Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We've Moved!!!

Hi Folks!! We have moved to our new home.  Find the latest posts and news here: The Natural Journey For Life



Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Juicing Smoothie COLOR CHALLENGE: RED

Hi Folks!! The last week of the color challenge was great!  The smoothies and juices I made were totally delicious and so good for my body! Last week was all about the color RED!  This one was easy peesy so I encouraged everyone to add in a new ingredient to expand their red vocabulary! Here is what I made last week:
Bananas, strawberries, raspberries, coconut sugar, coconut milk, chia seeds
I used other ingredients like: cranberries, pomegranate, raspberries, red grapes and started using coconut milk! Totally delish!

Red week was good!

Peace and Love!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Hello good people!!! I'm back with another COLOR CHALLENGE update! I'm a little late with posting the latest happenings with the Juicing and Smoothie group....but last week's color challenge was PURPLE! Fruits and vegetables the color of royalty (purple) are packed with anthocyanins which can provide numerous benefits:

Here are the juices and smoothies I made and consumed for the PURPLE challenge!

Red Capple Juice: 1/2 red cabbage, 5 brocooli stalks (didn't want to waste anything), 5 apples, 1 inch of ginger, hibiscus (sorrel) tea

Banana Berry Smoothie: 2 bananas, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup frozen strawberries, hibiscus  (sorrel) tea, flax and chia seeds,  dash of organic cane sugar

PURPLE Passion smoothie: 2 bananas, 2 cups frozen raspberries, 1 cup frozen blueberries, flax seed milk, hibiscus (sorrel) tea, and  chia seeds

Purple Breeze smoothie: frozen pinapples, 2 D'anjou pears, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup frozen blueberries, apple juice, chia and flax seeds

All of the juices and smoothies were DELICIOUS!!!!  The group is really having fun with the color challenge.  It's been exciting to put different recipes together and to see what others have created!  We're spreading the fruit and veggie love one cup at a time!!  Next color is RED!

What's YOUR favorite purple fruit or vegetable??

Peace and Love

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tress Update #13 - I got a puff now ya'll!

Hi Folks - It's been quite a while since I've provided a hair update (besides reporting on my fungus problem).  So I am pleased to report that I have an official PUFF!!! I've hesitated to pull my hair back because I don't like the Sarafina look. Well I don't have to worry about that anymore! I'm happy about my growth and still need to work on tackling this fungus!!  Check it out:

Look at that PUFF!

Side view


Front view

On the go with a shout out to the Motherland!

The Juicing/Smoothie COLOR CHALLENGE - GREEN

Hi Folks! This week is all about GREEN smoothies and juices!  Orange week went well.  The crew had some great recipes to share.  Click here to join the fun! Since some of the team members thought GREEN week would be easy we've asked everyone to expand their green vocabulary by using different/unique ingredients.  All shades are welcome! :)

I've used cilantro in all of my drinks this week.  Not only is it high in chlorophyll, but it can help remove heavy metals from your body.  Check out what I've been drinking this week:

Kale pear juice: kale, cilantro, apple, pears (bosc and cactus), savoy cabbage

Prep for green green juice (see next picture)

Green green juice: Kale, apples, ginger, cilantro, green cabbage, lemon

More greens full of goodness: parsley, chard, dandelion, dill and lacinto kale

Stay tuned for next week's color challenge: PURPLE

Peace and love,

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Hi Folks! The juicing/smoothie group on Facebook is off to another adventure!!! Eating and drinking the rainbow is a good way to ensure you are getting a variety of nutrients. So that's just what we're going to do! The first color of the challenge is orange. The goal is to make at least ONE orange colored fresh juice or smoothie this week and post it on the group page (recipe and picture). Click here to check out the group page.

Here's a recipe that I've posted before that may get your creative orange juices flowing!

There are many orange ingredients available in most markets that will provide a delicious, nutritious, power packed beverage.  Note - all ingredient do not have to be orange...but the final beverage should be.

Here are a few orange ingredients:
butternut squash
orange cauliflower
golden beets
sweet potatoes

Join us on this week's color challenge! :)

Peace and love!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Balance! Do you have it?

Hi Folks! Lately I've been struggling with finding the right balance in every aspect of my life.  As the year winds down, I wanted to reflect on what could make 2015 a better year for me.  In the Nutrition Nook post for My Faith and Fitness I explore what balance is and ways to achieve it.

Check it out!

Peace, Love and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Still Struggling with this FUNGUS!!!

Hi Folks! I thought I had the victory...I really did.  I've been trying the works, because I REALLY want to get rid of this scalp fungus NATURALLY.  I want to stop using non-natural (chemical) substances on every part of my body so I'm pulling out all the stops! At least I thought I was.

I'm feeling defeated because just when my scalp seems to get better..........the fungus comes back with a vengeance!  Take a look:

It's like my whole scalp is coming off!

This is what I've done over the last year:
1. Tea tree oil
2. Apple cider vinegar (worked at first, but then had no effect)
3. Ginger, onions and aloe
4. Black walnut ointment and hull (mix the hull with water, apply to scalp then rinse off) The ointment went on my scalp.

I have to wash my hair once or twice a week due to my fungus friend build up.  Tea tree shampoo works well, and I try to wash my head scarves often.

So now I think it's time to look inside myself and fix this....Literally! We are what we eat/drink right? Our skin/scalp is a reflection of what's inside.  So I have an internal issue with fungus.  All of the topical remedies I've used have stopped working.  It's time to look within.  I need to change my diet and refrain from foods that fungi love. 

But what is a fungi?  Fungus is commonly known as yeast and mold, and can cause an array of issues like allergic reactions, athlete's foot, candida, ring worm and food spoilage.  Fungus can also help provide yummy food and drinks like: bread, soy sauce, beer, wine, kimchee, miso and Quorn.  Mushrooms are fungus. How many of you love mushrooms? 

Moldy strawberry
But don't mistake fungus for bacteria.  They are two very different organisms.
You can only see most bacteria with a powerful microscope and lab equipment, but the effects of a bacterial infection can be felt in a sinus infection, food borne illness or strep throat.  Ever heard of E.Coli????



I posed the question "how do I successfully get rid of my fungus friends?" to a group of herbalists at Natures Has All The Answers on their weekly radio show and the feedback was clear.  Change my diet by eating and drinking foods that fungi hate and clean my blood.  I'm down for another challenge.  Let's call this one the "GET RID OF THIS SCALP FUNGUS FOR GOOD" challenge. 

Stay tuned ya'll! Don't forget to give me some tips and encouragement!

Peace and love!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

REPOST: Confessions of a Naturalista.....Did I reach my goals?

Hello good people!  This is a repost from December 2013.  As we move into the last quarter of 2014, I just wanted to take a look back at the goals I set for myself.  This life is truly a JOURNEY.  There are all kinds of pit stops and bumps in the how do I stand?  I'm a little closer to achieving my goals.  I completed the liver flush and have gotten a good dose of spiritual cleansing.  But I still have a LONG WAY TO GO.  I'm still frolicking with TOM FOOLERY and have paid for it by with an expanding backside.  But I've learned SO much about juicing and smoothie making this year.  It's my new love.  I'm a JUICER FOR LIFE.  Check out my confession below.  I know I'm not alone!  What goals/resolutions did you accomplish this year? Tell me how you are changing your life and the progress or disappointments you've faced along the way! .................Peace and Love! 


Hi Folks!  I consider my self a "Naturalista".  Not just because of how I wear my hair (which is what the term is mostly used for), but because of my personal philosophy on what living a natural life means.  I hope you all know by now that I am very transparent.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and it's hard for me to hide anything.  I'm a very bad liar.  Not very good at pulling the wool over people's eyes.  Which leads me to my confession.

My confession:
I have been living a double life.  My life is split 50/50 between eating healthy good food.....and eating junk! Ever since Thanksgiving I've been lacking my normal "food filter".  All that darn blueberry cobbler I made for Thanksgiving desensitized me.  Now I will say that I was a beacon of healthy food for my family - making stir fry , soup, fresh juice, smoothies and chia porridge during the entire vacation.  I even helped my mother combat a cold she got while I was visiting with herbs, food and juice.  I gave food advice and taught my sister to fix Caleb's seed milk in hopes that she would make some for her own children.  But that darn blueberry cobbler got me!

Darn Blueberry Cobbler!

50% of what I eat is good for me:
The thing is: every morning I start off REALLY WELL!  I consume: smoothies, fresh juice, oatmeal, etc.  By the time noon hits I find myself munching on something really sweet and naughty!  Not only that, but as my food filter gets clogged, my exercise filter has just stopped working all together!  What I haven't posted about recently was that in November I sprained my ankle and could not exercise.  Because of babying my ankle I've relaxed about getting my work outs in.  And I feel like a creaky old Ford that needs a tune up.....and an oil change.

I was doing so well in November with the Detox for a Diva program and my liver cleanse that got derailed because I caught a 2 week cold.

Mr. Foolery:
I've still been eating my CSA veggies, and vegan meals (as posted).....I've just been following them up with what I like to call: TOM FOOLERY.  And having something sweet displayed on festive holiday platters calling my name loudly every where I go does not help!  I can hear the sweets now: "Zahra!? Zaaaaahraaaaaaa! Over here!! Come get a little taste...Just a pinch! It won't hurt." It's a snowball effect. Loss of self control in one area of life trickles into other areas.

The combination of too many sweets and no exercise despite the healthy food has not been good.  My pants are getting tight, and I'm noticing a belly bulge! It's not just about looking good either.  I don't feel good when I eat all that junk!  I hate to be so cliche and talk about New Year's Resolutions: but I'm changing my 50/50 ways for the new year.  After knowing what it feels like to have endless energy and self control I feel hypocritical about my food choices recently.  I've succumbed to the holiday pitfalls most of us experience.  Moderation is fine...but I've exceeded that principle! It's like I've been cheating on nourishing food for disease causing crap.

Okay! Now that I've exposed myself who is still with me? The fact that I know better means I MUST do better.  Pitfalls are a part of the journey.  What we eat can heal us or kill us.  It's time to put down the sweets and get myself together. Can anyone relate to my tales of woe?

Coming up for 2014:
1. Liver cleanse (FINALLY!)
2. Exercise 3-4 times a week
3. Food filter overhaul
4. Self control tune up

What are your health and wellness goals for the new year??

Peace and blessings!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The best smoothie goes to..........................SLAMMING SMOOTHIE CONTEST WINNERS!!!

Hi Folks! Tonight is the night the winners of the SLAMMING SMOOTHIE CONTEST are announced!!! Excited???!!!  

You voted for best picture, and I performed a  taste test for best smoothie.  Here are the results of my taste test (click the name of each smoothie for the full recipe):

1.       Jackpot – This smoothie was very refreshing, nice blend of flavors.  Love the cilantro and basil combination.  Even though they are both very aromatic herbs, the other ingredients were not overpowered.  I will make this again!

2.       Incredible Hulk 2 – This smoothie was BIG in EVERY WAY! Flavor, satiety, and it was thick!  I had this smoothie for breakfast yesterday and I was FULL after the first few gulps.  It was like a green oatmeal shake.  Loved the cinnamon notes as well. 

3.       Chocolate Breeze – LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it!!!  I am a huge fan of peanut butter, but can’t use it at home because of Caleb’s food allergies.  I used a separate blender and even cleaned it in the bathroom to limit any contamination that could occur.  I also have to admit I was a bit skeptical of mixing chocolate and peaches! But boy was I PLEASANTLY surprised! This smoothie made me happy on the inside.   I connected with it – we now have a bond.

4.       Green Delight – This smoothie was VERY tasty.  I love the way all the flavors mingled to provide a refreshing beverage.  Hemp and maca are my favorite herbs but the powders have some chalky baggage that I don’t always like.  Overall great smoothie!

5.       Cherry Berry Heaven – Yum, yum, yum! It was surprisingly refreshing and I loved the deep red color! It had just the right amount of sweetness and no agave was added.  It was clean and love the boost of antioxidants in the cherries and blueberries!

Now for the winners!!! Drum roll please………………………………………………………….The best tasting smoothie goes to: CHOCOLATE BREEZE by Marrea Thomas and the best picture (by your votes) goes to: CHERRY BERRY HEAVEN by Chansi Coleman!!!!
Here's the winning smoothie recipe again:
Chocolate Breeze Smoothie:
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter
Chocolate Almond Milk
 This smoothie contains the following allergens: peanuts, tree nuts (almond, coconut)
Chocolate Breeze Smoothie by Marrea Thomas ( this is my version!!)

Chocolate Breeze Smoothie ingredients
Congratulations to both Marrea and Chansi!!!  I’ll be in touch regarding the natural beauty care packages!!

Thanks again to all who participated!  Big up to Kenya, Rona, Marrea, Danike and Chansi!!!!!!  Please find the time to try the smoothies that were submitted.  They were all great! I definitely have more smoothies for my arsenal! Don’t forget to join the Facebook page and stay tuned for my Smoothie and Juicing e-guide!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Slamming Smoothie Contest - IT'S TIME TO VOTE!

It's been quite a week! I want to say another HUGE THANK YOU to all of the contest participants! I love the variety of the smoothies we've seen this week.  There is something for everyone in this mix! The unique nature of each recipe was also impressive. Hmmmmm....... I wonder if you can tell a lot about a person by the type of smoothies they create. My guess is YES! :)

Here is a recap (click on the name of each smoothie for the recipe):

Jackpot by Kenya Carl

Incredible Hulk 2 by Rona Daniel

Chocolate Breeze by Marrea Thomas

Green Delight by Danike Etufugh

Cherry Berry Heaven by Chansi Coleman
The taste test will be TOUGH all of the smoothies look and sound AMAZING!!

Stay tuned for the recipe and photo winners!

Peace and Love!

Slamming Smoothie Contest - Cherry Berry Heaven

Hey Folks! Our next contender in the Slamming Smoothie Contest is Chansi Coleman with a smoothie called Cherry Berry Heaven.  Not only did she submit a fantastic recipe she included some heath nuggets about the ingredients.  Check it out:
Cherry Berry Heaven:
1 c deep red cherries remove seed
1 c of blueberries
4 c of spinach
a sprinkle of flax seeds
Ice to chill and a drop of agave sweetener
Spinach and cherries are filled with potassium which aid in the lowering of blood pressure while giving the body energy. Blueberries have a low impact on blood sugar and are filled with the most antioxidants for our health. I use agave sweetener as a kick and because it is proven that it doesn't effect sugar levels. Enjoy....
Cherry Berry Heaven by Chansi Coleman
Thanks again Chansi!! I will absolutely enjoy this one! Cherries are on the top of my favorite fruit list!
This entry concludes our competition, but there was one member who was bursting at the seams so although the next entry is not a contender I will post the smoothie anyway so stay tuned!!
Voting will now be open shortly on the blog for the best picture.  The poll will be active for another week and the winner will be announced shortly after.
Peace and Love! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Slamming Smoothie Contest - Green Delight

Hi Folks! We're on to round number 4 in The Slamming Smoothie Contest! Our next contender is Danike Etufugh and her smoothie is called Green Delight. 
Green Delight Smoothie:
Spinach (frozen) 
Green d'anjou pear
Pineapple (frozen) 
Watermelon (chilled
1 tsp super food blend powder (hemp, cacao and maca)
 Almond milk
Chia seeds
This smoothie contains the following allergen: tree nuts (almond)
Green Delight by Danike Etufugh

Superfood blend - ingredient in the Green Delight smoothie

Thanks again Danike! This is a power packed smoothie with vibrant color! I love pineapple and watermelon together.  Add in some greens and maca root and you're truly in for a delightful treat!
Stay tuned for more!
Peace and love!

Slamming Smoothie Contest - Chocolate Breeze

Hey Folks! Here is the third submission by Marrea Thomas called Chocolate Breeze! Ooo weee I can't wait to dig into this one! Note, I'll be using a separate blender to make these as they are not Caleb friendly.

Chocolate Breeze Smoothie:
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter
Chocolate Almond Milk
 This smoothie contains the following allergens: peanuts, tree nuts (almond, coconut)

Chocolate Breeze ingredients by Marrea Thomas
Thanks Marrea for bringing more chocolate into our lives! The fruit and chocolate combination is quite interesting and that coconut peanut butter is definitely on my list!!!

Stay tuned for more!

Peace and love!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Slamming Smoothie Contest - Incredible Hulk 2

Hi Folks! The next submission is called the Incredible Hulk 2 by Rona Daniel! Mmmmm.....looks mean and VERY GREEN! Grrrrrrrrrr RRRAH! I see  it has you all growling! I can hear ya from here!  :)

Incredible Hulk 2:
1/3 cup oats
Almond milk
(Garnish with mango/apricot Greek yogurt and cinnamon/nutmeg)

This smoothie contains the following allergens: dairy, tree nuts (almond)

Thanks Rona! I love the beautiful green color! This smoothie is filled with two powerful greens: kale and spinach, with such alkalizing properties, vitamins and minerals you can't go wrong!
Incredible Hulk 2 Smoothie by Rona Daniel

Slamming Smoothie Contest - Jackpot!

Hi Folks!  The SLAMMING SMOOTHIE Contest is here!! 

Three months ago a friend of mine wanted to go on a juice fast for 2 weeks.  I told her I would join her and decided to ask other friends, family and co-workers if they wanted to join.  It's always easier (and more fun) to complete a challenge when you have a support group.  So off we went to make juice for two weeks.  I decided to start a group on face book to have a forum for sharing our recipes and progress.  It was named “The Two Week Juice/Smoothie Challenge” with a goal to simply increase your intake of fruits and veggies by consuming at least one fresh juice or smoothie per day for two weeks.  It started with juice and then included smoothies, because most of the participants didn’t have juicers.  So off we went to increase our fruit and veggie intake.  After the two weeks was over, the group wanted to keep going.  We’ve been going strong for over three months now and in that time membership has increased from 15 to 125 members.  Wow! An unexpected turn of events, but I’m so excited for all the fruit and veggie love roaming around the world (yep…the world….we have people from England in the group – shout out to Carol!!).

The group is full of people sharing their juice and smoothie recipes, success stories on weight loss, improved digestion and hormone balance.   Members are exploring new ingredients (like bee pollen, chia, hemp, and spirulina), learning about various techniques and delicious fruit and veggie combinations.  Most of all it’s fun to see so many great recipes come alive in people’s homes!  So much so, we decided to have a SLAMMING SMOOTHIE Contest where members can showcase their best smoothie recipes.  The prize is a natural beauty care package.

This week you will have a chance to vote on the best picture, and I will be the judge on the best tasting smoothie.  So here are the rules:

1.       Recipe has to be original

2.      Picture has be to original

3.      One submission per person

4.      Once all the submissions are posted a voting poll will be opened up on the blog.  There you will vote for the best picture.

Let’s get started!!!!

The first submission is from Kenya Carl.  She is calling her smoothie: The Jackpot!

The Jackpot Smoothie Recipe:
1/2 cored pineapple (Kroger size container, will need more if using smaller size)
1 container strawberries (16 oz )
1 banana
1 carrot, cut the long way to prevent lumps
1 celery , cut the long way to prevent lumps
1 handful of sweet basil with the stems attached
1-2 handfuls of cilantro with the stems attached

The Jackpot Smoothie by Kenya Carl

Awesome! Thanks Kenya!  I love the way you have involved your children! Clearly someone is enjoying it! 

Stay tuned for more!!!

Peace and Love

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Parasite Cleanse - Part 2

Hi Folks – I cannot begin to tell you how tumultuous these last two weeks have been.  I need a wooo sah moment or just a simple vacation!!!!

I started theparasite cleanse two weeks ago with Well Diva Lifestyle (formerly known as Soul Food Therapy).  On day 2 of the cleanse, I broke rank and had ice cream (it was my birthday after all)!  The following week I had to travel for work.  Traveling has always been tricky because you never know what the food selection is going to be in the airports or at your final destination. Last year I wrote a series of articles that about diet and travel (Airplane Food parts 1 - 5). The difference in last year's saga was that I was not limited to foods parasites hat (FPH).   Most locations I visit are not metropolitan areas with a wide array of health food options.  Plus, I always use traveling as a means to get the naughty treats I normally refrain from (during a stress free week!). 

So here I go on a week long journey out of town, away from my kitchen stocked with foods parasites hate (FPH) and into the realm of foods parasites love (FPL).  I never really paid attention to the food choices (healthy or otherwise) in regards to what parasites hate.  It’s sad to say but MOST of the food available in the marketplace (restaurants and grocery stores) is a  parasite’s dream!  I wouldn’t be surprised if the general population was riddled with parasites based on the components of the standard American diet (SAD) that we consume. 
So how did I manage?  Did I give up?  Well…yes…and no.  Let me explain.

1 – I searched for food and snacks that parasites would hate in the airport.  It was quite disappointing and frustrating.  I found some snacks…..but they WERE NOT TASTY! I’m always talking about how healthy food should taste good but I was very disappointed and not eager to continue to torture myself.

2 - I stuck to my standard late night supermarket trip to pick up healthy snacks. This time, I included smoothie ingredients and a very small blender ($20).  I had a smoothie EVERY morning for breakfast but it went downhill from there. I did drink ample water and had no elimination issues.  
Late night grocery haul - berries, pineapples, nuts, basil, mint, coconut water, unsweetened peanut butter, celery, blender, water bottles, straws, crushed red pepper, lemons, small knife

I'm done.....EXHAUSTED........

3 – I compromised and ate foods parasites LOVE (FPL).  Examples: cheese on my salad with ranch dressing. Yeast rolls for lunch. Veggie nachos for dinner (with grilled veggies, beans, avocado, cheese and corn chips).  I had a stress episode on the last day and ate lasagna…………………and potato chips…..and a donut!

Lunch - salad with ranch and cheese - I added the nuts and pumpkin seeds

Lunch - salad, cole slaw and the forbidden potato salad

Dinner - veggie nachos (forbidden cheese and corn chips)

So I was on the edge and actually jumped in the water.  I felt slightly guilty…and even more disappointed because I did not stick to the program. I’ve rebelled during a cleanse before, but this time it just felt so hard.  Here’s what I learned:

1.       It’s really hard to remain faithful to a cleansing program while away from home.  When your comfort zone (the home kitchen) is stripped away and you are left to protect the cleanse in a “hostile” environment it can get rough.  I had difficulty and temptation even in the grocery store! I was so hungry in that grocery store a box of Nutty Bars was screaming my name!



2.      Life happens.  You do the best you can, pick up the pieces and start again. There is no need to feel guilty or beat myself up.

3.      I’ve been exposed to another wellness activity and feel empowered that I can repeat it…..and actually complete the program.

4.      My advice to others is plan to do a cleanse when you don’t have anything else to do…no birthday celebrations, travelling, or visitors.  It can be done, but takes a lot more effort, and when you are away from home, you can never predict what type of food will be available. Granted I could have eliminated the cheese.........
Peanut butter and jelly smoothie ingredients (blackberries, strawberries, peanut butter, coconut water)

Pineapple, strawberry and mint with chia and coconut water

Infused water (lemon, mint and strawberries)
Next steps:

1.       Continue to pay attention to the foods I eat so that I can have a balance between foods parasites hate and love.

2.      Continue to eat pineapples and pepper along with the other yummy recipes I created while on the cleanse.

3.      Try the parasite cleanse again when there is less excitement in my life.

I'll leave you with key messages that have helped me:  just do your best.  Life is a journey.  Things are not always going to go as planned, but having a measure of self-control still goes a long way.  Will power is key in completing any challenge.  External forces can pressure your resolve.  It’s up to you to manage it, but don’t beat yourself up about falling short.  Just get back up and try it again. 
Even though the parasite cleanse was rocky, I’ve been enlightened on what parasitic symptoms are, how bad the standard American diet is, and how to manage my diet better.


Peace and love!