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Mar 24, 2012

My top 10 healthy things for this year (So far)


1 ******My Brita water bottle.

a. This bottle is so cool. It carries 20 ounces of water, so if I drink three bottles full I have my 8 glasses. But the REALLY cool thing is the built in filter. So I can take water from any sink or fountain and have clean cold water instantly. It’s healthy for me AND the environment. Oh and I purchased it in a really cute purple color and it's only about 10 dollars !:-D

2) *****Gnu bars.

a. I discovered these bars by chance. But I am so glad I did, they have literally changed my life. I was in Marshells, hungry and they looked tasty and healthy so I gave them a try. Once I got back to my friends (I was on vacation) I did research on them and decided they are amazing. Most Americans do not have enough fiber in their diet. I am no longer one of those Americans. I eat one bar a day five days a week. I take them with me to work and eat them as one of my snacks for the day. They are really tasty (which says a LOT for a fiber bar). They come in a variety of flavors, which helps in preventing me from getting bored. I believe at this point I have tried all ten flavors and their inst one that I didn’t like. I do like some more than others. They are made out of natural ingredients; contain no added sugar, no high fructose syrup, no saturated fat, and no hydrogenated oils. Best of all they are almost 50% of your fiber intake.

3) *****Chips and dip re-vamped!

a. So I love chips and dip. But my chips and sour cream and onion habit was no bueno. I have a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol…. So munching on this high in cholesterol and sodium was not a good look.

b. So I ditched the chips and switched to tortilla chips. My favorite kinds right now are Trader Joes sweet potato tortilla chip rounds (not to high in sodium, a hint of protein and fiber) these are my weekday chips. During the week I am more likely to have a high protein high fiber diet to I do not need as much in my snacks) and their soy and flaxseed tortilla chips (best thing ever! High in protein, omega 3’s and fiber!)

c. I also have said bye bye to my sour cream and onion dip, which was really high in fat, sodium and all things I didn’t need. I have replaced it with guacamole and hummus. My favorites right now are both Trader Joes. I am eating (literally) the Hummus Quartet, which has regular hummus, roasted red pepper hummus, roasted garlic hummus and parsley scallion hummus. I love variety. I am also loving avocado in my turkey sandwiches and turkey burgers.

4) ******Beachbody

a. I have spoken about shakeology before. Well it has made a come back. They have recently developed a new flavor, Tropical strawberry. This flavor is tasty and vegan. I currently have all three flavors, chocolate, greenberry and the strawberry and I alternate. I drink about a half a glass before my work out and the rest after. I will say hands down chocolate and strawberry are my favorite flavors. If I HAD to pick one it would be the strawberry because it is very versatile and has a lighter taste (could be due to the way I prepare it, I tend to use juice when I make strawberry and almond milk when I make the chocolate). Let me not forget, the most important part to mention it is high in protein and better than a multi vitamin.

b. Cha-lean! If I ever see this woman in person I am giving her a big hug. I have not been a person to stick to a workout routine, but she makes it possible. It is convenient because it is in my home. Her programs have lots of variety so I do not get bored. They have the perfect balance of fun and intensity. I love how structured beachbody’s programs are because I know exactly what to do on what day. Cha-lean herself is really motivating and her music selection get’s you moving. I am currently doing a hybrid of her Turbo fire and cha-lean extreme.

5) *****Dried fruit

a. So I love fruit and I eat it often. But it is not the MOST convenient snack at work. It works well when I eat my breakfast and my lunch, but those in between nibbles, it’s a little difficult to be neat and discrete. Anyway I love dried fruit, they satisfy my sweet tooth and are healthy. Be careful though, because many dried fruits have added sugar. I stay away from added sugar, if it has it I won’t buy it. I also do my best to avoid dried fruit with sulfur. I have not has a reaction to it, I just prefer things to have as little added ingredients as possible.

6) *****Uncle Sam Cereal

a. The original brand is made with Whole Wheat Berry Flakes and Flaxseed. It has 10 g of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, 7 g of protein and Omega-3! I tend to eat it with chocolate almond milk or very vanilla soy milk.

a****Fage greek yogurt.

a. Yes I joined the greek yogurt craze. But it really is great, I buy the plain 2% flavor and add my own fruit and sweetener. High in protein, high in pro biotic, high in flavor, and low in fat, you can’t beat it!

8) *****Dark chocolate!

a. If you know me you know I love chocolate. I must say that I am typically drawn to milke chocolate. Probably because it is most common. Well I have made the switch to dark. Did you know dark chocolate is high in antioxidants. It can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It gives you endorphins, or that happy feeling AND it is good for your skin. Yep I am on a serving size a day chocolate diet.

9) *****Tea

a. I have always preferred tea to coffee, but now I have found a new love of it. I have a large collection of teas, ginger, thai, chai, Echinacea and various blends to help with skin, colds and other health concerns I could go on. Tea has numerous health benefits from weight management, or emotional health to immune system support. Plus it is tasty and a nice alternative to sugar juices and flavorful supplement to water. I drink tea hot and iced, depending on my mood and the time of day.

1 *****Zumba

a. So Cha-lean will remain my main work out routine. But for those days when I just want to dance, or when I want to throw in an extra work out, zumba is my go to thing. I have purchased all three of the zumba fitness programs. I am currently writing a workout schedule incorporating all three, as when I finsh my 20 week journey with chalean I will approach my zumba fitness. Zumba is fun and intense and I can’t wait to go on that journey next!

Feb 2, 2012

Switching it up again.

So you know every now and then I do a health make over. And well its about that time again. Super excited about the new changes :-D and I expect them to continue to change but here is where I am now.

My daily vitamin routine.

Last week I ran out of two vitamins so this is where it is right now.

I take Echinacea daily. This is more recent. I take this herb supplement because I work with kiddies and want to keep my immune system up. The brand I use is solgar. It is vegetarian suitable. Which is important to me because that means it is halal. A problem I run into is that many vitamins are made with gelatin or other animal stuff :-/. I also have some for my boobala. It is actually a combination of echinacea and proplis, by natures way.

Oh the newest addition to my vitamins is my Black seed. I am using Amazing Herbs and it is the kind with Garlic. I am taking this one because black seed is a sunnah and because of the cardiovascular benefits. That is also why I choose the garlic Varity because garlic helps with hypertension. As you know my booba literally raised my pressure and although it is down I want to be sure I keep it down.

Lastly I am using Deva Vegan Hair, nails and skin. I love “beauty” vitamins because they always work as a multi vitamin with the added bonus of things that are good for nails, skin and hair like biotin among other things.


The vitamins/minerals I have just run out of are:

My Flax seed oil. I used Health from the sun because it is again vegetarian. I have been alternating between flax seed and fish oil since college. This is because that is when I learned that I had high cholesterol. Now granted I haven’t checked my cholesterol since then, I still take them out of habit, precaution and because they are good for you. The reason why I have not rushed to stock back up is because of my addition of black seed which does have cardiovascular benefits. I will restock though.

I also just finished my Maxi- Hair by country life. I alternate between Deva Vegan and Country life. They have many of the same ingredients, but some differences and I can’t decide which one I like more so I alternate. :-D

My sugar addiction.

Ok I will admit it, I am addicted to sugar.

Well you’ll know my long going love affair with honey. Sigh it really is wonderful. Well what you don’t know is I have been cheating on it :-/. Yea sometimes I put honey AND sugar. I have recently gotten into agave. But something about pouring that powdery goodness. I think it is mental. Well it is not going away and now it doesn’t have to because I have found Xylitol. One of my parents introduced me to it months ago. I do not know why I didn’t hop on it then, but anyway I now know better. Especially after I realized nuri loves sweets and we went through dental work. Stevia will be my alternative. More on both.

On that… I have also gotten us into the habit of brushing three times a day. That’s up from two. Yep after we eat lunch at school we get to brushing. (We use tomes, both the orange mango flavor, me the gel, nuri the childrens anti cavity. She also has bubble gum mouth wash, really not trying to go through that again)

Salt.

So you know I have switched to sea salt. I am now trying out Himalayan rock salt, I will let you know if it becomes staple. It would have to be pretty amazing to beat my Trader Joes less than 3 dollars sea salt. But from what I have read up on, it seems pretty amazing.

" Containing all of the 84 elements found in your body, the benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt include:

Regulating the water content throughout your body.

Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.

Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.

Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.

Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.

Supporting respiratory health.

Promoting sinus health.

Prevention of muscle cramps.

Promoting bone strength.

Regulating your sleep -- it naturally promotes sleep.

Supporting your libido.

Promoting vascular health.

In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure. "


Protein shakes

So I have gone through a few brands of protein shakes and I am still loving shakeology. I am drinking them once in the morning since I am not liking my new sad breakfast routine (yogurt and or currant roll) and you’ll now I can not function with out breakfast. I will say that I like the chocolate more than the greenberry. Which I have now tried. But to be fair I have not made many recipes with the greenberry. I will say that I like the greenberry better than my alternative which is natures way alive, vanilla. Natures way is going to be my I can’t afford to buy shakeology alternative. It has a lot of really good things in it as well and is like a 6th of the cost. But it does NOT taste good. Oh super excited shakeology is coming out with a strawberry flavor this month I can not wait!

Work outs!

Oh workouts… smh Let me just say it is time to start again. The plan is a mix between turbo fire and cha lean extreme. I might toss in an extra ab work out a couple of times a week. (that is me saying I want to commit to it but not set up self up for not following through) I have just been thinking on biggest looser these very Unfit people work out 14 hours a day. Clearly I need to change my life because I am not working out that much and how will I see results yesterday.


Spiritual.

Thanks to my inspiring students I am moving along with my Quran and dua memorization. Allhumdullilah.

Things I still need to make over.

Deodorant

Yea I said it… I can’t kick my habit of secret. I don’t know what is up with that. I have used toms roll on and their solid( it has improved since 07). But somehow that blue bottle keeps coming back into my life. Oh I will say that I LOVE Oyins funk butter. Well what does Oyin make that isn’t amazing? It smelled good and WORKED! And didn’t have that cancer causing aluminum. If only they started making it in a roll on form. (Which they can because their body butters come in that type of container)

Beauty

I need to fall back in love with my hair. Did I say that? Yes I do, sigh. I haven’t gone off the deep end, cotton pillow cases are still not a part of my lifestyle. I’m still loving my “natural”, mineral oil free, ph balanced hair products. I just don’t get excited about doing it anymore L (I am excited about nuris hair accessories though J ) think it is time to make that commitment to myself and loc things up! That or at least a professionally done set. Birthday gift to me, maybe?

I have neglected my honey washes and my skin is suffering. No acne or anything, But I feel like my pore are clogged and huge and missing my honey glow. L

That is it for now.. things from my previous post still stand, brown is what I’m down with when it comes to rice and bread. Still trying to stick to water and 100 % juice; although for nuri I do less than 100% sometimes, if it is honesty drink. They have low sugar, and it is cane juice not that fructose junk. Oh I eat yogurt a lot now, like 4 to 5 times a week, greek (clearly better) and regular. We know yogurt has amazing health benefits.

Aug 16, 2011

Yes! Some color for coloring books


I have been searching high and low for coloring books with African American characters. My success has been pretty limited. For the most part the only African American coloring books I have found have been designed to teach African American history, which is wonderful but not exactly what I have been looking for.

This week I came across two must buys though. The first is Love Sun Kisses. This coloring book features children from around the world. It was inspired by the creators children who wanted to have coloring books with images that reflected themselves.

The next is a coloring book created to empower young girls. It is called Beautiful Like Me. This coloring and activity book also features girls from various cultures around the world. Both coloring books are about 10$.

EID GIFTS:The doll I have been waiting for.


I know it has been a very long time since I have blogged. I have a long list of to blog about topics. But this one I couldn't resist bumping up the list. You know my thing for toys. I think I have found the doll I have been looking for! It's called My Little Muslim Sister!

What do I love about this doll you ask? Well for one it is diverse. They have come in five different shades. In addition their is a male and female doll. These dolls are cloth, which works perfectly with my commitment to cloth dolls for this age of my daughters life. Best of all part of the proceeds goes to charity! Can we get any better? You know I am itching to buy at-least five of them. I'm trying to control myself.

If you have a chance check out the rest of the site too. They have some really cute puzzles and books. I particular like the Kabba puzzle. Ali-gator is now officially a Muslim Momma go to store!

Mar 21, 2011

I made the switch!

Long term established switches

Whole wheat bread to Whole grain

Why? Many breads packaged ad whole wheat are still enriched bleached flour. Now I read the package and make sure the first ingredient is some type of whole grain or whole wheat.

White rice to Brown rice

Brown rice has way more fiber, magnesium, manganese, zinc, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folacin, Potassium, Iron and more. And while eating white rice is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabeties brown rice lowers the risk.

Switches I made years ago but have revamped

Ice cream to frozen yogurt (vegan and soy ice cream)

I made the switch to frozen yogurt to foremost help lower my cholesterol. When I was preggers I went back to regular ice cream. Now I’m back on my health and I have returned to frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt has less calories, more mineral and nutrients and (if you check, good pro biotics) live active cultures. With the discovery of a vegan spot down the block from me that sells vegan ice cream I have added the vegan stuff to the list. Vegan ice cream is good for those lactose intolerant peoples.

Whole Milk to Soy milk*

So at HU I switched from whole milk to soy milk to help reduce my cholesterol. Soy milks fat content is close to that of 2% milk but it doesn’t have the bad cholesterol. Soy also has more protein and fiber then regular milk. Soy also has isoflavones which are hormone estrogen. Isoflavones are shown to help prevent many cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis and more. Interestingly the isoflavones are a reason why many people stop soy, feeling like too much estrogen is a bad thing (I won’t argue that point)Since then I have made more milk changes. I went back to whole milk when I was preggo and now I have made a switch again.

Pasta to whole grain pasta

Like white rice, regular pasta is a bunch of carbs with a lack of nutrition. This is because the outer layers the bran and the germs are removed to make it white. Taking these parts away also take away most of the nutrients and fiber. I slipped off this band wagon when I moved home, but now the family is on board and now I don’t have to be a conscientious objector to dinner.

Recently established switches

Syrup to maple syrup

Why? That Aunt J and Ms. B stuff is really just high fructose corn syrup. Don’t be fooled by the corn industry sponsored commercials that stuff is not good for you.

Sugar to Raw Sugar

Even though any added sugar is not the best for you I have still made the switch to raw. Why? Well her is how sugar is made

"White" sugar is created in a couple of ways. Mill white sugar is the result of sulphur dioxide being introduced to the cane juice before evaporation. It effectively bleaches the mixture. In the production of refined white sugar, which is the most common product in the Western world, the raw sugar syrup is mixed with a heavy syrup and run through a centrifuge again to take away the outer coating of the raw sugar crystals. Phosphoric acid and calcium hydroxide are then added to the juice which then combine and absorb or trap impurities. Alternatively, carbon dioxide is used to achieve the same effect. The resulting syrup is then filtered through a bed of activated carbon to remove molasses and then crystallized a number of times under vacuum. It is then further dried to produce white refined sugar like we buy in the store.”

In contrast raw sugar is just mixed with lime juice as opposed to the refining process.

Honey: this is not a switch per say but I use honey frequently, for from my food and in for hair and skin care.

Whole milk to 2% milk

This one was mainly for my dd who has put on some serious weight. I want her to maintain it and not gain more so I have made the switch to 2 and 1%.

Soy to Almond milk

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. I went through a serious soy phase, soy milk, soy cheese, soy meet, soy ice cream etc. Although there is a lot of good so I switch to Almond. It has many of the pluses of soy and it has even less calories plus other goodness like lots of magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, and calcium.

Sugar water to 100% juice

This change has been a long time coming and is still a work in progress. I can’t completely claim it because I will say if I run out of the good stuff I fall back on the sugar water. Inshallah I will start to just fall on the water, or even better my whole family will get on board and not be tempted by the price of sugar water and stop bringing it into the house. This one should be self explanatory, but most juice in stores are water and then 10% juice with LOTS of high fructose corn syrup. You really have to read the juice containers, juices like ocean spray are slightly better with an average of 25% juice and sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup , but um better is not good enough.

Regular waffles and pancakes to whole wheat

Previously I have only been able to find these options in my favorite breakfast spots but now I know where to get the mix to make it at home, yum in my tum.

Switches to come

Any Meat to Halal Meat only

Regular pizza to whole wheat pizza

In conclusion I am limiting things that go through refinement. The benefits to you are more nutrients = more energy, less carbs = less pounds, more fiber and protein = feeling full longer. Eating better is also better for the environment, less time in factory less air pollutionJ.

Feb 25, 2011

Muslimah2Muslimah: Hijabi Recessionista: FIND OF THE WEEK: The Muslim...

Muslimah2Muslimah: Hijabi Recessionista: FIND OF THE WEEK: The Muslim...: "Who doesn't love a good mani-pedi? But whats the point when you know that you're not supposed to wear polish. We love the look of manicure..."

Jan 8, 2011

Iqra because reading is fundamental

One of my good friends has recently challenged me (and herself) to read a book a week. I am excited to have some motivation to read the hundreds of books spewed across my home. I have books still in shrink wrap on my bookshelf, books in boxes hidden in closets and corners, vhs racks converted into book-shelfs, books in just about every room. I tend to see something interesting buy it and then never get around to reading it. But the tide has changed, and starting today I will get around to them.

In addition to reading a book a week we will be writing a review of it. Guess who gets to benefit? You do (and the crowd roars). While my book reviews will give you a general idea of the content of the book they wont be another version of clip notes. Instead I will provide
my humble opinion, focusing on interesting and or insightful content, what I enjoyed and disliked, where you could purchase the book, if I would recommend it to a friend, background on the author and whatever else floats my boat at the moment.

I will most likely also provide links to the books my friend is reading, especially if we happen to read the same book or a book on the same topic. Feel free to join the challenge and or recommend books to read.

So look out for reviews on these books
Grow It: How to Grow Afro-Textured Hair to Maximum Lengths in the Shortest Time by Chicoro




Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an by Asma Barlas




Play to Talk: A practic
al Guide to Help Your Late-Talking Child Join in the Conversation by James MacDonald Ph.D and Pam Stoika Ph.D


Curly Like Me: how to grow your hair healthy, long and strong by Teri LaFlesh

Deeper Roots: Muslims in the Americas and the Caribbean from before Columbus to the present by Ar. Abdullah Hakim Quick


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