Alaafia and blessed greetings to you, I pray you are well and feeling bright as you read this – I certainly am! I’m still in the ritual mourning period for my birth father, but I am remembering him with love and laughter and I have already dreamt of him, which is quite comforting. In the midst of my bereavement, I have received some exciting news that I know my father would be proud of: I’ve been offered admission to Harvard University’s PhD program in African and African American Studies! I have made the decision to accept the offer, and so of course my Virgo mind is going 10,000 miles an hour thinking about where to live and what courses to take and how September is going to be here before I know it. What a whirlwind!

As I experience these incongruous emotions of excitement and mourning, I feel an intense need to center and cleanse myself. Towards that end, I’m going to join
my parents and their church on their ecumenical Lenten fast and I’m inviting each and every one of YOU to join me! Abstaining from processed foods, sugar, fats and other junky foods is not only good for you but can truly open your mind and spirit in ways you can’t imagine. I participated last year and felt great; I pray that participating this year will be the start of some wonderful new eating habits.

The fast is similar to the Daniel Fast and consists of 40 days of eating only:
• Fruits
• Vegetables
• Whole Grains
• Nuts and Seeds
• Beans
• Healthy Oils (Sesame, Olive, etc.)
• Water
• Caffeine free herbal tea
• Herbs, Spices, vinegar
• 100% Vegetable juices
• 100% Fruit juices (in moderation)
• Fish (if you choose to eat any flesh at all)

Which means completely eliminating:
• All refined and processed foods
• White flour products
• White rice
• Dairy
• Meat and poultry
• Sugar
• Bread
• Fried Foods
• Unhealthy Fats (Fats that are solid at room temperature)
• Any beverages other than those mentioned above (NO “crystal light” or diet sodas)

This list was adapted from the one posted on Gullah/Geechee Nation (Sidebar: Some of my ancestry hails from theGullah/Geechee people, more on that later.)

During the fast, it’s also important to pray, meditate or otherwise center yourself spiritually and mentally at least 3 times a day. It doesn’t have to be anything long, 3 one-minute prayers or short meditations is all it takes. Throwing a little more physical activityin won't hurt either! I hope you’ll decide to join in! Be sure to become a fan of our facebook page or follow us on Twitter for daily inspiration!

Peace, love and light upon your path. May you be like water, always know your direction. Ase!