This blog is co-authored by a two-person team, a human-nutrition-scientist and a foody-writer-lifestyle-coach. Banji writes, Patricia reviews.
Patricia Ladipo, Ph.D., is a human nutritionist who has decades of experience in research and teaching at a number of universities. Amongst other things, she has applied her extensive knowledge of food biochemistry and human physiology to developing better dietary practices for people on Nigerian diets. Her experience reaches far past labs and lecture halls with projects in rural Nigeria (while working at Unife/OAU) and rural America. (while working at Cornell University)
Banji Ladipo, B.Sc.(Hons) is a foody, health coach and writer who for the last 20 years has found himself regularly supporting family and friends in their efforts to achieve better health through diet and lifestyle transformation. Anything from getting that summer body to managing serious health issues like Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease.
Why do I write about healthy eating? Because I can. Food is my passion, I have been cooking for over 40 years and very early in life I took an interest in the science of food. I learnt about food initially from my mother, (see above) One of the first things I learnt was that our understanding of how food affects the human body changes. New science is constantly changing what we ‘know’ about food and keeping abreast of the changes can be daunting, not least because of the sheer number of fads being pushed by some heavy-duty marketing. When I cut the apron-strings and ventured off into my own first kitchen, I kept my love for the science of nutrition as well as the joys of eating good food. Mom was ever a phone-call away but my influences became wider as I discovered other scientists in the field. I stay current on nutrition science, read books by leading thinkers in the nutrition and follow people like Michael Pollan and William Meller. I analyse diets like Paleo, Atkins and Barry Sears’ Zone to see if/why they work and apply the science behind them to meet the Nigerian palate. I am currently undertaking a number of diet and nutrition courses and they are enjoyable but like much of the education available, need work to adapt them to meet Nigerian dietary preferences. Why me? Because I’m good at this!”
Why Nigerian? Because we need it. Social media is a wonderful thing, it allows us to share information and opinions across the world with very few boundaries. There are a few drawbacks to this. One is that opinions are often presented as facts and another is that what is a fact in one part of the world often isn’t in other parts. “There’s oestrogen in the tap-water” is true in one place while in another, “I wish we had tap-water” is a more common complaint. There is so much misinformation being spread by Nigerians trying to be healthier. There are Nigerians adopting ‘healthy eating’ practices from the U.S.A. to their detriment because our needs and foods are very different. There is even dietary advice that claims to be good for people with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. While it is possible to have a ‘general healthy eating’ diet, the needs of people at risk from these three killers are very different. They should not be on the same diet. There is a very high level of ignorance about what goes on in Nigerian food production. I recently saw a poultry owner claiming that their caged birds were ‘organic’. . . There is not nearly enough work being done to promote healthy Nigerian diets. We will happily digress on the blog and feature non-Nigerian foods and fusion foods and adopted foods as the world is shrinking and today’s Nigerians’ diets are a far cry from the diets of previous generations.
I have served as a health coach to people from all ethnicities and backgrounds and my knowledge and expertise are not in any way limited to the Nigerian diet. My focus on it is because there’s not nearly enough work being done. You don’t have to be Nigerian to enjoy the blog!
Why write now? I have been helping people close to me get healthy through lifestyle and diet for years but as my social group ages, so the need for this help increases. I’m spending a lot of time giving dietary advice and making individual diet and lifestyle plans for family, friends and friends of friends(not just Nigerians). Each person I have guided on the path to better health has said that I should do this, so here we are.
I continue to offer personal diet and lifestyle guidance to those who need it, but here on this blog, we will share articles about how to be healthy on a Nigerian diet. Each article will feature a simple ‘takeaway’; something you can start doing right away to speed your journey to a healthier you. This blog is intended to be a resource in itself but we are also working on an optional subscription service in which we interact directly with subscribers who want support on their journeys to better health. There, you will find healthy recipes for delicious Nigerian and other dishes, portion size guidance, preparation videos and answers to all lifestyle and diet questions.