"Anything we're in denial about, we empower to destroy us."
These gems were just a few out of the many I wasn't quite prepared for Hollywood producer, preacher, and author DeVon Franklin to drop during our interview. And if our conversation is any indication of what his latest book, THE TRUTH ABOUT MEN: What Men and Women Need To Know, has in store, then we're all in for a lot more.
It's nearing peak brunch hours when our conversation kicks off, but instead of indulging in pancakes and eggs, we're both digesting the pitfalls and issues when it comes to the topic of toxic masculinity. The masculinity that uses "boys will be boys" and "men will be men" to excuse and justify problematic behavior and attitudes of men towards women. The masculinity that causes many women to be harassed and harmed at the hands of those who proclaim to love and honor them. It's the type of masculinity the Hollywood Commandments author says is time out for.
"One of the reasons why I wanted to write this book was to redefine what manhood is and what it should be," he says. "And to also address the manhood of the future. For me, it was the question of what do we do about this? How do we fix this problem? It's a massive problem and it's affecting every area of our society. And that's what compelled me to find the answer."
For DeVon, addressing the issue isn't so much about pointing the finger at men in blame and judgment, it's about helping men acknowledge that the issue exists, accept it as a problem, and become devoted to finding and implementing solutions. And the root of it all? An unchecked lust problem. So aptly named "the dog", he tells me that the challenge of trying to train and master lust is a feat that takes explicit awareness and honesty, something he believes that men aren't necessarily socialized or conditioned for. He explains that there's a sense of entitlement that comes along with how manhood is taught, which makes it hard for men to take an honest look at themselves in the mirror. And that's a problem that even he himself wasn't exempt from. Citing the revelation of his own father's infidelity as the catalyst, he reveals that his journey with how he learned to deal with lust came with many brutally honest moments.
"There were times when the mirror was put in my face and I didn't like it. It can be very daunting. But before you or I can make change in our life, it starts with accepting the very thing we wish didn't exist. So when it comes to the area of lust, it's not something that I even wanted to accept. But once I was able to accept it and say, 'This is in me, it's a part of me,' it really laid the foundation for me to begin to deal with it. How do I train it, how do I master it, how do I not let it master me?"
"Once I was able to accept it and say, 'This is in me, it's a part of me,' it really laid the foundation for me to begin to deal with it. How do I train it, how do I master it, how do I not let it master me?"
He continues, "A lot of the problems we go through, as men especially, is because so many of us are unwilling to accept that we aren't everything that we want to be. But it doesn't mean we can't become the man we really want to be. That acceptance piece is critical because it's one thing to acknowledge a problem, but it's another to accept it. Not with a defeated attitude but with an attitude that says I'm ready to do something about it."
And perhaps it's that candidness that draws men and women alike to not only his personal story but the joint love story of him and his wife Meagan Good. After co-authoring The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love in 2015, DeVon and Meagan found themselves at the center of the often-discussed topic of waiting to have sex before marriage. And while that particular practice is just one illustration of the broader concept of delayed gratification, it's something that many people connected with.
DeVon shares that one of the reasons he and Meagan continue to be open about the ins and outs of their relationship is because they want people to keep the faith when it comes to finding love. They want men and women to know that obtaining a healthy love, while at times difficult, is something that's in reach for everyone. They want people to realize that love isn't just a four-letter word. It's a state of existence, a spirited experience, and a steadfast evolution that embraces the heart, mind, and soul.
"What Meagan and I want people to do is not give up on love. We feel compelled to say this is what we did, this is what you can do, and this is how you should do it. Not in a way that comes across as know-it-alls or experts, but just in the way of sharing our lives as authentically as we can so that people will know love is possible. It's a process but it is possible."
Simon & Schuster
"What Meagan and I want people to do is not give up on love. We feel compelled to say this is what we did, this is what you can do, and this is how you should do it."
So what is a person to do should they decide to become serious about the process of finding love in 2019? While that may be a lofty question, DeVon Franklin definitely has a few answers he feels should help. "Look, I'm just one person, I'm not going to sit up here and pretend like I have all the answers because I don't. But what I do have, I want to share."
In no particular order but arguably the most important thing is to have the right mindset in your singleness. Know that there's nothing wrong with being single and you should have confidence and a peace about yourself before you dive headfirst into the dating scene. Next, he advises to never just take someone's word for who they say they are. "Allow the dating situation time so that the person can be revealed. So often you meet someone and within 1-2 months of talking you're ready to go, but you haven't given that situation enough time for them to truly reveal themselves."
With that, he also adds to be careful not to create unrealistic and unspoken expectations. When we do that, it can unnecessarily put pressure on a relationship that was never intended to be there in the first place. He continues, "But when you do have realistic expectations, make sure you communicate that. Go to them and inform them of what you're thinking about and ask: Can I expect this from you? And be prepared for their answer."
Along with that, he vehemently expresses the importance of being patient, as well as enjoying the journey that comes with the day-to-day dealings in a relationship. And as we wrap, he leaves me with one final advisory warning that both men and women alike should be privy to: stay out of the gray area.
What is the gray area, you ask? It's the area where you're unsure of the other person's intentions. It's an area where it's easy to assume, based off certain behaviors, that we may be further along in a dating situation than we really are. It's an area where, in order to side-step, we must be willing and ready to ask direct questions. "The gray area leaves you vulnerable because the other person knows what's going on and you don't," he says. "Ask clear direct questions and let them give you clear, direct answers."
"Don't let anyone keep you in a vague area so that they can manipulate you for their goals. For dating in 2019, it's about clarity and truth."
Amen and amen to that.
For more from DeVon, follow him on Instagram. Also be sure to check out his new book, The Truth About Men: What Men and Women Need To Know slated to release February 5, now available for pre-order.
- Meagan Good: God Told Her Devon Franklin Was The One - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Six Things Women Wished Men Knew In Dating - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- WATCH: DeVon Franklin Breaks Down the Reason Why Men Cheat ›
- DeVon Franklin - I'm starting the New Year with a... ›
- The Truth About Men - DeVon Franklin (Signed Book) ›
- The Wait by DeVon Franklin & Meagan Good | DeVon Franklin ›
- Relationship Advice: 5 rules to help men stay in their lane and avoid ... ›
- What Keeps Women from Waiting? - DeVon Franklin ›
- DeVon Franklin ›
- DeVon Franklin Talks Faith, Dating With Integrity and His Happy ... ›
- Amazon.com: The Truth About Men: What Men and Women Need to ... ›
- Spiritual Success Coach DeVon Franklin Reveals Why Men Cheat ... ›
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by FreshSplash/Getty Images