Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eating Well in Nigeria

Why do I have to wait until I’m approaching 40 or when I’m pregnant with my first child to start paying attention to what I put into my mouth? We are truly what we eat. The first time I personally witnessed this was in 2003.

I had just moved to America and was a freshman in college. I was feeling a bit off so I decided to take advantage of the medical insurance and run blood tests to make sure I was okay.

Days later, the nurse was reading through my blood tests results and I noticed a particular column indicated red because it was about 200% more than the average level! I panicked and asked about it. She said it was good cholesterol - “you must eat a lot of fish right?” Mmmh, not anymore I told her and went on to explain how when I lived in Nigeria, I ate fish almost every night, and I’m not kidding - 5 out of 7 nights for about 1 year!

At first my sisters and I loved ithe round smoked fish in stew with rice, eba, beans. One whole fish to ourselves, yum! But after a while, we began to beef the fish: fish fish fish all the time. Ahn Ahn!

So you can imagine the irony when I found out that that very fish had kept me healthy and was still present in my blood even 3 months after I had stopped eating it!

We are truly what we eat.

So I’m trying to put quality items into my body now. To teach my body to crave the good stuff. It’s not been easy though because while America over processes its foods, over here we love to overcook and fry ours.

Some weeks ago, friends and colleagues kept telling me I was glowing and wondering what I was doing?! I had no idea what! It wasn’t until I had ended my fast did I realize that it probably had something to do with the lack of food! I had read somewhere that human beings over eat in general and that these days we put more toxins than nutrients into our bodies. But shouldn’t I be looking gaunt and miserable if I was skipping meals? I am still trying to figure that one out. I must glow again oh!

In the past few days, I have instituted 3 healthy to do’s on my list. Here’s a synopsis of how I’ve been faring:

#1: Say no to Coke - I haven’t bought a coke for the last 2 weeks, instead I’ve been drinking other beverages (Lucozade, Swepps heh heh I know it’s cheating) but my colleague gave me an ice chilled canned Coke today. I let it sit on my desk for an hour then… drank half a can before I chided myself and dumped the rest in my abandoned cup of water.

#2: Eat 1 piece of fruit a day – I had two apples for dinner yesterday because I was bored with the alternative: eba and vegetable. But for some reason, my stomach ran all night! Was my body having a reaction to the sudden infusion of healthiness?!

#3: Cut down on fried foods – I just finished eating boiled plantain and stew for dinner. I don’t fancy plantain in general, but I found the boiled taste a refreshing change.

#4: Take top quality supplements – Not the kind that adds more chemicals to your body. When I was fasting, I accompanied my evenings meals with a glass of water and vitamin C – perhaps that’s the secret behind the glow? Because our foods are so altered and overcooked, it often lacks the nutrients that our bodies need. If you’re an inconsistent eater like me (think feasting during the weekends and snacking during the week) supplements can make all the difference.

Am not doing too badly don’t you think? Oh and my cold is gone and the subsequent cough is finally breaking. Thanks for all your concern!


  1. When I wa staking vitamin C for like 3 months ..my sing was absolutely glowing! I mean it still does but not as it did then plus I was taking B and iron and something else and it made my bone structure look nice and defined. In my opinion anyways. Lol

    I'm going to make boiled plantain this week. I've only had it once and that was when I was in Nigeria.

  2. I recommend for you to consume lots of water, it helps keep skin glowing as well and looking fresh. Eat more vegetables not just fruits, they both work wonders for good skin.

  3. YNC took the words right out of my mouth. Also when you eat fruits, try to space them out maybe that will make it not lead to runs. All the best and I think I'll take your supplements tip..

  4. You're doing well indeed! I should look into taking supplements, but I'm so bad at popping pills.

    I want glowing skin too!

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