What’s In Your Cup?

If you’ve ever spent any period of time around me, one thing you may notice is that I always have something to drink in hand. [I’ve started to think that I have/had a problem, but we’ll unpack that later.] A couple of years ago, I came to the realization that beverage consumption is just as crucial to my health as food consumption is. While I could be eating the cleanest of meals, I’m ultimately doing my body a disservice if I’m not supplementing by drinking clean also. Once I came to that realization, I started to take inventory of the liquids I deposit into my body.

While, I’m an avid water drinker, I love(d) coffee with tons of sugar and hot chocolate. DETRIMENTAL. Now, possessing the knowledge that I do, I am more mindful of my liquid intake and whether or not I am making healthy decisions in this area. Here I provide you with an approximate daily beverage menu of mine.

Morning:

  1. I start with my “flat tummy tea,” which consists of hot water, half a lemon, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp of honey

  2. What’s a morning without coffee? I generally make a cup and pour ½ tsp of agave and a splash of almond milk in.

  3. The experts always talk about the importance of starting your day off with a glass of water. If I don’t drink this first, it is usually somewhere within my morning rotation.

Afternoon:

  1. More water! Why not? It keeps me running to the bathroom, feels good going down and it’s good for me… and you!

  2. I just love a green smoothie! I try to have them daily as they provide me with the fiber I need to regulate my bowels and keep my tummy in check. What I love most about them is that no on smoothie is alike! (I’ll slide my favorite recipes soon enough!)

Evening: Just Water. When I’m feeling fancy, I’ll drop fruit in. My favorite fruit infused waters are

  1. Lemon, cucumber, mint

  2. Oranges with frozen blueberries [Thank me later.]

I ALWAYS maintain the fact that the smallest strides we make in our health  can have significant impact in the long haul. I hope this has helped someone!

With Love

At the top of 2018 I re-sketched my goals, re-positioned my vision board and re-programmed my mind. During all of this rebooting, I thought heavily about the things that I do and don’t like about myself. The reoccurring thought that came to my mind was DISCIPLINE. I just love it when I can reflect on the disciplined Cadacia; the Cadacia who tackled each of her goals with attention and strategy. This bit of reflection brought me back to when I first embarked on this journey of wellness. The one thing I thought would be the most challenging, I found to be the most satisfying and exhilarating. That thing was MEAL PREP!

I took such great pride in preparing my meals late each and every Sunday night that carried me into the early Monday morning hours. I loved uncovering my meals during lunch as my colleagues constantly questioned “what’s for lunch?” I re-inspired myself week after week as I attempted a new Fit Men Cook (https://fitmencook.com) or Skinny Taste (https://www.skinnytaste.com) recipe. What was most satisfying about being a new found “clean eater” was the fact that my hands possessed the ability to craft flavorful meals that were healthy and fulfilling.


Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that earlier twenty-something Cadacia. These thoughts have turned into action, as I’ve fully thrusted myself back into meal prep mode and it feels so good! I’ve reserved Sundays for stepping from behind my laptop and stepping in front of a skillet to craft my meals with love all over again. Through getting back to meal prepping, I’ve come to re-realize a few things:

[The most obvious of them all] I EAT better! I’m in control of what and how much of that goes into my body because I am my own personal chef.

I save some coins. It’s so much easier to keep my money to myself when I prep breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and beverages to last me throughout my workday.

I re-claim my time. Meal prep saves me so much time during the week, as I'm not agonizing over dinner and when all meals are placed in their own personal containers, I simply grab and go. Fast food at its finest!

I'm excited! I look forward to the process of trying new recipes (cooking and eating).

My body thanks me. To me, meal prepping is an act of self-love. Each meal is made with such care and attention that I appreciate it so much more as it warms and fills my belly.

I’ve been documenting my meal prep on my personal insta story but will start sharing it via the We Come From Queen page very soon! I may even start sharing some my favorite recipes. Stay tuned to #cookingwithcadacia.


With Love,

Cadacia

Stay In Your Lane

Remember that one time I went vegan?

Exactly one month after making that post, I searched the internet high and low for (natural) ways to combat my anemia. Being able to put a name to the way I’d been feeling for months led to this intense research. I took my iron pills when I remembered & they seemed to be working, but I wanted more. I needed to know of the alternatives that existed. One of the first articles that I entertained, highlighted the significant amount of iron present in the very thing that I had elected to give up... meat! I decided I’d look into that further. With each click and swipe I found that I could not escape the fact that I was not doing enough to combat my anemia. In fact, I was hindering the slighest effort to counter this condition.

Chicken

Turkey

Steak

All of these were the recurring sources of iron. No matter where I looked, I was sure to find these. Needless to say, the day after I had conducted my research, I went out to dinner and ordered the steak of course. I. Was. Afraid. This moment helped me to come to a huge realization: Health is truly wealth. If I am to be serious about my health and living a long life, I must do what's best for me. Although veganism seemed like a super healthy option, it does not suit my health needs. I gained so much from taking the time out to find out what foods would heal me. This was just a gentle reminder to stay in my lane.

That One Time I Went Vegan

"Try this," she said as she fanned the chili-laden fork in my face.

"What is it?" I inquired as I snatched the fork without hesitation, immediately following the directions of my colleague. As she attempted to tell me that it was vegan chili, I quickly interceded with my heartfelt "thanks" for allowing my taste buds to dance for that brief moment. Prior to this moment, I had never considered vegan. I was pretty complacent in eating well and incorporating animals and their by products into my diet. I did not see a need to eliminate either for the purposes of health. That moment, however, caused me to shift my thinking. "How might I challenge myself and go a little further with this wellness lifestyle by not eating meat?"

Let's see . . . where do I start?

Love for vegetables? Check. Love for fruit? Check. No need to drink cow's milk? Check. This, in addition to my desire for whole grains and minimally processed foods seems like a good starter kit for going vegan. . . Right? Oh, not to mention the part about how I don't really need to eat meat with every meal. I'm good and ready to go!

...or so I thought. "Try it out," I told myself. In going forth with trying it out, I decided I would begin composing my list of "whys" for becoming a vegan throughout the process. Once I actually began to embark upon the journey, I realized the only substantial reason I had was that it would give me an opportunity to get more creative with my recipes and not rely solely on meat and other animal by products. Once I started, I realized, I really did not miss chicken or other meats. The only food items that had a tight grasp on my taste buds were cheese and eggs. This prompted me to, further, consider why I wanted to carry the title vegan. Did I simply want to be part of the trend or was there some deeper reason? This second check-in provoked me to dig a bit deeper for a second reason: hormones.

Fortunately, I have had multiple opportunities to experience life outside of America the Great. In my travels, I am always reminded of how distinctly different poultry looks and tastes abroad. I am also reminded of the cause: mass production. As a New York native, there are not many opportunities for us to grow organic and while we are allowed to purchase “organic,” are we really? We do not know what is truly being marketed to us. In addition, meat is pumped with hormones, fattening it and making it so that more people can be fed. This was my new “why.” I wanted to have a bit more control of what I was depositing into my body.

I continued to swim with these two “whys,” yet, were finding more and more that they were not enough for me. Ultimately, all of the things we eat are junk. The only true way we can be sure that we are eating well is by growing our own foods. [Yes, even our fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides, chemicals that are to the detriment of our health.]

...and just as quickly as I had gulped the idea of myself going vegan is just as quickly as I had regurgitated it. The title is too confining. Healthy/ health conscious has been and always will be the ultimate goal. I do not think anything is wrong with veganism. I have just found that it is not for me and that is ok. Everything is not for me.