How was your christmas?

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.

Probably because when I was a kid, we used to go to my grandparents house and all my relatives would be there.

Coming from a large family is great especially during celebrations and I can remember how much fun I used to have.

But as I grew older I only saw Christmas day as an opportunity to indulge in good food and sleep in.

I usually spend Christmas day in my pajamas watching reruns and laughing at cliched jokes.

So while it might have been fun as a kid, as an adult not so much.

So my question is, what does Christmas mean to you?

Is it an opportunity to enjoy food and great company?

Relax and be lazy?

Or just be glad you are alive?

Regardless of your answer, one thing is true of all 3 options.

Christmas is a beautiful time and I still love it.

So I hope you had a great Christmas and look forward to having a wonderful and blessed 2017.

Photo by jannoon028. Published on 28 November 2011
Stock photo – Image ID: 10065565

Foods that give you beautiful hair

I have always dreamt of having long luxurious locks of hair.

Enviable hair that looks effortless but is always gorgeous.

For years I struggled to make my hair grow out and the chemical treatments I applied didn’t help either.

But are there some foods that I can eat that would encourage hair growth?

There are some foods that can help you achieve the hair you see in shampoo commercials.

Proteins: Hair is made up of proteins that are produced by the proteins we consume. Eating healthy would make you look wonderful and also have great hair.

So make sure you eat lots of healthy proteins such as fish, chicken, lentils and beans.

Vitamins: Foods rich in vitamins A, B and C can help restore hair that has been damaged and leave you with a beautiful head of hair. These foods include citrus fruits, milk, cheese, grains, vegetables and yoghurt.

Minerals: The consumption of foods rich is zinc has been linked to great hair. Foods which are rich in this mineral include sea foods, grains and green vegetables.

Fats: Though fats have a bad reputation we need them in our body. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help nourish the scalp and keep it hydrated. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include oily fish, eggs, beans, avocado and nuts.

So eating well improves all parts of the body, so as I have some scrambled eggs I day dream of my Rapunzel like curls.

Photo by nenetus. Published on 18 September 2015
Stock photo – Image ID: 100361636

What is clean eating?

On this weight loss band wagon, I have tried a whole lot of diets.

From counting calories to eating only protein, I have tried them all.

One thing I have learnt on this journey is how much I enjoy my food.

I enjoy the smell of good food, the taste and the satisfied feeling I get when I have had a good meal.

So while I want to lose weight and look good, I also want to have a great quality of life.

So how do I have my cake and eat it?

I have decided to try eating clean.

What is clean eating?

Clean eating involves whole foods or unprocessed foods.

Whole foods are foods that have not been packaged or canned such as fruits, vegetables and fresh produce.


How to get quick relief from toothaches

Tooth aches can be excruciating.

It feels like your whole head is being hit with a hammer and all you want is for the pain to stop,

But what can you do when its late at night and you have to wait till the next day before you can get to the dentist’s?

  1. Gargle with salt water: Even your dentist would advise you to rinse out your mouth with warm water and salt. To get some quick relief from tooth aches mix half of a teaspoon of table salt with a glass of warm water. Rinse out your mouth by gargling the mixture and spit it out. This would help relieve swollen gums and remove food stuck between your teeth.
  2. Take a pain reliever: Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help bring quick relief from an aching tooth.
  3. Apply an ice pack: If your tooth ache is caused by swollen gums, applying an ice pack can help bring down the swelling and offer some relief. Apply the ice pack against the cheek area of the swollen gum to help reduce the swelling.
  4. Clove Oil: Rubbing some clove oil on the area with the sore tooth helps numb the pain. Apply some clove oil on a cotton ball and dab it against the affected tooth and gum to get some quick relief.

While these remedies would not give you a permanent relief from that terrible tooth ache it would help reduce the pain until you make it to the Dentist.

Photo by marcolm. Published on 19 May 2011
Stock photo – Image ID: 10042265

Can exercise and diet reverse the effects of smoking?

A few of my friends are smokers, if we ever get into the discussion on the dangers of smoking cigarettes they nod their heads and continue puffing away.

I can understand the draw of a bad habit and how difficult it might be to break it but what I can’t understand is why they think they are healthier than me.

So these friends of mine are gym rats, they slave away at the gym on a daily basis and most of them even practice clean eating.

Clean eating is when you eat only healthy unprocessed meals, it includes not eating packaged foods, added sugars and even gluten.

So here I am enjoying my turkey burger while my chain smoking friend munches away on a Greek salad then for dessert has a cigarette.

Can exercise and diet reverse the effects of smoking?  

We all know the dangers of smoking which increases your mortality rate from smoking related ailments such as cancers, strokes and heart attacks but, is it possible that exercise and diet reverse the effects of smoking?

This is a myth, yes eating healthy and exercising regularly can help make smokers feel by improving their breathing and make them feel stronger.


Foods that protect your heart

So every other day we read about the latest food fads, from coconut oil to avocados.

Most of these foods start trending on social media due to their stated health benefits. Some are fact while others are merely fiction, but most people would try anything in the quest for a healthy life.

Through all these those that catch my eye are those mostly related to cardiovascular health?

I am of African descent and people of my race have been known to have a higher risk of heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension. So in my quest to live a healthier and happier life I try to eat foods known to improve the heart.

Having low LDL cholesterol levels are said to be the best way to improve your heart and preferring the homeopathic path I search for foods that can help me achieve my goal.

So what foods help reduce LDL cholesterol levels?

  1. Oatmeal: I have previously written about the health benefits of eating oats and it is still my go to breakfast of choice (i.e. when I do eat breakfast). Oatmeal is rich in fiber, which helps bind cholesterol away from the blood that is then excreted out of the body. It also regulates blood sugar levels, aids in digestion and keeps you fuller for longer which helps aid weigh loss.


The nourishing goodness of flax seeds

As my journey on the weight loss train continues I have been reading up of healthier options to my usual diet and I stumbled on flax seed.

What is flax seed?

Even though you might not realize it you have probably eaten flax seed at one point in your life. It is found in all types of foods especially pastries and cereals.

Flax seed is also known as flax, which is the plant that the seeds are derived from. Flax is grown mainly for its oil that is produced from pressing flax seeds. The seeds of the flax plant are rich in numerous nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

The consumption of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and LDL cholesterol levels.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants help fight infection, diseases and strengthen the immune system. They have also been linked to a reduced risk of developing some types of cancer including breast, prostrate and colon cancers.

Fiber rich foods help with digestion, reduce LDL cholesterol levels and promote weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer.

So how do you enjoy the nourishing goodness of this oil seed?

You can eat flax seed when it is ground into flour. Once it is ground you can drink it in a shake, add it to your cereal or even soups.

You can also bake it into pastries and even pasta. So go and buy some of this wonderful seed and have a taste of its nourishing goodness.


Photo by sriharun. Published on 20 May 2016
Stock photo – Image ID: 100418648

How to handle negative people

I know a thoroughly distasteful person named Sam.

Sam is the most cantankerous and negative person you could ever meet.

When there is a problem, Sam would compound it by stating reasons why no solution would ever work.

He would go on about how life is tough and how things would always end up wrong.

He reads up on the chaos in the world and this strengthens his beliefs that everything sucks.

He is a sponge that sucks up the happiness from every occasion and the worst part is I have to work with him.

I tend to avoid Sam because he is like a virus that infects everything he touches.


Are you a part of the #NoMakeup trend?

Alicia keys recently made headlines when she stated that she would no longer be wearing makeup.

While this is not such a life changing concept it made the news because an international celebrity of her stature are usually known to look their best at all times.

Originally known and respected for her amazing musical talent, Alicia Keys is no doubt also a beautiful woman.

So when she stated that she would no longer be using cosmetics that has become a part of modern culture  the world took notice.

So my question is How important is make up to you?

I started using makeup in high school, I grew up watching my Mother put on Powders, eye liners and Lipstick every morning before she left the house so i have always associated a well dressed woman with well applied makeup.


The power of positive thinking

I am a simple person.

I want the simple things in life such as good food, nice clothes and a great place to live.

I used to thrive on challenges and saw them as opportunities to prove myself.

That was until all I had were challenges.

Challenges at work and my personal life.

Everyone can handle a problem once in a while, but when all you seem to have are problems it gets exhausting.

You stop being a problem solver and instead become constantly on alert.

You dont know when the next problem would occur so you learn to expect only problems.