Juicing for Beginners-Part I

I was first introduced to juicing about 4 years ago and have grown to prefer drinking my veggies and fruits over eating them, mainly because they surprising taste better as juice, but also because I am able to fully absorb more nutrients. Before I ever made my first juice, I read “21 Pounds in 21 Days” by Dr. Roni DeLuz. This book did a phenomenal job of explaining illness, how our bodies work, and how to restore our bodies back to an alkaline state. It also went into detail about her 21 day juice detox and came equipped recipes as well. Single handedly, this book is responsible for opening my eyes to the world of self-healing via honoring our temple with foods provided by nature, and I highly recommend that anyone interested in taking a proactive stance in their health make time to read this publication.

Cover of "21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Marth...

Cover via Amazon

I first became interested in alternative health during the process of my daddy being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. When the doctors were reluctant to answer my question as to why/how a mass—as they refused to even use the word cancer at first—could grow inside a person’s body for years and that individual be totally unaware; I started conducting my own research and essentially learned that it’s because we consume “food” that our bodies weren’t created to digest. When our body is unable to properly break down what we consume, then the matter remains and sits inside of us, quite often turning cancerous, among other things.

I am often reluctant to have conversations with individuals about this because we are so programmed to believe that we can (A) take a magic pill to alleviate any health issue we have and (B) we can just pray about it and hope for the best. Both of these options exclude the acceptance of responsibility for the things we eat. We don’t want to believe we don’t have to get sick, because in the presence of this belief lies the responsibility of ceasing to eat what we’ve always eaten. No one wants to hear it’s their fault they got sick—that the years of eating all of the sweets, fast foods and processed foods have come to back to haunt us. Yes, the entity designed to regulate our food, and interestingly, also our drugs-the FDA holds some responsibility in ensuring that the “food” provided to us is safe, however when we learn that the bottom line of business is money and not health; we can’t continue to blindly push the blame.

Ok, this post was supposed to be about juicing because I’ve been asked by several people to give them some tips on how to get started, but in my quest to give some back ground information; I’ve gotten off on a tangent. Nevertheless, I hope the preceding information has helped someone or at the very least sparked enough curiosity that it propels you to conduct some research of your own to better understand the connection between what we consume and the alarming numbers of people who are getting sick these days.  If you are a patron of the “I gotta die of something” tribe, I beg you to change your membership, as I watched my daddy die a death so painful that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

God didn’t create us to suffer. In life or in death. Love yourself enough to become informed and make the necessary changes. My eating is far from perfect and every day is struggle because deprogramming is a difficult process, however little changes here and there is better than slowly dying in ignorance.

I will write a part 2 containing some tips to get you starting with juicing.

 

Sincerely,

Shanika

 

loveyourself

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From Resolutions to a Lifestyle Change

blossomingbutterfly

I had the awesome opportunity to be on Vanessa Bell Calloway’s show, “That’s So Very Vanessa,” ( http://www.blogtalkradio.com/vanessabellcalloway/2013/12/29/a-new-year-a-new-you) where we discussed how to stick to New Year Resolutions. What follows is a comprehensive write-up outlining how you can go from making resolutions to implementing a lasting lifestyle change!

 

Around this time every year, we are inundated with those who resolve to make some life-altering changes with the incoming of the New Year and without fail; the resolutions become obsolete by the end of February. Any change worth making must be accompanied by a shift in one’s lifestyle, becoming a natural occurrence of your everyday routine. The following outlines the steps to take if you are serious about making positive changes in your life.

Before embarking on what items on which you need to improve, you must first ask yourself why you want to make the change and the answers to the questions must be substantial and not just surface, shallow reasons.  Asking yourself why allows you to set the intention that serves as the foundation on which your lifestyle change will be grounded.

  1. Write down your “why” and decide that nothing and no one will stop you from accomplishing this goal.

2.  Write down your big, overall long-term goals. These are the types of things that      will take you a significant amount of time to complete.

3.  Write down the small, short-term goals that will guide you in executing your            long-term goals (each goal you set must have a bigger purpose).

4.  Write out your daily plan/schedule. Outline what you will do each day that will      aide you in fulfilling your life’s goals. Make sure the items on this list are            reasonable and realistic.

~There is power in writing, as it allows you to become personally invested in the process, in addition to serving as an accountability tool.  It also serves as a sense of pride as you complete each item on your list. Remain flexible and know that you can always make changes to your lists as needed. Make sure your goals and plan are placed in a prominent place in your home and/or work so that you can see them each day.~

5.   Have a contingency plan. Expect obstacles and have a plan in place to       overcome them. Having a plan will stop you from giving up whenever a setback occurs. Success is the result of conquering your obstacles.

6.   Confront your demons. Many times we give up on goals because we don’t want to face the thoughts that have held us back. Our thoughts have been programmed within us and are manifested through our actions by way of poor decision making. Therefore, our actions have created our unfavorable circumstances. When you’ve faced your short comings, it’s important to figure why and from where you developed this series of beliefs. Typically they come from our childhood, family, friends, or have developed from a traumatic experience or a series of repeated disappointments in life. Confronting, acknowledging and embracing your demons is the first step in conquering them. Be honest with yourself during this process.

7.   Replace your demons. Put positive thoughts where the negative ones exist. Forgive yourself and others of everything bad that has happened to you. Forgiveness frees you and releases you from the bondage that has held you back. Instead of running away from the things and people that have hurt you, run toward the things you want to leave as your legacy.

8.  Surround yourself with people who have a similar mind set and want the same things out of life as you. Those who are fully committed to themselves and their success and have a healthy dose of discipline will be a great support system for you.

9.   Invest in professional help. It’s healthy to have unbiased, trained help-someone who has no preconceived notions of you and is there solely to help you achieve all you desire out of life. Companies invest in their employees to improve so they can better fulfill their roles, with a goal of increasing the business’ bottom line. Why not take the time to invest in your personal brand, making improvements that will help your personal bottom line?

10.   Put a reward system in place. Affirming yourself daily will empower you to continue to work towards your goals in life. As you accomplish each task, reward yourself with something you enjoy doing.

 

Giving in to the automatic habit of making New Year’s resolution without fully acknowledging that real, significant change is a process that occurs over time will set you up for failure. If you are serious about improving, commit to making a lifestyle change, so that from month to month and year to year you are merely amending your goals lists.   Remember to always be kind to yourself, as each day is an opportunity to get it right. Don’t give up on yourself because you deserve the very best!

 

Sincerely,

Shanika

 

Reconnecting: A Year in Review

Greetings!

I haven’t posted in quite some time, so I wanted to take a moment to catch up with my blog site followers! What have I been doing, you ask????

(1) Well, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I had a baby in July of 2012, which means I now have a 17 month old toddler!!! Those of you who are parents know how demanding this age group can be, however I can honestly say my little girl has been the best challenge I’ve ever had to face, as she’s taught me so much about what really matters in life. It’s amazing how we adults complicate things and make life more burdensome than it was meant to be. The keys to happiness as taught by my princess: naps (proper rest), cartoons (laughter), snacks (proper nutrition), play time (working out), learning and improving new skills (work/career), and lots of hugs and kisses (love). Everything you do each day should fill your life with joy. Anything contrary should be eliminated immediately. This isn’t to say you won’t have hurdles or unhappy moments (temper tantrums), however it is to say that even in your darkest moments, you remember the light that exists within.

(2) In February 2013, I received my LLC status from the state. In March 2013, I completed my training as a Certified Professional Life Coach. In April 2013, I officially launched my life coaching practice, Infinite Fortitude LLC. Since then, I have been promoting my business and establishing my brand. I’ve met some wonderful people along the way and I’m excited for all that is in store as I continue to build. Take a moment to visit my website and if you or someone you know is looking for personal and/or professional development, as I’d love to partner with you and become your Life Coach! www.infinitefortitude.com

(3) In June 2013 I became an independent partner of Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry. Yes, I have 2 businesses. 🙂 Years ago, I had a successful jewelry business and opted to begin again because I loved the connection I made with the women with whom I crossed paths. And I looove jewelry! I’m also a firm believer that we should never only have one stream of income. If you or someone you know is looking for some fabulous jewelry to add to your collection, you’re interested in earning free jewelry, or you’ve always wanted to own your own business, visit my website to learn more! www.tracilynnjewelry.net/shanikaw

(4) I became a blogger for Pull Magazine, a publication for emerging leaders. So yes, I have been writing (just not as often for this blog)! To peruse my pieces in addition to the writing of others, visit the website! www.pullmag.com

As you can probably tell, my life is pretty much baby and business! 🙂

While I’m not here as often as I would like, I appreciate you for taking the time to follow this blog and I would love to remain connected to each and every one of you! As such, please feel free to “like” my page on Facebook, as I offer daily empowerment, motivation, and inspiration there. www.facebook.com/infinitelyshanika

Also, I was given the AMAZING opportunity to interview with Vanessa Bell Calloway, a very talented actress who’s work I’ve always enjoyed. She has a blog talk radio show entitled, “That’s so Very Vanessa” and the show on which I am a guest will air this Sunday, December 29th at 6pm EST. Take a moment to listen, as we will be discussing tips on how to stick to those New Year’s resolutionshttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/vanessabellcalloway  

So, those are the things that have been consuming my time. What have you been up to?

Thanks for your support and blessings for a Happy and Joyous Holiday season!

Sincerely,

Shanika fbcombologo3

Past-Forward

FOR YOU LOVE PEACE .......... MAMITA SUFFER PA...

FOR YOU LOVE PEACE ………. MAMITA SUFFER PAIN SKY ANGEL REMEMBER FOREVER REST …….. (Photo credit: LUZ-2011)

One of the worst feelings in the world is when you are confronted with someone from your past and through the conversation, it becomes obvious this person still sees you as the old you. Further, it’s painful to be engaged in an experience with someone you care about, only to see they are stuck in the past and haven’t grown much over the years. I am the type of person who values self-reflection and growth and I want that for every person, as it’s life’s greatest gift to be able to see your authentic self, confront that person, work on your flaws, and grow into the next best version of you. It’s liberating, exhilarating, and the ultimate orgasm is the ability to look back and see from how far you’ve come.

It hurts my heart to be in the presence of someone who doesn’t know how awesome they are because they are stifled by the pains of their past. Pain that prohibits them from a clear vision of reality. Pain that has fermented and grown into anger that causes them to lash out against anyone who challenges their warped sense of truth. Anger that separates what is from what could be…

 

 

Dear past:

Although dissolution is heart-breaking, the new and improved me can’t be a part of your life right now because we are unequally yoked. This inequality will cause me to revert back to unhealthy behaviors and I refuse to move backwards because I know I deserve better, as I want nothing but the best for me. I am no better than you, we are just merely in different places right now. Maybe we will meet again in the future, maybe not. I am not who you think I am and I am saddened you can’t see that I’ve grown. Nevertheless, I wish you the best, but I am moving forward and I pray with every fiber of my being that you are able to do the same.

With love.

pastforward

 

Cry, Just Because

As the mother of an almost 5 week old, you can imagine the amount of crying I have to endure :).  She cries after I’ve exhausted every possibility of what could be wrong, which can be the most frustrating of all because as a parent; I instinctively want to wipe out all that is wrong and make everything okay for my baby. When she doesn’t stop crying, I wonder what I an doing wrong and in many ways, I feel like a failure as a mother. During one of our quiet moments (i.e. she was asleep-lol), I remembered a DVD that was given to me by the hospital entitled “The Period of Purple Crying” (additional information can be found athttp://www.purplecrying.info/sections/index.php?sct=1&).

Reading the information and watching the DVD helped me to understand crying as a natural part of an infant’s development. It gave me the validation I needed because it explained that babies cry, even when nothing is wrong. What a relief that was for me!!! After digesting that information, I wanted to soothe and comfort her even more because her cry and my responses to it are a natural part of our bonding and her growth in trusting I will be there whenever she needs me. Granted, I wasn’t ever going to stop trying to comfort her, but knowing I wasn’t doing anything wrong was a big weight lifted from my shoulders. I began to welcome her cries as opportunities to make things better, even though everything is already alright. What an amazing feeling~to make things better when nothing is wrong!!!

In analyzing the “crying for no reason” factor, I began to wonder why we as adults need reasons to cry? Why is crying often viewed as a sign of weakness? As refreshing and relieving as a cry can be, why must something happen first? We often wait until all of our frustrations are bottled up before we explode into a burst of crying. Or something incredibly remarkable must happen for us to cry tears of joy. Why cant we cry “just because” as a way to release or rejoice? I wonder if babies have got it right and perhaps we need to take a page out of their book.

Something to ponder.

Reflections of Honor

Lately I have been reflecting, looking at from where I’ve come, where I am now, and where I want to be in the future. Not surprisingly, I recently celebrated another birthday, an opportune time for reflection, but this year was a little bit different because a short time before my birthday I received some disturbing news. This news should not have been disturbing, as it’s something I suspected, but because I allowed myself to deflect from the situation, I consequently never dealt with the issues head on.

So like I normally do, I searched myself first to discover why this information upset me and I admitted to myself that I was upset because the other parties in this situation did not handle it the way I would have. Sounds selfish, however the way I would have handled it (and had been handling it until confronted) was in a way that honored each person involved, meaning I didn’t make any disparaging remarks and whenever someone attempted to make a negative remark, I would rephrase it and make the circumstances appear more positive than they were. This is typically how I deal. Very rarely do I play the role of victim in an attempt to make others look bad. I also see the glass as half full and if I am involved in something that includes people I care about, even when they have done something wrong; I do my best to put a positive spin because I know that everything is cyclical and if I was ever confronted with a similar situation or by one of the parties; I don’t want them to have the ability to say I was involved in feeding any negativity about them.

 

I feel like I’m rambling and I hope this make sense.

 

The bottom line is that when relationships go south and dissipate and it involves people I truly care about, even if we parted ways on a bad note; I refuse to say anything negative or entertain any negative comments made about these people, especially if they are not around to defend themselves or give their points of view. To me, that honors the time we were on good terms with one another. Handling situations as such feeds the integrity of the good times that were had. It also leaves the door open to reconnect and repair should paths cross again, given the cyclical nature of life.

 

So it hurt me when I found out that not only were negative remarks about me entertained by those I once held a close relationship with, but the remarks given were not even true. Lord knows I have not always handled situations the best or responded in a way that honored the relationship, so for me to grow to this point is a gigantic step forward in my becoming a better version of Shanika. However, my opinion of these people was so high that it threw me for a loop that they would outright lie on me. Sounds naive, I know.

 

Fast forward several days and I am blessed to see another birthday, which resulted in an outpouring of love. Through several birthday messages I received, I was able to see how far I have come and I was able to again reflect on what it means to be a friend and I became even more thankful for my relationships that have stood the test of time, distance, and disagreements. These relationships were able to withstand because we never hit below the belt, even during the worst arguments~arguments that often led to lapses in time when we would communicate with one another. Thankfully we were able to see that any hurtful remarks made or actions taken were a reflection of what the offender was going through or where he/she was at that point in their journey. It was never about the person/people that received the lashing. No one is perfect, however I am eternally grateful for those people who have always accepted me for me, forgiven me for my infractions, and valued our relationship enough not to allow it to be destroyed by negativity, lies and/or rumors.

 

In moving forward, I hope to continue to get better with how I treat those I call friend. I pray for forgiveness from and healing for anyone I’ve hurt. And I pray for continued growth of the relationships I have with friends who have proven to be true. I am definitely honored to have you as such.

 

God bless.

 

The Audacity of Motherhood

I’m 33 years old and I’ve become a mother for the first time on July 10, 2012.

I delivered my baby girl after a 39 week and 1 day pregnancy.

For the majority of those 39 weeks I like many other expectant mothers, was subjected to countless amounts of unsolicited advice. However well-intentioned, it became rather annoying, often leaving me with a feeling of being robbed of my experience/my journey into motherhood. I get that mothers want to share their lessons learned, but boundaries need to be set, as each pregnancy is as different as the women carrying these babies. The eagerness to give advice often takes away from the joy of learning about and experiencing the abundant, mysterious wonders in carrying a child. Further, uninvited advice can come across as condescending.  

Even now that my daughter is a whopping 15 days old (lol), the advice does not stop (not that I thought it would) and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sick of it all by now. I’m the type of person who will ask a question and solicit opinions if there is something I want to know, therefore someone telling me what to do without provocation is beyond absurd to me. “If you want to preach a sermon, go to church” has become my new motto.

If I want to go shopping prior to my 6 week check up, I will.

If I want to spend $1000 dollars on an outfit my daughter will only wear once, I will.

If I want my child’s first language to be Cantonese, it will.

If tomorrow I want to drive myself to get some ice cream, I will.

If I want to stop breast feeding my child, I will.

If I want to home school, I will.

If I don’t want you to hold my child, you won’t.

If I don’t want my child to play with your child, she won’t.

If I don’t want my child to play with dolls, she won’t.

If I don’t want my child to watch cartoons, she won’t.

If I want my child to listen to gangsta rap, she will.

If I decide my child is better off starting a business instead of going to college, she will.

If I allow my child to watch a reality television show, that is my prerogative.

If I want to be a yellow flower in a sea of red flowers, I will.

No matter what outlandish scenario I can think of, the point is that each person who becomes a parent has tough decisions to make as it relates to the rearing of their offspring and I happen to believe most parents do the best they can for their children. While their choices may differ from yours, that doesn’t make them wrong or their decision of lesser quality than yours. Outside of her father, whose opinion I value tremendously, I really don’t want to hear what anyone has to say about the choices I make as a mother for my child. This may sound crass, however if you think about it; who put YOU in charge of telling mothers what to do? Who died and made you queen mother, hunty?!?! Lol! I’m certain that if a roundtable discussion was had, the group could think of some ways in which you could be a better mother, so think about that before you offer your two cents on another woman’s situation.

Ultimately, I’ve decided I will have the audacity to make whatever decisions I deem necessary for me and my family and I won’t allow the input of others to cloud my better judgement or make me feel as if I have to be like other mothers out of fear of being labeled a “bad mother.”

If there is an area in which I need help, I will ask. Otherwise, don’t tell me anything. This is my journey and I ask that you respect that.