When it comes to having a positive attitude for a better lifestyle, no one has that down to a science better than rap royalty Rev. Run (Joseph Simmons) and his lovely wife, Justine Simmons.
Raising a beautiful and successful family right in front of the cameras has never been easy, but the Simmons family pulls it off without a hitch.
When we got the opportunity to speak with the delightfully charismatic couple, it was clear that they were the real deal! Filled with chemistry, it was impossible to miss that they were not only husband and wife — they were friends. Sharing a love for family and pursuit of happiness, the couple of 23 years talked exclusively with BET about their relationship, health and how they handle the good and the bad with religion.
“We read a lot of books and we attend church,” Reverend Run said exclusively to BET. “I mean, things happen, but you have to keep your nose up. Just like riding a plane — if the nose isn’t up, the plane goes down. Chin up will keep your spirituality up!”
In the time we spoke with them, we gained a strong understanding why they are always flying high! The power couple are always looking for ways to improve their lives mentally, physically and spiritually for further growth.
“I ran into my manager, Michael Leiman, and we both talked about our fathers having diabetes. He told me about Novo Nordisk and Ask. Screen. Know. and it clicked to start talking more and doing more about my health, which is important to religion,” the 52-year-old Reverend said.
Novo Nordisk is a global health care company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given them the experience and capabilities that also enable them to help people defeat other serious chronic conditions: rare bleeding disorders, growth hormone-related disorders, and obesity.
“After the talk with my manager, I went to get tested and, thank God, I did not have diabetes, but I was definitely at risk. So that put heat to my feet, and I began walking. I had to make a difference. I am very proud to be working with Novo Nordisk,” he said.
Also taking Diabetes seriously due to family history with the medical condition, Justine jumped into action.
“I got on board because my father was in a coma due to diabetes,” Justine said. “If my aunts and other family members knew about the screenings and things like that, it could have saved their lives and have been so helpful. I went to get a screening and, thank goodness, I did not have diabetes, but I knew that I had to get on it.”
After receiving a clean bill of health, the happy couple decided to make small changes in their lifestyle, and with help of their children, so far, so good!
Using clever tactics to get as many steps in a day as possible, the couple finds simple ways to meet their goals.
“Every night I go to bed early and I wake up early so that I can walk,” said Rev Run. “I park my car further from the mall. I use to park right up to the door, but now I park wherever in order to walk.”
“I still get mad when he does that, but I know he is right,” said Justine.
Rev Run also takes account for the steps that he takes in order to maintain good health. "I take the stairs instead of the elevators. I walk and use my counter. I post it on my Instagram story so that it holds me accountable for my actions. Anything under 8,000 steps is a problem for me,” he said.
Seemingly proud of his accomplishments, Rev Run explained his math, “Here’s something to think about: I was away in California and I was going to miss a day of walking. So, I got to the airport early and walked around and still made 10,000 steps. The airport is a good place to walk.”
Not only do they move more, they also eat better. “We eat more fruit,” Justine said.
They are not the only ones on a serious health campaign. Their 22-year-old son, Diggy Simmons, is all about keeping his model physique. “Diggy eats so healthy. He is the health police in the house. He is always talking about having more veggies and fruit in the house. So, we did just that,” says Justine.
Speaking of food, Justine said there are a few things that she loves to cook to keep their taste buds satisfied. “Diggy introduced us to brown rice pasta. It is very healthy and it tastes great,” she said. “I don’t play when it comes to my food, I don’t want to compromise taste. So, what I eat has to be good as well as healthy.”
“We also like Brussels sprouts. Justine and Diggy tear those things up. It’s a big hit!” Rev Run said. “We also eat chicken sausage instead of beef or pork. We also love the Morning Star hamburger crumbles. We make sloppy Joes with this and it is delicious.”
“It was Russell [Simmons] that introduced us to that,” Justine said.
“He is the yogi vegan of the family,” Russell said.
“Miley, who is taller than me, loves the brown rice pasta with Morning Star crumbles and a little marinara sauce. That makes her happy. So, we are pleased to make changes that the family also loves,” Justine said.
The results from their lifestyle changes have been remarkable. So far Rev Run has lost 20 pounds and has been able to keep it off. “Now I operate a different way. I know that I can have grapes instead of candy. One day, I took Russy [their 20-year-old son] out and he wanted chicken fingers and something sweet and I just had some sashimi without rice and some fruit. I discovered that I did wonderful for lunch and that made me very happy and motivated to keep going. I wasn’t jealous of Russy and his treats at all,” he laughs.
As the ambassadors of the Ask. Screen. Know. campaign, Rev Run and Justine wants everyone to be screened for diabetes.
“It is important to learn more about the risk factors,” Justine implored. “I find it hilarious that World Diabetes Day is on my birthday, which is November 14. Can you see how God is working? It’s very spiritual. God is speaking very loud.”
As we ended our conversation, their message was crystal clear. If you live a consciously health life and make healthy decisions, you are bound to soar! So, take a moment to make a healthy decision today and take the risk factor assessment and learn more about diabetes: www.askscreenknow.com
(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
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