Daily Quote

You are what you deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny. ~Upanishads text.
What is your deepest desire?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are You a Keeper?

Marriage is a beautiful thing, but in this day and age the divorce rate is unfortunately making it easy to leave/give-up and is discouraging the new generation that long lasting happy marriages do exist! I'm blessed to have great examples of marriage as my parents have been married for 36 years and grandparents have been married for 60 years!  I give thanks for that each day.  Often you hear women say, "there are no good men out there!" or men say, "there are no good women out there anymore". 

Recently, I was at a gathering with several friends.  The group mainly consisted of college educated individuals or professionals ranging from lawyers to engineers to entrepreneurs.  As the night progressed, a group of about 3 ladies (myself included) and about 6 nicely dressed, well educated men began to drift into a conversation on marriage.  One of the ladies blurted out that there are "NO good men anywhere"!  Was she nuts!?!  We were sitting with a group of what she claimed no longer exist.  Maybe they didn't exist because she already spoke it out of her life through her comment.  In addition, if you can make such a statement, be sure that what you are bringing to the table as a women is "good".  Are you a good woman?  A good woman means more then having a good education, good job, great cook and no kids out of wedlock..... Look deeper into yourself and your keeper may find his keeper in you...

A Keeper:

"Never gives in easily, and the standards/requirements start
the moment you open your mouth. See, she understands her
power and wields it like a samurai sword. She commands—not
demands—respect, just by the way she carries herself. You can
walk up to her and give her your best game, and while she may
be impressed by what you say, that’s no guarantee that she’s
going to let the conversation go any further, much less give you
her phone number and agree to give you some of her valuable
time. Men automatically know from the moment she opens her
mouth that if they want her, they’ll have to get in line with her
standards and requirements, or keep it moving because she’s
done with the games and isn’t interested in playing. But she will
also send all the signals that she is capable of being loyal to a
man and taking good care of him, appreciative of what he’s
bringing to the relationship, and ready for love—true, long lasting
love."

--from Steve Harvey's book, Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man

We have to be, that which we want.   We attract what we are...

Weight in?  Your thoughts?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bikram Yoga!

I love Bikram Yoga! It's literally one of my favorite forms of yoga and a great way to detox and cleanse your body.  I love to incorporate yoga into my normal workout practice and recommend it to everyone that I train.  To me, its the "Yin" to the "Yang" of aggressive workouts such as running, biking, kickboxing, etc.  It has amazing benefits and is not overly stressful on your body.  I always feel amazing after bikram and have unbelievable enery!  The practice consist of 26 poses, 13 standing and 13 floor and begins and ends with breathing exercise.

 To some, it may seem repetitive, doing the same 26 postures over and over again each class, but it is truly a journey as you become stronger and better with each class, going further and deeper into your pose.  Eventually, you may be able to get here! ...one of my goals!


I'm able to do achieve this pose!

In bikram yoga, The room is heated, on average to 105 degrees. (so expect to go in with a hair "do" and come out with a hair "don't") :) The hot degrees is indicative of the climate in India, where Bikram Yoga originated.  There is nothing like a GOOD Bikram Yoga class after a week of cardio or as part of your regular weekly regiment.  I incorporate it into my workout once a week.

Have you tried it?  If so, what are your thoughts on Bikram Yoga? 

There is a serious Bikram Yoga following...

Namaste

Mac Make-up Haul

This past week, I went to MAC with NO intention upon purchasing makeup, however, I of course left the counter $100 in the hole... :/

What did I LOVE and what was an EPIC FAIL?

LOVE:

1. "A TRIUMPHANT BLUSH FACE KIT": Every season, MAC comes out with a new holiday collection. This season the holiday design collection is in a plaid box.  tooo cute.  It has a peachy base, which I LOVE..  The colors are Smooth Harmony Beauty Powder, Peachtwist Sheertone Shimmer Blush and Melba. 

2. "5 Sassy Coral Lassies Lipglass" holiday set: The second thing that I purchased was a great compliment to the blush and very Sassy, just like me :). The set included 5 mini lip glasses.  These lipglass shades are amazing and I truly love each one!  The colors are Tad Saucy, Pretty Quick, Mimmy, Jest for Fun and Hearts-a-Beatin', but my favorite is Tad Saucy... It's the peachiest of the bunch.


I'm thinking of going back next week for the Pink Holiday Collection... hummmmmm....

EPIC FAIL (for me)

1. Zoom Lash Mascara -- I hate that this was a fail for me, as I've heard so many great reviews on this product.  It was a fail for me for 2 reasons:  1:  It was sub par after the second application to my Rimmel Mascara that cost half the price!  It began to clump and did not seperate or extend my lashes as I anticipated and 2: I had an allergic reaction to it!  Has anyone else experienced this???  About a minute after I put it on, my eye began to burn and water.  I tried it about 6 different times and had the same reaction.. not sure? 

2. Prep +Prime Lash -- Again, this was an epic fail for me... 1:  After the first application it clumped on my lashes and the soft brush did not grip my lash to give me a well defined curl. I guess I'm just in love with my Dior Lash Primer. and 2: I had the same allergic reaction as I did with the Zoom Lash?  What's up with that? 

Anyway, I hope you get a chance to check out some of the holiday colors... really great!  If you are looking for a richer pigment, try Bobbi Brown Blushes (they have some great holiday sets as well) and Make up for ever HD blush.


tata....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How was your Holiday Weekend?

Hiya Dolls and Kens! :)

How was your looong holiday weekend? I hope it was amazing. I had a great holiday and must say that I am really looking forward to kickboxing and the steam room tomorrow! Thanksgiving food here in the US can be a bit much especially if you are not used to eating that kind of food!

I must say, my thanksgiving was awesome! I had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as well as a Vegan Thanksgiving dinner that was prepared by a friend of mine. I must say, the Vegan Thanksgiving meal was AMAZING! Hats off to the chief. There was even a Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake...

How was your holiday?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top 5 Holiday Fitness Tips

Ahhhhh.... the holiday season is upon us! Time for sharing with family, friends and other loved ones. Although I'm sure many of us are looking forward to our traditional or not so traditional dinners, most of us probably have plans to eat a little more than usual and/or partake in a special holiday dish.


Well, whatever your fancy, here are my TOP 5 HOLIDAY FITNESS TIPS to keep in shape over the long holiday weekend:

1. Exercise in the morning! Many gyms and yoga studios have special holiday hours and offer morning classes on Thanksgiving. Take advantage of it and get your metabolism going for the day.

2. Dance with family and friends! Organize a dance contest and engage the whole family at your holiday gathering. After dinner is over, there is no need to hit the couch and watch the game right? Enjoy the family time and create some memories...

3. Karaoke! Yes, singing burns calories and its fun too! Organize a game. Many people have Wii or PlayStation which have this game. Put your heart and soul into it and add some of your signature moves to up the anty and calorie lost!

4. Walk on Black Friday morning! Many malls will be open super early for Black Friday. If you don't mind the crowd, take advantage of this "indoor track" and Walk the Mall! Put your walking shoes on. Who knows, you may get some holiday shopping in as well!

5. Meditate! While this is not an active activity, don't sleep on its benefits! Meditation is great for the Mind, Body and Spirit. The stress from holiday prep can increase your blood pressure and raise levels of anxiety etc. Stress has been linked to extra fat around the belly and there is an increase in cardiovascular attacks during the holidays, not just because of food but also because of increased stress levels! Take a few moments in the morning and at night to meditate and relax you Mind and listen to your Spirit. If you are not familiar with meditation, there are tons of free Guided Meditations available on the net and YouTube. Just Google "free guided meditation".

Whatever you decide to do for the holidays, be sure to do something active!

Feel free to contact me for both Local and Virtual Personal Training Services!

namaste... xoxo

Monday, November 22, 2010

Even Politicians Love Cupcakes!


This Story is just for fun!
Ever city and town has one...you know that boutique store that EVERYONE raves about that is known for something special because its trendy or fun! Well in the Capital Area the "IT" spot is Georgetown Cupcakes, a gourmet cupcake destination. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I did a 16 miles bike ride along the Potomac River leaving from Georgetown, DC and ended up in one of our favorite places... Downtown Bethesda! The trail that we took is extremely scenic and the sights were wonderful! We had an amazing view of Arlington, VA, a serious hill climb along the Potomac, saw a couple of waterfalls, rode through a lighted tunnel, passed city life, road through wooded areas and shopping districts and even saw a black squirrel ....all in the span of 7 miles... Wonderful!

When we finally reached Bethesda, Maryland (about a 7 mile bike from Georgetown along the Capital Crescent Trail) we stopped for some sight seeing and ... talk about being in the right place at the right time-- Just as we road pass Georgetown Cupcake, two SUV's stopped in front of the door. Someone hopped out of the front seat with an earplug and I immediately knew the nature of his visit... someone important wanted a Georgetown Cupcake!

We rode by again and low and behold, it was the US Attorney General. In DC, our celebrities are the Dignitaries and Diplomats! :) DC is the Mecca of all things Government so seeing Secret Service cars is common place in and around the district. US Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, Jr. ---- WOW! is he really a fan of Georgetown Cupcake?! :) I really wanted to plug my Vegan Truffles and offer him one...hummmm, but I erred to the side of caution and just joined in with the other on-lookers as he purchased his Georgetown Cupcakes!

PS. If you live or ever plan to visit the DC area, be sure to bring your bike or rent a bike. Biking in the District is an awesome way to see the commuter/biker friendly city with designated bike lanes and currently has the US's largest bikeshare program, Capital Bikeshare

tata...

Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

I like to cook as often as I can from scratch with good wholesome foods. I don't like eating processed or packaged foods as they can contain so many unnecessary ingredients. While it does take a few extra moments to prepare fresh food, it can add years to your life! Make sure your preparation methods will retain the nutrients.

Last week, my Dad returned from a road trip to South Carolina and brought back some amazing sweet potatoes from a friend's farm! He literally had a huge brown paper bag full of sweet potatoes! ... you could tell they were straight from the ground.. there was dirt in the bottom of the bag! LOL. I digress...

Anyway, my Dad gave me several sweet potatoes and I've been incorporating them into several of my meals! Last night I opted for HOMEMADE SWEET POTATO FRIES.

There is no rhythm or reason to my recipe, I just know what I like and I prepare it...

Here is what you need (Serves 2):
1-2 sweet potatoes
Olive Oil
Seasoning pack

Directions to prepare seasoning pack:
In a ziplock bag, combine Pink Himalayan Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper, Turmeric, Old Bay Seasoning, Oregano, pinch of Cayenne Pepper and shake until spices are well blended.

Directions:
1. Clean and wash sweet potatoes thoroughly. Use a vegetable scrubber to remove some of the skin and leave some on.
2. Cut the sweet potatoes in half, then slice into 1/4 pieces, then slice the pieces in half again to create fries.
3. Toss the sliced sweet potatoes in olive oil, just enough to coat. Place evenly on lined sprayed pan.
4. Season fries with season pack.
5. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once.

Viola!!! These are delicious.... I'll probably make some more tonight and will take better pictures.

J'adore Homemade Sweet Potato Fries


Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Dyed My Hair Naturally, with Indigo!

This past Wednesday night was one if those nights devoted to hair care! I enjoy doing my hair myself and had plans to put Henna and Indigo as well as a deep conditioner in my hair.  Here is my process!

1.  The night before applying Henna and Indigo, I Oiled my hair.   In my previous post on hair oiling, I talk about how to use coconut oil to oil your hair, but this time I used Amla and Brahmi Oil. 

2.  I started my hair treatment by washing my hair so that it was nice and clean!  This time, I used Organic Henna and Organic Indigo, both which I purchased from Henna Sooq. For the winter months, I wanted to darken my hair so I decided to do a 2 Part Treatment to achieve rich, black hair.  Click here to see how to mix henna.

PART I

Henna Mix:
200grams Organic Henna
2 cups of Filtered Water
4 Green Tea bags
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Honey
Essential Oil
Rose Water

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

I used Hello Hydration Conditioner to thoroughly rinse the henna out of my hair. Immediately after washing the henna out of my hair, I mixed my Organic Indigo. 

PART II

Indigo:
Mix Organic Indigo with water until a thick paste is created.  Part hair into four equal sections and immediately apply the Indigo to your hair from the back to the front until all hair is covered.   Once indigo is in, cover your head with a plastic cap.

For Dark Brown Hair--- LEAVE IN FOR 15-30 minutes
for Black Hair -- LEAVE IN FOR 40-60 minutes
for Jet Black Hair-- LEAVE IN FOR 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

I left my indigo in for 40 minutes. I then rinsed my Indigo out using some more Hello Hydration.  After the Organic Indigo was completely rinsed out of my hair, I put a deep conditioner in my hair.  This is an IMPORTANT STEP as Henna and Indigo can be drying. I used Shea Moisture deep conditioner and let that set in my hair for 30 minutes. 

WONDERFUL...I love my results! To style, my hair, I used Curlformers.  Here is a pic of my final hair... Next time I will leave the indigo in for an hour! 

What do you guys think?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Natural Hair Products Swap!

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is ready for an exciting weekend! Saturday's and Sunday's are always the best!

Have you purchased an all natural hair product recently that just doesn't do it for you? Is it collecting dust in your product closet or under your sink?

Well, you should participate in Today's Swap a Natural Hair Product Friday! It's really simple to participate!

Rules:
1. Follow this blog.
2. In the comment box below, type the products that you have to swap and the products you like! Product should be ay least half full.
3. Check back for comment updates and find your match! I will facilitate.
4. Contact the follower directly and viola! ....exchange info and Swap!

The swap will run through December 10th.

This is right around holiday time and who wouldn't love to receive a package in the mail? Have fun with it and maybe wrap it in festive wrapping paper or add a bow!

HAPPY SWAPPING!!!!!


Disclosure: The contest is run on a good faith basis. The blog owner is not responsible and the swap is at the sole discretion of the participants.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eat More Often and Increase Metabolism?


I love to eat!   I love trying new foods and preparing new foods for others to try. For many of us, eating is more then just feeding our body... its a social event with family and friends and can be emotional as well.   Although I love to eat, I am mindful of what I eat!  It's important to be in control of what you eat and not allow the emotional attachment to food run wild.

Have you ever had someone say to you, "I don't understand how I am overweight? I ONLY eat once a day?"  Well, that may explain it.  Eating only once a day deprives your body of the continuous energy that it needs and can actually mess up your metabolism. When you are only eating one meal, one time a day at sporadic times, the message that you are essentially telling your body is "Eat this and hold on to it! I'm not sure when I'm going to feed you again!"   In an effort to protect itself and store energy, your body slows down your metabolism so that it can have enough energy since its not sure when it will get food again.

HOWEVER--- Its been my experience, that if you eat healthy foods around the same time each day, 5-6 times a day, your body will eventually adjust to your eating habits. It will understand that it can burn calories because it will anticipate you feeding it again. 

THE COMMON SENSE BEHIND IT: Think about it-- little babies will let you know like clockwork that they are hungry! right? Their bodies respond to specific feeding times. Kids with healthy eating habits often require a couple snack during the day. As we become adults, we often adjust from these habits.

When you eat HEALTHY foods that provide you with ENERGY throughout the day and stay within your caloric range based on your sex, size and age, your body's metabolic rate will remain in balance. Your body will not be in starvation mode. Eating healthy will not bog down your body with heavy, fatty, sweet foods that it has to work extra hard to process.

TIPS:

  • Eat small portions 5-6 times a day (3 small meals and 3 small snacks) within 30 minutes of a normal set time throughout the day as opposed to large meals, 1 or 3 times sporadically throughout the day.
  • Choose foods that are fresh and full of nutrients.  Your food show be colorful!
  • Avoid Processed foods.
  • Avoid juices and soda that are high in sugar and drink more water. (You can add lemon or cucumber to your water for flavor).
  • Don't eat 2 hours before bedtime.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

City Bands Kids Toys from Kids Meals

The city of San Francisco has passed an ordinance making it against the law to provide a toy with a kids meal from a fast food chain unless the meal that was ordered is considered healthy. San Francisco considers a healthy kids meal a meal that is under 600 calories. Considering the average preschoolers caloric intake each day according to the USDA should be about 1,200 calories and elementary school-aged kids is about 1,600, its not a unreasonable bill.   Recent study shows that 84% of parents feed their kids fast food at least once a week!  That is alarming!  Growing up in the 80's, my parents prepared the vast majority of our meals in the house.

The fast food bill provides that too many calories= no kids toy. Most fast food chains now offer substitutes for side orders such as fruit cups and substitute milk for soda.  

To see the clip regarding this story on CNN, click here.

What do you think? Do you think its a move in the right direction to stop childhood obesity? Do you think the measure was too drastic? Chime in...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Workout in Style

DOLLS....Okay.. I had to share this...  ANOTHER FUN ONE!!!

Working out in style and luxury.. how divine! 

2.2 lbs Chanel Hand Weights with quilted calfskin cover.

photo courtesy of Chanel.com Price available upon request
.
Practical?  Not so much

Fashionable?  Absolutely!

I may have to add this to my wish list!  Do you like?

Ridin' in Luxury!

Morning guys and gals!

If you've read any of my previous post, you may know that I LOVE bike riding. :)  This past Saturday was beautiful and I was able to get in 22 miles on my local trail!  Lovely!  I rode on a rugged trail this weekend, but it would be nice to cruise on the beach next summer in one of these...

MY TOP 3 LUXURY BICYCLES...
#1.  Chanel  --  apx. $11,000.  I know this is not new... but sometimes you have to pull out the "Oldies but Goodies" from your bag! If memory serves me correctly, this was designed back in 2008.  I love this amazing ride! This bike is an awesome hybrid of two things I LOVE.. Luxury and Riding!  Aluminum hand-assembled bike with a quilted calfskin seat and three bags, including make-up case with signature logo! The bags can double as a regular carrier... This bike is an 8 speed, so its meant for cruising!


#2.  Gucci Bicycle -- apx. $6500.00.  This bike will bring out the prep-school in you!  It has a bronze metal frame and includes chocolate guccissima leather handlebars and seats.


#3. Chrome Hearts -- apx. $60,000.00.  For the tougher side in you!  Great ride for the guys!





The Chanel bike for me. 100% all the way!!! What bike would you choose?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Anti-aging Practice: Washing your face BEFORE EXERCISE?


Have you ever gone to the gym right after work? Ever see ladies working out with makeup on? I can answer YES to both of these questions and can honesty say that I have been guilty of "working out with make-up on"! Yes, I confess....

Do you wash your face prior to working out to remove the makeup and/or the oil and grim that has built up from the day? WELL, WE SHOULD! Instead of arriving at the gym, changing into gym clothes and jumping into a workout start your workout with a clean face.

Normally, most people tend to focus on cleansing their face AFTER a workout. However, studies have shown that in addition to washing our face after a workout, we should properly cleanse our face BEFORE a workout as well. When you are working out and begin to sweat, your body releases toxins through your pores. When we wipe the sweat from our face, the make-up and/or the grim from the day, can get pushed deeper into your pores and ultimately clog them.

To best preserve the skins radiance and keep our deep pores clean:

PRIOR to working out: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water or cleanse with a disposable make-up remover pad. (These are really easy to use at the gym!)


AFTER working out: Do a gentle cleanse and splash your face with cold water to seal your pores.

I stock my gym bag with make-up remover wipes for a quick and easy cleanse or the pre-treated face wash pads work really well also!

For make-up removers, I like:

1.  COMODYNES MAKE-UP REMOVER Towlettes Face & Eyes (Sensitive & Dry Skin) sold at Trader Joes
2. Yes To Cucumbers Face Cleanser Towelettes - 30ct. sold at Target
Both of these contain natural ingredients and are soothing to the skin! 

This is a great practice to have and I'm so glad I've incorporated it into my pre-workout regiment.  Have you?

Ayurveda News!

Each month, I receive an amazing newsletter from The Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic. The clinic is located in India and is devoted to Ayurveda, the age old holistic approach to health care. Each month, they feature amazing tips related to holistic care ranging from Ayurvedic care for obesity to beauty. Here is a recent Newsletter that is quite informative. Check it out if you have the opportunity here:
http://www.chakrapaniayurveda.com/NEWS/feb-10.pdf

Was this helpful?
I am really in to hair and skin care practices of Ayurveda. It has changed my routine of doing things and my approach to personal care. Do you currently practice Ayurveda? If yes, what? Do tell..... :)

Stuffed Swiss Chard? Who knew!

I love stuffed cabbage!  Also, I love Swiss Chard.... hummmmmm... a HYBRID???  Stuffed Swiss Chard?  Why not!?

It is starting to get cold in my neck if the woods and I love making hearty and healthy dishes! This one I came up with after purchasing some amazing Organic Swiss Chard from Whole Foods!

Swiss Chard Stuffed with Turkey Sausage, Peppers and Wild Brown Rice...

Ingredients:
4/6 Organic Swiss Chard leaves (discard stems)
1 cup of brown rice
Smoked Turkey sausage links or Tofurky for my Vegans!
Medium Green Pepper
Medium Red Pepper (optional)
Small Red Onion
2 cups of Organic Vegetable Stock
3 whole Organic Carrots
1 tsp Raw Honey or Firm Tofu
Shredded cheeses (optional)
Rosemary
Sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt
Black Pepper
Directions:

Rice:
Boil 1 cup of vegetable stock and 1 cup of water -- or 2 cups of vegetable stock, depending on your taste preference. Add brown rice, rosemary, pepper, dash of sea salt.  Cook on low for apx. 40 minutes.

1. In a medium pan, over medium heat, cook turkey sausage with a little vegetable stock until cooked thoroughly.
2.  In a separate pan, saute onion and peppers with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
3.  In a large stock pot, bring water to an almost boil and add Swiss Chard leaves for apx. 3-5 minutes or until soft. Remove from water and pat dry. Set aside.
4.  COMBINE--  Rice, Peppers and Onions and Turkey Sausage or Tofurky in a bowl so it is evenly distributed.  Add tablespoon of Honey and stir.  NOTE:  If you are vegan, instead of the honey, you can add firm tofu.
5. Take a Swiss Chard leaf and lay flat and place a heaping of the filling below the center of the leaf.  Roll the leave until the end.  Repeat this process for each leaf.
6. Top with cheese, optional. 

BAKE on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
Remember: Lots of Love while you are cooking! 

I will post pics soon of my final masterpiece soon!  :) 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lose Belly Fat with a Body Wrap? Home Remedy!

Lets face it, we all love to have a slim waist! Right?  But we can't always afford or have the time for the Spa.  I must admit, pre-recession, I went to the spa every month for some kind of service!  NOW, I do a lot of my SPA TREATMENTS as home and I have saved tons of money.   I also know exactly what is going into my treatments.  I've created a very zin like oasis in my home for my spa treatments, and I love it just the same! 

Not only is a slim waist considered attractive in this day in age, it is important that you keep the weight around the belly to a minimum for optimal health. Fat around the belly, or visceral fat, has been linked to heart disease in both men and women. Visceral fat is deeper inside the abdomen, surrounding internal organs.

Scientist have link inflammation around the cells of visceral fat deposits, and the artery-hardening process. Although no conclusion of this research is definitive (as far as I know- I'm not a doctor), it definitely makes sense! In addition to the science behind it, most of our vital organs - heart, lungs, kidney etc. are located in the central region of our bodies! Anything that is layered on top of them has to be a strain, right?

Well as a TEMPORARY SOLUTION (consult with your physician first), a belly wrap can aid in eliminating the toxins around your belly.

If you are JUST targeting your belling, HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED:

1/2 cup Bentonite Clay













2 tablespoons of Organic Sea Salt (I use Celtic Sea Salt)














Ace bandage















1 cup of hot water
Measuring tape (optional)
Warm robe or sweatshirt
Application brush (optional)

WHAT TO DO:
Take measuring tape and measure your belly in inches.  Measure at belly button as well as your natural waist line.  Add the bentonite clay to the hot water and stir with a non-metal spoon until clay creates a paste.  Add more water as necessary.  When clay cools to a comfortable temperature, with an application brush apply the paste onto your belly in a thick layer (about 1/2 or more thick).  once all the clay is applied, wrap your belly with ace bandages until all the clay is covered.  Cover yourself with a robe or towel.  Sit back and relax for about 30-45 minutes!    Rinse of clay in warm shower.  After washing, measure belly again to see if any inches were lost.  You can expect anywhere from 1/2 inch to 2 1/2 inches after first application. 

ALTERNATIVE:  Follow instructions above, instead add the ace bandages to the clay so the bandages are completely covered, adding more hot water as necessary.  Wrap the clay covered bandages around your belly.

One bentonite clay body wrap can reduce your belly fat by NOTICEABLE inches, and since bentonite clay body wraps are non-toxic, you can do several wraps in a day or over the span of a couple of days to lose many inches from your waist.

Have you tried this?  Do you plan on trying this?  Please share dolls and kens!

NOTE:  *This is a temporary fix, and should not be used as a substitute for regular weight lost. This should not be done by pregnant women. I am not a doctor, so please consult with your doctor or holistic doctor before doing this procedure. Everyone's situation is different. I am just providing tips and procedures that have worked for me and have personally consulted with my holistic doctor. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sweeten Your Desserts with Fruit!

Hello Ladies and Gents!

The holidays are just around the corner, which means holiday treat! BUT you don't have to fall victim to processed sugar! Try sweetening your treats with fruit!!! A couple options are dates, raisin and apples. Check back soon for recipes that include these natural sweeteners...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Immune System Boost! Warm Water, Lemon, Cinnamon and Raw Honey.

I often rant and rave about the Power of Lemons and its benefits as well as Cinnamon and Raw Honey, but I thought I would address this again, since the cold months are coming upon us.

In the fall and winter months, I up the ante on my Warm Water and Lemon Drink and add Cinnamon and Honey to it. This combination will boost your immune system and fight sickness. Its really great to drink this all year round, but definitely in the cold months during Cold and Flu Season.

Benefits:

Water -- our bodies are anywhere from 55% to 78% water, depending on body size and brain tissue is said to consist of 85% water. Need I say more? We need WATER to survive. A simple equation you can use to see how much water you need each day for optimal hydration is:

Your body weight
 2.2

So if you weight 150pds: 150lbs / 2.2 = 68.9 /8oz = 8.5 glasses of water a day.

For dry climate:  add + 16 oz.

For strenuous exercise:  add + 16 oz.


Lemons-- Controls your blood sugar level! This is especially good for diabetics, pre-diabetics and those looking to take preventive measure to prevent diabetes.



Cinnamon-- Stabilizes insulin levels, lowers the amount of bad cholesterol, (Great for diabetics/pre-diabetics.)

Raw Honey-- Proven to boost the immune system and helps to protect against the flu and cold as a PREVENTIVE measure. Also useful in regulating blood pressure and fighting disease of the heart.









Can I get honest for a moment here? I HAVE NOT BEEN SICK WITH A COLD OR THE FLU (maybe minor sniffles that last a day or two) IN OVER 10 YEARS! I attribute that to more then just "good immune system genes" but to the preventive daily measure that I take to protect my body against disease.

BONUS: Not only will all of these aid in boosting your immune system, they all play a role in weight control and some have credited this combination to weight lose as well! (Of course the latter statement is true coupled with a balanced diet and exercise.) 

Bebe's PH8 Closing, Replaced by 2b Stores

Not to long ago, I dropped until my local PH8 by Bebe Store and it appears that another one will bite the dust pretty soon. PH8 by Bebe, a division of Bebe with stand alone stores in several malls will be discontinue by the end if 2011. They had a major sale running so I purchased quite a few items...capris for $14.99, sports bras for $9.99.... etc. Pretty good.. The first question out of my mouth, despite the amazing sale was, "Do the clothes have performance technology?" This is very important to me as I wanted to make sure the clothes are not just cute, but also would make sense for my workouts.  There were no visible signs in the store advertising the performance benefits of the clothes. I of course was intrigued by this as I instantly felt a disconnect with the marketing. Are the clothes meant for lounging or errand running similar to the old BebeSport clothes or was it meant for true performance?  I struck an interesting chat with the 2 helpful ladies that worked at the nearly empty store, who's sentiments were similar to mine as a first time customer.  Performance or errand-wear?

I guess the line was not appealing to the typical Bebe customer. It's as if Bebe would have to start from ground zero to get a following of those who want workout clothes with performance technology that are cute vs. those who just want cute clothes to run errands in that simulates workout clothes. Who was the real customer? I think that conceptually it was a good idea, but the marketing strategy didn't hit the mark. Was the customer fashionista's who are really into looking good while working out but also require the clothes to perform or those who want the clothes for stylistic purposes not meant for exercise?

I rest on the performance & style side. I want my workout gear to perform, while providing a stylistic edge.... so PH8 must be able to compete in the performance arena to sustain customers similar to me.

On the flip side, if the customer was intended to be those who previously liked the Bebe Sport line, then it would require more glitz and glam with no consideration for performance-- the original customer that put Bebe Sport on the map in the early 2000's. I personally have steered away from the logo shirts with Bebe plastered across the bosom. Could be age, getting more refined, but I'm just not into the Bebe logo tees anymore. (If you saw some of my workout picture post, you will see that my once fashionable tees from the early 2000's are now part of my outdoor rugged wear! Lol.)

Anyway, it looks like Bebe's new concept store, 2b, may be a hit with those looking for a bargin, with its on trend styles and prices ranging from $29- $79. The clothes are being sold online and at select locations. Bebe Stores, Inc. has plans to swap out PH8 stores for 2B stores at some of the failed PH8 locations. The clothes are currently being sold online. Anyone purchase from the 2B line yet?

How to Choose Your Perfect Lip Color?


Sephora has done it again ladies! Visit the Make Up For Ever Lipstick Finder page at Sephora.com, for 3 easy steps to find the perfect Lipstick shade based on your skintone and hair color! With the Lipstick Finder, it matches your skins undertone (I'm a huge advocate of matching your skins undertone) and hair color to the perfect lip shade of red, pink or nude! I personally love a nude lip... its safe, sexy and very versatile! I love wearing it with dramatic eyes and pretty blushes. There are soooooo many choices when it comes to lip color, so I'm really excited to hit Sephora and try out my shades based on the lipstick finder match! Did they just make my life easier???!!! I'm also excited about... wait for it........maybe trying a RED for the holidays! We'll see... I'm not a red lip girl... :/

Right now I'm really into Nars Honolulu Honey for my nude lip. My skin undertone is yellow resulting in Golden brown skin. What's your staple lip color? Please share your skintone and hair color as well!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is Writing a Gift?

I think its such an amazing gift to be able to focus your thoughts and write a book. Have you ever read a book from a particular author and the words touched your heart so deeply that it brought you to tears or a place of unexplainable emotion? What a gift to not even be in the presence of someone and but their words have such a captivating, spell bounding, mesmorizing,responsive effect on your emotions.   There are countless authors and poets in history whom I adore. 

One of my favorite authors right now, who writes with authority and no shame, who's words evoke deep thought, sometimes bringing my heart to tears, and causing me to read 2.3.4 times over... is Dr. Myles Munroe.   He writes in such a way to not convince you that he's words are truth, but for you to understand his words, create your own perspective and hence create you own truth.

Who is your favorite author, blessed with the Gift of Writing? ...I'm talking about someone who's words truly move you to a place of emotional euphoria, creating a blissful connection between their words and your intellect to spark an emotional reaction? Pay homage in the comment box below.....

I'm currently reading Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer, by Dr. Myles Monroe.

I love reading!

Dye Hair Naturally with Indigo!

Well, the months are getting colder and the days are getting shorter... The easy breezy summer days of 2010 have come and gone. What does that mean for me? Time for change! This weekend I am planning on dying my hair black (its currently dark brown) naturally with with Organic Indigo. I recently dyed my Mom's salt and pepper hair with Indigo and covered ALL of her grey with amazing results! She wanted a chocolate brown/dark brown color and we achieved it beautifully.

So this weekend, I plan on doing my monthly henna treatment and this time.. drum roll please... following it with a dose of Organic Indigo.  The Indigo will darken my henna, which currently gives me reddish brown highlights in the light.  It was perfect for summer and fall, but winter calls for change. I plan on leaving the Indigo in for about 45 minutes (the longer you leave it in, the deeper the stain) resulting in dark brown/black shiny hair!  I am excited!  I love dark hair in the winter! 

What do you think?  I am excited to share my results!  Please check back soon for updates....

Some Indigo History:

Indigo comes from the ground leaves of the indigo plant which contains a deep blue dye.  The leaves of the plant are harvested, dried, and ground into a powder.  In modern day, Indigo is most commonly used to dye jeans, but has been used as a hair dye for centuries and many cultures still use this as opposed to chemicals to dye hair.  Indigo combined with Henna is a great ALL NATURAL replacement for modern chemical dyes and is non-damaging!  

Indigo Results:
  1. Mix Indigo and Henna together, you achieve a medium brown to rich deep brown hair dye.
  2. Apply Indigo AFTER Henna application, you achieve rich, shiny black to jet black color.
  3. Indigo and Henna together cover grays.  (click here for pictures!)
  4. Adds incredible shine to dull hair!

I'll post before and after pics!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles: FRUIT SWEETENED (c)

MORNING DOLLS AND DUDES:

I hope your day is going amazing thus far! If not, think of something your thankful for and I'm sure you'll feel great ;).... hey it could even be that you found this great recipe! ;)

So yesterday, I headed to an outdoor festival with some friends. Yes its cold in my neck of the woods, but its still great fun to be outdoors! The ladies decided to bring food and snacks for the group to try... A few of the folks coming are Vegan and I personally do not eat or drink anything with processed sugar, so I decided to make some Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles and some Vegan Chocolate Walnut Truffles! They turned out AMAZING....

What you need for:

Sharron's Gourmet Veffles (Vegan Truffles) (c) :

Filing:
1 cup Raw Peanuts or 1 cup of Raw Walnuts*
1/2 cup of hydrated dates (about 4 or 5) pitted
Dash of Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 tsp of Raw Coconut Crystal by Coconut Secrets
1/2 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp of Organic Flax Seed Oil

For coating:
Vegan Chocolate Chips
Shredded Coconut
Hemp Seeds

To prepare:
Combine all filing ingredients in a food processor, blender or VitaMixer.  Scoop about a tablespoon size and roll into balls.  Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt down the vegan chocolate chips.  Dip each rolled ball into the warm chocolate coating all sides.  Set each truffle onto wax paper or spray foil with no stick spray.  Top each Truffle with shredded coconut and hemp seeds. 

I made a couple without Chocolate and a couple without Coconut for variety!
Place tray in fridge to harden chocolate for about 1 hour.  SERVE!

Yummie!
*Makes about 10 Truffles. 

I made 10 Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles and 10 Chocolate Walnut Truffles

I like food that "presents" a certain way.. I'm a sucker for all things gourmet, fancy and fabulous! I of course served the truffles on a fancy dish!  I am DEFINITELY making these again for the holidays so will have pics of the Truffle Presentation soon! 

Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite holiday dessert you plan on serving?  Any sugar-free or Vegan treats?

P.S. I make these delicious Sharron's Gourmet Truffles in various flavors, including special holiday packaging to make perfect gifts! Please contact me for shipping and pricing!!!! They make great gifts for family and friends. Surpise your love ones with this healthy treat. Contact me today! Guaranteed shipping before Christmas.

The Perfect Roller Set! Natural or Relaxed Hair

I'm a wet set/roller set pro, if I must say so myself! I've done my roller sets and several others since I was about 10 years old. My mom taught me how after she noticed my obsession with doing my dolls hair! I was always cutting and/or styling my dolls hair or making them clothes!!! I digress....

I love roller sets on my natural hair. I roll my entire head in 15 minutes! I of course use:

Jane Carter Leave in Conditioner and that's it!

Roller setting hair is a piece of cake once you get the hang of it. The trick is in the parting of your hair and the tight hold of the rollers.

What you need:
Rat rail comb
Rollers
Metal clips
Coconut oil or almond oil

Step 1:
Starting in the front of your hair, take the tail of the rat tail comb and part 1/2 inch at most on both sides from the center and apx. 2 inches back. Part another 1/2 of hair, horizontal. This will be the first roller.

Step 2:
Take comb end of rat tail comb and comb out any tangles. Take roller to almost the end, holding hair tight against the roller and roll down holding hair tight. Once roller reaches head, clip with silver clips.

Step 3:
Repeat step 2 for top 2/3 rollers in front of hair. Starting on your dominate side, make another vertical part above the center of your ear ,then repeat Step 2.

Step 4:
Continue this until all hair is rolled.

YOU CAN AIR DRY OR SIT UNDER A HOODED DRYER ON THE COOL OR WARM SETTING.

Once dry, I breeze my edges with a flat iron, PLACE A SMALL AMOUNT OF COCONUT OIL OR ALMOND OIL ON FINGERTIPS AND RUN THROUGH HAIR, wrap my hair with a paddle brush, wrap with plastic wrap, sit under dryer for 3-5 minutes on warm then take hair down. You can wrap at night for ocean wave curls or pin curl for fuller curls!

NOTE: IF YOU AIR DRY, THE PROCESS IS MUCH LONGER, BUT YOU CAN AVOID HEAT THIS WAY IF YOU DESIRE.

ROLLERSETS yield amazing curl and long lasting style!


How do you roll?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quick Health Tip of the Day

Good Morning!

Prayers and Blessings for a great day!

Start your day with a good well balanced, breakfast. Eating breakfast each morning is GREAT for your metabolism and will provide you with the energy boost that you need to get your morning going.

Skip the coffee or tea and opt for Warm Water with 1/2 fresh Lemon (juice and pulp) and honey.

An easy Breakfast suggestion is: Sugar-free organic Oatmeal. Add raisins, walnuts and Cinnamon.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dash New York has launched: Kardashian and Fashion News!

It seems everything the K-Sister's touch turns platinum, so its no surprise that they now have another successful event to add to their list!  The business savvy Kardashian sisters hosted their launch party for their brand new Dash New York Store on November 3rd.  This is the 3rd Dash store for the Kardashian sisters and its sure to be a Big Hit in the Big Apple.  I wonder if there are plans in the future to open a store overseas? 

Here are some pics from the red carpet:





They all looked amazing at the launch party.   It would have been nice to see the matriarch, Kris Jenner there as well! 


I plan to make a trip to Dash NYC really soon.  The sisters have amazing style so I'm sure the selection will be uber nice!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

3 Natural Toothpaste brands

More and more people are converting to natural toothpaste as an alternative to cleaning teeth. Have you ever checked out the ingredients in regular mainstream toothpaste? Most people probably have not.   However, if you read the labels, most of the ingredients in mainstream toothpaste are chemically derived and names that most of us can't pronounce. I can assure you that you would be alarmed at the amount of chemicals that go into your mouth each day, at least twice a day. 

Most people that start using natural toothpaste, notice an IMMEDIATE difference and would not dream of converting back. I must admit, it took me a WHILE to convert as I had my favorite brand, but now, I love my natural toothpaste.  The best natural toothpaste ingredients consist of herbs and oils that protect the teeth and gums and promote a healthy, chemical-free mouth! Here are my top 3 favorite natural toothpaste that I would recommend are:

1. BlanX USA

















2. Toms of Maine, Whole care, with Fluoride.* NOTE: This is now sold at Target, if you have a phobia of going into "natural' stores. ;)


















3. Burt's Bees Natural Flouride-free Toothpaste, whitening without Fluoride. 99.2% Natural.  I have not personally tried this but have read great reviews on it!  Let me know if you've tried it.














BONUS: There are also natural mouthwash alternatives. Previously, I was a firm believer that if I didn't feel the "burn", then it wasn't working! I will review my top picks soon!

*This does contain sodium lauryl sulfate but it is derived from coconut and/or palm kernel oil

Do you have a favorite natural toothpaste or what are your thoughts on the ones above?

NEWSFLASH Curlformers: Extra Wide and Long

As promised, on an earlier Curlformers post I wanted to post an update once I used my Extra Wide and Long Curlformers to achieve larger and fuller curls. I received my Curlformers on last week! (Sidebar- Super fast shipping by the way!) Well, last night after an invigorating Kickboxing class, I washed and deep conditioned my hair and I was ready to ROCK with my new larger Curlformers! The process of course is the same, NO HEAT STYLING but I DID USE DIFFERENT PRODUCTS, just for fun and I love trying new products!

This time, I used only 2 products:
Jane Carter Solution Leave in Conditioner (my staple leave-in)
Natural Oasis, Conditiong Foam Wrap and Sculpting Lotion

The Natural Oasis is new to me and is a DREAM!  OMG!  So love this! I stumbled upon this while in my local hair store last week on my quest to find an all natural setting lotion.   The POWER of PRAYER! True story-- For a couple weeks, I searched for an all natural setting lotion with no luck and was secretly dreading getting one with alcohol :/. Right before I went in the store, I prayed to find an all natural setting lotion, and there it was!!! ...recognize each opportunity as a blessing and give thanks for even the smallest of things! I will post a FULL review on this product soon but needless to say, I LOVE the combination of the Extra Wide and Long Curmformers, JC L-I-C and Natural Oasis.




















My curls came out nice and full, like.. Ocean Waves with body!

Here are some pics of the final "do" with the Extra Wide and Long Curlformers:

Day 1. 
I promise to take better pics and do a vid next time! This was an experiement, but I loved my results!
Day 2
A little frizz, but still nice and curly!


Yummie Stuffed Cabbage rolls.. Vegan Style

The other day for lunch, I had Stuffed Cabbage rolls from one of my favorite raw/vegan/natural eateries. It reminded me of how much I LOVE cabbage, so I decided to make my own this past weekend along with some raw pumpkin pie for dessert! Yummie! The Stuffed Cabbage Rolls were super easy to make! Here is what my Recipe:

Ingredients:
1 small head cabbage
1 cup brown rice
Vegetable stock or Chicken stock (your preference)
1 medium red onion
1/2 cup of Apple Cider (local and fresh preferably)
2 Organic Carrots, sliced
2 Organic Celery stalk cut into pieces
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green pepper
salt
pepper
thyme
rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of raw honey
Tofu (optional)
1 can of Organic marinara sauce
Cheese or Vegan alternative

Prepare rice based on package directions. Add salt, pepper, butter rosemary.

Steam sliced carrots and celery until soft.

Warm Organic Marinara Sauce. Season as desired.

In a small pan, simmer apple cider, then saute onion, garlic, red and green peppers until soft. Add carrots, celery and cooked rice. Heat gently for a few minutes to let flavors meld. Remove from heat and add honey and firm Tofu.

Take cabbage and core and plunge into hot water for a few minutes to loosen leaves. Peel off 4 leaves.

Put a layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Lay a cabbage leaf and spoon rice and vegetable mixture into the cabbage leaf, fold up the sides and roll. Put the rolled cabbage on the sauce.

Cabbage rolls before sauce and baking

Once all Rolls are filled, pour remaining Marinara sauce on top and top with cheese (optional)
Cover and bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.



Serves 4
Prep time apx. 30 minutes (40 minutes including rice)

*You can freeze these for up to 3 weeks.

Z Spoke by Zac Posen (aso-- Kim Kardashian)

Zac Posen does it again with an EPIC WIN in his new line called Z Spoke! He has some amazing pieces that translate very well from the runway to everyday standard fashion to fashion stoppers! Tailored to "fit", this line is a sure win if you are looking for key pieces to add to your wardrobe. The Z Spoke line can be found in stores and online at Saks Fifth Avenue. I particularly love this piece worn recently by Kim Kardashian from the Z Spoke Spring 2011 line.


photo courtesy of kimkardashian.celebuzz.com


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