Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What To Expect For First Timers In New York City

The Regional Conference Series is right around the corner in New York City. National Youth Pride Services is bringing its popular Regional Conference Series for Black LGBT Youth, called “I Am Black Excellence” to New York City for the first time. Everything is going to happen on August 9-11, 2013.

This is going to be a first for people who never came to New York City. They have no idea what they are about to experience when they visit this legendary place during a three day conference. Where should they go? What should they do? What should they eat? Questions like this will pop up one after another. Here are some tips on what to expect what you come to this legendary city.

Diversity In Perspectives
When they say everyone lives here, they truly mean that. You can walk into a restaurant for example and could talk to a wide range of people if they are open to the idea. Some might express to you they've lived in New York City all the life and talk about life in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Or you will meet someone who will talk to you about what's it like moving from the small town or a different country to the big city. It's one story after the next and you'll be captivated by these stories and want them to talk more.

24/7 Entertainment
New York City is called "The City That Never Sleeps" for a reason. This city has 24/7 entertainment from all over the city. It can be 3 in the morning and a party is just starting or ending. One walk around the block and there could be a Deli open or order in from a 24/7 restaurant. When you walk on the streets on New York, you will never find yourself bored.

Cultures & History
New York is it's on historical landmark. A regular person who's lived here for decades can still feel like a tourist because there's always something new to discover. From historical landmarks such as the Empire State Building to independent art shows deep within a building. Every step you make is like walking into a another piece of work.

For any person that self identifies as a foodie, you won't be disappointed in New York's vast amount of restaurants, diners, bars, etc. There will come a time where you can't even keep with how many different types of food you was eating. The numbers are limitless when it comes to places. Whether you want Italian, European, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, or Mexican food, this is the perfect city.

I wish everyone a good time when they arrive in New York during the conference. I will of course be in attendance and excited for these different youth attendees to arrive and have a good time.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Body Cleanse

During the time I was changing my eating habits and going into a healthy direction, I began to notice that body was experiencing what I like to call "healthy adolescence." It's a point in life when you're body begins to reject some of the healthy things that are coming into the system due to it not being used to so much of it. 

When I began to eat more fruits and vegetables along with drinking nothing but water for a short period of time, my body began to reject it. It was confused by all this healthy food and began to do exactly what some human beings do. Instead of trying to understand it at first, the rejection of differences begins to occur. But just like life, we grown onto differences as they come along.

That's the process I'm going through when it comes to my eating habits. 

This whole experience with Alkaline Guru and Eden on Earth inspired me to go through a temporary body cleanse. I went through two weeks of eating food from tuna sandwiches, fruit bowls, and salads to beverages such as Fiji Water and Citrus Juice. I do have plans to have my own glass of Detox juice, but that will be somewhere in the near future.

I'm not saying that everyone should go through a body cleanse. I'm just describing how much Alkaline Guru and Eden on Earth has influenced me to take steps like this. Sometimes the tiniest influence can lead to dramatic steps that the person him/herself wants to take. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Allowing My Friend To Ruin His Life

I normally don't talk about my friends like this, but the recent lessons I've learned inspired me to write this incredibly personal piece.

I once had this friend. Let's call him Carl. Carl is a young, ambitious, funny, and passionate person. It didn't take me long to make him a friend of mine. We went to events together. We attended social events together. We always talked to each other on the phone. I made it a priority to make our friendship last long. 

After all, when was the last time you heard of two platonic gay men hanging out all the time? 

As our friendship got closer, I began to notice the different sides of Carl. One time, I caught him hanging out with people I associated with previously. I say previously due to the fact that I've had a history of bad experiences with these people. They lie, steal, sabotage friendships, home wreck relationships, have sex with everyone. Everything about them screamed "bad crowd."

One time when I was standing next to him, this male put his arm around him and said "Have you guys met my future husband?"

To everyone around them, it was a joke. However, it wasn't a joke for me. My brotherly love extincts kicked in and I wanted to be as far away from them as possible. I expressed my concern to Carl and I thought he would listen to me. Sadly, he didn't.

Some of my friends who also associated with him would express to me how he used to call them at 2-4 in the morning, saying that he was near the area and was wondering if he could "take a shower." To a well trained, there is more meaning to that favor. If the person calls in the wee hours of the morning asking for a shower, that means they hope to take a shower, and stay over as much as they could until the morning arrives. Stories like this has made me aware that Carl's dependability on others has been leading to a lot of dangerous situations.

How I know? I fell a victim to that one time with Carl. He called me at 3 in the morning and told me he was nearby. Of course, I let him stay over. It was snowing at the time.

The final icing on the cake when it came to Carl was that he's a slacker. There were numerous times when me and my friends have offered him amazing opportunities for paid internships and part time/full time jobs. Carl is a young man. All these opportunities only happens to people around our age demographic. That's why it's good to grab them while you can. Carl doesn't think that way and slacks around. Most of the time is on purpose.

There was a time when I wanted to help him so badly. It's due to me having a whole lot of love and care for him. When you're a friend you try your best to make sure that no one is left behind, and that everyone stays on the journey with you. But a recent conversation with an older friend of mine led me to the conclusion that it was time to let Carl go. I have to let him fall down and pick himself up on his own.

We all have friends who are like that. They are the ones that cares so much about their friends and their well-beings that they will do everything they can to make sure nothing bad happens to them. But ask yourself the same way my older friend asked me. Who told you to protect him?

I haven't heard from Carl since. He doesn't call me on the phone. He never picks up my calls. I see him every now and then at social events. So whatever is going on with his life is no longer any of concern. I'll think about him every now and then, but I do hope he is well.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Change In Appetite

Never in my life did I ever think I could beat what I like to call my southern tongue. I call it that because I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. When it comes to food I was exposed to deep southern food for over 20 years: fried chicken, baked beans, rice, fried fish, corn bread, beignets, craw fish, gumbo etc. I have eaten a variety of soul, southern, and creole recipes.

When you are a raised around southern hospitality you are taught to eat in moderation. No matter if you are small or big, enjoy the body that you have. I had a friend in my hometown that used to brag about her muffin top.

So when I moved to New York, and later on using the services of Alkaline Guru and Eden on Earth, I found this dramatic change in my appetite. I knew I wanted to get a little healthier, but I had no idea that my entire appetite would change dramatically.

It all started with cutting sodas and flavored drinks. Then I switched to Fiji water full time. I stopped eating fried food religiously and only saved it for two times a week. I ate more fruits and vegetables. It took a complicated time for salad to come into my life but it did. I only picked up things that were highly organic. I changed my eating habits dramatically due to my desire in wanting a dramatic change.

Within weeks, I found myself not having an appetite for the food I used to love. I once looked at a plate of dirty rice and just the smell of it turned me off entirely. Particular fried foods like shrimp and fish made my stomach ill every time I ate one. Every time I tried to drink soda my body was speaking to me, wondering why was I drinking nothing but sugar.

Alkaline Guru taught me about what was going on in my body. Eden on Earth helped me compromise and still eat in a healthy direction.

I'm now in a position where I'm working on a balance. I still eat some of things but it's compromised with healthy solutions. The one thing to know about these companies is that they don't believe in dieting. It's not even about dieting. It's about compromise. It's alright to have that burger, but be sure to put lettuce and tomatoes in it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Different View On Labels

One night, I went to the grocery store after noticing my refrigerator was short on food. Most of the food was eaten while the rest were thrown away. Ever since I've been following the advice of Alkaline Guru and Eden on Earth, my whole perspective on what I eat has changed dramatically. I've been going for healthier directions and thinking about what might happen to my body long term.

Some of the products that I used to purchase and/or eat  has been removed from my life completely. Now I've made it my life's goal to go for a more healthier direction.

I walked inside, entered an aisle, and found myself in a difficult compromise. I was looking at the shelf observing brand after brand. Label after label. My mind then became clear on what was going on. I was having a physical realization regarding the difficulty of finding healthier brands.

Ever since I've been reading pieces from the social media pages of Alkaline Guru and Eden on Earth, I began pointing fingers and telling myself in my mind that such and such brand was GMO (genetically modified organisms). Once the finger pointing stopped, it was hard to find the brands that was healthy for me and my body. It was such a scary thing to see, but the truth was right in front of me. I was incredibly indecisive on what I wanted to buy due to knowing the truth about the brands on the shelf.

I slowly took a third browse and finally found the right brands for me. My basket was a little smaller than I expected, but I knew it was for the best.

I'm thankful for the stuff I've learned through Alkaline Guru and Eden on Earth. With Alkaline Guru's realization on food to Eden on Earth healthier direction pieces, I've slowly began the process of changing the way I operate in regards to the food I eat. There are more tales to tell and I'm happy to be a part of the ride.

Read the labels carefully. The truth is right in front of you.