The Value of Giving Back: How Giving Back Changed Lives (and History) for the better…

As the holiday season ends, a brutal and biting chill crashes against our warmly layered bodies. Old man winter has its grip on us but this is a time to reflect and renew our resolutions. The upcoming months are recognized as celebrating moments in history that shaped our lives as we know it. Giving back may seem minor, but the impact it can have is life altering.

“Many hands make light work” – this is a Tanzania proverb which holds especially true within a team or organization. We, at points in our lives, have needed the help of others. When we all pitch in, the work does not seem as stressful or burdensome. Throughout history, we have seen or experienced many examples of teamwork and unity.

Think about it – most movements started with a single idea from an individual or a small group of folks that eventually transcended to the changing of history itself. Who knew? Listed below are perfect examples of individuals changing history:

Harriet Tubman, was born to enslaved parents and eventually escaped slavery. Despite these hardships that very few were able to overcome, Harriet Tubman went on to become a leading abolitionist. She led hundreds to freedom by way of the Underground Railroad. A single person with a single desire.

Rosa Parks, who simply refused to give up her bus seat, ignited the Montgomery boycott and help to end segregation. A single person with a single action.

Lady Gaga, singer and actress, is an outspoken activist for LGBT rights. She established the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization which encourages empowerment and issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring, and career development for teens and young adults. A single person with a single belief.

Whether you donate money or time or talent to someone in need, a ripple effect of kindness is created. Step out your comfort zone. Your decision will help not only another, but will help you build and strengthen your relationships with others.


Food Intervention #1

Sitting in my kitchen, as I usually do when I am working through life’s ups and downs. I realize that my love life is like many of my recipes, inconsistent. Most of my recipes are created on the whim from ingredients that are just lying around. You know the type just sitting on shelves, or in the back of the cabinet minding it’s business. Then I decide to make it into something better or at least that is my intention. Sometimes I create a winner and share it with everyone my proud accomplishment and others never see the light of day to never to be spoke of again.

But sometimes there is a dish you make, that you know you should not have but you make it anyway because you love the way it makes you feel. Deep down you know it doesn’t nourish you and it is actually doing more harm than good. But why do I put myself through the suffering? Pills and Potions may deter the side effects momentarily, as your insides suffer silently while you indulge.

When is the right time to intervene between your euphoria and wellness? I am unsure of the answer. I am like a diabetic sneaking a taste or a cheat to satisfy my craving.

Eventually you have to stop before it stops you. Enjoy the foods that naturally agree with you and doesn’t cause an uproar when you consume them. Food is to nourish and fuel the body and beverage is to quench the thirst. Be bigger than the addiction of food and free yourself to a fresh and new start.

Enjoy! Posted from WordPress for Android

Food for the Soul! Life Lessons Served Daily

It’s Saturday, I could be like many people, who say they live for the weekend however they opt to do tasks like running errands or doing chores or even working. I on the other hand, will do none of the such. I love to cook and that is what I am going to do.

Heading to the kitchen, I put on my favorite heather grey robe with pink polka dots and matching slippers. I grab my phone and head down stairs.

It’s 8AM, so I plug in the coffeemaker and add two cups of water and two table spoons of ground coffee.

I turn on my Pandora App Pandora -Free Music and my new Formation by Beyoncé station begins to play. The kitchen is filled with today’s Hip Hop and RNB.

As I am singing along to the various artists, I decided to meal prep for the week. Since I love to cook, I don’t see any other way to enjoy a non work day.

I pull out of the fridge a bottle of minced garlic, italian salad dressing, yellow mustard, a green pepper and onion. I have 3lbs of ground turkey and 2 lamb chops. Oh, I can’t forget the asparagus. They were on sale this week at Shoprite.

What to make? I thought, I decided on meatloaf and meatballs for the ground turkey and I will bake the lamb chops with potatoes and carrots.

Since the new season of House of Cards began last week, I need quick and easy to prep meals so I can get back to my favorite bad boy fictional character, Frank Underwood who plans to take over the government.

I pulled out my mixing bowl and added the ground turkey, mustard, italian salad dressing, garlic and onion powder, soy sauce, minced garlic, black ground pepper, green pepper and onion. I chopped up the pepper and onion first to get that out the way.

I mixed all the ingredients together with some elbow grease and a wooden spoon. After everything was mixed I grabbed a glass Pyrex dish and molded my turkey meatloaf perfectly. I added a cup of water to the bottom of the dish to help create more steam and covered with aluminum foil.

I decided to kill two birds with one stone and prepped the lamb chops. I decided to take it up a notch and I make spicy lamb chops. I took the two pieces and seasoned them with garlic and ground black pepper and onion powder. I added minced garlic. I topped it off with red pepper flakes for a nice kick.

Are you a driver? or a passenger?

I set the oven to 350 degrees and set the timer for 90 minutes. I allowed it to preheat for 10 minutes and placed both dishes into the oven. As I sat and waited. I thought of the many “Table Talk” conversations I had growing up around the kitchen table. I enjoyed them with my friend Madison the most. She was a quiet yet an old soul. She lived her life to the fullest and didn’t look back. She shared all her experiences, good and bad. I appreciated all of our talks and the advice she gave me growing up. She was like the big sister I wish I had.

“What are you? A driver or a passager?” She would ask me directly and at random. In my young age, I thought “Heifer! You know I am a passenger; I don’t drive. She would just shake her head and laugh at me. Now thinking back, she was asking me a question that we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives.

Yes in theory, I was a passenger but was I willing to stay a mental and emotional passenger of life? For years I leaned upon what Madison said, her opinion mattered and was as good as gold.

Madison wasn’t perfect nor did she try to be but I thought she had a dynamic and distinct life.

I glance at the timer on the stove and realize the food is almost done. Wow! Time flys when you are strolling through memory lane.

I am definitely a driver and it takes faith, patience, and risk. I am enjoying the open and mysterious freeway of life. I threw out my life tracker GPS, life checklist, and age sensitive timeline a long time ago and since then, my life has been peaceful and a lot more fun.

The food is done and I am ready to dig in.

Spicy Lamb Chops
Two lamb chops
Wash and pat dry
1 1/2 Garlic powder
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 capful soy sauce
1 1/2 Onion powder
1 tablespoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cost: $4.89 for the lamb chops. The other ingredients I had handy. You can buy from dollar store or discount market for less.