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Make The Most of Your Post-Workout Meal

Need help deciding what to eat post-workout? Fitness guru Alicia Marie humorously explains the importance of refueling and what to avoid eating after exercise.

It can be tempting to grab a cheeseburger post-workout, like the twitter user in the video, or another not-so-healthy snack (I’ve been guilty of eating ice cream and cookies after the gym). But veggies and lean protein are better options to make the most of your gym #gains.

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What’s Your Hair Type

Whats my hair type?… Am I a 4a, 3b,  or 2c?  Whether you just transitioned to natural, or you’ve been natural for years, knowing your hair type can rule out a lot of unnecessary problems when managing your natural tresses.  Knowing your specific hair type can help you determine what products and styles work best for your texture. This in essence will save you a lot of money spent on unnecessary products and headaches from styles that don’t last.  Experts from the Natura Staff  have composed a chart to help assist you in determining your natural hair type.

Im a 3C.. what are you?



to see the chart click here.


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Chicken, Peppers & Onions English Muffin

This recipe is perfect for a quick, healthy lunch or snack. I love it because it’s super simple and doesn’t take long to make. The original recipe was found on a great blog with tons of healthy and easy recipes. Since it was originally made with baked potatoes, and I’m not a huge baked potato fan (I know, weird), I decided to adapt it a tad and it was still delicious! I also added a little hot sauce on top, because that makes almost any dish better in my opinion. But if spice isn’t your thing don’t worry, it’s still great without it. The original recipe, which yields 4, can be found here.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.03.39 AM


-1 whole wheat English muffin

-1 chicken breast, sliced thin and long

-Olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper

-1/4 medium onion, sliced long

-1/4 green bell pepper, sliced long

-1/4 red bell pepper, sliced long

-2 slices pepper jack cheese

-Hot sauce (optional)


Yields 1 serving.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Season the chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for about four minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through. Set chicken strips aside in a bowl.

Next, in the skillet heat 1 tsp. olive oil and add the peppers and onions. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper and sauté for about four minutes, or until the vegetables begin to brown. Add the vegetables to the bowl along with the chicken.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the two halves of the English muffin on the sheet. Cover each half with chicken, peppers and onions. Drizzle with hot sauce and top with cheese. Place in oven until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

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How to Eat Clean

How many of you actually think about what you put into your body? Honestly, I never really thought about it until after I had my daughter. Eating healthy is not as easy as some may think. There’s junk food that stick out like a sore thumb in grocery stores, fast food joints on every corner, and eye-catching commercials that lure you in especially when you’re hungry. Lately I’ve been thinking back on what foods I’ve eaten growing up and majority of it has been processed foods. Then I think to myself, there’s got to be a better way of eating than all this garbage. So I’m going to share with you some information I’ve gathered on how to limit consumption of processed food.

The goal you want to set is eating foods that are as close to natural as possible. Sure you can have a little pinch of processed food, but do not overindulge in it. Fruit, in their natural state, is the best way to go. For starters, an Apple is a great snack as opposed to an Apple Pop Tart. I think you can guess the reason for this. An Orange or 100% Orange Juice is a better choice than some sort of other Orange drink. Fruit drinks contain a load of high fructose and very little real juice. There’s nothing natural about that.

Next, I’d like to share about foods most children dread, which are vegetables. Let’s talk carrots! The best source is from the produce section, but not bagged like baby carrots. Don’t get me wrong, packaged baby carrots would be the next best thing, but good ‘ol regular carrots are as natural as they come. Personally, I like baby carrots more. If you’re making a salad, choose unbagged Spinach. When I shop for my Spinach, I alternate between bagged and unbagged.

Don’t think I forgot about meats! One of my favorites is Turkey. A whole turkey or turkey from the Deli is way better than those frozen meatballs in the freezer section. I’ve purchased those before only when I absolutely have to. Another meat of choice you’ll find me cooking in the kitchen is chicken. Kids love them and so do adults, but Chicken Nuggets are not the real deal.


Do you like sandwiches on white or wheat bread? When I was younger, white bread was all my parents bought. I think my mother got wind that wheat was better and stayed with wheat. That’s all I have sandwiches on now as an adult. The best would be Whole grain bread. You get the most nutritional value from it. If you’re making a pasta, a whole wheat pasta is said to be better because it is higher in antioxidants. I haven’t influenced myself to go from white pasta to whole wheat pasta yet. That’s a tough one for me.


Looking at my two and a half-year old, I want her to be educated on how to make healthy food choices. Having her in my life has definitely changed my perspectives in my eating habits as well as me wanting to remain healthy in the years to come. If you must buy frozen vegetables, steer clear of those packaged with sodium-filled sauces. You also have the option of freezing them in their natural state if you’re not going to be using it all at once. Try to incorporate fresh meats rather than frozen packaged meats. It all boils down to being more conscious of eating more natural foods and learning how to make better selections.

For more articles similar to this, check out the latest issue of Natura Magazine!

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50 Shades of Grey….Hair?

From purple to blue, 2014 has been the season for many vibrant hair colors. Now, grey hair has been added onto the list. This hair color isn’t really a color every girl can pull off but surprisingly, it’s becoming more popular, especially among the natural hair community. Younger women are adding their own uniqueness into this trendy hair color and it’s beautiful. Doesn’t matter if its, short, long, curly, kinky or straight, these ladies found a way to best suit their style with this elegant color. Not only has it been dyed in natural hair, but girls are even dyeing their extensions grey!

Consider it a fashion statement; if you have an edgier, grunge style go for a charcoal grey. If you have a chic but preppy look, you can never go wrong with a greyish-lavender or maybe a steel-blue greyish tint. Lastly, if you want to achieve a sophisticated style, silver-grey would be a great choice. These are all creative ideas to make your gray hair look flattering and guaranteed to make heads turn.

Some may disagree with the whole idea of rocking this look, but who cares! It’s different. If you like it, go for it. #beunique.

Here are a few beautiful ladies who had no problem embracing their grey tresses on Instagram! Go check them out!

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Confessions of a Passively Devoted Natural

I was very curious as to how long it would be for me to mildly take care of my hair before my hair started showing that I was only mildly being taken care of.

natural hair needs water

My natural hair journey began as my child, I was giving it constant attention – I mean an overabundance of attention, multiple hours daily. As life has begun to pick up and I’ve gotten busy with internships, committees, clubs, dance teams, jobs, school work, etc. it has begun hard (hard being an incredible understatement) to keep up with my hair. Even now, with it being summertime and my being home from school for the summer – I imagined a life with daily treatments, weekly deep conditions, daily co-washes etc. but I have not at all been able to achieve that. As unfortunate as it is and as much as I don’t want to believe it, I think my hair is finally suffering from the neglect it has been facing. I went from spraying water day, night and in-between to soaking it while in the shower once, sometimes twice, a day. Using leave-in conditioner everyday to sometimes throwing coconut oil in my hair after I got out of the shower.

I have hit a wall in my natural hair journey. I’m not sure what it’s from. I still love my hair so much – I wouldn’t perm it for anything in the world, I love the journey and every curl, but I just can’t find the motivation that I once had. I think my hair has stopped growing as much as it was – even though I maintain a completely healthy diet, but also shrinkage could just be getting me down.


Is there anything that you all do when you hit a rut?

So far I’ve gotten “trim & new protective styles”.

Comment below!

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Wig Chronicles Part 1

…And so begins my wig chronicles.

After weeks of attempting to convince myself that wigs were normal for people my age, I started to do my research and naturally it became obsessive. I looked at YouTube tutorials of what a “quick weave” was (essentially glued hair onto a cap for a quick wig), and “How-To Make a Wig” tutorials. It looked pretty simple, so I went to the local hair store. I’d decided a bob with a bang was the cheapest most do-able option for a first time wig-maker.

When I arrived at the hair store, the employee was completely taken aback by my lack of knowledge on everything that had to do with weave, I mean I am natural so she tried to be as not-frustrated as possible. She pointed me to the cheapest, but best quality 8”/10” hair, provided me with a pack of wig caps (2), 2 bottles of 30 second wig glue (as per my best friends instructions, and i trust her expertise)Wig & glue,a mannequin head (which I should have known… But we will get to that later) and a pat on the back for good luck.

My brave friend and I went back to her houseto get started and the excitement was buzzing. We pulledup multiple tutorials in multiples tabs, watched them for a little, but were overtaken by excitement and got started. We should have noticed all these women made their caps on their own heads. We did the first two tracks with one glue cap upon my natural headed braids, 1st mistake. We decided to move to the mannequin head, and it’s good we did (or was it?) because while attempting to take the cap off of my head the part of the cap where the tracks were glued was also, cruelly enough, stuck to my braids. After a couple minutes of peeling carefully we got the cap off of my braids with little to no damage.

This is where the first lesson in making a wig for you. Rule #1: If you are going to make a wig for yourself, protect your own hair.

Back to the story, so begins the long trek of gluing tracks to the cap on the mannequin head. We literally put the cap on the mannequin head and started gluing. We did four tracks on the base of the head then began going in a circle as to close at the top. It was easy enough, I cut, she glued, I laid on the head, repeat. We had laid a good amount of tracks to where it was clear this adventure was a good decision. Here is where things go sour….

Remember earlier, when I said you have to protect your hair from the glue? You have to protect everything from the glue. We struggled for 20 minutes, at least, trying to remove the cap from the mannequin head. The cap came off, withStyrofoam residue, of course. Rule #2: If you are using a mannequin head at any point, protect the mannequinhead, so your cap isn’t permanently glued to the mannequin.


Once we finally got the cap off, we attempted to put the cap on my head, and here is where things went ridiculously, murphy’s law, anything that can go wrong will, type of sour…

My head is not the size of the mannequin head. How about this, Rule #1: Make the wig on yourself unless you know for a FACT this mannequin head is exactly the size of your head.

With that being said, the almost-finished wig did not fit; not even close to fitting. We turned to Google frantically hoping there was a solution of how to stretch it and after about five minutes I’d realized that we would have to start all over. We had spent 1.5 hours on a wig I couldn’t wear and I tried not to show my face of defeat while I packed up my things to go home.

Tip: Oil sheen hair spray takes anything bond-glued right off. Tracks peel right off if sprayed with oil sheen and let sit for 30 seconds.


When I arrived home, now 12AM, I spent about 30 minutes removing every single track from the cap and thanked the Gods the store employee convinced me to get two glue caps. I ended up using paper towels and a washcloth to block the cap from my hair while I glued the tracks on carefully and methodically. After about an hour I was finished, with my wig! I cut my bob and my bangs, which I’d had endless experience in because that was how I wore my hair all through middle school into high school; bangs were my thing back then.


I hope this post allows you to learn from my mistakes and brave the storm of the wig-world, but since I made my first wig I have brought three more and am growing my collection. I absolutely recommend wigs as a quick style and a protective style. They have yet to let me down!


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The Key Steps To Successfully Detangling

A heavy-duty comb


A wide-toothed comb is the comb you need in order to detangle. If the combs teeth are too thin and close together you will break your hair and if the comb it too plastic it will snap and you will run through an entire pack before you finish your whole head. I personally love and reccomend the tan wide toothed comb and the denman brush, which can be found at any hair store/Sallys near you.Denman Brush 1 

(denman brush)

Hair utensils (scrunchies, clips, pins, etc)

alluminium hair clips231

I’ll leave this up to your preference, but detangling becomes easier the better you are able to separate the hair. Most people begin with four sections and then break the individual sections into more sections using pins and scrunchies. Be sure to have these on hand to make your detangling process easier!

Spray Bottle of Water

Do not, I repeat, do not detangle dry hair. There is no easier way to damage your hair than detangling your hair while it is dry. Keep your spray bottle on hand to be able to spritz water as needed.

You will indefinitely need patience to be able to work with your hair without breaking it, damaging it or giving up on detangling. Work from the bottom up, but be sure to take your time.


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My Testimonial As A Natural College Student

When I initially cut my hair, I was obsessed and protective, as if it were my child. I didn’t realize how time consuming my hair, TWA at that point, is until I came home the summer after my first year of college. I spend my first semester of college with braids, and once I took them out I was elated to play in my hair again. Second semester, because of my dance team, I had a two sew-in weaves as a protective styles, and in-between the two I was elated to play with my hair and the new growth. Now that we are in the summer, I have consistently had my hair out and it has been difficult to keep up with my hair. I have nothing but time, but I am learning just how time consuming natural hair is. (Duh, right?)

I havealso realized a few things: natural hair is expensive (if youre not careful), time consuming and easy to get off track from. My current challenge is that I have to be frugal with high maintenance hair. I will have to keep up with my schoolwork, dance team, organizations, friends, networks, professors& my HAIR. It’s hard. It is so easy to begin slacking with your hair if you are a college student with your hair, but you have to find that inspiration to keep your momentum going. Remember why you first started.


Some possible steps we can take:

Buy things that have multi-use:

Vitamin E – removes dark marks, also promotes healthy hair.

Olive oil – Can be cooked with, but also is a very essential oil for the hair.

The list goes on



Stick to the basics:

Moisturizer, Oil, Sealant, Conditioner, Shampoo.


Dedicate a certain time to do you hair:

Scheduling is hard as a millennial, but you will if you love and care about the health of your hair.

Budget money for your hair:

It seems so adult-y, but it really will be beneficial to make sure you aren’t overspending on natural hair products!


What are some tips you have, or things you can do to devote yourself to your hair as a natural hair student?

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The “un-talked about” Mental Process of the Big Chop


To say I thought I was going to feel completely liberated is an understatement. I expected the warm family-like embrace from the people around me, I mean… It was just hair. Right? But no, I felt bald, and I was. There was no fuzzy feeling, no warm embrace from my family and no instant love of my new haircut. My mothers jaw dropped close to the floor, my grandfather just stared and my dad wrote off the haircut as another one of my “teen” phases. Later that night, I stood in the mirror tugging at the half inch strands, some curlyand some straight, wondering what made me cut it all off. It was then that I realized I could have done all of the research in the world and none of it could have prepared me for the drastic change in my perception of myself.

A little background about my hair….

I truly did have wild kinky hair when I was a child, it was braided and styled once a week which ended up making it down my back, but I was tender-headed, and this frustrated my mom. Eventually, like most, I submitted to the creamy crack. I kept my hair permed all throughout middle/high school, but it was incredibly unhealthy, broken and didn’t go past my shoulders until my 11th grade year.


During senior year, I came across a naptural85 video on YouTube, and the rest is history.

Before I made my visit to the hair cut shop, I researched, which most of us do, and is probably how you ended up here. I spent hours on YouTube, curly Nikki and all of the popular natural sites finding products and reading testimonials. They all told of the struggle finding product and things of that nature, but no one told me what I needed to know; no one told me if I would regret my decision, or if I would ever be able to ignore the stares. It was a true test of self-love that I was less prepared for than I expected to be.

At first, you’ll feel ugly, but no one tells you this. Your face will look bigger, but trust me it’s not. You’ll notice bumps and marks you never even knew existed and you’ll start trying to find accessories that remind people you’re not a boy. You will be forced to point out flaws within yourself and then forced to do something about them, but you will learn this makes you a better person. You will officially be able to see yourself objectively, not covered in hair, and it will allow you to not only start your hair journey, but also start a journey to a better you.

The first month was difficult, but only when I realized that I did this big chop for me, could I be happy, could I ignore the stares and embrace my baby hair. It was so much easier to love my short hair when I thought of what it was going to be in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and so on.  I say this all to say, it quickly becomes worth it all; theunknown, the experimentation, learning your pattern, learning your face, seeing yourself as your are, everything becomes worth it. You have made a decision that most women could not even dream about, you are fearless, you are bold and you should be nothing less than proud. 


(me at one month after the BC)