Vocal Nutrition with Canada’s R&B Queen Jully Black



Photo Credit: Jorge Polio Photography

I’ve had the pleasure of supporting Canada’s Queen of R&B Jully Black over the past three months in nurturing and supporting her POWERHOUSE voice. She calls me her belly boss. Jully came to me with the desire to support her voice as she ramps up to record a new album. She also wanted to strengthen her body and feel more energy. If you’ve seen Jully perform or simply just been in the room with her, you know that she possesses an incredibly contagious energy. She exudes passion and has channeled her energy into inspiring women to love the skin they are in as co-creator of Empowered In My Skin. I was honoured to be asked by Jully to speak at her sold out conference with over 170 women this past September. The next one is April 8th, so get your tickets fast!

Now, I thought that I was going to be the teacher in this relationship, but that quickly changed when Jully inspired me to get back on my drum kit. I started playing at age 3 and decided to stop at 13. You just never know why you cross paths with someone until you turn back and realize that it’s all in the master plan. We felt so inspired by each other that we created a page called SoulFull in The Kitchen. It’s an account that shares our journey of nourishing the body so music can feed the soul. We’d love for you to follow it here.


Thank you to @planetlizzdom for your amazing caricature!

Jully is a force to be reckoned and is felt when she sings, speaks and performs. She told me when we first met that she burns over 2,000 calories during her regular performance. “WHAT, the what!!” was my reaction. That’s like running for 12 miles without any stops.

So, in creating a plan for her I had to consider that she needed the right foods to support her vocal chords, but I also had to treat her pre and post performance days like she was an athlete, because she is! With the right foods, prepping in advance, travel snacks and her travel blender from Vitamix, Jully has experienced many positive changes.

She is currently in L.A recording with her team and I got the best message attached to one of her newest songs (You are definitely going to want to hear this one as soon as it’s released!)

” I just did the vocal performance of my career. Did everything you taught me.” 

There were no better words to hear. 

She then sent me a picture of her in the airport at 6 a.m. eating a can of mackerel for breakfast, with “In it to Win It” Followed by her 10 push ups for #fallandpushup30


Her commitment is a nutritionist’s dream. Her dedication to her body, mind and spirit is and will pay off in big ways.

Food is a powerful tool in our life. When we consume it the way our body requires, our gifts are elevated. When we are no longer clouded by the foods that do not serve us, we can connect deeper to what does serve us for a more fulfilling journey. For Jully, my goal was to increase anti-inflammatory foods, hydrating foods, and foods rich in antioxidants. We eliminated all mucous-forming foods and paired certain foods together for extra support during key performances.

If you are a singer, do not underestimate the power of vocal nutrition!

Here are some tips to help you nourish your beautiful gift.


  • Cow’s Dairy: yogurt, cheese, milk, cream. Dairy creates mucus and phlegm and a constant need to clear the throat.
  • Refined grains: white, whole wheat are inflammatory to the body
  • High salt: no more than 1500 mg of sodium per day
  • Caffeine: keep it to 1-2 caffeinated beverages per day max. Coffee can irritate the vocal folds, stimulating mucous production and stiffness. Try a herbal tea as a swap.
  • Carbonated drinks: This can be irritating to the vocal chords.
  • Avoid too cold or too hot for vocal chords. It will affect the muscles of your larynx.
  • Alcohol: dehydrates the vocal chords
  • Spicy foods: can irritate and cause heartburn for some
  • Candy: creates inflammation in the body


  • Water: hydrate throughout the day. It takes a minimum of 20 minutes for the water you drink to reach your larynx. Have a glass 30 minutes before beginning vocal work.
  • Water-dense foods: cucumber, celery, tomatoes, watermelon (moderate for weight loss), romaine, apples, bone broth (homemade)
  • Foods Rich in Vitamin A & C: sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, collard greens, romaine, kale, strawberries, red peppers, kiwis
  • To stimulate saliva and avoid dryness: mug of ginger tea with 1 tsp Manuka honey, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar + Manuka honey in 8 oz glass of water, handful of golden berries can also help with stimulating saliva
  • Avoid eating right before a performance: best to eat 2 hours before so your stomach isn’t too full as this can impact your voice.
  • For hoarseness: B12, echinacea, ginseng, rosehips, licorice root. Steam with eucalyptus, lavender, geranium.
  • Gargling with warm salt water is instantaneous hydration for the throat and vocal cords: Gargle 3-5 times for thirty seconds as needed or before vocal work. You can also add Throat Coat tea to the salt water gargle. Throat Coat tea decreases inflammation and lubricates the cords.


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