Tag Archives: healthy-living

Sunday Reads

Recipes

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Sunday Reads

  1. This article captures how a good policy intended for women can conversely benefit men.
  2. Tips to help one eat in moderation.
  3. Again this article on how African women’s bodies are fetishised and no one really cares for us. They never loved us!
  4. This place has been popping up quite often, should try and stop by before the cool kids monopolise it.
  5. For anyone looking to study for a PhD. Some valuable advice.

Exploring my little town

This past Tuesday I attended an event called Pechakucha in Cape Town CBD and I loved it.

PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images. The presentation format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first PechaKucha Night was held in Tokyo in their gallery/lounge/bar/club/creative kitchen, SuperDeluxe, in February, 2003. PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really — in the PechaKucha 20×20 format.

Check out the global site to see whether your city is hosting an event.

PCKC.PNG

I went all alone, new city = few friends and the Mr had another engagement. It’s OK to go alone, you still have tonnes of fun but it’s definitely better with someone  or better yet with a crowd. This past we listened to the following 9 talks as shown in the poster below.

 PCKC 2

My reactions? (Numbers below coincide to the numbered listing above)

  1. Given by Macio, Lloyd and Karien (VDMMA Architects). I never knew that architecture could be so sexy. They are re-purposing an old agricultural silo into the largest museum of modern art on the African continent. The presentation was very detailed but between their presentation style and the beautiful pics we have to look forward to, it was a very interesting talk.
  2. Presented by Sarah Joanna Kennan whose love for tequila saw her visit Mexico and start to grow the agave plant in the Karoo. I loved her talk because it dealt a lot with passion and life being a journey that helps you answer questions you didn’t know you had. Isn’t that beautiful? Other lesson: agave can be spun into fabric that can be used to make surfboards.
  3. Presented by Lawrence Batchelor who based his presentation on the Bates Method that helps people back to normal site. What I learnt from him is that, your eyes do get tired and that you should blink often and breathe. Blink. Blink. Blink.
  4. Kris Steyn managed to link his love for sailing with the creation of leaders. It seems that there is a shortage of young sailors and if you do know anyone interested, have them email him.
  5. Sarita van der Walt introduced us to biomimicry and how we can learn all these lessons from nature. Definitely learnt a lot and it was interesting to see how this philosophy is being applied in furniture design, software designs and other areas of our lives.
  6. Delroy Guzha urged us to think past exercise and fitness and look at introducing new habits into our current lives. I heard this talk in light of all the stuff around how sitting is the new (insert whatever morbid thought here). Little things, not slouching at your desk, sitting on a fitness ball to urge your lower back to kick in, walking and not sitting around all day.
  7. If I had met Dr Sahal Yacoob before I gladly dropped Physics 16 years ago, I might have kept at it. Imagine listening to an intense Physics talk at about half 8 in the evening and still feel captivated by his presentation. All I remember in case you are interested, Higgs Bisson, The Atlas Experiment, neutrons collide.
  8. Teagan Philips captured our imagination with her combined love for cycling and drawing cartoons. Great talk but you know how I do not know how to cycle,right?
  9. Zara Vorwek talked about positive psychology. I took away from her talk that she encourages one to be mindful and practice gratitude which is something that I am trying to inculcate into my life this year.

Overall, definitely go if they have it in your city. The next one in Cape Town will be held on the 3rd of May.

Sunday Reads

  1. ​I read this article on miscarriage and for some reason it made me sooooooo sad 😦
  2. As a foreign worker, this paper obviously made sense to read. See also the comments, very useful.
  3. In case you are looking to stock your first kitchen, the kind folks of Food52 will help you out!
  4. How to help yourself eat a healthy lunch at the office!
  5. This life must not be easy and I am so grateful to God that I have been largely exempt from it.
  6. Beautiful ways to think of gift giving.
  7. Because beautiful book design covers.
  8. I would love to have this in my house.

Pilates, my new little love

This is good for the tummy

So a couple of months ago I decided to start doing Pilates. I had been reading up on it for a couple of months and in the colder winter months decided to switch from swimming to Pilates. I went to the attached Wikipedia page, read up on it and determined that OK, this is something that I could do and could grow to totally love. Funnily enough, at the time I had decided to do it, two of my friends both had opportunity to try it out and didn’t necessarily go ga-ga over it. However, I persisted on with saying I’d like to. One evening driving home, I saw this place and decided to call them up. Initially, it was a little disappointing, took the owner a fair amount of time to get back to me and then after a few emails back and forth we settled on a particular Wednesday for me to go by and start. Going in, all I knew was that it strengthens your core and some people had spoken of it being good for toning and I figured, mhhhh, why not?

My instructor proposed that since I had not had previous experience with Pilates, I should probably have a couple of individual classes at the Studio and then gradually move into the group classes once I am more comfortable with the techniques and have gotten an idea of my strength levels. Which I now see the benefit of and would greatly recommend to any Pilates aspirants out there. Go for a couple individual classes initially and then join the larger group later. At the time, my largest concern was that I did not want to get involved in any spiritual shpill/ mumbo-jumbo of the kind that I associate with Yoga and I had told myself that at the first sighting of this, I would leave and not come back. That was really my only non-negotiable requirement. Oh, that and the fact that I did not want a male instructor.

Using a reformer

So first day of class and not knowing what to expect, I showed up at the studio, met and spoke to my instructor and got to know her somewhat. Which again, is important, the class will just be the two of you for an hour, its important that you have a level of companionship, that’s natural and not forced. Then she talked me through a slight history of Pilates and the potential benefits and how the most important thing is to learn to breath. Now, I thought, yeah, OK breath, I can do that. And slowly I just started to stretch, do some of the gentler exercises, got introduced to the reformer and more importantly, “the core”. Now this just above your pelvis and initially, it feels like a tough cookie to pin down (forgive the pun) but as you build up the tummy muscles, its definitely harder to ignore. The key to it all, is really just the breathing because Pilates is essentially low impact and highly repetitive and you need to really work on the breathing. It’s also important because when not done properly, you place strain on your body and it could really hurt the next day.

My solo classes continued for three months, by which point I was confident about the breathing, my strength levels and the overall techniques that I had learnt over time. Thereafter, I joined a gym. First, because it was much cheaper than the individual classes I was paying and also because I wanted to meet people and make friends (story for another day). The only downside is that the machines are not part of the gym membership, I would have to pay extra for those. But I am fine with that. Solo versus group classes? It’s not especially easy to compare, its different strokes for different folks but I enjoy both but in a different way.

Once had to do this facing a guy in very cramped proximity. Only longest class ever!

Anyone looking to start Pilates, definitely go for it. However, just go by the studio and check out the different machines and equipment that they can use (mats, BOSUs, Reformers, balls). Definitely inquire of your instructor where he/she obtained her certification from. Find out whether she does the exercise with you or whether she will stand by you – non trivial point, but sometimes it helps to work through some of the more elaborate techniques with someone alongside rather than overseeing you. I also generally liked that my instructor would tell me where I ought to feel the impact of the move and what muscle I was stretching, that afterwards you would cool down and reduce the strain on that area.

I am really enjoying Pilates. Love that its very low-impact and I do not sweat but that its wholesome and exercises all parts of my body. Its also good for toning the different muscles and makes you especially strong, both in the core and but all over. I also like the breathing in and out as I find that I tend to do the same thing when I work out and that it helps me not feel overwhelmed.

Would I recommend it,sure thing!