Philadelphia and this soda tax

Hi Folks!

For everyone in Philadelphia, we know about the Soda Tax. It’s been a HUGE issue lately and everyone has an opinion. The new mayor, Mayor Kenney, proposed a 3 cent per oz tax on all sugar sweetened beverages. So that would include sodas, juices, hugs (quarter water or sugar water), sport drinks (Powerade/Gatorade.)

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Bottling companies are vehemently against it. They spent millions and millions of dollars in false advertisement and other ways to discourage Philly residents and city council from approving and having favorable opinions.   As a public health person, as a physical activity person, as someone who has grown up in Philly and currently works in the public school system, as someone who lives with a corner store across the street and a park that’s half usable down the block, I 100% was and still am in favor of this tax.   The monies from the soda tax are going towards many things- the biggest is pre-kindergarten, look at the picture above!

At the same time, City Councilwoman Renyolds Brown proposed a “container tax.” Unlike the sugar sweetened beverage tax (soda tax), the container tax would tax EVERY beverage except milk. So this would include everything in the soda tax plus drinks like water, 100% fruit juice and healthy options.

Why are people so vehemently opposed to the soda tax? People are claiming it’s a regressive tax which means it will target and impact low-income individuals more.  Others are wary of where the money raised will REALLY go.  Will the money be used correctly?

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So, what do I think?

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What’s Really Going On?

Guys I’m not here.  Well, I mean I’m here, but I’m not writing or do I have plans to write anytime soon unless I get a request. (Oh, I will still have my pop-up fitness sessions at the Art Museum) Okay so let me explain:

This year, remember “the year to build?” Well it’s been very interesting in the last 5 months. I thought I’d be building my business (The Tenth Muse.) I thought I’d be working towards creating

Gotta step away from this for a minute.

Gotta step away from this for a minute.

a hybrid organization that uses sports to bring people together. I thought I’d be loving everything and working on it frequently after work. I thought all those things in December/January. But now, nah.  I am not sure what’s happening, but what I do know is that I need to take time to figure out where exactly  The Tenth Muse going.  So questions that I need to answer are:

  1. What are my gifts, skills and talents?
  2. How can I best use those to impact my community?
  3. Which community? Meaning which audience?
  4. How will I start and keep going with all my other obligations and do it well?
  5. Now that I’m done with my Board Prep Program, should I build a board or still keep it solo and build up?
  6. Jordan, what do you want to do? What can you do well?
  7. Why are you struggling so much with making major first steps and getting it from idea phase to tangible phase?
  8. Why do you feel like you need to speak to more people and keep doing research before making a move? Haven’t you done enough?

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Meal Prep Made Easy

Truth be told, meal prep isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter how I try to spin it. It takes time. BUT if you want to get a better handle on what you’re eating, meal prepping is what you need to do.

Every week my mother and I spend about 90-120 minutes prepping breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I’ll breakdown everything that I am doing and why below.

Almost done! This looks pretty legit!

Almost done! This looks pretty legit!

Breakfast

  • Quinoa- It’s a 1 to 2 ratio of quinoa to water. I clean it then cover in a pot for about 25 minutes until all the water is gone. I put quinoa in my cereal (both cold and hot-oatmeal) or salad. (It adds protein)
  • Smoothie- I wash all fresh produce prep for making smoothies and put them in containers so I can just throw them in the blender, add liquid, protein & the frozen fruit and go. I prep- the greens (kale or spinach), watercress, cilantro or parsley, ginger, lemon, celery & cucumber. (picture below)
  • Potato- I bake about 4-5 potatoes weekly. These are used for potato hash in the morning (with eggs.)

Lunch

  • Salad – I eat salad everyday for lunch. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Therefore, it’s imperative to have a large salad ready to go.
  • Eggs- As yall know, salad isn’t enough, so boiled eggs are a topping I usually have. I boil about 5 eggs per week and they are either snack food, post workout snacks or I add them to my salad.
  • Produce- I wash and clean all my produce (such as my apples, lemons etc.) It makes it easier to grab and go or grab and chop.

Snacks:

  • Chickpeas- I roast these baby up in the oven. I make a rub with cumin, salt, pepper (and oil.) They get crunchy and, yall, they are soooo tasty.
  • Sweet Potato- I bake about 2 sweet potato with a little cinnamon for some snacky food.

Dinner:

  • Sweet potato- I cut up about 2 -3 into “fry” length. That makes it easy for me to bake ’em throughout the week.
  • Veggies- I cut/dice/slice up veggies for stir fry. This usually includes: garlic, kale, cabbage, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc

    I put the veggies in the mason jar and separate with parchment paper.

    I put the veggies in the mason jar and separate with parchment paper.

That’s a big part of my meal prep. It takes time. I don’t do the prep that you’ve been seeing on facebook like a several gallons of water as detox drinks, breakfast/lunch/dinner prepared for 5 days. I like variety in my foods and in my workouts so this type of prep works for me.

It makes life way easier and less stressful because I know that food is already ready to go, or ready to pop in the oven without spending time cut. Especially coming from a rough work day. PLUS I know I’ll be making healthy decisions.

When it comes to your meal prep here are 3 things to consider and do.

  1. Take time and think about your week ahead. The planning is the most important aspect. (duh, but people still neglect this and end up… well they end up failing.)  You’ll figure out what you have to buy, what days you NEED to have food set for and you can look at your time management.
  2. Are you looking to have meals ready to go? Or are you prepping to have food ready for you to prepare. The latter still requires cooking, but a shorter prep time. While the former means spending hours in the kitchen one day, but  you are grabbing and going for the other days.
  3. Can anyone help you? Meal prepping solo can be a sad, lonely experience. Call up some girlfriends, call up some of your workout buddies, a family member, some guys…whoever and jam out to your favorite tunes while prepping. Times goes much faster and it makes for a great bonding session!😀
#GetThere #NewLevels

It is a big deal that Sharapova was doping.

Sharapova rocking a Nike outfit. Nike is distancing themselves after news broke that she failed a drug test.

Yesterday while at work, my sister informed me that Sharapova failed a doping test at the 2016 Australian Open. Now, some of y’all may have heard about the story and thought that it wasn’t a big deal, well it is.

From the jump, my first reaction was All them drugs, and she still couldn’t beat Serena. I mean, who isn’t thinking that?  But on a serious note,  I loathe- I absolutely hate athletes that abuse ergogenic aids to get a unfair advantage in their competition. This stems back to my days as a competitive (tennis) athlete when someone clearly lied about a line call. I didn’t know the word back then, but I was pissed. [Not using illegal substances, but still lying.]  A bad call usually resulted in me getting infuriated, then whopping their ass: Game. Set. Match – Muse.  As a professional athlete, it is your job to know about illegal steroid or ergogenic aid usage.  Okay fine, you might not  be doing the research that you need to, but you have trainers and coaches that are there to support you, and ensuring that you’re not doping is or should be a key duty! I know rules change frequently in terms of what is legal, what dosage is allowed, etc, but you are supposed to know this- this is your job.

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Are you in a Workout Rut?

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Photo Credit: Health Perch

Hi Muses!

It’s early March and I am so over the gym. In late December I joined LA Fitness. I wanted and needed to join a gym as the weather cooled and as outdoor tennis season came to a close.  Now let me tell you about my LA Fitness… it’s SO stereotypical and it reminds me of gym parodies:

  • Super swole guys always checking everybody out and looking at their muscles
  • Cardio machines are never free
  • Super fit gals going into depth about their carb vs protein, just shuuush 
  • Lots of grunting and unnecessary loud sounds

It was cool for 2 months, now- I am OVER IT ALL.  I started thinking about my days in grad school and why I loved my workouts. I played tennis & basketball, climbed, did yoga, ran and more. Now, I go to the gym to lift and take a step class..dats it. That’s dry and it’s no fun.

I gotta change it. What do I do?

This is what I’m thinking: Take an introductory climbing class and look into memberships at climbing gyms (Philly has a few &  I really miss climbing.) Start playing tennis when the weather warms up- hopefully I can play twice a week. I really have no goals when it comes to lifting, so I can cut my days at the gym back to like 1, maybe 2. Annnnd, I can start hitting the hills and art museum steps again!

My goals for my workouts are simple- get healthier by eating better (reduce gluten and dairy, increase H20) and maintain my fitness levels. I love where I am physically and I am quite content with who I am and how I look.  I know there are a plethora of reasons why people become stagnant and disillusioned with their fitness journey. People don’t realize this happens because you need to switch up what you do. This inforgraphic to my right explore this. Take a look at it and then take a few minutes to re-evaluate what you’re doing and not doing. As the season changes, it is a perfect opportunity to add some variety in your workouts to reach your goals.

#GetThere #NewLevels

Using Sports to…Make the World Better? Yep

Hey folks!

Let’s talk business. And by business I mean my business that I have been researching, networking and planning. To be honest with you, everyday I wake up not knowing how I  will feel about process. Some days I wake up and I am so extremely excited about it all, the entire process, and other days, I wake up feeling defeated, deflated and that entire day I question if I am doing the right thing (Should I be heading in this direction?) Ultimately, the good outweighs the bad, the faith offsets the fear.

So the majority of this post will be me discussing the research I’ve done about the use of sports to/for

  1. Promote peace.
  2. Youth Development.
  3. Teaching life skills.
  4. Help build confidence, esteem, & self-efficacy.
During a day camp teaching the girls how to serve.

During a day camp teaching the girls how to serve.

It’s interesting to learn about the many different methods that organizations use when sports is the foundation, which populations are being served, and how programs are tailored/targeted. Internationally, football (soccer) is huge, in America I see more diversity in the sport selections. I recently read some articles: one about the re-emergence of cricket in Rwanda and Net Ball (which I had no idea existed!) I’ve read through peer-reviewed research articles on this to find both strengths and weaknesses in using sports. It appears that the benefits do outweigh the risks, but programmatic design and the willingness of both groups to be have an open mind is imperative for success. BUT you can create a program to help with tolerance. Sports is used as a means to bridge feuding countries, heal broken nations, dissipate negative gender role myths, develop positive characteristics for youth development, spread awareness about diseases to communities and for many  other reasons.

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National Girls & Women in Sports Day

Y’all. I didn’t even know this was a day…until I got on twitter this morning, mind you it’s the 30th year of this day. Where have I been? I couldn’t let the opportunity pass for me not to talk about some of my favs!

First, a little history about National Girls and Women in Sports Day (#NGWSD)

 NGWSD began in 1987 as a special day in our nation’s capital to recognize women’s sports. NGWSD has since evolved into an event to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, the positive influence of sports participation and the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.

There are a ton of stakeholders + partners that promote and are affiliated with the day and the many events across the US.

Now to talk about my favs!!

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