Episode 132: Interview with Therapist & Coach Ashley Cutler Part 1

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 132: Interview with Therapist & Coach Ashley Cutler Part 1

What are the hidden traumas behind racism?  How will you react when God walks you through unexpected doors? What are the stressors that Covid has brought on to us in society, along with the frontline workers, including therapists? What are the benefits of coaching?  How does the black man feel when the black women makes more money than he does?  Why do women stay in toxic relationships?  How do I reclaim my power and identity?

If you need a place that is relatable, where you can pull off your masks, be real, dig deep, embrace your hair and skin color, release your emotions, and reveal your true identity and worth as a black woman, then listen to all three parts of this candid interview between Therapist & Coach Ashley Cutler and me in a new series of The Valley of Grace Podcast entitled, “The Black Woman Experience:  Talking Through Our Stories” to find out the answers to these questions and more.    Be blessed! #ashleycutler #authors #blackwomen #blackmarriage #blackrelationships #reclaimyourpowerandidentity #youareenough #blacksuperwoman #blackskin #blackhair #blackauthors #theblackwomanstruggle #racism #traumas #blacktraumas

How to Reach Ashley Cutler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.cutler.986

Adorned With a Purpose Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/180411743437341/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/msashleycutler 

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-cutler-lcsw-c-15004586

Podcast Topics

  • Coaching Vs. Therapy
  • Black Relationships
  • Toxic Relationships
  • Unworthiness/Not Enoughness
  • Reclaiming Your Power and Identity
  • God Opening Up Doors

Until next time,


Episode 131: Interview with Coach Elizabeth Olujimi

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 131: Interview with Coach Elizabeth Olujimi

What happens when you work in jobs you’re not passionate about? How should we compete?  Can I live an empowered new chapter of life?  What are the steps to reclaiming my power and identity?  How do I find my treasure?  Why are women holding on to toxic relationships?  How can transition times be an opportunity for more?  What happens when you don’t value yourself? How does community help with grief? Listen in to the interview between Elizabeth Olujimi and I to find the answers to these questions and more. #reclaimyourpowerandidentity #youareenough

Podcast Outline Topics

  • Grief
  • Commjunity
  • Unworthiness
  • Toxic Relationships
  • Reclaiming My Power and Identity
  • Empowering Yourself
  • Valuing Yourself

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daretobelievecoaching or https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.mutahindukah

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elizabetholujimi or https://www.instagram.com/dtbcoaching

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizOlujimi

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabetholujimi

Until next time,


Guest Blog Post by Sharae Jenkins

Hello ladies! Today I have a guest blogger, Sharae Jenkins, sharing with you on one of the most important things that you need to know when you reclaim your power and identity so that you know you are enough: building resilience and flourishing. Building resilience and flourishing involves a holistic approach of nourishing the whole person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically . Her article will deal with the physical, or wellness aspect, i.e., being careful of what you are putting into your bodies. I pray that you will find her post encouraging, motivating, and enlightening. Be blessed!

Sharae Jenkin’s Blog Post:

When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re more likely to turn to are traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think large meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol.

While turning to these foods can make you feel better temporarily, in the long run, they can make you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.

Foods that Fight Stress

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind in the long-run rather than providing a temporary fix.

Part 1: Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

  • Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. Avocados contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties
  • Blueberries – Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
  • Chamomile Tea – Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Chocolate – Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavanol’s and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress
  • Beef – Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamin’s C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety.

Part 2: Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

  • Oatmeal – As a complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed.
  • Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert.
  • Pistachios – Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – Leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical.
  • Fermented foods – Last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels.

Putting Together Your Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries

Mid-morning snack: Greek yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts

Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens

Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate

Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables

Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea!

Remember to practice portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.

P.S. Just in case you missed the exciting news, I just released my Summer Shape Up Recipe Book! 40 delicious, summer-inspired recipes to help you stay Fab + Fit this summer and beyond! Get the yummy details here!

Yours in wellness,

Sharae Jenkins, MBA, FNS

Nutritionist + Health Coach + Blogger

Text FABFIT to (877) 660-2651 for practical wellness tips + exclusive recipes!

I help career women who struggle losing weight create effective and sustainable lifestyle changes while eating food they enjoy! Learn more about my 1:1 Health + Nutrition Coaching or my Personalized Meal Planning Service!

You can follow Sharae Jenkins on instagram at @fab_fitcoaching.

Episode 121: Interview with EMS, Coach, & Podcast Host of Imperfectly Pollyanna Courtney Nalin Part 1

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 121: Interview with EMS, Coach, & Podcast Host of Imperfectly Pollyanna Courtney Nalin Part 1

After going through some of the hardest times in our lives, it’s easy to think that there is no way that we can recover, let alone reclaiming our power and identity. I’m a living witness that it is possible. One day at a time. One hour at a time. And sometimes one minute at a time.

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down in a one-on-one conversation with Courtney Nalin, EMS, Coach, & Podcast Host of Imperfectly Pollyanna. In this interview, she helps us to see that not only can you heal and recover, you can reclaim your power and identity one step at a time because you are enough. Listen in and be blessed!

Podcast Topics:

  • Loss
  • Infertility
  • Toxic Relationships
  • Friendships

Until next time!

What happens after the bombing?-The Relationship Cycle

The question that one might ask themselves is: what happens after the bombing? As stated in our previous post, after the bombing comes the sea of shame. And although you would think your soul’s reaction would be enough to make you stop and think, oftentimes, it doesn’t.

There is a small percentage of the cases where the individual takes a time-out based upon their body, mind, and soul’s reaction to love-bombing. However, 9.9 times out of ten, the reason you were picked as a target in the first place was because of your issues with low self-esteem, low self-worth, poor body image, or a combo of all three.

As sad and unsettling as it may sound, you were picked because you were an easy target to be disarmed and molded into what the other broken person in the toxic relationship wanted you to be. What you haven’t figured out yet, is that you are expected to return the favor.

Not the favor and disarming and molding. The worship.

Love-bombing isn’t done just for the sake of it. It is done to pull you in like nothing else has so you can stay all in. Once you have demonstrated that you are all in, the love-bombing ends. That is too much energy to put into any one person for an extended period of time.

The other person in the toxic relationship wants to be worshipped just like you were. However, the rules for their worship is different. Unlike love-bombing that leaves you in a sea of shame, they want the worship without the shame. You can’t ever give constructive criticism, feedback, or point out any wrongdoing.


Giving your take on any of these areas means that you are tarnishing the perfect, distorted image of what the other broken person in your toxic/unhealthy relationship has created. And that is a no-no.

The worship that belongs only to God has now gone to man. God never intended that to be.

He made that clear when he gave Moses the ten commandments on the mountaintop.

Somehow, as women, with Satan’s help, we twist around the word of God, making ourselves believe that God has told us to do everything that our husbands want us to do. When “obeying” your husband lies in direct conflict of obeying and worshipping God, we definitely have a problem.

You don’t realize the severity of it because your brokenness of unworthiness, low self-worth, and not enoughness is leading you in making decisions. You, as the wounded person is depending on the other broken person in the relationship to provide the enoughness that you are lacking. But only God can do that.

Until next time,


Love-bombed! Part 2

In our last post, we discussed what it means to be love-bombed. In this post, Love-bombed! Part 2, we are tackling why we are left swimming in a sea of shame from being love-bombed.

First of all, our bodies are aware of and respond to things that are happening around us before our minds get wind of it. Our heart starts racing, our bodies start shaking or tensing up, and other times our posture starts to shrink as if we are cowering within or trying to brace ourselves.

By the time our minds have caught up with what our bodies already know, we are then able to decide if this is a good thing or bad thing. Having all attention on you may seem like a good thing. However, we must remember that the spiritual energy that accompanies being love-bombed is nothing good.

The energy is toxic. And it is the toxic spiritual energy that causes the reverse of what would be expected to happen.

The response itself is the warning sign. But again, if we are too caught up, we will miss it.

If we are not, it is then that we can stop, reassess the situation, and then use wisdom in whether to move forward.

Nine times out of ten, there is no stopping. No “Be still and know that I am God”. (Psalm 46:10)

You are intoxicated by being love-bombed. Knowing and feeling something is off, but entangled in a web of energy that’s indescribable.

In the next post, we will discuss what usually happens after being love-bombed.

Remember: You are enough. You can reclaim your power and identity at any point in the relationship cycle.

Until next time,


Episode 120: “The Word Healing”-Interview with Cherlyn Decker Part 3

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 120: "The Word Healing"-Interview with Cherlyn Decker Part 3

When you think of the word healing, what comes to mind? Is it all pain, all comfort, all work, or a combination of all three? When it comes to healing, everybody’s journey is different. However, it’s all in the way that we look at it. Listen in on this interview between Cherlyn Decker and I as she gives her take on the subject, as well as some inside fun things about herself. Be blessed!

Podcast Outline Topics

  • Healing In All Its Glory or Not
  • Fun Facts About Cherlyn

Meditational Scripture:

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Psalms 147:3


When it comes to enmeshment, things can get real tricky. Just like codependency. Think about having ten necklaces getting tangled together. Trust me, I have had it to happen before. It is not fun. As a matter of fact, the more you try to untangle the mess, the more they get entangled. And before we know it, our emotions are entangled with these necklaces.

We start making headway when we go to the beginning of the first necklace and then start pulling from there. It is the same thing when it comes to relationships.

The more that you try to untangle, the more entangled you will become. Getting to the root of the entanglement/enmeshment is where healing begins. It is also where the pain will lie as well. When you are entangled/enmeshed, you are depending on someone else’s feelings to make you happy, sad, angry, etc., and dictate your behavior in general.

You are literally being controlled by someone else’s emotional state. Another way of looking at it is to picture your backyard and your neighbor’s backyard. You both have fences. The fences serve as boundaries. However, you have decided to make your neighbor’s yard free reign to go in and out as you please.

Would your neighbor be upset? Of course!! Who wouldn’t?

This is what happens in an entangled/enmeshed relationship. You ignore each other’s boundaries to the point of having such free reign, that you suffocate one another. So how do you get out? Some form of therapy is definitely needed.

At the same time, so is getting to the root of your issues with identity, self-worth, and not enoughness where you have other people’s emotions serving as your literal lifeline.

Creating an empowered new chapter of life involves healing from past hurts. And healing from past hurts involves reclaiming your power and identity, and enoughness. Reclaiming this power and identity from healing will give you a new perspective and a higher level of resilience so that you can flourish.

Until next time,


Episode 116: An Interview with Jennifer Ramirez -Part 2

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 116: An Interview with Jennifer Ramirez -Part 2

Next in line to our own brokenness, the number one reason women go from one unhealthy relationship to the next is the fear of being alone. The unspoken rule becomes “I gotta have a man.” And when we follow this rule, and not give ourselves sufficient time to heal, we continue the unhealthy relationship patterns of behavior. Space, time, and stillness gives us clarity, discernment, and the ability to hear God’s voice. However, the craving for a new physical relationship often outweighs the cravings in our hearts for God. Listen to the second part of the interview between Jennifer Ramirez and I to hear more on this topic along with why women often fall victim to narcissistic relationships.

An Interview with Jennifer Ramirez Part 2 Podcast Outline Topics

  • The Unhealthy Relationship Cycle
  • Breaking Free
  • Knowing Your Worth
  • Dealing With Our Brokenness
  • Having a Come to Jesus Moment
  • The Loneliness Factor
  • The Perfect Ingredient for a Narcissist
  • Stepping out in Faith

Stay tuned for Part 3. Interview with Founder & Executive Director of &Rise Jennifer Ramirez

In the meantime, check out Jennifer Ramirez’s website so that you are familiar with all of the services that she has to offer.

Until next time,

Katina Horton

Episode 115: Interview with Founder & Executive Director of &Rise Jennifer Ramirez-Part 1

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 115: Interview with Founder & Executive Director of &Rise Jennifer Ramirez-Part 1

Have you ever said the following: “Why am I finding myself in the same situation? I need a new man, a new job, and a new house.”? If that sounds like you, then listen to this episode between Jennifer and I as we unpack some of the things that are holding us back. And the answer is not what you think.

Interview with Jennifer Ramirez Podcast Topics:

Stay tuned for Part 2. Interview with Founder & Executive Director of &Rise Jennifer Ramirez

In the meantime, check out Jennifer Ramirez’s website so that you are familiar with all of the services that she has to offer.

Until next time,

Katina Horton