Tag Archives: healthylifestyle

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.

Veggieville: Becoming a Vegetarian.

Thinking about becoming a vegetarian? Well AfroMadu is here to help you with the information you need to decide whether this would be the decision for you!

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Vegetarianism is becoming a popular trend in 2013 with many different pop figures supporting it. Names spreading from Justin Timberlake with his lyrics speaking on “Veganville” to former President Bill Clinton and his story of his transition to a full vegan diet and how it has helped him tremendously with his heart problems.
Over 4 percent of teens are vegetarians, which may not seem like much, but that is a 1 percent rise from 2007 and only 5% of our TOTAL population is vegetarian, so teens are playing a huge part in this trend and will continue to do so.

Vegetarians at minimum refrain from eating all animal flesh, including meat, poultry, fish and other seafood.Vegetarians do eat beans,grains, fruits, and vegetables, but disagree about animal-derived foods other than flesh. Lacto vegetarians accept dairy, Lacto Ovo vegetarians both dairy and eggs. Vegans refrain from eggs, dairy and often honey. There are about 6-8 million vegetarians in America today,and that number is growing as many people are starting to want to cleanse themselves physically as well as spiritually.

Vegetarian diets are “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment” of diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Veggie diets are “appropriate” even during “pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.” Being a vegetarian also helps the environment as you are cutting down on the use of greenhouse gases, pesticides, and the slaughtering of over 10 BILLION animals yearly. It is by far one of the greatest steps you can take against these issues. Vegetarians also live longer as being vegetarian expands your life expectancy by 3.6 years. There is even research stating that vegetarians are 40% less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters.

images-54Vegetarians must pay particular attention to eating enough protein, iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, and Vitamin B12. Vegans need B12 supplements or B12-fortified plant foods to maintain their health, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group. Vegetarians must also be careful for  hidden animal-based ingredients such as rennet or the milk protein  casein.  If you aspire to be a vegetarian you should also work on menu and holiday planning, grocery shopping, being open to the questioning and skepticism of meat eaters.
These are challenges but realize that you are joining a minority group of people and have to deal with the obstacles the majority places in front of you (which should be nothing new for the black community).

From a personal perspective, I see little to no negatives to becoming vegetarian. It seems like a major step in maintaining a healthy and energetic body, you avoid so much of this world’s fillers and processed garbage. It is a huge step and I haven’t even taken the final step as I still eat chicken. Breaking a habit as strong and
consistent as eating is extremely difficult but the benefits outweigh the cons by a longshot and it’s all worth the reward to me. This article feels like the final step for me and could and probably will mark the beginning of my vegetarian journey. Hopefully this article will help you decide if this is the move for you.

Regardless, be happy, be healthy, be empowered.

Quit Yawning!

Let’s just face it. There isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything we want to get done. Between, school, hours at work, time to spend with families, eating, and socializing with other humans in the world, we always fall short to the essential things that we need in order to survive, like sleep.

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It has been said that an average person should be getting 7-8 hours of rest every night, but do we really live up to these hours?

When planning the events for the day, we often put certain priorities to the back burner because we believe that these plans have less significance than the others. Thinking that a couple hours of sleep can get someone through the day, or drinking caffeine and staying “active” can take the thought of going back to sleep away is NOT AN HEALTHY CHOICE.

Sleep is super detrimental to our health and because we are not aware of the benefits and importance of sleep, we often put this “priority” on the back burner. Feels like I’m talking directly to you? No worries, we are only here to inform.

Thinking about loosing weight, for starters, wouldn’t happen as soon as you think because your up and awake all the time. Because sleep allows your body to slow down your metabolism, the average hours of sleep helps your weight.

Anxiety and stress will continue to increase because sleep allows your mind to slow down and gain calm energy, rather than up and running.

Living a longer life, believe or not, is a great benefit of good sleep as well. Resting your body preserves your life span and you live longer!

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So we know what it does now and how it contributes to our everyday life, so what can we do to fix this dilemma?

1. Treat yourself like a child. SET A BEDTIME. That way by knowing your time to go sleep will allow you to do everything in your day that must be done in order to go to sleep at an earlier time.

2. SET AN AGENDA. by not only creating a bedtime but by setting scheduled times to do your valued things in the daytime shows your progress throughout the day and gives you the tie to catch some ZZ’s.

3. And the last one that we should all worry about: STOP PLAYING AND GO TO SLEEP. The extra stuff that you shouldn’t be doing during the day should get cut, knowing that you need to get a good’s night rest.

So now that we know lets stop pulling these all nighters and worry about our lives 🙂

Finding your Inner Peace of Mind.


meditation-retreats-2Nowadays life moves so fast that its hard to grasp the idea of living. Feel like your days are passing you by? Are there not enough hours in the day to finish everything you need to do? Are you just ready for the perfect break start a fresh slate?

Believe it or not, the problem does not lie in the little time we have, rather the way you value and use your time. This idea lives within the nooks and crannies of your mind and in order to save yourself, you MUST find inner peace and tranquility. This article is not going to outline your meditation regimen, but it will reevaluate your everyday routine in some aspects, and perhaps fix little problems that will allow you to live stress free, and actually grasp the life you live in front of you.

Finding you inner peace of mind simply means disciplining yourself to focus on your task and goals at hand. Doing so requires the renewing of basic characteristics that restrain your from focusing. This includes pride, blame, grudge and the idea to always be right. Does any of these characteristics sound familiar?

Holding grudges causes you to think about the specific thing you try not to think about. Doesn’t it sound redundant? of course it does, because it is. Learn to forgive! (if you haven’t already) Just coming to copes with yourself that your forgave the person or the certain situation allows your mind to come to peace and worry about better things, like YOUR LIFE! images-19

Living the life of being ahead and expecting the utmost respect also distracts your mind from life lessons, and instead requiring unnecessary attention to your cluttered life. The benefits of humility and never expecting anything can compliment your working peace and spark the element of surprise that your life lacks. Always being ahead requires you too no so much, instead of “going with the flow”.

Of course the weekly sessions of yoga, chai lattes, and the old fashion dose of relaxation can be a temporary medicine to peace, but you can’t forget these not so basic-  but BASIC- concepts of living a happy and healthy life 🙂

For more tips on Self-Disclipline and Peace of Mind, “Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses: The Power of Self Discipline” is a great read to the start of your new Self-Empower slate.