healthyliving

Destined

image-4Was it fate? I feel as if I was destined to share time and space with an amazing group of talented individuals. What a magnificent gift the universe presented me with this past weekend! Blissfulness and peace combined in what was a bountiful spiritual experience.  August 8, 2015: The addition to the archives of my soul’s greatest memories.

image-1I always wanted to model, yet I gave up years ago after facing many closed doors. Clearly, I was not built tough or strong enough to deal with the “no’s.” Not really obsessed with the idea, but excited about the thought, I decided to submit my photos to an artist, by the name of Young Paris, after seeing his “model search” post on Facebook.  Believe me, I was already mentally prepared for the “no.” However, I never thought about being unprepared for the “yes”.

When I received the message, “are you available on August 8th?”, I had to read it twice before I became ecstatic!  “Yes. I’m available!” I shouted. I realized, in that split second that no one could hear me.  Then all of the negative thoughts commenced and began doing circles in my mental.  They ranged from: Am I good enough? Was this a mistake? Suppose I mess up and waste his time? Talk about self-inflicted mental abuse!  It took me a while before I responded. I just was really not prepared for the “yes”. Subsequently, I remembered why I even started this blog – to encourage, to motivate, and to remind other over-thinking individuals (like myself) to let go and let God and just live!  After that self-reminder of my new life anthem, I responded to his request. It was not until the day of the video shoot that I realized that this experience will be more than just playing a role.  I realized that, on that day, the universe was going to bless me with a spiritual reward: not necessarily tangible, but definitely attainable.

Surrounded by God’s work, listening to nature’s language and working with a talented cast had me in awe. I found it so beautiful to witness Young Paris involving his family into his vision. Being around an artist, a musician and creative director, dancers, a videographer, designers, and make-up artists, had my creative juices flowing! I wanted to sketch, dance, practice yoga and meditate.  The feeling was so overwhelming.  There were sporadic moments where I spoke to God.  I expressed my gratitude for being present in that very moment. When the shoot was over, sage was lit and thanks were given to the Highest Power. We headed to Young Paris’ mother’s house. His mother cooked an amazing dinner and the cast was entertained by Young Paris and his family. They commenced to play the African drums. *Silent break*. This was when my emotions took over. I started to tear as I heard each sound from the drums. Each beat matched the rhythm of my heart and the sound of home that was taken from my ancestors.

It was at that very moment, whilst listening to the beat of my culture, I realized that I was destined to be there! My path led me there! The purpose of the shoot was not for me to realize my dream of being a model. The purpose of the shoot was to become richer from God’s natural resources, to connect with nature and other beautiful souls. I knew that no matter what, I would definitely take something from this experience.

History begins with yesterday and it is up to me to make sure that I incorporated what I know about my Caribbean culture and recreate my Afro-Caribbean culture.  My future family will remain grounded and will be knowledgeable about their culture. I will provide them with a platform to be creative and expressive.

As they were kidnapped and brought to the Americas, my ancestors were told not to sing their songs or beat their drums. They were programmed to believe that everything about their culture, appearance, and language was dreadful, unattractive, and uncanny. They were stripped of it all and forced to forget everything about their history. Fortunately, I live in a time where we are proclaiming our song and beating our drums again! I will recreate the culture that was stripped from me and study the history that was hidden from me. I will sing my song and move to rhythm of the drums.  And our history – African history – this planet’s deep history will thrive!

So it is. Ase.

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Culture in Harlem: Serengeti Teas & Spices

C360_2015-05-03-18-28-49-903It is almost impossible to have dull conversation at a venue featuring a modern minimalist décor accented with an Afro-centric theme, culminated with flavorful teas, coffees, spices, baked goods and hot chocolate!  Serengeti Teas & Spices has continued to be one of my favorite hotspots in Harlem! The myriad of tea recipes are concocted from harvested ingredients directly from East Africa, offering customers the highest quality in organic blends. If you are just a tea lover (like me) or an actual tea connoisseur, you will absolutely love this place and what it hasto offer.  Whether you have a cold, are suffering from allergies or feeling lethargic, or just need a quick refresher, ask for John – the mixologist and he will make a potion to fit your needs!  Stop by and enjoy!

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Stop Worrying

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

– Corrie ten Boom

Living the Vegetarian Life… For 4o Days

20150223_205247 (2)I have to admit, I’ve been eating a lot healthier since about November 2012 (the beginning of my fitness journey) and have been more conscious about where I buy my groceries from – especially my meats (chicken, turkey and fish).  I started buying organic or locally and have been making sure my chicken and turkey meat were farmed raised and cage free, and my fish were wild caught.  However, I have always been intrigued about individuals who were able to live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.  I always wondered if I was capable of handling it and would I still get all of my nutrients and build muscles on a plant-based diet.  Well, the only way to find out is to experience it for myself. So I stopped wondering and I took on the challenge on February 21st, 2015.  No meat or foods that contain animal byproducts are allowed to enter my system for 40 days.  I do, however, still consume honey and use honey for most of my beauty regimen.

Now that I have implemented a plant-based diet into my life, I have to make sure I’m receiving all the nutrients I need!  It takes discipline but it’s also not as difficult as it may seem. You can do it too, I promise!  Below are a list of important nutrients we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to ensure that we continue to build muscle (I definitely could use the extra help with my muscles since I work out and practice yoga).

During these 40 days I will document my progress, my feelings, my hair, my nails, and my body.  I also have chronic anemia and am really interested to see if it will improve or not after this plant-base diet challenge. Hmmm… and, who knows? This could be the start of a new chapter in my life. Stay tuned for updates.  Enjoy!

Protein

(Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Whole Grains, Legume)

 vegan-protein

Healthy Fats

(Avocados, Nuts, Seeds)

avocado

Iron

(Iron from animal sources is “heme” iron which is easily absorbed into our body. The iron from vegetables is “non-heme” iron and needs other components to be absorbed properly by our bodies.  Thus, while on a plant-based diet, it is important to consume plenty of Vitamin C to help compensate for this and to assist absorption of the iron into your body).iron_food

Carbohydrates/Complex Carbs

(Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Whole Fruits & Vegetables)

stories-oatheart

Calcium
calcium

B-12

(Neither animals nor plants produce it.  It is found in bacteria that forms in animal feces (which is why most herbivores eat their feces…. ugh, so GROSS). However, B-12 have been added to fortified foods and supplements. Supplements are recommended because as we age we become less able to absorb b12 )

Iodine

salt1

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

(Leafy Greens, Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Beans, Seaweeds, Winter Squash, Collard Greens, Wild Ricewinter squash

Zinc & Vitamin D

Photos from:
http://www.riceproteinfacts.com/
http://naturallysavvy.com/
http://www.dhvanishah.com/