So I’ve entered the Well I am Challenge

men's healthNeed some motivation to get off the couch, and into the gym? How does R20,000 sound?

With some coaxing and persuasion from the girlfriend, we have entered the 2014 challenge. I have my own profile on their system, I received my goody bag with some products and vouchers, and I had my health assessment done. I am now officially in!

How does it work?

Basically I have 100 days to make a meaningful change in my life, get healthy, get fit. The fitness part is not too bad since I trained hard for the 2 Oceans, and I have been playing hockey during the winter season, but now to actually get in shape.

Back in the day I thought “cool, klap gym and get ripped”… not that easy anymore. Now I have to have eating plans, really have to think about my work outs and what I want to achieve, and I have to keep motivated. 100 days seems like a pretty long time to not have comfort food, large quantities of cold beverages and long lazy days on the couch. You arent the only one who likes to watch a series for hours on end.

So whats my game plan?

I will be doing a cross-fit style of training, with mostly functional exercise and strength training. I have some fitness at my disposal, but now to put it to good use.

In a few minutes I will be sprinting up and down a hill outside my guest house I’m staying at in Durban. Looks steep, but abs look better on me than a beer keg. Klap it from day 1 (or technically day minus 1).

I will be posting a before photo soon. Not too embarrassing, except for the undies I am wearing in it… but I have entered the physique competition… and I have seen the previous winners. They… Are… Tank! I am going to have to hit the ground running to accomplish my goal of winning.

But whether I win or not, the point is to try. You cannot win if you dont start, and coming last is better than not starting at all.

I will be posting my progress over the next few weeks, along with some of the stuff I have been eating, and the routines I have been doing. Hopefully one day I will at least beat my previous best physique… that’s my goal for now. Time to run hills!

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Photobooth

Mother’s Day… how to spoil that special someone

We all need to thank that special someone in our lives, get them out the house and give them a special day.

What’s better than taking them somewhere awesome, where the food is always good, the vibe is contagious, and the spirit of South Africa is strong? Why not take them to Moyo?

We will have the legendary Picture Booth (photobooth for those not familiar) set up at the Blouberg and Kirstenbosch branches in Cape Town, allowing you to snap, capture and share your proudly South African experience of Mother’s Day. Get your face painted, get in that booth and tell the world over Facebook, Twitter and email that YOUR mom is the best in the business. She is the knees of the bees!

You will be able to see the photos taken at Moyo in real time (on Sunday) of the mom’s and their loved ones celebrating on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/thepictureboothza

Will you be joining us on Sunday? You’d better be

The Picture Booth has arrived!

Everyone has parties, weddings and or office events. So what can you do to spice up the event, and create a little bit of fun? Why not rent yourself a photobooth, or rather The Picture Booth!

The Picture booth is ideal for weddings, allowing both the bride and groom, as well as their family and friends at the reception, to snap a photo strip, leave a video message and to generally just have fun. This is a fully digital booth that allows you to share directly on Facebook, Twitter, email or Pinterest your experience of the event. Hours of fun at a funtastic price.

Having a 21st birthday? No problem!

The The Picture Booth also allows you the option of having a wedding or party book created using the photos taken during the event. A great way to hold onto and share your memories of a memorable night.

Wedding books - a great keepsake

Wedding books – a great keepsake

Corporate event? The Picture Booth guys can set-up the booth in such a way that allows for maximum exposure on social media, presents the brand identity through branding the photos as well as the optional vinyls to make the booth look and feel like your own. We can also gather client information, and do surveys directly from the booth.

To find out more about the revolutionary booth, have a look at the website http://www.thepicturebooth.co.za

 

the-picture-booth-logo-full

 

2 Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon: Time to Train

So the other day my work colleague, John informed me that it was the last day to enter to get a ticket for the 2014 Two Oceans Marathon, the most beautiful marathon in the world. Although I enjoy running, I am more of a 5-10km runner, with the idea of running 21km’s being a daunting one.

But what were the chances that I would actually get a ticket, given that thousands of people enter to get a ticket, and I had left it to the very last day to get a ticket via the random ticket draw. I thought I was safe. How wrong I was.

On the day of the draw, I got an email saying that I had a ticket, and that I would be running on 19 April. Flip! I have to start training now!!

Obviously there is a difference running 21km to running your quick, 5km circuit. I am one who likes to run fast, since the faster you run, the faster you get back to the comfort of your flat. Now I would actually have to pace myself, ensure I have enough liquids, eat correctly before the race, and have a training programme. This is going to be different.

So the first thing I did is look for training programmes to ensure that I am fit enough to run the distance, as well as to be able to do it at a decent rate of speed.

There were many training programmes of various lengths of time, differing methods of training. But what they all had in common was that they all looked like a lot of hard work. But I am up for the challenge!

Hopefully I can keep up the positive thoughts, stay consistent with my training, and not losing hope I will be just fine.

Training begins this weekend… wish me luck!

Image

Summer’s coming – time to get into shape

With the onset of summer in the Mother City, many of us are rushing to the gym to try work off that winter weight (myself included). I have done a lot of reading and research, looking for the best ways to get “beach ready”. I dont want to be the pale AND fat guy!

So what have I found?

I am currently trying out the USN training and eating plan for lean muscle. The training is quite intense, but the eating is the part that strikes me as being the biggest change in my lifestyle.

First off, I went off to my local pharmacy to pick up some USN whey protein and some Phedra-Cut Lipo XT. I know the Phedra-Cut might seem like cheating, but I dont care. It was very effective in the past, so I am going to use it to my full benefit again. Deal with it!

Next it was time to work out the eating plan. USN has a lot of useful plans on their site, an extract of which we have in pamphlet form. Looking at the eating plan I thought to myself, “flip… I am literally eating all the time”. With all the snacks, and other items to keep your metabolism going, you never seem to have an opportunity to get hungry. But I guess that’s the point with these kind of eating plans.

Time to shop. After compiling a grocery list for 4 days worth of food, the bill came close to R500 between two people (my girlfriend and I). This seemed a bit steep at first (since I am lank poor). However, one thing that is great if you are on Discovery Medical Aid, and more specificially on Vitality, you can get 25% back on the healthy foods from your local Pick ‘n Pay. So effectively is costs R375 each, since all the food on the list are regarded as “Healthy Food”. Not too bad then (R46.88 per day per person). I can live with that.

So what does USN think I should be eating? Have a look at a typical day of this health plan:

Breakfast

1 cup of cooked oats with crushed almonds, cinnamon and apple slices

Mid-morning

A fruit, such as an apple, banana, orange or other

Lunch

Either:

Ostrich mince with spinach, on sweet or normal potatoe, or

A tin of tuna (170g) on sead loaf with cottage cheese

Mid-afternoon

Another fruit or almonds


Dinner

Either:

Steak (150g) with mixed vegetable and leafy greens with lemon juice, or

Chicken breast with corgettes (baby marrow), red pepper, and a huge amount of salad with lemon juice, or

Fish fillets (2 fillets) with green beans, red pepper and leafy greens with lemon juice.

Dessert

None šŸ˜¦

Although the eating takes quite a lot of planning, and having a casual takeaway is a No-No, you actually start to feel quite refreshed after the first couple of days (during which you feel like committing crime).

So for now, and until the time at which I feel like I am in good shape, and feeling healthy, I will be living by the healthy eating. Hopefully it will work out so that by the time December comes I am ready for the beach. If I am ready, I will post pics… otherwise it failed. But irrespective of the results, I feel happy to be healthy and feeling energised. Long live the healthy lifestyle!

Apron, ingredients, gourmet, burger

Inspired to Cook – Gourmet Burger

So these days there are so many cooking channels on TV, from Masterchef, to Come Dine with Me, all the way to Gordon Ramsay getting angry about nothing. It makes for good entertainment, but also has the effect of inspiring you to try new things based on what you see on TV.

Trying to be healthy, and eating well is very tricky, exhausting, and sometimes mentally draining. So when it comes to that time of the week when you have a “cheat meal”, you want to do it in style. A burger from McD’s doesn’t quite do the trick, and for the amount of money you end up paying for two relatively plain and average burgers, you can make yourself a delicious gourmet burger.

To start, get yourself a bottle of good red wine (I would recommend an easy drinking Merlot) and pour it into a glass. Drink a few sips, savour the taste, and roll up your sleeves. It’s time to cook.

What you will need is the following:

  • Lean beef or ostrich mince (either works fine)
  • Two small red onions
  • Two eggs
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Chilies
  • Lettuce
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cream
  • Worcestor sauce
  • 25g Biltong (beef jerkey for Americans)
  • Mushrooms (and mushroom soup mix if you need to thicken the sauce)
  • Parsley
  • A fresh panini bread

Start by chopping the red onions and chilies very finely (or use a blender for very fine chopping). In a mixing bowl, take the mince, chopped onion and chilie, and mix thoroughly. Then add a few splashes of Worcestor sauce, 2 tsp of Dijon Mustard, and the egg yellows. Mix the ingredients until bound, and then mould your mince into patty sizes of your choice.

Time for the sauce. Fry the mushroom until soft, then add the cream and parsley. Let the sauce reduce until it is thicker (if this fails to thicken, either add Maizina or small amounts of Mushroom soup mix). Once the sauce is thick, add finely sliced biltong (beef jerky) to the mixture, and allow to simmer for a few minutes before serving.

Fry the burger patty until cooked to your preference. Place on a panini with cheese, lettuce and tomato (unless you don’t eat tomato like me). Put your burger patty on top, then adding your sauce… and Presto! You now have yourself a delicious, gourmet burger.

I hope you try it out, and enjoy it as much as I did.

Burger, gourmet

A delicious gourmet burger. Nom nom nom

Running walking

Bidvest Unity Walk: Making a difference while having fun

So this weekend I particpated in the annual Bidvest Unity Walk, a 10km fun run/walk occuring in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. The event is organised by the Bidvest Group, in association with theĀ Quadriplegic and Paraplegic Association of South Africa (QASA), and aims to donate wheelchairs for those who cant walk themselves. So why not get out of bed a bit earlier, put on your walking/running shoes and make a difference.

After a week of very cold and wet weather in the Mother City, I was not very amped to get up on Sunday morning early, drive to Bellville, and wait in the cold to start walking. I am a runner, I dont really dig walking. Its takes far to long to not cover a lot of distance. Lank ineffectual manner of getting from point A to point B in my opinion. But I got up, got dressed, and got ready for the day.

I should mention that the walk is the Bidvest Unity Walk is already the largest charity walk for one corporate group, which is quite an impressive feat. So when I arrived at the starting line at the Bellville Velodrome, the number of people was quite impressive to see.

The music was pumping, the MC was getting the “athletes” in the zone, and people were losing their friends in the crowd. And we’re off!

Running walking

Dont mistake this for strike action… we’re making a difference

 

As the crowds of people wound past Tyger Valley shopping centre, the motorists started getting a bit annoyed, having most of their driving surface covered with padestrians and traffic officials siding with them. That being said, I was very impressed with the organisation of the traffic officials and the local authorities. There was minimal traffic build up, one lane was always kept clear of people, and they were always visiable and attentive. I don’t normally give many compliments to traffic cops, preferring to rather avoid and not letting myself get seen, but this day was well done. Bravo!

I was nice that Bidvest had the initiative primarily for their staff, but allowing guests to join them in the fun. My girlfriend works as a Client Liaison Officer at Land Rover N1 City, part of the Bidvest group, and organised me my guest pass. It was nice to see how the diverse companies within the group came together to walk for a common cause, not walking necessarily as employees of a massive company, but rather as people looking to make a difference. They weren’t forced there (I dont think), but rather chose to be there to support a great initiative.

Running

The girlfriend, ready for action! Nice hat by the way!

 

Based on the MC’s estimate of numbers, around 50,000 people participated across the country in the walk. With a wheelchair being donated for every 75 walkers that participated, the figure should be around 670 wheelchairs… Quite an impressive feat! Although the final figure is not yet confirmed, anything around that figure would be fantastic.

The only bit of criticism that I have regarding the walk and the organisation is the following scenario that we experienced, along with a number of other people, just after the walk.

Our domestic worker managed to through away our race numbers, printed on a piece of paper, which meant that my girlfriend (as a Bidvest Employee) could not enter the raffle for many different prizes, and I could not enter the area where the post-walk food was provided as I did not have a “Guest” paper. I was extremely frustrated that simply by losing a piece of paper (which you have to baby-sit for a while) you miss out on so much post-race activity. Surely its simple enough to have one or two people at the entrance of the Velodrome, holding an iPad or similar device, who are able to verify whether you are worthy of entering. It should have been regarded as a reasonably possible risk which should perhaps have had some kind of back-up plan. And to enter the raffle… one small printer that can quickly print a lost ticket if you either lost yours during the week building up to the event, or if yours fell off while you were walking.

That is the only thing that I would suggest to make the walk better, but all-in-all, a great day on the road. I am definitely keen to do it again, get some exercise and make a difference. Well done Bidvest!

We ready... lets go!

We’re ready… lets go!