Monday, December 31, 2012

Help with the Oil Cleansing Method + Happy New Year

I'm currently researching the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). I am definitely leaning towards this method to keep my face moisturized, prevent the overproduction of oil and reduce breakouts.
Has anyone tried the oil cleansing method? If so, what advice would you give?

As 2012 comes to a close, I wish all of you the BEST that the New Year has to offer. To all my followers, thank you for all your support and continued support on the blog. I started this blog as a means to learn, relearn and share the many facets of health and wellness. Although, this blog is small, I'm grateful for what it is today and the community that has formed as a result. Thank you to all of you who ask questions, comment, like and share my posts. Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!

 Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lavender Infused Coconut & Shea Body Butter

Yesterday was the perfect day to be a mixtress! It rained/snowed all day, which means ideal weather for me to stay in. 

I bought a small vial of lavender essential oil and wanted to use it in my next body butter recipe. My last batch of body butter ran out. You can find it here. I experimented by using different quantities of shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil, which is indicative in these two batches.The one of the right includes more butters. The batch on the left includes more coconut oil.

I no longer use store bought lotions for my body. Whipping up my own batch of oils and butters is all I need for healthy, moisturized skin. Oh, did I mention that lavender essential oil smells heavenly!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Detoxification 101: The Liver (Part 2)

In my previous post, I explained what detoxification means and why we detox our bodies. 

In order to really comprehend detoxification, I think it is important to understand how our bodies naturally detoxes itself. In this post, I will go into further detail about how the liver naturally detoxes our bodies. In addition, I will discuss various foods and herbs that help the liver function optimally.

via pinterest

The liver is the primary detoxification organ in our bodies. Along with the kidneys, the liver does a great job of processing chemicals and toxins via sweat, urine and/or feces. This is why I'm so anal (pun intended) about making sure I have bowel movements every day.

How the liver works
The liver detoxifies harmful substances, both internal and external. Most of the toxins that enter our bodies are fat soluble. The liver's job is to convert  these fat soluble toxins into water soluble substances that can be easily excreted from the body via sweat or urine. The liver also filters the blood to remove toxins and unwanted chemicals. The liver is the body's main purification and cleansing system. For this reason, it is important that our liver remains healthy, so we can remain healthy or have optimal health.  You can check out this post, where I discuss some foods that help the liver cleanse.

There are many ways in which you can assist the liver: 
  1. Fresh vegetable juices
  2. Foods high in leafy greens. Green smoothies allow me to consume as much leafy greens as possible, without sacrificing taste.
  3. Bitter greens, such as dandelion and other herbs. For whatever reason, the liver loves bitter foods. Bitter greens and herbs stimulate the liver to produce bile, which is necessary for good digestion.
  4. Avocados (my favorite)
  5. Add more cruciferous greens, i.e. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage etc.
  6. Exercising especially yoga is great for overall health. Exercise increases blood circulation throughout the body and helps the body to relax and to sweat out the toxins and waste.
**Again, you don't need to be on any special diet. To aid my body in its natural detoxification process, I just give my body what it needs to re-energize, rejuvenate, and build. 

I think one of the main reasons we engage in detoxification is because we are often overfed and undernourished. So by engaging in a so called detoxification diet, we begin anew; feeding our bodies with the much needed nourishment it needs.

Our bodies have the ability to naturally heal and cleanse itself. Mother Nature has provided us with all the herbs, plants, and foods it needs to do just that. Eat your fruits, eat your veggies, drink tea, exercise and your body will respond nicely.

** Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or nutritionist. Everything you find on my blog is based on my own knowledge, opinion, and experiences. It never hurts to supplement with your own research as well.

I hope this helps. Please share what you do to help your detox and cleanse itself. We can all learn from each other.

Have a happy holidays. Merry Christmas,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Detoxification 101 (Part 1)

What does it mean to Detox?

Detoxification is a process by which your body releases massive amounts of toxins that have been accumulated in the body, while providing it with nutrients, water and oxygen. Toxins in the body take many different forms, such as aches, pains, inflammation, illness, disease etc.  These unwanted toxins are a major sign that our bodies are undernourished and oxygen deficient. 
Detoxification takes time and full detoxification can take months, sometimes years. It is important to note that a special diet isn’t a must to experience detoxification. However, we do need to change our eating habits if what we have been putting into our bodies is less than ideal. A diet that consists of mostly plants is sufficient to begin a detoxification process, and most importantly, to ensure that your body is always engaged in detoxification and healing.

With assistance, we all can provide our bodies with what it needs to heal. Mother Nature provides more than enough to help in this detoxification process in massive amounts of plants, herbs, and plants. 

For example, I have made it my mission to always have fruit or vegetable with every meal and drastically limiting meat in my diet. This way, I am making sure that I am flooding my body with the necessary fiber, vitamins, minerals and water needed for tissue repair, healing, detoxification, and daily bowel movements. 

In my opinion, detoxification should be on going.  It is a lifestyle change. You can’t detox for 3 days only to go back to old, unhealthy habits. It just doesn’t make sense. 

Detoxification means many things for different people. There are many ways to detox the body, but first, it is important to know why you need to detox and how. 

Only you can truly know if your body needs a tune up. However, experts in the field recommend a detox program for symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, sluggish elimination, irritated skin, allergies or low-grade infections; bags under the eyes; a distended stomach even if the rest of your body is thin; menstrual difficulties; or mental confusion.

Your body has 6 major detoxification or elimination channels:

  1.  Liver
  2.  Skin
  3.  Kidneys
  4.  Intestines (colon)
  5.  Lymphatic system
  6.  Lungs

** In upcoming blog posts, I will discuss each of these major detoxification channels. So stay tuned**

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts or experiences on detoxification, please feel free to share them in the comments. We can all learn from each other!

P.s.This was a requested blog post and I'm more than happy to share what I know.
I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or a specialist. I'm just one individual sharing what I know and my experiences.

All images from Pinterest

Monday, November 19, 2012

Maintaining Adequate Levels of Vitamin D in darker skin

Hello friends,

In this post, I will share with you my quest to increasing my Vitamin D levels, health issues that may arise with inadequate Vitamin D levels, and the importance of maintaining Vitamin D levels. Most importantly, I am looking for any recommendations and advice on how I can increase my Vitamin D levels.

During my annual doctor visit, a few weeks ago, a simple blood test indicated that my Vitamin D levels were very low. As a result, I was prescribed Vitamin D supplements, which I’m currently taking. I must admit that I never really paid attention to Vitamin D before; but, knowing that my Vitamin D levels were low prompted me to take action. Based on a quick Google search, I had to take more of an active role in making sure that my Vitamin D levels are up to par.

Vitamin D is very important in the body for several reasons: 
  1. Promotes Calcium absorption in the gut
  2. Maintains adequate serum Calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bones. I NEED strong bones!
Vitamin D and disease prevention 
Vitamin D has recently been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, tuberculosis, memory loss and several types of cancer {Source}.

Currently, I’m on this quest to increase my Vitamin D levels.
Presently, I am increasing my sun exposure.  Now, this is not an easy thing for me since its cold outside and it gets dark at about 4:30 pm. I usually hibernate during the colder temperatures and in the winter. So, this is not an easy task for me. I’m increasing my sun exposure over the weekend when I have more time to go out during the day or sun bathe for about 30 minutes at home.  

Now, I’m a black woman, which means that when it comes to producing Vitamin D via sun exposure, I have a bit more difficulty doing so compared to someone with fairer skin. For this reason, melanin in my skin affects my ability to activate pre-vitamin D. So the darker the skin, the less vitamin D you produce. Hence, the minimum of 30 minutes sun bathing.

So, I’m sun bathing and taking Vitamin D supplements. What else can I do?

For those of you who have dark skin, how do you make sure that you get adequate amounts of Vitamin D (especially during the winter)?  Are you using certain foods? What do you recommend?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How I upgrade my coconut oil body moisturizer

Hello friends,
In this post, I want to share with you how I upgrade my coconut oil body moisturizer. Back in July, I shared a post with you on how coconut oil has replaced store bought body lotions. I'm discovering the health benefits of going as simple as possible. Although coconut oil has been all well and good, it becomes rock solid in the colder months, which makes it difficult to apply to my body. So, I had to upgrade my coconut oil with some butters so it applies better to my skin and more importantly for added moisture during the winter months.

This is How I do the upgrade from coconut oil to coconut oil with butters:
                                              Using the double broiler method (0n low heat), I melted:

~¼ cup of coconut oil
~½ cup of Shea butter
 ~¼ cup of cocoa butter
To the melted butters and oil, I then added:
2 tbps of castor oil
1 tbsp of vit. E oil
10 drops of tea tree oil

Give the mixture a good stir and let it cool. As the oils and butters begin to solidify, begin to whip. I used a fork. You can use a blender as well. doing so will result in the consistency as seen in the pictures provided. I love how it came out. I will continue to experiment with different variations on my whipped coconut oil, shea, and cocoa body butter

Honestly, this is a great alternative to lotions bought at the store. The most important thing, is that you made it and you know exactly what's in it. This consistency is thick (just how I wanted it) and will also be used for my hair. If you don't like this as thick, use less butters and add more oils. I chose these butters and oils to add to my coconut oil upgrade for several reasons.

Shea butter: very hydrating, because of its ability to penetrate the skin. It is packed with vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals to protect the skin against dryness.

Cocoa butter: Also very hydrating to the skin. Protects against UV damage. Helps to prevent stretch marks and is effective against eczema and dermatitis. Works well to reduce the apperance of scars.

Vitamin E oil: An active ingredient in many skin care products, because of its ability to prevent premature aging, promote healing, prevent the formation of wrinkles and support new skin cell growth and regeneration.

Castor Oil: Softens the skin and helps to reduce the appearance of scars. Has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Tea tree oil: Has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties as well.
 I hope this helps. If you make this whipped body butter recipe,  please let me know!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Natural Hair: How I'm wearing my hair this Winter!

Hello friends,

I wanted to share how I will be wearing my hair this winter season. I typically don't wear my hair out loose. I love twisting my hair to create updos. I typically wear my hair in the same manner week to week, month to month, year to year lol. It just works very well for me, because it's easy and oh so convenient. I can't complain.

I simply gathered my hair towards the back with a small bun at the nape of my neck.

If you have any questions about how I created this look and what I used to create this look, simply comment below. Don't forget to use the reaction button, it let's me know what you like and don't like.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Green Smoothie Recipe #4 (Celery, Kale, Spinach...)

Hello friends,

I'm back with another smoothie recipe. . . my daily green deliciousness.
In case you missed green smoothie recipes 1 and 2 oh, and this recipe.
green smoothie recipe at
The benefits of green smoothies are numerous. Just google it. Just know that I drink 16oz of pure, green deliciousness either for breakfast and/or dinner for overall health.

Now....the recipe! (Oh, this is my own recipe!! Sometimes I substitute the pear for an apple)

1 frozen banana
1 cup of kale
½ cup of spinach leaves
1 pear (very ripe)
~½ cup of coconut water
3 stalks of celery
2 tbsps of lemon juice
This recipe should make 2 cups. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. You can always substitute various fruits and vegetables. You never have to stick to a certain recipe. That's what so unique about green smoothies: Anyone can make them with whatever one chooses.

Please let me know if you tried this particular recipe in the comments section. I would love to hear what you think. 

Take care,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Infographic: How sitting too long affects the body

Hello friends,

I have another infographic to share with you today: How sitting affects your body c/o mindbodygreen.There are two other infographics on my blog. One on the benefits of coconut oil and the other on the benefits of kale.

Did you know that sitting too long can increase your chances of blood clots and fluid retention in your legs. I definitely learned something new today.

What do you think?

Comment below!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How much exercise do you really need?

Hello friends,

image via pinterest
I'm here with another blog post. This one discusses the the length of time anyone can devote to exercise. You only need 10-20 minutes.

One of the biggest obstacles to exercising is time. We often think that we need to give a whole hour to exercising, but research has shown that we really don't need that much. If you don't have 1 hour to exercising then that's okay. Short bouts of exercise, let's say, 10-20 minutes is all we really need.

Now if you're exercising to lose weight, then you probably need to devote more time to notice significant weight loss, but if you're like me and you're not looking to lose weight, then 10-20 minutes is all you need. Even 5 minutes of high intensity each day is also recommended.

The time literally just flies by during each exercise routine, because 10-20 minutes is more than enough to be/stay fit and be healthy. I usually go for walks or do some cardio or strength training. High-energy, up-beat music is my best friend during these workout sessions. The best part is that anyone can find 10 minutes out of their day to take a walk or do some exercise in the comfort of their own homes.

Just knowing that it only takes 10-20 minutes is enough motivation for me to exercise daily. I wanted to keep this article short and straight to the point, but if you need more information on this topic, you can click on this article, How much exercise do you really need? by WedMD.

 One more thing...
I'm also on Pinterest. Follow me here :o) And if you have a pinterest account, let me know. I'd love to follow you.

 I hope this post was helpful,