Posts tagged fitness tips

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 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 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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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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12 Tasty Substitutions When Cutting Carbs

Hey SC Readers,

Received a GREAT article for all you carb counters/watchers out there. Not sure about you, but I am always looking for new ways to reduce my carb intake, but not loose the taste of my favorite foods…along with totally eliminated them at that.  Below is a great post from Men’s Health Magazine on how to substitute some of your favorite dishes, to a more “carb friendly” option.  Enjoy!  The orAKAle has spoken………..

“The best way to cut carbs from your diet is to make creative substitutions,” says Arthur Agatston, M.D., author of The South Beach Diet. “That way you can still eat the foods you love, without busting your diet.”

Dr. Agatston told us how to make cauliflower taste like mashed potatoes. Other nutrition experts gave us tricks for cutting white flour, pasta, and potatoes and replacing them with lower-carb alternatives that taste nearly identical. We then had some loyal carbo-cravers taste-test these dishes. Turns out some of them are so good, you’ll wonder why you weren’t eating them in the first place.


Substitute: Napa or Chinese cabbage for bread
Slap your turkey and Swiss onto a leaf of cabbage and roll it up. “I’ve made some great-tasting BLTs using cabbage instead of bread,” Battaglia says. Dip the roll in low-fat mayonnaise or mustard.
Carbs Eliminated: 29 g per sandwich
The Taste: “Better than eating plain cold cuts.”


Substitute: Eggplant for pasta
Mixing diced eggplant with ground beef is healthier and more highbrow than this old skillet special—call it moussaka American style. You have to soften the eggplant first, says Williams. Cut it in half, brush it with olive oil, and then broil for 10 to 20 minutes. “Let it cool, dice it up, and mix with hamburger, tomato sauce, and spices,” she says.
Carbs Eliminated: 26 g per cup
The Taste: “Exactly like Hamburger Helper, in a good way.”


Substitute: Portobello mushrooms for pizza crust
Cut the gills out of the inside of the mushroom, says Ruben, “then place the mushroom on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes so it dries out slightly.” Add tomato sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni or other toppings and broil until the cheese begins to melt.
Carbs Eliminated: About 20 g per slice
The Taste: “Like pizza, but moister. Give me a fork!”

Cheese-Flavored Chips

Substitute: Low-fat string cheese for chips
Just crazy enough to work: Cut sticks of string cheese into quarter-inch-thick slices and scatter the rounds on a cookie sheet coated with nonstick spray, leaving them an inch or two apart. Bake at 375 F for 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and turns golden brown. Let them cool, then peel the chips off the tray.
Carbs Eliminated: Up to 90 g per serving
The Taste: “Like the cheese you pull off the top of a pizza.”

Pasta Salad

Substitute: Mixed vegetables or black beans for half the pasta
Same idea as the mac and cheese, but try black beans, diced tomatoes, and chunks of ham, tuna, chicken, or hard-boiled eggs, suggests Richard Ruben, an instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. “These kinds of salads are a blank slate, so you can top them with anything from a creamy blue-cheese dressing to vinaigrette, or even lime juice and slices of avocado,” Ruben says.
Carbs Eliminated: 10 g per cup
The Taste: “Awesome. I don’t miss the extra pasta at all.”

Macaroni and Cheese

Substitute: Diced vegetables for macaroni
Even instant mac and cheese can go lower-carb; use only half the pasta in the box and bulk it up with a couple of cups of frozen mixed vegetables, says Sandra Woodruff, R.D., coauthor of The Good Carb Cookbook.
Carbs Eliminated: 13 g per cup
The Taste: “I hate broccoli, but I wouldn’t mind eating this.”

Scalloped Potatoes

Substitute: Tempeh for potatoes
You may think you don’t like soy-based foods, but that could be because you don’t cook them right, says Beckette Williams, R.D., a San Diego-based personal chef. “Tempeh can be really bland, but if you jazz it up with herbs and spices, it’s a great substitute for potatoes.” Her recommendation: Saute a couple of cups of thinly diced tempeh with garlic and onions. Then pour a cheese sauce (sharper is better) over the tempeh cubes and bake for half an hour.
Carbs Eliminated: 11 g per cup
The Taste: “Just like a slightly nutty baked potato.”


Substitute: Oatmeal and cottage cheese for pancake mix
Here’s a can’t-fail recipe from The South Beach Diet. Mix together half a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, and a dash each of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Process in a blender until smooth. Cook the mixture like a regular pancake.
Carbs Eliminated: 45 g per pancake
The Taste: “With syrup, you could never tell the difference.”


Substitute: Spaghetti squash for spaghetti
A cooked spaghetti squash is like Mother Nature’s automatic spaghetti maker—the flesh becomes noodlelike strands. “All you have to do is cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Then place each half—cut side down—on a plate with a quarter cup of water,” says Elizabeth Perreault, a chef at Colorado’s Culinary School of the Rockies. Nuke the squash for 10 minutes or until it’s soft to the touch. Let it cool, then scrape out the “spaghetti” strands and top with pasta sauce and cheese.
Carbs Eliminated: 30 g per cup
The Taste: “Great. Spaghetti squash has exactly the same consistency as real pasta.”


Substitute: Zucchini slices for noodles
Slice four to five medium-size zukes lengthwise into three-quarter-inch-thick strips, instructs Lise Battaglia, a New Jersey chef whose past clients include Jon Bon Jovi. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the strips, place them in a single layer on a nonstick cookie sheet, and bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. You want them firm, not crisp. “Then simply make the lasagna as you normally would, replacing lasagna noodles with the baked zucchini,” she says.
Carbs Eliminated: 36 g per serving
The Taste: “Delicious. The zucchini provides texture that you don’t get from noodles alone.”

Mash Potatoes

Substitute: Cauliflower for potatoes
One of Dr. Agatston’s favorites: Steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower in the microwave. Then spray the cauliflower with butter substitute, add a little nonfat half-and-half substitute, and puree in a food processor or blender. “Salt and pepper to taste and you’ve got something that quite honestly can compete with the real thing any day,” says Dr. Agatston. To make it even better, try adding roasted garlic, cheese, or sour cream to the mixture.
Carbs Eliminated: 30 g per cup
The Taste: “After a couple of bites, you forget it’s not potatoes.”

Hash Browns

Substitute: Squash for potatoes
Summer squash (the football-shaped yellow kind) tastes similar to potatoes when cooked—but has just a fraction of the carbs. Grate the squash, mix in an egg as binder, make patties, and fry them in olive oil, says Mary Dan Eades, M.D., coauthor of The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook.
Carbs Eliminated: About 15 grams (g) per hash-brown patty
The Taste: “Not as firm and crispy as regular hash browns, but the potato flavor is there. “

Source: Men’s Health List (

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2010 Healthy Living Habits

For those of you who have been following me for some time now, know that I have been threw several transformations in my life. Whether it is professionally, personally, spiritually, mentally and physically, all have been for the greater good of me and the purpose God has in store for me.

I get many comments and questions about “what am I doing” to feel so great DAILY, to look so healthy or “good” and to stay motivated even in trying times (in life, at work, etc). Every time my answer is the same, SO I decided to create a list of different strategies I’ve tried in my journey, to become more positive productive in my daily life.  Please know that I am still a work in progress.  I have not reached all my goals YET, but I am determined to stay focus, stay prayed up and LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!!! Due to this, I present to you the orAKAle’s list of healthy living habits (please note that these are not in any order what so ever):

Man in the Mirror – you need to first and foremost look at that person in your mirror (that’s you) and have a heart to heart talk. We are our worst critics, so if you are not on YOUR TEAM…who will be….
God Has First Place – As a Christian, I believe that God and his teachings (the bible) is my foundation. Therefore he gets all glory everyday and all day. I start my day off with mediation and prayer and end my day the same.
Daily Bible Study – the current program that I am on now involves reading scripture daily on my phone.  I have subscribed to and have a personal reading plan to follow.  Feel free to follow me and my plan on Twitter @efficient1. This is now habit for me, to the point that if I don’t give God his time, I feel incomplete. It helps to keep me grounded and focused.
6-8 Hours of Sleep/DAY – I am a firm believer in getting your daily rest. While I don’t think you need 8 hours (because I get between 7-7.5 hrs a night) daily to get the job done, I do think you need more than 6. Use your discretion on this one.
PUSH THE WATER – Family, I get OVER 50 – 64 ounces of water a day…yes that is about 7-8 servings of water that enters my body on a regular basis. I’m constantly getting compliments on how physically fit I look, how well rested my eyes look and how clear and smooth my skin looks….and my answer is ALWAYS (first) in reference to how much water I drink daily.  While this can be difficult in the beginning to implement, ease your way up to the amount YOU NEED for your body.
Baggage No More – Like most of us, we are caring around baggage from the past or even the present. I decided to get rid of the baggage (or fat) in my life. I reevaluated my friendships, my daily relationships, the way I viewed myself, what I put into my body and all other aspects of my life.  Again, I am a work in progress but I can say that I feel better now than whom I was before.  This is something that I am constantly evaluating as I progress on my journey through this thing called life!
Speak It Into Existence – One of my good friends taught me that if you are not cheering for yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to. As simple as it sounds, I was speaking negatives words over myself. While we make jokes here and there, I was doing it way to often, and actually had those around me call me out on it. See I believe that we have to speak positive words over our lives. The tongue is a powerful thing and the bible talks about being careful of what you say over yourself; also how your thoughts can manifest into words and then reality.
Get Up, Get Out and Get Moving – While it took me awhile to get here, I work out between 5-6 days a week.  On “bad weeks” (traveling, busy schedule at work), I still manage to get a good 4 days of exercising in.  My weekly workout regimen depends on the waves of my life.  As someone who travels a lot, it’s hard to stick to a particular work out regimen. So, I get creative to get moving daily/weekly. I believe exerting energy helps with stress level and helps to put you in a positive mood to tackle the world.
Vitamins and Supplements – I take a multivitamin daily to make sure that I get all the necessary nutrients my body type needs. Also, I take B12 to help with stress, Biotin tablet that assist in hair, nail and skin development and Iron because I’m anemic. I also drink 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar a day to help with allergies, clear pores and daily digestion with my body (and it does a bunch of other stuff…future post coming soon).

The orAKAle has spoken……..

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