85643757Oftentimes when people start to focus on being natural in one part of their lives, i.e. hair or diet they tend to gravitate to an entire natural lifestyle. Let’s take a look into two journeys of women on the same path to being natural inside and out.

Starting with hair:

Cheris Courtney is the creator of an inspirational natural blog Chocolate Orchid Her blog covers topics ranging from healthy eating, natural hair and style. Here’s her story.

“After many years of relaxing my hair, I began to notice how it was becoming thinner. I knew deep down that it was the chemicals. I would notice ladies wearing their hair natural and would always note how beautiful and bold they were. I never thought I could get the nerve. I was concerned with what people would think about me and not looking right. It took a painful situation to motivate me to just “do me” and to put value on what I wanted for me and how I saw myself.”

Kristen Suzanne is an accomplished chef, author and media spokesperson. She is the creator of Kristen’s Raw website — www.kristensraw.com and blog www.kristensraw.blogspot.com. Although Kristen is not African American, we can also gain insight from her natural journey. Check out her story.

“It started when my husband and I decided that we were going to try and get me pregnant. I wanted everything as pure as possible. While I was doing wonderful things regarding my diet, cleaning products, natural makeup and body care… my hair was still getting bleached. It was terrible for my overall health, my future baby’s health, and the environment. Up until that point, I had been bleaching my hair blond for 20 years. It was time for a change, and a healthy one at that! ”


Moving on to the inside – healthier lifestyle:

Cheris: I think it was in me, even being overweight as a child. As a 12-year-old, I could down three Quarter Pounders w/cheese, a large fry and a drink. Eventually, my mother enrolled us in a gym. I dropped all the weight off by my sophomore year in high school. Ever since then, I’ve been a bit “anal” about what I eat. It was more of a vanity thing after I became an adult. Now, being in my thirties, it’s more about having a healthy body and mindset. I have three generations of diabetes before me, from my great-grandmother to my grandmother and now my mother. Believe me, I am the one who will break that legacy.

Kristen: I went vegan first and it was for the animals. Once I learned about the tragic events going on at slaughter houses, I just couldn’t stomach even the thought of eating any animal or animal by-products. I first learned about it from reading John Robbins’ two books: Diet For A New America and The Food Revolution. I’d always been interested in healthy eating; food was a passion of mine. But what I thought was healthy back then, I realize now that it was misleading.

Now, I’m a vegan for three main reasons: saving animals, it’s the healthiest diet on the planet, and it’s better for the environment. I went to Raw (I’m basically High Raw now… so most of my foods are Raw and they’re all vegan) to take my health to the next level. Raw food is full of nutrients and phytochemicals.

How to Start:

Cheris: I am currently working on changing my diet to consist of 70 to 75% raw or living foods. It is basically eating plant-based foods in their original state. Raw food may include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, grains and legumes in sprouted form, seaweed, and fresh juices. These foods contain a wide range of vital life force nutrients i.e. vitamins, minerals, amino acids, oxygen and live enzymes.

Kristen: For going vegan, I simply stopped eating all animal products and by-products, and I never looked back. It was a no-brainer for me and one of my proudest moments in life. At that point, I simply educated myself on what it meant to eat vegan. For Raw, again, I researched it online and through books.


Cheris: My energy level has become more constant. I don’t wake up groggy with swollen eyelids anymore. My stomach has also gone down some, my focus is better and so are my eliminations. (I know. That might be TMI but true. Lol.) If you are interested in living a healthier lifestyle Cheris highly suggests research, research, research and to get checked out preferably by a holistic physician. She also joined a local raw foods meetup group for support. “It really helps to surround yourself with others who are looking to do the same or similar to what you want to do and with those who are successfully doing it,” she adds.

Kristen: I easily maintain a great and sexy body. It’s effortless. I have tons of energy. I’m so happy and my mood is amazing. My skin greatly improved, and I sleep way better. For those who are interested in starting a vegan diet Kristen suggests, the following books. “Diet For A New America”, “The Food Revolution”, “Skinny Bitch” and “The China Study”. They educate about plant based diets and their importance.

For going Raw, Kristen’s books are a great way to get started, Kristen’s Raw – The EASY Way to Get Started & Succeed at the Raw Vegan Diet and Lifestyle, and she’s also written 10 Raw vegan recipe books. Kristen suggests taking a class about Vegan or Raw Vegan Food prep. “Get online and research. There are tons of resources available to help.” she adds.

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