Current Workout Routine and Update on 30 Day Challenges

Hi, hi!

I know it’s been a long while. Been so busy and, I’ll admit, a little lazy. But here I am and ready to share with you some fitness updates.

First of all, I have completed the 30 Day Squat and Crunch Challenges. It was a long thirty days but I honestly enjoyed doing both challenges. After thirty days I had completed a total of 3750 squats and 2040 crunches!! I know. I was also like “Whaaaat!?!” I couldn’t believe I had actually done all those squats! I wasn’t so psyched about the number of crunches I did. If you remember in a previous post, I don’t really like doing crunches and prefer to tone and tighten my tummy by engaging my core in EVERY exercise I do. I find that way to be more effective and better results, in my case, are guaranteed.

See picture below. This is post the 30 Day Crunch Challenge.

Results of my 30 Day Crunch Challenge

Results of my 30 Day Crunch Challenge

So, left is the picture!! I am happy with the results. But the journey is far from over. Now that the challenge is the thing of the past, I am on the hunt for another challenge I could do. Perhaps something from Let me know if you have any awesome and challenging challenges I could try for a month.

So while I look for something, I came up with an exercise routine for myself for the next thirty days. It may not seem so difficult at face value. But after two, nearly three weeks of following this routine, man is it challenging. Especially the forty minute exercise scheduled for Wednesday! Those are REAL.

And I have also gone up a kilogram in terms of the weight of my dumbbells, medicine ball, kettle bell and sandbag, so my strength sessions are super challenging. No pain, no gain right? I have also increased the number of strength sessions I do in a week and make sure to complete an hour for each workout.

Warm up and cool down sessions are a very important part of my workout routine although I have not included them in the table below. I still do ten minutes of warming up before my main workout routine. And I spend ten minutes on my cool down before spending another five to ten minute stretching. And obviously most important is nourishing the body properly before and after a workout.










Rest Day NONE WORKOUT40 Minutes4 routines at 10 minutes each + Tabata   Shuffle 10 Minutes – Tabata Shuffle

  • Step
NONE 1 Hour morning run 1 Hour morning run


Rest Day TABATA1 Hour – weights

  • Pushups
  • Tricep        Dips
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Glider        Crunches
  • Back        Lifts (Superman)
TABATA20 Minutes – weights

  • Tricep        dips
  • Bicep        Curls
  • Shoulder        Press
  • Shoulder        Lifts
CORE STRENGTH50 Minutes: Tabata – weights

  • Plank
  • Pushups
  • Sliding        Pike (Glider)
  • Side        Plank R
  • Bridge
  • Side        Plank L
  • Lunge        with twist
TABATA1 Hour – weights

  • Pushups
  • Tricep        Dips
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Bicep        Curls
  • Shoulder        Press
  • Shoulder        Lifts

So there you have my updated workout routine for the month. I like to switch things up quite a lot because I don’t want my body to become accustomed to my workout routine. That’s why I like doing a different challenge each month. I try new types of exercises. Some I have loved so much that I continue to do them somewhere within my new routine or on my day off on Monday (I know…what’s the point of a rest day then huh?) – like pilates, zumba, Fierce or They are so much fun I don’t see them as a workout anyway. But for the most part, I like to keep chopping and changing my routine…put my body through a different exercise experience. And it works for me. I enjoy it and always, ALWAYS feel SO good after every single workout.

Remember to let me know if there are any challenges I can try out! Super excited to see what you guys will recommend!

Until the next post…take care! 🙂


The Pursuit of ‘Happiness’: Chasing the “Perfect” Body

I am very much into the whole idea of Active Living, healthy eating and just leading a clean, full and happy life. And as I had said in a post before, it takes a certain degree of obsession (and I speak for myself here) to keep motivated and determined to continue living this way until it’s basically second nature. Until you don’t even have to make a conscious effort to remember to exercise, or to grill your meat rather than fry it and so on.

I am also crazy about exercise…about moving and keeping active. For me, sitting still for a period of time makes me feel like I’m wasting time. Unless of course I am watching one of my favourite TV programmes, I cannot just be still watching TV for hours on end. I have to move, play a sport, go to the gym, read a book…something to keep my body and/or my mind active. Yes, as you can see, a little bit of obsession plays a role. But it’s a healthy obsession…an obsession that fuels motivation.

And then you get that type of obsession where somebody is striving for a specific goal. But that goal is rooted in achieving a certain image portrayed by society as sexy, beautiful and what a girl and/or guy should look like. There is a certain perception of what the ‘perfect’ body should be.  And some of these perceptions are down right scary. People are doing some crazy things like crash diets and all kinds of “miracle” cures that will give you instant desired weight loss results in a short space of time. Someone somewhere claims they have found the magic silver bullet. And hey, some of these work. For a while…in the short term. But as we all should know, in the long run, these solutions aren’t sustainable and cause more damage to your body.

So, going back to the “perfect” body. I am a follower of (heard of them? Go and check out their site. And try out some of the exercises if you dare!!). I follow their blog (The Daily Hiit Blog) and came across this similar discussion. This relentless desire to attain the “perfect” body.

What does it mean to be skinny?

What does it mean to be skinny? Picture courtesy of The Daily Hiit Blog

These are the five traits identified by Rachael Wright as the ultimate physical characteristics many want to attain as they continue to chase the “perfect” body. Perhaps you have heard of a few of them…the thigh gap seems to be the most popular these days.

Collar Bones: Is this really necessary for a perfect body? Apparently so. Protruding collar bones have somehow made it onto the ‘must-have’ list for a “perfect” body. Really?! Can anyone say “anorexia”?

Big Boobs: This is an old age must-have. I guess it’s a personal decision when it comes to implants and the like. But being confident, comfortable and okay in your own skin, small or big boobs…you still rock!

Flat Stomach: Another that has long been an absolute must-have. I’ve actually given up on doing crunch after crunch and have found that you get better results by learning to engage your abs in every single type of exercise you do. From arm exercises, to legs and cardio. Strengthen your core…focus on whole body exercises. Aim to lose belly fat.

Hip Bones: Yes. Like the collar bones, your hip bones are considered sexy if we can see them spiking out. Again, Can anyone say “anorexia”?

Thigh Gap:  According to research that Wright conducted, it all has to do with the pelvic structure. “A loose pelvis is what creates the thigh gap. If you have a tight one, not so much.” So stop trying. Just focus on health and being fit.

How can perfection equate to protruding bones and gaps in your body?

Sometimes you can be really amazed at some of the things that people will do.

Well…until the next post; keep healthy. Stay fit. Take care! 🙂


What Your Cravings Are Telling You

A very interesting site I discovered…Naturopathy Works. Check out the table below. I just love it. It’s going to come in handy on more than just a few occasions.

If you crave this… What you really need is… And here are healthy foods that have it:
Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Sweets Chromium Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
Carbon Fresh fruits
Phosphorus Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
Sulfur Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Bread, toast Nitrogen High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans
Oily snacks, fatty foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Coffee or tea Phosphorous Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes
Sulfur Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables
NaCl (salt) Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)
Iron Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Alcohol, recreational drugs Protein Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts
Avenin Granola, oatmeal
Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Glutamine Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice
Potassium Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens
Chewing ice Iron Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Burned food Carbon Fresh fruits
Soda and other carbonated drinks Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Salty foods Chloride Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
Acid foods Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Preference for liquids rather than solids Water Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Preference for solids rather than liquids Water You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Cool drinks Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
General overeating Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
Lack of appetite Vitamin B1 Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats
Vitamin B3 Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes
Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Chloride Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt
Tobacco Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables
  1. Lectures, Cheryl M. Deroin, NMD, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Spring 2003 (healthy food recommendations)
  2. Benard Jenson, PhD, The Chemistry of Man B. Jensen Publisher, 1983 (deficiencies linked to specific cravings and some food recommendations)

Until the next post…keep well! 🙂

Because It’s Summer, Now You’re Hitting The Gym…

Hi there!

Another gloomy and overcast day in Johannesburg and still no sight of rain. It’s been threatening to pour by the bucket load for days now and yet zilch…well at least where I am.

Nonetheless, that has never stopped me from keeping fit and active. Just yesterday, at half-past nine in the morning, I was already out the door and on the road for my morning run – in the cruel cold wind that kept nipping at my finger tips and my nose, I still was out there. And every time, when my run or workout is over, I never have a shred of regret as to why I had woken up so early, out in the cold, and decided to go running.

Throughout the entire autumn/winter months, I was out there…running, working out, woke early to go to gym. And of course there were some who just looked at me like I was some kind of foreign species that did not understand autumn/winter meant snuggle in, eat comfort food and just do nothing. That it was much too cold to do anything. I did it anyway. And now that spring is here (well…despite the gloomy weather) and summer is just around the corner, they are now all jumping about, scurrying to the gym, trying to get back into the rhythm of a ‘healthy’ diet and exercise routine and stressing about the winter weight, the imminent December holidays and trying to get into shape so they can at least look good at the beach.

Pshshst! Look, the way I see it, Active Living and living a healthy lifestyle can’t be done in seasons or at certain points of the year. It’s something you do every day. It’s about consistency, dedication, determination and motivation. And above all, it certainly is not just about looking your best for summer or for a special occasion (a wedding, a big birthday celebration etc.). It’s about feeling your best all the time. You do this on a daily basis, you won’t ever have to worry about that upcoming high school reunion because feeling good, looking good, living healthy, feeling confident in your own skin and feeling confident about your body is something you work on every day. It’s like second nature to you. It’s not something you stress about because it is already an integrated part of your life. It’s how you live.

That for me is the goal. I want to do things the healthy way. That is where dedication plays a role. The healthy way may take some time…sometimes the results your are looking for take a very long time to show up. This is where determination plays a role. But you keep at it anyway (this is where consistency plays its role) because you got your eye on the prize…on the end goal that is worth every effort and every drop of sweat you produce – this is where motivation takes its place. If you can keep that cycle going in every aspect of Active and Healthy living (exercise, eating, nurturing etc.), you are well on your way.

It’s no news that the beginning is most probably the hardest part. Where do you find that motivation to keep going? In my own personal experience, starting small and slow is key. If you wan to change something that will affect the rest of your life (and we talking BIG changes here), you are going to have to wean yourself off your bad habits while learning to adopt new healthier habits to replace the old ones. For example, one of the first things I did to help me get into the groove of a healthy and balanced diet was to change the way I prepared my food. I still ate the same foods I had always eaten, I just cooked them differently. I cut out all frying and instead I chose to grill my foods. I went from frying my eggs to either boiling or poaching them. I eliminated salt and instead chose to use herbs and spices such as turmeric. I cut down on sugar dramatically. I now get most of my sugar from the fruits I eat. I now take no sugar I my tea.

These changes happened over a period of time and I soon began to make bigger changes – absolutely no white bread or refined carbs alike. I prefer not to eat anything fried although there are much healthier options (coconut oil for example) that you may choose to utilise. I am always looking at food labels, particularly for sugars, fats and carbohydrate information. I have also familiarised myself with the different names that are used for certain foods – for example, sugars take on names such as glucose, fructose and galactose (simple sugars); sucrose, maltose and lactose (compound sugars) – with all the hidden sugars in products sold these days, I felt it important to know these kind of things.

These are changes that I know I will be able to sustain for a very long time. Most probably for the rest of my life as long as God and my health allow. Changes that have now become such a part of what I do every day, they don’t even feel like I’m doing anything different. And it’s because I do them every day that they have become my way of life. It’s always difficult when you start something, you get it off the ground and somewhere along the line you quit for whatever reason. And then you find that, again for whatever reason, you need to get back on track and pick up where you had left off when you had quit. It’s hard. And then you quit again because now it’s winter and the weather just doesn’t permit for that kind of lifestyle. Come mid-August, you realise spring is nearly here…and you want to pick up on the exercise and healthy eating again because soon it’ll be beach weather. It’s like yo-yo dieting but with exercise. How demotivating is that…!

It would drive me crazy. Maybe it takes a certain type of person to be able to pursue this lifestyle? I don’t think so. I have seen so many people who have successfully been able to lead a healthy and active lifestyle…and seeing where they had started, their journey and how much they have achieved, it makes me believe that anyone who is truly consistent, dedicated, determined and motivated can achieve this goal and any of the goals they have set for themselves. It takes a certain amount of obsession. And I have people thinking I am crazy. I don’t care. I am happy and I am fit and I am healthy and I love it.

Well…now that the rant is over :-)…very much enjoyed writing this post.

Until the next post…take care 🙂

My Challenges for the Month: Squat and Crunch

Call me crazy but I have taken it upon myself to do this 30-Day Squat and 30-Crunch challenges. Difference is, I will be doing them simultaneously.

I am currently on Day 5 of both the squat and crunch challenge and let me tell you, ever since day one, there has not been a morning where I did not wake up sore. Let me just also add here that I am doing the squat and crunch challenges along with my normal exercise routine that I do. So I will do my normal workout for the day (which is an hour long) and then do the squat and crunch challenge for that day. Phew!

But hey, I am really enjoying it though and am very excited to see what the results will be 🙂

Below are the two challenges if you would like to try them yourselves. And take before and after pictures after each level of the challenges (see below for the levels). Seeing your progress will keep you motivated and determined to keep going.

30-Day Squat Challenge

30-Day Squat Challenge

30-Day Crunch Challenge

30-Day Crunch Challenge


LEVEL ONE: Day 1 – 10

LEVEL TWO: Day 2 – 20

LEVEL THREE: Day 21 – 30

I hope you enjoy the challenge!

Until the next post…take care! 🙂

Lorna Jane Clarkson’s “More of the Fit Woman’s Secret”

Hey there!

I hope you all are doing very well.

As I had mentioned in an earlier blog post, having submitted a motivational mantra on their Facebook page a few weeks ago, the people at Lorna Jane South Africa sent me this incredible book by founder Lorna Jane Clarkson titled More Of The Fit Women’s Secret to read and enjoy.

I’m not going to make this review your typical book review where the reviewer goes into detail about the style of writing, language, diction, subtext, themes and the like. This book didn’t evoke that sort of critical appraisal in me. It rather inspired me and lit up a few new ideas and relit others I had had before. I just wanted to share and highlight the parts of the book that struck a chord.

I myself am a sports and health fanatic and I look to live my life clean and actively – I love to eat healthy foods; I love going to the gym, playing sports, jogging or doing home-based exercises. It’s become a part of who I am now and is something I just can’t do without. But there is always that need for motivation. There are days when you can question yourself. I have come to learn that this is a long-term thing – it’s about sustainability. The ability to be able to live my life like this…everyday for the rest of my time on this earth. This book served as that thing of inspiration. Reading this book, on so many levels, reaffirmed that I am on the right track. The Move Nourish Believe (MNB) philosophy wasn’t prevalent in name, but on many levels I was living it and heading in the right direction.

Lorna Jane Clarkson's MORE

Lorna Jane Clarkson’s MORE

Now look, I love to read. I have read a countless number of books – some I have absolutely loved, adored and treasured…others, well not so much – but I have appreciated the opportunity to read them anyway. I believe that you can never really have a ‘bad’ read if you are a true book and reading lover. You can only grow and learn. I was so super excited to read this book. Before I actually sat down and started reading it, I had a quick look through the book (no reading). Just to get an idea of what to expect. And I was pleasantly surprised. I was immediately captured by the format of the book. It isn’t set out like your typical novel – page after page of typed word. As mentioned again in the previous blog post, this book is set out as a journal. It has so much colour; pictures; motivational sayings, advices and quotes; different types of fonts used – it’s like you are reading Lorna’s own personal journal/diary. It’s an incredible way to draw in the reader and make them feel like the author herself is right there beside you as you go on her journey and live her story through the book.

While reading the book, I found myself nodding my head at so many of the points that were made. I found that I actually know many of the concepts and ideas that Lorna mentioned. I have been trying to live them myself. So to have that affirmation from someone who has been doing this for years…wow! And then to have her supply a platform where I can centre these beliefs, habits and attitudes – the MNB philosophy. But I knew that there were pieces of my puzzle missing. And one really simple mistake I was making was not writing things down. Instead, they would cloud up my head…some would fall away from the simple fact that my head got filled with so many ideas, thoughts and plans. I found that writing it down was the first step in making it real.

Another point Lorna makes in this book – the love of reading. I have tonnes of novels upon novels and some have been re-read purely because a) I thoroughly enjoyed the book that much, it deserved a second read and b) I just have to have something to read…always. My iPad is packed with books in its iBooks store. I just love the journey you take when you get lost in a great story. My favourite types of reads are those that come alive in my head. That take me by my imagination and allow for me to explore worlds real and unreal with characters that touch my heart…my life. Stories that inspire, excite and linger on in my mind long after I have read them. I can travel the world and far beyond just by sitting and opening a book. It’s an amazing love I have had since I was a child. It’s built up my imagination, expanded my mind and my vocabulary, strengthened my ability to be insightful and critical. I truly understand when Lorna says you just can’t go a day without having read something.

Signed copy

Signed copy

Ah. And a favourite surprise – her love for chocolate and the fact that she refuses to feel guilty for allowing herself to eat it on a daily basis! I know…I was so super excited to hear that. She has even added some yummy chocolate recipes for the reader to make at home.

A section of the book I believe came in handy in my own journey of active living, health, wellness and well-being: the food we eat to nourish our bodies and the activities we do to keep our bodies fit. Lorna has jam-packed so many helpful pieces of advice, examples, tips and recipes to help better understand what it is we put into our bodies and how we can keep ourselves strong and healthy through regular exercise and a balanced and nutritional diet.

Even that little fifteen to twenty minutes that you can squeeze out of your day is enough to get your body moving through dedicated exercise. A little bit is better than nothing at all. And I get when Lorna says that if she misses a day of training, she feels like all that hard work is beginning to unravel. Personally, I have one day a week where I don’t train at all and that works for me. It helps my body recuperate and recover – different strokes for different folks.

She also has some excellent advice on organic foods. I have been very aware of organic foods and try as much as possible to stick to buying organic. My rule of thumb when it comes to food: eat your food as raw as possible, where possible. If not possible, grill, boil, poach, sauté (coconut oil, olive oil) or steam.

The same goes for the beauty products we use – the trend now is to try and stick to face and body products that have natural ingredients that will feed your skin the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs. I agree with that, but I also find that there are one or two products that work so well for me that don’t quite have all natural products. I have always been of the opinion and advocated for the school of thought that says healthy eating results in healthy skin…along with regular exercise. If you aren’t looking after your body from the inside, it will show poor health on the outside. Your skin care products should help to compliment the work healthy eating and exercise do for your skin and over all health; to enhance and add that extra punch of vitamins and nutrients to aid your skin’s health.

LJ 4I have come to realise how I have made such HUGE changes to my diet it’s unbelievable. I am so proud of how much I have been able to positively change in terms of food and keeping a healthy balanced diet. It has helped in every aspect of my over all health. My struggle was knowing how to fit in the ‘favourites’ – dark chocolate for dessert; or a handful of raw assorted nuts for an afternoon snack; a cup of coffee is okay; I can still enjoy that garlic bread that I love so much. Small changes make quite a difference. Everything has a place on the plate. It’s about moderation and portion control. The 80/20 rule is fantastic too. And a great way to avoid feeling guilty about eating what society has come to label as ‘bad foods’.

It is really amazing when you read a book and you know exactly what the author is talking about. You understand the issues and the concept. It’s encouraging and inspirational. And I guess also some kind of affirmation that you are doing well, you’re on the right path and that you should keep soldiering on.


I haven’t completed the book yet. But I make sure to give myself an hour everyday to read it. Just a few pages left and it’s all done. I am pretty much powering through it and am thoroughly enjoying every bit of the book. Taking it all in…and to bring it into everyday life.

The book is available on the Lorna Jane SA website (which you can visit if you click here), and is valued at R499. Alternatively, you can visit any Lorna Jane venue and purchase in-store:

Sandton City, Johannesburg

Morningside, Johannesburg

Nicolway Bryanston, Johannesburg

Strijdom Park, Johannesburg

Gateway, Durban

Until the next post…take care! 🙂

July Favourite: Lorna Jane – More – Road To Active Living

Hey there!!

WOW it feels like forever since I last posted something on the blog. I miss you all so very much. But after more than a week off (and being so busy), I am back! Happy Monday 🙂

Today’s post will be a mixture of a Health and a Monthly Favourites post (since I wasn’t able to do a July Favourites last month).

As you all know, I am such a health freak. I just love to be healthy, to eat clean and live an active life. And a brand that inspires, lives and promotes these same ideals is the Lorna Jane brand. Lorna Jane is a leading retailer of women’s active wear and are fierce advocates of an active lifestyle. I came across their brand about fifteen to eighteen months ago through a friend who had purchased a few of their active wear and just raved about how amazing they were. So I did some research myself and just fell in love with the entire brand.

The brand was founded by Lorna Jane Clarkson (Chief Creative Officer) in Brisbane, Australia in 1993 when they opened their first store. The brand is all about active living, fitness and fashion – designing for women by women. Lorna Jane is a brand that looks to inspire health and get women motivated and is centred around “a three pillared philosophy“: MOVE NOURISH BELIEVE.

I was so fortunate to be able to get my little hands on a signed copy of Lorna’s book More. Thanks to the amazing people from Lorna Jane South Africa.

Lorna Jane Clarkson's MORE

Lorna Jane Clarkson’s MORE

Signed copy

Signed copy




















Everyday I am inspired by people who live an active and healthy lifestyle. I am inspired by those who commit to making this a part of their lives. Moreover, I am greatly inspired by people who understand that this kind of lifestyle is not about fads or just about dieting and exercise . This is a lifetime commitment. It’s a promise you make to yourself, your body and your soul to keep yourself as healthy as you can. To take care of yourself. It’s about sustainability. Something you can do every day for the rest of your life.

LJ 4It may seem like a load of work to do and a bit of a drag to make sure you eat a balanced and healthy meal three times a day every day with equally healthy snacks in between. To make sure you get in your fruits and veggies; to make sure you relax and stress less; to make sure you are of sound mind; to make sure you have energy and live with vitality in order to fully appreciate and enjoy your life. It takes commitment, dedication and daily practice. And believe me when I say it takes discipline – self-discipline.

Be smart and stick to your dreams and your goals. It will be worth it. I believe this with all my heart. Don’t give up and don’t be side-tracked by people who are off track. Keep focused.

“The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.”

I hope you have been inspired as mush as the Lorna Jane brand has inspired me. Until the next post…take care! 🙂