Friday, 21 March 2014

Fitness Friday: Motivation!

One of my girlfriends had been piling on the pounds at an alarming rate over the last year initially it did not bother her because she was finally getting what she considered a proper black girl booty. That was until a “mean” mutual friend of ours sent her a video of excessively obese people with the caption “this will be you if you do not do something about your weight soon” LOL extreme but effective next thing I know she is out shopping for workout gear. Those images were a wakeup call for her she started her fitness journey by jogging daily in the evenings and is slowly changing her eating habits.

I am the type of person that if I want to do something I get right on it and do it but I am human too and get discouraged every now and then and need motivation to keep going. I remember how being able to pay my rent and go on holiday among other things was the motivation I needed to get up and go to work in the biting English cold a few winters ago. The alarm would go off and I would turn it off, go right back to sleep until I remembered my bills next thing you know I was sitting on my desk at work. Same applies to my fitness journey there are some days that I can’t be bothered to eat healthy or even workout. So what keeps me going? I have two major things that keep me motivated. First is me in a vision of that lovely dress two sizes down that I can’t wait to wear or those jeans that I just have to have but the last size they come in is a size too small for me. I remember working out one day with the vision of me in this elegant cocktail dress that has been sitting in my wardrobe for a while now because it doesn’t quite fit right; I pushed myself to the limits that day. The second one is watching videos like “ExtremeMakeover Weight loss Edition” and “600lbStory” on YouTube among others. I also watch some YouTube vloggers on their weight loss journeys.  I watch these videos for two reasons as an inspiration that if they can do it I can too and also as a reminder that I never want to be anywhere near where these people were when they started their weight loss journeys; these are people who were 300lb/136Kg/21stone plus when they started their weight loss journeys. There was a video I watched of this man in his thirties who was too heavy to leave his bed he had to be washed, fed and helped with other bathroom activities all while lying on his bed, his weight affected his self esteem and dignity, he couldn’t get out of the house and all I could think of was I never want to be in his shoes ever.

Here is one of the vloggers whose weight loss journey inspires me in a big way; she not only shed off the weight but has managed to keep it off. Consistency and determination definitely is the key.

How do you stay motivated on your fitness journey?
Fitness Friday
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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Half and Half!

I found out last week that the lady who owns the braiding salon where I get my cornrows done had invested in a hair steamer, now I can’t remember the last time I had my hair deep conditioned using a hair steamer it’s been many years so I was more than eager to try hers out. I touched up this past Sunday at exactly 12 weeks post; I have been wearing my hair out for a little over a month now and was ready to end this stretch. I honestly think that stretching is much easier when in long term protective styles, the initial plan was to get my hair braided then touch up in April but I changed my mind so I did the reverse, touch up now and braid in April.

So back to my half and half wash day since I touched up at home using my trusted ORS Olive Oil No Lye Relaxer kit, all I had to do was rinse off the relaxer and neutralize using ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo, detangle with Enliven Raspberry and Red Apple conditioner, pat the hair dry using a t-shirt, apply some olive oil and go to the salon for my steaming deep conditioning treatment. The salon is literally round the corner from my house the location comes in very handy for times like these.  So I packed my products and combs; yes I take my combs to the salon sometimes and off I went with damp hair. I had them apply my Natural Classic Henna Wax Conditioning Treatment and then sat under the steamer for about thirty minutes. I just have to say that everyone needs to steam their hair with a hair steamer every now and then my hair felt so soft and conditioned I had forgotten how good hair steamers were.

After steaming the lady attending to me rinsed off the deep conditioner without combing at my request, I then asked her to pat my hair dry as opposed to rubbing like they usually do with a towel, she then sprayed my Crème of Nature Argan Oil Strength and Shine leave in conditioner which I had brought along, detangled using my wide toothed comb, applied my ORS Carrot Oil moisturizer and then proceeded to set my hair in big rollers for a rollerset. I sat under the hooded dryer fell asleep magazine in hand, woke up 45 minutes later and my hair was ready and soft as silk:).  I had the lady apply my castor oil and eucalyptus oil mix to my scalp before wrapping my hair since it was around 7pm by then it didn’t make sense to comb it out only to go home and wrap it before bed. Got my hair wrapped sat under the dryer for five more minutes to set the wrap and then I was done. 
End result! I didn't do a length check this time round because I had a trim of about one inch all round  a few weeks ago I doubt if I would have noticed much difference in length from my end September length check. Sorry for the half photo as usual I was home alone at the time of taking this photo.

She used my combs for everything at my request. Did I mention the scalp massage? They give really good scalp massages at the salon that is one of the things I miss most about getting my hair done at the salon all the time. Because I get my cornrows done there and have built a relationship with them they are used to me by now and never raise eyebrows when I bring my own combs or products to use I don’t even have to ask in advance they already know that I will be bringing my own stuff. And that ladies was my half home half salon wash day.

ORS: Organic Root Stimulator
The Wash Day Experience

Monday, 17 March 2014

Mini Hair Haul!

I went shopping last week to replenish some used up products and in the process picked up two new products and one not so new product

First is the Crème of Nature Argan Oil Strength and Shine Leave in Conditioner. I think I have finally found a Crème of Nature product that my hair loves after the fiasco with the last one. This leave in makes my hair so soft and it smells nice too. The best thing about it is that it comes in a spray bottle! So much easier to spray hair  and I can also use it with my braids if I don’t feel like mixing up a homemade braid spray. Win!

Next up is the Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Carrot oil. I ran out of the Sofn'freen'pretty Carrot oil Creme  that I had been using and decided to pick a different brand that I had been eyeing for some time now to try out. I quite like it so far even though it’s a little too thick consistency wise for my liking. The other brand that I was previously using was also this thick so I wonder if it is a carrot oil recipe thing because my other moisturizer Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter is incredibly light and spreads much more easily than the carrot oils that I have used so far.
They still had some ORS old packaging products at the store where I went to this being one of them. The ORS hair mayonnaise that I also purchased at the same time came in the new packaging

Last but definitely not least is an old faithful. I used to use TRESemme shampoos way back when the small size bottles were much shorter and rounder. I cannot remember why I stopped using them but it was time to return to my old love. My hair loved TRESemme shampoos then and it still does now! They didn’t have the naturals range back when I used to use them so I decided to pick it and try it out and I really like it so far. I will go back for the conditioner from the same range as well as soon as my current stash runs out I am trying to finish up products before I buy new ones these days. I know myself if I get the conditioner now and my hair loves it then my other conditioner may end up in a half used products storage bin. 
TRESemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Shampoo - with coconut and jojoba oil extract (lower sulfates)

Friday, 14 March 2014

A Fitness Friday Kitchen Korner!

Are you guys breakfast people? I am not. I can easily go up to midday without putting anything other than water in my mouth and funny enough I never feel hungry before lunch maybe my body is just used to it by now. I am not very big on heavy or early breakfasts either when I do eat breakfast I prefer something light a fried egg and juice is enough for me or a smoothie or yoghurt or two slices of toast and juice is just fine and 6am is way too early for me to have breakfast. I once worked at a company that had a staff cafeteria on site and I would get to work before 8 in the morning and have breakfast at 10 am on days that I did. Since starting my fitness journey I have started incorporating regular breakfast into my daily routine I am trying to make it a habit, I still fail most days but having breakfast at least three days of the week before 10am is good right?

Here are three different ways to make a quick and healthy filling breakfast or snack (you can totally have these whenever you feel like it not just for breakfast) using two major ingredients Yoghurt and Fruits;

Breakfast option one – Fruit and Yoghurt
Natural Yoghurt
Fruits (Any fruits you have at home can be one type or more it doesn’t matter)
Chopped/crushed nuts of your choice or raisins (optional)
For this recipe I used papaya/pawpaw, strawberries and peanuts
Wash fruits
Peel fruit if applicable
Chop the fruit up into bite size pieces
Place in a bowl
Pour yoghurt all over the fruit
Sprinkle some of the nuts or raisins on top if using and breakfast is ready!

Breakfast option two - Smoothie
Natural Yoghurt
Fruits (this tastes better with more than one fruit type but if you just have one that’s fine too)
For this recipe I used banana, strawberries and papaya/pawpaw
Wash and peel fruit if applicable
Chop them up
Place in a blender
Pour in the Yoghurt
Blend away until smooth and serve.

Breakfast option three – Stewed Fruit (My Way)
Fruits (Not all fruits stew well so do your research first)
One levelled tablespoon sugar (optional)
Cinnamon powder
For this recipe I used some pineapple about five chunky pieces and half an apple both stew very well.
Wash and peel your fruit
Chop them up into chunky pieces
Place them in a pan with some water; enough to fully cover the fruit sprinkle some cinnamon and add the one levelled tablespoon of sugar
Bring it to a boil for about one minute and then reduce the heat and let it simmer on medium to low heat for about ten to fifteen minutes. Note: cooking time depends on type of fruit being used and quantity, mine took about fifteen minutes since it was a small serving enough for one person. The more fruits the longer it will take and pineapple will cook faster than a pear for example.
Once the water and fruit juices reduce and fruit soft that means it’s ready. You can drain excess juices to use in another recipe if it’s still too much left and the fruit is done.
Serve with yoghurt, best eaten while stewed fruits are still warm.
Of all the three recipes today this one is my absolute favourite! It’s simply delicious!

Please note: if you Google stewed fruit a lot of recipes online call for huge amounts of sugar to be used I’m talking 1 + cups of sugar. In my opinion that is way too much sugar since the fruits are already sweet so I use very little sugar or none at all; the major reason for using so much sugar is to get a syrup like consistency which I am not too bothered about as long as the fruits are stewed I am good. Please use your own preferred measurements I eyeballed everything or you can Google similar recipes for proper measurements.

That’s all ladies eat away!

Kitchen Korner is a series on the blog that showcases food and drinks prepared using ingredients that can also be used on the hair as well; double food hair products I like to call them. Today’s double food ingredients were papaya/pawpaw, banana and yoghurt. Please see my “DC Recipes” page at the top to see how you can incorporate these ingredients and others into your all natural homemade deep conditioners.
Fitness Friday