Beyond Black & White http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:00:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Four Ways to Start Living Well http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/four-ways-start-living-well/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/four-ways-start-living-well/#comments Thu, 26 Oct 2017 21:55:55 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=43444 Living a healthy lifestyle really does matter. It keeps your body physically fit, your mind mentally sharp and can help you live a better quality of life for longer. Fortunately, anyone can turn their lives around. By introducing a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient amounts of sleep and ending bad habits you can start to feel […]

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Living a healthy lifestyle really does matter. It keeps your body physically fit, your mind mentally sharp and can help you live a better quality of life for longer. Fortunately, anyone can turn their lives around. By introducing a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient amounts of sleep and ending bad habits you can start to feel good.

The many benefits of a good night’s rest

A lack of sleep, less than 6 hours per night, doesn’t just leave behind physical signs such as bags and dark circles under the eyes, it also affects your brain and body. This can increase stress levels and create false hunger, cause mood swings like irritability, and a loss of focus. When you get the proper amount of rest, between 7 and 8 hours nightly, you wake up alert and refreshed, things you learned the day before are processed and you can even feel creative. If you have trouble falling asleep, try avoiding late night alcoholic beverages, caffeine, and heavy foods. It may also be something as simple to fix as your mattress. If it’s older than 6 or 7 years, replacing it might help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. There are many reputable companies that offer a wide range to suit nearly anyone’s needs. Shop around and look for a mattress sale on the brand you like and then replace your old one.

Eat a well-balanced diet

With time being of the essence for many people, fast food seems to be the new norm. Unfortunately, these processed, quick fried indulgences a few times a week can cause serious health issues down the road, along with weight gain. Luckily, there are ways to slowly move away from that lifestyle and get back to good-for-you fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats. Take advantage of your freezer and crock pot and pre-cook and then freeze healthy meals. Go through your closets and refrigerator and remove soda, meals in a can, and unhealthy snacks. You’ll find that if you start slow and remove just a few things weekly that offer no health benefits, you’ll crave the junk less and enjoy the good stuff more. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll start to lose the weight you never thought you could.

 

Importance of staying physically fit

Not everyone gets a rush from going to the gym to work out. In fact, more dread it. Exercise is a key component in achieving a healthy existence. When you get your blood pumping and your body sweating you are removing fat and replacing it with muscle. Your body needs muscles to support you. Exercise also helps you to lose weight faster and keep it off and it de-stresses the mind replacing it with happy thoughts long after the workout. If you don’t like to go to the gym, then don’t. There are many other ways to get in shape. You can take long bike rides, speed walk or jog, swim or sign up for dance classes a few times a week. The important thing is to do something you like so that you stick with it.

Disposing of bad habits

Some bad habits are just annoying to others, but many are life-threatening to you. Smoking, abusing alcohol and taking pills you don’t need are all bad habits that can end your life prematurely. The good news is that you can quit anyone of them with assistance from family and friends. You do these things to fill the void, feel good or to fit in. Instead, find a hobby. Write, paint, bowl, do gardening, anything that makes you happy. If you find that you can’t quit on your own, there are rehab centers that can help you.

Life, for the most part, is what you make of it. If you eat good foods, get plenty of rest and exercise, and eliminate your bad habits, you’ll look good, feel good, and enjoy a better quality of life.

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A Surprising Reason to Grow Garlic http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/surprising-reason-grow-garlic/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/surprising-reason-grow-garlic/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 03:42:25 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=42469 Last fall, I decided to grow garlic and shallots in my garden beds. After all, I’d had some good success with growing onions, which was a delicious addition to my homemade spaghetti sauce. I was fascinated at the prospect of how one singular clove could grow into a round, whole, bulb. Little did I know […]

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Last fall, I decided to grow garlic and shallots in my garden beds. After all, I’d had some good success with growing onions, which was a delicious addition to my homemade spaghetti sauce. I was fascinated at the prospect of how one singular clove could grow into a round, whole, bulb. Little did I know that growing the “stinking rose” has some unexpected health and gardening benefits. The smell deters pests, and it turns out there’s some ingredients that assist in deterring everything from cancer, heart disease and even diabetes.

After I found out last week that my sugar levels were in the pre-diabetic stage, I decided to get even more serious about how I can stave off the disease that cost my grandmother one of her legs, and had gradually run down the vitality of my mother. New research suggests that the compounds in aid in lowering blood sugar levels. While we’re at it, the sulphur contained in garlic has anti-cancer properties and can lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease.

I can’t tell you how COOL it was to harvest these. You can eat them right out of the ground, but it’s best to cure them by allowing them to dry out for about two weeks in an airy, non-humid site away from direct sunlight. I had two bulbs ready so I braided the leaves so I could hang them out in the kitchen where I dry my other herbs. Makes it look rustic, huh? Chloe was complaining about the strong garlic smell on the first day but it’s dissipated a bit and is now pretty undetectable unless you come right up to it and sniff.

 

This is what the cloves look like undried. As they dry they will yellow a bit and the white skin you see will dry to the papery outer layer you’re used to seeing at the grocery store.

Aside from the garlic, take a look at what else is growing so far. Here’s full list:

Tomatoes
Garlic
Onions
Shallots
Basil
Oregano
Zucchini
Strawberries
Blackberries
Blueberries
Lemon
Celery
Eggplant
Apple
Potatoes
Romaine lettuce
Peaches*
Kumquats
Grapes
Swiss chard
Carrots
Sweet peppers
Rosemary
Mint
Sage
Chamomile
Lemongrass
Parsley
Cabbage
Artichoke
Chives

Yeah; it’s a lot.

https://youtu.be/hyrWKBlmIqs

Make sure you follow me on Instagram for all my latest gardening, health and beauty posts!

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Don’t Let the Body Acceptance Trend Give You An Excuse to Eat Crap Food! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/dont-let-body-acceptance-trend-give-excuse-eat-crap-food/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/dont-let-body-acceptance-trend-give-excuse-eat-crap-food/#comments Mon, 13 Mar 2017 06:40:03 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=42239 For the most part, I’ve only passively observed the body positivity/fat acceptance movement until I had an interesting conversation with a health food manufacturer about how there is reportedly a 7 percent decrease in obese people’s desire to lose weight, mostly because there’s more public acceptance of the condition. Sounds good, right? But…what if there’s […]

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For the most part, I’ve only passively observed the body positivity/fat acceptance movement until I had an interesting conversation with a health food manufacturer about how there is reportedly a 7 percent decrease in obese people’s desire to lose weight, mostly because there’s more public acceptance of the condition. Sounds good, right? But…what if there’s a more nefarious reason morbid obesity is being packaged as body acceptance? What it big junk food companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi or Nestle are fueling fat acceptance because they’re tired of losing market share to food companies who offer healthier options?

Think about it. When overweight people were dissatisfied with their weight and reported a desire to drop the pounds, the very food companies responsible for providing the junk turned around and offered us “diet junk.” But after a decade or so, the truth was revealed–the “diet junk” was worse than the actual junk. The notion of “better living through chemistry” was clogging our arteries, shooting our blood pressure through the roof, giving us diabetes, heart disease and strokes. We now know how bad refined, processes sugar is, and the fake stuff they gave us to substitute for the addiction they facilitated is much worse. All that gluten is bad too, but the substitutes can raise your blood sugar to rocket levels too, and those sharp highs and lows contribute to that barrel of a belly you can’t ever seem to flatten.

From the article:

Another possible cause for the lax perception of body weight is the increased social acceptability. With obesity becoming the norm, many feel less pressure to lose weight, Zhang noted.

One theory is that body acceptance trends on social media may have been wrongfully interpreted by a large number of people, who found a sense of comfort in their body image and chose the easy path toward better self-esteem.

While body acceptance advocates do promote body positivity, they do not however promote obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, the idea is that embracing who you are should be the cornerstone of a personal improvement plan, by applying a positive attitude toward your body to get better results.

– See more at: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/200696/20170308/why-americans-stopped-dieting-study-shows-drop-in-weight-loss-interest.htm#sthash.IVp1Xnv9.dpuf

So if people are getting off the junk food/diet junk food hamster wheel and a desire for temporary, fade diets are waning, why keep pushing the idea that a slim figure is ideal? Why not just encourage people to eat their McDonald’s triple Big Mac, 2 liter Coke and extra, extra large fries free of shame? It certainly would make the makers of said disgusting food very happy, now wouldn’t it?

Now don’t get me wrong–I’m all for people embracing the bodies God gave them. Not everyone is going to be an Instagram model with a 20-inch waist. I’m all for people not feeling pressure to remove their ribs so they can have a smaller waist, adding silicon in their breasts and butt so they can look like Jessica Rabbit. But is it really “loving your body” if you cram it with trash? Is it really an act of love to poison your liver, enlarge your heart, and wrap your organs with cancer-causing subcutaneous fat? I’m thinking that’s a big, fat NO.

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7 Qualities Gardeners Have that Make Them Marriage Material http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/8-qualities-gardeners-make-marriage-material/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/8-qualities-gardeners-make-marriage-material/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2017 12:50:45 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=41795 Hobbies can tell a lot about a person. For example, men who skydive, street race, or snow board might be adrenaline junkies. Coin collectors might be bookish. But there’s more than a few qualities that gardener’s have that make them excellent marriage material Let’s take a look. https://youtu.be/TlydfzsIHVU They’re Nurturing Gardeners have to plant, water […]

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Hobbies can tell a lot about a person. For example, men who skydive, street race, or snow board might be adrenaline junkies. Coin collectors might be bookish. But there’s more than a few qualities that gardener’s have that make them excellent marriage material Let’s take a look.

https://youtu.be/TlydfzsIHVU

They’re Nurturing

Gardeners have to plant, water and care for a tiny seed with extreme care in order for it to grow to it’s maximum potential. When a plant is “sick” with a disease or bug infestation, the good gardener identifies the problem and treatment when the plant is unable to take care of itself.

Patience and Delayed Gratification

Some plants take years to grow and bear fruit, and in the meantime, you have to have the patience to see the bigger picture and know that eventually, that plant you care for can and will give you a lifetime of fruit.

Planning and Organization

When it’s the fall and winter, gardeners are planning their spring and summer crops. In the spring and summer, they’re plotting their fall and winter gardens. They know which plants grow well together, and which ones hate to be near them. They have to have the foresight to measure out how tiny plantings could eventually take up a ton of space and organize their plots accordingly.

Consideration for the World 

A good gardener knows that little needs to go to waste when it comes to the circle of life. Old plants are ripped out and put into the compost bin to decompose and eventually feed new plants. While non-gardeners see kitchen scraps like banana peels and egg shells as trash, gardeners see fodder for a rich fertilizer.

We’re Generally Fit and in Good Health

Gardeners are super proud of the things they grow and never miss the opportunity to enjoy their fruits of their labor. All those fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, cancer-fighting antioxidants, protein and fiber which lends to general good health. The reduction of chemicals in processed foods allows for the body to operate at it’s optimal level.

They Believe in Doing for Self

People who grow their own food don’t depend on grocery stores to provide for them–they have an entire living farmers market in their backyard. If there’s a lot left over, a gardener might see an opportunity to sell or trade their crops within their communities.

Vegetable Gardeners are Really Great Cooks

Gardeners are some of the most creative and skilled cooks around, because they’re always researching and experimenting new ways of preparing the foods they harvest.

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Food to Get ‘That Glow’ Spriralized Zucchini with Veggies and Pine Nuts http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/food-get-glow-spriralized-zucchini-veggies-pine-nuts/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/food-get-glow-spriralized-zucchini-veggies-pine-nuts/#comments Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:10:14 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=41136 One of the most rewarding parts of growing my own food is being able to enjoy the bounty from garden to kitchen immediately. The benefit is obvious–you get fresh, nutritious produce immediately so there’s less loss of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. People are always complementing me on how my skin glows, but it’s not just […]

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One of the most rewarding parts of growing my own food is being able to enjoy the bounty from garden to kitchen immediately. The benefit is obvious–you get fresh, nutritious produce immediately so there’s less loss of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

People are always complementing me on how my skin glows, but it’s not just topical creams and potions and make up trickery. It’s what goes inside that counts the most.

I try to make the majority of food that I consume daily to be mostly comprised of raw or minimally processed fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Not only do these vegetables hydrate my skin, the vitamins and antioxidants these delectable items contain leave their mark on my health, hair, and skin.

The meal you see before you, spiralized zucchini, with onions, Bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, topped with basil and pinenuts was a happy accident. My husband’s coworker, who also has an organic garden, Had a bounty of zucchini and was giving them away. I had tons of sweet peppers, basil, and tomatoes to spare, So I thought that gently sautéing this mixture would make for a delightfully filling, low calorie lunch.

Definitely try this at home!

Food to Get ‘That Glow’ Spriralized Zucchini with Veggies and Pine Nuts

Food to Get ‘That Glow’ Spriralized Zucchini with Veggies and Pine Nuts

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt (to taste)
  • One medium to large crook necked yellow zucchini squash (regular green squash works just as well too); spiralized
  • half a medium onion, sliced
  • small sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • about 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful of basil leaves
  • handful of pine nuts, toasted

Instructions

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat to about 350 degrees
  2. Add the chopped garlic and saute until lightly browned and fragrant
  3. Add the onions and sweet pepper and saute until onions and peppers go slightly limp
  4. Add the spiraled zucchini and stir fry for about two minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a pasta bowl. Top with basil leaves and pine nuts, add sea salt to taste.
http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/food-get-glow-spriralized-zucchini-veggies-pine-nuts/

This is the tool I use to spiral my zucchini…

 

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Garden Challenge! Eating Every Meal from the Garden! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/garden-challenge-every-meal-garden/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/garden-challenge-every-meal-garden/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 23:11:24 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=40752 This time of year, when my garden is at the height of it’s fruiting, I find myself giving away so much produce to neighbors because there simply is too much of it! The tomatoes this year that I planted from seed have taken on a mind of their own, and I’ve just freed the vines […]

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This time of year, when my garden is at the height of it’s fruiting, I find myself giving away so much produce to neighbors because there simply is too much of it! The tomatoes this year that I planted from seed have taken on a mind of their own, and I’ve just freed the vines to do as they wish. But every two days or so, I get bounties like this:

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Look at those vibrant shades of red! You can almost see the nutrition pulsing from them, so it’s a shame to let any of it go to waste. Even with canning, drying, and juicing, there’s just so much tomato I can stomach–literally!

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This year the grapes have finally reached their potential, now that I know what the problem was from previous years…powdery mildew!! If you don’t know what that is, then you must not be growing grapes, cucumbers, melons or squash, because that pesky fungus is ever present, and if not controlled, will literally suck the life out of your plants and retard fruit growth. This year I staved off the mildew by spraying a sulfur solution every other week when grown emerged. So…now we have a grape overgrowth challenge as well!

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So I just decided yesterday to see how much of the stuff in the garden I can consume in one day without adding anything except the very minimum. I succeeded, but I’ll have to admit, the lack of protein and fat made me feel hungry. I needed some nuts or something I guess.

https://youtu.be/MM9kc2LFivU

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