Inspired: African Wedding Cakes

As much as I try to follow a mostly paleo diet, my one BIG weakness is cake. On Sunday, I was talking about how to win the battle against grains with paleo meal preparation . Today, I’m celebrating sugar, gluten and dairy with these creative African-inspired cakes!

Such is the human being – full of contradictions! In my defense, wedding and celebration cakes are special occasion indulgences. Why go for the traditional plain tiers when you can go for something more distinct and artistic for your once-in-a-lifetime event?

Enjoy!

African Calabash Cake Central

African Animal Print Tower Cake Suite

Africa Wedding Cake by Indulge

Black White African Wedding Cake My Harusi

Unique-African-Bridal-Shoot-FO-Photography-1 Wedding Cake

African Hut Cakes My Harusi

African Calabash Cakes My Harusi

 

It would be great to see creations with more contemporary African imagery/designs – have you come across any?

 

Photos/cakes by (from top): Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium (photo via Bridal Musings), Cake Central, Cake Suite, Indulge Cakes, Harusi, Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium (photo via Bridal Musings), HarusiHarusi

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Tips for Successful Paleo Living: Meal Prep

Many things about paleo eating are actually much easier than you might think. The first question I usually get when explaining this lifestyle to people is – so what can you eat?! My response – cutting out grains, dairy, sugar and processed foods actually opens your eyes to a wide variety of interesting foods (particularly vegetables and roots) that we otherwise ignore. I’ve become a much more creative cook as a result.

The next hurdle is finding time to cook. Eating paleo means you’re most likely going to have to cook a lot – because that’s the best way of making sure you know what’s in your food (and what’s not!). These are busy times and even for me, the thought of coming home from a full day at work and hours of commuting to cook a nutritious meal is not something I can realistically sustain day-in day-out. It’s easier to grab some greasy take-away or throw some grains in some boiling water and top them with something out of a jar or can.

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Paleo Meal Ideas and Templates (+ Results from my Health Reset Challenge)

A week ago Wednesday marked the end of my Health Reset Challenge. The mission had been to complete a Whole30 – 30 days of strictly paleo, as well as regular exercise and at least 8 hours of sleep daily.

Unfortunately

I was not consistent with keeping to my exercise and sleep goals, mainly due to me prioritising working on my fortune. As I’ve gotten into the groove of the new year and put in motion the game plans to achieve my 2014 goals, I have a more realistic picture of where I can make time for exercise and how I can develop a consistent and sufficient sleep pattern.

Fortunately

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Interview with Food Blogger Sanura Weathers

I virtually met Sanura Weathers around a year ago, thanks to the power of social media. We crossed paths through some common interest, most likely glorious food. I only recently discovered that Sanura and I are in the same profession when it comes to our day jobs – graphic design. It’s phenomenal that Sanura has managed to create and successfully maintain not one, but two juicy food blogs, on the side: My Life Runs on Food and Kwanzaa Culinarians. What’s more, she’s also prepared a lot of the wonderful meals that she shares on them!

My Life Runs on Food has earned Sanura accolades such as PBS’s Top Food Blogs of 2012 and a Black Weblog award for Best Food Blog. Her story goes to show that making time to nurture your passion pays! Even if you can’t devote your regular working hours to it, there is scope for it to develop into a satisfying side hustle that can change your world (and that of so many others!).

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Home Around the World: Momo’s, London, UK

Momo-Restaurant-Outdoor-Terrace-London
Momo-Restaurant-North-African-Food-London

The Momo's experience in London, UK, involves North African cuisine, an eclectic African and diaspora music programme (that pulls in major stars and up-and-coming artists alike), beautiful decor and a relaxed boho-luxe ambiance. The restaurant/café/outdoor terrace/basement bar/disco was opened in the late 1990s by Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz.

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New Pinterest Board: Paleo Recipes

In an effort to continue experiencing the amazing results I did during my paleo Whole30 + Autoimmune Protocol experiement – and to show people just how exciting food can be, even especially when you’ve cut out grains, sugar, legumes, dairy and processed foods – I’ve created a specific ‘Paleo Recipes‘ Pinterest board to go alongside my ‘Going Paleo/Primal‘ board.

 

 

Today marks the start of a Whole7 which I’m doing with a friend who finds the 30-day committment too daunting. The hope is that after 7 days, 7 more will seem a little more doable … and then 7 more and then …

This board is inspiration for you Alli. Some of the recipes I’ve tried and I look forward to testing out the rest. Everybody – please share any others you recommend. Bon appetit! 

 

PS I finally started reading It Starts with Food last week and it presents the science and biology behind paleo eating in a very accessible way that will compel you to reevaluate your food choices pronto. I’m still in the ‘science-y’ bit – will report back when I’m through.

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Amazing Results from My Whole30 + Autoimmune Protocol Experiment

From February 20th to April 1st of this year, I did the best thing that I’ve ever done for my body and my health. I completely gave up grains, sugar, legumes, dairy, eggs, alcohol, seeds, nuts, seed-based spices, fruits and nightshade vegetables (i.e. potatoes, all kinds of peppers, eggplants and tomatoes).

So what the hell did I eat?

When sharing this list with people, many thought I’d gone completely mad and were wondering what I could eat. The truth is, there are a huge variety of vegetables and this adventure actually pushed me to discover and try out new things which, in my books, is one of the joys of living!

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Going Primal: Why and How (and What I’m Eating)

I’ve been going primal/paleo for a little over a year but in the past couple of months, I’ve become more and more determined to make a more committed transition. I’ve been discovering more and more blogs on the subject, reading more inspiring success stories and experiencing more positive results (and negative ones too when I slip off-course). You may have read a couple of my posts on the subject already – I thought it would be good to preface any future posts with a little more background.

 

Why

To be healthier (that was easy hey?). In terms of losing weight. In terms of getting stronger and fitter. In terms of strengthening my immune system and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a host of other all-too-common diseases and ailments.

 

How

Primarily through changing my diet. There is so much more to this lifestyle including exercise (but not how you’ve been led to believe is ideal), sleep, upping your vitamin D and play but, diet is the cornerstone.

I have a sweet tooth. I love desserts. I also love bread! Both these food types are serious no-nos and I am working on weaning myself off these addictions (I do not use the word “addiction” lightly). By training my body to become a fat-burning rather than sugar-burning machine, I will achieve these goals.

Some people get discouraged because the cost of “clean food” seems too high. Here’s a great post from Paleo Lifestyle Magazine that helps to put things in perspective: “Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive So Stop Whining About It

My boyfriend and I have an account with Riverford Organic Farms – they deliver meat, veg, dairy (and occasionally wine) to our doorstep each week for what I think is quite a reasonable price. I just discovered Well Hung Meat and will be trying them out (they insist animals be grass-fed).

 

What I’m Eating


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My 21 Days without Grains and Sugar & 21 Reasons to Try it

The man and I recently undertook a challenge to go 21 days without eating grains or sugar (except in fruit form).

The initial couple of weeks were much easier than expected, perhaps because we’ve been trying to eat this way in general for a while. It did get tougher towards the end, particularly in the form of sugar cravings.

On the 20th day, due to poor preparation, we gave in. We had gone to an Olympics football match (2 games, 5 hours) and after a heavy breakfast, we thought we’d go the distance. Alas, the mid-match munchies got the best of us and, as you can imagine, suitable snacks were extremely elusive! Stodgy sausage roll it was (which, to my satisfaction, was unusually difficult to eat – could it be that I had succeeded in changing my taste for such?).

As you do, we decided to write off the entire day. Later on we had cake which was again, very hard to finish – it was sickly sweet to our taste buds.

As a forfeit for falling short of our 21 day goal, we added an additional 4.

Since the period ended, I’ve attended a baby shower, a wedding and been away on a pseudo-holiday (i.e. still working but in a very different environment: the Welsh countryside). These occasions have not been very conducive to a no-grains no-sugar diet. It’s also the week of my 30th birthday – another excuse to indulge! I do worry that I’m undoing any fat adaptation that I may have acheived and one of my gifts to myself will be to get back on track starting Monday.

I need to consider what is sustainable in the long-term. In The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, he advocates having a “cheat day” – an entire day to go crazy with the indulgences. The man and I have tried this and felt terrible (physically so!). Instead, my goal will be to allow myself ONE “offensive” item each week.


21 reasons to try going without grains and sugar


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Africa- and Diaspora-related events in the UK this Summer

It's not all about the Olympics this Summer in the UK. There are a multitude of arts, culture and entertainment events going on throughout the country over the next few months, including some exciting Africa- and Diaspora-related ones that you may want to check out.

I'll be updating this post weekly as I discover suitable additions to the list. If you know of any I haven't yet included, please do drop me a line.

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2 JUNE – 16 SEPTEMBER

We-Face-Forward-Manchester-2012

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