Monday, February 26, 2007

Life happens...

I realize that I haven't written in a while. I am so very busy, and I love it this way. In typical Raydiance fashion I have three gigs, a main one and two PT jobs. I need the extra money because of this baby. I also just like to stay busy. Why not? I'm young and still have the energy.

Speaking of seems like so many of my peers are dealing with real life situations (Did you all hear Big Boi's voice as you read that?) I know that we are all "adults" but sometimes that reality escapes me. I guess the repercussions of our actions (or inaction), positive and negative, have become weighty in the face of the increasing amount and kind of responsibility that we acquire as we grow older. On one hand it is depressing, on the other it reinforces my decision to take my life, and all of its facets, more seriously than I have in the past. As I've said before, it started with my decision to become serious about losing weight but, the benefits of my newly discovere discipline have affected all areas of my life.

This week I gained a 1/2 lb. according to the scale at my job, 1 lb. according to my scale at home which I use to track my weight in this blog. I will attribute that to the fact that I have added strength training to my regime and NOT to the half a bag (medium size one) of pretzel slims that I killed last night. I love pretzels and I KNEW I should not have bought them, but all I can do is just do better next time.

This week I took a new exercise class called Kukuwa which is a cardio workout (designed by an African woman) that incorporates African and Latin dance and I LOVED IT. The creator has a contract with Bally's to preview the workout throughout the country and if the members like the class it will be added to the schedule. I had so much fun, I felt like I was in the club and I have not had that intense of a workout in a loooong time. Well, a couple of times this past Fall but we won't get into that ;-). If it comes to my gym there will be a $5 surcharge because it will be considered a premium class. I will willingly pay the fee; I will be supporting not only a Black owned business but a female owned business as well :-). If you are a Bally's member and she comes to your gym GO TO THAT CLASS-- I can not recommend it enough. My other health tip? Date a personal trainer - that's how I got the hook up on my gym membership. We broke up almost 2 years ago but it is the gift that keeps on giving. Now if I can only find a handsome man that works at Merritt...hmmm....

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Recent Inspiration...

In case you missed Oprah last week, she featured women who defy their age by living healthy lifestyles. The most surprising woman was Evonne from New York City. How old does she look to you? 40? 50? Well here is a hint. Her SON is 50 years old. This woman is 70 years old and it comes from taking care of herself from a young age. I also find it particularly amusing that she hasn't been married since she was 22 - maybe those studies about how marriage benefits a man's health and negatively affects a women's health are true (I'm being facetious). This beautiful woman attributes her looks to transcendental meditation, healthy eating, an active lifestyle, and moisturizer. You best BELIEVE i've been slathering moisturizer on my face day and night since that show.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Peacocks

from the X-Files is one of the comparisons I've heard when teachers have tried to describe this kid's family. I am not a fan but when it was explained to me by my Department Head that the Peacock's were a family that kept their paraplegic mother under the bed to bear their children, I got the picture. I was not surprised to find out that he lives with 12 siblings in a double wide and that all of them have a reputation that preceeds them. Not surprised. This kid's entire demeanor, countenance, and energy SCREAMS anger and hatred. Let's call him Ronny.

"What we're witnessing Scully, is undiluted animal behaviour. Mankind absent of it's own creation of civilization, technology and information. Regressed to an almost pre-historic state, obeying only the often savage laws of nature." Mulder (Quote from Peacock episode)

I had a rough day today. ROUGH. I want to take Ronny's home life into consideration when he curses me out. I really want to. But let's be real, I am human, and Ronny is a fkn racist cowardly terd who never comes to class and when he does he always gets kicked out because, as I tell my students, I am a teacher - not a babysitter, not a therapist, not a motherfkn saint (I'm sure to leave the curse words out). The entire school knows him. He has been deemed the worst child in the school. I have the opportunity to see him every day (We are on an A/B schedule which means most students I see every other day but I see my special ed kids every day.) I bet you're waiting for a Lean on Me / Dangerous Minds moment? Well it ain't coming!

So today Ronny answered a question posed by the special education teacher with whom I co-teach. Ronny felt the need to include a curse word in his answer and I proceeded to tell him that was inappropriate. I knew what was going to happen - he was going to curse again or do something incredibly stupid and I was going to kick him out. Our encounters so far have not phased me.

Do you know this kid had the nerve to tell me that he was not talking to me?! In MY class. So I told him if he didn't want to talk to me in MY class nor follow directions he could leave. As he left with a slew of curse words he proceeded to call me a "dumb ass". I can NOT explain how much control I had to summon not to take one of those 5 pound text books and pop him upside the head AND not let him or my kids know that he got under my skin (finally).

I guess this is when it gets hard.

Did I mention that he also felt the need to announce in class that the south will rise again?" I ignored that. I knew that was directed at me. It's sad because he was sitting next to his Black friend as he said that who had no clue about Ronny's reference.. In case you don't know the demographics, my school are about 97% Caucasian including the teachers. I knew he was trying to get under my skin so I ignored him. This kid can barely write his name much less know about the REAL history of po' White folks in the South. That didn't even anger me as much as him hurling that insult directly at me and my not being able to retaliate AND his KNOWING I can't do shit. I couldn't even say "Yo' Momma" - even if it might be true.

Luckily, school ended early and I was home by noon. Then something else bothered me that I care not to get into. I was in a rage by 3 p.m. It was simply one of those days. However, I didn't have the urge to eat, I DID in fact have an urge to have another glass of wine (had one when I went home), but I didn't want to eat. That was definitely a win because I know I am an emotional eater. I lost two pounds this week and no bastard a$$ fkr can take that away from me. As you can see there is still some residual anger, lol. To make things even better I decided to exercise so I put in 25 minutes on the treadmill. Afterwards I wen on WW to find some low point recipes and record my food intake for the day. I have to say I am pretty proud of myself.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Spice Up Your Life

Lately Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones frozen meals have been staples in my meal plan due to my extremely busy schedule. Healthy or "diet" foods often carry the reputation of being bland; and, if you are like me, you can not STAND tasteless food. I firnly believe that eating should be about sustenance, health, and taste.

One way I make sure I get my taste fix and stick to my weight loss plan is to arm myself with spices. Today at lunch my supervisor sat staring at his Lean Cuisine Lemongrass Chicken, which everyone agreed is one of the best of the variety. I suggested that he add some Thai Curry Paste to make it palatable. I thouht this would be a great tip to share with you. Here are my tips to spicing up your low-fat frozen meals (and other dishes as well):


Mexican (you aren't likely to find any other cuisine frozen meals) - My favorite is Desperate Dan's Chipotle Hot Sauce. I found it in a wine/gourmet food shot when I put it on a bland veggie pizza and WHOA! This sauce is all natural and made right her in Baltimore. It is simply THE best hot sauce I have ever tasted in life, but I don't recommend it to those who don't like spicy foods. Other options: cilantro, adobo seasonings.


Fresh herbs make everything taste better (I have a rosemary plant in my kitchen). However, many people shy away from fresh herbs because they can be expensive and have a short shelf life. Recently, I have fallen in LOVE with Gourmet Garden. These herbs in a tube can give you a fresher flavor than the dried variety and they have a long shelf life. For Italian dishes try rosemary which adds a deep mellow flavor to a meal. Basil and parsley add a kick and don't forget the Italian staple --oregano! I also like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar that adds a depth and sometimes "meaty" flavor. Experiment with the different flavors.

East Asian

Thai - Thai Curry Paste is available in Whole Foods and most grocery stores. This paste is very spicy and a little goes a long way. Fish Sauce and cilantro are great as well.

Indian - Buy some garam masala, a spice used in a lot of Indian cooking, and sprinkle a little on your meal.

Browse your local Asian market for goodies like sweet chilli sauce and different varieties of soy sauce.


Any meal can benefit from a little salt and pepper. Invest in some Kosher Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper. You can buy some peppercorns (there are MANY different varieties, and invest in a grinder/spice mill. McCormick also has mini grinders available in the $3 - $4 range that have black peppercorns, peppercorn medleys, and combine peppercorns with other seasonings such as sea salt and garlic.

The point is to EXPERIMENT!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

For those of you that are wondering...

How I look with my new I be (I have the nerve to be an English Teacher, lol)!