7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

Monday, January 5, 2015


The first #MeatlessMonday of 2015! We made it! I’m glad you’re here. 
Today I’m sharing an appetizer that will appease meat-eaters and vegans alike. Roasted Cherry Tomato & Clementine Crostini. Yep. Savory. Savory. Savory. Cherry Tomatoes and Citrus. An unlikely pair. This is what happens when I have items in my fridge that I don't want to go to waste and I'm in need of a tasty snack.  I'm quite resourceful when it comes to odds and ends in the fridge. Creating this recipe was quite fun.
Enter bread, balsamic and my oven. This simple recipe will be delight your taste buds and please a crowd if you're entertaining. Roasting the veggies pulls out a sweetness that is unmatched. The tang of Balsamic adds a nice rounded touch what I'm calling "the duo of delight".  

  1. 10-15 Cherry Tomatoes Halved
  2. 12 Clementine Segments
  3. 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  4. Pinch of Salt
  5. Black Pepper
  6. 4 Tablespoons Butter
  7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  8. 5 Slices of Bread
  1. Preheat Oven to 350
  2. Lightly Coat a sheet pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Toss Tomatoes and Clementine Segments in Balsamic Vinegar and Spread on sheet pan
  4. Season with Salt & Pepper
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until softened
  6. While the tomatoes and clementines roast
  7. Cut out rounds of bread slices, each piece should yield two rounds
  8. Melt butter in a saucepan
  9. Toast each round in butter until lightly golden and crisp
  10. Top each crostini round with Tomato and Clementine mixture
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!

Candace Boyd Wylie is an Indianapolis, Indiana native who believes in the power of a good meal.  She is the Recipe developer, Content creator and Recipe slanger at FoodLoveTog. FoodLoveTog is a food blog that is dedicated to sharing good eats and food for the soul. Candace is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and CWUW supporter. She can be found on the web at FoodLoveTog and at BoydWyliePhoto

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Choice.

When I sat down at the end of 2013 and created my vision book, I really didn't think I would fulfill some of the things in it. Because of my ambitious nature, I desperately wanted to believe I would and could, but the negative voices in my head said otherwise. As flipped through the pages and read the notes that I have written, I see evidence of a somewhat broken me, a person that I actually feel sorry for. However, there is also evidence of a transformation--I can see the moment I decided to make a choice to live a "positive" life. This choice was not easy, it required me to let go of unhealthy relationships, change bad habits, battle the external negative energy, and most importantly, silence the negative self talk. 

What did I learn as a result of this "choice?" I have learned from my mistakes, I've learned to celebrate my accomplishments, and I've learned how powerful the words that follow "I AM" are (thank you Clarissa Mitchell). 

This year as I created my 2015 vision book I had a different energy surrounding me, I almost felt like there was a glow around me. As a result, I did not use many pictures, I channel energy when I see words written by my hand. Although, I won't share the specifics (My granny used to say"don't tell everybody your business, all people don't have your best interest at heart...lol) my vision book contains several "I AM" statements...several. I will admit, I am a bit intimidated, but I am not afraid. 

Happy New Year!


LaWanda Martindale is a wife, mother, nurse and novice triathlete; she lives in Atlanta, GA.

Make Sweet Love - Sexuality

My professional life has been focused on the prevention of HIV in primarily women.  In this work, I've had the opportunity to talk about sexuality from all angles.  As we want people to be sexually responsible, we should encourage that they are sexually satisfied.  Historically, mens sexual desire has been the point of attention.  What a man wants, he gets sexually through consent, oppression, or force.   Men have been allowed to explore their sexual fulfillment in extreme ways. This, of course, is a level of oppression and its a social norm for many.

In my talks with women about their sexual fulfillment, I've spoken with women who have never experienced "the Big O".   Their sexual experiences were driven by whatever the man desired.  You'd think that everyone is experiencing sex in the same way - like the last porn movie with moans and repeated orgasms. We don't teach our girls they are sexual beings.  We teach them to be guarded, that their sexuality is a "gift" to be only given to someone special, and that they shouldn't be too sexually expressive.  If we remove religion from this conversation, how does this benefit our society to keep women's sexuality so controlled and policed?

Teaching sexual health and responsibility doesn't mean we should suppress sexual expression.  We need to teach that we are all sexual beings.  We have deep attractions and sexual connections with others.  We teach we must decided for ourselves what best keeps us emotionally and spiritually healthy as we decide to dive into our sexual selves. We have to stop teaching that sex is bad and stop using sexually transmitted infections as a scare tactic to keep youth from being sexually active. Being sexually healthy is being informed and being able to speak about sex in a wonderfully honest way.  Fear isn't they to create a healthy mindset to sex.

In our sexual relationships, we have to be able to talk about it.  Yes we need to talk about condoms and past partners but we also need to talk about kissing and touching and loving.  We need talk about where those kisses should land.  We need to talk about positions and fetish.  Do you like porn or not?   Talk about it.  Play with each other.  Allow yourselves to grow together not only emotionally and spiritually in your relationships but bonding sexually.  Believe me when I say that just because people are having sex, doesn't mean they are having good sex. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Pecan Bread

The Sweet Potato is one of my favorite vegetables. I love that can eat it all year long in a variety of ways.. steamed, roasted, baked in a pie, chopped in a hash for breakfast, the possibilities are endless for the sturdy vegetable. In honor of Fall, I decided to whip up this cake, instead of my usual Banana Nut Bread. I’m so glad I did.. I mirrored this recipe after my Granny’s Banana But Bread, only this one is Eggless and Milk-free. Yep, it is quite possible to bake a moist bread without eggs or milk. I dare you to try it!

Check out the recipe below.
Eggless. Milk-Free. Delightful. This almost Vegan recipe is moist, hearty and full of the flavors of Fall. This one bowl recipe is sure to please!
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
  1. 1 Large Sweet Potato (Cooked and Mashed) ( to yield 1 cup )
  2. 1/2 stick of Melted Butter
  3. 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  4. 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  5. 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  6. 1/3 Cup unsweetened Applesauce
  7. 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  8. Pinch of Salt
  9. 1 and 1/2 Cups AP Flour
  10. 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  11. 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  12. 1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans
  1. Preheat Oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl combine Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Sugars, Nutmeg, Cinnamon,& Applesauce
  3. Stir gently to combine
  4. Add Baking Soda, Salt, Melted Butter, Vanilla Extract
  5. Add flour and stir well to combine all ingredients
  6. Fold in Chopped Pecans
  7. Add mixture to a prepared loaf pan
  8. Bake on 350 for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in middle of bread comes out clean
  9. Let Cool and Serve along side your favorite milk.

Candace Boyd Wylie is an Indianapolis, Indiana native who believes in the power of a good meal.  She is the Recipe developer, Content creator and Recipe slanger at FoodLoveTog. FoodLoveTog is a food blog that is dedicated to sharing good eats and food for the soul. Candace is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and CWUW supporter. She can be found on the web at FoodLoveTog and at BoydWyliePhoto

Monday, November 3, 2014

I Tri-ed. I Succeeded...The Finish!

The Run:
I started out too fast, I ran the first mile in 11:11. I felt good, but in hindsight, I should have not used so much of my legs knowing the bike leg was full of hills. The trail was full of mud and exposed roots; the mud made my shoes slick and I ALMOST FELL…Almost. However, I PR’d my 5k time (sub 36 minutes).
What am I looking at?

T-1 (transition from run to bike)-I felt clumsy and actually forgot everything in the order I had practiced. "Do I kick off my running shoes first? No, it's the helmet. Oh forget, just get your stuff on."

The Bike:
My legs were heavy. The grass was wet. My cleats were slippery.  I had trouble clipping into my pedals. I slowed. I clipped in. I was off. The first 3 miles felt great, it was basically down hill, and then there were hills. Lot of hills. Big hills. Little hills. Long inclines. Short inclines. I walked one because I had to. No shame. Charley horse. Gulped down my "Osmo" to help with charley horse. I prayed it would go away. Chanted “Just Do You!" (thanks Natalie). As I made my way from Chapel Hill to Anneewakee, I felt strong due to lots of downhill and smaller inclines. Since I live in the area, I knew where I was and this gave me a boost of confidence. I smiled. I peddled strong. I checked my  the clock. I really wanted to finish sub 2 hours. As I turned into the park, I felt excited. I saw Tony. I saw Dorian. I smiled. I dismounted my bike.

I'm ready to ride.

T-2 (bike to swim)
Now I felt proud of this transition, maybe because taking clothes off was easier. My plan to quickly tuck my locs into the swim cap was flawless. I forgot to take off my race belt, but realized it before I made it into the pool area. Feet first into the pool. I’m tired. I breast stroke (my version, because I don't know how to breast stroke...lol) to the first turn, pause at the wall. I cuss. Charley horse is back. I rub my calf and begin my freestyle. I prayed that Charley would go away. He did. Praise God. Turn 3, I actually felt good. I was tired so I started breathing on one side. I hear Tony Brown telling to take it slow. I tried. I wanted to be done. I really don't remember much else until I finally make it to the last lane. I feel myself smiling and push off the wall. I’m saying to myself, you are a triathlete. You did that. I'm crying in the pool. This last 25 meters, I'm sure I was swimming like...like something...lol 

"Just keep swimming."-Dory

The Finish:
I felt heavy getting out of the pool. I cross the timing mat to cheers from everyone who came to support me. I’m beyond happy. I cry some more. I see a camera and straighten up for a picture, I have a nice finish photo. I now see new faces…Ay Jay and Clarissa came to support me too?!?!! I am in shock that people I never expected to see felt I was worth their Sunday morning.
I am feeling extremely proud, so blessed, and truly humbled to have so many folks supporting me on my journey; in person and virtually. Natalie Reed, you were in my head the entire time, especially when I thought I was last. I did what you said “Just do you!” 

I am looking forward to next season, longer distances, and new victories. I have a lot of work to do in all three sports, but with my determination, support from family and friends, and the experience of my coach I can…and will do it.
Oh, guess what y’all? I am a TRIATHLETE.

1:56:21 the time it took me to finish, I BEAT MY GOAL!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I "Tri"-ed. I Succeeded...The Backstory!

As I look back over my life and I think things over, I can truly say that I’ve been blessed I have a testimony (Thank you Rev. Clay Evans for those lyrics).

December 2012 I created a page in my vision book with the words “triathlon 2013” and pictures of a runner, cyclist, and swimmer neatly glued to the pages. I also remember gently pulling the glued words and pictures from the pages. Why? The negative self-talk was so loud that I immediately felt foolish for feeling like I could do a triathlon. I mean really, who was I kidding? I am not a great runner, I didn’t have a bike, and the dog paddle was my version of swimming. Good ole self doubt wins again. Good-bye 2013.

The thought of completing a triathlon never left my mind and I found myself making another page in my 2014 vision book neatly gluing the word “triathlon” on the page. Of course the negative self talk crept it’s way into my head but this time I “channeled my positive energy” and made a plan to save money to buy a nice bike in the Spring. Fast forward to Spring 2014…I did not buy the bike…I made excuses (damn you negativity). However, my God knows exactly what I need when I need it, he sent me Cassie. Cassie sent me an inbox message saying she just purchased a new bike and “I would like the price” of the bike she was selling. Well, she was right, SHE GAVE ME THE BIKE! Okay, no more excuses. I had a bike!


I began riding my new to me bike on a local trail and I was hooked on cycling. On Mother’s Day Dorian (my boo) purchased me a brand new mountain bike. Shortly after Mother’s Day I saw that several ladies I knew would be participating in the “GA400 Century Ride,” I wanted to do this too and since I was riding regularly on SCT, I signed up for the 27-mile option. On June 29, 2014 I completed a 27-mile ride on my new bike. Although I survived the 27 miles, I knew that I didn't know enough about cycling so I did some research, took some classes on bike maintenance, and met my mentor in one of the local bike shops. 

27 miles of Heat, Hills, and Humidity. #Atlanta

Ok, so I could run (intervals), I was getting better on the bike, now I needed to swim. This triathlon would be on my radar for 2015, in fact I had identified several (Yes, negative self-talk had me change my goal from 2014 to 2015).

August 19, 2014 I took my first swim lesson, I was so excited and it was so much fun. No, I couldn’t hold my breath long, I was tired, I choked on pool water, but I was happy…I was working towards my goal of learning to swim.  After 6 lessons and practicing what I learned outside of lessons after 3 weeks I could swim 250 meters in 10 minutes.

Just keep swimming.

Ok…so, I could swim, ride a bike, and run…could I put them all together? “Nah” I thought, “I will wait until 2015." In the meantime, I decided to reach out to one of my sorority sisters, Felicia, who had just completed the Ironman in Louisville and inquire about her coach. Although I was not planning to complete a triathlon, I wanted someone who had experience in the sport and could help me with developing a training plan to achieve my goal. Felicia introduced me to Rich and viola, I had a coach. I have to admit, the first time Rich referred to me as an athlete, I smiled so hard. He's awesome.

On September 2, 2014 I received an email from Active.com promoting a triathlon sprint (run 3.1 miles, bike 13 miles, swim 250 meters), the name “Last Chance Triathlon” caught my attention. I quickly messaged Rich and asked him if it was reasonable for me to participate in a tri on October 5, 2014, he said yes. I signed up.  I was excited. Rich set up training plans. I followed them. There were good and bad training days, but I was going to do a triathlon.

Now, that's the backstory, I will be back in a few days with details of the event.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Meatless Monday: Pear & Pomegranate Spinach Salad

It's Monday! I'm Candace and I'm here from FoodLoveTog to share a recipe for Meatless Monday.  I know what you're thinking. "The bacon lady does Meatless Monday?" Yes, more often than you think. While I do have my love for bacon, I do recognize that I can not have bacon every single day with every single meal. Going Meatless is an excellent way to curb my bacon addiction. That said, I do have moments where all I'm craving is a giant spinach salad. Enter this baby: Pear & Pomegranate Spinach Salad with  Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Yes, you can make a delicious salad and your own dressing at home! Try it, it's easier than you think.
The flavors of Fall are all throughout this salad. Sweet Bartlett pears, tangy Pomegranate seeds, chunky blue cheese and crunchy Pecans. The dressing has a balsamic vinegar base, but when matched with sweet and tangy pomegranate juice, it's kicked up a bit. Simple, yet full of flavor.
Checkout the recipe below.

Pear & Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1 Large bunch of Spinach Leaves for Salad (cleaned and prepped)
1 Bartlett Pear, Seeded and Sliced thinly
1 Handful of Chopped Pecans
1 Handful of Pomegranate Seeds
1/3 cup of Blue Cheese Crumbles
For the Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 cup of Pomegranate juice
½ teaspoon salt
Several cracks of cracked Black Pepper
¾ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


To Prepare Salad:
Add Spinach to large salad bowl
Mix in Chopped Pecans.
Mix in Blue Cheese Crumbles.
Top with sliced Bartlett Pear.
Sprinkle Pomegranate Seeds on top of salad just before serving.

To Prepare Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
In a bowl, combine by whisking Balsamic Vinegar, Pomegranate juice, salt, and fresh Black Pepper.
Slowly whisk in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and whisk until emulsified.
Spoon desired amount over dressing.
Toss gently

Serve immediately.

Candace Boyd Wylie is an Indianapolis, Indiana native who believes in the power of a good meal.  She is the recipe developer and content creator and FoodLoveTog. A food blog that is dedicated to sharing good eats and food for the soul. Candace is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and CWUW supporter.. She can be found on the web at FoodLoveTog and at BoydWyliePhoto

Friday, September 26, 2014

Autumn Changes

Fall is sexy.  Now I know you're thinking how is fall sexy, summer with all the skin and the sun and the sand is sexy.  Yeah, summer is sexy like how a Nikki Minaj or Rihanna is sexy..sexy by default with the over the top stuff.  Fall is sexy like how a Halle Berry or Viola Davis is sexy...smoldering, intense, not over the top.

Think about it - fall brings us rich, deep colors in the leaves.  Even the smells of fall - cinnamon, pumpkin, spice - they linger and provide warmth and depth as we partake of them.

Honoring fall this season is a perfect time for us to recommit to honoring our environment.  Of all of the dimensions of wellness, I'll admit the environment is really one that gets less attention in my life.  I'm using environment in a very expansive way - my physical environment of my immediate community, neighborhood, home, office, etc.

Fall is a perfect time to recommit to honoring your environment - even with all that have to do in our homes, communities, churches, mosques, sororities, etc.  I know it's easy to roll our eyes and suck our teeth at the crunchy granola, food police, types among us who seem to love bees and trees, more than they love their neighbors.  It was interesting listening to two gentleman on the train the Monday after the huge People's Climate Change march this past weekend.  One of the men said,  "It's a damn shame all them people marching in NYC walked past poor and homeless people while they talking about Climate Change".  The other man said "Mfuhs (I ride the train in DC) will eff with some ozone and ish before giving an eff about me".  I get it.  Sometimes it does feel like the environment gets more play than humans (especially certain humans), but we can chew gum and walk at the same time.

Environment also means more than what some folk might like you to think.  Yeah, the oceans and the forests are important, but so are the parks, and the backyards and the retention ponds that make up our daily environment.

This fall, I'd like to challenge all of the readers of this blog to spend some time in your environment.  Brick city, rural road, suburban cul-de-sac, whatever the case may be.  Re-connect to your hood, to your roads, to your sky - to all of the spaces and places that you frequent every day.  Relish in all the ways that fall will change them.

While you are checking out your environment, also take some time to pop into a farmer's market in your area.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a great tool on their website that lists farmers markets all over the country, so if you are at home or doing some traveling - check out their site to find a farmer's market to visit.


Lisa Coffman