As mentioned, I’m am being mindful of my fitness and wellness. It’s very tricky.

You see, today, I did a really good job eating whole foods, controlling portion sizes, moving, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. I am a so high-five worthy right now.

The thing is, I’m writing this an hour and a half after dinner, and my body is not happy. I have things I want to get done this evening, but my stomach is being very noisy. It’s trying to say something along the lines of, “FOR PITY’S SAKE, YOU HAVE CREATED A DEFICIT IN ENERGY!! YOU DID ALL THIS MOVING AND FAILED TO CONSUME ENOUGH ENERGY TO SUSTAIN IT!”

I know, cranky body. This is good for you. You have aaaaaaaalllllll this energy stored away for times like this. For the deficit times. You don’t really need all the energy you’re storing, so you can go right ahead and use some up. It will work out well, I promise.

Leaving the story there would be a truly misleading representation of my temperament and self control in this moment. Me and Evil Me are duking it out to see who will overcome, and to be honest, I’m almost too hungry to keep straight which is Me and which is Evil Me.

Me: You’ll be fine. This is normal. Feeling hungry means your body is looking for its reserves.
Evil Me: Yes, those reserves that live in the pantry. The reserves called food.
Me: You’ve eaten enough food today. You have eaten adequate portions. Take a couple of deep breaths.
Evil Me: And when you’ve calmed down, you can have something to eat as a reward.
Me: Food is fuel, not a reward.
Evil Me: And for realising that you should reward yourself.
Me: I don’t need anything more.
Evil Me: Oh really? Is that why we’re having this conversation?
Me: Hmm. Good point, maybe I should eat something.
Evil Me: Wait, that’s my line of argument.
Me: Well, you make a good point.
Evil Me: After all your hard work today, you’d like to undo some with an imaginary conversation?
Me: Are we experiencing role reversal? I’m not sure what I’m lobbying for anymore.
Evil Me: Me either. I can’t think straight any more. I think I need something to eat.

I really need a cup of tea to step in a save us all from drowning in madness.

Although, Botanica might not quite fit the bill. Sure, it’s sweet and floral, and the fruit/floral bouquet is a pleasant mingling combination. There’s a dash of citrus and a hint of berry. Even the hibiscus doesn’t punch your lights out and flip you the bird as you swallow it. But overall, the tea just lacks some depth. Strong on the fore, weak on the tail means it isn’t a satisfying sip on the whole. A longer brew time would account for some added depth, but then you’re really putting yourself in the ring with hibiscus.

Botanica: 3/5
Enjoy with: something to eat!


Every Weight Loss Program Ever


I struggle to think of a time when I didn’t think I had to lose weight. My earliest memory of worrying about my weight was when I was 3. I was told I was ‘pudgy’ and ‘wouldn’t fit that t-shirt much longer’. Well, person whom I don’t remember, but whose words stuck with me for all these years, that is because when you are 3 you are still GROWING! And if I was still able to fit into an toddler’s size 2 t-shirt today, I would have some problems.

The thing is, I haven’t always needed to lose weight. I remember being 12 and entirely self conscious about my weight. I thought I was enormous, but I look back at pictures now and realise, I was actually on the slim side of things.

My body has changed so much over the years as I have had times where I am eating well and being more active, and long stretches where I have been unwell. I went onto a medication that caused me to gain about 16 kgs. I had a baby. Chronic injury and illness have plagued me. And in the midst of all of this I still worry about losing weight. Thankfully, it’s not about appearance anymore, I want to be healthy and fit so I can live a full life with the people I love.

Naturally, the lifelong struggle with weight loss means I have researched a TONNE of different ways to lose weight. I have looked into the 5:2 diet, the ketogenic diet, the Israeli Army diet, the paleo diet, the lemon detox, meal replacement shakes, diet pills, fasting, weight watcher, lite ‘n easy, the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, raw food diets, veganism and vegetarianism for weight loss, the zone diet, juice cleanses, and so on and so on and so on. I read and read and read before I tried anything.

Similarly, I’ve looked into the best exercise for weight loss: crossfit, gym workouts, HIIT, yoga, pilates, team sports, running, dancing, swimming, self defence, resistance training, and again, the list goes on.

Have read and researched all these areas of weight loss, I have the definitive answer to losing weight. It’s pretty simple, and I will share it with you now.

Step 1: Eat well.
Eat a variety of food. Nothing is off limits, but certain foods should be consumed in limited quantities. Feel like a croissant? Go for it. But just have one, and maybe plan no other refined carbs for the day. Got period cramps? Grab yourself a Mars Bar (but not a whole packet of double coat Tim-Tams to yourself). Feeling good today? How much fresh food can you get into your meals? The key is to stick with something you can continue with. If you can’t do the new whizz-bang never look at any food that aren’t green or orange ever again diet for the rest of your life, keep looking for something that suits you. I believe in butter, birthday cakes, and summers full of salads and smoothies. It’s a balance. (I get it wrong embarrassingly often).

Step 2: Move.
You should not lead a sedentary life. You should move, every day, as much as possible. And the very best kind of exercise you can do is… (drumroll, please)… the exercise you will actually do. I will never go to a gym and lift weights. It’s not going to happen. I don’t want a spotter, I don’t like those machines that flail your limbs into unusual positions, and I don’t like lifting until failure. So I don’t do that. I love jumping in the pool for laps and (who would have thought?) aqua aerobics. I love to dance, but it often leaves me sore. I love a walk at dusk if it’s cool. These are the things I do, because I enjoy them and I don’t have to talk myself into it. What movement can you do that you are happy to keep doing? Do that.

Step 3: Drink enough water.

Step 4: Get enough sleep.

And that is it. That is how you lose weight you don’t need and keep yourself happy. Once your weight plateaus, that’s the weight you can maintain. Hooray! You are a super human for looking after yourself.

And people who look after themselves deserve to be rewarded. Especially with tea.

An excellent reward tea (so long as you aren’t my MM), is Red. It has a mild sweetness and a bright taste. It’s a rosey brew with a strong honey flavour. Brooding and layered, you’ll sip through a world of woody, smokey, and malty flavours. I recommend this one after a meal because it’s palate cleansing, delicious, and a little bit dessert-y. Plus caffeine free rooibos is good at any time of day!

Red: 5/5
Enjoy with: Your happy, healthy self.

Liquid Magic

White White Cocoa

I’m patting myself on the back at the moment. I did something I was supposed to do today: I went to the pool. It’s important for me to exercise regularly because every aspect of my (less than stellar) health is improved through regular exercise. But I am really good at not exercising. Regular exercisers who are reading this won’t understand, but I have become so good at not exercising I hardly ever feel guilty for not doing it. I suppose it’s better to exercise out a motivation other than guilt, but for some people, it’s all they have. Or doctor’s orders, they’re pretty potent in the motivation stakes as well.

But today I hopped in the pool without a whiff of guilt. I did inhale sharply as it’s warming up here, so the temperature of the pool is being lowered. It’s actually cold to get in now. Winter is one of my favourite times to swim, because the water is heated to such a wonderful temperature. Summer is the next best time to swim, because the weather is hot and a cool pool is welcome. Autumn is an ok time to swim because the pool tends to be heated before the weather gets too cold, but it isn’t great. Spring (now) is the worst time. The days aren’t warm enough yet, but the pool heat is being turned down. And somehow, today I managed to convince myself to swim anyway. Woo! Go me! High five!

The other issue with being bad at exercise is that the slightest win with exercise sends me into a ‘treating myself’ frenzy. No, exercise is not a reward in itself. Even Olympic athletes wouldn’t say that, they’re all training to win a medal. And since no one is hanging any hunks of precious metal around my neck for doing laps, I have to reward myself. Normally with chocolate. Which really defeats the purpose of all the exercise.

There is a solution though, and it is White White Cocoa. Imagine someone liquified a Bounty Bar. I don’t mean melted, I mean distilled into liquid. That there is the flavour of White White Cocoa. It’s a delicate white tea infused with the flavour of fresh coconut flesh. In the background of every mouthful is a faint chocolate/cocoa husk taste. Brew this one properly and you have yourself a magical cup of dessert. One cup is never enough!

White White Cocoa: 5/5
Enjoy with: Celebration