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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: Healthy Living

Sabotaging Your Own Happiness

jasmine banks


It was just a moment that you felt it. You know what I am talking about. You felt deep pride in your accomplishments. You felt contentment with where your relationship was. You were peaceful. You only allowed it to happen for a moment, because as soon as you felt that feeling you sabotaged. You whipped out your invisible list of all the reasons you can't be happy and recited them in the town square of your mind. Somewhere along the way you were taught that you didn't deserve happiness, joy, love, connection and contentment. You also crossed off peace and excitement. Someone taught you that rule first, directly or indirectly, and then you adopted it as your own. I am not talking about the hedonistic pursuit of excess. I am not talking about greed or an unquenchable drive for more, more, and more. I am talking about the basic good feelings that counterbalance the pain and fear that we experience because the world isn't perfect. Why don't you believe you deserve them?

In those moments, when your shoulders have loosened and the white noise in your head softens to an almost impossible to hear whisper, you are feeling content. As soon as you realize what that suspect feeling is you kick fight and flight into high gear and search every corner of your relational and emotional surroundings. "People are not to be trusted" also becomes "I can't trust myself to choose the right people to love me and look out for my welfare."

Some people are assholes and don't deserve your trust. But not all. You don't have that kind of luck. It stands to reason you'v met at least a few people who were deeply kind and wanted to love you well. The problem is that you were suspect of them too, so whatever potential was there was likely ignored.

No! Don't do that! Put the mental pencil down. You don't get to add what I am saying to the list of "Why I always fail at everything". This isn't a reprimand. This is a request for you to recognize your rights.

Did you know that you have the right to feel as good as you can? Did you know that taking the easy way out is actually a really good form of self-care. It is a really good way of saying: I will choose gentleness for myself.

What if you let someone help you?

What if you let someone love you?

What if you trusted that you will be safe if you experience peace, because even if the worst happens you are an adult who will be just fine?

What if you stopped sabotaging your own happiness and stopped being so comfortable with the painful path?


Smart Chicken® From Harps: Sweet and Spicy Apricot Jalapeño Chicken Tenders

jasmine banks


I watched Food Inc. and I was ruined. My heart and my stomach and conscience wouldn't let me consume another bite of meat until I knew that what I was eating was well cared for. I'd drive by chicken trucks and wince at the poor featherless birds. I discovered our local co-op and I was able to return back to my meat eating ways. My co-op offered humanely cared for animal meat. The thing is, my co-op is 45 mins away. Which means I use Harp's to fill in the gaps between my bi-weekly grocery trips. Because we are so picky about the animal products we use (we want them to be organic, all natural, and well cared for) we can't always buy meat at Harp's. Thankfully Harp's started carrying beef from our neighbor who is a natural beef farmer. Harp's has all kinds of organic and natural hidden treasures! One treasure I recently discovered was Smart Chicken®.

I found Smart Chicken® and there was much rejoicing! We have options, people! I decided to partner up with Collective Bias® to try one of the recipes from the Smart Chicken® site. Check out my path to purchase HERE

This is what I came up with



Sweet and Spicy Apricot Jalapeño Chicken Tenders


  • Smart Chicken® Chicken Tenders
  • Greek Yogurt 1.5c.
  • Red Jalapeños 2tsp.
  • Organic Apricot Jam 3TBsp.
  • Organic Ketchup 4 TBsp.
  • Gorgonzola 1TBsp.
  • Scallions (for garnish)
  • Salt & Pepper To taste


Smart Chicken® Recipe



  1. Combine yogurt, rehydrated jalapeños, jam, ketchup, salt and pepper into the food processor and combine until we incorporated.
  2. Place tenders into  a dish and allow the chicken to marinate (over night is best).
  3. Once the chicken has marinated place on a non-stick or greased baking sheet.
  4. Broil at 450 F until cooked through.
  5. Garnish with Gorgonzola and celery.
  6. ENJOY!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tenders


Check out Smart Chicken®'s Cafe Tecumseh to see their delicious recipes or get inspiration for your own!

Also check out Smart Chicken® on Facbook


I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own!




Fat People Run Everyday: I Don't Want To Be Your Inspiration

jasmine banks


  482650_10200267477581895_813424082_nI had to have x-rays and subsequently a splint put on my foot. I ran a half-marathon yesterday and my stress fractures were compounded and became worse half way through the marathon.

"Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm." The sound of the electric shopping cart let out a Benedictine like song, as it  labored to push me along down the aisle. I looked down. The battery was low. I was cranky that my foot was in this cumbersome boot. Just an hour before I was in the emergency room. My sore foot turned into sharp shooting pains and I wasn't able to bear weight on it. "How did you hurt your foot?" The nurse asked. " I ran a half marathon." She giggled and stared at me. The amusement melted from her face as she made eye contact with me, realizing I was completely serious. The discharge receptionist "tsk tsked" at me. "Says you broke your foot running a marathon."  I look at her, tired of this exchange, "it was only a half marathon." Her acrylic fingers nails click clacked the keyboard and then she stopped. "Well. Half or full it is an inspiration. You don't see people your size running."

"Hmmmmmmmmmmmm." I looked at all the bright colored cereal boxes. I intended to buy something tasty to drown out the feelings of frustration. I glanced up and Mary Benjamin is picking out her box of Bran Flakes. "Hi Jasmine! How are you?"

"I'm fine. Thanks."

"You don't look fine. You have that boot on. What did you do."

"I injured myself running a half-marathon."

"Jasmine! You are SO active. You play roller derby too, don't you."

Mary is a kind hearted woman. She smiled and shook her head in disbelief. "You are so athletic."

I looked at her....


"Well! Take care of yourself. Don't get up too quickly with that boot."


I became a Zumba instructor. I can Jackie Chan my way over a step during step aerobics like nobody's business. I ran a half -marathon. My typical running pace is 10:00, I play roller derby. I used to practice yoga. I love hiking. I can swim. I loving riding my bike, and you wish you could do a backflip on a trampoline as gracefully as I can. I also weigh 275 lbs.

Maybe it is the frustration of having a broken foot and the knowledge that I'll have to take a couple of days weeks off of physical activity that is making me so grumpy. Maybe I am just fatigued. I don't know. But tonight, I am tired of being told I am inspiration. I am tired of the novel shock and awe when people hear I do the physical activities. Four days before my half marathon, someone messaged me and let me know that they saw that I'd lost 4 inches from playing roller derby and that they wanted to talk to me about modifying my food intake and starting a weight loss journey.

Do skinny people get messages like that?

When skinny people come in to get their foot looked at because of a sports injury, do people think they are being silly when they answer? I don't want to be anyone's fucking inspiration. I hate having to convince people that I do the athletic things I do. Society has programmed itself to believe that large people just sit around and eat and are sedentary. We all get painted with the same broad brush. I don't want to be anyone's inspiration because I am doing something awesome for "someone my size".

Fuck you.

I am doing something awesome for ANYONE'S size.

Maybe it is time for people to reframe a bit. YOU are the problem. Not my size.

I held on to the basket of the electric cart and pulled myself and the clunky boot out of the cart. I stood up and hobbled toward the peanut butter cereal. I irreverently threw it in my cart. I checked out and drove the slow cart to its designated spot. A very large woman waddled over to the cart area. Her crocs were warped from the massiveness of her weight and she clearly struggled to move her body along. She collapsed into the seat of the electric chair next to me. I looked her over, surveying if she was injured.

She wasn't, that I could see. The hair on her neck was wet from the walk from her car to the entrance of the store. I smiled at her and nodded. "Good luck with those things. It was like riding a slug through the store."  She laughed, "Yeah. You get used to it. Did you get the looks from people? "

"I didn't notice." I replied. She continued, "Yeah, after awhile you don't see them anymore." My heart broke a bit. My ears turned red. I wanted to clarify to let her know I didn't belong in the electric cart club. After all I am an athlete.

I didn't clarify. She recognized me as a part of her world. The "obese people" world.

Truthfully. If I never say how physically active I am, so does everyone else. Because no one thinks passed my size. Her size. Their size. Anyone's size. People get judged based on their shape.

No one will ever look at me and think I am a marathoner. Though that is what I plan to be.

After I get this damn boot off I will start training for my first FULL marathon.

Truthfully? Fat people run everyday.

I'm nothing special and I don't want to be your inspiration.