No matter how up and down the weather has been lately, summer will inevitably be here soon. And there is really no better time for us to shift how and what we are eating than now. If there is anytime of the year most of us eats less, it is the summer. This can be attributed to the warm weather. The fact that many of us are more active and more conscious of our appearance as we are wearing fewer clothes (some of us too fewer clothes – but that is another commentary). Now is the time NOT for you to diet, but simply shift your eating habits to those that are at least a bit healthier.
To be honest, this is a commentary that we really need to hear every week. Only because as a community we don’t really seem to get it. We, black people, continue to suffer overwhelmingly from every disease known to man. Diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, and other conditions are all affected by what and how much of it we put into our bodies. And while many of us have drastically shifted what we eat, there are far too many of us, like most of America, who eat portions that are too large, consume too much sugar, salt, and fat and not enough vegetables and healthy proteins.
In February of this year, Oldways, a non-profit nutrition education organization based in Boston, created an African heritage Diet Pyramid. The organization, whose motto is “Health Through Heritage,” believes that we should let the old ways be our guide to good health and well being. It focuses on fruits and vegetables with greens (collards and mustard) and kale being the base and suggests that we consume them every day. Kale specifically has cholesterol-lowering properties and reduces risk for several kinds of cancer. The pyramid also focuses on roots (beets and sweet potatoes), nuts and grains and fruits like bananas, papayas and yes…even watermelon (which an elder told me was the Viagra of the fruit world). Like any tool, this is merely a guide and we make the real difference each and every time we decide to eat.
So here are a few recommendations.
1. Make the healthier selection: Instead of starting out saying, “I am never going to eat this,” or “I am only going to eat that”; every time you decide to consume something, make the healthier, and if you can, the healthiest choice. If you are at a restaurant, choose the lower fat, vegetarian, vegan or fish option. For some of you it will mean DON’T go to that place you normally go to, as there is really very little on the menu that is good for you. If you are out and about, pass up the fast food and grab a salad (with mixed greens as iceberg lettuce is like eating chilled Styrofoam). If not, then grab some low-to-no-salt nuts or trail mix to hold you until you can get something healthy that will do you right.
2. Check the portions: Sometimes it is about how much you eat. You can be eating some of the healthiest food for you, but if you eat too much of it, you defeat the purpose. Eat to be satisfied, not to be stuffed. Gone are the days when you have to eat everything on your plate when you’re out. Why? Because they put too much on your plate. You can look at the meal as today’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. Or if you are in an urban area, look at it as half for you and half for a homeless or hungry person not far from where you are. Bag it up and give it to someone in need.
3. Juice: If you can, get a juicer (any one you can afford) and start experimenting. I love kale juice, but it is definitely not for everyone. Find a combination that works for you. But the vitamins and minerals you will get from natural juice will change your energy levels and do great things for your body and mind.
4. Finally, Eat at an apple or piece of fruit everyday with your water: It is the small things that make a big difference.
I want to see you live long and well; and what we put in us (and you know how I mean that) is what will give us an extended and active life. Eat to live, family.
As always, I’m Jeff Johnson and that’s my truth.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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