Monday, September 29, 2014

Weight Loss- September In-review

At the begin of September I made the decision to up my exercise and diet regimen. The regimen I set for myself was to exercise 5 times per week and to continue the diet plan I had when I did the weight loss challenge.

Winning and Losing

When it comes to the exercise portion of this regimen I was spot on.  I exercised six days per week for the last three weeks, which for me was a great achievement.  However, with ever good you have the bad; I was not as consistent with my diet as I was with my exercise. I find that it is easier to dedicate and hour to exercise each day but it is extremely difficult to maintain a healthy eating habit 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Exercise recap

The new school year had began so my gym schedule has change yet again.  The joys of having a small child and having to coordinate pickup schedule.  Anyway, for now I exercise three days at the gym and three or two days at home.
My gym schedule includes one day of cycling, one day of kickboxing and one day of body pump ( this is a weights and toning class); after each class I do a one mile run on the treadmill.
My at home schedule consist of one day of high intensity cardio, one day of zumba and one day of interval cardio training.  My at home sessions last 40-45 minutes plus a 10 minute yoga session for cool down.

Diet Recap

My shakes are my life saver, I make one each morning and I either have it before I leave the house or take it with me to have on my way into work. Often it all goes downhill from there, because lunch it my biggest issue.  Even though I pack my lunch three out of five days I only remember to take it with me on average once per week.  So lunch has because what ever my co-workers are willing to pick up. I have a stack of healthy snacks at work however, the fruits are suffering the same faith as the lunch.
To save the day I have my lunch for dinner along with my fruits and somethings a shake if my dinner aka lunch was a salad.

Stats; per my weigh watchers scale

Weight loss - 1.8lbs
BMI-  down 2%
Body Fat- down 2.5%

I am happy with the gains I have made even with the challenges. I am going in the right direction and will certainly keep the same goals for October.  Maybe in October I will overcome my memory loss and be more successful with my diet. As I have heard over and over it is a marathon not a sprint, so I am prepared to be in this for the long haul.

How is your weight loss journey?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wash Day- eight weeks post

This wash day reminded me why I use to relaxed my hair at eight weeks. My new growth has a  soft cotton like texture, which clumps together when wet. The struggle is real, because I need to keep my new growth detangled at all times and the real kicker is that it gets really dry.  All that is compounded my my exercise routine.

Anyway here is how my was day went:

I put my hair in two sections (this is my first time washing my hair in sections) and kept it throughout the wash.

Prepoo with Cantu Shea Butter leave-in repair conditioner and coconut oil under my conditioning cap for fifteen minutes, before rinsing with warm water.

Shampooed with Optimum Oil Therapy, as always I only lather once.  I am still loving this shampoo, it left my hair feeling soft and clean.

Tea rinsed with my black tea brew, I poured the brew repeatedly over my head for about five minutes then rinse with cold water.

Deep conditioned with Crecepelo and coconut oil under my conditioning cap for 25 minutes.  I have heard many great things about this conditioner and so far I am not disappointed. I rinsed out the DC with warm water followed my cold.  My hair felt really conditioned and silky, hoping it last.

T-shirt dry for twenty minutes before applying my leave-in of Creme of nature strength and shine, ORS oil moisturizer hair lotion and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum.  My hair was about 50% dry at this times, so I roller  set with 12 2 inch magnetic roller and 6 1 1/2.  I did this to close out September #washdayexperience challenge "rollin down the river". I was hoping the large rollers would allow my hair to dry quickly and also give me a bouncy curls.

Alas this was not the case. Even though I love to roller set my hair  ( I roller set every night), I hate roller setting wet hair because it never comes out right. So after sitting under my bonnet dryer for forty minutes I was not too please with the results, but it was to be expected.

All in all it was not bad because my hair still felt moisturizer and look soft and shiny which i'm loving.

Hope you experienced a great wash day.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Product Review- Optimum Oil Therapy Ultimate Recovery Shampoo

Cost- $4.49 ( bought it at my local Beauty Supply store)

Claims- Rescues and smooths damage hair shaft
              Removes all styling residue with stripping
              Restores intense moisturization from root to tip

Blurb- Optimum oil therapy featuring Micro Oil Technology.  Micro Oil penetrates hair with micro beads of natural oil to help nourish, repair, strengthen and protect hair. Optimum Oil Therapy Ultimate recovery Shampoo Cleanses, instantly softens and revitalizes dry damage prone hair.

  • Nourishes hair with natural extracts of coconut , olive, avocado, and jojoba.
  • Detangles and tames unruly hair

Ingredients-  Aqua/water, Sodium laureth sulfate, Disodium cocaamphodiacetate, sodium chloride, glycol distearate, glycerin, cocamide mipa, Disodium ricinoleamido MEA-soulfosuccinate, Polyquaternium-10, Carbomer. Etc.

Pros- This shampoo does all it promises to do. This shampoo is very creamy and smells like clean hair.  It has a great lather and rinses clean without leaving any lingering smell as most shampoos does. I was very skeptical about the "Micro Oil Therapy" but I must say I was pleasantly surprise at how soft and shining my hair felt.

Cons-  I have being using this shampoo for the last two weeks (three washes) and have yet to find a con. The directions  suggest using the corresponding conditioner but I did not like the out come of the combination (I only did it once) but that may just be me. 

My Take-  This is a really great product; I pick it up because a need a conditioning shampoo for my mid week wash.  My hair feels soft and clean and the best part it has a corresponding conditioner which makes it a home run.  I was a little perturb because the ingredients were mostly listed with scientific names but after researching the different compounds I understand the Micro Oil Technology. This shampoo will definitely become a part of my arsenal of must have products.

Have you used it? What's your take?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Healthy Lifestyle - Motivation

Making the decision to live a healthy lifestyle is the easiest decision you will every make.  However, the really hard work begins once you have made the decision. It will take hard work and dedication to make those decisions a reality.  Pushing through the daily challenges, is at times frustrating and  will take hard work and dedication to push pass these challenges.

 There will be days when you will question if it is achievable.  However, I am here to tell you to keep at it; fight through the obstacles because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Push through your daily challenges, self doubt, and frustration to gain both mental and physical strength.

If your goal is to lose weight, get fit, run a 5 K (me) , or just maintain a good eating habit maintaining  a good regimen is key. If you are consistent; one day you will wake up with the realization that "it" has become a part of your normal routine.

So keep pushing because with hard work comes success.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wash Day- changing it up

 This wash day was a day of first, I am testing out a new shampoo because I cannot find my Creme of Nature, moreover did not like how my hair felt last week. I am also trying out a new conditioner my sister-in-law rave about even though all the reviews I found on it was done by naturals.

So here is how it went down:

Prepoo with Cantu Shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream and my oil mix ( grapeseed, olive and coconut oil)for 10 minutes under my conditioning cap.  I rinsed out all the product with warm water. As always my hair felt great.

Shampoo with a Optimum Oil Therapy Ultimate Recovery Shampoo.  I lathered once and rinsed with warm water. I was not sure what to except from this shampoo especially since I was not familiar with most of its ingredients. Well it was great and my hair feel soft, clean and detangled.  I'm am loving this shampoo it might be on my top three; we'll see.

I skipped my black tea rinse ( old faithful) which was another change to my regimen.

Deep conditioned with Crecepelo, for 15 minutes under my conditioning cap.  I could not find any reviews that I thought was beneficial to me, however she raved so much about it I wanted to try it. After the 15 minutes was up I rinsed with warm water to ensure I got all the product out because it is a really thick product.  When I was satisfied that it was all out I rinsed with cold water to close the cuticles. OMG my hair felt soft and light ( yes light) I was like screw all the not so good stuff that is in this conditioner; I was in heaven.  I am officially in love.

After my happy dance, I toweled dry my hair before wrapping it in a t-shirt to get it 90% dry before apply my leave ins of Creme of Nature Perfect 7 and OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum. Left it to air dry for close to 2 hours before low drying on warm to stretched the roots, before roller setting and calling it a day.

after my blow dry
I was very please with the new shampoo and conditioner I tried this was day and will certainly add then to my arsenal of great products.

How was your wash day?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sleep- Healthy Lifestyle

Sleep is important to your overall healthy and well being; but if you are not getting enough your healthy, skin, hair, and mood will suffer. So as a fellow insomniac I have tried many different ways to get a good nights rest.

Here are a few of the things I have learned on my quest to a good nights rest:

Alcohol Intake- A nightcap might make you drowsy, but it probably won't improve your sleep. Alcohol is a depressant so as the alcohol wears you are most likely to wake up in the middle of the night.  Therefore if you decide to use alcohol as a sleep aid, be prepared for that effect.

A good bed is very important to a restful nights sleep. If you wake up feeling achy and stiff it is time to go shopping for a new mattress.  Thread count is important in sheets and blankets but I think fabric is just as important.  Especially for us who has hot flashes and night sweats.  The pillow is the final piece, if your pillow is not supporting your heat it is time to get rid of it.  Make it a habit to replace your pillow at least every two years.

Your bed is only for sleeping- If you are like me and you have troubling sleeping don't go to bed until you are feeling goody and sleepy.  This will condition your body to fall asleep and stay asleep when you are in bed.

Turn off gadgets- Turn off the cell phone, the TV and computers; preferable two to three hours before your bedtime.

Exercise- Regular exercise has help me with my insomnia. There was a study done at Northwestern University on the effects of exercise on insomniacs. It may be due to the improvement in your mood and overall health.

My two don'ts close to bedtime- Don't have that late afternoon coffee.  Don't have dinner/snacks close to your bedtime.

When all fails visit your doctor for sleep medication.  If medications are not working there maybe an underlining problem.

Wishing you all a restful nights sleep.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wash Day- Six weeks post

This wash day I used my tried and true products and techniques, including my blow dryer.  I have been missing my sleek straight hair so I decided to give it a good blow.  Moreover I had an engagement and I wanted to have nice hair.

So this was my wash day:

Prepoo with Cantu Shea butter leave-in conditioner repair cream under my conditioning cap for  minutes. Rinsed with cold water, my hair as always feels so soft and moisturized.

Shampoo with Loreal total repair 5 restoring shampoo.  I only lathered once but for some reason my hair felt a little hard, I rinsed with warm water.

Tea rinse with my brewed black tea by pouring it over my head for about  minutes, then rinsed with cold water.

Deep conditioned with Ettenio moisture infusion and my oil mix ( olive oil, coconut oil and grapeseed oil) under my conditioning cap for 25 minutes.  I then rinsed with warm water followed my cold water to close my cuticle.  My hair once again felt soft, strong, and moisturized.

T-shirt dry for roughly 15 minutes before apply my leave in's of Ettenio moisture milk, creme de la creme and detangled and putting my hair into four sections.  Apply OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum before blow drying on warm.

After blow drying each section, I divided the section in two and flexi rod set for a quick curl.  I love the end results and I got tons of compliments.

So all in all it was a good wash day.  How was yours?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Recipes - Healthy Lifestyle

My Smoothie

1 cup Soy Milk ( I use the vanilla flavor)
1/2 cup of carrot juice ( I make my own from fresh carrots)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 Cup blueberry ( I use frozen)
1/2 Cup Strawberry ( I use frozen)
1/2 Cup Spinach ( I use Frozen) (optional)
2 tbs ground flax seed
2 tbs protein powder ( I get mine from herbal life)
2 tbs meal replacement ( I get mine from herbal life)
a dash of cinnamon

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until all the ingredients have incorporated.  Then Enjoy

Side Note-  I buy my berries and spinach fresh and then freeze then so I don't have to use ice.  If you use unfrozen berries and spinach leave out the water and had a few cubes of ice.  Also you can use any protein powder and meal replacement powder  just check the ingredients to ensure the nutritional values are good.

This makes  roughly 2 1/2 eight ounce servings

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wash Day- Clay wash

This was day I decided to try something new which was a mineral clay wash.  I have done so many hours of research on the properties of clay washes and how to do a clay wash; Google must think I am a potter.  Anyway after seeing the #washdayexperience theme of trying something new, I bit the bullet and made a go at it.

This is how it went:

Prepoo with grapeseed oil, coconut oil and Cantu She Butter leave-in repair conditioner under conditioning cap for fifteen minutes. Rinsed with warm water before.

Apply Ettenio Detoxify Mineral Clay hair wash, left on my hair for fifteen minutes per directions. This is my first clay wash so not very sure what to expect.  I had expected it to feel like mud but it was not so; however, it had a odd smell.  This may be due to the black castor and aloe vera which were also included in this particular clay wash.  After the fifteen minutes was up I rinsed with warm water. I was pleasantly surprise, my hair felt soft and smooth.  Even though the direction was for me to apply leave-in after the clay wash, I chose to follow my regimen.  Ladies on you tube and on blogs have talked about the drying effect the day after and I did not want to have to wash two days in a row.
So I............

Coffee rinsed because I ran out of black and was not feeling up to shopping so I used my second best anti-shedding formula. I did the rinse by pouring the mix over my head for three minutes, then rinsed with cold water. 

Deep conditioned with Ettenio Cocolicious balancing conditioner under conditioning cap for 25 minutes.  Rinsed with warm and cold water to ensure I get all the product out and to close the cuticle.
T-shirt dry for ten minutes, before air drying for another thirty or so minutes.  It is way too hot to sit under my dryer so I wanted dry hair before I roller set.

After my hair was about 95% dry I applied leave-in of  cream of nature perfect 7,ORS oil moisturizing hair lotion and OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum, before roller setting and calling it a night.  

Air Dry Close-Up

I normally have big hair for a few days after I air drying so hopefully it isn't too bad especially with the clay wash. I am certain I will give the clay wash another go before I can judge if it was a success or not.

How was your wash day?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weight Loss Update- Healthy Lifestyle

Weight Loss, eating healthy and regular exercise is similar to a healthy hair journey.  In the days following the weight loss challenge I was at a lost as to how to continue on this healthy life-path after the challenge. Then kazam! it hit me even though I did not reached my goal in the challenge I was successful.

I was successful because I was accountable, not only to myself but to the people who accepted my challenge and was committed to the journey with me. Anyway,  yes I have accepted responsibility for my health since 2012 I have at times loss track of my goals and the reason for my journey. In saying all that I made the decision to chronicle my healthy lifestyle journey alongside my healthy hair journey in order to keep my goals in sight.

So here is a recap of  the last three weeks:

I have exercised five (5) days each week for the last three weeks.  Who would have thought that me of all person could exercise in my livingroom for three consecutive days? Not me for sure,  because I always needed a structured exercise class to get me through.  However, with this new zeal and zest I am doing it and the results are showing yet again.  I feel so much healthier and energized.

I had a shake/smoothie each day along with a fruit for snack, a salad for lunch and a very small dinner. Even though I took my health in my own hands almost two years ago.  I was never a proponent of diets, due to the restrictions they put one a persons life.  I am not and still to some degree not a very disciplined person when it comes to routines and regulations.  Therefore diets weren't my thing and still isn't.  However, I have learned to incorporate healthy eating habits and healthy foods into my life and the benefits are great.

In the last three weeks I have lost a little over 2 lbs, which it great but I am inspired to reach my goal weight before I hit the big 4 Oh.  In the coming weeks month I hope to continue on this fabulous journey and I hope to inspire you.

How is your healthy lifestyle coming along?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ettenio Experience

My Moms Healthy Hair Journey

I often joke that when my son finishes college I will become and hairdresser but since that is quite few years away, I am currently practicing on my mom. My mom is natural and had been natural going on ten years but she has always struggled with hair that was brittle and breaking.

In May after my vacation and stocking up on all things Ettenio I made it my mission to help her grow back hair where she was beginning to have bald spots. The plan I concocted was to wash her hair at a minimum of twice a month (if she would allow me).  When I began telling her about the Ettenio products and that the ingredients were all natural she agreed to be my Guinea pig.

Her wash day regimen is:

Shampoo with Ettenio Clean Start
Protein treatment with Ettenio Moisture Infusion Deep penetration conditioner
Deep conditioned with Ettenio Strong Foundation strengthening conditioner
Leave-in treatment - Ettenio free at Last Detangling leave-in
After each wash cornrow her hair (she is a wig connoisseur) for the week, then apply Ettenio Scalp restore to her scalp.

I instruct her to apply the Ettenio free at last leave-in and scalp restore to the cornrow and her scalp very other day.

On the weeks when she did not wash I would take out the cornrows and apply Shea Moisture Extra Moisture Transitioning Milk and re braid.  The Shea moisture was one of those buys that didn't work for me but I figured since she is natural and is not wearing her hair down it would work for her.  

Results Four months in

She no longer has any bald spots and is very excited that her hair has grown back.  At the beginning of her hair journey there would be hair all over the bathroom and on the comb.  After a month you could not tell if she washed her hair by looking in the bathroom.  I would have hair in my clothes and loads in the comb after am done braiding her hair.  Now very few hair is in the comb after the detangle and braiding session and it is all shedded hair. 

Final Word

I was a little worried that we would be unable to replenish our Ettenio stock until I came across a US distributor Irie Jamaican Treats and had the best experience ordering from her.  My mom is a little worried that the winter will make her hair dry and brittle again but I promised her we will triumph.

I wish she would allow me to post before and after pictures but such is life.

Disclaimer: I do not work or have any affiliation with Ettenio,  I'm just a satisfied costumer (at least my mom is).

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