Category Archives: life

Straight Juicin’ – FAQs

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Soooo…I have recently added solid food back into my diet due to the cost of feeding myself three times a day on produce AND still feeding Mr. Brewton. I have decided to continue keeping it light when I do eat (minimal meat, if any) and LOTS of fruit and veggies. I am maintaining my juices for dinner and some breakfasts.

I initially chose to do a full juice fast, cutting out all solid foods, in an attempt to give my digestive tract a rest and to take the time to pay attention to my body and take note of how different foods effected my body. For example, I am the type of person who suffers from sinus issues year round. Every. Single. Morning. I’m hacking up phlegm and fighting post nasal drip for the first two hours of my day. On the fifth morning of my  juice fast, I noticed that there was no phlegm in my head or chest. Even after getting out of the shower, when everything really gets to moving, I experienced no drainage whatsoever.

Now that I’ve began adding meat and other foods back to my diet, I’ve found that I’m back in the throngs of my sinus struggle. Now, to just take note of what exactly is causing the problem (I haven’t had any dairy or soy so, that’s not it although I know that dairy products are a leading culprit in such reactions).

Moving on…

I had taken a video answering all the questions I’ve been receiving about my juicing experience but, my technology life is a struggle so…

Here you go! Feel free to post more questions here in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer them or find you the answers you need!

Why juice? Why not just eat the vegetables/fruit?
Think of all the nutrients you’d get eating three pounds of fruit and vegetables. You can’t imagine eating that much green stuff in one sitting, right? (I know I couldn’t) Now, imagine getting those same nutrients by drinking 16-24 ounces of juice created from the same three pounds of produce! It WORKS!

Are you hungry or tired while you juice?
Not at all! I was amazingly energetic and was never hungry! I would generally have 16-32oz of juice in the mornings, 16oz for lunch and another 16oz as a snack in the late afternoon and maybe 16oz for dinner. Normally by the time I got home in the evenings, I wasn’t hungry!

In addition to the juice, I would drink hot Yogi’s Ginger or Healthy Fasting Tea. I also keep a 20oz bottle with me for consuming water regularly. I maintained a tally of how many bottles I drank throughout the day drinking no less than six 20oz bottles (1 gallon).

Can you workout while you’re doing a juice fast?
You can workout while juicing but be certain you’re listening to your body (especially women during your cycles). ***Remember***DRINK PLENTY OF WATER***

What type of juicer do you use? 
I use the Breville Fountain Compact. It’s 700watts and although it’s not the “best” juicer out there, it’s a great tool for people who are just starting out juicing. It’s relatively easy on the pockets, sturdy and it gets the job done without *too much* waste!

I don’t have time to juice. Cleaning up is so time consuming. 
Tell yourself what you want. 🙂 The truth is, we make time for the things we want to make time for. I also chose this type of fast to exercise greater discipline when it came to actually taking the time to prepare each “meal” and clean up. This meant getting up a little earlier in the morning and/or staying up a little late at night.
I found that it took me all of 3-6 minutes to clean up after I finished juicing. Juicing itself takes another 5-10 minutes depending on how much I’m juicing.
During the weeks that I knew I had a full schedule, I was able to juice enough 16oz Mason jars to last me for two days. From what I’ve read, you do not want to keep your fresh juice longer than 48 hours as to not waste any. Even in tightly sealed Mason Jars (available anywhere from Walmart to Target and even Big Lots) shouldn’t hold juice for longer than 48 hours.

What if I’m not ready to do a total juice fast?
No problemo! Maybe “detoxing” or fasting isn’t for you right now. That’s just fine. The key is that you begin to include more nutrients in your daily dietary intake. So, instead of eating a late dinner when you get home from a long day, replace that meal with some fresh juice! Or instead of a soda, tea or processed juice with a meal, replace it with fresh juice!!!
The idea is that you replace “bad” food with good food. You’ll eventually find that you won’t even crave the same foods/drinks after juicing for a week or so! (I promise!) 

How do I get started?
1) Purchase a juicer. The one I mentioned above is only $99 and you may be able to find it on Amazon or Ebay for even less. If you’re unable to purchase a a juicer, perhaps start with a blender and go from there. The consistency will be different (of course) and hard to swallow (pun intended) but you’re still on the right track. 
2) Dive into information from people who have experience in juicing! I follow @straightjuicin on Twitter and FB. They are always doing “challenges” and giving tips for better juicing! 
Check out the following documentaries (available on Netflix) for more insight and actual medical expertise! *whispers* Start with ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ which gives a first hand account of someone who changed their entire life through juicing!

Juicing (and eating healthy) is too expensive!
Consider this: In one week I spent about $90 on only fresh produce. Is eating healthy expensive? It can be. But think of all the other things we spend our money on frivolously. Also, I’ve had to consider, do I want to spend more money now on healthier foods or later on the cost of healthcare. For our own sake  we MUST start thinking long-term! 

It’s nothing for us to spend $35 on pizzas and sodas for a night or $70+ for dinner for two on any given night. This $70 of produce will last me for at least the next week. It’s really all about prioritizing. Eat to live! Don’t live to eat! 😉


What are some of your favorite recipes?
OOOOKAY! This is the good stuff!  Check out these FREE eBooks from Breville!

+Ras Idric Durden put me on to:

  • sweet potato juice
  • (Fuji) apples
  • Ginger 
    • THIS is my go-to when I’m suffering from a sweet tooth! It’s so rich and wonderful…YUM! He actually adds pineapple as well but I have yet to do so.
Post workout:
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Lime
Citrus Blend:
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Lime
Beet Treat (Yes, I named it! Lol)
  • 1 Beet (I don’t measure much of anything. Even when I cook, but I can tell you that you won’t want more than one beet. Ha! Quite a strong, earthy taste.)
  • Carrots
  • Fuji apple
  • Ginger (If I’m feeling fancy)
Hydrating Juice:
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Granny Smith
  • Kale (or spinach…or chard…any green will do! *wink*)
I think that’s it! For now!

HAPPY JUICING!
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Dramas: Loving Me & The Things I Hate About Me

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I hate that I’m the one to always reach out…

…that I seem to love harder than ppl seem 2 love me…
…that my heart is as big and as open as it is…and that I can’t help but show it…
…that I cry over the sunrise and Kleenex commercials…
…that I am either hot or cold…
…that there is no gray area…
…that I am so expressive…
…that I oftentimes want more for others than they want for themselves…
…that I find it easier to encourage/support others more than I encourage/support myself…
…that I…
…that I still struggle with loving the things I hate about myself.
But because I realize Who created me, I am learning to love me, and all of the things I hate about me…
…because all of these things, are what make me me.
I understand that my heart is open in a world so easily closed off to the warmth of a full heart…

…that people may not know how to love…
…that maybe I can show them how…
…that God gave me arms for reaching…especially for those who pull away…
…that it’s my responsibility to teach people how to love me…
…that sometimes, people want more for me than I want for myself…
…that people know they can count on me for encouragement and support…
…I am learning to love me…in spite of me.

To love me just as God created me to be.

Dining with Bevy: Life with Vision feat. Bevy Smith

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Note: Some prefer the book and others prefer the movie. At BE{AM} INSPIRED, I provide both to meet you where you are! Readers and viewers alike, enjoy!

I’m a believer in the idea that nothing happens by chance. As we walk according to a pre-destined purpose, opportunities are presented to us and from there, it’s our responsibility to either take hold of such possibilities or pass them by. 

I too have been guilty of “missing the boat”, failing to walk through open doors due to a variety of made up inadequacies, lack of funding and unfortunately, blatant lack of preparation.

But here I am. Proud to finally be at a point in my life when, not only am I confident in who God has created me to be, but I am prepared to walk according to the vision that He placed in me so long ago.

This past weekend I was invited to attend ‘Dining with Bevy: Life with Purpose’, an exclusive brunch hosted by Bevy Smith – socialista, fashionista and SO much more! Beyond her work as a host for top music/fashion industry red carpet events, Auntie Bevy, as she is affectionately called in her Twitter world, is a woman dedicated to inspiring others to believe in themselves and the power that lies within waiting to be activated to in turn, inspire the world!

 Upon entering the ‘mocktail’ reception at Bernardin’s Fine Dining in Charlotte, Bevy puts her eyes on you, making you feel as if you’re the most important person in the room! Immediately excusing herself from conversations at hand, she takes the time to greet every individual as they walk to the door while effortlessly engaging others in conversation in between the arrival of her hand-selected guests.


After being ushered into the beautiful main dining room at Bernardin’s, the brunch is called to order by Bevy’s own lovely hands, elegantly tapping an empty wine glass holding a small tea candle; nice touch Bernardin’s! *wink*

Having gathered everyone’s attention, she begins by assuring us that, “everyone here is qualified…” 

Throughout the process of growing towards my destiny, I’ve learned this truth over and over again as God convinced me about two years ago that wherever He sends me – be it amongst celebrities, pastors, politicians, those with multiple degrees, whatever the case – He has qualified me to be wherever He sends me.

WARNING: “People will often give you the side eye (as if you don’t belong here) but don’t let that deter you.” – Bevy Smith

Too many people go through life thinking that because they’re from Smalltown, USA or because they have no higher education or come from a less than well-to-do family, that the visions, dreams and aspirations within them aren’t worthy of pursuing. 

Again, Bevy encouraged everyone to believe that “You don’t have to “get” somewhere to do something…” Reminding us that there are plenty of people who were born and raised in big cities, or who have families that provide them with every opportunity to succeed, who lack ambition and motivation. Where you’re from has no warrant once you finally get sight of where you’re going.  


I tell my friends/followers in my social media world to ‘Always #ChoosePeace’! Peace of mind can’t be but, but is a choice that we make every day of our lives. Bevy made a decision to always seek ‘tranquility, serenity and clarity’ and has found that while seeking these things, she is able to sort through the noise,  mess and naysayers when it comes to business, love and life and general. 


If we would seek the intangible, we’d be that much more prepared to receive our tangible desires when they come along. Bevy reiterated many of the lessons I have learned in life and try to instill in my viewers/readers.

A few more of my favorite Bevy quotes from the day:

The Incomparable Bevy Smith and I

“Everything we do should be reciprocal.” The laws of sowing and reaping do apply, whether you’re consciously sowing or not. This is why it is imperative that we be mindful of where we sow our seeds!


“I actually achieved my goals in TV and as a writer. I was broke but fulfilled. I was still successful because I was doing what I set out to do.”


“There is equity in relationships! It’s time to start cashing in on the equity that is in the relationships you’ve been building!”


I am grateful for the lessons learned from Bevy sharing her life and journey with us. I am also grateful for the opportunity to meet so many fabulous people who are looking to stand on ambition and  take the opportunities afforded them! 


On ambition, Bevy reminded us, “when you’re given an opportunity, assess it, but don’t be afraid to take it!” Determine that fear and uncertainty will no longer hold you back from your purpose and vision!


CJ South aka @creativejenius
Sasha aka @naturalhighco of The Natural High Blog



Spirit vs. Stars – What Rules You?

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Hi…my name is Nina, and I’m a Cancer. In this truth, I recognize that I am an emotional, sensitive, energetic, loving, nurturing being who has been known to hide in a hard shell (often a shell of sarcasm) when trouble arises instead of dealing with my emotions.  I’m that sister who seems to have it together and be strong when really, I’m the type to cry over anything and my feelings, get hurt easily. 

“Cancer motto could be, “A good defense is the best offense.” Like a Crab in its cave, your attack can consist of baiting your opponent into your territory. What appears to be a retreat to others can be your best aggressive tactic. As you feel your way through life, building your security by developing your home and family relationships, remember that unexpressed anger can turn into resentment and depression, so find someone you can trust and share your feelings.”

Your Biggest Strength: Your ability to nurture others
Your Potential Weakness: Fear of the past repeating in the future
Hi…my name is Nina and I’m a follower of Christ and am filled with His Spirit.  Because of THIStruth, I am learning that I must make a CONSCIOUS effort to walk according to the Spirit, NOT the stars.

Even when dealing with the most painful feelings, I am learning to walk in love, patience, kindness…to suffer long…to practice self-control (to include emotional responsibility). This is not always easy considering I’ve always been encouraged to express myself. In my adult life, I still find myself seeking a balance between the best and the worst parts of me. This is when walking according to the Spirit is evermore important.
Math bears truth – Two plus two does indeed equal four.

Science bears truth – Gravity is REAL.

The moon circles the earth. Its pull raises the tide. Its cycle works within women of a certain age.

This is truth.

Astrology bears truth. The stars continuously align while time as we know it continues on and with those alignments, energies from outside of us play a part in being who God created us to be.

The difference between Nina who is a Cancer and Nina who is a child of God is the Truth that I CHOOSE to live according to. No horoscope is going to tell me how my day is going to go when I live according to plan greater than what our natural mind can comprehend. 

Just because my mind doesn’t fully understand the equations that make up mathematics, doesn’t make their outcome any less TRUE.

Knowing that my life does indeed align with the stars within Cancer, I also know that my emotions cycle with the moon and that they ebb and flow as the water. In knowing this truth I also know that I must make a concerted effort to not allow the stars to rule me but to always be ruled by the Spirit.

Let us not make excuses for our emotional irresponsibility.  Just as people use the Word to justify their behaviors and ideals, women have been known to use PMS to act like the devil once a month and people use the zodiac to their advantage…or the disadvantage of others.

*puts on churchy voice* Choose ye this day…what will you allow to rule you?

Preparing the Way -"Dramas of a Bald Head Queen"-2011

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Just start writing Nina…type something…laskfja;slkfjaosdifjaosdifjw…So this is how books are started? Vision. Focus…lose focus. Vision. *listens closely* Lord, I can’t do this. Vision. Focus. *pulls hair out* “Lord, not my will but thy will be done…”

What is a preface anyway? I mean, does anyone really read them? I’ve read the prefaces in many a book and somewhere after the fourth page or so, I just fast forward to “Chapter One”. I guess “Disclaimer” would be the equivalent to a preface on forms signed prior to a procedure or, on the label of a product: “Notice to Consumer”. This is my chance to let you, the reader, know that at times, I may ramble. That although I’ve been given a vision for this book, there may be times that I seem unsure or perhaps I’ll seem to teeter over how much of me I’m ready to give. And there’s a lot to give… Also, I have a tendency to write like I speak and now, with the IM and text messaging revolution, I may write like I communicate with my “friends” on Myspace or on the boards of Okayplayer.com (Shouts to ?love and all OKPs). I will have this work edited of course, for the obvious, but I want you to get all of me so there may be a chapter or two where it sounds more like a blog than a best-selling debut. *winks* Literary/English scholars may cringe. Take a deep breath. Let me hold your hand. Now keep reading!!!! Ha! Good…my overuse of ellipses is intentional… Most of my thoughts are in fact incomplete.

It is my hope that through “Drama”, I am able to show you just what God has been doing with me these past 28 years. It’s been quite a time and there have been many people involved in the creation of this woman whose words may or may not make a difference in your life. I pray that these words do in fact make a difference. I pray that through my mishaps, ill decisions, triumphs, disobedience, pains, pleasure and joys, you are able to take from my life something to make yours a little easier. I realized at a young age that I was in a cycle that had to be broken. I realized that, somewhere in high school I believe, I was already making life harder than it had to be. I recall being a child that was always willing to take advice from upperclassmen, my parents, teachers, whomever. I wanted to get as much from others experiences as possible…

Protege’ 4:12 Feb 8-9, 2008

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Hampton University’s Student Christian Association is hosting a youth conference called Protege’ 4:12. It is based off of one of my FAVORITE scriptures 1 Timothy 4:12…below is a blog (long but good) that I actually wrote a couple years ago…but I wanted to revisit what 1 Timothy 4:12 means to me…

I remember in 2nd grade, we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. When the turn got to me…with my NAPPY hair, tattered clothes and snaggle teefs, I declared loud and proud, “A model” and went on to support my ideas. I thought I was pretty…I longed to grace the covers of fashion magazines and represent for lil’ girls like me! THE CLASS LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGHED. The whole class…And the teacher just played it off like…”that’s great Nina” and moved right along…

As years past, I grew thicker ’round the thigh area, my hair went through transformations from jheri curls to press ‘n curls to no curl at all and I continued to grow into the woman that I am today…all the while, the dream of becoming a model was still there but as I got older, it began to dwindle. Most models got their start around age 13/14 and there was no America’s Next Top Model to make the dream of a lil’ girl from Kansas come true. As I studied about various supermodels I discovered that many fell into a life of drugs (Hey Kate!!!), alcohol and self hate because of the pressure to maintain unrealistic standards of beauty. By then, I was about 17/18 and figured my boat had sailed…but my dream of working with models was still somewhere within me.

At age 26, I find that my father’s eyes, my mother’s smile (and somebody’s thighs) could still go a long way. I am considered “over-aged” within the fashion industry but I feel as if there are a lot of people that my life can influence if given the opportunity. I would use modeling as a platform to encourage others to live better lives BEGINNING with self love…

Today’s scripture was given to me as homework by my god-mother whom I am also named after. After meeting her for the first time in my adult life, I shared with this White lady from Kentucky some pics of me and she complimented my style and asked if I knew what attributes a real model should exhibit according to God’s word. I didn’t…but after some reading I’ve seen that by simply being in the will of God, I am on the right track. It is my goal to naturally allow my ENTIRE life to be an example for EVERY person that is exposed to my life, directly or indirectly. Within the ministry, I am an exception because of my youth in the physical and also my newness in the Body. In the fashion industry I would be an exception because of my additional years. Paul’s words to Timothy regarding his place within the ministry rang true to me. 1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

In SPEECH: The way I speak as well as the THINGS I say. I am a child of God and the things that come out of my mouth WILL reflect that.

In LIFE: My mere existence WILL be an example to every person that even HEARS about the woman that I was, am and the woman that God is making me to be.

In LOVE: People WILL be able to see God in me by the way I allow HIS love to shine from me. Be it my relationships with my sisters, brothers or even potential mates, I will be the best lover I can be according to 1 Cor 13.

In FAITH: Faith in God…not even the things he CAN do, but HIM. No faith in myself, my beauty, or my abilities…ALL GOD through Christ!

In PURITY: No drunkenness, debauchery, nor fornication, no laziness…nothing will infest my being so that I cannot be used by God. I won’t allow anything to hinder my growth in this world or in the spiritual realm.

Lord, it is always my prayer that your will be done in my life. I pray today that the persons that read this will come to truly understand what it means to be a model and that they will allow you to use their WHOLE life as an example of a true disciple. I pray that you continue to use me the way you’ve been and Lord…do MORE and I gain more of you! I also pray for your success during Protege 4:12 and pray for everyone involved in the conferenc and in the SCA!!! I love you and I praise you Lord, Amen.