Ma Bubbles Mu Mala
“Nick, mu mala...si vintu. Ni ma bubbles daily!” Anyone that’s ever struggled with gas issues knows how brutally embarrassing this situation can be💨. Well, for some... Others shamelessly let it rip and turn around to defend their actions by saying “Ni normal muntu wandi, it’s nature.” 😒For those of us with courtesy and a desire to preserve our dignity I want to give you a few nutritional adjustments to address any unpleasant situation.
What is gas?
Gas is the result of two things: 1. Fermentation of food (carbs & fibers) in the large intestine. It's basically undigested food that's starting to rot. That explains the smelly aspect of it. 2. The other side of gas is excess air consumed being expelled, which is something commonly experienced when you burp. NB: What doesn't get released up top gets released down below.
What causes gas in general?
Swallowing air. A common side effect of frequently chewing gum and/or smoking. Another way that you tend to swallow air is aggressively eating or drinking fluid. Gas in the form of burping is how your body ejects excess air swallowed through the the above mentioned activities.
Drinking carbonated drinks in the form of beer🍺 and regular sodas🥤.
Drinking milk 🥛(or eating cheese🧀) when you're lactose intolerant. Gas occurs when your body struggles to break down the food you've ingested. How do you know that you're lactose intolerant? Pour yourself a glass of milk and observe your body's reaction after consumption. The rebellion from your stomach won't take a long time if you're intolerant and that's how you know.
Eating spicy foods🌶 🥵. The nature of spicy foods tends to irritate the stomach for those unaccustomed to it and unsettle the rectum when it eventually makes it's way down there. It's either a riot in your belly or trumpets at the other end. Or both.
A high fiber diet (wholegrains & bran from popular weight loss breakfast cereals, beans, fruits & various vegetables particularly cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower & asparagus). Fiber is not digested by your body, it simply goes in one way and out the other. What causes gas is a buildup of fiber in your large intestine. People battling constipation are often also burdened with gas and bloating issues. A remedy is for you to increase your intake of warm fluids to stimulate some movement and soften things for an exit the other way. Best done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You can reduce your gas and constipation💩 issues this way.
How can you overcome it?
Avoid carbonated drinks. This means beer and most of your favorite sodas. Consider non carbonated drinks such tea☕️, water💧 or juice and swap beer for alcohol in the form of dry wine🍷, vodka, gin, tequila or whiskey🥃 as an alternative. Skip the sugar-loaded, carbonated mixer and stick to water💧 and ice❄️.
Avoid dairy products (milk🥛, cheese🧀, ice-cream🍨 etc.) if you're lactose intolerant. Consider unsweetened fortified almond milk as an alternative.
Limit gum chewing and reduce the speed🌪 with which you chew it. This goes for consumption of food & drink in general as well. Eating and drinking in a hurry creates gas issues from swallowed air so slow it down.
Gradually build your tolerance to spicy meals 🌶🥵 by incrementally adjusting the quantities of spices added to your food over time.
Consider cutting down on your fiber rich diet to lessen the build up of undigestable foods and provide some relief to your system.
Bonus tips: Activated charcoal and a lactase supplement are short term supplements to consider if you're experiencing a severe bout of gas. Activated charcoal has been shown to reduce the formation of gas in the colon while lactase is an enzyme that will help your body break down lactose from dairy products. This is of particular importance for those that are unwilling to give up dairy despite the intolerance. Both are available at your local health stores & pharmacies.
Learning how to silence farts doesn’t make them any less deadly so stop punishing your neighbor. Burping isn't a lesser evil btw, people burnt by your dragon breath🗣 🔥 might be too polite to tell you so please, spare them.
Dieting By Blood Group
Dieting by blood group -- Sounds fancy huh? It might just be what you've been missing...or not. People's frustration with weight loss has led them to believe in this seemingly sophisticated way of dieting. I mean if you've tried every diet under the sun and nothing's worked out for you then surely you must be doing something wrong. 🤔 💡You must not be dieting by your blood group! That's why you can't lose weight!😰 That's why you're not in optimal health! Right? Wrong (at least partially). I'll explain.
What is it?
Dr. Peter D’Adamo is the creator of blood group eating and his research led him to the conclusion that we should be eating in the same manner as our ancestors for both weight loss and optimal health. It is essentially an evolutionary based diet that attempts to align us with the eating patterns of our ancestors; ancestors with similar blood groups. According to Dr. D’Adamo type Os were meat-eating hunter-gatherers aka providers, while type As were vegetarian farmers aka bantu ba njala, and type Bs were nomads aka chimbwi no plan, eating many more types of food.
What are the touted benefits?
Weight loss & optimal health.
How can you do it?
Type A (vegetarians) - Eat vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Do not eat or drink dairy, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and processed foods (this means all canned foods or anything in packaging really).
Type B (omnivores) - Eat vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy
Do not eat nuts, seeds, and processed foods
Type AB (omnivores) - Eat vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy
Do not eat or drink alcohol (wamvela), caffeinated beverages, processed foods (this means all canned foods or anything in packaging really)
Type O (carnivores) - Eat meat, poultry, fish, and olive oil, nuts, seeds, and eggs
Do not eat or drink alcohol (you've heard), caffeinated beverages, dairy, grains like cereal; bread, pasta, rice, beans, processed foods.
I'm not sold on it. Evidence is lacking to support its adoption and the basic fundamentals behind it are negative. It limits food groups which in turn limits calories so you will experience weight loss on it. But that doesn't mean it's healthy. In fact I'd argue that it's not due to its restrictive nature - you'll very likely end up with nutritional deficiencies and a miserable relationship with food on this plan. If you're struggling with weight loss give intermittent fasting a try.
Anyway, here's a few Sample Meal Plans for those that haven't been sufficiently discouraged:
Meal 1 - Wholegrain bread with avocado or peanut butter plus some fruit (citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruit and oranges)
Meal 2 - Salmon/Sardines with asparagus and/or other desired vegetables plus some fruit
Meal 3 - Wholegrain pasta with green beans/or other desired vegetables plus some fruit
Meal 1 - Oats with milk, with some fruit in the form of bananas, plums, papaya or grapes
Meal 2 - Beef/Lamb/Turkey with brown rice and 1-2 servings of green leafy vegetables
Meal 3 - Salmon/Cod with potatoes and a green salad
Meal 1 - Oats with milk, ma eggs pa mbali
Meal 2 - Fish with carrots, cucumbers and broccoli
Meal 3 - Lamb/Turkey with cauliflower, carrots and mushroom
Meal 1 - Fruit such as cherries, berries (strawberries, blueberries, cranberries etc.) with eggs
Meal 2 - Chicken/Turkey/Beef/Lamb with broccoli and a spinach salad
Meal 3 - Fish bream with roasted vegetables
Chikwela Mu Gym
Chikwela mu gym – ever experienced it? Most ladies probably have, except that in some cases it’s not always automatic that when a male stranger speaks with you he’s trying to get with you. I was exposed to a funny story this weekend when a good friend of mine shared his experience trying to be Mr. Nice Guy at the gym. Here’s what happened: A lady was working out in close proximity to him and he identified some technical flaws with how she was performing a certain exercise (please, don’t ask me why he was looking because I don’t know🤷♂️). He felt compelled to help out in a manner that he’d appreciate himself if he was doing something wrong so he approached with a friendly smile and attempted to guide her. Her response was negative and non-verbal. He said, and I quote - “Nick, she acted like I was trying to marry her!”😂 This is just one of many different interactions present in a gym setting, I'm sure many of you have your own story to tell about your experiences. I'd like to provide generic advice for gym goers in a bid to influence behavior.
What are the lessons from the story?
Gents, unless you’ve been introduced avoid adding your husky voice to conversations with females you don’t know in the form of advice. Mind your business because even with good intentions you’ll likely be misunderstood. There’s floor trainers on hand to guide women that need assistance. Additionally, a gym environment makes women a lot more self-conscious about their bodies so all your unsolicited advice and drill sergeant behavior negatively impacts the psyche of women. Respect boundaries and keep your boostele and other forms of encouragement for your goons.
Ladies, some of those men you like interacting with and pretending to need endless help from are people’s husbands. Gyms always have floor trainers available to help with anything that you need so drop the damsel in distress act and get help from the right people.
I’d love to be able to encourage you all to freely interact but mu Lusaka muno there’s too many wolves in sheep’s clothing. For women that can’t shake off ichibeleshi perhaps a women’s only gym such as Evolve Gym along Independence Avenue is something worth considering.
An environment full of strangers like a gym is always bound to attract ichibeleshi.
She did it again! My wife struck again! This is part two of misguided food choices and how they can come back to haunt you if you're not careful. Here's what went down: buzzing from the bweshako umubili nostalgia we went out for an anniversary rooftop dinner (🗣️ichupo chisuma) at an upper mwamba venue in the city. It was a bit chilly and my wife proceeded to order some tea as a drink option. It arrived and she demanded brown sugar on the side. I asked for her reasoning and she just laughed because she knew what was coming next and that I was building up to something. The fact is many of us find ourselves in similar positions where we may overindulge in things such brown sugar or honey with our tea and we think it's okay because it's healthy...or is it? Let's explore this notion together.
Replacing all sugar with honey and proceeding to consume it in abundance is no healthy alternative. Overindulge and you're still going to get fat. The biggest advantage honey has over regular sugar is that it doesn't jack up your insulin and blood sugar levels so dramatically. It has other side benefits of preventing acid reflux, providing antioxidant properties, relieving cold & flu symptoms while also being able to soothe the throat. The downside is honey has more calories than sugar, and ultimately energy balance (what you eat vs what you expend) is what determines whether you lose or gain weight. Manage your intake of honey to mitigate unwanted weight gain while you enjoy some of additional benefits mentioned above.
Verdict: Consume, don't over consume - it's not a free pass to the sweet side of life.
Sugar is sugar and the difference between white and brown sugar is incredibly negligible. You save maybe a calorie per serving and gain a few additional minerals in very low quantities but guess what, it's still sugar and it's still going to do the damage.
Verdict: Nutritionally, brown sugar and white sugar have very little separating them. You can adapt yourself to not need sugar in tea ☕ over time, but if that fails and you want to err on the side of caution then perhaps a sugar alternative in the form of stevia can be considered. Stevia is a plant extract sweetener that has no calories. It's available in health stores locally. I won't say much more than that because I'm not in the business of free marketing😔 Ask around, you'll find it.
100% fruit juice? Partially true. They probably did use real fruit, the problem is it's not just fruit in there. There's other things (mostly sugar and artificial sweeteners) that are added to enhance the taste and keep you buying the product because 'hey! It tastes good and it's healthy!'. It's likely not. My advice? Buy a blender and make your own 100% fruit juice. Ever noticed that the one you buy in the shop and the one you make yourself tastes different? Ever wonder why? My thoughts on this remain unchanged from a previous blog.
Verdict: If you buy it then it's because you just want juice, not because you want to be healthy because at the end of the day if you didn't squeeze those oranges yourself then the words 'pure', or '100% fruit' shouldn't entice you.
It isn't as healthy as you think because it retains a very high sugar content. It doesn't matter if it's low fat, and unless the food label under carbohydrates lists acceptable sugar content then your default conclusion should be that it's a sugar bomb. When you're joyfully taking spoonful's dismiss the notion that what you're doing is healthy eating.
Verdict: If you want healthy yogurt options then opt for Greek yogurt or natural unflavored yogurt. Feel free to top up with some fruit if the taste is too overwhelming for you. If you're after the potential digestive benefits then look to your very own local product --> mabisi.
Sugar-Free Gum & Energy Bars
Sugar-free gum is usually what it says. Just look for a seal of approval by a dental association i.e. South African Dental Association or American Dental Association on the package. It's a useful aid for dieting purposes.
Some energy bars have attractive human beings on the packaging in an effort to rope you in and make you believe what's being sold is commonly consumed by the Adonis's among us. Unless evidence exists (via the nutrition label) to the contrary you must assume that most energy bars are sugar bombs.
Verdict: On sugar free gum I'll concede. They're useful for managing cravings and appetite while helping you avoid cavities. Just note that you may experience an increase in gas issues due to constant swallowing of air as you chew. So, fresh up top and dirty down below. On energy bars you're better off grabbing a banana 🍌 or piece of fruit if you need a lift. If you insist on energy bars look out for 'lite' options.
Ketchup/Tomato Sauce/BBQ Sauce
Childhood has conditioned us to eat chips with ketchup. In fact, if there's no ketchup available then the chips just don't taste the same. Despite ketchup and many other popular sauces not having a sweet taste, they're loaded with sugar.
Verdict: Minimize your intake of ketchup and other sauces. It does more for taste than it does for health. Alternatively, spend an extra 10-20 minutes on the treadmill if you insist on consuming the same quantities. Always look to balance your food intake with your energy expenditure.
I hope this all helps you make better decisions. Don't mislead yourself when you're making purchases for these products and proceeding to consume them in excess.
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer & Nutritionist
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