Welcome to the Healthy Living section of ClassyCurlies.com. In this space you'll find all natural hair and body products, as well a some healthy meals.
Ever since going natural a little over six years ago, I've really made an effort to transform other aspects of my life. Over the years I've learned of not only the harmful chemicals in hair products, but in other products we use daily and our foods.
In general I've made a huge effort become more healthier.
As a result, I've switched my toothpaste, deodorant, body washes and much more.
RELATED | The Discovery of LuckyVitamin.com
In the next coming weeks I plan to begin creating my own daily use products, so I know exactly what's in them.
Got a question? Send me an email at ClassyCurlies@gmail.com
See below for new posts!
**********************************My Experience with Green Chef
As I've mentioned before, I've truly transformed the way I eat. I've always been a healthy eater (in fact, my dad makes fun of me for it lol) but I've really gone off the deep end as of lately.
The biggest change to my diet involves consuming less meat. I maybe eat meat twice a week and I've noticed the difference in my body and overall how I feel.
Living in a home with a meat eater (my boyfriend) can be difficult when it comes to dinner time. I try to make meals where I can quickly add in meat for him and omit it for me.
I bet you're like...so what do you eat?! lol
To help with dinner time, I began ordering from Green Chef.
Green Chef is a weekly, all-organic food kit that you can have delivered once a week. You choose which type of meals you would like to prepare and they send you all of the ingredients to make three dishes.
I chose the vegan kit and I was thoroughly impressed with my first few boxes. The food has been tasty, very easy to make with step-by-step instructions, and fresh (plus the portions are large - I usually take some to lunch the next day).
The box comes with a bunch of ice packs to keep your ingredients cold and each item comes individually wrapped. They also have colored labels to match recipe cards for easy gathering before cooking.
Below is a short video clip from my Instagram stories that I shot last night.
I've been able to try tons of foods I've never would've thought to buy at the grocery store and I have tons of recipe cards for later.
Now, I'm going to be honest. This kit can get a little expensive, so I like the option of being able to skip weeks. In fact, I've skipped two just because I wasn't a fan of the menu that week.
Overall, I've loved my Green Chef experience and will probably continue using the service at least twice out of the month.
If you're interested in ordering your own kit, here is a link for a free kit.
Feel free to browse through more photos at the bottom of this post. I have more foods I've made over the past week.
My Lucky Vitamin Haul
I've gotten a few emails asking the type of body products I use, and so here they are. Many of these products I ordered from one of my favorite sites, luckvitamin.com.
|The tooth paste contains Grapefruit seed and perilla seed extracts without any SLS or fluoride.|
The mouthwash has natural spearmint and tea tree oil.
Using Coconut Oil to Increase Energy Levels
Let me tell you about my love for coconut oil. I hardly ever used it prior to going natural, but after learning the many benefits it has, I use it for everything (my hair, skin and overall wellness).
Some months ago I spoke about a local brand I discovered, Skinny & Co., and how much I love their commitment to wellness. I use their facial oil and lip balm currently.
|This brand, Skinny & Co., is headquartered here in Indianapolis. They have an entire line of coconut oil products, from oil rinses, to body butters, facial oils and more. Currently I use there coconut oil on my hair and their facial oil. More info on them here.|
Now, I'm using coconut oil for a different purpose. I take two tablespoons a day of liquified coconut oil per day.
Through research and speaking with a friend, I found coconut oil has many benefits is digested. So far, I've experienced an uptick in energy levels.
I'll keep you all updated on my progress.
Looking to order your own? Click here.
Looking to order your own? Click here.
Healthy Breakfasts on the Go
Once I really began to concentrate on switching up my diet, I began looking for new healthy breakfast options beside cereal (I've been obsessed with cereal my whole life).
Following aren't the only items I eat for breakfast but they are some of the more recent. They are low in calories, and if you plan ahead of time, they can be very quick.
For many months I did lots of research on how to create the perfect protein shake. They seemed to be quick and nutritious, exactly what I was looking for!
I ordered this shake mix from Luckyvitamin.com earlier this year. It was on sale so I thought I'd give it a try, and I love it! I just blend one frozen banana and almond milk with it and it's good to go! Best of all it's plant-based, gluten free, vegan, non-GMO and soy free.
Actually, these are pre-made, which is why they are quick to get your hands on. You won't have to guess what your sandwich is really made of, like store-bought ones, you'll know!
I toast multigrain english muffins and add some of my favorites like spinach, egg and cheese. Once I make them, I wrap them in a paper towel, then in a sandwich bag.
The sandwiches go into the fridge if I plan to eat them within the next couple of days or the freezer if I want to save them for another time. They heat in the oven or microwave in a few minutes. I try to keep these meatless, put that's just my preference.
These are my favorite by far but I hardly have the time to make them. Yes, they do take about 5-10 minutes to make but you can prep ahead of time.
To make the smoothie base of the bowl I blend frozen kale or spinach with a small amount of fruit and water.
You can use watermelon, banana, pineapple, apples...almost any kind of fruit. You can also add some protein by adding seeds. Again, this all can be done (blending, chopping) before the morning.
Shopping for Two Different Diets
So if you haven't noticed, I'm pretty much a healthy eater about 90 percent of the time. My boyfriend on the other hand...let's just say we're complete opposite when it comes to food.
My idea of a snack is a piece of fruit and a bottle of water. His idea of a snack is donuts and chips.
You get where I'm headed here?
We eat completely different, which can make grocery shopping difficult. I usually shop alone because I'm more likely to stick to my list. When he comes along, we act like we're millionaires and the cart is overflowing.
(By the way, I shop weekly since I buy a lot of fresh items)
So, how do I shop for someone who is almost vegetarian, and for someone who likes meat?
Here are three things I like to do to keep our household under control and both of us happy. If you're in the same situation, I hope this helps you as well.
MAKE THE LIST
Not only should you make a grocery list, you should do a little bit of meal planning as well. Trust me, it only takes about 20 minutes and once you're done, your grocery list should be complete as well. Write down each day of the week and leave enough space for: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.
This list will help you organize exactly the items needed for these meals, and you won't have to sit around thinking about what's for dinner everything - because it's already done.
On this weekly list/calendar, I split each meal into items for me, and items for him. There are times where we eat completely different meals.
COMBINE MEALS WHEN POSSIBLE
Like I said, there are times when we will eat completely different meals (I might want veggie soup, and he wants chicken wings), but often times we try to figure out a way to make the meal with and without meat.
For example, if we're having taco salad (like we did earlier this week), he'll eat more ground turkey than I will, or I'll choose not meat at all.
JOIN THE CLUB
Lately I've been treating myself to Green Chef dinner kits (I chose the vegan kit). It's a dinner box that ships ingredients and recipes to your home. Because these can be a little pricey, I treat myself about once a month, but it comes with more than a weeks worth of food.
The kit includes three meals for two people, but since I eat them alone, it lasts a lot longer. This gets me my veggie fix and my boyfriend can then eat whatever he wants.
Want more info on Green Chef, click here for details and discounts.
Shopping for two different diets can add up if you don't shop smart. I usually break up my shopping, with half at Aldi (yes, don't sleep on them - they have a fantastic healthy and organic options) and Kroger. When I want to buy seafood or something more high end, I stop by Whole Foods or Market District.
I check sales and use lots of coupons - for Kroger in particular.
*******************************Taking clean eating to the next level in 2017
So the year is in full swing and I previously outlined some goals I have for this brand in 2017, but I haven't really talked about my healthy living goals.
So over the past six months my body has changed a lot. Due to changing some of my eating habits, I lost a few of the extra pounds I'd gained over the past couple of years.
|Me (right) with my friend Tarryn in 2014|
So how did I lose weight and not try?
I've always been a healthy eater, like I've said before, but as of lately I've gone off the deep end.
I really began concentrating on the exact foods I was putting into my body. This means clean eating by eliminating many ingredients I couldn't pronounce, were genetically-modified organisms, and other items I just knew weren't good for my body.
Yes, this meant cooking a lot more - because that way I knew exactly what I was giving myself because I read the ingredient list on everything (I really take this natural thing seriously).
Another huge part in this was limiting my meat intake. Before I used to eat meat (chicken or fish - red meat on occasion) everyday...like normal people.
But the more I learned about a plant-based diet, I learned how unnecessary it is to get your protein from meat because there are plenty of other sources for that. Now I eat meat (no red meat) maybe two to three times a week (only once per day).
|Me in Nov. 2016|
With all of that, I still didn't deprive myself of the things I loved. If I wanted a cookie or two...or three, dang it I was having one. It's all about balance.
So what are my goals for this year?
- Consume meat even less than I currently do (1-2x per week)
- Continue taking daily vitamins and omega-3 supplements (I began these once I began limiting my meat intake)
- Read 10 + healthy living books (which I will be sharing with you all)
My goal is not to lose any more weight but to continue to focus on being healthy.
What are you health-focused goals for the year?
Products I'm Loving Right Now
Over the past six months I've discovered tons of products I've fallen in love with. From new deodorants, to body butters to lip balms, I've been getting pretty lucky.
Outside of the hair products I adore, I wanted to share with you some of the skin care items I've been using lately.
Here are some of the products I'm absolutely obsessed with right now:
Skinny Coconut Oil Pull
I'd tried oil pulling in the past and seen a difference in my oral health and a reduction in sinus headaches. I just recently went back to oil pulling a few times a week, first thing in the morning. This oil pull by Skinny & Co. is infused with peppermint oil so it doesn't feel as weird that you're swishing oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes.
I'll be sharing this experience with you soon!
Honey Baby Naturals skin care products
I've been using this brands' hair care products for the past few months and loved them, so I didn't expect anything less from the skin care line. I began by using the Honey Shea Body Butter right before we hit freezing temperatures and it left my skin soft and moisturized throughout the entire day.
Once it began getting colder outside, I switched to the Body Jelly and it is like your typical lotion but on steroids. It's very good for locking in moisture when you get out of the shower, and a little goes a long way.
I recently began using the Bath Oil for nights when I just want to relax. After adding two tablespoons to my bath, I didn't need any lotion - at all.
Honey Pot Feminine Wash
I've been using this feminine wash since last year and absolutely love Honey Pot. It helps me feel clean without using chemicals to get the job done. It has an ingredient list I am familiar with and can fully pronounce. I just use two pumps and it's all done. It's completely organic and vegan-friendly.
PiperWai Natural Deodorant
I began looking for a completely natural deodorant in 2016 and it was truly a trial and error journey. Once I finally thought I found one that worked for me - and was inexpensive compared to others - I learned it contained aluminum, and that's a no no.
I discovered PiperWai on one of my favorite sites, luckyvitamin.com, and saw that it recently appeared on Shark Tank. The website also said, "due to high demand, only one per person." I knew I had to try it then.
I'm not going to lie, it was pretty pricy but I thought it was worth a shot and now I love it! It did take about a week for my body to get used to it being all natural, but now I love it and have stopped using commercial deodorants completely.
What products are you loving right now? Send me an email at ClassyCurlies@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!
Why you Should Drink Lemon Water Every Day
So what are the benefits of drinking lemon water?
- Alkalizes your body (which basically means it balances your body according to the pH scale. When your body's pH levels aren't high enough, that's when you began to get sick.
- Helps digest foods - flushing out all the bad
- Helps prevent cold and flu - see No. 1 - they are high in vitamin C
- Can freshen breath
- Can assist with weight loss because they are high in pectin fiber
I could keep going, but I won't. Some people prefer to drink their lemon water warm and people like me just pop a lemon into my glass whenever I think about it.
If you're afraid of the lemons ruining your teeth, just grab a straw.
Now here's how I make this all easy. I used to buy lemons, put the bag in the bottom drawer, forget about them, then they would go bad. Not anymore.
Here's my routine about every 3-4 weeks:
- Buy a bag of lemons
- Take out the cutting board, my favorite knife and create about 7-8 slices per lemon
- Put all of the slices into a zip bag
- Pop the bag into the freezer
Your lemons won't go bad because they're frozen and they're always ready for you to pop one into your glass.
Herbal Teas you MUST try
So I have an obsession...and it's not the one I mentioned in last week's episode of Curly Conversations. It's one I've had for quite a while.
I'm completely obsessed with tea...yes, not coffee, but tea.
While I love all kinds of tea, I have a real love for herbal teas...I mean just look at my collection.
And it continues to grow. I don't know what it is, but tea can cure any bad mood I may be in. I can just grab a cup and feel instantly relaxed.
I don't add any sugar or sweetener to my cup, just pure, good ole' tea.
So for all of the tea lovers out there (and those I hope to bring to the dark side), here is a list of my favorite teas...and why you should try them.
Yogi Lemon Ginger: This tea combines two of my favs - lemon and ginger. They both have amazing benefits for the body separately, so together their a powerhouse. I've drank this to cure migraines, cramps and everything else in between.
Yogi Green Tea Pure Green: Green tea is an instant mood booster for me. Because it does have some caffeine, it wakes me up and I know it actually has benefits like the powerful antioxidants and nutrients it provides. Want to keep your immune system healthy, drink green tea.
Celestial Seasonings Peppermint: I started drinking peppermint tea after I learned it cures an upset stomach naturally. While I don't drink this daily, I save it for those times my stomach isn't feeling its best.
Mr. Tea: Of course you can't drink Mr. Tea, but he becomes my best friend when I drink loose leaf teas (those that don't come in a bag). You simply pour your tea leaves into the "pants" and sit him on the edge of your cup. The tea then brews in your cup without floating around.
I continue to try new teas while I'm out and about. So if you see me with a mug in my hand, you can bet 99 percent of the time its filled with tea.
Do Fitness Trackers Really Work?
I just so happened to look down at my arm one night and boom...there was my next Healthy Living post idea - fitness trackers. Many people want to know do fitness trackers work? Do they motivate you to get off your butt and exercise, or are they just a big waste of time.
After owning now four - yes four - Fitbits over the past two years, I think I'm qualified enough to answer those questions.
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|Do fitness trackers and Fitbits really work?|
Why I've had four Fitbits
So I got my very first fitness tracker during Christmas 2014. It was a Fitbit Flex and I wore it everyday for about 6 months.
I'm not much of an everyday watch or bracelet wearer, so I had to get used to having something on my wrist, but overall it worked out.
So why did I stop using it?
My arm started to break out. Initially I thought it was the band irritating my skin, but then I later realized something else. When I first got my fitness tracker, it was cold outside and the weather gradually got warmer the longer I wore it. I think my body sweat combined with the material wasn't a fit for me.
Trust me, this broke my heart because I love my Fitbit (for reasons below). I tried switching arms, buying new, cuter bands, but in the end nothing helped - so I ditched it.
Later that summer I bought the Fitbit Zip because it clipped onto my clothes and I wouldn't have skin irritation problems. Long story short, I kept losing it. I would clip it on a jean pocket, put the jeans in the dirty clothes and forget it was attached. Even worse, I would forget to attach it to my clothes period. Many times it would be left on my dresser.
My boyfriend randomly bought me the third one - a Fitbit Charge, but it wouldn't stay "charged" - ironically. My last Fitbit - the Flex 2 - was a gift and I still have it. I wore it for the first two weeks and now...not so much.
So what did I like about my fitness trackers, specifically the Fitbit?
- You can complete challenges with friends that keep you motivated
- The app was easy to use and helped you keep track of your progress
- The badges you can earn give you a boost of confidence
- You can track food, weight, sleep
Do fitness trackers, like the Fitbit work?
I'd say so! My steps were tracked accurately and by completing the challenges while competing against my friends, it really motivated me to get off my butt. Many times I'd just walk around my house to get extra steps in.
So why don't I use a fitness tracker now?
If you paid attention, my last Fitbit, I don't use anymore. I'm not using it because I've had any issues with it. I just think I'm at a different place right now where fitness isn't my first priority, but instead I'm much more interested in my overall health and nutrition.
I'm not really interested in toning up or losing weight. I'm just moving at my own pace.
But would I recommend you buy one if you're interested?
I sure do! They've been super helpful in helping me identify how active I truly am during the day. I learned I wasn't as active as I thought I was. It helped me track my sleep so now I know how much sleep I need at night...and so forth.
What has been your experience with fitness trackers?
3 Amazing Winter Skin Moisturizers
Story time: I've always had problems with dry skin, especially in the winter time. Dry skin is no fun for anyone, but when you're dark skinned, it's an even bigger problem because it's more noticeable.
Over time, I've come across some fabulous skin moisturizers that have become my holy grails. I usually rotate them, just depending on what I have on hand or which one is more accessible to buy. The best part about them, they contain high-quality ingredients without harsh chemicals.
I've completely ditched commercial and traditional lotions.
RELATED | Healthy Living: Herbal Teas you MUST try | Do Fitness Trackers Really Work? My Fitbit Experience
Here are my top three winter skin care moisturizers:
Bask & Bloom Nourishing Amazon Hair & Body Butter
Murumuru Butter and Cupuacu Butter, which are rich in vitamin A and C, this body butter literally melts upon contact with your skin. Shea butter, avocado oil and olive oil also make the list of ingredients. This product comes whipped with your scent of of choice.
Skinny & Company Rose Body Butter
I really can't get enough of Skinny & Company because all of their products contain six ingredients or less. This body butter is also whipped and contains coconut oil, rose oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E oil.
Honey Baby Naturals Honey Nectar Body Jelly
4 Ways to Relax When You're Stressed
Like many of you, I'm a super busy person. I work full time at a TV station and I also run a business - ClassyCurlies.
When I'm not at work, I'm planning events, writing content, on social media, producing a podcast or involved in community events.
There are many times people say, "I can't keep up with you," because I'm just that busy. With being busy and holding responsibilities comes stress.
It's rare that I become overwhelmed (because I'm learning to say "no"), but every now and then, I find myself in this space.
I've figured out some ways I destress, and I wanted to share them in hopes it will help you too.
Here are four ways I relax when I'm super stressed:
1. Practice yoga or meditation
Yoga has found a special place in my heart over the past year. In a previous post, I talked about a time I experienced true anxiety (you can read all about that here). During that time, I found yoga to be the cure. Sure, I'm not perfect at it, but it forces me to go into a silent room alone, while stretching and taking my mind off the day's stresses.
2. A cup of tea
This probably sounds silly, but in my book, a cup of tea can cure any bad mood I may be in. I've played around with a few different ones (you can see my favorites here), but I mostly stick with herbal teas. It's just something about a warm cup of tea that calms me down.
3. Treating my self to the spa
This is still on my to-do list from December, but no matter how I'm feeling, I try to treat myself to one spa day a year. That could mean simply a facial, massage or pedicure.
4. Grabbing a good book
I haven't found the time to do this in quite a while, but I love to read, and maybe you do too. Once I find a good book, it is so hard for me to put it down. I seem to get trapped in the character's experiences and their world. It's a great way for me to put down my own stresses for a while.
We all have our own coping mechanisms to dealing with stress.
What are some of your favorite ways to relax? Share them in the comment section below.