Thursday, November 6, 2008

Black Women Cooked For A Nation

Well my 98 year old grandmother's reaction to Barack Obama being elected President was "you mean a colored man won." During her lifetime she has been blessed to live to see Barack Obama elected President of the United States. She is of sound mind and has a healthy body. Her doctor is amazed by her health.

She is one of the women who is the backbone of this nation as a food nurturer and a cook. Black women were cooks during slavery. Black women were cooks during the great migration from the south to the north. This is our legacy. We were a cheap source of labor that provided nourishing healthy meals to black and white families of this nation. Knowledge of good nutrition and healthy cooking is the key to generations of people living long lives without disease. We held those keys. Now we have thrown away our keys to good health. Now that black women have become empowered with access to education and money with limitless opportunities we have the worst health of any ethnic group in this nation. It is a paradox that we have disowned our legacy. We disdain from cooking. We don't want to talk about cooking. We have separated ourselves from the negative image of the "Mammy" from "Gone With The Wind." My grandmother was a "Mammy" for a white family on the North side of Chicago. They called her Willie, but she cooked and cleaned for them. They entrusted her with the keys to their health and well being for themselves and their children. This is an honorable responsibility.

In this process we have sacrificed our health. Heart disease is four times more common among Black Americans that White Americans. Hypertension causes 20% of all deaths among Black Americans. twice the percentage for White Americans. Black folks develop heart failure two times more than any other racial group in America. Heart disease kills blacks more: 30% higher mortality among African Americans. and 70% higher among black females when compared to white females.


BIG PROBLEM! 60% of African American men and 78% of African American are overweight; about 30% of African American men and 50% of African American women are obese. According to Dr. Tony Vendryes "We are digging our graves with our teeth."

This change in our political history must include change of our mindsets. We must return honor to cooking and healthy food preparation. We must empower our nation by connecting to our legacy. We must share recipes, shortcut tips, nutrition info, cooking classes or demonstration with everyone we know. Our land is being healed by this historic moment in history. This is a mind awakening. However, we must also heal our bodies. We must lead the way back to good health by remembering and honoring the women who provided for the health of this nation.


I invite you to join the Herbalife African - American Health Initiative. Rediscover the keys to good and nutrition. I am looking to for people who desire to empower others with the keys to health. I request that you visit the website then email me if you are interested in teaching others to obtain better health by eating Power Meal Protein Shakes at


Anonymous said...

Ha!I often don't feel like cooking but, it has nothing to do what Black women were perceived as.I'm kinda weird but, I prefer to cook for others vs. just for myself

djmadmike said...

The issue is not that black women dont want to cook I think the issue is more along the line of dont know how to cook. Yes I said it. Throoughout history black women DID everything and cooking a fast quick meal with very little was matter of being resourceful. While the master got the good part of the meats, slaves mammies or nannies were left with scraps and lard to complete the cooking process for their own family. Seriously pork rinds, ox tail soup and grits with the kitchen sink in it are all of a matter of getting a quick meal ready with what ever you have so we all can get back to work.

Personal Wellness Coach J said...

To djmadmike,

I come from a family of cooks. My mother and grandmother used to cook oxtail soup. They cooked the oxtail soup all day long. It takes time to make the oxtail meat to fall off the bone. It is not a quick meal. I don't belive the meals were quick during slavery time. I cooked from scratch breakfast, lunch and dinner for a family of six for over 10 years. I baked fresh biscuits, breads, pancakes from scratch. I made my own yogurt in the oven. My kids grew alfala sprouts in a jar. I peeled, chopped, boiled and froze fresh vegetables. I learned to prepare Soul Veggie tofu and barbecue twist receipes. Those are one preparation without baking. Once you have system in place it can speed up but it still requires hours of preparation to make a quick meal from scratch with fresh organic foodstuff. My grandmother and mother spend their off days all day in the kitchen preparing food for the week so they would have quick frozen meals.
Nowadays we have many shortcuts such as skinless, boneless chicken, chopped and ground meats, frozen chopped vegetables and sauces. During slavery times the children helped to perform these tasks.

Personal Wellness Coach J said...

To glennishamorgan,

Got it! You don't feel like cooking and you have nothing to do with what Black women were perceived as and you prefer to cook for others. There is nothing wrong with that.
I invite you to stand in the possibility of eating healthier for yourself. Make a commitment to love yourself enough to provide your body nourishing food and beverages. Make an affirmation daily. This affirmation is fom Louise Hay "Heal Your Body". "I take loving care of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages. I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy."

Tesia said...

Thanks Fitness Goddess and Personal Wellness Coach J for covering this important topic on your blog.

I whole heartedly agree. Whether you're a man or a woman, we have to get back to cooking at home and eating fresh, wholesome food free of preservatives and industrial ingredients most can't even pronounce.

I recently started a food blog speaking particularly to African American women,, about this very issue.

I could go on and on about this, but I'll try to keep it short. Bottom line:

(1) Food made from scratch using quality, fresh ingredients will always taste better and most likely be better for you than anything store bought or packaged and ready to serve in 5 - 10 minutes.

(2) In order to be able to whip up something good and quick, you have to cook regularly to acquire the skill. It's all about practice. That's why grandmas are some of the best cooks in the world - because they've been doing it for years. Plus when you cook regularly, even if it's for yourself, you'll shine like a pro when you cook for others.

(3) Due to reliance on fast food and processed foods, we've become disconnected from knowing what real, good food is. That's why many settle for less and don't cook.

(4) Yes DJ Mad Mike, many women these days don't know how to cook due to a variety of reasons. That's one of the reasons I started my blog.

(5) Cook at home more often, even if it's just a couple of times a week at first. You have to start somewhere.

Again, thanks for a great post!

Personal Wellness Coach J said...

Tesia a.k.a Flavor Diva,

Thanks for your comments. I visited your blog. It's fantastic. I loved the Sangria recipe. I will recommend your blog to my weight loss students. It is full of wonderful info.