What my 26 year old self would say to me in 2016

I recently saw an article about Selena Gomez and her new documentary My Mind and Me. Though I have yet to see the documentary and really connect with the actress and producer, I’ve always had some sort of connection with her since Wizards of Waverly Place premiered in 2007. As the Disney Channel started to not align with me anymore I still heard and read about Selena Gomez in fan magazines and on E!. She became mostly known as “Justin Bieber’s girlfriend” to me, which, looking back on it, is a terrible thing to associate her with (no offense to Justin Bieber). It’s mainly terrible because no woman, any female-identifying individual should be primarily known as “so-and-so’s girlfriend/wife.”

Another example is Giselle Bundchen, Tom Brady’s now-ex-wife. When I broke out into the modeling industry at 14 years old, (fun fact, I was a model and starved myself in the process), my mom told me about Giselle’s “discovery story.” She was discovered in her hometown in Brazil when she was selling ice cream. She was mainly known to the media, nonetheless the public eye, as “Victoria’s Secret Model who married Tom Brady.”

Now, what do these high-profile celebrities have to do with me in 2016? In 2016, I got out of a terrible relationship that was insidiously controlling. I remember when the guy and I were dating, someone had asked me at a college party, “are you so-and-so’s girlfriend?” But that’s just an addendum to the story. In the last few months into that relationship, I felt more or less like a beard that just had to be maintained, until I was thankfully and metaphorically “shaved off.” I would give that 20-year-old a huge hug and tell her the following:

“Listen, you really do have your entire life in front of you. Use it to every part of your advantage. You’re only at the beginning of the golden decade. And believe me when I say that MS was not the ‘love of your life.’ In fact, you’ll meet him when you’re 25. As far as who you are, you’re a writer. Own it. You’re blog is internationally known, and according to high-profile recruiters, you exude confidence. You are more confident than you ever have been, or least tricked yourself into thinking. One day, you will be done with being the reporter, and be on the other side of an interview. And who knows? One of your books might just be turned into a movie!”

I’d be lying if I said that this post did not make me muster up a ton of courage and even make me shed two tears. However, it’s like The Wizard of Oz. Each one member of that quad, the lion, the scarecrow, the tin man, and Dorothy all had their powers all along. In fact, Dorothy was given those ruby slippers just to make her feel confident.

20-year-old April, and for any 20-year-old reading this, this one is for you. Enjoy this song, an oldie but a goodie.

Happy six years of this blog. đŸ„ł

xoxox,

April 💕

Mastering Productivity

Productivity is like visiting another country, or at least mastering a new language. You must read up, know the “hacks” for easy traveling, and the “hacks” to having a beneficial experience, even if you’re in another country for just a few days. I remember when I visited Southern France; I got pointed and laughed at by a clique of French natives because I was trying to explain to the food vendor that I wanted a pizza and not a panini. It did not help that I did not know a word of French. Talk about an “Emily in Paris” moment!

Though I am not fluent in French (yet), I strive to learn at least 6-7 languages like my new accountability advisor, best-selling author Alejandra Marques. Also, I want to focus more on my writing because, well, I’m a writer! As far as nutrition school went, it was more of an “oops” than a “what if I didn’t try?” I tried to keep my Spanish double major when I transferred to RWU, but it just did not work out because I went a semester without speaking the language. That was more of a “what if?” However, I have my entire life to learn languages. Languages are beautiful and they are stunning, more importantly, they are fun.

Adaptability and intelligence are amazing concepts of the brain. You need them both to master a language and to master productivity. I could write a whole list down of all the things I would just die to do, besides worry about my diabetes. I’m not going to spend three months being sick, physically and mentally. I’m not going to worry about what my A1C could possibly be on a daily basis. Diabetes is NOT a hobby. Diabetes does NOT define me. Let’s be real, I’ll sure as hell have more energy than being bogged down by limiting beliefs because I’m considered “ill.”

Kings, queens, and those in-between, today is the day I no longer make diabetes a full-time job.

What would you do if you had mastered productivity? Don’t forget to reward yourself each week if not every day.

Don’t spend the rest of 2022 in a state of “what if?”

xoxo,

April 💕

10 Dorothy Day Quotes For Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

I know I’ve been MIA on the blog recently and I am sorrrryyyy. But I have been working and doing some rearrangements and rebranding to my business, “Brownies For Breakfast.” I’ve come to the realization that I love a good cup of coffee and, of course, writing. I used to think of writing as something that made me sad. But in fact, storytelling is my favorite thing to do, especially on social media. Why not combine the two!? It’s a sad fact of life when you’ve painted over a perfectly carved statue in the raw. Feel free to quote me on that.

I came across an Instagram post that had the caption of a Dorothy Day quote. I remember when I tried to start a “Dorothy Day Collective” on my former alma mater’s campus. Years later, after I transferred, I talked to someone and she said “perhaps people didn’t understand what it was you were doing.” Oddly enough, Dorothy Day had the same experience when she founded the Catholic Worker Movement.

With my business and writing on the brain recently, nonetheless Dorothy Day, I compiled a list of Dorothy Day quotes that hopefully will inspire my fellow entrepreneurs to keep going.

  1. “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?”
  2. “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
  3. “Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”
  4. “Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”
  5. “There is plenty to do, for each one of us, working on our own hearts, changing our own attitudes, in our own neighborhoods.”
  6. “I do not know how to love God except by loving the poor. I do not know how to serve God except by serving the poor…. Here, within this great city of nine million people, we must, in this neighborhood, on this street, in this parish, regain a sense of community which is the basis for peace in the world.”
  7. “Turn off your radio. Put away your daily paper. Read one review of events a week and spend some time reading good books. They tell too of days of striving and of strife. They are of other centuries and also of our own. They make us realize that all times are perilous, that men live in a dangerous world, in peril constantly of losing or maiming soul and body. We get some sense of perspective reading such books. Renewed courage and faith and even joy to live.”
  8. “The biggest mistake sometimes is to play things very safe in this life and end up being moral failures.”
  9. “You can spend your time agonizing or organizing.”
  10. “You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it’s right.”

Unpacking the box and taking out the itchy, fuzzy blanket of childhood

Today is the day I started to write regularly in a journal that has zero to do with manifestation. I came across a YouTube video about how one girl successfully did Virginia Woolf’s journaling routine for a month. Something I found, as professional writer, is that writing pen-to-paper is not only more aesthetically pleasing to the eye but to the brain. With that, I asked my mother to give me three words: 1) itchy 2) fuzzy and 3) blanket. She says to me, “that’s easy!” Yet, she doesn’t know what I’m going to do with these words.

I take off my blue light blockers because I’m not in front of a screen for what I challenged myself to do for an hour — maybe more. Although at the time, I was itching to to get my laptop to type, as Bartleby the Scrivener said, “I prefer not to.” Apparently, a “thing” about my head feeling “fuzzy” is that I am a lot of the times, in front of a screen. Funny how social media became a blanket of comfort to millennials and generations after.

I began to think about this Sex and the City episode where Samantha does PR for Jenny Briar’s bat mitzvah party. What I found appalling was that she– maybe it was the fact her fictional father was a famous restauranteur, or she was just assertive– buys Samantha, Carrie, and Miranda champagne. Champagne. She (Jenny Briar) looked and dressed just as I did in 7th grade. I was 13 in 7th grade, and my dad had a catering business in Massachusetts back when brochures were the way of getting people’s attention. That is, until he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, just a couple of weeks shy before Christmas.

The whole premise of that episode was to just be grateful you have/had a childhood. My childhood consisted of clothes from Limited Too, shopping sprees at the mall (not online), and video games on a GameBoy, then the Nintendo DS, and finally I remember the day my brother came home with a Wii. That was a good day because that same day, I had my friends over for what we used to call “playdates.”

Those devices haven’t been used since I would just randomly pick up a Wii remote out of boredom of not studying, or watching Pretty Little Liars, or a track meet, all in high school; or at least my sophomore year.

Towards the end of the episode, Samantha had to be the adult and intervene Jenny and her friends’ “adult talk” about the guys from NSYNC. They quite literally said “I’m going to ‘screw’ that NYSNC guy!” Except, they did not say the word “screw.”

As I uncover the blanket of what was underneath my childhood, I realize something important: you do not have to worry so much about growing up when you are 12 or 13. However when you’re 14, I highly recommend you mature before someone has the chutzpah to slap you.

I realize something else: when I was working at Dollar Tree at the beginning of the pandemic, and my manager asked me what I liked to do for fun, it dawned on me, “damn, after 4-5 years of college, I forgot what I actually like to do!”

Although my eyes are not “fuzzy” anymore after the first day of this challenge, I cleared the dust bunnies that were on top of box: my childhood. The best thing is, I needn’t rehearse this in my head for a YouTube video.

xoxo,

April 💕

Studying Do’s And Don’ts

I am currently recovering from adrenal fatigue. I spent the last week quite literally hunched over at my desk in my bedroom (obviously not of good posture!). Now, my poor back is suffering the consequences. And my brain still feels like it’s on fire and is burning to a crisp.

This is because I just survived and actually did thrive in my first week of nutrition school. I’m taking anatomy and physiology right now in my applied nutrition program and I’ll admit it, it’s not simple. It’s not algebra. Case studies, however are so much fun, and it’s not just because I get to put my writing skills to use. I learn about the body and nutrients that do the body wonders, and I learn about things such as skin aging. Did you know that redheads supposedly don’t age? I’m lucky in that regard.

Anyway, I was sitting at my local coffee shop, trying to copy everything that was in my online textbook. What I ended up learning is that simply copying and memorizing is not a good way to study. I wound up emailing my professor, asking my biology-master friend (hi Cyrene!), then finally I watched this video on YouTube.

I’ll also admit to the fact that how I studied in high school… didn’t work in college, and in high school? I drove myself batshit crazy trying to memorize everything.

Another “do” is to follow this method: read, cover, write what you remember, repeat!

This can go for any subject whatsoever, not just anatomy.

Don’t stay up all night working. You need your beauty sleep! Do cap the studying at say, 11:00 p.m.? Maybe sooner?

With that being said, life gets busy, so do make a schedule. Don’t just say, “oh, I have some free time! I’ll work!”

But please do remember that you are human, and that life takes its twists and turns. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t finish a topic or assignment “on time.”

Do take breaks because you need some social interaction and some much needed relaxation. Don’t force yourself to work if you’re tired.

Let me know if I missed anything or if there’s anything that you and I can benefit from! I’d love to hear feedback in the comments.

xoxo,

April 💕

RELATED ARTICLES: What I Wish I Knew As A First Semester Senior, What I wish I knew before starting college, What’s In My Backpack?, Things You Will Learn In College, As Told By A Second Semester Senior, For the College Student(s) Having Doubts, Week In The Life of a Blogger/Busy College Student!

What To Eat For GERD And Esophageal Motility Issues

I seriously love it when people ask me to read up on what to eat for their specific health concerns. The other day, my best friend asked me what to eat specifically for GERD and esophageal motility issues. So, I had a thought: what if I did somewhat of an “advice column” on specific health conditions? How fun would that be? And helpful to the public?

First of all, GERD is short for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a chronic acid reflux disorder. In a recent review by Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., a gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine, the most common foods that cause heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux and GERD) include but are not limited to fried foods, pizza, processed snacks, potato chips, tomato sauce, citrus, and bacon.

According to Healthline.com, the foods one should eat include ginger, vegetables, oatmeal, melons, bananas, apples, pears, lean meats (i.e., chicken, fish, and turkey — NOT fried), nuts, avocado, and olive oil. (May I just add that ginger is PERFECT for digestion and overall gut health, even if it’s a Ginger Tea.)

Cedars Sinai is another brilliant source to which you can access the soft food diet, if need be. But please, do consult your doctor and/or dietitian before making drastic changes.

***If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, please email me at aprilfedericonutrition@gmail.com

FOODIE DIARIES: DIY Matcha Smoothie

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, whatever time you are reading this!

Being someone in the wellness community, you certainly learn things from others, especially social media. One post I saw in particular was an easy-to-make Matcha Smoothie!

Grab your blender and grab the following ingredients because a good Sunday reset calls for a good smoothie you can make on your own.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Vanilla protein powder (optional, but recommended)
  2. Soy milk, or whichever type of milk you prefer (if you’re diabetic, I suggest soy or almond)
  3. Matcha powder
  4. One whole banana (you can choose to freeze it, if you have time)
  5. Hemp seeds

Blend it for a little over 30 seconds to get a rich, creamy texture and you will be good to go!

Enjoy! đŸ”

xoxo,

April 💕

The Truth About ‘Overnight Success’ | How To Be

I opened up an email from renowned fitness trainer Jill Coleman today, and it was my personal dose of tough love. The quote I’m about to share with you should be, too.

“A life spent looking for shortcuts is a long road to nowhere.” –Naval

Picture this: you’re young and at the park, and you’re on the monkey bars. You jump down halfway through because your hands hurt. Then you just walk to to the other side of the obstacle. 

I don’t blame your hands for hurting, but this is the thing about all areas of life, including your health and well-being (and even manifestation!): you have to build the calluses on your hands and on the trauma you’ve experienced. You can ruminate on what you could’ve done differently all you want, but you can’t change who you were yesterday. 

View the whole Instagram post here.

There is another quote I’d like to share that Natalie Portman quoted in this video (a speech she gave to Harvard graduates); “To be or not to be is not the question; the vital question is how to be,” said by Abraham Joshua Heschel. This will certainly question your thoughts and what you’ve learned about Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which is why I LOVE to question things that mildly brought me to tears (and not in a good way) (LOL). I love questioning the world around me in general, which is why I will forever be a lifelong learner.

I don’t just learn from books and podcasts, I learn from my past mistakes and I learn from the people around me — digitally or via in-person connections. That’s the beauty of the digital world, specifically social media and the ever-growing metaverse.

Let us think about how to be, shall we?

We’re taught from a young age about how to live our lives, mainly from our parents and the environment we grow up in. Let’s take Liz Murray for example. I’m continuously fascinated by her story. She is the brave young woman in the famous not-so-overnight-success-story “Homeless To Harvard.”

As a young girl, Murray lives with her sister Lisa, their drug-addicted, schizophrenic mother Jean, who has AIDS and their father Peter, also a drug addict but also has AIDS, lacks social skills, and is not conscientious. She is removed from the home and put into the care system as her father cannot take care of her.

At 15 she moves in with her mother, sister and grandfather who sexually abused her mother and her aunt. After a fight with her grandfather who resultantly hit Liz, she runs away with a girl from school named Chris who is also being abused at home.

After Jean dies of AIDS, Liz gets a ‘slap in the face’ by her mother’s death and begins her work to finish high school, which she amazingly completed in just two years. She becomes a star student and earns a scholarship to Harvard University through an essay contest sponsored by The New York Times.

In a nutshell, we can succumb to our environments as real-life victims of naturalism, or we can live our best lives. But we must put in the work to do so. It’s about building the calluses around who we used to be and the trauma we experienced and making things better for ourselves.

This, my friends, is strength and courage. I said this before and I’ll say it again, Elle Woods was right when she said, “passion is the key ingredient to the practice […] of life.”

This is also why people call me the #QuoteQueen. 👑

xoxo,

April 💕

RELATED ARTICLES: The Truth About Feeling Guilty | What Can We Do About It?, The Truth About Self-Esteem, The truth about second-guessing yourself | End of my first year of grad school reflection, The Truth About Writing Full-Time | You Have A Purpose, An Abridged Guide On What To Do If You Just Simply Don’t Know What To Do

How To Make It Through A Cleanse With Ease

Cleansing requires a lot of motivation in order to achieve your goal as it might force you to alter your plans according to the times of cleansing or detoxification. In order to make sure that your desire to achieve your goal and your motivation to cleanse you should follow the steps mentioned below in order to overcome all the challenges that you might face:

  • Many women tend to complain that if they shop with an empty stomach they tend to eat a lot more than they actually need. Hence people who are planning to cleanse their body through the process of detoxification should buy all their groceries and other household items before they start off with their cleansing journey.
  • Every individual should come up with a schedule that highlights all the major events that are coming up. This will ensure that your process of cleansing and detoxification does not overlap or clash with the dates when you have a family gathering or event to attend.
  • In order to accomplish any goal, it is very important to have a clear set of guidelines that you should follow. It is better to plan out your guidelines and follow them rigorously. Always keep them in front of you so that you are reminded of them again and again. It will help you remain focused and determined to cleanse your body with ease.
  • Many people believe that they tend to follow their diet charts and plans if they have a company that also wants to follow the same steps. Hence it is better to find out friends from within your social circle who actively take part in such activities. It will not only give you company but see them doing the same activity would make sure feel motivated. Motivated partners or motivated groups or social circles ensure that you stay motivated as well.
  • All the vegetables and fruits that you love should be incorporated in your diet as the will help you get rid of the idea that you are not eating all the other food items that you love. It is a psychological fact that if your taste buds taste the item that you love, it sends a very positive signal and message to your brain.
  • If you are visiting your friends and family members during your cleanse journey or even before you start it, it is better to share your plans with them. They will point out all the positive aspects linked with cleansing hence you will feel more motivated to achieve your goal.  It will also ensure that you are not forced by your family or friends to eat something that goes against your diet chart or cleansing schedule. They will make sure that they respect your decision and help you achieve what you want to achieve.

Once you are on the road to success, make sure that you pen down all your memories and parts linked to the cleansing journey. It will help you relive all the moments again in future when you want to. Moreover, in future, if you plan to start the cleansing journey again it will help you to stay motivated and complete your struggle. The memories can also be shared with friends and family members, as you would be inspirational sources for them to start and achieve something out of the cleansing of their body. People tend to believe individuals who talk about results rather than other aspects that are not backed up by proofs. 

Data Reveals The Funniest Star Sign Of All Time

With the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe festival in full swing, hundreds of thousands of people are flocking to the city to experience the melting pot of comedy, art, and performance. And, with such a wide array of talent on show, one might find themselves wondering, what is it that makes a person funny? Could it be their tone, timing, or simply a twist of fate?

The experts at PsychicWorld.com were interested in delving deeper into this question, by determining which of the zodiac signs is the funniest. Based on a list of over 100 of the top comics worldwide, PsychicWorld.com created a ranking of the most (and least!) funny star signs.

The funniest star signs

RankingSignPercentage of comedians with this sign
1Cancer14%
2Sagittarius11.8%
3Virgo10.3%
=3Taurus10.3%
5Libra8.8%
=6Gemini7.4%
=6Capricorn7.4%
=6Scorpio7.4%
9Leo6.6%
10Pisces5.9%
=11Aries5.1%
=11Aquarius5.1%
Table courtesy of PsychicWorld.com

*= signifies a joint ranking

Cancer tops the ranking, with 14% of the comedians researched belonging to this star sign. From Will Ferrell to Peter Kay, Cancerians are known for their observational humor, which allows them to connect with their audience, says celebrity psychic and astrologer Inbaal Honigman. 

In second place comes Sagittarius, with a score of 11.8%. Alongside Gemini, Sagittarians are ‘​​free spirits, unencumbered by social norms, and they’re caustic in their humour’, according to Honigman. Favorite Sagittarians include Sarah Silverman and Richard Pryor, who are known for weaving their own life experiences into their standup routines.

Virgo and Taurus make up joint third place, each making up 10.3% of the comics studied. Like Cancer, these signs love to observe, as shown by the quick-witted Virgo Sue Perkins, and king of the sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld, who is a Taurus.

When it comes to the signs at the bottom of the table, Aries and Aquarius take a joint score of just 5.1% each. But, Honigman is quick to remind us: â€˜Aquarius isn’t un-funny, they’re just very, very subtle. Aquarians are funny in a quiet, deadpan, sarcastic way. They’re a very clever sign, and clever people are very funny, but in a way which is understood by other clever people.’