Posts tagged nutrition tips

Tips for Growing Healthy Hair

I love when I get this question; for their is never ONE true answer to it.  Having healthy hair (be it natural or chemically processed) takes time, patience and a little TLC.  Longevity should be a factor when trying to reset your hair health; along with a willingness to learn new things.  On my journey to a more healthier Silky Coils, I soaked up as much information on wellness in general while pursuing natural healthy hair bliss.

I know the list is long, but I’ve been waiting to post this after doing more research, trial and error and speaking to YOU the SC Family on what you wanted to know. So I present to you my tips for growing healthy hair:

Hydration – If you’ve done ANY research on being overall healthy, you will find that keeping your body hydrated is key. The same would go for having healthy hair. Water makes up a fourth of the weight of a strand of hair, so when you drink the proper amount for YOUR body type, naturally your hair will respond by being supple, and shiny!  I always suggest a minimum of 8 servings (8 fl ounces) a day.

Vitamin and Supplements – I plan to post a separate entry regarding these, but I did want to include them on this list.  Yes there are many hair supplements you can take (i.e. Biotin) to help stimulate growth and prepare your hair; BUT simply taking a daily multivitamin can also do the trick.  Our bodies needs nutrients to function properly on a daily basis…this also includes proper growth of your hair.  Depending on your health needs, you can find a suitable multivitamin that will not only assist in daily functions but also hair growth and repair.  Personally, I take Centrum Ultra Women’s.  If you do not take a multivitamin……START IMMEDIATELY!!! It may save your life

Control Stress Levels – CRAZY I know, but interesting enough your stress levels effect not only your overall health, but also your hair.  When we get stressed our physiological levels rise and can either stop hair growth or cause hair loss?  During this time, your hair follicles go into a resting phase cause a reduction in growth and sometimes loss.  Some of us control it better than others; but if your like me…my stress can get pretty out of control during high priority times of the year.  So ways to combat stress can be found here.

Food Intake – Long time SC family has heard me speak about this before – you have to be cognizant on what your putting inside your body.  Everything that goes in, has to come out some how; and eating nutrition foods will aid in repairing (or rebooting) the hair follicle AND stimulate growth.  Some recommended nutrients found in our food, to grow healthy hair include (but are not limited to): Proteins, Iron, B Vitamins, Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamin E and Sulfur.  It is also suggested to stay away from foods that are sugary, loaded with fat, caffeine based and carbonated for they can cause a lot of damage to our hair!

Styling/Products – First, if you haven’t’ read my post on Determining Your Hair Type you may want to first take a look before you go on. You can’t stimulate growth or achieve health with your coils if you have no clue what type of hair you have.  From there, you can find many resources on what products work best for YOUR hair.  I’m a type 4 diva, so I like products that are loaded with ingredients like Shea Butter, Aloe, Rosemary oil, etc; for I know for me, these ingredients protect my hair through any weather AND maximize growth.  As for styling, some general rules is to always keep it moisturized, utilizing protective styling and retain hair, add hair utensils that will aid in your daily matriculation of the hair not damage it; and finally to make an effort to wrap your hair at night OR use a satin pillow case to not cause damage and breakage as you sleep (I can’t stress this enough).

License Stylists are our Friends– Family, you all would be surprised how many people I run into who believe that with the proper ingridients, tools and the web they can be their own stylist…..NEGATIVE. While I pride myself on being able to better manage my hair in the comfort of my home…for FREE, I also see the importance of having a professional examine my hair.  Even though I’ve recently embarked on trimming my own ends (that’s a whole other post for another day…lol), I also make sure to see my stylist every few months to get my “art work” checked and correct if needed.

Do your research – How you think I created this list….lol.  Seriously, while reading blogs are nice and convenient, it is critical that you do your own research regarding what will work for you. I can name off at least 20 blogs/articles I found and was reading, but it wasn’t until I did my OWN trial and error after researching what I was embarking on.  There are many books, websites and stylist out there who are willing to assist.  If you haven’t done so already, take a few minutes to learn your hair type and what type of product ingredients and styling tools work for YOU.

the orAKAle has spoken…..

Sources: Stress Related Hair Loss in Women, Foods that Promote Hair Growth, Benefits of Salon Hair Care, Benefits of Multivitamins, Grow Afro Hair Long
Related posts: Benefits of Shea, Hair Types, Detoxification

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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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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: Holistic Healing
Acne Care Tips

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Adult Acne….The Unspoken (but livable) Plague

Family, I’m about to really expose myself with today’s post. The subject of (adult) acne is one that is sensitive to me and hard to speak on. Why you may ask…because for the major part of my life, I never suffered from it. Of course there was the occasional break out here and there, but never like what I’ve been experiencing since turning 25 years old. Over the last 5 years, I’ve really began to know what it means to have adult acne and how to live with it.

I love it when I run into people who really believe that acne is not an experience that we face or relevant in the black culture. Yes, as crazy as that sounds, acne has no color or gender barriers. It attacks any and everyone depending on how it feels that day. Lol.

While I know that everyone can Bing what acne is and what to use to help decrease breakouts (no need to bore you), instead I wanted to provide you with some facts associated with specifically adult acne:

A) It is not like having acne as a child/teen: Adult acne is cause by totally different things as you get older. It can be a result of stress, medications, bad make up (ladies) and also hormones.

B) Chocolate is not the reason for the breakouts: I don’t know about you all, but I grew up thinking that eating to much chocolate or consuming to much caffeine would break out my skin. Who would have thought that all these years later I could’ve eaten as much candy bars as I wanted and still not had bumps….lol

C) Dermatologists are not a money scheme: For someone like me, going to see a dermatologist probably could have been avoided, but since I was so “upset” about the changes in my skin, I decided to do so. This type of specialist can be a huge resource for those who are suffering from serious acne issues or those who just want a professional opinion (like I did). If you can afford it, go see one just to make sure that there aren’t any major underlying issue with your skin.

D) Facials are not just for pampering: My general practitioner once told me that every women should invest in getting a facial every few months. Why….well not only is it therapeutic, but it also helps to unclog your pours. The esthetician will help to determine your skin type and how to better manage acne (if needed).

E) ACNE IS NOT CURABLE so just stop it: While I know there are many products and famous acne systems/procedures (ProActive, laser skin treatments, etc) out there that you can do, acne is not something that you can “cure”. You can however keep it under control with a system or method that works for YOU and YOUR SKIN. Don’t become obsessed with products and go broke to try to clear up something that is not curable! Lol….because I really get frustrated when people claim that they can “cure your acne”…pleeeeaaase….

My Current Facial Regimen

If you read any literature on adult acne, it takes trial and error to find out what works best for you. Currently, I think I’ve found a good system that is yielding some good results. Below is my current daily regimen:

Morning: cleanse w/Arm & Hammer baking soda, apply Ambi fade cream to dark spots & seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer

Mid day = cleanse with Cetaphil daily cleansing bar and seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer ( this is only if I work out during the day)

Evening = cleanse with either Cetaphil daily cleanser OR my favorite exfloiteator, apply Ambi fade cream to dark spots and seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer

One thing I’ve learned is that you have to give it time to see if products are working for you.  When I saw a dermatologist, she suggested that I use Cetaphil for its the best over the counter product AND it has many of the same ingredients that “high end” facial cleansing products use. Why pay more…..(you know the rest). I recently started with the baking soda as a cleanser, so I will let you know how that goes. Maybe, I will post some pictures for those who really want to see. Lol

The Lesson

……..of this post was to show that we all are a work in progress and you can’t let your flaws (cause we all have them) get the best of you. This subject is one that has plagued me for years (and those who really know me will agree) during my adolescent years and young adult times…but I decided no more. I am taking back my life and my self esteem and refuse to get hung up on physical appearances, rather than thanking God for making me in his image. I

I usually have moments when I get down about my physical features, especially my face…but that is when I have to stop and give thanks to God. One of my line sisters (and closest friends) suggested a good scripture to reference in times like these. Take a look at Psalms 136 when you get a chance and use it if you have these sort of low moments. I encourage you to post this somewhere where you can visually see it daily…as a reminder that God loves you for who you are and that you are FABULOUS just the way you are!

This is the first part in a two part series about adult acne and how to live with it. Soon we will discuss how to NATURALLY control acne and the benefits to watching what you put into your body.

Until then the orAKAle has spoken…

For more information on adult acne and how to live with it, please visit the below links OR consult with your neighborhood dermatologist:

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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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