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Body Healthy

 May 26, 2023 at 1:00 PM PDT

S1: Now playing on the Parker Edison Project Body Health , I interview a local black apothecaries whose philosophies manifest in her tonics and tinctures.

S2: Actually , when I talked to my dad about the herbs that I'm using , he'll say , Oh , my mom used to do that. I believe it's part of our ancestral lineage.

S1: That's up next on the Parker Edison Project.

S3: I know the 24 over seven news cycle we see every day is heavy. I know that the political theater , the communities suffering from government neglect and each shooting we hear about whether it be a police shooting or a mass shooting , these things break our hearts. But we have a choice. We can choose to let the news beat us down and make us close off to the world. We can close our hearts and refuse to love. We can refuse to forgive. And we can refuse to release these things that do not support us. But this will only hurt us and the people around us that we care about. MLK Jr has said that there is something of a civil war going on within all of our lives. And I think there's a quote by Ram Dass that is a beautiful complement to this idea which says that when our hearts break , our hearts break open , let these stories we hear , break your heart. Let them break your heart open with an open heart you can heal. And once you begin healing , you can inspire others to open their hearts and heal. Let's all take our open hearts out into the world and heal our future. Let's all win our civil wars with love.

S4: You are now tune to the Parker Edison Project and project.

S1: Good morning and welcome to season three of the Parker Edison Project. I closed last season with an episode on mental health. I made a conscious choice to discuss the topic because I was learning and applying it my own life. I had no idea what resonate with cats the way it did. In the last six months , I've gained a better understanding of how the mind and body are tied. Which brings me to the topic of this episode. Body health. Not just the absence of illness , but the use of resources to maintain a physical well-being. One of the first things I noticed while trying to obtain this is exercise is costly. If you have the extra income to afford a monthly gym membership , which can be as much as three figures , you'll still need to pay for transportation to get to and from a facility and fresh food to replenish with afterwards. There's a reason celebs and athletes often have amazing figures because they have the time and resources to make it so. My first guest are very much aware that exercise is one more tool being rationed out unfairly , and they're going to great lengths to educate and inspire communities of color to the benefits of it's access. What's your name ? Brian.


S6: My name is LaToya McElveen.




S6: We've been engaged for about three years. We are both a part of the business accelerator here for Movement Matters Collective.


S6: So basically we help people feel good from the inside out and find joy on their wellness journey.

S1: Southeast San Diego , often very urban , very distant from holistic or wellness medicine.

S6: And I started this company for my family. Basically , we lost three of my aunts to late stage cancer focusing on southeast San Diego and black and brown communities. It's really , really extremely important for me because it's it's the foundation. And so our studio itself is in Golden Hill South Park , but we straddle it's beautiful because we have Logan Hyde , Sherman Heights , Barrio Logan. All right. There we actually take our services outside of our studio into the community. So we partnered with I Am Green , We have weekly classes in Chula Vista. So we're just so you know , there are no plotting studio prop in Chula Vista proper. There are no Pilates studios. There is half of the amount of yoga studios in Chula Vista compared to like North County or downtown San Diego and surrounding area. It's insane. It is a fitness desert , a wellness desert. Everyone , especially post-COVID , has realized that wellness is not a luxury. It is a necessity. So these resources have to be in these communities because it is a necessity.


S6: So if yoga , calisthenics , gymnastics , wrestling all had a crazy one night stand and had a baby , it would be Pilates. There is an emphasis on stretching and strengthening the muscles and making sure that your spine is super mobile and super. Or healthy ? Mm. Yep.

S8: Yep. Wow.

S6: Well , actually started in Germany. It was created by a German inventor and athlete by the name of Joseph Pilates. He brought it to America. It worked for him. It helped to rehabilitate soldiers coming back from the war. And over the course of the 20th and 21st century , it has been really utilized a lot by dancers. And if you look at the Pilates world right now , super white , that's just there's no events or buts about it. I'm blessed to have a black mentor , black female Pilates mentor , Stella. She's actually the president of the Pilates Method Alliance , which is the governing body for the for Pilates. So there have been a lot of elders that have come under Joseph Pilates , but there are only two women he certified to go out and teach. One was a Puerto Rican woman and the other was a black woman. So you got Lolita and you got Cathy. So it's very important. It's a part of our history. Like we women of color , I have really helped and been on the forefront of Pilates since the very beginning.


S7: So so not just helping with health and wellness or maybe with movement in that way. Maybe it would be more financial literacy , maybe it would be more something focused on career , you know , maybe it would be those types of things. So individual or organizational focused , it is movement. Movement is actual physical movement , but movement is moving up the mind as well. So there's , you know , just with the financial literacy , with the career growth , you know , that's growth , right ? That is actual movement. In order to grow , you have to move. So those are the types of things that we want to incorporate outside of just the actual physical movement.

S6: Even in our mission statement , we say that our goal is to help folks improve their overall well-being. Right ? And the challenge that we are solving for right now is when you think of wellness , when you think of mindfulness , when you think of fitness , one thing comes to mind. It's your body. But there are multiple components. It's your environment , what you're breathing in , what you're intaking via social media , the health of your finances , the health of your mind.


S6: We straddle South Park and Golden Hill , and we serve some really great communities. And you can also follow us on Instagram , LinkedIn and Facebook. All of the social media platforms.

S1: Movement Matters is continuing an age old tradition of the Shaman Sherpa or the medicine woman members of society who take it upon themselves to practice and pass on these tools of comfort and longevity. Some controversial historians recognize the Salem Witch trials as a strategy that stole medicine from the people and eventually put it in hospital hands. Even today , US herbalists are not federally licensed. Holistic medicine is demonized , depicted as hippie cures or quackery. It's easier to discredit them that way. It allows Big pharma to stop any correction suggested by the holistic community. Medicine is an indigenous science and like many other things , it was stolen and the original practitioners were vilified. Isn't it ironic skilled , holistic practitioners who were credible enough to have their art stolen are now completely discredited and depicted as savages ? While the American pharmaceutical industry makes cash hand over fist with the very same formulas they stole. All that said , there are still people around the country rooted in these fields , no pun intended , one of which is a good friend of mine now who I met while trying to balance my own body. She still mixing up the medicines of the old world and making people better with it.


S1: It's right.

S2: Take your tinctures and drink your tea like a boss. Okay. Not. That's not true for all my clients.

S1: I think it's super interesting. One. I don't know any other black apothecaries.

S2: When I talked to my dad often about the herbs that I'm using or the things that I'm mixing up , he'll say , Oh , my mom used to do that. My mom used to that. She used to dig up this root. I believe it's part of our ancestral lineage , the herbs that we use here in America , most of them we learned from Native Americans that were using the plants that are indigenous to this land. And I believe it's the same worldwide for most countries. Herbs are the go to medicine , and pharmaceutical drugs are secondary.

S1: Big Pharma is trying to create something that everybody can utilize. So it kind of covers everything. But what you're doing is very different , very specific.

S2: And some of that's intuitive. On my end , the plants that I think will resonate most with a client. I like to create formulas for my clients that are very specific to whatever they're dealing with. A traditional herbalist or healer would want someone to heal from the root of whatever their issue is and really digging down and getting deep rather than just trying to slap a Band-Aid or or get rid of symptoms. There's just no one size fits all. And the beautiful thing about herbalism is there are so many plants.

S1: This is your it's your craft , it's your art. It's something you've been doing.

S2: But when I had my first baby , I was living in Africa. I didn't have a lot of access to like natural products that you can just buy off the shelf like you can hear there. And so I just started studying and doing my own research and making things right , like making soap or making making things that were just cleaner and that just slowly began to build. For me , it really started with essential oils too. And all medicine in herbs comes from the essential oils of the plants. But I was introduced to plant medicine through essential oils first. But I formerly did a clinical herbalism certificate. I began it in 2019 and finished in 2020.


S2: What I like to offer is to stay curious , to explore different things and see what combination of , whether it's plants or healing methodologies really align with you as a as a person. It's important to note that it takes time. Plants are generally working at the root of whatever issue you're dealing with. Like I said , it's not a Band-Aid , right ? If you're having pain somewhere and you're working with plant medicine , it's going to take time before that pain is completely gone. For it to truly be healed.

S1: It almost sounds like you're describing intelligent medicine.

S2: Yeah , it is intelligent medicine. If you're working with , say , like Mullein Leaf for your respiratory system , like it's the intelligence of our bodies combined with the intelligence of the plants that when we take it , it has an affinity for the lungs. It goes and it tones and it strengthens and it helps heal our lungs. How else would that be possible if it weren't intelligent just.

S1: In your craft ? Not even professionally , was the next thing that interests.

S2: You with plant medicine ? I still consider myself like a baby herbalist. I won't be able to call myself a master herbalist for like 20 years. There's so much to learn , which is also keeps it really exciting. Anytime I sit down with a client and I get to open my herb books and really dig into these different plants and what they can offer people , but I would really like to be able to creatively offer healing energy out into the world through writing and poetry and hopefully through my voice , whether it be podcasting or something like that. That's kind of the direction I'm headed and I'd like to have resonate kind of turn into a way to curate healing practices.


S2: Resonate underscore underscore with.

S1: There was a time when every neighborhood had at least one doctor , maybe not college certificated , but skilled enough to keep the community alive. And that's why Leah impresses me. So she's part of a long legacy that's getting harder and harder to spot. Keep working cysts. The future needs the part of the pass you're bringing. After the break , I'm going to bring you out to North Catholic to hear from a rapper who's moving more than just words.

S4: Stay tuned for more of the pep. Pep.

S9: In 2023. Hip hop is turning 50 years old , and there's no better way to celebrate this monumental anniversary than by playing the question's hip hop trivia game. Based on the acclaimed live event turned online show and podcast of the same name. The questions hip hop trivia features 300 cards to challenge and entertain everybody from casual listeners to the most diehard liner note reading rap nerds. The questions , hip hop trivia available wherever you get games and books or order yours at Questions Hip Hop.

S10: And now back to the Pepe. The Pepe.

S1: There's an interesting theory I was reminded of recently that our physical body remembers injuries because it takes the time to repair them. So part of the healing might be making new physical memories to replace the painful ones. Yoga is one way we can do this. My next guest is going to touch on that pun intended this time. But in general , this is just an awesome moment. I think you're really going to dig it. Ladies and gentlemen , North Carolina's favorite little brother.

S11: I'm a rapper. Singer , producer , voiceover artist , actor. I just love to make calls.

S1: In June of 2022 , Rolling Stone named Little Brother's debut album as one of the top 200 hip hop albums of all time , saying that the listening made left of center seemed like the pinnacle.

S11: There's a saying , like with engineers and just in the music , you know , kind of on the tech side of just , you know , it's not the gear , it ain't the gear , it's the ear. We recorded that album on like makeshift equipment , like , you know , a compact presario. And we did that , like , in my buddy's apartment , like in his bedroom , basically , you know what I mean ? And that record took me around the world. And so my setup now is still I mean , the equipment is better , let's be clear. But it still is a pretty minimal setup. Yeah , I think just operating from that way , it's something that has stayed with me throughout the years of just , you know , if you have a great idea , you don't really need a lot of equipment. The equipment is only going to go as far as your idea allows it to go.

S1: When things are moving too fast.

S11: My my idea of exercise has changed. You know , as I get older and , you know , I come from a sports background , I started playing football in middle school and played all through high school. I did , you know , football wrestling track. Then in college , I played my first two years of college football. So that was kind of always my way of of exercise. Just operating from a team perspective , like your training and conditioning now , you know , 20 years after the fact , I'm not training for shit no more. You know , I'm operating now and working out now for for vitality and for quality of life. You know , yoga was something that I just started , and it really just helps me to focus on having a relationship with my body. And it was something that , you know , I didn't I ain't had the patience for my when I was in my 20s , but now it's something that has definitely helped me just kind of slow down and just even if it's just , you know , ten minutes a day , 20 minutes a day , it's just something that helps me really just sit and just take that time and to really just focus on me. And it takes me out of survival mode , which is something that , you know , I think a lot of black men don't even realize that that's what we're functioning in.

S1: One thing that I stumbled back over while I was prepping for this is this interview that you did with with the great Sean Cetera for the Cipher.

S11: Oh , wow. Yeah , man , it's out to shine. Absolutely.

S1: And you told the story of Berlin through the last four tracks of the No News is Good News Project.

S11: You know , the thought of things ending. I mean , in some ways they can it can be troubling. It can be it can bring sadness. But , you know , in this context , it's something that always just brought me comfort of just saying , okay , I know I got four songs to do , but it's only four songs. And the hardest , the most resistance always shows up when you're towards the finish line , you know. And when me and working on made a Little Watch in 2019 , the album was just about done. I think we only had like 1 or 2 more records to do and literally my computer crashed like in the middle of a song. We were recording a trip to the Apple store and a few thousand hours later I had a new computer. It's that last test of like , Yo , you sure you want this ? Like , you sure. Like you really want it. You know what ? Oh , you word. But I knew that we was almost finished , so I found comfort in that.

S1: It makes me think of growth.

S11: I can go on tick tock or whatever and I can accept that that is just a form of youthful expression , you know what I'm saying ? Just as we did , but also have the wisdom to know that my knees. Yeah , me like for me , like in my 40s , that's just been a big shift of just understanding that , you know , this is a form of expression and it's not for you. You can appreciate something , you can see the value in it and it can still not be for you. And it's okay.


S11: Made a little watch. You've been working on it since 2018. I've lost my mind a few times over it , so I know it was almost done. Right ? Right. So a lot of times I'm used to when I'm working on projects , I'll have multiple things going at the same time. And you know , I may have , okay , I'm doing the verse here , I'm doing this. Or if I'm in a project and I just need a break , I can go do something else artistic. Like if I'm working on an album and it's just like , okay , I need a minute. Let me just go over here and I'll , you know , I'll do some backgrounds on this , be my Fiasco record or I'll , you know , ZOS working on something I , you know , write a song for his project that him and tall Black are doing or I do a verse for one of the homies or something , you know , just to kind of kind of decompress and take myself out of it. With working on a film , I realized that that's just not possible. It truly takes all of the air out of the room because there's so many moving pieces and it's so many things that could go wrong and there's so much you have to oversee and you're constantly looking and wondering. It's like , okay , do we have the story ? Did we get it right ? Do we do this ? Do we get this ? Do we do that ? So yeah , man. So me and Pooh , you know , we we , you know , we really went in on it and shout , you know , our team portraits. Holland my brothers , my little brothers , Holland , Gallagher , Holland , Randolph , Gallagher and my man Yo Phillips. They rap portraits , you know , those are our little brothers in this. And so , you know , they are assisting us in telling the story in a very beautiful way. So so , yeah , that's coming. That's coming soon.

S1: If we went out to your car right now , we've got to walk down your car. Turn it on when we come on the stereo.

S11: What will come on the stereo. Okay , let me pull up my Spotify. Let me just see , man , I'm bumping kind of a throwback. Uh , the Obbligato , the Brother Jack McDuff remix that Dilla did for the Blue Note Revisited Project. This is like back in like 20. I feel like it's so 4 or 5 something. I can't remember. They had the Obbligato I was running that my brother Sonny Miles bumping him. He's a singer from out of here from Winston , bumping the home team be my fiasco if he music zone tall black. You know what I'm saying ? That's family. So I'm like everything. God , I don't want to leave nothing out. I'm bumping this joint soul set Pauly moment. It's a John Beltran. I think he I don't know if he produced it , but I know he's behind it. And it's like this beautiful song. I listen to a lot of stuff , man. I'm just always looking for things that inspire me and looking for things that make me want to run to the lab and be like , Yo , I got to get on my ass bruh.

S1: Here's what I dig the most. One He took the time to drop in and drop jewels on us. That's big two. He's evolving. He's adding to every part of his life , not just his art game , his discipline , his mental , and of course , his body's health. I'm a fan. And in fact , you already know how this show is going to end , right ? This is one of my favorite tracks by this gentleman is What am I Doing ? AA It's your track , man.

S11: Fun ? Take a little. Take a little. Kicking it with my man's pocket. Edison on the pocket Edison project. We about to getting something real nice. Real smooth. Produced by my brother. Tall black guy. This is sweet. You from my album. No News is good news. And hope y'all dig it. All right.

UU: Peace , my sweet.

S11: Is this thing gone ? I ain't even know if I'm a rapper to sing on. It took me a while. Now I'm getting my swing gone. Icarus in increments. Sometimes I put wings on Every hero ain't a hero till as a theme song. So many tries. But every time I just sing wrong Saturday night just kicking it with my best man looked at my left hand. I got a ring on. Oh , how did we get here ? Started with a kiss. Then another kiss. Then another kiss. Then a covered dish with white rice greens and some other fish. I'm lying. It was just chicken. Just fucking it. Now we got a covenant. It's on a bond for life. And all my years , this was the easiest song on the right. It's my confession in the rhyme. A testament. And I just want to do my thing As I talk about a feeling that cannot be explained or love that cannot be contained in the measurement of time. Some say it was a blessing in disguise. Scratch that girl. You were a lesson from the skies and I thank God for my winnings. As for the life , Jennings finally letting go of the mistakes of my 20s , I admit that I'm not an easy sell , but I'm the beauty to your table. Tell your big boy to tell them. Pay your people , Bill my fee for real. Swore I will.

UU: Endure it again. My man said that'll change. First time. It's all about working through your baggage.

S11: Second time around it's all about the baggage claim. Thank you , Maker. Stack your paper with a real one. Major. Keep clapping that little mother Don't read like cleverness. Gorgeous No wrongs in this love song I wrote chorus wet and play all day with no chorus. That's right. Time.

UU: Time. Yeah. You see , I'm just. You. You know. So we did it. I , we really did it. And I was in the special watch like you and me , girl. On the couch. This one pillow case ? Yeah.

S1: Thanks for stopping in. The Parker Edison Project is produced and hosted by yours truly , Parker Edison. And of course , the good people at platform collection. Be sure to subscribe and catch the next episode on Apple , Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have any comments or questions , visit the Park or Edison Project or hit us on Instagram at the project. Kris Reyes is head of audio production. Lisa Jane Morissette is operations manager and Jon Decker is Associate General Manager for Content. This programming is made possible in part by the Kpbs Explorer Content Fund. I love saying that because it reminds me of Sesame Street. Y'all stay safe out there.

North Carolina rapper Phonte Coleman is seen in this undated graphic.
Artwork by Anne McColl
North Carolina rapper Phonte Coleman is seen in this undated graphic.

In this episode we hear from a pair of physical educators Movement Matters Collective, a Black apothecarist whose philosophies manifest in her tinctures and North Carolina rapper Phonte Coleman of Little Brother speaks on how he stays sharp.

Music by Nah’Shon

Episode artwork Anne McColl

Show credits: Parker Edison (Host), Chris Reyes (Head Editor), Nathan Whitsell (Writer), Prof Robert A. Saunders (Geo-Political Consultant), Adrian Villalobos (Media Production Specialist), Lisa Jane Morrisette (Director of Audio Programming and Operations) and John Decker (Senior Director of Content Development)