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Good Food Receipes for our Hearts! Taken from “46 Healthy SOUL FOOD RECIPES” BY The Stroke Association .org

I was at a job related function the other day,  and two very nice ladies came out to give a talk about health  and black Americans.  The asked us all to be ambassadors for health with them and pass out this information about Black American’s and their heart health.  So here goes……

The Booklet called 46 Healthy SoulFood Recipes was edited by Sandra K. Nissenberg,   the CEO  is Louis Weber,  President of the Magazine Division is Jerry l.Croft,  and the Editor -in – Chief is James M. O’Connor.  









 The book on healthy soul food has bright happy pictures and color appetizing food.  I will be cooking a meal from this booklet.  “Soul Food”  has everything from  soups, salads,  seafood, meats, poultry, vegetarian entrees, vegetables and sides,  breads, breakfasts, and of course my favorite….desserts!

I will give you a sample of the food after this quick discussion taken from the Soul Food Receipe book:


  • REDUCE your chances of having a stroke by learning the risk factors and working with your doctor.


“How to use these receipes:

To help you with meal planning, each recipe includes a nutrition analysis.  The following guidelines give some details about how the analyses are claculated.  Use the analyses to help determine how well a certain dish will fit into your overall eating plan.

Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all food groups.

Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.

Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods.

Eat fish, preferably oily fish, at least twice a week.

Limit foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients,

Limit how much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholestrol you eat.

Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.

Choose and prepare foods with little or not salt.

If you drinkalcohol, drink in moderation.

Read nutrition facts labels and ingredients list when you shop.

((According to the booklet on HEALTHY SOULFOOD RECEIPES  —–

FOR more information on the updated American Heart Association Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations, visit americanheart.org.



1 14.5-ounce can fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

2  smoked ham hocks (about 1 pound)

16 ounces frozen black-eyed peas

1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1/4  teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1/8  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4  teaspoon salt

In a large sauce pan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat.  Stir in the remaining ingredients except the salt.  Return to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the peas are very tender. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the salt.  Let stand for 10 minutes so the flavors blend; the standing time is very important in this receipe. Discard the ham hocks before lading the soup into soup bowls.

Per serving:  calories 183, Total Fat 1.0 g. Saturated Fat0.0 g. Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g. Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Sodium 218 mg. Cabohydrates 34 g. Dietary Fiber 7 g. Sugars 3 g. Protein 12 g.

Dietary Exchanges:  2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 very lean meat

This is one of many installments of receipes from the “46 Healthy Soul Food Receipes”  Booklet from the American Heart Association /American Stroke Association.

Try this receipe and let me know how you liked it!  Or better yet, if you have ideas of your own for healthy SOULFOOD cooking…blog it and share it so we can all live heart healthy!

Till next blog,





nature-meets-construction-by-riveroflifelisajoy-number-two-scan.jpgNATURE MEETS CONSTRUCTION” BY RIVEROFLIFELISAJOY   

I felt led to curl my lines, and then I found a ruler that called out to me.  I blended  two types of lines and found that the sharp pointed edges and the curled soft ones could coexist!–thus…”Nature Meets Construction”—  

  Check out JayJewels work at the Fireoflifejayjewels @wordpress.com. Jay Jewels my son is 14 years old and shares my love of the arts! 

When you cannot afford the movies, and video rental but you have a piece of pen and paper….draw….

I draw for my health, and strength.  I love the arts!  Try it!  You might bring down your blood pressure, and increase positive outlook!

Get the family in on  art work too.  Grandmother, baby,  husband,  and teenagers….have a family night and get a lot of art supplies and see what you and your loved ones can create with a crayon, or paint.  Remember to use news paper on your tables.

If you are suffering from family loss,  sometimes you can express yourself better by drawing out your feelings in a picture.  Some pictures may be dark, but so what?  Let those feelings out and you will ease some of the pain.  Hey,  nothing beats a try!  You might enjoy it!

Job stress tends to shorten lives.  Paint,  hobbies,  knitting,  singing,  writing helps. 

Spend time talking to your kids over a jar of crayons, construction paper and finger paints.  For the older kids get the chinese ink and water color.  You will see that alot of things get talked about during art work time in your house.  Then make dinner and see how peaceful meal time can be after a Saturday of Art work!!!!

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


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. 


 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—


My Weight Problem and How it will Affect the Year 2008 Resolution!!

LIFE STARTS HERE.jpgLet me start this off right!  I am about 265 pounds.  I go up and I go down.  I stay within the range of 250 to 265 at all times.  Right now my stomach is my worse attribute.  I gave birth over 14 years ago—ONE Time!  I had only one pregnancy in my entire life.  (I laugh at that because my huge gut….people always say…”You have a couple of kids…Right?”  I always tell them no!  But would you believe that there is always someone who will persist and continue to tell me that I have more than one child?  I look at them like he/or she is crazy!  I mean, really,  could I have been knocked out at some point,  and given birth and do not remember it?  And where is the child with the social security number to go along with it?  —Any way lets get back to my weight problem)   I was a “full figured” nine year old when I developed my  “period”. 

 I was an active semi-tom boy as a young lady.  I loved sports….I was not the best,  but I participated as much as possible.

  I was on a softball team while in junior high school.  I did gymnastics—which I loved to a certain extent. 

 I could not do the uneven bars because of an inner ear problem.  I could not swing myself up onto the bars without losing my perspective and balance. 

 I would swing throw my legs up and then I would subsequentcially fall because I would have the horrifying giddy sensation in the pit of my stomach and my head  would feel light, and my brain would release such powerful shots of “seemingly electrical volts down my spine.” 

I would loosen my grip on the uneven bar and find myself recuperating on the floor mat.  

  That would happen to me atleast 5 times out of 10 tries on the uneven bars in gymnastics class.  I stuck more to the balance beam, and the floor routines. 

I had the same problem of inner ear confusion but I would be able to prolong that reaction by doing other parts to the gymnastic routine by skipping etc.  Once I did a walkover (head over heel and vice versa) and I fell and banged the side bone of my left big toe.  I had to go to the doctor. 

Nothing was broken —but again that came from that “stupid”–weakness in my inner ear that affects balance.  I also loved Karate!  I had fallen in love with Bruce Lee and the Martial Arts movies he made.  So my parents enrolled me into the Jerome Mackey School of Martial Arts!  I took judo until I received another injury from  my inner ear issue.  My sparing partner had tossed me over her head in a move that I was not familiar with. 

 I lost my balance and slid across the canvas mat and busted my lower lip.  My head throbbed for days and I felt dizzy.  I stopped judo.  I took up karate and I liked it better than judo. 

 Only exception was I did not like to spar!  I am such a baby!  I rode my bike, and played with the neighborhood kids.  I had a pretty good weight. 

 Remember,  I am 47 years old and I am not of the video game generation.  I played with my Barbie dolls and entertained myself by watching the BRADY BUNCH,  I LOVE LUCY, HERE’S LUCY, LOST IN SPACE,  THE BEGINNING EPISODES OF STAR TREK, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, FLINTSTONES,  HONEY MOONERS etc. 

So basically I was an active kid when my favorite television programs were not on.

So how did I go from a size 13/14 to a WHOPPING  size 22/24? 

 Where did everything go wrong?  I grew up with a 1/2 acre of back yard,  I played hard with my cats and dogs, and ran up and down the peaceful neighborhood street with my neighborhood friends. 

We played games on the stoop,  and played hopscotch,  hide-and- go-seek etc.  I was not fat at all.  As I got older,  men and young boys would ogle over my tiny waist and full hips and body.  So why do I look like a  big ole’ sack o’ potatoes right now? 

Genetic Predisposition Maybe?  But my mother never looked as bad as I do right now!  I know, I know….don’t put myself down right?  Well, it just gets me a bit frustrated and hurts my feelings abit. 

 I want to where cute outfits and bright cheery colors.  Yes, I am aware of the Avenue,  Ashley Steward,  Lane Bryant Stores and Plus size areas in Macy’s etc.,  But it does not matter.  Big is still big.  They  do not  match the designs that I could see myself wearing! 

 For example,  look at Victoria Secret Stores.  I cannot buy anything in that store unless it is perfume.

  They do not make bras for sale at the UGLY over grown size of 42DD! 

 They make things in the 38CC  or D category….but my size seems over the top for them! 

 That is why I only venture in and make a BEE LINE for the lotions and perfumes only.

  I make my purchase and then walk hastily out of the store….so that the skinny ladies who can fit into those great designer bras and panties don’t give me that “ARE YOU KIDDING–ONCE OVER WITH THEIR JUDGEMENTAL EYES”! 

So getting back to my weight.  I am tired of being sick and tired.  I do not care what Monique from the “PARKERS” AND PHAT Girls (famed plus sized commedian)says about being plus sized!  

  FAT,  OR PHAT IS NOT CUTE! —What I am referring to is myself.  I have met and still do know personally some very phsically beautiful people who happend to be plus sized. 

I just want people to realize that I am aware that plus size body does not make a plus size heart.

  So when you feel stressed at work….does your heart beat in that “fight or flight mode because you may not agree with your co-worker over a given topic. 

 So for  the entertainment reason…yes plus size is good….but for those of us who run a household it is not easy to pick up babies,  and cook and clean daily….it becomes a hardship when weight turns simple tasks difficult.

 My jellyroll of a stomach,  and thick stubby legs that make me trip over side walk cracks–is not appealing.  —Honestly,  I fit my clothes better when I was size 13/14!  I had a flat….a real flat stomach back then.  I could do sit ups and push ups and even stretch. 

 I did  Yoga every night back then.  So what has happened you ask?  Well when I met my husband at age 27 I was still in good shape.  Great shape from what he had told me back then.  We met at Queens College while we both attended. 

He was assisting the teacher in swimming class.  I was a student.  I was very shy, I kept my towel rapped around my  waist until it was time to get into the water of the olympic sized pool. 

 I was so embarressed naturally.  Ugh….my husband told me that my body was great….that he would wait for me to take my towel off.  Well any way the rest is history.  We got married,  and issues arose, ensued and he became castastrophically sick and all I have to show of my love for him is my beautiful ONE child who is currently 14 years old. 

I have heard and have read that STRESS can make you fat!  Have you heard that one yet?!  Well, after what I went through in loosing my husband….I should weigh in at about 700 pounds I figure! 

 But really I do not eat as much as what people think about fat people.  I actually have stomach pain most of the time. 

I do not eat breakfast, because I get this bad reaction where I have pain with the first food that hits my stomach….then in a 1/2 hour I feel extremely sleepy….my arms feel heavy and I have to keep putting water on my face, and sometimes I have to even just go sit in a restroom stall at work to keep from passing out!  So I do not eat breakfast…it creates a problem. 

 I checked with my doctors who have no explanation for this syndrome.  So I continue not to eat breakfast.  I see everybody else around me —you know the healthy weight people eating breakfast, sharing food and having a good time about it. 

I eat lunch between 11:00 and 1:30.  I then have dinner at home.  I do not buy junk food.  I do my cooking…but I do not fry anything excep hamburger and some fish.

  I make broiled salmon, and some other fish broiled.  I tend to eat late at night…which is a BIG NO, NO!  I am usually working over time. 

Sometimes, I work 12 to 14 hours a day! When I get home I am too tired to cook.  I get up very early *4 AM and I may leave work at 1pm. 

 I am so tired that I cook and go to bed immediately.  So yes I know what you are thinking….I must get a better schedule right?

However, I need my job.  My kid has medical problems and I cannot quit my job–it has decent health coverage.  

With all my issues to the side for a minute ….I have contemplated the surgery.  I am afraid of that type of hard action.  Although I might sound like a good candidate. 

 I do have high blood pressure….which may not be a good reaction to stomach stapling or placing the “ring” on my stomach either.  I believer I will go out and purchase the sweat pants and shirt and just start walking again. 


 I will use that as a option because I started to loose weight over the summer when I was walking ten blocks to catch the bus to work when my car was in the shop for an entire month. 

After I got over the actual 2 weeks of pain in my calves etc.  I began to notice a difference.  Not a big difference….but a difference nonetheless! 

So that is my NEW YEARS RESOLUTION!!!!!******I RIVEROFLIFELISAJOY—WILL COMMITT AS MUCH THOUGHT AND TIME TO ((((((WALKING)))))))  AS I DO TO THIS BLOG.  I will attempt to walk atleast 1 hour everyday….or better yet I will start walking 15 minutes, for a week, and then increase it the next week.  I have to start slow….I have a heart to consider today.

 So what about you?  Are you going to take and make a difference in your own life for the  coming year?  Do you need to loose weight like …or  do you need to accomplish some other goal?  “ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY!”  (UNKNOWN AUTHOR)

 Sit  down and truly think about your goals for the year 2008!  Plan it , structure it, and tell your family and friends so that they will help you get your act to gether. 

I have told my 14 year old to help Mommy to loose weight.  I asked him to walk with me for the first week of my walk and lose weight campaign!

As you can see, by this blog you who need to loose some weight—start slow….You did not gain weight over night….and you will not lose weight over night….atleast healthy weight loss  saves lives!

Take your time,  TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR AND TELL HIM YOUR GOALS FOR YOURSELF FOR 2008!!! Take it slow  and follow doctors orders.  Becareful with the weight loss surgery. 

Till next blog…in which  I will talk about two people I know who had the two mentioned  medical techniques I described earlier.


What is Wrong with Food Processing These Days?–How are Non Foods Getting into our Food?—**update: 12/24/07 Christmas Eve!

LIFE STARTS HERE.jpgAccording to a blog called      

Weird fast food ingredients

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 5:00PM by Bethany Sanders
Filed under: Food and Nutrition, Healthy Habits,  in the America On Line Black Voices,  food has ingredients that have nothing to do with nutrition or our health.  Yet the article states that the government is aware of it and considers these  non-food items to be consumable.  Is it any wonder that our babies a being born with malformations,  or other medical  issues that have no explanation? 

When I was in 5th grade I became sick with bronchitis.  I was out of school for 45 days that year.  My doctor wanted to take out my tonsils and I cried and pleaded with my mother to save me from such a fate.  My doctor gave me a chance to change my health if I promised to take alot of vitamin C and multivitamins.  I began to do as my mother was instructed by the doctor. 

But I soon found that swallowing vitamins was abit difficult for me.  So when I was home sick again my mother was giving me this group of vitamins and then she looked under my bed and found all of the vitamins on the floor (under my bed).  My mother took me back to the doctor and I was given a warning that I would be having my tonsils out if I did not comply with the doctors orders and take my vitamins.  My mother began to crush my vitamins and put them in yogurt for me.  Uggggghhhhh!   She would mix the vitamins with honey.  I was so sick of being sick and tired as a kid. 

I even had to have my nose corterized because of heavy nose bleeds.  I remember doctor visits and pain, and difficulty breathing.   Thank goodness I was always playing music, and drawing.  I had a great life except for my health.   Once  the vitamins began to help I spent less time home and the threat of the doctor began to fade.  That seemed easy enough to solve. 

But,  what do you do nowadays?  What type of vitamin do you take  to fight the effects of the non food/non edible  ingredients that I am about to list that were highlighted in the above article?  Why are things falling to the the VATS of meat being processed these days?  How is it that food we eat has chemicals that are not naturally found in nature?  Who is using our food processing plants for other purposes it seems?  This is becoming more and more scary!

For example,  according to the article “Weird Fast Food Ingredients,”  by Bethany Sanders the following items are not for normal consumption:

  • titanium dioxide: used in products like paint and sunscreen
  • azodicarbonamide: a respiratory sensitizer banned in Australia
  • propylene glycol: used as a pesticide
  • sodium phosphate: a foaming agent
  • dimethylpolysiloxane: used in caulk and adhesives
  • MSG
  • hidden trans fats

Though the FDA calls these additives “generally regarded as safe” for human consumption, the fact remains that they aren’t food. ( p.1)

My mother had discovered  Shakely Food Supplements from a fellow church member when we attended Massapequa Tabernacle just after I turned 18 years old.  The Shakley food supplements were excellent.  I felt more energy!   The founder of the company had suffered a radiation injury and had suffered many years. 

 He had decided to try to create a food supplement to help his rapidly deterioating conditon of his left arm and side.  He,  Dr. Shakley had created cold pressed food supplements.  I was having the bronchitis and still always very tired.  The vitamins that I had taken as a child prevented me from having my tonsils out.  But as a young woman I still have severe pain during my menses.  I would lay doubled over,  I would vomit,  have hot and cold sweats for atleast two to three days at the begining of my periods!  So the bronchitis had eased,  and then my periods took over in claiming my happiness.  I had dreaded my monthly.  I would cringe when I even just thought of the pain.  I was afraid of what having a baby would feel like –especially since I could barely take having my monthly!  Ugh!  and Double UGH!!!!  —But along came the Shakley Food Supplements to the rescue!  

I took an alfalpha,  multiplex,  and  several other nutritional  supplements.  I became a walking advertisement!  I began to feel very healthy indeed.  I even sold Shakely to one of my college professors!  I lost track of my contact with Shakley….but I will look them up today.  Because I have been very sick the past few years.  After reading the ingredients in the WEIRD FAST FOOD article by Sanders I will definitely look toward Shakely nutritional supplements again! 

The food industry is being attacked by an unknown.  All I know is that I have to give my body the nutrition that it is not getting in the food that I have been consuming.  Okay,  you could say that this stuff is only being discussed about fast food.  But what about the uncooked RED MEAT–that is being RECALLED?  

What about last years sicknesses based on E-COLI found on SPINICH?  From MEAT to Vegetables—processed items that are uncooked are just as dangerous recently as the MAD COW disease,  and other potenticially fatal illnesses!  What to do?  What to do?  I am going to really get back to Shakely.  This is not an advertisement.  This is my personal expeience. 


 My doctors have told me about my general condition and specific conditions.  I know what I have been directed to do.  So I can state my personal condition and how to address it. 

But always,  always…..talk to your Doctor. 

Also read all LABELS  and show any supplements to your doctor before you take over the counter  vitamins.  NEVER–EVER—TAKE ANYTHING IN YOUR HEALTH REGIMINE WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR! 


I would like to talk about  weight loss too.  My weight is 270.  Yep!  I’m a big girl!  But it is not a healthy weight for me.  I need to lose more than a hundred pounds.  I just have not decided the method yet. 

***************************************I have to cut this blog short right now….but I will be back after work and finish my discussion on weight loss and the options.  I personally know of two woment who had the surgery.  I will tell you what  they have told me.  I will tell you what I think of it too.  For now  write to you later!—Riveroflifelisajoy!***********************************************************


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Hope your health quest goes well.  This is my New Years Goal….get my health back on track.  I will be contacting the Shakless Distribution people.  My Mom, my son and I all need to get our health on track.  —-This is an update as of Christmas Eve guys! 

Have a happy and stay well in the coming New Year!

Till Next Blog…..



LIFE STARTS HERE.jpg   Sometimes in life we find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control.  It is important to use coping mechanisms that are not harmful to ourselves and our families and our society.  I am always deep in battle with my financial problems.  But I have several HEALTHY METHODS to lower my blood pressure, and prevent myself from over eating.  So look at my work.  Think it over.  Maybe it is not so beautiful….but it is much better of an outlet for anxiety than other negative behaviors!  The Holiday season can be very stressful–what with the shopping for that hard to please loved one, to the parties, and dinners that take alot of planning,  or worse yet for those of us who have lost loved ones.  You may not have money,  you may have a different holiday this year than last….but use your creative brain and  work it out.  Find healthy  activities.  If you can not jog…then write,  or paint,  or sing.  Just get involved!  You will feel better.  Just incase you get the Holiday Blues!LIFE STARTS HERE.jpgHUNGER AND DOUBT.jpgFlower of Hunger2nd-art-work.jpgThe holidays can be fun….but shopping and spending money can be scary! Take your time and enjoy the HOLIDAYS!

Art work explained:

#1-  Life Starts Here:

This piece was using the yellow background with the swirls of dark blue,  black,  or brown to give contrast and texture.  I looked at it and felt that it appeared to look like a genome or fertilized egg in the process of the life cycle.

#2-Hunger and Doubt:

This piece was with a teal green center and dark colors surrounding it.  It represented the wait throughout the summer for my car to get out of Pep Boyz!

#3- Flower of Hunger:

This picture was drawn on an evening before my break through in August.  I was waiting for some financial issues to be adjusted.  The night before, I was concerned and going over issues that had to be addressed.

#4- 2nd ArtWork—Chinese Ink:

The concept behind this is the black ink against the background of water color and symbols of the language.

I painted about 20 pictures.  But these are just a few that I thought would be nice to have displayed.  Just to give a break between my blogs. 

I love being creative!  It inspires me.  I hope you take the time to inspire yourself. 

Ca’mon—push yourself away from the computer and then try a few drawings….it is really enjoyable.

A note about the fine  arts and my personal health.  I wanted to inspire those who may have serious medical conditions.  I will relate some stories in future blogs.  But right here I will tell you about a surgery I had. 

It was so scarey for me!  I had been having surgery for two years straight on different problems.  The final year was the third surgery unrelated  to the others.  But it was scarey nonetheless! 

 I used another technique of singing to cope.  I found a variety of inspirational songs,  or gospel songs and I have a marathon of singing.  I will do a private mini-concert of positive songs. I even wrote 5 inspirational songs on my own.

 Before we moved I used my Pevy Amp aInd microphone and would sing.  I only would sing during the day–so as not to disturb my neighbors.  I would feel better about my surgery!  I believed  that those fine arts activities that I did at home helped to heal my medical condition. 

 Atleast it made me more calm and resolute about my condition and my doctors.  I found myself  at peace inspite of my situation.  That is why I hope others will give it a try.  Look,  I am already overweight!  I also have highblood pressure. 

If I have to have any type of medical procedure done that involves anesthesia  the doctors are very careful with me.  I did have knee  surgery and I had difficulty waking up.  I realized how serious  any invasive techniques can be when done with sedation. 

Being calm is key.  But lowering blood pressure naturally by losing weight is the best.  I myself am still working on that.  But if you want to start,  take out some paper and begin to draw. 

I bet you will find some of the answers to your inner most thoughts present in your drawings.

Till next blog:


Dangerous! Dangerous! Plastic Surgery…the tragic Loss of Kanye West’s Mom, Donda

Elective surgery is just that,  ELECTIVE. 

Plastic surgery needs to be called or renamed something else.  Stop making “light” of invasive techniques that augment a person’s appearance. 

 When I was a kid I thought that “plastic surgery”  was not “real” surgery.  I thought that a person went into a operating room and came out beautiful—with out pain and glowing!  

 I thought that women came out in a yesteryear “Greek” goddess dress ( toga) and men came out in a white toga too! 

Suddenly they would look years younger and the bags under their eyes,  the dark circles would be gone. 

I thought it was a simple process!   Then that show called EXTREME MAKEOVERS came on TV and forever changed my view of “plastic surgery forever! 

 If you noticed,  they never took candidates for plastic surgery if they were obese!  You had to be in good basic health. 

 If you were slightly heavy they would not take you.  They would make you shake off those extra pounds with an extreme make over exercise person before the surgery!  Then the pain of the surgery, and recovery room and hospital stay would be shown. 

 But they never allowed someone to go home or to the hotel room immediately afterward!  

That is what happened to dear Kanye’s Mom  D0nda!   Look,  the doctor does not have to live or love his patient—but he is supposed to look out for that patient’s health. 

 The medical oath that all doctors take states,”First…DO NO HARM!”   I read the  blurb on this Doctor,  who just happened to be in California,  had a television show,  was black,  and good looking. 

 That should be a great thing!  But instead it spelled out a very deadly perscription in this case.  I cried today looking at the picture of Kanye and his Mom. 

 I could see the love between Mother and Child—not Kanye West (the rapper)  but instead I saw the look on his face in the AOL Black Voices blog on  the last pictures that were taken for Essence Magazine. 

I saw the pictures of Kanye when he was a baby and his Mom was holding him in her arms and talking to him….So sweet,  so gentle was her picture with her new baby.  I heart hurts to think of this tragic unnessesary loss! 

 She was only 58 years young!  She was a symbol of success  for the young black,  white,  brown young men and young women today.  She had been a college professor in California and she also had been a Fulbright Scholar!!! 

 This woman was an icon for me!  So what went wrong?  Mistakes do happen.  Not the doctor—he did not make a mistake—the doctor,  after the autopsy results come in will have a different out c0me.  The mistake that was made might have been through trusting him to know what he was doing. 

 The mistake was believing that he had his patient’s best interest at heart.  But really,  how would the patient know?  This is difficult to answer.  No one knows what was stated between the doctor and his patient.  No one knows the promises that had been made. 

But I will describe a situation that I went through and maybe that might help to ease some of the pain…..but for me the pain is there.  Although I did not know Donda West,  I feel like she was a “sister in my head”–she was everything I am striving to be—well educated,  my son successful at whatever he wants to be in life,  and she herself making a difference in life by being an educator!  

Such a tragic waste of such a beautiful woman!

A couple of years ago,  I had a lump or nodule,  a tumor inside my left cheek.  I do not know when it got there….but it was there. 

It would not bother me most of the time.  Since it was inside my mouth it would sit on top of my bottom left molar.  It did not bother me until I had something to eat. 

Then I had to keep adjusting it so I could chew my food.  God forebid I eat a piece of meat….sometimes I would bite that stupid lump so hard by mistake I would see stars!!!! 

 So of course to make a long story short I had a referral from my doctor to see a surgeon.  A ‘HEAD AND NECK’ surgeon to be exact.  He  was quite handsome to say the least! 

He looked like the dark foreboding Dr.  Killdare  if any of you are old enough to remember that black and white television show a about the ever so serious Dr. Killdare. 

Well anyway after I got over my doctors good looks,  I began to dislike him tremedously!!! 

 I was afraid of the surgery for the  most part.  I thought he was not telling me everything.

  I thought that I had oral cancer and he was trying to keep me calm by not discussing it in detail.  He gave me a date of the surgery.  He told me I would not be hospitalized, and said that I would not be given general sedation. 

 I was unhappy after he said that.  Why you ask?  I am a BIG,  BIG,  BIG BABY !  that is why!  What do you mean no sedation?!!!! 

 I have to have it!  I can not take knowing that you are digging around in my mouth and I am awake to see, hear,  smell,  taste blood and all that! 

What if that lump has a big root and  you have to yank on it or somthing?!!!  I was too through with my handsome Dr.  Killdare—he was mean,  evil uggggggh!!!!! 

I think he thought I was a bit nutty but I did not care!  I called up and spoke to the medical center where the surgery was to be preformed.  I spoke to the head surgeon. 

 He calmed me down.  He asked me some questions about my general health and I told him.  He said that he would make sure that I was comfortable and not to worry.

  Because worry would not be good for your surgery.  Try to take it easy.  Well, a friend of mine who is a police officer accompanied me with my son and he waited outside.  I was dressed in my hospital gown and given my little green surgery hat. 

 Uggggh!!!  The butterflies began to grow in my stomach and crawl up my throat into my neck.  I started to shiver a bit inside my gut,  after I laid in the bed and looked around. 

 I saw a young teenager.  I saw an older woman,  and other surgery patients recoperating.  The room was very large.

 A nurse approached me and asked me two times, “What is your name?  How old are you?  Please come and get on the scale.”  Then the jokes started. 

“What are you having today?  Oh,  you have a little nodule in your mouth….you must have been telling lies to get that!!! Aha,  aha!!! chuckle,  chuckle! 

I tried to smile,  but no matter what that nurse said to make me laugh I could not stop thinking about what was coming next. 

All I could think of was some type of WOODY ALLEN scene with me jumping off of the table and being held down by the doctor and the nurses while they attempted to yank this stupid lump out of my left cheek. 

 I also pictured being disfigured because the lump was about an inch long.  Oh, Lord,  have mercy,  help me Lord.  I said the psalm 23,  and asked G0d to give me the strength. 

As I was laying there another  person approached and asked me my name two times( to make sure I guess)  and then he started to talk about sedation. 

 I told him that I need to sleep.  I do not want to know what is going on in this surgery.  He said that it is dangerous to go to sleep.  He will make sure that I do not feel anything but it is dangerous to go to sleep. 

 He also asked me two times about my general health.  Figure the math,  I am overweight etc.  so that was definitely not a good sign for the gentleman with the sedation. 

He walked away.  Then here came Dr. Killdare—(as handsome and mean as ever!)  “Oh-come on!!  he said, beginning to get annoyed with my childish behavior you do not need general sedation!!!  It is a little thing in there!!!!  Just let me give you a local and you will be fine.  You know how it is?!  Just like when you go to the dentist!” 

Look,  I said,  I do not handle dental appointments very well.  I had been through something as a kid and I cannot take a needle to be put in my mouth without something to calm me.  I am afraid I may jump up and cause myself more problems. 

Please,  Please I begged Dr. Killdare—-I need sedation inorder to cope with this! So he did authize a mild sedation.  The gentleman that gave it to me,  told me to count backwards and then all I remember was waking up a little and I heard the doctor tell me to open my mouth more. 

 I heard him tell the nurse to “take that for biopsy.”  I closed my eyes again and then I was told to wake up and move very slowly to the next gurney. 

I was wheeled back to my recovery location.  I was really feeling weak,  tired, and dizzy.  But that surgery was over and my mouth had a slight swelling on the inside…but no more stupid LUMP!  

Praise the Lord!  When I opened my eyes I saw a woman across from me.  I don’t know what she had but she was moaning and   her face looked terrrible. 

I think she had a face lift or something.  This was not a hospital.  This place was only for same day,  same day home surgery!  There were packs of blood around her and clear tubes with it moving slowly through them. 

I could not tell if it was being given to her or it was being taken away from her.  It all looked to complicated and messy. 

 Then I understood why Dr. Killdare was so annoyed with me.  I am a big silly baby!!!!  My fearless Dr. Killdare came to my side and said, “How are you feeling?’ 

I felt quite stupid—so I smiled and sheepishly said,”Fine” through the gauze in my mouth.  He said that I had to stay another hour or so. 

 I was not to drive for atleast one week.  He gave me an appointment to come in and see him for a follow up and to get the test results from the lab. 

I received instructions on how to eat.  and then he teased me and said….Wait until it heals….you won’t even know that there ever was anything there!” 

I liked Dr. Killdare again.  I survived. 

But,  I also was being a bad patient at one point because he was trying to make sure that I did not have any complications with sedation.  They have given me a mild one and I did alright.  Thank God. 

Sometimes life can be complicated,  and tragic.  I hope all of us start to listen to the no-s from our doctors,  and the yeses too.  Always get a second opinion and even a third if you are still not happy. 

 Check out your Doctors credentials too.  Becareful out there.  Surgery is not anyting to play with!  Especially Elective,  PLASTIC SURGERY!!!! 

Please handle your health conditions with care and careful consideration before walking into the pre-op room. 

Know what you are getting yourself into.  And take every percaution possible. 

Listen to your doctor —it will save your life!

  Remember,  love yourself,  love your family—take care of yourselves!