Browsing Tag

lifestyle

fitness, Health, Lifestyle, wellness

Myfitnesspal…. Yourfitnesspal….Ourfitnesspal

Are you on a fitness/healthy eating journey? Are you a conscious eater? Do you care about calories and measures? Have you downloaded the Myfitnesspal app? No? You’re already doing it wrong! Lol. What are you waiting for? Hit that button already… right away. I honestly think Myfitnesspal app is the Beyonce of fitness/calorie apps. It is just amazing. And listen, whether or not you’re looking to lose weight, this app will totally change your approach towards food, enhance your consciousness about choices and sort of fine-tune your mindset. Yes.

I downloaded this app for the first time in 2010 but deleted it almost immediately because…reasons! Infact I totally forgot about it until I downloaded it again in January and realized it was already showing my details. Forgetful Jane, me. Lol. It is such a helpful app and now I’m hooked and honestly don’t know how I ever functioned without it. Thanks to this app, I have become a walking encyclopedia of calorie information and a major source of annoyance to my friends and family.
Friend: Would you like a coke?                                                                                                                                                         Me: Ehn? That’s 270 calories                                                                                                                                                               Friend: I’ll just have Indomie and egg for dinner                                                                                                                             Me: That’s 370+78 = 448.

Who AXE you sha? Sabinus! I usually get a mean side eye but I’ll be on my Ray Charles swag…. Lol

Using this app, I’m realizing that just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it has less calories; and this is very important if you’re on a calorie counting spree. Often times, we think “oh its healthy so I’m allowed to have LOTS of it/oh I just had a salad for lunch so I can eat more at dinner”; scam! I learnt that with this app. Take the tuna salad below, its healthy yes but it doesn’t mise on calories.

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This tuna salad with avocado slices is a whooping 1098kl per serving

How many times do you throw stuff in your mouth mindlessly during your typical day and think nothing of it? A cookie here, a doughnut there, candy here, cake there… after which you sit down and think “I haven’t eaten today at all”, then proceed to make yourself a nice lunch/dinner thinking to yourself that that’s all you’ve had proper today. Scam! It all counts and this app rubs it in. One day, I tried to log in one tiny piece of coconut I had just eaten [as a snack] and guess what it said? 100g of coconut which is about 1/3 the size of an adult female palm was 354 calories. THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOUR!!! How can a mindless/thoughtless snack account for nearly half my daily calorie allowance? I was upset. First of all, that was just a snack okay?! Secondly, I could have just eaten one indomie [370kl] and called it a day. Thirdly, I have to have walked 5kilometers [or run 3km] to burn 350 calories, meaning the opportunity cost of one tiny piece of coconut was a 30min run/5km walk? Ridic! Nah! The trade-off just wasn’t fair for me. I felt like it wasn’t worth it so no more coconut for me, I have better ideas for what to do with my 354 calories. Lol.

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How am I making these deductions? Regular use of myfitnesspal.

So how does it work? You download the app on your phone and sign in using an email or any of your social media accounts. I used my one-nation email because….paranoid! I’ve watched too many oyibo movies to be syncing my social media accounts to every app. Nah.

Anyways, so you log in and input your details – weight, age, height, location, your goal/target [mine is weight loss obviously], how much weight you want to lose and in what amount of time, how active your lifestyle is etc.; based off the stats you’ve just inputed, the app calculates and tells you what your daily calorie allowance should be. Mine is 1200 per day, my friend got 1500 so it varies from person to person. And you’re ready to begin your daily logs. A click of the home button opens up – status, water, food, exercise and weight.
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Personally, I only log in my water intake and food daily, the exercise I log in when I do; which is about 4 times a week and I update my weight every week. The exercise tab separates into cardio or strength exercises and you can log in almost anything from zumba to kickboxing to swimming. This app literally thinks for you and anticipates your needs. Wholesome.

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Now the food section is full of all kinds of food but sometimes you may not find the exact thing you just ate especially with Nigerian meals probably because Nigerians aren’t logging in enough new recipes but I can bet you’ll find a very close alternative. The trick is to add Nigerian to the end of whatever Nigerian food you type in the search bar e.g searching Egusi may give you 4-5 hits but searching “Egusi soup-Nigerian” will return more hits. Infact, once you type Nigerian in the search bar, all kinds of Nigerian things just appear… like magic ha ha. Trust me, it’s all there, you just have to be a bit creative.

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Another tip is, if you cook your meals yourself, you can simply create your own recipes in the recipe tab. Personally, I make almost all my meals myself so I know exactly what’s in it, therefore, I have a log of my own recipes now. Not only am I making it easier for myself to log in my meals, I’m also contributing to the data pool so other members of the myfitnesspal community can use it too. Who knows, that tuna salad you just logged in may just be my recipe and I like that. Makes me feel like I am doing my quota for the betterment of society 😀 ha ha

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Some of my own recipes

 

I prefer to log in my meals before I actually eat them so it measures my allowance, that way I can see what I need and how much/less of it I actually need to make up my daily requirement and then I make necessary adjustments where necessary. I find that if I log in after I’ve already eaten, the likelihood of going overboard my goal/allowance is usually higher.

Protip: I tend to exaggerate my portions to cover anything I may have missed, i think it’s better to exaggerate than under log which may mislead you into eating more albeit unknowingly.

Overall, I’m making better choices with my meals and being uber conscious of the “this vs that” debate. Like I’d much rather have a dense smoothie that is about 180kl than drink a 50cl bottle of coke which is about 210kl. One is filling and can hold you till lunch time; the other is just a craving that does nothing for hunger. And that’s not to say coke is a sin, I just know that I have to work extra hard in the gym the day I choose to indulge. Yes coke is now an indulgence for me. Shock horror!!

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Also, if I know that my lunch will be calorie heavy [like the beans & garri below], I usually will just have an apple and/or a smoothie for breakfast and green tea/ACV at night. It’s all about playing around with the numbers.

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A whooping 1090kl… Worth every mouthful though. Yum!

One uber cool feature of this app is that it reminds you of little but important details while you log in your meals such as “you’ve reached your sodium[salt] limit for the day”, “this food contains a lot of Vitamin A”, “this food is low in saturated fat”, “you can still eat 480 calories more to stay within your goal”…. How helpful! Which is why it’s best to log in before you eat so you know what to cut out or increase. If you log in at the end of the day, you may have overeaten or even forgotten that one mindless cookie you had at your desk at lunch time. No bueno!

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Another cool feature: If your turn your device sideways while on the app, it breaks down the content/contribution of every single food input to your overall daily goal and shows you a tally.

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A click on the nutrition button at the bottom of the log shows you a pie chart of your calorie breakdown for the day according to the three food classes and clicking on “Complete entry” shows you your projected weight in 5 weeks.

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Coolest!!

I think I’ve talked enough, afterall, these people aren’t paying me a figgin for this amazing review/sale pitch… I’m just Saint S riding on her lettuce leaves with the gospel of…. Every little helps.

PS: If you don’t have a smart phone but still want to be able to use this amazing tool, you can simply log on to  www.myfitnesspal.com on your computer and enjoy.

Are you sold? Will you be trying this app? Anything I forgot to address? Any questions? Just use the comments section.
Mwaaaahxx


11 Comments

DIY, Health, Lifestyle, wellness

INFUSED WATER

How many times have you heard or read about the importance of drinking enough water in a day? I bet a lot! There are all kinds of water campaigns shared every day and aimed at encouraging people to ditch the sodas and drink more H2o. Water is great! No lie! It purifies your kidney, transports nutrients and oxygen in the body, regulates your body temperature, prevents headaches, helps you get rid of toxins, regulates bowel movement and improves the appearance of dull/flaky skin amongst many other benefits. But let’s be honest, drinking plain water gets boring jor. Plus some [weirdos] people don’t like to drink water in general.

Personally, if I haven’t drank water in like 4 hours, I start to feel woozy and I’m one of those people who check the colour of my pee religiously to see if I’m drinking enough. Yes guys, the colour of your urine says a lot about what’s happening on your insides – too yellow/almost dark means you aren’t drinking enough water, are dehydrated and should therefore up your intake.  I’ve never needed to be cajoled to drink water; however, infused water has helped me up my already okay water intake.

Infused water? What is this one again? These people have come again! Yes, they have come again ooooo *insert eye roll* ha ha 😀

I’ll make it simple. Infused water is just plain ordinary water jazzed up by adding fruits and veggies in it to add flavor and trick you into drinking more than you ordinarily do.  It is indeed a great way to skip sugary sweet drinks and stay hydrated. Chances are, you’ve been doing this already but just didn’t think about it in such technical terms. Like when you go to a restaurant and ask to have lemon wedges in your glass of ice water? There!! You’re already doing it. I’m just here to make you do more and think about it more consciously. It’s been said on many fronts that infused water especially those made with cayenne pepper/ginger/cucumber/mint works great for weight loss and for burning tummy fat but frankly that’s not why I swear by it. As a matter of fact, looking at the many reasons why you should be drinking water like its going extinct, weight loss/tummy fat burn is just an added plus. I get asked a lot about the health benefits of infused water and the value in terms of nutrients and my answer is always the same – the main health benefit of infused water is HYDRATION, anything else is just jara.  And yes while you definitely gain value from the nutrients infused into the water, if what you want is to get the full nutritional value of those fruits and veggies then you should probably be juicing and/or making smoothies with them instead.

There are tons of brands of flavoured water being sold commercially in shops today but frankly I think its just a waste of money while probably drinking sneakily labeled fizzy drinks. Instead of buying those; why don’t you just make yours naturally, at no ridiculous cost and in the comfort of your own home? Sounds good?

Infused water is so easy to make by yourself, you just slice your preferred choice of fruits and veggies very thinly, add them into your pitcher of water and let it sit in the fridge for about 4 hours [overnight preferably].  Now if you drink bottled water in your home as we do at mine, you can just put your fruits/herbs/veggies into each bottle with the water and leave it in the fridge. For me, at some point, I found it cumbersome to stuff different bottles daily and when I don’t get the mix right, I usually would end up having different tasting water per each bottle and I didn’t like that. Because we have so many empty water bottles lying around at my home, I started making mine in a huge bowl and just straining into the bottles next day. What I do is, I boil a big pot of water (don’t use your normal soup pot, lest your water starts tasting like egusi) ha! Once boiled, I pour it into my container and let it cool. Once cool, I add the fruits/veggies/herbs and leave it overnight in the refrigerator.

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Because of this, we are going through less cartons of bottled water per month. Hydrated and Prudent! Win!

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Typical categories of fruits/veggies used include –

  • Citrus – oranges, lemons, lime, grapefruit, clementine, Satsuma etc
  • Vegetables – cucumber, carrot, celery,
  • Herbs/spices – mint, ginger, rosemary, black pepper
  • Berries & tropical – strawberries, blueberries, mango, cherries, pineapple, pear, kiwi etc
  • Others – apple, peach, plum, peach etc

[This list is by no means exhaustive]

There are so many combinations for infused water, just as with cocktails; so choosing yours is a matter of preference really. Whatever fruit/veggie/spice combination you choose to add to your water is fine, as long as it makes you stay sipping; you’re good. My personal favourite for infusion is cucumber/ginger/mint and lemon. I tried pineapple, watermelon and apple once but didn’t like it much plus I worry that when fruits like that sit in water for too long; they may ferment especially with this epileptic power situation in Nigeria. NEPA can’t be trusted to keep your water tasting fresh. Plus, fermented fruits will totally ruin the taste of the water which in turn totally defeats the entire purpose of infused water in the first place.

Take care to not over keep infused water. I drink all of mine in a day and make a fresh batch every night, which I leave in the fridge till the next day. I think it goes without saying that you must wash your fruits/veggies/herbs thoroughly before you slice them up.

In my honest opinion, I think infused water made with fancy/expensive fruits such as strawberries/peaches/blueberries [for naija level] is a waste; just because these categories of fruits are harder to come by and thus more expensive.

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I stick to lemon/lime/mint/cucumber/ginger because they’re far easier and cheaper to access. I’d much rather make the fancy fruits into a yummy smoothie and get the full benefits of eating them plus my money’s worth. Yup! I’m always thinking about maximizing my pocket. But don’t let that deter you; the whole idea is for your water to taste the way you like, so if the fancy fruits is what does it for you, go for it.

Storing your infused water is pretty easy. I make mine in a huge mini bucket thingy which sits in the fridge overnight, then I pour it into empty swan/nestle water bottles and/or a jug for easy access. If I’m going out, I take the bottle, while at home; I strain from the pitcher/jug into a glass.

If you’re wondering about how much fruit/veggies/herbs should go into what quantity of water, you shouldn’t stress about ratios. Put as much or as little as you like, it’s about experimenting until you find the exact mix that your tastebuds love. My first infused water, I overdid it with the mint and could hardly drink it cos the mint overpowered everything else; over time I now know the exact quantity of mint that goes into my pitcher. So experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Alternatively, you could just freeze your fruits with water in ice cube makers and when you’re ready to drink water, you just drop in a glass of regular water and drink up.

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Sidebar: I buy a huge bunch of mint that lasts at least 2 weeks for just N200 so why do cocktail makers in Abuja NEVER have mint in their mojitos? Matter of fact; do not ever order in mojito in this city, you’ll cry mint tears. Ha!

Will you be trying infused water? I sure hope so! Stay hydrated.


7 Comments

DIY, Health, Lifestyle, wellness

Who is slowly becoming a DIY Queen?….Greek yoghurt

I made greek yoghurt!! Yes I did!

On Friday, my friend Dooshima came to visit and brought me a yummy bowl of salad just because I had just finished my cleanse and she wanted to make me something. Can we clap for Dooshima… how thoughtful!! I totally enjoyed this salad and I’ve gotten the recipe, it shall be recreated and posted on this blog soon. Thanks Doosh!

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Fireworks in my mouth!!!

Anyways, as I was saying, Dooshima and I got talking and sharing tips about everything as is normal with us then she mentioned that she makes her own greek yoghurt and I was like… pause!! Why have I not thought of this? And just like that, I said please lets go and buy the things…haha.

See I don’t think I need to spend time extolling the many benefits of greek yoghurt as I’m pretty sure readers of this blog already know the koko. Walk into a supermarket/shop here in Abuja and you’ll see that the price of a small teeny tiny cup of greek yoghurt ranges anywhere between N1,500 – N4000; I kid you not! I usually just unlook and waka pass like I didn’t see it sef so you can understand why I’m so excited that I found an alternative.

We discovered this well stocked, well priced and clean supermarket in Games Village that had everything. We were genuinely surprised; it exceeded our expectations by far. And for me, the fact that its in games village is awesome because it means I can totally turn this into my evening exercise – walk from my house to buy what I need and walk back. DOUBLE WIN!!!!!

A couple of minutes and N900 later, I emerged from the supermarket ready to go greek!

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This is everything you need to make greek yoghurt.

  • Yoghurt that contains live culture (it’s usually indicated on the pack). I bought the unsweetened one and it cost me N500 for this one litre bottle. You only need 4 tablespoons per each batch of 1 litre milk so this means you can re-use this at least 10 more times, the only thing you’ll need to buy each time is milk. Awesome!
  • 1 litre of Fresh whole milk (N400). You can use low fat milk too. Infact, I’ll do so with the next batch. I even learnt that you can use powdered milk too but I’m not that adventurous yet.
  • Old empty glass jars (from olives, mayo, coffee, pickles etc)
  • Sieve cloth, an old t-shirt or a silk scarf. I set aside a scarf, never to be used outside the kitchen again forever and ever, amen!

STEP BY STEP:

  • First things first, you need to sterilize the empty glass jars. This is done by washing the jars thoroughly, then placing them and their covers in a pot, fill it with water to cover to the brim and then set it on the burner, let the water boil. Once its boiled, reduce the heat but don’t turn if off completely and leave the jars in the boiling water on the burner until you’re ready to use them.

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  • Scald the milk. This is done by pouring all the milk into a pot and putting it on a high heat burner to boil. You have to watch the milk closely else it can boil over and pour like okro soup….messy! This step takes about 3 minutes if the milk is at room temperature but about 5 minutes if it came out of the fridge. You’ll know it’s ready when you see it forming bubbles around the corners of the pot, at which point you take the pot off the burner and set aside to cool.

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  • Allow the scalded milk to cool. You want it cool enough to touch but not cold. You will know its cool enough when you can touch and hold your finger on the side of the pot used and it doesn’t burn your finger. This should take approximately 10 minutes.
  • At this point, you will now add 4 tablespoons of yoghurt (which contains live culture) into the warm milk, mix thoroughly and then immediately pour the mix into the glass jars that you will at this point take out of the boiling water. Cover the jar lid immediately. Very tightly.
  • Now for some people, at this stage, they place the jars of milk into a warm oven for a bit but I don’t have an oven so I didn’t. It is perfectly fine to just place the jars in a warm dry cupboard and leave it alone but for extra heat, I placed the jars into a food warmer, covered it and kept it away in a dark warm kitchen cupboard. This was done at about 6pm and I didn’t check in till the morning of the next day around 9am.
  • I ran to the kitchen by morning, carefully pulled out my food warmer and behold……. It was thick. That’s how you know it worked; the milk becomes thick. You’d know when you shake the glass jar. WIN!!!

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  •  At this point, you have yoghurt, but we are making GREEK yoghurt so don’t rush off in excitement just yet. You will need to strain the excess whey (water) in the yoghurt. This is done by pouring the entire yoghurt into the sieve cloth/old tshirt/scarf and tying it. Set in on a high stand in a container and leave it sitting in the fridge for about 2-3 hours (longer if you want to end up with a cheese like consistency). In 3 hours, you should have your greek yoghurt ready to eat.

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  • My initial 3 jars (pre-strain) became 1 jar and a half but for N900 (and plenty leftover yoghurt that I can reuse 10 times), that’s a huge bargain. As my middle name is overkill, I see myself making uncountable jars of greek yoghurt going forward, I’d share with you if you’re nice 😀
  • At this point I poured my greek yoghurt into the containers but not before making sure to taste some. I served it with 200g of sweet Benue mango and a drizzle of honey because….sweet tooth! Plus overkill…remember? It was proper yummy!!! However do not limit yourself; greek yoghurt can be enjoyed in a variety of ways – plain, with nuts or fruits, in smoothies or even as dressing. Go be epic!!!

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Are you inspired to try making yours? Please share with me when you do. Do you have a Pro-tip to share or a question? Please use the comments box below.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 


63 Comments

Health, Juicing, Lifestyle, wellness

JUICY JUICE

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I can’t remember when I first heard about juicing but I remember who specifically made me curious about it; it was Master Juicer Joe (of the Fat, Sick and nearly dead) fame.  This man basically changed his life, turning it around one juice at a time and I was just gob-smacked reading all about it. Joe was obese and had been told by doctors he was going to die but after adopting a plant based diet/juicing, he lost over 100 pounds and has gone on to amass an incredible following.  You can read all about his amazing story here –   http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/ and his wonderful juice resource — http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/

Suffice to say, my interest was immediately piqued and I got to researching pronto! The more I researched about juicing and its amazing benefits, the more it became clear that this was what I needed to jumpstart my journey into being a healthier version of myself.

Now I wasn’t obese (maybe clinically, lol); but I was not healthy. I was unhappy with my weight which I don’t carry well because I’m only a 5’4ft shorty lol; my metabolism was at an all-time low, I was sluggish & lethargic; my skin was in its worst state ever which inevitably came with acne and although the acne was mainly hormonal, my being unhealthy aggravated it; all of which I think is totally unacceptable for someone who’s called Gorgeous Brownskin :D. So I made up my mind and got to juicing.

During a juice cleanse, you are expected to juice/puree all your food – fruits & veggies and just drink. This juice cleanse can be done between 3 -15 days and there are many resources online specifically prepared to cater to the 3/5/7/10/15 days respectively. If you are a juicing newbie, it’s more realistic to start small say 3 days and increase on your next cleanse.

During and after a juice cleanse, one can expect improved digestion, reduced bloating/flatulence and irregular bowels, a jump in your metabolic health, improved sugar levels, reduced appetite, great and healthy skin/hair & nails, weight loss, better energy levels, boosted immune system, reduced risk of heart disease amongst many other benefits.

One good thing about juicing is the amount of fruits/veggies you get into your body daily. If you were given a typical fruit/veggie bowl, you may not be able to finish eating it but once juiced, it’s condensed into a glass and voila! All gone!

The first time I attempted juicing was in November 2013 during which I did a total juice/veggie cleanse for 12 days. This meant that I ONLY ate and drank of fruits and vegetables for the entire 12 days and boy was it tough! I made so many rookie mistakes ha ha and now that I’m a juicing pro (yes I am):p ; I laugh at my old self. However, rookie mistakes or not, it didn’t stop my body from reaping the amazing benefits of juicing so much so that by the end of those 12 days, all my old clothes were fitting well again, I was feeling extra bouncy and my skin was practically glowing. I’m saying this so it doesn’t discourage you guys from trying. Those rookie mistakes are inevitable but however it’s done you will definitely be happy you juiced.

Notice I said I ATE and drank juices and veggies. Yes I did. Some days, instead of juicing say an apple, I’d just chew it up normally. Ideally, during a juice cleanse, you are supposed to ONLY drink all your food, this is mainly because chewing produces digestion enzymes which can make you hungrier if you haven’t eaten but personally speaking there were times I got tired of just sipping stuff and wanted to feel the chewing motions and so I’d just chew my cucumber/apple/guava/garden egg etc. I never just chewed spinach sha, imagine the horror of showing up someplace with spinach stuck on your teeth. Ha!

Now I know that a lot of you are busy with work and life in general and will be wondering how to fit this into your already hectic schedules, so I want you to know it is do-able. My first time juicing, I was working an 8-5 that sometimes dragged to 11pm/midnight, but I stuck it through and so can you. Now Juicing is tedious. This is a fact. Don’t let anybody tell you any different. However, as with most things in life, it is about your mindset, your attitude towards it and creating time for what is truly important; after which it gets easier.  Given that a normal work day is already hectic on its own; add the mental stress, constant calculation and hunger that sometimes comes with juicing and you just might have a grouch on your hands. But that’s why I’m here writing this post. I made those mistakes and I’m here sharing so you don’t have to repeat them… consider me your juicing messiah hahahahahahahaha… I’m kidding! I just finished a 14day juice cleanse about 3 days ago and while it’s no walk in the park, some days I think I was just craving attention really with the constant whining (what? Don’t judge me!). This is by far my breeziest cleanse ever because this time, I have tons of free time on my hands and I’m no longer a rookie 😀

Sadly, with my two earlier cleanses I didn’t document/log in properly but I have more than made up for it with the just concluded one. Infact, its gotten so bad that its almost like I have to take a picture of my water sef before I drink it.. ha ha. During this cleanse, my typical day starts at 6am, I get dressed and go for my morning jog, I get back in anytime between 8/9am and immediately make my morning shot – a mix of veggies & fruits. At midday, I have a green salad with lemon juice as dressing and then at about 7pm, I drink my last juice for the day. In the past, I had really bad insomnia (let’s call it that but the truth is I couldn’t sleep at night because I’d been sleeping all day). Nowadays, once its 11pm (after watching Wendy Willams), my eyelids feel like blocks of cement and I’m out; So no midnight hunger/cravings. Yay!

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As a veteran juicer now (don’t hate!) :p, I think that before you embark on a juice cleanse, here are some things to take into consideration:

  • What is the overall/ general state of your health? This will guide you to know how many days at a time you can juice and what types of fruits/veggies to avoid. Also, consult your doctor if you’re on any medication
  • Are you travelling? Crazier schedule? Vigorous activity? This may not be the best time to start juicing, especially for a newbie because you may feel loopy so you may need to reschedule your cleanse to a better time when your work-life balance is better & steadier. This doesn’t mean you should wait till everything is perfect because that day may never come.
  • Get your juicer/blender set cleaned and prepped. Some fruits/veggies are better puréed than juiced so you’d need both. However, if you can only afford to buy one thing now, I’d say to buy a blender first as you can blend and strain most fruits/veggies. There are several options of products out there so do your research but remember, the most expensive gadgets are not necessarily the best juicers/blenders. (this will be an entire post for another day)
  • You will need containers to store your juices – bottles and/or mason jars. Research says juices keep better in mason jars as it helps against oxidization; but my people, this is Nigeria, I know I’d sooner pour my juices into my empty drinking water bottles than go and buy mason jars with money that I could have bought more products with. Abeg!  Use your empty swan/nestle/evan water bottles. A very important tip is to fill the containers to the brim, this ensures that air doesn’t enter the bottle and oxidize your juice, keeping if fresh and drinkable for longer. If your juice is not plenty enough to fill the bottle, add water to fill up. Very important.
  • Cut down on food intake 3 days prior to the day you intend to begin your cleanse. Try not to eat anything after 7pm, but if you must, it should be wholly vegetarian.
  • Keep a food log. It helps you consciously keep track of what you’ve been juicing/eating and its easier to develop recipes you enjoy and know those you want to skip in the future. Juicing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the taste of your mixes. Also, it is possible to over-drink/eat during a cleanse, so keeping a log with measurements & quantity per bottle helps a lot.
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Kenwood Juicer

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Cookworks Blender (I use for Pureeing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 DO:

  • Stock up. I shop weekly so I try to get what I need to last a week especially as fruits & veggies don’t really keep well, thanks to almighty NEPA. Besides, there’s only so much you can pile into the fridge before the people you live with revolt! Lol.
  • Be sharp, it saves you money. For eg. I traveled to Benue prior and knowing I was coming back to start juicing, I took advantage of location/cheap products and bought so much fruits that for the remaining 14 days, I only needed to buy veggies. Also, when someone is coming from home, I always ask them to buy me pink grapefruit at Akwanga because they’re cheap and plenty there.
  • Prep your fruits and veggies overnight. Peel the oranges; de-seed the watermelon/paw paw etc. cut into smaller pieces and refrigerate. This is so important especially for busy people because by morning, you just toss into the juicer/blender and you’re good to go. Plus that way, you’d have a cold juice/smoothie which is much easier to drink.
  • More greens, less sugary sweet fruits. A rule of thumb is 2 parts green, one part fruit.
  • Mix things up. Have all the rainbow colours in your plate/bottle. Green is great but when you feel your energy dipping, it’s okay to eat a sweet fruit. Not only is it good for curbing cravings, it also gives your body sugar for which is a great energy boost.
  • Drink a lot of water during your cleanse. Preferably, water infused with lemon slices, cucumber and mint leaves.
  • Snack (an apple, carrot sticks, garden egg etc) at least twice a day. This keeps your metabolism going; you don’t want it to slow down. Don’t overdo it.
  • Once made, ensure you drink your juices within a 12 hour window. Do not keep for longer than 12 hours or you will have lost essential nutrients.
  • One Pro-tip I have for busy people is to make a smoothie for breakfast instead of actually juicing. What you need to do it prep only the fruits and veggies that can be easily blended/puréed such as watermelon, pawpaw, spinach,kale etc. Leave the broccoli/celery,oranges,carrots for evening when you’re back home from work and have time. No, you’re not too tired to juice after work. Lol
  • Clean your juicer/blender immediately after use. You don’t want the pulp to get stuck and dry in the juicer, it’ll be tougher to clean later and tedious (this is me assuming you don’t have a house help).
  • Have a warm mug of green tea with lemon juice before bedtime. Even better if you add Apple Cider Vinegar.

Here’s a typical Shopping list I use:

Veggies – Spinach, broccoli, kale, celery, lettuce, Cabbage, cucumber, mint, garden egg, avocado, carrot, tomatoes, ginger root, bell pepper,.

Fruits – watermelon, pineapple, apples, oranges, grapefruit (white & pink), pawpaw, lemon, lime, guava, beetroot.

 IMG_1709 IMG_1713 IMG_2407fggg                                                                    As you’re approaching the end of your juice cleanse, it is important to ease your system back into accepting normal food. Remember that you’ve sort of shocked your body and so its imperative to be gentle at this stage. The end of your cleanse is not the day to demolish a massive bowl of pounded yam and egusi soup.. ha! You’re better off with [pepper]soups, broths, porridge etc. you don’t want to end up on the porcelain throne the next day (don’t look at me)

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My catfish peppersoup was yummy!!! (But my tummy revolted violently)

 Juicing is not a fad diet and should not be approached as such. Like I mentioned earlier, I did it to jump start my journey into a healthier lifestyle and since then I’ve done it twice more. In addition, I have tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle overall by eating right and more recently I have started exercising  6 days a week.  A healthy and sustainable approach to any type of long lasting weight loss is a total lifestyle overhaul done slowly and steadily over time.  Therefore, start easy, 3/5 days at a time is more realistic for a newbie than jumping to 14 days straight. Think about juicing as a less invasive and far cheaper colonic/enema. The benefits are amazing.

Remember not to lose sight of the big picture – a healthy lifestyle, not a flash diet fad. If you don’t love yourself enough, your size -fat or skinny – is not going to change anything. As you take the steps towards working on the outward appearance, don’t forget to work on the inner [wo]man too  so that your insides match the outside. A healthy self image is just as important as a healthy body.

The idea has never been to be stick thin, I love being curvy, I’m a proud Tiv woman.

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These pictures were taken on day 14 of my cleanse and I wasn’t wearing any makeup at all. Not quite flawless but glowing nonetheless.  It works!!!

So will you be juicing? Got any questions? Use the comments box.

 


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