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Ntosh's Journey to Health Part 2


I have been on the Better4life nutrition programme and I noticed something... For the past couple of days I've noticed that I'm happier, my mood is so much better – almost nothing can get me down. Also, the energy drinks – Read more

Kefir keeps me healthy!


All the Better4life products are a true God-send.  The kefir has been my medicine for everything. I have been applying the kefir on my skin for the past 3 weeks every night and my skin is producing such a Read more

Country living in the city


I picked up the March issue of “Country Life”, drawn to its fresh outdoor images. Print has suffered a decline and it’s amazing how this magazine continues to flourish, glossy and bright. And then it dawned on me. Many Read more

The Value of Belief


In the last year, I’ve come across people with different beliefs about health. For example someone had a copper contraceptive removed because they believe it’s harmful, another person disagrees and believes that peace of mind in avoiding pregnancy is Read more

What are YOU hoping for?


Hope it is a powerful thing. It is more than an emotion. Hope is having vision. It's the promise of your vision becoming real. It is what you are looking FORWARD to in the future. This weekend, the question Read more

Ntosh’s Journey to Health Part 2

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I have been on the Better4life nutrition programme and I noticed something…

For the past couple of days I’ve noticed that I’m happier, my mood is so much better – almost nothing can get me down.

Also, the energy drinks – I haven’t had one in about two weeks which is massive for me as I usually had 1 every morning. I don’t need them anymore!

Lastly, but the best part… I think I’ve lost some weight😊, I still have to work on getting the gut restoration programme right BUT 2 items that I wore this week feel looser (I’m not complaining!)

It is making a difference!

Thanks Charlotte

Ntosh


Kefir keeps me healthy!

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All the Better4life products are a true God-send.  The kefir has been my medicine for everything. I have been applying the kefir on my skin for the past 3 weeks every night and my skin is producing such a glow. When my skin is glowing I am so happy to show face even when I’m having a down day.
I have just moved to the northern hemisphere and I have noticed many of the native teachers are getting sick and I wondered why I haven’t caught the flu or any funny bug and it dawned on me that drinking kefir twice a day has kept me healthy physically and mentally.

Thank you for this, I am really doing well, I haven’t seen a GP in 9 months because you are a doctor with products that heal!

-Esther


Country living in the city

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I picked up the March issue of “Country Life”, drawn to its fresh outdoor images. Print has suffered a decline and it’s amazing how this magazine continues to flourish, glossy and bright. And then it dawned on me. Many South Africans want to live in the country – away from the stress, noise and congestion. This is why this particular magazine sells so well. I’m not in the minority, wanting a simpler, cleaner life.

City living is hard on the soul. But, it’s not really the environment at fault, most of our cities and suburbs are green, lush and well taken care of. It’s how we live in the city. The constant drive and pressure, unending speed and impatience, a disconnect in our closest relationships. All this and more brings a fast-paced futility. Life can become empty-hearted with little joy.

I think the country calls to our essence, and reminds us that less can be more, and faster isn’t always better. However, you and I may not move to a small, quaint “dorp” somewhere in South Africa. We may stay in the city, in our workplaces and homes and schools for our children. The city is projected to grow dramatically in the next 10 years. So, if we are here, what do we do?

Well, I think there is only one simple solution. We can choose to change how we live – take some of those good, old fashioned farm town habits and place them into our blended concrete ‘n grass jungles. I don’t want to be unhappy or pointless here. I’m sure you don’t want to either. So, I’m training myself to set the tone of my life gently, with baby steps. Today, I drove slower and allowed harassed motorists to get onto the road. Tomorrow, I’ll take my lunch break in the garden out of the office. It’s how we live in the city or anywhere else, that determines our experiences.

May you be blessed to find the “country” in your city!

Charlotte


The Value of Belief

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In the last year, I’ve come across people with different beliefs about health. For example someone had a copper contraceptive removed because they believe it’s harmful, another person disagrees and believes that peace of mind in avoiding pregnancy is top priority. Another young couple express their belief that practising abstinence during fertile days will enrich their marriage. All of these people will have a different experience.

The power, the value of belief is profound. And mysterious. Belief shapes the course of my life, and it shapes yours. I’ve been thinking about my beliefs. What I really believe about a great number of things. Do I believe it’s more important to be polite or honest? Do I believe that people have a right to exercise free will, even when it harms others?

Beliefs based on the facts

What I believe must be reviewed based on the evidence of its truth. There are factual beliefs that you and I are responsible for checking. An interesting example: for years, a global advertising campaign was run to convince consumers about the health benefits of white potatoes. Now, decades later, we have realised that potatoes are not super foods and actually contain very little nutrition.

Beliefs based on personal values

On a deeper level, there are also values-based beliefs that we form and only we can change. Profoundly, my beliefs determine exactly how my life will look and play out. My beliefs also serve as a keen judge of my actions. I’ve seen this now. The minute I decide to do or not to do something that is in opposition to my beliefs, I feel a certain emotion which could be peace and satisfaction; an inner conviction; or guilt, anger and self-disappointment. And it doesn’t end here. My decisions based on my beliefs move into the proteins of my brain and build positive connections or negative interruptions. This produces a cascade of reactions that then affect the health of my body. I literally become my beliefs, or how my mind responds to my choices. I’ve realised that due to fear, shame, pain, even abuse, so many of us daily are making choices that we don’t really believe in, perhaps because we feel that we don’t have a choice or feel manipulated to choose something we don’t want. There’s a little voice protesting deep within, and although it’s faint, we hear it. The body senses the disconnect, and if repeated we can become ill.

The solution

Live from your heart. Act out your beliefs. Make good choices based on your beliefs.

Here’s an example: if I believe it’s important to be on time and I make sure that I am, for professional and social appointments, I’ll be able to see how important this really is within my own world. But if I allow myself to be delayed, controlled and influenced by a tardy (late) friend or colleague, I’ll feel emotions of resentment, stress, antipathy and self-guilt and feel ill. I’ll feel controlled and condemned.

You can choose!

As South Africans, we can often feel powerless – there’s the government, big business and the whole western world seemingly at odds with us, oppressing our free will and ability to choose. I believe we can choose. I believe that the value of belief is to choose, and it frees you and I to live more honest, health-filled lives. Go choose and become whole!


What are YOU hoping for?

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Hope it is a powerful thing. It is more than an emotion. Hope is having vision. It’s the promise of your vision becoming real. It is what you are looking FORWARD to in the future. This weekend, the question literally flashed across my mind: “what are you hoping for?” I was washing dishes, so I wasn’t really prepared for this profound thought…

I answered the question honestly, a little timidly. And then, surprisingly, joy came cascading into my heart! I felt God telling me, “I want you to hope; I want you to believe that what you truly hope for is good and I will make it happen.” And so I’m hoping again!

There are many dreams that I’ve buried and real desires that I’ve held close to my heart for a very long time. They didn’t seem to be possible. There seemed to be too many obstacles in the way. Trying to live without these dreams in a functional, “paying my taxes” way, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve realised that there is no life without hope.

There is no joy, there is no beauty, there is no delight without hope. Life receives its bountiful colour and richness in hope.

Let’s hope again. Let’s believe again! What are YOU hoping for?


Why Esther LOVES Charlotte’s Kitchen

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I have been thinking that my retirement plan is to live on a remote island and eat healthy wholesome food. I started having an appreciation of healthy eating since I began using recipes from Charlotte’s kitchen.

In March this year, I was told that I have Candida of the stomach as well as leaky gut. So it turns out that I am allergic to dairy products, wheat and sugar and these will be the death of me if I continue eating ‘junk food’. Therefore I was put on a four month very strict Candida diet in which I had to eliminate my favourite foods. Goodbye bread, cake, sweets, juice as well as certain fruits and vegetables.

I thought… What? I am going to go crazy. What is left for me to eat? Lettuce?

So I began this rather flavourless diet. I did however feel a huge difference, my energy levels were picking up and I was less bloated. After a month of Candida dieting, I could no longer carry on with the tasteless meals. There were just too many temptations and in my line of work I am constantly on the road so it is so much easier to buy already made food. I enjoyed ‘junk food’ too much and my health was further deteriorating.

Healthy, tasty foodCharlotte has been such a life saver, her dishes consist of healthy ingredients, plenty of vegetables, wonderful spices and not forgetting the Kefir, which can be used in just about any meal to bring out the flavour. I have been eating Charlotte’s recipes for about two months now and this is the healthiest I have been. My tummy is happy, I am regular, the bloating has calmed down significantly, I am sleeping better, and I rarely even crave the sweet stuff. Before I used to be bloated to the point where I couldn’t sit up straight at times, it was even uncomfortable to walk properly and I had to refrain from doing any form of physical activity such as running and playing netball.  I also find that I spend less time in bed during the weekends; I have become an early riser, even on the weekends.

Charlotte runs monthly cooking classes – why not come along and find out about the magic that takes place in her kitchen: admin@better4life.co.za

This healthy eating is all part of Charlotte’s ‘Better4Life’ programme. And I will even be better once I start exercising again. This week I will join Charlotte at one of her Pilates classes and see how it goes. I am pretty sure my body is ready for this, so much excitement! YAY! I am thoroughly looking forward to it as I do believe that a healthy lifestyle includes physical activity too.

You can find out about Charlotte’s Pilates classes in Horison and Northcliff: Better4life Pilates

As for my no make-up challenge, I went two days without make-up this week thanks to the wonders of Charlotte’s Africa Grace natural skincare range.

Thank you Charlotte!

Esther Machileka


More reasons to Love Kefir!

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While I do enjoy drinking Kefir for its many health benefits, I was surprised to discover it is healing for the skin as well…

Disinfectant

Two weeks ago, I accidently grated the skin on my wrist while I was grating carrots. I quickly went to clean it off with water and thought about using some disinfectant to further clean the wound and apply a plaster. Instead used some Kefir on the wound and I did.

This was a surprise to me as I thought that Kefir was meant only for drinking. The following day I was so amazed at how quickly my skin was starting to repair itself. After 3 days of continuous application my skin looked like it had been “sewed” back together again, leaving no scars.

The same week of my kitchen accident, one of the kids in my drama class, managed to cut his foot outside while they were playing. Luckily I had brought some Kefir with me, for drinking purposes and medicinal it seems! I used some on the child’s cut as I knew that it would be the safest and most natural way to repair it.

Kefir for skinAcne Cream

For the past month or so, I have had what I call ‘stress pimples’ on my face. I thought, mmm let’s try Kefir. So I started using it as a base on my face before applying the Africa Grace Hydrating Cold Cream. The pimples have cleared and with continued use I know the scaring from the pimples with soon be a thing of the past.

Making Kefir is definitely worthwhile: order a kefir kit.

Esther Machileka


Why I love Kefir!

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I have been drinking Kefir I got from Better4life for a few months now after Charlotte recommended this fermented drink for general health – its a superfood! I have just been drinking and drinking and drinking because I believe in the healing of Better4life products.

I must admit, that at times I can be a selective listener and I don’t think I listened or I might just have a memory of a gold fish but I think there was something she said about ‘straining the Kefir grains’ every day or so. What? Seriously? So much admin for healthy living? I admit to leaving leaving the grains in the jar to the point where it turned into ‘Kefir feta cheese’, hehe! Luckily I was still able to strain the Kefir version of feta cheese as the grains are known to last for a very long time. Not advisable to wait so long but not a real problem at least.

I really enjoy drinking my Kefir despite its sourish taste. In fact I hardly ever taste the sour anymore but rather its goodness to heal. I have even discovered that Kefir can be used when cooking; giving my food more than flavour, WHOLESOMENESS is the word.

An unexpected benefit:

Before I was introduced to Kefir, my mornings were always slow, I felt tired with eyes that were blood red and I experienced a burning sensation, not forgetting the bags under my eyes. I would use all sorts of eye drops which were a super temporary fix and could cause damage to my eyes in the long run.

Within the last three weeks or so I have noticed that my eyes are not as red as before when I wake up in the morn. Even though I still experience a bit of the burning sensation it is not as bad as it used to be but I am so satisfied with the progress, the red is clearing and Charlotte told me that the inflammation is wearing off. YAY, Betterlife!

I no longer have to wake up looking like I am sleep deprived. So the admin has totally been worth it, it’s no longer a tedious task for me but rather a way to a healthy, clean lifestyle. I love Kefir!

Get your Kefir kit!

Esther Machileka


Ntosh’s Journey to Health Part 1

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Ntosh's journeyHi, my name is Ntosh.

I’m a 26 year old lady who is tired of being tired! I’ve had issues with my weight and overall health for a long time. I tried quite a few things over the years, but nothing has worked long term.

Since 2010 I’ve had terrible back ache and all doctors I’ve been to say it’s stress. Surely, I can’t be that stressed…7 years straight? I’ve been taking pain medication since then, some have even stopped working I’ve been taking them for so long! I figured out that exercise takes some of the pain away, so I recently joined a bootcamp. That also made me realise how unfit I am, but hey…I am a work in progress!

Now, this I am taking up the Better4life nutrition challenge. I am very excited to see where this leads!

Ntosh


Is Saying ‘Yes’ Killing You?

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A few weeks ago, I lost my hubcap in Bloemfontein. A friendly young lady screamed out of her mom’s car, “Jammer dame, jy’t jou wiel verloor!” (Sorry lady, you’ve lost your wheel).  At that point, I was feeling rather chuffed with myself, making it all the way to the conference centre with no mishaps or detours. A long drive, a tired brain and rusty Afrikaans combined to make me wonder,” How on earth have I been driving on 3 wheels only?” Stopping my car, I got out ready to discover the worst, and there it was: 3 hubcaps and not 4. That happy hubcap was nowhere to be seen. I kept looking for it. I think it’s in some Bloemfontein “woestyn” (desert) now!

Long story cut short, I’ve felt like a beggar ever since I lost my hubcap. I feel embarrassed about my car, and ashamed about myself. It’s not a strong feeling; it’s just there like a grating reminder at the back of my mind. And during this time, I’ve felt a loss of power myself. People must be judging my car, and they must be judging me. JHB is a real car city. We don’t really drive dinged up or even old cars here. Everything new and shiny. In this strange place of irrational shame, I’ve found myself almost saying yes to things I haven’t thought through or really don’t want to do. I’ve been wondering about this, and the mysterious connection to my sense of reduced power. When I speak about power, I mean my personal autonomy. My ability to choose and say yes and no with freedom. It seems that this place of powerlessness attracts the controlling or co-dependent (excessive emotional or psychological reliance on someone else) like bees to nectar! You don’t want to know the messes I’ve walked into, or just narrowly avoided these last few weeks. Now, I don’t know a lot about this, and I’m just beginning to study more on the concept of personal power, but I’ve really got to say that it’s real and true.

Bullying, manipulation, control and co-dependency are all symptoms of powerlessness. A bully isn’t powerful. Neither is a person with a victim mentality. However, they are attracted to each other in an unpleasant dance. Saying “yes” or “no” to doing things when I don’t mean it is also a symptom of powerlessness. This makes me sick – in a state of disorder – because my mind registers the difference (cognitive dissonance) between what I said and what I really mean, and my emotions respond with resentment and a loss of control. Shame or guilt steps in and my body becomes filled with toxic, negative thoughts – thoughts centering on loss of quality of life versus receiving joy and contentment.

So many of my clients are stressed because of powerlessness. Just this week I saw how my own responses hinge on how powerful I decide to be or not. It IS a decision, but it’s really subconscious. An abusive boss, a destructive relationship; a co-dependent colleague; even a damaging view of good food – all of these are floating torpedoes on the sea of life, waiting for our response. My “yes” could be killing me, slowly or swiftly. And my “no” or “I can’t” could be getting in the way of what I really want to do.

A famous Proverb reads, “A desire fulfilled is like a tree of life.” So when I desire something, I can really state YES and my body is filled with life. A simple remedy is to examine my heart and my choices. Are my “Yes’s” really yes (I want this), and my “No’s” really no (I don’t want this)? I believe we can each build ourselves to be people of legitimate power, who encourage those around us to be equally powerful. Can you imagine a society that looks more like this? More truth, more freedom and more dignity? Beautiful!