Eating right is a major concern for all moms. And as moms, we all know the struggle when it comes to finding healthy eating options for our little picky eaters. Thankfully, we have women out there making it alittle less stressful for all of us to make the transition easier for those who are looking to start living a healthier lifestyle; not only for themselves but for their children as well. Melody Ann Jones from Melody Organics, is here to share with us some nuggets of wisdom and advice on why she created her brand and her journey to a healthier lifestyle for her family.
Melody Ann Jones, Melody Organics
Black Moms Blog: Hi Melody! Thank you for joining us here at Black Moms Blog to talk to us about your platform, Melody Organics. I think I can speak for all moms when I say that healthy food practices is something we all hope to pass on to our children. Can you tell us a little about your business and what you are hoping to accomplish?
Melody Ann Jones: Hi! Thank you for having me.Melody Organics is a brand that focuses on people. I love empowering real people with the tools that they need to accomplish healthy practices and reach their personal health goals. I also know how much stress can come from trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle when life is pulling you in lots of directions especially as a mom. For this reason I try to make the content that I offer on my social media pages not only easy to understand but also a lot of fun. The best part of my job is getting to connect with people.
Meeting women who are overcoming their own obstacles and still finding a way to thrive is wonderful.
I hope to expand my business to provide more creative content and create more products that inspire people to action.
BMB: What propelled you on this journey to teach others about the benefits of a healthy diet?
MAJ: My wake up call came when I was diagnosed with lupus at seventeen years old. I didn’t answer the call right away though. I basically gave up on living a long and healthy life. When someone looks at you and tells you something like that at seventeen it is more confusing than anything. I did a little bit of research but basically accepted the diagnosis of a lifetime of being sick. I finally answered the wake up call 4 years later when I found out I was pregnant with my son while in the middle of an emotional break up.
I was forced to be alone and this created a time period where I knew I had to learn to love myself before I could progress.
I realized how much I wanted to take control of my life. I wanted to set a good example for my son. I became obsessed with finding out how to heal myself naturally. I googled everything about lupus and I became interested in everything that had to do with my body. I found out that the medication I was using to prevent my lupus symptoms was too harsh to use while pregnant and I knew that meant it was not something I wanted to take forever.
I wanted to know everything: What should I be eating? I found out from my doctor that I should be eating lots of dairy and so I ate ALL of it (I gained almost 60 pounds while I was pregnant only to later find out large amounts of dairy wasn’t exactly the best choice). However once our son was born he was just incredible to me. I really gained a new perspective and a new reason to take better care of myself. From then on I paid much closer attention to nourishing myself. I proudly nursed my son for the first year so I was always looking for new ways to add nutrients into my life. Juicing was my answer. I instantly had more energy, my skin became clear, and I noticed my weight was much easier to manage. I pretty much told everyone I knew. Later I began posting my recipes on Instagram for my friends and family to try and my audience began to grow along with my ideas on new ways to share information. I feel so blessed to have followers who care about their own well being and support me in my quest to share the tools I am learning on my journey with them.
BMB: I follow you on Instagram and I have to admit, you make it all look so easy. I know this can be encouraging for some but discouraging for others who do not think they can dedicate the time to living this type of lifestyle. Can you be real with us for a minute? How long did it actually take for you to make the full switch over to eating a plant based, healthy diet? And what were some of your struggle foods to let go of?
MAJ: Thank you so much. I am glad that it looks easy because it is my intention to display a way to look at healthy living as something that can be easy if done the right way.
The best thing that I have learned is preparation. Prepare to reach your goals.
I noticed that the weeks I took that Sunday afternoon and prepared my meals and juices; I accomplished so much more and I did not have the urge to cheat myself. Also I still eat my “struggle foods” which is basically anything baked . I just modify the recipe and I don’t beat myself up for eating outside of a plant based diet if it is not possible at the time.
I am all about gradual changes. I began by cutting out all artificial drinks and only drinking juice that I made or water. I made it fun by creating spritzers with sparkling water and fresh fruit juice, and other recipes that I share daily on my Instagram page. I also changed my diet slowly by first adding more vegetables into the mix and cutting my meat intake down.
At one point I was eating raw until 4pm and once I accomplished that I knew I could do anything I wanted. I have found that it is easier to stick to a healthy diet when you make a point to live a healthy lifestyle overall. Getting an exercise routine and learning a few new healthy recipes is a great start. I would say once I accomplished a full month of eating a plant based diet that I knew it was something I could keep up for the rest of my life. Building the discipline took much longer but once I stopped beating myself up I was able to stick to it for much longer each time. Now it is my chosen lifestyle.
BMB: I read an article recently that stated that 11% of African American children ages 2-5 were obese in comparison to only 3.5% of White children. In your opinion, what contributes to the obesity of children in our culture?
MAJ: I definitely think diet and lack of exercise plays a big role. It is important to keep our kids active and eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and sometimes the resources to do that are just not available in our communities. I definitely think the first step is educating the parents. My son is an example of how that type of expansion trickles down to our children.
BMB: What are some struggles you face when it comes to getting your son to eat healthy?
MAJ: My son is incredibly picky and because of a peanut allergy it can be difficult to modify the foods that he likes. I surf the web to find recipes that are suitable for him and sometimes it’s just not a winner but we keep learning and trying again. Most of the time he is very pleased with what I come up with. At nine years old he helps me in the kitchen now so he can see exactly what is in his food. He has about five things that he likes. It is totally annoying but I now know how to make Mac and cheese seven different ways .
BMB: I know cost and time can be a deterring factor when it comes to eating healthy. Do you have any go to meals that are easy and inexpensive to make for your family?
MAJ: Yes. Vegetarian tacos with black beans and sweet potato are always a win. They are so easy and require little to no prep time. I also love to make vegan yellow curry in my crock pot.
BMB: For mothers to small children, would you suggest making baby food versus buying it in the store? Why or why not?
MAJ: I definitely suggest making your baby’s food. Not only is it fresher and packed with more nutrients than store bought jars, it is also a great way to bond with your baby. The time it takes to blend up those carrots and freeze them in an ice tray is so worth your time.
There is a true connection to cultivate between a mother and her baby and providing nourishment is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give your child.
BMB: I love your YouTube channel and how you talk about the benefits of eating healthy to clear up your skin for a beautiful complexion. What advice would you give to those looking for skincare solutions through their diet?
MAJ: Skin care begins on the inside. Eat your fruits, juice your vegetables, and drink lots of water before trying to find a product to clear up your skin. There are some great products on the market that work exceptionally well but unless you are healing yourself from the inside out you will never see true and lasting benefits. You will also find yourself jumping from product to product and that is never fun.
BMB: What are your plans for Melody Organics going into 2016?
MAJ: 2016 is starting out pretty exciting. I have been blessed to be able to make juice for some amazing people and I am working on a new product line that I hope to release soon. I have also had the pleasure of working with other organic brand owners to help them launch their products and I am excited to see them grow as well. I plan to create new video content that I hope inspires people to take control of their health and decide what wellness and happiness looks like for them.
BMB: Where can people find you to follow you on your journey and find tips on healthy eating?
Do you have any questions for Melody? Please share them below!