One thing I’ve been able to gain a level of success with is eating healthier. I must confess, it took me a while to finally get here, lots of backsliding and reverting to my deep love of Coca-Cola and Sweet Sensation meat pies (delicious, cheap and cheerful) but after lots of stopping and starting I'm finally making some progress. It kind of started out of sheer laziness, I tend to alternate between bouts of extreme efficiency and total laziness and I'm always trying to find a happy medium but until i do....it is what it is.
What I did notice however, was whenever I am on vacation, no matter where I go I eat healthier, exercise more and return to Naija trimmer and looking better. Unfortunately, after 2 weeks of correct orisirisi stew, efo riro with 27 lives and palm oil floating like the River Niger on top of it, Ogbonna with eba and all the other things I had missed while on my self-imposed food exile, I gain all the weight back plus extra. I promised myself on my last vacay that this time would be different, I wouldn’t revert to my old ways and I'd do any and everything possible to keep up with what I had started.
Smoothies, in my opinion are the perfect blend of eating right and next to no effort, i.e. fantastic for when I am not in the mood to cook up a storm or just too busy to be bothered. It takes all of 15 minutes of pressing a button and you don’t even need a fancy smoothie maker, a good blender will suffice. They work really well for me because I'm able to sneak in some beneficial veggies into them, particularly the ones I’d normally never put anywhere near my mouth for love or money(kale, moringa leaves/powder, broccoli, beetroots, pawpaw, watermelons, cucumbers etc. yes they are good for you blah blah blah, but must they be so horrid?) and mask their ghastly taste with stuff I do like (strawberries, blackcurrants, mangoes, bananas, apples, plums…you know, the good stuff), so I get at least one meal in a bottle I can take everywhere with me while getting all the valuable nutrients I need.
The downside is, these things can be expensive!! I still don’t understand why refined food is cheap while fresh stuff can be so expensive, but this world is a mystery, so I had to get creative with a quickness. One day after spending an annoying amount of money on my preferred fruits and veg, with my account balance quite unhappy with me, I figured there had to be another way to eat healthy but not go broke in the process. As a professional researcher (praise God for the internet), I put my Agatha Christie hat on and got to sleuthing, it took me almost 3 days to find exactly what I was looking for but at last I hit pay dirt on Instagram. I stumbled upon a page advertising veggies @earthfreshfoods, called her, chatted for a while and everything was music to my ears (the right stuff at unbelievable prices) so of course an order was placed with speed for what to me seemed like a reasonable amount of stuff. The next day I received this humongous box of stuff and there was immediate confusion in my household, I had to call to find out if there'd been a mistake and was told nope, that was my order, after the shock wore off the dancing began. I was so pleased, my fridge was so full of proper food...score...a new love was formed, subsequent orders have been placed and eating right is my new normal!!
Optimal health begins with what we put inside us, that saying “you are what you eat” is annoying but oh so true. You can’t eat greasy food, soda, snacks etc laden with oil, sugar, sodium, additives, other nonsense and expect to have glowing skin. Even if you use the most expensive lotions, oils, creams etc. what goes on inside will affect your overall well-being which manifests on the skin and other organs in one way or another.
Some diseases and their symptoms have been linked to preservatives and other ingredients found in food or the pesticides used while growing them. Leafy greens e.g. kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chard, lettuce, ugwu, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy etc. and berries e.g. strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants etc. are full of important phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and other benefits essential in maintaining healthy body systems, improving the body’s ability to combat ailments, boost cell regeneration and growth etc.
Grains like oats, bran, quinoa, flax, lentils etc. are a great source of fiber which helps clean out the colon and intestines by aiding bowel movement. Citrus fruits e.g. oranges, grapefruits, lemons etc. are a valuable source of vitamin C. Carrots provide Beta carotene, bananas potassium and so on. Omega fatty acids help keep joints lubricated, skin healthy etc and can be found in fish e.g. mackerel(titus), tilapia, catfish etc. In all this we can’t forget the importance of drinking at least one and a half liters of water daily, this helps flush out toxins, excess urea, salts, fat etc. by increasing the frequency and regularity of urination.
When you eat healthy, your skin shows it by glowing like a diamond, hair growth and health is improved, your body has a better chance at fighting off diseases on its own, you sleep better and it all just shows when one looks at you.
You only have one body, treat it well and it will return the favor.
Eid Mubarak, to my Muslim readers, may all your sacrifice of praise during Ramadan be accepted and may Almighty Allah rain showers of blessings and forgiveness upon you and yours...Amin.
Until the next time we chat,
Stay healthy naturally
Peace & Love
Photo by: Brenda Godinez