Benefits of Raw Eating|5 Snack/Meal Ideas

Taking a break (3-7 full days minimum) from processed and cooked foods at least every other month is something that you should really take into consideration. Now allow me to give you a few reasons why; a raw diet helps to reverse chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes, it reduces heartburn, gas, constipation, and indigestion, it increases energy levels, it gives you the full amount of needed nutrients, it strengthens the immune system, it balances PH levels, it clears skin, and so much more, the benefits are infinite! A raw diet consists of uncooked, fresh, dried, sprouted or fermented vegetables and fruit, grains, seeds, nuts, smoothies, and water. When you’re on a raw food diet it gives your digestive system a break from having to work so hard, and it also gives you a lot more energy because you are now preserving enzymes. Your PH levels start to naturally correct themselves because of all the antioxidants, alkaline, and nutrients your blood system now has access to. Your skin becomes clearer because the raw diet is helping to reduce inflammation and opening up clogged pores. The higher fiber intake reduces any digestive issues such as constipation and gas. Many raw vegetables and roots, specifically broccoli, garlic, and ginger contain natural cancer-fighting and blood pressure lowering properties and compounds that won’t be as productive if the foods are cooked. When you cook vegetables whether it’s by boiling, sauteing, steaming, or grilling, the vegetable becomes 22-34% less nutritious. Once vegetables reach a high temperature the nutrients, vitamins, fibers, and minerals immediately start to diminish. The same goes for grains and oats, they are the most beneficial and nutritious when consumed raw. You have nothing to lose by giving your body a break and consuming food just as nature provides it, natural, raw, unseasoned, and without oil. It’s the perfect diet for weight loss, stops cravings, raises your spiritual awareness (we’ll talk more about this another time), and it’s awesome for the environment! So the next time you’re feeling clogged up this diet would be a great way to detox and give your body a good flush and re-boost. Below I have listed a few of my favs along with a link for the recipes, feel free to re-make them and let me know how they turn out!

5 of my Favorite Raw Meal/Snack Ideas:

  1. Smoothies, Smoothie Bowls, Smoothie Pops
  2.  Apple-Peanut Butter Granola Bars
  3. Raw Veggies Dipped in Tzatziki sauce
  4. Raw Taco Wraps
  5. Sweet Chili Cauliflower Bites

For complete recipes to these snacks/meals click the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dOgnUSzDC9gYAKgDnRXrPORI0CM3jVBU44nBhtSsCMw/edit?usp=sharing

Delicious Recipes At Your Fingertips: The Food Monster App

The Food Monster App is the perfect app for beginners looking to transition into the plant-based lifestyle. With over 15,000 delicious plant-based, gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes and counting you will never run out of meals to cook! The recipes themselves are personally crafted, created, and approved by the team of http://www.OneGreenPlanet.org. If you haven’t heard of OneGreenPlanet they are a team of amazing individuals that are helping to save the planet in countless ways. Their website is filled with knowledgable and interesting information revolving around lifestyle wellness, the well being of animals, and worldwide news regarding what’s currently going on with planet Earth. The co-founders Nil Zacharias and Preeta Sinha of OneGreenPlanet came together and launched the Food Monster application in 2015 and it has been flourishing greatly since then. Food Monster is now considered the largest plant-based food app in the market and it’s absolutely free in both the iTunes and Google Play stores unlike most of its’ competition. The Food Monster App has saved the day for me so many times and although I love being creative with cooking, sometimes I run out of ideas or I just want to try something new. And that’s when I simply pick up my phone and browse through the thousands of recipes located on this wonderful application! The website and the app are both fantastic resources for beginners and even veterans in this plant-based lifestyle. So if you’re looking for a little help and guidance on your journey make sure you download the app today or visit OneGreenPlanter.org. To learn more about the founders of this organization and all of the incredible information they have to offer they can be found on twitter at @NilZach and @PreeTweet, on Facebook @OneGreenPlanet, and of course on their website!

#EatForThePlanet

Mantra Meditation Continued…

So you’ve found your mantra (read part 1 if you haven’t already, simply type “mantra meditation” in the search bar, located in the footer of the website) or so you’ve thought but still can’t seem to remain focused during your practice. At this point, you may be feeling discouraged, confused or maybe even frustrated and I’m here to tell you that I get it. I do, I completely understand! Mastering meditation is not an easy task, it takes dedication, patience, mental strength, and desire. Struggle in the beginning stages is natural, but with continued practice and maybe implementing a few methods to ease the process (mantras, music, humming, etc) you will finally meet the internal peace that you’ve been yearning for in no time!

A mantra can honestly be any positive quote or saying known to man. Something you googled, something you heard on the radio, even something you personally made up. However, when it comes to choosing your personal mantra there should be just a bit of thought put into it. Without thought, you most likely will end up in the same position, unfocused, frustrated, discouraged….etc. So adopting the “right” mantra could be apart of the problem in terms of being able to focus. When you selected your mantra from what standards did you make your choice? Was it something to inspire you, something that reflects your beliefs, or something completely foreign? In my opinion, I feel that whatever prompts your selection should be words to live by. Don’t just choose any old mantra, find something that is personal to you! Don’t allow others to set the tone for you, just because something sounds good or your friend or a famous figures uses it or has used it doesn’t mean that that mantra is for you. Take the time and do research, find something aspiring, relate it to your personal goals even. Don’t just use the mantra to get through the meditation session, let the mantra use you. If you lose focus count down from 10 and try again. Aspire to become the words that you are chanting. Believe in your words, speak them confidently, relax your shoulders, inhale, exhale and repeat!

Revisit Tips for Beginner Meditation:

https://theelevationjourney.com/?s=meditate

Revisit Mantra Meditation Pt 1:

https://theelevationjourney.com/?s=mantra

D.I.Y. All Natural Body Mists for Women & Men

Smelling good instantly gives me an extra boost of confidence! When I smell good I am happier, giving out more hugs, feeling “sexier”, as my mom would say I start “smelling myself” lol. But what I don’t love is having to settle for a strong, overbearing, chemical filled, skin, nose, and eye burning fragrance that’s sold to me at a ridiculous price. Call me cheap but I would NEVER pay $50+ for poison…oops I mean perfume/cologne just because it smells “good” or because it’s made by a designer or a famous brand! *shrugs* Especially when I can make my own amazingly smelling fragrances that are 100% natural and skin benefiting with inexpensive ingredients in under 15 minutes. I personally love making my own products because I know what’s in them and can feel confident about the benefits behind my products. You can smell good all day long without any chemical side effects, without exposing your brain to potential damage, (yep, your brain is responsible for your sense of smell, so think about that the next time you take a sniff your favorite chemical filled cologne/perfume) and for under $10 USD. Below you will find instructions and ingredients for making your own “scent”sational body mist. Smell ya later!

Ingredients:

  1. Essential Oil(s)
  2. 1 cup of distilled water
  3. 2 tbsps of witch hazel

How to get specific scents:

“Fruity/Girly”-sweet orange oil, lavender oil, vanilla oil, rose oil, neroli oil, juniper berry oil

“Masculine”-cedarwood oil, patchouli oil, vetiver oil, eucalyptus oil, ginger oil

“Refreshing” (unisex)-peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, balsam fir oil

“Calming” (unisex)-lavender oil, rose oil, coriander seed oil, sweet basil oil

Instructions:

  1. Pour witch hazel into an 8oz spray bottle (glass preferred)
  2. Add 6 drops of 3-4 essential oils (one by one)
  3. Swirl bottle around to mix the witch hazel and oils together
  4. Pour the distilled water into a bottle
  5. Twist on the cap, shake well
  6. Allow to settle for 5 minutes and store in a cool dry place until ready to use

How to stick to your diet…For real this time!

When I first transitioned into this plant-based lifestyle for some reason I was always hungry, or so I thought.  When really I was just so used to eating whenever I wanted, whatever I wanted, and however I wanted. Basically, I had no control over my eating schedule or intake and once I tried something new my digestive system was very confusing. I felt like I was starving myself but I decided to stay strong through the process. As the days went by I realized that by putting myself on a schedule, implementing more nutritious meals/snacks, and a lot more water that it was all in my mind. It wasn’t hunger I was feeling, it was my body detoxing itself from the previous damage I’d allowed for so long. I was going through I guess what you can describe as “withdraws”; my body was craving the sugar, the excessive salt, and all the other crap I was eating non-stop. Each time I wanted to give up or have a cheat day I had to remind myself that eating healthier is a reward to my body, essentially just another form of self-care. Like anything new, it will take some time to become fully adjusted and there are going to be uncomfortable moments, but this is where your mental strength will shine through. I’ll admit that it isn’t easy but that’s only in the beginning, it will be more than worth it once you make it past the first couple of months. You’ll notice the change in both your mental and physical states, you’ll find yourself spending less money, you’ll have more positive energy, and who knows you may even motivate someone else to make a change in their habits as well! Below you will find that I’ve put together 5 tips on how to stick to your diet. I hope these help some of you, remember that it’s mind over matter and that eating healthier is not a punishment but a reward. Tune in next week for more recipes!

5 tips for sticking to your diet

  1. Make an eating schedule, try sticking to it the best that you can. Eat your last meal of the day before 9/10pm.  (9/10pm is being generous, that’s still pretty late. Eating late is not the best idea…for me personally, that’s when all the cravings kick in so save yourself from temptation.)
  2. Implement snacks in between meals (Don’t go overboard with this one, eat light snacks like fruit, nuts, or raw veggies with dip.)
  3. Drink MORE water (Can’t stress this one enough, liquid fills you up and “tricks” your stomach into feeling full.)
  4. Eat every meal sitting down, and eat slower. Take time to really chew and enjoy your food. Eating fast just makes you feel hungry again within 10-15 minutes. (Also remove distractions when eating! Watching a movie, scrolling through social media, reading a book, etc. while eating tends to make you eat faster, just simply enjoy your meal.)
  5. Keep yourself inspired and motivated by trying new recipes, getting into the kitchen more, partnering up with a friend/spouse/family member, and keeping a log/record of your meals. (Mix it up, don’t keep eating the same boring salad over and over there are millions of recipes to take advantage of.)

The Neglect You’ll Regret

I don’t think many people realize how important it is to take care of your knees. In the past I’ve been one of those who took my knees for granted and overlooked how much I need them. After high school I noticed that my knees started to pop and I didn’t know why but still I pretty much ignored it, allowing the damage to get worse. I wasn’t aware that I’d allowed my knees to become weak due to lack of exercise and stretching. Now that I think about it I didn’t even give it much thought that you have to do more than walk to keep your knees healthy, strengthened and stable. They were getting me from point A to B without any major issues so I assumed that they were just fine. I’d become so wrapped up in my studies and working a full-time job that I completely neglected my physical health at one point. But as the popping of my knees became more frequent and now accompanied by pain I decided that enough was enough. I knew I had to start taking better care of my knees and regaining the strength in them if I wanted to continue using them without further issues. During my research I was surprised to find out that our knees are the largest joint in our bodies, and that they are surrounded by some of the most powerful muscles in your entire body.  By not working your knees out you are exposing them to the likelihood of injury and a long road of recovery. Our knees carry the weight of your upper body and have direct connects to the spine and hip bone, giving us an overall greater sense of balance. So the knees are definitely important and play a major part in our day to day lives, and I know that mean seem like common sense, and if we’re being completely honest it is. But the knees are often overlooked as muscles, making it easy to neglect them especially if no immediate issues or pain occurs. Our knees deserve the same attention, if not more as our stomachs, arms, calves, etc. when working out. With that being said here are 4 simple knee focused exercises to keep them healthy and strong. Be sure to do these exercises at least 2-4 times per week, and stretch before you proceed. Take care of your knees because the only time weak knees are okay is on your wedding day 😉

1. Heel Raises- perfect for strengthening the muscles that will typically absorb shock before going to your knee joints, great for building resistance for future bending activities (do in sets of 10-20, fully stretch legs before engaging)

2. Wall Squats – builds knee strength, helps to stabilize surrounding muscles, back is supported by wall creating a greater focus to the directed area (position back against wall, hold for 25-45 seconds, repeat 7-10 times)

3. Glute Bridges- amazing for relieving knees of pressure, increases knee stability, strengthens glutes, hamstrings, and core (lift butt 4-6 inches from the ground, hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times)

4. Straight Leg Raises- strengthens the front muscles surrounding the knee joints, raises support from the bottom up, aides in mobility, lessens strain and reduces friction (start with leg higher and gradually bring down to where leg is just above ground, hold for 5-10 seconds, lower and repeat, repeat 10-20 times)

Sevananda: Atlanta’s Best Natural Market

If you live in Atlanta and the surrounding areas I’m sure you’ve heard about this wonderful store, Sevananda! But if you haven’t then I am more than honored to introduce you. This amazing gift of a market is located right in the heart of Atlanta in a neighborhood locally known as Little Five Points. Sevananda is not only black owned but it is also community owned which makes the shopping experience even more personal and fulfilling! You just never know who you may meet or run into when entering this lovely establishment. From the moment you enter the doors you are welcomed by beautiful smiles, lovely scents, and gravitating vibes that you won’t find anywhere else. This natural foods market offers a variety of natural and organic groceries (dry, fresh, and frozen), alternative dairy products, pre-packaged to go meals, a delicious hot vegan bar (the best vegan food I’ve ever had in my life), a wide variety of alkaline, spring, and mineral water, and a self-serve nut, seed, granola, and candy area. They also have an entire natural product section where you can find natural options for skin care, hair, oral health, vitamins and supplements, laundry and home cleansers, and so much more! I can easily go in this store and get lost for a few hours and although the store isn’t that big, they have so much to offer. From exclusive locally made products to knowledgeable down to earth employees with a passion for educating, making it very easy to get caught up in the remarkable ambiance. This place alone brings me so much peace and since my first experience I haven’t been able to stop telling everyone I know about Sevananda. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the store’s administrator Ms. Carolyn Morris once and the marketing and outreach assistant Ms. Ifini Sheppard on several occasions and I can honestly say that they both are beautiful, inspiring, educated women. They are always looking for volunteers for different events around the city and are always hiring for full-time and part-time employees! If you are in or near Atlanta or if you ever decide to visit please make your way to this extraordinary market for an incredible and unforgettable experience! “Own Your Health” today , tomorrow, and forever, what are you waiting for?

Contact:

Ms. Ifini or any other lovely employee at the customer service desk

Phone: 1-404-681-2831

Address: 467 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA (8:00AM-10:00PM Daily)

Website: http://www.sevananda.coop/

Your Favorite Brands: Exposed!

Prepare to be disappointed by the information you will read during this post unless you make your own skin-care products, or have done the proper research before using someone else’s. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but someone has to be, from shampoo to toothpaste to makeup, several products that are used on a daily basis from well known brands are being knowingly sold with cancerous/toxic ingredients. Brace yourself, brands that are loved and trusted by many such as Palmer’s, Luster’s Pink Brand, Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno, Dove, Covergirl, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble (Crest, Oral-b, Tide, Gain, etc), and the list literally goes on forever, voluntarily sell toxic products to the public without an ounce of guilt. I was sooo upset to find out that Dove (my ex-favorite soap and deodorant) was among many brands to advertise and sell deceiving products. It’s pretty sad and disgusting that our health isn’t important to them, seeing as we’re the reason they are still in business. But nope, just as long as they can make their money they are perfectly fine with slapping fancy marketing words and slogans on bottles and cases of their products to lure us in to buying them. Ingredients like oxybenzone, toluene, propylene glycol, methylisothiazolinone (MIT), sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), parabens, resorcinol, and hydroquinone just to name a few are found is almost every skin-care product on the shelf. These ingredients have all been linked to cancer and of course the more exposure to them increases your chances of developing all types of cancer. And the argument most of these companies have the nerve to continue using these toxic ingredients is that they are only using a small amount. Hmmm ok but how does that make it acceptable? Let’s think about that for a second….Over time that “small amount” adds up, especially if you’re how I used to be and use the products every day for years at a time. I could care less if a products is 20 % or 2% carcinogenic, I would rather not use products that have ingredients that have been linked to cancer please and thanks. Several of these companies have been petitioned against and some even had lawsuits filed against them yet their ingredients remain the same. Henceforward we need to stop buying products for the name and start purchasing them based on the ingredients and morality of the company. My advice to you all is to become more cautious! Please google the ingredients and side effects of your favorite products before you go out and re-purchase them. There are better, more reputable, natural products out there that you should be using, or you could cut the middle man out and make your own products.

FYI: I post D.I.Y. skin-care products very often. Take a look at previous post for detailed instructions and lists of ingredients!

Smoothie Bowls & Gluten Free Pancakes

I haven’t dedicated a post to breakfast yet and just randomly decided to choose this week to do so. I am a big breakfast person, I have to eat or at least drink a smoothie before starting my day. I don’t always have time to eat the type of breakfast I would like but when I do these two (Smoothie Bowls and Pancakes) are my favorite to eat. They are super simple to make and heavenly to consume! 100% healthy and 100% tasty guaranteed. I love taking foods as simple as these and dressing them up with all types of toppings and interchangeable ingredients to keep from getting bored with the recipes. Find the recipes for these below! 😋😋😋

Smoothie Bowls:

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup of almond milk sweetened or unsweetened (water, rice milk, hemp milk, etc any type of milk you want to use)
  2. 1 cup of spinach (or desired greens)
  3. 1 frozen banana (unpeeled)
  4. 1 cup of desired frozen fruit (I prefer berries or kiwis & strawberries)
  5. Toppings: nuts, seeds, sliced fruit, granola, coconut flakes, etc….(options are endless)

Instructions:

  1. Put milk/water, greens, and fruits in blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour evenly into a bowl
  4. Use a spoon to smooth it out
  5. Place toppings on top of smoothie mixture
  6. Grab a spoon and enjoy

Gluten Free Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/4 cup of GF flour
  2. 1 tbsp of sugar (brown or white)
  3. 1/2 tsp of GF baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp of salt
  5. 1 tbsp of vanilla extract (optional)
  6. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  7. 1 cup of almond milk (water or desired milk)
  8. 1/4 cup of olive oil
  9. 1 smashed banana (optional, add 1/4 more almond milk if too thick)
  10. Margarine (vegan) or butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon into a large bowl
  2. Add milk/water, banana, vanilla extract, olive oil
  3. Mix until evenly combined
  4. Heat skillet or griddle to medium heat
  5. Add margarine/butter and allow for it to bubble
  6. Add pancake mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes
  7. Flip pancake and allow other side to cook
  8. Remove from heat and plate
  9. Add toppings such as fruit, nuts, syrup/agave, and enjoy

Is the weather affecting your mood?

No matter where you are in the world right now I’m sure any and everyone will be able to relate to this post. When it’s warm and sunny your mood is all smiles and excitement, when it’s pouring down raining your mood is “ehhh…do I really have to go?”, when it’s cold and breezy you dread opening up the door to take that first step outside, and the list goes on. Let’s face it, the weather affects our moods which can then have a trickle affect on your life for that season. But let’s talk about when we’re entering a season that we’re not very fond of, such as winter (for all of my US, Canada, UK, etc. peeps) or rainy season (for all my Southeast Asia peeps). Having to go out in the world and handle your business, which may already be stressful on top of dealing with in-ideal weather day in and day out is bound to have a negative affect on you eventually. Study and research has proven that colder and rainier seasons are the peak of depression, anxiety, stress, etc and we know that weather is unpredictable and out of our control (let’s forget about the government conspiracies here for a moment). So what can we do to prevent the negative thoughts and raise our spirits when enduring unwanted weathers? Complain? Nah, that doesn’t change anything and is very annoying to hear. Procrastinate or reschedule? Nope! Ummm what are you waiting for? Slow feet don’t eat. Be in a bad mood and present anger to everyone you come in contact with? Uh un…Good vibes only! Being mad at the world is only punishing yourself because it’s such a beautiful place. It’s all about perspective. Just remember that weather is only temporary! So…here’s a few things we can actually do: If it’s raining, dark and gloomy, try wearing bright colors and also writing with bright pens or markers that day. Try making an upbeat motivating playlist and listen to it on your way to your destination (music has always been a mood changer for me). Or try doing a quick work out to motivate you into leaving the house. If it’s freezing and windy, bundle up and make time to enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee before you step out. Try lighting a candle with your favorite most comforting scent and take a whiff. Try throwing your coat, jacket, socks, etc in the dryer and taking it out just before it’s time to leave (this is my favorite thing to do when it’s cold lol). Or you could start planning your next vacation to somewhere warm and make a count down (planning vacations always gets me excited no matter how far away the vacation is lol). I’m sure there are many other things you can do to keep yourself motivated but I thought I’d just share a few of the methods that have helped me! If you have more methods please comment or send me an email and I’ll be more than happy to add them to this post. Until next time peeps, remember that “It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the weather and defy it” – Amelia Barr

Minty Fresh Flesh? Try this & thank me later!

With the holidays coming up I was inspired to share one of my all time favorite body cleansers with you guys! For some reason peppermint just reminds me Christmas lol, maybe it’s all the candy canes I snuck off the tree and ate as a little girl *shrugs* idk! But, if you haven’t tried peppermint soap already then you’re seriously missing out! Just imagine stepping out of a the shower or bath feeling like a walking peppermint 😏.  Honestly, it gives you a non-stop fresh feeling and experience that you will never forget. I tried it once a few years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since, between peppermint soap and eucalyptus soap (another amazing minty fresh soap) I have never felt more clean in my life. Minty soaps like these make you feel fresh, smell amazing, and also bring many benefits, such as clearing respiratory congestion, reducing the growth of bacteria and fungi (including athletes foot), sends a calming signal to brain and nervous systems helping to ease anxiety and stress (FYI: scents are a large factor into how your brain and body reacts), and much more! Both eucalyptus and peppermint are also natural anti-cancer agents and are perfect for those with sensitive skin. If you weren’t aware brands like Dove, Johnson & Johnson baby products, Aveeno, etc. “supposedly made for sensitive skin” contain many cancerous ingredients. Always beware of those products that say “organic” and natural”, don’t just believe it because you read it. It’s all apart of the advertising and marketing business, so please take some time out to actually read the ingredients on the back and google the side effects, if you care that much. Ok, getting off topic here lol back to the beauty of this post. Peppermint and eucalyptus soaps and oils can be found in many stores and also online, just google to find where they’re available in your area! (My favorite brand is Dr. Bonners and I normally order from Amazon.com) Give your body a break from those soaps that are filled with harmful and toxic chemicals and upgrade to something more reputable, natural, and benefiting.  I will also drop the instructions to a D.I.Y. version of a peppermint body wash below. Stay fresh, see ya next week!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 & 1/2 Cup Unscented Castile Soap.
  2. 2 Tbsp Vegetable Glycerin.
  3. 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil.
  4. 1 Tbsp Sweet Almond Oil.
  5. 1 Tbsp Vitamin E Oil.
  6. 10 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (Can substituted with Eucalyptus Oil or any other essential oil)
  7. 25 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil.

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix castile soap, glycerin, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, & vitamin e oil.
  2. Mix until evenly blended, if it starts to foam continue to stir.
  3. After about 3 minutes of mixing add in the essential oils.
  4. Continue to mix for an additional 3-5 minutes
  5. Use a funnel to pour soap into 8 oz bottles (should be enough to fill at least 3)
  6. Store in a dark cool place until ready to use, discard after 3 months.

Nae The Natural Hair Guru

Natural hair is being globally recognized and appreciated now more than ever. But what most people on the outside looking in don’t understand about natural hair is that it isn’t easy or cheap! We (black women) spend so much money going through product after product trying to find the right one for our hair textures, we face discrimination from employers and sometimes even men because of our hairstyle choices, we are constantly having to defend ourselves and having to explain our hairstyles to people. So let’s just say it can be a challenge to be a woman of color wearing her natural hair and remaining confident while doing so. But, thanks to beautiful proud natural women like Tanae Locke. A natural hair guru/ youtuber based in Atlanta, GA, we have access to videos and tips on styles and products at the tip of our fingers. In the words of Tanae “My goal for my YouTube channel is to inspire and help women to be more confident with their natural hair. I get so many compliments on my hair, outfits, and food so I decided to start a channel to share that with the world!” Tanae’s channel can be found on Youtube by searching “Nae So Curly” or by simply clicking this link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4yM4v3Hz7ZH-rCMRsjjKmA . I personally enjoy watching her youtube channel and if you have natural hair and enjoy seeing new styles I’m sure you will as well. She provides excellent tips and her videos are very detailed but easy to follow! Please be sure to subscribe to her channel and also like & comment on videos that you enjoy!

Introducing “Sew-N-Style” By Shaquan Nelson

Firstly, I would like to say congratulations to a former classmate of mine Mrs. Shaquan Nelson on starting her hair accessory business “Sew-N-Style”! Shaquan Nelson, age 23, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin relocated to Saint Louis, Missouri and started her passionate journey as a creative and talented entrepreneur specializing in beautifully vibrant, custom, hand-made hair wraps, scarfs, hairbands, and bandanas. In the words of  Shaquan ” I decided to start my own line of head wraps because I’ve had quite a few days where I felt like my outfit was everything, but my hair just wouldn’t act right! Every time I’d go to the store, I could never find a cute scarf, or hair accessories, so I decided to learn how to make them. People started to notice my work, I started to gain more and more customers, so now here I am! I make head wraps, headbands, etc. for women, men and kids. I have matching “mommy and me wraps” (by request). I also make bandannas for kids and puppies. My goal is to make everyone to feel like Kings and Queens when wearing my products! Consider your head wrap, scarf, or bandana to be your very own crown.” With that being said help me in supporting this upcoming small business, Sew-N-Style. Purchase a beautiful hair accessory, or two 😉 if not for yourself then they may also serve as an awesome gift to family, friends and pets this holiday season! She currently does drop-off to local customers but also ships world-wide (fees apply). Sew-N-Styles products can be viewed and purchased using the contact information below!

Contact

Instagram: @Sewnstyle1

Phone: +1-414-732-9756

Email: ShaquanNelson19@gmail.com

 

 

 

Salty, Sweet, Crunchy, Guilt-free Goodness

Ok, so last week I let you all in on a little secret of mine! Yes, I too eat junk food from time to time but the point of that post was just to relate to those who are reluctant to make the transition into plant-based eating. So yes although those snacks listed on my previous post are considered junk-food they are still in fact made without any meat or dairy products. Now this I would like to introduce two of my healthier favorite go-to snacks, sea salted maple popcorn and dark chocolate drizzled peanut butter granola bars. Both packed than enough flavors to satisfy your snack cravings, easy recipes that won’t take much time, and inexpensive ingredients! Simple, healthy, and delicious, sounds like the perfect snacks to me, don’t you agree? Um hm, I knew you would. 🙂 Below you will find the ingredients and instructions on how to prepare both of these delightful snacks!

Sea Salted Sweet Maple Popcorn

Ingredients: 2/3 cups of plain popcorn kernels, 1/3-1/2 cups of butter (use margarine or oil of choice if vegan), 3-4 tbsp of original maple syrup, pinch or 2 of sea salt

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot melt 1/3-1/2 cups of butter or margarine on medium heat
  2. Add 3-4 tbsp of maple syrup and a large pinch of sea salt (more can be added later)
  3. Use a spoon to mix everything and wait until the mixture starts to foam
  4. Once it foams add the popcorn kernels and cover pot for 4-7 minutes
  5. Shake the pot regularly so that kernels cook evenly
  6. Take lid off and allow popcorn to cool for 1-2 minutes and enjoy

Add more sea salted syrup if desired, simply recreate mixture in a pot and pour over popcorn, allow to settle and enjoy.

 

Dark Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Granola Bars (no baking required)

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of nuts (finely chopped if you can find if not combined all desired nuts and gently smash with a hammer or canned good), 1/4 seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, etc.), 1/4 cups dried fruits (optional), as many chocolate chips as you’d like (optional…dark chocolate if vegan), a pinch of salt salt, 1/2 cup of sweetener (agave, maple syrup, or honey), 2/3 cups of peanut butter or any nut butter of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Mix oats, seeds, chocolate chips, and dried fruit in a large bowl
  2. In another bowl mix together nut butter, sweetener, and salt
  3. Pour second mixture into oat mixture, and mix well until everything is sticky and combined. (if too dry, add more sweetener)
  4. Scoop and press mixture well into a shallow baking dish, lined with foil or saran wrap
  5. Drizzle with chocolate sauce or syrup
  6. Cover with more foil/saran, and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours
  7. Cut into bar shapes, wrap, and keep refrigerated till ready to eat

 

The bars will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the fridge and one week if left out. Keep covered at all times to remain freshness! I hope you enjoy these easy to make healthy but delicious snacks.

 

       Happy snacking!

Putting Your Insomnia To Bed With Passion Flower Tea

We all have those nights where we just can’t fall asleep no matter what or how hard we try. Happens to the best of us and it’s completely normal from time to time, however when it starts to become a constant thing is when you should become concerned. Insomnia is caused by stress, depression, anxiety, and so many other things as you may already know. And we aren’t doing ourselves any favors by taking our days (problems) to bed with us but for some reason we tend to make the mistake of doing just that. I know, I’ve been there and it’s never really done purposely. Certain thoughts and feelings always decide to show up in the middle of the night. I’ve suffered from insomnia for 2 years during college and didn’t even really notice it. I would say things like “I’m a night owl”, “I don’t need a lot of sleep”, “I don’t go to bed til 3/4 am” and I honestly thought that was ok and normal…or that it was just me. It took for me to actually want to go to bed early one day because I wasn’t feeling good and I just couldn’t. So even feeling as bad as I did I still was unable to fall asleep and stay sleep. That day is when I noticed that I had a problem, and didn’t have the slightest idea of how to solve it. I tried everything I could think of from sleep music to the whole “no electronics/distractions in the bedroom” thing but would still find myself up just staring and thinking. Nothing was working and the lack of sleep started to take a toll on my physical and mental states. I just wanted to sleep and stay sleep longer than 2-3 hours. I had to find a natural solution (I’m super anti-medicine) and fast. I started googling natural ways to cure insomnia and I discovered “natures sleeping potion”….seriously. Passion Flower Tea! Who would’ve thought that a flower could contain compounds that naturally lower anxiety and stress levels and also improves sleep? After doing my research I decided to give it try; and no exaggeration on the very first night of drinking the tea I’d managed to sleep a full 6 hours! It still took me about an hour or so to fall asleep but once I did I was out for the night. That next morning I woke up feeling magical. I definitely felt the difference in my body and mood. I’d finally slept for more than a few hours and felt on top of the world, all thanks to the extracts of this beautiful flower being turned into tea. If you find yourself in a similar situation I’d suggest going to a grocery store, grabbing a box of passion flower tea, along with some honey or agave if vegan, sipping a full cup before bed and let the tea do it’s thing.

Another method I’d found useful is putting a diffuser in your room and putting a few drops of passion flower oil in the water…that combined with the tea and  you will definitely get the sleep you need! You may need about 6 alarms to get you out of bed lol jk but you are guaranteed to peacefully sleep through the night!

Thank me later! Sleep tight

Having a Hard Time Getting Rid of Dark and or Red Spots?

We all know how annoying and inconvenient acne can be, from popping up at the absolute worst times to the after-scarring it tends to leave. Sure, I could easily throw some make-up over it and go on about my day but at the end of the day those marks and scars will be still be there when I remove it. I’d personally prefer a permanent solution rather than a temporary or quick fix. A lot factors play into how your skin grows and flourishes such as using the proper products for your skin type, regularly changing your bed sheets and pillow cases, diet, etc. But the one factor most people drop the ball on is taking the time to find the right product for their specific skin type. Many people go for store brand or popular products that everyone is using when they should be going the more natural route. I strongly encourage everyone to try experimenting with natural chemical free products to cleanse and protect your beautiful faces before going out spending a fortune on products that will only further damage your skin! Bringing me to my next point, ACV, also known as apple cider vinegar…the products of many benefits. Yes it stinks lol, but it can be safely used all over the body, as a blood sugar balancer, as a cleaning product, as a salad dressing, and as so many other things. So honestly you have nothing to lose by trying this method, it’s extremely cheap and even if it doesn’t work out as a toner for you (which I am 100% sure that it will, unless you’re allergic) you can always use it for something else! All you need is distilled water, acv, cotton balls, and a glass or plastic container for storage.

Instructions on using acv as a toner:

  1. Pour one part acv into container
  2. Mix two parts distilled water
  3. Shake the container to evenly mix
  4. Dip cotton ball or pad into mixture
  5. Apply to a freshly washed face and allow to dry (avoid contact with eyes and inside of nose)
  6. Moisturize your face as normal

*Always dilute acv when using it on the skin, it’s very strong and can burn*

Do this twice a day and you’ll see results in as quickly as two weeks. Store in a dark, cool place, may also be refrigerated. Discard at the end of each month and make a new batch.

Confidently get rid of spotting with a multi-use, inexpensive, natural product.

Cool Showers and Shea Butter 👀💦✨

I love a hot shower just as much as the next person but what if I told you that the constant use of hot water sucks the moisture from your body and hair? Drying out and irritating your skin, stripping away natural oils, basically causing unnecessary damage to both your skin and hair. Thankfully skin and hair sheds and regrows so it’s never too late to stop those bad habits and start over with new benefiting ones that will repair and hydrate your skin and hair like never before. It’s so easy to make the change and you’ll truly see and feel the differences going from from dry and ashy to moisturized and glowing, and going from having dry brittle hair with split ends to healthy shiny and smooth even strands. Implementing two small changes will present big results. Start by taking more cool (notice I didn’t say cold) shower than steaming hot ones. I’m not saying to stop taking hot showers all together because let’s be honest those feel amazing but I feel they should be taken in moderation (let’s say maybe 2-3 times a week versus your usual everyday routine). And immediately after your shower (while your skin and or hair is still damp) apply shea butter. Boom! Simple enough right? I know skin-care can seem tedious especially on those days when we are worn out and exhausted but we have to get better at taking care of our largest organ, our beautiful skin! Unless you don’t care about looking good (lies!!), but if you do like I do then you will stop the neglect and start adopting more beneficial habits.

If you’re in the market for a reliable and authentic home-made whipped shea, argan, or jojoba, butter source/retailer then check out my “feature/promo of the week”   https://theelevationjourney.com/category/feature-of-the-week/ tab for more information! Shipping (world-wide), deliveries, and pick-ups are now available in Bangkok, Thailand and surrounding areas.

Why is it so easy to neglect exercising the mental? *rolls eyes*

Warning: This is more of a rant…please feel free to comment your thoughts though!

Ughhh…I just don’t get it! Why did we ever stop exercising our minds? Why did we stop buying books? Why did we stop having conversations of substance? When, why and how did we become so addicted to technology? Why are we so quick to read a ShadeRoom article but won’t click on someone you know who blogs worthy information website? (shade, LOL) But seriously, last question…what’s up with this constant need to be entertained?

Ok hear me out and listen good!

Scenario: Your mom just made dinner…every makes their own plates (which is fine), but then you all take your plates and go, including mom. You go to your room to watch a newly discovered netflix series and eat, your brother takes his food and continues to play his video game while eating, your sister is recording a video of her plate to upload to snapchat and is watching videos on Instagram while eating, your baby sister has her plate in front but is too distracted by watching other kids play with toys on Youtube to eat, dad is on the living room couch eating his food and watching the game and mom is in her room watching her favorite show and chowing down as well.

So let me get this right 🧐🤔. Mom just made a dinner for her family and instead of eating together and who knows maybe having a conversation we all just decided that the internet is more important, valuable, and entertaining. Interesting…time, not even a lot of time at that, maybe 30 minutes that could be spent with your family was just wasted on something that was literally going to be there as soon as you were done eating. Does this make sense to y’all? It can literally wait, you can pause, rewind, refresh or whatever it is you have to do…I promise it isn’t going anywhere lol smh!

I’m not saying anything is wrong with the internet because it’s definitely a tool I love and find useful, but I just want to bring awareness to that fact that we as a whole use it entirely too much. And I’m not seeing the benefit or point of it, especially those who aren’t making a difference with it or using it to make money. Just saying it’s ok to go read a book, take a walk, have a conversation, go a few days without the internet…you know just live life without having to use technology or the internet to get through the day!!! Ok, I’m done for now. Thank you for tuning into my ted talk 😂✌🏾 see ya next week!

My Top 40 “Accidentally Vegan” Snacks

If you thought being vegan just meant eating fruits, vegetables, and rice then you’re in for a real surprise. LOL, I actually know a lot of unhealthy and even obese vegans. Just because someone isn’t consuming animal products doesn’t mean that they are always eating healthy. For example, speaking for myself here…I love chips, and all types of chips not just plain potato chips or tortilla chips! I love a flavorful crunch and I couldn’t imagine a world without chips, or snacks at all. Once I decided to make the transition to plant-based eating I thought my options were going to be limited to maybe 2-3 varieties of chips but after doing a littler research I was happy to find out that I was wrong. Not only can I enjoy chips, crackers, french fries, etc but I can also satisfy my sweet tooth with cookies, brownies, candy and even ice cream without cheating on my diet! Below you will find a list (my top 40) of a large variety of well known snacks that aren’t advertised as vegan but I can reassure you that they are.

  1. Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos
  2. Original Lays & Original Pringles
  3. BBQ & Salt & Vinegar Lays Potato Chips
  4. Cracker Jack Caramel Popcorn
  5. Original & BBQ Fritos
  6. Ritz Crackers
  7. Cap’n Crunch (all flavors..yay)
  8. Keebler Original Club Crackers
  9. Wheat Thins (Buffalo, Hint of Salt, Zesty Salsa, etc)
  10. Wise Onion Rings
  11. Tortilla Chips (Original & Lime)
  12. Snyders Original & Jalapeno Pretzel Sticks
  13. Smartfood Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
  14. Original Sunchips
  15. Kettle  Brand Chips (Maple Bacon…yep I promise, Jalapeno, Red Curry, etc)
  16. Stacy’s Pita Chips (Simply Naked, Italian, Veggie Medley)
  17. McCormick Bac’n Bits (I know I’m not the only one who eats these plain LOL)
  18. Hairbo Sour S’ghetti Gummy Candy
  19. Swedish Fish
  20. Sour Patch Kids
  21. Fruit by the Foot Rollups
  22. Airheads
  23. Jollyranchers
  24. Super Bubble Bubble Gum
  25. Keebler Fudge Shoppe Fudge Pops
  26. Charms Sweet Lollipops
  27. Minute Maid Frozen Juice Bars
  28. Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes
  29. Nabisco Ginger Snaps
  30. Oreo Thin Crips
  31. Unfrosted Poptarts
  32. Nature Valley Granola Bars
  33. Belvita Chocolate Bites
  34. Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix
  35. Smuckers Uncrustables
  36. Duncan Hines Whipped Chocolate & Vanilla Frosting
  37. Jello-O Banana Cream Pudding Mix (perfect for banana pudding)
  38. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (I’m not ashamed to say that I can eat the entire package for breakfast)
  39. Ben & Jerry’s Dairy-free Ice cream (if you haven’t tried these then please do, you won’t regret it!)
  40. Hershey’s Chocolate & Strawberry Syrup

That’s just a list of personal favorites, there are many other snacks and frozen foods that are “accidentally vegan”. See, told you that just because something doesn’t contain meat or dairy that is isn’t good…I bet you’ve been eating vegan snack all along and didn’t even know it lol ;). Now I’m not saying you should eat these snacks all the time but I’m just letting you know that having a vegan or plant-based diet does not mean you have any limits.

To find out about more vegan snacks and food visit http://www.peta.org , warning you will be surprised!

Introducing “MeowM30w Smooth Butters”

The lovely and extraordinary Sherese Faulkner from Stafford,VA,US is a 32 year old entrepreneur who is currently living and working in Bangkok, Thailand. She just recently started her business “MeowM30w Smooth Butters” and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce her new cosmetic skin care line! In the words of Sherese herself  “I started my business due to the huge void of whipped butters (body/hair) i.e: shea, argan, jojoba, etc. not being available here in Thailand. I sometimes have eczema flare-ups and have always made my own whipped butters/oils. So, I thought hey why not make my butters available and affordable for everyone over here.” And boom there you have it! Natural, now easily accessible products made with integrity and background knowledge are now available in Thailand for pick-up or delivery (she also ships world-wide so don’t miss out on a chance to support a dope individual just because she isn’t down the street). She took her own personal skin issues, created a solution and started her business, a hair and body cosmetic line called “MeowM30w Sm00th Butters”! I personally have had the honors of purchasing and testing out her products for myself about 2 weeks ago and let’s just say I’m almost due for a refill. I absolutely love her whipped shea butter and I literally use it from head to toe every single day! Can’t wait to test out more products. Congrats and I can’t wait to see you and your business grow! Everyone please place your orders at meowm30wbutters@gmail.com . ~meow~ 🐱