23 Oct

Going Gangbusters With This Fitness Challenge !

weight away program

weight away program

This past Monday I began a challenge called The Weight-Away Challenge. It’s a fitness challenge that the fitness center at my job is hosting.

First off, having a gym at work totally rocks. It’s convenient so there’s no excuse not to get on my grind and get fit. The fact that they do periodic challenges helps keep me motivated.

For the Weight-Away Challenge there’s 3 items that will be measured:

– Waist circumference
– Body composition
– Minutes of physical activity

The program will run for 5 weeks and they will also be providing us with nutritional seminars. This is great because you can work out all day but if you eat crap afterward, it won’t make a bit of difference. OK maybe that’s harsh. Let’s just say you won’t see much of a difference.

Exercise is 10% of the plan for weight loss. The other 90 is diet.

Sooooo, I’ve been teamed up with 2 other women for the challenge kicked off and our baseline measurements were taken. Now, I’m closing in for the kill! (LOL so dramatic, I know). I’m working on making my waist line smaller. We only have 6 weeks so I know I can do but so much but I am going to do the most that I can do.

While we are working on teams of 3, in the end it’s a competition. The team with the biggest improvement in fitness and the amount of exercise logged will win.

It’s the honor system when it comes to submitting your activity. We have to keep track of our own work out minutes. I’d like to think that we’re all adults and there will be no shady business among the other participants :-)

Now when it comes to working out, I already have a plan in place. I shared it on my Facebook page (and it’s changed a little but now I’ll share it here:

Mondays – 45 minutes Step Class or 60 minutes on the cardio machines
Tuesdays – 45 minutes Spin Class + 15 mins of Weight Training
Wednesdays – 45 Minutes Spin Class + 15 mins of Weight Training (plus more cardio when I can)
Thursdays – 25 minutes run/walk on Treadmill; 15 minutes on Stair Climber and 10 minutes on Rowing Machine
Friday – 45 Minutes Spin Class + 15 minutes of Weight Training

What I’m Going To Do Differently

Since I’ll be going all gangbusters trying to win this challenge in addition to working toward my fitness goal, I’m adding some additional activity to what you already see. In addition to this schedule, I plan to work out on my elliptical machine or with a DVD on the weekends as well as whenever I watch TV (Scandal is one that can keep me going! LOL)

Yes. It’s all for good measure. :-)

This will bring my total work out time to roughly 400 minutes of intense activity (6 hours 40 minutes) per week. Crazy? Probably, but I’m serious here. I promised myself I would get in the best shape of my life by my 45th birthday and that’s only 3 months away. I have to do this.

I will share my journey on this fitness challenge mainly over on the Radiant Brown Beauty Facebook page so if you want to go along for the ride, please like the page and follow me there.

brown beauty gal

25 Sep

All Natural Food and Drink To Help You Sleep

natural food and drink to sleep better

natural food and drink to sleep better

A few weeks ago I was watching the Katie Couric show (something I don’t typically do). I was at work on a Friday, bored to tears and decided to watch the show as it streamed live from the ABC app on my cell phone. An informative show, it was.

Katie had a naturopathic doctor sharing some natural products that you can consume to help you fall asleep faster or sleep better. Some of these were natural food and drinks. Check ‘em out:

Valerian Tea

There’s so much about tea that’s good for your health. When it comes to Valerian tea, it’s been found to increase an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your body which helps to induce sleep.

Passion Flower Tea

Passion flower tea is a pleasant tea that silences the brain by relaxing the nervous system. The result is a more restful night’s sleep.

Tart cherry juice

I’m not a huge fan of very tart drinks and cherries aren’t exactly a fave of mine. Actually, I’m allergic to all but maraschino cherries LOL.

If you’re not allergic, try a cup if you need help getting to sleep. Cherry juice is very melatonin concentrated. If you’ve never heard of it, melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates your body’s sleep/wake cycle.

Dandelion greens

Dandelion greens are often used in salads but many will cook it because while they are very nutritious, they are also somewhat bitter. Regardless to how you consume dandelion greens, they can help clean out your liver which in turn helps with the metabolizing of your hormones. The result is better sleep.

Pumpkin seeds

I don’t like pumpkin anything but  salted pumpkin seeds (I think it’s more the salt I like :-)). Pumpkin seeds have been found to help stabilize blood sugar and they contain Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that your body doesn’t naturally produce. The Tryptophan helps your body generate the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin – sleep hormones baby!

Natural supplements were also shared on the show but I won’t go into those. Supplements can be quite costly and sometimes hard to find. Food and tea is not only easier to find, it’s usually more cost effective :-)

Have you ever tried any of these natural substances to help you fall asleep?

brown beauty gal

06 May

May Hair and Fitness Challenges: Doing 3 at Once!

weight loss challenge

I’m an overachiever. At least I try to be. I’m not saying it’s good or bad. It’s just me.

Challenges pique my interest, rather they be beauty or fitness related. If you follow me on Instagram @radiantbrownbeauty then you know the deal.

For the past six days I’ve been participating in not 1 but 3 different challenges. (Hey, what can I say. I have a lot of self improvement issues).

Each of these challenges as you may have guessed, are taking place on Instagram.

Challenge #1

Hashtag to follow: #blackgirlsjuice #bgj15daychallenge

juicing and raw foods challenge

Since May 1st, I’ve been eating vegan friendly foods. No diary and no meat. At first I thought I’d freak out but if it weren’t for the extra expensive cost of vegan friendly foods (ex: Daiya cheese substitute, Gardein meatless meal solutions), I could see myself doing this for the long haul.

vegan meal

We are now in phase 2 which is all about raw food juicing. This is the easy part because I’ve been doing it all along as I shared in this post: Losing Weight With the NutriBullet

Challenge #2

Hashtag to follow: #curlyandfit

curly and fit challenge

This challenge is the most intensive because while I’m sharing hair related posts based on the them of the day I also have to share full body shots, leaving me feeling pretty vulnerable.

I have so much work still left to do with my body that I was a little uncomfortable sharing my troubled area (abs). However, the accountability is what’s keeping me going.

weight loss challenge

getting fit

5-6 days a week I engage in 30-60 minutes of cardio which I usually get from doing the Hip Hop Abs DVD program. Shaun T really pushes you to keep moving. I’m sweating my butt off!

I also walk the stairs (from 38-53) twice daily on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Mondays and Thursdays I walk the stairs once a day and also do a 1 1/2 mile lunch time walk with the Healthy Living Team at my office.

When I walk the stairs, I do it with one of my coworkers. She’s much more fit than I am so keeping up with her is something that pushes me to become more fit.

Challenge #3

Hashtag to follow: #ohcurlchallenge

natural hair challenge

Definitely the most fun and least intensive of the 3, this is a natural hair photo challenge. Each day has a photo them as well. Some of them include: favorite products, natural texture, length check, braid out, etc.

The first couple of days I had nothing to post because I didn’t have pictures from the past that showed my hair before the natural journey nor did I have a picture of me doing a big chop (didn’t do it) or transition (it’s been 8 years).

Now that we are on day 3, I have plenty of photos that fit into the future themes.

natural hair challenge

Follow me on Instagram to keep track and be inspired during all three of these challenges!

brown beauty gal