Him: “It’s pretty good! I didn’t think I’d enjoy bacon & eggs without toast, yet here I am!”
Me: “That kale looks so fresh and green!”
Him: “It’s bitter, I’m not enjoying it, but I’m pressing through!”
I think my response stunned him… “Then why are you eating it if you don’t like it?” I sensed his surprise which quickly gave way to defensiveness when he replied: “Well it’s healthy, and I already bought it.”
I quickly reminded him that there are too many other “healthy” foods to allow yourself to suffer with your own food choices! So many of us trying to lose weight seem to feel the need to punish ourselves, to self-flagellate, as if we’re punishing ourselves for getting fat! Stop it.
In my last blog post, I took the pulse of members of my immediate family in terms of how they were coping with the pandemic and their thoughts on the predicament that planet was plunged into. This was 6 weeks ago, and we had reported 469 cases of COVID-19, 9 of which had died from the disease. We were under lock-down, working from home, unable to go to the beach, and not certain as to what “normal” would look like. I decided to check in once again as more time has elapsed, and here in Jamaica, as with countries all over the world, we appear to have entered a new phase in our response to COVID-19. People are still getting sick, people are still dying, but the restrictions imposed here in the west as at end March are being loosened. Heck, Jamaica welcomed tourists June 15 for the first time in months! So I wanted to see how my people were feeling, what their thoughts were with respect to this impending “new normal” and just how they’re coping as at now.
Who would have thunk that we’d be here as a planet today? The entire world is grappling with a pandemic which is killing people, decimating economies and baffling scientists. When China first reported this new virus impacting parts of its population earlier this year, I don’t think many of us thought that it would touch us at all. It was a virus, all the way over there. Yet here we are…locked-down, quarantined, working from home, masking up and asking how will this end and when will it end. And guess what? Choose a country, any country anywhere in the world, and someone there is asking those very same questions. It feels as if everything has happened so fast and many of us are just trying to catch our breath and COPE. While I’ve been doing my best to cope, I’ve also been concerned about our children and how they have been coping with this upheaval. So I decided to check in with them and document it as a sort of personal snapshot of COVID-19 in Jamaica. For posterity.
It is April 15 2020 and if feels like the entire world is in a state of upheaval. The way we have lived up until now has been upended; schools are out, classes are online, more of us a working from home, we’re wearing masks and joining lines to get into supermarkets. People have lost jobs, businesses have folded, whole sectors are in jeopardy of collapse. And most of all, people are dying…have died. This virus seems to have appeared out of nowhere and with no cure or vaccine in sight, it’s hard to ensvision how this ends and what our world will be like when it does end. This is an unsettling and uncertain time, and many are turning to food for comfort. But now is not the time to binge eat those foods that make us more susceptible to the ravages of COVID-19. Here’s a budget friendly, creamy, low-carb soup that will satisfy that need for warmth and comfort.
Are you an employee working from home right now? If you are not, why is this so? Are you working on a production line? Are you delivering a tangible to a customer?If not, why aren’t you working from home?
Many years ago I was employed to one of the more forward thinking organizations in Jamaica. I was part of an initiative that saw several of us being trained in forming Business Continuity Plans. This plan was formed in order to keep business running in the face of any kind of business interruption (natural disaster, civil unrest, etc.) We also had to test it, and it was in executing these simulations and tests that I designed that I came up against what I consider to be the biggest obstacle to so many in the work force being able to work remotely:management attitudes. Sigh.
She’s in her late 30s. She lives and works right here in Jamaica. All her life she tried to lose weight. Spoiler alert: SHE DID! Her story of how she finally did it is absolutely inspiring. Her name is Naki. And there’s so much about Naki’s story that I identify with. Perhaps you’ll find parallels with Naki’s story too. It is my privilege to share her story. I am grateful for her willingness to be open and her generosity in sharing her journey. Naki’s story is about a body and a life “right-sized”. Let’s go!
WARNING:I use the word “fat”, and I do so with understanding, compassion and a huge dose of keeping it real. If you know my own story, you will understand that I of all people, truly get it, and that my using the word “fat” is never a condemnation or a judgement.
There are some things that I have incorporated on my weight-loss journey that have made things so much easier and more enjoyable. That they are local makes me enjoy them even more. Buying and eating Jamaican as much as possible should be our goal. Here are 13 things that I’m crushing on while I’m on my keto journey here in the beautiful island of Jamaica. Presented in no particular order, here they are. I hope you find inspiration and ideas that you can incorporate on your own journey.
I can cook. I cooked my first full meal for my 10th birthday. I was guided by my late maternal grandmother who is one of the best cooks I’ve known. I chose the menu: steamed fish, stewed beef, white rice and vegetables. Those were some of my favourite foods. Grandma was patient with her young apprentice, and I remember acquitting myself fairly well if I may say so myself! My desire to learn to cook never waned, and I was able to give full expression to this desire when I left home for university. In those days we didn’t have Google or YouTube or Whatsapp for instant easy access to recipes and methods. But I had Grandma. I’d ask her how to do this, and how to do that, over the telephone and then go do it. Since then, I’ve become a pretty good cook. But baking has always intimidated me.
It’s still not a low-carb world, but with a little planning and a little effort too, you can stick to your desire to eat low-carb and improve your health and your life. Recently, a friend who had lost 30 lbs on keto, asked me for help. He said that he is bored with his food. That he feels stuck rotating the low-carb foods that he has been eating for the past year or so, and that on the road, his options are so limited. He knows he doesn’t want to go back to the bread and rice, so he finds himself not eating. Someone else in his position is likely to find themself eating those unhealthy foods again. No bueno. Food is good. I believe we were meant to enjoy food (function AND pleasure). And we need to nourish our bodies. Sleep and nourishing food are critical to optimizing weight and health. I already shared my own hacks for Eating Keto on the Go in Jamaica.In this post I share my hacks for making meal prep easy and tasty!
“I’ve been doing keto for a month now and I haven’t lost a pound.”
That was a comment I received from a prospective client. I immediately told her that I suspected hidden carbs as the culprit. She insisted that she ate low-carb, with the occasional fried chicken or shrimp in batter. I explained that the batter is made from wheat flour which is carb rich. She explained that she didn’t think “that little bit of flour would make a difference.” She recently shared with me a picture of her meal: fish and vegetable salad. Sounds good, right? Except that the fish was done brown-stewed style, which means it is first fried than cooked down in a ketchup rich sweet and spice sauce. Ketchup is unbelievably high in sugar. There are 11g sugar in 100g coca cola, 9 g sugar in 100g orange juice and 22g sugar in 100g ketchup.