If you haven’t been feeling like your ‘usual’ self for an extended space of time or you feel as though stress, anxiety or depression is affecting your quality of life then it could be time to make some changes.
While I don’t recommend seeking help exclusively online, there are some innovative apps that can make a difference to your daily life or may be used in conjunction in-person therapy. Here are the most highly recommended apps on the market at the moment – perhaps one or two might make a difference for you.
This little gem was named Apple’s 2017 app of the year, it’s also available on Android for free. It has quickly become one of the highest rated apps around whether you’ve tried meditation before or not. Its primary function is to relax you using a variety of methods such as sleep stories, guided meditations, breathing programs and relaxing sounds.
Prior to using this app I always had the notion that meditation was for hippies until the ‘least hippy’ friend I have recommended it to me in 2015. From there I gave it a shot and the rest is history. It’s the only app on this list which comes with a fee ($12.99) however I highly recommend it - it’s just so good. Headspace takes a few minutes out of your day and clears your mind in a way that leaves you feeling sharp and focused to tackle the tasks ahead.
What’s Up which is free on iOs and Android uses Cognitive Behavioural therapy and Acceptance Commitment therapy methods to help uses manage stress, anxiety, depression and more it uses systems that can help you pinpoint emotions and stop negative internal monologues.
SAM (Self-help for Anxiety Management)
If meditation isn’t your thing and you’re looking for an alternative way to cope with anxiety, SAM might be for you. Each user is able to put together their own tool kit that allows you to track anxious thoughts and behaviour overtime while picking up 25 different techniques to deal with anxiety along the way.
This is another free app available only on iOs which assists in helping you beat your addictions by monitoring your progress. Perhaps you’d like to cut down on drinking alcohol or stop smoking. It also allows you to track how many minutes, hours, days months or years its been since you quit.
This app features a psychologist approved mood training program. It focuses on systems in the areas of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, positive psychology and mindfulness and includes various techniques, online games and gratitude prompts to train your brain to think more positively, after all the brain is a muscle that should be flexed. It’s also free and available on both Android and Apple.
This app assists with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and offers everything from self-assessment to positive self-talk and anger management which often stems from depression. You can customise the app depending on your needs and preferences while incorporating your own photos and music etc.
Looking for some practical advice to cope with everyday stress? Read Mental Health a conversation to be had.
The city of Cape Town has received countless travel awards over the years and is considered one of the top destinations in the world so it’s no wonder that locals and internationals are keen to invest in the property market. It is luxury living for a fraction of the cost that you would expect to pay anywhere else in the world for the same features. Majestic mountains, stunning ocean views, national parks and a second to none wine route complimented by a melting pot of cultures with the friendliest people. What more could you legally ask for? These are some of the homes currently in the luxury property market.
1. The Pentagon
The Pentagon on Nettleton road is a five bedroom, five storey villa in Clifton (the living room is featured above) and it has become something of an institution in Cape Town. Not only because of its amazing layout and sea views but also as its the backdrop for the ultimate Cape Town summer experience and therefore the setting to many legendary villa parties. For rental availability click here.
2. OVD 919
This spectacular 2 000 sq metre property was designed by SAOTA and is named OVD 919. Its on 5 000 sq of land consisting of seven bedrooms, staff quarters, a swimming pool and 360 degrees of Bantry Bay. Its also right next door to the Table Mountain National site and was previously sold for R 290 million (USD 22.9million). To see more photos and for rental rates, click here.
Casablanca is a stunning 3100 square metre house in Camps Bay and features eight bedrooms, thirteen bathrooms, and parking for fourteen cars and a fourteen seater cinema. Netflix and chill anyone? The property also includes a twelve seater sauna a gym and a squash court. Have a closer look at this R450 million propery here.
The Enigma Mansion overlooks Camps Bay and the foothills of Table Mountain. It’s one of the more dramatic properties in Cape Town with a colourful history to match. The previously property owner is a German business man, Francis Schnetzler who’s wife Veronika Schnetzlerova is a former porn star and the house was a shrine to her past. The property boasts a manicured French meadow, an Olympic size Versace swimming pool and an Indonesian-style massage temple. See the video here.
5. Cielo Nel Capo
Cielo nel Capo situated in the leafy suburb of upper Constantia has a six bedroom, five bathroom main house, an indoor leisure pool complex, a cinema room and two separate flats with two bedrooms and two bathrooms each. It’s considered one of the continents top properties and has been featured in commercials around the globe. The propery is currently on sale for R80 million (around USD 6.3 million). Click here for sale and rental options.
Images: SAOTA, Adam Letch, Business Tech
We've all been there. It's Monday morning, your alarm's been going off from across the room for the fifth time in last half hour but your liver is still two bottles of Goose deep from last night’s festivities. Suddenly you remember you have a presentation at 8am. Omg. Okay maybe we haven’t been "there" exactly, but if you've ever found yourself in a situation where you need to sober up asap, then these tips are for you.
Time heals. Amazingly this not only related to missing a sale at Balmain or someone eating the last slice of pizza, it can also apply to liver function. The surest and safest way to sober up is to sleep it off. But should this not be an option try the following…
First thing’s first, you're going to want to step away from the booze. At this stage you may have the thirst of a hundred camels but resist the urge to reach straight for water and instead choose a sugary drink that preferably contains some form of fructose. Go for juice, Cola or Pepsi and Orangina (or cream soda if you're in South Africa). Remember alcohol depletes the body of hydration and sugar so you’ll want to replace and replenish, besides the combination of sugar and water be it in soda, coffee or fruit juice helps you to work the alcohol out your system safely in the intended way. You see, some people are truly gifted and able to immediately down two litres of water in one go, this is not a feat to be attempted by mere mortals like myself as it has the potential to cause nausea thus expelling alcohol in the unintended way i.e last night's McDees all over your immediate surroundings and/or innocent bystanders and pets. So, getting that sugary drink into your system is key to helping you hydrate in bulk as soon as possible.
Read Alcohol that won’t make you gain weight.
Have a work out. At this point you may be questioning my sanity if you haven’t already done so numerous times before however a quick run on the treadmill will metabolize alcohol, making it pass through your system way faster so go sweat it out. Either way it’s good for balancing out those liquid calories.
Make charcoal pills and vitamin C part of your survival kit. I’m at the stage of my life where going for a wild night of partying does in fact require a survival kit for the next day so it makes sense to include Vitamin C or a multivitamin which fast tracks the sobering up process and charcoal will soak up the remaining alcohol.
Try eating a meal containing protein and carbs or having a cold shower. The thing about eating during a night out is that even though you may feel sober or better afterwards it hasn’t really worked anything out of your system, it simply acts as a buffer so you feel a bit better about life. A similar principle applies to a cold shower, you may feel more alert but it hasn’t treated the root of the problem.
On a more serious note, please drink responsibly. If you feel like you’re having one too many benders or or your love of alcohol is only matched by your lack of willpower when it’s in your vicinity. These are some numbers that you can call anonymously for support.
0861 435 722
050 781 3861
050 579 2874
Read: A Rookies Guide to Red Wine.
You know that moment when your boyfriend tells you he found your food journal and you have to pretend that it’s not your regular journal? Nope, me neither. *whistles innocently* What I’m trying to say is. I enjoy food. A lot. And I enjoy working out. A little. In Dubai, E7MS training is my ‘go to’. It’s a bit different to the technology used in South Africa because there are no wires and you can train 8kms away from the EMS centre wirelessly etc (you can read more about it here if you like). However another technique that’s definitely helped maintain my goals is food swapping - its still food, just healthier. i.e substituting one type of food for another to keep you satisfied on less calories and higher nutritional value for longer. Because lets face it, dieting sucks and being hangry makes me questions my stance against violence. These are my favourite swaps right now.
Fruit and Veg
Eating whole fruit instead of fruit juice will leave you feeling fuller for longer and contains way more fibre, vitamins and minerals. What’s not to love about that? Fruit juices also contain loads of unnecessary sugars. Plain or homemade infused water is far better for hydration plus no sugar crash after. To make your own infused water simply slice up some oranges, lemons and pineapple (or your preference in fruit), add some mint leaves and leave to infuse overnight. You can read some of my recipes here.
Next time you’re getting ready to Netflix and chill, how about sticking to popcorn instead of potatos chips or pretzels. Three whole cups of popcorn is the equivalent of only 100 calories. If you are looking for a midday snack, instead of butter on bread what about having avocado on toast? Avo contains no cholesterol or sodium and it’s great source of vitamin B. With just a sprinkling of black pepper, spread over wholewheat toast, it’s a delicious on the go snack. For a sweet summer snack frozen grapes are a delicious option too.
Toppings and dressings
I’ve never been a big fan of cream which is a bit weird because I’m obsessed with all things cake related but Greek yoghurt instead of cream is one of my favourite substitutes whether it’s in a salad, a sauce or dessert. Having mustard instead of mayo if you’re into chicken related meals is also a great low calorie swap. Going for oil and balsamic instead of salad dressings is healthier with less salt, no preservatives and minus the thousands of calories in bought salad dressings and if you absolutely must have your fix of potato crisps instead of popcorn then what about trying salsa instead of a dip? Bonus points if it’s homemade.
Milk and sugar
Have you tried using cinnamon instead of sugar? This enhances the flavour and it’s great on oats, cereal or even coffee. If you’re finding it hard to stray away from sugar all at once try half and half. For coffee, espresso is life for me - especially for days when I'm running on coffee and hope - but with filter coffee, either having it black or with almond or soy milk is a good dairy-free option that brings down the calories.
I can’t cook to save my life but since chicken is my favourite source of protein I always order it without skin. Most restaurants will spice it up perfectly even without the skin and doing this once a day saves around 400 calories a week which is much better spent on a cheat meal.
Do you have any food swap you’re using at the moment? Leave a comment and let me know. If you’re looking for some great alcohol options that won’t make you gain weight check out this post.
You know those restaurant reviews where the critic rates the restaurant based on the food, the price, the venue's perceived coolness? This isn’t one of those posts. I’m going to be talking about which restaurants are producing the most delicious sushi based on taste and taste alone. If you’ve lived in Cape Town for longer than two days, you’ve probably given the sushi a try. While the standard is generally good across the board there are a few spots that definitely deserve more recognition and some which make me question reality.
If you happen to set foot in the V&A mall around lunch time, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was some kind of celebrity meet and greet happening in the vicinity of Aldos and Woolworths with a queue threatening to reach the walkway. Has Cristiano Ronaldo made a guest appearance? No, it’s just the adoring fans for some of the best sushi in town. Willoubys & Co is second to none. The 4 X 4 and rainbow reloaded is my go to whenever I go to this part of town. Yes it’s a little Joburg style with the restaurant being in a mall but that certainly hasn’t detracted from its success. They don’t take bookings which gives a hint of the demand readily available at the location.
Kyoto Garden is a little on the low key side of life, being half tucked away in a little nook on Kloofnek below across the road from Millers Thumb (another seafood gem) but that’s kind of how most fans prefer it because if the secret was out - we’d probably never get a booking. Expect a wide selection of super fresh sushi and sashimi with a side of all the classics like miso soup, tempura options and some deliciously fragrant curries - if you’re into a bit of a bite. The food is a force to be reckoned with. Kyoto is currently offering a tempting six course tasting menu for two at R1400. Courses consist of sushi, squid, palate cleanser tempura, lobster, dessert (a selection of black sesame, matcha and miso ice cream hmmm). This option is available from 5:30pm to 11pm Monday to Saturday.
Another great sushi spot in the Cape Town Waterfront - should the queue at Willoubys be slightly too long for your liking - I’m kidding - but you’re not keen to settle for Nobu (lets be honest, great hotel location but nothing like the taste of Nobu worldwide) would be Balduccis Asian Noodle and Sushi Bar. Since its part of the Balduccis brand you already know the service is going to be on point but the the freshness of the melt in your mouth sushi especially the perfectly constructed Tamaki and the Tuna Takaki makes it a yes from me.
There are a couple of other contenders for good sushi, Haiku, Harbour house, Saigon and even Nuri (although this one is more fusion style sushi than the authentic Japanese offering) but Willoubys, Balduccis and Kyoto are the ones I make a point to visit when I’m in Cape Town.
Willoubys: +2721 418 115
Kyoto Garden: +2721 4222001
Balduccis: +2721 421 6002
Haiku: +2721 424 7000
Harbour House: +2721 418 4744
Nuri: +2721461 8719
Saigon: +2721424 7670
It is a well-documented fact that I love to have my cake and eat it, literally and figuratively speaking, especially in matters related to fitness. We all want to stay as fit and healthy as possible but hey, we’re living life. So since I’m no stranger to a drink or three I went in search of some answers related to alcohol and fitness. Keep in mind that no matter what you drink, your body still needs to burn through those liquid calories before it burns the calories from food consumption. While its busy burning alcohol, it will not burn fat. However, there are certain types of alcohol that are said to cause the ‘least’ damage. I asked Dubai based nutritionist Giota Kolimpari about some options.
Tequila and Gin
There's some great news for tequila lovers and I know many of those, although a whiff of the stuff makes me want to rip my nose off. Tequila is a spirit which contains fewer calories than most alcohol although you should break it up with a glass of water to keep your liver happy while you indulge. I am of course referring to 100% clear tequila like El Jimador or Don Julio. Coffee patron or caramel tequila and all those other flavoured variation would be a big fat no. Gin also contains zero calories so feel free to make it your best friend - either straight up if you're brave or mixed with a sugar free option.
Read: Sober up ASAP with these hacks.
Vodka and Rum
As you may have gathered from the above information, clear types of alcohol are usually the lowest in sugar and calories when you compare them to darker types of alcohol. You can enjoy these (in moderation of course) with a mixer like diet coke or sugar free 7Up. Vodka is an option if you can’t do without although Giota Kolimpari recommends cutting vodka out completely and sticking to gin.
A study at Washington State University in 2015 found that a compound in red wine helps to convert 'white fat' into 'beige fat' which is easier to burn off naturally so if red wine is your poison, then get excited. Pinot Noir is the lowest carb option out of all the reds. There are about 120 calories in a single glass. Red wine is also found to contain antioxidants which can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. But can you tell the difference between a Pinor Noir and a Cab-Sav? Or why the last glass of wine always tastes better than the first? (Hint: It’s not because you’re drunk). Click here for my Rookies guide to Red Wine and don’t forget to drink responsibly.
P.S If you're looking to make more healthy changes (and still want to live your life), have a read with Food Swapping is a way of life or Infused Water is a vibe.
Cheese and wine go together like pancakes and Saturday mornings. It’s truly one of life’s greatest pleasures especially coming from a city like Cape Town which offers top class, home produced varieties of both. I'm not saying I'm obsessed but when someone pairs a mild cheddar with a Shiraz, I might have to take deep breaths and count to ten. In any case, I've rounded up some of my favourite options for a delicious DIY wine pairing menu so enjoy and if you have any standout pairings, let me know!
There are many mouthwatering varieties of cheeses, usually I choose these first and then select the wine accordingly.
Fresh cheeses consist of guilty pleasures like Burrata and Marscapone, Feta and Ricotta. Chevre is part of this clique as well but I'm not really about goats milk to be honest - the aftertaste is too much for me. Either way, you will bring out the best in these with dry, crisp red and white wines - think Rose and Pinot Grigio, Savignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Read next: A Rookies Guide to Red Wine.
I always like to include soft, mould cheeses on my cheeseboard. A pairing menu just wouldn’t be the same without it. Not only do they they look great on the board but also because they are the most versatile. These include your Bries, Camemberts and Robiolas and go amazingly with your Brut Bubbly, Chardonnay Savignon, Riesling, Chenin Blanc and any dry light bodied reds.
If you've run out of time putting together your wine pairing menu then go for these cheese options because you almost can’t go wrong.
Read: Proof That Desserts can be Art.
For cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan, Pecorino, Emmenthal and Double Gloucester - they go well with Pinot Gris, Pinor Noir, and Savignon Blanc. For hard cheeses like Aged Manchego try Cabernet Savignon, Zinfadel or Pinor Noir.
Semi Soft selections are Gouda, Havarti, Edam and Gruyere. You can unleash your inner sommelier with these by pairing them with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris in terms of white wine and for red wines, Pinor Noir.
General Wine Pairing tips:
Soft cheese pair well with sparkling wine or white wine light on oak flavour like Chardonnay.
Don’t pair a strong wine with a mild cheese.
Sharp and aged cheeses are balanced with bold wines.
Most importantly, don’t overanalyse too much, the info above are general rules. But if in doubt, have a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay option ready - either can work with most types.
Since flight prices are looking extra attractive around this time of year (you can check out my Travelstart affiliate link below for some great deals) - I thought that it would be the perfect time to feature some of the best travel accounts bringing life to my feed right now. Warning the below images may contain some serious travel triggers. *Breathes into a paper bag*
Tezza Barton’s feed is ah-mazing. This creative director, musician and stylist is known as Tezzamb on instagram and has an account with an aesthetic that’s pure rock and roll. When she’s not styling a shoot, she’s jetting around the world and making travel magic with her partner-in-crime slash husband ‘Mr Tezzamb’ aka Cole. On her account you can expect to see snaps from Brazil to Versailles to Paris and the Swiss Alps to name a few.
She started off a few years ago on Instagram as one of those gorgeous Russian models with perfect physiques who accumulate millions of followers with selfies and body shots seemingly overnight but then entered into the world of travel influencing last year. Now she showcases some of the most dazzling locations around the world. While most travel accounts focus on a more glamorous perspective hers comes across as more cultural with the captions being a cross between a journal entry and tips with some cheeky eastern European humour in the mix.
No travel influencer list would be complete without travel star Jay Alvarrez. Born in what could be describes as paradise on earth, Oahu Hawaii, Jay has invented his own style of ‘extreme travelling’ by incorporating stunts in jaw dropping locations around the world. F.Y.I he also paid Cape Town a visit last summer with girlfriend Russian model Sveta Bilyalova. His videos, insta-stories and posts include jumping out of planes, off buildings and balancing on cars in stunts from Asia to Africa and the Middle East and throughout Europe.
Once upon a time an ex fashion pr girl for YSL known simply as “Bridget” decided to quit her job in 2013 and start a travel-fashion blog, she hasn’t looked back since. The self-proclaimed girl’s girl focuses on destinations which are more centred around fashion but her travel tips and recommendations are super cute and you can’t help but live vicariously through her.
Alyssa Bossio is all about that digital nomadic life. She’s a professional lifestyle and content creator who is based in New York but has travelled around for slightly under 3 years. Her travel account documents her internal and external journeys as it focuses on fitness and self-acceptance while she takes the most vibrant captures from around the world.
Everyone’s favourite, German pilot aka Pilot Madeleine Scheider Weiffenbach keeps her followers entertained with her breathtaking pictures from around the world. Her feed includes a mix of the iconic with the exotic from the perspective of a female pilot in aviation living it up in jetsetter style.
Check out the most insta-famous spots in Cape Town making it to newsfeeds around the world.
Images: Travel bloggers respective accounts.
High tea and afternoon tea are terms used often interchangeably, however did you know 'high tea' is technically associated with the working classes during the industrial revolution whereas 'afternoon tea' was considered a past time of 19th century aristocracy?
While there is no direct proof of who came up with the ritual of afternoon tea (shh... don't tell anyone), credit is given to Anna the Duchess of Bedford during the 1840s who felt like the wait between lunch and her 8pm dinner was way too long. I can relate. In any case she began the habit of requesting tea, bread and cake in the afternoons. Soon she started inviting her friends to join in and it became a bit of a social event.
Currently there are many afternoon tea offerings around Cape Town however these are My favourite places to treat my sweet-toothed self or the awesome people in my life.
The Mount Nelson
With architecture that wouldn’t be out of place in a sequel for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, The Mount Nelson aka The Pink Lady rests majestically behind her impeccably manicured lawns. Afternoon tea is served daily in the recently refurbished Tea Lounge and features a decadent variety or sweet and savoury treats. Guests can enjoy over 40 full bodied teas and if you’d like to make the affair into a more educational experience, the knowledgeable and charismatic Tea sommelier will gladly indulge you.
The One and Only
What strikes me the most about this hotel every time I enter is the excellent use of space. It’s not about having an extravagant interior but rather the perfect balance of symmetry and glass with our beloved Table Mountain peaking out from behind the Waterfront Marina. Crisp yet inviting, an OCDs dream. Here, tea is served by The Vista Bar and features a buffet and a satisfying selection of 35 teas and coffees. You can look forward to delights of both the sweet and savoury variety such as cupcakes, macarons, koeksisters, biscuits, eclairs and satay skewers. pesto straws, savoury bobotie tartlets.
The Twelve Apostles
This ocean side gem provides relaxing sea views of the Atlantic will you sip your tea (literally or figuratively) either inside the Leopard Lounge while soaking in the sun if the weather permits. The eats selection consists of pastries, freshly prepared on site, finger sandwiches, scones, macaroons and a variety of cakes like the white chocolate cheesecake and the vanilla namelaka. There is also a vegan version of the tea which includes dairy free options.
The Cape Grace
Tea at the Cape Grace offers 8 choices of tea which is served in The Library. This afternoon tea is a fusion of a traditional offering with some Cape Malay influences. So we're talking about the mandatory scones and sandwiches, macarons and petit fours combined with spring rolls and satay skewers. The Deluxe tea option includes a glass of Methode Cap Classique bubbly or if you prefer you can have the Champagne tea option. What’s great if you're in a group you have menu options such as "for the not-so hungry" which is a slice of cake or you can choose all the way with a full afternoon tea experience.
The Table Bay Hotel
This iconic waterfront hotel serves a three course tea with a savoury first course of sandwiches, quiches, roasted parsnip and more followed up by scones and a variety of spreads such as preserves, cream and lemon curd, the third course is a dessert lovers fantasy, chocolate eclairs, creme brulee, red velvet, chocolate truffle cake, peach and white chocolate gateaux - all to the backdrop of the luxurious views the hotel is famed for.
Another tea which I've been hearing alot about is the "Royal Affair" at the Silo Hotel. Although the reviews have been positive, I have yet to try it. Hopefully before I leave again - will keep you updated on my verdict.
P.S If you're looking for an alternative, steampunk themed tea, then check out this option.
Looking for some sweeth toothed inspiration? Read: How cute are *these* desserts?
Before moving from the Mother City to Dubai, my idea of hydration was 5 cups of coffee a day. Not ideal. And when you're eating out every night (I cant/wont cook) in Cape Town, you're going to include some wine with your dinner and it's probably not going to be "just one drink". However moving to the UAE where drinking tap water isn't an option and navigating between the two extremes of air conditioners and living in the middle of the hot desert one tends to rethink those priorities whether on a conscious or subconscious level and so I started upping my liquid intake - but it was still diet Pepsi. I just could not be helped, until.. I started working at an office where infused water was available literally 5 ft from my desk. I was hooked, not just because of the flavour but the results were visible. I mean everyone tells you that you should drink water and I could not be bothered but once I saw the effects it had on my hair, skin and weight, I was sold - and now I just tell people its going to make them look cuter because I've seen that it's true, first hand.
What is infused water?
It's slices, chunks or cubes of fruit and/or vegetables with cold water. The flavours of the ingredients infuses itself into the water meaning lots of taste and zero calories. Lemon water is probably the most well known one for its detoxing properties but below are three of my other favourite recipes.
Apple and cinnamon water
Apple's are rich in antioxidants, flavanoids, vitamin B and C. Which helps to reduce the risks of hypertension, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Cinnamon is also known to lower cholesterol and relieve arthritis pain.
1 Apple thinly sliced
1 Cinnamon stick
(Not powered cinnamon as it clogs the water)
2 cups of ice.
Put the apple slices at the bottom of the jug and add the cinnamon. Add the ice and cover with water. And you're done. Let it infuse in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Tangerine and Strawberry water
High in vitamin C and a metabolism booster.
Half a cup of fresh strawberries
Rind of one tangerine
Place tangerine rind and strawberries in a teapot. Cover with water and bring it to boil. To serve run it through a fine mesh sieve into your bottle or over tea cups if you prefer to have it as a hot drink.
Cucumber Mint water
This water has great anti inflammatory properties and it will give your metabolism a vitamin C boost.
One thinly sliced lime
One medium sized cucumber sliced
5 mint leaves
Two cups of ice
Put the lime, cucumber and ice into a pitcher, add ice top with water and add mint leaves. Let it infuse for 1-3 hours.
Looking to make some more positive changes in you health but still want to live your life?
Read: Types of Alcohol which won't make you gain weight and Food Swapping could help you shed some kilos.