THE POP ART GALLERY AT dusitD2:A SPACE FOR KENYAN ARTISTS

 

Katanu Kay (right) and Santina Nyagah CEO -Maridadi Life (left )

“Art when used well is a powerful , creative force that can change how we see ourselves,the world around us and how we respond to the challenges life throws at us.”

Art has been with us for millenia,for as long as we have had human beings on earth ,we have had art and an appreciation of art is a skill that is as a result of exposure.

The art  scene in Nairobi has become very vibrant and this activity   is what is attracting global attention to the city’s art scene.This vibrancy has been fuelled by a  burgeoning and  educated middle class as well as the high number of expatriates who live in the city who have beome very appreciative of the talent that  resides in the city and its environs.

With no distinct  home-grown art event ,the pop up trend has created an opportunity for artists to showcase their work to an appreciative local and international audience .

dusitD2 has filled this lack of a home-grown art event with the  pop art gallery exhibition  held at its upmarket location on 14,Riverside Drive.

The art exhibition  held every last Saturday of the month  has    a children’s  corner which runs concurrently with the exhibition and is  a partnership with Capital Kids club and  offers  an opportunity for children to get art lessons while  parents  enjoy the art work  from  very talented artists.

Kenyans are not avid consumers of art and through this  collaboration with Google Kenya ,dusitD2 is offering Kenyan artists the space to exhibit and sell their  art as well as   promoting  an  appreciation of art which offers an opportuity  for  artists to  earn a living through the sale of their  work.

On this particular Saturday the artists whose works were on display were:

  • Ssegujja Godfrey
  • Victor Binge
  • Katanu Kay
  • Ronnie Tindi
  • Jak Katarikawe
  • Sam Githui
  • Louis Chvetsova

 

I was very taken by the work of Katanu Kay which incorporated Kitenge fabric ,of particular interest to me was her work Euphoria 2 . We stood in front of that painting  talking about art , what inspires her and in that half hour I forgot she was just 1 month shy of her 20th birthday and that she  had  been exhibiting for just 2 years and  a month . Thanks to the exhibition,which  attended last year for the first time,  her work had found its way to   art collectors  in South Arica,Nigeria,the US and Australia.

 

Euphoria 2 is as a result of  a meeting with a lady who after seeing her work on Euphoria 1 asked for an exact copy of that particular piece.Katanu ,however does not do replicas of her work  and asked if  she could do something different ,the client agreed and the result is Euphoria 2.The two pieces ,Euphoria 1 & 2 are  inspired by the same thing ,a celebration of Katana’s African heritage and culture. It is her desire  that through her work  people take every   opportunity to  embrace being African and to  celebrate it.

She is a graduate   of the  BTEC Art and Design program at Brook House school and is headed to SCAD where she will be pursuing  her   studies in  Fine Art & Interior Design which she wants to pursue up to   PhD  level.

Art for Katanu  is a channel that  she uses to express herself , her ideas and it is a platform to share these ideas with the world.She would love that through her art people are able to ask questions,explore ideas and think outside the box of what society terms as the norm and that through this we develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other.

It is why she took the very unusual route of incorporating African fabric in her art work – which I thought was such a  great   conversation starter  on her work and what inspires her.

Read:African fabric making its presence on global runways.

When it was time for me to leave ,I found myself on the terrace of the Soko restaurant   thinking about what an amazing point in time it was to be alive,to hear artists like Katana talk about her   hope to have her work exhibited at the New York Art Gallery .

Thanks to dusitD2, this is not the last we have heard of this young lady and all the other equally talented artists who have found a  space to exhibit their art  work as well given an opportunity for Nairobi residents to enjoy local art.Before leaving,I  made a quick trip back to the exhibition to have one last look and some pieces had already been marked as sold and set aside  which only goes to  emphasise the quality of the work on display.

 

Look out for the next edition of the Pop Art Gallery on the last Saturday of this coming month of February and get ready to sample  great art and food .

See you there!

 

TURN UP THE HEAT ON YOUR METABOLISM

Metabolism

“What do you do when you metabolism is slow and you want to increase it ?”

One of the surest way to increase your metabolism is through exercise.

Burn more calories by burning  (pun intended) the soles off your gym shoes is a sure fire way to lose weight.

A slow metabolism may be due to lack of physical activity,genes or hyperthyroidism  which is when your thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone and your metabolism slows down.

The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck and produces the thyroid hormone which helps regulate your metabolism which is the way your body uses energy.

Th thyroid gland uses iodine from your diet to produce its two main hormones that are important for some very important bodily functions like;

  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Breathing
  • Body temperature
  • Body weight
  • Menstrual cycle …

The two hormones produced by the thyroid are T3 (Triiodothyronineand) T4 (Thyroxine).

The levels of these two hormones in your body should neither be too high nor too low as they regulate how fast or slow your metabolism is.

These two hormones also work together with insulin which is the hormone that tells the body cells to take up the glucose to be used as energy fuel.

See how a slow metabolism affects your weight ?

If you have no underlying medical conditions, becoming more physically active is a great way to boost your metabolism and now thanks to science there are foods that together with regular physical exercise can help increase your metabolism.

Increasing your metabolism means that you burn more calories as you turn your food into energy that keeps your heart beating, your breathing constant ,your body temperature just right   as well as making sure your body functions as it should.All these things are using up energy which comes from the food you eat.

Thanks to one of the blog’s readers Susan,  who asked about how she could increase her metabolism.I thought about all the other readers who without any underlying medical reason may be having the same question and are wondering how to speed up their metabolism.then I should mention and here.

Exercise should be the first point of callas a means to increasing your metabolism but mother nature does provide means and ways with which we can help her along .

It is worth repeating that while our metabolism is affected by our genes and gender , exercising and eating right will go some way in helping us burn some extra more and who would not want that.

1.Do eat Breakfast

Sounds like a no brainer but you will be surprised by the number of people who do not take breakfast because they do not think it is important or even necessary.

By not eating breakfast you set your body into starvation mode and your metabolism slows and starts crawling at a snails pace to conserve energy.

(Yes,your body is that intelligent)

For breakfast try having foods that are slower to digest and leave you feeling fuller for longer so that you are not craving sugary things.

Try whole wheat bread with a vegetable omelette and a cup of tea or coffee with a fruit as a mid morning snack.

2.Do eat iron rich foods

Every month women  lose some amount of blood through their periods and blood contains the red blood cells that are  responsible for carrying oxygen into your body cells.

Remember the class 6 science lessons on the components of blood?

The red blood cells in your body contain Hemoglobin which  carry 70% of the iron in your body and hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to your tissues.n.

If the levels of iron in your body are low,your muscles do not have enough oxygen,you start feeling lethargic and your  body activity slows down.

What to do ?

Eat foods that will  boost the level of iron in your body and aid in its functions.

Great sources of iron are of course  dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli , spinach,kales,peas and beans as well as lean cuts of meat and poultry.

3.Do take dairy

Dairy products like milk and yoghurt are great sources of calcium ,an adult needs about 1000mgs of calcium daily,pregnant and lactating women as well as those over 50 will need more .You can meet your daily requirement of calcium with your breakfast,having a serving of yoghurt and with your tea or coffee.

A glass of milk is equal to 300 mgs of calcium.

Calcium helps metabolize your fat more efficiently and if you are wary of dairy because of the fat it contains there are now brands of milk with a skim version that will give you the calcium without the fat.

4.Do cut back on alcohol

If you drink at least two glasses of wine in a sitting or 2 beers you slow down the process of fat burning by your body as much as 70 %.Instead of having the liver ,the organ in your body at the center of metabolism  turning  the food you take into nutrients that the body can use it instead turns to the  acetate in alcohol as a fuel source.

5.Do take more protein

When paired with exercise  intake of  protein as part of your daily meals will help increase your muscles and muscles burn more calories than fat.

Having protein in your meals will help curb hunger as well as help you maintain a healthy weight and your body does burn more calories by digesting it.

Great sources of protein are beans,eggs,milk,chicken,fish and peanut butter.

6.Do sleep for at least 8 hours

Sleep deprivation slows down your metabolism and makes your body more sluggish which means you are less likely to engage in any physical activity.A sluggish body equals a slowed metabolism.

Make sure you get at least 7- hours sleep daily and you will wake up hale and hearty ready to tackle the challenges of the day .You will see and find that you are more active after a good nights sleep than otherwise.

Lack of sleep has also been linked to the hunger hormone ghrelin which stimulates appetite,an increased food intake and fat storage.

 

Was  this helpful ? we would love to hear back from you.

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See you in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A NUTRITION DISRUPTION

nutritionist poster

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.

It was time to  burst some myths that I had come across on what living  and eating healthy was all about.You may want to read Why you are not losing weight and why you may not be gluten intolerant.

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.

2015 BEST COMPANIES FOR WORKING MOTHERS IN KENYA

When a child is asleep,a mothers

When i shared my article on the opening of the breastfeeding room at Nestle Kenya,i never imagined the overwhelming response from working mothers when i asked them to share if they work at companies or organisation that offer child friendly work policies.

I   am  proud of the Kenyan companies leading the way in supporting women in the role they play as mothers or caregivers of children in their most formative years

One organisation stood out from all the rest,World Vision,an organisation whose vision statement reads .

Our vision for every child,life in all its fullness.

Our prayer for every heart,they will make it so.

Working mothers at World Vision enjoy a breastfeeding room that also doubles up as a pumping room,a clinic with a pediatrician who comes  two times a week,a children’ s room and a play area.

Companies offering enviable perks for working mothers let their employees enjoy use of   creches,flexible working hours,play area for their children and some even give the option of extending their maternity leave for an extra 8 weeks or 2 months of unpaid leave.

*Drum rolls*………….., in no articular order here is the 2015 list of the best companies to work for .

1.World Vision

2.Safaricom

3.ICRAF

4.World Bank

5.Standard  Chartered Bank

6.Kenyatta University

7.Nation Media 

And as we prepare to celebrate World Breastfeeding week from the 1st to the 7th of August do share the great places you are working at in the comments section .

Also your thoughts on companies or business that are adopting more supportive policies for working mothers.

XX,

Ina

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BEING A WOMAN

Father of the bride

Remember this  movie by Steve Martin ,Father of the Bride ,it had a sequel to it….i cried at the end of both movies and every time i watch repeats i cry too.

Then  when  i started reading Danielle Steel Novels in my pre teens, it was to find  myself in tears whenever any character in the  book died .

I love going to weddings,  gushing over newborns and rubbing my cheek against my husbands beard.

And when i meet a girlfriend(s) for lunch or coffee  it is total bliss because we talk for hours!

Things men do not understand.

Well, men need not wonder any more because that is how little girls and not so little girls are and we meant to be.

A friend allowed me to borrow her book ,Bringing up Girls by James Dobson .

The book ended up bringing me to  understanding and  and acceptance of  myself just as i am.

Like the way my brain is wired right from conception is astounding.

Female brains have been designed in a way that is  very different from men’s.

In the book Dr Dobson who  a  former professor  of Paediatrics at  the University of Southern California school of medicine  says that a girls corpus callosum,the massive rope of fibres that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain is 25% larger than a males.

A womans brain is like a revved up  Harley Davidson engine ,we do not have a turn off button.

We never seem to stop thinking.

Sometimes I  go to bed thinking about 20 things i need to do and the next morning i just pick up my thoughts from where i left off.

See why we are so good at multi tasking.

And we seem to never stop talking.

We do love to talk and we express ourselves more than men.

The right hemisphere of  our brain processes emotion and the left   is where language is focused.

And the connection between the two is like a super highway,it is the reason we communciate better as well as feel emotion more and express ourselves more than

We are  good at knowing things without exactly knowing why,  picking up subtle cues in social interactions and cannot even explain how .

It  is great to be a woman.

Women derive so much pleasure from conversations with other women  , think about all the talk shows that have thrived on this need to communicate .

Men can attest to this because when a woman runs into a friend what was supposed to  be a brief hello turns  into a recap of the past week …  in detail.

Social media is also a great example……the need to connect ,share and communicate is so innate in us we dominate every social media network.

Yes,it is alright to have a female brain and to celebrate  the unique and beautiful way we have been created and  to leave the world  a better place  for the next generation.

I absolutely love being a woman.

And if you missed it,here is  my Father’s day post.

Share in the comments sections the things you love about being a woman.

Xo,

Ina

HOW TO WEAR CAPRI PANTS

Over 65 years after Capri pants came onto the fashion scene,they are seeing a re emergence.

They are the close fitting calf length tapered trousers you have been seeing around town.

And like all good things they have a story that starts in Europe in 1948.

Sonja De Lennart named them after a famous island in Italy and they were first worn by one of my favorite movie stars Grace Kelly.

Over 65 years later they still remain a fashion classic.

So who can wear them  how do you wear them?

Capri 2

Anyone can wear Capri’s,for shorter people like myself think of creating a long vertical line with your silhouette inroder to create an illusion of height.

Stick to plain ,straight leg cuts and steer clear of cuffs and pockets if you are short.

Capri’s are best worn with tops that fall just below your waist line not further than that.

Capri’s are best worn with stilettos especially if you are short to give you some height.

Choose capris in colors that complement your skin tone,classic colors like  black,grey and white work for most skin tones.

HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF MATTERS…

Keep your head up!...photo source lashyaup.com
Keep your head up!…photo source lashyaup.com

How do you see yourself?

As a human being and as a human being?

Does your being here mean something?

Of course it does.

As women we tend to underestimate ourselves and society answers this by under valuing us and  we get caught up in gender battles as to who is better,smarter,stronger.

Yet the most amazing thing about all these gender wars is what we forget,what we never talk about.

We are created equal but different.

Women can make a difference just  as they are.

By changing the way we see ourselves we change the way society values us.

Our worth is not in who we wear,what we wear,the jobs we hold,the children we have or do not have.

It is just in that simple fact that we are here.

We are here because we matter and we can make a difference.

Change the way you see yourself today and see the spring in your step come back,the smile that lights up your eyes and suddenly  life becomes beautiful.

Again.

How do you see yourself?