Best Posts in Forum: Food and Diet

  1. ControlledXaos

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    Post your food photos here, just don't make them look too professional lol or @ockydub may shut the post down. Lol

    Here we go with some oven roasted chicken cooked over butternut squash and pink lady apples:



    I cut up the whole chicken these parts came from myself. $4 for an entire bird! Would have been probably $7 for an already butchered one. The other half is in the freezer.

    Recipe inspiration from here :
    Easy Dinner Recipe: Viking Chicken — Recipes from The Kitchn

    How to break down some yard bird:
     
  2. Tyroc

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    Nice, somebody got some skills.
    Looks good and healthy.


    Here's my latest creation.
    Duck is one of my many favorite guilty food pleasures.
    I combined it with another favorite and made duck tacos with spinach and pineapple, mango salsa.


    image.jpeg image.jpg
     
  3. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    maxresdefault.jpg

    Starting Monday I'm cutting out junk foods, fried foods, sugar, juices and alcohol. Exercising 4-5 days a week (even if just cardio) and eating clean (high protein meats & non-dairy foods, tons of green veggies, etc).

    No more excuses. Going to South Beach recently showed me that, as a man of a certain age, I gotta stop playing around and falling back on old habits or else I'll end up like so many of my family members that I saw up in Detroit this past week.

    Men don't usually talk about this as much as women, but I believe most of my "issues" (self esteem, dating, health, mild sleep apnea) stem from my weight gain. Unless you're a gym rat, men are not supposed to talk about dieting or body image.

    There may be a slight exception for gay men, but you usually only see this talk happen amongst "thick" gay men or the big guys resting between overweight and obese. "Average" dad bod 40+ guys like me usually just accept that they had their time back in the day and gradually ease into becoming gay Laurence Fishburnes. Nothing wrong with that (they still look great) but its just not what I'm used to...

    AAf3WDB.jpeg

    Standing at 6' 2" tall, right now I fluctuate between 205 and 210 lbs. This isn't "bad" per se (especially not compared to many Black men living in the midwest and south) but it's not what I'm used to...I've always been the tall, lanky, skinny dude my whole life. Looking at photos of myself from even just a few years ago I can see the difference. Nowadays I avoid taking photos as much as possible. This slowing of my metabolism and mid-section expansion is throwing off a lot of stuff in my own head. So time to make a change.

    My goal (if you want to call it that) is to just get back to the point where I feel and look good about myself. That doesn't mean six-pack abs or IG pics on the beach, just liking what I see in the mirror and my clothes fitting me right again. The body weight is less important, to be honest. If I still end up over 200 lbs yet more of that is muscle vs fat, I'm cool with that.

    The working out part is pretty simple, the hard part is just going to the gym...once I get there, it's no problem for me to hit the cardio and sets of reps with the weights/machines. Also I have tons of free weights and barbells at home. So I have no excuses in that department.

    My main issue is eating right, especially when away from home. So many high calorie foods are delicious. It's super easy to grab fast food or bread-heavy sandwiches when I'm hungry and running errands or at work.

    Also I have a fully stocked home bar so its nothing for me to make a cocktail (or three) while binge watching a series or movies at night after work... This isn't good for my waistline nor my overall health. So that has to stop. This will be a lot easier than it sounds. Most of my drinking comes out of boredom, the rest out of just being in social situations where everyone else is drinking too.

    It'll be a long process, but I'm saying all this to say I'm committed and I'm letting the Squad hold me accountable on this. There will be cheat days and occasional social events where I might indulge, but far from the current frequency.

    One motivator is this book I copped on Amazon, Healthy Meal Prep. They have tons of recipes specifically designed for making breakfast/lunch/dinner meal prep portions for a week.

    Photo Jul 08, 9 12 24 PM.jpg

    Photo Jul 08, 9 12 14 PM.jpg

    If any of you have any advice or want to make this a group challenge, let me know.
     
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  4. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub Fair Use Nigga....Fair Use
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  5. BlackguyExecutive

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    I do 100% of the cooking in my house : These were the last three things I made for dinner

    [​IMG]
    Here we have Baked Salmon served with Asparagus and Mushrooms

    [​IMG]
    Here we have Ground Turkey Taco Boats

    [​IMG]
    Here we have Chicken Alfredo



    If I wasn't into International Relations, I would most definitely want to be a chef/cook and Food Critic.
     
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  6. KritiKal Analysis

    KritiKal Analysis "Be the Standard, Not the Substitute..." DMCureton
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    Pecan Pie Cheesecake with homemade caramel topping
     
  7. African King

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    I made this in the morning! My favorite Italian Sausage Egg Bake from the Hello Healthy Blog ! I love it because I don't have to cook breakfast everyday! The amount I make lasts for one week (or more)!

    I literally wake up in the morning and cut out a 3" square and have it with a bowl of oatmeal and a serving of mixed fruit (canteloupe, mango, honeydew melon, grapes and pineapple).

    20151014_195230.jpg
     
  8. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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  9. Sean

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    I’m back into my gym routine, but taking a more disciplined approach to my diet. I’ve never prepped my food whenever I’ve focused on gettin my body right, and I’ve never been consistent with my eating regimen whenever I have trained. I’m going to see how well planning and prepping my meals works for me, compared to times where I’ve just “watched what I ate." My challenge each week will be to create a variety of healthy options from the three things I will be eating for lunch and dinner the next month: chicken breast, broccoli and rice.

    Pictured below is chicken scampi (chicken breast with fresh garlic, dried Italian seasons and a bit of butter and olive oil), and a cajun spiced chicken (creole/cajun seasoning, fresh garlic, parsley, olive oil). I prepared both Jasmine and brown rice, and seasoned the broccoli with lots of garlic, a little butter, salt and pepper. I also prepped my smoothie bags (berries, carrots, oatmeal, protein, flax). I just have to add yogurt and water.
    IMG_20160221_220332612.jpg

    I also did a fajita chicken with red and green peppers (cumin, chili powder, fresh garlic, cilantro).

    Next week: Jamaican curry chicken and brown stew chicken.
     
  10. Sean

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  11. cypher21

    cypher21 Deactivated Account
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    [​IMG]

    LOL!!!!
     
  12. ControlledXaos

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    Not the last things I cooked, but whatevs. I'll take more photos now that everyone tryna out cook each other.


    I like my steaks seared.

    Broccoli slaw is really cool.

    This Greek yogurt chicken with buffalo Cauliflower was on point!
     
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  13. SB3

    SB3 is a Featured MemberSB3
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    This was the last meal I made...

    20160128_230727.jpg
     
  14. BlackguyExecutive

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    If I wasn't doing the job I am doing now, I would most definitely go into the culinary field. Cooking has become cathartic for me. Even after a long day, I like coming home and preparing and making a meal and then eating it.

    These are the last could of meals I have made:
    [​IMG]
    Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch!!

    [​IMG]
    Vegetable Omelet with Bacon and Cinnamon Roll and Mimosas

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ControlledXaos

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  16. OckyDub

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    Danish Butter Cookies

    Make no mistake…these damn cookies are the devil!
    Danish Cookies.png
     
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  17. cypher21

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    We still posting right?? Just made some Lemon Pepper Wings! Was so scared they wouldn't turn out right but they're actually pretty good! :)

    image.jpeg
     
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  18. alton

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    WHAT.....THE F@#K???
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. SB3

    SB3 is a Featured MemberSB3
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    20160131_214047.jpg

    This.was.that.crack!!!

    Shrimp n parmesan sirloin steak w sauteed asparagus...and an unpictured glass of syrah.

    I could go to sleep now...
     
  20. SB3

    SB3 is a Featured MemberSB3
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    Cheese is the only reason why I keep waking up to do another day...
     
  21. OckyDub

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    LOL, I caught the crabs myself thank you (stone and blue). My folks from Lafayette LA...don't play with me. Very rarely will I stick with a recipe, I do my own thing. AND if you do all this here cooking, where the pics at?
    :foxxxy:rocks
     
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  22. bpaisle

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    Yeah that is true for sure. I'm a naturally slim dude so I haven't been too concerned with what I eat (for the most part) but I would rather start doing better at it now rather than waiting until fat-guy-dancing-to-my-humps-o.gif
     
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  23. SB3

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    I dont eat it for protein, I eat it because I like it. I eat chicken the most, but i love a good burger n steak, not to mention my bacon fetish. I typically only eat boiled eggs as snacks, I eat egg beaters for egg meals becus they dont have the cholesterol.

    I cant say I worry abt it. I also drink gallons of water daily n do a lot of cardio, so it balances it out in my head, lol.
     
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  24. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub Fair Use Nigga....Fair Use
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    So I'm looking up "sex in the kitchen" on google images so I can reply to @grownman 's comment above and all I see are these happy white straight couples in PG-13 type pics. So I say...lemma search for "gay sex in the kitchen" hoping to get the same type of results...OMG. Diks and asses and nudity errwhere. smh
    [​IMG]
     
  25. ControlledXaos

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    Not to be That Guy but Imma have to be That Guy...

    While it is true he can afford a trainer, chef and etc, it's more than a just that. I used to say those too.

    I imagine if I won the lottery and ended up with a ton of free time I could probably have the best version of my physical self in matter of months. But just like steroids won't make you swole on their own, you still have to put in the work and have self discipline. I doubt it's only just being more active but that's definitely part of it.

    Mostly everyone can lose weight just simply burning more calories than than they consume. How long it takes to reach a point where you're considered to be "generally" In Shape, skinny, athletic, or whatever depends on where you started, what activities you do, and how intense you are.

    He's definitely come a long way. Getting rid of a double chin is an accomplishment.
     
  26. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    I'll also add that Wine is the devil...A couple years ago when I was working from home a lot, it was nothing for me to crack open a bottle during a late working lunch and slowly kill the whole bottle by the evening before bed. Doing this multiple times a week without gym activity added tons of pounds. I don't know how so many White women get away with day drinking wine everyday yet still being somewhat lean.
     
  27. SB3

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    Pigs feet! I'm an admitted n happy swino, but the feet, nope!
     
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  28. mojoreece

    Bae Material The 1000 Daps Club

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    Prob so. But still good overall he took control over his life and didn't let being on tour/travel schedule as an excuse.

    By definition the process of losing weight is pretty simple; (unless u want to be a bodybuilder) burn more calories can you put in.
    Now actually doing it and keeping it up is the difficult part.

    I know 1st hand cause i'm not where i should be w/ weight loss goal. :( Damn u sugary treats:weak:
     
  29. Krimsonic_

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    I’m interested in the challenge aspect. I recently started working out to bulk up but trying to eat enough clean foods has been a little tricky with my limited cooking ability lol. I think I might pick this book up.
     
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  30. Cyrus-Brooks

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    Veganism is like a religion. Vegans are constantly proselytizing the "virtue" of being vegan and demonizing anyone who doesn't accept their belief system. All while killing and eating innocent plants. Aren't plants alive? :obamasip:
     
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  31. OhSheit

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    HA!I'm poor a college student, man. And I live in the hood there ain't no healthy food joints around here. However, I do eat a lot of canned fruit and drink a lot of water.
     
  32. ControlledXaos

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    Had to get to the tail end of the article before someone said what I was screaming internally.

    While old girl was at Taco Bell and McDonald's she could have ordered from the Fresca menu or gotten something from her Power menu. McDonald's chicken salads helped me lose weight back in the day. I lived off the bacon ranch one.

    There's always options and you have to keep things in moderation. You don't have to get candied Almonds on the salad if you don't want them. They are just extra. You don't have to fry the chicken. You can bake or grill it.

    Food deserts are definitely a problem for our communities because Kroger and dem ain't trying to open markets where we live. But the little corner store will have Krispy Krunchy Chicken in it. Wal Mart used to have their little neighborhood market stores but they closed most of them. However even with the options some people won't chose to make a healthier option. And as noted, salad places tend to be high but whole foods and Kroger salad bars do a pretty good job on price. Just can't go too heavy on stuff.

    It's funny how some people will eat all your cabbage and greens but turn a nose up to a salad. Or if they don't dump ham and turkey chunks in it bacon bits, cheddar cheese and half a bottle of dressing and still wonder why they are not losing fat.
     
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  33. Rico

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    Even though I always (half) joke about your Karen Carpenter propensities (I’m 6’3” and would kill to be 210 again; your idea of fat is criminal and stereotypically gay lol), I’m going to join you on this summer challenge, Nick. We’ll compare notes October 1.

    Now, I think folk in the U.S. are hella fat, especially in my neck of the woods. While fat shaming is totally wrong, otoh people have gotten WAY TOO comfortable with medical obesity under the guise of “being comfortable with who I am.” We went from a skinny health conscious president to a piece of draft dodging Rob Ford shit that brags that scarfing down Big Macs are some kind of fucking machismo. Black, Latina, and white women seem to be especially comfortable with “letting it all hang out” on the streets with multiple blob layers stuffed into skin tight stretch clothes looking like (as a black Marine gunny from Louisiana once put it to me) a bunch of hogs trapped in a burlap sack fighting over a milk dud.

    The only good thing about looking at grossly fat people being comfortable with themselves is it made me get out of my own complacency and start doing public exercise activities again. If 400 lb Becky and Bertha can proudly suntan at South Beach, what’s my moderately overweight excuse?When I was in Miami last month, I had a friend take a “before” pic. I knew I was moving to a place where I literally only had to leave the apartment, go down the elevator and the brand new gym room and outdoor pool was right there. That kind of ease is “beyond excuses”. So, back to cardio every morning like when I was in the military. Also weights because I’m just a naturally big tall dude. 210 is unrealistic at my age but looking like Shaq and Barkley on TBS is inexcusable as well.

    Thoughts:

    - I still use the “body type” thing as a general guide though I know it’s not entirely scientific. We generally fit into one of these categories, so plan your activities according to your somatype.

    [​IMG]

    Generally. I was No. 6 below, in my 20s and 30s. Now that I’m older it’s a constant struggle between 4 and 5, so I have to be very conscious of food /activity. This is the diet and exercise equivalent of our earlier “staying in your lane” thread.

    [​IMG]

    - You’re never too old. Sometimes we think you have to get that “Laurence Fishburne 50” pounds due to age. Not true. My elderly mother dropped a lot of weight after she started seeing a doctor she felt comfortable with, and she and Fishburne are both older than me. I think (have no proof) a lot people probably get big, not because they overeat but they eat exactly at 40 or 50 how they did at 20 or 30. Bodies change, diets must change.

    - Diet. Everyone that’s an adult pretty much knows what’s right for their body. No one diet is right for everyone but everyone has a right diet for themselves as individuals. By right diet, I mean that which helps you maintain good weight and health and can be empirically verified as “right” by your doc through blood panels for A1C, cholesterol etc. I am pretty much a paleo body: dead animals, leafy greens and fruit. Dairy, sugar, beans, potatoes, and all grains are my devils. I had a coworker who lived almost exclusively on grains but it was medically right for him, but would have made me 500 lbs. Choose what’s right for you, not what’s best selling at Barnes and Noble.

    - Cooking. When you know your diet type, cook those meals ahead of time. Get the Costco/Sams Club memberships, buy bulk, stick it in the fridge. Save your money and waistline.

    - Alcohol. Sorry, I got a gummint job and Orange Julius Caesar is president. I’m a need a drink until further notice! So, keeping balanced, I will have drinks only on Friday or Saturday nights like women on weight watchers weekend cheat desserts.

    - Use apps. I use Lose It on my iphone. Not just calorie counting, but actively tracking your food makes you more conscious of your own eating, good or bad. The good apps will actually analyze your habits. Lose It told me I eat far less on days I drink coffee, for example, so I went back to drinking coffee on the regular.

    So let’s see who’s serious this summer. On that note, I leave you with Nick’s dieting doppelgänger:
     
  34. OckyDub

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    There’s a perception in the black community that eating healthy means eating like white people, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    ‘White People Food’ Is Creating An Unattainable Picture Of Health | HuffPost

    [​IMG]

    Tanisha Gordon doesn’t see what white people love so much about cottage cheese. Or salads, especially when they’re topped with fussy ingredients like candied almonds, pickled carrots or Brussels slaw.

    Gordon is a 37-year-old employee at an IT company in the Washington, D.C. area, and until recently, her diet was deeply saturated with fast food ― McDonald’s, Taco Bell, you name it. When her doctor diagnosed her last year with pre-diabetes and prescribed her a CPAP machine to help her sleep through the night, she began working with a nutritionist to clean up her diet. But the lifestyle change she sought would require more than cutting out Chicken McNuggets.

    As a black woman, Gordon battled the perception that most of today’s healthy food is “white people food.”

    “A lot of the time, when you go to restaurants now, they have these extravagant salads with all these different ingredients in it, like little walnuts and pickled onions ― like the stuff Panera sells,” Gordon told HuffPost. “For me personally, that’s like a white person’s food. A lot of the mainstream stuff that’s advertised comes across as being for white people.”

    Today’s Goop-lacquered definition of healthy eating has made it de rigueur to guzzle $9 bottles of cold-pressed kale juice or chug hydrogen-infused water. In this micro-bubble of fastidiousness, a healthy diet means more than consuming your daily dose of fruits and veggies. It means eating pudding made of chia seeds (yes, the same ones used to make Chia Pets) and sprinkling your açai bowl with goji berries, even if you have no idea what either of those things are.

    There’s nothing wrong with being nutritionally ambitious, but we’ve cultivated a health food culture that’s unattainable for the multitudes who can neither afford nor identify with it.

    “You’ve got the dominant culture in the USA being white culture,” black restaurateur Dr. Baruch Ben-Yehudah told HuffPost. “And that white culture has taken the power to define all things good as white, and all things white as good. So that definition of healthy eating is not an accurate depiction of eating healthy.”

    Over the course of a year, Gordon shed 60 pounds and outgrew the need for a CPAP machine simply by making some changes to her diet. But food isn’t always the biggest obstacle to a healthy lifestyle. Cultural barriers can be just as powerful.

    “For a person who needs to re-train their mind and think differently about healthy eating, that’s always gonna be their struggle; getting past, ‘This plate of food is for a white person,’” Gordon said.

    Healthy food has historically been less accessible to black Americans in a number of ways. So, does eating healthy have to be equated with eating like white people? According to a new generation of chefs, nutritionists, academics and patients, the answer is no.

    Charmaine Jones, a Washington D.C.-based dietician who is black, penned a short paper earlier this year called “Do I Have To Eat Like White People?” that shared the dietary struggles of her clients, whom she describes as primarily low-income African-Americans on D.C. Medicaid.

    The majority of her clients seek nutrition strategies to treat obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol, a set of challenges that are particularly prevalent in the black community. Gordon was one of her clients.

    Jones describes “white people food” as salads, fruits, yogurts, cottage cheeses and lean meats ― the standard low-fat, heart-healthy foods promoted by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

    Every five years, a 14-member advisory board writes those guidelines, which dictate what the average American should eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The current board has only two black members. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services didn’t respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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    African-Americans are at a much higher risk for a number of genetic predispositions and health issues, many of which are strongly influenced by diet. The numbers speak volumes.

    • Black Americans face a significantly higher risk of diabetes than white Americans, particularly for Type 2 diabetes: The prevalence is 1.4-fold to 2.3-fold higher in African-Americans.

    • The prevalence of high blood pressure in African-Americans in the United States is among the highest in the world. That high blood pressure is often attributed to higher rates of obesity and diabetes in the black community, as well as a gene that potentially makes African-Americans more salt sensitive.

    • African-American adults are nearly 1.5 times as likely to be obese as white adults. While approximately 32.6 percent of whites are obese, the rate for African-Americans stands at 47.8 percent.
    Jones’ clients say they didn’t find it easy to get help in the black community.

    “I found it difficult to find a black nutritionist. [Jones] was the only one I found when I was looking,” Gordon said. “Part of the reason I picked [Jones] was because she had similarities to me. I felt as if she would understand my body type more and she would understand the culture I come from more.”

    “Even after I met her, I asked her what made her become a nutritionist, and she said, growing up, she’d never seen a black person be a nutritionist. So that was something we definitely related on and ultimately why I picked her.”

    That’s not to say the black community isn’t without its proponents for healthy eating. Former first lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign in 2010 to address the problem that one-third of U.S. children are overweight or obese. She sought to break down cultural and socioeconomic divides by cultivating partnerships with big business and championing sweeping legal changes that would affect both the rich and poor.

    But Obama often met resistance, finding that food is an everyday comfort that many Americans aren’t willing to compromise on.

    Jones says she runs into this problem with many of her clients.

    “It’s very frustrating,” she told HuffPost. “My clients feel pressure that they have to change the way they eat. They have to start incorporating foods that are not common to them. So any time that happens, there’s a resistance against the pressure.”

    Natalie Webb, another registered dietician and nutritionist in the D.C. area who is also black, told HuffPost that her clients share that same frustration.

    “My clients absolutely associate healthy eating with eating like white folk,” Webb said. “I think it stems from what people see in marketing and what they associate healthful eating with, and it often doesn’t include foods they’re familiar with.”

    “When you change folks’ food ― especially people of color ― it’s like you’re asking them to change who they are,” Webb said. “That’s why it’s so important as a dietician to start where folks are and introduce foods that are going to be familiar but maybe in a little different way.”

    Psyche Williams-Forson, associate professor and chair of American Studies at the University of Maryland, powerfully described how people react to interventions in their diet.

    “When you go into a person’s culture and you say, ‘You can’t eat this,’ or ‘You can’t do that,’ it’s just like going into your house and moving your furniture. You’re going to feel violated, you’re going to feel invaded. It makes people feel like their cultural sustainability has been compromised.”

    “I try to encourage people to remember that food is part of the constellation of material objects that we deal with every day. And every time you have a material possession that’s been taken away from you, you’re going to be very protective.”

    Few, if any, cuisines are more firmly attached to African-American culture than soul food, which took on an especially political meaning in the 1960s.

    Williams-Forson explained that when writer Amiri Baraka coined the term soul food in the ’60s, he was very specifically responding to a criticism that the African-American community didn’t have its own culture. “Baraka chronicled a number of foods that at the time were heavily eaten by people in the South, everything from ham to sweet potato pie and sweet tea,” she said. “The actual label of soul food became a political term.”

    Cultural historian Jessica B. Harris has echoed that argument, writing that in the 1960s, “soul food was as much an affirmation as a diet. Eating neckbones and chitterlings, turnip greens and fried chicken became a political statement for many.”

    In short, soul food was more about blackness than it was about a specific list of ingredients,” author Adrian Miller wrote for the website First We Feast.

    Ben-Yehudah adds even more context: “Soul food is an experience in culture, it’s an experience in connecting with not only the people around you today, but connecting with the souls and the spirits of those that came before us that had created an identity for the food we were consuming,” he told HuffPost. “It not only provided nourishment but also allowed us to have a good experience. The soul food was a comfort food. It comforted us in times of difficulty.”

    Erica Bright is a 45-year-old management analyst who sought Jones’ help last year to make some dietary changes. She’s been making positive changes to her health by adjusting what she eats, something she was open-minded to since the beginning of the process. But she doesn’t think everyone feels that way.

    “The thing that bothers me about eating healthy is that in the media, people appropriate different ways of eating to different people,” Bright told HuffPost. “And so I don’t necessarily feel like black people eat as unhealthily as people would assume that we do. If you think about Italian food, which I love, it’s just as fatty [as soul food], but it doesn’t have that same reputation.”

    She points out that the origins of Southern food took root at a time when it was necessary to cook with less-than-ideal ingredients.

    “Some people think all black people eat is chicken and collard greens, and that’s not necessarily true. However, out of utility and necessity, we ate a lot of that down South back in the day because that’s all that was available. It’s not like we didn’t know what carrots or Brussels sprouts were.”

    “Stereotyping is extremely frustrating. We all have to find an approach to food that still respects and honors our culture. We can still respect our ancestors for how they had to eat out of utility. Now, I have a lot more choices than they did. I shop at Whole Foods, I can go to Trader Joe’s.”

    It’s especially evident that these diet stereotypes don’t always apply when talking to someone like Novella Bridges.

    Bridges is a 45-year-old nuclear chemist who lives in the D.C. area. She started seeing Jones in 2017 to treat high blood pressure that suddenly arose after both of her parents passed away. Unlike many of Jones’ clients, Bridge pays out of pocket for the nutritionist’s services. But more significantly, she has been eating healthfully her whole life.

    “I was raised by a nurse,” Bridges told HuffPost. “I didn’t have to make a lot of changes once I started seeing [Jones]. I was used to eating the food pyramid, so I was raised in such a way that we all were real big on fruits and vegetables. Most people from the inner city or from my culture didn’t eat a lot of those vegetables, but we did.”

    Bridges sees herself as being from a distinctly different cultural cross-section than most of Jones’ clients, and she doesn’t feel closely connected to her roots through the foods she eats.

    “I would never qualify what I eat as being from one culture or the other,” Bridges said. “No matter who you are, you need to eat fruits and vegetables every day. The bottom line is, we’ve gone to a processed way of eating, and African-Americans have claimed that as their type of food. [African-Americans] want to dismiss healthy eating as being for white people because it’d require a change. The truth is, when people are asked to change, change is difficult.”

    “It has more to do with class than race,” she added.

    Indeed, money is an inevitable issue when it comes to healthy eating.

    Larry Perkins is a 40-year-old married father of two and a Walmart employee. His doctor sent him to Jones last year because he had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. He made the suggested dietary changes with aplomb, but not without increased financial strain as he attempted to provide healthy meals to his family.

    “The most frustrating thing about being on a diet is not having the money to purchase the stuff that you need,” Perkins told HuffPost. “It’s hard to pay for it.”

    “A lot of the healthier meals are not marketed toward us. When you go to Sweetgreen or Chopt, their menu is not geared toward low-income families. I can’t take my family there to eat healthy without breaking the bank.”

    “I think it’s more of a class issue than a race issue, because in all actuality, you’ve got low-income people, black and white, trying to eat healthy, and the prices really aren’t geared toward any of us,” Perkins said. “We all want to eat healthy, but they just don’t market their menu for us.”

    Jones, too, cites socioeconomic factors as one of the primary roadblocks preventing her clients from transitioning to a healthier diet, in part because her clients do the majority of their shopping in food deserts, which lack access to affordable, healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. In the United States, many low-income black neighborhoods can be considered food deserts.

    Based on the United States Census Bureau’s Income and Poverty in the United States report from 2016, the average black household made $39,490, while the average white household made $61,858. While only 11 percent of white Americans lived below the poverty level, 22 percent of the black American population did.

    There are, however, those who warn against using the term “food desert” as a blanket assessment of a community. Forson-Williams explains: “Every community has a means of sustaining itself culinarily. Not every community may have a supermarket, but supermarkets are not panaceas.”

    Jones has to find innovative ways to help her clients make healthy choices when the options are sparse. “Most of my clients live in economically disadvantaged areas, and I have to become creative and learn what’s in those stores to direct my clients how to eat healthy from those places.”

    Though Jones teaches her clients how to make healthier soul food at home, finding healthy restaurants that serve soul food is another issue entirely. HuffPost talked to two black restaurateurs who run vegan soul food restaurants, chef Gregory Brown and Ben-Yehudah, about their experiences.

    Brown is co-owner of Land of Kush, a vegan soul food restaurant that opened in downtown Baltimore in January 2011. His restaurant specializes in dishes like vegan BBQ rib tips, smoked collard greens, vegan mac and cheese, candied yams, vegan drumsticks, smoothies and fresh-pressed juices. He created his restaurant to provide patrons with a healthier version of soul food, which he says is inherently unhealthy. “It’s heavy, greasy, animal-product based ... in its original form, it was really just scraps. Not the healthiest things. Black people just kind of made it taste good to make it palatable. That just became the cultural regularity.”

    Ben-Yehudah is the owner of several restaurants, including vegan soul food restaurant Everlasting Life in the Capital Heights neighborhood of D.C. He agrees that soul food has been in need of a healthy makeover.

    “Soul food is always greasier, it’s always saltier, and it’s always sweeter,” Ben-Yehudah said. “So those three elements that we don’t need more of in our diet are definitely found it more abundance in today’s soul food diet. I call it the Standard Black American diet, and it has created many of the health challenges that we have today because it’s void of nutrition, it’s full of toxins and it’s addictive.”

    But now Brown sees a change in pop culture that’s influencing the black community to make some healthy changes.

    “Just in the past three years or so, you just see an influx of popularity of veganism in pop culture. You see celebrities and athletes eating a plant-based diet. You hear about [NBA player] Kyrie Irving, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, you hear about a lot of different celebrities going vegan, so it makes people more willing to try it if they hear about their favorite celebrities doing it.”

    But when Brown first opened his vegan soul food restaurant seven years ago, he saw some resistance from the black community.

    “There’s always resistance,” Brown said, “because people are stuck with their culture, their background, their traditions. It’s a part of their living. It’s difficult to break people away from that, so people show a little resistance.”

    Brown’s solution to changing customers’ mindsets is meeting them where they are and finding a path toward healthy eating that lies somewhere in the middle.

    “That’s the basis of our restaurant: Meet people where they are,” Brown said. “Black people like barbecue and they like collard greens, they like yams. Let’s offer that to them but at the same time, let’s put quinoa on the menu, and let’s also have some fresh fruit smoothies. That’s how we integrate it into people’s mindset. What do you like to eat? Let me tell you how I can make that vegan.”

    “What we want to provide is the full transition,” Ben-Yehudah echoed. “We want to meet the person who’s accustomed to the fried fast food, meet them there and be able to provide them a transition point so they can engage the vegan, healthier food lifestyle.”

    And that healthier food lifestyle doesn’t have to look white.

    “African-Americans might say, ‘I don’t want to eat like white people,’ said Ben-Yehuda. “However, at the end of the day, it’s not eating like white people, it’s actually eating the way we used to eat before we were brought to this country.”

    “I don’t think there’s such a thing as white people food,” Williams-Forson said. “But I think there are foods that have been assigned to black people, and there are foods that have been more in line with white communities. And I think soul food is largely what gets short-handed as black people food, and things like veganism and vegetarianism get short-handed as white people food. Quite frankly, African-American people have been eating white people’s food since we arrived on this continent. But a lot of folks don’t know that because the food we tend to get associated with is almost always soul food.”

    And though redefining one’s diet always comes with challenges, for Bright, the journey to a healthier lifestyle turned out to be much more personal than cultural.

    “We can learn how to make the foods that we love in a [healthier] way and be comfortable with that. It’s not an insult to Grandma and Mommy and how they used to make these things,” said Bright, whose mother died of colon cancer and whose grandmother had heart issues.

    “I want to honor them by learning how to do this whole thing a little bit better. A different diet could have maybe kept them here a little while longer. It’s important to me: I feel like if I can learn how to do this a little better, I’m still honoring them, and I think they’d be proud of me in the process. I think that’s the kind of shift we have to make collectively.”
     
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  35. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
    Site Founder The 10000 Daps Club

    Joined:
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    What made you want to get in shape?

    I was like this before I became famous. I was all about health and wellness but you go through phases. I was going through some deep shit so I just let myself go and wanted to indulge and be a part of the community and America. So I started hanging out and doing what Americans do. I became a product of my environment. You guys wanna indulge? Let's fucking indulge. What else were we gonna do?

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    After a while it becomes—Okay, I see everyone in this space took that way out. Now let’s see if we can get it moving. Let’s see if we can do something besides just turning up and getting drunk and eating all this shit. If I showed up at first, and was like, "Hell yeah lets go workout! Let’s go do this!" It would be like "What the fuck? We can't relate to you."

    [​IMG]

    No one wants to be the weird fitness rapper.

    Yeah! There's nothing relatable to you. I'm just relatable to everybody. This is a part of my job now. I have to be on stage to entertain my fans for 45 minutes and it's like ya'll want me to be out of breath in 15 minutes?

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    What is your workout routine?

    It's really just jumping up and down on stage. And eating foods that I know are not gonna make me tired while I'm on stage and after.

    [​IMG]

    But when I'm not about to go on, I'll have whatever I want to eat. Hot wings, whatever. I'm always moving. I barely even rest anymore. My whole lifestyle is different. While everybody is still sleeping, I'm up. I can’t even tell anybody what it is, it’s something that you have to get accustomed to your body and figure out. Just put that time into yourself. That's all it takes.

    [​IMG]

    But nobody wants to put in the time. They want Makonnen to give them a thing and it's like ‘oof yeah I got it.’ It's been eight months. Oh you see an Instagram picture now and think I did it overnight but no, it's been eight months of going through a different lifestyle.

    FULL INTERVIEW: Damn, Makonnen
     
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