Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Funny how times change!

Before starting my blog I kept a journal detailing my weekly hair routine. Each week I jotted down the products used and the effects on my hair. Detailed were my struggles, successes, frustrations, and random thoughts about my hair care journey. Just the other day I thumb through my journal to find the exact day of my last relaxer. March 14, 2009 was my last relaxer and my thoughts for that day are complete opposite of how I feel today.

3/14/09 Today is relaxer day! Yay!! I was so excited to finally get my relaxer. 14 week stretch is definitely my max. Before going to the shop I sprayed my hair with glycerin and rose water. I mainly focused on my roots. Arria mentioned that my hair was very well moisturized and what I’ve been doing seem to work. She also mentioned that my hair is definitely getting thicker. That is a major plus. In order to keep up with my no heat challenge, I got a rod set and no trim. I plan to blow dry my hair straight for a length check to post at the end of the month. This will only happen when length checks are done.

Reading this entry in my journal 15 months later made me chuckle at the thought that then 14 weeks of stretching was a big deal. At that time, I started a personal challenge for myself to stay away from thermal heat for a year which worked out pretty well. Also, I decided to experiment with trimming my own hair because it seemed my stylist, at the time, was cutting off my progress. Here are a couple of pics of my relaxed hair. There is a three month time lapse between the first two pictures. These pics were taken after my relaxer and trim. After the second stretch I was fed up and started watching you tube videos on how to trim. Three months after my last trim in December 2008 I retained some length.

September 2009

December 2008

March 2009

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

When I die I will be happy; because Jesus will love me with my hair nappy.

--Rochelle Nichols

The meaning of Break – fast

Have you ever thought about the meaning of break-fast besides the obvious? The obvious is “breakfast is the first meal of the day and experts proclaim the most important”.

According to, breakfast is the first meal of the day. The word is a compound of "break" and "fast," referring to the conclusion of fasting since the previous day's last meal.

Here is a quote from my South Beach Diet cookbook:

South Beach Diet, “one important study proved that starting the morning with processed carbs – a bagel, say – will stimulate cravings for more of the same throughout the day. The same research has shown that a breakfast of good proteins and fats – like a cheese and vegetable omelet – will actually keep those urges away. Eggs, vegetables, and lean meats are all the healthy ways to start the day.

Here is a healthy, quick, and tasty recipe your family will enjoy

Sausage Cheese Breakfast Cups
4 oz turkey sausage or crumbled turkey bacon
½ green pepper
¼ onion
5 large eggs
1 can (12 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Coat a 6 cup nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups. In a medium nonstick skillet, cook the sausage, pepper, and onion for 5 minutes or until sausage is done. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and cool slightly. Stir in the eggs and mushrooms. Evenly divide the mixture among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until egg is set. Enjoy!!

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America

For some reason, I believed this book will simply talk about how to maintain natural hair. After reading the first chapter it was obvious my initial thought was wrong. This book speaks about the history behind African American texture hair dating back to pre-slavery days. For anyone who enjoy history lessons and preferably about our hair this book is a must read.

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in AmericaFor some reason in today’s time there is a battle between relaxed and natural sisters. Now personally, I do not understand the battle because it is pure nonsense. When I think of natural hair and the issues surrounding it, my thoughts lie with women. However, in Hair Story the book talks about the issues with natural hair faced with both men and women. Our black men experienced struggles with accepting their natural hair and conforming to what society deemed as “acceptable”. My favorite quote from the book was by Rochelle Nichols. Nichols decided to go against “the norm” and her mother’s disparagement to embrace her natural hair. She was quoted in the book, “When I die I will be happy; because Jesus will love me with my hair nappy”. I love it!

Again, the book details the history of black hair from year 1400-2000. It was amazing to read how proud our ancestors were of their hair. Sadly, today many of us are afraid to know our natural hair. This book details the love/hate relationship blacks have with their hair for centuries. Additionally, the book gives a chronological time line of the cultural and political aspects behind the changes in black hair. This book is great for understanding the history of our hair; a must read for anyone who desires to know the roots of black hair in America.

How to take off those last 10 pounds

Ask the Expert
by Jillian Michaels

You know what I like to call those last 10 or 15 pounds that won't come off no matter what you do? Vanity pounds.

The term describes our desire to lose weight that, as far as our bodies are concerned, actually feels healthy. Today's society pressures us to want to look a certain way, so for aesthetic reasons we try to be thinner than our bodies want us to be. Personally, I have gained and lost the same 8 vanity pounds more times than I care to admit.

Losing your first 50 pounds might have been tough, but believe me, dropping those final few stubborn pounds is a whole different challenge. The body struggles to hold on to that last bit of fat for survival purposes.

Now, don't get me wrong — you can lose the weight if you want to, but it will require you to muster a tremendous amount of restraint and willpower. If you're really up for it, do the following for 30 days:

1. Cut your sodium to 1,000 mg a day.

2. Drink at least 80 ounces of water daily.

3. Cut out processed foods.

4. Abstain from alcohol.

5. Train at 85 percent of your MHR (maximum heart rate) for 1 hour 5 times a week.

You can do a lot in 30 days — in fact, I can pretty much guarantee you will lose at least 5 pounds. And you'll feel like a rock star!

Put your Best Foot forward

The summer months are here which means open toed sandals and pedicures are a must. Remember to protect your feet during the summer just as you would any other part of your body. Check out this article on ABC News that gives great summer tips.

So go on ladies and put your best foot forward.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weight Loss Tip 1 - Stock your Refrigerator

Today is my normal 1 mile jogging/walking routine with RJ. Before heading out to the park I needed to replenish my body with nutrients. Well my refrigerator is completely empty and I really need to eat; so what did I do? I went to McDonald's. Yes, I know a really BIG NO NO. To minimize the blow I ordered the Mac Snack Wrap which is not the healthiest choice but in my mind better than the Big Mac. Besides I'm going to park right after leaving the drive thru right. HA!

So I notice that McDonald's now have the nutrient labels on their food packages. Check out the label for their bacon egg McGriddles.

Calories - 420
Protein - 16g
Fat - 19g
Carbs - 48g
Sodium - 1190 mg

Now this wrapper did not display the nutrient value for the Mac Snack Wrap but after noticing the change I had to share with you guys. Again this is at McDonald's so I'm not sure if other fast food companies are doing the same.

For the nutrition facts on the Mac Snack Wrap, I went to for the info:
Calories - 330
Protein - 15g
Fat - 19g
Carbs - 26g
Sodium - 690 mg

The next time you cave in to fast food take a look at the wrapper as motivation not to make the same mistake next time. I did. Have a great weekend ladies!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Banishing FAT in the oddest places

Today I took a moment to enjoy some kettle corn and bask in mindless thoughts. While eating the kettle corn I noticed the ring on my finger. Sometime while typing away on my computer I moved my ring to my middle finger because it was constantly sliding off. Then I thought to myself “I lose fat in the weirdest places”. Not only are my rings too big but my shoes doesn’t seem to fit either.

Every time weight loss happens it comes off in my hands and feet. How odd? There are a million other places I prefer to lose the weight such as: my thighs, arms, and buttocks to name a few. Unfortunately, I can not target a specific spot to reduce fat. The body determines which areas to burn fat . All I can do is continue my cardio workouts and force my body to reduce fat from my trouble zones. Ladies please weigh in, have you noticed fat loss in odd places?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

An old wise tale…temptation leans on the door bell while opportunity only knocks once.

Stella (CSI NY)

A Summer Vacay...

…from manipulating and styling my hair. Now that I’m 15 months into my transition, protective styles are a life saver from the battle of the textures. For now I plan to have my hair braided for the summer, a routine I followed even while relaxed. The heat here in Texas is unbearable so I rather not deal with my hair during the HOTEST months of the year. While my hair is tucked away for the summer I plan to do my own research on hair in general.

A couple a years ago I bought Cathy Howse’s book on hair growth and plan to revisit it as a refresher. Additionally, I plan to pick up other books such as: Don’t Go Shopping for Hair-Care Products Without Me and Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. Of course research will be documented right here on my blog for all to view. Since my transition started I’ve ran across so many different views on products, techniques, etc…that the process can seem overwhelming. The plan is to take matters in my own hands by researching and getting an idea of what may or may not work for my hair. While in research mode, I plan to explore other topics such as health, fitness, and finances. Hopefully, you guys don’t get bored with all my future babbling. Until next time…

Organic Rice Noodle

This rice noodle surprising was very tasty. This noodle substitute replaced my wheat pasta and has less calories, fat, and carbohydrates. Give this noodle a try with the Italian Herb Chicken Recipe. Enjoy!

Prepare noodles according to package.

Italian herb chicken

16 oz can crushed Italian Herb tomatoes
½ red onion
2lbs Chicken
Favorite seasonings

Season your chicken with your favorite seasonings then place in a baking dish. Spread the crushed tomatoes on top of the chicken. Next cut red onions in whole rings and place on top of the crushed tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 30-40 minutes (cooking times vary according to meat).

Top noodles with Italian herb chicken and serve. Yummy!

Are gym workouts in or out?

The last time I stepped foot in a gym was in March before heading to Atlanta for a wedding. Since then I’ve worked out with Jillian Michael’s DVDs at home. Honestly, I have no desire to head back to the gym. Right across the street from my house is a park with a weight room if I get the urge to run on the treadmill. Working out in the comfort of my home is nice and I honestly did not think I could do it. At home workouts are convenient for me since I have to walk RJ for his daily cardio.

The trick I use on myself is change into my workout gear as soon as hit the door. Then I eat dinner and rest for the next hour before starting my workout. Usually at 7pm I’m starting my workout and done by 8. Since March I lost an additional 10 pounds, gained two, then lost two pounds, and now in the process of busting through another plateau.

For now, going to the gym is not in my immediate future. Confidently, I can say renewing my membership next year is out the question.

My Next Hair Style

You ladies will get the inclusive once I have my new hair style.
--Alicia Keys inspired look

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

"I believe that we cannot live better than in seeking to become still better than we are."


…another one bites the dust

Recently, I found out that my sister decided to relax my niece’s hair. Disappointment is an understatement regarding my feelings. My niece is 8 years old and had beautiful natural hair that is now relaxed. I’m sure the ridicule my sister received about her own hair weighed heavily on her decision. Of course my niece is in love with her long straight locks but then I wonder…Did she love her natural curls and kinks? This question remains unanswered for now but I plan to have a conversation with my niece. I just want to know her true thoughts about her hair before and now after the relaxer. As my memory serves, I cannot recall any frustration from my niece about her curly locks. Of course she loved to wear her flat iron because she loved her length. Any deeper issues regarding her hair went unnoticed by me.

Whether relax or natural our goal is still the same, to have healthy hair. I’m sure my sister realizes that the relaxer is not a substitute for healthy hair practices. However, the journey still continues with me and my mom. Right now my mom still possesses no desire to relax and I’m in the same boat. Now I will admit that cutting the rest of my relax ends is still at the forefront of my thoughts. I’ll discuss further in a future post. Until next time…

Crochet Love

Eight weeks and I’m receiving more and more compliments on my crochet braids. The older the style the better and more natural it looks. Every week cleansing and oiling my scalp with my trusty oil mix is the routine to make sure my hair is moisturized. So far I’m still in love with the style and still feel fierce. I decided to keep the style up for another month as long as my curls continue to look fresh and crisp. Since I plan to keep my hair tucked away and protected the search for the next hair style is ongoing. For inspiration, I’m searing different looks by Alicia Keys.

In the meantime, in order to keep my curls crisp and frizz at bay I simply just cut the frizzy parts. That’s it! Since none of my hair is exposed because underneath the curly hair my hair is corn rolled I’m comfortable with cutting the frizzy parts. The beauty is I do not have to worry about un-even curls because the wilder my hair looks the more people love it. Funny huh?! Of course I plan to keep you guys in the loop for the next big style. Until next time…

Searching for frizz to destroy by cutting away

side view of curls

crisp curls 8 weeks later


Be Jeweled

On my last trip to Atlanta, my girlfriend wore jeweled flats that were to die for. Of course once I returned to Houston the hunt for cute jeweled sandals was on. Here is the first pair so far. Stay tuned for more as I find and buy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."


…then there were two

For Mother’s Day I spent the weekend in Atlanta with my mom, family, and friends. I had a great time. My mom wanted to see Iron Man 2 so her wish was my command and we had a great time. For the past two years my little sister has been wearing protective styles while growing out her natural hair. Now that she was wearing her hair out I was excited and a little disappointed to see her.

The reason I was disappointed is because my sister decided to relax. Unfortunately, she was unable to bear through the ridicule from other ethnicities regarding her hair. She told me she was tired of going to work and explaining and educating others about her hair. In addition, not finding the right products for her hair type seemed more trouble and tiresome. So she decided to go back to the creamy crack. Of course I gave her words of encouragement about not caring about what others think. Moreover, I told her to make sure she keeps up with her hair’s maintenance because she can have healthy relaxed hair. She vowed she would and she only plans to relax once a year. Surprisingly, she has no problem with transitioning again if she chose. The next time around she plans to grow out her hair instead of doing the big chop. At least there is hope she will try the natural route again and maybe the next she will stick to it.

On the flip side, my niece is still natural and my sister has no plans on her relaxing her hair. My mom is still hanging in there AND she decided to get tree braids for her protective style after seeing my hair. She also concocted a conditioning mist for her scalp to keep in the added moisture. For her hair tools arsenal I gave her a shower comb to easily detangle her hair because she is about 90% natural. All in all, I had a fun trip as always and can’t wait for the next one. Take care!

Losing it with Jillian

If you are familiar with my blog you know that right now I am a Jillian Michaels fan. Her DVDs and online tips helped me bust through my plateau which at the time I weighted 142lbs. Last week was the premiere of her new show “Losing with Jillian”. Every week, I plan to glue myself to the TV to learn any new tips I can.

Sex and the City2

Since I’m a huge fan here are some of my favs from the movie…