Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 5 of the No Junk Food Challenge: How to Manage Your Cravings

The holiday season can be very stressful, which makes it more tempting to reach for that slice of cake or go for those cookies. But if you've made it to day 6, you're stronger than you think. Below are just a few tips to help you get through day 16 and then day 21!

  • Take it day by day. Don't focus on the 21 days or the entire time you want to remove junk food from your life. Take it meal by meal, choice by choice and then reset your goal. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was a healthy body!
  • Take note of how you feel when you don't have junk food in your body. You should have less headache's, fatigue, etc.
  • Don't feel defeated if you slip-up. Ladies often think one mistake gives them a pass to eat whatever they want for the rest of the day. Pick up your losses, move on and stay strong for the next meal.
  • Get your full night's rest. If you sleep less than 6 hours, you're more likely to crave bad carbs and sweets.
  • Remove the temptation. If you have a stash of cookies in your kitchen closet. Give them to that coworker who can afford to eat a cookie or two and not worry about gaining a pound. They'll think you're extra nice and you'll feel in control.
  • Focus on your sudden craving and its source. Are you stressed? Anxious? Focus on the actual issue before you reach for that cookie or cupcakes.
Tell us: How are you controlling your cravings for junk food during the challenge?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 4 of the No Junk Food Challenge: Staying Strong During the Holiday Party Season!

The 4th rule of the No Junk Food Challenge says no cookies or biscuits. Yikes! With the dozens of holiday parties on our schedule, this one will surely be hard to maintain for 21 days.

 Holiday parties bring lots of cookies, biscuits, and other naughty treats that can add up quickly! In fact, Marie Claire magazine has counted the typical holiday meal below as 800 calories!

Two glasses of wine.
Two pigs in a blanket (or similar foods, such as mini tacos or small sliders without the bun),
Three shrimp with a tablespoon of cocktail sauce (or citrus-based tartar).
Two tablespoons of hummus with unlimited vegetables.
One fried hors d'oeuvre.
A small sweet treat (such as a brownie square or tartlet)

You'd have to do quite a bit of working out in a day to burn that off. Probably about 60 minutes of jogging, depending on your weight.

Don't stress! Here are some tips on how to fight the cookie and other food temptations during the holiday party season:

  • Eat a full and healthy meal right before you head to the party.
  • Use a small plate and fill it up at the veggie tray.
  • Don't go for seconds!
  • Be the "talk" of the party--conversate with your friends and you'll soon be too distracted to visit the dessert table.
  • Be the photographer. Taking pics will keep your hands and your brain busy.

Tell us: These are just a few quick tips to help you get ready for the party season. What tips do you use to keep your weight in control during the holiday season?

Day 3: No Junk Food Challenge & The Secret Sabatoge of Candy

Most of you are going strong with the No Junk Food Challenge! We're on Day 3 and I want to help us get through one of the most tricky parts of this challenge--no candy.

Candy. It's everywhere. In the office, at the doctor's office, at your friend's house. It's easily accessible and in most cases small enough that we think "one can't hurt". But then one turns into 10! Think 10 is harmless? According to LiveStrong, one piece of hard butterscotch candy has just 21 calories, with 10 of them equaling over 200 calories!  To burn that off you'd have to do 60 minutes of walking, 30 minutes of jogging on the treadmill, or 35 minutes of a dance class. 10 pieces of butterscotch does not seem like it's worth any of those sweat-inducing workouts. I'd rather burn 200 calories to get me closer to my goal, not damage control!

Limiting our candy intake is especially important for African American women. Candy comes packed with refined carbs. Refined carbs can lead to diabetes. 1 in 4 African American women over 55 years of age has diabetes.You may not be over 55 years of age, but just think, many of those women 55+ may have been able to prevent their diabetes diagnosis if they watched what they ate during their younger years.

Tell us: How do you handle your sweet tooth in a healthy way?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 2: No Junk Food Challenge

If you like us on Facebook, you know about the No Junk Food Challenge we've started yesterday! As we work through the 21 days of no junk food, we will provide friendly tips, advice, and motivation to keep you going strong!

In case you haven't seen it and you're interested in joining us, here's the challenge deets you need to know:

Super hard? Yes? Crazy idea during the holiday season? Absolutely! Impossible? Of course not. It's only 21 days.With the busy holiday season, 21 days will fly by in a snap.

The first rule says "no chocolate". So, we wanted to provide you with some altneratives to help you keep the chocolate away:
  • Fruit: A great alternative when you're having a craving for sweets.
  • Carob: Sweeter than chocolate and much better for you. It does not have the caffeine, cholesterol, oxalic acid, and theobromine that chocolate contains.(Source:
  • Cocoa Powder: It's a healthy ingredient that you can mix in with cottage cheese for a sweet and healthy snack. You can also sip some hot cocoa on a cold winter day. (Source: LiveStrong)

 Tell us: What will you do to stay away from chocolate for 21 days?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spice Up Your Workout

Hey Goddesses! You may have noticed we haven't posted in awhile. We've both been busy with work, school, and of course, our workouts. You're probably in the same boat--going through the day-to-day routine. I don't know about you, but the day-to-day thing can kinda get a little boring for me! So when I can, I like to mix it up and have a lil' fun with my fitness.

That's me, on the right!
Recently, I decided to try a fun activity that you don't find in your average gym or dance studio...burlesque! Think feather boa's, gloves, heels, and a lot of hip action and you get the idea. No worries, no clothing was removed, it was all PG! It turned out to be a fun, low-intense workout with the chance to mix and mingle with my friends (without gasping for air).

In the spirit of my recent sexy workout, I decided to share some other sexy & fit options that you can try at home or at a local dance studio.

Of course, this wouldn't be a blog post about sexy workouts with the mention of pole dancing! Believe it or not it's a great calorie burner. You can find pole dancing studios across the world! Living or traveling to Australia? Check out our friends at Pole Fetish (Yup, we have readers in Australia--Cheers, mates!) Shy? Try a DVD at home.

Maybe you can't get into the pole dancing thing. No worries, you can still get your sexy on with a few dance-focused workouts. Try exotic dancing with Flirty Girl Fitness or workout like your a Pussycat Doll!

Sometimes, working out doesn't have to be about getting super sweaty and sore. You can still reap the benefits of physical activity, especially if you mix things up!
Tell us in the comments below: How do you spice up your workout routine? Have you tried any of the workouts mentioned in this post? Tell us about it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Finding our Namaste

Ladies, it's National Yoga Month, so we have to pay homage to the spiritual and health benefits of the historic practice of yoga. It's a workout that should be an equal priority to cardio and weightlifting, but many of us don't put it on the top of our lists. Why? Perhaps there is a lack of access or focus on the benefits of yoga. With it being "Back to Health" season, now is the time to revisit our thoughts on yoga and how we can incorporate it into our workout regime.

Yoga benefits include:
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased flexibility
  • Proper balance
  • Cleaning our blood of waste material
  • loosen muscles and joints that are ignored in our day-to-day lives
I personally prefer a class called BodyFlow. It's a mix of yoga, pilaties, and tai chi! It's choreographed to nice relaxing music and ends with a few minutes for mediation. It's the perfect way to start a Sunday morning before heading into the work week!

Access to yoga is now easier than ever! You can go to a class at your local gym, buy a DVD, or use your cable programming right in the comfort of your living room.

I challenge each of you to try a Yoga class at least once this month in honor of National Yoga Month. If you already practice yoga, I challenge you to invite a friend to join you to spread the namaste!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back-to-Health Season

The vacations, the barbeques, the family reunions--the events that gave us the green light to take it easy with our healthy eating and fitness habits we've been working on since New Years Day. It's time to say goodbye to those events. It's time to step it up! Now is the time to take a step back and reassess what's working or not working for your healthy lifestyle goals. Do you need to change up your diet? Mix up your workout? And what about your healthy needs, like a visit to the doctor?

To help, we've created a "back-to-health" checklist to not only get you back on track, but on the right track:
  • Schedule a full check-up with your physician. The best way to see how much progress (or lack thereof) is to get an official check-up from your doctor. Not sure which screening you'll need? Use this interactive guide provided by the Office of Women's Health.
  • Clean out your kitchen. It's time to say goodbye to those summer treats filled with sodium or high on sugar. We suggest planning your meals ahead and only keeping stock of the foods you need for a specific week to avoid eating any trigger foods or binging on non-nutrient essentials. Check out these handy tips from SHAPE on how to plan your healthy-filled week.
  • Mix up your moves. Consider signing up with a personal trainer for one-time consultation to create a new work out routine. You can also explore non-traditional workouts like boot camp meet-up groups or DVD programs including Insanity or any of Jillian Micheal's programs.

We've just given a few things you can do to reset your workout before the holiday season hits. What have you done to focus on your healthy goals? Share in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rock Your Motivation

Lately, I've been on a "motivation kick" with my workouts. Ever since winning a year membership with LA Boxing in Rockville (more on that in a future post!), I've been inspired to push myself farther than I ever have before. Sometimes, I hear the doubts, the "I can't", "There is no way in hell", "That's for skinny-fit girls, not me" thoughts popping in my head. But then I'd look in the mirror and I'd see my t-shirt sending me positive vibes. Yup, my t-shirt! Many weight loss experts say getting new workout clothes is a great motivation to get into the gym, now imagine taking the inspiration up a notch with the inspiration literally on your t-shirt! Plus, as a BodyPump instructor, I think it's a great way to give my members a motivation kick without having to talk too much (sometimes less is more).

Here's a shirt that I bought from Ruffles with Love.
If you can't see it, it says "I don't sweat, I sparkle"! It totally fits my personality and it makes me want to sweat hard when I work out! I've decided that I'm going to reward myself with future "motivation t-shirts" for every 5 lbs that I lose. Here's my "to-get list"...



If you could make your own motivational t-shirts, what would they say? Tell us in the comments below!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

FU@K MY HAIR: I'm Gonna Workout!

No, this is not other post about Gabby Douglass. However, I think that the Douglass incident suggests we need to have a broader discussion about Black Women, Hair, and Health.

We have all read the blog posts, news articles, etc. about how some Black women avoid Exercise because they don’t want to mess up their hair. It’s amazing to me that even with the Natural Hair Movement and the DIY movement many women are still allowing their to be a barrier to exercise. It may be because there are still too few resources on managing Black hair and Exercise. I get that hair is a complex issue for us. But at some point we have to stop discussing this problem and do something about it.  You know the stats we have the highest rates of Obesity. 4  out of 5 of us are overweight or obese. It is completely unacceptable that we let our hair contribute to these numbers. We have to do better, we have to choose our Health over our Hair.
 In my own personal hair and exercise journey, I eventually reached a point at which I said “F my Hair.”  I chose exercise and a healthy lifestyle over my hair. I lost 40 lbs after making this commitment. I came up with a game plan that allowed me to workout out 5 days a week. I wore my hair in ponytails during the week. On the weekends I washed and straightened it. The best thing about saying “F my Hair” is that I learned how to do my own hair. Before making this commitment I never washed my own hair I relied completely on a hairstylist. I recently decided to transition to natural hair and I have found it even easier to manage my hair (it’s much more versatile).  Let me be clear when I say F my Hair, I do not mean that it is not possible to find a hairstyle that is professional and cute. You just have to think outside the box and be willing to try something new. You can find a style that works for you.  Part of this process is accepting that your beauty is not determined by your hair.

So I encourage you to free yourself and find a hairstyle that allows you to exercise. You can get braids, go natural, wear ponytails, a weave. I know many of you reading this have already found a solution that works so please share your story. We have responsibility to help each other. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gabby Douglas Hair - Viewpoint of a Happy Nappy

Janice Temple in Paris, France with my "relaxed hair style

As a flight attendant, I miss a lot of news and on purpose. I try to stay away from negativity, however I just had to stop to try understand this. Why is there a controversy about Gabby Douglas and her hair?

Janice Temple as a newborn with "good hair placenta" as they say

The first time someone posted it on facebook, I ignored it. Now a few days later everybody and their mama are writing articles trying to explain black hair. It is amazing the value of this controversy. Apparently to brands, it is worth $90 million dollars. Incredible!

Janice Temple in Rome, Italy with ex-hubby Big Mike (wearing relaxed hair)

First of all, I want to send greetings and positive love to Gabby Douglas. You are a beautiful dark chocolate sister with an accomplishment of Gold Medals. We are proud of you, that you are African American child of God. Kudos to you, Gabby Douglas. You are special and unique. God turned this embarrassing moment of black self-hatred into an opportunity for dialogue about a taboo subject for Black women into a historic financial abundance for you.

Janice Temple the hair model age 18 "fried, dyed and laid to the side"

Now I wish to share my story of my journey to freedom from what black women think about my hair.
I was born and raised in a beauty salon, as my mother was a cosmetologist. She would press my hair until about age 5 years when she gave  me a perm. My hair was half way down my back. The women in the salon would come and watch my mother do my hair. They reasoned that if my mother could grow my hair that long that she could grow their hair that length too. So the women lined up to get their done by my mother, I was the child hair model.

Janice Robinson wearing an "Afro" for the third time

Shirley Temple was a popular child actress during the time that I was growing up. Everyone loved her singing, dancing, and her beautiful curly blonde hair. As child, I wanted to be Shirley Temple particularly since my last name is Temple. I identified so strongly with that blonde, blue-eyed child star. My parents were furious when I asked them if I could have blonde hair and blue eyes. This foolish child desire made my mother cry and father scream at me. I was having an identity crisis and my parents could not cope with it.

My Cosmetologist Mother who dyed her hair blonde in the late 80's and wore blue contact lenses

This happened during the 1960"s Black Panthers and Dr. Martin Luther King's civil rights movement. This was also the era of  Johnson & Johnson Products explosion in the Black Hair Care Market with Relaxers and accompanying products. The money was very good during the 1960's as women began to rush into beauty salons to get their hair permed and conditioned. My mother made a very good living from making African American women feel beautiful and growing their hair.

Janice Robinson wearing twists
I have often wondered about the myth of the tall, blonde, haired beauty.

Janice Robinson with hair blow-dryed straight in Istanbul

The issue of Gabby Douglas' hair runs deep into the White standard of beauty. This standard of beauty is cultivated in Black Salons with the discussion and brainwashing of a Black woman's locks. It is goes something like this, "Girl what would want me to  do with them naps? We can't have you running around all over town looking like this". These were conversations that I heard regularly while being in  my mother's salon from age 3 to age 24 years when I left to live in Paris, France. The hairstylists would talk about the women's insecurities their "naps", and their "kitchens" to increase their sales. Black women trust their stylist, their beauty maker with ultimate confidence. If they have a good stylist, they give them their ultimate trust.  I never heard anyone in a beauty salon disagree with stylist about having their hair called "nappy" or "kinky".

Janice Robinson passport photo with short kinky twists

There was this phrase during my teen years to describe processing Black hair - "fried, dyed and laid to the side." Well I have worn my hair "fried, dyed and laid to the side". When I was about 12 years old Beverly Johnson and Naomi Sims wigs became popular. My sister and I had plenty of hair, because it was the latest fashion we had wore wiglets and "I Dream of Jeannine"  ponytails in the summer heat. I detested wearing those wig pieces which made my scalp hot, itchy and sweaty. About age 15 to 16 years old, my mother dyed my hair red, brown, and added gold highlights ( not all at the same time).

Janice Temple with Blonde Locs

Then a little after my 16th birthday, I became curious about what my natural hair looked and felt like. I started asking my mother about another way to wear my hair, because at that point I had done everything possible to my hair except to wear it naturally. I begged her to cut it off into an afro. We argued about several times. One day I won and I forced her into cutting my long relaxed hair off in front of her clients. She was in tears as she cut my locks off. Her friends and clients were furious with me. They turned on me with a vengeance. They berated me. "How could you do this to your mother?" "You look like a boy."  "You look like you are twelve years old." Those women tore my self-esteem down. They made me conform to wearing a relaxer. They made me feel so ugly for wearing an afro. They truly damaged my psyche. I was struggling to find my self and my concept of beauty. I had grown weary of being the hair model and the hair, growing, moneymaker. Whatever, my mother told me to do with my hair, I did it. I was not expected to think or have an opinion.

Janice Temple with relaxed hair

So I was forced to conform to the status quo of wearing my hair in a relaxed manner and do hair shows until I left for Paris, France at age 24 years old. My mother gave me a bon voyage party and invited all of her customers plus friends and family. They gave me money plus tons of gifts. It was an incredible outpouring of love to my mother as sent her oldest daughter off to Europe.

Janice Robinson in Istanbul with blow-dryed hair

As I packed my international luggage, I had one suitcase for  my clothes and another suitcase for my hair products and tools. My hair suitcase included salon size products of relaxers, conditioners, setting lotions, blow dry conditioner, scissors, curling irons, rollers, steam rollers, hair twists, combs, detangling combs, boar brushes, portable hair dryer, and blow dryers. It was amazing I moved to Paris with a beauty salon in my suitcase. My values and priorities were all about keeping my hair looking good. I am sure I had to pay overcharge to check those beauty items on Sabena Airlines to Brussels. It didn't matter the cost, I was fully indoctrinated into the straight  hair beauty concept.

Janice Robinson with braid extensions
While in Paris, I met my ex-husband who was an international basketball player for Stade Francais, the Paris basketball team. We raised our family in France, Belgium, Venezuela, Argentina and Turkey. As we journeyed from country to country it became cumbersome to  carry  and pack a beauty salon in a suitcase.  Besides I had babies to raise, my priorities shifted from my hair to my family. I didn't have the time to spend doing my hair. I also began to admire the hairstyles of my African sisters. My desire to wear my natural hair returned with my travels.

Janice Robinson with twists

In Paris, one day I found myself homesick. I decided to to go the African beauty salons near Sacre Coeur. I walked from one salon to another until I settled on a salon where four African sister were braiding the hair of one woman. I sat in that salon until nightfall, not speaking word, just watching them do hair. It is funny the things you miss when you live overseas. I had wanted to get away from my mother's beauty salon, but when I was homesick I found comfort sitting in a salon all day. Isn't that weird?

Janice Temple with twisted locs

My "Aha" moment regarding my hair happened while I was living in Istanbul with my ex-husband and my first two children. One day I went to Akbank to make a deposit and the teller looked at my daughter Cendrine's hair which was in braids. Then she looked at my relaxed hair. She asked "Niye"? That means "why". She was asking me why did I perm my hair. Then she pointed to my daughter's hair. She said, "Cok Guzel" which means very good. The Turkish bank teller told me that my daughter had good hair, that natural hair was good.  My pscyhe and self-esteem awakened by those three simple Turkish words from that young Turkish bank teller. If only she knew, how much of an impact that she had one me.

Janice Temple with twisted locs

After we left Turkey, we moved to Argentina where I went into a salon to have my hair cut into an afro. it was the first time I wore my hair in a natural since age 16 years old. I was finally liberated. There were no old women to chastise me into conforming. The wonderful thing about living and traveling the world is self-discovery. Travel teaches you about yourself.

Janice Temple with twisted locs dyed blonde at the tips

Every since that moment in Turkey, I have been a trendsetter in my hairstyles on my own terms. I have worn an afro, twists, cornrolls, natural hair straight blow dry, and now locks. I have created my own beauty. I am trendsetter with my hairstyles. I know who I am. I know what image I wish to portray. I am proud of my natural, curly, kinky, nappy hair.

Janice Temple with twists (second to left)

Gabby Douglas you are an international citizen of the world now. You are a trendsetter. The women who tried to make you conform to their standard of beauty will now conform to your standard of beauty. God has lifted you above them and their condescending conversations. Those women do not know who they are. If they were comfortable with their beauty, they would not have attacked your beauty.

Janice Temple with twisted locs

Gabby Douglas know that whatever hairstyle you wear that millions of little girls will want to be you. They will want to wear their hair like yours. So Gabby be proud of your beautiful dark chocolate skin and your beautiful hair. Do not allow others to define you. For God has uplifted you and set you apart, you are blessed to be a role model.

Photo courtesy of "Gabby Douglas is presented with the first box of Corn Flakes."

Gabby Douglas just do you!

Guest Blogger and Mama of Nubian Fitness Goddess

Follow Janice Temple on 
Twitter @skychi_travels

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Root: Focus on Obesity

Today I attended the Root's Focus On Obesity Conference in D.C. We discussed the challenges that the Black Community faces in terms of Health and Wellness. As I am sure you all know our community is in crisis with 60 % of Black folks overweight or obese. It is great to see the doing something to help our community.  This conference was a part of the Root's Black Fit and Healthy series. It was very inspiring to hear from the panelists: Mayor Ron Dellums; former Trenton, N.J. Mayor Douglas Palmer; President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Outreach Director Lauren Darensbourg; Black Women's Health Imperative President Eleanor Hinton Hoytt; health writer Sheree Crute. They discussed topics ranging from healthier community planning to strategies for narrowing health disparities.

Attending this conference really reminded me of how important it is that we each do our part. So what are you doing to make a transformation???  Also we have to encourage each other to engage in healthy behaviors. So invite your friends, sister, mom next time you go to your favorite workout class.

Oh and they provided a yummy and healthy Breakfast and Lunch (see below).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hair Product Giveaway by Just Naturals Organic Care

Last week I was raving over how great Just Natural Organic Care Products are. If you missed my post check it out here.  Well I love them so much that I am going to share them with you! Two lucky winners will win a "Fitness Goddess Sweat and Refresh" Haircare pack by Just Naturals Organic Haircare. This prize includes their Shampoo and Conditioner. These products retail at 45 bucks but two of you will get to try them for free! All you have to do is enter the random drawing below. Good Luck!

This creamy organic shampoo has been formulated to naturally
revitalize dry hair from your roots to the tips. Leaves your hair soft
and full of shine without weighing it down.

This creamy thick natural conditioner penetrates to protect and
moisturize from the inside while closing cuticles on the outside for
hair that is left healthy, shinier and silky smooth.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Queen Latifah: Fit and Curvy

Queen Latifah's Transformation shows that you don't have to be stick skinny to be healthy. The experts say losing 5 to 10% of your current weight over a 6 month period can have dramatic effects for your cardiovascular health and other diseases. Get started on your fit and curvy journey by making food swaps. Go Brown: eat whole wheat bread, brown rice, and other whole grains. Reduce your sugar intake by cutting down on soda (squirt some lemon and lime in your water instead). Of course eat tons of Fruits and Veggies.  For more tips look at my articles on Clean Eating, click here!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Eat your Fruit, Drink you Veggies!

I've posted a few tips about Juicing on my FB page and I've found that a lot of folks don't really know the benefits of juicing. My hubby started juicing everyday about a year ago and lost 30 lbs. I joined the bandwagon earlier this year. Juicing has helped both of us maintain weight loss. Juicing is a great way to stop cravings. Also, I find that my skin is much clearer and it helped with some digestive problems I had from a super high protein diet that I did when I was in the People Magazine Challenge  (I do not diet any more, I just eat whole foods and avoid the processed stuff).

 We make vegetable juices daily (sometimes twice a day) with veggies like Kale, spinach, celery, carrots, and cucumbers. Juicing is a great way to make sure you get enough veggies for the day. When you juice you get a high concentration of all of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole vegetable. Trust me it is much easier to juice 4-5 cups of veggies than to eat them. Also, when you juice your body can absorb the nutrients much better because it does not have to break anything down.  You can juice fruit too but I recommend keeping the fruit to a minimum because it so high in sugar. It is much better to eat fruit whole. So drink your veggies  (well you can eat them too) and eat fruit!

If you are new to juicing here are some quick tips

1. Select veggies with lots of juice like celery and cucumbers (make this your base)
2. add veggies with more flavor like carrots (but use less of them)
3.  use a leafy green like spinach or kale to boost the nutritional value
4. use ginger, lemon, or limes to spice a bit and add flavor
5. toss a couple of strawberries (or half an apple) in if you want to sweeten it up a bit

My morning juice recipe:

2-3 cups kale
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1 lemon
2 carrots
4 strawberries
small piece of ginger

It's quite delicious!

Do you juice? Share your recipes

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Natural Hair and Exercise: Hair Products I Love!

Hey ladies! I am back from my Vacay so I will continue the Natural Hair & Exercise Series. 

 I have been experimenting with different natural hair products for the past few weeks. It has been quite a journey trying out various styles and products. I think that I have finally found the regimen that works for me.  I roller set my hair with perm rods and sit under the dryer for about 45 minutes. I use Just Natural Organic Hair Care Products. I have found that these products keep my hair really soft and moisturized. These products have helped me survive the D.C. heat wave and my intense workouts. So far I have tried their Shampoo,  Leave-in Conditioner, and Protein Treatment. My roller set lasts about 4 days and I maintain it by pin curling it at night.

The Just Natural shampoo is the only shampoo that I have found to leave my hair soft. It is not harsh like other shampoos. Also, it is Sulfate free which is important for people that wash their hair

I have never tried a protein treatment before. My hair was soft and more manageable after using this, it works well the shampoo and leave-in. 

I apply the leave-in conditioner after the shampoo and protein treatment. This conditioner makes my hair really easy to manage before I do my roller set. 

If you have never used Organic products in you hair you must give these a try!

This is how my hair comes out. 

Additional tips:

I have learned that it is important to separate the hair into sections. This technique makes it much easier to manipulate. I part my hair into four sections before washing it. I wash each section to make sure I get my hair clean. When I apply the leave-in I keep the four sections but then go through and apply the conditioner to smaller sections (like you apply a relaxer). This makes easier for me to manage and apply the conditioner evenly.

Do you have any tips?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Charles Barkley and Weight Watchers

I caught a preview of Weight Watcher's newest commercial with Charles Barkley as the spoke person. I think that it is awesome that Weight Watchers is trying to appeal to men, particularly Black Men. Just in case you didn't know this obesity crisis is affecting men too. Unfortunately men are less likely to do something about it. So hopefully the Barkley Ad will encourage men to make lifestyle changes.

Ladies you can help the men in your life by encouraging healthy eating and an active lifestyle. I've been tricking my Hubby into eating healthy stuff for the past couple of year. It's crazy because he is back down to his college weight and now he keeps me on track.

For resources for your hubby, brother, father, etc. see below:

A great blog: Healthy Black Men 

Black Fitness Blog

What do you think of the Barkley Ad?

I will admit that I cannot understand why they put him in a dress.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Black Hair and Exercise: Is Going Natural for You?

As I go through the process of transitioning from relaxed to natural I have been doing a lot of reflecting. One of the reasons I began this process was because I wanted to find a low maintenance style that would make it easier for me to exercise. After making the big decision (to go natural) I vowed to learn how to care for my own hair. I have watched countless youtube videos, consulted with my sister (a Hairstylist in Chicago), several friends, and family members.  I researched the best products to purchase, bought a really good (expensive) hooded hair dryer, rollers, etc. Needless to say this process has cost me a lot of time (and $$!). In this past week I have attempted to style my hair three times. The first time I did a roller set with perm rods and it came out pretty decent. The second time I tried to do a Bantu Knot Out and it was a major FAIL (I did not even bother to take pics). I did a second perm rod set last night. I haven't taken it down yet, so I will let you know how it turned out.

Anyway, if you are considering going natural I want you to know that it requires a huge time investment. You have to experiment with various styles and products. If you elect to do the BC (big chop) you will have an easier time because you are only dealing with one hair texture. If you elect to transition you have to work with curly styles that allow you to blend the hair textures together.  No matter what you decide you should do your research. Go to youtube, look at hair blogs like, and research hair products.

From my experience thus far going natural is NOT low maintenance (unless you do the BC). But it is a learning experience. I am learning to care for my own hair. Also, working out with curly styles lasts much longer with my work outs. My first perm rod set lasted about 4 days and I worked out everyday (including running).  See below for the results of my first perm rod set. To style my hair I used Jane Carter's products. So it's not easy but I'm luvin' it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Natural Hair and Exercise: Transitioning Tips 101

I'm so lucky that my Sis is a hair stylist. She works at a hair salon downtown Chicago and just so happens to be an expert on transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. She has been helping me through the process so I asked her to write a post for you all. See the post below and be sure to check out her blog Kinky Hair Girl.

The pic above is my first DIY rollerset. More detailed pics to come!

Hair Care advice for Transitioners from Kinky Hair Girl:

Hello Readers, I apologize for not updating in such a long time. I have been doing a lot of research and product knowledge classes.

A lot of my clients are continuously me the same questions. "How can I go natural without cutting my hair?", "What are the best products to use, while transitioning?".

So, that is the topic for my post. ''The Big Transition"

If you want to keep your length while transitioning, it is possible but difficult. There are many ways to go bout this but one thing that is very important is that you You must understand that when you straighten your hair you stretch out your curl. Therefore setting back your natural goal. What I always recommend my clients is to start treating your hair as if it is already curly. Which means start doing the natural styles. Like I said it will be a difficult path but you can achieve your goal. Here are my tips on achieving your goal.

Natural Styles

1.  When doing natural styles use rods at the ends of your hair. Because the relaxed hair is still straight you need to use the rods to make it curly. Try the smallest rods so that they may be tight and last longer.

2. Make sure to clip your ends exactly every 6 weeks. When you are going through the transition your natural hair will get tangled with your relaxed hair. To prevent that clip at least 1 cm of hair every 6 weeks.

3. Hair should be conditioned under the dryer/ under cap with hot towel for 10 mins. every two weeks. Your hair will be very dry during this time. So this is a very important rule.

4. One of the easiest ways of styling while transitioning is doing rod sets. Why? Because its a curly style and when you sweat it will not be that noticeable when your hair starts to revert.
Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut oil. Just a quarter size every two to three days. It will keep your hair soft and easier to manage. Stay away from greasy products, they coat the hair and does not allow moisture to penetrate.

5. Drink lots and lots of water. There will be a point where your hair will feel very dry, that is okay and normal. Just stay hydrated.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Natural Hair and Exercise: How to maintain hair during a workout

As many of you know I am transitioning (going back to my curls). I have been doing some research/experimenting to find solutions for maintaining my hair and exercise. I know I told you last week that I was going to do my own roller set but I ended up going to my hair dresser on Saturday. I had a last minute special event to go to. I couldn't take any risks with my DIY style. Anyway, I got my hair curled (see pic above) on saturday afternoon and so far it is has survived three days of exercise. I did flow yoga (yes I sweated) on Sunday, cardio (elliptical) and weights on Monday, and I just finished with 45 min on the elliptical and core exercises (e.g., planks). See below to see how my hair looks now. By the way I pin curl my hair at night and leave that way at the gym. I do not touch my hair until it is completely dry. FYI: I am 4.5 months post relaxer

I definitely, think pin curling at night and leaving it that way while at the gym is  a good strategy.

Sorry the pic is blurry (I was obviously on the go) but you get the picture, my hair was still curly

NFG Hair Maintenance Recommendations :

1. If your hair is curly then you should pin curl it at night and leave the pin curls in while at the gym
2. Let your hair breathe while you work out, put a headband on it to catch the sweat (but do not wrap it up tight)
3. Do Not touch your hair until it is dry
4. Try a dry shampoo to refresh your style (I am currently trying to find a really good one)

Do you have any tips ?