The toddler review: Playzone!

Playzone:  This is a big YES from Lucas (22 months) and mommy!

Yay for good coffee and a BIG yay for the nannies and amazing, clean, safe play area!

You pay R50 for the 1st hour and then R30 for every hour after that. Nice menu, I ordered a big coffee and plate of chips for Lucas.

I was almost a bit at a loss with all the sitting and watching I could do…will definitely use this place in the near future to get in 2 hours of studying (I started a course this month…).


I think for me I will need to come at quiet times to get the full benefit of a nanny dedicated to Lucas. We visited on a Monday late morning and the nanny mentioned that it is relatively quiet on most week days, not so much over the weekends 😉

A big thumbs up from us!

Love Helene x x x

Area for all kiddies but especially the not yet walking little ones 🙂


My sugar detox journal – confession time! What’s your WHY?

I never remember very clearly how it starts – it always seems a bit blurry.  

But then I find myself finishing an entire piece of the most delicious, moist carrot cake on a Sunday morning.  How did this happen…?  How is it possible to go from super motivated and focused, to stuffing my face with my all too familiar drug of choice – SUGAR?

I can tell you how it happens…

I will have an emotionally down day or moment –  and then I go to that familiar mind-set:

“Sugar will definitely help me to feel better, it will give me energy and that feel good factor that I desperately need (and feel I deserve) RIGHT NOW.”

Then I give in to a biscuit with my coffee, have one of my toddler’s sweet treats… and its like a slippery slope down hill (ok it’s not THAT bad, but you get what I am saying…).

Next thing I think to myself, well you have given in so you might as well have a couple of biscuits, or a piece or 2 milk tart (this was yesterday) and carrot cake…(today)…?

And the next thought…. Tomorrow is Monday and it’s basically the beginning of a new month… perhaps this time I will kick the habit and a few kg’s before summer…?

BUT I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE… And there’s no time for denial anymore – I am just too SICK of it.  Time to get REAL people!!!! O.k… I am trying really hard to motivate myself…

Human willpower (for most of us) just freaking fails us time and time again.  It’s the reason why new years resolutions are mostly a waste of time… and the: I will start on Monday… or next month or whatever…

So WHAT NOW???  I so desperately want to live healthier – and for me right now – this means cutting out the white stuff.  And the white floury stuff.

I heard a talk the other day… she said you need to 1st OF ALL – FIGURE OUT YOUR WHY.

Your WHY needs to be important enough to carry you through those familiar moments where you typically give in.

MY WHY?   I want to do what I can to not get sick.  I want to feel less achy, less moody, less tired and totally be there for my hubby and busy toddler.  And perhaps most of all right now – I am searching for a holistic, sustainable lifestyle cure for insomnia & anxiety.

What is you why?

Love Helene x x x

My sugar detox journal…hidden sugars to watch out for!

I finished my 21 days of trying my best to go off sugar.

HiddenSugarInfographicAlthough I am happy with my progress,  I am not entirely happy with how the 21 days went.


  1.  I had about 4 “cheat” days
  2. I didn’t cut out ALL sugar (for example: Honey, fruit and certain refined carbs)
  3. I don’t think I experienced the FULL BENEFIT of really detoxing from sugar… And this is what I am after – really getting to that point of moving beyond the withdrawal and cravings and starting to experience all the benefits.  Like…. better and a more stable mood, better sleep, clarity of mind, more energy and some weight loss.

So… What I am going to try to do over the next 21 days is to:

  1. Consistently cut out all forms of sugar (Including honey, fruit and hidden sugar in snacks – see this cool picture to the left…)
  2. Lower my overall carb intake (Mostly for me:  Bread; rusks; wraps; rice; potatoes; pasta; pizza)
  3. Decrease my caffeine intake to 2 cups max per day – mostly to help with the anxiety and insomnia.
  4. Trying not to get too ravenous (this is when I make my poorest food choices) – so filling my tummy with good stuff whenever I am hungry.

Here is a great list of all those other names under which sugar hides in foods:

According to the USDA and other sources, alternative sugar ingredients or names to watch out for when reading labels include:

There also “healthier” sugars, including coconut palm sugar, honey and blackstrap molasses. Generally since these are far less processed (especially real, raw honey), they are OK in moderation but still a source of sugar to keep to small amounts.

So today is another day 1 for me… wish me luck!

Love Helene x x x

My sugar detox journal – this is hard!

I am currently on day 15 of my 21 DAY attempt to detox myself from sugar.

The first 10 days were relatively easy for me – I think it was due to my human will power doing fairly well initially…

 Then my old habits started to taunt me… Let me explain:

I am a stay at home mommy of 21 month old Lucas.  My GO TO for when I am feeling a bit tired/bored/lonely/emotional is mostly coffee and sugar if there is any form of sugar in the house.

So a couple of days ago I gave my little boy a biscuit.  He didn’t want it.  For a moment I was in a battle in my head, and then I just ate the cookie… And then I finished the whole bag (kiddies bag I have to add in my defense 😉 And then I had some fruit cake that I had in the house the previous day for my in-laws visiting.

That old – almost uncontrolled way of eating – took over for that moment…

Later that same day I went to the mall and considered stopping for a piece of cheese cake – because (my old way of thinking) I might as well cheat properly!  And I was feeling tired and like I “deserved” it (again an old habit of mine…).

I didn’t give in to the cheesecake which was an achievement for me.  So the next day I just  kept going where I left off.

So be aware of your old ways of thinking… For those sugary snacks in the house… And don’t beat yourself up if you slip up – just carry on the following day.

Weight loss? Not dramatic in any way – perhaps because I havent given up carbs too.  But I have probably lost almost 1 kg.

But it’s about more than weight for me – its about my health and knowing what sugar does to the brain and body…

After the 21 days…?  The other day I listened to a podcast of Dr Caroline Leaf and she said it takes 3 cycles of 21 days to really create new habits… So perhaps I will push myself a little longer… and even look at cutting out some other things like too much processed food/perhaps I will be a bit more strict with my carb intake.  I’ll decide when I get there…

For now…baby steps and just keep going moment by moment…

Eating healthy – why is it SO hard..?

Part 1: Why is it so hard?

I’ve decided to write about my struggle to consistently eat more healthy for two reasons.

Firstly, I believe there’s a reason the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry (most people struggle with this in some degree)…and secondly I am hoping that writing about this issue will help me to be more successful in my efforts…



At the beginning of 2018 I very sincerely decided that this was the year that I was finally going to leave my nonsense in the past and be dedicated to a healthier diet once and for all.

I am turning 40 this year, and my thought pattern went something like this: If I can’t get it right now, I might as well give up/not try again.

I also became aware of the depressing fact that the past 20 years has been an on and off struggle with wanting to lose that LAST 5 – 10 kg’s by buying a new diet book/joining a diet club/increasing my gym efforts/becoming qualified as a nutritionist and personal trainer (yes I went that far) etc…

I love that saying which says that if you keep on doing the same thing and not getting the results you want, it is insanity… Well keeping on doing what I’ve been doing for the past 20 years when it comes to my eternal quest for health/weight loss/having a better body and health…. will just be insanity.


So why of why is it so HARD?? Is human will power so weak? Why do some people get it right and others don’t..? I don’t have the perfect answer for this.

I think one of the things that is crucial for success is that it should matter ENOUGH to you to want to change.

You have to find that thing, that trigger deep down inside that you can pull out the moment you feel you deserve/need that pizza/doughnut/cake/chocolate etc. RIGHT now. At that moment, that thing (that reason for you to want it enough) should pull you through that moment.


My baby boy is 18 months and for the past 18 months I have been riding the wave of excuses of I am a new mom, I am tired, I don’t have time, I am emotional, I am stressed, I feel alone… Well, my time for those excuses has expired. I realise that it is only ME that is holding myself back from feeling better about myself and my body.

I strongly believe that you have to be kind to yourself and love yourself first and foremost. So I am glad that I gave myself enough time to adjust to motherhood. But you have to get to a point where  you realise that making better choices concerning your eating habits – is LOVING yourself!

I have also realised that I have a pattern that is not working for me. I get very motivated by reading a new diet book and then ride that emotional wave of feeling super dedicated and converted for a while… And then the emotional excuses set in. And before I know it, I am back to my old habits. Other times I sincerely just don’t care enough.

So what is going to be different now… What is it going to take for me to make that permanent change…???



For me… right now, I think it is to just start. To just take the next step tomorrow and then the day after that and the day after that. No emotional rollercoaster, just an almost unemotional, logical decision day-to-day.

And I have decided to blog about my journey – to somehow keep me accountable…

Let’s see…

Love Helene xxx

Eks ‘n nuwe mamma

Ek wil al bitter lank weer iets skryf.  Dis terapeuties vir my, maar dis asof ek amper nie die woorde aanmekaar kan ryg vir als wat in my aangaan nie.

Ek is ‘n nuwe mamma.

Ekt altyd gedink die stelling hierbo klink en gaan heerlik wees. Dit gaan my vervul, my gelukkig maak, betekenis gee, rustigheid gee… ag sommer net alles wat goed en mooi is! Sommer net so – automaties.  Nou ek weet as jy ‘n mamma is wat dit lees dink jy seker – yeah right!

Ek wonder hoekom ander vrouens in mens se lewe jou nie regtig voorberei op wat kom nie.  Miskien wil hulle dit nie vir jou spoil nie, want jy is dan nou so opgewonde met jou ronde magie en al jou voorbereidings vir baba.  Of dalk het hulle werklik vergeet.  Of dalk selfs sekere gebeurtenisse of herhinneringe uitgeblok…? Almal is bly vir jou – en dis reg so!  Maar ek voel tog so bietjie eerlike harde realiteite sal my dalk kon help om net so bietjie beter voor te berei.

Waarop fokus ons voor die tyd…?  Baie van ons spandeer baie tyd en geld aan die baba kamer.  En die maternity shoot.  En die baby shower.  En ek se nie dis verkeerd nie.  Nee… Ek dink net daar is plek vir ‘n ander tipe voorbereiding saam met al hierdie lekker tipe voorbereidings.

My seunskind is al oor die 7 maande en ek moet bieg -die baba kamer is seker onder aan die lys van dinge wat saak maak, ‘n verskil maak.  My maternity shoot fotos le erens in ‘n folder op my laptop, en ek lyk vir myself vreemd daarop -amper asof dit ‘n fase is wat ek nou half voel is so ver in die verlede – dis asof ek na ‘n ander ek kyk.

Soos ek hier op die grond in ons kamer sit en tik slaap my liefie op ons bed.  Hy het sy dummy uitgespoeg en ek wonder hoe lank ek nog het om te tik… Sy gesiggie is die van ‘n engeltjie…

Ok so laat ek tot die punt kom wat ek graag wil probeer maak voor boeta ontwaak…

Waarop ek myself graag sou wou voorberei op ‘n emosionele vlak… (en ek weet almal is anders en almal se ervaringe verskil…maar ek moet se meeste mammas wie nie omgee om oop te maak en eerlik te wees nie, stem saam met van dit wat ek nou gaan noem…tussen in ‘n paar ander mammas se insette oor wat hulle graag sou wou weet voor die tyd…).

1.  Jy gaan ‘n nuwe vlak van uithouvermoe in jouself ontdek wat begin by die kraam proses.  Om deur kraam te gaan kan baie lank en baie seer wees – maar jy kom daar deur.  Nagte met baba kan baie lank en alleen raak, maar jy kom daar deur.  Jy is moeer as wat jy nog ooit was maar weereens kom jy op ‘n manier daardeur en lyk alles beter in die oggend.  ‘n Skreeuende en skoppende (of self krappende) baba wat gesus moet word vir die hoeveelste keer…en raai wat – jy kom daardeur.

M:  Wees super georganiseerd voor baba kom want daarna raak als meer chaoties en deurmekaar en vind nooit iets nie en dis van uiterse belang om ‘n goeie netwerk staatmakers te he wat kan kom uithelp en bystaan.  Ek was ook angstig, ja dis oorweldigend om skielik verantwoordelik te wees vir so ‘n klein en fragile kindjie wat skielik blootgestel is aan die buite wereld uit hulle veilige kokon buit jou liggaam waar daar soveel gevaar is.                                  

2.  Jy gaan vir ‘n paar uur of ‘n paar dae op ‘n high wees van verwondering vir die bondeltjie wat jou kindjie is.  Dis ‘n surreal gevoel.

W:  Die groot verantwoordelikheid, en dat jy altyd oor hulle bekommerd gaan wees vir die res van jou lewe.

3. Jy gaan by die huis kom en sukkel met jou liggaam wat nou net deur die kraam proses is – alles is seer.  Jy gaan uitgeput wees en sukkel om te slaap.  Jy gaan nie weet wat om te doen met jou nuwe baba nie.  Voorgeboorte klasse kan jou net so klein klein bietjie voorberei – die real thing is mos maar iets anders.

Z:  Ek sou se die belangrikheid daarvan om iemand te he wat self geborsvoed het.  Dis nie so maklik soos wat hulle dit laat klink nie.  Die behandeling in die hospitaal vir die borsknoppe is ‘n mors van geld en die kool koppe werk!! Melk ekstra melk uit in ‘n diep warm bad om stuwing te verlig en he ‘n eletriese borspomp nog voor jy tuis kom.

4. Baba gaan tien teen een vir die eerste 2 weke of so net drink en slaap, maar dit verander hier by week 3.  En dan kan jy of gelukkig wees met ‘n content/text book baba wat op haar eie slaap en speel OF jy kan geseend wees met die ander kant…

I:  Ja…ek dink die depressie wat mens kan ervaar en gevoelens rondom jou lewe wat so radikaal verander het en jy bang is dit gaan nooit weer lekker wees nie.

5. Baba kan sukkel met reflux en of koliek en dan sit jy met ‘n klein babatjie wat skreeu en huil meeste van die tyd. Jyt geen benul wat dit aan jou en jou verhouding met jou man kan doen totdat jy daar is nie.

M:  Die boeke wat jy gaan lees gaan jou glad nie voorberei vir wat kom nie!  Niemand kan jou help nie, net jy want dis jou baba en jy is sy ma!  Kry een persoon wat jy kan vertrou en bly by daai persoon se raad, anders gaan dit jou mal maak, want almal het verskillende opinies en raad, maar dit geld nie noodwendig vir jou baba nie!  Don’t sweat the small stuff!  As jou man die baba op ‘n ander manier vashou as jy is dit nie die einde van die wereld nie!

6. Jy gaan sukkel met slaap en dit opsigself kan jou laat depressief voel.

E:  Ontspan, kinders breek nie so gou nie, vertrou jouself, gee jouself kans om net op bab te fokus en moet nie dat te veel mense jou se wat om te doen nie.  Slaap wanneer bab slaap en lag vir jouself.

7. Jy mag dalk ‘n mate van depressie en/of angstigheid beleef en dis meer algemeen as wat jy dink.  In baie gevalle is dit bloot ‘n gevolg van slapelose nagte, ‘n skreeuende baba, onsekerheid, fisiese uitputting ens.

A:  Jy kan nie jouself 100% voorberei nie en elke dag is anders.  Jou kleinding is uniek en nie een oomblik kan jy voorspel nie.  Moenie bang wees om te vra vir hulp nie.  It takes a village to raise a child – Absoluut!  Dit maak jou nie minder van ‘n ma as jy vra nie.  Jy is die beste mamma wat jou babatjie voor kan vra.

8. Jy mag dalk een van daai mammas wees (ek was en is nog op tye so) wat ALLES op lees, google, facebook…. Weet dat dit jou kan MAL maak.

M:  Indien jy ‘n moeilike baba sou kry, is dit baie normaal om baie die eerste paar weke te voel jy kan nie cope nie.  Emosies van kan nie meer nie, moedeloos en cope glad nie.  Min slaap wat op jou inwerk.  Jy voel amper asof jy van jou kop af wil gaan.  Weet – dis normaal om so te voel en dit gaan beter raak – almal het nie facebook perfekte babas nie!!  Moenie dit as jou verwysings raamwerk gebruik nie.  Moenie dink daars fout met jou nie.

9. Daar gaan altyd ‘n ander mamma wees wat meer “together” voorkom as jy.  En dan gaan jy tien teen een nie lekker voel oor jouself nie.  Daar gaan altyd ‘n soeter/makliker baba wees as joune.  Jy gaan jouself op tye vergelyk met ander mammas en babas – ekt altyd ander babas omtrent uit hulle prams uitgestaar in die winkel sentrums want ek kon nie glo hoe soet die babas net daar le nie.  Ek kon nooit net gaan rond loop in ‘n mall met baba nie.

Seker die grootste aanpassing vir my was tot op die stadium – dat ek ‘n nuwe identiteit het as mamma met nuwe verantwoordelikhede, vreugdes, uitdagings en heelwat “limitations”.

Een van die dinge wat vir my iets wonderlik geword het maar eers ‘n uitdaging was, is dat niemand my nog ooit so NODIG gehad het nie.  My baba kan fisies nie sonder my leef nie.  Hy het my nodig vir sy melk en om by hom te wees 24/7.  Aan die begin het ek geworstel daarmee, my vryheid gemis.  Dat ek nie net “at a whim” in my kar kan spring en afsprake maak soos ek wil nie.  Dat ek en my man kan kom en gaan soos ons wil nie. Dat ek kan uitbly vir so lank soos ek wil sonder enige bekommernis.

Laaste woorde…op my moeilikste tye het ek ‘n paar mammas gehad met wie ek kon gesels wie ook “moeiliker” babas gehad het – dit het my so baie gehelp.  Almal het omtrent vir my gese -dit word beter!  En dit het… Liefie lyfie is nou 7.5 maande en ek geniet hom so baie – ek bere sy gesiggie en sy glimlaggie diep in my hart vir altyd.