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Tag: health & fitness

Grumpy Snacks

My health journey has introduced me to many new businesses that really get me excited.  I have a terrible sweet tooth, & definitely eat my emotions.  ie if I’m feeling happy/sad/excited/depressed/nervous/stressed/any other emotion, I will reach for food.  And preferably something sweet, laden with sugar & filled with empty calories.  I have been consciously trying to make a change, & one thing I am focused on is only having healthy snacks at home & at the office.  It doesn’t always work, but every small step is still a step forward in the right direction.

Grumpy Snacks is a small business that make me laugh out loud when I spotted their social media posts, & I really loved their whole vibe.  The owners are easy to talk to, willing to chat & passionate about what they are offering.  I am sure you will be as obsessed as I am once you learn more about them!


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Your name: Cait Black and Tim King

Business name: Grumpy Snacks

Social media handles: Facebook & Instagram

Tell me a bit more about your business: I am hungry. ALWAYS hungry. In the blink of an eye hungry becomes grumpy. And then no one is safe, especially Tim (my partner). Snacks are the reason our relationship has survived (and why I still have any friends). But the ready-to-eat healthier alternatives are hard to find. This is why Grumpy Snacks was born and why we’ve dedicated ourselves to mastering the art of chickpea roasting. This little legume packs a nutritional punch, and we spent months in our kitchen perfecting the crunch. Our chickpeas are dry roasted. Afterwards they are coated in ethically sourced milk chocolate from Cocoafair OR a small fraction of coconut oil and spices are added to them. We use only natural ingredients and each step has been developed to ensure maximum nutrition is available for absorption. This one’s for the snackers of South Africa. We hope it makes you a little less grumpy too.

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What are the health benefits of chickpeas: Healthy source of plant protein and they are high in fibre

Where did your business name come from: We know many people out there who become pretty grumpy when they’re hungry (much like me)! We started Grumpy Snacks cause we wanted to offer a better-for-you snack option to stop the grump!

When will they be launching: Our sea salt dry-roasted chickpeas are currently available in packaging-free form in Nude Foods in Zonnebloem and Nude Foods in Newlands (both Cape Town). Our packaged sea salt and milk chocolate dry-roasted chickpeas are due to be available in select Wellness Warehouse stores countrywide in Feb 2020.

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What makes your snacks different to others available in supermarkets: We have strived to seek a balance between achieving delicious taste and preserving nutritional value. In doing so, we have created a better-for-you snack that is really enjoyable, yet doesn’t leave you with that regretful feeling junk food so often does!

Do you have a secret ingredient: Not a secret ingredient per se (we are very transparent about all the ingredients we use cause we believe people should understand exactly what is going into their bodies). But we certainly a secret process that helps arrive at the perfect crunch while preserving as many of the nutrients as possible.

Quote you live by: Bring snacks. Always!

OMG it's Justin Peaber lighter-100


Oh my word you guys – how delicious do these sound?  My tummy is literally grumbling just reading through their responses…  I adore roasted chickpeas & these just sound like they have created the perfect product.

Let me know in the comments if you have tried them yet!  I want your feedback please.


 

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Catch Me!

You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.
– Ted Turner

Life post-transplant has certainly been interesting!

I have learnt a lot about myself, as well as others.  I have seen where my priorities truly lie, as well as those that would give everything to see me healthy once again.

I have seen family rally, & friends disappear (as well as the other way around…)

But mostly, this year has been about LIVING.  It has been about trying new things, getting out of my comfort zone, meeting new people & constantly living the best life I possibly can.

This past weekend was a perfect example of such an activity – along with questioning my stupidity & capabilites…


The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
– Michelangelo

I signed up for my first ever trail run through Catch Me If You Can.  I had heard of them through some of my fitness pals I have made, & thought it was a good excuse to try them out whilst improving my fitness & getting out in nature.

Catch Me If You Can (CMIYC) is South Africa’s largest all women running community that connects ladies of all ages, shapes and sizes. They’ve helped thousands of women connect and build lasting friendships whilst improving their health, fitness levels and lifestyles.

The CMIYC Leaders are phenomenal women with a common goal to encourage women of all fitness levels to join a community where they will feel comfortable and celebrated for who they are! They run all over South Africa, giving you the opportunity to discover the most beautiful routes and races in your area. They offer safety in numbers and a chance to get out and have some fun!

From beginner to Comrades Marathon – start your journey with them. Their diverse team of CMIYC Leaders will support you all the way! Their weekly activities include running, walking, hiking, and trail running.

They believe that running is about so much more than putting one foot in front of the other – they know that running will change your life.

They’ve put their everything into building the 1st Women Running App just for us and know we will love it!


I arrived at Rietvlei Zoo Farm nervous for what I was about to do.  They had 5km, 10km & 15km options – & of course I had gone for the biggest challenge.  I was filled with trepidation & all the comments from the nay-sayers were playing through my mind.

“You will never manage.”

“Do you know how far 15km is?”

“I’m fit & I wouldn’t even manage that distance.”

“You’re being stupid.”

“You’ll never make it.”

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And then I remembered all the encouragement I received too…

“Your mind is strong Megs.”

“You make me so proud.”

“Do what you can.”

“Just enjoy it.”

“Think of how far you have come!”

“You can do it.”

With renewed passion I went to register & received my pink band that I put around my wrist. I saw some ladies I had met previously, went over to say hi & then prepared for the adventure ahead…


(note to self…  Serious trail runners do not carry water bottles.  They have those fancy-pants backpacks with water, or nothing.  Do not be that kippy that takes your own & then has to hide it somewhere at the start to collect once the race is finished.  You’re welcome.)


When the race started, I felt butterflies in my tummy & an excitement that I have not felt in years.  I was actually doing this.  Last year I was walking with a cane & now I was taking on a literal mountain.  I took a deep breath & started putting one foot in front of another…  Every step for the Rare Disease patients who can’t.  Every step squashing the negativity & hurt that I have been carrying for way too long.

Yes, there was pain.

Yes, there were moments of wanting to give up.

But, there was also so much laughter.  So much fun.  So many friendships.

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Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
– Rabindranath Tagore


I did it.

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I DID IT.

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I freaking DID IT!


So this post is dedicated to you…

YOU that has supported other women.

YOU that has doubts about themselves.

YOU that is too scared to try something new.

YOU that needs to find your happiness.

I am so proud of you!  And yes, you can do it…


 

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Yogle

Namaste

“the divine in me bows to the divine in you.”

My journey with Yoga has been an interesting one.  I have always been interested in Yoga, & see many of my friends posting about the different poses & the benefits it has has on them physically & emotionally.  I understand how the different flows & general relaxation of Yoga can allow stress to melt away; & how it helps your mind & body to get stronger.

When I attended my first ever Yoga class at the gym, I was frustrated with how little I could actually do & felt self-conscious about this fact.  I felt so stiff & the movements felt unnatural – it wasn’t helped by the fact that the instructor kept calling me out & telling me I wasn’t trying hard enough.  I left feeling defeated & was even more confused as to why people loved this practice…

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And then I attended an external class at a birthday event hosted by Hoko.  The emotional release was almost instant, & I found tears spring to my eyes.  I tried a few classes on this day, & it reminded me of the importance of finding a Yoga instructor that has a passion for what they are doing, & simply finding a flow that works for YOU.  I left feeling so relaxed & had such respect for all the Yogis out there.  I also knew this was something I wanted to continue with!

And now I am constantly on the hunt for more goodies that will improve my Yoga experience – & when Yogle was one of the pages recommended for me to follow I was super excited!

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Your name: Jenna Volkwyn
Business name:  Yogle
Social media handles: WebsiteInstagram & Facebook

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Tell me a little more about what you do:  
Having a background in start-up technology marketing, being a keen entrepreneur as well as a self proclaimed fitness addict, it seemed the appropriate time to launch my latest venture- Yogle, which is a complementary combination of the three. Yogle is a yoga towel brand (for now), bringing life to workouts through colour. Launched only in May 2019, it is a vision I am so excited has finally come to life and is now the centre and focus of my every day. Along with the community who have backed this venture from the start, I have had so much fun managing the creative looks of the towels and overseeing the manufacturing to ensure the highest quality materials are being used. Day to day, we are constantly seeking partnerships or collaborations in the industry, supporting those around us and bringing our clients only the best. Local is most certainly always lekker, and we are keen to get our teeth stuck in to what we believe is a very exciting road ahead.


Why do you encourage people to try yoga & adopt this into their lives? 
Oh my gosh, where to start? Yoga not only has physical benefits, including improved
posture, strength building and better blood flow, but anyone who has practiced yoga has felt the mental benefits as well – Feeling a deeper sense of clarity, tranquillity, calmness (due to the breathing techniques it uses) and that feeling of absolute bliss.
For me personally, I like the challenges, both physical and mental that Yoga brings me.

I myself am not an amazing Yogi.
I went to my first Yoga class about a year ago and like most people, found that it generated an unforgettable feeling. It felt to me like all the stress of corporate life and small issues that seemed so big had just disappeared. Yoga was not easy and did not come naturally to me – This is what I loved so much about it. There is no ceiling to reach. There is something new to learn in every class, in every flow and something new to feel in every pose. No class is ever the same and every individual takes something different from the journey. Some feel physical benefits, some emotional and others it is an opportunity to switch off from the world and focus on themselves. You do not need to be good at yoga to feel these emotions and in fact, regardless of where you are, whether beginner or expert, there is still always a new milestone for you to reach or a new pose that you are working towards. It is an ever evolving workout with the world to learn. The accomplishment of finally hitting the pose you have been working so hard on, for months, is what does it for me personally.

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Where did this idea come from?  The more I did Yoga, the more determined I got to be stronger and the more fascinated I became with the industry. I began to try various products and brands, trying to find the right mat, the right towel and the right equipment. Most of the yoga towels I did find were not great quality which causes you to slip off the towel and loose concentration. All the good quality towels I did find, would cost me an arm and a leg. There are some beautiful towels out there, and with the passion I had found for the industry, I wanted to be involved. With that, came my brightly coloured yoga towels which became known as Yogles. I can’t wait for what
is to come, but until then, I am having the time of my life.

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What makes your yoga towels so special:   In one word: Quality. On top of that, our Yoga Towels are brightly coloured and have very vivid patterns on them. This has been done to welcome the emotions that colour brings to us throughout our everyday lives. We want our towels to stand out and bring energy, vibrancy and positivity to a room. They are exceptionally high quality microfiber with non slip silicone dots which will grip into the yoga mat underneath and prevent you from slipping during your practice. They can be popped into the washing machine no problem which is a real win, particularly after a hot yoga session.

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Why a towel rather than a mat:  Our Yogle towels go hand in hand with any Yoga mat. Our towels dimensions are 61cm X 183cm which allows them to cover the mat
entirely. Many yoga fans are finding that the mat alone is not sufficient in grip due to the sweaty surface that it becomes; leaving you slipping and sliding during your workout. Having a towel to grip into the mat and prevent this is essential when performing
yoga, so that you can focus on holding your poses and building the strength without worrying. A yoga towel is also more hygienic, as the moisture is absorbed into the towel (rather than the mat) which is then thrown into the washing machine, ridding it from
all the oils from your skin, dead cells and sweat. It becomes the hygienic barrier between you and the mat you use. A towel is also essential if you do not own your own mat and are relying on using the studio mats – Do you really know where they have been?

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Where can people buy these from:  We are retailing online at the moment, and we ship for free across South Africa.

Quote you live by:  “Don’t over think it”

Anything else you would like to add:  We are always looking for Yogi’s to do shoots with. We are also keen to do marketing collaborations, supporting one another’s brands and growing an even bigger community. In order for our quality to be felt, we are looking to stock in various studios across the country. For any further info or collaboration opportunities, please feel free to reach out.

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Aren’t these simply stunning?

I have my eye on the Fornax Yogle – especially when I see this is described as the most fiercely coloured & vibrant of them all…


 

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Black Strawberry Activewear

I attended International Yoga Day a while back with some friends.  I got to spend some time purely on myself, tried new Yoga flows, & left feeling utterly relaxed.  With the stress that every day life is throwing at me, I often feel like I am simply functioning on adrenaline & absolutely dread the day that this runs out!

While I was at this event, I got to spend a little time walking around the stalls that were there & see more of what is on offer in the fitness/wellness industry.  One such stall was Black Strawberry Activewear…

I was attracted to them from their bright colours & the friendly face of Londeka who was working there.  I knew I had to go over to take a look, & spent a good amount of time inspecting what they had on offer.  With beautiful African-inspired prints, amazing quality fabric & beautifully designed activewear; I was suitably impressed.  I went home & did some more research on them before reaching out & asking if I could do a blog on them.  This clothing is made with the South African woman in mind – it embraces our curves & individuality.

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Their customer service is out of this world, & they immediately responded.  They even sent me the stunning set I had been eyeing out at International Yoga Day, which showed me that they truly care about their customers & pay attention to their interests.  When I put it on I felt like a modern-day superwoman & loved how soft the top & tights felt against my skin.  Plus another bonus is the TWO hidden pockets in the tights – if you know anything about me, you know I love a good pocket!  These would be perfect for an iPod, some cash, or some lady necessities.  I even got a “WOW” from husband when I walked out in it which obviously boosted my self-confidence.

Without further ado, here is the interview with the creator herself!


Your name: Mandisa Khumalo

Business name: Black Strawberry Activewear (Pty) Ltd

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram & Website

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Tell me a bit more about what you do: We are an activewear brand that focuses on providing women with unique apparel for whatever their active journey is. Precise fit. Bold colors. Eye catching designs. For women to be fearless , phenomenal and truly themselves.

How long have you been running for: Two years

What makes your clothing different to others: We want to celebrate Africa, in all its awesomeness. We try to have designs that celebrate different African cultures, the vibrant colours, art and way of life. We love highwaist leggings that accentuate a woman’s waist and pockets that makes sure that we can carry lipstick or race food or tissues and our phones wherever we workout.

Why are you so passionate about what you do: Mainly because it doesn’t feel like work; it’s fun, exciting and adventurous. My team and I get to discover that there is inspiration everywhere if we only have our eyes and hearts really open to it.

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Why would you encourage people to support local: We think it’s important to support local brands as they’re like family; wouldn’t we all like to support our family members who are creating something that they are passionate about? Local brands also motivate us ‘cos they make us believe that it’s possible for all of us to achieve something from just an idea as long as we’re prepared to do the work.

Where can people buy your clothing from: Online and at pop-ups – we normally apply at different events (running races, health and wellness expos etc) and depending on the cost, we pop-up there.

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Why are you passionate about living a healthy, happy life: WOW, where do I start; a healthy lifestyle helps me keep fit, full of energy, unstoppable, lets me explore different sports and live an adventurous life. I’m also more aware of what I eat and the effect it has on my mood, my body and my life as a whole.

Quote you live by: I don’t have one quote but have five statements I keep on my bathroom wall (so I can revisit them everytime I brush my teeth)

(1) I am capable of learning and developing

(2) I can put effort into improving myself

(3) Challenges are opportunities to grow

(4) Feedback helps me to improve

(5) Failure gives me an opportunity to try again and do better


You guys!  Are you not just completely enamored by this company & everything that they stand for?  And don’t you love that they EMBRACE our bodies for what they are, rather than trying to force us to fit into society’s mold of ‘perfection’?

I would pick a size up from your regular, as they are quite tight fitting & you don’t want to be uncomfortable in your gorgeous new outfit!  They also have some great inspiration tees available – my friend bought some & they are also a gorgeous quality, & so so stunning.  I think we all need a reminder to be fearless, & perhaps there are other ladies out there that need to hear this too!

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Thank you so much Mandisa & Londeka for this opportunity, & for your kindness.  I absolutely adore you & all that you are doing.  I can’t wait to see what else you bring to us, & I am super excited to see you at the next event!


 

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Izzy

A while back I met the most wonderful person, & I was instantly drawn to her kindness & zest for life.  Over time I have been lucky enough to see more of her, & spend time with her & see why people are so attracted to being around her.  Izzy is a “celebrity” yet so down to earth & caring.  She has had advice for me throughout my journey to health, & always has a little positive message for me.  Next month (eeek!) we are actually doing a trail run together to raise funds for Rare Diseases SA, as well as prove to ourselves what we are capable of doing.  If you would like to follow this journey, you can follow us here.

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Izzy is a fellow Rare Warrior, yet really does not allow this to hold her back or define who she is.  She inspires me so much & I knew that I had to do a feature on her so you could be encouraged by this Wonder Woman too.


Your name: Isilda Da Costa

Social media handles: Instagram, Facebook & Website

Tell me a bit more about yourself: I am a simple girl who is just too passionate about the health and fitness industry. Just trying to change peoples lives, with one lifestyle tip at a time.

How did you get into fitness: After studying health coaching, I found it was the next best step. Plus I wanted to learn how to really train properly.

Why do you think taking care of your health is so important:  Without health we have nothing, I know as I have been there. There is nothing as painful as not having your health, or loved ones not having their health. We have this one body to live our lives with, we better make that quality of better if we can!

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I know you do online coaching, can you tell me a bit more about this: I have slowly started advertising challenges and one on one training online. I coach groups or one on one and am really focusing on growing into weekly group coaching sessions where ladies can sit together around their computers and chat in a live chat room about their concerns and help each other out. I can sit back and give a coaches perspective but sometimes we just need human interaction to help motivate us and give us clearer vision of where we are going.

If someone wants to make a change with their health, what would you recommend for them? Reach out to an expert! Even myself as a coach have used coaches in my life. There is so much contradicting information out there, that if you just have that one person you can rely on weekly it can launch your lifestyle further.

What are some gym products you simply can’t live without? (eg fitbands etc) Haha definitely fitbands! They make such a difference to lower body workouts. I also love my BCAAs, I call it my liquid motivation.

Quote you live by: Everything is always happening for my greatest good.

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Anything else you want to add: I try to live in gratitude as much as I can. Life isn’t easy, circumstances can throw you off where you thought you should be but without gratitude you will lose your mind.

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Isn’t she gorgeous?  And doesn’t she inspire you to be the best she can be?

Izzy, thank you for being you.  Thank you for bringing so much joy to us.  Thank you for your love & enthusiasm for life.  And thank you for allowing me to interview you.  I can’t wait for our time away in the bush xx

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