December 22, 2012

How Not To Gain unhealthy Weight over the Holidays: African Version

This is isnt  an "academic" post about the definition of calories and the difference between unsaturated or saturated fats.

Lets Get Real. You know Better. You just need someone (moi) to "gently remind you" to be good*

As we all know, there's no such thing as an African party without a buffet of food.

Even a simple "meeting" requires the host to put on an elaborate presentation of their cooking skills. 

 Our dance clubs sell suya, poisson brisé,

 rice and beignets-haricots. 

Here is the game plan for making healthy food 

choices over the Christmas holidays.

1. Let them KNOW

In the African tradition, it is rude to deny food 

offered by a host when you are a visitor. It is also

 rude to not eat it all once you've accepted the meal.

However, in this modern times, most people 

recognize the importance of making healthy food

 choices.Even if they don't practice it, they respect 

others who do.Don't be shy to tell people you are 

on a healthy food choices journey.

You have to be delicate and diplomatic about it.

The last thing you want, is to indirectly come

 across as insulting you're host's cooking.

By mentioning it, you relatives and hosts are more likely to respect

 your choice to eat small portions or by pass a particular dish.

  Understanding that your actions do not mean the dish was 



It may be  tucked away in a corner, unannounced and 

overshadowed by all the other greasy yet delicious options but find 

it. Load up on as much salad and fruits as you 

can. Leaving little room for the main course.

3. Vegetable Soups & Co.

 Lots of African foods revolve around vegetables. Good. But what 

is accompanied in the vegetable becomes the problem. Watch out 

for dishes drowning in PALM OIL. If you can see the solid fat, 

after the hot oil has "settled down = becomes cold" mindful of

 how much of that you eat.

4. Fufu a la mode = pounded yam, millet, cassava, sweet
potatoes, rice, farina, corn, cocoyam, garri, unsweet potatoes, achu,
 fermented, unfermented, wheat, couscous and plantains fufu.

did i miss any? We @ mapetiteniche like to represent everybody

Now, initially i was going to say, avoid the Fufu all together and go 

for a "light" carbohydrate. But who am I kidding? That's like asking 

an african not to breath.
          So this is what YOU are going to do. No matter how small 

your greedy eyes thinks the fufu is, you will cut it into 2 EQUAL 

parts and only eat 1.

I'm not even sure i should bother. It will only be a waste of my 

virtual ink. Any suggestion that involves limiting or not eating this

 staple is only going to result in one thing. Mapetiteniche receiving 

hate mails from citizens of every single country in Africa.


If its deep fried. STAY AWAY from it. This isn't up for discussions. 

Go back to step 5 and have some rice. President or pauper, if its an 

African party, there will be RICE.

7. 50 Shades of Purple as seen in this commercial
"I'm looking for a purple, but not like my favorite dress in college kind of purple.. it was just a little too purple. I'm looking more for puuuuur-ple, kind of like it's raining, only it's raining way way way way over there purple. Know what I mean?"

Chances are, you're going to run into 1001 versions of jellof rice, 
grilled chicken, BBQribs and ETC.

Do you really need to EAT every single variation of them?

Pepper soups are especially good during this cold/flu season. You're 
body will sweat the fever/disease out of your system.
If its not deep fried but extremely spicy Go For It!. 

Where is your sense of adventure. Live a little on the edge. 

Feeling like you can't control your eating? 

Cant restrain having another plate of food? Top the plate of food with some spicy hot sauce. If you're not crying, its not hot enough. 

Bon appétit!

9. Drinks
Boys and men, stay AWAY from the beer. Contrary

 to cultural believes, a pot belly IS NOT a sign of wealth. Its 

physically unattractive and repulsive. At least a girl with a fat 

stomach can "claim" pregnancy. What are you going to do? Walk

 around with an "agbada"/"boubou" 24/7?
This is the time to expand    

your pallet. Wines such as le vin rouge ( red wine) has many    

health benefits. As for Palm wine, if you are interested in its

 biochemical components, click here.

Ladies. I know you want to get your drink on. I'm a cosmo girl

 too so i get it. But remember, all those sweet fancy drinks have

 a lot of SUGAR.

10. Exercise: DANCE

Its the only form of exercise I'm recommending for you. Especially 

for those of you living in freezing temperatures as I am.

I know your type.

Even when offered $$$, you will not go outside 

in the cold to exercise. 

All Faya: Photo credit to Ladepeche

Therefore you MUST dance. Break a sweat. 


If you can't squeeze the sweat from your clothes, it means

 you're still in warm up/ échauffement MODE.

If you still don't know how to AZONTO or COUPE DECALE, you 

better hit Youtube for lessons.

Now that you know/ have been "reminded" 

how to dodge that holidays 15lbs.....


  1. HA!! This post was much needed. I've been eating quite -- bad, this month. And I'm detoxing in January, which now is frightening me. I plan on cutting red meat for good come January that way my detox won't be as hard on my body! This post was funny and hit all of the important points that we really do have to keep in mind. Great work! Funny stuff.


  2. Thanks, sometimes we all just need a gentle reminder to do the right thing:) Merry christmas and happy new year! I always start the new year and my birthday (january) with a cleanse


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