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Celebrity Interviews

Actress Noree Victoria of the Rickey Smiley Show on Why Her Health is Her Advantage in the Industry



Noree Victore - The Rickey Smiley Show

Actress Noree Victoria is no stranger to the TV screen. In addition to her current role as Simone on The Rickey Smiley Show, she has also played roles on The Game and Single Ladies. But being an entertainer isn’t her only passion. She is an advocate for fitness and health, particularly the health of Black women. Noree’s philosophy is simple – “fitness is a lifestyle, not a choice.” It is just as important to her as showing up to her job and knowing her lines. Black Fitness Today chatted with the multi-talented, intelligent and insightful Noree on just how important health and fitness is to her and why we can all benefit from a healthy body and mind.


Noree Victoria


BFT: You developed a passion for the arts at a young age. What do you love about being an actress?


NV: I absolutely love that every time I walk onto a set, I can pick up right where I left off ‘playing’ as a child. Although film and television are very much a business, and I work very hard within it, I adore that I never have to abandon my imagination. That is so valuable to me as a creative person, and it makes me SO very happy.


BFT: Have you experienced any pressure to adhere to certain standards and look a certain way?


NV: Absolutely. I regularly receive roles with descriptions that specifically ask for “extremely fit” and “lean” actors, or refer to “an amazing body”. When you’re constantly reminded that that’s what productions want, it becomes impossible to ignore your own body image within the context of that. But for me, it’s more motivation than pressure. My own vision of how I’d like to be, along with those not-so-subtle reminders, will make you think twice before you put certain things into your body, or let your regimen slip.


Noree Victoria


BFT: What’s it like being on the cast of the Rickey Smiley Show?


NV: SO much fun! Everyone, from cast, to crew, to our office staff is “in on the joke.” We work hard, and play just as hard. It’s important to work with people you genuinely like AND LOVE when you’re on a set from sun up to sun up.


BFT: Growing up in Baltimore, were healthy habits passed on to you as a young girl or did you learn more as an adult?


NV: Unfortunately, like many metropolitan neighborhoods in America, fast food restaurants, corner stores, and all-fried-everything was the norm. It wasn’t until well after I left home,that I started to put a lot of thought and emphasis into what I actually ate. I honestly thought that as long as I was thin, that I could eat whatever I wanted. It wasn’t until I had a blood sugar scare after college (and luckily it was simply a scare), that I made an effort to eat for quality of life, and not for sensory satisfaction. I still have my guilty pleasures in moderation, but there are things that I used to eat nearly every day, and when I think back on them now, I can’t even call most of those things food.


BFT: How often do you exercise during the week? What are your go-to workouts?


NV: I exercise every day, even if it’s just a 20-30 minute yoga sequence in the morning and a quick march around the house in ankle-weights. But at least 3 times a week; I definitely get a full workout going. I like to switch things up so that neither my mind, nor body, gets bored or comfortable. And the beauty about working out, is that it’s FREE! People tell me all the time that they wish they could get started, but can’t afford a trainer or gym membership. While I’ve had wonderful trainers, have utilized gyms, and currently belong to a great yoga studio, when I get busy, my saving grace is YOUTUBE! I find everything from yoga videos, to Pilates workouts, to ab, glute, and leg workouts – even fun cardio routines. There’s something out there for everybody, you just have to find what suits you and let your motivation come from within. With the technology we have today, and all the fitness apps available, there really is no excuse to not be active in some way.


BFT: What impact has your dedication to healthy living had on friends, family or people you work with?


NV: I know that I’ve turned quite a few people onto yoga and meditation, which feels so good. I’ve also gotten a few people to just start MOVING, even if they don’t go all the way ‘hard’ with it. I’m like, hey, spread the love! My mom also tells me that I inspire her to be better and exercise more. I’m SO passionate about what’s in food, what we feed kids, and especially the health of Black women. 4 out of 5 of us are obese. That’s a CDC stat. A ridiculous stat. I’d like to help change that. I’d like to change our reputation as sedentary group of people.


BFT: How does living a healthy lifestyle affect your career?


NV: On set, the hours are long, and many times, the work is physically demanding. Off set, the hours are hectic, and the work is mentally demanding. If your body and mind aren’t healthy, if your immune system isn’t strong, the entertainment industry can eat you alive. You hear about so many entertainers succumbing to exhaustion, and while over-exertion can’t always be avoided, the impact can be lessened by how you treat yourself overall. I’d like to think that by staying physically strong and fit, I’ve given myself a great advantage in this business– one of the few things in entertainment that I, WE, can absolutely control with no uncertainty.


Noree Victoria


BFT: How do you balance your schedule(s) with maintaining healthy habits?


NV: I consider living a healthy lifestyle just as much a part of my job as showing up and knowing my lines. I schedule and adhere to my workouts as if they’re mandatory meetings, because for me, they are. Sometimes it bugs me a bit when people might view that part of my life as an option, or think that I should be able to stop or postpone what I’m doing for a phone call or an outing. In our society, it’s unfortunate that health is looked upon as something you can always put off until later.


BFT: What are your favorite foods/meals?


NV: I’m a FANATIC for authentic Indian and Mexican cuisine when I’m feeling like a full lunch or dinner — homemade guacamole from fresh avocados, veggie samosas, chicken tikka masala… And while I usually just have a chocolate protein shake for breakfast, I’ll never stop loving the occasional waffle or pancake. I also eat tomatoes like apples, that’s one of my favorite snacks.


BFT: You earned a Master’s degree in Information Technology with a 4.0! Very impressive! Many of us however, know all about the importance of pursuing education, but still may feel a tug in another direction. How important do you think it is to pursue your dreams?


NV: Thank you! And why not do both?! I’m of the firm belief that dreams and education can, and do, go hand in hand. I wouldn’t trade any of my life experiences for the world, because I’m passionate about all of them. The key is passion. If one thing moves the needle for you, GO there. If it’s something else, go THERE. It’s never too late to pursue anything you’re interested in learning about or doing; and changing your mind or focus doesn’t equate to failure. I have a new epiphany every year about something I’d like to learn or pursue. Last year I learned how to surf in surfing school. Next year I’d like to learn fluent French. I simply enjoy the pursuit of knowledge and happiness, and luckily for me, the more diverse my academic and cultural experiences, the more depth and richness I’m able to bring to the characters I get an opportunity to play!


BFT: How can the BFT community find out more about you?


NV: (and I DO speak back, by the way!)

Twitter: @noreevictoria
Instagram: @noree_victoria

Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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Celebrity Interviews

Future NFL Hall-of-Famer Edgerrin James Talks Running 500 Miles in 365 Days



edgerrin james, fitness

No matter what he does, Edgerrin James knows how to lead. During his time in the NFL, James averaged 4.2 yards per carry and is one of the all-time leaders in career rushing yards. Although retired, these days, the future Hall-of-Famer also rushes toward opportunities to give back. A beloved member of the University of Miami community, James contributed the largest-ever donation of any former athlete that has ever attended. He is also the founder of the Edgerrin James Foundation and the Edgerrin James Youth Football Skills Camp.

Black Fitness Today caught up with James to learn about his recent decision to embark on a 500-mile journey this past year, and what set him apart in his training as a professional athlete.

Why did you decide to embark on your 500-mile journey across the country? What has the journey taught you?

I always like to challenge myself. Running is something I’ve always hated doing, so that made it pretty interesting! This experience has really pushed me because there’s no reward at the end of the [500-mile journey] except the fact that I did it and I was consistent. There were many times I didn’t feel like running, but once I agreed to do it, I knew I had to accomplish it.

Tell us more about your partnership with Adidas.

The Adidas partnership was good for many reasons. They provided some nice uniforms for my youth football team from top to bottom. That’s more important than anything — to lace a team of inner-city kids with custom uniforms meant a lot to me and the kids. Another reason is the relationship with the University of Miami; that’s my school and I rep the gear faithfully. So it’s only right I locked in with Adidas. I’m glad the deal worked out and look forward to building on that relationship.

edgerrin james, fitness, black fitness today

You mentioned that you’ve always hated running. Did that have any impact on you while playing football in terms of how you approached your training?

Basketball was my go to sport. It is fun and exciting  and also gets you in shape. I used playing ball as my running to get in shape.

What was your favorite off-season training routine?

I’ve always liked the late-night sessions in the off-season. I would train before going to the club or after leaving the club — sounds unusual but it was the best for me. I didn’t drink and was well-rested before I would go out. My training was always very quiet with no distractions. During the day I would go to the University of Miami and get it in with the younger guys in the hot sun.

In addition to your 500-mile journey, how else do you stay in shape these days?

I always work out three to four times a week. Nothing hard, but I consistently get some type of work in.

What role does nutrition play in your everyday life? What are some of your favorite healthy foods and foods you can’t live without?

I don’t worry too much about what I eat. I just make sure I maintain a certain weight and follow up any heavy eating with a nice workout to make sure I’m back on track.

edgerrin james, black fitness today, edgerring james camp

Via Naples News Daily

Many people know you for your accomplishments on the football field, but many don’t know that you are also passionate about giving back. What are some of your initiatives? Why is philanthropy so important to you?

My purpose is to empower my people and all people that share stories similar to mine. Too many times, you see other cultures having success and wonder why not us. It’s up to us to look out for us and when you see examples, it makes it really real to the younger generation. It also gives them realistic goals to chase without making the excuses. I’m just trying to be an example that’s tried and true without any excuses. Just hard work and determination…

What advice do you have to young men who are looking to follow in your footsteps?

Learn as much as you can and just become a good example for the next generation, understand how this world works, and play the game of life to win!

What is the legacy you want to leave behind?

The legacy I want to leave behind is that I did things the right way and never tried to be anyone else except myself, that I showed people you don’t have to conform or be something you’re not to be successful, and just put in the right work and let everything else work itself out.

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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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Celebrity Interviews

Chef E Dubble On Weight Loss, Career and Making a Healthy Dish on a $10 Budget



Charles Edwin Redway, affectionately known as “E Dubble,” is a top Los Angeles based chef, who at the age of 31, has achieved a long list of accomplishments. From studying at renowned Le Cordon Bleu in London to starting his own catering company and delivering memorable culinary experiences for high-profile clients, when you ask the popular chef about his impressive resume, he humbly replies, “I’m just a chef.”  It’s this outlook that helps Chef E Dubble stay focused, because as he says “no matter how successful you are to other people, there’s always another goal for yourself.” Ambitions of “taking over the world one taste bud at a time,” and “setting the bar high for food,” are only small pieces of the pie. His passion for mentoring youth and volunteering for organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Black Women for Wellness, Halle Berry’s domestic violence intervention program, and feeding 4,000 homeless persons at Jamie Masada’s Laugh Factory in Hollywood remain some of his most proudest moments. Read our interview with Chef E Dubble to not only discover why some of today’s hottest athletes and entertainers call on him when they want the best, but also get tips on healthy eating including a must-try recipe the chef himself!

BFT: You trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London, which is a world-renowned program, so what was that experience like for you?

E Dubble: It was an amazing experience. That was in 2001. I was able to go out there and start my culinary education while I was still in high school. I took a three-week course out there and that kind of got the ball rolling. But just to be able to be in another country and to vibe with a different quality of people and experience all that good food alone was just an amazing experience. Working with the chefs at Le Cordon Bleu and learning new techniques at such a young age, I think I was 17 at the time, is something that I’ll never take for granted. And even as I got older, I don’t think I fully valued it until maybe about five years ago – but at the time you’re just going through the motions, riding through the 13-hour plane ride and it’s just something that you’re living right then at that time. But as you get older you really value and see the importance of that opportunity and just realize that young youth from the inner city usually don’t get those types of opportunities. So, I’m just really blessed and thankful.

BFT: As you mentioned, food has taken you a lot of places and you’ve met and worked with a lot of cool people. So, who were some celebrities that you have cooked for?

E Dubble: It’s funny, I’m glad that you asked me that question because I always have trouble remembering who I cooked for. It’s been so many people, whether it was through a private job or pop-ups that we’ve done in the past. And we’ve had such good support from the people and when I say the people, [I mean] everyday people that support our pop-ups and support the catering company and the private chef service. So, that kind of helped develop the celebrity brand. But just to name a few people, I would say Brandon Jennings was one of my favorite clients; James Harding; I was able to prepare food for Halle Berry, Carmelo and La La Anthony, T-Pain, LisaRaye, Kevin Hart, Drake . . . That’s just a few.

BFT: Do you have any favorites that you’re willing to share?

E Dubble: All my clients are pretty much my favorite. I don’t think I separate that line on who’s who, but if I had to choose, because I know this is what you want [laughs], one of my favorites would definitely be Brandon Jennings because we developed such a real friendship and kind of a brother relationship. He’s always been really supportive. He just stepped out on a limb and had faith in me as a chef. He attended a few of my events. I never let him pay when he came to any of my events, but I told him if he did have a use for a chef to go ahead and send for me. And he was a man of his word. LisaRaye is very supportive. All my clients are great; they’re all great so I hate to select anybody out.

BFT: Now as someone who can essentially cook anything, has this gift for cooking ever become a curse on your waistline?

E Dubble: I think I’ve been my own guinea pig. And what I mean by that is because I’ve had not a really extensive career, but I’m 15 years in what I’ve been doing as a chef. So, I think you go through stages when you’re really excited to eat everything, so that definitely had an effect on my waistline and jean size, but then in furthering my career I also learned discipline. Realizing that in order to have a long career, and let’s just say, a longevity in life, you have to watch what you’re eating. You have to be disciplined even if you are cooking things that the client might request or their crowd pleasures. So, I’ve been through the battle, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I was the heavy chef [now] I’m healthy.

A photo posted by chefedubble (@chefedubble) on

BFT: Now, you mentioned that you lost a lot of weight, so tell us a little bit about your health and fitness journey.

E Dubble: Through cooking for my clients I’ve also been blessed to be able to cook for myself. [Doing] meal plans for some of our athletic clients and our entertainment industry clients you have to do your research on ingredients and what they do for your body and how they break down. [For example], having antioxidants, staying on your berries and your deep dark color fruits and vegetables that give the body the things that it actually needs to reproduce and heal and to keep your body moving. The journey has been hard. But anything you want to do in life, you can do it; you just really have to make up your mind. For myself, once I make up my mind that I want to accomplish something, it’s as good as done.

At one point I remember being I remember being 237 pounds and I got down to about 214 pounds. I was like, “Wow! This is a whole new kind of living experience.” And once you taste that you want to keep that going. But it’s definitely hard, but you do want to keep that going. I remember I used to eat heavy meals and eat late at night and then you go to sleep and then that sits on your stomach and it’s really not good for you. But you have to just have self-control and realize, “All right, I’m going to go out, I’m going to be hungry, so what can I do?” One thing I remember that I used to do was get a bowl of Special K and I hated almond milk but I realized that I had to change certain things that would help my health. So, there are little minor adjustments. If you like certain things, there might be a healthier solution for it and you just have to make it happen.

At the end of the day you just have to make it happen and I know I’ve done that.What I like to tell people is just take it one day at a time. That’s it. A lot of times in anything in life, we start it and when we start it we see the finish line right away and that’s not the reality of things. The reality is, it’s going to be a process and you really just have to take it one day at a time. Instead of having a heavy breakfast, let me have fruit, egg whites and sausage. You don’t have to cut everything out. It’s not realistic to go cold turkey with changing your diet. We can make so many excuses for ourselves, and that’s really where it starts. It starts with us. Inside. Individually. So, I would say, take it one day at a time and just write down things that you want to change.


Head over to the next page as Chef E Dubble takes us shopping and cooks up a healthy meal packed with flavor for under $10. Recipe included!

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