Posts tagged diet

Set Yourself up for SUCCESS!!!

I’m a firm believer that in order to achieve our goals and aspirations we must surround ourselves in an environment set up for us to succeed!  In order to assist in getting your mind right, you have to get other aspects that make up your life in order.  This week I received a QCC regarding working out/training sessions (that I’m always tweeting about) and how to be successful with these goals.  I love this question for I feel that over the year’s I’ve coined a regimen that works for me and is conducive to my work schedule. For my long time SC family…you know I love sharing some of my “tools of the trade” when it comes to health and wellness. 
 
Like most people, I work a strenuousness 8-10 hours/day weekly, travel significantly and am very involved in the community. Having all this on my plate makes it….”interesting” to find time to get my exercising in.  So how do I manage all of these….first let me clarify: I try to stay active and purposefully set weekly schedules to workout/train (either at home or in my neighborhood gym) to stay healthy overall!  This is not just for weight loss, but I have seen the power of healthy living habits and the positive results it has on all facets of life.  Those who know me via outside of this blog are aware that I take my health/overall fitness very seriously.  Due to this, getting training sessions in at least 5 days a week (min 2 days of strength training) is a very important aspect of my life. 
 
 

But back to the question – how do I stay motivated to do this DAILY and achieve my fitness goals?  I set myself up for success by laying out my gear for the day.  Not only do I leave the house with a cute scene (like the picture above) waiting for me when I return, but I also set out my attire. This way when I walk in the door after work and put all my items down/away, I see the DVD’s, weights and/or my exercise clothes calling my name.  These motivational scenes can be done the night before (if your mornings are chaotic enough) or prior to leaving the house.  Either way, you’ve already previewed your brain to what is to come later (then you can use the rest of the day battling that “devil” on your shoulder trying to convince you all the reason why not to work out after work)…achieving that daily goal and being a step further for your greatness!
 
 
So what do you all think SC family?  Any suggestions on  how to keep us ALL motivated to achieve our fitness goals?   The orAKAle has spoken….
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5 Day Detox (Food Intake & Exercise)

if Lola can do it....so can you

Silky Chronicles needs YOU……

The holiday is upon us and to be frank…one of my favorite ones.  Good family, entertainment and definitely gooood EATING.  Due to the indulgence that is not uncommon for us to have during the 4th, I thought this would be a perfect time to post a challenge to YOU the SC readers.

Starting July 5th, I will be doing a 5 day detox.  The purpose is to cleanse the body (again) of unneeded toxins, etc to continue with my CLEAN eating initiative.  A distant acquaintance is a vegan chef, and solicited volunteers for a piloted program she is creating….so I figured I would pose some of the same to you the readers.

What is clean eating????

Short and to the point…food that is closest to its NATURAL state.  This means no processed and refined foods (put the boxed lasagna down), sugary drinks (i believe in NOT drinking my calories), saturated and trans fats, etc.  The intent is to consume the food as God intended.  You can however jazz up your dishes by being creative with your spices/cooking oils, versus entrusting that duty to someone else (fast food joints, mass food production companies, etc).   Remember, you can create some great delicious dishes without weighing it down with that junk that keeps those unwanted pounds on and/or worse….. clog your arteries.

When grocery shopping you have to remember to read labels.  Just because the front says “no fat” or “sugar free”, doesn’t mean that the ingredient list on the back says the same.  My suggestions to avoid food trickery is listed below:

  • Research foods prior to grocery shopping
  • Write out a list BEFORE walking into the store (will save your life & wallet)
  • READ the nutrition label AND ingredient list (you won’t know what to look for if you don’t do number 1)
  • When in doubt, leave it out 🙂

NOW….my challenge to you all is more than just the foods you consume…but also exercise.  In order to live life to the fullest you can’t just focus on what you put into your body, but also the energy that is being exerted daily.  It has been proven that daily/weekly exercise helps to relieve stress, illnesses and of course weight loss.  Starting on the 5th I want all SC readers to vow to exercise IN SOME WAY for 5 days straight.   This can include (but is not limited to):

  • Gardening
  • Cleaning (house work and lawn)
  • Running/Walking
  • Lifting weights (heck lifting kids at that…lol)
  • Taking the stairs
  • Any and all cardio or weight machines at your local gym
  • Home workout routines (see below link for suggestions)

So are you up for the challenge?????  If so, email me at silkychronicles@gmail.com and let me hear from you.  I will be available to answer any other questions you may have, along with motivate you DAILY to not give up.  I’m confident that if you seriously commit to 5 days of this detox, you will feel better and ready to begin a more healthier life.

the orAKAle has spoken…………


To read more about clean food eating, click here
To read more about at home workout routines, click here

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Detoxification – Cleansing the Body & Soul

Hey Family,

For those of you who may not have known, I recently did a 21 day raw vegan detoxification.  What does this mean…..I ate ONLY raw foods for the allotted time frame.  I chose to do this for several reasons:

  • Wanted to transition into a clean eating regimen
  • Increase my energy levels
  • Cleanse the body of all toxins that can kill!
  • Hopefully drop some weight to break through my plateau
  • Clean up my fridge (this is a selfish and lazy one….lol)
  • Be a better person

I must admit, it was/has been hard.  It’s amazing the reasons why we eat the things that we do.  Also, your body becomes dependent on “junk” food and “dirty” eating quicker than you may think.  I can remember on day two and three of the detox experiencing some serious headaches (which by the way are natural and part of the detox) and the agony of it all….but I persevered through it and never gave up.

Now I will admit, I had a couple setbacks in the middle.   I ran out of groceries and had to wait until the end of that week to go shopping again…so I got creative, but basically stuck to the plan.  It was in this moment that I realized what type of eating I wanted to permanently incorporate into my diet.  Below are the results of this epiphany:

  • Consume a minimum of 64 ounces of daily
  • No cheese of ANY kind (body doesn’t agree anymore)
  • Absolutely NO MEAT (defined as beef, chicken, pork and turkey)
  • Whole grain ONLY (the goal is to minimize my intake of these in general)
  • Lots of green veggies daily (with focusing on raw vegan dishes during that time period, I was eating a diverse group of  veggies, mainly green ones, at every meal…great fillers)
  • Lots of fruit (with an emphasis on monitoring my intake of citrus fruits….these break me out)
  • Bake and prepare more sweet treats (using vegan recipes preferrably) versus buying candy, desserts, etc (I learned how to make several yummy treats that are low in calories, carbs and fat)
  • Grocery shop weekly and focus on fresh produce versus packaged/can (I do utilize frozen fruits and veggies that are unsweetened and salt less)
  • Two teaspoons of ACV DAILY (this has not changed)

Well that’s it!  I really want to encourage all of the SC family to consider a detox to cleanse the body.  Part of our job here at Silky Chronicles is to provide a diverse view on many aspects of living life to the FULLEST.  We must be mindful of what goes in our bodies, just as much of what we do outside of it.

It is suggested that you do some sort of cleansing/detox once every 6 – 12 months.  You will be surprised on how great you will feel.   Personally, this is my second one, and I plan to do these twice a year.  Hopefully some of you will join me 🙂

The orAKAle has spoken……

Want more information????

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QOTW: What’s on Your Playlist?

This week’s question comes from SC reader “LoveKarmen” about workout tips and preparations for success:

Hey orAKAle,

I am trying to incorporate more physical fitness into my regular weekly regimen.  I’ve already set up a schedule to follow weekly to stay active and get my heart pumping.  I must admit changing the way I viewed exercise AND making the effort to implement it into my schedule was difficult, but I know I am doing what is best for my overall health; and I want to thank YOU and this blog for keeping me encouraged and motivated to get healthier.

My question is, what do you listen too when you work out?  You seem to be very empowered, excited and self motivated when you tweet about your exercise for the day, or if you have just left the gym, etc.  So what are you listening to that keeps you going to complete your workouts?

First and foremost, congrats to making a life changing decision on your health.  I commend you, wish you well and am honored that The Silky Chronicles was able to assist in some of your health progress.

As for what I listen too….first, I must warn you all that I am somewhat of a music schizophrenic!  Lol.  The diversity in my music, especially for my work outs, is CRAZY! Why….for I like to always keep myself guessing on what is coming next (to set my pace, energy level, etc.).  I have numerous playlist that are specifically designed for my workouts.  A few of them are listed below

  • Marathon Running”: when I was “training”, but now just used for outside power walking and jogging
  • 2010 Jamz: which is a collection of the new popular songs (what our youth may be listening too…lol)
  • So You Think You Can Dance (SYTUCD)”: a dedication to my favorite reality dance show AND a great playlist that gets me amped and keeps the heart pumping…never know what is on this list
  • Encouragement: which is a compilation of Christian/spiritual music that keeps me going, but inspires at the same time? I  also use this play list when I have to force myself to work out/be active (I know you all have those days too….lol)

As for artist/songs selection, below are a few that is always in rotation:

  • La Route (newer artist to me, but her music is somewhat techno…great for cardio)
  • Lady Ga Ga (I always feel like I’m ready to choreograph a routine when I hear her music…lol)
  • Usher (his new album has many upbeat songs)
  • Janet Jackson (her #1 album is a good source of fabo songs)
  • Micheal Jackson…..nuff said
  • Ciara – “Work”, “1 2 Step”
  • Any and all Chicago style/ house music
  • Lil Wayne (only a couple of his hits…mostly mix tape….cause I can only do so much of him)
  • Panic at the Disco
  • Drake (my NEW boo)
  • One Republic
  • Adam Lambert – “What do You Want from Me”
  • Beyonce (I despise her…but “Get Me Bodied” and “Single Ladies” are both GREAT running songs)
  • Kirk Franklin
  • Tye Tribbett – any album really…..
  • Brittany Spears (her number one album has ALL the VINTAGE Brit songs…lol)
  • The Script
  • Santagold
  • Taylor Swift (this little girl is adorable)
  • Jay Z – “On to the Next One”….totally be feeling myself when listening to this one.
  • Gap Band (cause I’m ol skool)
  • Earth, Wind and Fire…..MY FAVORITE GROUP OF ALL TIMES….stays in rotation
  • The Noisettes
  • Pit bull
  • Dj Khalid (some of his songs….he is hit or miss)

Well that is all I can think of now.  My playlist for workouts are constantly changing, so this is not the say all, be all of the list.  So what you all think….a bit much?  Do you all suggest any songs SC family?  What say ye? Lol.

The orAKAle has spoken……….

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Adult Acne (pt. 2) – Healing the Natural Way

As promised in part one of our Adult Acne series, below are some NATURAL ways to battle and heal your self from acne.

Do you know that YOU can assist in controlling your acne, without breaking your bank account from purchasing numerous amounts of marketed facial creams and surgeries? Upon doing research, I learned of many vitamins and foods that your body can use to keep your skin evenly toned, hydrated and to naturally heal the aftermaths of acne caused blemishes. While we all know that putting healthier foods and supplements into the body can do wonders for you overall, I did not know that there are specific green veggies and vitamins that target acne and can help to increase the healing process.

Below is a nice long list of vitamins that help in controlling ones acne. I suggest that you take a look at the back of your vitamin bottle to see if you are getting your daily vitamin intake to combat your acne prone skin. Please consult with a doctor before trying any new vitamins or supplements outside of your normal routine:

Vitamin A (with carotenoids) – strengthens the protective tissue of the skin and prevents acne. It helps reduce sebum production. This vitamin is essential for the maintenance and repair of the tissue which the skin and mucous membranes are made of. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant needed to rid your body of toxins. Did you know that a deficiency in vitamin A can actually cause acne? Recommended dosage to fight acne: 10,000 IU If you are pregnant, do not take more than 5000 IU.

Vitamin B Complex – help to maintain healthy skin tone. They are also helpful in relieving anxiety and stress. Stress can be a major player in causing acne. The B vitamins should always be taken together. The vitamins in the B complex are Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin (Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide), Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine and Cyanocobalamin. Each one of these vitamins has a specific role in promoting healthy skin, as well as overall health.

    • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) acts as an antioxidant ridding your body of toxins. It enhances circulation and assists in proper digestion. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Riboflavin works together with Vitamin A to maintain and improve the mucous membranes in the digestive tract. It is also essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. Acne is a symptom of Riboflavin deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is vital for healthy skin by improving circulation and helping your body with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A deficiency in Niacinamide will cause acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 200 mg 3 times daily.
    • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is popular for reducing stress. It is needed for the proper function of the adrenal glands. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) is important in the functioning of your immune system and your antibody production. A deficiency of vitamin B6 can result in acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – is another “super vitamin”. It is an antioxidant that is required for at least 300 metabolic functions in the body, including tissue growth and repair.Vitamin C protects against infection and enhances immunity. Bioflavanoids have an antibacterial effect. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 1000 to 1600 mg 3 times daily If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about the proper dosage.

Chromium – aids in reducing infections of the skin. To get the adequate amount of chromium in your diet, chromium should be taken in supplemental form called chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate. Chances are you are chromium deficient because the form of chromium in foods is not easily absorbed and is lost during processing; and high quantities of sugar in the diet cause a loss of chromium from the body. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 150 mcg per day.

Zinc – aids in healing of the tissues and helps prevent scarring. It helps prevent acne by regulating the activity of the oil glands. Zinc promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. It is also an antioxidant which helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals. Acne can be a sign of Zinc deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 25-30mg per day.

Vitamin E – an antioxidant that enhances healing and tissue repair. It prevents cell damage by inhibiting the oxidation of lipids (fats) and the formation of free radicals. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 400 IU daily.

Here is a list of foods that help to prevent acne as well. I’ve tried some of these, but can not guarantee if your skin will be effected by these foods. As always, consult with a doctor before eating anything new (outside of your normal routine) if you are not sure how you may react:
  1. Organic Green Tea – This is rich in an anti-inflammatory chemical called catechins, which helps to combat free radicals and prevent fine lines.
  2. Olive oil – good monounsaturated fats like olive or sesame oil contain essential fatty acids that are needed for good health. Fats are an integral part of cell membranes and will help to nourish the skin and give it an inner glow.
  3. Walnuts – They are rich in omega-3 oils, another powerful antioxidant that helps to keep the skin plump and flexible. Omega-3 oils are also found in oily fish such as salmon, or in flaxseed oil.
  4. Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries are all rich in phytochemicals that are protective of skin cells. You can’t get the same results though, from frozen or preserved fruit.
  5. Lemon Juice – It’s a natural bleach and can be used to fade sunspots and freckles. Put a slice of lemon over the spot and leave it for 10 minutes everyday for a week, or exfoliate by rubbing a cut lemon and half a teaspoon of granulated sugar over the skin for a few minutes. Be careful not to get any lemon in your eyes and stop immediately if you get a bad reaction as some people have extremely sensitive skin.
  6. Watermelon – Some people believe that rubbing their faces with the rind of a watermelon will give them beautiful skin.There is plenty of truth to this, as the pulp of the fruit is a good exfoliant and watermelon is rich in vitamins A, B and C. The fruit contains a lot of water which serves to hydrate the skin and the gentle massaging action will stimulate lymphatic drainage.
  7. Low-Fat Dairy Products – One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
  8. Whole-Wheat Bread, Cereals and Brazil nuts – Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs. Brazil nuts are the richest ordinary dietary source. The mineral selenium connects all these foods for healthy skin. Experts say selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
  9. Yogurt – Yogurt is a very important natural beauty aid. Apply yogurt on the face every morning. Wash it off after a few minutes with cold water. This will keep the complexion smooth, healthy and fresh. A mixture of yogurt and lemon juice is ideal for softening hands.
  10. Water – While the exact amount you should drink each day varies, no one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young. When that hydration comes from pure, clean water – not liquids such as soda or even soup – experts say skin cells rejoice.

I hope the information in this series has been helpful and let me know your acne secrets (if you have any). Lol. The orAKALe has spoken…..


For further research, check out the below sources on more tips and strategies to combat adult acne:
About.com: Holistic Healing
Acne Care Tips

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Apple Cider Vinegar

First, let me say that I am very excited to be posting this topic to the readers!  I am constantly asked about this Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) thing; that I keep using, referencing, promoting, etc….and I have finally gotten around to posting the many benefits of this supplement. First, did you know that ACV is a total natural product?  For years, people have been using this supplement to consume in food AND for medical purposes.

So what are these “benefits” I keep referring too?

Cooking Ingredient – adding a little ACV gives a little kick and added flavor to your favorite meals and/or homemade recipes.  Personally, I love to add my daily serving to my homemade fruit smoothies or shakes.  This way, no sugar is needed to sweetened OR even out the flavor!
Weight Loss – If  you do your own research online, you will see that doctors have and still recommend this supplement for weight loss. While it is not definite HOW it specifically works, it does (however) suppress the appetite, aiding in reducing the amount of food you consume.  Below I’ve included sources that go into detail about this supplement and weight loss….
Detoxification – while this subject is at times viewed “private” and even “gross”, we must talk about how we rid our bodies DAILY of toxins. It is vital that you have regular “movements”…with that being said, ACV is great to assist your body with removing these toxins from the body…safely and smoothly.
Hair The neat thing about ACV is that it can be used as a cleaning agent BUT it will not stripe the hair of natural oils.  This product can help to eliminate product build up (that naturally is gathered threw out the week from styling, matriculation, etc), and leave your natural tresses feeling clean and soft!

SC reader, Tracie asks

” How do you use ACV in your daily diet/regimen?  Also, do you suggest a certain brand? “….

WELL I’m glad you asked Ms. Tracie.  My brand of choice…….. Patricia Bragg’s ACV…… for it’s TOTALLY organic!  No fillers, no additions…just straight ACV in the bottle!  You must proceed with identifying your brand of ACV with caution…for not all are organic; that is the difference in the benefits you get from using it.  Also, Bragg’s ACV is one of the few certified organic products that I use for my overall health.  You can’t get better than that….but I digress….

As for my regimen, I take 2 teaspoon of ACV daily in either an 8 oz or 16 oz glass/bottle of water (refer to my post on 2010 Healthy Living Habits)  Or, as I mentioned above, sometimes I add it to my homemade blending concoctions. Lol.  I love the fact that adding ACV gives me a natural sweetener AND I can cleanse the body at the same time.  I’ve also recently implemented weekly ACV rinses of the hair (1/2 cup of ACV to 1/2 cup of water). Usually I cleanse the hair with my favorite shampoo/conditioner and conclude with my rinse to seal the deal!

So how about you SC family…has anyone used ACV differently and have any suggestions?    The orAKAle has spoken…..

Sources:  Bragg Live Foods, Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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Cancer Fighting Foods!!!

Hey All,

Below is some information sent to me over another list serve. I felt compelled to post it here; as a reminder that its important to eat good foods to help with your overall health.  While I do not have  a specific source for the below, all information can be found on the web, on multiple web sites.  Remember, besides a proper diet, physical activity is necessary to stay as healthy as you can be, SO you can Live life to the FULLEST!!  The orAKAle has spoken…..

Here is an overview of ten important cancer fighting foods to include in your diet on a regular basis:

1. Garlic – Garlic contains a number of compounds that can protect against cancer, especially that of the skin, colon, and lungs.

2. Dark Leafy Greens – Dark greens are rich sources of antioxidants called carotenoids.  These scavenge dangerous free radicals from the body before they can promote cancer growth.

3. Grapes – Grapes (and red wine) contain the chemical resveratrol, which is a very potent antioxidant that can prevent cell damage before it begins.

4. Green Tea – The flavonoids in green tea have been shown to slow or prevent the development of several types of cancer including colon, liver, breast, and prostate.

5. Tomatoes – The compound lycopene, (which is most easily absorbed from cooked tomatoes) has been shown to prevent prostate cancer, as well as cancer of the breast, lung, and stomach.

6. Blueberries – Of all the berries, blueberries are the richest in cancer fighting compounds.  They are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer.

7. Flaxseeds – Flax contains lignans, which can have an antioxidant effect and block or suppress cancerous changes.  The omega-3 fatty acids can also help protect against colon cancer.

8. Mushrooms – Many mushrooms contain compounds that can help the body fight cancer and build the immune system as well.

9. Cruciferous Vegetables – Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts contain strong antioxidants that may help decrease cancer risk.

10. Whole Grains – Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds including antioxidants, fiber, and phytoestrogens.  These can help decrease the risk of developing most types of cancer.

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