Thursday, November 19, 2015

8 year blog-anniversary :-)

Eight years ago today, I wrote my first post. Thank you to the 310 people who subscribe to my blog for your love, patience, kindness, and feedback. And thank you to anyone who has ever loved me.

Last night, I talked on the phone with Steven Barnes, writer and teacher extraordinaire. Mr. Barnes took time out of his schedule to answer a question I had about his Ancient Child meditation, which is the most powerful meditation I've ever done. He was open, kind, patient, funny, and charming. Emphasis on patient. This guy is one of my gurus. And he talked to me like we went way back. I am still processing the conversation, but I realized that I've had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting, in person, on the phone, or emailed/messaged directly, one-on-one, people I admire.

I have met:
Toni Morrison
Tananarive Due
Steve Barnes
Queen Afua
Danny Dreyer (ChiRunning creator)
Victoria Boutenko
Mike Dooley
Mimi Kirk
Matthew Kenney
Sarma Melngailis

For my anniversary, I want to dedicate my blog to the my most influential teachers in the areas of raw food, fiction, fitness, yoga, and metaphysics.

Raw Food Teachers:
Ann Wigmore
The Boutenko Family
Matthew Kenney
Tonya Zavasta

Fiction Teachers:
Langston Hughes
Toni Morrison
Maya Angelou
James Baldwin
Steve Barnes
Tananarive Due
Alice Walker
Every female novelist in the African Diaspora
with a special shoutout to:
Leslie Esdaile Banks
Bebe Moore Campbell
J. California Cooper
Toni Cade Bambara
Brenda Wilkinson
Virginia Hamilton
Mildred D. Taylor
Gloria Naylor
Sheree Thomas

Fitness Teachers:
Jamie Eason
Hollis Leibman

Yoga Teachers:
K. Pattabhi Jois
Betsey Downing
Doug Keller
Shakta Kaur Khalsa
Darshan Kaur Khalsa

Metaphysical Teachers:
Mocha Angels
Queen Afua
Mike Dooley
Louise Hay
Catherine Ponder

Uber shoutout to: Oprah, Angela Davis, Harriet Tubman, Phyllis Wheatley, Diahann Carroll, Rosalind Cash, Elaine Rice-Fells, Janet Sloane Alexander, Amaadi Coleman, Lori Savko Perdue, Monica Utsey and the entire Southern DC Mocha Moms chapter, Cindy Tawiah, Radhia Jaaber, Shanna Bulluck, and my mama, Ardilia Wesley, for being supremely influential and amazingly fabulous beyond words.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Loving Yourself to Great Health Includes.....

me, Thursday, November 12, 2015

....lifting weights!!!

Cutting to the chase, before I started culinary school we were told we could gain weight. Since I was making raw food, I didn't believe it. Gain weight I did. Despite me putting up a picture of myself and, in a few paragraphs, sharing my stats, I am not ready to share how much I weigh. I still can't believe it.

I started eating cleaner because I needed to think more clearly. Food has a huge effect on mood. I let go of processed food and it did benefit me. My summer was pretty shitty. Despite going to Kripalu and blessedly, seeing my family, I had a hard time. And I ate whatever made me feel better. Despite what some people think, my goal is not to make my life or anyone else's life difficult. That has never been my intent. My goal is to learn from my mistakes and make my life and my children's lives the best it can be. I already said before that if chaos is reigning, you need to look deep inside yourself. That is exactly what I have been doing.

Along with changing my food, I decided to start strength training. I know what kind of body I want. And I want to improve my cardiovascular endurance too. Women, you need to lift weights, especially if you are over 40 years old. You are not going to get bulky like a man. You are going to get leaner. The benefits of strength training are here:

For some reason, lowering the number on the scale has never motivated me. The reason for exercising has to be deeper than that. I got my reason on August 31. That was the day I was sent to the ER from my now-former full-time job. My blood pressure was 170/100. A month ago (October 12) it was 150/100. Seeing those numbers was enough for me. I got to work.

For the past month, I have done two things: work with my friend Eric who is my personal trainer, and follow fitness model Jamie Eason's LiveFit program on I have completed Phase 1, which is one month. I have two more months to go.

me and Eric

On October 12, here were my stats:
Weight: aaaaargh
Measurements: 42-40-46
Blood pressure: 150/100
Body Mass Index (BMI): 35%

On November 12, my stats are:
Weight: mmmmmh
Measurements: 41-39-44 1/2
Blood pressure: 134/84
BMI: 33.2%

My blood pressure goal was 130/90. I made it to 134/84 so I felt great about it.

My goal for December 12 is 120/80 (normal), BMI: 30%, measurements: 40-37-43. 

Asking for all of your positive thoughts...


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Good News

I am a Life Wellness Coach now. Yea! Some good news!



Monday, November 2, 2015

Body Ecology Weeks 3 and 4

My update on the Body Ecology Diet for my boys, aka The Raymond BitchFest 2015:

Wow, that boy can complain. I didn't have to do this, but I did let him know it was coming. He knew on October 1st that his diet was changing. Last night, he was hot. He let me know in no uncertain terms he hated his new diet, when was it going to end, he was mad about it, he cried, etc, etc. We came to an understanding last night.

-this is my house
-you are my son
-this is my kitchen
-I buy the food with my money
-you do what I say
-this is my decision
-this is the plan
-and we are sticking to it
-do you understand?

He understands. LOL. (Don't you love saying stuff to your kids that your parents said to you?)

Jona, on the other hand, loves writing his grocery list. (Notice I said "his.") Instead of complaining, he writes down what he wants. Today's list is:
-blueberry bars (NutriGrain bars)
-honeynut cheerios
-goldfish crackers, cheddar or parmesan

I either say, "Jona, I'm not buying any of that," "You are not getting any of those things," or I ignore the list. He does eat everything I feed him without complaint. I am happy he is open to new foods. He used to be an all-bread kind of kid. He is still a very plain eater. He doesn't like fancy food. No salad dressing, no condiments, no almond milk in his cereal, nothing. I was worried about him more than Raymond. Raymond has been an adventurous eater since he was two-years-old. Now he is the one who is unhappy about the food.

What I have noticed is processed sugar is a HUGE trigger for Raymond. He and Jona had all of ONE piece of candy for Halloween. One. I hid the bags from them. And I'll be taking them to work tomorrow. All things being the same, when I picked him up on Sunday, I saw Raymond's OCD was stronger. So that one piece of candy will stay at one piece.

All in all the kids are the same. The only other change I have noticed is sleep. Raymond is sleeping through the night, but that may be for another reason. I started something else, but I want to give it a month (it's a total of a five month protocol) before I write about it.

Althea ◦

Monday, October 26, 2015

Juicing for Autism study

Registration for Juicing for Autism study is now open at: It is a free study. I signed up Jona and Raymond. Please visit the website for more information. Steve Prussack and Karen Ranzi are running the program. I interviewed Karen when I was Blog Editor at Raw Mom. She is a lovely woman. That is one of the reasons I decided to join.

Please share with others.

Althea ◦

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Six Best Pieces of Advice I've Ever Received

Life is always teaching you something. I am finally listening....

1. Communication. Communication. Communication. - from my Grandma Pearl. Before I got married the first time (I've been married twice in case I never mentioned that), I asked my grandma the secret to a long marriage. She said, "Baby..." then she slapped her knee three times for each word for effect.. "it's communication, communication, communication."

This was my response: "WTF?"

I was 24 at the time. Not the brightest bulb in the box.

At 43, I get it.

Life will continue to kick you in the ass until you finally figure it out. It's like Oprah says, the lesson will come as a whisper, then a brick, until you get it. My mom says an entire brick wall fell on top of me around this one. This lesson applies to any intimate relationship and estranged family members and friends.

2. A marriage is a living breathing thing. When it dies, you must grieve the loss. - from Vivian Nichols. I met Vivian at the Yoga for Women of Color Retreat at Kripalu in May 2013. That November, she came to one of my yoga classes. I had been physically separated from Rom for four months at the time, so that advice came early on. It was the single best piece of advice I received around my divorce. It helped me move through all five stages of grief (denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance) without getting stuck in one stage for too long. Which leads to:

3. Forgiveness. - every major spiritual text ever written. Prolonged anger and resentment toward people, places, and things only poisons your body, mind, and spirit. The greater the offense, the greater the pain, therefore the greater the need to forgive.

Self-forgiveness is a big one too. We all do stupid s&^$. We carry around shame and self-loathing way too long. I may have to write a long post on this one alone. I've seen it in myself and almost everyone I know. When you forgive yourself, you feel better about you. Which leads to:

4. When you love yourself, everything in your life works. - from Louise Hay. Don't sleep on this one. I have read You Can Heal Your Life like a bagazillion times. If I were stuck on an island, I'd take it and The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder. Louise's premise is simple: most people don't love themselves. They don't think they are worthy of life's goodness. Back to what I said in #3 about forgiveness, we carry guilt, shame, anger, revenge around in our hearts and self-sabotage ourselves.

It's easy to roll your eyes around self-love. I have been working on this one, and I see the benefits. Louise advocates mirror work. Start here:

5. When you don't know what to do, love yourself. - from Gina Laverde. Piggybacking on #4...Gina just said this to me on Saturday. Today I lifted weights (back & biceps, and legs), practiced yoga nidra, and took a yoga class, all in one day. I haven't done anything like that for myself since I have had children. And Raymond is thirteen! I'm like, okay, this is cool. Lately, I haven't known what to do, so that is where the cleanse (Day 21!) came from. Do whatever you like. It can be simple. Watch a funny TV show. Massage your feet. Dance in your living room. You'll be able to think better afterward, and it will be easier to know what move to make when you feel lost.

6. Trust in Love for all your days. - my Mocha Angels. I channeled my Mocha Angels book in 2005. Every message started with "Trust in the Lord for all your days." Trust in God? Understood. But something wasn't right. It didn't click. I recently heard, "It's Trust in LOVE for all your days." THAT felt right to me. I interpret it to mean to always trust in something greater, bigger, and grander than yourself. Make Love the highest guide in your decision-making process. Love is unchanging, and it's the highest emotion we can feel for each other.

After my topsy-turvy 2015, I'm ready to listen to all of this awesome advice. Feel free to share the best advice you ever received.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

Body Ecology: Raymond and Jona, Week 1 and 2

Raymond and Jona are two weeks into the Body Ecology Diet. They are doing the BEDROK version of the diet. BEDROK stands for Body Ecology Recovering Our Kids. The website is here:
Body Ecology website is here: The philosophy in a nutshell is heal the gut, heal a multitude of other issues, both physical and psychological.

Let me tell you all at the top: I saw improvement in Raymond within 48 hours. No lie. No exaggeration. Jona is still drinking apple juice and eating gluten free bread because he is more rigid than his brother. Raymond is no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, and is eating fermented vegetables as well.

The steps in BEDROK are:
1. Remove the offending foods: sugars, gluten, casein, grains and starches, processed foods, soy, refined vegetable oils.
2. Drink Young Coconut Kefir.
3. Eat cultured vegetables.
4. Eat raw cultured butter and other good fats.
5. Add homemade broth.
6. Follow the principles of food combining. A chart is below.

A better chart is here:
Article here:

My children, at the moment, are not vegetarian. I hope that doesn't offend any of my readers. Their plate looks very simple: fish or turkey or eggs, salad with homemade dressing, a steamed vegetable, and cultured vegetables (for Raymond). Raymond is also only drinking water. Jona has apple juice with his lunch. For the rest of the day he only drinks water.

What changed in both boys is that they lost weight. I don't know how much, but it's obvious that they have. Raymond said to me today, "I'm losing weight." I asked how could he tell. He said, "My belly is shrinking."

The other three things are Raymond's OCD symptoms alleviated. His major symptom is touching objects. If he was at 100 before the diet, on a scale from 0 to 100, then he is at a 40 now. The difference was obvious to his father and his teachers as well. The other thing was farting. He farted all of the time. I mean ALL THE TIME. I have heard my child fart all of twice in two weeks. He went from 100 to 2 on a 0 to 100 scale. And his constipation is easing. He told me on Friday, "I pooped twice today." For him, that is an achievement. The only change I see in Jona is that he is pooping more often as well.

Yesterday, I had a medical intuitive reading about my children and me with Gina Laverde.
( I am a professional intuitive myself, and I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. It's hard to do a reading on my children because they are my strongest emotional connection. The hallmark of a good reading is objectivity, neutrality, and detachment. It's hard to be any of those things with my boys. So I went to someone else. She is worth every penny. It's too much information to go into here. In short, her food recommendations were simple for the boys:

"Homemade broth, slow cooking, high mineral, high nutrition food that has a grounding nature (lots of root vegetables), plus the Body Ecology steps already being taken. Liver support for Jona with beets (which I am going to put in his smoothies)."

Jona is easing his way into the diet. Once I get them both solidly there, they will be on it strictly through the winter, at least. The goal is to heal their digestive system so they can slowly add other foods successfully.

And I am on Day 18 on my own gluten/dairy/sugar free lifestyle. Even though I still have the sniffles, I am back at the gym tomorrow.

Healing is holistic. It's not just food. As we heal with other modalities, I will share them here.

Althea ◦


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