Sugar gets such a bad rap. The average person is led to believe that all sugar is not good for you but that is quite the contrary.  There are two basic types of sugar categories, refined sugar and sugar from nature.

Refining means to make “pure” by a process of extraction or separation. Refined sugar is sugar that has been manufactured and depleted of its original vitamins and minerals.  After the sugar is refined, what is left is synthetic carbohydrates that the body cannot utilize. Incomplete carbohydrate metabolism results in toxic and abnormal sugars in the body which accumulate in the red blood cells and the brain causing terrible diseases; one, being diabetes. Infertility, depression, dental problems and certain cancers are also affects of too much refined sugar. Refined sugar provides the body with nothing but useless calories because it lacks natural minerals that are present in natural sugars. Once you consume refined sugar, your body has to borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. It is very important to read the ingredient labels on your food to spot refined sugar under it’s many names and disguises. Refined sugars are the ultimate masters of disguise because there are so many characters for them to dress up as. Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Lactose and Caramel are just a few of the harmful refined sugars that we can frequently find on a great deal of ingredient of our labels.  Consuming refined sugar can also cause fatigue and a multitude of bodily aches and pains.

Natural sugars are the kind of sugars contained in fruits, vegetables and other plants. These sugars are considered natural because they occur own their own and are not manipulated or extracted by humans. Natural sugars are most bountiful in fruits which is what gives them their sweet and appealing taste.  However, foods do not have to be sweet to contain natural sugar. Carrots, cabbage, beets and potatoes contain natural sugar compounds as well. All plants produce sugar as a by product of photosynthesis. One of the only non-plant sources of natural sugar is raw honey that is produced by bees from plant pollen. Raw honey is one of the most easily digestible sugar compounds for the body.

To cut back on your refined sugar intake, you need to first make the conscious decision to do so. You also have to identify the sources of refined sugar in your diet and decide what to cut out completely and what to cut down on. You must recognize the sugar aliases. You can lessen your sugar intake by passing on any product that contains refined sugar in it’s first three ingredients. You should also go into your kitchen and throw out all the foods and beverages that contain refined sugar that you have decided not to consume anymore. Ban sugary beverages and sugary snacks from your household. Do not skip breakfast and make sure it is a healthy meal filled with fruits and other natural sugars and whole grains. Reduce the amount of sugar used for cooking and baking in your home. Do not feel deprived for cutting back on refined sugars in your diet. You are doing your body a huge favor and will feel healthier and be better inside and out.

It looks like Kanye Kardashian is back on the scene after remaining extremely low key after his highly publicized wedding to Kim K

Kanye will appear in the August 2014 issue of GQ magazine showcasing his style. Allegedly Kanye styled himself for the GQ shoot but honestly I’m not impressed. Remember the days when Kanye’s outfits used to turn heeds? I miss the "07" - "10" Kanye’s swag. All his ensembles in his GQ spread are whatever and just down right boring. There’s nothing special or unique about Timbs, leather pants and a peacoat or the way Kanye styled them. There’s no doubt in my mind that these are quality pieces Kanye is wearing but aesthetically they are unappealing. I do feel like a lot of people jocked Kanye’s old looks so he probably felt like he needed to go a different route but I’d like to see something that excites me again the way he used to. This just isn’t it. *Sigh*

Kanye’s smize game is on point though!

But you can check out the pictures from Kanye’s GQ spread out and decide for yourself whether the looks are dope or not.

Once again, Nicki Minaj has done a freestyle and as usual, is letting b*tches know they are her sons.

This time around Nicki jumped on the “No Flex Zone” beat and as always has a few harsh words for her competition.

I love Nicki to death and you guys know I’ve been a huge fan of hers for years but I’m kind of over the freestyles which are more like diss records without her naming any names. She says the same thing over and over but just in different words. I can’t even tell the songs apart anymore. They all sound the same. Yes Nicki, we know you are running the game but primarily because you are the only female rapper at the forefront. Yes Nicki, we know these b*tches are your sons. I need some new topics. Please and thank you. Nicki is a lot like the females on Facebook that are always posting statuses about how many haters they have. It’s like, okay we get it. Next topic!

The ratchet side of me however somewhat likes the song. It’s definitely something to dance to but the lyrics and subject matter are beyond redundant.

Check the song out for yourself and you be the judge!

Rapper Sir Michael Rocks has been in the game for a long time now! Sir Michael came on the underground scene around 2006/2007 with his alternative hip hop group, "The Cool Kids" who hailed from Illinois. The Cool Kids consisted of Sir Michael Rocks (formerly known as Mikey Rocks) and Chuck Inglish. Chuck Inglish was primarily known for making the duo’s one of a kind beats and Mikey Rocks did most of the rapping. The Cool Kids were the first rap group to bring back the whole LL Cool J, 80s feel to rap music with their image by rocking gold rope chains, vintage clothingvintage snap backs and vintage Nikes way before everyone else in hip hop was doing it.

Eventually, The Cool Kids ventured off and both went solo. Mikey Rocks, now Sir Michael Rocks is still doing his thing in the rap world. Sir Michael has released a couple of really dope mixtapes that did not receive as much recognition as they deserved.

It looks like all his grinding is paying off though because Sir Michael Rocks is FINALLY gearing up to release his debut album, "Banco" on July 29th. 

As a treat, Sir Michael Rocks recently released his new song "Bussin" which features rappers IAMSU and and Casey Veggies. "Bussin" is unlike anything Sir Michael has done before. Usually he sticks to smooth Curren$y type beats and lyrics or what I like to call "luxury raps". "Bussin" is way more turned up and basic (in a godd way). The artwork for "Bussin" gives me a late 90’s/cash money feel. I feel like the break down of he song is an ode to Chicago “juke music” which is pretty dope that he did that. The song has a decent beat and is very catchy. "Bussin" has quickly become one of my frequently played songs. It’s rawness and straight forwardness has me looking forward to what else “Banco” is going to offer.

For years I was under the impression that “whole foods” was just a saying or a random phrase. I know most people associate the term with the “Whole Foods” upscale grocery store chain. As I grew older I realized just exactly what whole foods are and their importance to the human body. Unfortunately, we live in a society that consumes so much processed and refined foods it is a bit unclear as to what whole foods actually are. Before we begin, let’s first discuss exactly what whole foods are.

Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or refined or that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives and other artificial substances. Examples of whole foods include raw fruits, meats that contain strictly meat and nothing else, raw vegetables, un-polished nuts and grains. When you are eating whole foods you are consuming the food in it’s natural state with all it’s original vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and natural nutrients; many of which boost the immune system and prevent cancer and diabetes.

The polar opposite of whole foods are processed foods. Processed foods are foods that have undergone a refining process in a factory where they have been altered from their natural state. During their manufacturing, processed foods are stripped of many of their healthy nutrients. Processed foods also contain preservatives and chemicals that can be extremely destructive to the body. The sugars, salts, saturated fats and trans fats found in processed foods can increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Processed foods also contain more calories. Examples of processed foods are fast food, low fat and fat free products, imitation foods , frozen pizza, lunch meat and much more.

Granted, transitioning to a whole foods diet may be more costly and is going to take dedication but it will save you so much money in the long run and not to mention less health scares and doctor visits. Transitioning to a whole foods diet does not have to be a difficult or boring process.

Gradually start replacing processed foods from your diet with whole foods. You should also consume a wide range of whole foods which will give you an extensive scope of nutritional benefits. You do not have to cut processed foods from your diet completely as this is nearly impossible but the goal is to replace processed foods with whole foods as much as you can. The next time you crave a quick snack from McDonalds to tide you over, try replacing that chicken nugget meal with nuts and fruits. To understand the power of food relating to your health, you must focus your diet on whole foods. Health equals wealth.

By now I’m sure everyone has seen or has at least heard about all the shenanigans that went down at this past weekend’s BET Awards in Los Angeles. I honestly feel like this was the best BET Awards in a longggggg time believe it or not. So I’m going to share my top favorite moments

1. Chris Rock 

BET could not have chosen a better host for this year’s BET Awards. Chris Rock did not hold any punches and came out swinging. He clowned a number the celebrities in the audience from T.I. to Chris Brown to Paris Hilton (who was oddly in attendance full of bronzer and hair extensions). He was absolutely hilarious and his energy stayed up throughout the entire show. I love how he made everyone feel uncomfortable by some of his comments. Celebrities need a reality check every once in a while.

2. Pharrell Wiliams

Anyone who knows me knows that Pharrell has been my imaginary husband since I was in fifth grade. Just him being a the BET Awards spoke volumes. With acts like Jay-Z, Beyonce and Rihanna who come off like they are too famous or successful to attend the event, Pharrell showed up and was beyond humble as he won the most awards for the night. He even bought out Missy Elliot to perform with him during his opening set which was exciting! Even though Pharrell won the most awards for the night he was continuously shouting out his peers and their work and contributions.

3. Chris Brown's Performance

It’s a fact that Chris Brown has been having a tough year but you would not know that from his performance at this year’s BET Awards. Chris has not lost his touch when it comes to dancing! He danced circles around the BET stage during his performance and even bought out former Blink 182 drummer, Travis Barker. Chris hands down had one of the best performances of the night and everyone in the audience looked super estatic and happy while he was on stage performing.

4. Chris Rock passing out Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles during the show

*Enough said*

5. Nicki Minaj throwing shade at Iggy Azalea

During Nicki Minaj’s acceptance speech for best female hip hop artist which she happened to be up against Iggy Azalea for, Nicki Minaj made it clear that she felt some type of way about Iggy by stating, "What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it,". Then Nicki proceeded to say no shade but was clearing throwing shade and sipping from an imaginary cup of tea. Although Nicki said no names, This was a direct jab at Iggy Azalea who is known for her lyrics being written by her mentor T.I. I loved every moment of it because it was real, honest emotion and in the moment.

6. The Civil Right’s Act tribute and Fallen Soldiers Tribute

Oddly, BET never really discusses the black struggle in America despite it’s name being Black Entertainment Television. Well, this year at the awards they scratched the surface by dedicating a portion of the show to everyone who fought for black people’s civil rights by showing clips from the Civil Right’s Movement. They also briefly discussed the Civil Right;s Act of 1964.This was much needed and commendable. I also liked the fact that they dedicated a portion of the show to Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou and other black entertainers we lost this year and their major contributions to not only entertainment but society as a whole. BET needs to touch on African American issues and race more often in their programming.

All in all, I give this year’s BET Awards a 8 out of 10. I wonder if they can live up to this years awards next year. Only time will tell!

This past weekend I got the pleasure of working the red carpet for Livin Dee Life for Basketball Wives LA's Jackie Christie’s pre BET Awards "Eye On Glam" beauty bar event.

The event was held in the beautiful North Hollywood. Guest received gift bags filled with Jackie’s Luxe Brand items, complementary makeovers and massages.

I got to meet and interview the industry guests that graced the red carpet. I met some extremely focused and talented individuals and even learned some tips about what it takes to make it in the entertainment industry.

Check out Livin Dee Life's red carpet coverage of the Jackie Christie "Eye On Glam" beauty bar event!

2014 is shaping up to be the year of the biopic. With three major biopics announced and in the works; Whitney Houston, Aaliyah and N.W.A.

First off, the Whitney Houston biopic was announced a few weeks ago. The film will be a Lifetime movie directed by actress Angelea Bassett and starring former America’s Next Top Model contestant Ya Ya DaCosta as Whitney. 

Just a few days ago it was announced that Disney star Zendaya Coleman would be playing the late singer Aaliyah in the forthcoming Lifetime biopic. For some odd reason the news of young Zendaya playing Aaliyah met a great deal of negative criticism from the public. Some critics are complaining that Zendaya is too young and doesn’t have what it takes to be able to embody Aaliyah’s personality and presence. Others are complaining that the young star looks nothing like Aaliyah. People need to just shut up and wait for the finished product. Zendaya auditioned for this role and beat out numerous candidates and she is obviously fully capable of playing the part so everyone should save their comments until the movie actually comes out.

UPDATE: Zendaya Coleman has since backed out of playing the role of Aaliyah. 

On top of the announcement of the Whitney and the Aaliyah projects, today the news has been released that there will be a N.W.A biopic coming to the big screen this August. Ice Cube will be played by his son O’Shea Jackson Jr., Eazy E will be played by actor Jason Mitchell and Dr. Dre will be played by actor Corey Hawkins. I’m really interested to see how this one turns out.

Biopics are always a challenging task to conquer because of factors such as upholding the star’s they are portraying legacies and nailing the part. Lil Mama received tons of flack when it was announced she would be playing Left Eye in the TLC biopic and we all know she went on to murder that part. Even Jennifer Lopez was slammed for being chosen to play Selena back in 1997 because Selena was Mexican and Jennifer is Puerto Rican but everyone knows she gave us Selena times 1,000! Only time will tell who kills it in these future biopics in the works.

Which upcoming biopic are you most excited to see? Personally, I’m looking forward to that Aaliyah movie the most.

It’s safe to say that I’m super impressed with Teyana Taylor’s new song "Maybe" featuring Yo Gotti and Pusha T!

If you’ve been following the first lady of G.O.O.D Music's music career then you know it's been pretty fickle over the years. She’s only really had one song “Google Me” a couple years back but it didn’t make much noise. Teyana has kept herself busy though landing endorsement deals, acting and remaining on the Hollywood scene. Now after years and years of anticipation Teyana is officially back on the music scene with the musical gold that is "Maybe". 

"Maybe" is clearly a banger! It’s the perfect mix of hood and R&B. I can’t decide if I like Gotti or Pusha’s verse the best. They both snapped and they both make me feel some type of way. Teyana’s voice sounds so perfect on the track and judging by the lyrics she’s all grown up and ready for the world.

I honestly wish Teyana Taylor the best. From her interviews she seems like a really cool and genuine girl. She’s effortlessly talented and I’m glad her music career is back on. I can’t wait to hear some more new music from Teyana!

TDE artist Isaiah Rashad has finally released the video for his song "Modest" off his EP "Cilvia Demo"!

I’ve had "Modest" on repeat for the past few weeks since I first heard it. The video is pretty cool. It shows two different versions of Isaiah Rashad, the real him and then his turned up alter ego which is in direct correlation with his song where he has two sets of vocals recorder; one more monotoned and one more hype. That leads me to believe that Isaiah Rashad has two sides to him, one logic and one reckless, like most of us do. 

Isaiah Rashad’s "Cilvia Demo" is incredible and very relatable and I cannot stop listening to it! This dude is definitely someone you should know!