As a Black woman who’s worn her natural hair since 2004, you’d think I’d have styling and protecting my nappy hair down to a science. But I don’t.
As a matter of fact, I commit at least three of the biggest Natural Hair Sins on a weekly basis; I detangle in a rush, forget to wear a satin bonnet at night, and have a really, really hard time convincing myself to invest time in protective styling. If I can’t be bothered to take 20 minutes to run a wide-toothed comb through my wet hair, why would I spend an hour in the mirror with my arms up to do 100 mini two-strand twists?! Read more
If you were around late last night for my Periscope broadcast of The Last Grilled Cheese of My Life, then you already know that I’m back on my gluten-free diet. In all truth, I should have never gotten off the diet; I should have developed a gluten-free lifestyle. But all my comfort foods have typically been gluten-laden snacks (like sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or cake) so I cheated myself right back into eating wheat and other gluten ingredients full time. Considering that many of my gluten symptoms are exacerbated by stress, it’s never a good idea for me to soothe myself with cupcakes when life gets overwhelming. The past few months of increasing health issues (including everything from the obvious GI troubles to extreme fatigue and irritability) has convinced me that it’s not worth it to cheat myself or my family out of my optimum health.
That being said, I’m not willing to completely give up on some of my favorite foods. I don’t usually go for gluten-free substitutes for things like bread or baking mixes, but you’d be surprised at all the weird places that food manufacturers will incorporate wheat flour, barley malt, and other gluten-y additives. A good general rule for going gluten-free is to “eat clean” – the less processing and fewer ingredients a food has, the less likely you are to find it contaminated by things that’ll make you sick. And if you just have to have something that typically is produced with gluten, try making it yourself. Often it’s just a matter of figuring out the necessary ingredients and excluding or substituting one or two things. It’s an overall healhthier diet for you and your family, too.
One of the things I was most disappointed to find out included “hidden” gluten was taco seasoning. I love making Mexican-inspired meals at home, so I always kept one or two packets of taco mix in the cupboard just in case the mood struck. But conventionally-manufactured taco mix often includes wheat flour to help thicken the sauce or gluten additives to prevent the spices from clumping, making it a gluten-free diet destroyer (and ruining Taco Tuesday indefinitely). Fortunately, all the components of a delicious taco seasoning are easy to come by – you might even have most in your spice collection already! What’s even better is that you can customize the seasoning to your taste; I make mine quite a bit more spicy than even the “hot” versions I’ve found on the grocery store shelf. Plus you can make as little or as much as you need; whip up just enough for tonight’s tortillas or create a bulk batch to store in a cool, dark place for up to six months. Read more
“I’m gon’ be fine/ Divinely designed/ My heart do the beatin’ but the blood ain’t mine…”
From the very first rhyme, Georgia Anne Muldrow’s Great Blacks (of the recently released A Thoughtiverse Unmarred) is a soulful ode to the ancestors “standing in her corner.” Sporting a radiantly fluffy afro, chunky rings and chains, and enviable giant gold hoops, the all black-clad singer-slash-rapper-slash-goddess reveals how her path was irrevocably changed by the realization of her divinity and connection to those who’d paved the way before her. Read more