Saturday, September 15, 2018

Exercise Plan

First, I have worked at the same gym for nearly 11 years. Do not waste your money on a gym membership. You can workout at home and outside. My plan is simply to move my body everyday.

The food is far more important in weight loss. Exercise is good for a hundred things, but weight loss is not one them. Most say weight loss is 80% food, 20% exercise, or 90% food and 10% exercise.
Weight loss is 100% eating less calories than you burn. Exercise helps you burn more calories and shape your body.

If you are a woman, you need to lift weights. Dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or your own body weight, whatever works for you. And not pink 2 pound dumbbells!! Humans lose 10% of muscle mass per decade. Women do not have enough testosterone to get bulky. If you see a woman with man-esque bodybuilder muscles, she is taking supplements. Start at once a week. Build up to twice or three times a week.

Here is what I do via YouTube.

These first three are playlists I created myself. My YouTube channel is private, so only someone with the link can see it.

My favorite dance videos:

Another favorite dance videos:

Yoga with weights:

The rest of these are my favorite dance/fitness/cardio/yoga/movement YouTube channels:

Fit Body by Ashley. A badass dance teacher.

Yogea Yoga. The most eclectic yoga ever.

The Fitness Marshall. Richard Simmons on steroids. You'll laugh while you dance.

Popsugar Fitness. Fitness for women. Lift those weights!!

Fitness Blender. A husband and wife team here to whip you into shape. Male and female friendly.

Leilah Issac Bellydance. 

BollyX. Indian dance fitness.

Movement Parallels Life. Eclectic movement. I love this guy.

All of these channels are appropriate for beginners. Feel free add these channels to your YouTube playlist.Also share your favorite fitness channel with me and I'll share with the other subscribers.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Vegetarian Meal Plan

Quick correction to my last post. 

Pay off all consumer debt by October 2020. (I'd wrote 2019.)
Pay back all people I owe money by March 2021. (I'd wrote 2020.)

If you want to lose weight, learn what your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is. The BMR is how many calories you burn if you laid in bed for 24 hours without moving. Decide how many pounds a week you'd like to lose: 0.5, 1, 1.5, or 2. Determine your activity level: sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, or highly active. Enter all that information into a food journal you trust. 

My recommendation is Cronometer. ( It's free. Although you can upgrade for $5.00 a month, don't do it. The free version does the trick. You'll see if you are hitting all of your vitamin and minerals each day. It'll ask for basic information about you. From there, it'll give you a daily calorie recommendation. For me to lose 1 pound a week, it recommended 1661 calories a day, which left me hungry. I chose around 1800 calories a day.

I'm not getting enough fat according to Cronometer, but I feel good about it. I'm hitting 96% of nutrients. That's only because I take a women's multivitamin.  

My Plan
Sunday Lunch through Saturday Breakfast/Lunch
I eat what I want Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast.

-Lemon water
-1/4 cup lentils, 2 eggs, 1 tomato, 1 oz cucumber, 2 TBSP avocado, cilantro (423.25 cal)

Morning Snack
-2 apples (196.08 cal)
-Green smoothie: 1 apple, 1 banana, 1/2 lemon, 3 cups greens (any leafy green), 1 tsp chia seeds (231.86 cal)

- 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/2 cup lentils, 1 tomato, 1 oz cucumber, 2 TBSP avocado, cilantro (340.11 cal)

Afternoon Snack
-Green smoothie: 1 banana, 1 cup mixed berries, 2.5 cup greens, 1 tsp honey (200.02 cal)

-Sweet or white potato, 1/4 cup lentils, 1 tomato, 1 oz cucumber, 1 TBSP avocado (373.17 cal)
TOTAL: 1764.49

Because it's a template, I can cut and paste. For instance, instead of a green smoothie for my afternoon snack, I'll have 2 eggs and 2 carrots, which is approximately 230 calories. 

For dinner, if I'd rather keep it raw vegan, I'll have a smoothie of 2 bananas, 2 cups berries, 1 TBSP chia seed, and 1 TBSP avocado which is approximately 390 calories.

And today, I had toast with my breakfast, so I skipped my morning snack. This way I'm not eating the exact same thing everyday, which can get boring. I suggest people learn how to count calories and understand macronutrients.

And yes, for now, I'm eating eggs, which makes me a vegetarian, not a vegan. Any recipe I post here will be vegan.

It took me MONTHS to figure this out. I wanted a plan that was super easy, quick, doable, flexible, and didn't leave me starving. Frankly, I needed more protein than I realized. That's where the lentils come in. Lentils are my new favorite food. They are easy to cook. I have some super yummy variations on simple boiled lentils, which I'll share soon.

If you have questions, email me at Next up, I'll share my exercise plan.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Self Love + Simplicity

I’m still alive ya’ll 😊. Thank you to everyone who wrote me to ask how I was doing and if I’d ever blog again. I haven’t written anything since Prince died in April 2016. The past five years have been quite challenging, on every level. Grief is a real thing. I totally fell off. I have fought hard to get back to Althea. As I blog, I’ll share my experiences.

The biggest two lessons I learned from that time are 1) love yourself and life flows much smoother, and 2) a simple life leads to clarity, self-knowledge, and purpose.

My biggest challenge is that I distract myself with food and over-spending. If I’m emotionally unbalanced, angry, frustrated, unhappy, etc., I am going to eat or spend money. I’ve been so out of whack that I didn’t care what I was eating. That has led me to be 60 pounds overweight. I have lost weight, but I haven’t been consistent. I’m a stress-eater. No stress, no overeating. Stress = overeating. My biggest expenditure is food. Wegman’s grocery is my second home.

I am healing these dual distractions at the same time. They are not different. They are same. They are different manifestations of a mind that searches for distraction. With all the work I have done on me, I realized I wasn’t loving myself. I wasn’t paying attention. I can’t spend nor eat my way into the life I want to live.

I have certain goals that I want to share with you all, which will help keep me on task. I’ll get more specific later.

·         Sixty pound weight loss by March 7, 2019 (my birthday)
·         Declutter my apartment. DONE!

·         Create an emergency fund. DONE!
·         Save $100 a month until I reach my goal number through October 2019.
·         Create a shopping ban.
·         Pay off all consumer debt by October 2020.
·         Pay back all people I owe money by March 2021.
·         Save six months’ worth of salary (not sure how long that takes.)

·         Start Mocha Angels Yoga and Massage YouTube Channel by March 7, 2019.

·         Resume daily Mocha Angel messages on Facebook and Twitter.

·         Clinically document massage and energy work treatments on my kids to track their progress.

(In case you missed it on Facebook, I did manage to graduate from massage therapy school. I graduated in July. I’ll be a licensed massage therapist by October/November. 😊)

I’ll blog at least twice a week. On the 1st of every month, I’ll report my progress toward my goals.

I’m learning to love me. I have cared for and served others personally and professionally for decades. At 46, I’m finally taking care of me.

Also, I am retiring from doing intuitive readings. If you’d like a reading from me, this is the moment to get it. I’m removing the PayPal buttons from my website on September 15.

Thank you for reading. I’m excited about this next phase in my life.


Saturday, April 23, 2016


This just can't be/ There's got to be some kind of answer
Cause everywhere I look/ he's not around
No / This just can't be
How come didn't anyone ever tell me now / I wake up one morning and I realize
No / This just can't be
And who could be foolin' me? / Come, come. come on
Come on and help me now / Please can't you hear me cry?
Lord / This can't be
-- Janis Joplin

My Top 5 favorite Prince songs:
1. anotherloverholeinyohead - Parade
2. Forever in My Life - Sign O' the Times
3. Starfish and Coffee - Sign O' the Times
4. Erotic City - The Hits/The B-Sides
5. Another Lonely Christmas - The Hits/The B-Sides

Favorite Album: Parade. 
Most Fascinating & Intriguing Album: Around the World in a Day

I was a fan from Day One. 

Prince was always too grown for anyone younger than twenty-five. In 1978 the first time I heard "Soft and Wet" I was six years old. Ya'll know I no idea what he was talking about. But I knew a hit when I heard one, even as a child. And that @$%! was the jam. 

I could say a lot. I am surprised at how hard I am taking Prince's passing. I'll leave it at four things:

1. Who knows what R&B would sound like without Prince. Not only that, we lost a whole genre of music in one person.

2. We all are blessed to be alive in the same time and space as him.

3. He was not from this Earth. I heard somewhere, and I paraphrase, "he had the masculinity of Teddy Pendergrass, the dancing of James Brown, and the showmanship of Michael Jackson." He mastered 27 instruments, wrote, produced, arranged, and composed music. He created groups who were simply an extension of his personality: The Time, Vanity Six, Maserati, The Family (who btw had one of the best albums EVER. I'd buy that on vinyl again even though I don't own a record player. "Nothing Compares 2U?" The Family sang it first as a duet though Sinead O'Connor made it a megahit.) He created 39 albums, changed the way music is distributed and how artists get paid, and his music career lasted 38 years. Anyone know another human being like that?

4. He was fearless. Dude played basketball in high heels. He wore puffy shirts, sequins, and wore mascara. I don't even wear mascara. During his Super Bowl Halftime show, he wore a doo-rag. A doo-rag people. Doo-rags on grown black men are reserved for brothers nicknamed "Pretty Ricky" or "Delicious." Yet, everybody accepted him. There's women. There's men. There's Prince. The lesson is to be a loving, fearless, limitless human being. Honor your gift.

Lawd, I just can't.

Good night, Sweet Prince.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Annie Lee Lighting 1928-2016

"Haven’t you ever seen the sacred connection between grandparents and grandchildren? It is simple love, absent the stress of the parent-child connection." -- Steven Barnes

Grandma and me circa 1975

My favorite memory of me and my grandma together was when I was around six years old. Of course, it’s a food memory. Together, we cooked a breakfast of eggs scrambled in butter-flavored Crisco, bacon fried in the same Crisco, toast slathered in butter, and my favorite part, coffee. Her coffee was black. Mine was flavored with five teaspoons of sugar. (I was six…coffee straight, no chaser? Ick.) We sat down together at the dining room table, just the two of us. The two things I will never forget is the curious taste of butter flavored Crisco. Was it butter? No. It tasted like butter, but it wasn’t. Six-year-old me was like, “This is AWESOME!” The second thing I won’t forget is the silent pleasure of eating breakfast with my grandmother. I can’t remember a thing we said to each other. I only remember the feeling of love and joy.

To paraphrase Maya Angelou, “People may forget what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

My grandmother was Annie Lee Stewart Lighting. She always made me feel loved. 

My mother, grandfather, me, grandma 1976

I could always count on feeling safe, loved, and comforted whenever I was with her. It didn’t matter what we were doing together. She took me to run errands with her. She took me when she played her numbers (street numbers before Michigan had a state lottery.) She took me to church. I remember one year she made me memorize a poem for Easter. I fell in love with pastel blue dress with pleats that I had to wear. I wanted to sleep in that dress. I remember Grandma sitting in the front row mouthing the words to the poem so I wouldn’t forget it.

I remember parties at my grandparent’s house when family would show up. Beer, card playing, and loud black folks. My parents let me stay up late on those Saturday nights. I remember crawling into my grandparents’ bed when my grandfather would be at work late. She never put me back in my bed. I’d always wake up next to her. 

John Lighting Sr. and Annie Lighting 1947

I can’t remember how old I was, definitely younger than ten, when I came in her house with a pick in my hair. The older girls up the street were doing it, so I did it too. Soon as she saw me, Grandma snatched that pick out of my hair and said, “Girl, don’t you ever let me see you walking around with a pick in your hair. That’s what them fast girls up the street do. That is not you. You are not fast. You are smart. Act like it.”

She also had no problem threatening to beat my butt with one of her house shoes. Or even more classic black grandma, threatening to beat me with a tree switch. “Now if I whup you, you gon’ get the switch off the tree yourself.” (I don’t think I ever got whupped with a switch. The one house shoe whupping set me straight.)

Grandma and me circa 1996

No matter what was going on, I could guarantee that whenever I was with her and/or my grandfather, all was well in my world. The time I spent with them was easy like Sunday morning. All love, all the time.

That ease was always there. When my grandfather died, I was ten years old. My parents shielded me from the ravages of his cancer. I have a very clear memory of remaining in the lobby of a hospital while my parents, grandmother, and uncle were upstairs with my dying grandfather. That was as complicated as it got when it came to my grandparents until I was thirty-eight years old. 

Me, grandma, and ma Mother's Day 2001

It was in 2010 that I learned about the complicated relationship and history between my grandparents and their children. I learned things that I simply could not believe. It was also the same year that Alzheimer’s disease began to steal Grandma away from us. I watched a woman I deeply loved deteriorate into helplessness and the vast majority of her life’s memories erased. She suffered in such a deep and profound way. It’s hard to explain with words. If you’ve seen Alzheimer’s and dementia up close, then you know what it does to a person. 

Me and grandma June 2012

It is very difficult for me to write about either of these things. What I can say is this:

The relationship I had with my grandmother is the complete opposite of the relationship my mother had with her. Why? I never lived with my grandmother even though we spent an enormous amount of time together until I moved from Detroit to Atlanta when I was fourteen years old. Grandma was not responsible for raising me. Because of that distance, we could simply enjoy each other’s company, and have a blast doing it. A parent does not have that simple luxury. So the woman I knew only had to love me. All I had to do was love her. 

Right up to the end…I saw my grandma in January, a month before she died. My mom took me to the home grandma was living at. She had no idea who I was. We were sitting at a table together. Grandma was trying to feed herself a bowl of Cheerios and milk. Pointing to me, my mother said, “Ma, you know who this is?” Grandma looked at me. “No, but she seems like a real nice lady.” My mom said, “She is, Ma. She is.” “Mmmhmm,” Grandma said. “Real nice.” All I could do was rub her arm and give her a hug.

That was our last conversation. The love was still there. The bond between grandparent and grandchild is indeed a simple, sacred one. I am forever grateful for my maternal grandmother. 

Grandma at her favorite spot. May 2010

Rest in Peace, Power, and Freedom.
I will always cherish you, yet I am happy you are free from suffering.
I love you,
your granddaughter, Althea


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Shedding The Weight

I started a 21-day meditation with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra on Monday called Shedding The Weight: Mind, Body, and Spirit. This is truly dynamite. I can't say enough good things about it. If you are struggling with weight loss, please go to: NOW, right now to sign up. It's free. Each day's meditation is 20 minutes long. This program focuses on the spiritual and emotional reasons why we carry heaviness, in all of it's forms. 

From the main page:
"Welcome to the 21-Day Meditation Experience, Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit! We are honored you’re joining us as we seek our true nature and discover our path to health and happiness. You will discover your soul’s purpose and create a life in which all things are within reach. "

This week focuses on "lightness" or "lightening your load." Today is Day 4. Below is the description.

Day 4 - Fulfillment Holds the Key

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” ― Hilaire Belloc
Everyone can feel the difference between emptiness and fullness, and it is this experience that allows us to feel our way to better lifestyle choices. Today we learn that there are many kinds of hunger, but only one state of fulfillment. When you give yourself what you really want and need, unhealthy habits, such as overeating, cease to be a problem. Instead of fighting against a habit that always fights back, ask yourself, “What am I hungry for right now?” then seek to satisfy that hunger directly.

If this information resonates with you, go sign up! It's free!!



Thursday, February 11, 2016

If you need help surviving Valentine's Day, part 2

If you need help surviving Valentine's Day, part 2 by Steven Barnes

start part 2:
EVERYONE HAS EXPERIENCED LOVE. If you think not, you are lying to yourself. Un-nurtured, human infants die. Period. No argument, no exceptions. You may have to “drill down” to a pre-verbal self to find these memories and emotions, but once you have, you can tap into them every day of your life. That core, once exposed, can burn away the negative emotions, but you have to do the work every day to tap into it. Once you have, it can power the actions that drive your healing/growing process. And there is nothing more attractive than a person who is “becoming”, who loves herself. Who respects herself enough to demand the best of herself...and the world. Such a person can give freely, because she is noticing who gives in return, and surrounds herself with a tribe with the same values: people who enjoy giving. And never lets anyone hurt her twice.

Find a hundred different ways to make yourself smile. Take yourself to the zoo. Write yourself a love letter. Have a mix CD of favorite songs. Take yourself shopping in the 99 cent store for toys...and then give them to the first children you pass. Go see a silly movie. KNOW HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY.

Five times a day, once every three hours, stop and take sixty seconds of deep belly breathing. Connect with your “Ancient Child”--the child within, and the “Ancient” you will one day be. Haven’t you ever seen the sacred connection between grandparents and grandchildren? It is simple love, absent the stress of the parent-child connection. You can experience this for yourself in your morning meditation, and once achieved can trigger it five times a day to remind yourself you are loved, you are loving, you are joyous...that while you are no more than an ant, you are also no less than the stars. Feel that connection between the child just starting the journey, and the Elder nearing completion. Touch your heart, go deep.

Make a study of being happy, remembering that happiness is probably as close to a one-word “meaning of life” that can be spoken aloud. All one then needs do is align happiness with your conscious values: giving, growing, loving, contribution, whatever. Do them to be happy. Give without expectation of receiving. Take your attention off your emotions by giving Valentines at a homeless shelter or a retirement home. Adopt a pet. Remember the good times with a departed love. Embrace the totality of your emotions, even the sadness, with love.

Never, ever, ever forget that sadness and happiness flow in cycles. On Valentine’s Day, commit to at least five moments of joy, faith, and gratitude. Just five. For sixty seconds each. You will have planted seeds that will grow all year.

Make someone smile. And take joy from it. A stranger. A child. A cat’s purr, the wag of a dog’s tail. Find beauty in small things. Remember happy times.

Be kind to yourself. Remember that you have been, are, and will always be loved.



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