Hard Reboot

This past week, after much research and specifically for health reasons, my husband and I embarked on a 5-day water only fast. Not an easy feat for those who love food! Looking for that hard reboot of our bodily systems, a challenge I may have been a little stubborn through, but in reality made us both stronger.

DAY 1

The alarm breaks the deadened silence. I wake and head to the kitchen to start our morning ritual. This morning though, did not start with freshly squeezed lemon juice (read more on lemons: When life gives you lemons), but that amazing freshly ground cup of coffee we so love every morning was indeed on the agenda, with a slight twist. No coffee added! I headed back to the room with 2 cups of hot water, wake up my husband and climb back into bed.

I don’t want to say it was a disappointing morning with a rather bland cup of coffee to start, because we knew full well what our decision meant. Water only means water only, hot or cold. And so our coffee for the next couple of days came in the form of hot water; same coffee cup just with water. Your imagination really needs to work overtime to help with the pretense in times like these!

The coffee was exactly what we needed!

Off to work we go.

By 10am, I had a rather uncomfortable headache making it a little difficult to focus. By 12pm, I could smell my own breath and so I went to swirl around some mouth wash. This definitely helped (we became very conscious and highly attuned to our breath throughout the week, something you should consider if you ever attempt a water only fast). I did however, land up with hiccups shortly thereafter. Very odd! And trying to keep them under my breath so as not to draw any attention to myself, well that wasn’t easy. My husband would tell you my hiccups make him laugh, as they can be rather ear piercing and awkwardly humorous at times. I just needed to push through.

Once home from work, the headache and nausea slowly grew worse. At some point during the evening, it literally had me woman down, resulting in something I had hoped I would not have to experience, but did. My empty stomach could not manage the bile secreted from my gall bladder and of course had to land up in a long moment of sincere and intimate affection with the toilet bowl.

Keep in mind this was only day one. We still had four more days to go. My husband was beside himself, not sure what to do with me. I kept pushing him away as I went through moments of hot, then cold, then sweaty, then weak. All I could hear was him begging me to eat something and take something for the headache. Finally out of sheer desperation, unable to keep up with my own stubbornness, I eventually agreed.

I took a tiny piece of a Woolies water biscuit – kind of like those pieces one takes during communion at church. Much to my own shock, it tasted like paper. I couldn’t believe it and I could not get it down. They tasted so nice before and now just so awful. It stuck in my throat clinging to my oesophagus. Unable to get it down and desperate for some pain relief I resorted to one pain tablet forcing it down with water. Finally, we could sleep.

DAY 2

I woke up feeling very weak but headache free. Again the morning ritual began with that amazing freshly ground cup of coffee!

This day for me was much easier to get through. There were no food cravings, hiccups or major headaches to attend to, just a little nausea. But one thing that really tickled my senses was the smell of food all around me, all the time, always different. I realised just what rubbish my colleagues ate, at all hours of the day. Admittedly so, it did become a little torturous at times, but not enough to kick start any craving. The different smells were scintillating, highlighting the fact that my body was indeed detoxing and driving me to drink more water.

What we did realise is that we suddenly had so much more time on our hands. No cooking and eating freed up hours for us. In hindsight those activities seem pointless now!

DAY 3

I woke up feeling a little stronger than day two but still quite weak. We both slept well. What dawned on me though was everything I did seemed to slow to a snail pace, even though I felt stronger. Keeping the end in mind, it was at this point I thought I could do ten days or at least try!

Again the morning ritual began with that amazing freshly ground cup of coffee.

And off to work we go.

This specific day though, became very difficult for my husband. Feeling lethargic, weak and dizzy he fought that horrible feeling of passing out. It seemed like my day one replicated his day three. Different bodies detoxing at different rates. Everyone is indeed unique. With much at stake we made the call to finish our fast that day. Three days and still with many benefits gained.

What we did learn through all this, is that you really do need to be in a state of rest. It becomes very difficult with work pressures and stresses. It certainly doesn’t work in your favour. Some can do it, most can’t. At the end of the day it’s not about being a hero or stubborn like myself determined to push through, there is certainly a time and place for that. It’s about seeing what would work best and what health benefits you are after.

We were more than comfortable to end the fast at the end of the third day knowing it was a great accomplishment. We both lost around three kilograms, saw a remarkable improvement in blood pressure and it seems the reboot button was initiated. Driven to eat better, I have to admit that the taste of healthy food is truly out of this world.

Being healthy is not easy, but don’t settle for the easy way out. It takes sacrifice and commitment, but the benefits will always outweigh the lack of convenience and tough times. And the grocery budget certainly lasts longer!

When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons, there is only one thing you can do…

Squeeze them!

Yes, that’s right! Squeeze them. I mean the health benefits are phenomenal:

  • Lemons are full of vitamin C which is a super antioxidant, full of antibacterial and antiviral properties, literally the fighting force behind your body’s natural defense mechanisms
  • Lemons freshen your breath by keeping your mouth salivated – good for those sexy, unexpected moments
  • Lemons contain bioflavanoids, which when combined with vitamin C become super powerful
  • They flush out toxins, reduce inflammation and even prevent uric acid build up in your joints
  • They come with a good supply of potassium which is great for the heart and of course the resulting blood pressure – I’m pretty sure lemons could be approved by the heart foundation!
  • Lemons ease bloating and constipation when taken on an empty stomach
  • They also curb the appetite which of course should help with losing those little extra rolls we so aptly refer to as passion handles
  • They also help the liver by getting get rid of all those unwanted toxins

So why drink freshly squeezed lemon juice?

I know maybe it doesn’t make sense to drink something so acidic first thing in the morning, but a lemon is only acidic in it’s natural state. The secret is when it starts to metabolize. It’s transformed from a natural acidic state into an alkaline state. And that’s the punch. Once fully digested the health benefits materialize as listed above, producing those supernatural results.

What I love most about drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is the awakening that one feels. Like a sudden rush of energy, stimulating every physiological sense. So much better than a red bull or monster drink!

So this is the modus operandi:

  • 🍋Fill 1/3 glass of room temperature water
  • 🍋Squeeze in a lemon
  • 🍋Simply drink it
  • 🍋Repeat every morning
  • 🍋Fill, squeeze, drink, repeat

It is important to wait about fifteen minutes before drinking or eating anything else, to prepare your body for the full revitalizing benefits lemons offer. And remember, because vitamin C cannot be stored by the body, you can go ahead and keep on squeezing!

The Fat Spat

WARNING: Not to be read by the faint hearted or easily offended.

This past week travelling home on the train, I landed up sitting with three rather large Afrikaans men. Decent enough to be classified as gentlemen and not overly in your face, which is not something one wants on a busy stuffy train, late in the afternoon. What really got me though, was that all three of these men had those large bellies that hung heavily into their laps, uncomfortably so. To me they were large boeps. Exceedingly off-putting.

As a woman I have to say, I love it when my man is in good shape, toned and taking care of himself. It really is important and it’s also important for that chemistry that plays such a critical part in intimacy.

I know this might be a difficult message and probably not the first time you have heard this, but I’m just going to put it out there. If you are not looking after yourself; if your partner, husband or wife (ladies we are certainly not off the hook here either) does not find you attractive in whatever way; if you are not exercising; if you are not paying attention to your body and what it needs to sustain a healthy life, then we can consider ourselves selfish, lost to bodily greed.

I’m not saying we have to be super models, sleek, slim and with a six pack – although that would be amazing! Carrying belly fat is a risky business and can lead to many medical emergencies and life long financially draining chronic conditions. Remember, belly fat does not only refer to what one can see and feel on the outside, it goes much deeper, to a level called visceral fat. It’s the fat that surrounds your organs and can eventually suffocate and strangle you from the inside out. In essence you become your own murderer. Guilty of homicide.

Not only does one become a burden on society but more so a burden on one’s family. This in itself places unnecessary pressure and stress on the ones that truly love you.

So let’s be honest with ourselves – we should know ourselves well enough to know whether we are where we should be or not. Trust me, there is no judgement here. I often find myself slipping and it’s really hard work getting back to that before place. It takes so much effort, sweat and often tears. We rationalise ourselves into thinking that tomorrow is the answer. Tomorrow will sort everything out. Tomorrow I will eat better, exercise harder. Sound familiar?

And this is where I have to say that I absolutley love the Nike branding:

Just do it!

So how do we do it? Try use these simple tips:

  1. Stop making excuses.
  2. Stop procrastinating. Just get out there.
  3. Eat a healthy diet. And no, healthy does not mean convincing yourself that a salad and a coke go together, all in perfect balance. It’s ok sometimes to have a treat, without feeling guilty.
  4. Exercise – that’s a given. It doesn’t have to be marathons, just something daily like taking the stairs instead of the elevator!
  5. Keep portion checks in size. Our eyes are often way too big for our stomachs. Your stomach is only as big as your closed fist, so keep that as a measurement guide.
  6. Stay away from sugary drinks and excessive alcohol. Limit these to special occasions, again without feeling guilty!
  7. Be accountable to someone other than yourself. It helps having someone who can keep you on the straight and narrow, provide a little motivation and discipline, and joins you in your quest to be healthier.

Well that’s what they say – whoever they are. It takes time and commitment. But then again, what doesn’t? No one said life would be easy and no one has ever been given a manual for life, other than the Bible. No point in thinking about it any longer. Make the decision and do it today!

In pursuit of happiness

We are pursuing happiness the wrong way. We are going down pathways that are causing significant damage. Damage so silent, it kills.

This was what a doctor stood up and said at a Diabetes meeting this week. Bam. Just like that! The truth of this debilitating disease when not looked after or treated correctly. The silent killer.

Medicine has made remarkable milestones and achievements and technology is on a cusp of data driven innovation and remedies that can be used to make better choices based on algorithms. The treatments are becoming more and more readily available, yes sometimes at a cost. But the point is that the one thing we have control over is the one thing we choose to throw away without giving any serious thought to.

Our ability to make good and healthy choices!

I’m not only referring to what we eat here. We put a lot of things into our bodies – spirit, mind and body – such as time, people, images, knowledge, music, medications, etc. Remember, every action results in a consequence and where this action is not good or healthy, we silently become diseased and unconsciously become a dead man walking.

On my way home later that same day, I managed to get some shopping done. I walked past a lady, clearly obese, loading her trolley in the supermarket with slabs of chocolate. I’m not kidding. There was not one healthy product in her trolley. While I was standing behind her, I counted fourty slabs alone. Fourty! Even while I was counting the slabs as inconspicuously as I could, she was still grabbing another stack of ten or so. I couldn’t stand to watch anymore and walked away.

Ok, maybe she packs them away or gives them to children or makes genuine chocolate brownies. Whichever way, the pathway she chose was not good, not for anyone. And trust me there was no sale price on those slabs of chocolate!

I have to ask: Why would we not want to put in the absolute best, simply to get the absolute best out? Why do we sabotage our own existence? Why do we watch rubbish that fills our minds with filthy language and images no one should ever have to see? Are we so burdened by a world that is simply full of greed and wants, that no one can see what damage is being done?

I mean just look at how much plastic is on the shelves in a supermarket. All of it eventually discarded as waste or lands up in our seas without us even thinking twice about it. Look at how children are being exposed to social media and technology, forever on their devices, unable to hold a decent conversation or think on their own. Suicides have increased, discipline is no longer allowed, and drugs and sex become the in thing! In the corporate world, position and status are fought for even to the detriment of one’s colleagues. I have to wonder just how much longer this world will be able to sustain itself the way we are headed.

But I guess its validated though because we are happy right?

No! This is not true happiness.

Happiness comes from a deep calm within. It’s kind of like that surreal feeling, like a dream that we could only hope would come true. It’s the result of all good things within oneself coming together. It just fits. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s the perfect intersection where our spirit, mind and body all cohesively meet in all its euphoric wonder. Totally spiritual. And just imagine what happens when two or more intersections like this collide, there is an exponential overflow of true happiness!

Maybe let’s try resist looking in the wrong places to fill that deep longing for true happiness. Choose wise paths. Choose good paths. Maybe don’t follow the crowd if it is going to cause any conflict to your spirit, mind or body. Be kind to yourself, fill yourself with good and healthy things as much as you can. And stay away from those Aura Vampires.

In no way am I saying I have this right. I enjoy chocolate, pizza and even a good thriller too. But the point here is to acknowledge that these things do not bring true happiness. Happiness comes from good, healthy and wise choices in every aspect of our lives!

Healthy Fun

Does anyone recall those days back in 2014 when people were nominating each other to down alcohol in substantial quantities, whilst capturing all the footage on video? Of course posting it on a public domain like YouTube for people around the world to access. They became the witnesses to the absolute stupidty that befalls one who is totally inebriated. Back then it was referred to as a Neck Nomination.

Needless to say, I don’t go with the flow, but often find myself swimming against it to explore my own challenges and experiences, following a current less travelled as mentioned in my previous blog Decidingly Decisive

Of course, I got my family together to help and came up with a variation called the Healthy Nek Nomination:

Healthy Nek Nomination

Ok, the video is poor quality but it really is meant to just put a smile on your dial and encourage some good healthy choices!

#Enjoy