I think I have an unhealthy relationship with rice. Scratch that. I know I have an unhealthy relationship with rice.

And if you know me even remotely, you probably know this fact.

Rice is what I blame for my bingo wings and love handles. At a restaurant, I’m very often scanning the menu for rice. Rice is the reason I’m a fan of Thai, Indian, Malaysian, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and of course Nigerian cuisine – which is the biggest culprit of all.

At an event I’m most likely filling my plate with rice – and going back for seconds. Or if there’s no rice, I’m most likely wondering “how is there no rice?“. As someone said, a party without rice is basically a gathering.

Rice was my default work lunch on most days. I remember once a senior colleague at work who is British asked what I was having for lunch.

  • Me: rice
  • Him: oh, with what.
  • Me: just rice. Jollof rice
  • Him: isn’t that like a side
  • Me: not really. Rice for us can be the main meal. I’ve got some chicken but that’s the side.
  • Him: that’s weird.
  • Me: *rolls eyes in my mind*

In retrospect I should have explained how the Indian Biryani or Spanish Paella was not often considered a side. Or how Jamie Oliver – popular British chef attempted to make Jollof rice as a meal and not a side. Or how spaghetti bolognese is seen as a meal and not a side. You get my point don’t you?

Rice didn’t have to be a side. Yes you could have it as a side. But in my world, rice was not a side. It was the main.

Okay, you get my love for rice.

I can’t really recall when this love affair started. But it has run deep. I probably eat different kinds of rice three  times a week. At that’s me being modest.

As Lent approached, and people mentioned giving up some of their fave indulgences from social media to alcohol,  the thought fleetingly crossed my mind:

what if you don’t eat rice for the entire 46 days
“perhaps you could build some discipline in relation to this weakness
how proud will you be if you actually do it?

First I thought “hahaha. Jokes

And then I thought, “why not?”

It was worth a try.

And so while many people probably enjoyed pancakes on shrove Tuesday – which happened to be Valentine’s day this year (the day before Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent), I ate several plates of rice and mentally prepared for the days ahead.

On April 1st, Easter Sunday – 46 days came to an end.

Here’s what happened:

1. I did it!

Yes, that’s the bottom line. I didn’t consciously eat rice for 46 days. If nothing else, I’m proud of this fact. And like many things in life, it reminds me that impossible is nothing – first with determination and second with support. One reason I was able to do it was because a fellow rice lover and friend agreed to do this with me as well. When it got tough and we got tempted, we’d lament and countdown together. And oh yes,  there was some temptation. At some point we hosted a mini party and I had a fresh steaming Jollof rice. But to me it was just a gathering – not a party. In addition, I also cooked my new found favourite coconut fried rice – without tasting it. Will power is amazing.

2. But I ate rice… unconsciously

Notice I used the word consciously above. Well that was intentional. But no, I didn’t eat rice in my sleep or under duress. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but for like 10 minutes I simply forgot my resolution and I didn’t realise I was eating rice.

We were at a restaurant and I instinctively ordered steak with rice as a side. I photographed the food before eating (as we Instagram generation tend to do these days) and photographed my empty plate after – uploading both to Instastory with the hashtag yum! And then this happened:

  • Friend: did you just eat rice??
  • Me: omg omg omg. I didn’t realise.

Yeah – but the good thing is rather than think I’d failed and it was all over, I continued… and that’s why I can boldly type out number 1 above.

3. My abs didn’t appear

I thought rice was the reason my lack of abs. So I thought not eating rice in such a long time would mean the excess fat hanging loosely would drop off easily. Uhm, sadly not. I mean, I probably lost 0.5 – 1kg but that really has nothing to do with my non-rice meals, because of number 4 below

4. I didn’t eat “healthy”

Although I know it’s not true, rice to me was my “unhealthy” food. And so I imagined that not eating it for so long would somehow convert me into a healthy eater. I couldn’t be more wrong. In fact my unhealthy habits got worse. I ate a truck load of more carbs – yam, bread, pasta – and worse of all, I ate way too many chocolates and sugary foods.

5. I still didn’t eat Couscous

So my friend approached her no rice eating a little differently. She wasn’t going to eat rice, rice substitutes or anything that was rice like. So she didn’t consider bulgur or couscous.

I on the other hand was hoping to finally try couscous. I’ve seen some recipes that make it look somewhat appealing. But I still couldn’t bring myself to attempt it. At least I ate bulgur and I realise that I genuinely like it and should eat more of it. It’s very close to rice in texture – but fills me up faster so there’s no way I could eat too much.

6. I discovered my “why”

I discovered why I eat so much rice. Interestingly, I don’t think it’s because it’s the yummiest food out there. In fact, I might have come to the conclusion that it’s overrated.

I’ve realised I eat so much rice because it’s accessible. That’s all. It’s relatively easy to cook at home. And even if I’m not home, it’s still accessible. Whether as Briyani, Paella, Malaysian Nazi Goreng Jamaican rice and peas, Mexican green rice, Japenese rice and curry, there’s often a rice option!

7. Finally eating it felt like an anti-climax

So, in my mind, I had the perfect plan to break my no-rice fast. On Easter Sunday, I was going to prepare a kickass rice lunch, sit properly at the well-laid dining table with fork and knife in place and very thoroughly enjoy the meal. How did it actually go down?

I ate left over rice warmed very quickly in a microwave while sitting on the floor in my PJs (or truth be told PJ substitutes).ย ย I mean it was very tasty – it was Jollof rice made with dry fish that I had collected from a friend when we visited a week earlier. But I just didn’t imagine this was how it would end.

Well, even the best laid plans fail.

All in all, I hope this brings to end my unhealthy relationship with rice and I can going forward take more control – limit my rice eating days, refuse to salivate at gloriously prepared rice popping up in my Instagram feed and finally ignore rice dishes on a menu. I really do hope I can. Because it’s only five days in and I’ve already eaten so much rice – for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner and in between these too.

Have you got any food or drink you consider to be in an unhealthy relationship with? Have you attempted to break away? How did that go?

Love,

Kachee… xx

Read too: An English Afternoon Tea Experience and 7 Ways to Eat More Greens and Veggies.


19 COMMENTS

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

19 Comments

  1. Tracy Nwokoma

    April 5, 2018 at 14:11

    “My abs didn’t appear” has me creasinggg!!! Well done for managing to complete it. Rice is such a staple, and as you said, it is so accessible too.I once had an unhealthy relationship with sweet, soft and sliced bread. I liked folding each slice into four and biting the centre ( a dream!). I managed to break free from it when I arrived in the UK. I REAAALLLLYYY dislike the taste of bread here.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      April 5, 2018 at 21:27

      Lol! I know exactly what you mean at folding into four! Oh I never noticed the bread tasted differently. Hmmm

      Reply
  2. Madeline Wilson-Ojo

    April 5, 2018 at 14:14

    Haha! What a funny post (for a very serious endevour!) I totally identify with your love for rice as a fellow African who eats rice seven days a week on most weeks. I had no idea that rice was supposed to be a side! Honestly, without rice – what’s the point! ?I don ‘t like risotto or paella, so it has to be jollof rice, rice and stew, rice and beans (peas), fried rice ot byriani. Plain and simple! Well done for admitting your relapse, and even more congrats are in order for not allowing it to stop you from continuing!Madelinewww.madelinewilsonojo.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      April 5, 2018 at 21:26

      I actually don’t like risotto as well and paella I’m not a huge fan of. Thank you!

      Reply
  3. Olufisayo Adeleke

    April 5, 2018 at 14:33

    OMG!!! This is hilarious..Iโ€™m eating rice as I am reading this!!! I think when youโ€™re born in Nigeria…rice eating is automatically in your DNA…big thumbs up Kachee! The longest I have gone without rice is 3 days…rice is just the default food biko…I remember having a similar conversation with my boss.Him: What are you having for lunchMe: RiceHim: With whatMe: ChickenHim: So, chicken and riceMe: No, rice and chickenThe order of appearance is very important biko…I currently have an unhealthy relationship with bread…I mean i can eat bread 24/7 at the moment…any type of bread..as long as it is bread..and my o my, my bathroom scale is laughing at me in spanish…but abeg..it is something that will kill a man๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      April 5, 2018 at 21:25

      Hahaha! The order is def important. It’s rice and chicken! Lol @ bread. That’s another one…

      Reply
  4. Rae Talks

    April 5, 2018 at 17:35

    LOOOOOL I am sorry but I have to agree I kinda see rice as a side at times. If it is a main dish I have to have a salad and a really good stew ( I dont eat meat). Well good thing you gave it up whilst in England! If you were in Senegal I honestly do not know what you would have eaten. All they eat is rice, rice and you guested it more rice! When I was there I wanted like amala.www.raetalks.co.uk

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      April 5, 2018 at 21:28

      Yeah I can have it as side sometimes too. But sometimes main! I hear Jollof is originally from Senegal so not surprised!

      Reply
  5. Tomie

    April 6, 2018 at 07:49

    When i saw this on your Instastoryi told myself Tomi this is for you. I have an unhealthy addiction to rice stemming from the fact that i am such a picky eater. I eat rice a minimum of 2 times a day, 7 days a week.I will try this challenge but in my case i will start with baby steps so no rice for 1 week. Will come back to give you feedback.

    Reply
  6. Mercy

    April 6, 2018 at 10:02

    Boiling rice to eat with delicious turkey stew as I read this. I will never end my relationship with rice. We are mates for life!46 Days!!! Well done o!www.immeiko.com

    Reply
  7. Debs

    April 6, 2018 at 13:10

    I cannot do without eating rice. I once tried not to eat rice for a week and it felt as though I have fever and malaria at the same time.What would I eat if I do not eat rice? I always ask myself. You really did try. The only food I have tried to not eat for long (can’t remember how long) was noodles. I became a noodles addict and it was affecting my tummy terribly. And I did stop eating it for a very long time until recently again, lols.www.debwritesblog.com

    Reply
  8. Ada

    April 6, 2018 at 14:55

    I love it! Esp cos i can totally relate. LOLI’ve been battling with carbs too- especially rice and Indomie Noodles. I need serious help- the sort that makes my abs appear oh. LOL.But- I took away a lesson away- the ‘Power of Self-will’. Thanks for sharing, Kach.

    Reply
  9. The Reet Petite

    April 7, 2018 at 07:22

    This is my exact struggle everyday with rice ๐Ÿคฃ. Everyday I tell myself, no more rice but next thing Iโ€™m craving jollof rice. My family and friends are tired of me lol. I think itโ€™s also so versatile that I can never get tired.One thing Iโ€™ve started to do is add quinoa so Iโ€™m only eating โ€œhalfโ€ the rice. Itโ€™s actually not bad.Lola http://www.thereetpetite.com

    Reply
  10. Amakamedia

    April 8, 2018 at 15:00

    Lol. Such a hilarious yet heart-warming post. You deserve a trophy for pushing this through to the end. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Rice is all up in my face. Can’t ignore it for more than a week. But then again, I’m thinking if Kachee could do it . . .amakamedia.com

    Reply
  11. Dami Ajibade

    April 8, 2018 at 19:42

    You did well mehn: better then a lot of us. Rice like you said is just accessible and eat to cook and if I must add, a great comfort food as well as very versatile! Lol ok, bye!

    Reply
  12. Demilade

    April 8, 2018 at 21:52

    Wow, you tried Kachi! Going without rice for that long. I love rice and I can eat it all day every day, it’s like my go to food. I love carbs in general so rice, pasta, yam, potatoes and so on. Can’t do without them! xxCoco Bella Blog

    Reply
  13. glowyshoes1

    April 10, 2018 at 10:12

    Every Nigerian gear towards rice whether intentionally or not… But personally I don’t get worried if I get to eat rice or not… Except in situations where what’s on the menu ain’t appealing, i’ld just go for the regular that I can manage which is rice.Glowyshoes’s blog

    Reply
  14. Cece Alex

    April 11, 2018 at 14:55

    Rice is definitely NOT a side dish! And the other comment about it being “rice and chicken”, not the other way round is so true! I LOVE this article! So well written and so jokes. It felt like you were in front of me, telling me the whole story โ˜บI couldn’t do it. I’ve already cut down my rice intake. That’s enough for me! Plus I’m vegetarian, what else would I eat ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL

    Reply
  15. Bababi

    April 21, 2018 at 11:41

    Hian, na wa for this your love for rice o ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. I’m seriously here wondering “why so much love for rice ….as in RICE….hian”.In Nigeria, it has become a tradition kinda that most organisations give a bag of rice to employees as Christmas gift. I find that at Christmas EVERY YEAR i still have left over rice in the bag from the previous Christmas even after consciously giving out as much as possible to others. This is because I’m not a fan of rice. I don’t hate it, but i wouldn’t stress to have it.My favourite meal is amala. Now even though that’s my favourite meal, I don’t eat it as much. I probably eat it a max of 3 times in a month. I just know i feel the happiest whenever I get to eat amala.

    Reply

follow along on Instagram