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Tell Us Your Black Health Story

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My health journey is just that... a journey. I have not completely transitioned to a plant based diet although that is one of my many goals. I am more aware of what it is that I put into my body. Not only my body but my spiritual nourishment as well. When people compliment me on my clear skin I have my internal happiness and lots of water to thank for that. Food has always been a struggle because I love food and don’t discriminate when it pertains to it except for pork. I cut pork out of my life a few years back but when I do have those slip ups, they catch up with me. Seafood is another ‘weakness’ of mine and has been my favorite food since the beginning of my physical life here. However, over the years I have incorporated more vegetables (which I love) and fruits to my diet as well as cut out eating after the certain time of day. I’ve noticed a change in my energy levels and just overall feeling good.

I do not have any plant based recipes to try or that I want to try for the time being because I am not ready for that full blown change... old habits die hard and I know that I can do it but I don’t want to right now.

Habari Gani Family,

My conscious health journey started in 2004, when I was diagnosed with RCC (renal cell carcinoma) and had my left kidney removed. I was 28 years old with a white man over 50 disease. (I was the 1%).  It is a daily journey. At sometimes frustrating and nerve racking. I can overthink a pain discomfort at the drop of hat and often find myself stepping back to gather myself and mediate.
For years and even today, I still struggle with the term/word “cancer survivor”, i become uncomfortable when someone says it as if it’s over. That’s just one part of my continuous journey. I am surviving. (Hence, my struggle and hangup with the word). Yes, I am proud of 15 years cancer free. Which is one of the reasons I am entering the world of kemetic yoga and other alternatives to medicine, as well as running and cycling. My spirit, energy and physically wellbeing must be in balance.  My health journey is a struggle very often. Sweets and coffee is my downfall. Knowing better and doing better is quite different. It takes a conscious decision to say “no, I will not eat that”, “I will exercise today”, and “I will buy this instead of that”. At least for me.
So, I started juicing awhile back. When I feel myself crashing, I complete my juice detox and it is my best reboot. I often complete sugar detoxes as well. But my juicing and smoothies is the best for me as well as being careful what I eat.
My favorite juices:

1. celery, apples, ginger, lemon                                               2. Beets, apples, carrots, ginger, lemon                                   3. Spinach, kale, celery, apples, ginger                           4. Pineapples, oranges, ginger                                         5. Watermelon and lemon

Smoothies:

1. Oatmeal, peanut butter, banana, rice milk, ice, raw honey or dates.                                                                2. Pineapple, banana, soursop, rice milk, ice

And of course lemon water everyday. Enjoy them.

 

 

My Health Journey has been very interesting. I grew up in Nigeria and we tended to go quite heeavy on the carbs, MEATS & FISH and a lot of fried, oily foods. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a somewhat health conscious mother who restricted fast foods and sugary drinks to a minimum.  Mostly because I was a chubby child and my mother had fatphobia (she was so terrified of me getting fat). So, from an early age, I became conscious of what I ate. Luckily for me, I have never been diagnosed with any health condition. I would say my conscious health journey began when I moved to Canada . Two years after moving here, I started exercising and finding that nutrition was a big component to a healthier life not just working out. Also, I began to pay more attention to the types of foods commonly eaten here and how they were grown. It gave me a whole new perspective and admiration for my food back home. That's how i began to research more and delved into the sphere of a whole-foods plant based diet.  It's been a struggle to give up meat most especially for me ( beef & chicken) but I've begun to get more creative in finding substitutions. Currently transitioning to a vegan diet has been HARD!!! Mostly because of old habits and the Nigerian culture where the food is incomplete without a type of "meat", the true test for me will be when I go back home and faced with temptations with very very limited alternatives. I would say that is my current focus, how to make my traditional foods more vegan friendly. I'm very happy with how far I've come but still need to work on my discipline. I went to a friends party this week and ate some damn samosas (God help me). But above all, progress over perfection.

"To support my health journey, here is one full meal replacement recipe that I created as a substitute for the very common "Nigerian red stew". Let me know if you try it out!!!!

EGGPLANT & MUSHROOM SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

5 cloves of garlic

1/4 inch of ginger

2 Chinese eggplants

1 pack of king oyster mushroom

2 scotch bonnet

SPICES (peri-peri seasoning, Himalayan salt to taste, paprika, all purpose seasoning)

Jerk Seasoning (Spur tree Jamaican)

Olive oil

1 large purple oninos

Vegetable broth (or water)

1 Can of tomato paste

1 big ripe tomato

  1. Prewash and cut all veggies
  2. Marinate mushroom & eggplant with jerk seasoning (keep for 30mins-1hr)
  3. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil
  4. Add in diced onions, garlic & ginger (let fry for 5-8mins)
  5. Add in tomatoes and tomato paste and spices (stir continuously for 10 -12 mins)
  6. Add in mushroom & eggplant
  7. Add some veggie stock (let simmer on low for 10-15 mins)
  8. Serve with quinoa or  tumeric rice or rice pilaf or plantain ( up to you)!

 

 

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Habari Gani Family!!

My health journey has been a roller coaster ride since 2009.  I started to change my eating habits basically to lose weight a little to be more healthy.  So I started to cut out a lot of meat, red meat, pork, etc. I would just eat a lot of o chicken and fish, which got really boring because I had no recipes. Baked chicken and fish every day was getting horrible! Over the years I have learned that some of the fish I was eating wasn't all that good for me either.  I also tried to go cold turkey on starches which backfired...lol.   I had to learn to cut them out gradually. Most of my family have high blood pressure and are diabetic.  I thought I was able to avoid them based on my healthy eating habits(lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and not as much meat) but as I got older and began to have more stress in my life, my family physician, diagnosed me with high blood pressure and "borderline" diabetic along with some other health issues.  This happened around 2016. By this time I was really into cutting out most white starches and red meat.  I haven't eaten pork or anything with pork by-products for over 6 years.  I do, however, relapse on the red meat from time to time.  When I was initially given medication for high blood pressure I did take it because I scared myself and my children, the doctor told me if I didn't come in when I did I might not be here. I am not a fan of taking pharmaceutical medications because they are not solutions they just mask the problem. So while taking the meds to stabilize my blood pressure I really got serious about my health and found natural remedies for all of my health issues. I slowly weened myself off of the meds prescribed to me and just stuck with my natural remedies. It took about 6 months but after that my blood pressure is basically stabilized and I no longer take prescribed medications.  I also cut out all sugar, I only use organic honey that I purchase locally if I need a sweetener.  I try to stay away from starches. I started growing my own vegetables and I only eat certain types of fish, turkey, and chicken basically. I have also decreased the amount of meat I intake on a daily basis. I try to only eat it once a day.  I also began to work out more, this has been the biggest challenge for me. I will go strong for 6 months and then fall off for 6 months.  SO as you can see the roller coaster ride with my health journey.  I am up and down a lot but each time I am up I stay there longer and I remove more toxins from my life.

 

To support my health journey here is one full meal replacement recipe that I will try using our food list and our cooking methods

Homemade Veggie burger

Ingredients

  • 1 can pinto or black beans (other varieties also work)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, optional
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp flour of choice or oat bran
  • 1/2 cup cooked diced vegetables of choice

These burgers can be baked, grilled, or fried, and feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand. For my burgers, I used roasted mushrooms, asparagus, and onion. You can also change up the flavor by adding different spices. I love cumin and curry powder so I cook with it a lot.

To make the veggie burgers, first drain, rinse, and mash the beans either by hand or in a food processor, depending on the desired burger texture. Stir in all other ingredients, and form patties. (Add more flour if too soft to form patties.) Either pan-fry–flipping halfway through cooking–or place on a parchment-lined pan and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Flip, then bake an additional 10 minutes or until desired texture is reached.

 

 

 

I'm generally conscious about what I eat, although I grew up on carbs. Being that I'm from the Caribbean, we absolutely love carbs and starch. Wether it's fried dumplin, plantains, yams, hard dough bread the whole lot. Mix this in with the meat consumption, a problem. Over the years, I've cut down on those choices and incorporated at least one vegetarian meal a week. Substituted those unhealthy carbs with better ones like lettuce, and kale. I barely eat bread anymore and indulge in my mother's cooking when I visit. lol.

One of my favorite meals is a coconut curry chick peas with coucous.

Ingredients:

1 cup of coconut milk

either 1 whole can of chickpeas or about 1-2 cups of dried chickpeas

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1/4 teaspoon of salt

(truth be told it's hard for me to measure how much curry powder I use so this is a guess-timation) approx half cup of curry powder

1/2 cup of water.

Dice onions, sweet peppers

As for couscous, I use around 1-2 cups and add a little bit of salt to the boiling water.

 

Instructions:

If your using dried chickpeas, you'll want to soak them for a bit before washing. If your using canned chickpeas, once opened you'll want to wash them before placing them into a pan.

I like to use grape seed oil in my pan. Drizzle oil in pan. Heat your pan, before placing your diced onions and peppers into the pan. Saute slightly, then add chickpeas. Allow chickpeas to cook for a bit before adding curry powder and pepper. Mix thoroughly in pan. Then add water, make sure pan is hot enough to bring water to boil. The water will dry up enough to make gravy. Cook until chickpeas are soft.

Add your couscous to small pot. Wash thoroughly. Add enough water to just cover couscous and place on stove. Add a pinch of salt. Bring stove to boil and turn down stove to low heat. Stir pot to ensure couscous doesn't stick to bottom of the pot. Maintain low heat on pot until couscous is fluffy.

Hope this helps.

 

This is my five day fasting journal. I needed to make light of it to get me through. Today I's finally free and can eat yall! Time to do the church chicken wing dance!
Holy Spirit Dancing GIF
The Pan African Forum
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Habari gani Family, I have to say that I struggled with this assignment because I had such an unstable childhood and diet plan.  However, I realized my key to liberation in the way I eat and care for myself is through letting go of the past ways.  As a young child I grew up moving around a lot because my mother, a single parent at the time, worked a lot. When she was home I ate things like eggs and rice, salmon and rice and occasionally spaghetti and meatballs.  Breakfast was almost always oatmeal with raisins.  If I had to stay with the neighbor next door (the landlord), I was given TV dinners.  Sometimes I went to my maternal grandmother who stressed that my plate always had to have a protein,  a vegetable and a starch.  During the summer times I stayed with my paternal grandmother who introduced me to gardening, fishing and village sharing of goods.  When she decided what we would eat, we would either catch our bait for fishing and catch our dinner; walk through the neighborhood where neighbors allowed us to harvest what we wanted from their crops; go out to her backyard and harvest the produce we needed or my uncles would go hunting and bring to her the deer meat that sometimes she had to process (yuk!) After all of this, I didn't see the lessons that I was learning. I struggled with personal issues as I got older and developed an eating disorder.  I did receive help and changed my mindset and began to take a closer look at the way that I ate.  I knew I wanted to be healthy but I didn't know what that meant really. I joined a church which taught me about fasting and I practiced that for years. During my fast I ate a plant based diet and I felt amazing! Of course, I always went back to eating what I wanted because I thought I feel good now, so I can eat what I want. SO, not true. Headaches, moments of unconsciousness, weight gain, acne, hair loss and other ailments lead me to going back to a plant based diet.  Its not easy, but after a medical scare, I realize I have to do better if I wanted to live. Now I eat better, feel better and look better and I am not driven by cravings to go back to my old way of eating. It's not perfect, but my diet sure is better and healthier with the changes I have made!

Some things I have enjoyed are overnight oats, cabbage and potatoes, smoothies, and of course beans, but I came across this website and found there are a lot of options to try and I wanted to share it with you all.  The website is tysconsciouskitchen.com/. Here there are so many options based on Dr. Sebi's research.

 

Peace Family!

My health journey has just began! I am transitioning out of the european processed food to a more african centered and alkaline/Holistic Diet. Practicing the art of "Sankofa" with simple fruits like Nectars, Plums, Bananas, Kiwi, Strawberry , blueberries and the list go on. Right along with Sea Moss, Blue Lotus Flower, Mugwort, Calea Zacatechichi, African Teas.

I came into Consciousness in regards to health From The Teachings Of - Ancestral Warrior Scholar Dr. Llalia Afrika & Dr. Sebi also known as Dr. Alfredo Bowman. Right now I currently learning a little From The Teachings Of Queen Afua in her book " Seven Cities of Wellness".

I look forword to what I'lll be learning in the field of knowledge!

Shem-Hotep meaning " Walk In Peace"

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