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Allure 24 February 2019

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By - Rita Okoye Shile

By - Rita Okoye Shile Ismaila is a digital marketing expert with over eight years of experience. She is a married mum of one, who created ‘African Mommy;’ a free forum platform, where moms and women of African origin can collaborate, share experiences, create their groups, empower, celebrate, educate and support each other. The forum also provides information to women, on pregnancy, fitness, growth mindset, parenting, beauty, relationships, African culture and many more, through experts in this field. In this interview, the United Kingdombased Nigerian shares her plans and visions for her new project, African Mommy. What is African Mommy ? African Mommy is a forum for moms and women of African origin. The platform aims to provide a support network that empowers and celebrates mothers and women for who they are and encourages them to be the best version of themselves. At African Mommy, we laugh together, we cry together and we take life’s journey together. Every woman finds an equal place. Their hopes, dreams and fears matter to us. Women get the opportunity to connect with our medical practitioners, stay fit with other African moms, get pregnancy tips and be inspired by different African cultures, fashion and food. Also, there is a chance for women to create their own tribe by starting a group, connect with like-minded women and summon the courage to speak their truth. How do you intend to achieve all these? My aim is to communicate this to the world and passionately as possible focusing on the benefits women get from the platform. At the moment we have a website forum, where people can go and find out insightful 12 WITH Shile Ismaila / February 24, 2019 shile ismaila information on all the areas I mentioned earlier. African Mommy works with amazing professional contributors in the medical, fitness, parenting, beauty and growth mindset field, who provide us with helpful tips, article and videos in this area. On the forum, women can log in to share their experiences, while also encouraging others. They share, connect, inform and educate one another, and my aim is to ensure the community thrives and succeeds at it. What gave birth to such a project? The first reason I started the project was to make my little contribution to improving maternity mortality. Maternal mortality in Sub- Saharan Africa is still the highest in the world, with low-income countries having 1 in 41 women being affected as reported by Unicef. When I was pregnant, I did a lot of reading and heard lots of stories from people who had experienced this tragedy, through friends and families. After so much research, it came to light that some of the reasons for these deaths could have easily being avoided and in some cases, if women were equipped with enough information about their pregnancy, this may have helped. It could be something as simple as knowing what they should do at a particular time of the pregnancy, or finding out they have gestational diabetic and knowing how to treat it, and many more. My husband is a medical doctor, so I thought to combine my digital skills with his medical knowledge, tap into his network to provide helpful information, contribute my own quota to assisting mothers and women in general. The second reason I created African Mommy was to create a forum community for women with common backgrounds and origin. A place where everyone feels proud and comfortable discussing their heritage and experiences without being judged. I’m an African living in the diaspora and things from experience, become complicated when discussing my culture with non-Africans. African Mommy was created as a nonjudgmental forum where women and moms of African origin are comfortable speaking about their culture, heritage, relationships, wellbeing, growth mindset and also get a chance to connect with other moms and women, learn about other cultures and support themselves in their journey to being the best version of themselves. What happens in a situation where a troubled mom wants to relate with a medical doctor one on one, is there any arrangement for that? We have medics available online and they would be willing to help. Please note we don’t pay any fees to our medics as they are only volunteering their time, they can only help with providing basic support and for serious cases, the mom would be referred to see her doctor as we don’t have such services for now. How long has African Mommy been on? We kicked off in February 2017. How has the journey been? Yeah. It’s almost over a year now and it has been as fantastic as it?s been difficult. We have grown from zero to 34,000 following on Instagram worldwide for example. The connection has been so awesome as well. We are rapidly building stronger and supportive African women community globally. There is this saying that women of these days don’t support themselves, how true is that in a relationship with your vision for African Mommy? People say that a lot, but I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with the notion because I know people speak about this from their own experience. My take on it is to do what you have to do to support women and that will add one more woman to the list of women supporting women. Be the change you want to see and be that woman making the difference... You are based in the United Kingdom, how often do you come to Nigeria? I try to come once a year. There are women in some rural areas that don’t have access to the internet, some that do don’t even know how to use it, how do you plan to reach out to such people? These women are also part of our key target audience. They are our priority. What I want to do is to create this platform first and let it stand on its own. Then go round Africa, focusing on the rural areas. Organise road shows, seminars, create awareness, and support them in all they need to know about the different aspect of their lives. If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them. All these would come when I am rest assured, I can stand on my own financially with the African Mommy platform. This with then is the next phase. I want to be able to reach out to several women in rural areas, educate them and provide support for some of their basic needs. African Mommy’s main objective is educating, informing, empowering and supporting African women all over the world. Helping them to be the best version of themselves in the areas of health, career, fitness, relationship, motherhood, parenting, anything and everything that concerns them.

Healing FOODS & Herbs Health Benefits of Ginger By - Tobi Ayodele Keeney Ginger root, a common kitchen spice used in cooking is packed with a lot of nutrients and possesses medicinal qualities. Ginger originates from China, and has a very long history of use in traditional medicine worldwide. In Nigeria, ginger is also known as ‘ata-ile’ in Yoruba, ‘jinja’ in Igbo and ‘cithar’ in Hausa. Ginger root can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or extracted as oil. In this article, we will discuss the wonderful, hidden benefits of ginger and see how the plant can benefit our health in so many ways. There are several natural oils in ginger that gives the spice its pungent flavor and smell; however the main active ingredient in ginger is called GINEROL. Gingerol is also responsible for giving ginger its potent medicinal qualities. Ginger possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. This means that people with conditions such as arthritis, menstrual pain and muscle pain can benefit from consuming ginger. Just adding ginger to their daily diet can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for pain medication. Ginger is also good for reducing nausea and improving digestion. Pregnant women who experience morning sickness can benefit from drinking ginger tea, as ginger can help reduce nausea they might be experiencing. Ginger is as effective as some prescription nausea medications so ginger can also be given to cancer patients experiencing nausea from chemotherapy. Additionally, ginger relieves nausea and vomiting after surgery. Ginger is also very effective against indigestion. Indigestion is directly related to food digesting too slowly in the stomach, and ginger works to speed up digestion thereby relieving the condition. The anti-inflammatory qualities of ginger means that ginger can be used in preventing cancer, most especially cancer of the colon. Studies have shown that consuming raw ginger is especially useful in inhibiting the formation of colon cancer cells. Individuals who have are at high risk of developing colon cancer should endeavor to consume raw ginger at least daily as a preventative measure. Did you also know that ginger can help to lower cholesterol levels? Having a high level of bad cholesterol also known as LDL cholesterol can lead to heart attacks and even death. Taking ginger extract or powder can help lower bad cholesterol in the blood almost as efficiently as prescription cholesterol medication. Finally new research has shown that ginger can be useful in combating diabetes as it helps to lower blood sugar! The list goes on and on about this super herb but the final take home message is this; use ginger as much as possible! Use it to cook your food. You can include it raw in your spices when you are boiling your animal proteins as it works well as a tenderizer to soften the meat or chicken. Add powdered ginger to your soups and stir-fries. If you can tolerate it, munch on a pinch of raw grated ginger before every meal to aid digestion. You can also make simple tea by boiling 2 teaspoons of grated ginger (including the skin) in a cup of water and drinking it twice a day. You will be surprised at the big difference it makes in your health! Tobi Ayodele Keeney is the Managing Director of Quincy Herbals, a natural health and skincare company based in Nigerian and the United States of America. She has a Bachelor in Psychology and Biochemistry as well as a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a speciality in critical care from the University of Maryland. For questions on Healing Foods & Herbs-email tobi@quincyherbals.com HEALTHY FOOD COMBOS Semolina: What Are They Made Of? Durum wheat was made artificially and is the hardest wheat of all types of grain. By hard, I mean it has more quantity of resistant starch. Resistant starch is that content of foods that are resistant to digestion. All the carbohydrates(fruits, vegetables, wheat made products) we eat do not digest, some of it skips the metabolism and pass out as it is. Many studies have shown the benefits of durum wheat. Durum wheat on adding water forms a dough that is called semolina. Semolina is later used to make spaghetti, pasta and By - Temitope Onafowokan vermicelli. But semolina is a soft dough that is why you can use for flour purposes. Instead of white flour made pasta and macaroni, durum wheat can give so many benefits like: • Durum wheat has a higher content of protein (17%) than the usual kind of grain (14%). • Durum wheat can be a big help to diabetic and cardiovascular patients due to its high content of resistant starch. • You can use durum made products for those who want to lose weight. Long story short, durum wheat can be a substitute for white flour. I use it to make bread and other pastries for my family. Durum wheat flour is rich in B-complex vitamins, especially the foliate and thiamine. In general, B-complex vitamins needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. -Durum wheat is also a good source of essential minerals, such as selenium and iron. -Products made from durum flour digest slowly. It helps you feel full longer and prevent you from overeating. Eating slices of white bread or a bowl of spaghetti give your entirely different feeling of satiety Products made from durum wheat are becoming increasingly popular - not surprising since they are much better alternatives to the ones made from white flour. However many people don’t know the benefits of durum wheat, and what is the difference between durum and other types of flour? At first glance, durum wheat is not different from ordinary wheat. Why should you choose the dishes made from durum flour instead of others? Unlike any other wheat, durum is high in fibre and rich in essential vitamins (such as A, B and E vitamins) and minerals, its protein content is higher too, due to this high protein content pasta made from durum wheat is flexible - that’s why it is an essential ingredient in the Italian gastronomy. Durum wheat is your thing if you... • Have diabetes: unlike ordinary wheat, the durum wheat has less impact on blood glucose level since the digestion of its starch is slower. In this case, you can add products made from durum wheat to your diet in small portions. • Play sports regularly: products made from durum wheat have higher protein content than the ones made from white flour. They can contribute to providing your recommended daily protein intake. • Are having trouble with your cholesterol level, or you are allergic to eggs: pasta from durum wheat is flexible enough without adding eggs. • Are dieting or merely eating consciously: due to its low glycemic index and high protein content, durum wheat is the perfect choice for you. February 24, 2019 / 13

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