This is part 2 of a 3 (or maybe 4?) part interview Nana Kwaku and I did with Queen Afua earlier this summer. Queen Afua is the author of many books including Heal Thyself and Sacred Women. In this segment she talks about why it is important for us as people of Afrikan descent to become vegetarian/vegan. In part one she shared her journey to veganism and becoming a wellness practitioner. In part three she shares her recommendation for those wanting to transition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Ama: Why is, or is, vegetarianism important for people of Afrikan descent?
Queen Afua: One of the things in my research of writing Sacred Woman I found that everything I was studying in holistic health was based in what I call Afrikan Natural Lifestyle. From Reiki to massage therapy, to colon cleansing, healing baths, yoga practice, meditation, vegetarian lifestyle, everything that deals with nature, air, fire, water, earth, the elements.
It’s all Afrikan Natural lifestyle. It’s our culture. When you are not conscious of your own culture you will starve, you will not be able to produce. You will be less than who you are.
So in order for us to survive that’s our link to our overcoming the mass destruction that's in our bodies and it's in our environment. And, because we have the highest incident of all diseases. You know diabetes, high blood pressure, fibroids tumors, breast cancer and all of that.
Because of the work that I am doing I must have touched a million people by now. And they have been touching people and really touching the people and spreading the word throughout. And people are getting well.
They are using the elements. They are using the air, their own breath and the live foods. Our people are not doing 100% and that's what had me write the book, The City Of Wellness. I wrote it in a way that our people can relate. What ever their level is. So I have the Seven Kitchens of Consciousness for our people.
There is the Soul Food Vegan Kitchen which we are aware of. They have to have that flavor, that taste. They are looking for that look, the flavor, the taste, the smell. If you don't have some of that they’re going to look at that food. "What's that?” It's foreign. And you’re foreign. And they don't want to have anything that you're having.
They look at your glass and "What is that? What you gonna give me?" I said, "This is good for you." "Well what's it taste like?" So what I ended up doing was I got recipes donated, like in a museum, in the book. I have Afrikan recipes from Nigeria, and then I just doctored them up. And then I have southern soul food, Caribbean soul food, Afrikan soul food and some Spanish soul food.
I put it in a way that they can use it better. So southern folks have to have the sweat potato pie. So can we do it without the egg and with out the milk, use almond milk. And they taste it, my youngest son is a chef. He also came out of school focused on chefing and business and he worked in the company all those years. So I know the taste and the smell. And he said once our company stabilized he was going all the way into the food. So now as I am here in Atlanta he's really going hard into the food.
So I know that if the food tastes good. If it tastes anything like their mother's they will say yes to it. If it’s a foreign entity they will say no. And this is our salvation.
How I look at it also is, there's a hospital 10 minutes away on the right from where I work. To the right and to the left 10 minutes away and they are talking about closing the hospitals down. And many of our people are going for emergency work, last minute. And they are going there and I say that's not going to do the work but they are going somewhere. And there is a hospital behind me that's still there and is not threatened. But with those two hospitals closing down, everyone is going to go to that one hospital so then everybody is going to fall through the cracks, you know, wholesale.
So for me my motto is health care is self-care. There should be at least one healer in every home. Which, we are called the strange ones. There has already been at least one assigned to every home. The peculiar ones have to weather the storm and have to hold up and keep healing until the families turn around, some times 10, 20 years later and say "Could you help with my knees and my back my this, my that?" That's what I am finding.
So I find there is a shift that is taking place. Those strange ones that looked strange in the beginning, they don't look so strange now. Holistic health, you know I look at the Hopi Indians talked about the end of the world, according to the calendar and 2013. And I just saw myself, it wasn't the end but it was the end. It was an end of a way of being, a way of thinking, a way of attitude, and that those that can shift will make it through. In 2014 I've been in it with this shift. I been observing. I've been watching things happening. Those who would not have even considered doing any healing are considering it now.
One of my brothers, he worked for the internal revenue. Both of my brothers think that I am really so far out. I just call him to greet him. And he said, "Well, there's going to be a health fair at my complex, they're talking about what you're talking about". Before he was like embarrassed, ashamed, and “Why do you keep talking about this stuff? You get on the radio and people know I am your brother.” And that puts pressure on him and what are you doing eating chicken and what are you doing smoking cigarettes. Now it’s like the ones who completely wouldn't look at, they are part of the 2014 prophecy, of now this is a new beginning, that the world did end.
Ama: That's interesting. My father, I was talking to him. He isn't usually that interested in the natural healing. But there is this new study out from Harvard or somewhere which says something about fasting boosting your immune system. So he saw that and was asking about fasting last night.
Queen Afua: Harvard has been doing their homework because in 1995 it was the pyramid that came out. Harvard rebutted it and talked about how harmful that pyramid is, which you could already see. You can have 11 starches and carbs and you can have 5 types of protein for the day, it talked about. Heart attacks strokes all over the place. So between what Harvard is talking about fasting and the diet, that’s an indication that there is a shift.
There is a shift because I am watching the two of you. And I thought about it last night, and this morning. Because you [Ama] are talking holistic primarily, from what I am gathering. And you're a doctor [Nana Kwaku]. And for you to be together as a couple and how you are presenting and you are just so humble to natural healing and it impacted me because as a doctor, that's economics all the way and but not so much because he's coming this way. So I was observing that.
I worked with a medical doctor for about six years. I was looking for her and she was looking for me. I didn't know how it was going to show up. So she called me up. [There was] patient of hers and a patient of mine. She said. “Where's your wife?” “Well, my wife is with Queen Afua.” And she said “Ok that's enough. Because I have quite a few patients who are starting to get better. I asked them what are they doing? Because I am about to cut back on their medication or cut it out. Well they said I went to see Queen Afua went on the 21-day, what have you.”
And so when we met, I went to her clinic, and when I got off the elevator we just held each other we didn't even say, "Greetings, how are you doing?" We just hugged. Then we went into her office and sat down and talked about our vision.
One of the things I wanted was a clinical analysis of my work just to make sure. I became a lay mid-wife just in case of an emergency, someone has a baby around me and I have to know this. I'm supposed to know certain things as a healer. And so I said I need to have that.
So what I did for one year. I worked in her clinic once a month. I did it for free. She’d say, “Could you speak on various topics?” First month it was diabetes, next month high blood pressure, next fibroid tumors, then prostate cancer. It was twelve topics.
I came in and I would talk on it and my son would prepare the food for them. And then at the end of the year I said, now can we do the test.
So we gathered 29 of her patients and my clients and went for 12 weeks. A small capsule. And she gathered 5 nurses and they did the examinations of everyone every other week.
So right now I am trying to gather the report. Because I have never had time, you know writing is extremely hard for me. But I have to make it all come together. So she has been co-signing all of my work. And one of the books that I was shocked that she wanted to co-sign. And she was in a play with me. The name of the play is "If your vagina could speak what would she say?" So an MD is coming to a play like that, “OK you're really out there, but come on in. I have a part for you. We can do this together.” And the piece that she came on is was "Is it possible?"
So part of the drama is I am in my home and she came to my house where there's a party. Everyone in the audience was part of my party. And I let them know they can share, they can scream, so she said “I'm going to party now.” So she comes in and we just have a personal conversation about her day. I went to get her some juice, going around, and I'm talking to myself "Is it possible that we could work together holistic and allopathic? Because the people are falling through the cracks.” And she's talking to her self in my living room, "Is it possible we could ..." So we're talking to each other. And I have to run by to get the phone. I give her a hug, I give her the juice and I start talking to a girl friend, "Is it possible we could work together?" And she starts talking to herself, "Is it possible?" So we come together and look at each other "Is it possible?" So it was very dramatic.
And that was when she invited a medical doctor who was the first black OBGYN in New York. She passed away since then. But we were able to do that. And we gave her a lotus and that was the cover of my book, the lotus with the uterus inside of it. That our wombs can be restored, even if you've been through trauma, abuse, self abuse, environmental, social whatever. Holistically, naturally we can heal. So giving the lotus from the doctor, myself, us working together. She was my doctor with my children and Malcolm X’s children. She was very profound in her work because she was the first to open up a hospital in Brooklyn and she had two daycares and a theater so she was very Avant guard. So I worked with her and that was very powerful.
Ama: What was her name?
Queen Afua: I acknowledged her in my book Sacred Women. I acknowledged quite a few women healers, sacred healers that I have known, in my book. So that was some of the work. So when I see the two of you.
Ama: I want to clarify about something you said earlier. It is not that Dr. Opare came towards me as a holistic health person. I came to where he was. He has been focused on holistic healing from the beginning, for some 30 years.
Queen Afua: There is another doctor, Dr. Ronald Davidson, he's passed now. Have you ever heard of him? He took the same path. He was also an acupuncturist. He was my acupuncturist. When ever I got treatment. And also a medical doctor. So that's real powerful your conviction.
Ama: I came on board as an educator because what we are doing requires a lot of self-education by patients.
Queen Afua: So then it was a perfect union then. The education and to organize the concepts.
Ama: And that was the birth of Food For The Soul to provide that education container for the work that he has been doing.
Go to part 3 Queen Afua And The Seven Kitchens Of Consciousness.