Bad n Boujee

The urban airways have been graced (with heavy rotation) a hot rap song called “Bad n Boujee”. Though I’m not that into rap music, I find my head bobbin’ and my lips pretending to rap the lyrics (that I can’t understand) every time I hear it.  I can’t decipher anything except when the rapper gets to the part that says “my chick bad n boujee”.

My 49th birthday was a few days ago and I came up with a bright idea to have a t-shirt made with the slogan “Bad n Boujee”.  I shared my bright idea with my bff (best friend forever) and she immediately said, “Uhh, I don’t think that’s age appropriate”.  Instantly, my t-shirt thoughts came to a screeching halt.  “What, not age appropriate”?  “I’m only 49”.  “I can’t be Bad n Boujee”? “Is Bad n Boujee reserved only for the new millennial generation”?  “What happened to 40 being the new 20”?  And if my calculations are correct, my turning 49 would equate to 29 millennial years.  My main thought — have I officially reached middle-age?

All this talk about aging had me thinking about what’s really important and that is I WANT THE REST OF MY DAYS TO BE THE BEST OF MY DAYS!  I envision the rest of my days with a loving husband who honors and celebrates me, an incredible romance, awesome health and wellness—no rocking chairs or walking canes here, regular travel abroad, and the list goes on and on.  So how can I ensure these things?

Well, I recently discovered that there are five regions in the world where people live to a ripe old age. Researchers have identified these areas, also known as Blue Zones, as having the highest amount of population who live to be 100 years or greater.

The five Blue Zone areas include:

Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California;  Sardinia, Italy;  Okinawa, Japan;

and Nicoya, Costa Rica

According to Dan Buettner, National Geographic fellow and author of The Blue Zones Solution, to qualify as a Blue Zone, communities had to be largely free of heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

Let’s take a closer look at a several of the lifestyle characteristics that the people of the Blue Zones all share:

  1. A daily routine that involves movement naturally. – Imagine walking to your local grocer every time you need to shop or taking the stairs instead of the elevators.
  2. Purpose, they get up every day with purpose. – Blue Zoners have discovered the reasons for which they exist and work toward fulfilling it daily.
  3. Downshift, they embody stress management techniques. – Yoga, exercise, deep breathing techniques, Blue Zoners know how to de-stress.
  4. The 80% rule, they stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full. – Blue Zoners recognize when they are near full and stop. The result: fewer calories in and lower body weight.

Drop your email below to get the full list as a pdf.

You have to see the other lifestyle characteristics of the Blue Zoners.  I was surprised to learn simple lifestyle practices that could potentially help me live a quality, vibrant, and WHOLE life!

I’d like to think that in the five Blue Zone regions, Botox injections, taking human growth hormones, overdosing on supplements or getting womb tighteners are unheard of!  Vitality, longevity simply happens to the people in the Blue Zones.  In sum, it’s the result of being in the right environment that propel the Blue Zoners to move more, eat better—particularly plants—while eating less meat and sugar, living out their purpose, and socializing with the right people.  The best part about all of this is that even if you don’t live in a Blue Zone region, you can add years to your life by implementing the Zoners lifestyle practices into your current lifestyle.

And that, perhaps, is what can make a chic Bad n Boujee!

Cheers to your health, wellness, living strong and living long! Don’t forget to follow/subscribe below to get the full list of Blue Zone characteristics!     

 

 

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Bad n Boujee

The urban airways have been graced (with heavy rotation) a hot rap song called “Bad n Boujee”. Though I’m not that into rap music, I find my head bobbin’ and my lips pretending to rap the lyrics (that I can’t understand) every time I hear it.  I can’t decipher anything except when the rapper gets to the part that says “my chick bad n boujee”.

My 49th birthday was a few days ago and I came up with a bright idea to have a t-shirt made with the slogan “Bad n Boujee”.  I shared my bright idea with my bff (best friend forever) and she immediately said, “Uhh, I don’t think that’s age appropriate”.  Instantly, my t-shirt thoughts came to a screeching halt.  “What, not age appropriate”?  “I’m only 49”.  “I can’t be Bad n Boujee”? “Is Bad n Boujee reserved only for the new millennial generation”?  “What happened to 40 being the new 20”?  And if my calculations are correct, my turning 49 would equate to 29 millennial years.  My main thought — have I officially reached middle-age?

All this talk about aging had me thinking about what’s really important and that is I WANT THE REST OF MY DAYS TO BE THE BEST OF MY DAYS!  I envision the rest of my days with a loving husband who honors and celebrates me, an incredible romance, awesome health and wellness—no rocking chairs or walking canes here, regular travel abroad, and the list goes on and on.  So how can I ensure these things?

Well, I recently discovered that there are five regions in the world where people live to a ripe old age. Researchers have identified these areas, also known as Blue Zones, as having the highest amount of population who live to be 100 years or greater.

The five Blue Zone areas include:

Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California;  Sardinia, Italy;  Okinawa, Japan;

and Nicoya, Costa Rica

According to Dan Buettner, National Geographic fellow and author of The Blue Zones Solution, to qualify as a Blue Zone, communities had to be largely free of heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

Let’s take a closer look at a several of the lifestyle characteristics that the people of the Blue Zones all share:

  1. A daily routine that involves movement naturally. – Imagine walking to your local grocer every time you need to shop or taking the stairs instead of the elevators.
  2. Purpose, they get up every day with purpose. – Blue Zoners have discovered the reasons for which they exist and work toward fulfilling it daily.
  3. Downshift, they embody stress management techniques. – Yoga, exercise, deep breathing techniques, Blue Zoners know how to de-stress.
  4. The 80% rule, they stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full. – Blue Zoners recognize when they are near full and stop. The result: fewer calories in and lower body weight.

Drop your email below to get the full list as a pdf.

You have to see the other lifestyle characteristics of the Blue Zoners.  I was surprised to learn simple lifestyle practices that could potentially help me live a quality, vibrant, and WHOLE life!

I’d like to think that in the five Blue Zone regions, Botox injections, taking human growth hormones, overdosing on supplements or getting womb tighteners are unheard of!  Vitality, longevity simply happens to the people in the Blue Zones.  In sum, it’s the result of being in the right environment that propel the Blue Zoners to move more, eat better—particularly plants—while eating less meat and sugar, living out their purpose, and socializing with the right people.  The best part about all of this is that even if you don’t live in a Blue Zone region, you can add years to your life by implementing the Zoners lifestyle practices into your current lifestyle.

And that, perhaps, is what can make a chic Bad n Boujee!

Cheers to your health, wellness, living strong and living long! Don’t forget to follow/subscribe below to get the full list of Blue Zone characteristics!     

 

 

The Garden of Love Michelle Obama Built

I know what you’re thinking…you’ve never heard me utter a single word about politics on any of my social media platforms, not one word. And guess what, I probably never will except for in this blog.  Having been a former White House employee, I was in awe seeing and experiencing first-hand how the inner workings of our U.S. government played out in the world.  It was super exciting and those memories I’ll always hold near and dear to my bosom.  Okay, enough on that.

As we close an era with Barack and Michelle Obama and usher in Donald and Melanie Trump, I can’t help but think about the White House Garden. The beautiful vegetable garden that Michelle nurtured and helped grow and what would happen to it once the transition takes place.  Just like a New Year resolution, would the White House Vegetable Garden — the symbol of love, hope, health and vitality, just fade to black or would it continue to thrive?

And in our own lives we have to reflect and take note of what we need to continue to thrive. Michelle wasn’t the only one on to something. To me, she grew a vegetable garden to show love, foster togetherness but most importantly to showcase how something so pure, raw, and simple could beget new life.  Yes, I got all of that from the garden of love Michelle built.

When we eat live, fresh vegetables our bodies respond by coming alive and staying alive. Some 10 years ago, I started eating more cooked vegetables then one day got a taste of fresh, kale and swiss chard from a local farmer.  Literally, Michelle was right “let’s move” although I think she had a few other ideas in mind when she coined that name for the Childhood Obesity campaign.  I know I felt 1000% better. Why?  Perhaps because locally grown vegetables are far more superior in taste and nutrients due to less transit time from farm to consumer.  Even better, if you can eat organic vegetables you’ll get up to:

  • 27% more Vitamin C
  • 21% more Iron
  • 29% more Magnesium
  • 30% more Antioxidants

than conventional vegetables according to a January 2005 report in The Organic Center State of Science Review. I absolutely love how I feel when I eat (organic) vegetables and how my body starts to transform.  It was because of Michelle’s garden, I started supporting farmers who grow produce right here in Maryland.  For one split second, I even considered growing my own vegetables and herbs in my back yard; but, staying in my lane far outweighed my green thumb or lack of one.

Maybe you’re thinking, I can’t afford to buy organic, I’ll just stick to frozen bagged vegetables. Well, contrary to popular belief, you can buy and enjoy organic or locally grown vegetables (if organic is out of the question) on a budget. How?

  • decide on your core foods for you and your family
  • buy produce in season
  • support your local farmers market or join a community co-op for awesome deals
  • ease into eating organic by trimming down your daily coffee/donut or fast food lunch spending and using that extra money towards buying organic produce

Why Organic?

The goal of buying organic is to eliminate ingesting dangerous pesticides and other harmful synthetic chemicals used to preserve our foods. A non-profit advocacy group called the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) created a simple list to help you determine what fruits and vegetables are better eaten organically and what’s ok to eat conventionally.  The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 fruits and vegetables likely to have a huge amount of pesticides on it and in some cases in it.  As a result, choosing that fruit or vegetable in its organic form is highly recommended.  Then there’s another list called The Clean 15 — this list contains the top 15 fruits and vegetables likely to have far less pesticides and can be eaten conventionally.  Check out the lists below.

Michelle decided to set the White House garden in stone, cement, and steel in hopes of preventing her successors from destroying it. Just like her hopes, we should set our intentions in stone making it hard for the next transition in our lives to blow off all of our efforts to eat locally, mindfully, and healthfully.  Bravo Mrs. Obama!  Thank you for showing us the way by “paving the way”.

 

ewg-clean-and-dirty-list

* information contained on this blog is for educational purposes only and expressed views are solely those of the author.

 

Shhh…Mama Said Be Quiet!

 

“Shhh …Mama said Be Quiet”!

How to Meditate & Create Positive Thoughts

“Shhh…Mama said be quiet”!   How often have you heard that from mama — for me, pretty often.  I guess I used to run my mouth all the time…you know, busy being busy… busy asking questions…busy trying to figure things out.

Even as I write this blog, sitting here getting an oil change at 7:30 a.m., I want to say to the gentleman sitting across from me “shhh…mama said be quiet”! Actually, that’s the g-rated version of what I’d like to say.  He has talked nonstop to another customer from the time I walked in the front door.  He’s an example of how when we get started, we keep going and going and going.  Our lives have become so hectic now.  Think about it – we’re getting up early, to go to work early, to eat lunch early, to get off early, to get home early, to prepare dinner early, to help the  kids early, to go to bed early, only to do it all over again the next day.  Our hectic lives never afford us the time to shhh…be quiet and enjoy being still.  Our spirits, our souls, our inner beings are whispering sweet somethings to us and we simply don’t hear it.

On this journey to wholeness, I decided I needed to shhh and get quiet like mama use to say.   I’ve been running on fumes day after day and you know what happens when the needle hits the “E” .

Funny how I’ve often blown Meditation off because I believed it was yet another “thing” I had to try to squeeze in on an over booked scheduled already. Meditation is a much-needed practice with all the chaos around.

Meditation = positive thoughts!

We’ve become wired and driven to negativity. We are taking everything in through our five senses – our hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste.  Becoming overwhelmed starts in the mind because of the abundance of thoughts, some necessary and some not so much.  So how do we meditate?  Do we close the blinds, cut the TV and radio off, sit Indian style, sprinkle charcoal on our heads and start breathing aloud?  Well, according to the Meditation Museum of Silver Spring, Maryland, the answers are within. There is no right or wrong way to meditate.  They suggest you do what resonates with you.  Meditation doesn’t focus on breathing, its purpose is to clear the mind of the thoughts not needed.  Eventually concentration and focus will come naturally as the practice of meditation becomes consistent.

So then the real question becomes how do we create positive thoughts? Let’s look at 3 simple steps:

  1. Start and end each day on a positive note – read a scripture or passage from a positive book, or do a guided meditation (plenty of free meditations can be found on the world wide web).
  2. Fit it in. The Meditation Museum suggest taking 20-30 seconds to pause or stop and think a positive thought or send well wishes to a loved one. My personal favorite meditative thought: Thank you God for supersizing my life and giving me more than my expectations!
  3. Create positive visualizations – see yourself transform. Use your imagination to create a vivid image of how you want things to be in your life.

And if those three ways to create positive thoughts aren’t enough, check out the benefits of meditation and having consistent positive thoughts and energy to seal the deal:

  • Creates peace & clarity
  • Improves mood
  • Creativity increases
  • Happiness increases
  • Intuitiveness increases
  • May improve health such as stress reduction, more restful sleep, and lowered blood pressure

You see, whatever you think creates a fragrance, a vibration. If someone comes in contact with you, they’ll either love your fragrance and stay around or turn their nose up and move on.  Your fragrance has the power to influence.  Your fragrance helps you to love like never before!

Mama knew something I didn’t know as I was growing up. She knew that if she could get me to be quite, I would be out of her hair for a few minutes but also she discovered — she could find solace and peace from the chaos that was around her.

Thank you Mama for telling me to shhh…be quiet!

Be sure to like, follow/subscribe, and share my blog for all your WHOLE-listic inspiration, content, and freebies.

Namaste

Pics were taken during my visit to the Meditation Museum, Silver Spring, MD.

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Jab, Jab, Right Hand, Knockout and the winner is…

Cynthia Marie Henderson is a certified Holistic Wellness Practitioner through the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts where she studied hypnotherapy, transformational coaching, and holistic nutrition extensively. Having been obese most of her adult life and dealing with challenges that sometimes accompany obesity, it was in 2001 she declared to the universe “she wanted to live!” And so the journey began.

Cynthia’s mission is to inspire the busy woman to live a whole-ful and soul-ful authentic life through practical tips, advice, and research on alternative holistic methods. It’s through her favorite alternative methods she’s reinventing herself and would love for you – yes YOU – to begin your journey with her.  When she’s not out saving the world, she enjoys boxing, hot yoga, and corny movies.

She can also be found on social media:

Facebook: wholelisticallyspeaking

Instagram: c_m_henderson

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