Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! to you and your families

I honestly had this plan to share something inspirational, to impart you with a positive message of love, kindness, gratitude, generosity and just the art of being an awesome human being in general.

But truth be told this message is being currently preached and regurgitated over and over and over again that i'll be surprise if you haven't heard a version of it before. Today's Christmas was honestly like a regular day for me. I didn't do anything I wouldn't have typically done on a lazy Sunday with no work lol.

I worked out. Did some runs around the fields and also some stairs workouts.
 I ate. Some good food/some bad food .
 Drank some coffee and basically lounged all day.
 I swear in another lifetime I am a cat because I have perfected the art of solo lounging at home.

If I must impart some type of wisdom it will be this 2 things

1. Buy a gratitude journal and everyday find something positive about life to be thankful for and write it down. I had one for 2016 and I can definitely say am a much happy optimistic passionate about life person that I was in previous years

2. Don't wait for the new year to start a new you. It begins today. The past is gone. Today is here and tomorrow is NOT GUARANTEED. So live today. Enjoy today. Appreciate today. Start working on those goals today. New Now, You Now.

Last year between thanksgiving and the new year I was literary in a different city every week partying it up, and it was fun while it lasted. This year we're ending the year on a different note. At home, chilling with some good wine, except for the NYE party in which case I intend to be scandalous lol.

Here's a link to my 2015 holidays post

Cheers & Bonne Santé 

Book Review: HomeGoing by Yaa Gyasi

If you're looking for a Hollywood blockbuster story line , with a somewhat happy ending despite the sad reality of slavery, this is not the novel for you. This book is raw. It does not sugar coat the slave experience or how expendable their lives where.

I took me more than a month to read this book because it was emotionally tough to get through the chapters. I had to put it down several times and walk away from it but I think that's the whole point. That this was a horrible time in american history and not some far fetched horror movie.
If you have any compassion in you, it's suppose to make you feel that sad.

Even though on one end it's a work of fiction, it is still a very fair depiction of what the slaves went through. Somewhere in America, someone's great grand relatives went through this and this may as well have been their biography.
This story has no happy ending and in reality when you look at the black american experience today and what's going on the African continent, there is still no happy ending for both .

One continent is still struggling with the aftermaths of colonialism while African Americans are still struggling as a community to rebuild/heal from the lingering psychological scars left behind by slavery. And in all fairness, it's hard to do that when the world refuses to acknowledge that this scars exists or assumes there is some sort of deadline on when the healing process is suppose to end. 

Some psychological wounds, you never completely heal from, no matter the amount of therapy you go through. The horror of the experience lingers with you for the rest of your life and the same can be said for the black american experience.

On a positive note if any, this book left me hopeless for america and hopeful for our Continent. We all need to go back home and make Africa great again!

For Grace and Gratitude

Location: Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center
Greenfield, New Hampshire

A weekend retreat to disconnect from my busy life and be intentional about seeking God and one on one time with the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 46:10 
Be Still and Know that I am GOD

"The Christian retreat can be defined in the most simplest of terms as a definite time (from a few hours in length to a month) spent away from one's normal life for the purpose of reconnecting, usually in prayer, with God"

Psalm 23: 1-6 The Good Shepherd

Mathew 11 : 28 - 30
"Come to Me, all of you who are weary, and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light"

Hosea 2: 14 - 23
" Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her vineyards back to her and make the valley of Achor into a gateway of hope...."

Romans 8: 26 - 28
" In the same way the spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us in unspoken groanings. And He who searches the heart knows the Spirit's mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for the good of those who Love God: those who are called according to His purpose."

Hebrews 13 : 5 - 6
"Your Life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore, we may boldly say: 
The lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? "

To be honest you don't have to go into the woods to have a "retreat". For some people it's a better option because their living environment doesn't permit that to happen. But using the same concept of "staycations", if you have complete control over your environment , you can have a "retreat" at home. It may require more discipline and structure on your end but its definitely do-able. So take some vacation time off work and use those days as a "staycatreat ".

Millet : The Next Nutrition Grain Fad

Is millet making a come back as the next "fad" grain in the west? It had made an appearance a couple of years ago but not an overwhelming one.
 I say that because while it will be considered a "new" hype thing in america , its a very common staple in other parts of the world.

I grew up eating millet fufu every day in the far north province of cameroon and it's still one of my favourite carbohydrates staples outside of rice. Nothing can deliver me from the love of jellof.

It will be interesting to see the western take on millet.

 How it's going to be "re branded"...

 As a granule topping for yogurt? 
a healthy cereal?
 a healthy cereal bar? 
a powder that can be used to make a power morning shake?
millet fruit salad anyone?
millet pasta?
millet cookies?
millet flavoured water?

I just finished a box of millet cereal and had mixed feelings about it. Millet has a distinct taste and the challenge will be to find ingredients that it can marinate and blend well in. I felt like the cereal tried to hide the taste by adding sugar/honey granules but it didn't work.

Elle Magazine November 2016

Why am I talking about ELLE magazine?

 After all this is not a fashion blog!

Well, because they did a bomb-di-gitty awesome job in their Beauty Body Segment

In this segment of the USA edition of the magazine, they provide a pretty good summary about some of the latest cool exercise and wellness body performance tests in the market. If you're a wellness junky like me, this section is for you. 

From blood tests (InsideTracker & WellnessFx) to genetic code assessments (FitnessGenes, 23andME, DNAFit, ORIGNN3N) , you get comprehensive information about your body that will allow you to make a more educative decision about your wellness plan or lifestyle.

ORIGN3N is based in Boston so guess what will be on my 2017 to do list? Stopping by the lab to see what's going on in this fantastic machine that my body is. I hope I don't find out that I've basically been wasting my whole life running when I should've been doing another sport. 

Regardless of what the tests say, I will never stop eating rice.

Fall Fitness Routine 2016

Last year I ran a lot during the fall. It's my favourite weather to run in because the crisp cold air keeps you cool as your body temperature heats up. Also, running in the woods surrounded by lakes is a beautiful way to enjoy New England picturesque nature and observe the changes in leaves colours.

This year am switching things up a little bit.

Cardio: I signed up for indoor soccer twice a week. I try to not take too many breaks and work really hard when am in the game because I do want to use it not just as a fun activity but a workout.

Strength Training:

 I'm doing more toning exercises by using YouTube videos  for at home routines using 10lbs free weights. Specifically I reference ToneItUp, who post daily exercise routines that are to be done in 31 repetitions. Currently , they have an ongoing challenge (till the end of the year) and while I am not formerly participating in the challenge, I still perform some of the routines on my own.

The cross punch laying down with free weights

Inspiration: Fitness and Wellness Coach Gideon Akande. I am loving all the free body weight routines suggestions he posts on his facebook page

New Move loving:
The Sprinter's Start Low Lunge( as an exercise ), which I discovered from Gideon's Facebook page.

Nutrition habit: I am trying to cut back on my caffeine consumption by starting my day with a cup of any tea with drops of lemon juice. So that by the time I transition to coffee by brunch time I've only had one cup. The idea is sometimes just having something "warm" to mimic my coffee consumption habit will hopefully trick my brain into thinking am having coffee when in actuality am not.

What are your fall fitness/wellness routines?
Submit your answers at my twitter account @mapetiteniche or respond below

Now Playing: Falana

She's a musician who spent a year in Cuba to hone her craft.

What baby steps are you taking today? towards your major goal?

Since discovering her music, I have had it on repeat every evening after a long day of work. It's so perfect for fall's chilly weather, or for an intimate moment splitting a bottle of wine with a friend or if you're like me, by yourself, lol.

 I believe in self development and stepping outside of your comfort zone so that you can grow.
Her sound reminds me that life is beautiful. 
That we should appreciate it. 
That we should be grateful that we get to experience it daily. 
That there's a lot to be grateful for if we just pause and think about it.

Have a great week!

Motivation Monday: Happy Halloween 2016!

I know Halloween culture requires one to dress up as either a popular pop culture icon, someone who motivates you or anything just for the fun of it.

This Halloween I dare you to dress up as yourself. Embrace who you are, be the kind of positive influence in your part of the world so much so that, someone will want to dress up as you because you've made an impact in their lives.

Instead of daydreaming into magical virtual reality world,  embrace your flaws, embrace your quirks. embrace your perfect imperfections.

Happy Halloween!
(and dont eat too much candy)

Woman Crush Wednesday - Kokonanga

My woman crush Wednesday is the lovely beauty and brains behind the fashion brand Kokonanga 

I could write an expose about why I love her brand and how she embodies her panafricanism beyond her fashion statements but i'll let you be the judge of that by sharing snippets of it below.

Follow her on social media
Twitter: @KoKoNanga 
 Instagram: Kokonanga

You know you want to ^_^

For more information how you can work with her please email

3 benefits of Steam Rooms

Today after wrapping up an evening game of soccer, I was in dire need of the steam room to relax my aching muscles. Since my fitness center was closed for the night, I had to make do by being creative at home.

Steam rooms ( wet/moist heat) are an amazing recipe for relaxing muscles. If you don't have access to a health club , a steamy hot shower mimics the same environment  and benefits of being in a steam room. Another option to recreating a steam room at home is buying a steam shower head or a high pressure body massage shower head.

It's important to keep in mind that you need some form of ventilation system to dissipate the humidity when you're done. This will prevent condensation from forming on your walls and creating mold & mildew.

Another benefit of steam rooms is its effectiveness in opening up your pores and improving circulations in areas that may have otherwise been limited. An increase in circulation relaxes tense muscles while open pores promote sweating, the body's cooling & cleansing mechanism.

Are you 
Team Saunas (dry heat) ?
Team Steam rooms (wet heat)?

Or will you rather relax in a warm bathtub with relaxing bath salts and a good book.

At the end of the day, they all serve the same purpose through different mechanisms.
How do you unwind after a long physically stressful day?

My Harvest Month Shopping Cart

October has been such a harvest month full of blessings for me.
I am very grateful to everyone who's shown me love during this season
And it's with this state of mind that I decided to go grocery shopping.

Grocery shopping is no different from eating out when it comes to making healthy food choices

If you go shopping when you're in a sad mood or in a rush, you're more likely to stock up on comfort sugary or salty foods like chips, ice cream and everything chocolate. 

On the other hand, if the trip is carefully thought out and planned when you're surrounded by positive vibes, you're more likely to be conscious about;
What you're buying, 
 Reading Food labels
 Coupons and discounts so you're saving $$$
Meal planning ideas for bring a lunch bag to work

I decided to go shopping because I'd been eating out a lot lately. 

It's so easy to just eat out or grab something on the go when you live alone and have a crazy work schedule

But when you add it all up, spending $20-$35 on a lunch or dinner meal at a restaurant after you've most likely already spent $7 - $10 for a breakfast bagel with coffee can become an expensive habit.

I've never understood why we consumers will willingly pay $5 for a breakfast bagel with cream cheese when we could go to the grocery store and buy a whole bag of 5 - 8 bagels that will last you a week for the same price?!

Or pay $4 for a Starbucks coffee when we could spend less buy brewing coffee at home and using a travel mug

My goal for this FALL season is to spent more time in my kitchen.
Specifically use my crock pot to its maximum capacity!
I don't believe in dietary restrictions unless its for allergies or medical reasons.
I believe that eating everything in moderation while keeping in mind how they affect the body, is a good practice to live by.

Ive watched so many fads come and go in the western worlds and we are still not living any older or healthier than other countries.

What habits are you focusing on this Fall Season? With less than 3 months shy of the end of the year, how are those new year resolutions coming along?

Leave your responses on my twitter @mapetiteniche or my google+ +Mapetiteniche Wellness 

Acai Bowl - Fall Edition

This post isn't so much about 
how to make an acai bowl
(which you can google a million different recipes based on your dietary needs  or just purchase one like me)
 but it is about my ramblings/opinions of this new nutrition fad*

What Is an Acai Bowl?
How does is differ from a smoothie? Juice? Protein Shake?

Components of the typical acai bowl
peanut butter

Or is it just the same basic smoothie with supplements that has been repackaged, renamed, and re branded to sound like a nutritional elixir that fell off the heavens? or planet mars?
given that the seeds are from the mythical amazon jungles of Brazil?
This particular version i'm having, the acia primo bowl from jamba juice, is delicious. It's a perfect frozen bowl for summer weather or after a hot sweaty fall workout. I wouldn't reach for it during the cold weather unless I am hot and need something to cool me down. 

We started with the oatmeal trend, then we had the flax seed and  later quinoa trend and now the acai berries trend. Next will be the millet grains trend which I have already started to see being talked about in nutrition coaching circles.

I enjoyed eating millet as a child in the northern regions of  Cameroon. My curiosity can't wait to read about the fairy tale  branding spin the nutrition blogs are about to put on this upcoming fad.

Forest: Stay Focus Be Present

It's been a very busy couple of weeks? months? for me.

On one hand I feel completely overwhelmed with work and I hate that I haven't been able to blog.

On the other hand, this blog is just that, a hobby for me to pencil away my thoughts and opinions. 
No deadlines. No pressure. 

 Its not meant to be a space that is dictated by my obligations to brands . I have a couple of women crush Wednesday ladies I have been meaning to highlight because I love what they're doing for their respective communities but I just haven't been able to get it out here!

Today I learned about FOREST and I literary paused everything I was doing to post this out. I dont know much about the app. I'm going to sign up for it through android. I'm asking you to sign up with me let's check it out together. Worst case scenario it sucks and we do what we're good at doing
 aka delete it.

The whole Premises from my understanding of FOREST, is to stay away from our phone. Your forest grows bigger based on how long you stay away from your phone. Basically this app tracks how often you're clicking away on your screen versus focusing on something else.

This is not a sponsored post. I am just sharing it with you guys :)

As for work, am in the middle of a transition phase. On one end sometimes I feel overwhelmed but then I am quickly reminded that there are many SKILLFUL, EXPERIENCED workers out there looking for employment, so I should be grateful.....I guess.

But should that be the rule of thumb?Dont complain because others have it worst?

How do YOU<~~~ balance these  conflicting but relevant feelings?

Getting Ready For Fall Season

Over the labour day holidays, I found myself digging out my winter blanket  to snuggle against the cold weather. 

I can't believe FALL is here!

I feel like there are 2 attitudes to the Fall Season.


Attitude #1.

Those who are happy the summer heat waves are over . 

Outdoor workout enthusiasts who can now schedule runs without the fear of over heating.


Attitude #2.

Those who are so scared of the upcoming winter, they start moping in September!

I use to be in the second group. My fear of the winter prevented me from enjoying the fall season. I've been slowly changing that approach to enjoy Fall weather in New England. 

This Fall, I want to challenge myself to do a fall bucket list. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the culture, eat/cook seasonal menus and enjoy fall activities around Boston. I don't want to miss out of the fall season by being over preoccupied of the upcoming winter.

What are you looking forward to this FALL?

A not so quiet Summer (RECAP)

This is the first summer in a long time that I did not take an international trip on account of prioritizing my financial obligations.

I was thinking my summer will be quiet and uneventful but that wasn't the case.

Here are some of the things I got into over the summer proving that travelling locally can be equally as exciting as going abroad.

 I want to challenge myself to plan more trips around the New England States.

1. Read about my visit to Charleston , North Carolina here

2. Watching the Copa America finale with my friends in Atlanta, GA. Chi-chi-chi-le-le-le

3. Girls Weekend Gateway in Washington, DC

We were too busy eating and chatting up a storm we didn't do any significant sight seeing.

4. Summer loving in Boston: Taking Stock

5. A visit to the New England Zoo

6. Meeting Richard Bona and experiencing an Amazing Jazz concert at Scullers Jazz Club

7. Experiencing a quiet labor day holidays to wrap up the summer with a good friend

What adventures did you get into this summer? 
Tweet your responses to @mapetiteniche

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