"There's chips involved.... Yeah, I feel guilty," Jane laughed nervously. This was Jane's reply when I asked her about her current diet. Jane is a 29 year-old professional in the city, so it's not surprising that she's pressed for time and that her diet isn't stellar. But, get this. Jane isn't American. She's a Kenyan, from the Kikuyu tribe, living and working in Nairobi.
Yes, professionals in Kenya face the same challenges we do here in the States. Like us, they have far too much to do and too little time to do it in. They are rushed and often grab whatever is available, convenient, or "cool" when they need energy or sustenance. It's a more hurried, harried life compared to the one in the village. And the food is very different, too.
"I have lived in both worlds," Jane said. I was intrigued and asked her questions to find out more.
I grew up partially in a village with my grandmother.
- on what she ate
Mostly healthy, vegetables from the farm. Sorghum. Ugali. We would eat fermented porridge. And then we would also eat, rather drink, milk from the cow, because she used to have a cow.
- on her health as a child
Very healthy, because I would rarely go to the hospital. I don’t remember falling sick, as such. Maybe flu or a cough, but nothing too major. To me, it’s the lifestyle I was living at that time, as compared to now, I’m in the city.
- on her current diet
There’s chips involved. There’s burger. Rice. Lots of rice. Lots of meat, sometimes soda. Yeah, I feel guilty. A lot of cake, unhealthy snacks, mostly.
- comparing the health of those in the village and those in the city
I would say the city people, per se, we are not as healthy as people in the village. It is so clear when you go to visit them. Someone who’s my age, because they are working, they are walking, they are eating those greens from the farm, they are taking milk from the cow. They look much stronger than I do.
Even my mom would go like, “That tummy needs to go, obviously.” You know, because she is more active and eating healthier, I do believe, better than I do.
- on what's "cool"
For most of us, actually, we think it’s cool to be seen somewhere at KFC or Pizza Inn. Like [with ]a big pizza or coca cola. But, no, it’s not. Like I said, I know from both worlds which one is cooler....
- her response to our presentation on nourishing, traditional foods
To me it was a wake-up call. Like, yeah, the village people are not wrong. That’s the way it should be because I have seen the difference because I have lived in both worlds. In the village and now in the city. So, to me, I could relate so much so because I have seen it both ways.
It’s true. I’ve lived it. Eating the natural foods, and now where I am just walking to a fast food place and get whatever.
I don’t want to [die fast], so I have to start, like, recollecting to making decisions to go for the natural foods, for sure.
Are you like Jane, eating chips and feeling guilty? Living a fast-paced life with little space for "slow food?" You're not alone. Let's help each other to do as she suggested, and "recollect" to make decisions for the natural foods. For sure.