Tag Archives: health

#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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Livestrong: Why the Cancer of Injustice Lives On

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Everything hidden in darkness must come to light. This seems to be a relevant saying, considering the recent phenomenon of racial and gender scandals in the media. That means bigotry in the NBA, new domestic violence reports, and growing evidence of racist police forces. But when light shines on an issue, do we look for the roots of the issue or do we just just follow the headlines?

Follow the patterns. We are fooled into thinking justice has taken place, when time and time again systems are simply punishing behaviors and people who got caught, instead of the thinking and philosophies that led to those behaviors. Instead of healing, we treat symptoms. We medicate. In a similar way, when we correct people–racists, abusers, etc–all we tend to correct is behavior. People then adopt rules: don’t say nigger, don’t hit a woman, don’t do this, don’t do that. We never correct the way the dominating culture thinks. There are systems of thought and control laced in our political, economic, and religious culture.  The monster you see peeking its head in recent scandals is only a symptom of the great cancer that lies in our systems of thought. If we never plan on attacking a way of thinking, that monstrous cancer continues to live–police brutality, racism (in the economic, judicial, and political world),  domestic violence, even so called abortion rights. The root of all our issues seems to be the ancient storyline: one group of people thinks it is superior than another, and essentially that they are more human–or that they are the real humans, and the others are not. The self perceived superior group either cannot see the others’ humanity or they undervalue that humanity.

Some people only see  only race, gender, or ethnic group. Today, whole systems of governance and socialization have normalized this view. The cancer seems to have been dormant, with a few complaints from its underclass. Today, however, the evidence is in the blood on our streets. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride, Janay Rice, and so many more.

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In pursuing the cause for these atrocities, we point to all the wrong things: the victims themselves, the racist cop, the scared neighborhood watch, etc. For me it boils down to one thing: were these victims seen as people. On the contrary, the personhood of each of these people seems to have been in question, or at the very least it had to be proven.

They tried to show Trayvon Martin was sweet and made good grades. They said Michael was going to college. Every one of those efforts is to make the victim more relateable, more human to the average white public–as if them being human was not enough! There is a gap in the viewed personhood of a white 17 year old and a black 17 year old, in a beaten woman and the man who beat her, in a daughter from the Hamptons and a daughter from Detroit. I will skip the cute stuff, and say why. The measure of humanity and personhood is often dictated by a few things:
1. Whiteness, and one’s relation to it
2. The male sex, and one’s relation to it
3. Economic stability

Somehow, if you fail in anyway to have a father, or to come from an economically sound background, or you look a little too different–you lose the function of the mass culture’s ability to relate to you as a person. Your personhood erodes. Your humanity is in question. Tommy, we see. Rachel we can vouch for, but Tamika must prove to me that she is deserving.

Some of the greatest atrocities done to people happened because some one  thought the other was a little less human. Once you are capable of thinking someone else is less than human, then you are the one capable of great inhumanities towards people. The Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and so much more. Each of the people group victimized were thought less, just a little less, than full human beings.

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There is something particularly sick with a society that cannot see the humanity of those different from their perceived selves. The symptoms of that sickness shows itself in the numerous displays of injustice towards black men and women in this country. Yet, we have an opportunity. A major light is shining on issues we have always known, all too well in fact, but were unable to protest due to lack of evidence and following.

Now we have all the evidence of the cancer inside our country.  We have all the following of the general public. What do we do? We point only to the symptoms. We take a little tylenol for the runny nose. We point at the thinning hair here and there. We cut breats off. We tell the weak parts of the body that the cancer is their own fault. “Finger, you must let go of the past.” “Foot, well If you just looked like the hand, you know not so threatening.” We don’t get healing, we get quick fixes. We don’t call for justice, we call for  sacrifice. We sacrifice all the wrong people.

We let the cancer survive. We let the erroneous thinking, that is, the root of injustice live. We forget that it is living inside us. We do not attack the cancer itself, the harmful thinking that is the cause of the deaths of young people, the oppression of women, the imprisonment of minorities, etc. We let the cancer live. We bill it and we let it give commentary on the news.

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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. 

 

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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! 

Dairy Milk vs. Alternatives: Your Bones Deserve Better

Time and time again we’ve been told dairy milk is an essential staple to the human diet, that we need it in order to be well. It has been promoted by the dairy industry as one of the only sources of calcium. Without it you run the risk of being calcium-deficient and possibly developing osteoporosis. Is there truth to this statement or yet another genius marketing strategy by a lucrative big business?

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For starters, dairy milk is in fact a source of calcium, an essential mineral for bone density. The highest source when consumed in it’s raw state. The catch is, raw milk is illegal in most places here in the U.S., so what’s sold in stores all across this country is most likely pasteurized. This pasteurization process strips the creamy substance down to a watery, non-nutritious, hormone infested pus that should not be consumed by humans.

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Raw milk from organic dairy farms is booming with nutritional benefits. The complex whole food has been used to diminish allergy symptoms, eczema, and asthma symptoms. In addition, studies show that raw dairy milk consumption promotes the production of good bacteria in the body and increases the likelihood of healthy weight gain. Dairy products sold nationwide are not unpasteurized, therefore most of the milk and calcium alternatives are safer and healthier to consume.

 

Foods like dark leafy greens, almonds, broccoli, dried figs, beans, black strap molasses, and salmon are calcium-rich alternatives to milk. With the rise of health consciousness and people converting into vegetarians & vegans, calcium/vitamin D fortified milk substitutes created from almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, coconuts, and soy are becoming more popular in delivering our nutritional needs. The Silk brand almond milk contains 50% more calcium and vitamin D than dairy milk. It is said that fig juice was used in ancient Africa, as a replacement for human breast milk because of their high calcium and potassium content which helps to reduce the loss of calcium in urine.

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Knowing the state of dairy here in the U.S. and the benefits of alternatives, it is wise to weigh your options and make the whatever decision you feel is best for you. We recommend frequently incorporating the foods listed above into your diet if raw unpasteurized milk is not an option. Your bones and overall bodily health will thank you for ceasing to pollute your being with the added toxins present in dairy, replacing the source of needed minerals like calcium from milk & cheese to whole foods.

Fall Care. For the Cold Season.

Sweaters, boots, hoodies, Thanksgiving, Halloween, falling leaves, pumpkin spice ?!?!? Yes, pumpkin spice. If you haven’t noticed yet, fall is here and it is here to stay. Along with the perks of Fall, our bodies and minds have to adjust to this transitioning season.  Although it is hard to let go of the blazing sun and the great ordeals of summer, Fall brings great things. We promise! 

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The season is breaking and AfroMadu is here to help you stay healthy and safe through the cold weather!

  1. Vitamins Double Time:
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    A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins and nutrients can boost immunity to help fight infection.
    Top antioxidants include vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. To get enough of these antioxidants in your diet, step up the intake of unprocessed fruits and vegetables. This isn’t realistic for everyone, with obstacles like budget constraints and busy schedules. Thankfully there are many supplements for these antioxidants at your local drug store, which come in the form of chewy candy, gum, pills or drinks.
  2. Rest Up:
    Our T-Cells or T lymphocytes count decreases when we are sleep deprived. These cells play a major role in the mechanism of our immune system. Getting adequate amounts is imperative – usually 7 to 9 hours for an adult.
  3. Water, Water, Water!:
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    As if AfroMadu doesn’t stress this enough, too little fluid in our body hinders the efficient working of the blood and lymph systems which reduces energy and contributes to a sluggish feeling.  You’re probably thinking about when you can get to your next cup of coffee or warm apple cider but you need to stay hydrated, and the only way to properly do so is with water! Eight to ten glasses a day is recommended.

4. Exercise:Regular exercise increases the level of leukocytes, an immune system cell that fights infection. Exercise also is associated with increased release of endorphins, natural hormones that pump up your sense of well being and improve sleep quality, both of which have positive effects on your immune system.

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5. Hygiene: This goes without saying, wash your hands often! Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on deck! Keep a pack of tissues on hand!

No excuses. I wish you all a healthy, prosperous cold season!

Protect Your Feet!

Summer is slowly leaving and Fall is beginning to approach. And with the thought that your favorite flip flops will be put in the back of a closet and those fall boots and flats will be back on the scene, might put a little hole in everyone’s heart. But before we decide to put those fall shoes to work, or even buy new ones, let’s begin to make better decisions on the two things that are the most important for your lifetime: Your feet! 

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It is BEYOND important to worry about your foot health. I mean think about it this way, if you don’t, who will? Making sure that finding the perfect shoe, for example, along with the perfect fit can not only make your feet feel super comfortable but will save them for your later years.

People who suffer from things like arthritis, muscle and tendon problems, toe and joint injuries, and just overall jacked up feet are very popular today. In fact 7 out of 10 people will eventually have drastic foot conditions, all of which can be preventable. How is it preventable you ask? AfroMadu always knows….

Unknown-17Understanding the strain point in your feet, for starters, is really crucial to maintaining good feet health. When you are on your feet all day, what part of your foot hurts the most? whether it is the heel, arch or the front of your foot, finding that shoe that supports your strain points will not only your strain points, but it will allow you to stay on your feet a little longer. 

Exercise, as always, is another good way to protect your feet. Cardio and recreational activities keeps the blood flow and muscles moving, while it straightens and tones the shape of your feet. 

Yoga, especially, has been a great practice to take care of your feet. Having yoga instructors called them the “root of the body”, their are poses and different techniques used in yoga to maintain and circulate blood flow in feet, and along the spinal cord and back.  

All in All, these strategies can strengthen and heal your feet. Longevity is super prominent for the two walkers that will keep you well and active. Training and toning might not be the first thing you think about when you want to get healthy, but it should be. Pay attention to those feet, you are going to need them forever!   

New Season, New Goals.

As the summer is coming to an end most people find themselves coming up with new goals for the remaining four months of the year. This year I am guilty as charged. My new goal is to get fit (I cannot afford to lose any weight) and find a constructive activity like kickboxing or Zumba. Granted I have a low cut so I do not have to worry about sweating my hair out. However, here are some tips to be able to work out yet not sweat out your hair too much.

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Time:
If you love to run, run early in the morning when the air is still cool. This allows your hair to sweat out a little less.

How to style:
Natural hair- if you braid your hair at night then keep it the same.
Permed hair- you can keep it wrapped by putting bobby pins in it.

Scarves: Some may feel scarves are too ghetto and should not be worn to the gym. However, I feel if you have a hair style that needs it then wear it. Just make sure it’s the best scarf you have. Don’t go to the gym in your scarf with all the holes in it. If you still feel uncomfortable then style your scarf to make it look like a fashion statement.

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Don’t let the pressure of your hair stop you from reaching your goals. Please share if you use a different style to protect your hair when you work out.

~B.R.A.T (Black, Radical and Thorough