Best diet plans

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According to scores based on experts’ review,these are the best diet plans. Whatever diet plan you choose to follow remember to adhere to the one rule they all have in common; eating plenty of fruits & vegetables.

1. Weight Watchers Diet –   3.8 / 5           

Coming in with the highest rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars, the wildly popular WWD is the king of diets right now. With high points for weight loss in the long & short term, easy-to-follow nutrition & safety the WWD is the way to go if you’re looking to lose some  weight the safe & easy way.

How it works :   The general idea is to eat what you want provided you stick to your daily pointsplus target- a number based on your gender, weight, height & age. You are advised to load up on fruits & vegetables. With claims of dropping up to two pounds weekly, it is surely worth a try!

2.  HMR diet   – 3.6 / 5 stars

The Health management resources program helps you lose weight & keep it off by reducing calories via meal replacement with added fruits & vegetables, by learning healthy lifestyle strategies & increasing physical activity & personal accountability. It is a low calorie diet that helps you lose & keep off three times as much weight compared to your traditional diet.                                               How it works :  Low calorie shakes, meals, nutrition bars & cereals are eaten in place of meals & snacks. Fruits & vegetables are also a big part of this diet.

Biggest Loser diet :  3.5 /5 stars

The BLD claims that six weeks of healthy food & regular exercise can not only start you off on a weight loss journey but also prevent or reverse some diseases, it can lower your cholesterol & blood pressure.

How it works :   Eat regular meals that emphasize filling calories from lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables & whole grains. Practice portion control; use a food journal & exercise. Also fill up on fruits & vegetables.

The Jenny Craig Diet – 3.5 / 5 stars

The overall aim is weight loss & maintenance. The JCD claims you will drop up to two pounds a week!

How it works :  The JCD has pre-packaged meals to help you through the program, your diet which ranges from 1200 – 2300 calories a day is designed around your current weight. Restrict calories, fat & portions, eat healthy & have an active lifestyle and you will lose the pounds. Sticking to their ordered pre-packaged meal strictly since no home cooked meal is allowed might pose a bit of a problem.

5.  Raw Food Diet

Closely resembling a vegetarian / vegan diet, the RFD claims that raw food is packed with natural enzymes & nutrients that help the body reach optimal health & leads to weight loss. Raw food hasn’t been cooked, processed, microwaved or been  genetically engineered and is thus safer. Cooking obliterates most of the vitamins in food. Fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds & herbs are a major part of this diet. Followers of the plan consume only half the calories they would eat on a cooked diet.
Do’s : fruits & vegetables dominate the menu
          Invest in a juicer, blender & dehydrator.

Source : US news health

Stop thief! (2)

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The first time was years back, as a child I followed my favourite neighbor to visit a friend & run some errands. We were caught in traffic when we suddenly hear gunshot up ahead, very loud & close. From the cab window I see people jumping out of their cars & running away. There’s a beer joint to the right & I see some pot- bellied men knocking their drinks over in their rush to get away, sprinting like they were at the Olympics. I try to jump out of the cab to join the sprinters but my neighbor grabs me & orders me to sit still, the cab driver manages to manoeuvre the cab around & we speed off to safety with my neighbor wondering out loud what she would have told  my mum if anything had happened to me. My childish mind couldn’t understand what was wrong with Sprinting to safety as opposed to being a sitting duck in a cab that might or might not get away, when I had two good legs to carry me to safety like the beer-bellied sprinters. The thought of stray bullets never occurred to me.

The next was when I went to the very busy Balogun market with my mum & sister. Mum had warned me to watch my bag, (I had this leather knapsack I used to carry everywhere) but I was more interested in looking this way & that. I went to open my bag to pay for something I wanted & noticed the zipper was halfway open but thought nothing of it. Back at home I searched for my phone but it was just gone. I would sit & daydream about turning my head in the nick of time to catch the thieving scoundrel reaching into my bag, I would then proceed to grab his arm & deliver a karate chop that would break his wrist before marching him off to the closest policeman. There was an empty space in my heart for weeks especially as I knew I would have to wait a while for a replacement seeing as phones were considered a luxury for girls my age back then.

The next encounter was when, list-in-hand I trudged off to the market with my younger brother, we are waiting to board a bus to the market when we hear a volley of gunfire, there’s a mad dash for cover & we take cover in a building close by till the thieves drive past. The big news delivered by those brave enough to poke out their necks to catch a glimpse of the thieves is their ‘ringleader’ who fired most of the shots is a woman, a woman? Our eyes were round with wonder.

The final & most frightening episode was when one time back in school, my roommate & I were heading out of our building hoping to take a bus to campus, we are about to step through the gate when we suddenly hear voices thundering “lie down, lie down, I will burst your head” repeatedly right by our building. We hide by the gate & poking our necks out see three young men with guns  kicking a man on the ground by a fine car. Apparently the unfortunate man had come to see a friend in the building across the road & the thieves lay in wait for him, probably having tailed him there, when he emerges & makes to get in the car they rush him & tackle him to the floor hitting his legs very hard & repeatedly with the butt of their guns obviously wanting to break them. One points his gun at the man’s head & keeps threatening to “burst his head”. Two of them then jump into his car after grabbing his keys while the third drives off in the getaway car they came in.
Most shocking of all was when the man crawled to his car broken legs & all & threw himself on the bonnet of his car as the thieves were attempting to turn it around, one thundered “you wan die abi? We waited for them to crush him but they only swung a little to the side to throw him off & sped off. My neighbor who seemed to know half the town later told us the man was a bank manager & this was the second car he had lost to thieves in the space of one year, which explained his suicidal move of throwing himself on the car.
We still made it to school but probably spent more time recounting the shocking drama than getting any studying done.

Stop thief! (1)

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A friend was just grumbling about having his phone stolen twice in six weeks. The first time was in Lagos traffic heading home from work & the second was when he went to drop off a friend. Now he’s threatening to only buy the cheapest phones he can find seeing as it’ll only end up in the hands of thieves.

Another friend got robbed as he left a bank he had just withdrawn money from, a stranger spoke to him, he stopped to reply, continued on his way & feeling his pockets a few minutes later he found that his money had disappeared. His theory – the stranger had used jazz/ black magic to rob him, my theory – he had distracted him with questions while his accomplice had picked his pockets. His saving grace was having some change in another pocket to pay his fare or he would have had to embark on the trek of life to get home.

Back in university crammed into the hostel in first year, girls would wash their clothes & hang them up to dry only to have them stolen, some would then embark on a room to room search “please did anyone in this room wash & hang clothes on the line to dry today? If the answer was yes, the follow-up question would be ” please did you ‘mistakenly’ pack a pink dress from the line?
If the precious clothes were not found some would take to swearing at the top of their voices, placing frightening curses on the thief, her future children & entire generation yet unborn for centuries to come.
Some girls took to washing & sitting on a chair to literally watch their clothes dry.

I have had four encounters with thieves. I will split this narrative so it doesn’t get tiring.

Carrying On

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Rising above pain, loss, grief, failure, betrayal, anger, depression, defeat…rising above any & all of it can be an uphill task, time & again I see people go through experiences so harrowing, so seemingly final that you wonder how they are ever going to come back from it, but they do, they place one foot infront of the other & they carry on.
No matter the finality of the situation you are striving to rise above, you are not alone, countless people have come back stronger from that exact same situation.
Are you walking around with a scar on your heart? Well, scars fade, wounds heal & time is a soothing balm.

No matter what we go through the World never stops, people keep living, dying, loving, hating, hurting & healing, giving & taking…growing. they never stop, life never stops, you shouldn’t too. Every day we must place one foot infront of the other & move forward. It might take a while but the color will return to your world, the shine to your eyes, the glow to your smile & the spring to your step. The song will play in your heart again & the weight will lift.

Everyday people lose something- people lose children, soulmates, jobs, prized possessions that took a lifetime to accumulate, gone in the blink of an eye, people struggle with debilitating diseases… people hurt! Sometimes we even sit in a corner & moan & whimper for a while but we carry on through the pain. There is nothing so final that your life ends, it might pause but it never stops, you never stop.

Recently, for a while, I thought I was going to get something I really wanted but it fell through, it hurt but life carried on, I carried on, I couldn’t stop because I was not done. Life is never really done until it’s done, there’s always a chance for tomorrow.
Your light may dim for a while but it never goes out. It will shine again, this time brighter than ever & you will win!

Successful Nigerian Women

Drawn from diverse walks of life but bound together by their drive to excel, they beat the odds as stand out professionals in their chosen careers. They are phenomenal women who represent some of the brightest & most creative minds of our time. Breaking barriers & climbing to new heights- they are successful women indeed.

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1. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala : She is a globally renowned economist & the current minister of finance, she briefly held the position of foreign minister & was a managing director of World bank. She was educated at international school Ibadan, Harvard University & Massachussets Institute of Technology.

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2. Obiageli Ezekwesili : The Co-founder of transparency international is a chartered accountant who trained with Deloitte & Touche. She held the position of vice president of World bank’s Africa region. She holds a masters degree in international law & diplomacy from the University of Lagos, master of Public administration degree from the Kennedy school of government, Harvard University & worked at the Centre for international development at Harvard.

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3. Bola Adesola : A banker & lawyer by profession, she is the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd. She previously worked with Citibank & is the winner of the outstanding women in business category at the African business awards 2013.

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4. Joke Silva : The multi-talented, actress & movie director boasts an acting career spanning decades. The versatile & multiple award winning screen goddess is a household name in the African movie industry. She holds a degree in English from the University of Lagos & studied drama at the Webber Douglas academy of dramatic art.

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5. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie : born on the 15th of September 1977, she is a globally renowned novelist & short story writer. The critically acclaimed author in African literature boasts award winning novels like half of a yellow sun, purple hibiscus & Americanah. She holds a masters degree in creative writing from John Hopkins University & a masters of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.

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6. Nike Ogunlesi : She is the CEO of Ruff ‘n’ tumble, a highly successful children clothing company with stores across the country & a retailing reach that spans the West African Coast. She sits on the list of ‘Nigerian women with vision’, a Tiffany Amber Campaign celebrating Nigerian women who lead the pack in innovation & development in their chosen careers. She has come a long way from selling out of the boot of her car to running a chain of stores with fifty employees.

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7. Folake Folarin Coker : The globally recognized & critically acclaimed designer launched Tiffany Amber, her luxurious fashion line which is one of Africa’s leading fashion labels in November 1998. She is the first African based designer to showcase for two consecutive seasons at the New York fashion week. She has won several awards including the designer of the year in 2009 at the African fashion international awards in South Africa. She launched the ‘Nigerian women with vision’ campaign in partnership with Diamond bank.

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8. Tara Fela Durotoye : The founder of ‘house of Tara’ a beauty & skincare consulting firm, she was nominated as a young global leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF). With 17 makeup schools across the country, Tara is set to achieve her dream of becoming a household name in the beauty & skincare industry.recently featured on CNN’s African voices.

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9. Ola Orekunrin : As an helicopter pilot with specialized training in aviation medicine Ola Pioneered the first air operated emergency medical services in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the Medical director/ managing director at the flying doctors, that provides urgent helicopter, airplane ambulance evacuation services for critically injured people. She was namedva young global leader in 2013 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). she graduated from Hull York medical school at the age of 21 making her one of the youngest medical doctors in the UK. She worked for ten years with the National Health Service (NHS) UK and is a member of both the British Medical association & the American academy of aesthetic surgeons.

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10. Mosunmola Abudu : she is a talkshow host, TV producer media personality, human resource management consultant & entrepreneur. She holds a masters degree in human resource management from University of Westminster, London. She is the executive producer & host of ‘moments with Mo’ her hugely popular TV show that sees her interviewing high profile guests & addressing a wide range of issues. ‘Moments with Mo’ Is the first syndicated daily talk show on African regional TV with coverage in 48 African countries. She launched ebonylife TV in 2013.

Happy Valentines day

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Happy Valentines day everyone, I hope you have a fun day planned out. Whether you’ve made plans to go out or you’re staying home with loved ones or reaching out to those in need be thankful for whatever form of love you have in your life- love of family, friends or a soulmate, it’s all love & it’s all wonderful.
If you find that you’re all alone, you could go see a movie, stay in & watch a good sitcom or get on the phone with family & friends. Whatever you do, do with a smile in your heart for everything is going to be brighter & full of colour this year, I’m sooo excited for us all.
I love you for stopping by.

Voter’s card chronicles – TVC wahala

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TVC – temporary voter’s card
PVC – permanent voter’s card

The journey to getting my PVC can only be described as high drama, so I will narrate it like the drama that it was.
Act one: scene 1: Opens to my mum & I strolling off to the designated INEC centre a street away from where we lived, we were blissfully unaware that it would be hours before we made it back home. We got to the place & waited our turn, it took ages but we were glad just to get it done.
Time to get our PVCs years later & we head back to the centre where we registered. We stand for ages at the wall that has pictures of people that registered there, we look through the pictures countless times till we’re almost cross-eyed but can’t find our pictures.

The INEC officials search through the PVCs they have, but our cards are nowhere to be found. They tell us to write down our details with a promise to call us to come get our cards if they find them at the INEC office. We wait & do not hear a thing, we head back days later & they tell us we have to repeat the whole registration process as they could not find our PVCs.
We wait till the TVC registration time comes round again & rush to two different INEC centres, there are people waiting but no officials. We return home confused.
A kind neighbour comes around on a Sunday & offers to take us to the centre where he just registered. We get there & join the queue waiting in the scorching heat, the queue hardly appears to be moving thanks to tired people coming & going on the queue ahead of us. I stroll off to a shop close by to buy water, for we are dehydrated & close to falling to the ground. I overhear a boy talking about another centre just a street away where things are moving a little faster. I hurry back to my mum & we hot-foot it to the place & sure enough there’s a small crowd.

We find a place to sit & the waiting continues. An elderly woman that lives in the building being used for the registration process keeps smuggling newcomers into the queue ahead of everyone else, people protest but she shuts us down with excuses like ” can’t you see they are an elderly couple”, “this baba is old &  handicapped”, and what can one say when we can all see that they are truly an elderly couple & the other man is both elderly & almost crippled walking with the aid of a stick. I quietly give up my seat to the old man. We finally get registered & pay a token for the lamination of the TVC. More waiting, then we finally get our TVCs. I shake my head when I see my picture. I look like a starved refugee with tired eyes & a sweaty face from all the waiting in the scorching heat. We stagger home exhausted.

Voter’s card chronicles – PVC palaver

Act one : scene 2:  TVC in hand, we zoom off to the INEC office, Surulere where we hear the PVCs will be handed out. We are told to come back another day, we get there the next week & are redirected to a nearby primary School. We find the place & settle in to wait for the INEC officials to arrive. They arrive & the crowd grumbles about having to wait in the sun. They tell us to head back to the centres where we registered for our TVCs, promising that their officials would be there shortly to hand out the PVCs, The distrustful crowd considers  this new information & people insist on leaving only when they see the official for their centre actually heading out.
The crowd gets noisy & someone threatens to slap an official. The headmistress comes out fuming & threatens to get the INEC officials arrested if they disrupt the school activities, a hot-blooded man gets into a shouting match with her. We wait around for the man going to the street where we registered & offer to drop him off since we are heading there ourselves. He jumps in & we make our way to the street where we are first in line, we get our PVCs & head home thankful that the to-ing & fro-ing is over…  at least till election day.