Delicious Asparagus Dish!

Delicious Asparagus Dish!

I took an asparagus recipe and made it my own. It came out delicious!

For this post, I thought I would share it with you guys just in case you were looking for a new recipe to try that uses this vegetable.

Roasted asparagus with broiled cheese

This is not a recipe blog so I am not going to give a long story and explanations about everything…just the recipe!

Without further ado, here it is:

Ingredients-

  • 1 Pound of asparagus spears
  • 3.5 tbsps of olive oil
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions-

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Clean asparagus spears and cut off the hard ends. Spread them out on the baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Mix together the olive oil and seasonings in a bowl. Drizzle the oil mixture over the asparagus and evenly coat all of them (I put on a food preparation glove to do this).
  4. Bake the asparagus for around 12 minutes.
  5. Remove them from the oven. Pour the mozzarella cheese over them first and then the parmesan cheese. Try to do this evenly.
  6. Put the oven on broil and put in the asparagus until the cheese becomes a dark golden color.

It is best to serve this right away. In my opinion it does not keep very well for leftovers but you may find that it does.

A great lower carb option

This asparagus recipe makes for a great dish that is lower in carbs than many other ones. It is very comforting and even my six year old liked it.

Remember that your pee may have a stinky odor to it after eating this dish if you have the gene for detecting the particular smell!

Thanks for reading!

#asparagus #lowcarbfoods #keto #intermittentfasting #vegetables #diet #recipes

OMG, My Sink Is Filled With Blood! (Hormones and Gum Health)

OMG, My Sink Is Filled With Blood! (Hormones and Gum Health)

In the past couple of years, I have developed gum issues at certain parts of my cycle. Before I realized they were due in part to my hormones, I was really confused as to what was going on.

Now I know!

If you are noticing gum problems that are seemingly random, it could be caused by your hormones too. Read on for more information about it.

Gums and a woman’s hormones

As most people already know, hormones are responsible for a lot of different physical and mental symptoms. They rule us!

If they can influence many parts of us to do all types of things, why not have our gums be on the list? I mean sure, why not bleed from absolutely everywhere each month?!

The cause of bleeding, sore and/or swollen gums during certain parts of a woman’s cycle is that of having high levels of two hormones-estrogen and progesterone. When they are surging, blood flow increases in the gum area. This can cause irritation if there is any plaque or bacteria around the gums at all.

The days in a cycle that women are more likely to have gum issues are 11-14 (estrogen is very high) and 19-23 (progesterone is very high). Other hormonal related events that can cause this include pregnancy and menopause.

What to do when gum issues arise

There are diseases that cause gum issues. These include gingivitis (mild gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum disease). The latter can cause tooth loss if it is left untreated.

If you are practicing good oral hygiene, the gum issues are probably only because of the hormones. If you are not practicing that good of oral hygiene, you may want to consider that gum disease combined with the hormones are to blame. Either way the following are things you can and should do when gum problems occur:

  • Keep up good oral hygiene: It is important to brush and floss twice a day.
  • Reduce the amount of pain when you are brushing your irritated gum areas: If you are experiencing a lot of gum discomfort due to hormones (and/or gum disease), you can try using a brush with softer bristles. There are also special toothpastes for sensitive teeth that you can use.
  • Seeing the dentist at least once a year: This is important so that if there is a problem aside from hormones that are causing the gum issue, they can catch it and help you out.
  • Swish with warm salt water after brushing: This can help soothe your irritated gums.
  • Use a mouthwash that is formulated to help with gum disease (if you think this is a ongoing problem): Some good ones include Listerine Gum Therapy, GUM PerioShield and TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse.

My gum issues

There are certain times of the month where my gums like to “act up.” I have good oral hygiene so it used to be disheartening to not know the cause of it.

What happens is that I go to brush my teeth and then there is so much soreness in my gums that I can barely touch the brush to my teeth without wincing. Lots of bleeding also occurs at this time and makes the sink look pretty gory- like I was stabbed or something.

This issue happens about four times during my menstrual cycle. I am glad to know that it is not due to something serious like gingivitis as the idea of tooth loss scares me! I will continue to take care of my oral health like usual (brushing, flossing and using Listerine Gum Therapy mouthwash at least twice a day) and just get through the bloody days.

Lots of strange hormonal symptoms

Over the years you may experience random physical and mental things that pop up on certain days of your cycle. This gum issue is one of the things that may occur- but do not worry! It is something that can usually be treated easily.

Do any of you have gum issues like I do at certain times of your menstrual cycle?

Thanks for reading!

#womenshealth #hormones #menstrualcycle #hormonalimbalance #dentalhealth #gingivitis #gumdisease #oralcare #periods #ovulation

Five Best Fragrance Free Shampoos and Conditioners For Dry Hair

Five Best Fragrance Free Shampoos and Conditioners For Dry Hair

I used to use and really like products with fragrances in them. When I met my now-husband, I had to give them up. This was because he is very allergic to added fragrances.

Having to use fragrance-free products has meant that there are fewer options to choose from when it comes to hair care for my type of hair. Fortunately, I have found a shampoo and conditioner that works great for me with no added fragrances in it.

This post will give you some fragrance free shampoos and conditioners that are great options for those with dry hair.

*I have used all of them so I am not just copying what I see on the products/websites*

5 best fragrance free shampoo and conditioner options

Before the list, I thought I would tell you about my hair.

I am African American and I have a kinky texture that is very dry. Because of this, I have to use hair products that will provide a lot of moisturization for me.

Without further ado, here are some product options!

  1. Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo and Conditioner- These both provide mild cleansing and conditioning of the hair. Best of all, they are truly fragrance free (no added fragrance at the end of the ingredient list). They do both have a smell to them because everything pretty much does but it is really light and inoffensive. The ingredients include things like chamomile, nettle, burdock root and jojoba oil. I have used and really like both of them. The shampoo is what I currently use on a regular basis and it gets my hair clean without stripping it dry. These are sold in 12 oz size bottles or one gallon jugs. You can find them here:https://earthsciencebeauty.com/collections/fragrance-free-2
  2. Earth Science Ceramide Care Fragrance Free Shampoo and Conditioner- These products are a little different from the company’s other ones in that they provide more strengthening and moisturization. They contain ingredients such as barley protein, chamomile, white tea and passionfruit seed oil. Both the shampoo and conditioner are sold in 10 ounce bottles. I currently use the conditioner and I find it really moisturizing for my hair.
  3. Kristin Ess Fragrance Free Daily Cleansing Shampoo and Shine Enhancing Conditioner- Kristin Ess is a celebrity hair stylist whose hair product line includes shampoos, conditioners, tools, styling agents and accessories. She uses the fragrance free shampoo and conditioner on her clients that have sensitive scalps. These were both moisturizing for me and I would gladly go back to using them if I could not get the Earth Science products for some reason. You can find them here: https://www.kristinesshair.com/collections/fragrance-free
  4. Nurture My Body Moisturizing Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner: These are both wonderfully moisturizing. The problem is that they are expensive for just an 8 ounce bottle. If money is not tight for you, pick these bad boys up! You can find them here in the haircare section of the site:https://nurturemybody.com/
  5. Bulk Apothecary’s Natural Unscented Shampoo and Conditioner: These products left my hair very soft. They are sold as a base for people to make their own products. Because of that, you can add oils if you want to. Fortunately, I did not need to add anything. You can find them here: https://www.bulkapothecary.com/unscented-bases/

I would recommend these to anyonenot just for dry hair

These five fragrance free shampoo and conditioning sets are great for people with very dry hair as well as any other type of hair.

Just because hair care products have a heavy fragrance to them, does not mean they are superior to fragrance free ones. These shampoos and conditioners listed do a great job on hair.

The next time you are in the market for more shampoo and conditioner, consider one of these. They may make your hair feel good, reduce the amount of chemicals you get in your body each day and help out those around you who are very sensitive/allergic to fragrances.

Thanks for reading!

#fragrancefree #nontoxicliving #haircare #shampoo #conditioner #blackamerican #dreadlocs #dryhair #4c

My Current Workout Routine (you should try it too!)

My Current Workout Routine (you should try it too!)

I just love this picture for whatever reason.

I am one week into my new workout routine and I am loving it! Because of that, I wanted to share it with you guys and maybe you will want to try one or all of these workouts too.

The six days a week routine

As always, my workout routine involves strength training and cardio. I do two days of upper, two days of lower and two days of cardio with abs. The strength training days include cardio, too.

My week looks like this: Upper body/cardio and abs/lower body, rest, upper body/cardio and abs/lower body.

For the strength training days, I move quickly between the exercises after a few minutes of cardio. This ensures I get in quality workout sessions that burn a good amount of calories.

I came up with a great cardio ladder workout that really scorches some calories. It is tough while I am doing it but I feel really refreshed afterwards.

Without further ado, here are my workouts:

Upper body

I grouped up the exercises like the Fitness Blender workout I did recently. The exercise moves are completed without rest (or very minimal). Each group is done two times.

Group 1- Chest and back

  1. Three minutes of cardio (jumping jacks, high knees, mountain climbers etc.)
  2. Chest press
  3. Bent over rows
  4. Alternating chest flyes
  5. Back flyes
  6. Close arms chest press
  7. Close arms bent over rows
  8. Regular push ups
  9. Staggered hand push ups

Group 2- Shoulders and lats

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Overhead press
  3. Pull overs
  4. Alternating front raises
  5. Alternating pull overs
  6. Lateral raises
  7. Arm circles (20 seconds one way, 20 seconds the other way)
  8. Hindu push ups

Group 3: Biceps and triceps

  1. 3 minutes of cardio
  2. Single arm triceps extension (left or right)
  3. Hammer curls
  4. Single arm triceps extension (with other arm)
  5. Alternating bicep curls
  6. Skull crushers
  7. Triceps dips
  8. Staggered hand push ups

According to my fitness watch, my calories burned for this workout was 340.

Cardio and abs

Cardio ladder workout: Each group is done two times. No rest between exercise moves in the groups.

Group 1-

  1. Three minutes of cardio (jumping jacks, high knees, mountain climbers etc.)
  2. Two feet jump through
  3. Right foot only jump through
  4. Left foot only jump through

Group 2-

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Side-to-middle jump through
  3. Two feet shuffle in each square
  4. Straight run through

Group 3-

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Side shuffle
  3. in-in-out feet jump through
  4. Crossover (see here: https://www.yourhousefitness.com/blog/the-crossover-karoke-exercise)

Group 4-

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Repeat of any of the other moves
  3. Repeat of any of the other moves
  4. Repeat of any of the other moves

Abs: Each exercise done two times for 10-12 reps.

  1. Weighted crunches
  2. Bicycle crunches
  3. Pike crunches

According to my fitness watch, my calories burned during this workout was 496.

Lower body

Each of these groups is done two times with no rest between the exercises in them.

Group 1-

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Regular deadlifts
  3. Squat to reverse lunges
  4. Weighted bridges

Group 2-

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Legs together squats
  3. Walking lunges
  4. Plie squats

Group 3-

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Stiff legged deadlifts
  3. Static lunges
  4. Single leg glute bridges

Group 4-

  1. Three minutes of cardio
  2. Side lunges
  3. Curtsy lunges
  4. Inner thigh raises with weight on legs

According to my fitness watch, my calories burned for this workout was 323.

I love this routine!

So there is the routine I am doing for the next five or so weeks. The first week of this went really well and I am very satisfied with how I arranged the exercises for each day.

Thanks for reading this and if you decide to try one of these workouts-let me know how you like it!

#workouts #homeworkouts #fitness #weightlifting #powerblockweights #cardio #hiit #calories #fitnessblender

Dietland + Review

Dietland + Review

I love a good show. There are so many different ones from different genres that I have enjoyed watching and I am always on the lookout for more.

A while back I came across the show called, Dietland. This is based off a book of the same name. After watching all of the episodes of the show, I decided to read the book.

For this post, I wanted to talk about Dietland and give my take on it.

The premise of Dietland

Both the book and movie have the main character whose name is Plum Kettle. She is a ghostwriter for a high fashion magazine and works mainly from home or a local coffee shop.

Plum is obese and is considering weight loss surgery. As the show/book go on she meets a group of people that are all about loving and finding power in themselves as women.

There is also a group of women who kidnap and kill men who had been allegedly assaulting women and young girls. Plum eventually gets sucked into this mission, too.

The readers and viewers get to see how she handles things when she delves into both of these worlds.

Dietland topics

There are several topics that Dietland (both the book and movie) touch on. They are as follows:

  1. Body image- There is a lot of talk about character’s bodies and how they see themselves because of them.
  2. Feminism- Women’s rights are discussed a lot. The two groups that the main character finds herself getting into are based on feminism.
  3. Dieting and societal weight loss obsession- Plum’s obesity is focused on a lot. She has done many diets since she was young and still struggles with finding the right diet as an adult.
  4. Fat acceptance- Plum tries to accept her body the way it is after a while.
  5. Standards of beauty- Dietland goes into what is and is not considered beautiful in our society. It also talks about all the things that women feel they have to go through to look good.
  6. Dating/Relationships- Plum tries her hand at dating which ends up being unsuccessful due to a couple of different reasons. It highlights the fact that appearance means so much to some people in terms of getting started with dating even if they are “clicking” personality wise.

There may be other elements in the show and book but the above list includes the main ones.

Differences between the book and show

There are some differences that you will find if you read the book and watch the show. Without giving too much away, they are as follows:

  1. Character addition- A couple characters were added to the show that were not in the book.
  2. Time spent on some characters/events- A couple of the characters/events played bigger roles on the show than the book and vice versa.
  3. Character descriptions- A couple of the character’s appearances, race and sex were changed on the show.

My review of Dietland

I first read about Dietland (the show) in Time Magazine just before it was to start airing. It sounded really interesting and I was excited about it.

I absolutely loved the first episodes and was eager to watch all of the others ones whenever they were available on Amazon Prime Video. Since I like to make lists, here is a list of some specific things I loved about it:

  1. Joy Nash, the actress that plays Plum (main character)- She is such a wonderful actress! I also think she is really pretty.
  2. Plum (main character)- I find her cool and smart. I would love to be a writer like her so I could work from anywhere. Definitely not doing the same kind of writing though.
  3. The underground beauty “closet”- I do not want to give too much away but I found it to be pretty cool.
  4. The radical feminist group story line- The drama and mysteriousness of the group of women killing specific men brought a layer of tension to the story. This made it even more interesting because I was curious to know what was happening.
  5. Weight loss program back story- There is a fictional weight loss program (supposed to be like WW, I think) that the main character was on. It was interesting to hear the story (fake story that is) behind it.
  6. Female empowerment- I loved the scenes that were about finding strength within.
  7. Special effects- The show included some animation. I found that it further helped to move the story along in a unique way.

There are even more things that I loved about the show but I will stop here.

As far as the book goes, I did not enjoy it as much as the show. The book’s story was more all over the place, dry and the main character was not as likeable as she seems in the show version.

Give Dietland a try!

The show version of Dietland (available on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video) was great in my opinion with its engrossing story and strong acting performances. I would highly recommend this. It can be a wonderful thing to watch as part of a self-care routine!

Have you read or watched Dietland? If so, what did you think about it?

Thanks for reading!

#dietland #saraiwalker #diets #feminism #women #weightloss #beauty #streamingservices #hulu