Battle of the Bloat Part II: The Best Foods to BEAT the bulge



Good Morning Loves,

This past week and a half has been terribly busy so I wasn’t able to post as I was working extremely hard closing out my fiscal year activities. However, no worries, I am still here serving you a different look into the life of the courageous and curvy. As promised, part II to beating the bulge is here.  Due to me missing a week, I will also dedicate this first week of October to several posts about PCOS and nutrition.  In the meantime, check out this list of foods that will snap you into shape if you are feeling puffed up and sluggish:


Although bananas may feel heavy and a lot to consume, their high consistency of potassium help to reduce inflammation and water retention.


Another potassium filled fruit is cantaloupe.  This not only is packed with the ability to help keep you trim but it also is good for hydration as it is packed with H2O, which will keep your body feeling fresh and energized.

Leafy Greens

Now I mentioned earlier that spinach fresh can make you bloat, but if blended down or cooked it actually cleans you completely out. This is also true for Kale as well; my other go to leafy green.  Other examples of bloat reducing leafy greens are Romaine Lettuce, Arugula, Collard Greens, and Swiss Chard.

Olive Oil

It has been scientifically proven that olive oil can help reduce stomach fat and ease bloating if ingested over a period of time.  Olive Oil contains a chemical called oleic acid, which helps break down fat in the body.


Artichokes have been linked to assist in proper digestion and ease the bloating of the stomach when eaten. NO not in the form of spinach and artichoke dip, which is fattening while delicious. Artichokes that are lightly steamed, sauteed, are the best way to receive benefits from them.


These guac stars are filled with healthy, filling monounsaturated fat. Spread on whole-wheat bread for avocado toast, or slice up half an avocado and mix it into any salad

Fatty Fish

Those like salmon and mackerel are packed with healthy, filling omega-3 fatty acids, which are structural fats, not storage fats, so they’re less likely to be stored in a layer of belly fat


These crunchy veggies have few calories and are natural diuretics, meaning they help flush out excess water weight


Hello, summer! Berries are full of fiber and antioxidants, plus they’re low-cal. Eat them solo or use them as a topping for yogurt or cereal.


Since it’s packed with water, celery helps your body flush out extra liquids, which makes your stomach appear flatter.


These stalks contain potassium, which helps remove excess fluids from your body. Eat them raw or sprinkle with salt, pepper, and olive oil and toss them on the grill.


This veggie is very low in sodium and high in water, so it helps fight bloat.


This red fruit is packed with water, so you can eat tons of it. And what’s more refreshing at the end of a summer barbecue?


Almonds are loaded with protein, making them a great afternoon snack. Just be sure to stick with the natural kind, and limit yourself to a one-ounce serving (about a shot-glass worth).

Shrimp and Eggs

Both are packed with protein and are lean sources to indulge in. Although science advises from eating too many egg yolks, so egg whites are your better pick (which actually contain the same amount of protein as the yolk). Shrimp is  packed with keep-you-full protein and is super low in calories, so you can eat up until you’re satisfied without getting bloated.

Lemon Water

Drinking water (contrary to what you may think) helps to flush excess sodium and sugar from your body while the lemon helps to ease the digestive system. So this combo always wins.  Other citrus fruits that also work well are limes, grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines.

More foods to help beat the bloat can be found on and at this article posted on redbook at


Best Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally

Good Morning Lovlies,

In honor of PCOS awareness, today’s topic will be hormonal wellness. One of the underlying issues with PCOS is the inability to balance hormones to work for the body and not against it. When you go to the doctor, of course they try to throw all sorts of medication in your system in hopes that some cocktail of doses work. However, it usually takes a little more than the prescribed Metformin, Birth Control, and other medications to assist in keeping the body in balance with PCOS.

Through my journey, I really began focusing on my nutrition and ways that I can keep myself in check naturally while also on limited medication.  Here are some of the ways that I have researched and use to help maintain hormonal harmony:

Increase you intake of Omega-3 

Omega-3 fats are essential in maintaining optimal hormonal function. In fact, one of the major causes for weight fluctuations and gain is the over consumption of polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils, peanut oils, soybean oils, etc.) These fats add layers of underlying fat to the body, preventing cells from functioning properly. However, the consumption of Omega-3 fats, do the exact opposite for cellular and hormonal function. Fats such as Coconut Oil is amazing for hormone health. It is known to assist in hormone production, assist in weight loss, and reduce inflammation.  Other quality sources of fats include avocados, animal fats, olive oil, grass fed meats, pastured eggs, real butter (not margarine) and raw dairy. Quality seafood is also very important, as it is nature’s best source of naturally occurring Omega-3s.

 Limit the Caffeine

I know that we as an American people love our Starbuck’s but too much caffeine can actually send the body into hormonal distress.  Another area too much Caffeine impacts is blood sugar regulation. For me, that is essential, because I am insulin resistant, so anything I can do to minimize blood sugar spikes is key. Replacing with Herbal Teas is so much more beneficial, and keeps your body at peace.

Get Optimal Rest

In a nation that almost never sleeps or takes adequate breaks, it is essential that if you are suffering with hormonal disorders that you find ways to sleep. It is almost like an Oxymoron with PCOS because many sufferers experience insomnia spells. What has assisted me is natural supplements such as spearmint tea, Inositol combined with Choline, and Melatonin.  I try now to get at least 6 hours in order to keep my body at perfect peace and to maintain consistent hormonal function.

Exercise, Exercise, and again EXERCISE

It is more than just losing weight for PCOS sufferers, exercise regulates the body and assists in cellular function.  I always notice when I stop exercising for a while….my skin gets dry, my hair gets brittle and my sleep patterns get thrown off. Exercise for me is a must, even if its just 20 minutes a day, I have to get some form of activity in.

Buy Organic Meat and Produce

In the past, I have been criticized for the level of money I spend on grocery and where I shop. However, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a real side effect for many with PCOS.  In a previous post I spoke on bloating (I still have to do Part II to that post), and what also has helped me is getting my meat and produce primarily from Farmer’s Market’s.  Digestive Health is so essential because so much gets trapped in your gut that harms you. Toxins, Chemicals, and other unnatural disturbances really impact your quality of life more than you know. I always say the purer the better in terms of nutrition.

Supplement, Supplement, and Supplement

So sadly, when you suffer from Endocrine Disorders, many times you have deficiencies in needed vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. For me I suffer with Vitamin D, Iron, and Vitamin B deficiencies. Each of these Vitamins are essential, especially the B Vitamins as they are known to regulate metabolism, cell function, and energy levels. Two of the most significant factors with PCOS is that you are constantly tired, lethargic, and have very sluggish weight-loss.  In-taking a series of Vitamin B Complex truly does assist with that. I currently take 3,000mg of Biotin, 1,000mg of Choline/Inositol and a Daily Energy B Complex.  My body feels wonderful once I pop these in. In addition, if you are on Metformin, it is a known side effect that it depletes Vitamin B from your system. D3 and Folic Acid are also two of my other favorites as well. I try to take 1,000mg of each a day as well. Many may ask why don’t I just take a multivitamin, well for the most part, I get the rest of my nutrition through the foods I eat. I mainly focus on what I know for a fact my blood-work shows I lack.

I also season many of my foods with cinnamon, tumeric, ginger, and cumin, cayenne, garlic, as all are known to help with hormonal function over time. Diet is so important with PCOS and in life in general.  It really makes the largest impact on your symptoms when done right.

Lastly, I drink Spearmint tea due to its ability to help reduce hirsutism. It helps to reduce the androgen production and causes hair growth to lessen in those who suffer with abnormal hair growth like myself. Carbohydrate maintenance also plays a major role as well.

I hope you enjoyed this informational session and even if you don’t have PCOS maybe something here will help you feel more balanced and whole :).

With Love,



Why Christian Siriano is having the best MONTH Ever

Good Evening Lovelies,

Fall is always my favorite time of year for the weather, the food, and more importantly the fashion: PLUS SIZE FASHION.  2016 has been full of curves and really has started to shake up the world showing everyone just how beautiful EVER BODY is.  This year Ashley Graham truly left everyone bright eyed and drooling over her Sports Illustrated Cover and now the fall showing for NYFW 2016 has been decorated with Plus Models serving serious life on the catwalks for numerous designers.  My favorite of all is Christian Siriano.  I have been obsessed with him since his appearance on Season 4 of Project Runway. This year, however, he has truly taken my breath away first teaming up with Lane Bryant debuting a jaw dropping Spring Collection, mtm4nty5mtyyodqxnjyyodg2

to now showcasing several plus models in his 2017 Spring Collections:



However, that is NOT ALL….Mr. Siriano ran the Emmy’s red carpet with fashion, and I couldn’t be more excited about his success.  Take a glimpse of the start studded elegance seen on ABC’s Emmy Award Show Below:

Kathy Bates
Angela Bassett
Niecy Nash
68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Anna Chlumsky
Maura Tierney

I can’t wait to see more from him and am utterly excited for all the success he is receiving!!! He is now being considered one of the designers that are proud to dress all women, and gives everyone glamorous options to consider. This is so important because some of us just are not genetically going to be thin,  no matter how many fad diets, programs, and tummy teas we consume.  Christian is allowing everyone to feel like they have a place to be fashionable…..and I truly appreciate and love him for it.

With Love,


Spotlight on TORRID and the Fox Empire Collection

Good Afternoon Lovlies,

Now you know I am here for a good fashion theme and hunnies Torrid is giving me just that with the new collection inspired by Fox’s hit show “Empire”.  Who doesn’t want to show off their inner Cookie Lyon?  Below are a few of my absolute favorite looks!!! Go online today as all these pieces are on sale for 25% off!!!! Happy Fall Shopping!

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With Love,


Don’t You Fur-get IT!

Good Morning Loves!!!

So MY FAVORITE season is upon us meaning, I get to sport my favorite accentuating material: FUR! That’s  right loves, I love FUR (Faux Fur, of course, because I am mother of a lil toy poodle fur-baby).  I have been on the prowl and bring to you some early season favorites that caught my eye for September!!!!  I can’t decide between a few of them, but just know 1 or 3 of the items may be in my closet before the month is over.

With Love,


Battle of the Bloat: Part 1

Good Morning Lovlies,

Continuing on with the PCOS theme for September, one area I struggle with is extreme bloating.  I can gain 10lbs in two weeks and lose it in another 3 weeks all from what I eat. In the world of curves and model aspirations, a flat stomach illusion, is still desired to showcase designers clothes appropriately and to look seamless in photos.  So in my conquest to naturally manage PCOS, I present to you a list of foods that completely destroy all Anti-Bloat efforts.  Some foods are actually shocking and I was hurt finding out that I needed to cut back or cut off my consumption of them:



Broccoli, Cabbage Kale and all Cruciferous Vegetables

Although these veggies pack a heavy punch of nutrients and are indeed delicious, they are terrible during moments when you need your stomach to be flat. The reason for this is these vegetables contain raffinose, a sugar that remains undigested and ferments in your system until your body is able to digest it. There is nothing wrong with eating these, but if you are on a mission or have an event to attend, stay away.


There are no surprises here, as many people experience stomach trouble and gas after eating legumes (better known as beans).  Beans are wonderful sources of fiber and protein, however, fiber cannot be digested by the body.  Therefore until your body releases the fiber from your system,  you will fill heavy and your stomach may experience extreme gas and bloating. Most legumes contain oligosaccharides, sugar molecules that the body can’t fully break down. These oligosaccharides sit in the stomach, where they ferment, causing gas and bloating.

Dairy (except probiotic yogurt)

I love dairy, but as I got older, I realized I am slightly lactose intolerant, so dairy always causes extreme stomach issues.  Research suggests though that many people suffer from dairy because our bodies naturally do not produce enough enzymes to breakdown lactose.  As a result, dairy for many individuals causes; gas, bloating, constipation, and stomach pain.

Milk Alternatives

Soy or almond milk may seem like safe alternatives for those with lactose sensitivities, but if you are buying a brand with the thickening agent carrageenan. Derived from seaweed, carrageenan has been linked to ulcers, inflammation, and other gastrointestinal problems.  Other gums used for thickening such as; Gellan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Tara Gum, etc are also indigestible. For those who suffer from digestive issues, these agents may still cause some discomfort and bloating.  I love my almond milk, and since attempting to do the Whole 30 program and from research I have started to make my own almond milk. There are so many recipes online to create a masterpiece.

Apples and Pears

This hurts my heart, but apples and pears are known to be filling and a great source of fiber. However, much like beans, these fruits are not digestible entirely due to their high fiber content, they are not the best choice to eat when you need to look your best. Apples and pears also contain lots of sugar, so limiting consumption may be necessary if you aren’t that active because sugar that isn’t burned off turns into fat; making all high sugary fruits problematic to your waistline.

Salty Foods (Soups, Breads, Sauces & Highly Processed Foods)

Salt is a well known culprit for many issues, especially water weight and swelling. Too much salt intake will have your stomach looking like a balloon overnight and make your scale curse at you.  Many people think getting a soup and sandwich is healthy, and although it is not the worst, when you want to keep your stomach slim, avoiding this meal selection is best.  I love soup personally, but I make it fresh at home to monitor what goes into it and to limit sodium. Canned soups are probably some of the worse things on this planet to consume.


Corn  is so delicious, but it contains a carbohydrate complex that cannot be digested by the body and aids to bloating once consumed. As tasty as it seems, the bloating is horrendous on those with IBS or gastrointestinal sensitivities. My love of corn comes through the form of popcorn, the safe and healthy snack (without movie butter).

Seltzer Water

Though I love this carbonated creation, the bubbles are known to get  trapped in your stomach and cause it to swell like a balloon. It is not the best choice if you want to have a flat stomach at all times.

Diet Soda

Aside from the bloat-inducing carbonation, diet drinks also contain artificial sweeteners that can wreak even more havoc on sensitive stomachs. Artificial sweetners are worse for the stomach than actual sugar due to their synthetic components.

Protein Bars

You probably don’t think “beans” when you unwrap a protein bar, but many of the protein bars today contain protein isolates from soybeans, a legume. The end result is gas, bloating, and for people like me, digestive hell.

Raw Spinach

The high soluble-fiber content in spinach makes it a filling addition to sandwiches and salads, but the nutrient may also cause bloating in those with sensitive stomachs (like myself). Sadly, another component of spinach is oligosaccharides, which is also found in legumes. However, with spinach there are ways around digesting it by breaking it down either through cooking or blending.   Spinach is so good for detoxification and maintaining cell function, so I eat it cooked or in my smoothies to make it easier on my body and alleviate bloating.

I hope you found this post informative and eye opening as I did when I began my journey to a healthier life.  I found most of my information from, my doctors, and from just trial and error when making food selections.  As an aspiring model and an individual who believes in honoring the temple God gave you, I try to make the best selections I can when I can. Hopefully my journey will assist you as well.

With Love,




This Weeks #CCW: Tazah Richardson

Photographer: Zakiyah Caldwell, MUA: Tazah Richardson

Good Morning Lovelies,

Each week, my goal is to honor women slaying the game with their curves. So taking it up a notch from #WCW, I introduce to you “Curvy Crush Wednesdays” or #CCW! This week, kicks off Cystum of Curves’s first #CCW, Tazah Richardson. This picture is so inspirational because it’s not only fierce, the imagery symbolizes an appreciation of ethnic culture. The background and styling are bold, beautiful, and exude strength; a true reflection of who Tazah is. Tazah not only is a plus model, she’s a mentor, coach, and creative spirit (as this picture showcases). Let us all gag for this incredible visual artwork! To see more slayage, be sure to follow Tazah on instagram @tazahthemodelvixen.

With Love,



Photo Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics
Photo Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Good Evening Loves,

So as I was doing my evening wind-down and current event strolling, I ran across all of this black girl magic!!!!! How excited are we about this collaboration? MAC is typically known for collaborating with musicians, models, and heavy hitters that influence the world of fashion. A perfect platform for Taraji, who is known for her impeccable red carpet style. Seeing this brown beauty featured is outstanding and worthy of all the gag!!!! I cannot wait to try out a few items in this collection. What an amazing announcement, especially after coming off the high from the magical moments of the 2016 Olympic Games!!!

The launch date has not yet been announced, but it is Taraji’s birthday month and the premiere date of Season III of “Empire”. What a perfect gift and celebration to her and all the MAC Cosmetic Lovers!!!! I am most excited about the Mineralized Skinfinish in ‘Taraji Glow’ (top right item pictured). Stay tuned for a full review in the near future.

With Love,



Hello Everyone!!!!

I have been diligently working for days designing, filtering through photos, looking at content and figuring just how I wanted to portray my vision to the world. Finally, after many months of going back and forth, I present to you, Cystum of Curves; a blog focused on being body positive, spiritual, glamorous, and fearless.  For years, I have gone in and out with the idea of being a blogger. Partially because it takes lots of work, the other just mere fear of not having enough to say. However, over the past year in a half, the insatiable need (yes need, not want) to become apart of the blogger world has finally won me over.

I truly know that my purpose for this lifetime is to inspire women, men, and children to live limitless. I am an advocate for dream attainment, self worth, and more importantly, spiritual growth. I thank all of those who have pushed me  and motivated me on my model journey to take my walk a step further. With your encouragement, I am finally ready to share my voice with the world. I sincerely hope that my blog not only enlightens you, but genuinely pushes you to truly go after all you dream of becoming!

With Love,


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