Sunday, December 21, 2014

MYTH: Skinny People Don't Diet. [How I lost 5 lbs in 5 days]

It's almost January 1st, and you know what that means...time to make New Years Resolutions! For those of you who want to lose weight in the new year, I'm going to make this easy for you. FOLLOW THIS LIFESTYLE EATING PLAN. You don't need to join a gym to lose the weight. On this plan, you WILL lose WILL feel amazing... and your body WILL love you for it. Trust me. Here's my story...

About 8 months ago, a friend recommended that I read a book called "The Obesity Epidemic" by Zoe Harcombe. Thinking nothing of it, I found the book on Amazon and started reading. Let me tell you, this book has opened my eyes and changed the way I think about eating and food in general. So much so, in fact, that I've decided to share my experience with you.

Some stats for you: I am 25 years old, 5'9" tall and before doing this diet, I weighed about 149 pounds. (That's in the normal BMI range.) While following the Harcombe Diet, I lost 4.7 pounds in only 5 days!! How did I do it?

I stopped eating carbohydrates. And yes, sugar is a carb.

Yes, that's it. Instead of my usual sugary breakfast cereal, heaping plates of pasta and Starbucks coffees, I instead had food...REAL food. I switched to a low-carb, high fat diet. Unlike the typical American diet where you're restricted to a couple hundred calories, I could eat as much real food as I wanted! I was not hungry at all. And I ate bacon at almost every meal of the day.

Sounds crazy. How does it work?

The Harcombe Diet works in 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: No carbs, including sugar and honey. All fats are accepted so you can eat beef, chicken, fish, turkey, etc. No dairy, though. Sorry Starbucks lovers, but no caffeine during this phase either. But, you can have up to 50g of brown rice/quinoa/oats per day. Complete this phase to jump-start your system and identify any food allergies and addictions. This is a 5-day phase, but you can return to it at any time to lose more weight.
  • Phase 2: Alternate between carb meals and fat meals. (e.g. Fats for breakfast, Carbs for lunch, Fats for dinner). Cycling allows your body to get rid of the excess fat while eating 'fat' meals and burns off the carbs easily after eating 'carb' meals. Do this until you reach your goal weight.
  • Phase 3: Same as Phase 2 but allows for 'cheating', so you can have the occasional beer, piece of cake, slice of pizza, etc. Just don't overdo it! Keep doing Phase 3 for a complete lifestyle change.

Here's what I ate during one day in my 5 day jump start. [48% fat, 34% protein, 18% carbs]

2 whole eggs (including yolks)
3 slices of turkey bacon
4 slices of pork bacon

2 cups of bagged salad (no dressing)
1/2 lb Bubba burger with spices (no bun!)

15 baby carrots
1 cup of decaffeinated Blueberry herbal tea (no sugar or honey)

2 slices of pork bacon
1 cup of mixed veggies (carrots, corn, green beans, peas, Lima beans)
50g of brown rice
1/2 Grilled cube steak with spices

1 cup of decaffeinated Sleepytime herbal tea (no sugar or honey)

All of this food is 1,494 calories, which is right on-par with the 1,500 calories that I'm "supposed" to be eating while on a traditional diet. Counting calories won't help you lose weight. It's more about the quality of the food that you eat. Foods that contain preservatives, sugars, and other fillers are not good for your body. Your food should come in the rawest form possible, not from a box or a can. If the food has a commercial on TV, DON'T EAT IT!!!

Here are some of the things I've learned from the book...

  • Eating fat won't make you fat.
  • Sedentary behavior did not cause the obesity epidemic, and exercise will not cure it
  • Refined sugar contains NO vitamins or minerals. It just tastes good. Unless burned off, your body will convert it to fat.
  • Cholesterol is actually GOOD for you. Your body makes its own cholesterol every day. Also, there's no such thing as "good" or "bad" cholesterol. 
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs like Lipitor actually stop your body from producing the cholesterol that it needs. Oh yeah, and Lipitor nets $12 BILLION in sales annually. No wonder the doctors keep prescribing it. This is a part of the scheme to keep people alive, yet feeling "sick". Medicate yourself by eating real food.
  • It is impossible to be healthy on a diet. Being healthy means eating healthy, and that requires a lifestyle change

Here's my advice: Try Phase 1 of the Harcombe diet. It's only 5 days. You've got nothing to lose but the weight. I'd love to hear about your results. Please email me at or post a comment below.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tutorial: How to make the Best Bacon Ever.

Sorry for practically disappearing for all of September. To right the wrong of neglecting my blog, I've decided to post about BACON today. Yes, bacon. The tasty food that we all know and love.

I found the perfect way to make bacon. It's quick, easy, and has virtually zero clean-up afterwards. It's the oven-fry method.

What you'll need:

  • A cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Bacon

First, you need to heat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, line the cookie sheet with the aluminum foil. (This is what makes the zero clean-up).

Then, add BACON!!

Cook in the oven for 11-13 minutes, checking the bacon every few minutes or so. No need to flip the bacon over while it's cooking. Just let it fry in its own fatty goodness.

When the bacon is cooked to your liking, take it out of the oven. (I like mine crispy and crunchy!)

Once the tray has cooled down, simply crumple up the aluminum foil and toss. Voila! Nearly zero clean-up.

Is your mouth watering yet? It should be. Now go out there and make yourself some delicious, tasty bacon!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Guest Blog Post: "A Little Wife's Happy Life"

I've been following this amazing blogger, Adrie, at A Little Wife's Happy Life. Her blog posts have been inspirational, thought-provoking and challenging. One of my favorites is the one where she encourages her readers create an intentional engagement, instead of simply planning for the wedding. Like me, she is a twenty-something Christian woman who has a deep love for sharing how Jesus has moved in her life. I feel so blessed to have met her!

Adrie is married, but she's got a lot of advice to give to single Christian people, so this month she's writing a new segment about singleness. I decided to write a guest blogger post for her. Make sure to check out Adrie's blog, and my guest feature: "Cherish The Single Life"

Peace and blessings!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Single or Married: There is no in-between

For those who know me personally, you may be shocked by the picture above, thinking: "Bianca is single? What happened? I thought she was engaged to James!" Yes, we are still happily engaged. But according to God, since I'm not married yet, I'm am single.

In the Bible, there isn't much talk about anything other than being single or married. (Yes, Matthew 1:18 speaks about Mary being engaged to Joseph, but Biblical engagements are not the same as what we have today.) My point is, there is no in-between. Either you're single or you're married. So forget all that nonsense about being dedicated to one another during dating and engagement... Compared to marriage, your "dedication" is nothing more than a pinky promise to stay together. Marriage is a much deeper commitment than you can ever fathom. Think about it! If you're dating someone and things go awry, you can walk away from the relationship without any real consequences. But if you're married, it's an entirely different story. The connection that you have with the person that you marry is the strongest bond of any human relationship--even more so than your relationships with your parents, best friend, siblings, etc. It's the highest level of commitment possible.

[God First. Then your spouse. Then you.]
Recently, James and I finished up the pre-marital class at our church. It was a whirlwind of information, but every tidbit was so beneficial. In one session, we learned that God's equation for marriage is 1+1=1. Two individuals join together to become one flesh. To build that oneness, each person must RECEIVE their spouse, LEAVE the care/responsibility of their parents, CLEAVE to their spouse and WEAVE their lives together. (Genesis 2: 23-25) In other words, marriage is not about love. It requires you to put your spouse ahead of yourself.

As Christians, we always need to consult God first with the things in our lives. Feeling grateful that He woke you up this morning? Praise Him. Feeling anxious about that big customer meeting at work? Pray to Him. Seeking God should be the first thing on your mind (Job 5: 8-9). You need to consult with God first. But when you get married, the hierarchy changes.

See, in a Biblical marriage, it goes:

  1. God
  2. Your spouse
  3. You
This means that every time you think about doing something/going somewhere/buying something, you've got to consult not one, but two people above you. Your spouse has priority over yourself.

Kinda crazy, huh? 

So, what can you do with all this information?

If you're single (not dating), you can practice a daily and fervent relationship with God by seeking Him, praying, and reading the Bible. Fall in love with Jesus first.
If you're currently dating someone, do the same thing but with your boyfriend/girlfriend. This is a great way for you two to bond together and to learn from each other. 
If you're engaged, actively try to put your future spouse ahead of you, in both your actions and your words. If you're not doing so already, make it a habit to pray together. The goal here is to build a foundation for a healthy, Godly marriage. 
And if you're already married, first of all congratulations! Hopefully this post resonates with you in your marriage, but if it doesn't, please don't fear. There is always room for improvement. You can make some baby steps to build the hierarchy of a Biblical marriage by praying with your spouse and asking God to heal any wounded pieces of your marriage. Also, you can work with your spouse to practice putting God first by reading devotions or the Bible every day.

I hope this was helpful for you.

In my next post I will talk about what you can do during your time of singleness. (Hint: It's not just dating.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


A good friend of mine posted this article to Facebook today. The article lists quotes about RACISM for people who "don't see color". One quote from Nayyirah Waheed says "never trust anyone who says they do not see color. this means to them, you are invisible."

My favorite of them all is this quote from Scott Woods, an African-American poet, writer and musician. 

"The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything." 
- Scott Woods

Does this quote resonate with you at all? Do you feel that everyone is born racist, as the quote suggests?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Skimm

If you're anything like me, you like to be informed about current events, sports, and world news. I personally don't have time to peel through The Washington Post every morning or read CNN throughout the day. I don't even have time to watch the evening news anymore! I need my news in quick, short bursts.

Enter, The Skimm.

My friends Kurt and Michelle informed me about this daily email digest called The Skimm. It's very brief, and gives you a lot of information all in one email. The writers--called Skimmers-- read all of the news stories for you (so you don't have to), and they write up the stories in language that I can actually understand. Not only that, they also fill you in on important details of major news stories that you might have missed initially.

Each Skimm always starts with a "Quote of the Day" and ends with a "Thing to Know". Today, I learned about Game of Thrones, Lebron James, fighting in Israel, NSA intelligence leaks, German spies, and the economy. All within a few short paragraphs!

It's great for making small talk. For example: I don't like watching soccer at all. I think it's a horribly boring sport to watch and play. HOWEVER, I work in an office where there are a few soccer fans and they are avidly keeping up with the World Cup. Every morning, I get my daily dose of The Skimm to know which team beat who and that gives me something intelligent to say to my coworkers about the sport they love so much.

The Skimm has been beneficial for me. I feel so much more informed about the world around me.

So what are you waiting for? Get The Skimm today!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

[Music] Somewhere Only We Know

Usually I don't watch America's Got Talent, but I found myself turning to this channel the other day. This group, Sons of Serendip, really got my attention. I love how they are a group of young, black men who play instruments. Most people on these talent-search shows play typical instruments like guitar or piano. It was refreshing to see a band with a cellist, harpist, pianist and vocalist. These guys are so amazingly talented, and I'm glad they got through to the next round.

Check out their video!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

God's Gentle Reminder: Compassion

As I was walking out of the Dollar Tree this evening (yes I shop there, judge me if you want to) I met this man who asked me if I knew the area. I replied "No, not really", which was a total lie since I live 3 miles away from the store. He looked like he was in need of money, and after speaking with him, I soon realized that it turned out to be the case. He said that he and his family, including 2 children, needed bus fare to get back to the nearby shelter they were staying at. The bus fare cost $1.60 per person. He needed my help.

I looked at the man and tried to determine whether he was telling the truth or not. He had all of the characteristics of your typical guy on the street--dirty clothes, unkept hair, bad teeth, etc. and there was no family to be seen. To be honest, I feared for my safety since it was becoming dark outside and there was nobody else around. 

But then I had a beautiful thought. What if this man really is telling the truth? The small cash donation that he is asking me for will not break my bank. I know that I'll have somewhere to sleep tonight and something to eat too. I also thought, "How much of Jesus Christ can I show this man through my actions?"

So I gave him the change in my pocket and a few dollars from my wallet. It wasn't much, but I could tell that it made all the difference in the world to him. 

It's times like these when I like to consider the blessings that God has given me. I don't deserve any of it, yet He still provides for me and He continues to be faithful despite all of my shortcomings and wrongdoings. BThere was a time in my life when I wouldn't even consider giving money to a person on the street, but thank God for compassion, love and forgiveness! He has changed my heart!

My prayer 
Dear Lord Jesus, I  pray that the man and his family are safe as they travel back to the shelter tonight. God, thank you for giving this man the strength and courage to ask me for money instead of the alternative. And thank you Jesus for softening my heart just enough to help this man and his family. 
In Jesus' name I pray,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My prayer for today

Sometimes, I wake up singing. Today was one of those days. While cooking up my scrambled eggs, I started singing a little melody and adding my own words in. Today's song was a prayer where I thanked God for the ability to see, hear, cook and sing. Simple stuff, I know. But in the next verse, I said something that surprised myself.

I sang: "I'm an independent me. But I depend on You! Whatever You need, whatever You want, that's what I will do."

That is powerful! I've never prayed that prayer before, but I felt it and I meant every single word that I sang. God is truly moving in my life and I can't wait to see where He takes me next. 

Have a beautiful, wonderful day y'all! God bless.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Today's Google Doodle: Rubik's Cube

#FactAboutMe: I've never been able to solve a Rubik's cube puzzle. That's what makes today's Google Doodle so much fun--it's an interactive Rubik's cube that you can play right on your computer screen! I know what I'll be doing at work today...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My Natural Hair Journey (so far)

As promised, here is the blog post about my natural hair journey. This may be a bit lengthy, but please bear with me.

I was "tenderheaded"
Like other black girls born in the late-80's, I had my natural hair when I was young (birth - age 6 or so). By the time I hit elementary school, my parents added two new siblings to the family (Andrea and Andrew), and my mom was tasked with hair care for my sister and I. Andrea and I didn't make it easy for her, either. (Haha!) I never liked getting my hair done. I was one of those "tenderheaded" children who cried every time I saw the comb or brush come out.
Me and my afro puffs, age 2

I used to have the cutest hairstyles as a kid...little Afro puffs, twists, braids with beads at the end, etc. But things changed in elementary school. That's when I got my first relaxer. My shiny, straight hair flowed down past my shoulders, and I couldn't have been happier. I finally had straight hair like my mom and my friends at school.
Early on, my hair really held up with the relaxers. I didn't have any split ends or heat damage, whatsoever. Most of the credit goes to my mom, though for taking care of my hair. Also, like many other girls my age, I spent a lot of time at the hair salons on the weekend getting my hair styled. Once I started caring for my own hair during high school (ie: washing, blow drying, styling), I started to experience breakage. I wore ponytails all the time and the elastic scrunchies tore my hair to pieces. The fact that I was on a competitive swim team during the summer and winter didn't help, either.

In my senior year of high school (2007), I decided that I was tired of my broken, damaged tresses, so I made an appointment with my hairdresser for my "Big Chop" (BC). I had more than 6 inches of my hair cut off. The results were amazing! I was so relieved to be rid of my relaxer that took so much effort to maintain. My hair was fully "natural" again. I was free! But I was wrong. Actually, that's when the problems began.

My Big Chop!

All done--voila!

After the big chop, I thought I could use the same hair products that I had previously used on my relaxed hair. I continued to use high heat when blow drying my hair and (since I could no longer do a ponytail), I styled with a flat iron. My hair was growing rapidly, but it was always dry and looked dull. When I got to college--only a year after my BC--I relaxed my hair again. I never took the time to learn how my hair behaved, how it grew, and what it needed. 
Relaxed hair, summer 2008.
Shortly after relaxing, I felt like such a failure. I had given up on being natural. It was too hard for me. To make matters worse, the straight styles of yore didn't look quite as good on me. I also cut myself some bangs, which didn't quite turn out as I intended. They were WAY too short! But, just like hair continued to grow. A few years later, it had grown back to shoulder length. Still, I couldn't seem to make it grow past my shoulders.

Frustrated with the lack of hair growth and constant hair breakage, I decided to embark on another natural hair journey in November of 2012, which was a year into my Master's program. This time, I cut it all off, down to about 1" of hair. This time, I was determined to go natural, and stay natural. I bought new hair care products, including deep conditioners, sulfate-free shampoos, and an Afro pick. I also did lots of research about caring for natural hair online, including websites like Curly Nikki and YouTube. There are so many more resources out there now than there were 5 years prior, when I first went natural.

I've been natural for 18 months now, and I feel great! Since my BC, I have learned how to style my hair several ways, including: two strand twists, flat twists and (my favorite) the Afro. In the first few months after my BC, my styling options were very limited. I mostly just wore my hair in a Teeny-Weeny-Afro (TWA). Around the 6-month mark, I got my hair professionally braided into extensions as a protective style. That lasted for a few months. More recently, I've been wearing twist-outs, which add lots of volume and show my hair's length. And, even though my hair may not be shoulder length, I know that it is much healthier and stronger than it was when I had relaxers. This journey has been tough so far, but very rewarding. I am so proud to be a member of the natural hair community and I look forward to the years ahead of happy, healthy hair growth.

Are you considering "going natural"? Or, if you're already natural, what has your journey been like so far?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

First Post / About Me

*Shakes out jitters*

Alright. I must admit, I'm a little nervous about starting a blog. I've made several in the past, but I never really had anything interesting to share. (, anyone?) This blog will be different, and completely unlike anything I have done before. 

I plan to discuss things that interest me, some current events, and my opinions on life in general. But first, I figured you'd want to learn a little bit about me. So let's get right into it, shall we?

About Me

Typical stuff: age/sex/location...

My name is Bianca, and I have natural hair. (More on that, later)

I am a 25-year old, black woman and I currently live in Maryland.

I'm a Christian. I don't know where I would be without Jesus in my life. He is truly amazing! My faith is a very important part of my life.

I recently got engaged to the most wonderful, caring, patient, loving guy! We're getting married in September 2015.

I'm a mechanical engineer. It's an extremely rewarding career, and plus, it pays the bills ;)


I can be kinda goofy at times, especially when I'm with my best friend.

I love to sing. Everywhere. I sung in all types of choirs from middle school through college. Nowadays I am writing my own songs with the help of Garageband and my guitar.

I don't wear makeup, just ChapStick. I feel like makeup hides my face and gives people a false impression of who I really am.

It's my life-long dream to visit all 50 states by the age of 50. I've already been to 24 of them!


I like to run. Last September, a friend invited me to run my first half-marathon at Virginia Tech (my alma mater), and I agreed. The training was really strenuous and long, but totally worth it. I'm actually running my second one next week!

I've got Apple everything: iPhone, MacBook Pro, iPad, iPod, etc. It's semi-obsessive. 

Random things about me...

Even though I know I'm lactose-intolerant, sometimes I still eat pizza. It's one of my favorite foods!

My favorite numbers are 5 and 32. The latter was my old basketball number in middle school. (#Ballin)

I've been hang gliding before. (Trust me, it's awesome and tons of fun!)

I think that's enough blogging for now. In my next post, I will share my natural hair journey.