Month: December 2016

How my first year in the thirties went

Not a major milestone but whoah, I turned thirty-one on December 23rd. Thought I’d be married, celebrating my second anniversary, and planning for my second child by this age. Harty har har. Jokes. I still get the same “why you single” questions I used to get in my twenties. It was cute and a bit flattering back then. Now I’m like…

Thirty was a trip. Here are a few things that happened during my first year in the thirties.

I established a few concrete “hell naw”s 

Struggle love, going half on dates, and “chilling” became a concrete “hell naw” for me. “They” say helping a “brotha” out and lowering standards is how black women can increase their chances at finding love. Chile’ please. I went for that during my twenties. That’s how I ended up feeling taken advantage of and tired by thirty.

Distancing myself from such headaches has done a lot for my health. I am more focused on me because there is less drama. There is less stress in my life over “love,” which makes more time for me to show myself love, care, and patience.

Another “hell naw” was allowing myself to take crap from others because I’m afraid I’ll be viewed as mean or angry. I’ve likely been running from the “angry black woman” trope since I was a little girl being told I had an anger problem. I didn’t like being called angry or mean because to me it implied I couldn’t control my emotions and I was irrational for how I felt.

Holding in anger and not being honest about how I felt gave me headaches and tension behind my eyes. I’d stew on something repeatedly in my thoughts until I actually developed headaches. Releasing anger and being honest enough to catch issues as they happened, allowed me to think about other things. And the anger headaches stopped. It also helped me deal with anger in other areas of my life.

The last crucial “hell naw” I established during my first year in the thirties was forgetting my burning desire. I never want to forget my burning desires again. Thirty was the year of internal conflict for me. I spent a majority of it confused, disconnected, and a bit lost. I knew what I wanted, but I always found a “better” way to pursue it, which left me with not much done.

Closer to the end of the year, I realized my missing puzzle piece was the thought of my burning desire. I wasn’t jumping out of bed with it on my mind so it wasn’t motivating me to keep the big picture in mind. It was hard to focus without remembering my burning desire.

I prayed to learn more about myself 

The decision to pursue freelance writing full-time has been a straight-up catalyst for self-discovery. I discovered I questioned my abilities as a writer. I discovered I had a hard time making progress because I feared heading in the wrong direction for too long. And I found out I used planning and preparation as excuses for hiding my work and not stepping out there.

I also learned more about myself in the context of weight management. I’ve accepted that I’m a food addict with a tendency to overeat. I also realized I’ve been dieting or “eating crazy” since I was 15-years-old. There hasn’t really been a between where I just eat to live without worrying about how much or feeling guilty. That tripped me out.

The beauty in learning more about self is becoming aware of those thought processes and actions that often go undetected because they’re subconscious or done in autopilot. Once aware of them, you can change them. I love that.

I prayed to learn more about myself so I can give myself the tools to fully live during this period in my life. I am childless, single, creating freely, and working towards a lifestyle I truly desire. Bringing more of myself to the surface in the process has done wonders for moving me forward.

My thirties are about to be lit. #BlackGirlMagic

I learned to value the experiment over the results 

When I decided to pursue freelancing full-time, I was focused on results. The problem I often times hit was not pursuing something authentically, or at all, because I cared more about the results. I did a lot of changing of the mind because I worried more about the results. I worried more than living and enjoying the process.

I realized this after listening to Black Girl in Om’s podcast, episode #13: Emotional and Spiritual Empowerment 101: A Chat with Tracy G. Girl, when I say Tracy snatched my damn edges, she woke my game all the way up. I almost envied her freedom to just create and put it out there. She explains being able to do this because she considers her work social experiments. Not projects with an end or gain in mind.

I wish I could say the minute after the podcast was over I started valuing the experiment over the results. I’m still working through it, but being patient.

My first year in the thirties was dope overall 

Yeah there was pain, confusion, disconnect, and some realizations I’ve cried over, but I also value all the growth I’ve experienced. And finding out what work needs to be done.

I’m looking forward to another great year in the thirties.


4 Ways a Clean Diet and Healthy Lifestyle Will Keep You Looking Young

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Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed more fifty-or-better people hitting social media to show off their age-defying physiques. Mr. Steal Your Grandma, Ernestine Shepard, and Mimi are only a few that have wowed and inspired plenty.

What do they have in common? Healthy diets and healthy lifestyles! They exercise, don’t smoke (to my knowledge), eat healthy, and Mimi even collects her own rainwater for crying out loud.

I want to be like them when I grow up. And I already have a good start. People don’t believe I’m 30 when I tell them so that’s cool right? I’m hoping to age like Gabrielle Union and the other black actresses well into their 40s and 50s looking like they’re in their 20s and 30s. #AgingGoals

Any who… Below are four proven ways a clean diet and healthy lifestyle can help you too tap into the fountain of youth. (You knew the cliché was coming.)

Lowers Chances of Forming Wrinkles 

I often hear maintaining resting bitch face and avoiding too much sun prevents wrinkles. I can still hear my grandma warning me against excessive frowning. Emotional child, I was.

Although these do help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, eating a clean diet and living healthy do much more to reduce wrinkles. A clean diet and healthy choices lower the chances of collagen being broken down during the aging process. Collagen is a protein that’s formation is encouraged with the right nutrients and minerals.

Foods you can eat to reduce or prevent wrinkles include healthy fats, certain fruits and vegetables, and some dairy products. Some of these foods prevent wrinkles by helping in the production of growth hormones while others provide essential nutrients and vitamins. These foods include coconut oil, grass-fed beef, Greek yogurt, eggs, avocados, salmon, and olive oil.

In addition to eating healthy, living healthy also reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Get enough sleep to reduce the production of cortisol – a hormone that also breaks down skin cells. Keep skin thick and elastic by sleeping long and deep enough to produce growth hormone. Not smoking should go without saying. Getting enough sun, but not too much, also helps.

And watch out for that stress. Easier said than done for most, including myself.

Keeps Skin Clear, Reducing Scarring and Hyper-pigmentation

I used to suffer terribly with hyper-pigmentation and irritated skin on my face. Being overweight and borderline diabetic, I developed the common diabetic dark spots on my cheeks, around my mouth, around my nose, and even on my chin. Eating clean and weight loss transformed my skin.

Acne, skin breakouts, and dark spots are not only the result of hormones and birth control drugs. The foods we eat also have a lot to do with how well our largest organ, our skin, functions. Especially the skin on our face. Some foods can also cause breakouts because we’re allergic or experiencing some type of autoimmune effect.

Eating a clean diet reduces most of the main contributors to breakouts like sugar, gluten, hormones in dairy and meat, and additives. A clean diet of wholesome, nutrient dense foods that promote clear skin will include grass-fed and pasture raised, organic animal products and byproducts. Also drink plenty of water.

Not smoking and getting enough sleep also helps with breakouts and dark spots. Other practices include using coconut oil to cleanse skin and apple cider vinegar as a toner. The coconut oil removes germs and puts healthy fat right on the skin. Apple cider vinegar is also good for removing bacteria, oils, and dirt.

Maintains Healthy, Strong Teeth 

Cavities, plaque build-up, and gum disease are a result of too much sugar and poor nutrients. And a struggling set of teeth will age you.

Keep your teeth healthy with a clean diet of nutrient dense foods that encourage your body’s own teeth-protecting functions. Contrary to conventional knowledge, the human body has the ability to heal its own cavities, prevent cavities, and even protect against plaque. Our poor dental hygiene is a result of poor nutrition (highly processed foods) and the consumption of more sugar, flour, and grains.

The work of a dentist, Dr. Weston A. Price, proved a diet high in white flour, sugar, grains, and fruit preservatives caused tooth decay and gum disease. In as early as a generation, Price observed an increase in cavities and weakening of the teeth in populations newly adopting the western diet (high in flours and sweets).

He found poor diets to be a major contributor to poor dental hygiene not because sugar and flour fed bacteria (which is false by the way), but because they contributed to malnutrition and poor health overall.

Keeps Joints, Muscles, and Bones Strong 

I used to date this fifty-year-old that looks mid-thirties in the face, but tapping early seventies in the body. His arms and legs are skinny because he lacks muscle mass. His limbs look stiff and his skin looks thin. And He has a round, bloated belly that isn’t too big, but noticeable enough.

His face, however, has not one wrinkle, he has a beautiful, wide smile, and his skin is smooth and youthful. He even acts young (a little too young in my opinion, which is why we no longer date).

Man. Had. A. Terrible. Diet. Besides drinking up to three beers a day and topping those off with wine, he barely ate a full meal the four months we dated. He mostly ate junk food and if he did eat a meal, it was canned, frozen, or boxed. His body looked like how he ate.

Avoid this by eating healthy, properly managing stress, and making healthy lifestyle choices. The right foods and activities will keep your bones strong, keep your body from tearing down your muscles, protect the health of your joints, and keep your skin moist and elastically youthful.


Keeping your skin, hair and teeth healthy from the inside out are proven ways to look much younger as you age. A healthy, nutrient diet, and healthy lifestyle, will reduce (even eliminate) the appearance of wrinkles, keep skin clear, maintain healthy, strong teeth, and keep joints, muscles and bones strong.