- Hilda Kinya was a big fan of takeout but when she started cooking and enjoying home-cooked food, all that changed.
- Three years ago, the 36-year-old mastered the art of making homemade meals that her family could look forward to and which helped in her weight-loss journey.
Hilda Kinya was a big fan of takeout but when she started cooking and enjoying home-cooked food, all that changed.
Three years ago, the 36-year-old mastered the art of making homemade meals that her family could look forward to and which helped in her weight-loss journey.
Nyama choma leftover was one of them. After any family gathering, there is always extra nyama choma. Most people re-grill it the next day as nyama choma, leaving it charred while others fry it without any keenness of giving it a new flavour.
Hilda adds rosemary, garlic, butter, parsley leaves and potatoes to the nyama choma leftover.
Her passion for cooking came out of being fed up with the food that her house help made.
She started looking up recipes online and trying them. Every time she tried a new recipe, the results were amazing.
“I was so impressed. I was amazed at how good the food tasted. My family enjoyed most of the food I made and this motivated me to keep cooking. That’s where my cooking journey began. I have never looked back since. Cooking has also been like therapy for me,” she says.
However, learning how to cook had a downside to it after all. Pre-baby she weighed 72 kg.
In March, eight months post-delivery, she had gained 20 kg.
“I was not eating clean in the pretext of breastfeeding,” she says.
When she embarked on a journey to lose the 20 kg in 2018, she decided that a big change needed to take place in her kitchen.
She signed up for a one-year gym membership and also cut off some foods from her diet.
“Having some cooking experience helped because I was able to cook my meals. I carried lunch to work instead of eating restaurant food and a healthy smoothie when going to the gym,” she says.
In the first six months of her weight loss journey, she did not eat sugar and dairy products at all.
“I ate lots of vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes. I watched my food portions and drank plenty of water. I also worked out five days a week, sometimes six. I’d work out intensely for one hour,” she says.
Lost 15 kg
By the end of 2018, she had lost 15 kgs.
She reduced the number of days she goes to the gym to three times a week and still watches her food portions.
“I’m not as strict with my diet as I was before. I’ve now adapted to home workouts since Covid-19 has seen most gyms close,” says Hilda who weighs 68 kgs.
For people trying to lose weight or maintain lower body weight, she says the temptation to overeat is stronger in social settings.
“Weight loss is more about discipline than anything else. Temptations are everywhere. I see colleagues eating mandazis at work and it’s tempting but I don’t eat them,” she says.
The best way to avoid temptations is to be prepared. Always keep a healthy snack on hand.
She takes time each night to prepare snacks and meals for the next day.
“I always have a healthy snack so I don’t fall into temptations. Also sometimes I just promise to treat myself to my favourite snack or dessert once a week. If I’m making ‘unhealthy’ food for my family, I ensure that I have a backup plan for myself. For example, I make sugar free cookies,” she says.
Hilda is hoping to turn her cooking hobby into a career as she is no longer enjoying her daytime job as much as she enjoys cooking.
“Cooking at home has led to a drop in stomach infections. Food poisoning is almost a thing of the past now. I work in a pharmacy and we are not seeing many people buying drugs for colds and coughs,” she says.
One Pan Nyama Choma & Potatoes
· 6 potatoes cut into quarters
· ½ kilo cold cuts of nyama choma( I used leftover mbuzi choma)
· 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
· Black pepper
· 4 cloves of garlic
· 2 Tbsp vegetable/ olive oil or unsalted butter
1. Boil the potatoes until tender. Don't overcook it.
2. Drain the water
3. Heat the oil/ butter in a large skillet.
4. When hot, add the potatoes, sprig of rosemary, crushed garlic.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Cook turning for 8-10 minutes.
7. Add in the meat cuts and cook tossing for another 5- 8 minutes. You want your potatoes crispy.
8. When done remove the sprig of rosemary and serve on a platter.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley leaves.
French Toast (It’s also one of my favourite cheat day treats!)
· Two eggs
· ½ cup milk or equal parts milk and cream
· A dash of vanilla
· 1-2 tbs honey and more for garnish
· Whole wheat bread/white bread (sliced)
· Fruits and dark or semisweet chocolate for garnish
· One cup whipping cream (optional)
1. Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla, honey, and until combined.
2. Heat a pan and add a tablespoon of oil or butter.
3. Dip a slice of bread in the egg mixture, one at a time about 30 seconds each side
4. Fry both sides until golden brown. Repeat with the rest.
1. It is important to place your bowl and whisk in the fridge for a few minutes before whipping your cream.
2. Your whipping cream also needs to have chilled in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
3. Pour the amount you need into the chilled bowl and whip with a whisk or hand mixer (chill the attachments before use too) until small bubbles form. Add a dash of vanilla essence and continue whisking until soft peaks form.
4. Scoop the whipped cream on top of the French toast. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Enjoy.
OTHER SERVING OPTIONS: Fruits, honey, chocolate syrup, maple syrup