Sunday, November 30, 2014

Wash Day- A tangled mess

This past week was a hit and miss when it came to hair care and hair style.  First, my lovely bouncy curls got wet and windswept before I even got to work.  I walk around for an entire day looking like a wet rat because I didn't have any hair pins on hand.  To correct the mess that mother nature left me with I did my first ever Bantu knots.

The Bantu knots came out better than I expected them to and I got oodles of compliments.   I moisture with Cantu Shea butter strengthening treatment and seal with grapeseed oil before doing the knots.  However, my second disaster can when it was time to detangle. I totally forgot to detangle before I did the Bantu knots and to top it off my ends needed a trim.

It took me almost an hour and a half to detangle with warmed coconut and grapeseed oil.  To detangle I soak each section ( six sections) with the oil mix finger detangle followed by a comb before twisting.

Here is how the rest of my wash day went-

Prepoo- After my detangling session was done I applied Cantu Shea Butter conditioning repair cream to each section and cover with a plastic cap and a head tie for and hour.  After allowing my head to cool down I rinsed with warm water.

Shampoo- Shampooed with Optimum oil therapy, as usual I only lather once.  I co-wash mid week so I shampoo on wash day.

Tea Rinse- I tea rinsed by pouring the black tea brew over my head several times and allowed it to sit for five minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Deep conditioned- I deep conditioned with Motions deep conditioning masque under a plastic cap, a head tie and a satin bonnet for 40 minutes.  I got this conditioner in my monthly We are Onyx box; this it the first time I am using it, I must say the results were favorable.  I will do a review on it once I have used it several more times, however it left my hair feeling conditioned.  After my allowing my hair to cool, I rinsed with warm water followed by a quick cold water rinse.

 Leave-in- T-shirt dry for roughly ten minutes before apply Aphogee provitamin leave in conditioner and air dry to 90 percent.  Sprayed a few times with Creme of Nature strength and shine leave in conditioner  before moisturizing with ORS hair lotion.



 I then apply OGX coconut oil serum and roller set with about sixteen 1 1/2 and 2 inch rollers.









Even with all the tangles it was a great wash day .  How was your  #washdayexperience?




The Wash Day Experience

Friday, November 28, 2014

6 Ways to Avoid gaining weight during the holidays

The holiday season is a time for food,family and festivities.  Therefore we tend to over indulge on mom or grandma's delicious creations. Studies have shown we gain people tend to gain on average 1-2 pounds during the holidays season.

Unfortunately most people do not lose the weight they gain during the holiday and over time it is compounded. So this had me thinking of how to avoid weight gain during the holiday season.  The 6 ways I will avoid weight gain this holiday season are, staying hydrated, saying no to treats, snacking wisely, get plenty of rest, focus on my family and not food and exercise regularly.

Stay Hygrated

Don't forget to drink water during the holiday season. Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and will also trick you brain into thinking you are full. Water not only quenches the thirst but also aid digestion.  I'm am a social drinker, so one trick to ensure I stay hydrated in these settings is to always order a glass of water along with my drink and drink them simultaneously. So make sure your reach for water during the holiday season.

Say no to treat

Treats and snacks are not in short supply during the holiday season.  In my office between now and Christmas there will be donuts, cookies, cakes; so what is a girl suppose to do? Channeling my inner  Nancy Reagan , "say no to treats". I am not saying you should not enjoy a cookie, donuts or even a piece of cake but be very picky with how much and when you indulge. Remember moderation is key.

Snack wisely

Healthy snacking is necessary in any healthy lifestyle, but it becomes extremely important during the holiday season.  My trick is to always have a snack in my bag, it can be anything from a snack bar to nuts.  The key is to be prepared so when hunger strikes you can reach for an healthy snack and not a donut or a cookie.



Get rest

Ensure that during the holiday season you get plenty of rest.   When you are well rested you have better judgement and is able to make better decisions. So do not leave rest out of your holiday
celebrations.




Focus on family and fun and not food

The holidays is not just about food, it is also about family and friends.  So instead of focusing all your time and energy on the dishes on the table, spend time catching up with family and friends.  Have a lively conversation at meal time this will help you eat slower therefore allowing your brain to catch-up with you stomach.  So during the holiday focus on family, friends and fun.

Exercise

If all else fail do not fail to exercise during the holiday. If you don't say no, get enough rest, drink too much alcohol or over indulge, please make sure you exercise. This will ensure that you at the very least maintain your current weight.  It has being shown that exercise speeds up the digestion process, helps reduce bloating and release the feel good hormones.
 

So to maintain your current weight or even lose a few pounds this holiday season, remember to be vigilant with your food and alcohol intake and please do not leave exercise out of your holiday plans.

What are some of the ways do you plan on avoiding the holiday weight gain?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Menu and Exercise schedule (11/24)

 Happy Thanksgiving


This week is Thanksgiving, a day when families get together and eat all the delicious turkey, pies, stuffing , sides etc.  It is also a time for families to reconnect and talk, play games and watch football.  Thanksgiving is also the kick off of the eating season for most Americans, however as we get closer to Christmas it is also true for majority of the world.

I love the cakes, the pies, the sides; yes I go overboard and stuff myself silly on Thanksgiving day and the days following.  However, I made a promise to myself that this year I will not eat until I feel full.  I will visit the gym on Wednesday, Thursday (Thanksgiving Morning) and Friday, to ensure that I do not gorge out on all those delicious food and just sit on my couch.

So Here is the plan for this Thanksgiving Week:

Exercise

  • Monday- 45 minutes Zumba
  • Tuesday - 45 minutes high intensity Cardio
  • Wednesday- Circuit 1 and 2 of 30 day shred DVD (my gym is close in the afternoon so no Body pump for me)
  • Thursday- 3 mile run on the treadmill at the gym ( yeah my gym is open Thanksgiving Morning)
  • Friday- 1 hour Body Pump ( no black Friday shopping for me)
  • Saturday- 1 hour spin/cycling
  • Sunday Rest day 

Menu

  • Baked chicken with sauteed mushroom
  • Baked chicken and spring mix
  • Tuna apple wrap
  • Thanksgiving day (I'll have a bit of everything)
  • Leftovers
  • More leftovers

To all my wonderful readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving; Happy Thanksgiving.

As we embark upon this holiday season please remember moderation is key.  What healthy lifestyle do you have plan for this week?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wash day - Two Weeks Post

Last week my curls were such an hit, I decided to rock them for the entire week.  I reset the ones that loss their curls but on average my style stayed the course.  Due to not combing of doing a co-wash I added an additional element to my wash day line -up; I used coconut to finger detangle before adding my prepoo.  There was a moment when I thought I was having excess shedding but quickly reconcile with the fact that I have not detangled of combed for six days.


Here is how it all went down:


I finger parted my hair into four sections before finger detangling with coconut oil, after each section  was detangled and oiled I plaited each section and covered with a plastic cap and satin cap overnight.

Prepoo with Cantu shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream under for conditioning cap for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. The


Shampoo with creme of nature sunflower & coconut detangling conditioning shampoo; as usual i only later once before rinsing with warm water.

Tea rinsed with my black tea brew, I pour the mixture over my head repeatedly for about five minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Deep conditioned with Queen Helene hair conditioning cream under my conditioning cap for about an hour.  I deep conditioned that long because I lost track of time while prepping dinner.  When I finally got a hold of myself I rinsed out the deep conditioner with warm water and followed up with cold water to close the cuticle.


T-shirt dry for 15 minutes before applying leave in of Creme of nature strength &shine leave in conditioner and Ettenio Twenty four 7 and allowing to air dry 80%.  I then apply ORS hair lotion and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum and blow dry on low.  Flexi rod set with three to four rods per section and call it a day.
















I love using coconut oil, but this was the first time I used it to detangle and it was definitely the first time I left it in my hair for so long.  The results were great after the initial detangling session I had very few shed hair for the rest of my wash.  My wash days are getting easier and I am enjoying the end much more than when I set out on this journey.

Unfortunately my curls did not last for more than an hour because I got caught in the rain and the wind destroyed what was left (oh well).

 I am now on the hunt for a new line up of deep conditioners. Do you have any recommendation?




The Wash Day Experience




Friday, November 21, 2014

#Fitness Friday- Loving Fiber One

Healthy snacking is a very important part of getting healthy and fit.  Having a snack between meals helps to regulate your blood sugar, controls hunger and also helps to keep you metabolism in gear.  Before I started on my quest to a healthier lifestyle I didn't not snack; even a year into the journey snacking was hard for me.  My snacks of choice were fruits, nuts, yogurt and at times cereal, until I tried out Fiber One Chewy Bar.  Fiber One chewy bars has changed how I view snacking and is a God sent for this wannabe health nut.



My favorite is the Oats & Chocolate bar, it is quite yummy.


Nutrition facts per bar-  140 Calories, 2g saturated fat (9% DV), 90mg sodium (4%DV), 10g sugar, 9g fiber (35% DV).



Ingredients-  Chicory root extract, semi sweet chocolate chips, Whole Grain Nuts, Corn Syrup, Rice flour, Barley Flakes, Sugar, Canola and Palm Kernel Oil, vegetable Glycerin ........


My Take-
The fiber in this one little bar is no joke; per the packaging you get 8 grams of whole grain and is a good source of calcium. I love having this snack bar in the witching hour just before lunch, it is just the right amount of pick me up and does not leave you feeling full.  The only problem I have with it is that the fiber works too well on my well trained intestine because by mid afternoon I have to find a quiet "place" and handle my business.  It is not a bad con in my book.

What are some of your go to or favorite healthy snacks?



Fitness Friday

Monday, November 17, 2014

Menu and Exercise schedule (11/17)

Since I began the  30 days of water challenge, I have drank more water than I would typical drink in a whole month.  Since I added the additional component of not drinking any soda during these 30 days, I find that I am craving a nice cold can of Coke almost all my waking hours.  I will not give in but it is surely a sign that I need to give it up and continue with my healthy eating habits.

Menu-

  • Baked salmon with a  green salad ( lettuce, carrots and peppers)
  • Baked Chicken with whole wheat pasta and steamed veggies (broccoli and cauliflower)
  • Spinach salad
  • Fruit salad (grapes, blueberry, apple, and peaches)
My fruit salad and steamed veggies was a hit last week so, I will recreate them again this week.

Exercise-
  • Monday - workout 1 of Jillian Michaels 30 day shred
  • Tuesday- workout 2 of Jillian Michaels 30 day shred
  • Wednesday- Body pump for an hour
  • Thursday- rest day
  • Friday- Pilates for an hour 
  • Saturday- Spin/cycling or body conditioning for an hour
  • Sunday - rest day
I love my 30 day shred dvd because eventhough each work out is 18 minutes you feel like you were at it for an hour.  So to change it up a little and give my knees some rest I pick Jillian Michaels.  

What exercise of healthy lifestyle goal do you want to achieve this week?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wash Day- "No Problem"

I love the first wash day after a relaxer touch up because there is virtually no challenge.  This wash day I decided to use all my favorite products to keep with the theme"no problem".  So for this wash day I used Cantu shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream, Creme of Nature sunflower & coconut detangling conditioning shampoo, black tea rinse, Crecepelo deep conditioner, Creme of Nature strength & shine leave in conditioner, Ettenio creme de la creme daily moisturizer and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum. As you ca see my hair has developed an eclectic taste.

Here are the details of my wash day:



Prepoo with Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioning repair cream under my conditioning cap for twenty-five minutes, before rinsing with warm water  This is my favorite prepoo and I am happy to have it back in my product line-up.

Shampoo with creme of nature sunflower & coconut detangling conditioning shampoo.  I only lather once before rinsing with warm water.  This yet another of my favorite product, I love that it lathers at at the same leaves my hair soft and clean.




Tea rinsed with my black tea brew by pouring over my head repeatedly for about five minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Deep conditioned with Crecepelo and coconut oil under my conditioning cap for thirty- five minutes, after my hair was cooled I rinsed with warm water followed by cold water to seal the cuticles and lock in the moisture.  I love this conditioner it leaves my hair soft and thoroughly detangled.

Leave-In- Apply creme of nature strength &shine leave in conditioner and allowed my hair to air dry before applying Ettenio creme de la creme daily moisturizer and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum.  I was not sure how I wanted to style my hair so I decided to do a perm rod set so I could have a curly do for the next few days.



I did not use any holding product because the rods are small and  I was worried they won't dry overnight.  As expect this was an fabulous wash day, hope to a few more like this.





 











How was your wash day? What were your triumphs or challenges?





The Wash Day Experience

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pilates

 History of Pilates


Pilates was developed in early 20th century by Joseph Pilates.  Joseph Pilates originally named his method contrology because the movements are based on muscles control.  Eventually it became known as the Pilates method and later Pilates.  The Pilates method was originally based on six principles, concentration, control, center, flow, precision, and breathing.

Concentration on what you are doing all the time, to ensure you are doing the movements correctly. If you are concentration you are able to control the movements and therefore reap the benefits. Most of the Pilates movement is centered in the abdominal area which is referred to as the powerhouse.  Once you are able to center your movements you are able to strengthen the rest of your body as all movement flows outward.  A strong center provides a flowing movement that not only strengthens the core but also the extremities.  You need to practice precise movements in order to reap the benefits of  Pilates .  Breathing very important in Pilates; breathing oxygenates the blood this oxygenated blood is then carried around the body which in turns energized the body.  The common practice is to breathe out with the effort and inhale with the return or contraction.


What are the benefits of Pilates?

  • It is a mind body workout
  • It targets the core, which in turn leads to great abs and a strong back
  • Improves flexibility and develops lean muscles
  • It conditions the entire body by training several muscle groups at once.
  • It is gentle however it is also very challenging

What Pilates does not offer!

  • It is not  Cardio workout ( you will not sweat much, unless you sweat a lot)
  • It is not a substitute for strength training ( it will tone your body but it is not substitute for strength training)
  • It is not a major calorie burner ( in a one hour session I burn around 200 calories on a good day)

The Take Away


Pilates is a gentle form of exercise which when done properly can improve your overall mind body experience. Pilates will challenge even the most in shape person.  It will sculpt your body in a way that no other exercise will do (at least in my experience).  Pilates has something for everyone just give it a try.  If you decide to try Pilates remember the six principles, concentrate, center, control, flow, precision and breathing.  Give yourself at least five sessions before giving up, I promise you, you will love the results.

I have being doing Pilates for almost two months and I am loving the shape of my body; days after a session I am walking around as if I'm wearing a corset.  People who i have seem in a couple of  weeks stop me to tell how great I looking and that I have lost a lot of weight. The funny thing is that I haven't lost enough weight to create a stir.  

Have you done Pilates? What were your experiences? 



Fitness Friday



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

30 Days of Water- Challenge

So Just grow already and Relaxed Thairapy has challenge us to drink at least 32 ounces of water a day for 30 days.  While I have being practicing healthy eating habits I am also a soda drinker.  So for the past few weeks I would refill the soda bottle or can with water to ensure that I was drinking as much water as soda; which is good but not great.

I have accepted the challenge and added an extra component to it for my own benefit.  I will not drink any soda or carbonated drink during this 30 day challenge, just pure crystal punch (aka water). After looking into every cabinet in my kitchen I finally found my SeaWorld cup which (yes , yes) is 32 ounces to be exact.  Yeah for overprice mementos.

So while we know that water is good for the skin, hair, nails, kidneys, and the body on a whole; it had me wondering what are some of the fruits and vegetables that are high in H2O.  It almost got me thinking if I eating more of these fruits and vegetable would they work the same way as drinking water?

So after combing  through various post in the interweb, I found that most of the fruits and vegetables that we are familiar with actually have very high water content. So I will supplement my water intact with a combination of these fruits and vegetables.

Fruits                                        Vegetable

Watermelon                                Cucumber
Strawberry                                  Eggplant
Grapefruit                                   Spinach
Cantaloupe                                 Tomato
Peaches                                       Cabbage
Pineapple                                    Broccoli
Oranges
Apricots
Apple
Grapes
Pears

These are just a few of the fruits and vegetables that has high water content. 

Have you taken the challenge?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Menu and exercise Schedule ( 11/10)

It is  extremely important to have a plan when you are focused on diet and weight loss.  Without a proper eating habit and healthy meals you will not achieve your desired weight or goals.  The hardest part of getting healthy was sticking to a healthy and consistent meal plan. My plan this week is to focus on eating foods that have high water contents.

Menu-

  • fruit salad ( strawberry, blueberry, peaches, grapes and pear)
  • Grilled Tilapia with Spinach avocado salad
  • Baked Chicken with Quinoa and Steamed veggies (broccoli and cauliflower)
  • Tuna Pasta Salad
I find it is best to prep your meats such as adding seasoning and putting into smaller packages before freezing. 

Exercise-
 
  • Monday - 45 minutes high intensity cardio 
  • Tuesday - 30 minutes zumba
  • Wednesday - an hour of body pump
  • Thursday - rest
  • Friday - an hour of Pilates
  • Saturday - an hour of cycling/Spin
  • Sunday- rest
Pilates kick my butt last week but I vow to conquer it.  I love how my body shape is changing and will continue to work for the body I want.

What healthy lifestyle practices do you have plan for the upcoming week?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wash day and Relaxer Touch-up

At fourteen weeks post I throw in the towel because I just could not deal with the shedding and tangled mess.  I really wanted to make it to sixteen weeks but sometimes you have to accept things for what they are.  I think the extra shedding I am experiencing is due to not doing a mid week co-wash to get rid of the sweat from my hair.  I exercise roughly five times per week and my hair is normally a sweaty mess, so it is essential I co-wash but with so much new growth it is almost a full fledged wash day so I have skipped it for the last three weeks.

So after much debate I decided to end my stretch.  Here is how my relaxer touch up and wash day went;

1-  Divided my hair in five sections before protecting the ends with Cantu Shea butter leave in conditioner. I then added two tablespoons of olive oil my Africa's Best relaxer.  I have been texlaxing for the last nine months and this is the method that works for me.











2- After I was finished applying the relaxer I added ORS creamy aloe shampoo to the ends and  proceed to rinse out the relaxer.  Once all the relaxer was out, I applied Palmers Coconut oil deep conditioner protein pack and covered with a plastic cap for ten minutes. This is the first time I am using this protein treatment and it left my hair feeling like a got a protein treatment.

3- After rinsing out the protein treatment I shampooed three times with ORS creamy aloe shampoo to ensure all the relaxer was out of my hair.











4- Deep conditioned with ORS replenishing conditioner under my conditioning cap for thirty minutes, after allowing my hair to cool, I rinsed with warm water followed by cold water. T-shirt dry for ten minutes the apply Aphogee Keratin & green tea restucturizer and allowed to air dry.

5- When my hair was about ninety percent dry I applied leave in of Creme of Nature strength and shine leave in conditioner and Ettenio Creme de la Creme daily moisturizer and OGX coconut anti breakage serum before roller setting with close to eighteen 2 inch rollers.






My next relaxer touch up will mark my one year anniversary of starting on my healthy hair journey. It was a very successful wash day and relaxer touch up.  

How was your wash day?


The Wash Day Experience



Friday, November 7, 2014

Recipes- Healthy Lifestyle

Tuna Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Pasta ( Shell or Rigatoni)
  • 2 5oz can of Albacore solid white tuna in water ( or the pouch)
  •  1/2 of an diced apple ( I typical use gala or honey-crisp)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup of chopped red and/or green peppers
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup of corn ( optional)
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • Italian seasonings ( basil, parsley, oregano and rosemary)
  • 1/2 cup of vidalia onion vinegarette
  • a dash of garlic powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

  • Boil pasta for 8-10 minutes then drain
  • In a skillet on low heat; heat olive oil before adding onions, tuna, peppers, Italian seasonings and garlic powder. Saute for about 2 to 3 minutes before adding carrots, cook for another minute before removing from heat.
  • Add pasta to skillet and mix together; once thoroughly incorporated add apples, corn and vinegarette and mix together
This yields about four 4 oz servings.

The apples gives it a nice refreshing crunch and can be eaten cold or room temperature.  I make this quite often because my son ask for  it all the time.  



 

Hope you find it as delicious as he does.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Menu and Exercise Schedule - (11/3)

I am starting off my third year of getting and staying healthy with a weekly meal and exercise plan.  The last two years I just went with the flow and it has worked out great for me.  However, I am slowly slipping back into old habits and that is not a place where I want to visit ever again.

Here is my plan for lunch and exercise this coming week:


Menu
  • Tuna Apple pasta Salad
  • Avocado Spinach Salad
  • Grilled Tilapia with brown rice and broccoli
  • Veggie patti topped with apple and cabbage salad.
I am looking forward to making these delicious meals. These are just a few of my favorite salads and will certainly make lunchtime (at the kool table) great.  

Exercise

  • Monday 40 minutes of Zumba
  • Tuesday 45 minutes of High Intensity Cardio
  • Wednesday 1 hour Body Pump
  • Thursday rest day
  • Friday 1 hour Pilates
  • Saturday 1 hour Cycling/Spinning
  • Sunday rest day
Exercise has become my favorite pastime and my gym has become the place where I am at peace, because it give me some much needed me time.

What are your healthy lifestyle plans for this upcoming week?