Recap: Learn Shift Grow Wellness Symposium

Cleverly Changing African American Mom blogger Elle Cole

October 28, 2017, I had the wonderful opportunity of being able to speak to women about nutrition with Dr. LaKeischa McMillan owner of the Podcast series House Call With Dr. Mac. Being able to pour into the lives of others and provide lessons of wellness is a goal of mine. To sum the event up in three words I would say, I learned how to prioritize my self-care).

Keynote from Learn Shift Grow Wellness Symposium 

Martine Foreman Wellnes Coach

Learn. Shift. Grow. was the brainchild of blogger and wellness coach Martine Foreman. This was the first year of the wellness symposium and Martine shared during her keynote address that she created the event to help women find healthy ways for self-care in their own hectic lives. Martine shared a personal story about helping to care for her mother after a stroke and the challenges that arose while being a caregiver, mother, wife, entrepreneur, employee, and visionary. She also talked about wishing her mother had the right tools in her life to help her prioritize self-care before she had the stroke. The transparency that Martine shared was raw, relatable, and empowering. My key takeaways were:

  1. Remember that regardless of what challenges I face in my life, i need to be willing to ask and accept help from people whom I can trust.
  2. Don’t give up on dreams because life’s challenges feel too difficult. If you don’t pursue your goals and dreams you will not be able to fully evolve into the person you were meant to be.
  3. Lastly, surround yourself with a positive group of friends who believe in you, are willing to help you invest in yourself, and friends who will allow you to invest in their own lives as well.

The Speakers

The lineup at the Wellness Symposium was continually engaging from start to finish.   Tanya Barnett (@realwifecoach) shared her unabated testimony with candor and realness. She really laid the foundation for the event. One lesson I learned from Tanya was how she healed herself from Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol by changing her eating habits and exercising regularly. She learned how to take care of herself first. When she did that her relationships with others got better too. 

Dr. McMillan from House Call With Dr. Mac
Photo credit @wriiphotography

Dr. McMillan (@housecall_with_dr.mac) taught me so much. It’s really hard to lay it all out in this post, but the two lessons that stand out most are to challenge myself even when I’m busy and communicate with my partner to help alleviate daily stress. Syncing my planner with my husband isn’t something that I did in the past, but it would help my husband and me to be on the same page and act as each other’s accountability partners. Communicating better will help our household run smooth and free anxiety.

Cleverly Changing African American Mom blogger Elle Cole
Photo credit @wriiphotography

One lesson that I (@cleverlychanging) shared with women was how to chose better food options by reading food labels. We went over how to read nutrition facts. Unfortunately, the packaging of many processed foods has more to do with marketing than the ingredients within the food. 

Dr. Bergina Isbell Learn Shift Grow Speaker
Photo credit @wriiphotography

Dr. Bergina Isbell (@BerginaIsbellMD ‏) helped put how to cope with past mistakes, disappointments, abuses, depression etc into perspective. She provided tools to help such as a therapist, mentors, books, medicine, etc.

The Working Moms Panel

Each of the women (L-R @bernettastyle, @momsncharge, @martineforeman, @deborahjrome, @amytaylorinspires) had different life struggles, but all managed to overcome their obstacles and thrive.  One of my favorite quotes from the day was:

Aycee Brown () laid out the truths about why some of us are unable to get a good night’s sleep. There were 3 easy ways people could begin to make changes in their sleep routines:

  1. Take a bath with mineral salts like Epsom salt or pink Himalayan salt. Make your bedroom your haven.
  2. Declutter your bedroom if you want better sleep.
  3.  ⬇︎

Two twin sisters, Kanani and Kalila Hines (@womenofwellness) discussed stress management. One of the simplest tips they shared with us was to take a bath to help de-stress and relax.


A huge thank you to all of the sponsors who provided an excellent and robust swag bag.  

Learn More

Visit the hashtag #learnshiftgrow to learn more about the event. The entire Wellness Symposium was truly a blessing and I can’t wait for what Learn.Shift.Grow has in store for women in the next upcoming years.

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