GaptoothDiva discusses the health benefits of Okra

Eat That Damn Okra, It is Good For You! Healthy Benefits of Eating/Using the Slimy Pods from Ethiopia

I’ve always loved the delicious and unique taste of okra. Ever since my grandmother used to cook it with Sunday dinner dishes, when my aunts would fry it on the holidays, and when my mother would whip it up on occasion, it was one of my favorite side dishes. Okra wasn’t something that freaked me out, like what most people described as their first time. It was pleasant, filling, and when I ate it I just felt healthier.

Recently I have been trying to treat my boy better. I struggle with the inconvenient disease of “eating my damn feelings”. So when life gets busy, hectic, and I’m juggling a lot of things at one time, instead of stopping to smell the flowers, I would much rather stop for some cheeseburgers and fries. I am a bad girl to my body when I’m stressed, and that was apparent to everyone around me. So I finally just slowed down and started considering what I was putting in my body, which should be more green and colorful veggies and fruits, and less processed garbage that gives me my temporary pleasure.

I just got into a debate with the Hubs about Okra. I would love to make more of it for the house, but he doesn’t like it at all. I wanted to convince him that it is actually a delicious and satisfying dish, but still he wasn’t having it. So I did some research and I discovered that okra was way more beneficial than I thought.

Here is what http://www.naturalfoodbenefits.com had to say about the health benefits of okra

Besides being low in calories it is aplenty with vitamins of the category A, Thiamin, B6, C, folic acid, riboflavin, calcium, zinc and dietary fiber. Eating okra is much recommended for pregnant woman besides other for it is rich in folic acid which is essential in the neural tube formation of the fetus during 4-12 weeks of gestation period in the mother’s womb. – That’s awesome, because when I was pregnant okra was one of the only vegetables that I could keep down. Goes to show okra makes cute and intelligent babies… I’m just saying. Lol

The mucilage and fiber found in okra helps adjust blood sugar by regulating its absorption in the small intestine. – Sounds incredibly helpful right.

The fiber of okra has many superior qualities in maintaining the health of the gastro-intestinal tract. – Need that gastrointestinal tract healthy, nah mean.

It helps reabsorb water and traps excess cholesterol, metabolic toxins and surplus bile in its mucilage and slips it out through the stool. Due to greater percentage of water in the bulk it thereby prevents constipation, gas and bloating in the abdomen. – No one has time to be constipated and backed up all the time. Tell those mean people to grab a handful of okra, why don’t they.

It is an ideal vegetable for weight loss and is storehouse of health benefits provided it is cooked over low flame to retain its properties. This also to ensure that the invaluable mucilage contained in it is not lost to high heat. – See I knew I was on the right track.

Okra facilitates the propagation of good bacteria referred to as probiotics. These are similar to the ones proliferate by the yogurt in the small intestine and helps biosynthesis of Vitamin B complex. – Yes!

For adding bounce your hair. Boil horizontally sliced okra till the brew become maximally slimy. Cool it and add a few drops of lemon and use this as the last rinse and see your hair spring back to youthfulness and jump. – See it also helps that beautiful mane on your head.

Okra is an excellent laxative treats irritable bowels, heals ulcers and sooths the gastrointestinal track. – Unclogs what is stopping you up.

Protein and oil contained in the seeds of okra serves as the source of first-rate vegetable protein. It is enriched with amino acids on the likes of tryptophan, cysteine and other sulfur amino acids.

 

 

Now as if I wasn’t already impressed. I saw an article on Amazing Benefits of Okra / Lady’s Finger with helpful tips about selecting okra and more on it benefits.

Health Benefits From Okra/ladies finger: 

1. High fiber content:

The dietary fiber content of an Okra/lady finger is known to be high and hence many health specialists recommend it for digestive benefits. The fibers aid the process of digestion in the body by facilitating proper bowel movement.

2. Diabetes:

Okra is known to aid in prevention of diabetes. It is rich in Fiber which helps in the prevention of this disease.

3. Good folates content:

Folates present in Okra reduce the neural tube defects in a new born baby. So it is highly recommended for women during pre-conception period or pregnancy.

4. Vitamin K benefits:

Vitamin K is a co-factor in blood-clotting process and also plays a major role in strengthening the bones in our body.

5. Asthma:

Asthma can also be treated by including Okra/ lady fingers in your meals. People diagnosed with asthma are strongly suggested to consume Okra.

6. Constipation:

Facilitating proper absorption of water, Okra/ lady finger vegetable ensures free motion disposal by the body and hence prevents constipation.

7. Sun stroke:

Okra helps prevent sun strokes.

8. Colon cancer:

It is believed that all diseases begin in the colon; Adding Okra to your meals ensures prevention of colon cancer and related diseases to a great extent

9. Obesity:

With regular usage of Okra, in either raw or cooked form, you can avoid obesity to a great extent. Obesity is not necessarily due to consumption of fatty and calorific foods but also due to lack of nutrients.

10. Cholesterol:

This vegetable ensures lesser absorption of cholesterol preventing heart diseases and ailments occurring due to cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a dominant content in the body that triggers obesity and heart diseases.

Skin Benefits of Okra 

11. Dietary fiber for healthy skin:

Okra comes with a lot of dietary fiber. It is also high in metabolism, and thus keeps the digestion      problem away. Proper digestion reflects through a healthy-looking skin.

12. Vitamin C for younger skin:

Vitamin C found in okra actually helps maintain a younger looking skin. It aids in repairing body tissues. This in turn helps keep your skin younger and also makes it look more vibrant.

13. Prevents skin pigmentation:

The nutrients found in okra actually helps to prevent skin pigmentation. It is useful for rejuvenating     your skin and repairing damages.

Hair Benefits of Okra

14. Bouncy hair:

If you are tired of your distressed hair, try using Okra to get that bounce back. Boil okra with some water and the transparent mucilage that you get can be used to get your bouncy hair back.

15. Hair conditioner:

The same mucilage can be used as hair conditioner. Wash your hair and squeeze out excess water. Massage the watery mucilage through your hair and rinse thoroughly with water.

16. Scalp moisturizer:

Okra is an excellent moisturizer for your dry and itchy scalp. It leaves your hair feeling soft and isn’t harmful like other cosmetics available in the market. It is great for people with unruly, curly and lifeless hair.

17. Fights dandruff:

Okra improves the overall scalp condition and fights dandruff. It moisturizes your scalp and keeps dandruff away.

18. Shiny hair:

Okra, when used as a hair rinse, gives great shine to your hair. You can give your regular conditioner a miss once in a while and take care of your hair the natural way.

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, Okra is also good for:

Improving immunity

Improving eyesight

Weight loss

Preventing constipation

Avoiding anemia

Preventing diabetes

How to select good Okra?

  • Although topical use of okra does a lot of good, we just cannot ignore how beneficial its intake is. Most of us are left clueless when questioned about how to select good Okra. Here is a quick guide to help you understand the selection process better.
  • Smaller pods – Always look for smaller pods because they are tender. They taste better than the larger ones which are tough and stringy too.
  • Bright color – Look out for bright green-colored pods. You may also find varieties of burgundy or deep red. Those are also used for cooking purpose but green ones are widely used.
  • Unblemished pods – While selecting okra, try and look for unblemished ones. These are fresh and are not rotten from inside.
  • Firmness – Check for the firmness of okra. While the smaller pods are generally tender, they should not be very soft.

How to store Okra?

  • Okra should be stored unwashed.
  • You can store it in a paper bag or simply wrap it in a newspaper. If you don’t have a paper bag, you can also store it in a perforated plastic bag.
  • Make sure you keep it in the warmest part of your refrigerator. This would help you store it for up to 3 days at least.
  • Okra tends to decay faster when kept really cold. So make sure you store it in warmer temperature in your refrigerator.
  • Simply blanch the whole okra and freeze it if you want to store it longer.
  • Tips for usage
  • Before cooking, thoroughly wash and rinse whole okra well with water.
  • After washing, pat it dry completely, using a dry towel.
  • You can then store it in a zip-lock bag and leave it overnight in the fridge before using it next day. This will make it less slimy while cooking. This will make okra freeze solid.
  • Add okra immediately to your dish after taking it out from the refrigerator. You can use it as whole or chopped.
  • Always trim the ends before adding it to your dish.
  • Don’t allow it to thaw to avoid it from sliming out.

Tips for cooking

  • To avoid too much sliming, fry it in oil a little before adding all spices. This reduces the slime to a great extent. Remove okra from the pan and set aside and add it towards the end after you have prepared the rest of the dish.
  • Soak it in vinegar or lemon water before using it. Another option is to add lemon or vinegar to the dish itself to cut down the slime.
  • Blanch okra for 3-4 minutes to reduce the slime and add to the dish when it is almost cooked.

 

So with all those wonderful benefits. I don’t know what the heck my husband’s problem is. I love it and obviously it loves me back because look at all the wonderful things it does for my body.

I look forward to more okra recipes as I am not giving up my lady fingers. Besides, how could you not like a vegetable that rhymes with Oprah? LOL

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What are your favorite Okra dishes?

Are there any “gross” vegetables that you absolutely love as well?

GaptoothDiva shares recipe for (Venison) Deer Meat Stew

How to Make Venison (Deer) Meat & Veggie Stew For The Whole Family For Under $20

So this past weekend I decided to finally cook that deer meat that has been in the freezer since the holidays. My husband, with all his country-ness, received some gifted deer meat from one his co-workers. He has been asking me to cook the deer meat for him for a while, and I decided to oblige his request. It’s not like he ask for a whole lot these days, right?

So, I already know… deer meat, really? Yes, otherwise known as venison, is the meat of those little Bambi’s that people sometimes go in the woods and hunt down to kill. I myself, do not have the stomach for hunting, but as of right now I’m still a carnivore. Since I’ve had deer meat before, I wasn’t grossed out in the least bit about preparing it and cooking it for my family. For those of you that do not know anything about deer meat, it’s actually delicious. Deer meat taste a lot like roast beef or pot roast depending on how you choose to prepare it. It can be a lot tougher, but the way I prepare it, it’s tender, moist, and falls off the bone.

If you do a little research on Deer meat, you will find some extremely useful facts that may sway you to at least become bold enough to try it. Deer meat is reportedly much healthier for you than the meat that is purchased at the grocery store. It’s not pumped up with any steroids or additives, as deer normally feast on grass, berries, stems, and other natural things in… uh nature. LOL, I was so comfortable with that. I knew that this large piece of meat would last a while, as we eat leftovers throughout the week for lunch. My goal was to ensure that my family had a meal that was filling, satisfying, and delicious for more than just one sitting.

GaptoothDiva shares recipe for (Venison) Deer Meat Stew

Ingredients (Venison) Deer Meat and Veggie Stew:

A pound or more of Deer meat (free)

Red Potatoes (I used about five large ones and chopped them up into three or four smaller pieces) (2.99)

Celery (1.00)

Carrots (1.50)

Mushrooms (1.99)

Onions and Green Peppers (1.50)

Thyme (1.00)

Oregano (.50)

Garlic Powder (.50)

Salt and Pepper (1.00)

Vinegar (1.00)

Beef Stock (1.99)

A pinch of Curry (but this isn’t necessary) (1.00)

Flavored meat rub (I used a McCormick brand that I normally use for pot roast) (2.50)

Olive oil (1.00)

A Slow Cooker (my own)

Water (boiled tap water from the faucet)

How To / Directions for (Venison) Deer Meat & Veggie Stew:

  • First soak your deer meat in a large pot with a mix of 1 ½ cup of Vinegar and water. Fill the pot up to an inch over the meat with water to soak it. You will soak this meat for at least 24 hours to ensure that you’ve drained it out completely. This helps to slightly avoid that “game” taste. You don’t want your meal to taste like it just died, but that’s just me.
  • Once the meat has soaked for a day, empty the pot filled with water. Thoroughly rinse the meat off with cool water and place it in the slow cooker (crockpot).
  • While in the crockpot rub meat with olive oil throughout (use only a tablespoon). If you prefer you can substitute with coconut oil or butter as well.
  • Rub meat throughout with your favorite meat rub. I suggest McCormick’s, as I love how mostly everything about their products really bring life
  • I usually don’t tell people how much seasoning and spices to use, because it depends on your taste. So put the spices and seasonings listed above as you would like it. I’m not a professional chef by no means, so I’ve perfected my wrist action when it comes to seasoning my food. I don’t measure that often, therefore I suggest season to taste.
  • Add 1 ½ to 2 cups of water to your crock pot/slow cooker and then pour a matching amount of beef stock or broth in there as well. The goal is to barely reach the top of the meat to ensure it’s fully submerged. You will notice some of the fluid “steam off” or condense as time goes by, that’s ok. We’re making stew, not soup. Don’t use too much water.
  • Place the slow cooker/crockpot on High
  • Prepare to have the meat in the slow cooker for at least 5 to 6 hours before putting your vegetables in the pot. You want to ensure that the meat is falling off the bone. The vegetables only have about and half an hour to 45 minutes to cook. Therefore, it’s the last thing you want to throw in.
  • After 5 to 6 hours, you should have chopped your veggies up. I mean, what were you doing all this time, huh? LOL. After chopping up the vegetables, place them in with the meat and stir well, so that all your vegetables aren’t just floating at the top, but being thoroughly immersed in your broth and spices for adequate flavoring.
  • Wait about 30 to 45 minutes for veggies to cook thoroughly. Once you can literally cut through the carrots and potatoes with a spoon, it’s time to get some bowls and enjoy.

This recipe should yield about 6 to 8 servings for your family. I have some very greedy people in my house and a serving for one, although is healthy and accurate, just doesn’t cut it.

I hope you like this recipe. I look forward to sharing more budget conscious recipes that are little quirky and unique for those of you looking to had something a little interesting to the dinner table.

 

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So Tell Me, How Did Your Deer & Veggie Stew Turn Out?

 

GaptoothDiva discusses wearing animal prints in the winter in fashion and style

Is Anyone Else Still Addicted To Animal Print? Warm Up the Basic Winter in Style

I can’t stand myself sometimes! This weekend was the tenth time I lit up in excitement when someone with animal print walked into the room. My sister says I’m insane, but that’s nothing new. Lately, I’ve wanted to splash animal print on everything basic for a double touch of color and flare. I think the winter is the best time for someone who doesn’t try prints and colors often, to experiment. During this part of the year, most people layer on for comfort and warmth. However, if you’ve never tried bolder prints and designs, the colder months are perfect for “sneaking” in that new print you’ve always wanted to try. Because of your various layers, if you’re not too hot about the look, you can always cover it up. It’s a win-win, when you’re sort of seeing whether you like the look of something, but you really don’t want to display it for the whole world to see.

Some of us are already onto something. I went into my archives and pulled two photos of two very different women who used the trend to their benefit. Have you ever seen an outfit on someone that just inspired you? Well, that is exactly what happened when I saw these two fashionistas on the go in Richmond, Virginia. First, there is Naturally Creole, a Blogger I met at the shop the aisle event. You can check her out (http://www.naturallycreole.blogspot.com) for hair and makeup tutorials. She is incredibly awesome and a mommy, too. Then there is the amazingly wonderful little sis, Shanice (@watevajustsmile) who is currently a Specialist in the United States Military. She still manages to have style after going all those weeks without lip-gloss, LoL.

GaptoothDiva discusses wearing animal prints in the winter in fashion and styleBoth women are sporting great choices for animal prints and I loved it so much that I wanted to share how any woman, regardless of her lifestyle can incorporate this trend into their wardrobe. From basics to full on ensembles, animal print has to be my favorite…

All my suggestions are always under $50, because we shouldn’t go broke trying to put names on our a**!

Warm Up with Animal Prints

Maybe you haven’t fallen for the hype as I have, and animal print isn’t really your thing. Look at some small options that make a huge impact on any outfit. These $25 earrings from A.B.S. By Allen Schwartz (lordandtaylor.com), this eclectic clutch purse for $40 (lulus.com), and this Mesh Leopard Bangle Set for $9.50 (wetseal.com) are all great options to add some “wild” to your basics. I especially love the quirky vintage inspired bow hair tie for $14 (etsy.com).

Let’s say you are only willing to go as far as a shirt. Well, wetseal.com has a Cheetah Mirrored Status Tee for only $12. In addition, you can get a $44 Animal Print Mohair Sweater from oasap.com; something I think is super cool for those really chilly days.

For my fierce darlings, I’m obsessed with these $40 American Eagle Outfitters leopard oxfords (ae.com), I would pair these with basic white tees and jeans on slow days and a full blown printed outfit on days I’m feeling myself… which would be almost everyday. Yep, rim shot! I also adore this $24 Motel Becka Bodycon Skirt from motelrocks.com, but as an alternative I wouldn’t mind wearing these High Waist Leather Shorts for $44 at romwe.com. My motto is always “go hard or go home!”

Anyway, I have a few DIY’s coming soon that include animal print designs and I always will be posting some new outfits on my personal style blog, FYOURSTYLE. Make sure to check them out and tell me what you think.

How do you like to style your Animal Prints for the winter?

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How to Get Your Music Featured on Blogs and Internet Radio Shows

There is an abundance of talented independent artists in the world.  All of them want free promotion on blogs and internet radio shows that cater to their niche. There is right way to get your music featured, and of course, there is a wrong way. I explain in the video the right way to get your music featured that not only gets you the opportunity to have your worked displayed across various platforms, but also maintains your credibility as being professional and educated on the business portion of your music career. Not everyone has a team of publicist and marketers that can get their information out there to the masses. With this video, you should be able to promote yourself with little to no effort, the proper way. 

 

for more inspiration and motivation follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva

To be featured on GaptoothDiva.com or GaptoothDiva Radio, submit your information to GaptoothDiva@hotmail.com

I'esha GaptoothDiva Runway Walk in Zulane

How to Attend a Plus Size Model Call and Audition in 7 Steps

I'esha GaptoothDiva Runway Walk in Zulane

Nowadays, the fashion industry is giving more and more respect and acknowledgement to the wonderful work that the plus size/full figure community has done. This means great things for so many women, who once thought they could never be models. Although our size is accepted and more opportunities have opened up, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t educate yourself on how to stay a step above, in your quest to be a plus size model.

 

Most recently more labels, fashion houses, and even retail boutiques have requested full figured beautiful women to attend open houses, model calls, and auditions for their runways shows and fashion campaigns. This means a greater chance for plus-size/full figured women to represent more on the runway, on the catwalks, and in print.

 

There are a couple of things however that you need to know, especially when starting out. If you are interested in getting involved in plus-size fashion and you want to start in the local scene, below is a list of all the things to consider before auditioning. It may seem like an easy accomplishment, considering you have the attitude and you can walk in heels. However, strutting down the hallway in your stiletto heels and pretending to be as “diva-fied” as Beyonce, Tyra, or any fabulous woman on television is not enough to boost your career or your true potential.

 

  1. Self Esteem is Key – Before you go on the audition check your self-esteem at the door. You may already think you qualify if you are considering entering into an audition, but self-esteem is displayed in many ways. Do you freeze up in front of large crowds? Do you second-guess yourself? Are you affected by comments, whispers, and snickers? These factors all measure the potential a model may have. Remember you may have to walk in front of a large crowd, most of whom will not be quiet, can you take the pressure of people commenting, yelling, screaming, or laughing when the time came. There will be other women in the show, some of these women can be very snide and competitive, would you be able to maintain professionalism and still work the runway. Before you decide to jump into this industry, talk to someone who knows and can share with you the pros and cons of getting involved. It takes a strong woman to display her self in front of others, with no fear or hesitation. Make sure you are that kind of woman, no questions asked.

 

  1. Hygiene – This should be understood, but you won’t believe how many women come to an audition without first properly taking care of themselves. Of course you want to shower and be clean, while making sure you don’t stink. However, what about shaving those armpits and legs? How about making sure your nails are polished and trimmed in a decent shade. Makeup is based on individual factors. Most of the time fashion designers would like to see you with a little makeup as possible, to get a sense of your true beauty. However, currently, some women are far more self-conscious without it. If you need to cover up some facial discoloration, make sure it looks as natural as possible. Please don’t cake it on and make yourself look like a drag queen. Stick to colors and shades that compliment your skin tone, and never, ever use black eyeliner around your lips for any reason at all.  Since we are in the age of weaves, wigs, and natural hair, always be sure that your hairstyle is something simple, as to not distract from the Designer’s work. Loud and trendy hairstyles are cute to some; however, the wrong color and style may clash with the fashions you are wearing. Remember, although you are the model, it’s about the clothes… not you.

 

  1. Dress with Some Sense – For some reason, many women think model call/audition and they think to come in their club clothes. There are lines of women dressed in body conscious dresses too tight to breath, shoes made for looking that they can’t walk in, and attire that would make you think they wanted to be in some rapper’s video. On the other hand, some women show up as if they did not intend on being selected at all. It’s as if someone woke them up that morning and forced them to audition by gunpoint. There has to be a balance. No one said modeling equated to being slut-like and sexually appealing, remember there are mostly women in here… who are you trying to seduce? However, you do want to display your beauty and sense of style. Keep it simple. Leggings are always a good choice as it shows your true shape and curves with a nice top and some decent heels of a workable height. Make sure you check their guidelines, first. Jeans and a shirt are also appropriate choices. If you want to display your legs, you can wear a dress, but check the appropriate length and be sure to touch up those legs. This tip is all depending on the rules of the model call and audition. If you don’t know, it’s always best to air on the side of caution and keep it casual, stylish, and simple.

 

  1. Bring Everything Required – Check the posting, make a call, email, or ask around. Any real model call and audition will have some information posted about what you should bring with you when you arrive to audition. Whether it’s a photo, your measurements, a resume/portfolio, make sure that you have everything you need when you get there. I always say it’s better to have too much information with you then not enough. If they don’t need then at least you have it. However, it would really suck if you didn’t have what you need, and plenty of girls who arrived that did. You don’t want to miss your opportunity, because of one little oversight.

 

  1. Your Attitude – Remember I mentioned it takes a strong women to be a plus size model, well I was not kidding. Although Full Figured women have come a long way, there a still a few who are adamant about holding the community back, with their negativity and cattiness. As a plus size model, you may experience some women who will try to compete with you, for no other reason but their own insecurities. Although you all may have passed the audition stage, there will still be women who feel like they need to compete with you, especially if you so a lot of potential and great promise. Just maintain a positive and non-confrontational attitude. Don’t be easily affected by their actions and try to keep the morale of the show and it’s participants as high as possible. You will be asked to do more shows in the future, if you are less drama and more hard work, regardless of your skill level.

 

  1. Communication – Most models starting out have other obligations that they must tend to, although they are trying to accomplish their dream of modeling. Some women have families and children, full time jobs, school, and other community obligations. The important thing to do is to communicate with your event organizers and fellow models, always, especially when you won’t be able to make it to practice and rehearsal. The Designers and the Coordinators have scheduled and arranged each scene specifically based on how many women they have and which ones they had to walk or shoot. If you decide not show up on any given day, then you could jeopardize the show and your ability to be in it. Let the coordinator know if you won’t attend a practice, or if you will be substantially late. The worst thing to do is to hold everyone up the day of the show, because you have no idea what to do and/or what is going on.

 

  1. Pay Attention – No matter your skill level or experience, I can almost guarantee that any model can admit that she learned something about the industry or about herself each rehearsal and every show. It’s inevitable. This is an ever-changing machine, which comes with various factors, while you work with diverse personalities. You may gain some skills at one show, and realize a weakness in another. That is the evolution of becoming great. However, if you take it as a joke each time you’re involved than you will never graduate from being just a local model, to someone worth talking about. No matter how much you know, allow yourself to be taught something new. There is nothing wrong with learning more than one way of doing something. Coordinators want to know that you are educated in the basics, but often times they may put a spin on something. Come with an open mind, and be prepared to learn. I hope that when you become well versed enough, you can pass what you learn down to someone else and inspire him or her to become a plus-size/full figured model as well.

 

Now congrats on your choice to join the brave, bold, and voluptuous on their quest to being modeling superstars. Always remember you are representing a brand, a designer, and a label. Put your best foot forward at all times and always show confidence. Good luck!