So… usually I’ll plan to blog a recipe and have better pics. This recipe was a result of me being hungry and on a budget. Chicken breasts were on sale for $1.99/lb and asparagus was $1.50 a bunch. That’s a darn good sale on some asparagus. Instead of just having chicken with asparagus as a side, I decided to try stuffing them. I didn’t come up with this bright idea until I got home and needed cheese. All I had were some Sargento cheese sticks about 4 days from expiring. Judge me if you want, but cheese is cheese. Here’s how I did it:
1. You want your chicken breasts kinda thin. I sliced through the thickness on some. Others, I could just use the meat mallet.
2. Season both sides of the thinned out chicken breasts. I used lemon pepper.
3. Lay your slice of cheese on the breast (or ripped up string cheese in my situation). Lay 3-4 pieces of asparagus (I broke off the ends) in the cheese.
4. Fold the chicken over to enclose the stuffing. Secure with a toothpick.
5. Lay on an oiled pan (I used nonstick spray) and cook in the oven at 375. It should take less than 30 min to cook if the meat is thin.
It was pretty simple, and I’ll definitely be making it again and trying out some different stuffings. Got any suggestions? Share them in the comments!
Heeeey…. I’m not even gonna start this post with talking about how I haven’t written and plan to write more often. It is what it is. So… let’s move on.
I’ve been living… and traveling… and thinking… and taking some Zumba classes here and there. I haven’t lost all of those 30 lbs I gained, but I am working on getting back to my fittest. Running season is starting. I have stopped being obsessed with the scale. It wasn’t helping, so I plan to continue using my clothes as a gauge. I ordered 2 Zumba shirts. Looking forward to getting those in the mail. I’ll have to show y’all.
I’m also watching OWN right now. Oprah is amazing.
Oh, and I’m locking my hair. My starter locs are one week old today. I made a YouTube video about it. The video is pretty terrible, but I think I’ll keep making them anyway.
There… we’re all caught up.
And here we are again… Happy New Year!!!
A new year, a new start! Like most people, I’ve been spending the last few days doing a lot of self-reflection and thinking about my goals for the new year. I’m really excited about 2013. There were definitely some rough spots for my family and I in 2012, but overall I can say I got some big blessings in 2012.
I’m honestly STILL working on writing down my plans for the year, and the plans will likely be fluid. As far as my health goes, I’ve already posted about getting off track for a while. I’ve been doing good lately, and I’ve been focusing more on healthy eating and holistic health than just the number on the scale. I think 2013 is going to be a great journey, I hope you’ll keep visiting the blog to check it out!
I wish y’all all the best in 2013!
I fell off the wagon. I fell off, hit my head on the way down, and rolled over into the gutter somewhere. It lasted for months. Several months.
There. Now you know.
Wait… in the spirit of transparency I should probably tell you more.
I gained almost 30 pounds… and it sucks.
There. Now you really know.
Well, you still don’t really know. 2012 has been a lot. A whole lot. One of my parents had has some major health problems, and I suddenly found myself in a situation where I was stressed, traveling a lot, eating Southern/fast food, and dealing with a very erratic schedule. Weight loss is easy when there’s nothing else major going on in your life and you got all the time in the world for working out and packing snacks. It’s not easy when shit happens.
And yes, shit will happen. Shit always happens.
In dealing with the shit that happened (I feel like my use of the word “shit” is becoming excessive now. I’ll stop.), I let all that other stuff outrank me taking care of myself. So… now I have to fix it. This was a 30 pound lesson, and I’m consciously taking my “healthy black girl” life back. As hard as all the other
shit stuff in my life is to deal with, letting myself go would only make it that much worse. I’m starting over with y’all. I’m already back in the gym. I laid out a schedule of the classes I like to go to. My kitchen is stocked with healthy stuff. I have an accountability buddy that I hope will harass me (shoutout to Marian!). I’m packing my lunch, and I plan to get some new cross trainers soon. I feel like I’m back in the game.
One more thing- someone did bring up to me that I should blog more when I’m going through challenges with living a healthier lifestyle, because it’s helpful to people. I get that. But blogging is this weirdly public, personal thing. It’s hard to do on a good day. It’s nearly impossible on a bad day- especially when the blog isn’t anonymous. Just bear with me. I’m getting better at it.
I let y’all know a couple of weeks ago that I was struggling a lil bit and working on getting myself back on track. It’s actually been going pretty well. I’ve been working out again, laying off the fast food, and eating lots of fruits and veggies. I’ve gone for a few walk/runs to ease myself back into running. The other day I was doing my cool down walk and passed an African lady I had run past earlier. I was sweaty, breathing hard, and not necessarily happy with my pace. But then, this kind woman yells at me “You are doing it, right?!?!” with a big smile. Since I could hardly breathe, I smiled and waved.
And you know what… that lady made my day. Sometimes you just gotta stop and recognize that even if you aren’t up to the level you want to be yet, you’re still there. Give yourself some credit! You are doing it. You are in the game. And that’s a whole heap better than what a lot of folk are doing. This week I also had a girl I went to school with tell me I was an inspiration. It still trips me out when people say that. Like really? Lil ole me? But it’s nice to know. I really appreciate the words of encouragement from others. I think I’m gonna make it a point to shout random outbursts of encouragement to other people on the trail. Hopefully I don’t scare anyone.
Keep doing it (and doing it, and doing it well…). This ain’t a quick sprint. It’s a marathon.
Not trying to throw shade at VS (I thank them for the free panties), but this pic made me smile. I love how happy the women look on the Dove pic. I decided to check out the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. One of the recent campaign activities was a study:
In 2011, Dove® released the findings of its largest global study to date on women’s relationship with beauty—The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited. The study revealed that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful
Wow. Only 4%?! This is a friendly reminder to love your body right now- even if you’re in the process of changing it.
I haven’t been blogging. I thought about blogging. I really did. A lot. People even told me I should be blogging. But people don’t usually do things until they’re ready to do so. They teach us that as a part of public health behavior change. Today, I was ready.
The thing about naming your blog “Healthy Black Girl” and deeming yourself as such kinda puts you in an awkward situation sometimes. Some might assume that I eat, sleep, and breathe all things healthy, black, and girly. Don’t get me wrong, I do love those things, but I can’t be any one thing at every given moment… well, except for black. Yep, I’m black all the time. But that’s not the point. The point is that I’m not perfect and I shouldn’t put pressure on myself to be. Life happens. I get off track. I do NOT stay off track.
I was recently added to a blogging accountability group against my will and agreed to stay in it. It might actually be what I need to find my groove again. Last week I shared that I wasn’t blogging because I didn’t feel very “healthy black girly” and these were a couple of the responses I got:
“Leslie let me encourage you a lil bit – those of us who are striving to be Healthy Black Girls have days where we don’t feel so healthy. I think your readers will appreciate a post about that and if you have any tips to get back on track… That’s a part of the journey too.”
“People want to connect with real people. And not much hits home like ‘I was up. Then I was down. Then I made a decision to get back up.’
You are only alone in this if you choose to be. You are only a failure in this if you choose to be. I speak life into you as you continue to speak life into the healthy lifestyles of others and of course, YOURSELF.
The FACT is that you don’t feel very ‘healthy black girl.’ The TRUTH is what you do with those facts. I vote to attack those facts and keep it moving. You motivate me so I’m counting on you.”
How can you NOT want to blog when you get that from people?! Shoutout to Anilia and GJames!!! I have a lot going on in my personal life right now and have been doing a lot of traveling. I’m not all the way back on track (I just had three slices of pizza :-/), but I’m gonna do this. We’re gonna do it together. I might fall off the wagon, but I’m no quitter. Maybe y’all can give me some tips. How do you stick with your healthy lifestyle? What gets you back on track?
I do know that I’ll be better tomorrow than I am today. Let me go in here and pack my healthy lunch for work…
So… this morning I was emailed a link to the article “Black Women and Fat” by Alice Randall posted in the Opinion section of the New York Times webpage. Actually, the link they sent me said “Why Black Women Are Fat” and since those are the words in the link, I’m not sure if the title was changed or what. Off top, an article that’s supposed to tell me why black women are fat doesn’t sit well with me. In general, articles that make generalizations about black women don’t sit well with me. Lately it seems that there have been a lot of articles, books, and specials on TV that talk about black women- our relationships (or lack thereof), our choices, and now our bodies. According to them I like to be fat, partially because my man likes me fat, but maybe I shouldn’t worry about that, because they also say that the black men are in jail and it’s unlikely that I’ll get married anyway. I’m totally getting off topic here… let me get back to the original topic of black women… and their fat.
I will say that I don’t refute the facts in the article. I just don’t like the parts that make up the opinion. The majority of black women ARE overweight. Black people DO have much higher rates of obesity than whites, and being overweight can be a risk factor for other serious medical issues. Alice Randall is a black woman, a well-respected author, and seems to be in the process of getting to her healthy weight. I respect her for all that, but this is the line that kills me:
too many experts who are involved in the discussion of obesity don’t understand something crucial about black women and fat: many black women are fat because we want to be.
I know a lot of black women. A whole lot. I have never, ever in my 27 years of life heard a woman tell me that she wants to be fat (except for those weird specials on TV). Have I heard women say they want to be thick? Have some curves? Not get skinny? Yes. Fat? Not so much.
But… what is “fat” though? A lot of the statistics are based on the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale- a crude scale based solely on height and weight that was developed using mostly white people. For myself, the scale says I need to be below 147 to be “normal.” Personally, I’ll be cool at about 165. Maybe this means I want to be fat. Studies have shown that black women have a lower percentage of body fat at the same weight in comparison to white women. Also, black women to carry more weight in the hips and thighs, which is a lower risk than carrying it in the tummy. (I could source this info, but I don’t feel like it right now. Check back. I’ll do it some other time.)
Another thing that I found particularly troubling:
How many middle-aged white women fear their husbands will find them less attractive if their weight drops to less than 200 pounds? I have yet to meet one. But I know many black women whose sane, handsome, successful husbands worry when their women start losing weight. My lawyer husband is one.
Ms. Randall, what women do you roll with?! I think this takes the idea of black men like their women “thick” to the extreme. I do think that men worry when their woman makes a drastic change- which could be in the form of a major body change or erratic behaviors while dieting. That’s fair. Men NOT finding me more attractive hasn’t been an issue on my weight loss journey. And aren’t people using Kim Kardashian as the standard of beauty these days? That’s a far cry from Twiggy. The obesity rates are climbing every year in the U.S. Being fat isn’t exclusively a black issue.
Maybe I just don’t get it. I do have to remind myself that this is an OPINION piece. We all have out different ones. What do y’all think? Are black women fat, because they want to be? Do black men take issue with their woman wanting to lose weight? And what’s the line between “fat” and “thick?” Is what’s culturally acceptable how most women base their goal weight?
After 2 years of being a participant in my running club’s Beginning Women’s Running Program, I volunteered to be a pace coach this year. When I joined the program, I could barely run a couple of blocks without having to take a break. This program gave me the strength and confidence to be a runner, and it’s something I wanted to be a part of doing for other women. The women in my pace group are absolutely fabulous. They’ve already gotten to the point of running over a mile and a half straight. I run with one of the back of the pack groups (about 14 min/mile). I wanted to work with the back of the back, because I know the feeling of being a slower beginner and wanted to be able to offer some motivation. I’m really enjoying being a pace coach, and I think my runners like me too. I like to think that they have the coolest pace coach in the program. I’ll let y’all know how it’s going!
Usually, I like to cook batches of things I can mix into other meals throughout the week. One of my fav things to do is roasting veggies. It’s super easy, and you can change it up with different spices, vegetables, or marinades. I use the veggies as a side dish or add a meat and brown rice for a stir fryish dish, but they can also work in a pita with some hummus as a veggie sandwich.
Veggies of choice: I used 2 zucchinis, 1 squash, 2 Roma tomatoes, and a container of baby bella mushrooms
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Seasonings of Choice (or have marinated the veggies)
Nonstick cooking spray
Cut up your veggies. Try not to cut yourself.
Spray your dish with a non-stick cooking spray.
Dump veggies on pan.
Season. Here I used sea salt and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (Bootleg Ms. Dash).
Drizzle on some olive oil.
Give your veggies a good rub down. I just toss them around with my hands to coat them with the oil and seasonings.
Stick in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.
See how easy that was?!?! I vary the veggies based on what I have in the fridge. This was my first time including tomatoes. I went to dinner with my mom this week at Logan’s and got the grilled veggie skewer as a side. They had tomatoes on it, and it was so good grilled that I decided to add it to mine. I like being able to cook something that’s good for me and flavorful without a lot of work. Try it! Let me know if you like them.