September 19, 2013

Advice: How to Keep Yourself Clean

So, I received a very valid question on Ask.fm and I felt it was appropriate to address it here. As women, it's very important that we keep ourselves clean. And honestly, bigger girls (such as myself) have to go the extra mile. There's no way around it. For big girls, it's sometimes hard to figure what works for you. Maybe it's something you're embarrassed to talk about with friends or even family so here's my advice. 

This is only what works for me (my routine) and I will try to go into as much detail as possible, You may use different products or whatever you like. First of all, if you have an odor, find the source. You could do everything listed below and still have an odor. Check your shoes, your clothes, your hair, your breath, everything! You might only need to change your washing detergent, or wash your hair more often.

1. Start with a clean body. I prefer baths over showers because I like to soak. If I'm in a hurry or need to wash my hair I'll shower. If you feel as if you have some kind of body odor for whatever reason, put baking soda in the water. Maybe about 1/4 cup. If you can use a soap with a light refreshing scent. I prefer original Dove or Dial Spring Water bar. 

2. Some people bathe once or twice a day. I bathe in the mornings or before I start my day. I used to do it at night but I feel better if I do it before I start my day. If I'm going out, or have a special occasion I'll take a bath/shower before the event as well. For me it takes about 30 minutes for a bath. Stand up, wash all over, sit, rinse. In addition to that, as I'm sitting I'll take a sit down bath. If it's that time of the month I bathe in the morning and at night.

3. Shaving is important. I would invest in something electric. Regular shavers work too though. Underarms and pubic areas are priority. Underarm and pubic hair can sometimes cause odor, so shave as often as needed. I always shave in the tub while still wet, it's just easier. 

4. After your bath dry yourself thoroughly. Apply lotion all over. Something with a light, natural scent. I use Jergens the original cherry almond scent. 

5. If you're getting dressed for the day use deodorant. I have very sensitive underarms but I also sweat a lot so I need something that works but won't break my skin out. So, I use Dove original scent roll on. Since I have a job that's sometimes physical, I apply deodorant between the rolls and crevices. Some people use body powder but I hate the smell of body powder and the chalky feeling annoys me. If you're wearing a skirt or dress and hate the feeling of your thighs rubbing together apply a small amount on each inner thigh. 

6. This is optional but if you'd like lightly spray on a body spray. I don't use body spray except if it's a special occasion. Even then I might only use one or two sprays. If you don't have a high tolerance for fragrances, try spaying it on your back so it doesn't hit your nose directly. I would say don't use a perfume  everyday because they're too strong. A body spray should be light, refreshing. I have had a bottle of vanilla body spray (from Bath and Body Works) for at least 3 years and it's not even halfway empty. I also love Sweet Pea body spray (also from B&BW).

Finally, you should be set to go! Numbers 1-2 are the most important steps. If you don't start out with a clean slate and attempt to just mask an odor, you'll only make it worse. Also, always wipe yourself after urinating. I can't tell you how many times I have smelled a pee/fishy odor on a woman after she leaves the bathroom. Keep hygiene items in your purse to freshen up during the day if necessary. I always have these in my possession:

1. Lotion
2. Wet wipes/baby wipes
3. Deodorant
4. Pantyliners/Pads
5. Gum/mints/travel size mouth wash

If you follow these steps and still you aren't fresh smelling, maybe it's something medical that needs attention. So visit your doctor and discuss your issue. I hope this helped someone in need.

Happy hygiene! :) 

May 21, 2013

"Cornerstore" Food Will KILL You

For those of you who don't know what a "cornerstore" is, it is basically a convenience store. They are often nicknamed "cornerstore" because usually they are located on the corner of an intersection. After grabbing a quick bite to eat at one of local cornerstores, I have something to say. 

I wanted a meal to eat and didn't feel like travelling across town. My favorite homestyle restaurants are at least 5 miles away from where I live. So, on the way home, I pulled in one of the nearest corner stores and bought a plate lunch. the store wasn't very appealing physically but, I don't mind the physical imperfections, as long as the food seems clean enough. The food seemed fresh, And as I was walking in, one of the workers was putting out fresh chicken. It smelled great and looked just as good as it smelled. I decided on chicken wings and red beans, but after the first bite, it was nothing like what I'm accustomed to. 

It was tooooo salty. The whole plate. I don't cook with salt, and the moment it hit my tongue I knew It was high blood pressure and high cholesterol on a plate. The chicken wings were obscurely covered in salt and seasoning. I ate the plate because I was hungry but it took two water bottles and a Sprite to wash the salty taste out of my mouth. I just finished the plate about 30 minutes ago and I'm very gassy (belching, flatulence were the key signs) and a little nauseous but not enough to bother me. 

I bet the owners don't even eat the stuff. Why do they serve us such crud? I think a lot of the cornerstore owners think that making good food means adding more salt. My red beans contain no salt, but taste well seasoned. The red beans I purchased were salty and spicy. I often wonder how store owners learn their soul food cooking skills since most of them are not American and a good bit of them don't even speak English. 

A couple months back I was headed to work and needed something to eat. I had forgotten my lunch at home and even though I have had bad experiences with cornerstore food, I thought I would try another one that I hadn't eaten from in years. Once again (shocker!) the food was super salty and spicy. I shared some with my co-worker and she almost choked due to the seasoning. It was around 3:30 when I stopped to the store, around the time school children were headed home from school. I saw lots of young people from grade school age to high school age going into the store and buying food. I'm no health junkie by far, but just to think all the sodium those kids would be ingesting (some on a regular basis) made me mad. Presumably, they were probably latchkey kids and wouldn't get a good cooked meal until later in the evening when their parents came home so cornerstore food was the next best thing.

I think it should be illegal for cornerstores to serve potentially fatal foods. When eating out you truly don't know what's in your food but if you can taste that something is wrong, that's pretty bad. Salt and oil are atery cloggers (high cholesterol) and stimulate blood pressure as well as diabetes which are both some of the top killers of minorities (specifically blacks and hispanics). Cornerstores are big businesses placed strategically in high poverty areas, within walking distance from project and section 8 housing. Perfect for a poor family without a vehicle. The owners are often well to do and drive a high end vehicle to their deathtrap. Of course, not ALL cornerstores are the same but a lot of them are quite similar. In my opinion cornerstores are even an injustice to the people that they serve. The prices are super inflated, the food unhealthy, the building unclean, makes me wonder exactly what the store owners think about the community that pays their bills...