Are you making this mistake in plating your food?

The next time you sit down to eat, take a good long look at your plate before you dig in. The food you’re eating and the way you prepared it might be totally healthy, but there could be another, almost invisible factor causing you to eat more than you originally intended to. And if you’re interested in losing or maintaining your weight, letting this little mistake slip under the radar could be getting in the way of your goals.

Your portion sizes might be too big, and the way you plate your food could be the reason why. Your healthy-eating game plan seems airtight: You diligently set your brown rice down, top it with a lean protein like chicken, and finish things off with veggies. But here’s the rub: Arranging your food in this format may cause you to accidentally pack on too much of some foods and too little of others. According to Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., owner of The Wellness Whisk, when you plate your carbohydrate and protein first, “by the time you get to the veggies, there’s little room left on the plate.” In a well-rounded meal, she says, veggies should be the main focus. So you don’t want to plop them on the plate like an afterthought.

“Changing the way you view your meal to make the vegetable section your primary focus is so important because they contain all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water your body needs,” Yeung explains. So what’s the best way to plate your food? Veggies first, then protein, then grains—if it sounds upside down, that’s because it is. This method, developed by Yeung, is called plating backwards, and it’s an extremely simple solution to the common too-big-portion problem.

Making it a mealtime habit is easy. When you plate, Yeung says you’ll want to aim for your portions to be 50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent carbohydrates. If you plate the classic way (carbs, protein, vegetables) you’re more likely to end up with 50 percent carbs and 25 percent vegetables. To strike the right balance, she says, “Start by filling about half your plate with vegetables, then add protein and carbohydrates in about equal portions.” And if you’re still unsure about your portion sizes, she suggests usingMyPlate’s visuals as a guideline.

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It’s National Farmers Market Week!

Visit your local farmers markets to fill half your plate with locally grown fruits & vegetables. We have several of them in the New Orleans area. Have fun and discover something new!

Find your local farmers market



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Helpful Hints and Tips

  • Add variety to your meals – try vegetarian options, like bean burritos, portabello mushroom burgers or spinach lasagna. (Love me some spinach lasagne!)
  • Fruit and plain low-fat yogurt go great together. Enjoy them for breakfast or as a snack. If you must, add a tiny bit of stevia or a teaspoon of honey to sweeten. Or try mixing in a shake of ground cinnamon.
  • Walk your way to your goal weight. New to walking? Start slow and gradually add minutes. Not new to walking? Get a Sistah to walk with you!
  • If it bothers your knees & joints to run, try bicycling or swimming (like Nikkia) for a great aerobic exercise.
  • To help you eat fewer calories when eating out, order an item from the menu (like an appetizer or a side vegetable) instead of heading for the “all-you-can-eat” buffet.
  • Pay attention to the food as you eat it and sloooowww down. Drink water as you eat and put your fork down between bites.
  • Chew each bite 25 – 30 times. This helps both satiety and digestion.
  • Feel for your satiety level and stop just before you feel full (this takes practice).

Try at least ONE of these tips and see how you feel. Love it? Incorporate it into your days. Hate it? Choose something else. You have options.

In Sistahly Love,


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Batido Smoothie

batido smoothie

Prep time: 10 minutes

Makes: 4 Servings

This refreshing smoothie is a blend of papaya, banana, and yogurt and makes a satisfying part of breakfast or any time of day. Mix in frozen or fresh berries for a variety of flavors. I usually throw in a handful of spinach or kale for a ‘green’ smoothie – great way to get some veggies in.


2 cups papaya chunks (fresh or frozen)

2 bananas (overripe, sliced)

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 cup ice cubes


  1. Put all the ingredients in the blender.
  2. Put the lid on tightly. Turn the blender to a medium setting and blend until the ice is chopped and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.


  • One cup of low-fat milk, soy, rice, almond or coconut milk can be used instead of yogurt.
  • Strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries can be used in addition to or instead of papaya.
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Sistahs Purification Power 8-1-16

Hello Sistahs! What an informative session we had last night at Ashe’. After our very spiritual liturgical dance session (really beautiful), the purification power session focused on cleansing the liver. Personally, I haven’t spend much time thinking about my liver but after the session last night, I have learned that my liver is a very vital organ that needs daily attention. Here are some of the things I learned:

The liver can regenerate itself! It can handle over 500 functions. It filters bacteria out of the blood. It makes and secrets bile. It produces enzymes that are needed for digestion. It filters out the oils, perfumes, colognes, lotions, powders, etc., that we use everyday. The best oils/lubricants for our skin and hair are coconut oil, raw shea butter and castor oil. (I have a story about that castor oil I’ll share with you later.)

Foods that cleanse the liver: Avocado, Beets, Turmeric, Garlic (not the powder), Lemon, Grapefruit, Green Tea (not the extract, 2-3 cups per day), Walnuts and Herbs, specifically Milk Thistle, Artichoke and Dandelion.

Affirmation: My mind is cleansed and free. I leave the past and move into the new and all is new. -Louise Hay

Our commitment for this week: I release the anger/fear about/with/of ____________.

Alrighty, you know what to do.


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Healthy barbecue tips for summer

Hey Sistahs,
I got this info from the American Heart Association enewsletter. Since some of us will be cooking out and grilling, this article might be helpful in helping us reduce our sodium intake. Check out the end of this article for healthy recipes. Hey? When are we going to put that Sistahs Making A Change Cookbook into the Universe?


July 5, 2016 8:19 am Published by AHA Sodium Reduction Team
This is one of our favorite times of the year families are getting together to spend time outdoors, and summer produce is in season!

If you’re hosting or attending a barbecue, picnic, or cookout this summer, these tips will help you. They cover more than just sodium, because after all, eating healthfully is important for heart health.

For meat, poultry, and fish:

  • Go for grilled fish. Salmon, trout and herring are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Rub a fillet with lemon juice and parsley or rosemary for more flavor.
  • Buy chicken breasts – and remember to remove the skin before eating – instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs). Or try grilling up chicken or turkey burgers using breast meat, and add diced onions and spices for a layer of flavor.
  • Choose lean or extra lean beef for burgers, drain off excess fat after cooking, and keep the patties reasonably sized. A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Add finely chopped bell peppers to your beef to sneak in some veggies.
  • Look for fresh and frozen poultry that hasn’t been injected with a sodium solution. Check the fine print on the packaging and look for terms such as “broth,” “saline” or “salt solution.” Sodium levels in unseasoned fresh meats are around 100 mg or less per 4-ounce serving.



Side dishes:

  • Eat a rainbow of green, red, orange, yellow, purple and more. Serve green leafy salads or fruit salads (or a combination of both, like baby spinach with strawberries or mixed greens with orange slices) instead of mayonnaise-based salads. Add some crunch – and healthier fats – with toasted walnuts or almonds instead of croutons.
  • Bake the fries. Slice white or sweet potatoes into sticks, lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray, pepper and paprika and bake on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • Thread SOME veggie kabobs – load up skewers with mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash or other veggies. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray and grill until slightly blackened.
  • Limit the salty sauces – if you have teriyaki, soy, and barbecue sauce in one meal, the sodium will probably add up quickly. And try some of our homemade condiments recipes.

Snacks and desserts:

  • Slice a variety of colorful veggies for a cool, crunchy snack. Baby carrots, cucumber rounds, jicama slices, sugar snap peas, and bell pepper strips – they look great on a platter too!
  • Blend a smoothie with sweet seasonal fruit, non-fat or low-fat vanilla or lemon yogurt, ice and a touch of honey or cinnamon for a refreshing dessert alternative.
  • Grill fruits like pineapple slices, nectarines, peaches or plums – the natural sugars caramelize with the heat and give them great flavor.
  • Freeze mashed-up fruit (try peaches, grapes, or berries) into paper cups, insert a popsicle stick, freeze overnight and enjoy homemade freezer pops.

Visit for more ideas and heart-healthy recipes!

We’d love to hear your tips for a healthier summer barbecue


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Sistahs’ Purification Session 7/25

Greetings Mama Jamilah!

Below are videos I would like you to play for the Purification Session Monday July 25th in my absence.
I have them labeled in order that I would like them to be played. Videos 1 and 2 are Dr. Jewel Pookrum OB/GYN “Disease”
“Electric Body, Electric Foods”
Accountability  Week 3:
I’m changing the way I think about __________________.”
Post progress and questions in our private group:!forum/sistahspurificationpower
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