Egusi soup has always been my favourite soup. I love it when the egusi is fried in fresh palm oil and dished with yellow garri. Sorry to all my Yoruba clients, e pele o. But this is the only swallow I can take. I love yellow garri!!!

There was a time I ate egusi soup all the time. Today, especially in the rainy season I eat a lot of okro soup and edikaikong. But I always serve it with yellow garri. And I definitely need to use my hand to eat it. Using cutlery to eat my swallow really takes away the joy of swallow, doesn’t it? When I am in an environment that restricts me from using my hand, I find it difficult to enjoy my soup.

Eating traditional egusi soup all the time is not healthy. But – Chi’s soup comes with a twist: It neither contains meat nor fish!

I am vegan by nature. This is how God created me. Born into a family of meat lovers – my mother would crack bones, chew, suck and lick them – I was the true disappointment to any Nigerian parent. Little Chi hid meat and eggs she was supposed to eat and later flushed them down the toilet. I still remember an episode when, perhaps at the age of eight, I got up from the dining table and dropped the egg I was supposed to eat in my room to quickly return to my plate. By the time I had finished eating and gotten back to my room there were red ants everywhere.

As a teenager I ate meat and eggs because everyone around me ate it. But I always had trouble digesting it. When I found out that I am lactose intolerant, I became a strict vegan and stopped eating foods of animal origins: no meat, no dairy products, and no eggs. My egusi soup, henceforth, was cooked with fried tofu. Today, I simply leave out the curd beans and add more bitter leaves.

Not everyone is born to be a vegetarian. God created us all differently. Your diet differs from mine, and someone’s medicine can be another person’s poison. My siblings, for example, could never imagine a life without chicken.

Dr Peter J. D’Adamo claims that the ABO blood type is the most important factor in determining a healthy diet and recommends distinct diets for each blood group. In “Your Body’s Wisdom” Dr Oyebukunola Kogbe adopts this principle. The author encourages us to take charge of what we eat, what we think and what we drink. She empowers us to listen to our bodies in order to find out what is good for us. You can get your copy at or simply stop by at Quintessence.

Practising yoga does not require you to live a vegetarian lifestyle. I believe, vegetarianism (click here for great vegan Nigerian dishes) as well as omnivorism can be very exciting lifestyles. Both diets, however, need to be balanced. According to Prof Marion Nestle, we need to follow three simple principles of a healthy diet: variety, balance, and moderation. If we eat a variety of foods within and among groups like meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables and grains, we won’t have to worry about nutritional details.

Hippocrates (460 BC – 377 BC) was the first who regarded diseases as the product of environmental factors, diet and living habits. Hippocratic medicine was based on the healing power of nature. According to this doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself. It is in this context we are reminded to ‘let food be our medicine and medicine be our food’ (Hippocrates).

Our lifestyles reflect on our bodies. Eating a big plate of white rice and stew rounded up by a nice piece of fried chicken every day does not provide you with the nutrients essential for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Neither does it provide enough energy for your yoga practice.

Yoga is far more than stretching. It has the ability to transform our lives and it is not surprising to notice that since we have started practising, our bodies instantly react negatively to any form of abuse. After a long restless night, a function with lots of alcohol and after having a bar of milk chocolate our practice will likely lack balance, focus, and stability.

Yoga clearly does not perform miracles, but it can be a catalyst. If you are not ready for a change, there is nothing a regular practice can do for you. But if you are ready to embrace the change, it is all yours.

Chi’s Yoga is subtle and effective, radical and real. Get started, keep going and feel changes taking place in your life.

You are blessed!

Chi’s Yoga – Your yoga is yours only!™

Animals or Plants? How Your Diet Can Make a Big Difference