Curl Talk with: Valerie Agyeman, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Flourish Heights

While the new year is always the perfect time to reset your routine to make healthier choices, most people focus primarily on weight loss and workouts. Our 2021 resolution is to approach wellness more holistically, and this month’s Curl Talk with Valerie Agyeman, a registered dietitian and founder of Flourish Heights—a platform dedicated to women’s health and nutrition—really helped put things in perspective. Let’s dig in!  

What made you get into the world of nutrition? What’s your approach to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet?

An array of experiences led me to the world of nutrition. After struggling with my own body image growing up, knowing and understanding my family history of heart disease and diabetes, and having a strong desire to learn more about nutrition's impact on the body, I knew this was the path for me. Nutrition is a science and I've always craved to learn more, and still do. I knew one day I would be empowering women to prioritize health and wellness so they can walk in abundance and purpose.

My approach is that eating is an act of self-care, it should be enjoyed in a way that makes you feel good, not shameful. It's important for women to nourish a healthier relationship with food and take care of their bodies by honoring it while finding a routine that works for them and doesn't fit someone else's standards.

If someone wants to start by making a small positive change to eating healthier, what would you recommend?

Know yourself first. What is your health baseline? How do certain foods make you feel? 

Also tons of research shows that having an eating routine rich in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains can have a lasting positive impact on our overall health. Add more plants to your diet this year in addition to what you are already doing. It can really make a difference.

Are there foods that help to promote hair health or growth? If so, what are they?

Yes! A balanced eating routine with the right nutrients may help promote hair growth! Foods like eggs, fatty fish, dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts and seeds all contain nutrients such as biotin, omega-3, vitamin E, zinc and more which have been shown to help keep your hair healthy and flourishing.

What is your go-to hairstyling routine? 

I love box braids as a protective style! Last year during the initial quarantine period I told myself I would learn them on my own and do it as a hobby. And, I did. I've been braiding my hair quite a lot and I love it. It was definitely worth learning (shoutout to youtube tutorials!). Lately, folks have been asking me where I get my hair braided. It's hilarious!

What are your 2021 hair goals? Has your relationship with your hair changed over the years?

Keep up with trimming, reduce heat on my hair, and do more natural deep conditioning treatments. I am still learning my hair needs. I've been natural since 2016 and I am proud of myself for being on this journey. My hair isn't the easiest to maintain, but we have a great relationship. I haven't always given it the attention it needs, but I do plan to dedicate more time to taking care of it so it can live up to its highest potential and flourish. 

What does beauty mean to you?

Being your authentic self.