by Carmen Beckett
Castor Oil is an age old trick for growing longer, stronger and thicker hair. A year ago, my hair was thin and brittle from the overuse of heat along with a string of other unhealthy hair habits. I started applying castor oil to my hair weekly, and a year later, my hair is so much longer and thicker. It’s a great aid to use for those of us who prefer natural beauty products and remedies.
Castor oil has several uses. It can be used to grow hair longer, treat dry scalp, fill bald spots, and prevent hair breakage.
Three Ways Castor Oil Can Be Applied:
-Add 1-2 teaspoons of castor oil to the deep conditioner of your choice
-Apply castor oil directly to the scalp
-Apply castor oil after using the hair moisturizer of your choice
All three ways of application have helped me tremendously. Applying castor oil to a deep conditioner strengthens the hair follicles and gives the hair a nice shine. Applying castor oil after using a hair moisturizer helps to lock in the moisture for long-lasting, daily nourishment. Lastly, applying castor oil to the scalp provides a healthy environment to stimulate faster hair growth.
Using castor oil is always a real treat for my hair. I love it! It can be purchased online or at your local health food store.
Warning: Due to castor oil’s thick consistency, hair should be washed often when used.
By Dominique Currie
God knows our bodies so intricately. He is the only one who can search our hearts, and as it is said in Psalm 139:13; 15-16: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body”.
Since God knows us and created us, HE holds the power to cure and heal. He didn’t create us to suffer in infirmity and disease. He gave us the tools to defeat the enemy! We live in a world that is more spiritual than natural and the quicker we realize this, the better. God doesn’t make mistakes. Infirmity and disease are not something we are supposed to live with. Jesus Christ died a criminal’s death and rose again; and in that powerful Resurrection lies every healing we need for spirits of infirmity, sickness, disease, bondage, addiction, etc.; not to mention, He gave us the Holy Spirit! One of my favorite things to say is that I want ALL of what was made available to me at the cross!
There is a direct correlation between sin and disease because Deuteronomy 28 says so. Deuteronomy 30 also states that disobedience to God and His Word and not staying in covenant with Him will open the door to the curse.
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death, and Romans 8:13 says “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
God knows that sin is harmful to us physically, mentally, and spiritually. The effects of a sinful life tend to manifest spiritually first more than naturally, so mankind doesn’t always feel as if we are truly reaping what we are sowing. But we will! Galatians 6:7 says “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” God takes sin seriously. So seriously that Christ had to die to take care of our sins once and for all.
God is also pretty serious about gossip and slander. He groups gossiping in the same category as murderers, thieves, and evildoers. Entertaining these spirits can affect your inner being causing all matters of disease and sickness. Proverbs 18:21 states “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Speaking of eating our words:
Proverbs 18:8: The words of a talebearer are like tasty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.
As you can see, words are often pictured in the Bible as food. We receive it inside, and the effects of eating in the natural are being full, gaining weight, etc. This is a manifestation of having eaten, in the Spirit—same thing. Sickness and disease are the effects of what we have spiritually eaten.
Always keep in mind the power of the tongue. The words we speak about ourselves and about others are living entities that have the ability to manifest in either good ways or bad ways. The Bible says that if you gossip / slander about your neighbor, you are a murderer.
I John 3:14-15 says “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.”
1 Peter 4:15: “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.”
Romans 13:9: For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
Our thoughts also can also cause us to be spiritually unhealthy. 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 shows us that our battle is spiritual and because of that fact, we MUST cast away any thought that does not line up with the Word of God. That means we cannot afford to worry about anything. God tells us in Philippians 4:6 to “be anxious for nothing.” Worrying is both unnecessary and also a manifestation of a spirit of Pride. Pride says I can figure out what needs done. Worrying is the act of making your problem bigger than the mighty God we serve. Worrying involves your flesh trying to solve a problem better left to God to handle.
Keep in mind that the joy of the Lord is your strength! Philippians 4:4 says “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice!” So praise the Lord your God! Why?
Because the Bible says that Laughter and Joy can strengthen your Immune System. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22.
This passage of Scripture shows that when we feel badly about ourselves, it can affect how our body acts. Can you see how the Word of God keeps us healthy? That’s why it is of DIRE IMPORTANCE that we believe what the Bible says about us, not how we feel about ourselves:
Psalm 139:14a: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Genesis 1:28: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
The secret to spiritual health is casting down a spirit of PRIDE and meditating not on what WE think of OURSELVES, but to remember what God has said about us:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139: 14-16
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
And if that’s what God says about us, then let’s bring Romans 3:4a into play where it says “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar...” That’s it! End of discussion. Period.
Be in health, sis! You have all the tools and serve a God who is mightier than ANY affliction, disease, infirmity or any other demonic power from the pits of Hell. What a mighty God we serve!
By Kieya Hudson
Say “GOODBYE” to belly fat!
As summer quickly approaches, I know us ladies are looking for new diets to be ready and confident for the summer. A few months ago, I randomly had a sudden craving for blueberries. I literally ate blueberries right out of the box for almost a week straight. I noticed my waistline was getting smaller in my jeans after a few days. So I took it upon myself to research the benefits of blueberries.
Blueberries might just be the new “POWER FRUIT” in tackling belly fat. Adding blueberries to your daily diet reduces abdominal fat. Check out this short video to see how it works:
Jennifer Warner, from WebMD Health News also found, “Researchers say the results suggest that antioxidant-rich blueberries may change how the body stores and processes glucose or sugar for energy, thereby reducing the risk of both heart disease and diabetes.”
As you can see, there are clearly a lot of benefits in just adding one thing to your diet. If you don’t prefer eating the blueberries straight from the box, try other ways to incorporate the fruit in your meals. For example, try adding them in your favorite smoothie or salad.
Let’s continue on our WHOLE journey by getting healthier!Photo Credit: I Made That!
By Kieya Hudson
Do you have skin problems, acne, scars, or just pale, boring skin? If you are like me, then you have it all. Recently, I was looking for an all-natural remedy for my acne. Proactive, Clinique, and Clean & Clear just weren’t working for me. I came across an all-natural mask online. I tried it out for a couple of weeks and immediately saw results. After only two weeks my skin was smooth, soft, and glowing.
The honey-lemon mask is great for those who are looking for a skincare breakthrough. Combined, the honey and lemon clear your complexion, while leaving your skin fresh and glowing. Honey is a great moisturizer, which leaves your skin soft and radiant. It also helps prevents wrinkles and damage from the sun. Lemon helps fight acne and scaring. If you have oily skin, the lemon prevents that as well.
I do this mask at least three times a week. It’s affordable, fast, and easy. Did I mention the results are amazing too? Give it a try and be one step closer to clear and glowing skin!
-3 Tablespoons of honey
-1/2 of a fresh lemon
1. Pour the honey into a container or Tupperware you don’t mind getting dirty.
2. Add the lemon juice.
3. Mix with a spoon until the mixture is combined.
4. Apply the mask to clean face with using your hands.
5. Leave on face for 15-20 minutes.
6. Rinse face with lukewarm water.
*If you have very sensitive skin, dilute the mixture with 1 tablespoon of water. Add more water if necessary.
*This amount will be enough for 3-4 masks.
*Only do one mask per day.
*Refrigerate the remaining mixture until the next mask.
By Carmen Beckett
As we embark upon this amazing New Year, the luring thought of fad dieting is at its all-time high. However, if all of the torturing, time-consuming calorie counting has never really worked for you, then this article is for you! Honestly, measuring out my food and having to do math at breakfast to track every calorie eaten has never really fit well with me, which is why I had to find new ways to stay healthy and in shape. So below, I’ve listed a few steps that have allowed me to shed off many unwanted pounds and I know they can help you to do the same!
Now let’s start!
1.) When you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water. – Every night before I go to bed, I like to place a bottle or a cup of water on my dresser so that it is right there for me to drink when I wake up. This easy, simple step has been such a great aid in regulating my appetite, and I’ve also noticed how I no longer crave bad food in the morning (you know, those blueberry muffins or that bacon dripping in grease).
2.) Do not buy junk foods - If it’s in your kitchen, you will
eat it! This is true for almost all
of us so why tempt ourselves? Just like a recovering alcoholic doesn’t keep a cabinet full of liquor in their kitchen, fabulous women who are becoming healthier do not keep junk food in theirs.
3.) Ignore the last rule – Yes you read that right. Step #3 is to ignore the last rule every once in a while
. Wondering why? Well, have you ever noticed that when you try to cut out a food completely, you end up wanting it EVEN more? Join the club! In fact, most of us are like that, which is why it’s important to treat yourself to the food or dessert of your desire every so often. So start with a schedule that works for you! This could be once a week, every other week, or maybe even only once a month.
4.) Find a FUN exercise – Everyone doesn’t enjoy the same workouts so find an activity that you genuinely like. If you like to dance, try going to a local dance class or getting a few fun dance DVDs. If you like sports, then go play one. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it!
5.) Get a partner – Living healthy is so much easier when you have a partner in crime to share your latest victories and sometimes even struggles with. If no one in your life right now sounds like they would fit this role, then there are several online health & fitness forums like Myfitnesspal
that you can check out.
So now you know 5 totally doable steps to give you an awesome kick start to a healthier new you! Have fun in your new, gorgeous body!
By Kieya Hudson
Looking for an all natural beauty treatment that’s easy and inexpensive? Carrot-apple juice is great for your skin, hair, and nails. It is also recommended for prenatal health and reduces the risk of skin and breast cancer. The beta carotene in the juice is loaded with various vitamins and minerals that are great for your overall health. Together, both the carrots and the apples provide an excellent amount of Vitamin A and C. The calcium is also great for your bones and teeth. To top it all off, the natural vitamins and minerals in the juice boosts your energy—Say goodbye to Red-bull!
Personally, I drink about 8oz to 16 oz a day. It works amazing! After the first week of drinking it, I noticed my hair was thicker and healthier, my nails were stronger, and my skin had a natural glow. I also have more energy after drinking the juice. I definitely recommend this to anyone struggling with acne and/or acne scars as well. The beta carotene in the carrots fights off acne, giving you clearer skin with a fresh glow.
Within ONE week, you will notice a difference in your skin, hair, and nails. Take this WHOLE beauty challenge.
DIY What you’ll need for 8oz of Carrot-Apple Juice:
You simply juice the apple and the carrots with your juicer. You can use more carrots or apples if you would like a larger serving. Choose any apple that you like (Granny smith, Fuji, McIntosh etc…). For more information on juicers log on to powerjuicer.com.
Will you take the one week challenge?
Feel free to share your results.
By Carmen Miller
I love oatmeal! I love eating it all year long, but there's something about Fall, that makes it taste even yummier. I love this time of year, but even the crisp cold air can take it's toll on our skin. Did you know that oatmeal isn't just for breakfast anymore? It is great for your skin as well, and has become the latest skincare ingredient used by many women today.
Oatmeal is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants, that can actually help the healing process of your body, skin, and will keep you glowing and looking youthful. Oatmeal is also great for treating acne, itchy skin rashes like poison ivy.
When oatmeal is ground up, it can be used as a great and natural exfoliator.
Here is an amazing and inexpensive way to start giving your skin some love this fall, right in the comfort of your own home. Forget the beauty counter and make your own oatmeal skincare treatment.
DIY: Apple Exfoliating Mask
2 tbsp. of Rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp. of cornmeal
1 tbsp. of honey
1/2 an apple (peeled and cut in chunks)
HOW TO: Mash the oats, cornmeal, and honey into a thick paste with a fork. Combine with the apple pieces in a food processor or blender until it is smooth. Apply in a circular motion on your face and then let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
The juice from the apples help to tighten and tone your skin, while the honey (which contains natural anti-microbial properties) and oatmeal work together to calm irritated and inflamed skin.
What are some of your favorite, natural skin treatments?
By Danielle Erwin
Anxious: full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; earnestly desirous or eager.
I know I’ve read Philippians 4:6 at least a thousand times before; “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” It wasn’t until recently, when I was going through a situation at work and felt anxiety setting in, that I sought to really study and understand this scripture.
The situation causing the anxiety was a negative one; I was unsure of what the outcome would be and worried about a thousand different things that could go wrong. Now, it wasn’t a very significant situation, but it was enough to cause anxiety. For at least three days I was on edge; I was short-tempered, fidgeting all the time, and staying up later than usual - just letting my mind wander. I would wake up early and pray about the situation. Each morning, my prayer would sound something like “Lord I just lay this situation at your feet…let your will be done…” I would get off my face before the Lord…and the anxiety was still there. What was I doing wrong?
As I really began to study Philippians 4:6 I learned a few things about anxiety:
Anxiety can be caused by something negative. Ok, so this isn’t exactly breaking news. Nine times out of ten, when someone mentions anxiety we automatically think of something negative. My background in psychology tells me that anxiety is normal. It helps us to focus and weigh consequences and yada, yada, yada.
Look again at the definition of anxiety at the beginning of this post. “Full of mental distress or uneasiness…” I don’t know about you, but there is nothing appealing or normal about being full of mental distress! The world tells us that anxiety is there to protect us, to warn us and by definition to fill us. But the Word of God tells us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is designed to protect us and to warn us, not anxiety.
Anxiety can be caused by something positive. The second part of the definition of anxiety tells us that anxiety also means being earnestly desirous or eager. I love a good definition so in reading this, I had to look up the words earnest and eager.
Earnest: marked by or showing deep sincerity or seriousness; of an important or weighty nature; grave.
Eager: impatient expectancy.
What do you desire earnestly? What are you eager for? What next phase or blessing or event are you anticipating so much that without even realizing it, you’ve become anxious about it?
Is it marriage?
Buying a new car?
Getting that promotion?
Hear me; there is nothing wrong with looking forward to the future. However, when we are so focused on the future that we ignore our current season…when we become so eager and earnestly desirous for our next, that we ignore our now…that’s anxiety friends.
Anxiety, whether it is caused by something negative or something positive, is a trap. When anxiety sets in we are no longer focused on the task at hand. If we’re anxious over something negative, we can’t focus or think straight. Our minds are leading us down a slippery path that gets steeper the more we dwell on the situation. If we’re anxious over something positive, we ignore our current blessings. We miss opportunities to grow in our current season and become discontent with what we have; where we are and who are we. We develop a case of the “gimmes” and begin telling God, “gimme my blessing now, I’ve waited long enough.”
Anxiety, be it positive or negative, is a trap. It is designed to attack our faith in God. Anxiety is our way of telling God that we don’t trust Him. By being anxious, we are telling God our situation is bigger than Him. By being anxious, we are telling God that His timing is not perfect.
Philippians 4:6 urges us to be anxious for nothing but to bring our requests to God in thanksgiving. Ever looked up the definition of thanksgiving? Thanksgiving means an expression of gratitude. When you feel anxiety settling in, stop everything. Go to God in prayer and most importantly in gratitude. What are you grateful for? Be grateful that you serve a God who fights your battles (2 Chronicles 20:15), be grateful that you serve a God whose timing is perfect (Isaiah 55:9).
I’ve been asking myself this question daily for the past few days and I’ll ask it of you too; do you trust God enough to trust Him?
By Carmen Miller
I had my first child at the ripe age of 17. Yet, I still made sure to read up on How to books and openly excepted advice from the more seasoned moms. One thing I can say is not too many pregnant teen moms gave breast feeding a single thought. Some cringed at the thought. I, on the other hand, was so thrilled that I became one of the youngest breast feeding Advocates for my local W.I.C Clinic. My other kids are bigger now, but I still advocate and am always raving about the benefits of breast feeding.
Breast milk is not only the best way to feed your newborn, but it also has the ability to heal and protect the body. I'm not talking about just your baby's body, but also yours and your older children. I did a little research and gathered some useful information on the basic ways to use breast milk to cure some of the most common ailments.
Pink Eye: Breast milk has the ability to treat and cure eye infections such as Pink Eye. All you need to do is to squirt the milk into the infected eyes. You should do this frequently as possible until the eye is completely healed. If you were treating your infant's eyes for Pink Eye, the best result would be to wait until the baby is asleep. Some babies can be treated while awake, however, it may be little difficult. You should squirt the milk around the crease of the closed eye and then gently lift the eyelids and allow all of the breast milk to seep into the closed eye.
Sore Cracked Nipples: Many new mommies experience the pain and discomfort of sore cracked nipples from breastfeeding their newborn. Creams and oils can work wonders, however, the best medicine lies right inside of the breast. Breast milk can be rubbed around the sore areas of the nipples after feeding and then left out to briefly air dry.
Mosquito and Ant Bites: Breast milk is a sterile disinfecting concoction; so placing the substance on insect bites can actually work wonders. You should squirt a little milk on the bites and rub in thoroughly. This will help to stop the itching that may be caused by the insect bite.
Acne/Eczema/Diaper rash: Breast milk can help to clear up these nasty skin disorders. All you need to do is to wash the infected area of the skin with clean water, and then you can apply the breast milk all over the infected area. You should then let the milk air-dry.
Facial Cleanser: Breast milk holds the ability to clean the skin very well. You should apply the breast milk on the face and wipe it clean. Believe it or not, breast milk can remove eye makeup.
Sore Throat and Mouth Sores: You should breast feed your baby if their throat becomes sore. If you get a canker sore you can swish a little breast milk around in your mouth for several seconds. This will help to heal the infection.
Immunity Boost: If your older children are getting sick or they just need a little pick me up, you can give them breast milk in order to boost their immune system.
Scratches, Burns, and Scrapes: These can all be treated with breast milk. You just have to squirt and rub breast milk on the infected area. Then you let the area air-dry and then bandage as normal.
Contact Lenses: For people who wear contacts, running out of solution during dyer moments can be one of the most frustrating and eye painful situations. Remember, breast milk is a sterile substance, so you can use the milk the same as you would solution for your dry contacts or to clean them.
Eye Puffiness and Redness: You can squirt breast milk into the eye to cure puffiness and redness.
Chicken Pox: You can use breast milk to help ease the pain of itching by using the same as you would Calamine Lotion or any other ointment.
Chapped lips/skin: All you have to do is express a small amount of breast milk onto the fingers and wipe over the lips/skin. Do not rub the milk in; you should leave the area a little wet.
Guest Post by Ashley Perez
Let's agree that we won't use the "d" word around here, you know the one... diet. It's not that diet is a bad word by definition, in fact a diet is simply "the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats". However, the connotations behind the word diet have been skewed beyond repair.
When you hear the word diet you think of calorie counting, deprivation, and the dreaded "yo-yo syndrome" where you lose ten pounds one week, then gain fifteen the next week. Healthy eating has nothing to do with these three concepts.
In fact when you embrace the healthy eating lifestyle, you will eat better, feel fuller, and have more energy than you've ever had before.
Here are my three easy tips to get you eating healthy and feeling fabulous:
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible: The easiest way to get healthy to is to eat straight from nature as often as possible. The foods that make you feel sluggish and dull are the foods that have been so heavily processed that they have lost almost all of their nutritional value. Tip: an easy way to make sure you're getting your adequate share of nutrients from whole foods is to eat colorfully, eating foods of many colors is a surprisingly easy way to ensure you're getting all of your daily nutrients. For more information about eating whole foods check out Forks Over Knives.
- Know your portions: Even if you're eating healthy foods, not knowing your portions is the easiest way to get off track. The average portion size in America is often 3 to 4 times what is should be, causing you to eat extra calories by eating extra servings. Check out the Mayo Clinic's guide to portion control here.
- Know your stats: It's hard to get your eating habits under control if you don't know exactly how much "fuel" your body needs to run. You know exactly how much gas your car needs to run, and the same should go for your body. By using a simple, yet comprehensive BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator like this one from WebMD, you can easily calculate your personal healthy body weight and the number of calories you need to maintain yourself on a daily basis. Remember calorie counting is not the be all end all of healthy living, but it is important to know roughly how many calories you are consuming a day to make sure you're not overfilling your tank.
There you have it, three easy ways to get started on healthy living, it's a piece of cake... or should I say carrot? What are your favorite whole foods to eat? Are you a fruits or veggies person?
Ashley is a lover of Jesus and pop culture. She is trying to be a sassy, classy, woman of character in a 21st century society. An English teacher in South Korea by day, she moonlights as a lover of Dawson's creek by night. She's cooler than this bio makes her sound, which is why you should check out her personal blog boysareidots.com and her new websitetwentyandto.com, a guide to getting your life together in your 20s. She also tweets @itsashleyperez. In addition to writing for Wonderfully Made, Ashley has been featured on Hello Giggles, and regularly contributes to Darling Magazine, and Amanda de Cadenet's The Conversation.