Man Crush Monday : Chef Takura

Every woman wants a man who can cook; okay I lie, I love a man who can cook so I will speak for myself on this one.  Imagine getting home to a meal prepared with nothing but tender loving care by your one and only.  Chef Takura (hello beard gang) took some time out to share spinets of his story with me and you can read all about it below.

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Chef Takura

I have always loved cooking, working in hospitality made the choice easier.

My favorite meal changes so often. I am into soups at the moment. I also always love making pizza and pasta from scratch because they are so versatile for toppings and sauces!!
I currently work at Forest Hills Resort as the Managing Director.  I love building and making our product better. Sadly I have very little time to cook. (There goes my dream to have a Chef Bae!)  Forest Hills is a beautiful location many places to hike and enjoy nature.
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Forest Hills
Being the wine lover that I am I couldn’t resist asking him on his thoughts on food and wine…
Pairing food and wine was my last job in Australia where I was the Head Sommelier (a wine waiter) at a Modern European Bistro. Pay attention to the weight of the dish as well as flavour. A hearty beef dish will go better with a full bodied red wine and a light spicy Asian dish would go better with a lighter white wine. Experiment a lot and see what your palette enjoys!!!
I do try and exercise as much as I can. The nice thing about living on a mountain is that EVERY walk has an incline!! I also like to swim and skip.
I have just gained a little more fitness and I get to see the area and take loads of nature photos.  The greatest challenge I have had so far when it comes to exercising is making time and there is no one to work out with out here.  Chef Takura needs to read about the benefits of running alone.  However, I do enjoy running, I will start running when I get someone to chase me!
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Shakshuka or eggs in rich tomato sauce
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Grilled Crumbed Fish Fillets with home made mayonnaise and pineapple salsa!
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Beef Fried Rice
You can get in touch with Chef Takura on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with his mouth watering meals and beautiful views that he constantly shares on social media.
©MaKupsy 2017

Hello June, I’m Still Slaying!

Today I feel so good I have nothing but feel good hormones rushing through my veins!  Each year since 2015 I weigh myself on the 1st of June just to see if my weight has made any drastic change over the year.  I can safely say that in 3 straight years I have managed to maintain the same weight range.  Amazing how I am the exact same weight I was a year ago…

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S/O to Sammy for the beautiful poster 🙂

This year I have a plan for winter and I came up with a Winter Challenge that will be sure to keep the weight off.  Everyone is invited to take part it will be a lot of fun and you don’t want to miss out on this.  Today I took a before picture to use against my after picture once the 60 Day Challenge is complete.  I can’t believe my abs are disappearing before my eyes, I blame the white wine!  You can read the post I wrote last year same time below and get to see how far I have come on my health and fitness journey.  Those taking part in the challenge, good luck, it is NOT going to be easy.

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Winter is NOT my friend, look at that pouch 😦

1 June 2017: Weight 74.3kgs

1 June 2016: Weight 74.3kgs

1 June 2015 : Weight 74.9kgs

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Hello and good morning.  It’s a beautiful Wednesday and today I got off the scale with a huge smile on my face.  Can you believe that I have managed to maintain the same weight range in the space of a year.  I was actually surprised myself because given that I haven’t been running as often as I used to I would have thought I would have gained weight.  After posting this question on Twitter

experts have to help me with this one. I’m losing weight each week but I don’t run as much as I used to. What am I doing right?

Myk replied and said ” @MaKupsy running on a regular basis can temporarily increase your metabolism , which burns calories for energy.You’re still reaping the benefits”.

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June 2016

That said, it’s winter this part of the world and getting up in the morning to go for my run is becoming a lot harder.  I have been setting my alarm for 5:15am for the past two weeks and I have lounged in bed for an extra 15 minutes and then sometimes I have even decided to not go running at all because my bed will be warm and comfortable.

However, this week I have come up with a new strategy.  Instead of torturing myself by waking up early and actually not clocking in any runs I now just wake up when my internal cooperates.  Say today for example; I woke up at 6:15am.  I didn’t have time to even think about whether I felt like running or not.  I jumped out of bed, wore my running gear and left the house in a flash because time was not on my side but my run still had to be completed.  See, I can safely say that in winter I can work best under pressure because this alarm thing is certainly not working out.

I am also watching what I eat.  Thanks to this miserable weather I am feeling hungry most times and I told myself that if I don’t eat right and mind my portions I might end up gaining all the weight I have worked so hard on losing.  I am having fruits, vegetables, meat (minus beef I am not a fan of it AT ALL) extra small starch portions and drinking room temperature water because I simply can’t stomach cold water right now!

If you’re a runner what winter tips and tricks do you have that you have tried and tested?

©MaKupsy 2017

Fitness In The Park : Africa Day

Hello and good morning; I hope your day has started off on a bright and beautiful note.  If you follow my blog you are well aware that I also have a Fitness Blog that you should check out when you have time.  Fitness is a huge part of my life and without it I probably would not have the amount of zeal I have for blogging.  The two make a perfect match.  This will be a fun read for you because it will take you less than 10 minutes to go through it, enjoy.

There is one main thing you can do when you have a break from work and that is rest.  I know a lot of people managed to do that yesterday but for some of us who can never get enough of exercise it was a chance to meet up with like minded people and get some activities going.  The start time was 9:00 am and that gave everyone enough time to get ready and possibly add an extra hour of sleep.  I had done an 8K run before the event so there was no way I was going to go for a run so instead I watched over our bags while everyone went for a short 2K run.

The agenda for the day was to complete the entire alphabet as a group for the Spell Your Name Challenge.  We really should have had someone take a video of this because the various forms people ended up doing were hilarious.  It looks easy to do on paper but a different story when you actually have to do it.  That’s the beauty of doing things in a group, you get to learn and unlearn things.  I for one learnt that you can combine your burpees with mountain climbers and feel like death after wards (in a good way).

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Onai showing us how to do a star jump

We ended up substituting burpees with skipping and speed runs because we were no longer doing them in the proper form.  It was a lot of fun either way because we got to challenge our bodies in ways we never knew were possible.

I would like to personally thank everyone who came through yesterday:

  • Onai : May I one day be able to do star jumps like that without wanting to pass out.
  • Thembi : Even though the challenge was not easy you kept your good form for all the workouts.
  •  Jeff : Who knew you could combine burpees with mountain climbers, shout out to you for teaching us this trick!
  • Archie : You had a cold but that did not stop you from coming through for the event and even playing basketball after the main agenda of the day.
  • Samantha : The energy you have is out of this world, you should seriously consider being a sprinter.
  • Kundi : You managed to run even though it is not your favourite form of exercise.
  • Dumi : You arrived a little later than everyone else but you managed to join us and still play basketball afterwards.
  • Memory : That push up variation was not something we expected after an hour of exercise but we loved it all the same.  You still went on to play for your team at your netball match.
  • Chenge : Girl those squat pulses you taught us are definitely going on my to-do-list.  I hope this means my tush will grow at a faster rate because they are definitely something.

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It was a great day filled with great vibes.  The beautiful thing about this experience is that the ones who love fitness will stay coming through without need for a push.  I can only write about fitness and tell you all about it but if you actually don’t get up and do the work you will never get results.  At the end of the day this is all on you.

This Fitness In The Park event is free and happens once each month.  Be sure to Like my Facebook Page to stay up to date with all things fitness related.

Do you have Fitness In The Park Events in your community?  If yes, what is the experience like?

©MaKupsy 2017

Speak Things Into Existence

Believe me when I tell you that the universe pays attention when you speak.  Many moons ago I wished for a tall, good looking man who dressed up nice and would shower me with flowers; I have a serious weakness for them it’s insane.  I used to tell my colleagues almost everyday how my handsome prince would come for me and guess what, months down the line I was in a relationship with a guy who fit those specifications to a tee.   Like how was that even possible?

I remember this one time I tagged along when my friend when she was going to court.  I was heavily pregnant at the time and when I saw the women standing in line for Child Maintenance issues I said; “One day I will be standing in line too given the drama we are always going through with the father of my child”.  Again I tell you, the universe pays attention, I was in that exact same line 5 years later going through the most.  I spoke this into existence and I don’t even know why I was surprised when it actually happened.

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image from Pinterest

Thankfully, there are some pretty good things that have happened.  The one time I was going through pictures on the internet and wishing for a holiday.  Something about the Christmas holiday makes me feel like travelling.  I had my eyes on Cape Town and told myself it was going to happen and it did!  My sister is the best for making it happen and you should find yourself a sister just like her!

From my experience when it comes to self talk, the more positive things you say to yourself the better your experience outcomes.  When I started my fitness journey I was outspoken; most people didn’t understand how a “big” woman could have so much self love but they were never ready for the extra confidence that would come once I lost the weight.   I used to go for my runs without music just to have a chance to speak to myself and encourage myself throughout the run.  I would tell myself things like:

  • You’ve got this, just one more kilometer to go
  • Wait till you do your weigh in tomorrow and see how much work you have put in
  •  They are not ready for the after run photo I am going to post on Instagram
  • Who would have thought I would ever run 10K
  • The way I am smashing that cellulite on my thighs right now though
  • Girl you are on fire did you hear that pace on the voice over!

You see, all that self talk got me to push myself and my body to the limit.  Imagine if I had been telling myself negative things.  This body would have never come to life, it’s a pity I can’t show it to you, it’s still illegal to walk around naked this part of the world.

I have a whole list of other positive things that I have asked the universe to grant me after I realised she actually pays attention.  No more random negative thoughts because I certainly don’t want to end up in situations I will dearly regret.  Lately I ask for good health, success, financial security, a whole Land Rover Discovery (in red of course), to be the first Nike Woman in Zimbabwe and a rich husband.  Speak things into existence people!!

In whatever you do, be good to yourself.  Speak of all the beautiful things about yourself and those around you and the universe will also respond positively.

What are some of the things you speak into existence?  Have any of them come to life, care to share?

©MaKupsy 2017

Let Your Body Do The Yoga!

Never underestimate the power of a Monday morning workout!  I hope you did some form of exercise this morning because trust me, it will determine the rest of your workout week.  This year my agenda is to feature a fitness interview on my blog every month and the first one happens to be Yoga related.  I took some time out yesterday afternoon and got to talk to one who also goes by the name “Fitness Duchess” in the #RunWithFitnessBae WhatsApp group and this is what she shared with me.

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What is your name, your age and where you are from?

My name is Margaret Sandra Munthali.  I am 26 years old and I am from Blantyre, Malawi.

What inspired you to start doing Yoga and why Yoga?

My childhood best friend and I felt like doing something different for hanging out. Something healthy. We agreed upon Yoga. It was just about trying something new. A great way to spend the afternoon. We got our inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram.  We started off with Acroyoga actually.  There was no specific reason as to why we picked Yoga. We didn’t know it much at the time; but after our first session we felt SOOOO  good and got hooked.

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Do you do any other forms of exercise?

Yes I do other forms of exercise.  I run here and there. As of December 2016 I’ve been inspired to skip. So I am currently on a skipping challenge.  I also do random workouts on the app Nike Training App.  One day,  I’d love to do Cross Fit activities.

What are some of the benefits of Yoga?

There are so many benefits of Yoga. The physical ones include better posture,  increased core strength,  toned muscles, increased flexibility, pain and stress relief,  weight management and improved breathing. However, I discovered some other benefits too,  it is a great stress reliever!

I found that it taught me some great life lessons. Life is a  journey,  creating small goals is essential for happiness. In Yoga, a pose was a journey,  I would celebrate each improvement or step towards being able to get the pose. I found myself constantly motivated and happy. I apply that to life as well. The journey is just as important as the end goal. Another feeling I can’t really describe is the feeling you get after a great session. A sense of peace. Amaze balls!! It also helped me focus and helped me practice the skill of blocking things out and being able to be present.

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What would you advise someone who wants to try out Yoga?

Practice, practice, practice. I can’t emphasise this enough. The more you do it the better you get. When you stop you reverse the effects slowly. The Internet is your friend. There is tonnes and tonnes of inspiration on the Internet.  A lot of amazing people doing amazing things. There are many variations of yoga too. Research and choose what suits you. There are different types of yoga too. Personally I enjoy the Hatha Yoga  and Ashtanga types; sometimes Vinyasa too. I would love to try some Iyengar  which is the yoga practice that uses props like straps and blocks and some  Birkam also known as Hot Yoga. (Feel free to search for these Yoga variations on the Internet). My advise is find a partner to do it with. I think that was what helped me to stay on track. When I am practicing alone. It’s okay but not as fun.

Where do you do your yoga and what equipment do you need?

I do my Yoga at home mostly and at places with beautiful backgrounds if the aim is a pose and a picture. In most cases you just need a mat. However, if you wanna try Iyanger  then you will need blocks and straps (or a scarf).

I have noticed your  #RunWithFitnessBae hashtags, what got you to join the group?

I decided to join because I had fallen off the wagon. I had not really exercised in a long time. I was feeling lazy and uninspired.  Body size was not the problem. I was actually weighing less than I had in a long time. But for someone who loves fitness I was feeling very unhealthy. I saw Umba’s post on Instagram and sent a message to Fitness Bae that I want in and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only did I find my inspiration back,  I get daily motivation and a six pack doesn’t seem like an impossible dream anymore

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Anything you would like to share with anyone who is making excuses to start on working out?

Working out is not just about weight loss.  I cannot stress this enough. You can be in love with the size of your body but you still need to work out. I read somewhere that working out decreases the chance of getting breast cancer by 25%.  Working out also decreases the chance of getting many diseases. It boosts confidence and it’s great therapy.  You don’t have to go out and run 50 kilometres today, just make small exercise improvements everyday and make the habit a part of your life.

Where can people reach you on social media?

Pinterest

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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Since I started doing Yoga,  I have noticed that I celebrate the small things.   I am more in love with my body and I have more confidence in what my body can do.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Rest Day Is IMPORTANT!

I want a six pack and I want it now!  Well, okay, I actually can’t have it now but it would be really nice if I could dial for one and it would be delivered right at my doorstep.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that and to get a six pack you have to put in the work! I set out to plan out a challenge for myself which I will share at the end of the 6 weeks and boy was my body not ready for it or what!  The first three weeks went by smoothly-ish until my body started giving in on me.

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Week 3 of my Ab Challenge

My running pace was getting terrible by the day.  My legs felt heavy and I was not as energetic as I usually am.  I sent Kudzai a message telling him I was struggling BIG TIME and he told me I needed to rest.  Rest?? I actually told him he was being insane.  How do I rest when I am trying to get killer abs?  I went on and listened though and took a day off from everything fitness related.  Kudzai encouraged me to stretch instead on my rest day and get my body to repair.  Trust me the day I got back to running my pace drastically improved.  From someone who was running at around 6’36″/ km my pace rocketed to 5″48/ km.  Imagine that!  A few days later my pace was at 5’25″/km.

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Wearing the KG Socks 🙂

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that resting would actually make things better for me.  This was an eye opener for me.  We never stop learning!  Imagine if one day of rest made such a drastic change…what would happen if I took 2 days of rest?  I went back to my challenge routine which also involves, skipping, planks, push-ups the whole shebang that’s supposed to help shape my core. This stuff is painful, by the time I am done my whole core feels like it’s on fire!!

Last week was just hard.  My left leg was in serious pain.  When I asked Amy (she is a physiotherapist)  what was going on with my legs she told me that I had Achilles Tendonitis…loosely translated to an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.  I have been running distances ranging from 2 to 15 kilometers since August 2014 to date.  I think my body was just telling me it was time I took a break for a bit.  The pain I was feeling can not be put into words.  All I know is that the doctor knows best and I tried to listen to her for a few days then decided otherwise and attended a Walkathon instead.  I regretted every minute of it the next day!  Burnout is real!  I woke up with both my knees in serious pain.  It’s fine, I get it, I will take the rest day or days in this case!!

This is week 5 of my 6 week challenge but unfortunately it is going to be my rest week and I will only get back to it next week.  My legs won’t allow it.  In the interim I will concentrate on stretching and a few ab routines.  I am still off vodka till the challenge is over and gosh do I miss it or do I miss it!  I must admit, it feels very strange not waking up at insane hours to go out to run and workout but I know I need this.  The way I have been sleeping well since Saturday night are a sure sign that my body needed the much needed rest.

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Taking a well deserved break from exercising! 

If you are a runner or workout fanatic like me, has this ever happened to you before?  Do you believe in taking rest days or once you start nothing can stop you?

I have learnt two lessons from this though:

  1. Too much of anything is not good for you after all. 
  2. You have to listen to your body, if it’s telling you you are over training take time to rest!

©MaKupsy 2016

#UrsulaChallenge

I have to be honest with you, when I initially started working out I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would inspire so many people around me.  It has been and continues to be an interesting fitness journey.  I created a WhatsApp group with amazing individuals and everyday we push each other do to better than we did the day before.  Within the group there are Fitness Instructors, Physiotherapists, Lawyers, IT Personnel, Secretaries, University Students, Bloggers…tell you what, the list is endless and the group is diverse.

The great thing about it is thanks to technology we don’t have to be all in one place to run, just a running application on your mobile device and you are good to go.  There are runners from the UK, Algeria, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa,Zambia, Zimbabwe.  Minus running we get to learn different languages, cultures and foods.  Okay, I will have to expand on this on a different day, for now let  me talk about the #UrsulaChallenge

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Flyer by @KingKGC (Twitter)

The last challenge we had, Taku won hands down.  We have a rule that whoever wins the challenge is the one who will choose what the next challenge will entail.  I decided to have a little twist to it because I realised that to keep the motivation alive runners who are improving need to get some form of recognition as well and so Ursula was the lucky runner to get chosen. She has been running with the team since October and she has outdid herself, even running after a long day when all she wanted to do was sleep.

There are a few additions to her challenge which are:

  • Participants are to weigh in on Monday morning or Sunday evening and have their weight recorded.

You are encouraged to weigh in at the same time you weighed yourself at the beginning of the challenge and to use the same scale.

The one who loses the most weight during this weeks challenge gets 15 bonus points.

P.S The weight loss is for those who have it as their goal to lose weight, if not please do not worry yourself with the weigh in.

  • There will be a cook off on the Rest Day of the challenge.  The participant who sends through a plate that has healthy  food options, is well presented and appealing to the eye will get 5 bonus points.

I hope you will take part in this challenge, trust me, if you are a fitness enthusiast you will completely enjoy it and probably come back for more.  All the best in the upcoming challenge team, and may the best runner win!

#UrsulaChallenge #RunWithFitnessBae

P.S We always use Nike+(read as being resistant to change) for the challenges but this time the rules are more flexible and participants can use Strava, Cardio Trainer, Adidas and NRC.

Share. Like. Join.

©MaKupsy 2016