Monday, August 31, 2009
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
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......
I received the below post on a different list serve, and thought I would share with my blogville family. Being of African decent, I felt compelled to read the article and then chose to bring it to you my followers. I hope no one is offended by the post.
The original post can be found here at BlackAmericaWeb.com written by Tony Pendelton. I'm curious to know your thoughts on this article, for I agreed and disagreed with many points. When you get a chance, check out the comments on the original post on the site....very interesting...
Tell me what you think....the orAKAle has spoken.....
Black America, are we lying to ourselves? It seems as though there are quite a few areas where we are not totally being honest with one another.
A recent study proves that people lie to each other at least three times in a 10-minute period after just being introduced! The study also says that it’s difficult for even law enforcement personnel to know when someone is really lying.
With all of that in mind, what lies does black America believe most? We thought we’d do our own unofficial study to see what the record shows. What lies do we believe about ourselves or continue to perpetuate? Here’s our list of the top 10.
Lie #1: Soul food is good for you. Our mamas, grandmamas, dads and uncles definitely loved us. So much, in fact, that they cooked chitlins and pig feet and hosted lavish barbeques featuring plates overflowing with delicious food like macaroni and cheese, candied yams, pork chops and fried chicken. Let’s not forget about those desserts like red velvet cake and peach cobbler - and that oh-so-good lemonade and sweet tea. The problem is that the soul food diet, as good as it is, is filled with fatty meats, fried foods, sugar, salt and a high percentage of dietary fat. Those are the very things that are causing record numbers of obesity in our community. Nobody’s saying you shouldn’t enjoy our cultural food every now and then. But a soul food diet all the time is a license for health problems down the line.
Lie #2: Baby mamas/daddies are okay. No, not every child in the world is going to come into the world with two loving, married parents. And even some who do may end up as children of divorce. There are no guarantees that an intact family will stay intact. But statistics overwhelmingly prove that children born to single, teenage mothers have a much greater chance of being poor with limited educations and a show a greater propensity for violent and criminal behavior. When did we begin to accept that having children was a random and thoughtless decision, particularly at a time when birth control is more accessible and easier to use than ever before? When did we start to believe, as both men and women, that it’s okay to bring a life into the world before either parent is able to truly handle the responsibility? Given the grim statistics, we need to look at what a costly lie this has become.
Lie #3: Celebrities are more deserving of forgiveness than others. Convicted felons Li’l Kim, T.I., Chris Brown and Michael Vick have something in common despite their legal issues – the support of the black community. Given their respective crimes of perjury, weapons charges, domestic violence and dog-fighting, you have to wonder if they would receive that same support if their names weren’t bold-faced. Think about it: If any one of your friends and relatives had done any of those same things, would you have been so forgiving? It’s amazing that black folks who have washed their hands of people in their own lives have embraced celebrities they don’t even know after they’ve committed some pretty disturbing crimes.
Lie #4: A hustler mentality is more important than a formal education. The black community loves its hustlers, whether it’s Diddy, Jay-Z, The Knowles family or 50 Cent. Hustle, hustle, hustle is the ethos that permeates black America. Sure, hustling has its merits – but is it the only way to achieve success? President Barack Obama is probably the most primary example of what an education can do. He and his wife are both proud Ivy League graduates with advanced degrees. Hustle may be reserved for the few with the charisma and stamina to take them to the top, but an education is something accessible to anyone.
Lie #5: Water and snow are for other people. According to USA Swimming, nearly 60 percent of African-American children can’t swim, which is why they drown at three times the rate of other children. Why is that? Because there still exists a mentality that says that water and swimming are for “other” people - and because there are still girls whose parents allow them to use their hair as an excuse for staying out of the water. Somehow or another, the myth of black folks not liking water or snow has become a fact. (Please note the miniscule amount of black families you see skiing together at any ski resort.) And sadly, USA Swimming’s study showed that it was the parents who needed to be convinced most. Many either didn’t swim themselves or were afraid to have their children learn. Unfortunately, this is a mindset with dire consequences for many of our kids.
Lie #6: Complexion is destiny. Do we still believe that skin color is relevant in the black community? Well, only if you think that the negative reaction to Michelle Obama was primarily based on her Princeton thesis. There are people who still believe that certain things are given to or withheld from people based on their complexion. There are still those who find dark-skinned men menacing and light-skinned women the epitome of beauty. In fact, both dark and light-skinned people can point to misconceptions about them based solely on their skin color, something that no one has any control over. So how long will we go on believing the same old lies?
Lie #7: Marriage isn't important anymore. The rate of black marriage continues to decline, as this depressing statistic shows – the percentage of African-American women who are married declined from 62 percent to 36.1 percent between 1950 and 2000. Apparently, the black community has decided that marriage is no longer a priority. Yet, if you look around, you’ll probably see the most financially stable people who lead the most productive and happy lives and who raise decent children are generally married. No, it’s not a sure-fire thing, but what is? In our community, the financial edge would certainly go to the two-income couple who can command greater stability just by having someone to share bills and child-rearing responsibilities with. That being said, why are so few of us overall choosing to walk down that aisle?
Lie #8: Obesity is not the most serious health care issue in our history. Black women and the men who love them have never accepted the European aesthetic that mandates that women be super-skinny. Our African ancestors passed down their curvaceous bodies, complete with round hips and full backsides. But somewhere along the way, obesity became the new “thick.” We’re not talking a big booty and a frame fuller than the average celebutante It girl; we’re talking women who are 100-150 pounds over a healthy weight, with rolls of fat and distended stomachs. We’re talking men who are so overweight, they are taking on female characteristics like breasts. Our children are experiencing obesity at ever-younger ages, yet this health crisis seems to be going unnoticed by most African-Americans who continue to eat unhealthy diets. (See #1.) It appears that although we survived slavery and Jim Crow and more, black people will finally be felled by food poisoning, which is exactly what our diets have become.
Lie #9: We are descended from royalty. Too many of us don’t know our history, so too few of us can make this claim with any real, absolute certainty. Indeed, it was Africa, not Europe or Asia, that had the oldest empires in the world. Many of us, as African people, did, in fact, descend from kings, queens and creators of art, music and architecture far superior to what the European culture would devise later on. Too much of African history has been lost or suppressed to promote European culture as the world’s most sophisticated. In 2005, Philadelphia’s public school system became the first in the country to require students to take a course in African-American history to graduate. Educators say that not only did it provide a much-needed addition of historical accuracy; it also helped increase self-esteem in a largely black public school population. As they say, if you don’t know your history, you are doomed to repeat it.
Lie #10: Black men don't have emotional needs. Somehow, our community has come to the conclusion that black men don’t have emotions. The recent scorn which greeted public tears by basketball players Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson, as well as comedian D.L. Hughley, made it seem as though the stereotypical image of strong, silent black men is alive and well. We offer much support in the way of girl’s emotional needs, with programs targeted to increase their self-esteem, but what about our boys? Given the fact that the violence in most of our cities is perpetuated by and on young black males, shouldn’t we be considering how to meet their emotional needs instead of just locking them up? If we could start acknowledging those needs earlier and helping them learn how to deal with feelings, we might all have a brighter future. After all, these are potential fathers and husbands!
Friday, August 14, 2009
To get this look all I did was cleanse my hair as usual (check out "Current Hair Regimen" for specifics) but instead of double strand twist while hair is wet/soaked, I actually blow out my hair. The key is to get it totally dry and as "straight" as your texture can get. I highly recommend you seal your hair (after blowing out) with a very light oil/moisturizer to protect the hair. I use my staple product Shea Butter.
I take my favorite twisting product (in the pictures below I used a mixture of unrefined shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil) and put a medium amount all over the head.....and I start twisting. I only use more product if I think my twist aren't taking....but usually I have no issues. Below are the results of dry twisting the hair:
My sister actually did this one for me! I gotta be economical ya'll...we are in a recession (ok I will let it go...lol). Not bad for an amateur job huh.......
I've learned that the key is to evenly distribute the twisting product (not much is needed) from root to ends (then possible using a little more for my "special" ends) and twist as close as possible to the root down to the ends. Depending on your skills and length of your hair, this can take from 30-45 minutes to complete. Professional stylist can do this for you as well, but it may run you from $55-100!!!! I suggest mastering this on your own. Lol.
I usually wear my hair in these twists for at least a week (max two). After wards I take either my favorite essential oils to separate out the twist into two parts. To see pictures of the results of this style, check out my Current Hair Regimen post pics here.
So your girl is getting braided up this weekend for the next 2-3 months. I will post some pics of the outcome next week (hopefully). Once the braids come out, I will be at my 1 year Nappaversary (is that a word....lol)!!! I'm very excited to see how far I've come in the past 12 months, and plan to do a tribute post to my success.
For those who've been asking, I plan to seriously update my Fotki (Ms. Silky Coils if you want to subscribe) REALLY soon! Lol. I guess since starting this blog, I don't see a need to have that account, for I post all updates and styles (that I can remember to do) on here. I mean....who has time to really update 3-4 different sites...lol...I sure don't.
the orAKAle has spoken.......
I am currently cleansing my hair with Karen's Body Beautiful (KBB) conditioning shampoo, DC with Organics Hair Mayonnaise and apply the Cantu Shea LIC as my sealant. Below are results of quick twist out set. I usually spray my hair with my summer spritzer (Cantu Shea LIC, Coconut Oil and Water), and use my finger to separate the hair. This is a quick style that I may do in between styling in my week.
this what the quick twist out looks like not pulled up
Next are another set of pictures of a more defined twist out set. During this time, I actually shake dry my hair (after rinsing out the DC), apply a small amount of my leave in, and then allow for my hair to air dry for 10 minutes. The goal is to keep the hair wet, but not soaked to twist the hair. I do use a wide tooth comb for parting and my unrefined shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil on my hair to twist my hair. Since I already used my usual leave in, only a little was needed.
(notice how more defined my coils are, along with body and height)
(HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME!!!!)
(I was just being silly with these...as I was suppose to be working)
Again, just a quick post since I haven't really posted anything of this nature to the blog. Next topic to come includes my first every PRODUCT REVIEW!!! I just received my sample pack of Komaza Hair and Skin Care in the mail today, so I will post the results and how I like it. Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think family.
The orAKAle has spoken.......
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Family, there is a lot of stuff being said about the current proposals for health care reform on the capital. Do not give into the propaganda tactics that we are seeing from ALL sides in the media. Do your homework and get informed with the FACTS, not lies. There are some very useful links below for you to read if you want further information on what the government is trying to implement. I commend all elected officials for facilitating the town hall meetings and those who have positively participated in assisting getting the TRUE word out on health care reform.
Post your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below. Would love to hear how you feel..... the orAKAle has spoken
Top 5 Health Care Reform Lies—and How to Fight Back
Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!
The truth: These accusations—of "death panels" and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: "No 'death panel' in health care bill." What's the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.
Lie #2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!!
The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama's reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option—a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers—that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down.
If you're happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can't afford health care now.
Lie #3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!!
The truth: will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that.
Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage. And outside of that, as noted above, reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation.
Lie #4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens' !!!
The truth: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits. Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to —in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.
Lie #5: Obama's health care plan will bankrupt America!!!
The truth: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy—to control spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small businesses, and the American economy.
Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care. The average family premium is projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next decade—and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses.14 Reform, with an affordable, high-quality public option that can spur competition, is necessary to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama's reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and not add a penny to the deficit.
We're closer to real health care reform than we've ever been—and the next few weeks will decide whether it happens. We need to make sure the truth about health care reform is spread far and wide to combat right wing lies.
A CALL TO ACTION
Can you forward this post to your friends and family today? Also post it on Facebook by clicking here, and on Twitter, by retweeting: @MoveOn Check out the Top 5 Health Care Lies—and How to Fight Back. http://bit.ly/Bncs5
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I love it when I run into people who really believe that acne is not an experience that we face or relevant in the black culture. Yes, as crazy as that sounds, acne has no color or gender barriers. It attacks any and everyone depending on how it feels that day. Lol.
While I know that everyone can bing what acne is and what to use to help decrease breakouts (no need to bore you), instead I wanted to provide you with some facts associated with specifically adult acne:
A) It is not like having acne as a child/teen: Adult acne is cause by totally different things as you get older. It can be a result of stress, medications, bad make up (ladies) and also hormones.
B) Chocolate is not the reason for the breakouts: I don't know about you all, but I grew up thinking that eating to much chocolate or consuming to much caffeine would break out my skin. Who would have thought that all these years later I could've eaten as much candy bars as I wanted and still not had bumps....lol
C) Dermatologists are not a money scheme: For someone like me, going to see a dermatologist probably could have been avoided, but since I was so "upset" about the changes in my skin, I decided to do so. This type of specialist can be a huge resource for those who are suffering from serious acne issues or those who just want a professional opinion (like I did). If you can afford it, go see one just to make sure that there aren't any major underlying issue with your skin.
D) Facials are not just for pampering: My general practitioner once told me that every women should invest in getting a facial every few months. Why....well not only is it therapeutic, but it also helps to unclog your pours. The esthetician will help to determine your skin type and how to better manage acne (if needed).
E) ACNE IS NOT CURABLE so just stop it: While I know there are many products and famous acne systems/procedures (ProActive, laser skin treatments, etc) out there that you can do, acne is not something that you can "cure". You can however keep it under control with a system or method that works for YOU and YOUR SKIN. Don't become obsessed with products and go broke to try to clear up something that is not curable! Lol....because I really get frustrated when people claim that they can "cure your acne"...pleeeeaaase....
My Current Facial Regimen
If you read any literature on adult acne, it takes trial and error to find out what works best for you. Currently, I think I've found a good system that is yielding some good results. Below is my current daily regimen:
Morning: cleanse w/Arm & Hammer baking soda, apply Ambi fade cream to dark spots & seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer
Mid day = cleanse with Cetaphil daily cleanser and seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer ( this is only if I work out during the day)
Evening = cleanse with either Cetaphil daily cleanser OR Neautragena daily night cleanser, apply Ambi fade cream to dark spots and seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer
One thing I've learned is that you have to give it time to see if products are working for you. My dermatologist suggested that I use Cetaphil for its the best over the counter product AND it has many of the same ingredients that "high end" facial cleansing products use. Why pay more.....(you know the rest). I recently started with the baking soda as a cleanser, so I will let you know how that goes. Maybe, I will post some pictures for those who really want to see. Lol
........of this post was to show that we all are a work in progress and you can't let your flaws (cause we all have them) get the best of you. This subject is one that has plagued me for years (and those who really know me will agree) during my adolescent years and young adult times...but I decided no more. I am taking back my life and my self esteem and refuse to get hung up on physical appearances, rather than thanking God for making me in his image. I
I usually have moments when I get down about my physical features, especially my face...but that is when I have to stop and give thanks to God. One of my line sisters (and closest friends) suggested a good scripture to reference in times like these. Take a look at Psalms 136 when you get a chance and use it if you have these sort of low moments. I encourage you to post this somewhere where you can visually see it daily...as a reminder that God loves you for who you are and that you are FABULOUS just the way you are!
This is the first part in a two part series about adult acne and how to live with it. Soon we will discuss how to NATURALLY control acne and the benefits to watching what you put into your body. Until then the orAKAle has spoken......
For more information on adult acne and how to live with it, please visit the below links OR consult with your neighborhood dermatologist:
Ambi Skin Care
Arm & Hammer
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Hey Family! How have you been? Good I hope, cause I sure have been busy over here. Today's post is short, sweet and straight to the point. I'm dedicating this segment to one of my lovely and talented Sorors, Ms. Rachael (AKA Dr. Rae).
This is a young women to look for in the coming years.....whether its a book, movie or even live performances in a lounge near you. Lol. She has captured my thoughts in a s i ng le, yet moving poem posted on her blog --"Live, LOVE, and Laugh". If you get a chance, please check her out...the girl can write.
Below is one of my favorite poems to date from Dr. Rae. Read, reflect and most importantly LOVE family! Can you relate to the below spoken words...cause the orAKAle sure can......enjoy!
IS IT OKAY????
Is it okay that some days I’m not feeling myself?
Is it okay that some days I fear losing you?
Is it okay that some days I feel like I’m dreaming?
Is it okay that some days I don’t trust you?
Is it okay that some days I don’t feel I deserve your love?
Is it okay that I’m like this because of my past hurts?
Is it okay that you may have to work extra hard to get me to believe in us?
Tell me is it okay?
Is it okay that I think I’m in love with you?
Is it okay that I want to move away from my present to be in your presence?
Is it okay that I want to be with you?
Is it okay that I dream about you in the day and night?
Is it okay that I can see myself being your wife?
Tell me is it okay?