Anél – An Interview

Anél and I come a long way. She has helped lower my Hba1C, loose weight and just overall motivate me. I trust her completely when it comes to dietary requirements and advice.

I asked her a few questions.

1. Job Title and Qualifications

BSc Dietetics (2002), Masters in Nutrition (2011) – Stellenbosch University

2. Who is Anél?

I am a private practising dietitian, wife and mom to 2 very busy boys. I studied BSc Dietetics at Stellenbosch University and qualified in 2002. After completing my compulsory community service year in Potchefstroom, I then travelled to the United Kingdom where I lived and worked for 4 years as a locum dietitian and later on worked as a Specialist Paediatric Dietitian. I gained a wealth of experience during my stay in the UK – consulting paediatric patients in the Allergy, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Feeding clinics as well as patients on ward level, stroke rehabilitation and adult ICU.

We returned to South Africa in 2008 to persue a career in private practice and joined Stellenbosch & Vergelegen Nutrition Centres. Furthering my skills in adult and paediatric nutrition and dietetics.

I continued my studies and completed my Master’s Degree in Nutrition (2011), Stellenbosch University – my thesis focused on Childhood Obesity.

In 2013 I opened my own private practice, Paarl Dietitians. ​I often present talks to the public and other health professionals – keeping them up to date with the latest nutrition-related topics and research. I also consult regularly for the media and has contributed to publications such as Baba & Kleuter and Women’s Health magazines, as well as online magazine Parenting Hub, on various nutrition related topics.

My time in private practice has provided me with special skills to treat and manage weight loss, insulin resistance and associated metabolic syndrome. I have worked closely with multi-disciplinary teams in the past, to treat eating disorders and is another special interest. Other special interest includes Nutrigenomics (DNA testing) and Women’s health (pregnancy, polycystic ovarian syndrome).

I have a passion for helping people. I like to socialise with friends and family. I love to watch a good ‘Series’ on TV and I might be slightly addicted to online shopping.

3. What made you choose to become a Dietician?

My grandma was a diabetic and she saw a dietitian back in the 80’s. It fascinated me that there are people (i.e Dietitians) out there that can tell you what you should eat and should not and in such a manner improve your overall health and manage disease.

4. What is the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is that every day is different because people are all different and come in with so many different personalities and lifestyles and I feel that I can make a difference to someone else’s life. It is truly a privilege to work with others and help them to be a healthier version of themselves. By changing their lifestyle and dietary habits for the better and seeing their self-confidence improve or them feeling heathier and better.

5. What is the worst part about your job?

The worst part is when I meet new people or in social settings and they say something like “don’t look at my plate, I’m being bad today’.  Quite frankly, if you’re not my client, I don’t care what you choose to eat. It’s your choice, and the less attention you bring to it, the less I’m going to notice. O and yes, it really annoys me when people ask for free dietary advice!

6.Name one thing you can not love without.

I know it is cheesy, but my husband, kids, family and friends.

7. To Fruit or not to fruit

Often people with diabetes are told they can’t eat fruit because they are too sweet or contain sugar. The concern has been that because fruits contain sugar, it makes your blood glucose go up.

All fruits contain natural sugar (fructose), but it also contains very important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre.

Fruit in small amounts and in correct portion sizes can be eaten by diabetics. Portion size is very important when considering the biggest effects on your blood glucose levels. A portion of fruit contains about 15-20g carbohydrate on average, which is similar to a slice of bread. To put things in perspective, just a can of cola contains 35g carb and a medium slice of chocolate cake contains 35g of carbs as well. So, if a diabetic have fruit – stick to one portion at a time in order not to exceed 15-20g carbohydrates – and then the effect on blood glucose levels won’t be so dramatic.

Considering the above-mentioned – when fruit are eaten as a snack, it is also important that fruit intake should be distributed throughout the day (not eaten ALL at once).

The best fruit options are fruit that have a low GI (glycaemic index).

Fruit juices on the other hand are very high in natural sugars and they have less fibre than the whole fruits. Because you can get through a lot of juice within a relatively short period of time, compared to eating the actual fruit, you may end up loading up with a lot of carbs over that period. Depending on how your diabetes is managed, this can result in your blood glucose levels going up. That is why you are better off eating the actual fruit and avoiding juices. If you want to drink fruit juice, then my advice would be to limit it to a maximum of a small glass (125ml), once a day. Ideally, I would recommend staying off the juice and using it as a way of managing “hypo’s” (very low blood sugar levels)

8. And the Keto Debate: Is high fat low carb good for Diabetics or not?

Few studies have shown that Ketogenic diets are very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight.

 In my opinion, a Ketogenic diet could be beneficial in the case of type II diabetes but one should be more cautious in type I diabetics.

There is generally a lack of long-term studies into the safety and effectiveness of ketogenic diets in type I diabetics and, this is why a doctor’s opinion is needed before starting the diet. Some physicians are of the opinion that individuals with type I diabetes, often have some degree of renal impairment, and handling the build-up of ketones and acids in the body may cause too much stress on the kidneys.

Ongoing monitoring is needed if you do decide to adopt this very low carb approach to eating. Seeing your doctor regularly is important to make sure that your blood pressure, lipids, blood sugar, mood, and medications are within normal ranges as you lose weight. Adjustments are likely going to be necessary from time to time.

One should keep in mind that diet is a very individual thing – what works for the one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person. Therefore I encourage an individual approach since there is no ‘blueprint’ diet that will work for everyone.

9. Where can we find you?

Website: www.paarldts.co.za

Facebook and Instagram: Paarl Dietitians

Paarl/Franschoek Wineland Outing

We try and always go away around our birthdays. We like to make it special and each one can choose on their birthday where they would like to go.

This birthday was before Covid times. I have always wanted to visit Franschoek and spent time there. I wanted to go on the wine tram and visit the wine farms and go to the famous Babylonstoren. I also wanted to visit the French Heugenot museum to double check if I am in fact part of the clan and another stop was The Spice Route.

This birthday weekend was filled with precious moments and wonderful memories.

Let’s call this a photo dump, because there are a lot!

Enjoy!

1st Stop: Alpaca Loom

Who could resist these faces! Just beware, the do spit if they are in a bad mood, but what an experience. There is a shop where you can have a cup of coffee and something to eat. They also stock hand woven products and it is so beautiful, a bit pricy to my standard, but so beautiful. I will save up and visit again.

You purchase your food at the counter and then off you go to have some fun. . I fed them, walked around with them and just had the best time.

For more info, please visit their website H E R E

2nd Stop: Spice Route

So many smells and tastes to experience! This is a foodies dream.  We had ice cream and coffee, ye together and we enjoyed a lovely lunch outside on the terrace at Barley&Biltong. Visit Spice Route for a feast of taste and shopping experience.

More info H E R E

3rd Stop: Die Afrikaanse Taalmonument – Paarl

We spent some time here walking around the monument, enjoying the view, learning about the history of the Afrikaans language.

It is really beautiful from up there. They have some hiking trails, but that we left for next time.

Find more info H E R E

We made our way out of Paarl, stopping for some essentials and then made our way to Franschoek. We stayed in a villa just off the main road and the next day we ventured to find tickets for the wine tram, see the French Huguenot Monument and visit Babylonstoren.

4th Stop: Babylonstoren

We could have done this with the wine tram, but you need to make a day of this visit on its own. It is a very large farm and there enough to keep you busy the whole day, which was the case here.  It was well worth all the walking.

See for yourself H E R E

The next day, it was wine tram day! This was an experience on its own. I would advise to wear comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes and have water with you. Plan your trip as there is no way to visit all the farms on the route, so choose those you really want to visit and do some research.

More info H E R E

I love this photo so much. The way he is holding her hat so the wind does not blow it away. The sweetest thing!

We had a lot of fun that weekend and I would love to visit again soon.

Have you been, and if so what would you recommend?

E xx

*Links not affiliated. Opinions my own.

Befriend, Date, Engaged to a Type 1 Diabetic

Not long after we started dating, I asked my now husband, then boyfriend, to tell the world what it was like being the partner of a Type 1 Diabetic.

I asked if he wanted to update this for a more recent post and he was very adamant, no, this is what he wrote and I should re-post it.

So, here it is.

With mutual friends pestering me to take a friend of theirs out on a date, I met my soon-to-be wife Elré. I was told beforehand that if things look to be getting serious I should always keep in mind that she’s a T1D all of her life and that it will be difficult at times.

Well, being an open minded and resourceful guy, I thought ‘How tuff could it be?’. Well, let me tell you.

I knew nothing.

If not for being totally in love with my fiancé and feeling and seeing the heaps of love that she has for me, I would probably have wanted to run away.

What I thought I knew about diabetes was absolute rubbish. In fact I still don’t know a lot about diabetes. What I do know now is that the perception of what diabetes is, is totally wrong. There’s different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.

Being as my fiancé is a Type 1, I’ve read up quite a bit on this. So now I know that we will be reading all of the labels on every food item that we buy, we will do maths daily by counting carbs, testing blood sugar levels, calculating the amount of insulin that she needs to inject, not too little, cause then her BSL (Blood Sugar Level) will rise, which is BAD, not too much, cause then her BLS will drop, which is BAD. Just the correct amount to keep the BLS nice and stable at around 6. So I’ve become Goldilocks!? (Not too hot, not too cold, just right)

Every aspect of our life together is affected in some way by her diabetes. Going for a walk, “Ok, just wait I need to check my BLS”. Making dinner, “remember not to use to many of this or that.” That however is one of the many challenges to our life that I do like, I love to create her something healthy and tasty to eat. It does help that I myself will be eating the same food, and I prefer good food 🙂

So now that we’ve been together for 8 months and living together for the past 2 months, would I change anything? Well I would like to have a little more space on the bed, but other than that, I love my T1D fiancé and would gladly count carbs with her for the rest of our long lives.

Oh, before I sign of, one other thing which is actually 3. I’ve heard and read people saying that their T1D partners have this tendency to be 3 different people all rolled up into one. The “normal” version, the BLS high version, which becomes cranky and irritable without warning, and the BLS low version, which basically just becomes a zombie with no real emotion or response. I can however state that none of the extra “personalities” have got a change in hell against the stock standard PMS fiancé.

I love my soon-to-be wife, and will always do. 

If you have any questions, please do leave a comment. I will organise the answers for you!

E xx

Little West Coast Getaway

We love going places. In Afrikaans there is a sayin “Sy hou van gatskuur” which basically translates to if you are driving I am coming.

So, when Etienne says let’s go explore or just take a short trip, I am always game. I enjoy our trips a lot. Even if it is only around the corner.

One of these little ones we did was up the West Coast. This was a while back and it was fresh after we started dating. So cute. Our end destinations would be his brother’s place in Vredenburg, but on our way we made a few stops.

Our trip started in Yzerfontein and we had a brief stop just to have some breakfast. I realised I did not take photo’s here accept for this one of the seagull. The star of our stop.

Next up was Saldanha

I have been before, but so briefly. We did not really explore or see anything. We walked around the harbour a bit, climb these very steep stairs to get a better look and just see.

There were really good photo opportunities, so I had some fun!

Then off to, Jacobsbaai.

Here we had coffee and something to bite at this cute little coffee shop. Outside the shop there was this chapel looking space where you can sit outside and of course we did. The weather was mighty fine.

They even allowed our little doggie to join us.

We arrived at our destination and the next day we went to Paternoster. A cute little fishing village about 20mkm from Vredenburg.

It is so pretty. It makes me think a little bit of Greece, some of the houses. The style of it. It is quiet and I would love to go back and actually stay over.

There is a big stretch of beach where the dogs can run to their hearts desire. We took the kids and doggie and we spent the morning on the beach.

We had a fab weekend. It was right on our door step but just spending time and seeing places you only know off a bit more in detail is fun!

Now, I have a weird obsession with these wind farms that have been popping up in recent years.

The Sunday on our way home between Vredenburf and Gouda we found not far from the Windfarm, one of the propellers. I asked Etienne to stop because I want to see how big it really is.

I was surprised! They are HUGE!

The size of those things are really deceiving, but here you have it. For reference I am 1.66m in length.

I am looking forward to our next spontaneous trip!

E xx

Tea House in a Tree

We had the privilege to visit this very cute little tea house just before the official opening. We both fell in love with this little gem.

It is built between the branches of an old Oak Tree and it is gorgeous. You do not have to climb a tree, access is super easy from the parking area with mostly level ground.

You have a beautiful view of the surrounding farms and you can even see Table Mountain.

We had a lovely cup of coffee and so yummy breakfast. I really just wanted to hang out there the whole day.

It is is located between Malmesbury and the Riebeeck Valley on the Goedgedacht Farm.

We had a lovely morning in the midst of a pandemic. This was most certainly a bright spot for me.

They offer a function/wedding venue as well with this cute little chapel on the farm.

For more information, please visit The Goedgedacht Website. The tea garden is back in the summer!

I can not wait!

E xx

*link not affiliated, views are my own.

A night at Hawksmoor House

A few years back I won an incentive for my hard work. It felt great to be acknowledged and rewarded.

My husband and I had the privilege of staying at Hawksmoor House not too far from Stellenbosch.

This property has a very reach history and if you would like to know more about it, I would recommend visiting their website here.

Apart from offering gorgeous accommodation, lovely scenery and tranquillity, they also offer a variety of wine.

Over the centuries the property saw varied types of produce ranging from tobacco to sheep to wine. The still fully operational farm is now producing oats, hay, luzerne, and more recently butternut squash and green beans. It is also home to approximately 90 head of red Angus cattle. There are 28 ha under grape with some vines being 29 years old. The grapes grown at Matjieskuil are used exclusively to make a selection of prize winning wines, mainly Chenin, Pinotage, Mourvèdre, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc under the Hawksmoor at Matjieskuil label.

Note: The above information is an extraction from the complete summarised history found on their website and was provided by Simon Olding and also extracted from a cultural historical report compiled by Dr Matilda Burden in May 2011.

Our room was so comfortable, it was quiet and I felt right at home. Etienne on the other hand, as always, his length presented a little issue with the low light fittings-teehee.

It is bed and breakfast and the breakfast the next morning most certainly did not disappoint, the scenery just rounded it off perfectly.

We would most certainly like to visit again and can most definitely recommend it to get away but not too far away.

*links not affiliated and opinion are my own.

The Day We got Engaged

In South Africa we celebrate “Braaidag” on the Heritage Day (24 September) public holiday. So, Etienne said lets go to the West Coast National Park. It is still flower season, we have a braai, watch the ocean and just have a relaxing day.

Of course I agree, I love the ocean.

We arrive very, very early the morning. We had too as the park is very popular around this time and their braai facilities fill up real quick. We had to wait for Postberg to open and on our way we played 20 questions and we even slept a bit. We were right in front of the queue.

At last the gates opened and we can go ahead. We got a nice little spot with limited wind and a nice view.

This one seagull entertained us a bit. He kept appearing and disappearing behind this giant bolder. Every few minutes you just see his head pop up, almost like he wants to say “I’m watching you”.

Eventually he came closer.

Etienne was looking after the fire and I made some salad. At one point I relaxed so much that I feel a sleep in my chair. We also had a bit of a late evening, but you know the sun just makes you lazy.

At one point Etienne wakes me up and asks me to hand this one particular piece of wood to him. So I got up, annoyed because I was having a great time snoozing, he hands me the piece of wood but does not let go. I am just getting more annoyed. I am lazy and I want to sit down and I do not understand why this man just can not get up and do this himself.

He is in front of me, on one knee I must add, and I am still trying to get the wood into the fire. At one point he asks me if I am not realising what is happening. By this time I am more awake but have no idea what he is on about.

So, he starts. Saying that we already played 20 questions the morning and that I mean the world to him and he wants to make me happy and still I am not clicking.

Still speaking he looks at me and asks “Elré Hugo will you marry me?”. I am knocked over, well not literally, but I squeal like a teenager and can not believe it. I still asked him “Are you serious?!”, “Seriously?!” I am laughing and I am dumbstruck. I had no idea that he was going to ask my hand in marriage to start of with. Of course we spoke about it, but that was so early in the relationship you do not take note.

At last the piece of wood comes out to play. He tells me to pull on it, which I do, but am struggling. It comes apart eventually and inside is the most beautiful ring! It was my mother in laws ring. I am just asking questions, “it is so beautiful, where did you find it?, who make the piece of wood?, where did you find that?” And as calm as Etienne is he just tells me all in good time, put on your ring.

Oh, I am laughing and smiling and I am not able to tell anyone yet because there are no signal in that area of the park. So sneaky. He said he wanted to keep it to himself for a little while.

My mouth was stretching from all the smiles and giggles.

On our way out we got cell phone signal and as sure as the dawn I start telling everyone! We even had some animals make an appearance.

We did not want to go home just yet as we were full of energy, so we decided to make a pit stop in Vredenburg at his brother’s house to share our good news.

The day was perfect. Nothing could be changed to make it better. I still smile every time I think about it and the piece of wood that almost ended in the fire is on the book shelf as a reminder as well.

The day said goodbye with a beautiful sunset, I mean what more do you want?

Perfection.

This is our engagement story.

If you are married now, do you still remember the day you got engaged and were you knocked off your feet?

Tell me in the comments.

E xx

Warmwaterberg Spa

Warmwaterberg Spa is not a new place to my husband and I. We love going there.

The last time we were there we saw them doing some renovations around the camp area and studio bath houses. My husband said he wanted to stay in one of the studio bath houses and what better reason to go than our first year anniversary. Yes, it has been a year already.

We hoped for a very cold weekend as the house has an indoor fire place. We were not so lucky as the weather was actually quite fine, but we still had fun. We will just have to go back to use the fire place next time.

The house we stayed in has a very nice view over the camp site as well as the surrounding area. It was kind of weird being so secluded from the camp (well for me being used to camping between  people close to the hot spring swimming pool), but this is good for a break away or romantic weekend.

We had a few visitors. The local cats came to say hi as well as the peacocks. I wish they would have open their tails, but alas I still need to see this happen. At night we had some rabbits come by but they do not like carrots. This upset my husband so much. He left them some cabbage as well and they did not seem interested in that either.

What can you expect when staying over? It gets cheaper when staying for longer. It is self catering in style. You only need to bring your food. They have dish washing liquid, kitchen towels, the kitchen is geared. No need to bring anything else. They provide towels for the bathroom and you can rent towels from the office for swimming. What we did realise is though you still need to take camping chairs to chill outside on the grass and a flash light, for scouting night animals.

You also still need to bring your own wood and fire-lighters, but a roster is provided. The bathroom have toilet paper, but always bring extra. You never know what can happen. The bathrooms are built in two water tanks and if you look up you see the night sky. We loved the idea of this.

You do not have to leave the house as long as you there, unless you want to explore the surrounding area. You have your own bath inside the house – with a view I might add- and that is why you stay here. For this comfort. Let me just tell you the story with the water.

The first morning we wanted to take a bath and we opened the taps and the water did not reach the temperature the outside pool does. We were a bit baffled. We thought well if this is the hottest it is going to get we might as well then walk down to the pool.

On our way into town we stopped at the office and asked how exactly we get the water temperature up as all water is from the natural spring. So, the secret is you need to let the taps run at least 30minutes before the water is really hot, and the longer you let it run the hotter it gets. We were comforted by the fact that the water runs to the dam on the farm and is used for irrigation. We were quite worried about all that water being wasted.

We come here for the quiet. You are not allowed to play music, ever. At 22:00pm it needs to be quiet. This is also when the pool is closed. For the active people there are a few routes you can walk ,or run, around the farm. It is a bit intense as the path you are on has loose rocks, but the routes are popular with walkers and runners.  They are quite popular for families as children can swim their hearts out in the hot and cold pools. They have a restaurant, with a bar, on the property and the food is real nice.

My husband decided we are going to walk one of the routes on the day of our anniversary. It took us about 2 hours. Just a side note he is still alive.

Barrydale is not far from the farm and you have the famous Ronnie’s Sex Shop you can visit as well.

It is about a 2h30min drive from Cape Town.

Find them here:

Website: https://warmwaterbergspa.co.za/

You will not regret visiting. You have beautiful scenery for photo’s and the night sky is wide open filled with stars.

We can not wait to go back!

**Please note: Links are not affiliated and this is my own opinion.

To Detox or Not to Detox

There is a debate around whether a detox works or not. In my opinion, it works, but people react differently and maybe, just maybe it does not work for someone. I think the only reason it does not work is because of the bad stuff that you are removing that tastes so damn good.

I have done a few detox days/weeks in my life and every time it did make a difference to my body and what I put into it.

The only difference with this detox was that I could basically eat whatever veggies, fruit and protein I wanted to. I was not limited to only fish and chicken instead of pork and beef, however chicken and fish is preferable. Also, breakfast and lunch could be substituted with a healthy shake or smoothie or you had your chewable food option if you do not like the shake. Fantastic, works for everyone.

What was the type of stuff that I had to avoid? Carbs or in other words bad carbs and processed food/meat.

The “Please avoid List”:

Protein:

  • Processed and canned meats e.g Salami
  • Sausages
  • Cured or smoked meats
  • Soy Products

Dairy:

  • Butter
  • Casein
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Cream
  • Goat’s Milk
  • Ice Cream
  • Soy Milk or Yoghurt
  • Whey Protein
  • Yoghurt

Grains:

  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Spelt

Beverages:

  • Coffee max 1 cup per day
  • Ceylon Tea
  • Fruit Juice
  • Fizzy Cooldrinks

Herbs/Spices/Dressings and Condiments:

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Chutney
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tamari
  • Teriyaki Sauce

Bad Fats:

  • Hydrogenated fats
  • Trans fats
  • Processed and refined oils e.g mayo, salad dressings, salad spread
  • Peanut Oil

I also did not have any potato, bread, crackers, pasta, rice or any form of these type of carbs. My body honestly loved me.

What did I have to eat? Basically what did my menu look like? A typical day would be:

Breaksfast: Shake

Lunch: Shake or a smoothie

Dinner: Protein and Veggies/Green Salad or soup as my veggies.

I drank 1.5L – 2L of fluids a day. This includes water and flavoured, decaf tea without milk only low calorie sweetener and a little bit of honey.

What did my body do?

I kept a notepad and wrote down only the first week of “feelings”. I started with the 2nd week, but did not really have any “feelings” as my body quickly got used to it.

Detox Week 1

Monday: None

Tuesday: It was a very cold day and I wanted to eat everything! I was hungry just before dinner and I had a headache in the evening.

Wednesday: I still had a headache in the morning. I missed and craved my coffee the most. I started peeing like a race horse and I sorted my tea cupboard. I still had a headache I the evening and I think I started sweating tea.

Thursday: I was at one point so thirsty, but that was because I did not have enough fluids during the day and the headache in the evening subsided after I had my fluids.

Friday: Everything was turning to be normal but I almost did myself in on the smoothie. I thought 2 servings means 2 servings so meaning you can make two and have one now for lunch and maybe the other one for dinner or breakfast, BUT I was so wrong. Half a portion or 1 serving is actually for a snack and 2 servings is a lunch. Shoe, almost lost out there hahaha

Detox Week 2

Monday: It was really bad. I craved everything I could not have. I was looking for that warmth.

Tuesday: I really struggled. Again it was a very cold day and all you want is comfort food. Hot soups, bread, pasta, you name it. My fluids was almost nothing and I really struggled taking in enough. Of course you develop a headache again.

From Wednesday I were settled in and I was very proud of myself as I did not have popcorn at the movies and when we went out for lunch (which happened twice in the 2 weeks) I chose healthy options.

What was the results?

– I got used to drinking a lot of fluids.

– My body craved fluids if I did not have enough.

– My headaches subsided.

– I did not have any cravings for the usual stuff I always craved.

– I felt more energetic, my sugar levels looked fantastic.

– I used very low dosages of insulin.

– I never got so hungry that I just jumped into the cupboard or fridge and started eating everything in front of me.

– I started sleeping better.

After the two weeks:

  • I lost 3cm around my middle
  • I dropped more than 1% in fat percentage
  • I picked up muscle weight

We started experimenting with low carb/keto recipies and looking for meals that had very low to no carbs almost. We had a cauliflower pizza which was so yummy and it still felt like a pizza although it tastes more like cauliflower. It is filling and a good substitute in my book.

I am at the point where I do not want to add carbs back to my menu again. I felt so great without it and my body responded to it so good why mess with something that works.

There are many different detox options. One of them I would like to try is a juice detox. I have to be very careful though as I am not sure what the natural sugars will do to my sugar levels.

I am still kind of detoxing. Kind of, because I will still be drinking my shake in the morning for breakfast but I will have two corn cakes at lunch which is added today after I saw my dietician. Still there will be no carbs at dinner except in the form of veggies (Butternut,beetroot or Sweet Potato).

What do you think? Does a detox work? Have you ever tried it? Please let me know as I would love to exchange some ideas. Maybe you have a cool recipe to try. Stick it down in the comments below. I WANT new ideas and food!

E xx

Christelle – An Interview

When I stayed in Potch, I met some wonderful people. Christelle was one of them.

She trained me for a year or two and helped me immensely. She pushes your limits and always motivates to become a better version of yourself.

Meet my personal trainer.

Your job title/profession: Personal Trainer/ Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach

Your favourite quote or words of inspiration

“Do the BEST you can WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, WHERE YOU ARE, ALL the time!”

Why do you love fitness so much and what made you get into it?

Ahhh, so many reasons! Most of all I love the difference fitness makes in someone’s life overall, how it can make you realise you are capable of so much more than you once thought/ always told yourself you were. I love all the aspects of “Fitness”!

The biggest reason I got into this industry in the first place was to really help people realise and reach their full potential with the hope and potential that what they achieve with training carries over into their daily lives as a whole.

You recently took part in a very big competition, how did it go and what did you learn from it?

Well, it was a little while back, and more than one competition, but it was still a great journey and I am proud of my own progress along the way. I did not make the top finalists, but enjoyed it nonetheless, especially the photo shoots and videos that was needed, quality photos are always a fun experience, and you always learn something new you can improve on and are good at in terms of competitions like these (Cover model competitions, spokes models, fitness stars etc.) I have definitely learned how important social media is as a tool to boost your profile and your “presence” out there!

What is your opinion on all these “fab” diets (banting//high carb//low carb//fruit and veg ect)?

My true and honest opinion is that you should eat and use nutrition in such a way to get the best out of your body. No short cuts, no unbalanced diets…your body needs all the nutrients, how much of everything is just dependant on YOU as an individual’s needs taking into account activity levels, goals, specific health concerns etc.

I firmly believe that every person should treat their body like that of an athlete, fuelling their body in such a way that it is functioning optimally, taking into account the workout you just finished as well as the one coming up tomorrow and the day after.

Photo credit: Pieter Pieters Photography; Hanli van der Spuy
Photo credit: Pieter Pieters Photography; Hanli van der Spuy

What is your piece of advice to someone that is really struggling (fitness wise) at this moment?

My advice has many angles, depending on the specific person, but what is definitely true is that quality support matters especially on the days when motivation is low and being disciplined towards your goal is tough. Support can come in many forms like a spouse, a friend, a gym buddy (or gym buddies), a trainer, coach, family member, colleague etc. Share your goal with the people close to you that supports your wellbeing and happiness, someone you can trust and who will tell it like it is, they can keep you accountable on your “off” days!

Also be honest with yourself when it comes to your methods towards achieving your goals. Make sure they fit into your lifestyle so they are easier to stick to in the long run and always remember being consistent is key. You can have the most basic training program, but if you follow it diligently and don’t miss a day that you need to train (unless if sickness interferes) you will improve so much more and get miles better results than someone using the coolest training program that only trains every now and then with no real consistency.

Name one thing you cannot live without.

LOVE! I need to live love everyday, towards myself, towards my family, towards my clients and every person I meet. That truly makes me and those around me a little bit happier and that makes me feel good, even on a crazy day!

Where are you based and how can people contact you?

I am currently based in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Email:   jvrstella//gmail.com

Instagram: christelledekock

Facebook: Christelle de Kock – Exercise specialist

Photo credit: Pieter Pieters Photography; Hanli van der Spuy

This interview was done a few years back, but you may still reach out to Christelle. She still trains.

E xx