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Parenting Responsibilities

Are we doing it right?





Healthy Honesty


ed’s letter Winter greeting to all our Moms and Dads, and grand parents too…..

ABOUT US PUBLISHER 2Luni Media EDITOR Linda Navon 071 346 8138 OUR “Little Boss” Carmen Ché Jardim SUB–EDITOR, NATIONAL SALES & MARKETING Cj Stott Matticks 082 900 1010 ADVERTISING SALES Clint Stebbing 076 657 4139 DISTRIBUTION & RESEARCH Lee Coulter WRITER Dani Jardim CONTACT NUMBERS TEL: (011) 462-2900 0110 262 643 0110 468 737 DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the editor, advertisers or endorsers. While every effort has been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are both accurate and truthful, the publisher and editor accept no responsibility for inaccurate or misleading information that may be contained herein.


I trust you are all well and managing to keep your home’s stocked up with all the natural remedies for any coughs and sniffles this winter. The cold has really settled in, here is Jozi anyway – I can hear the Cape Town wind howling at my door as I am completing this mag. Yes, it’s 4am and I am snug in bed, duvet firmly held down by my two cats. In this edition, 5 years after starting Child of the Universe magazines, I am sharing my story with you, about the death of my son, how I coped (or didn’t cope) and some encouragement that there is hope to carry on with your lie. Its taken me a while to climb out from under my bed, but hey, I am still here, and doing what I love – which are my magazines. A fine tribute in honour of my son who would have wanted me to carry on with life and be happy. We featured Johnny Clegg on the cover of our Conscious Life magazine, and on this cover we have the lovely child prodigy, Teagan McGinley. She is a young girl with the most beautiful poise and confidence and a voice of note! Catch her at one of her shows if you get the opportunity Our magazines are usually published by the second week of each month, reason being that, once again, we are not conventional. We like to delight our readers with something fresh and insightful to read once you have gotten over the month end rush, and can put your feet up with a nice ‘cuppa’ tea, and consciously relax with us. Make the most of the rest of winter, build bonfires, eat yummy home-made soups, and tell stories at bedtime. Till next month – be well.

Much Love


Contributing Team & Experts


















contents OUT & ABOUT













Real Concerts presents Johnny Clegg & Friends in Concert at Teatro, Montecasino on 15 & 16 July. Johnny Clegg, one of South Africa’s most prolific musicians, with a career spanning more than 30 years will bring his electric energy to Johannesburg for a very special two-nightonly performance. The show will be opened by singer/songwriter Tailor; the three-times SAMA nominated songstress, who is famous for her energy as a live act. Tailor is a force to be reckoned with, her diverse voice will take you through an emotional yet happy journey which will leave you inspired. It has been over three years since Johnny Clegg has performed at Teatro, Montecasino. He returns with a show that promises to be a massive high quality production with all the best hits from Johnny Clegg, including Dancers and performances with Grammy winning Soweto Gospel Choir. Johnny will also be joined on stage by various musical friends such as Ross Learmonth of Prime Circle and Francois Van Coke, and stunning visuals which compliment Johnny’s hits throughout the years. Johnny Clegg is hot off of his Spring Tour of North America, performing 35 shows in 42 days and travelled over 17,000 miles. He played in places like Alabama, Florida, Ohio, New York and Ontario amongst other places.

Johnny Clegg in Concert 15 & 16 July, 2016 at Teatro, Montecasino. Show starts at 8pm. Tickets on sale now at 0861 915 8000


Teagan McGinley Teagan is an unusually talented little girl. At the tender age of eight months it was obvious that she had been born with the voice of an angel, said her mother, Charmaine McGinley. She described the experience of turning off the car radio and hearing the small, sweet voice of her baby floating from the back seat, perfectly in tune. Since that day, and with infrequent classical training, Teagan has been known on more than one occasion to reduce whole audiences to tears. Having tried unsuccessfully to enter SA’s Got Talent, this budding songstress is nevertheless working on her performance profile. Every Sunday, Teagan treats picnickers to a concert at the Fourways Farmers Market, where she is a regular fixture. Fellow performers and music organisers at the market, proudly-African local band Motherland, have even written a piece of music especially for her.

“I didn’t choose it – my voice did,” laughed Craigavon resident Teagan McGinley (12), when asked why she chose to sing opera. Teagan McGinley the 11-year-old, has the voice of an Angel, she could sing long before she could talk. Teagan has graced the stage since 2011 in the June Kraus Showcases and was classically trained. She was placed 5th in the 2012 National Eisteddfod and 9th in the 2013 National Eisteddfod. She was selected to sing at ARTS 2014, but due to lack of funds was unable to reach for her Singing Dream Teagan was the lead role singing and acting in Alice in Wonderland 2014 at the Peoples theatre Braamfontein JHB. Teagan McGinley singer5appeared with The Motherland, opening for the Parlotones and Just Jinjer at the Barnyard Rivonia

“There’s heart here…We’re one big family,” said Charmaine of the community atmosphere and support on which she and Teagan thrive at the market. Teagan, who adds piano playing to her musical repertoire, said she would like to become a professional performer one day, but in the meantime, she gains immense satisfaction from the emotional response her voice evokes. “I like singing because I make people happy,” she concluded with her trademark bright smile.

YouTube video

My Journeys with Vincent Is There Life After Losing a Child? Vincent was the heart and soul of my life, always up to some mischief and terrifying me by living on the edge. His flame burned so hot, but it burned for such a short time. By Linda Navon I vaguely heard my phone beep a message in the night. I think it was around 04h30. I reckoned that it was Vincent and his wife, Christy, getting home as I had asked them to text me when they got in. So I went back into a peaceful sleep without reading the message. When I woke the next morning, I saw that it was a ‘please call me’ from Christ. Vincent had not arrived home after they left the club which they had gone to after my daughter’s birthday party. They had travelled in separate cars and Vincent took his own route but never got home. Candida’s 30th birthday party was a themed ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’, everyone dressed up and all the guys went as Mad Hatters. Very soon Candida and I started phoning around to try find Vincent. We checked hospitals, police stations and eventually tried the morgues, which were closed on a Sunday. I was supposed to be going off to do my 67 minutes for Mandela Day (it fell on a Sunday that year, 2011, same as it does this year 2016), but that very quickly went out the window. I popped a few messages on Facebook to the effect that Vincent is AWOL, and asked if anyone had perhaps allowed Vincent to cool off on their couches. His friends started to phone and the worry increased. This date was Sunday, 17 July 2011 and it is indelible in my mind. My brother was also on his phone trying to locate Vincent through all his connections. It seemed everyone was on the hunt for him. I secretly hoped that Vincent was just having ‘a moment’ and would pitch up shortly. No-one on Facebook knew where he was either. By now the whole family was together, since we had organised a braai at the house to further celebrate Candida’s birthday. Her family from Cape Town were visiting with us. As I sat there phoning around, and looking at the preparations going on in the lapa next to the pool, I just knew something was very wrong. The thought crossed my mind that if something had happened to Vincent, then at least the whole family would be together for strength.

(THIS IS THE LAST PHOTO TAKEN OF VINCENT AND I TOGETHER – JUST HOURS BEFORE HIS ACCIDENT) Around midday I popped over to the Spar to get some supplies for the braai, and standing there in the store I suddenly felt like throwing up, and left without buying anything. I went back to my partner’s restaurant and whilst sitting there I received a call from the daughter of a friend who the SAPS had contacted. Apparently their address was registered in his ID book as he used to live with them at one point in his life. Megan wasn’t making much sesnse on the phone, just something about the police calling and someone passing. It took her what felt like 20 years to find the cop’s number for me. I then handed the phone to the restaurant chef to speak to the cop in his own language, and as I watched him trying to spell the word ‘Hillbrow’, my world turned dark, and all hell broke loose. The first call I had to make thereafter was to Vincent’s father, who was totally oblivious that his son was missing. I had put off calling him for a while still. He had not been with us at the party the night before. I remember sitting on the grass on the pavement in front of the carpark and calling Eddy, and to this day I will never forget the shock and pain that came over the line. I went into ‘zombie mode’ and tried to get the girls to quieten down as the restaurant patrons were all watching these proceedings. My next call was to my brother Robert, who I had to tell that we had found Vincent… in the morgue. All I wanted then was my brother, who shot through to Joburg in a flash. The next few hours were a blur of all the family guys going through to Hillbrow and insisting on confirming that it was indeed my son lying on that cold slab. Noone says NO to my brother.. They returned with the few belonging that Vincent had on him, minus his shoes and some jewellery – yow, you would think that people would not steal from the dead!

Candida and Vincent on stage at Cool Running with their band called Child of Ash

Someone called the family doctor for sedatives and my daughter-in-law at that point said that she should not take anything as she suspected that she was pregnant. PREGNANT! Two days later we confirm that there was indeed a little light at the end of a very long tunnel. The idea that a part of my son was going to be born, kept me from either taking my own life or going totally insane. People deal with tragedies in mysterious ways, some don’t want to know too much, while I am the type of person who wanted every last detail. I remember the chaotic feelings and emotional denials. How could this happen? What happened, when did it happen? Since Vincent was the 2nd car to hit the overturned vehicle on a dark stretch of the highway, we were able to ascertain that he died at 4.17am. Chatting to my sister a little later in the night, she told us that her then 3 year old had sat up at that exact time, vomited over the edge of her bed, and gone back to sleep. She is a very tuned in little girl – what you may refer to as a Crystal child with psychic abilities. The bottom fell out of my world and the next few years dragged by in a blur. It was so surreal, like a concrete tube had descended around me and I was emotionally unavailable. Don’t get me wrong, I cried buckets of tears in my more lucid moments, but I generally wandered through life for the next few months, until my grand daughter was born. ‘They’ say that when a person is a dire situation you either fall into FIGHT or FLIGHT. I did neither, and only later learnt that there is the FREEZE reaction as well. One counselor I consulted with told me that my Soul is broken and she couldn’t work with me…. I still wonder about that statement, as I have never felt like a ‘complete’ person again. If this article seems a bit jumbled it’s because I am reading and editing this interview that was done by Hilda de la Rosa in our 13th edition. This is the first time I am reading it, so I am adding details as I go along. I am ready to share my story now.

Vincent’s funeral was large. There were so many people. Eddy was in charge of who carried Vincent into the church and out again – there were men from both sides of the family. I was told later that I didn’t cry during the funeral, just carried on with the motions. I had sunk below the surface of human feelings. I was not even in a position to think what impact this would have on Vincent’s sister, Candida. I knew she was suffering as much as I was, but it seemed that my heart was just too full of sadness to be able to offer her any real comfort. Candida and Vincent had enjoyed a very close relationship and he often turned to her when he was in trouble. They played in a band together and moved in the same circle of friends. She is missing Vincent more than we know. She is a strong power-girl, someone we all go to when we need advice or just to laugh. She is especially missing her almost daily interactions with her brother. On the Monday after the funeral, I went back to work. Actually I did not go to work at all. My body just showed up there. I was numb. I could not process that the world just kept on turning and life just seemed to be continuing at its own relentless pace. There seemed to be no tomorrows for me. There was only pain, sadness and a hollow feeling inside me that nothing could fill. I don’t remember all the people who called or visited to pay their respects, but I do recall thanking them and saying that there are just ‘no words’ but the gestures were appreciated. Three years later…There are still no words. No words that could comfort, or alleviate what I am feeling. I have a massive emptiness inside of me – a big void.

This was Vincent’s corner in the garden, the quiet space where we all added something to decorate the space. My little nieces hung their necklaces on the tree. It was a peaceful retreat, especially at night, alight with lanterns and candles.

At some point I had the overwhelming need to find out what Vincent was listening to on his last journey on this planet. Everyone around me thought I had gone crazy. Leighton took me to the car Vincent’s had been driving. There was so much broken glass. I just remember all the glass – shattered, like my life. I found a lone beer glass. The only piece of glass that was unbroken. I took a part of the steering wheel home. I thought that perhaps this was the part that had impacted Vincent when he crashed. The first time I went to see the car at the pound I was alone, and I wanted to sit in the seat where he had died. Crazy but not crazy… whatever! We used a crowbar to pry the radio out of the dashboard and once it was out I retrieved a CD the last sounds that my beloved son heard. I found two of Vincent’s teeth, Christy’s ring and other bits and pieces. I was gathering the last pieces of my son’s life, including his entire CD collection, most of which has now been shared by us three women in his life. I have kept the clothes that Vincent wore on his last journey – his shorts, the long pants and the army socks. I still sleep in them, especially in July, so you can all guess what I will be wearing on the night of the 16th of July… Vincent's army socks! The shirt he died in was full of blood, and after trying to wash it out it was so faded that we dried it, and one evening we all sat around the fire and burned his shirt. Passing bits around the fire and wishing Vincent all the best. We have a very non-conservative family to say the least, we were never brought up with any religious guidance, but we all believe in a Higher Power and that when you die, you are not really gone. The bloody water from his shirt was ceremonially poured on the ground in a special place in the garden. That became Vincent’s corner – a quiet space that we could all go to and feel a little closer to him. We decorated the area with flowers, beads from the kids, glitter on the ground and many little precious things. Most of us went there everyday. It was just outside my bedroom so I felt some comfort, plus I had collected his ashes and they are still always close by.

Vincent had taught himself to play the guitar at a very young age. He was good at it and become an accomplished and versatile guitarist. This was his passion - his music and his collection of guitars. Candida is a singer and Vincent used to play lead guitar in her band called ‘Child of Ash’. After he died I took his Ovation guitar, which I had watched and listened to him playing for many, many hours, days and years. It stands in my bedroom along with his ashes to this day. Candida has the Studio guitar, Christy has an electric guitar and the amp, and one and his dear friends, Ryan, has one, which he had framed and is hanging on his wall at home – forever reminding him of our Vincent.

Christy spent most of her pregnancy with her parents in Mozambique, but returned to South Africa to get ready for the birth. So many people had rallied around to help her prepare for the arrival of her and Vincent’s baby. She was pretty much set up with everything before Carmen Ché duly arrived – a little early – in a hurry, just like her daddy. I was in the theatre for the birth and what an honour that was to cut the cord and hand Vincent’s daughter to her Mommy. This was definitely one of the most overwhelming moments of my life and I am thankful that I was blessed with the opportunity to be there when my son’s daughter came into this world. I will never ever forget that feeling – a feeling of hope and connection. Unforgettable it was.

Vincent had been a Montessori student and I witnessed how the “Montessorians’ brought out the best in him. When he was going through a tough time in ‘normal’ school, who wanted to put him on drugs so that he could be manageable in the class I basically told them to f-off and put him into the Montessori Academy in Pretoria, with Glen in charge… that woman was one of the biggest blessings in my son’s life. He learnt to trust in himself again and found his self-esteem. I liked their philosophy and approached the then CEO, Sharon Caldwell, to find out if the Montessori Association of SA (SAMA) had an official Montessori magazine. She loved the idea and immediately gave me her full co-operation and support. The name was inspired by a song by Barkley James Harvest – Child of the Universe, which you can click and listen to on the website. Child of the Universe is dedicated to the memory of Vincent and our real CEO is little Carmen Ché, who has been featured on many covers over the years. She motivates me to be the best I can possibly be and to produce a magazine that will inspire and encourage the teachers at Montessori and the Montessori moms and dads. A magazine that will make a difference in people’s lives. A magazine that supports living a conscious, healthy lifestyle and this includes integrity on all levels. Being associated with Montessori South Africa has certainly opened some doors for Child of the Universe. I published the first edition in September 2012.

After Carmen’s birth, it was time for reevaluation. What would I do with my life? What could I do to honour my journey and the life of my son? I knew that I could never again work for someone else. I needed to dance to the rhythm of my own drum. I took stock of what I knew and wondered how I could use that knowledge to create a business for myself. Child of the Universe was conceived. I was planning on studying to be a Montessori teacher so I combined my own interest in Montessori with my skills in digital marketing, advertising sales, and taught myself the rest.

Child of the Universe has continued to grow, and we now have 4 online magazines. My daughter has joined me in the business and between us we pull together our monthly magazines. We encourage and inspire people to be better parents and be happier healthier, more earth-conscious readers. I am now beginning to learn to cope again. It has been five years since Vincent’s untimely death. I am learning to ‘eat this elephant in little bites’, and also to be gentle with myself. The hardest thing to cope with is that he’s never gonna walk through that door again with that big, naughty grin on his face and asking for petrol money - as usual. That boy had me wrapped tightly around his little finger! Vincent lived on the edge. He was always game for an adventure and didn’t want to miss out on anything. He liked people and they were drawn to him in return. His whole life was lived to the maximum. He was fearless. Trouble seemed to find him, even when he was laughing in its face. Flames that burn so hot never seem to burn for very long... He did some silly things. My future is connected to Carmen’s, and that is how it should be. I want to be available to both Christy and Carmen, to help where I can financially and be a part of Carmen’s childhood years. Christy has been to hell and back, she is young and still has the guts to fight for what she wants.

I have 3 girls in my life – all Cj’s: Candida Julia, Christy Jardim and of course Carmen Jardim. Together we will pull through, its not always easy but we are a family. We have had some very rough times though somehow manage to keep our relationships intact. Christy is now dating one of my son’s friends, who loves both the girls very much. Carmen is a well-adjusted, highly intelligent and captivating child. When she was younger than 3 she used to tell us that her Daddy used to talk to her in her sleep. She told us things about Vincent that she could not possibly have known, other than directly from him. She passed us a few messages from him from time to time. Now that she is growing up, that psychic connection seems to be fading. She is loved by so many people, lacks for nothing and has travelled more than most people my age! She loves to act and dance and manages to pull of pranks with a straight face – her sense of humour comes from all sides of our combined families. For many years I lived in anxiety, with this constant feeling that there was a large boulder in my chest – and I do need to re-assure others who have lost loved ones, that time certainly helps you put things into perspective. Somehow we learn to live without our precious lost ones. I know that Vincent is around, we have all experienced definite signs, and it’s comforting to know that he is watching over us. He is here, just not in the physical sense. I do believe in a higher power and I know that Vincent’s spirit is always near. I know he is safe and happy where he is now, and that we will meet again.

Through all of this loss and pain I learnt TRUST & FAITH. Trust that our Creator knows what He is doing and faith that everything happens at exactly the right time. However awful it may be.

We talk to Carmen about her Dada often and she knows her daddy is in heaven. We share our special moments with her and show her pictures and videos of her dad. When she was around 2 years old, she pointed to a car that looked exactly like Vincent’s and said, “Daddy’s car”. We don't really know where she got that from. We don’t question it. What gives me a sense of equilibrium is knowing that I have a mission. I have a great deal I still have to achieve. Making Child of the Universe a magical magazine is one of them. I also know that this magazine can be produced anywhere in the world, and I plan on travelling and helping other people. I have a path that I am meant to follow, and I am going to go where I am needed - I am completely selfsufficient and self-supporting and can work from anywhere in the world. My dreams are now becoming my reality. My advice to parents who are going through this pain is to try to avoid taking any medication to “help you cope”. All this does is defer or mask the pain and makes you dependent. I have been through it all, the medical profession loves to use you as a guinea pig and I have now had enough… on to natural remedies and support. Take your time. Get over this at your own pace. There is no-one who can explain to you how long this should take. And there is no particular order that you need to follow. Mourning the death of a child is the most difficult thing to face. Be kind and gentle to yourself. And if you need help – there is so much available out there – reach out and find someone you would like to work things through with. Call us, we can recommend a whole whack of people as well as discuss the various healing modalities. In a nutshell, I lived through years of self-destructive behaviour. 15 months ago I gave up looking at the world through copious bottles of red wine. My family have encircled me and my daughter has mollycoddled me throughout her own grief. My ex-husband (not Vincent’s father) is always here for me. This year I know I am healing, I am achieving things that I had no interest in doing in the past, and I am learning to live in gratitude. I am living in the NOW! I am trusting the process of my journey though it is one that I would never wish on anyone else. You should never have to outlive your children. There is life after losing a loved one, I have come to terms with it and am focusing on looking forward, while still cherishing all the memories of Vincent. After all, I have had the pleasure of sharing my life with Vincent twice, once as my baby brother, and then as my son. He clearly had not completed his journey on this earth with me. This train of thought may completely freak you out, but I will save it for another day. This month my son would have been 31 years old, and it feels like just that other day that I was chasing him around to change his poo-bum!

Cherish your children, that’s all I can say.

Blessings Linda

By Lisa Raleigh – Fitness Expert - who is expecting her 1st baby

Exercising during your pregnancy is not only safe – it is advised! Helping your body manage the growing weight of your body, staying in optimum health and preparing for the labour process are just some of the reasons to keep up on the fitness front. Safety is the name of the game, and some subtle rules and tailoring of your workout is all it takes to guarantee effective exercise for you and your baby. Rule #1: Give high-impact training a miss As you move through trimesters, the hormone relaxin loosens your joints, and your centre of gravity changes to accommodate your growing belly. This increases your susceptibility to injury, and keeping your balance becomes more of a challenge. Avoid joint-stressing activities requiring quick changes of direction, like squash, soccer and hockey. Activities that increase your risk off falling – like horse-riding or skiing – should also be skipped. Rule #2: Adjust your cardio At no stage during your pregnancy do you need to stop your cardio workouts, unless your doctor has advised against it. You are likely to reduce your distance and pace considerably with the added weight of your bump, and should not be exceeding moderate intensity or practicing high impact activities.

“…should not be exceeding moderate intensity or practicing high impact activities.” • If you’re a runner, avoid uneven terrains and stick to the treadmill wherever possible. Reduce your pace to a walk when moving downhill, as running will put additional pressure on your pelvic floor. • Cyclists should move training indoors, once you’ve exited your first trimester. • If you regularly take your workout to the pool, avoid swimming on your back after sixteen weeks,

Conscious Life Magazine

as the weight of the uterus puts pressure on the vena cava. Have your last meal two hours before swimming to avoid acid reflux, particularly in your third trimester.

“Mums-to-be can expect a natural increase in heart rate during pregnancy” Rule #3: Pay attention to your heart rate Mums-to-be can expect a natural increase in heart rate during pregnancy. On average, it will have increased 10% after the first trimester, followed by an additional 20% during the remainder of the pregnancy. In past years, experts recommended that a pregnant woman’s heart rate not exceed 140 beats per minute, but for the first trimester, these restrictions have since been lifted. Thereafter, keep your heart rate to roughly between 140-155 – moderate to above-moderate intensity. You should be able to hold a conversation but not want to talk for long. Rule #4: Lift weights – carefully Muscle strength and endurance training will help you manage the posture change and weight-gain that come with your growing baby. With just a few minor adjustments you can enjoy an effective strength workout. • The purpose of your workout is to maintain your strength, not build it. Lower your weights and increase your weights through your trimesters; by the end of your pregnancy your weight-size should have halved.

• After 12 weeks, avoid all exercises in the supine position. You should not be lying flat on your back, or making any curling movements. In these positions the uterus puts pressure on your vena cava – the large vein that sends blood from your lower body to your heart. Also, don’t overwork your thigh muscles. Machines that work your thighs tend to stress the ligaments surrounding your pelvis as well. Rule #5: Don’t skip the abs! Contrary to popular belief, it is especially important for pregnant women to have strong abdominal muscles. Strong abs will improve your mobility, support your growing baby, help you feel more comfortable during your term and strengthen you for delivery. • Regular abdominal exercises like sit-ups and crunches are fine in your first trimester, but you will have to modify your workout thereafter as your baby grows. • In your second and third trimesters avoid ab exercises that require you to lie on your back. Stick to core exercises that you can do sitting, standing or on all fours.

“Kegel exercises are your number-one preventative measure against incontinence and hemorrhoids…” Rule #6: Do your Kegels By now we are all wary of the ominous damage pregnancy and birth can do to our pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are your number-one preventative measure against incontinence and hemorrhoids, and will also promote quicker recovery after birth. These need to be practiced throughout and after your pregnancy, even if you have had a C-section. Whilst your pelvic floor muscles won’t take the same hit as during natural birth, they’ve still suffered the same nine months of pregnancy wear and tear.

Rule #7: Strengthen your back Back pain is synonymous with child-rearing – both during pregnancy and afterwards. The extra load during pregnancy is an obvious cause, and you will experience postural strain as you are now carrying excess weight around your abdomen. Be sure to include back and neck stretches and exercises during and after your pregnancy. Rule #8: Drink up Make sure you are hydrated before, during and after you exercise – that goes for swimming too! Dehydration can limit blood flow to your uterus, which can result in premature contractions. Rule #9: Stick to moderate temperatures You need to avoid extreme temperatures, both in and out the water. Stick to water and room temperatures around 25 degrees. This means dressing appropriately too, to avoid overheating during your workouts. Rule #10: Don’t chance it All exercise during pregnancy needs to get the doctor’s go-ahead. Always stop exercise immediately if you experience dizziness, pain, fluid leakage, contractions that don’t stop or a general feeling that something is wrong. Any of those symptoms will need to be discussed with your doctor as soon as possible. This article is brought to you by Lisa Raleigh and her new online platform, Mumentoes. For more pregnancy and family content, visit: Lisa Raleigh Fitness Trend Influencer, Wellness Activist, TV Personality, Author, Lifestyle and Wellness Expert email: - Facebook @LisaRaleighSA – Twitter. LisaRaleighTV – Youtube

Conscious Life Magazine

By Sergio Salotto

Raising a child is possibly one of the most beautiful, exciting, interesting, but challenging, difficult and responsible tasks in life for a parent. For some parents, the task looms so large and scary, that it drives them to rather give the child up for adoption. Having a child – especially the first – can and often does unexpectedly turn the parent’s lives and routines totally upside down. It takes away the freedom and independence they enjoyed; the child becomes the centre of their world; it is demanding and needy; there may be little to no time for themselves; and so on. What begins as a wonderful and exciting journey, for many, this may change and become a state of frustration, anxiety, stress, anger, or depression, which start surfacing and begin to strain the bonds of the relationship. . If things were fine before baby came along, the child is likely be held responsible for the issues the arise between the parents. In many cases, the child becomes the object upon which the parents vent their dissatisfaction – with some cases even resulting in horrific abuse and death of the child.

But there is another level of “abuse” we practice that we do not recognise as such because it does not fall in the categories of being physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Instead, it is considered and accepted to be good, responsible parenting – as I elaborate below. The part of conceiving a child is generally one of joy and fun. When it is confirmed that mom is pregnant, there is even greater joy. But at the same time, the realisation begins to set in of the responsibilities that are about to be taken on – creating the ideal home environment, afford it the best education, provide an upbringing the child can one day be proud of, and of course someone the parents will be proud of. It is generally believed that new-born children are born with a blank mind, that they know nothing about life; that as parents we “own” it and so are entitled to decide what is right for the child. Parents thus take on the role and responsibility of ensuring the child is taught, equipped and educated about all its needs to be successful and socially acceptable. These teachings will take the form of schooling, religious instruction, guidance for conforming to social norms and values, acceptable behaviour and all the many other things we need in life. As a child, of course, we have no idea of our parents’ ideals or the plans they have for us. We just do things in the only way we know. Such as:  Crying when we are hungry, have a full nappy, want attention – don’t like to be left alone.  -Eating our food with our hands; pounding our hand into the plate of food and make it splatters all over (great fun).  -Not welcoming mummy, daddy, granny, grandpa with a hug and kiss – we might more readily hug and kiss the dog ... no disrespect intended; we just found the dog to be more important in that moment (isn’t that what free choice is about?).  -Knocking things off the coffee table out of curiosity to see what happens.  -Throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket – do we really care or worry about what other people think? Hell no, we just want what we want.

To our parents, this is misbehaving, naughtiness, disrespect. Something they feel must be corrected, taught manners, obedience and discipline. How do they achieve this? By reprimand and punishment – physical, emotional, screaming and shouting, threatening and all the many things most of us will likely have experienced in our childhood. As we grow and learn to talk, we note that what we say is considered pretty insignificant; we are not given the space to express what we feel or want – even if we are, no one really listens. And our parents keep reminding us that they know what is best for us. As a child, how can we argue or question that? Through these experiences we begin to wonder, question and eventually conclude that maybe the way we are is simply not enough; and we internalise the belief that we are "not good enough." This leads to us deciding that unless we change, we will not be accepted and loved - our greatest fundamental fear and need. In order to make it with our parents (be accepted and loved), we decided that perhaps we need to change our behaviour and attitudes to conform and meet their expectations of how we ought to be (our first compromise on who we truly are).

Then one day we are sent off to school – a daunting and terrifying step for some children, an exciting “adventure” for others. In this new environment we encounter other children, teachers, rules and regulations, disciplines, etc. For example:  -Learning to read and write.  -Learning the multiplication tables et al through repetition.  -Having to pass tests and exams to prove our level of competence, intellect and acceptability  -Behave in class in a manner that is acceptable to the teacher, conform to the school’s rules and regulations else we are punished – from both the school and (likely) our parents (we are so terrible).  -If our standard of work is not to the level of others, we get classified as "abnormal", in need of specialized education or psychological assessment – measured against what society has determined to be the accepted norm.  -No one is really interested in our unique individuality and talents. We are required to meet and conform to the expectations of our teachers, peers and school environment. From the above we realise that to be accepted, we need to behave and do things in the required manner if we are to avoid rejection and punishment. We also learn that in these social environments, if we do not do things as expected and required, we again will not be recognised and accepted. And so we experience how also in this environment we are not allowed to be ourselves – who we are. All of which reinforces our feelings and belief that perhaps we are truly just, "not good enough" – a belief that is becoming more and more our reality.

We also come to experience and realise that this cycle of needing to conform does not end at the school going years. Even as adults we experience and face the same situation in our world of business, politics, religion, and ... practically every other social environment. The requirement to compromise ourselves for the sake of being accepted eventually becomes second nature. And this ultimately results in us living and experiencing our life as victims of our circumstances; unable to exercise freedom of choice to be who we really are. The same way it has been for our parents; and their parents; and their parent’s parents. To address these “challenges” in a constructive and meaningful manner, we need to reassess the parenting processes we are practicing - as handed down from generation to generation. And unless we stop, reconsider and have the willingness to change, we shall continue to exacerbate the problem and also shall pass on the same teachings and practices to our children for their children. Our role and responsibility towards our children is far greater than what we are doing. The way we are doing things is, in my view, comparatively easy to do because all it requires is for us to exercise control.

What we need to recognise is that our children do not belong to us, we do not “own” them. Whether we believe that children are sent to us by God, or that they chose us as their parents, or whatever other belief one may identify with, what all of us ought to be doing is to feel honoured and respectful of having been granted the privilege to conceive and give birth to such a wondrous creation and Being of “God”. Our responsibility therefore should be one of guiding and helping our children to be who they really are by creating an environment that is supportive and allows them to manifest, or “showcase” who and what each child brings to this life.

We should not be in fear of letting go of the beliefs we are holding on to; want to hold on to our senses of rightness at all costs; we need to have the willingness to be wrong and create a truly win-win environment where everyone can be who they really are – unconditionally.

In the words of Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet - which possibly sum all this up best: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Conscious Life Magazine

What every grandparent needs to know

Time sharing your grandkids

Would you know how to respond, for example, if your grandchild asked where babies come from? Most of us have found ourselves in at least one of the following situations.

Are the “other” grandparents more involved with your grandkids than you are? It happens, and it’s tough to deal with. Step back to gain a little perspective, and cultivate other relationships and interests. You can also ask (nicely) your adult children and their spouses for more time with the grandchildren if you feel you’re being shortchanged. Also refrain from making too many comparisons to the other grandparents and know that your grandbabies will never know — or care — which of their grandmothers was most on the ball about nappy rash, burping, and gas.

Move beyond name pain

It’s not a popularity contest

It isn’t easy to embrace fully a baby who has been named after a relative you hated, or who was cruel to you, but experts say the process begins with forgiving the relative who wronged you. Forgiving someone is not the same as saying that their behavior was okay. It simply recognizes that they were in so much pain and confusion that he or she acted in ways that a loving person could not. This allows for the possibility that when you speak your grandchild’s name, you can do so with love and joy, not with waves of pain and hurt. The child may just be the catalyst that motivates you to do the healing that will help release the burden you’ve been carrying.

Are your grandchildren’s parents jealous of their kids’ affection for you? Do your grandkids throw a fit when it’s time to leave your house and go home? The intensity of their fondness for you can be a bitter pill for parents. Here’s some advice: • Let your daughter and son-in-law know that as flattering as it is to be so adored by your grandchildren, you are as eager as they are to take steps to reduce the outbursts and tantrums. • If your grandchildren insist on staying at your house, let them to express themselves but answer firmly: “I know this is not what you want to hear, but tonight you’re sleeping at your house.”

As joyful as grand parenting is, there will inevitably come a moment when you’ll be at a loss for words, or just wish you could leave the room.

Answering THAT question

Bedtime blues

Until adolescent hormones begin raging, a child’s interest in sexual behavior is usually nothing more than innocent curiosity. If your grandkids ask you questions, your responses should be simple. If your granddaughter asks why her little brother’s body is different from hers, don’t give her a college-level anatomy lecture; if she asks where babies come from, don’t give her a dissertation on intercourse. A straightforward answer that girls are different from boys, or that parents who love each other know how to make babies, will likely send the kids happily on their way.

Your grandchildren’s bedtime is 8pm but they refuse to go to sleep. You don’t want to punish them but you want to do what their parents have asked. So what can you do? Hold firm. For the kids’ own good, stay faithful to their usual bedtime routine. Try to be as consistent as possible to what goes on at home. Limit the bedtime drama by standing your ground. Letting things slide comes with a price, usually in the form of inadequate sleep for your grandchildren.

Interfering much? If your daughter (or son) tells you you’re a busybody, it will certainly hurt, but understand that they may have done you a favour by telling you their feelings instead of keeping them bottled up. Rather than taking the comment as an insult, look at it as a gesture they’re making to try to make things better. Ask if there are any specific examples of times when they felt you annoyed them, and then listen. Make the conversation into an information-gathering mission, an opportunity for you to understand specifically what they’re talking about. The clearer an idea you have of what they consider upsetting, the better you’ll be able to avoid doing those things in the future.

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By Amy McCreedy Perhaps your budding artist suddenly disowns the crayon mural in the hallway. Maybe your daughter, who has spent the last hour making mud pies in the backyard, tells you she’s already washed her hands, despite mud caked on her hands. Or your teen tells you he got home last night at curfew when you heard him come in a half-hour late. Whatever the lie, it’s a frustrating challenge for parents. But when we understand why kids lie, we can help our kids become more honest. Lying isn’t always done with ulterior motives. When your preschooler starts lying, it’s simply a new developmental milestone, according to research by Kang Lee, a University of Toronto professor and director of the Institute of Child Study. This shift signifies changes in the way your child organizes information. It’s a normal step, so you don’t need to worry about your little one becoming a pathological liar. The study shows that lying is common from age 4 to 17, and by age 7, kids can tell a lie so well that often their parents can’t even tell they’re being untruthful. But after age 17, lying decreases – so it’s not necessarily a problem that will follow our kids into adulthood. That said, many times kids do have a legitimate reason for stretching the truth – they want to avoid punishment, disappointing their parents or an unpleasant outcome. Would you be honest if you knew it would cause you humiliation, a lecture, a punishment or being yelled at? It’s hard for a child to tell the truth when they know those will be the outcomes. Your child doesn’t want to disappoint you, either. So they may fib about a poor choice they made or make up ridiculous stories to impress you.

And naturally, when our kids blatantly lie to us, we want to punish them to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens – when we punish kids for lying, they’ll keep doing it in the hopes of avoiding any future punishment. So if we can’t punish them, how do we put a stop to the lies? Keeping in mind the reasons why kids lie, we can create an environment where they feel safe telling the truth. The following seven tips can help you make your home a more honest place. Keep calm and parent on. Watch how you respond to misbehavior and mistakes in your home, whether it’s spilled juice on the carpet or unfinished chores. If your kids worry about being yelled at or punished when they mess up, they won’t want to come to you with the truth. Focus on using a calm voice – yes, it can be tough, but it’s possible. That doesn’t mean kids are off the hook for lying. But instead of getting angry and assigning blame, discuss solutions to the problem with your child .Don’t set up a lie. If you can see piles of laundry on your daughter’s floor, don’t ask her if she’s cleaned up her room yet. When we ask questions to which we already know the answer, we’re giving our children the opportunity to tell a lie. Instead, emphasize ways to address the situation. If you know Evan hasn’t touched his homework, ask him, “What are your plans for finishing your homework?” Instead of “Where did all this mud come from?” ask, “What can we do to clean this up and make sure it doesn’t happen next time?” This can help head off a power struggle and allows your child to save face by focusing on a plan of action instead of fabricating an excuse. It also teaches a lesson of what they can do next time – sitting down with homework right after school or taking off their shoes in the mudroom instead of the living room – to avoid problems. Get the whole truth. While we may want to put our child on the spot when we catch them in a lie, accusing or blaming them will only make things worse. Getting to the root of the problem and understanding why she couldn’t be honest with you will help you encourage your child to tell the truth in the future. Open up a conversation gently, saying, “that sounds like a story to me. You must be worried about something and afraid to tell the truth. Let’s talk about that. What would help you be honest?” You can use the information you glean to help her be more truthful in the future. Celebrate honesty. Even if you’re upset that there’s a sea of water on the bathroom floor because your daughter tried to give her dolls a bath in the sink, commend her for coming to you and telling the truth. Tell her, “I really appreciate you telling me what really happened. That must have been difficult for you, but I really appreciate you telling the truth and taking responsibility.”

Delight in do-overs. Think of mistakes as a way to learn how to make better choices. When we stay calm and avoid yelling or punishing our kids for mistakes, our kids will be more likely to admit their slip-ups in the future. Turn the mistake into a learning opportunity. Ask, “If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently?” and brainstorm different ideas. If someone else was affected – maybe he broke his sister’s scooter – ask what he can do to make it right with the other party. Show the love. Let your kids know you love them unconditionally, even when they make mistakes. Make sure they know that while you don’t like their poor behavior, you will never love them any less because of the mistakes they might make. This helps your kids feel safe opening up to you. Walk the talk. Remember that your kids are always looking to you and learning from your actions. Those little white lies we tell, whether it’s to get out of dog sitting for the neighbors or helping with the school fundraiser, aren’t harmless – they’re showing your kids that it’s okay to lie. These tips will help start your family on a path for a more honest household. But remember that it takes time to build up trust. Be patient. However, if your child continues to lie often or lies with the intention of hurting others, you may want to consider counseling or other professional help. Creating an environment where kids feel safe telling the truth not only cuts down on lying day to day, but it helps your child build character traits that will serve her throughout adulthood. Feeling overwhelmed? Ready to say goodbye to TANTRUMS and TEARS and create an environment for JOY and PEACE? Sign up for our free video series to learn No Stress Steps to Get Kids to Listen…Without Losing Your Cool. Get instant access to videos here:

Do you have a son who struggles with reading and writing? If so, you are not alone.

By Kara Do your boys struggle with reading? If so, you are not alone. It’s a fact that boys don’t read as much as girls. This reading gender gap is affecting boys’ performance in high school and beyond. So how can we encourage boys to read? Here are some tips to encourage boys to read: Quick facts about boys and that show why getting them to read is so important. Boys are falling behind girls in reading in every state and in every grade. Boys are more likely than girls to be placed in special education. Boys are more likely than girls to drop out of high school. Boys are less likely than girls to go to a university. All of these things are tied to reading ability and as a mom of 4 boys, this is pretty scary! But there are some things we can do to encourage our boys to read.

HOW TO ENCOURAGE BOYS TO READ 1. READ TOGETHER I started reading to my sons shortly after they were born. Even now we spend time reading together and I take that time to discuss what is happening in the stories we read. My boys are always excited to get one-on-one time with mom and reading with someone else helps them to pay attention to the book. When you start young, they grow up with a love of reading.

2. SLOW DOWN One of my boys has one speed: FAST. It is hard to get him to sit down to read and then it is hard to keep him focused on what he is reading. It was while reading with my son that I realized he wasn’t comprehending very much of what read. He was reading for speed and just wanted to get finished with chapters. I set time limits, instead of page requirements for him to read. That way, he isn’t in a hurry just to finish a chapter so he can do something else. His reading skills have improved exponentially over the past year.

3. MAKE IT FUN – NO PRESSURE I remember trying to force my oldest son to learn to read. I even checked out reading programs from the library and would make him sit while I tried to teach him. He hated it. I hated it. We were both unhappy. Once I took the pressure off, he learned to read easily. We loved reading the I See Sam Phonics Books. These were recommended by our first preschool teacher and I ordered the entire set. All of my boys have learned to read with these fun books and their silly characters. My boys never felt like they are being pressured. They actually loved seeing what shenanigans the characters would be a part of next.

4. GO TO THE LIBRARY I started taking my boys to the library story time when they were toddlers. They had fun listening to stories and looking for new books. Now, they get excited to go to the library to choose out something new. My older boys even ask the librarians for suggestions of books they might like. Our library has a free summer reading program where kids earn prizes for reading, weekly story times geared towards different age groups and a book club for older kids.

5. GIVE BOOKS AS GIFTS My grandma gave us a book for every birthday and every Christmas. It was those books that I enjoyed the most and anticipated. In order for boys to enjoy reading, books need to be readily available and they need to be exposed to a variety of different books.

6. CHOOSE READING MATERIAL THAT THEY ENJOY I have always had the belief that as long as my boys are reading, then I don’t care what they read (as long as the material is age appropriate). One of my boys went through a comic book phase. But he would sit and read comic books for hours. I was happy that he was reading. Find something that they are interested in and make it available to them.

7. BE INVOLVED IN SCHOOL EVENTS THAT ENCOURAGE READING Our school has reading week once a year where students are encouraged to read as much as they can and take Accelerated Reading tests for comprehension. There are a lot of rewards and parties for their hard work and I know they can use parent involvement to help them out. I try to take my boys in early during the week so they can take A.R. tests before school.

8. BE IN CONTACT WITH YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER If your child is struggling with reading or not wanting to read, his/her teacher is your best resource. Go to them with your concerns and they should be able to help you to work out a plan to help your child.

9. SET READING GOALS If your child is hesitant to read, set some reading goals with them. I love that our school participates in the Accelerated Reading program. Children are encouraged to read and reach different A.R. goals where they are recognized by the school. Last year, my 3rd grader met his goal of getting 250 AR points and had his name put on a plaque in the school. That was a goal he has had for a couple of years and he was excited to meet it. But even at home, a simple reward for finishing a book or reading so many hours, can really encourage boys to read.

I love this quote and really believe it:

You’ve barely got a grip on the sex talk and Holy Cats! You need to have a porn talk too? Ugh. The reason to talk to your kids about pornography is probably pretty obvious — your kids are online and so is porn and chances are…the two will eventually collide. The sad story is this: every child will see pornography by the time they get through puberty – probably sooner. Whether they access it themselves, a kid on the bus shares it from a smartphone, or it pops up on a computer screen – unfortunately, your kids will see pornography. Children need to be prepared so they know what to do when they see pornography. And guess what? YOU are the best person for the job. Yay! #ParentingRocks #Not I think it’s helpful (and motivating) to know the average age kids see pornography is around 10 years old. This means you need to start talking about it before they see it and help them to understand: what they might see, and what to do if and when they encounter porn.

The following scripts will give you a game plan for having this discussion. Adapt the scripts to suit your values and the ages of your kids. This means the younger your kids, the less detail; the older, the more detail.

You will want to address this issue regularly throughout childhood. As your kids get older and more interested in sex, it’s important to make sure they are relying on safe sources for their information about sexuality.

Script Part Concern

One of the best things you can do for your kids is to make sure they are well informed about sexuality and relationships. This means having open and regular conversations about the birds and the bees. When children know about sex (the real thing), have trustworthy resources (and books) and a caring adult who talks to them about this part of life, they do better and make healthier choices. Their curiosity is lessened because they are full of your values about sex and factual, age appropriate information.




Sometimes people look at videos of naked people or of people having sex on the internet. This is called “pornography or porn” and it can be scary and confusing to see. It is definitely not for kids. Their hearts and minds aren’t ready to see this kind of thing because kids aren’t ready for sex. As kids get older, they have more and more interest in sex. Wanting to learn more about sex is totally natural and normal. Sometimes kids will look at porn on the internet because they are curious or find it exciting. Porn is not real sex — it’s someone’s fantasy about what sex could be like.

Script Part 2: Establish Family Rule/Values The rule in our family is porn is off-limits. I want you to know you can tell me if you’ve looked at porn. I won’t be mad but it’s something we’ll definitely need to talk about. If you see porn, you need to turn off the computer or get off the website and come and let me know. You won’t be in trouble. I need to make sure you are okay and that we can stop it from happening again.

Script Part 3: Explore “What if’s…” What can you do if you see pornography on the internet? What is your plan if someone shows you porn on their phone or computer? What could you say? Who would you tell?


Amy Lang, MA Sexual Health Educator

A sexual health educator for over 20 years, Amy Lang, MA teaches parents and caregivers of all beliefs how to talk to their kids about the birds and the bees. She is the author of the award winning book Birds + Bees + YOUR Kids – A Guide to Sharing Your Beliefs About Sexuality, Love, and Relationships and Dating Smarts: What Every Teen Needs to Know to Date, Relate or Wait. Amy is still married to her first husband and they are getting the hang of parenting their teenage son. She lives in Seattle, WA. Learn more at

By Leanne Gray As a Montessori parent, figuring out what your child did all day can be particularly challenging. “How was your day” is a particularly useless question, as it asks for a judgment of the entire day in a word or two (good, bad, interesting). “What did you do today?” won't get you far either. Even if your child was happily engaged in work all morning, she may still say she did “nothing” all day. And on the surface, it may even look like your child is doing nothing (which is of course far from true.) Your focus will become your child's focus, so steer clear of questions like “Did you get a new presentation today?” or “Did you get all your math work finished?” Look instead for open-ended, process focused questions that allow your child to actively reflect and make connections. This shifted focus will strengthen your child's ability to think for herself, draw new, creative solutions to problems, and have confidence in her abilities. These questions below focus on recalling a specific event or piece of information, and are designed to spark a conversation. If your child doesn't begin talking, ask a follow up question (Like what?... Why?...Tell me more.) Some of these also take thinking one step further and encourage reflection, evaluation, application, and empathy. Young children are just developing the capacity for these advanced thinking skills, so you might get a non-logical answer back!

Today I challenge you to ask your child at least one of these questions. Write a few down and keep them in your car, purse, or wallet if you like. Note: your child may take much longer to answer, as these questions require more complex thinking. Be sure to wait up to 30 seconds before repeating yourself.

Primary Montessori: (ages 3-5) 1. What is something that went really well today? 2. What is something that was challenging today? 3. What was really fun today? 4. What new thing did you try today? 5. How did you help a friend today? ...How do you think they felt after you helped? 6. How did you take care of your classroom today?... What if no one helped take care of the classroom? 7. Did you read a book today? What was it about? 8. How are you feeling right now? ...What else?....What else?...What else? 9. Did you need help with something today? How did you solve it? 10. What did you eat for snack/lunch? Was anything particularly delicious?

5 bonus questions for Elem (6-9) 1. What project are you working on now? How do you feel about your progress? (reflection, evaluation) 2. How were you kind to your classmates today? (reflection, evaluation, empathy) 3. Tell me an amazing thing you learned today. Is it a fact or an opinion? (application, reflection) 4. Is there something that you said or did that you would take back now? What would you do instead? (empathy, evaluation, problem solving) 5. How is your guide feeling today? (encourages conversation, listening, and empathy)

Leanne Gray, M.Ed. is the owner of The Prepared Environment, which supports families in creating an ideal environment for their children at home. She has over fifteen years experience working with children in both public, private, and Montessori schools, and is AMI primary trained. You can always contact her for personalized support and answers to your questions.

Seven reasons why you want to change to a MOONCUP

Menstrual cups are starting to make way into women’s lives. The Mooncup, a reusable silicone menstrual cup and worn internally like a tampon. It is a worry-free option that lasts up to eight hours – and can hold three times more than a conventional tampon or pad therefore doesn’t need changing as often. So from start to finish you won’t need to spare a thought for your sanitary protection. The Mooncup is the original medical grade silicone menstrual cup, made in the UK by a certified ethical business. Why are women making the change? 1. Once it’s in – you don’t need to carry extra products for the day. 2. You only need to change it every 8 hours. A Mooncup holds 30%more blood than any tampon of sanitary pad therefore you have to change it less. 3. Most sanitary products can dry you out and leave fibres behind while the Mooncup is designed to respect your natural balance. 4. It doesn’t leak in your sleep. No more waking up to sleeping in a pool of blood. 5. You feel sexy while menstruating 6. You can carry on your life – sport is a breeze. 7. No need for a sanitary pad or tampons draw anymore. It’s not easy to research feminine hygiene products because manufacturers of tampons and sanitary pads are not required to disclose the ingredients used in their products .The two biggest culprits proven to cause health problems in non-organic tampons are rayon and dioxin. • Rayon is commonly chlorine-bleached, and is a highly absorbent fibre. Did you know that common brands of tampons are made mostly from rayon? • Furthermore, dioxin, a toxic carcinogen, is a byproduct of all chlorine bleaching methods and is also found throughout the environment in varying levels as a by-product of pesticide spraying and pollution from incinerators that has been on the rise since the 1940’s. But it’s not just from farming methods that dioxin finds its way into your sanitary ware – it is also a by-product from chlorine bleaching. Dioxin will leave detectable residuals in any product that has been bleached with any type of chlorine bleach. Published scientific reports have shown that evidence is growing that even low levels of dioxins may be linked to cancer, endometriosis and immune system suppression. Considering a woman may use as many as 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, she may be subjecting herself to additional dioxin exposure

So you’re looking for an effective birth control method that best suits your body and your lifestyle? You know about the pill, the Mirena and the injection, but all of these are hormonal contraceptives that will disrupt your endocrine system in order to work effectively. So what other options are out there? I find that alternative birth control methods are not a topic that I hear very often in women’s daily conversations, and women sometimes ask me: “What happens if I do not want to take a hormonal contraceptive?”

“The Justisse Method has an effectiveness rate of 99.6% when used correctly – exactly the same as the pill.“

Well, what did women do before the invention of the pill a mere 54 years ago?

What are the benefits of The Justisse Method Of Fertility Awareness?

They had an effective method to avoid pregnancy which has been improved over the years and has developed into an effective, scientific method called Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM). There are a variety of methods that fall under the FAM umbrella, including the Billings Method, the Sympo-Thermal Method, the Creighton Method. They all differ slightly, this article is going to focus specifically The Justisse Method of Fertility Awareness. However these scientific methods should not be confused with the Rhythm Method, which is simply a mathematical calculation and not an effective birth control method.

“…these scientific methods should not be confused with the Rhythm Method, which is simply a mathematical calculation and NOT an effective birth control method.”

Conscious Life Magazine

The Justisse Method has an effectiveness rate of 99.6% when used correctly – exactly the same as the pill. However, the benefits of this natural method go far beyond just a means to avoid pregnancy.

Women who use the Justisse method as a birth control method find notice the following benefits: • The overall costs are far cheaper as there is just a once-off cost to learn the method, and once you have understood and grasped the method there are no further financial costs involved. • As you are not ingesting any chemical hormones it doesn’t kill your sex drive. Women experience their sexual libido naturally and therefore couples who use this method report having sex more often than couples using hormonal contraception. • It’s a complete health care option – if your body is not functioning optimally you will be able to see it on your charts. It also enables you to monitor stress levels, helps to keep your lifestyle choices on a healthy path, and provides an early clue to potentially devastating diseases, which enables you to practice preventative medicine. • There are no side effects (such as weight gain, deep vein thrombosis, breast cancer or strokes). • The knowledge you’ll gain from this method is empowering, and understanding the ins and outs of your body is liberating.

• This method is a highly effective birth control option, but when you are ready to start a family or grow your current family you will know exactly when to have sex in order to fall pregnant.

“In the past there was very little research conducted into alternative birth control methods…” So if this method is so effective and there are so many benefits, why have we not heard about it in main stream media, from our doctors or from our moms? The answers are simple.

In the past there was very little research conducted into alternative birth control methods, which resulted in many unplanned pregnancies. However, times have changed, extensive research has gone into the Justisse method, and we now sit with a highly effective method to avoid pregnancy, achieve pregnancy or simply monitor your reproductive health. The other reason that Justisse method is not spoken about more often is that it takes time to learn this method and doctors do not have the time to sit and teach their patients.

“…without this mucus you actually cannot fall pregnant, so this mucus is very important.” How does the NFP method work? This method requires a woman to observe, chart and interpret menstrual cycle events that tell her when she is fertile or infertile.

Each day, you take your temperature with a special basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer and chart what we call cervical mucus.

Cervical mucus is the white, opaque gel-like substance that you have probably noticed on the toilet paper after going to the toilet. Perhaps it even freaked you out a bit. The good news is that you do not have an STI. It is completely normal for all women to have this and it is the basis to understanding when you are fertile and when you are not. Let me highlight here that without this mucus you actually cannot fall pregnant, so this mucus is very important.

“…you will learn how to identify when you have ovulated, when you are fertile, how long your luteal phase is, when to expect your next menstruation…” Writing down these notations each day will eventually create a fascinating picture of what is happening in your body during each cycle. While learning to chart, you will learn how to identify when you have ovulated, when you are fertile and infertile, how long your luteal phase is, when to expect your next menstruation, how to identify if you are pregnant or not, or if you are eating food that you are intolerant to. Did you know? A fact that surprisingly few people know is that a woman is only fertile for a couple of days (sometimes as long as a week) during each cycle, and it is only during this time that she can fall pregnant. Men, on the other hand, are fertile every single day of the month.

So if a women is only fertile for such a short duration, how do so many women have unplanned pregnancies? Well a man’s sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to five days in the right conditions, so you could have sex today but only conceive next week.

“…a man’s sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to five days in the right conditions…” A window into your well-being The Justisse method is a very useful way to monitor and improve your reproductive health. It’s important to be aware that: “The menstrual cycle is a window into the general health and well-being of women, and not just a reproductive event. It can indicate the status of bone health, heart disease, and ovarian failure, as well as long-term fertility.

“The menstrual cycle is a window into the general health and well-being of women…”

“…it is the first sign that something else could be going on” Therefore, if a woman is not having her period, bleeding excessively or having severe menstrual cramps it is the first sign that something else could be going on.” (Paula Hillard, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology & Paediatrics, University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine) Understanding that there are alternative effective birth control options that have been around for a long time gives women confidence in their ability to choose the method that is right for them. Don’t be scared to ask questions. Don’t be coerced into a using method that you do not agree with, and make sure you know the pros and cons of the method you choose. Article written by Claudia Slattery Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner MA (PTA) Human Movement Science

While basic trail mixes have been around for many years, usually based around fried peanuts etc, On The Go is a premium market brand using a wide range of choice grade fruits and nuts. With interesting inclusions such as swirls, lemon twists etc, we have not only created a unique taste profile, we have created a unique selling proposition.


Clicks Dischem SG Convenience stores Makro Game

Contact On the Go Tel: +27 31 569 5424

Actress, Anji Woodley is no stranger to the lights, the cameras and the action. But what she really enjoys doing…. COOKING! She shares with us one of her very own recipes.

Homemade Basil Pesto If you have grown an abundance of basil here is a yummy recipe that you can make as often as you want. If you haven’t yet explored the wonderful world of home-grown herbs, you can simply buy a fresh bag of basil from your local supermarket. “I am all about fresh, natural and wholesome ingredients!” says Anji.

Ingredients: • • • • •

2 handfuls of basil leaves 1 small pack 50/75 gram pack of pine nuts 4 tbs olive oil 1/4 tsp fresh garlic Salt and pepper to season.

Instructions: • • • •

The method is incredibly simple… Blend all together in a processor and Voilà basil pesto! Serve on toasted ciabatta, in a salad, with soup, or in a pasta like I did for Green Monday’s. ENJOY!

Conscious Life Magazine

By Heather Picton - ADHASA Founder

It is now commonly accepted that eating the right foods can make us healthier. However few people recognise the huge impact that the right foods (and the way we combine them) can have on our health, physical ability, behaviour, concentration, mood and social interaction. The benefits that we gain depend upon our own unique make-up and the extent to which we are meeting our particular dietary needs. There are several dietary principles to be observed in improving nutritional status. Ideally we should be following them all, but for some this could be introducing too much too soon. If this is the case for you then make it more do-able by tackling one area at a time and then build on it.

“Avoid over-processed products” A good place to start is by eating real foods – you should still be able to recognise what they are. Avoid over-processed products.

A. Supplement with EFAs Eighty percent of the western world has essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiencies.

 Omega 3 - Fatty Fish Oil e.g. unflavoured cod liver oil. Capsules: halibut liver oil, cold pressed salmon oil. Flaxseed oil contains both the omega 3 and omega 6 series of EFAs  Omega 6 - There is much controversy about omega 6 with claims that we get too much damaged omega 6 from junk and fried foods – these damaged oils are bad for the body. At the same time many people take supplements which include undamaged omega 6. A note of caution - it has been said that people with temporal lobe epilepsy should avoid evening primrose oil (a source of omega 6).

Conscious Life Magazine

 Remember to add the vitamins and minerals needed to metabolise EFAs (not necessary for fish oil). Use a good multivitamin and mineral supplement and make sure that it is free of synthetic colourants and synthetic flavourants. Some supplements contain EFAs, but usually not enough.

B. Avoid that which prevents the body from using EFAs, or prevents the body from functioning at optimal levels.  Artificial colourants and artificial flavourants.  Synthetic Antioxidant preservatives, eg EDTA, BHA, BHT, TBHQ. Avoid confusing them with antioxidants in Vits A,C,E which are OK.  Calcium Propionate – research in Australia showed that Calcium Propionate (added to bread) can interfere with concentration and, although rare, can cause wild mood swings in some children.  Benzoic Acid, Benzoates, Sulphur dioxide, Sulphates, Sulphites.  MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)  At all times avoid bought cakes and pies, bought hamburger patties, fish fingers, packet soups and sauces, processed meats and polonies, iced tea (in tins), cordials, fruit squashes and fizzy drinks. They usually contain the above additives. Try to find equally tasty but healthier alternatives so that you never feel deprived.

C. Maintain Stable Blood Glucose Levels by

D. Adequate numbers of Intestinal Flora

eating meals consisting of mainly low GI carbohydrates (that release glucose slowly into the bloodstream), combined with a small portion of protein.

assists digestive function and keeps us more comfortable.

Maintain Stable Blood Glucose Levels by eating meals consisting of mainly low GI carbohydrates (that release glucose slowly into the bloodstream), combined with a small portion of protein. 1. Start the day with a balanced breakfast: apple slices, rolled oats porridge (see the ADHASA food list) cooked in milk, OR scrambled egg on toast with a slice of tomato or cucumber), or boiled egg with ryevita. Smoothies made with intermediate or low GI fruit and full cream greek-style yoghurt are great, and even ‘healthy’ leftovers are fine. 2. Eat three balanced meals a day. Many people need a small (healthy) snack between meals and sometimes a snack before they go to bed. This is especially the case if dinner is very early. Balanced meals and snacks can be prepared by using mainly slow releasing carbohydrates such as dense heavy breads; tasmati, basmati or brown rice, legumes(dried beans, lentils, peas); rolled oats (make sure you can still recognise the grain), oat bran; citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, naartjies); deciduous fruits (apples, pears, peaches, cherries, plums, apricots etc); kiwi fruit, small portion of grapes; sweet potato, mealies, corn and pasta made from durum wheat/semolina. Most green vegetables. To this add smaller portions of carbohydrate with intermediate glucose release such as boiled new baby potatoes (with skins), beetroot, sweet corn, marog, tropical fruits, rye bread, and add protein: lean meat, fatty fish, chicken, eggs, cheese, milk and yoghurt. The smallest portion of any meal should come from the foods that release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream: anything with cake flour as the main ingredient, large potatoes, bread and rolls, sticky rice, samp, mealie meal, matzos, pretzels, melon family and watermelon. Melon and watermelon provide healthy nutrients. Keep the rest to a minimum. Oil, butter, salad dressings, nuts should be used in moderation. Avocado pear is excellent.

“The smallest portion of any meal should come from the foods that release glucose rapidly”

Can improve absorption of nutrients and also support immune function. May improve smelly winds/breath. A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU ON YOUR WAY:  Get into the habit of choosing unprocessed and unrefined foods.  Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and protein. Avoid fried foods and a high intake of coffee, tea or alcohol.  A small snack between meals such as a sandwich, an apple, plain popcorn, plain biltong (preferably game), a few nuts or cheese – may help maintain concentration and stabilise emotions and mood.  Keep sugar to a minimum and never eat sweets or sugary biscuits on an empty tummy. If eating sweets, avoid those with colourants. The World Health Organisation has suggested that sugar intake should be reduced – but more about that in a future edition.  Keep fried food to a minimum – grill instead.  Spoil yourself go out and find those healthier and tastier foods to replace the junk.  Read labels! Join ADHASA and use their food list. This is a list of foods free of the additives most likely to affect sensitive people. ( It doesn’t tackle GI levels).  Many people have food allergies and/or sensitivities, and often these are to wheat and milk. They may also react to other foods. If you become more irritable after eating a certain food it may be that it disagrees with you. You might need to have it checked.  Ideally the whole family should be involved with healthier eating – ultimately everyone benefits. Obviously there can be many reasons for people not functioning at their best levels. Diet is not the only reason however it can be a most important factor. So when moving to a healthier eating lifestyle try to recognise the improvements that are taking place. It might be the extra organisation that could creep into your life, or that your thinking seems more clear. Are your children coping better? Do they settle down more easily with their homework? Are frustration levels in the home lower? Improvements differ from person to person depending upon the extent to which their own nutritional requirements and being met. It is often only when people (adults and children) experience the difference that healthier eating has made in their lives, and how much better they feel, that they take responsibility for what they eat.

Conscious Life Magazine

By Lisa Raleigh

Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart, muscles and nerves also rely on calcium to function optimally. If you don’t get enough calcium, your body suffers the consequence of weak bones and related ailments. Children might not reach their full potential adult height, whilst adults may have low bone mass, which is a high risk factor for osteoporosis. When we think of “calcium”, many of us immediately think of “milk” Whilst there are benefits worth mentioning in the right kinds of milk, majority of our milk products today contain toxins like bovine growth hormones and antibiotics. Conscious Life Magazine

Homogenized and pasteurized milk in particular may have high amounts of this important mineral, but it is not necessarily well absorbed or utilized in the body.

“…majority of our milk products today contain toxins…” Dark Leafy Greens Spinach takes first prize as a rich amongst greens as a source of calcium, but green leaves like kale, collards, bok choy and rocket will all pack a health punch. The facts: Spinach in particular offers around 290gs of calcium per cup. Make it happen: Tossing baby spinach in garlic, chilli and olive oil and frying makes a surprisingly simple and delicious side dish. Switch up your regular ice berg lettuce with dark leaves and rocket in salads.

Sesame Seeds These small white seeds seen frequently atop breads and rolls very high in calcium, as well as other important vitamins and minerals. The facts: Raw sesame seeds contains a hefty 1000mg of calcium per 100 gram serving. Popular Tahini pastes and butters are sesame seed-based, containing 426mg per serving of 100 grams.

Make it happen: Sesame seeds are easy to throw into salads and veggie mixes. Also add them into your daily smoothie for added goodness. Including them into your crumb mixture for chicken strips also makes a delicious option.

Tinned Sardines Apart from regular fish, sardines are particularly rich in calcium as the bones are eaten as well. The facts: 125g tin of sardines contains roughly 575mg calcium.

Make it happen: Since they are already in a tomato sauce, combining sardines with thin noodles and a pasta sauce makes a tasty meal. Dehydrating / drying them out will give a crunchy, chip-like texture - a Portuguese delicacy.

“Raw Sesame Seeds contain a hefty 1000mg of Calcium per 100g serving�

The facts: Raw - whole or ground - almonds contain about 266mg of calcium per 100g. Make it happen: Enjoy almonds on their own in a trail mix with seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Dry frying almond flakes very briefly will add a delicious crunch to salads and stir-fries, even pastas.

Calcium supplements


Quality supplementation is one of the easiest ways to guarantee you meet your calcium needs. Here is a quick guideline of your daily recommendations.

Underestimated and underutilised, quinoa is a light and healthy wheat-free wholegrain.


Daily RDA

19-50 years 51-70 years 71 and older

1,000 mg 1,000 mg 1,200 mg


Daily RDA

19-50 years 51 and older

1,000 mg 1,200 mg

The facts: One cup of cooked quinoa provides between 60-100 mg of calcium, as well as potassium, protein and zinc. Make it happen: Quinoa is an equal to cous cous and barley in salads, veggie mixes and stir-fries. Remember to rinse thoroughly before cooking.

Daily upper limit 2,500 mg 2,000 mg 2,000 mg

Daily upper limit 2,500 mg 2,000 mg

Oranges More commonly recognised for their Vitamin C benefits, oranges and fresh orange juice also pack a great calcium punch. In addition to this, they are a great source of potassium and beta carotene. The facts: One cup of freshly-squeezed organic orange juice provides roughly 72mg of calcium. Make it happen: Great on their own or freshly squeezed, skip the preservative-laden store bought juices and make your own. Orange cubes, yoghurt, a few torn mint leaves and a drizzle of honey makes a delicious snack.

White Beans Many common beans are high in calcium, and white beans are particularly rich. The facts: Most white beans have roughly 175mg of calcium per cup serving. Make it happen: Beans make a great soup base, particularly with fussy eaters. Dry roasting them briefly in the oven before tossing into chopped tomatoes, red onions, a green chilli, coriander and lime juice makes for a delicious salsa.

Almonds Almonds are another set of unsung heroes when it comes to nutritional value.

Conscious Life Magazine

The Earth Expo brings you a realistic environment to journey through your day engaging with the products and services that will help you to #MakeBetterChoices and be a more conscious and responsible consumer. It’s not just up to the world leaders, corporations and governments to address climate change it is up to each and every one of us. From the most simple change of your cleaning products to going off the grid, building green and everything in between. The show will host a number of workshops within our 5 main categories namely; Food, Beverage & Nutrition, Interior Design, Décor & Landscape, Fashion & Beauty, Technology and Building.

“The misunderstanding of sustainability meaning only organic or natural products, will be demystified…” Our speakers will bring the education on sustainable living to life addressing multiple subjects in sustainable living and the lifecycles of the things we live with daily in any built environment in which we spend our time. The misunderstanding of sustainability meaning only organic or natural products, will be demystified to display the entrepreneurs, SME’s and organisations making a concerted effort in promoting economic growth, skills development, job creation and those addressing their core business principles, material selections and processes to become more environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long term. The process includes encouraging and guiding those businesses not yet the darkest shade of green to address these core elements and become industry leaders in sustainable innovation. To add true integrity Earth Expo have partnered with Innogreen Build and their partners to build one of the show structures comprising only truly green building materials and elements.

These will all be donated to a worthy and need social responsibility project after the show. As shows are generally wasteful, the Earth Expo team have made it a priority to reduce and off-set their carbon footprint by partnering with and introducing a number of initiatives such as; A paperless system for information sharing and interaction between our visitors and exhibitors which eliminates expensive and wasteful printing of marketing materials, Uber ride sharing for car-pooling to the show which will be reported on post-show, Off-grid energy to run the show and energy requirements and a percentage of all ticket sales will be given to GreenPop for their treevolution planting initiatives to offset what we are unable to avoid. Our exhibitors are covering every element of living and showcasing an exciting and diverse variety of products within the rooms of the home which include; Garden, Patio, Kitchen, Dining Room, Lounge, Bedroom, Bathroom, Walk-in-Cupboard, Kids Room, Office, Health & Wellness in the home, and our Building & Technology to be hosted in our Innogreen Build structure. Join us on our Journey for Change. The Earth Expo takes place between 11 -14 august at Montecasino in Johannesburg. For more info check out or find us on Facebook

Conscious Life Magazine

Fulvic Acid: Why we need it FulvicForce tonic is a fulvic acid solution extracted from the primeval South African coal deposits in Waterberg. Its primary and key active component, fulvic acid, is the final product of the natural humification process – the decomposition of once-living matter, mainly plants. All humic substances, particularly fulvic acid, being used as natural remedies for a very long time, are known for their biological activity and beneficial properties. Fulvic acid is critical to the existence, growth and wellbeing of plants. It absorbs minerals, nutrients and biologicallysignificant elements present in soil as a result of microbial action, transforms inorganic minerals and trace elements into bio-available forms, and easily transfers its rich pristine content inside plants’ living cells. It benefits humans in exactly the same way. The valuable properties of fulvic acid are well documented. For example, research shows that it has anti-viral, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial and antiinflammatory effects. Its usefulness for a wide variety of skin related conditions has also been demonstrated. But the spectrum of nutritional and remedial support of fulvic acid is much wider. FulvicForce dietary supplement is manufactured in South Africa using a patented process of re-oxygenation of coal back to its humic and fulvic content. Thus, the product may be considered an extract from ancient plants, carrying their substantial mineral, nutritional and remedial value, from long before human industrial activities started the destruction of the Earth’s natural food resources.

Conscious Life Magazine

Quinoa Vegetable Soup with Kale This healthy homemade vegetable soup is full of veggies, kale and protein-packed quinoa. Simple, healthy and yielding freezer-friendly leftovers, this soup makes a great weekly staple. Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

3 tablespoons coconut oil 1 onion, chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 to 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables, like zucchini, peppers, sweet potatoes or butternut 6 garlic cloves, crushed ½ teaspoon dried thyme 1 can diced tomatoes 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly 1 can kidney beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 cup or more chopped fresh kale or collard greens, tough ribs removed 1 teaspoon lemon juice 4 cups vegetable broth 2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste 2 bay leaves Pinch red pepper flakes Freshly ground black pepper cheese or thinly sliced Kalamata olives

Method: • Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, seasonal vegetables and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion has softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. • Add the garlic and thyme. Cook for about 1 minute, then add in diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often. • Pour in the quinoa, broth and water. Add salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. • Cook for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and add the beans and the chopped greens. Continue simmering for 5 minutes or more, until the greens have softened. • Remove the pot from heat, remove in bay leaves and stir in lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt and pepper to your liking.

Conscious Life Magazine

Creamy Chia Pudding Skip traditional sugar-laden pudding for this delicious and healthy alternative. Recipe yields 3 to 4 small servings.

Ingredients: • • • •

1½ cups water ¼ cup chia seeds 6 large dates ⅔ cup raw cashews (soaked if you don't have a high-powered blender) • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract • Pinch of salt

Instructions: • In a bowl or jug, combine the water and chia seeds. Set aside until the mixture forms a gel, about 20 minutes. • If your dates need softening, place them in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Set aside for up to 20 minutes, or until the chia seeds are ready. Drain and pit. • In a blender, combine the pitted dates with the cashews, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour in the chia gel and blend thoroughly. • Serve individual portions of pudding and top with any garnishes you'd like. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Below.: Salvia Hispanica – Commonly known as Chia

Conscious Life Magazine

Scrumptious Smoothie Bowl for Baby & Mom

Recipe from Naturally Savvy

Smoothie bowls are becoming popular not just because of their pleasing taste and eye-catching colors, but due to the health benefits you can get from them as well. What’s more, almost anyone can satisfy their taste buds with a smoothie bowl. Let your creativity run wild by combining different types of fresh and organically grown fruits and vegetables to create a nutritious and delicious mix. An example is this Spinach, Mango and Pear Green Smoothie Bowl recipe from Naturally Savvy. Not only is this something that your kids will enjoy, it’s also a good snack that mom and/or dad will love, and will set them up for improved health.

Ingredients 2 organic mangoes 1 organic pear 1 tsp. coconut oil 250 ml organic baby spinach ¼ to ½ cup of water

Optional: Make this for mom too. To half the recipe, simply add 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder or 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds, use raw spinach, and a bit more water to desired consistency. So yummy!

Procedure: Wash, peel, core, and dice mango and pear. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Drain excess oil from spinach. Place spinach, mango, and pear in a food processor and blend until desired texture, adding water as needed. Once prepared, refrigerate your homemade baby food within 2 hours and use within 24 hours. For later use, store the puree in the freezer in airtight containers portioned into individual serving-sizes and use within one week.

Boost Your Health With This Delicious Spinach, Mango and Pear Green Smoothie Bowl Getting your kids to eat healthy while they’re young can be difficult, but the rewards are beneficial, as the vitamins and nutrients in healthy foods, like the ingredients used in this recipe, can positively impact their growth and overall well-being. Spinach is a leafy green that is abundant in different vitamins, B vitamins and minerals that benefit your nervous and cardiovascular systems. Most of spinach’s health-promoting properties come from plant compounds called flavonoids, which prevent cholesterol oxidation and help combat free radicals in the body. Meanwhile, chlorophyll and other plant pigments called carotenoids in spinach can improve vision and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. It’s not hard to love mangoes because of their sweet taste, and even more so when you consider their health benefits. Apart from having vitamin C that boosts healthy immune function and collagen formation, mangoes have vitamin A that’s critical for bone growth and maintenance of healthy mucous membranes and skin. Meanwhile, mangoes also contain flavonoids with antioxidant and vision-protecting capabilities. Make sure to eat mangoes in moderation, as the high fructose content can spell disaster if you eat too much of it. Note also that mangoes are allergenic for babies because of a chemical called urushiol that’s found in the rind,1 and may cause rashes around your baby’s bottom. According to Wholesome Baby Food, it would be ideal to start feeding mango to babies that are 8 months old and up.2 Apart from being tart and sweet enough to deliver sweetness to this smoothie bowl, pears have their benefits too, as they contain good amounts of:  Vitamin C that fights infections  Vitamin K that builds and preserves bone strength  B vitamins that lessen incidence of colitis, arthritis, gallbladder disorders and gout  Hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acid that can prevent stomach and lung cancers Plus, if you keep the peels intact, you’re exposed to quadruple amounts of plant nutrients, such as betacarotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These can shield your body from free radicals and ensure a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The only caveat about pears, like mangoes, is their high fructose content, which can be dangerous when eaten excessively, so make sure to control your consumption of this fruit. If you haven’t used coconut oil yet for your baby’s meals, now’s a good time to start. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which are healthier compared to long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) present in vegetable oils.3 MCFAs are easily digested, easier to break down, and go straight to your liver, allowing your body to convert these MCFAs into energy and not fat. Coconut oil also has lauric acid that’s converted into monolaurin, a known virus-destroyer that works against lipid-coated HIV, herpes, flu, and measles viruses. Plus, coconut oil is capable of:  Enhancing heart health  Boosting healthy brain function and immune system  Regulating proper thyroid function  Keeping your skin healthy and youthful-looking

swinging ideas

The planet is in danger of being destroyed by our greatest threat, ourselves!!!! It’s up to all of us to ensure we do not destroy the environment in which we live and the future environment in which our children will live. Recycling is as simple as separating home waste and educating our children to do the same. If we all take this step, it will make a huge difference to our environment and ensure that the various recyclables are recycled and disposed of in the correct manner or sent to the correct facilities for re-use. Recycling is a great way to save our natural resources and even generate energy. At ECOmonkey they are taking the first important step to try and minimise harmful waste left in our environment, by working with communities to clean up our surroundings, namely local parks and streams to create a clean environment and further creating employment opportunities through this initiative. Earth Probiotic help you to recycle your food waste into food for the soil with their Bokashi Recycling Kits. Working together, these two companies do a great job in helping to ensure the health of the planet. Let them help you do the same…

We make a difference… Do you??? Let's take the 1st step in creating a cleaner environment & ensuring our children have a brighter, cleaner future...

We collect your recycling & create employment: We collect & deliver the materials to various, community recycling projects we support, the materials are sorted & the income goes directly to the community members involved.

Who do we service? Households, flats, townhouse complexes, estates, office complexes, industrial companies & shopping centres. Ensuring recyclables are processed correctly & don’t end up on unsightly, dirty & negatively impacting land fill sites.

SOS PEST CONTROL is a successful family business that is well known for its reliability, friendly service and professional results. Established in 1993 in Johannesburg, SOS PEST CONTROL has vast experience in all pest eradication. SOS PEST CONTROL has recognized the need and opened a specialized dedicated division for Termite Control. SOS PEST CONTROL understands that each client has their own needs, from abnormal working hours, to the specific extermination methods of each and every pest. SOS PEST CONTROL specializes in homes, offices, industrial areas and hospitality industries. SOS PEST CONTROL and their highly trained, professional staff will assist you with all your requirements, and solve your problems. SOS PEST CONTROL guarantees all their work. Licensed with the Agricultural Department Fast & Efficient Treatment Free quotes in the Gauteng Areas We will try & beat all quotes

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What did Loki say to Mowgli that made her laugh? 1st Frame: Loki: “Did you see we getting fish for dinner?” 2nd Frame: Loki: “Well! Did you?” annoyed look. 3rd Frame: Mowgli: “Yes. And I ate yours. Wahahaha” Loki: (In thought bubble) “Typical” Congrats to Lisa Southin for winning this awesome Eco Vet hamper valued at R1270!! In the Hamper: Eco-Geriat 50ml, Eco-Teeth 50ml, Eco-Hair 50ml, Eco-Joint 200ml, and a Surprise product.

The immune system of cats, dogs and horses is the ‘security’ system of their bodies. It is constantly monitoring the body and recognizes foreign substances (e.g. bacteria, viruses etc). Anything that does not belong to the body will be picked-up by the immune system’s ‘radar’, and the immune system will then go into defence mode to eliminate these foreign substances from the body. The first line of defense of the immune system, is the skin, stomach acid, special chemicals in the saliva, mucous in the respiratory system, as well as certain cells in the body that will basically eat anything foreign that is in sight. Together they form the first line of defense, and have been designed to more or less keep everything out. Similar to high walls, electric fences, alarm systems and burglar bars, in our homes!

“Should the first line of defence not succeed…” Should the first line of defence not succeed in eliminating the foreign intruder, then the second line of defence will be activated. This is a far more specific and targeted to fight off the specific foreign invader. In this phase various parts of the immune system communicate with each other, and develop and retain a memory of the invaders that they encounter. This helps the immune system to respond faster and greater, should a second similar invasion occur, and prevent the disease.

Conscious Life Magazine

There are two main ways in which mammals can acquire immunity. Firstly they acquire some immunity passively through antibodies received via the placenta when still in utero, as well as through antibodies received from the colostrum present in their mother’s milk. This provides only temporary protection, as these antibodies break down through natural aging or get depleted by fighting-off disease causing organisms. Secondly the animal can build-up its own antibodies naturally through exposure to disease causing foreign invaders (or through vaccination). It is this adaptive portion of the immune system that remembers previous encounters, and will therefore mount a faster and a more aggressive defense should subsequent exposure occur.

“There are two main ways in which mammals can acquire immunity”

“…new-borns who do did not receive adequate amounts of colostrum are also immunodeficient.” Genetic defects, as well as some viral infections (feline immunodeficient virus and canine parvovirus) can cause immunodeficiency. Similarly new-borns who did not receive adequate amounts of colostrum are also immunodeficient. They are in great danger of contracting a number of infectious diseases. We can boost our pet’s immune system naturally by ensuring that they get adequate nutrition through a natural and healthy diet, as poor nutrition can also result in the suppression of the immune system. Just as we as human beings get ‘run-down’ and need from time to time an immune booster, our pets also benefit tremendously from some natural remedies to combat a depleted or weakened immune system.

“We can boost our pet’s immune system naturally…” If your pet is suffering from repeated bouts of infection, or chronic allergic reactions, it will be advisable to give them something additional to boost their immune system. Long-term use of certain medication can also affect your pet’s immune system. It goes without say that one should consult your vet to see what is amiss. Eco-Immune (from Eco-Vet) is one of those pet first aid remedies (along with Heal) that should always be on hand. Neonatal diseases, Feline Aids, Parvovirus, African Horse Sickness, Strangles, West Nile Virus are but a few diseases where Eco-Immune has been recommended in conjunction with some of the other Eco-Vet natural remedies, to reduce the severity of the disease. Take care of your pet’s immune system so it can function optimally to ward off disease, and keep him in tip-top condition. We love animals, NATURALLY Erika Bornman CEO-Eco-Vet

Conscious Life Magazine

Your dog’s heart rate decreases and your pet feels less anxious when being close to you. The same happens to you! It’s no secret that the dog is man’s best friend and there can be no bond stronger than that of canine and owner. New studies have actually confirmed that there may be a biological reason for this deep connection that we hadn’t previously realized. Unsurprisingly, when greeted by our dogs, our stress levels diminish, our blood pressure drops and our heart rate slows down. Our dog’s heart rate decreases meaning they feel less anxious as well and thus benefit from this connection too. Pedigree sponsored a small study where three Australian dog owners took part. The dog owners were selected very carefully due to their deep connection with their dogs and as part of the study, they were separated and then reconnected with the dogs to monitor what actually happened to both bodies.

Dr. Levine, a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, said. The results were fascinating but not all that surprising, given the relationship people have with their dogs. When they were first separated, for the first few minutes, both dog and owner felt more anxious and their heart rates became elevated. Upon being reintroduced to one another, those spiked heart rates declined immediately and both parties seemed a lot calmer and happier than they had moments earlier.

Several studies showed that dogs decreased the body’s reaction to stress, with a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone release when a pet is present as opposed to when a pet is not present

This project is a really good illustration of what most owners experience every night when they come home from work and are reunited with their companion, canine scientist and researcher Mia Cobb said when asked about the experiment. It shows how strong the bond can be between dog and owner, but the study isn’t limited to just canines. According to Mia, the same results could be obtained from any animal that experiences a strong relationship with its owner – whether it’s cats, birds or even lizards. The research carried out has shown the cardiovascular benefits of having a dog as a best friend and America’s largest cardiovascular health organization recommends having pets as a way to take care of your own health (providing you have the time and resources to take care of the pet too!).

By Christina L.

References: 1.

2. /heart-association-weighs-in-onpets/?_r=1 two-hearts-beat-as-one-heart-ratesowners-dogs-sync-up-when-reunited

I’m a psychology student with a passion for books, good food and movies. I can often be found reading self-help articles snuggled up in bed with a cup of coffee or writing about anything and everything in a quiet cafe somewhere.

Forever homes needed for these precious animals

Adoption fees and rules apply.

Contact Lynette on 082 895 5935 unless number is on pic


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HOPE BEGINS WITH YOU Get ready for Sunflower Day: 16 September 2016 A new era has dawned for The Sunflower Fund, bringing with it fresh and exciting new transformations. Along with the new tagline “Hope begins with you”, the organisation has given National Bandana Day a complete facelift. The Sunflower Fund together with our key sponsor, Pick n Pay are delighted to announce a brand new campaign, called “Sunflower Day”, which will be celebrated on the third Friday of September annually. The campaign will run from August to the end of September, with the highlight being “Sunflower Day”, which will take place on 16 September in 2016. The organisation’s iconic bandana has also undergone a significant change. Earlier this month, we unveiled our new commemorative product, known as the Tube of Hope - Tope, a revitalised version of the bandana, reflecting the renewed enthusiasm and excitement for our mission of increasing the number of stem cell donors in South Africa! With its unique design, the Tube of Hope - Tope is an affordable, multipurpose article of clothing that can be worn as a headband, mask, scarf, cap or arm-band. Being broadly versatile, it may be used in a wide variety of sports or outdoor activities and will be available in 6 eye catching colours. The Tope offers practical functionality for the entire family. It also gives wearers the opportunity to show their support for this important cause.

It will be available in a children’s size (R20.00 incl VAT) and an adults’ size (R25.00 incl VAT) and will go on sale at Pick n Pay stores nationwide, Round Table and several other retailers, including online store, Zando, in August 2016. Please join in and celebrate Sunflower Day, launching on 7st August 2016, as Hope really does begin with you! Ways you can help is to support the Sunflower Day campaign and buy your Tope, become a donor, or visit: and click on the DONATE button to make a quick and easy cash donation.

ALANA JAMES CEO: The Sunflower Fund

HOPE BEGINS WITH YOU About The Sunflower Fund The Sunflower Fund, a South African NonProfit Company (NPC), is dedicated to creating awareness, educating the public and handling the registration process for people to join the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR). The Sunflower Fund pays for the test cost of people joining the SABMR. This is fundamental to saving the lives of thousands of South Africans each year. The chance of finding a matching donor is 1 in 100,000 – and as ethnic origin plays a significant role in the search for a donor, South Africa’s rainbow nation is at a distinct disadvantage, requiring a large pool of prospective donors. The aim of The Sunflower Fund is to increase the number of donors on the current registry to at least 400,000 with proportionate representation of the four main ethnic groups in South Africa. Should you wish to become a donor, support one of the fundraising projects or make a financial contribution, please contact The Sunflower Fund on toll-free number: 0800 12 10 82. Visit to learn more or look out for the DONATE button to make a cash donation via the website.

Media contact: Lauren Corlett Tel: (021) 701-0661 / Cell: 082 688 4788 Email:

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Child of the Universe Positive Parenting july ed  

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