8 ISN’T ENOUGH…Drink Half Your Body Weight!

THAT’S RIGHT! Unless you’re 128 lbs, 8 glasses or the recommended 64 oz of daily water intake is NOT ENOUGH. Wanna know why? Let’s talk it out.

Drinking water is among the top three most amazing things you can do for your body everyday because it’s the most awesome and magical liquid out there. We have all been told at some point that we need to drink more water, but do you truly understand why it’s necessary or are you doing it because Mama said so or not doing it because you just don’t like it…tsk tsk tsk if you’re the last one. Here’s why it is sooo important that we drink water every day and just how much we’re talkin’.

  • Drinking water provides the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. This is why I drink 16 oz of room temperature to hot water with a squeezed lemon half every morning. It gets things going. Lets your organs know it’s time to wake up and do the doggone thang!
  • Water regulates your body temperature just like the water in your car’s radiator keeps your car from running hot. Such an easy way to take care of your body’s thermostat.
  • Water helps transport oxygen to your cells, remove waste and protects your joints and organs. Get rid of those middle of the night Charlie horses like I did by getting your water in.
  • Suffering from dry hair and/or skin? Drinking water provides the necessary moisture to combat those pesky issues better than any product or cream on the market. Your very own internal automatic sprinkler system ;-).

water per day

The earth is covered with 70% water and we know how bad off we’d be if that was taken away! Well our bodies are made up of a high percentage of water as well. If you don’t replenish it just imagine the Sahara Dessert over your entire body internally and externally. Making it a point to get your water intake is the most cost-effective way to alleviate some of your bodies most common ailments and issues. Take your current body weight, divide it by two and that is the number in ounces you should drink per day. You wanna drink less water? As your weight decreases so will the amount of water you need for optimal living. Two years ago when I started this journey I was 211 lbs and my body required 106 oz of water per day. Today I only need 80 oz at my current weight, but I’m so used to the benefits that I still get in up to 100 oz. I’m hooked (^_^)! Of course you can drink it as is or there are tons of recipes on this great internet of fruit and herb infused water.

What’s  your favorite recipe/way to drink your water? What best practice will you share that keeps your intake on target? Share down below in the comments.

(Hold your bottle, glass or jar of water in the air) CHEERS to making our Earthly Bodies a safe place to live <3!

Vegan Potato Corn Chowder

Nothing says comfort in the colder months than a nice warm fire and sitting cuddled up with your love while eating a nice big bowl of chunky amazing soup! I can’t help you with the first two parts of that perfect evening equation, but the third one I’ve got you! This will hands down be the best, easiest, creamiest soup recipe you have made. And of course it doesn’t have to be cold outside to enjoy this deliciousness, but we have had some strangely cold temps down in South Alabama this winter and my soup game has had the chance to truly evolve ;-). You’re welcome!

Yes that's merlot in the back. It doesn't go in the soup...but makes the event of making it even better (^_^).
Yes that’s Merlot in the back. It doesn’t go in the soup…but makes the event of making it even better (^_^).

To get started here’s what you’ll need:

4 large potatoes chopped

1 small onion chopped

8 celery stalks chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 cps yellow corn (organic, frozen)

1 cp raw cashews

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 1/4 tsp salt (you know I looove Himalayan pink salt)

1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash

1/4 tsp celery seed

7 1/2 cps water

large soup pot

blender

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Over medium high heat add your EVOO, onion, celery and garlic. Sautee until your onions are translucent. Once they are add your water and potatoes. Cook on medium high until taters are tender (12-15 minutes once water gets warm). After they are tender add corn.

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Now for the part that makes it creamy! In your blender add 3-4 ladles of your soup including broth and 3 ladles of just broth. Add cashews, Mrs Dash, celery seeds and salt.

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Blend until smooth.

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Add mixture to pot and stir.

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And voila! Vegan, creamy, chunky, delicious potato corn chowder.

Serve in your favorite soup bowls garnished with smoked paprika and scallions as pictured at the top.

Nom Nom Nom! What is your favorite vegan soup recipe? Leave a comment below.

 

DON’T Take 2 Pills and Call Me In the Morning!

I wish so badly to be able to say one day that our Health Care System, the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are using their powers for good…that day is not today. We currently live in a world where the majority of doctors are prescribing drugs for conditions that cause side effects that require the consumer to need additional drugs to “treat”. On top of that all of these conditions can be eradicated with a proper diet of REAL food nutrition and exercise. I know this…trust me…even though I’m not a doctor (yet). Trust me because I’m a patient of consuming REAL whole foods and gifting my body exercise 6 days/week. Trust me because the conditions I suffered with up to Fall 2013 and the meds attached to them are now only remembered in the words of my testimony.

I started my cycle at the age of 8 years old and have always suffered with chronic menstrual cramps on day 1. I’m talking extreme, sharp pains shooting from my abdomen and into all of my extremities. I am fortunate that I only suffered for 1 day, but by the time I felt grown enough to get my own pain meds I was popping 3-4 ibuprofen throughout those 24 hours to deal with the symptoms…

During this miraculous time of the month (or for pain in general) make tea from fresh ginger and ditch the drugs!
During this miraculous time of the month (or for pain in general) make tea from fresh ginger and ditch the drugs!

Spring 2009 the level of fatigue I was experiencing was embarrassing. I was only 33 years old and only married for 3 years. Sure, being the manager of a top 3 bank with a multi million dollar book of business was stressful, however I knew not even that should cause me to only have the strength to crawl in my bed by 6:00 each evening. No deal for a young married couple. I had blood work drawn up and it concluded I was hypoglycemic. After meeting with a dietician days later it was obvious that my diet and total lack of exercise were the contributing factors. I was in tears as the dietician informed me that my pancreas would not hold on much longer and I was threatening diabetes. I wasn’t even sure what my pancreas did, but I wanted it to stay right where God placed it….

Summer 2010 I was promoted to the corporate position of my career dreams. The ramp up process included weeks of airplanes, hotels, rental cars, take out and binders on top of binders of information I felt I needed to memorize. Not even 6 months later my body shut down!! I began to itch all over ALL the time. I thought I had a case of hotel bed bugs. That was quickly dismissed by my general physician. She prescribed a tiny white pill for anxiety. I asked no questions. A few weeks later while travelling I woke up around 2:00 a.m. in a hotel alone and could not move my head. The pain in my neck and head was the scariest thing I’ve ever felt. All I could do was call my husband who was 5 hours away and thru my tears say “Boo I’ve hurt myself…”. I honestly thought I was about to die so I moved my legs to slide out of the bed and put on sweat pants and a hoodie. My only thought was “if I’m about to die the paramedics can’t find me in my underwear”. The front desk called 911 for me and after an excruciating ambulance ride I was at the hospital E.R. being pumped with morphine. I couldn’t see…the muscles in my neck were seizing. A torticollis induced by stress and anxiety is what the doctor said I was suffering from. I commenced with a regimen of a muscle relaxer and anxiety med to cease the itching and have a peaceful sleep for the next 2 + years…

Then January 14, 2013 happened… Read My Natural – Emotionally. My entire world changed as I began researching a vegan lifestyle.

Vegan Food Pyramid
Vegan Food Pyramid

This is my Food Pyramid. In this pyramid I have found true health. My body has healed itself. I no longer suffer from menstrual cramps period! The wear on my pancreas has been reversed! My blood sugar levels are supreme! I have not popped a pain or anxiety pill since October 2013!

So don’t take 2 pills and call me in the morning. Instead eat from the bounty that grows from God’s earth. He has provided us with nature’s cure from the beginning. Give your body what it wants and it will SHINE for you!

What meds or conditions are you currently treating with real food or you want to know if you can? Leave a comment below.

LIKE THIS POST, SHARE THIS POST and INVITE OTHERS TO FOLLOW THIS BLOG WITH YOU. Here’s to making our Earthly Bodies a safe place to live <3.

Kale Yeah!

If  you know me in real life or through social media you will find it no shocker that I LOVE KALE!

Oh let me count the ways…

Juicing

Smoothies

Salads

Sauteed

Chips

I have three words…nom nom nom. You would be super safe taking my word for it, but here are some supporting facts as to why this magical green should be a staple in  your life. And with all the delicious variations it will be an easy nutritional addition. You’re welcome (^_^).

Kale Yeah!
Kale Yeah! Two of three main types of kale: Dinosaur (aka Lacinato) and Curly kale.

This green is definitely the first example I gladly give to the overheard question vegans get ” but where do you get your protein from?”. But its greatness doesn’t stop there! Kale is also high in fiber (YES!), folic acid (YES!), potassium (okay I’ll stop saying YES after this one…you get it I’m a fan), calcium, vitamins A, C, K and B6, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese and copper. Add to that that it is an excellent aid in weight loss and you should be asking yourself which way will I be fixing this tonight?! Still not convinced? Really? Okay pick something from the remainder of kale’s impressive resume. It’s packed with phytonutrients, helps keep skin healthy and strong, rich in antioxidants, a proven immune system and metabolism booster, an anti-inflammatory, helps activate detox enzymes in the liver and in case I forgot to mention it tastes fantastic. However for those of you that just can not take the taste of greens :-/ I’ve got you. Using kale in your juice and smoothie recipes is genius because it is trumped by the taste of your favorite fruits without compromising its nutritional value.

How do you incorporate kale into your healthy eating? Leave a comment below!

NOW GO GET YOU SOME KALE!  But first LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE this blog post. I have one dream…to make the world a better place by helping others make their body a safe place to live. I hope this helps you <3.

It has been a great 2014! Thank you from Earthly Bodies Natural Living

This year has truly been a blessing to me in so many ways. I would like to give thanks in this post to those who are responsible for it all. Let me start by thanking Father GOD! You whispered my purpose in my ear before you planted me in my mother’s womb. I will never forget the day in 2013 biking along the beach with My Boo when I heard you say it again and it sounded so familiar and just right to me. Thank you for having a plan for my life…for knowing my beginning and still standing at the end. Thank you for being omnipresent and taking every step right alongside me. What the enemy intended to kill me with You have used to birth something wonderful and beautiful. I am in awe of what you are entrusting to me Father. I will never cease finding ways to ensure that You always get the glory and honor for what you are doing in my life.
I feel closest to Father when I'm on the water. Fairhope Al pier.
I feel closest to Father when I’m on the water. Fairhope Al pier.
Next I’d like to thank My Boo/My Husband. I could absolutely fill this page with all the things you have been to me, but for now I’d like to world wide web publically thank you for loving me as Christ loves His church. Unconditionally you love me and still have the same look in your eyes as the day we met 10 years ago. You see things in me that I may never see, but I’m so thankful that you do. You have physically chased me like I’m the finest woman on earth whether I was 211 lbs. or 165 lbs. I’m a lot quicker and stronger now, but don’t worry I’ll always want you to catch me <3. You have embraced me in this journey since losing our sweet baby January 2013 in a way I didn’t think possible. You are truly my #1 fan! Your support, curiosity and encouragement inspire me daily to do more and be better. The best is yet to come My Love!
Look at that smile...he is My Love. Boo and I New Orleans 2014
Look at that smile…he is My Love. Boo and I New Orleans 2014
To my Daddy, Mama, Brother and my Daughter thank you for your love and support. I know you may not understand why I do all that I do now, but you still respect it. I never have to worry about what I’m gonna eat when I see you or answer any questions in defense of my lifestyle. You have been my cheerleaders because you see the smile that comes from the changes I’ve made on the inside.

Daddy thanks for reading each of my posts and being concerned when I posted those “nudie” pictures, LOL. This is not from 2014, but it is my favorite picture of Daddy and I. My wedding day May 2006.
Daddy thanks for reading each of my posts and being concerned when I posted those “nudie” pictures, LOL. This is not from 2014, but it is my favorite picture of Daddy and I. My wedding day May 2006.
Mama thank you for FLOODING your Facebook timeline with EVERY post from my blog and Earthly Bodies Facebook page.  I think you may really be proud of your lil girl (^_^).
Mama thank you for FLOODING your Facebook timeline with EVERY post from my blog and Earthly Bodies Facebook page. I think you may really be proud of your lil girl (^_^). Early 2014. Photo bombed by my heart/oldest niece Jaxen.
Lil BROTHER thank you for your random compliments. I beam when you say “you look good Hanna”. Even though we’re adults now I still want to make my lil brother proud.
Lil BROTHER thank you for your random compliments. I beam when you say “you look good Hanna”. Even though we’re adults now I still want to make my lil brother proud. January 2014 the day his youngest daughter (the other half of my heart Jalisa) was born.
WoW have you changed on my journey! Who would have dreamed you would be asking me to roast broccoli, brussels sprouts or asparagus?! Thank you for being proof that I'm being a good example for you.
Heaven, WoW have you changed on my journey! Who would have dreamed you would be asking me to roast broccoli, brussels sprouts or asparagus?! Thank you for being proof that I’m being a good example for you.
Finally thank you the Earthly Bodies reader for coming in to visit, revisit and share my post with anyone you felt would benefit from the info (which is everyone ;-)). Without you this little space on the web would only be a journal or diary for me to get thoughts out of my heart and head in black and white. I actually told Father God I would be okay if that was what this blog was meant to be because He knew how much I needed an outlet especially as the blog took that pivotal turn and became more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you for over 3700 views from 67 different countries this year!! This girl from South Alabama, USA is honored (^_^)
Thank you Earthly Bodies family!! You ain't seen nothin' yet ;-).
Thank you Earthly Bodies family!! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet ;-).
I am so giddy with excitement and anticipation of what 2015 has in store for Earthly Bodies Natural Living, LLC. I have had the opportunity to meet, speak with and consult some amazing people this past year and I’m forever grateful you have allowed me to take this journey with you! As for the blog I look forward to sharing more with you guys on a more frequent basis. Look for tons of motivation, inspiration, movie and book recommendations, work out plans, recipes, interviews, giveaways and MUCH MUCHMORE! You won’t want to miss any of it. If you’re not already following the blog through WordPress do so! That way each post is automatically delivered to your email once they go live.
What are your healthy living aspirations for 2015? Let me know in the comments below.
Here’s to a naturally healthy 2015 spiritually, emotionally and physically! Another opportunity to make our Earthly Bodies a safe place for us to live.
We love you for reading! Happy New Year,  Christovia & Johanna Earthly Bodies Natural Living
We love you for reading! Happy New Year,
Christovia & Johanna
Earthly Bodies Natural Living

RESULTS! Dherbs 20 day Full Body Cleanse – Fully Raw Vegan

Hi everyone HAPPY FALL! This is such a beautifully glorious time of year. A time to slow down and enjoy the beauty around us and inside us.
I just wanted to drop in quickly to give you an update on my 20 day full body cleanse while eating a raw vegan diet. I just could not let September roll outta here without giving you what I promised.  After a lot of research and consideration I decided to complete this journey with the Dherbs full body cleanse. I stuck to this seriously strict regimen from August 21st – September 9th. You can read all about it on their website dherbs.com. But in the meantime here’s my take on the overall experience. That is why you stopped by isn’t it?
As I said this is a 20 day full body cleanse that focuses on cleansing all of your major organs and systems. Included in the cleanse are 7 different formulas six of which you take in a capsule and the final one is activated charcoal that you stir into a glass of water. Each formula is developed to pin point a specific organ/system: Formula 1 – Blood and Lymphatic, Formula 2 – Cardiovascular, Formula 3 – Liver, Gallbladder and Spleen,Formula 4 – Lungs and Respiratory, Formula 5 – Kidneys, Bladder and Adrenals, Formula 6 – Colon and Digestive Tract and Formula 7 taken at bedtime to absorb harmful toxins and wastes. For 20 days you take these formulas in 5 capsule doses every 2-3 hours. Your diet while on the cleanse is fully raw vegan which is genius because raw foods don’t lose any of their nutrients through cooking or heating. Also, the majority of raw foods are alkaline, which helps keep your body’s pH levels balanced. Prime environment for ultimate health! Just in case you try to get technical the cleanse spells out what you are and are not to have in detail. A fully raw food vegan diet is solely raw veggies (and juice), fruits (and juice), legume sprouts, sea plants, raw nuts, nut butter, seeds, raw herbs and plant oils. NOOOO animal products! No man-made (processed) sugars, dairy products (vegan or traditional), meat, fish or poultry, soy, tempeh, gluten grains or starches, wine, beer, liquor, vinegar, coffee, caffeinated tea, any chocolate and anything you would try to fry (I live in the South we’ll fry anything!). Did I mention this cleanse was pretty daggum strict?!? I’m still waiting on my superhero costume to arrive from Dherbs for completing this gauntlet ;-).
Before I get into my personal pros and cons here’s a before and after photo.
Dherbs before and after
Let me get right to the physical numbers because if you’re still here reading I’ll lose you if I don’t hurry up and give you this. Promise you’ll stay and read the rest though. Deal?? Overall I lost 8.5 lbs. and 10.5 inches from my arms, waist, abs, hips, butt and legs. Notice that I called these my physical numbers and not my results. This is because a) I didn’t do this for the weight loss just like that wasn’t why I became a vegan 16 months ago and b) my results took me and kept me in an emotional and mental place that I have become protective of in this lifestyle. Now that we’ve gotten that out the way let’s talk pros and cons shall we…
PROS:
  • (At first read this will seem contradictory, but just hear me out) The physical numbers. Some of you are probably reading saying ‘what you did all that for a measly 8 lbs. and 10 inches?!?!’. Here’s the deal…the body on average can carry around 25 lbs. of toxins! So the fact that I only had 8 lbs. to get outta there is a major victory! It’s a testament to how respectful I’ve been to my body in my lifestyle. You with me? See your body will lose what it has to lose when you make the proper changes. Those physical numbers are what my body had to lose…YASSSSS!!!
  • Detailed guidelines. If you are a person like me that likes to have consistency in your life you will love how this cleanse is structured. Don’t know when to take which formula, what to eat, when to eat it, how much of what to drink?? NO WORRIES it is all outlined in the regimen, explanation and FAQ booklet that comes with the cleanse. I loved that all the guess work was taken out of the process. I needed those brain cells to keep myself encouraged and on task.
  • I couldn’t overeat! Yeh that never got old! When eating a 100% plant based diet you consume until you’re satisfied. No calorie counting, food weighing, plate proportions, none of that! And I got to make some of the most beautiful raw vegan recipes. You have to check out my Instagram @earthlybodies to see some of those pics. The things I did with my vegetti spiralizer in those weeks were unanimously amazing!
  • Ahhh, the energy and mental clarity! I remember on day 8 waking up feeling ridiculously incredible. I said that morning I didn’t ever have to lose another single pound in life if that feeling would stay around forever! I popped straight up when the alarm went off and felt so light. I caught myself humming while putting on my shorts and sneakers and telling my fur baby Dulce what I was about to do to that treadmill, LoL. He had a smile on his face listening to me. I’m telling yall the energy was contagious at 5:15 in the morning.
  • My menses was the bomb! Sorry fellas if that’s tmi, but run and tell the ladies in your life. They want to know about an alternative to taking 6 ibuprofens on day 1 for cramps (Yeh, that was me…). I know it was the raw vegan diet. And I will now hence forth and forever eat raw 7-10 days prior to it cycling every month. That’s just too good to ever let go!
 CONS:
My Mama always said if you have to say something negative you also have to counter with two positives. Well you know what Mama I only have one negative/con to five positives/pros in my Dherbs experience (^_^). Making you proud.
  • The dosage. Not sure if yall started doing the math or hoped I made a serious typo at the beginning of this post…I didn’t. Every day for 20 days I took 5 capsules each of formulas 1-6. That was a total of 30 capsules per day. I hated the sound of the alarm I set every 2-3 hours to remind me to take my next formula. I had a ceremony on day 20 where I deleted each alarm after I completed each formula. WILL NEVER MISS THAT!
 (Drum roll please……..)
WILL I DO THE DHERBS FULL BODY CLEANSE AGAIN???
As of this post no. While I thoroughly enjoyed the curiosity, research and experience I’m not convinced that I wouldn’t get the same results and PROS with my diet and exercise alone. So my next challenge is to put that theory to the test. Starting Wednesday October 1st  I will be eating 80% fully raw, exercising a minimum of 25 minutes and getting in my 80-90 ounces of water daily for 15 days. I can’t wait to report back on my experience and results.
I bet yall caught the 80% fully raw part didn’t you?? LoL…you’re so observant. Let’s talk about that. I like warm food! There I said it. I prefer it specifically at dinner. It’s the one part of my mental that I haven’t conquered yet. I didn’t list that as a con in the cleanse because it was temporary. I can do anything for 20 days! So can you!
Let me show you what I had for dinner the night of day 21 to celebrate.
roasted brocolli
Nom Nom Nom! The whole pan of roasted broccoli all to myself. My Boo made it for me and it was the most delicious thing in life. Trust me after 20 days fully raw it was. I was knocked out like my 8 month old niece after taking a bottle of formula in like 20 minutes. My belly felt like Christmas Eve! Click here for the recipe. With that being said for this next healthy venture I will eat fully raw daily till 6 pm or whenever dinner is. However even at dinner I will not eat any grains, pasta, starches (bye potatoes…until we meet again), breads, etc. You get it…all those things I listed above.
Have you tried or wanted to try Dherbs? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below.
Alright beautiful people see you on the next one! I pray this helps someone. Please reach out with any questions you may have. Share this post with everyone you think would benefit from it…which is everyone. Your Earthly Bodies and I love you for reading!

TAKE OUT THE TRASH! Detoxing vs. Cleansing

If you are a human being the answer is a resounding YES you need to detox and cleanse your body. Why would this be any less important than putting the trash and garbage out of your house and onto the curb every Tuesday and Friday? IT’S NOT! (WOW what an awesome analogy, thank you God! I’m gonna take that one and run with it one day 😉 ).

First lets talk about the difference between a detox and a cleanse. Many times you will hear the words used interchangeably but there is a distinctive difference just like there is between garbage and trash. When you detox you are removing specific food(s) or food categories that have left you feeling bleh. You know the ones that have you foggy, bloaty, gassy, lazy, icky, heavy, grumpy, sleepy, sneezy and any other dwarf names you can come up with. Raise your hand if you’ve got time for that foolishness…riiiight. Detoxing is a great step in the right direction to better health and can be done more frequently and for longer durations. If you think about it I have been detoxing from animals and their by-products now for 16 months by choosing to eat vegan. Hallelujah! If you haven’t seen where that’s gotten me check out my post It’s My Vegan-versary! Another example of detoxing is when someone says they are going on a fast. This is done by the greatest number of people from all over the world during the Season of Lent. And it doesn’t aways have to be food. Sometimes people will detox from other things that have them feeling the same ways listed above like giving up social media, gossiping,  cussing, etc. Alright that’s detoxing. Are we good? Great! Let’s move to cleansing. When you cleanse you take all that a detox entails and go a step further by adding different foods, supplements, herbs and practices that focus on the cleaning of certain organs or systems in your body aiming to get them functioning to the best of their ability. The way Father God intended and created them to <3. Depending on the level and strength of a cleanse your body will only require this 1-4 times per year.

As I said earlier my temple is still benefiting from the ongoing detoxification of eating a mostly plant based vegan diet. I have been incorporating cleansing along the way.  My first cleanse was shortly after the beginning of my grand lifestyle change to eating a vegan diet in May of 2013 and it was AH-MAZING. I was lead and supported by my friend Tierra B. founder of Tierra Goes Green and it consisted of 10 days of  juicing as well as fruit, vegetable, nut and seed consumption where I was able to cook my veggies (i.e. steamed or roasted not fried people!) and daily supplements focusing on building my immune system as well as repairing and strengthening my reproductive system and mental clarity. My favorite benefits from this cleanse would have to be the knowledge and revelation I gained, my skin being crystal clear and the beginning signs of regulating my crazy menstrual cycle.  My second cleanse was a year later following my vegan-versary. This time I opted for a 14 day parasite cleanse where I studied and followed the research blogged by Organic Olivia. Yup you more than likely have parasitic worms living inside you that are getting to the good nutrients you are taking in before you can benefit from them. Uh heck no! I work too hard to put good things in my body and  I wanna keep.it.all!!!  This cleanse was also very enlightening and successful. There are TONS of videos out there of people capturing their journey on this cleanse.  And I’m warning you many of them very graphic as they search through their “elimination” to separate the different types of parasites to clearly define what their body has been dealing with. Yeh nah I didn’t go that far, but from watching the videos I was able to notice when I “passed” a parasite and what it was. I had a good number of liver flukes and round worms. Who knows how long they had been there!! I mean dang this was my first parasite cleanse and I’m 37. I’m not even sorry if you’re grossed out because knowledge is power. The fact is we de-worm animals shortly after they are born so why wouldn’t we de-worm ourselves?? I’m just sayin. My favorite benefit from this cleanse was noticing that I was no longer grinding my teeth while sleeping which is a symptom of parasites. I will definitely repeat this cleanse 1-2 times per year. This cleanse consisted of a colon cleanse drink and parasite cleanse drink that I took twice a day along with a daily probiotic and vegan diet. I pushed myself and did not eat any grains, pasta, potatoes (my weakness) or bread during this cleanse. There was lots of juicing, smoothies, a rainbow of delicious whole fruits and steamed or roasted veggies.

A month after completing that cleanse my family and I went on vacation in June to a beautiful part of Florida. I was enamored by all the vegan restaurants, cafes and bakeries along the way as well as where we were staying. Between where we live and I work there are only 2 vegan cafes so let me just tell you I didn’t know how to act. In my Kevin Hart voice I wasn’t ready! I was like a kid in a candy store for a straight week. Then that week was followed by a few business trips to Atlanta and OH LAWD do they roll the red carpet out for vegans! Everyday it was some kind of vegan bread, cheese, pastry, pizza, burger, sauce, etc. etc. etc….I was in trouble. Even though I still worked out 5-6 times per week I managed to put on 5 lbs and I felt heavy, bloated, lazy and icky within 9 weeks. CHECK PLEASE!! I was not going out like that. I’ve worked too hard and I remember why I started this journey. That shall never be in vain. Read  my post My Natural – Emotionally for that story. And so the research began for a full body and total system cleanse to get a clean slate. Success! As of Thursday August 21st I started my longest and strictest cleanse yet. A 20 day all natural full body cleanse while eating a fully raw vegan diet. I won’t be sharing the details or research behind this cleanse until I complete it as I don’t want anyone rushing out to try it before I can give a full comprehensive report of my results along with all pros and cons. What I can tell you for now is that as of today, August 24th, day 4 of 20 I feel GREAT! I am truly enjoying eating fully raw, experimenting with all the tasty recipes and listening to my body. Who would’ve thought that this country girl would ever be enjoying an un-hot meal.

Have you detoxed or cleansed? For how long? What was your experience? Leave your comments below.

I completely trust and believe in the process: Eat right, Believe in yourself, Make wise choices, Be patient, Work hard and Remember you’re worth it! When you make a mistake love yourself enough to make it right and even better than it was before<3. I look forward to sharing more with you. Here’s to making our earthly bodies a safe place for us to live.

My Natural – Mentally

There is so much amazingly beautiful knowledge that I have taken in on this journey and it is definitely a huge part of the reason becoming vegan is a permanent lifestyle for me. When you know better it’s a crime to not do better. Now days you won’t catch me anywhere without my Kindle Fire. I will probably always prefer the feel and sound of pages turning in my hands, but you can’t deny how cool it is to put your hands on any book or movie at any given time. So you guessed it I want to share one book and movie that you should get your hands on asap. Neither of these are going to “turn” you into a vegan instantly so calm down Sir and Ma’am…don’t be scared, LoL. My hope is that they just bring awareness into your world that your mind and body deserve the utmost respect and love from you. Let’s start with the book.

The Holy Bible

Yep! Best seller, most purchased and most under read book of all time. Father God laid it all out for us. I love how clear and plain His instructions are to us even when it comes to caring for our temple. I’m not just talking about one or two verses either…oh no it is obvious that our health be it physically , spiritually and mentally are top of His mind. Read my blog post titled My Natural-Spiritually to gain more insight and have some one on one book club time with your creator. The love you will feel from reading those passages is indescribable. The best hug you can ask for <3.

Hungry for Change

Ahhh this movie! I’m trying to figure out a way to support that this work be a mandatory watch. You know like how you can’t legally drive on your own until 16, not considered an adult in most states until the age of 18/19 and you can’t order or purchase alcohol until 21. I think you shouldn’t be allowed to physically hand currency (whether it’s cash, check, debit, credit or ebt card) from your hand in exchange for something to eat until you watch this film. That’s right. The reason I say once you’re buying food on your own is because for most of us when we were growing up in our parents home we didn’t have a choice. Shoot at least my lil brother and I didn’t! You ate what was cooked and put on your plate. And let me be honest…I grew up in the country and it wasn’t always the most recognizable plate setting. In fact there were a lot of times you weren’t even told what you were eating: squirrel, coon , rabbit, any given part of the pig from the rooter to the tooter. Lucky for Jay and I both Mama and Daddy could throw down in the kitchen and make all of that taste delicious so we hardly ever asked or wondered. But here’s the thing; just because that’s how we grew up eating didn’t mean we were destined to always consume those things. No more than if your parents drove like they were qualifying for Nascar every day of your life meant when you turned 16 you would drive the same. “This movie puts the food, diet and weight loss industries on front street exposing all their shocking secrets and deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping you from having the body and health you deserve.” It runs about 90 minutes…I promise you’ll love it.

What is the last book read or movie watched that fed your intellect? What did you learn from it? Let me know in the comments below.

Come back and let me know what you think by leaving a reply below or emailing me at earthlybodies76@gmail.com . As always I’m here to offer any support or answer any questions you may have. Oh yeah share this wherever and with whoever you think would benefit from reading…which is everyone (^_^). I love you for reading! Cheers to our healthy Earthly Bodies!

MY WEIGHT LOSS SECRET: Fast Food for breakfast, snack and lunch!!

I’m ready to share my most beneficial weight loss secret during my healthy lifestyle journey…

My definition of fast food is food that requires minimal preparation and can get in my belly FAST! Trust me you wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry…ask My Boo (-_-). If you haven’t figured it out already my go to fast food favorites are fresh fruits and veggies!! I absolutely love walking into a market and buying a few ripe bananas, a whole watermelon, a couple kiwis, a mango, a pint of strawberries, a large cuke and a couple roma tomatoes and checking out for the same amount I would have spent including tip at a restaurant for their soup and salad lunch combo. I WIN!!! I’m full, hydrated, glowing and feeling light, healthy and wise. On a typical weekday I will juice, if not done the night before to save time, 32-48 oz. of fresh, super yummy delicious juice in my Jack Lalanne. If you are looking for easy juice recipes finish up here and then read my post “The gift of Juicing!”. I wash down my daily vitamin and minerals with that and feel fully energized to tackle my day. I seriously feel like I’m glowing after drinking this. It’s usually around 7a.m. on my morning drive into work that I’m enjoy my fast food breakfast. This will hold me until around 10 a.m. perfect time for my fast food snack which is a large fresh fruit plate of whatever 2-3 fruits I’m feeling that day. I’m usually still feeling satisfied by lunch time, but eat anyway because in my line of business if I miss lunch it could be after 3:00 before I get the chance to do something about it. As I stated in the beginning my audience wouldn’t like me very much by then. So I am slicing up that wonderful cuke and those delicious roma’s. I sprinkle them with either Himalayan pink salt and pepper or tajin seasoning – YUMMMMM! Now I’m set to continue doing what I do best during the day. Around 3 pm I prepare another nice fruit plate with my remaining fruit. fruit plate A quick tip for those times when you feel like you need more in between the 2 1/2 – 3 hours of fast food (which is one week out of every month for me hint hint). I have on hand a mixture of my two favorite nuts, black walnuts, pepitas and either Craisins or dried figs – YASSSS!! Also I’m drinking on 90 oz. of lemon water, with fresh mint when I’m feelin’ real fancy :-), throughout the day. This seals the deal on me feeling completely satisfied all day. But wait what about that good ol’ watermelon I purchased up top?? When am I eating that?? First off let me say that between June and August it is ridiculous how much watermelon I consume! I don’t care if it’s red meat, yellow meat, from Washington Parrish, Louisiana,  Grand Bay, Alabama or wherever my go to Produce Outlet gets it from I’m gettin’ it in! On those days where I either didn’t make juice or didn’t grab additional fast food for snack or lunch I will consume a whole watermelon BY MYSELF (I’m such a lady).  For breakfast I will cut the melon in half and scoop half out for my drive in to work. Eat what’s left for snack and kill the other half for lunch with the remaining pieces for my afternoon fast food fix. No I don’t get tired of it because I only eat it when it’s in season and at it’s best for those 3 months out of the year. In fact I’m getting a little sad just thinking about the fact that the season is coming to an end… watermelon You know I guess I could say I’m a raw vegan for the majority of my day. This means my food doesn’t require cooking or come in packaging. Here are a few of the benefits I receive from eating this way:

  • I CAN EAT AS MUCH AS I DOG GONE WANT! That’s a benefit to a foodie like me. I get full, but I don’t feel miserable or hate myself for wearing that tight dress or need to unbutton my pants. This can be huuuuge for those of you out there like me that just like to graze, LoL.
  • When I tell you my energy is off the charts crazy you will just have to try it for yourself. What do you have to lose?! If I do need a quick pick me up my fast food banana or orange will get those good sugars right where they need to be and I don’t have to worry about the dreaded crash from caffeine, that evil white sugar or those horrendous “energy drinks”.
  • I talk about this feeling that the fog has been lifted in my juicing post (don’t forget to go check it out after you’re done here). My mental clarity has become addictive. I am not only more in tune with myself, but also others and the universe. Yup I said it and you want it.
  • It’s living food. Full of all the enzymes Father God intended for us to take in. Now I have nothing against cooked food. In fact I throw down on the stove when I get home most evenings! The fact still remains and can not be denied that cooking your food kills a lot of the nutrients it contains. It makes perfect sense! I read somewhere that if you take a cooked seed and a raw seed and plant it which one do you think will produce? Clear enough?

What’s your favorite living fast food? Why? Leave a comment below.

Do your body a favor and introduce more living raw foods into your daily diet. Whether you replace one meal a day or decide to challenge yourself for 3 -5 days during breakfast, snack and lunch your body will SHINE with the results! I hope you enjoyed this post and as always I thank you for dropping by my little piece of the web <3. Share this post with anyone you think will benefit from it which is everyone (^_^). Hopefully you join me soon on this mission to make our Earthly Bodies a safe place to live!


 

My Natural – Physically: My natural hair journey and regimen

Like so many other women one of the most liberating things I did in life was decide to start over fresh which of course equated to cutting all my hair off. I expected an I’m every woman, waiting to exhale, you’re gonna love me type of moment, but instead I was terrified and literally cried like a crazy person for 2 hours straight before, during and after it was over. This was Summer 2004. I hadn’t gotten a relaxer for 6 months prior to that evening when I went from shoulder length hair to only 3 inches of curly corkscrew spirals that I had no idea what to do with. Did I mention this was in 2004?! Waaay before returning natural was the cool thing to do. In fact to be honest I didn’t even know that was what I was doing, LoL!  There wasn’t even a trace of the abundant natural hair community support that there is today. It was 4 years later before I found my first natural hair guru on YouTube. Unfortunately, I had made so many bad decisions regarding my hair by then not even Curly Chronicles could save me.

The biggest of those bad decisions was that by 2012 90% of my natural hair journey consisted of me getting a weekly blow dry and flat iron followed by more flat ironing 5 days out of the week. It is an absolute WONDER that I still have this much hair on my head! Then in April 2012 my hair’s second chance walked into my teller classroom. I was so amazed at the beauty of this young lady and her hair. No chemicals, no color, just her natural texture in a beautiful crown twist. By the third day of training natural hair is all she and I talked about on breaks. I had no idea what had become of this movement. It was so on! I began watching YouTube more than tv…in awe of what had happened in 4 years since watching my first natural hair tutorial. I engulfed myself in it and between April 2012 to the present I have only straightened my hair twice all because I have fallen in love with my hair again. And it has never been healthier or more beautiful.

Now I’d like to share my tried and true regimen and favorite products and tools with you. If this post saves just one person from the angst of wondering what to do with their tresses then my job is done! On a weekly basis, no longer than 10 days, I detangle, clarify, deep condition, stretch my hair and style (in that order). The only exception to this time frame is if my hair is in a protective style like marley/Havana or Senegalese twists. So far I’ve only been able to stand to go 2 weeks without taking them out to cleanse. My hat is off to the ladies that can keep them in for 4-6 weeks… Ready? Let’s start from the top.

Detangle

detangle

This is to me the most important step in my entire process as it ensures minimal hair loss thru the remaining steps. I don’t care who you are and what hair type you have the goal is to at least end up with the same amount of hair that you started the day out with. My detangle time has been cut in half with my Q-Redew hand held steamer. I typically do this step the day before I plan to cleanse to really take the time and care required to decrease unnecessary breakage and hair loss. This is hands down a staple tool for me that you will never catch me without on wash day. I start by dividing my hair into 6 sections and lightly finger detangling to remove any loose shed hair and use my shears to snip any single strand knots that I can’t work out. I fill up the reservoir on my Q-Redew, plug it in and within 30 seconds the steam is ready to flow. It doesn’t matter how tangled up or dry my hair is the combing fingers and steam melt them away in minutes!  Once I finish a section I finger detangle again and then run my trusty modified denman brush thru. Then I take a nickel size amount of my favorite oil  mixture, avocado oil mixed with a few drops of lavender and rosemary essential oils, and run it thru the section. Finally I twist that section up and move on to the next one. There are tons of reviews and tutorials of ladies showing you how to use this tool so I won’t attempt to make a video unless I start getting requests ;-).

Clarify

clarify

This is where I get all of the past week’s product build up and environmental debris off of my hair and scalp. I look at it as a total reset for my hair’s ph. I haven’t used traditional shampoo for almost 2 years and with all the awesome-ness my hair and scalp receives from doing an ACV rinse I don’t see myself ever going back. In an 8 oz. color applicator bottle I mix 3 parts/6 oz. of water with 1 part/2 oz. of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. I and my hair prefer warmer water but you can use your discretion here. In my research I discovered that I have extremely low porosity hair which means my cuticles are slammed shut. Warmer water helps them to lift and be able to take in what I’m putting on my hair instead of it just laying on top. In fact I warm up  anything that goes on my hair now and it works wonders. Next I undo my twist and apply the mixture over the sink. I prefer the sink to conserve water and I hate jumping in and out of the shower. Completely saturate your scalp first and then squeeze what’s left on the length of your hair. You will actually notice the dirt and debris running into the sink without any manipulation. Yep it’s both very gross and very cool. Pile your hair up on top of your head with a clip. Place a towel around your neck and let the ACV mix sit on for about 3 minutes. After return to the sink, massaging your scalp and then rinse the mixture from your hair completely. The oil you used to seal your hair in the detangling step helps ensure your hair doesn’t get that stripped down feeling. Depending on how it feels after rinsing I may quickly run conditioner thru my hair. My conditioner of choice is the amazing Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. If necessary while the conditioner is on is a good time to do a final detangle. This conditioner provides lots of slip to remove any remaining knots or tangles.

Deep Condition

dc

This step is the reason I don’t use conditioner consistently in the step above. All because I know I am about to treat my hair to a spa like experience right after. My preference is to make my own homemade deep conditioner from a mixture of avocado, banana, honey and olive oil that my hair adores! However sometimes I just don’t feel like making it or I don’t have my ingredients on hand. When this is the case I have 3 super terrific all natural choices to turn to. Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renewal Deep Conditioner that you can pick up at your local Whole Foods or order online, Koils by Nature’s Ultra Moisturizing Coco Aloe Deep Conditioner ordered online and MainElement: Love’s Herbal Deep Conditioner ordered online. All are so super amazing and moisturizing for all hair types…you seriously can’t go wrong. I divide my hair into 4 sections and just slather my dc on ensuring every single strand is covered. Finally I cover my head first with a shower cap and secondly with my solid gold deep conditioning cap that encourages a green house effect allowing the dc to truly penetrate all that goodness deep into each strand. I leave the cap on anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. If I really want to heat things up I’ll jump on the treadmill. Healthy hair and healthy body…yes please! After the time has passed I rinse the dc out with luke warm/cooler water because I don’t want all those great ingredients to escape.

Stretch

stretching

One of the many mysteries about natural hair is how it has the ability to shrink. My hair when completely stretched reaches to my mid back, but if I leave it in it’s naturally curly state it is chin length once completely dry. That’s like 70% shrinkage! I prefer to keep my hair stretched because it prevents knots and tangles which lead to breakage which defeats my road to healthy length retention. This is a process and the stretching starts right after I rinse out my dc. I wring out all the excess water and wrap my hair in a t-shirt like a turban (using a tee instead of a towel prevents excessive frizz). The top of the turban actually has my hair twisted in it which is drying and stretching it at the same time. I leave this on for 30-45 minutes. Now that a lot of the excess water has been removed I add my all time favorite staple leave in Koils by Nature’s Moisturizing Shealoe Leave In Conditioner with Argan Oil. Yall I don’t play about this stuff! My hair is left with that final soft and silky feel that we all chase after. Finally I divide my hair into 2 sections, create 2 braids and crisscross them around my head securing them to my head with 2 bobby pins.

Style

stylers

My hair is usually dry within 2-3 hours of air drying. If I don’t have anywhere to go I’ll let it dry over night under my satin scarf. Now it’s time to decide how I will style. My style of choice is flat twisting. Depending on how defined of a look I’m going for I will place between 2 – 6 of them in. My styler of choice for awesome added moisture is Entwine Couture’s Exotique Butter-Crème Hydrator and for a soft yet strong hold their Crème Jelle Styler. I crisscross these twists also around my head securing with bobby pins to get the most stretch or add flexi rods to the end to acquire more curl. The next morning I undo my twist with a little of my avocado oil mixture on my fingers to avoid too much frizz. Then I use my pick to create tons of volume and pull my edges and “penny curls” together with my lovely MainElement:Love’s Shea Smoothie.

Feels funny typing the words and that’s all there is to it, but this regimen has become a piece of cake for me now! Consistency in your regimen brings consistency in your hair health. Here are a few more pictures to give you visuals of my turban t-shirt tie, 2 strand flat twists crisscrossed and the result of the stretched flat twists.

Here's an example of how I tie my t-shirt into a turban. My hair is twisted with the top. Stretching and drying at the same time. I'm throwing up the "L" for lupus awareness month.
Here’s an example of how I tie my t-shirt into a turban. My hair is twisted with the top. Stretching and drying at the same time. I’m throwing up the “L” for lupus awareness month.
Part hair like you want it to lay and do flat twists on the side. Crisscross around head and bobby pin in place to stretch or use rollers to create more curl.
Part hair like you want it to lay and do flat twists on the side. Crisscross around head and bobby pin in place to stretch or use rollers to create more curl.
The definition resulting from my 2 stretched flat twists. I used a pick to lift roots for more volume.
The definition resulting from my 2 stretched flat twists. I used a pick to lift roots for more volume.

If you’re interested in ordering any of the products or tools I’ve told you about here’s the info:

The Q-Redew handheld steamer – www.qredew.com (Tell Heidi I said hello (^_^).)

Denman brush, Logo by Cricket haircutting shears, satin scarf, deep conditioning caps, bobby pins, color applicator bottle, water spray bottle, duck bill clips and flexi rods – your local Sally’s / www.sallybeauty.com

Bragg’s ACV, Avocado Oil & Lavender/Rosemary Essential Oils– Your local health food market or specialty store

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner – Trader Joe’s Market

Main Element:Love Herbal Deep Conditioner – www.mainelementlove.com (Tell Tyrika I said heyyy girl (^_^).)

Koils by Nature Ultra Moisturizing Coco Aloe Deep & Moisturizing Shealoe Leave In Conditioner – www.koilsbynature.com (Tell Pam I said she and her products are amazing (^_^).)

Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew  Deep Conditioner – Whole Foods Market or www.camillerosenaturals.com

Entwine Couture’s Exotique Butter Crème Hydrator & Crème Jelle Styler – www.entwinecouture.com

 What does your hair care regimen consist of? What are your go to products? Let me know below in the comments.

SHARE SHARE SHARE this post with anyone you know who is newly natural (or not so much) or anyone just looking for tweaks to their current regimen/products/tools.  Thanks again so much for dropping by my little piece of the web <3.