Burn your ships!

Burn your ships!

Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to “burn his ships” and cut all sources of retreat. That is: you win or you perish. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a BURNING DESIRE TO WIN, essential to success. This idea of having only success as an outcome is what allowed Edward Barnes, the warriors at battle and Napoleon Hill’s son to win.

Barnes had a yearning, a pulsating desire to be Edison’s business partner. Because he allowed himself just one option (success) he was able to place all his energy, all his willpower, all his effort to achieve the goal. Edward Barnes eventually become Edison’s business partner. He won.

A warrior led his army against a powerful enemy whose men outnumbered his own. When they got to enemy territory, he ordered for the ships that had carried them there to be burnt down. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice—we win, or we perish!”. They won.

The author’s son was born a deaf mute. He mixed faith with desire for normal hearing for his son. With believe and through persistent continuous effort over a period of time, his son was able to hear.

When you have a plan B, it is hard to stay motivated. At the first sign of obstacle, you will give up and run back to your comfort zone because you allowed yourself something to fall back on. When you truly ‘burn your ships’ it’s almost like magic. All your energy, all your conscious mind and sub-conscious mind has only the option to figure out how to succeed. And of course – then you do. This is how the universe works.

Banana Bread

Yes, occasional treats are allowed here. Eating healthy as a lifestyle does allow room for occasional cakes. Emphasis on “occasional”. When I eat cake, it is hardly ever store bought. I make mine using the best ingredients. This banana bread fits the bill.

Yummilicious Banana Bread

  1. 4-5 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  2. 1 cup oil
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 3 eggs lightly beaten
  5. 3 cups flour
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  10. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Set oven temperature to 350 F
  • Mix the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl (wet ingredients)
  • Mix ingredients 5-10 in a large bowl (dry ingredients)
  • Pour wet ingredients mix into dry ingredients.
  • Gently mix until the batter just comes together. It may be lumpy. Don’t over mix.
  • Prepare baking pan by spraying with bakers joy or brushing with melted butter.
  • Pour batter into cake pan.
  • Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes to an hour. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.
  • Remove cake and let it cool for about 10 minutes in pan.
  • Remove from pan and enjoy!

Let me know if you try the recipe!

Coach Yaje

You are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul!

You are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul

We have the power to control our thoughts. The thing we think about most of the time magnetizes our minds. The magnetized mind then attracts the people, circumstances to help make those thoughts to manifest.  The universal power that converts the thoughts to things does not discriminate between good thoughts and bad thoughts.

Before we become successful, we MUST magnetize our minds with the intense desire for success. We must become and stay success conscious.

My words: You are the BOSS! Nobody is coming to save you.

Let me know your thoughts!

Yaje

A FIFTY-CENT LESSON IN PERSISTENCE

A 50 CENT LESSON IN PERSISTENCE

A little girl was sent by her mom to go ask for 50 cents from their neighbor. The neighbor told her ‘NO” and asked the child to disappear from his presence. The girl responded with a meek “yes, sir” but did not move. The man carried on with his work and later realized that the girl was still standing there. He got very angry and threatened to beat her up if she did not get lost immediately. Again, the girl said “yes, sir”, but still did not move. The man started charging towards the little girl. The little girl did something very interesting: instead of fleeing for her life, she stepped towards the man, looked him straight in the eyes and yelled that her momma had to have the money. This stopped the man dead in his tracks. He gave the child what she wanted.

My Words: DO NOT TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER. When you know what you want, you pursue it with the determination of a bulldog. You do not quit. You don’t let ‘NO’ stop you.

One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average person’s familiarity with the word “impossible”. We always argue for our limitations. We know all the reasons for why it cannot work. When you argue for why it cannot be done, guess what, it will not be done. Success comes to those who are success conscious. The reverse is true.

How was it that the little girl was able to completely render the man powerless? What power did she use? Could it be that this same power is available to all of us? The answer is a big YES. We all have the same power the little girl used to get what she wanted. We just have to start using it.

Let me know your thoughts!

THREE FEET FROM GOLD

Three feet from Gold

A man went in pursuit of his goal…which was to dig gold. Everything was going well until he ran into an obstacle. The vein of the gold ore disappeared. Sure enough, he did exactly what most of us would do in the face of adversity. He gave up. The man sold the tools he was using to another man and went home. The guy who bought the tools hired help and it was discovered that the big bounty was only 3 feet from where the previous man had stopped!

The man who gave up learned a lesson. To never take “NO” for an answer. He went on to become a very successful insurance salesman because of that lesson.

The most common cause of failure is we give up at the first sign of an obstacle. We quit too soon. One thing is for sure when you set out to do something: you will run into obstacles. How you deal with these obstacles determines your success in this game of life.

My word: STICK IT OUT! Only quitters lose. If it means calling for back up, do so. If it means going back to the drawing board, do so.

Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony. It takes delight in tripping one up when success is almost within reach.

Are you in the habit of quitting on your goals when the going gets tough? You could be 3-feet from Gold and not know it.

Let me know your thoughts!

Yaje

THE MAN WHO “THOUGHT’ HIS WAY INTO PARTNERSHIP WITH THOMAS A. EDISON

Edward Barnes was a basically a “nobody” who had a thought, a desire, a goal to work with Thomas Edison. However, he had some major obstacles: no money, little education and he did not even know Mr. Edison! Most of us would have given up. He did not let any of that stop him. He staked EVERYTHING to make it happen. He was persistent. He eventually found his way to Mr. Edison’s office. Mr. Edison saw the bulldog determination in him and gave him a job. But Edward’s goal was not to work for Mr. Edison. He wanted to work with him.

Barnes did not realize his goal immediately. He did what most of us will consider mean jobs around his office while he waited. He was constantly intensifying his desire. He kept the desire burning. He did not lose his motivation. When the opportunity came he was ready and immediately acted on it. His dream of having a partnership with Thomas Edison was realized.

Thoughts are powerful things. When mixed with purpose, persistence and burning desire, thoughts get translated into their material objects.

My word: BULLDOG DETERMINATION. Approach your goals with bulldog determination. When you really want something go for it with all you have. Stake everything and go for it. You already have what it takes, if you have the initiative, faith and the will to win. What you desire will not happen right way. There is always an incubation period when you are in pursuit of a goal. But you have to stay ready so you can jump at the opportuning once it presents its self.

Are you approaching your goals with bulldog determination? How are you staying ready while waiting for your opportunity? Can you recognize the opportunity when it shows up?

Opportunity has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door. It often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat.

Let me know your thoughts.

Yaje

The Protein You Are Missing Out On

There are three types of people in the world: those who love snails, those who don’t and those who don’t know what they are missing! This write up is for group #3.

I didn’t grow up eating snails. I did not know what I was missing! I tasted snails for the first time when I went to Baptist High School, Buea for my High School education. I suspect hunger had everything to do with it. Long story short…I have been hooked ever since.

The giant African snail (aka Congo meat, aka nyama-ngoro) is a non-conventional meat enjoyed by many in some African countries including Cameroon. Some people don’t eat snails because they are either turned off by the slimy nature of the snails before they are washed and prepped or the sometimes unsanitary places that snails can be harvested from. More and more people are now cultivating snails in an effort to solve this problem. The snails I eat and highly recommend are from the Urban Farmers Association (UFA). The UFA snails are pre-cleaned, packaged and made ready for the pot. Works for me!

Being the questioner that I am, I went looking up information on the nutritional benefits and found some very interesting and quite frankly surprising information. Since “Congo meat” is usually used as a substitute for beef in many dishes, I compared the calories, macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate) and some vitamins and minerals content per 100-gram (3.5 ounces) of snail and beef.

Calories Protein Fat Carbohydrate Iron Magnesium
Beef 250 26 15 0 2.6 mg 21 mg
Snails 90 16 1.4 2 3.5 mg 250 mg
  • Snails are low in calories. A 100-gram serving of snails provides only 90 calories.
  • Snails are high in protein. A 100-gram serving supplies about 16 grams of protein. Calorie for calorie, this compares very well with beef. You will get more protein for your calorie bucks eating snails than beef.
  • Snails are significantly lower in fat. This makes snails a very good source of lean protein.
  • What I was very surprised to find out was that snails are good source of iron! Even more surprised that it was a better source of iron compared to beef! The recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron is 18 mg. Women and teenage girls especially stand to benefit greatly from this.
  • I was also surprised about the Magnesium content. A serving of snails supplies more than 10 times the amount supplied by the same amount of beef. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of Magnesium is 420 mg. Magnesium is a mineral that helps with energy production, proper functioning of nerves, muscles and many other parts of the body

 

If you are trying to lose weight, substituting snails for red meat can be a good idea because they are good sources of proteins but low in calories and fat. In addition to the health benefits, snails are cheaper than any red meat. Lastly, they taste pretty dang good!!

If I convinced you and you will like to try, contact UFA. They will deliver to you at no extra charge.

I reached out to some of my peeps for some tips on how to prepare this special. Basically, snails can be cooked in the same way as you cook beef. Peppered snails are my favorite.

Here is a simple recipe:

One pound large snails

Salt

Maggi to taste

1 tsp White pepper

1 small thinly sliced Onions

1 cup thinly sliced Bell Peppers

Habanero peppers to taste

1 tsp minced Garlic

1 tbsp ground Ginger

Herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, leeks)

About 6Fresh tomatoes

Olive oil

Prepare all ingredients. Thinly slice onions and bell peppers. Chop tomatoes. Blend together ginger, garlic and hot peppers in a food processor or blender or grinding stone. Chop herbs.

Place cleaned snails into a pot of lightly salted water. Cook for 3-5 minutes and then rinse. Return snails to pot. Add Maggi cubes, white pepper, ginger, garlic, a tablespoon of oil Add about a cup of water. Cook for an additional 20 minutes until all water evaporates.

In a separate pot, lightly sautee onions and bell peppers in another tablespoon of olive oil for a few minutes, then add tomatoes. Add enough water to create a saucy stew. Add cooked snails from above. Cook until snails are tender for an additional 10 minutes. Add chopped herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning. Enjoy with some steamed green veggies to keep the calories low.

A Sustainable Approach to Fat Loss and Weight Maintenance – MHFL MANIFESTO


When people make a decision to lose weight, they often want the weight to disappear in a hurry. Forgetting that the body fat did not just all appear overnight. They want a quick fix. They go on a “Diet”. 7-day green smoothie detox, apple cider vinegar magic diet, cabbage soup diet, ketogenic diet etc. Well, any diet that creates a calorie deficit will work if you can follow it consistently for the rest of forever. The question always is “Can you do this for the long haul?” “Is this something you can sustain?” If you desire to lose weight and keep it off, you must craft a way of eating and moving your body that you can reasonably sustain as a lifestyle.

Losing 30 pounds from my heaviest was hard work. The last thing I want is to have to lose the same 30 pounds again. The thought of that just exhausts me. Sadly, I still see people go on a crash diet. They shed weight but as soon as they eat food again, the weight comes rushing back bringing along all its cousins.

The approach I follow and recommend is a sustainable approach to weight loss and weight maintenance and health. It is a way of eating based on wholefoods – that is foods the way nature intended them to be. I can see myself eating that way for the rest of forever. My approach keeps your hormones in balance and makes it easier to eat with a calorie deficit required for fat loss without the unnecessary hunger and without you always having to battle with cravings. All while maintaining the energy you need to go through your day.

My Healthy Fit Lifestyle (MHFL) manifesto is as follows:

  1. Eat meat and njama –njama (animals and plants): Build your meals around non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins. Enjoy a wide array of green and colorful vegetables. Make an effort to eat 5 – 10 servings of veggies a day. Healthy fats like nuts, avocados, eggs in moderation keeps you fuller for longer. Protein keeps you satiated. Fish and chicken are leaner sources of protein. I enjoy them regularly. I enjoy beef about once or twice a week. When I can, I buy the highest quality produce my money can afford. That is organic veggies and grass fed meats.
  2. Be SMART with CARBS: Limit grains. Limit starchy vegetables. In other words: eat like a diabetic. Carbs drives insulin that drives fat storage. If lasting fat loss is your goal, make an effort to control your carbs intake. It may be tough to transition at first, but it does get easier. Everyone is different but generally, for fat loss it works best to have carbohydrates after your workout or at the end of the day. ½ a cup or the size of your cupped hand is a usually enough.
  3. Avoid refined foods: Keep your diet as clean as possible. If it has an ingredient list, it shouldn’t be a part of your regular daily diet. If it’s in a box or a bag, proceed with caution. The farther away it is from nature, the less often you should consume it.
  4. Don’t drink your calories. A habit of sweet drinks, sweetened beverages and too much alcohol is just not good for you and you know it. if you must indulge, do so on special occasions.
  5. Be a “busy-body”. Sit less. Walk as much as you can. Walk fast. Walk slow. Your body needs movement as much as it needs oxygen. Walking helps with fat loss, stress management and much more. You should be getting 10k steps a day at a minimum. MOVE YOUR BODY!
  6. Lift heavy things. Muscles burn fat. Your body needs muscles to be efficient at fat burning. Muscles look good- even on women. You don’t want to lose fat and have soft skin. Lift weights including your body weight. Pull-ups, push-ups, squats and planks are basic movements to incorporate into your workout routine.
  7. Go hard. Incorporate some high intensity interval training to your workout routine. These are movements where you go so hard you can barely talk. This is great for fat burning. My favorite is with jump rope or running sprints.
  8. Track. Monitor. Journal. It is true: you improve what you measure. I am a big fan of tracking and journaling. If you set a goal, you must have a way of measuring progress towards that goal. It helps me stay on target.

A MHFL way of eating is not restrictive. A MHFL way of moving is not punitive. In fact you will look and feel AMAZING! You don’t have to implement all the strategies at once. Start small. Pick one and make it your own. Make it a habit. When it has become what you do as part of your routine, move to the next. Over a couple of months, you would have developed a diet and movement routine that works for your goals and your lifestyle and most importantly that you can stay on. For the rest of forever.

Let me know your thoughts!

Coach Yaje

THE BEST SKIN CARE ROUTINE

A couple of weeks ago, a very close friend told me she had made a decision to start taking better care of herself. She then proudly showed me this very expensive face cream she had to make a 45-minute drive just to buy. We made small talk girl (or woman) talk on how we should allow ourselves to spend the money on the body that works the money (#YOLO) and then she drove off.

I couldn’t get the thought off my mind. I called her a few days later to share my thoughts. Permit me share it with you too and maybe go into greater detail.

My friend above is not alone. Lots of women are spending a lot of money on their “rubbing oyels” and whatever else they apply on their skin or do to their skin in an attempt to look young(er). Estimated to be to the tune of over $200 Billion by 2021! We place a high value on how we look on the outside. We have very high standards when it comes to what we will put on our skin. At the same time, we kick and scream about how expensive a pound of salmon is, how expensive it is to “eat healthy”, how hard it is to take time to cook nutritious foods. But here is the thing: NOTHING will influence how well we age more than the foods we eat. Period. The end. I promise you that the single most effective and affordable anti-aging strategy or skin care routine is what we put in to our mouths. I am all for spending your money and taking care of your skin, but if we are not addressing the root cause of aging, the root cause of the wrinkles and sagging skin, we are fighting a losing battle.

The signs of aging and the rate at which we age is influenced by the quality and the quantity of what we eat. The face cream she bought can address wrinkles but it will not slow down the aging process. We make more impact working from the inside out, addressing the causes of aging at the cellular level.

Hormones and chronic inflammation have a lot to do with aging. The foods we eat are the building blocks of our bodies. Food provides the raw materials the body needs to make new proteins including hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that send marching orders to all organs telling them what to do. When hormones start acting up (because they are not manufactured correctly, or enough), we start to age. Inflammation is the starting point for all disease processes or break down in the body. It is also greatly influenced by what we eat. If we want to age well and have the best skin, we must keep our hormones happy and keep inflammation under control. That is the real secret.

So how can we eat so that we are creating a healthy, youthful resilient body and slowing down aging? I share 5 practical implementation strategies:

Eat to control blood sugar. We are eating way too much sugar. By sugar, I mean carbohydrates. One of the most common ways we trigger inflammation and speed up the aging process is by increasing blood sugar too much and too frequently. I am not condemning carbs, but we have to be smart about our carbohydrate consumption. We don’t need carbs at every meal. We don’t need to have the heap of rice plus two fingers of bananas all in one meal. A big change you can implement today to slow down rate of aging is to stay away from foods that spike blood sugar. I try to consume starchy carbs mostly after vigorous exercise or in the evening. ½ cup is more than enough for most of us.

Pay attention to the fats you are consuming. Specifically, reduce sources of Omega-6 fats and include more Omega- 3 fats in your diet. Omega-6 fats are the “bad fat” common in processed/refined foods. Think most things that come in a box or a bag. Stay away from oils such as canola, soybean corn oil, vegetable oils and things that have those oils. Coconut oil, olive oil are better alternatives. Omega-3 fats help reduce inflammation in the body. Good sources are wild caught fish like mackerel and salmon 2-3 times a week.

Fast every once in a while. More and more research is showing that periodic fasting can slow down the aging process. However, fasting will not make up for a bad diet. Your nutritional foundation has to be on point before you toy with the idea of fasting. I personally do what is called intermittent fasting 1-2 times a week.

Eat more vegetables! If you know me, you would know this was coming. Honestly, I truly believe that veggies are the panacea for everything! Eat a wide variety of colorful veggies. They supply the antioxidants that the body needs to fight reactive oxygen species. That is big book I know, but trust me you don’t want ROS running around in your body.

Drink more water! Enough said! Drink until your pee is the color of lemonade. For me that is about 2 liters a day. Find out what it takes for you.

Other lifestyle changes that really go a long way to slow down the aging process is sleep more and reduce stress in your life.

While we can’t stop aging, we can slow it down. I have nothing against lotions and potions and creams. My argument is that before we spend our money fixing the outside, why don’t we spend the same resources and address the issue at its roots. We are going to eat anyway. Why not spend the money on quality nutrition so we don’t just look young on the outside, but we equally feel young on the inside. Yes?

Let me know your thoughts!

Coach Yaje

My Yummilicious Vinaigrette

 

So we got the memo to eat more veggies. We are incorporating more salads in to our diet. In our minds we are doing well, except it may not be as simple as that. A salad can quickly go from healthy to unhealthy if you are not careful with the ingredients especially the dressing – the type and quantity. I still have memories of this avocado dressing from Chick-fil-A that was over 300 calories in one innocent sachet.

There are generally two types of salad dressings: creamy and vinaigrettes. Vinaigrettes are usually healthier/lower in calories than the cream based types. The findings from my research of the labels of 3 popular salad dressings support this claim. Per 2 tablespoons serving size

Calories Total fat Total carb.
Kraft Thousand island 130 12 g 4 g
Hidden Valley Ranch 160 14 g 2 g
Ken’s Vinaigrette 100 10 g 3 g

Side Note: this could be a good science fair project for my son Nathan next year:)

As always, I share strategies you can implement so you are not ruining your salads with the dressing choice.

  • Read the label if buying. Ensure sugar content is below 5 g per serving (5 grams is about a teaspoon of sugar). Total fat of 10 g or less per serving is advisable. Look out for words such as “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the label. Such indicate trans-fats. No Bueno. The shorter the ingredient list, the better. Words you can’t pronounce on the label are usually not a good sign.
  • No “sese” salad. My hubby makes “sese” out of his salad. I silently cringe every time I see him drench his plate with his favorite Thousand Island. I don’t say anything because he has made a huge improvement from the fufu dinners, but whatever dressing you use, you should drizzle not drench. Measuring the quantity of the dressing can be a good idea. 2 tablespoons is okay.
  • Nothing is free in FAT-FREE. Fat-free dressing may be lower in calories, but when they take out the fat, they usually replace it with other (not-so-good) things to help with the flavor. Enter High Fructose Corn Syrup – no thanks!
  • Make your own! Homemade is always the healthiest, best tasting and most cost effective option in my opinion. You get to control the quality of the ingredients if you make your own.

Ever since I discovered this vinaigrette recipe, the frequency of my consumption of salads has increased significantly. It is super easy to make. With an empty jar and a few ingredients, you probably may already have in the pantry, you can whip up this “Yummilicious” dressing in a jiffy anytime. I share the recipe below, but if you remember nothing else, remember this: one-part vinegar, two-parts oil. I like mine tangy. For a less tangy vinaigrette, use 3 parts oil and one-part vinegar. Anything else is optional. Another quick way to dress your salad is to toss it lightly with a good olive oil, then squeeze a little lemon or drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it. Toss with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and you are good to go.

YUMMILICIOUS VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

Per 1 tablespoon:72 cal. 8g total fat. 1 g total carb

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 – 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (less tangy to tangy)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon Fresh-ground black pepper

1 table spoon Dijon mustard

Optional:    2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoon minced fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs, spoonful of honey or brown sugar

Pour oil and vinegar in a glass jar with a screw top. Add salt, black pepper. and any optional ingredients. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Note that the oil in the vinaigrette can cause it to solidify if stored in the fridge. Just let the dressing sit outside at room temperature and always shake well before using.

If you make it, be sure to let me know!

Coach Yaje