Going natural: No blowdrying

The last time I applied heat to my hair (hairdryer, flat iron) was over a month ago. This is the longest period of time I’ve gone in my life without trying to straighten my hair. Why have I done this?

Mainly because I was tired of having to get up even earlier to flat iron my hair before work. I always thought I looked better with straight hair, even though I would always get compliments when I wore it curly.

The thing is, my hair is not consistently curly. Over the last month, I’ve washed it almost everyday, put on some conditioner, combed it and let it air-dry halfway before plaiting it for the night. In the morning I undo the braid, add some texturising spray and mousse to the roots for volume and let it be.

I can never tell what the results will be though. Some days the curls will stay in all day, some days it will dissipate into waves halfway through the day, and other days it won’t even hold the curls for an hour so I have to put it in a bun.

Either way, it has been a liberating experiment, and one I will carry on with at least until the end of summer. I may even try the alternate rinse/shampoo method.


Our epic revamp begins (for real)

Today I’m starting the Fitness Blender FB30 Round 1 8 week programme. After using several of their workouts last year in my own routine, I knew I could lay down some cash on a structured programme because I know for a fact that their workouts work.

I’m really looking forward to starting today and expecting to feel destroyed tomorrow, but at least I know what to expect. The SO is also starting his routine today, which is basically just no junk food and do a bunch of Freeletics and weights. Based on previous experience, he’ll probably reduce his body fat % by half in like two weeks or something stupid.


The only workout programme that works is one that you can stick to

While I spent the first two weeks of our workout programme sticking to the preset food and working out 6 days a week, my husband struggled to adapt. I thought it was similar to what I went through when I first embarked on my epic revamp last year, and reckoned that he just needed a while to adjust because it was more of a drastic change for him.

It turns out that I couldn’t just double the food I was eating, give it to him and expect a similar result. I made this mistake despite all the research I’ve put into this area over the last 18 months. He told me last night that he was so tired from the reduced food that he didn’t have the energy to exercise when we get home in the afternoons (he exercised 2 out of the 12 sessions that I did).

His metabolism has always been super fast, and I regularly got irritated by the fact that he would lift weights for an hour at the gym, and results would be noticeable the next day. Muscles would sprout from nowhere, while I would wait weeks to see small results from my consistent exercise and food control.

Nevertheless, we have reached a suitable agreement. From Monday (this week is maintenance week), I will remain on my high protein/carb cycling/cardio-strength training regime. He will have his own breakfast, lunch and training regimen, while we will share suppers and weekend food. Example:


  • Protein muffin (egg, cottage cheese, ostrich mince, mixed veg)
  • High protein sandwich (Seed loaf, egg, cottage cheese, beef/chicken)

Morning snack:

  • Homemade protein bar with Greek yoghurt and mixed seeds


  • Protein with veg (and sweet potato & butternut mash if it’s high carb day)
  • Slowcooked protein & veg with small portion carb (rice/noodles)

Pre-workout snack:

  • Booster muffin (oats, bran, bananas, cinnamon, reduced sugar)


  • Recovery smoothie (banana, protein powder, cup of berries, tbsp mixed nuts and seeds, green tea, cinnamon, kale, Greek yoghurt

Evening snack (if required):

  • Provita / cottage cheese / 20g biltong

I won something for the second time ever!

After celebrating last week after I won something for the first time, I got a sms yesterday morning saying that I won one of the three glass cookware sets that the PNP up the road was giving away last week.

The SO and I had driven from the Woolies across the road from us to the other Woolies 6 minutes away 2 Friday nights ago because we were looking for rotisserie chicken (smoothies were not going to cut it). Of course, it being after 7pm already, all the chickens were sold out. We then trudged to the PNP to get chicken there.

As we left the deli counter, hubby noticed a sign on top saying if you spent >R100 at the bakery or deli you could enter the competition. On a whim, I asked the person who helped us about it (she didn’t know anything about it, nor did the bakery lady). Turns out the entry box was under the customer care counter (???). The guy checked and said there were only 2 slips inside, so mine was the 3rd in.

Hubby mentioned it on Saturday, wondering if we were going to win or not. I said it was probably one of those competitions where they never actually award the prize…

I ended up using the 2.5l bowl to store the lunch food for the week (slowcooked chicken and stirfry veg in a creamy thyme sauce) and the middle bowl to store tomorrow’s supper and Friday’s lunch (ostrich sausage bredie with butter beans). Thanks PNP!


I won something for the first time ever!

This popped up in my twitter feed on Wednesday

So I did this

Then this happened

That’s how I ended up on the Nasdak last night with my go-to friend for nonsense and relaxation.

A lame panoramic photo taking with the weakass camera on my stupid phone. Does not do the view justice at all.

A lame panoramic photo taking with the weakass camera on my stupid phone. Does not do the view justice at all.

The Nasdak is a very chilled place to hang out, although the bar requires some restocking (seriously, how can you not have crushed ice when you know you are having an event). That aside, Chad and team gave an excellent performance – I really loved the stripped down versions of his songs. It was very interesting to people-watch as well.

Thanks to Spree for the tickets!


Maximising the protein to carb ratio

I have done extensive research – theoretical and practical – to determine the most bang-for-your-buck sources of protein.

  • Canned tuna in water
  • Canned pilchards
  • Ostrich
  • Venison
  • Chicken breast
  • Soybeans Chickpeas
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • What the SO and I do every two weeks or so is prepare a batch of these protein sources and freeze it in portions for easy extraction during the week. Examples include

    • Tuna fish cakes with pilchards
    • Ostrich mince
    • Meatballs (ostrich/venison/beef/pork mince)
    • Homemade chicken bites

    All of the above are combined with ground chickpeas (to make it go further and to add some carbs), ground biltong powder and various spices/chillies/fresh herbs so we don’t feel like running to Mcds for a disgusting, filthy, addictive cheeseburger.

    I still have to order some bulk whey protein isolate, which will be added to the afternoon smoothie. Currently we are finishing up some flavoured protein we bought on daily deal.


Changing one’s mindset about weight loss

During my epic revamp last year, I changed my mindset about a couple of things to really bring about the change:

  • Carbs are not the enemy: Although in my case they kind of were, but I made the switch to low-GI, clean carbs such as oats and sweet potatoes, instead of cutting out carbs completely.
  • Protein is good: I spent a long time not really eating much protein, because I didn’t really care for meat and other protein sources were not readily available. I added protein powder to everything I could, in addition to eating lots of cottage cheese and chicken breasts.
  • Low-fat is wack: My whole life, I believed that low-fat was the way to go. This fallacy was taught to me at a young age, so for years I only drank fat-free or low-fat milk (even as a kid), and refused to add extra sugar or salt to anything. This while having unlimited pasta and potatoes. Point is, once I switched to full-fat milk and leaving the skin on the chicken once in a while, I found myself eating less and enjoying the little that I ate (relative to before).
  • Fat loss is not the same as weight loss: I managed to lose 25kg of body weight, but only lost 6% of my body fat. This is because losing fat is very hard, and that’s the loss that counts. What’s the point of losing a bunch of weight if it was all muscle and water? That’s what mostly happens when you follow a low-carb, high cardio diet.
  • Strength training is definitely for ladies as well: I can view the “only” 6% fat loss in another way – I gained 6% in muscle. Incorporating dumbbells and boxing into my workout was the best thing I could have done. You burn more calories at rest if you have more muscle, so what’s there to lose (besides fat)?
  • Cardio is fine – in small doses: For fat loss, you want to do strength cardio i.e. training which involves some weights which make you “work” that much harder, while incorporating lunges, flies etc at a faster pace so that your heart rate remains at levels you would normally only reach during cardio. Win-win!
  • Lose weight in the kitchen, get healthy in the gym: A lot of people try to make up for a poor diet with lots of gym time. The truth is, the amount of calories you burn in a tough gym session can easily be gained back by having that “healthy” Kauai smoothie and wrap afterwards. You need to eat filling, protein rich meals that are below your calorie allocation for the day, and combine it with exercise.
  • Eat less, move more is a lie: If you hold onto this catchy phrase, you will relapse into old habits as soon as you plateau. You will plateau. Accept it, and adjust your food and exercise schedule accordingly.
  • Cheat days are not a thing: Why do you want to hold onto the past? That’s what chips, sweets and processed foods are: a thing of the past.

I could probably go on a bit more, but I’ve run out of time.