I know some people who absolutely hate to grocery shop. Maybe it's because I'm single with no kids (which means that I have less to get) yet I'm on the opposite side of the coin. Because I like to cook often and grocery shopping is how I get a lot of random thinking accomplished (because I'm away from my computer), I really like it. And over the past couple of years, I've become more intentional about getting what my body, as a woman, needs.
That's what we're gonna get into in just a sec. If money and/or time is tight and you're curious about what you should put on your own grocery list, so that your own system will be satisfied, here are 15 foods that really do a woman's body a lot of good.
1. Fresh (in Season) Fruit
Something that I definitely keep in my fridge at all times is fresh fruit. Right now, I've got some watermelon and mango slices up in there.
Anyway, fruit is good for you because it's loaded with antioxidants, it's full of water to keep us hydrated and many of them are low in calories too. As a bonus, fruit is low in fat and sodium and contains no cholesterol.
As far as some of the healthiest fruits to consume — apples, berries (in season), avocados, pineapples, bananas, citrus fruit and pomegranates top the list.
These days, I'm actually a huge fan of kefir which is a lot like drinkable yogurt that has a ton more probiotics in it. And that's actually why yogurt makes this list. It's full of probiotics which helps to keep your gut (check out "80% Of Your Immunity Is In Your Gut. Take Care Of It Like This.") and vaginal health on track. Yogurt is also great because it's full of calcium, vitamins B and D and phosphorus (which helps your muscles to contract, gives you a boost of energy and is needed to properly detox your kidneys too). Plus, yogurt has a ton of protein in it; good to know if you're a vegan or vegetarian.
3. 100 Percent Pure Tart Cherry Juice
Are you someone who has trouble sleeping? That's just one of the many reasons why you might wanna pour yourself a glass of some pure tart cherry juice. It's the kind of juice that also has your back because it has fiber, protein, vitamins A and C, manganese (which reduces inflammation) and potassium (which reduces your blood pressure and water retention in your system). If you're someone who works out a lot, this is the kind of juice that can naturally help to reduce muscle soreness. If arthritis is an issue for you, pure tart cherry juice has been known to decrease related symptoms. It's also the kind of juice that can help you to lose weight and boost your immunity. Just make sure it's pure because sugar tends to affect its potency.
4. Fresh Herbs
There are some people in my life who have their own herb gardens. What's really cool is there are actually several that you can grow in mason jars from the comfort and convenience of being inside of your own home (you can check out a list of some of those here). The reason why it's a good idea to add some fresh basil, rosemary, cilantro, cinnamon, garlic, oregano or mint (for starters) to your dishes is because fresh herbs can help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, regulate your blood sugar and they even contain properties to keep cancer cells at bay. Plus, they really do take the taste of foods to another level — so much more than herbs that have been processed and put into a bottle do.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are considered to be a perfect food. What that essentially means is you could eat one of those and get a ton of what your body needs in just one meal. That makes sense too, considering the fact that they're a vegetable that is high in protein, fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C as well as manganese. One of the sweetest ways to stay regular, fight cancer, support your brain function, keep your immune system up and even keep your eyes in good shape is to eat a baked potato or snack on some homemade sweet potato fries.
6. Portobello Mushrooms
If you check out the article, "10 Foods That Make Eating Less Meat...Easier" on our platform, something that you'll notice is portobello mushrooms topped the list because they've got such a meaty texture that makes them an awesome meat substitute. On the health benefits tip, these particular mushrooms are awesome because they're a good source of antioxidants, vitamins B and D, selenium (which can help to prevent cancer) and copper (which can help to prevent premature greying). Also, if you're looking to add some non-inflammatory foods to your diet, these kinds of mushrooms can check that box off too.
7. 100 Percent Pure Cranberry Juice
When it comes to this, I'm not talking about Ocean Spray. That stuff has more sugar in it than soda does. Matter of fact, I won't lie to you. The real deal kind of cranberry juice (the kind that contains zero sugar) is sour as all get out. Still, it's really good for your health overall because it also has a ton of antioxidants, along with properties that can reduce your chances of getting diabetes, protect your urinary tract, fight off free radicals and certain viruses and bacteria. Also, cranberry juice even has the ability to decrease the amount of plaque that tries to linger on your teeth, which makes it a pretty dope drink.
I've got some friends who seem to be eating traditional Indian food whenever I talk to them on the phone. On the turmeric tip (because a lot of Indian dishes use it for curry), that's a good thing because it's a spice that contains super potent medicinal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As a direct result, turmeric is known to help to prevent heart disease, give your brain a boost and even fight symptoms that are directly related to depression. Just make sure that you purchase the kind that has a high amount of curcumin in it. That's the compound that helps to make turmeric super powerful. One quick thing, though — if your blood is naturally thin, you might want to run consuming it by your doctor first. I used to take turmeric as a daily supplement and when I tell you that it caused my period to be heavy as hell? That is absolutely no exaggeration.
9. Dark Leafy Greens
There really is no way around the fact that if you want to stay in good shape, health-wise, you need some sort of dark leafy green in your kitchen stash. They are full of fiber. They are low in calories. And they've got so many nutrients in them, that you can get a lot of the vitamins and minerals that you need for the day with just one salad. Plus, they are directly attributed to lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Personally, I'm a fresh spinach kind of gal myself; however, if you're curious about what some of the (other) healthy greens are, that would include kale, collards, romaine lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard, endive and turnip greens.
Something that I really like are fish tacos. So much, in fact that, I've been making them more often at home (mostly because I don't eat catfish or tilapia which is oftentimes served at restaurants).
Anyway, did you realize that tortillas are good for you too? They are high in fiber, calcium and folic acid. They are a low-calorie food. They are a great energy source as well. Although I like the texture of flour tortillas more, if you want the ones that are more health beneficial, corn tortillas are gonna be your best bet because they are high in whole grains and lower in gluten (unlike flour tortillas).
Either way, if Mexican dishes are a favorite of yours, now you've got a solid reason to make more of them from scratch.
11. Infused Water
You can read articles on our site like "10 Overlooked Signs That You're Dehydrated " and "Who Knew That Some Of Us Are Actually Drinking Water Wrong?" to get that we're big fans of water consumption over this way. Still, if you're like me and you don't drink as much of it as you probably should because it's what I call "wet air" (boring as all get out), turn a regular pitcher of water into infused water instead. By adding some of your favorite fruits and/or veggies and/or herbs to it, not only will you get a bit of flavor with every glass, you'll also get some of the nutrients from those foods into your system. Infused water is great on so many levels. Try it.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article for the site about how salmon can help to grow your hair out (check out "Let's Gain An Inch A Month Of Hair Growth 'Til December, Shall We?"). That's no exaggeration either because it has omega-3 fatty acids that our hair and skin need in order to remain moisturized, healthy and strong. As a solid source of protein that's filled with practically every B vitamin that you can think of, as well as antioxidants and potassium too, salmon is hailed for being the kind of food that fights inflammation, protects brain health and helps with weight control. Aside from personal preference or allergies, there really isn't one good reason to not eat it more often.
As far as perfect foods go, quinoa is a whole grain (that's technically a seed) that tops the list. It's got lots of fiber, protein, amino acids, vitamins B and E, calcium, zinc (which is great for skin, nails and hair), magnesium (a nutrient that your nerves and muscles need), iron — and that's really the tip of the iceberg! Some cool things about this gluten-free food is it helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and keep your metabolism balanced. A great food, all the way around, when it comes to maintaining our overall health and well-being.
Tomatoes are a fruit that is a great source of vitamins A, C, K as well as calcium and potassium. The lycopene in it is a natural chemical that helps to reduce acne and keep our pores clear. The calcium in them can help to strengthen your bones. If you happen to be a smoker, the coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid in this fruit work together to protect your system from carcinogen-related damage. Tomatoes also have a reputation for playing a direct role in breaking down the beginning signs of kidney stones (who knew?).
15. Hemp Seeds
If you're looking for a seed to add to your dietary routine, definitely try hemp seeds. For starters, they top the list of being an incredible source of protein. Also, they've got Vitamin E, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and so many other nutrients in them. If you consume them on a consistent basis, the fatty acids in hemp seeds can slow down aging signs in your skin. Not only that but hemp seeds have a reputation for aiding in digestion, reducing your risk of heart disease and even decreasing the symptoms that are related to PMS and menopause. It really doesn't get any better than that!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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If you followed Beyoncé’s career, then you know how hair has played an important role in her journey. Her mom, Ms. Tina Knowles, owned a hair salon when the multi-Grammy award-winning artist was growing up, and she has shared on several occasions how it impacted her life. We’ve also witnessed her many hair transformations throughout her career, from braids to her signature long, straight honey blonde tresses. However, it was her pixie cut in 2013 that had everyone talking.
Beyoncé and Tina launched Cécred (pronounced sacred), a hair care line that includes a clarifying shampoo and scalp scrub, a hydrating shampoo, a nourishing hair oil, and much more. The mother-daughter duo opened up about their latest business venture together to Essence in its March/April issue, and the “Alien Superstar” revisited her haircut and how it reflected a life change.
“It did. That’s right. I love how we associate a certain hairstyle with moments in our lives, like that short-hair moment. I remember the day I decided to just cut all my hair off. I didn’t have a particular style in mind,” she explained.
“It wasn’t an aesthetic choice, but it was a very big emotional transformation and metamorphosis that I was going through. So much of my identity as a performer has been connected to flowing hair. Cutting my hair off was me rebelling against being this woman that society thinks I’m supposed to be.”
Beyonc\u00e9 to ESSENCE Magazine on her 2013 pixie cut:\n\n"I remember the day I decided to just cut all my hair off. I didn\u2019t have a particular style in mind. It wasn\u2019t an aesthetic choice, but it was a very big emotional transformation and metamorphosis that I was going through."\ud83d\ude2d\ud83e\udd79— (@)
She continued, “I was a new mother, and something about the liberation of becoming a mother made me want to just shed all of that. It was a physical representation of me shedding the expectations put upon me. I just wanted it off.
Neal Farinah, my hairstylist and friend, was freaking out because it was really long, really thick and really healthy. I just got the scissors and chopped it off. It was very intentional. And it was what I needed to do. And after that, I became super brave. It was the first step to many more audacious decisions I made in my life and my career that have led to who I am now.”
Throughout the interview, Beyoncé shared how her new hair line is her “legacy” and how she wants to use her line to highlight the versatility of textured hair.
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