Monday, December 28, 2009

I know its been a long time coming, but I finally got around to doing my first ever product review (PR), here on The Silky Chronicles! Thanks to all my family who faithfully follows this blog for the suggestions, comments and much consistent love you have shown me to date! Whether its updated pictures and/or updated entries that I have posted, I constantly get asked "what do you use on your hair?". Well if you read the title of this post, you FINALLY got your answer. Lol. Karen's Body Beautiful (KBB) all the way for me!

Since the beginning of my journey, I've always had KBB as the dominant part of my staple products in my hair care collection. Whether I was transitioning or after the big chop, some form of her items have helped my hair grow into the healthy, thick and LONG hair that it is today. Below is a brief review of the products I HAVE TRIED only and is not a full reflection on her entire line. All items mentioned below are currently use in my natural hair regimen:

Conditioning Shampoo -
(8 oz) Cleans and moisturizes hair without stripping it.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Saponified Coconut & Safflower Oils, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera, Echinacea, Nettle, Horsetail, Panthenol, Essential and/or Fragrance Oils

My thoughts - While I know that no-poo/co-washing is all the rave (lol), I absolutely love and prefer this stuff! If you are a type of naturalista that needs shampoo in your life, this is the stuff for you. There is not a huge lather, but it gets the job done. Hair looks, smells and feels clean and very soft after using. I also like the fact that I don't have to use a lot (like regular poos) so one bottle can go a long way. Only downfall is that if you do use to much, it can cause leave a residue on the scalp (this is usually how you know that you used to much); BUT this can be counteracted by doing another detailed rinse!

Deep Conditioner
(8 oz or 16oz) Provides protection to thirsty, brittle prone hair with panthenol that seals the hair follicle.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Wax, Aloe Vera, Echinacea, Nettle, Horsetail, Panthenol, Essential and/or Fragrance Oils & Natural Enzymes

My thoughts - The conditioner will leave your hair feeling soft and very manageable for detangling. I use this faithfully after my weekly deep treatment OR sometimes AS my deep treatment (depending on time). It provides very good slip to detangle either with your fingers or a comb. A little goes a long way as well!

Hair Milk- (8 oz or 16oz) Product moisturizes the detangles, defrizzes and defines your curls. Can be used several times a week.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba and Avocado Oils,Vegetable Wax, Vitamin E,
Panthenol, Arnica and Calendula Flowers, Echinacea, Nettle and Horsetail Extracts, Vegetable Glycerin, Wheat Germ Oil, Fragrance Oils & Natural Enzymes

My thoughts - When they say that a "dab is all you need"...nothing can be further from the truth. This product serves as a great curl refresher and/or a leave in conditioner before styling the hair. I usually use this product daily either a night to rebraid/twist my hair OR in the morning if I am doing a wash n go/"wild fro" day. Lol. I always keep a bottle of this stuff in my collection at all times. If you like light products packed with all the good stuff (but will not weigh the hair down), this is the item for you! Again, another product I used faithfully as I was transitioning.

Hair Butter- (8 oz) Made only from rich, thick butters and luxurious oils. Hair butter conditions, softens and adds sheen to fragile, stressed hair. Great for natural, relaxed or pressed hair. Suggested use: twice a week on hair and scalp or more as needed.

Ingredients: Shea, Coca, Mango, Jojoba and Aloe Butter, Essential and/or Fragrance Oils, Grapefruit Seed Oil and Vitamin E. 99.4% natural

My thoughts - I love how this product can be used on all types of hair. KBB's hair butter was used (by me) more when I was transitioning than now. It was great for twists, twist/braid outs and pressing (as mentioned). It also works well on straightening transitional hair. Sadly to say, I don't think I used this product the best way I could have. To me, it was a little to thick for my licking, but did wonders if I used it ONLY on my hair when dry. I would suggest anyone who is transitioning to give this product a try!

Hair Cream- (8 oz) Enriched with ingredients that stimulate hair growth and strengthen your hair shaft, this cream moisturizes and adds sheen to dull, dry hair. Excellent for natural, relaxed or pressed hair. Suggested use: twice a week on hair and scalp or more as needed.

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Rosehip Oil,Vegetable Glycerin,Essential and/or Fragrance Oils, Vitamin E & Carrot Seed Oil. 99.4% natural

My thoughts - I usually partner this product with the hair milk. If I just cleansed and conditioned, I use the milk as a leave in then follow up with this item to style. Again...another fabo and fav of mine that is ALWAYS stocked in my collection. This product is not to heavy and not to light...its just right! I really use this product to braid/twist my hair, but mainly as a morning refresher for my coils. While I did not use this product while transitioning, I have used this on someone's hair who was transitioning....EXCELLENT for styling!

Overall I would highly suggest this product to any and everyone (natural or not). When I was transitioning and researching the best products to try, I had the hardest time trying to find products that worked best for type 4 hair. No offense to other products, but the thing I love about KBB is that no matter what your hair type is, it works for you! Discovering how and what to use is left up to the person, but it will leave your hair soft, manageable and very cute to take on the world. Lol. This is a line that the entire family can

On her website, you can order a trial size package of some of her items. Also, if you sign up for her mailing list, every week she has this special call "Freebee Fridays" where on that day, you get some sort of deal if you place an order. This is how I am able to maximize the products I buy, but not spend a bunch of money. All prices are clearly marked on her website as well.

FYI - The hair milk is her number one seller...and I can totally see why. You will love what it does for your me :)

If any of you have used her line and have suggestions or comments, I welcome them. Let us know what worked for you OR didn't work....and I hope you will consider trying out the products.

The orAKAle has spoken........

Source - all products, descriptions and prices can be found on the Karen's Body Beautiful site found here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

50 Followers - Thanks to YOU family!

Happy post Christmas Family! I hope you didn't indulge to much for the holidays (well...I

Quick post for you all, first - I plan to do the lemonade diet to cleanse my soul, body and mind for the new year. Take a look at my weight management blog for details, to follow and to track my progress here ===========> "Weighing In On Health"

Secondly to say CONGRATULATIONS to THE SILKY CHRONICLES blog! Why you may ask...well take a look to the follower count to the right and you will see! I hit 50 followers/family members on this here blog. I'm uber excited about this goal and want to thank YOU the readers for making it happen. I never meant for this blog to be even this much success, but I am so humbled and greatful for the love all of you have shown me.

I look forward to a great and prosperous year for ALL and hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

The orAKAle has spoken......

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Job Hunt Hair - THE DECISION!!!!

First thanks to all who read, reflected and posted comments in on the previous post "To Straighten or Not - Weighing In". It was a difficult decision for me, but in the end I feel I made the right choice. The post did however spark some very interesting dialogue on how we as blacks view ourselves AND what is considered "the norm" in a professional setting. If you haven't done so already, please click back and read what some of the Silky Chronicles family wrote...again thanks for the love.

Below is a picture of me (in the hotel the day of the interview may I add) of how I decided to wear my hair. Please note that I have been on a serious job hunting trail this month, and chose to keep the same style for ALL INTERVIEWS/VISITS.


Soooooo....what do you all think? Personally, my hair turned out uber fabo! While I have professed in the past about the illusion of "holy grail hair"....this was definitely one of those days...if there is anything as it. Lol.

This will be my last post until after the Christmas holiday. I wish you all a blessed and happy holidays and want to encourage you to take time to tell those you love that you love them!

The orAKAle has spoken......................

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Straighten or Not - Weighing In

Hey family! Quick post today for my blog readers....I really need your advice. So I am preparing for a few interviews for position career enhancement. Very excited that God is moving in my life and the promises he told me or manifesting. Well, the conversation (not negative at all) has come up on how I was going to do my hair for these face to face interviews.

Keeping in mind that I want to always put my best foot forward and be the best candidate for the positions,I wanted to get my family's suggestions on how to approach this. I am a firm believer that you can be natural and land a job (no brainer), but as a newer natural, friends and family were wondering if I was going to rock the fro, the puff or straighten my hair to guarantee that I am ininvertely "discriminated" against due to my look.

Keep in mind I am meeting these individuals for the first time, and once I land the job, I can rock my hair the way I want (as it fits into the company climate of course). I don't want to give ANYONE any reason to doubt my skills and if I will be able to perform the position as required (which I know I can no matter what...but I digress).

So I pose the question to my blog readers....Should I or should I NOT straighten my hair to guarantee an offer for the positions I seek?

The orAKAle has spoken.....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Naturality is NOT a life style.....or is it

(one of my fav natural hair photos)=====>

Hey Silky Chronicles family! Quick post/question for you today..... So I know a natural hair stylist who was discussing with one of her clients (a friend of mine) about being natural and this thing of it being a "life style". Her comments in general were that being natural is NOT a life style and people make it seem as though its like "coming out" to the world (in reference to those who identify themselves in the GLBT community). What she couldn't understand is all the hype on the web (really blogs like this one :) and some salons (in general) on the NEW phenomenon about going natural and embracing this "life style". She actually laughed at it and thought it was funny. See in her mind, we should not make a big deal about not straightening our hair, using chemicals/heat, etc...for its not anything new. Black women have been natural for years and this concept of "going natural" is really mainstream right now, but not anything deserving of all the attention its getting....

First let me say, she is not being negative by any means. She thinks its great to see more people embrace the texture God blessed them with and begin to stop letting others dictate who they should be. Its just that it was felt (not only by her....for I surveyed other natural women) that the blogging about hair, the huge media discussions on many talk shows (Chris Rock's movie "Good Hair") and the overwhelming promotion of products/what to and not to do is a bit much and uncessary.

What does Silky Coils say.....I think you all know the answer to that question. Lol. If you read back in previous post on here, it is evident that deciding to become natural was not a small thing for me; nor has continuing to grow and learn with my hair been easy. To me, it was scary and if I did not get comfortable about who I was FIRST, I was going to continue to allow others and society to dictate how I should look. Stepping out in public when I chopped my hair off was one of the most liberating, but also scary moments of my life...similar to when someone who decides to let the world know that they prefer the same sex versus the opposite. Some will have your back, others will persecute you....REAL TALK!!!

So of course I wanted to get my family to weigh in on the subject. You all have been so supportive of me and are filled with much wisdom. What do you all think? Are we making to much of a big deal about this whole "natural" thing? Is this a fade that will soon pass? Are we so insecure about who we are that we had to create this "natural hair world" thing to feel better about ourselves....your thoughts????

The orAKAle has spoken..........

Monday, November 30, 2009

Its my Nappaversary!

( DUDE my fro is huge)

A year ago on this date (well actually it was more like on November 13th), I decided to chop my hair off and start over. Lol. After about 8 months of transitioning (which was suppose to be longer...but I digress), I removed my first set of braids and had at it (with the scissors). Lol.

When I think back to my first initial response to my new look, I remember having thoughts of doubts and even wanting to cry. "What have I done"
is a phrase that I remember saying over an over. See like most newbies, I was not totally sure of what I was getting myself into, but couldn't turn back..not now. After the support and love of many of you who follow me AND have their own blog at that, the journey became easier and a very liberating decision. To this date, I don't understand why I even doubted myself AND my natural black beauty.

At first, my family was a little shocked. Some snide comments here and there and a lot staring. Fast forward to the present day...nothing but compliments (even from those none nappy headed lovers). I have even had family members asking me how to help their children hair be as healthy and soft besides using the relaxer/perm method.....for convenience, manageability and cost savings....HA....who would have guest that.

Its amazing how one person can spark a new appreciation of what it means to be black AND what is beauty. This right here is why I decided to let go of the chemicals and heat. To be a beacon of hope and inspiration to all my naturalistas (especially
my 4 A/C divas); that its ok to let your TRUE beauty shine threw when it comes to hair AND that you don't need to have it straightened to be accepted.

This journey has been a humbling one for me, and I am so thankful and appreciative that God had me embark on this journey now at this age, versus earlier (or later). Below are more pics I took to commemorate my new hair, looks
and length to family.

( ok so I was in the car trying to motivate myself to go into Walmart to was crazy)

( this is my favorite look)

To each of you, thank you so much for your love and support of me. More styles to come for you family.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bitterness.....Not a Good Look

This is a touchy subject for me. As someone who has worked for the last two years to rid my soul of anguish and grudges, I have found that it is a daily struggle to make sure you are not harboring feelings of bitterness, which in turn will make you a cold person and stunt your progress. While I'm a work in progress (like we all are), I thought I would again post an oldie but goodie on the affects of bitterness on ones life. Big shout out to my lil sis for bringing somethings to my I can be a better big sister and child of God. Hope this blesses you as it did me....

How Bitterness Affects Us
by: Charles F. Stanley

Do you become critical of certain people the moment their names are mentioned? Is there anyone in your past upon whom you would enjoy taking revenge? Did somebody reject you years ago in such a way that still hurts when you think about it?

If you answered ?yes? to any of these questions, you might be harboring unforgiveness. The Bible warns us not to allow resentment to get a foothold in our lives. The book of Hebrews tells us to ?see to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled? (Heb. 12:15).

For the believer, resentment is never the right response to suffering, no matter what people have done to us. We may not even be consciously aware that we are nursing bitterness, but its consequences are subtle and many.

Physical Illnesses

Bitterness is like a continually running machine that uses our bodies for its energy source. Medical professionals consistently are finding links between the way our bodies function and the way we think. Resentment, anger, and other negative emotions have been associated with glandular problems, high blood pressure, cardiac disorders, ulcers and a host of other physical ailments.

I saw this illustrated through some friends of mine whom I will call the Browns. Mrs. Brown had cancer, so she and her husband sought the best medical treatment. Her doctor had been studying the relationship between negative emotions and cancer. Day after day, he went to talk to her about her past. One day, in the midst of their conversation, she began to cry. She confessed bitterness towards her parents that had happened years ago. When she got it all out, she was freed, liberated and forgiven. It is the doctor?s opinion that Mrs. Brown would not have recovered had she not rid herself of that resentment.

Stained Relationships

Bitterness causes one person trouble and defiles others. As used in Hebrews 12:15, the Greek word for defile (miaino) means ?to stain? or ?to dye.? The resentment we harbor will stain our relationships. This is one reason why there are so many separations, divorces and broken homes.

One couple I counseled illustrates this principle. Despite the wife?s best attempts to love her husband, she couldn?t break through his hardened emotional wall. Through counseling, we discovered that he couldn?t forgive his mother for dying when he was twelve. He was mad at his mother for leaving him, and his anger was staining his marriage.

Bitterness can paralyze us.
Even when we genuinely want to love another person, we can?t. Spouses, parents and children wonder why they can?t break through the barrier and experience genuine love. But deep inside, these people may find themselves infected by roots of anger and resentment, even simmering hatred.

Bitterness has so many little sprouts to it. Distrust is one of them. Insecurity is another. When the Bible says to ?see to it that ? no root of bitterness (springs) up,? it is because the consequences are so awesome and ongoing.

Spiritual Stumbling Blocks

Bitterness creates a cloak of guilt. We know we shouldn?t feel the way we do toward others, and we know God doesn?t want us to be full of resentment. We sense a barrier between God and ourselves and begin to doubt our salvation.

Bitterness also hinders our influence for Christ. What kind of Christian testimony can we have if we are resentful toward God and toward our neighbors? How can we convincingly talk to others about the forgiveness of God when we refuse to forgive those who have wronged us? When we allow bitterness to take over our lives, it spills over into the lives of those around us.

Ed and Nancy had a story book wedding, and they excitedly made plans for their family. They would have a boy and a girl. Sure enough, their firstborn was a boy. But the second pregnancy had complications, and the doctor told them this would be their last child. Unfortunately?from Nancy?s point of view?their second child was also a boy. Nancy couldn?t bring herself to love her younger child, blaming him for robbing her of the little girl she always wanted. Eventually, she divorced Ed for not understanding her and declined custody of either son. Her bitterness destroyed their small family.

How many of us harbor offenses? How many of us are angry adults because we don?t feel loved? We need to deal with negative feelings about those who have hurt or wronged us. An unforgiving spirit is a devastating attitude that none of us can afford. Determine today to let go of bitterness, and be set free to enjoy life again.

Adapted from "The Gift of Forgiveness" (1991)
Note: Read our Bible study, Winning over Bitterness, and learn how to find freedom from anger, resentment and unforgiveness.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Holy Grail" Hair Day

For those who REALLY follow the Silky Chronicles, already know that I posted an entry that dismissed the whole idea of "holy grail" hair....WELL family, I have to surrender because TODAY I had some absolutely perfect and gorgeous photos of a twist out set I did.

Take a look and tell me what you think:

Monday, November 9, 2009

All Twisted UP (current hair style)

As promised, below are pictures of my hair after taking my braids out. For those of you who may not remember, I wore a set of GORGEOUS braids fof about 2 1/2 months. Click here to see the results. I have never received so many compliments in my life on my hair, then when I had those braids. Definitely will be getting some again soon!

After the detangling fiasco of 2009 (lol) from removing those
braids, I decided to do a protective style for the month of November and December. I must admit, I freaked out a little when cleansing my hair after having it braided up. I think the issues was the products I use. Luckily I had some of my staple products Karen's Body Beautiful handy to hook me up (look for a future post on my current hair regimen and products I use).

Take a look at the below pics and tell me what you think. The first 3 are of a wet twist set.

I usually wear this style for 1-2 weeks (depending on my schedule), cleansing the the scalp with Sea Breeze. It helps to keep the hair clean so I can wear them longer. So after wards, I untwist my head to get the below (please note no make up so no comments):

I'm so excited with my progress. My hair is growing faster than I anticipated and in great shape. Officially, I'm 17 months chemical free and 14 months ALL NATURAL. As always, I take criticism and suggestions. Tell me what you think all!

The orAKAle has spoken........

Monday, November 2, 2009

12 Steps To Changing Your Prayer Life

By: Jennifer Kennedy Dean

1. “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” (Prov. 21:1)

If your thoughts wander during your prayer time, instead of trying to force them back into your pre-set agenda, try following them. Perhaps the Lord has another agenda.

2. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” (Matt. 6:5-6).

Set a time for daily prayer. Consider it an unbreakable commitment. Keep your set appointment every day for one week. For one solid week, let your scheduled prayer time be the centerpiece of your day: arrange everything else to fit around it.

3. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

Give God the first fruits of your day. For one week, give the very first 30 minutes of your day to prayer.

4. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)

Find a place in your home where you can be alone and undistracted during your prayer time. Keep your Bible, prayer journal, pen, and whatever tools you use in that place so that everything is ready. During your prayer time each day, this is a sacred place.

5. “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” (Isaiah. 6:1)

As you start your prayer time, before you say anything, let your mind’s eye see Him, high and exalted, and yourself in a position of worship before Him. Stay in that inner posture until His glory fills your thoughts as the train of His robe fills the temple.

6. “But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’ (Luke 8:46 )

Take time to become truly alive to His presence with you. Be aware that as you touch Him through prayer, His power is released into your life.

7. “O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.” (Ps. 78:1)

Read your Bible this morning with the awareness that you are listening to the words of His mouth. Stop at the first word, phrase, or thought that captures your attention and let the Father speak to you about it and let it shape your prayers.

8. “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

This week, practice the prayer of pliability. Instead of focusing on what you want God to do for you, focus on allowing Him to shape your desires until they match His. Accept each situation in your life as His hand shaping your thoughts, character, and longings.

9. “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

This week, let these words be the only prayer you pray about situations that confront you. Focus on relinquishing every situation to Him to be a platform for His power.

10. “I will remember the deeds of the LORD.” (Ps. 77:11)

This week, try writing out your prayers. It will help you stay focused and will create a record of God’s work in your life.

11. “My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.(Ps. 35:28)

This week, practice praying out loud during your private prayer time. It will make your prayer experience more concrete and will help you keep your mind focused.

12. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; …talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut. 11:18-20)

This week, try walking as you pray. Walk through your neighborhood or around your yard. You will be more able to keep your mind open to new thoughts the Lord might introduce. You are likely to find yourself spending more time with Him.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Simply Being

Hey all,

I received the below inspiration on a different list serve. I hope you get inspired as it did for me. Be blessed

Simply being

In just one moment of simply being, is enough unique richness to echo for a thousand lifetimes. Open your mind, your heart and your senses, and feel the warm, peaceful treasure.
Beyond desire, beyond need, is the beauty that is always here. Gently settle into the all-encompassing abundance.
There is a great fortune that is already yours. To touch it and make magnificent use of it, just be truly thankful for this moment you have in which to be.
What you are tempted to worry about is nothing compared to what you have and what you can do. The limitless abundance of being is here and now, today.
Feel fully the incomparable feeling of life in all its endless variety. Ride the delightful, refreshing waves of possibility.
In this beautiful moment, you are. Here, now, live your great fortune.

-- Ralph Marston

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Preventing H1N1 - MUST READ

Hey family, this came across one of my list serves and I was dying to share. I know we are all concerned about ourselves and loved ones as it pertains to the flu in general AND H1N1. Below is an article from a medical doctor on simple cost free ways to keep your body healthy and hopefully rid of the swine flu.

By: Dr. Vinay Goyal - MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial etc. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W). The following message given by him, I feel makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat
. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. "
Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. C
lean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water . Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population. Neti pots and sinus rinse kits are available at the drug store and relatively inexpensive--under $15.
Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

I suggest you pass this on to your entire e-list. You never know who might pay attention to it -- and STAY ALIVEbecause of it."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fasting to Clear My Body

For those of you who have been following my weight loss journey on my "Weighing In On Healhty" blog, the Get Fit 4 Christ program is coming to a close. To keep up with the progress I've made with my health and specifically eating, I've decided to do a food fast for the next 4 days. I actually have a few individuals who are doing it with me and others interested specifically on what it entails. I've included the plan below:

+ Grilled chicken or tuna (this is totally plain protein. NO SEASONING OR SAUCES)

+ Cucumber (eat it how ever you want as long as its NOT SEASONED)

+ Water (of course)

+ 1-2 teaspoon of ACV (if you find yourself getting light headed, reduce it even more

Thanks to one of my lovely Sorors for passing on this plan to me. She use to be an NFL cheerleader and use to do this type of fast to drop water weight quick and to jump start her body to eating CLEAN foods.

I plan to do this fasting plan until Wednesday, October 14th at noon. After that, I will be pushing the protein, veggies and fruit and limiting my carbohydrate intake to 40 grams/day. The ultimate goal is to reduce that number to 30 grams/day but I must take baby steps. Lol. Whose going to join us? Remember, you can ONLY EAT the foods above for the next 4 days (for I started today). You can eat as much as you want as well chow down.

As for exercise (and yes you still have to get moving), the work out plan can be of your choice, but for me I plan to walk/jog at least 3 days of the 4 day fast. I know my body and how I work, and limiting myself to only these foods will be tough initially on me. I can't over exert myself to much for my body won't have enough food essentials to burn. BUT I do plan to keep moving. Lol.

What am I trying to accomplish....dropping 5lbs by this coming Friday, clearing out my system and restarting my eating plan. I'm excited for Paris is winding down and its time to get serious.

Be blessed family!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Healthy Living Habits

For those of you who have been following me for some time now, know that I have been threw several transformations in my life. Whether it be professionally, personally, spiritually, mentally and physically, all have been for the greater good of me and the purpose God has instore for me.

I get many comments and questions about "what am I doing" to feel so great DAILY, to look so healthy or "good" and to stay motivated even in trying times (in life, at work, etc). Every time I run off a list (sometimes the same, sometimes different) of different things I"ve done in my life to become more positive productive in my daily life. Due to this, I present to you the orAKAle's list of healthy living habits (please note that these are not in any order what so ever):

Man in the Mirror - you need to first and foremost look at that person in your mirror (that's you) and have a heart to heart talk. We are our worst critics, so if you are not on YOUR TEAM...who will be....

God Has First Place - As a Christian, I believe that God and his teachings (the bible) is my foundation. Therefore he gets all glory everyday and all day. I start my day off with mediation and prayer and end my day the same.

Daily Bible Study - the current program that I am on now involved reading and study at least 30 minutes a day. This is now habit for me, to the point that if I don't give God his time, I feel incomplete. It helps to keep me grounded and focused.

6-8 Hours of Sleep/DAY - I am a firm believer in getting your daily rest. While I don't think you need 8 hours (because I get between 7-7.5 hrs a night) daily to get the job done, I do think you need more than 6. Use your discretion on this one.

PUSH THE WATER - Family, I get OVER 64 ounces of water a day...yes that is over 8 servings of water that enters my body on a regular basis. I'm constantly getting compliments on how physically fit I look, how well rested my eyes look and how clear and smooth my skin looks....and my answer is ALWAYS (first) how much water I drink. For more information on how water contributes to healthy living, take a look at my former posts to the left.

Baggage No More - Like most of us, we are caring around baggage from the past or even the present. I decided to get rid of the baggage (or fat) in my life. I reevaluated my friendships, my daily relationships, the way I viewed myself and all other aspects of my life.

Speak It Into Existence - One of my good friends taught me that if you are not cheering for yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to. As simple as it sounds, I was speaking negatives words over me. While we make jokes here and there, I was doing it way to often, and actually had those around me call me out on it. See I believe that we have to speak positive words over our lives. The tongue is a powerful thing and the bible talks about being careful of what you say over yourself also how your thoughts can manifest into words and then reality.

Get Up, Get Out and Get Moving - While it took me awhile to get here, I work out between 4-6 days a week. My weekly work out regimen depends on the waves of my life. As someone who travels a lot, its hard to stick to a particular work out regimen. So, I get creative to get moving daily/weekly. I believe exerting energy helps with stress level and helps to put you in a positive mood to tackle the world.

Vitamins and Supplements - I take a daily multivitamin twice a day to make sure that I get all the necessary nutrients my body type needs. Also, I take B12 to help with stress and a Biotin tablet that assist in hair, nail and skin development. I also drink 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar a day to help with daily digestion with my body.

To read more about my weight loss journey and tips for daily health advice, take a look at my blog "Weighing In On Health" here on blogspot.

The orAKAle has spoken........

Monday, September 28, 2009

NEW HAIR PICS - I'm braided up

Hey family,

I totally forgot that I promised to show you pict
ures of me braided up. Please bare with me, for I literally broke my digital camera and currently working without one. I only was able to capture a few pictures before my camera said I'M DONE!!! Lol. There hasn't been any post on the natural hair subject due to me being braided up. Hope you enjoy them and tell me what you think:

not the best pic in the world (lop sided) but again my camera was literally dying as I was taking this. lol

this is a side view and a style that I wear often. You will see some highlights that I had added in randomly on my head.

I usually wear it pulled back like this or half up or half down. The picture I took of it all the way down did not come out right AND I will tell you its A LOT of hair. I've gotten nothing but compliments on it from a diverse group of people. I'm loving it!!

I have to give credit to my super fabulous stylist Ms. Anta. She can be found a the nationally known natural hair shop "Napps". If you are in the Missouri area and want braids, she is worth the drive to the STL to get em done...she is the truth.

The orAKAle has spoken......................


Monday, September 21, 2009

Naturally Silky - update on skin care

As promised, I wanted to give you an update on my skin care regimen. If you recall in my post "Adult Acne...The Unspoken (but livable) Plague" I spoke on some of the struggles I've had with acne and also included my skin regimen. For the most part, my daily facial regimen is the same EXCEPT I've add the St. Ives Apricot Scrub in the mix. I use this treatment on the face at least 3x/week. It helps to exfoliate the skin and leaves it soft, clean but not dry.

Below are some face pictures of myself without my airbrushing (lol). Family, I am really opening myself up to you all for I usually NEVER take pictures without my make up. I made a promise to show you all what I look like, but to also role model the positive behavior I want to promote...LOVING YOURSELF THE WAY GOD MADE YOU!!! Sure we are not perfect and have blemished here and there, but you are just the way you're suppose to be...made in the Lord's image. Hope you like the pics and please tell me what you think:

(as you can see, this is the same pic that is on my profile. I have a little gold eye shadow, but that is it. I used a Walgreens store bought sponge to reduce the natural shine on my face. If you look close, you can see some of the blemishes and breakouts that I was experiencing this past was horrible family)

(plain daily look with no additions. this is a more recent pic. Many of the dark spots from this summer's break out have lightened up and disappeared. The Ambi works wonders)

One thing I forgot to mention before is that I take a Biotin supplement daily (1000 mg). Also I drink at least 64 ounzes of water daily (usually over that amount). I don't eat meat (accept fish - pescitarianism) and I work out a minimum of 5 days a week. My skin care regimen is directly related to my healthy living habits. It's all related!!

I also drink 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar a day as part of daily cleansing and my weight management program I am on. To learn more about what I do with this weight program, visit my journey blog at "Weighing In On Health".

The orAKAle has spoken.....................................................

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Issue of Health Care Reform...and then some

Family I just wanted to briefly weigh in on last nights address to Congress and the nation. If you haven't had a chance to watch it, I'm sure its posted on youtube or someone media site....check it out.

I know the news media and blogs are burning up with EVERYONE'S views on Health Care, so I don't want to bared you all with yet another post on the issue and last nights events....but I do want to leave you with a few action items/thoughts:

+ Knowledge is power and you need to be in the know. Stay abreast of the current events and have a voice where you deem it appropriate (and YES YOU CAN have a voice)

+ House Divided = EPIC FAILURE - I truly feel that the division in Congress will not help our country, but hinder us for putting America back on track. Propoganda, racism, hatred and disrespect on ALL ENDS hurt the cause, not help. Be apart of the solution not the problem.

+ Become familiar with the proposed health care reform plan that is on the table in Congress (click here)

+ HOLD YOUR ELECTED OFFICIAL ACCOUNTABLE!!!! If you have not weighed in on this debate, do so and let you state representatives know how you feel.
To locate your state representative, click here.

I do have faith in our government, and I believe that people with different views can come together for the good of the group and make history. Let's keep our leaders in our prayers, but also do our part. Spread the word on the bill being proposed, lets do our own homework and put pressure on our officials to be about the business of THE PEOPLE for we are the ones that put them in office.

The orAKAle has spoken....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Adult Acne (pt. 2) - Healing the Natural Way

As promised in part one of Adult Acne, below are some NATURAL ways to battle and heal your self from acne.

Do you know that YOU can assist in controlling your acne, without breaking your bank account from purchasing numerous amounts of marketed facial creams and surgeries? Upon doing research, I learned of many vitamins and foods that your body can use to keep your skin evenly toned, hydrated and to naturally heal the aftermaths of acne caused blemishes. While we all know that putting healthier foods and supplements into the body can do wonders for you overall, I did not know that there are spec
ific green veggies and vitamins that target acne and can help to increase the healing process.

Below is a nice long list of vitamins that help in controlling ones acne. I suggest that you take a look at the back of your vitamin bottle to see if you are getting your daily vitamin intake to combat your acne prone skin. Please consult with a doctor before trying any new vitamins or supplements outside of your normal routine:

Vitamin A (with carotenoids) - strengthens the protective tissue of the skin and prevents acne. It helps reduce sebum production. This vitamin is essential for the maintenance and repair of the tissue which the skin and mucous membranes are made of. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant needed to rid your body of toxins. Did you know that a deficiency in vitamin A can actually cause acne? Recommended dosage to fight acne: 10,000 IU If you are pregnant, do not take more than 5000 IU.

Vitamin B Complex
- help to maintain healthy skin tone. They are also helpful in relieving anxiety and stress. Stress can be a major player in causing acne. The B vitamins should always be taken together. The vitamins in the B complex are Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin (Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide), Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine and Cyanocobalamin. Each one of these vitamins has a specific role in promoting healthy skin, as well as overall health.

    • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) acts as an antioxidant ridding your body of toxins. It enhances circulation and assists in proper digestion. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.

    • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Riboflavin works together with Vitamin A to maintain and improve the mucous membranes in the digestive tract. It is also essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. Acne is a symptom of Riboflavin deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.

    • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is vital for healthy skin by improving circulation and helping your body with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A deficiency in Niacinamide will cause acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 200 mg 3 times daily.

    • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is popular for reducing stress. It is needed for the proper function of the adrenal glands. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.

    • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) is important in the functioning of your immune system and your antibody production. A deficiency of vitamin B6 can result in acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids - is another "super vitamin". It is an antioxidant that is required for at least 300 metabolic functions in the body, including tissue growth and repair.Vitamin C protects against infection and enhances immunity. Bioflavanoids have an antibacterial effect. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 1000 to 1600 mg 3 times daily If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about the proper dosage.

- aids in reducing infections of the skin. To get the adequate amount of chromium in your diet, chromium should be taken in supplemental form called chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate. Chances are you are chromium deficient because the form of chromium in foods is not easily absorbed and is lost during processing; and high quantities of sugar in the diet cause a loss of chromium from the body. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 150 mcg per day.

Zinc - aids in healing of the tissues and helps prevent scarring. It helps prevent acne by regulating the activity of the oil glands. Zinc promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. It is also an antioxidant which helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals. Acne can be a sign of Zinc deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 25-30mg per day.

Vitamin E -
an antioxidant that enhances healing and tissue repair. It prevents cell damage by inhibiting the oxidation of lipids (fats) and the formation of free radicals. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 400 IU daily.

Here is a list of foods that help to prevent acne as well. I've tried some of these, but can not guarantee if your skin will be effected by these foods. As always, consult with a doctor before eating anything new (outside of your normal routine) if you are not sure how you may react:

  1. Organic Green Tea - This is rich in an anti-inflammatory chemical called catechins, which helps to combat free radicals and prevent fine lines.
  2. Olive oil - good monounsaturated fats like olive or sesame oil contain essential fatty acids that are needed for good health. Fats are an integral part of cell membranes and will help to nourish the skin and give it an inner glow.
  3. Walnuts - They are rich in omega-3 oils, another powerful antioxidant that helps to keep the skin plump and flexible. Omega-3 oils are also found in oily fish such as salmon, or in flaxseed oil.
  4. Berries - Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries are all rich in phytochemicals that are protective of skin cells. You can't get the same results though, from frozen or preserved fruit.
  5. Lemon Juice - It's a natural bleach and can be used to fade sunspots and freckles. Put a slice of lemon over the spot and leave it for 10 minutes everyday for a week, or exfoliate by rubbing a cut lemon and half a teaspoon of granulated sugar over the skin for a few minutes. Be careful not to get any lemon in your eyes and stop immediately if you get a bad reaction as some people have extremely sensitive skin.
  6. Watermelon - Some people believe that rubbing their faces with the rind of a watermelon will give them beautiful skin.There is plenty of truth to this, as the pulp of the fruit is a good exfoliant and watermelon is rich in vitamins A, B and C. The fruit contains a lot of water which serves to hydrate the skin and the gentle massaging action will stimulate lymphatic drainage.
  7. Low-Fat Dairy Products - One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
  8. Whole-Wheat Bread, Cereals and Brazil nuts - Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs. Brazil nuts are the richest ordinary dietary source. The mineral selenium connects all these foods for healthy skin. Experts say selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
  9. Yogurt - Yogurt is a very important natural beauty aid. Apply yogurt on the face every morning. Wash it off after a few minutes with cold water. This will keep the complexion smooth, healthy and fresh. A mixture of yogurt and lemon juice is ideal for softening hands.
  10. Water - While the exact amount you should drink each day varies, no one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young. When that hydration comes from pure, clean water - not liquids such as soda or even soup - experts say skin cells rejoice.
I hope the information in this series has been helpful and let me know your acne secrets (if you have any). Lol. The orAKALe has spoken.....

For further research, check out the below sources on more tips and strategies to combat adult acne: Holistic Healing
Acne Care Tips

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Daily Bible Reading - IT REALLY WORKS

For those of you who may not already know, I have started a 40 wellness plan with a great trainder out of the St. Lous area. In the next 40 days, I will be required to do certain exercising daily, logging what I eat and reading the new testament. The goal is to get threw the ENTIRE new testamentby mid October. Also, there is a 5k he is preparing us to run as well.

Even though I just started reading (in detail) daily, I had already incorporated listening to the audio bible on itunes in the morning before work. Now, I am dedicating 20-30 minutes twice a day to the Lord's word and its making a difference. How you may ask....

+ Stories that were explained or told to me second hand are now making more sense
+ There are valuable lesson that I can now directly relate to my everyday life
+ The Word has become so much easier to read and comprehend, versus having to read over and over again (KJV)
+ I have a sense of purpose more now than ever before
+ I'm not afraid to witness
(the list can go on and on really...)

I say this to you family because everyone falls short. No human is perfect at all! While I never thought I was perfect, I sometimes put myself a little higher than the norm (lol). Hate to admit it, but I did not know what I was thinking and what I was missing out on. My example is Christ, and that is who I want to live my life like. ...and I am willing to spend my ENTIRE life striving to be just that.

If your interested in following my journey in this program, please take a look at my blog "Weighing In On Health" here on blogspot. I really hope you will follow it and also be encourage to become healthier, get up and get moving AND read the bible on a regular basis. I promise you it will change your life :)

The orAKAle has spoken......

Monday, August 31, 2009

"Weighing in on Health" - new blog

Above is a link to another blog of mine, documenting the next 40 days as I embark on getting healthier for the Lord. This blog will actually include daily successes and challenges, along with what I am eating, what exercising I am doing and the supplements to aid in a healthy life.

I will still post on this blog, but will only include topics associated with my health journey above. I want to encourage all my followers to take a look at their life style and and themselves....are you fit to do the work that God has planned for you?

the orAKAle has spoken......

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Peferct Twist Out Set

Today I'm tooting my own horn, for I have come a long way with my twisting skills. Recently I did a twist out set (hair was lightly damp) that I am excited to report turned out PERFECTLY!!! Since going natural, I've struggled with developing the right technique for twisting my hair, along with determining the right products to use to maximize GOOD results. After much trial and error, I think I've found my staple regimen for doing the "perfect" twist out set!

As mentioned in a previous post, I cleansed and condition as usual (check out my regimen post here for details), then used my twisting concoction to seal the deal on the hair. Lol. Check out the pics below and tell me what you think:

I must admit, I am getting better and better with this, but my only issue is that it takes me so long to do. Honestly, I rather it take longer to twist my head, for it to turn out this nice. In keeping with positive vibes, this is also a sign (the length in time to twist) that my hair is growing. YIPPIE!!!!

Please note that I do not use any sort of polisher or finishing gloss on my hair after untwisting and styling. The shine you see is natural.

What you think family? The orAKAle has spoken......