Food.. Glorious Food

For about 3 years this blog has been all  about my poetry however  recently I have trying to write about my travels. In this blog post I will be discussing how East Africa has changed many relationships in my life beginning with my relationship with FOOD.

When it comes to food I was obsessed with chocolate and carbs. Funnily enough I do not eat red meat because I do not like the taste or the texture. When it comes to liquids I stay away from fizzy drinks because that always ends in a massive headache.  Even though I was adopting healthy but small life style changes I knew that I had to do something drastic. My issue with how unfit I was and how food kept messing with my mental health had to be resolved. I knew that if I want to get healthy and stay healthy that needed to commit to a life style change where I put my health, me, myself and I first. Not going to lie it was an experience.. to say the least.

My lowest point was at this restaurant where I asked for a fish burger, the waiter came back with a tuna sandwich. A part of me wanted to speak to the waiter and sort it out but the other part me did not have the energy so I ate that tuna sandwich.. it had mayonnaise which was the first processed thing that entered my body in 3 weeks.

I am being completely serious for 3 weeks I lived that clean eating life style. Everything was made from scratch, I did not taste or even could find a single E-number and my body suffered. My body was making weird noises and it became a frequent visitor of the toilet.  My body was screaming for chocolate and for some reason I did not come across any chocolate in any of the shops. I did what I had to do. I took a screenshot of chocolate bars and showed it to one of the shop owners and he said: ”Yeah, we don’t sell any of that.”  My body kept crying, my brain kept dreaming of chocolate and after a while I was looking forward to my unprocessed, clean, mother nature’s, basic meals and my body changed. Apart from the obvious such as losing weight and having clear skin, mentally  I felt like an adult, a strong woman that did not crave chocolate no more. Weakness became my foe and powerful I became.

In Djibouti, my body’s need for big portions disappeared and I was content with the small more healthier portions. Visiting the market opened my eyes to honest, organic food that you don’t really find in the UK unless you go the farmer’s market perhaps. One day I remember I had to make the  salad (by the way the dressing was just lime juice, it is so amazing) and I found myself trying to figure out what this weird long green looking vegetable was suppose to be. At first I thought it must be a courgette that did not get enough sunlight but then I was told that it is a cucumber. This cucumber was not thin or perfectly straight or even green, but it was the juiciest cucumber ever. Plain old organic food is not for the fancy people, it is meant for everyone however in some parts of the world it is sadly only for the wealthy.

Coming back from my travels I wanted to have a chocolate bar, I had one it was disgustingly sweet and I did not finish it. Instead I tried dark chocolate, 70 per cent, that may not sound a lot but before I used to despise its bitter taste. Now, I am in love with dark chocolate and will only have 2 squares at a time. I don’t crave the junk I used to eat. The dreams I had about Nando’s, pizza, fried chicken.. (the list may friend is never ending) did not become a reality since I have come home. The urge, the need, the cravings are no more 9/10 the main meal is enough and snacking has become a myth. However that does not mean that I will ever give up on my apple pie or crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I went minimal

.. and I think I am staying minimal. When I left for Mama Africa.. I went on the biggest detox ever and threw out about 75 per cent of my possessions and it felt right.

Yes, I did leave for Mama Africa and I knew that I was going to come back but I still decided to throw it all out and just start over. I was taking one suitcase, another suitcase was staying with the clothes I actually love and want to wear. Cause let me tell you something I own clothes that I have no use for or are just unflattering  so keeping them made no sense. Yes I donated the clothes and took my one suitcase and left.

When I got to Djibouti I had a suitcase filled with the basics. With me I brought undergarments, a bathing suit, one abaya (which is a full length outer garment) , toiletries, shorts, 4 shirts, 2 leggings, a towel and a couple of hijabs. The idea was to be as simple as possible and to buy my everyday clothes in Djibouti. I bought  baatis  (long dresses with beautiful prints)  and shalmats (large scarfs). At first I struggled wearing the shalmats properly and I was always a little bit jealous of the women who just wore them without any effort. During my entire trip I did not had the need to buy souvenirs, instead I went on the biggest adventure of my life.

Will I keep living this minimal lifestyle now that I am back? I like to say yes, I hope so. During those four mounts living out of  one half empty suitcase,  taught me that I don’t need a lot of stuff.  I will however always need more of good people,  positive vibes, laughter and sincerity. I will never be minimal about that part of my life.

So.. I am an immigrant

I was 11
learning about migrants
In my test  I had to write
the definition of  the word immigrant
I thought of her ..
“My mother is an immi.”

At 16
My mother died
She stopped being my constant
She stopped being an immi
and I became one

At 23
Trying to get to know myself
I finally consciously know
I am an immi
just like my mother was.