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Flying high for mental health

November 14, 2017

This year was our family’s first time at the Cape Town International kite festival and it didn’t disappoint one bit. What first attracted me to the event is the great platform it creates to spread the message of mental health. Also, what kid does not love kites? Whether they are flying it or standing-by admiring its beauty up high,  kids are completely captivated by this windswept wonder.

It is so important that we know looking after our mental health is no less important than looking after our physical health. This is the very reason I decided to fly my kite high in support of this initiative, and I encourage everyone to get involved. One just needs to switch on the tv or read the news to see how mental illness is running rampant destroying lives. Cape Mental health brings awareness to this and provides basic care to children and adults suffering from its onslaught.

We arrived at the 23rd kite festival on a true-to-the-Cape windy afternoon in October, which of cause was perfect for the kiters. The kids LOVED all the fun rides and were in awe of the enormous, towering and colourful character kites made by experienced kiters from all over the world.  I cannot even begin to imagine how long it took them to create these beauties. Unfortunately, we just missed the free kite-making sessions earlier in the day and instead headed off to the section especially cordoned-off for the kids to fly their kites that we bought at the festival.

We also enjoyed the live performances by local artists and which added to the already amazing vibe. There was no shortage of food and drinks with plenty of food trucks and we ended up staying so much longer than we planned. We will FOR SURE be back next year.

But of cause, a picture speaks louder than words, so see for yourself!

 

 

 

Keep the conversation going:

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CTKiteFest

Facebook event: http://bit.ly/2wTJSFp

Twitter: @CTKiteFest

Instagram: @CTKiteFest

Hashtags: #RightToFly #CTKiteFest

Web: www.capementalhealth.co.za

 

Love,

 

 

Health, Health/Fitness

Porridge Brain Is Real

September 25, 2017

I just remembered how forgetful I always am, so let me jot this down real quick before I forget again.

Do you ever feel like you have to write everything down to remember it later? If you even remember to read what you’ve written in order to know what it is you have to remember.

Confusing, right? Well, that’s exactly what my brain looks like after having three kids! Yet it’s been an age-old debate whether porridge brain is actually “a thing” and if it is, whether it’s a biological or social phenomenon. It’s probably one of the conditions that baffle medics and scientists the most – mainly because we don’t go to the doctor for medication every time we forget something important, it’s not exactly life-threatening (but can be), and it’s not constant like amnesia.

But it’s real. Like the other day when I was driving my kids home from after-care, on a route I follow almost every single day, and for a second or two I completely spaced out and forgot where I was going. Although I’ve been suffering from bouts of forgetfulness since my first pregnancy with Jada 7 years ago,  this particular occurrence scared me the most. Like many other people (even those without kids) I’ve driven in the wrong direction before, like when we moved house and I’d drive to the old house for a good few days thereafter before my brain finally caught on that that’s no longer where we lived. That’s pretty normal and can happen to anyone.

But you know something’s not quite right up there when you leave the keys in the door and go out for a whole afternoon, or you leave the stove on throughout the night – not just once or twice.

After 7 years of being a mom, and going through these and many other mishappenings, I’m convinced that with the birth of each of my three children, I’ve lost a little more function in my brain. Or have I just become busier and therefore more distracted?

Biological or social?

While some moms may have it worse than others, and while porridge brains have not yet been added to the medical journals, it most certainly is there. Often it helps to speak directly to the source if you need more convincing. Bring up the conversation with the mommies at school, or in the doctor’s waiting room, or while enjoying a braai. You’ll soon discover you are not going nuts, you are perfectly imperfect, and that we’re all in this mess together.

So what is causing this strange pregnancy phenomenon?

Medical tests from various doctors around the world have come up with the following explanations:

Biological reasons include the production of more progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy which are hormones that affect all kinds of neurons in the brain; huge surges of oxytocin during birth, which is necessary for the uterus to contract and the body to produce milk, and also affects the brain circuits; and deficiency of iron in the body during pregnancy which, if too low, can cause forgetfulness.

Social reasons include not getting enough sleep and multitasking, in which state nobody’s memory is good, and your priorities change.

Until more research is done on the subject of porridge brains and while we all continue our journey in blissful forgetfulness, “remember” to write things down, get more sleep, and try not to be so stressed and anxious all the time.

Love,

 

 

Image credit: thementalwizzard, 

Sources: WebMD, LivingandLoving

Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle

Cape Town International Kite Festival

August 16, 2017

South Africa’s biggest mental health awareness event – and a  project I was very happy to recently get involved in.

Not only is it the most spectacular family festival of the year, but 100% of profits go to Cape Mental Health to help provide vital mental health services to children and adults in Cape Town and beyond. “We all have the basic right to fly – to explore our abilities, develop our skills and soar freely at home, work, school and in our community,” said Ingrid Daniels, Director of Cape Mental Health. “Children and adults with mental health needs have the same human rights as everyone else and at our 23rd Cape Town International Kite Festival, we will be celebrating everyone’s ‘Right to Fly’, to be accepted, respected and included.”

Cape Mental Health provides innovative and effective mental health services to people in poorly resourced communities in the Western Cape. This non-profit organisation has been active for 104 years and continues to work towards a society where people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities are included in community life and have access to education, training, work and social opportunities.

The Delai Lama said: “It is our prime purpose in life to help others.” It is up to us to decide how we want to go about helping – with our time, our money, or dirtying our hands raising awareness of a pandemic, such as mental illness, which has been swept under the rug for too long.

So come, bring the family, and have fun at the 23rd Cape Town International Kite Festival on 28 and 29 October in Muizenberg, Cape Town in support of Cape Mental Health.

Kiters from China, England, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa and the USA will be there to show that almost anything can fly, with fish, dragons and even a little pig adorning the sky. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

There will be free kite-making workshops for children and adults as well as live entertainment, rides, a children’s play area and food market. Visitors are welcome to bring along a picnic.

WHERE

The Cape Town International Kite Festival happens on (and above) Zandvlei Nature Reserve, Muizenberg (corner Axminster and The Row). Open from 10:00 to 18:00 daily, the event offers lots of parking and easy access by train (False Bay or Muizenberg stations).

ALL PROCEEDS GO TO CAPE MENTAL HEALTH 

Entry is R40 (R15 for children 12 years and under). Tickets will be available online and at the gate.

 For more information call 021 447 9040, email info@cmh.org.za, visit www.capementalhealth.co.za or follow them on Facebook @CapeMentalHealth or Twitter @CMH_NGO.

 

 

Take good care of your mental health.

Love,

 

 

 

Entertainment, Health, News

Fidget spinners safety tips

May 29, 2017

As a mom (or a human), you may have already heard about the latest craze amongst our kids – Fidget spinners.

Which started out as a stress-relieving toy for people who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting, has quickly spiraled into the new must-have among peers worldwide. The spinning toy has become popular so fast, parents have not yet had the chance to wrap their heads around or make sense of it and safety precautions have barely been communicated about the use of the fidget spinner as a regular toy.

Unfortunately, in its short life, there’s already been reports of kids choking and other injuries caused by the spinners. Although it’s not a cause for panic and I wouldn’t go as far as to demand kids dispose of their fidget spinners just yet, it never hurts to be safe. Kids really are just kids and they love to explore.

Which is exactly why the over-protective mom in me, who have already promised her kids a fidget if they behave (Guilty!), wanted to find out how to keep my kids safe around these seemingly harmless gadgets.

Here are the four guidelines the Toy Association says parents should keep in mind when it comes to fidget spinner safety:

Follow Age Labels

Make sure fidget spinners are age-appropriate. Always follow age labeling, and if the spinner does not have age guidance on its packaging, don’t buy it. Never give children under three years of age (or those who still put toys in their mouths) any items, such as fidget spinners, that have small parts. Children who are old enough to play with fidget spinners should be taught how to play with them correctly—and instructed never to put them in their mouths.

Shop at Reputable Retailers

Shop at a reputable retailer that you know and trust. Those retailers will be selling products that have been tested and comply with strict U.S. safety standards. When a craze like the fidget spinners hits, you may be tempted to buy one for your child wherever you can find one (like at a pop-up vendor on the street or from an unknown online seller), but the safety of products sold outside a reputable retailer cannot be guaranteed.

Tips for Light-Up Spinners

Small batteries are required to be secured so that a tool or coin is needed to access the battery compartment. Fidget spinners with a light-up feature might utilize small batteries that can be harmful if accidentally ingested. Avoid giving a child a light-up spinner if it does not also have a locking mechanism on the battery compartment.

Check for Broken Parts

Check fidget spinners periodically for damage. Broken items should be discarded and not left in a child’s environment.

Keep Spinning!

 

 

 

Health, Health/Fitness, Lifestyle, Slider

THE MUNCHING MONGOOSE: Fresh Organic Produce Delivered

May 29, 2017
Most companies are different, but we are different from most, we are a small team with big objectives!

Our mission is to help to introduce people to healthier and more interesting options for their pantry while at the same time still giving them the authentic “market” experience which everyone loves so much, but seldom has the time to enjoy.

As the winners of the 2016 702 and Sage One Small Business Awards, we have an extreme focus, even obsession, on offering a very personalised experience for our customers, presented in a fun and quirky, but always very professional manner with consistent communication. Our aim is to offer an experience with a difference – one that becomes part of a family’s weekly routine.

The Munching Mongoose is passionate about changing the lives of others through amazing experiences, super produce and good will. On a weekly basis, we collate a box of fresh, seasonal, locally and organically grown produce as well as artisan and gourmet products.

We source our produce from several small-scale farmers and gastronomic artisans around South Africa. Our aim is to partner with like-minded people who are producing their goods following ethical, sustainable and organic based principals, and conveniently deliver the selection of healthy and tasty goods right to our customer’s homes – obviously only after adding our own personal and quirky touch to ensure that every week our Mongaggle members (mongoose families) look forward to the arrival of The Munching Mongoose delivery.

The contents of the boxes are different each week set according to the season and availability and we offer the same produce, but in differing volumes to our customers depending on family size.

We have a mini bag for singles or couple

A midi box for small families and a maxi box for larger families

Low carb box

A bag without any fruits or vegetables for those customers who perhaps have their own vegetable gardens, but would still love fresh creamy milk, fresh farm eggs, as well as an amazing assortment of cheeses and artisan breads

A selection of other add on products such as meat and dairy packs

As well as weekly specials and pre-packed kids school “Munch Packs

Our online system allows customers control and flexibility over their orders, accounts, online payments and to manage their own deliveries without any contract. Click here to get started.

Clients can stop or hold their delivery at any time.

The system also gives them flexibility to swop certain products or order additional specials. We aim never to lose the personal touch and our blogs and Facebook page offer recipes and useful information on the products of the season.

For our social responsibility commitment, we apportion some of our income, and with the support of some of our suppliers and customers, are able to make regular donations of the same food to Abraham Kriel – a school for abused and abandoned children where the staff works tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of the children.

 

 

Organically yours,