Job less mess

I’m sitting here on my couch watching YouTube videos after coming back from an interview with a job agency this morning. Once again, it wasn’t positive in the sense that I would walk out with a job. I don’t feel as discouraged as I did in the beginning. Now I take each rejection or “we like you, but this isn’t the best fit” or even no response in stride and move on to the next.

I’ve been kicking myself in the butt for not taking advantage of all of my opportunities to ensure that I would have already applied and been accepted to a medical school. My best friend said it best “you’re hella smart, but you’re hella lazy”. Ain’t that the truth! as much as I wish it wasn’t.

Sometimes thoughts of regrets float through my mind, and I contemplate all the opportunities, academic, career or life wise, I may have missed. It sucks. But I’m growing into becoming a “bawse” so I allow myself a moment of regret or sadness, then I get my shit together and figure out how to use that emotion and energy for good. I haven’t figured out the secret to success and energy flipping, but i’m on a journey to discover what it is to me.

It’s good to be practical and realistic, so here are the facts:

  1. I finished my biology degree early in December
  2. I have applied to jobs ranging from retail to medical and laboratory assistant
  3. I worked at target for a month and kohls for 2 days, but quit. It just wasn’t for me.
  4. I am still applying for jobs.
  5. Feelings of doubt are starting to rear their heads.
  6. I hate living with my parents and not being able to contribute.
  7. I miss university and structured learning. I love learning in general.

I know this has a somber tone, but

I had to jot my thoughts down to air them out before they consume me. To air them out before they become me. To air them out so I may be free.

I believe that God has brought me through so much in my short life, so I will continue to be patient and diligent. Some days I feel broken, but then I remember I’m not alone in this and I have accomplished so much already to feel broken.

If you’re currently unemployed, broken or disappointed in thyself, trust in the process, rise from the pain and use the energy to fuel your success!

Karissa 🙂

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All about Tamarind and How to make Tamarind Candy!

I have so many memories of primary school in Jamaica. For most of the 6 grades, my grandma would bring me to school and pick me up after. We didn’t have a car because no one in my family at that time drove so we would walk up the long hill from my school to the main road, and then walk to the taxi stand to get a ride home.

After school the vendors would line the streets as kids spilled out of the school grounds. The kids would flock to the stalls to scoop up the hoards of sweets and snacks on display with their left over lunch money, or money saved specially for an after school treat. One of those many sweets was tamarind balls. These sweets were sold at every roadside stall, little shop or supermarket being made in people’s homes or on a mechanized assembly line.

What is Tamarind?

Tamarind, Tamarindus indica, is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The edible portion is the fruit pod of the tree. The pulp of the young fruit is green and sour, but the pulp becomes paste-like and more sweet-sour as it ripens.

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Tamarind pulp concentrate is popular as a flavoring in Middle Eastern India, Africa, Mexico, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. It is referred to as the “date of India”.

A single cup (120 grams) of the pulp contains 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat and a total of 287 calories, almost all from the 69 grams of carbs in the form of sugar. Despite its sugar content, however, tamarind pulp is still considered a fruit.

Tamarind can be found in three main forms:

  • Raw pods which are the least processed form.

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  • Pressed block where the shell and seeds are removed and the pulp is compressed into a block.
  • Concentrate where the pulp has been boiled down, and preservatives may also be added.

To make pulp:

  1. Remove and discard the pods.
  2. Put the pulp with seeds in a saucepan and pour in enough water to cover completely.
  3. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
  4. Push pulp through a medium sieve into a bowl.
  5. Discard seeds. Refrigerate, well sealed, for up to one week or freeze.

Uses:

Tamarind has many savory uses, in addition to sweet, the most common of which may be as an ingredient and flavor component in Worcestershire sauce, as well as in sauces, marinades and chutneys.

Tamarind in liquid form was commonly used to treat diarrhea, constipation, fever and peptic ulcers. The bark and leaves can also be used to promote wound healing. The polyphenols, like flavonoids, in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help regulate cholesterol levels.. This plant is currently being researched for potential medicinal uses.

Due to it’s tartaric acid content, tamarind pulp can also be used as a metal polish to remove tarnish from copper and bronze.

Tamarind Candy

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Tamarind Candy

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used brown sugar as my sweetener because I love the taste with the tamarind, but you can use any other type of sugar, honey or agave or any other sweetener of your choice. I used 1 cup of sugar, but you can limit the sugar to your liking. For best results, leave the tamarind to soak. If you’re as impatient as I am, you can still eat a piece after you mix it and it’ll be good, just not the perfect mix of sour and sweet. You can also use the pulp instead of the actual fruit with seeds to make small balls. Add some chili powder for a spicy kick!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of tamarind pods
  • 1 cup sweetener
  • white rum

Directions

  1. Peel pods to remove fruit
  2. Rip into smaller pieces and add to container
  3. Add sugar and rum then mix to coat each piece of tamarind
  4. Store for a day to 5 days to ensure the sugar and rum thoroughly soak each piece of tamarind for optimal taste.

Hope you try out this recipe and Enjoy it!!

As always be happy and healthy!

Karissa 🙂

Viral Meningitis

Meningitis?

An inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, called the meninges, covering the brain and spinal cord.

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Types: 

Bacterial Fungal Parasitic Amebic Non-Infectious
Caused by bacterial infections

Can be deadly

Requires immediate medical attention

Caused by inhaling fungal spores

Rare

 

Caused by parasites

Less common than viral and bacterial

Caused by Naegleria fowleri ameba living in warm water and soil

Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)

Rare and deadly

Caused by cancer, surgery, lupus, drugs or head injury

VIRAL MENINGITIS:

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  • Most common type of meningitis
  • Often less severe than bacterial meningitis
  • Most people get better on their own, but it’s very important for anyone with symptoms of meningitis to see a healthcare provider right away to determine the best course of action and treatment.
  • Babies younger than 1 month old and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness from viral meningitis.

Causes:

Non-polio enteroviruses (a genus of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses associated with several human and mammalian diseases) are the most common causes in the United States, especially from late spring to fall. However, only a small number of people who get infected with enteroviruses will actually develop meningitis.

Other viruses include:

  • Mumps virus
  • Herpesviruses, including , herpes simplex viruses, and varicella-zoster virus (cause of chickenpox and shingles)
  • Measles virus
  • Influenza virus
  • Arboviruses, such as West Nile virus
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus

Symptoms:

Usually begins with symptoms of a viral infection such as

  • fever
  • a general feeling of illness
  • severe headache
  • neck stiffness
  • lethargy (lack of energy)
  • muscle aches

Later, people develop a headache and a stiff neck that makes lowering the chin to the chest difficult or impossible.

Treatment:

In most cases, there is no specific treatment for viral meningitis. Most people who get viral meningitis completely recover on their own within 7 to 10 days.

However, people with meningitis caused by certain viruses such as herpesvirus and influenza, will usually need and get better from treatment such as an antiviral medicine.

Speak with your health care provider to learn about prevention and treatment if you are experiencing any symptoms!

Be Happy and Healthy!

Karissa 🙂

 

Motivational Quotes for the Soul

We all need a little reminder of God’s Love and his direction for our life. Even if you are not religious, it’s good to have motivational quotes to boost your positivity and emotional wellness. I’m a big fan of self-care, so I love reminding myself of my innate bad-assery and gawgusness with little love notes I turn to for encouragement. ♥ ♥ ♥

Here are a few of the quotes I love. Not only are they motivational, they are so beautiful!! Remember to be physically and emotionally happy and healthy. 

Karissa 🙂 

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Can you truly love yourself and want to lose weight?

Hello folks! Today I want to share my two cents on this issue plaguing the plus size community. We all have our opinions, and I try to be respectful of everyone. I try to see things from other people’s point of view, and step into their shoes to attempt understanding their perspective.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it – Aristotle

Argument A: If you truly love yourself and the vessel which carries your consciousness, then why do you have to lose weight?

Argument B: I truly love myself at any size, then I will lose or gain weight to become a healthier version of myself.

This is what I have gathered from the many heated debates I have witnessed. I have seen arguments for both sides, but I strongly identify with the latter.

Self-love for me is a continuous process! You are always learning new things about yourself through your reactions to different situations, so you’re always adjusting the pre-constructed notion of self you have created over the many years of your life. As we meet new people and endure through struggle or fail, we change the connections of neurons in our brains and we re-shape our identity.

To be transparent, I am not sure of my identity because I have not done the hard work to discover who I am. If I were to sit and hash out my identity with myself, I would have a more solid and tangible notion, but I am terrified of what I might find. Now you might ask how can you practice self-love if you haven’t discovered your identity … but I digress, back to the task at hand!

Self-love is innate good because it strengthens us against the attacks of society on our identity. It allows us to shamelessly hold our heads high and enter the ever-ready to judge and ridicule public eye.

Health is a taboo and a trigger subject in the plus size community. Daggers online bullies like to throw are things like “you really need to lose weight because you’re going to die soon” or “you’re such a whale, no one wants to see your disgusting body” written with poor grammar filled with malicious intent. Why are you so worried about someone’s body and happiness when you clearly need to address the pitch black pit of hatred consuming your heart, brain and humanity. If you see something you don’t like, keep it moving! Simple!

I believe that people know when they need to make a change in their lifestyle, even if they deny it. I cannot speak for anyone but myself. I do believe that health should be foremost in our priorities. If I am healthy and am able to complete my daily tasks like stooping, walking for long distances and climbing stairs without difficulty then I am happy. At my present weight, I am not able to complete these tasks and it makes me unhappy. With my free will, I have decided to embark upon a journey to get to a point where I can climb flights of stairs without panting like a racehorse.

I think the mindset that I should love myself at this size, and I don’t need to exercise is a little naive. I have become a very health conscious person, as a future surgeon should be, so I know the effects of a healthy lifestyle and the plethora of benefits it provides. Even then, some days I struggle because I love every inch of my body at my current size, then some days I feel very strongly about losing weight to be more comfortable in my daily life.

After contemplation and hashing this out for months, I have decided that my decision to become a healthier individual by shedding pounds to be more comfortable in my daily life is an immense act of self-love and self-care. I love myself enough to know that I need to protect the longevity of my life and this vessel that I cherish. To practice self-love is to nourish, so I will nourish and nurse my body to a point of peak performance.

Now this is my decision and I never impose my beliefs unto other people. I have written this to share my perspective and hope that it will help someone who is struggling with this issue to form their own opinion.

As always, I encourage you to be happy and healthy!

Karissa 🙂

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Healthy Vegan Turmeric Ginger Chai Latte

¡Hola amigas! My dad recently bought a container of turmeric roots, but they were just sitting in the refrigerator, so I decided to put them to use. I haven’t used turmeric before, so I was excited to try it! I settled on trying my hand at a Turmeric Ginger Chai latte because it’s simple and quick so I can determine if I like the taste and if I should experiment with more recipes.

Health Info

Turmeric? 

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Turmeric is a warm, bitter spice that comes from the turmeric plant, and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. The curcumin in the plant gives it the yellow color. The root is also commonly used to make medicine because it is one of the most powerful herbs on the planet at fighting disease due to its anti-oxidant properties, and there are a plethora of studies and articles which discuss and prove turmeric’s benefits. Add a pinch of black pepper to ensure increased digestion of curcumin.

Be careful! 

Some people have reported allergic reactions to turmeric, especially after skin exposure. Typically this is experienced as a mild, itchy rash. In addition, high doses of turmeric have been observed to cause nausea, diarrhea, increased risk of bleeding, hyperactive gallbladder contractions, hypotension, uterine contractions in pregnant women and increased menstrual flow.

People taking certain medications should also be careful when using turmeric in their food or supplementing with it. Turmeric may interfere with anti-coagulants like aspirin, and can affect medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Ginger?

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Unlike turmeric, I frequently have ginger tea just for the taste or because I feel unwell. Ginger is known to be a potent reliever of digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain.

The root or rhizome of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form or as juice. Ginger is part of the same family as cardamom and turmeric, and is commonly produced in India, Jamaica (my roots), Fiji, Indonesia and Australia. Ginger contains numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds beneficial to health such as gingerolsbeta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.

Using fresh ginger is an easy way to flavor foods and drinks without adding unnecessary sodium. Plus ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein or fiber since it’s eaten in small quantities.

The Meat and Potatoes

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Healthy Vegan Turmeric Ginger Chai Latte

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used brown sugar as my sweetener, but you can use honey or agave or any other sweetener of your choice. You may also choose any nut, soy or oat milk for this recipe. Be careful with the turmeric because it will stain any and everything it touches, as seen in my now stained nails. O.o

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 inch turmeric
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sweetener
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Leave on medium heat for 15-20 mins to ensure full extraction or lesser time for weaker taste.
  3. Strain to remove ginger and turmeric and let sit for a few minutes.
  4. Serve with a little dash of cinnamon on top and enjoy!

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Try it out and tell me what you think! ♥

Karissa 🙂

 

Exercise did this to me!

A little background:

Lately I have been keeping up with my exercise routine, and have been eating healthy for a longer stretch of time than I have ever done. I mean! I was the girl who would start a week long challenge then drift off into complacency somewhere around Wednesday.

But for the past few weeks, I have been determined to stay on track. I have been in such a good frame of mind that I can eat a sweet treat and adjust my exercise or meals to make up for it without giving up, giving in or losing sight of my goal.

These past weeks are still only a drop compared to the ocean of time I have left on this earth. So, even though it’s a great start, I need to sure up my healthy habits and attack each day with ferocity, while learning to live a little.

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Today …

I feel compelled to share with you some of the struggles I have encountered as a result of my now more active lifestyle. I am not an expert at this exercise thing. I’m just a regular girl doing the best she can to ensure she lives a long life. I don’t believe in quick fixes, and am in it for the long haul! Look out for an upcoming post about the quick fix culture we live in! Anyhoo, here goes!

I sweat like a construction worker in peak summer!

I have always been a warm person, my base body temperature is relatively hot. My hands are always warm, and I still sweat in winter, so this wasn’t a huge surprise for me. It’s logical to think that you would sweat when exercising, but I never anticipated the amount! It can’t just be me. Planks are the worst. As soon as I hit around 20 seconds, my entire face is covered and I can’t open my eyes.

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Alas, let the sweat pour! I prefer being a sweaty mess who is living healthily, than a dry unhealthy version of myself!

Peeing after leg day O.o

I’ve just completed a killer leg and bum workout! I feel accomplished, empowered … a little hungry. All is well in the world, so I sleep like a baby knowing I killed it. Fast forward to morning and I’m trying to getting out of bed, but my legs are all tense. First sign of trouble. I usually have tense leg muscles and swollen feet in the morning which usually goes away when I start walking, so i’m not alarmed, just a little worried. I get to the bathroom to tinkle and begin to squat when my muscles scream “No Ma’am, not today!

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Doing anything which requires me moving my bottom half after a good leg day workout is absolutely murderous, but I love it because the soreness means it’s working!

Never a good hair day

I love having my hair styled in a way that will last for the entire week. Lately I’ve been on the struggle bus trying to keep my hair sane. I’m currently transitioning from relaxed, permanently straightened, to natural hair, so my kinky, coily baby curls are coming in at the roots and I can’t deal with it. Dealing with two textures is difficult, even more so when I’m sweating out any blowouts by Tuesday. Plus I’m not a fan of any curly styles with the two different textures. Hmm …

Hopefully I can last till the end of the year, then I’m doing my big chop!

Easy exercises become hard

Okay, I can’t be the only person this happens to! I was doing bicycle crunches religiously every night, and was increasing in number. I got up to 2 sets of 100 crunches, then Monday, completely out of the blue, I could barely do 50 without feeling like death was coming for me! WTH?!

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I was so mad, but I’m still doing them. Let’s see how long before I get back to normal.

Always feeling like I should do more

Even when I’m lying on the floor, drenched in my sweat, my brain is thinking of other exercises I could do to up the burn. I know I can’t overwhelm my body, so I pace myself and balance my eating with my exercise. Even with a good day of eating and working out, this voice in my head is always a little worried I’m not doing enough.

As long as I follow my daily plan and am on track, I try to silence that little voice and be happy with my progress.

Swollen Head Syndrome

I always exercise before mirrors because I love seeing how my body moves and responds to the exercises. I swear I’ve seen changes in my body, even though it hasn’t been a full month. My arm looks a little smaller, oh my legs move differently when I walk, that skirt is little looser than I remember or my collar bones seem a little more pronounced.

I know I won’t see any measurable difference for a few months, but I feel different and I love it!

As always, do what makes you happy and healthy! I’m feeling happy, healthy and a little gassed for my future!

Karissa 🙂

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