Monday, December 28, 2009

Resolution 2010: To eat Healthier, on a Budget?

From what we gather in most grocery markets the price of eating clean, organic or otherwise health comes with a hefty price tag. With the convenience of fast food coupled with busy lifestyles & limited budgets, those of us in charge of the family meal find ourselves in quite the quandary. Don’t forget to throw in our desire to feed our family a more healthy and nutritious diet.

I have studied purchasing organics through information I researched from dozens of top nutritionists, Slow food advisors, physicians that I work with, Whole foods tours & seminars, and practical, hands on experience. What I have discovered is that with a little work you can feed your family at least 75%-80% healthier by June in 2010 and yes, on a budget. Here are my top 5 ways to eat better and save more.

1. Know the difference between all-natural and organic. In my opinion, all natural is a complete farce. As long as the ingredient came from planet earth it can be considered “natural”. DON’T believe the hype. “Organic” however is regulated heavily by the USDA. To be labeled “organic” the food item was grown or raised in a completely chemical free environment. This means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients are in the food. THIS IS THE WAY TO GO and a great money saver versus some “all natural” items.

2. Study the “dirty dozen” and make these items the place you start buying organic items as they will have the most impact. The dirty 12 are worst food items that carry the highest rating of pesticides. BUY THESE ITEMS ORGANIC: (listed most harmful 1st) Peaches, Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Lettuce, Grapes, Carrots & Pears. You can find out more about this on

3. Consider Generics. Meijers has a Meijers Organics brand. Even Whole Foods has “365” which features organic items as well.

4. Sales and Coupons. Most shoppers have gotten away from shopping with wisdom, but if in 2010 another one of your goals is to be a better steward with finances, you may need to go back ‘to the ole time way”. Clipping coupons and stocking up on sale items has saved me up to 50%-60% on my regular grocery bill. My biggest savings has been regular price $178.54 ~total purchase price: $54.30. I will never forget that moment of triumph. Even organics go on sale.

5. MEAT: Beef is one of the biggest culprit of hormones & antibiotics and can be the most expensive organically speaking. One way to cut cost is to serve a few meals without meat (ex. veggie lasagna, add extra 2% cheese & extra sauce they won’t know the difference). Buy other organic meats like chicken, fish or lean pork. Or look for beef that is listed as antibiotic or hormone free. Although the animals may have eaten regular feed, the meat would still partially qualify with the other organic requirements.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don't call Sprint to fix your water heater!

Yesterday, I had the honor to serve (and, yes it was an honor) sexually/physically abused and neglected children and their familes at a Christmas festival through the Junior League. It was so humbling to hear some of the stories of the children and to discover some of the tragedy that they have encountered already at their young age. You watched them playing the carnival games and eating pizza and opening gifts and you wonder who in the world could have beat a defenseless child senseless? It was enough to bring tears to your eyes and gratefulness in your heart for what you have may been spared.

A few years back I studied "abuse' in a different sense. Anything you misuse or use against or contrary to its purpose is considered abuse. Dr. Myles Munroe who is a Phd is in Religious studies I believe, defines abuse by disconnecting the words to reveal the root "AB"normal "USE". Most abuse occurs when you are ignorant of or ignoring the purpose for which something was created. If you don't know what a child is will abuse him/her, if you don't know the reason your spouse is in your life, you will abuse him/her. If you are ignorant as to why your family was created, blended or otherwise thrown together ...not knowing its purpose will cause misuse and soon abuse.

You will abnormally use your family to give your life the semblance of normalcy. You will abnormally use your family to strike business deals or get favor. You will abnormally use your family as an excuse not to do something you are otherwise obligated to do. You will abnormally use your family as a battleground for your shortcomings and a punching bag due to your failings. That is not its purpose. I tell my girls in seminars and sessions and even in my book, one of Dr. Monroe's most meaningful quotes. "If you want to know the purpose of a thing, you must ask the person who created it". Only they have the authority to determine why it was made and what it should be used for.

You wouldn't call Sprint to ask them to fix your water heater. Sprint did not create the item with the issue. They aren't responsible for what happens to to your heater. They did not put together the service plan or give you instructions for a water heater. You need to get in touch with the water heater manufactuer in order to figure out what to do with the broken pipes. Sound silly and simplistic when we are talking about water heaters and cell phone companies. But it seems to get complex when we start talking about our lives or the lives of our spouse, children, stepfamilies. Its no different. Thankfully, a cell phone company didn't put our marriage toegther, or our family together. We got a "God said" from the beginning-If we hadn't we'd be in REAL trouble now. We kept God involved in EVERY decision regarding this marriage and covenanted before Him in His sanctuary before His man of God our vows to one another.

So, now that it looks "stank" in some areas...I don't bend off of that premise. God created this. If your family is suffering abuse..."abnormal use" in ANY area...go back to the one that put that family together-prayerfully it was GOD. If you did it, through manipulation, deceit, sin, error, inpatience or stupidity, repent, ask for forgiveness and then ask for direction. Get a clear direction as to its purpose and its vision. What should your family be doing or not doing? Where should your family be going or not going? Are you away from home too much? Are you home too much and not doing anything of substance with your free time? Is there balance, clear direction...purpose?

Again, remember if you don't know the purpose of a thing...just like the battered children at the will abuse it and the scars will last a lifetime. Don't call Sprint (or anything or anybody else), FIRST ask God for wisdom...he gives it freely and prepare to start your new year with a clearer path for your life than ever before.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jicama ?? Ummmm Ji WHAT ???

I went to the Whole Foods supermarket yesterday for a tour. The tour included a course on understanding the difference between conventional, natural and organic foods, studying rare vegetables that should be added to our diet and gaining an understanding of their tag/labeling system. It was extremely informative and along the way we got to ask questions. For whatever reason, I went in thinking that everyone in the group knew more than I did and that my questions would come off as stupid and insignificant. Not sure why, but that is just what I thought. As we went along, I realized that whereas some knew more than others in some regards, I was more versed in other areas. In other words, everyone knew something, but no one knew everything. It was a give and take and we all (even the instructor) left knowing something we didn’t know before….which was the whole point in going.

When you are seeking wisdom on a new endeavor or gathering information to increase your knowledge base, do not be like I was initially. Intimidation and the fear of what others think or feel about you can prevent your growth. It can also thwart the opportunity to meet the people and make the connections you need to make in order to reach the next rung of destiny in your life. When you back out of mind stretching activities because of fear you are simply saying that “my fear fence won’t let me go any further than here, my fear is in control not me, and certainly not God”.

Knowledgeable, mind expanding, thought provoking people should be in your influential circle. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of people who have achieved where you are trying to go. BUT don’t get all of your information from the successful either. You need to talk to some people who have made some mistakes…preferably some big mistakes. I learned more from that Whole Foods group when we started discussing things that didn’t work, or suggestions to try in “lieu of” due to mistakes that others had made when cooking this, or cutting that. Their candid responses even when discussing their errors developed a camaraderie of sharing.

So don’t be “skurred” (scared) as the kids would say. Get out of your box, expand your knowledge base, ask questions and share what you know. Lastly, if you need wisdom in any area ask God 1st, He gives it freely.

Oh and by the way, the picture is of a root/vegetable called “Jicama” (pronounced HIK-a-ma). It’s kinda like a cross between a potato and radish in appearance. You can shred it and add it to coleslaw along with other recipes. Its very high in nutritional value..and I know all about it... least since

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Review of The Statement Necklace

Originally submitted at Chadwick's

The necklace statement of the season! Imported.

  • Multi-chain necklace
  • With various lustrous pearl-like beads
  • Detailed with a gorgeous rhinestone brooch
  • Manmade
  • 22” long with 3” extender

Waited almost two months for it-but!

By QueenCDJ from Michigan on 12/4/2009


5out of 5

Pros: Lady-Like, Classy, Good Quality, Stylish, Beautiful, Elegant

Best Uses: Formal Occasions, Night Out

Describe Yourself: Practical, Classic, Career, Stylish

This necklace was on backorder and I waited awhile to get it. It was so worth the wait. I have an event on December 19th that I am saving it for. I am positive that I will recieve MANY compliments. My husband was shocked when I told him what I paid for it!

GET THIS NECKLACE- it will dress up a LBD like you wouldn't believe.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'd been there before

Saw a woman crying yesterday. Absolutely bawling. We pulled up to a stoplight at the same time and she leaned her head on the steering wheel. When she leaned her head back on the neck rest that’s when I saw them…the tears. They were relentlessly streaking down her face to the point where her breathing looked labored and she was heaving as if she would choke. I could tell she was screaming and sobbing loudly. I blew my horn, rolled down the passenger side window and gave her the ok sign as if to ask if she was ok. She shook her head no.

I asked her if I could help and again and she rolled her window down and again she shook her head no. With that I wanted to just reach out and hug her. I told her her that I was praying for her right as we were talking (and I was) and then they came…The tears..this time the tears were mine. She looked over at me and saw me wipe away my face and then before she rolled back up her window she slightly smiled and said “thank you young lady, thank you so much for crying with me”. I’ll be fine, just keep praying. With that she drove off and I sat at the light a moment before horns behind me started to blare.

“Thank you for crying with me”. I never had anyone tell me that before. Somehow those tears meant more to her than anything else that I could do for her. She didn’t thank me for asking if she was ok, or for the prayer…just gratitude that I for a moment although our pain may be different I allowed myself to be affected by the pain of someone that I didn’t even know. But she was wrong I did know her. She was me. I’d been there before. I didn’t try to pump her up, or give her the slogan for the day, I just simply allowed myself to be touched with the feeling of her infirmity. Even as I type this, the tears well back up in my eyes. I still wonder what was wrong. Did she lose her job? Did she have a breakup? Did someone physically hurt her? Was she out of money? Did she feel depressed or out of control or hopeless? Did she lose a loved one? Was she or someone in her family just diagnosed with something? It may have been one thing? It could have been a combination of pain. But when I saw her…I knew one thing for sure… I’d been there before.

All the things I wondered about her I had experienced or am experiencing. I know that pain, I know that “pound the steering wheel with your head”, scream at the world kinda cry that noone can understand even if you could explain it. Which is why when I saw it in her, I was immediately equipped with what she needed to be encouraged; The ability to feel what she felt and simply cry. Sure, I prayed for her and had she pulled over I would have given her both barrels, but GOD knew already that she didn’t need all that.

That’s why He sent me with all of my faults and failings to be the instrument he used to simply cry with another one of his children. Her semi-smile made me thank God for the humility that keeps creeping up everytime I think I may want to get haughty or soapboxy. As the old song said..”There’s always something there to remind me”. But for the grace of God, that woman driving into whatever turmoil she had to face, could just as well been me. And when its my turn to lean my head on the steering wheel again..I know I’ll have some prayer warriors interceding..but I hope to be blessed enough to have just one person to be there and not say anything, with a tissue and a hug…and a few tears.