Marriage In The Black Community

I was scrolling through my phone and paused for a moment when I saw a beautiful picture of my parents. For their last wedding anniversary, I organized a photo shoot with a local photographer. The essence of these photos highlighted a lifetime of love, but more so, a lifetime of challenges, trials, victories, failures, argument, prayer, laughter, compassion, children, and grandchildren. A lifetime of marriage!

Research conducted at Yale University states that 42% of Black women will marry,  58% of black women will not wed. An astonishing amount of black women will never experience the beauty of marriage. I was so prepared to make a case for myself and female brown and black girls. The truth is, we have heard this message so loud and clear that it leaves us at times helpless in our pursuits of love and marriage.

The notion that we are not worthy of love. With the constant reminder that black men are incarcerated at higher rates than white. The facts on socioeconomic status and education. We’ve heard it many times. I wanted to reiterate these points and share that I was no longer apart of the statistics. But, I uncovered greater insight and an even more powerful message to share.

Through researching I’ve learned that black women do marry, that educated black women don’t always have it harder, that black men earn enough to care for a family and that a black man will marry me. I referenced this article posted on Thoughtco. An insightful article written by Nadra Kareem Nittle entitled Black Marriages: Four Myths Busted by Facts. The author explores statistics and shares a different perspective on black marriages. A healthy, hopeful perspective.

I really appreciated this article, as it shifted my perspective on this issue. We needed this article!

I join with ThoughtCo. to emphasize and empower women, especially black women, to not give up on love. Regardless of age, education, and money, know that whatever you desire can be achieved. Know that love will find you in the most unexpected places. Know that the statistics exist, but you are not the statistics. Also, know that you can choose a life without marriage and still be fulfilled.

Lets us share these statistics instead;

“88% of black men are married to black women.”

“Among Black women, 70% of college graduates are married by 40, whereas only about 60 percent of Black high school graduates are married by that age,” Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times reported.

ThoughtCo.

“For heterosexual Black women in search of marriage, however, the forecast is not nearly as gloomy as has been reported.”

Thoughtco.

Sincerely,

A Black Woman

The walk isn’t always easy, but the walk is worth it, if we do it together!

Additional Articles to Read

  1. The Root
  2. New York Times

Day 5- Breakfast sandwich

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBSP Almond Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBSP butter (melted) or Olive oil
  • salt to taste (Skip salt if salted butter used)
  • Turkey bacon or bacon of your choice
Grab your mug

METHOD

  1. In a mug of your choice, place 1 tbsp butter and microwave for 15-20secs until butter melts.
  2. Add 1 large egg to melted butter or oil, 1 tsp baking powder, 3 TBSP of Almond flour (Red Mill used), pinch of salt and sprinkle of dry rosemary(optional)
  3. Using a fork, beat ingredients together until smooth consistency
  4. Once combined together, take the mug with mixture and place into microwave.
  5. Microwave for 1.5-2mins and remove.
  6. Turn over the mug and remove “muffin”
After microwaving

7. Slice “muffin” down the middle

Muffin can be used for anytime of sandwich of your liking. Avocado toast would also work well here!

7. To continue making breakfast sandwich. Use heavy cast iron/ frying pan and cook bacon (2) slices and 1 egg.

8. Toast the two pieces of “muffin” to your liking

9. Assemble sandwich. Add egg, bacon to form sandwich. Cheese can also be added for a hearty Keto breakfast sandwich.

Finished product. I did not add cheese as it would high protein for my personal goal of the day

Key Points

  1. NET CARBs- 4-5 grams Carbs
  2. Adding cheeses to breakfast sandwich is ideal. For my personal goal, I did not add cheese
  3. The taste of “muffin” is more egg like than bread, but it does have softness to its texture

Day 4- Jerk Tilapia and Cauliflower Mash

The hardest part of changing my eating habits is the fear of missing out of certain foods. If I can infuse some of my Caribbean flavors into a meal, I am more likely to maintain these dietary lifestyle changes. So for dinner, I tried Jerk Tilapia and cauliflower mash. It was absolutely delicious!!!

INGREDIENTS

  1. Tilapia fish (filet also can be used)
  2. 1 large cauliflower
  3. Salt
  4. Black pepper
  5. Pepper flakes
  6. Butter (salted)
  7. Jerk seasoning(1 TBSP)
  8. Heavy cream/ Heavy whipping cream; 2-3 TBSP
  9. Garlic
  10. Spinach (frozen used)

METHOD

  1. Start off by cleaning cauliflower and cutting into small pieces. Rinse cauliflower and set aside. Place pot with water and salt and bring to a boil. Place cauliflower into boiling water and allow to cook until tender but firm.
  2. In a food processor or blender add cooked cauliflower, 2-3 TBSP butter, minced garlic, pepper flakes, sprinkle of salt, 2TBSP heavy cream and black pepper.
Should be able to stick a fork into cauliflower once cooked.

3. Blend until smooth and all ingredients well incorporated

Finished cauliflower mash

4. Next prepare fish for cooking. Take tilapia pieces and season with jerk season, salt and olive oil/ butter.

5. In a non-stick frying pain, place fish and fry until brown/cooked. Each side about 5 -7 mins depending on thickness of fish.

Jerk seasoning found at local grocery store. You can also use fresh ingredient and make your own jerk seasoning. For additional hotness I added chili and pepper flakes to the fish.
Before I used the jerk seasoning, I ensured it was KETO-friendly. By using CARB MANAGER, I quickly checked – 0 NET CARB, thus KETO friendly!
Fried Jerk Tilapia

6. As a side I made spinach stew. This is different than sautéed spinach. Spinach stew has a base of tomato, onion , hot pepper and bell pepper puree together.

Spinach stew; Pepper, onion and tomato puree base
Finished Product. Viola, Enjoy!

KEY POINTS

  1. NET CARBs– Fish (0g), cauliflower mash (5g per cup), Spinach (1 gram per 2 cups). Toal NET carbs =6grams
  2. For the mashed cauliflower, you can also add sour cream or cream cheese for creaminess and flavor.
  3. For side dishes try sautéed spinach or small salad, add half avocado for additional healthy fats

Prayer for Us 2/20- You Are Not Alone, Even In Your Dark Times

Bible Verse: Psalms 23:4

“Even though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death , I will fear no evil. For You are with me, your rod and your staff the comfort me”.

If ever you need someone to hold your hands in times of need, in times of fear, or in times of sadness, you can turn to God!. It is my only testimony.

Prayer courtesy of Bible App

Have a great day my friends!!

Day 3- Keto Stovetop Frittata

All ingredients used in this recipe!
  • 1 cup heavy cream/ whipping cream
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • Butter
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (red and green used)
  • 1tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • Red peper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli pepper (added to sautéed spinach)
  • 6 Eggs
  • 4-5 slices of TURKEY BACON or bacon of your choice (diced)
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese
  • Dutch oven/ heavy cast iron pot for stovetop cooking. A lid will be needed
  • 3/4 cup spinach (frozen used)

Method

  1. Place eggs, heavy cream, salt, black pepper and pepper flakes into a bowl and whisk together. Be careful not to over whisk the eggs. Set aside.
Appearance of egg mixture after whisking together!

2. In a frying pan add 2 TBSP butter, and allow to melt. Into pan place diced onions, bell peppers and spinach. Cook until onion is translucent.

3. Allow adequate time for frozen spinach to cook. Fresh spinach will require less time.

4. 1/2 tsp chilli powder added for extra flavor (optional)

5. Cut bacon slices into diced pieces. In a pan fry until brown. 1/2 TBSP butter can be used to fry bacon (optional)

6. Remove bacon pieces from frying pan and prepare to assemble cheese, egg mixture , bacon and sautéed spinach

sautéed spinach, bell pepper, onion, bacon and 1 cup Cheddar cheese

7. In your desired pot/dutch oven place the egg mixture first. Then, add spinach/ vegetable mix. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and top with bacon pieces.

8. Place Lid and allow to cook

9. Cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until eggs no longer jiggles and has a set consistency.

All assembled!

10. Remove after 20-25 minutes and enjoy

Finished Product.

Key Points

  1. Cut into 8 slices. On overage each slice is 3grams net carb

Day 2- Keto Salad

Ingredients

  • Spring mix- 2 cups
  • 10 Blueberries
  • 5 Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Hass Avocado
  • 2 TBSP feta cheese
  • Chicken Breast

NET CARBs– 7grams of net Carbs

Two options for salad dressing. Net carbs for Avocado Ranch is 2g net carb. The Simply Dressed Cesar salad is 1g net carb.

Give it a try!

Key Points

  1. One of the tricky things is, not consuming too much protein to fat ratio. Keto-Friendly diet needs high levels or fat, medium protein, and low carb. Too much protein can hinder ketosis.
  2. A great tool I discovered is CARB MANAGER, which is extremely helpful for a newbie like myself.

21 Days of KETO- 3-Ingredient Smoothie Bowl

Over the next 21 days, I will trial KETO recipes and meal ideas. Why 21 days? A study done some years ago showed that it takes twenty-one days to form an habit. I do not truly believe twenty-one days is enough, but it surely depends on the level of commitment of the individual. More recent studies suggest two months is closer to the amount of time needed to form a habit.

What I am committed to, is twenty-one days of discipline and dietary modification. This is not an endorsement of KETO diet and I recommend checking with your physician/healthcare team prior to starting any lifestyle changes especially a big shift in diet and exercises routine.

So today marks the beginning of our 21 days of KETO.

Below I have attached a quick and easy KETO-friendly snack.

Three- Ingredient Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Frozen berries (blackberries, strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1 cup of TWO GOOD yogurt

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth

NET CARBs = 3 grams (yogurt), 0 grams(heavy) 3 grams (frozen berries)

I used coconut flavor yogurt, but you can use any flavor you desire. Two Good Yogurt has a good variety of flavors; vanilla, mixed berries, peaches, coconut and strawberry
Put your favorite toppings and enjoy- I added a few blueberries and coconut flakes. You can add Lily’s dark chocolate and other keto-friendly fruits.

Here s NON-KETO version. It has banana, blueberries, chia seed, flax seed, blackberries and coconut flakes

Key Points

The Keto diet restricts certain fruits, most fruits are not low-glycemic and as such not Keto-friendly. I would advice purchasing frozen berries as the base fruit for your smoothie bowl.

NET CARB– Be mindful of the amount of toppings as, the net carbs will also increase with addition of toppings. For instance 15 blueberry =about 3 grams of net carbs.

Is It OK To Hide Your Past?

Thats it, my friends.

My desire for this week’s blog posts are questions based. I have been thinking of general things about life. One of the questions I have wondered is this- Should we hide our past?

Often we are proud to share our happiness and victories, but for some reason, we hesitate to share our trials and failures, our darkest secrets, and our unhappy times.

So, I ask again, is it ok to hide you past from others? Yes or No

Share below

With Love JAARA

Getting Insight- Share Your Thoughts With Us

Thank you for taking the time out to read my posts, share your ideas, and comment/ like. I cannot tell you how much it is appreciated. I really desire to make JAARABLOG a community blog. Below you will find four(4) simple questions I posted. I would love to hear from you. Share how you’re feeling with us.

Much love JAARA

Thanks Guys!!

The World of Love

There is clearly commercialization of Valentine’s Day and LOVE every 14th of February. Like clockwork, the TV advertisements become loaded with Valentine’s Day ideas. Hallmark cards, chocolate, roses, a gamut of gift ideas start to roll out.

I recall being younger and telling my teenage friends that I do not believe in Valentine’s day. My reasoning was sound- Why does someone who loves you need one day only to show their love?

I required unconditional love. A steadfast, unshaken love. A love that requires no big gestures, but a small constant reminder we were in this together. That even though times get rough, even though we disagree, we are humble enough to return to each other and seek forgiveness and togetherness. So, for me, Valentine’s day is still not important.

I think too often, we focus on what material gifts we can give to each other. We feel pressured to perform and to out-shine the next person, especially in this age of social media. But, what good is a gift on the 14th, if the day after, you treat me awful. One day is not enough.

Now, please do not get me wrong I am not saying not to gift your partner. I am saying, I do not need a grand gesture for one day to prove someone loves me.

For many couples, Valentine’s day is an opportunity to prioritize their relationship, and I encourage you to do so. If you are single, consider a virtual Galentines. Whatever way you decide to celebrate, I hope you have a fantastic time.

The world has made love into a catchphrase!

If Cupid could read this, would he be disappointed in me?

Heres, how I see it, celebrate the people you love daily. The small gestures, random acts of kindness, and your thoughtfulness will cultivate an ever-lasting relationship.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day?