Recently in my church, there was a seminar on making healthy substitutes to processed snacks. Why? They are mostly high in all kinds of things you really don’t want in your body; eg processed sugars, sodium and/or weird unpronouncable chemicals. And don’t we all love to snack? I know I do – -a packet of plantain chips here, some sweet popcorn there, and don’t even get me started on mt love for chocolate Digestives. But lately, I’ve become more aware of my body and I am making a conscious effort to take care of it. After all, my body is the Temple of the Most High. So, I’ve been trying to make a concerted effort to eat healthy. Make you own chips!
I absolutely adore Lush cosmetics! My goodness, I could spend hours and oodles of cash in one of their shops. Their products have the best scents, and results ever. Every time I go in to get something specific, I leave the shop with at least one more product – no matter how much I try to resist! The only drawback is the steep prices 😦 (especially on a student budget which I was on at the time 😀 ). Oh and they have fabulous customer service! Someone is always there to answer your questions, and make suggestions. This is beginning to sound like a Lush ad… 😀 But I love, love, love it!
One day, I went in for hair moisturiser (they have this absolutely gorgeous one called R&B- it’s the best thing ever I tell you), but I stumbled on a tea tree facial toner that I knew I had to try. It was one of the cheapest things in the store, and I was like, “Yup, I’m definitely taking this home.” It worked beautifully! But one of my friends (an amazing lady called Livvy who makes a large number of her cosmetics herself) recommended I make mine. See how to make yours
*I wrote this in May 2012, but made the video just this week (after the train incident which I talk about in the video).
It came as a sort of shock. But not like a sharp-intake-of-breath, ground-breaking shock; more like a fuzzy-vision-cleared shock. A mild shock. I was thinking about how eyeliner defines the eyes. I cannot really recollect how my train of thoughts came to stop at this station. But I’m sure you know how many streams of thoughts come to meet at one point; how we come to conclusions based on many threads of thinking and little nuances, feelings and circumstances. The brain is truly a marvelous thing. Anyway, that’s another stop for another day.
Immediately the eyeliner thought crystallised in my mind, I remember thinking, “Well, why do I need to define my eyes? Guys don’t have to define their eyes; and we girls like them well enough.” That was the shock. In a sort of funny way, it should be no shock at all. Duh, it’s girls that wear make-up, not guys. Except exceptional guys like the guy from that guy Kiss and sprinkling of other media, and Goth guys. But really, even the most popular media guys, the most good-looking ones who top all the sexiest and best-dressed lists don’t wear any form of make-up. If they do, it’s for the cameras; and they don’t even want us to know that they’re wearing it. We women wear it like a badge of honour. And we love those men for their “rugged good looks”!
I’m not a feminist, at least not in the extreme sense of the world. In fact, the damsel in distress routine is pretty entertaining. It’s funny to see a guy think that he’s some hero because he opened a jar of jam for me. I love the guy opening the door, pulling out a chair for the lady thing. I’m also all for the woman’s right to vote and all that (which some say would never have happened if not for those women who would cry for blood if a man opened the door for them). I guess everyone has their uses (that must sound bad; but oh well…). So, please don’t misconstrue the purpose of this.
I’m not a big fan of make-up actually. I don’t think I’ll ever use powder, or foundation, or concealer on a regular basis. I‘ve only used powder about three times in my life. Make-up is just a habit that I never cultivated. I have nothing against it. But wearing eyeliner, mascara and lipstick once a week to church is a burden enough for me. I’ve sworn of eye-shadow. But I just got my Ruby Woo by MAC lipstick about two weeks ago, after much anticipation. I admire those who have the patience and expertise to apply perfectly blended make-up. It might be laziness, honestly. But I cannot be bothered to shape my eyebrows, because then I’d have to keep on doing it. But then my eyebrows aren’t that bad. I’m sure that if I had caterpillar eyebrows (as one of my friends described her pre-shaped eyebrows), I’d do something about them. I can’t stand the glitter of eye-shadow all over my face; and I have an upper eye-lid that folds over so that the shadow almost always goes where I didn’t put it. If I found the perfect non-smearing matte eye-shadow, I’d probably use it.
Back to the point (although it seemed like it, I’m not trying to list all the reasons why I only use certain items of make-up), we like our guys with their shaggy eyebrows (in fact, the thicker the better). We like them with their un-shadowed eyes, their un-blushed cheeks (anyone who’s seen a picture of Prince Harry of England during winter, knows he doesn’t need it), and their un-lined eyes. In fact, some guys are liked particularly for their unkempt-edness. Imagine their shaggy locks and tattered jeans are adored! As I thought, it occurred to me that I would find a man with make-up particularly distasteful. It made me wonder who comes up with all the rules and dictates of society. I mean, right from birth I’ve “known” that earrings are for girls not boys. At that point, I sort of felt like a peacock. You know, we ladies trying to present our best look (with our highlighted cheeks, coloured lips and all) while we parade in front of guys to make their choice. Note, “peacock”. Note especially: pea-“cock”. In that bird species, it’s the guys that parade!!!
All this is not to say, that I’ll not wake up thirty minutes earlier than needed on Sunday so that I can have time to apply my eyeliner, mascara and lipstick. I did just spend £14 pounds on that very lipstick. In fact, I might put in extra effort this Sunday because I think I’ve just mastered the perfect lipstick application technique. And I absolutely do not expect my boyfriend to begin to line his eyes so we can equally parade ourselves. But it did get me thinking…
Lately, I have been eating like there is no tomorrow; as if food is going out of fashion- and it’s telling in all the wrong places! I have been trying to get myself back on track: managing my portions, cutting down, and I started running again. You can say I caught a fitness bug from my dad, who for the past seven (possibly more) years has probably jogged everyday. When I say everyday, I mean in the rain and in the snow. If you’re a Nigerian and you’ve done NYSC, you should know the part of the NYSC anthem that goes “…under the sun and in the rain…”. That’s my dad and jogging. Seriously! Okay, honestly I can’t say he has jogged everyday for the past seven years, but he has definitely jogged 80% of everyday. He inspires me.
Anyway, I came across the Lean Machines channel on YouTube, and I think it’s great. I love it, love it! They are two guys (who I guess must be fitness instructors of some kind) who give exercise and diet tips which I find very helpful. I am not a fitness guru, neither am I obsessed with my body or my weight. I just believe our bodies are temples and we should take care of them as much as we can. I like the guys’ friendly banter and the way eating well and exercising is so much fun for them.
I tried out one of their recipes (the picture above). I say ‘tried’ very liberally, because there are many variations in my finished product. Instead of fresh vegetables for the salad, I just used store pre-prepared salad (which you shouldn’t do ;-)). My poached egg didn’t come out as perfect as his, but it was alright. I added a bit of tomato and pepper sauce which I had made before thinking the salad might be bland (but it wasn’t at all [even without the sauce]). I added avocado and made the salad a sort of hybrid of two of their recipes.
Instead of snacking on ice cream or biscuits afterwards (as usual), I went for fruit instead. Strawberries were on sale at the supermarket so I had those. Yay me!
Appearances can be deceiving! As I explain in the videos, I was surprised to find out that something I thought was much more healthy was actually not.
Here are the pictures of the Guideline Daily Allowances: