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5 Healthy Documentaries on Netflix You Must Watch

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle I’m a total documentary nerd. Like any other nerd I enjoy a good Netflix and chill night. Netflix is great for binge watching your favorite classic sitcoms and learning something new by watching documentaries. If you’re new to the non toxic lifestyle or even if you’re a pro you must watch these 5 healthy documentaries on Netflix. These will open your eyes about the food you eat and even the personal care products you use.

 

  1. Hungry for Change– This documentary exposes hidden secrets about diet, weight loss, and the food industry as a whole. It creates a conversation about why you crave bad foods that ultimately provide no nutritional value.
  2. The Human Experiment– This talks about the many hidden dangers in our personal care and household cleaning tools. You hear from real people whose lives have been negatively effected from the poisonous chemicals and what current legislation looks like to protect us from them.
  3. Food Choices– I loved this one because it takes an in depth look at what it means to eat a plant based diet. Redefining what a vegan or vegetarian is and whether or not it’s truly healthier. This documentary also shed like on fad diets like the paleo diet and others that have gained notoriety.
  4. Forks over Knives– This is a classic documentary that discusses processed foods and gives you a behind the scenes look at just how produce is grown and the inhumane way animals are treated prior to landing on your plate.
  5. Minimalism– Great documentary that makes you wonder exactly how much stuff do you really need in order to live a happy life. In a time where people collect the latest gadgets, clothes, and other items it looks at the lives of 2 men who have decided to cut out all the excess.

 

Have you watched any of these documentaries? If so what are your thoughts? Please share any other documentaries on healthy living in the comments.

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper, Kale, and Chickpea Curry

In my efforts to eat a more plant-based diet I’ve learned how to be more creative with the foods I prepare. I think it’s healthy to experiment and try new things. I’ve never been a huge Indian food lover however I do enjoy curried dishes. So when I saw a recipe for chickpea curry I thought about how I can switch it up a bit and make it my own. So here my delish rendition of Roasted Red Pepper, Kale, and Chickpea Curry. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

2 cups dried garbanzo beans or chickpeas

1 large orange bell pepper

2 medium tomatoes

6 grape tomatoes, cut in quarters

3 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

1 large bunch of purple kale

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Clean and rinse dried chickpea beans. Cover with water in a medium pot and cook until tender about 2 hours.
  2. Drain chickpea water in a separate bowl and set both water and chickpeas aside
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees and roast orange pepper and medium tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until slightly charred
  4. In a medium pan sauté red onions and kale until tender and onions are translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.
  5. Once veggies are done roasting in the oven transfer them into a blender with the water from cooked chickpeas and almond milk.  Blend until smooth
  6. In a medium pot place cooked chickpeas, sautéed kale, chopped grape tomatoes, and red pepper blend, and remaining spices into the pot. Cook on medium low setting stirring occasionally.
  7. Combine well and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste

You can serve this with rice or quinoa. I served this with thai purple sticky rice. It was so yummy!

 

How to Detox Naturally

I hope your new year is off to a great start!

Now that the holidays are over it’s time to transition back into regular life. I don’t know about you but I do indulge a bit during the holidays. You know how it goes; baked mac n cheese, spiked egg nog, sweet potato pie, or whatever your family likes to throw down.

Just to help me reset on focus I like to start the new year on a detox. Going on a detox helps you to recover from the holidays, remove toxins from the body, and get focused for the new year.

So here are a few tips on how to detox naturally.

 

My first tip is to stay away from processed foods. During the holidays we eat a lot of sweet treats and deserts. So cutting out all sugars and processed foods and sticking to a plant based diet is ideal during a detox. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh organic fruits and veggies.

It is important that you stay hydrated during your detox. This helps flush out toxins from the body. During the holidays you’re running around buying gifts, traveling, spending time with the fam so it’s harder to make sure you drink enough water. While I’m detoxing I make sure I increase my water intake. Drinking infused water is a great way stay hydrated and also add flavor to your water. You can add your favorite herbs and fruits to really make the water taste delicious. You can get a water infuser like this here.

For me a detox is not only about my physical health but also my mental and spiritual well-being. At the beginning of the year I like to pray and get closer to God. It really helps me to set the tone for the new year. I love collecting journals so I’ll write down any goals I want to accomplish in the new year. I also like to read inspirational books or devotionals.

Overall during your detox you want relax as much as possible. Work on being a better you from the inside out. I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any detoxing tips you want to share leave them in the comments below.

 

Lack of Healthy Beauty options for Black Women

Recently the Environmental Working Group did a study on the market for black cosmetics. According to the studies less than 25% of products marketed to black women score low in potentially dangerous hazardous ingredients. This means that the majority of products currently on the market targeted at black women contain ingredients that can potentially cause serious harm to our health. They also updated their Skin Deep database to include over 1,000 products marketed to black women. This is awesome news because now you can check the hazardous levels of the products you probably use regularly.

I’ve been pushing the green lifestyle for a while now and it amazes me just how much women of color are still not aware. Even in my everyday life I meet women who have no idea that their personal care products are not safe. The looks on faces is one of shock and astonishment when I proceed to tell them that they cannot trust crafty marketing or even the government for that matter when it comes to beauty product shopping. Just a few days ago I was having a conversation with a black woman from my church about Secret deodorant. I stopped using traditional deodorant and actually go without most days. I wrote an article on the blog discussing the dangers of using traditional deodorant and natural alternatives. To sum it up I explained to this woman that she should stop using Secret deodorant because of the aluminum and other carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer and other diseases. Thankfully her response was one of gratitude as if I saved her life. In actuality I pretty much did in the long run.

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Even though I’m still able to educate people I come in contact with in person and online via this blog; what that conversation and EWG’s report tells me is that there is still more work to be done. Research has mostly focused on chemical hair straighteners for black women and girls. As a woman sporting her natural hair, I think it’s awesome how the natural hair movement has exploded. However it’s bigger than just our hair. While it’s great that we are embracing our curls and staying away from parabens and sulfates in our hair products, what about our lipsticks, lotions, etc.?? And truth be told not even all the natural hair products are actually “natural”. You still have to read your labels and be cautious when purchasing those items as well. It’s sad that it feels like you need a degree in chemistry in order to buy beauty products but unfortunately until better regulation is in place this is what we have to do. We have to continue to educate ourselves about the ingredients in everything that we use.

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image from ewg.org

As I look around at the various blogs, events, and social media platforms I don’t really see a wealth of information about being conscious when it comes to every other beauty product that is used in the black community aside from our hair. This gives off the message that all we are focused on is our hair. So as long as our hair is slayed then we’re good. Sorry (not sorry) ladies but this is not enough! With black women being the highest on the list of fibroids, infertility, and other health concerns we should be much more prevalent about the practices of our whole body not just hair.

source: ewg.org

source: ewg.org

“This report makes clear the lack of safer alternatives for black women. Demand for these products is increasing and the cosmetics industry needs to provide healthy beauty options for black women” –Women’s Voices for the Earth. This is one of the many reasons why I created my holiday gift guide featuring black owned green beauty brands. While there aren’t as many as others there are still options.

You may be reading this article and thinking; well what can I do about it. Continue to support green beauty bloggers like myself and other organizations such as Women’s Voices for the Earth and Black Women for Wellness. Stay up to date on what hazardous ingredients are by checking websites and databases like Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep and the ThinkDirty app. Think twice before just picking up an item at your local retailer and placing it in your shopping cart. Take the time to read the label, read the ingredients in the product. If you’re not sure what an ingredient is look it up through one of the databases I mentioned. If you see that a product has harmful ingredients start looking for safer alternatives. Start supporting organic natural beauty brands like the ones I mentioned in my holiday gift guide.

Major companies only see and understand money. People always tell me that buying organic or going green is expensive. I admit that yes at times it can be a bit pricier than traditional items. However I believe in the buying power we have. The beauty industry is a trillion dollar business with black women accounting for the majority of that. If more people made conscious decisions when it comes to buying beauty products a lot can change. If you can get companies to stop using sulfates I believe we can push them to create all beauty products without toxic ingredients. Trust me they will take notice of people opting not to buy toxic beauty products when they start losing money.

 

Have you read EWG report? What are your thoughts?

Resource: ewg.org Big Market for Black Cosmetics but less Hazardous Choices Limited 

Khamila is Green and Glam!

 

How long have you been going green with your health and or beauty routine?

I have been going green for about 1-2 years officially or so with my beauty routine. 

 

Why did you decide to go non-toxic & organic and how has it changed your life?

 I actually accidentally slipped into non toxic and organic skincare due to my skin reacting to products from my dermatologist as well as over the counter products. My eczema was flaring up and it was hard to use anything without my skin stinging. I found that coconut oil was soothing for my skin and actually healed my skin faster. I began to ponder if conventional products were irritating my skin and essentially doing nothing for me in terms of healing. I was pretty sold from then on and it’s allowed me to not deal with eczema, skin sensitivity or allergies being triggered . Using non toxic skincare and makeup allows my skin to glow more and seems to help it to heal faster and as a result I can use less makeup. It has also helped me to be more thoughtful about what I purchase as well. 

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What is your go to green beauty product?

Go to Hair: Olive Oil and Whipped Shea Butter 

Go to Body Care: Coconut Oil , Body Scrubs from 100% Pure 

Go to Skin Care: Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Cleanser, 100% Coffee Bean Eye Cream , Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil & makeup Remover, Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub

Go to Makeup: 100% pure Fruit Pigmented Healthy Skin Foundation and Powder, W3ll People Bio Brightener Stick in Moonstone, W3ll People Expressionist Mascara, Jane Iredale Brown eyeliner, I also love the Teri Miyahira Beauty Box Subscription

 

What does going green mean for you?

Going green represents self care to me because I get to choose ingredients that do not harm me. I get to use nontoxic products that heal my skin and doesn’t wreck my skin. I also get to be more mindful about what I use, and am able to choose products that leave a positive imprint on the world.

 

What advice do you have for someone who is new to the idea of going green?

  • Slowly transition into green beauty. Unless you have the budget for it, it will be costly going out and purchasing all new personal products. Instead as your products run out, take note and consider new nontoxic products that you can transition into. 
  • Start following green beauty lovers on social media to be aware of brands, products & their performance. If a product interests you then try reading reviews so that you can make a thoughtful and informed decision on whether to purchase.
  • Always try samples so you can get a feel for the products and shades prior to purchasing. I always advise to shop at businesses with great customer service and return policy because  no matter how well you may research a product it just may not work well for you! 
  • Always try to reach out to a company if you need with finding your shade of foundation and there are no samples. You can usually send them a photo of yourself (bare faced, in the light) which will help them to assess your skin tone and make suggestions.

 

How can we keep up with you?

I can be found on Instagram @greenmilamonster  

Pinterest at @greenmilamonstr 

I am also in the process of building my website which will be announced on my Instagram when complete! 
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