For Those Who Hurt On Mother’s Day

Give yourself a hug, flowers or whatever makes you happy.

john pavlovitz

Tear

Today is Mother’s Day.

For many people that means flowers and handmade cards and brunches and hugs and laughter. It means celebration and gratitude and rejoicing.

But for some it just means tears.

For many moms and adult children out there, this day is a stark unsolicited reminder of what was but no longer is, or it is a heavy holiday of mourning what never was at all.

This day might bring with it the scalding sting of grief for the empty chair around a table.

It might come with choking regret for a relationship that has been horribly severed.

It might be a day of looking around at other mothers and other children, and feeling the unwelcome intrusion of jealousy that comes with comparison.

Consider this a love letter to you who are struggling today; you whose Mother’s Day experience might be rather bittersweet— or perhaps only bitter.

This is consent to feel fully the contents of your own heart…

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Happy Birthday Blog

Ok, I know y’all are saying….what?! Two posts in the same month, back to back?! Well, I’m noting a special occasion and that is….

Happy 5th Birthday to my blog!! It’s special day was actually yesterday February 8th.

Wow…5 years! I can’t believe it has been that long. And a few of you have been with me for the entire 5 years.

I want to thank all of you, whether you’ve been here with me from day 1 when I was on Blogger or have joined me since my move to WordPress a year ago. I really appreciate all of you as y’all have made this writing thang a wonderful addition to my life.🙂

How I Combat Winter Loc Dryness

Hi everyone! I’m back with a post to discuss an email question I got about loc dryness and winter weather especially baby locs, where it’s not advised to put any oil on them at that stage of development.

I think there are a few things that need to be looked at. Now this list is not necessarily in any particular order of importance though the first one I’m gonna list…is.

1. The amount of water you are drinking and your diet in general.

The body needs water and nutrients to do all the things it needs to do to keep you upright and on this side of the dirt.  lol  Our hair while serving a purposeful function, is not necessary for our survival and is therefore last on the line when the nutrients are dished out. So, if there is not enough coming in, your hair ain’t gonna get any. lol  Make sure you get enough of  the good stuff, ie veggies, fruits  water so that there will be enough left over for your hair/locs after the body has gotten what it needs. I’ve noticed when I’ve stepped up my veggie intake, my locs are better for having done that.

2.  Product buildup on your hair before locking.

If you are about to loc your hair or have just started the locking process, I would recommend clarifying your hair. I wish I would have done this before locking my hair. See the next point about why.

3. The shampoo you’re using.

The type of shampoo you are using can make a huge difference in how your locs/hair retain moisture. If your hair is  sensitive to silicone and they buildup on the hair or are already built up on the hair, this can prevent absorption of moisture into the locs. Some natural soaps/shampoos can have the same effect though not from silicone but from other ingredients  although natural, not agreeing with your hair. Dr. Bronner’s soap had this effect on my locs. My use of shea butter in my loose hair days and a brief period after the year mark had the same effect as well.

4. Your drying method.

I mentioned in an earlier update that I air dry my locs. I noticed that when I allow my locs to air dry, they stayed hydrated and soft longer. For the last year I have not had to spritz my locs with water in between washes. I feel that this is due to letting my locs keep all that they can, the moisture that’s put in when washing and rinsing. When my locs were babies, I would sit under the dryer in the winter. However, I had to spritz them everyday because they felt scratchy and crunchy. This started to not make sense to me so I stopped using the hair/blow dryer.

Now I just washed my locs this past Thursday putting a scant…and I do mean scant amount of oil on them because I’m out of oil that’s been strained of the herbs that were infused into the oil and I was too lazy to strain the bottle I’ve got in order to use the oil. So you might as well say I did not put any oil on my locs. lol It’s now Saturday, 2 days later and my locs still feel moisturized.  Ah ha..this is great because that means my oil will last even longer than it already does! Which means…less work for me!! As I  get older, I’m all about simplifying my life. Any who, the drying thang brings me to the next point.

   5. Forced Air Heating & Cooling

Ok how does a hair/blow dryer dry? The answer is in the label especially the blow dryer…it blows out heated air. And what is one  of the things we naturals are told to decrease because of the (pun intended) drying effects…heat. The heated air from the dryer is forcing the moisture out of your locs/hair faster than it can absorb it.

Well the furnace/heater that are in a lot of homes is basically a big ole dryer. So, it is going to have the same effect on your hair  as using a hair dryer, just not as fast. That’s why you hear the experts saying if you are plagued with sinus issues, scratchy  throats, dry skin etc in the winter, the humidity level in your home is too low. These big dryers are…drying out the humidity in the air to heat the air quickly.

So, if you have not allowed your locs/hair to soak up all the moisture they could hold and you are in a forced air heated environment…weIl you’re probably gonna have dry locs/hair. This means you will have to replace that moisture somehow which will mean spritzing with water as often as needed. If the humidity levels in your home are low it may help to have some water sitting in a few bowls around the house.

This winter is the first one where I’m not using any forced air heating and I can tell the difference in my locs as I have cut down the amount of oil I was putting on them after washing for reasons stated above. See, laziness pays off sometimes.🙂  Plus I do not have a low humidity issue in my home.

Now I know the question asked was about winter dryness but the same thing applies in the summer as a lot of folks spend a lot of time indoors under air conditioning. AC works under the same basic principle. Instead of forcing in heated air, it’s forcing in cooled air with the moisture (humidity) removed from it. This is why your locs/hair can feel dry in the summer as well even though you live in an area with humid summers.

6. Cotton pillowcases, scarves, hats.

Yes, these things can rob your locs/hair of moisture so wear a satiny type fabric under your hats if you are in an area where you  need to put a hat on your head in the winter. I wear one of those cheap, polyester sleep caps that you can get at the beauty  supply store under my hat when I have to wear one. I got mine from Wal-Mart, in the hair accessories aisle.

As for the pillowcase, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on satin pillowcases. I just got a yard of satiny like material that was  on sale and tied it on my pillow as a pillowcase. I have a post of it here. One of these days, I’ll actually sew the fabric as a pillowcase…maybe.😉

Well that’s all that comes to mind for to ideas about why your locs are dry and how I combat winter dryness or dryness period. I hope that helps and if any of you guys that are vets or any loc’ers in the loc game have any other tips or things that you do, put them in the comments below.🙂

 

 

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The Unspoken Contract of Elder Care and Their Lifestyle Health Issues

Warning: This Area Contains Tobacco Smoke

Warning: This Area Contains Tobacco Smoke (Photo credit: tbone_sandwich)

 

I’m no health expert or any kind of expert for that matter nor do I pretend to be one on this blog. I just talk about things the way that I see and experience them firsthand, which will sometimes ruffle feathers because as I mentioned in my last post, I don’t always follow status quo thinking especially when it makes absolutely no sense. You know how the saying goes ” the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result”.

What I want to talk about today is the unspoken contract of adult children caring for their aging parents/relatives, specifically elders with chronic health issues that are “accepted” as issues that come along with aging. Though seemingly unrelated, this is a continuation of my last post as it ties into the general point I am making. And that is the program we’ve been given to follow is imploding under its own weight and is no longer viable. Not that it ever was in the first place. The only reason its been able to continue in the state is has is because only a brave few had the gonads to question it and when they did, they faced being ostracized by society. Also because of the numbers of those benefitting from going along to get along were far greater, even though they did not realize the benefits they were getting would later be ripped away because it can’t be sustained. No living being can defy natural law.

If one does just a little research, they’ll find that diet and lifestyle plays a huge role in health and well-being. Many of the labeled dis-eases are preventable and where there are “inheritances”, the switch can be kept in the “Off” position by diet and lifestyle. The sad thing about this is that a lot of this research is not new as in the recent decade. For example, I remember as a small child back in the 70s (yep, I’m seasoned) commercials on TV from the Surgeon General about the dangers of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke. There are other studies about missing nutrients and health that date back to the 1930s! Waaay before my time…but I think you see what I mean. Now granted some of the research is skewed, which is why one should check who is doing or more importantly, funding the research. Follow the money.

Getting back to my point, its unreasonable and utterly selfish to expect adult children to care for their parents when they (the parents) have lived a lifestyle of smoking, drinking alcohol and/or the SAD (Standard American Diet) for decades and steadily refusing to change their habits when this knowledge has been easily accessible. Maybe not as accessible as it is today but the library was and is still around so there really is no excuse.

Now I know this seems like imposing control or taking away somebody’s right to live the way they choose. Nope, not at all as I’m a live and let live kind of person. If you want to sniff glue, formaldehyde, paint thinner, eat bacon, one at a time or all at once, it makes no difference to me as long as YOU suffer the consequences that come along with that choice that YOU made. Just as this is your right, it is also the right of the adult child to choose not to devote their resources (one of their most precious resources is time) having to deal with you. Sorry parents but this is not a one way street as you have manipulated it to be when the child was under the legal age to enter into a contract.

In rebuttal there have been statements made to me directly and indirectly “Aunt Mary smoked for 60 years and lived to age 92”, “Grandma grew up eating sausage, bacon, pork chops and eggs every morning” or Grandpa drank for years and lived ’til 80″ etc.

When I hear statements like this I chuckle under my breath because it immediately tells me they want to justify continuing their behavior followed by guilt inducing statements to continue or start the adult child’s help. Also it’s pretty well-known that most folks did not live past 70 and the few that did live past those ages living that kind of lifestyle did not live totally independent of some kind of family help.

I’ve even heard older folks say” I’m gonna keep smoking,drinking, whatever and if I get sick, my kids better take care of me”.

Excuse Me???!!!!!!!

Need I say it? Most definitely to be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Housing the Right Way for You

Who Listens To The Little Guy?

Who Listens To The Little Guy? (Photo credit: infomatique)

 

I haven’t followed the status quo thinking regarding finances because for a long time. It seems to me like the deck is stacked against you if you follow the road that’s been laid out. Then the road is re-routed and the net cut away, with you left dragging a mountain of debt around for decades. I’m not a Christian but I know for a  fact the Bible says “The borrower is a slave to the lender”. Not a position I want to be in, Christian or not.  Been There Done That, got the t-shirt in extra large.

The old paradigm that our parents operated under is no longer viable for anyone 65 and under and the sooner you realize this the better off you’ll be.

The main one and the biggest expense…housing. What is it they always tell you? Stretch a bit to buy a house a bit bigger than you need -so you can grow into it, have room for the family gatherings, traveling visitors, etc, in the best school district and it’s an investment. Excuse me while I find a shovel for all that poop. 

Are you having family gatherings everyday? Probably not. As a kid I know some of y’all remember either your grandparents, parents, or somebody in the family who had the “living room” or “dining room”  with the plastic covered furniture that you only pass through to get to the main area of the house, only gets used 1-4 times a year and you betta not have your behind playing in there?!!  Why call it a “living room” or “dining room”?!  There was no real living or dining being done in here on a daily basis. Not even part-time living and dining.  Sorry but this never made any sense to me as kid and I was not paying any bills so it made absolutely no sense to me when I was “encouraged” to leave home at 18-19 yrs of age.

Out of town or overnite guests everyday? Probably not…and at that point they aren’t guest anymore and need to be contributing to the household. Again makes no sense to buy to have all that space because you can’t get a discount on your mortgage payment and property taxes based on this unused space for most of the year.

Buy a house in the best school district. Another play on your emotions. Your house in the best school district is no guarantee that your child is going to learn anything. Besides most if not all schooling teaches kids to be drones and makes you a slave with no time to talk to,  and teach your children about the way life really works. Then they become slaves because they don’t know what the heck is going on.

So, the younger generations (after the World War II generation) have been encouraged to buy too much house and renovate to have too much house with the promise of ever rising home values which they forgot to tell you meant higher prices for you. Higher prices, higher upkeep etc.

This ideology was probably ok (emphasis on probably because I have my doubts that it was ever ok even for those it existed for) in an era of darn near cradle to grave job security with pensions and paid healthcare in retirement. Now unless you’ve been living under a rock, that employment scenario is rare nowadays.  And if you do manage to find it, trust me in 5-10 years it will disappear one way or another. That’s a whole ‘nother post. 

Alright, I’m not saying you should live somewhere that you are scared to go home everyday but all the above reasons given to us to buy a house are IMHO the worse reasons to buy or even keep a house if it’s draining your budget. A house should not be bought as an investment like a stock or mutual fund. It’s not nor should it have ever been put in the same category. The stock market is basically a legalized casino. Most sane folks don’t take their bill money down to the casino every month.

What I am saying is a house should be first and foremost a safe place to lay your head and your place of operation to nourish yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. That’s the investment that propels you into your lifestyle which allows you to get further along your life path.  It sounds like the same thing but here is the difference. You set the value of the investment by knowing your values, not the financial talking heads who are not paying your bills. But it does take courage to get off the beaten path.   

How do you set the value? You buy with your life goals that you have determined in mind with reality firmly in mind. Choices made now have a huge effect on what the future will look like. Now this means you will have to do some work.

Is it important to you to have a place that you can show off but you are never there to enjoy it because you and your SO (significant other)  have to work 80-100 hours a week to make the mortgage and upkeep? Or would you rather have more time, cash and have a place that you and everyone in the household can clean up in an 1 hr or so?

If you are already in a house, are you straining to live every month? Is it important to keep up appearances or would you rather sleep well at night? What message do you want to teach to your children if you have any especially if they are young teenagers or young adults?

Only you can and should be the determinant of what your values are, meaning what’s important to you. What’s important to me might not be what’s important to you. I don’t know for sure but I would not be surprised if my house today if I wanted to sell it, might be worth less than the price I paid for it including the interest on the mortgage and “improvements”. That does not matter to me because the skills I have learned during the 13 years I’ve been here,  the peace of mind and quality of life gained over the last 7 years being totally debt free are priceless.  Has it been easy, heck no.  But I got some of the me back that was lost a long time ago. Also I’ve been able to significantly lower the stress levels due to happenings within my household, mine and my husbands family of dealing with elderly parents during that time because debt was not hanging over our heads. My house is small by todays standards, the standards when I bought it… it’s a 2 bedroom/1 bath, I have to go outside to get to my laundry room and I have no garage. I mentioned the price and interest here. Told ya, I don’t follow the status quo.

To be continued…

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Operation Lint Prevention

OK I’m back to discuss the second part in the email where I think she is asking how to prevent lint from getting into locs.

“…Secondly i am in the process of removing one of daughter’s locs due to unsightly lint, so much that when i look at it, i lose the joy! Yet, I don’t have any except at the back row. Please help!..

Again, I’m not a hair scientist so what I’m offering is my opinion based on critical thought of what I’ve observed on my hair. I think what products one uses plays a huge part in this. Commercial products containing things like mineral oil, lanolin, alcohol-the same ingredients that contributes to dry hair, seems to make our locs more of a magnet for lint.

However, some natural ingredients beeswax, and shea butter can be lint attractors as well.

A woman processes Shea tree nuts into Shea but...

A woman processes Shea tree nuts into Shea butter. Shea butter comes from the nuts of the Shea tree (Parkia biglobosa), and for women in poor rural comunities it can provide a pathway out of poverty. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shea butter while an excellent ingredient for helping our hair and skin lock in moisture, is a little waxy in texture.  That’s what makes it a bit hard to wash out of the hair. Not a problem with loose hair-big problem with locked hair.  I don’t even have to mention beeswax.

Some oils may react on your hair this way as well.  Olive oil, castor oil and lemongrass essential oil produce that sticky and slightly waxy feel on my hair. This is something one needs to pay attention to because oils react differently on everyone’s hair because we don’t all have the same hair texture. 

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I think some of the shampoos and conditioners that we use might also play a part in locs attracting lint. Linty clothes, hats, scarfs, pillow cases and sheets are culprits as well.

And last but certainly not least, the towels or whatever we are using to dry our locs after washing.

Have I had the problem described in the email? Yes. It’s one of the “issues” I said I was going to talk about in my 5 year update. Though it does seem like a combination of lint,  build up from products and oils that I had used in the early days of my braidlock journey.  While in the 1st year of my journey I was not using any oils, I had used bath towels to dry my locs after washing. And I had started using Dr. Bronner’s soap which has olive oil-I’ve already mentioned how olive oil works on my hair.

Bottle of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap

Bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then in the beginning of year 2, I started using conditioner ( the one that goes with the Suave clarifying shampoo) on my locs. I also used the Profectiv Strengther and I used a whipped coconut oil with a tiny amount of shea butter in it. None of these practices lasted long, but long enough to where I’m seeing the effects of using those items in my locs at the 4.5-5 year mark.

Now I had stopped using bath towels before the 2 year mark, briefly using a black pillow case and then I switched to ShamWow (?) towels to dry my locs. At the time I was washing my locs 2-3 times a week to combat my oily flaky scalp problem, so I need something to dry my hair during the winter.

But I’m wondering why am I having this issue when 1) my locs were short. 2) The ends of some of my back locs were hard early in my journey. 3) I rarely wear hats and the hats I did wear were black. 4) In the winter my locs were pretty much kept covered with a satin-like cap and they were a long way from my back thereby not touching my clothes. 5) I sleep on a satin-like pillowcase I made very early on in my journey.

What I’ve noticed is the raw African Black Soap has been acting like a gentle clarifier, which is a good thing. Over time, the ends that were rock hard have been gradually softening up and starting late last year-early this year, opening up. As a result, it’s coming up to the surface and/or releasing the stuff on its own. Some I have picked out which means I’ve lost some length on those locs and the locs which have done the task on their own. So yes, a frustrating setback but not enough to make me want to start my journey over.

In the recent few weeks, I’ve also done a deep clean using a bit of Dawn, yep the same Dawn that you wash dishes with, and a bit of baking soda by putting my locs in a small bucket with very hot water.  The pic in the last post, is after the deep cleanse.

English: No name baking soda

English: No name baking soda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I liked the results, I decided to deep cleanse every week with baking soda only, following up with another natural gentle shampoo that I’ll review later. I still love my Black Soap but I have been using it for a little over 3 years and wanted to try something different.

So this is one of the ways I’m going to use to prevent lint/buildup in the future as I really like how the baking soda seems to encourage the stuff to come to the surface to be washed away. A step that’s probably needed with locs since it’s hair that’s very close together.. different from loose hair. And it seems to make the locs fluffy and light. Funny because I know I used baking soda to wash so I wonder if I had kept up with that practice, I might not have these issues now.

The second method  I have used for about 2.5 years now is not using anything to dry my braidlocks. When I say air dry, that’s exactly what I mean…100% air dry. Also I still sleep with my satin-like material on my pillow.

The last method is sticking with (no pun intended) a light oil that does not have a sticky feel to it on my hair.

Ooo, something else I just thought of, the moisturizer we put on our neck.  I looked back at my early pics and noticed spots in those locks at the nape of the neck…way back then. I was definitely using whipped shea butter on my body so it’s not hard to imagine that some can rub off on those nape area locs. And as most folks do-take a shower, moisturize our skin, then style our hair. Residue from the moisturizer on our hands might be ending up in our locs and not getting completely washed out on wash day. This thought occurred to me as I’m noticing my nape locs don’t seem to have this issue anymore. Maybe because I haven’t used shea butter for some time now as a moisturizer. I stopped last year during the summer as it’s too heavy for summer use and never started back during the winter. Hmmm…might be something to try-using a light oil for your neck instead of a creamy product.

I hope that gives some food for thought on what I’m doing to prevent future lint and buildup in my locs. What are some of the things you all are doing?

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Why are the Tips of my Locs Lighter in Color?

I got this email from one of my readers or possibly YouTube subscribers and decided to answer it in a post or two as they are the “issues” I mentioned I had with my locs in my 5 year Braidlock post. Here is part of the email:
“….however, I have failed to find an answer as to why the loc tips lose colour – they look tinted. how can I avoid that. Secondly i am in the process of removing one of daughter’s locs due to unsightly lint, so much that when i look at it, i lose the joy! Yet, I don’t have any except at the back row. Please help!..”
Now I am not a scientist of any kind so what I’m about to say is strictly my opinion based on a bit of research and putting stuff together in my head! Results are not guaranteed. lol
Having said that, I think the reason the tips look tinted is due to oxidation of the hair which is a natural process but can be inadvertently hastened. It just looks more prominent on locs probably due to all the hair strands being wound together thus making it a lot more noticeable than on loose hair.  If one observes, it’s there on longish loose hair as well but you must be looking at it at the right angle in sunlight, ie the red-ish tint you can see on someones hair that you know does not dye or henna their hair.  The other reason I say on long-ish hair is that the oxidation is on the ends which is the oldest part of the hair and takes awhile to show up. You more than likely will not see it on shorter hair because the old ends have been cut off or broken off.
I’ve noticed this on my braidlocks/dreadlocks as well and of course on the bottom 1/3 of the locks.  I really noticed it today with my hair in a half-up, half down style.  Half up-Half Down  Not sure if you can see the color difference in the pic but I can definitely see it.

Now, I bet  you’ve heard of people naturally bleaching their hair with lemon juice and sunlight. Yeah the same process is going on with our hair without the lemon juice thus at a slower rate.

Can this be prevented?  Again, I’m not a scientist but I don’t think so.  However, it probably can be slowed down.  Wearing a hat while outside is probably one way. Though not always practical especially in the middle of summer in the very hot regions of the country where temps can get above 95 degrees. Diet always places a big part in how our hair looks so start there by making sure you are getting enough vitamins and nutrients like protein, vitamins C & E.

Vitamins C & E are known as antioxidants. Hmm… antioxidants. The last part of that word should ring a bell.  Oxidizing is what the sun and air is doing to our hair so it makes sense to me to put things on the hair that contain some version of these two vitamins  to help slow down this natural process.

I also stumbled upon something while researching what herbs to put in my herbal coconut oil to make it like a leave in conditioner for my locs. One item put into conditioners is called a sequestrant.  From Wikipedia:

” A sequestrant is a term for a food additive. Sequestrants improve the quality and stability of the food products. Sequestrants form chelate complexes with polyvalent metal ions, especiallycopperiron and nickel, which serve as catalysts in the oxidation of the fats in the food…”

The reason this ingredient is included in conditioners is so they will function better in hard water. Ok, the bolding of the word oxidation is mine. Now I know they are saying “the oxidation of  fats in food” but why would I want to put something on my hair that causes oxidation of any kind when that’s one of the things I’m trying to prevent or at least slow down in the first place? I’m all about prevention, not having to fix the problem after the fact. Plus, I don’t want to oxidize the oils which are fats on my hair. Even the natural sebum contains fatty acids.   This is probably done so that the conditioner can bond to the hair as they’re designed to leave some of the conditioner behind on the hair even after it is rinsed it out.

Needless to say, this is one of the reasons I stopped using conditioners. For the brief period I was using them I noticed that “ashy brown tinted’ look on my locs.  And I was in the sun a lot more back then as well.

So since using oils and herbs to condition, I’ve noticed the ashy brown has gone to a little darker brown. Still there, but looks a lot better and almost deliberate. Hibiscus is a great source for Vitamin C and I bet that’s why it’s used in Indian hair care.  Grapeseed oil has Vitamin E and of course my personal favorite, coconut oil!  So this maybe something to think about.

I’ll address the 2nd question in the next post.

Related Articles:

Make Your Own Nyle Herbal Coconut Oil

How I Use Coconut Oil on My Locs

Why Does Hair Lighten in the Sun But Skin Darken?

Coconut Oil for Out of Control Curls and Lack-Lustre Locks

A Quick, Easy, and Healthy Way to Eat Sweet Potatoes Any Day of the Week

I’ve been inspired to share how I prepare sweet potatoes by this post here from my friend Evelyn over at “Become a Healthier You”.  Check out that post because she gives some of the health benefits of sweet potatoes so I won’t go into it here. But I will mention that sweet potatoes are inexpensive, at least they are in my neck of the woods. So cheap and good for you is a always a winner in my book.

Sweet potato hummus

Sweet potato hummus (Photo credit: ilovemypit)

Now I’ve mentioned it before, that I really don’t like to cook. So whatever I cook has gotta be quick and easy with minimal preparation time. But I also like to do it cheap and healthy because I’ll admit, I still indulge in stuff that really is not good for you. So I incorporate the good healthy foods as much as I can and in order for me to do that, it can’t be too much trouble.

So here’s how I prepare my sweet potato treat:

1) Pre-heat your oven.

I bake the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees F, but of course everybody’s oven is different so find which temp works best for you. It probably does not even matter what temp you use. just be aware the lower the temp, the longer it will take them to cook. While you can bake just one sweet potato, I think it’s a waste of energy to do that. Plus I don’t like to have to cook everyday so I do 4 or more at one time.

While your waiting for the oven to heat, wash your sweet potatoes and dry them off.

2) Place them on a cookie sheet, baking pan or whatever shallow pan you have and put ’em in the oven.

3) Bake for approx 45 minutes to 1 hr.

Smaller sweet potatoes will of course cook faster than larger ones. You’ll know they are ready when they are soft. Sometimes, you’ll see the flesh on the outside of the potato. The softer they are the sweeter they’ll be too.

4) Take ’em out of the oven and let them cool down a bit.

See how easy that is?!

Once they are cool enough for you to handle, unless you have asbestos hands🙂, peel the potatoes you are going to eat. You’ll find that the skin comes off very easy. That’s another way to tell if you’ve cooked them long enough. As you get more experience preparing sweet potatoes this way, you’ll be able to judge based on their size, how long you’ll need to bake them.

Now some of you may want to stop right there, plop ’em on a plate and start chowing down. But I like mine similar to the traditional sweet potato pie taste so let’s continue.

5) Place the peeled potato in the dish/bowl you are gonna eat out of and add the following ingredients to taste:

  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • coconut oil
  • sweetener of choice ie honey, agave etc. Use something like these as we are trying to keep this healthy.

Mix it all up with a fork and have at it! Quick, easy, cheap and nutritious…well except for the bake time. Now that’s my kind of dish!

Hope y’all enjoy this and let me know in the comments if you try it.

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Trying Something New-Grapeseed Oil

Hey guys!! I know I’ve been away for a while but I’m back.🙂

I just wanted to share with you guys something I ran across actually a few months ago. What is that? Grapeseed oil. I found it at my local Wal-Mart grocery store and decided to try it as I remembered reading rave reviews on it for natural hair back when I was a loose natural. Don’t worry as this oil is NOT going to replace my beloved coconut oil. There is another reason I wanted to try it as I’ve been looking for an oil that stays in a liquid state to blend with my herbal coconut oil mix. I figure that would help in keeping it “soft” in the winter. What do I mean by “soft”? Because of the saturated fat in coconut oil, it becomes a solid at temps below 77 degrees F.

English: Coconut oil in solid state

English: Coconut oil in solid state (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I’ve started using my coconut oil infused with herbs, you can see what herbs I use here, the herbs seem to help the oil stay soft.  I just wanted to see if I could improve on the “soft” with an oil I can find locally and reasonably priced. This mix is the only thing I’m gonna use the grapeseed oil for. And as y’all already know and if you don’t, my hair does not like olive oil.  I may be infusing this grapeseed oil with some of or all of the herbs that I use in the coconut oil at a later date but for now, I’ve put some in with my already infused coconut oil.

Well this is an update as I had already started this post shortly after trying this new oil. After several months of using this grapeseed oil mixed in with my herbal coconut oil, I’m not crazy about it. To me, the consistency is a little to close to olive oil for my liking. Basically that means just a little bit too heavy and the smell is almost like olive oil.

Now I’ve looked around on the internet and everything I’ve read says this oil is odorless so maybe it’s the brand that I got or the bottle ended up in the olive oil conveyor belt and got mis-labeled. IMG_1913

It was only $5 for a 24 ounce bottle so that may have something to do with it but again from what I’ve read, grapeseed oil is inexpensive compared to extra virgin olive and coconut oil. That being said,  I’m not sure I’ll be trying another brand on my dime. So, I’ll be using the remainder in a mix for skin use only, or and sticking with my herbal coconut oil. 

What is your favorite oil for your hair? Vote in the poll and tell me why in the comments.

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