Veganish! Yep, that’s what I call myself. I spent many years of my life researching alternative diets and It was so overwhelming that it kept me from just being healthy. One day, a coworker told me he was vegan. I have a vegan friend but I wasn’t familiar with their meals. I consider myself a food connoisseur so I’m no stranger to the kitchen but I didn’t know where to begin. My first question to him was, “What do you eat??”
He actually took the time to write out meal ideas for each meal. Some were appealing, others not so much. Because the thing is, there’s no meat or meat byproducts so I would have to re-learn my whole life’s eating choices. Let’s face it, most of us grew up preparing our meals around a meat! “I want chicken for dinner.” Pick a vegetable and a starch and you have a meal! But what does one do when meat isn’t the center of your meal?
I started slow. Meatless Monday; breakfast was easy, oatmeal with chopped fruit and granola or dairy-free yogurt with fruit and nuts. For lunch I would eat a steam bag of veggies. For dinner I would make pasta dishes or soups. After awhile I would eat a meatless or vegan meal for lunch on days other than Monday. Six months later I realized that the only time I ate meat was at dinner. It was astonishing to me! I began removing meat from dinner and changed my thoughts to meat sometimes (I have commitment issues😁).
Soon I started trying out new recipes. I would think of what I would normally make and then attempt to veganize it. Now, I feel amazing! I lost weight, I rarely eat meat, and I advocate for meat reduction; EAT meat on the WEEKEND and maintain a Veganish lifestyle. Because for those of us out there struggling with every saucy or Worcester sauce (because it’s not vegan) detail, there are some very judgey (I know it’s not a word) vegans that will push you off the wagon because you meat (LOL, a little jokey joke, in my Martin Lawrence voice)or don’t meet their standards.
So here it is, one thing that has helped me transition is recreating some of my favorite junk foods. I have made Copycat Popeye’s, by frying cauliflower, double dipped in a spicy batter, makes my mouth water as I type. I’ve done a vegan Jucy Lucy, cheeze stuffed beefless burger. And today I have Copycat Jack in the Box Vegan Crispy Tacos. Oh my goodness, these hot crispy, crunchy tacos were everything I wanted them to be and oh so craveable. Check out the video. And for a little inspiration for those straddling the fence, don’t worry about being perfect at least you are actively trying to eat better. Don’t give up because someone discourages you, because I guarantee, people are more concerned about you only eating vegetables then they will ever be if you only ate McDonald’s! Many blessings on your vegan or veganish journey.
The time is now! This is the season to pursue your dreams and to rediscover yourself. Most people are floating through life without purpose. Do you really know who you are and where you’re going? Set a plan, act on it and consider how it may affect your family, faith, finances etc. There’s no one way of doing things, trust your instincts and do your research!
Most little girls play dress up and put on their mother’s heels, make up and like to feel like a princess. All our story books are filled with stories of romance. The sweet innocent princess is rescued by the handsome charming prince. As the story goes, Snow White was under a spell and it took “true loves kiss” to wake her! As children, we think romance and beauty is what we see on tv. A fair skin young lady is seen as beautiful and women of color are portrayed as sassy. When I was younger I remember seeing black women dancing around in videos in a very sexual way. The music was vulgar and the women appeared aggressive. Fast forward twenty something years later and not too much has changed. Black women are seen as aggressive and are unappreciated.
As a kid I thought beauty was fashion and makeup. I never considered the complexion of someone’s skin, social economic status etc as beauty. If your dress was nice and handbag was pretty I thought that that was beauty. As an adult I see beauty in everything. I see beauty in nature and in art! I want to know how other black women feel about beauty and how black women are perceived in society. I decided to sit with Brandi Turner to get her take on beauty.
The Many Images of Black Women
As Brandi mentioned there are many different shades of black women. Which is a good thing! This idea that lighter skin black women are somehow more attractive than darker skin black women is a LIE! The lie continues to live because of how black women are portrayed in society and media. Remember the story of Snow White she was seen as sweet and innocent and needed to be rescued. She spoke softly and had fair skin. There are women that are that way, however, when you’re not why are you seen as loud, angry or obnoxious? As black women society tends to go a step further and if we don’t take on that image we are seen as aggressive, rebellious and angry!
I was raised by a single mother and I’m now a single parent. Obviously, no one plans to be a single parent, however, things happen. There are fewer black women married than any other race. Black men are more likely to date outside their race.
We’re not all single mothers there are plenty of successful black married couples. Meet Tamica Webb, she has been married to Peter for almost five years they have one son and a week ago she graduated from Columbia College and she’s’ my younger cousin! Tamica and I sat down and talked about her perception of beauty as a black woman.
Society plays a major role in the way we view beauty! I see beauty in everything. It’s so much more than the outer appearance of person. I’m so bored with videos, movies and all the images around us that try to push their beauty standards on to us.
You never see a full-figured women as the love interest in a movie as if full figured women aren’t being pursued! Why does the blonde have to play dumb? Stop buying into the hype. I’m over it! I love beauty and fashion just like the next person but I buy what I like and if what I like just so happens to be on trend…well that’s even better!
Spring is here and we’re exchanging our long pants for dresses, skirts and swimsuits. This is also the time of the year where we’re more likely to experience chub rub or inner thigh chafing. Chafing can occur anywhere of your body to both men women. It’s caused by working out, wearing tight clothes, moisture and friction.
I’m guilty of squeezing into a tight pant which causes my inner thighs to rub against the inside of the pant and creates friction & moisture and causes chafing. It’s important to use lubricate and or wear something like shapeware to serve as a barrier. I try to be consistent about applying a lubricate while wearing dresses, skirts but I forget about my pants. I don’t have a “thigh gap” my thighs are really good friends they spend all of their time together!
Prevent chafing by…
Keep your commonly moist areas dry
Change out wet clothes immediately
Lubricate problem areas
You can purchase otc items like baby powder, petroleum jelly, and shapewear to protect your skin and prevent chafing. I personally use deodorant it’s convenient when and I don’t need to add another product to my shopping list. You can get a cheap sample size and leave it in your purse or bag. Be sure to clean and pat dry the area before applying your preferred product. If you’re currently experiencing chafing you can use aloe vera, oatmeal, olive oil. essential oils etc to help sooth the discomfort.
Discolorations from chaffing…
Chafing is generally red on fairer skin and generally darker on people of color which is called hyperpigmentation. I deal with hyperpigmentation and I found a honey, lemon and sugar scrub recipe that you can use all over your body! Lemons naturally lightens skin, the sugar is used as a exfoliate to remove dead skin and the honey is gentle for your body.
If you need something stronger you can use otc products like Ambi to reduce discoloration and it’s good for all skin types or contact your Dermatologist.
I’m all about self-improvement and I have a few bad habits that I’d like to break such as going to bed without brushing me teeth that’s one of my lesser crimes 😉. It’s so easy to cozy up in bed buried under the covers. I decided that I am going to create a new night time routine and set a nightly alarm on my phone to remind myself to adhere to the new routine.
Dictionary.com defines habit as “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.”
Here’s a few tips to get started with having a healthier lifestyle and breaking a habit.