African-Americans in Illinois are more likely to report being obese than Caucasians, so African American communities in Illinois clearly need help with the ongoing battle against being overweight, A.J. says. The "Explore the Flavor of Health: The Myths and Facts on Healthy Living" event is planned to educate African Americans on the importance of weight management, and empower them with relevant education and practical tools for realistically addressing the overweight trend.
This interactive event will include advice from registered dietitians on portion size and how to read nutrition labels; health consultations with doctors who will provide with more information about their body and weight; and guidance from physical fitness experts on getting active. Additionally, the Council members will debate the myths and facts of eating and living healthy during a dynamic panel discussion. Attendees will also have the opportunity to taste healthy foods during a free lunch prepared by a local chef. Children and teens 18 or younger must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit www.exploretheflavorofhealth.com or call 1-866-404-6826.
"I've accepted that doing movies is a great career, but helping people to live their healthiest life is my life purpose, says A.J. "I've learned a lot through my healthy living experiences and sharing it all is a party to me!"
A.J.'s commitment to a healthy lifestyle prompted her to create the www.theajzone.com a wellness business and website. Her clients include celebrities and athletes such as Golden Globe winner Emily Blundt, Gabrielle Union, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, and Terrell Owens. When she is not molding the hottest bodies and souls of Hollywood, she is creating a wellness movement any way she can.
A.J. created a wellness segment on WE channels "Savvy", hosted VH-1's reality fitness competition, "From Flab to Fab" and recently appeared on "Baisden After Dark" as an expert discussing "Obesity in Black America." A.J. has addressed fitness and lifestyle issues for the American Cancer Society, Curves International events, The Essence Music Festival Seminar Series
A.J. grew up in a very academic household in rural New Jersey. Even though she felt drawn towards the arts from a very young age, A.J. became a psychology/chemistry major at Spellman College in Atlanta. She graduated Magna cum Laude in Psychology but her artistic calling would not be silenced. "When it came time to finally decide between med school and Hollywood, I decided to give myself a year or two in L.A. to see what could happen… I moved to LA, was there two months, and I've been working ever since."
A.J. appeared on a number of television series and Director Spike Lee cast her immediately in her feature film debut School Daze. Roles in other feature films followed: House Party, Skin Deep, The Inkwell, Assassins with Sylvester Stallone, Dying Young with Julia Roberts, Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg, and the critically acclaimed Baby Boy.
The GlaxoSmithKline Multicultural Council on Weight Management is a group of acclaimed African American specialists in the areas of health, fitness and nutrition. Council members include: Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson, M.D., Senior Attending Physician at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago and Board Member of the National Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Valentine Burroughs, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs at Saint Francis Hospital/Catholic Health East in Delaware, Lindsey Williams, author of "NEO SOUL: Taking Soul Food to a Whole 'Nutha Level" and owner of Neo Soul Events and Catering.
Sponsoring partners of the event are GSK, L.I.D.E.R.r., Namaste Charter Schools, the Metro Chicago YMCA, and Real Men Charities, Inc.