All Articles Tagged "health"

Get Back To A Healthier You With The RxStar Detox

August 21st, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Ready for fantastic health? I know I am. For many of us, loving life tends to include giving in to things you love to indulge in. This summer for me was no exception. Whether it’s a couple mimosas at brunch, a Netflix binge with wine and popcorn, or putting in late hours at work, a cleanse can help your body get back to healthy.

Dr. Gabrielle Francis, the backstage tour doctor to The Rolling Stones, actor Adrian Grenier, and musician Mark Ronson (“Uptown Funk”) has a simple and safe RxStar DETOX that’s extremely gentle. It’s designed to support the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal organs BEFORE toxins are removed. This means no crazy side effects, no hunger, and no mood swings.

Reap the benefits of the RxStar DETOX by starting each day with a nutritious RxStar Shake. Dr. Gabrielle Francis also sent us tips on cleansing your body, mind, and even your home. Check them out below!










Working It Out: The Difference A Year Can Make

August 19th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Manging Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy. Follow more of her story on

August 15, 2014 vs. August 16, 2014

August 15, 2014 vs. August 16, 2015

Today I woke up just knowing I was going to be writing a post announcing I had officially dropped 90 pounds. And then I stepped on the scale and saw that I was still only down 89.2 pounds and, like the simpleton that I sometimes am, allowed myself to feel defeated. There really was no reason for me to expect to hit the 90-pound mark today other than the fact that I still haven’t broken the terrible habit of weighing myself daily and so I was hoping that from Sunday to Wednesday the universe would allow my calorie deficit and the alliteration of weight loss Wednesday to collide because 90 pounds sounds better than 89, but no dice.

I looked at the picture above several times throughout the day thinking, that’s a damn good illustration of your weight loss efforts, but what do you really have to say about where you are in your journey since you don’t have a (so-called) milestone to discuss? And then I remembered back to the day I took that picture on the left.

Last August, Atlantic records put together a workout class for Tank’s latest album release, Stronger. All the editors of MadameNoire attended what we thought was going to be a cute little pre-work gathering in which our heart rates would increase more at the site of Tank than any type of workout, but alas we were wrong and the event turned out to be a full-fledged bootcamp, personal trainers and all. I can’t even tell you when the last time was that I’d worked out prior to that but the class was a serious struggle, for me at least, and perhaps what was even harder was knowing that everyone else knew as much.

Stronger U workout class, Brande Victorian, Veronica Wells, Tank, Victoria Uwumarogie, Lauren R.D. Fox, and Jazmine Rogers

Stronger U workout class, Brande Victorian, Veronica Wells, Tank, Victoria Uwumarogie, Lauren R.D. Fox, and Jazmine Rogers

When I look back on pre-weight loss pictures, it really is startling to see my size. As crazy as it sounds, I really wasn’t always aware that I was as big as I was. Case in point, when I approached those green bars you see in the pic above which we were supposed to jump over during the bootcamp last year, I remember one of the trainers saying something to me along the lines of, “take your time; you can just walk over them if you want to.” I thought to myself, Why is he assuming I can’t do this? Then I see how snug that t-shirt in the largest size available was over my stomach and I think Because you look like you could barely breathe, much less jump over anything. And that was pretty much the case as I kept fumbling around trying to stretch that mandatory t-shirt over my lumps and bumps, and had to walk over those bars when everyone else could jump them, and skipped the Bosu ball balancing because, well it just wasn’t an option for me at that size, and periodically pretended to have to talk to our videographer about work just so I could take a break because I couldn’t keep up and I was ashamed. I’m pretty sure the half-hearted smile I have in that picture confirms as much.

It would be two months later before I entered a gym again and actually started the routine responsible for my current weight loss but when I see the girl in the picture a year and a day later from that strugglefest, I realize I do have a milestone to celebrate. On Sunday I woke up 89.2 pounds lighter. When my old trainer called me to workout as his new gym, I walked an hour and 20 minutes to get there instead of taking the train so I could burn extra calories. When we started training, I swung a 44-lb kettlebell for 12 repetitions three times, I did deadlifts with the same weight, I did three 45-second plank holds, I did 1-minute rowing intervals in between pushing a metal cage with 135 pounds of weights on it across turf six times, I did lunges while doing sandbag chest presses, I did chest presses with 20-lb dumbbells while balancing myself on a stability ball.  I did a lot of s-h-you know what. Stuff I couldn’t do a year ago; stuff I didn’t imagine I would be able to do 10-and-a-half months ago when I set out on this weight loss journey.

Tonight when I worked out with my new trainer I complained for more than half of the session about my stomach and how we’re going to fix it and why it’s not going away when everything else — like my breasts — are. It wasn’t until about the third time that he looked at my confused and said “I think you’re being a little hard on yourself” that I realized he was right. In the midst of doing 75 crunches on an ab machine and another 36 while catching a 15-lb medicine ball in between each rep I couldn’t see past the need to still fix my body to actually relish in my progress and enjoy the process of getting stronger and being able to do things I’d never been able to before. There’s a cliche saying about how a year from now you’ll wish you had started today. I posted a meme saying exactly that 66 weeks ago and it still took me another four months to actually start. Had I known all this goodness was on the other side, I really wouldn’t have procrastinated another day. Not only am I just 14.5 pounds away from reaching the goal I set when I joined Crunch October 4, 2014, I’m only 45 pounds from the ultimate goal my first trainer and I set when we began working out at the end of November. I’m not a fan of the “slow and steady wins the race” mantra and though at some points in my journey I felt like things were taking forever, when I realize I haven’t even been at this a full year yet, I feel proud. I really did become a “Stronger U” and that, my friends, was worth writing about.

Stronger U trainers

Stronger U trainers

Oh, and if by chance my little spiel did nothing for you, here’s a pic of some fine fit brothas who might be at a gym near you just waiting to whip you into shape when you’re ready to be about that life. Don’t procrastinate!

FDA Approves OxyContin Use For Children As Young As 11

August 19th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Sick child at doctor's office


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved the narcotic painkiller OxyContin for pediatric use. The regulatory agency reported the drug is safe for children as young as 11 who are experiencing chronic pain that cannot be treated successfully with other medications. OxyContin is an extended-release version of oxycodone.

Physicians have been prescribing OxyContin to children for some time but without the safety and efficacy data. The FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, which means drugs such of OxyContin may be prescribed for off-label use to children once a caregiver has provided consent. An FDA representative stressed that the drug’s approval is not intended to expand or change the way it is used for pediatric patients.

The approval is for children 11 and older who are already tolerating a minimum daily dose of at least 20 milligrams per day. The agency says that with extended-release OxyContin, a child may require two doses a day, versus four to six of the immediate-release version of the drug. The approval comes after Purdue Pharma, the drug’s manufacturer, submitted data to the agency that indicates the drug is safe for children if used correctly.

But the very fact that pediatricians are prescribing the drug to children is troubling to some experts, since rates of opioid addiction are on the rise, especially in young people. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 2.1 million Americans are struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers. Abusing this class of drugs is often a precursor to heroin addiction.

Pediatric specialists primarily prescribe opioids to children to manage chronic headaches and migraines, as well as for the treatment of musculoskeletal and abdominal pain. However, some experts argue that the specialists are too quick to prescribe these drugs to kids.

Would you allow your child OxyContin if they were suffering chronic pain?

No Excuses: 15 Fitness Apps To Help You Get Your Health On Track

August 18th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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15 Apps To get your health on track

Source: Shutterstock

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be tricky. With work, family, and social lives to juggle, healthy eating and exercise can end up on the back burner. Technology is making it easier than ever to keep your body on fleek. Check out these 15 apps that will help you get your health back on track.

How To Improve Your Emotional Hygiene

August 14th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Young, black woman/girl in college or business professional thinking drinking coffee, Shutterstock


Everyone sets aside time to brush their teeth or put a bandage on a wound. But when’s the last time you spent time maintaining your emotional hygiene? Adopt these emotionally healthy practices and there’s no storm you can’t weather.

“Take Care Of Yourself”: 77-Year-Old Woman Loses 50 Pounds, Gains Independence Thanks To CrossFit

August 12th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Constance Tiller

CBS News

According to analysts from American Sports Data, people 55 years and older are the fastest-growing segment of people joining gyms.

Just take a look at 77-year-old Constance Tillet, who after years of struggling with her health and body, began her CrossFit journey 10 months ago. Prior to trying CrossFit at CrossFit South Brooklyn, Tillet told CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell that her body began  to fail her. In fact, it had been breaking down for almost 30 years. Tillet suffered from diabetes and would inject herself four times a day with insulin. She also had to take 60 pills daily for high blood pressure and arthritis. Besides the heavy intake of medicine, Tillet also had two hip replacements, two knee replacements, and two shoulder surgeries on her rotator cuffs.

But thanks to CrossFit and her hard work, Tillet has lost 50 pounds, and the number of pills she takes to avoid health complications has decreased tremendously.  Besides helping her lose weight and increase her mobility, Tillet said CrossFit has also changed her mentally and spiritually. She shared that the CrossFit South Brooklyn’s staff, including her trainer, gym owner David Osorio, have become family, even attending her late husband’s funeral after he passed in June. While she cites her husband as “her everything,” the support of her gym family has moved Tillet in ways she never imagined.

“They were there with me at his grave site. And they’re still with me. They’ll be with me until I leave here. South Brooklyn CrossFit is my family. My children. And I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”

And it’s their support that keeps Tillet going and pushes her during her workouts each week. She believes senior citizens become too dependent on others as they age, but after taking back her health and happiness, she realizes it’s best to be responsible for your own well-being.

“Get up and do it. Stop with the whining. Stop with ‘Oh, you gotta take care of me.’ Take care of yourself.”


For Now, Only Women Can Save Men

August 12th, 2015 - By Rich
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Over the weekend, I went to a celebration that was partially a reality check that has just set in.

Al and Margo Seabrook simultaneously celebrated 50 years of marriage, a 75th birthday and a 70th birthday all in one fell swoop. It was a glorious affair that took place in Christiana, DE.  While it was glorious, there was a somber undercurrent for me.

I grew up knowing Mr. Seabrook and his family, because he was one of my father’s best friends. We all had a lot of great, funny memories until my father died suddenly in the early 1990’s. At our table was Mrs. Privot, who was the widow of their other best friend, Mr. Privot. He died suddenly a month before my father died. It was a terrible time for the family. They didn’t make it to 50.

Now, we are starting to see it again.

Sean Price, a legendary rapper, father and husband, was laid to rest this week after dying in his sleep from an undiagnosed illness. A friend of mine, Brook Stephenson, died from a heart complications over the weekend like Sean Price. Another rapper, PH, also passed suddenly. He too was a great dude that was a beloved family man. All of them were under 50, easily. All of them were supermen in their own way.

I happen to think that women are the key to men living longer and more fulfilling lives.

We simply don’t innately go to the doctor. We are invincible by nature and then our humanity creeps up on us unannounced. We deal with symptoms and pain. We try diagnosing ourselves. That’s what happened to my Dad. He began having healthy ailments stemming from his job as an industrial arts teacher. And when he was in the hospital, he realized he should have listened to my mother all along.

When I was married, my then-wife saw a weird red mark on me and forced me to go to the doctor. It was nothing. Another instance, I had continued migraines and I was forced to go get some kind of MRI-type treatment to make sure I wasn’t about to have an aneurysm. Eventually, as my will to live increased, I began to go to the doctor regularly. My key to life is my daughter, to be perfectly honest.

In death,  my dad gave me the heads up, though.

Even though I loved him dearly, I knew I was taught a valuable lesson about health and mortality. According to the CDC, the leading cause of death (as of 2013) for all Black men is heart disease with cancer coming in at a close second. Now, to keep it real, ages 15-34 die more readily to homicide, but as soon as we examine beyond that (ages 35 and up), it goes back to health. Now, we know all isn’t right and environmental racism is real, but things are changing. Men are aware. Keenly aware.

My friends and I are training for a marathon. I’ve gotten deeper into veganism, vegetarianism and just eating right. I see many of my comrades living a decidedly “clean” life in general. I am not a fool. I know everybody is not living this way, but I feel the tide is changing quickly in grown men. I still see young dudes playing around with high-powered drugs and reckless lifestyles. Women are going to need to change the standard since they are the rulers of the world. Men do what their wives/partners/lovers say do, being fully transparent.

Mrs. Margo Seabrook doted over her husband Al – we happens to be a chief in Ghana. It was clear that she was his watchtower, warding off danger at every turn. Similarly, he looked out for her, but in different ways, based on what I observed. As business owners in Wilmington, Delaware, they have had a partnership of epic proportions.  I was proud to be there, watching their kids and grands lovingly commemorate their milestone. Truth be told, they are clearly the standard. I am praying that they are not the exceptions for long.

Long live The Seabrooks!

To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate?

August 7th, 2015 - By Rich
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At this moment, the controversy surrounding vaccinations is at it’s high. I can say this justifiably. My husband and I have a five-month-old entirely unvaccinated, healthy daughter. It wasn’t easy to make the final decisions but after immense research, we decided that it’s best if we don’t let her get vaccinated. She also hasn’t received the Vitamin K shot.

It’s up to you to decide what you believe is best for your family; but whichever path you choose, please make an informed decision. A lot of times, people who have never even read the package insert are the one’s who think they’re entitled to have a negative opinion about our decision.

Here’s why we chose not to vaccinate our daughter…

Vaccines Attack The Natural Immune System

Our natural immune system is made of our skin, throat, ears, eyes, saliva, nasal hair, intestines, tonsils, mucous membranes and the brain; all work together and provide whole body immunity. Vaccinating is the act of injecting a disease in order to get immune to it. This theory is flawed in many ways. One, vaccines contain many dangerous chemicals which aren’t associated with the actual virus you’re supposed gain immunity to. Each of the additional chemicals has their own toxic affect on the body. Secondly, natural diseases are acquired orally or via nasal cavity, not through the skin. Vaccines wound the skin by injecting foreign matter with a needle into our blood supply. This evades the skin’s natural immune function; as well as the tonsils, the throats, and so on. Naturally, the body would produce antibodies after being primed by the tonsils that there is an approaching infection. Consequently, an army of white blood cells would be ready to neutralize the acquired infection. In the case of vaccination though, the infection goes straight into the bloodstream. Injection of vaccines through this unnatural way can use up 70% of the immune system’s resources, instead of the typical 3 to 4%. Because the body won’t have extra antibodies ready, it can go into overdrive in an attempt to handle the situation, taking much needed vitamins away from organs and bones in order to produce more antibodies; which in result means that the other vital systems go short on vitamins.

“Herd Immunity” Is A Myth

The herd-immunity concept is based on a faulty assumption that vaccinations offer a life-long resistance to viral infection. An example for the faultiness of this theory is the measles outbreak of 2011 in Quebec, Canada with 95-97% measles vaccination compliance in the period of double vaccination against measles. The question that I ask is that if double vaccination isn’t enough to patch those alleged vaccine failures and ensure “herd immunity”, do we have to look forward to triple or even quadruple? Another accusation made against me before is that I risk the health of other children by exposing them to my unvaccinated child. If vaccinations work the way most believe they do, shouldn’t vaccinated children be protected?

The Ingredient List Is Terrifying

Here is a list including description and use of vaccine ingredients. The most disturbing ingredient on that list is from the Hepatitis A shot. It contains human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue. Yes, you’ve read that right; look it up. Another one of the most debated ingredient of vaccinations is Thimerosal. Most of the vaccines routinely promoted for children in the United States contain it; it has 49.6% mercury by weight. Mercury’s liquid and gas forms are highly poisonous. When inhaled or ingested, Mercury can accumulate in the body, slowly damaging the membranes of important organs like the brain, nervous system, kidneys or liver. It can cause varying effects from eye irritation and vomiting to DNA and chromosomal damage. Shots including mercury are also highest associated with autism.

Dangerous Side Effects

Some of the side effects include injection site reactions like pain, swelling and redness; fever, shivering, fatigue, headaches, sleep disorder, speech disorder, as well as muscle and joint pain. I’ve experienced latter after receiving my final flu shot. My left arm was hurting for months; I could barely even move it. Scientifically unproved but in my opinion and based off of the knowledge that I’ve acquired from extensive research – vaccines can cause autism.

Whether you choose to or not, I encourage you to do your own research. It’s important to know what you’re injecting your children with and how it may harm them. If you’re concerned about day care, school, college etc., there are exemption forms you can file to opt out of the requirement of vaccinations for acceptance.

If you decide against the Vitamin K shot at birth, eat lots of green leafy vegetables while pregnant and/or get liquid chlorophyll; those have a very high natural vitamin k content. I fully trust in nature to heal us and strengthen our immune systems. My husband and I haven’t been sick in over two years; neither has our daughter. Living a vegan lifestyle is extremely beneficial, not only to your health but also to the planet, animals, body, mind and soul.

Working It Out: Stop Telling Me Not To Get Too Skinny

August 7th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Manging Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy. Follow more of her story on

Get Too Skinny Brande Victorian

August 2015 vs November 2014

I originally intended for my next “Working It Out Column” to be fitness focused, but God/the general manager at my gym put something on my heart that I felt compelled to share this Friday morning.

Last night as I was walking out of the gym after my training session one of the receptionists told me she’d seen my “before” pics somewhere on the Internet and congratulated me on my progress. She was handing out new t-shirts to the members and I told her I’d take a medium and make it my goal shirt. (FYI that’s the light blue shirt I’m already wearing in the pic above — go me) Anywho, the general manager who I always chat it up with — and who I truly consider one of my biggest weight loss cheerleaders — joked that I should push the goal to a small. Then he got very serious and said, “I’m going to tell you something important, don’t get too skinny.” I chuckled as I normally do when people talk out the side of their neck and began rubbing my belly like Winnie the Pooh, remarking how “this stomach has to go.” He then proceeded to tell me, “I’m serious,” and went on a bit about how great I look at the size I am now and how thin my face has already gotten, assuring me I don’t need to lose too much more.

The GM might be the first manager in the history of gym employees to encourage someone not to go too hard at their facility, but he’s hardly the first person to warn me not to overdo this weight loss thing. In fact, this go ’round my mom was actually numero uno. She saw a picture of me on Facebook around the time I’d lost about 75 pounds and subtly inquired, “you ought to be close to your goal by now, right?” I told her I still had about another 50 pounds or so to go and she let me know she wasn’t so sure about me weighing 150-160 pounds, warning me, “don’t get too skinny.” I thought to myself, “I’ve got about 60 more pounds to lose before that could even be a conversation,” and I kept it moving.

It’s funny how even when you’re doing something great for yourself people become concerned that you’re doing too much of a good thing. On one hand, I sort of get the idea that since once being morbidly obese was clearly a sign that I had some underlying issues going on, drastically dropping pounds — even through a healthy amount of diet and exercise — could put people close to you on alert that the same issues are there, they’re just manifesting themselves in a different way. But I’m willing to bet the likelier cause for alarm is that people don’t see losing weight and maintaining that weight loss as a lifestyle change. And so when you keep training, and watching what you eat, and your body responds favorably, either by getting smaller or more toned, observers just don’t understand what you’re doing and, even less so, why you’re doing it.

I’m so far from being the s-word that I really can’t stand when people use it in any context related to my weight loss, whether they are telling me “you’re so skinny now!” or warning me “don’t get too skinny now.” I’m pretty sure I have a 0% chance of ever being in anyone’s “skinny” category and if, by the grace of God and my trainer, I should find myself there, I know without a shadow of a doubt I will hardly be “too skinny.” But let’s say I do find myself living the lean life, who exactly am I supposed to not be getting too thin for? It certainly won’t be for my BMI chart, nor my physician’s recommendation, nor my health. What people are really saying when they make these remarks is, it’s hard for me to see you as the same person when you look so different on the outside so, if it’s not too much to ask, can you not change too much more — or better yet, stay the same? Newsflash: It is too much to ask. Second newsflash: That’s not my problem.

When you’ve lost 85 pounds like I have, and are still trying to lose a good deal more, the last thing you want to hear someone say (in so many words) is chill — especially if those same people weren’t telling you to put down the cake, cookies, and ice cream before you became “too fat.” (Though I’m not really here for that.) I’m also not here for the bobblehead remarks because I’ll gladly take looking like one of the ’90s hottest trinkets over being a fairer-skinned version of “Precious.” Weight loss is already a trying process that requires an enormous amount of emotional maturity to balance hating how you currently look with believing one day you can achieve the appearance you want to. The last thing you need on top of that are comments from other people that suggest they, too, are trying to figure out if they like the fat version of you better than the thinner version of you and could ever tolerate a skinny version of you.

The understanding and polite thing to say here might be “people mean well,” but in this case I’m not sure they do. A better explanation is probably “people don’t know any better” and that I can grasp. The complexities of weight loss go far beyond carb counting and calorie expenditures and most people don’t understand how counterproductive comments about one’s end-goal can be to people struggling to love the skin they’re in, no matter how much or how little of it remains. As a general rule of thumb, I’d say unless someone exhibits symptoms of an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, or any other unhealthy weight loss behaviors, keep your subjective opinions about their changing body and what you think — not know — would be best for them to yourself. In the words of Drake, “You wasn’t with them shooting lifting/cycling/running in the gym.” Therefore, if what you’re about to say to someone holding steadfast to the weight loss wagon doesn’t sound anything remarkably like “congratulations!” “good job” or “keep up the good work, keep it to yourself.

From Lupus To Epilepsy: Celebrities With Health Problems Few People Know About

August 5th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Instagram

Image Source: Instagram

Nick Cannon’s recent hospitalization reminded us all that the happy-go-lucky America’s Got Talent host is battling a serious illness. And he’s not alone. These stars have health problems that they’ve been struggling with but also been very quiet about.