2015 Elections in Nigeria: Which Candidate Will Win?

Elections in Nigeria will finally start with voters going to cast their ballots this weekend for the presidential election. The presidential and National assembly election was moved from valentine’s day to March 28, 2015. Has anyone been at any campaign event or witnessed any rally? It’s been quite an experience to watch the two largest political parties APC and PDP go at each other, manufacture stories, slander each other, and just provide general entertainment and many times embarrassment to Nigerians. The two main candidates are the current president Goodluck Jonathan and one time military head of state Muhammad Buhari. To me, this is the most intensely contested elections so far. Nigerians are beginning to ask questions, although we still have people whose politics are based on ethnic and religious sentiments, but I think we are making progress, albeit a slow one. The response of the political parties to this awakening is to give away money and ‘goodies’ to the man on the street, which is a little bit sad.

GEJ and GMB: PDP and APC Presidential candidates respectively. Source:www.nairaland.com
GEJ and GMB: PDP and APC Presidential candidates respectively. Source:www.nairaland.com

To be fair, politics all over the world is usually based on some giving and taking, last minute lobbying and discrete allocations of funding to different development schemes. Take the UK for example, with the forthcoming elections and before the two months (or so) embargo on new public spending before elections (which it looks like Nigeria doesn’t have or maybe we just do not implement?), the Tory government is giving funds to community development programmes, schools initiatives, charities, and conducting the announcements and press releases themselves. This is a final push and bid to look good and ‘earn’ votes. I know some charities which have received sudden funding for projects that were not funded previously. We are talking about grants up to one million pounds to recognised bodies who will of course do development work and show evidence. First world lobbying eh?

Now this is a slight difference from the Naija model which has seen politicians distributing branded phone recharge cards, bags of rice branded APC or PDP. The last one I saw yesterday was branded sachet of garri, sugar, and groundnut. Haba! Why are people wicked like this? No milk included, I find it really upsetting, at least add milk if you must share garri, and I hope it was ijebu garri. It smacks of laziness, ignorance, greed, a disrespect of the people, and just sheer poverty. Why do we think these people will do anything worth doing if their style of lobbying is agbalumo and garri? I will take a new road quickly constructed in my home town, or scholarships quickly paid out for six years for some bright financially disadvantaged students. I will take hospitals being revamped and programmes for free and expedited treatments set up, a borehole renovated for clean water, or a community centre for the elderly built or renovated.

PDP dividends of democracy: Garri, sugar and groundnut.  Source:www.nairaland.com
PDP dividends of democracy: Garri, sugar and groundnut. Source:www.nairaland.com

I will take a new programme providing meals in schools, research grants for universities, training for the police, and small and medium enterprise grants over agbalumo, bags of rice and groundnut oil. But this is what you get in a country where a shocking percentage of the population lives under one dollar a day. This is what you get in a country where people are murdered and justice is committed to God because we do not have a system that works; the police is either not competent enough or not equipped enough to find the criminals. Or maybe it is both. This is why we have such intense proliferation of religion which does not translate into social change; because God is our police, our NEPA, our only recourse to surviving the reckless driving on the Abuja-Lokoja expressway and malaria. But that’s a post for another day.

APC recharge cards. Source: www.nairaland.com
APC recharge cards. Source: http://www.nairaland.com

Has anyone been to the airports or to the motor parks in the last couple of days? People are leaving in droves, it is as though there is war in Nigeria. I wonder if we are making too much of this situation of if this will indeed be the bloodiest election that Nigeria has ever seen. Which ever way one looks at it, it is quite scary to be honest; that we are in such a defining moment in our history and it could be marred by dishonesty and blood shed. I hope it does the opposite, I hope it sets Nigeria on the path to dealing conclusively with evil such as Boko Haram. I hope the country remains the largest economy in Africa, and an emerging market where the world congregates economically, and where this growth reflects on our indices, social services, infrastructure and the life of the man on the street.

Peace in Nigeria. Source: www.pinterest.com
Peace in Nigeria. Source: http://www.pinterest.com

Yesterday, international election observers arrived to be a part of the monitoring process and the rest of the world will be watching to see what Nigeria makes of this opportunity to choose its future and to maintain peace and prosperity. So March 28th let’s go out and vote for the right president and the appropriate members of the National assembly. On April 11th, vote for the right governor and members of the state house of assembly.

Do not vote for those who will loot the national treasury and instead of fixing our social services, spend it on educating their children at the most exclusive schools around the world (anywhere but Nigeria right?) or go to the best hospitals in the US or Europe to treat migraines while Nigerians take panadol and die from the simplest infections. Do not re-elect anybody who you know was not akin to Dangote before he became Governor, and now suddenly, his children are driving porches and Lamborghini on instagram. Now he/she owns houses in London High street Kensington and hosts lavish and vulgar weddings for their children. May we get it right. Vote your conscience.

Say no to pre, during and post elections violence. Stay safe. God bless Nigeria.

How to find a Husband (Part III)

So it has been almost a year since the post on “How to find a Husband” according to my aunt. I am doing a stock taking of events in my life in the last 11 months. It may please you (or displease my aunt) to note that; no I have not cut off my hair/locs, and no I have not suddenly changed my age from the actual to the mid-20s. I still exercise and I remain consistent with my views on politics and the world.

But you see, I am still not married, and her patience is running out. You would think that I am the one whose patience will be running out, but no, this is a case of “drinking panadol on top of somebody’s headache”. The psalms and things keep being thrown my way. I think my aunt knows that I do not say them (for the most part), and so she sends even more to make me feel guilty. Anyway, it’s been over a year, and I have now decided to take matters into my own hands. I reckon these steps will fetch me a nice Igbo man in no time.

Couple getting married. source:annechia.com
Couple getting married. source:annechia.com

1. Buy a 32″ human hair. I haven’t decided if it will be from Brazil or Peru. All I know is that I am buying it, and it is going on my head where it will sit tight and walk around with me in my search.

Human hair on the way. source:elitevirginhair.com
Human hair on the way. source:elitevirginhair.com

2. Buy some Dencia otherwise known distastefully as bleaching cream. I do not know why trouble makers insist on giving this thing a bad name. The Igbo brothers like yellow sisi, so I better get cracking. Plus the new colour will match my new hair.

3. Learn to smile and keep my head down, you can’t be engaging anyhow with your eyes and discourse. I have been trawling youtube looking for videos on “how to be coy”. Chi m, it is not that easy. But it seems to be working, or maybe those vloggers are just messing with me.

4. Find an Igbo church here, that should not be too difficult. I went to a church in East London and for a minute, I thought I was in Gbagada. When I find the Igbo church, I shall join the youth forum, ushers, video team, caretakers, welfare team, readers, choir, women/mothers group (yes people like that sort of thing, it draws sympathy that you have shown so much faith and vulnerability. In no time, the married women will begin to introduce you to all their husbands’ single friends. I must remember to call them all “Aunty”). This is a question spreading your bets as much as you can. This blog is as much for me as for you single out there searching for your Igbo prince charming o. Shine your eye.

Photo source: www.clipartof.com
Photo source: http://www.clipartof.com

5. Stop being a smart ass, even me I am tired sef. Henceforth when I meet those potentials, I shall be saying the following, with a coy smile and downcast eyes:

5a. “I only just recently arrived, my father paid my fees to do a master’s, so I just want to bend down and study o”. Yeah I reckon that line spoken in the softest of voices should work.

5b. “I don’t really believe in all this new talk, people have learnt bad things from the west. A man is still the head of the home, every woman should listen to her husband no matter what. He’s beating you, he’s cheating on you, something must have gone wrong in your attitude. Me, I believe if a man does something that you do not like, it is not your job to engage him or fight and nag, no matter what it is, you don’t talk back. Just go on your knees to God, then after that, cook him a hearty meal”

5c. “Ah ah, but my husband should know how much I earn. There’s nothing wrong with giving your man your ATM card or even pay cheques once you receive them. He’s the head”

6. On the first date, I shall invite him over and cook some jollof rice with spicy goat meat. I shall also make white soup with poundo and some chocolate brownies. Before he starts eating, I shall cover my hair and say the grace. The long version. Ok make it second date, I mustn’t appear too keen.

Poundo and Egusi. Source: www.ventures-africa.com
Poundo and Egusi. Source: http://www.ventures-africa.com

7. All my high heels are going on sale on ebay. You can’t be a 5ft 8inches woman and be wearing 6″heels. As one igbo brother told me at a party in January, “your height is intimidating”. He then proceeded to bolt, and came back only after he was slightly inebriated and made me sit down while he stood. Henceforth, only 3″ heels, thank you very much.

8. I must stop calling myself a woman. It sends the wrong message. “You don born”? I have been asked. So from now onwards, I am a girl. or maybe lady?

9. No more JD and coke, or wine at these Igbo things. Henceforth fanta and coke. Or five alive, if we can find any. I don’t drink alcohol. It’s even bitter anyway.

10. And I must not dance every time I hear music, just sends all the wrong signals.

11. Imagine the swishing of my south American hair, when I walk from one single and searching Igbo man to the next at the upcoming event, freshening drinks and smiling. Fetching chicken wings and dips. It’s all for the cause.

Spicy chicken wings for the men at parties. www.godfatherpizzawoodoven.co.uk
Spicy chicken wings for the men at parties. http://www.godfatherpizzawoodoven.co.uk

12. Who has an opinion about the upcoming elections? I don’t! I am just praying about it, I do not discuss politics. That one is for you men o. I am facing my work.

13. Ask for money for most things. Why should I pay for things myself? A man is in control when he pays and hears thank you. The youtube vlogs said men do not like independent women, so why should I be independent? No wonder my asoebi plans haven’t come to fruition.

These are all I have considered, and I shall take it from here. I am also open to advice, if you know of any quick fixes, please send them my way. I suppose in some ways my aunt was right, one has to be smart about these things and use local sense. You have to know and understand your audience, it doesn’t matter how, it’s the end that justifies the means. Enough said, I must get cracking. Au revoir

60 Things On My Bucket List

My birthday which is in January is always a reminder to express gratitude for who I am and for my life in its entirety. It is also a time for self reflection. It is a time to look at my plans, my road map for my life so to speak. Today I shall review 60 things out of my bucket list of 100 things to do. If I am lucky, I shall get to do most of these things in my lifetime. I think it is something worth writing. I enjoy going through it and working out the maths involved in cost or years required. So here are the first 60 things on my bucket list. I have done some of them, but most of the items remain I have not fulfilled.

1. Climb the Kilimanjaro

The Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world. I hear it is quite the challenge to climb. This is ideal for me because I love challenges. I plan to climb this within four years. If you are interested, let me know, you could be one of my climbing partners. If you have climbed it yourself, let me know how you found it.

Mount_Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro. Source: http://www.wikipedia.com

2. Write and publish best selling books

I really enjoy writing. I hope I can get to the point where I am actually published and reach a lot of people. I have a few friends who have been published and it is such a great feat to 1) Finish a book 2) Have it published 3) Have people read it and actually give you feedback about how great it is while also bringing their perspective on the characters. Now only if I can actually sit still and finish my manuscripts.

stock-footage-time-lapse-of-book-s-stack-moving-tripod
Books. Source: http://www.all-free-download.com

3. Write a blog

I write this blog. Hurray!!!!

4. Travel somewhere incredibly beautiful, meaningful and relaxing with my parents

I love my parents, and there’s nothing I would love more than to travel somewhere with them. It would probably be Prague or Rome. Although my parents have been to both places before, it holds a special meaning for them and I haven’t visited Prague so it would be great to do it. But first, I must work and save enough. The last time I checked, the airlines do not accept promises of double pay when I can afford it. The actually want their money now 🙂

5. Go skiing

Need I say more? Those ski locations are so stunning

8887-ski-touring-austria-alps-800x600
Ski Aps in Austria. Source: http://www.all-free-downloads.com

6. Speak a new language fluently

This is work in progress. I am learning French, I have studied it off and on for a while now and I can’t wait to become fluent.

7. Mentor someone

The power of mentors and mentoring programmes is something that is probably less celebrated than it should. I wonder if there are structured mentor programmes in the communities in which I grew up? Or in the more urban cities?

8. Become a certified exercise to music instructor

This is something I am keenly researching. It is something that is a useful skill and will ensure that you have an extra set of skills with which to earn some extra money on the side, or just commit to service in some way in the community by running aerobics, or body combat classes for older people, or just people who may not be able to afford a fancy gym. Why not? The best part is that in return, your body will remain fit and active. Win win

slim_belly_and_measure_tape_187102

9. Understand and practice yoga 

10. Kiss in the rain

Ah the bliss, the love, the sheer joy and happy tears from the heavens.

11. Learn to swim

Yes, this incredibly essential life skill has not been acquired by yours truly. I had hoped to be able to swim before hitting 30, I tried a few times but just did not follow through. Hopefully 2015 is the year.

12. Learn to ride a bike

What can I say? I only piggy backed on my brothers’ carry-on bikes as a child. As I grew older, I just was not interested. It looks like such fun when people are doing it.

Bikes are fun Source: Anne Chia Photography
Bikes are fun
Source: Anne Chia Photography

13. Study for a postgraduate degree full time away from my home country

14. Learn to bake

15. Read the Bible cover to cover

Hopefully I can do this. When I was growing up, my parents would have us read parts of the bible together most nights. We would start on one book of the bible, reading it for a few weeks and finishing it before the next book was started. It was great. It is something I want to do again, from start to finish.

16. Read another religion’s holy book

Broaden my horizon and that sort of thing. It would be between the Quran and Bhagavad Gita. We shall see.

17. Visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

It was wonderful to stand in line and go into the louvre, to finally behold Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece. I am doubly glad that I shared that moment with my sister.

The Monalisa. Source: Anne Chia photography
The Monalisa. Source: Anne Chia photography

18. Visit the temple of Olympian Zeus

I am a big fan of Greek mythology, so it was great to visit Athens and walk through the ruins of Acropolis and visit the temples.

The ruins of Temple of Olympian Zeus. Source: Anne Chia Photography
The ruins of Temple of Olympian Zeus. Source: Anne Chia Photography

19. Read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Read a synopsis of it and see why.

20. Spend six full months being a non-paid volunteer

I had a great time volunteering at different grassroot organnisations doing great work around clean water supply to rural communities and legal counselling for people affected by domestic violence and abuse. Some of the friends I made during that time have become lifelong friends. That was my introduction to the career path that I chose.

21.  Start a business

I would like to start up a business around coffee and the arts. We shall see how that goes

Source: capodanno-discoteca-roma.com
Source: capodanno-discoteca-roma.com

22. Live and work in another country

23. Marry my deepest love and dearest friend

Amen. As you know, I have many people championing this cause including my wonderful aunt about whom I blogged in “How to find a Husband”

24. Have children

Yes!!!!

Happy baby. Source: www.pinterest.com
Happy baby. Source: http://www.pinterest.com

25. Trek the El Camino De Santiago

I want to do the pilgrimage and walk the “walk of St James” for three weeks. A good friend of mine did it and talked about a certain sense of freedom and self-awakening at the same time. I have read a lot about it and the route, the experience. This is something I hope to do soon enough now that I can take off without worrying about the little bambinas.

26. Learn to play a strategy game

Chess would be great or poker.I am really bad at these types of games, but I think it is something that one should learn. I can imagine playing chess with my grandchildren 🙂

27. Plant my own garden and prepare meals from self grown vegetables

Think about the fresh tomatoes, and pepper, herbs and okro.

Fruits and Veggies. Source: www.jegygyuru.com
Fruits and Veggies. Source: http://www.jegygyuru.com

28. Go on a safari

Kenya, South Africa?

29. Go on a cruise

Ah yes, somewhere nice and warm with blue and azure waters. I am thinking the Bahamas, sunglasses and lounging, casinos and shows, the food!!!

Cruise ship. Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
Cruise ship. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

30. Work internationally as a a project management and/or knowledge management specialist

Amen

31. Buy a house

Amen

32. Be paid to work at my own pace

Amen

33. Build a brand and have multiple streams of income

Amen again. I feel like saying too much about these could jinx it 🙂

34. Watch a solar eclipse

There’s one happening in the UK this friday, shame it’s up North

Solar Ecipse. Source: www.blogs.woodtv.com
Solar Ecipse. Source: http://www.blogs.woodtv.com

35. Get a dog

Man’s best friend. I used to be scared to death of dogs because one literally pounced on me when I was about 8. I am still not sure if that dog had been playing or was really going to attack me. I had a few minor scratches and that was it. But after that, I became really scared of dogs until 2009 when I made friends with an owner of two massive but really sweet and goofy dogs. I still can’t believe the transformation.

36. Commit to and invest in girl child education in Nigeria

Educating women is really the best gift that any country can give itself. Studies have shown that children are most likely to succeed if their mothers are very well educated. Need I say more?

37. Throw a costume party

Masks and people in character, monsters and superheroes. It’s going to happen soon enough 🙂

38. Attend Photoshop classes

I love photography and for the most part, I leave my photos untouched. But every now and then, I like to dabble in the software. Thus I need some classes to improve my interaction with it.

39. Hold an exhibition of my photos

I have thousands of photos which I have taken over the years from travelling and just everyday routine living. I just have to look through them and find a theme and a good cause.

40. Frame my photos myself

41. Plan and host a study tour

42. Run a marathon

I ran a half half marathon once in Abuja. I was so proud of myself for finishing, but it was hard. Hpefully one day I can get back into shape enough to run a full marathon

Marathon. Source: www.atrailrunnersblog.com
Marathon. Source: http://www.atrailrunnersblog.com

43. Climb a hill

I climbed Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh eight years ago. Climbing down was a problem. I am ashamed to admit that I came down on my behind.

44. Fly business class in a commercial airline

It looks great when you see all those business class seats as you walk to cramped economy. They are sitting down, sitting champagne already and looking like they will get a good night’s sleep? Don’t blame me for wishing, if you fly for 8 hours with a tall and huge man who is  slightly drunk, and keeps snoring and falling into you in economy, then you will appreciate why I want to fly business class. Don’t judge me 🙂

45. Host a radio show

I did that at Uni, does it count?

46. Get a complete makeover

Yes, change my hair colour, change my clothes, maybe speak a new language as part of the whole deal eh 🙂

47. Take an etiquette class

Yes, it can get confusing when tables are set too “properly” and you can’t really tell the aperitif glass from the wine glass, or the soup spoon from the pudding one?

48. Direct or act in a stage play with an audience

49. Play an instrument

Does shaking a tambourine count?

Tambourine. Source: www.musikia.com
Tambourine. Source: http://www.musikia.com

50. Learn to drive

51. Dance the salsa

Salsa gives you wings. Literally.

52. Visit all the continents in the world

Yes Asia and the Americas next.

53. Invent something useful and groundbreaking

Amen.

54. Grace the cover of a great magazine

Yesss!

55. Act in a film

56. Get featured in the media for something truly remarkable

57. Spend one full year doing what I want

58. Write a column

I wrote a book column for a newspaper for a while, did not pay me a dime, but I really enjoyed it. It certainly gave me a platform to start honing my writing I would say.

59. Read and understand Nigeria’s upstream and downstream sector and what the hullabaloo is about

Upstream: Drilling

Downstream: Refining

I am a little bit ashamed to admit that this is all I know really about the industry from which Nigeria generates most of its revenue. I became interested to research it recently as oil prices fell. It is all very interesting how dependent the world is on energy in many ways and how OPEC countries are equally dependent on that sole revenue channel. Things are changing though, and not necessarily for the better.

60. Read Maya Angelou’s “I know why the Caged Bird Sings”

I love Maya Angelou’s works. “Letter to my Daughter” was the first I read and got hooked. There is a glorious dignity about her poems and her narratives and her words are full of wisdom. Here’s a video of that incredible poem she read at Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

How To Lose Weight In No Time

So this is the third month in the year. I woke up this morning and finally decided to check my weight on the scale in the bathroom which has taunted me since all that Christmas chocolate and pudding. I am sure that I am not alone in this. Over the holdiays, I ate a shocking amount of chocolate, none of which I bought myself. You see, people think that the best way to share their joy and holiday spirit is by gifting the office or the house share with chocolates. To be fair to them, nobody asked me to indulge, but there’s something about a pack of ferrero Rocher.

There is no such thing as self control when I see a packet of celebrations containing pure goodness, otherwise known as snickers. Anyway, I ate a whole lot of those, as well as many many Nutella pancakes and crepes at the Christmas bazaars in London and Bristol. Life was good! Then my birthday and valentine’s day arrived in January and February respectively; and I indulged some more. All thanks to the wonderful friends, house mates and classmates who insist on spreading the chocolatey love. Fast forward two weeks later, I climbed on the scale and I was sorry!

Nutella stuffed pancakes. Source: www.mirror.co.uk
Nutella stuffed pancakes. Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk

To be honest, I was not too surprised because my butt had taken on a slightly fuller appearance in the mirror and in my jeans. In addition, my midriff was also showing signs of the old muffin-ness. Thus I embarked upon my quest to lose 1kg or 2.2 pounds and to tone up as well. This morning, I got on that scale and I had lost 2kg (4.4 pounds) in one month. I am so excited, and I really did not do too much, except be regimented and disciplined, but I wasn’t starving myself. Below is what I did for anyone’s who is interested in trying:

Chocolate! Source: www.all-free-download.com
Chocolate! Source: http://www.all-free-download.com

1. I banished all the bad stuff from my kitchen. stocked up on small sized apples, small banana fingers, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, bell peppers, okro, spinach, onions, frozen peas, frozen mushrooms, fish, chicken breasts, eggs, beans, beans flour, unripe plantain, sweet potatoes, oats, unsweetened almond milk, ginger and lemon tea, peppermint tea (all caffeine free).

2. I made a weekly menu which I shall share below.

3. I found my favourite series and had them ready to play daily for my exercise sessions, 30 minutes per episode.

4. I began to jog on the spot in front of the TV every single morning or evening (depending on what was going on in my day) for 30 minutes while watching my beloved series. No exercise, no series, it was my reward for looking after my body and myself.

5. I made my meals a few days in advance and put them in the fridge inside portion control plastic containers. In addition, everyday before going out, I sliced about 3 or 4 carrots and put in a zip log bag, this constituted my snacking. I also took my  teabags with me as I cut out all that milky tea drinking and just stuck with my yummy flavoured tea.

6. I did not go out to parties or with friends as much during this time.

7. I tried to eat dinner before 7pm daily and went to bed early if I was feeling peckish.

8. I made a diary of what I ate so that I could review in the event that I ate too much on a particular day.

9. I had music in the background if I did not feel like watching the series while I exercised.

10. I stayed away from the scale for a month. I drank lots of water and caffeine free flavoured tea. I at mostly lean protein, legumes, egg whites. I cut out eba, pounded yam, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, sweets, cookies,etc

My menu:

Fruits and Veggies. Source: www.jegygyuru.com
Fruits and Veggies. Source: http://www.jegygyuru.com
Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Oats with some almond milk, a small banana Chicken salad drizzled with olive oil and black pepper Roasted, boiled or grilled chicken breast on a bed of tomatoes and lettuce
Tuesday 1 boiled egg with cooked mushrooms and cherry tomatoes Homemade stir fry (with only half a teaspoon of oil oil) of mostly diced chicken breast, onions, mushrooms and peas and 1 serving spoon of beans A fish fillet grilled with garlic served on a bed of rockets or any veggies you have
Wed Oats, unsweetened almond milk and banana ½  sweet potato used to make a salad. No dressing, just olive oil, vinegar and black pepper A small bowl of Okro soup made with skinless chicken and half a teaspoon of palm oil
Thursday 1 grilled sausage with tomatoes and mushrooms A small tin of moi-moi made with olive oil Pea soup
Friday ½ a grapefruit Stir fry made with a serving spoon of chickpeas and a lot of peas, tomatoes, mushrooms Tuna salad with lettuce and healthy dressing
Saturday Oats, banana and unsweetened almond Mushrooms and ham soup Grilled Chicken breast marinated in garlic with veggies
Sunday 1 grapefruit Mashed sweet potatoes and grilled fish with a side of peas and carrots ½ unripe Plantain roasted in the oven and eaten with spinach tomatoes stew or spinach curry
slim_belly_and_measure_tape_187102
Belly and tape measure. Source: http://www.all-free-download.com

I varied my menu every now and then for the four weeks. I also controlled my portions to 3/4 of my fist. I snacked twice in the day; mid morning, and mid-evening. My snacks were usually 1 apple, or 1 pear, or 1 carrot, or 10 raw almonds. I had a few treat days where I saw a movie with a small pack of popcorn, or had pancakes for breakfast. But for the most part, I stuck to what you see above. I am so psyched and plan to continue. I never felt tired or hungry because the meals are quite balanced; proteins, veggies, fruits, carbs (from potatoes, plaintain, veggies and fruits). I will carry on for another month and see how it goes. Fingers crossed I can persevere for another month, and then change a few things and make it a lifestyle. Have you had the same dilemma as me over the holidays?