Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Juice Journey: More Mint Please!

Hey Folks!  I'm back with another juice recipe that contains mint.  I'm calling it the Cooling Nectar!  The recipe came about when the almost summer heat started pumping and Caleb broke out in a heat rash.  The ingredients are simple and it tastes oh so good! 

Ever heard of the saying: "cool as a cucumber"? I'm sure it came about because cucumbers are full of water, minerals and vitamins that can fuel your system better than an artificial sports drink.  Apples are added to give sweetness and mint has a great cooling capacity.  Lemon balm is in the mint family and is used for insomnia, headaches, nervous indigestion, and curing melancholy or depression.  In the wintertime we drank hot lemon balm tea with honey and hemp seed milk.  It was delicious and had a "sleepy time" effect on Caleb the night owl.  Lemon balm also has a wonderful aroma. Burning lemon balm essential oil can give your home a pleasant boost.  Not only will the juice cool you down it will relax your body and ease digestion...and it tastes great - did I say that already?   Here is the recipe.

Cooling Nectar:
2 large Cucumbers
4 Granny Smith apples
10 stalks of mint
4 stalks of lemon balm

Lemon balm
Granny Smith apples


Fruit ready for the juicer!

Apple cucumber juice

For a bigger hit of mint, I juiced the apples and cucumbers first, then blended it with the mint and lemon balm
Add caption

Blended juice
Blended juice - look at all that chlorophyll! Yum!
Also, both the mint and lemon balm cam directly from our back yard which I LOVE!

Ready to cool down? What is your favorite juicing ingredient?

Peace and love,

Community Supported Agriculture: Summer Fruit Share

Hi Folks - The summer  season is upon us and I've signed up for the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative fruit share.  Last year I signed up for the fall vegetable share and was quite pleased.  This is the third and best week!  Up until now we were just getting two pints of strawberries a week.  Love me some berries, but I was not happy.  This week we received strawberries, blueberries and cherries! YUM YUM YUM!

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative fruit share box

The bounty from week #3 - blueberries, cherries and strawberries

Nice and juicy!

I've been putting the strawberries in water, smoothies and juice.  I consumed the cherries in record time (didn't even share with the fam!!) and still have the blueberries to eat. 

If you have the opportunity to join a community supported agriculture coop this summer please do!
As the summer progresses we are slated to get melons, peaches and of course more berries! So excited for what's to come!

What's your favorite summer fruit?

Peace and love,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Hair Journey: The fungus is baaa-aaaack!

Howdy folks!  I have some terrible news to share! The fungus is BACK! I'm so disappointed and slightly irritated at my dry flaky scalp.  Even if I apply tea tree oil it seems to get worse.  I have come down from my adulation of being rid of this pesky condition.

One thing I've been doing differently is not using and tea tree or dandruff shampoo.  I've been doing more co-washes because I wanted to stop using shampoos that stripped my hair of moisture and changed my curl pattern.  I used apple cider vinegar and did not see any relief.  So now, I'm experimenting with a home remedy I've "heard of" on social media:  onion and ginger juice!  I added aloe to the party because I'm desperate! Take a look.

My scalp - June 22, 2014.  Not pretty - this is 4 days after co-washing.
Step 1 - make the onion ginger aloe juice concoction: I used my juicer...and cried a lot!! Those freshly juiced onions were serious tear jerkers!

I used 6 -7 inches of ginger and two medium sized yellow onions. 

Step 2 - mix the ginger onion juice with aloe vera juice:

Aloe vera juice, spray bottle and ginger onion juice

Aloe vera juice

Final mixture: ginger, onion and aloe vera juice

Step 3 - Apply to scalp, cover and let the anti-fungal treatment begin!  I left the cap on for about 1 hour.  My hair is so thick, I just parted it and applied the juice to each section.  I was boo hooing the whole time (it's the onions...the onions I say).
After spraying before capping

The treatment was working....I could feel tingling....
Step 4 - rinse hair and style.  My style for the day was a free flow afro.

After rinsing (scalp looks free of debris)

Curl pattern

Pomade of choice!  Applied before picking. My favorite styling product and you can pronounce all the ingredients!!!!!!!
Picked out patting into submission...

Shrinkage!!!! Whoa mama!!
After the scalp felt good.  I'm not sure how many times I should repeat the process, but I'll do it as long as it takes.  I'm also researching foods and herbs that help eliminate fungus/dandruff.  I want to do it the natural chemicals.  Onions are recommended a lot in home remedies for hair,  but I didn't understand why.  Come to find out onions are high in sulpher....our hair is full of di-sulfide I can see how it can strengthen hair but still not clear on it's anti-fungal properties.  Aloe and ginger both have antiseptic/anti fungal behavior so I understood the use of those ingredients.

The fungus saga continues..........stay tuned for more updates!

What else can I use to combat my fungus parties???

Peace and love!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Juice Journey: Mint the Undercover Aphrodisiac

Mint is a common herb.  You find mint flavored toothpaste, candy, floss, gum, tea, and mouth wash in almost every home across the globe.  But there is more to this herb than just being a breath freshener.

I started using mint in my fresh juices because I liked the flavor it added to my nutritious nectars of love. In my quest to understand and learn more about my nectar ingredients this is what I found out about mint:

1.       There are over 50 species of mint

2.       Menthol (an alcohol) is an active component which contributes to the essence or aroma of mint

3.       In high does mint can act as an aphrodisiac (not sure how high is proceed with caution)

4.       It can eliminate intestinal gas

5.       Can behave as an antiseptic

6.       Can be used in  steam treatment for unclogging nasal passageways

7.       Mint can invigorate your body

8.       Can relieve headaches, migraines and alleviate rheumatic and muscular aches.

Here is a great recipe (one of my favorites – Family approved) using this mighty herb:

Orange Mint Juice:
 8 oranges
1/3 bunch of kale
2 inches of ginger
2 cucumbers
½ cup of pineapple
10 - 12 sprigs of mint

The preparation was a bit different from other juices I’ve made.  In order to get more of a minty punch I juice all the other ingredients and blended the mint in afterwards (see below). 
Juiced ingredients: oranges, pineapple, kale, ginger, cucumbers
Adding mint to the blender with juice
Mint and juice in blender
Orange Mint Juice (YUM - MY!!!)

OOOO WEEE! This was some great juice! One of my favorites!  Try it and tell me what you think!

Peace and love!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Good Food = Good Hair: 6 Foods to eat for Good Hair

Howdy folks! This article is a repost from last year.  I was chatting with friends yesterday and the subject of hair growth came up.  One lady said she had difficulty growing her hair...she said her hair was the same length for almost three years...and she as not been cutting it.  My response was: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize...........and EAT FOOD That is GOOD for you.

So here is  a reminder of the food we can eat for good, healthy, beautiful hair. 

I have always been blessed with hair that has grown quickly and did not break easily.  I thought my hair was healthy and strong.  What I didn't realize was how much what I ate (or did not eat) affected my hair and scalp.  I thought since it was thick and long, and grew fast that it was healthy.  I've made references to the dry scalp issues I've had for years in earlier posts (Tress Update and The Hair Journey).  I was using the wrong products and my diet was definitely NOT optimal for truly healthy tresses. Now that I am starting from scratch, I am very curious to see how my "new" hair will perform under a reformed regime. 

Again: my definition of good hair is not texture, length,'s HEALTH (Your Hair is So Nappy).  I believe diet plays a bigger role the health of our hair than the products we use. 

Our entire body is fused into itself.  Our body works as a symphony not a soloist.  If we are not eating optimally, then some part of the symphony will may be the horn section...or the string instruments or the percussion section.  Some areas make deficiencies more apparent such as kidney failure or a heart attack as opposed to weak hair and nails or tired eyes.  But all are signs that help is needed in a particular area of our orchestra. 

So just as diet will affect the chances of getting type 2 diabetes, it will affect the strength, porosity, retention and growth of our hair.  Here are some foods I found that will help my hair journey.

6 Foods to eat for Good Hair:

1.  Beans - they are rich in B vitamins and protein which are essential for strong hair.  Lack of B-vitamins can cause premature hair loss  and dry scalp which is what I was experiencing around my temple area. The vitamin B complex is important for protein metabolism, cell growth and repair.  Other foods containing the vitamin B complex are: whole grains, poultry, organ meats and eggs. The B complex includes:

oVitamin B1 (thiamine)

oVitamin B2 (riboflavin)

oVitamin B3 (niacin)

oVitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

oVitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

oVitamin B7 (biotin)

oVitamin B9 (folic acid)

oVitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)

Beans - black eyed peas

2.  Molasses - this sweetener is rich is minerals and trace elements. Hair needs: zinc, iron, calcium, silicone (to name a few) all which are found in molasses. Iron deficiency leads to dull, brittle hair (1,2).

3. Coconut - this fruit gives a balanced proportion of minerals needed for hair.  The oil is one of the best  moisture sealants for natural black hair.  It works in two ways:  it can decrease penetration of water from the environment and can bind to the protein in our hair reinforcing the hair fiber which makes it stronger (1, 2).

Coconut fruit and oil

4.  Cucumber - provides sulfur and trace elements (1).  Di -sulfide bonds join sulfur atoms together creating amino acid linkages.  The more di-sulfide bonds you have the curlier or kinkier your hair will be. These bonds can only be broken by chemical means such as relaxers.  This is why relaxers are irreversible and you have to grow your perm out in order to have your natural texture back (2). 

5.  Spinach - provides vitamin A which aides in hair growth. Vitamin A can keep the dandruff forming process under control.  Too little of this vitamin can lead to dry hair and scalp.  Dry hair leads to breakage.  Conversely, too much vitamin A can lead to thin, coarse brittle hair.  Other foods high in vitamin A content are carrots, chard, apricots, mangoes, and watermelon (1,2).  

6.  Citrus fruits - provides vitamin C which is a collagen builder and helps us absorb iron.   The lack of vitamin C can cause bleeding under the skin and weak, brittle and dry hair and scalp. Vitamin C can also be found in broccoli, tomatoes and cauliflower (2).

In order to have truly healthy hair I have to beef up my diet in the areas of vitamins and minerals, protein and water.   Water is not a food but it is essential to every part of our body. The goal is to stay away from supplements and get what I need directly from the food source. 

Good ole broccoli

Are there any other foods that can be added to this list? Share your thoughts!

Peace and love!

References for this post:

1 -  Encyclopedia of Food and Their Healing Power - Dr. Pamplona-Roger

2 - The Science of Black Hair - Audrey Davis - Sivasothy

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hair Candy by Koosie: Are you living your dreams?

Hi Folks!  Do you know the reason why you were born?  What is your passion?  What do you LOVE to do?  More importantly can you make a living doing what you LOVE?  Today we are going to hear a testimony from Akua who we've featured before on The Natural Journey For Life.  She shared her hair routine and glorious curls with us last year!  We'll she's back to share her Hair Candy Journey. 

Many businesses start from someone seeing a need and then filling that need.  Usually it starts in their home or close to home.  My need:  cute and unique hair accessories for all ages.  How did I fill that need:  Hair Candy by Koosie. 

I realized rather late in life that I have a talent for certain art forms or mediums.  One of those is graphic arts.  And the one that I am following up on now is creating pieces of art for your hair using ribbons, remnant fabrics, and most importantly beads.  I started dabbling or experimenting several years ago with different methods and finally settled on a few that have really worked.

My favorite and most creative Hair Candy barrettes are the beaded accessories.  I think it allows me to show tons of creativity.  My creations are usually tailor made for my clients.  Clients usually give me their favorite colors or what specifics on what they are looking for and I bring back the most delicious morsels of Hair Candy.  My goal is to base each custom piece on someone's personality.  I have a wonderful  and creatively weird sister.  So I use her for all of my experimental and wild designs.  Hair Candy for my older sisters are usually more conservative, though one loves tons of colors while the other just likes basic colors.  I enjoy the creative process.  Sometimes I have a plan and sometimes I don’t.  But starting out with pieces and putting those pieces together to create a unique piece of wearable art is wonderful!
Hair Candy for girls

Hair Candy for the adventurous
Hair Candy for the conservative!
I am a Federal employee who has experienced a very volatile employment year.  Because of this volatility I decided to really truly do what I love and put a price on it.  My goal is not to “Work for the Man” for the rest of my life.  I want to control my own destiny with God making the path clear.  I am still in the beginning phase.  But I feel motivated and hopefully will be more than a small business someday.

If you would like to purchase your very own Hair Candy by Koosie.  Shoot me an email at  And we can start the order process.  You can also look at some of my other pieces by going to Hair Candy by Koosie on Facebook.

It’s never to late to create!
Wow! Here is my Hair Candy!! Go and get yours!! Thanks Akua for sharing your Candy Journey!  We are born with gifts and talents and if we don't use them are we really fulfilling our purpose?  I think not! I can relate to Akua's story because I too have found my true purpose...and It's not "working for the man" the rest of my life.
I'm the adventurous's my Candy! :)
Have you found your passion?
Go get your Candy!
Peace and love!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Caleb's Corner - Soup for Days!

Hi Folk’s it’s been awhile since I’ve shared a bit of fun from Caleb’s life.  Since the last update he has turned three years old.  He is a wonderful soul that keeps us laughing and amazed!

Ever since he was around one and a half years old he’s been eating soup.  Yes…you heard right……..SOUP!  Needless to say I have become quite the soup maker over the last two years. 

I’ve stated before that he has many food allergies (diary, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, barley, wheat, rye, oats) and soup is an allergy friendly way of giving him protein, grains, vegetables and an overall hearty meal.  Legumes are a staple in our home and I’ve come to love Carribean root vegetables like cassava and yucca.  

Here is a soup that Caleb loves to eat with rice.  He’ll eat anything with rice.  He’ll even eat rice all by itself!

It’s a simple vegan red lentil soup.  Lentils are high in fiber, iron and can combat high cholesterol, constipation and anemia.  Because the red lentils are so small they don't take long to cook at all. When you are pressed for time, red lentils are a good choice.
Red Lentil Soup:
soaked red lentils
sea salt
garlic powder
chopped onions
anise seed
fresh chopped cilantro
coconut oil

1.       Soak lentils overnight

2.       Boil lentils on high for 15 minutues in water

3.       Add seasonings: salt, anise seed, turmeric, chopped onions, garlic powder (all to taste)

4.       Let cook until smooth

5.       Add coconut oil and cilantro to finish

That’s it! Total time:  20 – 25 minutes.  You can also add kale, carrots, potatoes and anything else that suits your fancy!

Red lentil soup with brown rice

Caleb! Ready to eat!
Peace and love!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Plants are Cool : Plantain The Anti-Poison

Herbal Bush House  is back to tell us about another wonderful creation in the “Plants Are Cool” spotlight.   I’ve posted about products that I’ve used in the past made by Herbal Bush House and they’ve kindly agreed to do a monthly post on herbs to enlighten us all.

Herbal Bush House is dedicated to promoting knowledge of the use of food, herbs and water through educational programs within the community.  Their mission is to empower people with wisdom and understanding of the use of nature’s blessings to promote healthier lifestyles.

Plantain - The Anti-Poison:

The Plantain you find on the lawn is usually Plantago Major. It is a broad-leafed plant that stays low to the ground, and has a little crooked seed stem that grows up out of the middle of the plant. Plantago lanceolata is usually found in backyards and waste places. It is a long narrow leaf with the veins that run parallel from stem to tip. Some plants will grow a foot tall and the seed stem grows straight up from the middle of the plant sometimes reaching heights of two feet.

Plantago Major

Plantago Lanceolata
Plantain is an infection fighter for the immune system. It fights blood poisoning, kidney and bladder infection, poisonous bites and stings. Here is a testimonial story. A man took his favorite dog on a hunt one day, the dog was bitten on the shoulder by a diamondback rattlesnake. When he got the dog back home, he put some plantain juice on the bite, the dog kept licking the juice off. He put some plantain juice in a bowl and the dog lapped it up. Then he smashed up some plantain leaves and put it on the dogs shoulder for a couple days. The dog laid around the first day , the second day she was up and down, but the third day she seemed normal , thanks to plantain.
Plantain is one of those herbs recommended for many ailments: poisonous bites and stings, boils and carbuncles, tumors, inflammation, eczema, thrush, blood poison, yeast infection, ulcers, bed-wetting, poison ivy and many more. Plantain leaves are best used fresh, the plant can be put in a blender roots and all. The macerated fresh leaves can be put on bee stings and used for skin irritations. The important constituents of plantain is the gluside aucubin and allantoin. Plantain can also be used for burns, cuts and wounds and insect and flea bites as well.

Plantain (Plantago Major)
Ribwort Plantain (Plantago Lanceolata)

Look for plantain in your back yard!! I wonder if you will find it?  I know we've used it for Caleb's oil and leaf form.

Peace and love!