Your Weekly Dose of Mental Hygiene W/ The Friend Zone Podcast!

The Friend Zone Podcast hosted by the three beautiful souls known as Hey Fran Hey, Assante, & Dustin Ross was created back in 2015 and their progress, to say the least, is inspiring! They are the most hilarious, talented, educated, and down to earth group of internet friends that you never knew you needed! When I listen to their podcast I often find myself talking back to them, as if they can really hear me LOL. They really have you engaged, from the various topics to random sidebars, I just really love tuning in to The Friend Zone Podcast. So much so that I have incorporated TFZ into my weekly list of “feel good” activities. Every week, on Wednesdays a new show is released, they start off with a recap from the last show then they touch on several topics during 5 specific segments, ” The Wellness Segment” presented by Fran, “Mr. Music Man Segment” by Assante’, “TV Land” by actor Dustin Ross, “Black Business of the Week Segment”, and lastly the “Asking For a Friend Segment”.

During Frans “Wellness Segment” she gives the listeners tips on how to relieve stress, how to and reasons to eat clean, growing and becoming comfortable with yourself, skin-care, and so much more but to sum it up overall lifestyle wellness tips. The “Mr. Music Man” segment hosted is by Assante’ as he puts us on to the some of the best upcoming artists, he seriously has put me on to so many singers & rappers that has changed my life (Ari Lennox, Sango, Tobe Nwigwe, & Doja Cat just to name a few)! His taste in music is definitely on point, and he’s even kind enough to make monthly playlists for the listeners on Spotify and Apple. The “TV Land” segment by actor and comedian, Mr. Dustin Ross will have you rolling! During his segment, he gives his honest reviews on the latest tv shows, movies, and series. He has also put me on to many shows and series that I more than likely wouldn’t have given a chance such as Married to Medicine, Handmade Tales, Star, and many more. And after the three main segments, they end the show by shouting out a black business and then answering a few questions from the listeners via email. Whether the business is local or across the world, I command them because they are doing an amazing thing by giving people a chance to promote their business for free on their platform. And last but not least the “Asking For a Friend Segment” where our questions are answered, with some great advice from all three hosts. So there you have it your weekly dose of everything mental health, mental wellness, and mental hygiene because who in the hell wants a musty brain? Be sure to tune in this week and every week going forward! You can listen on Soundcloud, Spotify, or Apple Music by searching The Friend Zone Podcast.

Contact:

Twitter: @FriendZonePod

Facebook: @TheFriendZonePodcast

Website: http://loudspeakersnetwork.com/shows/the-friend-zone/#.XDovPc8zaT8

Email: TheFriendZone@loudspeakersnetwork.com

Why You Should Be Eating More Colorful Foods

Every day we should be “tasting the rainbow” and no not from a bag of skittles. The color of each fruit and vegetable has a direct connection to the many benefits and nutrients packed inside of them. The most colorful foods are known to strengthen your immune system, stabilize PH balances, reduce digestive problems and for being the most detoxifying. Our bodies benefit from variety and utilize everything consumed so be good to your body and eat all of your colors. Be sure that you’re eating foods based on them being in seasons (when they are the brightest and ripest) to guarantee that you’re getting the maximum nutritional value and of course the best flavor! Below I’ve listed my favorite fruits and vegetables of each color group along with a few benefits. Brighten your plate and your health will brighten as well 🙂

Blues/Purples: Blackberries, blueberries, plums, grapes, red cabbage, eggplant, beets, etc.

The fruit and vegetables of the darker tint are known to be filled with the most antioxidants (super-foods). They’re good for reducing inflammation, strengthening cells, and promoting the brain and heart functions.

Oranges/Yellows: Papaya, oranges, mango, apricot, carrots, squash, pumpkin, yams, etc.

These fruit and vegetables are essential to the health of your retina and other parts of the eyes (linked to improving vision). They also help improve joint and bone health (arthritis, carpal tunnel, cracking knees, etc) and supports the immune system (packed with vitamin C).

Whites: bananas, pear & apple flesh, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, onions, mushroom, etc.

Although these fruit and vegetables don’t necessarily have a color they are just as important. They are known for reducing cholesterol and inflammation throughout the body, and most importantly for containing natural cancer-fighting agents (specifically garlic and onion).

Greens: Kiwi, honeydew, lime, broccoli, leafy greens (spinach/kale/lettuce), zucchini, etc.

The fruits and vegetables of the greenish tint are full of chlorophyll, which helps to create more blood cells and detox your blood, eliminate funguses and bad odors, energize your body,  and so much more. Green is the color of life and should be a major part of your diet, being that it’s the MOST beneficial of the color groups.

Reds: Strawberries, watermelon, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, red peppers, etc.

Red fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamin A and C. They’re full of folic acid which is a good intake for reducing birth defects and complications. Reds are a good source of fiber and potassium, helping with the digestive system and creating more electrolytes improving mood and energy levels.

The Benefits of Facial Steaming

Let’s face it (pun intended LOL)! No one likes acne, dry skin, redness, or facial scarring. And I believe I can speak for most when I say that acne tends to show up at the absolute worse times or shows up more once you make more effort to improve it. Skin-care is a tricky thing and as I stated before different things work for different people. So first things first step away from the toxic chemical filled products and tap into mother nature. Natural is the best route to take when it comes to getting results and minimizing acne. Dirt and build-up is the number one cause of acne so make it your mission to clean your skin at least twice a day without over drying it in the process. Dry skin and dead skin are also top reasons for acne breakouts. What better way to find out what works for you than by starting off with a simple 100% natural method, such as facial steaming. Facial steaming is a relaxing yet very beneficial method that helps to reduce acne, increase circulation, and dilate blood vessels. Facial steaming opens your pores, making it easy to remove the build-up of dirt, softens blackhead, making them easy to remove, and it’s very hydrating and soothing to your skin. But although it has many benefits facial steaming isn’t something that should be done too often, I’d say once per week max. If it’s done too often it may dry out your skin which will then defeat the purpose. (Don’t wash your face in the shower, especially if you shower with hot water, it’s the worst thing you could do to your skin.) To ensure clean, clear skin without drying calls for a weekly routine. Every Sunday end your night by washing your face, steaming for 10-15 mins, toning face afterward, rubbing face with an ice cube for 2 minutes, and ending with a gentle facial massage with a small amount of moisturizer (shea butter, an oil, Cetaphil, etc). Facial steaming is a natural and fast acting method of reducing acne. I personally saw results within the first couple of steams. Try it for yourself and see!

Facial Steam Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of water ( 1-2 cups)
  2. While the water is boiling, wash your face with a mild/gentle soap, and pat face dry (Only steam with a fresh clean face, remove all makeup, oils, sweat, dirt, etc.)
  3. Pour boiling water into a glass or ceramic bowl (plastic bowls will leave molecules from the plastic)
  4. Put a herbal tea bag or a few drops of essential oil into the water (optional but if you decide to mint and chai are my go to’s)
  5. Grab a towel and a chair
  6. Place face over the bowl, close your eyes and place towel over your head
  7. Enjoy the steam for 10-15 minutes
  8. After 10-15 gently pat face dry
  9. Tone face (cotton ball and toner of your choice)
  10. Rub face an ice cube all over face for 2 minutes (closes pores back up)
  11. Gently pat face dry
  12. Gently massage face with a moisturizer of choice

These Feet Were Made For…

Have you ever stopped to think about how important your feet are? Where have your feet taken you so far? Where will they take you next? And most importantly are you taking proper care of them? I mean after all, without them life can become pretty challenging! And no I’m not talking about that pedicure you get once a month (if that, I know people who don’t get them at all…no comment). Do you properly moisturize them? When traveling do you wear proper shoes and or socks? These are all things that you should really think about because if you don’t know already your feet are your foundation. They do more than walk, run, jump, and skip. They are connected to every part of your body, from your liver and kidneys to your ears and eyes. Over 7,000 nerves from major organs and functions of the body end in your feet. Those nerves are known as reflexes and they are more important than you’ll ever know. Your feet literally have feelings (those nerves we just talked about), so please don’t neglect them! Stop leaving them all dry and crusty after your shower, take some time to moisturize (look below for a very beneficial D.I.Y. foot mask). Stop trying to be cute, and be comfortable. Don’t wear tight shoes and socks, your feet need to breathe, they need wiggle room. Be sure to stretch your feet out and also massage them, avoid foot cramps and don’t ever “crack” your toes! Take into consideration how important your feet are and start treating them how they deserve. You wouldn’t be the same without so treat them as if your life depends on them….because it sorta does. If you can’t afford to go get a pedicure it’s not that hard to do your own (I’ll leave instructions on how to perform one below). Don’t make excuses, you need your feet so take care of them, please!

Your feet were made for more than just walking, take care of them and they will take care of you.

How to do your own pedicure:

1. Soak your feet in warm water for about 5-10 minutes (feel free to add Epsom salt to the water to relax your feet a bit)

2. Remove any polish  (if this applies to you)

3. Scrub feet with a soft foot brush, apply soap or sugar scrub to wet feet and then scrub each foot thoroughly  and then rinse or dip back in the water

4. Apply more soap for sugar scrub directly to feet and use a pumice stone and scrub the dead skin cells on the bottom and back of your feet

5. Rinse or dip feet back in the water and then dry them

6. Clip your toenails evenly and file them (optional)

7. Apply oil to your cuticles and massage in

8. Press your cuticles back using a cuticle tool (don’t be too rough)

9. Trim your cuticles (excess skin)

10. Apply a foot cream or oil and massage/ moisturize both feet thoroughly (about 5-10 mins)

Oatmeal and Brown Sugar D.I.Y. Foot Mask:

1. In a blender or food processor mix 1/4 cups of rolled oats, 1/4 of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tbsp of fresh lemon or lime juice, and one tbsp of olive oil

2. Once fully mixed scoop mixture evenly into two separate plastic bags (ziplock, grocery bags, etc doesn’t matter)

3. Place one foot in each bag and sit for 10-15 mins.

4. Rinse feet in warm water

5. Gently dry feet then moisturize and  with olive oil

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

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.)

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.