All About the Whale Trail

I was fortunate enough to do one of the best hiking trails South Africa has to offer!

If you love hiking and appreciate the outdoors, then the Whale trail is a MUST. It is a five day, 56km slack-packing trail through the De Hoop Nature Reserve that introduces you to some of the most beautiful scenery along the Western Cape coastline. The route from Potberg mountain to Koppie Alleen includes five overnight stops. The distance to each overnight cabin differs each day from easy to strenuous and takes approximately 4-8 hours of hiking per day.

What added to the atmosphere was the fact that this hike could cater for up to 12 people sharing. I met some amazing people who joined me on this incredible experience. Knowing this, I would suggest if you planning on going, you need to book in advanced because of the space limitation.

In order to enjoy the full extend of this amazing adventure, one needs to take the true sense of mother nature into consideration! In saying that, you should not be squeamish when it comes to mice or crickets or other bugs, as you would expect being out in the wild! Being in the nature reserve, we had to adhere to letting them roam as free as they like without harming them, and leave the food pyramid to its own devices. Snakes were pretty common too, as we saw the infamous Cape Cobra as well as the Berg Adder which was both scary and amazing at the same time! At one point, I had a meeting with the one Cape Cobra as it decided it wanted to introduce itself across my path. Bird life is incredible, having had an opportunity to see the Fish eagle and our countries National bird. Overall, you can expect to be greeted with a vast range of wild life. Unfortunately we didn’t see any whales, as whale season ended in August/October.

What to eat

What made this hike even more enjoyable was that your food and clothes were transported to each hut which made exploring nature just that much easier and exciting as you only carry your day pack. When it comes to food, avoid things that needs refrigeration, so preparation is key, as only the first hut had a fridge available.

Make sure you carefully plan your meals and snacks, these are essential for keeping your energy levels up while hiking.

Snacks

I wanted quick and easy snacks to keep me going throughout the hike which included:

  • A energy bar e.g. fututrelife lite – make sure that the sugar content is low
  • Nut butter/ nuts/ trail mix
  • 1-2 fruits (I always had fruit in my bag, I love my fruit and would always start off with a fruit)
  • Handful of mints
  • Biltong

Breakfast

  • Keep breakfast simple, you could have eggs, however I preferred a bowl of cooked oats topped with dried cranberries. This breakfast was quick, easy and kept me going for a couple hours.

Lunch/Dinner

  • I decided that the easiest thing to do was braai and have leftovers for lunch, which worked out quite well and saved a lot of time, this included:
    • Boiled baby potatoes and corn on the cob
    • Salad that was easy to travel with e.g. cucumber, cherry tomatoes, gherkins and onion etc.
    • And a variation of protein e.g. mostly chicken and some red meat, I prepacked the protein into vacuum sealed bags (this is key as your meat can go off by day 4-5) and kept it frozen in a mini cooler box that fitted in our portage.

I love my beans and fish, so it was a bit of a struggle having chicken and red meat everyday, so I quickly started craving fish. I promised myself to enjoy some lovely sashimi after and I have been eating fish everyday since!

What to pack

I found a check list to be quite helpful, as space is limited and you don’t want to forget your most important items:

  • Bed sheet
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Binoculars
  • Mask and snorkel
  • Matches
  • Torch
  • Hats
  • Sandals
  • Washing liquid and dish clothes + cutlery (it was provided
    but I packed in just in case)
  • Mosquito repellent or cream
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper (this was provided)
  • Small medical kit
  • Water boots
  • Clothes
  • Sunscreen (preferably higher than SPF 20)

MORE TIPS…

1.Use Ziplock bags

Pack dry food, like oats or trail mix, into ziplock bags. Ziplock bags work well and can double up as trash bags afterwards.2. Wear a hat

2. Wear a hat

It is important to bring a hat to keep your ears and face protected from the sun. The tops of your ears and back of your neck are highly susceptible to getting burned while on the trail, so either get some sunscreen and or wear a hat that keeps them covered, I used both.

3. Sunscreen

If it’s sunny outside and you’re hiking up a mountain with a cool breeze in your face, you probably won’t be able to tell that your ears and face are getting absolutely burned.  Get yourself some waterproof sunscreen (I recommend SPF 50) to cover up those ears, cheeks, and back of your neck.

4. Sunglasses

Sunglasses is a MUST, I used polarized sunglasses.

5. Cellphone

I would suggest you pack your phone away and enjoy nature, there is limited reception throughout the trail, so all we used our phones for was taking beautiful pictures of the scenery, also there is limited space to charge your phone at each hut depending on your group size. I would suggest bringing along a power bank if you have one.

6. Keep hydrated

Always make sure you are keeping well hydrated, we went through 2-3L water while hiking, we were lucky to have great sunny weather but you sweat a lot in this warm weather. Its a good idea to add re-hydrate to one of your water bottles to replenish your electrolytes.

7-Day Detox to get the SPRING in your step

Happy Spring everybody. The sun is up for longer, the days are getting warmer, and flowers are beginning to bloom, we don’t know about you, but this got us at Alex Royal Dietetics feeling all inspired and motivated. So we decided to develop a 7 day detox program, following on from the incredible success of our 10-Day Thrive Detox we ran in August.  The 7-Day detox is just what you need to kick start the new season and get that spring in your step. 

 

What does the 7-Day Detox Entail?

The 7-day detox is done on an on-line platform. You will be assigned to a small Whatsapp group, of +/- 4-6 participants. One of our dietitians Aimee or Kirby, will also be part of the group, and will be your go to dietitian for the duration of the program. You will get the 7-Day Detox guide, as well as daily support, motivation, recipe’s and meal ideas. The Whatsapp group will also enable you to lean on each other for support and motivation, as well as allow you to share recipe’s, ideas and tips. The cost of the program is R400.

             

 

Feedback from our last detox…

“I modified my detox a bit, but what I will say is that it was fantastic to have a group and daily prompts from your team to remind us to stay on track and share ideas and inspiration. I have done many detoxes on my own and it is waaaay harder without this support.” TK

“I wanted to say WELL DONE! You guys did that so well! I loved the mindful aspect, the holistic approach.” J

“Just thought I would let you know how wonderful I think you all are. I am done with my 10 day. I did a 4 day juice cleanse in-between and have lost 5kg in the 10 days. Pretty happy here. 1.5kg to go & I will be at my target weight.” TG

“Feeling fantastic, and so happy to have done this” T

 

Interested?

Email info@alexroyaldiet.co.za and one of our dietitians will be in contact with you to sign up for our next enrollment. Enrollment opens on the 6’th September, and start date is 12’th September.

Breast Cancer, our Genes and Diet

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and there is no doubt that you have seen a parade of lovely women wearing a little pink ribbon at some point throughout the past 4 weeks. According to the latest research, breast cancer has the highest incidence in South African women. Knowing it can affect you, your mom, your sister or your friend makes it vastly important to be aware of what can increase your risk of developing breast cancer and knowing how to screen yourself properly.

Do our genes impact our risk of developing breast cancer?

Up to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary. Most inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two abnormal genes: BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two). Everyone has these genes and their function is to repair cell damage and keep breast and ovarian cells growing normally. If these genes have mutations or abnormalities, your risk of developing breast cancer increases.

It is important to note that having an abnormal BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 doesn’t mean you WILL develop breast cancer. There are many other genes that come into play as well as diet, lifestyle, environmental toxins, stress and previous trauma. If you are thinking of having your genes tested, it is highly recommended to see a genetic counselor before.

Can our diet protect us from developing breast cancer?

A diet rich in vitamin D, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods can have a protective effect. The avoidance of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and sugars will also impact your overall health. There is more to it than the types of food you are choosing to eat; it is also important to avoid processed foods, pesticides, braai’d or barbecued meats and anything cured or smoked.

Fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, fish, chicken, lean meats and healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds will ensure you are getting in a variety of nutrients allowing your immune system to function on all cylinders.

Do environmental factors play a role?

The reality is, women tend to be more overweight than ever before, oral contraceptives are seen to be the norm, we live a sedentary lifestyle indoors getting minimal sun exposure (and thus, too little Vitamin D), smoking is a go-to for teens, stress levels are soaring while sleep is non-existent, and the food we are eating has become even more processed and sugar-laden. All these factors increase our chances of developing not only breast cancer, but a host of different diseases.

These problems sound easy to fix yet health is still not a priority for many. Download the Breast Cancer Organisation’s Think Pink, Live Green document on 31 risk-reducing steps you can put it action today.

How to do a breast self-exam:

Click here to learn how to examine your own breasts. Early detection is vital. If you want to know more about gene testing – read our Gene Testing FAQ blog.

Book your appointment for gene testing now

 

 

Our Q&A with Kim after doing the 4 Week Health Program

The answer to question 7 says it all – Kim loved the 4 Week Health Program. Read about Kim’s experience during her 4 weeks to a healthier self.

  1. Did you find the program manageable to follow?

Yes I did.

  1. What was the most challenging throughout the 4 weeks?

Making sure I was organised and prepped. It was tough traveling for work and having food sorted out. Thank goodness for rice cakes and peanut butter :).

  1. Stage 1: how did you feel eliminating all the toxins?

I felt horrendous for the first 5 days!!! I had major headaches and dizziness. Then on day 6 I woke up feeling AWESOME – so much energy and felt great.

  1. Did your mood and energy levels improve after the 4 weeks?

Yes, hugely.

  1. Were the recipes easy to prepare and delicious?

Yes but ended up making very simple food.

  1. Did you feel hungry throughout the program?

I was hungry in the first week and I craved dense bread!

  1. Would you do the program again?

YES!!!!

  1. List noticeable changes in yourself (both physically, mentally and emotionally) after the 4 weeks?

Skin was a major thing that everyone commented on. My skin cleared up and wrinkles seemed to vanish slightly 🙂 I lost some weight and just slimmed down overall. I had a lot more energy – didn’t feel lethargic. I fell asleep really quickly at night which was great – no insomnia. Emotionally, I also ‘detoxed’ my social life and became more aware of when I was pushing myself to unhealthy limits. I also coupled the program with guided meditations – I did one every day for the 4 weeks.

  1. Did the program make you reconsider your normal diet?

For sure – I am still staying away from caffeine and trying my best to stay away from sugar.

Are you interested? Book your appointment now at: http://alexroyaldiet.co.za/services

Feel Good this Spring

“Asian inspired beef stirfry with egg noodles”

“Deconstructed Mexican Bowl”

“Chicken meatballs with arrabiata sauce and zucchini noodles”

 

Sound delicious? These recipes are GLUTEN, LACTOSE and SUGAR free, and all feature in Stage 1 of our 4 Week Health Program. Eliminate the toxins and boost your mind and body in 4 weeks starting with ELIMINATION then DETOX, BOOST and lastly INTEGRATION.

Find out more: http://alexroyaldiet.co.za/eliminate-detox-boost-join-4-week-health-program-now

The 4 Week Health Program is now on SALE for R1199.00

WOMEN’S MONTH SALE: 4 Week Health Program

Calling all women – from near and far. Spring is just around the corner and the Winter fatigue needs to be shaken off! Improve your health, body, work productivitymood, and energy levels this August by joining our 4 Week Health Program. Each week marks a different stage that is important for your health: ELIMINATION, DETOX, BOOST and INTEGRATION.

The 4 Week Health Program includes:

  • A healthy eating program divided into 4 stages
  • Four consults (online consults are available)
    • An initial consult (body composition assessment and diet explanation)
    • 3 follow up consults
  • Our ‘Dietitian’s Guide to Clean Eating’ e-book for FREE

*The 4 Week Health Program is now R1199 (excl supplements and exercise regime)

Eliminate. Detox. Boost.

Improve your health, body, work productivity, mood, and energy levels this winter by joining our 4 Week Health Program. Each week marks a different stage that is important for your health:

The 4 Week Health Program includes:

  • A healthy eating program divided into 4 stages.
  • We will see you each week at the start of a new stage
    • An initial consult (body composition assessment and diet explanation)
    • 3 follow up consults
  • Our ‘Dietitian’s Guide to Clean Eating’ e-book for FREE
  • An exercise regime specifically designed for the program incorporating high intensity training, conditioning and yoga*
*The 4 Week Health Program is R1440 (excl supplements and exercise regime)

Our Winter Health Challenge… for you!

4 stages, 1 challenge, 0 counting calories… interested yet?

Benefits of the program:

Improve your health, body, work productivity, mood, and energy levels on our 4 Week Health Program. The 4 Week Health Program focuses on gut health, detoxification, immune support and energy metabolism. The program comprises of 4 stages, each being 1 week long:

Stage 1: Elimination
Stage 2: Detoxification
Stage 3: Boost
Stage 4: Integration

What is included in the program?

  • A healthy eating program divided into 4 stages
  • An initial consult (body composition assessment and diet explanation)
  • 3 Follow up consults
  • An exercise regime specifically designed for the program incorporating high intensity training, conditioning and yoga.
  • Our ‘Dietitian’s Guide to Clean Eating’ e-book FREE
The 4 Week Health Program is R1440 (excl supplements and exercise regime)