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......