Natachi Peace, who studied for a diploma in Computer Education at the University of Nigeria Nsukka before moving on to the University of East London where she studied Human Resource Management, returned to Nigeria in 2013 to concentrate on her passion turned business: helping people lose weight and live healthy lifestyles. Having taken courses in Personal Health and Fitness, Leadership Skills in Business, Human Nutrition, and Global Health Initiative: Diabetes Awareness, for which she received diplomas, Natachi Peace is now building a thriving career as a specialist baker and nutritionist.
CN: How would you describe what you do?
I’m a HR Personnel turned nutritionist and specialty baker. That’s the only way to simplify what I do, which includes helping people lose weight, and managing my healthy bakery and café, Health ‘n’ Healthy Specialty Bakery and Café in Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja which officially opened February 2017. I worked from home for three years before opening the cafe, coaching people on weight loss, prepping healthy meals, baking healthy goods and managing clients with health challenges such as diabetes and ulcer. I educate people on the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle. I bake but not with everyday ingredients- I find innovative ways of baking and cooking that are not only healthy but also delicious. I believe healthy food should not be boring, and considering my love for good food, it’s always fulfilling making delicious meals. I also cook for small parties and also special parties for people with health challenges like diabetes. I make healthy alternatives available for those interested in making health changes in their lives.
CN: What attracted you to this line of work?
In 2010, I started a journey I never knew would take me this far. I unwillingly started a weight loss journey as my mom forced me into taking care of my health after I weighed in at 140kg in 2010. I started this journey but later became committed to it and lost a total of 75kg in 2 years and 8 months by just exercising at home and eating healthy food portions.
In the process of this journey, my passion for better and healthier food grew. I started baking gradually by watching videos then moved to trying out recipes on my own to perfect it. My cousins looked forward to them; at least we all could eat without feeling guilty. While in the UK, I couldn’t wait to move back to Nigeria to start a business. I wasn’t sure what business but I knew I’d start a business. I moved back, met friends and started baking for them since they liked it and wouldn’t mind paying. I started baking and selling from home. I was also coaching people online for weight loss and blogging about my journey. That gave a lot of people motivation that since I could do it, they too could. My weight loss led me to this line of work in a way that I look forward to work daily; I’m never bored with what I do (making healthy food, baking and educating and meeting people). The purpose of my business is to bridge the gap faced by people trying to live healthier. We provide them with affordable meals, snacks and also groceries.
Healthy eating is a form of self-respect.
CN: Why did you decide to focus on specialist diets?
There was a need to bridge that gap. Every street you look at has one fast food joint or the other, making it difficult for those trying to stay healthy or live healthier to enjoy healthy food/snacks like others. That gap needs to be closed and that’s what we are working towards.
Within the last three years, there has been a significant increase in demand for these services. This can be explained to a large degree by the fact that health issues have increased in Nigeria as a result of obesity (caused by poor food choices and less active lifestyles) which has led to issues such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, gallbladder disease and gallstones, osteoarthritis, gout, breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for short episodes during sleep) and asthma. According to thenationonlineng.net, The International Diabetes Federation reports that:
- 5 million Nigerians are confirmed Diabetic.
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death.
- Diabetes increases heart attack risk and 68% of diabetes-related death certificates report heart-related problems.
- 75% of adults with diabetes will develop high blood pressure.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and nervous system disorders.
- Diabetes costs $174 billion annually.
- Diabetes is a well-established problem and a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Diabetes was once an unknown problem that affected so many people with no recourse but it has become a manageable ailment that is easily dealt with through diet modification. This is very positive for both those people that are affected, those taking up a healthy lifestyle as well as businesses such as H & H Complete Living that specialize in these products.
CN: If you could give the whole world just one message about food, what would it be?
Healthy eating is a form of self-respect.
CN: What do you consider to be the best career decision you’ve ever made?
That will be doing what I have a passion for; cooking, baking healthy goods and educating people on the importance of healthy food choices and exercise. It is more like having fun working.
CN: What is your personal philosophy?
Don’t say you will, start doing.