Friday, May 31, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Faux Twisted Bun (for Short Hair)

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Kim

Difficulty level: 3/5

Description: Transform short chunky twists into a fake twisted bun in little time.


Skin Care || Black Women, The Sun, and Our Skin

Can we get sunburn?
Yes.  Whether you are fair or dark, you can get sunburned though the lighter you are the more susceptible you are.  (I'm medium-dark and have been sunburned a couple of times.)

Can we develop melanoma (a rare but dangerous skin cancer)?
Yes.  Though rare, black people can develop melanoma.  The root of Bob Marley's death was acral lentiginous melanoma (that originated under his toenail) and ultimately spread to other parts of his body.  As a matter of fact, "acral lentiginous melanoma makes up approximately 50% of diagnosed melanomas in Asians and individuals with dark skin."[1]

Should we take protective measures against sun exposure?
Yes.  Exposure to the sun can increase any risk of developing sunburn or melanoma.  Additionally, it can hasten the signs of aging in our skin.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Change is on the Horizon

Hey HGK readers? What is up?

I had a great Memorial Day weekend with one of my college besties and her two dancing daughters who came to visit us in Cleveland for the holiday weekend. They wanted to see me and my family, but were also in town for an Irish folk dancing competition.

My friend and I haven't seen each other in over 13 years, but the love was still there in a big way. We're both really enthusiastic people and have a way of influencing each other's behavior. I cooked up some great no-oil Vegan food (the winner being Jane Esselstyn's Dr. Seuss Polenta Stacks from My Beef with Meat) hoping to impress my friend and her kids with how great this way of eating really is. My buddy is already texting me asking for the best brand of almond milk and I've practically got my eight year old daughter signed up for summer Irish folk dancing lessons (and we're not even Irish).

On another note, I imagine that few of you reading HGK know that I have a law degree. I've never practiced law and I didn't even take the bar exam (that's a story for another day), but I did attend and graduate from UCLA School of Law.

What does that have to do with food?

Not a lot, until yesterday.

I received the following e-mail from the dean of my Alma matter:
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hair Diary || Braid-Out to Stretched Bun

Chunky braid-out using eight braids on wet hair.

After some time wearing wash-n-gos, I decided to wear a braid-out for a few days and then a stretched bun for a day.  To go into the braid-out, I finger-combed on wet, conditioner-soaked hair and made eight braids.  Then I let my hair air-dry and undid the braids for the braid-out.

And now for more hair photos:

Bun on hair stretched from the braid-out.  No combs.  No brush.

Bun on hair stretched from the braid-out.  No combs.  No brush.

Bun on hair stretched from the braid-out.  No combs.  No brush.

Mixology || A More Natural Bug Spray Recipe

Do you want an alternative to the chemical-based bug sprays out there?  Are you interested in making a more natural bug spray?
- � cup distilled water
- 1 tbsp alcohol
- 6-10 drops essential oil: use any of these alone or any combination � lemongrass, any mint, lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree, neem, geranium, and litsea cubeba. 

Pour the alcohol into the spray bottle. Add the essential oils and shake well. Add water, leaving enough room at the top so it will mix when you shake it. If you use a large spray bottle, ingredients can be doubled or tripled.

For more DIY Natural Recipes, check out: DIYNatural Blog

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Latifatumi

What I LOVE about this lady's hair is that it has an amazing healthy sheen/shine and with minimal product.  It is also springy and thick from root to tip.  Latifatumi has a pretty basic regimen that involves largely natural products, including African Black Soap, shea butter, etc.  Check out Part I of her regimen in the following video.  (The remaining parts can be found on her channel.)

NOTE: If you are interested in viewing her hair type in its natural state, do check out the following video.

Oldies, But Goodies ... Another Summer Edition!

1. Black Skin and Sunscreen
2. Chlorine and Summer Hair
3. Nutritious Bartending || The Healthier Sangria
4. How to Barbecue Healthier
5. Summer Recipes

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MBWM Potluck and Meet Rip tonight at Whole Foods Cedar Center

I heard it on pretty good authority (his sister Jane) that Rip Esselstyn is going to be at the Whole Foods Market at Cedar Center tonight, May 21st, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. I'm guessing he and Jane will be signing books and giving a talk. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun, as it always is when us like-minded people all get together.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it due to a prior commitment, but I'm still flying high from a party with like-minded people that I attended this past Sunday. Jane Esselstyn organized a My Beef with Meat potluck for her friends and family that had contributed recipes to the book.

I happily agreed to take photographs.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Gorgeous Chunky Flat Twists Updo

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: NaturalMetra

Difficulty level: 3/5

Description: Side chunky flat twists pinned into beautiful updo.

Mixology || Homemade Coconut Aloe Leave-In Conditioner

Do you want to create a natural homemade leave-in? I have yet to try this recipe but it certainly looks interesting.  Try it out.

2 cups of aloe vera juice
3 cups of coconut water
25 drops of honeysuckle essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a spray bottle.  Store in a refrigerator until ready for use. (Recipe Source)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Winners Announced! My Beef with Meat

I've got some good news and I've got some bad news.

Which one do you want first?

The good news? I thought so.

This delicious and super easy chocolate cake with frosting is an Engine 2 recipe! The recipe developer, Betty Speer, named it "Adonis Cake." So for all of you reading this who are Plant-strong, you now know exactly what you are going to make for every party, holiday, pot luck and special occasion from here forward! Yeah!
Read more �

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Study || Hard Water Impact On Hair

Hard water metals concentrate primarily in the cuticle layer.  A study published in 2011 indicated that these metals can affect certain hair properties, which include:

- stiffening of hair strand
- reduction of combing forces
- improvement of ability to hold a style in virgin hair
- reduction of ability to hold a style in bleached hair

Additionally, certain variables affect the uptake of hard water metals by the hair, such as the:

- condition of the hair (e.g., chemically damaged)
- pH of the water
- level of water hardness


Oldies, But Goodies - Summer Edition!

1. Summer Time Meals
2. Mixology || Soothing Summer Body Spray
3. Summer Hair Care || Battling the Humidity
4. Summer Skin and Anti-Acne Regimen
5. Hair and Sun Damage

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Healthy World Cafe will be open for lunch Wednesday, May 22!

Take a break from your day and head down to Healthy World Cafe for lunch Wednesday, May 22. We'll be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. serving up healthy, locally sourced eats at First Moravian Church, 39 N. Duke St., York.

This Week's Menu:

  • Chicken Rice Soup
  • Mushroom Soup
  • Seasonal Quiche with Asparagus
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Salad Bar
  • Chocolate Bread Pudding

At Healthy World Cafe, we always feature our "eat what you want, pay how you can" philosophy.  The ability to pay should never be a barrier to accessing delicious, unprocessed, healthy food.  Take out orders are available by e-mailing your selections (by 10 a.m. May 22) to healthyworldcafe(at)gmail(dot)com.

Interested in volunteering for food prep or serving? Sign up through VolunteerSpot for our April lunch or other upcoming events.

And don't forget our switch to volunteer shifts for Wednesday's lunches: In order to better respect our volunteers' time, we'll be splitting the Wednesday lunch into two volunteer shifts: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and noon to 3 p.m. Feel free, of course, to sign up for both shifts, if you wish.

If you can't volunteer for an exact shift, hey, we understand that, too! We love that you're still eager to help out when you can. We would just ask that, after signing up through VolunteerSpot, that you'd send a quick email to sarah.e.chain(at)gmail(dot)com and let us know when to expect you. That makes it easier for us to plan out volunteer duties.

Check out a calendar of other upcoming events as well, including our June lunch.

And don't miss Healthy World Cafe profiled by FlipSide magazine as a place for "Cheap Eats."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Type 4 Series: How to Wear A Wash-n-Go with Minimal Tangles

If you have been following me for the past few months, then you are probably aware of my growing re-interest in wearing wash-n-gos.  Up until recently, I took the stance that most type 4 naturals (especially 4b/4c) take on such styles .... "Wash-n-gos on this hair type = asking for trouble."  Well, that was until I tried Cynthiarf's method.

Since then, I've been wearing the wash-n-go on and off and have learned a few lessons along the way.  Here they are for those who are interested in trying this style in the near future:

1. If you have fine strands, then you might want to stay away from the wash-n-go.
Majority of my hair is medium, the crown is coarse, and the back is fine.  When it comes to the wash-n-go, the back (the fine hair) tangles and breaks more easily so I have to be more patient and meticulous in that section.  If my whole head were fine, I would more than likely not be wearing wash-n-gos as much as I am now.

2. Co-wash (rather than shampoo wash) for your wash-n-go.
This lesson is almost a given but stands stating.  Cynthiarf's regimen calls for shampoo-ing once a week when wearing the wash-n-go daily, and I have found success with that routine as well.  The remainder of the week calls for conditioner washes or water rinses followed up with conditioner.  Why conditioner?  Because it smooths the strands, restores moisture, and makes finger-combing easier.

3. Finger-comb thoroughly and daily.
The finger-combing process is crucial because it keep the strands detangled, removes shed hair that could contribute to tangling, and removes any tangles (which are few) that have formed.  The process is not long at all; it takes me no more than 10 minutes.  (Check out Cynthiarf's tutorial.)

4. Do not manipulate your wash-n-go.
This step is also crucial as it reduces the possibility of tangle formation.  Once your wash-n-go is complete, do not disturb the strands via twirling with your fingers, rubbing with a towel, combing, or any other manipulation.

5. Use the right conditioner.
Not every conditioner is made for a wash-n-go.  I find the most success with Tresemme, but you may find success with another brand/type.  Do check out Cynthiarf's video for more details on what to look for in a wash-n-go conditioner.

6. If you have time, rake through with gel.
Raking through your wash-n-go with gel will help your coils to clump a little and tangle less.  This step is not necessary, and I have worn many of my wash-n-gos without doing it.  However, if you have an extra 10-20 minutes and want a little more security, go for it.

"Soul" Food Mondays || Help Your Being

With whom do you surround yourself?

Rip Esselstyn's New Book: My Beef With Meat and Giveaway!

My copy of Rip Esselstyn's new book, My Beef with Meat arrived last week. It was hand delivered by Rip's sister Jane, one of the funniest, most passionate and most memorable people I have ever met. Jane was the mastermind behind the recipe section of this new Engine 2 book. I've eaten her dishes on a variety of occasions and I am always blown away by her food. No one eating Jane's food would ever feel deprived on a Plant-strong diet.

I've known about this book for a really long time. It was a few years ago already that I was asked by Jane to submit a recipe or two for it. But what I had thought was going to be a cookbook turned out to be so much more (but it is full of recipes--145 new Plant-strong recipes to be exact!). It's really a book about all of the possible questions and concerns a person might have about eating a completely Plant-strong diet, and then the current scientific answers to all of those questions.
Read more �

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vejibag Review and Giveaway!

One of the really cool things about being a blogger is all of the free swag that I receive. It takes some work on my part every day to weed through a lot of e-mails to pick out the gems, but it's worth it. I find out about cool new ideas and companies that I never would have known about if it wasn't for Healthy Girl's Kitchen.

When I received this e-mail about a new product designed to keep vegetables fresher for longer, I thought, "This is right up my alley!"

"Hi Wendy, we want to send you a sample Vejibag! Vejibag is a great new storage bag made of 100% US organic cotton, and it keeps vegetables crisp much longer than plastic. Check us out at We�ll send you a bag! Thanks."

I quickly responded with a resounding "YES," but I didn't even take a minute to check out what I was saying "yes" to. About a week later, my first Vegibag arrived.

Read more �

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Faux Empress Bun with Marley Braid Hair

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Joulezy

Difficulty level: 3/5

Description: Fake empress bun created with Marley Braid Hair.

Mixology || Coconut Milk Shampoo

Liquid castile soap is generally made from olive oil (and/or other oils) and water. Though some naturals have shied away from it with all the talk of pH, the reality is that other naturals have faired fine using it in their shampoo recipes. If you are interested in giving liquid castile soap a try, the following mixture involves the addition of organic coconut milk (for dilution and additional lathering), distilled water (for further dilution), and safflower oil (for moisture).

1/4 cup liquid castile soap
3 tbsp organic coconut milk
1 tsp distilled water
1 tsp safflower oil (add more if you desire)

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bottle. Shake the bottle well before use.
2. Save the remainder in a closed bottle for future use (up to a few weeks).
3. Follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse (if necessary) for pH balance.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reader Advice Day: How to Handle OPJ in the House

I received a very interesting e-mail today that I just had to share with everyone. I have a feeling that we all struggle with this issue from one direction or another, unless you live in a household of one: OPJ (Other People's Junk).

Here's the email:


I have a very challenging situation at home. My husband and I are trying stick with a plant based, healthy diet as much as possible. We are drinking green smoothies, eating lots of salads and great soups, etc.

He has been telling me for weeks that he wants to eat better. I have been feeling kind of defensive because I do all the shopping and food prep. It is as if he is telling me I am doing a poor job and I think I am doing great.

So this morning I snapped. I said you need to give me a list of the things you ate in college when you were 'eating so much better' and I will buy those things. Keep in mind this was almost 30 years ago . . . nobody I knew ate kale, chard and many other amazing foods widely available now.

Well, it had nothing to do with a lack of the best food options available . . . it is about the kids� food. Both of our kids are VERY thin. I�m talking call child protective services thin. They eat LOTS of veggies, fruits and whole grains, but I also want them to eat as much high calorie dense foods as they will tolerate. So I keep crackers, ice cream, cheese, chips, protein bars, etc. in the house. I was like this as a kid too. Our pediatrician says it is in their genes.

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Hair Diary || Summer Regimen of Wash-n-gos and Braid-outs

(LEFT) Wash-n-go puffs.  No gel.
(RIGHT) Braid-out on flat-ironed hair.

Alright, so I want to wear my hair out this summer (after years of protective styling ~99% of the time).  I will largely wear a mix of braid-outs on low-heat flat-ironed hair AND wash-n-gos.  Here are more details:

MY WASH-N-GOS (inspired by long-haired type 4 Cynthiarf):
So I first tried Cynthiarf's method a few months ago, and was surprised at how little my hair became tangled from daily wash-n-gos.  And to think that after my hair grew past shoulder-length (years ago), that that was the end of wash-n-gos for me.  Well, I was wrong after having tried this lady's technique.
Here's my wash-n-go regimen for the summer:
- Pre-poo overnight with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO)
- Shampoo weekly (Desert Essence Tea Tree Shampoo) followed by quick conditioner
- Co-wash daily (Suave, Tresemme)
- Finger comb while co-washing (view Cynthiarf's tutorial of this process)
- Shake and go

MY BRAID-OUTS ON STRAIGHT HAIR (inspired by long-haired type 4 JoStylin):
Now, JoStylin does her braid-outs on blow-dried hair, but I am not a fan of blow drying on my hair (more on this another time).  Instead, I will do my braid-outs on lightly flat-ironed hair (i.e., 300 degrees F).  Other than this change, I love her simple routine as well as how she leaves a few braids in the back.  (Read my previous post about JoStylin.)
Here's my braid-out regimen for the summer:
- Pre-poo overnight with EVCO
- Shampoo then deep condition (ORS Replenishing Pak, Tresemme Split Ends)
- Moisturize/seal with Shea Butter Mixture
- Air-dry in big braids/twists
- Flat-iron on low heat (300 degrees F, Proclaim Heat Protectant though I prefer Carol's Daughter)
- Put in 6-8 big braids for braid-out
- Re-braid nightly; Rock hair for 2-3 weeks

And that's it!  Now for more hair photos:

Wash-n-go puff with flash.  Cottony. 
Wash-n-go after air-drying throughout the day.
I swear I can enter a shrinkage contest.  Where's the application?

Flat-iron (~340 F) before my previous braid-out.  Future flat-iron jobs will be 300 F max.  This is because I plan to flat-iron a little more frequently this summer (for the braid-out regimen).

Oldies, But Goodies

1. Hair and Sun Damage
2. Black Skin and Sunscreen
3. More on Eggs ... Food for the Hair
4. Boar Brush = Damage to Your Edges?
5. To Buy Organic? That is the Question

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dr. Barnard Speaks in Cleveland. My Notes and Impressions.

On April 24, 2013 I went to John Carrol University in University Heights, Ohio to hear a lecture on the subject of Alzheimers by Dr. Neal Barnard. This was going to be my second time hearing Dr. Barnard in person, and to tell you the truth, I considered blowing it off.

I thought about how busy I was that night, I was leaving on a road trip the next morning and I hadn't even started packing yet! Plant-based eating--don't I know this already? Could I really learn anything new? I was pretty skeptical, but since my friend Felice wanted to go, that was reason enough to make the effort.

And boy, was I wrong.

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