Have you ever lived in denial like I have been doing for the last couple of months?
We all do .At least I know there might be at least one person reading this that will identify with living in denial about some aspect of their life.
For me it is the fact that I need to be taking better care of myself.
Am a fastidious eater and I exercise,though not much .When I started having stiffness in my joints especially when the cold season started I knew it was time to get out a yoga mat and engage in some exercise that would do my joints some good.
Yoga would also give me some me time,Nairobi is such a fast paced city and one can easily forget to take time out for themselves,which might explain why we are seeing a rise in the number of people having to deal with stress related conditions getting younger by the day.
I have tried yoga before and I like the fact that it is a low impact work out program that will be easy on my joints because I cannot run !
Yoga is a great option for me because as I said I cannot run and I did not want a work out program that would hurt my joints .
In the short time I have done the yoga workouts which take me about one and a quarter hour every morning,I have righted my posture,learned to listen to the cues my body is sending me and not push it too much.My knee joints feel much better already and I thought to myself why not organize a fun work out for a Saturday morning then follow it with lunch at a swanky upmarket in Nairobi ?
In the hope that some one else out there might be interested,I have space for just 20 people who would like to enjoy a low impact fun work out with some amazing people.
If you feel some time out for yourself on a Saturday morning feels like fun,then by all means sign up for the event.
If we go and watch Black Panther only because it is a story about an African nation ,with a African super hero and because finally we get to watch people that look like us starring in what has to be one of the most phenomenally successful movies of our times,we miss what I think is the whole point of the movie.
Black Panther is predominantly a movie about redemption.
My feelings about the movie Black Panther are similar to the feelings I got after reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book Americanah or Ijeoma Umebinyuo’s book Questions for Ada.
It is a feeling and a state of being I cannot describe because those two books and this movie took me back to a place, a place that as a woman of African origin I had long forgotten.A place of power.A place of hope.A place of new beginnings about how I am going to look at and understood myself from now on.
To be honest,I do not think that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee,who were among the 3 co-creators of the Marvel comics series which enjoyed phenomenal success from the late 1950’s to 1970 . These two men both with Jewish roots I bet had no idea what they started when they first published the first Black Panther comic book,issue #52 in July of 1966.
They had no idea that with the birth of Black Panther,millions of Africans and people of African heritage would be proudly flocking to movie theaters to see people who looked like them starring in one of the most highly acclaimed action movies of our times.
It is safe to guess that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee whose parents were immigrants to the US both had an idea of what it felt like to belong to a place which was home but not really home. Ijeoma Umebinyuo in her book Questions for Ada writes:
“So, here you are too foreign for home too foreign for here. Never enough for both.”
Both of them may have listened to the stories their parents told of their lives ,how difficult and hard it was when they first stepped onto the shores of the United States to make a new life for themselves(America is not kind to immigrants).These stories of fighting the odds to be a success must have inspired these series that the two men created where super heroes fight to ensure “good” wins against “evil”.
At a time when there was no black super hero to speak of,they introduced an African super hero to a readership of Marvel Comics that was 100 % white at a period in time when the the superhero genre of comic books was enjoying commercial success.
Years later, Wesley Snipes would make valiant efforts to bring Black Panther to life many times , his vision and goal in trying to bring Wakanda to life which he stated in an interview with Slate magazine was because it he felt it was ,”a fantastic way to help address some of the stereo types about Africa and the Africans glory,the African history,the African people of the day and of the time.”
But Snipes dream was not to be,it was not the right time .That was until Marvel which is owned by Disney studios started releasing action block busters like CaptainAmerica:Civil War and Chadwick Boseman made his first appearance as Black Panther in 2016.
The rest became history because when Ryan Coogler(writer/director) and Joe Robert Vole (screen writer) were paired up and together they have made Black Panther into an action packed adventure worth the one hundred and thirty five minutes you spend on your seat.On the way to grossing over $1Billion this weekend, the pair who are both African Americans have turned what was previously an overlooked classic into a “relatable and relevant movie” of the times we are living in.
Through out the more than two hours of action that has only just one rude gesture, we are living in a fantasy world that oddly is rooted in a real world that is in turmoil and Wakanda nation as a nation is trying to evolve as a country as it goes through a transition in leadership and a leader of a new generation takes up the title of the Black Panther .
African countries are struggling in a similar manner,some more than others to try and find a seat at the global table and not just lean in into the conversation on global trade but become active players in a world that has had trade and economic policies skewed more in the favour of Western countries.Some of the turmoil that we are seeing in African countries is as a result of this generational struggle of an identity and the result has been often times tragic.
In Black Panther,Wakanda is not a single tribe but a group of tribes that together form the kingdom of Wakanda ,one of the worlds most technologically advanced countries of whom the Black Panther is a hereditary title.In the film we see the struggle that transition brings when the King T’Chaka is tragically killed in a United Nations bombing and his son T’Challa has to fight many enemies to be worthy of this title .T’Challa has to struggle to define himself as a King and in one of the scenes we have Nakia played by our very beautiful Lupita Nyong’o say ,“You cant let your father’s mistakes define who you are.You get to decide what kind of King you are going to be.”
Many African countries are living through the consequences of mistakes that were done by previous presidents/kings/prime ministers and for some countries ,they seem stuck in a time warp that they think they cannot get out of.
Black panther is a reminder that there is always opportunity for rebirth or redemption at any point in time ,that is what life is,life is change.To be stuck in the same place,with the same mindsets is death.
We are living in a world that is constantly testing how we see ourselves and our place in the world as Africans.We cannot keep hiding behind the fact that we have always been the recipients of aid or that we were once colonized and have suffered through bad leadership.
Why,despite the many natural resources we have,do Africa countries expect bail outs from foreign donors ?
Why,despite the fact that we have some of the brightest minds on the continent at this moment in time do we keep making bad political choices when it comes to our leaders ?
Is it not time that we looked at ourselves anew ?
Is this not the time that we are reminded,thanks to the interest in African literature and increasing acclaim and commercial success of African writers and culture that we see this as our time of redemption ?
It is my hope that as many head of states from Africa see these film for what it is and hopefully pricks their consciences and that they decide to do better for their countries and the people who they lead.
The movie is a timely reminder to Africans and people of African origin or with African roots that there is everything to be proud about who we are,everything from our hair,art,fashion and culture was on display on Black panther.
Let us celebrate who we are without forgetting where we have come from or where we are going for at one point in time #WeWereKings ,we still are we just have to remind ourselves of the these things we have forgotten.
Let us take the responsibility of making the world a better place, “we have the tools to liberate ourselves and the people in the world that look like us.We cannot turn our backs on the truth our fore fathers were too afraid to face,the truth they hid.We cannot turn our backs on that truth,we must right their wrongs.”
Our redemption as Africans ,as people with a role and a place in the world begins when we start looking at ourselves anew and using the tools(natural and human resources) we have to redeem ourselves .
And the best part about Black Panther,definitely the women because characters had depth and they were given an opportunity to give a bad-ass performance.This very simple fact of allowing women to be themselves has made women who would not ordinarily walk into a movie theater to watch a high action movie flocking to buy tickets to watch Black Panther.
Three of my girl friends and I went to watch this movie and could not stop talking about it afterwards,I have talked to a lot of other women who went to watch it too who would not ordinarily watch an action movie and they loved it as well.
A unanimous conclusion from the women that have watched the movie is the admiration they expressed for both General Okoye,Nakia and Shuri.In an interview carried on Vanity Fair,Lupita Nyong’o says of the women in the cast ,“Women are allowed to realize their full potential and that’s what Ryan [Coogler] wanted to show and he committed to having that number of women around him.”
The women in Wakanda are not afraid to confront men when they make bad decisions or to challenge them either.
One of my most memorable scenes from the movie is when General Okoye head of Wakanda’s armed forces and Intel confronts W’Kabi who is Wakanda’s head of security and they have this exchange.
W’Kabi to Ooye : “Would you kill me, my love ?”
Okoye to W’Kabi: “For Wakanda ,without question!I would die protecting1”
That scene right there,shook me and I am still thinking about it.
Danai Gurira who plays General Okoye and whose home country happens to be Zimbabwe gives a sterling performance through out the movie and the car chase they have with Lupita Nyong’o while on a mission is among the most thrilling scenes in the whole movie.Seeing her in action together with the Dora Milajes you realize how we have undervalued ourselves as women and the contribution we can make to our communities and countries.
Women are the steady ,strong and powerful players of our societies,African culture recognized this and great honor was accorded to them. Wakanda is a better country because it values its women and we need to learn from the high cost we have had to pay of maintaining the lie that only men should and can lead.
Our redemption as a communities,as countries begins with this simple truth “that to redeem ourselves we have to go back to the beginning..to our ancestral plains and origins,to where we “lost” our home and find ourselves.Only then can we right the wrongs we have had to live with.”
What were your favourite parts of Black Panther ?We would love to hear from you.
At one point in their life,a woman will get her first yeast infection and she will go rushing to her doctor,scared , confused and itchy.
Yeast infections are fungal infections,pretty common among women and are caused by the organism Candida albicans and affect the skin and mucous membranes of a woman’s vagina ,they could also affect your oral cavity as well.If you are a mother and have breastfed your baby,you maybe familiar with oral thrush,these two conditions are caused by the same fungus.
Candida albicans is commonly found in our mouth,digestive tract,vagina , skin as well and is usually harmless.The reason for the harmless existence of this fungus is because good bacteria is also present and this ensures a perfect balance is maintained between the candida albicans and the good bacteria .
However some certain conditions do occur which affect this balance and the result is that there is overgrowth of the candida albicans which then results in a yeast infection.
The conditions that favour an increase of the candida albicans could be illness or if someone is on medication like antibiotics .
Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria and the death of the good bacteria causes an increase in the amount of the candida albicans.
The main symptoms of a yeast infection are itching of the vulva and area around the vagina and there may also be discharge.
Left untreated it is possible for the infection to be passed on to her partner or it may end up in a woman’s blood stream which then makes it very difficult to treat.
Normal treatment for yeast infections is a topical cream or oral antifungal medication.
Something you might want to do to ward of yeast infections whether you are on medication or as part of living healthy is take natural yoghurt.
Natural yoghurt contains lactobacillus acidophilus, “a good bacteria ” which is present in your intestines as well as the mouth,vagina and helps provide the good bacteria your body needs to keep yeast infections at bay.
There is no set rule on the amount of yoghurt to take while on a dose of antibiotics but a serving or two a day of natural yoghurt while you are on medication is a good idea.
(A serving of yoghurt is a bout 175 grammes or 3/4 of a cup.)
There is a lot of anecdotal advice on how to treat yeast infections but it is always advisable to seek the advice of a medical professional first .
The Winter Olympics got off to a colorful start in Pyeongchang in Gangwon Province of South Korea.
This year marks the 94th year since the first Winter Olympic games in 1924 in Chamonix ,France.
The Winter Olympics are held the second year after the more popular Summer Olympic are held and attract a select group of countries whose weather conditions favour winter sports.Africa did not have any country representing the continent until 1960 when South Africa made its debut at the games with an all-white team, we have had at least one African country taking part in the games since then.
This year is special as there will be 13 African athletes flying their countries flags , most of the athletes participating in the Winter Olympic games have been born or trained outside the continent .A major reason for the small number of African athletes at the Winter Games is the fact that the tropical climate on the continent does not provide the conditions that would make conducive training grounds for the type of sports at the Winter Olympics.
The African countries taking part in the Winter Olympics are Kenya,Nigeria,Eritrea,Morocco,Ghana,Madagascar,Togo and South Africa.
Sabrina Wanjiku Simader, is representing Kenya and she is the first alpine skier to ever represent the country and her debut at the Winter Olympics is an exciting opportunity for her as well as for the country.The 19 year old whose father is Austrian was all smiles as she carried the Kenyan flag high during the opening ceremony .
A team you will also want to keep your eyes on as they are also making their debut is Nigeria,which has a bob sled team and a skeleton athlete as well as being all-female.The team’s journey to Pyeongchang started last year in February when they launched a Gofundme campaign to raise funds for what would be Nigeria’s maiden debut at the Winter Olympics.The bob sled team is made up of athletes Akuoma Omeoga, Ngozi Onwumere and Seun Adigun and the skeleton athlete Simidele Adeagbo.
Hopefully after whis year,we will see an even higher number of African athletes at the Winter Olympics in Beijing,China 2022 and that African governments will see to it that they support these athletes.
Watch the teams on the Ellen DeGeneres show ,the games are available on satellite Television provider DSTV on SS12,13 and 14 and on Kwese TV the games are live on Olympics HD channel 306.
At Maridadi Lifestyle we would like to send the African athletes the best of wishes as they represent the continent.
My friend Wambui and I are on an errand around Toi in Kibera and as she is parking her car,she notices someone she thinks she knows,but he looks different she says.I turn to take a second look at the young man she is referring to who is now directing us to a parking spot.You could easily pass him,ignore him or shudder when you look at him.
He is in torn jeans,a grey t shirt that has seen better days , open pair of battered brown shoes and in his hands a faded grey towel.See those towels that they sell in traffic jams in Nairobi that end up somewhere in your car until you need it and can’t remember where you placed the last one one you bought and you tell yourself you have to buy another one.And when you buy a new one you find the old one and now you have a couple of towels that you really do not need.
That is what he is holding in his hand,a small grey,damp towel.
He comes to stand next to the drivers side of the car,unconsciously wiping the car as he talks to us,he works at a car wash.
But that is not what you notice when you first see him,you will first see the sores on his lips,sores that have turned his lips pink,an unnatural shade of pink with red sores that look like blisters,the pink spots on his skin seem to be spreading because he also has a patch of pink with a smattering of his natural skin color on the tip of his nose.
Wambui makes small talk with him and promises to be back in a few minutes,sadly I do not think much about that young man all I ask myself is what happened to him and quickly start calculating how much time we will have to spend in traffic to get home.
When we get back to the car,I strap myself in and then Wambui does not drive off,she starts a conversation with him.
His name is Amigo,he is 35 and this skin condition he has…one day he was fine,all dark brown melanin color, then one day he wakes up and his skin color has started to change and he cannot explain it.He struggles to explain what changed,how his skin changed and I can tell he does not know what to say as he keeps shaking his head .He works at a car wash nowadays as he cannot find a job,lives with his mother and has a 6 year old son that calls him dad that he has to take care of. Wambui talks and I listen and thinking to myself of how many other people have been helped by Amigo to park their cars and once they had done so,they locked their cars , went off to their business,shopping for stuff at Toi or Adams and when they were done,they came got into their cars and drove off.Did not even look back.
Those people could be me.
Amigo talked and as he talked of how he had been to Kenyatta and Mbagathi hospitals hoping to get medication for his skin condition,but nothing seems to change even after these visits and medication.
Amigo talked and we listened and later as we drove back home we talked about him and we felt our hearts break,listening to him.We promised to back and we prayed for him.
I hope we can do something for Amigo,maybe get him someone that could diagonize his skin condition or give him a job
If you are ever in Toi during this Christmas season and you see that young man,say hallo to him,encourage him because sometimes we meet people on the street they look fine to us but they are fighting giants within themselves,they are fighting battles we know nothing about and carrying loads of care and worry that would crash us.
As we celebrate Christmas this year,spare a thought and your time for the people you would normally never talk to or listen to and just give them your time,it costs nothing.
My encounter with Amigo made me think of the help I have received from people over the years and sometimes that help was not even monetary,it was a listening ear,encouragement,prayers,best of wishes as I worked on an idea and I realized that the best help we can give to anyone is our time.
It also challenged me to give time to people who sometimes are in the periphery of my life,people I would not normally talk to because I was afraid that there is nothing I could say to them that would change their circumstances or be of help .We all can be an answer to someones prayer and sometimes their prayer is that someone sees them,sees them and listens to them because when we listen,it shows we care.
The value of time is so precious,that time you give to a friend looking for someone to listen to the challenges they are going through at work,with life or as they grow their business is invaluable.If you spare some time to listen to someone,maybe that is all they need to know that someone cares enough to give them their time may give that person the strength to live another day.
.This Christmas,give more of yourself,of your time to someone you would normally not give your time to,listen to them and really hear what they are saying.It is the best thing you can do to yourself and to someone who needs you.
The year was full of surprises,heartbreaks,lessons,challenges overcome and above all miracles from unexpected places.Among the many things that happened over the course of the past 11 months I picked just a few that meant something to me and most seemed to have happened in the second half of the year .
Why the second half of the year had so many lessons in it for me may partly wholly be due to the realization that I learned to open my eyes to the miracle that life is and to let it surprise me.
She is the kind of woman I would want to have a long talk ,in a side walk coffee bar , large mirrors antique furniture with movie posters framed on their walls,we would watch people walk by both be wondering where they were all hurrying to .
And we would go back to talking about tolerance for people who do not look like is,talk like us or believe in the same things we do and we would have a blast because she does look like that kind of woman.
That she sports dreadlocks gives her instant street credentials to her being very attuned to the very complicated nature of human beings.
Why am I talking about Doria,who up until last week was virtually unknown?
Because she is soon going to be the mother in law to Prince Harry.
Her daughter Meghan Markle, stars in the hit TV series Suits as Rachael Zane , a part time summer associate in a law firm and is one of my favourite characters on Suits.
The engagement of Meghan to Prince Harry was announced two days ago and the internet went wild.
Prince Harry as you well know is brother to second in line to the British throne Prince William and being a royal watcher I was elated that my favourite character in suits was engaged to this particular member of the House of Widnsor.
Growing up I admired Princess Diana (Prince Harry’s mother) especially for her charity work and campaign against landmines in Africa especially in Angola where landmines had maimed and killed thousands.It was with shock and disbelief that I still remember going to buy the paper for my father and seeing the headline of the Sunday Nation on the morning of August 31,1997 that she had died in a car accident in Paris.
The engagement has to be one of my highlights for the year,I am among the millions looking forward to the May wedding .
And why it is the highlight of the year is because this marriage it will forever change how we view race especially In Europe and that is a good thing.s otherwise,the British press called the very idea of someone of color joining the royal family scandalous.Find out why.
Who would have thought this would happen when royalty purists made us believe otherwise .
Finally I got over my fear of speaking before crowds.
I always wondered how anyone could stand before a crowd and speak,now I know how it feels like .
Yes,I am shy and would literally break into a sweat at the thought of standing up before crowds to say anything.
But the year started with meeting Joyce Mwangi,getting placed in the same group as we studied the book of John heard me mention that I blog,she wanted to start like yesterday and I told her just write.
And write she did,published a devotional based entirely on the Kenyan National Anthem and she launched it and she gave me the terrifying honor of reading a speech.
It was a really humbling moment for me was to speak at book launch of the Kenya National Anthem Devotional,she writes at His Creation blog.She is doing some amazing work,head over to her blog and find out about what she has been doing and order the book from there,she will ship it to you wherever you are.
As a result of what I thought was a daunting challenge,I got to speak infront of a crowd,I did not stammer,sweat or faint.
It was not something I set out to do,it just happened and because I am always asking people ,especially women to tell their stories as it is through stories that we learn and experience life,there are 3 more women sharing about some truly amazing things -God’s love and marriages a God intended it to be.
It is my hope to have a blogging workshop early in 2018 and incase you are interested please fill in your details HERE and I will be in touch.
In the fast paced world we are living in right now where when you wake up everyday,there is a newer version of everything and every few hours or so you are updating the applications on your phone,it easy to lose sight of the fact that convenience sometimes makes us self absorbed.
This convenience has made us a little impatient with people and things that do not move at lightning speed,we have come intolerant to faults,imperfections and with each other.Modern technology is giving us convenience but is robbing us of what we need most as human beings-relationship with each other.
After finishing the Black and white photo challenge,that is when I learned that indeed I had taken so much for granted and had not really been taking time to see the beautiful things around me.Seems I have been living life at 120 km/hour and that I had not time to appreciate life as it is , makes me sad because it means that a lot of things were lost to me that I can never get back because I was busy.
You may want to try the challenge and see what changes after 7 days,its worth it.
5.The value of family and friends
God put us in a family and gave us friends that stretch our limits on love,patience,gratitude,kindness,peace,joy and a lot of other virtues.The relationships we have with our family and friends shape us,mold us,challenge us and make us better people(hopefully).
A family is the basic units from which all other social relationships are formed,it is the launching pad to all other relationships we will have in adult hood and the skills we learn in our families determine the quality of relationships we will have with friends and with our spouses eventually.
Can you imagine what a beautiful world we would have if we put families front and centro of government policies,development agendas locally and the global agenda?we might just be able to solve 50% of the conflict we have in the world today.
This year I have known what having a loving family and a group of friends is all about.To my family,my kids,husband,sisters,parents a big thank you for a wonderful year.
Of special mention are the girls from my chama that made my year special:Wambui,Flo,Jackie,Belinda,Mwari,Myl,Njeri,Pat,Sue,Kagendo thank you for teaching me the true value of friendship.May we live to celebrate many more years of friendship.
My friends from my Bible Study Fellowship who are like family to me now.
Kawi and Mukami for being sisters.
Maryanne Waweru Wanyama of Mummy Tales, you are always an inspiration keep telling the stories of the wonderful women you get to meet.
Looking forward to an amazing 2018.
What have been the highlights of your year so far,anything interesting happened to you that you would like to share,challenges overcome,goals achieved?
But let’s go back to the beginning shall we and allow me to tell you about myself.
In order to keep writing,even when I do not post a daily bog post I have to write,in my journal or on a slip of paper or somewhere.Whenever I have kept off writing I have seen my creativity take a slump and it becomes harder each day to write the more I keep off it.
Same thing applies to keeping and staying faithful to the decision to eat healthier as well as exercise,it is hard and it is a choice you have to make every day.
And everyday you wake up to that gap that exists between where you are and where you want to be.That GAP is not an easy thing to wake up to everyday but it is a reminder that there exists within it the opportunity to grow as well as challenge yourself.
Even if you have tried everything under the sun and you feel you are not there yet,do not give up.
That gap you see is a friend,an ally and a source of the energy as well as the motivation to keep going at it,towards your goal.
Now,you may be asking,since you know what your goal is,how do you start towards making this goal a reality,a reality you are aware of everyday and one that keeps you motivated enough to stay the course ?
1.Knowing how you got there.
Real change is achieved when we know where we are and how we got there.
When we understand where we are then we are better prepared to start the journey towards creating the kind of future we would like for ourselves.
Maybe we started having pizza for lunch as well as dinner once too often or it could be that we started neglecting a regular exercise regime or gave up on the second week of going to the gym when we thought we would die from the muscle aches(muscle aches are actually a good sign that your muscles are working as they should).
2.Know what is on your plate every day.
Keeping a food diary for a week of what you eat is a good way of tracking your eating habits.
A food diary will help you see what you are eating more or less off and what you should cut out altogether.You may just find that it is the 4 cups of coffee or tea with sugar that are contributing to all the extra calories your body is storing up as fat.
Maybe it is the extra glasses of wine every weekend that are making it hard to lose the weight .
A food diary is a good way of tracking whatever it is you eat and will give you an idea of how much you are consuming versus what your body really needs.
You will be surprised by what you see after keeping it for at least 2 weeks.
Sharing the details of your food diary with a nutritionist or dietitian will help them create a meal plan that will cater to the kind of lifestyle you are living.Each and every person is different and what diet works for one person may give very different results to someone else.
By having a diet personalized for you,then you are more likely to stick to it as it incorporates food you can actually eat and not gag over.
Any weight loss program will only be sustainable when you eat food that you enjoy.
3.Knowing what your body needs
In school children are taught the basics of good nutrition ,most people actually know how a good meal should look like. It just seems easier to ignore all the good advice that we know and just eat the food we feel like eating at that particular time.
Every individual is different and a construction worker will not require the same kind of food as someone sitting in the office the whole day.
A woman needs her food intake to meet some dietary requirements that a mans body does not require.
The body’s nutritional needs are determined by age, gender,genes,occupation and any medical conditions we may be having.
This is where I would like to challenge anyone reading this to know how your body works and what your body needs.
When you know how your body works,what it needs you will know what to give it as fuel in the form of the food you eat.
In case of any medical conditions you may be having with,please see a qualified medical doctor.
4.Know who to seek advice from
The nutrition sector in the country is pretty much unregulated and one should be careful about whom they take advice about weight loss,a change in diet and living healthy from.
Mot public and private hospitals do have resident nutritionists and there are nutritionists like myself who give counselling services to individuals.It is prudent to do some research as well as background checks of people who claim to give out advice on what you should and should not be eating.
And read up as much as you can before you make a visit to your nutritionist or any medical provider.
5.Remember the gap
This gap,this seemingly huge gap that we seem to see before us, that is between where we are and where we want to be is all a matter of perspective.
Always remember that.
That gap can either be the source of a lot of frustration or the starting point towards real change.
Be easy on yourself and celebrate each milestone,even those that seem little,like eating an extra serving of vegetables or fruit or spending an extra half an hour at the gym.
When you are grateful for how far you have come ,you are giving yourself the energy and push to keep on running towards the goal of where you want to be.
Was this helpful?
We would love to hear your comments and any questions you may have as well.
“One of the secrets to a happy life is giving yourself continuous small treats.”
The other day my girlfriends took me out for a treat,a day at some swanky spa at an address in Upperhill. To be honest I have never gone to a spa ,never thought it was necessary but hey there is always a first time for everything and I and my body loved every minute of it.
Getting myself a heady and aromatic coffee scrub , followed by a dead sea wrap that took me back ,way back to what babies must feel like when they are tucked into their mothers wombs had my skin pores absorbing the moisturizing cream and oil that was used thereafter.A massage followed and my skin and body loved every minute of it as my tense muscles responded to the massage therapist gentle coaxing by relaxing under her touch.
As we sat at the terrace of the restaurant enjoying a view of the garden I thought of the millions of women who all want glowing skin .How could I be able to talk to them about incorporating nutrition as part of maintaining the glow that followed spa treatments.How would I make it easier for them as well as for myself to maintain the smooth glowing skin that followed a spa treatment as part of living a healthier lifestyle?
What you eat ,you wear in public and your skin being the largest organ is the first point of call when you want to gauge how healthy your lifestyle is.Making some small changes in your diet can improve the look and feel of your skin and it starts with what you put on your plate.
1.Eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily
Ensure your fruits and vegetables come in a variety of colors,make you plate a rainbow of colors .Fruits and vegetables are essential as part of a daily skin care regimen because they help protect your skin from damage that is caused by free radicals .The vitamins present in abundance in fruits and vegetables help boost your immune system making it easy for your skin to heal from blemishes and support growth of collagen which provides your skin with the elasticity needed to prevent formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
2.Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamins and especially Vitamin E that is good for your skin and helps support healthy skin growth as well as gives protection from the damage caused as we age.An intake of nuts and seed,you just a need a handful daily will help provide much needed nourishment to your skin.
3.Stop with the crash diets
Crash diets play havoc on your skin,constantly losing then regaining your weight will show on your skin with the presence of wrinkled and sagging skin.That is why it is really important to maintain a healthy weight by making healthy eating a lifestyle decision that is not reliant on a diet that you cannot sustain in the long term.
4.Cut out the junk food
We know that junk is bad for your body ,and it is bad on your skin as well.A diet high in carbohydrates and sugar may result in breakouts on your skin .Make sure your plate is filled with the right kinds of foods at every meal.
Your skin needs water to stay supple ,drinking your 6-8 glasses of water will help flush out the toxins from your body and aids in nourishing your skin cells and improving circulation .This will help prevent premature aging and wrinkles.
In addition avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and taking moderate amounts of tea and coffee which all dehydrate your body will help your skin maintain its glow.
If you really do have to take alcohol and love your morning cup of coffee, then make sure you take a glass of water with each serving of alcohol or cup of coffee that you take.
Surprised exercise is on the list?It had to be.
Exercise is great for your whole body and our skin which covers that body will benefit greatly when you take up a regular exercise schedule.When your exercise you improve the circulation of blood in your body and your blood carries oxygen,nutrients to the cells in your body.By exercising you are increasing blood flow through out your body and helping your liver flush out the toxins from your system which can mean nothing but good news to your body and your skin as well.
We live in the tropics and for those that enjoy a day out in the sun wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun is necessary.Yes ,even for us who live in the tropics and think our darker skins can withstand the heat, we do need sun screen.
Making a few changes in your life can greatly improve the condition of your skin which when done together with your spa treatments can work towards giving you a better and healthier looking skin for longer.
Eating healthy is a form of self love,only you can give it to yourself.
When you make up your mind to start eating healthy,the most difficult hurdle you will have to get over everyday is the hurdle of staying motivated to eat healthy.
Eating healthy is a lifestyle decision that will not be solved by going on a diet.It has to be a conscious decision every day to be mindful about what ends up on your plate.
When I started writing and talking about nutrition I was excited to share my knowledge and experience in the kitchen with my readers and I had a lot of fun.But the very same reason I started writing ,started to wane off because somehow I got demotivated.
Suddenly everywhere I looked,everyone was dishing out nutrition advice based on nothing but what was trending in social media groups.Everyone was selling slimming teas,juicing,keeping off carbohydrates,eating only proteins and making a mess of the beautiful science of why and how food is used by our bodies.
Everyone was lapping up the myths as gospel truths and my interest in writing started to wane off.My only involvement in nutrition came when I took part in the medical camps organized by our church and I would give nutritional advice and counsel to the people i Met during those medical camps
It was interesting to see people quickly becoming health experts of sorts from reading just a few articles and without any formal training on what nutrition is, how various conditions would influence how food was absorbed in the body,they would start giving out nutritional advice.
More interesting was to find myself dishing out nutrition advice even without thinking about it and bursting a few myths that were being bandied around as means to weight loss and health .So why did I stop writing again…..
And so I found myself back where I started writing about nutrition because the information being being bandied about was that staying healthy was a 15 or 21 day affair of eating certain kinds of foods and avoiding others.
But is it …..really?
Staying healthy is a lifestyle choice,a reason most diets do not work is that they promise you quick results that do not last because somehow you fall off the diet wagon.And so you will find yourself trying every diet that promises to give you quick results when instead you should be using your energy to make healthier lifestyle choices.
And that is the reason I am back to nutrition ,I got tired of looking at food as if it was an enemy to be fought instead of something to be enjoyed.
Here is what I would like to do for you ,as a nutritionist I would like to disrupt the way you see and think about healthy eating.How can you make food your partner in living a healthier life and not see it as something you should be afraid of?
There are many places,people ,pills and teas that promise you quick results but do they really work at keeping you there..at making healthy eating a lifestyle choice?
I have spent years reading about what eating healthy is all about and how we can use food to manage as well as maybe avoid certain conditions.Those same years have been spent seeing how blessed we are as a country because we have such a wide variety of foods and fresh foods to choose from.
Is there a way I can help you live healthier,make wiser food choices,maybe a topic you would really like me to talk about or maybe write about that you think you need clarity on?
Write it in the comments section and let us see how we can start you on eating more healthy as well as keep you there.
A few years back, I showed my now pre teen daughter ,photos of myself while at the university.
She could not believe it was me.
To be honest she laughed until she cried.
And still did not believe it was me.
I had to take a look at that photo again to confirm that indeed it was me in all my chubby glory.
I was so round ,bouncing off a wall if inadvertently someone knocked me against one would have been pretty easy.
Looking at that picture now,I almost doubt that it is me ,struggling with my weight and pretending I was fine with it.
For every 10 women you meet 9 are struggling with some weight issue.It is never evident at first glance, but we are all as women struggling with something and it manifests itself through the food we indulge in or deny ourselves.
My fluctuating weight was evidence of the emotional turmoil I was going through on the inside.
I was an emotional eater.Most women are emotional eaters.
We eat and drink when we are happy,unhappy and when we are really really happy with life,we do not even feel hungry.We just feed of our emotional high (like when we are in love) to keep on going and when the high goes,we can really eat .
My go to foods were chocolate,ice cream or anything deep fried at the drop of a hat which in a heartbeat were my pick me ups whenever I was going through some emotional upheaval.
It could be a breakup you are going through,stress at work or just the feeling that you are stuck in some area of your life,it does not matter what it is but your body tells you there is something wrong and the only way to “fix “it is get something in your mouth or so we think.
I know I did that several times, taking comfort in food,much easier and tastes really good at the time.
These experiences taught me something about food,the struggle with weight and wellness.
That sometimes the battle you are fighting is not what people see on the outside,it is what is going on from the inside that will determine what eventually lands on your plate.
No matter how many diets you go through,how much you read about the benefits of healthy eating,nothing will start working until you fix what is not right from the inside.
The journey to a healthier life starts from the inside and even when you do not feel like it,eat the apple,take the salads,drink more water,cut back on the unhealthy foods and replace them with more fresh vegetables and fruits and magic starts to happen.
It takes some getting used to,remembering that the body you have is the only one you will ever have to take you through life as well as achieve your dreams helps some.
Take care of it.
Have you ever struggled with weight and would you call yourself an emotional eater,what helped you get back on your journey to living healthier?I would love to hear from you.