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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Why is everyone so happy?

I’m feeling so disheartened tonight, and I have been for a while. I so badly want to open my heart on my blog, but it’s tricky. There’s this invisible line in this whole blogging business that you might not know about. Talk, but don’t say too much. Be personal, but don’t air dirty laundry. I don’t know about you, but every person I’ve ever met has a bit of laundry that needs doing – you know? I’ve experimented with different writing styles and gone through my own emotional growth in my blogging years. I’ve experienced different kinds of reactions from all angles, both personally and by listening with open ears when others are talking… about each other.

Someone I know wrote a beautiful and heartfelt article on her struggle with depression. Weeks later, I felt nauseated when I overheard other bloggers referring to her as the ‘sad’ one with all the ‘problems’, clutching flutes of complimentary champagne while perched in a huddle, overdressed with made up faces as genuine as their personalities. Nothing annoys me as much as phoniness. Be real, show an abundance of character and authenticity, then you have my full attention and my respect. Intelligence, quick wit, knowledge and an education in both books and life are what will set you apart from those who are easily herded in to social corners and cliques.

I admire people who show their unique and creative spirit. People who disagree and argue. The non conformists and the trouble makers. The kind and fiery hearts with exciting stories to share about their lives and experiences, and not about other people and their misfortunes or personal struggles. I may have crossed a line here, and perhaps there’s a press release or event invitation that will skip my inbox next week, but I believe in authenticity… to a degree. Tricky, I realize. Let me explain.

I had a quick chat with Jane over on her blog this week, and I’ll share an extract. She asked if there was anything I’d want my readers to know about me, and I said:

I think that people assume that they genuinely know or understand people via following them on social media, but it pays to remember that I don’t share intimate details of my life involving my kids or husband, marriage, work or extended family. While you might see a cute picture of my son on Instagram, I may have lost a big client that day. Maybe G and I had an awful fight or maybe one of the kids is struggling at school and it’s breaking my heart. While I want to talk about all these things, I do value and respect the privacy of those around me. 

These are the boundaries that we all face in our lives. We sensor ourselves. We show the good and cheerful parts and try fit in and be likeable. Desirable, even. Maybe we don’t want people feeling sorry for us, or looking down on us. Maybe we don’t want to appear weak or fragile in this world of filters and selfies and perfectly styled breakfasts.

Last year my heart bled like a broken reservoir. Our little Benjamin was diagnosed with asthma. He’d had it for years and I didn’t know. I’m his mother, and I did not know that my sweetheart of a boy was struggling with something that I was not making better for him. He got in to a whole lot of trouble and in to a critical condition. We carried his little body to a hospital and sat at his bedside for four days watching people try fix him. If we’d waited an hour, things would have been different, they said. I thought he just had flu. I thought. he. had. flu. Specialists were coming in and out, syringes filled with blood and oxygen and nebulizers were being passed around and I sat next to him feeling like the worst human that ever existed. Like I didn’t deserve to be his mother. I wanted to tell everyone, I wanted to tell all our friends and I wanted to tell complete strangers because I wanted help. Advice. We needed support. Even now, it’s hard to talk about because the guilt pushes my tears forward every time I think about that week. How awful I felt. How scared we all were. I didn’t want to tell you because it was personal, and it was about Benjamin. So I wrote about houses and holidays and a bunch of other things and I pretended that I wasn’t terrified and desperately lonely in all my fears and feelings.

6 months later, Ben is so in control of his condition. After several tests, we’ve established that his asthma is allergy induced. Bunny Banana struggles to get his breathing straight when something (we don’t know what) in mother nature annoys his tiny boy chest. He’ll tell you all of this himself, like he’s telling a really good story. The asthma is something he’ll probably outgrow, and he’s completely the boss of it. He is not ashamed in the slightest. He pulls out his pump at play dates, in class and amongst friends like it’s just no big deal at all, because it isn’t. He is strong and proud and true to himself, so why was I so ashamed? My boy is perfect and he’s going through the business of growing up and with that comes all sorts of challenges, developments and obstacles. As he grows and changes, I’m learning and growing as a mother too.

We’re not all as happy as we might seem online (not even you) so why all the masks and faces. Are we seeking validation? Do we appear more desirable if we pose our lives in a sunny disposition? We’re sharing our good times and happy memories. Our journeys, travels and experiences. I get that, I understand that and heck you guys – I do it too! Let’s celebrate our lives and be grateful for all our blessings, I know – let’s do that.

But let’s also be real. I miss humanity. I miss the connection. Our poses and masks are leaking like bloodied ink from our smart phones in to our real lives. Like the idealism of our highlight reels are becoming our misguided realities. Sit around a dinner table and it’s like getting the commentated version of instagram. A podcast of your social media lives, printed and transcribed in to a dialogue for all to hear. “Look how happy I am” we say. “Look how great everything is” we try to convince each other, and ourselves while adding more filters and hashtags so that even more people can see how great everything is.

But is it?

I had an awful night tonight. I’ve cancelled two overseas trips this past year, and my social media feeds are covered in photos of international museums, concert tickets, the Eiffel tower and exotic beaches. A reminder that I haven’t quite got my shit together this year (again) and another nagging reminder that I’m sinking so deep in to the ‘suburban mom’ persona that I genuinely fear that I’ll never get out. Am I too selfless? Am I just unorganized? Why am I so busy all the time? Am I doing something wrong, is everyone else better at everything than I am? I haven’t gotten round to returning our library books, so how will I ever manage to sort my visa out.  Am I not making it a priority, or is it secretly not actually important to me at all. Is it an escape tactic? A rebellion against the school commute, play dates and soccer practice? It’s always like that, isn’t it. When you’re trying to lose weight, your social media feed is consumed by pictures of people who look like they haven’t eaten in three months. The best decor posts will always show up right after the dog ate half your couch. A perfectly styled picture of a nutritionally balanced salad will punch you in the chest as you’re digging in to (another) defrosted pizza base, reminding you just how awful you are at everything. How much more organized everyone else is and how much more money everyone has than you. Seriously though – where do you all get all your money from?

I sound bitter and ungrateful tonight, don’t I? I’m not. We’ve been blessed in more ways than I’d ever hoped. My life is riddled in privilege and happiness, I admit. We don’t want or need for anything, and yet lately I find myself feeling quite greedy about it. Like we need and want more, but we don’t. Not really we don’t. Yet, some days I feel like a wild spirit captured in a mediocre life. Some days I feel disappointed in how ordinary everything is. The routine of it all. I want to pack up this house and the boys and trek through Africa for a month, but then I remember that we have full time jobs, and those darn library books. Some days I really just want to shake things up. I also remember how incredibly blessed and happy we all are, just the way everything is right now.

Obviously I genuinely want all the good people on earth to be happy and healthy and for all your dreams to come true, hard work to pay off and for every success to be granted in your very and exact direction, I do. Maybe social media mirrors our own shortcomings back to us and hits us in the emotions in case you really were numb inside, and maybe that’s a good thing. Like a reminder of our own obstacles and shortcomings. A kick in the butt, if we’re being eloquent. Maybe social media is the new nagging housewife, except in pictures. And while the nagging housewife is annoying AF (ask Graeme) maybe we need it, and to keep track of everything we’d like to achieve. But then I question – is social media selling us a preconceived idealism of flashy cars, expensive restaurants, stylish clothes, perfect bodies and international trips that we don’t really desire? Is the augmented reality of other people’s lives encouraging and motivating our every success or making us feel disheartened and depressed? Depends what mood you’re in, I say. Some days I feel so inspired by everything around me and other days I want to unfollow every single person I’ve ever met. Because emotions. The thing is, it’s not jealousy. It’s a reminder. When I see someone who has lost 10kg I instantly feel happy for them, but then I feel super guilty because I skipped a run (or six) and ate that second bowl of pasta last night. You know? And sometimes I don’t want to feel that guilt. Sometimes I just want to eat my pasta and be happy with my muffin top without questioning my life on a Tuesday night.

Then I remember that we’ve got some great trips coming up, and we’re really trying to make our home look beautiful and cozy. And I wonder if there’s someone out there, looking at my or someone else’s social media feed, wondering if they’ve gone wrong and how they ended up alone on the couch on a Saturday night. And if that’s you, I want you to know that I feel like that sometimes too, and it really is awful. We’ve all got a different ‘ordinary’ and it’s up to us how we reflect these mirrors shining their light in our faces.

It’s okay to feel pretty sad about all of it sometimes. Sad about being tired, and not seeing your friends and family often enough, or eating junk and not living your best life.  Sad about not being on top of things all the time. And sometimes it’s good to talk about it, even if nobody is listening.

 

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Weylandts’ first ever TV ad – The Tastemakers

Weylandts TV ad

I’m sure I’ve told you, but super talented Mr Husband works over at Weylandts. Over the past couple of weeks, they’ve been shooting a pretty incredible TV ad for their Tastemakers Campaign. The ad was shot at Chris Weylandts home (I KNOW, right?) over at Maison Estate. The model is the very gorgeous and apparently super nice Ana Kuni. I’ve taken a few stills from the ad to show you the vibe, because oh man… it’s just such a breathtakingly beautiful little story. The ad opens with “A weekend to ourselves” and shows a home video style series of the husband filming his wife being very every-day in their gorgeous (and tasteful) home.

Weylandts tastemakers modelWeylandts model 2Weylands weekend tv ad

WeylandtsWeylandts tastemakersweylandts fireplace loungeWeylandts south africaWeylandts taste makers tv campaign

From eating left overs for breakfast (empty bottles of wine still all over the kitchen) and dancing in the living room with no shoes on, to running around the house in your cozzy, this feel-good ad will leave a nice little grin all over your face. It’s so gorgeous that within seconds you’ll want to be in that house, with all that furniture, decor and accessories – which I guess was the entire point. Watch the ad! And congrats to the entire Weylandts team. This is beautiful!

 

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Summer Bodies are made in Winter, right?

This time last year, I was prepping for my first ever half marathon. I took part in a challenge to go from “Couch to 21km in 8 Weeks” with no previous running fitness or experience. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best move on my part. I jumped in too quickly and went too far, too fast. I ended up with injuries including blisters, stress fractures, shin splints and it took months for my quads to feel back to their quad-like selves. I was super proud of myself, and signed up for more races straight away but every time I ran I was in pain. I did a few short runs but most days couldn’t clock 2km. Running is something I LOVE doing, but I switched to fitness classes to strengthen my body and to keep moving without my running shoes. At gym and I do Shape classes every week, which is 30 mins hard core cardio and 30 minutes toning – squats, lunges, sit ups, planking, all of it. I don’t know the names of the things we do but I know that you can’t walk for 6 days after, and it feels great. Toning and strengthening my core has made such a difference in everything that I do. A few weeks ago, I went for a run again in the Overberg and for the fist time in almost a year, it didn’t hurt. I’ve slowly been adding more runs to my routine, mostly on the treadmill just to keep the muscles warm and active. One of my favourite things to do is run my little heart out to super loud music and watch the swimmers.

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Now that I feel stronger and fresh again, I really want to up my game. Last year I wrote about my sudden and epic weight gain, where I gained like 7-10 kgs in a matter of weeks. Call it the 30s, call it pasta (probably the pasta though) but I ate my way through my entire wardrobe. The 21km was the perfect challenge for me to adjust my life, get fit and healthy – and it worked. I’ve been keeping active since then, and I feel good. Winter can be pretty crummy in Cape Town cause it rains a lot, so I hang out at gym  more often. Also – our gym has a huuuuge indoor play area for kids with basketball court, so the kids LOVE going and getting a little workout too. I take the dogs for a walk every single day, sometimes twice a day. We have 4 great parks in our area, so I take my running watch with me and do a few laps with Jack and Daisy. They really love it when I run, and while I’m breaking a sweat they literally look like they’re not even trying. Mocking me with their finesse and endurance, those darn dogs.

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So while I’m slowly upping my fitness, I’m also trying to lose those last few kgs. While I fit in to all my clothes again, I still feel like I should be wearing LONG shirts and HIGH waisted pants (what muffin top) to cover any and all wobbly bits, you know? What I wouldn’t give for skinny, toned arms you guys. I’m not doing enough in my diet, and I have the appetite of a teenage boy. I never used to care for things like cake, but since becoming a vegetarian, I’m craving more carbs and sugars. I’m trying to find the balance with the protein and iron to nourish my body appropriately without it craving or needing anything unnecessary. I love healthy food and I do eat well, it’s just the little extras that are weighing me down (or up, am I right?). I’ve switched to soup because it’s easy for me to add proteins like dollops of cottage cheese, kidney beans, spinach and chickpeas and it’s working! I like soup because preservatives and added ‘secret’ ingredients freak me out, and soup is just vegetables and water which makes me feel super clean and healthy and like the food is pure. I’ve cut out carbs completely, which isn’t a great move because two hours later all I want is chocolate cake. I just need to start creating a better balance. Or I just need to stop ordering cake but let’s not be ridiculous you guys. I mean.

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So I want to lose 5kgs. I’m not a banting kinda gal (because gross) and I 100% believe in balance and moderation. I would never DENY myself anything. If I have cake, I know I need to run that little bit extra the next day or I add another walk in to our routine. I don’t drink enough water, and I need to add even more activity to my schedule. Resistance training and running makes you younger, stronger, healthier and reduces your risk of disease and osteoporosis quite drastically. Not eating meat is helping with cholesterol and cancer risks, but I want to do even MORE to live a healthy life. One of my besties has joined my gym so we’re doing Pilates which I feel quite weird about cause I’d rather be RUNNING, but I really need to get to my core and balance, and get in tune with what my body is capable of. So I need to stop eating the added crap, and I NEED you guys to support me. I’m going to be posting all my meals on Instagram (@therabbithaus) again. I call it #tashbunnydiet if you want to find it or follow along. My goal is to lose 5kg by Friday 26 June and the real challenge will be to maintain it throughout winter. By reducing my body fat percentage, I hope to be lighter, healthier, fitter, faster and more confident. Feeling self conscious isn’t sexy, you guys. So here’s to more running, less cake, a tiny bit less wine, more water and more balance. This blog post is all about being held accountable, so please will somebody count on me. Do you have any health goals this winter? Let’s run them out together. Lace up!

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Interviews with my father. A podcast.

In one of my recent posts I chatted a bit about our crazy family holidays. And I got to thinking about my parents a lot, and the amazing lives they’ve lived. I got the idea of doing a podcast (starting with my dad) to interview him about his life a bit. I’ve been nagging him to write a memoir for years, but my dad… He’s not great with technology, so he wouldn’t be able to type it all out. He’s got this book where he jots memories down but he doesn’t know how to get going with all of it. I figured we could start with little interviews and see where that goes.

My dad has had the most incredible life, and it really just needs to be documented. My dad is also just the nicest guy you’ve ever met in your life. He’s just so real, and different and authentic. He’s such an old soul, and we are really close. I also want my boys to know more about their grandfather, as my dad lives in Empangeni we don’t get to spend a lot of time together. I started with a little clip this morning, and I’m researching how the heck you even create a podcast – what do you use to record it? Do I have to do any post production sound engineering? How do I do that? I also need to get hold of some old pictures and things, and I’m putting together a timeline of my dad’s life to date to get a feel of chapters and how to break it all down. Can I do it all by recording our voice conversations? What about the quality? Loud speaker audio is so miff. So I got myself a little side project to work on, and I’m super excited about it. I’m eager to learn even more about my dad and both my parents’ lives – and uncover some family tree information as well.

This morning I just wanted to do a sound test, to see how the audio would work. Man I’m so bad at this – I just took a video clip of me on the phone to him – in photo booth. Sigh. My dad said we can do the recordings at night and over weekends so he can concentrate. I’m gonna do the first one tonight, and get those kids to bed super early so we can figure it all out.

I am EXCITED you guys. If anyone has any advice on the best way to go about creating a podcast, right down to how to record it, please let me know. I woke up at 4am with this whole idea and called my dad pretty early to discuss all of this, and his phone went straight to voicemail. It’s going REALLY well you guys.

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A note on blogging from a blogger

Hello daar, blog. Flipping flip I haven’t been writing for a while, have I? Guys have you noticed how many blogs there are lately? There are one or two that I read, but those of you from back in the day (7 or 8 years ago) might remember a completely different and more isolated internet life. Back when some of the greatest and most important blogs were around and everyone really gave AF about what they said and thought about the world. Nowadays – not as much. It’s all gone a bit commercial and kak, hasn’t it? In it for the ‘opportunities’ these young guns. The stats, the awards (remember those) the freebies and I don’t know what else. I saw a blogger meet up thing the other day and flip you guys that was what Nicki, Angie and I started up about… six years ago? Five? Back when I was at a PR agency in Joburg. A LONG time ago. Remember when Nicki blogged? I miss her writing so much. So many really good writers have censored or packed it in completely because it’s just too much. And you guys, some bloggers these days can be hard-core-mean to each other, and super serious. It’s changed. I have noted that the real writers, the artists, the sentimental and passionate… are still here. The ones who built their house on the rock, you know?

Do you still read blogs? With all these apps and services and devices, it’s pretty easy to stay in the loop these days. I’m so guilty of not updating and it bugs me because this is where I keep all our memories. I made a bit of a U-turn a few months ago, or was it last year – when was it? and decided to stop and say NEE to the sponsorships and cash monies and things because it blurred a lot of what I wanted to do with my online space. Blogging is not a business, or well it’s not my paycheck. I have a business that I put all my energy, love and excitement in to every day and it’s just so rewarding. Some of you may know that I run a little social media agency in Cape Town. With blogging: I find that when you start getting paid to do something you love (in terms of hobbies) then even that starts to become a bit of a chore. A deadline. A responsibility. It’s no fun, I say. And I’m not a salesman you guys. That’s not what I wanna write about. And I’ve been doing SO MUCH writing lately, just not online or published because some things are private. Here is a picture of me looking private. Look how private I am.

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I’ve become very… personal about a lot of things, and I think it’s great. I’m quite an introvert IRL, and a bit of a recluse. I was telling Graeme how I struggle to make small talk or make friends because the friends I do have, I’ve had my whole adult life (and most through childhood and teen years too) So meeting new people and telling them about me sounds just… exhausting. I am a complex person. My besties know everything about me, and there’s great comfort there. I don’t trust many people because there are just so many jerks out there, you know? I like to stay warm by the fire of my close friends, family, children and dogs. We went to a kids party yesterday, and I spoke to a group of moms for a few minutes and as G and I walked away, I was like “OMG was I okay? Did I say anything weird? Do you think they’ll think I’m okay? Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned this or that, or like spoken a word at all. Was I weird?” Cause the thing is that I AM weird and I’m afraid of opening my mouth around people for most of the time. Also, G is so used to my quirks / probable personality disorders that he is completely useless at giving feedback. He’s like “you were just yourself” and I’m like “NOOOoooooo that’s awful!!” I’ve really been struggling with school moms. The ‘other’ moms I call them. I mean they all seem nice, but I am so skittish all the time. Is there an app for people skills?

I have these friends that I’ve met over the years who I know don’t know me at all. You’ve got them too. Friends you keep at the very tip of your fingers and who you ‘friendship’ with every day, but they don’t know a darn thing about the human you are deep inside. In the corners and shadows and behind trap doors. You don’t ‘show and tell’ those parts because heck, the therapist you hired and paid couldn’t open that kak with a crowbar.

So sometimes it really is easier to go online and talk to complete strangers than it is to whatsapp your mother and get IRL feedback. Sometimes it is nice to talk to absolutely nobody about absolutely everything and to remind y’all that this is real life people.

My friend Stacey (real-deal writer) has described my writing style as confessional. She picked it up off the bat because hers is too, and I’ve always suspected that Stacey and I are similar. I love friends like Stacey because she’s felt extreme and utter heartache. Not a standard requisite for a tick-box, but I feel comfortable around people with broken hearts. People who have suffered are real. Humble. Intelligent. Wise. Wordly. Experienced. Haunted. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable around people who live ordinary or sheltered lives. Easy lives. Does that sound bad? Look how insecure I am all over my blog today. I wonder if you’re able to feel without your heart broken in half, like it needs to be exposed and vulnerable to heighten your awareness and absorb more life.

I’m more drawn to honesty and bleeding emotion. I want to read and write and feel. I want to save my own memories for a rainy day. I want to remember everything about this life and I want people who love me to remember all about me too. I’ve been following this tandem blogging experiment over on Cath’s blog (thanks for the invite, bitches) and I’m really enjoying it. They get a ‘line’ every week and a whole bunch of them have to write a blog post on it. It’s very cool! I also read my friend Keri‘s blog because her writing is lekker and she likes to leap out of her comfort zone, which I really respect about people. Some research (a tweet I sent out once) has shown that we follow blogs because we’re drawn to the writer’s personality and feel connected to them. I get that, because even if my favourite bloggers are writing about computer games, I’m all in cause I like to read their words and find out what they’ve been up to, like a creepster.

So I guess what I’m TRYING to say, is that it’s pretty hard to stay authentic in this new world and wave of bloggers who might be in it for different reasons – reasons that weren’t even around when some of us started out, and that’s okay. We have our own motives, and who’s to say who is right anyway, just cause someone isn’t doing something the same way – doesn’t mean they’re wrong or right and who cares… let people do what they wanna do, right? I haven’t been feeling very creative. As I write this, it’s Sunday morning and the kids are being hella loud, running up and down the passage and outside (up to no good I’ll bet) so it’s hard to stay focused. I know I sound like a whiny mother. I am a whiny mother. I’ll write more soon, little rabbit haus memoir. I swear it!

 

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