Ways to a Healthy and Active Lifestyle in 2014

Growing up I’ve always been a skinny child, lean teenager even as a young adult I never bothered with weight or metabolism.  I was lucky!  I then studied Nutrition as a major at tertiary that opened my mind to knowing what food does to one’s body and how critical it is to get adequate nutrition in order for our bodies to function in the optimum.   Later in my twenties, I got to face the reality of having to watch what I ate as my metabolism was not as fast.

At tertiary institutions, especially at this time of the year, you find guys from gyms offering free one month membership to students.   I remember this one instance; I joined a gym together with my then classmate, Siba.  I tell you, we would go to gym early in the morning, work out for an hour then go to class.  The funny thing is that we weighed ourselves after each workout regardless of the fact that we knew were building muscle which was bound to reflect as weight gained.

Anyways, soon after that I started participating in 10km runs and walks e.g. the Total Sports Women’s Race, Spar Women’s Race etc.  A friend of mine, Nana and myself were addicted to these runs, bear in mind we were students living at the university residence at the time.  We loved the fact that the walks took place very early in the morning.  Therefore, we would go to the runs while other students were still sleeping and be back wearing our gears by the time everyone was up.  The experience was awesome, we were in the best shapes, toned with calves and all!  This is the crazy part, we would come back from the early morning runs, take a shower, grill some chops and boerewors, eat and then pass out from exhaustion and of course being full.  Boy did we sleep! Most importantly, we were in great shape even though we were eating like insane, our metabolisms were fast because we were active!

As this year is beginning I want to get back to that level of discipline and dedication.  Cape Town chicks are known for having “muffin tops” and that is bad.  A sedentary lifestyle, poor food choices and eating habits add years to your appearance and that is unacceptable!  Just look at overseas celebrities such as Gabrielle Union, Jada Pinkett, Nicole Murphy, Heidi Klum etc.  What these ladies have in common is that they are in their forties but looking at them one would swear they are in their early thirties or even twenties.  They give us twenty and thirty something’s a serious run for our money.

Being inactive has become somewhat fashionable right now, you see people bragging about having insomnia on social media.  Hello, having insomnia means you aren’t handling your business!  It means something is not right; you are not eating right, you are lacking exercise, or you are not managing your stress.  I also suffer from insomnia from time to time but it is nothing to brag about….especially on social media.  Here’s some ways to get our health in order in 2014:

Invest in exercise gear and keep an eye for those runs/walks.  Get an exercise buddy for motivation and register in advance.  Other things that one can do that do not require money but effort and dedication on your part are as follows:

  • Eat healthy – make it your business to have a variety of meals.
  • Make your meals colourful by incorporating a wide variety of vegetables.  Keep in mind that vegetables deliver the most nutritional value when they are eaten raw.
  • Eat a variety of fruit on a daily basis – Fruit has an alkanizing effect on the body and it is high in vitamins.  Fruit is also naturally high in water and sugar which makes it good for speeding up one’s metabolism and excretion of waste.
  • Try to eliminate carbs in the evenings – I got this tip from another blogger, Tandy Sinclair, and it works.  I have a cut off time for carbs, let’s say after 5 or 6 I don’t consume carbs.   Try this for a month and see how it works for you.
  • Drink herbal teas e.g. Chamomile tea has relaxing and calming effects therefore it helps with insomnia and anxieties.
  • You often hear people complain about constipation, skin breakouts or fatigue right?  Lack of water is usually the reason for these complains.  Therefore, drink more water.  The body needs water to soften stools and transport toxins out of the body.
  • Add more legumes, nuts, seeds and seafood to your diet – our grandparents lived healthy lives because legumes, nuts and canned fish served as their major source of protein.  I’ll elaborate more on this some other time.

In general, let us be kind to our bodies this year.   I look at the body from a product development point of view.  A product in itself can be good but if the packaging is not selling it and not attracting the customer then it won’t move off the shelf.   Our body are packaging for our spirits, one can have a kind, giving and beautiful spirit. You often hear people say don’t judge a book by the cover” but in reality people are judged based on their appearance. Therefore it is our duty to make sure that our bodies reflect who we are within.

Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously, read a book, watch a movie or something!  Have fun living a healthy and happy lifestyle!

I would love to hear from you and what works for you to keep healthy and fit…Please share…..

Image Credit: Sourced from the internet

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 2 )

  • MAnono

    I have recently embarked on a healthy eating journey. I really enjoyed reading your post. Keep them coming Thuli 🙂

    • Thanks Manono and welcome to the Mzansi Style Cuisine family! Here’s to keeping fit and healthy this year! xx

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