Daughter. Sister. Friend. Wife. Mother. Take your pick. I am an unapologetic geek who loves to cook and experiment with food, always have been and always will be. As at age 7 I was lighting matchsticks and playing kitchen, cooking, and hanging around any food-related activity at home. While others were playing, I was reading books on human digestion, and turning my mother’s kitchen into a food/science lab from making jam with bananas and sugar to baking drop scones I learned from Home Economics class.
Growing up in a typical Nigerian home, food was the center of everything. Meals were made from dawn till dusk and everyone participated in prepping, cooking, serving, and eating food. I was more interested in the prepping and cooking which meant my mother and I were always at logger heads since I wasn’t much of an eater.
Along with my curiosity for cooking came lessons on basic, often unsaid rules about handling food ingredients while cooking, for great cooking experiences and maximum tastes. My grandma would school me while she prepped afang leaves for soup:
‘Mfonobong, make sure all the stalks face the same direction and use one large leaf to wrap the bunch. It will make it easier to handle the bunch while slicing, and the slices more uniform’.
This didn’t make sense to me because the leaves ended up being pounded anyway, but anyone who has mastered the art of cooking afang soup will tell you that uniformly sliced leaves make for a nice blend and good mouth-feel in the soup. Grandma was right after all!
These childhood experiences made me love food and nutrition, and today I consider myself somewhat of an inspired cook. Although I will try a written recipe every now and again, I don’t like being restricted by them. I use basic cooking principles and let the mood and ingredients detect what happens in my pot (I think I have had more wins than epic fails so I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world).
Coined from ‘nutrition’ and ‘bits’, with ‘z’ instead of ‘s’ (because someone beat me to it!), Nutribitz is a hub for bite-sized nutrition and health information for everyday living.
If there is anything I have learned spending my days as a health researcher, and part nutrition educator, it is that everyone can have a healthy relationship with food. However, one size does not fit all of us because our relationships with food are shaped by culture, relationships, experiences, life stages, and environments. Healthy eating often gets thrown out the door because many of us find it difficult to balance our nutrition and lifestyles. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Nutribitz is here to help you navigate the complicated world of nutrition and health with helpful bits of evidence-based nutritional information, food recipes and tips for healthy living. This is also a space to engage you in respectful conversations surrounding food politics because our food environments play a huge role in shaping our health. I hope you will be inspired to rethink nutrition by learning to love and eat the most wholesome foods you can afford without breaking the bank, while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
I am glad you stopped by and hope you like what you find here. Let’s journey together.
Oh and in case you were wondering.. I have Bachelor of Science degrees in Microbiology and Zoology, and Human Nutritional Sciences from the University of Manitoba. I currently work as a researcher in Pediatrics and Child Health, and facilitate community nutrition sessions as a Nutrition Educator :-).
*afang is the traditional name for a wild vine vegetable used for soups and stews in many countries across Africa. It is very popular among tribes in the Southern region of Nigeria where I am from. Other names include African Jointfir or Gnetum africanum. You can go here https://goo.gl/7UwGe7 to read more about it. (info credit – Wikipedia)