Going Green and Healthy – Easier than you think

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You may already be eating healthy – you eat meat in moderate amounts, you eat fruits and vegetables every day, and even use olive oil and sea salt. But there is still more you can do, for example, you could make your home a little more eco-friendly. I am not talking about going off the grid and supplying your own energy from the sun, wind, biofuel :-), though that would be great if you could pull it off, but I am talking about replacing common household chemicals with often cheaper and often more effective alternatives.

1. Soap

Most soaps are made from petroleum products and are often laced with a cocktail of sometimes harmful chemicals. Organic soap is available in Kenya at specialized health stores such as Healthy U. You could also choose to make it at home. You could even use kipande which has less chemicals and color and is quietly but widely used in the beauty industry.

2. Cleaners

Convenient yes, but did you know that baking soda is a very effective and natural cleaning ingredient? It is effective on its own, but when mixed with white distilled vinegar and  fresh lemon juice, the concoction can literally clean anything and everything. From a very dirty oven, to the floor. Ok, you could add a tiny bit of powdered soap, which gives it that lather and you can then clean the house or wash clothes with it.

3. Shower

 Everyone loves a hot shower but new studies have shown that the chlorine often used to treat water can react with the heat and create harmful compounds which may cause you to feel tired and dizzy after a long hot shower.

You could simply choose take shorter showers (which is better for your power bills and the environment), ensure maximum aeration in your bathroom and take advantage of cold showers where possible. For example, I bath with cold water everyday after my work out.

4. Cosmetics

Extra virgin coconut oil acts as the perfect lotion, shaving cream and deodorant. You can also get some natural make up products from your local health store or switch to homemade DIYs

Healthy Chef Kahonge

Ginger Tea

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Ginger can be a great and healthy substitute for tea or coffee  in the morning. It has the added benefit of freshening your breath, and helping you avoid sugar. (This recipe is great for breakfast but it can also work well if you chill the ginger tea and serve it on a hot day.)

If you’re having Ginger tea for breakfast, you could have it with bread, but we recommend arrowroots. They have the added benefit of being more filling than bread; this is because they have complex carbohydrates which keep you full for longer thus helping you eat less.

 

INGREDIENT

QUANTITY

PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS

Ginger 1 large piece 350/- per KG or 40/- per piece
Lime/ Lemon 3 pieces Lime at 200/- per kg, Lemon at 100/- per kg. Approx 15/- and 10/- per piece
Honey (Winnie’s Pure Health) 2/3 tablespoons per cup 350/- per Jar (500gms)
Water

 

Method

  1. Boil/steam your skinned arrowroot for about 30 minutes (I prefer using a bamboo steamer)
  2. Bring the water to boil
  3. Crush ginger in mortar and pestle
  4. Add a cup of  boiled water into the mortar to collect the ginger juice in it.
  5. Return the water with all the ginger goodness into the boiling water, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add fresh lime/lemon juice and honey according to your preference

5 Tips to Help Lose Weight

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One of the most common new year’s resolutions is weight loss. Here are a few very effective weight loss tips.
1. Fruits & Vegetables
Increased consumption of raw fresh fruit and veg is great for any weight loss goal. Vegetables can also be filling, removing the need binge on excess carbohydrates (like potatoes or bread) which contribute to weight gain.
Vegetables are also the most nutrient dense and nutrient diverse foods. Other than salads, smoothies are a unique way of having your fruit and veg. An easy and TASTY smoothie recipe is 1 bunch kale, 1 banana, 1 green apple, 1 slice pineapple, 1 slice watermelon, 1/2 liter of water and 1 cup of cashew nuts. Blend for about 2 minutes and drink up.
2. Water
This quintessential liquid is key to losing weight. First of all, it helps with curbing your food cravings and making you feel full. Secondly, drinking water regularly has been proven to boost metabolism.
The source of water is equally important, boiling water is good but if you can afford it, spring water is best. Alternatively, invest in a water filter and use it to purify ordinary tap water.
If you are one of those that find water boring or tasteless, add slices of lemon or fresh coconut water. They not only add taste but also contain electrolytes that replenish your body cells.#
3. Lower your sugar intake
Excessive refined sugar encourage weight gain. Use healthy alternatives like honey, stevia, unrefined cane sugar, xylitol, real maple syrup and also molasses. Avoiding sodas and even diet sodas which also have artificial sweeteners is ideal.
Another way to avoid sugar is to avoid food and drinks that may contain it, e.g. replace your morning coffee with a smoothie or natural juice. For dessert you can replace the pastries with fresh or dried fruit which will also help you sleep better. You can also use substitute snacks like chocolate and candy with dried fruit like raisins and sultanas which are easily available at supermarkets (also coming soon to Mboga Masters).
You don’t have to quit sugar 100% on day one, the key is moderation and small improvements, if you had 1 liter of soda, you can lower by half, and so on.
Have a healthy year!

4.Exercise

The best approach here is diversity; one day you jog, the next day you can walk, weight training, spin work outs, aerobics swim, yoga and try to keep it simple and not too stressful on the body. The gym is a nice place to work out, access trainers and training buddies but the outdoors too does offer more fresh air and it is more therapeutic, especially if there is more nature, like a forest or game park.

5. Stress-reduction
Stress causes our bodies to malfunction. When your metabolism is not at full capacity, the body stores fat. Stress also often leads to overeating. Prayer, meditation, singing and dancing are great ways to lower stress levels. Deep breathing also works perfectly, especially in tense situations.
Many ailments are also caused by stress, so you would be killing two birds with one stone here, losing belly fat and staying healthy.