Detox day 3 and feeling great

January 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

Detox BrothThis forms the base of a really good broth.  Celery and Carrots and Kale oh my!

So I am three days into the Prude Papers 2013 Detox which I promise I will give all the details about in the near future.  I decided that before I share the plan with others, I should have a taste of my own medicine so to speak.  So I am trying it out, learning what things my body likes and what I need to tweak.  To give you a sneak peek though I thought I would share some of my experiences with you.

This is a 7 Day Restore and Renew Detox. Last year I did a 21 Day Candida Cleanse that was really good, but also really hard to stick with for 21 days because well..21 days is a long time, and I have never done well on simply restrictive diets, but more so on gradual lifestyle changes.  So while I found the cleanse and the recipes and the overall experience quite rewarding (I lost 10lbs and kept it off for at least six-nine months, and I felt re-energized) I decided that I had to do something a little more practical in terms of time commitment and I was not looking to necessarily fight candida as I was last year, but more so to restore good eating practices, restore good bacteria and renew my commitment to my overall health and yes…wellness too.  So with these goals in mind I tweaked a would be candida cleanse and focused on packing myself with as many naturally beneficial substances as possible by allowing Bentonite clay, apple fiber and antioxidant rich foods to flush out all the toxic waste inside of me.   I also realized after last year’s detox that detoxifying was not only about what you ate or didn’t eat, but also slowing down, streamlining and getting back to basics if you will.  So in this restore and renew detox getting enough rest, de-cluttering your heart and mind, and taking it a little more easy are just as important as what you will and won’t consume.  This is definitely not one of those “do it on the go” grab a shake and eat a balanced meal plans.  We can all do that, and some of us actually have, but when you force yourself just for seven days out of the whole year to slow down, to put some errands off till next week, to let your spouse or coworker or friend take over some of the things that were on your plate or  to even use a sick day (don’t say I told you) so that you can sip burdock root and milk thistle tea for ten straight minutes while doing absolutely nothing else, then you are pairing the mental with the physical.

Now I know not everyone has the luxury to work from home as I do, or to set their own deadlines as I do (now at least), but that is why this detox can be modified to do when you please and how you please just as long as you take your body through the three different steps that I’ll outline later.  Anyway enough about all that here’s how I’m doing.  Days one and two were a little difficult, I had chills, itching, dizziness, and a lot of irritability.  Day two was better, not as much dizziness, not that many chills but an occasional hunger pain that was soon relieved by a scheduled detox drink.  Both days I had better sleep than usual, which I wholly attribute to the nightly liver flush.  It wasn’t that I actually got more sleep than usual, but the sleep I did get was better, and the dreams were quite interesting.

So now Day three.  I have to say I thought I would be spent by now, but I actually woke up this morning to a blanket of white snow, which meant I would have to reschedule my Wed library trip for later in the week and work from home.  I rearranged my schedule and then to my surprise I worked out.  I know you may be thinking “Seriously, even after 2 days on a liquid diet.  Is that even safe?” Trust me I wondered if I should be lifting weights too, but I didn’t do a boot camp workout just a good light cardio workout with some Pilates, and here’s the big thing…I loved it.  They say sweating is good during a detox because it is another way to aid the body in excreting toxins.  Afterwards I was ready for my broth, but not drained or famished.  In fact my overall energy levels have been higher throughout the day while on the detox than they have been in months (12 of them to be exact).  While I have more to share on this, I will leave you now as I’m going to capitalize on all this energy and get some dissertating (dissertation writing) done!

Till next time,



It’s that time again!!!

January 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

No, I’m not referring to the playoffs and the upcoming Superbowl (football fans everywhere may now navigate away from this page), but something even more exciting, more inviting and in my opinion more…useful. It’s detox time. This year I’m doing my detox a little later due to some holiday eating obligations, and while I prefer doing a detox in early December to help me better decide what should and shouldn’t be eaten during the holidays, and to start the New Year off right, I feel any detox is better late than not at all. So with no further adieu I introduce to you the 7 Day Restore and Renew Detox.

Restore and Renew Detox

This seven-day detox is designed to aid your vital organs in naturally cleansing the body of harmful toxins and bacteria through the use of organic whole foods, natural supplements, and a revised life and work schedule. The cleansing recipes used in this detox will help to restore balance to your body by flushing out unnecessary waste, toxic build up and some fat, while renewing good bacteria,. In addition, healthy lifestyle and eating habits will also enable you to look and feel your best for months to come. The goal of this detox program is to bring back a sense of balance to your body through tried and true cleansing methods and to reevaluate your personal commitments to health and wellness via select lifestyle revisions.

Did I peak your interest yet? Well if so I will share the complete plan for this detox within the next few days, including a shopping list of essential items, a daily planner, and progress tracker. I hope that you will consider joining me in this detox and feel free to change it to fit your unique health and lifestyle demands.

Till then,


What Lies Between Health and Wellness?

December 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

I began to ponder this question weeks – maybe even a full month before I finally returned to sort it out here, and surprisingly enough I find that my answer is pretty much the same as it was then, “a series of choices.”  But I’ve gone too far, let me start from the beginning.

Today the words “health” and “wellness” seem inextricably linked as if by some logical force but as I awaited news on my Father’s hip surgery that took place in October I began to ponder whether the relationship between these two words was more socially constructed than naturally indicative.  The word health means, “The state of being free from illness or injury” and usually refers to a persons mental or physical condition.  The word wellness means “The state or condition of being in good physical and mental health”  with the additional warning that “stress affects every aspect of wellness.”  On one hand these words appear to have very similar meanings, even utilizing some of the same words to convey their meanings such as “condition” and “state of being,” however a closer reading of the two definitions belies one major distinction between health and wellness, which is frequency.  I may fall in and out of periods of good health depending on which viruses I catch, how much stress I absorb, or what I decide to put my body through .  But inevitably, maintaining good  health over a longer period, is essential to attaining  physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.   I searched high and low in the depths of google and found that I liked the way Wiki Answers stated it best (although as instructors we never recommend students quote Wikipedia or any other wiki in their papers).

“Health and wellness are not synonyms. Health refers simply to a physical body being free from diseases, but wellness is an overall balance of your physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental, and occupational well-being. Wellness is a lifestyle and is not an end to be achieved. Wellness means that one strives for balance throughout his whole life. On the other hand, health would be that a person wants to lose weight and lower blood pressure. Once he does this, he is considered healthy. Health is a goal one can achieve while wellness is a dynamic concept that continues for a lifetime.”

So ultimately what lies between health and wellness for me is a series of decisions made every day about what I will do, what I will eat, how much joy I will have, where I will live, and how I will balance out the various strands of my life, some of which become unbalanced on purpose and by happenstance.  Likewise I must assess what I will not do, and what I will not eat, and through this exercise of constant deliberate decision-making I am hoping to carve out a life of both health and wellness.

But even this process of making conscientious decisions every day about one’s mind and body is one of the most underutilized tools we have.  Yes we begin in the New Year to make resolutions, that soon turn into distant memories.  Or we are decisive and aware for a week or two and then throw everything out the window on holidays, special occasions, the (in)convenient Friday.  We stay up too late and wake too early, we settle for the stress around us as opposed to change, and we create clutter instead of clearing it.  And in some cases we carry on with relationships, jobs and habits that are not working for us rather than try something new.  Still, there is no cause to be discouraged because if what lies between health and wellness is a series of decisions, then I predict that we shall have a million more times to ponder this throughout the coming year.

What do you think?


Does a writer have time to blog?

September 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

We encountered this look out while semi-lost in Maine one day this summer. I think the view alone was worth getting lost.

Ok, before you say “duh,” humor me for a moment.  When I began this blog which has seen intermittent posts since 2011 I did it as a way to keep my writing muscles flexing during what seemed to be a stalemate in my dissertation research process (that’s putting a long story short).  So I began to procrastinate blog to talk about my various other interests besides 19th and early 20th century cultural legacies of the Black Atlantic, and the results were inspiring.  I found out I had lots to say about many other things, and that my prude nature made it possible for me to shift between the every day politics of living, eating, sleeping (or lack thereof) to politics with a big P.  I was able to traverse pastimes and meal times, and all the while I sometimes wondered if you, whoever you are besides my faithful mother and dedicated family and friends were still with me.  I tried to box myself into a niche or genre, but my seven plus years in academia have rebelled such boxing and niching.  So I apologized for the irregularity, and the all over  variety of content.  But now, seeing has how my last post was about six months ago, and a lot has happened since then, I feel that I should return to this space, if for nothing else then to do what I originally came here to do, which is flex my writing muscles.

Now I’ve gone over this a few hundred times, will it take away from ALL the other writing that must be done, or will it help?  You see, in addition to dissertating I also write poetry and fiction, proposals and pamphlets.  I consider myself a Jill of all trades when it comes to writing and coaching writing and this is a blessing which I am truly thankful for. However, all blessings come responsibility.  We must look at how we are using are gifts and whether we are helping others, which to me is the main reason gifts are given.  So that said I want to return to this space as a gift giver, not simply a blogger who talks about anything they can get their hands on.  I want to return as someone with something to offer to you, the reader.  I want to return and return with some sense of formality – not just disappear again.  So I ask again, does a writer have time to blog?  Probably not, which is why I think I don’t blog (blogging takes up a lot of time and turns into a full-time job for some).  Instead, I write very thoughtful mini essays that reflect the things that I am working on, thinking about, experiencing and pontificating.  My images are few and usually sourced from existing stock images.  My posts are longish and usually require a six-minute read, but hopefully you won’t mind, because one thing I have realized during my hiatus is that every good writer, needs an even better reader to keep them going.



A few words on Trayvon Martin

April 17, 2012 § 4 Comments

  • Dannaer Fields, Bobby Clark, and William Allen KILLED April 6, 2012, Tusla, OK | more
  • Trayvon Martin, KILLED February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fl | more
  • James Anderson KILLED June 26, 2011 in Jackson, Miss | more
  • Danroy (DJ) Henry Jr., KILLED October 17, 2010 in Thornwood, NY | more
  • James Brisette and Charles Madison along with those wounded in the Danziger Bridge Victims, 2 KILLED 4 WOUNDED September 4, 2005 in New Orleans, LA | more
  • Amadou Diallo, KILLED February 4, 1999 in New York, NY | more
  • James Byrd, Jr. BRUTALLY MURDERED June 7, 1998 in Jasper TX | more
  • Fred Hampton, KILLED December 4, 1969 in Chicago, IL | more
  • Emmett Till, ACCUSED AND KILLED August 24th-August 28th, 1955 in Money, Miss | more
  • The Scottsboro Boys, ACCUSED AND TORMENTED SINCE March 25, 1936 in Scottsboro, AL | more

Justice is a blind goddess

To this we blacks are wise:

Her bandage hides two festering sores

That once perhaps were eyes.

Langston Hughes penned this and other poems in the wake of the Scottsboro case; the legal lynching that supported the indisputably false claims of two white women who alleged that they were gang raped by nine black teens onboard a Southern railroad freight train headed from Chattanooga to Memphis in 1931.  Despite flawed eye-witness testimony, contrary medical evidence, and the sworn testimony of Ruby Bates, one of the accusers, that she had never been raped let alone touched or even spoken to by any of the defendants, the trials proceeded with guilty verdict after guilty verdict being handed down by all white judges and juries.  Altogether the Scottsboro Boys as these young men came to be called spent years of their lives in Alabama prisons experiencing first hand the horrors of the American prison system and Jim Crow justice.  Being innocent was as inconsequential then, as being young, black and alive is today.

In 1931 it took twelve days for the Scottsboro Boys to be accused, arrested and on trial for their lives, and they were innocent.  Yet it took forty-six days for George Zimmerman to be arrested and charged with killing unarmed Trayvon Martin.

So as supporters and mourners, pundits and politicians discuss the charges of second degree murder against George Zimmerman, I am reminded about those who came before him, the murderers who beat, bludgeoned and drowned Emmett Till; the accusers who sent innocent boys to jail and defamed their character to protect a lie; the badges and bullets that recklessly smoked out the lives of DJ Henry, the Danziger Bridge victims, Amadou Diallo,  and Fred Hampton; and the miscreants who hunt and kill black people for sport.

I am reminded that our life upon this earth is but a breath and that for many in black America this is a bare life.  It is a life lived in juvenile detention halls, prison industrial complexes, urban and rural ghettos, underfunded schools, public housing projects and low paying jobs.  Spaces set outside of the political/moral life of the larger society .  And this bare life subjects us to modes of violence that are steeped in the middle passage, the plantation economy and the Fugitive Slave Act.  You see every generation that comes of age in America has to unlearn these legacies, least they be doomed to repeat them over, and over again.

As the mother of a son, a black boy, I am reminded that he will one day be 17, 18, and 19 years old.  That he will one day walk down a street, perhaps alone, and so to me the President’s comments don’t seem so strange.  What is strange to me is that many would rather focus on the bounty placed on George Zimmerman by the New Black Panther Party, or question black-on-black crime statistics rather than the fact that Trayvon Martin was not the first nor the last victim on this list.

I am sorely reminded of the irony, that statistically many young black people have  the same if not fewer life chances in an emancipated, post-civil rights, supposedly post-racial America than their ancestors did in the aftermath of the Civil War (more).  Finally, I am reminded in my closing thoughts, that this list is incomplete.  That there are hundreds of other names, victims of violence, men women and children who suffered not because of what they said, or did, or wore but because the color of their skin so incited others to violence.




Hughes, L. (1956). I Wonder As I Wander:  An Autobiographical Journey. New York, NY, Hill and Wang.

Alexander, M. (2010). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness. Jackson, Tenn, The New Press.


James Brissette Jr., 17 – killed

Ronald Madison, 40 – killed

Susan Bartholomew – wounded

Leonard Bartholomew III – wounded

Lesha Bartholomew, 17 – wounded

Jose Holmes, 19 – wounded

“Negroes who have lived South know the dread of being caught alone upon the streets in white neighborhoods after the sun has set. In such a simple situation as this the plight of the Negro in America is graphically symbolized. While white strangers may be in these neighborhoods trying to get home, they can pass unmolested. But the color of a Negro’s skin makes him easily recognizable, makes him suspect, converts him into a defenseless target.” The Ethics of Living Jim Crow, Richard Wright-1937

The Scent of Green Papaya and other ramblings…

March 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

Question 1:  What do you do when your toddler helps to clean up by throwing your money in the trash? 

Answer:  Hug the little helper tight and be thankful there were no poopy diapers in there.

Image Credit:

Question 2:  What do you watch when you want to be entertained without being accosted by unnecessary special effects, dreadful plots and dialog that bores?

Answer:  “The Scent of Green Papaya.”   For me, this 1993 production is one of those rare jewels of a film that seems to engage every aspect of filmmaking at a multi-sensory level.  You can see, hear and in some cases you even imagine, or if you are lucky remember what it is like to run your fingers through thousands of grains of rice, to smell the air as it settles into a musty – mid morning moment on a humid day, or to taste the flesh of green papaya.  In many ways this film felt like watching a lyric opera in my living room.  And I was so relaxed and inspired by it that I didn’t even mind the ending, or the lack of dialog between the two main characters in the second half of the film.  In fact, I didn’t even mind watching it again, which is rare.

 Question 3:  What is the best way to spend $5 bucks?

Answer:  Buy ingredients to make Green Papaya and Golden Beet Juice.

Green Papaya is a powerhouse fruit, offering benefits from Vitamin C and E, anti-cancer properties (particularly prostate cancer), antioxidant properties and carotenes. In addition Green Papaya helps to not only replenish good bacteria in our intestines, but it also helps to destroy bad bacteria which can lead to constipation and other digestive issues.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties and according to the George Matejan Foundation “Papayas may be very helpful for the prevention of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.”  Studies have also shown that because a ripe papaya loses some of its enzymes when it ripens, to get the greatest benefits, it is better to eat papaya in its green, unripe stage.  So try this recipe.  If you don’t have a juicer, cut all ingredients into small one inch pieces and put them in your blender with a little water.


Makes about four servings

1 Green Papaya (peeled and de-seeded)

1 large golden beet (peeled)

2-3 Carrots

Place ingredients in a power juicer and juice on high.  Use leftover pulp in curries, salads or stews .  Also note that the green papaya juice is on the bitter side, depending on where it is in the ripening stage, but don’t be alarmed, that’s why we added the beet and carrots.  Together they offer a very smooth and nutrient rich finish.  Sorry there are no images I drank it too soon.

Hope you enjoy,


Mouth Pollution…The New Culture War

February 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo Credit: DC Urban Dad

While many of the 2012 Presidential Candidates and other politicians up for re-election are debating a woman’s right to choose, to have access to birth control, to use it or not use it etc…I have a new proposal to bring to the table.  Please do not count me insensitive or out of touch with these issues, it’s just that I find all this political posturing and legislating around women’s bodies by male candidates a bit archaic and more than a little uneasy.  And at the risk of sounding apolitical I will add that there are many areas of our society that do need to be legislated, debated, and amended starting with campaign finance reform, but as a woman I resent the way the female body and the individual choices women make with and for their bodies becomes someone’s soapbox every-time an election rolls around.  That said, I bring to you the new Prude dish for the day, or what I am proposing to be the New Culture War…Mouth Pollution.

Scenario No. 1.

Mouth pollution is when you are working quietly in your cubicle, typing and tinkering away, and then you suddenly hear that sound, “What the F###.”  You are troubled, and wonder what has happened?  Is someone hurt?  By the time you realize there is no need to panic, its stench has already made its way into your workspace.

Scenario No. 2. 

You are sitting alone in a coffee shop or cafe, tinkering away on oh…I don’t know a dissertation.  Your thoughts, oh your thoughts, the ones you struggled to keep in tact for the past twenty-eight hours through dinners and snack times, story books and episodes of Dora the Explorer are finally coming together in some semi-recognizable sequence.  You are thrilled and even a bit excited.  You begin, but then you stop.  Your thoughts have just been invaded by mouth pollution.  The guy sipping on  Pepsi at the table across from yours continues to drop “the F bomb,” along with many other choice words courtesy of every South Park episode he’s seen.  Mission impossible. The stench of his language has settled in and the coffee house/cafe has suddenly become stifling and unbearable, you leave deflated, but determined to begin a new mission.

Photo Credit: Mr. Potter's Funtime Blog

What will it take, this Prude wonders to institute a No Cussing section similar to a non-smoking section in public places?  For me profanity and the flagrant use of it in public spaces is a real issue.  I know the free speech police are already rallying around this one, but I think public profanity, much like public drunkenness and nudity should be regulated.  For example if I am out with my son, and I know that I don’t use certain words in our house, the last thing I want is to take him to pick up a bagel and for his young – innocent  ears to be exposed to every curse word  at least fifteen times before you finish telling your story about what happened the other night.  Yes, call me a Prude, but I think people should refrain from cussing in public places, particularly where there are likely to be small children and families.  Now don’t get me wrong I’m not into policing your every word, I could care less about the content of your conversation, but when you speak loudly – enough for everyone to hear and your profanity reaches my ears, that’s when it becomes my business.

Remember the good ol' days when youth were innocent and garbage pail kids did all the bad stuff?

Also, as a lover of words, writing and the English language, I know that there are so many other choice words that could be used to display the very same sentiment.  For example in Downton Abbey those folks can be bitter, scorned, enraged and passionate all without resorting to four and five letter words.  Also, a very wise mentor once told me that writing, speaking and thinking are deeply connected, and for this reason I believe that a lack of life experience, creativity, inspired thinking or some combination of all three keeps some people on the potty mouth.  Call me a Prude but isn’t it time we found better ways of communicating, and at the very least, shouldn’t we have the courtesy to know that not every person in the room would like their own thinking to become muddled by someone else’s profanity.  After, all, if I were to begin crying loudly in the middle of a restaurant, wouldn’t that spoil your dinner?  Well in a similar way pubic profanity and even some that we find sprinkled through daytime and primetime television, business meetings, conference calls, pop music, rap music, all music and even play-off games has the potential to negatively impact ones thoughts.  I mean, what positive message or connotation can be derived from any swear word?  I know the idea of mouth pollution may sound strange to some and even ridiculous to others, but then again, being a prude isn’t exactly the norm.  I encourage you to share your thoughts on this new culture war with me, are you for or against it…please share, but remember to use your nice words.