HEALTHY EATING HABITS

Okay, women, I have to ask, “What are you feeding your families?” You are what you eat!!!!! Do you remember that old saying? Look at the food you are putting into your child’s mouth. French fries and chicken nuggets are saturated in grease. Grease and water do not mix right? Think of your blood like water. When grease is put into your system it doesn’t dissolve, it gets stuck on the walls of your arteries.  That can lead to your heart causing your arteries to build up film and eventually clog, just like a pipe in the sink with too much grease in it. This causes heart attacks. You won’t put grease down your sink, why? It will clog the pipes right, but yet, you will put it in your body. As if there are no pipes to clog inside of you. What about your arteries?  You need to think of them as pipes. The pipes down the sink you can replace, the ones in your chest you are stuck with for life.

I can’t front, I was raised on the same food as you but now I’m an adult. I looked around at my forefather’s and analyzed why they passed away: cancer, heart attack, high blood pressure, sugar diabetes. It’s in my bloodline, so I have to be smarter. I have to take their mistakes as a learning experience and not pass those poor eating habits on to my child. Not saying I’m going to cut soul food out of my life but learn how to cook it a different way and have a variety of different foods.

Teach your children that salads can be a meal. I am amazed at the number of black people who honestly don’t eat salad. In fact, there are a lot out there that have never even had one. Also, why are we so quick to take a laxative instead of eating foods that are high in fiber that would keep us regular? We all know the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away. They say that because the skin from the apple scrapes the intestinal lining as it goes down in our system, pulling away any build-up and helping the colon to remove it from our system.

 

Come detox with us!

www.TeamCherieJ.com

HOW TO RAISE YOUR CHILD ON A BUDGET

Raising kids does not have to cost a fortune. With just a little time and effort, you can provide yourself and your child with all life’s necessities: healthy meals, cool clothes, and enriched opportunities, and still stick to a budget.

  • Determine how much you can afford each month and stick to the budget.
  • Explain to your child that you live on a budget and family needs come before wants.
  • Shop around for the best deals on food and clothing. Take advantage of outlets, wholesale, and thrift stores.
  • Buy food in season and freeze bread and milk.
  • Make family meals and baby food from scratch. Save on the expense of formula and breast feed, if you can.
  • Pack school lunches instead of buying.
  • When you go out to dinner, split adult meals between children instead of ordering from the children’s menu.  It often comes out cheaper.
  • Use coupons for entertainment, restaurants, and haircuts. I love Groupon.com.
  • Visit parks, zoos and museums for inexpensive entertainment.
  • Find bargains at yard sales and in classified ads.
  • Let it be known that you like hand-me-downs. Keep them organized.
  • Investigate high-priced items by borrowing from a friend first.

AT AGE 30, THESE WERE THE RULES THAT I SET FOR MY LIFE

When I turned 30, I made a new list of rules for myself.

  1. No more letting people borrow money that they never pay back!
  2. No more paying for women to have abortions! 
  3. No more accepting collect calls!
  4. No more taking care of other people’s children!
  5. No more feeling guilty and doing things I don’t want to do!
  6. No more going places because other people want me to go!
  7. No more meeting people’s families so they can prove they know me!
  8. I was tired of being the birthday clown. (Yes, people ask for you to come over like I’m a birthday present to someone.  It’s weird)!
  9. No more fake friends.  I’d rather spend my days alone!
  10. No more dating groupies (male groupies are just as bad as women)!
  11. No more driving people around like I’m a taxi!
  12. And last but not least, no more putting other people’s needs in front of my own!

I received an inspirational text from my friend Keeland Ellis that I will never forget. He told me, “Have no friends who do not equal you. Watch those that you don’t know who are always wanting to be with you, and those who are wanting to be like you!”

I wish he would have told me this straight out of high school but he told me on time because not only did I hear every word of it, but I understand it now so I guess that’s an example of God’s time.

MY NOT SO LONELY VALENTINE’S DAY

Model : Sabrina Blanks

Most (70%) black women are single.  It’s not uncommon, so don’t be depressed anymore about spending Valentine’s Day with the person you love most: yourself.  Guess what else?  According to the Office for National Statistics, fewer people than ever are choosing to get married.  The number of 25 to 45-year-old women who live alone has doubled over the past two decades, with twice as many single women buying properties as single men.  So, what does this mean?  More and more women are choosing the single life and are doing (quite well) for themselves.

Alone does not have to mean lonely.

  • Go out to see a movie of your choice that is super girly and leaves you feeling good and happy.
  • Take yourself out to a three-course dinner at a restaurant that serves amazing food.
  • Put on your favorite Pandora channel and have a dance party.
  • Make a list of why you are beautiful, then post it on your bathroom mirror. Read it every time you look at yourself in the mirror.
  • Clean out your closet and donate all the clothes you don’t feel hot and healthy in to charity.
  • Read a feel-good book from cover to cover.
  • Take a luxurious bubble bath with organic essential oils or flower petals. Light some candles for ambiance.
  • Put on your pretty lingerie for you to enjoy and eat that box of chocolates bought for you by you!
  • Put on a little black dress and go out dancing.
  • Purchase some of your favorite healthy food and make yourself a delicious meal, eaten by candlelight.  Don’t forget that sexy glass of wine.
  • Take a dance class.
  • Have a spa day at home. Look up organic treatments you can give yourself, such as a mayo hair mask and cucumber slices on your eyes.
  • Play a musical instrument.
  • Take a yoga class.
  • Enjoy the quiet and Meditate.
  • Write a love letter to yourself.
  • Make a vision board of the kind of things you want to attract into your life.
  • Deep clean a room in your house.
  • Create some artwork.

The day is about love. Take the time to love yourself and do something that is fulfilling to you!

GUEST BLOG – GOING TO WAR FOR MY BLACK CHILD

This week we are featuring a guest blog from Serrieh H. of It’s Hard out Here for a Hippie.  Read about her experience raising a Black child in America.

 

I am of Lebanese and German decent. My daughter is Black.  I can say this even though my heritage is not African American. Because in this society having one Black parent means she is Black.

Why is that? There is a saying in the Black neighborhood I used to live, “Black blood is so strong because Black people were the first race on this earth.” It’s a positive idea that can empower our Black youth, and I do acknowledge the scientific fact that the first people that walked this earth were African. It’s sad to say, I do not personally think that is why my child is considered Black in America.

There are some deep rooted stems of systematic racism that exists in our society today that no one can deny. Facts are indeed facts. I say all of this so that a complete picture is painted when I give you my perspective on raising a Black child as a non- black woman in America. It doesn’t just stop at educating yourself on how to brush those beautiful wondrous black curls or how to keep their skin from getting ashy but you must also be ready for WAR.

Ready for the war that American society has raised on the Black woman. A war that no matter how much we as fair skinned women empathize or fight with our black sisters, we will NEVER get the full scope of understanding on what they go through on a daily basis. So if we do not have that complete understanding, how we will give our daughter or son the tools she/he really needs in order to cope with being Black in America.

Now don’t get the two confused.  I love my daughter just as much as a Black mother would. I want the best for her and want her to have all of her dreams come true. I suffer when she suffers and when she is in pain I want to take it away from her. I can teach her right from wrong and how to be kind and generous to all creations on this earth. I can teach her to think for herself and be courageous and proud to be a strong woman, giving her a sense of independence and self-esteem that so many of our young women lack today. I can give her the understanding of something greater than us, that we humble ourselves to teaching her deep spirituality while also showing her how to have some fun too!

If you are not a person of color and you are reading this, I am almost sure you are probably thinking, well damn isn’t that enough? Any child would be blessed with a parent that can give them all of that. But the truth is, I can give her even more, but I cannot teach her how to be Black in America.

They day I figured this out I hate to tell you was not some epic moment when I was spiritually awakened with this self-knowledge. I was actually at Mc Donald’s in a white part of town and it was winter which in Los Angeles may not be considered winter at all for most. It was a time that the beaches became empty and that natural tan that fair skinned Southern Californians are known for was fading away.

My baby, who was almost four at the time, although pretty fair skinned for a bi-racial child held her tan tightly around her body and kept her deep caramel glow for most of winter.  We just finished ordering and all of the sudden this White lady who was about forty came up to me. She made her way through the crowd and left the line to approach me and say, “Wow, your baby’s skin is sooo amazing, how do you keep her that color, does she tan?”, in a shrill pitched voice which I noticed caught the attention of several other patrons.

I am looking at this damn lady waiting for her to smile or laugh because I know she had to be telling me a really distasteful joke that she must have thought was appropriate to tell. But she didn’t move a muscle, instead she just stared at me in my face as I was knelt down adjusting my daughter’s coat looking up at her. She was dead serious and was almost demanding an answer from me as if I was her child. She looked down at my daughter with such disdain and disgust, that I knew her comment came from a much darker place than just not knowing any better.

It was at that moment I knew I could prepare my daughter to conquer the world but I could NOT prepare her to be black in America.  I could not prepare her for what it would feel like when someone like this lady went to war with the color of my child’s skin.

As much as I felt like physically pushing this lady out of my face and really going to war, I knew I had to teach my daughter ways to handle racism without her fists. As a Black person in America, a physical altercation could lead to much more than just night in jail. I had to give her an arsenal of words to use as weapons to protect herself from the undeniable fact of what she would be facing as a Black woman in America. I needed to show her how to defend herself without losing herself in the process as she entered the battle field of American society.

I shot a few choice words back at this lady to show my daughter not to ever accept such racism when it is fired directly at her. I stood up slowly, fiercely facing her woman to woman, got really close to her and said in a calm and steady voice, “Are you f**king kidding me, do I take my kid to tan? How ignorant could you really be and who the hell would take their four-year-old child to a tanning salon?” I then yelled so everyone could hear me that was already trying to listen, “Her skin is so amazing because she is mixed with beautiful strong black blood!” I swung my daughter onto my hip, grabbed my food and stared at everyone in the eyes daring them to say something to me as I stormed out. I was shaking trying to get in the car and to be honest I was bewildered, upset and then completely enraged. It was my first of many wars that I would battle for the color of my child’s skin.

I realized it would not be enough just to teach her not to see the color of someone’s skin and give her the knowledge that we are all created equal although it seemed the right thing to do. The cold hard truth was it would actually be a disservice to my child as she would not have the privilege of just not seeing color.

I now knew how important and crucial my role as a non-black mother would be to my Black child. I was going to have to fight for my child, go to war for my Black child and make sure she had the tools to know how to be black in America.

How did I do that? The first step was to accept the fact that it is ok to need a village and that I could not do this alone. I had to give her some sense of black community. She needed to feel her roots with other black people. She needed not only her strong mother in her life as role model but she needed strong black women and men in her life as role models too. I realized by not providing this environment to my child, I was actually taking away more from her than I could ever give her in replace.

I also taught her about her heritage and what black people went through in the time of slavery. The triumphs and battles they fought so she could be here and feel like she actually might have a fighting chance. I never let her forget she was black but also showed her the strength and beauty of that part of her heritage. It is important to make sure to highlight the great positivity and unity that the black community had and has today. This is something you cannot get from the main stream media but I promise it is there, you just need to be open to seeing and seeking it. I showed her that I loved all people and especially had a respect for my black brothers and sisters, embracing the magic that they have in them which in turn empowered her. I filled her with knowledge of not only the oppression black people went through but also the amazing accomplishments and the great attributes they contribute to society as a whole.

In essence I celebrated her blackness.

DO YOU HAVE A TEENAGER?

Adolescence is the time of identity development, when relationships and school identities contribute in different ways. As adolescence proceeds, thoughts about relationships increase, prospects about college emerge, and thoughts formalize about occupational choices. One significant differentiating characteristic between childhood and adolescence lies within the realm of friends and peers. As the role of parents as primary caregivers starts to fade, peers begin to replace parents as the most important reference point in their lives.

Although many parents have negative reactions to the word “teenager,” parents must remember the major task for adolescents is to reevaluate who they are and how their bodies and identities have changed. They strive to establish final independence from their families and others their age to become their own person. They struggle to understand the meaning of life and how to interact with others of the opposite sex. They are faced with answering the question of how they want to spend the rest of their lives or if they are going to prepare for college or directly enter an occupation. How they see themselves strongly influences their options for their future. They strongly desire group acceptance more so than the middle years and become aware of their insecurities. Teenagers are faced with group pressures, such as conforming to group opinions in order to “fit in.” Withstanding some group pressures comes easier for adolescents who feel they are more adequate and worthier, which demonstrates their level of confidence in themselves. Parents must remember that intense rebellion and disrespect is not necessarily a part of adolescence, but a cry for independence. As parents prepare for their children to progress into adulthood and leave the home, they should be encouraged to see themselves first as individuals and second as parents, again reinforcing their sense of autonomy and self-esteem.

 

Symptom Checklist For Parents

  • Does your child put himself down constantly?
  • Does your child exert minimal effort toward tasks because he doubts he can be successful?
  • Does your child act shy around others?
  • Is your child overly dependent on you to take care of him?
  • Does your child worry things will not work out?
  • Is your child afraid to try new tasks?
  • Does your child feel overwhelmed by school and life?
  • Is your child pessimistic about the future?
  • Does your child compare himself to others and feel inadequate?
  • Would your child like to be someone else?
  • Does your child constantly doubt he can achieve anything?
  • Does your child take things out on others?
  • Does your child lose his temper easily?
  • Does your child constantly argue about trivial issues?
  • Does your child think he is unimportant?

If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, your child is most likely experiencing self-esteem difficulties and would benefit from interventions targeted toward increasing his sense of self and outlook on life. Recommended interventions include utilizing professional services for individual or family counseling, group therapy, and parent workshops.

THE MIDDLE YEARS

Children ages six to twelve are developing their identity from family reflections and are not yet evaluating themselves for distinct adolescent or puberty changes. The middle years are an extension of the first six, but focus more intently on autonomy, mastery, and defining who they are from relationships outside the family, such as playmates. Overall acceptance from their playmates and mastery of physical and social skills add to a child’s increasing sense of self. Children ages eight to ten need to be exposed to an adult role model of the same sex. For girls, this is usually easier because most divorced mothers have primary custody and women, such as elementary school teachers generally surround children more. In divorced families there may be fewer options for boys and it is rare that a distant relative may fulfill this role. If role models are not readily available, children may seek out a scout leader, television hero, or same-sex sibling, but it is important to seek out a substitute so the child has an adult model to follow.

The middle years are a time for developing physical, social and academic competence. Parents should become familiar with their child’s activities at school and help them with their homework. Parents should encourage their children to interact socially with other children their age and join activity groups that interest them. Allow children to invite their friends into your home and make them feel welcome. Refrain from assigning too many chores or responsibilities to your child, allowing time for him to spend time with friends and allow his sense of self to grow.

THE EARLY CHILDHOOD YEARS

Children up to the age of two are unaware of how to behave and are used to hearing the word “No.” At this stage, a parent’s goal is to help the child become autonomous and acknowledge that he is separate and individual. Although this is the stage of the “terrible twos,” keep in mind the child’s rebellious behavior is not to demonstrate disrespect, but rather recognize he is separate from his parents. Adjusting a child’s environment to fit their needs and eliminating as many frustrations as possible can help develop a sense of autonomy.  Childproofing the home is one way to remove frustrating obstacles for the child. Also allow for adequate time to switch tasks by giving advance notice of when the child will be expected to eat lunch, brush his teeth, get dressed, go shopping, etc. When asking your child to complete a task, such as brushing their teeth, use positive suggestions like, “Now it’s time to let the toothbrush clean our teeth,” instead of “Brush your teeth.”

Once children realize they are separate individuals, they will strive to be capable at mastering tasks themselves. Children ages three to six begin to realize they receive attention from others as they accomplish new tasks. Parents must be careful not to give tasks beyond their level of mastery, or feelings of incompetence will arise. Parents should provide opportunities for success for their children. Suggested tasks include using step stools to reach light switches and cabinets, low hanging hooks to help hang their clothes, plastic dinner dishes for meals, furniture that fits their body size, and space for outdoor recreational activities such as running, jumping, and climbing. Keep in mind that mastery of skills and tasks instills a sense of confidence in children.

During the first six years, children attempt to develop a sense of autonomy, attachment, and mastery, as they are also learning to accept and understand their bodies, language, and the rules of the home. Although it is difficult at times to accept the noise, dirt, and messes children make, try to remain focused on providing safe outlets for children’s growth while protecting your home and peace of mind.

LEARN TO LET GO AND LIVE

I often remind myself, the picture in an artist mind is not often what’s translated on canvas, but it doesn’t make it less beautiful. ~ Cherie

 

I had to learn to let go and live. Life just doesn’t always move as planned no matter how long I spend working on the details. I am a stickler for schedule and being on time. From what I have learned, most of the world is NOT the same. No matter how much I prepare and break my neck to have things fall into place, often they just don’t, for reasons far out of my control. Someone always cancels and someone is always late. I expect to be paid on a certain date and I am not. It drives me insane and eats me up inside. I am by nature one of those people who does exactly what I say I am going to do. I have to accept the world is just not like me. In return, I am slowly learning to let go! I am learning to let go of the things I can’t control and giving it all to the universe.  (Maybe it’s my inner hippie.) I am learning how to find the beauty in every situation.

Just this week, I had 2 telephone conference calls just flake, and a nutritional consultation rescheduled last minute. I homeschool my daughter, so I busted my ass to make sure she was finished with school by 1 p.m., in order to take these calls. Had lunch ready to go so she would be preoccupied eating and watching YouTube, so the callers didn’t have to hear her talking in the background. While a part of me was fuming at the fact that they flaked… I had to take a moment and smile because I was able to hang out and eat lunch with my baby, where usually I would have just eaten the leftovers off her plate before I did the dishes and ran out the door to take her to Tae Kwon Do.

I was able to sit down next to her at the table and we talked and laughed while we ate. I listened to her tell me all about her LOL dolls and which were her favorites and why. I had to remind myself if I were on that conference call this would’ve been a moment that I would have missed with her. I smiled because I was able to be in the moment with her. Looking in her eyes and seeing the excitement made me realize I was exactly where I needed to be at that moment. I now get the saying let go, live life!

PACKING THE HOSPITAL BAG FOR LABOR & DELIVERY

Oh, I remember when I was pregnant it was such a big deal to me packing my hospital bag and checking it 10 times to have everything I thought I needed. I watched every YouTube video I could find to see what other moms-to-be had packed. Long story short, most of the stuff in my bag, I never used! (Just like when I go on vacation.)

The best advice I got when packing my bag came from my friend Jenn.  She said, “Girl, forget packing underwear or trying to keep the mesh ones they have at the hospital. Instead, try some Depends and put your pads inside of them.  That way when you bleed on them, NO BIG DEAL, just throw them away!” Even the nurses at the hospital thought it was great advice.  They had never seen anyone wear them before but it was comfortable and I didn’t have to worry about leaking on the sheets or messing up my clothes. They kept me from overheating and sweating down there and didn’t hurt the staples and stitches from my c-section. I also brought my own pajamas! Between those Depends and pajamas, I was a happy camper during my 4 day hospital stay!