As I always say natural is the best way to go when attempting to get improved results from troublesome skin. And I encourage you to exhaust every natural option there is before going over to the dark side (toxic chemical filled products), whether it gets prescribed to you from a doctor or it’s something from the cosmetic aisle at Walmart. Give nature an opportunity to heal you before you go out spending unnecessary money on products that may not even work and have horrible side effects. Peroxide is one of the oldest methods in the books for treating acne yet it’s not really what comes to mind when you think of skin-care. When one thinks of peroxide they think of healing a wound or an infection but if you think about it that’s what pimples/bumps/acne are. Or at least one waiting to happen, infections are caused by bacteria & viruses and acne just so happens to be a build-up of bad bacteria trapped underneath your skin. So just as you would use peroxide for a cut on your leg to avoid infection you should do that same for the blemishes on your face. By just simply wiping your face with a hydrogen peroxide soaked cotton ball twice a day, morning and night you will start to notice the reduced number of new breakouts and less visibility of oil on your face. Be sure to only get the peroxide that is 3% hydrogen, anything higher will burn your skin. You should also be cautious that peroxide can have a drying effect after a while so be sure to use a gentle moisturizer on your face following the peroxide. For best result only apply peroxide to a freshly washed face, and don’t apply more than twice a day. Hydrogen peroxide can be used safely all over the body so if you’re having acne issues elsewhere it’s ok to apply it there. Peroxide can be used for many other things such mouth wash, to lighten the color of hair, soothing sore a throat, curing ear infections, curing vaginal infections, removing stains, cleaning fruits & vegetables, growing plants, and so much more. Nature is here to help us in many ways so let’s take advantage of that! Take care of your skin the natural way and let the results speak for themselves.
The legume family, also known as bean, pea & lentil family are an affordable source of protein, fiber, and vitamins that also happens to offers many health benefits. Such as being natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, stabilizing blood glucose levels, reducing digestive issues, lowering cholesterol, and providing zinc, iron, magnesium, and fiber. And on top of all the many benefits, they’re so versatile and delicious! Oh, the tasty things you can do with beans/peas/lentils. The endless possibilities, limitless flavor combinations, and the guarantee of a filling satisfactory ending. 100% natural, gluten-free, (unless you’re eating canned beans…another topic for another day) yet savory, scrumptious, and nutritious. From old fashioned red beans & rice to garlic n’ herb string beans to spicy black bean burgers to curried lentils to mediterranean style roasted chickpea salads, to teriyaki glazed sugar snap peas, the bean, lentil, & pea family can be used as a protein replacement in almost any meal you can think of. I just made you hungry huh? Well no worries, I won’t leave you hanging. Allow me to share with you a few recipes that you will want to make, then fall in love with & end up wanting to share with the world!
Click the link below to full recipes and instructions:
- Old fashioned red beans & rice
- Garlic & herb string beans
- Spicy black beans burgers
- Curried lentils
- Mediterranean roasted chickpea salad
- Teriyaki glazed snap peas
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.
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.
And on his farm he had a…..plentiful vegetation, a market, free yoga sessions, bonfires, movie nights, workshops, community events, & etc! Urban Sprout Farms and its’ founders (Nuri Icogren and his beautiful wife Safia) are nothing less than phenomenal. Urban Sprout Farms was founded in 2012 when Nuri really took nothing and made it something. Prior to this amazing farm that we witness today, the location was actually an abandoned motel and parking lot. He had a vision, put in the work and turned it into reality. I can honestly say that Urban Sprout Farms is a gem and it’s greatly appreciated by the community of Atlanta and its’ surrounding cities. Urban Sprout is a 5 acre certified organic farm, nursery, and market that also serves as an event space. It’s located in the neighbor of Polar Rock (Lakewood Heights) near downtown Atlanta, just a few miles south. The farm/market sells flowers, seeds, soil, and plants (edible and non-edible), on top of growing about 8,600 pounds of produce a year! Wow, it’s just so amazing thinking about the progress the farm has made since I first came across it. I’ve known about Urban Sprout for about 3 years now and my first encounter blew my mind, no exaggeration. I took a tour of the farm, (it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of the plants and the random artwork and posters), made a few purchases and had an educating conversation with Nuri before leaving. The farm was still in its’ beginning stages but still pretty impressive. And to top it off Nuri is super down to earth, kind, and knowledgable. Since then I’ve been back countless times and even have introduced several of my friends to this extraordinary place. Urban Sprout Farms is always hosting events (the yoga classes and bonfires are my personal favorites) and looking for volunteers to help keep up the farm & nursery. So if you’re interested in shopping/visiting, volunteering, hosting an event or donating feel free to check them out using the information below.
Urban Sprout Farms
Address: 2200 Reynolds Dr. SW, Atlanta GA 30315
Hours: Saturday 9AM-1PM (shopping)
Facebook, IG & Twitter: @urbansproutfarms
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:
- Boil a pot of water ( 1-2 cups)
- 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.)
- Pour boiling water into a glass or ceramic bowl (plastic bowls will leave molecules from the plastic)
- 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)
- Grab a towel and a chair
- Place face over the bowl, close your eyes and place towel over your head
- Enjoy the steam for 10-15 minutes
- After 10-15 gently pat face dry
- Tone face (cotton ball and toner of your choice)
- Rub face an ice cube all over face for 2 minutes (closes pores back up)
- Gently pat face dry
- Gently massage face with a moisturizer of choice
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!
- Essential Oil(s)
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 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
- Pour witch hazel into an 8oz spray bottle (glass preferred)
- Add 6 drops of 3-4 essential oils (one by one)
- Swirl bottle around to mix the witch hazel and oils together
- Pour the distilled water into a bottle
- Twist on the cap, shake well
- Allow to settle for 5 minutes and store in a cool dry place until ready to use
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?
Ms. Ifini or any other lovely employee at the customer service desk
Address: 467 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA (8:00AM-10:00PM Daily)
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!
- 1 & 1/2 Cup Unscented Castile Soap.
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Glycerin.
- 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil.
- 1 Tbsp Sweet Almond Oil.
- 1 Tbsp Vitamin E Oil.
- 10 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (Can substituted with Eucalyptus Oil or any other essential oil)
- 25 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil.
- In a large bowl mix castile soap, glycerin, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, & vitamin e oil.
- Mix until evenly blended, if it starts to foam continue to stir.
- After about 3 minutes of mixing add in the essential oils.
- Continue to mix for an additional 3-5 minutes
- Use a funnel to pour soap into 8 oz bottles (should be enough to fill at least 3)
- Store in a dark cool place until ready to use, discard after 3 months.
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:
- Pour one part acv into container
- Mix two parts distilled water
- Shake the container to evenly mix
- Dip cotton ball or pad into mixture
- Apply to a freshly washed face and allow to dry (avoid contact with eyes and inside of nose)
- 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.
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 email@example.com . ~meow~ 🐱