• Erica Vernet Knowles

(ep 10) What is wellness and how do I begin my wellness journey? With Nzingah Oniwosan

Updated: Jul 2






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What is wellness and how do I begin my wellness journey? An interview with wellness coach Nzingah Oniwosan


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What is wellness? How can women start their wellness journey during Covid-19? What is society’s outlook on wellness? Do western medicine and holistic wellness go together? How long will my wellness journey take? How can I remain consistent on my wellness journey?


“Make acceptable goals. Don’t try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro when you barely walk in your neighborhood!”


In this interview, we sat down with Nzingah Oniwosan, my wellness coach, and talked about various topics such as holistic wellness, tips on starting your wellness journey, Nzingah’s wellness journey, how she is learning more about Haitian wellness practices, her travel experiences, and her favorite wellness spots.


Nzingah is a holistic health consultant and alchemist under her brand “Yes Baby I Like it Raw”. She currently lives in South Florida and guides people on their wellness journey. In addition Nzingah also is a visual artist, a poet, and founder of a small business incubator in Haiti.


As a child, Nzingah was always fond of her Haitian culture. Her grandmother and parents did a great job of imbedding their knowledge and ways of her birth culture within her. Nzingah was taught to be unapologetic about who she was and the value of speaking Creole her native tongue. Her father and grandmother are both experts in Haitian herbs and this helped encourage Nzingah’s thirst for knowledge. This gave Nzingah the confidence that she needed to now become the founder of her very own organization.


Back when she was 12 years old, Nzingah discovered that she had an autoimmune disorder called scleroderma. Then, in her 20s, she found out that she had a benign brain tumor. Later, she was also diagnosed with PCOS. Upon approaching Chinese medicine doctors, Nzingah was told that her autoimmune disorder was due to fear. Upon realization, she figured out that this was mainly induced due to being molested as a child, and dealing with the stress of learning that her mother was diagnosed schizo-affective. All this led her to learn more about living a more holistic wellness lifestyle.


Our mind, body, and spirit are one. Each one of these affects the other. Therefore, rather than taking continuous medicine and dealing with 6 specialists at a time, Nzingah decided to take matters into her own hands and go on a wellness journey in college. She focused on therapy, yoga, vegan diet, spiritual work, and avoidance of toxic beauty products.


A wellness journey doesn’t show effects in a month, there are ups and downs. But the important part is to not give up and to thrive for consistency. Your body will take time to adjust to the entire change, but in the end, it is worth it. Nzingah recommends not avoiding western medicine while on your wellness journey. The field of medicine can help us identify the problems within us and test out how our wellness journey is affecting us. It’s also important to consult your doctor while making the change.


Nzingah has since traveled to Haiti multiple times to gain a deeper understanding of how herbs are utilized. In the interview we even talk about her thoughts on vaginal steam craze, which originates in Haiti. Despite the accusation of trying to become a voodoo priest by her own mother - just for consulting with a voodoo priest, Nzingah did not let her society negatively influence her journey. She kept on seeking guidance from her grandmother, father, and elders in Haiti.


According to Nzingah, following are the 3 things she recommends to women starting their wellness journey during the current pandemic:

  1. “Always make accessible goals.” People usually fail their journey because they don’t take their current circumstances into account.

  2. “Don’t sleep on the simple things.” Sometimes they have the biggest impact on our health. Make sure to rest well, stay hydrated, avoid processed food, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

  3. Finally, “find a community or a person that will support you on your wellness journey.” It can be a digital community. The more support you gain, the higher will be your success rate.


Regarding her favorite experiences of traveling abroad, Nzingah told us about her visit to Ecuador last year where she experienced the amazing egg balancing trick. She also visited Monterrey where little kids found her dark skin unique.


We ended the conversation with a few of Nzingah’s favorite wellness spots in South Florida. One of them was the beach as it is an amazing source of Vitamin D and helps cleanse you spiritually. She also recommends visiting the Gumbo Limbo park that ties into the said beach where she often enjoys lying in the grass and reading. In Haiti, Nzingah recommends everyone to visit Basin Bleu waterfall in Jacmel and Citadelle Laferri in Cap-Haitien!


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So, what is a question Nzingah would ask other women?

“How are you loving yourself? Are you loving yourself like you’re loving everyone else?”


How does Nzingah define a woman?

“Sweet, sour,

Strong, vulnerable.

Made of stardust

And a little bit of heaven.

…we are complicated, I love it!”


Where to find Nzingah

https://www.yesbabyilikeitraw.com/?aff=7

https://www.instagram.com/yesbabyilikeitraw/

info@yesbabyilikeitraw.com

https://youtube.com/user/Nzingah


Where to find Erica and Collective Drift

www.collectivedrift.com

https://www.instagram.com/collectivedrift/

https://www.youtube.com/collectivedrift


Places mentioned in the interview

Ecuador: https://ecuador.travel/en/

Cap-Haitien: https://visithaiti.com/destinations/cap-haitien-city-guide/

Monterrey: https://www.visitmexico.com/en/destino/monterrey/

Florida beaches: https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/florida-beaches.html

Gumbo Limbo: https://www.gumbolimbo.org/

Bassin Bleu waterfall: https://visithaiti.com/things-to-do/bassin-bleu/

Citadelle Laferri: https://visithaiti.com/destinations/citadelle-laferriere/


Click HERE to make sure that you get our upcoming episodes!



The Collective Drift platform was created by Erica Knowles to celebrate all women, the beauty of their cultures, and international travel experiences. I believe that women possess magic, that gives them strength and grace to change the world. We learn how to tap into our power in various ways based on our cultural backgrounds and our journeys. Join me and an amazing collective of multicultural, multiethnic, and multigenerational women that are artists, cultural leaders and travel enthusiasts as they tell their stories about their culture, their tribe of women, their passions, their art, and their favorite international experiences. Welcome to Collective Drift.



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