Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Coconut Oil: Healthiest Oil on Earth


Coconut oil was erroneously thought to be bad because of its saturated fat content. It is not so anymore; coconut oil was identified to have a distinctive form of saturated fat which in reality facilitates the prevention of heart disease, stroke, and hardening of the arteries. The saturated fat in coconut oil is unlike the fat found in meat or other vegetable fats. An additional hard to believe detail about coconut oil is that even though it is a fat, it essentially promotes weight loss! All because of the healthy medium chain fatty acids coconut oil contains. These medium chain fatty acids accelerate the metabolism, burning more calories and promoting weight loss. These fatty acids do not flow in the bloodstream like other fats, however they are sent directly to the liver where they are instantly renewed into energy. So the body uses the fat in coconut oil to produce energy, rather than be stored as body fat. 3 to 4 tablespoons a day of coconut oil will be plenty to supply enough fatty acids accelerate the metabolism and lauric acid to build the immune system.

Also, look for unrefined, virgin, cold pressed coconut oil. Stay away from all hydrogenated oils, whether it is coconut oil or vegetable oils. Hydrogenated oils are oils with trans fatty acids, which have been altered from their original chemical composition (Refined, Bleached, Deodorized), and have been shown to raise serum cholesterol levels that can lead to heart disease.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fiber + Protein = Fat Loss

This twosome helps cut cravings by keeping you satisfied longer by breaking down food at a slower rate in your body. Before the day is through, whip up a protein shake, steam some leafy green veggies or pack dried fruit for your afternoon snack. Whatever it is, just make a point of doing it!

**source: oxygenmag.com**

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Hair: 12 Week Post








I am 12 week post and do not feel like texlaxing my hair yet. I want to wait until mid December and see how I feel again about my new growth which I love the texture of to the point that I think of transitioning to natural. However it will all depend on my long stretch. My ends are not looking good and I plan on getting a trim or mini chop in Dec or Jan.
**Pics were taken a few days apart**

Great Healthy Breakfast Option: Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an ideal healthy option for breakfast however we have to distinguish rolled oats from quick oats. Rolled oats a.k.a standard oatmeal and old-fashion oats are whole oats that have been steamed, rolled and flaked so that they cook quickly: 5 to 10 min. Whereas quick oats a.k.a instant oats are oats that have been precooked so that we only need to mix them with hot liquid which is the reason why quick oats do not provide the long term energy of its rolled counterpart. Long term health and stable blood-sugar levels are just a cup of oats away, recent research concluded that individuals who eat 2 or more servings of whole grains (exple: whole oats) daily can reduce their risk of hypertension and all cardiovascular diseases by as much as 23%**.
The pic shows the type of oats that I eat for breakfast, I enjoy both of them and often mix them together. How I prepare my oatmeal:
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup or less of water
  • 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Coconut oil (unrefined and cold pressed)
  • 1 tbsp of Flax Oil ( unrefined and cold pressed)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla flavored protein powder (Syntha X from BSN)

After cooking the oats with the water, I add the coconut oil, flax oil and protein powder. So yummy and healthy!

**source: Oxygen magazine, Sept. 2008**

My Fat Burning drinks: Green Tea & Water!

Green tea, which contains high concentrations of antioxidants such as catechin-polyphenols and many other compounds including caffeine can cause us to burn 3.5 % more calories per day. In other words, drinking 3 cups or more of green tea per day can increase your metabolism by 3.5% over a period of 24-hour. I can totally tell you that it is true, Green Tea has worked for me and still does. I drink up to 4 cups per day and I love Green Tea, the best tea ever which has so much healthier benefits than coffee or any other tea. It is my quick pick me up drink, whenever I drink it I feel so energized!

Don't forget water! I drink up to 2.5 liters of water daily, I am working on drinking up to a gallon of water daily. Our bodies require water to function. If we are not getting enough of it, our bodies will retain the water it does have access to until more water becomes available again. By drinking more H2O, our bodies will remain properly hydrated and will function optimally – allowing excess water to be eliminated – which will flatten out the tummy within a few short days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A CHANGE HAS COME

Barack Obama: first African-American president of the United States of America!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hair Product Haul!




so I got more goodies for my hair! I tried the Wave Nouveau Moisture lotion finish, it did not work out great for my hair, it was plain ok. I returned it to get the Silken Child Silk Moisturizing cream, it works so great on my hair. Next I need to get some more NTM Silk touch leave-in cream.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Per Request: My Cocktail Rings Collection







I love rings, the bigger the better. I shop around for them and the place I like to go get them is OFF 5th Avenue, the oulet of Saks 5th Avenue. I adore Kenneth Jay Lane's rings, I have 2 KJL rings and they do not come cheap. I used to work @ Kape Spade (love Kate Spade) and they sell KJL rings and bought them 50% off! I also like Betsey Jonhson's rings but the one that I have breaks easily: the white flower petals broke off. I was so irritated about it that I went back to Macys( where I got it) and receive a sale adjument: I got 5% of the ring price back, I still wanted the ring ;) I always get compliments when I wear my rings
**excuse the state of my nails, they are damaged I try to stay away from mani for a while to nuture them back to health**

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My New Protein Treatment for my Hair




I came across this recipe on the Fokti of a natural head and I decided to try it. The result was great: less breakage and stronger hair. I continue to use this treatment which consists of:
  • coconut milk
  • EVOO
  • egg(s)
  • honey

































I am too skinny ?!

I befriended this guy who works at my gym (front desk) so whenever I see him I would say hello and chit chat a bit. Today as I was approaching the entrance of the gym I saw him outside, he was on a smoking break. So as I was approching he saw me and said " you are too skninny". I replied with a smile "I am too skinny?" he answered yes and followed to greet me, I did the same and went on to work out.

I am 5'11, 155lb and have a slender shape. (Keisha Cole's body type but taller) As far as I can remember I was always tall and considered skinny in my African culture. People would always said that I was too skinny and I became self conscious about it and proceeded to gain weight. I was overweight and not happy, and people started to say that I was fat. What do people want?!

I stopped listening to whatever people had to say on the subject and started to listen to my body. I am happy where I am now with my body and would never go back to being overweight/skinny just because it fits a certain image.

When people give comments like this one, I don't take it personally, I just smile or laugh. Some men are attracted to different type of body types and I was not the body type that he was attracted to. So I disregarded his comment.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who is She? Melissa Hall







I love fitness and I am a self-proclaimed fitness buff.


One of my fav resources for fitness and nutrition is the magazine Oxygen. I love everything about it, especially the part with the cover model. Melissa Hall is one of those cover model, she is Ms. Bikini Universe, a top national fitness competitor, beauty pageant title holder(Mrs. United States), 7 time magazine cover feature, and contributing fitness writer. You can check her out @ http://www.melissahallfitness.com/index.html


She is one of my many inspirations who has it together: hair, body, skin and the list goes on.


Hair Product Haul: Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat & Detangling Cream




I just got the Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat & Redken Smooth Down Detangling Cream. They smell delicious and I can't wait to report how they work for my hair!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Training Files: Maximum Intensity Training (MIT)

Scientists in Canada developed a ground-breaking training routine which makes building fitness and muscle tone in record time achievable. Short session of maximal intensity exercise (MIT) generates high level of fitness quickly. It is not about how long you do an exercise but how fast (the intensity) you do it. Their studies demonstrated the significance of high-intensity training for building aerobic capacity and endurance. Maximum Intensity Training (MIT) requires repeated short exercise session at 100 percent effort. MIT enhances muscle power, develops aerobic capacity, boosts metabolism and increases the ability to process fats, carbohydrates and proteins. The four component of this interval training are:

  1. Distance: or time of the exercise interval
  2. Repetition: the number of times the exercise is repeated
  3. Intensity: the speed of the exercise
  4. Rest: the time between exercise

MIT causes stunning results when you exercise for 30 seconds at 100 percent of maximum effort, 4 minutes rest between intervals. The long rest period is crucial because it permits complete recovery and guarantees that you do each repetitions at maximum intensity.
I put this training to the test by using an elliptical machine for 30 minutes with 8 sessions of sprinting at maximum effort for 30 seconds with rest period of 4 minutes. I have to say that I obtained amazing results. You do not have to stay for a long period of time on an equipment (elliptical machine or treadmill) just jogging or walking. 30 minutes is enough but you have to crank it up for 30 seconds with 4 minutes or so for recovery. Loves it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Moisturizing Lip Balm


My lips are dry so I constantly I have to apply lip balm, I ran out of my regular chapstick and to tell you the truth, I wanted to try something new. I come across the Nivea A Kiss of Flavor Passion Fruit Tinted Lip Care: it hydrates pretty well, probably due to the fact that it contains almond oil and vitamin E. It gives me this nice purple tint, Loves it!


It is $2.99 @ Walgreens.

I've Been Experimenting with my Hair & Eureka!


Two weeks ago, my hair felt extra dry and was frizzy no matter what I did to rectify the situation. Then I decided to deep condition on dry hair overnight with Aussie Moist mix with castor oil, it helped. I decided to do it again but for a few hours, I noticed a change in my hair: it was able to retain moisture. I did it again but I rinsed the conditioner out with cold Aloe Vera juice. I tell you my hair was loving this extra treatment, it felt great! I tried something else too: I used some Aussie Moist conditioner with rosewater/water and castor oil that I put in a spray bottle and used it as a leave-in conditioner/moisturizer. This concoction is like a magic potion to my hair, it moisturizes my hair so well.

Thus, I decided that from September till December I will:


  • deep condition on dry hair 2 to 3 times per week (overnight, for a few hours with or without heat) using Aussie Moist conditioner

  • rinse out the conditioner with cold Aloe Vera juice

  • use my magic concoction as a moisturizer/leave-in conditioner

  • leave my hair alone

I noticed that my hair was loonger, I was able to retain length, I will post pics of my hair (comparison shots) soon.

What I have in my Food Pantry

I made a very short video to show what type of food I have in my pantry: lots of protein powder (BSN Lean Dessert) and protein bar (Clif Builder's 20 g protein bar), slow cooked oatmeal which is better than instant oatmeal the reason being is that instant oatmeal is more processed (will make a another post about their differences). Lots of organic garbanzo and white kidney beans, salmon, flax oil, extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil and green tea. Just wanted to share...
video

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Heart your Blog!


My blog buddy Sunshyne over at Hairlicious Inc left me a comment on my blog to nominate me for the "I love Your Blog" award! Thanks so much Sunshyne! I am really happy to be nominated. Thanks so much to all of my blog buddies for their love and interest in my blog!

The Rules:


  • The nominated is allowed to put this picture on their blogs.

  • Link to the person who hearted you.

  • Nominate at least 7 other people and link to them.

  • Leave a message on those people's blog to make them aware that they're nominated.

I nominate:







Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fitness Upadte + New Fitness Plan

Back in November 2006 I decided to get really serious about dropping my excess weight, I was not at all happy with the way I looked. I was able to drop some weight while I completely fell head over heels for fitness, I was also introduced to clean eating. I must say that combining fitness exercises and clean eating really helped me dropped more weight and maintain my current weight. ( I am still dropping more weight)

Now I am on a quest to become as fit as possible, build more muscle. I really want to see what my body can achieve by continuing to wourkout/train. I completely changed the way I eat, I now eat clean: lots of veggies, fruits, lean protein, whole grains and complex carbohydrates. Of course I indulge myself from time to time but in moderation. (I have a sweet tooth, chocolate is my fav)

I decided to follow the example of Keyalus over at Determined To Be Fit and came up with a fitness plan that I will use from September to December, I will tweak it every 6 weeks. Here it goes...
Mondays
Type: Resistance Training
Duration: 60 min
Description: Powersculpt class @ the gym

Type: Flexibility
Duration: 60 min
Description: Mat Pilates class @ the gym

Type: Cardio
Duration: 60 min
Description: Spin class @ the gym

Tuesdays
Type: Cardio
Duration: 30 min
Description: Run followed by abs workout

Wednesdays
Type: Cardio
Duration: 30 min
Description: Run followed by abs workout

Thursdays
Type: Resistance Training
Duration: 60 min
Description: Powerflex class @ the gym

Type: Resistance Training/Cardio/Flexibility
Duration: 60 min
Description: Total Body class @ the gym

Fridays
Type: Circuit Training
Duration: 30 min
Description: my compilation of weight training exercises

Saturdays
Type: Circuit Training
Duration: 30 min
Description: my compilation of weight training exercises

Sundays
Active Rest Day

**Total Weekly Workout/Training time: 420 min**

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hair Product Haul: Conditioners!


I love deep conditioning and co-washing my hair! I am also a product junkie! LOL! I could not resist the temptation to buy more conditioners. I am on a quest to find a great conditioner that I can use to deep condition, so far my fav is NTM Daily Deep Conditioner. My fav conditioners to co-wash are:


  • Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship

  • Herbal Essences Hello Hydration

  • Aussie Moist

  • VO5 Strawberries & Cream

Today I got more HE Hello Hydration and Aussie Moist. I got the TRESemme Thermal Recovery Replenishing Conditioner @ Target on sale for $2.99 and decided to try the L'Oreal Vive Pro hydra gloss moisturizing conditioner. I still want to try more conditioners, so I will use the ones mentioned above to make room for the new ones I will get. Loves it!

Hair Challenge from Healthy Textures: My Hair


So there is a new challenge over at healthytextures.com: Deep Conditioning/No Trimming challenge. Participants must commit to deep conditioning and not trimming their hair for 12 weeks (September 1st to December 1st) An overview of the challenge can be read @


Here is my starter picture. I love deep conditioning and I am so delighted that there is such a challenge going on! I will make sure to post the after picture revealing the outcome of the challenge.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Training - Full Body Circuit Training 2









Here are a couple of exersices for the full body workouts:
( check out oxygenmag.com for more exercises)
DUMBBELL LUNGE & PRESS
Set Up: Standing upright with dumbbells at your side, step forward with your left leg into a lunge position (1). Be sure not to let your back knee touch the floor.
Action: From the lunge, transition into a standing posture by moving your right leg forward, placing your weight on your left leg. Simultaneously, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders and (2) press them over your head while bringing your extended right leg in front of you. Repeat from the start (standing) position. Alternatively, you can try walking lunges.

SINGLE-LEG STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFT WITH ROW
Set Up: Stand on your left leg (right leg lifted off the ground with knee bent) and a dumbbell in your right hand held up at your side, in a hammer curl position (1).
Action: Move your right leg posteriorly as you bring your torso down and forward. Continue until your right leg and torso are on the same horizontal plane, almost parallel to the ground (2). Holding thisposition, pull the weight in your right hand up towards your torso, bringing your elbow as high as you can (not shown). Return to the starting position by reversing the movement. Repeat, then switch sides.
**source: oxygenmag.com**

Training - Full Body Circuit Training 1


Full-body circuits come with non-stop benefits. You can hit more major muscle groups with each workout versus isolating them with a segmented routine. Instead of exercising your hamstrings and quads once per week or four times per month, full-body workouts allow you to work them three times per week without the risk of overtraining. Since you are recruiting more muscle fibers with each training session, you expend more energy, yielding faster fat-loss results.

Your Personal Plan: do this workout in one of three ways. Simply pick the one that works best for you and get moving! Do it three times per week for four weeks to meet your goals.

• Three to four sets of each of the exercises demonstrated here for 12 to 15 repetitions with 30 seconds of rest between sets.
• Progress to heavier weights when you can easily complete 15 reps, and adjust your rest intervals to 45 seconds.
• Perform this program as a circuit routine. Do two minutes of intense cardio (which could include jumping rope, stationary running or using cardiovascular equipment) after completing a series of sets of an exercise.


** from Oxygenmag.com, article by John Berardi, Ph.D**

Friday, August 15, 2008

Nexxus Humectress- Humectecstasy


Humectress Ultimate Moisturizing Conditioner uses technoligically advanced NexxuSpheres® to deliver moisturizing lipids and soothing emollients into the structure of the hair throughout the day. "Weakened strands are strengthened and regain elasticity to help prevent breakage and split ends thanks to a luscious conditioner including Humectants, Amino Acids, and Ceramides." (from Nexxus website)
Another fav of mine, I use it as a deep conditioner for my hair. I always mix it with some castor oil. It can also be used as a leave-in conditioner, however I like to use it mostly for my DC.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stanford Dish Trail


The Stanford Dish Trail gets its name from the fact that a radio telescope (hence the Dish) is the most prominent landmark on this trail. The Dish, 150 feet in diameter, scans the sky, gathering data on distant galaxies. It is a special area to both Stanford University and the surrounding communities, and it serves many purposes and one of them happens to be recreational. The Dish is a popular recreational area for hiking and jogging and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset throughout the year.

So last sunday I went hiking there, I must say that it was great. This trail is hilly and I ran up the hills on one occasion. The following day, my legs were very sore! Talk about a leg workout! I can't wait to go there again next sunday. So sundays will be an active rest day from my trainings/workouts.
**Pic from uglyfrog.com**

A Look I am Loving Right Now


So far I like the looks that Selita Ebanks has been wearing, especially this one that I think is simple and classy. I am a "jeans" kinda girl, so a look like this one which incorporates a great pair of jeans with gorgeous shoes and a great blazer goes straight into my fashion files! Loves it.
**Pic from theybf.com**

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Line




I have to say that this line of hair care products does wonders for my hair, I love it! I am a big fan of the NTM Daily Deep Conditioner, which is my regular deep conditioner. It makes my hair so soft and manageable all day. I can't live without the NTM Silk Touch Leave-in cream conditioner. I use it as my daily moisturizer, it smells so good! I tried the Cream Lather shampoo and it does not strip my hair of its moisture. I tried all the items in this line except for the hair serum, it is on my wish list of items to try.

**Pic from Neutrogena's website**

thedailyplate.com




I came across this website on Oxygen magazine October 08 issue and I thought that I would share it with you. The site is thedailyplate.com which keeps track of every sinlge thing you eat. You can also keep a food journal, fitness log while determining your daily goal with the calorie calculator. It is also a social network place (registration is free) where you can meet others with similar weight loss or fitness goals. Go check it out!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fashion: What I want for Fall










Fall is almost here and with that new items for my fall wardrobe. I am a purse/handbag lover: a bagoholic! What I have in mind as the perfect bag is the Miu Miu Matelasse Luxe Hobo large in black.

I've also been looking around for tall flat boots, so far I like the selection from Tory Burch.






Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why Strength Train?

  • Strengthens bones: in order to increase bone density and decrease your risk of osteoporosis you need to impose a stress on them, and it needs to be more than simply walking.
  • Controls body fat: muscle burns more calories than fat at rest thereby increasing your resting metabolic rate. So the more muscle you build through weight training the more calories you burn, minimizing the amount of fat that is available to deposit.
  • Prevents injuries: when done with proper form, protects your joints from injury.
  • Boosts stamina: you will find you fatigue less easily when you strength train.
  • Improves self-image: women who strength train can boost their self-confidence and body image while reducing the risk of depression.
  • Improves sleeping patterns: you are less likely to suffer from insomnia if you regularly strength train.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Whipped Vanilla Chai Protein Tea Shake/Smoothie

I came across this recipe in Fitness Rx for Women aug 08 and tweaked it a bit.
I love Chai: it is my fav tea, I also enjoy a cup of green tea! So I was very please when they incorporated Chai with whey protein, yummy! Here it goes:
  • 1 Chai tea bag ( I use Tazo Chai from SBUX)
  • 1 cup of nonfat milk
  • 1 scoop of BSN Lean Dessert Protein Whipped Vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (0ptional)
  • 4 ice cubes

Heat milk on stove or microwave and pour over tea bag and brew for 5 to 8 min. Cool in the fridge. Pour the milk into a blender, and add remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

It reminded me of the Chai Tea Frappucino from SBUX, but this version is healthier and yummier!

It makes 1 serving. Each serving contains 1 milk and 2 very lean proteins.

Whey Protein: Gain Muscle, Burn Fat

Whether you want to build muscle or cut fat, whey protein works in your favor. The study of recovery nutrition-nutrition before, during and after exercise- has shown that whey protein has the ideal array of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids to stimulate muscle recovery and growth. Whether before or after axercise, whey protein stimulates protein synthesis, allowing muscles to recover from each bout of exercise and prepare for the next day's bout.

source: Fitness Rx for Women, Aug 08

My Fav Protein Powder: BSN Lean Dessert Protein



I would like to introduce you to my favorite protein powder: BSN Lean Dessert Protein. I love it!
It is a delicious milkshake protein powder which is rich, creamy and loaded with 6 complete protein sources. It mixes easily in water and do not form any lumps. It comes in diffrent flavor ranging from Whipped Vanilla, Chocolate Coconut Candy bar, Banana Cream Pudding, Cinnamon and Double Chocolate Fudge to name a few. I have the Whipped Vanilla, Double Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Coconut Candy Bar: they are delicious when mixed with only water, which is usually how I drink my protein shakes. I drink 3 per day and always after a workout to help my muscles recover from my intense workouts. In future posts I will present some of my protein shake recipes with BSN Lean Dessert.







Monday, July 28, 2008

On my Journey to Healthy Hair


It is almost 6 months... 6months ago I decided to take better care fo my hair. I must say that I love my hair, I got to learn about it: its likes and dislikes (in terms of products) and I am still learning. This pic was taken July 7 after a co-wash, I air dried my hair after applying Neutrogena Triple Moisture (NTM) Silk leave-in followed by Proclaim Glossing Finish serum. I loved how my hair felt that day. My hair is relaxed and texlaxed, I am no longer relaxing but instead texlaxing, which leaves me with loose curls and thickness.

Facts of Life (to get defined abs)

Stick to the list and watch the definition happen.
  • Eat six small meals per day.
  • Eat lean protein and complex carbohydrates at every meal.
  • lean protein can come from lean poultry, fish, egg whites, soy beans, legumes, lentils and limited nuts.
  • Complex carbohydrates come from fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains.
  • Drink plenty of H2O every day- at least 3 liters or almost a gallon.
  • Avoid all processed, refined and chemically charged foods.
  • Avoid sugars, except for naturally occuring sugars in fruit.
  • Avoid trans and saturated fats.
  • Avoid sodas and juices since they contain loads of sugar, either fake or real.
  • limits treats to one per week rather than an entire day.

source: Oxygen Special: Abs-Training For Women

My First Post: What I had for Breakfast...


Since Nov2007, I have embarked on a what is termed "Clean Eating". I believe it was coined by fitness extraordinaire Tosca Reno. So today for breakfast I had:


  • 1/2 cup of organic oats&flax oatmeal (from Trader's Joe) that I mixed w/ 2tbsp Organic Extra Virgin cold-pressed Coconut oil + 1tbsp Organic cold-pressed Flax oil.

  • Todoni's Omelet: 1/2 cup egg whites mixed with organic shredded carrot, corn, peas and green beans. For seasoning, I added 1tbsp salsa and when the omelet was done I topped it off with some reduced fat shredded mozzarella chesse.

  • Green tea that I sweetened w/ 1 tsp Agave Nectar which is a natural sweetener

  • 1 cup skim milk

It was yummy to my tummy!


This morning I woke up @ 4:15am to get ready to go to my Powersculpt class @ Bally's Total Fitness. The class was @ 5:30am, it is a resistance training class which works all the muscles: lower body, upper body and core. Loves it! Going back again @ 5:30pm for Boot Camp!