Today is International Tea Day, so what better way to celebrate than with a fabulous local tea brand that is taking this to a whole new level!
If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you. -William Ewart Gladstone
I am a huge tea fan, and working from home means I am indulging in many more pots of tea than usual, as well as trying interesting flavours and brews. So when I saw Mütea I was intrigued – in case you didn’t know, Muti is a term for traditional medicine in Southern Africa. It is derived from the Zulu word umuthi, and is now a colloquial word for medicine in general. I loved this play on words, and also the fact that herbal teas are jam-packed with antioxidants and goodness – a natural muti indeed.
Tell me a bit more about your business: mütea is derived from the word ‘muti’, a term for traditional medicine in Southern Africa. mütea medicinal loose leaf tea was created to encourage and maintain a more sustainable approach to overall health and well-being.
How the idea to start this come about: I was drinking herbal tea for health reasons versus resorting to noncritical medication, which I was unprepared to take with its long list of side effects. After 2 months of drinking herbal tea I had resolved my health issue entirely. Byron joked (as my maiden name is Melissa Oosthuizen, emphasis on the double ‘o’ in Oosthuizen) that we should start a tea company calle mootea. We settled on mütea instead.
What makes your tea so special: All the ingredients used are locally, organically and ethically sourced. Our blends make use of a health shotgun effect incorporating numerous herbs with similar health benefits and properties into each blend. Everybody is different, and because our teas are designed for a slow sustainable approach to health and wellness they are gentle enough for daily use to encourage lasting long term health habits. Our teas are also plastic free products making use of a corn starch environmentally friendly plastic alternative for our packaging.
Why do you recommend loose tea leaves: We recommend loose tea leaves for environmental and meditative reasons. Most tea bags have been chemically treated and is an unnecessary manufacturing process which has a negative effect on the environment. It is also a more intentional process to brew loose leaf tea, encouraging a slower more meditative lifestyle.
What are your different flavours: We use various mints, buchu, rooibos and other herbs that enhance the fresh botanical flavour profile of our teas.
Which is your personal favourite: Our detox tea is awesome, rooibos and buchu are two of the eight herbs in that blend giving it an amazing flavour and our sleep tea is also fantastic and works a treat.
What makes your honey different to that you can get in the shops: Our honey is infused with CBD.
I see you have extra & standard strength honey – please explain more: Our honey is meant to be taken daily as part of one’s dietary plan, the extra strength has a bit more CBD in it so it can also be used for more immediate pain management assistance. It is also a richer honey flavour being the fynbos.
Quote you live by: Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Anything else you want to add: We intend on expanding into other ethically sourced food and beverage products, which we are looking forward to launching hopefully early next year.
I am all for more natural health treatments, and if it is included in a comforting cup of tea what could be better? I also adore the fact that Melissa encourages us all to slow down – lockdown has shown me that so often we are rushing around doing 10 million things for other people, and not truly taking care of ourselves.
So why not pour yourself a lovely cup of tea, sit outside (before it gets too cold!) and just BE.
There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life. -Lin Yutang
During my quest to health in 2019, I discovered this local business called “Umoya Foods”. I saw how people I admire in the health industry were making use of their products, & I was drawn to their social media presence as well as their offerings. I have realised that our foods these days are not providing the nutrients & goodness that our grandparents could get from simply eating naturally, & it is so important that we supplement. I currently add protein powder & collagen daily, as well as micro-greens & -reds.
And taking into consideration that our bodies need a little bit more TLC than we are currently giving them, Umoya Foods can provide just that!
Tell me a bit more about your products: Umoya Foods is a startup that creates nutritionally valuable products using African Ingredients. Our current focus is amaranth and we have two ranges based on the plant; nutrient boosts and instant amaranth cereals.
Our nutrient boosts are based on amaranth leaf powder which is also known as wild african spinach and is part of the Morogo family. Amaranth leaf is incredibly rich in micronutrients including manganese, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron to name a few. What amaranth does is give you a wholefoods source of micronutrients and helps to increase bioavailability of other nutrients to your body so that you can absorb more nutrients from the foods you are already consuming. The four nutrient boost flavours can be added to smoothies, green juices, breakfast and your everyday meals.
Each mix does have a specific profile: Vital Green: 100% amaranth leaf powder. Great for green juices and adding to pestos, over eggs or even in biscuits to get greens into otherwise green-less meals. A great mix to get your kick of micronutrients. Chocolate Glorious: With cocoa, coconut, chia seeds and hemp seed protein powder this mix is a wonder at curbing those chocolate cravings while giving your body some great fats and proteins! Feisty Baobab Spring: A zingy mix of baobab, ginger and amaranth, Feisty, as we fondly call it is a wonderful post workout mix. Baobab is high in fiber and vitamin C while ginger is a natural anti inflammatory. This mix not only supports your immune system but also replaces electrolytes you lose after working out and helps muscle recovery. A tablespoon blended with apple and avocado is super simple and one of my favourite mixes ever! Turmeric Zen Shine: With Madagascar vanilla bean powder and ground almonds, this is a delicate tasting mix designed to soften the strong taste of turmeric that people aren’t always looking for. Turmeric is an amazing anti inflammatory and antioxidant, and on top of that is known to support brain function which is why it is our ‘recommended’ afternoon pick-me-up! This mix tastes divine in your morning oats or afternoon turmeric latte!
The instant amaranth cereals were launched on the 31st of August and have been thriving ever since! They are based on the amaranth grain which is in fact a seed making it gluten free, naturally high in protein and micronutrient dense. Amaranth grain is one of the ancient grains and is similar to quinoa. We have popped and roasted the grain to create the base of our two cereal flavours; Thrive Cacao and Thrive Baobab. We also added hemp seed powder to both. What we wanted to achieve is an instant cereal that is high quality, free from refined sugars and filled with wonderful interesting and nutritious ingredients! Thrive Cacao: With raw cacao, raw beetroot, cranberries and cacao nibs we think of this as an antioxidant fix which is super textured and turns purple when you add a liquid! Raw cacao is known to be an upper that gives you a kick of mental energy while raw beetroot is known to have detoxing properties. There is no sweetener or sugar in this mix as all the sweetness comes from the cranberries and raw beetroot! Each bite is different with some being rich and chocolatey while others are tangy and sweet with some crunch making for a fun meal! Thrive Baobab: A splendid blend of baobab, cinnamon and ground macadamia nuts! This is our high energy essential fatty acids food fix which will remind you of lemon cinnamon pancakes. Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fatty acids which are often lacking in western diets and also known to help lower cholesterol. Baobab tastes like lemon sherbet and is specifically high in soluble fibre which acts as a prebiotic therefore feeding your gut microbes while cinnamon is known to help maintain blood sugar levels. The addition of a touch of xylitols gives some sweetness to the mix but if this is not enough then it should be noted that Thrive Baobab and honey is a heavenly combination!
What makes them unique in comparison to other products: Our reason for existence is to support small scale farmers and we have structured ourselves to work directly with growers wherever we can. Our amaranth leaf is grown by a small scale farmer and solar dried on farm using a solar drier that we have designed. This allows the farmer sell to us at premium.
Our amaranth grain and raw beetroot powder is supplied by the Siyazisiza Trust who support over 800 small scale farmers across the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.
As amaranth is climate appropriate, drought resistant and nutritious, it is valuable all the way from crop stability to food security. These are the long term goals that we are attempting to address.
Simply put, what makes us different is that our products are unique, as there are no other amaranth based products like ours on the market, and our focus on increasing small farmer income at scale drives all our actions.
Where possible we source our other ingredients locally too, although this will grow as we grow and our buying power increases.
What is your personal favourite product: My personal favourite has to be the Thrive Baobab. It is easy, comforting and loaded with micronutrients because of the baobab. And it is so convenient. I often forget about breakfast until 5 minutes before I leave the house, Baobab Thrive takes 30 seconds make and makes be feel like I’m taking care of myself.
My colleague on the other hand is a massive fan of our Feisty mix, she adds it to a smoothie of apple, cucumber and water. Clearly there’s something about that Baobab lemonyness that makes us happy.
What are your most popular products from the public:
On the nutrient boost side it’s an easy tie between our Feisty Baobab Spring and Turmeric Zen Shine. People love how they contrast and often get both! If you have a lot going on then the zing from the ginger and baobab of Feisty is a winner. On the other hand subtler and calmer pick-me-up flavours of the Turmeric Zen are super easy to add to a whole lot of foods like curries, warm milk, oats etc. which I think appeals to people who like being able to use what they buy in different ways.
Why do you encourage people to follow a plant-based diet: I would honestly have to say it depends on the person, the lifestyle and the intent. We are not nutritionists, just people who do a lot of research so prescribing anything is not our thing. What we do encourage people to do is emphasise wholefoods and minimal processing. There’s a lot that is lost by processing and we are aware of that which is what has guided our ingredient choices. Everybody needs treats and meals-on-the-go but getting in all the nutrients your body needs along with that is vital and a VARIETY of wholefoods are the way to get nutrients in easily!
Where did the idea for this business come from: My colleague was researching ways of processing for Amaranth leaf with small-scale farmers in mind. We started exploring how we could sell it to the food ingredient market but then we realised there was no commercial demand for it. So we decided to create a retail brand. These products would need education because although amaranth leaf is traditionally eaten it is known by a variety of other names (morogo, imfino, tepe etc.) and it was not widely commercially available. So we created a range of premium retail products that would bring us the most direct engagement with our market and allows us to start spreading the word. The result of that was the Nutrient Boost range.
Where can people purchase your products from: We are stocked in many of the health food outlets in Johannesburg and you can see a list of our stockists on our website. We are also stocked in some health food outlets in Durban and aiming for the Cape Town market next year. What we say to people who discover us but can’t find our stock in their favourite store is that they should email us the name and we will get on it. They should also make a request to the store owners or managers for our products because that always gets the process moving along a lot quicker. We’re a small team so any retailer nudges are always appreciated!
We are also available on Takealot, search Umoya Foods.
Quote you live by: “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Anything else you want to add: I think the last thing that we would like the world to know is that we are constantly striving for sustainability. Our inner packaging is compostable and while this is not yet biodegradable first prize, it is a step in the right direction while we wait for accessible biodegradable packaging to hit the SA market. Our outer tubes are recyclable and reusable and what we wanted to do was create packaging that could serve multiple purposes because of its elegance. Finally, through our business we always try to emphasise transparency. To offer this to customers we have a QR code on all of our packaging which can be scanned to see what we are about, who our suppliers are and why we exist.
I love these ease of use of these products, & that they are so proudly South African. Plus they are actively making a difference in the lives of people wanting to get healthy, as well as all of those involved in the farming & production of Umoya Foods.
I am placing my order for these now, & know that I am going to chat to my local health shop to ask them to start stocking them in 2020!
Collagen has been a vital in my diet ever since my transplant – I wish I could say for longer, but I never appreciated the benefits until I really needed it. And boy oh boy did I see the results!
It helped my skin get firmer & my stretchmarks to fade; my hair & nails have grown back stronger & healthier; & it has really made a big difference to my tummy issues thanks to all the medication that I am on. If you haven’t yet tried this for yourself, you need to do yourself a favour & go buy a tub right now!
A bit about me – I am a qualified Holistic health practitioner, having studied at the Institute of Natural Health in 2011 after my father passed away in 2010 from Leukaemia. I am a passionate person and believe that my passion is evident is all areas of my life. Not only am I a passionate foodie, I love music and dancing and anything that has the ability to touch one’s soul. But my passion is not limited to mere participation and I believe it shines through most when I interact with others. I believe that my purpose is and has always been to be around people, help them and guide them in all areas of life whether it be health and beauty or just spiritual wellbeing. I am most content when I helps others and this is what drives my passion every day.
My passion to help others was evident from a young age. Even in high school I was helping others. My desire to look after my single mother and younger brother motivated me to make the best of the situation and not only did I work in the retail industry for Clicks, I also embarked on a number of ventures in order to ensure the wellbeing of my family – working as a waitress and selling Tupperware were some of the things I did. My dream has always been to own my own business and determine my own destiny and so, after years of exercising my creative skill by making cakes on a part-time basis, I took the plunge and started Lucy’s Cake creations in 2006 on a full time basis, which is still operational today with a few changes of course.
As is evident, the years have been anything but stress free and this took a strain on my health and a number of health issues- from intense vertigo, muscle pains, rheumatic symptoms, tendinitis (baker’s elbow from repetitive overuse of the same muscles due to years of baking) extreme fatigue, hair loss and plantar fasciitis caused by dancing (teacher Belly Dancing and Zumba) – emanated from years of stress. I then made the decision to take better care of my body, both mentally and physically. After a visit the GP I embarked on a journey to better health- I started gym, initially changed to Low GI lifestyle (including the Banting method) and now undertake gluten free and sugar free baking both for myself and clients.
In July 2014 I launched O Nutricia Banting Products with the primary focus being the distribution of hydrolysed collagen peptides. Hydrolysed Collagen Peptides essential amino-acids required by the body and in the same quantity utilised by the body. Because gelatine is hydrolysed to peptides (smaller particles) they can easily pass through stomach wall, avoiding stomach acid degradation which often destroys much of the proteins in food. The bioavailability is the best. I myself have been consuming hydrolysed collagen peptides and have seen a vast improvement in my health- my hair, nails and skin have vastly improved. Some aches and pains I have experienced have diminished and the conditioning and health my hair has vastly improved. Not only do I have many “new hairs” growing all around the scalp, hair shedding has been vastly reduced and my hair is now longer and stronger. My nails have also seen a positive response and my skin has better hydration, less prominent lines and it much more firmer.
Snapshot of the years
Finished matric 1994 – started full time employment as a Cosmetician at Clicks 1995 and eventually promoted to Regional Cosmetic Manager.
2003-2004 – promoted to Academy trainer National qualification Framework.
2005 – Started Lucy’s Cake Creations.
2006 – Started working at Virgin Active as a Belly Dancing Teacher.
2009 – Became a Zumba Instructor.
2011- Institute natural health:
· Anatomy and physiology
· Essential oils
· Zone therapy – reflexology
· Nutritional and lifestyle coaching
2012 – Institute of natural health
· Baby massage
· Manual lymphatic drainage
· Pregnancy natural therapies
2012 – Translife Centre
· Signs and symptoms of disease
· Su jok therapy
2014 – started baking Paleo baked goods
Why should people be supplementing collagen: Collagen powder can help you meet higher needs due to disease, injury, sports, skin conditions, or appetite loss. It’s crucial to buy a clean product with no artificial ingredients added. Your dosage should provide you with 10000mg of pure collagen hydrolysed peptides like O Nutricia.
What makes your collagen different to others: About O Nutricia Collagen Peptides:
· O Nutricia collagen was established 2013. We have been nitrifying lives for 5 years.
· Nutricia Collagen peptides is 100% Bovine, no porcine
· Best Value collagen in SA R380 for 500g tub Available in capsule form, collagen plus Vitamin C. it is best to take both products as Vit C Is the synergistic partner to collagen. It activates the collagen for better absorption.
· No nasties, no wheat, no gluten, no soya, no flavourants , no colourants, no fake sugars
· It’s recommended to take O Nutricia collagen powder together with our Vit C capsules. Take 3 capsules at night before retiring to bed. O Nutricia Collagen capsules has added Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, required for replenishing collagen and helps to protect cells from oxidative stress.
Why you need Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps collagen in three ways:
Increases the production of collagen type I and III in the skin.
Activates two key enzymes needed for collagen synthesis.
Releases enzymes that inhibit MMPs (collagen destructors).
A Vitamin C deficiency can stop collagen production.
Why didn’t we add VIT C to our powder? By keeping the powder plain its makes it more versatile.
· Raw material is certified Halaal at source (Brazil)
· Pure hydrolysed collagen peptides. We add no nasties to our product.
· Bioavailability is the best
· Provides 18 amino acids, 9 of which are essential
· Mixes clear dissolves readily in water or your favourite beverage such as tea/coffee
· O Nutricia collagen is versatile. Can be added to food without changing the flavour or texture of the food.
· Serving dose provides the adequate dosage of 10 000mg clinically proven hydrolysed collagen peptides
· Type 1 Collagen and Type 3 – skin, bone, tendon, dentin, organs and fibrous cartilage. Their ultra structure is more densely packed. The main function of Type 1 is resistance to tension. O Nutricia Collagen is a Type 1 and 3 collagen. Type 1 Collagen: Minimize fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration. Not only does it help rebuild your muscles, eyes, bones, and spine, it’s also good for strengthening your nails and helping you grow stronger, thicker hair. Type 3 Collagen: Is found in large quantities in your intestines, muscles, blood vessels, and the uterus. It’s most often used with type I collagen for gut healing and to improve skin elasticity and hydration.
· Enviromentally Friendly packaging. We are relentless in our pursuit of excellence. Part of our sustainability initiatives is the reduction of plastic in our products. When you buy O Nutricia Collagen, rest assured that we continuously strive to reduce our plastic footprint as we prepare our products for a rapidly changing environment.
Who would you recommend your collagen for: As a person ages, the collagen levels goes on the decline. This process begins when we are around the age of 30 and accelerates in our 40s – leading to the inevitable visual and noticeable signs of aging. Poor diet and stress along with gut health imbalances are some of the factors causing collagen levels to drop. Collagen is the cement that holds it all together
Collagen is the body’s most important building block and it makes up approximately 30% of the proteins in our bodies. Collagen is the key structural protein that ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of all our connective tissues, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones. In essence, collagen is strong and flexible and is the ‘glue’ that holds everything together. It strengthens various body structures as well the integrity of our skin. There are many different types of collagen in our body, but 80 to 90 percent of them belong to Type I, II or III, with the majority being Type I collagen. Type I collagen fibrils have enormous tensile strength. This means they can be stretched without being broken.
Different cells in our body tissues are responsible for the production of collagen. The cells use specific amino acids and peptides as building blocks for the production of the large collagen helix structure. This is then organized into the strong fibers that provide structural tissue support, flexibility and the ability to withstand forces.
Gut health issues – O Nutricia collagen contains the amino acids Proline and Glycine that can help heal the damaged cell walls. It does this by closing up the widened holes (seals and heals the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract). It helps keep harmful toxins (such as gluten, bad bacteria and undigested food) from passing into your bloodstream and causing an immune reaction. O Nutricia collagen is high in the amino acid Glycine which improves digestive health, improves fructose malabsorption, regulates inflammation, protects the mucosal barrier, and improves enterocyte function in the intestinal tract. It protects against systemic endotoxin damage from leaky gut. Glycine also protects the liver and aids in detoxification and bile acid production. Glycine can help increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is needed for digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Stress and aging causes the levels of these vital digestive juices to drop. Lowered HCL can contribute to malnutrition including anaemia (a reduction in red blood cell production).
Sports people – Highly bioavailable, safe and pure, O Nutricia provides an essential source of protein to replenish the body’s needs during and after strenuous exercise programs.
Hair fall out– Postpartum hairloss
Hair loss occurs because stem cells in the hair follicles become damaged or lack nourishment to produce new hair. Collagen is a major component in hair growth, because it fights off free radicals that can affect your hair’s texture, growth and thickness. Restoring collagen in the hair follicle can improve hair growth. O Nutricia Collagen can strengthen hair and increase the diameter of individual hairs, giving your hair an overall fuller appearance.
Clients on a low carb/banting and Paleo lifestyle – If you are on a low carb or no carb diet it is important that you ingest O Nutricia collagen supplements. This will help maintain the integrity of your mucosal barrier, improve mucus membrane health in the entire body, protect microbiome diversity and population and maintain proper energy production by the bacteria in your microbiome
Old age – With advancing years, come joint stiffness, brittle bones and loss of muscle mass. Bones, joints and muscles have a common component, which is collagen. Supplementing with 10g per day of O Nutricia can help to maintain the health of tissues and promote mobility.
Arthritis and Gout – O Nutricia collagen acts as a natural anti-inflammatory without causing the side effects.
What is your favourite way to include collagen in your diet: Thankfully O Nutricia is versatile all year round! I love using O Nutricia collagen in the warmer days in
S M O O T H I E S A N D S H A K E S, Iced Coffees and sometimes in a hot beverage like rooibos tea, Spanish orange tea or in my nespresso coffee – bean to cup is best
Where can people buy your products from: From our online shop – Stockists and Agents are listed under stockists on our website.
Quote you live by: Let food be thy medicine and not medicine be thy food
Anything else you want to add: Collagen is a major component in hair growth, because it fights off free radicals that can affect your hair’s texture, growth and thickness. Restoring collagen in the hair follicle can improve hair growth. O Nutricia Collagen can strengthen hair and increase the diameter of individual hairs, giving your hair an overall fuller appearance. I use the O Nutricia powder and our capsules collagen plus Vitamin C which maximizes the benefits of collagen therapy in hair regeneration. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is temporally stored in the body. It has many benefits on the overall health of the body. Benefits include helping in collagen production that strengthens and maintains elasticity to the skin, bones, blood vessels, muscles and teeth, healing of wounds, reducing hair loss, strengthens nails and enhances the growth of healthy hair.
When is the best time to take O Nutricia Collagen: Use O Nutricia collagen to step up your workout performance, consume collagen within an hour after exercise, just as you would with any other protein. People who did so improved their muscle strength and mass. Timing appears to be critical because your muscles may be able to use collagen better to grow immediately after a workout. On the other hand, if busting hunger is your goal, take satiating O Nutricia collagen in the morning or afternoon, depending on when you tend to get hungriest. Supplementing your breakfast or lunch with a dose of collagen powder (stir it into a smoothie or even water-it’s tasteless) will help take the edge off cravings.
I have seen such a difference in my health since adding this to my diet, & it really is so simple to add it to your meals – coffee, tea, hot water etc; or even into your breakfasts. There is no excuse not to have this in your kitchen cupboards & make it a staple in your diet!
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
Since getting out of hospital & actually being able to swallow my food (one of the fabulous symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis is constantly choking on food, & there would often be days where I would go without being able to eat properly) means that I have picked up quite a bit of extra weight. In fact when I went into hospital to have my port & perm cath out, every nurse who saw me & knows me from previously commented on my weight. It was rather embarrassing & has made me very self-conscious about what I look like. I love my food & it has been 15 years since I was properly able to actually enjoy a meal so I have been making up for lost time in a big (excuse the pun!) way.
But, it has been a couple of months of going cray-cray & now I need to settle down & start living a healthier life. So the very first thing I am going to do is start following a healthier eating plan. I am not going to diet as such, as I dread those words & find it is so much easier to break a diet than it is to maintain a healthy way of life.
Whilst on my explorations of what recipes speak to me, & what I should go get to stock up my grocery cupboard (whilst trying very hard to avoid all the Easter eggs & others sugary treats). And then, I found Le Famished Cat – & I was lost for a good couple of hours. My tastebuds were tingling & I knew that I wanted to try some of these for myself. Plus, you guys, she is in South Africa so doesn’t tell you about all these crazy ingredients that are nearly impossible to get hold of!
How did you get into this: A pure love for all things food
What is the main focus of your blog: As the name suggests, I am always hungry and thinking about food. I started the blog to have a space on the internet where I could write and share my recipes and love for all things delicious.
If you have any digestive issues, or are looking to lead a healthier life, then my blog is for you, because almost all of my recipes are either Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan or IBS Friendly.
While I am not a vegan (cannot ever give up eggs), I focus on a healthier plant-forward approach to eating, as well as nourishing gut friendly recipes. Occasionally, you will find some naughty treats – because seriously guys, what is life without chocolate?
Healthy living should not feel like a chore, it should be fun and delicious and I hope to inspire you every day.
I also focus on travel here and there and love to provide my readers with as many practical tips as I can.
Have you always been interested in food: Yes, since I was a little girl – I think my interest was piqued after watching countless Ready Steady Cook episodes on BCC. I would then go into the kitchen and see what I could rustle up with the ingredients on hand. It was only in Grade 11 when I started taking cooking classes at school that I realised I was in love with being in the kitchen. Thinking back, my first real food memory was watching my Sito (granny in Lebanese) make all sorts of Lebanese foods on the weekends – I would often help, but mostly I just wanted to eat what she was making because it always smelled so good.
Where do you get majority of your recipes from: Because of the fact that I only eat certain foods – I create all my own recipes and if they are someone else’s I will credit accordingly
What are a few ingredients that every household should have: Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, A Mature Cheddar, Peanut Butter, Blueberries, Banana, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs, Fresh Herbs and Avocado. Oooh also coconut milk & almond milk.
What is your favourite shop to visit to get yummy snacks: Checkers have a new range called Simple Truth which is affordable, innovative and healthy. They make fruit gummies and reduced sugar cookies that I love. And their Salted Caramel Coconut Chips are like crack 😊
Fresh Earth also have some yummy healthy baked goods
Quote you live by: Treat others how you would want to be treated & Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Don’t these look absolutely divine? And the recipes are really easy to follow as well – even for nerds like myself who can literally only cook the absolute basics. Hopefully one day I can even show you pics of my amazing meals that I have learnt from Cat.
I really appreciate her taking the time to answer my questions & constantly bringing us delicious, healthy recipes. I am a huge fan!
A while ago my sister (who has the Metafit franchise in South Africa) told me about these fabulous smoothies that she had tried. She then ordered these for her training that she was doing out at Prince’s Grant for personal trainers, & managed to get custom ones made in the colours that she needed. I was very jealous when I saw these (they are definitely Instagram-worthy!) & knew that next time I was in Natal I needed to pop over & try one for myself.
When I was visiting family last month, I went with my sister to Lifestyle Health & saw some sitting in their fridge – it was a definite sign that this was my chance to have one for myself & then I knew that I had to get in touch with Steph to find out more.
Tell me more about what you do: We make gourmet smoothie stacks which are healthy meal replacements as well as a healthy treat. Each smoothie is handmade, vegan friendly, gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free.
How did you get started: I studied fine art at university but found myself intensely interested in health and wellness, so instead chose to pursue a career in this industry. I studied clinical nutrition while managing my mother’s health shop, Lifestyle Health, in Ballito for over 10 years. I love cooking and have always tried to make healthy food taste & look great. After my first son was born I concentrated on being a mom then shortly after my second son was born I started experimenting with smoothies, smoothie bowls and how to ‘stack’ layers of different flavoured smoothies on top of one another in a glass. Hence Propa was born.
What are your most popular smoothies: Our chocolate smoothies for sure! They are like a guilt-free dessert that you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner! All our smoothies are thick and need to be eaten with a spoon rather than a straw.
Pecan Pie Brownie
Do you do bulk orders: Yes, we have several customers that buy in bulk. We blast freeze these so that they can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months! Then you can enjoy your Propa whenever you feel like it! We also offer a discounted price on bulk orders.
Why are you passionate about health: Simple daily acts of eating well, moving your body, being in nature and supplementing with key nutrients are some of the greatest investments you’ll ever make. Health is a precious gift to be treasured, nurtured and enjoyed.
Do you make custom smoothies for special orders: Yes we do. We cater for events, parties and company functions.
Quote you live by: Gratitude changes everything.
Anything else you want to add: We’ve also just launched a drinkable Propa smoothie at Nouriti which is a lot lighter, less calories and a delicious on-the-go snack with all the same good, clean ingredients (also vegan-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar free)
Don’t these looks absolutely divine? Next time you are close by, please pop to one of their stockists & try one for yourself! Or perhaps order them in bulk for after your gym sessions or simply as a healthy meal alternative.