All Black Everything, Health + Wellness

White Women Only

If you are not a POC, you won’t understand the significance of this post, but I will try to make it to where you have a gist of the point I’m trying to convey. In the Black community, mostly among Black women, there’s this stigma that anything against what we deem “the norm”, is white. Let me try to explain.

When I began living a plant based lifestyle, at that time, the face was white. Many people said that veganism was a white thing, or eating healthy was for white people. Most of these comments, actually all of these comments, came from other Black people.

See, our poor eating habits stem from slavery, and yes I can already hear people now: “why does everything have to be about slavery with y’all?” Well, a lot of what we deal with today stems from slavery: the racism, discrimination, exclusion, etc. Believe it or not, much of slavery still exists today. We are still underpaid, treated unfairly, and targeted by race soldiers, aka The Police.

Back to what I was saying: poor eating habits. Our ancestors did all of the cooking for the white folk and what was leftover, neck bones, fat backs, chitterlings, oxtails, and any other part of the animal the white folk deemed unworthy, was given to the slaves. That passed from one generation to the next, which is why we have the highest levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and everything else.

What most people, most Black people, don’t know is that veganisn stemmed from our ancestors before slavery, back in Africa. Our ancestors lived a mostly vegetarian lifestyle, consuming some fish. They are off the land. This is why you see so many of those in my generation, millennials, adopting a plant based lifestyle. In the age of technology, I feel like we were the last generation to learn how to research, the first to learn to research using technology. We do the most digging, reading and soul searching, which is why many of us have given up religion (that’s a post for another time). We’ve learned that Black history goes further back than slavery, which is what most white Americans don’t want us to know, which is why Black history month is limited to Black Americans post slavery.

Now to the point of this post: breastfeeding. In the Black community, breastfeeding is not a huge thing, it’s almost taboo. I’ve heard from other Black women that they were told breastfeeding is for white women and we are trying to be like them. Yes, I’m about to bring up slavery again. During those times, Black women weren’t allowed to nurse their babies.  They were made to nurse the master’s babies. Their children were left in the sun and only consumed sugar water. Fucked up? Yes, I know.

Thoughbi haven’t heard these comments personally, and no one in my family breastfed or stuck with it, it still isn’t something normalized. They do bring up formula and he needs to be in a bottle, mainly because that’s all they know. They don’t know or understand the benefits of breastfeeding.

1. Bonding

2. Building the baby’s immune system

3. Emotional stability

4. Fights off all kinds of diseases and illnesses

5. Lose baby weight

6. Can protect your baby from developing allergies

7. Can boost the baby’s intelligence

8. May prevent childhood obesity

9. Decreases risk of SIDS

10. Can reduce your stress levels and risk of PPD

11. Can reduce your risk of certain cancers

There are also many other benefits. It’s not a white women thing, it’s a mothering thing. As women, by nature, we are meant to breastfeed, and yes, I understand some women can’t breastfeed due to many factors. Though I never understood women who just chose not to breastfeed for whatever reason and I feel bad for those who were coerced into believing that Black women don’t breastfeed.

What brought in this post was the picture above. I saw it on IG and I reposted it. Every time I look at it, something in me just said to make a blog post about it to share information to expecting Black Mothers and to reassure Black Mothers who already breastfeed, letting them know that it’s okay.

What do you think about breastfeeding and have you ever been told it’s a “white woman” thing? Did you breastfeed? Why? Why not?

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.

My Life, Uncategorized

4 Years Vegan!!

I can’t believe it has already been four years that I have adopted a plant based lifestyle. I remember like it was just yesterday (it was actually last Friday that made 4 years, November 17). It was right before the thanks-for-killing-millions-of-Indians break, and I was so sick. I had spent the weekend in Huntsville, Texas, on a field trip with some of the kids from the YMCA that I was working with. I was vegetarian at the time and that weekend was full of just cheese pizza. When I came back, the constipation was so real.

On November 17, 2013, I made the decision to give up all dairy and eggs. No transitioning or anything. I didn’t like the constipation and stomach pains, and I really had no reason to continue eating dairy and eggs. My family thought I was crazy and didn’t think it would last, but here I am, 4 years later, thriving and about to have a little vegan human soon.

I won’t say that being vegan has been easy; there were times that I slipped and ate something that was made with dairy or eggs. Funny thing is, I couldn’t finish eating it because it tasted so different and weird. Once your taste buds become accustomed to not having something and you finally have it, you don’t want it anymore. Meat is the only thing I have not slipped up and eaten simply because the thought of it makes me want to vomit. Although, I still love the smell of bacon cooking.

If you are having doubts or wondering about this journey, check my shop page for my guide to veganism and meal plans.

 

Health + Wellness

Simply Vegan: A Guide for Newbies & the Curious

41tFy0vvLsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

My book finally came out last Friday and I am excited! I have gotten great feedback and it has been doing well. If you haven’t gotten yours, please do so. It is in the side bar to the right. This book has so much information like recipes, a meal plan, shopping list, staple items, books to read, documentaries to watch, how I went vegan and so much more, in only 90 pages!

This book did not start off as a guide. It started as a recipe book because so many people asked me about recipes. I wanted to do a recipe book but that is information I don’t mind giving away for free. I make videos on YouTube of recipes and I post them on here. I changed my mind about this book because I have done so much research and have a lot of valid, useful information that I wanted to share with people. So I took all that information and past blog posts and put them in one place.

I am working on the contents of the next book that will be coming out in the last quarter of the year. It will be a book specifically for Black people and how they can get their lives together. It will have statistics, what “soul food” really is and so much more. I am in the process of creating an outline right now. This book will have so much information. I really want to help my people.

The book above is for those who have questions about being vegan and how they can stay vegan. It’s the beginning process. The next book will show why Black people should go vegan and why the system is set up against them, and it will all start with slavery.

So if you haven’t gotten this book, do so now before the next one comes out.

Afro Hippie Vegan