Blog, Lifestyle

How You Can Shed 5kg In A Fortnight. 

I sincerely believe that if you can make jogging/walking a habit then there ‘ll be a very little chance of adding weight on any diet, at the very worst you will maintain your weight and improve your fitness – Cmoni     It is neither magic nor are there pills involved, just less than 20 hours of exercise and a little dieting. For some years now I ‘ve made it a habit to jog daily, especially on weekdays, I work out regularly too. It’s not as if I ‘ve not been active before then, far from it, my life has been a very active one and even hyperactive at times. Growing up my dad ensured we had the regular training like most kids at Aba Sports Club. Swimming, tennis, badminton and even squash which was somewhat considered a sport for oldies back then. And in CIC Enugu beside the regular football games on weekdays you are likely to find some us skating at Real Estate on weekends. Sometimes I skate home from Uwani to Upper Chime in New Haven, a distance of about 10km. So I ‘ve always had an active life and that has kept me trim. But you know that as you age your activity reduces and once you are over 40 you will need regular exercise to stay fit and healthy. I ‘ve tried my best in this aspect I must say. However, in the past 5 years or so I ‘ve seen my weight remain the same or increase marginally. But in March 2018 I decided to shed some weight because my Body Mass Index (BMI) was still over the 25 limit for a healthy weight. I was overweight even with my trim and fit stature.  It was during the Easter holidays and we just returned from a short family break where we had 4 days of detox. I had read a motivational book and followed the minimalists during the break. On our return, I felt greatly inspired to bring my weight within the healthy weight bracket. I knew I could do it, I had the self-belief too. Increasing the gym hours to burn more calories will be a walk in the park but there was still one snag. How will I reduce the calories I take in if the extra work out hours is to manifest? I was already on what I considered a low carb diet. I usually have tea or coffee with a slice of brown bread or something lighter for breakfast. And then I eat well at lunchtime. It has been my policy to eat at least one good meal daily, and it is usually one form of ‘swallow’ with a sumptuous soup. Then in the evenings I make do with the bites and chews ranging from grilled chicken to nuts or salad but I try not to eat solid food beyond 7 pm. If I am up and writing late I drink loads of tea, coffee or red wine depending on my mood. I was still rummaging in the kitchen, scanning the refrigerator to come up with a possible combination of alternative foods that will assist in achieving my target till I stopped at the fruit bowl. That was when the idea struck me. Filled with various fruits the bowl is rarely half empty when my wife disposes of the remaining fruits to refill it each Saturday. The kids eat enough at school and even have leftovers when they return. There is no day that I don’t dispose some apples, oranges or bananas from their school bags to prevent rotting. So basically my wife and I eat about 80% of the half from the fruit bowl. I decided to eat more fruits, to try and get the bowl empty by Saturdays. I will substitute meals with fruits. That day I started with bananas, in the evening I ate two and felt heavier than ever. How is it that I will start feeling heavier when I’m on a mission to feel lighter? And I had only just begun. There has to be a way to eat all these fruits without feeling heavier. Even if the calories are low I didn’t like the psychological guilt.  Again the solution dropped in a flash. I remembered a smoothie blender lying waste somewhere in the kitchen cabinet. My wife had bought it then when she had the fitness buzz. It was confined to the cabinet once her target was achieved. The next day I brought out the blender which was still in mint condition, washed it and blended a mix that had almost every fruit in the bowl. It was filling but somehow I didn’t feel as heavy even though I had eaten more fruits. Yes! I said to myself, I ‘ve got the magic. I went to work. Each morning before school run I’ll drink green tea with lemon. I then go to the gym and spend an hour and a half in the following manner. 25 minutes in the cardio section jogging about 2 miles on the treadmill. 30 minutes of strength training and free weights. And finally, I do 20 minutes of abs and other fitness exercises in the studio. For lunch, I alternated between my usual swallow and a bowl of salad with smoked fish. It could be any soup with white or lean meat. I eat oatmeal and the ration is often barely the size of my fist. The salad was the normal caesar and the fish could be salmon, cod or mackerel. In the evenings I drink a large cup of smoothie, always before 7 pm. In between, I mostly had groundnuts or cashew nuts when I felt peckish, and enough tea/coffee. So the major changes in my diet were; I reduced the amount of easy carb intake during lunch by alternating with salad and, I reduced the calorie intake in the evenings by substituting chicken and loads of legumes with the smoothie. I reckon that I must have

Blog, FEATURES, Lifestyle

What you need to know about Ireland’s abortion referendum.

  The Republic of Ireland is holding a referendum on May 25 that could dramatically change its stance on abortion. Here’s a rundown of what is happening, when and why. What is Ireland voting on? The referendum is about taking action that would result in the repeal of article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution (commonly referred to as the 8th amendment), allowing the Irish government to change the law on abortion, which is currently illegal unless a woman’s life is at substantial risk. Voting yes would repeal the amendment, while voting no would keep it in place. What is the 8th amendment? The eighth amendment was passed by referendum in 1983. It says that “the state acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right”. It is commonly viewed to equate the life of a pregnant woman with the foetus, making abortion unavailable in almost all circumstances. It is also seen as affecting maternal healthcare because a woman loses her right to refuse consent to medical treatment in pregnancy. Why does Ireland have this clause in its constitution? When contraception was legalised in Ireland in 1974, there was a widespread belief that liberal abortion laws would inevitably follow. An amendment campaign emerged in 1981, brought together various “pro-life” groups to lobby for constitutional protection of the “unborn”. Their campaign was helped by the fact that in the political instability of the early 1980s, successive Taoisigh (prime ministers) were conscious of alienating the dominant conservative vote. Ireland’s attorney general warned at the time that the wording of the amendment was too ambiguous and could have potentially negative consequences for women’s healthcare. But momentum had gathered and the referendum resulted in a two-to-one majority in favour of the amendment. Is Ireland unusual in having an amendment of this kind? Yes. Regulation of abortion through a constitution is rare (because constitutions are difficult to change). It has left Ireland with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, which have been regularly criticised by a number of international human rights bodies. Why is this vote happening now? There have been a number of high profile, distressing cases in the recent past which have highlighted the inadequacy of the current law. Just two examples (there are many more) are the death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012 from sepsis after being refused an abortion during miscarriage and the case of Amanda Mellet, who was forced to travel to England to terminate a pregnancy with fatal foetal anomaly. Mellet’s case reached the UN Human Rights Committee, which concluded that Ireland’s near total abortion ban was discriminatory and amounted to “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”. In 2017 the Irish government convened a Citizens Assembly to consider evidence on abortion law reform. The 99 randomly selected citizens, after hearing extensive evidence, voted voted 64% to 36% in favour of having no restrictions on termination in early pregnancy. What is the Irish government’s official position on the vote? The government is split on the vote, with many undeclared. However, it appears that more support “yes”. Party leaders are supportive – Leo Varadkar (the Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael) is openly pro-repeal, however his party is allowing a free vote. Micheál Martin, leader of the opposition party Fianna Fáil, has also backed repeal, although many in his party think differently. Sinn Féin supports repeal but not abortion without restriction. Members of parliament for Labour, the Green party, Social Democrats and Solidarity-People Before Profit support both repeal and access to abortion up until 12 weeks into a pregnancy. Independents are mixed. What happens if the 8th amendment is repealed? Repeal of the 8th amendment would allow the government to legislate on abortion. The proposed legislation will bring Ireland into line with the majority of European countries, allowing for abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy (subject to medical regulation). After 12 weeks abortion would only be available in cases of fatal foetal anomaly, if the pregnant woman’s life was at risk or if her health was at risk of serious harm. Cases after 12 weeks would have to be approved by two doctors. What happens if Ireland votes to keep the 8th amendment? Nothing would change. The constitution, in conjunction with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, only allows for abortion where there is real and substantial risk to the life – as distinct from the health – of the pregnant woman. She can only access abortion when doctors deem that her life is at risk due to medical complications, or she is at risk of taking her life. Women in their thousands would continue to travel to England and further afield to access abortion or procure abortion pills online illegally, risking criminality. The impact of Brexit on women’s ability to travel freely remains unknown. Who is opposed to repealing the 8th amendment and why? Groups who describe themselves as “pro-life” say they are protecting the foetus through their opposition to any change to Irish abortion law. Many of these groups are supported from abroad, in particular from America, and often align themselves with religious views, in particular the Catholic Church. What is the main argument for repealing the 8th amendment? The main argument is that criminalising abortion does not prevent abortion. In fact countries with liberal abortion laws usually have lower rates of abortion. Women living in Ireland have abortions, either abroad and at their own cost, or illegally in Ireland with the abortion pill. All a “yes” vote will do is allow the government to legislate for women to access healthcare legally in Ireland. Is it likely that the vote will result in repeal? Polls have indicated that marginally more people support a “yes” vote. There has been concern over voter manipulation, in particular foreign interference with both

Blog, Lifestyle

Lets Celebrate Darlington.

I just had to blog this. I remember once when I drove through Aroma with a friend, I stopped and had for the usual exchange of pleasantries with Darlington. “Nwanne kedu ka osi ara?” (How is it going?) I asked. “Udo di”,(No problem) he replied. I slid a note into his palm as we drove past and headed towards Unizik junction. My friend who was still peering at the rearview mirror as Darlington continued his break dancing traffic control said, “I hope the Governor will stop at this junction to appreciate this guy someday” Well, that day came when Governor Obiano gave him an award of excellence in 2016. Two days ago he celebrated his birthday and friends gathered to honour him. He is our own celebrity. Before he came to Aroma junction you couldn’t pass there in hours as it was always jammed. But Darlington’s passion and style endeared him to road users and Awka residents who respect and obey his dancing commands but also reward him generously. He is a real example of dedication to duty and a living proof that passion with creativity in any vocation will guarantee success. You needn’t be a billionaire to be successful and fulfilled in what you do. Happy birthday Darlington. Photo cc: Abs Video cc: AwkaCity Youtube

Blog, Lifestyle

The Fabulous Hostel Project by CIC Old Boys.

I just had to blog this one. It is a proud moment for everyone associated with the prestigious College of the Immaculate Conception CIC Enugu. Here is the aerial view of the hostel project being funded by our old boys association. This is coming less than a year after his excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi commissioned a multi-purpose complex built by us. I say to all my wonderful homies..well done! #SemperFidelis   Photos credit: Dr. Val Ozoigbo & Odogwu Cmoni

Blog, Lifestyle

India now has 21 million ‘unwanted’ girls

The desire of Indian parents for sons has created an estimated 21 million “unwanted” girls because couples keep having children until they produce a boy, the government said on monday, Jan 29th, 2018. Indian parents have historically wanted sons, who are seen as breadwinners and family heirs. Girls are often viewed as a financial burden in a country where the tradition of giving a marriage dowry persists. Even though sex selection is against the law, illegal gender-based abortions have been blamed for a sex ratio of 940 females for every 1,000 males in the last census. But many couples continued having children until they produced their desired number of sons, the government said in its annual economic survey report. “Families, where a son is born, are more likely to stop having children than families where a girl is born. This is suggestive of parents employing ‘stopping rules’ – having children till a son is born and stopping thereafter,” the report said. Couples, particularly women, in India face immense pressure to produce male children and many rural families do not send girls to school, marrying them off young. But the report said India’s preference for sons appeared “inoculated to development”, with even wealthier families not immune. Illegal sex selection and gender-based abortions remain rampant across social and economic groups in the country, according to several studies. A 2011 study in the British medical journal The Lancet found that up to 12 million girls had been aborted in the last three decades in India. Source: Straits Times

Blog, Lifestyle

Keto in Pidgin by Alexandra Iguh-Caroli

  Here’s a freebie for all of you who want to look trim, healthy, and sexy like me! My sister Alexandra, the globally acknowledged keto expert is bringing it home in our lingua franca. Watch the short clip on BBC here. Her inspiring discourse on alternative but sumptuous culinary and dietary habits has helped thousands achieve their objectives. Feel free to share and follow her on any of the platforms below. Instagram:@theketoevangelist Twitter:@Dketoevangelist Facebook:  

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