Health + Wellness

Motivational Monday: Preparing

It was the morning we went back to school after the winter break, and I was journaling before I got my day started. As I was journaling, I figured that it was too good not to share, so of course I had to make it into a blog post. I was writing about how getting ready for this week has made it possible for me to not rush in the morning. Here are a few bullet points that I will expound upon in a series of upcoming blog posts for my motivational Mondays:

  • Eating breakfast at home instead of at work
  • Go to bed earlier
  • Having my essential oil diffuser in my room with lavender at night and a citrus scent in the morning
  • Seriously meal prepping on Sundays since we have tutorials after school
  • Journaling in the morning (also meditation)
  • Setting intentions for the day
  • Getting up if I’m already awake before my alarm

Doing all of those things prepared me for an awesome week. Keep watch for upcoming posts on each of these points as I explain how it has helped contribute to awesomeness this past week.

Health + Wellness, Minimalism, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Veganism, Minimalism, and Spirituality

I was listening to a podcast the other day (Minimalist Moms) and they were talking about minimalism and spirituality. I consider myself a spiritual person and that more so came to light after my transition to being vegan. When you realize that all these animal products, processed foods and fake foods are not needed to survive, it makes you wonder what else you can live without.

I think after the first year, I began to realize that I had way too many things. I lived with my mom at the time and we lived in this big two story house that had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an office, huge living and dining room, 3 car garage, the works. I was grateful, but I began to feel like I was drowning. That is when I decided to start giving things away. The Purple Heart would come to our house and pick up any donations we had, and every time they came, there was plenty to give away. Even my mom was giving stuff away.

Once I got ready to move into my first apartment, I had bags and bags full of stuff that I was not taking with me. Once I moved and set up my new apartment, I realized that I had so much empty space. I lived in a nearly empty apartment for 14 months. It was depressing. I rarely invited people over because I was embarrassed. I had this huge apartment and nothing to fill it with, nor was I going to fill it.

When my lease was almost up, I went on the hunt for a much smaller apartment. I was elated when I finally found the perfect one. The living room was much smaller and it had a separate dining area; the closet was half the size of the old one; the bathroom was also smaller with a smaller linen closet and smaller garden tub; and the bedroom was about the same size.

Once I had moved all of my things in, I realized I did not have enough space for everything, and again, I had to give and throw things away. Every cabinet and closet is full to the brim with necessities (which is not a lot given how small everything is). Even though I have a baby on the way, there is enough stuff for their things to go. I’m just going to have to let the grandparents and family know to keep things to a minimum.

Being vegan opens your mind to societal norms, values, and morals, and makes you see how everything we’ve ever been taught was a lie. We are told to work more so that we can buy more things. We are manipulated into wanting a bigger house to fill it with expensive things and nicer, fancier, expensive cars. We are told we need all these things to make us happy and to live the “American Dream.”

I often times think about people who are homeless or those who don’t have many or any valuables, and how many of them are happy. There are homeless people who are actually happy; one of them is a friend of mine. I watched his journey moving from Houston to New York. He lives in a homeless shelter and all of his things fit in a backpack. He is the happiest person I know and it amazes me at his spirit and joy. We have talked on several occasions, and I follow his blog, YouTube and social media.

I do plan to live in a tiny house one day soon, but we will see how things go.

Spirituality

My spirituality changed when I became vegan because like I said before, when you realize that you have been told lies all your life about food, what other lies have we been told?

I began to do my research on the history of Christianity and Jesus Christ and what I found out was disturbing. During the times of slavery, Black people were only allowed to read the bible, and only a select few at that, mainly Black men who were appointed pastor by the slave master to keep the slaves in check. The slave masters would drill these lies about Jesus Christ (a white man with blue eyes and brown straight hair, sometimes it was blond, with white skin), and how if we don’t worship him, we were going to this place called hell (funny thing is we already live in hell).

Christianity was forced upon slaves in order to keep them dependent upon the white man and the slave masters, to make them feel that they are all they have. That translates into today. Many Black people work for the white man and are dependent upon him for a paycheck. I did more research and came to the conclusion that church really wasn’t for me. When I lived with my mom, I went to church because that wasn’t an option. I first started going to her church where the pastor is a white man (oh, the irony). I quickly realized that that wasn’t the church for me. I went to two other Black churches and I felt like a slave, being brainwashed into believing the lies coming out of the pastors’ mouths.

Do these pastors not know the history behind the negro church and why only Black men are pastors? Does that not strike them as odd? When I moved out, I immediately stopped going to church and created my own altar for me to worship my ancestors, meditate and journal. It felt right, right from the beginning. I turn on my oil diffuser, meditate for about 10 minutes and then journal. It gives me a sense of peace. I do this normally every Sunday morning, and other times when I feel I need to (mainly when I’m stressed).

I’ve found that more millennials have taken this route of spirituality, letting go of Christianity and the Black church. Our parents and grandparents don’t understand, and even find it demonic or heathenist or witchcraft, but little do they know that when they pray, that is a form of witchcraft. Praying is the same thing as reciting a spell. You pray for things you want, the healing of others, love, righteousness, happiness, etc. That’s casting a spell.

Back to the minimalist side, I keep my altar fairly simple. If you would like a tour, click here. I have updated it and added a couple of new pieces. I will do another post later on with the specifics of everything and why I have everything on it.

Veganism, minimalisim and spirituality go hand in hand.

All Black Everything, Uncategorized

Being Clothes Free is Black Culture

White people have been appropriating Black culture for forever and a day and I’m so sick of it. Though I am proud of the fact that many of my people are waking up and noticing what’s going on and taking our culture back. Sadly, there is one part of our culture that black people aren’t taking back and has become a majority White thing: living clothes free.


I have hated wearing clothes since I was a child. Even to this day, I hate wearing them. Always having to figure out what to wear depending upon where I am going. Having to dress appropriately is a hassle and the fact that appearance is everything, makes it worse. This is why I don’t work in corporate America. Back to the topic.

I have not been in public clothes free due to many of the gatherings being majority older, White males or majority White. I would feel more comfortable around my own people. What many don’t know, the reason Black people wear clothes is because Europeans, when taking my people from the Motherland, saw them naked and were instantly jealous that our body parts tended to be much larger than theirs. Some of them even paraded us around like animals in a circus. Some have done it as late as the 1950’s.

We were the first to have lived clothes free lives and White people have taken that from us, just like everything else, and made it their own. They have a history of stealing from other cultures and making it theirs. Now not all white peoole are like this, but vast majority are, especially those voting for Trump (racist pig).


I write this post because being naked today is always sex related and it doesn’t have to be. I don’t get turned on every time I see a penis. It’s all in our heads. I love my body and the beauty of it glistening in the sun. The way the sun makes my melanin radiate is uncanning. Those who lack melanin can’t say the same. 

In closing, strip off your clothes and embrace your bodies, my Black people. After all, we did it first and have for centuries.

You can find this shirt on My Free Life.

Happily Clothes Free,

Afro Hippie Vegan

Guest Bloggers, Health + Wellness

Yoga: Fitness Fad or Fitness Heaven by @matr3moni

Yoga has been trending in the fitness world for a while now. It makes you wonder if it’s really all that people make it out to be, or if it’s just another fitness fad that will fade out for another to replace it. When looking on social media or even when just searching the web, you can find all kinds of information saying that yoga is the best thing since sliced bread for everyone- able bodies and those with injuries. There has been this myth circulating that yoga causes more injury than it does to help injuries. Well I’m here to say, as a disabled bodied, as well as a yogi in training, that this is totally incorrect. It’s always easy to blame an exercise versus the people who do them incorrectly. Today let’s talk about what yoga really is and some of the types that can actually help everyone.

What is Yoga exactly?

Yoga is a very self disciplined Indian ancient practice that focuses primarily on flexibility, breathing, and strength, to help boost your mental and physical welfare. Yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago, so yoga being a fad is completely FALSE. It has been adopted in not only other countries, but is now one of the most common practiced activities in schools and fitness clubs, as well as in hospitals for post surgical procedures that produce the best results. Yoga is not always just about what you’re doing, but how you’re doing it as well.

What can yoga do for me and my injuries? 

Yoga has been studied and proven to be one of the most effective ways to strengthen the body, improve flexibility and also balance. For those who have injuries like me, it’s extremely beneficial. It helps with high blood pressure, depression, stress, heart disease, aches and pains, just to name a few. The list of benefits can go on. I know it is hard to believe, but it even helps with lower back pain.  Due to the nature of the practice, it allows those who have injuries to adjust poses to their personal comfort, allowing for a better result and less pain from injuries. Many people with injuries feel like they have to get into the gym and workout with hardcore fitness routines, or do water aerobics, in order to become healthy. Although these types of  exercises are great for some, this is really not true. I have talked to many men who have severe injuries who assume yoga is only for women and that absolutely is not true. I have gone into a yoga class where I was the only woman, and they were doing things I knew I  wasn’t going to be able to do. I say that to say, all exercise that helps your injuries so that you can function without hollering out in pain is great, no matter the gender.

My 5 types of yoga and their benefits:

There are so many different types of yoga and they seem to multiply each year. There are basic yoga practices as well as the more intense, but this allows the individual to choose what better suits their needs. Here are my top 5 yoga practices and their benefits:

  1. Ashtanga– is an arrangement of yoga that focuses primarily on connecting breathing techniques with all of the poses. The breathing techniques are designed to center the mind while controlling the flow of breath throughout the body which enhances flexibility and strength. This is strict a practice with poses being done in a continuous and specific order.                                                                                                                      **Some pose names: Standing still, sun salutation, thumb to foot pose, hand to foot pose, extended right triangle pose, resolves right triangle pose, half bound lotus pose                           
  2. Bikram or Hot Yoga– is one of the hottest, and I mean that literally, yoga practices where you practice in heated rooms of 95-100 degrees. If you don’t like to get sweaty, then you just need to skip to the next one. Bikram takes you through 26 poses whereas Hot Yoga can and may be varied in the amount and poses. These classes are very popular because they help with detoxification and they increase flexibility.                                                                                                                                              **Some pose names: Half moon pose, awkward pose, standing bow pose, standing head to knee pose, eagle pose, balancing pose, tree pose, toe standing pose, dead body pose                                                                                                                                           
  3. Hatha– is what I usually advise beginners to start off with in order to learn not only your bodies but also to get the hang of poses. Hatha is a “How to” type of yoga. This allows those practicing to learn the movements and basic postures. You get to choose the pace and style according to where you are and what injuries you need to cater to. If you are wanting to be a yogi or just beginning yoga, this is the perfect place for you to start.                                                                                                                                           **Some pose names: mountain pose, tree pose, downward facing dog pose, warrior pose, bridge pose, bound angle pose, easy pose, seated twist pose, staff pose                                                                                                                                           
  4. Vinyasa– is very similar to Ashtanga and Hastha but it centralizes poses around the sun salutation while also synchronizing  your breath to match the 12 poses. It can also be called the “arranging something in a special way” yoga. This type of yoga is great for beginners and the more advanced alike. Vinyasa strengths the core while connecting movements with your breathing. At the end of each class you do savasana, the final relaxation pose.                                                                                      **Some pose namescat-cow pose, crow pose, plank pose, 4-limbed staff pose, upward facing dog pose, downward facing dog pose 
  5. Restorative– is the most relaxing and soothing type of yoga.  Restorative is the absolute best yoga practice for those who have injuries. With at least 5 poses per class, you are able to completely relax you body. This type of yoga is better than a power nap and is also referred to as Yin yoga. Restorative is the best psychological  cleansing.                                                                                                                                   **Some pose names: corpse pose, child’s pose, adepts pose,                                                    

These are only my top five types of yoga that can help ease those who have injuries into become actively fit again. I know it can become hard at times especially when it comes to joint issues but you can still push through and make your injuries and/or conditions much better. The better you feel the more you’ll want to do. There is so much information on yoga especially on Youtube. At first yoga seemed like a fitness fad until I dove deeper into it, but now it is most definitely a fitness heaven for all, young and old. There is nothing like working on your body, mind and soul, all at one time. Yoga is no fitness fad but definitely fitness heaven for all. Make this the year you get out and try to become healthy, even if it’s not yoga. Get up, get out and do something-it may very well change your entire life.

Helpful yoga links:

mindbodygreen.com

breakingmuscle.com

pinterest.com

Expressing life from a 

SaltwataYankee Point of view.

Indie Music, Yoga, Motivation, and food.

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