Everything you need to know about having an Angiogram done

I recently experienced severe chest pains and to my dismay, landed up in the hospital.  My cardiologist was determined to rule out any life-threatening possibilities and after several ECG’s, blood tests and scans, it was time for an angiogram.


What is an Angiogram

A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses X-ray imaging to see your heart’s blood vessels. The test is generally done to see if there’s a restriction in blood flow going to the heart.

What is the procedure?

An angiogram is performed by a cardiologist.  During an angiogram, a type of dye that’s visible by an X-ray machine is injected into the blood vessels of your heart. The X-ray machine rapidly takes a series of images, offering a look at your blood vessels. If necessary, your doctor can open clogged heart arteries (angioplasty) during your coronary angiogram.

Why is it done?

If you have any of the following:

  • Symptoms of coronary artery disease, such as chest pain (angina)
  • Pain in your chest, jaw, neck or arm that can’t be explained by other tests
  • New or increasing chest pain
  • A heart defect you were born with
  • Abnormal results on a non-invasive heart stress test
  • Other blood vessel problems
  • Chest injury
  • A heart valve problem that requires surgery

What you need to know?

  • Talk to your doctor about your medical history. Mention chronic conditions and pregnancy if it applies.  Also tell your doctor if you have a history of asthma, kidney or bleeding problems.
  • Complete all necessary pre-procedure tests. Your doctor will determine what testing you need to undergo before your angiogram.
  • Blood tests.  You may need to have blood taken before the angiogram.
  • Allergies.  Tell the doctor if you are allergic to iodine or shellfish. Iodine dye is usually used in this process.
  • Fasting.  You need to fast for around two hours before the procedure.
  • Duration of the procedure.  Angiography usually takes around 15 – 20 minutes as it only involves detection of any clots in the heart, which block the blood flow.
  • Anesthesia.  During the process, you will be given local anesthetic, which means that you are awake during the process (I watched what was going on, on the screens).
  • How invasive is the procedure.  A small incision is made in the side groin area.  A tube is then inserted through the groin.  At the end of the procedure a plug is inserted.  The plug will dissolve over a period of 3 months.
  • Angioplasty.  Once angiography is done and if the doctor’s decision is to undergo angioplasty, then it is advised to do it in the same sitting (at that particular moment). This is because the tube is already inserted into the heart and only a wire has to be passed through the tube for angioplasty.

Homemade Garlic Hummus

Homemade Hummus

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1 tin drained canned chickpeas (liquid reserved)
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (reserve some oil for drizzling)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled (you may want to use less
  • Black pepper to taste (freshly ground)
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika (and a a little for garnish)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish


  1. Pop all your ingredients into a nutribullet / foodprocessor.
  2. Flip the switch and and let it do its thing.
  3. Add the reserved chickpea liquid as needed to produce a smooth texture.
  4. Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and pinch of paprika and parsley.

Fitness event

Addicted to Fitness Events

Hi! My name is Natasha and I am addicted to fitness events.

Fitness Addict

If you are following me on Instagram then you will know that I absolutely and totally love attending Fitness Events. I really can’t seem to get enough of them. Is it the actual fitness, hanging out with like-minded individuals or the unbelievable amount of fun and feel good vibes experienced? Well, for me it is actually all of the above.

I recently attended Botle’s Fitness Fest. Adidas brand ambassador, Botle Kayamba hosted her first of many fitness events in Johannesburg. For weeks leading up to the event she had promised us loads fun and a whole lot of sweat …. and boy did she deliver.


Botle asked me to be the MC for the event and I really couldn’t say no to a woman I admire and respect tremendously, but this was a first for me and very much out of my comfort zone. I however have to admit that it was loads of fun and I love that my journey is forcing me to operate well outside of my comfort zone.

After registration and striking a pose for the camera guy, the proceedings were underway. Ntsekie Majoro and Sello Seboka, put us through our paces. The high intensity boot camp had everyone sweating up a storm. I honestly don’t think I ever moved that fast in my entire life. Both personal trainers were completely amped and pushed the crowd to give their very best. It was super special to see Ntsekie again as he was the person pushing me when I started this journey in January 2017. I couldn’t afford him as a personal trainer, but that didn’t stop him from motivating me to push myself.


After a well-deserved and much-needed water break, it was time to shake what our mammas gave us. Loads of fun was had as we did the Vosho, Gwaragwara, lotsa twerking, Pantsula, Kwasakwasa, Qopetsa, Twalatsa and NaeNae. Some of you are wondering what the hell am I talking about. Well these are dance styles synonymous with South Africa. They are dance styles that get those hips moving while you listen to the beat of the music. YouTube it, if you must and then try it. Even Rihanna knows how to Gwaragwara.

I almost forgot to mention that Botle’s Fitness Fest produced one of the coolest fitness goodies bags ever. We were definitely spoilt at this event and I can’t wait for the next one.

Best of all, is that I got to hang out and workout with friends, work colleagues and insta friends who are now real friends. I absolutely love my #FitSquad. Friends who workout together most certainly stay together.
I can’t wait to see you at the next fitness event Beautifuls.


The far reaching effects of bullying

As a mom who has experienced both her sons having being bullied, this is a matter very close to my heart. Ash and Sky were both bullied within the first two years of starting Primary School. They experienced it again with the change in schools due to us relocating from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

Sky is a lover not a fighter and somehow managed to remain unaffected by the incidents imposed on him. Ash on the other hand hasn’t been that fortunate. The bullying he has been subjected to has had far-reaching effects that affects us daily. At the age of 9 he was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression. 5 years on and this is still very much our harsh reality. At the beginning of 2018 he started High School, the anxiety and fear of being bullied again, had him in an absolute frenzy. We have a course of action to help him cope but that’s a blog post for another day. All I am saying is bullying should never be underestimated.

Ashton consented to me sharing this information about him with all of you in the hope that it would make a difference.



Chicken Bunny Chow

Chicken Bunny Chow

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print



  • 1 whole chicken pieces cut into smaller portions
  • 2 teaspoon ginger and garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 medium-sized onions sliced fine
  • 4 medium potatoes cut into quartered
  • 4 rosa tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garamasala
  • 2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon breyani mix
  • 2-3 tablespoon Chicken curry masala or chilli powder of choice (depends on how hot you prefer your food)
  • salt to taste
  • 10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 bunch fresh dhania (coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 500ml water
  • chicken stock (250ml water)


  1. Add coconut oil to a heated pot.
  2. Add the onions and chillis and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the breyani mix to the pot and allow to cook (be careful not to burn).
  4. The ginger and garlic can now be added.  Mix for a minute or two.
  5. Lower the heat and add the spices.  Mix well and be careful not to burn.  Add water and mix again.
  6. After the spices have been combined, add the chopped tomatoes to the mixture.
  7. The chicken pieces can be added to the pot.  Allow to cook on high until chicken is almost done.
  8. Add the potatoes, salt and chicken stock. Cover and allow to cook on medium heat for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Dish into hollowed out freshly baked white bread, garnish with dhania and serve


1 Night in Paris

Okay actually 3 nights in Parys ….

We are an adventuring family and a few years ago we decided to change things up. So instead of hours spent slaving away in the kitchen before sitting down to an elaborate Easter lunch, we now go adventuring over holidays and festive seasons.



Win with Vivacious Vixon

There are many women who inspire me, all for pretty much different reasons.  Having been a single mom for a long time and being a woman that’s all about the hustle, I have huge admiration and respect for single moms who are just badass.  Natasha Pearce, is certainly one of those moms.  This single mom to three gorgeous teens, has recently taken the plunge and become a Mompreneur.  She is the designer and creator behind the label Vivacious Vixon, a range of bags made from recycled plastic bottles and up-cycled materials.
Be the hardest working person you know!
1. What made you finally take the step to become a Mompreneur?  
I felt that it was in the best interest of my family to be a Mompreneur as it provides me with the opportunity to be even more invested in my children’s lives. Being a Mompreneur also gives me the opportunity to build a lasting legacy for my children.
2. Have you always been a creative or is this something you tapped into later in life?
I have always been a creative.  It is very much part of who I am as a person and creativity is in my actual DNA. Being a creative is a natural way of my life and flows into every facet of my being.
3. You are passionate about saving the planet. Tell us what sparked this passion?
I worked in the Clothing Industry for more than 19 years.  During that period I saw how much waste resulted from it and feel that something seriously had to be done.  Our landfills are filling up at a rapid rate and our oceans are being so badly affected by pollution that I refuse to be a bystander. I feel compelled to make an impact and a global change because I know that long-term my children and your children will benefit if we make these changes.
4. How did you start your business?
My business started basically by me needing a particular kind of clutch for an event I was going to attend.  I could not find what I needed in store and decided to make it myself.  I scratched around the house and found some old fabric I had forgotten about.  I made my clutch and off I went to the event.  Several women came up to me to ask where I had purchased my bag.  A bit taken-aback, it dawned on me that this was an opportunity that I should consider.  I started taking orders and made these bags at home.  Well, like they say the rest is history in the making.
5. Hey Sebenza girl, can you tell us more about this part of your journey?
This was such a wonderful opportunity initiated by Foschini where they hosted a competition.  We had to use the #SebenzaGirl to enter the competition.  It was all about showcasing your side hustle or actual hustle. Forty Women country-wide were given the opportunity and platform to network. We were whisked off to a beautiful networking session In Johannesburg where I got to meet fellow Empowering Female entrepreneurs.  Thanks to the Sebenza Girl platform I have been able to use those contacts to my advantage to grown my business.
6. What do your kids think about your new venture?
My kids think that it is a wonderful outlet for all the ideas buzzing around in my head. They enjoy watching me come up with new inventive ways to create sustainable products. They think it’s a great idea to have an eco approach to my label and very much part of my journey.
7. What makes your product unique and why should women everywhere own one (or three) of your bags?
All my bags are made from 100% up-cycled and recycled products. Everything is handcrafted and my Vixon’s are limited editions. So there are only between 5 to 10 Vixon’s made of a particular design.  They are made from off cuts, surplus fabrics, end of rolls, surplus zips that would have normally landed in the landfill or dumped into the ocean. My signature Bon Bon make-up / toiltery bags are made from recycled PET plastic bottles. Owning one of my Vixon’s would mean that you have made a conscious decision to help save our Planet and Animals. It would also mean that you have decided that our Earth and all its living beings are of great relevance and importance .  It would mean that you are a game changer when it comes to saving the planet.
8. What are the challenges in being a Mompreneur?
I would say trying to establish a balance in my life.  Seeing that this is my passion. it has become a way of life for me.  This however sometimes overrides everything else in my life as I can get caught up in a creative mode and lose track of time whilst I am creating a Vixon.
9. Who inspires you?
My kids are my inspiration and motivation as they make me want to make the world a much better place for them. I would like to give the world back to future generations in a much better condition that I have received it.
10.  Whats your favourite quote?
” A dream deffered is not a dream Denied” R.L White



My Surprise Trip to the ER

An average Friday in my life recently went like this …

But first … turn back the clock two days prior. My weekly dance fitness workout had me gasping for breath while I clenched my chest. No idea why I was experiencing such pain but it was very out of the ordinary and needless to say that workout pretty much sucked ass. I went home, had dinner and attempted a bit of blogging but the pain was rather intense so I called it a night.

I woke up the next morning in pain, but it was more intense. Off to work I went but scheduled an appointment with my GP. Big mistake on my part because I should have just went straight to the ER. He drew bloods and I returned to work eagerly awaiting my results. Doc was checking for a possible heart attack or blood clots.

I only got the results on Friday morning and everything was clear. So why the hell was I in such excruciating pain. I wasn’t convinced or happy with the diagnosis so I went for a second opinion. Listening to my body and all that. The girl is learning, so lets take a moment to celebrate the small victories.

More blood tests ensued. I was put on a treadmill to try to induce the chest pains. Yeah, you heard right. Like I wasn’t in enough pain, they wanted to trigger the chest pains further.  Wait for it … this is actually called a STRESS ECG. I had arrived in a mini dress and cowboy boots, definitely not dressed for the occasion if you ask me. So dressed in opaque stockings, cowboy boots, bra-less and in a hospital gown I hopped onto the treadmill. Lemme tell you what, the quickest way to lose your dignity is to get sick and have to undergo medical procedures. There I was walking on a treadmill with my saggy boobs exposed and wires attached to me. Thank the good Lord I only survived two minutes on the treadmill before the pain pushed up from my chest into my throat. The thought of my boobs flopping around uncontrollably was just too much to bare.


Cheers goodbye – it was a hospital admission for me, so a cardiologist could have a bash. He wasted no time and ran more blood tests and an ECG. Doctor arrived with this Rolls Royce of a computer system that checks out your heart. OMG, the sonar of my heart was epic. I never seen my heart beat like that. It was strong, powerful and honestly …… beautiful to watch. I got a bit emo about it. Probably because we take the non-stop functioning of our hearts for granted. Then Doc did a sonar on my neck to check for fatty deposits which is an indication of high cholesterol. Great news, that was all clear.


Doc mentioned that my symptoms were significant and he was concerned. So he wanted to check for possible clots on my lungs. Quick wheelchair ride to have my lunch lungs looked at (I’m starving as I write this while I wait for the food trolley to arrive).  Upon arrival I had to strip again and hop onto the bed so that they could prep me.  I had to listen to the nurses standing on either side discussing how to get the needle into my arm. At that point I had lost all confidence in them and wished they would just shut the hell up and pretend they knew what they were doing. Surprise, surprise … the needle was in but it was a FUCK UP.  Let’s try your other arm they said. More discussions took place and at that point I asked for the doc. Well, Dr Cool walks in, takes my arm, jabs the needle in and Bob’s your Uncle. It was like a military sneak attack with no warning  but the needle was in. My body didn’t agree with the contrast and I ended up vomiting just as we finished. Not glamorous at all but hey that’s life.

Now before I continue, here’s a serious question for you? What is it about hospitals and medication, that turns a normally calm and poised woman into a bloody fart factory. Lemme just say I was ever so grateful to have a room all to myself.

Anyways, all my results were back and my results were amazing. I’m a healthy, fit woman in a body that refuses to fail me. My lifestyle change has paid off and all these tests confirmed that, but I still had pain and no answers.

So it was time for an angiogram. They basically make an incision in your groin area then work through there to check on your heart. Firstly, the nurse asked if I had shaved my GROIN SIDES. WTF!!! What is a groin side?? I still don’t know. Thank goodness for neatly maintained pubes because that archaic shaver would have been a disaster. I was awake for the procedure and watched the screens as the Cardiologists worked from the tiny opening on my “groin side” all the way up to my heart. It looked like a bloody alien moving in my body. Very freaking weird if you ask me. I could see them inject the dye into my body and how it lit up my arteries. I even felt it touch my heart (like literally). It was truly amazing to watch and experience. The Cardiologists said my heart was beautiful and perfect. I’m gonna take that literally and figuratively. My arteries are fantastic with perfect flow and no signs of blockages.

After a battery of tests, all the dangerous possibilities have been ruled out.   Another stress test will take place in a week.  Let’s just mess with me before another weekend and induce some pain in my life, why don’t we.  The likelihood that its hernia or stress is becoming more and more evident.   In the mean time NO EXERCISE and NO ALCOHOL.

How ironic that I was discharged on World Health Day with a clean bill of health (but no explanantion to my pain).  Fun times ahead I tell you!

Press release

Celebrating 30 Years of Inspiring Hope


Ever since its inception in 1988, the Reach for a Dream Foundation has been doing amazing work by providing hope to children fighting life-threatening illnesses, by fulfilling their dreams.

Children have the innate ability to live in colour so to speak and to live each day to the very fullest. Encouraging them to dream their biggest dreams inspires a sense of strength, hope and courage.

Reach for a Dream touches the lives of over 45 000 children and their families a year. The 2018 campaign is well underway and the Reach for a Dream team is all set to impact lives like they have been doing for the past 3 decades, but they can’t do it without your generosity and support. 2018 will see this NPO celebrate 30 years of inspiring hope by making dreams come true, so you can expect this year’s Slipper Day campaign to be one for the books.


What can you do with R10?

Now take a moment to consider what you can do with R10. Well, pretty much nothing, but your R10 can make a difference to the the dreams of these life-threatened children come true. So head over to your nearest Pick n Pay or Wimpy and purchase your wristband for just R10. Support #SlipperDay2018 in the coolest and most fun way ever by wearing your slippers all day on the 11th of May 2018 and don’t forget to pop into a Wimpy to get your free coffee.

Want to get more involved?

  • Get your local schools and businesses to participate in Slipper Day 2018
  • Bulk wristbands can be bought directly from the Reach for a Dream Foundation info@reachforadream.org.za
  • Buy your slippers from Reach for a Dream
  • You can make a donation
  • Donate a mere R30 to celebrate 30 years of making dreams come true
  • Become a volunteer
  • Donate your voyager miles
  • There are so many other ways to get involved

Jonathan Boynton-Lee summed it up pretty much when he said, “The only thing we can control is the amount of love you choose to give without expecting anything in return.”

Namritha, Melanie, Johathan and I grabbed the opportunity to take a photo with 18-year-old Kamo. This young man beat the odds after spending more than 2.5 years in a coma due to a brain tumour. Kamo now wishes to inspire hope by sharing his story.

I urge you to get involved and support this amazing initiative and the outstanding work that Reach for a Dream does. They are indeed “the closest thing to angels”.

Body positive|Fitness

Body positivity does not justify obesity

I was recently attacked and confronted about the supposed claims that I make, which has sparked this blog post.  The gist of the conversation was  ….

“How can you say you are body positive and love your curves if you are trying to lose weight?”

Being body positive is about confidence and even at my heaviest of 108kg I was sexy AF. I believe in dressing for my body shape and I’ve always been a confident person. Don’t get me wrong, of course I had my insecurities. I just found ways to work around them.

At my heaviest, I was also at my unhealthiest. My personal experience has taught me that even though I was confidant and felt amazing about my appearance, being obese had dangerous connotations when it came to my health and well-being. I was hypertensive, pre-diabetic and my cholesterol and insulin resistance counts had spiked. How did this happen overnight? Well it didn’t! Excessive weight gain happens over a period of time. I was too busy living in denial and hiding behind my confidence, that I let my weight skyrocket and my health deteriorate.  As stated by the Times LIVE “Body positive movement is NOT about glorifying obesity.”

Just over a year ago I ate fairly healthily, so I assumed I was doing the right things. I was however overeating, my calorie intake far exceeded my physical activity. I wasn’t getting enough rest and I definitely should have swapped my alcohol intake with my water intake. All in all I wasn’t living a balanced and healthy life.

My weight loss journey isn’t about being skinny, but instead about being healthy and strong. My weight loss journey has taught me to accept my flabby arms, stretch marks and cellulite ridden thighs.


Now my focus is on improving those areas by eating right and firming up. A year ago I wore a size 44 to 46 and now I wear a size 38. The goal I had set for myself a year ago was to drop to a size 36 but I think a size 34 (which still makes means I am a plus size) would be a reasonable goal when I take into account the visceral fat I still need to lose. Visceral fat is a “deep” fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than belly fat. It’s a form of gel-like fat that’s actually wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Body positivity means different things to different people, irrespective of whether you are fat or thin.  “The Body Positive Movement is a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being”.

Now let me take a moment to chat about fitness. Firstly, here is a little rant. The misconception that thin equals fit drives me completely insane.  To put it very bluntly, it FUCKS me off.  Your size doesn’t determine your damn fitness level. Let me also point out that my big ass just happens to be fitter than many people who aren’t overweight. Fitness does more for me than just help me drop dress sizes. Fitness keeps me sane, helps me process things, makes me feel good and strong and it even helps me sleep better. Fitness is contagious but I’m not like the super athletes out there who train religiously several times a day. I’m all about getting my body moving and having fun while I do it. Fitness is a lifestyle and a journey of self-love and self-acceptance.

Guys I absolutely love my curves, I love my saggy boobs and my big booty. Let’s be honest, I’ve got thighs for days and they are not going anywhere, anytime soon. I’m not looking to lose that look but merely looking to enhance it while maintaining a great level of health and fitness. I don’t care too much about the size I wear as much as I care about having to live with chronic diseases or being sick all the time. I absolutely refuse to compromise my health just to prove that I am body positive.  I have also never been in the business of proving myself to anyone, and I don’t intend succumbing to the pressures of social media anytime soon. I live my life with conviction and I AM UNAPOLOGETICALLY ME!!!