Okay, we’re not trying to pretend we’re going to fix racism in America by making another list of Black women to follow on Instagram.
Direct, sustained activism is the kind of action that is already leading to changes that will hopefully start to shift our country towards truly valuing the lives of people of color—via policies that change policing, for example, or corporations being held accountable for discriminatory practices.
But representation and resources matter, and we do want to support elevating the voices and businesses of people (especially women!) of color however possible. This effort is especially important because wellness has been an extremely white space for a long time.
As we’ve built Nutritious Life’s media platform over the past few years, our team has had many conversations about how few black and brown faces there were on our website and social media channels. We’ve discussed choosing images that represent more diversity and ways of recruiting more women of color to become Nutritious Life Certified. It hasn’t always worked; we’ve made small improvements but need to do more. This moment in time serves as an important wake-up call.
That work will be ongoing and long-term, and in the meantime, we can start to tip the imbalance by shopping for wellness products from black-owned brands, signing up for yoga and fitness classes with black instructors, and yes, even by hitting “follow,” since these days, Insta followers can mean real earning power. Here’s an exciting fact: Jessica Wilson is the woman who started the #amplifymelanatedvoices campaign, and she’s a registered dietitian!
The brilliant founders of Food Heaven, Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones recently put it this way on Instagram: “There’s been a huge push to follow more black people in food, which is great. This is also a tiny first step towards creating meaningful and genuine connection with black people in this industry.” Start, here.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)
10 Black Nutrition and Fitness Pros You Should Be Following
Taylor Walker Sinning, @Taylorwalkerfit
Taylor Walker is a Nutritious Life Certified superstar and NL friend. She’s a fitness model, health and nutrition coach, and Barry’s Bootcamp trainer. She’s shared lots of incredible fitness advice on our site in the past, like these tips for taking your workout outside, which are really useful during a pandemic. A recent story she wrote of her journey growing up as a biracial woman, for Stay Fit 305, is a must-read.
Latham Thomas, @glomaven
Latham Thomas is a wellness guru of many talents and is a longtime friend of NL founder Keri Glassman. She’s the yogi, doula, and self-care expert behind Mama Glow, a maternity lifestyle site filled with resources for living your healthiest life before, during, and after pregnancy and the author of Own Your Glow, a book on “luminous living” for all women.
Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones, RDs, CDEs, @Foodheaven
Wen and Jess, as they refer to themselves on Insta, are both registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators, and Food Heaven is their media platform dedicated to “accessible and inclusive” wellness. They share lots of practical information for healthy living, like kitchen tools and tips, and there are multiple ways to engage—via their podcast, for example, or a library of recipes. They even spoke at NL’s annual Masterclass event last year.
Traci Copeland, @Traco4
As a long-time Nike Master Trainer, Traci Copeland has been a fitness leader for a while now. And despite the fact that she’s also a fitness model, her posts are friendly and relatable. Follow her for well-rounded workout advice and routines—she’s a trainer, yoga teacher, and run coach.
Fatima Dedrickson, @Stylefitfatty
Fatima Dedrickson is worth following for the style inspo alone, but she also posts helpful wellness content, like many smart workouts that are quick and effective and moving reflections on motherhood.
Diversify Dietetics, @Diversifydietetics
Okay, based on the handle, you’d probably guess this account is directly in service of the topic we’re getting at here. Created by two registered dietitians, Deanna Belleny and Tamara Melton, Diversity Dietetics is all about building community to increase ethnic and racial diversity in nutrition and dietetics. On Instagram, they highlight members of the community and share resources like meet-ups, research opportunities, and mentorships.
Shanna Tyler, @Shannatyler_
Wellness blogger Shanna Tyler has the biggest smile ever, and basically every picture she posts makes you want to be her best friend. (If happy energy can translate over Instagram, it’s gotta be super strong in person!) More importantly, though, she’s the founder of Self Soul Sport, an online community that now hosts monthly discussion events (the last one was about self-care during uncertain times) and features takeovers where other inspiring women share their healthy lifestyles.
Vanessa Risetto, MS, RD, @Vanessarisettord
Fun fact: Vanessa Risetto was a client of Keri’s more than 15 years ago. Not only did she go on to become a registered dietitian, she is helping others do the same, as the Dietetic Internship Director at New York University. Her feed is filled with recipes for nutritious dishes that look as good as they taste, plus lots of great advice and glimpses at her family life.
Dr. Cori Cooper, Pharm. D., M.P.H., @DrCoriCooper
Nutritious Life Certified health coach Dr. Cori Cooper is also a pharmacist and yoga teacher. (Talk about multifaceted credentials.) She teaches virtual “Prescriptive Nutrition and Yoga” sessions and also provides content that will help you set and feel empowered to reach your goals—in wellness and business.
Lorien Talmadge, @Lorien_Rochelle
If you need a little boost in the “loving yourself” department (especially after months of sitting at home alone), follow Lorien Rochelle, another Nutritious Life Studio alum. Her posts are totally uplifting on their own, and you can also hire her for personalized mind-body-soul health coaching.