Thursday, 17 July 2014

Dates!

The fruit o! Not goin on dates with guys or gals o.
Fresh Dates
Dates are quite popular in the Northern part of Nigeria moreso during the fasting period (Ramadan). I have been having quite a lot of it of recent and i have to say it's very tasty and filling and has quite a no. of health benefits asides catering to my sweet tooth. The fresh ones are more of my favorite, very juicy! while the dry ones are more chewy, sticky and gooey. All dates are high in iron and potassium and are a good source of fibre.  
Dried Date
Health benefits of dates
  • Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being.
  • Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh and simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly. For these qualities, they are being used to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times.
  • The American Cancer Society declares that usage of one date on a daily basis assists in maintaining healthy eyes for one’s life time. One date each day can prevent eyes blindness. 20-35 grams of soluble fiber every day is sufficient.
  • Dates are referred to as an outstanding treatment for alcoholic intoxication. Dates offer fast comfort when it comes to alcoholic intoxication. 
  • The problem of sexual weakness/low libido can be countered by dates, as they are beneficial in increasing the body's sexual stamina. One needs to soak handful of dates in goat's milk overnight. Next morning, grind the dates in the same milk and add a mixture of honey and cardamom powder. This yields a tonic capable of increasing sexual endurance.
  • Dates consist of 20 different kinds of amino acids which facilitate the digestive process. This is why dates are easily digestible, and furnish the body with required energy for physical activities in about half an hour, after consumption. 
  • Dates are a high source of energy, with 100 grams of dates yielding about 300 kcal of energy. They are packed with 29 grams of natural sugars (glucose, sucrose, dextrose and fructose), 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 31 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore, the tiny date fruit can be appropriately described as an energy-boosting dry fruit.
  • Dates help in weightloss as they help you avoid overeating. The factor responsible for human hunger is shortage of sugar in the blood. Consumption of dates takes care of this shortage, and pacifies the feeling of hunger with its sugar content. Moreover, the dietary fiber and other nutrients in dates, gets absorbed by the body quickly, which prevents people from overeating after a day of fasting. Dates are nutrient-rich brown nuggets, that not only satiate the palate, but also provide a variety of nutrients to the body. Consuming a couple of dates when one's hungry will be a good idea, because it will help prevent binge eating. Enjoy the sweetness of dates along with its numerous health benefits!
  • Dates have been found to promote growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines. Moreover, the nicotine content found in dates is also believed to help cure intestinal problems. Pregnancy is a time when a woman experiences extreme bloating, constipation and other intestinal problems. Dates are an excellent remedy for such intestinal disturbances. However, women with gestational diabetes must control the intake of dates, unless otherwise specified by the obstetrician.
  • Loaded with soluble and insoluble fibers, dates not only help improve bowel movements, but also clears toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. In order to benefit from the laxative properties of dates, one should soak dates overnight in water. The soaked dates should then be ingested in the morning along with the water to gain the actual advantages. The roughage provided by dates increases bowel movement, thereby solving constipation issues. Pregnant women are advised to eat dates to alleviate constipation, because it is not only a high-fiber snack, but also contains lots of nutrients that are good for the growing foetus. 
  • While most of us are trying to cut down our weight, there are some people who are desperately trying to gain weight. Dates are high in calories, with one date corresponding to 20 to 60 calories (depending on the type). Including 5 to 6 dates in one's daily diet can help increase body weight. Dates, unlike junk food are a healthy way of gaining weight. If you don't like to eat dates as they are, you can also add dates to cakes, puddings, and other baked items to reduce the sugar content in them. Soaked and pureed Medjool dates, when combined with applesauce and added to cake batter, not only add moisture and texture, but also do away with refined sugar, added in the cake. Dates also add fiber and increase the nutritional content of the baked food item. If the dates purchased are not soft, microwave them along with a little water for a minute. Blend the softened dates in a food processor. 
  • The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber works as a bulk laxative. It, thus, helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time and as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
  • They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.
  • They are moderate sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 IU per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • They compose antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. These antioxidants found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals. Thus, eating dates found to offer some protection from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. 
  • Zea-xanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration, especially in elderly populations.
  • Dates are an excellent source of iron, contains 0.90 mg/100 g of fruits (about 11% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Consuming dates on a regular basis can provide the body with the iron content it needs. Pregnant women are often advised to consume dates, so as to prevent iron-deficiency anemia in mother and child. However, since vitamin C is required for iron absorption, it's important to consume vitamin C-rich foods as well. Anemia patients are advised to eat several dates on a daily basis to raise their level of iron in the blood.
  • Dates contain fluorine, which is an essential mineral to slow down the process of early tooth decay. Fluorine is also known to keep plaque at bay by strengthening the tooth enamel. However, many people are of the misconception that tooth enamel can magically reverse tooth decay. This is not true. Tooth enamel consists of hydroxyapatites, which when brought in contact with fluorine forms hydroxyfluoroapatites, which is resistant to decay. This clearly means that fluorine helps prevent further tooth decay, but cannot reverse the decay process.
  • Further, they are very good in potassium. 100 g contains 696 mg or 16% of daily-recommended levels of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They, thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
  • They are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganesecopper, and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Magnesium is essential for bone growth.
  • Further, the fruit has adequate levels of B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Vitamin K is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood as well as in bone metabolism.
  • Dates are also seen to strengthen the uterine muscles and facilitates childbirth. A study (2007-2008) was conducted at Jordan University of Science and Technology, on pregnant women to analyze the link date fruits have on labor. 69 women were asked to consume 6 dates every day, for the last 4 weeks before their due date. On the other hand, 45 other women were also included in the study, who were not given any dates. After analysis of all their births, it was found that the women who consumed dates showed more cervical dilation, along with higher percentage of spontaneous labor in of women, as compared to those who didn't consume dates. The study noted that dates helped labor and spontaneous labor. However, more research has to be conducted in this field. 

Fresh Date
In the stores, one may come across soft, semi-dry, and dried types put for sale. At home, store them at room temperature in a cool place inside an air-seal container or in a refrigerator where they stay well for several months. You can also leave them out to ripen before eating them.Dry and soft dates are usually eaten out-of-hand.
  • They can be stuffed with fillings such as almonds,walnuts, candied orange and cream cheese.
  • They can also be chopped and used with fruit salad and in a range of sweet and savory dishes.
  • Dates are also being used to prepare juice and Jallab (a type of syrup popular in the Middle East and made from dates, grape molasses, and rose water).
  • They can be chopped into tiny slices and scattered across cakes and puddings to ameliorate their flavor. 
  • Date paste can be mixed with yogurt, milk, bread, or butter to enhance their flavor.
There are several types of dates depending on the region/country they are grown i believe.

Do the necessary research and hop on the Date wagon (eating the fruit) y'all. lool!!
Toodles!XooX

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Laughter Therapy :D

This therapy works ma people! I'm no doctor or specialist but its definitely worked for me, when i'm feeling tense, upset, sad, exhausted, angry or any of those not so fun emotions or even if i'm just up for a good laugh. I tune into my fave spots and laugh till i cry and my tummy hurts a bit. It can clear the mind and put you in the state to make good decisions and can also infect those around you. :D Sometimes its a comedy show, hanging out with my funny friends, other times a Youtube vid or an Instagram vid or maybe just one of my funny TV shows or a Nollywood movie. I have an easy sense of humor so it doesn't take a lot to get a laugh out of me, which i think is a good thing and has helped me a lot in life. Here are some of my fave spots to get a good laugh, hope u enjoy them, so sit back and forget the stress and worries for a bit and have a good ol' laugh to ease your soul and spirit.
  • instagram.com/chief_obi
  • instagram.com/oluwakaponeski
  • instagram.com/thefoxhimself
  • http://instagram.com/funny_african_pics
  • http://instagram.com/emmaohmagod
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/AfricanComedians
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/boviTV/
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/AYTVAYTV
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/JuliusAgwuTV
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/JimmyKimmelLive
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/SpokenReasons
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/EmmaOhMaGod
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/basketmouthtvshow
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/IkennaAzuike
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/EmansBlogs
Toodles!XooX

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Surprise Baby Shower!!!

Mel has given birth!!! and on her wedding anniversary too!April Kid!! How awesome is that?! And seriously that seems like the best anniversary gift to give her husband, though i'm not sure how much fun it'll be for Zoey sharing her birthday with her parent's anniversary. But we'll wait till she's old enough to care about that. I'm soo excited u'd think sey na me born. I went straight to the hospital to see her as soon as i got the good news. Okay let's take some steps back, this post is called 'Baby Shower' afterall and it definitely happened before Zoey's birth. So here's the jist bout how it went down.
Y'all know we love surprises!! So of course the baby shower was a surprise planned with Mel's husband (He's always a huge supporter of our surprise plans). We went with the easiest plan and minimal cost. We started by creating a bbm group and adding close friends to the group, we agreed that we would not be contributing money this time around, instead each of us picked something to bring and to handle, e.g. i chose to bring a cake, handle decor and make waffles, while others picked snacks, pop corn, drinks, food, ice-cream etc. 
We agreed to get to have the shower at her house, we spoke with her husband and he let us know when they were back from church, so we arrived at the house one after the other. I was the first to arrive around 3pm and i went with a friend, Mel was sooo surprised to see me and not long after the other ladies arrived as well. She went to change into a comfy picture friendly outfit while we decorated the house. We did not know what gender she was having so i used pinks, blues and whites for the decor. I had done quite some research (Pinterest mostly) before the day so i had a programme for the shower and fun games for us all to play, my experience with the bridal showers also helped because i knew the type of games to select based on the guests attending the shower so no one was bored. You can check out the programme & games here  and here for other useful links(themed drinks, decor, music,etc,). 
We all wore colorful beads to spice up our outfits.

Our music playlist comprised of only songs that had baby in it-Justin Beiber, Britney Spears and More

We had loads of fun playing games and left the house at around 7pm to go to the Karaoke Bar before we rounded up for the night, I had a swell time with this shower. We made waffles and had it with ice-cream, had cupcakes and a cake with a Supermom topper, Pop corn, Fried rice, Peppered chicken, Juice and soft drinks, water, biscuits, cookies and other mini pastries. The games we played were:

  • Midnight Diaper-This game was fun, i made a list of funny and witty statements and handed everyone markers and 2 diapers each to write on, the mom-to-be picked her favorite stamement and the guest that wrote it was the winner. We then piled up all the 'marked' diapers with the statements into a stash for the mom-to-be and dad-to-be to use when the crazy midnight diaper changes start. Hopefully it will put a smile on their faces on such days.
  • How huge is Mel's Tummy- For this game, all the guests picked a ball of yarn and cut it to the size they felt the expecting mom's tummy was, after all the guests have cut a piece and have it in hand, each person will measure their string around the baby bump and the guest with the closest size to the bump wins.

  • Guess when Baby 'Cool' will land and the gender- I printed a Calendar with only the month of April since i knew that's when mel was due and passed it round for each guest to write their name in d date box they thik the baby will be born and draw the head of the gender they felt Mel will have. There was no winner for this game 'cos we had to wait till she gave birth to find out.
  • How many nursery rhymes do you know- This game involved guests singing the nursery rhymes they know and trying to top that of the others while i took note of the number of the nursery rhymes each guest had mentioned, after a little while i told them to stop and the guest with the most no. of rhymes won. (It was fun reliving our childhood through this)
  • Baby name game- I modified this game a bit and made each guest write 3 names for a boy and 3 names for a girl that they felt were really cool names then i made Mel pick her favorite names for both gender and the guests that wrote the names were the winners.
  • Name that Baby Animal- This was my favorite game 'cos i laughed till my tummy hurt, i had printed a list of many popular animals and some rare ones like Platypus, Kangaroo, etc. and i was the moderator. I would read out the name of the animal and the first to get the name of the baby animal would get a point, at the end, i tallied each person's point and the guest with the highest point wins. I got all sorts of hilarious guesses from the guests and the game was also educative.
  • Advice for the mom-to-be -There was a mom among us so she gave a lot of useful advice on how to prepare and care for the baby while the rest of us focused on talking about her keeping her relationship and home and also asked each other questions and got useful answers.
  • Name that Disney Cartoon- For this game i did a mashup of many different popular old and new Disney toons and while each clip played, the first to get the name of the cartoon gets a point, after the clips finished playing, i tallied the points and the guest with the highest number wins. Watching the tunes was definitely a fun trip back in time and we all had loony smiles on our face by the time it was over.
  • Draw a baby- No artistic skills needed for this game, had a good laugh looking at the stick drawings from the guests
Gifts
The momma-to-be got 2 gifts, a diaper cake from me (i learnt how to make it on Youtube here with just diapers, baby wipes, rubber bands, blankets, Bibs and Ribbons) and a baby bottle sterilizer.
The guests that won the games got Bon-Bons  as their win. I eventually gave the other guests though! Its all about having fun afterall.

We compiled all the docs used and advise written into a folder and gave it to the mom-to-be as a keepsake
We all got to take a piece of the cake home and some mini pastries.
Pictures
We took tons of pics, each winner with their game item and the momma-to-be, personal pics with bibs, group pics and at the karaoke bar.

When the shower was over, we cleaned the whole house and kitchen so she wouldn't be stressed with doing the cleaning, then we went over to the karaoke bar and bellowed some sweet tunes out with the momma-to-be before we went to our various homes. We also left the daddy-to-be lots of eatables to show our gratitude for his support!
All the best planning or having a baby shower. 
Toodles!XooX

Apple Cider Vinegar is the truth!!

Quite a number of us know Vinegar, use it for improvised home cleaning, hair rinse, cooking, washing fruits, Weight loss etc. I just found out it can be good for the skin as well!! I went for a much needed facial recently and the therapist mentioned that i have a lot of white heads and  that's because my clogs are pored and advised that i use my face scrub more frequently to unclog my pores. After the facial my face was super smooth and soft 'cos my pores had been unclogged. I have had white heads most of my life, it occurs mostly on my chin and nose and its more obvious when i skip my cleanser or scrub routine, i did not really think it was something i need to combat 'cos i thot it a norm for the oily skinned. I decided to do a bit of research to find out what causes white heads and the best way to tackle it, I found a lottttt of useful information and after sifting through decided to go with one of the home remedies i found in which the person combined Apple Cider Vinegar and Rosewater to combat hers. I also went further to find a list of comodogenic (pore clogging) oils/butter (https://www.beneficialbotanicals.com/facts-figures/comedogenic-rating.html), this was brought to my attention by Youtuber Heyfranhey in the video where she talked about her reason for going with Almond oil for her oil cleansing skincare routine.
I use Moringa oil on my face daily and it has made quite some change to the smoothness of my skin and fading of my acne scars, although i did not find it on the list of comodogenic oils, i decided to switch from using it to using shea butter which can serve as a sunscreen and does not clog the pores.

I also started using Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) as a cleanser/toner, i use the Heinz brand as it is quite diluted, most people recommend the Braggs brand for other uses as it is organic and quite potent. I have very acne-prone skin and i'm telling u guys ACV is the ish!!! My acne breakouts are wayyyy less frequent and my acne scars are fading out, my skin is smooth and soft and the whiteheads are yet to return. It has also reduced the occurence of my bacne to the minimum and totally cleared out the breakout of Keratosis Pilaris (i will do a post on this soon enough) i had earlier in the month. I've been on this ACV treatment for about 2weeks now and i'm loving it. I've also been using Epsom Salt in my bathing water and i've been eating mostly healthy home cooked meals, so these may have also contributed to the fast results!! It kills bacteria, restores the skin PH balance, combats free radicals and all that good stuff (Google it for more info). I use it after washing and drying my face or cleaning my face with wipes on my lazy days, i poured it into a spritz bottle for easier use so i just spray it from the bottle to the cotton pad and clean all over my face, it stings very very slightly (especially when my hands have been picking at my face) and the smell is awful & almost choking ( i hold my breath when using it) but d smell fades out quick. I intend to still get the rosewater once i have some free time. Try it out guys!!It is sooooo worth it!!
I'm still trying to mentally prepare myself to ingest it as i have also learnt its very good for the body or maybe i'll just find a way to incorporate it into my cooking. I'll let u guys know how that goes eventually.
Toodles!XooX