Friday, February 26, 2016

February is Cancer Prevention Month- Tools to cut your risk

February is national cancer prevention month and while some cancers aren’t preventable there are several that can be; such as Mesothelioma and skin cancer.   I am teaming up with the Mesothelioma + asbestos awareness center to bring you some tips on cancer prevention. Our lifestyle habits can expound on the cancerous cells that are already inside our body, these factors includes, being overweight, lack of vitamin D and smoking and household toxin.  The American cancer society states that about one half of all cancer deaths could have been prevented if healthier lifestyle choices were made.

Here are a few tools that can help to reduce if not prevent your cancer risk;

Do not smoke- Smoking has been linked with cancers such as lung, mouth throat, and kidney. Exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer. Avoiding or quitting the use of tobacco products is very important is the prevention of cancer. 

Maintain a healthy weight- Maintaining a healthy weight is not just about the numbers on the scale.  Maintain a healthy weight should incorporate lowering your body fat percentage and building more lean muscles.  In order to achieve a healthy weight you will need to 1) Exercise regularly, and 2) have a healthy diet.

  • Exercise regularly- It is recommended that an adult person be physically active for at least 30 minutes per day.  The more active you are the better you will feel and your body will become metabolic inferno. Even though taking the stairs or parking the car a little further are all good ideas you will need to incorporate more vigorous  and strength training exercises as you get stronger in order to build more lean muscles. 
  • Have a healthy diet- Having a healthy diet my not prevent cancer but it can lower your risk significantly.  It is best to avoid sugary drinks such as sodas, high calorie foods, salty foods, foods rich in fat and processed foods because they make you more susceptible to being overweight. Instead have a diet in which you consume a large variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, fiber rich foods, lean meat and fish.  This type of diet is conducive to a healthier and leaner body.


Protect your skin from the sun- Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers but is one of the most preventable.  Skin cancer is not limited to people of lighter complexion therefore always wear a sunscreen and ensure that your makeup and moisturizers has a SPF of 25 or better.  Even though we get most of our vitamin D (which is proven to be effective in preventing cancer) from the sun; staying out of the sun as much as possible to prevent skin damage from the rays from the sun.

Get immunized- Certain sexually transmitted viral infections such as Hepatitis B and HPV are linked to liver and cervical and genital cancers respectively.  The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults with high risk sex lives such as adults who are in multiply relationships.  The HPV vaccine is recommended for children between the age of 11 and 12, and adults under the age of 26.  It is recommended that the most effective prevention against these infections is to avoid risky behavior. 

Get annual medical care- It is recommended to visit your doctor at least once per year to have a comprehensive health screening. Having regular screening for various types of cancer can increase the chance of early discovery, when the treatments are most likely to be successful. When you visit your doctor, be prepared to ask him/her questions and voice your concerns.


Get your home inspected for toxin- On the top of the list for cancer prevention is reducing your exposure to environmental toxins.  These toxins can be found in common household cleaners, beauty products, non-stick cookware, drinking water and building materials.  We’ve all heard about or seen studies on the effects of plastics and BPA; lately in the news was the water crisis in Flint Michigan. 
It is advisable to have your home inspected for toxins. Asbestos is one of those toxins that is not yet band in the US. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which is directly linked to asbestos and it is important to check your home to make sure it is safe. 


While there are many factors including gene that can affect your risk of getting cancer; maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes a long way to minimize the risk.  Cancer prevention is in your hands and the reward will last a lifetime. 


Visit www.cancer.org and www.maacenter.org for resources on cancer prevention tools and other great resources.  If you need help with meal and diet planning www.choosemyplate.gov  is a great resource.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wash Day- Big Fluffy Runway Curls

Wash days always begins with a little trepidation, because once my hair is wet I can't just say forget it and move on to something else.  I will have to go through the whole routine until hair is back to the place where I'm most comfortable; which is dry and styled.  At the beginning of this wash day I was in the mood for straight relaxed type curls, but halfway through the routine I gave up on the idea because I didn't want to flat iron my hair.  However, in the end I ended up with big fluffy runway curls without flat ironing it.

Here is how this wash day went down;

Prepoo- detangled with my oil mix then applied prepoo with Shea Moisture JBCO strengthen grow & restore leave-in conditioner under a plastic cap and my head tie for an hour. I then rinsed the prepoo mixture out with warm water. This is a wonderful leave-in and it makes for an even better prepoo because it left my hair feeling so soft and moisturized. 

Shampoo- After getting rid of the excess water I shampooed my hair in two sections use my diluted Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut shampoo.  I lathered and ensure that my scalp was properly cleaned then I rinsed with warm water. 

Deep Conditioned- I deep conditioned with Crème of Nature Argan oil Intensive conditioning treatment conditionr and JBCO.  After applying the conditioner mixture I put on a plastic cap and sat under my conditioning cap for 30 minutes; I then allowed my hair to cool for another 30 minutes before rinsing.  I first rinsed with warm water then follow-up with cool water to close the cuticles. 

Leave-in and moisturizer- After rinsing out the deep conditioner I wrapped my head in a t-shirt for ten minutes to dry.  Sprayed with Crème of Nature strength and shine then allowed to air dry to about 60 percent before applying Kinky curly knot today leave-in detangler and detangled and put into four sections.    When the hair was about 90 percent dry I applied OGX coconut anti-breakage serum and blow dry each section on warm.  I then divided each section into smaller sections and applied Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer and perm rod set with roughly twenty perm rods. 





For some reason I longed to have curls like those I got from a roller set, hence the reason I did not add any curl enhancer to the set.  I love the big fluffy curls I got and could keep my hand out my hair because it felt so soft and moisturized.  
How was your #washdayexperience?

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Motivation- Life is full of test



Life is full of test; we can pass or fail.  However it is up to us, how we react to  the pain that comes our way.  You can lie down and die, or with God's strength,you can get up and fight.. You can place the blame on God or have faith in him. You can reject or accept what ultimately is your test.

When a curve ball is thrown our way, how are you going to handle it? Do you rely on your faith? Relying on your faith is never easy , but then anything worth having is never easy.

"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. you sit still and trust the engineer." Corrie Ten Boom



Believing and trusting something bigger than ourselves is the key to getting through and passing the difficult tests that life throws at us. Don't give up because there is always light at the other side of the tunnel.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wash Day- Eight months post and Loving It!


I can’t believe I made it this far; when I first decided to stretch my relaxer to six months I did not anticipate transitioning to natural.  However as the days and months went by I decided it was the next step in my journey to healthy hair.  I am currently eight months post and I love the look, the texture, the feel and also loving learning about my hair. 

Styling is still a work in progress for me because for many many years I wore my hair really straight, and even when I began texlaxing I went for the straight styles more often than not.  I currently have an average of five inches of natural hair so achieving a straight style is virtually impossible.




Anyway while I continue to learn here is how this week’s wash day went;

Prepoo and detangled with my oil mix; the oil mix consist of coconut, avocado and grapeseed oil. After detangling I put my hair into four sections and applied Cantu leave-in conditioning repair cream and covered with a plastic cap and my head tie for an hour and a half.

Shampoo- I wanted to really remove any build up I may have, so I shampooed with L’Oréal total repair 5 shampoo after removing the plastic cap.  As usual I only lathered once; even though this shampoo leaves my hair feeling a little dry I like it because it gives me the clean I want and it has ceramides. Therefore it is a win-win in my humble opinion.

Deep Condition- After rinsing out the shampoo I deep conditioned with Shea Moisture raw Shea butter Deep Treatment Masque and Jamaican Black Castor Oil, under my conditioning cap for thirty minutes. I then allowed the hair to cool before rinsing with warm water.  My hair did not feel super moisturizer so I followed up with a Shea Moisture 10 in 1 conditioner and left on for five minutes.  I rinsed out the conditioner with warm water and followed up with cool water to close the cuticles. I like the results of the extra shot of conditioning it left my hair feeling moisturized.




Leave-in and Moisturizer- After rinsing out the conditioner I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to remove the excess water.  Then I sprayed the hair with Crème of Nature strength and shine, detangled and left to air dry in five twists.  When the hair was above 80 percent air dry I applied Kinky curly knot today to each section and blow dry on cool.  I then divided each section into smaller sections trim the uneven ends and applied Cantu coconut curling cream and install 18 flexi rod for a flexi rod set.


I am quite surprised how well my transitioning is going; I was prepared for the tangles and trouble combining textures.  However, so far my biggest challenge to date is maintaining my curls but I’m learning and will continue to adapt.

Did you transition if so how did you find the experience? How was your #washdayexperience?


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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is the celebration of love.  Love in all forms; such as love between lovers, love between friends, love within family and most important of all love for oneself.  I know most single people dread this day but I'm here to tell you,you have to be your own great love.



So don't despair that no one will send you flowers or chocolate because you can treat yourself to the great things on this day of love.  if you aren't so much into self love like myself then it may be a day to hide; because every person you come into contact with will wan t to wish you a happy valentine's Day. As with everything there is a silver lining, just think you can gift yourself exactly what you want and don't have the added stress of getting a gift for someone else.

Whatever your status may be,  make sure you are spending the day in the company of people who loves you and who you love and have a Great Valentine's Day.



Friday, February 12, 2016

Weight Loss In Review -January

I made 2016 the year of change, therefore I began my renewed push to become a healthier and foxier me.  This includes not only exercise and diet but also how I view myself and the world.  Having a healthy outlook is essential to a healthy lifestyle and body.

I renewed my commitment to how and what I eat along with my emphasis on more comprehensive exercises.  Each meal consists of a protein, a carb (which is always a healthy grain) and vegetables; my snacks include fruits and protein (I vary to include diary). I am currently trying to stick to a 1600 a day calorie diet on weekdays, which works really well for me.  On the weekends I bump up my calorie intake to 1800 because I am much more active on the weekend. 


In the month of January I lost 2.7 pounds this month (high-five, twirl and silly grin) anyway here is how I did it.

Recap:

In the month of January I exercised five days per week, each day I tried to pair weight training and cardio to ensure maximum results. My incorporated Kickboxing, weight training, cardio sculpt, Jump tones (trampoline/Tabatha), Pilates, salsa, Zumba and yoga stretch into my routine to ensure that I do not plateau and also to have some fun. 
Each work day I packed my breakfast, Lunch and snacks. There are days that I feel as if I’m packing food for a picnic but in do so I am able to maintain and monitor my food intake.  I do my food prep on Sunday’s and make sure that I have enough variety to keep me interested and satisfied throughout the week.

My goals for February are as follows
  • Continue with my exercise routine…… maybe add another level of intensity
  • Continue with my meal prep and packing my foods for the day.
  • I will work on keeping a proper food journal; so far I haven’t done a great job at maintaining one.


I am doing my best to achieve my health and fitness goals for 2016; I believe my exercise and diet regimen will get me the results I desire.

What are your health and fitness goal? How do you plan on achieving them?



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dating websites- The Best and Worst

Okay so dating in this digital age is quite complex especially if you are a mom and a divorcee.  Gone are the days when I would go bar hopping after working, or attend a party mid-week.  These days my dating pool is limited to internet dating sites because it is convenient and I could sift through the garbage and I also don’t have to get a babysitter.  Internet dating is not only murky and scary but it is also expensive.  I have tried a various dating sites both free and paid and I personally feel they aren’t much difference when it comes to the type of people in the pool.  I still prefer the old fashion face to face meeting type of dating over the new age digital dating.



Here is a breakdown of the plus and minus of the four internet dating sites I used; they are not ranked in any particular order. The three things that I think are important are 1) cost 2) ease of use 3) does it have resources.

Ok Cupid (OKC) - Best Free site

                Cost: Free but you can subscribe to their A-List which will cost $70 annually

                Ease of use:  It is very user friendly per my experience. When your first sign up you are asked to completely a very lengthy profile. The questions are geared towards building a good profile which will find the best match for you. One of the drawback is that you don’t have to fill out the profile section or add any pictures to have a profile.

                Does it have resources? Ok Cupid Quick Match feature is very handy and will find more interesting people with it than you just browse through the thousands of profiles.  
There are some exclusive features that are only available to the A-List; did not sign up for it because I didn’t feel I’ll get a better experience. There is way too much scam artist looking to catfish you on this site, however I did meet a few interesting people.

Plenty of Fish (POF)- Is basically a hook-up site

                Cost: Free

                Ease of use:  It is very user friendly per my experience. When you first sign up you have to complete a Relationship Chemistry Predictor Test. The test is basically tries to measure your self-control, how easy going you are, your confidence and social dependency. 

                Does it have resources? Plenty-O-Fish has a speed match feature called Meet Me, which basically match you with singles in your area with similar interest and makes it easier.
This is a great site because it does offer that psychology test, and tends to point you to more compatible matches. The one drawback that I’ve encountered on this site is that people are on there looking for hook-ups. 

Match.com – has a diverse population

Cost:  $23.99 per month (based on a six months subscription)

                Ease of use:  It is very user friendly per my experience; just sign –up you create a profile by answer questions in three categories which are 1) about me, 2) about your date and 3) in your own words.  Once you have completed the profile you can begin sending messages.

                Does it have resources? Match.com has a wonderful resource call events, which basically are meet-up opportunity in your area.  These opportunity ranges from bowling to a Ski weekend which gives you the opportunity to meet singles in a fun setting.
This is a great site, and you find less of the crazy business you find on the free sites.  The pool is quite large so you will need to be dedicated in order to find potential dates. 

E-Harmony- Long-term serious based on specific

Cost: $39.95 per month (based on a six months subscription)

                Ease of use:  I find this to be a very complex site in my very humble opinion.  Once you are signed up you need to complete their compatible test before you can really browse the site.  Although they try matching you with the man of your dreams, I find the questions are too literal and quite restrictive. 

                Does it have resources? E-Harmony best resource is their compatibility test; however I do not feel that it real captures who you are or really works.
This is a so-so site, for the price and what they offer in their promos.   I find that they match you with random people who may or may-not be activate members who aren’t even in your search criteria. I have yet to communicate with one person who is compatible.



I find that the dating pool is larger on the free or cheaper sites such as OK Cupid and Match.com versus the more expensive sites like E-Harmony.  There’re people out there looking for hook-up and also to scam you.  So be careful and try not to give out too much personal info and use your best judgement.


Have you tried online dating what are some of your take aways?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wash Day - My Afro

Have you ever woke up one morning and just feeling fabulous? Well, I had one such morning recently and let me you I still felt fabulous at the end of the day.  Even though my perm rod set did not make it all the way to work, and my new boo asking me what’s up with the hair; my spirit did not take a hit.  The reason for my spirit being so high was how big, fluffy, healthy and beautiful my hair looked (yep cloudy nine, I tell yuh). 



Anyway here is how my wash day went down;

Prepoo and detangled with a coconut and avocado oil mix, and put into two sections then sat under the conditioning cap for 20 minutes to allow the oil to melt into my hair. 

Deep Condition- I allowed the hair to cool for about an hour; and during that time I decided not to shampoo my hair.  Instead I deep conditioned with Crème of Nature Intensive conditioning treatment under the conditioning cap for 45 minutes before allowing the hair to cool.  Once the hair was cool I rinsed out the conditioner with warm water and followed up with cool water when I was sure all the product was out my hair.

Leave-in and Moisturizer- After rinsing out the conditioner I wrapped my head in a t-shirt for 15 minutes to get out the excess water.  I then spray each section with Crème of Nature Strength and shine leave in conditioner and left to air dry.  When the hair was about 90 percent dry I divided each section into two and applied Kinky Curly Knot today and detangled.  Once a section was properly detangled I applied OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum and blow dry on warm, until all four sections was completed. 



Styling- I was loving the look of my blow out so I decided to do a perm rod set with 2 inch perm rods so I could have big hair in the morning.  I then applied Cantu coconut curling cream to small sections and installed roughly 12 rods.

In the morning I have nice fluffy curls with enough bounce to make a girl happy, but I guess the hair God’s must not like me. Because when I got to work after putting on my hoody because we had snow my hair was flat.  So as you can see in the picture I did a flat twist on one side to add some sass to it and went on feeling fabulous.


How was your #washdayexperience? 


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Friday, February 5, 2016

My Favorite Workout Playlist

When I go for a run whether it be on the treadmill or at the park I need to have blood pumping music to get me through it.  I have a very eclectic taste in music so my favorite playlist have a wide variety of music, but the one constant that my gym playlist (and I have several) has is an up-tempo beat with tons of bass.   I need music to soothe me and get me through the difficult moments and this playlist does it for me. 

Even though I have several playlist to suit my different mood this particular one is the one I use when I’m not motivated and I need the extra push to get me going.  

Here is the playlist in no particular order;

Rock that Body- Black Eye Peas
I gotta feeling- Black Eye Peas
Burn- Ellie Goulding
Good to be Alive (Hallelujah)  - Andy Grammer
Batty Rider- Buju Banton
Buju Movin- Buju Banton
Big it up – Buju Banton
Bogle- Beenie Man
Dude- Beenie Man & Ms. Thing
Cock up yuh bumper- Elephant man
Machine Gun Kelly- Spragga Benz
Turn down for what- DJ Shake & Lil John
One drop- Qq & Venomus
Uptown funk – Bruno Mars
Bruk it down- Mr. Vegas
Cheerleader - Omi
I’m drinking/ rum and red bull- Beenie Man & Fambo
Don’t stop the party – Pitbull
As we enter- Damian “Jr Gong” Marley
Pull it up-  Beres Hammond & Buju Banton
Super Bass – Nicki Minaj
Scream and shout – Will.i.am
Til it Bend- Buju Banton
Trumpets- Jason Derulo
Imma Be- Black Eye Peas
Coco – O.T Genasis
Back in time - Pitbull

This playlist is about 90 minutes long so it is perfect for a long run or when you are spending quality time in the gym.  I know you must notice the heavy reggae influence and it is probably the main theme, other that these are just the songs at the moment to makes me wanna dance.   

What songs or artist do you have on your favorite playlist?  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wash Day- Moisture, Moisture

I dub this wash day Shea Moisture city because the two products I used from them had me on cloud nine.  Anyway, I now have more than my share of share moisture products, because my mom saw them on sale and bought me quite a few.

Here is how this wash day went down;

Prepoo-Detangle with coconut oil and prepoo with Shea Moisture JBCO Strengthen, Grow and Restore leave-in conditioner under my conditioning cap for 30 minutes. The reason I used this particular product as a prepoo was I have one too many jars of it and I didn’t want it to expire before I used them all up.  This is a wonderful leave-in and is also a wonderful prepoo, because my hair was moisturized.

Shampoo- After rinsing out the prepoo mix I shampooed with my diluted Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut detangling conditioning shampoo, as usual I lather only once. I know that most of us have moved over to co-wash but this shampoo is the BOMB.


Deep Condition-  I deep conditioned with the Shea Moisture Superfruit complex 10 in 1 renewal system conditioner mixed with avocado and grapeseed oil under the conditioning cap for 30 minutes.  I rinsed with warm water followed by cool water to close the cuticle.  After rinsing I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt to dry.  I raved so much about the Masque that I’m sure I wasn’t going to be disappointed.  Well the moisture and softness of my hair blew me away. 

Leave-in and Moisturizer- When my hair was about 70 percent dry I remove the t-shirt and allowed it to air dry to 95 percent.  I then applied KCKT and detangled and divided my hair into four sections.  Applied Cantu coconut curling cream to each section and set with 18 1 ½ inch perm rods.
I had big beautiful bouncy curls that had me feeling like a beauty queen.  Unfortunately it did not last beyond the morning because this day had to be the warmest day in forever and raining cats and dogs.  The one take away was that even though I lost all my curls my hair was still your soft and moisturized. 


I don’t like using holding products but may need to start investing in some.  What are so good holding products you’ve used?

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Motivation- Take Care of yourself

Even though taking care of yourself is quite a simple idea, sometimes we put ourselves on the back burner and forget to do so.  The world has a way of closing in on us whether it is a new baby, becoming a caregiver for aging parents, or starting a new business. These challenges can cause us to lose ourselves while trying to survive. In our selfless acts we forget that we need care also, so our mental and physical health and even our appearance suffers.  

The need to take care of you isn’t about will-power but is about self-preservation and self-love. In order to be the best to our love ones we have to be the best to ourselves. There are various ways to take a little time out for you, such as meditating, take a bubble bath, exercising, have lunch with friends, getting a new hairstyle, go shopping for a new pair of shoes or a new piece of clothing,  or get a manicure and a pedicure.


Using self-affirmations, and showing yourself some love is key and very important in maintaining a healthier you.