The Maridadi Yoga Tour kicks off next Saturday at the Coffee Casa on 3rd Parklands Avenue,Doctor’s Park .
This Yoga + Brunch event will take place at a different venue each month till the month of November and participants will have a chance of experiencing something different and exciting at each of the participating restaurants/venues as well as enjoy the health benefits that come with practicing yoga.
Yoga improves your muscles strength,posture,flexibility,respiration and increases your energy levels.Would love to have your company as we kick off this exciting tour.
Pay for your tickets well in advance as we have limited slots available,just 15 for this month,looking forward to seeing you all on the 16th.
Unbeknownst to many the British Royal Family is not as stuffy as we would like to think because Queen Victoria who is Prince Harry’s great great great great grandmother had an African god daughter who was Sarah Forbes Bonetta.
Millions of royal watchers were waiting with bated breath for the 19th of May to watch as Harry and Meghan took their vows , when they did on what was a glorious bright May Saturday morning,millions were smiling through out the ceremony and the world would not be the same again.
When we though we would not see another earth shifting moment after Barrack Obama became the first African American president of the US,we were here witnessing a person of color being welcomed into the British Royal family with all the pomp,color,good cheer and pageantry that the Brits are well know for.
Something you may have missed which for me takes the picture of the day was Prince Charles ever the gentleman walking down the 22 steps of St Georges chapel after the wedding with Meghan Merkel’s mother on one arm and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall on the other .
Being a huge fan of the Royal family and having followed them closely over the years , I was quite excited when their nuptials were announced and was looking forward to watching the Royal wedding.Contrary to what we read in the press many people in Britain are in favor of . the monarchy being retained as it is seen as being good for the country
Of all the things that took place on that day , the most enduring memory of the Royal wedding of the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex has to be the sermon that was delivered by the Most Reverend Michael Curry of Chicago.His sermon that lasted 13 minutes and 36 seconds minutes was titled the Power of Love and was a based on text from the Song of Solomon.
This is a sermon that was watched and discussed by millions that watched the wedding and will continue to be a conversation piece in many homes and social places for days to come.
The Reverend Curry is the first African American Bishop of the American Episcopal Church and he was presiding over a wedding where the bride boasted of an African heritage , getting married into the British Royal Family,something a lot of people alive today did not expect to see in their life time.
The sermon delivered to 600 invited guests of the couple in a packed 1000 year old St Georges chapel at Windsor Castle was also watched by an estimated 1.9 billion people across the world.And what a timely sermon that was at a time where we are seeing heart breaking events across the world.
A significant thing about this wedding that took place at the burial place of many British monarchs in a place steeped in history by an African American clergy man a descendant of slaves , where the Kingdom choir, a gospel choir of people of color from South East London sang a beautiful rendition of Stand by Me is that is was precedent setting.As Reverend Michael Curry quipped,two young people fell in love and we all showed up.People from all walks of life ,varying skin shades showed up at the chapel or watched the event were aware time had stood still,we were witnessing the power of love,of what it can do when it brings people together.
We were witnesses to history being made and the world hopefully will become a better place,a more tolerant place where we all experience the redemptive power of love no matter where we come from or what history we carry.
Love has been likened to an energy like fire and we know that when we harness energy we can use it to move from place to place,change the form of things ,bring warmth,color,give life,love like all forms of energy is powerful and if harnessed it it can change the world for the good of everyone.
You can watch the whole sermon here.
Also of interest was that the dress Meghan Merkle wore,designed by the first female Art Director of Givenchy British born Claire Waight Keller had a silk tulle veil that was 5 meters long ,embroidered with flowers from each of the 53 commonwealth countries,19 of which are from Africa.
With the royal wedding over and with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex now a couple,I hope we all realize where we are headed to in the world, we are living in a world where the color of our skin should not define how we treat other people.We can use the power of love ,the redemptive power of love to change the world into a place where the earth can become a sanctuary of God’s love.
At Maridadi,we want to send our best wishes to the couple and wish them the best as they start a new life together!
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.
If you follow the Organic Farmers Market in Nairobi which I have for a couple of years,you may have noticed that there are now more places where they have organized for Kenyans to buy organic food as well as more vendors, which means there has been an increase in the demand for organic food from the Kenyan market.
You must have wondered about what all the noise is about Organic farming and why suddenly there has been a surge in the demand as well as consumption of organic produce. I thought this post would be helpful in helping us appreciate organic farming as well as see why the demand for organic food has grown.
Organic farming is a system of agricultural production that involves the cultivation of crops and the rearing of animals using natural ways.
Conserve Energy defines it as a process that involves the use of biological materials,avoiding synthetic substances to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance thereby minimizing pollution and wastage.With a world population that is more than 7 billion and a land size that remains the same yet it is fighting with encroachment from human settlement,the demand for arable land is on the rise and people are looking for all manner of ways to make the most of the available land and animal resources.
One of the ways unscrupulous people have found to get more from their land and animals in order to make a few quick dollars is to pump it with chemicals,pesticides as well as speed up the maturity of farm animals like chicken by injecting them with growth hormones.
The bottom line in all of these endeavors is not a concern for the people who will eventually buy these foods from the supermarkets,it is profit greed that is the only driver for such practices that puts the lives of other human lives at risk.
It is true organic food costs more , because of the work involved as it is a very labor intensive exercise.It is also true that you expose yourself to less risk if you choose to go organic.
About 4 years back,I lived on a farm in Nakuru where we grew vegetables and other crops I also took up some organic farming on the side as an experiment project as well as to keep me busy.
My crops of choice were potatoes,zucchinis,carrots , to prepare I read widely and found that potatoes do very well especially if you mix dried manure into the soil and so I went about asking for dung from the farmers that owned cows around where we lived.I got a lot of it as well as a lot of curious looks as to what I needed cow dung it for.
But the venture came with a lot of challenges as well.The area where we lived was infested with moles ,how to get rid of them without using chemicals?
And we set about looking for a mole catcher,they do not exist anymore by the way and before we found we had a village of molehills on the farm as well as lost a lot of potatoes.
Up until the time we harvested the potatoes and carrots I never used a single drop of pesticide on them and they did fairly well.They potatoes and carrots came in all manner of sizes and we lost some as well to pests,but I had done it ,grown something without use of a single pesticide or chemical.
The need for organic farming is driven by the need for more sustainable methods of farming that ensure we will still be able to produce enough food 50 years from now on when the world population is estimated will be at more than 10 billion.
For those that have tasted organically grown fruits and vegetables you agree with me that they taste better than what you get from the supermarket shelves.Eggs from free range chicken are also more tastier ,have a yolk with the must delicious yellow color and just a bit smaller than the eggs that you get at the supermarket.
We consume a variety of pesticides and chemicals from foods like chicken,beef and other dairy products as well as from fruits and vegetables .The chemicals from pesticides and other drugs like antibiotics used to treat these animals have found their way into our food and we have started seeing resistance to the most widely available antibiotics used to treat very common infections.
Scientists are having to work very hard to keep up with the microbial mutations are now resisting the currently available antibiotics.
These resistance is leaving scientists and researchers worried as it means the increased resistance by disease causing bacteria to these drugs will expose us to infections which currently available antibiotics will not be able to treat.
The discovery of the latest antibiotic was reported this April and it was done by Canadian scientists,it was the first in antibiotic discovery in 3 decades 30 years and the drug is still years away from being available to the public.
The increasing public awareness on what is going on,increasing incidences of disease and the effects of environmentally unsustainable decades of farming methods have pushed organic farming front and centre.
If you are in Nairobi, follow the Organic Farmers Market on Facebook to see where the market will be next and get to interact with the farmers working hard to ensure we produce food in a more sustainable ad environmentally friendly manner than we are d right now.
Why is organic farming important and why should you care,I have a few reasons to think about why organic matters and who knows maybe you may take it up or talk to someone about it then we have a new generation of organic farmers.We may even meet at the Organic market.
1.Buying organic foods creates a demand in the market and will push farmers to be more responsible especially over the use of pesticides and other chemicals as they grow crops or rear their animals.This is already happening in some countries where consumers are demanding more responsibility over the use of drugs and pesticides.
In this way we are promoting a more sustainable model that ensures the earth is able to feed the future generations that come after us.
2.Buying organic foods means that you get the foods fresh,these foods have not been treated with any preservatives or had nay additives added to them to lengthen their shelf life.
The shelf life of organic foods is very short because of their very minimal journey from the farm to your plate which is what has encouraged the farm to fork movement globally and has had people support local farmers by buying local foods.
3.Buying organic has helped promoted the growth of agriculture as a means of livelihood especially among young people. Across the globe young adults are taking up agriculture and providing us with food.It has helped stem the increase in the number of the unemployed,helped increase food production as well as seen technology revolutionize farming.Europe has seen the number of its youthful population taking up farming,you may find this article from The Economist really interesting.
In Kenya as well we have several groups on social media platforms talking nothing but farming.See how dailies are falling over themselves to provide information on farming especially in the Saturday paper .
Young people are going back to the farms to ensure there is food for the more than 7 billion of us.
4.Buying organic and consuming organic ensures you know where your food comes from,how it gets produced and what goes into the production process.You are reducing your exposure to the chemical toxins that could put you at risk of developing certain life threatening conditions through the ingestion of chemicals that may have been used in their production ,processing or packing.
5.By buying organic you get to interact with the farmers that grow your food and there are benefits to that.There is nothing like meeting the person or people that put so much work to ensure you do not go hungry and appreciating the work they do.Human interaction especially in an age where technology is taking over how we socialize with each other,a conversation with another human being is always a great way to spend the weekend.I think one of the reasons people in big cities like Nairobi are always angry and stressed is because we speak so little to each to other,yet we know healthy relationships are part of living a fulfilled and healthy lifestyle.
6.Taking your children with you to the organic market for grocery shopping and let them feel,touch,sell and taste food.As I mentioned in an earlier post taking your children grocery shopping is a way of getting them involved in meal planning and ensuring they adopt healthy eating habits early in life.
They will get to know how to choose fresh ingredients,how fresh food looks like and most important they will learn to value the hard work of the people like farmers who work behind the scenes to make sure we get fed.
And just in case your children hardly ever get to travel upcountry,they will know food does not grow in the supermarket :-).
7.Buying organic is an opportunity to increase the awareness on more sustainable forms of agriculture and hopefully this will lead to legislation by governments as well as push them to develop policies that can protect as well as promote organic farming.
Do you buy or grown organic food?would you love to be featured on our blog,please get in touch with us.
As always your feedback,comments and suggestions are welcome.See you in the comments section.
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.