Do Hair Vitamins Really Work?

Friday, September 8, 2017


Should I take hair vitamins?

Well, yes, you can. Anyone can take hair vitamins. The better question is will they give you longer hair. I often avoid answering this question when asked because it takes a bit of time to explain, and why I don't think they're necessary for long hair. A lot of them are actually just marketing and wishful thinking. But before we begin why I don't support them, let's discuss how the diet affects hair.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Hair

Awhile ago, I talked a little bit about how a good diet can positively influence hair. Hair, skin, and nails are made up of mostly protein. And while optimum protein consumption is necessary for good hair, there are other vitamins and minerals that can support healthy hair development and growth. These vitamins and minerals include vitamin A, vitamin E, panthenol, biotin, and insolitol. You can find these vitamins and minerals in a variety of foods such as eggs, olive oil, whole grains, spinach, carrots, and many more.

But it's not just eating these vitamins and minerals that matters most, but getting enough of them. The body prioritizes nutrients; the most vital organs, such as the heart and brain, are first in line to ensure that the body continues to function properly. Hair and nails are a lot lower on the list since they aren't necessary to live. This means that we need to get an optimum amount of nutrients to ensure the hair and nails get enough nutrients to grow long and strong.

It's important to stop here and note the difference between recommended and optimum. I'm lucky enough to work with registered dietitians, and they talk a lot about this. The recommended amount of nutrients is the difference between deficient and enough to function. But often, we need significantly more than the recommended amount to get enough for the body to function at its best. (This is part of the reason why I'm working hard to get a lot more protein in my diet. I was getting more than the recommended amount, but this wasn't the optimum amount.)

So, in short, getting a variety of healthful foods in the right amounts will be enough to get an optimum amount of nutrients...in a perfect world. Unfortunately, most of us aren't eating perfectly every day. So we use vitamins to make up for our dietary short comings.

So This Means I Should Take a Hair Vitamin?

No, I didn't say that. Hair vitamins are rather insufficient compared to most daily multivitamins. Most contain a lot of biotin, and the reality is most us are getting an optimum amount of biotin because it's found in so many different foods. If you aren't getting enough biotin, you're either not eating enough food, or you're eating too much of the same food. Unfortunately, most hair vitamins give the impression that biotin is the most important vitamin for hair growth. It's not.

So, What Do You Recommend?

I recommend a healthy diet and a good daily multivitamin. Like I said, it's natural to have some shortcomings in your diet. Most people do. But trying to add a variety of food on your plate is a good place to start. Personally, I recommend getting MyFitnessPal, or any other calorie tracker, to track the amount of nutrients you consume daily; at every meal, try to get protein, carbs, and healthy fats; and take a good multivitamin daily (I'm currently taking SmartyPants).

Okay, Thanks...I Still Would Like to Take a Hair Growth Vitamin.

Well, I can't stop you, can I? Lucky for you, I decided to research this. If you want to take a hair vitamin, take one that can also be used as a multivitamin. The best one I saw that compared to an adult women's multivitamin was SugarBear. Like many other hair vitamins, it's expensive, but at least you're getting some vital vitamins and minerals in the process.

So, This Will Give Me Long Hair, Right?

Maybe. There's no guarantee. If your diet is already pretty good, you may not see much of a difference. Also, if your diet is extremely poor, you may not see much of a difference because the nutrients are being used for more vital organs and bodily functions. On the flip side, you may see increased growth and get the hair of your dreams. But, word of warning. If your diet is lacking, and you stop taking these vitamins, your body may not be able to continue supporting the increased growth, and may shed in response to the drop in nutrients. This is part of the reason why I stress a good diet.

Also, it's important to note that hair vitamins can't fix a bad regimen. If your hair care is really poor or even mediocre, the amount of growth you get from the vitamins, may be undone by breakage, damage, and poor hair care practices.

Thanks. This was helpful. Anything else I should know?

Yeah, a couple more things. While this blog post is informative, at the end of the day, I'm not a medical professional or register dietitian. So if you want to make changes to your diet, consult your doctor or a register dietitian. They can help you create a detailed, comprehensive meal plan specifically for you and your needs.

Also, if you have good hair care and diet (be honest with yourself), and you feel your hair growth is slow or you have bald patches, make an appointment with a dermatologist or trichologist who can help identify any underlying medical conditions.

One last thing, you can have too many vitamins. Thinking that "more vitamins means faster growth" is pretty faulty. Due to genetics, your hair can only grow so fast, regardless of what you're putting in your body. Also, you can have too much of a good thing. While the body will just get rid of too much biotin through urine, fat soluble vitamins, like Vitamin A, can actually be harmful if over consumed. So follow the directions and don't take more than listed.

That's it?

Yup, that's it. You're now free to make an informed decision about bringing hair vitamins into your regimen.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

This is What Happens When Spontaneity Hits

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Natural Hair ABC | FroBunni

I started my blog with the intention to document my hair journey, as well as any other journey I may be having. This has included fitness, health, beauty, and recently, being a yoga teacher. And most of my social media channels show this. The only problem is I really, really, really like talking about natural hair. But I also really, really, really don't want to fill my social media pages with natural hair information. I wanted them to be authentic to who I am as a person, and I am more than just natural hair.

So on a whim, and after a brief discussion with my friend and author Princess Jones, I took the plunge and created Natural Hair ABC, where I get to discuss natural hair all the time. So if you're looking for hair advice, regimens, product reviews, and just good ol' inspiration, check it out! It's only on Instagram and Facebook, so you don't have to worry about remembering another URL. And if you don't have Instagram or Facebook, that's okay. You'll see a lot of those infographics here and on Pinterest.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

9 Deep Conditioners for Dry Natural Hair

Monday, August 21, 2017

FroBunni | 9 Moisturizing Deep Conditioners for Dry Natural Hair Header

Natural hair can be dry. Like really dry. There are a few things you can do to keep your hair moisturized, such as moisturizing and sealing hair daily (meaning apply water or a water based leave-in to hair, followed by an oil or butter). But one thing you should always do is deep condition every time you wash your hair. This will help prevent breakage and retain length allowing hair to grow long and strong. And if you can, deep condition using a heating cap, which helps the product penetrate hair more effectively.

Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner
Giovanni Ultra-Moist Deep Deep Moisture Mask
TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask
Original Moxie Intense Quench Deep Conditioner
OBIA Naturals Babassu Deep Conditioner
Jane Carter Revive & Repair Hair Masque
My Honey Child Honey Hair Mask
Maui Moisture Heal  & Hydrate + Shea Butter Hair Mask
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner 

FroBunni | 9 Moisturizing Deep Conditioners for Dry Natural Hair Infographic

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Fall Hair Challenge: Longer and Fuller Hair

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Back in July, I did a length check, and I was tailbone length. It was nice to have reached my original hair length goal, but I'm still wanting a bit more. My hair isn't exactly where I want it to be (within the bounds of my hair type and texture); I feel it should be at full tailbone length and look fuller.

Truth be told, I've been slacking on my regimen, which has caused some of this. I haven't been protective styling as often, and my wash schedule has been all over the place. This has unfortunately caused a lot more breakage and damage. So what better way to resolve these issue than to do a hair challenge!

This hair challenge will focus on reducing breakage and growing thicker hair (read: a more uniform length). By the end of it, I should have greatly reduced my hair breakage, as well as be full bra strap length wearing a typical stretched hairstyle like a roller set or braid out.

Goals:
  • Full tailbone length
  • Bra strap length or longer in stretched hairstyles
  • Reduce breakage
Rules:
  • Alternate between washing and cowashing (this will probably be washing every 10 days with cowashing on the 6th day)
  • Pre-poo and tea-aloe vera juice rinse for every wash and cowash
  • Deep condition with heat for every wash
  • Moisturize and seal, at least, every 3rd day
  • Wear protective styles 80% of the time (this will end up being about once a week)
  • Blow dry hair either using Curlformers under a hooded dryer, or if using the tension method, blow dry hair so it's only 90% dry
  • Eat Healthy
Let's Discuss this "Eat Healthy"

The longer I blog about hair, the more I realize how a healthy diet and healthy hair are connected. This doesn't mean you can't have healthier, longer, fuller hair without a healthy diet, just that it can help, and for some women, it's key. Plus, what's the point of having long hair if you're too sick to enjoy it?

Since I've been doing the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) diet, I've noticed how much better I feel when I get enough calories and nutrients, compared to when I don't. And I know if I can consistently do this, it will translate into healthier hair. So with this hair challenge, comes a healthy diet component. While my hair rules can be applicable to many women (they're pretty generic if you think about it), my "eat healthy" can't. A healthy diet isn't going to be the same for everyone, so it's not something I recommend you follow. If you are trying to eat healthier, I recommend talking to your doctor or finding a registered dietitian.

For the sake of this blog post, I am going to include what I will do to attain a healthier diet. Every day, I will aim to get:
It's fairly simple, but still very personalized to fit the shortcomings in my diet. Later in the week, I will discuss the new multi-vitamin, as well as the age old question "Do hair vitamins work?"

Are you thinking about doing a hair challenge? Let me know in the comments!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

5 Steps to Frizz-Free Natural Hair

Friday, August 11, 2017

FroBunni | 5 tips to frizz free natural hair

Summer humidity is the bane of my existence. I loathe it, but there’s not much I can do about it. Or is there? I’ve been testing ways to reduce frizz, and I have some tips that may help. But before we begin, let’s address why frizz happens.

Frizz is caused by one of two things, weather and damaged hair. Weather related frizz, usually in the form of humidity, or the amount of water vapor in the air, can affect both healthy and damaged hair. The water vapor gets in contact with hair, and your otherwise defined twist out can turn into a 10-day old wash and go. The best way to deal with this frizz is use barrier forming products, such as serums and gels, which keep water vapor from getting in contact with the hair.

The other form of frizz is caused by damage. Split ends, worn hair cuticles, and dry hair make it hard to obtain a sleek rollerset and defined bantu-knot out. If you have split ends, you’ll need to cut them. If the hair shaft itself is damaged and your hair dry, you’re going to have to invest in some proper hair care. Keep hair relatively clean, deep condition, moisturize and seal daily, and sleep on a satin pillowcase. These are starting points, but I recommend learning how to build a proper hair care regimen to help reduce further damage.

Regardless of if your frizz is caused by the weather or damage, these tips can help. Oh, and one more thing. Some frizz is normal for most naturals. So if you’re trying to obtain a super sleek hairstyle and find that it’s impossible, don't worry. It’s normal.


Keep Hair Clean: Clean hair absorbs moisture better making it resistant to frizz. Use a gentle shampoo to clean hair (and always remember to follow-up with conditioner).
Jane Carter Moisture Nourishing Shampoo
Made Beautiful PUREifying Cleanser
Uncle Funky’s Daughter Rich & Funky Moisturizing Cleanser

Moisturize with a Creamy Leave-In: Compared to lighter ones, creamier moisturizers and leave-ins keep hair moisturized longer leaving hair shiny and frizz-free.
TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer
Soultanicals Marula-Muru Moisture Guru
Bel Nouvo Beauty CoCo Castor Styling Pudding

Use a Serum: Humidity, or the amount of water vapor in the air, can cause frizz. In humid weather, use a serum before going outside, which will form an invisible barrier around the hair protecting it from humidity.Giovanni 2chic Frizz Be Gone Anti-Frizz Polishing Serum
Nexxus Humectress Encapsulate Serum for Normal to Dry Hair
Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum

Gel Down Flyaways: Whether you are prepping your hair for a roller set, twist out, or protective style, gel can help keep hair in place reducing frizz.CURLS Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste
EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze
Kink Curly Curling Custard

Go Satin: Sleep on a satin pillowcase, invest in a satin-lined hat, and put your hair up using a satin scrunchie. Using satin, as opposed to cotton, will reduce frizz and keep hair moisturized.Grace Eleyae Satin-Lined Cap
Natural Born Hats Satin Scrunchie
Accented Glory Satin Turban Headbands

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Reviewing Protein Supplements: Think Thin, Aloha, Svelte

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

FroBunni | Reviewing Protein Supplements: Think Thin, Aloha, Svelte

I'm getting better at it, but getting protein has still been difficult for me as a vegetarian, especially after an intense workout. I've begun to rely on protein supplements, like bars and smoothies, on days when my protein intake has been particularly low. Since I've been trying so many different ones, I thought it would be a good idea to make this a series and find out which protein supplement is best.

I'll be ranking each supplement from 1-5, with 1 being terrible and 5 being great. There will be three criteria: protein and nutritional content, taste, and availability.

For this post, I am going to review Think Thin High Protein Bars, Aloha Protein Bars, and Svelte Organic Protein Shakes.

Think Thin High Protein Bars

FroBunni | Think Thin High Protein Bars

Protein and Nutritional Content: With 20 grams per bar, the Think Thin High Protein Bars contain the most amount of protein compared to the other two protein supplements. And while vitamin and mineral content varies among flavors, many contain some calcium and iron.
Taste: Not bad. It was a little chalky but not too noticeable. Sweet, but not overwhelming, and chewy but not gummy.
Availability: I got these at Giant Food Store, and I've seen them in Target and Costco, as well as Amazon. So they're pretty easy to find.
Overall: I would give the Think Thin High Protein bars a solid 3/5. They're good. Not great nor bad, but will do after workouts or if I need a quick snack. They have vegan options, and with so many flavors, there's something for everyone.

Aloha Protein Bars

FroBunni | Aloha Protein Bars

Protein and Nutritional Content: It varies from flavor to flavor, but it's about 14-16 grams of protein. They're also packed with fiber, as well as calcium and iron.
Taste: Oh boy, where do I begin? I've always wanted to try Aloha food and supplements, but these were probably not the best to start with. The chocolate fudge brownie tasted better than the peanut butter chocolate chip, but not by much. There wasn't much flavor, and they were so dense, it hurt to chew.
Availability: They're at Giant Food Stores, as well as many places online, so I don't think it's that hard to find them.
Overall: Aloha Protein Bars get a 2/5. For me, I won't be purchasing again, but being vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, they're a good option for those with dietary restrictions. I will say that I would try other Aloha foods and supplements, just not their protein bars.

Svelte Organic Protein Shakes

FroBunni | Svelte Organic Protein Shakes

Protein and Nutritional Content: What Svelte lacks in protein (11 grams), it makes up in overall nutritional content. Along with fiber, they also contain a substantial amount of vitamin A, B12, D, and E, as well as zinc and riboflavin.
Taste: Svelte surprised me. I expected that, out of the three, it would taste the worst. It actually tasted the best. I had chocolate and cappuccino; both were tasty, but I like the cappuccino better.
Availability: I also got these at Giant, but I haven't seen them anywhere else. They are also online, and I found them pretty easily on Amazon.
Overall: Svelte Organic Protein Shakes get a 4.5/5. They taste great, and with protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, they make for a pretty well-rounded snack or even late-night light meal. The only reason I'm docking half a point is for availability, but that could easily change if I see them at other brick and mortar stores. I have repeatedly bought the Svelte Organic Protein Shakes (and currently have two in my refrigerator). I have only tasted the chocolate and cappuccino, but I plan to get other flavors.

Let me know if you want me to try a specific protein bar, shake, or any other supplement!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

5 Things You Should Know Before Being a Yoga Teacher

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Frobunni | Yoga, Jaida A. Photography
Photo courtesy of Jaida A. Photography
It's been a year since I took the plunge and signed up for yoga teacher training. I can definitely say that it's one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I was taught at 405 Yoga, and my teachers had a solid and well-rounded curriculum. I got lots of hands-on practice, but even with all the preparation, being in yoga teacher training and being a yoga teacher are two completely different things. My first time teaching, I had a student walk out of my class, frustrated that it was too slow paced, and I was sure that I made a huge mistake. But with each class, I got more confident and settled in my teaching style. But it would've been nice if someone told me these five things before I started.

You'll Be a Ball of Nerves Those First Few Classes
The very first time I taught a class on my own, I was nervous to say the least. I was in my head most of the class, and when one of my students walked out, it only got worse. You're still finding your rhythm and style those first few classes. Continue to practice your sequences, as well as cueing, and trust me, it will only get better.

It's Actually Mentally Strenuous
Teaching is mentally exhausting. I was told this multiple times during yoga teacher training, but I didn't fully know what it's like until I began to teach. Coming up with and remembering creative and meaningful sequences prior to class, cueing correctly, adjusting students, and remembering names (my personal vice) can be a lot. You may also be exhausted after teaching, and that's okay and normal. But that leads me to my next point...

You'll Need to Learn Work-Life Balance
With everything going on in my life, teaching twice a week is enough. Occasionally, I sub an extra class here and there, but my normal schedule is only two classes. Go slow with taking on yoga teaching jobs. Start with one, if you can handle that, add an extra class. Got a handle on that, add another one. You can add as many as you like, but just make sure you're not getting burned out. Otherwise, you'll find it to be a chore and won't enjoy it.

You're Not Done Learning
Another lesson drilled into me during yoga teacher training is you're never done learning. Continue to take classes from other teachers, go to seminars, and network. I've taken this one to heart, and it's only made me a better yoga teacher. From sequence ideas, better cueing, music, meditations, and more, I've literally picked up bits and pieces from other yoga teachers and implemented it into my teaching style. It has help me tremendously as I continue my yoga journey.

You Have to Build-Up Your Own Following
This is one I mentally struggle with quite regularly. Even with the best social media, it can take some time to consistently have classes filled with students. Be patient, be consistent, and it will happen. When you start to see the same faces at your class over and over again, just know you're doing something right.

Are you a yoga teacher? What lessons have you learned after teaching training?

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

How to Make a Great Tasting Green Smoothie

Friday, August 4, 2017


If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love smoothies, especially green smoothies. They're a great way to get 3-4 servings of fruit and vegetables in a single cup, and even better, they taste delicious. I always recommend them to people who are trying to get healthy or just trying to eat more fruits and vegetables.

I'm always asked how to make green smoothies taste good. It's actually really easy! I have a few tips that will always give you delicious and nutritious green smoothies.

Liquid
Most green smoothies contain about 3-4 servings of fruit, and to get it to blend smoothly, you'll need some liquid, about 1/2 cup. I like to use water, but I've also used tea, milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. You can use whatever you want, but the most important thing is you have 1/2 cup of it.

The Ratio
Green smoothies, or any smoothie with a vegetable, will require the 2:1 ratio, meaning two servings of fruit per one vegetable. This will help hide the flavor of the vegetable, while preventing the smoothie from being too sweet. While this ratio won't always apply (vegetables like sorrel and rhubarb have a more tart flavor compared to other vegetables), it's the general rule of thumb for a great tasting green smoothie.

Pick a Green
When most people think of green smoothies, they think kale and spinach, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Collards, turnip greens, swiss chard, and arugula can easily replace the two mainstays. If you're not fond of those, consider herbs, like mint, lemongrass, and basil, which offer a slightly sweeter and tart taste. Quick tip: always blend greens first before adding the fruits. Greens tend to be more fiberous than fruits, so blending them twice helps to create a smooth consistency.

Flavor Pairings
Generally speaking, certain fruits pair better with each other. For a taste of the tropics, add pineapple, mango, papaya, and coconut; while pomes - apples and pears - provide a lightly sweet and crisp taste to smoothies. Winter fruits, such as pomegranates, clementines, and kiwi are citrusy and refreshing. But even though certain fruits go better together, get creative and make your own combinations.

Other Tips
If you need to make your smoothie sweeter, instead of sugar, add some honey or a date (make sure you remove the pit first). If you need it sweeter, but don't want the extra calories, monk fruit and stevia are two natural no-calorie options (just be aware that monk fruit taste better cold). Nuts and seeds can be added for some protein, and for extra vitamins and minerals, add chia seeds, spirulina, or flaxseeds, though this may alter the flavor slightly.

And that's it! See, I told you making green smoothies was easy. And don't forget, these aren't rules, more so what's worked for me. So try different combinations and get creative. Your favorite smoothie may be one that no one has thought of yet!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

DC Life | Where I Go for Lunch

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Protein Bar | FroBunni

Most days I bring my lunch to work, but once a week, I let myself splurge and enjoy the many delicious eats that D.C. has to offer. A creature of habit, I often find myself going to the same places, but thankfully, the food is so good, I have no reason to go anywhere else. Here are my five favorite places to do lunch in the District.

Chopt Salad: If given the choice, I could probably live off of Caesar salads. They're my favorite, and even better when I can add shrimp, eggs, or chicken. That's where Chopt comes in. They offer huge bowls of salad with a variety of options, from classics like Caesar and Cobb salad, to seasonal specials like the summer picnic salad.

Protein Bar: Not sure how to win me over? Just ask the Protein Bar. After a not so delicious grain bowl, their response to my twitter complaint was swift and also humorous. I gave them another chance, and I found my smoothie king. Their protein smoothies not only make for a quick and easy lunch, but they're also really good. They have tons of smoothies, but if you need a recommendation, you can't go wrong with the Federal A'Peel.

Brown Bag: I don't get sandwiches often, but when I do, I head to Brown Bag because they do sandwiches best. They offer so many different kinds of creative sandwiches from the Coltrane Chicken to the N.Y. Reuben. And for the times when I don't feel like eating meat, the Parisian and Roma are perfect.

Vapiano: What happens when I'm at work, it's lunch time, and I wish for nothing more than comforting, warm pasta? I go to Vapiano! Vapiano is a delightful experience. You can watch the chefs make your food, then sit down at a rustic table, and pick fresh herbs to add to your pasta. While it's great for lunch, it also makes for a nice place to meet up with friends or a date.

Abunai Poké: If you're just hearing about poké for the first time, you're definitely missing out. Poké, a dish from Hawaii with cubed raw tuna or salmon marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, is not only delicious, but really healthy. Rice, seaweed, and sauce are added to make for a comforting, but surprisingly, light meal. I always recommend the garlic ahi, and you have to try the Hawaiian coffee.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Where do I Get Vegetarian Recipe Inspiration?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


When I first thought about becoming (mostly) vegetarian, I was a little unsure of what I would eat. I'm a creature of habit, and I knew eating some fruit, eggs, oatmeal, and yogurt wouldn't provide me with enough nutrients to be healthy. And salads can be fun for only so long. So what did I do? I went to Google of course! And found...well, not much. There's not a lot of vegetarian blogs that I liked. When it comes to food, even though I have my favorites, there's still a lot I don't eat, like avocados, quinoa, chia seed pudding (chia seeds in my smoothies are okay), and various other fruits, vegetables, and grains.

I thought I would eventually go back to eating meat with no variety in my diet, until one day I found myself watching hair videos, specifically The Chic Natural. While I was watching one of her hair videos, I noticed she had videos on vegan recipes. Intrigued, I decided to check them out. While watching the video, I realized her vegan recipes could be adapted for my vegetarian lifestyle. After watching three more of her videos, I realized that I didn't need to find people who were making vegetarian meals, I already follow them. I just needed to adapt their food to fit my preferences.

Along with Pinterest (because you can never get enough ideas from Pinterest) here are some of my favorite people and sites I go to for vegetarian meal inspiration.

The Chic Natural: Even though the chic natural is vegan, it's easy to adapt her recipes to fit mine. In fact, it's pretty seemingly. Where she uses almond milk, I use regular milk. When she uses nutritional yeast, I use cheese. Her recipes are very accessible, aren't complex, and only require, at most, 30 minutes in the kitchen. It's a win-win.

Fit Men Cook: Kevin of Fit Men Cook makes mostly keto based recipes, but what's great about his recipes is, even without the meat, they're still chocked full of protein. His salads are very creative, and even better, inexpensive and easy to make.

Natural Vegan Mama: Natural Vegan Mama reached out to me after I made a Facebook post featuring women with long, natural hair. I checked out her YouTube page, and she makes vegan looks so easy and effortless. From reviews on vegan cheesecake, recipes, and grocery hauls, her channel shows you the day to day life of a vegan. And her cauliflower fried rice is amazing! I made some last week and it definitely tasted like I picked up some Chinese take out.

Simple Green Smoothies: I can thank my love of green smoothies to Simple Green Smoothies. And while their 30-day green smoothie challenge is a thing of the past, they have super delicious recipes on their Instagram page. When it comes to a quick breakfast, snack, or even light dinner, I rely on them to provide me with a healthy, quick, and easy meal.

Who do you follow for food inspiration?

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

The Summer Wardrobe: When It's Hot Outside and Cold Inside

Thursday, July 20, 2017

FroBunni | What to Wear in the Summer Header Image

I have a love-hate relationship with summer. Summer means my birthday, warm nights at beer gardens, yoga at the Georgetown Waterfront, and most importantly ice cream! But for all the good that summer brings me, the heat and humidity can be unbearable...and the AC, while often just what I need after an early morning run, can get really cold in the office. This makes choosing outfits kind of hard. They have to be cool enough to get me to and from work, but also warm enough to keep me cool at work. Luckily, I have some tips that can help for both women and men.


For Women:

FroBunni | What to Wear in the Summer for Women

Ditch the Cardigan: Unless it gets pretty cool, I leave my sweaters alone in the summer. Instead, I use one of my many lightweight button downs. I'll wear a cotton tank top on my commute to work, but if it gets too cold in the office, I'll throw on a button down shirt.

Skip the Sneakers: I walk a lot in DC, so I always keep a pair of sneakers with me. But in the summer, sneakers can get a little bit too warm. Instead, I opt for a cotton oxford shoe or a supportive sandal. They'll keep me cool, and I can wear them at the office and still look professional.

Scarves aren't Just for Winter: When you think of scarves, you think of heavyweight wool for those blustery, winter nights. But there are scarves that I wear in warmer weather. Loose and light, these scarves can be paired with many different outfits and come in a variety of styles.


For Men:

FroBunni | What to Wear in the Summer for Men

Chinos are Your Friends: Chinos are lightweight and perfect for when you can't compromise on the length of your pants. Just make sure you choose lighter colors that will reflect sunlight keeping you much cooler than black or navy blue.

Bring Back the Polo: Polos were really popular when I was growing up, but I haven't seen them as much lately. But they're great for hot summer days and cold offices. Short sleeves, but professional, they can be paired with virtually any color pant.

Stay Fashionable with Embroidered Button Downs: Button down shirts can get pretty boring for men, but embroidery can add a unique and unexpected touch of style. Keep the shirts light weight, to keep you cool outside, and warm inside.


Some More Tips:


  • Read the Employee Handbook: My job is pretty casual, so while these tips may work for me, they may not work for you. Just read the Employee handbook or talk to HR to make sure your summer attire is up to code.
  • Keep a Sweater or Even a Blanket at Work: If your office is really cold, you may need to keep a sweater, or even a blanket, at work. I actually keep a snuggy at my desk because the temperature has actually dropped below 70 degrees.
  • Buy Some Fashionable Bobby Pins: I always keep my hair up in the summer, but I still like my hair to look good. Fashionable bobby pins keep the humidity from destroying my hairstyle, but also give my hair a little touch of bling.
  • Bring a Water Bottle with You Everywhere: Whether you're outside or inside, make sure you're drinking lots of water to keep you hydrated and prevent heat exhaustion. 

While summer can get pretty confusing when it comes to your wardrobe choices, there are ways to make it easier. Hopefully, these tips can help you stay cool, but also warm during the summer.

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Five Ways to Get Free Yoga Classes

Thursday, June 29, 2017

How to get free yoga classes | FroBunni
Photo taken by CoPhoto
So you've been doing yoga at home for awhile, and you're finally ready to practice at a studio. You do some research, find one you like, only to get to their pricing page and see $18 per class. Eek! With prices like that, who needs yoga?

This is one of the unfortunate realities of yoga. It's rather expensive. Of course, you can go to a gym and take yoga there, but it's not the same as being in a studio where you can really further your practice. If only you could take classes for free...lucky for you, you can! Here are five ways you can take discounted or free yoga classes.

Community Classes: Many yoga studios offer teacher training, where they train people to become yoga teachers. To give these students teaching experience, they often offer community classes, which are generally free of charge to the public.

Off-Peak Classes: Some studios offer off-peak classes for a discounted price. They're generally in the middle of the day around lunch time when there is less attendance.

Work Study: A lot of yoga studios will offer people positions to manage the front desk or clean the studio in exchange for free classes. If you're able to commit to a couple hours a week, this option may be perfect for you.

Check Out Yoga Apparel Stores: Stores, like Athleta and Lululemon, often offer free fitness classes to the public in the evening and on weekends. Because they rotate teachers, it gives you a chance to find a teacher you like before fully committing to a specific studio.

Just Ask: It sounds so simple, but you would be surprised at what asking can get you. Some yoga studios offer special pricing for those in need, but they don't openly advertise for it. While others have sliding scale pricing for different incomes. And then there are some that just want you to take yoga. You never know what asking can get you.

If you're interested in community or off-peak classes, just check a studio's class schedule. Athleta and Lululemon have their event schedule on their website (it's generally on the local studio website, just go to "find a store"), and inquire about work study and other pricing options in-person, which often works better than emailing. Now, go forth and practice yoga without breaking the bank.


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Getting More Protein in a Vegetarian Diet

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FroBunni | Getting more protein in a vegetarian diet header

I've been doing the IIFYM (if it fits your macros diet) for over a month now, and wow! It's been really hard getting protein in my diet. I'm supposed to be getting 93 grams a day, but I consistently average a little more than 60 grams. It has been frustrating to say the least.

Two weeks ago, I tried to eat meat again, but, no surprise, I ended up wasting it. So, that was a bust. Last week, I bought some protein bars to see if they could help (I'll be writing a review on them), and while they definitely have helped bridge the 30 grams gap, I only eat them on days when I go to Elevate. It's definitely been a struggle, but slowly but surely, I'm getting a little better at it.

Here are some tips that have helped:

Eggs, yogurt, and cottage cheese are my friends: Since I'm vegetarian and not vegan, I can still consume animal byproducts like dairy, which has a lot of protein. I just make sure to keep the saturated fat intake low by buying low-fat or no-fat options. I will generally have some dairy twice a day, such as eggs for breakfast and yogurt for a snack.
Whole grains have more protein than refined grains: Whole grain pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal are my go-to when it comes to grain-based carbs. Compared to refined grains, they have more protein, and when you're vegetarian, that can make a big difference.
Stock up on protein bars and powder: You'll see a follow-up post and some reviews sometime in July, but I've been testing protein bars, drinks, and powder. Because of my dietary restrictions and preferences, I find that it's hard to get those last few grams of protein, even if I eat perfectly. And on days when I lift or go to Elevate, these are a necessary post-workout snack.
Nut butters and beans provide protein and healthy fats: Whether it's adding some peanut butter to a smoothie or having hummus with red peppers for a snack, nut butters (I can't have whole or chopped nuts because I have Crohn's disease), add not just 5-6 grams of protein, but also healthy unsaturated fats.
Meatless "meat" can be a lifesaver: Veggies patties, chik'n, and meatless crumbles are great to add to any dinner for an extra few grams of protein at the end of the day. For a super quick dinner that can be made in less than 10 minutes, I will have some chik'n with tomato soup or a veggie pattie with some roasted vegetables.

It's definitely been a wake up call seeing how pathetic my protein intake has been all these years, but I'm hoping this really makes the difference in my diet, and I will feel more awake and stronger (because for real, I may be doing a Spartan Race in July, and if I do, my protein intake needs to really be perfect).


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I Retained Two Inches of Hair This Year!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

FroBunni | Length Check: I'm Grazing Tailbone Length

OMG! Look at this! I'm officially grazing tailbone length, which is awesome! I retained a total of two inches this year, which isn't a lot, but it's something. For one, it has been quite hard retaining length since I got to mid-back length (MBL). This is to be expected, since the longer hair gets, the more fragile the ends. So, it's nice to see the extra TLC has been effective.

There's a couple things I have been doing that I think have made a difference:

  • Tea Rinses: Tea rinses help reduce shedding, as well as strengthen the hair shaft. 
  • Deep conditioning with heat: Heat opens the hair's cuticle, which allows the deep conditioner to better penetrate the hair shaft. 
  • When I moisturize and seal, going over my ends twice with my leave-in or water: This ensure my ends are properly moisturized, which keep them from breaking or getting damaged. I have noticed my single strand knots haven't been as plentiful this year.
  • Alternative parts: This means not parting the same way over and over again. I'll follow up with a post about this, but I think parting the same way (for years) was thinning certain parts of my hair.
  • Keeping scissors in the bathroom: Most times, I do my hair in the bathroom, but the scissors I use to trim my hair are in my bedroom. Because of this, when I would get to a knot, I would rip it out. This is a huge no-no because it cause damage and split ends to the hair, and even contribute to knots and tangles later on. So by keeping my scissors in the bathroom, I can easily cut off the knot, reducing breakage and damage everywhere else. 

Even though these have been effective, it will be interesting to see if I can continue to retain length. I'm hoping to get to full tailbone length next year, but like I said previously, the longer the hair, the harder it is to retain length. But I have hope, nonetheless. Here's to another year!

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Aroma Foundry | Review

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

FroBunni | Aroma Foundry Review

Since January, I've been thinking about adding essential oils back into my hair regimen. When I first began my natural hair journey, I would always add some peppermint and tea tree oil to my homemade hair butters and oil mixes. But once I started buying my products, my need for butters and oils, as well as essential oils, were no longer there. Even though I've done well with store bought products, I knew that essential oils could still be used in various places in my regimen, specifically, my coconut and grapeseed oil mix. Being so busy with work, yoga, and just life,in general, I totally forgot about trying them...until Aroma Foundry contacted me.

When I originally began buying essential oils, I would look on Amazon for the cheapest option available. I assumed these oils were of good quality, but honestly, I wasn't sure. With Aroma Foundry, the quality is guaranteed. All of their essential oils are sourced from the respective oils' countries of origin, as well as a verified supply chain and environmentally conscious packaging.

I was sent tea tree, peppermint, lavender, and ylang ylang essential oils. The packaging has a streamlined and clean design, and everything is easily identifiable (I remember sometimes when I would buy oils from Amazon, there was no packaging at all). I decided to try the peppermint oil first, and added about 10 drops into a 6 ounce applicator bottle of oil...big mistake. While that amount was necessary when I was using oils from Amazon, because of the quality of the Aroma Foundry oils, it was too much. I only needed a drop or two drops (I ended up using the rest of the oil for a hot oil treatment before washing my hair so that I wouldn't walk around smelling like an after dinner mint).

After trying the peppermint oil, I decided to try the ylang ylang. I added it to some coconut oil, and applied it to my hair, and omg! My hair smelled so good, and it felt softer than usual. Since it was my first time using ylang ylang, I did some research and learned that it actually helps to soften hair.

A week later, I decided to mix a drop of lavender and a drop of tea tree oil in some coconut oil, apply it to my scalp, give myself a 10 minute scalp massage, and leave the oil on overnight before washing in the morning. Sometimes my scalp can get sensitive and itchy, but after the scalp massage it felt very soothed. And my hair also felt soft, but still strong. Since I've used those oils before, I knew they would be good for this purpose, but because of the quality, I was able to use a lot less than previously.

All in all, these oils are amazing. If you're used to buying essential oils on Amazon, these are the real deal when it comes to quality, and even though they're more expensive, they're going to last a lot longer. You only need a drop or two in a 6 ounce bottle of oil. They have a variety of oils, and free shipping for orders over $75 in the U.S. I'll be honest and say that I can't see lavender and tea tree oil having a purpose in my current hair care regimen. But I really do miss the nice tingle of peppermint oil on my scalp, and it has become the perfect way to wake myself up for an early morning yoga practice. And the ylang ylang, this is literally one of the most beautiful smells, I will definitely get it again.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Review on Giovanni's Avocado and Olive Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Are we surprised? Is anyone surprised by this post? Well, not suprisingly, I picked up Giovanni's Avocado and Olive Oil shampoo and conditioner. I think I tried both at one point, but I never did a review...just checked, nope, never did a review. Well, I'm doing a review now because they may become a part of my regimen. So let's get to it.

First things first, I've been looking for a new shampoo for awhile. I liked the Made Beautiful PUREifying Cleanser, but it really requires two to three washes to effectively remove build up on my scalp and hair, which is frustrating. This means more time in the shower, more product, and most importantly, more manipulation, which can cause breakage. I was kind of over it a month ago, but since I still have three more bottles, I tried to suck it up and use it...I'll just give them to a friend.

I've also been looking for a conditioner because the Made Beautiful INSPIRE Creamy Coconut Conditioner is not in stores meaning I will always have to buy it online. This is rather inconvenient and a big contributor to if I will continue to use a product.

Anyways, last week, I was in a little mom and pop corner store looking for something to eat, since I just finished teaching yoga, didn't want to cook, and was really hungry. I passed their natural beauty section (yes, we have natural beauty sections in small mom and pop stores in D.C.) and noticed they had a sale on the Giovanni Avocado and Olive Oil line. Well, I decided to get it with almost no thought because, like I mentioned above, I was just over washing my hair multiple times to get a good clean, and I really like Giovanni products.

I've used both products twice and I'm in love! The shampoo effectively cleans my hair and scalp with one wash, and even better, it keeps my hair detangled (I usually pre-poo, detangle, then shampoo). The conditioner is super moisturizing and has a lot of slip. Since I've started using the shampoo and conditioner, I also notice my hair stays cleaner longer, which means less dandruff and no stinky hair, which is great because I've been working out more with yoga and HIIT classes.

In comparison to other Giovanni lines I've tried, this is the one I recommend for naturals. This isn't to say the other lines aren't great or that I wouldn't use them, but my hair is a lot more moisturized using the Avocado and Olive Oil shampoo and conditioner. And this is to be expected considering the Ultra-Moist Deep Deep Moisture Mask is the most moisturizing deep conditioner I've ever used. It's also easier to find this line in stores, compared to other lines, which is really important to me.

All in all, they're great products. Like I said, I'm sure they'll make a permanent place in my regimen soon. Along with leaving my hair clean and super moisturized, I can find this at most stores in the area.

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10 Tips for Using Heat Safely on Natural Hair

Sunday, May 28, 2017

10 Tips for using heat safely on natural hair | FroBunni

For the last few months, I've been using heat to dry my hair. I prefer it since my hair takes at least two days to dry, and I hate walking around with wet hair. I've been getting a lot of questions about this and if it's safe for natural hair. The simple answer is yes, the more complex answer is why I'm writing this blog post.

Heat is quite a fickle topic in the natural hair community. Some women demonize it, and others swear by it. Personally, I don't judge either way, but using heat will depend on you. I cannot flat iron my hair, not even a little bit. The direct and high heat is too much for my hair, and I've detailed this before. So instead of using a flat iron, I rely on a blow dryer and use low heat. This is how I can use heat consistently and keep my hair healthy.

Most of my tips will be based on my personal experience with heat, but you will probably have to try a few things to find what's right for you, but use extreme caution. All it takes is one time to get irreparable heat damage, and it doesn't even have to be high heat either.
  1. Shampoo Your Hair: If you plan to use heat regularly, you will want to wash with a good shampoo. Dirty hair will dry or straighten unevenly, making you more prone to heat damage.
  2. And Use a Moisturizing Shampoo Too: Use a moisturizing shampoo if you're going to use heat more often. Even though I'm using low heat, the process of quickly drying my hair can still be damaging, so my hair still needs as much moisture as possible.
  3. Condition and Deep Condition: Again, the simple process of quickly drying hair, even if there's no heat present, can still be drying and damaging, so you will want to find every place possible to add extra moisture to hair. 
  4. Deep Condition With Heat Every Wash Day: One of the biggest game changers in my regimen has been deep conditioning with heat. I bought the Hot Heat Thermal Microwavable Deep Conditioning Cap almost a year ago, and it's awesome. Deep conditioners penetrate the hair more effectively, nourishing and strengthening hair from the inside out. It helps prevent breakage and damage, and makes hair softer and shiner. If you are going to use heat regularly, this step will help you keep your hair healthy.
  5. Do Protein Treatments More Often: I use to do protein treatments every month, and now I do them every three weeks to keep my hair strong. If you use high heat, you may want to use heat every other week, or even use it weekly and follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. This will, of course, make your wash days significantly longer, but the benefit will pay off in the long run.
  6. Use a Heat Protectant: Use a heat protectant and use a real one. I even created an infographic to drive this home. And, let's get one thing clear, oil is not a heat protectant. I don't care if you have an anecdotal story about how you can use grapeseed oil and your hair doesn't burn. That's great, but it's still not a heat protectant. The reason this extremely incorrect belief came about is because someone misinterpreted the term "heat point," which is the temperature that an oil must reach to burn. This heat point is completely irrelevant if, for example, it's cooking chicken. A chicken will cook in 300 degree oil regardless of if it's olive oil, peanut oil, or canola oil, and it can burn just the same. So get a heat protectant!
  7. Blow-Dry Hair with a Hood Dryer: If you can, use a hooded dryer. The indirect heat is safer for hair, helping to prevent heat damage. 
  8. Be Okay with Texture: When I decided not to flat iron my hair again, I knew that meant my hair would never be bone straight. I can get my hair to 90% of it's full length using other stretching methods, and I'm okay with this. For those that also have highly textured hair, you may not get your hair straight without high heat and a lot of manipulation, which could mean a lot of damage.
  9. Limit Heat to Once a Week (At Least): I use heat on wash day (or the day after if I'm too lazy to dry it the same day). You risk damage when you use it every day or even every other day. Keeping hair stretched (like doing a perm rod set) is a good way to keep hair straight and limit heat. 
  10. Give Your Hair a Break: Give yourself a break every so often. Whether that's once every month, once every two months, or even once every three months. Let the hair do its own thing every once in awhile, even if it means your hair will be wet for a few days.
7 Heat Protectants for Natural Hair | FroBunni

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Bruschetta Pasta Salad

Brushetta Pasta Salad | FroBunni

One of the best things to come out of this mostly vegetarian lifestyle (and being a super picky eater) is that I have to be creative when it comes to my meals. I love bruschetta, it's one of my favorite recipes, but it's not the mostly filling (unless I want to fill up on bread). So, how do I enjoy bruschetta, but make it a healthy meal? Why make a pasta salad of course!

This recipe is super quick and simple. It only took me 20 minutes to make. While the pasta cooked, I chopped up some tomatoes, basil, and garlic, mixed in a little oil and salt, and let sit. When the pasta was done and drained, I mixed everything together. It's perfect for dinner, and since it has no mayo or yogurt, you can take it to work without having to worry about refrigeration.

Bruschetta Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Rotini pasta
  • 1/2 lb of grape tomatoes
  • 20 basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Takes 20, serves 6.

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta according to directions on box.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, and chop basil and garlic.
  3. Mix tomato mixture, adding olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. When pasta is cooked, drain, and add to bruschetta. 
  5. Mix all the ingredients together. Enjoy! 

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I'm Doing the IIFYM Diet and I've Learned I Eat A Lot of Carbs

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I'm Doing the IIFYM Diet and I've Learned I Eat A Lot of Carbs | FroBunni

For the past few months, my diet has been terrible. I've been drinking more soda, pastries, candy, etc., and even worse, they're not related to hunger, but more so impulse. Like last week, I literally ate two donuts in the span of 15 minutes because someone brought them in the office...and then I regretted it, which is worse than eating two donuts in 15 minutes because I don't like to tie shame to my diet.

So, I decided to reset and try the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) diet, also known as the flexible diet. Basically, I eat according to my macro-nutrient limits - carbs, fat, and protein - not just calories. I put my lifestyle and weight goals in a macros calculator, and my results were sent to me in an email. My daily calorie limit is set to about 1400 (sounds low, but I actually eat only around 1300-1500 calories daily), and my macros are 98 grams of protein, 51 grams of fat, and 133 grams of carbohydrates. I decided to update my MyFitnessPal account to premium to be able to better track my macros, and yesterday began day one.

IIFYM My Fitness Pal | FroBunniIIFYM My Fitness Pal | FroBunni

Yeah, see this...yesterday was bad. I randomly ate a bagel (remember that whole impulse eating thing) when I wasn't hungry, and my sandwich and potatoes were loaded with carbs. Not to mention, my protein intake is pretty sad and pathetic. It's actual below recommended protein levels for my body and activity levels.

This was a pretty big wake-up call, and I'm trying to figure out ways to reconcile it. One of the things that makes this hard is that I'm a picky eater. I don't like tofu unless it's blended in a smoothie or in miso soup. And quinoa, avocados, and chia seed pudding (I'm cool with chia seeds until you make that nasty, snot-consistency pudding) are just gross. I'm not planning on bringing meat back in my apartment, but I'm currently looking into companies that sell non-meat protein alternatives, like MorningStar, Beyond Meat, and Gardein. I'm also not planning on going the paleo route either, so I'm keeping the pasta, rice, oats, and cereal, but keeping it to a half a serving instead of a full one.

While I don't expect to get it right today (I'm still over today anyways, so it's not like it matters), tomorrow, or even within a week, hopefully in a month, I can get this right and balance out my carb intake to where it should be.

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Natural Hair Gels without PVP

Thursday, May 18, 2017

FroBunni | Natural Hair Gels Without PVP header

When I originally thought about writing this blog post and creating this infographic, I thought it would take me forever to find gels with no PVP, but to my surprise, this was pretty easy.

PVP is an ingredient often found in hair gel, and other hair products that define curly styles and reduce frizz. It’s your best defense against humidity, and for me, hair gels with PVP would be a holy grail during the summer’s oppressive heat and brutal humidity…but my hair isn’t fond of it.

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air, and the higher the humidity, the more water. When there’s a lot of water in the air, curly and natural hair will frizz, potentially creating knots and tangles. PVP works by creating a seal around the hair blocking moisture out, meaning no frizz. Because of its ability to block moisture out, PVP can be drying for some people, and since my hair needs moisture, I’m one of those people.

So, like every summer, I will be on the search for a hair gel without PVP, but can still keep a stretched or straight hairstyle from turning into a large poof ball. Lucky for me, a quick google search gave me a great start.




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