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12.16.2013

Happy Holidays...

Soon it will be Christmas Day.

7.23.2013

Dusting Off The Cobwebs + Master Cleanse...

I have been neglecting my blog & even that is an understatement. I always promise to do better however, there are just some periods of time where I have absolutely nothing to talk about. & then I ask myself, who reads these anyway? For now, at least, I've decided to take up writing again mainly to get me through the next 10 days!!

My coworker and I started the Master Cleanse today yesterday. (Insert "girl you must be crazy" face here) Many of you may know it as the "Lemonade Diet" or even the "Beyoncé Diet". It's a 10 day cleanse that consist of a "Lemonade" mixture made up of distilled or filtered water, fresh lemon juice, grade b maple syrup & cayenne pepper. It's basically a 10 day fast that helps to rid your body of toxins and other disgusting stuff :) & of course a lot of people lose weight during the 10 days. It also involves a salt water flush (non-iodized sea salt & water) in the mornings and herbal or laxative tea before bed.

So here I am at the top of Day 2 & I feel fine. Last night was tough but it was nothing a little herbal tea & a little journal writing couldn't cure. I'm down 3lbs which has to be mostly water. I weigh myself in the mornings before anything. [yesterday I weighed after my salt water flush which could explain the 3lb loss this morning] I'll make sure I weigh before I drink anything moving forward.

I also took up Kickboxing a few weeks ago but will put it on hold for a couple days and do some light exercises at home. I'm not trying to fall out at the gym! :-)

Overall, I'm just really excited to push through the next 9 days. Whatever it takes. My insides will thank me for it! Until next time!

Peace.

J.



9.14.2012

Protein, Juicing, Insane In The Membrane...

If you are somewhat familiar with me on a personal level, you'll know that I often get on these health kicks where I become obsessed with vitamins, superfood, natural hair products, etc. Well, nothing has changed besides the fact that I've added a few more "things" to the list! I am still faithfully making my greens plus smoothies and taking 6-8 vitamins a day ( I just prefer it that way -- multivitamins make me nauseous & I rather take the vitamins I need individually) ... I've just decided to see where the following things can take me...

I've been hearing about Juicing everywhere -- in the blog world, on Instagram, Facebook.. yeah, everywhere! I went to visit my cousin in Alabama & woke up one morning to the loud noise of her husband juicing in their awesome (expensive) juicer. I had some fresh carrot & orange juice with my boiled eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast and thought... this may be something I'd want to consider adding into my life. I then began talking to one of my co-worker's about it and found out that she just ordered her very own juicer... she sent me tons and tons of websites with great recipes so I said what the heck...why not? I have yet to invest in a juicer but wanted to give it a try the "cheap" way. (I quote that because after juicing once and seeing just how much fruits & veggies you need to make a few ounces...it's not cheap) Having just gone grocery shopping, I had an array of fruits & veggies to choose from & decided to go with a simple spinach and apple juice. So it just kinda happened for me... I pulled out my handy dandy BLENDER and went to town. After a few malfunctions & realizing that I needed to add some water to even get the stuff to start blending, I realized that I had successfully JUICED!

What I used: Blender, Strainer (You have to strain out the thick guck), 2 handfuls of Spinach, one Gala apple, a little water to get it going.



I'm super excited! After a few more rounds with my blender, I think I may invest in a juicer. (The blender takes forever and the straining is time consuming if you want something on the go) I can't begin to explain all the health benefits of Juicing... (I still have lots of research to do & I suggest you research it as well if it's something you are interested in) ...but some of the benefits should be very apparent! One can get a lot of nutrients from one juice that they normally wouldn't get in a day. I do not think that it is any BETTER than just simply eating whole fruits & vegetables, however, it is definitely a way to add more fruits & vegetables to your diet in a fun & tasty way. I think it's especially beneficial for people who may not like eating their veggies. Who would have thought that Spinach could taste so good? & with apples? I am definitely excited & ready to try more combinations...

Protein...came into the picture when I decided to order and commit to Insanity. I know what may be thinking... Insanity? Are you crazy? No... I'm just fed up & ready! I've heard how hard it is and how the first fit test has made people throw up, however, I am up for the challenge. Eating healthy has never been a huge challenge for me (although there are times when I cheat, & cheat big) but working out has. I absolutely hate working out alone. I hate going to the gym... mainly because I never know what to do. I know my strengths and weaknesses & I know that I do better with structure & organization. I love classes (Zumba, Boot Camps, Spin) .... & I love working out with people. Things like that just motivate me. Anywhos, I've never been big on the work-out DVDs but wanted to give this one a try given the good and bad (it's supposedly hard) things I've heard about it. So yeah, I will definitely keep you all updated on my Insanity experience. The other exciting thing about it is that my buddy Calla is doing is and my cousin Leah should be getting back to it now that she's had Eden!

Now back to the Protein. Bottom line, I love making my own smoothies & shakes; more importantly, I love adding healthy things to them. I knew I'd need to add some to my diet once I started Insanity. So I started googling (my favorite thing to do) and found lots! But... I needed a special kind of protein. Dairy-free & Soy-free. I may be the only weirdo I know who's allergic to soy.... & it's HARD (for me at least) to find things that are soy-free (maybe I'm not looking in the right places). So long story short (this post is getting longer & longer) I found a vegan friendly - plant based protein - at the vitamin shoppe. & I love it! I bought the chocolate flavor which is yummmmmy! Tastes like a chocolate shake when you blend it with vanilla almond milk & a few ice cubes. I've added bananas sometimes too! :-)



My plans for the protein shakes? Well, I'm really interested in doing my own version of the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse -- I'd rather save money and NOT buy Shakeology at this time (even though I have heard great things about it)... so I plan to use my own protein & added nutrients. After that, I plan to replace one meal a day with a healthy fruit & protein shake. & who knows...maybe even a juice or two throughout the day! I've heard of people doing 30-Day Juice Cleanses...however, I'm definitely not there yet. I'm going to take it slow & continue to do more research... so we shall see!

Whew!

The funny thing is... I was wondering what on earth I could blog about now that my Locs are no more...and realized that Locs or not, nothing has changed! I still have lots and lots to blab about! I definitely plan to keep my faithful readers & Facebook friends in the loop on this new experience. I'm hungry & feigning another shake...Toodles!

J.

9.06.2012

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow...

I combed out my Locs.

The end.


Just kidding.... many of you may be wondering why I did it, how I did it & what possessed me to do "it"... well, here goes.

WHY

Honestly, I was just "over" it. & that is the best answer I can come up with. The decision to comb my Locs out was just as sudden as the decision to Loc my hair. I wasn't happy with the progress and I knew that it was time when I was able to jump up out of my bed and start to comb one out at 2am one late night/early morning. It was sort of like an adrenaline rush. Maybe it was something I had wanted to do for months, who knows. Once I got half way through one Loc I felt more confident in my "rash" decision. You see, I was terrified of what "could" happen if I did and what "could" happen if I didn't. I am more than positive that the decision was driven by a lot of emotions. But you see, so was the decision to Loc. It was no different for me... and the beauty of it all is that it's my hair & I have the ability to do with it what I feel. I tried something that I always wanted to do... It wasn't for me right now, so I changed my mind. I still love Locs; I appreciated mine. I just missed the freedom of my loose hair. <---- This in itself can be it's own blog post but I will leave it at that. &That's the why.

HOW

A few rat tail combs, lots & lots of conditioner, a spray bottle, a few hands & about 15 hours spread out over 4 days. I had to come to terms with the fact that I would lose some hair through the process. I had to also convince the AWESOME friends who helped me through it that it was OKAY for them to comb out globs of my hair. :) I had no idea how much I would lose or what my hair would look like after..... But It worked.

WHAT

Emotions... a lot of thoughts about everything and nothing at once. The what if's and the what not's. It was just one of those days for me. Don't get me wrong, I've had A LOT of those days throughout my journey (even though it was short lived, it still was)... but this day was different.

THE AFTER

How do I feel? I honestly feel good. My head feels lighter (figuratively & literally). I'm good with my decision. I've been getting back in the groove of my natural loose hair. I've had to slowly build up my product collection again over the last two weeks. I didn't even own my own comb or brush over the last 6 months!

My final thoughts on the entire thing...? IF I ever Loc my hair again & want to take them out? I'm cutting those jokers OFF! Combing out my Locs (baby locs at that) has probably been thee most frustrating and tiring hair situation I have ever had! Lol. Never again! :)

6.07.2012

Is It Ever "Just Hair"...?

I started this post last week & ended up just saving it as a draft... It was originally titled "Locs of Rambling..." -- However, it came back to life and had even more meaning after the day I had today. So here goes...

A few days ago Today, I had a "not so good hair day". Who am I kidding? I had a HORRBILE hair day; shed a few tears... Yeah. So I was talked off the hair ledge a few times but as you can see I made it through. I am able to finally update this post & publish it with my Locs still intact! So no worries, they are still thriving. I do not want to go back to that place right now but I will just let you all know that it included thoughts of scissors, lots of conditioner & a comb or two. Today... Now, I just feel the need to rant & rave on a few topics that are pretty much related. Hair & Beauty. But no, not the good stuff. I want to talk about the bad & the ugly. That ugly thing that society puts inside of us we allow ourselves to absorb. I was ranting & raving to my buddy Calla the other night & out of my mouth I said "I blame Society". We agreed that a lot of Naturals feel this way. But what exactly are we blaming "Society" for? The uncomfortableness, the unsureness we often feel when trying to comfortably be ourselves? The fact that we second guess ourselves and the decisions we make regarding our hair? The fact that we allow ourselves to become confused when just the other day we were positively sure! Yes, we all do it in some form or fashion. But wait....WHO the hell is "Society"? Don't we all make up "Society"...?

By locking my hair, I have stripped away what "Society" has deemed as appropriate, as pretty, as acceptable. Technically, I stripped this away 7 years ago when I stopped putting chemicals on my head. However, throughout those 7 years I would still feel the need to press my hair to get that long straight look. WHY? I don't know. It's how I felt the most comfortable. I often felt as if I didn't know what to do with my hair when it was curly, tangled and crazy looking. If I took my flat iron to it though..... that always seemed to save the day! However, a few months before I started my Locs, I began to really embrace my curly hair... I started experimenting with styles & refraining from using heat. (Yes, it took me 7 years to get to that point.... & then I decided to Loc my hair.) BRAM!

I'm so annoyed that I am even experiencing this constant emotional battle between the hair I had before, the hair I have now & what it can potentially be. The FUNNY thing is, that it has and always will be the same hair. When people tell me they "prefer" my straight hair, or loose curly hair, I have to really slap myself in the face (not literally) and remind myself that my FACE has not changed and more importantly, my BEING has not been altered through this hair transformation. I am still me! Just a bolder more "I don't give a fudge" kinda ME who is still plagued by the expectations society has for me (ALL OF US).  *sigh*

I was comfortable with the natural, loose hair I had prior to Locs. In fact, I hid behind it. It was a distraction. & obviously, others bought into that too if they cannot see the same me behind a set of Locs. I love what my Locs have the potential to become. Long & beautiful. But what is the correlation between LONG & BEAUTIFUL?  Why do I feel as if my hair is less beautiful now as it continues to shrink? I hear myself in my head "I'm ready for them to grow". What prevents me from embracing them as they are? SHORT & FLUFFY!

Where do we begin to correct this backwardness? I can declare that I will no longer CARE what others think or what society says is appropriate... but the truth is... it will still be there. Plaguing all of us. Plaguing us with every "rebellious" thing we do. (Yes, I am a rebel now being that I have Loc'd my hair.) It will plague the woman who decides to liberate herself by shaving her head. Or the woman who decides to stop relaxing her hair. The woman who rocks Bantu-Knots. The sad thing is, it also plagues the woman who hides behind her weaves and wigs. (I'm not knocking! To each it's own) It plagues the woman who hides behind a face full of make-up. We are striving to be society's idea of beautiful instead of letting everything about us naturally scream beautiful!

So anywho's... I ranted & raved in order to really explore the question: Is it ever JUST hair? Why does it mean so much to us? Or why do we associate so much with it? Is there really a correlation or maybe a socialization that LONG equals "More Beautiful"? Is long, straight hair more of the norm? Just some things to think about I guess...

-signed, a crazy Loc'd lady.

5.17.2012

Skin Care: Natural This, Natural That...

After countless discussions with friends, stressful pimple popping sessions and freaking out about this dark spot here and that dark spot there, I've come to realize that there isn't just ONE universal perfect skin care regimen and frankly, there never will be. You have to find what works and doesn't work for you. Will we ever come across that one set routine that will keep us pimple & blemish free forever? Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes products may work for a few months or years (sometimes days :[ ) and then you get a random break out & lose all faith whatsoever in the same products you originally thought were God given. Even I have reached a breaking point where I was OVER the whole skin care thing. However, I know that I can never give up on my skin. We only get one "skin" in this thing called life, so we must take care of it! & I'm not talking to those of you who can drink a gallon of sugar, roll your face in a bottle of grease, sprinkle dirt on top and still come out pimple free! I guess we can simply leave that explanation up to genetics and say that y'all are just darn lucky. But we secretly don't like you anyway & wish years and years of pimples on you. Lol. I'm just kidding... :-)

To those of us who don't have it quite so easy...We must Listen to our skin. Yes, seriously! Your skin will talk to you through every pimple & dry spot. Look for what your skin needs and when it needs it. What worked in the summer months may not work during the cold and dry winter months. I like to use the term "experiment". You have to see what works for you & sometimes it will be trial and error! Hey, it may even burn a hole in your pocket if you let it. I've been there done that. I too have ran to the drugstore every time I got whiff of a "new product" that gives "remarkable results". I am in no way shape or form a "skin expert", I am just speaking from my own personal experience and well...common sense!

Skin: "Jeslin, help me!" & "I hate benzoyl peroxide!" & "Maybe you should try something different Lady!".

Me: "Well Skin, I've decided to finally listen to you & try something different..."

Just as I decided 7 years ago to stop putting harsh chemicals in my hair, I've decided to stop putting even harsher chemicals on my face. Hence my "Natural This, Natural That...Benzoyl Who?" motto. I've also decided to take better care of myself from the inside out by adding a lot of natural foods/vitamins and essentials to my diet. Definitely expect an updated post from me on this topic. I've ordered a few new products & will also be hitting up the Farmer's Market with my Healthy-Side-Kick Soror Natalie this weekend! *Excited*

Things Your Skin (& Common Sense) Should Be Telling You!

1. Make Skin Care a Priority! You will thank me later.
2. Don't be Lazy & "Forget" to remove your make up, ew !
3. Change your pillow cases often!
4. Clean your make-up brushes!
5. Keep your hands off me during the day!
6. Moisturize !
7. Know what is in your products!
8. Don't give up!


I'm serious!...Don't give up on your skin! I know how stressful it can be trying to achieve healthy, breakout & blemish free skin! Giving up will only add to the stress.



Here's to beautiful skin!

5.16.2012

Loc Journey: Frustration Kicks In...

All I want to do right now is SCREAM. I'm just so....I dunno! I have not been having a good anything day! And my crazy looking Locs (maybe I should stop calling them crazy) are not helping! Keri suggested that maybe my Locs are not looking good or behaving because I've been complaining about them. Hmm, maybe she's on to something? I definitely believe that perception is everything. Our attitudes certainly have an effect on our perceptions. What you think is how you feel? Am I sending negative energy to my Locs? I hope not. When I was on vacation in Miami, a Rasta man who was also trying to sell me CDs, told me I had the power on my head. How he even noticed that I was growing Locs surprised me. But boy did it brighten up my day. So who knows... maybe they feel what I feel. It's certainly something to think about. :)

Anywhos, I was reading in the world of blogger & I came across a Loc'd Lady who believed that her Locs actually held her emotions. This made my left eyebrow raise. I think I can dig it. The icing on the cake however, was when Mr. Bornu himself said that I was not in harmony with my Universe. Bleh. He's right. They are all right. So...I've decided to HUG my Locs. Love my Locs. Maybe even talk to my Locs. I'm going to get to REALLY know my Locs now. It's time I stop being afraid of the hair on my head and time I start owning it. Because it's mine! Yeah, I may sound crazy, but I can care less. I've been (on the low) caring too much about others' opinions of my Locs. A few days ago, I even daydreamed about getting in the shower, washing my hair (because I know my roots would unravel) & then taking a scissors to it and proceeding to do a BIG CHOP. AM I OUT OF MY EFF'ING MIND? Maybe.

Tonight...I'm going to do my OWN hair...*cries* I used to do my own hair ALL the time. Having been natural for 7 years, I could count the number of times that I went to the salon on ONE hand. I think that I've gotten my hair trimmed maybe...3 or 4 times in the last 7 years? So what happened to me? -shrugs- These bad boys on my head have scared the crap out of me that's what.  I wonder if anyone else out there has had this problem in the beginning stages?

"I'm afraid I'll mess them up..."
"What if they unravel...?"
"What if it doesn't come out right?"
"OMG what if I come out looking like a crazy lou?"

Well that can't be possible, because I already look like a crazy lou! Oh, I'm just kidding...kinda. ;-) So there you have it folks... I've decided to grow some balls! I plan to stop talking negatively about my Locs. This does not mean I won't share the GOOD & the BAD, it just means I'll stop saying how much I hate them (Lol) because I honestly do NOT hate them. At least I know that if I fail miserably, I can try try again or.... drive my crazy behind over to Bornu's Salon! Or have Keri talk me off the ledge...LOL

Humor always helps me get through days like this :-) Life is good. Toodles!


I don't know.

4.30.2012

Sh*t Got Real...

The Story of He, She & Sh*t.

Out of the night & in His shining armor.
He was Everything She thought She wanted
Just in time. Easing the pain - caused by isolation
Just in time. Soothing the wounds - cut deep; in desolation

Shit.

All the things She never wanted.
Conceled by all the things He thought She wanted.
Sh*t is sudden, unexpected & cuts like a knife.
Sh*t makes you regress, recoup & reevaluate life.
Sh*t showed up, Shit got real...

& She got scared.

Scared She'd be stuck. Wavering within Forever… Unhappily happy.
In a Hopelessly, Unromantic place. Searching for love - a love misplaced.
Misplaced by all the factors of Sh*t, Time and Distance.
Its growth stunted by outright resistance...

Sh*t continued to get real. & They began to no longer feel
Feel the things they thought they felt - Coldness hitting like a hardened belt.
Emotions swelling up like a painful welt.
Contusions of confusion surrounding what was left...
For They were just feelings They thought They felt.

Shit.

Life gets real, When Sh*t happens. People begin to slowly disappear...
When Sh*t happens.
Friends who were friends because of friends no longer remained friends...
When Sh*t happens.
Sometimes things just come to an end...It depends.. When Sh*t happens...

Into the night with a defeated demeanor
He. Exposed - Everything she never Wanted.
She - An image of what He thought He Wanted.

Shit.

It Got Real...So Real.