General Thoughts, Lioness Lessons Series, Toxin Free

90 Day Ready 2 Roar!

I woke up this morning humming “Happy” by Pharrell. Reached over and turned off my alarm clock and searched my ipad for my motivation playlist so that Pharrell could sing it to me while I slithered into my leggings and struggled to get my sports bra over the girls. I was prepared for an incline workout on my treadmill. No need for speed with this workout. This was purely about increasing my endurance, building my strength and…ahem…building my booty. Now I have to tell you that for the last few weeks I’ve worked out in my pajamas without much enthusiasm. Just enough energy expended to say I did it… if anybody asked.


But this morning, Friday, August 1st is a momentous occasion for me and for my coaching practice. The Be Well Lioness! 90 Day Ready2Roar  Beta test starts today!


I piloted a similar program the last year and it was quite successful with every one of my clients seeing real results. But I’ve learned so much more since then and I felt there was more work to be done. So I tightened it up. Added additional modules to the group sessions and made it more interactive. Yes. We’ll discuss nutrition. Yes. We’ll discuss exercise but we’ll work on stress reduction, the importance of positive relationships and the role toxins play in affecting health as well.


Be Well Lioness! 90 Day Ready2Roar looks like this:

It’s a 12 week program that consists of a cleanse to get everyone started. Followed by a clean eating, plant based meal plan which eliminates dairy, gluten and sugar in order to balance blood glucose, cool the body’s inflammatory responses, increase energy and as a side effect, promotes weight loss.

Group coaching occurs twice monthly and each group coaching session will deal with a different aspect of wellness.

  1. Clean Eating
  2. Goal Setting – Managing Expectations
  3. Physical Activity
  4. Avoiding Toxins
  5. Stress Management
  6. Identifying Toxic Relationships

It includes a Farmer’s Market tour, a quick and easy cooking demo and a discussion of budget friendly ways to live healthfully.


Generally  this program is directed at clients who are dealing with weight issues of 30lbs or more or a chronic health issue that can be addressed by life style adjustments ie Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity.


So far my PRIDE is excited and motivated. But I know this is only day one and change for them and for me isn’t always pretty, or fun, or easy. Wish us success. I’ll keep you posted!

General Thoughts

Don’t Worry… Be Ashy!

When my beautiful daughter A’Liya was 3 years old she decided that her Cabbage Patch Kid ™ Nikki was ashy after her “bath” and that she needed to be moisturizer. Back then we used Vaseline ™ which was a standard in almost every African American household. If it was dry or ashy your mama or Grandmama put some Blue Seal Vaseline on it. Period. Well Liya was a good mommy and she knew exactly what to do. She covered Nikki in petroleum jelly from head to toe. I don’t know when the last time was that you interacted with a Cabbage Patch Kid but they are not designed to be grease friendly…lotion friendly either for that matter. So Nikki remained covered with the slippery substance until dinner time when Liya showed up at the dining room table covered in the greasy substance and hugging a greasier Nikki.
Now in Nikki’s defense Liya had applied far more Vaseline to her than I would have applied to Liya but Nikki was quite frankly a mess.
After dinner both Liya & Nikki were marched off to tha bath tub where we attempted to remove what appeared to be most of a 1pound jar. Liya came out of the tub soft, smooth and no longer greasy. Nikki didn’t fare that well. After putting Liya to bed I spent a couple of hours bent over the bath tub with detergent and very hot water trying to get Nikki clean. It didn’t work all that well. Next I put Nikki in a pillow case and dropped her in the washing machine. And because she was made of cloth I had to let her completely dry in between to make surofs lol the oil was out. It wasn’t. It took 5 washing machine cycles to get Nikki close to normal. That was almost 30 years ago and even now if you rub Nikki really hard your hands will feel softer and less dry.
Toxins in our environments are very similar. If they get inside us their effects on us can be lessened but it is far more difficult to remove them than it would be to prevent their being absorbed by us in the first place. Like my daughter many of us are unaware of the unforeseen effects these contaminants may have on us. What’s needed is someone to explain why petroleum jelly shouldn’t be applied to cloth dolls (or living humans for that matter). In order to achieve the optimal health we’re looking for we need to be as focused on avoiding toxins as we are on eating right and working out.
Detoxes and cleanses for us are the same as washing machines and laundry detergent for toys. They have a useful purposes in removing the foreign substances we can’t help coming in contact with. I provide cleanse and detox programs for my clients but I am much more passionate about teaching clients how to avoid the Toxins in the first place.

Eat Well! Move Well! Be Well!

General Thoughts


I love Mike Holmes. In case you are unfamiliar with him he does these renovation shows where he comes in and fixes mistakes and malpractices of other contractors. He doesn’t just cover it over he tears it out and starts fresh with solid foundations. That’s how it should be done. Not just with home improvement but in all aspects of our lives.

I recently did some renovations on my office space and it occurred to me that dieting solely to lose weight is much like painting over a wall that has underlying water damage. Eventually the mold will reappear because the “problem” hasn’t really been fixed just covered over. Don’t get me wrong weight loss in a world where obesity is at epidemic proportions is not a bad thing. Any more than cosmetic changes to your living space is a bad thing. But when cosmetic changes take priority over good health we have a real problem.

I encourage my clients to make healthy changes. To step up their nutrition, get their bodies in motion and get their stress under control in order to control their diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure. Those activities will lengthen and improve their lives, brighten their overall outlooks for both the present and their futures and give them more time on the planet to revel in all it has to offer.

A well done renovation of your home should tear down the damaged walls and toss out the debris. The pipes should be checked for damage and cleaned or replaced. Proper insulation comes next, the new dry wall or plaster. Then and only then should you consider painting your perfectly smooth wall.

A well done renovation of you isn’t that different. Tear down those damaged walls you’ve thrown up that have allowed your health to deteriorate. Toss out all the junk food, junk thinking and the junk lifestyle that’s keeping your sick and tired. A good quality cleanse or detox is next. Get your system clear in preparation for all the new and improved nourishment. Work on building newer stronger walls with a well designed fitness plan. Then you can worry about what you look like.

Losing weight may improve self esteem and self image and that’s great but a smaller dress size should be a happy side effect of great health.

General Thoughts

Moving Past The Outer Limits

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to — The Outer Limits.

Business plans, marketing plans and thoughts of fill my head as I finally drift off to sleep…when I sleep. I am building a business…two of them in fact. Running a household, finishing up school and holding down a full time job all while trying to optimize my own mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. And I admit that sometimes I feel as though I am losing my tenuous hold on my mind. But such is life in the 21st century for many of us. We want so much. Family, social life and career or in my case the entrepreneur in me wants a thriving business of my own.

As a single mother it has been about the paycheck. The J.O.B, as a mentor of mine used to day… the Just Over Broke. I didn’t have the luxury of taking the time to find my passion and then following it. A hole opened up beneath me and I found myself free falling into an industry I felt no fire for. I got up. I went in. They gave me a check. I was a sleep walker doing tasks that I could quite frankly accomplish in a daze. My rent was paid. My children ate. And so it went. Yes there were times when I genuinely enjoyed those tasks. More than a decade as a trainer and supervisor of customer service reps was the highlight. I like training people. Teaching them. Mentoring them.

But then came the lay-offs. And it was over. 2 weeks after moving my children from my parents’ home to a place of my own I was told I no longer had a means of producing food, clothing or shelter. In desperation I took a position that I was qualified for and good at. But it brought me no joy offered little or no challenge and so the sleepwalking began again. And again I had no control. So much about my life has been beyond my control for so long that I had almost forgotten what I wanted out of life. Almost. And then everything shifted. An opportunity to study and build a business that gives me energy, fuels my passion and combines so many of the things I love in one nice package. Health & Wellness Coaching gives me the opportunity to teach and mentor. My planned “Wellness Retreats” offer the opportunity to travel and run my travel business. I have the hope of a glorious and entrepreneurial future that gives me back control of my life. That is a future I can embrace with gusto. That is a control I am willing to work hard to attain.

We now return control of your television set to you. Until next week at the same time, when the control voice will take you to — The Outer Limits.

I don’t think so! That next week will never come! Keep your hands off my remote!

General Thoughts

Nutrition, Lifestyle & the African American Woman

Many African American women have the belief that genetics has an unbreakable hold on our lives and on our health and because of this have thrown in the towel on trying to prevent or reverse chronic, life threatening and debilitating conditions. But emerging evidence says that long standing belief is simply not true…at least not entirely. Instead our genes are more like thousands of tiny light bulbs that when switched on in specific combinations can trigger certain patterns. Patterns that lead to conditions like diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. These “on switches” can be activated by environmental triggers like toxins, stress hormones, lack of exercise and our choice of food. Yes food. If your genes are a loaded gun then what you eat can be the trigger. In some case a very deadly one.

But the genes that make us retain body fat, contributing to chronic diseases like high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes were not always the curse we view them as now. Once upon a time those genes saved our lives. They allowed a captive people both male & female to survive & work on the castoffs of those who held them captive. The tails, feet and intestines of pigs rather than the choicer hams and chops. Breads made of coarsely ground corn rather than the softer, finer milled flours.

The leavings the masters had little or no interest in. It was a diet that included very little animal protein because animal protein was far too expensive to be “wasted” on laborers. But plants could be grown in small gardens tended alongside slave quarters and the produce from those small gardens made to sustained them. Those whose genetic material allowed them to survive on that meager fare with fewer calories not only survived but thrived, worked, bore children and passed along those same genes to their offspring.

We were bred to operate on little but are confronted daily with excess by our ancestors’ standards. We thrived on a mostly plant based diet but now have animal protein in abundance with almost every meal. Not fresh high quality animal proteins but processed, chemicalized, hormone filled, antibiotic laced meats that resemble the fresh natural meat products we once considered a flavor enhancer or a garnish only in appearance. The volume of edibles is abundant. The nutritive value is not. Now in the 21st century branches of once sturdy family trees have withered with chronic debilitating conditions not due to a lack of food but rather from an over abundance.

Dr. Mark Hyman, Author of The Blood Sugar Solution, refers to the foods we eat as information. Information that tells genes to switch on and switch off and that process can trigger illnesses and chronic conditions. So my Type 2 diabetes developed at age 36 not because my father and grandmother developed it but because I inherited a certain set of light bulbs that my environment and my actions switched into the on position. I have a gene or genes that have the information needed to create that condition AND through my diet and lifestyle I inadvertently switched those genes into the “on” position.

What it is important to know is that just as the pattern was created by turning certain light bulbs on…that pattern can be changed by turning them off again. In life there will always be stressors but you can learn to deal with stress in more effective ways. You may not be able to avoid all exposure to environmental toxins but you can minimize that exposure. A healthful, nutrient rich diet may be a lofty goal but African American Women have survived in the face of great challenges for generations. Once again it is time to move past merely surviving and embracing thriving! For ourselves, our children, our mates and our communities! Eat well. Move well! Be well!