Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to be HAPPY: 4 Tips for Cultivating Contentment!

Close your eyes and image a place far away where people are friendly, the weather is perfect, and the food is as good as good sex. Breathe deep as you take in the cool afternoon wind as it blows over the ocean's surface. Embrace the calm that overtake your mind, body, and soul. Become one with your spirit as it guides you to that utopic center within the confines of your soul. Spread your arms out wide as you breath in deeply upon exhale bring your arms inward as you embrace and hug yourself! Find your place of peace as you count to ten slowly. As thoughts flow through your mind let them come and go freely like the wind. Open your eyes and capture this moment. Live it, love it. -Sapphire Starr



"A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts."
-James Allen , " As a Man Thinketh"


Happiness is a state of Mind. You're the creator of your destiny! The blueprint of your future is imprinted in your thoughts. It's time to do a thought inventory check! What is the first thing you think of when you rise in the morning? What's the last thing on your mind before you lay your head to rest? What do you think about as you go about your daily routine? This is your life! You attract what you think rather positive or negative! I can't lose weight, I can't find a man, I can't save money, I can't find a job! If your thoughts follow this pattern, this will be the reality that manifest in your life! If you think you can't do something, guess what? Your right!

Tip #1
List 5 things you want to accomplish to make you happy. Every morning when you rise look in the mirror and recite I CAN do these 5 things until they manifest in your life.

Happy Hiker





"The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors, that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own."-James Allen , " As a Man Thinketh"


Happiness comes from within. Many people look externally for someone or something to make them happy. But you are in control of your happiness. You control how you respond to negative or adverse circumstances. If you are happy, naturally you will attract happiness! I'm not oblivious to the vicissitudes of life that can create extreme strife from within. But, you control how you respond to adversity. This does not mean that evil things will not happen to you. I've been asked, How can I be happy when my Uncle molested me? How can I be happy when I was a victim of an abusive relationship? How can I be happy when my father verbally abused me? How can I be happy when my best friend stole my money? Here's the answer to the question when others attempt to rob you of your joy...FORGIVENESS! Violators attempt to render their victims powerless and that's how they control you. Forgiveness is how you regain Power and Freedom to live your life. Once you've been robbed of your joy, Forgiveness allows you to take it back! Forgiveness doesn't make the offense right. It doesn't mean they should not be held accountable. I believe you reap what you sow and they will get their just due.

Tip #2
Forgiveness (Starting with self!)

Take a sheet of paper and write the name of people who have offended and cause you pain. After each name write, Today you have no power over my life, I refuse to let you continue to make me unhappy. I forgive you. Next read the names and declaration aloud. Once completed, rip the paper into a million pieces. Let it go!


"Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound."-James Allen , " As a Man Thinketh"

Happiness must be nurtured and developed daily! Focus on what you have and give thanks! Begin to DO things that bring happiness into your life! If losing weight makes you happy, develop a plan to eat healthy and exercise. Begin to distance yourself from people and things that bring unhappiness in your life. This can be very challenging especially if the person is a close relative or a partner. If you have relationships that are not easily severed, reevaluate your perception of this individual.

Tip #3
Make A Happy Bucket List

List 10 people, places, or things that make you feel happy. Every night before you go to bed read the list aloud and meditate on how these things make you feel. Begin to spend more time with the people on this list and spend time doing the things on this list.

My Superhero


"Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built."-James Allen , " As a Man Thinketh"


Tip #4
Create a Vision Board!

Materials needed:
1 poster board
Favorite Magazine
Glue stick
Scissors

Vision 2014


Envision what a happy life would look like and browse through your favorite magazine or the Internet for pictures that illustrate that vision. Cut pictures out and glue to vision board. Get creative and have fun adding glitter, stickers, banners, etc. Hang in plain site to remind yourself of your goals and continue to pursue happiness throughout your day and life.




















Saturday, October 11, 2014

Poetry:Genesis


                                                   
Look up in the sky, its a bird no a plane
No its Sirius B bringing the pain
No pain but peace, love, and harmony
Saving the world while trying to save me
One test tube at a time 
My methodic personality turns melodic As I orbit the universe 
 Illuminating greatness 
Thinking myself into impossibilities 
While on a  mission to Haiti 
 I'm the sum of my parts 
 Complex plus Concrete equals complete 
 Analytical  plus spiritual equals militant thoughts to be all I can be 
 Be the change you want to see 
And Sirius B will Be 
 I'm going with the flow as I flow on this tree 
 The tree of life my gift to humanity 
 

Created by God Beautifully , Wonderfully!
Take a trip down memory lane 
 Back dirty alleyways 
 Projects projected crushed dreams 
 Can it be a possibility to leave? 
Hope unseen! 


Carrying baby girl on my hip, I walked a fine line created by society 
 Tried to make me a statistic 
But I'm a mystic surviving Darwin's evolution
My revolution is to tell my story to little girls who lost their glory On the way down to the corner store. 
 I need a job to feed this baby, A ride to get this education 
Mis-educated misguided from the truth But it put food on the table 
 Ghetto girl, ghetto girl where does your secret lie? 
No lie, I'm a survivor getting back to me Beautifully, Wonderfully. 
 Eight bars raising the bar illuminating a pathway For little girls to see their glory 
 

Chile Glory me, I need him to rescue me
Survivor surviving turn tough but beneath lies a sweet savory story 
My femininity needs masculinity 
oh come taste and see 
Like a watermelon I'm hard on the outside 
But cut the rhyme in time you will see how sweet my fruit can be 


Seasons change nothing stays the same
Rapid heart beats flutter with passion and pain
 Energy transformed witness my transformation 
Complex Concrete Sweet 
Webster can't define me 
I'll be who I'll be all for the love of humanity 
Look up in the sky what do you see 
See a better you for eternity!

Monday, September 8, 2014

How to get over a Breakup and Avoid Felony Charges!



Lovers will come and go. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soul mate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.” ― Monroe

You're probably reading this post because you have experienced a heartbreak at least once in your lifetime. You may be experiencing one now and is looking for a magic pill to "fix" the pain.  Here's your answer...Get Over It, and Move on with your life!  This is your reality,  if he wants you back there's nothing more attractive than a woman with a life independent of him. If he doesn't come back, there's nothing more attractive to the new guy than a woman who has a life! 

Below are 5 Dos and Don'ts on how to get over a breakup (and avoid felony charges)!

Don't
Call his phone leaving "I wish you were dead" messages!

Do
DELETE all contacts! This includes his work number, cell number, momma's house, etc. Delete all text messages, picture messages, that "my boo" picture album, etc. This step is crucial to save yourself any future embarrassment when you feel compelled to call him at 3 am crying, "Why are you doing this to me?" There's nothing less attractive than desperation. Reading old text messages and reminiscing over old pictures will further the pain and you'll remain stuck in the past. Ladies, if a man tells you he needs space, give it to him! If you press the issue you risk pushing him further away. 

Don't
Facebook (or home) drive-byes!

Do
Disconnect 

We're the most connected generation than ever before due to the Internet and social media. To avoid wondering what he's doing with his life and Facebook stalking...Disconnect (unfriend/stop following) from ALL social media shared together. This include Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, etc. The best way to move forward with your life is to not focus on what he's doing with his.  If there's no contact, he may become curious with what your doing with your life. If he wants you back, he will have to make a gallant effort to do so.

Don't
Wait outside his place of employment crying your eyes out hoping to get answers!

Do
Cry Inside Like a Winner!

I was watching a hilarious movie, The Other Woman, starring Cameron Diaz. In my favorite scene, the mistress's (Cameron D.) advice to the wife (Leslie Mann) was to "Cry on the inside like a winner!" Give yourself a time frame to be sad and cry your eyes out. There's nothing more devastating than losing the love of your life. My last breakup, I cried (and laughed) as I  watched the Wendy William's show on YouTube for seven days straight!  After the seventh day, I embraced the reality of being single again and moved forward! You may need more or less time but don't dwell on the past. Life goes on and so should you.

Don't 
Obsess over the pain of heartbreak!

Do Something! 


Now that you've cried and stuffed your face with Blue Belle ice cream, it's time to get a life. Treat yourself to a spa day to relax your mind, body, and soul. Join social networking sites such as Meetup to find out what's going on in your community. It's a great way to get out the house and meet new people. Volunteer! There's nothing more gratifying than helping someone else in need. In those moments your able to put your life in perspective and focus on what you have and not what was lost. Bottom line, find something to keep your mind busy. The less down-time you have the less time you have to think about him.

Don't
Retaliate!

Do
Forgive

 “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 


This last tip is paramount to your healing heart process! It's essential that you forgive yourself and the man that broke your heart. Life is fragile and we all make mistake. Don't spend the rest of your life hating those who have offended you. Forgiveness is not for the offender, it's for you. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The only way to receive love is to be open to love!


Love is a gamble, but it's worth the risk. Either he will realize your amazing or leave room for your soul mate to find you.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How I lost 20lbs in 2 months!

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love - even the most simple action.” ― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Let me clarify....

Even though I lost 20lbs in 2 months, my healthy lifestyle journey began 2 years prior. As I mentioned in Confessions of a Fast Food Addict my weight loss journey began in 2005. I'd been carrying the freshman "30" four years past college graduation. And to add insult to injury I was heavier than I was 9 months pregnant! I was not happy with the reflection staring back at me in the mirror. As Eckhart Tolle states in his book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

“Nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.”― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

In that moment the time was NOW! My journey had began and after 2 years of learning proper nutrition and exercise, I'd lost 20lbs in 2 months. 

No tricks, No gimmicks (I once tried diet pills only to gain 10lbs of the 15lbs back once I stopped taking the pills) !

1) Exercise

When I initially joined the YMCA, it was awful! The fancy equipment and "professionals" using them were very intimidating. I signed up for an aerobic class and eventually ventured into the weight area. I read Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength
and used their 12-week program as a guide (unofficially, the printable exercise and nutrition guides were free). I worked out 6 days per week alternating cardio and weight training. Make it FUN! When I discovered ZUMBA, it change my entire perspective about exercise.  Fast-forward seven years, I prefer to workout outdoors to the gym and have adopted new hobbies such as hiking, biking, roller skating, and running. During the cold winter months I use workout DVDs such as INSANITY DVD Workout - Base Kit
and Shaun T's FOCUS T25 DVD Workout - Base Kit.

 Do SOMETHING 30mins per day for 6 days per week and watch your body transform before your eyes!

2) Nutrition

KEEP IT SIMPLE! There's a plethora of data out there about what to eat and what not to eat and it changes every five seconds.  Like Finances , nutrition requires baby steps.  My nutrition made simple as follows:
1) Eat healthy 5-6 days per week including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. 
2) Eat 5-6 small meals per day including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to keep metabolism active.
3) Give yourself 1-2 Free Days per week to eat whatever your heart desires! 
4) Drink at least 64ozs of water per day.
5) Avoid eating after 7pm or 2 hours before going to bed. 

 Body-for-LIFE for Women: A Woman's Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation sample meal plans  provide a healthy guide for proper diet and nutrition. Fad diets are a waste of time and for seven years I've made  a conscious effort to make healthy food choices. 


3) Get a partner

Accountability is key to a successful healthy lifestyle. There's power in numbers! There were days when I didn't want to work out but did because I knew my workout buddy would be waiting for me.

4) Write it down

Keep a journal of what you eat and workout activities. This exercise will give you a sense of accomplishment and focus on desired goals. Be very specific about your healthy lifestyle journey including timeline for accomplishing goals.

5) Throw away your scale

We've become obsessed with "weight" when its only a measure of the amount of gravitational  force  pushing down on your body. Its OK to track and document your weight but pick one day per week, same time of day (preferably in the morning) to hop on the scale. Also the best measure of weight loss is in inches. Measure yourself with a tape measure and monitor weight loss by how your clothes fit.



Remember 
Be patient! It's a process! Stay Focused and never give up! It wasn't until I decided to practice proper nutrition AND exercise that I lost 20lbs in 2-months and seven years later, I've kept it off!











Thursday, June 26, 2014

Solo Traveler: Fear to Fearless

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”



As I soar thousands of miles in the sky, I'm wondering if this is a good idea. Frolicking through the streets of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico or Jungle trekking throughout the beautiful island of Dominica...Alone! Maybe, maybe not!?! But at this point, there's no turning back! Am I afraid? A little! But that's what courage is about, charging your fears like a bull! Fear is a natural emotion but it's unnatural to allow an emotion to control your life.
Flying over Dominica

Traveling solo is an exciting and new adventure! I've traveled a few places within the states but always with friends and family. In the past, I would make plans only to cancel if I couldn't find a travel buddy. Though this world consist of 7 billion people, the idea of traveling "alone" seemed foreign and daunting. Despite fear, I booked a flight to Dominica and Puerto Rico with passport in tow and boarded the plane! That's how you go from fear to fearless, just do it! Nothing is ever as bad as it seems! Like I mentioned earlier, this world consist of 7 billion people! Essentially, we are never "alone". It's about perspective! There are so many opportunities to meet amazing people! For example, I met an interesting fellow name Cerni , en route from Puerto Rico to Dominica! As we boarded the small plane, he shared his story of growing up in a small country called Andorra (located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France) and how he recently quit his job to travel the Caribbean Nations! 
Plane Mate Cerni
Below are some revelations I discovered while traveling solo:

Benefits to Traveling Solo

Freedom-
One rainy morning in Dominica, I ate breakfast and then hiked 12.4 miles down to the Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site (only two in the world , second one in New Zealand)on the side of an active volcano! None of my family or friends would have been excited to experience this adventure, but i was ecstatic! Traveling solo gives you the opportunity to do or not to do whatever you want! Wanna sleep in till 2pm? It's OK! Wanna sign up for every activity available? Why not! Your free!

Breakfast View Jungle Bay Dominica

Valley of Desolation Boiling Lake
Valley of Desolation Boiling Lake


Flexibility-
Another benefit of traveling alone is the fact that you are more flexible. You can stay in one place as long as you like and are able to change your itinerary on a whim. It is also very relaxing. You don’t need to make any plans for the day, and can take things as they come. While in Puerto Rico, I woke up at 5am and walked to Condado beach. After a couple of hours of exploring the area, I stumbled upon this amazing Jamaican Restaurant, Blessed (I know, I know! I'm in Puerto Rico but I couldn't resist the food and music). Later, I took a tour of the Bacardi Rum Factory and Listened to Live Salsa Music at Nuyan Rican Cafe till 4am (my flight departed at 650am). No agenda, No schedule, Complete blissful randomness!. 

Old San Juan Condado Beach Puerto Rico


Castillo de San Cristóbal (Puerto Rico)

Blessed Restaurant Old San Juan

Old San Juan


Yolanda At Nuyan Rican Old San Juan Puerto Rico

Friendships
When traveling with friends and family, your focus is centered on the group. Your less likely to entertain others and are less approachable. When traveling solo, people are more likely to approach you and you can focus on meeting new people. My first night in Dominica, I had dinner with 4 German men and a Swedish woman name Nancy! My hiking buddies were newlyweds from Norway and England! Also joining me on hikes and excursions were a mother/daughter team from France and Mike from Philly! While hiking Trafalgar Falls, I met a Hungarian woman while soaking in the natural hot water springs! She was on holiday for two months and decided to island hop from Jamaica down to Trinidad. Dominica was her 133 country visited. Her goal was to visit all 196 countries in the world! 
Trafalgar Falls Dominica
 
Trafalgar Falls Dominica

Carlos At Jungle Bay
My new friends From France

Mike From Philly



I loved traveling solo! I'm so happy I didn't miss the opportunity to meet amazing people on an amazing trip because of fear! Hopefully my experience has taught you to never be afraid to pursue your dreams!

OK Tips for traveling Solo

Be safe & smart -Use common sense! The same precautions taken at home should be taken while traveling! If traveling international be sure to check the US Passport and International Travel  website for updated information and be sure family and friends are aware of your whereabouts!

Leave a paper trail! I made three copies of my passport. I gave one copy to my daughter, kept two copies on my persons at all times, and emailed a copy to my personal email address. I purchased a small lock that I use to store my passport and personal items safely.




Saturday, June 14, 2014

About Me

"Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation for your country, and a finer world to live in." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Puerto Rico 2014
Life Enthusiast~Writer~Adventurer
My name is Sapphire Starr. My mission is to inspire others to overcome life's challenges, follow their dreams, and LIVE the best life ever! I come from humble beginnings growing up in the projects of Savannah, GA. At a young age I wanted to make a difference in this world. My passion became humanity when I started volunteering with my mom at the age of 12. Volunteering became the pivotal force that drove me to pursue a career in Healthcare. Though I became a teen mom at 14, I graduated from Savannah High School and later obtain a B.S. in Biology (2001) and B.S. Medical Technology (2002) from Armstrong Atlantic State University. I've worked as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist since 2002 and continue to Volunteer in my community and abroad! In 2014, a  medical mission trip to Haiti reignited my passion for Travel. My Vision is to travel the world spreading peace, love, and  philanthropy! Hopefully I empower you to create the life you want to live!



Vision
Travel the world spreading peace, love, and philanthropy!

Mission Statement
Through life experiences, I hope to empower others to LIVE the best life ever!

Principle Pillars
Faith, Family, Fitness/Health, & Finance


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My life on the run: Mailbox to Marathon!

Sunrise Training Run Hilton Head, SC

I Love running! This wasn't the case 10 years ago. I was overweight and out of shape! I couldn't run from my front door to the mailbox at the end of the driveway!  During this time, I decided to make a lifestyle change. In a quest to overcome a fast food addiction, I joined the YMCA and started making healthy food choices. In a couple of months,  I'd lost weight and was feeling great! But, I became bored with the gym and wanted to try something new.

One day I over heard fellow gymmates discussing upcoming Tybee Marathon. Sounded interesting, so I decided to sign up!  As I proceeded to fill out sign up form a young later asked, "Have you ever run 26.2miles before?" I gasp, as I stared blankly at her. "What?!? People run that far? At the same time?" Remember, I couldn't run to my mailbox. She quickly recommend I start with a 5k and my life on the run began!

Yes, my running journey began out of boredom and ignorance.



I downloaded  C25k app to my cell phone and began training. I also signed up for my first 5k, Run of the Lakes in Rincon, GA. This was the hardest thing I'd ever done! My self training started on the treadmill and eventually I built the courage to run at the park.

In 2005, I ran my first 5k and won 2nd place for my age group. It was only two of us, but nonetheless, I'd won! This did wonders for my ego!


At 5k, a fellow runner suggested I sign up for the Atlanta Peachtree 10k Road Race. I signed up, and after  my first Peachtree I was hooked! I'd never seen so many people,  in one place, at one time,  doing one thing...Running!



Jeff Galloway Peachtree 10K 2009

Peachtree 10K 2010


Peachtree 10k 2011


Peachtree 10k 2012




After my 5th Peachtree 10k, I wanted to run further!.
But I needed help. While I was training and running races, I hated running!

Breast Cancer 5K 2008






















Gate River 15K 2010 Jacksonville, GA



Enmark Bridge 10k 2008 Start

It was hard! I ached horribly and could hardly breathe once I got started.
While running with my mentor, she suggested I seek the help of trainer Isaiah Douglas (15+ Boston Marathon Runner). This man changed my life! Isaiah taught me  the art of running down to proper breathing, proper shoes, pacing, etc. He challenged me to run a half marathon!


Tybee Half Marathon 2010 Isaiah Douglas

 Because of his training, I began to fall in love with the sport. (Especially when I experienced the runners high).

Five years after running my first 5k, I had trained and completed Tybee Half Marathon!
Despite 35 degree weather, torrential downpour, and knee injury I crossed the finished line!  It was exhilarating, emotional, challenging, and rewarding.

After conquering a 5k, 10k, 15k, and half marathon, I began to ponder that prosperous idea of running a full marathon!

My trainer had faith! So we trained. But shortly afterwards, I relocated to Atlanta, GA (HIll City). With trainer and running group left behind in Savannah, I was forced to complete Marathon training alone. Working two jobs in a new city, I started to doubt the possibility of making the impossible possible!
But  I was determined.


Once I became settled in my new job, I met crazy people who loved to run also!

Black Girls Run Atlanta




On March 2012, I signed up for the Savannah Rock -N- Roll Marathon ( 7yrs after making that ignorant declaration at the local YMCA). There was no turning back. Blood, sweat, tears, shin splints, etc. I was going to become a Marathoner!

Race day, November 2012, arrived and I was standing at the start line. This was a very surreal moment. I'd train long and hard. Running was over 80%mental!  If the mind can conceive it, the body can achieve it. And trust me, at mile 20 my body gave up! I telephoned a friend (literally) for inspiration! She said, you can do it, Don't give up! That was the push I needed to finish the last leg of my marathon.

Victory never taste so sweet than when I crossed that finish line. I officially change my name to Sapphire Marathoner Anderson! NO words can describe the feeling you get when you make your dreams a reality. After completing a marathon, I felt invisible and nothing could stop me from LIVING my Life!



Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon 2012


My Two Cents: Want to start running?

1) Just do it! Start walking or jogging today! Even if its only to your mailbox!

2) Set SMART goals! Specific, Measurable, Attainable, revelent, Time-centered! Want to run a 5k, sign up today and then begin to train!

3)Train, Train, Train! There's a plethora of training schedules and guides to help get you started! Also the best decision I made was to join a local running group!  Great for accountability and a opportunity to learn from your peers. Download free running apps such as C25K and Runkeeper.

4) Running Shoes! Go to your local running specialty store and get fitted for a good pair of running shoes! I initially got fitted at Fleet Feet Savannah for my first pair of running shoes and once i found the perfect shoe, I then ordered shoes online Investing in a good pair of shoes is essential to becoming a good runner! 
5) Have fun! Enjoy the journey and the amazing people you will meet along the way! 












Monday, May 26, 2014

DIY:Chocolate Protein Bars

When I started a healthy lifestyle, it was a challenge finding protein bars that I liked! Until I found a quick and simple recipe on Body Building and started baking my own. Homemade protein bars allows for creativity with ingredients and provides comfort in knowing exactly what your eating.
All substitutions are in parentheses


Video Article: Jamie Eason's Chocolate Protein Bars


Jamie Eason Chocolate Protein Bars Ingredients:
1 cup oat flour
4 egg whites
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (Jillian Michael's Whey Protein)
1/3 cup (or less) Stevia in the Raw (Brown Sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz berry flavored baby food (Apple Sauce)
3 tbsp baking cocoa 4 oz water (Almond Milk)
1oz Walnuts (optional)


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the following together in a large bowl:
- Oat Flour
- Protein Powder
- Baking Soda
- Salt
- Baking Cocoa


3. Mix the following together in a small bowl:
- Egg Whites
- Stevia in the Raw
- Baby Food
- Water
4. Combine the ingredients from the small bowl into the large bowl and mix together.
5. Spray 8X8 dish (I use Pyrex) with non-stick spray & add batter to the dish.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes in oven.
Makes 16 squares
Serving size = 2 bars
Macros:
Calories: 96
Fat: 1.4 g
Carbs: 12 g
Protein: 10 g
OK Tips: Get creative! Add your favorite nuts and/or fruits!  Once the protein bars have cooled, separate them into Ziploc bags or Saran Wrap so you can grab-and-go! You MUST store these in the refrigerator or freezer as they will spoil because they have no preservatives!
Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

5 Life-Changing Ways to Invest in Yourself!

After reading The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness and completing baby steps #1-#3, I dreaded the start of baby step #4: Investing! The fear of stocks, bonds, and IRAs felt like falling off the edge of a cliff. Ignorance was bliss, but I could no longer avoid the inevitable.


Side Note: I have no faith in the "deferred life plan", term adopted from Timothy Ferris's The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated). The deferred life refers to, go to college--->debt-->work job ---> buy a home-->debt--> work more--> 401ks--> work 40+yrs-->stop working--->start living (around 65-70) !?!?!?

I digress........

Last month, I attended an amazing finance seminar held by Mind, Body, and Soul Atlanta.
Clyde Anderson, CNN Contributing Finance Expert


I was seeking a parachute a.k.a information for investing. With sweaty palms,  I approached the 3 person panel (felt like judgment day) and asked, "I'm debt free, where should I invest my money?" Speaker Clyde Anderson, CNN contributing finance Expert, replied, "invest in yourself!"  Wow, what an AHA Moment!
Those three words changed my life! Here's how...


1) FOLLOW YOUR PASSION (s)



What do you love to do? What would you do even if you didn't get paid to do it? Not only ask the question, but have confidence in the answer! Believe in yourself! I love to write and serve! I created this blog to share my life experiences to empower others. Take a class! Sign-up for seminars and/or workshops in your area. Download free apps, Coursera or iTune U, that offer FREE college courses from universities such as Harvard and Yale. Discover what your strengths are and invest time, energy, and effort to make yourself better! 

2) READ A BOOK !
 So many have gone on soul searching journeys before you and have lived to write about it! Many breakthroughs and revelations happened in my life as result of reading a book. Uncertain about what your passionate about? Reading will help you discover and perfect your passions! Here are a few that changed my life:

As a Man Thinketh
 The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity: A Modern Practical Guide to the Ancient Way (Fireside Books (Fireside))
Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success

Seeking a mentor can be one of the best investments you can make into yourself! Think of who in your circle inspires you or is living the life you desire to live. When I came to a crossroad in my life, and needed guidance, I asked for help!  Church, School, Work, and the Internet are good resources for finding a mentor. I found a great life and relationship coach, Christopher "Doc" Reid on YouTube! I have several mentors that have shaped my way of living and success.  Some paid for others didn't cost a dime though their advice was invaluable. This is what investing means and what better product to invest in than you!

4) INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH! 

“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.” 

What good is wealth and success if you're too sick or tired to enjoy it!  You are important! You  should be your #1 priority. Nothing matters when your health and mental wellness is at risk! An active lifestyle and proper nutrition is paramount to investing in yourself. Its a long term investment with 100% return. At 25 I was 30lbs overweight, and suffering from high cholesterol. I decided at that moment I was going to make a lifestyles change! It wasn't easy, but the hardest decision was making the decision. As a result of hard work and commitment I lost 20lbs in 2 months, lowered my cholesterol below 200, look 10 years younger, have 10x more energy and stamina, and feel great!
Do something for 30mins a day 4-5x per week, avoid simple carbs like bread and pasta (at least 5 days per week), eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink at least 64ozs of water per day, don't eat past 7pm or 3hrs before going to bed, get at least 6-8hrs worth of sleep, and give yourself at least 1-2 free days per week to eat whatever you want!  Invest in a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Eliminating  eating out serves a two-fold purpose....save money and lose the calories!

5) MEDITATE/BE THANKFUL

 In order to be the best you, you must free your mind and be grateful!! Often we are burden with the vicissitudes of life and forget to stop, breathe, and focus on what's important. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. There's several meditation styles such as Qi gong, Tai Chi, Mantra meditation, mindful meditation, and yoga that provide many health benefits such as stress reduction.There are a plethora of books (refer to #2) and resources available on how to meditate! I keep it simple. Every morning or evening I find a calm space in my home (my bathroom once served as my inner sanctuary when the kids were smaller), select calm meditation music on Pandora,  and for 5-30 mins I take slow deep breathes counting every inhale and exhale to keep my mind from drifting. Initially I couldn't do 1 min of meditation without my mind drifting off to looming deadlines and to-do checklist. With practice I've gotten better and I'm at peace before my day starts. I thank God for health, sanity, wealth, and my beautiful family. Especially this little one

In the words of Russell Simmons, DO YOU!  And watch God return many blessings unto you! You Only Live Once, make it count!
✌️&❤️
Sapphire Starr



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