Friday, March 30, 2012

Introducing Stephanie ...

I would like to formally introduce Stephanie, the new guest blogger for "Healthy Hair and Body".  You may have noticed her recent posts on Fitness and Healthy Eating that are featured every Monday/Tuesday.  She has degrees in Exercise Science and Biology in addition to heading her own blog entitled Infinite Life Fitness.  She is also an athlete of over 10 years with additional knowledge gained from several trainers and coaches.  Be sure to check her out in her corner of the World Wide Web (Infinite Life Fitnessand look forward to more weekly guest posts from her here at HHB.  Don't forget to "like" her fitness Facebook Page as well.

P.S.  If you have any questions for her or would like her to write a guest post on a particular subject, leave a comment below.

A Healthy You in 2012!
Valentine Day Treats … Lower in fat but still so YUMMY!
Reader's Question: How to Gain Weight
Simple, Healthy Recipes for a Busy Schedule
Foods to Fill You Up
Fitting Fitness Into Your Busy Life
Women's Fitness: What's True and What's False
Fitness Fashion 101

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How I Avoid Type II Diabetes

From the CDC: "Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90%–95% of diabetes cases and is usually associated with older age, obesity and physical inactivity, family history of type 2 diabetes, or a personal history of gestational diabetes. ...  Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthy food choices, physical activity, and weight loss. ... . A person with diabetes has a shorter life expectancy and about twice the risk of dying on any given day as a person of similar age without diabetes." {Source}

Type II diabetes is a part of my family history.  My late maternal grandfather had it.  My older brother died from it.  My mother has it.  I want to avoid it.  Because of this reality, and because I generally want to remain healthy, my meals have the following guidelines:
  • eat a lot of fish, fresh vegetables, and whole grains (instead of processed grains).
  • only eat sweets (i.e., cakes, cookies, ice cream) once every couple of weeks or month. 
  • eat dried fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth.
  • rarely eat beef or other red meat.
  • refrain from sodas and juice cocktails.  
  • drink water and 100% cranberry juice.
  • only use extra virgin olive oil to cook.
If you have a family history of type II diabetes, then you may want to read the following links for how to avoid the disease:


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Twist Series: Strong vs. Weak Twists

Demonstration of a "weak" twist.

"Strong" twists frizz far less and last longer than "weak" twists. So what is a "strong" twist?  How do you make one? Naptural85 explains it in this video (starts at 1 minute 23 seconds):

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fitness Fashion 101

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

One of the most important things that is most often overlooked when someone thinks about fitness and getting healthy is if they are actually wearing the right things to workout in!

There are some VERY important staple items that women (and men) need to have in order to be prepared for their rigorous workout routines.

1) Good, comfortable, appropriate shoe!
One of the most common mistakes that people make is that they start working out with just any average pair of shoes…or a pair of shoes they have tucked in the back of their closet.
It is optimal to find a shoe appropriate for the activities you plan to be doing.
If you do go out to find a new pair of shoes, running shoes are meant for running and walking shoes are meant for walking. These shoes are designed to help give you support in targeted areas. For those who will be jogging, walking, and spending time in the gym, cross-trainer shoes are a good suggestion. These shoes are usually light weight but also give you great support in all of the main areas. Most (if not all) major shoe stores have workers that are supposed to be educated on what type of shoe is best for certain activities. So if you are ever in doubt please be sure to ask!
Also your workout shoes should be used for one thing…to work out in! They should not be used for everyday common uses. Even if you need to break them in, break them in by working out in them. That is the best way to get the optimal use out of those shoes.


2) ATTENTION WOMEN: Are you working out with the right sports bra?
Yes sports bra…not a regular bra…but a bra made to support you during your workouts.
When looking for a GOOD sports bra, be prepared to spend a little money on one. But in the end it will be worth it! You want to find a bra that will house each breast in its own cup. This is the best to find because it can help reduce bouncing significantly compared to regular shelf bras and help support them. Look for “High Performance/High Impact” on the bra sale tag. This is a good indication that the bra is built to help support you through high intensity workouts. You also want to try to focus on bras that come in bra sizes and not the regular small, medium, or large. This is because the bras built to specific sizes are better engineered to fit your body type. Purchasing your bra from a “bra store” is also a good idea because the workers there can fit you into a bra that works best for you. Be sure to give the bra a test run when you try it on. Don’t be afraid to jump around and flop your arms (as if you are doing real exercise activities). This will allow you to know if the bra is comfortable to workout in. Also, you can check out this article for some great sport bra options.


3) Are you wearing the right clothes?
To be honest I like to wear old t-shirts and a pair of basketball shorts to workout in. The attire you wear it strictly up to what YOU like. Some people like to wear form fitting clothes and other like to wear baggy clothes. No matter what you wear, make sure you are comfortable in them and that they do not limit the activities you will be able to do during your workout. It is suggested that you remove your sweaty clothes as soon as possible after your workout. Those sweaty clothes house sweat, bacteria, and dirt/oils secreted from your body. Try to wash whatever clothes you wear according to the washing label. Washing clothes in the wrong temperature/condition can cause more wear and tear on the clothes and not allow them to last as long. Ladies, you may want to consider washing your bras and high elastic sports tops/bottoms in the gentle cycle to help preserve the elastic that is in the clothing. Try not to wear the same outfit several times in a row if you can avoid it (yes this includes socks). It has been suggested to let your workout clothes dry out instead of balling them up and throwing them in the hamper right after a workout. This will allow the sweat to dry out and limit the chance for more bacteria growth or the growth of mold/mildew.

I hope these few simple tips will help you when starting (or continuing) your workout routines. Some of the things listed will also help you prevent injuries with your workout (having the right pair of shoes is very important to help limit the chance of injury).

Please feel free to stop by my site for more fitness and health related topics.

Oldies, But Goodies

1. Oatmeal Facial for Oily & Acne-Prone Skin
2. Too Busy for Healthy Hair?
3. When You Get a Knot ...
4. Natural Skin Care - On a Budget
5. 100% Juice vs. 100% Vitamin C

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Preserving Homemade Products: The Basics

"Preservation" is essential for many of those who mix their own homemade products.  It not only reduces the wasting of ingredients but it prolongs the shelf life of recipes.  Additionally, it saves time spent on concocting product after product for one-time use.  The following list consists of basic preservation methods that are imperative for any mixologist: 

Use refrigeration to preserve water-based products (e.g., spritzes) for a short period (a few days to a week or so).  The cold temperature of the fridge will delay growth of bacteria and fungi.

Use the freezer to preserve water-based products (e.g., deep conditioner mixes) for a longer period (few weeks to a month or so).  The even colder temperature of the freezer will delay growth of bacteria and fungi.  Place the product in the refrigerator to thaw on the night prior to using it.

Use clean utensils and containers:
Bathe utensils and containers in a solution of soap and hot water.  An alternative is to wipe down utensils and containers with alcohol.  The soap or alcohol will essentially kill any bacteria that would otherwise contaminate your mixture.

Add an essential oil (but pregnant women beware):
Essential oils can act as a slight preservative due to their antimicrobial properties. Tea tree, lavender, lemon, thyme, and rosemary are just a few essential oils known to have these properties.  Those who are pregnant or sensitive to essential oils should speak with their doctors before use.

Do not use fingers to obtain water-based product:
Our fingers contains tons of bacteria and can contaminate such products.


Add vitamin E oil or rosemary extract oil:
These oils can slow the oxidation of products containing oils, such as avocado, evening primrose, flax, hemp, or sweet almond oil. Vitamin E and rosemary extract are antioxidants, not preservatives.  Thus, they will not prolong the shelf life a product prone to bacteria and mold growth.

Other tips:
Seal containers airtight
Store non-refrigerated products in dark, cool areas


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Hidden" Sources of Breakage

Breakage, breakage, breakage.  When we experience breakage, our first inclination is to presume dryness, over manipulation, or heat usage as the source.  However, sometimes the actual culprit may run a little deeper.  Here are some "hidden" sources of hair breakage:

1) Overstretching the hair: Do you stretch your hair prior to styling? If so, be sure you are using one of these least harmful methods: twists or loose braids. Banding is another option as well, depending on the tension.  On the other hand, tight banding or tight braiding can overstretch the hair and lead to weakened strands. Also, be sure you are stretching on damp hair instead of wet hair.  Wet hair will be more susceptible to breakage under tension. Lastly, refrain from using rubber bands or any other harmful hair tie (e.g., cotton) during the drying process.

2) Styling on wet or drenched hair: Hair is most fragile when wet or drenched with water.  Styling the hair in this state may lead to mechanical breakage.  Depending on the manipulation required for the desired style, it may be better to wait until the hair is damp or damp-dry.

3) Diet low in protein: Hair largely consists of protein (i.e., keratin) which is built from amino acids extracted from foods we put into our body.  A diet low in protein can translate into weaker, thinner hair strands (and thus breakage) or even hair loss.  Mitigate this issue by incorporating more nuts, chicken, fish, and beans into your diet.

4) Diet low in zinc, iron, and/or Vitamin B-12: A deficiency in any of these nutrients can result in weaker strands (and thus breakage) or even hair loss.  Taking a good multivitamin on a daily basis can ensure that you are receiving a sufficient amount of these nutrients. If you are severely deficient in zinc or iron (e.g., anemia), I highly recommend that you see a doctor.

5) Use of sulfate shampoos: Certain sulfate shampoos (e.g., shampoos containing SLS and ALS) can be harsh on the hair thus weakening the strands. Switching to a more gentle sulfate shampoo or a natural shampoo can mitigate this issue.

6) Overexposure to sun: Hair that was overexposed during the summer months can be showing signs of weakness and breakage in the fall/winter months. Depending on the extent of weakening, mitigation can range from regular deep conditioning the hair with protein to trimming for a fresh start.

7) Use of an improper comb: Thin-tooth combs or combs with seams can tug on the hair and yield mechanical breakage.  Stick to seamless, wide tooth combs.

8) Hair that used to be heat styled: Even if one has not used heat in a while, heat usage from months or even a year prior can be haunting the person now. Mid-shaft splits can be opening and yielding breakage. There is also the issue of split ends widening.  Trims are the best way to mitigate this problem.

9) Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase: Cotton can be both drying and abrasive to the hair.  Sleep on a satin/silk pillowcase or use a satin/silk bonnet to put a stop to this breakage source.

10) Hair that has been colored: Dyeing can weaken the hair shaft by lifting the cuticles. Depending on the extent of weakening, mitigation can range from regular deep conditioning with protein to trimming for a fresh start.

11) Protein-moisture imbalance: Hair can either become brittle or stretchy and thus break due to a protein-moisture imbalance.  Read this post for more information.

As always, please speak with your doctor before adjusting your diet or lifestyle.

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Oldies, But Goodies

1. Tips for a Sensitive Hairline
2. Soy Smoothie Meets Green Smoothie
3. Healthy Ice Cream Alternative
4. Antibacterial Soap Debate
5. Natural Nail Polishes
6. Homemade Shampoo Recipes

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Women’s Fitness: What’s True and What’s False

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

When it comes to health and fitness, there are tons of advice and tips that have been shared. The problem is not all of those are true! Today, I would like to go over the true and false facts when it comes to fitness.

Women think that if they train with weights, this will cause them to look muscular and bulk up like men

FALSE: It is very unlikely that you will bulk up to gain muscles like those of body builders. It is almost impossible for the average woman to look like that with a light weight routine added to their fitness routine. Yes some women may bulk up a little more than others, but not to the extent of someone who looks like a body builder. Lifting weights helps you to get a well-defined, toned, fit looking body. Women who do have masculine type muscles most likely take anabolic steroids (a synthetic type of testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve the intense muscularity they show off in fitness competitions. Weight lifting has been proven to help you lose weight faster and to help you keep it off in the long run.

Doing only crunches (or an abs machine) will help you gain that 6-pack you always dreamed of

FALSE: There is no such thing as target training. You cannot just do one thing and expect it to magically work in that area. In order to achieve your desired fitness goals you have to have a well-rounded workout. You have to target the main areas as well as have a cardio workout. To get rid of belly fat you have to slim down by losing those extra calories.

Drinking water will help you lose weight

TRUE: There are many different articles (such as this one) that support evidence of drinking more water to aid you in shedding those unwanted calories. Drinking water is a great substitute to other drinks you have during the day. It will help you cut down on calories as well as keep your body hydrated.

If you are not sweating you are not working hard enough

FALSE: When you sweat that is your body’s way of trying to cool you down. Everyone’s body is different! If you may notice some people sweat way more than others and in some cases some people do not sweat very much at all. It is possible to have a great workout without your body pouring out with sweat.

Running on a treadmill (or other machine) puts less stress on your knees than running on asphalt or pavement

FALSE: Any type of fitness routine that involves running will bear on your knees and other joints. It does not matter what type of surface, but overall it will still have the same end result….sore knees. The best way to help limit this is to vary your workout. Trying doing several different types of cardio routines that you can switch between. This can be done by using other machines in the gym or using a bike.

Stretching before a workout can help you prevent injuries

TRUE: It is actually suggested that you stretch before and after your workout to help your muscles. There have been dozens of studies done to help prove this to be true. Stretching your major muscle groups for about 30 seconds each before and after your workout is something you should incorporate into your fitness routine.

Sports bras are only good for helping prevent your boobs from painfully bouncing all over the place

TRUE AND FALSE: Yes sports bras help to prevent your boobs from bouncing out of control during your workouts, but it has also been proven to help prevent your breast from sagging. Yes it is a known fact that gravity and time are attributed to the cause of sagging, but is has also been shown that high intensity activities loosen the connective tissues that keep your breast firm. So be sure you have the right type of bra when you are working out. And it is also suggested that you get your bras replaced once a year.

Carbs are bad for you

FALSE: There are some diets out there that suggest that you should stay away from carbs if you want to achieve your desired results. Well that is not all true. It is never good to cut out one whole food group from your diet (no matter what type of diet suggests it)! You need carbs to fuel your body! The main idea should be to lower your intake on carbs (not cut them out of your diet completely). You should learn what good carbs are and what bad carbs are so you can make sure you are consuming the best nutrients for your body.

I hope that I have helped clarify some popular fitness myths.

Please check out my personal health and fitness blog that shares more recipes, workouts, and other health tips!

Mixology || Herbal Soap Recipe

Do commercial soaps irritate your skin?  Does the call for "lye" in homemade soap recipes scare you?  Well here is a simple recipe for an all-natural exfoliating soap with no direct use of lye.

1 lg Block olive or veg soap
25 g Loosely chopped herbs
3 dr Essential oil - thyme, rosemary, horse chestnut
1 tb Oatmeal, finely ground

Grate the soap into a basin and add the remaining ingredients. Heat gently in a bain-marie until it melts and mix well. Line an egg box with waxed paper and pour the soap into each section.

FOR MORE RECIPES: 250 Bath Body Recipes

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Twist Series: Mini Twists & Micro Twists 101

Done on real hair.

Mini twists are essentially really small twists.  Micro twists are twists so small that the hair appears loose rather than twisted.  Sometimes micro twists are also considered mini twists.

Mini/micro twists last longer -- anywhere from three to six weeks -- than larger twists. They also allow for more versatility in styling

Mini/micro twists can take hours to a day to put in or to take down.  Watching a few movies or television shows can help pass the time.

Single-strand knots and locking are more likely to occur in mini/micro twists than in larger twists.  In order to prevent locking, those with tightly-coiled hair should not wear this style for longer than three weeks.  Four weeks is pushing the limit.  (Naturals with looser coils and curls can wear mini/micro twists for a longer period.)  Additionally, twists along the edges and nape should be redone weekly or biweekly to minimize locking. 

If you lack patience, then mini/micro twists may not be for you.  Patience is necessary during the installation and takedown.  If you wash your hair frequently, then mini/micro twists may not be for you.  Washing the protective style can encourage single-strand knots and locking.  Naturals with tightly-coiled hair should be cautious when wearing this style being sure to monitor their hair for meshing and locking.  If you desire a long-term protective style that offers versatility, but do not quite have the patience for mini box braids, then mini twists may be a viable option.  


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Raw Food Diet: The Basics

The "raw food diet" has been a big nutrition trend for some time.  What does it entail? Meals consisting of raw, unprocessed plant foods, such as vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and fruits.  Is the diet worth it?  Well, that is a more complicated question to answer.

The concept behind the raw food diet is that foods are consumed in their most natural, and thus healthiest, form.  Cooking vegetables and legumes tends to kill the nutrients.  Processing such foods tends to add chemicals and preservatives.

At this point, the raw food diet is looking mighty enticing.  Compared to the average meal, a raw food alternative is higher in fiber, lower in fat, and lower in sugar.  However, one must beware of certain deficiencies (e.g., vitamin B12) that can occur when avoiding animal products in a raw food diet.  Additionally, certain foods need to be cooked in order to obtain certain nutrients.  For example, when tomatoes are cooked, the lycopene content is highest.  (Lycopene is a carotenoid thought to play a role in disease prevention.)  Meanwhile, eating raw egg whites can actually be a catalyst for a biotin deficiency. This is because avidin in the egg white binds to biotin in the egg yolk and prevents it from being distributed properly.  To avoid this, the egg should be cooked (which denatures the avidin) as opposed to eaten it raw ... or eggs should be avoided altogether and replaced with biotin supplements.

Now back to the original question: Is the raw food diet worth it? If done properly, the raw food diet can be beneficial.  The American Dietetic Association (ADA) offers the following guidelines for raw foodists in order to ensure sufficient intake of nutrients naturally found in animal products:
  • Eat almost twice the iron as nonvegetarians. Good sources of iron are tofu, legumes, almonds and cashews.
  • Eat at least eight servings a day of calcium-rich foods like bok choy, cabbage, soybeans, tempeh, and figs.
  • Eat fortified breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, and fortified soy milk for B12. Supplements are a good idea.
  • Eat flaxseed and walnuts. Use canola, flaxseed, walnut, and soybean oil. These are all sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You may also want to take an omega-3 supplement.
I also recommend incorporating sushi into the raw food diet.  As always, please consult with your doctor before making any changes into to your diet or lifestyle.


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Fitting Fitness into Your Busy Life

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

“I just do not have time!”

“There are not enough hours in the day for me to squeeze in a workout!”

“I am just so tired at the end of the day I do not have any energy to go workout!”

“Go Workout!? I have barely had time to eat something today!”

The above are excuses I have heard from people who ask me for health and fitness advice. Excuses are lies that we tell ourselves and others to help get out of doing things or to just hide the truth. Some people get in the habit of making excuses for almost everything they DO NOT want to do. And that is usually the case when it comes to being healthy and trying to incorporate fitness into their day.

Anyone who wants to take a stand and make a change for their life can! All you have to do is STOP making excuses.


MAKE TIME to work out:

This means schedule a workout time in your busy schedule. Look at your schedule and see when you can fit in that time. If you can fit in time to go to the spa, time to go to the movies, or even time to watch your favorite television show you have plenty of time to schedule a workout session 3 times a week. Look to see when it would be best (morning, afternoon, or night) to workout. When you finally set your schedule and start it, it is easier to keep and maintain your routine.

DO NOT make fitness a chore:

I hear so many people complain about “oh I HAVE to go workout today”. Make your workouts fun! Try to attend fitness classes or create a workout group with some friends. People steer away from working out if they feel like they have to do it. No one is making you do anything…but you won’t achieve your health goals by couch surfing every day.

Master Multitasking:

I have learned that if I can do more things at once, I get so much more done during the day! For instance, say you need to start your crockpot for dinner. Start the crock pot, and then go workout! If you have a show that you regularly watch, try to plan your workout during that show time so you can watch the show at the same time! You have then knocked out three things as once! Got dinner going, got in your workout, plus make time to watch your favorite show. Doing more things like this will help you to plan your workout times as well as get more things done during the day. Multitasking is a great skill to have, and it can help you in more ways than you think.


Have a Plan:

When starting your workout schedule you have to have a plan! Whether it is doing 30 minutes or cardio or attending a fitness class at a local gym. You have to know what you want to do in the amount of time you are going to schedule to work out. Having a fitness plan will help you to plan out your fitness goals.

Who does not like to treat themselves or splurge every now and then? When you set your fitness schedule, set your fitness goals along with that! For example, say you are going to work out 3 or 4 times a week, and you want to lose 10 pounds that month. If you stick to BOTH of those goals go ahead and treat yourself to something small that you have wanted for some time. Or if you have been sticking to a good diet all month treat yourself to a piece of cheesecake or another treat you have steered away from to help you reach your fitness goals.

I hope that some of these suggestions will help you to figure out how to incorporate fitness into your busy schedule. Yes it will be hard at first. But when you start seeing the results it will all be worth it! So stop making excuses and start making plans to work out TODAY!

Please check out my website for more health and fitness tips!

Oldies, But Goodies

1. Avocado Conditioner Recipes
2. Hair Knots ... Be Gone!
3. To Buy Organic?
4. Baking Soda for Skin
5. Boar Brush: Damage to Your Edges?
6. "Soul" Food: Perseverance

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Protein Moisture Balance Solved

Are you trying to perfect the protein moisture balance?  Many women who have relaxed and/or colored hair face the issue of maintaining a proper balance between protein conditioning and moisturization.  (A few non-colored naturals face this issue as well.)  If the scale is tipped too far to the "protein" side, the result can be dry, brittle hair with little elasticity.  On the other hand, if the scale is tipped too far to the "moisture" side, the result can be mushy, stretchy hair. Audrey Sivasothy, the author of "The Science of Black Hair", discusses how to set the protein moisture balance in the following articles:

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Mixology || Seaweed Body Lotion

Do you want to know exactly what is going onto your skin?  Do commercial lotions irritate your skin?  Well here is a homemade recipe for a moisturizing body lotion incorporating natural ingredients.

Aloe Vera Gel--1/4 cup
Powdered Kelp--1 tbsp
Purified Water--1 cup
Sweet Almond Oil--2 tbsp

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Use a 12 oz bottle flip top bottle.

FOR MORE RECIPES: 250 Bath Body Recipes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shedding Too Much Hair?

Each strand of hair on our head goes through three phases:
--anagen (the strand is actively growing for 2-3+ years)
--catagen (the strand is converted to a club hair for 2-3 weeks)
--telogen (the follicle is at rest for 3-4 months)
Not all strands are in the same phase simultaneously; most strands are in anagen, a few in catagen, and a few in telogen.

Shedding is when club hair falls from the scalp.  Unlike broken hairs, shed hairs have a bulb attached at one end.  The process of shedding occurs at the end of the telogen phase (i.e., resting phase).

A normal scalp sheds up to 100 strands of hair daily.  This number is up to 0.1% of the hair on our heads.

Extreme shedding tends to occur when one is under physiological stress.  Under such stress, a disproportionate number of hairs can prematurely enter the telogen phase.  At the end of the phase, those same hairs are shed.  This extreme shedding is what is termed hair loss.

According to WebMD, the following are stressors that may cause extreme shedding:

  • Being on a strict low-calorie diet
  • After childbirth when estrogen levels fall
  • Severe illness
  • Having a high fever
  • Having major surgery
  • Severe infections
  • Certain medications (e.g., blood pressure medications)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Nutritional deficiencies (e.g., vitamin D)
  • Excess vitamin A

Determining the exact cause of extreme shedding can be difficult because there may be a lag between the stressful event and actual hair fall.  Start by remembering what event occurred 3-6 months prior to hair fall.  Additionally, visit a doctor as soon as possible because he/she can help you better determine and address the stressor.


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Dietary Fiber and Colon Cancer

According to the CDC, 52.7% of the American population were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2007.  The black population showed the highest rate, followed by whites, Latinos, and then Asians. (Source)

According to certain studies, including this one, intake of dietary fiber is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.  One theory is that "insoluble fiber from foods adds bulk to stools and moves them through the GI tract swiftly, thus reducing the contact time with potential toxins in the colon."

Foods high in dietary fiber, include (but are not limited to) whole grains, beans, raspberries, and artichoke.  For more on whole grains (including label reading), read my post here.  Please consult with your doctor before adjusting your diet.


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Monday, March 5, 2012

Foods to Fill You Up

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

Have you been looking for a snack or something to add to your meal to help make you feel full and more satisfied after you have eaten? Well it is common to find that you are not always satisfied when you are done eating a meal. It is important to learn the difference between feeling satisfied and feeling full. If you have the ‘I feel full” kind of feeling then you have eaten too much! You want to consume food that will make you not feel hungry but not make you feel like you have eaten too much either. Learning the difference does take some time. And at first it is uncomfortable if you are accustomed to eating until you “feel like you are full”. Just because you are trying to cut back on calories does not mean that you have to starve yourself! Never starve yourself! Find snacks that are healthy for you and find foods that will help keep you satisfied and full longer.

Here are some great suggestions for some foods that will help you to eat less but satisfy those cravings you may have.

  • Bananas: These are a great snack to carry around with you! These do not hold a lot of calories and they help to stop those hunger feelings if you are in between meals. Not only is this a great snack but it is not very expensive and these can be found at almost any store any time of the year! For those who want to keep those in their office drawer try dehydrating banana chips (you will need a dehydrator or find a baking recipe!) This is a great way to preserve a bulk of bananas you have bought and you can keep them in your purse or anyplace just in case you need a quick snack!
  • Oatmeal: This is a great power food! It is high in fiber and is low in calories. This is also a great snack because you can add things to it to spice it up (just as long as you do not add too much to make it not a healthy snack anymore)!  This is a quick snack to make, and it is also relatively cheap! Store brands and the name brands taste pretty much the same; the only difference between them is the price.
  • Peanut Butter: The best kind of peanut butter to find is the kind that says “100% roasted peanuts” on the nutritional label. This kind can be found in the organic aisle or placed with all the other peanut butter. It is important to get this kind because this is the healthiest kind of peanut butter to get! The other brands are fine but they are packed with other ingredients that make it not as healthy and slightly more processed. Peanut butter helps to keep you full for some time and you can pair it with almost anything!!
  • Whole Grain Pasta: These are packed with fiber! And, it helps to keep you feeling full for some time. You can also pair pasta with other things to help spice it up (like veggies or a salad). Try to stay away from creamy sauces (like alfredo sauce). Creamy sauces have more calories. Try to use low fat marinara sauce or make a vinaigrette type of dressing to drizzle over the pasta. You can add feta cheese, nuts, or anything else to add to the flavor but will keep the calorie count low.
  • Nuts: Nuts are great for snacking. You can try pistachios, almonds, pecans, nuts, and seeds. Just make sure to stick to the suggested serving size (which is usually about a handful)!! Nuts are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids and protein. These may be a little more expensive but they are great for helping you feel full longer.
  • Eggs: These are FULL of protein! A secret weapon to feeling full longer and to help you lose that unwanted weight. New studies have suggested that consuming eggs for breakfast may HELP you with losing weight! Just as long as you are not having a dozen every morning you should be fine. I would suggest about 2-3 eggs and try not to fry them in regular canola oil! Try boiling the eggs or if you want them scrambled or fried try to use olive oil. Egg whites are also a great option. I like to mix my egg whites with at least one full egg (for taste and for the extra things that are found in the yolk.

If you start your day off feeling satisfied you will be less likely to binge eat to try to catch up to feeling satisfied. So it is also a great idea to have a great breakfast in the morning to help start your day.

Hope that these are some great suggestions and hope that these tips help you to make healthier food decisions.

Please do not forget to check out my website for more health and fitness tips!


Oldies, But Goodies

1. Tips for Long-Term Stretching or Transitioning
2. Hyperpigmentation in Black Skin
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Recipe!
4. Exercise and Hair Growth
5. Carrots, Hair, and Body

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Friday, March 2, 2012

3in6: Starting Month #3

For the challenge guidelines, see this post.

Yesterday, we entered month #3 of the 3in6 Challenge.  In February, I wore small twists for almost 4 weeks.  (The big box braids didn't make it past day one/two.)  This March, I'll do another set of twists, possibly another set of small twists.  My regimen will consist of biweekly washes and conditioning.  I also plan to highlight my hair using cinnamon and honey (details coming in a future post).

Ladies, how did month #2 go for you? What will you do in month #3? Are you facing any challenges?

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Skin Care || Chemical Peel Recipes

Chemical peels can be performed on the face or neck to improve the appearance of one's skin (e.g., to reduce blemishes and acne).  Below are a few homemade recipes that are both inexpensive and natural compared to the professional route.  The active ingredient in the recipes is papain, which is an enzyme found in papaya.  Be sure to do skin sensitivity test before performing the homemade chemical peel on your face/neck.  NOTE: Those with darker skin may risk hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone after a chemical peel, thus the importance of a skin sensitivity test. 

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