Lessons of Life From Your Food

My Mahi Master Piece

My Mahi Master Piece

I am sure you are wondering, What could my food teach me about life?  Well other than the old adage “You are what you eat” for starters lol.  See I am a Certified Personal Trainer and I Love, Love, Love to Cook and Eat.  I also live in the south where we love anything Fried and covered in gravy!  Needless to say that is a Nightmare for anyone who wants that perfect waistline.

Now I haven’t been a trainer my whole life and have had my share of ups and downs with my weight because of my love of food and my love of cooking (which I happen to be Really good at doing so that just makes it worse lol).  To add to that, I am emotional eater.  I go from one extreme to the other.  I will either Eat Everything in the House or Not Eat for Days!  Either way you look at it I was always in serious trouble with my weight.

The picture above is probably one of my Best Food Masterpieces! “Blackened Mahi Mahi, with garlic herb Hericot Verts”!  I love Mahi Mahi.  I was at the farmers market and they had the Mahi steaks on sale, so I picked up 2 for me and my housemate.  Now, you must know, I have NEVER in my life cooked Mahi Mahi before in my life!  But any time its been available to eat on a menu, I have ordered it and when I worked at McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant in Birmingham, AL they had the Best Blackened Mahi I have ever put in my mouth.  So I was determined that I was gonna make that for dinner.  And I Did It!! It was AWESOME!! Even made the fresh mango/pineapple salsa to go with it and the Hericot Verts was a first time for me too.  Add a glass of good Red Wine and you have a Dinner made for a Queen!!

So, I know you’re wondering, “Okay, Tammy, we get it you love food, but What does this have to do with “Life Lessons“? 

Have you ever went out to eat, tried a new restaurant and found out you didn’t like Anything At ALL on their menu?  Or somebody recommended a particular dish, gave you the recipe and when you cooked it yourself it was Horrid?  I am quite sure there is not anybody that has had one or both of those experiences.  Or what about, your cooking one of your favorite dishes that you cook all the time, you get distracted, the telephone rings or your child gets hurt & you BURN your Favorite Dish!  Or worse yet, one of your little munchkins runs into you as you’re trying to set dinner on the table and you drop the Main dish in the middle of the floor!!  Yep, been there done that, to ALL of the above at some point in my many years of cooking.

Now, when any one of those things happened, did you world come crushing down around you?  Did it alter your Destiny Path in your life? (Well, other than what was for dinner that night lol) I would venture to guess the answer to Both of those Questions is a resounding NO!  Yes, I know, it was heart breaking to have to change your dinner plans, but your life went on as scheduled, you went to work the next day, the kids went to school and the normalcy (Whatever “Normal” is these days) of your life continued as if the night before had Never happened.

So, lets just alter the scenario just a bit.  Lets apply the bad restaurant to, lets say, a Bad Choice in a Boyfriend/Girlfriend.  Yes, the relationship may have ended, and that person Sucked the life out of you for the time that you were together, but the good thing is that you learned something about yourself during that time.  Just like the Horrible place you went to eat, where you learned Never to go there to eat again.  You learned that whatever the personality traits of your “Ex” are, that you don’t like or hate for that matter, are Red Flags for your Next Relationship.  Your life didn’t end because the relationship did or you wouldn’t be reading my blog at this very moment.

You can apply this lesson to Everything you do in life!  Whether its, a wrong job, bad dinner choice, a person you should have never called “Friend“, or whatever it was that upset your world for a moment in time.  That is the point, it is Only a Moment In Time!  That “Moment” will pass and life will go on, just as it always has before.  The only thing you can do is “Choose” how those moments affect you.  You can either learn the lesson that is right in front of you, make the adjustments that need to be made, and move forward on your journey to your Destiny.  Or, you can Choose, to play the Victim! If you play the victim, focusing on what went wrong, who hurt you, this, that, the other, (Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah… yes …Quit Crying Already,) You Will Never reach your God Given Destiny! I’m sorry but in my book…That is Not an Option!

Whatever happened, happened for a reason!  To Teach You A Lesson!  Yes, it Sucked! Yes, It Hurt!  But no matter who you are, We ALL have Lessons to Learn and we ALL go thru some heartache and pain in our life.  It’s all in how you Choose to let it affect you!  It’s already happened and you can’t go back and change any of it.  It’s just like a book that an author has written, once it goes to print and that ink is dry, there is nothing else you can do but say, “Okay, I really jacked that up, so I know not to do it that way next time!

Just like my Blackened Mahi Mahi in the picture, as Awesome as it was, I know what I am gonna do different next time to make it even better.  Just like, my past relationships, I know what I like and don’t like in my man, what I am willing to accept or not accept which ultimately determines if I will continue to be in a relationship with them.  My past jobs, yep, I know what I like and don’t like, what jobs I would do again and which ones I hated and will Never do again.

My wish for you is this, That you learn Everything you can in every moment, good or bad, that you go thru.  That you are able to cherish the good, learn from the bad, make the necessary adjustments and Rock the Next Opportunity that comes along in your life path.  That when you reach your Destiny, you have taken the time to Stop, smell the roses, dance like nobody is watching, sing, as if, nobody can hear you and Most of All…. That you Enjoyed Every Moment in Your Journey and that there were a lot of Moments that Took Your Breath Away!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog tonight and I would love to hear what your Food Life Lesson Is!

What Would You Do?

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I was asked today, “If you paid off ALL of your debt, what would that look like for you?”  I am 46 yrs old and have never been in the position, until now, to actually Think about being Debt Free.  I know that it has been a goal of mine to be debt free and I am less than $25,000 away from meeting that goal.  But I could not answer the question “What would that look like for you?”  And honestly, that is sad. What is even more sad, is that 98% of the American population probably cant answer that question with a belief in their heart that it will really happen.  How do I know that?  Because, if they Really Believed it, there would be an excitement that lit up the whole room when they said it and they would stop at Nothing to make sure that it became a reality.  I used to be that person too.

I have lived my whole life in the “Scarcity Mentality“.  Barely having enough to get by each month, living pay check to pay check, hoping that this is the month, that there wont be too much month at the end of the money.  My mom was never good with finances, so we were never taught how to manage money as children and young adults.  ALL we knew was to work as hard as you could, pay your bills on time when you can, always make sure the kids are fed and have what they need, everything else will work itself out. Always believing, “This is As Good As It Gets.”

Now, I was presented with an opportunity, about 18 months ago, that I said yes to, and since then I have been steadily paying off my debt at a rapid rate.  Things slowed down a little, with my move and life in general getting in the way, then I was asked the question, “How will it change your life to be debt free?”  So, as I sit here writing this blog, doing some soul-searching, to really Visualize My Life as Debt Free and to take a quick glimpse at the Awesome Future that Awaits Me!

I have been what the picture above describes, “Died at 25 and just waiting to be buried at 75“.  That is, Until Now.  I have become ALIVE! Realizing that, for the 1st time in my Adult Life, I Will Be Totally Debt Free!! So What do you do, when your whole life is about to change and you can do whatever you want to do?  Do you know what its like to NOT Stress over bills, or if you can put food on the table, or if you’re gonna come home to an eviction notice?  I’ve been thru ALL of that! And to be able to sit here, Breathe a sigh of relief, and know, Those Are No Longer Worries for me, is a Blessing Beyond Belief!

So Now, I pose the question to you… What would your life look like, if tomorrow, you became debt free?  What if I told you I can help You make that a reality?  If you have so much debt that you can’t think that large at the moment (I know I couldn’t before now), What would an Extra $1000 month do for you and your family?  Did you know, that on average, an extra $500/mo would keep most families from filing bankruptcy?  Don’t be the walking dead, as I have been for the last 26 years!  Do Something About It and Take Your Life Back! Become Alive! If you are interested in making an extra $1000/mo and becoming Debt Free yourself, you can leave a message below or contact me on Facebook.

What Would Your Life Look Like, If You Became Debt Free Tomorrow? I would love to hear your Dreams!  Leave me a comment and share with your friends.  #BeBlessed

What If….?

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Remember that Everything you do Matters! It matters to you, your loved ones, to God and people who are not even here yet…Be Thankful for the little things…Be Thankful for Everything and Everyone that comes into your life.  The good, bad, happy, sad or whatever.  They all happen for a reason.

What If you woke up with “Only” what you thanked God for Tonight? What would your life be like tomorrow? How would it change? Who would still be in your life come day break? What will you Change Tonight…? Just in case I’m right?

Are You Moving Forward or Sitting Still?

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Here is an even better question…..are you still moving while you are sitting still?  That all depends, are you looking behind you at your past? Or, are you looking “Forward” toward your Goals, Dreams and Destiny?

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with “Remembering” your past.  It is apart of who you are and how you arrived at this place and time in your life.  There are lessons to be learned from your past mistakes to insure that you do not repeat them in the future.  There are also the Happy memories that will always be there to make you smile and warm your heart.  Where we get caught up in the past is usually in those past relationships that we thought he/she was the “One”.  They were the one we were gonna spend the rest of our life with and have the “Fairytale Ending“.  Or when bad things happen to good people that we had no control over.  We get stuck in that “Victim” mentality.  We also, have the “Glory Days”, you know when you can’t get out of that “Winning catch in the Big Game”.  Then you have the “STUPID” stuff you did that you knew when you did it that it was a Bad Idea.  We all have those, Trust Me, I am the Queen of Stupid Mistakes!  That is Life! That is how you Learn.

Yes, all of those things may be true.  But the truth of the matter is that none of those things “Killed” you, Right?  Your still alive or you wouldn’t be reading this blog post now, lol.  Did some of them Hurt? I am quite sure they did.  Did it totally Suck to have to go thru any of that?  Of course it did!  But the fact remains that You Are Very Much Alive!  Or, well, at least I think you are.  Do the pulse check for me, you know, put your fingers on the artery on your neck, and if you can feel that “thump, thump” under your fingers, that means your heart is beating and you have a pulse! YaY!!!! Take a Deep Breath….let it out nice and slow.  Did you feel that?  Did you hear the breath come out of your lungs?  Great!  If you said “YES” to those questions then you are Definitely Alive!

So, why are you still looking behind you?  ALL of that “STUFF“, it can’t be changed.  There is nothing you can do about it now.  Here is something for you to think about…. The truth of the matter is that the future is where your going to live.  So, if you don’t start looking in front of you to your future and start creating the life “You Want”, then you will be spending “Your Future” built by somebody else’s dream that you don’t want to be in.  How is that for a reality check on Monday?

Look at your future as a Blank Canvas.  Now, the way I see it, you have Two Options.  Option Number One, You can let your peers, co-workers, boss, family, society or worse yet, the Government, decide how you should live your life and your future. (How bad is that gonna Suck in 5 years?)  Or, Option Number Two, and my personal favorite, You can design Your Own Life!  Whatever that Means to You!  If money was no object, and the people around you refused to let you fail, What Would You Do?  (NOTE: If the people around you want you to fail or don’t support you, then You Need To Change Your Zip Code, I’m just saying)  The only person stopping you from doing what “YOU” want to do is You!

I am 46 years old.  I didn’t reach my 1st life goal of being a personal trainer until I was 44.  You know what I have been doing all day?  Studying! Why? Because now it is time to pass a National Certification Exam so that when I move to San Juan, PR, I can get a job in Any Gym I want to and I will Still be doing what I Love to do, Just on a Tropical Island!!! (Yes its okay to be Jealous now lol)  I am not bragging about my accomplishment (well maybe just a little, lol) but I am Very Proud of Myself for Overcoming an Abusive Childhood and past to make this happen!  Which means, if I can do it, Anybody Can.  (You can see part of my story Here)

Don’t stand still and let life pass you by because your comfortable hiding in the shadows of the past.  Come out into the Sunshine and Enjoy ALL that life has to offer! Take that Canvas and Paint the Life You Want To Live!

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to hear a piece of my heart tonight! I would love to hear what you are painting on your Canvas!

Alabama Football Rocks!!!

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I have been a Die Hard Bama fan since 1978 when my Granddaddy told me when I moved to Alabama from Chicago, “Your an Alabama Fan Now!”

It wasn’t a question, it was an Affirmative Statement that I was NOT allowed to question apparently lol. I told him, “Grandpa, we live in Alabama, what are you talking about?” He proceeded to have my mom wake me up butt-booty early on opening Saturday to introduce me to “Bama Football” up close and personal. My grand mother cooked us breakfast, and then had home-made chili ready at lunch time when the games kicked off. My granddaddy, told me about every team in the SEC, we watched it all unfold as the house filled up with other Bama fans before the game kicked off.

That was when the Bear was still coaching and we won back to back National Championships! I don’t know how anybody is supposed to pull for another team after that kind of introduction to the game lol.

Needless to say, I have been a Tide and True Bama Fan ever since. I was 11 years old then and I am 46 now. 35 years of pulling for the Crimson and White! The Good, Bad, Ugly & Awesome! I was a true fan when we had 5 coaches in 3 years and got our behind handed to us almost every week. Just like I am a Tide & True Fan Now that we rarely lose a game.

We beat LSU (who about gave me a Freaking Heart Attack) tonight! A very heated rivalry, that goes down to the wire Every Year! Then, at the end of the game to see Nick Saban jumps into AJ McCarrons arms with that Huge Smile on his face! That was Priceless!!! For the man who is Always, so focused on the “Process” and “Finishing” the game.  Who rarely shows any emotion, other than being upset at errors that shouldn’t be happening, to be elated and openly show his happiness and enjoyment in the Win of a Game that he has Loved his whole life, was more than heart warming and brought a tear to my eyes!  (If you missed the “Jump“, check it out “Here“)

We are working on a unpresidented 3-Peat National Championship and 4 Championships in 5 years! We are NOT out of the woods yet with MSU next week and Auburn on the 30th of this month. Who, by the way, beat Tennessee 55-23 today. The SEC Championship will also be a tough match up against Missouri (or whoever since the East is crazy now).

I Love College Football over any other sport! But make No Mistake, I am Proud to be an Alabama Crimson Tide Fan down to the core of my bones and Nothing will ever change that! Good luck to any team that crosses our path between now and January in Pasadena! The Tide is Rolling and Gaining Strength and Speed! Even my granddaughter Janeice is ALL about some Bama Football

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Show your Team Pride!! Whether its Bama or some other team, Leave a comment below and show your team Spirit!

Fabulous Friday!!

This is Fabulous Friday!! Why is it Fabulous you ask?  Simply because I am Grateful to Be Alive!  Because I have a roof over my head on this very cold night, when there are many that will be looking for shelter to get out of the cold.  Because I have clean clothes to wear, when there are many that have none.  Because I have food on the table, when many go days without a Hot Meal.  Because I have a car to drive after riding public transportation for a year.  Because I have cable, internet, a laptop, smart phone and other electronics that some may never know the convenience of these luxuries.  Because I have 2 wonderful Children and 3 Beautiful Grandchildren, when many will never be blessed with a child, much less a grandchild.  Because I have the unconditional love of a man who I only dreamed of for over 44 years, when many may not Ever know what Love is much less unconditional, non-judgmental, true love is really like.  Because I have an Awesome relationship with God, when some will never know he even exists and know the love, peace, joy, forgiveness and happiness he brings into your heart.  Because I have Awesome Friends, when many will never allow themselves to be open to friendship out of fear of rejection and hurt.

I am Blessed Beyond Measure and Grateful for each and every one of my blessings!  What are you Grateful for today?

What Are You Thankful For?!

For Life Is a Miracle

         Be Thankful For Every Day…..   For Life Is a Miracle

Normally people call today “Thirsty Thursday“.  The day before the weekend starts so they can start celebrating with a few cocktails a day early.  When I say “Thirsty Thursday”, I ask, “What are you Thirsty for?”  Of course, the majority of people come back with whatever their favorite drink would be…. Miller Lite, Margarita, Hennessy, etc.  But I say you should be “Thirsty for Life! Thirsty for Love! Thirsty for Success! Thirsty to Help Others! Thirsty for God!

Over the last 3-5 years, I have come to realize that Life is Very Short.  Yesterday is a Memory, Tomorrow is a Mystery.  Your life is like a novel that is being written day by day.  As the day ends and the ink dries on the page, it gets turned to the next.  Once the ink is dry, there is No Changing what has happened.  When that chapter is finished then its time to “Turn The Page To a New Beginning”!  A new day and a new start to what will be an Amazing life if you give it a chance.

See, on my Facebook today, I labeled it as “Thankful Thursday”! See this week is our 24/7 prayer week at my church (Cumberland Community Church in Smyrna, Ga).  For 7 days, people sign up for 1 hour slots to go and pray in the sanctuary.  So, in essence, there is somebody praying 24 hours a day for 7 days.  I have been going here for almost 18 months now and have had the privilege to participate in 3 of these prayer weeks.  Today was my 3-4am time slot.  There is Nothing more amazing than to be in the sanctuary by yourself, going to the different prayer stations and just feeling the Holy Spirit move with you and Hearing God speak to your heart.  I had a very moving and emotional prayer time, praying for my friends in need and especially my children.  My daughter has been having a rough time lately so I prayed for her healing, strength and guidence.  Then as I started praying for my son I was overcome by a Feeling of a strong vibration with chills, being filled with love, overcome with tears, as I Thanked God for my Son and how awesome of a man, father and husband he has grown into.  That I prayed that he be protected, blessed and all of his prayers be answered for being such a blessing to me.  Then to find out that God was Moving for my son at that exact hour was just Awe Inspiring in itself.

So, needless to say, my day started off Awesome! I go to the gym and train my morning client, come home for lunch and find that my books came in for my national certification exam came in! Woot Woot! Super excited (and nervous at the same time) about getting ready for that.  I am texting with my son talking about the prayer events and my exam when I get a phone call from Iroff and Son Jewelers saying I was 1 of the 5 people selected in their “Race for The Ring” contest!! Can you Say “SCORE“!!!

Me Trying on the Ring (Its a Perfect Fit lol) At Iroff and Son

Me Trying on the Ring (Its a Perfect Fit lol) At Iroff and Son

This Sunday, me plus my girls LaTaunya and Emmerald, and the other 4 contestants meet at the jewelry store at Noon for a Scavenger Hunt!  First 1 to get back wins the ring! I am One Happy Girl Right Now!!

I gave you ALL of these details to say this, Every Day is a Blessing!  You Always have Something to Be Thankful For!  If you woke up this morning…that means you are Alive!! Be Thankful!  If, you are alive then your purpose on this earth has yet to be fulfilled….which means…. the Best is yet to Come!! (How Awesome Is That!!)  If you are reading this, then you have internet, so Be Thankful! (Because there are a lot of people who don’t.)  You have a roof over your head, food on the table, clothes on your back, a job, a wife/husband/significant other, children, a car, public transportation, a beautiful sunrise/sunset….The Air in Your Lungs, The Strength to Walk/Run/Workout, Eyes to See, Ears to Hear….Do you get it?!! #BeThankful!

Do Not let another minute, hour, day, week, month or year go by, that you don’t tell the ones you love how you feel. Or you don’t let someone know that you appreciate the little things that they do just because.  Smile at somebody just because you can, it may be the only thing good that happens to them all day.  Hold the door open for the person behind you, not because you have to, but because you can, it feels good and it doesn’t cost you anything to be nice.  Pay It forward!  Be A Blessing to someone else and watch the blessings be showered upon you! Life is Short! Live Out Loud!

So, tell me, What are you Thankful for today?  Leave me a comment and let me know! I would love to hear what makes you smile everyday!