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Healthy Eating Challenge~ Phase 3

26 Apr

Here are the details:

  • The challenge will be three consecutive 4-week challenges
  • Phase One: February 28th-March 27th
  • Phase Two: March 28th- April 24th
  • Phase Three: April 25th- May 23rd

Phase Two Recap:

I went off track during Phase Two, but I am ready to do better for Phase 3. I still haven’t been eating as badly as before, but I had too many sweets. I also haven’t improved my water intake enough.

My Phase Three Goals:

  • I am going to do mostly homecooked meals for the second phase.
  • I will drink at least 64 oz. of water per day
  • I will eat 5-6 times per day (including snacks)
  • I will focus on adding more fruit and vegetables into my meals
  • I will eat breakfast every day

My support system:

  • My sister is going to do the challenge as well. We aren’t in the same city, but I will discuss ideas with her.
  • I also have a friend who is working on improving her eating habits. We can share tips with each other.
  • I’ll also seek inspiration from the other participants.

I have to watch out for:

  • My sweet tooth
  • My best friend. I won’t let her bad eating habits tempt me.
  • Going out to eat
  • Events

My resources (a few):

  • Eating Well Magazine
  • My many cookbooks
  • Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry
  • Native Style Cookbook: A Family Oriented Approach to the Plant-Based Diet by Ayida Honor

Also, join the NR Healthy Eating Challenge Team on SparksPeople

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NR Healthy Eating Challenge~Phase Two

27 Mar

Here are the details:

  • The challenge will be three consecutive 4-week challenges
  • Phase One: February 28th-March 27th
  • Phase Two: March 28th- April 24th
  • Phase Three: April 25th- May 23rd
  • Each person will need to set specific goals to adhere to. Those goals can change for each month-long challenge
  • We will have a few fun contests throughout with prizes of course (only for active participants)
  • Check back regularly for recipes, updates, announcements, and other fun things. There will be a new post for the challenge at least one a week.

Phase One Recap:

I had my ups and downs in Phase One, but overall it went well. I am feeling more energetic, my skin looks better, and I am paying more attention to what I eat. The part that I really need to focus on is my water intake. I didn’t meet that goal during the last phase. I am adjusting my goals for part two.

My Phase Two Goals:

  • I am going to do mostly homecooked meals for the second phase.
  • I will drink at least 64 oz. of water per day
  • I will eat 5-6 times per day (including snacks)
  • I will focus on adding more fruit and vegetables into my meals
  • I will eat breakfast every day

My support system:

  • My sister is going to do the challenge as well. We aren’t in the same city, but I will discuss ideas with her.
  •  I also have a friend who is working on improving her eating habits. We can share tips with each other.
  • I’ll also seek inspiration from the other participants.

I have to watch out for:

  • My sweet tooth
  • My best friend. I won’t let her bad eating habits tempt me.
  • Going out to eat
  • Events

 My resources (a few):

  • Eating Well Magazine
  • My many cookbooks
  • Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry
  • Native Style Cookbook: A Family Oriented Approach to the Plant-Based Diet by Ayida Honor

Also, join the NR Healthy Eating Challenge Team on SparksPeople

NR Healthy Eating Challenge~Week 1 Update

7 Mar

Recipe: Morningstar Chick’n Strips Salad

It’s the end of the first week of the NR Healthy Eating Challenge.  It went smoother than I expected. I think a few key things that helped me to do better this time around:

  • I cut back before I started the challenge. (Example: Since I knew I wanted to do vegetarian for the first phase, I added more vegetarian meals and cut back on meat before I started. I also cut back on unhealthy snacks. )
  • I planned ahead and filled my fridge and cabinets with healthy food
  • I kept some quick options in the house for when I didn’t feel like cooking
  • I did my best to avoid temptation as much as possible. I felt some temptation when I went to the grocery store, but that’s mostly because I made the mistake of going when I was hungry. I will avoid that on my next trip.

I’m looking forward to next week and pushing myself even more. I hope everyone else is off to a good start too.

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Facts About Shea Butter from Akua Wood

6 Mar

This post is a part of Natural Hair CommUNITY Days 
 

Akua Wood of Sheabutter Cottage was generous enough to provide us with a few facts about shea butter to clear up some of the misconceptions. I’ve heard so many theories about yellow shea butter, and her video is very enlightening.

Akua writes:

1. What is the difference between the yellow shea butter and the beige/white shea butter?
* Yellow shea normally has an additive known locally as borotutu [cochlospermum angolensis] – view our YouTube video on this
* White shea is normally refined and uniformed in colour – quite porous in texture.

* Beige shea is unrefined shea and non-uniformed in colour and quite dense in texture.

2. How can we tell if shea butter is unrefined shea butter?
*Unrefined shea has a very distinctive scent due to the process [roast, boil, etc]. However, if the unrefined shea is machine-processed compared to hand-churned, then the scent might be very very faint and a bit softer in texture.

3. How do you find a good place to buy shea butter?
* There are so many places selling different grades of shea butter. Most of the manufacturers mix bad + good nuts together. We sell grade A butter which is edible and can also be used on skin/hair 🙂

SIDE NOTE: I can recommend the following USA vendors although I have not yet tried their shea butter:
– shearadiance
– nasabb
www.sheayeleen.org

Also, check out Akua’s site, Sheabutter Cottage, for quality natural products and ingredients.

Photo Credit

NR Healthy Eating Challenge ~ 10 Healthy Recipes to Try

28 Feb

 

It’s Day 1 of the NR Healthy Eating Challenge. I am off to a great start. I’m feeling enthusiastic, and I think that this is going to be beneficial for all of us who are participating. To help get you started, here are 10 recipes. Check them out and see if you like any. If you would like to share a recipe with everyone, please send it to me at naturalbyl@gmail.com. I received some from two participants already, and those will be posted soon. Also, I have gotten a few sponsors for us to do a few fun contests throughout.

Non-Vegetarian

Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

Five Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps

Spinach Salad with Chicken

Turkey Whole-Wheat Spaghetti

Oven Fried Chicken

Vegetarian

Curry Baked Sweet Potatoes

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Raw Tomato Soup

Meatless Sausage Omelet

Avocado Burrito

Send any updates that you would like to share with the group to naturalbyl@gmail.com.

Photo Credit

NR Healthy Eating Challenge

19 Feb

Welcome to the NR Healthy Eating Challenge!

Here are the details:

  • The challenge will be three consecutive 4-week challenges
  • Phase One: February 28th-March 27th
  • Phase Two: March 28th- April 24th
  • Phase Three: April 25th- May 23rd
  • Each person will need to set specific goals to adhere to. Those goals can change for each month-long challenge
  • We will have a few fun contests throughout with prizes of course (only for active participants)
  • Check back regularly for recipes, updates, announcements, and other fun things. There will be a new post for the challenge at least one a week.

My Phase One Goals:

  • I am going to do mostly vegetarian/vegan for the first phase.
  • I will drink at least 64 oz. of water per day
  • I will eat 5-6 times per day (including snacks)
  • I will focus on cooking fresh meals at home
  • I will eat breakfast every day
  • I will have green smoothies no less than 3 times per week

My support system:

  • My sister is going to do the challenge as well. We aren’t in the same city, but I will discuss ideas with her.
  •  I also have a friend who is working on improving her eating habits. We can share tips with each other.
  • I’ll also seek inspiration from the other participants.

I have to watch out for:

  • My sweet tooth
  • My best friend. I won’t let her bad eating habits tempt me.
  • Going out to eat
  • Events

 My resources (a few):

  • Eating Well Magazine
  • Vegetarian Times Magazine
  • Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry
  • Native Style Cookbook: A Family Oriented Approach to the Plant-Based Diet by Ayida Honor

 Join the NR Healthy Eating Challenge Team SparkPeople (Thanks, V for that idea).

Registration is free. Join and keep track of your food and water intake.

If you have recipes, updates, experiences, idea, tips, etc… to share with the challenge participants, send them to me at naturalbyl@gmail.com. I’ve already received some great recipes that I will post soon. Leave your Phase 1 plan/goals in the comments section.

Who’s Joining the Healthy Eating Challenge??

18 Feb

I have been thinking about doing a healthy eating challenge, and today a reader left a comment suggesting one. I guess that means it’s time. So, who’s interested? I want this challenge to be beneficial to all of us, so I would like some feedback from you. Consider these questions and give your responses in the comments section:

  • How long should the challenge last?
  • What suggestions do you have for requirements? (Such as specific healthy habits)
  • How could we make it very interactive and keep it interesting?
  • Would you be willing to submit recipes/tips/updates/etc.. to post on the blog?
  • Do you have any other ideas or suggestions?

I look forward to hearing from you.

The challenge info has been posted: NR Healthy Eating Challenge Details

Guest Blogger: Healthy Eating from Head to Toe

10 Feb

Healthy Eating from Head to Toe

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and writes for http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com.

Edward writes:

You are what you eat, and you are what you don’t eat as well. One of the best indicators a healthy diet is through natural hair and nail strength, and their general appearances. Hair and nails, along with skin, can be the first physical indicators of well-balanced diet rich in proteins, vitamins, in  minerals, or one lacking in one or more of the aforementioned areas.

Hair and nails are made of proteins, specifically keratin, collagen, and elastin. Proteins provide the foundations for cells, and so having a protein-rich diet is important in general, but especially so to promote healthy hair and nail growth and appearance. Hair that is shiny and strong along with nails that are glossy and smooth can best be achieved by eating a protein-rich diet. Great sources of protein that are also relatively low in calories, fat, and cholesterol include fish (especially salmon), chicken, eggs, beans, and legumes.

Of equal importance is eating a nutrient-rich diet that covers several important vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help rebuild and repair tissues, helping strengthen hair and nails and helping them recover from any damage quickly and coming back stronger than ever.

Vitamins A and B both help maintain and repair cells, and can be found in protein-rich foods such as tuna, salmon, and other fish, as well as potatoes, turkey, and eggs. Fish oils, either ingested as part of a fishy feast or a supplements, are truly outstanding for growing (and keeping) healthy hair and help nails too, and should be a staple of any diet additionally for their omega-3 properties which help with mental sharpness and improving memory. Kill two birds with one stone by eating protein-rich dishes that also are plentiful in nutrients such as vitamins A and B.

Vitamin C, found in many fruits and juices, is great for building collagen, which is one of the foundational proteins of hair and nails. Vitamin E is found in many vegetables and is great for growing beautiful, healthy-looking hair.

Minerals are important as well, particularly iron and zinc. A lack of iron makes hair brittle and can cause it to fall out, while a lack of zinc causes hair loss and brittle nails. Thankfully, both can be found in protein-rich dishes. Eat fish and legumes for iron and a good helping of protein, and consume dairy products for zinc and some more healthy proteins.

By eating a diet high in healthy proteins and covering important vitamins and minerals, it is not difficult to promote healthy and strong hair and nail growth. Eggs and a glass of milk at breakfast, a bean soup for lunch with a juice smoothie on the side, and a salmon fillet for dinner will have you feeling great, eating plenty of protein, and cover your bases for vitamins and minerals that build the nails and hair you’ve always wanted.

What Positive Changes Will You Make in the New Year?

27 Dec

Each year is a chance for a new beginning. Last year may not have been what you wanted, but this new year can exceed your expectations. I want 2011 to be a year where I continue to develop my skills and talents. I will also take better care of my health because I realize how precious it it. Each year I try to challenge myself more than I did in the last. I try to experience more than I did in the last. What positive changes will you make in 2011?

LINK: Women Are Unhealthier Than Ever

11 Dec

I came across this article today. It focuses on a study, and it discusses how women have made some changes towards being healthier, but there is still a long way to go. Read and discuss.

Read the article HERE.

Follow me on Twitter @naturalbyl

Photo Source: Insurancetimes.uk