Life with Collagen

Lately, there's been plenty of chatter about COLLAGEN supplements and why it should or should not be consumed.  So I decided to research and try it for myself. This is a sponsored post, containing affiliate links, written by me and includes my personal opinion and experiences with Great Lakes Gelatin.

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Let me first define and clarify what collagen is and its benefits:

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. As we age, collagen production declines! Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally. Collagen protein is also the building block of healthy fingernails, hair and teeth. Adding collagen to your diet regimen can help keep nails strong and reverse signs of hair loss. 

Collagen also reduces cellulite and stretch marks. When skin loses its elasticity as a result of decreased collagen, there’s another side effect: more visible cellulite. Because your skin is now thinner, cellulite becomes more evident — no more hiding what’s happening below the surface. Improving your skin’s elasticity through collagen helps reduce that dimpling on your skin.

Here are some other benefits of adding collagen to your diet:

  • Heals the gut – helps heal your gut which is good for people with food sensitivities like Candida or any autoimmune issues.
  • Helps reduce sugar cravings.
  • Promotes Weight loss – this is because collagen is a protein. It keeps you full and satiates your hunger. It also helps your body stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Helps with joint pain, inflammation and stiffness.
  • Helps promote energy and focus.

I like to think of collagen as an enhancer for my hair, skin, and nails, that supports growth.  I've been using the Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate products for about 2 months, and I've already noticed significant growth in my hair and nails, my skin is brighter and feels firmer and softer, and I have more energy and mental focus.

I'm very active and I really love to workout. Which means that my muscles and joints suffer from stiffness after exercise, especially in the mornings.  Because I don’t stretch enough (I'm working to add for flexibility and stretching to my fitness life), I realize that I need to be extra proactive at increasing collagen for the health of my muscles and joints. Using collagen can help keep your flexibility and prevent the muscles and joints from stiffening up due to a lack of collagen. Collagen itself is a naturally occurring protein found in our connective tissues. 

I also noticed that I stayed fuller longer. Collagen is a protein, and since two scoops of collagen equals around 20g of protein adding it to my morning tea or my mid morning snack, helped to keep me fuller for longer periods of time. What makes collagen cool compared to other protein powders, though, is its versatility. It's flavorless and completely dissolves in liquids. 

HOW DO I USE IT?  The sky is really the limit. I use it consistently by putting it into my tea and coffee every day. Why? Because it’s completely tasteless and dissolves very easy.  Here are some other FUN ways I've added it to foods and drinks.

  • Mix into coffee, tea, smoothies and yogurt
  • Add to scrambled eggs, baked goods or veggies
  • Sprinkle on top of my oatmeal and grits









Life with Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate has been awesome and I'm planning to continue regular usage. If you wanna learn more about #GLGtheOriginalCollagen and add products to your healthy living journey?


Use the code: "GLGLife20" for 20% off
☆☆This code expires March 15, 2018☆☆

What's the best Wine for a Healthy Lifestyle?

If you're going to have an alcoholic drink, choosing vino is generally one of your healthiest options. After all, wine is packed with free radical-fighting phytochemicals, has been linked positively to everything from a healthier heart to sharper brain functions, and even used as part of anti-aging regimens. It is naturally lower in calories than most drinks behind the bar.

Here are few tips I use when choosing a bottle of wine for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


1. Go Red
While all wine contains some resveratrol (wine’s main health-promoting antioxidant), red wine boast higher amounts of resveratol more than white wines. Why? Red wine is fermented right on the antioxidant-containing grape skin. So if you’re really serious about upping the resveratrol in your glass, it's  been recommended to select wines that contain the thickest-skinned grapes, such as Sirah and Cabernet  Sauvignon.

2. Look for a Lower Alcohol Percentage
Most wines are between 9% and 16% alcohol. And since alcohol comes from grapes’ sugar, the greater your wine’s alcohol percentage, the greater its sugar content.

3. Seek Out Sustainably Farmed Wines
Bottles labeled as sustainably farmed are made without the use of pesticides and tend to contain fewer synthetic chemicals than non-sustainable ones. What’s more, wines made from certified organically grown grapes and organic wines are also great options if you are looking to cut down on chemicals, since they don't contain any added sulfites.


Intermittent Fasting for Healthy Living

Intermittent fasting is an approach to weight loss wherein you safely cycle between periods of fasting and eating. If done right, you'll experience next to no hunger pains or dips in energy while simultaneously fast-tracking your weight loss efforts. 

Here are four ways intermittent fasting can accelerate fat loss.






1. It prolongs your body's natural fasted state - When you sleep, your body naturally enters a fasted state wherein it switches over to a primarily fat burning mode. This means that without doing anything (other than laying in bed, snoring), your body is burning fat calories. The minute you wake up and swallow your first bite of food, your body starts producing insulin, a fat storage hormone and that fasted state you were in is now reversed. By practicing intermittent fasting, you can prolong that state for a few more hours, getting all you can from that fat burning mode.

2. It helps with appetite control - Since your body is so adaptive, it'll start getting used to the routine of not eating in the mornings. Once this happens, you'll start to develop superior appetite control with far fewer hunger pangs. Your body will teach itself how to utilize its own body fat much more efficiently as a second source of energy.

3. It stabilizes energy levels - Once your body has become more efficient at utilizing its own body fat as a secondary fuel source, you will experience much more stable levels of energy throughout the day. Having stable levels of energy is the key for controlling willpower and in turn, food cravings and binge eating.

4. It supercharges your body's ability to repair and detox - The digestion process takes up a lot of your body's attention and energy. When you are constantly eating and digesting, your body has far less time and resources to focus on maintenance and repair. When you fast, you give your body the opportunity to focus on other processes that happen through an increase of human growth hormones caused by the fast. A body that is healthy and working efficiently makes it far easier to lose weight or maintain a healthy one.

So, how do you do it?

The easiest way is to take advantage of your normal sleep cycle. Let's say you finish dinner around 6pm and wake up the next day at 8am. That's 12 hours of effortless fasting. We already know that exercising on a empty stomach can be beneficial for weight loss, so if you workout in the morning and eat lunch — your next meal — around noon, you'll have fasted for 16 hours. Bet you never thought not eating for that long could be so easy! 

An eating plan like this is very much reliant on your health, so please make sure to consult a doctor before trying it out. Also, I should note that intermittent fasting isn't a cure-all to weight loss woes, but it is a dynamic tool to keep in your health kit.

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hey Everybody!

 Hope you're enjoying life.

I'm J'Que, a #HealthyLivingSpecialist and #PersonalTrainer.

 If you have a health, fitness, or wellness goal, I can help get you there. I believe in hard work and that we all have the ability to do anything. Whether you want to loose weight, build muscle, transform your body, prepare for an, or you just live a healthier lifestyle,  I'm the trainer for you. 

My passion for fitness comes from overcoming my own personal struggles, educational growth, and a decade of experience as an athlete, fitness professional, and a business owner.

 I stress the importance of overall health, which includes a balance of fitness, wellness, and good nutrition.

For more fitness and nutrition advice and to connect with me, drop your contact info, questions or concerns in the chat room.

I'm looking forward to meeting you!

~~~ #JQueNow 💟💟 


The Business of Being Happy!

“The business of being happy requires making a conscious choice. People think being happy will just happen to them someday, if only they do this or that right. But it doesn’t – you have to choose it. You choose happiness, you don’t wait for it to choose you.” ~Bethenny Frankel

IF I can only get finished, I’ll be happy…

IF I get this job promotion, I’ll be happy…

IF the person I like asks me out…I’ll be happy…

We can literally “If” ourselves right out of happiness! The truth of the matter is, there is no tomorrow. There is no someday. There is no faraway, distant, magical future that’s going to suddenly flip the switch on our happy. There is only HERE & NOW. This moment. This day. This hour. Your beautiful, wonderful, fantastical life is staring you in the face… waiting for you to stop wishing it away and start LIVING it.

Sometimes I feel like we treat happiness like that kid in gym class who we always picked last for the kickball team (and I know, because I was always that kid.) We choose fear first, we choose hate first, we choose misery first, we choose unforgiveness first… but the only way we’re ever going to kick “BUT’s” is if we ardently, passionately, exuberantly choose HAPPINESS!

Today: You’re up.

It’s your turn to pick teams. Will you go on debating and waiting and hesitating, or will you choose this moment to make HAPPINESS your #1 draft pick?  Remember: It’s a lot more fun to win, when you’re doing it with a grin.

~~~ J'Que 💟💟

You Are Truly Beautiful

This post doesn't have much to do with fitness or nutrition, but I have realized one thing about both of these topics: our society always seems to try to motivate people to 'eat right' and 'get fit' in order to look better.  I admit, I do feel better about how I look when I eat right and exercise, but when it really comes down to it, those two things have nothing to do with being beautiful!

Regardless of your weight, height, age, or overall appearance, has anyone ever told you that you were WONDERFULLY made? Well...You were! The Bible says in Psalm 139:14, that you were both "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!" Now I understand that the Bible is not exactly the 'common' or even 'popular' standard used to measure beauty, but I have found through my own personal experience that it is the ONLY way.  Why do I say this? Because I have looked to people in the past to define and affirm my beauty, and it it didn't matter what kind of validation I received, I was always disappointed. In fact, when I looked to others or the mirror to tell me I was beautiful, it was then that I found myself reaping feelings of doubt, loss of self esteem, and seeds of insecurity.

However, when I chose to look to God for my validation, He provided me with constant fulfilling and lasting affirmation. If you open the Bible, you will see verse after verse telling us how He CHOSE US, how He LOVES US, and He tells us that He has GOOD PLANS for us!  It isn't until we understand how valuable we are to God, that our life begins to radiate true BEAUTY because we will start to reflect Him!  

Don't believe me?

Take a moment to think about a woman who shines and radiates love... A woman who is full of joy and peace... That woman may never appear on the cover of a magazine, but one thing is sure, even without seeing her picture, she us undeniably and stunningly beautiful.

I heard a song on the radio by Johnny Diaz recently, titled "A More Beautiful You". It really spoke to my heart. I find that the Lord often brings the words of this song back to my mind when I start to have moments of doubt or insecurity...And it always reminds me, that I need to remember what HE says about me in His Word.. that He created me wonderful and unique, and the same goes for YOU!

Devotions for Healthier You: Exodus 33:17

He Calls Me Friend

by: Rev. Dr. Brenda Furlow

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Knowing about God and knowing God are not the same. Knowing God is a wonderful thing because having known God is a way to remember how and where we met God in a prior circumstance in our life; it's our history with God. When we know God, His character shows up in us because we have formed a relationship with Him. 





I have come to understand that it is a blessing to know God, but the greater blessing is that God Knows Us. He knows our name, He knows our struggles, He knows our ups, our downs, our secret sins, our acquaintances, and everything about us; and still He calls us friend. What a friend we have in Jesus!!!

Scripture Reference : Exodus 33:17 Article adapted from Knowing God by J.I. Packer


Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Furlow is President of Sisters Connecting to Sisters Women's Ministry at Progressive Union Missionary Baptist Church (PUMBC). She received her undergraduate degree from Athens State University, Athens, Alabama, her Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School, Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and her Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Dr. Furlow preaches, teaches and facilitates workshops at numerous Women's conferences and churches all over Europe and theUnited States.  She has established Women’s Ministries, retreats, and conferences to empower women and has a special interest in the spiritual growth of women of all ages.  Under her leadership, many women have come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and have made the commitment to serve God.

Since retiring from the Federal Government, Dr. Furlow worked as a professor at Huntsville Bible College, and served as president of the Ministerial Staff at PUMBC, a  mentor for Christian Women’s Job Corp, served as a member of the Racial Reconciliation Group of Huntsville and the Alabama Partnership for Progress initiative. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Huntsville Alumnae Chapter, a member of the Silver Edition of Who’s Who Among American Women and a member of Pi Tau Chi National Honor Society for Religion. She currently teaches several Bible studies and Sunday school classes, serves as the Director of Adult Bible Studies at PUMBC and serves on the Board of Christian Education for the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC).

Dr. Furlow is grateful for the opportunity to till new ground, tread in new territory and wade in new waters as she journeys in Ministry for God.  For it is her continuous prayer that "God would Stand in her body, Think with her mind, Speak with her mouth, Design and Fashion her will as His, that the world would look upon her and see Jesus, the Christ".  In all that has been said and done, she continuously gives God all the Praise, Honor and Glory for the opportunity to be a vessel for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to be a humble servant to his chosen people. 


Connect with Dr. Furlow through her Facebook page


Permanent Fitness


A beautiful body doesn’t begin with a diet and/or a gym membership. It begins in your head.  It begins with self-respect, love and understanding that your mind and your body are interconnected. The path to a better physique is born from the union of the body and the mind. How we look is just a projection of how we feel… so start feeling fit, empowered, beautiful and deserving right now. The choices you make must be made out of love and respect for yourself, and then you will start getting real, permanent results.

It’s our attitude that has to change the way we feel about ourselves. Instead of following a list you become curious about what you put in your body because that will be the building material for the new beautiful you. Pick your own sport, your own way of staying active, whether it’s running, cycling or swimming or a team sport. You find your own “it” that will make you happy while keeping you moving, you just need to try it all to see which activity is the right one for you. Motion is life and life is for you to enjoy. 

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In order to shape your body you must shape your mind first, treat your body with respect and provide it with everything it needs, choosing your activities and what you eat mindfully. To change on the outside you need to start with the person you are inside, give it your full attention, care and love and see it transform.

Recipe For Success

Are you looking for an incredible recipe to succeed in life? Is Oprah, Bill Gates, Obama, Mark Zuckerberg or J. K. Rowling one of your role models? Well then, you have landed at exactly the right spot! Today, I'm leaving you with a list of daily habits that are known to turn a normal person into a successful individual. This recipe, if followed in its entirety, can take many of you a lot closer to your dreams, no matter how huge they are!

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Don't let the sun catch you in bed! "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!" Well, this childhood simile in fact forms the core of leading a successful life. Trust these words to be the best of wisdom. All successful people wake up absolutely early. The earlier they begin their day, the more time they have to get things done.

Read, read & read! But not just for pleasure. Reading is an absolutely important element in the daily lives of highly successful people because it lets them learn from the mistakes of others. Even if it's just half an hour a day, read something.

Don't sit idle! Planning is everything! Successful individuals pre-plan their day-to-day lives. This allows them to make the best use of the day and get much more work done than those who go about without planning. It is very important to note here that planning isn't just about setting objectives but you must work hard towards achieving those goals.

Exercise self-control .People who do well in life are those who have exceptional abilities of self-control. Disappointments don't let them down and success doesn't make them over-excited. Keep impulsive decisions at bay if you really want to achieve something in life.

Push yourself to exercise. No one is going to do it for you. Regular exercise makes you feel good about yourself, keeps the body strong, and allows the mind stay alert. Successful people absolutely don't argue about time constraints, they find a way to exercise daily.


Encircle yourself with people smarter than yourself.  In my experience, success comes a bit more easily when you surround yourself with people who are intellectually smarter. Being in such company, you are exposed to the knowledge and charisma of more experienced individuals, which directly can influence your own knowledge and shape your personality.

Take Risks!  If something doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. Successful individuals are very open to risks and challenges because it's not always possible to play safe. However, taking well-calculated risks can open many doors of opportunities for advancement in not just career but in personal life as well.