Workout Wednesday’s with J Sculpt Fitness

Workout Wednesday’s with J Sculpt Fitness

My weightloss journey has been amazing! I have lost over 60lbs just from changing my diet. I lost about 40 eating vegan instantly and noticed after four meatless years I hit a plateau. Recently I added in the keto diet and lost over 20 more pounds. Somehow on this journey I have never been consistent in the gym, more like nonexistent. I try to walk as much as I can but now that winter is full force I find myself being more sedentary.

I really want to begin a fitness journey and workout consistently. My current goal is to tighten, tone and sculpt my body while maintaining my curves. For motivation to get in the gym, I purchased the J Sculpt fitness belt. Instagram is full of women in cute gym outfits and workout belts so you may have seen this before. I was sold after watching one of my favorite YouTubers review this belt in particular.

I am totally against waist training, it looks uncomfortable and can’t be healthy long-term. This belt looks like one but works totally different. It promotes the loss of water weight and inches around the midsection. It can be worn during workouts or all day. The belt is multi-tiered and it’s adjustable as you shrink. There is also no steel boning, it just zips up and you Velcro the top layer to your level of comfort.

I was so excited when it finally arrived that I immediately began wearing it all day. I really have to put it to the test in the gym which the owner highly recommends for reaching goals. I find it very supportive because as a hair stylist, I’m usually not standing with good posture. This not only sucks me in but keeps my back straight. It’s not so tight I feel uncomfortable doing daily tasks and visually I am snatched!ūüėć In two weeks I have already seen results which were instant. I wear waistbeads and they dropped down a few inches which was my proof the belt is working. I can’t wait to share more details about this belt with you.

For more info I recommend checking out reviews from countless of YouTubers or checking out the site.

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Happy Full Moon!!!

Happy Full Moon!!!

Tonight is yet another supermoon! I feel like we hear this a lot lately but, it just means the moon appears brighter and closer than usual. This time the full, snow moon is in the sign of Virgo as we enter Pisces season. I love to practice new moon rituals and find them very emotional healing. It’s a time I can focus on manifesting my goals and any desires while the energy is amplified with the light of the moon and elements from nature. I believe there is no right or wrong way to create a full moon ritual, so if you want to give it a try just go with what feels right for you. Some moons I go all out and others I might only charge up my crystals overnight while I sleep.

Women especially are effected by the closeness of the moon. Our bodies even mirror the cycles of the moon. We have more water in our bodies and some feel more emotions, especially during full moon phases. I like to approach these times with ease and rest if necessary because the ebbs and flows can be exhausting. With this moon entering into a water sign and Virgo being known for overthinking I won’t be surprised if emotions are already high.

Virgo is a mutable, earth sign. It’s ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. It is also associated with the 6th house in astrology and connected to the sacral chakra. I like to research traits of the signs each moon and compare them to my own astrology, as well as how those traits correlate to what I want to manifest during the moon phase. Virgos are know for being analytical, health conscious, and orderly/neat. This makes a great moon for focusing on cleansing and healing. My ritual varies depending on my energy but, I follow my intuition and use whatever tools I have available. I never go out my way to purchase anything because the strongest part in any ritual are your own thoughts and intentions.

Here’s a list of what my full moon ritual will consist of:

  • Charging crystals, oils and a fresh bottle of water on a surface that reflects the moonlight
  • Making a list of habits, thoughts, and things to release that don’t serve my highest good
  • Burning my release list and/or intentions from previous moon, leaving it to the universe to handle
  • Creating a sacred place to burn candles, light incense, play music, practice tarot, dancing, singing, etc.
  • Taking a spiritual bath with herbs and oils that support what I plan to manifest during the moon cycle
  • Rest, Rest, Rest! Also paying attention to dreams and visions

Some good crystals to work with are but not limited to: adventurine, jade, carnelian, citrine, fluorite, amethyst, peridot, sapphire and chrysocolla.

Some good plants, herbs, or oils to use are: rosemary, peppermint, lemon, frankincense, bergamot, lavender, and cypress.

Also you can work with white or blue candles and elements of silver. I recommend looking up the meanings of the crystals and properties of what plants you chose to work with to see what resonates with you. I usually only use three max of each but like I said before sometimes you just have to use what you already have available, sometimes making substitutions. Don’t worry if you feel like you missed out on the perfect time tonight. This energy lingers for a couple more days. Same goes if you can’t see the moon, the light is still there for charging and sometimes visibility is better the next morning or night. Enjoy and manifest!

Meal Prep Monday: Plant Based Keto

Meal Prep Monday: Plant Based Keto

If you haven’t picked it up yet, I have kicked my vegan journey up a notch and started the ketogenic (keto) diet. Most people associate it with tons of bacon and dairy but I have made it work for my plant based, lifestyle. I often get asked what exactly I eat from people who assume vegan keto doesn’t have many options. I’m not big on processed foods or meat substitutes so it can be tricky at times but, I love a good challenge. It really helps to keep things simple and focus on whole foods.

I also incorporate intermittent fasting which is eating only during an eight hour window and fasting for sixteen hours. It sounds crazy but half of my fasting hours I am sleep and naturally I’m not hungry until around noon. I also feel satisfied with only two meals because keto food keeps you full forever.

I use an app to track what I eat and to measure the macro-nutrients, which is essential for staying in a state of ketosis. All of these fancy words just mean my diet consists of a high fat intake, moderate protein and low carbs. There is no sugar and the carbs all come from non-starchy veggies. I only prep four meals at a time because I like variety and freshly cooked food. I also want to leave flexibility for when I’m social and go out to eat.

So let’s get to it! Here is my meal plan for the week:

Monday:

Tuesday:

  • Break-fast: Strawberry Coconut Smoothie
  • Dinner: Buffalo Grilled Cauliflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Wednesday:

  • Break-fast: Hemp/Chia Breakfast Bowl with Almond Butter
  • Dinner: Sauteed Asparagus in Avocado Oil

Thursday:

  • Break-fast: Hemp/Chia Breakfast Bowl with Sunflower Butter
  • Dinner: “Cheezy” Broccoli Bowl

I try to keep my calories around 1200 because I’m not very active at the moment. My goal fats for the day are 99 grams, protein 48 grams and net carbs I try to keep below 30 grams. Now I know my breakfast bowl looks boring but I add berries, shredded coconut, and stevia sweetened chocolate chips in the morning. It’s like an overnight oats type thing, after a few hours the milk will absorb. I like to warm them up before adding the toppings. I also soak the walnuts so the body can digest them.

If you would like the full recipes just let me know. If you are doing keto too please feel free to share some of your go to meal ideas. My eating window is almost up so it’s time for me to smash! ūüėč

Self Care Sunday: A Day of Rest

Self Care Sunday: A Day of Rest

I was so excited to share a checklist of things I had intended as my day of self care yesterday with you. I try to take time each week to intentionally practice self care usually in the form of spa/beauty treatments but I was reminded self-care is deeper than those things. I found myself running all over the city preparing for a photoshoot planned for today and I was labeling it as self care because I don’t shop for myself often.

By the time I finished shopping and got back home I was exhausted from what had now been back to back weeks that were quite hectic. I was also ignoring cold symptoms I had been trying to fight off all week too. As an entrepreneur it’s hard to take a day off because so much of the work I put out comes from the heart. From traveling, family demands and a full schedule of clients my body was giving me all the signs I needed to slow down but being stubborn and focused on my goals, I refused.

I broke down and I took some medicine around 7 pm thinking I could nap it off even though I felt miserable. By 1 am I came out of a medicated, coma to a text that my makeup artist had cancelled for this morning’s shoot. I still had two big things I needed to complete on my checklist but still being stubborn I wanted to find a way for the shoot to work. I texted my friend/photographer the update and he made me realize I was doing the most and everything happens for a reason. It finally hit me that I have been going full speed and slacking on taking care of myself.

I really thought after 1 a.m. I was going to find a new makeup artist, install long box braids in my hair and DIY a pedicure all before 11 a.m. My voice sounded like a mix of Darth Vader with Barry White and I’m sure nobody wanted to be in my vicinity each time I coughed. To top it off, the shoot was going to be outdoors and here in the Chicago it’s barely 30 degrees (I won’t even start with the wind chill). Finally, I came to my senses when my photographer said he needed me to be at 150% and that I need to relax and take care of myself.

I took his advice and what I already knew deep down was needed. I decided to take this Sunday and just totally rest. No counting my keto macros for the day, just eating soup and sipping tea. I napped off and on and even deep conditioned my hair ( I always find a way for at least one beauty treatment lol). It was really refreshing to not be plugged into my phone for business, riding in suspect Uber pools all over town, and odd sleep patterns to meet the demands of my clients. Today’s lesson in self-care was a reminder that I am no superwoman and need to rest and reboot from time to time. Self-care doesn’t always have to be luxurious, sheet masks or pedicures but turning within to make sure I truly take care of myself physically too.

When was the last time you took a day off in the name of self-care? When was the last time you took a day to sleep in late or take an afternoon nap?
Rest and relaxation are essential in life. Whether you are an entrepreneur, mom, student or work 9-5 everyone needs a day to recover and recoup mentally and a lot of the time physically too. Your body often gives you little hints, so don’t ignore them because it’s more work recovering if you crash and burnout. It’s nighttime now and I’m still enjoying tea and quiet time. I’m sure by morning when it’s time to get back to work I will feel refreshed and ready to give 100% again. I hope you consider taking a day off this week too!

2 Keto & Vegan Friendly Chocolate Smoothies

2 Keto & Vegan Friendly Chocolate Smoothies

Leave it to me to find a way to have chocolate daily while maintaining my keto meal plan. I have two go to recipes that anyone can enjoy as a meal replacement. I work with my hands and often on the go, so I need some of my meals to be quick and easy. The past couple of weeks I have been enjoying these smoothies daily. I’m trying to get on a workout plan so these are the perfect post-workout protein boost.

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These recipes’ ingredients are flexible to meet your taste preferences (and macro-nutrient needs if you are on the keto diet). They range between 400- 550 calories so they are very filling and satisfying. If you just want a yummy smoothie or a chocolate lover like me then ignore the keto science and enjoy!

Chocolate and Almond Butter:

  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. of almond butter
  • 1/2 to 1 serving of pea protein (or your fav protein)
  • 1 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • stevia to taste
  • cinnamon optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of pink Himalayan salt
  • ice

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Chocolate Berry:

  • 1 cup of coconut milk (or your fav nut milk)
  • ¬†2/3 a cup of canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/2 to 1 serving of pea protein
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 a cup of berries
  • liquid stevia to taste
  • cinnamon optional
  • a dash of of pink Himalayan salt
  • ice

I love pea protein in my smoothies because it’s¬† in low carbs and doesn’t have that weird, chalky texture/taste when blended. The salt brings out the sweetness and since this is sugar free I want all I can get. I also use canned coconut milk because it has a higher fat content than the refrigerated. Just blend the ingredients and you are good to go. You can play around with the measurements like I said before. Some days I need more protein so I do two scoops instead of one. Some days I need more carbs so I add more cocoa powder or almond butter. If your taste buds haven’t adjust to sugar free use more stevia or your preferred sweetener.

If you try these recipes let me know what you think! Also check out this article on why chocolate daily is actually good for the brain. I promise I didn’t make this up! ūüėĄ

A Dozen Rose Infused Products for Self-Care

A Dozen Rose Infused Products for Self-Care

Happy Valentine’s Day loves!!! I am a huge advocate of self love, especially on days like today when people often expect things that are outside of themselves. I like to indulge in self-care daily but on special occasions, I go all out. I’m currently obsessed with the scent of roses and have been buying anything I see that mentions it. I have yet to be disappointed by the intoxicating aroma.

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Here is a list of 12 products infused with roses just in time for this day of love:

  1. ¬†Rose Water Facial Toner:¬† I used to use another popular brand but I came across this grocery shopping a few weeks ago and I almost lost it in excitement! The ingredients are way better than my previous rose spray. I use this not only as a toner but to set my makeup. I also mist my face when traveling and throughout the day for a boost of moisture. $4 (Trader Joe’s)
  2. ¬†Rose Facial Oil: I’m late to having a skincare regimen but love a good face oil after exfoliating at night. My results are usually glowing skin when I wake up. I can’t wait to test this out! $4 (Trader Joe’s)
  3. ¬†Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Sheet Mask: I’m also obsessed with sheet masks. When I saw this I jumped for joy in Target (when has that store ever failed lol)! I have sensitive skin but this is gentle and very hydrating. $5 (Target)
  4.  Kissed By A Bee Rose Scented Honey Dew Body Oil: You can add this luxurious oil to your bath or use it on your body after a shower. Your skin will be soft and moisturized all day. Add on the shimmer option for extra sparkle! $25 (Shop Here)
  5.  Anita Grant Neroli Rose Dry Oil: This lightweight oil is multipurpose. It can be used on all hair and skin types. It can also be used after shaving, sunbathing, and even on your face. $26 (Shop Here)
  6. Schmidt’s Rose Vanilla Deodorant: This brand is one of the first natural deodorants that actually works if you know what I mean. I love a few of their scents options but been hooked on this one for months now. It’s scent is so soft and feminine. $5-9 (Target & Whole Foods)
  7.  Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk: I love a good daily hair moisturizer. This is infused with rose hips oil which is a fruit of the rose plant. I have to pick this up asap because winter has been brutal and I have to protect my hair from the frigid conditions.  $15 (drugstores or Here)
  8. Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller: I am a huge crystal lover and rose quartz is one of my favorites. I debated listing my yoni egg but I decided to keep with the theme. This not only massages the face but also metaphysically is connected to the heart chakra. If any crystal is best for self-love, rose quartz would be my first suggestion. $40 (Sephora)
  9. Pure Rose Absolute Essential Oil: This oil is made from pure roses and extremely concentrated. I like to diffuse my essential oils or add them to my baths. You can really go crazy if you like to DIY skincare and body products. $85 (Ask Me)
  10. Goddess Worship Oudh: Although this has magical properties and often used in rituals,  I love it as a fragrance. I get constant compliments when I wear it. This is very concentrated too and a few drops lasts all day. $50 (Shop Here)
  11. McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Ros√©: If you are underage disregard this one and yes I know it’s not a beauty product. I don’t know what can be more relaxing than enjoying a sheet mask with a glass of wine.¬† This has¬† gentle notes of rose petals and pairs well with strawberries and whip creamūüėČ. $20 (Shop Here)
  12. Fresh Rose Petals: If you have never added fresh flowers to your bath, what are you waiting for! This is the ultimate feeling of luxury and relaxation. Don’t forget the wine and face mask and I promise you will feel like royalty. (check your local big box or florist for prices)

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I plan to use a few of these products today. Don’t exceed your budget though, no need to go broke in the name of self-care. I’m all for D.I.Y or $5 and below too! Let me know if you have a favorite or what you want to try!

P.S All the “shop here”¬† links are Black owned businesses by the way! Happy Black History Month!

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Oh Hey Big Head!

Oh Hey Big Head!

Long time, no see aye! I know you all probably thought I ghosted this blog but your eyes and/or email subscriptions are not deceiving you. I’m officially back! Just like those annoying texts from exes of the past, I am making my return to your screens.¬†All silliness aside, I have a lot to share this time around.


You may have noticed the new topic categories. The focus will not only be natural haircare but also self-care of the mind, body and soul. I have been eating vegan over 4 years now and working toward converting my entire home and beauty products totally plant based as well.

I also want to share more of my lifestyle and travels. I’ve been floating back and forth between Chicago, IL and Nashville, TN for a few years but looking forward to experiencing some new cities, countries, and cultures. I’m a huge foodie and love to cook so instead of loading my Instagram with pix I will share the yumminess and some recipes here.

Something about changing my diet evolved my thinking patterns in a positive way. I would like to let you in on my spiritual side which has provided me much inner healing and peace of mind. I love a good book, great music, and new movies so stay tuned for posts in those areas too. My love life has been interesting (insert side-eye). After one breakup I actually started this blog and after another I committed to picking up where I left off (but we will get into those juicy deets later lol).

I am so excited to be continuing this journey in blogging! It’s a platform I can hold accountability in my life. Not to sound cliche but I also want to inspire you to live your best life right now and not just sit around waiting for the perfect moment.¬† Trust if you keep waiting, it will be like the 7 years I stopped blogging which unfortunately weren’t the best chapters in my life . I hope you enjoy and I look forward to interacting with all my new and old curlfriends (and the fellas too ūüėČ)!

 

XOXO!

Chocolate Inspired Products for Your Hair

Chocolate Inspired Products for Your Hair

Here are some products I’ve come across that contain some version of chocolate. Now I just didn’t pick some random lines, these are all products I would and plan to try in my hair. Most are all natural, silicone and sulfate free.¬† Enjoy these yummy selections and the rest of your Valentine’s Day and remember LOVE IS IN THE HAIR! (I’m corny but hey¬†I can’t help it I’m on a mission to spread my love for natural hair if you haven’t noticed yet!)

Well here is the lineup:

Carol’s Daughter Chocolat Smoothing Collection

Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Detangling Ghee

CURLS Whipped Cream

B.A.S.K. Cacao Bark Deep Conditioning Hair Treat

Darcy’s¬†Botanicals Cocoa¬†Bean Hair and Body Oil

Alba Botanica Real Repair Cocoa Butter Shampoo and Conditioner

Your Man and Your Natural Hair

Your Man and Your Natural Hair

I came across this video a few weeks ago and all I can say is LOVE IT! I love when men share their love for natural hair. The question of natural hair in relationships comes up a lot especially in the black community because most men aren’t used to seeing natural hair. The question of whether or not to dump your man if he does not like your hair is crazy to me. If a man is that worried about your hair you need to reevaluate your relationship.

Check out this brothers take on the subject . He¬†is so knowledgeable¬†on the crazy natural terms we have come up with,¬†I found¬†it hilarious. Now every time I say “pre-poo” I won’t be able to help but laugh!

 

 

Would you leave a relationship if your mate was unhappy with your natural hair?

Treat Your Hair to the Benefits of Chocolate!

Treat Your Hair to the Benefits of Chocolate!

Happy Valentine’s Day Curlies,

Hope you all are feeling the love in the air today. No reason to be sad you don’t have a Valentine.¬†I am a huge advocate of spoiling myself around the holidays and especially my hair.¬† Why not try out a yummy deep treatment and sit back and relax with a cup of tea?

One thing I love about Valentine’s Day is chocolate. I love anything chocolate but haven’t seen many options for hair but then again smelling chocolate all day would make me crave it more. There are, however a ton of benefits to chocolate whether you are eating its or using it on your hair and body.

Check out this article on Naturally Curly by Stephanie Bird:

The cacao tree is as beautiful and intriguing as it is useful.  One of the top economic botanical plants, Theombroma cacaos pods yield cocoa butter, cocoa powder and that confection we desire most of all during February: chocolate.

Savoring the numerous health benefits of chocolate is a nourishing treat for skin and hair‚ÄĒadding shine, vibrancy and improving the general health of both. By using chocolate and cocoa butter products on your hair and skin, you get to enjoy the delightful chocolaty aroma and reap the benefits of antioxidants, vitamin and mineral, while skipping the fear and guilt of overindulging this February 14th…

Click here for full article.

Stay tuned I have found a few products with chocolate and cocoa!

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How will you be treating your hair this V-Day?