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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

JBNI/Biodrux Review

(Yes, it’s Michael and yes I'm temporarily hijacking this blog with permission…)

I’m a “feel good” junkie. To achieve that all elusive, sustained feeling of energy and well being I’ll try almost anything. If it’s available, affordable and legal, I’ve probably done it. I have experimented with copious amounts of Red Bull, green tea matcha shots, and diet pills. I’ve done weekly hip injections of B-12, concentrated aloe vera juice, the Perricone diet and taken CLA supplements with my workouts. All provided recognizable benefits, but none experienced without some undesired side effect.

Recently I had the opportunity to try a few products from JBNI/Biodrux. As with most herbal companies the claims were hyperbolic, so I approached with a degree of skepticism. I used two products over a three-week period, Epstin for fatigue, taken with Leitzin for mood and emotional stability. These both come in 500mg capsules taken 3 times daily. What I experienced was a smooth, clear-headed feeling of alertness without the dizzying effect of an unnatural “buzz”, which is way too common with most herbal supplements. I also felt much more tolerant and calm during periods that normally make me stressed and subsequently moody. I was impressed enough that I did some research on the company. Based on their web site (, ) and the accompanying product literature, it appears their approach is more pharmaceutical and science based than most natural product companies which I found refreshing. The only drawback was the dosage (4 pills, 3 times daily) and the price point, which seemed a little high, but the results are well worth it. Highly recommend.

Before I forget, I also tried the Immortal Mist spray. I have no idea what is in this and I can only trust that it’s 100% natural as it claims, but this stuff is like liquid crack! The documentation claims it helps beautify and hydrate your skin, which sounds womanish, but I don’t care because it just FEELS great! I use it daily and it provides an instant refreshing feeling when sprayed on the face and hair. This is definitely something I will be using on a regular basis. Give it a try, let me know what you think.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Facial in a Smoothie

This is a recipe taken from Kimberly Snyder's Envision Beauty Blog. (see It's a great smoothie with TONS of health benefits, one of them being great skin. Loaded with vitamin A, this smoothie is like a drinkable facial. Vitamin A can help prevent acne and keeps skin looking youthful. Drink up!

3 handfuls of organic spinach
1/2 bunch of mint
3 organic peaches
1 organic banana 
1 1/2 cups water

Blend spinach and water. Add mint. Add remaining ingredients and enjoy cold. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I felt this reply could apply to many of you. I wanted to post it so it would be easy to find. 

Good morning ladies, can you post on brazilian hair straightening, MAC cosmetics, and quick remedies for dark marks please? I'm actually in the process of growing my perm off and boy is it a challenge :-/, I've read up on brazilian and it seems pretty cool. Any thoughts? Also I went to see a dermatologist by the name of Milton Moore and I had a glycolic facial and it seems as though it has done a number on my skin......helpppp! I've noticed that you all mention a lot of products from Sephora, do you all reccommend MAC products? Thanks.

Hello, ChaunceeNicole.
MAC: I love the lip glosses. The stay put even though they are thick as molasses and may hair always gets stuck in the gloss. I also LOVE the Loose Iridescent Powder from MAC in Golden Bronze. Gives a nice shimmery glow (tap the brush to remove the excess unless you are going for the vegas show girl look). I find the powders and foundations are a bit thick for my liking. I usually stick to Makeup Forever's HD Powder and the Body Foundation. Gives a lighter coverage for the times I do wear foundation. Other MAC product I love is the Pigment, a highly concentrated loose powder. Be careful when you use that product! A little goes a LOOOONG way.  

Brazilian Hair Straightening: I have not personally tried this technique. What I have tried and like is a Dominican Salon. They stylists there can get your hair straight and smooth without the use of chemicals. The stylist I see uses a round brush. Word of warning: that is one hot dryer you have to sit under. Summertime is the worst. I was there not too long ago and it was 100 degrees out. Sitting under that dryer, I was burning up. Not to mention I had run out of water and was so thirsty I was panting like a porn star. In the end, it was all worth it. If you have been growing out your relaxer and have gorgeous natural hair, I would try a Dominican Salon first before you put another chemical in your hair. Just my thoughts.  

Glycolic facials... I see you posted this July 17th. Have you seen any improvement in your skin? I remember the first time I got a facial, specifically a peel. I didn't know what to expect. During the application, it was a bit tingly, but not unbearable. Afterwards, when I walked out I noticed I looked a bit red and "raw." Later on that day, when I was supposed to go out to eat with my sister I saw that I had scabs all over my face. I was horrified! These scabs lasted a good 3 days. Once they went away, I was left with beautiful, glowing, clear skin. Peel rules: Don't get a peel unless you can hide out for 3 days.  

Dark spots. Let's see... I have tried just about everything in the world short of laser treatments and unfortunately, there is not "quick" remedy for getting rid of dark spots. There are effective treatments, but all take time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Argan Body

Argan Body is having a HUGE sale on it's Aromatic Dead Sea Collection. Go to and check it out. Many items are $5 and $10. The Nourishing Hair Cream is absolutely fabulous!!! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Body Wrap

Body Wrap

I have to say that getting a body wrap is THE silliest, most futile effort that I've made to shed a few pounds. Normally, in preparation for something such as my wedding or a vacation, I'll watch what I eat and work out more regularly to achieve a frame that is about five pounds lighter. That usually starts a few weeks before an occasion. But when my dear husband surprised me with a trip to Costa Rica, I was very excited and also very unprepared. Almost instinctively, one hand slipped down to a love handle while the other fell to a saddlebag, and I felt around trying to gauge how much work I had cut out for me in less than a week. I immediately began scouring the Internet for the solution to losing five pounds or more in about five days.

Diet pills? Nah. I needed to do this without somehow poisoning my body. Lipo? Oh, nooo... I've seen that done on TV and I will NOT subject myself to such battery. Besides, with how much the procedure costs it's either that or the vacation, not both! I don't do liquid diets. That would just make me bitchy... So, I kept coming back to this body wrap idea. I knew it sounded too good to be true, but I was desperate. It took only an hour, cost $100, and boasted claims about losing 6-21 inches with one wrap. It claimed to rid the body of toxins, which are supposedly responsible for excess inches and cellulite. Plus smoother and tighter skin to boot. Since I didn't have to ingest anything, I gave it a try.

When I got there, the room smelled. It smelled like old sweat. I had a real problem with that. The woman had me take off everything except for my panties, and when I am disrobing for any type of procedure, I want to feel like the room is pristine. She came back in and proceeded to wrap me up tightly with ace bandages that were soaked in some cocktail of herbs and juices and berries meant to extract toxins and fat from my cells and into my lymphatic system. She wrapped me so tightly that it was uncomfortable. My whole body was wrapped, so I literally looked like a mummy. Then- gasp!- she asked me to get on the elliptical! What?! The whole reason I was there was because I had been avoiding exercise. She explained to me that I had to keep my body moving to let all the toxins flow right on out. She said I only needed to move a little bit; the goal was not to break a sweat and burn calories but to just keep moving. I guess.

She left me in the room with the elliptical and a movie and told me to keep moving for 45 minutes. Now, while I understood that the goal was not to get a workout here, it was impossible not to. I was barely moving, but when you are bound tightly with unyielding ace bandages, this is quite a feat. I was short of breath, but I kept it moving. And I felt very silly. I kept looking down at the tub underneath the machine that was there to catch all of the liquid straining off of me as I moved, which supposedly contained all my evil, unwanted toxins. All of the sense inside of me told me that pure physics just wouldn't allow this to actually work. So this magic formula is seeping through my skin, into my cells, rounding up all the toxins and fat it that could inside of each cell, then whisking it away, out of the cell, out through my skin, and down into this tub? Riiight... but I kept moving.

Forty-five minutes couldn't come fast enough, and when it finally did I was so grateful to have the constricting bandages removed. And I honestly believe that once they were, everything fell right back into place. See, all wrapped up tightly I looked great. Everything was sucked up and flat and smooth. It was like one big body Spanx. But just like when you remove those Spanx at the end of the day, everything gets let out, cellulite and all. It was a letdown. Sure, she measured me, before and after, and afterwards there was the reported inch or half inch here and there, but nothing to write home about.

I really enjoyed my vacation anyway, with my extra five pounds of upholstery and visible cellulite. Really, at an all-inclusive resort, by day three or four I usually gain back at least some of anything I'd lost anyway.

xoxo nkechi

Saturday, June 27, 2009

30 Day Shred

30 Day Shred

Baby weight. I like to call it that because it makes me feel better about carrying these last few stubborn pounds. Truth is this isn’t weight gained from being pregnant and it isn’t just a few pounds. This is weight from eating and sitting on my ass. Weight to the tune of 15 pounds. I have always been a pretty active person and worked out. Never have I been the type to really “eat right.” I like food. I like good food. I also like wine and margaritas. Dieting is not an easy task for me. I would rather work out like a football player during two-a-days training sessions. Problem is, I haven’t been doing that. I’ve been pretty idle with sporadic runs here and there. May 1, 2009. Today is the day this changes. I decide that part of the problem is time. I have none. I hear about Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred and decide I’m going to give it a try. It’s a 20 minute workout combining cardio and strength and it’s only 20 minutes. I have watched Jillian kick the ass of all the contestants on the Biggest Loser, so I know she is hardcore. I went to Target to pick it up and get started.

Day 1.

The video says to start on level 1 and work you way up. Ok. Easy enough. Each workout is 20 minutes long. Perfect. Gym clothes on. Shoes laced. Time to start. The music is dreadful. The workout is too easy. I didn’t even sweat. Maybe this isn’t the way to go. I go for a run and think about how pissed I am that I wasted 20 minutes listening to reject techno.

Day 1, 4 hours later.

I didn’t want to give up completely. I start level 2. This is no joke. I’m sweating like a pig and cursing at the TV in between grunts.

Day 2.

I hate chair squats and v-fly. Damn you, Jillian.

Day 3.

I decide to shred in the morning and go for a run in the fabulous Houston 90 degree weather. I’m going to die. Shred + Run = Hardcore workout. I feel like Rocky.

Day 4.

I really don’t want to shred today, but it’s only 20 minutes, so I guess I will. I’m really sore. Damn you, Jillian.

Day 5.

It’s Cinco de Mayo. If I’m going to shred, I need to do it before festivities. I shred in the morning before work and get everything done just in time to make it for margaritas at 4pm. I am sure this is not what Jillian had in mind while on this program. Jillian probably does not approve of the many tacos and chips I had today either.

Day 6.

Shredded. I think the alcohol from yesterday is seeping out through my pores. Afterwards, I go for a run. Strangely, I feel energized and have a strong run.

Day 7.

It’s another Shred + Run day. Gotta love Houston weather. 93 degrees. Die. I also decide to check my stats today to see where I am with this Shred business. No weight lost. Nothing. Not even ½ a pound. How do I know not even ½ a pound? Because I have the Tanita scale that will register that ½ pound weight loss to make you feel ½ way better. It didn’t register anything. If I were on the Biggest Loser, I would be below the yellow line today.

Day 8.

Shred + Run in the morning. It’s getting better but really, the chair squats and v-fly blow and I wish Jillian would stop making me do them. Also, Natalie (one of the workout models) is a space cadet. Jillian asks her questions and she just smiles and stares off into space.

Day 9.

Shred + Run. I feel awesome and my husband says I’m hot. Yeah. I feel like a rock star.

Day 10.

It’s Mother’s Day and if I’m going to get my shred in, I need to do it in the morning. I don’t. Apparently my family believes in the gift of food for Mother’s Day, so it’s an eat-a-thon. No shredding and I feel like a whale. Thanks, fam.

Day 11.

I shredded twice today. Double shred. Die.

Day 12.

I’m thinking about moving to level 3 but I think I’ll just hang around at level 2 a little longer. Plus, I can curse Jillian on cue.

Day 13.

I decide to move up to level 3. WTF is this!? Am I being punished? I’m a human pogo stick with all these plyometrics. I think I want to return to level 2 but if I do I feel like Jillian is going to jump out the screen and yell at me. Plus I’ll feel like a loser. I’m really not about that.

Day 14

I have the freaking munchies. I don’t want to shred but I definitely don’t want to double shred tomorrow. I decide to run and shred later. I can’t grasp the idea of doing rock star jumps today, but maybe after I run I’ll feel energized. Fail. I baked cookies, and ate 4.

Day 15

Since I skipped out on shredding yesterday, it’s a double shred day. Double shred on level 3. I am surprised the TV is still in tact. Later that evening I have 3 glasses of wine.

Day 16.

Great run, level 3 shred. Awesome! Thought I would check in on the Tanita today as well. Nothing. This isn’t going well. Where are those cookies I baked and why is there an empty bottle of wine in the fridge?

Day 17

Run. Shred. I don’t hate the plyometrics as much anymore… so I celebrate with margaritas. Cheers!

Day 18

At school today, another student comes up to me and tells me how great I look and wants to know how I lost so much weight. Wow. According to Tanita, I’m still flabby. Yay! I did get my shred in.

Day 19

Same student again comes up to me, this time she gives me a hug and tells me she is so proud of me. Well, jeez… how fat was I? Today was a shred+run day.

I’ll spare you the remaining details of the day-to-day because it’s all shred, shred+run. There was also some Bikram thrown in there, but not consistently. All in all, 30 Day Shred is a good workout. For me, I feel like I need more cardio which is why I combined running. All “run” days meant a 3 mile run in 30 minutes or less. I did notice that while I was actually doing level 3, it was hard, after I did not feel like I had a hard workout, so I started to alternate between level 2 and level 3. Also, keep in mind I didn’t really “diet.” First, I don’t do diets. Second, this was one of those months where it seemed every time I turned around there was a reason to eat and drink (I think that may be every month, though). I know numbers talk so, here is what 30 Day Shred did for me:

WAIST -2.5


HIPS (TRUE) -1.5


THIGH R -1 L -1.5

ARMS R -2 L -2.5


FAT % -6.5%