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” »

Black Girls Eat Healthy Too!

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Just a little note to let you know about a great new venture – our new meetup group!  Yay! This is an opportunity for those of us in the SF Bay Area to get together and do some healthy fun activities together, like cooking classes, farmer’s market visits, restaurant reviews, and whatever you’d like to suggest. Join the meetup website, then join Green is the New Black – Black Girls Eat Veggies Too.  Our first outing will be this Saturday.  Once you sign up you’ll be notified of all upcoming events.  I look forward to living healthy with you!

Juicing and Smoothies Part 2 – Drink Your Greens 21 Day Habit

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I added (to taste) cardamom, ginger, honey, cinnamon, allspice to what you see there – a cup of soymilk, a cup of spinach, and a cup of roasted butternut squash. You can add water and ice cubes if it’s too thick. Use almond milk or hemp milk instead if you like.

As we begin the second quarter of the year I think back to January, and how hyped we were about our new blenders, green smoothies, and lofty goals. Just checking in… are you on schedule or have you fallen by the wayside?

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This was made using my Ninja blender and was one of my favorite smoothies, using leftover roasted squash!

The 21 day habit this month will be Drink Your Greens. Now remember, the plan here is not to drink green smoothies for 3 weeks in place of all meals, but rather to add them to our diet as a way to make sure we are increasing our fruit and veggie intake. And here’s why…

1. Detox – You do not want to piss your liver off, so give it some love by drinking some cruciferous veggies. These include kale, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower just to name a few. These blood cleansers assist the liver in the process of detoxifying our blood, protecting us from some cancers. I love that the name cruciferous means cross bearing, as these veggies have crucefers, cross shaped flower petals.  Who knew?

2. Fiber – As I mentioned on the facebook page, Americans spend $600 million annually on laxatives. When you juice, you throw away that lovely bowel moving fiber.  So if you are able to take in the additional fiber, then by all means, do!

3. Meal replacement – or should I just say portable, drinkable meal. That is one of my faaaavorite features of healthy green smoothies.  Add a scoop of peanut butter, some chia seeds, or flaxseed meal for an even more complete meal.

4. Nutrients – You could eat a salad for lunch, but when you drink your veggies you multiply the nutrients you take in, as you are able to drink far more leafy greens than you can eat.

5. Weight loss – The increase in fiber from drinking green smoothies leads to feeling fuller longer and less spikes in blood sugar levels, which can help with losing weight.  Yay!

6. Beverage variety – I’m a huge water pusher. I don’t even see the point of drinking sweet sugary beverages, unless of course it’s a martini or margarita, then by all means have one. Or two. But if you want to switch up from drinking just water, add some fruit, or make your own smoothie or juice.

7. Beauty – Toxins removed from the blood and bowels can only lead to healthier skin, hair and nails.  We all love that, don’t we?

So how have you been doing since the January smoothie habit?  As for me, I’m holding steady, still loving my green smoothies. I stopped for a couple of weeks due to plain old dontwannagetupthisearly-itis. But I’m back. And I came back to get those of you who got left behind.

For those who have kept steady on the course, congrats. Will you do all of the readers here a huge favor by sharing with us your tips for keeping the passion for reaching your goals?  Drink Your Greens, 21 Days to a New Habit starts April 9.  The Q&A session is April 8 in the Soul Food Therapy Google + Hangout.  See you there?

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.