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Tanya Winfield Explains Why She Had To Lose In Order To Win



She was a fan favorite on this past season of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Tanya Winfield, former Chief Operations Officer of the legendary Chicago based Harold’s Chicken, was a successful millionaire businesswoman and entrepreneur, but could not find success in taking care of her health. The mother of three, including one toddler, had developed detrimental eating habits, was experiencing high levels of stress and feared that her life was in jeopardy. She became so determined to transform her health that she auditioned for “The Biggest Loser” and earned a spot on the show. Not only did she receive the opportunity to renew her health, but she also renewed her soul and learned that experiencing abuse as a child also contributed to her obesity. Read or listen to our interview with Tanya as she discusses her life, career, forgiveness and future plans to create healthy soul food eateries around the country!

BFT: So as a successful business executive and entrepreneur we may look at your lifestyle and say that there’s nothing to change, you what else can Tanya possibly do. So why did you feel differently about that?

TW: Well, the biggest thing is because I was dying and it doesn’t matter what your career is or how much money you make, if you’re not healthy none of those things matter. So for me it was about really trying to live longer not just for me but for my children and to have a better quality of life. That was the biggest thing.

BFT: As a former COO at Harold’s Chicken Shack how did that role as demanding as it was contribute to the challenges you faced in terms of your eating habits?

TW: Well the biggest thing was of course I was in the stores often and so I was around the food and one of my responsibilities really was to make sure the quality control component was where it needed to be within the company. So quality control meant tasting the product but for me it was more than just tasting the product, I was eating the product. [laugh]

So it really was a matter of you know if you have a food addiction and you work in a restaurant you’re going to have some major problems and at the time I didn’t realize I had a food addiction, I was just eating, I was just living my life, everybody has to eat, you have to eat everyday but for me it was excessive and so having that food addiction and being around that type of environment all day, every day definitely was a challenge for me. Now that I look back on it, it was definitely a challenge. I use to see it as a convenience, you know I’m hungry hey I’m in one of my stores I can eat but it definitely was a challenge and it was one of my downfalls, if you will because it wasn’t something that was conducive to where I was mentally and emotionally at that stage.

Yes, so it definitely was a challenge for me and I had to kind of break away from the activities of all that to get myself right and to be able to balance it mentally, emotionally, and physically going forward.

BFT: So many people love Harold’s, even President Obama have raved about the restaurant but is it true that you’re adding or that Harold is adding new healthier menu items?

TW: Well I can’t say that, Harold’s is but as a licensed owner of Harold’s, I am…that is my pledge.

We’re in the community and we’ve been in the communities for the last 60 years and how dare I change my lifestyle and not try to share that with the community and so that is a passion of mine. So every store that I own will definitely always have grilled chicken, salads, as well as wraps, and that’s all under my Livin Soul brand which is my new brand that I created.

So that’s what I’m going to do in every store, every Harold’s Chicken Shack that I own and that I open.

It’s important that we give people options. That’s the biggest thing, I’m not going to force it down their throats, I’m not going to do any of that but I am going to give them an option and what’s working for me. I’m a serious entrepreneur, I spend a lot of time in any business that I own and so it’s also for myself, I want to make sure when I’m in any of my restaurants I have healthy options that I can go to while I’m there. I don’t want to leave my restaurant to go to another restaurant to get healthy food. I should be able to offer that to myself and to my customers.

BFT: So as a successful entrepreneur your career has built over the years to be you becoming a high level business executive, what was that journey like for you? 

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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.


Your Guide To Shopping For Produce

Find out what produce you should definitely buy organic, and what is okay to buy conventionally



It seems to be getting harder and harder to know what is being sold to us at the grocery store. We know that the beautiful, shiny produce is the most affordable but probably contains the highest amounts of wax, pesticides and other chemicals. However, organic can be a bit pricey and possibly unavailable, depending on where you have access to shop.

Did you know that the USDA found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples it analyzed? The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

See what happens when you pour hot water on conventional apples. The chemicals literally melt! It’s important that we buy organic and if we cannot, at least wash our produce prior to consuming (Video: Laurline Eldemire Lawrence via Facebook):

Check out the most recent list of produce that you should preferably buy organic, known as the ‘Dirty Dozen,’ and which produce is safe to purchase conventionally, known as the ‘Clean Fifteen.’ While you may not find every produce item you like to eat on these lists, this is a great start!

fruit, vegetables, organic

Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen. Credit: EWG

Read the full report here:

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Angela Rye Set To Join BET For New Program

The cultural and political thought leader’s new series ‘Angela Rye’s State of the Union’ begins January 31st



Angela Rye, BET

It’s about time! We are excited to learn that Angela Rye, Principal and CEO of Impact Strategies, CNN political commentator and NPR political analyst, will be joining forces with BET to deliver a new program, launching this month.

Rye is set to host and executive produce the quarterly news show, which is poised to dig deep into issues and stories affecting black America.

“Working with BET always provides a reminder of why I began to do this work,” Rye said in a statement to Blavity. “It is essential that we have platforms where we can discuss our politics, our challenges, and our culture through our respective lenses. The upcoming special will provide a glimpse of what’s to come with our partnership.”

The first episode of the series is tentatively titled “Angela Rye’s State of the Union,” which will be a primetime rebuttal to President Trump’s State of the Union address airing Wednesday, January 31 at 10PM PT.

Read more on Blavity

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Gee Bryant A Force To Reckon With in the Fitness Industry

Atlanta’s Transformation Specialist Talks About His Road from Uncertainty to Becoming a Successful Businessman and Celebrity Trainer



gee bryant, ri28

Fitness expert, success coach and entrepreneur Gee Bryant has always been a hustler with a “MUST get it” attitude, and he’s walking in his purpose. He’s the brains behind the #1 online fitness program Results in 28 Days and owner of The Loft Atlanta, Phlexx Fitness and is CMO of Fitness Plane.

Gee says that he never had a “real” job and did whatever he could to make money. He tried multiple business ventures that eventually led him to become a personal trainer, as a way to work for himself while also staying active. Even though fitness was never cool where he’s from, Gee says he’s always been in his own lane. He has always recognized that he is unique and learned that by being a personal trainer he had a major impact on people. This hobby eventually transformed into a passion.

gee bryant

Growing up in Philly, Gee says there was a lot of pain – he used to reflect on it and let it consume him, but now he uses his pain to push him further.

“You can’t be a victim your whole life.”

In 2015, after starting to create buzz around his name as a personal trainer, Gee decided to move to Atlanta with just his car and clothes. He created boot camps, trainings, began marketing himself on social media and just doing anything to make money, to pay rent, and to NOT go back.

“If you ain’t willing to go crazy, then leave the entrepreneurship game.”

Gee created a business plan with the mindset, “I’m going ALL IN.” He started with, “How much money do I want to make? And, How many people do I need to help?” He also began reading books and focusing on personal development.

“As you expand, your mind has to expand as well.”

Gee had a plan and a goal, and decided to do anything he could to make it all come true. His efforts started to work so well that Gee had an overload of clients, which then gave him reason to open up his first gym.

During this time he was constantly growing his brand on social media and in the fitness profession, but knew he wouldn’t be able to fully execute his vision without the right help. So, he reached out to trainers to hire and assist in his gym.

“I’m a control freak, but I had to learn how to let go. It’s better to have someone who can do something 70%, than you trying to do it 100%. If you try to do everything you’ll burn yourself out.”

Gee began pushing online programs that he created on his own, recorded on YouTube and from that he started increasing his clientele. From there, he built his website.

“For this to go global, it has to be beyond me.”

It was then that Gee created the RI28 program. Gee says he makes his program different.

“I get their mind right. Your body won’t go where your mind won’t let it.”

Gee says his program is so effective because it’s easy to follow, he has the RI28 Facebook support group, it’s only a 28 day program, the meal plan and workouts are included, he has a team of like minded people behind him, and it’s SIMPLE.

ri28, gee bryant, joseline hernandez

The Loft Athletic Club opened in Atlanta, GA this year. Not only did Gee need a bigger space, but he says, “It was time.” Loft Atlanta is FOR Atlanta.

“I did it MY way, he says.” He never cheated the process, and changed and helped thousands of people do the same thing.

What he wants people to know is that they can do whatever they want, not become a product of their environment, and he wants his legacy to be a legacy of SERVICE.

Gee encourages other entrepreneurs to be obsessed and consistent about their brand and reminds us that small daily improvements = long term results.

2018 is here and there is so much more for Gee Bryant to accomplish. Make sure to follow him @geebryant and via his website to not only stay in the loop with what he’s up to next, but to get all the information on how to join any of his programs or find his facilities.

gee bryant

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