Feed Your Hair!

Want to show your hair some love? Make up a batch of this sumptuous salad, and your tresses will sing your praises!

All three main ingredients—the avocado, grapefruit and tomatoes—are rich in the vitamins and minerals that promote hair growth and strength. This salad is great throughout the spring and summer when all the ingredients are plentiful and at their peak.

Avocado, Grapefruit & Tomato Salad

2 medium avocadoes, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into lengthwise strips
2 medium ruby grapefruits
2 medium yellow tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
2 tbsp fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp fresh mint, julienned
6 green or butter lettuce leaves

Assembling the salad:
1. Place a bed of lettuce leaves on a platter. Gently arrange grapefruit, tomato, and avocado segments on the lettuce, artfully mixing the brightly colored fruits.
2. To prepare the vinaigrette, add the oil, vinegar, and honey to grapefruit juice in the jar, secure the lid, and shake vigorously for dressing to emulsify.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad, sprinkle with mint and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Serves six.


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Filed under Natural beauty, Self-Care

Wildest Dreams!

Tina Turner "Wildest Dreams" CD Cover

Tina Turner blows me away! She’s in her 70s and in her prime! How has she made her widest dreams come true? Watch this interview about the making of the “Wildest Dreams Tour,” and get inspired. You can make your wildest dreams come true too!

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Filed under Inspirations

A Fresh Start for Spring!

Hey y’all! I’ve taken off  a few weeks on my blog–here’s why.

After 22 years of wearing locs, I’ve been going through a spirit journey of unlocking them. Yes, you can unlock your locs! And I feel wonderful, refreshed, and alive!

Now that I’ve emerged on the other end, I’m anxious to share my story. Take a look at this YouTube video for the details:

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Filed under Natural beauty

Heart Healthy Eggplant–Yum!

Heart-healthy eating means turning up the volume of  fresh fruits and veggies. One great tip I learned about building a nutrient-rich diet is make it colorful! The veggie spectrum from white to yellow to red to orange to deep purple means you’re sure to get the vitamins and minerals that Mother Nature intended for you.

I’m a fiend for eggplant, and love dips. So Baba Ganouch is one of my favorite dishes. It’s easy to make, and oh so WHOLEsome! Try this recipe, and see why I’m so in love!

Baba Ganouch

1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
2  large garlic cloves, peeled
½ teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 drops liquid smoke flavoring
Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

1.    Prick eggplant with a fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
2.     Tear off a 6-inch square of foil. Place garlic cloves on foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap loosely into a cooking pouch.
3.    Roast the eggplant uncovered and garlic pouch until they are soft, about 20 minutes.  Let the eggplant and garlic cool.
4.    Cut the eggplant into large cubes and place into a food processor. Remove garlic from cooking pouch and add to food processor. Add any remaining olive oil to the food processor, process until smooth, and transfer to a medium bowl.
5.    Add tahini, lemon juice, liquid smoke flavoring and cayenne pepper to the eggplant mixture, and stir until well blended. Add salt to taste.  Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve with pita chips or fresh pita bread. Serves 4.

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Filed under Nutrition, Recipes, WHOLE Kitchen

The Pap Is NOT The Only Test You Need To Prevent Cervical Cancer!

January is Cervical Cancer Month. Here’s your reminder to schedule your cervical cancer screening test. As uncomfortable as you may feel with your feet up in the stirrups, and the speculum inserted in your private parts (yuck!) I strongly urge you to take a few extra minutes and request another test too.

It’s the HPV Test. If you’re 30 or older, the HPV Test is essential to ensure that the two strains of human papillomavirus (or HPV) that cause cervical cancer are detected.

Most people get HPV sometime in their life. The HPV that causes cervical cancer and genital warts is passed by skin-to-skin contact with the genital area. You do not have to have intercourse to get it: any sort of mutual sexual activity can expose you to HPV. Black women in their middle and senior years have the highest incidence of cervical cancer. And just because you are in a monogamous relationship, you are not immune from having HPV.

Just like a cold virus, HPV is usually cleared on its own in a short time. But if HPV does not go away, cervical cancer can develop. But unlike a cold virus, HPV usually has no obvious symptoms. So it takes diligent attention to regular cervical health screenings to make sure HPV is found early.

The HPV Test looks for HPV, the virus that causes abnormal cell changes. the test can be performed from the same sample as your liquid based Pap or can be collected in a separate tube at the time of your Pap test. It is the ideal companion to your cervical health regiment. By having both the Pap and HPV tests, you and your doctor can monitor any cellular changes in your cervix and the presence of HPV.

Believe me my sistahs, there are far too many women who have their Pap Test every year religiously and still their cervical cancer goes undetected. Even more tragic, are the many women who haven’t had any cervical cancer screening or do so infrequently. Are you one of these women?

Cervical cancer is 100% preventable! But it is up to you to take action. Educate yourself! Request the HPV Test! Remind all the women in your life to get their screening annually. To learn the guidelines about getting the HPV Test and take a tutorial on cervical cancer, visit the cervical cancer page on the WeSpeakLoudly website.

Two additional resources that I highly recommend are Tamika & Friends featuring the courageous journey of cervical cancer survivor Tamika Felder, and the digene HPV Test with detailed information from the developer of the HPV Test.

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Filed under Black women, Cancer, cervical cancer, Reproductive Health, Women's health

Knowing Your Family Health History Can Save Your Life

My Grandparents Ellen & Clifton Thompson

Far too few Black folks know their lineage. Part of this is directly attributable to how our ancestors were ripped from the Continent, our families sold into slavery, and disbursed around the globe.

Another part stems from our reticence to talk about health issues. Yet another part is the poor access to quality care as well as misdiagnosis from, and distrust of, the healthcare establishment.

But to be WHOLE, you must summon the fragments of self-knowledge into a more complete picture of your health status. Doing so can offer a life-saving profile of your genealogy and risk factors for a variety of health conditions.

How to gather a family health history

  • Talk with your family, starting with the elders. Ask them about their childhood illnesses, medications, surgeries, and current health conditions.
  • Find out as much of this information you can about their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles–any of your forebears.
  • For any who may have passed on, find out their cause of death.
  • Continue this inquiry with the next younger generation of your family, gathering as much information you can not only about your parents and grandparents, but their siblings as well. Many times diseases can run in families, but not manifest in your most direct bloodline.

Your elder relatives might not know the medical terms for these conditions. That’s okay. Any nugget of information could be very helpful. For example, learning that someone in your family tree had “Sugar”–another name for Diabetes–could mean that you are at higher risk for the disease as well.

Knowledge is power. Knowing your health history and sharing it with your healthcare provider is a powerful way to help you and future generations of your family live longer, healthier lives.

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Filed under Black Families, Health Topics, Intergenerational

No Time For Breakfast? How About Apple Cobbler?

Got a crockpot? Until now, I thought of mine as a great way to prep soups and stews for dinner. But I’ve discovered that my trusty crockpot can cook a wide variety of WHOLEsome breakfast meals too! All you have to do is throw in all the ingredients before you go bed, and you’ll wake to the wonderful smell and yummy taste of a hot breakfast!

I happen to love almost anything apple! Cobblers, crisps, pies–you name it. But I don’t often have time to bake them. No problem! I found this recipe for Apple Cobbler made in the crockpot that is quick and easy to prepare. Here it is!

Crockpot Apple Cobbler
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: Overnight (6 hours)

* 2 cups peeled, sliced tart apples
* 2 cups granola cereal
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/4 cup honey
* 2 Tbsp. melted butter

Spray inside of 3-4 quart crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Combine apples, cereal and cinnamon in crockpot and mix well. Stir together honey and butter and drizzle over apple mixture. Mix gently. Cover crockpot and cook on LOW 5-7 hours until apples are tender. Serve this crockpot cobbler with your favorite flavor of yogurt, if desired. 4 servings


Filed under healthy eating, Nutrition, Recipes