My Fitness Journey, Part 3

By cassandrwiley / On / In Health and Illnesses, Healthy Eating, Self-Improvement

Some of my readers out there may remember when I started my fitness journey in 2015. When I wrote My Fitness Journey, Part 2, I learned about “wheat belly” and made the appropriate changes at the beginning of 2018.  Now, we’re at the start of summer, even though for a week sometimes, we don’t see the sun where I live.

When I was laid off from my job in November, I discontinued my gym membership and focused on diet. I also started walking for 30 minutes if it was a sunny day. In April, my husband and I went on a 21-day Daniel fast for weight loss and overall health.  My husband suffers from diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  I have high blood pressure.  We also did a 3-day detox.  My weight dropped, and I felt better overall.

This past Wednesday, I met with a trainer to see the progress that I made.  When I started  this “journey”  I weighed 144lbs.  Presently, I weigh 130.5 lbs. with 28.7 percent body, and 50.7 muscle mass.  My percent body fat is in a normal range; however, if it goes down to 22 percent, I won’t need the high blood pressure medication.  My muscle mass should be half of my body weight, which would be 65.  My trainer was happy with my diet.  I don’t eat meat everyday, mostly fresh vegetables. Okra is a staple for me. When I do eat meat, it’s chicken, fish, or steak.

I am trying out a group exercise class that meets 3 times a week.  So far, I believe that it will help me reach my goals.  We perform exercises that work the core, arms, and legs.  I can be assured that I will be doing the exercises properly.  When you’re on your own, you may tend to “slack off’”.  The goal is the build muscle and reduce body fat to treat high blood pressure.  I have to continue to insure that my blood sugar and cholesterol levels stay within a healthy range. At one time, it was a struggle.  However, making lifestyle changes improved my health.  I will get another reassessment in 4 to 8 weeks.

 

 

10 Benefits of Dandelion: Is it a Weed or an Herb?

By cassandrwiley / On / In Alternative Therapies, Health and Illnesses, Healthy Eating, Occult, Self-Improvement

Every spring, we see dandelions growing in our yards and in the fields.  Many of us treat our yards with weed killer to get rid of them. If you learned that dandelions have health benefits, would you see reconsider killing them?

I was shopping at my local Wegman’s, and I bought some dandelion greens.  I buy them by the bunch.  When I got to the checkout line, the cashier asked me what I used it for.  It’s not a popular item,  like kale or spinach.  After telling her that I use it when I juice, she understood.   She mentioned that customers use it to make smoothies or even for their pets. (Keep reading to find out how).

There are many benefits of dandelion; you can use the root, the flower, or the greens. As I mentioned, I juice the greens along with pineapple, green apple, and flax seed meal. You can also drink  dandelion tea, cold or hot.

  1. Weight loss.  Dandelion is a diuretic, which means that it rids the body of excess water which helps with weight loss.
  2. Inflammation. Dandelion greens treat muscle aches and joint pain.
  3. Relieves constipation and increases bowel movements. Because I use it as part of my juicing regimen, it keeps me “regular”.
  4. Diabetes. Dandelion fights both Type I and Type II diabetes by removing excess sugar from the body.
  5. Reduces high cholesterol. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes are typically diagnosed together.
  6. High blood pressure.  Since dandelion works as a diuretic, it can help lower blood pressure without the unwanted side effects of a prescription drug.
  7. Cancer fighter.  Boil the dried yellow flowers in water and drink the liquid.  Dandelion purifies the blood and detoxes the liver.   Many of those cancer drugs, in addition to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can be extremely toxic to the body. (Why do most cancer patients lose their hair?).   Dandelions are high in vitamin K.   It’s been proven to work for “drug- resistant forms of cancer”. 
  8. Kidney failure.  Dandelion root strengthens the kidneys.
  9. Eye and skin health.  Dandelion greens contain over 100 percent of vitamin A to improve vision and fight skin infections.
  10. Chronic indigestion and excess gas.  Dandelion works great for dogs that suffer from digestion issues.

Remember, as we approach Spring, please pick the dandelions in your yard or wherever you can find them.  Our Power put herbs on the earth to heal us (Jubilees 10:12).  Shalom!

My Fitness Journey, Part 2

By cassandrwiley / On / In Healthy Eating, Self-Improvement

You may recall that I have been on a fitness journey for about 2 years now.  My starting weight in December 2015 was 146 lbs. I had some weight loss by early 2016.  It was 6 pounds that I recall.  My family and I moved in June 2016, and for some reason, we started eating out more frequently; I gained that weight back.  Later that year, I found out that I was pre-diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure at age 25.  I started working with a personal trainer  and began working to change my diet. My husband and I decided to go vegan for one month and take herbal supplements to improve our health.  Early last year, I had my annual physical exam.  My weight was stable at 143 lbs., but my blood work results were the best ever in a long time.  I didn’t have pre-diabetes or high cholesterol anymore!  The combination of diet and herbal supplements improved my health!

In October of last year, we decided to go back to eating vegan for one month.  We noticed a big difference in our health and overall well being.  After that month, we decided that we would only eat meat twice weekly. Usually, it’s fish, but also chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef.  We rarely eat dairy.

In the past month, we learned about “wheat belly” .  Today, the majority of the  wheat  is genetically modified.  Since the body does not know how to digest this genetically modified wheat, it’s stored as fat in our brains and in our stomachs.  Gluten is also something that we try to avoid.  I don’t eat wheat unless it is organic.  Since I eat dairy and organic wheat products rarely, my stomach does not look like a “muffin top”.   I can wear a dress without being paranoid that I look pregnant.  I get on the scale this morning, and I weigh 133 lbs!  I haven’t been working out in the last few months. It’s all from diet!  Working out will only enhance.  This is a weight that I am happy to stay at.  If you want to lose weight, you must change your lifestyle.

Christmas – Is Christ In It?

By cassandrwiley / On / In Self-Improvement

Hmmm….“Silver Bells”, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “Jingle Bells” and many more songs come to mind during this season.  As a child (and as an adult), I loved watching Christmas cartoons like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Classics.  Elf was probably my favorite Christmas movie.  I enjoyed seeing family, opening gifts, more good food, eggnog, and shopping!  Going to the mall in search of the perfect gift.

Then, it came to a point in which I stopped putting up a tree when I had my own apartment.  After I got married, we put up a tree for my son’s first Christmas. (His birthday is December 7th).  The next year, we didn’t put up a tree.  In 2012, we started to do research and found out the truth about Christmas.  Now, five years later, we don’t celebrate Christmas AT ALL!

We have been attending a Hebrew church for the past year and a half.  They teach us the real truth about these so-called holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  The Most High Power hates these days (Amos 5:21).  This only confirms that we were right for not celebrating them for the last five years.  For those of you that are reading this, you may or may not know the true meaning of Christmas.  When I was in the Christian church, they taught us that Jesus Christ is the reason that we celebrate Christmas.  He was born in a manger on December 25th.  Well, if we look in the Bible, we know that he could not have been born in the middle of winter because the shepherds were “keeping watch over their flock by night”  when Mary gave birth (Luke 2:8). The precise date of his birth was not mentioned in scriptures, but it is believed to be sometime in September.  On the Hebrew calendar, The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles all occur in September.  Some believe that Christ was born on September 11.  We remember what happened on that tragic day in 2001.  It would make sense for them to plan the so-called terrorist attack on that day.  We also see many natural disasters occurring during the month of September.  This year, three hurricanes occurred, back to back, causing excessive damage.

December 25 is actually Tammuz’s birthday.  Tammuz is Nimrod reincarnated.  The origin of Christmas (and Easter)  is Babylonian.  It actually started from Saturnalia, which  is a week-long festival that began around December 17.  Saturn, or Cronos, the Roman god of time and of the harvest, is where the festival gets it’s name. He demanded child sacrifice.  To this day, many children are sacrificed on Christmas.  

The Christmas tree is also pagan (Jer 10:2-5). It has nothing to do with Christ at all. So what does the Christmas tree really mean? There are many traditions that continue today as “spin offs” from Saturnalia.  Today, the Christmas tree is decorated with lights.  Originally, they used candles made from the fat of the burned bodies of the sacrificed children. (Horrific, but true).  People decorate their trees with colorful balls; originally, they used decapitated heads from sacrifice victims.  In some neighborhoods, you may see carolers going from house to house.  Before, they went caroling naked.  I’m sure today, that would be on the 6 o’clock news.  Christmas cards are another tradition.  We throw away every Christmas card we receive.

You can equate Cronos to the modern-day Santa Claus, an old man with a long, white beard who likes to surround himself with children.  As a child, I didn’t believe that ONE man could deliver presents to every child on Christmas Eve night by going down a chimney.  First of all, he was too fat to fit.  Secondly, we didn’t have a chimney.  In the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, the lyrics are “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake”. Who fits this description?  If you change the letters around in Santa,  you get Satan.  Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, he has been using the same old tricks to deceive.  He spends his time walking the earth  (I Peter 5:8).  Satan is, in fact, the reason behind Christmas!

When I tell my family or friends that we don’t celebrate Christmas, they don’t understand, even when we explain it.  They think it’s about family and gift giving.  They don’t want to disappoint their children, so they spend money on gifts they really can’t afford.  They go shopping at midnight or at the crack of dawn to catch those Black Friday deals. On the other hand, they’re sad because they don’t have the money to buy gifts.  You can buy your children gifts ANYTIME during the year.  My son and my husband both happen to have December birthdays, but we buy our son clothes and toys throughout the year!

The Feast of Purim is our time of gift giving. We celebrate this feast in February.  It is not a replacement for Christmas.  It is a time that we remember our sister, Esther, that saved our people  (the true Jews) from annihilation.

If you claim to be a follower of Christ, you should not celebrate Christmas, a holiday that has the devil all in it.  You can’t be lukewarm and play both sides (Rev. 3:16). Be either hot or cold.  In spite of what many churches teach, you should be able to use discernment to come to your own conclusions through your own research that Christ IS NOT the reason for the season.  We get caught up on traditions; we don’t read to see what the Most High says about these holidays.  We live in a very capitalistic society. Holidays are money makers for many corporations.  Most importantly, explain this to your children.  After all, you are the parent that makes the decisions. If you teach them early in life, they will remember as adults (Prov. 22:6).  With that, I say Shalom!

5 Ways to Cope With Job Loss

By cassandrwiley / On / In Hobbies, Parenting, Self-Improvement

One month ago, I was laid off from my job. It wasn’t because of poor performance.  In fact, my peers always told me about the fine work that I did.  They expressed their compassion as well as their surprise. I was the only person in my department that was affected by this business decision.

My previous company decided to downsize.  As a result, a few of us were told that our positions would be eliminated.  I wasn’t totally surprised during my two and a half years of service; I’ve seen many of my peers, including two managers, get fired.  The company downsized at the beginning of this year as well. In addition, the company had a lot of turnover  that always seem to happen in waves.

Am I bitter about losing my job?  Absolutely not.  I believe that was the expectation from the management and my peers.  Many people don’t handle a job loss well.   I’ve experienced it before.  As a spiritual woman, I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Sometimes, it’s to protect us from more harm. Other times, it’s to make us stronger to prepare us for the events to come.

During this past month, I’ve used this time to pray and think about the next steps.  I’ve enjoyed spending more time with my husband and son.  I watch my son get on his school bus, and I see him when he comes home. I help him with his spelling, reading, and math.  When I was working, my husband did all of those things.  As far as the job search goes, I worked with a resume coach to revise my resume.  I’m working with a career coach and learning more about using LinkedIn.  I’ve enjoyed working with both of them.

I’ve always been told that you are not alone; there is always someone going through the same issues.  I hope that I can encourage those that recently lost their job or maybe have been unemployed for a long period of time.  Perhaps, you may have advice for me. This is what I will tell you:

1. Move forward and put the past behind you.  I know this is not always easy, but it’s very important that you do this.  When you’re interviewing, you don’t want to say negative things about your previous company.

2. Use your time off to your benefit.  As a mentioned, I’ve enjoyed time with my family.  I’ve also had time to write blog posts. If you’re not in a “desperate” situation, use this time to relax and plan your next step.

3.  Networking.  LinkedIn is a great place to start.  One referral, ironically from a previous manager, led to a phone interview followed by an on-site interview. Applying for jobs online at sites like Indeed can work.  ( I have been invited for interviews).  It’s always wise to be creative with your job search.

4. Turn your talents into earnings.  We all know at least one person with a legal “hustle”, whether it’s hair styling, coaching, cooking, graphic design, fashion, or singing.  I’m still working on this.  I recently connected with a former co-worker that became an entrepreneur.  She had been preparing for the transition all year.

5. Count every experience as a life lesson.  I took away some valuable experiences from my last position. There were days that I felt appreciated; there were other days that I felt like less than a person.  In any case, I had an opportunity to gain leadership skills and develop my public speaking skills.

Please feel free to share your job search experiences and advice that has helped in your development.

Ketchup, Ketchup, Where’s the Ketchup?!

By cassandrwiley / On / In Health and Illnesses, Healthy Eating, Self-Improvement

Whether it’s ketchup or catsup, it’s a favorite condiment of many Americans.  However, it can contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and natural flavoring.  Natural flavoring sounds innocent enough, but at the same time, it’s very deceptive.  When people see natural, they automatically think that it’s healthy, not artificial.  The best option is if you see “natural flavoring” listed as an ingredient, call the company to find out the specific ingredients.

My family loves Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup.  It tastes like fresh tomatoes.  It contains organic  tomato purée, organic sugar, organic white vinegar, salt, organic onion powder, and organic spices.  Very simple.  All ingredients that you can pronounce.  If you cannot pronounce it, don’t buy it.

If you wanted to take a different route, you can always make your own ketchup. You can make it to your preferred taste with organic, non-GMO ingredients.  Wellness Mama has many great recipes from ketchup to homemade hand soap.

I enjoy making a variety of items from scratch like hand soap and even almond milk.  My homemade almond milk tasted richer than the organic milk from the supermarket.  It was very easy to make. (Add almond butter to warm water in a blender).  If you’re not already doing it, I encourage you to start making some of your own food, household items, and home remedies. The food today is tainted with GMOs, pesticides, and other poisons.  There doesn’t have to be a food shortage in order for there to be a famine (Matt. 24:7)

The Dangers of Cosmetics

By cassandrwiley / On / In Alternative Therapies, Fashion, Self-Improvement

Women (and in some cases men) use cosmetics to enhance facial features. However, some cosmetics contain chemicals that can be harmful to the body. Below is a short list of those ingredients that can be found in color cosmetics. I’ve also included some ingredients found in nail polish. It’s summertime, and many of us want to show off our feet by wearing vibrant colors on our toenails. It’s fine to look beautiful. I want to make you aware of all of your options.

 

Common ingredients found in makeup (i.e. foundation, color cosmetics):

Propylparaben – preservative; can mimic estrogen; can disrupt hormones

Methylparaben – preservative; can cause (breast) cancer, skin, and eye damage.

Disodium EDTA (ethelenediaminetetraacetic acid) – makes hard water soft

Diazolidinyl urea – preservative and formaldehyde releaser; can cause allergies. It should be noted that formaldehyde is toxic and used to preserve cadavers (dead bodies).

These chemicals can also be listed as benzoic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, methyl ester, etc. For a complete list and for more information about cosmetic ingredients, visit
https://www.ewg.org

 

Common ingredients found in nail polish

Acetone – this is used as nail polish remover, sometimes 100% or diluted. Used for laboratory experiments or cleaning laboratory glassware.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – increases flexibility and shine in polish; causes birth defects

Formaldehyde – causes cancer

Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) – used to make plastic; disrupts hormones, and contributes to weight gain and obesity

Always read the ingredients before you buy any product. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it or buy at your own risk.  Personally, I enjoy being pampered from a manicure or pedicure.  There may be non-toxic brands available, or you may opt for no polish.  If you have the time, you can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home.

For ideas on homemade makeup and non-toxic nail polish options, visit:

Read more “The Dangers of Cosmetics”

Natural Hair: Getting to the Root of It

By cassandrwiley / On / In Fashion, Self-Improvement

At the beginning of this year, I decided that I would stop chemically treating my hair and embrace my natural hair.  I think just about every woman that I know has decided to do this. I admit that I was hesitant about going natural because my hair is very course.  After talking to other sisters and hair professionals, the key is conditioner and LOTS of it. I use Taliah Waajid for Children and  Silk Elements MegaSilk Olive Moisturizing Treatment.  I also use coconut oil and shea butter on my hair. I was also told that it would be a lot of work, and that I would need to give my hair time to recover from the many years of relaxing.

Last year, I wore a very short cut, which was really cute and easy to manage. However, I was starting to notice that my hair was thinning around my hairline.  Since natural products and herbal supplements are improving my health, it should work for my hair.  I decided to try Ninja Hair Growth Tonic for my thinning patches of hair. I saw results within 2 weeks. I  massage my scalp with it 1-2 times each week nightly and wash it the next day.

To make my transition to natural hair easier, I have been wearing fluffy twists, which look natural.  They also feel very light. My stylist says that my hair is growing fast. When the relaxer “grows out”, I can rock my natural hair and love it!

How I Overcame Pre-diabetes and High Cholesterol Without a Prescription

By cassandrwiley / On / In Health and Illnesses, Healthy Eating, Self-Improvement

When I had my annual physical this past January, my doctor was very impressed with my blood work results.  My thyroid functions were normal along with my cholesterol and blood sugar levels.   My issues with pre-diabetes and high cholesterol were no longer a concern for me.

In October 2016, I started taking herbal supplements. My family and I were introduced to an herbalist from Washington state. He gave us advice about our current medical conditions and herbal remedies.

Over  that next month, I didn’t eat any meat. I had stopped eating pork one month before. (See my post 5 Reasons That I Stopped Eating Pork).  Shellfish was no longer a part of my diet, either.  This includes shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters, clams, squid, and scallops. Having lived in Maryland for the past 11 years, crabs were always available, expensive sometimes, but available. With the exception of fish with fins and scales, everything else that lives in the water is unclean ( Leviticus 11:9-11).   Many of us believe that it’s a delicacy because it tastes delicious.  However, we don’t associate it with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.  Shellfish are typically bottom-dwellers that eat and carry bacteria. Think about that the next time you have shrimp cocktail or a crab cake.

In addition to not eating meat for one month, I did not eat dairy or bread.  My weight has not changed, but I have lost body fat.  When I saw my personal trainer 2 weeks ago, my body fat was 30 percent. Last year, it was 32 percent, so I have made progress. Under 30 percent body fat is ideal.

In conclusion, you can treat many common illnesses with a proper diet and herbs.  The body can basically heal itself if it’s properly cared for.  Many herbs have healing properties (Jubilees 10:12), so don’t need to go see the pharmacist.  Once you start taking prescription medications, you may have to take them for the rest of your life. It is better to treat the illness now with what the earth has to offer.