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Guess What? Weight is a Direct connection to Illness….Heard that on 1010 Wins Health minute! So where’s the Comedy in that?

still-life.jpg 

There are those heavy, full figured comedians which shall remain namelss, (Monique) who state that BIG IS BEAUTIFUL!   Well I think that is the problem.

  Making one’s soda extra large at the fast food place,  or having BIGGIE FRIES or double, double whopper is not HEALTHY!

  So why are the comedians who can afford a : weight trainer,  lap ban surgery,  and live in doctor telling us big gals and big men that it is alright to STAY BIG?

  That is not a good road to lead people down.  No,  no one is leading me into Biggie fries…I chose those on my own…(if and when I make a choice in that direction!) 

 But still, self-esteem is a big issue in today.  I had a friend who is a rather small man in height and weight….OH,  there are men who love women your size.  Wait,  I will get the name of the “CLUB”  that you can go to inorder to meet men who LOVE BIG WOMEN!!!! UGHHHHHH!!!

 If there was a moment in my life when I knew that I could see the end of a friendship in big clear letters it was then!  I was not into any kind of weird fetish club!  Some people like to look at women’s hands etc…..I do not want to be put in that category. 

 Yes I am big….but no I do not want someone who is looking for a WOMAN MY SIZE!  How dare  you!  I am not a car,   mini van,  coup deville,  or corvet that you pick out at the showroom. 

 Picture this, “Oh, yes we have the model you are looking for,  Large Brown Woman,  Gap in front of teeth, teeth more yellow than white,  This is our used model category of woman though,  but very, very, very reliable! 

 Great mileage….hardly used at all,  only bore one child.  But alas,  this is a late model you know….a baby boomer.  But she does put in a hard days work, despite the now recent weigh in of 269.1pounds! 

 Her legs are strong.  She has actual ankles,  not cankles, you know the calve, and ankles combo….she has distinct ankles for her age and weight. 

She takes her water pills and blood pressure pills quite faithfully.   Yes she is our  SEDAN VERSION OF A LARGE WOMAN….A LITTLE BIT LUXURY, AND A LITTLE BIT ECONOMY….YOU KNOW–SHE IS THE HARD WORKING TYPE…NOT THE PINK FEATHER TOE, BON BON EATING TYPE….SO HERE SHE IS!” 

 See how degrading that all seems?  It is silly, but that is how annoyed my small framed, low weight male friend felt when he made that comment to me.

  And I told him about it….that is right!  If I was a beautiful woman with long flowing black curly hair, I would not want anyone to tell me to go to a club where woman that look like me would find a match of a man who likes woman with black curly hair! 

 Everyone wants to be loved for the unique qualities that are within their spirit and their heart.  No one wants to be picked out for their strange shaped forehead or something. 

 I am not a cow,  a cat or a car.  Treat me special please!   ooooh,  I digress!  I am sorry,  I kind of went off on a tangent didn’t I?  Okay, where were we,  Oh,  yes. 

Being overweight might appeal to some,  but where are it’s health benefits if any?  I heard it today, on  2/15/08….on my favorite radio news station 1010 wins—that there is a direct correlation to health and cancer based on weight according to a study done. 

 (The WHO that did the study has slipped my mind at this time—but it does not matter,  I have heard that statement from my doctor many, many, many times!) 

My problem today,  to correlate to that “new so-called statistical data finding…my back has been aching for the past month now.  It hurts just above the kidney aread…or at it directly. 

 One morning on a Monday to be exact,  I woke up and was too dizzy and weak to make it to work.  I called out sick and made my doctor appointment which I had been putting off. 

 When I told the doctor about this constant pain after I eat meals, drink, or have to move around too much, she took blood.  Since I have highblood pressure and my child Daniel has been getting sick lately I chalked it up to stress. 

But to be on the safe side…lets not ignore ole’ Betsy the Sedan Large and Lovely Body Beautiful….shall we?  So  blood tests all done,  and now MamoGrahm, and GYN up next too. 

 We must check out the facts about weight and health correlation!  I do not want to be the guinea Hippo here…but this is really for myself, and my family.

  I am merely sharing this oh, so very private health condition, and issues with you to help you women who are in my mid-forties, and 269.1 category….not to direct to you a CLUB for large babes….but to direct you to a better state of mind in regards to your daily health! 

 Remember…..our families need us to live long enough to see them grow, and mature,  and be there for babies and all like that.

  So,  do me and you a favor,….no I do not know where the club for Big Gals and the men who love them are….I would not allow my male friend tell me where to go….because I am mentally a Big Gal with a Medium,  healthy weight woman rising!

   (could not resist the horoscope correlation…ladies!)  So  seriously,  take the time to check out your aches and pains.  I personally believe in natural weight loss.  I am afraid of that lap band surgery. 

There  are two women that are on my job right now that have lost tremendous weight, from the surgery.  But see,  I cannot be happy not eating!  I am a foodie! 

 No,  I do not binge,  I just like a good cooked meal.  I have bad habits for eating dinner late into the night and then going immediately to bed.  I have to get up early,  around 5 am.  I always feel sick. 

 Sometimes I will throw up while brushing my teeth, because  the food from the late night dinner after I worked overtime at my job,  did not digest properly.  You know that when you lay down to sleep your digestive track has the nerve to stop working right? 

 So production stops and all that food becomes are hard nasty lump in the pit of your stomach and when you awake you feel nauseaous!  Ugh!

So  getting back to our, yours and my health.

  Check out those aches and pains and call Jenny Craig,  WeightWatchers and First CALL YOUR DOCTOR AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT…..TAKE A FRIEND WITH YOU IF YOU ARE SCARED…..BUT GO,  BIG GALS GO!  —All joking aside….look in the mirror,  you are beautiful,  but your heart will love you more if you take good care of it! 

And one more thing Ladies….In honor of Women’s heart month…..and Valentines Day—Take care of your heart and it will take care of you!   Happy Valentines Day!

Take care,  until next weight and health blog—

riveroflifelisajoy!!!

BLACK HEALTH AND BLACK WOMEN….IT IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

Sunflower.jpgLadies,  of all races….please read this blog and think about yourself for a moment or two.  When I was young,  I played for hours as a pre-teen.  Then I began to mature and had to start addressing my health as a young woman.

  When I was a teenager,  my mother did not take me to the doctor because my father and my mom were separated and I was no longer covered under my father’s health plan. 

 I had braces on my teeth for two years,  but when my father separated and left my mother and I,  the dental coverage for my teeth stopped.  I had missing teeth,  and a very wide gap in the front. 

The dentist took the braces off but neglected to take off the wire that had finally closed the gap in my teeth.

  I ended up with swollen gums and I had to spend hours pulling that wire out.  It got stuck and I had to go to the dentist again to have it removed. 

My mother did not have a health, or dental plan to pay for it.  The dentist did want to work on my mouth at all. 

 That was a very terrible experience to say the least. The dentist was annoyed with my mother for asking and needing help.  I felt worthless and unloved by my father. 

My own sister who was 7 years older than me at the time and had a good paying job had a terrible attitude toward my mother and I.

  My sister had influenced my father to take me and my mother off of his medical and dental coverage. (  ***note:  my father died of sugar diabetes when he was 59 years old and he left my sister a lot of money.—thus the reason for her heavy influence over him.  My mother never attempted to fight it because she did not know about it until years later.)

 My Mom had been a stay at home mother and did not have any skills except for house cleaning.  My Mom had gone to college but due to the domestic issues with my dad did not complete college.   I did not have an annual medical check up until I was actually in my late twenties and thirties.  I gave birth to my son when I was 32. 

 My child is 14 years old now.  I have been going to the doctor for various issues over the past five years.  I am 269.1 pounds currently. 

 I am truly obese.  I used to do karate, and gymnastics.  I swam laps and kept my meals healthy between the ages of 18 years old and and age 30 years old.  

Now I have to c0me to you this day and state the obvious…..PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES LADIES. 

 Yes it is black history month…but health is for all races and creeds to be concerned with. 

 I almost lost a big toe due to finger nail salons and my ignorance about foot and toe health.  I was stuck  at home for  about 4 months. 

 I had surgery on my big left toe to clean out dead material every two weeks. 

The year before that I had  knee surgery.

  I have been looking into trying food supplements and rebuilding my immune system.  My hair has become thin,  and I wear various hair styles that hide it.

So for black history month ladies….forget about tanning salons,  hair weaves,  nail polish and  pedicures,  and facials. 

 Let us women of color look deep inside to our HEARTS,  OUR LIVERS,  OUR KIDNEYS,  OUR VEINS,  OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM,  OUR NERVOUS SYSTEMS AND OUR LEGS, OUR ARMS,  OUR CHESTS,  BREASTS,  OUR REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS,  OUR TEETH,  OUR SKIN, AND ANY OTHER AREAS. 

Take off some of that nail polish and go to a nutritionist and see where you stand on health and nutrition. 

 Take out those contact lenses and see what your opthamologist sees when he checks your eyes for glacoma.  

 Our families need us,  and  we need and DESERVE to have the best quality of life possible.  Many medical tests can be painless,  and simple and quick.  Get over the fear,  face your fears,  and the outcome will be for the better. 

 Take a friend with you to the doctors appointments if you need a supportive person by your side.

Your daily love and care for your job,  family, and friends is black history, white history,  yellow history,  brown history  in the making.

 Make good  history by keeping your doctors appointments and monitoring your health.

  If you do not have health coverage make an effort to contact local agenices that may offer low cost health coverage for you,  and free coverage for your children.

Till next blog…..

BLACK,  WHITE,  YELLOW,  AND BROWN  WOMEN HEALTH MATTERS……..

IT REALLY DOES!!!!

RIVEROFLIFELISAJOY!!!!

Cooking CHEAP, HEALTHY, QUICK AND NATURAL THE EASY WAY!—((watch that salt and sugar too!)) January 6, 2008

duckies at play This is a serene picture, that a friend took many years ago.  I will always cherish this picture.  I always believe that a meal should be peaceful, and unrushed.  Tranquil…  so that the meal gets digested properly.  Relax and   enjoy… I have a treat for you.  Quick,  healthy meal ideas from Riveroflifelisajoy!

Often people ask me to cook for school functions.  I do not offer food for those  occasions. 

 Why you might ask?  Well my mother always cooked very, very simply because my father was a diabetic. 

I do not have a special meal that people rave about….you know what I mean….don’t you?

  So I go to my old stand by….Italian Pastry!  I go to Sapiensia’s Excuse the spelling.

My favorite Italian Pastry is Connolly’s!  (spell check )  I love those…especially  when placed in the cake.

  The cake is vanilla with connolly creme inside and white or chocolate frosting.  This cake I like to purchase for family birthdays! 

It is my terrible little treat….once in a while….pssst but don’t tell anybody!!! LOL!!!!  

I also like another pastry called lobster tail!  That is great too.    I also love a certain other little treat  during the summer  the REAL CHOCOLATE CHIP CONNOLLY ICES!  YUMMY!!!! 

 And  all other natural fresh and delicious icey treats.  I love this stuff!  I do not generally buy junk food for my house.  I do not buy chips too much.  My italian pastry treat is about once every 4 or 5 months or so.  I am not a bing  or secret eater type person….Ya know?

But I love juices.  I love GREEN TEA by TURKEY HILL.  I know,  I know….maybe to much sugar right?  Probably so.  So  I have to cut back on the Green Tea….but it is so REFRESHING!

  I also love Welches Grape Juice.  Grape juice is also good for cleaning your blood with the antioxidents as well. 

I was told to go to Flushing Queens to get the REAL GREEN TEA LEAVES in stead of buying the premade stuff.

  Problem…there is difficulty parking and I would like a suggestion of how to locate the place that sells the REAL Green Tea leaves.

LIPTON TEA MIX HAS  a good GREENTEA MIX… —now that is not very sweet at all.  I think you would have to put the whole dry mix into your pitcher to get that over sweet taste. 

Every culture has it’s “staple” foods. 

 For example some cultures use rice,  or pasta as the basic staple of every meal.  some cultures use flavorings that are totally recognizable to that ethnic group.  Well,  I am African American. 

 But I do not know how to cook those culturaly known meals at all!  Suprised?  Don’t be.

  My parents knew and lived cultural diversity before it became the”IN THING”! 

My mother’s best friend lived with my family from the time I was five years old   until I was fourteen.  Irene passed away when I was fourteen. 

  My father was a practical nurse, and my mother was a stay at home wife.

  My mothers’s friend Irene was Irish American.  She had personal issues that she could not resolve so her children stayed with their father and she lived with us. 

 Irene was a wealth of knowledge of the fine arts,  food,  and creativity!  She and my mother would set about to decorate my parents house every six months!

  Irene and my mother with my fathers financial backing opend up a store on Jamacia Avenue in South East Queens called for Antiques and What Nots!  

Irene also worked in the Post Office, so she would contribute to the household and assist my parents with the bills. 

My mother and Irene were like Lucy and Ethel from the “I love Lucy Show”—they always had creative ideas (((back in the 60’s—that’s right! 

 A black woman and a white woman were best friends!— I did learn so much from that diverse family experience that I will always cherish and never forget!)))

 My family was very middle  class because my father kept two practical nursing jobs from the time I was born, until he died from diabeties at the age of 59.

 So I was fortunate enough to have a happy early start in life.  But my mother did not cook…traditional African American food! 

   My mother was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist!  They do not eat P0rkor pork by products!  They are similar to the Jewish belief in that they keep the Sabbath Holy and do not injestany pork at all.

  If you know anything about the south, a lot of meals are cooked using pork.  Vegetables –especially greens.  I never ate greens or collard greens with pork flavoring until I was an adult and attended a party! 

 My mother did not even make macaroni and cheese.  Not even fried Chicken!   I grew up eating the Irish Ham,  steak, chicken,  steamed, or boiled vegetables, and white mashed potatoes!  Funny— huh!

So read my receipes for simple meals….Please do not expect Soul food from me!  But do understand….I am asking around and people are giving me the receipes to make good macaroni and cheese,  or brown sugar kernal corn.  I will tell you how it goes!

Tonights meal:

Fried fish and onions with egg noodles and vegetables!

How to of Riveroflifelisajoy Fried Fish:

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 cup of “America’s Choice Italian Style Bread Crumbs ( Waldbaums Brand)

4 “Captain Bob Whiting Fillets”   (frozen)  cut up two inches  a piece

1 third of the frying pan  filled with America’s Choice Vegetable Oil (Waldbaums  Brand)

1 large onion cut up in 1 inch slices

How to:

First, pour the  cracked open egg (yolk and all) over the cut up fillets.

Mix and cover all of the fish thoroughly.  Then pour the 1 cup of America’s Choice Italian Style Bread Crumbs over the fish and mix well with a fork. 

 All of the fish should be covered in bread crumbs.

After heating up your frying pan on low,  gently place the fish nuggets in the pan and cover with a lid.  Let brown on each side. 

After the fish nuggets have a golden tint place the chopped up onion in with the fish nuggets.  Keep the flame on low a bit longer. 

While this is cooking,  get a sauce pan and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Take one cup of  America’s Choice egg   noodles and place in the pan/pot.  Let boil in the water for 5 minutes. 

 Take a bag of frozen mixed America’s Choice vegetables  and pour one cup of vegies in the pot! 

Whala!

In about 10 minutes you have noodles and veggies swirling around each other. 

 After they are completely cooked,  drain and then put in a bowl.

  Pour the America’s Choice Tomato Sauce over the veggies and noodles!

While veggies and noodles are complete—check your fried fish!

The onions should be browning lightly.  The fish can be cooked until crispy! 

Notice….the only salt added to this meal is the salt in the Bread Crumbs which is 430mg!

Also the other salt added to this meal is the Tomato Sauce which is 580mg!

Wow!  That is high for salt isn’t it!

So to decrease your salt intake….You might monitor your salt and look for LOW SALT bread crumbs,  and LOW SALT tomato sauce too. 

I do not add any salt on my own….and I feel that  salt in this meal is way over the limit even for me!

What do you think?

I will keep adding to this blog.

I will let you know of  the next dinner that I create!—Remember Low Budget…does not mean tastless meals!

I have to cook short quick meals…because after a long day at work….my energy is very low.  So I use pasta and vegetables.  I also use alot of brown rice.

  I love salad…which I did not discuss today.  I like fresh green kale or spinarch. 

 I do not buy canned vegetables.. I generally get the quick frozen veggies instead at Waldbaums.  Waldbaums always has a sale—like 10 packages for $10.00!   Great for the single parent on a limited income!  Excellent for life on a shoe string!

 I try to stay with foods that have salt naturally from nature….not additives.

Hope your cooking is cheap, healthy quick and easy!

Till next blog entry…

Riveroflifelisajoy!

FOND MEMORIES OF MY FATHER DURING THE HOLIDAYS AND BEYOND!

LIFE STARTS HERE.jpgToo often it has been stated that black men are not there for their children,  or men in general are slacking off from their responsibilities.  I have a different perspective.

 My father was a WWII African American Veteran.  He was on the front lines of  that war,  from the way he described it to me when I was a kid. 

I used to love to listen to  him tell stories about work,  or some about the Army Reserve. 

My father had been given a waiver and also given a license to practice as a Practical Nurse when he came out of the service of the United States Army.

  He  became an Army Reservist.  He was a Sgt.  in the Army Reserve. When I was a child he would take me to the Army off of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  I used to love it there during the Christmas  Holiday!  That place was so gigantic to a small child. 

I would run and play amongst the army tanks, and jeeps!  I loved the smell of the gasoline, and heavy metal vehicals.  That was my second home when my father would take me there for parties, to get my gift from “Santa.”!  

  Upstairs in the rooms where the party with Santa was held, there were so many rooms.  The other children and I would sneak from “secret room to secret room” until our parents would call us to come sit on Santa’s lap!  My father would always know everybody there. 

 When I think back,  I did not know what “racism” was until I got into my teens.  My father was friendly with every army reservist there!  There was laughter, and jokes and smiles,  pats on the back and introductions to the other families and their children! 

 I recently found a letter from him to my mother when he was on Army Reserve upstate at Camp Drum.  This letter had been written in 1960’s.  He was telling my mother to pick up his check from the hospital where he worked. 

 He also said that he missed her at the end of his letter.  That was touching to me because it seem that when became severely overcome by diabetes his attittude had changed toward my mother. 

 He eventually passed  when I was 21 years old, from an enlarged heart, and kidney failure.  He suffered trememdously  from  diabetes! 

 I remember watching my father give himself a needle in the stomach.  He had been put in the hospital a couple of times. 

But one thing I noticed about my father, was that he refused to stay home from work.  He went to work everyday. 

He had two jobs.  He worked in what was then called Brooklyn Jewish Hospital,  and Creedmoor Children’s Hospital.

  He would leave for work at 10:00 p.m. and not return home until the next day at 5:00p.m.  My mother would have dinner prepared,  he would take his shower and go straight to bed. 

 He never got many hours of sleep at home. He worked in the Emergency Room at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital at night.  He worked at Creedmoor Children’s Hospital during the day. 

He provided a large bungalo house with a big yard for his family.  My mother called him a WORKAHOLIC!!

His major concern was  that my mother provide him with clean clothes, and dinner.  He could handle the rest. 

On the weekend my father would take me to the park after he had had some sleep. 

He would make sure I had done my chores and then the rest of the afternoon was my time with him!  He loved to play handball with people he had met in the park while I ran around with my friends at the  playground. 

 I never had a bad experience at that park in Cambria Heights Queens NewYork!  As I got older the movies with Bruce Lee came out and my father and I truly enjoyed everyone of those on Saturdays.  

 I remember seeing “Enter the Dragon and a whole host of other movies!”  I became so involved that I started buying Karate Magazine and my father  enrolled me in the Jerome Mackey Karate School. 

 I took up judo!  The Karate Teacher looked very mean and he yelled alot.  So I took judo instead.  I loved being tossed about. 

Except for one time that my judo partener  did a move I did not expect and tossed me so hard that my bottom lip slid across the canvas mat. 

 My feelings were hurt and I never returned to that judo class again. 

 You see,  I loved the sport….but I was a bit shy,  and did not really like the violent part. 

 But  looking back now I realize how I must have had a deep crush on Bruce Lee,  because when he died I was heart broken—for a long while. 

 I read the book on his life and death.  I met my husband when I was 28 and don’t you know it —my husband had two black belts?

  I was shocked.  He had a black belt in IKEJUJITSU  and Korean Karate—oh,  and he also had a black belt in sword, and weapons fighting too

  I was floored,  and excited that I was marrying someone who had such skill.

—-Getting back to my father,  he purchased an above ground five foot 20 or more round swimming pool which he very rarely used himself.

  It was for the family –and he worked so he was more interested in sleeping!  My father allowed my mother to express herself in decorating.

  He even assisted her in opening up an antique shop on Jamacia Avenue in 1965! 

  He was a special man and He was a SPECIAL BLACK AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN!!!!   

  In closing I would like to state that we must remember the good in aALL MEN!!

  No one is perfect.  But try to remember the best in the people you have met.  There are always opportunities to build up your husbands and fathers. 

 Let’s try to decrease some of the negative press against the Black/African American Men,  and Men of ALL RACES for that matter. 

Show a man in your life that you care, and that you appreciate the kind and good things that they do for you.

    It is always easy to find the weaknesses and the errors—But for the sake of your children build up their selfesteem by being role models that they will remember up until they are middle age 47 year old  woman like myself.

  What you do today will defintely last a life time, and will go to the next generation after you are gone! 

 Enjoy the Holidays, and keep safe!