Thursday, February 25, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

#Magnificent Mondays #6: A change will do you good!

Quote of the Week: A change will do you good!

Rumination: Snow again. Rain. Cold. No sun, or little sun. Trudging to work, feeding the kids, no meat on Fridays, what am I going to wear today?...These and other thoughts are automatic, constant and cyclical. In this time of the Christian season of Lent, it almost feels like a time of lying fallow, of tiredness, of a desire for something fresh and new.
The magazine covers are full of the looks for Spring, and I know I am not alone in trying to will Spring along as quickly as possible. In the meantime, hold on, build a bridge and get over it, have a lovely cup of lemon tea, have a nosh and a chat with your friends....this, too, shall pass. My change was to buy some flowers and a can of paint! A change will do you good, and a change is coming if only we remember to hold on for it!

Mantra: A change is coming, coming is my change.

Recipe: Sloppy Joe's
1 cup sliced onion
2 cloves garlic
8 oz. turkey breast meat/skinless
6 oz canned red kidney beans
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 whole wheat buns
non-stick cooking spray

1. Thoroughly coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
2. Pan-fry the onion and garlic 2-3 minutes over low heat.
3. Add turkey and cook an additional three minutes.
4. Add beans to the browned meat, along with seasoning mix and chicken broth.
5. Simmer five minutes until turkey is cooked, about five minutes.
6. Serve on whole-wheat buns or on top of rice.

1. While seated, knees bent: raise and lower left leg ten times. Switch to right leg.
Raise both arms over head and then lower them. Repeat ten times.

Salutation: In this time of betwixt and between, be sure that you are caring for yourself and your health of mind, body and spirit. Fallow is not dead; it is lying in wait, gathering energy, planning, repairing, restoring.

Bis vivit qui bene vivit!
Doula AngelitaSan Jose's Community Doula

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Go Red! Digest: This KISS won't miss!

The Bride is paralyzed. She has been injured, and can barely move. "Move," she mutters to her feet, willing them into action. She is in a bad situation; assasins are after her, and her time to escape them grows short. Finally, she hobbles just enough to make her getaway.

This was the situation facing the character in the Kill Bill movie, but looking at it, it occurred to me that many of us are in the same situation. Cholesterol, stress, lack of motivation and direction, bad eating habits, no exercise...all these assasins are hot on our trail, and we are immobilized by fear, laziness, indecision and inactivity.

This is why this week, the beginning of the Lenten calendar in the Christian world, I am challenging all of us to take five steps towards better heart health:

1. Drink 6 eight oz. glasses of water a day.

2. Take a ten minute walk after dinner.

3. Show love and affection to our loved ones.

4. Eat 2 vegetables a day.

5. Begin taking a fish oil supplement.

KISS: Keeping it short and sweet is the name of the game. The time invested is more precious than gold, since the rewards are the fruits of a healthier, easier life. Mind, body, and soul will benefit, and the changes will be just in time for the coming Spring!

From my heart to yours, and good luck!

Doula Angelita
Heart Ambassador
American Heart Association
San Jose, CA

Monday, February 15, 2010

#Magnificent Mondays! #5: Live, Learn, Love, Laugh!

Quote of the Week: "Quae nocent docent" School of Hard Knocks

Ruminations: In these times of cold, dark, snow, and uncertainty, there are still lessons that are to be learned from the vicissitudes of life. We are not always on top, we are not always loved, we are not always employed, or in a relationship or living where we want to...but each and every situation has a series of lessons designed to craft us, to strengthen us, to give us fortitude. Bloom where you're planted. It is not an easy lesson;but it is a valuable one if we are to stretch and grow.

Mantra: I bloom where I am planted

1/2 lb. medium-size shrimp 1 tsp. sea salt dissolved in 1/2 cup water 4-6 Thai chilies, cut into thin rounds 1 1/2 - 2 tsp. roasted chili paste (nahm prik pow) 1-2 Tbs. fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste 1 1/2 - 2 Tbs. lime juice, to taste 1-2 tsp. granulated sugar, to taste 1 stalk lemon grass Fresh shallot, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly crosswise 1-2 Tbs. coarsely chopped cilantro, sawleaf coriander or parsley 3-4 Tbs. coarsely chopped mint leaves 3 cups boiling water A couple of mint sprigs for garnish Preparation
Shell, de-vein and butterfly the shrimp. Soak them in the salted water for 5 to 10 minutes to freshen (this will give the shrimp a more luscious succulent texture). Then rinse thoroughly with plenty of water to remove the salt and drain. Mix the Thai chilies with the roasted chilli paste, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Taste and adjust to the desired hot, sour, sweet and salty combination. The sauce should be intense in all respects. Trim off and discard the woody bottom tip of the lemon grass and 2 to 3 of the loose, fibrous outer layers. Slice stalk from the bottom end into very thin rounds, to yield roughly 3 Tbs. Place in a mixing bowl with the sliced shallots, coarsely chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Blanch the shrimp in boiling water for 20 seconds, or until they turn pink on the outside but are not completely cooked through. Drain. The shrimp will be further cooked by the lime juice in the sauce. Toss the shrimp while still warm with the herbs and the chili-lime sauce. Stir well to coat the shrimp. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with mint sprigs.

Exercise: Take a walk around the block, to the mailbox, around the corner. Clear your head of the cobwebs. Invigorate your lungs and other vital organs. Oxygenate your mind!

Salutation: Remember, this life is all we have. Let's make the best of it!

Bis vivit qui bene vivit,
Doula Angelita
"a digest that is good for the soul!"

-- Doula AngelitaResurgam BirthingWell8899

Friday, February 12, 2010

One lady gave me some very kind feedback recently: "Like your digest. Same old stuff, though, but great enthusiasm." This is good criticism, and has truth: all the good advice and exhortations to being a better, healthier you is old hat, is redundant, is common sense.

The process of becoming healthier is really no secret, and anyone who grew up with wise grandparents or attentive parents can recite in their sleep how to get healthy and stay healthy: small portions, good foods, more fruits and vegetables, fewer sweets, get moving and exercising, go to the doctor at least once a year....

Yet, these are the very things which do save lives, and these are the very things which we find so extremely difficult to do. Inserting into the pass between good intentions and actually reaching health goals, is this modest digest. If there be some value in it, it will be that it gets your mind into the frame receptive to the ideas contained therein. If you are inclined to get up and move, or try a new recipe, or sign up for a walking club....then all to the better!

As a Heart Health Ambassador for the American Heart Association, as a wife, mother, sister, dancer, biker, woman, human, I take the Go Red! challenge seriously. I began this digest as a dialogue of sorts, a way to rally the flagging, to cheer up those in despair and to reach out a loving and helping hand to those who want to get started with a better life.

No one asked me to start this, this is my own "heart"reach to my fellow women.

Turning our attention to the world of celebrity, one item of interest attracted my attention: Heidi "The Body" Klum, the Diet Coke Heart Ambassador, matter-of-factly revealed that her committment to being healthy is not just skin deep. "I'm one of those people who go to every single doctor's appointment, including the gynecologist and the dentist, every six months!" Noting that this regimen also extends to her children, she responded to the interviewer's question about her children's diets thusly: "They love hamburgers! And fries! And chicken nuggets! And they like my sauerkraut soup, too!"

Now, before you roll your eyes and say, "Well, of course! She's a supermodel!"Well, President Clinton is an ambassador, I am an AHA Ambassador, and so on. The point of this is to say that models (and Bill Clinton and I) make time and is committed to a healthy lifestyle-because it is in our very best interests to do so! What about you? Wouldn't it be in your best interest to commit to a healthier lifestyle? To take some exercise? To check your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugars? Is it not your job to be the healthiest you ever?

Just food for thought, friends, just a morsel!

#Hearthealth is #besthealth. What will you do for your #heart today?

From my heart to yours,

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quote of the Week: Who dat? Who dat? Who dat sey dey gonna beat dem Saints?

Rumination: Confidence is a good thing. Knowing who you are, your place in the world, what you want to do, who you would like to be with...these are things that are desirable to the human spirit. Confidence is what we need to feel when doing what needs to be done in the way that it needs to be done. Confidence is walking down the path even when others howl disapproval or try to dissuade us. Confidence is what we have when we reach inside ourselves and walk tall and proud when others deride our steps. The Saints were not always on top. The Saints will not always be on top; all dynasties are short-lived. The Saints of 2009 put their feet onto a pathway with confidence and did not waver from it. The Saints did not lead the game for the first half of the Super Bowl-but they kept their confidence, kept moving forward and stepped into glory.

Mantra: I am glory-bound, glory-bound am I

Recipe: Louisiana Sunburst Salad

Ingredients: 24 oz. mesclun mix
2 oz dried cranberries
2 oz sliced and toasted almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 oz vegetable oil
salt and black pepper to taste
2 oz blue cheese
2 oz ruby port wine
2 oz raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 oz water
5 dashes Tabasco
1. Soak cranberries overnight in the port wine.
2. In a large mixing bowl: oil, sugar,water, vinegar, Tabasco, and cinnamon
3. Whisk all the above until ingredients emulsify.
4. Add mesclun and toss.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Place mesclun on plate and add almonds, cranberries and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve.

Exercise: Cat pose, bidalasana, is great to relieve the repetitive body stress of constantly sitting or standing. It is good to shift the body position as well as to get breathing and heart rate regulated.
1. Place yourself on the floor/yoga mat on all fours.2. Palms are flat to the floor. Feet are extended back.3. With your face towards the palms, slowly bend the neck and round the back. Inhale.4. Return to starting position. Exhale.5. If that is too much, then simply inhaling and exhaling slowly within this position for a count of ten will be beneficial.

Salutations: Today is a new day. Today is a new week. Begin on a high note, and keep confidently moving forward to achieve your dreams.

Bis vivit qui bene vivit,

Doula Angelita
San Jose's Community Doula

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Related articles
Introducing Poe to children
The unheard

one love, one heart
born of woman strong on this day
in your soul you bore strong water.
a hermit, looking to your soul cave
you dreamed your way to a new life.
"to make music is a life that I have to live"
music a call you, even in Trenchtown.
your dreams made you a watcher, a balancer of men.
the lives, dreams and hopes of the people
became your music, and you became the megaphone of the trodden upon.
morning, noon and night music oozed through your pores
burst from your throat
hummed in the blood coursing in your body.
no choice; music or nothing.
searching the world round
wisdom your teacher, wisdom your student.
when others yielded, you listened to your inner voice
and then rose up, a prince amongst the shadows that hide the forgotten ones.
your princely light shining to every corner,
your voice rings out, pure and true, a message for the world
"Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights"
Life's mysteries were chrystal to you
and so you light a fire and curse into the darkness.
prowling and roaming the stage
the music alive
the truth alive
your soul ablaze
your Icarus flies to the Heavens
you take tea with Jah
blessed sensimilla with the most righteous Jah
and when the truth is done
when the lights go down.
you rest but your body never sleeps.
"herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction"
your words burn and soothe to get at the truth hidden inside our skins
Lion of Judah, prince of the nation, one alone and singular
you came from many miles to return to Nine.
Birthing a nation attuned to your high frequency
your legacy, your spirit, your karma vibrates forever
even if they shut down your music
like ivy, your truths find a way to flourish amongst the cracks.
Doula Angelita is a trident doula, parenting coach, nutrition guide and women's advocate in the San Jose, CA area. A poetess, obeah woman, healer and counselor, she accepts clients and comments at

Friday, February 5, 2010


For the average person, the fact is that they know exactly what to do to keep healthy. It is not simply a matter of knowledge; rather it has much to do with both support and motivation. This is why it is important to surround yourself with those who will provide reinforcement and a gentle net of encouragement to help you achieve your goals. In this session of Go Red! Weekly, we will talk about getting exercise.

One of the important things about exercise is to do what is good for your body without causing damage or harm. No one is asking a couch potato to become a marathon runner overnight, nor asking those with bad knees to do a lot of weight-bearing exercise right away if at all. The important thing to keep in mind is to do what is comfortable for your body to do for a minimum of time. Begin slowly and then work your body up to a customized routine.

Many people despair of having to exercise at all. It is true: it is uncomfortable, it takes time, it is not easy and of course, sitting in a comfortable chair with a box of chocolates and the television remote is so much more accomodating. But, this is also the easy path to heart disease and to poor overall health. The path of least resistance is not the path that is the best for you nor your future.

Now, what will it take to get you into an exercise routine that you can commit to? First, you need the aforementioned and fabled support group. Even one person who will go for a walk with you, or call you up to see if you did take your walk, or who will listen when you call to say how much the walk took out of you...or gave to you...this person is gold and you need to hang onto them like grim death. When starting a new regimen, this is a crucial part of your strategy. Think about it: Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers make millions doing just that, so why don't you?

Second, do an exercise that is meaningful to you. What did you used to enjoy doing? Dancing? Swimming? Yoga?Lifting weights? Hiking? Bicycling? Whatever it was, adapt it for your fitness level now. Take a class for beginners, put on the timer for ten minutes, pedal around the block. This will give you an idea of your fitness level, as well as keep your interest piqued.

In the meantime, why not try walking? You can go at your own pace, there's no fancy equipment for you to buy, all you need is yourself, a coat if it is chilly and your keys. If walking isn't your thing, then there are exercises that you can do in your chair, there are muscle-building workouts for both the upper and lower body. Once you get moving, keep moving for heart's sake.

The heart is the organ which controls the movement of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. It cleanses and purifies, it pumps ceaselessly, and it never complains even when parts of it begin to show signs of disease or even die through bad diet and lack of exercise. This organ is so important to your body that without it even the brain cannot function! Not only is it the seat of emotion, it is the seat of life and to not care for it as best as you can is unconscionable.

#Hearthealth is #besthealth. What will you do for your heart today?

Today is the day to pull out your red clothing, red shoes, red wig,your garnet and ruby jewellry, red power is time to GO RED! for women and to help save lives-including your own. Here in San Jose, the American Heart Association and its heart ambassadors, including San Jose's Community Doula, Doula Angelita, will be going red to spread the word about heart health and how to keep your heart happy and working well.

Your heart pumps blood ceaselessy throughout the body. All organs are nourished as well as the happy fact that the blood carries oxygen so that your lungs can fill with air. The heart is hard-working and uncomplaining, pumping, adjusting, finding a way to keep the flow going even when it suffers damages. One of the most important facts about the heart is that it takes a licking and keeps on ticking long after parts of it have died due to disease.

With the Go Red! initiative, the American Heart Association has a whole series of videos, on-line tools and outreach opportunities to keep your heart alive and well. Most of the advice is well-known: healthy diet, daily exercise, positive outlook, and getting adequate rest are all important ways to keep your heart healthy and happy. Additionally, there are recipes, opportunities to connect with others looking to improve their heart health, and ways to spread the word on heart health throughout the community.

To keep your heart healthy, the simplest point of reference is the ABC of Heart Health. This involves avoiding tobacco, become more active, and choose good nutrition. This message is simple, portable and fits in perfectly with the GO RED! philosophy. GO RED! is the slogan to signal the wake-up call to action for each one of us. GO RED! is not for one day only, it is a life-long committment. GO RED! for women is a way to women to think about taking good care of ourselves so that we can continue to care for the others who enrich our lives.

Doula Angelita, as a proud heart ambassador, will sponsor a series of Go Red! forums online every Friday in February. This Friday's forum will talk about the GO RED! system for maintaining heart health. She will also take questions from the general San Jose community regarding heart health. To connect with her or with the San Jose Heart Association, send an email to:

Monday, February 1, 2010

#Magnificent Mondays #3: Keep Following Your Star!

Quote of the week: "If you are going through Hell, keep going." Winston Churchill

Rumination: In these times of uncertainty and yes, even despair, it is easy to give in to the darkness that at times threaten to engulf us. However, as this quote shows, the thing to do is to keep going through the bad times until we break through to the light beyond. Just as the Wise Men and shephards saw The Star, which guided them through the darkness and to a beautiful gift, then we too must needs look for and follow The Star that will give us the hope and the courage to keep moving forward. Sometimes this is a talisman; I myself cherish the rosary beads that sailed from Ireland to Jamaica and then ended up in the United States. It reminds me to stay true to my faith, and to my heritage and to seek out that Star which will lead me to the warmth and comfort of better times. May you also find your Star of hope, comfort and strength that will guide you to better times.

Mantra: The Star is the light that banishes darkness.

Recipe!: Tomato Soup

1 tblspn vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped celery

2(28 oz)cans crushed tomatoes

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 tblspn worcestershire sauce

1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn dried thyme

1/2 tspn ground black pepper

4 drops hot sauce

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.

2. Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender.

3. Add carrot and celery cooking for 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

4. Stir in tomatoes, broth, worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, pepper and hot sauce.

5. Reduce heat to low.

6. Cover and simmer 20 minutes stirring frequently.

Serve hot. Grilled cheese is nice with this, or a reuben.


1.Turn your head to the left slowly.

2. Turn your head to the right.

3. Tilt your head so that your left ear touches your left shoulder.

4. Tilt head so that right ear touches right shoulder.

5. Tuck chin to chest.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 for three times total to loosen neck muscles and relieve tension.

Salutation: Remember to follow your Star, get some rest, breathe, exercise and eat well. Keep up your spirits; a fallow field is really preparing for the coming of Spring!

Bis vivit qui bene vivit,

Doula Angelita

a digest that is food for thought!