Nourishing Our Whole Selves

Nourishing Our Whole Selves

I am a confident and outgoing person, yet I struggle with chronic anxiety and depression. I often wake up at night overwhelmed with worry and doubt. Towards the end of 2017, my depression was near crippling. I laid awake at night running over lists and scenarios in my head and would rise the following morning exhausted. I was uninspired and became irritable. I wasn’t enjoying motherhood or spending time with friends and family. With a little push from a friend and client, I decided to get help.

Less than six months later, I feel like a new person. With a few daily homeopathic supplements recommended by Miriam Mackey of Likewise Homeopathy, whom I highly recommend for all your physical and existential troubles, I continue to practice mindfulness techniques to keep me grounded and present. From the afternoon of our first visit to the following morning I felt the ominous fog that had been usurping my life begin to lift away. My liveliness was still low from months of sleeplessness but I began to have energy for ideas. I was finally able to think again.

My First Dream, Glitter and Sisterhood
I wanted to put together a contingent for Carnaval San Francisco. But I wanted it to be more than just a weekly rehearsal. I wanted to start finding my people, to create a beautiful community where we can support each other through all of our various struggles. Together in a sea of glitter while we practice our Samba. I want to strengthen our bonds, or as a friend once said “tighten the hoop” in a fun and exciting way.

Nourishing Our Bodies
I’m still a holistic personal trainer and cannot negate the fact that the Carnaval Grand Parade is essentially a marathon. And to be able to maintain the same amount of energy and sparkle Sambaing down the first block until 1.7 miles later, you need to train. This means building up endurance, which entails proper nutrition as well as cardio and strength training. I want to support my dancers to be as explosive at 17th and Harrison as 24th and Harrison. So I consulted the talented and deeply generous Executive Chef, Jefferson Sevilla, of the Town Kitchen, a great social enterprise that I suggest you order your next lunch from, to compose a meal plan that is rich in nutrition and delicious. It is designed to enhance your digestion so you can beam from within as you leap, twirl and blow kisses through the decorated streets of San Francisco…or while taking out the trash.

Our bodies are designed for movement, our muscles and joints allow us to pivot, hinge and glide. I constructed a workout series that focuses on using our bodies in ways that will enhance grace and coordination. It centers on core engagement, flexibility and limb isolation. Thank you and rest in power Katherine Dunham, who gave the world a lexicon for Afro-Caribbean dance.

The Event Horizon
Wow. After weeks immersed in social media ad buying, wholesale fringe and listening to an endless amount of Favella Funk, our first rehearsal happened. And I’m so proud. I’m proud of myself for conquering my anxiety. I’m proud to have so many people in my life who support me. I’m proud of the womyn who came out and are as excited as I am about this journey. I am finding my people and spending time with them is empowering. My soul is nourished and I want to share this feeling with others.

Join us
The parade is still many weeks away and you can still join our sisterhood (and potentially brotherhood). Rehearsals are Monday nights at 7:30 at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda.

I Want You to Dance with Us, Apply for a Scholarship.

Dance with BeadSquad

Dance with BeadSquad

The Bay Area is a magical place that inspires artists and innovators. The temperate climate allows one to explore the its glorious mountains and beaches year round. The diversity of people bringing a variety of ingredients  has lead to a cuisine all of its own. The array of qualities that make the San Francisco Bay Area special, also make it hard to live in.

The cost of living is incredibly high and the pressure to make ends meet can be stressful. I want everyone who is as excited about being in Carnaval San Francisco as I am to be able to participate without an economic burden.

If you are struggling to figure out how to afford our holistic dance training package, you can apply for a scholarship. Carnaval is a meant to be an inclusive event, don’t let money prevent you from joining BeadSquad, we want you to dance with us!

Dance Your Truth in Carnaval San Francisco

Rolling along to Carnaval SF

Rolling along to Caranaval San Francisco

I started dancing in Carnaval San Francisco over 10 years ago, however my family has been participating as dancers and musicians since its inception in 1979. There is so much I love about this celebration of multiculturalism. As a mixed-race person I strongly identify with the African Diaspora story, where Black Africans were stolen from West Africa as slaves and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern regions of the Americas. Here Africans mixed with various indigenous groups to form new cultures and traditions. The fusing of cultures resonates with me on a deep, spiritual level.

I see myself as someone who can fluidly move between cultures while being rooted in their individual histories. Like a mermaid swimming through different seas and oceans but always in the same water. That’s why I wanted to lead my own contingent this year. I want to share my love of dance and movement and inspire other’s to get in touch with their bodies. Dancing is one of the few things that quiets my mind and deepens my connection to the universe. It makes me feel at home in my body and I want to encourage other’s to connect with themselves. Carnaval is more than beads, feathers and glitter, to me, it is a chance to uplift others physically, emotionally and spiritually.

This year we will unmask our inner mermaids and dance our truth. As a group, we will reclaim our identities and our bodies as we dance through the streets of San Francisco.

Be a mermaid, connect with yourself and join #BeadSquad!

Make the Change and Save $20



January came and went. Do you need support making the changes you want to see in your life? Train for Carnaval San Francisco to have fun in a healthy and supportive environment.

This complete package includes

  • weekly rehearsals of choreographed routines
  • online workouts to increase strength and cardio endurance
  • nutrient dense meal plan
  • four 30 minute personal support sessions
  • community, friends and hella fun

Registration is open to reserve your spot. If you sign up before 2/24/18 you can take $20 off your training package with the promo code feathers.

Training starts Monday March 5 at 7:30 pm Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave in Alameda.

Introduce yourself here!

Do You Need to Detox?



No, because your body is naturally detoxing daily. That’s what our kidneys and liver are for. We are constantly exposed to toxins and there are ways to support your body’s natural ability to cleanse itself but you don’t need to do a 24 hour juice cleanse or get a colonic to detox. The truth about the multi-billion dollar detox industry is, that its not worth it.

Lets start with some anatomy and physiology. When we eat food it goes into our stomach to broken down into a slurry which passes through our small intestine. Here is where nutrients and any potential toxins, like pesticides,  are absorbed and passed into our blood stream. Our blood then circulates through our body and is filtered in our kidneys and liver.

Our kidneys and livers are fantastic at being able to tell the difference between minerals we need and toxins we don’t need. However if you have a nutrient deficient diet, it is possible for your body to substitute certain compounds like lead for iron and calcium. If you want to “detox” your kidneys stay well hydrated and eat nutrient rich foods.

The liver also filters out alcohol by breaking it down into acetaldehyde, which damages the liver and is quickly converted into carbon dioxide and water. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can lead to a build up of acetaldehyde, which can lead to liver damage. The best way to “detox” your liver is to drink in moderation.

If you want detox your body eat lots of vegetables and drink lots of water.

Train for Carnaval San Franciso and Dance with #BeadSquad

Why train for a marathon when you can train for Carnaval San Francisco! This is a complete training package to get you ready to dance your heart out through the streets during the  Carnaval San Francisco. This dance training package includes: weekly rehearsals of choreographed routines ($120 value) nutrient dense meal plan with recipes ($200 … Continue reading Train for Carnaval San Franciso and Dance with #BeadSquad

To access this post, you must purchase Carnaval Training Package.

Spreading My Wings



I have not worn a beaded bikini since my pregnancy in 2013 and I am finally ready to hit the  freezing May streets of San Francisco to shake it again. 

Becoming a mom changed me and my life in a variety of ways. It has taken me several years to balance my identities as a mom and as an individual person. I am finally at a point where I feel like I have the capacity to think again about my personal and professional goals and taking the strides necessary to achieve them. Starting with putting together a 30+ person contingent for the 2018 Carnaval San Francisco.

I am so excited to bring people together who love moving and creating a healthy life in a fun and supportive environment.

Join me for a Pre-Turkey Comparsa

Corral your friends, put on some comfy clothes and come dance jog along the lake to some fresh tunes. There will be light choreogrpahy and instructions but all levels of movers are encouraged to come. After we get our blood pumping we’ll sprawl out on the grass for some body weight movements and stretching. We … Continue reading Join me for a Pre-Turkey Comparsa

To access this post, you must purchase Carnaval Training Package.

Its All in the Hips, How Deadlifts Can Benefit your daily life.

Deadlifts can be intimidating because they require good form and technique to get the benefits and prevent injury, which make them a great part of functional fitness. They engage your entire posterior chain (all the muscles that run along your back side from below your neck to your ankles) and when performed correctly you can pick up dead weight from the floor without hurting your back. I apply the same form of a deadlift to my daily activities like picking up my daughter or packages on the front porch.

Square up to whatever your going to pick up, slightly bend your knees, stick your butt out like you are about to sit on a chair, roll your shoulders back, grab your item and then push your hips forward to stand up.

It’s a simple action but can feel a little awkward at first because in our culture we tend to have pronated shoulders and rely on our back to pick things up. Practicing having a flat back and letting our legs do the work can keep our bodies injury free. I love working on exercises that translate into functional fitness.

5 Tips to Living Processed Food Free

5 tips to living processed food free

5 Tips to live processed food free

1.Have a plan

Find time on the weekend to sit down and make a plan for the week. Knowing what your going to be eating in advanced helps you to avoid getting home tired at 6:30 to a hungry family, which often leads to less healthy choices. Write down meal ideas for the week and prepare a grocery shopping list to stock your kitchen with everything you’ll need for the week.

2.Double up recipes 

Making extra is always a good idea. Leftovers are excellent to pack for lunches or reheat the next day. It’s ok to eat the same thing multiple times a week.

3.Your freezer is your friend

Since you’re making double batches anyway, you might as well freeze some to heat up next week. This is also a great way prepare and ration snacks or foods to go like homemade waffles or muffins.

4.Slow cookers are useful

Take advantage of the time you won’t be in the kitchen. You can toss meat and veggies with some spices into the slow cooker for a ready to eat meal when you get home.

5.Get help

All members of a household can contribute to meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Kids can also be in charge of cooking, cleaning or packing lunches. And if you need more help, you can always try a grocery or meal delivery service.