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.

It’s Time for Spring Cleaning

healthy is sexyDid you join the fall Detox for a Diva?  Or did you miss out and want to know when it would come around again?  Well, spring is here, and so is D4D Spring Cleaning – yay!!  I’m ready for a whole new group of divas to join me on April 1.  And actually, a couple of previous participants have already decided to sign up.  I didn’t expect that, but I know I’ll be doing it again so why wouldn’t they?

Detox for a Diva Spring Cleaning will include Continue reading “It’s Time for Spring Cleaning” »

Still Living Healthy in 2014?

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As we enter the second quarter of 2014, I wonder how you’re doing with your healthy New Year’s resolutions? Or new habits? Whatever you’ve chosen to call it, how are you doing? So many start the race expecting awesome results. But by the end of the first-quarter most have dropped out. I know that Ash Wednesday this week was helpful in getting some of us back on track. But for those who still need a little help regaining focus, i’ve got a few ideas. Continue reading “Still Living Healthy in 2014?” »

Soul Food Junkies – Do They Run in Your Family?

After years of research, filmmaker Byron Hurt blessed us with the documentary Soul Food Junkies, which tells the story of his father’s love affair with soul food and eventual death, likely related to an overall unhealthy diet.  This story is exactly why I do what I do. I know first hand what it’s like to have family members addicted to unhealthy eating. In fact, I inherited the trait.

Did you catch my Krispy Kreme Testimony? Well it didn’t start there.  I remember my mother telling the story of how the neighborhood doughnut shop used to give her a courtesy call at her request each morning at around 4am to inform her that the doughnuts were hot and ready to be picked up. Sound familiar? She told me she would get three dozen; one for her, one for my dad, and one for us 3 kids to share. Damn shame, huh?

At some point during the documentary Byron touched on the fact that the comfort his dad got through soul food was likely his way of escaping the pain of the loss of his first born son. I, too, know the comfort of food after losing a child. That’s exactly how Sweet Tooth Therapy was born. Fortunately for me, I was able to catch myself after gaining 12 pounds and switch from baking and eating for comfort to baking and selling.

If you ever watch The Biggest Loser, you may notice a common thread, other than obesity. My hubby would watch the show and say “wow, he really loves food.” And I’d always say “no, he’s loving the comfort the food is giving him in the midst of some deep pain or void.” And sure enough, somewhere during the season, Each contestants’ demon is revealed. Molestation, rejection, secret homosexuality, abuse, loss of a child, parent or spouse; something devastating is usually brought to the surface.

Myles Munroe was the first person I ever heard say “when you don’t know the purpose of a thing, you abuse it.” And that’s exactly what soul food junkies do. And all other food junkies for that matter.
It’s a combination of food abuse and self abuse. The ethnicity of the food has nothing to do with it. For me it was sweets. For my mom it was good food, period. For Byron’s dad, it was soul food and fast food. It’s interesting how food abusers are often seen as food lovers. it’s like a person can abuse another person and the one being abused can actually think they’re being loved.  When you really love food, you’re too selective to eat just any and everything. And when you are loving yourself, you only eat what you need and no more. When it slips over into greed and gluttony, there is no love in that neighborhood. I’m just sayin’.

If you find that you’re abusing, or neglecting yourself by habitually overeating and having an unhealthy diet, the main thing is to fix what’s eating you, and then you can fix what you’re eating. When you try a new diet and don’t deal with the real internal issue, you’re just putting a bandaid on a deep, infected wound. You deserve better treatment than that.

I thank Byron Hurt for sharing his father’s story. I know it will get the attention of someone who is self medicating with food, and hopefully cause them to take notice before it’s too late.

Have you ever felt out of control or like a food junkie? If so, what, if anything, did you do to turn it around? Do you, or someone you know need prayer in this area?

You can watch Soul Food Junkies online until January 22, or purchase the DVD.

Think you don’t have diabetes? Think again: Diabetes Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

During my years of working in the hospital and encountering newly diagnosed diabetic patients, I noticed a pattern.  Quite often these were the people who ignored the early symptoms until they became pretty obvious.  A word to the wise – Don’t wait until your foot is rotting and about to fall off before you start to think that something is wrong.

I’ve seen it all – denial, ignorance, lack of health care, whatever the reason, it’s sad.  It’s estimated that more than 6 million people have diabetes and don’t even know it.  How do you know one of those people isn’t you?  These are just a few of the symptoms and risk factors of diabetes.  If any of the following is true for you, take it seriously:

1  You have a family history of diabetes… and on top of that, you are inactive, overweight, and consume an unhealthy diet.  What do I mean by unhealthy?  Well, you have nothing edible in your vegetable drawer in the fridge, but the pantry is full of packaged sweet and salty snacks.  Or the few vegetables that you do eat are swimming in a sea of hocks or some other salty meat.  I believe a big part of that “family history” link is the unhealthy lifestyle being passed down from one generation to the next.  You may not think of this as a “symptom”, but it certainly increases your risk.

2  You cannot see your feet when standing unless you bend over significantly.  A waistline greater than 35” for women, 40” for men not only says you’re overweight, but puts you at greater risk for diabetes AND heart disease.

3  You’re peeing more than you used to, and you’re thirstier than ever.  Not to alarm you, but if you’re on a road trip and have to pull over every 15 minutes, or lately you can’t sit through an entire movie without a couple of bathroom breaks, consider it a possible warning and check it out.

4  You’ve experienced miraculous weight loss, even though you can be found sitting on the couch with your hand stuck in a bag of cookies on a regular basis.  Now you know doggone well if you just dropped 10 or more pounds, and you haven’t done anything to deserve that victory, you should not be celebrating.  You need to get your tail to the nearest glucometer and have your blood sugar checked ASAP.

5  You have a wound that just won’t heal.  Please do not ignore this one, and go to the hospital with an open gash that you noticed 3 weeks ago and tried to put a band-aid over.  This one is more common in men.  The woman (women) in your life will try to urge you to check it out.  Please listen to her (them).

6  You are incredibly grouchy.  This is the one that I really can’t stand.  You treat people like crap and you don’t even wonder why??  Come on.  I bet when somebody slaps the crap out of you for acting like an a#@h%$#, you’ll go see a therapist about your attitude and… ok, sorry.  Let me focus.

7  Speaking of focus, blurred vision.  If all of a sudden you can’t see clearly, please find out why.  This is NOT okay and if left unchecked, only gets worse.

I find it necessary to touch on this subject because so many people ignore the symptoms, or perhaps they just don’t know.  I came across the website blackfolkdont.com with a video called “black folk don’t go to the doctor” which inspired me to write this post.  It made me think of all the patients I’ve seen that would never have been admitted had they done something sooner.

Like I said, these are just a few symptoms/risk factors.  Diabetes IS MANAGEABLE, through diet, exercise, medication, and knowledge.  I hate to hear people say “oooh, he has diabetes real bad”.  No.  He manages his diabetes “real bad”.

You can find lots more info at diabetes.org.  But honestly, if any of the above is true, you don’t need to research any further.  You just need to go get tested.  The worst that can happen is a positive test for diabetes.    The worst that can happen if you DON’T get tested… for starters, your foot could fall off.

Does Your Weight Loss Resolution Already Need Resuscitation?


As we approach the end of the first month of the new decade, I wonder how many resolutions have survived. Many started the year hyped up about one particularly popular resolution, weight loss. Possibly the most popular New Year’s resolution, it may also be the quickest one broken.

I have my suspicions as to why such an important resolution gets kicked to the curb before we can even smell the Valentine’s chocolates waiting around the corner. Too many resolutions, lack of resolve, and inappropriate weight loss methods are a few correctable problems that could be blocking you from that svelte, toned body you so desire. The good news: it’s not too late to get back on track or even start your weight loss plan with some simple yet strategic moves.

Over-zealousness has led to the early demise of countless heartfelt resolutions. The excitement of a new year and a new decade can leave one feeling as though they can conquer the world, when the reality is many can’t even conquer the smell of In-N-Out Burger. Attempting to focus on losing weight, improving finances, smoking cessation, and making a career change all in the month of January does not yield a recipe for success in 2010. A more realistic plan is to choose one resolution (weight loss) and focus on mastering it. Regardless of the time it takes, stay focused until that one resolution becomes your new habit, or new way of life. Develop your plan for weight loss, achieve that goal, and move on to the next one. The idea is to be realistic and stick with what you can reasonably handle before overwhelming yourself by committing to an additional major life change. In other words, baby steps.

When people make weight loss resolutions, it becomes quickly evident how serious they are. Choosing to indulge in the first temptation that comes along reveals a lack of resolve. Did you give in to the temptation to skip a workout simply because it was raining? Did you join the crew for a bite to eat knowing that the Cheesecake Factory was your downfall? Such choices would explain why the resolution to lose weight is already a thing of the past at only the 3rd week of the new year.

At least you’re serious enough to be reading this, and that’s a good sign. As I said before, it’s not too late. Next you’ll need to start behaving as though you are serious in other ways. People who have successfully lost weight are those who are not trying to but have decided to make lasting lifestyle changes. They resist temptation to things that take them away from their plan because they are serious about their goals. Here’s an unconventional yet effective way to remind yourself to resist temptation: the next time you’re out to dinner or visiting the employee cafeteria, look around stealthily and check out what others are choosing to eat. My guess is the food choices will match the outcome. Most, if not all, of the people choosing the high fat or high carb options will tend to have a larger than recommended girth, and those choosing the healthier options will either be svelte, or on the way there if they keep it up. In other words, your choices will either get you where you want to go, or where you don’t want to go. Choosing to be serious about your resolution is vital to your weight loss success.

Finally, what is your weight loss method? We are inundated with weight loss plans these days, any one of which could work for you if you just do it. Eliminating white sugar from your diet will lead to weight loss, as will counting calories, purchasing prepared calorie restricted meals, following a low fat diet, etc. The question is how long can one reasonably expect to commit to any of these methods? The weight loss method you choose must last you as long as you plan to keep the weight off. I really hate to see someone spend hundreds of dollars on a weight loss program, lose 30 or more pounds, then regain the weight when they tire of shelling out the dollars. And what about plans that forbid certain foods? If this seems realistic for you, then by all means go for it. More than 20 years ago I gave up red meat. Apparently that was not a problem for me, as I’ve never struggled with my decision. I can’t, however, imagine never eating birthday cake again. So the sugar free diet is not for me. I can imagine limiting my carb intake by choosing foods with a low glycemic index most of the time. This will yield weight loss and make for a method that I can reasonably expect to live with.

Take a sincere look at your chosen weight loss method. If you’ve given up on it already, or find yourself struggling with it, rethink your plan. Take the time to research a few of the countless methods available. You can even take ideas from multiple methods to create your own. With a little effort you’ll come up with a plan that makes since and seems realistic for you.

I’m pulling for your success in your weight loss efforts, as well as your other resolutions. I recommend taking a look back at my previous posts for more helpful tips to get your resolution back on track or started. If you start now, hopefully by Valentine’s Day you’ll have the strength to make it through that chocolate laden day without falling off the wagon again. Here’s to a Happy New Year and a happy new you!