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Morris Chestnut and Fitness Expert Obi Obadike Launch Ethical Inc., a Science-based Supplement Brand

Award-winning actor, Morris Chestnut has teamed up with globally recognized celebrity fitness expert Obi Obadike to launch Ethical Inc, a science-based supplement brand created to support people living their best life with ethically-made health products.

This is the second time the duo has teamed up on a health and fitness-related venture. The first was their collaboration on their #1 best-selling book, “The Cut”.

In this interview with Morris and Obi, we discussed Morris’s personal reasons for being interested in health and fitness, his new TV Show, “Our Kind of People” and his upcoming projects, including the return of critically acclaimed, “The Best Man”.

Obi, a certified fitness trainer and nutritionist, shares why he and Morris created the brand. He also offers some advice to those in the 40-plus club who are trying to get in shape and lose weight.

They both shared what it’s like working together and why they’ve decided to collaborate once again.

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Tony O. Lawson


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5 Fat Loss Tips That Actually Work

In the United States, nearly 48% of African-American adults are obese. Compared to those with a healthy weight, obese individuals are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

Despite these sobering facts, there are some proven ways to overcome the negative effects of obesity. Each of the methods below has been proven to contribute to reducing excess calories and improving fat loss as a result.

Start Resistance Training

Resistance training is not just for professional athletes. Building lean muscle helps you to burn excess calories even when you are at rest. Muscle tissue is lean and denser than fat, and not only will it allow you to burn calories while you exercise, but it comes with health benefits that help you have more energy.

Reducing the fat around organs is vital to living well and is an added benefit of resistance training.

Increase the Protein in Your Diet

Protein builds skeletal muscle but also functions in building strong hair, skin, and nails. Proteins allow you to have a sense of fullness longer and can help reduce cravings.

In addition, protein protects the body by making antibodies that bind to and remove foreign particles from the body.

Have More, Better Quality Sleep

In a study reported by the Mayo Clinic, adults who slept just four hours per night reported much more frequent cravings and an increased appetite when compared to those who slept 10 hours. An increase in hormones responsible for managing appetite may be the cause.

Improve sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time. Be sure to keep the room dark, quiet, and free of distractions like TVs and brightly lit screens. This sleep schedule will lead to improved recovery from exercise but also from the business of the day.

Reduce or Eliminate High-Calorie Drinks

With no nutritional value, high-calorie drinks are easy options for flavor but not the best when it comes to reducing your appetite. Those calories get stored as fat and can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. This further increases your appetite and makes you feel sluggish.

Alcohol comes with excess calories, but it also slows your body’s fat-burning and turns up your appetite. Usually, when you have an alcoholic drink, your cravings are met with food choices that are not consistent with losing weight and dropping excess fat. In addition to the significant health risks of overconsumption of alcohol, it is not a wise addition to a plan for weight management. Cut out high-calorie drinks.

Adding Fiber to Feel Fuller

Fiber adds bulk to the things you eat and allows your body to rid itself of waste better than if you had too little. Drawing more water into your digestive tract means you will not be feeling those cravings so soon, and it can protect you from excess weight gain.

Fighting against unhealthy levels of weight gain is part of a plan that can work for anyone. Partnering with a professional care provider can even help address condition-specific challenges that stand in the way of your weight loss efforts. Take charge of your life and fight for your vitality.


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Thinking About Trying Weight Loss Pills? Try These 5 Healthy Lifestyle Changes First

If you are a woman who’s: 1). breathing and 2). also has social media, then you’ve likely been bombarded with ads featuring weight loss tummy teas, pills, and other trendy diet plans.

Of course, weight loss pills have perpetuated diet culture for decades, but now that social media is around, it’s easier to fall susceptible to this potentially dangerous trend.

weight loss pills

Are weight loss pills safe to take?

Weight loss pills are often marketed as natural health aids, but if you look closely at the ingredients list of some of these bottles, they are far from healthy. According to National Capital Poison Control, many weight loss pills contain contaminated, ineffective, and dangerous ingredients that could lead to serious side effects.

So, if you’re interested in trying out these pills for yourself, proceed with caution and consult your doctor because many popular pills are unregulated by the FDA.

Committing to lead a healthier lifestyle is great, and doctors and scientists recommend making lifestyle changes to achieve sustained weight loss and other improved health outcomes. So, before you tap “Add to cart” on that random diet pill, try out these five healthy lifestyles changes instead:

Take charge of what’s around you

One of the first steps to a healthier lifestyle is taking a hard look at your current habits and your “cues.” Think of your cues as triggers that make you want to eat certain foods or partake in certain activities. Once you identify your triggers, try to replace your usual response with a healthier one! For example, if watching TV makes you snack on unhealthy foods, try reaching for a new, more nutritious snack instead.

Move those muscles

Just 30 minutes of brisk walking for 5 days out of the week will help you reach the optimal physical activity for each week, which is 150 minutes. Many of us have been less active than usual this year, so make it a point to add physical activity to your routine gradually.

Watch how you eat

When we eat in a distracted state, it’s easy to miss our body’s signals. Instead, focus on eating more mindfully, pay attention to if and how you enjoy the food you’re eating, and most importantly, notice when you feel full.

Find your healthy eating style

Who says healthy eating has to be boring? Make the switch to eat more nutrient-dense foods like whole fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein, but have fun with it! Switch up your proteins weekly, or try cooking frozen veggies when you need a break in the kitchen. Find your unique healthy eating style and stick to it!

Drink more water

Are you staying hydrated enough? If you’re constantly fighting off fatigue, headaches, and dry skin, that’s your cue to drink more water! Staying hydrated can help suppress the appetite, boost metabolism, and make exercise easier.

Weight loss becomes much more sustainable when you commit to making healthier lifestyle changes. If you’re interested in any type of diet pill, remember to always consult your doctor first.

Written by Reese Williams


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A Five-Step Skincare Routine Guide For Beginners

If you’re not into skincare yet, it’s time to step up your personal care. A consistent skincare routine helps keep your skin happy and healthy, and it’s the perfect excuse to show yourself some much-needed TLC two times a day.

Everyone’s skin is different, so naturally, every skincare routine will be unique to the individual. However, every skincare regime should consist of the most basic steps that you’ll learn about below. So, if you’re ready to take your self-care to the next level, here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a simple skincare routine.

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansing your skin helps eliminate dirt, sweat, and other impurities that rest on your face and clog your pores. If all else fails in your skincare routine, this step is the most important. You can pick out the right skincare for yourself by assessing your skin type (oily, dry, or normal) and your skin concerns.

How often should I cleanse my face?

You should cleanse your face at least twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night. If you’re active, be sure to wash your face immediately following a workout to cleanse the skin of sweat and other dirt.

 Step 2: Toner

Toners are liquid-based products that can help tighten the pores, exfoliate the skin, and provide additional cleaning. Some skincare experts say this step isn’t essential, but toners come in handy for giving the skin some additional nutrients.

How often should I apply toner?

Always apply your toner after cleansing your skin and before applying serums. Usually, toners are best used by soaking a cotton pad or ball with the product and then gently spreading the product over the face.

 Step 3: Serums

Time for the fun part! Think of serums as the “treatment” part of your skincare routine because these powerful products directly target the skin’s concerns by deeply penetrating the skin.

When do I apply serums?

Every serum is uniquely made to address everyday skincare problems, so it’s best to read the bottle for instructions. In addition, some serums require night-use only or morning, so it’s crucial to follow the directions on the package to make sure your serums are working for you and not against you.

Step 4: Moisturizer

Depending on the time of day, this is your final step in a basic skincare regimen. Applying your moisturizer at the end of your routine helps keep your skin hydrated and supple.

When do I apply moisturizer?

You should use a moisturizer every time you cleanse your skin. Light moisturizers are great for daily use, but you can opt for thicker creams for the nighttime.

Step 5: SPF

Contrary to popular belief, those of us with dark skin are still vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Therefore, it’s crucial for everyone to wear sunscreen daily, whether it’s cloudy or sunny out. The sun can cause premature aging, wrinkles, and, even worse, skin cancer. So, the secret to keeping your melanin poppin’ is slathering on the SPF!

When do I apply SPF?

Apply your SPF in the morning as the final step of your skincare routine. If you wear makeup, your SPF goes on before you start makeup application. Squeeze a generous amount, and apply two fingers (index finger and pointer finger) worth of sunscreen to both your face and neck.

Ready to get your skincare TLC on? Well, now you know exactly where to start, and you can continue to build on your routine from here. Happy skincare!

 

Use code SHOPPEBLK for a FREE sampler pack of several different herbal soaps from Herb’N Eden

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$20 Million Agriculture and Food Investment Fund Aims to Improve Black Health and Wellness

TPP Capital Holdings (TPP) is a Black owned impact fund manager and healthcare real estate development firm on a mission to change the face of Black health by investing in agribusiness, agriculture, indoor vertical farms/greenhouses, farmland development, health-focused food and beverage enterprises with Black and Brown ownership located in federally qualified opportunity zones throughout the country.

To date, TPP has commitments to provide direct investments through Fund I, including a $2M investment commitment in Vertical Harvest LC3, a Jackson, Wyoming, agri-business that has built a profitable sustainable model for urban hydroponic farms. Other commitments include a $5M equity investment in the construction and operation of a 70,000-square-foot greenhouse that will grow one million pounds of fresh produce annually. The site will be accompanied by 50 affordable units housing for farm workers.

In this interview with founders Anthony Miles and Clinton Bush, we discuss TPP’s plan to reduce food deserts, health disparities, and burdens of chronic medical conditions in the Black community. We also discuss how they can help Black entrepreneurs manufacture healthy food and beverage brands.

Don’t forget to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to the channel!

Tony O. Lawson


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This Black Owned Mental Health Platform Just Raised $5 Million

Hurdle, a Black owned mental health platform,  announced yesterday that it has successfully closed a $5 million series seed financing.

Established in 2018, Hurdle is a digital mental health platform revolutionizing mental health care by providing mental health services with a focus on culturally sensitive self-care support for people of color.

black owned mental health
Kevin Dedner, Founder and CEO of Hurdle | Photo Credit: Paul Newson

According to the American Psychiatric Association, African Americans often receive poorer quality of care and lack access to culturally competent care. Only one-in-three African Americans who need mental health care receive it. Hurdle is working to break down the barriers to mental healthcare for people of color to create an equitable behavioral health service with culturally responsive care and resources.

“With depression spiking in Black and minority communities, this year is an inflection point in mental healthcare. The events of 2020 present a unique opportunity for Hurdle to create solutions that work for anyone, but most importantly, for the most underserved populations,” says Kevin Dedner, Founder and CEO of Hurdle. “With this financing, Hurdle will significantly expand its reach and be able to help corporate and payer customers cement their Diversity & Inclusion commitments by providing broader access to culturally-responsive mental health services.”

Hurdle’s suite of services includes:

  • Self-care digital apps (daily motivations, mediations, assessments);
  • Wellness workshops (managing stress, cultivating resilience, coping with grief);
  • Teletherapy (individual, couples and group therapy).

The funding will enable Hurdle to expand its leadership team and solidify its position as the gold standard for culturally sensitive teletherapy.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Feminine Hygiene Businesses You Should Know

The global feminine hygiene products market was worth $26 Billion in 2019.

Increasing awareness of women’s health and hygiene and the emergence of low-cost feminine hygiene products are factors that are expected to boost demand for feminine hygiene products.

Here are some Black Owned feminine hygiene businesses that you should be aware of.

Black Owned Feminine Hygiene Businesses

Moozii

The HoneyPot Co

Black Owned Feminine Hygiene

Saffron C

Black Owned Feminine Hygiene

Nene Fern Health

Sweet Cookie Wash

Black Owned Feminine Hygiene

Kushae

Flaunt Body

ConditionHer

 

Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


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Black Owned Athleisure Brands You Should Know

Despite a global pandemic and its devastating effects on the retail industry, the athleisure market is having a pretty good year. Athleisure is now becoming everyday wear.

Whether you are buying sweats and biker shorts to lounge around in or for your at-home workouts, be sure to check out these Black owned athleisure brands.

Black Owned Athleisure Brands

Lukafit 

Black Owned Athleisure Brands

Impano Sportswear

Black Owned Athleisure Brands

CultureFit  

Black Owned Athleisure Brands

TriPow3r

Y-Fit Wear 

Pru Apparel

Black Owned Athleisure Brands

Queen Malkia

Full Court 

Kemetic Knowledge  

Damihow

EleVen 

Dope Fit Chick

Sankofa Athletics

ICONI

 

Solely Fit

 

Tony O. Lawson


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This Black Scientist Wants To Increase Diversity in The Biotech Industry

Since its beginnings in the 1970s, the biotech industry has grown massively and made huge advances. Unfortunately, Black people account for just three percent of this industry.

That’s why we were excited to discover LucasPye BIO, a Black owned biotechnology/biopharmaceutical large-scale manufacturing company. LucasPye BIO is one of only seven biotech companies in the U.S. with capabilities to develop and manufacture Gene/Viral-Based Drug Products.

We spoke to LucasPye BIO Founder & CEO, Tia Lyles-Williams to find out more about her company and what she has in store.

black scientist
Tia Lyles-Williams

What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve been working in the biotech/biopharma industry for 20 years. During that time I noticed three things:

1) There weren’t/aren’t many Black people in Management, Sr. Management or Executive Management Roles.

2) The financial impact of a biotech/biopharma in a community was limitless in regards to opportunities for:

  1. Generate wealth & savings for families
  2. Financially support a large percentage of the local taxes, which resulted in better schools, policing, access to better food sources
  3. Development of a strong and stable middle class community

3) Black people were not being included in human clinical trials for investigational treatment on diseases/viruses that severely impacted our communities the most. Therefore, I wanted to make changes.

More importantly, I wanted to make the biotech/biopharma industry more inclusive, diverse, and accessible to POCs from various skill and education levels.

I believe the biotech/biopharma industry will be similar to the former years of the U.S. Steel Industry; however, it will last a lot longer due to the continuous need for new and improved medical devices and biologic drug products.

Black Scientist

How, if at all, has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business plans or strategy?

The COVID-19 Pandemic, unfortunately, has had a positive impact on our business plans. It’s actually helped us to demonstrate a market need for our CDMO Services and prove our business model for:

  • Outsourcing bio-development Services via strategic partnerships to accelerate our customers’ drug products into human clinical trials & the global commercial market
  • Digitizing our business operations with cloud software, e-documentation & proprietary mobile/web applications.
  • Partnering with a commercial co-working / wet lab facility for life science start-ups & virtual biotech companies.

In fact, LucasPye BIO will be the exclusive contract development and manufacturing partner for HelaPlex – Commercial Co-Working for Life Science Start-Ups & Virtual Biotech Companies.

What trends do you foresee in the biotech industry in the near future? 

I foresee that more biotech companies will become virtual by outsourcing their manufacturing operations. This allows a significant reduction in manufacturing costs that can trickle-down to lowering the prescription drug prices for patients.

I foresee a major overhaul on the controlled documentation systems & quality management systems. The biotech industry is one of the “last” industries that insist on using paper documentation.

This is one of the primary areas that causes the extended timelines & high-costs for commercializing a drug product. I predict that the FDA is going to mandate that biotech companies digitize their controlled documentation systems & quality management systems – one that’s inclusive for global corporate collaboration within & outside their respective companies.

I also foresee that the large-scale bioprocessing equipment utilized in our manufacturing operations will become more automated and intuitive with less interface for human interaction.

How is your company uniquely positioned to capitalize on the direction the industry is moving towards? 

LucasPye BIO will be 1 of 7 companies in the U.S. with a Biosafety Level – 2 (BSL-2) and the capabilities to manufacture Gene/Viral Vector-Based Drug Products. The future of drug products to treat diseases and viruses will be Gene Vector-Based & Viral Vector-Based Drugs. We will also be strategically located in underserved communities to help rebuild their local economies.

To be specific, our headquarters will be located in/near Philadelphia, PA.

This allows us to have a more sustainable workforce, and reduce turnover by paying above market rate, financing their education goals, and lower our operations costs by requiring our Mid-Management to Executive Management roles to work from home. We are, and were, already preparing for 40% of our workforce to work from home via our Cloud Software Quality Management System (QMS), E-Documentation Platform and Proprietary Mobile/Web Apps.

The BioProcess Tracker software application allows customers to digitally monitor the manufacturing process for their drug product, receive invoicing real-time for raw materials / consumable equipment utilized in the manufacturing process, and quickly respond to items that require their review/signature in our QMS.

The BioSupply Tracker application allows our supply chain vendors to receive Real-Time Purchases Orders (POs) with payment to restock raw materials / consumable equipment in our warehouse and complete the manufacturing process on behalf of our customers on-time. It also allows more control over the quality that we require from our vendors’ products to ensure we collectively maintain business operations per FDA requirements.

Where do you see the business in 5 years? 

There is a growing trend for DNA Plasmid Drugs (aka DNA Vectors). These drugs will be the “go-to” drugs to correct genetic codes that are “paired incorrectly” or “missing a code” to treat people & animals with immune deficiencies, neurological impairments, and/or treat people with diseases/viruses that were/are considered non-treatable.

In other words, DNA Plasmid Drugs will be the new platform for vaccinations. They are manufactured utilizing bacterial cells, i.e. E.Coli. The U.S. has less than five(5) facilities with the capabilities to manufacture DNA plasmid drugs. The majority of manufacturers with these capabilities are outside the U.S., and LucasPye BIO plans to bring back these operations to the U.S. within the next 5-6 Years.

Our expansion plans are to build an additional 6-7 facilities, including strategically placing some of our new facilities in developing countries and/or underserved communities outside the U.S., i.e. Africa. We aspire to strengthen their local economy and their healthcare system alongside their education infrastructure.

To summarize, our mission is to:

  1. Lower Costs for Biotherapeutic Drugs – including prescription costs for patients.
  2. Accelerate New Drugs into the Commercial Market – including lowering the barrier of entry for new drug discoverers.
  3. Provide High-Quality & High-Pay Jobs to Underserved Communities

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs? 

The road to entrepreneurship is long, lonely, and hard as hell. You have to be strong mentally & physically for the “hater” & “naysayer” aerosols that will be frequently sprayed at you and your entrepreneurial goals. Being an entrepreneur is not all about money.

It’s about the opportunity to make a social impact and prove to the local communities around the globe that there are some “do-gooders” that still care about their problems, interests, and aspirations.

My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to never give up on your divine purpose in life, never give into the naysayers & the haters and never compromise on your mission for your company & professional aspirations.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Oral Hygiene Brands You Should Know

The global oral hygiene market is projected to reach $53.3 billion by 2025 from $44.5 billion in 2019, at an annual growth rate of 3.0%.

The growth in this market is driven by rising awareness about oral hygiene, growing incidences of dental diseases, and technological advancements in oral care products.

Online purchases of products are a key trend in this market due to the emergence of eCommerce platforms and the high accessibility they offer. Here’s a list of Black 0wned oral hygiene brands you can support now and going forward.

Black Owned Oral Hygiene Brands

Feels Good to Smile 

Go Natural!

Dirt Don’t Hurt Me

Sprinjene

The Shea Shack 

 

Ivyees

Twiggy Fresh Bamboo Toothbrush

Natty Naturals

Illuminate Essentials

Sprëtz

Natural Passion

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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