5 tips to start a natural hair journey – Life as Leslin

leslin jones bewhole natural hair journey

When I met vlogger, Leslin Jones of Life as Leslin at a hair event in Cape Town, I  was naturally drawn to her flare for adventure.

She recently went skydiving and by the look of her photos, you can tell that the experience was exhilarating.

I’ve left a link for you to check out her skydiving experience at the the end of this post.

She says, “I love adventure and life! I love travel so much that I decided to travel the world for 10 years. Through my journey I’ve seen amazing places and met amazing people. I was also a dancer and that’s how I’d met Nelson Mandela.”

She stirs a whirl of inspiration for things that she’s truly passionate about, and natural hair is one of them.

She notes that her natural hair journey allowed her to discover the woman that she could be and to her mind, was supposed to be.

“I have never felt more beautiful and confident. Growing up, I’d look at other girls and wanted long, straight hair. I always wondered why my hair was so different – why I was so different.”

And then she started relaxing (chemically straightening) her hair. She said that she felt beautiful for a while until she’d have to fork out more money to relax her re-growth.

“When a colleague pointed out to me that my hair was falling out, I knew that I had to do something about my hair… It wasn’t healthy; it was breaking off, thinning, and not growing.

That’s when I decided that I’d had enough. Why was I doing this to my hair? For what? For who?” So she transitioned to her natural hair. It wasn’t a tough decision at all because she’d always been fascinated with curls. And now that she’s learned how to maintain her own hair, she’s determined to share her knowledge with or aspiring naturals. Take a look at her tips tips below:

Leslin Jones from Life as Leslin natural hair journey
Leslin Jones from Life as Leslin

Leslin’s Top 5 Tips for starting a natural hair journey:

1. Protect your hair

Get a satin bonnet, sleep cap, head wrap and/or satin pillow case. This will help to prevent breakage and tangling your hair.

2. Welcome more water

Invest in a water based moisturizer and eave-in conditioner (petroleum/mineral oil free). Water is the key ingredient to moisturized hair.

Start by applying a water-based moisturizer to wet hair. By the way, a good conditioner can do the job of a shampoo.

3. Know your oils

Your hair needs oil, just like your car. My favourites are,olive oil and coconut oil. These types of oils are great for dry hair, especially because it’s nourishing but doesn’t weigh the hair down.

4. Be patient with your process

The longer your curls get the more care they’ll need. Think washing, detangling, and then styling.

For your ideal look we’re talking patience and commitment. A lot of the time you only see the successful wash and go’s, braid outs and twist outs. What you don’t see is that in the beginning there will be more fails than successes, so patience is key.

Try not to manipulate your hair too much and stay away from heat. Have regular trims and keep your hair moisturized.

5. Develop a winning wash and go routine:

I co-wash (conditioner wash) once a week and use a sulphate free shampoo when needed. On shampoo days I use a scalp massager and then condition (using my wide tooth comb to detangle).

A wash day is never complete without a weekly deep conditioning treatment. My favourite treatment is Dr Miracles Deep Conditioner.

I always follow with a leave–in conditioner. My favourite is the Cantu Leave-in Conditioner. I then finish off the look by applying a curling cream and a light oil.

Did you find these tips useful? Drop us a comment in the section below to show Leslin some appreciation 🙂

Click here to watch Leslin’s skydiving experience and other natural hair, travel, and beauty endeavours from her blog, Life as Leslin. 

ByLungi’s 4C big chop story

Lungi was one of the first South African natural hair bloggers that I’d followed when I began my natural hair journey.

Like me, she’s a big DIYer. She enjoys creating blog and Youtube content; she loves getting dolled up, and making things from scratch.

She also recently gave birth to a baby girl.  I’ve included a link to her birth story at the end of this post if you’d like to watch it.

The journey to amazing 4c hair:

“I currently live in Durban,” she says. “Since discovering the world of healthy hair, I had always wanted to grow my natural hair but I didn’t know how to maintain it and ended up causing a lot of damage.

I also believed that 4c hair was hard to manage and that it was impossible to have soft natural hair. When I eventually went natural, I wanted to see the potential of my natural hair once it’s been cared for.”

4c hair by lungi be whole
Photo/ bylungi.com

She said that one of her biggest challenges was maintaining moisture in her hair. “No matter what I did, my hair always seemed dry.”

It took some time, but eventually with consistency, she was able to retain moisture. “Styling short natural hair was also a challenge for me, when I had a TWA [teeny weeny afro], I felt that I could only rock my hair in a few styles.

Products that work well for 4c hair

Lungi swears by the following products and the results are evident in her photos:

  • AfroBotanics Repairing and Strengthening Treatment: I use this as a protein treatment once a month. I love how it makes my hair feel strong without making it too hard.
  • Design Essentials Naturals Curl Stretching Cream: this is my go to for twist outs; it gives my hair definition, hold and moisture.
  • Garnier Ultimate Blends Conditioner Nourishing Repair: I love this product for detangling my hair, it does a great job.

    4c hair bylungi be whole
    Photo/ bylungi.com

Two things to know if you have 4c hair and you want to go natural:

  1. Be patient with your hair.

Natural hair needs a lot of moisture especially 4c hair.

  1. Develop a simple hair regimen

Your hair regimen does not have to be complicated and long.

To see how 4c hair can be styled, head over to www.bylungi.com or search for @bylungi on all social media platforms. You can also watch her birth story, here.

Natural hair chat: Amanda Cooke from Cape Town Curly

Proudly Capetonian, dedicated to her family, and committed to helping others return their hair to its natural state, Amanda Cooke co-hosts the fast-growing Cape Town Naturally Facebook group, blogs at capetowncurly.com, and helps to organize natural hair events within the Mother City.

Her journey began in 2012, while doing her final relaxer.

Applying the chemicals to her hair, she recalls asking herself: why are you doing this Mandy? “The next day I walked through Cape Town station with my freshly relaxed hair and every. single. woman of colour looked exactly like me. I needed to break free. To know the true pattern of my hair. To accept myself for who I really was. And return to my natural roots for myself, and for my daughter’s benefit. It’s sad to think that at that time, I was pushing 40 with no clue as to what my natural curl pattern was.”

She transitioned for a year and then big chopped  on 4 December 2013.

I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

She remembers following a few international vlogs and blogs, but couldn’t find anyone local with whom she could relate, so she started her own blog, recording her  return to natural hair.

What you must know before you go natural:

“It’s a lifestyle change so do your research before taking the plunge,” Amanda says. “Talk to other naturals who have been on the journey for a while. It’s always good to turn to a curlfriend in times of need. And listen to your hair – you may think this is crazy but trust me, your hair is constantly telling you what it needs.”

Amanda’s top 4 hair products:

  1. Water – Water is one of the top two things that actually moisturize your hair (the other being glycerine).
  2. Aloe juice – assists with hair growth, alleviates itchy scalp and is a natural conditioner.
  3. Avocado oil – penetrates the hair and locks in moisture. It makes detangling hair relatively easy because it softens your hair making those nasty knots a breeze to work through.
  4. The Mandy Mix  – a recipe I concocted based on an old South African hair growth remedy. It helps with hair growth and all round hair health. (Ooh, we’ll have to pop over to her blog to find out what’s in it.)

Learning about Amanda’s story and the experiences of so many other women who’ve begun to embrace their hair, it’s clear that chopping off those treated ends is so much more than getting a new hairstyle or even gaining confidence, it’s breaking away from societal views that have boxed and stunted personal growth.

To find out when the next natural hair event will be hosted in Cape Town, or simply to admire Amanda’s beautiful mane,  visit www.capetowncurly.com or @capetowncurly on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

How to make overnight oats in a jar

I eat oats for for breakfast everyday of the week. Sometimes I’ll skip having oats over a weekend because I’m either away from home or going for breakfast. But this really is my favourite breakfast recipe. It’s filling but doesn’t make you feel sluggish, it’s nutritious, and best of all, easy to make.

I usually prepare my oats in a glass jar since it’s the safest container to use today. Plastic containers, especially those that don’t have the BPA free label on it, contain chemicals that transfer to your food when you’re heating food in the container or the plastic begins to wear. Eatright.org has an in-depth article on glass versus plastic – if you’re interested in finding out more about that, click here.

I also prepare (at most) three jars of overnight oats on a Sunday night to make sure that I have breakfast for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Wednesday’s jar is always the tastiest.

Meal planning for breakfast saves me a lot of time and money because I’ve had to calculate exactly how much ingredients I need and once I’ve made the oats on Sunday and Wednesday night, I can just hop over to the fridge to enjoy my already-set creamy oats.

You’ll definitely enjoy this if you’re on a tight schedule and don’t want to have to worry about what you should have for breakfast.

overnight oats

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 banana

1 cup almond milk

Preparation time: five minute 🙂

Optional (add):

a pinch of salt

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Pour all the dry ingredients into a glass jar or container of your choice. Add the container lid and shake to mix the contents.
  2. Remove the lid to add milk. I use almond milk because of my dairy-free diet but you can use any milk or water since almond milk is actually only 25% almonds, and 75% milk.
  3. Once you’ve added the milk, seal to make sure that all your dry ingredients have been coated with milk and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Enjoy in the morning!

That’s it. Quick and easy. I never get tired of this breakfast recipe because there are so many different ways to make it.

Tip:

Try to get rolled oats and not instant oats because the texture of the oats is quite different. Rolled oats are the larger white flakes that take a while to lose it’s crunch.

Also, this is my go-to recipe but you can add any of your favourite fruit, seeds, or milk.

I’ve love to know if you’ve tried this recipe or already prepare your own overnight oats. Drop my a comment in the section below and let’s connect on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter.

VIDEO: Super defined curls – my wash and go routine

define curls - bewhole

Before sharing the method I use to define my curls, I want to stress the importance of understanding that each of our hair types are different.

Some of us don’t have curly hair. The goal of a natural hair journey should be to embrace your hair in its natural state – not obsess about getting your hair to form a certain type of curl.

With that said, if you’ve recently begun your natural hair journey or find that your hair has curls when it’s wet but is frizzy once it’s dry, this video will be quite helpful.

There are many ways to enjoy wearing your natural hair and a wash-and-go is one of the most popular styling methods. I’ve put together a quick tutorial to help you achieve super defined curls:

For this style, I used my old-faithful, DIY flaxseed hair gel for curl definition and hold, but made sure that my hair was clean and hydrated before applying any products.

I start off on freshly washed hair. I allow my hair to partially air dry to retain length because if I apply product to wet hair, my hair takes forever to dry and shrinks quite a lot.

My hair has grown quite quickly by simply applying the methods that I’d mentioned in my hair growth challenge post. I’m excited to see how long my hair will grow within the next three months (when the challenge ends in June.

Step 1

Once my hair is 70% dry, I apply a leave-in moisturiser. For this tutorial I decide to use the My Natural Hair leave-in moisturiser. I quite liked the results of my twist-out after using this product so I was eager to see whether my wash-and-go would be super defined as well. It was.

Step 2

After applying a leave-in moisturiser, I usually apply an oil to seal in the moisture. This time I’ve used the My Natural Hair strengthening oil instead of my go-to (olive oil) since the strengthening oil contains a mixture of several nutrient-rich oils such as grape seed oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.

I apply each product starting at the ends and then working the product through my hair from the root. The ends of my hair are the oldest which means that it needs the most moisture and care.

Step 3

Finally, I apply my DIY flaxseed hair gel liberally to eight sections of hair. I apply the product to my ends, work the product through my hair from the roots and ensure that my strands are fully coated by clasping my hands through my hair from roots to ends.

Once I’m satisfied with the results of applying my gel, I allow my hair to air dry or use a hairdryer on cool or medium heat to make sure that I’m not leaving home with wet hair.

If you liked this video, share the link with someone you know would enjoy watching a natural hair video. And let’s keep in touch on social media. Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you.

Local hair products for naturals in South Africa

Sitting in my lounge with a cup of green tea and my feet up – I’m transported back to the swanky beachfront restaurant in Clifton, where I’d met Catherine Williams.

I remember her as strikingly beautiful and composed; waving hand gestures as she let us (bloggers) in on the hair products that she’s been developing.

“My Natural Hair is the first retail range of its kind in South Africa,” she says… “As a connoisseur of every available product range for Afro, ethnic or curly hair; I couldn’t understand how there were no local ranges for African women to choose from.”

catherine williams, be whole, natural hair products
Catherine Williams introducing the products at her event in Clifton. Photo/ My Natural Hair

More women across the globe are embracing their natural hair and it’s become a movement of selfhood, rather than a fashion trend.

The prices of hair products have increased dramatically and even with a low maintenance routine like mine, finding the right products at an affordable price can be a mission.

Naturals look forward to high-quality hair care that’s not expensive. Many of us tend to go this route because our hair requires a lot of product in one usage. I have thick, dry hair. I finish a 750 ml bottle of conditioner in four uses. What we all need is for a brand to create performing products that don’t break the bank.

Catherine stands firm that My Natural Hair  does just that.

I chatted to her ahead of the product event to find out more about what led to the creation of range.

Here’s what she said, below:

I started transitioning in 2008. I was curious and had also started working-out a year or two before. [Frequently] flat ironing and blow drying my roots straight was becoming a nightmare.

In 2009, I started working as a flight attendant. This made transitioning easy as I wore my hair in protective buns all the time.

I noticed how healthy and thick my hair had become but I hardly wore it curly. My hair was also longer than it had ever been was before.

It was only when I returned to South Africa from Qatar in 2012, that I really became involved and knowledgeable about the natural hair movement. And I fell in love with my curls.

There are too many ranges on our shelves that claim to be natural or good for your hair but actually only offer short term results.

I worked with chemical formulators to get the right formulation that I wanted. I briefed them and then we sat and worked out the details. It had to be free from certain key chemicals and full of goodness. But also within a certain cost range to ensure affordability.

I work with local manufacturers that have good manufacturing processes. It’s a long process but the moment you see that final product, is for me, the prize.

Knowing that what you’ve brought to the market has integrity, a high standard of quality, and is offered at an affordable price range, makes it so worthwhile because it’s not only accessible to a small portion of Africans as many of the international brands tend to be. The integrity of this range is very important to me.

Which hair products to look out for:

Instagram/ @_mynatural_hair

Currently, the base range: the Nourishing Shampoo, Hydrating Conditioner, Strengthening Oil and Moisturizing Butter are geared at type 3 and 4 hair.

Anyone with type 1 – 4 hair can use the shampoo and conditioner. Many women who do Brazilian blowouts on their type 1 hair use our shampoo because it’s sulphate free. But because of the oils, type 1 hair will find that the butter, oil and conditioner could be too rich.

I swear by the Strengthening Oil as part of my LOC method for my wash and go. I have type 3 hair.

The butters work great on type 4 hair as an alternative to hair food on a daily basis.

We’ll be launching a curl cream, a leave-in conditioner and a deep treatment mask with more products to follow in late 2017. These will also be geared towards type 3 and 4 hair types.

My Natural Hair is also available at select Clicks and Jetmart stores – nationwide. Use the promo code, ‘MY NATBEWHOLE’ to get R 100 off your products when you buy for R300 or more via the My Natural Hair website. You can use the code for an unlimited amount of purchases until 31 March 2017.

Do you know of any other affordable natural hair products that the tribe may want to try? Scroll down to the comment section and let me know your thoughts right now 

 

 

3 lessons from wilderness camping at Cape Nature Reserve

Excited is an understatement.

I couldn’t wait for this trip.

When my cousins, Sebastian and Jane asked me to join them on a multi-day hike through Cape Nature Reserve, I didn’t think twice. I was all-in.

And let me tell you, it was am-a-zing.

I really just needed a getaway.

I didn’t anticipate how physically demanding it would be though. Especially since we’d had to pass through several river rapids on lilos, rock jump, and carry hefty backpacks from sunrise to sunset – for four days.

Every effort was worth it.

From the get-go:

We’d trekked from Porterville, about 155 km north east of Cape Town. I ran into the tour office with Jane, who thought that I was better at Afrikaans – but spoke to the receptionist anyway.

We got onto the back of a bakkie and Lisa (Jane’s friend), led us to the trail.

Rick, their American friend, was also with us. He’d come to South Africa for this first time and I guess that this trail offered him a true reflection of how beautiful our country is.

Little did he know that he was going to be bitten by horseflies and nibbled by freshwater fish.

I didn’t even know that horseflies existed before this trip. Their harmless bites left my legs itching for days after I’d returned home.

On our way to the entrance of the trail, we picked up a Swiss paraglider who said that he’d been travelling for two months. “Goals,” I thought. I repeated everything he’d said in my mind, trying to make sense of the words from his accent.

Nearing the entrance, I purposefully sat in the direction of the wind – it’d been a long time since I’d felt this at ease on a trip – not having to do much planning or stressing about  safety on my usual solo missions. I closed my eyes and let the wind catch my face.

Moments like those are are few and far between.

1st Night: camping under a tree near Die Hel rock pool

Jane cooked us supper in a pot, using a gas stove and some river jack stones. We had pasta, soy chicken, peppadews, onions, and some sweet and sour sauce that tasted really delicious. We drank straight from the river that supplies the city’s fresh water. I was skeptical of drinking the water at first but the rest of the gang were quite clued up on the surrounding resources. “As long as you’re drinking the water that flows, it’s okay to drink,” Lisa said.

camping in the western cape
A snack and a swim before heading to our camping spot. Photo/ Sebastian Wyngaard
Jane having a quick swim to cool down in the searing heat. Photo/ Sebastian Wyngaard
camping in the western cape
Find a levelled piece of land to make sure that you sleep comfortably. Photo/ Sebastian Wyngaard

2nd Night: sleeping in a valley, across from a waterfall

The gushing sound of the waterfall, though loud, was somewhat therapeutic. Jane, Rick, and Sebastian played cards with head lights on – after supper, while I journaled, and Lisa had her head buried in a book.

Swimming in a really deep rock pool; dodging tree branches as we sailed through the river on our lilos, and stopping at the nearest river bank for snack time and lunch, made me realize just how little I needed to enjoy myself. There were no TVs, not toilets, no WiFi… And it was fun.

Lisa and Sebastian floating on the river’s current. Photo/ Sebastian Wyngaard
Sailing through river rapids was an exhilarating experience. Photo/ Sebastian Wyngaard
camping in the western cape
I woke up to this view. Photo/ Sebastian Wyngaard

3rd Night: a sandy campsite by the river bank

Have you ever had instant mash potato? It’s dehydrated  and mashed potato powder that returns to it’s fluffy, white texture when you add hot water. Camping food hacks were really on point here. I, of course brought tins of beans, that added to the weight of my bag and I couldn’t discard because it’s not bio-degradable. Try not to pack tins if you don’t need to.

This campsite was a little difficult to sleep on. The river bank formed a slight slope and kept slipping off my lilo. The sun had set at around 8 pm and we could clearly see the orange and red tints disappear behind the mountains. It was beautiful.

camping in the western cape
Rick and I trekking through some rocklands. Photos/ Sebastian Wyngaard
camping in the western cape
Supper time at our sandy campsite:) Photo/ Robyn Ruth Thomas

3 life lessons from camping:

How to appreciate nature

Following the entire trail gave me an opportunity to spot so many natural elements that I was oblivious to. From monstrous insects, fearless fish, and the sounds of baboons barking in the distance, I finally got to experience a minimalist excursion, which I will be doing more of.

You don’t need a lot to be happy

Overall, I’d spent about R 1000 on this trip, including food, travelling to and fro, reserve permit, and minor gear. As travel writer, Robin Esrock says, ” people you meet, create the paradise you find.” And I think that it’s important to make sure that you’re in good company on any trip, otherwise you won’t enjoy it, no matter where you are.

The most difficult moments arise before the end

I was the last person to complete the trail and just as I was nearing the final hilly stretch of land that leads to the road, someone screamed, “watch out for the hole!” Reeds and sticks had covered what seemed to be a deep dip and the only way to get across was to hang onto a tree branch and swing my way to the other side. I thought, “really? I’m metres away from reaching the road and now I still have to swing my weight to dodge a hole?” But I did. And I’m more capable because of it.

camping in the western cape
“Cheese!” Photo/ Sebastian Wyngaard

What are some of the things that you’ve learned while travelling? Leave me a comment in the space (right down) below, or connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I’d love to connect with you. 

WATCH: 3 ways to get natural volume in your hair

volume in natural hair

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“How did you get you hair that thick?”

“What’s your hair volume method?”

“Which products are you using to get your hair this big?”

The answer to all these questions are simple:

Pick.

Shake.

Defuse.

I love me some volume (in a high pitched American accent).

I can’t imaging reverting to straighteners and relaxers after discovering all that I can do with my hair in it’s natural state. My hair is naturally thick; after washing, it rises like a home baked bread but when it’s completely wet, it hangs on the sides of my face like Cocker Spaniel ears.

Can you relate?

There are ways to add body to your hair without perms, chemicals, and extensions.

If you hair doesn’t seem to volumise on its own, you should watch this video:

Continue reading “WATCH: 3 ways to get natural volume in your hair”

2017 Natural Hair Growth Challenge

hair growth challenge

My first ever hair growth challenge is here! I’m going to be using some strict hair care methods for 180 days, and I can’t wait to share my routine with you.

It’s been a long road.

I’d big-chopped in 2013. I experimented with tons of products, protective styles, low-manipulation hairstyles, and even DIY products, which have become my favourite.

How I grew my hair to armpit length

This will be the first time, throughout my natural hair journey, that I monitor my hair growth. Before I went natural, I was really attached to the length of my hair and I honestly believed that it wasn’t possible for my hair to grow past my shoulders. I guess that continuous straightening and chemical treatments caused so much damage to my hair that it refused to grow any further.

Watch the steps I’ll be taking to retain length over the next 180 days:

Are you thinking about going natural or reaching a hair growth goal? Maybe this is the perfect time for you to transition.

Join my Natural Hair Growth Challenge

Membership limit reached

 

The day that I’d big-chopped, I was standing in front of my low-lit bathroom mirror, exhausted by having to manage my limp, chemically treated ends, along with my thick, natural regrowth. I didn’t know that I was going to cut it all off until I had the scissors in hand. It was my most liberating experience. No exaggeration.

I’d had enough of trying to get those straight ends to curl and pushing all my cute curly strands to the fronts of my head. That was it; and here I am – absolutely amazed at my own hair texture.

I want the same for you.

Each of my tips are methods that I use on my own hair, weekly, if not daily. My hair growth goal for this challenge is to retain 7 cm of length in 6 months.

According to an in-depth article on how fast hair grows, scalp hair can grow up to 1.25 cm per month! That means, in 180 days, our hair could be about 7 cm longer than it already is. Granted that we’re diligent with our routine.

My hair is currently 45 cm long (16 inches). In photos, you can’t see the true length because I experience a lot of shrinkage. How long is your hair currently? Leave me a comment in the space below – and tell me what your ideal hair length is.

Everyone’s hair grows differently. You may have slower or faster growth spurts than I do. Use the stats above to develop your own growth goal and try to choose your ideal length, according to the reality of the challenge time frame.

Don’t forget to sign up by filling in the form on this page and connect with me on Instagram, where I post all my latest lifestyle pics.

This hair growth challenge was inspired by Youtuber, Curly Proverbz.

Dinner Ideas: Easy Kidney Bean Pasta

kidney bean pasta be whole

One thing that I miss about having supper at home-home (where my family live) is that we’d take turns to cook supper during the week.

I was lucky to learn about mean planning and healthy eating well before moving out and have quite healthy eating habits, aside from my trips to Snoekies for Hake and Chips on weekends, and my sorbet binges while watching movies.

The biggest struggle with maintaining a healthy diet is finding time to prepare not only nutritious, but equally tasty meals.

This easy kidney bean pasta is a quick dinner idea for meat-free suppers or lunches. I often use this recipe as an inclusion to my meal plan, which makes two lunches and two dinners.

I generally cook meals for up to three days – no longer – to preserve the freshness of all ingredients and to switch up my meals.

Meal planning is great for ensuring that you continually eat the right foods. You’ll also save money as you’ll be reluctant to buy quick snacks and lunches if you’ve already packed your own.

Is pasta healthy?

Yes, and no.

Controlling your portions of pasta is what matters. I avoided high-carbohydrate foods like potatoes, pastas and bread for a long time because these foods are key contributors to weight gain. What I didn’t know at the time, was how much vitamin B, fiber, and protein could be found in pasta.

Whole-grain pasta (brownish coloured), has the same amount of calories as white pasta, expect that you’ll find more nutrients in the whole-grain selection.

I’ve used white Fusili pasta (screws) for this recipe but whole-grain pasta will suit this meal perfectly, if preferred. You could also use Penne Rigata pasta (quills), if you prefer.

spinach with pasta be wholecooking pasta be wholekidney beans for pasta be wholepasta sauce be whole

What you’ll need to make Kidney Bean Pasta:

300 – 400 g Pasta

1 Finely chopped onion

400 g Kidney Beans

500 g Spinach

1 tbsp Hemp seeds

200 ml Napoletana Sauce (as desired)

2 tbsp Olive Oil

500ml hot water

Method:

  • Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into a saucepan and braise your onion.
  • Pour 5oo ml of boiled water into a pot to cook your pasta. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the water to ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick together, then add pasta to cook for 10 minutes. Using hot water instead of cold water will largely increase your preparation time.
  • Once your onion is golden brown, add spinach and hemp seeds to cook while you wait for the pasta.
  • Once the pasta has cooked, strain it, then add it to the saucepan with kidney beans and Napoletana sauce
  • Once your Napoletana sauce (with added ingredients) has been heated, your pasta is ready to eat
  • Allow to simmer for 5 minutes

Let me know if you try this recipe. Any meat-free dinner ideas you think that I should try? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the section below or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter