Friday, October 31, 2014

30 Days without Heat Challenge - Recap

I have cut down drastically on the amount of heat I used since I started this journey.  However, the blow dryer does make his appearance at least twice per month and bonnet dryer brings up the rear.  So for this challenge I gave up both the blow dryer and bonnet dryer for heat less drying and curling.





My game plan was to air dry and use either my flexi rods or rollers to achieved my desired curls.   I must say that I thought it would be more of a challenge since I was in my final leg of a twelve week stretch, but I'm happy to report it was a than I expected.








Recap-



  • Air dry all four wash days in October. I had the itch last wash day to just whip out my blow dryer and be done with it, but I resisted the urge. 


  • Roller set twice and flexi rod set twice. In order not to drive myself crazy I did not do my normal mid week co-wash.  Instead I either re set the using the flexi rods or did a banana clip ponytail for the remainder of the week.




This challenge thought me not to underestimate what I have learnt this journey.  So three cheers for completing the 30 Days without Heat Challenge.


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weight Loss- October In Review

Summer 2013
As I celebrate my two anniversary of taking back my health and body from obesity, I marvel at my journey.  Yes it is a journey, a journey for life and one that I have willingly and wholeheartedly embraced.  Yes, I still get winded when I go up a flight of stairs but now it is because I ran up the stairs; which to me is just great.

October like every month on this weight loss journey had its ups and downs, so like all the other times I just ride the wave and know that I can try again tomorrow.   I had good and not so good results with my diet and exercise but overall it was positive.

My ups were few but very noteworthy, I am leaner (aka smaller), I have breakfast each morning (yeah for me), my blood pressure is normal.  The downs were not too bad either just wish they were also ups, did not exercise as often as I should have, still struggling with lunch ( bad company).

Diet-

For close to thirty years breakfast was not my thing, just ask my grandmother who had to run after me each morning just to have a bit and a sip.  My smoothies have become my saving grace and has help me to develop a breakfast routine.  I make a smoothie every morning and they normal consist of everything except a banana (yuck) and peanut butter (yucky); they are delicious, nutritious and filling and I will continue to make and consume them.

This month as usual I struggle with what to have for lunch and it shows in my weight loss.  I did manage to pack lunch two out of the five days and did stay away from pizza and chinese food.  However, I ate to much of those damn frozen dinners which left me hunger and craving for something else.  Finally saw the error of my ways after eating one too many snicker bars. 

Exercise-

October 2013
My goal for October was to exercise five to six times a week, well I only managed three times a week; which is not terrible but also not super great either. I enjoy exercising and going to the gym but when you have a little one your schedule depends on their schedule, which sucks at times. His father and I double team but there are days when I am it and I don't feel motivated to exercise after a round of homework, dinner and bath time.  Yes, yes that my excuse and I am using it; in other words I did not at home exercise this month at all.

Overall health-

Since September I have been doing an hour of weight training each week and it is showing in my now leaner and smaller body.  My legs and arms are toned which is just plain sexy (if I most say so myself).  The weight training session has gotten easier and I'm even lifting heavier weights (yay for me).  My blood pressure is finally normal again (yes I did the silly dance), I know that it is possible because I watch all those weight loss shows.  For it to be happening to me is really great and go to show that high blood pressure is a lifestyle disease.  I will still have to monitor my sodium intact, but as long as I continue on this healthy journey it should stay normal.
February 2014



Weight Loss Stats-

  • Lost 2.2 lbs
  • BMI down  2 points
  • Lost 1/2 inch from my arms arms (yeah for Body pump)





Game plan for November -
  • Have a weekly lunch menu and shop and prepare these meals in advance
  • Have a weekly exercise schedule and stick to it
  • Keep a weekly journal of my eating and exercise practices, habits etc.
  • Lose five pounds and lose and inch from my waist
  • Lower my BMI by at least two points.






Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wash Day- Twelve weeks post

Wow, twelve weeks ago my sister was visiting from Jamaica, times does fly when you are having fun.  This wash day I intended to do my relaxer touch-up but I did not have any relaxer at home so I did a regular wash day.

My new growth this stretch is fantastic; this is the first stretch since the beginning of my healthy hair journey that I have close to 2 inches of new growth in most spots.  However, with all that joy comes shedding, my hair is shedding more than normal not sure if it is the change in weather (fall in in full swing) or just stress.

Anyway here is how my wash day went.

Prepoo with my Loreal total repair 5 conditioner, coconut oil and grapeseed oil mix. I had this mix left over from last wash day so I put the jar (my empty cantu jar) in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm the oils up. I must tell you I may do this again on future wash days; the warm mixture melted in my hair instantly, I put on the conditioning cap for 10 minutes just to get the added benefits. After my hair was cool I rinsed with warm water. I was in hair heaven because my hair was so soft.

Shampoo with Creme of Nature Sunflower & Coconut detangling conditioning shampoo, as usual I only lather once.  This shampoo is my all time favorite it leave my hair so soft and all the tangles just slip out. The only issue I have is that at times it is difficult to find.

Tea rinse with my black tea brew; I brew four bags and let it cool before repeatedly pouring it our my head for about five minutes. After allowing it sit for a minute or two I rinsed the excess out with cold water.

Deep conditioned with Queen Helene Cholesterol hair conditioning cream under my conditioning cap for 30 minutes.  I picked this up the last time I was at the Beauty supply store because it came highly recommended by my sister-in-law.  The smell reminds me of antiseptic, but besides that it conditioned like a dream. After allowing my hair to cool I rinsed with warm water and finished off with cold warm.  I was worried the my hair was going to feel hard but I had the opposite results.  My hair was soft and well conditioned, my on cloud nine feeling continues.

T-shirt dry for 10 minutes, then allowing it to hair dry or another 15 minutes before applying my leave ins.

Leave In- Sprayed my roots with Creme of Nature strength and shine leave in conditioner and apply Crecepelo leave in in conditioner and OGX anti-breakage coconut milk serum to the rest of my hair and allowed to completely air dry.

Once my hair was completed air dry I set with roughly 12 flexi rods so I could have big wavy hair for my big date.  I love the result and was super excited that I could have such a fabulous do at twelve weeks post. I wish I had taken picture before leaving but I was running late and the curls became an Afro puff by the end of the night.


Three cheers to a great wash day. Hope yours was just as lovely.





Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Core Exercise- Healthy Lifestyle

We have at one time or another heard that we need to strengthen the Core.  When I think about the core I about having a six-pack abs.  However, I was politely told by a trainer that the core is more complex than the classic six-pack.

What is the Core?

The core in basically the entire torso, but the core that trainers normal refers to is runs from under the breast bone down to the pelvic bone including the back.  The core consist of four major muscles Rectus Abdominus, Oblique, Intercoastals and Serratus.

What does the core do?

The core is used to support and stabilized our pelvic and spine. A strong core improve your day to day activity such as walking, running, getting up from a sitting position etc.

Where do yo find the core muscles?

The Rectus Abdominus is located from the sternum ( breast bone)  all the way down to the pelvic bone.
 The Obliques are located at the side of the waist (where you typical find the love handles).
The Intercoastals are located between the sides of the rib cage.
The Serratus is located under the arm just above the Obliques. 

What exercise strengthen the Core?

Ah, know we are onto the good stuff.  There are a myriad of core exercise that targets each muscle group which in total will give you the desired outcome.

Exercises that targets the Rectus Abdominus are crunches and sit up type exercises, which mainly works the abdominals.  Side bends, twists and oblique crunches targets the Obliques and really helps to give the waistline that hourglass look.  The exercise the targets the intercoastal are basically a sit-up with a twist or that dredge air bike move your trainer makes you do.  Rope pulls targets the Serratus along with pullovers and similar exercise.

What I have learned?

I learned that crunches and sit ups alone won't give me that coveted six pack.  Therefore, I will need to incorporate core exercises that isolated and target specific muscle groups in order to shape and tone them.  However, I have also learned that most core exercise works more that one specific group at a time.  To get my six pack at least my version of it I must continue to strengthen my core and follow my diet.


Hope you learned something that you can use in your quest to a healthier life and body.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Wash Day- No Fanfare

This wash very similar to the last wash with a few tweaks here and there but all in all a great wash day.

 I had one big hurdle this wash day and its name is tangle, this happens because I was too lazy to add some rollers or even a few flexi-rods to to wet gym hair.  My hair and I have a love hate relationship and this past week I was hating it, so I just slap in a banana clip mid week and that was it, but I paid the consequence.

So here is a recap of my wash day detangling and all.

Prepoo with Loreal repair 5 conditioner , coconut oil and grapeseed oil.  I warmed both oils before I adding them to the conditioner. Last week I found that the oils did not blend well  with the conditioner, therefore my hair did not get the benefit. Covered with a plastic cap for about 30 minutes before detangling and rinsing with warm water. I got the slip I was missing last time and detangling was a breeze.


Shampoo with Optimum Oil Therapy shampoo as usual I only lathered once before rinsing with warm water.

Tea rinse with my trusty black tea brew by pouring it over my head for about five minutes before rinsing with cold water.  I found a gray hair this past week so hopefully it got a little darker like the rest of my hair.

Deep condition with the last of the Crecepelo and coconut oil.   Since it was getting late I put on a plastic cap, a head tie, a satin cap and went to bed; my thought was my hair will get conditioned while my body rest.  Three hours later I woke up and wash the conditioner out with warm water followed my cold water. I tied my hair with a t-shirt put my satin cap on and went back to bed.

Leave-in-  I woke up a few hours later and add Creme of Nature Argan oil strength and shine leave in conditioner and further detangled.  I followed with crecepelo leave- in conditioner and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum and did a flexi rod set with roughly 20 flexi rods.


I notice I have way more new growth than all my previous stretch which is great. However, it had me retracing my steps this past few months to see what has change and the only thing changed was my exercise regimen.  This had me extremely excited.

So here is to the no heat challenge and a great wash day.



How was your wash day? Did you make any new strides?




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stress and the Body/Hair

Recently my job as become extremely stressful and it had me wondering what effects does stress has on the healthy of my hair and body.

Researchers has found that the body releases potent hormones when the body enters the fight or flight mode.  Hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol helps the body in stressful situations. However, these hormones can cause damages to blood vessels and organs if they remain at an elevated level for a log period of time. If the body is in this heighten stress zone for prolong periods, you may start seeing signs of aging.

Stress and the Hair.

There is the myth that stress causes hair to turn gray, causes bald spot or even causes hair to fall out.  While there is some truth to this myth the reasoning behind this myth is debatable. Yes we have all seen how the US presidents becomes gray, but this may be due to aging from prolong stress.

It is said that significant hair loss does not happen with mere emotional stress but with psychological stress. Changes in diet, medication or lifestyle are a few of the top culprits that can change the growth and resting cycle of the body.

This change will sometimes putting the hair cycle in the rest stage. The rest stage of the hair growth cycle typical last about four months. So when you have excess shedding you will need to look back three to four months to figure out what stressors you had then.

How do we fight the effects of stress?

To combat excessive shedding or hair loss you need to monitor your diet, get your thyroid check out, make sure your diet is rich in vitamin D, also be aware of the side effects of your medication. A regular exercise routine can help to combat the negative effects of these stress hormones. It is often recommend that we take a multi-vitamin supplement rich in vitamin B complex and vitamin C and contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

I think I'm on the right track in combating stress.  What about you?



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Product review- Crecepelo Deep Conditoner

Cost- $7.99  Purchased at my Beauty supply store

Claims- First Phytotherapeutic Treatment that involves the use of natural plants for hair growth.

Blurb- Formula provides extracts and nutrients that return health, beauty, vitality, flexibility, and softness to the hair, which helps its growth.

Ingredients-  Water, Cetearyl, alcohol, Gliceryl monoestearate, Behentrimonium chloride fragrance, Diazolidinyl urea, Laurel,nettle, arnica, bardana, watercress,calendula,ivy,manzanilla,lemon, pine,romero, capuchina,salvia,tioxolona, milk of cotton, fibro activates.

Pros- The recommended treatment time is 15 minutes and in my experience it is all you need. he product is very thick and sinks in your hair when applied; however, it does not provide any slip so it is not great for detangling. It leaves the hair soft, moisturized,light and bouncy. At the end of the week the hair was still moisturized and soft. It has me thinking about going 16 weeks post, because of how soft and moisturize my hair is after each treatment. 

Cons- The ingredients aren't all natural as they would want us to believe.  The smell is very strong, it reminds me of Irish spring soap. It does not have any slip so it is not great for detangling.

My Take-  It took me couple of use before I got use to the smelling, but fell in love with from the very first use.  Even though it does not provide slip, it leaves my hair feeling like silk.  Yes it is that soft and the effect last through my next wash day, I have even skip my mid week co-wash and it last the entire week. This conditioner has me thinking of doing a long stretch that's how good it is.  Well at least in my experience.


Have you used it? What's your take?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wash Day- Ten weeks post

The further I get away from my last relaxer, the challenges and triumphs ebbs and sways.   Therefore no two wash day is ever the same.  Last week I decided to change my wash day to a day when I was more rested and I think it was a great decision.

Recap of another great wash day:

Prepoo with Loreal total repair 5 conditioner, coconut oil and grapeseed oil under my conditioning cap for 10 minutes. I ran out of my Cantu repair cream which is my go to prepoo.  However, this mixture was great but did not give the slip I'm use to with the Cantu.  After allowing my hair to cool down I rinsed with warm water.

Shampoo with Optimum Oil Therapy ultimate recovery shampoo, I am so loving this shampoo.  I lathered once and rinsed with warm water. 

Tea rinsed with my black tea brew, by pour it over my head for roughly 5 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Deep conditioned with crecepelo and coconut oil under my conditioning cap for 20 minutes.  I added the coconut oil to the conditioner because this conditioner leaves my hair so soft and fluffy and the coconut oil will add some weight. After my hair was cool I rinsed with warm water followed my cold water to close the cuticles. 




Leave-in - T-shit dry for 20 minutes before applying  Aphogee provitamin leave in conditioner.  I allowed my hair to air dry for about an hour then apply Crecepelo leave in conditioner and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum and roller set. 

I am taking the no heat challenge for October so I just left the rollers in for the rest of the day to allow my hair to fully dry.  I use mostly 1 inch rollers so I had great curls and bouncy hair.

How was your wash day?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wash Day- Progress

Each wash day I have challenges and triumphs but this wash day I realize that I have not taken time out to celebrate the triumphs.  This wash day was a breeze maybe because I was feeling so rested and relaxed.  I am seriously considering changing my wash day, maybe my new growth behaves differently when I'm rested.

So here is the recap on my terrific wash day.


Prepoo with coconut oil and Cantu Shea Butter leave-in repair conditioning cream, under my conditioning cap for 20 minutes then rinsed with warm water.I love this combination my hair feel moisturized. 

Shampooed with Optimum Oil Therapy Ultimate recovery shampoo. As always I lathered once and rinsed with warm water. I am truly loving this shampoo an my hair is also loving it. It has made it into my top three list of must have shampoos.  

Tea rinsed with my black tea brew, by repeatedly pour it over my head for 5 minutes.  I allowed it to sit for a minute or two before rinsing with cold water to get the excess out.  

Deep conditioned with Crecepelo and coconut oil under my conditioning cap for 25 minutes; rinsed with warm water followed by cold water. I like what this conditioner does to my new growth it makes it so soft and airy.  




T-shirt fried for 10 minutes before applying leave-in of Creme of nature strength and shine leave-in conditioner and air dry until my hair was 90% dry.  After carefully combing to get out any shedded hair I apply ORS hair lotion and Ettenio seal and shine before roller set with my 1 inch and a few 2 inch. Love the the tight bouncy curls I had when I took the roller outs; not to mention how soft and moisturized looked and feel. 



 How was your wash day?





 



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Breast Cancer- Healthy Lifestyle

October is breast cancer awareness month; a time for awareness and education.  It is said that 1 in 8 women will be diagnose with breast cancer.  If your life was ever touch by breast cancer you will know that it affects the whole community when one person is diagnosed.

 Breast cancer is a savage beast, that destroys, disfigures and steals our love ones.  That wretched beast stole my best friend of 16 years, took a young vibrant woman, left a 8 year old without a mother.

So how do we fight back against this despicable disease?

We fight back with diet, exercise and education.

Diet

There is no magical food but there is a magical diet that has a overall healthy approach.  This diet should be full of fruits and vegetables.  The fiber in fruits and vegetable helps to clear out the extra estrogen from our bodies, leaving less for cancer cells to attached to.  Dark orange and green leafy vegetables are pack full of carotenoids, that helps to lower the breast cancer risk.

Also eat lean meats and fish and stay away from red and fatty meats.  Also eat less grilled meats because they are high in carcinogens which can raised your cancer risk.   We all have at times crave sweets but a diet limited in sugar is beneficial to your overall health.

Exercise

It is often recommended to exercise 30 minutes a day, which is not unreasonable. With regular exercise you can control your weight and reduce your risk of breast cancer.  Exercise can help you to control your estrogen level, blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and insulin levels.

Regular exercise does not mean you have to join a gym or run a 5K (which you can do if you choose to) but instead means you should get active. A 30 minute walk around your neighborhood or a 30 minutes dancing to your favorite music in your home counts as exercise.  The moral is that you should get active and also enjoy these activities.

Education

We should know our body; don't be afraid to look at your body in the mirror because then you will know when something if wrong.  Be your own health advocate; this means if your doctor does not share your health concerns find one that does.  This may take shopping around; but don't we already do that for health product and shoes?

Do regular self breast exams so you can catch a lump early. If you are unfortunate to be diagnose with breast cancer, you should research, read, find support groups, so you are able to understand what the next steps.  Knowledge is power and having knowledge about breast cancer can help us limit our risk and helps us to survive if we are diagnosed.


There is no way for sure to prevent breast cancer but why not fight the good fight against this devastating disease.  A healthy diet, regular exercise and education are the only weapons we have in our arsenal, so why not use them.

Have breast cancer affected your life? What tips can you share with us on surviving or dealing with the lost of a loved one?