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The benefits of adding fruits and veg to your diet

The benefits of adding fruits and veg to your diet

The sad reality is that the food we consume is becoming less and less natural. Our grocery stores are stocked with processed foods. These foods are filled with preservatives and additives that we don’t necessarily take the time to check for. The next culprits are yummy burgers and fries at our fast food outlets. These have been a huge contributing factor to the increase of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic diseases over the last few years.

benefits of fruits and veggies

We’re here to help you avoid being part of these statistics! Improve your diet by simply adding more Fruit and Veg to your daily intake. These are the benefits:

  1. Great Sources of Vitamins and Minerals. They are filled with vitamins A, C and E, as well as magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid. One of the most important minerals for your health is potassium and can be found in avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, prunes and even tomato paste puree.
  1. Variety of Flavours and Textures. Add some fun to your life by getting creative in the kitchen! Try pairing various fruits or vegetables together to experiment with taste and presentation. You may try strong flavours like onions, olives and peppers, or milder options such as mushrooms and corn. For sweet flavours, fruits like pineapple, grapes or plums are great, while lemons and grapefruits are more sour.
  1. High in Fibre. Most fruits and vegetables have plenty of fibre that will boost your gut health. This is vital to ensure your immune system is at its strongest to fight off any infections. Fibre-rich vegetables include, green peas, broccoli and cauliflower. High-fibre fruits include raspberries, apples and pears.
  1. Protection against Cancer and other Diseases. Fruit and Veg contain phytochemicals – biologically active substances that can help protect against diseases. By adding them to your diet, this can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Vegetables such as broccoli, and cabbage have been linked to reducing cancer risks.
  1. Quick and Easy. Many fruits can easily be grabbed as an on-the-go snack when you’re heading out the door. Make sure to thoroughly rinse before consuming them. Vegetables, on the other hand, can be prepared in a fraction of the time the average meal takes to prepare. Convenience is key!
benefits of veggies

Although it may take a little creativity, effort and an open mind to try new things – switching to a diet with more Fruit and Veg is definitely worth it! Remember, there’s a Fruit and Veg out there for everyone to enjoy. Why wait when you can stop by your nearest grocery store and some few Fruit and Veg for the week?! Your body will thank you.

Omega fats

Omega’s and their benefits

Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids are important dietary fats.

Despite them having individual health benefits, it is important to get a good balance of them. An imbalance in your diet may often contribute to a number of chronic diseases.

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat the human body cannot produce. These fats are referred to as “essential fats” meaning we have to include them in our diet. Experts have recommended that we eat at least two portions of fish per week, particularly oily fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some of their benefits Omega-3 provides:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Contributes to brain development and function
  • General wellness of the heart, immune system and nervous system
  • Manage cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels
  • Helps manage or prevent depression

Omega-6

Omega-6 fatty acids are also a type of fat the human body cannot produce and needs to be obtained from our diet. They mainly provide energy. Considering the average diet, experts have noted the unhealthy increase in the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids from 1:1 to 15:1 in recent years. This may contribute to cardiovascular diseases and many types of cancers. Here are suggestions to decrease Omega-6 intake:

  • Decreasing consumption of red meat (especially lamb)
  • Replacing sunflower oil with vegetable oils such as canola oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil or olive oil
  • Adding walnuts, chia seeds (soaked) or ground flaxseed to cereals, smoothies, yogurt and salads
  • Limit oily products such as mayonnaise salad dressings
  • Try to avoid processed foods such as crisp and take-aways
  • Consider taking a fish oil supplement

Omega-9

Omega-9 fatty acids aren’t strictly “essential” as the body can produce them. This, however, should not cause us to shy away from consuming foods containing omega-9 fatty acids. It can be found in olive oil, nuts and seeds. Here are the benefits of Omega-9:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces cardiovascular disease risk
  • Acts as a substitute in case of low levels of omega 3 and 6

Omega Me

Our experts have recommended Omega Me to increase your body’s intake of the Omega’s. It has superior raw nutrition with a rich nutty flavour and a soft, chewy and crunchy texture. This superior quality set of diverse proteins and amino acids, support the regeneration of muscle and tissue building, helping to accelerate recovery from exercise. Shop Now

exam stress and self care

EXAM STRESS AND SELF-CARE

It’s like threading a needle or pushing toothpaste back into its tube.  How about sitting on your suitcase trying to zip it closed even though you know, you overpacked? This is the frustration you’re faced with while preparing for exams. We understand.

It’s of importance that you know how to take extra care of yourself while you’re studying. With that said, let’s highlight a few lessons on how to make exam season more manageable.

  1. Get rid of ‘Dread Weight’: The amount of work you have can be daunting and may leave you feeling overwhelmed. This will cause you to procrastinate or completely halt you from executing the task at hand. Your mind is powerful. Make the mental switch from dread to acceptance. Once you’ve accepted what lies ahead, your mind will commit to overcoming it. Repeat this acceptance to yourself a few times if necessary. You’ll feel a whole lot lighter.
  • Create Structure: Break your studying into identifiable chunks – assigning timeslots to various sections of work. Be fair on yourself when allocating time. It shouldn’t be rushed nor should it be extremely lengthy. Have a balance. Get your head in the game and keep it there until you’ve finished a particular section. This will ensure you take breaks and prevent you from burning out. You’ll achieve quite a bit while still feeling refreshed.
  • Keep an organised space: Immediately making your bed when you wake up is the best way to start a productive day. Similarly, keeping the space around you neat and tidy will give you a sense of control and reduce the feeling of chaos. A messy kitchen or heaps of laundry can be distracting when you need to focus on your exams. When your space is clean, your mind will automatically prioritise studying above all else.
  • Minimize Distractions: Your smartphone is probably the biggest distraction out there. If not your smartphone, streaming services will take precious amounts of your time without you realizing it. We all love scrolling through Social Media and catching up on our latest series, however, we should learn to contain it during exam season. Priorities are key. Try turning off your notifications or turning your smartphone on silent mode while studying. You may even place it in another room. This will ensure you don’t break your focus. Thereafter, you may reward yourself with an episode of your favourite series.

Taking some time out of your schedule to relieve yourself from the pressures of your daily responsibilities will serve you well. This will reset your mind and body to get back to a healthy point where you are well-balanced again. Here are 3 recommendations on how to take better care of yourself:

  1. Get enough sleep: Your body needs at least 8 hours of sleep everyday, especially with the increased pressure of the world we live in. This will leave you feeling refreshed and focused. It will also ensure your productivity is at its optimum. Short power naps are also a great way to refresh you, clear your mind and have you fighting for your goals like a champion.
  • Improve your diet: This doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive exercise. Start small by incorporating a few fruits and vegetables in your weekly meals. These are good sources of vitamins and minerals which will protect you from certain diseases. Cut down on sugar such as chocolates, gum and cake items. This, accompanied with drinking 8 glasses or 2 litres of water daily will increase your energy levels, lift your mood and help you manage your weight better.
  • Take breaks: The power of me-time should never be underestimated. We all need a break from our jobs, family and friends. This becomes a healthy habit once we do it often. Taking out time to be alone for a short period of time will reduce your stress levels and grant you valuable time for self-discovery and deeper thinking. It will also increase your creativity.

And that’s it! The secret to threading a needle, getting toothpaste back into its tube and cramming those boots into your suitcase.

We wish you well this exam season. Make the best of it. The power lies within you.

spending time in nature

Spending Time In Nature

We, as people, change as we get older, we grow physically, mentally and emotionally. With this growth comes a change in our mental function. It is of utmost importance to keep a healthy mind throughout every stage of life. The simplest ways in which we can ensure we provide our brains with the correct tools to function at prime levels during these changes are, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, spending time outdoors in nature, finding activities that stimulate you mentally and also keep you grounded.

Why is it important to spend time in nature?
The fresh air, sun, trees, flowers and animals are all essential tools in living a happier more balanced and relaxed lifestyle. With the vast amount of stimulation we receive all day every day, spending quality time outdoors, whether it’s by yourself or with a fellow adventure seeker is incredibly important to your physical, emotional and psychological well-being. The long-term benefits of connecting with nature are endless. When you connect with your natural surrounding on a regular basis you will start to see an improvement in your mood, it improves your focus, it helps us heal quicker and even supports graceful aging according to some studies. It is essential for children to spend time outdoors playing in the garden or enjoying time in nature. Numerous studies have shown that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors. The benefits of kids playing outside or spending time in nature are endless, let’s have a look at just a few of these:

  • It builds their confidence,
  • it promotes their creativity,
  • it teaches your kids responsibility,
  • it makes them think faster and clearer and
  • it reduces stress and fatigue.
How much time should you spend in nature?

The more time you spend in nature the better. However it is not always possible to spend vast amounts of time outdoors without any disruptions, due to today’s fast passed lifestyle. Starting off with a minimum of 120 minutes of your time per week spent connecting with your natural surroundings, has shown to have an incredibly positive outcome on us humans in general. Children should be spending far more time outdoors than just 2 hours per week, it is for this reason that kindergartens, creches and primary schools allocate significant amounts of outdoor play for their classes.

Connecting with nature and staying grounded go hand in hand – what do we mean when we talk about being grounded…? No, we are not referring to the punishment we used to receive as kids or teens. When we talk about being grounded, we are referring to the activities that connect you to the earth. It allows you to be more authentically in your body, in the present moment and receive nourishing energy.

How do you ground yourself you may ask? Here are a few simple steps you can follow to ground yourself in nature using all of your senses:

Acknowledge 5 things around you

Acknowledge 4 things you can touch

Acknowledge 3 things you can hear

Acknowledge 2 things you can smell

Acknowledge 1 thing you can taste If you are near the ocean, a lake or river put your hands in the water, focus on how it feels against your skin, what the water sounds like – can you hear it flowing or lapping the shore? Can you smell the scent of the water? If you are at the ocean smell the salt in the air. If the water is safe to taste – what does it taste like?

You can use the same technique even when gardening – however it wouldn’t necessarily be safe to taste the soil, unless you have a toddler, they seem to think the ground is a lovely treat from time to time.

connecting with women

The Importance of Connecting with Women in our lives

From a young age we are encouraged to nurture connections and friendships, to connect with those that are considered to be our “tribe”.  But do we really understand the importance of connecting with like-minded people? From our first day of school to the day we enter the work place, or when picking up your children from school, we as humans tend to search for belonging in everyday life. After all, it is human nature to want to connect with people. Whether it’s connecting with friends, a community or family, we form a tribe as we progress through life.

We, as women, tend to have a better understanding of the importance of connecting with people, forming relationships or bonds and nurturing them as we progress through the different stages of life. With that being said, finding your tribe is difficult, especially when it comes to finding a tribe that reflects our own values or values that are similar to our own while fulfilling the need for companionship.

 “A good friend is a connection to life — a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.” — Lois Wyse, Women Make the Best Friends: A Celebration.

Our tribe of ladies are the pillars on which we so often rely heavily on, laugh with, cry with, celebrate with, look to for advice and share stories of our families with. These are the ladies that we share deep conversations, about all walks of life, as women with. Our kids often become friends through these circles and create long lasting bonds for future generations. If you have the chance to keep these friendships from childhood right through to your silver years, you are far richer than you realise. Cherish these connections and make an effort to keep them alive as they can be vital to your spiritual and mental well-being.

women as good friends

In the modern world and especially with how things are currently, connecting with people can become challenging. The question is what are you doing to maintain those connections? There are endless ways to stay in-touch given the current technological advancements. From applications that connect us via interests, hobbies, location, age or careers etc. to Face Timing, WhatsApp video calls or even Zoom, there are so many fantastic ways to keep connected. If the business world can uphold such a high standard and full functionality using just a few of the above-mentioned apps and programs, keeping a close-knit tribe connected shouldn’t be a challenge.

With Woman’s Day just around the corner, we have taken some time to think of a few ways for you and your tribe to connect virtually – due to the restriction we face with the current events.

  • Ladies love having a good chat or a catch up with friends; why not arrange a virtual high tea via zoom. Have one of the ladies in your circle create a digital high tea invite and send it out to your group with the date, time, and the link for the zoom call. That way you all get to see each other, share a delightful slice of your favourite cake and a great cup of home brewed java. 
  • Create a WhatsApp group chat where you can do a quick check-in to see how everyone is doing and share a photo or meme or two. Truth be told laughter is the best medicine, it feeds the soul and lifts your spirits especially during these confusing times.
  • Send a virtual gift, either a voucher or an e-book that could help connect you and a friend.

Create a circle journal using one of our journals – set a time each week to catch up on what you have journaled and share your weekly experiences with those closest to you.

connect with downloadable apps

Downloadable APPs that you can use to connect with like-minded people and share ideas, hobbies, passions etc.

  • Meetup: Expand your social circle with Meetup It uses common interests and location to connect you to others, discover the things you love to do and people to do them with – both online and in person. IOS Download  Android Download
  • Friender: Friender is all about similar interests. Unlike profiles on other apps that focus only on the bio you write for yourself, Friender has users rate their interests in a bunch of activities. It is available for iPhone download only. IOS Download
  • Atleto: If you are on the hunt for a sport or workout buddy; Atleto is the app for you. It connects you with athletes that are interested in the same workouts/sports you are interested in. IOS Download  Android Download
  • HEY! VINA: Missing the days when you were surrounded by your huge group of girlfriends? Hey! Vina, an app made by women for women. IOS Download  Android Download
  • Mom Life: The app that connects you with other pregnant ladies from all over the world, chat with those who are in the same stage of pregnancy as you. IOS Download  Android Download
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