Avocado Tuna Salad

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I love tuna salad! It’s packed with protein, it’s filling, and you can spice it up however you like. Major drawback— tuna plays well with crackers and toast; think tuna melt, or mini tuna sandwiches! (le sigh). When I entered the paleo/gluten-free/keto/whole30 world and eliminated grains, I indirectly cut out tuna.

But, one thing I love about my new eating habits are that they encourage creativity, and innovation.  From such creativity and innovation came this amazing Avocado Tuna Salad and cucumber combo. Full of protein, vitamin B, and omega-3 my tuna of choice is solid white albacore.

Swapping cucumbers for crackers and toast keeps the carbohydrate and calorie count low.  Plus cucumbers are nature’s beauty bombs! Swapping avocado for mayo keeps the fat content high, while adding essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

This is a perfect post-gym snack!!! But, be careful not to consume too much albacore tuna if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive (mercury content).  I make a batch per month and always crave more! Enjoy.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 – 5 ounce can of Solid White Albacore Tuna in water, drained
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ½ cup of chopped celery
  • ¼ cup of white onion
  • 1 hard boiled egg, peeled and chopped (include yolk)
  • 1 cucumber
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher. Mash until it is a semi-smooth consistency
  2. Add in tuna, celery, red onion, and mix well.
  3. Add boiled egg
  4. Serve on cucumbers sliced thick enough to hold the mixture
  5. Keep refrigerated and enjoy!
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Hair Steaming: Instant Moisture, Strength, and Growth Naturally!

Tip 1:  Be Smart

Safety first!!  Beautifully soft hair is great, but not at the cost of your health.  Always follow the instructions of your steamer and read your labels thoroughly.  DO NOT use clothing steamers, steam mops, or steamers not intended for hair/skin contact!  Using such may result in severe burns and other injuries.

Tip 2:  Use Distilled Water

Steamers are delicate creatures, they need tender loving care just like the rest of us.  Using distilled, purified, or demineralized water will help keep your steamer free of deposits and bacterial growth.  Mineral deposits may clog your steamer, blocking the release of steam and causing your machine to sputter.  Additionally, water deposits can corrode the working parts of the steamer, causing your investment to fall apart more quickly.  Long story short, avoid tap water and mineral water at all costs.

Tip 3: Don’t Over Do It

Too much of a good thing, is bad!  We want moisture but not too much moisture.  Too much moisture can make your hair gummy, and weak.  Think over-boiled mashed potatoes– sticky, mushy, and limp…and nobody likes limp…hair.

In the warmer months, when moisture is in the air, I steam once a month for 30 minutes.  In the colder months, when moisture is hard to come by and Mother Nature deprives us of our God-given right to warmth and sunshine, I steam every other week (every 2 weeks) for 30 minutes.

Tip 4: Protect Ya Neck

Hot water can drip on your neck…this is not pretty or comfortable.  Place a towel around your neck to avoid burns and dripping water.

Tip 5: Get a Big Hood

There are a number of hand-held steamers on the market.  In my modest, yet experienced, opinion, hand-held steamers do not deliver the powerful moisture punch that hooded steamers deliver.  Imagine the amount of steam your receive when your hood is delivering consistent, continuous, copious amounts of steam while you are relaxingly reading a book or watching television.  Now, imagine the extended amount work and effort you’ll exert if you use a hand-held steamer.

Tip 6: No Plastic Caps

Using a plastic cap defeats the purpose of steaming.  With conventional hooded dryers, using a plastic cap improves the conditioning process by trapping moisture and prevents direct contact with dry air.  But,  with steamers we want the steam to directly contact our hair.  We want all that steamy goodness to penetrate our hair shafts and deliver immediate moisture.  Plastic caps will prevent your hair from receiving maximum steam benefits and maximum benefits from your conditioner.

Take note from Joan Crawford “no wire hangers plastic caps ever!”

Tip 7:  Cool it Down

Be like New Edition and cool it now down after your steam treatment.  Steaming opens your pores and opens the cuticles of your hair; please seal them closed when you are done.  Rinse your hair with cool water after you steaming session to add shine and seal in the lustrous moisture your conditioner added to your strands.

Steaming is your friend!!  Do it regularly and consistently and you will get softer and healthier hair.

 

 

Buns & Bangs

I love my bangs!! Check out one of my favorite hairstyles. It’s sexy and stylish!

 

Step 1: Flip hair forward.

Flip all of your hair forward to got maximum volume and fullness.  Some people tease their hair but I prefer not to.  Teasing can cause knots and breakage, and lead to thinning hair.

Step 2:  Split hair into two sections

Split your hair into half sections (top and bottom).  Secure the bottom section with a clip to keep your sections separated.

Step 3: Finger Comb

Finger comb your sections for less breakage, and a less-than-perfect look.  Perfect buns scare me!  Messy buns look more real and authentic.

Step 4: Make a Ponytail

Secure top with section an elastic/ ponytail holder.  You can use a scrunchie to add some size and form to your bun, or you can use a no-break elastic.  Do not put too much tension on your edges or pull your edges too tightly.  Tight buns can cause headaches and thinning edges.  OUR EDGES ARE OUR FRIEND!!

Step 5: Spin top knot

Spin your top hair around pony tail or scrunchie.  Keep your bun loose and give it a fuller look and lightly tug at your fun until you reach desired size.   Small buns are no bueno and make you look like you have less hair.

Fin!! Now you have a super sexy look that accessorizes a casual outing or an elegant night on the town.  ENJOY!

Happiness is Yours

Books are my gateway to happiness.  I love old books, non-fiction, and public domain. Check out Librivox, a site dedicated to keeping public domain resources relevant and alive.  Also, I am a student of New Thought and I thoroughly believe that happiness is your.  It is in your heart, reach out and grab it!!  If you live in Brooklyn check out my favorite spiritual center Celebration Spiritual Center!

A few of my favorite books!!

Lessons in Truth by H. Emilie Cady

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Outwitting The Devil by Napoleon Hill

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes

The Infinite Way by Joel Goldsmith

The Heart of the New Thought by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Autobiography of Frederick Douglass

How to Drink More Water

PERFECT

 Easy Water Infusions: Watch Video

Water is the beautiful elixir of life!  Not only does water give our hair, nails, and skin a natural glow-up, but water beautifies our internal organs as well.  Our body composition is approximately 65% water and we need constant replenishment and re-ups.  Using God’s candy, take these simple and easy steps to increase your water intake and health.

Tip 1:  Start with fruits and herbs that you like

We are all somewhat skeptical when trying new things.  The first time I performed my pre-poo routine I cringed and talked myself out of it every step of the way.   Not consciously, but humans are innately negative towards the unknown, and drawn to things that make us comfortable.  When infusing start with fruits and vegetables that you already enjoy.  Don’t try a new fruit or herb on your first infusion– let’s not turn ourselves off before we’re turned on!

Tip 2:  Clean Thoroughly

Cleaning your fruit is extremely important, especially if you’re not buying organic produce.  Residual pesticides, supermarket germ, and dirt from transport are all present on your fruit.  I scrub with luke-warm water for approximately 20 seconds, and dry with a paper towel.  If you want to take an extra precautionary step you can wash with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water.  Remember, we are eating fruits and veggies to help us flourish and blossom, if there’s harmful bacteria on our food then we may causing more harm than good.

Tip 3:  Cold & lukewarm water for fruit

Fruits and veggies are vitamin dense but hot water can damage some vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin B.  Hot water is great for ginger and cinnamon, but when working with melons and berries, stick to cooler water temperatures.  The fruit will stay in tact better and you will retain more vitamin content.

Tip 4:  Use fresh fruit

I enjoy the convenience of frozen fruit but not when infusing.  For the sake of mankind stick to fresh fruit when infusing or you will be drinking globs and blobs of shapeless mush…now, doesn’t that sound appetizing.

Tip 5:  Keep for 3-4 days max

Fresh fruit is a breeding ground for bacteria, especially after the fruit has been opened and exposed to air.  Add this to the bacteria present in water and you can imagine the damage and dangers of letting infused water sit in the refrigerator for longer than a few days.  Remember, these infusions are not pasteurized and bacteria can grow more easily.

Tip 6:  Eat Up

Fruit infusions are beautiful because they are a drink and an eat all in one.   Before, during, or after your drinking session you can eat the yummy fusion ingredients and take in the remaining nutrients.  Two-for-one deal!

Tip 7:  Know thy ingredients

Berries:  strawberries, blackberries, raspberries

  • slice thinly or cube
  • infuse for approximately and hour
  • cool or room temperature water

Ginger

  • slice thinly  (do not grind)
  • hot water works best

Citrus:  lemons, limes, oranges

  • optimal flavor and nutrients in the rinds
  • scrub the rind thoroughly
  • natural preservatives (water stays fresh a bit longer )

Cinnamon

  • use cinnamon sticks
  • for best results, boil cinnamon stick before using
  • do not use powdered cinnamon (think cinnamon challenge)

Cucumbers

  • slice thinly or cube
  • infuse for approximately and hour
  • cool or room temperature water

Melons

  • cut rind off
  • becomes mush quickly, drink within a day of infusing

Herbs: mint, thyme, basil

  • rip the leaves to release oil
  • use fresh herbs, stay away from dried herbs
  • hot, cool, or room temperature water

A few of my favorite infusion recipes!!!!

  • orange & cinnamon
  • orange, ginger & cucumber
  • strawberry, blackberry & lemon
  • strawberry, kiwi & lemon
  • lemon, cucumber & mint
  • watermelon, cucumber & mint

8 Easy Tips for Winter Hair Care

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Watch Video: Winterize Your Locs

Cold weather is brutal on our locs.  When we’re outside Mother Nature freezes our hair and indoors the heater is zapping our moisture.  Use these easy tips to keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy, moisturized, and camera-ready during the cold months.  Taking care of your hair in the fall and winter allows you can flaunt your beautiful hair in the warm summer and spring.

Tip 1:  Drink More Water

Water is the elixir of life!  Drinking more water hydrates your hair and combats brittle, dry, rough hair.  Ever touch your hair in the winter and it feels like straw!!??  The quickest, easiest way to remoisturize hair is to drink water!  Added bonus:  drinking water also helps with hair growth.  So, cheers, DRINK UP!!

Tip 2: Use a Humidifier

Dry air is our enemy causing dry eyes, brittle hair, and patchy skin!  Humidifiers add instant moisture into the air and fight the bad heater dry air.   Adding moisture into the air will keep your skin supple, hair smooth, and eyes comfortable while you’re indoors hiding from winter weather.  Usually, the first indications of overly dry air are bloodshot eyes and chapped lips!!  Keep those lips kissable and those eyes clear!

Tip 3: Switch Up Your Products

When the weather changes I switch to thicker, more moisture-infusing products!  My hair has an instant appreciation for the new products and it shows with my first wash.

But, pay close attention to labels!  If your products contain humectants, you may be doing more harm.  Humectants are known to pull moisture from the air into the hair when there is humidity in the air but they also pull moisture from your hair into the hair when there is less humidity in the air.  So, while you think you’re moisturizing your hair you’re really moisturizing the AIR!!  No bueno!  If products list a humectant as one of the first ingredients I generally steer clear during the colder months.

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Tip 4:  Moisturize!

This post has a reoccurring theme: MOISTURE!!  Adding moisture and retaining moisture should be your top priorities this winter.  Deep conditioning more often, and using a steamer allows your conditioner to penetrate your hair more quickly and effectively.  In the summer and spring I deep condition my hair once a month, in the winter I deep condition my hair two times a month.  It helps, it works, DO IT 🙂

Added bonus:  hair steaming increases your scalp circulation and promotes hair growth!  Yeeeessss for collateral benefits!!

Tip 5: Wear a Silk-Lined Cap

Silk lined caps, scarves, and coats are an amazing accessory.  Your hair is nice and cozy under the cap and your ears are protected.  Caps are excellent for bad-hair days.  Are you headed to brunch and in need of a serious wash?  Throw on a silk lined-cap to protect your tresses while stylishly indulging and engaging.

Tip 6: Wash Less Often

Shampoos can be harsh, blow-drying is, well, drying!  Avoid shampooing and blow-drying your hair in the winter.  You may want to wash your hair every other week, or blow dry your hair on a cool setting.  Some suggest air drying more often, but I say steer clear!  Air drying hair in the winter may cause more harm than good.  The heater will immediately zap your hair, and the cold weather combined with your wet tresses may actually cause your hair to freeze and break off.

Tip 7: Wear Protective Styles

What is a protective style?  There are sooooo many theories surrounding what makes a style protective, why not present another.  Protective styles should protect, not cause more damage or harm.

Three easy rules to keep in mind when wearing a protective style.

  1. Protect your edges and nape with a silk or satin scarf
  2. Avoid tension
  3. Tuck in your ends

If you follow these three rules you’ll find the most delicate parts of your hair protected, strong, and sparkling!!

Tip 8:  Apply Rules Indoors and Outdoors

This is the hard part!!  Winterizing your hair, skin, and nails involves being deliberate when you’re indoors and outdoors.  When you’re comfy and cozy at home, watching tv your hair should be in a protective style; while you’re sleeping your humidifier should be working.  Dry air is the enemy, but we shall overcome!