I Love My Body and Don’t Want to Take It For Granted Anymore

Right off the bat – this isn’t a post about Alkaline the dancehall artist or a deep dive into why people tattoo their eyes to appear demonic. (Google ‘Alkaline eyes’ if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) This is also not meant to be preachy; I am not an expert and merely sharing what I’ve learned in my research and invite you to join in the conversation because I think it’s an important one to have.

If you practice or are knowledgeable about healthy eating, you most likely know what it means to be on an alkaline diet. After experiencing minor health issues, commonly experienced by women, all last year, I became interested in learning more about prevention. What some people don’t know is when you take antibiotics, it kills both bad AND good bacteria in the body. We need good bacteria for a healthy digestive system and we need SOME bad bacteria to help prevent diseases. My goal was/is to learn more about balance.

There’s no other way to do this than to jump right in. In order for our bodies to stay regulated and healthy, our pH levels must be balanced. (pH stands for potential of hydrogen…curious minds want to know.) The levels range from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline). See below for a chart for foods/behaviors that promote an acidic or alkaline body.

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People tell us all the time, “You need to eat salads and yogurt and drink lots of water.” Personally, hearing people tell me what to eat doesn’t motivate me to eat better. It does help, however, to imagine what is happening inside the body. As a recovering germaphobe, the idea that we have bad bacteria living in our bodies still freaks me out but not to the point where I could go on a completely acidic-free diet…mainly because I would physically wither away. A while ago, I was advised by my coworker to drink apple cider vinegar daily. After many visits to the doctor for check ups and Duane Reade for prescriptions, I finally decided to incorporate apple cider vinegar into my diet – 1 to 2 tbsp everyday in a glass of water or a smoothie. It supposedly helps your stomach break down acidic foods, and in the same breath it helps promote good bacteria. The goal is to keep track of any changes I notice then report back in about two months (that’s how long it will take me to finish this bottle.)

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If something is wrong or off about your body, obviously it’s important to get checked by your doctor. In my situation, after the same issues kept occurring, I had to take a step back and assess what I could do to help. The fact that antibiotics destroy good bacteria in my body makes me uneasy. Why rely on quick fixes when you can work on prevention? In addition, no one should cut out acidic foods cold turkey. At the end of the day, changes to your diet depends on your specific situation, your age, your tolerance to certain foods, etc. If you see me posting pictures of pastries or pizza or chicken roti on Instagram, just remember that I never said I’d give up these foods. I just try to include more alkaline foods in my diet – more onions, olive oil, garlic, spinach, sweet potato, broccoli, avocado, etc.

Curious to know your thoughts! 🙂

 

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Curly-Hair’d Girls, #LoveYourHair

When I took on the responsibility of combing and styling my hair at a young age, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Over the years, my hair has transformed many times. In high school, I wore it straight or in prison braids. During my first year of college, I cut and highlighted it; college helped me gain the confidence to let my hair loose – literally. However, I wasn’t educated on which products would help my curly hair retain moisture and create curl definition. I remember being loyal to the Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioner I got from Rite Aid across the street from campus thinking that it made a difference when in reality all it did was dry out my hair.

Finding great products for your hair is never easy and it takes a while to build brand loyalty; you can’t tell how well a product works in two weeks. (I’m guilty of feening for quick results as much as you are.) Also, it’s good to be honest with yourself – does the product do what it promised to do? The hair products I use come from trustworthy recommendations, trial and error and a lot of patience.

The inspiration for this post came from Dove recently launching their #LoveYourHair campaign “designed to celebrate all the wonderful, real-life stories of women who choose to quiet these outside pressures and wear their hair the way they themselves feel most beautiful and confident.” (Adweek) After you, as Drake puts it, “own that shit”, the next step is figuring out which products help maintain what you own. The below products help me love my hair. You’ll see that I use conditioners for days – my dry hair needs every last bit!

Wash: Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate-Free Shampoo 

Cowash: As I Am Coconut Cowash

Conditioner (Wash Out): Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Hair Masque

Conditioner (Leave In): Kinky Curly Leave In 

Conditioner (All Day/Overnight Before Wash): Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Serum (Whenever, Whatever): OGX Coconut Milk

Style: Kinky Curly Custard

Gel: As I Am Smoothing Gel (Work in progress. Still figuring out if I’m committed, but so far it does the job.)

I’m curious to know which products help you #LoveYourHair. 🙂

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Naked and Unafraid

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Comic by Dave McElfatrick

I don’t mind seeing Lena Dunham naked. It’s a weird thing to admit because most people cringe at the sight of her areolas, pudgy stomach and pubic hairs. Yet, people are nude all the time in our culture. However, these people are usually tight-assed, toned, and have gravity defying breasts; they are waxed and filtered to perfection. My beef is not with people who have great bodies, it’s with the unrealistic visuals and positioning of these bodies that make people uncomfortable with their own bodies.

Before writing this post, I did a little research on the history of sex in America – an overall sad story of perception, repression, STDs, sex ed, revolutions – and I thought about attempting to dive into the psychology of why America is so tense about nakedness and sexuality but would prefer not to talk about it; this is not a dissertation. Instead, I thought about the ease of Dunham’s nakedness. She doesn’t consider being naked a brave thing, after all to be brave is to be fearless – how does this work if she doesn’t fear being naked on camera in the first place? Why do we even care? Obviously she doesn’t – here we are five seasons later.

Dunham said she was naked on the show because people are naked sometimes.“Yeah. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive…” – The Wrap

In real life people pee with the bathroom door open, they roll out of bed naked, they examine body parts in the mirror. (Unless you’re a parent – people with kids are usually less naked, unless they’re a free-spirited family.) This post is not meant to convince you to be naked in a sexual way (if it leads to that, then by all means), it’s more to inform you of some benefits of being nude.

  1. You will take better care of your body if you saw yourself naked more often. #Facts. Clothes are material enablers.
  2. Less clothes means less laundry. Spend that money on food.
  3. You will sleep better. Very true. Your body temperature regulates better without the restriction of clothing causing you to sleep better.
  4. Your sex life will improve. People are hating on Lena Dunham but she’s probably having better sex than they are. #KanyeShrug
  5. Improves blood circuation. This is geared towards women, the elastic bands in bras and underwear…take it off.

Nakedness is more than just BOOBS and ASS. It’s a literal state of being – physically, mentally. If more people were unafraid to be naked, our country won’t be so up and arms about the whole thing.

Here’s to a more naked, happier you 🙂

#WomenAreLit 🔥🔥. Period.

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Michael Bloomberg is considering running for president. Spoiler Alert: Ben finally got rid of Olivia on The Bachelor. When I thought today couldn’t get better, I noticed a trend on Twitter, just in time for Black History Month – #BeingABlackGirlIsLit.
I have mixed feelings about this. While I’m all for Black women empowerment (being a Black woman myself), I can’t help but think about all the dope White, Hispanic, Asian women that I know and are friends with. #WomenAreLit. Period. There’s no denying that different races have different life challenges but as women we have more in common than we know. We are magical and powerful and strong. And no this isn’t an #AllLivesMatter type situation. It’s powerful for hashtags like #BeingABlackGirlIsLit to see the light of day because it will touch black girls who are insecure about their hair, their strong personalities, their background, women who are shamed for being too dark or “pretty for a dark skinned girl”, called “high yellow”, discriminated against in the work place, looked up and down, feeling unlovable. This hashtag does matter. Black culture and Black women are strong and vibrant and…poppin. But at the end of the day, we work with, are friends with, are in relationships with women of all races. There are many women who have personally impacted my life, reminded me how to be compassionate, smart, witty, well rounded. I can’t celebrate Black women without also celebrating all women.

Why I Need Afrostream, The Black Netflix

This week I found out that a thing called Afrostream exists. Like Netflix, it’s a subscription based VOD platform currently available in France, Africa, Europe, and soon in the U.S. On the website (which is in French) it is described as “Your favorite movies and series afro when you want where you want unlimited.” Looking at the titles, they’re dated, but whatever, I’m more amazed at the concept of a Black Netflix. I’ve searched “African American movies/shows” on Netflix many times hoping for an updated selection. Mind you, some of my favorite movies and shows have all white casts – Forrest Gump, Friends, Inglourious Basterds, Pretty Woman, to name a few – but sometimes I just want to laugh at black romantic comedies or watch shows with an all black cast…shows in addition to a A Different World. *Side eye to Netflix*

There is a power in relating to the images you see on TV and in the movies. As the women on The View and other talk shows have discussed, whether you’re a woman, Hispanic, Asian, Irish, Native American, gay, people notice when they are missing, and missing out.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is not only a modern day term used when people constantly check Facebook or Instagram. It’s actually innate. There is a part of the brain – the amygdala – that acts “like a smoke detector. It signals the brain to activate the flight or fight response when we begin to feel threatened or unsafe….FOMO arises when we become preoccupied with the feeling that we are not good enough and that we may never be.” (YouBeauty). Platforms such as Telemundo, BET, NAACP Image Awards, the CMA Awards, etc. were created to help alleviate FOMO, confusion, and anger of people who don’t see themselves on television and in the media.

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison.

I need Afrostream in my life not because I’m ONLY interested in Black programming but because of the #BlackLack* on Netflix. I want to see black relationships. I want to see black sitcoms. Not only can Afrostream fill that void, it’s also a great reminder that our issue isn’t only our issue, but a global one as well.

*Hashtag credit: Daniel Meyer*

 

“You ain’t gonna text no one when you wit me…”

When I first heard Erykah Badu’s cover of Drake’s Hotline Bling, I decided right there that I would purchase her mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone. Its thematic and funky R&B is the coolest sound I’ve listened to in a while. Never mind that Badu is one of my favorite singers. Yes I’m biased, but I know good music, so feel free to not be steered wrong by my recommendations. Listen to one of my favorite songs off the mixtape below. It’s titled Phone Down; other favorites include: What’s Yo Phone Number?, I’ll Call U Back, and Hello.  

I like this song because it addresses something our society struggles with – putting the phones down. Respect is HUGE to me and I believe that you can gauge the amount of respect your partner has for you by the amount of undivided attention he or she pays you. Badu knows what’s up. 😉