What you put in your body is just as important as what you put on your locs.
Just ask Karen Carothers, licensed nutritionist and author of the cookbook, Karen’s Exquisite Cuisine Cookbook: A Guide to Healthy Living & Cooking: Vegetarian, Poultry, Meat, Vegan & Seafood. In the book, Carothers talks in-depth about what to eat, how to work out and what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. And yes, she wears locs. Read on…
How important is nutrition for locs?
It is very important. A lot of times you’ll see dry, brittle, damaged hair (when it’s relaxed). With locs, it’s healthier. You don’t have the chemicals that come with a perm. Those chemicals seep into your brain over the years. If you’re already eating a poor diet, you have no defense. Eating a healthy diet can combat those chemicals a bit. It supports healthy growth and locs go hand-in-hand with nutrition. It’s natural. What you put in your body is just a important as what you put in your hair.
What’s the best food for locs?
Avocados, natural nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables with vitamins A, C and D and diets rich in omega fatty acids are great.
You are a big advocate of fitness. It’s been said that black women don’t work out because of their hair. How do locs work for you?
It easy. I don’t have to worry about my hair. After a workout, my locs are still intact. I don’t have to spend a lot of money on hair. I think of having locs as freedom to enjoy my workout. I not sweating any chemicals into my pores (When you sweat your pores are open.)
How long have you worn locs?
I’ve been wearing locs for one year. I love it. At first I was afraid, not sure and uncertain. I was wearing a curly fro. When I wanted locs, I hesitated because the loctician I went to wanted to cut my natural hair to start them. I waited until I found somebody who worked with what I have. That other person was also expensive. They wanted to charge $200 to start them.
You do your own hair?
Yes. My loctician taught me how to maintain it. I’ve learned how to work with my hair, what the character of my hair is. When I had a natural, I would get my hair pressed for a special event. Now, I don’t worry, and I do it all myself. I thought locs were messy and not dainty. It’s the opposite. It depends on how you wear it.
Any advice for fellow loc wearers?
Enjoy the freedom. Let your locs do their own thing.
Get the book. You can order Karen’s cookbook by going to www.karensexquisitecuisine.com or call 773-717-2147.
Here’s a recipe from the book:
Peanut Butter Balls
2 cups Natural Peanut Butter (see below)
1 cup Raw Honey or Agave Nectar
2 cups Raw Oatmeal
Pre-heat oven to 350˚ F. Mix all ingredients, thoroughly, in a large bowl. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or the refrigerator for 1 hour. Roll the peanut butter mixture into small balls of 1/2 tablespoon, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and serve warm or room temperature. Makes 40 cookies.
Natural Peanut Butter
1 cup Roasted Peanuts
1- 1/2 tsp Oil (peanut oil preferred)
1/4 tsp Salt (optional)
Put all ingredients in a blender or a food processor. Blend until mixture is spreadable. You may need to stop blending and scrape the sides occasionally. Store the mixture in the refrigerator. If the oil and peanut butter separate, stir before serving. It will be good for 2 weeks.
If you would like to add a sweetener, add it about a teaspoon at a time until it’s as sweet as you’d like. Some good sweeteners are honey, and if your child is past 1 year of age, try brown rice syrup or agave nectar.