Category Archives: BlackHealth365

#BlackHealth365 Spring Detox Giveaway!

Rejoice, Spring is finally here!

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We want you to get excited about the fresh air, rising flowers, and yummy seaonsal fruits coming your way! #BlackHealth365 is hosting a giveaway contest, beginning Friday, March 20th through March 22nd, and everyone is invited to participate! The object is to get our bodies ready for the new season via a 3 day detox utilizing fresh smoothies, juices, and clean meals. We have beautiful prizes to give away to the most creative and active participants who follow the rules:

1. You must share pictures of your smoothie/juice/clean meal on twitter and/or Instagram telling us what it is and how long it took you to prepare using the hashtag #BlackHealth365 so that we can see your unique creation.

2. You cannot post the same smoothie/juice/meal recipe twice. Variety is the spice of life, so each detox component must be something different to share with spectators and participants!

3. You must upload at least twice a day for the 3 days.

4. All ingredients must be fresh!

5. Have fun and good luck!

There will be a total of 5 giveaway winner who we know will be more than satisfied with the fruits of their hard work! We are more than excited to be coming into the new season with you beautiful people on such a healthy start!

At the end of the contest we encourage everyone to comb through the hashtag and write down recipe’s and ideas never tried before. We also ask that you continue to use the hashtag because you never know when we may do a surprise giveaway for folks who frequently share the wealth!

Tweet @BlackHealth365 with any questions you have about the contest, beginning March 20th. 😉

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BlackHealth365!

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Welcome to Black Health 365! With this movement we aim to help you live holistically, as you were born to, by giving you the tools and information needed to help you better align with nature once again. We’re excited to bring you recipes, the benefits & uses of honing a whole foods based diet, a history of health across the globe, and much more! Black Health 365 was birthed in the spirit of and pays homage to the yoruba Orishas Ozain, the god of all plants & herbs, and Oko, the god of agriculture & produce. Both here to further guide our Black health revolution through me. As people of the diaspora, our cultures reflect an instinct to nurture and grow with the Earth. We are inherently natural and it is imperative to our bodies, minds, and spirits that we embody that knowing. The sun doesn’t delight the brown hues of our blessed melanin for nothing! You’re special and we want your physical health and soulful lifestyles to reflect just that. Black Health 365 is here to remind you that you are worth living well. Like Queen Afua, the AfroMadu family believes wholly in “liberation through purification,” of the body, mind, and spirit. We’re eager to partake in this journey with you, helping you grow and bring forth your best self!

Sustaining the Black Community with Holistic Health

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“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process, heal our own.” -Wangari Maathai

The Black body has endured more than the growth-halting grip of former enslavement. We have suffered trauma to the African trinity of health (mental, physical, and spiritual), which greatly affects how we interact in the world, “post enslavement.” With media messages telling us to eat this sugary saturated fat to feel good, and drink that 80-proof poison to be as cool as our favorite rappers, the abuse to our bodies and overall well beings live on. Faced with limited access to life-sustaining foods due to socioeconomic status, the burden of low self-esteem from living in a racist society, and a general lack of knowledge about “living well,” a comprehensive timeline comes to mind about exactly how we have landed in the reality we are in today. Best believe this exclusion is systematic and purposely enacted. Though unfair, it is no one’s responsibility but ours to undo the mass confusion around health in the Black community and begin the journey towards healing from post-traumatic slave syndrome.

pirkle_jones_black_panther_free_breakfast At the best moments of the Black freedom struggle we recognized that we did not just need to change laws, we also needed to change our living patterns. Organizations like the Black Panthers not only told us to change our diets, they also imposed breakfast programs and other sort of community-oriented food programs so that people would have healthy living options and they understood the relationship between healthy living and a community, they understood the relation to building a Black nation and having healthy diets. – Marc Lamont Hill

Taking control of our lifestyles is not a new concept in the Black community. As Marc Lamont Hill suggested in the above quote from 2012 documentary “Soul Food Junkies,” we have always stressed the importance of proper nutrition and lifestyle in our movements in the past and can do so once again. The same fervor Black Panthers displayed in picking up guns to protect themselves from the quick bullet of the racist can also be used to pick up plant foods, herbs, and spices to aid in the body’s defense against diseases.

black-man-and-child-hospital-bed1With the rise of genetically modified foods, mineral-depleted soils, and processed foods being more affordable and available, many of the traditional foods we are eating today in our soul food dishes look like what our ancestors ate growing up, but chemically are not the same. Altered genetic makeup of foods and the addition of sugars, salts, and harmful preservatives aid in the development of chronic diseases Blacks are dying from in droves today. Food-related diseases which plague the community like heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes hold us back from being the fully functional beings were born to be. These many health issues act as blockades to our struggles towards freedom. Instead of actively working to defeat white supremacist oppression and earn back our rights as human beings, we’re fighting against our sickly bodies, and worrying heavily for our lives. This will change. It has to.

By embracing an attitude of  “self-care as healthcare” (Queen Afua), we can operate on an optimal level. Centering the importance of clean eating with whole foods, healing herbs, and antioxidant-rich spices, we can refocus our energies to where they need to be. By feeding ourselves well, we can expect a boost in self-esteem and a fulfilling sense of purpose, two things we, as a whole, lack for various reasons. Hope is not yet lost when we trust in our own capabilities and utilize the resources here on this planet to fuel us on our unique journey.

slide-03I propose purifying oneself through proper nutrition and a lifestyle that caters specifically to the Black body, promoting sound mental health, and welcoming a more freeing approach to spiritualism that pays homage to ancestors. As acts of self care as means of liberation and fortification to be pushed to the forefront of the many movements towards Black freedom.

Love: An Essential Nutrient.


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Messages in mass media today give love a bad name. Switching on the radio, you’ll hear songs of either bitterness in regards to love or of heartbreak, which give off the impression that love is a scarring experience as opposed to an essential component for survival, sanity, and growth. Common sentiments about not needing love, primarily in this age, have turned us away from the free-spirited lovers of the 60’s flower child era singing The Beatles’ hit song “All You Need Is Love” (1967) to the jaded individuals who choose success, independence, and capital over love. Could this new impression of love be a reaction to ignorance of the idea’s actual definition? What is love, anyway?

American psychiatrist and notable author, M. Scott Peck, defines love in his 1978 novel The Road Less Traveled, as “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”. In this sense, love is a selfless act. In her novel Paradise (1997), literary laureate Toni Morrison proclaims, “Love is not a gift. It is a diploma,” asserting that love is something to be earned, a benefit reaped as a result of hard work and dedication. These are two interpretations of love we rarely hear about anymore. Instead, love is commonly associated with acts of possessiveness, jealousy, obsession, and straight up emotional instability. Misconceptions of loves true meaning have led to the current demonization of this concept. In ignorance, lovelessness has become normalized in our day-to-day interactions with one another.

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Believe it or not, we need love. Without care/nurturance, one of the several components that make love, we can die, whether in a metaphorical, spiritual sense, or a very literal, physical death. According to PsychologyToday.com researchers have discovered infant mortality rates are 30%-40% higher among babies in orphanages who lack nurturance during infancy. Those who don’t perish grow into persons who struggle with empathy, fearing physical touch and having trouble establishing connections with other people.. As a species who is dependent on one another to navigate through the world, this is a prime example of how necessary it is to have love at one’s foundation. Also, love is literally in the mind. Recent studies haves mapped out about 12 areas of the brain that function to convey our expression of love. Some of these areas release various chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, commonly known as “the love hormone,” proving, for the skeptics, that love is not a myth.

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Earlier I mentioned care as one aspect of love. Amongst care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust are all components that function to create love, according to bell hooks in her radical book All About Love: New Visions (1999). We typically think of love as being just one of the aforementioned, when love is the work of using all in conjunction in order to add to your own and/or another’s growth & development. By these different definitions it’s safe to see love as enrichment, a safe space for us as humans to freely develop into the empathetic, sentient beings we were meant to be. Put simply, love is a tool of freedom not an excuse to seek ownership over another person. Being controlling hinders growth, which is in the way of love’s goal.

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In conclusion, we could all use a little more love in our lives, especially now with the many crises occurring globally. As these innovative author’s and psychiatrist have clearly stated, love is an act of selflessness, extending parts of you for the benefit another person and in turn, becoming, also, a benefactor. We are losing fellow beings, brothers, sisters, and friends, whether literally by physical death, or spiritually via a diminishment of sanity and feelings of loneliness in a fully occupied world because of love’s lack. I propose a rerouting of the newly popular lovelessness through a mass reteaching of love’s true meaning in a world that seems to have forgotten the benefits of what it means to bathe in the richness of love.

Foods & Habits to Maintain Radiant Melanin.

As children of the Sun, “melanated” peoples have an inherent glow that needs to be maintained. With the consumption of daily Sun, whole foods, and a useful skin care regime, this natural glow of “Black gold” will effortlessly shine. BlackHealth365 introduces foods and methods Black people can use to help maintain the natural beauty of their skin:

The Importance of Sun Exposure:

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Melanin is the pigment in our skin which makes humans the different hues we have come to be. It’s also present in the hair, eyes of not only us, but other species of animals. It is responsible for the tanning of skin exposed to sunlight. As people of African descent we have some of the highest content of melanin. In places closest to the equator, where sun exposure is more prominent, the people of such lands harbor a darker hue, giving them this glow of “Black gold” raved about. Melanin is produced as a response to UV ray exposure from the sun, so it is essentially protection from the harmful aspects of the life-giving ball of heat. The more melanin you have, the better protected you are from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This also means that in order to get essential vitamins from the sun, like the essential vitamin D, it is important for people of color to spend ample amount of time in the Sun on a daily basis. Sun rays contain rare dosages of Vitamin D, which provides humans with minimal free radical damage and maintains skin moisture and even tone.

Black people with a medium to darker hue are recommended to spend at least 35-45 minutes daily in the sun. For extra protection & moisture during time of exposure, apply either shea butter, coconut oil, or aloe vera gel on skin instead of chemical-laden, harmful sunscreens.

Foods For Skin Health:

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There are many foods that aid in the maintenance of beautiful skin. These are normally fruits high in vitamins A, E & beta-carotene or fatty nuts like almonds that the expansive organ loves. Here are a list of 10 foods to consume which are loaded with the vitamins & minerals necessary to promote beautiful skin:

1. spinach
2. mangoes
3. papaya
4. sweet potatoes/yams 5. raw almonds
6. aloe vera juice
7. carrots
8. blueberries
9. avocados
10. pomegranates

The best way to receive the nutrients from these foods listed is by way of smoothie drinks! This way the nutrients enter the bloodstream easier and can be sorted through the body accordingly without the added task of having to be broken down in the digestive system. In addition to these skin health boosting foods, water is a MUST for attaining beautiful skin. You can also add antioxidant-rich teas (green teas) & fatty fishes like salmon to your regular eating regimen to feed skin cells.

Hygiene Habits:

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 7.28.46 PMThis goes without saying, but showering on a daily basis, at least once a day is a must. Skin requires water nourishment inside and moisture provided on the outside. Going through this world filled with germs and bacterias, and harmful chemicals lingering in the air, especially those of us who live in cities, it is imperative that we wash that off our organ every day. In addition, remember that skin is a detoxifying organ, meaning it releases toxins collected within the body through the skin. You need to wash those toxins off or else they’ll linger on the skin and cause possible unwanted bumps & marks. You also want to incorporate sugar or coffee scrubs into to hygiene regimen to scrub off dead skin cells and help maintain your melanated casing’s youthful radiance.

Raw unrefined African Black soap is recommended for daily deep cleansing of the skin. This natural soap not only works better than commercial soaps filled with skin drying chemicals, such as Dove, but it cheaper, rich in real nutrients, and lasts longer. I, personally, use raw unrefined African black soap for facial and body cleansing.

 

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Keeping the skin moisturized on a daily basis is very important! Throughout the day the skin gets dry from movement an exposure to the outside world and needs replenishing. The best time to give the skin moisture it needs is right after a shower or nice bath. Literally as you’re soaking wet out of the shower, apply coconut oil (my favorite) or a shea/mango/avocado butter mixture of some sort and let it air dry into your
skin. Towels drying is unnecessary unless you want to pat dry. An ideal skin oil mixture for appliance after bathing would be a mix of vitamin e oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. I only typically use heavier butters in my hair or during “dry seasons” like winter.

 BlackHealth365 Recommended products:

-organic cold pressed and unrefined coconut oil
-raw unrefined African black soap
-Nubian heritage soaps or other shea butter/vegetable glycerin based soaps
-whipped Shea butter (belle butters, Whipped, or your own homemade mixture)
-vitamin e oil
-almond oil
-brown sugar or black coffee to make scrubs

Following these suggestions will guarantee an improvement in the health of your skin and will surely make melanin shine bright! We must not forget that the skin is also an organ and needs to be fed to be at its best, like every other organ in the body. Remember, if it’s not safe to ingest then it isn’t safe to put on the skin. The skin absorbs so if you’re loading it with chemicals, these same harmful agents will eventually end up inside your body. You don’t want that. Eat right, drink PLENTY of water, spend quality time outside under sun, wash daily, and moisturize and you will glow like the child of the Sun you are!

Pocket Pinching Health: Tips For Clean Eating On A Budget.

BlackHealth365 presents clean eating on a budget! Here is a list of tips and tricks to stay well and save money while doing it!

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  1.   The first and most important tip to eating healthy on a budget is planning! Plan your meals and write down your list of needs before shopping. Prioritize your list of needs by what you absolutely must buy at the top of the list and the items that can be spared if needed at the bottom. Organize by order of importance. This mean things like fresh fruits/veggies towards the top, chips & granola at the bottom. And most importantly, stick to what’s on your list!
  2. Check to see what sales are being offered online or in the paper at whatever grocery store/market you’ll be shopping at. It helps you better plan when you know what you’re going to buy in addition to how much it will cost for easier budgeting.

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3) Buy in bulk. Items such as rice, beans, and foods/drinks by the case typically come at a discounted price and can be stored to last you a longer time. Bulk = more bang for your buck!

4) Don’t be scared of frozen produce. They aren’t as aesthetically appealing or juicy as fresh as what you’d get fresh at the market, but most frozen produce is picked and stored at peak ripeness, which means they contain the same nutritional benefit. If frozen produce is not for you, buy local. This means going to farmers markets. Locally grown produce is cheaper in cost than what you find in stores.

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5) Reducing meat intake and focusing your diet to be more whole foods based will not only benefit your pockets, but your health as well. Buy cheaper proteins like eggs, frozen fish, legumes & nuts instead of meat.

6) Eating clean is not expensive. Eating organically, however, can be pretty pricey. This is where you may have to compromise. Ideally, we’d all eat organic all the time. However, all the food you eat doesn’t absolutely need to be. Fact is not all non- organic foods are bad for you. Here’s a list manufactured by the Environmental Working Group of what foods should always be purchased organic and which can be supplemented with conventionally grown produce: http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214

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7) Buy in season! Seasonal fruits and vegetables that don’t have long distances to travel are healthier for your body because they don’t require as much preservation work, they’ll be more abundant which means cheaper, plus you can feel good about stimulating the local economy. Here’s a list of fruits & veggies organized by season to make the process a little smoother for you: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/what-fruits-and-vegetables-are-in-season

8) So you’ve made it out of the store with everything you needed and only what was on your list. You even stayed within your budget. Congratulations! Now it’s time to meal prep! Cut, bag, and/or freeze produce as needed to images-138prolong usage. Make meals you planned out for the week and put in separate containers for easy grab-and-go access. Bag snacks like trail mixes, cut fruit, and veggie chips to snack on in between meals. This will speed up your metabolism, which will aid in weight loss, and more importantly, lessen the likelihood of you spending unnecessarily of junk food from snack stands/vending machines.

 

Be realistic. Coming into a healthier lifestyle a compromise of your time and sometimes personal expenses. Consider the expenses & habits that can be cut or reduced to accommodate this newly beneficial lifestyle. See it as the ultimate investment in yourself. You’re worth both the time and money.

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Plan. Stay organized. Stick to your list of needs. Prioritize. Buy smart. Buy locally. Buy in season. Buy organic when necessary. Prepare meals in advanced. Freeze the leftovers.

We want you to eat well while saving money doing so. Be consistent. All great changes take time as well as sacrifice. Again, remember you’re worth the investment.

Color Matters: The Diversity of Whole Foods.

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Nature is a varied field of infinite possibilities. With each passing day some new discovery is stumbled upon and Mother Earth tops what we assumed were her greatest creations. She always shows us the best has yet to come. What always surprises me are the many components to every fiber and layer of life created. Every thing has its purpose, it’s specific duty to the world, down to the human body and the food we eat. I’ve always known certain foods were beneficial to us based on taste, texture, and even location, but never thought twice about the meaning of its color. Each representation of the rainbow possesses it’s unique nutrient to help build immunity and fight disease, keeping the body functioning on an optimal level.

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These are foods which contain chlorophyll, the molecule responsible for the process of photosynthesis in plants. Often referred to as the “green blood of plants” because of its close resemblance to red blood cells found in humans. Used mainly for purposes of detoxification, chlorophyll binds to toxins and helps remove them from the body. This “green blood” is also known for its maintenance of the circulatory, immune, and digestive systems.

Highest sources: dark leafy greens like kale, arugula & swiss chard, wheatgrass, the blue- green algae spirulina, herbs, and all green fruits/veggies. 

 

red healthy foodRed:

The nutrient lycopene of the carotenoid family is responsible for the red color/hue found in many fruits & vegetables. Shown to protect blood vessels around the heart and in the neck better than vitamins A, E, and CoQ10, lycopene also delivers oxygen to body tissues. Also shown to prevent against various cancers, specifically prostate and breast.

Highest Sources: ripe red tomatoes, red chile peppers (cayenne), red bell peppers, watermelon, and grapefruit. 

 

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Beta-Carotene, alpha-carotene, and zeaxanthin are a few of the nutrients which give produce its yellow and orange hues. These are foods that promote good eye health, the building of strong bones, and boosting the immune system by fighting off free radicals.

Highest sources: carrots, pineapple, squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, yellow bell peppers, corn, and mangoes. 

 

Blue-purple-foodBlue/Purple:

Anthocyanins are the compounds in various fruits and vegetables which give them a blue/purple pigment. This antioxidant acting member of the flavonoid family is known for its various benefits such as improving brain function & memory, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease, promote healthy aging, and protect cells.

Highest Sources: blueberries, eggplant, purple grapes, plums, blackberries, and figs.

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White fruits and vegetables are high in the compounds anthoxanthins and allcin. Anthoxanthins have antioxidant properties which lower the risk for cancer and heart disease. Allcin lowers high blood pressure & cholesterol and reduces the risk of stroke.

Highest sources: onions, potatoes, bananas, peaches, jicama, white mushrooms, and cauliflower.

 

It’s important to diversify your palate! Each fruit and vegetable contains a unique color which represents compounds & molecules present that will help aid in maintaining the body’s wellness. Don’t just marvel at the rainbow, eat it!