So, as always, I find myself away from my blog longer than I anticipated and what happened? Well, life happened — but this time the WORLD has changed.  Oh, yes, I’m referring to the Coronavirus or what scientists have labeled as COVID-19.   Before, I go any further, I must thank all the essential workers, first responders and our frontline healthcare providers for all their dedication and hard work.  They are truly the heros!  

At this point we are all probably use to multiple hours of TV/internet, homeschooling the little ones, outside lines at grocery store chains and eating at home and/or eating everything in sight.  This is pretty much what I call “The Social Distancing Dance.” 

As for today’s blog post, I’m simply elated to share the new music that has been popping up and around social media, streaming sites and TV.  I also would like to let you know that SoundCloud Sundays is returning, but the name is changing to SoundCloud Spotlight.  This again, is my way of sharing my favorite music to viewers but on any given day of the week. That said, head down to the links below and check out “Bittersweet” by Lianne La Havas, “Make the Most” by Lonr. (Feat. H.E.R.) and “Wrong Place” by H.E.R.  If you love these tracks as much as I do, please be sure to leave me a comment.


This he following article,  “6 Serious and Surprising Beauty Impacts of Sleep Deprivation,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

Photo by Pexels

Do you have challenges falling or staying asleep more than a few times a week? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Nearly one quarter —  or 70 million —  Americans deal with chronic sleep issues, says the National Institutes of Health. Not getting enough sleep can have serious —  and surprising —  consequences for how you look and feel. Are you tired of feeling tired? Here are six ways lack of sleep may be affecting you and a few tips on how to catch more zzs.

Brittle Hair and Dry Skin

Sleep is a time when our body’s cells repair and regenerate, so if you can’t fall asleep, your body doesn’t have time to work on its regular maintenance routines, like hair and skin rejuvenation.

Good Sleep Tip: Want glowing hair and brighter skin? Try out a bedtime ritual to help care for your body and relax your mind. Take a warm bath, moisturize and listen to soothing music. Make the habit stick by starting your routine the same time every night.

Poor Mood and Brain Function

When your mind is tired it can’t function at top capacity. This means your processing can be slower, memory less reliable, problem-solving skills less organized and mood unstable. How does brain function impact beauty? It impacts your self-esteem. How you feel about the way you look happens in the mind —  and a well-rested mind stands a better chance of feeling good about how you look.

Good Sleep Tip: Try painting your bedroom walls in soothing, neutral colors to help create a serene space for sleeping. Avoid bright colors and shoot for light blues, soft greens and neutral earth tones.

Weight Gain

Lack of sleep impacts the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. So if you are losing out on sleep, the weight can start to add up.

Good Sleep Tip: Maintain a regular exercise routine —  the CDC recommends 150 hours of moderate activity a week along with two days of strength training. When you exercise regularly, your body needs more rest to repair and rebuild. However, try not to exercise too hard too close to bedtime.

Off-Balance

Lack of sleep can dampen your balance and physical reaction timing. This can be especially challenging for people who enjoy wearing high heels, trendy boots and enjoy running or working out. When your balance is off and your reaction time slow, the chances for injury and illness from accidents go through the roof.

Good sleep tip: Reduce the amount of blue light you get in the evening. This is the light emitted from our screens —  laptops, tablets and smartphones —  which we often have the bad habit of using in bed. Blue light is mentally and physically stimulating, so if it is part of your wind down routine, it’s actually probably doing the opposite.

High Blood Pressure

Chronic sleep issues are often linked to higher blood pressure, which if left unattended has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Hypertension, the medical name for high blood pressure, is often the result of high stress and anxiety, which can also negatively impact sleep. We know stress has a direct impact on physical appearance —  from wrinkles to dark circles under your eyes.

Good Sleep Tip: Meditate to help let go of intrusive thoughts, regrets that you cannot change and future worries you cannot control. There are many great apps you can explore to become more familiar with the various types of meditation, from Calm to Headspace to Insight Timer.

Weakened Immune System

When you sleep, your immune system powers up. Not only is it an optimal time to recover from an illness or injury you’re already battling, but your body is also working on ways to protect against ickiness you have yet to come up against. A weakened immune system can lead to skin breakouts, easier bruising and damaged teeth and gums.

Good Sleep Tip: Eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and caffeine. Not only will you sleep better, but a balanced diet will also add an extra boost to your immune health.

Sleep has a strong influence on how you look and feel. If you’re not getting good quality sleep, try changing your routine or exploring proactive ways to get better rest. If that still doesn’t work, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about next steps for getting good sleep.

Hey SoundCloud Sunday Lovers! Well, actually today’s feature is not from SoundCloud but you can hear it on plenty of other services. And, most of all, it comes from an awesome new artist who draws inspiration from the soulful demeanor of John Legend, genre-bending style of Pharrell Williams and cadence of Kanye West. “Date Nite” from the debut album, “ON Mii: The Pre-Quel,” is a wonderful offering from Wuan DCMO.

Laced with bouncy synths and silky vocals “Date Nite” expresses the excitement of new love found, when the moolah’s burning a hole in the pocket and you can not wait to spend it on the one you love.

And if you love “Date Nite,” and you WILL love “Date Nite,” just wait til you hear the other tracks on “On Mii: The Pre-Quel.” This album is a breath of fresh air and a timeless treasure. Trip-Hop, Reggae and R&B all blend seamlessly in this super chill exploration of the exhilaration of first love found, the wistful rumination of what went wrong and the hope that love can be gotten back.

My rhetoric won’t due this song justice so take a listen for yourself.

Check out the links below:

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/…/on-mii-the-pre-quel-s…/1450596261

Amazon Music. https://music.amazon.com/albums/B07N31JJ14…

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4F5XJtWn1Upg6pyjEl5qZW…


Just recently I had the privilege to visit the San Francisco Bay area for the first time in my life.  The majestic scenery was one of the many perks to my visit. Of course, my all-time favorite thing about visiting this city was checking out the vegan restaurants.  If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen that I called this sojourn my San Francisco Vegan Restaurant Hop.

Hella Vegan Eats

Wonder what my favorite spots were?  Well, here goes. Out of the eight spots I visited, the top five were:

 

  1. Hella Vegan Eats

Is it a classic car museum or a vegan hipster hangout?  Well, both actually!  This was an impromptu addition to the vegan hop located in the heart of downtown Oakland.  Upon entering, I was greeted by the most colorful and eclectic scene: an emo-styled kitchen crew and hostesses surrounded by classic cars, blaring 80’s tunes, followed by a rave-like DJ set.  I ordered the chicken quesadilla with side of garlic fries and a ginormous chocolate covered rice crispy treat with jelly filling and sprinkles.  The meal was not only as different at the wait staff but was very satisfyingly delicious.

  1. Souley Vegan

Souley Vegan

OK…so this spot is both solely vegan and soulfully vegan.  As the title indicates the next hop is the soul food version of plant-based eating.  Located in the trendy Jack London Square entertainment district on the Oakland waterfront, this cozy restaurant had all the staples of soul food.  I ordered the yams, mac n’ cheese and fried chicken plate.  The taste was so “dead on” I had to ask the waiter if the food was really vegan.  Not to mention that my husband’s portabella mushroom burger was absolutely awesome!  A jazzy blues band surprised us with some serious chops made the experience even more fun.

  1. VeganBurg

Want a vegan burger that’s Taylor Swift approved?  Well this is a complete burger joint located in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood that Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane made famous in the Summer of Love, but that features a big poster of “Swifty.”  The restaurant was clean, crisp and modern with savory seaweed fries and burgers made of seitan.  The vegan soft-serve ice cream with Oreo sprinkles was the topper!

VeganBurg

  1. The Butcher’s Son

What college town would be complete without a vegan deli?  This Berkeley restaurant did a great job with the décor, creating the illusion of a real deli, hence the name The Butcher’s Son.  I ordered the steak and cheese made of gluten but ate half of my husband’s Spicy Jackfruit sandwich (my favorite of the two entrees) which tasted like “MORE.”  The macaroni salad was delightful, as were the cupcakes and coffee cake desserts.  The portion sizes were large and extremely filling.

The Butcher’s Son

  1. Gracias Madre

Was Gracias Madre delicious? Si senora!   The San Francisco Mission District restaurant put a fun and absolutely delectable, gourmet spin on Mexican food.  Talk about yum.  I had the Enchiladas con Mole Dinner featuring two rolled tortillas with potato and zucchini topped with mole negro and crema, served with sautéed greens and beans.  This was a very upscale Mexican experience with all your favorite organic spirits.

 

Garcias Madre

Honorable Mentions | I also wanna give some love to the other cool vegan restaurants I visited: Vegan Picnic in downtown San Francisco, The Happy Hooligan in San Jose, The Plant Café Organic in downtown San Francisco, and True Food Kitchen in Palo Alto.

 June 13, 2017

I want to send my sincere thanks to everyone who commented and shared my first Facebook Live post, “Clothing with a Cause” and I’m pleased to report that all seven items sold!

It makes me so very happy and humbled to see everyone who didn’t hesitate to show their support for me. Can’t wait to do it again.

If you didn’t get an item but still want to support the cause you can make a donation through our Facebook Fan Page at Coffee, Curls & Cupcakes or click on the DONATE button below.

 June 12, 2017

Here is a recap of the items, sizes and prices. Again, I hope you find something you like. All funds generated from the sell of these items will go to Coffee, Curls & Cupcakes 501c(3). If you are interested in purchasing any of the 7 items displayed, simply send an inbox message to me, River Kia or the CCC Fan page and we will send you a PayPal link for payment.

Just want to support? You can support by donating through the Coffee, Curls & Cupcakes Fan Page by clicking the DONATE button.

Peace and blessings.

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Image may contain: people standing and text

 

June 12, 2017

Watch my very first Facebook Live post, “Clothing for a Cause”. All funds generated from these gently used items will go to Coffee, Curls & Cupcakes (CCC) Non-Profit. If you’re interested in any of the items simply send an inbox with the preferred item name as the subject to me, River Kia or the CCC Fan page and we will send you a PayPal link.

Just want to support? You can also support by simply donating through the Coffee, Curls & Cupcakes Fan page by clicking the donate button.

Thanks so much!

 

Greetings River-Kia subscribers! For the next few weeks I’ll be writing blog entries geared for my Academic & Business Writing course. This means many of the entries may not apply to what I generally talk about on this platform. In the meantime, I will try to keep these blog posts as interesting as I can while continuing to write about the topics relevant to this site such as “mind, body and spirit” and “Soundcloud Sundays.”

The purpose of today’s post is to explain what I typically do on this blog, share my thoughts about writing as well as what I think I need to improve on.
To answer all these questions I typically write about music, spirituality, natural hair practices, health and wellness. If you’ve read my previous blog posts it may seem that I’ve always been comfortable with writing. The truth is I used to cringe at the thought of having to writing anything! Now I can say that I enjoy the process of sharing my thoughts and perspective in a creative outlet such as blogging; especially on particular topics that inspire me and others. Although I find creative writing pleasurable now, I still get nervous just thinking about business writing and I would like to improve in my understanding of how to use this skill more effectively.

On a side note, for those of you who are new to my blog, please CLICK HERE for more information about the services I provide. In addition, I am currently offering a Free 10-Minute Consultation Session until June 5. Please feel free to CLICK HERE  to schedule an appointment for any of the sessions I offer, or you can chat live with me by clicking the live bubble on the front page.

Sending you all my love and light… Namaste.

Today’s topic came to me in a dream.  It was so vivid that I woke up running to my computer to type up this blog post.  That said, today’s topic centers around my self-awareness awakening through diet, mediation and exercise.  My intent is to help others awaken and offer a perspective.  First, a Disclaimer… I‘m not all saying that my perspective is the only and true way of thinking.  This is simply my experience.

In 1996, I remember moving out of my parent’s home into my very first apartment, and my basic concern was learning how to eat.  Ok, let me backtrack a bit.  When I turned 10, my mother underwent a lifestyle change.  After marrying my adopted father (who mainly ate fruits and veggies), she eschewed pork and beef, partaking in fish, chicken and turkey only for dinner meals.  While both my sister and I inherited this way of life, I seemed to take to embrace the change more easily.

There was sound reasoning behind this lifestyle change.  My father suffered from Sickle Cell Anemia and came to a realization that many African Americans were still learning at that time.  Managing this disease meant maintaining a good foundation of diet and exercise.  He found his balance.  So he would often prepare my school lunch consisting of veggie sandwiches with a fruit.  Many of the children would poke fun of me and make jokes by commenting that my family “must be so poor that we couldn’t afford meat.”  This couldn’t have been further from the truth, and I never let what they said bother me much.  Bottom line, I never missed a meal and was in good health.

I soon went a step further and began to research vegetarianism.  As my high school days approached, I was then able to combat the crude comments with the statement “my parents are vegetarians.”  This was not true, but nevertheless I knew that I would become a vegetarian.  So once I moved out of my parent’s house, became a full-fledged vegetarian and proudly let my family and friends know of my newfound lifestyle.  I did not know where this would lead me but two years later, in 1998, I began my natural hair journey and within the last three-and-a-half years I became vegan.  Veganism was to me the next step from being a complacent vegetarian that was spiraling down to becoming a carbo-tarian who occasionally ate fish and chicken.  So in 2013, I went raw vegan.   “River Goes Raw” Article Here.  In the past, I often exercised, but now, with the change in my eating combined with exercise, I’m seeing some of the most amazing results.  I’ve lost 75 pounds and counting, abated early onset diabetes and lowered my BMI.  On top of that, I meditate at least 15 minutes a day…  Meditation has provided me even more clarity and inspiration to my direction and purpose in life.   Moreover, I will be obtaining a Mindful Meditation Yoga certification to aid others in learning how to reduce their stress levels.

My journey simply began with wanting to be the best version of myself.  Embracing myself entirely, and changing what I can from the inside out.   Reflecting back, it now seems pretty funny that this all started with wanting to validate myself to some childhood classmates after being teased about what I ate.

Fast forward to today, as people become more and more sick in mind and body, I have noticed that many of my natural hair brothers and sisters are not really “natural.” They have natural hair goals but are still eating foods that are considered “dead,” deficient in essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs.  This is continuing the cycle of high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illness and various other diseases.  Many of my fellow naturals have their undergraduate or even master/doctoral degrees, but yet they still don’t understand their own bodies.  To me, the principle is simply you are what you eat and what you eat has a vibration.  What you consume will either produce a high vibration or low vibration.  See HERE for more information about vibrations.  I did not notice my vibrational change until I became vegan.  I am so proud to see how I have changed in mentality, in understanding that I am a conscious co-creator of my existence and most importantly in the desire to give the love I feel myself back to others.  Even on my worst day, I’ve learned to switch my energy to a higher vibration.

All this brings me back to the dream that inspired me to share this story and help people change their lives.  The world needs more love and true love starts by being in love with the way we treat our bodies first, then the love for animals and Mother Earth.   We live in desperate times, when evil is running rampant and only seems to be growing.  Evil will corrupt as many people as will allow it.  You cannot fight hatred and evil with more of the same energy; we must learn to rise above it by way of elevating our vibrations to love…unconditional love.  Through clean electric eating we can activate the body to move into love.  Remember that love starts with you first.  So I ask you to awaken…

Now, there are those who would argue that food is not the cause of some the above illnesses I mentioned and to that I say “to each his/her own.”  I’m not here to judge, just to provide a point of view and be of assistance to those who choose change.

In honor of the Gemini New Moon I am offering a Free 10-minute Consultation Session from May 25th to June 5th.  If you are interested in finding out more about my vegan journey or the services I offer, please don’t hesitate to book a session with me by CLICKING HERE.  For questions or concerns click the live chat bubble on the front page.  I look forward to connecting with you!

Namaste,

This weekend was absolutely non-stop and filled with awesome moments that I will never forget. I started by eating at one of my favorite restaurants Lulu’s Local Eatery, one of St. Louis’ premier vegan restaurant. My husband and I enjoyed this place at least one a week and it never fails to deliver on totally delectable food.

Afterwards we headed to a Juice Plus conference where we had to privilege to meet one of the South Bronx true heroes, Mr. Stephen Ritz. He spoke about his many successes in teaching under-privileged, nutrition-deprived junior high and high school students how gardens create commerce and provide career opportunities. Students changed their eating patterns to add more plant-based food to their diets and fed their minds to achieve academic performance, while changing the landscape of the Bronx. The Green Bronx Machine even used the harvest from their gardens in lunch menus, as well as afforded children the opportunity to take home food. The whole community got involved from grandparents to corporate sponsors to even the Disney Channel. Mr. Ritz’s story is remarkable to say the least.

Ritz’s high energy and charismatic presentation was highlighted with the term C.A.N. (Changing Attitudes Now). This resonated with me on so many levels. All in all, I truly loved the experience. I was introduced to the Tower Garden, a remarkable way to grow our own greens vertically without taking up a lot of space. More information can be found on juiceplus.com

In addition to all the “veggie love,” I was excited to find out that a health conscious supporter (thanks, mom) purchased some of the botanical based, vegan make-up from my Arbonne site. Then I got the opportunity to party at an auspicious Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club fund-raising event that my husband plans, the Clifton Davis Say Amen Gala. On the one year anniversary of Mike Brown incident and Ferguson unrest, it was inspiring to see funds awarded to renovate a park in North County, youth/volunteers recognized for entrepreneurship, advocacy, literacy and more. To say I am grateful for and inspired by the whole day would be an understatement.

Which brings me to the desire to give back to all my SoundCloud Soldiers a musical pick to start off the week. My SoundCloud Sunday pick is “Falling” by SiR. It features supreme raspy vocals backed by hi-hat and steady bass line that enhance this grove.

Grove with me by checking out

Guess what!? I’ve celebrated my two year vegan-versary and I feel GREAT!   In fact, at this point in my journey I don’t feel like I crave or miss any of the old food I used to eat.  AND…It’s been a whole lot of fun!  Especially checking out new vegan stomping grounds here in my hometown and Yelping up some great spots on many of my road trips, in particular my trips to Chicago and Milwaukee. (It really does work, BTW.  If you haven’t done it before, try Yelping out on your next vacation).   At home, I’ve been juicing and blending away, eating mainly raw vegan during the day and cooked vegan in the evening.  Goals? I have an eye toward 100% raw vegan.  Finding and exploring more vegan recipes to make in the comfort of my own home.  Continuing to purify my body by stepping up my fitness.  I hope to report progress on these goals by the three-year vegan-versary if not sooner.  What goals are you currently working on?

 

In addition to all of that, I’ve decided to step up my game to only using plant-based make-up, facial cleanser, toothpastes and many other daily products.  I’m sure the advantages of this will be even more profound as I continue to grow in love and light for the universe and my fellow man and animal.  In planning to make these changes to my life I was pleasantly surprised by the exciting opportunities to join a new company called Arbonne.  So if you’re like me, you probably thinking what is Arbonne?  Right… I didn’t know about this company either until about a week ago.  However, Arbonne is a 35-year-old company whose mission is to providing botanically based personal care and wellness products by focusing on delivering the safest most beneficial formulas and upholding the strictest policy for their products.  They are committed to vegan, gluten free and cruelty free standards, while providing quality to their line of cosmetic, nutrition, skin care, bath and body products.  I was so happy to hear this that I signed up to be a Independent Consultant.  So now  If you think this rocks, check out  www.RiverFronczak.arbonne.com.

For those interested in smelling good, I’ve teamed up with a company called Eve’s Nectar Fragrance by Jackee, who specializes  an alcohol free body oils.  I’ll be featuring my favorite scents to my blog in the near future.  But I digress…

Here’s a Wednesday edition of SoundCloud Sundays.   I’m featuring the song…”Special Affair” by The Internet Music.  Driven by the craziest but dopiest bass lick and lush vocal, this jam is like (kale) chips, you can’t listen to it just once.  You just want more and more. Exotic to the core, beware to the listener as it may lead to relative activities.

For all of you who enjoy a good hip-strumental with a dash of dub, here’s Sam Gallaitry’s Crunk Remix of “Waiting So Long.” Organ synth, and the all ingredients that make and good dub step, crunk mix was featured in this masterful mix. Enjoy.

Until next time…

 

 

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