Black Entrepreneur Spotlight: Tammy Williams, MSW Founder & Owner of Imena Salon

Imena38Tammy Williams, MSW is the Founder & Owner of Imena Salon in East Harlem. Trained in Social Work & Cosmetology Tammy and her staff  provide holistic haircare to their clients. Imena Salon specializes in natural hair but the staff can do a variety of styles for all textures of hair. Other Imena services include eyebrow shaping, make-up, workshops and events.

While studying at Hunter School of Social Work Tammy researched hair, mental health and Black women, the result of this research is the documentary Beautiful which she produced and directed.

Listen to the interview below for Tammy’s words of wisdom on building a business, natural hair, beauty and mental health. For more information visit: http://www.imenainc.com.

“As a business owner you have to have faith.”-Tammy Williams

 

 

 

My A to Z Wholeness Blogging Challenge!

AtoZBloggingChallengeSmallThis month I will be doing a A to Z Wholeness Blogging Challenge! I really enjoyed doing the Poem A Day Challenge this summer and I think doing another challenge would be a great way to get back to posting on a regular basis. The title of this blog is Wholeness4Love because I wanted to focus on all aspects of wholeness: physical health, spiritual well-being, emotional healing, social justice and creative expression. For my blogging challenge my main focus will be wholeness in the area of health. Personally I am on my journey to holistic health and though I am no expert as I learn I want to pass the information on. As we end the year I believe in cleansing, cleaning and purifying so you can enter the New Year cleared, revved- up and ready to go! I invite you to join me on this journey by reading the post and doing an A to Z Challenge of your own!

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I Was Nominated for the “Sunshine Award”

Today I got a sweet surprise when Mahogany over @ Crazy, Fun, Sexy Guide for Women nominated me for the, “Sunshine Award”! Her site provides free words of inspiration, bliss tips and video blogs that help women live a life of joy. Follow her on twitter: @CrazyFunSexy. I really appreciate Mahogany for thinking of me!

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Health Alert: Flax Seeds Just as Harmful as Soy?

I just read a wonderful blog post about a study that shows that Flax is just as harmful as soy, because like soy it can be an estrogen blocker. I really like flax seeds and have been using flax seeds and flax seed oils for years but as a preventative measure  I am going to cut flax out. Even when eating healthy we have to use wisdom. To read the article by Sister Aiya Abrihet visit Black Vegan Love: Flax Seeds Just as Harmful as Soy.

RAW: Days 1-3

So on Wednesday I started a cleanse for Candida (Yeast) because in February I was diagnosed with allergies to yeast, mold, mold producing foods, dried and fermented foods (yes this includes wine and beer):

I found a great ebook called Yeast No Morewhich outlines a plan for healing from Candida but this includes eating raw foods, which I have been considering since I have heard so many positive things about eating this way. On Saturday I stumbled upon Vegan Hood TV which features brothers from East NY who eat healthy and teach others in the community to do the same. See their YouTube episode which features Raw Star a raw soul food restaurant that was originally in Brooklyn but is now in NJ (damn you gentrification!).

So far so good as far as the candida cleanse goes. I have had some cravings and miss meat but I am really trying to heal myself of these allergies, gain more energy and try something new!

Vintage Post:America’s Pervasive Pattern of Race-Based Medical Disparities

this post is an updated version written for The Union Call & God’s Politics, originally published in The Black Commentator this article incorporated the recent healthcare reform developments.

Our country has a long history of underserving and mistreating African-Americans and other marginalized groups. We are seeing this history come to a head in cases such as the 2007 death of a twelve-year-old African-American child, Deamonte Driver of Prince George’s County. Driver died because his mother could not find a Medicaid dentist who would see him for an infected tooth.

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Sadly, Driver’s death is one example of many in which, from its inception, America’s health-care system has treated African-Americans unjustly. Although I am specifically addressing disparities in the health-care system for African-Americans, the issue of health care affects Americans of all races and economic backgrounds. It is my hope that by examining health-care injustice in the African-American community, we can see the need for universal health care for all.

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Vintage Post: Donald Miller Story Contest Entry

As I was updating my blog I saw this post and am reminded to keep pushing on. I have fulfilled some of the goals such as: serving on the College Museum at the MET, graduating from my program, working with a book coach to write my story and I went through 6 months of health coaching,but I still need to run that 5k! I hope this post will encourage you to turn the page and finish writing your story.

“We are changed; we are marked by challenge. Adversity is not an obstacle we need to get around to live our life, its apart of our life. The question is not when you’re going to meet adversity but how you are going to meet it. The human ability to adapt is our greatest asset.” Aimee Mullins ground breaking runner born without shinbones

“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2

As I thought about this contest I could not think of ways in which I would drastically change my story. Though my life has been full of challenges, hurts and disappointments early on I learned the lessons of perseverance, faith, tenacity and service. I don’t necessarily want to write a new story but I do feel like I am coming to the end of chapter one and need to start the second chapter. As I enter the last year of my theology and social work program I stand at a crossroads. I have been pursuing healing so that I am healthy, whole, connected to God and empowered to fulfill my vocational calling. I want to fulfill my calling out of an abundance of love not out of bitterness.

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Black Women and Fibroids; the Silent Epidemic that’s Screaming in our Community Part 3: The Role of Hair and Skincare Products

This blog was first published on Your Black World, written by Onleilove Alston.

Recently, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology linking hair relaxers to fibroids in Black women was released and made its rounds on the internet, shedding light on the role that common habits can play in our health. Many of you may have read reports about the study but if you have not,  here is a summary of the findings: Scientist followed more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997-2009 and found that the high rates of fibroids among black women could be connected to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns from hair relaxers(Blackdoctor.org).

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Health Update: What a week!

Please note this page is still under construction. I am in the process of transferring old post from my previous blog Esther’s Call, thanks for your patience.

So this week has been a roller coaster, today at 6:08am I received a message from my Aunt that my paternal grandmother died. My grandmother had been suffering with cancer for a while and though she put up a good fight she went home to be with the Lord. On one hand I take comfort in the fact that she won’t be in anymore pain but on the other hand I feel sad and frustrated, because my grandmother passed exactly 2-months to the day as my Aunt (her only daughter), at the same hospital and they had the same doctor! This doctor did not catch my Aunt’s cancer until it was stage 4. I know doctors do the best they can and we all have to die one day but on Thursday I watched a documentary Forks over Knives. The way I saw this documentary is because I was home from work (due to being exhausted after being at the hospital late the day before) and I walked into a neighborhood hair salon that also has nutrition and health programs! I asked about a hairtstlye and something told me to ask about the health information (I had passed by for months wondering about the salon with health classes) and I had a great conversation with the hairdresser who just happened to be  graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (the program I just enrolled in!). She is also a spiritual woman and invited me to watch Forks Over Knives and in this documentary the American diet’s connection to cancer was discussed and I realized that the saying is true “we perish for lack of knowledge”. The documentary even addressed the role the FDA plays in promoting a unhealthy diet. From my time working for Healthcare-Now! A single payer health care reform advocacy group I have learned the connection between big business  and our health. As Comedian and Talk Show host Bill Maher stated: “there is no money in healthy or dead people, but in people who are sick”Continue reading

Black Women & Fibroids the Silent Epidemic that’s Screaming in our Community Part 2: Foods that can Cause Fibroids

See Part I -On Your Black World
In this second part of the series we will take a look at the role food may play in causing or aggravating fibroids. Just to review fibroids are smooth muscle cells that may grow in your uterus during childbearing years. Though fibroids are not cancer, they are still tumors and are quite common for African-American women. Many women do not realize they have them and though they can shrink after menopause they can hinder the ability to get pregnant. From What Are Fibroids

Some very common foods may contain substances that may lead to and increase growth of uterine fibroids. According to NutritionMD women who eat more than one serving of red meat a day have a 70% higher chance of developing fibroids. If you have fibroids limiting red meat will help you a great deal. The second culprit are foods and beverages that contain Methylxanthines a.k.a. coffees, teas and caffeinated sodas and chocolate that contains some caffeine. Carbs can also play a role in causing fibroids according to Dr. Christiane Northrup, cookies, breads and cakes, can alter the way that estrogen is metabolized and may increase your risk. Additionally, according to Nutrition MD eating a great deal of refined foods may also influence your weight if you do not get enough exercise because as women gain weight, their risk of fibroids increases.

And though must of us love happy hour alcohol can also play a role in causing fibroids because it is metabolized in the liver and may slow down the metabolism of estrogen, which leads to higher estrogen levels in the body, as noted by Tori Hudson, ND in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Online Magazine. The longer you have been drinking the higher this risk becomes. This may sound like discouraging news, what can you actually eat and will you have to kiss happy hour goodbye? Well the good news is there are healthy alternatives that can also help you deal with current fibroids or better yet prevent them from occurring. More After the Jump