Monday, July 30, 2012

Gardein's Home Style Beefless Tips, a great twist to healthy eating


As a woman who has engaged in lacto ovo vegetarianism and remains true to excluding the consumption of any meat or fish products, I truly believe anyone can enjoy vegetarian friendly food. When it comes to purchasing any vegetarian and/or vegan friendly food, I will definitely try anything once. Even if it does include Cilantro (and for those of you who know me, you know that I am not Cilantro's biggest fan).

Just because one is a vegetarian and/or vegan doesn't mean that they cannot enjoy an amazing variety of healthy alternatives and if you don't believe me click here. So, when shopping at Safeway, I had the opportunity of discovering Gardein's "Home Style Beefless Tips".

PROS

When it comes to the actual taste of this vegetarian friendly food product, I have to admit that Gardein truly demonstrated why it is good. I was very impressed with the taste. There is absolutely no weird smoke undertones, artificial charcoal flavors, or gastly notes that were unnatural.

I love this amazing addition to Gardein because you can prepare this product several ways. Whether you want to deep fry it, cook it on low heat on the stove, barbeque it on the grill, or even prepare it in the microwave, it still remains to taste great.

The overall health benefits of this product are amazing. There are 18 grams of protein alone in this product. Only 100 grams per serving (which is relatively decent) and just 130 calories. The carbohydrates are also quite low.

It's a very flexible product, that can be prepared a variety of ways, and also adapt to every cuisine and dish out there.

CONS

The texture is relatively soft, especially when completely thawed. If you are looking for more of a robust texture, you may not find this product appealing. The great news about the texture, however; is that it becomes more stable when it is prepared.

Rating - 94%

You can purchase Gardein's Home Style Beefless Tips at your nearest Gardein retailer. Although price varies, the price for this product averages between $3.99-$4.99 depending where you shop. They are available in a lot of health and/or natural food stores. Would I recommend this vegetarian friendly product to a friend? Yes. Would I eat this product again? Absolutely.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A look at Gibbon Falls at Yellowstone National Park

Gibbon Falls is an incredible waterfall on the Gibbon river. With an over 80 foot drop, the Gibbon Falls is just another fascinating site and reason to visit at Yellowstone National Park. The Falls Overlook on the Gibbon Falls trail is 400 feet as the Lower Outlook is 1,000 feet. 





 Photos by Sarah Afshar

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cupcakes are as unique and diverse...

...as the individual that not only eats them, but enjoys them as a result. The cupcake seller asked me which one I would like to taste test and I just cannot decide. Which one would you choose?












Photos by Sarah Afshar

Monday, July 9, 2012

How to go from brunette to blonde

Going blonde is like taking a risk more so than going the extra mile. You can mess it up and in the end, there is distinct a possibility you can do more damage than ever. Not only will this result in damaged hair, but you will end up spending so much money just to fix it. There are a lot of pros, as well as, cons when doing your own hair. Especially something that is of a drastic change.

Today, I am going to demonstrate how it is possible to go from brown hair to blonde hair without messing it up and destroying your hair, as a result. This is the first time I ever bleached my hair and guess what? It turned out amazing. Are you ready? Let's begin...

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you have the right products to start. One of the most important products is the actual mixing bowl. You need something that is accessible, but also gives you a lot of space to mix the right amount.

You will also need a mixer followed by an actual application hair brush. I like to use a medium to large brush, so to bleach my hair, I went with Diane's Medium Hair Color/Dye Brush. The handle is like a dark red/burgundy color.

Also, when coloring your hair, you want to use rubber gloves simply because the peroxide and other components in the actual developer can irritate the skin. I know this first hand, simply because a little got on my pointer finger and my finger actually dried up and turned white. Obviously if this happens, you just run your finger under cold water and it goes away. It is still a tribulation that a lot of people forget when bleaching their own hair. 


To achieve blonde hair from dark hair, you are going to want to use powder bleach. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent bleach, but you do want to buy something that lifts several levels, so you can obtain the right color before toning.

When bleaching my hair, I decided to go with L'Oreal's High Performance Quick Blue Powder Bleach. Not only is it dust-free, providing you with only the easiest of application, but it lifts up to 7 levels. It is also very affordable, costing less than $20. At least on Amazon, where I bought it from. 

Powder bleach is nothing without developer. There are many types of developer on the market, however; for my hair, I went with Wella's Color Charm Clear Developer in Volume 30. It is also 32 oz. The reason that I chose 30 is because it is the right amount of peroxide content you need, when lifting color. The developer works with the bleach to actual lift the color. Using a 20 Volume only works for women with lighter hair or women looking to color their hair, not bleach it. Using a 40 Volume developer is actually not the wisest choice, as your hair can actually fall out. I actually watched several videos on the YouTube platform of women who used the Volume 40 and ended up having their hair melt off.

When you go from dark to light, you will end up with an array of undertones. Most of them are orange, however; there are many that are yellow. In order to effectively bleach your hair to a nice blonde, you are going to want to use a toning product. You also want something with more of a lavender undertone, as this will cancel out any orange or yellow you may have in your hair. I decided to go with Wella's Color Charm Toner in T18 Lightest Ash Blonde. This product is also known as "White Lady". It is clearly one of the best hair toning products in the world today and I highly recommend it.

Once you have these products, you can begin coloring your hair. Please note that this is a process and you won't achieve this overnight. Well, you could, but you are at high risk of destroying your hair. 

Are you ready? Let's begin!

In the mixing bowl, you want to mix about a scoop of the powder bleach into the bowl. Depending on how much hair you have, you can add more if you feel like there isn't enough. One scoop goes a long way, as does building.

The developer should be added shortly after. You want to add at least 2 oz to the powder bleach. If there is more bleach, you want to add a little more developer. As it develops, the texture should be relatively paste-like in texture versus watery. You don't want anything too dry or too liquidity, otherwise your color will not lift. Ok?

You want to mix generously, but allow it to settle. Usually in about a minute or two, you will notice if it will develop into a paste-like texture and not a powder mass or liquid. Make sure you have your gloves on.

The bottom part of the hair tends to lift slower than the top, so you want use your hair color brush and apply the bleach mixture on the bottom part of the hair first, as you continue, you want to move up. Slowly building each time. 

You want to avoid the root area and save that part for last, however; once you begin the root area, you want to do underneath the hair, towards the bottom and then the top. 


Leave the bleach mixture on your hair for about 45 minutes or until desired color. If you are like me going from dark brown hair to blonde, you may want to leave it on for a little longer. As you do this, make sure that you blow dry your hair, as the heat helps the color lift faster and even more effectively. Wash the hair color out. Blow dry.

The color you want to achieve before toning should be the color of what hair colorists refer to as "inside of a banana". It should have more yellow tones than orange tones. If your hair is still orange, you will want to bleach it again.

If your color is still orange, you may want to wait at least a day or two before repeating this process. The toner can cancel out the yellow and orange tones, but only if the number of yellow tones in the hair exceed the orange tones. I have had to bleach my hair a total of 4 times in order to achieve the desired color before toning it.

Once you have bleached your hair and your hair has lifted to a very light shade with yellow tones, as well as, some orange, you want to tone your hair. You don't have to blow dry your hair, as towel drying works great. In fact, before applying the toner, I just towel dried my hair. Toner works as an amazing product, as it supports the cancellation of any yellow or orange tone your hair will endure. 

Toner does not lift color, it just helps control it. You want to mix about 2 oz. of developer with the entire bottle of Wella toner. I used 20 Volume developer and mixed a little bit of 30 Volume developer to it. Apply to your hair and leave on for about 40-45 minutes before rinsing.

Bleaching in theory is not the best for your hair, however; for some reason, it has had a reverse effect on me. My hair has actually improved since bleaching it. Weird right? In order to maintain wonderful hair health, you want to use products that allow you to manage your hair.

It is crucial to style your hair after bleaching your hair, as it is very vital to keep up with great hair maintenance. For that, I recommend the the following products:

Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Color Freeze Silver Shampoo is the shampoo I use. I have tried some others and find that they strip hair and make hair appear brassy. This one will not only prevent your hair from become a brass mess, it will actually eliminate all orange and warm tones in your hair. 

I don't use conditioner much, although I probably should. I feel like most I have tried tend to weigh my hair down. Instead, I find myself using a lot of the Oscar Blandi Vivid Clear Shine Glaze which makes my hair look and feel amazing. 

I like to do as deep condition or hair mask maybe once a week. These products vary. I do like to use organic cold pressed coconut oil in my hair. I am not a fan of certain oils and refuse to use anything that smells bad on my head. I am picky and selective so I will make sure to add specific products later here. 

Remember to not worry so much when doing this. And if you are fearful, try doing just a small strand. If you are still fearful, just go to the salon and get it done. I wish you all the best of luck.