Summertime Slim Down — On My Way to a Healthier Me

Green Smoothie
with Kale, Apple, Cucumber and Banana

This year I’ve been learning lots about the importance of eating a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables.  I even found out a thing or two about juicing and how beneficial it can be.  Still, it took my upcoming summer vacation to finally get me motivated to lose some weight.  I’ve been telling myself how great it would feel if I could just lose the 7-10 lbs. that have been keeping me from looking my best.  There are all sorts of reasons why I fell off of the exercise wagon so I’ll save the long story.  Thankfully my diet only needs a few tweeks here and there because my family and I eat pretty healthy.

After watching the movie, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” earlier this year, I decided to start juicing more.  At first, there was a bit of a learning curve but I’m used to it now and can whip up a glass of juice for breakfast with no extra fuss.  I’m happy to say that it helped with my psoriasis which was crazy out of control for most of the winter.  One of my favorites is a green smoothie with Kale, Cucumber, Apple and Banana.

Now that my skin is looking better, I’ve been trying to exercise more in hopes of losing a little extra cushion around the middle and thighs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that I’ve been around the same size for years.  It would be nice though to not have to rely so much on help from shaperwear when it’s time to dress up.  Plus, I want to have more energy to help me get through these long summer days with the kids.

As for my hair, I’m hoping that the cardio and strength workouts will lead to a faster metabolism.  This in turn can lead to faster hair growth (maybe).  So for now the Wash n’ Go hairstyle is super easy for me.  Since I use a heavy gel product like Eco Styler, I can just wet my hair in the shower to reactivate my style.  Co-washing is also pretty easy because it removes most of the product without stripping my hair or causing my curls to go into shock.  Sometimes I even use a light oil on my hair either in the shower or right after to seal in the moisture and combat dryness.  The wash n’ go style is so much easier now and great for the summer.

Review: Hollywood Beauty’s Olive Creme for Dry Hair

One of the most popular topics over at the K.I.S.S. hair forum (or any forum for that matter) is which moisturizer works best.  For a long time the word “moisturizer” was a bad word in my newly natural regimen.  I had become accustomed to avoiding products that contained mineral oil and petroleum which is often found in “moisturizers” for curly, relaxed and afro textured hair.  Still, the homemade spritzes and butters I learned how to make were either too heavy or too wet for my hair depending on the style.  For a while I started using leave-in conditioner to moisturize and sealed that with one of my favorite oils.

Finally, I decided to purchase a product to add to my regimen after reading a suggestion in one of the discussions on K.I.S.S. .  That product was by Hollywood Beauty which I have to admit was never a brand I thought of ever trying.  I guess I assumed that there would be a lot of the “no-no” ingredients in their products.  I was surprised to find that their Olive Creme was mineral oil and petroleum free.  Instead I found ingredients like, Olive oil and Calendula extract.  I decided at $4 (USD) it was at least worth a try.  I’m on my fifth jar now and can’t say enough about it.

The Ingredients:

Deionized Water (Aqua) , Isopropyl Myristate , Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean) , Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive) , Stearic Acid , Stearyl Alcohol , Glyceryl Stearate , Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate) , Matricaria Extract (Chamomilla Recutita) , Calendula Extract (Calendula Officinalis Flower) , Vitamin B (Yeast Extract) , Macademia Oil (Macademia Ternifolia Seed) , Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) , Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera) , Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf) , Sage Extract (Salvia Officinalis Leaf) , Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) , Great Burdock Extract (Arctium Lappa Root) , Triethanolamine , Methyl Paraben , Propyl Paraben , DMDM Hydantoin , Imidazolidinyl Urea , Fragrance , Yellow #5 (Cl 19140) , Blue #1 (Cl 42090)

My son likes to call it, “Yoda Creme” because
of the pale green color

While the ingredients are not 100% natural, I still find that this product does a good job of keeping my hair moisturized without leaving a heavy, greasy feeling.  I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t really expect much from the Olive Creme but it is now one of my staples.  It even works well when my son’s curly (3b/3c/4a) hair is starting to get the, “frizzy halo”.  I just spritz his hair down with water first and then apply the creme throughout his hair and we get another two days of soft curls before wash day.  He dubbed it “Yoda Creme” because of the pale green color and we still call it that.  


I of course love to add it to my Argan Oil Eco Styler Gel along with some Castor, Coconut and Grapeseed oil for my DIY Eco Styler Custard.  I also use it after applying my leave-in conditoner when I pull my hair back or braid it up for air drying.  The only thing I would complain about is the scent.  It’s not like some of those other products out there that smell good enough to eat.   It just has this faint, old fashioned women’s cologne smell or something.  It doesn’t matter because I just ignore the scent.  I can always add some fragrance oil to it to make it my own.  I’m just glad to have found a product that works well and is affordable for me and my family.

Protecting Your Hair at Night

Satin Bonnet
for when I’m wearing rollers and
curly braid outs

I’ve been writing lately about Protective Hairstyles which can help with length retention.  Yet another way to protect the hair is by wrapping it up at night.  This may sound like a no brainer to some but there is a lot of benefit for the hair by doing this one thing.   This practice can be a huge help when trying to reach your hair length goals.

I  recently re-read a bit of Wanakee Pugh’s “Practical Guide to Haircare” and something stood out to me.  She stated that even if your hair is too short to be pulled back into a protective style, you can still benefit from wrapping your hair at night.  This reminded me of the beginning of my Natural Hair journey because I did this faithfully every night.  My hair was maybe only 1 1/2 inches long at the time but I kept it wrapped up in my satin scarves when I went to sleep.  Now that my hair is longer I can tell a huge difference in my hair when I go to bed without covering it up.  I wake up to tangles and sometimes dryness.  I agree that it is not the cutest look going but it works.

I mentioned my satin scarves (I have a nice little collection) but you can also use a satin bonnet.  Satin is a man made material that is easy to wash and can be long lasting.  This is highly recommended as far as material choice because it does not draw moisture away from the hair and is smooth so it won’t disturb it very much while you sleep.  When I wear rollers to bed I usually reach for my satin bonnet.  Otherwise, I have scarves in a variety of sizes for when I wear braids, twists and protective styles to bed.  Here’s a few pics of how I wrap my hair.

Pineapple for the Corkscrew Braid Out
with my edges protected

Air drying while smoothing my edges 

Large Satin Scarf to protect my
 Roller Set from the rain

Satin Bonnets and Scarves from
the local BSS

YouTube is a Natural Girls Best Friend

I’m a YouTube fanatic!  I love it so much I even started making my own videos.  Before I decided to go natural, I discovered tons of videos where ladies would explain what they did for longer, healthier hair.  When I noticed how damaged my own hair was, I turned to the internet for an answer.  All of these videos kept popping up.  Some were about the best flat iron to use, while others showcased hair styles that required little to no heat.

Not knowing where to begin, I used the YouTube search bar to locate videos on growing african american hair longer.  I found a video by Saleemah Cartwright, founder of  Hydratherma Naturals.  It was a picture slideshow of her hair from completely shaved to length down her back! I later found MacherieHair’s video (no longer posted)on how she does a silk wrap after doing a rollerset for straight and bouncy hair.  This one was a shocker!  In the beginning her hair is completely wrapped in saran wrap.  Then she starts to comb it out…whooaa!  Her hair was long, healthy and full of body.  So that was all it took…I was completely hooked. The videos about growing healthy hair led me to where I am today.

The Natural Hair community on YouTube is growing larger by the minute.  I joined in the Fall of 2008 and can see that there are a lot of new naturals hitting up the site.  It’s fun to share our experiences and give advice to those who are starting their journey.   It’s a great resource for naturals because you get to see how others care for their natural hair.  Since everyones’ hair texture is unique, you get a better idea of how a style or technique may work for you. 

I still check out YouTube videos when I’m looking for a cute new style or to watch product reviews.  I stop by each day to respond to comments and questions from my own subscribers.  You can check out my YouTube Channel here.  See you on the Tube!