A Different Take

Life has been hammering me left, right and more persistently, centre.

It’s been one thing after the other, which has left me needing a form of escape.

Now, allow me to be vulnerable here. During a very dark time in my life, I used food to escape different issues. And no, eating my way through my problems did not make things any better, neither did it make the problems ‘taste nice’. The opposite, actually: I quickly picked up weight, and I’m one of those who if I look at a slice of cake, boom, five kilogrammes and four dress sizes up.

Anyway, I quickly figured I need to find an alternative way of getting out of a slump without resorting to self-destruction. The thing is, when you can cook various dishes and cuisines, there is an inherent perception that you always cook healthy and it’s not a struggle.

The deep fried stuff and the heavy carbs are easy to make, and boy are they yummy. They end up being the most dangerous. We call it comfort food for a reason and it is not just to warm you up on a cold day, it’s about making you feel better.

So, how do you use food to get out of a slump without cooking yourself to high cholesterol? Well, exploring and trying different cuisines has worked wonders for me, and might just do the same for you.

As we have been exploring cuisines from different parts of the world, I did a Mediterranean diet (of course I edited it here and there, especially because nuts and I are not the best of friends). I found myself smiling when I looked in the mirror. Is it a sure-fire way of reducing weight.

I’m no doctor or full-blown dietician but it showed me that clean eating does have benefits.

The Mediterranean diet includes Greek, Cypriot, Spanish, south Italian and south French cooking. It may sound intimidating, expensive and out of reach, but it’s not even. It’s just about you focusing more on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, as well as heart-healthy fats.

The Mediterranean diet is big on leafy salads, bean and couscous salads, lamb, chicken and other leaner proteins, and if there is one thing we are blessed with in this part of the world, it’s the fact that vegetables don’t cost an arm and a liver, like they do in other parts of the world.

Apart from changing my diet, I associated my food with foodie events more, and decided to explore markets and activities happening around the city, as well as in other towns in the country.

To help you explore some foodie spaces, check out WhatsOn Namibia for upcoming events.

What: 2024 Annual Lüderitz Crayfish Festival

Where: Lüderitz

When: 29 April to 5 May

Why: Crayfish and seafood as far as the eye can see in a location not many visit. I love Lüderitz’s small-town vibe and honestly, I don’t go there enough. You need to find yourself there. The festival is one you must experience at least once.

More info: @luderitzcrayfishfestival (Instagram)

What: Wine Tasting

Where: The Wine Bar, Windhoek

When: 26 April at 18h00

Why: This is one of my favourite locations in the city. There are great places to go wine tasting and enjoy a cheese platter with a view, but The Wine Shop remains close to my heart. A late friend of mine and I spent a little too much time there. Plus the wine collection is pretty solid. Grab a bottle or two to take home after.

More info: Bookings are essential. Cost is N$220 per person.

What: The Village Sunday Market

Where: The Village (Liliencron Street, Eros, Windhoek)

When: 28 April from 09h00 to 15h00

Why: The Village is packed with numerous market treats and food experiences. Enjoy some live music and browse the markets while biting into an artisanal hamburger or home-baked treats.

Parting shot: If at all you find yourself overwhelmed, seek help. Your mental health is your greatest wealth.

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