Meet Theresa Birks – Well Diva Wednesday


Hey Divas!
I’d like to introduce you to Theresa Birks.  Theresa is responsible for managing the page MPEPA Beautiful Women.
Each day Theresa highlights the accomplishments and projects of women she would like for us to know about and support.  The page started with 11 members as a way to promote women in her community but has evolved to include all women working to better themselves and their own communities, and has over 800 members.  I thought of Theresa for Well Diva Wednesday for this reason and a few others.
Some of the steps I think of when I say “Well Diva” is being able to make good decisions for yourself, create an action plan, and get it done.  When you can do that thing that brings you closer to your personal success plan, and in the process overcome any obstacles, put aside excuses, and make it happen, you are moving towards being a Well Diva.  For Theresa, one of those things includes working towards her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology.  Her recent Facebook post caught my attention.
Facebook Family,

I need your prayer. Tonight is the first class in my University of San Francisco Psychology Counseling master’s degree program. I am so nervous and scared…lol. It seems like just yesterday, I registered for college level courses with my baby Brandi.”

 That was a little over a week ago.  Theresa is now in the midst of her action plan towards her personal goal for success.
“I plan to obtain my Psychology Counseling Credential and become a therapist who will help bridge the gap between African Americans and the Mental Health System. I hope to continue to work in the nonprofit sector to provide counseling for women and their children.”
 I asked Theresa to share a bit about her recent nuptials, as I could not for the life of me figure out why she would be in a relationship with someone for 21 years and then finally get married.  But like a Well Diva, it was her own choice.  She shared with me how her life’s work had taken priority, and how this wonderful man supported her and waited patiently for her to decide to give herself to him.
t birks wed
“I met him one evening and we never parted. We raised our children by previous partners together and he encouraged me to enter college. He retired, cooked, made sure I ate properly. He prepared my breakfast before school, and lunches. We generally cooked together in the evenings. He took me to school for two years straight while obtaining my first degree and now I just entered graduate school. Life got in the way. He kept asking and I would always say let’s wait, then I went for my BA and we just kept putting it off. Looked up and 21 years passed! We are in such a good place.”
 Does it get any sweeter than this???
Sometimes that shiny ring, or the promise of “happily ever after” with Prince Charming can be a huge distraction.  But a Well Diva knows how to keep focus, and let things happen in her time, and God’s time.  I want to say thank you to Theresa for being an inspiration and encouragement to others.  She went for what she wanted, she let nothing distract her, and she fully trusted God to keep her man by her side while she stayed focused on His will for her life.
theresa birks fam
Do you know a Well Diva that we should all know about?  If so send me an email and let me know her story.  I’ll be happy to share her joy with others.



Charlotte Allen of E’Lure Salon And Spa – Well Diva Wednesday

Where do I even begin?  Our Well Diva this week is one of my sweetest, no, my absolute sweetest friend, Charlotte Allen.
I met Charlotte in the mid ’90s when we were both searching for what we wanted to do with our lives.  She had just received her degree in meteorology, and I was planning to go back to school for nutrition.  We were both working a long term temp assignment.  I recall one day she asked me how to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, career-wise, as she had quickly learned she had no interest in meteorology.  I said to her, just think of that thing that you love to do, and you think it’s a hobby.  That’s it.  That’s what you should be doing.  Charlotte heard me loud and clear, and immediately started taking classes to work towards getting her cosmetology license.
One day I came in to work really tired.  I told Charlotte how I had been up into the wee hours for several nights chatting in a Christian chat room on AOL.  She giggled as she listened to my many stories of the people I was becoming friends with online.  Then it hit me.  I said to her “Charlotte, you need to meet some of these guys I’m meeting on line. Some of them are sooo nice and so much fun!”  I don’t know many people who would have taken me up on that, but Charlotte gave me permission to pass on her email address.
I had one guy in mind, just for Charlotte.
Long story short, about 2 years later, Derrick had relocated from Dallas to Atlanta and the two were married.
Today they have almost 14 years under their belt, 2 beautiful daughters, and their new baby, E’Lure Salon and Spa.
I remember those days making little money for temp work, Charlotte was saving for her first condo.  I learned from her the value of focus.  I don’t care if you just wanted her to join you for a $1 ice cream treat, Charlotte said no.  She was focused on her goal.  And she didn’t give a rat’s azz what you thought.  The next thing I know, she was a homeowner.
I admire Charlotte for her ability to do what she needs to do to design a Well Diva Lifestyle for herself.  Many would have gone on to become a miserable meteorologist just because the education was paid for and the pay would be good.  Many would have stayed at the temp job until it became permanent, and rotted to death there doing something their heart wasn’t in.  Many would not have met the guy online recommended by a friend who hadn’t met him either.  And many would not have made the sacrifices to get that homeowner status, missing out on all the lunches, trips and fun their friends were having.  But Charlotte.
One of the many things I love about Charlotte is her ability to cheer you on and share in your celebration even if she has no idea what the hell you are celebrating.  I wonder if she sees herself in you while she is cheering so hard for you.  Wow, if she believes in me like she believes in herself, that is some powerful stuff.
Just this week Charlotte made one more dream come true – her trip to New York and surprise appearance on the Today Show!charlotte and tamrontoday show
  I have been blessed to know Charlotte, and continue to be blessed to call her my friend.  A Well Diva, indeed.

Well Diva Wednesday – Alonia Jones, Destiny Diva – Destined to Love Again

Alonia JonesHey Divas!

This week I want to share with you my Spelman sister, Alonia Jones.

There are people all over the internet claiming to be life coaches, wanting to help you get your life together.  But Alonia is one I can say I have watched grow and create a life for herself that she can use as an example of how to manifest your own customized destiny fit for a Diva.

Alonia is known as the Destiny Diva, and as she puts it, she was “born to inspire”.

I chose to present Alonia to you this week because this week she is celebrating her 2nd wedding anniversary.  I remember a couple of years ago when her wedding pictures popped up in my Facebook newsfeed.  I thought “That’s strange… I thought she was already married”.  Needless to say I didn’t know any of the details, and didn’t ask, as it didn’t overly concern me.  So I clicked LIKE and kept it moving.  But then a couple of days ago I noticed a post about celebrating two years married, and something about reuniting with someone from 30 years ago.  That’s when I put it together.  This woman did what so many women fear. Continue reading “Well Diva Wednesday — Alonia Jones, Destiny Diva — Destined to Love Again” »

Well Diva Wednesday – Surviving the Greatest Loss Imaginable

me in yountvilleWell, I tried and tried but I didn’t come up with someone I wanted to feature this week as our Well Diva… but then I thought about me.

I cannot believe in all this time I have not taken the time to share my story and let you know why I do this.  Okay, I can believe it.  I’ve just been extremely hesitant to share because

This… Is… Hard. Continue reading “Well Diva Wednesday — Surviving the Greatest Loss Imaginable” »

Breakfast on a Parasite Cleanse

strawberry almond smoothie

Hey Divas!

Since so many of you signed up to do the PC14 parasite cleanse I thought I’d share what I’ve been coming up with to eat/drink during the first week.

It all started with a trip to Whole Foods and The Container Store followed by a cleaning out and organizing of the fridge. That’s one big reason I’ve been able to keep moving forward.  I can get obsessive about stuff like that, and I find that I’m always making sure the fridge stays like I want it.  I wonder how long the fam is gonna tolerate this. LOL!fridge

A bit about the cleanse:

It’s 14 days, and I’m offering the coaching at no cost for the current program.  The herbs we take are sooo nasty, but we do get to eat food.  Foods excluded are sugar, meats, dairy, grains.  Foods that parasites hate (FPH) are to be included in each meal eaten.  The list includes but is not limited to papaya (especially seeds), pineapple, berries, citrus fruits (except oranges), pomegranate, coconut and any other sour fruit, raw garlic, pumpkin seeds, and lots of spices.  Smoothies, soups and salads are the best way to do this, but we get creative and figure out other things to eat too.

The night before we started, last Sunday, I made some wonderful juice by tossing a whole small red cabbage, a whole small pineapple, about a one inch chunk of garlic, a whole lemon with peel into the juicer.pineapple cabbage ingredients pineapple cabbage ginger drink

I kept a glass of the pineapple juice separate for later use.  This time I added a glass of pineapple juice and about a half a cucumber and 2 cups of ice to the blender.  This was quite refreshing.cucumber pineapple smoothie

I really enjoyed the pineapple carrot smoothie.  Sometimes I don’t write down the amounts, but this was about 2 cups of carrot and green apple juice, 1 cup fresh pineapple, a teaspoon or 2 each of chia seeds and ground turmeric.  THIS. WAS. GOOD.  Add Stevia if you need to because I cannot remember if I did or not.

smoothie carrot pineapple chia turm

Today was the first time I had something other than a beverage for breakfast. This frittata was pretty simple, using bell peppers, spinach, garlic and onions sautéed in olive oil.

frittata topPour well beaten eggs into the skillet and stir into the veggies. Top with fresh avocado and optional vegan cheese (I personally didn’t care for the cheese but my daughter liked it). Cook in a 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes.   Slice and serve.

frittataToday I wanted something sweet, and I needed to add at least one more FPH to my breakfast so I came up with this Strawberry Almond smoothie.  This might be my favorite smoothie yet.

So this pretty much what I’ve had this week for breakfast, some days repeating a smoothie.  I’ll have to share the lunch and dinner recipes in another post.  Are you doing the cleanse?  If so, what are you eating?  And if not, did any of these recipes get your attention?  I only post the good ones, so let me know if you give them a try.  Most of them are kid tested too.

Welcome to Well Diva Wednesdays – First Up, Nicole Melton of Melton Digital

Nicole-Marie-Melton-DivaHey Divas!

Yesterday morning I came across a post on Erin Baynham’s facebook page, Scandalous Beauty.  I left my house all smiles after reading the testimony of this extra fly Diva, Nicole Melton.  Nicole tells her story of stepping out of the comfort zone, because, in case you didn’t know, that’s where the blessing is.  We can all use some inspiration at any given time, and I’m thankful to have come across Nicole’s story for me, and for you.

I have to admit my current project (transitioning from Soul Food Therapy to Well Diva Lifestyle) is a work in progress.  I knew I wanted to write a blog post on Wednesdays that had something to do with wellness.  But when I read Nicole’s story, I knew then I wanted to feature a Well Diva each Wednesday.  Yay!  Don’t you just love it??  BTW, my definition of a Well Diva is also a work in progress.  LOL!  But when a woman has a story that tells how she leaned on God for her next step and came out fabulous on the other side, who can deny that she is both doing Well AND a Diva?

I think Nicole’s story excited me so much because it reminds me of my life about 12 years ago.  That’s when I quit my job, packed up and moved from Atlanta to Oakland, 3 weeks later eloped, a year later had my beautiful daughter, all because I trusted Him.  Have you done something so daring because you knew it was God leading you?  I’d love to know about it, and I’m sure the Divas would too.  Share your story below.  You can read Nicole’s story here.

Oh, and Happy Well Diva Wednesday!


Well Diva Wellness Wednesdays and More at Well Diva Lifestyle

cover for blog postHey Divas!

If you haven’t noticed there are some changes going on here.  Sooner or later the new website will replace this one, and we will officially be located at  Why the change?

1. I had the hardest time communicating the message of Soul Food Therapy when I wanted to cover so much more than food.

2.  I want to create a community of women who want to live well, eat well, and just overall be well.  I think the name Well Diva LIfestyle says that.

3.  I love soul food, but I love so many other foods, so maybe the name Soul Food Therapy was just too narrow.

Change is good, and it’s time for a change.  A few exciting things to come:

Well Diva Wednesdays – You’re already signed up here, so you can expect more regular posts about food and healthy eating, but also healthy thinking, spending, and whatever else I can pass along to you.

The Well Diva Guidebook – It’s coming along and I can’t wait to share it with you!  I can’t give too many details, but when you get it be sure to let me know what you think.

The Well Diva podcast – really excited about this collaboration with my cousin Zahra of The Natural Journey for Life.

The Well Diva Inner Circle – I’m actually in the very early planning stages of this so I’ll share more as it develops.

The Well Diva Retreat – That’s down the road but it will happen.  I’ll be sure to give plenty of notice.

That’s a lot so let me go get busy!  I’m grateful for each of you and would love your feedback on some of the plans in the works.  This is all for you, so feel free to let me know what you think!

Also, if you haven’t taken advantage of the free cleanse starting Monday, you may want to.  Almost 100 have signed up, so I know there are probably more of you out there.  Don’t miss this!  I’m not sure when I will run it again.  Sign up here and be a blessing to someone by sharing the link.

A Parasite Cleanse Saved My Life

9pineappleI have dealt with iron deficiency anemia for years.  Once my iron was so low (hemoglobin of 6, when 12 or higher was the goal) that I was supposed to go for a transfusion.  But instead my holistic diva mama jumped in and nursed me back to health with some high iron liver and onion doses daily for 3 weeks.  Yuck.  But it worked.  However, I stopped eating beef, especially liver, and my iron level started to creep back down.  I have traveled extensively to several countries, have eaten more than my fair share of sushi, and have had pets living in and out of the house.  All of these put me at risk for parasites.  I have never had one doctor even mention this as a possible reason for my chronic iron deficiency, and a host of other embarrassing symptoms that will only be discussed with my cleanse and detox clients.  But after discussing some of these symptoms with a nutrition and wellness colleague, it occurred to both of u that perhaps parasites could be causing me so many problems.

So I did it – I got mad as hell at the thought of something living off of me and giving me nothing but grief in return.  So I removed sweets except for a couple of fruits from my diet, all meat, and starch, and drank the nastiest concoction of herbal teas on the face of the earth – for 2 weeks.  And that’s when it all happened for me.  You may recall a while back when I lost a bunch of weight as a result of going gluten free, but I still had the kangaroo pouch and anemia.  Well that disappeared with the two week cleanse I did with an emphasis on getting rid of the freeloading parasitic bastards.

I will be discussing some of the symptoms nobody wants to talk about in a google hangout this weekend with some detoxing diva friends who have signed up for the chat.  Then we will do a free 14 day parasite cleanse together.  If you’d like to join us, sign up here.  I’m not charging a thing this time for the info I will share with you although I know the value of it, so it certainly won’t hurt to join us.10cayenne

Have you ever done or thought about doing a parasite cleanse?  Do you know the symptoms?  If so, share below.  And I’ll see you at the hangout.

A Mother’s Day Prayer for Those Who Are & Those Who Are Not

candace easterHere is your monthly dose of spiritual wisdom from Min. Crystal L. Cochren of My Faith and Fitness.  Happy Momma’s Day!  Be blessed.

Today is Mother’s Day. For many of us, the second Sunday in May is a source of pain and suffering. Between the run up to Mother’s Day and the 24-hour span that constitutes Mother’s Day, many of us smile through the pain that we endure.

Today, I pray for those of us whose experience with motherhood has not been ideal or happy or joyous. I pray for us who are mothers or not mothers. I pray for us who have been hurt by our relationships with our mothers. I lift us up in prayer today to let you know that you do not have to suffer alone. God hears our cries. God wants us to be healed. God wants us to be whole. Let us cast our cares upon God. God cares for us.

Us As Mothers or Not As Mothers:

Many of us have never wanted nor attempted to have children. We are at peace with that decision. Yet, society looks down upon us and we are treated as less than because we “do not have a family.” In the eyes of the world, clearly, something must be wrong with us. Society does not regard our lives and current relationships as valid because offspring are not a part of the equation. This has been a source of pain. I pray for healing.

Some of us may have attempted to get pregnant on several occasions and through various methods, yet miscarriage met us at every turn. We may feel less than whole because our wombs deny us the opportunity to carry and deliver a living being. I pray for comfort.

Many of us may have given birth or adopted after experiencing a miscarriage. Yet, we still mourn the loss of what could have been. I pray for consolation.

Others of us became pregnant as teenagers. Initially, we may have wanted to terminate the pregnancy. Yet, we did not. Now, we regret our decision to give birth. That regret is a source of guilt. I pray for the elimination of guilt.

Additionally, we may have become pregnant as teenagers and gave the child up for adoption, either voluntarily or involuntarily. We wonder where our children are. We live with an emptiness for what we lost. We exist in a constant state of mourning. I pray for comfort and peace.

A lot of us have adopted children, whether it was a legal adoption or we raised the offspring of our family members or friends. We welcomed these individuals into our homes. Loved them. Raised them. Prayed for them. Yet, they tell us “You are not my mother” and leave our lives without looking back. I pray for healing of our hearts.

Many of us have terminated numerous pregnancies. Now, our bodies refuse to allow a pregnancy to begin. Now, we regret and lament our previous decisions. Those previous decisions are a source of pain. We may think that God is punishing us for those decisions. I pray that we learn to forgive ourselves.serene

Some of our children have been taken from us because of death from illness, death from homicide, death from suicide, incarceration, addiction… We mourn the loss of these relationships. I pray for solace.

Our Relationships with Our Mothers: (This part is for both men and women)

Some of us have or had mothers who did not like us or love us. Their disdain for us was palpable. They did not hide their awful feelings for us. We wanted to have a strong, loving relationship with our mothers. She did not want such a relationship with us. I pray for healing of our hearts.

For others of us, our mothers were teenagers when we were born and our grandmothers or aunts raised us. We never established a loving relationship with our mothers. We mourn the relationship that never developed. If our mothers are still alive, I pray that a mutually affectionate relationship will be formed. If our mothers are no longer alive, I pray for comfort for that lost opportunity.

Many of us were our mother’s favorite child. This status caused strife with our siblings. We may resent our mothers for placing that burden upon us. We may resent the jealousy of our family members. I pray for reconciliation.

For some women, mental illness prevented them from having the capacity to walk in the role of mother. We wanted to establish and maintain a relationship with our mothers, but we could not make any connection, through no fault on our part…or theirs for that matter. I pray for understanding for her incapacity.

Others of us experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of our mothers in the form of abandonment, drug use, molestation and prostitution. Our mothers may have walked away from us when we needed her the most. Our mothers may have been addicted to drugs or alcohol and did not have the capacity to love us. Our mothers may have sold us as prostitutes to feed that addiction. The addiction was too powerful for her to overcome. Our mothers may have molested us or knowingly allowed us to be molested by predators in our lives. I pray for healing of our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits.

I lift up this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus, the lover of our souls. Amen.

As we navigate through another Mother’s Day, I want you to receive consolation, healing and restoration from God. God hears your prayer. God sees your tears. God will relieve your pain, agony and suffering. Be blessed. Remain encouraged.