Start, However Small the Step

bowl of vegetable salad and fruits

Photo by Trang Doan on

Some days were harder than others and some meals more difficult to eat but there had to be consistency. I remember complaining and being reminded that these were my goals and I needed to get my act together and just do it. At the time it felt like going through the wringer but it has got easier.

In the last few weeks I have met more than five people who are intrigued by my change and have desired to start the process but haven’t been able to make much progress. This week I chatted with one of them who needs to start but it is a daunting task because the health concerns are major. She needs to start on food and fitness but it feels like an incredibly hard task so I sought to help her.

For a long time she has been sedentary, taken a little sugar but loved starches to the detriment of her waistline and weight. I totally understand her dilemma but from a different perspective. It is possible to think we are eating a balanced diet yet the combination of the foods we are eating aren’t ideal for us. It is even harder when we go out and rent eating at home.

A dear friend and I had coffee together last week and I was hungry but as I looked through the menu it became abundantly clear that most of our snacks are loaded with starch and so people like myself will have a hard time finding something to eat.

You don’t believe? Let me explain. What are the common Kenyan snacks? Here we go…

baked baking bread breakfast
Photo by Leigh Patrick on

chapati, samosa, mandazi, meat pie, cinnamon roll, sandwich, arrow roots, sweet potatoes, chips, yoghurt and cakes. Sadly they are all starches albeit some more complex than the rest but carbohydrates all the same. What does that leave for those not eating carbohydrates? Next to nothing!

It would have been easy to say that I couldn’t find anything to eat and go on being foolish and ignore God’s direction or I could ask him for direction and guidance what to eat. So as I looked through the menu once more I came across boiled eggs and kachumbari (tomato salsa). That is what I settled for. Why? It is protein and vegetables in the right combination so that I can find the starches I need in the vegetables and not from sugar. It will also allow me to be full for longer and therefore reduce weight.

The next challenge was what to drink. I had already had my fill of coffee; to be exact, three cups, so I wanted something else lighter and more refreshing. What a pleasure to find freshly made passion juice without added sugar. Irony is that many of us can go into a restaurant and easily find something to eat.

food salad healthy vegetables

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Sometimes staying true to the path you have chosen means you must carry your own food as you go to places unknown. On a recent two day outing I really learnt this. On the first day I didn’t carry anything to eat in the in between times and let’s just say that it was hard to just keep to the plan when I was absolutely hungry. By contrast, the next day I made and carried breakfast for myself and my close people and this meant that we did not put pressure on the hosts rather we could sort out our interesting needs. My key learning is to do whatever little I can to make sure it all works out and we’re all on track.

The thing I learnt afresh was to determine the way forward and stick to it no matter what especially when it comes to food, drinks and exercise. Determine the way and remain steadfast no matter what.

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