Santa Bebe Came Into Town!

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Yesterday was Christmas 2015. In our household, that means, first and foremost, “Santa Comes into Town,” per Child of Mine aka COM.
Yes, He still believes in Santa, I let him play along, or he is he making me play along! I am beginning to wonder, who is fooling who?
Oh well!

As well, Christmas is a day my family, who believe that, Jesus Christ is born and comes to bless their loves. So, I honor them with the privilege of being with them in spirit. I grew up in a Christian household, and we got gifted on Christmas with new clothes, shoes, and feasted on all sorts of special foods and treats on this day!

For 2015, we spent Christmas Day at the Lakshmi Cow and Animal Sanctuary in Bangor, Pennsylvania, a 30-minute ride from where we live. We signed up to volunteer to feed the animals, and share a meatless potluck lunch. We also volunteered to carry a dish/es with us. Everybody we hung out with, we were meeting for the first time. But we did not feel like strangers.

In fact, from the time at the Animal Sanctuary, I learned two things:

  1. I am a small god; my conscious and soul is that which makes me.
    I had never thought of myself as a “small god”; I call myself “a human,” and that’s the way I live my life. I believe in the notion of communitarianism, human living, I believe in Karma, in horoscopes, zodiac signs. I believe that we are the pioneers of our own lives.

Still, I will embrace my new-found realization that, “I am a small god,” because I believe our conscious guides our every action or inaction, thoughts or pronouncements. Our conscious cannot let us rest happily, whenever we are not representing ourselves or our social relations as we should.

  1. If I refuse to smile, I refuse to see positive about myself, and deny to live the beauty of life. I get myself stuck in negativity, stress, depression and agony. [Well, I knew that, but I guess I simply refuse to practice it. That was my mantra in 2013 —time has taken its toll on me. Challenge 2016

Well, I learned a couple of more things

  1. Just because you are Hindu Indians does not mean you are not scared of cows. Quite like the common stereo type that, “Africans live in perfect harmony, with no fear of animals or bugs, because, “They are Africans, duh!” I was shocked on seeing our Hindu lunch-mates running away from cows, while COM and I got into their face, up and close, feeding and patting them!
  2. Cows eat rice, they eat watermelon, they eat carrots, they eat bananas. Cows eat the same foods at humans. They eat cookies as well! Oh! Do not feed cows, by throwing food on the ground or in the dung; it is dirty and will get them sick!
  3. When a cow grows old or dies, do not ask, if it is slaughtered for food. It is buried or cremated. I had to bite my tongue, and not talk about those yummy beef cows in Uganda, that also give us Mulokoni [soup from cow hooves], hide for mats, and accessories, horns for decoration and accessories too, and lots of milk.
  4. By the way, cows farms exercise preferential treatment of their cows! Those who specialize in beef or milk cows do not keep newborn calves, but pass them onto other farms happy to take care of them.
  5. Turns out, I do not have to schlep myself all the way to an Ashram in India for a mom-free retreat, when there is one in my neighborhood, called Aisha Vidya Gurukulam! They’ve got classes for kids, as well, on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. Me thinks, at my convenience! I might have to check that out.

I am re-living the fact that:

  1. Children bring blessings. Plenty of COM’s Christmas gifts this year were courtesy of my BFF, and golden Aunty Jude. And thanks to Cyber Monday, if at all there was any difference in price! Yes, I contributed, but I cannot thank my BFF enough for her kindest generosity; she always comes through! Living proof, you don’t need religion to do good, if you have a human heart!
  2.  Surprises are always welcome and greatly appreciated! Child procrastinated on writing his “Dear Santa List,”Christmas and thought he was not getting any gifts. Then Christmas morning he climbs upstairs, face to face with a living room full of gifts! He loved all his gifts, so he said, when I asked him. No special preferences!
    He was animated about plenty of the gifts, “No! No way! It’s a Wii U control [from his Dad]…Now I can play with Cole!”
    “Minecraft Legos! We can build together, mommy,” immediately co-opting me.
    But then he saw The Guitar, “This is all I ever wanted!”
  3. Live Life freely, wildly and be earthy! Don’t ever be afraid to try something new. In fact, take your child to venture out with you. If it is to feed animals on a rural farm on Christmas Day, go for it. Meatless potlucks, partake, and bring a dish! Hang out with retirees, like you are one of them; there will always be commonalities — running, gym, health eating, and vegetarianism. Experience is the best teacher!
  4. Always prepared to be flexible. Allow another person to dictate your schedule, sometime. Done with the Christmas Day, I planned to pat myself on the back and pop my collar for my “Santa Hat-trick,” settle down, sip my ginger tea, and read 109 pages of #JanetHalley’s Genealogy of #FamilyLaw.

Child of Mine had other plans, to drag me into building a Minecraft Lego City. I went in kicking and screaming, but in fact enjoyed becoming a “Minecraft Lego City Builder,” earned a “Stamp of Approval,” and very much enjoyed learning to lego- and Minecraft-away! Learning never stops!

I guess my biggest challenge is gonna be, returning to myself. Saying no to all the luring things that are not good to this body. It is gonna take 20 lbs under, to measure success — I literally need to tuck away that much! Yes, I am sick and tired of seeing this face, and have to drop it. I cannot give up on myself! Never!

And throughout all my experiences, I reconnected with the value of keeping positive, and letting positivity surround you. Yet, I still heartily believe that it is ok to share one’s sorrow and sadness, as a phase in life, a true testament of the human spirit and beacon of hope and optimism that things will always get better!

This is to hoping that everybody, near and far, had a fabulous Christmas Day. Let us continue to give, let us continue to love, and be loved. Celebrate!

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Dear Fat, Goodbye…I am Going on a Diet

Dear Fat,

Avocado, Butternut Squash, Mackerel stir-fried Eggplant and Batata

Avocado, Butternut Squash, Mackerel stir-fried Eggplant and Batata

I am saying Goodbye starting immediately. I do not need you! I have never needed you! I am going on a Diet.

Before you say,

1) What do you wanna lose, bones?

Well, what the scale and my eyes see, don’t lie.

2) But you look great just the way you are!

That’s your opinion, which [or not so fit] of my clothes lets me feel and know otherwise.

3) But diets don’t work!

Again, so you think! It has worked for me before! And I am gonna do what I know best.

Yes, I have dieted before, and my kind of dieting helps get me back into my comfortable body shape, and healthy mind and soul.

Then again, “Why I am making a public statement about my dieting to lose weight?” you may ask.

Perhaps then, I will be accountable to not just myself, but the watching public. I will probably not go vainly, posting every inch I lose onto Instagram. But at the back of my head, in my face and mouth, I will remember there is a world out there watching me, and waiting to see those 12 pounds drop off one after the other.  Plus, nobody I encounter is not gonna make me eat, knowing I am on a diet.

You see, I am a social eater; I eat because others are eating, and because I do not want to throw away food, “It is not good for the environment or a humane caring society”…[ blah blah blah].

Once I told my son, “You have to eat all your food because there are plenty of people in the world without food.” His response, “If they do not have food, give them mine.”

I wish it was that easy, son….I wish it was that easy!

Tuna salad with all veggies

Tuna salad with all veggies

Instead, I am the depository of everyone else’s food. I eat because I have to feed Child of Mine. I eat when others offer me food, even when I am not hungry. I eat because the kids I am feeding do not eat all their food, and I do not want it thrown in the garbage. Then I eat perhaps because I am worried the food will go bad, if it is not consumed in an ample period [a week for leftovers is too much!]

Even though I typically cook for one child, I have the tendency to make more than one meal. But COM does not usually want to eat the same food the day after, unless of course it is his special treat….one of those specials like Mac & Cheese, “the yummy peanut stew and white stuff”, or our newly-found Malanga Coco. How he loves that! How scared I am to make them now, when I am fasting!

But give him ‘shrooms’ or onions or stuff like that, and I will have to wipe his plate clean, in my spirit of “saving the planet.” And since I do not want to force all of my eating preferences on COM, sometimes I buy him some “special treats”, like honey to drop in his tea, Mac & Cheese, Icy’s, Hot Dogs, and waffles. Once in a while a slice of pizza!

I am not a bread person, though I may partake of a waffle or my homemade pancakes. And, may I dare say, tempt a slice of pizza, to ‘hang with him’!

Interestingly, all these foods used to be “no-go” for me, back when life was still about me, and I kept a very vegetable and fruits diet! I now console myself that, “They are all “O”rganic, certified NON GMO, or gluten-free and vegetarian! But calories don’t lie!Biko's special treats

And calories really loved me, especially in the summer when I have more than one mouth to feed While many bodies are “bikini-” and “beach-ready”, mine is a fat suit! COM’s cousins usually come over and spend the entire summer with us. So, I cook for the clan, around the clock, feeding them, and partake [un] willingly and uncontrollably.

I make popcorn, and eat with the kids, cut watermelon, and eat with the kids, make hotdogs, and tempt myself to eat half or one, with the kids. Snack, lunch and dinner for the kids with the kids.

Made with our very own popper

Made with our very own popper

Moreover, I take on the responsibility of “wiping the plates clean” of all the kids’ unfinished food. My tongue enjoys it all, but my body suffers tremendously. While my children are happy that I saved them of their food, my gut keeps shifting outward [I can feel it], as my soul shifts into sadness. Alas!

I am now saying, no more, no more no more! I know it is hard, very hard to say no, and stay on a diet while the central feature in the kitchen! Trust me, I have tried a couple of times, then retreated to “happy eating”.

It was much easier when I was single, without Child of Mine. Now I have a constant mouth to feed and have meals with.

And how can I make meals and not taste the food for the spice, the temperature, or if it is [under]cooked? I am a real Muganda; my eyes are in my mouth [Is that the saying…?:)…].

I have been officially certified as the best chef in the world, by my household. I turn simple ingredients into magical meals! All the works of my hand taste golden in the consuming mouths. I am the one to beat, when it comes to cooking from scratch. Name anything, I’ll hook you up.

So here I am, on Day One. Watching, as COM eats the corn I just popped. Our favorite snack! But I cannot have any of it. He even tried to share with me his fruit pop, but I had to tell him that I am on diet.

Then, I had to make him dinner, with my favorite ingredients, mushrooms, purple onion, scallions and garlic. Oh I am so hungry! But I had to keep drinking the water, with lemon and ginger.

All I consumed was my lemon and ginger water, Lemon and Ginger Water…and More Lemon and Ginger Water. Ok, it’s about time I went to bed…If I can fall asleep!

To the rescue, when in a rush

To the rescue, when in a rush

This first week, I am just gonna do water, lemon and ginger. Next week, I will start on the Master Cleanse. Yes! It worked for me when I did it…I was single..But I like it, because it is a cleanse-dieting, that drains out all the crappy foods from the system.

I have been abusing my body for a while; I need to put my act together. Strategically now, after running my last marathon of the year, when I do not have to consume extra calories to fuel my body. I don’t care that winter is coming, I will fuel it with a large coat! Don’t need the extra energy now, though I will keep exercising.

Master Cleanse, here we come! The Cayenne Pepper, Lemons, Maple Syrup Grade B, and water, will get a little sugar injected into the system for energy, Cleaner than consuming water, lemon and honey. Add to that, the “sea salt flush” every morning, the extra cleanser of impurities from the system.

So, watch me as I go 12 pounds down!

And I will finally happily say,

Adios!

Main ingredients are Sorghum  and potato flour

Main ingredients are Sorghum and potato flour

We call this "Lumonde" in Uganda. Special Treat

We call this “Lumonde” in Uganda. Special Treat

Homemade Apple Sauce with apples from our neighbor

Homemade Apple Sauce with apples from our neighbor