Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Blogging isn't very mommy friendly...

So at first it was my goal to blog weekly, then that change to bi-weekly, and then that changed to monthly...and now it's looking more like bi-monthly lol...my goal in creating a blog was to inform people about how they can make more green and healthy choices.  But seeing that I'm to busy to write posts regularly, I need to change my approach. I think Instagram may work better for me so I'm going to try that.  Hopefully I'll get more time to dedicate to this in the future, but until then my posts will probably be pretty sporadic.  You can find me on Instagram @BlackGreenNHealthy

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My child does NOT have good hair

Happy 2016 y'all.  I hope your year has been rosy, cozy and full of fun so far...but I got a favor to ask...can we PLEASE leave phrases like "good hair" in 2015.  If I hear it one more time my brain might LITERALLY explode.  My child is bi-racial and I often get comments from well-intentioned family and friends about the not so kinky texture of her hair.  It makes me FURIOUS.  My child does NOT have good hair because there is no such thing.  There's no one texture/color of hair that is definitively better than other.

For those of you not familiar with the concept, good hair is basically hair that ain't nappy.  In other words, it's hair that is silky and smooth like that of someone who is Caucasian.  It's basically a cousin term of phrases like "light enough to be a house slave", "pass for white" and other incredibly out-dated, close-minded, despicable terms used to spark division and resentment between dark-skinned and light-skinned blacks.  The fact that these slave-time, pigheaded terms are still used today is infuriating.  Slavery ended in 1865!  How is that 151 years later we still haven't come together as the beautiful, hailing from the Motherland race that we are?  A house divided cannot stand.  If we want to progress and successfully combat the many issues that face our race we cannot waste precious time and energy fighting each other.

It's been said before and I'm gonna say it again: Black is beautiful.  No matter how dark, how light, how bright, how night, it is LOVELY.  I am sick and tired of colorism and the burden that it casts on our society.  When I hear about how dark-skinned women feel less confident and less beautiful because of their deep shade of ebony it pains me.  When I see young girls RACING to the hair store to buy themselves a pack of silky smooth weaves it KILLS me.  When I hear about light-skinned blacks feeling that they aren't "black enough" or distancing themselves from darker African kings and queens my heart SHATTERS.  Here's the hard truth: no matter how hard you try to disown a part of your identity you will FAIL.  It's written in your DNA and it is absolutely gorgeous the way it is.  Stop fighting it.  Embrace it.  Don't let anyone (including yourself) tell you who you're supposed to be, how your supposed to act, or how you're supposed to be treated.  Give hatred a blind eye and go 'head and bless your corner of Earth and community in the way that only you and your uniqueness can.

PEACE.  *drops mic*

Friday, December 25, 2015

Doing Christmas a little bit different

I'm doing Christmas a little bit different this year.  Well actually I've been doing Christmas quite different for the past couple of years.  I just really feel that the magic of Christmas becomes more and more tarnished by greed and materialism each year and doing Christmas differently is my way of preserving the magic and true meaning of Christmas for my family and loved ones.  A couple years ago I started making a special Christmas chili for my family.  They loved it.  It was a healthy, hearty meal perfect for the cold weather and a really nice (and not to mention cost-effective) way to share Christmas love without buying a gift doomed for a junk drawer. Lol.

This year, my tradition has expanded beyond Christmas chili.  I've been really inspired by the Zero Waste Lifestyle and it is reflected in my gift giving.  I've gone through a great deal of effort to give gifts that are handmade, locally sourced, and minimally packaged.  This year's gifts include homemade jewelry, handmade woodwork, and "let me treat you to..." coupons.  I want to give gifts that show my family and friends how much I love them and that can't be bought in stores.  I think these gifts accomplish that.  Now I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with buying gifts, but I do think we need to be a bit more thoughtful in the gifts we choose to give.  We should ask questions like: What message does this toy/item send to my child? Will they truly enjoy this gift or am I getting this because it's a "hot" item this year?  Could this gift contain toxic chemicals/materials that are harmful for the environment?" Ok, yeah maybe I'm a little out there with that last question, but we want to pass down a healthy and beautiful Earth to our children do we not?

I think Christmas is a beautiful holiday and I want it to stay that way.  I don't want to get caught up in all the "Black Friday open at 6pm on Thanksgiving, beat down a complete stranger at Walmart for a toaster" foolishness.  Soooo not about that life.  Anyways it's almost time for Christmas breakfast! A bientot and Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Holidays! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

If it ain't broke, let's keep it from breaking

Execuse sir, ma’am, CEO, or whoever you are, I didn’t sign up for your experiment.  I’m not a damn guinea pig. So stop treating me like one. I mean I literally feel like I'm living in a glass cage sometimes.  I feel like the subject of an experiment facilitated by some evil scientist.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Everyday we are exposed to HUNDREDS of chemicals and most of the time it's without our consent and without our knowledge.  Many of these chemicals have never even been tested for safety.  The food we eat, the beverages we consume, the materials used to build our homes, the clothes we wear, and the air we breathe all contain chemicals.  It's like some head honcho is sitting back in his padded leather chair saying *new york accent* "well there's a 75% chance this won't kill you, so it's ok."  Are you kidding me?!!? 75% chance?!?! So if someone offered you a drink and said there's a 75% chance it won't kill you, would you drink it?? I wouldn't.  I need to know that it's 100% safe as proven by thorough, un-biased experiments.  

Sometimes I get dirty looks or labeled as a outlandish hippie when I refuse to eat or drink something. But oh well.  I’m not gonna run around trying to shove my opinion down people’s throat; but on the same token, just as I respect other people’s opinions, I expect the same courtesy.  For the record, however, I do NOT avoid plastics, pesticides, etc. because I’m some paranoid maniac that runs around with a gas mask on because I think one quick whiff of nail polish fumes is gonna turn me into some freakish mutated species.  I make the choices I make because I am absolutely, 100% pissed off that corporations are just nilly willy handing us products without giving a rats ass about the safety of the product.  I am not saying that all corporations are evil, but there are some that are just plain wreckless.  For example, scientists have been aware of the hazardous effects of chemicals like BPA since the 1930’s.  Why is it that it’s taken 80 years to get this crap of the shelves?!  And some corporations are still using it to package their products!  

It seems like we talk about how chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, cancer, and autism) are on the rise so matter of factly and then BOOM a friend or a loved one is diagnosed with one of these very diseases.  It’s then that our world shatters.  It’s then that we begin to think critically about the everyday habits and practices that permeate our society.  We are complacently reactive.  And that is what my issue is.  We know good and well that it’s better to be proactive than reactive.  Yet time and time again we fail to take action until we have a problem.  The well-known “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra shouldn’t apply to our health and well-being.  We need to do everything to stay healthy instead of waiting until we’re ill.  Maybe the chemicals we are exposed to aren’t to blame, maybe they are.  The point is we aren’t sure.  Not enough unbiased, thorough, and succinct research has been completed to ensure the safety of the chemicals around us.  As consumers, we need to unite and leverage our buying power to pressure corporations into provide us with this guarantee.  It’s time we get corporations to stop shelling out millions for lobbying on Capitol Hill and start investing it in our safety.  

#SwitchToSafer #SlowDeathByRubberDuck

Monday, September 7, 2015

Black, Green, and Healthy

What’s black, green, and healthy?
It’s a bird! It’s a plane!...It’s mint dark chocolate?? No, it’s me silly! :) And it’s also the title of my blog...so what do I mean by black, green, and healthy?  Well you know how you get those questions during job interviews that are like “describe yourself in 3 words” well this is how I would describe myself (disclaimer, if asked that in an interview I don’t think that would be the best response…)

My definition of black
To me, black isn’t just about my skin color.  Yes, skin color and the texture of your hair is a big part of it. But if you ask me, you can be ‘black’ and have the whitest skin on the earth. WHOA! What?!?!? Yes, I said it and I mean it!  And for those of you out there shakin ya head and givin me the stank eye, you know GOOD and well what I mean.  When you have sun-kissed skin and kinky, voluminous tresses people see you a certain way.  Shoot, YOU probably see yourself a certain way.  Being black is an identity, a way of life, an experience. Thus, being that it goes way beyond the superficiality of skin color and the physical traits that define a person, you can have fair skin and face many of the same ‘black’ struggles that a person with darker skin would face. You can have fair skin and identify with key elements of black culture (e.g. food, traditions, community).  I also think it's important to understand that black goes beyond what's portrayed in the media.  Although I look black and identify as black, many of my cultural practices differ from the mainstream black culture that many are familiar with.  My father is Nigerian and much of that culture is embraced in my daily life (the food I eat, the music I listen to, etc.).  Lastly, one must understand that you can have fair skin and identify as black but you must be ever so mindful of how others perceive you.  How people perceive you is a big part of the black experience.  I fully believe that you can self-identify as black and have fair skin, but because of your fair skin there are things that you just won't experience (e.g. racial profiling) and things that you will never fully understand.

My definition of green
Ever heard of the Zero Waste lifestyle? Well that’s what I mean by green.  My front door is like a TSA checkpoint at the airport!  If it creates trash or is not absolutely imperative for the well-being of my family, it’s not coming in my house! We haven’t completely eliminated our carbon footprint as much as we can, but we have reduced it dramatically.  My family of three currently produces about one small grocery bag of trash each week.  And we ain’t stoppin there baby!

However, my green life is about WAY more than the environment.  It’s about consuming less so that we can live more.  We embrace less stuff and as a result spend less time cleaning, repairing, organizing, laundering, etc. and more time doing, living, loving, and experiencing the people and things we enjoy.

My definition of healthy
It ain’t about being a size 0.  I can tell you that much. After having my baby girl I blew up.  And it was a struggle, especially since I had been a skinny girl my whole life.  My gut DRAPED over my jeans and my self-esteem and perceived beauty were on E.  Being the ambitious person I am I went to war with my weight, I exercised RIGOROUSLY for 50 minutes a day, 6 days a week.  But guess what, I didn’t shed a pound.  I was on that struggle bus HARD...like struggle bus to trial street and tribulation avenue! I was so frustrated!  Then one day I ran across a documentary called Fed Up on Netflix and it changed my life.  I learned that what you eat is INCREDIBLY important and that if you work out every day what you eat may be sabotaging your efforts.  And I also learned that just because you look healthy, doesn't mean you actually are healthy.

My definition of health goes deeper than physical well-being though.  Being spiritually, financially, and socially healthy are important too.  What's the point of having a body fine-tuned like a hemi if you are spiritually and emotionally unstable, living off credit cards, and all your relationships suck?...[insert your answer here because I don't have one]  LOL, you get my point.  Of course we all ride the struggle bus from time to time, but I think it's important to strive for total wellness and not just wellness in one area or the other.

Next week's entry: im not a damn guinea pig