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Author: Monet Gilmore

From Fighting Emotional Trauma to Healing and Becoming A Relationship Expert – Meet Montrella Cowan, MSW, LICSW

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Montrella Cowan, MSW, LICSW who is the founding CEO of Affinity Health Affairs and International bestselling author is a personal trauma and relationship expert. She has spent her career helping men and women heal from personal trauma as a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and Life Coach. Montrella decided to start her business because of the dire need in our society for Black, culturally-competent mental health professionals who are psychotherapists. Right now more approximately 87% of psychotherapists are Caucasian - leaving all other practitioners of color to make up only 13%. There are also fewer Black therapists. At Affinity Health Affairs, in her practice, she offers a holistic and practical approach, where she gives her clients tips and tools that can...

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Changing the Trajectory of Black Women’s Health through Holistic Wellness with Erica Woods

As a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, Erica runs fitness classes and offers one-on-one training sessions. In addition, over the past 4 years, Erica Woods has taught empowered women and young girls with life skills by organizing grant-funded health conferences in the DMV, reaching over 200 participants.  She addresses a wide array of topics such as financial literacy, mental health, goal setting, and relationship building. Her passion for health and fitness with the intent to help women and young girls live a holistic lifestyle stems from a doctor finding a cyst in her breast. After six months of monitoring its growth, they decided to remove it for precaution. In 2019, Erica established SPN Fitness, LLC in an effort to redefine what it means to live...

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Spring Skincare Routine!

Spring has Sprung and we are in our homes.  Since we are abiding by the rules of social distancing and staying home, why do I have to care about my skin?  No, we may not be going to any brunch outings or fancy dinner parties but indoors doesn’t mean our skin has to suffer. Now is the time to take care of not only others but take care of ourselves too.  Not just to keep us safe from illness but take care of ourselves to keep us feeling good. So how can we take care of our skin while remaining at home? First things first, WASH YOUR FACE.  There’s no need for a fancy cleaner (if you don’t have one) good ole soap and water will do. ...

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Amateur Boxer Turn Certified Personal Trainer and Medical Exercise Specialist Marita Martina Gumbs

Competing as an amateur boxer, Marita Martina Gumbs knew that in 2010, she wanted to become a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer. Since her early twenties, her desire has been to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle. More than just gaining muscle or losing weight, she acknowledges that "playing ball with my kids, going on long walking tours to explore a new city, embarking on adventurous excursions while on vacation, and waking up in the morning with the energy to seize the day and give her best" is what fuels her and brings her joy. In 2017, Marita became certified through the Medical Exercise Training Institute (METI) (a part of the American Academy of Health, Fitness and Rehab Professionals) as a Medical...

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How To Take Ownership Of Your Health

Our bodies are with us for the rest of our lives, so naturally, we should make it a focus to do everything we can to guarantee it’s in the best condition possible. But why is it so hard to actually stick to our health goals and see them through? Often times, we tend to lack the correct focus on the timeframe of our overall well-being. Reaching these goals doesn’t happen overnight, and it is just as important to prioritize our long-term goals as it is our near future ambitions. Take a look at the proper ways to take ownership of your health through the different stages of your life-cycle. Short-term Commonly, short-term goals are the first things that come to mind surrounding the discussion around health. Our...

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Sweatbands and Waist-trainers: are they worth the hype?

With the weather slowly beginning to break, people are beginning to try and work on their “summer body” and with all of the social distancing and gyms being closed is adding an abdominal sweatband the extra push you need to reach your fitness goals? If you are on social media, I’m sure you have seen these many ads of companies marketing their waist trainer sweatband that will instantly take inches of your waist, flattening your stomach to give you the perfect hourglass figure.  Any product claiming to do such a thing without adequate exercise and even diet modifications is a scam. Basic waist trainers can be extremely dangerous as they have the potential to shift organs and cause damage to your ribs.  If you do want to...

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5 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Your heart is important.  Very, VERY important.  Just take a minute to think about how NECESSARY your heart is.  Your heart pumps all the blood, delivering oxygen to your body, keeping your mind sharp for you to tackle the day. We put so much emphasis on being healthy, we need to make sure that our muscles are healthy and strong.  So how do we keep our Hearts Healthy?   Eat Healthily  How does our food affect our heart? Your diet plays a role in your risk of coronary heart disease. Food-related risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes and a diet high in saturated fats. Therefore, if you are already at risk, it is important to implement a low-saturated fat, high-fiber, high plant food diet as...

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How this Cancer Survivor Turned Her Pain Into Purpose as a Holistic Healer

This month for our partner highlight, we are honoring LaDawn "Khetnu Nefer" Frasier.  Although she did not plan on being a “healer” looking back she realized that she always had a high intuition for the needs of others. Khetnu Nefer is a Gullah/Geechee holistic health practitioner originally from John's Island, SC who is a passionate womb warrior and women's health advocate. After spending 8 years in the army, she began her healing career as a massage therapist.  Through her work as a massage therapist, she gained a more personal connection with her clients, taking her healing beyond the physical.   Through her own personal experience, she learned the importance and impact of holistic wellness.  During her own battle with uterine cancer, she took it upon herself to...

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Mindset Monday 2

The holidays are a time for joy and cheer, but with this season comes stress. The Holiday Shopping to cooking.  Cleaning the house for family and friends.  It seems like there are so many things to do but so little time. During this season, women especially take on a lot of responsibility.  Yes, women are amazing, but we must remember we are not superheroes and sometimes it is okay to acknowledge how you feel.  Remember: Your feelings are valid.   So, if you need to take a break from holiday shopping and cooking, it is okay – do so.  We are only human so as much as we love to think we have enough energy like the Energizer Bunny, we do not, and our bodies need rest...

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Minds Matter

Sometimes we can focus so much on physical health, other aspects of our health can be overlooked but that does not mean that they are any less important.  With so much discussion surrounding mental health, it is important to understand that our minds do matter.  Whether you are living with a mental illness or not, it is important to understand that we all have mental health, therefore it is important to take care of it by not just treating our mental health when there seems to be an issue but taking preventative measures to avoid a possible crisis. So, what exactly is “mental health”? According to Medline Plus, they define “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and...

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