After a recent trip to Thailand, where coconut is plentiful, I was intrigued when I was offered the chance, to review a few local coconut products. All the products in my article on The Health Benefits of Coconut, are available from Wellness Warehouse stores or their online store. [Read more…]
Last week I was invited to try out an EMS training session at One20fit, which is in Claremont in Cape Town. For those of you not in the know, EMS stands for electro muscle stimulation. You may recall the Bodytec EMS trial session I did last month, well One20fit works on a very similar principle to that. [Read more…]
Two weeks ago I was invited to try a session at a Bodytec studio, as part of a campaign to help moms get their pre-baby bodies back! Yikes I somehow think that may never happen for me but who knows. I am not saying I am fat but not everything is where it used to be and I have a few added “curves” that were not there pre kids! I was interested to try Bodytec but I must admit I had no idea what it was, so I did a bit Googling, to find out more. [Read more…]
Last month I attended the 17th Reach To Recover Conference held at the CTICC in Cape Town. I must admit that never having attended something like this before I was uncertain what to expect. Cancer is an issue that hits quite close to home, for me, having lost my own mom to Cancer when I was quite young!
The theme of this years conference was Together We Reach and the focus was breast cancer from the perspectives of the patient (both the newly diagnosed and those with metastatic spread), the survivor, the partner, the family, the community, the breast cancer activist and the health professional. How we can reach together to improve the quality of life for women and men with breast cancer.
In essence the conference was aimed at women and men across the world to gain a better knowledge of breast cancer, a better understanding of the needs of low-resourced areas, how to improve service delivery and support for patients, survivors and families, to find sustainable solutions that can be used across borders, to increase networking opportunities to facilitate skills and knowledge transfer and last but certainly not least to empower survivors who are advocates for their rights.
My main aim for attending the conference was to gain more knowledge myself because I believe that knowledge is power and without it we are unable to help and support those around us. Having two daughters of my own I am aware of the responsibility as a mother to ensure that they are informed and have an understanding of the threats that this disease poses.
As a woman of 40, one may think that you know everything you need to about Breast Cancer(BC) but in my opinion unless you are directly affected by BC, you know very little. Attending the conference definitely left me feeling more knowledgeable on the topic but I must admit I did find it quite overwhelming trying to grasp the severity of this global problem! With over 1 million deaths caused by cancer each year the stats are devastating and with BC being the most diagnosed cancer in woman, it is definitely something that we all need to know more about.
There were many doctors who spoke at the conference, all specialists in their own right and extremely passionate advocates in the fight against Breast Cancer. It was great to hear from such a diverse range of people and in essence they all had the same message – it is vital to empower yourself and know your risks and most importantly not be ignorant, like an ostrich with you head in the sand.
It was very interesting to learn that although Mammograms have their place in diagnosing BC, there are other methods that are as, if not more successful and that mammograms are more successful in diagnose of BC, in patients over the age of 50. Another interesting factor was self or clinical examination can be as beneficial when diagnosing BC, so it is important to be vigilant with these things, making them part of your everyday life. Make sure you have regular checkups and if you know you are at risk, genetic testing is a good option!
So what did I take away from this experience? I now have a more balanced understanding of what the risk or contributing factors to BC are. I also know that it is important for patients and survivors to share their knowledge and experiences with those around them, as it may in turn help someone else who is suffering with Breast Cancer.
“The Discovery Cape Times Big Walk is happening this weekend, so I thought I would share this press release with you, in the event that you are participating!” ~ Super Mom Blog
DISCOVERY CAPE TIMES BIG WALK
COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS TO THE DISCOVERY CAPE TIMES BIG WALK
By Dr Craig Nossel, Discovery Head of Vitality Wellness
With just five days to go till the 2012 Discovery Cape Times Big Walk on the 11th of November 2012, it’s time for the Cape Town community to make sure they are fit and ready to make the most of this active and fun walking experience.
Improve fitness and strength training
Improving your fitness ahead of the Discovery Cape Times Big Walk can include walking up hills, as this is one of the best ways of performing cardio training; it boosts your fitness levels, burns kilojoules and gives your buttock muscles a work out.
Before performing such training, make sure that each session includes a warm up and ends with a cool down and stretching. Structuring your training in this manner will help you avoid injury, improve your performance and get the most benefit from walking.
Warm up exercises are crucial, as they are designed to increase blood supply to your working muscles and to prepare your body for more vigorous activity. Warm up for five minutes before walking briskly. You can do this by starting out at a relaxed, leisurely pace to prepare your muscles for more intense activity, and then pick up the speed.
Suggested hill session
- After warming up, preferably choose a route that includes three to four 300m hills,
- When going uphill, lean forward slightly and pump your arms
- Walk briskly and try not to slow down too much
- Do expect to be a little breathless, but you can recover on the flats or downhills. After finishing your main walk, continue to walk at a very leisurely pace for five minutes to cool down and assist the body in returning to its normal, resting state. Once the body has cooled down, perform stretching exercises. This may help improve your physical performance by increasing your flexibility, lowering your risk of injury and improving your coordination and balance
- If this type of training is new to you, do no more than one hill session a week
The Importance of stretching
Most people make the mistake of stretching before they walk, but by stretching cold muscles you risk straining or tearing them. You should do static stretches after your walk, while your muscles are warm.
“Golden rules” to keep in mind when stretching:
- Always warm up before stretching – It’s best to do static stretches after your walk or any other cardiovascular workout
- Static stretching should be slow and controlled, with no bouncing
- Always hold each stretch at a point of mild tension for 20 to 30 seconds
- Repeat each stretch twice
- Do not greatly extend, flex, twist or lock any joints
- Do not stretch through pain – release the stretch if you feel any pain
- Try to stretch four to five times a week
It is extremely important to prepare correctly for any exercise-focused events, such as the upcoming Discovery Cape Times Big Walk. Doing so will go a long way to prevent injury and will also afford you the best chance of a strong finish.
Free health screenings will be offered from Wednesday, 07 November until Saturday, 10 November at the Good Hope Centre, leading up to the actual walk which takes place at Rhodes High School on Sunday, 11 November 2012. Vitality members will be able to earn up 26 000 Vitality points, with bonus points rewarded for results that are in a healthy range.
To find out more about the Big Walk and visit their website click here.
Image: My Cape Town Stay
I have always been aware of maintaining a healthy body weight, what foods I eat and making sure I exercise regularly. Don’t get me wrong I like a delicious fillet steak and chips as much as the next person but that does not mean that I am oblivious to the health implications of eating something deep-fried in oil!
With an alarming percentage of women in SA being overweight, obese or inactive we cannot ignore the fact that consumption of unhealthy foods, is not helping the situation. With these factors in mind it is not surprising that Trans-Fats have been banned in South Africa.
What exactly are Trans-Fats?
Trans-fats are formed, when converting liquid plant oils into a semi-solid spread, like margarine, a so-called industrial hydrogenation process whereby the vegetable oil is exposed to high pressure and heat with hydrogen gas bubbling through it, in the presence of a nickel catalyst.
Under these conditions hydrogen atoms open up double bonds converting unsaturated fats, in liquid oils into hardened saturated fats. Unfortunately some (+/- 40%) of the newly created saturated fats are not 100% identical to pre-existing natural saturated fats. This is due to the fact that they have a “kink” caused by the molecule undergoing a structural change from cis-configuration to a trans-configuration at a double bond usually in the middle of the molecule. Chemically trans fats may be identical to certain natural fats but structurally they are different due to a “kink” in the middle of the molecule. You are basically taking something natural and making it unnatural! The double bonds in unsaturated fats make them less stable and more vulnerable to oxidative damage (e.g. they go rancid very quickly)
What are the health risks of eating Trans-fats?
Eating trans-fats provides no known benefit to human health, however there is definitive correlation between a diet that is high in trans-fat content and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels can translate into an increased risk of coronary heart disease, which can be fatal?
Serum trans-fatty acids are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and there is also an association between fat stores of trans fatty acids and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Other emerging risk factors are coronary artery disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia and heart failure.
Last and certainly not least, trans fatty acids contribute more to weight gain than monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Where can we find these nasty’s?
Trans fatty acids can be found in items like certain margarines, baking shortening, oil used for deep-frying chips and chicken, confectionary items such as rusks, croissants, pies, crackers, cookies, doughnuts etc.
So how can we avoid these potentially risk causing fats?
Well the only way to avoid these risks would be to avoid eating food containing trans fatty acids, as I said previously it could be difficult to avoid them altogether, it does however require you to make more informed decisions on what food products you buy and or eat.
What does the new legislation in SA say about Trans-fats?
The basic low down on the law, is that food products are only allowed to contain a maximum of 2% of trans fats. Major fast food outlets such as KFC, Steers and Wimpy have already aligned themselves with legislation and changed their fats to be trans-fat free. Other major retails chain are in the process of ensuring that the products they sell fall into line with these new laws.
Ultimately the law can only dictate policy, it is up to us as the consumer to be aware of the products we are buying or consuming and exercise a healthy, wholesome approach to food. Especially when it comes to the health and well-being of our children! 😀
Images: ©FAR Photography & Pinterest
Like me, I am sure you have days when the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. My Chicken Red Pepper and Ginger Stir Fry recipe, is perfect, for days like that. It is delicious and packed with veggies, so super healthy as well! [Read more…]