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Rich in nutrients like vitamin E, iron, fiber, calcium and magnesium, almonds have actually been discovered to keep cholesterol at healthy levels. Snacking on simply a small amount of almonds can likewise supply you with a simple method to feel full without weight gain. A serving of almonds a day can keep your heart healthy, and could even reduce your threat of establishing heart illness and cancer.

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Ilen Bell is a certified fitness professional and co-founder of Black Fitness Today. His passion for community advocacy, producing relevant stories and providing tools and resources that cater to the underserved African American community remain at the forefront. His credentials include advanced education in exercise science and internet marketing, the fitness industry highly-respected certified strength and conditioning specialist certification, and multiple web fitness series on top websites and He is focused on further building explosive, dynamic and approachable brands to help the African American man and woman feel empowered, valued and identified in the global health and fitness industry.

Celebrity Interviews

Carmelita Jeter Talks Personal Connection To Breast Cancer and Her Fight For a Cure



carmelita jeter, carmelita "the jet" jeter, olympian, fastest woman alive

There’s still no faster woman alive than Carmelita Jeter. We will always remember her amazing achievements on the track as a world record holder with three Olympic medals. You may even remember her signature pink cleats she wore during some of her races. But the story behind them reveals an inspiring journey. In 2012, while training for the Olympic games, Jeter’s aunt — Brenda Washington — lost her battle with breast cancer. However, Jeter found new strength and turned tragedy into triumph. From partnering with NIKE to nonprofits, Jeter has become an outspoken advocate for breast cancer awareness and is dedicated to using her platform to fight for a cure!

In 2012 as you prepped for the London Olympics, your aunt, Brenda Washington, passed from breast cancer. And much like you did, people have to find the strength to pick themselves up, go to work and continue living after tragedy. How were you able to find that strength?

I was able to find the strength to keep going from my family, my coaches and my agent. At the time, I questioned my faith a lot. I just couldn’t understand why God would take her away from me. But I concluded that if my cousin Lachondra (her daughter) was able to be strong, I could not be weaker than her, for her sake.

What’s the best advice you can offer for supporting family members who are battling breast cancer?

The best advice I can give is to stay very close and experience moments with each other, even if it is just a small gathering at a relative’s house where everyone brings a dish. Also, never be afraid to speak about the person that is sick or has passed away. You have to keep their spirit alive.

You’ve partnered with various non-profit organizations to raise breast cancer awareness. Tell us a little bit about some of your partnerships including “The Pink Jet” with PINTRILL.

I partnered with Pintrill who made a Hot Pink Jet and a bracelet made from MyIntent with the words, “Mind over body,” inscribed. I’ve been the ambassador for Susan G. Komen’s Circle of PromiseInitiative that was based on African-American women getting tested more frequently.

In what ways did your aunt’s battle with breast cancer impact you on and off the track?

My aunt Brenda Washington’s battle made a huge impact on the track for me. Nike, my sponsor, made me my very own hot pink signature spikes in her honor. Every time I lined up to compete, I ran for her.

carmelita jeter, carmelita "the jet" jeter, olympian, fastest woman alive

What advice would you give to African-Americans in the fight against breast cancer?

The advice I would give African-Americans would be to not give up, and remember to stay a unit.

What are some tips that you can offer in helping with early detection and decreasing the rate of diagnoses?

My major tip would be to stop thinking African-Americans don’t get breast cancer. Also, stop thinking that you have to be over 45 to get diagnosed with the disease. We need to be more educated on the topic and we need to stop being afraid to go to the doctor. Go to the doctor and get checked up regularly!

Keep up with Jeter’s work in the community and dedication to fighting for a cure!
Instagram: jetg5
Twitter: carmelitajeter
Facebook: carmelitajeter

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Fitness + Health

Koya Webb Talks Practical Holistic Health and How To #GetLovedUp



koya webb, black fitness today

Koya Webb is an internationally recognized holistic health and wellness coach, author, motivational speaker, and professional fitness model who is helping revolutionize raw/vegan cuisine, yoga and the holistic living landscape.

She is a highly regarded expert source and editorial contributor with national media online and with appearances on NBC, CBS, and the Steve Harvey Show. Her holistic health, detox and lifestyle tips have been featured in Essence, Oxygen, Vegan Health and Fitness, Max Sport and Fitness, and Muscle and Performance among others.

We caught up with Koya, who will be leading a workshop at the Natural Hair & Health Summit in Atlanta this weekend, to discover how she is spreading love and inspiring people to live the healthiest life they desire one practical step at time!

What’s your advice for people interested in going vegan?

Koya: I think the first step is eating real foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – and getting away from all the processed, packaged and fast foods. I think that’s a start. Whenever I do a challenge, I try to stress to people it’s about eating real food more than anything else and your connection with your food, rather than being 100% vegan or 100% vegetarian or Paleo or whatever. You could be an unhealthy vegan, an unhealthy vegetarian, an unhealthy whatever label you want to put on it, if you’re not eating real food. I think you do better not eating animals but if you eat vegan donuts all day, that’s not healthy. So I think the most important part that I want to stress is being healthy, eating fruits and vegetables, and moving away from processed and fast foods. I help people realize how you can get all of your proteins, carbohydrates and fats on a vegan, plant-based diet.

Why do you think your clients, fans and followers love your approach to this lifestyle?

Koya: People love how inclusive I am. I’m not judgmental. I make it easy and I make it taste good. I try to let new vegans realize we’re making the world a better place and we’re saving people. I say be gentle because it’s about being inclusive. A lot of people don’t want to sit at the table and be ridiculed about what they’re eating. I lead with love and it’s about embracing people and showing them how vegan food can taste good, and how easy it is to have a smoothie a day, a salad a day and a veggie meal a day. You can still be wholesome and still eat with your family and your friends. I think the best feedback I’ve got from my coaching is that I help people realize like, “Man! This is not really hard. It’s actually easy.”

There are many people in the Black community living in food deserts. How do they overcome that obstacle?

Koya: I definitely addressed this issue in my first book, Foods You Love that Love You Back. It was based on me going to Costco and whatever place I had to, getting all the fresh fruits and veggies that I liked and learning to be creative. How can I make something out of this? And, as creative as we are as a community, I know that we can do it. I encourage people in food deserts in different parts of the world to take what you have and use what you have to make the most of it. And we’re used to that because that’s what we did even back in the day. We took what we had and made the best of that. I know that that is possible and that’s what I teach to people.

When I’m in those communities I go out shopping and go to farmer’s markets, we find local gardens, and if those gardens are not there, we need to build those gardens. So we have to use local farmer’s markets, co-ops, and grocery stores that we have and decide “How can I make a healthy meal? How can I make a salad or a veggie dish out of what we have?” There’s still things like brown rice and lentils that make sustainable dishes that are available pretty much around the world. And so I speak from that place. But I don’t say “Oh yeah. Of course no matter where in the world you are you can have this diet that I’m eating.” It’s possible to have a healthy diet no matter where you are but you have to find what works for you based on where you’re at, and that’s something I specialize in depending on what part of the country a person is in.

koya webb, yoga, #getlovedup

How has yoga transformed your life? 

Koya: I definitely have to say that yoga is my best friend. It connected me to my soul and my soul essence. My hope is through my teaching and through meditation, I can help others connect with their soul because that can help guide you to the right diet – which is what it did for me – to the right lifestyle – which is what it did to me – to my career success – this is what it did for me. So yoga to me was a direct connection to God and my soul. That is what yoga is and all the benefits of detoxing, stretching and toning the body. It yokes you to your soul, your spirit, your essence. Once you feel that you can now start to see it in others. You can get rid of all our differences and everyone’s different personalities and the ways of living, eating and being and you can connect to that soul essence of who they are, that God within and that’s the connection and that’s what I want to deliver as I share yoga. The whole idea of oneness is to let people know that it’s possible and that is, I feel, our purpose on earth – to stay connected and to share this experience growing on a soul level throughout our human experience.

We know you stay extremely busy with traveling and educating, but what’s a typical day like for you?

Koya: There is little routine in my life and I actually yearn for it! I love it and I’m definitely not tired of it; I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. But at the same time, having a base, which I do have in Tennessee but I’m never there, it’s really important. But no matter where I travel or where I go in the world, I try to start my day with meditation, with connecting, because nothing is normal about my life and I live every day of my life open to whatever that day has to bring me. Like if you ask me what I’m going to do today, I have a couple of meetings, a couple more appointments. But then, outside of that, my life could lead me to San Diego. I could end up at the beach. I could end up in the office. I could end up on a plane flying somewhere. I don’t even know.

I like dining out, whether it’s fine dining or a hole in the wall spot that has the best vegan lasagna I’ve ever tasted. I love to eat. I’m a foodie. I’m a vegan foodie. So I try to get that in. I try to drink a lot of water in my day. I try to have a smoothie in the morning, a salad and I try to eat healthy. I love exploring especially when I’m in Cali or Chicago and other places that have an abundance of healthy vegan food. I love to meet a friend or meet a new person in the community. I also try to work out every day. I do my yoga in the morning and I try to run at least a mile a day. So working out, eating great and just connecting with my community in whatever way are the things I try to do on a regular basis. Connect, eat well, exercise, educate. I do that every day and it comes out in different ways. So in the morning, I work out. Middle of the day – especially in LA – between 10 and 3, any errands, meeting, any driving I have to do, it needs to be done between 10 and 3 because my sanity is very important and you’ve heard about traffic in LA. It’s real!

I schedule all my in-person appointments and my phone consultations in the evening. And then outside of that, I might go to the beach before sunset, if I have the evening free – I try to get out in nature at least once a day. I’m working on the Get Loved Up workshop, which is about self-love, oneness, and eco-friendly living. I post daily on my Instagram so I’m always thinking of posts and sponsors and all the things I’m connected with. I have full days and they’re all unique and adventurous and exciting and different and I love living that way right now.

What’s next?

Koya: #GetLovedUp, that’s the name of my workshop and the movement that I’m working on. Just really getting the message of self-love, oneness, and eco-friendly living around the world. That is the movement that I’ve created and that’s the book that I’m working on. I have an eBook that can be found online, and I have a challenge coming up October 10th. It includes oneness, which is connecting to one another, whether it be a hug, a handshake, a smile. It’s some type of connection each day, a connection with nature. And then eco-friendly living is doing something each day that can help our planet. Whether it be one veggie meal a day or picking up trash on the road or taking a shorter shower. Those are the things that we’re going to be processing starting October 10 as part of my “Get Loved Up” challenge.

For more visit or follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

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Fitness + Health

Shed Fat In Less Time With Cardio Accelerations



Many of us wonder about the most efficient way to burn calories and shed fat during our workouts, in less time. We’ve grown accustomed to boring steady state cardio, like walking on the treadmill, or going at a moderate pace on the elliptical for a given period of time. But it is unrealistic for the average person to spend that hours in the gym.

Cardio accelerations are a must when I train my clients. The method is simple. Instead of resting (or procrastinating) in between your lifting routine, some form of aerobic exercise is completed in between every single set. So for example, on shoulder day, I will take a client through lateral raises and then spend 30 seconds to one minute performing an exercise that will get the heart rate pumping –  jumping jacks, jogging in place, or burpees are great options and can be done right in place. Meanwhile, shoulders are fully resting during the accelerations which allow my clients to be ready to lift just as strong for the next set.  Once that heart rate is up our bodies will better produce blood flow and oxygen to our veins, making for better gains.

When you add it all up, those 30 second to one minute accelerations will equal a 20-30 minute cardio session. That means you can finish both your cardio and weight training at one time. It’s multitasking at its finest!

If you haven’t already, check out the video above with my five favorite cardio acceleration exercises: jump squats, mountain climbers, jump rope, box skis, kettlebell swings!

I highly suggest implementing some form of cardio accelerations into workouts. This technique is no joke. It will have you drenched in sweat, but feeling strong and pumped up by the end of your workout. So instead of scrolling through Instagram or chopping it up with your buddies in between rest periods, let’s keep our bodies in constant motion!

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