Hidden food allergies and digestive issues growing up have led Donnell Barlow on a personal food journey that has involved being a vegetarian and a vegan. Over the last two years she’s incorporated healthy meats back into her diet, and now she’s sharing her recipes with the world on YouTube.
With the help of Make Waves Entertainment, she’s started “Dance Jam Kitchen,” an online cooking show to highlight healthy cooking, and some sweet dance moves.
“I want to educate my audience so they make choices based on knowledge and have a healthy relationship with food,” Barlow told The Spokesman-Review. “A healthy relationship with food would be trying to take the emotions out of food, especially negative emotions, and using food as nourishment. It’s all about balance.”
Barlow, is a certified holistic health coach, a yoga instructor, and member of the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma.
Her show doesn’t focus on any one particular diet. “I try to help people get their nutrition through food, not supplements,” Barlow told The Spokesman-Review. “We’ve gotten so far away from how we used to eat. It’s all cultures, not just Native American.”
She also said that her major concerns for her people are heart disease and diabetes, which are major health issues for Native Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that heart disease is the leading cause of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and the American Diabetes Association says that American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to have diabetes that non-Hispanic whites.
“I want to be a face of Native people, a face of health. I want to inspire them to eat better,” Barlow, who is also Yurok on her mother’s side, told The Spokesman. “I want my people to be proud of me. I want my ancestors to be proud of me.”
Watch her second installment featuring Native Warrior Crepes, a take on frybread, below.
Her first episode shows viewers how to make spicy collagen chocolate marshmallows.