me Life and Times of the Fireflies: September 2013

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

10 Tips to Help Put a Spring Into Our Healthy Lifestyle

Sometimes we get caught up fighting the battle of the bulge, chasing unrealistic ideals, when the real battle we should be fighting is the battle of out health. With Diabetes and Heart Disease becoming a common affair in the younger generation, and Anorexia and Bulimia another extreme; I have decided to put down the sword and stop the war I have with my body.... I have decided to embrace the changes that motherhood has brought (albeit kicking and screaming)... and I have decided that from this day forward, there will be no more fighting to conform to the standards of others, that this is not about vanity, but rather a pursuit of a healthy, fit body, and strong mind.

Here are the 10 most common tips and guidelines to help us all put a Spring into a healthy lifestyle:


The saying " breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is true! It is vital to kick start your metabolism after the night- time fast, so it should be a balanced breakfast. I used to skip breakfast before, but I have since started making it a habit. It gives me the energy needed to get through my workout, and prevents the binging that inevitably happens when we skip a meal!


The benefits of water is endless. It's natures thirst quencher, flushes out toxins, and does wonders for your skin and hair. We really should not be drinking anything else ( except an Appletiser now and again! ).

Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and leads to excess fat storage. So all those times we've tried to starve ourselves thin, really did more harm than good!!! We need to feed our body to keep your metabolism running optimally and should aim to eat 4-6 SMALL meals throughout the day....and yes, every fruit, snack bar and handful of nuts; counts as a meal!


Proteins are the building blocks of life! It is a major part of the skin, hair, muscles and organs...thus, the body needs protein to repair and maintain itself. Protein also helps regulate appetite and cravings by enhancing the feeling of fullness for longer after a meal or snack. The body works harder to break down protein than it does carbs, hence the right amount of lean protein revs up the metabolism. Finding the correct balance here is key....(My key is missing in action! lol)


Every meal should contain a serving of vegetables. They are packed with nutrients and fibre, and help keep blood sugar levels under control.


Supermarket aisles (and by supermarket, I mean Woolies) are riddled with temptation! Make a list of the things you need and ignore the rest. Hard, I know...but soon your body adjusts and no longer gives in to temptation.


This is an important eat-clean strategy and probably where a lot of us fail. Without the correct preparation, we often resort to unhealthy substitutes! Cooking meals and portioning off foods in advance will ensure that you will always have a meal ready when you're supposed to eat and keeps blood sugar levels stable.


I have found that eating my 2 portions of fruit a day wards off the late afternoon sugar craving I'm prone to have...and I'm sure has less calories than the biscuits I like to dunk in my coffee!


The age old debate of a High Protein diet vs Low Carb diet may still be on going  (perhaps I could unravel a bit more of this in another post?), but I personally find it near impossible to cut carbs out of my diet completely ( I am Indian and grew up on rice and potatoes!). Reducing intake and keeping things wholegrain and low GI are the obvious and healthier options.


Get moving!!!! Regular physical activity reduces heart disease, lowers the risk of stroke, reduces diabetes risk, lowers blood pressure; and lets not forget that it's the best anti depressant around! Our bodies are designed to keep moving, which has countless benefits on body and mind!

And if that wasn't enough tips's one final piece of information to get us motivated...

 Hope you find these tips helpful! Writing them down has definitely helped me see where I am going wrong!!
Thanks for reading,


 (All images sourced )

Monday, 23 September 2013

A Day to Remember

Our Anniversary! They day we look back each year and reflect on the blissful years we've spent together. A day we express gratitude for all the blessing bestowed on us, and celebrate our loyalty to each other...
So often our time is devoted to day to day activities, that we often forget the day of forging this very important bond. The day we took the leap from innocence, into the real world we live in today.
Our Anniversary! The day  we chose to seal the bond of our love. The day that officially marks our commitment to each other...The day all my childhood, girlish dreams came true, just because I married you!

How quickly 12 years have gone by...How swiftly the tides have changed. We have witnessed births, and experienced loss...had days of extraordinary delight, and also moments that were dire...You have lost your hair, and I have not lost all the baby weight...But through it all, through the myriad of life's trials and triumphs, we have faced it together as a team. We have clambered through 12 years, surviving on each others strengths...You the Yin to my Yang. 12 years that may not always have been filled with bliss, but 12 years I would not have given to anyone else...12 years I'm glad I gave to you...
Three beautiful children whose smiles fill our heart and home with joy. Whose fights and squabbles and milestones gives us something to talk about...whose heartbeats connects us eternally.

Our days are often spent apart, with different things occupying our minds, but there's a knowingness, that we only have each other securely sealed in our hearts...Yes the road is sometimes bumpy, but more often it is filled with security and joy and laughter...and your smile and presence that is always reassuring to me. The strength of our bond lies in the trust we have in each other, and the space we have given each other to develop as individuals; for in helping each other to thrive and shine, we have built a happy environment for our kids to do the same.
What is this love I feel? It is in all the unspoken words....the magic of your glance. It is in the gratitude I feel for all your hard work....your never fading smile each day you come home. It is in the special language you have with our kids. Sunday mornings 5 in the bed. Summer braai's. Family vacations. Date nights. Sunday cycles...It is in the memories we share...our hopes, our fears, our inner most thoughts. It is in the way we argue with kindness; careful not to hurt each other with words...
In this life we share, it's never just been the two of us. The true source of our blessings comes from all the love, care, and time we invest in our parents and families. It resonates in all that we do. It is our glue...You have given me 12 wonderful years...Thank You!

"It is said that a truly great marriage is one where our partners inspire us to become better people.
Where, as the years pass by, not only our bond strengthens, but also your character shines.
A truly great partner, inspires the best in us. We learn from each other, and grow, together. When you find the right partner, and the right balance, you are constantly striving to be better individuals. When we learn to be  compassionate, considerate, understanding, forgiving, and compromising with each other, it is so much easier being that way with all mankind. And so, marriage is much more than love. It is a seed, that with nurturing, will flourish and prosper..."
(Excerpt from my speech at my sister's wedding ,January 2013)


 Here's to many more memorable years to come.
Love you always,

Sunday, 15 September 2013

My Truths - Looking My Best

Those frantic moments when getting dressed up for a wedding, or function of some sort....Where nothing seems to fit exactly the way you want it to....Moments that make you feel inadequate, slightly too fat...Where your confidence falls slightly short. ..wishing that 5 kilos could just miraculously fall off your body!!

I admit to being that person at times. ...A ball of anxiety that must inevitably face up to the skinny people. ..No way out...

I admit that I feel insecure, disappointed in this body that has let me down...that despite my best attempts, has stayed the same...

I admit to telling so many others that their beauty shines through the slightly extra kilos; and not believing it in myself...

When I search beyond the surface of my anxiety, I remember the best advice my father has ever given to me...when I was young and viewed the world through "Skinny eyes"....when discussing wardrobe malfunctions with my sisters as a teenager.

He said that that day I stepped out looking my best, and that every other person was wearing THEIR best; and that even though it didn't meet my standard, someone else's best should never be compared, judged, analysed, criticised.

I realise that my real fear is not in who I am, but rather in how others perceive me...That the next person has no idea of the effort I put into being healthy, the constant struggle to achieve my goals. That all they will see is "Fat Namu"...

Today I accept that despite what others may think of me, on this day I might not look THE best...but I have stepped out and I am looking MY best!!!!


                                     NAMU :)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Rainbows and Sunshine

All the beautiful pictures of pretty rainbows brightening up the Cape Town sky this morning, had me digging into my old journals for one of my old entry's...
Sometimes my heart and head are overflowing with uncontrollable emotion that my body is not strong enough to contain it. It feels like a brewing storm; sometimes unpleasant to go through and experience, but like all natural phenomenon, healing and cleansing.
When things feel too much to bear, it's only natural for me to burst into a flood of tears.
This welling up of emotion is sometimes so painful, but I've learnt that  the release is pure bliss. I've kinda got a new respect for rainy days.
The sky must've had a couple of very bad days to suddenly come pouring down!
So, the next time it pours with rain, I intend stepping out and dancing...
'Cos I know that after the rain, comes
Rainbows and Sunshine!! 
(picture courtesy of Ayesha Royker)
Thanks for reading!

Friday, 6 September 2013

And the Mountains Echoed - A book Review

A good book has the ability to engage us for the duration of the read....but a great book has the ability to linger with us long after the last words have been read. A great book, has us enthralled from the very first page...It has us living and breathing the landscape of the novel...It transports us to a different time and place; and it makes us feel like one of the characters, a silent observer on the constantly turning pages. A truly great book impacts us the way a good book can't. It leaves us with food for thought, it touches our hearts, and creates an impact on our souls...

Khaled Hosseini is a truly gifted novelist. After writing the bestselling novel The Kite Runner, it was always going to be difficult to do a follow up; but A Thousand Splendid Suns didn't disappoint and remains one of my favourite reads of all time; and so is this book!!

Set once again against the backdrop of Kabul, we get to take a journey through Afghanistan pre war until present day war torn Afghanistan, and I'm sure, quite deliberately, Hosseini highlights various consequences the war has left on families...One almost gets the feeling that the social decline in Afghanistan highlighted in the book, deeply mirrors Hosseini's own emotions of helplessness as an Afghan born American.

 Hosseini manages to peel away the many layers of all the characters in the most alluring way; and just when you think you've figured out who the victim and who the villain of the tale is...he gracefully unravels another layer that has one thinking a bit deeper about life and sobbing at the same time.

There are so many intricate layers of this book that will have you thinking (and heartbroken) for days on had me awake till the early hours of the morning because I simply could not put it down, and even after I put it down, I simply cannot forget. The themes highlighted are very real and very relevant today, with the core theme revolving around Family... How we love, nurture, wound, betray, honour and sacrifice for one another...the choices we make to save it, and the choice we make to survive it, and how those choices echoes for generations.

Time, distance and circumstances might separate us...but in the end...the bond that is family, will inevitably reunite us all!!

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Welcome to Spring

Despite the snow capped mountains looming on the horizons, and the chill still heavily hanging in the air; Spring has arrived, albeit a little slowly, and slightly silently. I noticed just today the rows of daisies lining the sides of the roads, the mornings are already a little brighter when the kids leave for school, and the once bare trees are beginning to sprout anew!

We are to be forgiven for being fooled into an extra long Winter, the weather not giving us the go ahead to pack away our winter woollies just yet...but don't be fooled into thinking that Spring is still a way to come. Before you know it, we will be basking in the glory of warmer days and a brighter wardrobe!

So, I suggest we all get a move on, spring clean our closets...and our eating...and put a spring in our step! Get up and get moving, because very soon we won't have the comfort of layers and coats to hide behind. I have already gotten back into the swing of my gym routine, counter acting the effects of a gym free month during the fast, and it feels great!!

With a new month and a new season upon us, I thought it would be great to add some health and fitness tips and inspiration to the blog that we can all benefit from. I am by no means an expert, but there's nothing better than some shared motivation to help all of us get a bit closer to achieving our goals. And with the warmer seasons on our heels, this is as good a time to start!

Looking forward to fitter, stronger, and healthier months ahead!