Friday, June 28, 2013

Healthy Hair on Youtube (Encore): MsTanish

So I've featured MsTanish's Youtube channel before and couldn't resist doing it again after seeing her recent videos.  Below she discusses her length retention regimen using loose twists.  I love this explanation because it is very detailed:

Then in this video, she demonstrates her moisturizing routine while in the loose twists AND the various (and beautiful, I might add) styles she wears with the loose twists:

Healthy Eating || Ways to Add Protein to Your Smoothie

Protein powder.  I recommend going for a flavorless one or vanilla.  Either of these go pretty well in most smoothies.  Chocolate, strawberry, or other highly distinct flavors will limit the amount of tasty smoothies you can make.

Natural peanut butter.  This is probably my most favorite way to add protein to a smoothie because it is natural and adds a nice (but not overwhelming) flavor.  Go for the natural peanut butter because processed ones tend to have added sugar and hydrogenated fats.

Soy milk.  Soy milk used to be a pretty popular replacement for cow milk but has gotten a slightly bad reputation over the years largely because of its association with genetically modified soy beans (GMO).  However, if you can find non-GMO soy milk, you should be fine.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jess' Twist Out on Blown Out Hair

I love Jess' simple hair care routine and moreover this recent tutorial of a twist out on blown out hair.  Hmm ... I'm thinking I might try this style next weekend. :o)


Mixology || Making Your Own Carrot Oil

LOO'S NOTE: When making carrot oil from scratch, you will find that you are using a lot of carrots to make a small amount of oil.  The beauty of the below recipe is that the addition of an oil to your process makes the creation easier and increases your yield, though it is obviously a mix of carrot oil and the oil you chose.  A similar process can be applied to make coconut oil and avocado oil.  


Supplies Needed
  • Veggie peeler
  • Hand grater or food processor
  • Crock pot
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
  • Glass mason jar
-2 organically or home grown carrots
-olive, coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil, to cover
  1. Wash and peel the skin of the carrots.
  2. Grate carrots with the use of a hand grater or food processor.
  3. Place the grated carrots in a crock pot and pour the oil of your choice to cover. Note: I used 2 1/4 cups of oil or 18 ounces.
  4. On your crock pot’s lowest setting, maintain a warm temperature — infusing the oil for a full 24-72 hours. Note: I use the “warm” temperature setting on my crock pot. Try not to allow the temperature of the oil to rise above 100-105 degrees farenheit. You will notice the oil becoming orange in color.
  5. Once the infusion process is complete, pour the carrots and oil mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and strain.
  6. Reserve the oil and compost the carrots.
  7. Label and store the oil in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator until ready for use. Will keep for 6-8 months if stored properly.
For more recipes like this, check out Frugally Sustainable.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mixology || Protein Pre-Treatment by Chicoro

1/3 teaspoon each (cysteine, cystine, methionine)
300 grams or 1 block of soft tofu
1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (water based/moisture)
1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup of oil (for lubrication)
melted coconut oil

For details, watch the below video:

How the Sweet Potato Stacks Against the Regular Potato

Why do I prefer the sweet potato over the common potato?  The sweet potato has:
~40% less starch
Tons of vitamin A
~2x more vitamin C



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hair Diary || Ombre Color for the Summer

The resulting hair color.
My red highlights from about 2.5 years ago had grown out and faded gradually and so I've been back to my natural beautiful black color (with a few faded sections) for some time.  With summer approaching and my itch for a change intensifying, I decided to dye my ends brown for an ombre effect.  The brown did not come out as light as I thought it would but it is growing on me.  I may or may not decide to go lighter in a few months.  We will see.

Circa January 2011.  My red highlights months were done circa November 2010.
Clairol Textures & Tones is a popular brand among naturals, largely because it does not dry out and damage our strands as other dyes can.  I don't know whether I like the product yet.  We'll see how the color fairs over the next few months.  (I let the color set for 35 minutes before rinsing.) 
This is how I achieved the ombre.
I figured it would be easiest to work from  eight big braids and apply the color to the ends (which I left unbraided).
The result.  It looks more subtle in person.
The result.  The flash enhances the color.  It looks more subtle and less red in person.
It looks more subtle in person.
It looks more subtle in person.

Pool Hair Care || Using Vitamin C to Neutralize Chlorine

The weather is warm.  You go for a swim in the pool.  Even after taking all the measures necessary to prevent the pool water from reaching your hair, perhaps your tresses still get drenched ... and encounter chlorine.  Fortunately, there are shampoos on the market that are specifically made to remove chlorine from your hair, but what if you want a cheaper or natural alternative?

Ascorbic acid is one option.  There are quite a few experiments (and studies) out there involving the use of this form of vitamin C to neutralize chlorine in the realm of water treatment.  Additionally, ascorbic acid can be purchased online or in certain health stores in capsule, crystalline, or other forms.

If you are interested in making your own mixture to remove chlorine from your hair, do read more about ascorbic acid as an option.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Elegant Cinnabun on Stretched Hair

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)
Model: Onyxbeauty1988

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Cinnabun on blown out or stretched natural hair.

My Switch from Table Salt to Less Sea Salt

Sea salt on the left.  Table salt on the right.
(In taking these photos, I realized that this table salt is not iodized.  I usually go for the iodized version.)

I grew up on Morton table salt.  Even as an adult, I still used it ... that was until last week.

An international friend was using my seasonings to cook when he asked, "Why does it take so much of this salt to season this dish?".  I jokingly replied, "Because it is fake salt".  You see, all week he had been describing American food as tasting "different", from the rice to the fruits to the chicken to almost everything.  And my reply would always be, "Because the food is fake.  That is why I buy mostly organic or 'pure'."  Fake was my short way of saying processed, genetically modified, pumped with hormones, etc.  

So, I decided to do a demonstration by purchasing pure sea salt.  I told him to try it and he said, "Yes!  This is real salt."  Then I began to question my basis for not using pure sea salt to cook.  I have tasted sea salt before and have always had the reaction of, "Man, this is salty!"  I just assumed that sea salt had way more sodium than table salt.  Additionally, my table salt usually comes iodized. (Iodine is a necessary nutrient.)

So here I was, for the first time, comparing the ingredients lists on the back of Morton table salt and this new sea salt, and what do you know?  They have the same percent daily value (25%) of sodium per serving!  What does this mean?  I can use less sea salt (and thus, less sodium) to season my dishes than I can table salt and still achieve the same flavorful result.  (Plus, I was able to purchase iodized sea salt.)  Me being the health conscious person that I am instantly felt dumb for having made this discovery so late.  Lol.

Sea salt nutrition facts (LEFT).  Table salt nutrition facts (RIGHT).
(In taking these photos, I realized that this table salt is not iodized.  I usually go for the iodized version.) 
Anyway, I did some reading after the purchase and noticed that many people usually think they can go uber generous with using sea salt.  No, please don't do that.  Keep in mind that 1/4 tsp of sea salt AND 1/4 tsp of table salt have the same amount of sodium.  Don't go from using 1/4 tsp of table salt to more than 1/4 tsp of sea salt.  I am officially a sea salt convert because I can use less sea salt to achieve the same flavor, but other people's tastebuds may taste the opposite!  (Check out the article below for details.)



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