Sugar Detox

On your mark!

Foods to avoid (reminder):

  • Milk
  • Sweetened soy/almond/rice milk
  • Breads/pastries (level 2)
  • White rice (level 2)
  • Honey/agave/artificial sweeteners
  • Flavored teas and alcohols
  • Beer and wine
  • Sweet sauces and marinades
  • Candy (obviously)
  • Sushi with white rice
  • Chips
  • Jellies and Jams
  • Coffee creamers

Some food suggestions:

  1. Black beans
  2. Frozen fruits
  3. Brown rice
  4. Quinoa
  5. Oat fufu
  6. Nuts, nuts and more nuts (raw and organic)
  7. Hard liquor with water if you must have a cocktail
  8. Quality chicken and beef
  9. Olive oil/coconut oil 
  10. Beans/lentils

This is just a short list, questions I have gotten over the past few days. If you have any questions just shoot me an email at:

Youngwestafricanmom@gmail.com 

Good luck!

February 1st is the official start date. I’ll try to post some recipes soon!

Threw my milk away…

The most difficult part about traveling is collecting and storing milk, trying to avoid engorgement and the dreaded reduced milk supply. I was going to be away for approximately 2 weeks and the thought of pumping breast milk in a foreign country was scaring me and making me lose sleep. I had been home several times with no issues but this would be my first time returning home with all that had happened this year.

How was I going to get the power to use my pump?

How was I going to store my breast milk with limited power?

How much would I keep and how much will I throw away?

How can I travel with the breast milk? Should I check it as luggage? Carry it on? Dry ice? Gel ice?

My head was spinning and I hardly wanted to deal with all of it. I wish the baby could just suck her milk remotely through a spiritual tunnel. Or not… that sounds creepy. Anywho, I had a problem I needed to face head on.

I bought my medela hand pump, packed my electric pump with extra accessories and set out to the airport with a smile on my face. Initially I pumped about 10 ounces in one sitting. Goodness, just my luck to set my personal record for pumping behind the airport security checkpoint, trying hard not to take it as an omen I packed the packets and walked to my gate. (I pumped in the restroom, in front of the mirror and sink; had a conversation with another mama who gave me a high five and encouragement). Between Dallas and Frankfurt I had pumped approximately 30 oz. I was hustling for ice everytime I landed for a layover to keep my baggies cold. Every hour delay I looked at my BM and prayEd we would both make it out of this journey together, as one. I pumped everywhere I could, squeezed into 5 hour increments which was pushing the envelope. My hand was steady cranking under my shirt while the other did wringing motions so as to catch every last drop. I tried to find hidden areas but many times I did the deed right there in my seat with no apologies just contorting myself under my shirt and eyeballing the milk levels with each drop. 

Landing in Lufthansa I had an hour to make it to my next flight which was in a gate at another terminal. That airport is bigger, much much bigger than Atlanta I feel. Got to a security checkpoint and was baffled because I never left the airport so why was I being checked again?! I placed my items on the conveyor belt and brought out my breast milk bag obediently feeling that if I were forthcoming things would go smoother. The worker stared at the baggy.

“I have to trash”

“What? Excuse me?”

“See…” he said pointing to the oz levels as the milk was filled all 5 oz. “over 3.5 oz I have to trash.”

“But it’s breast milk, I can travel with breast milk?!”

“No sorry, over 3.5 I have to trash.” He walked away with sack and dumped my 6 sachets like it was junk and then returned the bag to me. 

I stood there in disbelief. If only then I had known that I would face far worse obstacles and more breastmilk would be shed.

Could not land in Port Harcourt because of dust from Harmattan making visibility impossible, turned back to Abuja which was a nightmare. Between fighting for transportation, fighting for food and fight for room and board I made it to a bed at 2 am. My hand pump was getting action but at larger intervals because it’s difficult to pump when a stranger is halfway standing in your lap and the bus driving is doing nearly 100mph with no knowledge of where exactly he was taking us. When I finally did plug in my electric pump for the first time since the Dallas airport, flash, pop,  fizz and smoke. I blew my adaptor. The converter I bought must have been bad. I stared at my NOW useless electric medela pump. I haven’t been in Nigeria for 24 hours and this thing was now rendered useless! Jesu! I brought out my handy-dandy hand pump and got to pumping and sprawled out on the bed only to be awoken at 5:45 with news that our bus would be leaving soon back to the airport.

Landing in Port things did not get easier, no. While my MIL assured me there would be a working freezer there was not. The milk would go back. More milk was shed and wasted. I looked at my state-of-the-art styrofoam box and 12 gel packs as they mocked me. ‘You carried us all the way here and we will NEVER serve you! Muahahahaha!’ 

That night I slept through my alarm and woke 10 hours later. Good sleep, engorged breast, personal record for interval between feeding. I pumped off 8 oz but that would be the last large load. That afternoon I could hardly pull half an oz out of each breast. In a shack on Rumiola Road watching passer by’s I pumped hopelessly, no luck. I drank water and pumped, not much. I ate and pump, nada. I dismantled my pump looking for an answer, nope. I increased my interval to 2 hours. Steadily building supply. Between the 29 and 31 I think I managed to make 20 oz which isn’t bad for Jen dust I was getting off earlier. 

Still not milk stored for the journey back. In fact, I think I will give the styrofoam box to someone. The gel packs will likely go to refuse. 

In looking back on the journey, even if I carry nothing to baby, I will be lucky if I have milk in my breast to feed her. I’m just pushing for 2 oz per breast and hoping for the best!

Baby is doing well, that is the most important thing, can wait to see her. The wedding was phenom, will post pics. Happy new year!!

10:55 pm 12/31/2016 – Anambra St

lol 20 pounds under my start weight and 4 months postpartum 

It has been a long journey, but it has not been hard. Before I became pregnant I weighed 167 pounds, I was happy at that weight, very active, fatigued on most days needing a cup of coffee to start my day and a glass of wine to wind down. When I found the news I was happy but focused on making sure I gained enough weight for a healthy pregnancy. For me that would be 25-35 pounds. I went to the gym 3-4x/week and watched what I ate because I was especially conscious about the baby growing inside of me. I actually lost quite a bit of weight the first trimester due to morning sickness and stress but by my third trimester I had gained it back and my doctor was happy with me.

One day postpartum I already had my Bellefit girdle on. The hospital brought me a cake and I indulged a bit, also had some Cheetos that my husband brought (I’ll say my husband brought it so as to escape blame) but long story short I let loose. But the guilt was strong.

My mother was trying to do omugwo in one weekend and pushing yam pepper soup in my face. Baby wasn’t agreeing because I was breast feeding and her gas was out of control so I stopped eating the soup. It also dawned on me that I should probably watch what I ate. After the baby’s first Peds visit on day 3 I found that she was allergic to the milk I was guzzling down every morning in my cream of wheat, I was also advised to avoid nuts and gas-producing veggies and foods. The restriction was tough! But it made me aware that I could avoid whatever food I wanted for the benefit of me and baby. And if I was vowing to breastfeed exclusively to limit my babes exposure to processed foods, chemicals and hormones in formula then I may as well limit my exposure as well. Brreeh.

I already ate “ok”. Sure, I didn’t eat box dinners and bagged foods but I did go out to eat… a lot. I love Mexican and Chinese foods and would have a big guilt trip after every trip to one of these restaurants. But things would be different this time.


I have never felt better!

Can you imagine just 4 months without processed foods did this? 

Getting back to Me


I know it is hard to get yourself back after becoming a Mom.

Who is… yourself? 

It does matter. Who you choose to be as a human being. What you have decided to dedicate yourself to. Your life. Positivity, negativity. Whatever it is you have let reside in your heart. You make your bed and lay in it. You wake up every morning with passion for it.

Your wellbeing. Your body. Your mind.

Body is part of the psyche. How you feel about yourself. How hard are you willing to work to get your approval? Are you will to make hours if needed, make minutes… seconds… milliseconds.

They say it takes 24 sit ups a day to get a nice “six pack.” I don’t know if it’s true but I do know one thing. It take persistence, love and willingness. 

I have chosen to push myself to the limit in the little time I have put aside. What are you doing with your self?

My High Needs Baby


Who would have ever thought my first child would be high-maintenance.

Not special needs, but high needs.

Needing you constantly, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually at every second of the day. 

It wasn’t until I started to have the following recurrent thoughts that I realized that maybe my baby was different than other babies and there was nothing I could do about it.

  1. I couldn’t put her down, at least not for longer than 90 seconds. I would set her off on her play mat and try to tiptoe away and before I made it to the other side of the room her stare was fixated on me. Daring me to take another step. The toy was tossed to the side, her hands… slowly lifting up in a beckoning motion. Welp, I tried.
  2. I had thought of all the ways to get out of the bed when laying her down, like a ninja, but because of my athletic lifestyle and the creaky joints that have come with it, a simple hip pop can fail me. My hip pops a lot, maybe I should get that check out… and replaced… so the baby can sleep better.
  3. I have followed my friends around the house, flabbergasted that their babe is still sleeping, despite us talking… several rooms away, downstairs, in a closed room. They often look at me incredulously, like, ‘uh yeah.’
  4. I now have confirmed my husband walks too loud. Not talks too loud (although that is a problem as well) but WALKS too loud. Had I known this when we started dating maybe we would have mastered the art of levitation by now.
  5. I am willing to buy a new bed.. that doesn’t creak. Even if it’s $10,000; if they offer financing that would be even better.
  6. I didn’t know I could roll over, lift my body up and slowly lift off the bed in this fashion, almost like I’ve been doing yoga my whole life when I indeed have not… only for my phone to ring. What the hell?! Why isn’t that thing eternally silent.
  7. My life revolves around the babies schedule. Can’t go out when she needs to be fed, napped, played with… or it can get dicey. 
  8. She is persistent. She will not stop crying. She will not.
  9. I know all the doors in the house that need WD40. I let my husband know this daily.
  10. If she sleeps for longer than an hour at a time I start panicking because something is wrong; I open the door and peer in and this wakes her up so my world has crumbled.
  11. I have often thought about severing my arm because she is resting on it peacefully. I actually think about this most days.
  12. I need to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the longest cough. 
  13. I watch her sleep because if i get up then so will she.
  14. I have lost more weight than intended and people are starting to think I have an eating disorder, but it’s only because I can’t eat dairy, nuts, seeded fruit, processed foods or dark, leafy greens. When I try to introduce something back in my diet it hell, so I guess I’m going to be on the downward trend until I’ve successfully weaned her to solids.
  15. I don’t think she will ever eat solids.
  16. I can hear her crying even when she isn’t crying. And I’m like: “babe! The baby is crying” and he’s like: “she’s sitting right next to you.” And I’m like: “oh.”
  17. No one can hold her but me.
  18. She already has stranger anxiety, that started at 3 months.
  19. In public all our attention is focused on keeping her from crying. She wants to stand on my head? Fine. She wants to play with that elderly woman’s hair? Fine. She wants to sit on the pulpit during mass? Let’s see if we can make that happen.
  20. I co-sleep, co-poop, co-cook, co-watch TV, co-brush my teeth, co-exercise (if she’s up to it) and co-everything.

My life needless to say, revolves around my baby. She hates the car seat so we don’t transport her much. She doesn’t like seeing too many people so we aren’t excited about events outside of mass which is obligatory.

But I love her.

  • She laughs until you laugh.
  • Makes funny sounds with her mouth.
  • Takes the cutest pictures 
  • Has the biggest eyes
  • Hugs you and loves unconditionally 
  • Is so darn cute!

I wouldn’t trade her for the world. And even though she is a high maintenance baby… she is MY high maintenance baby!


I do wonder what happens to high needs babies… I’ve heard they are usually very intelligent and become leaders and trailblazers, etc. or maybe that is mommy talk. Do you have a high needs babe? Tell me about, how did you survive?



Sugar Detox, the Introduction

 If you are here, it is because you have decided to challenge yourself to my sugar detox. I plan to give you as much guidance as I can, as I expect us to all struggle but we will do so together.

If you are hesitant, let me tell you a little bit more about why this detox will change your life.

If you don’t know by now sugar is the real enemy. Since it was processed and introduced to our tables it has been causing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, illness, weight gain, fatigue, metabolic derangements, adult-onset allergies, skin rashes and conditions like psoriasis and eczema, autoimmune diseases and depression. We have become addicted to it. It has been forced on us into our diets, everywhere we turn, we are being stuffed with sugar. Both knowingly and unknowingly. It has come to the point that many of us have come to accept that we cannot go a day without sugar. Even if we know how much harm it is causing us. Is that not an addiction?

We suffer from bloating, headaches, mucus over-secretion, fatigue, mental cloudiness, diarrhea, constipation, rashes, and stubborn pounds that will not come off. We are getting sicker and sicker than the generation before us. Why do we remain so placid? Why not take a stance, instead of succumbing to the very thing that is digging our grave?!

Did you know: Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.

Sugar has become a part of our expression of love! When I love you: I buy you chocolate. When  I want you to celebrate: I give you cake. When I want you to be a good kid: I give you candy, juice, soda pop, sugary cereals and snacks. Do we do this intentionally or are we really this blind? Many times, I’ve watched at birthday parties, as the kids run around frantically under a sugar high, the parents sit with their arms crossed and they have refused to partake in eating the cake and candy. Why? You gave it to your offspring. You mean to tell me you can give to your child what you know will be their demise? Diabetes is affecting children now. They are getting fatter and fatter with no self control. They are becoming sick blobs, just like the rest of us, and we just keep rolling in the white stuff.

Who is the real enemy? Maybe the food companies. It is easy to make crap and cover it with sugar and sell it cheap. Just put sugar in it an it will fly off the shelves! Call it low-fat and load it with sugar and everyone will buy it. Make it easy for people to eat, put it in bars, microwave packs and call it HEALTHY… how sad. How foolish can we be. Sugar can never be healthy. Yet, we close our eyes and guzzle it down. We eat the meal replacement with 32g of sugar. We drink the gatorade with 21g of sugar in a 5 oz bottle. There is no earthly reason why a child should be consuming juice. Juice is sugar and sugar is juice. Look at the ingredients. Water. Sugars. Concentrated chemical jargon. Give your kid and apple, not apple juice. Sugar, sugar, sugar, all day and every day, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.

I ask my patients, ‘have you ever JUICED and APPLE? How many apples does it take to make a cup of apple juice?’ If it sounds ridiculous stop drinking it!

You are the one to blame. You are putting wrinkles on your face, tires around your waist, roadblocks in your mind and shackles on your feet. You can’t get out of bed because you spent the day before poisoning your cells. Our bodies don’t like sugar. They protest! Sugar when loose in our systems is like an evil pin ball, more like a wrecking ball, destroying everything in its path.

So if it’s the hardest thing you do all year… why don’t you eliminate sugar? Why don’t you challenge yourself to wake up from your addiction. After all, they say sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Even if its 3 days out of your life… or even 30! You owe it to yourself after all the abuse you have self-inflicted.

You are here. So take the next step and challenge yourself to my 30 day detox, I will be challenging myself as well. If you are not a different person in 30 days, shoot me a personal email and I will try to figure out where we went wrong.

I am not selling anything. I have nothing to gain. I just want to change the way my friends and family think. I just want to spread a little knowledge.

It is a 5 level plan. The simplest entry level is elimination, the next steps are addition of different tools to rejuvenate your cells. Stay tuned for upcoming posts, the guidelines and rules. Purchase a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Go online and order some Oil of Oregano (from a reputable dealer). Subscribe to my blog for updates because starting FEBRUARY 1ST… WE ARE TAKING THE PLUNGE!

Love,

Christine!

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Grandmothers.

Grandmothers.

Grandmothers that lived to be 103 years old did not spend their days eating McDonalds and Pizza Hut. They didn’t eat twinkies and guzzle down bottles of pop on the couch amidst a binge of Game of Thrones. They didn’t rub creams with strange sounding ingredients and ingest pills to alter their hormones. They ate from the land, earned their keep, and obeyed the laws of life. They were active, loving, and nurturing. Grandmothers. It’s not easy. It’s not easy living all of those years. God bless all the grandmothers.

And Natural Hair


Why aren’t we wearing our hair natural in Nigeria? As in, why is it an anomaly to see someone who isn’t permkng their hair. Correct me if I am wrong please. I have gone to several braiding shops and all have been amazed and somewhat off put by the quantity and texture of my hair. Too much hair, too much hair. Na your hair be dis? My in-laws asked me several questions as to why I keep my hair this way and why I don’t just straighten it. They came to admire it, once I styled it and they appreciated its rugged beauty. It was as if I “fixed” (applied a weave on to) my hair. It was pretty. My MIL stated she wished she had hair like this, my SIL said she would consider it although she is not ready now. Baby-in-law carries her hair in its natural state, packed in pigtails and decorated with colorful berets, but I suppose she will soon succumb to the European standard that has washed itself all over Africa.

I hope this thing is not permanent. This style of permanently straightening the hair and it’s becoming the norm. Why can’t we carry our hair the way it was intended in our own God-given country. Let me say, I am in no way criticizing anyone who chooses to relax their texture; I strongly believe in free will and exercising you ability, but please we should have it to where what is ours is unusual. Let’s go back to our roots. Embrace our kinks and curls like they are doing abroad. Besides it not like anyone know what that creamy crack is really doing to our bodies anyway.


Twist out adventures in the village.


My highbun and mosquito bite lol.

Village things.


We have been in the village for the past few days. The air is quieter, not so much noise transmitted in it. No constant honking and echoes of road jams. No busy street with hawkers darting in between every vehicles, yes there are busy markets but not quite as busy as in the cities.

Pulling up to my in-laws beautiful compound… I knew it was on! 2 story 10 bedroom – 6 bathroom with 2 kitchens, 2 dinings, and 2 large parlors. Every room was incredibly dusty but well equipped with a bed, ceiling fan and chargeable standing fan. The first night we cleaned like fiends all the dust that had settled in the time they were away. We sat that night in the living room chopping on roasted peanuts and exchanging laughs. Tomorrow the villagers would come to welcome me, the new bride.

Anxiety was in my bones, smiling from ear to ear, apologizing several times for not being able to fluently speak my native tongue all the while assuring that I could hear nearly one hundred percent. It was more of a warning, I could hear what you didn’t think I could, lol. Abacha was rolling out in heaps and my husband was cracking open beer and wine for the Umu-nna. Money was given to us and we were prayed for. The generosity was appreciated. That nighty husband prepared for a night meeting with the villagers and I stayed in the room twisting my hair hoping for more success, in Jesus name, hair success!

Then the news. The water has finished. The water… has finished. As in, there is no more water. None to bathe, brush teeth, shower, flush… There was plenty to drink, just not enough to convert to the aforementioned activities. I sat with my MIL as she griped, the reservoir was cleaned and not refilled, such a nagging problems but nonetheless we would suffer. Thrown back into my  remote past of boiling water and bathing over a bucket. I was using pure water to brush anyhow. When my husband returned from his night meeting, early because he was snoring and embarrassing his father, he was excited to learn he would be given the opportunity to defecate outside without judgement. Men. (In fact, as I write this he is floating about the circle of life, taking from the trees and giving back to the trees. My husband, chai!) I dealt well, at least we had light. As I said, no water was a minor setback for me, because I tend to lean on pure water for most my activities and I just had to worry how to properly ease myself however. The light was steady… from the generator. I was informed a while back a transformer had blown, maintenance that should have commenced was stalled because someone has to chop money and full his stomach. Corruption is alive and thriving.


My nights sleep was interrupted by my need to pump at 4 hours intervals; not heat, thankfully.
We visited my husbands family. His uncle had an Udala tree with ripe Udala that my husband plucked some for me and his sisters, his neice cried for one but when she received it she was disappointed and unimpressed so resorted to crying some more. Mosquitoes were feasting on me as I sat outside reading his uncles medical reports and giving consultation, probably the stick Udala juice running down my hand and leaving a map that drew them in. Prophylaxis was on board, no worries, right?

The night before our departure I begged my husband to take me on a stroll to the market. He was the protective type, always watching over my shoulder. I’m sure he thinks I would be dead without him. He even watches me take my anti-malarial, I’m a full blown doctor for crying out loud. We walked in the night sky, I was jubliating, watching my step and attempting to know my way. My husband haggle banana and pineapple but we were still ripped off, so said his mother. Oh well, it isn’t like we didn’t have the money, let them enjoy their Christmas, lol. Pineapples so sweet, bananas so sweet. Food and fruit is one reason I love to come home. Food and fruit. You have not tasted any fruit or veggie until you enter the motherland, mark that somewhere! It isn’t that chemicalized, adulterated crap the deed you in the States. Strawberries the size of mangoes, and apples bigger than your head. Here: the gooseberries taste like gooseberries! (Disclaimer, there are no gooseberries in the Not-so United States of Nigeria).

[pause to breast pump, scroll below for continued programming]
So…

Sitting with the Umu Ada after my introduction. Yes that is my hair! Yes my twist out was successful!

All in all, I had a great time. We visited family, met many of the locals and I became a part of a big family. I wasn’t tormented by insects so I am happy as that is usually my only condition. My only qualm was the bread, there was no bread that I tasted that has an ounce of quality and no amount of butter that could rectify it. But we are headed to Port soon, sha!