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Health

Strawberry Superfood Smoothie

Health, Recipes

Since I make juices and smoothies a part of my daily life; I love coming up with new recipes. Creating and trying new recipes makes eating healthy fun and interesting. This morning I came up with this berry superfood smoothies using strawberries. You could use any type of berry you like but I LOVE strawberries. This drink is so yummy and easy to make.

 

 

Strawberry Superfood Smoothie

2 cups organic fresh organic strawberries

2 cups coconut milk

1 frozen banana

2 scoop GSGLife Superfood Reds

handful cashews

 

I blended everything up in my nutribullet!

 

I hope you enjoy this super simple and delicious smoothie.

Amazing Beauty Products from your Pantry

Health, Healthy Home, Info & Tips, Lifestyle

I’ve reviewed a few natural and organic beauty brands on the blog but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about the DIY days. Products that are already formulated for you without having to do anything extra are great. However you can find great beauty products right in your own kitchen. I’ll bet most of you already have some of these items on hand. Fruits, veggies, and herbs can fight wrinkles, dry skin, dullness, and even dark spots! Here are a few natural beauty products that you can find at home:

 

Potatoes– Oh I love potatoes! Although I’ve made a commitment to stay away from this starchy veg for a while or at least not eat them all the time. But it’s actually the starch from the potatoes that can help alleviate puffy eyes. Potatoes contain an anti-inflammatory astringent that reduces the puffy areas around the eyes. I’ve used this trip myself many a times and trust me it works.

 

Brown Sugar– With the summer basically around the corner we all want that beautiful healthy skin glowing in the sun! Clear glowing skin starts with a regular exfoliation sessions. No need to spend crazy amounts of money buying those scrubs when you can take a half a cup of brown sugar and mix it your favorite oil like olive or coconut oil (melted). Bring this mixture into your next shower and scrub your body with it after your normal rituals.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar– I know ACV is very popular amongst the natural hair community even though many hair stylists are saying the total opposite. Read here for more info on that… Back to the matter at hand apple cider vinegar is a natural astringent and toner. You can actually apply this to your face with a cotton ball after a cleansing. This will help restore your skin’s pH balance, tone, hydrate, and can even help with removing unwanted dark spots.

fruit-on-counter

Strawberries– Oh how I love berries and if you are following me on social media then you know how I’ve been on a berry binge for the last few weeks. Not only are the filled with antioxidants for healthy skin but strawberries also contain malic acid which is a natural teeth whitener. You can make simple at home toothpaste using strawberries by crushing a strawberry in some baking soda and coconut oil. Mix the ingredients together until they form a paste. Brush teeth as normal. Over time this will actually brighten your smile and promote fresh breath.

 

 

Avocados– Not only are they a healthy fat which is delicious when eaten but avocados are a natural moisturizer as well. You can use fresh ripe avocados as a hair conditioner to provide moisture or even a facial mask to hydrate dry skin. Just be sure that the avocado is masked and blended well if using it in your hair; you don’t want chunks of avocado left in your hair! As a mask simply mash an avocado with a fork and apply it to your face for 10 minutes. The natural fats and vitamins will relieve dry skin.

 

 

Those are just a few of my at home natural beauty items. Have you tried any of these? If so let me know in the comments.

 

 

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Why Women of Color Should Opt for Non-Toxic Cosmetics

Body, Health, Info & Tips, Lifestyle, Make-Up, Natural Hair, Skincare

When I refer to women of color I don’t just mean those of Black or African decent. The term includes women from a wide variety of backgrounds including Latina, Native American, Asian, and Indian. As a fellow brown girl my passion and drive for creating this blog is to serve as a resource and motivation to chose organic and all natural options when it comes to cosmetics. My goal with this blog is to at least get women to consider their health when purchasing beauty products and to show that there are safer alternatives.

 

Cosmetics are a $71 billion industry. Of that number women of color spend close to three times as much than any other group. Cosmetic products marketed to women of color have improved in providing safer ingredients. The natural hair care industry has grown from only a select few companies to several; most of which are now offered in local beauty supply stores and big box retailers. I remember a time when there were only a select few available exclusively online.

 

According to the Environmental Working Group many ingredients used in traditional personal care products are known carcinogens, which have been linked to breast cancer. Unfortunately in the United States there is no system in place to regulate potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics. Cosmetic companies are not required to have their products tested for safety by the FDA or any other agency. This means we as consumers have to be careful to read our labels and understand the ingredients in the products we use in and on our bodies daily.

 

The average US woman uses beauty products that contain nearly 200 different chemicals. Of these chemicals many include parabens, mercury, artificial dye, phthalates, formaldehyde, and toluene. All of these substances have been proven to cause many adverse health risks with prolonged use. Some of these health concerns are fibroid tumors, infertility, birth defects, hair loss, cancer, and this is just to name a few! Women of color are at a greater risk for these fibroids, breast cancer, and other diseases.

 

I often hear women of color especially in the black community stay away from certain ingredients in their hair care products but why not extend that to your makeup, skincare, and other beauty products. While it may sound overwhelming at first you can make small changes one product at a time. As a woman of color I understand where the challenge comes to finding cosmetics that are a perfect match. Hopefully this blog will introduce you to some natural alternatives that won’t compromise your health in the name of beauty.

 

Here are some resources if you want to do more research:

Story of cosmetics

Safe Cosmetics.org

Environmental Working Group

 

 

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Coconut Overnight Oatmeal

Health, Recipes

This recipe is actually inspired by a post I saw on Instagram and I decided to put my own spin on it. It’s a simple oatmeal recipe with a coconut twist. I added some berries at the end to give it some natural sweet flavor. The best part of this recipe is that you can make it the night before and eat it in the morning. I warmed mine up in a bowl but you can also eat it as it. Overnight oatmeal is starting to become very popular because it’s a quick way to make a healthy breakfast.I like to mix up the breakfast that I eat in the morning just to help break up the metonymy. It’s easy to get bored so I like to switch it up all while staying healthy of course!

 

Ingredients 

1/2 cup cut oats

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon shredded coconut

1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

handful of berries or fruit of your choice

 

Directions

Place all the ingredients except for the fruit into a mason jar or tightly sealed container. Keep in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. You can serve this hot or cold 🙂

 

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Berry Coconut Smoothie

Health

This smoothie is the perfect after workout treat! It’s packed with electrolytes and b vitamins to keep your energy up and you body hydrated. Berries are chocked filled with b vitamins which help boost your energy. I also used coconut water in this recipe because not only will it add extra flavor but also the electrolytes. This is a great recipe to drink as a pre or after workout snack. Give this recipe a try after your next workout session and let me know what you think. Since this recipe calls for frozen fruit the consistency might be on the thicker side. You can adjust the thickness to your liking by adding more liquid.

 

Ingredients

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder

1 cup of coconut water

Enjoy!

 

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Clean Eating Do’s and Don’ts

Blog, Health

I’m sure most of you know when you are eating something that isn’t necessarily looking out for nutritional needs. When I’m coaching people I find that most think that they have a good idea of what their eating habits should look like but often times fall short. The phrase I hear the most is “I know what I should be eating but I just don’t”. There are dozen of myths floating around about what a meal should look like and what is healthy and what is not. Hopefully these small tips will help bridge the gap and give you a boost when choosing what and how to eat.

 

DO’S

1. Eat 6 small meals each day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and small snack in between meal times.

 

2. Eat breakfast everyday within an hour of rising.

 

3. Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbs at each meal. Complex carbs can be veggies and proteins can be a choice between lean meat, beans, legumes, or nuts & seeds.

 

4. Eat healthy fats every day. Contrary to popular belief we actually needs fats in order to function. Chose healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Try incorporating one of those into your daily meals.

 

5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Our body is made up of water so keep yourself hydrated. Try drinking a glass of water before during and after meals. I drink more water than I do any other liquid.

 

6. Carry healthy snacks with you. I’ve talked about this before. Carry nut snack packs, grapes, carrots, apples, or bananas with you. This will help curb your appetite for junk and prevent you from reaching for the sugar, sodas, and other artificial junk.

 

7. Depend on fresh fruits and veggies for fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients. The fresher the better. Always opt for fresh foods instead of boxes or prepackaged goods with a shelf life.

 

8. Adhere to proper portion sizes. A good rule of thumb is to use the palm of your hand to measure the appropriate serving for your body type.

 

DON’TS

 

1. Eat overly processed foods, particularly white flour and sugar.

 

2. Chemically and artificially charged foods

 

3. Foods containing preservatives. This includes anything with a shelf life like boxed or canned goods.

 

4. Artificial foods such as processed cheese slices.

 

5. Trans fats

 

6. Sugar loaded beverages including colas & juices

 

7. Excessive amounts of alcohol

 

8. All calorie dense  foods containing little to no nutritional value.

 

 

Hopefully these tips were helpful to you

 

 

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My Healthy Grocery Staples

Blog, Featured, Health

My grocery list may change from time to time depending on what is in season, what is on sale or my taste buds! There are a few items that I always make sure I have in my kitchen stock. These are items that I like to call my “staples”; products that I use several times for multi-purposes. Today I’m sharing this with you. Hopefully it will inspire you to create your own must have list or borrow some from mine 🙂

 

Apple Cider Vinegar- This is a powerful natural astringent and cleanser. I use this to wash my produce when I come home from the grocery store. I just place the fruit or veggies in a bowl filled with water and add a few tablespoons of ACV. I let it soak for 15-20 minutes then rinse. I’ve also used this as a facial toner; it’s great at evening the skin tone and giving you a nice glow. During my detoxes I’ll add a few teaspoons or cap full to a glass of water and drink that first thing in the morning; this helps to clear out my digestive track

 

Coconut Oil- This staple is like one of those stuck on a deserted island type of things. The many benefits of coconut are incredible it’s such an amazing plant; that’s why I wrote about it here. I use raw unrefined/ extra virgin coconut oil on my hair, skin, teeth, everywhere! It can moisturize like no other oil because of it’s properties it can penetrate the hair shaft and skin layers to soothe and soften. I also use it in place of butter when cooking or baking. Coconut oil is also a wonderful source of healthy fats which we need in our diets. Such a great all purpose oil.

 

Leafy greens- One can never have enough leafy greens in their diet. I always have some sort of leafy green in my fridge from spinach, kale, dandelions, collards, cabbage, etc. I add them to my smoothies in the morning, use them in salads, steamed veggies. I recommend ingesting leafy greens in at least one meal per day if not more. The chlorophyll in dark leafy greens has so many vitamins and minerals; it’s like a powerhouse of nutrients for your body.

 

Flax seeds- Good source of micro-nutrients and omega 3’s, and ALA. I love adding these to smoothies, salads, soups, snacks. Sometimes I grind them up and use them like you would flour. I’ve made baked crusted tilapia with toasted flax seeds, so delicious. Plus I love that nutty flavor.

 

Coconut Water- A natural source for electrolytes. I like to use this in place of water for drinking in smoothies or by itself. If you work out a lot of even if you drink Gatorade this is a great natural alternative minus the artificial colors and added sugars.

 

Lentils- A part of the beans and legume family another source of protein. If you are a vegan or vegetarian this is perfect. I still eat chicken and fish but not every day and lentils are my go to for my meatless days. I like to make stews and lentils burgers, which are my absolute favorite. You can pretty much season and flavor it anyway you like and it’s always delicious and super easy to make. Plus lentils cook pretty fast so you can have a hot meal in 30 minutes. Hows that for healthy fast food!

 

Quinoa- Another one of my favorites and protein source. Quinoa is a super food because the health benefits are endless. I like to make a large pot and use it for a variety of meals through out the week. In morning with a bit of almond milk and frozen fruit, makes a yummy breakfast. For lunch is pairs well with salads. It can also be used as a rice substitute. I like the taste of quinoa so much that I’ve eaten a large bowl of plain quinoa with seasoning.

 

Oatmeal- I eat this for breakfast with a little fresh fruit. I also like to grind this up and make pancakes with some mashed bananas or almond milk. Ground oatmeal can be used in place of flour; a healthier option than using traditional white flour. For extra fiber you can add some oatmeal to your smoothies.

 

What are some of your healthy grocery staples? Let me know in the comments down below.

 

 

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Blood Orange Smoothie

Blog, Featured, Health

Blood oranges have the highest amount of Vitamin C than any other citrus fruit. There are many benefits of eating blood oranges such as cancer and diabetes prevention, hair loss, and so much more.

 

Ingredients

2 small blood oranges, peeled and sliced

1 cup of frozen strawberries

1 small frozen banana

1 handful of spinach

2 cups of water

 

Enjoy!

I love making smoothies so if you have any smoothie recipes you’d like to share or see in this blog let me know in the comments 🙂

 

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The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Blog, Featured, Health, Natural Hair, Skincare

 

Those who know me personally know that I LOVE coconut oil. The coconut has become one of my favorite food because the meat and the oil extracted from it has so many health benefits that it can be labeled a super food. If i was stranded on a deserted island I would be okay with plenty of coconut. 🙂 Seriously, I use it on my hair, skin, and to cook with. Let me share with you some of my favorite coconut oil uses and benefits.

FYI: I always use Organic Raw Unrefined Coconut Oil to get the most beneficial nutrients.

 

HAIR

This is probably the most common way I use coconut oil as it is a great conditioner for the hair. I love adding coconut oil to my deep conditioners or use it for a hot oil treatment as it is the only oil that can penetrate into the hair shaft. That means super moisturized strong bouncy hair.

 

SKIN

Being that coconut oil is a great overall moisturizer you can also apply it directly to your skin in place of your regular lotion. Coconut oil gets deep into the skin tissues providing excellent hydration to the skin. This is an added benefit during the cold winter months when skin typically gets dry. I also like to add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to my DIY body scrubs.

 

MOUTH WASH

Yes you read right my friends! Coconut oil can be used as a mouth wash also known as oil pulling. Take about 1-2 tablespoons  of melted coconut oil and swish around your mouth. This helps pull the toxins from out of your mouth. Just be sure to spit it out and not to swallow after swishing! After repeated use of this method you will notice your teeth getting whiter and your breath fresher.

 

COOKING OIL

I stopped using butter several years ago for health reasons. I found that coconut oil makes a great substitute for butter. You can use it anywhere you would normally use butter even for baking. In fact it adds a little extra flavor to your dishes. As a cooking oil you can use it in any recipe that calls for some sort of vegetable oil. If you don’t want the coconut flavor in your food just use the refined version.

 

Do you use coconut oil? If so leave me a comment and let me know how you’ve incorporated coconut oil into your healthy lifestyle.

 

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe

Health, Recipes

Last week via social media I posted a picture of a peanut butter banana smoothie I whipped up at home for a quick snack. I’m good for creating quick recipes on a whim and seeing if it works. This one is super easy and you only need a few ingredients which you probably already have on hand. Plus there are only 3 ingredients you’ll need.

 

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

2 cups almond milk

 

Just blend all ingredients until smooth