Eat Clean, Think Dirty!

Oh hey dolls! So let’s have a little chat, a little kiki. Those of you who know me personally (or follow me on Instagram) know that I love to eat. You know those people who have no interest in food? The ones who are like “yah I just ate a tomato and an old sock for dinner, couldn’t be bothered…” I don’t understand those people and I’m pretty sure they’re lying. I LOVE TO EAT. And more than anything in this world, I love sugar.

I’ve always had an epic sweet tooth. I think it comes from the fact that I wasn’t allowed to eat junk food as a child. My mummy, who is THE MOST AWESOME LADY in the world (Mama I luhh you), ran the household with military precision. There was no sugar or junk food to be found. We were the weird kids who had homemade banana bread in our lunchboxes, when everyone else had pizza. Every so often my mum would get my brothers and I a treat- a Snickers bar cut into 3 pieces. One. Piece. Each. Mama didn’t play! Things would escalate real quick at treat time, yo. There were fights, lies, and betrayal. The trick was to pretend you had already eaten your one piece, and bide your time. A few hours later you would saunter across the living room with one- third of a Snickers in your hand and eat it sloooowly in front of the other two #LikeABoss #ThugLife

So anyhoo all of this unfortunately led to an obsession with sweets when I left home. I was like “ermagad I can buy whatever I want?!” It got messy. I would plough through an entire pack of biscuits with a cup of tea, or realise with horror that I’d eaten a “serves 12” cake all by myself. Afterwards I would feel sluggish, sick and just generally gross. I needed an intervention, and a few years ago that came in the form of Lent. My bae Rosie from A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe was giving up chocolate for Lent and I thought, it’s now or never. Lawd I was terrified! I didn’t believe I could do it. But once we got started it was a strangely awesome and addictive experience. Weeks later, Rosie and I broke our Lent fast as we boarded a flight to Port Douglas, Queensland. I felt absolutely amazing. Refreshed and full of boundless energy, which definitely came in handy on the Great Barrier Reef…

image

I wore the HELL outta that wetsuit honey.

That first Lent fast was years ago now, and before I knew it, staying sugar-free had become a part of my lifestyle. Because I loved the feeling so much (totally worth the suffering), I now try not to eat sweets as a general rule. Generally I try to steer clear of refined sugar: white sugar, cakes, cookies, chocolate. I do eat unrefined natural sweeteners like raw honey or rice malt syrup. Don’t get it twisted though- I do occasionally treat myself on birthdays, holidays, Mondays, etc. But darlings the good news is that you can avoid sugar and still eat delicious, nutritious, so-good-you-want-to-slap-your-mama food! It’s just a matter of making healthier choices and buying good, “clean” ingredients. Real food. Whole grains, good fats and superfoods. Here are a few of my favourite things…

image
Cheeky Saturday afternoon smoothie: organic peanut butter, banana, raw cacao powder, moringa leaf powder, coconut milk, rice milk

 

image
My cupboard essentials: baked coconut chunks, organic rolled oats, almond butter, organic rice malt syrup, raw cacao powder, chia seeds, flaked almonds

 

image
Sweet bedtime treat: Bananas and peanut butter, sprinkled with cinnamon and flaked coconut

 

image
Raw cookie bites: rolled oats, almond butter, rice malt syrup, chopped cashew nuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, dried coconut

 

image
Gorgeous green smoothie: banana, coconut, kale, rice milk, moringa leaf powder, cinnamon

In the quest for a healthier lifestyle, clean eating definitely works for me. I like to know exactly what’s in my food, and I now always go through the ingredients before buying anything. Generally, if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t buy it.

I had some AMAZING support and inspiration along the way, especially from these amazing Instagrammers:

@IquitSugar
@delicioushealthyfit
@cleanfoodcrush_rachel
@nadiashealthykitchen

The #cleaneating hashtag was also a gamechanger for me. Get stuck in.

So darlings when in doubt, remember! Eat clean, think dirty *winks saucily*

Love,
Adjpants

p.s. I’d love to hear what you guys think, and any healthy tips and tricks you’d like to share! Holla at your girl in the comments innit. Let’s talk about kale xo

Advertisements

My Favourite Things: Silver Nameplate Necklace

image

This new series is going to feature a few of my favourite things. The little trinkets and odd bits and bobs that I love, and why they are so important to me. These are the things I would grab first if there was ever a “LAWD JESUS IT’S A FAAH” situation.

First up! My beloved silver nameplate necklace. How do I love it? Let me count the ways:

1) I remember ordering this nameplate in the giddy rush, the first flush of love, the addiction that was Sex and The City. OK YES we all know the movies (especially the second one *shudders*) were a hot mess but this doesn’t take away from how brilliant and powerful the series was. SATC was iconic and a gamechanger for a whole generation of women. The characters became real to us because, well, they WERE real to us. They were our companions, the sassy friends who finally gave us the courage to talk honestly about life and love and sexytime. I became enamored by Carrie’s nameplate necklace and had to have one immediately if not sooner.

2) Let’s get into the epic discussion of what’s in a name. My name is a traditional Ghanaian name meaning “female child born on a Monday.” Babies are given a name depending on what day of the week they were born, and each day has a girl and a boy version. Post-colonial times, the common practice was to use the traditional name as a middle name, and an English name for the first name. But when I was born, my father insisted that I only have the traditional name for my first name. He also named me after my grandfather, giving me my beautiful middle name: Asieduwaa. How many people are lucky enough to have their middle name contain their surname? I love my pops for this, and I love that my name is a mark of my heritage.

When I was a kid, I wasn’t a huge fan of my name. I wanted a simple name that was easy to pronounce, like Sarah or Katie. When I moved from West Africa to the UK as a teenager, I got tired of constantly spelling and re-spelling my name. Even till today, most of my interactions begin like this:

Me: Hi, I’m Adwoa.

Them: Oh hey Angela! Nice to meet you.

Me: Um. It’s Adj-oo-wah

Them: What

Me: Adj-oo-wah

Them: Oh. You sure?

Me: ……………………

I remember once a fellow Ghanaian advising me to at least officially change the spelling of my name, to make it easier for other people to pronounce. After a swift slap to their chops, I explained that I would do no such thing- it’s three syllables and people can just DEAL. I mean if they can pronounce “quinoa” then they can pronounce my name!

3) Finally, I adore my nameplate necklace because it is the prettiest of things. It’s teensy and dainty and it goes with everything. I don’t tend to wear a lot of jewellery, so it’s nice to have a little something to set off my outfits.

I hope you enjoyed the first post in the series, my darlings!

Love, Adjpants

Untitled 1.

Earlier this year, I took a Creative Writing class in a rare spurt of courage. It was terrifying and incredible and I loved every second. One of our first assignments was to write a short piece that described ourselves through someone else’s eyes. The teacher said we could pick any moment in time- it didn’t have to be the present. I wrote the piece based loosely on myself as viewed through the eyes of my childhood best friend.

She walked with her head down, gazing at her feet as if unsure of where the next step would take her. We had been best friends since we were five, bonding over our love of the kindergarten sandpit. We grew up speaking the same singsong broken English, formed of other people’s mother tongues.

We lived next door to each other, and I once counted that it took me only 26 steps from my front door to hers. It was 26 steps into a different world. While my home was ordered and quiet, hers was bursting with chaos and noise and children. Despite this, there was always a soft silence around her. She was painfully shy, hiding behind Coke-bottle-thick glasses and a mass of wild hair.

She read everywhere- while we walked to school, at the dinner table, when she was supposed to be asleep. She had a way of holding the book so close to her face that you could barely see her. If you called her name at exactly the right moment, she would look up at you without seeming to see you at all.

She often went unnoticed, but I adored her. Only I knew that if you made her laugh for long enough, she would subside into a half-giggle-half-cough. We fed off each other’s vivid imaginations, lying on the grass and telling stories of distant kings and queens. Of intricate fantasy worlds where dragons breathed liquid fire and rivers were made of gold.

I remember the day she left for boarding school. As the bus pulled away, I felt something inside me wrench loose and depart with her. I stared down the road as she became tinier, tinier still, and then gone in the shimmering heat of the afternoon.

To this day when I think of her, I still see that little girl watching the ground with every step, hoping to find firm earth under her feet.

Things I didn’t know I missed: Sweet Hard Dough Bread

image

When you return “home” after living overseas for a while, so many things are different. Sometimes the people you once knew have changed. Sometimes YOU have changed. It’s a strange mix of new and deja vu, and it can be quite painful trying to settle in again. 

But one of the best things about your homecoming will be your childlike joy in re-discovering the little things you didn’t even know you missed.

The other day wandering through the mean streets of North London (a bit apprehensive after the safety of Melbourne), I stopped by a familiar ethnic grocery shop. Walking in was like being hurtled back to my childhood. I walked out with an old favourite. In the Caribbean it’s called hard dough bread, and in West Africa we knew it as sweet bread or butter bread.

It’s a rich, doughy and usually sweet loaf of pure joy. Naughty carbs in their best form- if you’re looking for nutritional value then step away from the sweet bread.

Best served as a massive slice, slathered with butter. If you can still see the bread, you have failed. Go back and add more butter. Wash it down with a mug of sweet, milky Milo.

On a day when I was feeling lost and low, this treat soon had me happily swinging my feet and humming while I chewed.

In closing: it doesn’t quite feel like home yet. But in the meantime, at least it tastes like it.

Love, Adjpants