About Lexa

Eternal optimist, always wearing a smile. Must haves: sunshine, fitness (jogging, weight training, & CrossFit), reading, good food, writing, music, and fun with family and friends.

Loc Journey Update

October 17, 2015, I started my loc journey.

Perms. Tracks. Braids. Twists. Loc extensions. Full weaves. I am certain  I have worn just about every style available to women.  Today women of all shades, colors, ethnicities can enjoy a plethora of hair styles. Pick whatever style that makes you walk out the door feeling like a million bucks, and it is yours.

On second thought.  That statement isn’t 100% accurate. Although I have the freedom to choose hair style, length, and color, others still do not.   Depending on your profession, your boss and the organization you work for, the conservatives  may  constrict your choice of style.

After my daughter’s employer updated their grooming standards.  She was given this directive.

Do something to your hair or don’t come back to work.

She sports a cool Mohawk. 

  
The style is some what of a coming out for her. She is conservative.  To wear a style that brings attention to her is something  mom does, not her.  Hehe! Finally in her mid twenties, my girl gives authentic living a try and breaks out with a cut she loves.  #happymom  

Within five months, the party is over.  :0(

Been there done that. 

__________________________

Growing up in a small predominately white town, where at age 12 mom sat in the car and I walked into the liquor store to buy her Tanqueray and Pall Malls with no questions asked, wasn’t a town where I saw anyone wearing locs. 

I have racked my brain to remember my first sight of locs. Probably Bob Marley. I doubt that I saw the style  in Ebony Magazine.  

Charlotte, I think, was the first loc wearing sista who I had any kind of relationship with. I met her through a mutual friend. Her locs hung down her back. They are beautiful, I recall thinking.  

Eventually I thought, by the age of 40, my hair would be loc’d.   

My estimate was off by 10 years but finally I started my journey. 

You might be wondering, what was the deciding factor?

Inspiration from my son, my cousin Curtis and my stylist and KinHairitage Salon owner Victoria. While my son is cultivating and exploring his sense of swag, Curtis and Vicky’s funky and brash styles envigorate me.  I can’t wait!!  I tell myself daily, patience girl!   At my high school I see more boys and girls confidently strut the hallways then I have ever seen before. I tell them they inspire me to stay on my journey. They graciously thank me. 

   
 

  

My favorite cousin… He’s so cool! :)

Everywhere I turn my head, I see short locs, long locs, red locs, blonde locs, foe locs, and more.  I love it!  Perhaps a more relaxed work environment paved the way for women and men to take the big step. We’ve come a long way, but I still don’t see any news anchors on the major news channels with locs. 

In the early 90’s, a former co-worker, Flo, sued an Atlantic City Casino who denied her the right to wear box braids and won. We scored!!! I wanted to wear braids but they were against company (another casino) policy. The thought of suing never occurred to me. I was happy she won her case. Flo’s win was for all the black women working in the casinos who desperately wanted to wear braids but were paralyzed by fear. Fear of losing ones job.   

Back in October, I walked out of KinHairitage feeling confident and excited about my next hair journey. My Locticican and salon owner, Victoria is my inspiration. Her locs are beautiful. She is beautiful. Her funky, eclectic, and cool sense of style is admirable. Did I mention, she knows her shit!   

 

  

  

After a week of spin class and lifting weights at the gym, my hair looked a hot mess. My best friend’s mom died and I could not bring myself to show up and support her with my frizzed out hair.   

No amount of lipstick, mascara, or eye shadow was going to fix my attitude toward my hair. I looked a hot mess. 

My hair looked bad. I thought I was ready for this part of the journey, but I really wasn’t ready.  

“Hair Heaven” is what we call it.  Another friend hipped me to this beauty supply store. You are greeted at the door with floor to ceiling hair. I am for real! Floor to ceiling hair… All around the store.   

I am NOT a wig person. Hot flashes make it difficult to wear a hat, but desperation will have you do things that you thought you would never do.   

Since that day, I have accumulated three favorite hats… Hahaha! Wigs. Responses to the wigs have been favorable. Even better, my locs hibernate nicely. All I do is moisturize and cover.  

 
My hair is washed retwisted an braided up.    

The back of my hair is shaved but has grown some since this pic. When the weather warms, I will shave the back again.

   The back of my hair. 

  

My first wig!!!

 
After wearing this one for a month, I ventured back to “Hair Heaven.”

 

Never did I think RED hair could work for me. Surprise!!

  

I found these fun shades by shoopbogaboga on Instagram.


  

This day it was COLD out. Pulling a hood over big hair is tricky.

  
 In this picture, I had just level work. I am in my car headed to the gym.  While sitting at a traffic light, I snatched the wig off and put my scarf and hat on.  :)

I grew comfortable with the vivactious red and went back to the store for another one.  Lol!

   
 

My cousin took this picture during our family Christmas gift exchange. 

Today is 3 months and 13 days that I have my locs.  A week went to see my stylist for loc maintenance.  I am surprised by the growth and they are budding nicely. Allowing my locs to nest under a wig is helping the process.

 
I love my parts.  As my hair grows, the parts will give me greater styling flexibility. 

  

This is the back of my head

 
   
 
Love is in the air!  I’m starting to dig my hair.  My next visit will involve color.  :) 

Will I wear a wig again?  

Mostly likely but only because, when I work out, I sweat terribly and my hair gets wet and messy looking. 

Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the freedom of the frizzy and untamed look, but my hair hasn’t completely loc’d yet.  As the summer near, the wigs will disappear.  Yay! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy day! Smooches. :)

Expanding My Palate

Today marks week two of following through on my goal of trying one new vegetarian recipe each week.  I feel like a walking advertisement for Pinterest, but it is so easy to find new recipes there.  

I also enjoy the ease of opening the application at the grocery story to get the recipe ingredients.  Gone are the days of scribbling ingredients on paper and forgetting the list home.  The recipes are always with me, which increases my chances of trying the new dish.

Last week I enjoyed the One Dish Mexican Quinoa so much, that I made it again today. :)   This time I substituted chick peas for the corn.  It was equally as delicious and the chick peas added even more protein to the dish.

  
I am trying to ease into the vegetarian recipes, so to chose a new one, I look for new ways to combine familiar ingredients.  Yes, I am open to try new ingredients but will do so slowly.

Kale is one of my favorite vegetables, so when I read the Spicy Kale Quinoa Black Bean Salad, it immediately got my attention.  First, I love spicy foods.  Second, I love kale.  The idea of a spicy salad with green veggies is intriguing.  

Even if you do not consider yourself a cook, you can make this with ease.  I substituted the corn with chick peas, so the dish isn’t as colorful but has even more protein.  If I am going to eat less or no chicken and turkey, I have to find a way to replace the protein.

 

The above bowl was supposed to be a taste test; however, once I took a forkful, I went back and filled my bowl.  Lol!!

To make the dish a complete meal, I cooked (broiled) a large piece of salmon.  Both my family and I enjoy salmon.
To cook the (3.11 lb) salmon I did the following to both sides:

  1. Squeeze juice from 1 large lemon 
  2. Sprinkle generously with granulated garlic
  3. Sprinkle generously with fresh black pepper
  4.  Sprinkle evenly with Lawry’s All Purpose Chicken Seasoning
  5. Add a few piece of butter (I used Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter on the salmon
  6. Lightly drizzle with Italian Dressing

Cover and broil on low for 2o minutes.  Unconver and increase broiler to high.  Cook for approximately 20 minutes.  If you are cooking a smaller piece of salmon, it will cook quicker.  Keep your eyes on the salmon so it does not over cook.

  
The finished product….  A delightful, light, and nutritious meal.

Enjoy!! :) 

Quinoa With A Bang!

I tried a new recipe last night that I found on Pinterest.  It truly is all that and a bag of chips.

A one pan dish is right up my alley, especially midweek when I rarely have time to cook meals.

My normal weekly meal prep was busted on Saturday when the meat market sold out of  turkey and chicken.  They could not fill my order of 15 boneless chicken breasts, chicken patties and turkey patties. The display case was nearly empty!


The display case looked almost like it was closing, except it was only 12:30 in the afternoon!  What the????

I asked the staff if they had a crazy special or something but they said they did not.  They were as confused as I.

Anyways, back to the recipe.

A quick sauté of fresh garlic and one jalapeño pepper.

Although the the recipe does not call for rinsing the quinoa, to eliminate the sometimes bitter taste, I rinse my quinoa with water before cooking.


All the ingredients… in one pot.  This is a lovely sight. :)


The finished product was so damn good!  Wow!

The recipe belongs to Chungah at Damndelicious.net. Chungah, doesn’t know me, but I am grateful the Pinterest Post.  Here’s the link to the One Pan Mexican Quinoa recipe.

This was delicious, quick, and packed with protein. This recipe is the newest addition to my rotation of vegetarian recipes.

It’s funny how situations work themselves out.  My 2016 vision board includes an image to remind me of my goal to eliminate meat (chicken & turkey) from diet.

Why?  I guess from all the bodybuilding training, I have grown tired of eating chicken and turkey. I gave up beef in either 1994 or 1996. I don’t miss it.

My goal is to replace my protein source to mostly plant based sources. I will still eat seafood. I don’t know if this is a permanent change or a needed break from animals but I am ready for a diet change.

With that said, nine days in to 2016 I was still buying meat. :(

The empty meat case of was God’s way of reminding me of my goal for the new year.

Since I had no intentions of buying meat locally for myself, I was forced this week to work on my new goal.

Today is day two of no chicken or turkey. All is good.

Meanwhile I continue to search for vegetarian recipes.  Thank goodness for Pinterest.

Please!!! If you have ideas or recipes, please share them with me.  Thank you in advance. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Quick Healthy Lunch Idea

This is a quick post.  I tried something new.  The results are positive and I thought you might be interested.  :)

Ingredients:

Tuna (canned and in water)

  

  
  

Avocado Half

  

Fresh salsa.

  
I buy the fresh salsa at Shoprite because it is fresh, natural and saves me time

  
  
If you don’t like hot, is also available in plain.

  

Ezekial Sprouted Grain Tortillas.

  
Fresh lime juice.

  
One chopped fresh cilantro leaf.

  
I only used one leaf but they’re so pretty, I took a pic of the hole bundle.

Mix all the ingredients.  Add a splash of black pepper and garlic. 

  
Add spinach or romaine lettuce (I forgot the the first time, which is why a few pieces are on the side in the pic.  Lol) Place on bread or Ezekiel Sprouted Gran Tortillas.  

  

And enjoy. The tuna avocado tortillas was refreshingly light, but packed with protein (26 grams)– exactly what I need before a good workout.

Give it a try and tell me how yours turned out.  Of course, I am always looking for ideas to make any recipe better, so please share.

Happy Sunday!  :) 

Less is Best

This is my kind of food.

  
It is very simple.

  

One ingredient!

  

  
 
 

Tho only one ingredient, it has a multitude of benefits.

The steel oats are an excellent source of good carbs, a decent amount of fiber, and they even have protein. The oats are a great way to start my day or eat as a second meal in the morning.

A healthy diet does not have to be complicated, sometimes less is best.

Oatmeal is said to be one of the healthiest foods around. Before you turn your nose up, read about the plethora of benefits of eating oats.

While you read about the good stuff oats have to offer, I am going to toss mine in the crockpot. I usually cook two cups at a time.  I add several peeled and sliced apples, three (3) cups of water and four (4) cups of coconut milk.  Then I add two tablespoons of flax seed, one tablespoon of chia seeds, one tablespoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of nutmeg.  If you like, you can add raisins, nuts, dried cranberries, bananas, or whatever else you want to add.  I use to cook the oats for longer, but now I let them cook slowly for about 2 – 3 hours… Then I will have a week or so worth of no fuss oats.  Yay!   :)

Eat clean and train dirty!  That’s the motto of bodybuilding.  

Happy Day!   Smooches!

Thrown Together But Scrumptious 

  
With my busy routine of eating six meals each day, getting to the gym, going to work, attending our son’s sporting activities, cooking, grocery shopping and more, I rarely cook daily meals.  Sunday is my meal prep day and also the day I cook for the week for my family.

Rarely do I have the luxury to cook in the middle of the week.

Yesterday I was craving a burger so bad, that I contemplated eating a beef burger!  Yowza!  That is insane for me.  December 1994 or 1996 (I forget) was when I gave up red meat.  I haven’t had a steak or hamburger since.

My craving led me to the grocery store.  I bought salmon and ground turkey.   Last night I cooked the salmon.

 

Slamon, Kale/collard mix, baked sweet potato

 
Tho I desperately craved biting into a thick and juicy turkey burger, last night I was too tired to season and make the ground turkey. 

Today I still craved the burger. :) Lol!

Before you ask, I am listing the ingredients.  I did not measure.  Sorry. :(

  • 3 lbs of ground turkey
  • 3 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Spicy Brown Mustard (approximately 1/4 cup)
  • Minced elephant garlic – 1/2 of a large clove
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • Granulated garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Sweet Spanish Papirika ( a dash)
  • Lowry’s Season Salt (a dash)
  • McCormick Grillmates Brown Sugar Bourbon (PLENTY)
  • Kikkoman Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs (at least 1 cup but not 2
  • *I usually mix a small can of tomatoe sauce with 1 Tbs. of mustard, 1 Tbs. of brown sugar and 1 Tbs. of lemon juice together.  I add half to the uncooked turkey meat and then spoon the remaining over the top of each burger, but I was in a hurry so I skipped this.  This mixture keeps the turkey nice and moist)

I thoroughly mixed everything together and used my old plastic Tupperware burger thingies to make perfectly thick shaped burgers. 

Plastic tupperware burger makers

 

I used a foiled covered cooking sheet and sprayed with olive oil.

Depending on your oven, you may need to cook them longer or shorter.  I broiled the burgers on low for 30 minutes, flipped them and let them cook for another 15 min.  

The mixture made 11 burgers; six in one pan, five in the other. 

 

I was chomping at the bits for these babies to cook!  Lol!

Since I rarely eat hamburger rolls and I was all out of Ezekial McMuffins, I pondered for a minute on how to hook them up.

The result?

Place the burger on a bed of baby leaf spinach, add a half of an avocado and top it with fresh hot salsa!  Oh man!!  That was delicious.  I could have also made a guacamole dip to put on the burger, but I was in a hurry!   I took a spin class this morning and was due for my meal.  :) 

This quick meal is just another example of no fuss yet nutritious meal.  There are enough burgers for dinner too! #Love

Give it a try, you might like it.  If you like what you see here, please follow Lexa’s Journal and share.  Expect more healthy living inspiration in 2016! 

Thanks for dropping in. :)