Lifestyle

Jackson's Real Food Market

As I embarked on a lifestyle change in 2017, one of my many challenges was sourcing nutrient dense food. That was until I discovered Jackson’s. Having been presented with the opportunity to chat to Gary, I have to admit that it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down as I so desperately wanted to know more about the brains behind one of my fav hangouts. Prior to this meeting we had a brief encounter where Gary mentioned his weight loss story and his lifestyle change. Gary’s passion for #JustRealFood is undoubtably contagious and a conversation with him is both effortless and informative. Probably why we chatted for almost 2 hours without even realising the time had passed.

During our chat he light-heartedly referred to Jackson’s as a groceraunt. The concept of blending a restaurant experience with a grocery experience. Jackson’s Real Food Eatery is however a lot more than just that. It is a one stop shop to a healthier you and is most probably the reason I am a regular customer at Jackson’s. I am able to do my shopping there and Saturday mornings see me take some me-time as I work on my mental strength with some rooftop yoga. In addition to this, we dine rather regularly at the restaurant, believe it or not even my kids love eating at Jacksons. Healthy food that tastes uber delish.
As Gary shared his journey with me, I was transported back to the first 5 years of his life where he grew up in Tokyo due to his dad taking a job there. The lifestyle in Tokyo ensured that he was a super healthy baby. In the early 1970’s Gary’s family relocated to Cape Town. The South African way of life, which was vastly different to the lifestyle he had become accustomed to in Asia, saw him develop several health conditions from eczema to hay-fever which earned him the nickname “wet hanky”. Doctors claimed that these health issues were allergy related and he was treated accordingly.
After completing high school Gary went on to varsity where he studied Industrial Psychology and Business. He later joined the army where he earned the title of lieutenant. Military discipline and training in addition to having grown up with a mom who was into yoga and a dad who owned his own health studios’, meant a healthy lifestyle wasn’t something new to Gary.
Gary repeatedly applied to an International Fast Food company, and after numerous letters of rejection they finally contacted him to say that they were interested in coming to South Africa. He was presented with the opportunity to run a store abroad to prove himself, so off he went to London where he learnt the ins-and-outs of the Fast Food industry. They were so impressed with him that before he knew it Gary was running 4 branches at a time back in South Africa. He spent the majority of his time ensuring that the fast food outlets were a success, but this inadvertently meant that he lived off fast food and as his weight climbed, his health plummeted. He had to deal with high cholesterol, brain fog, depression and even kidney stones. Gary remembers witnessing his clients succumb to similar health issues.
At this time Gary started dating a gorgeous Greek girl, who wasn’t happy about his health issues. She asked him for just 3 months … 3 months to try her approach to diet and lifestyle. Obviously besotted by the gorgeous girl, Gary agreed and started eating a Mediterranean diet. His existing health issues started to vanish one by one, making him realise the importance of eating a healthy nutrient rich diet. He then eased into an exercise routine and without even realising it, a lifestyle change had begun. Towards the end of our chat, I asked Gary what had happened to the Greek girl. He lit up like a Christmas tree as he said “I married her, how could I not? She was just amazing.” So it was a win win situation as Gary got his health back on track and he got the girl.
After his lifestyle shift, Gary left the fast food behind and took up employment with an upmarket food chain where he learnt everything there was to learn about the organic industry. After 6 successful years of employment with this mega chain, Gary’s awareness and self-discovery edged him to bite the bullet and he opened Jackson’s Real Food Market in Bryanston. The once humble 4 table groceraunt has since grown from strength to strength, resulting in Gary opening a second branch at Kyalami corner, 5 months ago.
Having earned a Degree in Hamburgerology, Gary prides himself on ensuring that Jackson’s dish up the yummiest hamburgers along with many other amazingly delicious and oh so healthy meals. His vision for the brand is to make healthy food accessible to everyone so that people can be healed and so that they can achieve vitality and wellness in their lives.
DISCLAIMER : This is not a sponsored post, merely me sharing my opinion on my favourite hang outs.

Lifestyle

The Cookery by The Secret Jozi Chef

As an absolute foodie, one of my favourite pastimes is cooking up a storm in the kitchen and if you follow me on social media, you would know that if I could spend every minute of my day cooking, then I would.

So when I attended a Women’s Health Magazine event at The Cookery, I knew that I would find my happy place. I get to cook while sipping on bubbly and I get to socialise. All I can really say is this place was made for me.

When I met Paul Maciel for the very first time, I was completely starstruck. During the course of the evening we got to chatting and he told me his story and all he ended up doing was igniting my passion for cooking. Paul started out as the owner of a well known Jozi restaurant Pronto in 2004. Twelve years later he sold Pronto and launched his blog The Secret Jozi Chef as well as his cooking school, The Cookery. I chatted to Paul about my weightloss journey and I clearly remember him saying, “Eat whatever you want, as long as you make it yourself”. I never thought about food that way, but it made absolute sense. The Secret Jozi Chef strongly believes that the real chefs in the world are home cooks.

The Cookery is a venue where foodies converge to cook, learn and socialise. Irrespective of whether you can cook or not, you are guaranteed to have an uber fun experience. I always meet the most amazing and interesting people at The Cookery which makes for a fabulous time.

The kitchen is equipped with state of the art appliances and equipment that will make any cooks’ heart sing. Can you say Kitchenaid and Whirlpool?!?! Events are theme based and advanced bookings are essential. The Cookery can cater for up to 20 people per lesson. Lessons are super relaxed, entertaining and just pure magic. Paul is supported by his fabulous team who are beyond friendly and helpful. Paul, Emilio, Sicelo and Carlos operate with such ease and precision that they make the entire experience one that will keep bringing you back time and time again. Trust me on this, I speak from experience as I aim to visit The Cookery at least once a month. So, if you haven’t experienced The Cookery by The Secret Jozi Chef I highly recommend you put it at the the top of your list of things to experience in Jozi.

The month of May sees The Cookery celebrate 2 years of all-round amazingness. To Paul and his fabulous team, I sincerely wish you the very best and I look forward to making many, many more amazing memories with you. Thank you for giving of yourselves so generously and for just being truly wonderful people. Your love for food and people is contagious and I’m left in awe after each and every visit.

Fitness event

Addicted to Fitness Events

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Uncategorized|Weight loss

"Banter" with Nikki Peeriyalal

My fitness journey has been one of the most amazing experiences, entirely because of the inspirational women that have come into my life.   This week’s feature for My Daily Inspo Series is the gorgeous and oh so kind-hearted Nikki Peeriyalal.  Nikki follows the LCHF diet  also know as Banting.  This SAHM is also a serious cross-fitter and has successfully lost 36 kg since her journey began 2 years ago.



1. When did your weight become an issue?

My weight became an issue when I looked at a photo of myself taken on the 3rd of January 2016 at my cousin’s wedding. I couldn’t believe I was so large and hadn’t even noticed the changes.  I often hid behind the comment, “you’re tall so it’s ok to be big!”

2. What was your lightbulb moment that pushed you to lose the weight?

The lightbulb moment didn’t even happen after my moment with this photo. It happened several months after in May 2016. My son told me I couldn’t run with him because he didn’t think I could keep up because I was too fat. He also proceeded to question why I was so fat even after having my baby.

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At her max weight of 108kg

3. What made you decide to start banting?

In May 2016 on my son’s birthday, I made him a promise that a year from that day I would be healthier and fitter.  I made him a promise that I’d be able to do any strenuous exercise with him.

4. How much have you lost to date?

I wasn’t initially going for a goal weight as I don’t believe in the BMI method. So I worked on a goal dress size. I worked towards a size 36. On my 1 year anniversary of banting,  I comfortably fitted into a size 36 and had lost 35 kilos. I really couldn’t believe it was that much!

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Nikki’s hard work and dedication is producing amazing results

5. As a mom of three, how do you find balance in your life?

Let’s just say that I wing it. However, keeping meal plans and ideas at the fore helps bring balance. I’m lucky that my older children are almost the same age. So I don’t have that much of a disruption with routines. I’m strict about sticking to schedules and meal plans. If there are a sudden unfortunate obstacles in my way, I improvise whilst still sticking to clean eating.

6. What has kept you motivated when you were feeling down?

There were many people who told me that they know my personality and that I am the kind who gives up when things get too hard. I don’t ever recall being that way, so I was even more determined when I was feeling down, to continue and achieve my goal. It was always so difficult to eat clean while everyone else in the family refused to join me. So I was alone on this journey and had to prove them all wrong.  The lack of encouragement and belief in me was all the motivation I needed.

7. What is your biggest struggle – food, exercise or temptation?

Right now, I don’t have a struggle because I’ve become used to this lifestyle. However during my first year, my struggle was exercise and temptation. More exercise because I had last done it in high school. So I was extremely unfit and I felt I couldn’t do it.

8. How has your weight loss affected your relationships?

Weight loss and relationships: It’s amazing how people see you differently when you lose weight. They’re always full of compliments as well as questions. But I find I’m more approachable now. My husband in particular is loving my curves and muscles.  We talk a lot more and I’m able to encourage him and others daily to keep trying to make healthier decisions. Weight loss brought me closer to my husband because I’m no longer hiding in a fat body and not dealing with things. I’m confident and at ease now, so automatically I feel more drawn to him and others and them to me.

9. Lastly, tell us what your tagline is.

It’s a Maya Angelou quote – “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.”


Even though I haven’t met Nikki in person she is what you would call an Insta Friend.  Neither distance nor meeting in person has stood in the way of her encouraging me to push harder, eat cleaner and continue on my journey.  Her support means the world to me.  Nikki lives to encourage, inspire and motivate people on a daily basis through her Banting Beauties page on Facebook.  Nikki is a lifestyle and wellness consultant focusing on the low carb lifestyle for all ages.

Uncategorized

Run Time with Ultra Runner Jayindri

I recently wrote a blog-post about my insane love-hate relationship with running. As already mentioned, my hate for running stems back two decades when I did Basic Military Training in the South African Air Force. The idea of someone screaming at me and making me run for 3 months straight was enough to put me off running for a lifetime. That was until I met Jayindri Shanmugam.  We met the same way I met Botle Kayamba, at the Women’s Health event held at The Cookery.  Ever since, Jayindri has been encouraging me to pursue my running.  She’s the little angel sitting steadfastly on my shoulder reassuring me that if she can, so can I.  We recently got together to chat about all things running.
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Cooking up a storm with Women’s Health Mag

1. How did your life as a runner begin?

Five years ago (at the age of 40) I went for a standard medical checkup, and the doctor asked if I exercised, I responded that I had two daughters and they kept me active. The doctor in turn wrote down Sedentary.  So for some unknown reason this was my wake up call.  It really was my aha moment.  I must admit that I didn’t start running immediately.  At first I did the Women’s Health Magazine DVD called “Look better naked”  and I slowly grew in confidence as well as in my fitness.

2. When did you start running

It was my mission to get fit at 40 after that doctor’s visit. Once my fitness was up I started running and started with a little 2 or 3 km and used the Nike app.  My goal was to complete a 5km or 10km. My first race was the Spar race which I did with my daughter who was 12 at the time.  Before I knew it I was doing a 10km and had convinced my husband to join me.  We also joined Discovery Health and later the Discovery Vitality Running Team which was pivotal in getting us from COUCH TO COMRADES.

3. Which goal do you most identify with?

Initially my main goal was being healthy but now it’s all about getting stronger.

4. How many km have you run per month in the last 3 months?  How does that compare with what you averaged last year?

I have run 474 kms since January 2018.  It’s pretty close to my figures from last year as I’m currently training for the Two Oceans and Comrades.

5. What injuries are you susceptible to?

Common ailments are low immunity and ITBS injuries.  Iliotibial Band Syndrome is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. It occurs when the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed.  IT band pain can be severe enough to completely sideline a runner for weeks, or even longer.  Basically these injuries are due to the higher volume and intensity of the training.

6. What’s your brand of choice when it comes to running shoes and when do you need new ones?

Running shoes are the most important gear decision you’ll make, so make a concerted effort to buy a good pair of running shoes suited for your feet. I run in Asics Nimbus and generally get 500-600 kms out of a pair.

7. Who is your running support network?

I’m extremely blessed and fortunate to have the support of my husband, both my daughters and my in-laws.  My husband and I train and run together.  He was the one who suggested we start running 21km races.  I also have a running coach who supports me.
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Jayindri and her husband after yet another race

8. What training phase are you in right now?

High mileage starts now in order to peak for Comrades in June. Two Oceans Ultra is at the end of March.  Running is very much part of my lifestyle and it doesn’t end.  It is an all-encompassing routine that requires commitment, dedication and perseverance.

9. What are your top three things that you do to prevent injury?

I take supplements, fuel my body with wholesome food, stretch often and have regular massages. I’ve learnt that sleep is the most vital part of recovery.  You asked for three and I have given you more things but these points are essential for my life as a runner.

10.How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

Running takes a considerable amount of discipline. My husband motivates me. Also I’m inspired by women like you, Amy Hopkins and veteran runner Deidre Larkin who is 85 years old.

11. What has been your running highlights?

My first race with my daughter will always hold a special place in my heart.  That was the start to my life as a runner.  The Two Oceans Ultra 2017 was another highlight.  For Comrades 2017, I raised over R13000 for the Pink Drive. I did complete the race but sadly it was just after the 12 hour cut-off.
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I have always been in awe of Jayindri and the fact that she is an Ultra-runner, a title she modestly acknowledges.  After chatting to her about the nitty gritties of running I have a new found respect and admiration for runners.  Aside from being a runner, she is an amazing mom and wife, and her family comes first, despite her hectic training schedule.  She teaches us that its never too late to chase those goals or try something new.  Jayindri is passionate about everything life has to offer, but the way she speaks about the women who inspire her, shows the character of a woman of strength.
Uncategorized|Weight loss

Discussing Faith, Food & Weight Loss with Dil Pillay

When I entered the Woolworths #startswith challenge, little did I realise that I would find inspiration, motivation and best of all … friendship.  The #startswith challenge brought the most amazing and inspirational women into my life and for that I am truly grateful.  One of those inspirational and remarkable women is Dil Pillay.  She is a woman of love and sheer strength.  She has overcome so many obstacles in her life and that’s what makes her a real life superhero.  She is humble and probably one of the kindest people I have ever met.  We recently met up for a picnic in the park and got to chatting.

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Who is Dil Pillay?

I am extremely passionate and diligent about everything that has been laid on my heart. I thoroughly enjoy sharing what positively impacts my life. My world pretty much revolves around the love of my life, my little four-legged boy- Chow. I have developed a passion for creating new and delicious healthy foods. I especially love surrounding myself with people who love to eat, laugh, pray and who unconditionally give of themselves.

You have a rather impressive story to share in terms of your weight loss, would your care to elaborate?

My weight fluctuated on an ongoing basis from 2011.  I weighed in at an impressive 110kg at the end of 2015.  I couldn’t bear to come face to face with the harsh truth of the scale so I avoided it at all costs and didn’t weigh myself.  For some unknown reason I lost the weight and when I finally mustered up the courage to hop onto the scale I discovered that I had lost 20.1kg.  At the time I was living with depression,  PCOS and type 2 diabetes which put a huge strain on my life and my weight, so in Feb 2017 I made the decision to commit to a lifestyle change.  It was time to stop making excuses and commit to myself.

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During our picnic we discovered that Dil has lost a whopping 53.1kg.  Guys that is the equivalent of my 14-year-old.

Tell us more about your change in diet as a result of your food allergies.

My body and skin were reacting badly to the types of food I was eating, so I had no choice but to make several huge changes to the way I was eating.  The fact that I was diagnosed with PCOS compounded the situation further, so I made the decision to become a Pescatarian.  I hear you ask, “Pesca what?”  A Pescatarian is someone who does not eat red meat at all but does eat fish.  Therefore my diet is just plant-based foods and seafood. In addition to being Pescatarian, I also do not eat gluten, dairy, refined sugar and certain nuts due to allergies.  This change in diet has transformed me into an absolute foodie who spends an insane amount of time whipping up healthy dishes for myself.

What is your approach to exercise?

I initially had a gym contract but due to being uncomfortable about my weight, I cancelled it. So the workout aspect of my journey started with me walking my little boy.  I gradually increased the distance and began walking him every morning and afternoon. Walking him around the park several times progressed to jogging, which in turn progressed to running. Eventually I felt ready to do more than just walk or run, so I used the internet to research exercises that would best suit my needs.  I bought a yoga mat, just one 10kg weight and a skipping rope.  These items became part of my work out routine. My current routine involves me running on the spot mixing it with high intensity training 3 times a week for 45 mins.  I also mix things up by adding some yoga, squats and lunges  to my routine.

Did you try losing weight prior to this?

Oh yes I did!  In the past I attempted losing weight by just trying to eat healthy without proper information about my body type and what my body needed.  I jumped into diets and failed within a week.  I now know that my mindset wasn’t ready for this journey.

What was different this time around?

This time around I realised I needed to make it a lifestyle change, but before that I needed to educate myself about my condition.  I spent hours on the net researching exercises and healthy eating alternatives.  I was in the right frame of mind and I was ready to commit to myself, my health and my life.  I started cooking more from home, creating healthy dishes rather than buying take-out.  I learnt to make healthier choices when I ate out and before I knew it, those changes had become a lifestyle for me.

What does faith mean to you?

Faith is what keeps my mind at peace in the midst of many life situations as it reaffirms that there is always hope. Faith gives me reassurance that as long as I keep my faith I will certainly overcome all obstacles.  During my journey having being diagnosed with depression at one stage in my life and having gone through a divorce I have been challenged emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Faith has helped me stay at peace and motivated me to move forward. My faith in God is what led me into getting my body right, knowing I was created not to have these health barriers and that healing was for me which is evident in my life right now .

How do people react to your transformation?

It has been an amazing journey and more people are inspired and curious as to what it is to be a Pescatarian.  People want to know what my secret is and want to know what diet i’m on.  I’m blessed with the support and love of so many people, many of whom are people I have never met in person but who make up my support system.

Has there been a downside to losing weight?

There definitely are downsides.  I now suffer with low blood pressure and the main downside is the excess skin.  Losing 50 odd kilograms is an unbelievable amount of weight and unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I have all this excess skin around my tummy area.   I say fortunately as it is a constant reminder of a place I never want to find myself at ever again.

Any words and advice for people wanting to lose weight?

Make a mindful choice that you want to change to be better, feel stronger and achieve your best health possible . Don’t be hard on yourself but at the same time I urge you not to give up. Get up and get moving. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to embrace yourself for who you are.  Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.  You can do this no matter what your struggle is . I am living proof it can be done.


Dil Pillay is indeed proof that we can step outside our comfort zones, tackle the obstacles life throws at us and still come out on top.  I’m extremely grateful and honored that Dil has allowed me to share her story with you and I’m extremely blessed to call her my friend.

Children|Fitness|Fitness event

Neon Exercise Evening with the Kids

In the month of February, my kids and I headed off to the Neon Exercise Night in Centurion at the Els Club hosted by Karmically Fused.  Karmically Fused was founded in 2009, by best friends, who both have the passion for helping people to become better versions of themselves.

Managing Director, Clair Buck said they wanted to create an exercise event for the whole family.  As a fit mom in the making, one of the biggest frustrations I face is not always being able to workout with my kids. Fitness events are on the rise, however there isn’t much that caters for simultaneous workouts for both parents and kids. Yes some gyms have these facilities but they do come at a price and let’s be honest not everyone can afford a gym membership for each child. Gyms also have restrictions in terms of supervision and the type of exercises performed by them which means that the kids are often bored and frustrated.  Which really translates to “parents are frustrated AF”.

This is why the Neon Exercise Evening appealed so much to me.  The line-up included kiddy yoga lead by Clair herself, African gumboot dancing, Zumba and even bootcamp for the kids.   The line-up also included the kid’s yoga Brand Ambassador for Magic Mat and its Little Secret.  The Magic Mat series is a magical tool for teaching yoga to 5 to 12-year-old kids.

We arrived in our neon gear ready for some fun under the stars.  Upon arrival and after registration, we made our way to the talented face painters who used special glow in the dark paints.  I opted to have my tattoo coloured in instead of my face.

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I’m just a big kid at heart

Seeing as the event is done in the dark, specialized lighting was used to ensure everyone glowed beautifully.   I must admit it looked fantastic and the kids absolutely loved it.

The Neon Exercise Evening was filled with energy and fun. Classes were run by qualified instructors, dancers and personal trainers. The weather on that particular Friday wasn’t great at all and a few minutes into the workout the rain began.  The amazing part is that almost everyone continued to dance and workout in the rain.  The kids were in their element and the eccentric Zumba instructor had us laughing  like crazy while we moved to the beat.  All music and instructions for the event were actually heard through headphones.  My boys said that was the coolest part of the evening.

There were also various stalls selling goods from health products, natural cosmetics and  food.

Sharing the experience with my kids was really awesome and we had such a wonderful evening that we are looking forward to the next Neon Exercise Night.

Events such as these reinforce the importance of fitness, healthy living and quality time spent together as a family. Fitness workouts help develop athletic skills. The kids get the opportunity to learn basic goal-setting skills and it definitely boosts ones self-esteem.

The Neon Night will be held in various locations throughout South Africa. This was the first event and with it being the first event you always get a few teething problems.  Despite some issues, it was a fantastic night and I can see this event growing from strength to strength.

Eating out|Lifestyle

Eating out with kids at Nostimo

When moms families want to get out the house and enjoy a meal at a lovely adult restaurant, options are indeed limited. The usual suspects in terms of kid friendly restaurants really don’t appeal to me.  So when I came across this hidden gem in the heart of Waterfall City, Midrand I was over the moon. I’m talking about Mythos’ sister restaurant Nostimo.

The phantasmagoric design of Nostimo landed them a finalist spot in International Restaurant & Bar Awards

This Greek family friendly restaurant has an impressive Mediterranean menu, which includes great pizzas and sushi. The kid’s menu includes calamari, chicken souvlaki, pizzas and spaghetti & meatballs. Their breakfasts are really great too and fit my eating plan perfectly.

The highlight of Nostimo is the facilities available for the kids. There’s an arts and craft centre and a pottery studio were the kids can create gorgeous pieces of art under the watchful eye of a child-minder. Prices depend on the items selected by the kids (and thankfully payment is required before the kids commence).

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Trying their hand at mosaic

There is also a wooden, nature-themed kid’s organic play area which is equipped with a slide, swing, walkway, rocking boat and push bike track. Needless to say that we don’t see much of the kids when we visit Nostimo.

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And if all this wasn’t enough there is an astoundingly marvelous variety of luxury, homemade gelato and sorbet, which my kids make sure we never by-pass.

All in all this is a fantastic greek restaurant that caters for the entire family, while serving up rather wholesome and delicious food.  Nostimo by Mythos is indeed worth a visit.

 

Fitness|Fitness event

Fit Night Out Cape Town

When Women’s Health SA advertised late last year that Fit Night Out, Cape Town was on the cards for early 2018, I had a serious case of FOMO and very impulsively decided to book my ticket. Maybe this is the point where I mention that I actually live in Johannesburg.  Travel all the way for a fitness event? I hear you ask.  Well who wouldn’t when #FNO is a gathering of women from all walks of life who do so in the name of fitness and fun. Women’s Health has created a platform that is all about women empowerment, self-acceptance and love and a whole lot of letting your hair down, getting your beautiful bodies moving and building up a sweat. In short,  FNO is an epic workout party and one you seriously shouldn’t miss.

The weekend finally arrived and I hopped onto a plane headed to the Mother City for some fun in the sun.  Little did I know that I would be presented with an opportunity to hang with and interview fitness experts who inspire and motivate me.  This was truly the stuff dreams are made of and I was absolutely beside myself.  I mean I was spending a weekend with my amazing friends, they were going to experience my lifestyle change in person (instead of on Instagram) and …. I was getting to meet the people who have impacted my life in the most profound way.

With approximately 1700 women in attendance, almost doubling 2017’s register, it was a truly magnificent summer’s day with DJ Zar pumping out the coolest of the coolest tunes.  As the sun blazed down upon us ladies, the rhythm took control and as energy levels increased, uncertainty and nervousness washed away for the first-timers readying us for an amazing evening of fitness fun.

The event kicked off with Grid workouts at the Virgin Active stand, photo ops at the Shield stand and some retail therapy at the Adidas store.

An impressive line up of some of SA’s top fitness experts was scheduled for the night.

  • Ceri Hannan and his team kicked of the night with an energising warm-up.
  • Women’s Health #NextFitStar Inge Viljoen took us back in time with an 80’s aerobic workout.
  • Queen Fitnass pulled off an impressive skipping demo
  • PopUpGym with Letshego Zulu and Queen Fitnass demonstrated a killer partner workout
  • Inge Viljoen challenged former Miss SA, Melinda Bam to a workout (check out the March issue of Women’s Health Mag to find out how she got them abs)
  • Yoga with Earthchild Project lead by the uber sassy Noks
  • Afropop Gumboot Class with 33Concepts
  • Rumble Boxing Class with Virgin Active

Additional intense workouts by Queen Fitnass, Takkies and Fitness Bunnie got the ladies moving at the Shield Stage while Siv N and Aneeke aka FitGirlZA amped things up on the other end at the Powerade stage.

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Shield #FitSquad with  @sbahle_mpisane@queenfitnass  and  @takkies7 were #ShieldReady

Boy oh boy, did the #FITSQUAD bring the heat.  What better ambassadors than these three remarkable fitness experts, to put Shield’s Invisible Black & White range to the test of all tests.  These ladies are absolute powerhouses and are always on the move. Fit Night Out was no exception.

QueenFitnass performed several demonstrations and if you follow her on Instagram, you will know that this titan of a woman knows no limits and its easy to see that #NeverDone is the epitome of everything she encompasses.  Having recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl, sexy fit mom Takkies helped the ladies get in touch with their sexy selves.  This Creator/Founder of Rockingnheels Dance Workout and choreographer showed off her moves and the ladies were keen to follow suit.  Takkies is an excellent example for all women out there that there are #NoExcuses.  She is real and oh so relatable.  Last but most certainly not least of the #FitSquad is Sbahle aka FitnessBunnie.  Her high intensity workout had the ladies pretty much in it to win it … of course I’m referring to the spot prizes that Shield handed out on the day.  She was relentless and pushed the ladies to give it their absolute all.  Aside from her demonstration, FitnessBunnie was also wonderfully supportive, encouraging and dancing alongside her #FitSquad when they performed on stage. If fitness videos and meal guides are what you’re after then this entrepreneur and fitness expert is indeed the one to follow.

Shields latest innovation for the invisible range is “specially formulated with Clearex and Micro-Crystal technology.  As a result it offers less product buildup with the same 48-hour protection – so your clothes stay protected and so do you”.  The fact that almost everyone in attendance was dressed in black and white, really made this the perfect opportunity to determine if Shield’s latest innovation was all it’s cracked up to be.  So it  was exceptionally apt that the awesome goodie bags we received, contained Shield Products so all the ladies were indeed #ShieldReady for Fit Night Out.

Low and behold, after 7 hours of working out and running around taking pics as well as conducting interviews, I can honestly say no white marks on black tops; no yellow stains on my FNO white vest and despite me sweating up a storm, I was and definitely felt protected.

Fit Night Out is powered by @womenshealthmagsa and @adidasza in partnership with @shieldza, @totalsports_sa@virginactivesa, #powerade and #polaroideyewear .

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FNO Goodie Bag

See you soon Durban and Johannesburg, because Fit Night Out will be heading your way sooner than you know it.

 
 

Adventuring|Lifestyle

Hiking Lonehill Koppie

Over the December holidays while looking for a place to take the kids fishing, my hubby stumbled across the Lonehill Nature Reserve. Besides its lone, rocky hill, this archaeologically rich reserve offers hiking, a lake & city views.  The significance of the Lonehill Nature Reserve is that it conserves three stone age furnaces, built around 1600 that were excavated in the 1960’s, so this is actually an important Stone Age site. 
The nature reserve is situated on the outskirts of Johannesburg.  Yes, an actual nature reserve in the middle of a concrete jungle and the beautiful suburb of Lonehill makes for the perfect settings.  The entrance to the Reserve can be found at the dead-end on Calderwood Road.
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The word “koppie” is an Afrikaans word which means little hill.

A few years ago we decided that we were going to swap birthday parties for new experiences and adventuring.  It was definitely the best decision we have ever made.  Seeing as my eldest son was celebrating his birthday we decided to go on a  hike and do some fishing at the Lonehill Nature Reserve.  After some research we were convinced that taking the “Granny path” was the right decision to make considering we had kids on the hike starting from the age of 7. So we entered the reserve and made our way to an isolated picnic bench at the foot of Lonehill Koppie.  Signage in the reserve is seriously lacking and all we could find were white arrows on the rocks.  We however couldn’t figure out which was the Granny path and decided to just wing it.  The kids, filled with excitement and enthusiasm raced up ahead.  I what I would do to have that kind of energy and zest for life.

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The steep, jagged rocks made this hike up, rather challenging.  Within a few minutes we simultaneously asked each other if anyone knew a granny fit enough to make her way up this “far from even path”, then decided we would be bringing my hubby back to do this hike when he turns 55 (he was the event coordinator on this occasion which is normally my job). This hike is definitely not meant for inflexible people with short legs (referring to myself), because I honestly found myself crawling more than climbing.  All the reading I had done prior to our visit, mentioned and some even warned about the  local dassies, but all we came across was dassie poop and lots of it.  It was rather extra and had the kids screaming that the place smelt like a pig farm.  I must admit it got them to the top much quicker than expected.
We made our way through a collection of  boulders, and had to use ladders to get to the very top.  The first ladder was missing a rung  which saw my hubby drag us ladies onto the top of the boulder.  See what I meant earlier when I spoke about short legs ?!?! Ascending another ladder saw us reach the very top.  As the slight breeze washed over our faces we sat there taking in the beautiful views of Johannesburg.  The kids were super excited because they could see Monte Casino and the Mall of Africa from up there Now what makes you think these are city kids?  We also saw many beautiful birds and several lizards, but no dassies.  The kids loved the nooks and crannies of the found at the boulders.

We made our way down but holy hell …. it was steep and I definitely felt it on my knees the day after.  The perks of having a big bum is that it was easy and safer  sliding down those boulders.  Our way down was much easier than the way up that’s for sure.  Within a few short minutes we were done with the hike.  I have to admit that we were left feeling rather disappointed.  We were in the swing of things and our sense of adventure was crying out for more.

All in all it was a fun hike especially perfect for little kids as it isn’t too long.  I love that the Nature Reserve is directly next to the park, which is where we ending up spending the rest of the day.  The adults chilled under the trees while the kids fished at the little lake and played.  A fun family outing that I would highly recommend especially for families with kids.