7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

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

Monday, July 14, 2014


As much as I enjoy working out alone, I've accepted that in order for ME to improve in areas I'm looking to improve, I need to surround myself with people who challenge me to do more. I do not have the desire to compete against others, just myself. I will admit that I've stayed in my comfort zone too long and I am no longer afraid to say that I want to be stronger, faster, and leaner. I want to conquer the fear of clipping into my bike. I want to conquer the fear of 26.2 miles. I want to conquer the fear of lifting heavier. I'm done with making excuses that I said I didn't make. I know that fear is keeping me from MY personal greatness and it is time for me to #GetUncomfortable and #BeGreat.

This is the Facebook status I posted 6 days ago and I must admit, I inspired myself. I posted this because I needed to put it in the universe that I was afraid; that I care (to some degree) what others think. I didn’t want to be that person who is “doing the most” because that’s bad…right? Wrong. Fact, I am setting out to “do the most” why not? I’m not injured, I’m not hurting anyone, I can physically do it, and shoot, let y’all tell it I’m an “inspiration.” That still trips me out, but I’ve learned that I cannot tell anyone what/who should/does inspire them.  

Then it happens, I exhaled and embraced the idea of being great; my great. I felt empowered. I felt strong. I took action. I called a couple of people who expressed interest in helping me learn more about cycling. I’ve signed up for group rides. I exchanged my bike for the one I really wanted (but said I didn’t) and quickly silenced the voice that said “you don’t need that bike.” I had the cleats on my spin shoes adjusted. I purchased clipless pedals (not sure why they are called clipless of you clip in) I CLIPPED into the pedals! I rode that daggone bike. I did not fall. I ventured out to run routes that are a little tougher and secured me an accountability partner. I got UNCOMFORTABLE! I felt proud of myself. I. WAS. GREAT!!! Weak (fear) left me. Strong appeared. I am doing the most…the most for me.

Now, if I can “do the most,” #BeGreat and #GetUncomfortable what is keeping you from your personal greatness? Is it fear? Naysayers? Limitations that you’ve placed on yourself? Whatever the obstacle, acknowledge it. Crush it! #BeGreat.

Peace and Love,


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer time fun! Festivals in Indy!

For more information, visit http://www.indydt.com/summerfestivals.cfm

June 7: Parents and kids alike can find something fun to do at the 15th annual Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Festival at Military Park. While adults sample local culinary offerings and taste some of the 200 Indiana wines offered, kids can enjoy interactive fun inside the KidZone. Artist booths will be on-site and live performances will take place throughout the day – be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets!

June 7: Explore the sights, sounds and tastes of all the different cultures of Asia at the 7th annual Asian Fest taking place at White River State Park and the Indiana State Museum from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Don’t miss the costumes fashion show and various cultural performances at this FREE festival.

June 12: The Christ Church Cathedral Women’s Strawberry Festival returns to Monument Circle to serve an estimated six tons of strawberries and 18,000 homemade shortcakes to the public in support not-for-profit outreach groups. Desserts range from $2 to $6 and are served from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (or until food runs out).

June 13 – 14: Enjoy more than 25 different pastas, Italian meats, desserts and more at a delicious celebration of Italian culture: Italian Street Festival. Be sure not to miss it at the corner of East and Stevens street. Hint: bring your dancing shoes.

June 14: The Circle City Pride Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year at the American Legion Mall. Programming for the festival includes live performances, vendors and more, and is intended for all ages. Admission is a suggested donation of $5.

June 14: Live music, local food, local craft beer and cider, ice cream, raffle prizes and more make the INDIEana Handifcraft Exchange the perfect way to spend a summer day. Vendors include local clothing and jewelry designers, as well as some of Indiana’s favorite names including t-shirt producers United State of Indiana and Lick ice cream. The event runs from noon – 8 p.m.

June 14 –15: More than 270 artists from across the nation gather on the north side of Downtown Indy each summer for the Talbot Street Art Fair, continually ranked as one of the top art fairs in the U.S. The fair is FREE to attend and offers entertainment and exhibits for all ages to enjoy.

June 19: Cookouts in summertime are a must. How about one on Monument Circle? The Marsh Cookout on the Circle takes place during lunchtime as “celebrity cooks” serve Midwest cookout classics, with proceeds helping hundreds of central Indiana Boy Scouts attend Scouting Camp each summer.

June 21: One of Indy’s most popular beer festivals returns for the 19th year to Park Avenue just outside Phoenix Theatre. Brew-Ha-Ha takes place from 3 – 7 p.m. and costs $30 for general admission (purchased in advance) or $10 for designated drivers. In addition to more than 30 local craft breweries on-site, attendees will enjoy live music and food from local vendors.  

June 21: PBS Kids in the Park, hosted by WFYI, will take place at White River State Park from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Celebrities rumored to be on-site: Kids can enjoy “character meet & greets” with  Clifford, Curious George, Maya & Miguel and more. Catch some exciting live entertainment, visit vendor booths and play games.

June 21 – 22: The Eiteljorg Museum’s Indian Market and Festival is one of the Midwest’s largest Indian markets, featuring more than 130 Native artists, food, performances and family fun. Try unique foods including a crowd favorite, Indian tacos. The Festival takes place in Military Park from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is FREE with the purchase of general admission to the Eiteljorg.

July 5: Some of the city’s most unique restaurants come together for a one-day festival on the Canal. The 3rd annual Taste of Indy blends great food with live local music and family-friendly events. The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. and includes Asian, Soul, Greek, Mediterranean, Cajun, Hispanic and American food. 

July 10: Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration brings a variety of events Downtown for all ages and interests. Larger events include the Pacers Sports & Entertainment Corporate Luncheon on July 18, Music Heritage Festival concerts July 18 at the Indiana War Memorial and July 19 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the All White Affair July 19. Advance general admission tickets cost $8 or $19.99 for a three-day pass.

July 12: Situated in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis, the Indy Criterium offers cyclists a unique opportunity to race the city streets that they would rarely do otherwise. Families can enjoy BMX stunt shows, yoga in the park, a Sun King beer garden, food truck festival and more.

Aug. 2: The Mass Ave Criterium brings together more than 400 cyclists and 5,000 cycling fans. The course is a chllenging, triangular, 2/3 mile course through the Mass Ave district. Non-cyclists can enjoy the beer garden and live entertainment.

Aug. 8: Thousands of motorcycles of all types will take over the streets of Downtown Indianapolis for Motorcycles on Meridian, coinciding with the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. All ages are invited to check out the unique sights and sounds around Monument Circle, Meridian Street and Georgia Street.

Aug. 14 – 24: IndyFringe Festival is one of the biggest (and most unique) performing arts festivals in Indy, and takes over Mass Ave for an incredible 11 days in the middle of August every year. Nearly 300 performances will be given during the festival ranging from dance, drama, comedy, magic and more.

Aug. 17: Local farmers, chefs, brewers, vintners and food enthusiasts will gather at White River State Park on August 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. for Dig IN: A Taste of Indiana, Indiana’s largest farm-to-fork festival. The fourth annual festival will feature tastings of Indiana food, beer, wine and other local refreshments plus live entertainment, discussion panels and cooking demonstrations.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dirty Little Secret

Dirty Little Secret                            

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  Many of us grew up hearing that and living in homes that while may have been modest were probably spotless.  Having a kitchen floor that was so clean that one could eat off of it was worn as a badge of pride.

When I was growing up, having and maintaining a clean house was important.  It said that you cared about your family, it said that you had pride in your surroundings and it said that even though you might not have a lot what you did have was well loved and well cared for.  For many of us of a certain age regardless of geography, class, persuasion, etc. – there is a common story about the Saturday cleaning the house routines.  I was surprised as I grew up and went out in the world, how many of my black friends had similar stories about their moms and the Saturday morning house cleaning routine usually with great music on as the soundtrack (I was also shocked to learn that many of my white friends DIDN’T have that experience).

While many of our moms were fantastic housekeepers and house managers, many of us don’t serve in that role today.  Part of it is because we’re busy, part of it may be the abundance of accessible and affordable cleaning services and a little part of it may be that since it was so important to our parents it became another one of those things we put aside solely for that reason to show that we’re different.  Part of it may also be that we didn’t learn to clean.  I don’t mean we didn’t clean – I mean that we didn’t learn how to clean.  I’m a witness.  I’m not a cooker or a cleaner, mainly because I didn’t sit at my mother’s feet to learn those skills.  Now, I do share her love of reading, the theatre and arts because that is a knowledge transfer that she fostered.  Come sit with me and let me tell you about this book I’m reading.  I’m going to pick you up from school early so we can go see a Broadway play or visit a museum.  Very rarely did my mother say, come in here and watch me make this liver and onions.  If/when I did show interest in that kind of stuff she would say “Oh, I’m fine.  Go on out there with your dad and brother and watch football (I know hella lot about football) or go watch the news with your dad.

Maybe since many of our moms had moms or grandmothers or aunts who cleaned people’s homes for a living, there was a little of that my child won’t have to clean anyone’s house.   Save for the Saturday sessions and the keeping your room picked up – there was very little tub scrubbing, window washing that went on a daily basis by most of us – if we admit it.

The curious thing to me now though is the number of my black female contemporaries of a certain age that are paying people to clean their homes and the way we view that.  I started using Molly Maids years ago when we had a 3 bedroom house, two cats, two full time jobs and a kindergartner.  A clean house was important to me but I didn’t have the inclination or time to clean it myself.  I used Molly Maids in quiet – not mentioning it to my friends.  I got outed one day when a girlfriend stopped by and saw the “cleaned by” card on my counter.  We never spoke of it, but I remember thinking that she probably thought I thought I was bougie and too good to clean my own house.  I didn’t and I don’t, but while I had no problems talking about getting my house cleaned with white girlfriends or colleagues there was only a select few of sisters that knew. 
So, imagine how I felt recently when a beautiful friend of mine posted on FB asking for a cleaning service referral – she prefaced her request with “I’m not bougie” and asked her friends for names – many of her friends who were also black women gave her names of services they were using and we all had some clarifier in our response about how we were’nt bougie by having a cleaning service. 
One of her friends – a man – commented on that – he was like why is that being bougie.  It’s a service, you have a need you hire someone to meet that need. No judgment. 
He was right.  I think for many of us especially middle (and not so middle) class, not rich, not ladies who lunch there is a bit of a struggle – at least there is for me.  I’m very grateful for the ladies that come clean my house every two weeks and am slowly looking at that as other stuff that I pay for and assign no judgment to - like gas, utilities, etc.
Part of the beauty of living your life well is assessing what is important, what do you need to spend your time on, what do you want to spend your time on and then doing out.  Where we struggle is trying to live up to other's expectations about us and for us.  So, for me it's my cleaned by somebody else house, for you it might be something else - and that's ok.  The gift is owning our authentic selves, dirty little secrets and all.