Pumpkin bunny had bunnies.

Yesterday, 21 October I was watering some plants (you know the ones that the dogs haven’t eaten yet) and noticed the bunnies being a bit noisy like running up and down the cage a lot. When I looked, I saw a few mouse-like bald things crawling around the cage. They sorta looked like small versions of that monster in Pan’s Labyrinth. I won’t post an image because this is a family blog and I have a responsibility to not harm you, emotionally. Actually, maybe stop reading right here.

The thing with mama rabbits is that when they’re stressed out with their kits, they sort of eat them. The male (Buttons) was in the cage and this really freaked her out and her only solution was to physically decapitate her young. With her teeth. Motherhood is tough, so no judgies but I had to act super fast to save the remaining 6. Buttons was confused and a little bit frightened because A) his children were crawling around the cage and fatherhood is sometimes a bit of a shock to men and B) his wife was murdering their children.

Here’s an extract from a site on why a rabbit would do this > “If she is in the process of kindling or if she has a young litter, and then gets frightened for her life, it is well documented that she might eat her babies, destroying any evidence that would attract predators or reduce her chance of survival.”

I made a little nest box for her with ripped up blankets and some hay and moved her to a separate cage just to CALM HER THE F DOWN. Gave her some newspaper to shred, some water and food and covered the new family with a blanket in a quiet room. Amongst all of this I also took a really quick photo of the babies so I could remember them in case she ate them.

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So right now I’m on mama and baby rabbit watch. This morning all the kits are still alive and squirming and she is feeding them (mostly against her will). I trick her by putting apples and spinach in the nest box and then the babies roll around under her and get what they can very quickly. One of the babies rolled around her face and she started licking it but I thought she was chewing it, so there is still panic. We had a really long talk about motherhood and responsibilities so maybe that helped.

We cleaned out her cage today and she made a little nest for herself and drank about (I’m estimating) 17 litres of water. She’s cleaning up all her own droppings and excretions and sometimes I catch her looking over in to the nest and rubbing her chin on the outside so maybe motherhood is growing on her. We’re keeping the dogs outside and trying to keep her calm and she looks pretty happy now, so holding thumbs!

PS Does anyone want a bunny? No really we have six and they’re hella cute. I’m posting a photo a day of them to track their growth if you wanna check it out on Instagram – @therabbithaus.

 

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Family photos by Paul Clark – September 2015

My brother Paul (transmit@paulclark.co.za | 082 855 4379) is a photographer, designer, art director and video editor. He is most excellent at everything that he does (insert sibling rivalry undertones) and I am insanely jealous of his photography skills. Last weekend when we were both visiting my mom, he snapped some nice pictures of Benjamin being silly. I asked him to quickly take a picture of each of us to frame at home, and I’m so glad that I did. I’m going to frame a few of these for our corridor at home, along with some of my Paris art prints. Basically spending all my money at the framer’s this month. I love how dark and moody these pictures are, in contrast to our happy faces and dispositions. Also, how ridiculously handsome are my boys?

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A letter to my third child.

I call you my daughter, but you could be a boy. My son. My sun.

I think about you every day; the child that I want so badly. You’re the possibility. The maybe. Still, I feel you and think about you constantly. Ben wants to meet you, but Noah is unsure. He thrives on certainty and routine, but I know that he’ll love you. He’ll probably love you the most. Daddy says he’s not sure, but every time we talk about you, the right corner of his mouth turns up. He doesn’t know that I can see it, his excited anticipation. He’d love you as soon as you exist, and if you’re a girl… I know that he’ll dote over you like his first love. You’d love him straight away too. He’s such a fun dad. Such a good dad. A really good man.

I wonder how you’ll fit in here. I wanted to meet you two years ago. I wanted to have you last year, and then this year again. I want to meet you right now, but I worry. Will I be a good mom to you? Will you get enough of our time and attention? What if I don’t know how to be a mom to a daughter. What if we fight. What if I can’t protect you. How do I stop your heart from breaking? Maybe we won’t have anything in common. Maybe we’ll be exactly the same.

You already have a name. You’re either Samuel or Bethany. Maybe you’re a Julia. Or a Sebastian. Or Holden or Maree. I see a little girl with long curly brown hair and green eyes. Dad’s eyes. He’s so scared that you’ll get his nose. He hates his nose. I don’t even know what I’d do with a girl. I wonder how different it would be. I hope it wouldn’t be lonely for you, with two brothers. Maybe you’ll be a boy, my Sam. Maybe you’ll really love having two older, fiery and energetic brothers. I bet they’ll fuss over you every day, those two. Soon they’ll be able to read you stories and tell you all about the world. I bet they’d love that.

I keep feeling you. Hearing you.

I have one or two things to do before we meet. Things that will make me a better person, a better mother. I need to calm my storms because your brothers are real firecrackers, and I’m enjoying this rest. I’m getting to know them right now. They’re so wonderful, so kind. You’d really like them.

I’ll think about you again another day, another moon, another moment. I know you’re there, so I won’t be long.

 

I hope you’ll wait for me.

 

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My personal weight loss tips & tricks but probably don’t listen to me

I’ve had a few questions about weight loss lately, and it’s something I don’t talk much about. For most women (and men) your weight might be a bit personal or maybe even an issue for you. I never really struggled with my weight until about two years ago when I lost track of exactly how much pasta and comfort food I was eating. For the first time in my life, I got properly chubby. I started running and eating right and I went on this eating plan that really worked for me. I joined a gym, I ran a half marathon and I started toning up and doing some yoga too. This year I also tried juicing, which was great and that worked too. All of these things worked to some degree and helped me feel better about myself and get in to shape a bit more. I don’t think that I will keep running half marathons, or keep doing yoga (I haven’t in months) because what I’ve noticed about myself is that I really love chopping and changing and experimenting and trying new things. I’ll just be like “I’m gonna cut out sugar for 21 days and see what happens” or “I’m gonna just drink juice for 7 days and see what happens” and treat my body a bit like a gadget – something I can test at different levels. My Paris trip is getting pretty close, so I asked a friend for advice on how to drop it like it’s hot. So right now, I’m doing:

No carbs. No sugar. No dairy. 

And I am so flippen surprized at how easy it is. Note, I’m not banting. I don’t think? Well not on purpose. I think a lot of people assume that, but I’m not doing high fat, oil or cream or anything like that. I do healthy fats like avocado, eggs and fish… But that’s about it. It’s almost exactly the same diet that I did last year when I lost all that other weight. From Tuesday – Saturday I lost 3kg. I know that the weight loss will slow down, or possibly come back if I go back on carbs and sugar full time… but right now I am just playing around with this eating plan and seeing where it goes. My only cheat is that I have one cup of coffee a day with half a sugar. It’s my morning ritual, even if it’s decaf coffee… and hopefully eventually I’ll be able to take no sugar at all. So out of all the diets and experimenting and testing and playing I’ve done, here’s what I’ve learned about losing (and gaining) weight.

1. It took hundreds of meals for you to gain weight, so don’t think it’s going to take a dozen to lose all of it. The time you spent gaining that weight is the time you’ll spend (or should spend) losing it. Don’t try lose 10kg in 2 weeks – think more along the lines of  4 – 6 months. You might yo-yo in between, too.

2. If you aren’t drinking at least 10 glasses of water a day, you’re gonna take a while to see results. Your body needs water to help flush out toxins, and it keeps you full. Most of the time when I think I’m hungry, I’m actually thirsty. Drinking water while you eat also helps you eat less as you’ll feel satisfied much faster. Also, it makes your skin look great and supple, so drink up! I’ve swapped my zillion cups of tea a day for water with fresh lemon wedges.

3. You can still drink alcohol, but stick to dry wine with low sugar content. Or whiskey – whichever.

4. You need to do some serious movement for at least 45 minutes a day. Brisk walking, running, cycling, skipping, swimming – whatever your thing is.

5. You need to eat close to the earth. I haven’t eaten anything with a label and dammit it feels good. Fresh fish from my grocer, eggs, avo, vegetables, salads, soups. Apart from tinned tuna, it’s all fresh and new and organic and hormone free. Also: sugar free.

6. So many times when I felt like “I really want a cup of tea” my body was actually saying “I really want two spoons of sugar”. I didn’t want caffeine, I wanted the sweet stuff. My first two days without sugar was filled with headaches and fogginess. Sugar withdrawals are intense and it’s hard to pull through. If you want to test your body, eliminate sugar from your diet for 3 days and you’ll see just how powerful it is. Do it just for fun! (is it weird that I find this kinda stuff fun?)

7. Never eat until you’re full. Ever. Eat until just before you’re full because the fullness will come a few minutes after you stop eating. Stand up and move away from the table / your plate when you’re done eating.

8. Eat healthy fats otherwise you’ll starve. Also, if you eat healthy fats then you might not (I don’t) get cravings for bread or sweets. I’m not saying that bread and sweets are the devil, because they’re NOT, but I think they should be viewed as treats for some people, and not a daily staple. I eat a lot of eggs, avo and fish. For the moment, I’ve stopped eating fruit and view these as bread and sweets now too. Special treats.

9. Try keep a 2-ingredient plate. Eg Just avo and an egg. Or just green beans and carrots. Simplifying my food and going back to basics and eating them in their true, raw form has been such a treat for me. After spending years working with complicated dishes at home and at restaurants, containing dozens of ingredients per plate… I find great minimalist comfort in placing two clean ingredients on a plate and eating them straight away.

10. Subsidize with vegetable juices and smoothies. I order a ‘lifestyle’ juice pack from a local company every month and keep them in the freezer for days when I know I’m going to be busy or running around. They fill you up and they’re full of goodness. Juices have saved me from many garage pies.

So right now, a typical day for me is:

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Breakfast: Half an avo & boiled egg OR Fried mushrooms & a boiled egg

Snacks: I drink so much water now that I don’t really snack, but if I do, I have a few baby carrots

Lunch: Tin of tuna & half an avo OR 2 eggs & grilled mushroom & tomato OR Tuna and green beans

Dinner: Grilled hake or kingklip or salmon with a green veg – broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts or cucumber NOTE > don’t eat dinner after 7pm. I eat supper at 5:30 or 6pm every day

If you’re super serious about losing weight and want to see the initial results pretty fast, then I’d suggest something along these lines depending on your current health / BMI and recommendations from your doctor. Medicine and hormones also affect weight gain and loss, so check these with your doctor too. I’m dead set on eating this way for good now, because without daily carbs, I haven’t been feeling bloated. Without sugar, I haven’t been getting weird cravings. I was never in to dairy in a big way, but I’m mildly lactose intolerant, so I won’t miss it at all.

I’ll still have a pizza now and then, and the odd frozen yoghurt or chocolate of course – but only for 10% of the time, I’d say. I’ll still go to the movies and order a popcorn every other week. But I want to eat like this every day. Back to basics, close to the earth, simple and unprocessed. For now! It’s an ongoing adventure, this health quest thing. Yesterday afternoon I was in a bicycle shop and I was like… “I could totally be a cyclist.” As long as we keep trying and keep active, I think we’ll all do alright.

But come now guys, you don’t need me to tell you that vegetables, salad, lean protein, water and exercise is the way to eat and lose weight for good. Hope you enjoyed the reminder. And if you’re gonna tease health conscious people when you’re eating mac n cheese or chocolate, remember that most health-kick people have usually felt the hard side of eating those empty foods every day for years… and we have no desire to feel that way about ourselves again. AND if you’re one of those “I can eat all the junk I want and always stay healthy and feel great” people – I am genuinely and completely happy for you, I am. Pretty please remember that you need not have a high BMI or even be overweight to have cholesterol issues. We all need our yearly checks to ensure that we’re doing right by our bodies. Keep checking those numbers – all of us! Have a happy, healthy weekend guys! This photo of me taken by Keri Bainborough yesterday, and I love it (and her)

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31 is the new 21

I turned 31 yesterday and I’m so excited and relieved. When you turn 30, there’s all this pressure to be new, improved, changed and suddenly mature. Your 20s are flipping hard, and Graeme and I did it with two babies and then toddlers in tow. Somehow. We started playing house from the age of 23, and at 23 you don’t even know a single thing, never mind how run a life properly. We grew, we learned and through all of it we never let go of each other. I’m grateful. I’m proud of us. 8 years and 2 cities later, we have our solid family unit; a beautiful home, established careers and a mountain of things we still want to achieve. Like everything finally fits. So here are a few reasons why I think that 31 is the new 21.

1. I can barely remember who was at my 21st ten years ago, and I’m hardly in touch with most of them anymore. People who I thought were my BEST, forever friends. While most of my current besties are from my childhood, I think you make your solid friends in your late twenties, and another group after you’ve had kids. Friendships change, careers move at different paces and having a family shifts your priorities. When I say “shift”, imagine a construction site and a very large bulldozer pushing your old priorities off a cliff. In my 20s, I let go of BEST friends who weren’t even friends at all. There’s sort of a “ek vat nie kak nie” attitude that comes in your late 20s and you realize that not all friendships will survive these years. And that’s okay!

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2. You have more money. Scraping by in your 20s and sending your parents please call mes to help with your rent is something that most of us went through. The best of us. In your 20s you learn about credit and savings and investing and interest rates, insurance and bonds and taxes. You make some pretty expensive mistakes. I remember I BLEW my first credit card when I was 20 like why would you even give a 20 year old a credit card. I spent years tidying up my credit record and then years trying to build credit to qualify to buy a house. In your 30s everything sort of evens out, you might stop living month to month and debits off your account no longer break your heart. Sometimes.

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3. I am personally in better shape right now than I was in my 20s. I eat right. I care. I train. I run. In my 20s it was all big macs and 24 hour steers and now it’s all juices and water and salads and wholewheat everything. I never cared about my health, I was like WHATEVER I’M YOUNG I’LL EAT WHAT I WANT and now I’m like “Okay so I really want to live a long and healthy life and not get colon cancer.” I’ve also become more responsible. I used to party like a crazy girl and now I’m like “WHAT IS THIS 3 DAY HANGOVER.” Seriously – what is that?!

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4. Your soul sprouts. I was pretty selfish in my 20s with very little regard for others, the earth or consequence. In your 20s your heart will break. You’ll disappoint yourself, and others. You’ll gain an awareness of others that you didn’t think possible. Only when your heart is truly and completely broken will it be vulnerable and susceptible enough to comprehend how you’ve affected others. There’s a sensitivity and humbleness that arrives in your 20s somewhere, and you’ll never shake it. It will make you a better, more sensitive and caring human being.

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5. Your career will change maybe three times. You might not be working in the field that you studied and by now you’ve probably realized that your degree means very little in the greater scheme of experience. I made monumental professional mistakes in my 20s. I took jobs I didn’t really want, I worked insane hours and I said yes to a lot of things that I should have walked away from. You learn that passion is the very core of any kind of success, and you will never succeed at anything unless your heart is in it. At my 21st, I had just left my Journalism studies and I was working in an old age home and night shift at a hospital’s Emergency Unit. I wanted to be a nurse, and work in pediatrics. I wasted two entire years in the medical field, which I would eventually walk away from. I worked as a TV producer and Multimedia Manager until I found what I was passionate about. You will never feel as confused, lost and desperate as you do in your 20s. Eventually you’re like

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6. By the time you reach your 30s you’ve developed your personal style. Sure it might change later, but you start to build a wardrobe. You ignore trends and fashion and focus on yourself, dressing for your body shape and investing in good quality, timeless garments. What looks good in a magazine or on your best friend won’t necessarily suit you. You discover which colours and fabrics and cuts flatter you. I’ve thrown and given away heaps of clothes over the years and I’ve learned that it’s better to buy one expensive item a month than 4 cheap ones that won’t last three washes and definitely not to the next season. You go from cheap clothes to good clothes like

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7. For some of us, we learn about motherhood in our 20s. You learn a love beyond your comprehension or understanding. Your heart and soul leaves your body and probably never comes back. You become a nurturer, not just with your own kids but with all others. You will never walk past a crying child and you will appreciate and understand humanity in a much deeper and connected sense. Motherhood is amazing. It will test, grow, fulfill and break you.

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8. You will fall in love. With yourself. Your body, your heart, your personality. You’ll accept all your own flaws and setbacks and mistakes. You’ll work through your dark bits and you’ll reach a point where you don’t need recognition or validation. There’s a confidence that emerges somewhere along the line that will really change your life. You’ll start saying no to things, you’ll stand tall in your convictions and you’ll appreciate yourself for who you are. I was really insecure in my 20s and I wanted everyone to like me, agree with me, stand by me. As you grow, your confidence does too.

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I usually get sad around birthdays. Another year of life cut short. A year less with my children, and theirs. Another year closer to losing loved ones, but today… I feel good. Relaxed. Like my wild spirit has silenced and evolved in to a deeper consciousness and understanding of everything around us. I feel… satisfied. Now that all those BIG boxes are ticked, I’m excited to start enjoying life more. I want to travel and expand my studies and keep learning about myself and our beautiful world. I want to kick back and really enjoy my husband and focus more on him and watch him go through his own journey. I love that man so much. He fills my heart with a thousand sunny days, ice cream cones, forests and sunsets. I want to watch my children be children and spend less time consumed by my to do lists and deadlines. I want to write books and stories and poems. I feel ready for anything right now and I really do believe that 31 is the new 21, at least today, right now. Happy birthday to me, and happy it is indeed.

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A TV interview about juicing on kyknet, Flits tv

Last night I did a little live skype interview with Kyknet, for their program called Flits. I am NOT very articulate in Afrikaans, but you can watch the clip here if you’re keen! Thanks so much to Kyknet (en jy Bibi haas) for the interview. It was really fun and I’m glad that more people are getting curious about this juicing business! If you’re in to juices or smoothies, the health benefits are incredible. Do it!

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10 things I learned while being on a juice cleanse

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Two weeks ago, I embarked on my first ever juice cleanse. I was really excited about it, and all the juices arrived beautifully packaged and organized with pamphlets and guides on which juices to take on each day. The pack included day-specific tips, information and supplements. Here’s what I learned, and what I took from the whole experience. Note that I used Juice Revolution for the quality of their juices, as they extract the juice using a state of the art hydraulic  cold press juicer, which I learned allows them to retain the highest possible levels of nutrients. They imported their press from the US in Jan this year, it’s the 1st of its kind in Africa, used by all the big and famous cold press juice companies in the States. I was not paid to do this cleanse nor was I paid to write this blog post. The following views are my own and not those of Juice Revolution. Here’s what I learned!

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1. Day 1 and 2 are a bit tough. You are never hungry, but coming ‘down’ from refined sugar and caffeine was tough. I felt a bit… spaced out. I was really glad that I started my cleanse over a weekend because on day 1, all I wanted to do was couch it – which I did. And I went to bed early. I didn’t feel nauseated or hungry, I just felt… weird. On day 2 I had the odd piercing headache, but nothing hectic. I also skipped a juice because I was unorganized, and had my first food craving. Do NOT skip a juice, you will want to eat your own family.

2. By day 3 you feel completely normal, just with more energy and your caffeine cravings are a thing of the past. I don’t crave or want coffee at all anymore – it’s bizarre. You wake up feeling awake, and you have much more energy at night. I usually have a dip in energy at around 3pm every day, and I didn’t have any fatigue while I was juicing – nothing after day 2.

3. You can still exercise and go to gym. Hundreds of athletes and rugby players use these juicing programs, so please don’t think that you won’t manage. I still did my treadmill sessions and took the dogs for long walks every day. Juice Revolution encourages you to keep moving, so do!

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4. You might crave salt. By day four I really wanted Pretzels – something I’d never enjoyed before. I don’t know why I was so after the salt. I didn’t want sweets or coffee or bread or pasta or cheese or anything like that, but I was ready to shove a teaspoon of salt in to my mouth. This craving was only once, and lasted maybe an hour. The juices are all incredibly delicious, except the Super Juice because I don’t like lime. Graeme (and Ben) freakin loved those, so that’s where those went. People will want to drink all your juices, so prepare to stand your ground.

5. In MY opinion, it’s okay to cheat even when you do it by accident. We don’t realize how often we snack during the day without even noticing. Like when I pour the kids’ cereal, I’ll always grab a piece or two. Or when I dish up food for them, I’ll end up licking spoons or pinching a cucumber wedge. Of course the entire point is to cleanse your system, but don’t beat yourself up if you slip up – just keep going. You are still a winner.

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6. A lot of people asked about my erm “metabolism” or “movements”. Can we just be straight and call it a colon? Some people keep going as usual, and some people get a bit blocked up for a few days while your system re-adjusts. My COLON emptied every day and I felt super light the entire time, so no issues or horror stories there. Your stools are a lot lighter, and have more erm… texture. But you’re not going to be sitting in your office cubicle with the runs for 7 days straight – don’t worry.

7. You will lose weight. Your body isn’t working as hard to digest food, so it starts digesting your thighs and ass instead. NOT complaining. I lost 2.8kg in 7 days, and my jeans are really loose around my thighs. On day 3 you wake up with a flat stomach. I put on about 500g again since I stopped juicing, so my ‘real’ weight loss from juicing was about 2kg, if we’re being honest.

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8. You are never hungry. For real, I only drank half my juices on some meals. I don’t understand why you are never hungry, but I learned that your body is being nourished by vitamins and nutrients, which your body sucks up like a happy sponge. When your body is being ‘fed’ by vitamins, it does not need to be fed by empty foods like mac and cheese that serve practically no nutritional benefit, but leave us feeling full non the less. I felt satisfied every day as long as I took my juices within the recommended times so that my blood sugar levels didn’t drop.

9. Your eyes and skin will brighten. I literally always feel tired and like I don’t get enough sleep. I put eye drops in on most mornings, especially if I’m going to see clients. I also get break-outs sometimes, so getting ready in the morning for me is a bit of a mission. By day three, my eyes had cleared up and my skin got very supple and plump, like I’d been drinking 10 liters of water every day. You drink more water while you’re juicing (I think the supplements made me thirsty too) so you’re boosting your body in every direction.

10. The main thing that I learned is that I want to keep juicing. I’ve ordered a “Lifestyle Box” from Juice Revolution (starting today) to use as a meal replacement every day. Sometimes lunch, sometimes supper – depending on how busy we are. Their lifestyle box is R390 plus VAT for 10X 500ml juices. By drinking just ONE of these juices, I’ll be filling my daily 5 portion requirement of fruit and vegetables. The convenience of grabbing a juice ‘meal’ out the fridge and sipping on it while I work is a luxury that I’m not ready to let go of. Below is the Lifestyle Box menu for the two Boxes that they offer. Ive’ ordered Box 1 today, and below that is the option for Box 2. They have an online shop, and apparently my order’s gonna be here tomorrow! (happy dance)

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So that’s it! I’m super in to juicing now. I personally find it to be affordable, with excellent health and weight loss benefits. I’d much rather drink a vitamin dense juice every day than swallow a handful of pills, so this is my new vibe. You can find out more over at Juice Revolution’s site. They deliver all over South Africa. Please let me know if you have any questions, I’ll answer them from my personal experience! Mail Fiona from Juice Revolution – she’s amazing and also really nice > fiona@juicerevolution.co.za

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What it’s really like to be on a juice diet, with the Juice Revolution

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I don’t know if you noticed, but I’ve been making a solid effort to improve my health lately. With work, the house and the kids… I’ve been feeling drained. I’m guilty of tucking in to a glass of wine on many nights during the week, which I’m sure wasn’t helping the situation. I hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep, because this little business brain never wants to switch off. I’ve wanted to try juicing for years, but it seems like such a schlepp to find and buy organic ingredients every day and chop and prep all of that. I wouldn’t know where to start. Also: juicers are super expensive. It seems like a huge commitment.

I ordered a 7 day Super Juice Diet from Juice Revolution last week. I’m on day three right now, and I wanted to tell you a bit more about it. First, the package I’m on includes the following goodies!

5 juices (meals) a day for 7 days | 35 juices or smoothies (500ml)

Seven 300ml juices. This is the hot & spicy tea, which I drink cold at 9pm every night. AMAZING.

Daily supplements and vitamins, pre-packaged per day: (Spirulina, Barley Green, Acidophilus)

A selection of Pukka teas to cleanse, detox, relax and love

A booklet with a daily program, tips and advice

A free guide explaining in detail how to live a healthy lifestyle. From food groups to exercise

Coaching and support

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The juices are incredibly nutritious and filling. I can’t believe how filling they are. I’m on day three, and I this afternoon I had a banana, pineapple, apple & yoghurt smoothie. I was so full, I was almost uncomfortable. You will definitely never go hungry on these juices as long as you take them at the right times. I know this because I skipped a juice on day one and wanted to shove an entire pizza in to my mouth and swallow it without even chewing. Take your juices ON time. It’s such a luxury for me to just grab a juice out the fridge instead of cooking and prepping. I know that I am saving a lot of money on take away coffee, groceries and wine right now. As I type this, I’m having a Turbo Express Juice: Apple, avocado, pineapple, celery, cucumber, spinach and lime. One of my favourite juices so far.

Day 1 and 2 were pretty hard, and I really missed my morning tea. I missed salt a lot too. This morning I woke up with a completely flat stomach, which made day 1 and 2 pretty worth it! I went through slight (HECTIC) withdrawals on Sunday. All the sugar and caffeine leaving my system I’ll bet. I spoke to Juice Revolution’s coach, Fiona Stander about it. She explained that on day 1 and 2 your blood sugar levels drop, and your body starts to convert glycogen in to glucose, which is then released in to your bloodstream to restore my body’s natural and normal blood sugar levels. See, all this extra ‘stuff’ in our food is no good for us. On day 1 and 2, you’re working really hard to get your body back to it’s ‘original’ form. Most people feel the benefits of a cleanse from the first day, but I felt quite… odd. Not weak or dizzy or anything, I felt a bit spaced out. Almost drunk or high or something. Abnormal. I had no idea how hard my body was detoxing even at that point. Isn’t it incredible?

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I’m starting to understand why people call this detox a “re-set” just to get your body cleansed of all the nasties and back on track. I already know that I’m going to be super careful about what I put in to my body after this. I’m going to buy a few of Juice Revolution’s lifestyle juices to keep in the fridge as meal replacements and boosters. Getting your 5 a day is pretty darn hard (even as a vegetarian / pescetarian). I’ve definitely started losing weight. This program was designed for you to lose about 3kgs in a week, depending on your system.

Speaking of your SYSTEM. My body is currently detoxing in every way. I’m regular in my erm, movements and I’ve been drinking so. much. water. My system is faster than ever and I’m more alert, in general. Every now and then (even today) I get a piecing headache that lasts for like 7 seconds, sort of like a brain freeze. Last night I was wide awake ’til 11pm and when I woke up this morning I didn’t crave tea or coffee at all.

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One of my biggest stresses was wine (and vodka, and pimms, and sugar free red bull) and not being ‘allowed’ to drink for a full week made me feel super panicky. I’m on day three and I’m not craving booze. I don’t feel like I need a drink as a ‘pick me up’ or a ‘wind me down’. I feel pretty neutral. Fresh. I went for a long walk and bicycle ride with the kids and dogs this afternoon, and I’m dead keen to get to gym tomorrow. I’ve been more productive work-wise too, more focused.

My only complaint is that the juices are pretty large, at 500ml a juice. I looked around at other programs and they’re all pretty much in those quantities. I really thought that I’d be super hungry, but I’m struggling to finish them. Fiona gave me the tip to skip one on the defrost if there are duplicates. So instead of having a whole Super Juice at 9 and another whole one at 11, to have half and half. I’m doing that from tomorrow. That way I can also save some of my juices for after. I’m suddenly pretty turned off by cakes and things, because I know that those foods are empty, and I’m really enjoying feeling nourished. I’ve learned that we don’t need nearly as much food as we think we do. I’ve learned that our body needs nourishment, not ‘fillers’ to feel full. I feel more satisfied having a Turbo Boost juice than I do from having a veggie burger or bowl of pasta, which I find VERY odd, but I’m starting to understand it (and my body)

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We all have different taste preferences, eg the Super Juice is not my favourite – only because it has lime in it. The rest mostly have hints of lemon, which I love. I love beetroot, but ginger isn’t my favourite. Twice now I’ve caught Benjamin with one of my Super Juices and Noah is obsessed with the Lemon Ginger Zinger. How it works is that you receive ALL your juices frozen in a box, and you put them all in the freezer. They’re marked on the cap, so “Day 1 Juice 2” or “Day 3 Juice 5” so the night before, you just take out the next day’s juices to defrost. The convenience is one of my favourite parts of this juicing process. Not having to cook or prep meals or grab an unhealthy meal is such a pleasure. I’ve really enjoyed the time off in that department.

I’ve been taking some photos of all the juices and their descriptions. The welcome pack is beautifully done. I’ll do another post this week to show you more of the program, but in the interim, you can check out the juicing packages on their website. There are so many programs to choose from, starting from R800.00 a package. I’m curious to see how I feel tomorrow. Apparently day 4 is even more amazing, so I’ll keep you updated. I’m really enjoying this, and I’m feeling really great on the inside – out.

 

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Adventures of a suburban wife.

I’ve been talking about how tired I feel lately, just from being a mom and trying to get everything done with the kids. Not new, or original material – I realize. Women worldwide complain about fatigue every chance they get. Forget horse betting, I wanna be in a room full of moms and put money on who is legit the most exhausted. I’ve been struggling to settle lately. Well, since we moved to the school district, and the boys started attending a real-real school. Friends warned me about it – to enjoy the playschool days because things get very real in big school. I laughed them off. “I’ll show YOU” I told myself. “I’ll show those silly moms who obviously don’t know me or my children. We’ll be just fine!”

And here I am on the edge of sanity at least once a week. Sometimes I cry for just no reason. I cried in Coyote Ugly the other night. I mean what is that? People sent me that video of the guy documenting his dead dog’s life and I got back in bed, unable to face my life that morning. And you know, when you have a kid, people are like “Wow kids are such a big responsibility” and I always thought that was a bit of a sham. Feed them 3 – 5 times a day, make sure they bath now and then and put their shoes on the right way around. They pretty much raise themselves, if we’re being honest. All they want to do is play and cuddle and climb things and listen to stories. Not much to it.

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And then Noah got a homework book. Firstly, I couldn’t even cover the darn thing. I had a friend over and watched her do it while I sipped wine and took notes. We always used those ‘already folded’ book sleeves, but I couldn’t find any at the shops. She let me write the name on the label and everything. I remember the first time I got a notice from the school and I thought “lol they obviously don’t know me. This form will sit in my cubby hole for 3 months and eventually be used to mop up dog vomit or similar.” I try be a good school mom. I want Noah to be that kid with the melrose cheesie and juice box and apple slices and triangle cut sandwiches in his lunchbox. Crusts removed. Eventually I realized that I really should read the notifications and it started pretty slow. One or two here. “Theme in class this week is The Ocean” seems legit. Kids should know about the ocean. Fish and stuff. I imagined they had a poster up in class somewhere, nice pictures of dolphins and so forth. Kids love dolphins. Like 2 days later: “Children are going on an outing via train to the actual ocean to swim and discover and learn. We need help with lifts. Pack a snack and a towel and plastic packet for wet clothes and any medication and sunblock and this is all the paperwork. Sign this form if your child is attending. This one for indemnity and sign this form if you will transport a child to the station. Sign this form if you will be attending the field trip with your child personally or alternatively, sign this form if you’re a kak mom. And also send money for train.”

He’s in a top-notch school. Really, the best. They go ALL out and I love them for it. They go a lot further than any school I ever went to. That whole week at school, they had talks and visitors and one day when I fetched Noah he was like “Come check the octopus.” Yes. An octopus. It was in the school fridge and very much dead, but they’d sourced it somehow. I think the first time I saw an octopus was at the aquarium like, last year. Then the theme was “pets” and I figured maybe the teacher would bring her hamster to school one day. They had a full on dog show on the school field. And an educational talk from trainers and breeders and a vet, I think. Every day there were different animals at school, and one day I even took old Buttons in and let the kids pet him all day. In my old school, I imagine it went “Who can name pets” and some kids went “goldfish” “puppy” “budgie!” and that concluded the pet theme for the week.

Noah has a lot of things that he has to remember and of course he can’t remember all of it, because he is 6 and still little. Every day he has to remember his bag, a jacket, hat, umbrella (lately) and his homework book. His lunch, his juice box and a fruit. The kids all hand in a fruit at school, then they all share. It’s great! When he gets to class he needs to register, hand in his fruit, hand in his homework book and note his ‘mood of the day’ by putting his name peg next to the emoticon he’s feeling… like sad, happy, angry, sick etc. On certain days he also has to remember his swimming costume, plastic bag, cap, towel and spare clothes. Other days his soccer kit. Other days his library bag. On top of that, he also has to remember something or other that the homework book had notified us of, like a R10 for a fundraiser or raffle sheets or a cake sale or something.

By Noah I mean me. I have to remember this stuff. Me. And HE IS ONLY IN GRADE R. He doesn’t even have homework or tests or projects or real sports yet. He doesn’t even have subjects or school books. Or a pencil bag. Or a uniform! Then Ben will enter grade R next year and Noah will move on and who knows what will become of this family. You’d hope that the kids would help along, but the boys are getting to that ‘testing’ age. I have GOOD kids, but Noah can be stubborn like a donkey on a hot day. This one day, I’d packed him left over spaghetti for lunch. He is going through a phase where he does not want to eat spaghetti. In his defense, this has been going on for about two to three years but I can’t eliminate spaghetti from the family diet because it is cheap and quick to cook. He already won’t eat meat so the options you understand are quite limited. We argued all the way to school about the spaghetti and what I didn’t see was him taking his lunch box out of his bag and leaving it on the backseat. Off I go on my day of meetings, workshops and errands.

At 10:15 I got a call from the school. “You have not packed food for your child.” This is a school that I’ve been trying to impress for years with flowers, emails, begging, stalking, volunteering at sports days and borderline bribing to get my child in to the school at all. We moved house, moved Ben’s school, moved jobs and tried to impress these people for almost two years. “No, I’m very sure that I did pack him a lunch.” “No ma’am he says there’s no lunchbox in his bag. All the other children are eating right now and he doesn’t have any food.” It took me about 7 minutes to slap a sandwich together and drive it to his class, furious but also terrified that I was somehow in trouble. Heaven forbid the other moms hear of this, I thought. Bet the PTA has hidden cameras all over that place. I mean, how terrifying are the other moms? I’m sure they’re quite nice and kind, if you ever make eye contact with them. When I walk in and out, I imagine them thinking “There goes that mom that wears her gym kit every day and never goes to gym. Or showers.”

It’s taking a lot of adjusting. And I do feel pretty overwhelmed. I’m really enjoying Ben’s last year of ‘pretend’ school. Every now and then he brings art or a cupcake home and we’re like “how sweet” and that’s about all there is to it. This Friday Noah has to have a costume for dress-up, and I saw three more notices in his homework book that I haven’t the courage to look at right now. I’m so excited for him. He loves his school and he’s learning so much. He gets excited about every single brand new day and it makes it all so worth it!

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