How do we get better skin? How do we maintain the skin we’re in? Is there such a thing as slowing down the aging process? I’m finding new “friends” on my skin every day, moles, fine lines, beauty marks and more….
Early on in life, most of us, if we were lucky never had to worry about skin issues like acne, dark circles, eczema, uneven tone or even sunburn. I’ve been fortunate to be one of those persons to not suffer any severe skin concerns for most of my life, with the exception of skin reactions due to allergies, I’ve been ok. However as time passes and I get older I notice the inevitable happens, AGING! As we get older we see changes in our facial appearances like:
laugh lines become deeper
faint crows feet appear at the eyes
forehead wrinkles creep in
cheeks droop and sag
skin texture changes
dark circles under the eyes
intense oily or dry skin
In my entire life, I’ve only ever had 2 facials. The first being December 2019 and the other in February of 2020. I enjoyed the experiences and for the most part did it out of curiosity. But I’ve always had a routine that has worked for me. A lot of folks ask me what I do on a daily and admittedly nothing much. Here’s some do’s and don’ts of facial skincare that I follow and you should consider to:
Drink enough water to keep the skin hydrated
exfoliate once a week
moisturize with creams not oil based lotions (oil free moisturizers help prevent acne)
apply a serum during the night
use vitamin C on the face and Vitamin E on the skin (coconut oil is life)
learn how to do proper extractions
Wash your face with warm water to open pores
Rinse your face with cold water to close pores
NEVER sleep with make up on (make up wipes is not a cleanser you must wash your face after)
use Salicylic acid to gently exfoliate at night if you’re acne prone
Use an SPF 75 if not wearing make up though the day and SPF 50 minimum if you wear make up
Keep the dairy intake low,- dairy is food for acne (and sinus flare ups)
Invest in a facial steamer and facial brush
do not rub the face to dry after washing, gently pat the face or allow to air dry
sleep on satin pillows and wash them a least twice a week (cotton pillows dry the skin and hold bacteria longer)
Here’s what I usually do once a week….
My life can sometimes be hectic and so I set aside some time to focus on my face once a week. My routine is usually, to clear my face with make up wipes, then steam with an ionic steamer, then I apply a light cream based moisturizer to ensure than when I extract blackheads, dirt and oil am I gentle enough to not break the skin, once I’ve completed that then I wash my face with a facial brush and a cleanser to remove the excess dirt and dead skin, pat dry and apply a cooling hydrating mask for 10 minutes. I then rinse the mask and apply a vitamin c serum and then relax.
Some products I use on my face weekly
Be mindful that there are many underlying causes for acne, dry skin, uneven skin tone etc… so finding out what works best for your skin as you age is key. Hormones, poor eating, drink too much alcohol, stress, lack of bowel movement, dirty pillows, unclean make up brushes, using wash clothes and sponges, genetics and climate all contribute to unhealthy skin so making sure that you are maintaining all of the above is key to changing the appearance of the skin.
March 17th, 2020 will be forever etched in my head. COVID-19 was making itself popular around the world not just in name but statistics. China had singlehandedly brought the world to its knees and the pause button was pressed. I found myself confined to a safe bubble at home for what would be the next 3 months. Over the course of those months being “safe inside” I was able to put myself into the active phase of planning and strategizing the rest of would could be a productive year as well as I was able to deactivate and recharge in some moments. Working remotely became normal, FaceTime, Whatsapp calls and texting with friends and family became a daily coping mechanism , social media hangouts are regular aspects of the day and working out via zoom became safe haven for me.
Fast forward to July 1st, 2020 the Prime Minister of The Bahamas opened our borders. I was nervous and excited. Why? I missed being outside, I missed the intimacy of face to face interaction. Seeing smiling faces, even if behind an uninviting mask was such an exhilarating feeling to me. Even though I was embracing the new freedom of basking in the sunshine of Nassau with stops to the food store, in person church attendance and driving to pick up Sunday conch salad, I remembered quickly that I had business to take care of that had been sitting dormant for 3 months and so a long overdue trip was in the making finally. My thoughts were “how do I make this happen safely, do I actually neeeeed to go, will I care to explain to everyone who asks why I’m going or do I just make it happen and explain later. I was on the fence but knew that it was my only opportunity to go before the inevitable happens (country shut down again) so the true libra in me started planning, making to do lists and scheduling my days as efficiently as possible.
If you’re thinking of traveling….
…Think twice. The actual planning was more cumbersome than the traveling but I was methodical with this process so it worked in my favor. First I did my research on safe places to stay while abroad. I stayed away from hotels! Once I found where I wanted to stay, I contacted the airlines to find out the protocol for traveling internationally. That wasn’t the easiest process but I found tons of info online and it helped. Not many airlines had direct flights in and out to where I was traveling.
Upon booking my plane ticket, rental car and accommodations (all refundable or cancellation fee waived) I then consulted the Ministry of Tourism on the travel procedures and protocols created for Bahamians to follow and booked my COVID 19 PCR test. This is where it gets funnnn, well no not really lol…. You know the videos circulating where people are acting insane over taking the PCR test? Well let’s just say only he who feels it knows it lol. I’ll get into that later…. so anyway I took the test, and headed on the plane the next day and figured it would be ok since there was no mandate stating the location of testing be here nor there or otherwise prior but rather just be valid for 7-10 days (well now that’s changed)… For 7 days and 6 nights I was able to successfully and quietly handle business, enjoy much anticipated QT with a few close friends and my new pooch! It made me realize how much I missed being able to move freely and how much I took it for granted. Not that I’m complaining, home is my cozy and safe place but escaping the pressure of not having to explain “why or where you’re going” during these crazy times felt so freeing! …. yeah yeah I know- NOW you know 🙂 but that’s the point!!
Of course while I was there I had to step my fashion game up especially after being inside for so long in pjs, workout clothes, and loungewear , I felt the need to jazz it up and feel pretty even though I visited the same places over and over during my stay. Here are a few of my looks while I was abroad:
While there, I sanitized my car inside and out, my home away from home upon arrival and the few people that came to visit were required to sanitize from head to toe also upon entry also. I retreated to some much needed me time away from social media and enjoyed it! I Stayed away from malls and stores, opted to ship my items to the house, ordered food to be delivered or curbside pick up and cooked once, wore my mask every time I went outside and in public and only engaged with a hand full of people. Was I ever paranoid? Yes!!! I remember going to a restaurant for wings one day because I was suuuuppper hungry and wanted to test the temperature of how people were acting there, we were the only 2 black people in the restaurant (and wearing masks) and when I tell you I was paranoid?!!! Chal please….I swallowed my food and we hurried out of there like bats out of hell. Good thing for me, I had just popped “a gummy” 🙂 it calmed me wayyyy down, I’ll explain in another post lol. Throughout the trip I stayed put, out of sight and did the business I traveled for. It helped that I didn’t travel to the epicenter but rather to a place where folks were starting to take COVID a bit more seriously.
The Process of Testing
I took the test twice well three times in the space of a month if you count the rapid swab test, YES there is a difference. The first PCR test I took was the day before travel. The process was smooth. It went like this:
Take PCR test (swab to the back of the nose) at hospital – $224 was the cost, 24 hr turn around
Got test results back by email the next day
While abroad I was able to upload my negative test results to travel.gov.bs
I received my health visa to travel back home in a 4 hour turn around period
Upon my return, even though I was gone for the 7-10 day time valid for testing, I took the test again and social distanced to avoid any doubt of exposure. Thankfully that test was negative also.
A lot of folks asked, “why did you take the risk to travel? Or was it really necessary to travel?” The way I see it is this: this virus is very dangerous once spread especially community spread, and yes I do take it very seriously as everyone should however as we walk and work in our local environments daily since the opening of our borders by the government on July 1st, we were compromised here as soon as the first international flight came in and every where we go locally as a result of it, a resurgence was expected. No fault of theirs or ours but the fact is, it’s hard to contain this without a fail proof system and we can’t escape a wave by staying closed forever, not now, not soon!!! We can’t stay inside for the rest of our lives but rather: All we can do is follow the law, listen to the parliamentary mandates and think twice before walking out the door without a mask, gloves and sanitizer because the fact is THE VIRUS DOESN’T CARE if you’re on a plane, or in church, or at the food store or even at work. We are all at risk once we step outside our homes and can catch it by not doing the right things which is in part limiting your human interactivity and sanitizing heavily and following the law. I refuse to live in fear but rather by precaution, sensibility and safety.
As I move daily in my life with caution it was not out of my usual movements to be careful with my surroundings, being OCD helped. Also truth is, there are many reasons why people “must” travel e.g kids traveling off to school, medical concerns, international business affairs, long distance relationships, responsibilities to older parents abroad and other personal reasons and with the idea of the borders shutting down again it may have not been possible again to handle whatever affairs we all may have. So I took advantage of MY reasons to travel…. if you can stay put and handle your affairs locally I suggest doing so, however if you must travel for reasons that need no explanation to others, BE SAFE and sound and think of how you can protect your loved ones when you go out whether locally or internationally.
Again, My advice to anyone who needs to travel domestically, internationally or even just to go to work daily? Please consider the reason for your movements, travel, do your research on the testing facilities, test type and validity of results, know that stats of the places you’re traveling to in advance, it helps. Plan properly, wear your mask, gloves, sanitize and wash your hands and do not physically engage with anyone unnecessarily. If you can work remotely petition for it, because being home IS the safest place to be…STAY safe and in style with Moxey! ❤
I must say over the years I’ve expanded my wardrobe to include most of these brands. The price range for an average kit can range from $-$$$ check out some of the cute pieces I either have or will acquire in the very near future.
visit the sites of each to find your favorites and get moving. Start working out in style so that you can not only feel better but look better while doing it. Let me know your favorite fit fashion brands.
How many of us find ourselves on the struggle bus when it comes to controlling what we eat? We often think the fitness journey is all about working out, drinking up the protein shakes and lifting heavy weights. Its’ so much more than that. The big part of whole body transformation/maintenance is what you put inside the body, what you eat…. In most cases, it’s proven that women eat a healthier diet than men.
In a Massachusetts survey, for example, women were about 50% more likely than men to meet the goal of eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The masculine ideal of meat and potatoes should give way to vegetables, fruits, grains, and fish.
source: harvard university
It’s obvious that we are very different beings in every sense of the way. It’s crazy how men could swallow cows, sheep, horse, duck, i mean almost anything and not gain weight and here we are as women counting our grapes , slicing our oranges in half and measuring how much wine to pour in a glass (ahh well not really lol) but you get the point. It is super hard biologically for us women to get to the place we want as it relates to our weight, physique and appearance. But we are winning at some things though. No, it’s not a competition buuuutttt the way men eat finally does catch up with them in the long run and as women we train ourselves into good habits that stick in the long run don’t we?!. Besides the good genes, insane metabolism at an early age and bottomless pit, men aren’t so lucky later in life…
…At younger ages, men face a greater risk of heart disease than women. On average, a first heart attack—the most common manifestation of this prevalent disease—strikes men at age 65. For women, the average age of a first heart attack is 72
source: Harvard University
This is huge reality check for men and women. We are both exposed to NCD’s (non-communicable diseases) at some point in life if we don’t maintain a healthy diet and workout. So now that we have some facts, lets discuss the ways we can curb our health towards the right direction, live longer, look and feel better and embrace a new way of living. Let’s talk the benefits of dieting and the various diets. I’ve compiled a list of my top researched diets and jump starts for you to consider adding to your fitness journey.
TYPES OF DIETS:
WHOLE 30 The Whole30 diet is a month-long elimination diet used as a nutrition reset. The central premise of the diet is that food should make you healthier, but it says many common foods found in Western diets—including sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, and certain food additives—can be harmful to your health, well-being, and energy. During the 30 days, you will eat whole, unprocessed foods, like fruits, vegetables, animal protein, nuts, and healthy fats. After the 30 days, you will slowly reintroduce off-limits food groups to check for reactions. The program is not a weight-loss plan, but many people find they lose weight on Whole30. The goal is better health, so it is recommended to not weigh yourself or take body measurements during the full 30 days.
KETO The ketogenic diet is an eating strategy where you power your system on fat, rather than carbohydrates. A standard ketogenic diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates, though there is some room for modification to meet your personal goals. If you eat 2,000 calories per day, this breaks down to about 167 grams of fat, 100 grams of protein, and 25 grams or fewer of carbohydrates.
By minimizing your carbohydrate intake and consuming healthy fats instead, the ketogenic diet puts your body into ketosis. This is a metabolic state where the liver converts fats into acids called ketone bodies that it uses for fuel. This process simulates fasting conditions to switch up your energy supply. Naturally, there are some significant side effects from this process; some positive and others less so.
Mediterranean This balanced, heart-healthy diet is well-researched and advocates an active lifestyle, a healthy weight, and less sugar, red meat and saturated fat and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. This is another kind of vegetable-heavy diet that avoids a lot of meat, but does not eliminate it altogether. This diet has been proven to help with depression, in addition to controlling blood sugar levels and helping with weight loss. The Mediterranean diet recommends the use of oil as much as possible and that means as an alternative to butter, salad dressings or marinades. It also emphasizes adding vegetables to each meal and favors fish over chicken. Whole grains, nuts and herbs are also used in larger amounts.
Paleo In recent years, the paleo diet (which only allows foods that can be hunted, gathered or fished) has become more popular. It’s based on the theory that our bodies are designed to eat like our caveman ancestors — they’re not designed to digest the processed foods that are the basis of most modern diets.T his is a natural way of eating, one that almost abandons all intake of sugar. The only sugar in a Paleo diet comes from fruit. However, abandoning sugar is not the only stipulation. Processed foods and grains are also eliminated from the Paleo diet. The fewer number of carbohydrates in your system leads to a decreased amount of glucose. So your system will then begin to use fat as its fuel source. In a Paleo diet, dairy is also eliminated. So what can be eaten? A Paleo diet consists of fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils, sweet potatoes, eggs and meat, so long as that meat is grass-fed and not grain-fed.
Vegan The vegan diet, which is devoid of all animal products — from milk chocolate to honey to hamburgers — can be a great choice. The vegan diet is comprised of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and vegetable oils. When well-designed and balanced, the vegan diet is one of the cleanest, greenest diets out there.T his diet is a form of a vegetarian diets. One of the primary effects of this diet is that it reduces the intake of cholesterol and saturated fat. It takes some planning, but if a vegan diet is rationed out properly, it can have many positive effects. Studies have proven that those who practice a vegan diet minimize their overall risk of coronary heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure. To compensate for a lack of meat, vegans must find a way to incorporate more sources of protein and vitamin B-12 into their diets.
Intermittent Fasting Intermittent fasting (IF) is basically a pattern of eating that varies greatly from the typical breakfast-lunch-dinner pattern and requires periods of completely avoiding food. Which means that there’s a set time for eating, followed by an extended period of fasting. In the 5:2 method of intermittent fasting, you eat normally 5 days per week and then fast (only consuming 500-600 calories) for 2 days of the week. In the 16:8 Lean Gains style, there is an eight-hour feeding period — during which you can eat anything you want — followed by a 16-hour fast.
We will talk about the pros and cons in another post of each diet. in the meantime do your research and remember EVERYTHING in moderation is how to win. EVERYTHING at slow or fast paces without planning is sure to make you lose, not weight but time and long term results.
Have you created your bucket list of places to go and have written down particular reasons why those places? Well my travel bucket list includes visiting every continent for starters (4 down 3 to go) then of course going to every major track and field event until my son is old enough to compete professionally and then…. I’ll keep going. 🙂 I’ve traveled to several World Championships, Olympics, Commonwealth Games and a few other relays and invitationals over the years. Fun fact my first Olympic Games was in 2004 in Athens so I’m not knew to this, been here for a minute 😉 …. With the Corona Virus making everything come to a screeching halt I won’t be able to take the journey to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics but lets see how the next 14 months go as it relates to deciding if I want to re-book.
But lets talk about Doha! This place has brought me great memories. When I first decided to go, I knew I had to plan the trip that would make sense for me. FYI, If you’re gonna travel that far, one thing is for sure , with a 22 hr+ flight you MUST fly business or first class to stay comfortable, which means it’s best to plan your trip no less than 9 months out to get the best airline prices or perhaps save the money you need to have a great time. Qatar Airways was a stellar flight going and coming back. Of course, what made my planning easier was the fact that I communicated with close friends, loved ones and personal connections in the track world to find out anything I needed including where to stay and having proximity to them so that we could all hang out and spend quality time together was prime!. But of course that was NOT the main reason for going half way around the world. I wanted a chance to see MY country’s flag hoisted high in what I predicted to be possibly 2 gold medals (1 for 2) ain’t bad, we jammin still!
Surprisingly Doha was not as expensive as I thought it would be. It was actually average. One USD$ is equal to $3.64 Qatari Rial . The price of fruits, gold and jewelry weren’t bad either but because everything was so affordable you could easily find yourself overspending so you have to pace yourself and put yourself on a daily budget if you want to enjoy each day equally. I visited popular places to shop and gather like Souq Wakif and Katara Cultural Village. It was like something out of ALADDIN, the movie, so rich in culture. I bought trinkets for family and friends, a keepsake bracelet to share with my S/O and gifts for my work team. The architectural details of every building was just gorgeous and opulent. I don’t know if I could live in Doha but I’d definitely visit again. The weather made for a very interesting time. Walking even 10 steps made you drown in your own sweat so to see Sheikhs and other Qatari people dressed tight from head to toe without breaking a sweat had me thrown!
My favorite place of excitement is the stadium. The roars of the crowds, the smell of victory and defeat, the energy, the competitiveness of each athlete, I’m here for it all. I adore track and field so much that it’s only fitting that I spend time with the sport I admire so much. Visiting Khalifa Stadium was one of the biggest highlights of my trip. My only disappointments were the poor crowd attendance (considering the tickets were so cheap), the lack of alcohol and the long walks to and from the pick up points. But the rest, OMG… it was truly amazing. I was like a kid in the candy store, nervous and filled with excitement as I watched my friends and loved ones compete….from the first race, the 100 meters to the last relay, my heart was beating out of my chest especially for my Bahamian track family. I have a war wound on my chin from jumping like a kangaroo while cheering Shaune Miller Uibo on. LOL I made sure I chose great seats to be in the thick of the action. I was able to wave, yell, cheer and shout for my favorites and of course co-mingle with other persons cheering on their favorites and family members. I met parents, neighbors and agents of some athletes . It was an awesome experience. seeing everyone laughing together as we cheered for “our peeps”.
THE CULTURE EXPERIENCES & EXCURSIONS
Qatari people are very conservative. I’ll admit, when I was doing my research about the place , I’d reached out to some of my track family who had competed there before to find out what to expect…. by the end of each conversation I figured I’d need to wear a burka, turtle neck, long sleeves, don’t smile, always keep my head down and stay behind the men! LOL smh it was far from what I expected. Although, as I said earlier it been conservative there, I was still able to feel comfortable as a made a fashionable appearance each day. There still were some cultural norms I had to respect like:
when in public keep arms covered
don’t wear anything revealing, tight or above the knee
keep your head covered when entering the mosques
don’t expect alcohol to be purchased from anywhere publicly
There were a few other important facts and rules that I had to follow but overall it wasn’t too hard to adjust to. During my adventures there I was able to sight see all across Doha. I experienced a city tour, crossed through a desert, drove over sand dunes, rode a camel and held a n Eagle, visit a few mosques, the museum of Islamic art, Aspire Park, checked out the Pearl Island, dune buggy-ed, and although a lot of time didn’t permit, I was still able to spend quality time with the people I love, hanging out at roof top bars, walking through the markets and just lounging. Considering the hotel district was in one big circle that made it easy to connect with everyone.
There’s so much more to share, but I’ll keep some memories just for me. 🙂 If you’re headed to DOHA make sure do your research, plan early and wisely, take someone with you for the fun and for the memories and enjoy every second of the maybe 10 day trip. SALAAM!
We’ve entered week 3 of the “stay at home” order, things are slowly changing and I’m adjusting to the new normal. On day one of week one, I thought ok, I got this. Being a true Libra I started to organize myself and make lists of important items to take self care of. I got my gel nail polish removed and filed down my nails, went for one last brow wax before I took it on myself, got my hair braided, made a grocery list, cleaned out my home office and got us all on schedules, made a fitness regimen and facetime/imessage chat schedule to keep up with my folks abroad while we are at home…. Now I can relax.
Well I wasn’t prepared for what relax meant in a wardrobe sense. It went something like this.
Week 1, Day 1: still cute hair pulled back in a pony tail, #nikewomen cotton sweats on with crop top and socks
Day 2: pool day – pulled out a Minka BLue bikini and cover up and later an ankle length sun dress
Day 3 – 5: Hair finally braided before the lock down and confused on what is now considered cozy
Day 6: Day Pajamas to Night Pajamas
Day 7 was when I realized I didn’t have a plan to stay comfortable and cute
I know that staying cute is the least of our worries during this time but for some people depression or anxiety kicks in hard, emotions are heightened and self confidence is being challenged. It’s important to find ways to settle and stay in control of our mental health through this period. So the occasional dress up routine is just one way of coping.
Here are a few ways you can jazz up your wardrobe and mood during this quarantine period.
Instead of wearing bonnets and head clothes, alternate with turbans, head scarves and head bands.
make the lips pop with some colored or flavored lip gloss
I often add a touch of vaseline to my eye lids for extra glow (it also helps to moisten and brighten dark lids)
pick out at least 1 day of the week to get dolled up for yourself – the inside edition
put out day and night pj’s , make sure the day ones are cute enough to feel sexy but cozy enough to take a zoom meeting
Find 3 basic bottoms and 3 cute tops and alternate wearing them
change your earrings out every few days
Fix your hair. Either get braids done or braid down your hair yourself so you won’t have to fix it every day. Keep it tied down at night for a fresh look in the morning and don’t forget to lay those edges.
check out one of my favorite sites for at home chill looks below: