Image result for nicole murphy working out
Nicole Murphy
By Brenda Alexander

When I saw the picture of Nicole Murphy stepping into her 50h birthday party with a bedazzled catsuit and matching bustier, her boobs lifted, ass sitting high, coca cola shaped figure and Halle Berry inspired short cut I gagged. To make matters worse, she had the audacity to twerk and dip it low while Beyonce’s Drunk In Love serenaded her in the background. I prayed to God that if that’s not what I will look like going into my 50th birthday, feel free to take me out early.

I did a quick google search of black celebs in their 50s and found that gorgeous, high-cheekboned Cynthia Bailey of RHOA is slaying with her #50Cynt movement. After researching how they are keeping their bodies young, I wanted to share a few tips that can help you get on the right track.

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Nicole Murphy Fitness

Nicole Murphy has a wellness website and YouTube channel with diet and exercise tips and tutorials. Nicole Murphy Fitness gives subscribers easy and quick ways to get and stay fit. She incorporates a variety of exercises into her routine to stay active and keep things fun and fresh. In addition to sweating it out in the gym, she encourages trying things like yoga, circuit training, weight training, cycling and kickboxing to give your body a well rounded experience.

Cynthia Bailey prefers more creative methods of working out, as like most, exercising is not her favorite pastime. Outdoor workouts that include walks and runs around the park is more her speed and she is also really into yoga. More importantly, she is most interested in the spiritual workout. She told Blushing in Hollywood that meditating is what keeps her in tact and grounded in her health. She tries to start her day with 30 minutes of meditation.

Cynthia Bailey
Both Murphy and Bailey work with a nutritionist. Their diet consists of a balance of protein, fruits vegetables and water, with an emphasis on portion control. They both steer away from fried foods and opt for foods that are baked, steamed and grilled. Bailey insists that it’s important to not deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy, telling People Magazine, “I don’t deprive myself of anything that I have a craving for because I won’t stop thinking about it until I eat it already, and move on.”

Murphy indulges in the same. She loves burgers, pizzas and fries just like any other girl but balances it out by blending the sin foods with green and leafy veggies to make them dense in nutrients. So instead of a beef burger with bacon and cheddar, Murphy may eat a turkey burger with lettuce, onion, mushroom and tomato with wheat bread. Sounds good to me!

As you can see, diet and exercise aren’t the worst! Let’s train our bodies now so we aren't trying to catch up at 50. The great thing about today is we have an advantage: the internet. Gone are the days when you have to actually spend money on a trainer or nutritionist. YouTube is your trainer and Google can be your nutritionist. Now werk!

How do you stay fit?

Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com


As you may already know, I recently touched on the topic of incorporating the help of vitamin C in the battle for flawless skin.  The article was inspired by a comment I read on a forum where a woman who loaded up on vitamin C to battle a stubborn cold experienced glowing skin as an unintended side effect.

Once the article was published, I received a comment that was so valuable that I felt the need to continue this conversation of vitamin C and how it can transform our health & our skin.

Here's what the commenter had to say:
"Lypo-Spheric vitamin c packets have proven to be the very best. They really help with collagen production and overall immune system. The liquid packs also absorb into the blood stream faster. Not only do they improve the skin but you should read about cancer prevention through vitamin c. I take. 2 packs a day 1 in the am and 1 in The p.m. After about a week or so I started to notice that my skin was glowing my pores looked smaller and everyone around me was getting sick except me. A month later my blemish marks are noticeably fading. To experience these types of results so quickly was very motivating for me because with natural products typically you have to take them for a very long time (and faithfully) to see results which is nothing wrong with that but instant results are always nice."

I don't know about you, but the comment gave me goosebumps.  This person was basically putting us on to her glowing skin vitamin C secret.

Immediately, I darted to Amazon to look up Lypo-spheric vitamin C and was introduced to a world that I never knew existed.  Hours later, I read dozens of reviews just like the comment above from people who transformed their skin thanks to the highly absorbable, ultra-potent form of vitamin C.

Here are just a few:
 "It's only been a week and I noticed a difference in my skin. And I did what other reviews said. Take a shot glass with juice and knock it down. I can justify the cost if my skin changes this much for the better."

- I have noticed the big increase in my skin's elasticity and lines disappearing. More energy and definitely noticed my body improving on myofacial pain issues. 

- The most important thing is that it does its job and boy does this company get it right. My skin is glowing and I feel wonderful. A must-have for your supplement pyramid! I won't be buying other types of vitamin c anymore

- This stuff is amazing. Just put it in a small amount of water and drink all at once. Easy. I started taking this with a collagen protein supplement and within a week my skin was nearly glowing, much smoother and clear-toned. I had read that the body needs Vit C to use collagen. The collagen I was taking was not doing all that much until I added this Vit C . Then I saw a difference.  

- Using this lyposomal vitamin C makes my skin perfect in the craziest way, like it's glowing and practically juicy. I'm not really exaggerating either, as I got compliments on my skin - something that's never happened in my life before. I have this one giant wrinkle between my eyebrows that pretty much disappeared when I used this product for three months. I also have/had bacne, which disappeared as well, but has reappeared since switching away from this.


- I bought this not too long ago and I'm down on my 20th packet. It gives me extra energy and I noticed a huge difference in my skin. My skin feels more glowing and tighter. I will definitely continue taking this one as long as I live. Great product overall! Will recommend to everyone. ;)

This was just a sampling of the glowing skin reviews.  I came across so many more.  Apparently, when people take vitamin C in liposomal form, they experience optimal benefits.  Liposomal means that the nutrients are in a highly absorbable form that easily assimilated into the cells and bloodstream due to its molecular size.  And, can we talk about how much more powerful our collagen intake will become once we supplement with enough bioavailable vitamin C?  I get excited just thinking about it.

After I wrote the first article on vitamin C and its potential skin benefits, I went out and bought some low-cost capsules.  Unfortunately, most of it won't be absorbed.  Hence, those wonderful skin benefits  I hope for may never manifest.  Thank God for this anonymous person who left the comment that could possibly change my life.

As I researched the skin benefits of incorporating high-quality vitamin C into my life, I soon learned of the amazing medicinal properties of this antioxidant.  I'm sure we're all aware of how vitamin C can help us a common cold. But I had no idea that vitamin C was used in stronger doses to treat a slew of chronic illnesses.  If you search on YouTube, you'll find a slew of medical professionals proclaiming that most of us aren't getting enough vitamin C in our diet.

In the animal kingdom, most species have the ability to produce vitamin C to help fight against illness.  Most of them naturally produce extremely large amounts of this powerful antioxidant on a daily basis.  Humans, for some reason, can't make vitamin C internally.  So we have to supplement through diet. Most vitamin C advocates claim that we don't get nearly enough to keep our immune system strong.  Especially in the highly toxic world we live in.  That's why we're always fighting colds, infections, and other ailments.

I'm not here to tell you how much vitamin C you should take a day. But I do want you to do some research.  Perhaps some of us are vitamin C deficient and don't realize it.  Most of you have a vitamin C serum that you apply each morning in hopes of creating brighter, healthier skin.  Perhaps incorporating a high-quality vitamin C internally is the missing piece that will unlock our skin's greatest potential.


The other day I was browsing a forum where one of the ladies wanted to share something that she noticed.  To help boost her immune system, and help fight a stubborn cold, she loaded up on her vitamin C intake.

Taking in all of that vitamin C was supposed to help her recover from her cold, but instead, it gave her incredible skin that she had to rave about.
Specifically, she noticed brighter skin that appeared smooth and poreless.  Her hypothesis was that these changes were brought about by her copious intake of vitamin C. Since she wasn't able to maintain her skin regimen while feeling sick, she believed the antioxidant intake make a huge impact on her skin.

Is she right?

We all know that using vitamin C infused serums could help brighten our skin. But what about taking it internally?

 Here's some information that sheds some light on the role of ingested vitamin C and the skin:

  • Both the dermis and the epidermis contain high levels of vitamin C.  The epidermis (outer most layer of the skin) has a higher vitamin C content.  
  • As we age, vitamin C levels on the skin will decline.  
  • Excessive sun exposure also depletes vitamin C stores. 
  • Taking vitamin C internally can help the skin combat photoaging (aging caused by the sun's rays).
  • Vitamin C deficiency results in a skin condition known as scurvy.
  • Scurvy is essentially the breaking down of collagen and results in skin issues, receding gums, changes in our hair and poor wound healing.
A study determined that higher intake of vitamin C resulted in the healthier, younger appearance of the skin.  This is the confirmation we need to support the woman's claim that increasing her vitamin C intake could have caused the transformation of her skin.  

Let's not forget how important the role of vitamin C plays in collagen formation. It basically helps increase the levels of Type I collagen in the skin.  It's used directly in the collagen-building process. So whenever new collagen is formed, our vitamin C levels deplete.  After helping to build collagen, vitamin C goes one step further to help protect it from attack by free-radicals. Basically, vitamin C preserves our bodies from breaking down. 

It appears that vitamin C is well received when placed topically on the skin so if you don't have a vitamin C serum, you need to get one, stat!  But we need to take it a step further and make sure we're eating a diet rich in vitamin C or supplementing at the very least.  For those us who are fans of collagen supplements, we need to take our vitamin C intake seriously.  

Let this woman's testimony be a source of inspiration for us to make vitamin C a priority.  Perhaps vitamin C can help take our skin to the next level. Not just during cold and flu season but all year round.  And if you need more motivation, let me remind you that vitamin C can also help you reach your healthy weight goals as well.  


I while back, while strolling through the aisle of my local Asian market, when suddenly I spotted an interesting package I knew I had to have.  It was a package of dried up little rosebuds not unlike potpourri.

But on the back of the package were brewing instructions.

These little dried up roses were meant to create rose flavored tea or rose water.  The product description contained the following sentence : "red rose can help improve a dull complexion and skin moisture."  Although I wasn't sure exactly what those words meant or if they were even true, but I needed to try it and find out.
All of us probably have a bottle of rosewater sitting on a dresser that we mist our face with from time to time.  But did you also know that rosewater drinks are becoming a thing?

When you see an image of a celebrity sharing an image of themselves enjoying a large container of chilled rosewater, one has to ask....why is she drinking it?

If you do a little research on the benefits of consuming rose water internally, the first and most touted benefit is it's anti inflammatory benefits.  That's probably why rose water is so great when applied topically.  But, did you know that rose water is a high anti-oxidant beverage containing vitamin A, B3 C, D, and E.  In fact, the anti-oxidant properties were so potent that researchers compared it to vitamin E ( a powerhouse antioxidant).  They also determined that rose water had the ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation.  Oxidation is directly related to the aging process.  And because rosewater is so effective in slowing down oxidation, it's being considered a viable medical grade treatment for free radical related diseases.
cilk rosewater
That's powerful stuff.  Its no wonder why these designer juice companies are quickly adding rose water drinks to their lineup.  Please, don't reach for your facial toning spray and consume it.  That stuff is not meant to be taken internally.  Instead, you should seek out food grade rose water and there's a bunch on the market.

Here's a little snippet from a couple happy customers who experienced wonderful skin benefits as a result of her faithful consumption of rose water.

"...over the last several months I've been drinking h2rose religiously and have noticed my skin is much softer, I no longer have to use lotion like before and the quality of my skin all around is significantly better."

I finished 12 bottles of All Beauty Water in exactly 12 days because I wanted to see if I would have instant results. I must say I am truly amazed at how beautiful my skin looks and feels. I stuck to the same skin care regimen wash routine so the only thing I can attribute my new glowing skin to is All Beauty Water. It is truly a miracle in a bottle and an added bonus is it tastes great. My skin looks healthy, refreshed and it is blemish free. I will make this a part of my daily skin care regimen.

I got into drinking rose water this past winter.  I brewed about a half gallon at a time but didn't get to drink it consistently because my husband acquired a taste for rosewater and would consume most of it.  But, thanks to the gentle reminder from Justine Skye 's Instastory and learning about the powerful antioxidant affects online, I'm ready to jump back on the rosewater bandwagon.




By Erickka Sy Savané

“You can’t have more cookies until you work off that pudge! Your sister already lost hers. But you think you’re going to sit around here and get fat,” says my friend to her little girl.
She puts her head down. She’s seven years old. Her sister is three. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard my friend blasting her girls about their weight. The first time was right after Thanksgiving, and the difference was that both my friend and her husband were calling them ‘Pudgy.’ The crazy part is, I think they’re a normal size for kids. But even if they were pudgy or obese, what’s with the fat shaming?

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When I ask my friend about it she says that it’s tough love. “I don’t want them to get fat and teased out there because kids can be way crueler than me," she answers.

“But don’t you worry that calling them names will have a negative effect?”

She tells me a story about a family friend that went from an active 8-year-old to a fat 14-year-old who now takes depression medication. She's convinced that the young girl's problems begin and end with her weight. "I'm not letting it happen to my kids," she says with conviction.

In a weird way, I get what she’s saying. I remember getting called names like “Big Bertha” and “Thunder Thighs,” growing up, by some people in my own family. It was as cruel as when the big sister of my best friend slapped my thigh and pointed out how the fat jiggled in front of a bunch of people. I was young, but old enough to be mortified. So I get why my mom would tell me things like, “You better lose that weight because they don’t make cute clothes for fat people.” Though today she admits that it was a horrible way to shock me into losing weight, I can’t say that it didn’t help. It did prompt me to eat two plates of food at dinner instead of three, but on the flip side it made me feel bad. The fact that fat people weren’t worthy of someone making them cute clothes left me feeling unlovable. Like my value as a person was connected to my weight. Now that’s good if I lose it, which I eventually did, but unfortunately weight can fluctuate so when it’s good, I'm great; when it’s not, I'm back to feeling like sh*t again. As an adult, I still struggle.

Statistics even show that no matter how well-intentioned parents are, shaming kids about their weight actually increases their chances of developing negative body image, which can lead to an eating disorder (something struggled with in high school and beyond), which is increasingly putting more kids under the age of 12 in the hospital. It can also lead to depression. With these odds, fat shaming is too tricky. So what’s a good alternative?

According to fitness expert Tarik Tyler, who regularly works with kids, “The first thing to change is nutrition. And that starts with the parents. Seriously, kids don’t have access to credit cards. So how does the junk get into the kitchen in the first place? The parents.”

It’s true. In my friend’s case, tater tots and chicken nuggets are a dinner staple. And they have enough sweets to open a bakery. As for me, it was customary to eat a whole sweet potato pie in one sitting around he holidays. The problem is a lot of parents don’t want to change their own eating habits, let alone that of the whole family. But Tarik says it’s imperative:

“Kids will eat whatever you put in front of them, so it’s important to feed them the right things.”

He also stresses the importance of getting kids involved in an activity that is fun and interesting. “But you have to let them know why the activity is good for them. You gotta be encouraging.”

His words are coming at a good time, because with two young daughters whose weigh can easily fluctuate, I know to focus on nutrition and fitness for them and the whole family. It’s so much better than calling them, “Blubber Butts.”

Do you believe that 'fat shaming' is just 'tough love?'
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or