To keep the body in good health is a duty – otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. – Buddha
I’m that girl who will slap a hot dog out of your hand as if it were an activated grande. I will change the way you see your body and all the cool stuff it can do. I will likely tell you where your meat came from. This is who I am. Ashley is ok with Ashley.
What frustrates me the most is how hard mainstream society just loves to perpetuate incorrect stereotypes about health through clever packaging and unnecessary product creation. I can’t take it anymore. I have to set a few things straight…
Enriched & Fortified Foods
The Lie: Foods that have had vitamins and minerals added to them are healthier than foods which have not.
The Truth: These are actually top-heavy and genetically modified foods that will flood you with vitamins you may already be getting enough of. If you are NOT getting enough of these nutrients, you should be analyzing your diet and changing what you eat not increasing your intake of processed foods to make up for it. This can lead to mineral imbalances, essentially throwing off your natural flow and ability to keep a healthful balance.
The Solution: Take a whole foods based multivitamin if you don’t think you’re getting enough from your daily meals. Be sure your diet is geared towards your body’s needs and your lifestyle. Consult a nutritionist to find out if you’re on track.
Nutritional Supplement Programs
The Lie: Nutritional supplement programs are a billion dollar industry because they are perfect for the busy health conscious consumer who wants more energy, fast and healthy meals or needs to lose weight.
The Truth: Let me put it this way. A Herbalife meal replacement shake has about 75 ingredients in it. The first two ingredients are soy protein and fructose. Meanwhile a simple handmade smoothie for breakfast will likely contain about 5 or 6 ingredients, cost around twenty-five cents to make and contain only what you can pronounce. #winning
The Solution: Always be aware of what you’re putting in your body. Instead of a perfectly packaged meal plan (that conveniently awards someone commission when you buy it), opt instead for making your own smoothies, preparing dishes ahead to freeze or planning out your meals every week if quick is an element your lifestyle requires. Stay away from the pyramid schemes.
Vaginal Cleansing & Maintenance
The Lie: We have been told that like the rest of our body, our vagina needs to be washed. There are entire lines of vaginal cleansers, douche and deodorizers on the market today influencing women not only to potpourri their p*ssy but to believe that their natural scent… is whack.
The Truth: Part from a fishy like oder with or without an out-of-ordinary discharge, your vagina is supposed to have a little “personality”. At no point in life should you ever have to apply soap nor any other product to your actual vaginal area (meaning your labia minora, clitoris and vaginal opening).
The Solution: By all means, de-funk the surrounding landscape, but just know your VJ is equipped with an expert self-cleaning mechanism that regulates your pH balance. If you’re convinced your scent is offensive and you’re not exhibiting any signs of a medical issue – up your water and fruit intake and stay away from starchy foods for a while.
Salads Are the Best Health Food
The Lie: Salads are always the better choice on the menu.
The Truth: Salads are really just a meal preference, not necessarily a healthier choice. It’s very important to pay attention to what TOPS your salad rather than thinking the leafy greens will erase the memory. A lot of salads on the menu are placed there to appease the healthy consumer and satisfy their desire for a good meal but you may just be eating what she’s having at the next table – minus the bun.
The Solution: Pay attention! Pass on salads that are topped with battered chicken, cheese, or pre-mixed dressings (i.e. Ranch, Italian, House, Thousand Island…). Instead look for the salad that has a simple variety of fresh vegetables and a basic olive oil drizzle or a spritz of lemon. Sound boring? Oh well. Salads should be cleansing – that’s what they are for.
Natural Hair Tutorials
The Lie: Hairspo has us thinking some magic product will give us magic results…. Nah.
The Truth: No share to my sisters out there blogging (and vlogging) about the natural hair journey. When I first cut off my chemically damaged hair back in 2008 I too was a natural hair blog addict. Even today I like to browse the feeds and find ideas for hairstyles, products to try, and methods for getting the most out of my tresses. But the reality of the situation is that every natural is as different as a snowflake. Even comrades with the same curl pattern will get different results than you. Why can the natural hair trap be dangerous? It can damage your enthusiasm by making you think you are the acceptation and maybe the natural hair journey ain’t for you.
The Solution: This isn’t an easy solution. Ready? The answer is… EMBRACE. Yep. Wet that hair and take a good long look in the mirror. Your hair more of a grower than a shower? Dry ends are your constant struggle? You rocking three different curl patterns (like your’s truly here)? Embrace it and love it. At the end of the day the natural hair journey is about loving yourself as she comes and not fitting into a standard. Even if that standard is in the natural hair realm, kick it to the curb because none of us fits into it anyway. Do your research, but at the end of the day you have to love your hair as it comes out of your head.
Gym Life = Eat What You Want
The Lie: I hit the gym 4 times a week! So I can literally eat whatever I want and keep my figure.
The Truth: No matter how much you work out in the gym, your body requires proper nutrition. A lot of people focus so much on building their muscles to sculpt for a certain look that their nutrition circles around eating the least amount of fat and a highest amount of protein. Your body requires a balance of healthy fats, fibrous vegetables, and other complex foods like power-seeds (quinoa, chia, etc). The commitment to a healthy and complete diet should never be ignored just because you can bench 150 lbs.
The Solution: Keep up the good work out! But incorporate a healthy meal plan that keeps you mainly in the produce section. A plant-based (or mostly plant-based) diet will keep your body clear of toxins, produce clean energy, keep you well rested and most importantly…keep you youthful. What’s the point of being ripped if you can’t enjoy life?
Sleep is a Time Waster
The Lie: You have a million things going on. Deadlines, projects, things to plan and check up on. You’re in the prime of your life and you have to stay on your hustle. Not only that but you’re a rock star and you can kill your ‘to do’ list with only 4 hours of sleep in tow.
The Truth: Sleeping is actually one of the most important things you’ll do all day. When you are awake your brain builds up little toxins that slowly cloud your ability to think clearly, solve problems and regulate your emotions. The only time these toxins are able to be cleaned out of your system is when you are asleep. Sleep not only clears away the cobwebs, but it reinforces a strong memory, helps with healthy skin rejuvenation and muscular repair and allows your heart a chance to renew itself in order to prevent early onset heart attacks.
The Solution: Set a bedtime (give yourself at least 7 hours before you have to be awake). Create a routine. Take a hot shower, sip some tea, pick up a book, cuddle with your man (or “handheld boyfriend”). Whatever it is, make sure it is soothing and calm. It’s also vital that you turn of your device! The LED light in your screen actually depletes melatonin – the naturally occurring chemical that regulates your sleep. In short, your device is telling your brain that you don’t need sleep and creates a dangerous pattern and mental deficiency. Be sure to drink plenty of water before you go to sleep too because your Z-time is also your bodies best chance to purify itself.