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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fitness Spotlight of the Month: Cayce

Hey guys!
This month's Fitness Spotlight is the lovely Cayce Shannon.  I saw Cayce's feature on Black Girl Long Hair and fell in love with this woman's hair, lol.  I friended her on Facebook and found out that she not only has AWESOME hair, but that she's a fitness enthusiast as well!  Read on to find out about Cayce and her healthy lifestyle.

Briefly tell us about yourself.
My name is Cayce, I’m 23 yrs old and a future Airman of the United States Airforce. In addition to being a full time fitness junkie lol
How'd you get started/interested in working out? 
Throughout my entire childhood I was always actively participating in any and every kind of sport or physical activity (dance, gymnastics, karate, you name it!) alongside hanging out with my brother and his friends getting into whatever trouble we could lol. So I always liked being physically active and working out my body in some kind of shape or fashion.

How do you do stay fit in the gym (ex. cardio, weights, calisthenics, etc.)?
When I do make it to the gym I use a combination of weights and cardio with more focus on strength training because I don’t like to spend a lot of time on cardio, it gets boring.  So I prefer HITT (High intensity interval training) to long-winded cardio. And for me it’s a lot more effective in building muscle as well as my endurance. I’m not someone who is out to lose weight, but more about effectively toning and tightening my body.
How do you do stay fit out the gym (ex. other sports, hiking, etc.)?
I love working out outside anytime I can!  Running, hiking trails, track, parks etc I love it all! It’s something about the live scenery and ambience, breathing in the fresh air, that just does it for me. It’s easier for me to complete my cardio outside as opposed to the gym and I get to be a little creative and try out new exercises without access to weights and equipment.

What's your favorite body part to train?
Favorite body part to train would be legs and butt!! Squats and lunges are my best friend! Lower body can take a lot more work but I can always feel how effective ad strong my muscles are working, which gets me pumped even more!
What advice would you give someone who's recently decided to live a healthy lifestyle? 
I would say do as much research as you can on any possible questions you may have in regards to your diet, training etc. so that you can make sound decisions about any new lifestyle changes. In addition, make sure you have a great support system around you whether in person, internet or whatever inspires you. Don’t listen to the critiques because most of the time they want to be in your shoes, and be PATIENT. Living a healthy lifestyle is not something that can be done overnight, it takes time and EFFORT. Don’t be so hard on yourself J

How do you stay inspired and motivated?  
Well my number one way to stay inspired is looking to God for all my true needs. I know I can do anything with him by my side so how can I let myself down? Every day is a new start no matter how bad yesterday was. Also looking at other people around me whether friends, family, social networking…it always pushes me when I see all the possibilities that can be achieved! Reading or hearing stories of where people started and how far they have come gives me the extra kick in the butt to know if they can do it, so can I!
Who's your role model/hero and why?  
I look to many people for different reasons but one of my favorites is the lovely Tracee Ellis Ross!! She just embodies the true essence of what a woman is about! Friend in my head for sure! I don’t aspire to be anyone else but myself…but my best self at that!

What kind of music do you listen to when you workout and/or train?
I have an eclectic variety of music to choose from which really depends on my mood but mostly R&B, hardcore rap, gospel and inspirational songs are in heavy rotation…
If you could pick anyone, dead or alive, who would you love to train/workout with?
Oh wow that’s hard to say because there are so many fitness gurus I look up to but I would love to train with Alicia Marie! That woman has an amazing body and buns of steel lol!
If I looked in your fridge, what would I find?
I don’t want to say lol j/p But no you would find many of the essentials like almond milk, eggs, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables etc…Also A LOT of water!!

Got a favorite cheat meal?
Pizza!!! It’s more favorite food so when I get my hands on a slice, I tend to go in excess! Moderation is key.
Words to Live By/Got a Favorite quote?
“Your future is created by what you do today.”
Name Five Things you can't live without. 
Chapstick, water, love, art, books
Now on to your hair girl!  I'm loving it.  How long have you been natural? 
Thank you!!! I have officially been natural 2 yrs and 10 months.
How do you maintain it?  What's your regimen like? 
Well recently I did a semi 2nd big chop to a tapered twa so my regimen has shortened drastically since then! But essentially I co-wash and deep condition once a week or as needed, moisturize every night, and style in the morning. It’s very simple compared to when my hair was longer. But I prefer it that way, especially with my workout schedule.
Has going natural affected your healthy lifestyle in any way?
If anything, going natural has made living a healthier lifestyle much easier. The products I use in my hair are all natural so I’m not being subjected to potentially harmful chemicals. In conjunction, eating nutritionally provides a solid foundation for optimum hair health. So it’s a win win!

What's one thing people don't know about you? 
The small hole I have in the middle of my nose is not a ‘piercing’ gone wrong, but actually a birthmark. Gives me character J
Where else can we find you online?
Instagram: Kasheluv
Parting words . . . ?
I just want to say thank you for featuring me and I hoped I helped someone in their journey! Perseverance is key!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Photo A Day . . . 6 o'clock

Hey guys!
Today's Photo A Day theme is 6 'oclock.  The shot is supposed to be taken at either 6am or 6pm and should represent what you're doing, what you see or the time itself.
At 6 pm I fixed myself a quick protein shake and realized it's time to re-order and stock up. 

This is a photo of a cheapie brand I bought in Walmart a few months back out of pure necessity.  Phil and I went on a quick road trick to Pennsylvania and I realized I hadn't packed any protein powder.  Luckily for me Walmart has EVERYTHING.  Sure enough, I found this in the supplement/health food section and paid less than $15 for it, if memory serves me right. 

Words of Wisdom. . . June 2012 (Part 2)

Hey guys,
I know it can be difficult to stay motivated when you're starting a fitness regimen.  Trust me, I know how hard it can be because, as most of you know, I've been struggling with this issue for over a year. Please don't give up guys.  Take it one day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time.  If you eat right and exercise you WILL see results.  Stay consistent and focused.
And speaking of staying motivated, I came across this quote by Bruce Lee and had to share it with all of you.  I hope it inspires you as much as it inspired me.


"If you always put limits on everything you do, it will spread into your work and into your life.  There are no limits.  There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."  ~ Bruce Lee

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Photo A Day . . . .Drink

Hey guys!
Whew!  I soo glad I was able to get this post in before midnight.  I didn't want a repeat of last months photo challenge.

Anyhoo, today's Photo A Day theme was Drink.

Here's a shot of my Maca drink.  I had this right after I got back from a 50 minute hike through Forest Park this morning.

Photo A Day . . . Hat

Hey guys!
This one is coming in a bit late in the day.  Today's Photo A Day theme . . . Hat.

Here's a shot of my favorite accessory to date, my straw fedora.  I LOVE this hat.  I wear it as often as I possibly can and it goes with just about everything.  I picked it up at H&M for under $10.  Do any of you have a favorite accessory you've been sporting lately?  Let me know in the comment section.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Photo A Day . . . Sign

Hey folks!
Whoopsy! My bad. 
Today's Photo A Day theme is, well actually, this was yesterday's theme . . . . Sign.

Here's a shot of the entrance sign to Forest Park.  This is where I go running and hiking about 4 times a week.  I love coming here!  Where do you guys like to go when you want to take your workouts outside?

Fitness Fun Fact: Music and Working Out

Hey guys.
Like me, I'm sure most of you love listening to music while you workout.  As a matter of fact, my iPOD is the one thing I have to turn back and get if I ever leave it behind.  Well, it just so happens that needing my music turns out to be a good idea.  According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Volume 26, page 80, 2012), listening to music while you hit the gym improves the quality of your workout and helps you recover faster. So don't just stand there.  Grab some tunes and head for the gym.  You won't be sorry.

Tunes To Keep You Moving: The Spice Girls

Hey guys,
So . . . yes! That IS a picture of the Spice Girls you see down there . . .but hear me out first!

After an extended hiatus and minus one member, the Spice Girls dropped "Forever" in 2000. This was their third and final album together. Unfortunately, the album got mixed reviews from critics and barely cracked Billboard 200's Top 40. Eventually it sold 5 million copies worldwide. They hooked up with new producers (ex. Rodney Jerkins, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis) and production team and put together what I feel was an exceptionally good R&B-ish/Dance/Pop album.

For those of you who are NOT Spice Girls fans, this is a surprisingly good CD.  For those of you who are Spice Girls fans, this CD happens to be a departure from their usual bubble gum pop sound . . . which was a good thing.

As always, I was looking for some music to add to my iTunes library, when I found this CD and added it.  It's a really cool feeling when you go for a run and listen to music you haven't heard in a while that turns out to be pretty darn good.  Unlike their previous albums, as far as I'm concerned, this album is kicking from start to finish.  My favorite track? #6, "Wasting My Time".  You guys might want to check it out.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Maca: Super Food of the Week

Good morning everyone!
How many of you have heard of Maca?
If you never have, do not feel bad.  I recently discovered this herbal supplement after a conversation with my neighbor, who also happens to be a fitness enthusiast.  Somehow we got to talking about Protein Shakes and he mentioned Maca as a great alternative to them.  I was intrigued, decided to do my own research and picked up a packet at a nearby market.

Lepidium Meyenii, otherwise known as Maca and Peruvian Ginseng, is a plant root that can be consumed as a powder, liquid or pill.  Although there's no substantial medical evidence, some research has suggested that there are some  health benefits associated with Maca.  One of the more popular ones has to do with improved sexual function, which is how its mostly used in Peru.  Other health benefits include: Stamina, enhanced energy, improved strength and reducing anxiety and depression.  Maca is also rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Peruvians have used it as a caffeine alternative for centuries. 

After using Maca for about a month and a half now, I can say that I have seen some improvements regarding my energy level.  I whip up the following, which lasts about 4 days, and drink about 8 oz worth about an hour before heading to the gym.  I also have another 8 oz as a mid afternoon snack.  Maca powder is pretty grainy, which explains why not much of it is needed in the mixture.

In a blender, throw in:
32 oz. of Skim Milk or Almond Milk
1 cup of Oatmeal
2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp of Cinnamon
4 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp of Maca

This drink is de-li-cious!  But feel free to mix Maca in water, milk or juice to give yourself a nice energy drink any time you want.  Are any of you considering Maca? I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photo A Day . . . Close Up

Hey guys!
Today's Photo A Day theme is "Close Up".

This shot was pretty easy because the first thing I thought of were these totally cool silver earrings I picked up a couple of weekends ago.  I've worn them practically every day since I got them.  They're made out of some type of metal, are ultra light weight and have awesome detailing carved onto them.  These are now my absolute favorite pair!  

Words of Wisdom . . . June 2012

Good morning everyone!
This month's Words of Wisdom is brought to you by Muhammad Ali, who I consider to be, the greatest athlete that ever lived.   As an athlete, Ali had brains as well as brawn.  He went undefeated until his title was taken from him for refusing to serve in the US Army.  Seven years later, he regains his title after defeating George Foreman in the famous Rumble in the Jungle match.  There's a reason they call this guy "The Greatest".

"Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even."  ~ Muhammad Ali

Hair Update: June 2012

Hey guys!
Um, yeah . . . so this post has been long overdue.  I haven't talked about my hair in quite some time and I have some serious explaining to do.  As you all have noticed in my vacation post, I have revisited braids as a protective style for the summer.  Yeah I know.  Given my last go around, I didn't think I'd be trying them again but I thought better of it and decided to give them one more shot.

I had the braids put in a week before leaving to Puerto Rico, so they look a bit weathered here.  I'm due to have them touched up during the week.  My experience, so far, has been pretty good and I plan to keep them in for the entire summer.  They make life soooo much easier :-)

As far as maintenance, I'm washing my hair weekly and have been co-washing in between. 

I've also been dabbling in some Oyin Handmade products to maintain my hair.  I'll post more detailed reviews later, but here's a look at my current regimen.

2. Deep Condition with Aussie Moist Conditioner mixed with Castor Oil, Olive Oil & Aloe Vera Juice
3. Dry hair with a cotton T-Shirt
4. Spray on Oyin's Juices & Berries Leave In
5. Seal moisture with Sweet Almond Oil
6. Apply Oyin's Shine & Define
7. Braid hair into 4 large braids and let dry overnight
8. Undo the 4 braids and style as desired.

What are you guys doing with your lovely locs for the summer?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Photo A Day . . . On Your Plate

Hey guys!
Today's Photo A Day theme is On Your Plate.

Here's a look at what I had for breakfast this morning.  Very simple, very quick, but most importantly, very healthy.  Nothing like starting your day off with some multi-grain toast and scrambled eggs.   I finished this off with a cup of Green Tea and I was good to go.
For more on what I typically eat on a given day, check out this post.

Staying Motivated: I Want That Body

Hey guys!
If you're seeking some motivation, then look no further.  Yep, it's another installment of "I Want That Body".  Today's spotlight was a no brainer.  In fact,  how I have NOT posted about this woman's physique is beyond me.  We all know her, its the lovely and sexy Beyonce.

I've admired Beyonce for quite some time, for various reasons.  One of those reasons was the fact that its SOOO obvious the women is comfortable in her own skin.  So much so that she chose NOT to conform to "show biz standards" by trimming down her full figure.  As a matter of fact, I think Beyonce's acceptance of her body has made curvy girls more common place.  Um, let's hear it for Adele, Kim Kardashian, J Lo and Sofia Vergara.

Do you want to know another reason why I admire Beyonce?  The woman is an avid exerciser!  She totally earned a Gold Star from me, lol.  The recent new mommy talks about her healthy lifestyle on Fitsugar.   According to Beyonce, "I can't eat what I want.  And I can't NOT go to the gym".  Ms. Be goes on to talk about how she lost a whopping 60 lbs after giving birth this past January, how she stays motivated and briefly discusses her exercise regimen in the article.

Beyonce post-pregnancy

What do you guys think of Beyonce's physique? Is she motivating any of you?  Tell me what you think in the comments section.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Photo A Day . . . .Empty

Hey guys!
Today's Photo A Day theme is Empty.

Here's a shot of my beloved water bottle.  I take this with me everywhere I go to make sure I am properly hydrated.  As a fitness enthusiast, drinking plenty of water is essential to our over all general health (check out my entry on water here).

This shot was taken right after my 2nd cardio session of the day.  The bottle was filled with 1/4 of Gatorade and 3/4 of water for a nice energy boost to get me through my workout.  And on the topic of working out, I'll have more on my new regimen during the week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Photo A Day . . . Morning

Good morning everyone!
Today's Photo A Day Challenge pic is "Morning".

I went with this shot because it represents my morning ritual.  As soon as I get up I always like to run to the window and look outside.  I stand or sit there for a few minutes and this is where I usually pray, go over my "to do" list or plan out my day.

This is the view from the window.  Do any of you have morning rituals?  Share them in the comment section.

Monthly Hair Porn: June 2012

Hey everyone!
You know what time it is!  It's one of my favorite posts of the month . . Hair Porn!  Now with summer quickly approaching the days are getting longer and sunnier.  And with all this sunshine comes the opportunity to sport some kick ass shades.  Check out these lovely natural ladies and their funky sunglasses.  Enjoy!

All photos  are courtesy of the Hi Im Currently Obsessed tumblr site.