Thursday, 31 October 2013

Meet My New Guest Blogger, JC Niala: Aches & Pains? Health & Nutrition?You have questions? She has the answers.

When I started putting up health and fitness posts, I didn't realise they would be as popular as they are. I started getting questions from readers so I thought, why not have someone come on who can share her wealth of knowledge about health with us? 

It is my great pleasure to introduce a good friend, fellow natural and fitness enthusiast, JC Niala. Or, as I like to call her The Fixer. 


JC Niala helps dozens of people every week become pain free, relieve stress and improve their health through her integrated natural healthcare practice. She is a UK trained Osteopath and Naturopath with over 15 years of practice experience. Practical health tips can be found on her

Tresemme Naturals Conditioners Back on Nakumatt Shelves

It's baaaaaaack!! Yay!! 220/- more expensive though!! Boo!!

I'm on a mixed emotions roller coaster ride..

Seems Hello Hydrations is here too! 

Infact the only thing not here is Suave Tropical Coconut. All the other suave scents are here though. I have updated the prices here.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Is Natural Hair a Middle Class Pursuit?

This morning, my part-time cleaner of a few months, Annabelle*, walked in as I was mixing up ingredients for a homemade DC.  Normally, I am a super lazy natural and I prefer to just open a bottle/tub/satchet and apply. But, as you may remember, my Creme of Nature DC has fallen from 'meh' to 'urgh!'. So, as I was at the end if the bottle and I haven't yet found an affordable replacement, I decided to mosey into the kitchen and whip up a little something. 

Back to Annabelle.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

I've fallen... and I can't get up

After 3 sleepless nights and a morning spent in traffic on Waiyaki Way, this is how I felt today.

Needless to say, I didn't make it to the gym. 

I did, however, manage to henna my hair. But  now I have no energy left to wash it off. Going to bed with henna on, despite my earlier protestations. *screams*

After I eat two milk chocolate digestives.


The Curly Girl Method: Part 3: 5 Factors Affecting Your Wash and Go

The CG Method is essentially, a wash and go (WnG) method but not all wash and gos are Curly Girl methods.

Gerrit? :)

Wash and Gos are not as simple as the name suggests. They are really more like wash, condition, spritz, apply oil or buttter, apply styling product, rake/shingle/pray, THEN go!

How well a wash and go works on your hair depends on a number of factors:

The Curly Girl Method: Part 2: Does it work on Kinky Hair?

My answer? Yes, but only with modifications*.

*Disclaimer: this is my own theory; I have no scientific evidence to back this. If you have a differing opinion, please comment below; I'd love to hear it.  

Ok, now that's out of the way...

The CG method, by definition, is meant to enhance curls. Or waves. Or coils. So technically, you should have curls to enhance in the first place. If, however, you are a kinky haired natural, like me, with no curl pattern to speak of, doesn't it mean there's nothing to enhance? think so. 

So why is the CG method so popular among naturals; kinkies, curlies and coilies alike?

The Curly Girl Method: Part 1: What It's About

The Curly Girl (CG) Method was popularised by Lorraine Massey and quickly became a favourite of curlies worldwide.  This is because it recognises that curly hair differs from straight hair and should, therefore, be treated accordingly. 

Oil travels freely down the shaft of straight hair, and, without regular washing, oil buildup can leave the hair looking limp and greasy. On the other hand, the twists and turns in curly hair make it difficult for sebum (natural oil produced by the scalp) to travel down the hair shaft, making it difficult to retain moisture and leaving it feeling and looking dry and frizzy. 

The CG method, therefore, is a regime designed specifically to enhance curl definition by moisturising curls and encouraging them to clump.

Monday, 28 October 2013

How to do a henna gloss

It's official. I'm a henna head. I loooooove the stuff.  Funny, because I was MASSIVELY skeptical about trying it.  I've said it before, I don't like change. Plus I didn't want to walk around with maroon hair.  Which is what I thought happened to people who hennaed their hair.

But eventually, after much coaxing (and some veiled threats) by my friends, I succumbed.  I thought, 'OK, I'll try it once, I'll hate it, my hair will hate it and I can walk around for weeks with a wounded air of smug 'I told you so' -ness'. Win!

Well, I'm woman enough to admit when I'm wrong.

Why henna?
Henna is commonly used to make hair stronger and fuller; It does this by coating the individual strands. Henna can also be used for adding colour to hair, which can range from red, to burgundy to orange to brown, depending on the type of henna and the colour of your hair before application.  The lighter your hair colour, the more noticeable the result. For a few naturals, repeated henna applications can loosen your curl pattern, so it is important to do a strand test first if you are worried about this.

A henna gloss is different from a full strength application in that, with the application of conditioner and oils to the henna mix, it conditions and moisturises the hair at the same. It is less effective for colour uptake but it makes it easier to wash off and leaves your hair feeling softer than with a full strength henna.

What you need for a henna gloss:

How NOT to prepare for a marathon


After..(notice my friend had time to totally restyle her hair...DURING the race)

Run done! 10km in 53 minutes. Result.  Next 10k will hopefully be under 50. If i can figure out how to get quickly past the first kilometre of shuffling along.

Until then, here are some things I will not be doing again next year:

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Kinks R Us: Suzanne is Ab Fab!

My name is Suzanne Wachu Wanjaria and I am a hair addict. I am an interior designer and love crafting and DIY projects. I want to start knitting, just as social experiment to see how people respond to someone knitting in public places, matatus, coffee shop etc.

Going Natural
I was natural all through school and uni then, in 2009, my hairdresser told me that relaxed hair was easier to take care of, she told me about heat damage from blow-dryers and I bought her story. I walked out of the salon feeling so sad, my new hair was shiny yes, but it was also limp and oh so thin.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Myth Busting: 5 food myths that are keeping you fat

As the Rocktober Challenge groans to a close, I'd like to debunk some of the more common weight loss myths to help keep us on track during the final stretch.

1. I can eat as much healthy food as I want
Many people believe that because certain foods are healthy, for example nuts and fruits, they can eat unlimited amounts of these without gaining any weight.  Sadly, this isn't the case.

Body By Nina: Amazing Client Weight Loss Transformation!

Long time no see kinkies, kurlies and fitness friends.

I've been SO busy, I haven't blogged in ages. 

Busy doing? Weeeeeelll. We're moving home in the next few weeks so organising repairs, painting and buying furniture has been hectic. I am also in the process of setting up a Personal Training studio now that Body By Nina is official!!! Yay!!! Totally syked! 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Tots R Us: Claire is a Curly Girl!

My daughter Claire was born with a head full of gorgeous dark curls, and she has been a natural curly girl since birth – not a drop of shampoo on this child’s head!  

Claire is now 2 years old, and it has alwaybeen really important to me to care for her curlskeep them natural, and teach her to love them from an early age.  

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Rocktober Challenge: Sample Meal Plan 1

Breakfast: 1 cup Oatmeal (made with 250 ml low fat milk) and 1 banana

Snack: 1 carrot and 1 local cucumber cut into sticks with 1 tablespoon hummus

Lunch: Roast Turkey Salad Sandwich - 50g roast turkey, 1 slice cheese, 2 slices wholegrain bread, 1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard for spread, 1 tomato, Dark green leafy veg

Snack: 30g almonds, 1 apple

Dinner: 4 tablespoons brown rice, 1 fillet grilled fish (skin off), 1 portion steamed broccoli

Snack: 200g natural yoghurt

Grain: 6 portions (oatmeal, bread, rice)
Dairy: 3 portions (milk, cheese, yoghurt)
Fruit: 3 portions (banana, tomato, apple)
Veg: 4 portions (carrot, cucumber, leafy veg, broccoli)
Meat/legumes/nuts & seeds: 4 portions (hummus, turkey, almonds, fish)

For more information on portion sizes and recommended daily intake, click here.

The Myth of Healthy Food: Understanding Portion Sizes


Many people believe that because some foods are healthy, they can eat them in unlimited quantities. We all know the usual suspects, the real baddies.  Fat, salt, sugar, carbohydrates. Avoid these and you're laughing all the way to the skinny jeans section. Right? Well, it's not quite so simple.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Finger Detangling Challenge

The finger detangling challenge enters its fourth week.  Woop Woop!

Doesn't seem like much but honestly, I almost crumbled on Day 1; it just didn't feel like my hair was ..smooth.  Again with that word.  I admit, I love the way my hair felt after working through it with my assorted combs and brushes.  

If you are squeamish about using a comb, look away now.

From left to right: Wide Tooth Comb, Denman D31 Detangling Brush, Denman D3 Styling Brush

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Easiest Way to Trim your Own Hair at Home

I trimmed my hair myself! *screams!*

This may not seem like a big deal to some of you but those who know me know I'm a length chaser. Yup, I said it. I feel like I'm supposed to be embarrassed about admitting that. Like it means that I've bought into some Eurocentric brainwashing that detracts from the black-power-soul-sista-love thy roots thing that returning to natural hair seems to bring out in many. 

But I'm not embarrassed. Sorry, I'm not sorry. Every time I see a picture of someone with a big a** Afro, my heart skips a beat. I want epic hair. A friend of mine is constantly trying to get me to question the motive behind this. I dug deep but all I could come up with was 'I just want to see if my hair can grow really long'. Thatisall. I am not an onion. There are no layers.

Five Simple Ways to Stay Focused during Rock-tober

It's early days in our Rocktober challenge.  In order to stay on the straight and narrow, it is important to bear a few things in mind over the coming weeks.  Things that will make it easier for us to stay on track and stay focused.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Kinks R Us. Wambui is Ab Fab!

Hi! I’m a Kink and my hair story goes back…way back… to the days of hot combs burning your ears, to sitting with your face smooshed in between a lady’s thighs whilst sitting on an old wooden Coca-Cola crate and only paying 5 bob for the afternoons nasal troubles. When going to Kenyatta Market and spending your whole day getting braids for the holidays was the norm. Eating super oily fries and tip toeing over pee and *ish when you used the public toilets. My hair was so much and so dense that once it took from 7 am-10 pm to get my hair done.

In those days, my hair grew all the way down my back but it was more of a burden than the joy it is now.

Fast Workplace Workout

Grab this month's True Love Magazine for tips from me on how to workout in the office. Lunch breaks will never be the same again. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Exercise-proofing your natural hair

I've been asked a few times for tips on how to exercise with natural hair and, to be honest, I feel a bit of a fraud every time someone asks.

Not because I don't exercise; I do. Rather a lot. It's more because my hair is aaaalways in twists during the week. And if you don't know how low-maintenance twists are, well, now you know.

Twists are a great low-manipulation style. (Technically they aren't considered protective as they don't protect your ends). If done neatly enough, they can look very beautiful and stylish.

Model: Judge Joanne of Sakata 4
Twisted by Ethyl of Ashley's Westgate and styled by James of HAIRworld
Photography by Oskavybes

Products I use on my little angel's hair

My 17 month old has fine, soft, curly hair. It means that some of the products I use on my hair, particularly the heavy butters and creams, or anything too oily, don't work on her. They weigh down her hair, leaving it limp and greasy. 

I also choose to use different products on my LO than I do on myself as I want her products to be as natural as possible. This means avoiding products with tons of ingredients and looking for naturally derived and organic ingredients. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Body Rock-tober Challenge! Cleaning up our diets

If you've been following my personal challenge progress, you'll see that I've stayed on course for the first two weeks with my exercising and I am getting good results.

But now it is time to take it up a notch and clean up my diet too. I love food. Like love love. Would leave my husband for good pizza love. So this part won't be easy, which is why I'll need your support. 

The way I see it, there is no point in paying so much attention to our outside, be it hair challenges or weight loss challenges, without working on what's on the inside too. 

Which is why I'd like to set up a challenge for the entire month of October. We will call it the Body Rocktober challenge, because healthy bodies ROCK! (Plus it's catchy :D). The challenge is a pretty simple two tier plan.

Weigh Day!

Weigh day Tuesday. Down to 58.9Kgs from 59.6.  More importantly, I can see some changes in the mirror to my torso and much more definition in my arms and shoulders. I will re-take my measurments at the four week mark but I feel strong and i'm already lifting heavier than I was two weeks ago. 

Exercise Rules!

Week 3 Fitness Challenge: Check!

Today marks the beginning of the third week of my five-times-a week lift-heavy-or-go-home personal challenge.  

I've now got a great routine doing Legs on Day 1, Arms and Abs Day 2, Chest and Shoulders Day 3, Back and Abs Day 4 and Legs again Day 5.  Cardio generally is running to and from the gym, 1.88 and 1.57 kms respectively, but this sun is making that harder and harder to do! 

Yesterday I had a client cancel so I found myself in the gym unexpectedly with nothing to do.  Nothing worse than not having a plan.  Especially if you were supposed to be having a rest day.  Have a plan people! I faffed around on the cross trainer for ten minutes then did treadmill HIITS for another ten then chatted with a few other PTs I hadnt seen in a while before finally just biting the bullet and decided to do abs alone (couldnt face legs). I had just got into the swing of things and had got a little circuit when Mr Muscle and his posse came in.  We all know those guys.  Come in all swagger and testosterone and completely overpower the weights area.  Actually Mr Muscle is really nice (and a cutie pie too!) but they did take over the decline bench and I lost the nerve to ask them to set in.

Anyway, I managed to finish my circuit with a slight alteration and all in all in all burned 545 calories in 80 minutes. Not stupendous but not bad considering the weak start.

Legs today! Give me strength!

Why I love my Heart Rate Monitor

Polar FT4

My Polar has arrived!! Woohoo! *crazy happy dance*

My previous one ticked it's last tock quite a few months ago and I haven't been able to replace it since. I'd had it since 2006 (imagine that!) so I was long overdue an upgrade but I was still sad to see it go. It was one of those old skool ones that could only eat better changed by an authorised dealer. Needless to say, there are none in Kenya (that I know of) so my body pump instructor took it to her 'guy' at Diamond Plaza and the eejits broke the screen!