PLAN, and taken the necessary ACTION to change the direction of our paths so that we could live our full potentional.

As a woman, I feel like we are saddled with the extra load of society’s demands and strictures of both culture and of our own making, a.k.a being our own worst enemy or biggest critic. I’ve gotta confess I’ve finally found the antidote or the “kriptonite” needed to shut that toxic waste dump down! Investing in personal development is not a luxury but a necessity and will in the end, save your life and spare you uneccesay pain and dare I say, some “teachable” moments too?

 Getting fit is NEVER about just getting physically fit or strong; it’s a total mind-body thang, and anyone who TRULY wants to experience a full, empowered life, MUST do the work in this are too! I’m learning and have learned some hard lessons in this area, BUT I will NEVER be able to say, I regret these experiences because they have ALL contributed to bringing me into my own, personal awakening and all I have to say is, WHAT’S YOUR STORY? How do YOU want it to end? Having said all that I recommend that EVERY woman (both young and old) read “I AM THAT GIRL: How to speak your truth, discover your purpose, and #bethatgirl” by Alexis Jones.

I’m just getting started with this dose of truth, and if the fact that her words struck a cord in me and nearly made my shed tears in relief, is any indication of the insight I will take away from her book; all I have to say is , “preach it sister, preach”! Blessings on the journey…👣

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What are you…?!

Soo today is another day that’s bringing us all one day closer to the end of the week. One thing is driving driving me nuts and I lterally feel like screaming,  “what the F***” are you ladies doing?! That THING? Well, it’s the fact that I truly realized that so many off us are stuck in the crossroads, that hamster wheel going no where,  BUT yet, people are content to just stay there.

I’m asking myself why, and I’ve come to some tragic conclusions about why we do this to ourselves; myself included, and yes we women seem to do it too well. First of all, it has to do with a cultural conditioning  ( i.e. culturally defined gender roles, mores, etc), past experiences, and the big T.W.O.,  fear and insecurities. 

The problem with  ALL of this is that we get locked and stuck in both mind and circumstance in the “crossroads”; a matrix (my Matrix movie reference, hehehe 😂) power and potential that, depending on YOUR choice, can be for good or for evil! I know it sounds dramatic,  but when it comes to LIFE and the difference between having it and losing it, yeah I’m dramatic. 

The TRUTH is, YOU don’t GET to do a :DO OVER” if you make the wrong choice at the crossroads of this life, so my advice to any woman out there who is stuck, on that hamster wheel going nowhere, in bondage, etc, PLEASE VALUE yourself enough to be courageous and CHANGE your life and CHANGE your STATE!👊