Journey

Journey

When it comes to the word journey the first thing that pops to mind is a picture of a car, plane or a route one uses.

In my view, journey is a huge word when put in the context of traversing earth. See, the moment you begin life so much is set and expected of you.

I’ll be the first to admit that initially as a carefree child it makes no sense but as one tends to grow it takes a tall order especially if no one close enough to you has walked a similar path.

Well, truth be told – I, like many of you, have had my share in this journey called ‘life’.

Today I’ll give you a glimpse of it albeit the entirety won’t be feasible since I’m still ‘walking life’ and some past events are best left for an all encompassing book.

With life’s journey comes change. And boy has change been a constant in my life. I’ll take you through various phases and title them accordingly.

Living

First up is living. It all started growing up in Kenya. So many great and not so great things happened. But my pivotal point was coming back to Rwanda after so many years away in Kenya. Just like that, I was back to my roots. Something I don’t take lightly. Back home I have learnt to be independent, to trust again but most of all to put my full trust in God’s sovereign plan over my life. It’s not easy hacking life away from all the familiar things and people you’ve grown up with. They anchor you into being safe and secure but when you learn to soar they can do little to help you but hope and pray for your best.

So basically I went from living the pampered by momma and constant bickering with them siblings life to the solely dependent on God kind of life.

I came here with only my clothes and lived with my relatives. As is sometimes possible collusions happen and parting ways is the only wise way to attain peace.

All didn’t go south though, I got to stay with great family friends even if it was merely two weeks tops to which I moved to a place closer to my new job then. I lived alone, like the amateur I was, got into a lot of trouble and absolutely had a time of my life. It was what it was until I moved to live with my awesome roommate Sophie. She was and is going to be my most awesome roomie. I’ve never had a roommate so hers and mine was a beautiful friendship that was born out of it all. To be honest I’d write another blog about her when I get the chance to.

Currently, I am back to living alone just because she got a transfer to Nairobi *sniff sniff.

Family

I might get backlash for not having this as the first in line but this topic comes second because it’s heavy. Who I am, my tricks to survival is because of my family. My immediate family to be precise. From the time I was little I had them. The good, bad and ugly days were intertwined with them. Still are. I cry over the phone with them. I laugh out loudly at the endless inside jokes that one of us brings up. I get them. They get me. Even when one of us goes astray, life has taught me to have some faith. Our parents strived to live a righteous life in our little eyes as we grew up and if anything without a doubt, life and Love directs us to the path of righteousness. As with you and your family there is that one thing that keeps you grounded. For my family, that has to be our faith.

To momma, DTM, Fifi and BJM y’all are the most precious gifts I have been given by God in this journey I daily traverse. Love cover each of you no matter how far apart we are from each other.

Also, this post titled Dad is an homage I wrote to my pa who turned 19 the other day up in heaven. I miss you daily ❀

Weight and a health conscience

Let me be honest, I stumbled on my weight loss journey. When I moved to Rwanda I was as clueless as to what my health was about and how it was resulting to my weight issues. Simply put, I never put so much thought to what I fed my body with. I just ate anything edible to mankind with no restrictions. Although I don’t often post my before and after pictures as I should rightly do, doesn’t mean I don’t want to. Truth be told, it has been one amazing journey. Prior to this, I had never known what it was to weigh less from the time I was little. And if ever I was slimmer that had to do with some stress which I would quickly outgrow and revert to eating back to my bigger size.

If you may my weight had its fair share of the yo-yo effect. To this day, I still have my moments of yo-yo weight gain but in a more manageable way now.

To be honest it started with the good old tired of how I couldn’t fit in the cute dresses I saw on sale or the gifts from well meaning friends. Then I had many endless health discomforts. I did a lot of reading and research to which I discovered I was suffering from celiac disease and it all made perfect sense. I talked to a doctor suggested by a friend. She advised me to try the gluten free diet before making the appointment with her. I had no medical cover so that went pretty well. Slowly, I begun eliminating certain foods that caused me more harm than good. So far so good. I am more conscious of what I put in my body. I rarely exercise other than take long walks to keep me fit. So it’s best that I take care of what I put in my system. Going back is not an an option.

This journey I take to heart and although I have my days when I get off track I always strive to go back to this tested and tried route that has brought my wellness to an all time high.

As a result, however, I am limited to certain types of food. I am so grateful that the gluten free diet, the ovo pescatarian diet and the Mediterranean diet are readily available here in Kigali.

You could check out this piece I wrote on my love for making wholesome food and how I do it in case you want to add something to your healthy eating: Home Cooking by Dee

Hair

The hair is a woman’s crown so they say. Mine has had its fair share of change as well. I remember reading an article back in the day that an average woman changes her hair 20 times in her lifetime. I guess going by that article I am above average 😊

Ha, but seriously like my food and wellness choices, I decided to take research by its horns and read as much as I could on natural hair growth. It has taken its own course. Short, poofy, shrunken, unkempt, you name it.

Then cam the day when my awesome boyfriend inspired my current hairstyle. I always wanted to grow dreadlocks but had my reservations. When he lauded my desire, I knew I had to do something. So on my birthday this year back in Kenya, I rallied my momma and little bro to accompany me to the salon to get my baby locks created 😍

They started as wax dreadlocks but in Kigali I found their speciality is in crochet dreads. After 3 painful salon visits I graciously bumped on ‘freeform locs’ and boy am I happy. Salons have the same effect as going to a hospital does to me. Not that those are bad places but this girl right here is pretty hands on. Don’t be shocked to find me searching for homemade remedies for practically everything possible made from home or natural ways and DIYs in the same manner.

Love

First I had to love myself fully.

After bad relationships you tend to get hard on yourself. You tend to end up hating those people or hating yourself for selling yourself short. I realized I had a lot to learn about myself as I matured up. I admit it never is easy but the end result is, you end up being more human in the way you treat yourself and in the way you expect others to treat you. Besides you get a bonus on confidence. This is very important especially if you want to be truly happy and have long lasting relationships with people.

Just yesterday I was reading an article about expanding one’s capacity to love and it made proper sense to me in many ways.

That said I can never thank God enough for blessing me this year with someone very special who has made me one happy girl when I had finally given up on relationships.

Dear Jesse, you my love, have made me grateful for all those past heartaches because without them I would never have appreciated what we have. Thank you for your love ❀

Yours truly,

Dee 😍😊

Faith

You guys, I can’t begin to explain how my Faith has grown tremendously. I don’t take for granted all that has happened to me.

Let’s face it when you are in trying times it’s very easy to run to your Faith but the hardest of days is when things seem to be going okay that you forget what your Faith can do for you.

My journey really has no essence at all if it doesn’t streamline to my Faith. That is why my journey and Faith are strongly intertwined and boy would I be darned if I let one take more preeminence of the other especially the journey itself.

Life in general

In conclusion I wouldn’t be right if I didn’t tell you how hard it gets when you walk this life alone. I have so many people I would love to thank for making my journey here on earth just as pleasant. You know who you are. In small or big ways – what you do doesn’t go unnoticed.

To friends who:

β€’When you are jobless with no idea how you’ll get money to survive the next dreadful days help you with just the right amount needed.

β€’When you have a lot and you need someone to remind you to share or take it slow as you journey on.

β€’Check up on you when you least expect it or do something major for you – the kind you had no expectations of.

One such friend this week is my old highschool friend and sister to my sweet HS BFF Anisa, Amal. Thank you so much dear Amal for that sweet and very heartfelt gesture. You saved me big time 😘

And to each of you of my friends who fit the not necessarily befitting of you categories, thank you for being my friend in ways I can never repay. I can’t thank each of you enough.

In addition, life is great when you chose to seek for the good in all circumstances. If nothing else goes with you after this read, please remember to find your positivity and pursue it as much as you can. You’ll go places.

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Ha! I can’t believe I have finally finished this! Been planning all week to write and post it but something would come up and I’d push it for another time. Oh to be a writer πŸ˜…

Also I am finally unpacking my clothes after almost 4 days in this new house so wish me luck πŸ˜‰

πŸ“©βœ‰πŸ“¨

Let’s get talking… Tell me how your journey has been. Let’s see how you manage to stay strong in your journey. I strongly believe in the power of sharing your story with others because it helps make their journey more bearable. You know, the you’re not alone kind of feeling.

Thank you for reading. Peace πŸ’Ÿ

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Home Cooking by Dee

Home Cooking by Dee

I’ve wanted for a while now to post something close to my heart. Something I can inspire anyone who is willing to try.

That had to be something I am conversant with and passionate about.

Currently I have fallen in love with food creation. I’m talking about fun, quick and mostly healthy food creations.

Thanks to my roomie I play with food literally, to make fun foods that look good on camera. She allowed me to create sometimes last minute or just on the spot. If I’d go to the nitty gritty This blog would need a new title. (Will save it for a later time).

Another reason for this post is how my mom “THE greatest cook there is I know” told me my cooking had now surpassed hers (although I know she still reigns supreme. I occasionally ask her for tips here and there). If you can tell, this girl was giddy from head to toe 😁 I can proudly say I am my mama’s girl! And yes it’s a mark I’m willing to attain in this wholesome healthy eating journey.

In this post I want to give you tips on how to make food at home moreso if you have a busy schedule and takeout doesn’t feel healthy enough. I have joked about venturing full on to tackle nutrition because healthy eating and healthy living make my heart palpitate in glee. Who knows, I could actually do that- but that’s a story for another day as well.

Here are several of my tips to making home cooked meals and I hope to inspire you to cook some more and think out of the box when it comes to creating wholesome meals:

1. Don’t be afraid to try new things in the kitchen

Of course by now you’ve had many posts from foodies tell you about this. If you can’t tell, this is a favorite of mine. To be honest I get frights when it comes to cooking certain foods some because of them being an unfamiliar food and others because the phobia is ingrained deeply in me. For instance I fear making maize meal (ugali) so much so I get jitters thinking about how to make it. Whereas my roommate is the queen of making great ugali I totally suck at it.

Sometime back I decided to face my fear in the eye and gave making maize meal a hand, I must say I was proud of how it turned out. That said, I know my weaknesses so I eschew from making them but if I have to, I certainly will give it a try.

2. Love it and mean it- it will show

There is a saying that goes “made with love” and I can solemnly promise I try my best to create all the food I present with love. Somehow it gives me joy when the food is set at the table and the chow down is happening with great pleasure. If that means making two meals just to cater for someone else’s preferences I will do it wholeheartedly. I mean, who wouldn’t want food that has some thought into it rather than haphazardly served food?

3. Be open to learning from others

Well apart from passed on tips from family and friends the Internet tends to come in handy when you want to learn how to create great food. Find out different ways to make your food better, healthier or tastier than you conventionally do. Then make your own version that you like. Say if you have a food you don’t normally eat but is incorporated in the meal you’ve seen being made try a version that you’ll like. For me that would be foods containing gluten.

4. Work with what you have

Well, you don’t have to drain your pockets to create a certain meal, although that is highly likely-it’s happened to me severally.

Ha! That’s why I advise you to work with what you have. There’s no problem wanting more but with whatever you have you can actually make a wholesome meal that people can savor.

5. Use as many colors as you can

Your food doesn’t have to be bland. You could use certain spices and vegetables to give your meal flair. I like natural spices and fresh vegetables and I advise you to try it too. You’ll love all the flavors that come from mixing certain spices to make a meal that is to die for.

6. Don’t rule out eating out

It’s great to be served from time to time. If someone invites you out to eat or you crave for restaurant meals don’t hesitate to indulge. You’ll need to be extra cautious on the food you choose especially if you are on a healthy journey and afterwards detox if you feel the urge to do so.

7. Train your mind to eat certain meals and schedule the time if you can

It’s important to have a scheduled mealtime or certain foods to eat especially if your ultimate goal is to lose weight or maintain a healthy wholesome diet. I am big on sumptuous breakfasts if I had it my way I would make my mornings as breakfast banquets. I love a hearty early dinner later on during my meal plan for the day. In between I try to eat little to no food and so far my body has rewarded me to stay lean and I enjoy it. That said, I wouldn’t ask you to scrape off your lunch plans. I would ask you to know what makes you satisfied. For some it’s portion control to others it’s snacking throughout the day on healthy nibbles. Ideally it has to boil down to what fills you up and leaving you feeling like your best.

8. Snack

If you can’t last a whole meal to the next meal that you normally take, I’d suggest to eat or nibble on some snacks that are healthy for you. Nuts and fruits top that list for me and lately homemade popcorn is the queen of snacks in our household 😊 

9. Don’t forget to stay hydrated.

I’ll be the first to admit that drinking water is a challenge. Unlike most healthy folks I have to put some thought to it. Try different and fun ways to incorporate water into my meals. It helps you get off the bland taste of water and somehow makes it tastier. Add a fruit or cucumber to taste and voila a cool drink of water, literally!

You could also add some not so common water in the sense of coconut water, fresh juices or a healthy drink that is not so sugary.

If all else fails, just go the plain tall glass of water and stay hydrated 😊

10. Have fun!

Did you know that cooking for yourself is a stress reliever? A fun fact I spotted the other day. Drop in your favorite tunes as you prep and cook. Have a blast and just loosen up to what cooking from home is all about!

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Don’t hesitate to ask me for recipes for a certain food you have liked from the pictures here for you to try at home.

Ps: Most of the food pictures in here can be found on my Twitter timeline using the handle @denisetuyilife. There you will also get the recipes and ingredients used to make the various meals.
So there you have it, make food at home- Your body, mind, and pocket will thank you.

My Acne Reality

My Acne Reality

Some acne pops on the forehead and I edited this one for the brightness to dazzle 😁

I am going to be honest with you guys because what would this blog be if it wasn’t about honesty?

Well, if you have met me you know I got them adult acne scars and pimples. 

When I was younger I had that just perfect smooth face- when puberty hit and so did the little pops flare up. At first it wasn’t that big of a deal (it still isn’t right now though, you’ll find out that shortly). Then in high school it became an issue.

I would enjoy bursting them or flaking off the old dry ones, sweet right? Well apparently I was causing colossal damage in the long run. Who knew that innocent bliss had its repercussions. Mama warned me, friends warned me but I couldn’t resist. Sweetest taboo if you may πŸ˜‰

The scars stayed and so did the insecurities. My mom is a believer in healing from natural ways and so our first try was with the aloe vera plants that grew at home. And try did I. The yucky part of it all is that it tasted worse than it healed me. We tried all she knew to a fail. Thing is, these were excellent remedies but my headstrong self couldn’t let me be tamed to doing one thing days on end. I jumped from one remedy to another.

In high school almost every girl I know used a cream called “nice and lovely” I opted for the Ayurvedic one because of the ‘natural’ elements it had. Still it failed.

I tried all the treatments out there. Trust me when I tell you that because a friend once advised me to use my pee and surprisingly Google search has some success stories on the usage. Cringe!

Yes I even tried the famous chickpea flour, milk and turmeric combination to my chagrin.

As cringeworthy as it looks (tongue out, kissy face and all) I believed this was the remedy of all remedies. You should have seen how worked up I was whenever I missed using the ‘remedy’

Most of my pictures posted on social media are airbrushed to rid those ‘unsightly’ marks at least that’s what I have structured myself to believe.

Granted there are success stories but this chica here had to do much more than topical remedies. It was deeper than what these arguably impressive remedies had to offer.

One thing I forgot while in pursuit of better skin was what I was eating. I ate anything just because it was edible. I didn’t consider my skin in all of it and turns out the damage cut deeper as I grew older.

I used Google and trustworthy sites to learn as much as possible. I started eliminating certain foods and would go back to them as soon as the craving sparked. Sadly, I ended up making the proverbial one step forward, two steps backward.

Until recently when I was on a weeklong detox period did I fully commit to enough is enough! I now know my triggers and I have promised myself not to eat them.

A good friend of mine Josephine Mpore, owner of Maka & Yura Spa- who is a lifestyle coach, told me to stop eating certain foods and see how it goes. She went ahead and prescribed a cleanser, toner and moisturizer package that suits my skin type.

Using these after a clean meal of eliminating triggers has really paid off.

She also adviced on drinking unsweetened green tea to cleanse me from within.

So nowadays I go for non comedogenic products that help unlock my pores and drink plenty of water unlike previous times.

Took this yesterday. So far so good.

So there you have it, my acne journey. It hasn’t been rosy and I don’t think it will ever be but one thing is for certain, I am not pulling my hair trying to heal the skin but I’ll let nature take its course while I strive to eat well, and be well.

Foods that heal acne and those that trigger it

Peace, Love and Light to each of you my friends πŸ™‚