What is Capoeira?

capoeira historia

Capoeira: is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps.

My Capoeira Journey:

troy and i

My journey into the world of Capoeira began in August of 2011, when I was invited by a friend to a workshop. The culture and history of the martial art instantly grabbed my attention, not to mention the dance aspect of it was directly in sync with one of my number one passions….DANCE! Once I found the time in my schedule to attend regular classes for training in December of 2011, I was instantly hooked!

My Capoeira Journey is on-going and never-ending, to me it’s only just begun! For the love of the game! Dance-Fight-Play! Muito Axe!

capoeira elefante
I also have one of the best Capoeira instructors on the planet! Professor (soon to be Contre Mestre) Bocao! He truly cares about the success of his students and has a passion for the art of Capoeira!
Bocao and I

The Capoeirista….

“A good capoeirista of course likes everything of capoeira: the beats, the berimbau, the game; everything else is secondary. Today a lot of capoeiristas are very arrogant, vain and these are negative aspects. A good capoeirista is humble, polite and he/she knows that all the other capoeiristas are brothers/sisters and human beings.”

– Mestre Suassuna

It’s hard to imagine I am one year “young”  in Capoeira. Last spring I participated in my very first Batizado and Troco de Cordes ceremony. This a special and very pivotal  event in the life of a dedicated Capoeirista. It symbolizes milestones in your journey and your growth and understanding of the art. This year we are preparing for our 3rd annual event. I am super excited about the dance performances especially, as I will for the first time be participating in the Maculele dance performance. I will post more about this dance in a latter post. All in all I love being a Capoeirista. I love the history and culture of this beautiful art. However challenging, its fun to learn.

Capoeira : The art of fighting with a smile!

batizado 2012

~ Eu Sou Capoeira ~ Amo Minha Capoeira ~


batizado sorriso

“The flame of this beautiful art is now in your hands. You can dampen it, you can burn yourself or your brothers and sisters, or, afraid of its heat, you can let go of it. I hope that you take good care of your Capoeira and kindle this fire alive and powerful, enlightening your life.”

– Mestre Accordeon

Why I Love Clementines
clementine is a variety of mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata), so named in 1902.The exterior is a deep orange color with a smooth, glossy appearance. They tend to be very easy to peel, like a tangerines, but are almost always seedless. A citrus fruit native to North Africa, clementines were brought to Florida and California in the early 1900s (Wikipedia).

These “cute” little relatives to the tangerine are a great healthy snack for both kids and adults to enjoy throughout the day. Clementine mandarins are typically in season from November through January, and are fondly referred to as the “Christmas Orange” There close relative the W. Murcott mandarin is typically in season from February through April (California CUTIES). Either variety of mandarin orange is a tiny, sweet, juicy bite of heavenly wellness!
cuties fun
Why You Should Love Clementines
1) Vitamin C : according to the United States Department of Agriculture, consuming two clementines fulfills the daily recommendation for vitamin C. Vitamin C supports the immune system and assists the body in forming collagen in the muscles, bones and cartilage, as well as  they also contain ascorbic acid and beta carotene, which promote healthy vision and minimize age-related vision loss.
2) Easy to Peel : If you are anything like me, the idea of eating an orange or a citrus fruit that required peeling just seemed too messy to deal with and time consuming. But clementines are small and seedless with thin, easy to peel skin making them a great on the go snack. A great sweet healthy alternative to snack foods such as chips, cookies, snack bars, etc. Making them also a great snack for children!
3) Stress Reduction: Just the site of these cute little guys will make you smile, but there is more to them than meets the eye that can enhance your mood. The scent of a sweet clementine has been found to cause the brain to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that effects the mood. It helps regulate blood pressure, sleep, and body temperature as well as help to alleviate stress, anxiety, and boost your mood.
love em
4) Always in Season:  Clementines are grown domestically in Florida and California, with a growing season which extends from November until May. Clementines are readily available throughout the year due to supermarkets importing them from other countries. Spain: November until February. South Africa: June until August, and Chile : August until October! You can never miss a day without these sweet cute little guys!
cuties box
5) Citric Acid: Clementines contain citric acid,  antibacterial agent. Clementine juice can be used topically to eliminate the bacteria that causes pimples. And we know from the Vitamin C content that they are great for stimulating collagen production in the skin; thus, minimizing fine lines and improving skin’s texture. Happy skin, happy immune system! Clementines are a win-win fruit! 
There are so many more nutritional benefits to consuming clementines! They are an excellent source of potassium and fiber which is good for digestive health. They contain a host of antioxidants to protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. They also help with weight management, just one of these cute little guys contains only about 35 to 40 calories and are sweet and filling enough to satisfy hunger without adding excess calories that are difficult for your body to metabolize and burn, essentially they are what I like to call “clean fuel”!
peel the love
Enjoy a clementine plain or peel one and add it to a fresh fruit salad. Chop fresh clementines into bite-sized pieces and stir them into a bowl of oatmeal or a carton of low-fat plain yogurt, however you choose to consume them, just be sure to “peel the love” !

Nutritional Cleansing with the Arbonne 7-Day Body Cleanse

Have you reached a plateau in your weight loss efforts? Are you planning to start a new nutrition regimen or weight management program? Nutritional cleansing is the key to help jump start your efforts. It is recommended that you detox the body for at least seven days, every 30 days to help remove excess waist products that build up in our bodies over time making it harder to lose weight and feel healthy.

The benefits of nutritional include:

  • aids in the gentle cleansing of the body systems
  • aids in the gentle elimination of toxins
  • prepares the body for a weight management regimen
  • supports internal antioxidant activity
  • supports liver health
  • supports GI (gastrointestinal) health
  • helps promote a sense of well-being

The Arbonne 7-Day Body Cleanse

This whole body nutritional cleanse is composed of natural herbal extracts and antioxidants for the promotion of natural elimination and immunity:

Full Body Cleansing Blend

  • Senna leaf extract
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Superfood Antioxidant Blend

  • Grape juice powder
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  • Kiwi fruit juice powder
  • Cranberry juice powder
  • Raspberry juice powder


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A great little superfood that’s all the rave these days is quinoa (keen-wah). Its a naturally gluten free, high fiber, high protein whole grain, you can’t get any more SUPER than that when it comes to nutrition!


Other beneficial components to this super “grain” are that it is high in essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, phosphorous, B vitamins, and vitamin E. Unlike other grains, aside from being a high quality protein source, quinoa is low in carbohydrates and high in unsaturated (healthy) fats.

Quinoa is an ancient food staple of the Incas, and was fondly referred to as “The Mother Grain.” Its an  ivory-colored, tiny, bead-shaped grain, that’s actually a seed. Its flavor is delicate, almost bland, and has been compared to couscous or rice and can be used in any dish suitable for rice.

Cooked quinoa seeds are fluffy and creamy, yet slightly crunchy and have a delicate, somewhat nutty flavor. Quinoa is actually the seed of a plant that is closely related to beets, chard and spinach. These seeds are not only very rich in amino acid and nutritious, but also very delicious.

The best parts about this seed-grain is that the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is the amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, it also includes the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, which make this “grain” especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Quinoa is not only healthy, but “colorful.” The most popular type of quinoa is a transparent yellow color, and it also comes in other varieties such as orange, pink, red, purple or black. Unfortunately is is often difficult to find quinoa in the marketplace, but the leaves of the quinoa plant are also edible and equally as nutritious, with a taste similar to its green-leafed relatives, spinach, chard and beets.

Foods you can prepare with quinoa include combining cooked chilled quinoa with pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, scallions and coriander, season to taste and enjoy a south-of-the-border inspired salad. You can also add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as a breakfast cereal. Use noodles made from quinoa to put a spin on your favorite pasta dishes. Other uses of quinoa include using the sprouts in salads and sandwiches like alfalfa sprouts. Quinoa can be added to your favorite vegetable soups and ground quinoa flour can be added to cookie or muffin recipes. Quinoa is also great to use in tabouli ( a traditional Middle Eastern dish), as a delicious (and wheat-free) substitute for the bulgar wheat with which this dish is usually made.

Lastly, an easy way to quickly begin adding quinoa to your daily diet is with the new Arbonne Essentials Nutrition Bars. These great new nutrition bars are made with non-other than our super “grain” quinoa. Made with nutrient-rich quinoa and 9 grams of pea and rice protein, more digestible than soy or whey, the bar satisfies hunger faster and supports metabolism to help you acheive your weight loss and weight management goals. To order these bars and other awesome Arbonne Essentials nutrition products Shop The Wellness Store !




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almond got milk

By a show of “virtual” hands, how many of you are still drinking some form of dairy milk? Whether it be whole milk, 2%, 1%, or skim milk…you may want to consider putting your “milk” consumption on a diet.

Many consumers today are looking to lose weight, and still maintain a healthy balance of vital nutrients, such as calcium and other vitamins and minerals, in their daily diets. However, some items we have been taught over the years to be healthy for us could stand to go on a diet as well, starting with our milk.

Almond milk is a great alternative to those who love to drink milk, but want or need to trim the fat, cholesterol, and calories in their daily diets, and is a staple for the vegan lifestyle because its plant-based milk and non-dairy.

almond milk

Some of the benefits of almond milk in comparison to your favorite dairy milks include:

  • 50% more calcium than dairy millk per serving
  • 60 sensible calories per cup, versus 100 calories per cup of 1% dairy milk
  • 50% daily value of the antioxidant vitamin E per serving, while dairy has 0
  • Absolutely no cholesterol or saturated fat, unlike dairy milk
  • Dairy-free, lactose-free, and soy-free for those who need to remain allergen-free or practice a vegan lifestyle
  • It taste great and good for you at the same time
Source: Silk Pure Almond Milk

 silk and glass

Almond milk can be used in the same manner as your favorite dairy milk and beyond. It goes wherever milk used to go, in your cereal, baking recipes, or even in a refreshing chilled glass, and because of its high content of the antioxidant Vitamin E, almond milk has also been used in the formulation of skin and beauty products. Talk about a nutrient that’s good for you from the inside-out!

almond skin

 So this simple switch will not have you missing a beat in your daily routine and your body and weight loss goals will thank you in the long run. Here’s to your health…with a tall glass of Almond Milk! *Cheers*
almonds milk

Treat Your Tummy : Drink Fennel Tea

November 2012

So on my trip today to my local whole foods grocer, The Manna Grocery Store & Deli, in Tuscaloosa, I found something I have been studying recently and had been longing to try: Fennel Seeds to make Fennel Tea! The following is a brief overview of the fennel plant and its benefits to your health.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is  a plant species in the genus Foeniculum. It is a hardy, herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks. It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses (Wikipedia).

fennel plant

The plant has a licorice-flavor, and is a member of the parsley family.  One benefit to fennel is that one cup contains almost 20 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Most fennel available in American markets is grown in California. The type you’ll find, called Florence, or bulb, fennel has a bulbous base, with stalks like celery, and feathery leaves. Like celery, the entire plant is edible. The crisp and slightly sweet bulb is especially delicious served raw in salads or if braised, sautéed, roasted, or grilled, the bulb mellows and softens with cooking. When picking fennel look for bulbs that are small, white, heavy, firm, and free of  cracks, browning, or moist areas. The stalks should be crisp, with feathery, bright-green fronds. Wrapped in plastic, fennel keeps for just a few days in the refrigerator; the flavor fades as it dries out. Use fennel stalks in anything you would use celery in, such as soups and stews, or even as a “bed” for roasted chicken or meats. The fronds can be used as a garnish, or chopped and cooked in sauces, making sure to add it late into the cooking process so not to dilute the natural flavor of the plant (Discovering Fennel).

fennel bulbs

Fennel seeds, however, don’t come from bulb fennel but from common, or wild, fennel. The seeds are slightly nutty, with the expected licorice flavor, and are widely used in sausages, stews, soups, and curries. Another common use of the fennel seed is to make a delicious, and very beneficial tea (enjoying a cup as I type this!). Just a teaspoon of fennel seeds in a tea strainer, steeped for approximately 10 minutes can do a host of great benefits for the entire body, especially your tummy!

tea strainer

The list of medicinal benefits and uses of fennel and fennel tea are as follows:

  • helps to reset taste buds to reduce cravings between meals (weight management)
  • boosts digestion, facilitating nutrient absorption, and reducing fat storage in the body (weight management)
  • the essential oils and aromatic licorice flavor in fennel seeds may help improve breath
  • can help manage the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by soothing the gastrointestinal track releiving gas and bloating
  • has been used to relieve symptoms of colic in infants
  • can help stimulare milk production in lactating moms
  • has the same effect as estrogen on the body and helps alleviate premenstrual cramps as well as menopausal symptoms helping to jump-start a shrinking libido
  • immunity support due to high concentration of Vitamin C, and Vitamin B3, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium
  • high in antibacterial agents, such as Vitamin C, which can help reduce viruses and bacteria infections
  • high in fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol, thus reducing risk of heart disease
  • high in potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure, thus reducing risk of heart attack and stroke
  • contains high levels of alpha-pinen, an organic compound found in the essential oils of the fennel plant, which can act as an expectorant for those suffering from the common cold
  • steam from boiling the leaves or drinking fennel tea has also been found to help alleviate symptoms of asthma and bronchitis
  • a organic compound found in the essential oil of fennel, called anethole, has also been found to reduce inflammation, making fennel good for individuals with arthritis

Fennel seeds can be purchased at your local organic, natural, or  whole food grocer or farmer’s market. Holding my cup of fennel tea in the air, here’s a *virtual toast* to your health! Cheers! Happy sipping! 🙂