Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weekly Inspiration

A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something.

2yrs 100% Natural

July 9th marked my two nappiversary and the day came and went without me noticing which is why this post is late. These last few months have been loaded with “life” events that I missed the day. Yet, I’m excited to have reached 2years natural and 3.5 years relaxer free. As you know I transitioned for 16 months before cutting all the relaxed ends. Each of the last two years has been very different for my hair.
Year 1
During this year I was totally obsessed with length. Reaching APL was the highlight of my life, at the time, because my hair never grew passed my shoulders. Also during this year I had a strict, die hard regiment and wore protective styles 90% of the time. This is when the obsessions reared their evil heads. The first obsession started with length and having to keep up with length checks.
Year 2
This past year I was still a little obsessed with length BUT the obsession branched off to “desiring the perfect curl”. The perfect curl translates into the perfect braidout, twist out, wash n go, flat twist out, and any other curl defining method. Then the obsession started to transform into jumping on new product bandwagons.
Year 3
The goal for year 3 is to simply do less to my hair and enjoy the length accomplished thus far. No more length checks this year which is why the posts stopped. No more obsessing over having the perfect curl. Frizz was the enemy and I refused to embrace it not understanding that a little frizz can add character to your style. Now don’t get me wrong having a big frizz ball on top of my head is never the desired look. However, a little frizz on day 3 hair is not the end of the world; making it ok to stretch to day four and wear a pin up.

1wk post bc

As far as products, STOP JUMPING ON BANDWAGONS!! Water, conditioner, eco-style gel (Argon Oil) and cocoa nut oil are the only products that will penetrate my hair for now. The less I do the more my hair thrives and that’s what I have to constantly remind myself.
Last but definitely not least, I plan to enjoy my hair out in its full glory as often as I want.
For daily updates, please follow me on twitter and instagram (lakitiamarie).

Health and Fitness Update

Last week I finally broke through the same plateau and lost 2 lbs. The 2lbs did not kick me below the 130lb mark but they were able to get me over the hump. The last month or so I broke down and read the book 80/10/10. Unlike most, I did not read the book chapter by chapter but only read what was interesting to me. Since I know all about the different statics about the war on health those chapters were avoided. The book is very interesting and the concept is fairly simple to follow.
Since reading the book I started trying to follow the new low fat RAW vegan lifestyle and found it a tad difficult. The difficult part of the program, for me, was eating enough calories for my body. There were days that I found myself very sluggish and it was due to not consuming enough calories. The book recommended a very useful website: This website really helped me to consume the number of calories needed for body and fitness levels.
Consuming 1600-2000 calories per day along with extra workouts during the week, I believe, is the reason for the 2lbs lost. Even though I have yet to fall below 130lbs, I love the way my body looks, the strength and energy gained. So far I haven’t decided if following the 80/10/10 lifestyle entirely works for me. Once I figure out my healthy eating lifestyle you guys will be the first to know.
For now here is a very general overview of how I eat: low fat RAW vegan until dinner; low fat cooked meal for dinner. If you have any questions please leave them below. Also you can follow me on twitter (lakitiamarie) and instagram (lakitiamarie) for daily updates.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Check your pockets when giving to Goodwill!!

Here is the scenario: you go shopping at goodwill and find a $6500 ring in the pants pocket. Does something like this actually happen? Apparently it does so check out the story here and let me know what you think!
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekly Inspiration

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.

Jawaharal Nehru

Organic or Non Organic Fruits and Veggies…Which do you buy?

The common practice I try to stick to is buying organic fruits and veggies. However, buying organic can be challenging because it is more expensive. The reason I buy organic is to try to eliminate as much pesticides and chemicals from my diet as possible. As a guide for determining what to buy organic I’m going to use the shopper’s guide found on the Environmental Working Group website. This guide can help save money and stretch my budget by buying both organic and non-organic produce.
This group works to protect the environment and bring facts to public about the foods we consume. Please check out their website because there is a lot of information there. Click here for the shopper’s guide to use the next time you head to the grocery store.

Bananas are a Girl’s best friend

Following a diet that is 80% raw can be a bit of challenge. 80% for my purposes means five out of six meals a day are raw because I eat one cooked meal a day. Normally, the cooked meal is always at dinner so my body has overnight to digest the food. Eating raw food during the day keeps my energy up and I no longer have the “itis” after a meal.
The weekends are a little difficult because I’m on out and about for most of the day. It’s really easy to fall off my plan because fast food restaurants are everywhere. Recently, I discovered eating bananas as a mono meal or snack throughout the day helps to keep my energy up while feeling full and satisfied. A “mono” meal means to have a single food item for that meal which in this case is bananas.
For example, one day I didn’t have breakfast before leaving for work and decided to stop at the grocery store. The easiest, cheapest, and quickest item to pick up was bananas. That day I ate 4 medium sized bananas for breakfast and did not feel deprived at all. According the cron-o-meter, four bananas contain 5.1g protein, 107.8g carbs, 1.6g fat, and 420 calories along with a host of vitamins and minerals. Again for me the high number of carbs are not a concern because these carbs were used for energy throughout the day. Also, since these carbs are consumed by fruit and not processed foods my body is able to digest them properly.
This is a quick tip for anybody, not just vegans or vegetarians, who needs a quick and healthy meal on the go. Not to mention the cost for this quick, easy, healthy meal was only $.78 which beats McDonald’s prices any day. Another quick tip is throwing the bananas in a blender and adding a little vanilla extract for a healthy “milk shake”. For those of you who are not banana fans try this with your favorite fruit. Remember eating healthy is only as hard as you make it.

WARNING - Watch out for 3D Films!!

Every now and then I get some of the craziest articles, pictures, or emails. This is one I had to share with you ladies.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cheese...why did I bother??

my bloated belly :*(
Recently my niece left to return home with my sister. While she was here I started experimenting with my diet so the grocery shopping didn’t change completely. Well now that she is gone there are a few things I need to get rid of but I hate to waste food. So last night I decided to make queso from cheese that I bought specifically for her.
Now I could have just thrown it away but again I hate wasting food and ate the queso anyway. Today I’m totally paying for it because now I’m bloated and miserable. Why did I bother? On this journey, I learned that eating dairy keeps me bloated and uncomfortable. This is a lessoned learned (again) and when I get home the cleaning of the refrigerator and pantries will start. Furthermore, my workout this morning wasn’t the best surely from eating the cheese last night.
On the bright side I did have a very good and healthy green lunch today. The salad was really good!
Salad: mixed greens, spinach, cucumbers, sprouts, olives, and avocado with my homemade chips and salsa on the side
Dressing: ginger soy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First Braidout of the Year!

It's been a long while since doing a braid out. This past weekend I wanted something different and since my hair was already stretched a braidout did the trick. For this look I lightly very lightly spritz each section with water, used a little conditioner, gel, and braided five plats. Simple!

Each section was pinned down before bed and I wraped my locks with a satin scarf. The next day I unbraided and fluffed with oil. Love the results!!

 This time around I opted for a side part instead of down the middle. Next I'll have to try the side part with my twist out.

Kiddie Kurls Hair Update

As you know my neice Kiddie Kurls was living with me for a while. When she arrived the transition back to natural immediately started because I refused to relax her hair again. She gained at least 5 inches in the short time she was here.

Last week she went back to live with my sister and I'll miss her so. Her transition is going well and at the time she left she reached bra strap length. She was so excited about her hair she wanted pictures taken and I'm sharing with you all.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekly Inspiration

"Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. We attain unity only through variety. Differences must be integrated, not annihilated..." -- M.P. Follett

Fitness Update, Challenge, and Weight Loss Pics

Finally I have pictures of my weight loss journey. For some reason I couldn’t find the original pictures so I had to improvise. The “before” pictures are still shots from a fitness video update I never uploaded. There is a six month time lapse between the pictures. As you can see like most I struggled with blasting through a plateau as well.

me at 144lbs


I was really self conscious about showing a picture from the back because this is a definitely a trouble area for me. But the difference is huge and I just had to share.

Now I’m only 6lbs away from reaching my goal weight. For the month of June I plan to do the 30 day Shred video to try knocking off the last 6 lbs. As far as meals, I’m going to continue eating RAW until dinner or one cooked meal a day when I’m in a crunch.
Here is what’s on the menu for today. According to the cro-no-meter today I’ll consume approximately 1261 cal, 26.7g protein, 255.6g carbs, and 27.9g fat.
Breakfast – Purple Smoothie (roughly 3 cups)
Mid-morning Snack – Cherries (roughly 4 cups)
Lunch – Apple Raisin Salad
Mid Afternoon Snack – Cashew (roughly 2 oz)
Dinner – Sweet Potato/Baby Carrot Bisque w/salad
8 glasses of water
Now I’m sure the carb count is freaking someone out but not me. The carbs I’ll consume today are from complex carbs like fruits and the sweet potato. As you see no white bread, cheese, butter, processed sugars, etc are consumed so all good carbs here. The fat content can be reduced some but I’m not too worried because majority of the fat is from the cashew nuts.
So what’s on your menu today? Are you closer to your weight loss goals?

Green Smoothie with a Cherry Twist

There is no need for measurements when making smoothies. This is simple and yet oh so delicious!! Just pile as much as you can of each in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Frozen dark sweet cherries
Almond Milk or water (enough to get the consistency you want)
Vanilla extracts (2 caps full)
Ice (optional)

The best part is this smoothie is red which makes it appealing to kids!!

Green Smoothie with a Peachy Twist

Pile ingredients in a blender, blend, and enjoy!
Frozen dark sweet cherries
5 Peaches (pitted, small, chopped)
Ice (optional)

Remember "the riper the peaches the sweeter the smoothie".

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weekly Inspiration

For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
1 Corinthians 11:29

Chicago Hair

Day 4 Hair
Last week I had a much needed vacation and went home to visit family with my honey in tow. It was his first time to Chicago so he was excited to go. The mini vacay was prompted by my cousin’s college graduation. It’s amazing how time flies because it seem like yesterday when she was about 11 years old attending my college graduation **huge sigh here**.
For my hair, I decided to keep things simple with a twist out. On deck were my ecostyler gel, oil, and conditioning mix just in case I needed to redo my twists. The night before our flight I co-washed and twisted my hair. The next day I wore my twists all day and on the plane that night. This is the first time my extended family has seen my natural hair in person. Of course they have seen random pics since my big chop but they were going to see it in person. Honestly, I had some reservations on their reactions because everyone is still relaxed.
This is day 9 Hair
Well to my surprise I had a very great response. Another cousin and her sister are currently transitioning. Everyone absolutely loved my twist out, my hair in general. This made my heart melt and I felt naturally free 2b me!! As far as maintenance, I kept the process very simple and my twist out lasted a long time. Every night I retwisted my hair with oil only, untwisted the next day and fluffed. That’s it!
By day nine my hair was very dry and in much need of a co-wash. In order to get through this day I pulled the front back using my ouchless clip and added a flower on the side.

Chicago in the RAW

Recently, a friend and I started a personal RAW challenge for eight weeks. Well my Chicago trip fell within those eight weeks and I was a little concern. Sticking to the challenge was important to me and I needed to experience eating healthy while traveling. As you know, I swore off chicken, beef, turkey, and pork about eight months ago. To help stick to my challenge I told my aunt I was a vegan and she was very supportive, shocked, but supportive none the less. She stocked the refrigerator with spinach and fruit for my green smoothies. She also made me the biggest salads with loads of veggies which helped out a lot. Now I purposely left out the RAW food challenge and eating 80% raw a day to avoid additional questions.
The efforts I made to stick to my challenge started off not too bad. Before my flight I didn’t eat so we ate at the airport. There were plenty of fast food restaurants that were not RAW Vegan friendly. Yes, I could have bought salads but a plate of iceberg lettuce with little to no veggies did not sound appetizing. Instead I got the tortilla soup with all the fixings on the side enjoying only the brothy soup loaded with veggies. The soup was surprisingly very good.
The first morning in Chicago I started with a green smoothie. To my surprise my aunt has the Vitamix blender which is awesome. This blender is used by a lot of RAW Foodist for blending and it costs about $500. It made the smoothest smoothies I’ve had and it was so easy and simple to use. It should be with a hefty price tag. Later on that day while visiting the mall I stopped and bought another smoothie while my honey ate at taco bell. Later that night my aunt made me my own personal pan of salad loaded with veggies. 
For the rest of the trip as we bounced from family to family and I did consume some cooked food. Since it was my honey’s first time in Chicago I could not let him leave without trying some deep dish pizza. Needless to say, I gave in and one half of the pizza was veggie.
As a result I did gain four pounds during my trip but the bright side is I can always start over. Also, the only meat I ate was fish and only twice within the week we were there and loads of vegetables. The extra four pounds was not a big deal for me because I expected to gain more. Now that I know more about what works for me I’m sure those four pounds will fall off in no time.

Me, Cousin the Graduate, My honey

Ohhh wee he so tall. I love him!!

I hope all of you have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Can I get some vegetables please?!

Since becoming very strict on eating more veggies throughout the day I’m noticing that restaurants are stingy with the veggies. Today for lunch I brought a salad and cinnamon/raisin whole grain bread but felt I needed more. The Insanity workout this morning really made me feel I needed more fuel for my body. So I called the cafĂ© near my job to order a vegetarian taco from their burrito bar.  
There is a three step process to ordering from the burrito bar.
1.       Choice of meat: beef, chicken, fish, vegetarian
2.       Choice of salsa: cilantro mayo, chipotle pepper, green tomatillo, jalapeno ranch
3.       Choice of topping: lettuce, tomato, corn, Pico de Gallo, red cabbage, mixed cheeses, sour cream
My choices were vegetarian, green tomatillo salsa, and tomato, Pico de Gallo, and red cabbage. Well before she completed my order I asked her what vegetables are included within the taco. Normally, the taco has grilled veggies like zucchini, red peppers, or maybe beans. She told me the “toppings” I selected would constitute as the “veggies” within the taco. They do not add vegetables to the vegetarian taco. Huh?!
If I selected chicken, I would have received chicken within my taco along with the green tomatillo, tomatoes, Pico de Gallo and red cabbage. What’s up with skipping out on the veggies in a vegetarian taco? What if I did not want the additional toppings? The menu clearly states I get a choice of “meat”, salsa, and toppings. Needless to say, I cancelled my order.