Saturday, September 22, 2012

Smoothie Power! Time to Dust Off your Cape

Wonder Woman's Gonna be Jealous.
Crack out your x-ray glasses and pull on your knee-high boots - Smoothie Power! Recipes for Weight Loss, Vitality, & the Occasional Superpower is fresh off the e-presses and still steaming. I'm even more excited than usual (which means it's near embarrassing levels).

The research I did on this book changed my life. An exagerration? A late-night infomercial claim? No, it's just me being amazed at how big and unexpected this change was for me. I've learned I can control my asthma with food, and that I don't have to shove myself into denial because I can't eat this or that. I've learned that I can stuff myself and eat all day if I want to (I usually want to) if I eat the right things, and I won't get a muffin top. I've learned that drinking tall glasses of green stuff in the park makes people stare, especially when you pass the glass to your child.

And I've learned I have superpowers. Not x-ray vision or flying, but when you've been weighed down your whole life with something like asthma, having it lifted away does make me think I might be able to at least punch out a bad guy with a ski mask. Or kick. I think I'd do pretty well with kicking about now.

If you're a paperback type of person, Smoothie Power! will be ready for you the last week of September. Both Kindle and paperback offer over 100 smoothie recipes, a selection of raw soups and salad dressings, witty banter, how-to info, and other good things.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go change my clothes in a telephone booth before my morning run.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Question of the Day: Is Henna Safe for My Hair?

Henna - every 19th century actress's friend.
Just ask Renoir.
Is henna safe for my hair? I've been asked this question many times, and I think it's a good thing to ask before you glop what looks like green slimy mud onto your hair. What is it, how does it work, will my beautician kill me when she sees what I've done? Will I throw myself from the nearest tall tree? All legitimate questions.

First off, let me tell you that I've hennaed my own hair for several years, and it never once fell out. I didn't have to go to the hairstylist and have my head shaved. And it didn't ever come out green, as the color of wet henna would have one think. What does happen is that my hair is stronger, it's shinier, and it's dandruff-free because that's what henna does. And yes, it's red.

I think where hairdressers get their concern is from having seen the results of a cheap box of stuff that says "henna" that isn't just henna, but a cocktail of strange and mysterious ingredients. When you purchase powdered organic henna (not a premade mix) and blend it and apply it properly, it is much safer than anything on the average hair salon shelf. In fact, if you screw something up like missing a big patch on the top of your head, you can apply more immediately without fear of damaging your hair.

And it smells like autumn leaves. No commercial hair dye smells like autumn leaves.

Yes, trying henna for the first time can be a bit nervewracking. After all, it's your hair and henna is permanent. So I suggest taking a sample of your hair from an inconspicuous spot (don't cut your bangs, for instance) and doing a test run to see how you like it. Remember, too, that henna oxidizes for the following two or three days, so white hair that starts out looking brassy will calm down a bit.

If you're not into going red, you can add other herbs to alter the results. I discuss that, along with step-by-step instructions for coloring your hair with henna in my book "Hair Gone Wild! Recipes & Remedies for Natural Tresses" which is available in paperback or as a Kindle ebook.

I've used henna more times than I can count, and I love the results. I often joke I'll be a 90-year-old woman with bright red hair. I bet even then I'll be telling people that with a little know-how, henna is safe for my old-lady hair, and for your gorgeous locks, too.


Saturday, September 1, 2012


I keep having dreams that I'm running.

Not the usual dreams where someone is chasing me and my feet have become one with the cement. But the kind that mean freedom. Last night in my dream, it was raining and I was running in my new shoes. And laughing.

You see, last night, I bought running shoes. Not last night in my dream, but last night in an athletic store. The very place I usually shun and gripe about having to enter because there's nowhere proper to read my Kindle while my husband and son drool over soccer balls and cross trainers.

I've been wanting to go running for awhile now, ever since my lungs opened up and the asthma went to be wherever asthma goes when you radically change your diet. If you have known me since childhood, you'll know that running is only something I do while trying to outpace a wasp. I was the kid who would do anything to avoid gym class, would break out in hives every Wednesday just moments before P.E. I was the kid who always got hit in the head with the volley ball.

But now I want to go running. And standing in line at the checkout last night, I felt like I was holding more than a new pair of shoes. I was holding a milestone.

I'm not going to do this to prove something to myself. I'm not going to do it to prove something to others, or to complete an experiment for a book. I'm going to do it because I want to. I really want to.