A Food Lovers Paradise!!

The ultimate goal of any food lover is to be able to enjoy the foods we love, not compromise on taste and not gain weight. A Perfect World right? These are three things that are almost impossible to attain because the mantra we’ve all heard is “whatever taste good is probably bad for you…and may cause damage to your body or even shorten your life span”. Disclaimer!!! This post is based on my experience with diets over the years and the things I learned along the way. I am not a medical professional by any long shot but I’m here to give you my experience from an avid dieters perspective so stay with me.

Now, any food lover knows that weight gain is almost inevitable without the aide of exercise, cosmetic procedures, stimulants, food deprivation or weight loss supplements, especially as we get older. Your energy levels reduce, your metabolism slows down and all the signs of aging start to pop up. You notice that your are eating probably the same portions of food but you start packing on weight and don’t know why. There are a couple of people who are blessed with not being able to put on weight no matter what they eat and we envy your metabolism – so you might as well log off now because this post is not for you (just kidding)!

The rule is – There are no rules when it comes to weight loss!

Sorry, I just busted someone’s bubble. This is the reason why some get surgery thinking its going to be the end-all-be-all fix and before you know it they’ve doubled in size – even worse off than before they began their weight loss journey. Lets not even get started on the diet pills and supplements – some of which do work only for as long as you take them, or in other cases may have side effects that have not undergone approved testing. I find that the same way you fool kids into eating their veggies is the same way you can trick your body into not gaining weight by swapping a few ingredients without compromising on taste. Having health conditions like thyroid issues and other underlying ailments might be a reason why diets may not work for some but I believe that all diets should be tailor fitted to a persons body type, specific to their metabolism and guaranteed to work specifically for them. Here are a few things I realized over the years…

Every persons body is unique including the way we burn calories and our bodies reaction to certain food groups. I follow a lot of food bloggers and one of them (Plantiful KiKi) adopts a high carb diet and is as slender as a stick. I tried the exact same diet and gained 6ibs in a week. She later provided a disclaimer several videos later that she is of Mayan descent – and guess what the Mayans ate? GRAINS! Well, my weight loss diet was trashed plus I just added six extra pounds of weight I had to loose.

Eating food in its natural form will help you loose weight…FASTER. I know, late night frozen dinners and Pizza deliveries have saved lives in more ways than we can be thankful for but if you want to loose weight fast, you will need to cut back or cut out processed food and eat fresh. Opt for zero calorie sodas instead or regular soda. I guarantee you, the scale will be kinder when you step on it and yes, you can thank me later.

Food portions matter. Diets always limit what you can and cannot have but that just deprives the dieter until they can’t take it anymore and find themselves gorging insane amounts of food with promises to restart the diet the next day. Or waking up and finding yourself on the pantry floor and not knowing how you got there LOL. Trust me, we’ve all been there and done that or similar. The key is to eat whatever you want but in controlled amounts while bulking up your servings with veggies so you stay fuller longer.

Replace sweet and salty snacks with fruit and veggies. This will literally be painful on your taste buds the first week but by week two, your body will begin to adjust if you stick with it. Instead of buying a tub of your favorite ice cream, swap that out by making your own blend of frozen dessert while keeping portion control in mind as you go. To feed your sweet tooth, make your own granola or bake your own cookies or cake from recipes that are low in calories.

Exercise for an hour EVERYDAY. It doesn’t matter if it’s Zumba, running, dancing, walking, swimming laps, going to the gym or jogging on the spot. When you get into a rhythm of working out, it will be easier for your body to burn the fat instead of letting it sit overtime, making it more difficult to get rid of.

Stay hydrated with water, teas and homemade fruit juices and drinks. You can make your own juices, smoothies, etc. A lot of processed drinks have high sugar or sodium contents along with only God knows what. Make yours and sweeten with honey, maple syrup or other natural sweeteners.

Cut back on fast food or figure out a way to substitute certain items for healthier alternatives. I’m sorry but I had to go there. I love me a juicy burger and hot salty fries any day but that didn’t help my weight or my health. You can swap out the bun on your burger for a lettuce wrap. Instead of getting salty fries, you can get an unsalted, kid size portion or better still bake or air fry your own. I recently came across a story where some lady found a happy meal – burger and fries, that were 24 years old and surprisingly, did not disintegrate. It looked like a week old meal…that should tell you something.

Get enough sleep. Need I say more.

Folks, weight loss is such a passion for me because I have struggled with weight all my life. I believe that the solution does not always have to be life threatening or insanely expensive. The benefits of getting your weight under control far out weigh the temporary discomfort of not giving in to cravings. When your body is healthy, you feel and look better, your confidence increases and you are in a better position to improve your life. Let me know what your thoughts are on these pointers. Until I come your way again, be happy. healthy and upbeat!

Periwinkle Starr

A Blessing In Disguise?

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It’s been a trying couple of months, but we are going to find a way to be all right and make it work – whatever it takes. The year 2020 has been interesting to say the very least. With the COVID-19 pandemic and being forced to stay home with limited movement for the first couple of months, a lot of us had to get used to this ‘new normal’ in order to make it through. I found myself dusting off my old recipes including my Great British Bake Off cook book and looking up recipes and YouTube videos to create some variety in meal prepping. Don’t get me wrong, trying out new recipes whenever I get a chance to do so is something I have always done but this time, I had more time on my hands, so I decided to dig a little deeper. Since we couldn’t go out, I could feed my eyes by watching food and travel blogs including my all time favorites which are Mark Wiens and High Carb Hannah.

A Health Reset!

In my attempts to find healthy and quick recipes online, I stumbled on several bloggers who figured out a way to reset their bodies, loose weight, repair their health, and turn their lives around just by making tweaks starting with their food intake and an upgrade to their exercise routines. All these amazing feats they did without surgery, expensive treatments or anything weird. Before I dive into the information gleaned from these individuals along with the tweaks I incorporated into my daily routine, I’m making a quick disclaimer that ‘I am not a certified nutritionist or a medical practitioner’, so please check with your primary care physician before incorporating any of these tweaks into your lifestyle. As I started with tiny tweaks here and there, before you know it, I began loosing a few pounds. My love handles (and yes, I said ‘love handles’ LOL) started disappearing. I also noticed I wasn’t as out of breath when I got to the top of the stairs as I usually did and my mind became clearer and my thoughts fog-free. What I am sharing below are some of the things I did to get me to where I’m at today. Should you choose to embark on this journey with me, please feel free to share your process and what worked for you. Here it goes!

*I got myself a smart scale. One that not only gives you your weight in pounds or kilograms but also gives you your BMI, water weight, fat, muscle mass and required caloric intake. With that info in hand, you can track your progress as you go along.

*I did a 3-day colon cleanse. There are so many out there. Opt for the safest, most natural and verified solution that fits your body type.

*I slowly cut down and cut back on artificial sweets (chocolate, ice cream, gelati) and slowly began to replace these sweets with fruit. So when I would get cravings, instead of reaching for a Snicker or Kit Kat mini, I would have a pear, guava, peach or any fruit on hand. It’s Summer y’all, you have multiple options right about now.

*Choosing zero calorie soda over regular soda and choosing natural fruit juices with little or no added sugar.

*I started making a conscious effort to ‘eat the rainbow’ or parts of it at every meal.

*I cut back on cooking oils. Not until very recently did I realize that cooking oils contain an insane amount of calories even when used in small quantities. So I cut back on how much oil I slathered on and in my food especially when prepping.

*I began looking for healthy alternative ingredients to my favorite recipes. I love making pancakes from scratch (not out of a box), and so instead of using flour, I have incorporated oat flour instead and use a little bit of white flour as a binder. Its a much more healthy option and has a lower caloric value.

*Incorporating an hour of exercise into my routine for a minimum of 5-7 days a week. Track your steps, do Zumba, HIIT, take walks, swim.

I tend to be a ‘late night snacker’ but after a couple of weeks incorporating these changes, my night cravings reduced considerately and right now, I’m at a point where, I seldom snack as much at night like I used to and I am looking forward to a time where I don’t need to snack at all. Folks, 2020 has been rough to say the least but we have to be able to count our blessings and be optimistic for our future because that’s the only way we are going to come out on top on the other side. I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day celebration and got to enjoy the fireworks amid the ongoing social distancing enforced in Texas since we got the spike in new COVID-19 cases. Be safe, healthy and upbeat until I come your way again! I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Cash In The Attic?!

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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♥

Like A Rushing Wind!

 

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Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Whether it’s being holed up at home or out and about. The Corona virus has made landfall in Texas with quite a few people affected already.  The scary thing about this global pandemic is the fact that we are fighting something that can’t be seen or perceived with the natural eye…and that is beyond frustrating. When it first hit the US and became an emergency, a lot of odd things occurred and I will explain. So in my mind, when I hear the word ’emergency’ the first though that comes to my mind is survival, what to eat, medicine, drinking water, first aid kit, storage containers etc.  Not ‘I need a s**t ton of toilet paper and water’ to make it out alive’. Like seriously, why have we been watching Survivor, Naked and Afraid, Alaskan Frontier and all those ‘out in the wild’ shows for? Entertainment?

Drinks ‘Panic Buying’ All Around…

We are truly showing our real selves by this corona outbreak. In the span of a week, people have thrown away their first world status and reverted back to behaving like animals without cognitive thinking. At one of the grocery stores I frequent, a store clerk had to stand by the water stack to make sure people could only take a certain number so others could have a chance to buy some as well. Or was it the video of two ladies fighting in a store because one lady loaded the whole shelf of toilet paper into her cart and the other lady just needed one pack of toilet paper and she wouldn’t share.

Front Cortex Y ‘all…Front Cortex!

I think we should be stocking up on vitamin supplements to keep our immune system at it’s peak or soap to take showers once we come in from the outdoors; or hand sanitizers –  for the car, our desk at work, purses and around the house, instead of those folks out here stocking up on toilet paper. I saw a video where a mother was moved to tears when she couldn’t get diapers for her baby because some persons had bought the whole store or the guy who bought all the hand sanitizers across a couple of towns so he could sell them and hit the ‘jackpot’ or so he thought.  Unfortunately for him, he was caught and had to give away the whole stash. Another guy was photographed at a Walmart parking lot rolling four shopping carts filled with milk to his car. Now….unless something has changed and the rest of us haven’t gotten the memo yet, that milk is good for 5 days to say the least – or perhaps he was shopping for all his neighbors, coworkers and church members? I don’t know but some of the things I have seen are as funny and as silly as can be.

The corona virus is a serious situation guys but we have to find the silver lining in all the craziness. Lets do our best to stay healthy and minimize stress or things that can compromise our immune system. We will get through this if we stay calm and not panic. Lets keep abreast with the news and stay informed while practicing social distancing. I feel that this will be one of those things that blow over and are gone before we know it.  Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

When It’s Ok To Let Go!

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Hello Y’all! Happy New Month! I hope your weekend has been great so far. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in North Texas. The temperature has dropped and I have finally swapped my summer garb for winter wear…at last! I turned down a camping trip with some adventure buddies this weekend. Well…considering the fact that I’m home now, swaddled in all things warm; I have my heat turned on including my mobile mini heater I carry around with me – and I’m still cold. There is no way in hell I was going to sleep OUTSIDE or pretend for a few days that I could survive in the wild. I feel like to really ‘survive’ out there, I may need ‘boot camp type of training like I’ve seen on national geographic…hehehe. My last failed attempt at camping ended up with us packing up and driving to a lit Walmart parking lot to spend the night because the nearest hotel was too far out. All the horror movies I have ever watched summed up into one HUGE film. I mean from bears, to anacondas, ghosts, people who had camped out and were never found, previous episodes of paranormal and supernatural combined…the possibilities were endless. So…no thank you. Anyways, lets get back to the gist.

Life Happens To Us All!

If you are alive and breathing, you have a story. Whether it’s good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, ecstatic or dreadfully tragic. We all have a story. Some people find a way to make the best use of what life has handed them and push forward to live a regular, imperfect life as our humanity allows but for others, not so much. There are three forms of expression I see and I feel everyone of us at some point has been in one or all of these three categories. Its the same trauma but different outcomes or should I say outward expressions. So stay with me.

The ‘Woe Is Me‘ Group. Those people who wear their life’s trauma as a badge of honor on their fore head- like it’s something to be proud of. It almost feels like they walk around with their souls leaking out; and if you stand close enough, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to regurgitate all over you. They go around with the same old sob story and have a reason why they can’t do anything while resorting to drain and suck the life and time out of all they encounter. These people move around a lot. It almost seems like as soon as they are discovered or exposed, they move on to the next unassuming source of supply.

The next group is the Emotionally Void. There are those who look to the outside to fill a void on the inside. Nothing will ever be enough. Whether its money, power, sex, drugs, alcohol…you name it. To use people and things for their benefit without care or consequences, just as long as it serves them is their modus operandi. These people have been hurt and have vowed to do everything and anything to not have to feel that way ever again. Its a ‘hurt you before you hurt me’ vicious cycle that never ends. There is a lot of camouflaging to the extent that after a while – not knowing who they ‘really’ are becomes a frightening reality.

Finally, this group is what I’d like to call ‘Forever The Optimist‘. Being one of those glass half full personality types, they are always looking for the good in people. The constant search for good that may balance out the bad in others or in situations – when some things are just what they are: plain old bad. Trying to give the benefit of a doubt or hoping the outcome is not as unpleasant as it seems in many cases is the norm. Instead of looking at the actions, sometimes these kind souls would often look at the backstory that caused or led to those actions; and in many cases would give a pass based on those facts or even permit certain things that aren’t necessarily healthy around them because they are so forgiving. They are torn between identifying with the pain they too have experienced or going the other extreme and burning people at the stakes…literally.

Balance is the key.  None of the people who fall into these categories is a ‘bad person’. We need to figure out a way to heal, move past the hand that life dealt to us and express ourselves effectively in the world. To think we can save everyone is ludicrous in and of itself and a burden so big we were never meant to bear. Change only comes by a person making a decision within their self to change. So hanging on is great but you have to know when it’s ok to let go. There comes a time where you need to choose your health and well being first and do away with guilt and condemnation of not being able to save everyone. Until I come your way again, be safe and upbeat knowing deep down in your soul that sometimes its ok to let go!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

Santa Monica In The Fall!

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Hello Y ‘all!! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world.  North Texas feels like June right now – that’s all !’m going to say about that. Why we are still in the 90’s is beyond me but anyway I’m not going to complain about it, at least we get as low as the high 70’s in the morning…Haha! So here I am sitting on my couch with a bag of ice on my head because I can’t seem to figure out what part of my body that isn’t hurting.  Fast forward to 6 hours earlier, I and a group of ‘adventure buddies’ just finished The Great Obstacle Race which we topped off with ziplining. Now, if I had been asked a day earlier if I wanted to participate in this race (Keeping in mind what I know now), my answer would be a HUGE no. But, the point of being a member of this group is to say ‘yes’. To get out of my own way and do things that I otherwise would not consider doing. So I get to cross that off my list while I nurse my whole being…LOL.

Howdy Santa Monica!!!

This was my first trip to this part of California. After getting out of the airport and heading to our hotel, I was wowed by the palm trees littered along the roadways, the smell of the sea and the quaint shops and buildings we rode past to get to our lodgings. Traffic was nothing compared to what we have here in North Texas, it was a breezy ride to our hotel which was literally on the beach, a 1.5 minute walk to be exact. I had heard about the amazing sunrise, the pier and all the fun things that we ‘land-locked’ southerners do not get to enjoy. The view was so breathtakingly beautiful, I spent a lot of time just starring out at the seascape from the window.  The beach is littered with exercise equipment, people meditating, some doing yoga, others running, a couple of people trying to catch a wave or just photographing the beauty of it all.  We were even told that depending on the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger (and yes I said the ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’, the one I was likening my fitness instructors to previously) rides his bicycle right past that area in the mornings. WOW!

Alot of people were dressed down, relaxed with tons of touristy things to see and do. There is a vibe in the air, a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere that we do not have in North Texas because we are constantly on the go…to get somewhere and heaven forbid there’s a slow driver in front of us….ahem (got a little carried away there)..hehehe (I liken that to saying squirrel to your puppy) – works every time. But Santa Monican’s are predominantly very fit. I didn’t see a lot of heavy set people out and about. We got to catch the sunrise on one of the mornings and it was one of the most peaceful things I have ever experienced.

To Surf …Or Not

To be honest, I didn’t even feel tired or stressed out even though we were working full days and more. This might sound corny but Its almost like the sea takes away all the stress. It almost feels like the closer we are to nature, the more at peace we become. A feeling of oneness that words can’t really describe. So we headed out to the beach to relax and be lazy after a hectic day. I was going to try surfing…for the first time if I might add but after I was told that I had to shuffle my feet in the sand to let the stingrays know to move out of the way and not be surprised and accidently sting me, I was like ‘say what’?

I was alive and well when Steve Irwin died…by a STINGRAY!!! If a whole Steve, the internationally famous Australian wildlife dare devil could be killed by those things, there is no way I was going to be a statistic. My friends could shuffle all they wanted for all I cared; sun bathing it was – at least for me haha! My stay in Santa Monica was a wonderful experience and I got to explore a little bit more of the world around me.

 

 

Its been a fun experience y’all so I adjure you beautiful people to take some time to appreciate the world around you whether (like me) it’s doing the Great Obstacle Race or taking a road trip to someplace new. Trust me, your mind will thank you for it. So until I come your way again, be safe, happy and upbeat!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

Fitness Instructors From Hell!

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Hello Y’all and welcome! Fall is here!! Its been a good summer in North Texas, not that I was out in it a whole lot but it feels like 2019 has been way better.  Its been an extremely busy year but worth every darn minute. I started back up with my fitness routine and decided to take it more seriously this year because I found out that just eating salads and boring food wasn’t really cutting it for me. So, I had to get my behind back on a gym routine and see if the scale would be ‘kinder’.

Working out during the week is not an easy thing to do because I get beat up….TWICE. Now, let me explain, I am not a member of fight club by any long shot hehehe but the thing is, you go to work, have meetings, run errands and everything else. But by the end of the day, you’ve survived round one. On this particular day, I was meeting up for my regular Zumba class. I arrived on time and as I was walking in, I could see the other tired souls drudging their tired bodies into the gym as well. They looked like they didn’t want to be anywhere near the gym, but hey – ‘you’ve gotta do what you gotta do’, right?

So we get to the class and I’m looking out for the instructor and I can’t see her anywhere. It turns out she had to be away and had a duo – a guy and a lady sub for her. Now if you ever see a guy instructor in a fitness class like Zumba,  just know it’s going to be a rough night. But, here I am still hopeful about it not being so bad until the class starts. This duo are not human, THEY ARE MACHINES. The lady not only wants us to do ALL the moves but scream as we do them. There is no hiding place in the  back folks because she was right there with us screaming at us to scream louder. Her face is beet red and she screams through the mic attached to her head piece, ‘I can’t hear you’ like four inches from some ladies face. I’m awake by then…Ha Ha! Just let me know how many decibels you require Ms. Jillian Michaels. But wait…

Timeout! Timeout! Timeout!

Today is Tuesday. Its way too early in the week to be this excited, we barely survived Monday – that happened just a couple of hours ago. But oh no – they keep going. At this point, I am totally out of sync because in my mind, peoples feet aren’t supposed to move that fast and besides I came here to get my heart pumping and not to have it explode all over my organs. Just then, out of the corner of my eyes, I see my friend take a step and next thing I see she’s flat out on the floor – BAAM! The instructor runs over to see if she’s okay. Just as she says she’s fine, the instructor lets Arnold Schwarzenegger’s half brother takeover. Now we’re really screwed. People start leaving, dropping out like flies.  We look like sweat lodge participants by this time. But they keep going. For some weird reason, the word ‘on steroids’ keeps floating around in my head somewhere…Ha Ha! But we made it through without anyone dialing 911. No heart attacks. No nothing. We just got two rounds of beating is all. That scale better be nice to me tomorrow or else…LOL.

Until I come your way again, feel free to share your fitness horror stories with me. Please follow, like and comment. Bye for now!!!

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

 

The Beauty Of It All.

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Hello Y’all! Hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It’s been great in North Texas right until I remembered that school will be back in session real soon; I literally went from a solid six to a two…on the ‘patience for traffic’ scale and yes, I made that up LOL. Anyways, I am going to savor the nicely flowing traffic with the occasional wreck here and there before the madness begins. The high point of my week has been my discovery of one of my favorite ice cream places very close to my work – simple pleasure of life get me everytime.  But on a more serious note, there has been so much going on in the news lately. The saddest and most horrendous things have happened in quick succession that burying my head in the sand or pretending that it does not exist is no longer an option.

Hmmm…(Sigh)

These days people are afraid of people. Afraid to interact. People react because of a mindset that expects a negative outcome even when there isn’t a threat and I feel we are slowly being conditioned so much so that we isolate ourselves thereby widening the wedge between us as people, as humans. Life is too short to keep walls when there are tremendous opportunities to be gained by interaction and community and I am not just writing this but I am speaking to myself as well. Now, I’m not recommending going out and hugging strangers on the street but just having an open mind about every circumstance we find ourselves in before concluding the worst.  My life Mantra that I try to follow is to:

Give everyone a clean slate…to show you who they really are.

Until then, I feel like we can make use of those freed up brain cells for doing more relaxing or productive things instead of waiting for the next shoe to drop…which in most cases never does; or when it does drop, it’s the ones we don’t expect that surprise us the most.  We live in a fallen world and there will always be bad things or bad breaks happening all around us (and even to us sometimes) but the goal is to be able to see the beauty of life despite the negativity, despite the trials. I’m not a good horse rider but I love love the idea of the blinders they place on the horses head that force it to keep looking straight ahead and not at the noise and distractions happening on each side. I made up my mind a long time ago to not let people, events or bad breaks make me cynical, hardened and bitter. In my opinion, that’s too much power that no one deserves to have over me. I decided not to let a couple of bad apples ruin the bunch – whatever that means or however it applies to you and I.

Anyways, Fall is around the corner and before you know it, we will start our progression towards the years end. Until I come your way again, stay safe, upbeat and open to the things we do find beautiful in life.

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

Summers Here!!

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Hello Y ‘all! Its been a while since my last post. I hope you’re doing well in your part of the world? Fourth of July has come and gone. Getting a few days off to rest, be outdoors and not worry about work and deadlines is always nice. Besides, the heat is back and those delicious ice cream flavors are not going to eat themselves now. Its amazing how fast this year has run by, we are already in July and before you know it, we’ll be organizing our closets for Fall and then Winter. I have been trying to get back to being healthy but I find it so hard because when I’m on the road, its so much more difficult to make healthy choices that after a while, you just don’t.

Summers here and one of the things I like to do around this time is evaluate the year from January up to this point. Here are a few things I like to do that I feel will benefit you so stay tuned and thank me in the comment section below…ha ha!

♦      Finances: Look back on all things ‘money’. Are you saving up for the future? Is your debt going up or down and what effect does it have on your credit score?  Are you making wise choices when it comes to money and do you have a plan B just in case something unexpected happens?

♦      Health & Wellness: Are we making the right choices that will ultimately have an effect on our health. Are we staying fit, going to the gym, walking or running on a regular? Are you keeping up with your routine health checks (especially if you’re 30 and up)?

♦       Are You Keeping Up With Relationships, Friends and Family: Always checking in to ‘really’ see how you’re doing with your partner, catching coffee or in my case tea with friends. Going dancing or meeting up for drinks at happy hour really does help take the edge off adulting and everyday living.  Having a good belly laugh does wonders.

♦        Skincare & Lifestyle: These seem like an odd pair but your skin is a mirror image of your lifestyle. Something as simple as getting enough sleep at night, wearing sunscreen, brushing your teeth before bed (I know…no need to roll your eyes but it does matter), not smoking, taking off your makeup even though you’re dead tired or turning down the offer for that third drink that might seem trivial but the benefits (in the long run) are almost priceless. A little here, a little there and a few drops become a huge lake…or so I’ve heard.

♦        Play: Find time to let your inner child out. I recently went whirly balling with a group of friends and it was so fun – my body and I had a come to Jesus moment the next day LOL!! So I urge you to get out, go kayaking, hiking, explore the world around you. Get out of the work-home-grocery-repeat cycle and enjoy!!

I missed writing and I sure am glad to be back!! Feel free to tell me what you plan to do this Summer. Like, Comment and be a Starr Reader! Until I come your way again which will be sooner, be safe and have fun!!

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

Boundaries: The Key to a Healthier You!

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Hello beautiful people!! Its been a fun minute since my last post. I hope you’re doing well in your part of the world. I am so excited for the weather like you won’t believe. The warmth is here. There’s more daylight to enjoy and the Duchess of Sussex JUST HAD A BAYBAY!! Anyways just  like I always say, when it comes to the weather, we can never be happy for any extended period of time so I have resigned myself to the new norm – enjoy it until you don’t! This week I’m writing about something that’s very important to our existence as human beings and it’s called boundaries; so grab a cup of tea, some biscuits and get comfy.

In the past, I always thought of boundaries as something on the external, outside of me. Ever hear of the term, ‘they invaded my personal space’. Its often used to describe physical things – separate or outside of ourselves but there is a different way of looking at it. A boundary is something that bounds or limits according to the Urban Dictionary…

My Definition of Boundaries

What I will or will not permit, what I will or will not accept, what I will or will not yield myself to either in my emotional, mental, or physical experience as a human being.

In life, there are things we have control of  and there are  things we have no control over. An example would be setting off on a trip with no control as to what happens after you leave your home to get to your said destination. Whatever comes your way during your journey – you need not get worked up or attempt to burst a blood vessel because – it’s out of your control.

Boundaries are not just physical barriers that we put up to protect, preserve or maintain order but it can also be emotional, mental as well as spiritual boundaries. Without it, we would descend into chaos. Without boundaries, we would be out of sync and we would lack peace within ourselves and I mean the peace that radiates from the inside out not the faux zen with a thriving volcano seething just beneath the surface. Here are a few areas of life where I believe you and I need to maintain healthy boundaries in order to function at our optimal best. If we are lacking or out of sync in one or more of these areas, we might need to take a closer look and re-evaluate our reality.

•   Boundaries Within Families. It is very important to have boundaries between spouses, between parents and children and between siblings because these are the closest points of influence to us. When healthy boundaries exist in a family unit, it’s great but when it’s lacking, it could be hell-ish.

•   Social Boundaries – These are your interactions with people in your social circle. It’s very vital to surround yourself with healthy, upwardly mobile and those who make you grow in ways that pleasantly surprise even you. If there’s drama, gossip, knit picking and all kinds of elementary school foolery; it’s thank you – NEXT according to Ariana Grande.

•   Work/Life Boundaries.  A saying I can never forget says, ‘Work is a part of life. Work is not equal to life’. If you find yourself spending more time at work instead of with family, I believe it’s time to break the cycle and re-establish our boundaries again. By the way, there’s nothing to feel guilty about because we’ve all faltered at some point in our lives and will continue to do so. The goal is to enjoy life and not strive for unhealthy perfection.

•   Mental Boundaries. This is taking responsibility for your own mental health, wellness, and growth. Life happens to everyone and our goal (you and I) is to choose the right things to focus on in spite of our life circumstances. Knowing when to look at the big picture of events and when to zoom in to the fine details of life is key.  Getting facials and massages are nice but being responsible for your own mental growth and overall well being is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

•   Re-Learning the Art of ‘NO’. Have you watched a toddler that’s learning to speak. My guess is their favorite word is no. Even for the things that they do need..ha ha! Now, that’s a little too extreme but I find that there are grown adults who have literally forgotten the art of saying no. They are bent out of shape and stretched too thin by takers who care nothing about the fact that these kind souls are literally ripping at the seams and cannot muster the courage to JUST SAY NO. We have all been there and done it at some point and there is no shame or judgement here. But a time comes when you come to yourself, you realize that even if you gave all you had including the very last drop of blood in your body to these people or person, it would never be enough. This realization is the beginning of freedom which in turn leads to the re-establishment of boundaries.

So feel free to like and share your thoughts and comments with me. I hope you enjoy the weather while its still ‘nice’ out. Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr