One thing about me? Oh, I'm gonna eat some meat. While I don't do pork or shellfish, a steak, some salmon and some good 'old dark meat fried chicken can bring a smile to my face in a way that a lot of other foods simply cannot. That doesn't mean that I don't get that sometimes my body needs a break from "indulging in the flesh". When I choose to take one, I still prefer to eat something that has a bit of a meaty feel to it. And since I know that a lot of meat substitute products contain so much sodium and preservatives that I might as well stick to a cow, fish or chicken, I typically prefer to go a meat alternative route that is strictly a vegetable and then prepare it to my liking at home.
What? You didn't know that there are some vegetables that have a texture that is so close to meat that it can make going the vegetarian/vegan route—even if it's just temporarily—easier on your palate? Indeed, there are and if you've got a sec, I'll share with you 10 that top my personal list.
1. Portobello Mushrooms
Off top, whenever I want to take a break from meat while still wanting something that has a meaty texture to it, my automatic go-to is portobello mushrooms. They are probably my favorite hamburger stand-in, hands down. Matter of fact, the only reason why I don't eat them more often is because I've got a fungal sensitivity and well, mushrooms are a fungus. Anyway, on the health benefits tip, portobello mushrooms are cool because they contain Vitamin B, copper, fiber, selenium, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. As a bonus, they can help to lower your risk of getting cancer too. So, if you've got a craving for a sandwich and you want to chill on the meat tip, grill yourself a portobello. You won't regret it.
If you were to go to your favorite search engine, right this second, and put "meat substitutes" in the search field, I'd be floored if you didn't see jackfruit come up in almost every article.
Even though it's a tropical fruit, a lot of people like to swap meat out for jackfruit because they find that its texture is similar to shredded meat. For the record, if you've never had jackfruit before, it has a mild sweet flavor.
And what are its health benefits? Jackfruit is a good source of protein and fiber. It's also got a fair amount of Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, copper and potassium in it as well. Some other good reasons to give jackfruit a shot is it can help to lower your blood sugar levels, boost your immunity, strengthen your heart, ward off diseases and improve the quality of your skin too. Yep, jackfruit is that one.
Let me just say that, off the top, when it comes to this one, if you've got a gluten allergy, just pass on by this suggestion. The reason why is because seiten is literally wheat gluten. The reason why some people like it as a meat alternative is because it has a texture that is quite reminiscent of meat protein. That said, if you're good with wheat, seiten can be beneficial because it is loaded with protein and is a pretty good source of selenium, iron and phosphorus with a dab of calcium and copper. Cutting it into slices like meat and preparing it is a popular route to take. So is grilling it in the summertime.
Try This: Vegan Meatballs Recipe (they're made with seitan)
Second in line for me, when it comes to meat substitutes, would have to be eggplant. Based on how you prepare it, it also can have a similar texture to meat. It contains a good amount of fiber, iron, antioxidants and plant compounds in it as well as a fair amount of manganese, potassium and folic acid. Eggplant is also good for you because it can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, it contains cancer-fighting properties, it can help you to lose weight and, because of the iron that's in it, eggplant can help to keep you from becoming anemic too. Dope.
Try This: Vegan Eggplant "Bacon" Recipe
5. Black Beans
Beans make the list. It's not that it has a texture like meat; it's just that, say you're making a Mexican dish that calls for something like ground beef. If you go with black beans instead, it's been my personal experience that you don't really miss the beef all that much. Black beans, nutrient-wise, have protein, fiber, iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese in them. All of these things work together to keep you regular, lower your blood pressure, fight heart disease, manage weight loss and, if you've got diabetes, black beans can help to lower your blood glucose levels too. So, pull out some tortillas and do some damage tonight.
Potatoes don't really have a meaty texture to them either. Still, if you want to prepare a vegetarian or vegan casserole, they can be a nice addition because nothing sticks to our ribs quite like meat AND potatoes do, right? Potatoes also have your back because they are full of protein and fiber. Plus, they contain vitamins B6 and C, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, folate, magnesium and antioxidants. Something that a lot of people like about potatoes is that they're gluten-free. Not only that, they are beneficial when it comes to maintaining your digestive health, reducing inflammation and, because potatoes have the amino acid L-tryptophan in them, they're a vegetable that can help to keep you calmer and more relaxed too. Shepherd's pie, anyone?
Try This: Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Personally, I'm not the biggest soy fan, mostly because it seems to be the non-meat substitute that isn't consumed in moderation when it absolutely should be (a read worth checking out is "The Dangers of Soy"). If you happen to be a soy fan, though, tempeh is something worth checking out. Long story short, fermented soybeans, grains and beans are put together to create this product. The protein amount is high. The Vitamin B, iron, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus levels in it are good (there's some calcium in tempeh too). Health benefits include the fact that tempeh has prebiotics, it can help to reduce oxidative stress and promote bone health too. Not bad for a meat alternative. Not bad at all.
Try This: Teriyaki Tempeh Recipe
Mangoes? Yep. Mangoes. I actually came across a recipe for BBQ mango that was interesting (check it out here). Others like to use this fruit to make homemade mango stew (you can see that recipe here). However, if you're a big sushi eater, there's a huge chance that you've had mango in a roll before. Why are they good for you? For starters, they're protein and fiber amounts are pretty impressive. Mangoes also have a ton of Vitamin C, folate and copper in them, along with some vitamin A, B, E and K and antioxidants. If you eat them regularly enough, they can boost your immune system, improve your digestive health and even make your eyes stronger. So, why not make a mango sushi roll? What do you have to lose, chile?
Try This: Avocado Cucumber Sushi Roll Recipe (it's got mango in it)
OK. Off top, this one might seem like a bit of a wild card yet just hear me out for a sec. There are many vegetarians and vegans who sing cauliflower's praises in this lane because they find it to be a cool chicken alternative, especially when it comes to Asian-themed dishes.
Its health benefits? Cauliflower has vitamins B6, C and K, as well as folate, pantothenic acid and potassium in it. Since it also contains antioxidants, cauliflower is able to help keep free radicals out of your system. Also, since it has choline in it, you can be sure that your cell membranes are being provided with a very essential nutrient that they need. Yeah, cauliflower can seem a little boring on its own. Still, if you season it right, you could look up and wonder why you've gone without using it as a substitute for poultry (sometimes) for as long as you have.
10. Meatless "Meat"
This one, I'll keep short 'n sweet. Whether you hate to cook or you're looking for a quick way to enjoy some meat substitutes, there are more and more plant-based meatless products that are available at your local stores. One that I grew up on as a child was Morning Star and it's still alive and kickin'. Anyway, Peta has a list that you can check out here. Urban Tastebud has a list that you can check out here. Enjoy!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This post is in partnership with BET+.
Kingdom Business is back for its second season, with even more sermons, songs, and serpents. The series picks up where it left off, with actress Serayah as Rbel caught between the stripper pole and the pulpit. With the first lady of the church working desperately against her, Rbel must find a way to live her dreams and honor her friend while figuring out her faith in the process.
Season one served a collection plate of rivalry, deceit, and revenge –– among many other tribulations. Between the 28-year-old’s acting, conviction, and harmonious voice, here are a few reasons why season two of Kingdom Business is a must-watch.
If the Spirit Doesn’t Move You, Serayah’s Singing Voice Will
Rbel, formally known as Rebecca Belle, is a stripper whose life forcibly takes a turn after suffering a tragedy. Through her quest to find the truth, Rbel finds herself at odds with the head of a local church, First Kingdom’s Denita Jordan, played by the legendary Yolanda Adams. Rbel unknowingly emerges as what a faithful Christian embodies: a perfectly imperfect human who works every day to try their best while leaning on God. Although struggling with her faith, each ballad sung by Rbel can be felt, as the lyrics relate to personal struggles we all endure in different ways. Gospel songs hit differently when your life is in shambles, and chile, Serayah is singing new life into folks.
Serayah is a Formidable Opponent to The Yolanda Adams
As one of the best-selling gospel artists of all time, it’s no easy task to take on the role of a person on the opposing side of greatness. Serayah’s Rbel does an excellent job meeting Jordan at her level while shining through her solos. Throughout season one, Rbel emerges as a top streaming artist, an accomplishment that begets something of a holy war.
Serayah’s Acting Range is Engaging
As a former stripper trying to make a name for herself in the gospel industry, you can imagine the struggles that could come with it. Rbel goes through a range of emotions, all understandable and relatable. Despite several crises of faith, Serayah ensures Rbel delivers a humbling performance that makes the audience root for her redemption.
The Kingdom Business Soundtrack is Everything
Streaming now on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music, the Kingdom Business: Season 1 soundtrack is one you’d want to add to your playlist for high and low times. Aside from four soul-soothing songs from Serayah, the soundtrack also features singles from co-star/Hamilton’s Chaundre-Hall Broomfield, gospel artist Chandler Moore, and legend Yolanda Adams.
Serayah’s Rbel Makes You Root For Her
With First Kingdom beginning to crumble under the pressure of lies, infidelity, and deception, Rbel’s window to take that top spot seems wide open; however, the end of season one showed us the Spirit had other plans. Whether you believe or not, Serayah’s Rbel makes you want to see her win. Who doesn’t love a good underdog with a laid 22” bust down? Whether she seeks Him or not, God is proving to be on Rbel’s side. But is it enough to turn everything around for her? Will Rbel lean on faith or fear?
With secrets coming to light, success within reach, and the devastating conclusion of season one, you don’t want to miss season two––especially with more guest collaborations. Kingdom Business returns to BET+ on Nov 2.
BET+ Original | Kingdom Business | S2 Official Traileryoutu.be
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While I was in a session with a married couple semi-recently, I asked them to share one of the best things about being in a long-term, committed relationship. Believe it or not, it was the wife who quickly provided the answer that serves as inspiration for this article: “You have a locked-in-for-life quickie partner. People don’t realize how wonderful that is!”
Ah, yes, the quickie. It’s one of those things that pretty much all sexually active people have experienced before, and yet, I’m not so sure that quickies actually get all of the props and respect that they truly deserve. I mean, I get why because, since reportedly, a little under three minutes technically counts as one, some people think that they are automatically getting slighted whenever a quickie goes down.
Yet, if you give me a little bit of your time today, my plan is to show you that quickies are, by no means, a consolation prize or something to roll your eyes about. If you choose to take in all of what I’m about to say, you could up and realize that one of the best things about your day could be making sure that you either don’t start or end one without checking a quickie off of your to-do list.
I’m dead serious, too. Check out 12 reasons why the wife was right — quickies are indeed the ultimate short-yet-potent activity.
1. Quickies Can Help You to Get Out of the RIGHT Side of the Bed
I recently read an article that said sleep deprivation can take a real toll on romantic relationships. The method behind the madness is, when you’re not getting enough rest, it can put you in a bad mood, and that can alter how you engage with your significant other (hey, makes perfect sense to me). So, it would seem that being intentional about getting 6-8 hours of sleep would help to alleviate this problem. Okay, but what do you do on the days when you were tossing and turning all night, you had some bad dreams, and/or you’re just not in the best of moods when your alarm clock goes off (even if you don’t know why)? Have a quickie.
Dopamine, endorphins (which are neurotransmitters), oxytocin, and vasopressin (a hormone that helps with your emotional stability and with your circadian rhythms) are all natural chemicals that are released during sex, especially when you climax. Since all of these can help to put you in a better mood, that’s just one reason why a brief romp before rolling out of bed could get your day off to a great start (no matter how you initially felt when you first woke up).
2. Quickies Can Make Waking Up (and Falling Asleep) a Quicker Process
It’s kind of wild that the same act that can wake you up is the same one that can totally knock you out. Sex does have that super innate ability, though. If you want something better than your alarm, a quickie can get you up and going pretty fast; that’s because, when sex gets your heart racing and your blood pumping, it can get your adrenaline going to — especially if you’re say, riding cowgirl instead of just lying in the missionary position (yes, the more active, the better!).
As far as sleep goes, whenever you have an orgasm from sex, your body releases the hormones oxytocin and prolactin — both of these will help you to feel happy and satisfied. If you add to that the fact that cortisol (your stress hormone) level drops after having an orgasm too…yeah, there’s no cup of warm milk that will put you to sleep faster than a quickie will, chile.
3. Quickie Sex Is More Energizing (and Enjoyable) than a Cup of Coffee
If you always assumed that coffee gives you extra energy, the reality is…it doesn’t. What it does do is stimulate what is known as your adenosine (a system that regulates sleepiness and alertness); that’s the good news. The bad news is, just as quickly as the caffeine in coffee can give you a charge, it can also tank, leaving you to feel exhausted (which is a part of the reason why some people endlessly drink coffee throughout the day).
What’s more reliable than that? Yep — you guessed it. Since sex does everything from de-stressing you, stretching out your muscles and tendons, and increasing your heart rate — it’s an all-natural way to get your body going…without all of the side effects that can sometimes come with coffee consumption.
4. Quickies Give You the Same Health Benefits As Longer Sessions Do
Earlier this year, Men’s Health published an article entitled, “How Long Should Sex Last, Really? Experts Say Longer Isn't Always Better.” It actually said that when it comes to penetrative sex between heterosexual couples, the average was (you ready?) 5.4 minutes — yep, basically a quickie. And here’s the thing: whether you go that short or much longer, you’re gonna basically get the same health benefits either way.
Sex is gonna lower your blood pressure. Sex is gonna boost your immunity. Sex is gonna reduce any anxiety you may be feeling. Sex is gonna make you feel better about yourself (yep, it literally helps to boost your self-esteem). Sex is gonna reduce your pain levels. Sex is gonna improve your quality of sleep. The list goes on and on.
In fact, the only health benefit that longer sex probably provides is how many calories you can potentially burn. The reason why I say that is because you need to “engage” for about 30 minutes in order for you to lose 69 calories (“69” — the irony) and your partner (if he’s a man) to lose 101 of ‘em. In every other way? Even quickie sex can do your body a whole lot of good.
5. A Quickie Can Actually Make Sex More Adventurous
Especially as we age, it’s easier to automatically retreat to the bed when we plan on having longer sexual sessions; that’s because the bed is a comfortable place to have it. Okay, but what if you’ve been with your partner for a while, things kind of seem boring and routine, and you’re not really sure what to do about it? In walks the power of a quickie. ‘Cause let’s be real: there is some stuff that you’d probably never do for an hour that you’d be willing to try for 10 minutes.
For instance, if the thought of public sex has always intrigued you while also freaking you out, you might be down if it’s only gonna take five minutes — and the more spontaneous and creative sex is, the more it can breathe new life into any two people’s sex life!
6. Quickie Sex Significantly Reduces Stress Levels
Stress can kill you — yes, quite literally. I make sure to say that as often as I can because it’s the truth. Heart disease. Asthma. Obesity. Depression. Accelerated aging — these are just a few things that are oftentimes directly related to stress. Since it’s been scientifically proven that sex will trigger the neurotransmitters (dopamine) that help to make you feel good as it also decreases your cortisol (your stress hormone) levels — you are helping your mind, body, and spirit out by having sex…even if they are quickies.
7. Quickies Make Prioritizing Sex Way Easier
I’m gonna be honest — since more and more articles are coming out that sex doesn’t really “need” to be more than 7-13 minutes, I’m not sure the whole “we have no time for sex” thing flies (anymore). If you’ve got time to be on Instagram or TikTok for two hours a day, you’ve got a fraction of that time to get busy with your partner. At the end of the day, it’s all about prioritizing what’s important to you (now, if sex isn’t important, we’ll have to tackle that at another time).
However, if the issue is that one of you likes to “make love all night long” like 90s R&B songs talk about (chile) and the other is cool with sex that is less than half of a 30-minute sitcom, try to schedule “the 90s” in for once a week (or once every other week) while mutually committing to getting some quickies in a couple of times a week. If you haven’t already, I think that by the time this article is over, you’ll see all of the reasons why this can be the greatest — and most fulfilling — compromise that you and your partner have made in a really long time.
8. Having Quickies Can Take the Pressure of Sexual Performance Off
A platform that I used to write for, once upon a time, is Marriage. I kind of chuckled when I read an article that they published earlier this year entitled, “15 Signs You’re Bad in Bed and What to Do About It” because boy…I used to deal with a couple who both believed they were the absolute bomb in bed, even though neither of them agreed. Listen, just because someone from your past may have thought you were “the ultimate” — when it comes to great sex, truly one size DOES NOT fit all. Anyway, some of the reasons that the article listed was poor communication regarding needs and expectations, not having a good emotional connection, and (basically) sucking at foreplay.
That last one? If you and your partner are currently trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t, please don’t forego sex altogether until you figure it out. HAVE. QUICKIES. It can help you both to get the physical release that you need as you work towards achieving the type of sex that you both desire. It’s a practical solution to a layered situation.
9. Quickies Bond You to Your Partner
Every time I see a TikTok post or read someone on Twitter (it’s always gonna be Twitter to me, chile) talk about sex is nothing more than a physical release, the first two things that come to mind are one, we are not animals; we have sex for more reasons than “being in heat” or even to procreate and two, how many people actually never learned about oxytocin in high school-level science class (like really…what in the world?). To be honest, there’s one more thought: don’t you want to see yourself as more than just “casual”? I say it often: casual means things like careless, apathetic, and unintentional. Regardless of what your personal feelings about sex (and who you should have sex with) are, I hope that we all can at least get on the same page that we should see ourselves as more than just…casual.
Back to the oxytocin thing, though — science is never gonna change. There is a hormone (that I’ve already mentioned) that is released during sexual activity (shoot, even just affectionate activities) that literally makes you feel closer to your partner. Oxytocin is its name, and that’s why it has “the love hormone” moniker.
Am I saying that quickies will prevent cheating? There are layers to why people are unfaithful, so to give a blanket “yes” or “no” would be irresponsible. What I will say is something that a husband of over 30 years once said to me, “When I’m having consistent sex at home, it’s the difference between seeing an attractive woman and saying, ‘She’s pretty’ vs. not having much sex at home and thinking, ‘I wonder what she’s like.’ Full people typically aren’t hungry…unless they’re just greedy.” All of that will preach. On a billion different levels too.
10. A Quickie Is a Great Sex Compromise (for When You’re Not in the Mood)
Relationships are all about compromise. And when you’re in a long-term committed relationship, it can’t be said enough that sex isn’t just a “perk”; it’s a responsibility (when it comes to marriage, even the Good Book cosigns on that in I Corinthians 7:5). Unfortunately because not enough people give quickies any type of real consideration, they don’t realize that it can be the ultimate “meet in the middle” move when their partner may be in the mood and they’re not totally…there (or vice versa). Yes, quickies are a solid way to “scratch the itch” without there being a need for an all-out performance.
Listen, I tell my married clients often that when it comes to being faithful to your vows, it’s pretty ridiculous to expect your partner to only be with you if you are rarely with them. After all, no one signs up for a sexless marriage. Bottom line, quickies can be a happy medium when you want to make sure that your partner is good without you having to…do the most (so to speak).
11. Quickies Can Make Sex…Later…Better
If you want to intensify your orgasms (or your sexual experiences overall), one way to do that is by edging. The best way to explain edging is you and your partner sexually stimulate each other to the brink of climaxing, stop for 30-45 seconds, and then start all over again. Why would anyone want to send themselves through that kind of sexually-induced torture? One reason I already mentioned (it makes the quality of your orgasm better); another is it can actually help your partner to last longer (if that’s something you’re ultimately after).
To me, quickies are a next-level form of edging. The way I see it is, it’s like having an appetizer or snack to hold you over until you can enjoy the meal that you’ve been waiting for all day long. For instance, if your quickie consists of morning sex or an afternoon delight during your lunch break, just think of how much that will consume your mind and build anticipation until you and your partner can get together again (especially if you throw some sexting into the mix!). Five-minute previews now can lead to a full-on main attraction later. Amen?
12. Quickies Can Teach Both of You How to “Push the Right Buttons”
Almost every couple, who’ve been together for over a decade, that I know personally, tells me that sex has only gotten better with time. There are a myriad of reasons why. One of them is because they have really learned each other’s bodies, which means they know what works and…what doesn’t. And when it comes to mastering a quickie, that’s the ultimate cheat code because there are going to be times when your mind wants to, your energy levels or your schedules are on the fence, and so you’ll want to “get what you need” without it taking forever.
And listen, if you let quickies teach you how to know just what to do in record time, this point alone can be a solid reason for why you’ll want to engage in one or more quickies a day — a guaranteed orgasm. DAILY? C’mon now.
Welp. On behalf of quickies, I’ve pleaded my case. If I’ve convinced even a handful of you to at least try to have one a day, I’ve done my part. Again, under seven minutes (give or take a couple of minutes) of pleasure that will give you all of what I just said? WHY NOT HAVE A QUICKIE? Damn.
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