Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This post is the third installment in the Ultimate Circulation and Exfoliation routine series.  So far we've discussed  the importance of promoting high circulation in our bodies.  Then we focused on how to create a full body glow through daily exfoliation. 

Now let's move on to an area that's fairly new to me.  Last year, when I got serious about my skin care, one of the affirmations I would say over and over again is "I have clear, glowing skin."   At the time, my skin was the opposite of the words I would recite on a daily basis.  I didn't even know how to create clear glowing skin.  But then things changed.  A series of random events led me to Lady Dee and things haven't quite been the same sense.  I believe that my journey wouldn't have taken me where I am today if it weren't for my belief in the skin I felt I was capable of experiencing.  My consistent thoughts and focus on what I desired have undoubtedly taken me closer to the outcome I envisioned. 

Prior to recently, I rarely exfoliated my face.  In the past I used St. Ives, Aveeno and other drug store exfoliators a couple of days a week (when I remembered).  I can't say that the results were mind blowing.  I didn't get into the habit of consistent exfoliation until after my first skin peel.  The change in my skin was drastic and  I wanted to do anything I could to maintain those results.  At first, I feared the idea of exfoliating my skin daily.  It just seemed excessive and maybe even dangerous. 

A couple of factors impacted my change in mindset.

1. First, Lady Dee shared that many of her celebrity clients received skin peels on a very regular basis.
2. I read an online article where Chilli (from TLC) shared that she enjoyed chemical peels monthly.

At this moment, I don't intend on doing chemical peels on a regular basis.  So I decided to do what I can daily to keep my skin feeling smooth and to eliminate my acne scarring. 

Allow me share a little about what I'm using currently for my facial circulation and exfoliation routine. 

1.  Fresh Face Polish (manual exfoliation).  You have seen this product mentioned in several posts.  Ladies, I love this stuff with all of my heart.   I  adore the fact that it's gentle enough to be used daily and powerful enough to give my skin a slight glow with every use.  The cost is a little steep but, believe me when I say that you get what you pay for.  The quality is amazing and you get enough product to last a very long time.   I've experimented with using this daily and going without.  When I chose the later option, I can see an obvious difference in my skin.  

2. The Clarisonic (manual exfoliation & circulation).  What's great about this tool is that it provides three distinct benefits.  Circulation, (mild) exfoliation, and toning.  The Clarisonic is one of those things that may not make an immediate shift in your skin right way, but used consistently, you are promoting long term benefits from the stimulation of the circulating brush head.  It took me a long time to fork over $200.00 for a facial brush.  Prior to giving in, I bought a knock off for $40.00 which didn't perform as well and broke several months after use.  Eventually I came to my senses and never looked back.  This product is an investment that you will never regret. 

3.  Mandelic Acid (mild chemical exfoliation): In my skin care routine video I shared that I wanted to begin implementing mild chemical exfoliation into my regimen.  I wanted something mild enough to be used several times a week, if need be.  My search lead me to a mandelic acid peel.  Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds and is said to be mild enough to be used on darker skin tones.  I felt like this would be a great place to start.  The peel barely stings.  It's super gentle yet I can tell that something is happening.  This is one of those products which will make a different if used consistently over time. 

4. Glycolic Acid (chemical exfoliation): A while ago, I purchased a glycolic acid solution at a facial spa.  I used it a couple of times then stopped.  Now that I'm serious about flawless skin, I'll utilize this serum over my cheeks for a deeper level of exfoliation.  This one stings when I use it.  I feel like it's kinda harsh which is why I use it less frequently then my mandelic acid.  I like the option of having something stronger to use for deeper penetration.  A couple of days ago, I purchased a glycolic acid & hyaluronic acid serum meant to be used on a daily basis.  Can't wait to try it. 

5.  Face Brushing  (manual exfoliation & circulation):  The fifth tool showed in the picture above is probably my favorite. I've recently added facial brushing to my routine. What is facial brushing?  It's that thing where you use a small wooden (nail) brush on your face.  Kinda like dry skin brushing our bodies but instead we're doing it to our face.  Why would one do that?  Because it's probably one of the most effective methods of creating circulation and stimulation all at once.  Don't get me wrong, facial brushing is a little weird at first.  But I absolutely love the way my face looks afterwards.  Plus, one of my favorite aspects of this method is how it promotes facial toning.  As we get older (in our 30s and beyond).  Our bodies start to succumb to the effects of gravity.  If people work out, they can avoid some of that impact to their bodies.  But usually, our face is left to fend for itself.  When I use my facial brush, my skin feels firmer, more toned.  Some say that this method also helps to promote the production of collagen as well. 

I should also mention that I have some retin A that I use from time to time. Retin A promotes chemical exfoliation by causing our skin cells to quickly regenerate.  Honestly, I haven't been consistent with it because I get turned off by the peeling.  Slight peeling can occur as our skin regenerates itself at a rapid rate.  I know I should be more diligent with my Retin A usage but I have this weird thing with peeling ever since I got over my facial dermatitis.  But I'm committed to try again since I know the peeling is temporary and the benefits are long term. 

The other day at work, I ran into a co-worker who has been out on a 90 day leave of absence.  As we reconnected, I became distracted by how healthy and "glowy" her skin was.  Her face had the look of a young child.  After talking business for a little bit, we got on to the topic of her skin.  She shared with me that she'd taken on a new regimen where she stopped using soap.  Instead she exfoliated daily with a scrub.   The skin looked phenomenal.   Heck, I even received a compliment on my skin after meeting a friend for lunch to catch up.  My skin has the tendency to look congested and textured (rough).  But now that I have implemented exfoliation into the equation, I have fairly smooth skin (which is pretty remarkable). 

If you are thinking of incorporating some exfoliation/circulation techniques for your face.  My advice would be to start slow.  For me, it began with the Fresh face polish which I used 2-3 times a week.  When I realized that my skin could take on more, I experimented with using it consistently.  From there I continued my experiment and paid close attention to how my skin responded.  The true testament to how well this is working for me came when I stopped doing my regimen for a couple of weeks.  I didn't use my fresh clay mask or any form of exfoliation. I just washed my face with soap.  The first week was ok but by week 2 my face was showing obvious signs of neglect.  I immediately went into action to bring back my healthy skin and the changes were almost immediate.

Not mentioned in this post is the PMD (personal microdermabrasion kit) which I haven't used regularly enough to comment.  I do see the benefits of this tool but I find that I work better with something if I have to do it more frequently (like daily) otherwise I skip days, weeks and my inconsistency gets the best of me.  Also not mentioned in this post is facial massage and exercise which I may talk more about in an upcoming post. I hope this helps.  You know your skin better than anyone so try and use what works for you.  For me exfoliation is the way to go, not just on my body but all over. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

One of the most powerful benefits I received from completing the recent 7 day challenge was the ability to overcome resistance.  I couldn't allow any excuse to stop my  workouts and now I have even greater motivation to keep going.  I'm still working on a mind shift on how I view fitness. I still see it as a means to an end. A way to sculpt and tone my body.  Last night I had a semi break through and realized that just like the other new habits I've cultivated over the years, like drinking water, or giving up pork, fitness must be a consistent part of my life.

The good news is that the benefits are so freakin' amazing.  All the hard work is so worth it.  I am genuinely surprised and excited to hear from some of you that have begun to work out as a result of these fitness inspiration posts.  I don't know what to all inspire so much.  So let's keep this baby going.  Here's this week's round of fitness motivation brought to you by some of our favorite fit ladies of Instagram.

I went to the beach yesterday with hubby. We did more people watching than anything.  One observation I made was that few people that had bodies that were intentionally fit and toned.  I'm not saying that everyone was fat. That wasn't the case, but their bodies weren't notable (from my perspective). Mainly because, although slim, many lacked visible muscle tone.  I'm not referring to "body builder" muscles.  I'm referring to that level of muscle that speaks to the fact that one has been intentional with their fitness.  

I'm thinking about trying one of those sweat (waist) trimmers when I work out. Technically, I don't think they help one lose fat in the waist area but they do help us to be mindful of our core.  I wore one consistently a few years back and I do vaguely remember that it did have a positive impact in my waist area.

Miss Antanique, bringing us hair and fitness inspo at the same darn time.....

Who else is on their own fitness journey?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I'm finally getting used to my high powered blender. At first I wasn't at all fond of my first couple of smoothies attempts.  To be honest with you, I preferred the taste of freshly extracted juice. In fact, I almost made the decision to return my Blendtec. But instead of taking it back, I decided to use it in a way that maximizes it's most obvious strengths.

With juicing, I'm pretty much limited to the fresh fruits & veggies as my ingredient options.   When I make a smoothie, I can also include all sorts of little extras that help support my hair and health journey.  For example, this healthy hair smoothie contains fresh/frozen ingredients such as:
  • Organic carrots~rich with vitamin A
  • Organic Kale~loaded with iron
  • Fresh Organic Spinach~has protein, vitamin A & vitamin C
  • Frozen berries~filled with antioxidents

Then I went on to include amazing "boosters" that take my smoothie to the next level.  There are no rules when it comes to making healthy smoothies so I decided to blend a concoction of "extras" like:

  • Silica gel~Great for hair skin & nails
  • Omega 3 flax seed oil
  • Kelp powder~rich in minerals
  • Black strap molasses~filled with B vitamins 
I use protein milk as the base for all the ingredients to blend together.

Honestly, I had a little apprehension before taking a sip because I wasn't sure how that kelp powder & molasses would affect the taste of my breakfast drink.  Thankfully, my concerns were short lived because the drink was absolutely delicious.

The most glorious part in all of this was that cleanup time was pretty much non-existent.  This means that even when I'm feeling lazy in the mornings, I can still whip up an ultra-nutritious smoothie with zero hassle.  I hope to share other hair-healthy creations  with you in the future.  Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up juicing for good but it's nice to know that I don't have to compromise if I don't have the time (or interest) in going through the juicing process.

  I'll let you in on a little secret.  Lately, I haven't been taking any hair vitamins and I almost started feeling a little guilty about it.  Then I realized that these amazingly nutritious "loaded smoothies" can help support the my hair journey even when I'm not diligent with my vitamin intake.  Makes me sleep better at night just thinking about it.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

In our quest to create the ultimate circulation/exfoliation routine we first learned the importance of promoting adequate blood flow to feed and nourish the skin.  Once we have this in process, we now turn our attention to physical exfoliation of our bodies with the intention of creating soft, smooth, even toned, glowing skin all over.

With exfoliating our bodies, I personally believe that a daily practice will reap the highest benefits.  I came to this understanding after I began to practice this myself.  Years ago, I had this terrible issue with random occasional breakouts on my chest and back.  Those left long lasting scars that made it awkward to wear tank tops and such.  Regular exfoliation, I believe, is the greatest weapon I used to diminish the scars.

When I first began exfoliating in the shower, was amazed at the benefits.  There's no comparison between washing normally with just soap when I use a coarse towel.  Last summer was when I got really serious about create a smooth, even toned body.   Using either a commercial scrub or sea salt, I would exfoliate my body, rinse, then exfoliate again, rinse again then do it one additional one session.  After doing this for a few times I decided to try another technique.  This time I would apply my exfoliant then scrub that area vigorously while counting my strokes until I reached a pre-determined number.  I do this more intensely in my thigh area to promote blood flow and muscle tone.  The results were pretty substantial.  Now that the weather is warming up, I'm ready to get back into the swing of things.

Here are the tools I'll be utilizing to create that all over glow.

Body brush||
Up until recently, I only exfoliated in the shower using a scrub or exfoliating cloth.  But now that my focus has become both circulation and exfoliation, I've been putting my body brush to use.  Using the brush helps promote blood flow, detoxification and helps keep my skin toned and firm.  Since I'm not privy to daily massages, brushing my skin feels like the next best thing.
Japanese Salux Cloth||
I just started using these cloths recently and I'm head over heels in love.  The coarseness of the texture takes a little getting used to but, believe me, this simple cloth is worth it's weight in gold. The size of the cloth allows me to easily scrub the hard to reach areas (like my back).  I recommend all of you get your hands on these cloths and experience the difference. 
Salt Scrub||
When I first began a regular routine of exfoliating my body, I began with coarse sea salt. This is probably the most abrasive method I've used but it worked for me because, honestly, I neglected to care for the skin on my body for so long.  Sea salt is inexpensive and does it's job.  Some say that salt also has therapeutic properties as well. If you're looking for an exfoliator for your feet, I recommend sea salt as a starting point.

Tree Hut Sugar Scrub||
After being consistent with my salt scrubs, I decided to transition to a sugar scrub to maintain the glow.  I've tried a few brands and I have to say the Tree Hut is by far my favorite brand.  The ingredients are pretty decent.  It has just the right amount of sugar-to-oil ratio.  In the past, I've found some products that had to much oil or the sugar dissolved too quickly.  For me this brand is just perfect.  Love, love, love it!

Foot Scrub||
I'll never forget it. I visited a nail salon for a pedicure. When the guy felt the bottom of my feet, and decided that he didn't need to use the skin shaving tool on my heals, I was elated.  Both women on either side of me had their feet shaved.  It was my first professional pedicure in at least 8 months.  That's when I took time and reflected back to my daily practice of scrubbing my feet in the shower.  A year prior I found a local nail supply store and bought a bunch buffing pads.  I placed on in my shower, committed to using it daily, and the rest is history. 

If you are ready to kick off your exfoliation routine, remember that our skin requires daily exfoliation.  We're constantly producing new skin cells.  Throughout the day, sweat, dirt and toxins are pushed the skin's surface.  If we're not intentional in removing this waste, it builds up creating dull, lackluster skin.  The physical act of scrubbing that area allows blood to flow to that area and if you remember from our last post, increased blood flow a key to vibrant health.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Seven days ago today I embarked on mini journey that I will call the 7 day challenge.  Some of you might be familiar with 30 day challenges where one commits to doing (or going without) something for a full 30 days.  I've yet to complete a successful 30 day challenge so I did the next best thing.

For the past 7 days, I made the commitment to conduct some form of exercise on a daily basis.  After sharing my last fitness inspiration post, I thought I'd try to live the life of someone who works out every day.  See what it feels like and, best of all, receive some of the benefits.  If the challenge was completed successfully, perhaps I could find a way to make that action a permanent part of my life or, at the very least, I could continue on to a second 7 day challenge.

I chose daily exercise as my first experiment because it seems like I could always find an excuse not to work out.  "I don't have time." "The gym is too far." "I worked out yesterday."  "I'll do it tomorrow."  "It's kinda late."  All of those excuses took on a life of their own and soon my body and health began to show signs of my decisions.  This week was the week of zero excuses. Nothing could get in the way of me achieving my goal of 7 days of consistent exercise.  Heck, I even worked out twice in one day.  Twice in a day!!!

I didn't loose a ton of weight in 7 says, and although I do see some signs of my hard work, my body didn't transform in a week's time.  But what I got was even better than all of that.  I now can confidently operate with no excuses when it comes to my workout habits (or any other habit for that matter).  If ever I feel like it's too late to work out, I'll think about Wednesday night when I walked in the door at 9:30 pm after a 12 hour day, immediately changed into my workout clothes and completed a 30 minute workout at home.  No longer will I look at someone who has the discipline to consistently work out and think "how does she do that?"  I have been given a glimpse of that lifestyle and can choose to continue cultivating the habit if I chose.

I'm loving this seven day challenge thing.  Now that I completed one round, I'm ready to keep it going.  Next on my list is a 7 day scalp massage and a meditation challenge. My mind is brewing up countless seven day challenge experiments. I encourage challenge you to try this for yourselves.  If I would have "failed" at my attempt to work out 7 days, chances are, I'd still work out more often last week than I would have normally so, technically, there's no downside to this experiment.

Have you every tried a 7 day or 30 day challenge?  Who's ready to get started?

Monday, May 13, 2013

We're about to kick off part two in a series of posts on creating an exfoliation/circulation routine.  Over the next 2 or 3 posts, I'll offer up a myriad of ideas on what we can do to create soft, smooth, glowy skin all over.  I believe that improving your circulation should go hand in hand with exfoliation.  Both work together to create beautiful, perfect skin while promoting improved health.

Before we get started, I want you to create a picture of a child in your mind.  That child's skin is ultra soft and perfectly smooth.  This could be attributed to the fact that, as children, their cell turnover rate can be up to 10X higher than in adults.  And, as we continue to age, the blood flow to the skin can decline as much as 40% between the ages of 20-70.  I've paid close attention to the difference in skin tone and appearance between children/teens and adults.  From my perspective, adult skin can look lackluster and dull if not taken care of properly.  Let's assume that the main cause of this "unhealthy" looking skin is related to reduced blood flow and lower turnover.  If this is true,  we must take an active role in helping to create greater circulation in our bodies and remove older skin cells as they die and clog up our skin's surface.

Promoting Proper Circulation //

We'll start this discussion by creating a focus on increased circulation.  Proper blood circulation is the epitome of great health.  Those who suffer from poor circulation can be plagued with a myriad health conditions.  Our circulation begins to slow down on it's own as we begin to age to it's up to us to remain consistent with taking actions that promote greater blood flow.

One of the most effective ways to get our blood pumping is through exercise.  On those days when I can't make it to the gym, even a few minutes of jump rope, or jumping jacks and I can literally feel the increased blood flow all over. It's pretty amazing.  Those of us who go weeks and months without engaging in some sort of exercise activity, will eventually fall victim to declining circulation levels as each day passes.  Even if you don't work out for the intention of creating a perfect body, do it so your body can receive the benefits of increased oxygen in the blood and brain.  I love to think of it as the difference between the retention pond and the river. In the retention pond, there is no flow, no activity. It is stagnant.  The river, on the other hand, is alive!  There is a constant, healthy flow that brings with it so much life.  We want our bodies to be like the river.  Be the river, my friends.

The most wonderful side effect of physical exercise is the act of sweating.  I admit, that sometimes my workouts aren't intense enough to create a great deal of sweating so I always seek the help of the sauna.  Ladies, I kid you not, my skin never (ever) looks as good as it does immediately after a good sweat.  That's because blood rushes to the skin's surface, causing us to sweat in an attempt to cool us down.  That kind of blood flow creates that flushed look that makes us look healthy and vibrant.  Speaking of sweating, I found this interesting article that seems to suggest that sweating levels may decline if our bodies are dehydrated.

Which brings me to our next tip on how to promote circulation.  DRINKING WATER.   Water drinking is no stranger around these parts.  In fact many of you have joined the water challenge and committed to increasing your water intake as much as possible.  I will never forget Gabrielle Union's words when she talked about her water drinking. She said that her hair and nails just seemed to "grow and grow" when she began drinking a gallon of water a day.  Could this have anything to do with the fact that our blood plasma is 93% water?  If  we are dehydrated, our blood flow is impacted.  Think of your blood like an 18-wheeler, delivering nutrients and oxygen to different parts of our bodies. Think of water as the fuel that allows the truck to get where it needs to go.  Your truck needs fuel otherwise it'll have to skip a few stops.  What good is it to take our hair vitamins if we aren't drinking enough water to deliver it to your hair and nails?  Next time you're sitting in class or in a boring meeting, try this out.  Take out your water bottle and drink down at least 8 ounces.  You'll notice in immediate shift in your alertness and energy.  This is because blood is suddenly rushing to your brain and other parts of your body.

Those are just a couple ways to increase circulation. There are many more including receiving massages, deep breathing meditation, etc.  Another method I use to promote internal circulation is via a spice known as cayenne pepper.  I like spicy food so I have no problem adding a pinch here and there in most of my meals.  Heck, I even add it to my drinks from time to time.  Currently, I've begun to include one cayenne pepper pill a few times a week into my supplement routine.  Why? Because cayenne has this chemical compound called capsaicin which helps our bodies lower cholesterol and improve circulation.  Years ago I read that cayenne had the ability to help stop a heart attack when given orally.  That speaks to the amazing power of this herb to get our blood flowing.  The supplement I take is highly potent so I make sure I have food in my stomach and drink plenty of water before and after taking.

My hope is that after reading this post you are inspired to start focusing on your body's internal circulation as a means of creating optimal health and radiant beauty.  Stagnancy is never good.  I want you to feel uncomfortable being sedentary for too long.  I want you to crave the life giving water that fuels your body.  I want you to be committed to improving your circulation by any means necessary.  I want you to come back and check out part 3 in this series.

See you soon.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I have a little voice inside that will sometimes repeat certain phrases, ideas and obsessions over and over again.  Lately the voice has been reminding me incessantly of the importance of exfoliation.   You may remember the water update post where  I shared a video of Chilli sharing water drinking as one of her beauty secrets.  Besides that water drinking, she also recommended that we "exfoliate a lot." 

It wasn't until I kept digging that uncovered an interview where she mentioned receiving chemical exfoliation on a monthly basis.  That makes total sense to me because when you look at the woman, her skin has the same qualities of someone much younger.  Her skin is fresh and new as a result of her consistent exfoliation. 

  Last summer I regularly used my Tree Hut Sugar Scrub (on my body) on a daily basis.  The compliments on my skin were bountiful.  In fact, a cashier at Walmart went as far as to open a jar of my scrub in the check out line and say "wow, this smells good, is this what you use to get your skin so pretty?"  Once I was enjoying a spa service last year and, in the middle of my experience, my masseuse informs me that my skin was "so soft."

I also want to give props to the use of the steam room for helping create the look (and feel) of soft, glowing skin.  Since skin exposing season is upon us, I'm ready to go all in and create an exfoliation routine that works from head to toe.  My goal is to create a full-on exfoliation routine that will keep me soft, supple and glowing all over.  Yes, my reasons for this new routine is mostly aesthetic but I also know that I'll experience benefits to my health as well.  You see, I intend this routine to be a comprehensive exfoliation and circulation regimen.  

I'll be breaking all of this down into a series of posts. Starting from how to  regularly exfoliate our skin/bodies, our face, and our scalp. To how to promote overall circulation that helps promote blood flow and cell turnover.  It'll be fantastic, I promise.   So don't head out too far 'cause you don't wanna miss part 2, 3, and 4 of this wonderful series.  

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's time again for another round of fitness motivation.  I've been struggling to remain consistent with my workouts and I'm finally at the point where I'm ready to commit to exercise as a way of life instead of seeing as a means to an end.

What really frustrates me about my yo-yo exercising is how much ground I lose whenever I take a couple months off.  I have to start all over again and have to go through that stage where working out sucks.  I want to get to the point where I'm consistently active.  As I mentioned in my health-fitness video, I'm highly driven by external motivation. One of the most effective motivators for me is see others who are living the way I want to live while reaping the benefits from their daily choices.

May I present to you some of the fit and fabulous ladies who provide me a constant stream of motivation?
I love how dedicated Angela is with her workouts.  She took on the practice of healthy lifestyle & daily exercise and has never looked back.

What health and fitness inspiration post would be complete with the addition of our girl "Get Fit with Nic?"  Her physique is pretty much flawless because she's made fitness a steady part of her life.  Checkout the look of confidence she's sporting in the pic below.  There's no greater feeling in the world than when you are happy with your body.

Miss Blacbomshell is such an inspiration because her body didn't always look like this.  She lost over 75 lbs of weight from her starting point. Her diet and fitness routine transformed entirely.  Bombshell was even gracious enough to share the eating regimen that supports her fit body and trim waist.

Blac Chyna just had a baby months ago.  Today, her body is perfect thanks to many of late nights at the gym.

I appreciate the dedication that allows her to do the stair climbing machine late night.   This is why she gets to enjoy a post baby figure that rivals most others.

I started following Nicole Murphy with hopes that she would provide daily snapshots loaded with fitness inspiration.  While she doesn't give us a daily fix, she will sneak in a pic or two of her getting her workout on.  This woman has given birth to numerous children yet her abs look like that of a teenager.


Look out for more of these posts in the future.

Monday, May 6, 2013

One of the habits that I'm currently creating is the habit of checking out motivational, inspirational and instructional videos on YouTube every morning.  I do this to train my mind in keeping focus on creating desired outcomes.  Last week I stumbled upon a video from personal development legend Brian Tracy.  The topic of the video escapes me but he shared something that I believe will be life changing for me.

Brian has decades of experience in helping people achieve their  desired success.  So when he mentioned that of every principle he teaches, one practice has proven more effective than everything else he's ever taught, my ears perked in interest.  Brian talked about leading a mastermind group and asking them which of the learned techniques contributed the most to their success.  The response was overwhelmingly the same......daily goal setting.

So then I began to think about the outcome of applying this practice of consistent goal setting to my everyday life.  The possibilities excited me but then I began to ponder on what would make this different from my daily to do list.  You may remember a previous post on achieving goals.  There I made a distinction between goals and intentions.  Intentions are the desired outcome.  Goals are the actions taken which brings us to the outcome we desire.   I know this may not be the typical way we define goals but I prefer this method.  This way we are taking consistent actions that take us where we want to go.

Tim Ferris, author of the Four Hour Work Week, once said, that goals should always have number associated with it (making it measurable).  One great example of this is when I use the treadmill at my local gym.  If I just step on the treadmill, walk for an unspecified period of time, and step off the treadmill, I receive a message that states "Workout Completed."  But if I step on the treadmill, choose my workout, set the amount of time I'll be on the treadmill, I receive the message "Goal Achieved" at the end of my workout.  I think this makes the difference between writing down a daily to do list vs. daily goals.  In the first example, I walked without first creating a picture of end result.  In the second, I pre-determined what the outcome would look like using numbers (time/distance) as measurement of success.

That's when I decided that my daily actions list would lead me to "achieving multiple goals" instead of "completing various tasks."  Then I began to think about what would happen if I took on this practice daily.  Where would I be a year from now?  Even if I missed a day or two here and there, I'd still be making a different level of progress than I would otherwise.  One thing I want to make sure I do is connect my daily goals to a much larger intention.  That way I am moving myself towards a certain direction.   I've been applying this practice over the last couple of days since watching the video and it's been quite interesting.  Usually, I can easily jot down some things on my to-do list, but to turn those actions into goals (for instance, putting a time frame to the action) takes a different level of commitment.

If you want to begin this practice, first start with an intention. For example, I would like to lose X number of lbs or I would like to eliminate my debt by X number of dollars or I would like to save/earn  X amount this year etc.  From there, I would create daily actions that take me one step closer to my intentions every day.   When writing your daily goals, make sure to include a number.  This works for every type of intention even relationship goals.  For example, let's say you would like to begin dating. A daily goal would be to smile (or strike up a conversation) at three attractive men today or attend three social events this week.  Adding a number to the action is the only way to ensure you actually reach your goal otherwise, you're that person who gets on a treadmill without an end in mind.   Hopefully this helps and will change lives.  For those of you who are interested in the video that inspired this post, check it out here.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My regimen is currently under a major renovation.  Some of the things I'm doing are completely different than before while some are simple tweaks.  One of the shifts I made last wash day will likely be a part of my regimen for a while.  When I'm comfortable with the effectiveness of the updated regimen I'll share a full update.  Until then, let me show just a glimpse of one of the things I'm doing differently.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  I've talked extensively about ACV in previous posts.   My scalp and skin has been so grateful for the addition of ACV in my regimen.  Normally,  diluted ACV would be the final step after I've rinsed my conditioner.
But last weekend a random thought popped into my mind.  "What would happen if I mixed the ACV with my conditioner?"

Now that the weather is shifting, I'm thinking ahead about how to manage the increased humidity in the air.  My plan of action would be to focus on sealing the cuticle on wash days.   We know that a low pH product is a great tool for sealing the cuticle layer.  I usually mix my conditioners so I have no idea of the final pH of the product mixture I create.  That's when the idea of adding a little ACV to my conditioner blend came about.

The idea excited me so much that I got a little overzealous last week.  Instead of just adding to the conditioner mix, my routine went a little like this:

  • Pre-poo
  • Rinse and "shampoo" with WEN Honeyfig.
  • Add diluted ACV solution (ACV+Water) to hair and leave in for a couple minutes before rinsing.
  • Mix a small amount of AVC in my deep conditioner mix, apply and steam hair.
  • Rinse and style.
If you notice, I used ACV twice. Once during the wash and mixed in with my deep conditioner.  I'm still deciding if this is a bit of overkill.  Honestly, I don't regret using ACV after the wash, it made detangling much easier and my hair looked great.  This weekend I'll be repeating the same steps but, unlike last weekend, I won't be doing a protein treatment.  I experienced a little bit of stiffness last week so I'm trying to figure out if it was protein related or because I used ACV twice in one session.  Even with the light stiffness, I still believe in the power of AVC conditioning.  One of the intentions I'm creating is having glossy hair and this method of cuticle sealing is one way to get me closer to my intention.     

If I continue to keep this as a part of my weekly routine, I'll be sure to update you when I reveal my complete regimen.

'till next time!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

After launching my Updated skin care regimen video a few weeks back, I received a suggestions that I do a health/fitness video.  So I decided to step up to the challenge and record a quick update.  After watching it a few times I realized that there are some things I missed during my little chat so I may to a follow up video. 

One thing that's on my mind is the idea of creating a fitness challenge to go along with our water challenge.  Details to come. In the meantime, check out the video and let me know your thoughts.


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