Skip to content

Crown and Glory

October 11, 2016

Why do we put so much energy and focus into our hair? Men and women alike, in my opinion, spend just as much time, money and effort cultivating their hair. In a study conducted by New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, it showed “that women often pay more for products, almost throughout their lifetime [than men, which includes the latest solutions designed to maintain our different hair types.]” The interesting results is that after comparing over 800 similar products for men and women (including hair products), the items are totally the same except for the gender specific packaging. In other words, the only reason why women potentially pay more to maintain their hair is because, as the study revealed, products sold for females are seven percent higher than the versions that are sold for males ( So now that it has been clarified that in general, gender does not dictate how much we spend on our hair, let’s talk more about hair types.

When considering natural hair from a high-level perspective, there are four basic hair categories: type 1, type 2, type 3, and type 4. These four textures can be drilled down further, uncovering a more unique breakdown of our crown and glory. provided a comprehensive outline of the various classifications, and I have summarized some of the various attributes identified in the article regarding the differentiating factors of each hair texture.

Type 1: Straight Hair – It is said that straight hair is the most resilient hair of all hair types and it holds sheen, making it hard to damage. On the flip side, it is also next to impossible to curl, and it is the most oily hair texture of all.

Type 2: Wavy Hair – Wavy patterns are somewhere between straight and curly hair. According to the article, it departs sheen, more than curly hair, but less than straight hair. This hair type is also more prone to frizz (

Type 3: Curly Hair – This hair texture, when a strand is pulled, it will produce a definite S shape. However, the S could be a lower case s or an upper case S. The pattern may also sometimes resemble a Z.

Type 4: Kinky Hair – The article explains that despite many misconceptions, “this tightly coiled hair is quite fine and fragile.” The pattern usually represents a zig zag pattern and it is the driest hair type, which makes it more prone to breakage. There is also a misconception that this hair type does not grow. Kinky hair grows at the same rate as other textures, but if it is not treated properly it can break easier than other hair types. Because I am a proud member of the Kinky Hair alliance, I can also share some personal insight regarding this texture type. In my experience, kinky hair grows best while in its natural state—free from chemicals associated with relaxers and hair color.

I have also found that this type of hair transitions to locks organically. While in the lock form, kinky hair will grow rapidly and extremely long without damage or breakage. With that said, it is my argument that kinky hair is just as resilient as straight hair when this hair type is allowed to organically grow into its natural form. This also holds true when the ends of kinky hair is trimmed or dusted about twice a year; when it is protected at night when sleeping with a satin scarf or bonnet; and when it is moisturized daily to prevent it from breaking off from the weather, clothing and styling (

It has been exciting to learn the differences between each texture and to discover some similarities. When getting feedback from others, I find it funny that people seem to want the hair type that they don’t have. If his hair is straight, he wants curls. If her hair is kinky, she wants it straight. What I have learned over the years is that hair is important to must people, hence the reason why there are so many hair products on the market. So this is my petition, whatever hair type you possess, this is your crown—hold your head up high and wear it well!

If you are interested in identifying your specific hair type, you can view hair typing on various websites. I have listed a few for you to choose:,, and

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.



Sunlight: A Lot More Than Just Vitamin D

October 10, 2016
You know that we need vitamin D and that we get it only from sunshine. (Well, a tiny bit is artificially added to milk and cod liver oil has some in it.) And you know that, in Wisconsin, we stop making vitamin D about October 1, not because it’s cold and cloudy but because the angle of the sun is now so low that almost all UVB is filtered out by the atmosphere. And you know that you need to have a blood level of at least 32 nanograms and optimally in the range of 45-55, which most folks can achieve with 20,000 iu a week. Ok, so far, so good.

But we feel different in winter, and the human body makes a whole host of other chemicals and hormones in response to sunlight. If you feel that your mood changes in the winter, read on. Here is the explanation:

First of all, as reported in Science News, elegant research in the journal, Cell, shows that mice exposed to UVB radiation increase the amount of β-endorphin in their blood. It goes away in about a week. β-endorphin isn’t there for your pleasure seeking feelings, it’s present throughout your body and plays a role in many processes, including part of your immune balancing system. When the mice were given a blocking drug to morphine called naloxone, they actually showed some signs of withdrawal, as though they were habituated or addicted to the sunlight. Don’t you feel good when you get good bright sunlight?

Serotonin is one of your happy hormones. Bit by bit we are assembling evidence that sunlight makes for more serotonin. Whether it’s through vitamin D production leading to more serotonin or other complex processes, we aren’t sure, but sunlight does cheer you up. Oxytocin is your bonding hormone. Without it, mother mice reject their babies. With it, we bond and feel great attachment to our mates and our offspring. Again, sunlight appears to increase oxytocin release.

Finally, there is dopamine. It is part of our portfolio of happy hormones. It appears that you might need at least 30 minutes to increase dopamine receptors and thereby increase sensitivity to dopamine, but sunlight does it.

So what’s a person to do in Wisconsin to keep our mood up when the sun goes down? Well, first and foremost, think about the portfolio of hormones that are affected by sunlight and consider other means by which you can increase them. A good night’s sleep, good exercise, entertaining positive thinking, keeping up on supplementation of vitamin D, enjoying the pleasure of good friends, participating in strong community and loving family all seems to make good sense—and good hormones.

WWW—What will work for me? I take 20,000 IU of D a week and 50,000 IU when I get a cold. I try to keep exercising regularly so that I get sweaty enough to take a shower. I haven’t had many vegetable oils, but I’ve had lots of vegetables. But I’m really thinking about is a nice trip to someplace sunny. Wouldn’t that be nice? Visualize that five-mile long beach and how good you feel when you are walking on it.

John E. Whitcomb, M.D. is founder and medical director of Brookfield Longevity & Healthy Living Clinic. He is a Yale University School of Medicine graduate and is board certified in holistic and integrative medicine from Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

Healthy Transition

October 6, 2016

For the most part, you could really say I am somewhat of a vegetarian. I don’t eat pork or red meat. I really eat more fish than I do chicken, so I think the transition for me would not be complicated at all. My father gave up eating all meat about two months ago. He was not really planning on converting to a vegetarian diet; he said it just sort of made sense after a while, along with avid research on the reasons to convert. My dad was 220 pounds (he is 6’1″) 60 days ago, and now he is 200 pounds.  This he achieved by eating a strict vegetarian diet and with little to no exercise involved.

According to ASK DR SEARS:  a strict vegetarian diet, a vegan, avoids all foods of animal origin, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs. Weight loss was not my dad’s goal, he was fine with his weight at his height, but because he has sleep apnea, his doctor said that if he lost a few pounds this would aid in better sleep habits. I would say my dad more than achieved his goal, because his sleep apnea has improved and he has a new slender frame to boot. Not bad for two months of strict, clean eating.

My dad went on to tell me about how the body becomes more alkalized, and supreme alkalinity is like nothing short of mental and physical nirvana. The body and mind become one, operating at  full peak capacity, the way that God intended us to all function in the first place. We went to the health food store and he introduced me to healthy snacks made from organic spelt, which are extremely tasty, quite to my surprise. I also bought spelt/sprouted bread which I have been eating for the last four days and let me tell you, I have no belly bloat like I would get from eating other types of bread. This is because spelt is a grain that dates back 9,000 years, according to The Spelt Bakers website ( 

Unlike wheat, the vital substances of spelt are found in the inner kernel of the grain.  This nutty flavored grain is also referenced in the bible under Ezekiel 4:9—check it out for yourself. Spelt is also high in water solubility and here are a few health benefits:  aids relaxation, memory improvement,  better digestive function, lowers cholesterol, as well as stress and depression reduction.  Spelt bread taste wonderful too, and I feel fuller longer well into the afternoon when I eat it for breakfast.  Vegetarians that like dairy products are called Lacto-vegetarians and include eggs.  Pesco-vegetarians eat fish, dairy products, and eggs, along with plant food. I have not had any meat in the past five days and I am feeling pretty good. I really don’t miss chicken and turkey products as much as I thought I would, so I think my transition to becoming a vegetarian is in full swing. From my research, I am certain I will  transition with ease into a Pesco-vegetarian. I am really quite excited about the new lifestyle change!

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for the Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Soup Weather Is Here

September 27, 2016

After a long, steamy summer, the past couple of autumn-like days have forced me to shut the windows, close out the chill from the house, and make a pot of one of my favorite soups for this time of year—minestrone.

Why minestrone? It’s quick, healthy, versatile, and you can use the best of the end-of-summer harvest veggies available at our fine farmers’ markets. It’s also economical, and leftovers freeze well. As a vegetarian, I make mine with homemade vegetable stock that’s far lower in sodium than most store-bought stock or broth. Some readers might remember one of my previous blogs about how to make your own stock ( Meat lovers can use chicken or beef stock or bone broth, and also add cooked diced chicken or mini-meatballs, which will make it an Italian wedding-style soup.

As for the health factor, the assortment of beans in minestrone makes this soup high in fiber and protein, and the immune boosting alliums like garlic and onion help prepare the body for the upcoming cold and flu season. The tomatoes and kale, spinach, or Swiss chard ups the intake of antioxidants and is a tasty way to use the last of our fresh veggies of the season.

Here’s my recipe for a vegan version of minestrone. Have fun, experiment with the seasonings and ingredients to your taste, and Happy Autumn!

Vegan Minestrone Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 quarts homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable stock

4 whole bay leaves

¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil

2 tsp oregano

½ tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 15 oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz. can three bean mix (kidney, pinto and garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed

2 tomatoes, diced with seeds and pulp removed

2 cups chopped spinach, kale, or Swiss chard

Warm olive oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté diced onion in the olive oil for about 2 minutes; add garlic and sauté for another minute. Pour in vegetable stock and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add bay leaves, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add beans and tomatoes and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir in spinach, kale or Swiss chard and simmer until greens are slightly wilted. Serve with warm crusty bread or gluten-free sesame crackers or whole grain crisps.

Sheila Julson is a  freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.





Kiss and Tell

September 19, 2016
Hand drawn cosmetics seamless pattern. Colorful make up artist objects: lipstick and lip gloss. Vector beauty background

You have been invited to a rouge reveal. So, are you Team Matte or Team Glossy? Choosing a lip color can seem like a huge decision with the array of color choices that are available. Therefore, before you post your ballot, let me first provide a better understanding of the differences between the two.

According to E! News, Marc Jacobs is staying true to gloss this fall, and gloss is definitely an old staple for keeping lips moist with a maintained shine that can last for hours. Another argument made by E! News regarding “the gloss” is that you really can’t mess it up. “Applying lip gloss is simple. Just swipe on. Done!” Also, if you want a non-surgical way to plump your lips and look youthful, then gloss is a great alternative, and don’t forget that it virtually goes with everything. Glossy lips don’t just consist of neutral colors. There are the ridiculous reds, the perky pinks, and don’t forget this season’s boss blues.

As much as I like a glossy lip, I am also a true fan of a bold matte pucker. Matte reminds me of Hollywood beauty, and how fun is it to transition into a glamour girl with a daring matte color? Matte is not just an allure option—according to E! News, matte lip colors “support and complement rather than overwhelm. Team player! At the same time, matte lips can be a statement on its own.”

The matte color wheel is comparable to that of its glossy counterparts. You just need to pick your color poison. Matte lipsticks offer many benefits. Matte lipsticks are basically smudge-free and can last you the entire day without refreshing. Matte lips also gives elegance to your face and makes you look graceful (

So it really doesn’t matter if your mood is brassy or bashful, just have fun. Try out different glossy looks and see if you like how they make your lips look and feel. Definitely don’t forget to take advantage of the many matte hues. These lipsticks, although bold, can give you a natural look and they can also bring impact when you don’t want a full face.

The one main point that I believe holds true for all who have weighed in on the rouge reveal is that you don’t have to actually choose one look VS the other. If you feel glossy —then glossy it is; but if you are feeling a little matty—don’t be afraid to make a statement. Kiss and tell!

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Golden Youth

September 15, 2016

On my commute to work in the morning, I gaze at the high school students standing on the bus stop and it takes me back to my youth. Those times are precious for they will never come again.  It is 1985 and while I was still taking public transit, I can’t help but still marvel at the fact that one my close friends at that time had her own car.  It was a blue sporty two door (the make escapes me), with a white rag beam top.  It was a later model car, like ’72 or ’73.  It even had 100 wire chrome spokes! Another one of my close friends, (so that made the three of us) would pile in and cruise anywhere the Milwaukee streets would take us.  We even went so far as to put old pink bathroom carpet remnants in the car to girly it up!  And let’s not forget a pink stuffed bear that sat in the back window larger than life itself.

Our favorite jaunt was to the lakefront of Milwaukee. Any warm day we had after school or the weekends, that’s where you could find us along with every other teenager in Milwaukee. We were the “in crowd” you see. It was innocent, harmless fun and all we really did was congregate in the North Point parking lot, park and car hop as a means of socialization with the rest of the popular clique. Wow! Talk about a great time to be had by all!!!  It seemed that every time we were on our way home from the lakefront fun, my friend’s little blue car would either run out of gas or a flat tire would happen. Without fail, it happened every time on the same street…Martin Luther King Drive. We would just sit in the car and roll with laughter as we had no clue why this street had become symbolic for her cars mishaps. Somehow—though I don’t remember how—we always made it home safely.

There were no smart phones in 1985, just the phone booth inside of the bar on MLK Drive that we all walked into to call a tow or a parent. My friend with the car would get mad at the two of us, because we would be laughing at the situation but not at her, she just thought that for whatever reason. She would tell us angrily as she dropped us back off at home: “I AM NEVER PICKING YOU TWO UP AGAIN!”  Then the next day she would be picking us both up as if nothing ever happened, because the temperature had hit 88 degrees and that was lakefront weather that despite her anger, she could not pass it up. There was no way she could stay mad, and no way we could resist getting in that car . . . and we would do it all over, again and again and again.  Those were the golden days of my youth.

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for the Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

Salt of the Earth

August 10, 2016

Yes, I prefer the pink stuff. I actually converted about two years ago, and I am hooked. For as far back as I can remember, I have had a love-hate relationship with salt. I love how it flavors my food, but I despise how it makes me retain fluid.

Water retention has been my issue for most of my adult life, until a friend of mine enlighten me several years back that my consistent bloating was probably due to my idolized salt intake. So to test her theory, I refrained from adding any idolized salt to my foods for about one week. The results were amazing. I must have lost about five pounds. This outcome inspired me to make a conscious lifestyle change with my eating habits as it pertained to idolized salt.

I immediately replaced my idolized salt with a salt substitute—Mrs. Dash and the No Salt brand (potassium.) I continued this path for many years up until about two years ago when I accidentally discovered the pink stuff—Himalayan salt. I call it the “pink stuff” because this unprocessed crystal has a light pink hue.

According to Wikipedia, “Himalayan salt is rock salt or halite from a mine in the Punjab region of Pakistan.” My first experience with Himalayan salt was miraculous. When applying it to my food, smaller servings were needed in comparison to idolized salt and the flavor of Himalayan salt amplified my meals. But the true magic of this “white gold,” which it is called in the Himalayas are its health benefits.

In an article written by Doctor of Chiropractic Edward Group, The Benefits of Himalayan Salt (,) he explains that “Himalayan salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body. This form of salt has been . . . maturing over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure, creating an environment of zero exposure to toxins and impurities.” The article went on to say that Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy…and its minerals are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb.”

I also learned through my research on that some of the potential health benefits of using natural Himalayan Crystal Salt could include:

  • Controlling the water levels within the body, regulating them for proper functioning (I can attest to this benefit)
  • Promoting stable pH balance in the cells, including the brain.
  • Encouraging excellent blood sugar health.
  • Aiding in reducing the common signs of aging.
  • Promoting cellular hydroelectric energy creation.
  • Promoting the increase absorption capacities of food elements within the intestinal tract
  • Aiding vascular health
  • Supporting healthy respiratory function
  • Lowering incidence of sinus problems, and promoting over-all sinus health.
  • Reducing cramps
  • Increasing bone strength
  • Naturally promoting healthy sleep patterns
  • Creating a healthy libido
  • Circulator support
  • Promotes kidney and gall bladder health when compared to common chemically-treated salt

So you might be thinking, how does this differ from table salt? I learned that regular table salt has been treated with chemicals and sugar is even added to this commonly used spice. Although salt is necessary for our bodies, if consumed in the chemical form of table salt, it can be dangerous. Ordinary table salt does not possess any nutritional value, as it is processed and the body deciphers it as toxic (

Referencing back to my experience with Himalayan salt, I no longer suffer from chronic water retention (just as long as I don’t eat three slices of pizza.) I also believe that it has regulated my pH, because I endured an unbalanced pH for many years; and I have noticed that the symptoms that at one time were a daily annoyance, are far and few between.

Now you may be wondering, ‘where I can get this miracle rock and how much does it cost?’ My first purchase was from a local chain store where I bought a 26-ounce bag, on sale for about $6. I had a hard time finding that amount for that price on a consistent basis, so I currently order my Himalayan salt on-line. I normally purchase three bags at one time for about $25, which lasted my extended family of six for over one year. This is also after I shared some of the salt with other family, as I truly want others to become familiar with this life changing seasoning.

I am convinced that Himalayan salt is the real deal. I encourage you to continue your edifying path pertaining to the use of Himalayan salt, and to definitely try it for yourself. I then look forward to your testimony of how this salt-of-the-earth bestowed a gift in your life.

Zelda Corona is a business and life coach under her company Victory Vision Business Ventures, LLC. She co-authored the books No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged and Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Successful Secrets for Mompreneurs. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.