Hi, I’m Halona Black — Health Writer, Speaker, Women’s Wellness Advocate
My name is Halona Black and I a Health Writer, Speaker, and Women’s Wellness Advocate living in sunny Orlando, FL. I initially began this website in 2010 as a place for self expression shortly after having a myomectomy for uterine fibroids. Little did I know, my need for self expression would morph into a calling to advocate for women with reproductive health challenges who are looking to use both western and traditional approaches to health and healing.
What’s So Special About This Blog?
When I started this blog, there were very few women who discussed their own experiences living with fibroids openly. I had read all the statistics about the high numbers of women, particularly black women, who’s lives were affected by the condition. However no one was willing to talk about it. I quietly put my own thoughts out there just to see if anyone could relate. The response was astounding. I have connected with women all over the world with fibroids from the US, Canada, the UK, Kenya, Iran, Australia, Nigeria — the list goes on. All of these women were looking for ways to manage their fibroids beyond the use of birth control pills and a hysterectomy. Women are looking for healing that addresses the whole woman, rather than tactics that solely medicate or cut out crucial body parts.
I now take a holistic approach to womb wellness and reproductive health, looking at your womb as the center of your female essence. It is more than just a place to bear children, it is where you hold the key to your happiness. As a woman, it is important to process your hurt, anger, and disappointments as they can turn into fibroids, cysts, heavy periods, and infertility. Garlic & Lemons is the place you come to learn how to reclaim your health.
Fibroids and Stress Don’t Mix
I suffered with fibroids for at least 10 years. I experienced menstrual periods so heavy I couldn’t leave the house. My uterus had grown so much that doctors said I had looked like I was 4 or 5 months pregnant. I had at least two blood transfusions just so I could function without falling faint doing routine household chores. The only temporary relief my gynecologist could offer was birth control pills. Desperate to stop the bleeding at any cost, I took one, two, sometimes three birth control pills in one day, unaware that it could result in a massive stroke.
During those years, my career and personal life were a mess. My mother was dying of breast cancer. My marriage was falling apart. I was in a career that was no longer satisfying. And I was in a doctoral program that seemed like a great idea at the beginning, but was quickly wearing me down. As a result of living in a state of constant stress, I ate, and ate, and ate until I was numb. Then I ate some more. Pizza, Chinese food, hot wings — sometimes all in the same meal. My weight ballooned to almost 300 pounds, further complicating my health and putting me at high risk for heart disease and diabetes.
I had a myomectomy to remove 8 large fibroids in June 2009. I thought I was in the clear thinking that a surgical intervention would surely cure me. Six months after the surgery, a doctor told me the fibroids were growing back. I knew I had to do something different to save my own life.
Life Begins in the Kitchen
The fibroids were just one way to let me know that I was neglecting taking care of myself. That is what illness is — it’s a red alert signal to let you know that something is going wrong in your body. After years of poor eating habits, little exercise, unfulfilling relationships, nonstop work and school with no breaks for “me time” — my body had begun to turn on itself to a point where I felt like I was dying.
Over the last 10 years, I have tried a number of things to get a handle on my fibroids: herbs, extreme changes in diet, and of course surgery. Where I went wrong is that I was thinking that my fibroids were growing in isolation of other systems within my body. I learned that there is no one pill, herb, or even surgery that can save you from fibroids if you don’t make wider changes in the way you treat yourself. Good health comes from exercising regularly, hydrating your body, creating healthy relationships, developing a meaningful spiritual practice, boosting your self-esteem, and yes, feeding your body nutritious foods. I learned how to do all that simply by spending more time in the kitchen. My mission is to teach you how to do the same.
I advocate for women to take a more active role in their interactions with healthcare professionals as well as in learning how to preserve their health on a day to day basis while at home. I believe this is the key to creating thriving families and communities around the world.
I have a M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for International Education. I spent 12 years in adult education and workforce development serving as a teacher, advisor, and administrator in various countries in West Africa and Washington, DC before her interest in health and wellness took over. More recently, I was a Healthy Cooking Instructor and Personal Chef having collaborated with Whole Foods Market and New York City Public Schools. I’m now working with small businesses and corporations to write books and other content.
I am the author of Loving My Fibroids Away: A 10-Day Detox Plan, available on Amazon, and currently writing my second book discussing alternative methods to addressing fibroids.
Hire Me to Speak
Are you a member of a women’s group, association, or corporation looking for a dynamic speaker or workshop leader to discuss issues relating to women’s health, workplace wellness, or family nutrition? Let’s talk! Email me at HalonaBlack (at) gmail.com.