Classy Chronicles – Classy Living Society
Meet Lativah Greene, Founder, CEO, and franchisor of senior care through her company Compassionate Helpers. Through Compassionate Helpers, her vision is to help seniors and disabled individuals around the world receive the best health care services in the comfort of their own homes. Click on the link below and read her feature on the Chronicles Too! – Classy Living Society’s online blog which features people, businesses, and organizations that are doing amazing things in our communities!
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Early on a recent misty Saturday morning, Classy Living Society took to the trails of Kennesaw Mountain in Kennesaw, Georgia for a unity hike to benefit children with MS and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! The hike was amazing and many of the CLS ladies proved themselves to be the weekend warriors they are by hiking to the very top of the mountain. What was even more amazing was the over 200 puzzles collected from our hikers that we will donate for the enjoyment of children ages 4-10.
When it comes to their growing bones and bodies, kids and teens need specialized orthopedic care. Where they are taken for treatment matters, and that’s where Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta comes in. The Orthopedics Program at Children’s Healthcare is the only nationally ranked pediatric program in Georgia and the top program in the Southeast. Parents trust Children’s Healthcare because they know their children will be cared for by one of the country’s leading pediatric orthopedic teams.
Not only did this event benefit the children, it promotes CLS’s Health, Fitness and Nutrition Initiative as we continue to emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle and continuation of personal fitness goals!
Finally, it was also the first event that CLS sisters wore their new T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, “It’s the Volunteering for Me”, and matching buttons. The T-shirts and buttons will be worn at all future CLS events and is a new look for the organization. What’s more, it genuinely embodies the true character and mission of the organization…. It’s the Volunteering for Me! Now, that’s Classy!
Do you have a green thumb? Have you ever been able to grow thriving plants and maintain lush gardens overflowing with fruits and vegetables? Since many of us are not so fortunate to possess this wonderful talent organically, thank goodness for the green fingers of those like Nyajai Ellison of Nyajai Gardens, Classy Living Society’s recent guest for its virtual CLS Talks!
During the session “How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden”, Nyajai offered valuable tips on how to start and maintain a vibrant organic garden of fresh herbs in our own homes! We learned about seeds and self-starters, the proper organic soil to use in our pots, and how to water and feed our gardens to gain optimal growth.
Playing in the dirt with Nyajai was so much fun and so informative! She is an excellent gardening coach! A Black organic grower and plant lover with a strong appreciation for nature, self-care, and peace, she is affectionately known as “The Garden Goddess”. She lives by the mantra, “what you water will grow.”
Time in the house during the pandemic has certainly fueled the “green explosion”, widely increasing an already burgeoning desire to farm, plant gardens and create greenspaces at home. While gardening may have simply been a new hobby for many, it may also be a nod toward our natural way to find methods to remain sustainable, as the pandemic has opened our eyes about the delicacy of our livelihood. The Garden Goddess discovered her love for gardening for this very reason; the scarcity of resources during the pandemic fueled her desire to maintain food security and health. Whatever our reason for doing it, people like Nyajai are helping many of us to be successful at it by empowering others to grow and harvest – especially those within Black communities.
To connect with Nyajai, the Garden Goddess, visit her website, linked below. There, you will find more info on her, and how to purchase her book, “All Spice! Growing Your Own Herbs”, a beginner’s guide to growing herbs on the homepage, and her book on organic vegetable gardening “Fun, Fresh, Green! The Joy of Organic Gardening” on the “About” page.
Nyajai Gardens, The Garden Goddess: http://www.nyajaigardens.com/
Spring is here! Yayyyy! Summer is my favorite season of the year, but spring is a welcome appetizer! I love it when the birds begin harmonizing like SWV and Jodeci, the sun starts planting deeper kisses on our skin, and the Earth ushers in a revival after winter! It’s time for refreshment and renewal and I’m here for it!
Speaking of being here for it…I’m doing a new thing! I’ve been having sessions with an awesome nutritionist and I am learning so many new facts about food! Like many of you, I have gained a few COVID pounds during the pandemic. Now that spring is here, I’m ready to get myself in shape! Woooo, lookahere….the methods I used to lose weight during my 30’s and 40’s don’t garner the same results as I approach 60, or at least not as quickly. The struggle is real!
A few months ago, I signed up for the Weight Watchers three-month promotion. I lost five pounds in the first month, but the program did not work for me. Why? Simply put, I need someone to hold my hand. For me, success in this type of program means in-person weigh-ins and counseling sessions through a customized program, but COVID restrictions ruled that out.
Enlisting the assistance of a nutritionist is just what the doctor ordered (pun intended). I am learning about reading product labels and what to look for, how many servings of fruit and veggies to include in my daily diet, getting assistance with my exercise goals, tips on how to get adequate sleep/rest, etc. During our virtual sessions, she tunes in to my needs and provides advice that suits my lifestyle and what I’m trying to accomplish.
So yeah…at the very least, I must include five (count ‘em five) servings of fruit and veggies, combined. Minimal! Now, if she told me I had to include five cookies in my daily diet, I’m all in! Ha! Five servings of fruit and veggies don’t seem like a lot, but when you barely ingest one or two veggies on a regular day, it’s an adjustment! Luckily, she gave me a daily meal plan template to structure my meals around the required servings of protein, grains, fruits, and veggies.
I’ve got the juice! A few years ago, I juiced regularly, but the practice fell by the wayside so I sold my juicer at a yard sale. I’ve picked it back up again – purchased a new juicer and now I’m on my way! I bought a Hamilton Beach juicer, from Target that’s relatively inexpensive at around $60, and I like it! Click here to view or purchase. The big mouth at the top allows me to insert small fruits without having to cut them up. One of the downsides to juicing is the big mess it makes! To combat that, I put a grocery bag in the pulp receptacle to catch the pulp. It makes cleaning easy – just pop out the bag and throw it in the trash when you’re done! If you desire to keep the pulp for other uses, using a large plastic storage bag in the receptacle instead would give you easy clean-up AND storage!
My first juice endeavor is Morning Glow Detox – a recipe I found online at 3 Healthy Detox Juice Recipes. It’s a sunshiny orange delicious concoction of carrots, oranges, golden beets, ginger, turmeric, and lemon! Try it! I’ve also listed some other great resources for juicing recipes and methods below. Juicing is a great way to conquer your daily required servings of fruit and veggies. To me, juicing doesn’t replace a good ole plate of crispy Brussel sprouts, and I’m not advocating for juicing as a meal replacement, but it is a great enhancement to your diet to include more of the good stuff! And it can curb your appetite! Make several different juices to drink throughout the day. They’re best enjoyed freshly made, but most can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. I make my next-day supply of juices at night before going to bed.
I am so excited about my sessions with my nutritionist and finding new methods of healthy eating – using meal plans, cooking at home, being mindful of how my body reacts to certain foods, the proper use of supplements, creating a sleep plan, etc. As I go along, I will continue to share about my new undertaking of self-care.
As you grow older, your health and wellness plan needs to change; what works yesterday may not work today. I’ve learned that the best way is to have a plan with attainable goals included. Knowledge and mindfulness are power – where you are, where you plan to be, and what you need to do to get there is key. Wellness is a journey, not a destination!
Juicing with Drea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OasOy1cdlUk
Juicing for Clear Skin & Weightloss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxNPGhHkTc4
3 Fresh Juice Recipes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bOlsvr7CUE
I also ordered a book called “The Juicing Bible” (click here to purchase), the crème de la crème of resources on how to use natural foods to cure what ails you. Can’t wait to receive it!
Say her name…
…. is a phrase synonymous with a movement that brings awareness to Black women and girls who are victims of police brutality, abuse and harm. We shouted “Say her Name” about the injustices done to Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and the countless and nameless other Black women who have been fatally shot by police. But we can go one or more further, by shouting “Say Her Name” for another awareness; another cause where Black women suffered inequities that not many people know about. And for sure, not many people, if any, know their names. Until now…
Their names are Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha and they were enslaved Black women. Between 1844 and 1849, these young enslaved women, plus nine other unidentified women and girls were operated on at a slave hospital founded by Dr. J. Marion Sims, who repeatedly operated on them, without permission and without anesthesia, in an effort to discover new and successful ways to perform a medical technique to repair fistulas. Anarcha alone endured over 30 experimental surgeries over a four-year span.
Until recent years, Dr. Sims was touted and celebrated as the “Father of Gynecology”. Indeed, his research made great strides in the field. Yet, we now know, and acknowledge, the horrible truth behind his research and inventions. Today, we present to you Camille Davis-Williams, M.D., who has been asked by the advisory board of the Georgia OBGYN Society to pay homage to the contributions of these women to the gynecology world. Dr. Davis-Williams has written a statement regarding this atrocity, and we are sharing it with you here.
Say her name….
Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha.
Dr. Camille Davis Williams Acknowledgement
I have been selected by the advisory board of the Ga OBGYN Society to join Dr. Anne Patterson in acknowledging the individual and collective contribution of the ‘named’ slave mothers (Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha) to our OBGYN specialty. It is significant that the timing of this acknowledgment on the last day of February, Black History Month, is juxtaposed with the beginning of the month of March, “Women’s History Month”! This timing captures the spirit of the current challenging times as our healthcare system continues to grapple with controlling the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic while addressing the social determinants of health which all too often are undergirded by systemic racism.
Medical history has not heretofore given voice to the voiceless African American enslaved patients who suffered in silence as live clinical and surgical experimental test subjects used to greatly advance medical science. On today, February 28, 2021, we, the Ga. OBGYN Society, pay homage to Betsey, Lucy, and Anarcha et al. for enduring the unimaginable pain and suffering which led to innovations and advancements in surgery and anesthesia that continue to impact women’s health today.
Our knowledge of the voices is embedded in stories passed down through generations and are now being shared with our younger generations who do not accept further historical ‘gloss over’ accounts of unimaginable human sacrifices.
Dr. J. Marion Sims perfected the correction of vesicovaginal fistulae in women who had experienced obstructed labors. These laboring mothers were unable to deliver babies that were too large to fit through the birth canal which caused crush injuries between the bladder and uterus rendering the two organs connected. This anatomic catastrophe renders them completely incontinent of urine. He operated on these three named patients multiple times without anesthesia including operating on Anarcha 30+ times.
I first learned about the three slave mothers and their care as a medical student in the late 70s. During instruction, I was chided to “call their names”! Having been raised in the ‘deep south’, I knew our rules of engagement which included not demeaning the sacrifices of those who experienced unearned suffering by engaging in callous ‘mixed company’ small talk about victims. As explained in a statement by Dr. MLK, I clearly understood that the ‘thingification of a people by 244 years of chattel slavery reduced them to be subliminally depersonalized by their owners and viewed as less than comparably human’.
I, therefore, declined over and over to ‘call their names’. As many of us have evolved in ‘unlearning’ some of the tenents that bind us, I celebrate a word of wisdom regarding the Great Wall of China: “Those who walk the wall should never forget those who built it.” I call their names: Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha and I humbly thank them (et al.) for giving their all.
Camille Davis-Williams, M.D.
Illustration of Dr. J. Marion Sims with Anarcha by Robert Thom. Anarcha was subjected to 30 experimental surgeries.
Pearson Museum, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Gotta Have Sole is a group that gives brand new sneakers to kids who are living in homeless shelters and CLS lent a hand this month. Members created one-of-a-kind cards using markers, stickers, and color pencils with friendly messages and/or purchased and sent a pair of sneakers.
For homeless kids, walking in worn-out shoes, hand-me-downs, or simply shoes that don’t fit is sadly all too common, which can easily make kids feel like they don’t fit in at school. Gotta Have Sole provides homeless kids with brand-new shoes to help them feel confident, comfortable, and special.
Gotta Have Sole: https://www.gottahavesole.org/
Classy Living Society sisters participated in a Color a Smile campaign!
Color a Smile is a nonprofit organization spreading smiles with cheerful drawings. Volunteers print a coloring sheet or two of choice from the organization’s treasure trove of cheerful outlines, color them with their own custom design and mail it in! In turn, Color a Smile distributes the drawings to senior citizens, troops overseas and anyone in need of a smile! We all could use a smile, right? In the past 25 years, they have distributed over 1 million drawings. They accept colorings, as well as original drawings from adults and children. Visit their website at https://colorasmile.org.
A few Classy Living Society members recently got together for a Wednesday evening of wellness coloring hosted by CLS and WIN with Dionne. The ladies tuned in via Zoom and learned how to put together a personal wellness plan, relaxed during guided meditation and enjoyed good music and coloring!
CLS member Dionne Lackey facilitated the session and spoke on the importance of wellness and self-care, and the many benefits of meditation, including reversal of memory loss, reduction of anxiety and depression, improving digestion, focus and concentration and many more health benefits. Dionne also led a guided meditation that was just “what the doctor ordered” and the ladies finished feeling more at ease and rejuvenated! Ahhhh!
Dionne is a Certified Life Solutions Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist and Founder of Wholistic Insight Now (WIN). She is also a Self-Care Advocate, Speaker, Community Servant and Artisan with the mission to heal, educate and empower in the realm of overall self-care.
Feeling super relaxed, the ladies were ready to move on to creating! They colored their own pre-purchased coloring sheets from a coloring book entitled “Exhale: A Self Care Coloring Book – Celebrating Black Women, Brown Women and Good Vibes” created by Latoya Nicole. Latoya is a bestselling author, publisher and social entrepreneur who is creating her own lane with her brand Entrepreneurs Color Too, while bringing diversity to adult coloring books that are aimed to help women relieve stress.
Ahhh…coloring, creating, relaxing and learning with CLS. The evening was enjoyed by all! Many thanks to Dionne Lackey for the marvelous tips to assist the ladies with their wellness and self-care goals!
WIN with Dionne: www.WINwithDionne.com
Latoya Nicole: https://iamlatoyanicole.com.
Who doesn’t want healthy, younger-looking skin? CLS members had the opportunity to learn how to achieve their very own glow-up at home during an exclusive live CLS Talks session presented by esthetician Erica Hague, The BeYouty Therapist!
Erica shared a wealth of information to guide the CLS members on their skincare journey and provided them with tips that can be used every day to achieve great-looking skin. While demonstrating her own personal facial on camera, Erica demonstrated the tools to get the job done the right way! CLS learned the “skinny” on skincare – valuable lessons on cleansing, toning, moisturizing, facial massage, and more!
Erica has her own line of skincare products called BeYouty Therapy Skincare that has been described as amazing and her spa offers unique services that will make you feel fabulous.
CLS is also excited to announce that it will donate a number of skincare products to Wellspring Living for their participants! Now that’s Classy!
For more information on The BeYouty Therapist, and to shop the Boudoir, visit her website: TheBeyoutyTherapist.com.
CLS Talks is an exciting virtual platform through which CLS brings informative insights to support, among other things, women’s physical, relational and financial health. The goal of CLS Talks is to educate the participants of these unique video sessions on important topics related to women’s health.