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Staying Healthy During COVID-19

In my last post I wrote about the chilling reality of the 500,000 lives that have been lost to COVID-19. As of this writing, the number has climbed to 516,000. We can hope and pray that those numbers will begin to go down soon, but in addition to hoping and praying there are some steps we can take to keep ourselves healthy.

  • Wear your mask every time you go outdoors. This is a basic step, but I still see some folks walking around without masks. A mask prevents you from being exposed to droplets while protecting others around you from infection. Several sites across the internet provide information on the best types of mask to buy and even how you can make a mask at home. Wear your mask over your nose and mouth and make sure it fits properly. If you have to keep pulling it up, it’s not a proper fit and you may need to get a different brand. Three types of masks are shown below: cloth face mask, anti-fog mask for glasses wearers, and a copper-infused mask
  • Practice social distance. This means avoiding crowds and family gatherings as far as possible. Stay at least 6 feet (2 arms length) from people who don’t live with you.
  • If someone in your home gets sick, wear your mask and take necessary precautions. Open windows and doors to allow for proper ventilation.
  • Wash your hands often or use sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are frequently used–countertops, door handles, light switches etc. Use products from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Monitor your health daily. Watch for symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue. See the CDC website for other symptoms that may require emergency medical attention.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccination. States are rolling out the vaccine and giving it out according to eligibility, beginning with frontline workers followed by adults 65 years and over. If you have not had a severe reaction to the vaccine and fall into either of those categories you may get the vaccine.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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The Sobering Truth About COVID-19

As I watched Joe Biden, president of the United States, deliver a sobering speech to pay tribute to the 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19, my eyes filled with tears. If the truth of this pandemic hadn’t sunk in before, I think it did today.

Dressed in black, the President and First Lady, the Vice President and First Gentleman appropriately reflected the atmosphere of mourning outside the White House and in the country. The United States has the dubious honor of having the highest number of deaths in the world–more than all the people killed in all the wars we have fought, and enough to fill the whole of Arlington cemetery.

Many of those who have died did not have a proper funeral. Loved ones were not there to bid them a final good-bye and to have closure for their own grief. Many people died, and are dying, alone. My sister-in-law died alone.

But today, following that short ceremony at the White House and the ringing of the cathedral bell 500 times and the flying of the flag at half mast on federal buildings, those who died finally received the long-awaited farewell. And those of us who are left behind have now achieved closure. We can go on with our lives, knowing that our loved ones died that we might live. As the President said, they were not ordinary Americans, but extraordinary.

They were the ones who were slammed by a disease before they even knew what hit them. But now, because of them, we know better. We know we can be proactive and take the vaccine. We can be proactive and wear our mask, wash our hands, and avoid gatherings. We can save our lives and that of others. Is it too hard to ask?

I shivered when I saw the six figures on the television screen. It’s not the type of six figures we like to boast about. It’s not a number, nor a bank account balance. It’s lives lost, lives that will never return–mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends. And as I stared at the numbers, I asked my husband, “Do you think we’ll get to a million?”

I hope not. I think not. As long as we look out for ourselves and each other, the six figures will soon be a painful, distant memory. God bless.

Want to know more about getting the vaccine and what to expect? Go to this link:

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High Alcohol Use Can Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease

As you know, February is American Heart Month. It is also Black History month, and if you are a black person, you probably know that you are at a higher risk for heart disease. Other strong risk factors for heart disease are high alcohol consumption and smoking.

Heart disease is usually associated with advanced age, however, researchers have found that roughly 4% of those diagnosed nationally are between the ages of 18 and 44. Researchers have also found a recent rise in new cases of heart disease in young adults across the United States, which they attribute to the use of substances such as tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamine or cannabis.

A study published in Heart  journal found that individuals with higher alcohol consumption and those who smoked were more likely to suffer from premature heart disease, compared with light drinkers and those who didn’t smoke. The findings also revealed that those who frequently used recreational substances — particularly cocaine and marijuana — and those who regularly used four or more substances, had elevated odds of developing premature heart disease, compared with those who didn’t use recreational substances.

In addition to smokers and heavy drinkers, 13% of cocaine users developed premature heart disease, compared to 3% of non-users. Researchers define premature heart disease as having a heart attack or stroke before age 55 in men and before 65 in women. If you experience any of these events before the age of 40, you are said to have extremely premature heart disease.

I don’t think anyone wants to fall into either category. We want to remain as healthy as we can for as long as we can. So, during this Heart Awareness Month, why not take the necessary steps to show your heart some love? You know what you need to do–watch your weight and if you use any of the substances above, quit. But this is sometimes easier said than done. So, why not take charge of your health today? Fill out the form below and let’s get you on your way to optimum health.

Do you suffer from type 2 diabetes? Would you like to know how to control or even reverse your diabetes through proper diet and exercise? Then fill out the form below for a free discovery session. Contact me.

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Should Diabetics Use Artificial Sweeteners

A great deal of controversy surrounds the use of sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners such as Sweet N Low (saccharin), Splenda (sucralose), Nutrasweet, and Equal (aspartame), to name a few. Women, especially, always eager to lose a few pounds, tend to use these sweeteners in their tea or coffee or consume products containing them.  As someone with type 2 diabetes, you cannot take chances with your health, so, let’s look at a few facts.

The term sugar substitutes can be confusing.  Some labels may carry the word “natural” when the product has been processed or refined, as in the case of Stevia. Some artificial sweeteners may be derived from sucralose, which comes from sucrose or sugar, as in the case of Splenda.

Artificial sweeteners are widely used in a number of processed foods, including candy, sodas, chocolate, jams and jellies, puddings and dairy products. Artificial sweeteners do not raise blood sugar levels the way sugar does, so they may be a good alternative to sugar. However, because of the ambiguous labeling of ingredients, you should check with your doctor or dietitian before using these products.

An article by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, MDs, warns that the internet may be sending wrong information about artificial sweeteners. The doctors cite one study that claims, “high doses of saccharin don’t lead to diabetes in healthy adults.”  The doctors counter that these claims are misleading for the following reasons:

  • Many people with serious health issues consider themselves healthy, when in fact, they may have chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. Therefore, they may mistakenly think they can use artificial sweeteners because they are healthy.
  • In the US, few people meet the healthy standards the researchers used: a body mass index of around 22, HDL cholesterol in the upper 50s, and a glucose reading in the upper 80s or low 90s. Instead, the MDs state that a whopping 74% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, more than 100 million have diabetes or prediabetes (elevated glucose levels), and around 45 million don’t meet the HDL target.
  • Other studies have found that using artificial sweeteners may actually cause you to get diabetes — especially since it gives you a false sense of security that you can use more products containing them.

The doctors’ advice? Do not trick your taste buds with fake flavors and nutrition-empty calories. Get your sugar from whole fruits and 70% cacao chocolate (1 ounce a day).

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Monday Motivation: You Can Never Earn Love

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:1, NIV

Sara’s mother was emotionally abusive. When Sara was growing up, her mom would withhold affection and comfort if Sara did something she didn’t like. Sara tried to please her mom but she never received the support and kindness she so desperately longed for.

Sara was left feeling like she had to earn the love of those around her. She spent a lot of her time trying to be good enough. She worked hard on every project to prove herself. She was quick to help others in the hopes that they would like her.

Then one day, she joined a local quilting group. She did it because she had always been interested in various craft. What she found was a group of tight-knit women who poured into her. She began to receive the affection and motherly advice she’d craved for years.

As she allowed herself to bloom, Sara began to understand that God’s love for her wasn’t like her mom’s. God’s love for her was unconditional and unchanging.

His love didn’t depend on her actions or inactions. It wasn’t something that would be taken away if she made a mistake or had a bad day. God’s love was always there for her, no matter what…

God, thank You for loving me unconditionally. Sometimes, I struggle with this concept. Remind me when I’m feeling alone that Your affection doesn’t depend on my actions.

You may be wondering, I have diabetes. What does this have to do with me? The story tells us that Sara worked hard to earn her mother’s love but she never did. You may be struggling to lose weight or to look a certain way to please others, and your efforts may not be paying off. In fact, knocking yourself out to please others can lead to stress, which can lead to diabetes and other illnesses.

Like Sara, you should turn to doing the things that interest you. Do it for yourself, not for others, and you will see your dreams become a reality. And while you’re doing that, remember there is one Person you never have to work to please, and that is God. He loves and accepts you just the way you are. Simply surrender everything to Him–your life, your hopes, your fears– and let Him take control.

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Blueberries For A Happy American Heart Month

For American Heart month, the American Heart Association is encouraging us to show our hearts some love by loading up on blueberries. It doesn’t matter if they are fresh or frozen, they are certified as heart-healthy through the American Heart Association Heart-Check Food Certification Program.

This infographic, courtesy the Blueberry Council, gives valuable information on blueberries and how they contribute to healthy nutrition.

Here’s a delicious and nutritious Blueberry Oat Smoothie Recipe:


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 container (5.3 ounces) non-fat blueberry Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  • In blender, process oats for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and purée until blended. Enjoy!
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How Not To Gain Weight On Your Birthday

Today is my birthday, so I’m taking it easy, relaxing around the house. My husband treated me to a nice meal of lobster, shrimp and salmon with a side of salad from Red Lobster, while he had filet mignon with lobster and sides. I only had half of my meal and plan to have the rest for dinner.  

While I don’t count calories, I love the way the restaurants give the calorie count for each dish, so I can have an idea of how many calories I’m consuming. My order with sides contained 1550 calories, and I ate just about half. Since it’s my birthday, I may have a chocolate ice-cream cone later –220 calories, giving me a total of 1770 calories, if I do eat the other half of my meal later. The recommended daily caloric intake for a woman is 2000 calories and I believe my breakfast would not have been more than 300 calories. So that takes me to just over 2000 calories. Since I exercise 3 or 4 times a week, I don’t have to worry.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

It’s okay to indulge yourself a bit on your birthday or some other special event, but pay close attention to your caloric intake. To avoid sabotaging your weight management plan, consider halving your portion sizes, especially if the menu contains high calorie items. Another option would be to increase your physical activity following the event. Remember, if you are trying to lose weight you need to reduce your calories by 500 to 1000 calories a day.

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Skipping Dinner To Lose Weight? Think Again

You may have heard you should not skip breakfast if you are trying to lose weight. Now there’s a new study that shows that skipping dinner might make you more likely to gain weight.

A study published in Insider states that researchers at Osaka University found that not eating dinner is a “significant predictor of weight gain. The report goes on to say that those who skipped dinner all the time were more likely to be older, more overweight, a smoker or drinker, and to sleep for a shorter period of time.

Although skipping dinner is much less prevalent than skipping breakfast, it has a stronger association with weight gain and overweight/obesity than skipping breakfast. The reason? Skipping dinner makes you more hungry so you end up eating more during the day.

Another possible reason, the study says, is that dinner is more likely to consist of nutritious foods such as lean meat and vegetables, so if you skip dinner you could be consuming a less healthy diet.

In recent times, intermittent fasting has become a popular method for losing weight, with the eight-hour window (eat from 8.00 to 4.00) being the most popular. However, researchers warn that diabetics should not attempt intermittent fasting without first consulting their doctor.

Related posts:

Do you suffer from type 2 diabetes? Would you like to know how to control or even reverse your diabetes through proper diet and exercise? Then fill out the form below for a free discovery session. Contact me.

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Monday Motivation: Choose To Be Happy

You may have looked at someone and thought, if I drove the car he/she drives, I would be happy. Or, if I were as pretty/tall/slim as she is, I would be happy. Well, I hate to disappoint you; none of us — rich or poor, black or white, fat or thin–come into this world with a guarantee of happiness. So, how then can you be happy? When you win the lotto? When you marry Mr. Billionaire? Or maybe, when you have a child? Not really.

The first two will bring you all the money your little heart desires, and the last will provide the satisfaction that only a child can bring. But neither one can assure you of true, lasting happiness. So, what then is happiness? Quite simply, happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy — in spite of the pandemic, in spite of being diagnosed with type2 diabetes or some other illness and despite being unmarried or childless.

Let us look at some ways you can find happiness.

  1. Seek out a relationship with God, through daily prayer, meditation and studying the Bible.
  2. Stop striving to be happy. If you are constantly focusing on finding happiness, you will miss the simple little things in your life that can bring you happiness.
  3. Know that happiness is fleeting. What brings you happiness this moment can be taken away from you in the next. The Bible says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
  4. Put the needs of others above your own. Instead of focusing only on yourself, try to find someone you can help.
  5. Look after your health. Let’s face it, you can’t be happy if you are in constant pain or you don’t feel well. Check with your physician or health coach regularly and follow their advice.
  6. Smile and the world smiles with you. Know that saying? When you smile, everything seems brighter and your mood becomes lighter. Try it!

Happiness rests with you. No person on this earth can make you happy. They can give you a certain sense of satisfaction and treat you well, but if you don’t have that inner peace, you would not be happy. So, look after your self, develop that relationship with Jesus Christ and you will find the happiness you seek. God bless.

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The Powerful Effect Of Words

The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do – James 3: 5 (TLB)

This passage from the book of James is often quoted by clergy and lay people alike to warn others about the power of their words. The tongue indeed can do a lot of damage, but if used wisely, it can do a lot of good.

Let us look at some powerful words and their effects.

Words can bless: “The Lord bless you and keep you;  the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you” (Numbers 6: 24 – 25).

Words can curse: So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life” (Genesis 3: 14).

Words can create: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1: 3).

Words can destroy: “You will never amount to anything.”

Words can inspire: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” Martin Luther King Jr. —”I Have A Dream” speech, Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963

Words can comfort: “I care about you. We’ll fight this battle together.”

Words can demean: “Snap out of it! Stop feeling sorry for yourself!”

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of a man whose words galvanized the civil rights movement and inspired hope in the hearts of millions the world over. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. remain a priceless legacy we all can live by. What about your words? Do they create or destroy, comfort or condemn? The next time you open your mouth to say something, think before you speak, for you can never take back those words.

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