Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Inspiration

The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you

-Numbers 6:25

Temptation is everywhere…

The last couple of days I’ve watched people eat; eat whatever they want when they wanted healthy or not. At times I wanted to join them and put some of that yummy goodness in my belly. Then there were times where I secretly criticized them to myself about how much fat, sugar, or salt the food item contained. Each day I’m learning more and more about healthy eating and living a vegetarian lifestyle. The information is pretty much the same despite the source which is great because for me that’s less confusion.

The cravings I’m having start because of boredom or simply hunger. The new approach is to just simply eat something or drink a cup of water to ease the craving. This approach usually does the trick because most times I’m hungry and it’s simply lunch or snack time. Additionally, hunger can be a sign of dehydration so the next time you feel hungry grab a cup of water.

How many cups of water did you have today?

The Road to a Perfect Smile

A couple of months ago I decided to purchase invisalign to fix my smile. Growing up I was teased because I had beaver teeth. Slowly as I got older I grew into my smile and now most people cannot notice. Now here is the perfect place to add a childhood picture but unfortunately I do not have one. However, I will post recent pictures of my smile.

The road to a perfect smile is only 8 months and I’m excited about that. Every two week my dentist instructed me to switch out the trays. The goal is to wear the trays at least 22 hours a day excluding meal and snack times. The first day or so of wearing them was a little weird. First there was the tightness around my teeth and then the slight speech impediment.

Now no one at my job noticed that my speech sounded funny but I can hear oddly. Friends and family didn’t notice the difference either. Words that start with “s” or end with a “t” pose the most difficulty and for these words I make a conscious effort to speak clearly. Any who as my journey continues I’ll keep you ladies posted.

This is a picture of my teeth without my trays. Can you see the "anchors" onthe side of my teeth to help give the snug fit.

Here is a picture with my trays. Believe me, I have the trays on in this picture. So far no one at my job has noticed them or commented on my speech.

Do you have or know someone with invisalign?

Confessions – Tangled and Knotted Hair

Between the massive heat wave, exercise routines, work, and business my hair has taken the back burner. For the last couple of weeks I’ve washed and conditioned in the shower or co-washed without properly detangling or deep conditioning. The result after weeks of this and sporting my favorite protective style was massive tangles and knotted hair.

Luckily the tangles and knots did not lead to massive hair loss but I did lose more than normal. Even though I co-washed mid week to add moisture my hair was still dry. Last wash day I decided to give my hair some much needed attention. For detangling my hair is divided up into four sections. In each section I took smaller sections detangled, moisturized and twisted. That night I slept with my silk bonnet with hopes to a decent twist out the next day.

Normally flat twists give me the desired look since my hair is on the thin side. To my surprise I had the best and biggest twist out ever. Amazingly, soft moisturized tangle free hair over night that I absolutely love. Every night I re-moisturized, twisted my hair up, and slept with my bonnet. Since my workouts are in the mornings after untwisting my hair is pinned up in a protective style. The twists give my protective style texture which is adorable to me.

In order to reach my end of the year goal I have to get back on track. This is my new routine until the end of the year.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekly Inspiration

"As a deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God"
- Psalm 42:1

Hair Update

 Since I did not post an "official" length at the end of June here is a comparision picture of my afro puff. June through August were very busy and challenging for me. As you know my niece came to live with me in July and trust I have a new found respect for "single mothers".

Any way, here are my afro pics.

July 2010 - right after my big chop

July 2011
I should have taken the picture at the same angle.
This is my favorite protective style at the moment. A simple twist in the front to side with the rest of my hair in a banana clip rolled and tucked. Very Cute!!

Here is a picture of my wash n go after I diffused my hair. The picture is really dark but my hair was way cute. This style was very fun and carefree. Since the summer months are ranging in the low 100s this style is not an every day style for me. The sun bakes my hair and makes it very dry so I stick to protective styling 95% of the time.

Here is a picture of me and Kiddie Kurls when she first arrived.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Netted Bun

Today I received many compliments on my hair in its simplicity. Just a simple high bun I created using my hair net and banana clip. Since I received so many compliments I took pictures to share. For this style nothing special was used but I received a lot of compliments that my hair looks really shiney.

Giovanni 50/50 Moisturizing Shampoo
Giovanni 50/50 Conditioner (left in hair until finished bathing, cool water rinse)
Givoanni - Direct Leave in Conditioneer (leave in conditioner)
Eco Styler Gel

Banana clip
Hair Net
2 Goody bobby pins

Hope you are having a Wonderful Hump Day!!

No Meat/Dairy/Sugar 3 Week Challenge – Day 4

Today, September 1 (previously written), is day 4 and I must admit I’m doing pretty well staying away from meat, dairy and sugar. So far I haven’t experienced any uncontrollable meat and dairy cravings which is surprising. Actually, I thought staying away from meat will pose a great challenge. However, it’s only day 4 so I’ll hold that thought.

Even though I have not consumed meat I make sure to get a daily source of protein. The main protein source for this week was black beans which I love. On day 2 I tried a tofu pad thai frozen dish that was really good. Shockingly, the tofu did not taste “different” and I’m sure a meat lover would have loved the dish as well. For the last three days I have self analyzed myself trying to see a difference in my energy levels. Every morning I get up and work out for 30 minutes. Currently, my work out DVD of choice is Jillian Michael Ripped in 30.

Honestly, I feel lighter and not weighed down. Usually, after eating lunch I’m literally nodding at my desk at work. These last three days that was not case and I’m very alert. Mid afternoon the sluggish feeling has disappeared the last three days. Most importantly I’m regular and eliminate daily which is HUGE because my digestive system is getting on track. Daily elimination is pertinent for releasing toxins from your body.

There might be something to the vegetarian diet after all!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Meat/Dairy/Sugar 3 Week Challenge – Day 1

As you know I’ve started reading “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone as part of my vegetarianism research. In the book she has a chapter called Flirting which basically gives tips on how to flirt with the idea of vegetarianism. The next three weeks I plan to do just that, flirt. The goal is to stay away from meat, dairy, and white sugar. I know the plan was to start after I return from Europe but the anticipation is getting the best of me. There is one exception: I can eat meat once a week.

Why the exception? Because the challenge ends right before my trip to Europe and I want to avoid any sickness for consuming meat. After abstaining for so long your body gets used to not having meat and reintroducing it is not pretty. To avoid getting sick and setbacks having meat once a week should help. The meat I consume has to be organic chicken or turkey, and wild fish. That’s it!!

Today, August 29 (previously written), is day 1 and for breakfast I had a strawberry/vanilla protein shake with two pieces of whole wheat toast. For lunch was black beans topped with jasmine rice and green beans. In between these two meals I ate organic baby carrots and 2 mandarins. I feel really light and satisfied but for some reason want chocolate. The funny thing is I’m not craving it or on an emotional roller coaster, I just want it. Because this is really odd I decided to start documenting my journey and writing this down. Hopefully the writing will help me to stay focused and away from candy.

The challenge is only three weeks and I’m really trying to lose 5 pounds before my trip. If I do not reach the 5lb mark then no worries.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekly Inspiration

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path"

-Psalm 119:105

Thoughts on turning 50...

The inspiration for this list came from this post. This post stuck with me for days and I even shared it with one of my best friends. Over and over I kept thinking about this question, “When I’m in my 50s, is there anything about my life I would have wished I done differently?”

Instead of just thinking about it I decided to take action. Check out my list below that I will work on now in my 30s and 40s. The goal is to not have any regrets when I turn 50. You should create your list today and get started with me!

1. Travel whenever possible

2. Spend more time with myself, family and friends

3. Focus on and grow my business

4. Eliminate credit card debt forever

5. Continue to make fitness my lifestyle

6. Try a new way of eating like vegetarianism

7. Grow my natural hair to waist length

8. Love hard and unconditionally

9. Give complaints all the time and learn to accept them

10. Build a solid spiritual foundation

No Meat/Dairy/Sugar 3 Week Challenge

Reaching the age 35 is such an amazing milestone and I’m so blessed to reach this age. In efforts to continue my healthy living lifestyle I decided to embark on another journey. Currently, I’m researching vegetarianism. That’s right! This change is solely for the purpose of losing weight. When I turn 50 I do not want to look back on my 30s and wonder “what if”. So the time to start is now.

Just in case you are wondering, no I am not obsessed with having the “perfect” body. However, I am a little down about the lack of results even though I work out and eat fairly well 90% of time. Maybe 85% of the time I eat well because deprivation is not an option for me: moderation is the key. Despite my efforts there is something not adding up and it has to do with my eating habits. Ultimately, I want to become the best “Me” possible and it starts with my diet.

Now to avoid becoming what most call the “junk food” vegetarian I’m doing a lot of research. So far I’ve watch documentaries such as “Food, Inc.”, “Food Matters”, and “The Future of Food” just to name a few. Also, I’m currently reading “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone. Changing from meat to no meat is a process and I plan to take my time and do it right. The next month is all about research so when I return from Europe (35th birthday self-gift) it’s full throttle right into it. I chose to wait until my return because honestly I do not want to think “hard” about food and have set backs in Europe.

Even though my sole purpose is losing weight, I’m anxious to see how different my body will react to my new lifestyle.