There's more to being a foodie than just knowing a good place to eat whenever someone needs a recommendation. A foodie is a person who has an intense love for and interest in food, seeking out new food experiences whenever the opportunity presents itself. They pay attention to the spices and marrying of flavors, the technique and the skill it takes to make a dish.
Foodies aren't shy about being excited for wine tastings or restaurant openings. They probably know where their favorite food trucks will be on any given day, and they keep up with the latest in health and nutrition, food trends and juice cleanses. Being a foodie can be one's leisure pursuit and another's life philosophy. Either way, it requires people to challenge themselves and discover new things about people, cultures and the world at large — one plate at a time.
If you can relate, this is what we foodies know to be true:
1. Every meal is the most important meal of the day
2. Eating requires you to use all of your senses
3. Reservations are to be taken seriously
4. Yelp is a godsend
5. Always review the menu online before committing
6. Asking the waiter/cashier what their recommendations are is a part of the experience
7. Appetizers are a must
8. Presentation heightens the appetite
9. Natural lighting is everything
10. Food photos are all about angles
11. There's no limit on hashtags under food posts
12. Every bite should be savored
13. Trying new things is never out of the question
14. All the latest food trends must be tried and tested
15. Tumblr and Pinterest are the best places to find recipes
16. There will be multiple trips to the grocery store every week
17. Shopping what's in season (actually) saves you money
18. Farmer's markets are a foodie's favorite pastime
19. State Fairs are more about the food than the rides
20. Food network is a guilty pleasure
21. Food trucks are an even guiltier pleasure
And well, honestly....
What else do all foodies know to be true? Let us know in the comments below!
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Nicolette “Nic” Graves is a food technologist, nutrition consultant and health education specialist with a background in micronutrient deficiency, agricultural development and food security. Her mission is to help fill the disparity gap by helping communities overcome the obstacles of a healthy diet by refining habits and revamping plates, one indulgence at a time. Through her health and wellness platform, niktrition.com, which is dedicated to empowering women through their pursuit of health by defying the status quo, you can get nutrition coaching and several on-demand programs created to help you nourish yourself, get FLEEKy and snatched while thriving on delicious eats and self-love. Read our interview with Blavity Creative Society member Nicolette below:
Blavity: Tell us more about why you started Niktrition.
Nicolette Graves: Well, Niktrition is really just the brain child of my personal evolution.
I came pre-packaged with an infatuation with food. In fact, my nickname growing up was Gutsy Gloria (thanks, Dad) and obviously, the connotation of “gutsy" wasn’t something that sits well even at the age of 8 — even if I was good for putting away seconds and thirds. For the subsequent 12 years, I dieted. (Yes, at 8 I had my own form of diet food i.e.. butter pasta = gotta lay off that tomato sauce). I was “healthy” and read all the seminal works on being skinny at all costs and how to lose your enthusiasm for food in three days… it was le struggle. The craziest part was I was pre-med, I knew the science behind proper nutrition, but per usual I tried to outsmart the system by using trends instead. When it worked I was obsessed and when it didn’t... I was obsessed. Damned either way. It left me tired and in need for something more sustainable. So instead of trying to beat the system, I opted to work with it and haven’t looked back since. As time progressed, I began to realize the only way I could have ever allowed such treatment to my body despite knowing better was my mental state: The perception I had of what my body represents, my relationship with food and my own sense of self worth.
Essentially, Niktrition came out of this compilation of experiences, knowledge gained, questions asked, and a desire to optimize it all for better distribution. It’s really gone through several forms. From just learning the scientific foundation of proper nutrition, to understanding the implications of socioeconomic, geographic, cultural, ethnic and historical factors that play a role in our state of health. Once I got to graduate school and started doing my research on food access and development, everything became amassed and began to spiral into all these thoughts I was having, mixed with me always wanting to help, mixed with me feeling a type of way about the unequal focus on “fixing” foreign developing countries but nothing done for the developing communities right here at home. Plus, I was learning and learning a lot and wanted to keep learning, but knew I had a responsibility to the community.
So I had all this knowledge, all these facts, but facts are facts are facts — how do you apply them? How can you really help yourself if people are just throwing out facts and not showing you skills, tips and tricks that can aid you and your situation? More explicitly, how do we get underserved communities to apply the necessary health practices? When it comes to health, we each have a unique experience/struggle/circumstance which either supports or impedes our status.
B: Why, for you, is self-love intertwined with a healthy lifestyle/nutrition?
NG: Self-love is the foundation to living a fulfilled life overall. When you love yourself, you have accepted who you are for who you are. You are making a conscious effort to make your perception of yourself the definitive guide. This then molds self-esteem and body image, which then in a cyclic nature sets the tone for how you feel about yourself. When you have ownership over you, it’s a feeling that can’t be matched. Right now, the trends on the market aren’t embedded in self-love… it’s this "fix yourself because there is something inherently wrong with who you are right now" mentality. It’s "you cool and all, but you could be better if you did this." It’s "bash people for their preferences or side-eye her cause of her eating habits." It’s "make others feel self-conscious in order to lift ourselves up." In all honesty, I think it takes self-love for you to truly achieve, benefit and feel fulfilled by anything.
What you feed your mind determines your appetite. #StayWoke #ReadingIsFundamental
A photo posted by Nic, Nutritionist/MS 🍍🌿 (@niktrition) on Jun 30, 2016 at 3:27pm PDT
B: Talk about your passion for empowering women through your site and through one-on-one coaching.
NG: Despite having had the right to vote for some-odd 96 years, “equal rights” for women are still pending and women are still pining at the door to sit at the table. We are still seen and treated as objects, and the worst part is we internalize that sh-t. We internalize it and then shape our reality based on standards, rules, and other BS not even set by us. Empowering women, especially young black professionals who have their sh-t together from an achievement standpoint but struggle to tie together the other ends of their lives (such as their state of wellness) is the least I could do.
That incessant grind to the top is ambitious, applause-worthy and poppin'. But as I said, it’s incessant, and in order to shine your brightest, the vessel carrying you needs to have its machinery intact. Black women have been told for forever they can’t have it all. I think our generation is changing that and health shouldn’t be sacrificed or left to the wayside. Your well-being should be just as high a priority as your success, because it ultimately affects it. There are so many barriers standing in our way as far as external factors — health shouldn’t be one of them.
Feed your focus.
A photo posted by Nic, Nutritionist/MS 🍍🌿 (@niktrition) on May 3, 2016 at 4:31pm PDT
B: What are your thoughts on the relationship between mental wellness and nutrition?
NG: They go hand in hand. Literally, nutrition provides the building blocks your body needs to carry out basic functions, such as existing, while your mental determines everything else. In fact, recently there has been a surge in evidence illuminating the importance of nutrition as a factor in mental wellness from a physiological standpoint… literally nutrients and chemicals in our bodies interact to keep us running. Those same interactions can also determine how we feel, our behavior and our capacity to use our brain. Which is major if you think about the impact your mood, behavior and ability to analyze affect your ability to be a productive member of society.
B: There has been a recent wave of black women empowering themselves via healthy living, what are your thoughts on spreading the importance of wellness throughout our communities?
NG: Wellness has been a topic often forced to hang in the balance in the black community and that can be seen by simply flipping through the CDC’s statistics. The health disparity gap is disrespectful at the least. For a very long time, we didn’t have the resources — time, money, knowledge — to care. That landscape is changing. I could say my background in public health made me aware of the importance of community, but really, that’s common sense for us. What my educational background did allow was for me to have full on access to systematic reviews covering the disparity gap and its causes; the systemic issues that impale our ability to truly live well; the power of community education, especially for minority demographics; and the importance of cultural relativism.
That last one is a huge one. Cultural relativism. It’s something I struggled with on my own health journey, and it’s a complaint I hear time and time again… often in the form of “How can I eat better without eating grass” or “I like my food seasoned” and “do I have to drink green juice?” Let’s be real, nobody cares what Becky has to say about nutrition, she’s just not relatable. But when we found out Bey did the 22-day vegan, it started to look interesting. That’s just the way it is. Having people who can identify with our experiences enlightening us can only make us better as individuals and a community. It’s what has been missing.
Working, getting my life, and breathing the freshest air this concrete jungle has to offer. My new favorite space = The Oasis, an on-demand botanical sanctuary. @wohaneillay back at it again 📸.
A photo posted by Nic, Nutritionist/MS 🍍🌿 (@niktrition) on Apr 3, 2016 at 12:36pm PDT
B: What is your favorite part about the work you do?
NG: Seeing other women blow themselves away by being built up.
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After the events this week, how do we engage in conversation and take action against police...
Although Essence Music Festival 2016 has come to a close, an eventful and exciting day three came first. No matter if great music is your thing or you'd rather relax on a boat cruise down the mighty Mississippi river, there was a little something for everyone to wrap up the weekend.
VIP Pon De River Boat Party
Sunday afternoon for the Blavity team meant kicking back on a boat cruise aboard the Creole Queen. The all-white dress code made for some fresh outfit combinations. The buffet, DJ and open bar were the perfect combination to get the party going. The mini getaway allowed us to explore New Orleans in a totally new and exciting way, and we were back at the dock with plenty of time to get ready for the concert Sunday night.
The final concert was lit.
Although the mainstage was rocking, artists such as Dej Loaf, Kehlani, Leon Bridges, BJ The Chicago Kid, Chloe x Halle and more performed their hits at the superlounges. After a Prince tribute, Andra Day opened the mainstage and held everyone's attention with her gripping vocals. On top of her hit "Rise Up," she and her band performed their own spin on Queen's "I Want it All."
Shortly after, Ciara came out full force. She performed a medley of her older singles and some new songs, hitting some killer dance moves along the way.
.@ciara is on FIRE. 🔥 #EssenceFest pic.twitter.com/A09P6cr8Gl
— Essence Magazine (@essencemag) July 4, 2016
Kendrick Lamar was up next, and his ability to get a crowd hype was apparent from the second he took the stage. The overall message of his set was, unsurprisingly, "We gon' be alright."
"Every time I'm in the streets I hear... " @kendricklamar #essencefest pic.twitter.com/hvH2G5lCVV
— ESSENCE Festival (@essencefest) July 4, 2016
The final headliner of the night was the one and only Puff Daddy and the Family. Puff brought out Mase, 112, Faith Evans, French Montana, and Fabolous even made a brief appearance.
Get your hands up! @faithevans #essencefest pic.twitter.com/MtipjjHjrk
— ESSENCE Festival (@essencefest) July 4, 2016
Werk! Werk! Werk! Werk! @iamdiddy@frenchmontana#essencefestpic.twitter.com/5DwupOfjXU
— ESSENCE Festival (@essencefest) July 4, 2016
The group sounded great, and everyone got on their feet when classics such as "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" and "I Need a Girl, Pt. 2" came on.
Essence Music Festival 2016 was everything we could have hoped for and more. Will we see you in New Orleans this time next year?
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Essence Music Festival 2016 is well underway and, as expected, has been filled with good music, great people and can't-miss events. If you aren't in New Orleans or just want to see what the Blavity team has been up to so far, look no further.
Blavity x Sally Beauty Natural Hair and Beauty Bottomless Brunch
After roaming the convention center and getting our lives from Maxwell, Babyface, New Edition and more on Friday, we started our Saturday with an inspiring brunch filled with delicious food and good conversation. Sally Beauty sponsored the event, and Creme of Nature, Tressenoire and Callaloo were generous enough to hook up some gift bags with plenty of samples to try throughout the weekend. And the bottomless mimosas helped make the photo booth pictures even better.
We had so much fun at the #blavityhouse this morning! Thanks ladies for toasting up with us 🍾 @vanlenore #sallysbeautybrunch #essencefest #nola #neworleans
A photo posted by Blavity Lifestyle (@blavitylife) on Jul 2, 2016 at 1:25pm PDT
Celebrity hairstylist and creator of Kimble Beauty, Kim Kimble, also stopped by the event. She provided a variety of products from Kimble Beauty for the gift bags so that everyone could keep their curls fleeky all weekend. We were all grateful for her giving spirit and to spend time with such an influencer in the hair and beauty world.
We had our own Blavity x Sally Beauty Snapchat filter, which made for some beautiful selfies:
The convention center
Every day this weekend is jam-packed with influencers, celebrities, musicians and more. They share advice, perform, and some just mingle with the people.
Empire's very own Bryshere Y. Gray (Hakeem), Serayah McNeill (Tiana), Ta'Rhonda Jones (Porsha) and creator Lee Daniels stopped by. Gray even performed a couple songs as Hakeem (including "Drip Drop"), and many fans of the show were singing and dancing right along with him.
But one of the most exciting speakers of the day was Oprah Winfrey. It was her first ever appearance at the festival, and the crowd to get in spilled out into the halls. The overflow was able to watch her inspiring speech about accomplishing dreams and faith on a big screen in the middle of the convention center.
To wind things down, we listened to some throwback jams at our '90s happy hour. But after a couple hours to relax, the Superdome boasted Charlie Wilson, Jeremih, Estelle, Common and the one and only Mariah Carey.
Overall, day two of Essence Fest brought talented musicians, inspiring speakers and a whole lot of incredible things in-between. We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
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Blavity's creative society sat down with actress Terri J. Vaughn, who made her directorial debut in the new comedy, #DigitalLivesMatter. The film, starring DC Young Fly, is about his journey as an Instagram famous comedian trying to use his internet stardom as his claim to fame. He's on top of the world with more than 3 million followers until he wakes up to find all his followers gone.
"What's most important is having agency for people of color," said Vaughn. The production company of #DigitalLivesMatter, Nina Holiday Entertainment, decided to eliminate all middle men in the filmmaking process to ensure their story was told on their terms.
"We wanted to develop and create something from scratch that was our own."
The innovation of this film doesn't stop at the team's autonomy. In addition to their creative control, the production team will also use a web-based streaming service to distribute the film, an inventive tactic that not only provides an enhanced experience for the viewers, but eliminates the need to ask the permission of film distributors to get content to their fans. "We didn't want to put ourselves in a position where we are reliant on other people," Vaughn said.
When asked about the need for black storytelling and independent filmmaking, Vaughn emphasized "what's most important is having people of color being able to make the decisions ... we have a plethora of stories ... we have stories that are universal but when it's a black person thats creating and directing films, we see barriers to getting projects green lit ... we want to tell truthful stories in our own voice."
Watch the sizzle to the film below and read more about it here.
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Creative Society wants to help you get fresh this summer. I put together this list of black-owned fashion lines you should check out to broaden your horizons. Support these alternative and creative clothing lines by checking out their work below.
1. The Brooklyn Circus, founded by Ouigi Theodore, is a brand inspired by iconic American fashion.
2. Daily Paper is an Amsterdam-based clothing label founded by three friends, Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini. Daily Paper combines inspiration from African prints and contemporary fashion.
3. Belgian pop star Stromae recently dropped Mosaert, an unisex clothing line inspired by prep and African prints.
4. Most known for their Real Friends hat, KnarlyDB and Jazerai Allen-Lord created God Bless the Fresh.
5. Joe Fresh Goods and Vic Loyd created well-known and loved line, DBM.
6. Rahyma is a Toronto-based, African-print-inspired clothing line founded by Rahyma A.
7. Philadelphia Print Works, widely recognized for their 'School of Thought' line, has a beautiful array of conscious tees, hoodies and crewnecks.
8. Nakimuli, founded by Tennille McMillan, is a clothing line that aims to empower women of all shapes and sizes by offering clothing that is affordable, accessible and fashion-forward.
9. Monif Clarke created the line Monif C, a plus size clothing line that is inspired by her Barbadian roots.
10. Rue107, founded by Haitian-born, Marie-Jean Baptiste, aims to give women the opportunity to express themselves authentically.
11. Desiree D’Aguiar combines her love of fashion, art and beachwear by designing the beautiful swimwear line Winifred Taylor.
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By now we've all seen the Buzzfeed video "27 Questions Black People Have For Black People." Everyone had quite a bit to say about it, on Twitter and beyond. But the video above, in collaboration with Black Nerd Problems, addresses what the original video seemed to really show: "Questions White People Want Black People to Ask Black People."
Share this video on Facebook below!
READ NEXT: Black Twitter asks #RealBlackPeopleQuestions after this Buzzfeed video...
Get outside and grind with this park workout!
Bicycle Crunch // Pyramid reps
Leg Lifts // Pyramid reps
Plank Hold // 10 seconds per position
Knee Lifts // Pyramid reps
In and Outs // Pyramid reps
Wipers // Pyramid reps
L-Sit Burnout // To failure
“Pyramid reps” means that for each subsequent set, you are decreasing the number of reps you do by 1, for any specified exercise. For example, in set 1, you would do 10 Leg Lifts, and in set 2, you would do 9, and so on and so forth.
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Get chiseled in your dorm room or at the office!
Ab Rollouts // To failure
Russian Twists // 25 reps
In & Outs // 25 reps
Plank // 1 minute
Chair Knee Tucks // 8 reps per side
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