Getting Back on the Wagon!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing great in your corner of the world! Its Mother’s Day in the States so I am wishing a happy celebration to all the Mums out there …most especially mine. The good Lord knows that many of us would not be alive today without our mums and it’s something we ought to be grateful for. It’s been a busy time but I’m glad to be back and writing again. We are in the month of May and it’s time to check in on my weight management plan.

Drum Roll!!! Drum Roll!!! Drum Roll!!!!

Let me just say that the scale was not very friendly to me when I stepped on it. I fell off the wagon with my diet even though I remained gluten free…. like that helps any. It started off slowly, skipping workouts, snacking a little later each night, not tracking my meals, not moving, not swimming…NOTHING! All I could do was scream…..NOOOOO!!!

Not today…..!

It’s funny that I didn’t notice the symptoms of weight gain…. Well, I take that back. I thought I could cheat, and my body would do what it has always done and bounce back from all those calories and bad habits, but this was not the case. This makes me think of all those people who get on those extreme diets and loose the weight but somehow the old habits slowly creep in and before you realize, it’s a downward spiral all the way down to the bottom and they are in some cases heavier than when they started off. Well, I felt exactly the same way. I knowingly did it to myself. These were some of my habits:

  • Excessive snacking – buying salty and sweet ‘gluten free’ snacks when busy, working or traveling. Come to think of it, gluten free snacks actually have more calories than a lot of regular snacks. I think this happens because manufacturers have to add ingredients that hold the condiment together which ends up with more calories in what appears to be the same quantity of food.
  • Heading to the couch and grabbing the remote after getting home – instead of heading out to the gym – even if for just an hour of cardio, Zumba or a couple of laps in the pool.
  • Late night meals, snacks, sweet treats. Guilty as charged.
  • Not being active…. ENOUGH!
  • Not getting enough sleep.
  • Poor stress management.

Getting Back on the Wagon Again!

Not a real wagon..lol!

Just like everything in life, when you get into a funk, its ok to be down, feel down and to just soak in it for a bit. The end goal is to not stay there forever. Get back up and get back into the fight to be and stay (in my case) healthy and at a healthy weight. Life happens folks and every now and again it’s easy to get out of sync when we are balancing so many spinning plates. But checking in on myself every now and again was very helpful. I find that there will always be something going on somewhere and our control as human beings is very limited. So, I had to re-strategize. Here’s what I came up with.

  • Take stock of where I’m at. How I arrived here. What I did right or didn’t do enough of; and how I prioritized my time on a daily basis.
  • Admitted failure especially in areas that need improvement. Admitting wrong is the first step of growth. Denial keeps us stuck.
  • Came up with a healthy plan – a positive and sustainable way forward.
  • Sticking to it – No more excuses.

I know this looks easier than it actually is but less is more. I’m off to the gym to do a couple of laps in the pool and get my body back in shape again. Until I come your way again, no matter where you’re at in your life or how long you’ve fallen or neglected vital components of your life, you can always make a determination to get back on the wagon again. Rome wasn’t built in a day and anything that is rushed is very rarely sustainable. Be happy, stay safe and healthy. I’ll be back before you know it. Please like, follow and comment.

Periwinkle Starr

Anxiety and the Gluten Connection.

Hello Y’all! Its Super Bowl Sunday!! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. As promised, I’m back at you as I said I would. The year 2022 is going to be a year of ‘doing’ not just saying with each post being unique in its own right. My posts could be happy-go-lucky and running through a field of flowers and another be down to business and about life’s moments and experiences. It’s pretty much any way the wind blows or where my spirit soars. At the end of the day, I write to share my experience with others. Besides, what good is living if you can’t share and learn from each other’s experiences. Disclaimer* Today’s blog is to share my experience and is in no way a cure for any mental health ailment. So, stay with me.

The Gut, Our Second Brain

Medical scientists have called the human gut our second brain. I learned about this phenomenon recently and it made perfect sense. Our gut is a combination of our small and large intestine that contains microbiota and bacteria that aid digestion but are also a pretty good indicator of the condition of our health…whether good or bad. Awareness about this connection became available only very recently with many suffering with various gut related issues for decades. I remember growing up, if I felt nervous or suddenly frightened by something, I would get the feeling of instant diarrhea. The situation was obviously processed by my brain but for some weird reason, my bowels were connected. Or having mood swings after certain high carb meals or being susceptible to certain skin conditions.

If you are a millennial, you know that a good number of us grew up in households where as long as you weren’t in pain or bleeding you were alright. Well…a lot of gut problems were flying under the radar as a result; with symptoms that would start out mild but over the years would develop into bigger issues as they slowly eroded our digestive system and eventually affecting our overall health.

Let’s Look at The Science.

According to Wikipedia, ‘In industrial production, a slurry of wheat flour is kneaded vigorously by machinery until the gluten agglomerates into a mass. This mass is collected by centrifugation, then transported through several stages integrated in a continuous process. About 65% of the water in the wet gluten is removed by means of a screw press; the remainder is sprayed through an atomizer nozzle into a drying chamber, where it remains at an elevated temperature for a short time to allow the water to evaporate without denaturing the gluten. The process yields a flour-like powder with a 7% moisture content, which is air cooled and pneumatically transported to a receiving vessel. In the final step, the processed gluten is sifted and milled to produce a uniform product. This flour-like powder, when added to ordinary flour dough, may help improve the dough’s ability to increase in volume. The resulting mixture also increases the bread’s structural stability and chewiness. Gluten-added dough must be worked vigorously to induce it to rise to its full capacity; an automatic bread machine or food processor may be required for high-gluten kneading. Generally, higher gluten levels are associated with higher overall protein content’. End of Quote

It’s a known fact that the industrial revolution changed the world for ever. Food became plentiful. Mass production ensured that there was enough to go around but it also has led to new diseases and ailments that weren’t as prevalent back then. Gluten is a protein found in grain including wheat, barley and rye and comprises about 85% of the protein found in bread wheat. Everyone is unique and our bodies have varying reactions to different things. For some people, gluten can trigger adverse inflammatory, immunological and autoimmune reactions. Some of the ailments that people intolerant to gluten range from celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten ataxia.

The Problem with Big Pharma

It is a known fact that the big pharmaceutical companies don’t necessarily want you well. Instead of advising on a change of diet, removal of excess sugars, weight loss and a healthier diet, a lot of people are placed on medication to deal with issues that stem from food sensitivities. Their goal in many circumstances is to place people on an assembly line where you keep coming back without getting a permanent cure for the ailment. In this case, these conditions can only be resolved by eating a gluten-free diet. Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food‘ and that is so true. And until we get back to eating healthy, nutrient rich food, we will continue on this assembly line of medication that corrects one thing and destroys ten other things in your body. If you don’t believe me, just listen to one of those drug commercials on TV.

Getting a majority of gluten out of my diet did wonders for my skin, my digestion, my emotions, my energy levels, clarity and alertness of mind and overall health. But in today’s world, it’s very difficult to be 100 percent gluten free (I must say) but getting most of it out of your diet will do wonders for your health. The game is still on, and I hope the Cinci Bengals win the game, they haven’t in the last 31 years, and being a proud Ohioan living in Texas, my money is on them. Please like, follow, and comment. And until I come your merry way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

An Amazing New Year!…Pandemic or Not.

Hello Y’all! Happy belated New Year to you from North Texas. I’m so glad to blog today and I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s been cold here lately but thankfully it hasn’t snowed, and we haven’t lost power…at least not where we’re at. The year 2022 took off like a horse at the races so I’m not surprised that we’re at the end of January. The pandemic is still on with worldwide chaos on mandates, rules and the division that comes with trying to control a large group of people. Friends of ours in other parts of the country are experiencing shortages and scarcity on certain items and services but still, we have to keep on living life the best way we can.

I was hoping that by this time, we would be skipping along with the pandemic somewhat behind us but NO NO NO….we now have Omicron. which is more contagious than Delta and even has a shorter incubation period. Some clown posted a statement saying ‘I’m going to sleep. Wake me up when Omegatron hits’. I literally fell out of my chair because it hit me that we may never get back to life as we knew it….and this may be a weird kind of normal from now on. Heaven forbid! But we still have to weather this 2+ year storm somehow. Here are some of my strategies that I’d like to share with you so stay with me.

See the source image
Culled from the internet.

Talk about it. Getting with friends and family and just talking about everything that’s going on has been a tremendous stress reliver because you know that you’re not alone.

Stay healthy. whether it’s eating better, exercising, keeping fit, staying connected with friends and family.

Wear a mask when needed. Folks, this pandemic is real. Many have lost their lives because of it. There’s no shame in this game. You owe it to yourself to protect your body and health. This may be contrary to some people’s belief system but it’s better to prepare for a catastrophic event that never happens than to be caught unawares.

Take your vitamin supplements. This boosts your immune system and fortifies you against any nasties.

Keep on living! We humans are resilient. We have always been, and we will always be. We are still here….so let’s enjoy the gift of another day that we have been given.

Friends, I plan on getting better at posting on a regular. As soon as the dust settles, I’ll be back. Please like, follow or comment if you found this post helpful. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Its Christmas!!!… Don’t Fall Off The Wagon.

Merry Christmas Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Texas is having the warmest winter on record this year and it hasn’t frozen over as we expected. Not sure if I like it or not but that’s okay. I have wanted to write this post for a while now but just wasn’t settled enough to do it. I have been resting and recovering from the year we just had. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and has aways been for me, but this year is a little different but I’m so thankful. My neighborhood has an annual Christmas decor competition, and the winner is usually the most decked out house. As much as I love admiring decor, if it needs a ladder, drills or nails, I’d rather not be the one doing any of that. After donating my old tree to a family that I felt would better appreciate it, I went a non-traditional route and got a spiral Christmas tree, and I absolutely love it.

It’s the holidays! I know but nevertheless, I’m still doing my best to keep my routine going and not just letting it ALL go…because it may be too hard to kickstart it in the new year. LOL! Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to maintain and improve on during the holiday period.

Culled from the internet.

Staying Hydrated. Being home and not on the go coupled with having so many drink options, it’s easy to forget to hydrate my body because I don’t feel or get thirsty. But making a mental note to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day has been my goal.

Rejuvenate your skin. Waking up and dashing to work or getting home and barely making it through my exercise class doesn’t give any room to really cleanse and pamper my skin as I should. But now that we’re home, dry brushing, Epsom salt soaks, sugar scrubs and pampering my skin is necessary for it to retain its youth and elasticity.

Apply detox foot pads while you sleep. A lot of people have said that detox foot pads are a hoax or that they’re fake. Well, I have used detox foot pads for almost a decade, and they WORK! My sleep is better, I feel refreshed, and my energy levels are up. I feel like people should try good brand names for great results…Try it and thank me later.

Get unlimited at-home facials. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a gal. Now is the time to slow down and really take care of your face. Everyone has a routine or regimen that they follow and now is the time to slow down and follow it instead of just barely wiping your makeup off before jumping into bed. Cleanse, exfoliate, scrub, hydrate, moisturize and spot treat. Remember, your face tells a lot about you before you open your mouth.

Rest. This is when you have earned the right to be a couch potato…and a happy one at best. Rest, relax and give your brain some timeout to just do nothing. Watching garbage TV aka Real housewives are my go-to because I need only two braincells to be entertained when I watch reality TV.

Cut back on excessive stimulants. Your liver will thank you for it. I sat with a doctor friend of mine who intimated me on the rise of health issues because of stimulants; be it drinks or medication. Moderation is the key but if you have to binge during the festivities, have your cleanse or detox lined up afterwards. In Hollywood, people have parties and then have detox sessions afterwards where they get IVs with vitamin supplements to cleanse or repair whatever damage they may have caused internally. I know this sounds extreme but that should tell you something about stimulants and toxins and what they do to our internal organs.

Folks, it’s so good to write again. I hope you get to rest, reflect and enjoy your families this season. From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and an amazing new year ahead. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Kicking Gluten To The Curb!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Its getting cooler but not just yet. I’m waiting for a massive temperature drop to switch out my Summer gear for Fall/Winter wear. So until then, it’s temperamental North Texas weather for the next couple of days. But I just cannot wait to layer on. LOL…I know all my Midwesterners are rolling their eyes at this but hey! You are not a tree. You can move. And you don’t have to let the gusty Ohio River winds invade your soul every year. The choice is yours!! Anyways, todays post is about my journey to being gluten free. And by sharing this journey, I hope this can help someone else.

Food is life. It doesn’t matter the culture, region or people. Food is the number one common denominator. When it comes to food sensitivity, its very easy for people to expect bad reactions, extreme skin anomalies, swelling, or itching throat. But, there is a more subtle reaction that I believe is more deadly because the symptoms are milder and many of us fall under this category but are not aware.

A huge amount of the general populace (myself included) eat to curb hunger and attain satiety. In order words, we eat to keep our bellies filled or full. This is very different from eating to ‘fuel’ the body. When you eat food without knowing your bodies needs, your body accepts the food because it has no choice (duh) but it looks for places to store it because it doesn’t know what to do with it. That is why we see an increase in belly fat, fat around the thighs, arms because we have adopted a diet that in many many cases is not suitable for our body type. And the long suffering human body has to do the best it can with the trash it receives on a daily and still keep us alive, keep our hearts pumping and fight off the bacteria and illnesses in our environment at the same time.

I Started Paying Attention to My Body.

The signs were there, but they were very mild so its very important to pay attention to our bodies Some people have instant reactions like rolling on the floor or hives that instantly appear. This is not the case for everyone. A lot more people have milder symptoms that are often and very easily overlooked. Nobody just drops dead without any warning…our bodies are too intelligent for that. The problem is we ignore the signs because they’re subtle and fleeting. Here are some signs you may be sensitive to gluten.

*Being bloated on a daily or after eating certain foods. Ex. Rice and certain grains, baked goods, desserts, milk, certain cheeses, sweets, sodas, sweet fruits, alcohol, heavy carbs etc.

*Gut imbalance. Constant yeast infections. When people hear the words ‘yeast infection’, it’s very easy to think it always has to do with the private areas. Well… we have yeast in our gut and on our skin as human beings. The problem comes when the yeast bacteria outgrows the good bacteria and compromises the immune system. Then there’s a problem.

*Constipation and irregularities. If you have to take laxatives on a regular, or all those fiber powders and supplements, this is not normal and is not healthy. The commercials on TV want you to buy more products without really addressing the root cause or underlying issue.

*Acne. Skin issues. Hormonal imbalances. These three things go hand in hand and a lot of times when the diet is fixed, there will be significant and visible improvement in these three areas.

Healing the Body – How to get started.

*Find a naturopath who is well versed in diet and nutrition as well as gastrointestinal health.

*Removing unnecessary metals from the body. Ex. Mercury amalgam dental fillings etc. This is a whole other post on its own. But I encourage you to look up the side effects of having metals in the body. Don’t just take my word for it.

*Some people may need extensive bloodwork to determine their body type and how better to fuel it. We no longer need to expect to be sick just like our family members were due to our genes. We can start now to make changes to mitigate or completely rewrite our own health path.

*We can start by cleaning out our diet. We owe that much to our bodies. Remember, we only have one.

*Colon hydrotherapy. It’s funny how we get massages, spa treatments, and all kinds of pampering to our outer bodies while very few people take the time to do an internal cleanse of their internal organs and system. I believe in balance. Take care of your insides and your outer body will need less work. Scientist say that the gut is the brain and after doing my own research, I believe it. If the gut is healthy and clean, your mind, will and emotions with be better for it.

*Clean out your refrigerator, pantry and all your secret stashes….yes, I said stashes. With advise from a naturopath or nutritionist, draw up a diet plan that works for your body type and do the best you can to stick to it.

*Read the labels when grocery shopping. Up until now, I had no clue that there was such a thing as gluten free aisles or sections. The market is rapidly growing because a lot more people are experiencing food sensitivities and looking for alternatives to relieve the symptoms.

*Cheat responsibly. A gluten free diet is very hard to stick to 100% because almost every food around us has some form of gluten in it. When you do cheat, portions matter.

Folks, If this post helps one person, it makes all the difference in my world. I have been through it myself and if anything I say on here helps someone else, my work is done. Feel free to share your experiences, like, follow and comment. Until I come your way again…and my hope is that when I do, it will be cooler in North Texas, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Healing Your Body…Post Pandemic!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are fine and doing great in your part of the globe. Its been a minute since my last posts and it’s been fun but also very intense. The weather is soooo nice in North Texas. I almost don’t want to say it before we wake up one morning and it’s literally back to hell again. LOL. From what I heard, we should be gearing up for another very cold winter and I just cannot wait to layer on. There’s literally a countdown to swapping out my summer wardrobe for Fall but I’m not quite there yet.

We made it to the ember months and it’s something to be thankful for. With the pandemic, the craziness of life and all the other things in between, if you’re reading this post, you’re here and that matters. Looking back at the past months, I would say that 2021 has been a year of getting healthy-er and doing right health wise. I began by making minimal changes. These changes were difficult and still are but the longer I stick to it, I must say that it gets better. Just because it looks like the world is ripping to shreds doesn’t mean we take our focus off living life and doing the things we must to remain in tip top condition all around.

It’s almost baking season! I’m not sure if there’s any such thing as healthy baked goods but I’m going to try. And if you happen to have discovered a way to enjoy baked good that don’t make your body pack on the pounds, please send them my way.

Still staying safe despite the pandemic. Folks, it’s not over and staying in good health, taking your vitamins and being physically active is the way to go.

Get out more…in open spaces. Go hiking, work out in the park, go golfing. Being out in nature exposes you to negative ions that are good for your body and overall well being. Have you met anyone that went to the beach or a waterfall or lived out in the country that didn’t feel at ease or calm-er than us city people? Trust me, it wasn’t the farm animals LOL. Don’t just take my word on it, look it up for yourself.

Get back into your hobbies. Doing things that you really love. Getting back into reading, baking, kayaking, taking dance classes, learning to cook, visiting coffee shops with outdoor seating if you’re not comfortable being indoors. A friend of mine told me about couple who haven’t been seen in over a year. I kid you not. They both work from home, have everything delivered and use facetime for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. No judgement here. I can understand the fear but if the world was ending, it would have ended a long time ago. We truly live when we do the things that we love, so take baby steps if you must but you’ve got to keep on living life…or a semblance of it as you once knew.

Take a deep breath. A lot of times people think that once you’re healthy you’re good but being healthy is a broad term that encompasses every aspect of life. Rome wasn’t built in a day and no one wakes up in tip top health just because they made a decision the day before to take action. Folks, it takes baby steps, little tweaks, cheat days until you no longer feel the need to do so (hehe…myself included). So until I come your way again be safe, have fun because the festivities are just around the corner!! And…it will only be a little while before its another Christmas. Smile…because you’re still here!!!

Please like, comment and follow for more. I remain

Periwinkle Starr

The Shrewdness of Time!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Summer is officially a couple days away but the heat isn’t waiting till then. Its time to slather on the sunscreen, sun hats, sun shades and the short shorts because the proverbial ‘Texas Burn’, is on!

So I tend to get pulled into watching numerous clips of TikTok videos streamed on YouTube about dogs…especially when bored or just looking for something to distract myself. The funny antics or despairing experiences they’ve had and their journey to recovery and being loved back into the loyal, furry little friends that they truly are bring back memories of growing up and having litters of puppies every now and again. I come from a dog loving family so its in my DNA.

There was always a big pup among the litter who was the bully, cried the loudest and stayed on mama tits long after the others had dozed off for the night. Yes, I’m referring to that one. I remember one time when I had to feed them in separate bowls because this cute little rascal would literally eat everything before the others even got a head start. So one day, something happened. I had just got done serving up their food and I was sitting in the kitchen watching them eat. The little rascal finished his food and looked up at me and then at his brother eating a couple of feet away. I knew what he was thinking LOL. He knew by now that he wasn’t supposed to go near his siblings plates during meal time so this is what he did. He pretended to be sniffing something on the floor and walking around the room….all the while closing in on the nearest pups plate. I was watching him intently but he was oblivious to me. In this pups mind, he was smart…very smart if I might add. All this time, he was pretending to sniff something on the floor, he was inching closer to his brothers bowl. In this pups brain, all of this was going to go unnoticed…..WRONG!!! I was unto him from the moment he looked at his brothers plate. I could literally see the wheels turning as he was trying to figure out the most stealth way to steal a couple bites of food without me knowing. I share this to say that…..

Life is a playground and you’ve got to get on it and play. You will fall down, You will learn from it and hopefully get back up and in the game again…literally. With time and experience, you learn and you grow. You don’t fall for the same tricks as you once did. You aren’t as gullible as you once were. You tend to question things – by asking ‘why’ and by anticipating the outcome of things whether good or bad. There is a sharpness, a seasoning that comes to you that cannot be acquired in any book or crash course. Life itself is THE school.

Time makes you shrewd.

*If you apply yourself to the school of life, you can spot things from a mile away.

*You aren’t quick to react as you were in your early days.

*You are more observant.

*You listen more…not just to what is being said in the moment but how it’s said and when.

*You become better at reading motives and intentions.

*You become intentional and more clear on what works for you and what doesn’t. What you want and what you won’t accept.

*You realize that you are human and you DO have a choice. Nothing is set in stone. There are no absolutes…someone just hasn’t discovered a way yet.

In my opinion, life is a playground when you are young. You fall, you get scraped, heal faster, learn from it and get back on the playground. I believe this is the time to train yourself because when you’re older, you get stiffer, you’re becoming brittle, you’re not as quick or you don’t heal as fast. But its meant to be that way. This is when you can sit back and pour into the younger ones who are willing to listen. Those who understand the invaluable pearls of wisdom being bestowed and who want to ensure that they don’t fall into the same ditches you did…literally. A timeless saying that rings through is to ‘never cast your pearls to swine’ is one that I often heard growing up but honestly did not grasp the depth of until much much later.

Folks, these are the gains and rewards we enjoy when we actively participate in life. Some of us took a fall and are now watching from the sidelines, afraid to get back on this playground called life. I speak to you and to myself as well…’Don’t be afraid. There’s only two directions it’s going to turn out: Good or Not so good’. That’s it! It’s better to try and not get the outcome you want than to not have tried at all. Until I come your merry way again, please like, follow and share your thoughts with me and the other Starr readers around the world. Have a fabulous week ahead!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Tell Your Story!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. It’s been a minute since my last post and life has somewhat returned to normal since Snowstorm Uri decided to take a hike. Its March!! Happy New month to you all. I hope your new year resolutions are still on? People say that most individuals fall off the wagon by the end of January but hopefully you’re still in it till the end.

Do you ever have those days where you’re up late and craving all things rich in calories, savory on the taste buds and filling for your belly? Well, this was one of those nights for me. I had been craving pizza all week but tonight was different. It was as if my stomach was saying ‘It’s either you do something about this or neither one of us is sleeping tonight’…jeez. So I do the right thing by looking up the calories in a pizza I would usually get in the past and the time of day I intended ingesting those calories…I changed my mind and decided to make my own; Free of the excess oils and hidden fats. A recipe that I could count all the ingredients on one hand…Ha Ha! Off to the kitchen I went to make my own pizza. Surprisingly, once I got started, the growling in my stomach settled down quite a bit. I started to wonder, best hurry up now before it resumes again. Photos and recipe are below!!!

My post today is about the power of communication. We all have a story. Life happens to E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, are phrases we are all too familiar with. I noticed that the most open phases of communication is when we’re kids and have no filter, and when we’re old-ER and no longer care what the world thinks. But there’s a gap between these two phases where we are either outwardly silenced or inwardly feel the need to conceal, withhold, or reveal as little as possible. Keeping up with appearances, not wanting to ruffle feathers, show weakness or simply ignoring things and hoping they’d die off or disappear are some of the coping mechanisms that we pick up along the way. This may appear fine and good in the moment but can I tell you that the burden on the human body is so heavy that emotional and mental weights have now been proven to cause illness, cancer, tremors, hernias, high blood pressure…you name it.

I stumbled upon a show where a neurosurgeon was talking about the connection between the body, the mind and the human spirit and it blew my mind. I later listened/read (can’t remember which), a story of an elderly woman who had a tremor. She had issues with walking and just doing everyday simple things. A neighbor invited her over to join their small group which she obliged since she lived alone and company would be good. On a particular day during the groups meeting, everyone was to share on something that happened to them that they never really opened up about. One by one, each person shared their story – nothing was too big or too insignificant, if it mattered to them, it was important.

It came time for the old lady to speak, she looked down, took a deep breath, and still shaking started talking. Her son had died many years ago. It was devastating. Everyone expected her to get over it and move on after the grieving period was over (technically). But she wasn’t ready. Attempts to talk about it were shut down. It was too painful for her husband to remember. And so, she buried it within her soul. As she spoke, pausing to wipe her eyes every now and again, one of the people in the group spoke ‘you’re not shaking’ he said. The old lady stopped and looked down at her hands. The tremors weren’t there. She could not believe it. She held out her hands and the shaking was almost non existent. The meeting at this point was over, everyone came round to give her hugs, there were more tears but it could only be a miracle that this happened.

When I listened to that story, I feel like the grief she was not allowed to express had to be suppressed. Since it was suppressed, the emotional stress of carrying this burden began to break down her physical body, manifesting itself as a tremor. Folks, I am not a medical doctor of any sort but I strongly believe that our mind, bodies and soul are intertwined and have the ability to affect the other especially when we’re out of sync, stressed, traumatized or holding unto blacked out memories that we have forgotten we even have. I feel that instead of waiting for the ‘I don’t give a rats behind years’, why don’t we give ourselves permission to be our authentic selves and speak our truth…NOW. I feel like old age should be enjoyed and not just spent in and out of medical facilities because of things we could have dealt with.

Disclaimer: Not all ailments are mentally or emotionally related but a lot of them are.

My Late Night (Two Crust) Pizza Recipe!

Crust Ingredients: 2 Cups of Flour, 1/2 Tsp of Salt, 2 tsp of Fast Acting Yeast, 1/2 Cup of Water, 1 tsp of Sugar.

Topping are whatever I had in my fridge at the time: Pepperoni, Black Olives, Pickled Banana Peppers and Green Bell Peppers, (No Cheese TYVM).

Sauce: A combination of Marinara Sauce & Ketchup.

Directions: Warm the water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add sugar and then yeast. In a mixing bowl, add flour and salt and mix. Pour in the foamy, activated, yeast water. Mix and cover for one hour. Turn your Oven to 350oF. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the dough and a dusting of flour. Divide dough into two and refrigerate one half for later. Get your rolling pin and stretch the dough out. Get a pan and apply cooking spray. Transfer the dough and stretch some more using your fingers. Add the tomato sauce, toppings and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Its ready. Cravings satisfied. Time for bed!

Until I come your way again. Tell your story, it may be the one thing that can save your life, your health, your relationships…you never know until to speak your truth.

Periwinkle Starr

Good Vibes Only!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? I was up late one night with some time on my hands and decided to get this post going while my creative juices were still flowing…oh the joys of writing. As the name implies, ‘Good Vibes’ is a term that’s easily tossed around in everyday conversation so much so, that we can overlook what it really means or it’s implications. But there is a deeper meaning that the definition does not do enough justice to and I’m going to shed a little bit more light on it in this post.

When I fly, one of the things I memorize once I’m seated in a plane are the safety features, where the exits are located and what to do in case of an emergency. One of the instructions that irk me every time I hear it is when the flight attendant asks us to ‘put on the drop down oxygen mask first before helping your child’, heaven forbid something happens during the flight. This statement has never really sat well with me until it hit me. You have to be OK, alert, or afloat before you can help someone else – irrespective of who they are to you. I notice that no matter how much you may want, wish, love to help or assist or even visualize good things for loved ones; the decisions they take must happen between their own two ears, and the overall outcome is THEIR responsibility and not yours. This is often a hard pill to swallow especially when you have a ‘rescuer’ type personality, but in reality, it rings true. At the end of the day, we have the sole responsibility of creating healthy boundaries, enforcing them, keeping our peace and enjoying life while fulfilling our own purpose. Here are a few things that can and will help.

Learn to Be Kind to Yourself. Good vibes start within you. People tend to be harder on themselves than they would be on others. Stopping all forms of negative self talk or harsh chastisement is something that we may need to be intentional about and catch ourselves a couple of times before our brain can actually breaks the cycle (something I read some where about breaking bad habits and how many times you have to do it for your brain to grow new neurons – ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!). A famous saying is to love thy neighbor as thyself – the goal is to FIRST love yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, forgive yourself, and then comes the ‘others’. But how often do we find ourselves doing things for others that we would not even think to do for ourselves – because somewhere, at some point in our lives, we have been trained to think that we do not matter which is so far from the truth.

Get a Backbone. Standing up for yourself verbally, mentally, relationally is very important because it sets the stage and informs those around you that you will not tolerate unacceptable behavior. The backlash will come depending on the health of your inner circle, and you will hear words like ‘stubborn, difficult, opinionated…and more. These are complaints of those who can no longer take advantage, can no longer control, use or abuse you. But keep at it because the world is learning who you are. I guarantee that you will have a little bit more peace after this.

Be Responsible. This is a tough one but being self sufficient or self reliant in life gives you the ability to set the bounds around your life. As the saying goes ‘He who pays the piper, controls the tune’. Self sufficiency is a broad spectrum that could mean a myriad of things ranging from being financially stable or having a roof over your head, to being in control of vital decisions that affect your life. If you aren’t there yet, work towards attaining this goal. It will pay off in the end. There are countless cases of violations that occur just because we are at the mercy of cruel or unhealthy people.

When People Talk, Listen. There is a famous saying ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’. As humans, we are always communicating who we are to the world around us, whether it’s being funny, sarcastic, gossiping, slander, non-verbal communication or mental projections. The key is to listen. People say what they really feel, not in grandiose conversations (although that tends to happen sometimes), but in every day chatter. Being an avid listener will save you a whole lot because you will be able to sift out those you can truly trust and those you should not cast your pearls to (literally).

We are Human Antennas. Have you ever met a person, maybe lived with them or worked in close proximity with them who outwardly were nice, did all the right things but in your heart, something just didn’t sit right with you about them? Well, that’s your gut or antenna picking up on something that transcends the physical realm and should not be ignored. Haven’t we all heard countless stories of ‘I had a gut feeling about ‘them’ but no outward proof to back it up’, or ‘They were so charming, I just ignored the feeling’.

Whether You Like It or Not, You Are in a War. You are in a fight for survival, a fight to be, a fight to not just thrive but flourish, a fight to be happy, sane and free. Our everyday life is fraught with things fighting for our attention, fighting to drain our energy if we would just let it, or fighting for our emotions or our time (fill in the blank). We need to fight to keep negative or undesirables at bay in the context of what we can control. The choice at the end of the day is yours.

Hold Your Lines. Do you ever notice that when an unhealthy individual comes in contact with a healthy person who they cannot access, cannot control, cannot manipulate or take advantage of, they become livid, they will hate your guts, they will try to take jabs (or chicken scratches in my opinion) at your armor, but they will not and cannot succeed because you see them, you know what they are about and as a principle, you do not budge or subscribe to those type of channels.

Be Kind to Others. The world has enough evil in it already. Be kind. Do unto those as would like done unto you but still use wisdom. Treating people the way they truly deserve does not make you any better than they are. Put out into the universe what you would like to receive from it.

Skip into the Sunset. Folks, life comes with it’s own challenges – it’s called being human. There are no real super hero’s but there are people who have mastered the ‘Art of Living‘ and I believe the earlier we master this art, the better we will be at doing life well. At the end of the day, if you incorporate these basic things into your routine, things may not automatically snap into instant perfection BUT you will be lighter, you will enjoy the simple things more, you will be a healthier and mentally stronger person all round and giddy enough to skip into the sunset because you have done the best you can. Thank you so much for reading. Please like, follow and comment. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Cash In The Attic?!

CITAPERIWINKLESTARR

Hello Y’all and Happy New Month! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s June already and I can’t believe it. This year has been interesting to say the least but just like the Timex wrist watch commercial, we have learned to ‘take a lickin and keep on tickin’. That’s about all we can do right now. The weather in North Texas is surprisingly cooler than the heat we are used to at this time of year but again, not many people have been on the road, pumping CO2 (among other things) into the atmosphere via fumes.

Quarantine has made us become more acquainted with our living spaces than we have ever been before corona hit. I will admit that I was more of a visitor in my own space, barely around during the week abnd home only on some weekends – and I was either out and about or getting stuff done and was never really there.  So I finally had time to look closely at what I was working with…ha ha!

 And then, it happened…

I was surfing channels one day, when I stumbled upon the show ‘Hoarding, Buried Alive’. It had been a while since I had watched an episode so it was a good distraction. As the name entails, the documentary shows the lives of people who have been overtaken with saving and keeping things for ‘future’ use that really never get used – if that makes any sense. Before you know it, I had watched three episodes back to back. I was appalled, shocked, and glued to the TV all at the same time. I realized something towards the end of the third episode that apart from a minute number of people that have mental issues, the majority of people don’t go to bed one day and while tucking themselves in, say out loud, ‘when I wake up tomorrow, I want to be a hoarder’. It often starts when something either tragic, traumatic or shocking happens in their lives, that is not addressed or dealt with and slowly, they start stacking up stuff.  The usual phrase I kept hearing was ‘I might use that someday, or this may come in handy, or we can put this to some use’. And before you know it, the home gets filled with stuff, in some cases to the ceiling with footpaths as the only means to get around or in most cases some spaces within the dwelling were deemed inaccessible. There were all kinds of animals, rodents, dead animal carcasses, and fecal matter all around – it was disgusting to watch. The aim of the show is to then have an intervention of sorts with the individual and then enlist the help of a clean up crew to clear out the home.

No One Is Perfect.

Those people could be us, our parents or our friends. I can assure you that the average person knows at least two people in their lives with hoarding tendencies.  They may not be so far gone to make it on to the show but the tell tale signs are already there. I kid you not, the very day after watching that show, I started reorganizing, I started sorting through things that I hadn’t looked at in years in an attempt to declutter my space.  Here are a few tips to having cash in your attic instead of clutter. So stay with me.

♦  Do your best to make peace with your life’s circumstance the best you can. Get     counselling, forgive, meditate, go to therapy…do something!

♦  Develop a waste not want not approach to life. This proverb means if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need. So instead of hoarding items for an apocalypse that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen, take what you need and some,  not E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in the store.

♦  Sort through your stuff and make a list, grouping your items into categories and how you intend disposing off of them.  There’s covid-19 going around now, so yard sales are a big no no.

♦  Become an online retailer and make some money off the stuff that you don’t need, don’t use and probably stuff that’s just sitting there and taking up real estate in your home.

♦  Donate what you can’t sell to your local community store. Someone less fortunate will be able to put it to good use.  If they are hoarders themselves looking for a steal, at least it’s off your hands and no longer your problem.

I believe the state of a persons personal space to some extent paints a picture of the state of their mind and gives you a view of who they are. We deserve to give ourselves the decency (in the way we live) that our humanity deserves. No one should exist in such deplorable conditions but still, it happens but I believe we can avoid ending up like that. So until I come your way again, I want you to try my 5-step plan and let me know how it goes. Do like, comment and follow my blog and be safe out there!

Periwinkle Starr♥