Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lifelong Foodie

Food lovers worldwide, stand up! Stand proud. I am sick and tired of food being labeled "VILLAIN." It seems that we have become obsessed with food and not in a good way. "What should I eat?" "What shouldn't I eat?" "How many calories does this fruit cup have?" "Do I use vegetable or olive oil to fry that chicken?" I am being suffocated by a society that painfully scrutinizes each eating habit or decision we make, destroying the simple beauty and pleasures of food consumption.

 I recently watched an online interview with Jada Pinkett-Smith (actress and wife to famous blockbuster phenom Will Smith) where she was asked how she has maintained such a thin physique throughout her career and her response was "I do not live to eat; I eat to live." Oh my.  She spoke as if it is a source of pride and showcases her exceptional self-disciplinary skills when it comes to healthy eating and maintaining her "desirable" body structure. Based on such a statement and the images of her frail body that I have seen, I take it that must mean she is eating the bare minimum for survival requirement. Well, I can't make such a statement. 

I am Nigerian and genetically programmed to not only love food, but also intake copious amounts of it.   Don't get me wrong, it may seem that I am playing devil's advocate for all the morbidly obese and encouraging people to eat foolishly but I assure you that is not the case. As attentive as we should be in making smart, healthy eating choices we should not however forget the pleasurable sensations achieved from a delicious meal. The word delicious is often considered synonymous with "bad" and "unhealthy" but that isn't always true. From personal experience, here are my tips to maintaining a healthy food lifestyle as well as an enjoyable one:

1. Eat smaller quantities more times throughout the day rather than large quantities less times a day. This helps your body digest the food quicker and easier.

2. Cook more. It is healthier because you can control/moderate the quantity of the ingredients you use as opposed to restaurants where they employ the aid of many artificial preservatives and sweeteners to overly-enhance the taste of their dishes. Try cutting down your restaurant/fast food visits to once, at most twice, a week.

3. Drink MORE water. Actively choose to drink more water and less sodas/juices throughout the day. Those drinks are packed with addictive sugars and the less you have of them the better. Also, water helps to flush out toxins from the body, keep it hydrated, and energy levels up.

3. Find activities outside your home that are not only good for you health-wise but also fun. Jogging suits some people while others prefer swimming or going to the gym or even kickboxing classes. Whatever you enjoy that gets you off your couch a couple of times a week works just fine.

At the end of the day my point is the following: food is your friend, not enemy, and with smart eating choices and physical activities incorporated in your life you are entitled to enjoy the full benefits and pleasures of it. 


  1. It's been really fun reading through your blog this afternoon, will definitely be following :)
    This is a great post on health. I'm also a big foodie but also happen to be vegan (mainly for health reasons). Coming from a Nigerian background, the reaction I usually get is quite..umm..interesting. What they don't immediately realise is that I eat a ton of yummy (Nigerian mostly) food, just with the meat and dairy taken out. I may be biased but I think Nigerian cuisine is one of the best in the world. Even healthier versions can be just as tasty. I don't count calories or stress that much about quantity either. Haven't felt this great in a long time.


  2. aww, thanks so much! I am so impressed that you are Vegan and I completely agree that Naija food is truly the best! I am heading to your blog right now to check out all your Vegan recipes:)