Sunday, August 19, 2012

Update. Medical School, Weight loss and Hair

I wanted to drop an update about life and other things going on.
I'm finished with my Masters Program, YAY! 
I'm re-applying to medical this cycle, Boo...

I planned on taking the MCAT this September, but due to time constraints I have to push it back to January 2013. Since I paid for a Kaplan course, I'll be starting that up again pretty soon to prepare. That's gives me a butt-load of time to prepare and room to fall behind a-little.

I got a job as a Tech in a local Operating Room and lost 15 pounds so far since starting that position, YAY! Thank goodness,  this past year was full of taking medical school courses that required being in class for 2-6 hours and studying for at least 6 hours additionally, everyday. That's ALOT of sitting. Before that I spent about 4 months prepping for the MCAT in 2011. So in total I gained 25-35 lbs in the past 18 months. :( From this experience I learned that I cannot push exercise off because of studying, I need to stay active and watch what I eat especially when I get accepted in to med school next year (crosses fingers) 2 years of non-stop studying. I want to plan my food and exercise. Hopefully I can lose this last 20 lbs of extra weight and get to my starting weight at least and lose more from there.   I have Jillian Michael's Body Revolution that I want to restart very soon. I love that with Jillian's routines I build muscle pretty fast.

Apparently there's a rumor out there that 4b/c naturals cannot grow long hair unless it's heat trained. I have a good mix of 4a/b/c (mostly b/c). I know it's NOT true because I can think of 2-3 naturals with 4bc hair that have long hair.
I figured out more things about my hair that help me ALOT in retaining length and moisture. 
1) My hair is VERY porous aka high porosity. (my hair soaks up and loses water very fast)
2) Quite a few products that I tried and tossed aside have other uses my hair likes.

To address my porosity issue, I've been using the Roux porosity control conditioner after every wash/condition it helps.  I wash/rinse and condition my hair  in twisted sections rubber-banded at the end. It helps alot with my hair staying untangled during wash sessions.
I can use hair milks. I've tried Carol's daughter hair milk and pudding, Shea Moisture's Curl smoothie, Karen's body beautiful hair milk and nectar and none of these worked so I assumed hair milk wasn't for me at all. For moisture, I found that for me it seems to be better to let my hair get damp or dry completely then apply a moisturizer. I realized one day when my hair was extra dry, I could just apply certain hair milks and it added moisture back to my hair. There are only two hair milks that really work for my hair Oyin's hair dew and Pura Body Naturals Murumuru hair milk.

I was really surprised to figure out that yes even though I have thick, tightly curled, non-silky, dry hair my hair reallly likes the lighter hair moisturizers. Oyin's Hair dew and PBN's Murumuru milk are light moisturizers that really soak into my hair and make it feel more pliable. The heavier milks don't work for me at all like PBN's Sapote Hair Milk or KBB hair nectar, what does work for me is sealing with shea/evoo/coconut the absolute best sealer is Oyin's sugar pomades! I set them aside thinking they were just finishing pomades. 

Oh was I wrong, those sugar pomades are the best for holding moisture in after a moisture and seal session. My hair felt so moisturized and soft for the first time, ever. I found my staple products hiding out in my closet. I've honestly been telling everyone I possibly can for the past week about
With all this info I've found about my hair it really helps me with the new products I try. For example, in this months curlbox I got two full sized moisture products the Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Pudding and Cantu coconut curling cream. CD did nothing for my wet/damp hair , I still have to try it on dry hair. Cantu CCC worked better for me on wet/damp hair. If these products don't work better then my staples then I'll be swapping them.

DIY water/glycerin mix
DIY hair butter (with shea, tacuma, coconut oil, argan, beeswax, evoo and castor) *
* I may leave the castor oil out since the oyin products have alot of castor
Oyin hair Juices ( I use sparingly 3 bottles last me over one year)
Sta-Sof-Fro Spray
PuraBody Naturals Murumuru Hair Milk/ Oyin Hair Dew
Oyin Sugar Pomades (sealant)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque & Moisture Retention Shampoo

I scored this Shea Moisture Mini-Repair and Transition kit from Target for $5! I've just heard about Shea Moisture products  this past week and I thought I would give them a try sometime soon. Then I saw these marked down at Target so I bought some. There are 2 kits from Shea Moisture under the same name that has 4 products. In this kit there were only two products: Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and Moisture Retention Shampoo. Im surprised to say that these are the best and WORST products I've ever tried for my natural hair, ever.

Moisture Retention Shampoo
This shampoo is amazing. Its the only shampoo I've ever tried that lathers like crazy, smells great and leave my hair clean and moisturized.  If your hair is moisturized  pre-shampoo and not excessively dry this shampoo will not strip it. Also, this shampoo has NO SULFATES! I was pretty shocked to see that because of the lather. I don't particularly avoid sulfates, but I've tried some no-sulfate shampoos before and the lather was no where near this lather.

I will mention that my hair going into the shampoo moisturized and was coated with a bit product from yesterday. I really think this makes a difference. I don't know how my hair would have behaved if it was crunchy dry mess of about a month ago.

Final Thoughts: I know I throw around the word amazing alot. But this shampoo is the best, best, BEST!
I will be repurchasing it when I run out and it will probably be my staple shampoo.
My hair type: 3c/4a  a lot of shrinkage, very small and tight coils
Price:  12oz for 9.99 at Target and Walgreens (also found online)
My score: 5/5

Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque
The ingredient list for this conditioner is star-studded. Almost any ingredient a natural could want in a conditioner:  deionized water, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), argan oil, cetyl esters, sea kelp extract, panthenol (vitamin b-5), ammonium salt, essential oil blend, avocado oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and lonicera japonica (japanese honeysuckle) flower extract, tocopherol (vitamin e), hyssopus officinalis extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf and equisetum arvense extract, soybean oil, daucus carota sativa (carrot) seed oil.

I just KNEW after that great shampoo, this was gonna be the bees knees.... Nope. Not one bit.
I started to liberally apply the masque to my hair and I felt that this was not going to work because of the texture of the conditioner and  then way it felt on my hair after 5 minutes. I felt like I put way too much leave-in product in my hair,  I rinsed it out and my hair felt drier then when I put the conditioner in. I'm pretty disappointed right now, I had to go to my usual moisture conditioner and recover the moisture that this masque stole.

I looked around at others reviews and it seems like this product gets good marks from others with non-curly/kinky hair and a few loosely coiled people. Most people with my hair texture seem to end up using this as a leave-in or as a sealant.

Final Thoughts: I will be not be repurchasing this, the worst thing I've ever put in my hair and I've put  some strange things in this hair.
My hair type: 3c/4a  a lot of shrinkage, very small and tight coils
Price:  12oz for 9.99 at Target and Walgreens (also found online)
My score: 0/5

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in

I stepped on the scale and lost zero pounds this week. Ugh! Not even .1 lb. LOL! I'm glad I didn't gain anything though. I kept up with my weight training plan except I didn't do my lower body on Friday or over the weekend. That's really weird for me because I love doing squats and squat variations, I don't know why..I just do. :) It gives me something to look forward to after I finish unpleasant ab work days. I hate hate ab work, it just sucks for me. I've been thinking that I probably should really do Jillian Michaels 30 day shed when I feel like cardio. The only issue that I would have is that it would kind of work the same muscles I weight train. Eh, I'll see. I like JM because those 30 day shred workouts are 20 minutes! I feel like a wet noodle afterwards, but I do it over and over again because I get intense cardio in in a short amount of time.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I underestimated the simpleness of keeping both of my blogs under the same profile so I'm going to table my other URL until I have the time to move both blogs over.  I'll continue to post here and get the template here, too.

Update: Done!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fitness Plans.

Since late December 2011 I've been trying watch what I eat. Specifically the amount of salt I'm taking in, the amount of protein and fiber. I haven't really been paying too much attention to the fats, carbs or sugars which I really need to do. I might just start tracking again, its tedious but I have a better idea of what I've eaten.

Instead of me starting out with cardio, I'm going to start off with strength training so I have stronger muscles going in when I start cardio up again in about 2 weeks. I think my whole downfall of last year was that due to inactivity,  I lost most of my muscle mass. I lost my job, which wasn't extremely physical but I was constantly moving and lifting things when I was at work. Before last year I would lift weights at least 2X a week, that doesn't sounds like alot, but I can definitely tell the difference.

So my plan is to find some great exercises and lift MWF and do any cardio that I want, if I want.

I have a great set of exercises from the February 2008 issue of Oxygen Magazine Buy this issue here! that I love to use for getting back into strength training.  The series is called build your dream body. These exercises are killer and not complex. I'm going to be using the Upper Body push/pull and Lower Body from this series. I hate crunches but that's what I'll be doing until I find more alternate ab exercises.

I wish there was a really good exercise database where I can look it up really quick, instead of having to search through each of my favorite fitness blogs. Its takes time and usually I get distracted by something else right in the middle of my search.

Perform two sets of 12-15 each set.

Monday: Upper body Push 
Dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell Flye
Seated dumbbell press
Seated dumbbell lateral raise
Dumbbell extension
Dumbbell kickback

Wednesday: Upper Body Pull and Core 
dumbbell pullover
barbell row
barbell curl
incline dumbbell curl

Core (my own thing)

1. Alternating Arms Supermans
2. Crunches
3. Need an oblique exercise
(They suggested 1. bicycle crunches and bench V-up)

Friday: Lower Body
Stiff legged deadlift
Unilateral calf raise

Friday, December 30, 2011

New post up at Grad Girl Moxie!

Its a pretty off topic post, but I want to do a few round ups of my favorites of 2011.

 Grad Girl Moxie- Top Albums of 2011

My Top Albums of 2011!

I wanted to start of this blog with my top 10 albums of 2011!
My top albums are the albums that I've been pretty much playing non-stop this year some of these albums were released earlier then 2011, but just came on my radar this year. 

In no particular order I have
1. The Pretty Reckless- Light me up (2010) 
I have been following this band ever since they started touring in 2009 with the song I F**king Love you. I used to watch Gossip Girl and when I heard that Taylor was trying the music thing I checked it out.  The first song I heard was pretty annoying but it had promise. What I remember the most about listening is that Taylor Momsen's voice at 15 was amazingly mature (it could have been due to the ciggys) and reminiscent of courtney love.
Alot of people think that Taylor Momsen (Jenny from Gossip Girl) is spoiled and is trying to hard. It DOES seem like she is trying to hard,  but she IS talented. You can't deny her singing ability. 
Give this album one listen and you will totally agree with me. This album has me remembering the awesome girl (punk/alternative) rock bands from the 90's. Veruca Salt, Hole, etc..

2. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals- self titled (2010)
I don't like country music, I don't even like Taylor Swift. But I LOVE Grace Potter, I wasn't until I stopped and really listened and asked someone, that I realized that she is definitely country or at the very least country influenced and I really really like this album. Its soulful and I can play it again and again. 

3. Marsha Ambrosius- Late Nights and early Mornings
Finally! A really good classic R&B album. Well written, Superbly sung (yes I think I just made that word up)

4. Janelle Monae- The Arch-Android
After listening to her EP Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) in 2007, I was anxiously awaiting parts II, III and IV because she mentioned that it was to be a four part series. I encourage you to check out her EP it tells a story in a far away planet. 
I doubt she is going to finish that up anytime soon, but she did release a full album. Its great, its perfect if you like soulful music is get inspiration from many different places, a friend of a friend dubbed this black music that black people don't listen to. 

5. Adele- 21
Adele! I can't even write anything about her, she is the queen of break-up music! LOL, her music is awesome and I'm glad that many more people have caught on to her. 
I was stuck on "someone like you" since her album was released until about a month ago (Yup approx 10 months!) when I decided I needed to start listening to the rest of 21 again.

6. Lady Gaga- Born this way (Special Edition)
The lead single from this album "Born this way" is my least favorite song on the whole album. This album totally reminds me of 80s pop, the music videos for "marry the night" and "edge of glory" take me there. I can use this whole album as a workout album. Most of the songs are upbeat, I wish Gaga had at least one ballad, I love her ballads speechless and Brown eyes from her previous albums. Oh well, this album is so good. I forgive her. 

7. Asa- Beautiful Imperfection 
8. Siji- Adesiji (2008)
I like finding music from people from Nigerian backgrounds, I love it even more if they sing in Yoruba and English. Both Asa and Siji do this effortlessly and there music is awesome. Asa, I would classify as Neo-soul with and afrobeat twist. I discovered Siji when he released the music video for the song "Ijo" which was filmed in Lagos, Nigeria BTW. I was watching and I recognized the yoruba, so I looked for his album.
Siji's music is very contemporary with a afrobeat twist. I love the drums, I don't think I would find many people that DON'T like drum beats.  I would recommend him to anyone that just wants some chill music, even the songs that are 100% yoruba will draw you in.

9. Drake- Take Care 
It's pretty sad that this is the only Hip-hop album on my list. I love hip-hop and its getting harder and harder to find artists and albums that I genuinely like beyond just catchy beats.
After his very hyped up first album, I wasn't expecting too much from this one. But I REALLY enjoy this album. 

Honorable Mentions
1. Ed Sheeran - + (Deluxe Version)
I just discovered this guy after I stalker spotted Rupert Grint in his most recent music video for lego house. I was on Youtube minding my own business, and I saw the side of a unknown's face and I thought that looks like Ron from Harry Potter somehow I KNEW it was him. I shrugged it off and played the video because I love a cute redhead and it WAS him, I was ecstatic.  After I got over my Ron crush, I realized that the song was pretty damn good. Looked up this ed sheeran kid and checked out his album. I've only listened to it once, but its love at first listen. I'm sure this will be on my list next year!

2. LMAFO- Sorry for Party Rocking
This album is great! They combine rap, rock, dubstep, club and fun all in one album and it sounds great! I don't listen to this album alot but I'm never disappointed when I do. This album would also be very good for workout music. 

3. Nickelback- Here & Now
I love Nickelback, they seem to have gone back to their grittier side with this one. (Which I love, BTW). I would often forget that Nickelback's popular songs are the slower, sad and forlorn songs. Its easy to forget that they have great angry uptempo rock songs (Ahem) Side of a Bullet. 
I've never listened to a full Nickelback album before so I'm not sure if they normally mix their balleds and more uptempo songs but this albums seems to be more uptempo songs.

4. Ellie Goulding- Bright Lights (2010) (Re-release of Lights)
A friend put me on to her album, I like it but it feels like most of her music on this album sounds very similar. I like her single that most people have probably heard by now "Lights", its a pretty popular song for end/beginning credits for movies, TV shows, etc..

What are your favorite albums of this year?