Listen, I'm a sucker for an epic macaroni and yam combination like anybody else. However, I have to say I'm proud of my fellow African-Americans who have not only taken on the healthy plant-based lifestyle, but have also opened up dope eateries to show others that just because it's vegan, doesn't mean it's not delicious.
You know they had us in mind when they created the vegan version of some of our favorite dishes - it's the best of both worlds. Check out a few Black-owned vegan spots you should definitely check out in your city:
Launched by Chef Babette (Chef B), Stuff I Eat in Inglewood is 100% vegan and 95% organic, i.e. it doesn't get more plant-based than that.
One of their most notable items are their tacos. From the wild rice blend to the tofu, or even a mix for those of us who want to try it all, Stuff I Eat has the vegan taco game on lock. They even feature Taco Tuesdays every week. You'll also want to dabble in other menu items like the organic soul flood platter (yams, macaroni, BBQ tofu, kale greens, black-eyed peas, and more), the Nat Burger, Lava Burrito, and of course a classic vegetable stir fry.
Green Seed Vegan in Houston is another amazing option. And I'm sure it has everything to do with its unique menu choices like pb&p (caramelized plantains with spinach and peanut butter spread), sweet porta (grilled portabella mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and spinach over pesto), and tosh (maple jerk garbanzo tempeh with grilled plantains, spinach and jerk aioli).
If anything, Green Seed Vegan, and its owners, husband and wife Matti Merrill and Rodney Perry, have proven that vegan dishes can actually be fun, flavorful, and soooo delicious. They've had their food truck for years but settled in their Houston brick-and-mortar back in 2012 and have been going strong over since. Fortunately for Houston residents (and anyone who stops through the city), they don't show any signs of slowing down at all.
Baltimore is not sleeping on The Land Of Kush. Owned by Gregory Brown, Naijjha Wright, and Darius Waters, the restaurant has a 4.5 rating with more than 1,000 Google reviews, and the people have spoken: Issa hit. The Land Of Kush was also voted Baltimore City Paper's 2017 Best Restaurant and its award-winning vegan crab cake got a nod in the city's 2015 Top Baltimore Dishes.
Now let's get into this menu. The food is said to be so good, you'll have to do a double-take to make sure it's even vegan, but of course it is. Some of its most popular dishes include BBQ ribs, lentil burgers, candied yams, baked macaroni, spinach lasagna, and vegan drummies. Plus, it's never short of a celebrity sighting like Chloe & Halle and TLC's Chilli.
Plum Bistro – Seattle, WA
Owner Makini Howell definitely had us wannabe-vegans in mind when she launched Plum Bistro on the West Coast. While she's been a vegan all her life, she understands the struggle of sticking with the plant-based diet. This is probably why it's been named Capitol Hill's Most Loved Vegan Restaurant for nearly 10 years.
She's proven that just because it's plant based, doesn't mean you can't get your fill. The menu includes buffalo Portobello burgers, Jamaican wraps, Mama Africa salads, and macho burritos, just to name a few. She even threw in some season vegan desserts like pure vanilla milkshakes, ice cream, golden milk snickerdoodle and avocado lavender ice cream sandwiches, and banana bread. And it's all locally grown. Talk about support!
This mother and son combination is shutting down the vegan game in NYC. Brenda and Aaron Beener have made it clear that what the vegan people want, the vegan people get.
Seasoned Vegan touts some amazing dishes like lemon crusted "chicken" nuggets, pizza quesadillas, and its own classic Po'Boy sandwich. Other favorites for the dinner menu are the smothered "chicken," black pepper "steak," "tuna" melts, and Harlem chopped "cheeseburgers."
The brunch menu includes amazing dishes like fried fermented soy "chicken" drumsticks with pancakes (or even sweet potato pancakes… ayyeee) and Burdock "crawfish" in garlic basil sauce, and, check this out, yam fried "shrimp." It even has a late-night menu and stays open until 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
From its creative buffets to themed meals, Louisville Vegan Kitchen has made it clear you can get full (and do a good food happy dance) while indulging in a plant-based diet.
It doesn't only offer amazing meals and dishes like cauliflower nuggets, stuffed mushrooms, spinach wrap spirals, gumbo, and more, but it provides many ways for you to keep up with your vegan goals through health coaching and personal chef services. It also caters events like work lunches, weddings, and more, to show everyone how doable the vegan lifestyle is.
Vegans in Atlanta (and even people who aren't vegan) already know what's up with Tassili's Raw Reality. Located in the West End district, it's probably one of the top vegan places in the city. It's just a bonus that the owner, Tassili Matt, is black and also doubles as the chef.
It features its raw wraps and salads from the South of the Border. like their chili wraps with black eyed pea hummus, and the Mandingo (a really big wrap with vegan mayonnaise and kale, avocado, tomato, sweet coconut corn, almonds, and more). The Dat Ish wrap is also a popular menu item as well as the Big Yoshi. Who else loves these names though?
Is there a black-owned vegan restaurant where you live? Let us know about it in the comments!
What To Know Before You Go Vegetarian – Read More
I Tried 4 Vegan Natural Hair Products – Read More
15 Vegan Soul Food Dishes That'll Make You Rethink Meat – Read More
How I Transitioned My Meat-Loving Family To A Vegan Diet – Read More
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Charmaine Patterson is a journalist, lifestyle blogger, and a lover of all things pop culture. While she has much experience in covering top entertainment news stories, she aims to share her everyday life experiences, old and new, with other women who can relate, laugh, and love along with her. Follow Char on Twitter @charjpatterson, Instagram @charpatterson, and keep up with her journey at CharJPatterson.com .
This post is in partnership with Amgen.
The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.
Among the many individuals who battle severe asthma, Black women face a unique set of challenges. It's not uncommon for us to go years without a proper diagnosis, and finding the right treatment often requires some trial and error. Thankfully, all hope is not lost for those who may be fighting to get their severe asthma under control. We spoke with Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq. and Jania Watson, two inspiring Black women who have been living with severe asthma and have found strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose in their journeys.
Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq.
Juanita Ingram has a resume that would make anyone’s jaw drop. On top of being recently crowned Mrs. Universe, she’s also an accomplished attorney, filmmaker, and philanthropist. From the outside, it seems there’s nothing this talented woman won’t try, and likely succeed at. In her everyday life, however, Juanita exercises a lot more caution. From a young age, Juanita has struggled with severe asthma. Her symptoms were always exacerbated by common illnesses like a cold or flu. “I've heard these stories of my breathing struggles, but I remember distinctly when I was younger not being able to breathe every time I got a virus,” says Ingram. “I remember missing a lot of school and crying a lot because asthma is painful. I [was taken] to see my doctor often if I got sick with anything so I was hypervigilant as a child, and I still am.”
Today, Juanita says her symptoms are best managed when she’s working closely with her care team, avoiding getting sick and staying ahead of any symptoms. Ingram said she’s been blessed with skilled doctors who are just as vigilant of her symptoms as she is. While competing in the Mrs. Universe competition, Juanita took extra care to stay clear of other competitors to ensure she didn’t catch a cold or virus that would trigger her severe asthma. “I would stand off to the side and sometimes that could be taken as ‘oh, she thinks she's better than everybody else.’ But if I get sick during a pageant, I'm done. I had to compete with that in mind because my sickness doesn't look like everybody else's sickness.”
Even when her symptoms are under control, living with severe asthma still presents challenges. Juanita relies on her strong support system to overcome the hurdles caused by a lack of understanding from the public, “I think that there's a lot of lack of awareness about how serious severe asthma is. I would [also] tell women to advocate and to trust their intuition and not to allow someone to dismiss what you're experiencing.”
Jania, a content creator from Atlanta, Georgia, has been living with severe asthma for many years. Thanks to early testing by asthma specialists, Jania was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child after experiencing frequent flare-ups and challenges in her day-to-day life. “I specifically remember, I was starting school, and we were moving into a new house. One of the triggers for me and my younger sister at the time were certain types of carpets. We had just moved into this new house and within weeks of us being there, my parents literally had to pay for all new carpet in the house.”
As Jania grew older, she was suffering from fewer flare-ups and thought her asthma was well under control. However, a trip back to her doctor during high school revealed that her severe asthma was affecting her more than she realized. “That was the first time in a long time I had to do a breathing test,” she describes. “The doctor had me take a deep breath in and blow into a machine to test my breathing. They told me to blow as hard as I could. And I was doing it. I was giving everything I got. [My dad and the doctor] were looking at me like ‘girl, stop playing.’ And at that point [it confirmed] I still have severe asthma because I've given it all I got. It doesn't really go away, but I just learned how to help manage it better.”
Jania recognizes that people who aren’t living with asthma, may not understand the disease and mistake it for something less serious. Or there could be others who think their symptoms are minor, and not worth bringing up. So, for Jania, communicating with others about her diagnosis is key. “Having severe asthma [flare-ups] in some cases looks very similar to being out of shape,” she said. “But this is a chronic illness that I was born with. This is just something that I live with that I've been dealing with. And I think it's important for people to know because that determines the next steps. [They might ask] ‘Do you need a bottle of water, or do you need an inhaler? Do you need to take a break, or do we need to take you to the hospital?’ So, I think letting the people around you know what's going on, just in case anything were to happen plays a lot into it as well.”
Like Juanita, Jania’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but she remains an unwavering advocate for asthma awareness and support within the Black community. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women with asthma who may not yet have their symptoms under control. “There's still life to be lived outside of having severe asthma. It is always going to be there, but it's not meant to stop you from living your life. That’s why learning how to manage it and also having that support system around you, is so important.”
By sharing their journeys, Juanita and Jania hope to encourage others to embrace their conditions, obtain a proper management plan from a doctor or asthma specialist like a pulmonologist or allergist, and contribute to the improvement of asthma awareness and support, not only within the Black community, but for all individuals living with severe asthma.
Read more stories from others like Juanita and Jania on Amgen.com, or visit Uncontrolled Asthma In Black Women | BREAK THE CYCLE to find support and resources.
Not too long ago, I saw a video of a Black woman who was so speaking my language. She was talking about how it’s interesting that we, as women, will basically show supernatural tolerance when it comes to our female friendships, and yet, when it comes to our men, we won’t let them make even one mistake before deciding that we’re ready to cut them off.
Hmph. Let me tell it, a lot of us will self-sabotage our relationships with guys because we’ve got such a long list of things that we won’t put up with, that we’re pretty much looking for them to “mess up” right out the gate. And gee, that’s super unfortunate because you can’t cultivate any kind of real intimacy with someone that way — not to mention the fact that we aren’t perfect either, which means that they have to extend the same kind of patience with us that we need to be willing to extend to them.
And what does this possibly have to do with the focal point of this article: intuitive intimacy? Well, intimacy is defined as being many things; one of them is a close friendship. And so yes, if you want to experience healthy intimacy with the man in your life (or future man in your life), friendship should be at its foundation. Oh, but intuitive intimacy — something that is going to be a huge dating trend in 2024 — is about so much more than that.
If you’re curious, keep reading.
What Is Intimacy? REALLY?
Being truly intimate with someone goes well beyond sex.
Something that irks me, to no end, is that people who engage in casual sex will sometimes interchange that term with “being intimate” (even I’ve fallen into the trap while writing sometimes because pop culture uses it so much). And why does that get on my almost last nerve? Because, as a writer, an “occupational hazard” that comes with that is being pretty word-literal — and since casual means things like “without serious intention” and “careless” and has synonyms like “apathetic,” “erratic,” “detached,” “unconcerned,” and “purposeless”…how in the world does any of that sound even remotely like real intimacy?
Now, to be fair, aside from friendship, another definition of intimacy is sex; however, it goes well beyond that. Being intimate with someone is about friendship and sex while also experiencing affection with them, experiencing a feeling of warmth when you’re in their presence, interacting with them on a very deeply personal level, being loved and understood by them, and seeing them as a safe space and confidant.
Uh-huh, now do you see why intimacy deserves so much more respect than recreational copulation? Damn straight, it does.
In fact, if you really take all of what I just shared into your being, it’s rare to find someone who you can be truly intimate with, in the full sense of the word — and honestly, I think that’s what intuitive intimacy is going to remind a lot of people of in the upcoming months.
Here’s why I say that…
Okay, So What Exactly Is Intuitive Intimacy?
For intuitive intimacy to make sense, let me first break down what it means to be intuitive. When you’re an intuitive person, it means that you have a strong intuition. And no, I don’t mean that arrogant (and sometimes delusional, if I’m being real) stance that some women take when they say, “My intuition is never wrong.” Listen, I have sat in many (MANY) sessions where a woman had so much ego (and sometimes even bitterness) tied up in her intuition that it backfired on her. How?
Because, when certain questions were asked, and various revelations were revealed, what really was going on was she was moving on projection, which is oftentimes a mere counterfeit of intuition. That’s part of the reason why I’ve written articles for the platform before like “So, Experts Have Something To Say About Your Intuition's Accuracy” and “When You Should Trust Your Gut & When You Shouldn't.” So no, please don’t be out here thinking that just because you “feel something,” your intuition is working at its peak level. There is a whole lot more to being genuinely intuitive than that.
- Being intuitive is about being discerning.
- Being intuitive is about being empathetic towards others (many empaths are intuitive).
- Being intuitive is about being highly observant.
- Being intuitive is about being very spiritual.
- Being intuitive is about being super observant and being able to pick up on things very easily.
Adding to that…
- Kids and pets gravitate to intuitive people.
- Vivid dreams (and prophecies) happen to intuitive people.
- Feeling shifts in energy and subtle changes in environments happen to intuitive people.
- Having profound insights on folks you just met happens to intuitive people.
- Seeking out solutions over causing more problems is a solid trait of intuitive people.
I’m sharing all of this so that y’all can see that no, “I feel like something is happening” is not really what it means to have an authentic intuition or to be truly intuitive. It goes far deeper than that.
So, when you combine intuitiveness with intimacy, you get intuitive intimacy — something that a Bumble survey says is going to be huge in 2024. And while a lot of people define it as simply “emotional intimacy,” as you can see from all of the definitions of both words that I just provided, that doesn’t really even begin to scratch the surface. However, if I were to summarize it, I would probably say that intuitive intimacy is all about being mindful — hella mindful — when it comes to yourself, the person you’re with, and the kind of intimacy you wish to experience with them.
- Your friendship with them needs to have a ton of empathy in it.
- You need to be so observant that the affection you give meets their core needs.
- And brace yourselves — the sex you experience with them should have a spiritual component to it.
Yeah, when it comes to that last one, let’s touch on “intuitive sex” for just a second.
Some Say That Intimacy Is More Important than Sex. However…
I thought it was interesting that when I read different articles on the intuitive intimacy trend, something that pretty much all of them said intuitive intimacy was about emotional intimacy being more important than sex. Personally, I don’t agree. Even when you look at how the Bible speaks on sex in I Corinthians 6:16 (Message), it says “There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much of a spiritual mystery as it is a physical fact.” It’s a reminder that sex was never supposed to just be a recreational or casual act.
So no, I don’t think that intuitive intimacy means that you should downplay physical pleasure or copulation — I think 2024 is going to remind (more) people that sex was always supposed to hold more merit and, perhaps if folks are more proactive and intentional about being truly intimate and fully intuitive in the bedroom, they can experience sex on a richer and more fulfilling level…and that makes me smile. It’s time. It’s past time.
Keeping all of this in mind, if you are currently in a relationship, ask yourself: are the two of you as intimate as you should (or would like) to be? Are you intuitive? Is he intuitive? Does it reflect in all rooms of your house? If the answer to these questions is “no” or “not as much as I would like,” I’ve got a few quick tips that can help to turn all of that around.
3 Tips for Building Intuitive Intimacy in Your Own Relationship
If you want to experience intuitive intimacy, focus on solidifying friendship.
1. Focus on your friendship.
One of my favorite married couples has been together for well over 40 years, and every time I see them, they are together. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them apart, and I’ve known them since I was a child. I teasingly asked them about it one day and the husband said, “Girl, this is my best friend, my hanging buddy right here. Ain’t nobody I’d rather kick it with.” This is precisely why I don’t get folks who think that your spouse shouldn’t be your friend — hell, your best friend.
"Best" means “the highest quality” and “most suitable and desirable.” Why would you want to build with someone who you don’t see that way? Friendships are about fondness, loyalty, and trust (for starters). If you want intuitive intimacy with your man, focus on solidifying the friendship.
2. Become more spiritual.
A few years back, I penned an article for the platform entitled, “What's The Difference Between Being 'Religious' And Being 'Spiritual', Anyway?” For those who are skimming this, your spirit is the essence of life — your life. And so, when it comes to your relationship, you and your partner should be improving each other’s quality of life in ways that you both can easily rattle off if someone asked you about it.
You both should be becoming morally stronger. You both should be feeding each other’s souls. You both should be “going deeper” into knowledge of self as a direct result of the way you influence one another. And yes, this should be transpiring both inside and outside of the bedroom. Is it?
3. Pay attention to one another’s energy fields.
Albert Einstein once said, “Everything is energy, and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” The shorthand of this is “match energies” — only be intuitive when it comes to the kind of results that you want whenever you do it. Energy is big, y’all. If you want to go to another level in your relationship, be cognizant of your energy and pay attention to his, too.
You need to be fueling each other. You need to be making each other more positive. You both should feel more alive in each other’s space. And when it comes to sex, a man is literally going inside of you — how can you let someone who isn’t worthy of that affect YOUR ENERGY FIELD in that way and on that level?
This is the time when you’re gonna be inundated (if not flat-out overwhelmed) by a lot of trends that will be happening in every type of category and industry that you can think of. Yet, if there’s one that you should take seriously and honestly can feel pretty good about, it’s intuitive intimacy.
If you’re in a relationship, strive for it.
If you desire one in 2024, don’t settle for anything less.
Watch how it benefits you — on a billion different levels.
I can just “feel” it. #wink
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