You are comfortably seated in the living room, while the host prepares something for you (the visitor) in the kitchen, but as they begin to cut the fruits, their scent gets to reach you right in the kitchen, once you smell the mangoes you start feeling the sourness in your teeth, you start to feel you are already chewing a slice and the mouth begins to water, slicing oranges feels sour in your mouth as though you have it clenched in between your teeth. You see why do people enjoy eating food others cooked for them more than that which they have prepared themselves, is it because they prepared it with their own hands that they have grown contemptuous of it?

1- How much food does one need to eat?

When my cousin saw me munching vegies on the table before I washed it down with a gallon of milk he said in shock, “oh man, don’t you ever get full? Have you got an elastic stomach?”

How much food does a python eat each day? Well as much as it can fit into its mouth, it will swallow whole.

As much as is available, all the food on the table is finished whenever the family settles down for a meal, just as much as one is used to, it doesn’t matter how big or small,

Take for an instance this Eas-Afr Folk tale.

“Mambo Village.”

Long time ago in the region of Shighadi there was a small village called Mambo,

Mambo village was known all over that country for its eating culture. Everywhere you go in the village,  you would hear stories of what Mambo villagers do, they were known to eat a lot. There were large hectares of land planted with all types of crops but since the villages ate a lot, they preferred crops that were replanted and harvested three times a year.

In mambo village a goat is eaten by only four people, when it is slaughtered, a small child starts eating beans and meat at an early age of one. When mambo villagers see a new born baby’s teeth have started to grow, they begin to feed him/her dried groundnuts, they do this with the belief that a baby should start practicing early,

When wedding ceremony occurs, forty bulls are slaughtered and one hundred sacks of maize cooked. This is enough to feed the entire village.The most amazing person of all the mambo villagers was their leader chief Mutesa.

Chief Mutesa was known to be the greatest among all villagers, every morning his servants wake up to cook his food, they take ten sachets of maize and half a sack of vegetables. That is just for him alone, after they have finished cooking for their great chief Mutesa, then they go to cook for themselves and their children.

Chief mambo has a very large herd of cattle and countless number of goats and sheep. Fifty young men were put in charge of his cattle. Everyday a sheep or goat is slaughtered for chief mambos supper, he eats first until he is satisfied. After he is full, he gives the remaining few pieces of meat, to his family members and neighbors, he then washes his meal down with two Jeri cans of milk.

Nobles have more food to eat than peasants, In the far away homes there is great scarcity of food, when peasants come into these castles to pay a visit or whatever business that may have brought them here, the level of feasting they find here is beyond their imaginations, it is unlike anything they have ever seen in their entire lives. It is possible they create negative stories about these nobles, from the way they perceive them as gluttonous, lazy, spoilt sons and daughters of the super-rich, they know no pain of living in the countryside, stories sprang up everywhere of hoggish kings and queens who do nothing but feasting.

2-how to turn down a meal offer kindly.

I told jimmy, if someone offers you a drink, and are not in a position to take that meal either because you are full or some other reasons, then be witty in your words,

If someone offers you a meal then you turn it down, it will lead them to great disappointment (especially if it’s a lady), it’s like you have hurled at her the worst terrible insults in the whole world. It feels as if she is being rejected herself. Lest she believes there is something wrong with her cooking, or start having wild imaginations of her own, When giving an excuse, you should put this across,.. First say, “thank you very much for your generosity but I am okay,”, if they refuse to believe this then say,

“After leaving the community gathering at Woodley park on Friday afternoon, it was hard to imagine how much amount of meal we had taken, We ate and drank, I drank so much milk that I am full to the throat, I could not take it in anymore,” but if they still insist saying, “You refuse to eat at our house because you despise us?” When they exclaim, “Food goes in one mouth and gets out of the other door, “why should you concern yourself with so much worries?” they ask, “it doesn’t remain in your stomach forever, you know, don’t fear food.”

then you should reply again saying,  “you see I am a very greedy man, I just don’t eat when others are watching,” then when they are gone and no one else is watching, go to the dustbin and pour the entire entrails into the can, if they would not go away, then say, “I have received an emergency call, I will be back in a minute, please keep my food warm.” then disappear. No one’s feelings need to be hurt.

Turning down a meal offer in some cultures is indeed a taboo.

3-Feasting on Flesh

Though many people may say this about themselves, “the secret to my youthful face and improvement of my health is that I eat not anything that is flesh, be it of an animal, a bird of the air or a creature of the sea, I do not dare touch any of them, is that true?  I eat none of the crawling animals not even four legged ones. The only flesh I gouge my teeth into is the inner belly of melons, that crunchy sweet, tasty, mouth-watering red meat, is what I eat all afternoon, I just can’t get enough of it.

4- Meat from the butcher 

I don’t know why I was often scared of the butcher in our small town, whenever mother sends me to buy a kilo of meat from him, I would walk into his shop stunned, most often, if I had a chance to meet another kid across the alley then I beckon him over and send him instead, I tried everything possible for others to buy meat on my behalf. Sometimes I stayed till late in the evening hiding at the warehouse corner waiting for a close friend or acquaintance to pass by, when mother learnt of this she stopped sending me to the butcher and other shops altogether, she sent my younger brother Timon instead.

If the two of us are sent to buy both milk and meat, I would first go for the milk then when I have the change, I would give it to my brother to get the meat for me, we part ways at the ridgeway near the shop and then meet elsewhere on another path before journeying home together with both goods. With time my fear of the town’s butcher slowly faded away, I simply imaged that the butcher was someday going to lock me into his shop and chop me into pieces. When he was not watching, I hid behind the meshed window and watched him break cows bones with an axe, I observed his blood stained overall  clothes trembling, and pieces of meat on the table terrified me, the image of a cow’s head laying on the wooden log with its tongue sticking out and still bleeding struck me with horror, one day he heard me breathe, I think I exhaled too loudly, he then turned towards my direction and asked in a hoarse voice, “who is there?” though he could not see me, he felt my presence, I run off as fast as my tiny legs could carry me.

I tumbled down a few feet away when I knocked a piece of rock and twisted my ankle, he saw me fall from the window of his shop and came outside to take a  better look, he lifted me off the ground with one hand and made me sit back, he squatted beside me and breathed heavily, he noticed that I was still holding onto my knee which was now aching badly, “what’s wrong with that leg?” he asked pointing at it with his knife, “oh no don’t cut it please, I screamed” “I am not chopping off your leg, I am just trying to help you, let me see it, I am just taking a look you know,” “I have twisted my ankle” I said to him  my eyes filling up with tears, I tried to stand and run off but then realized I couldn’t walk, so the butcher offered to carry me to the dispensary which was less than three hundred meters away.

“What were you doing behind my shop anyway,” he asked me as my leg was being bandaged, did you come to steal from my cash safe? He asked, I did not answer anything he asked in the entire time till when I was back at home, in the middle of the night I thought, “hey wait a minute, that butcher wasn’t that bad after all?”

From such an experience I have come to associate meat with a barbarous butcher and flesh with the painful death of a poor animal, I dreaded putting into my stomach anything that had blood in it or is associated with  any type of blood , eating such a food felt like drinking the raw blood of an animal.

4- unsound eating habits.

After taking a heavy lunch I was ready to have a rest at the park I wanted to have the best afternoon ever, I became drowsy and wanted to sleep on the bench, I asked others to go ahead of me, I will be right behind them, with my stomach that full I wasn’t able to walk, as the old adage puts it, “the bigger the meal the harder to walk,”

I eat anything that can fit into my mouth, said Jared, when it comes to food I prefer not to be drawn into any kind of rituals, You know you can’t live on bread alone, Swallow everything till your tummy is full you little guy, there is nothing wrong with the meal, the food won’t bite you, Why should you fear food, simply eat all your feel and move on to something else,

“All food is still food no matter how it looks like, when a waiter places a nice warm meal of roast beef on the table, you are expected to maul it without hesitation, I wonder why people have created such cultic practices about food, there are foods they love and there are those they dare not touch, they began to treat it like some form of divinity. It’s something that goes in through the mouth and passes out through the other opening, so why become too concerned?” They ask.

Any person that has never had any medical condition that ultimately forces him to change his/her diet will never understand why others are so strict with what they choose to eat. They think you are faking it all, a perfect pretender, and your behavior is immoral, if you begin to avoid foods especially those that are considered as traditional because of reasons known only to yourself you could easily be treated as an outcast.

For people who do not understand your condition, you’re eating routine is just a way of avoiding their offers, lame excuses to turn down their meals/food, you suddenly find yourself in conflict with family and friends over matters that concern food.

A colleague narrated to me how he overcome the bondage of cultural foods, he had to completely avoid ceremonies where feasting is an important part of the event as he feared he might be forced to take foods doctors advised him to exclude from his diet.

Also, what about those family members and friends who do not know of your dietary or eating programs, how would you explain to them? They say you have developed a bad eating habit, you enjoy some foods while others you regard as sacred.

You don’t take that kind of meal, the one they have lovingly prepared for you, it is not in your food menus anyway, if you oppose they try to force you to swallow, saying, “please eat while your food is still worm, it won’t bite your stomach, nor cause you any harm, even if you try to explain to them its dangers, they won’t believe you, now you have got to choose between pleasing your peers and saving your stomach, would you avoid attending a banquet because some folks there will force you to eat things you don’t want to? “They can easily label you as a pretender.

5- feast of fecklessness.

Derrick walked in and slammed the door behind him, “so the doctor told you to eat grass like a pony? So that you do not catch a cold, ah? “He would ask, what is that green thing on the table? It’s a brocc…….. What? That tiny little tree, now you are eating trees as well, you have become a family grazer? Its food for faint freaks. I was feeling pain at the back of my neck and when I began to eat this it was all gone, I feel that pain no more, and you get that? Look carefully into your plate, what do you see? Is it flesh, or fruit and vegetables? The healthiest foods are the ones with the most pungent taste, and those with the tastiest aroma are probably the most dangerous.

Though a strict diet without regular exercise is nothing but fooling oneself that tomorrow is going to be better even if we do nothing now.

We take a deer’s/healthy diet so that we can live to see tomorrow, but not for the sake of having a long life, long life is a blessing from above, and does not depend entirely on what you eat.

Some of the food ingredients those so called experts are warning us from having them in our diets are basically some of the elements the body need, human body cannot function without elements such as fats and sugars, are they asking us not to dare touch them or to take them only in very small amounts? If its small quantities then how small should that be?

You might indeed need a deer’s diet, the deer as we know it is a popular grazer in regions high above the tropics, its equivalent on the equator is the antelope, or gazelle, found in many African plains and grasslands, and I haven’t gone entirely veggie yet. Those who eat a lot of veggies have had names branded upon them by the masses, they called them ruminants, men who chew cud.

There are three main reasons individuals are forced to take a deer’s diet, a result of recently diagnosed medical condition that forces someone to remove some foods from their diet, an externally inflicted fears from so called experts that certain foods and drinks are extremely dangerous and should therefore be avoided at all costs, thirdly the persons own inner desire to prolong their life, strong belief in certain foods that can let you live for all eternity,

I would not hesitate nor regret to say that my swift switch to a deer’s diet saved my life.



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