I used to cringe at the thought of healthy food. I thought of it as bland tasteless and downright boring cuisines which couldn’t whet the appetite of a starving person.
My erroneous perception was reinforced by the environment I grew up in.
I was raised on the gentle slopes of Ngong hills. Our diet was mostly githeri with potatoes, ugali from posho mill flour with kienyeji greens; all straight from the farm.
My father owned a butchery so meat could feature alongside the farm–product meals. Key beverages were full cream milk from the family cow and oxtail soup every Friday, from the butchery.
This cycle of eating real food became very monotonous for me from that tender age. I loathed it.
When I joined kindergarten , my mother started to pack snacks for me to carry to school. This new” food” was a welcome change and I was very excited.
All through my teen years, I avoided real food like the plague. Apart from my mother’s chapatis, I preferred eating my meals from colourful packets and boxes off the supermarket shelves or greasy take-outs from the nearest fast food joint.
This escalated when I got admitted to a university that was 300miles away from my mother’s watchful eye and her insistence that we eat up the greens lumped generously on our plates.
I embraced the freedom whole-heartedly. The only time I used cooking pans was to heat up my take-outs. It was all bliss until 2015 when my body started protesting and boycotting simple duties such as climbing a short flight of stairs without running out of breathe. It was time to revisit real food.
My body needed it.
Truth be told, the switch back to real food was not easy. I had to acquire the taste for sugarless coffee, greens and even water!
The healthy food was not as crispy, as salty, as sugary, as sticky or even as tasty as my average every day off -the -shelf meal or take-out. I was at a crossroads; I wanted to lose some weight and be fit and still be able to enjoy food for the pleasure it is meant to be.
Therefore, I began my online healthy cuisine research.
Currently I follow over ten boards on Pinterest for healthy recipes; am in five Facebook groups for healthy eating and I run a Facebook page called Organic Msosi which is a collection of mouth-watering healthy dishes that I have learnt to make on my pursuit for fitness.
Allow me to share with you one of my favourite recipes which is a replacement for off-the- shelf bread spread.
½ a ripe banana
½ a ripe avocado
Method of preparation:
1. Mash the two ingredients separately using a fork
2. Transfer the two mashed ingredients in one bowl and mix them thoroughly till smooth.
3. Scoop the mixture and spread it between two slices of whole brown bread.
4. Enjoy the healthy and scrumptious sandwich.
Your everyday healthy ingredients can be turned into exciting meals that entice your palate, maintain your desirable waist size and leave you feeling absolutely fabulous. Remember, it is important to enjoy the journey with every munch.
Fit&Fab is a blog series by Marion Maina who lost 30kg in her weight loss journey that started two years ago and is now in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]