Thursday, 23 November 2017

Are you stressed out?

Stress affects each of us in one way or another and it is your body’s reaction to anything that it perceives to be emotionally disturbing or threatening. Your heart rate increases and your blood pressure goes up, as well as your respiration and pulse rates. Stress can be divided into two categories – good stress and bad stress. Good stress helps you focus, making it easier for you to achieve your goals. Negative stress, on the other hand, can get so severe that people “burn out” as a result, and lose the ability to function normally.

Some signs that you might be stressed out include:
• A lack of happiness, enthusiasm and spontaneity
• Unusual intolerance of people and irritability
• Angry outbursts
• Difficulty concentrating and the inability to make even minor decisions
• Increased use of substances such as alcohol and/or drugs (including prescription drugs)
• Restlessness
• Loss of efficiency at work or school (yes, even children can become stressed out)
• A preoccupation with negative thoughts
• Frequent illness and slow recovery
• Nightmares and persistent disturbing dreams
• Psychosomatic illness, such as an unexplained rash
• Withdrawal from friends and social situations

Some big causes of stress are:
• Death of a spouse or loved one
• Divorce or marriage troubles
• Personal injury or illness or health issues with a loved one
• Marriage
• Being fired or changing your line of work
• Retirement
• Pregnancy
• Sexual difficulties
• Mortgage or loan for a major purpose

Things that can help:
• Meditation • Yoga • Massage • Music • Asking for help • Keeping a journal • Laughing • Having a healthy breakfast • Exercise

Things that can make it worse:

• Smoking • Caffeine • Sugar • Alcohol • Drugs   

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Peppers stuffed with rice

These make great starters or sides to a main meal. You could also change up the filling and add a little mince to make a tasty lunch dish or weeknight meal. Try the mince mixture used in our lentil and mince cottage pie recipe.

6 peppers (red, yellow or green)
2 cups rice
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp chilli
15ml oil
1 tsp masala
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Cut off the stem end of each pepper about one centimetre from the top. Seed the peppers and set aside.
3. Boil the rice according to the instructions on the packet and set aside.
4. Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a little oil till soft.
5. Add the coriander and masala and stir-fry for about one more minute. Season with salt to taste. Add the cooked rice to the pan and mix.
6. Spoon the mixture into each of the peppers.
7. Arrange the stuffed peppers on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the peppers are soft.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Carrot pancakes

Here's something sweet to try with the kids this weekend.

2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
1¼ cup milk
1¼ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Golden syrup
Nuts or choc chips

In a blender add the carrots, vanilla, egg and milk and pulse until well blended and the mixture turns orange. The mixture will be thick.
2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar.
3. Add the carrot mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Don't over-mix or your pancakes will end up flat and tough.
4. Heat a pan to medium heat and add a little butter.
5. Scoop a big spoonful of batter onto the pan. Cook on one side until bubbles form all over the top of the pancake and the edges begin to change colour.
6. Flip the pancake and cook for one or two minutes on the other side.
7. Serve with a drizzle of golden syrup and sprinkle over some toasted walnuts and choc chips.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Summer Issue 2017

Look out for your Summer 2017 issue of Club which should be arriving soon. It's full of tasty recipes, interesting features, great competitions and fantastic benefits like the Family Club bursaries. Get your applications in now for 2018!

Here are our latest winners:
Superdraw winners
Benefit winners
Competition winners

Thursday, 9 November 2017

4 allergy mistakes

Sick of struggling with horrible allergies that make you feel irritable and tired? Consider these four common allergy mistakes before giving in.

Mistake 1: You treat symptoms without knowing what you’re allergic to.

Solution: Get tested. Before you assume that your allergy medicine isn’t working, make an appointment with a reputable allergist. They will then be able to tell you the best method of treatment.

Mistake 2: You don’t steer clear of your allergy triggers.

Solution: It’s not always that easy, but depending on your allergy trigger, try and minimise your exposure to it.

Mistake 3: You wait too long to take allergy medicines.

Solution: Don’t wait until you start sneezing and sniffling to take medication. Medication works best at blocking symptoms, not treating them, so if you know you have seasonal allergies then plan ahead.

Mistake 4: You eat foods that might aggravate sniffles and sneezes. Some people find that certain foods such as fruit can also trigger allergy symptoms.

Solution: Talk to your doctor if you’ve ever experienced these symptoms after eating certain foods. Cooking the food can help, but your doctor will be able to advise you.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Mince, chickpea and coriander curry rotis

The Dal Palak used in this recipe is a lentil curry, so if you use vegetarian mince it would make a good vegetarian meal. Using lean or extra lean mince combined with the chickpeas also makes this dish a healthy choice – and it's pretty tasty! You can prepare a batch of the mince mixture in advance and then make up the rotis as you want them during the week.

1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely grated
5-10ml medium curry powder
500g mince
1 stock cube dissolved in 500ml hot water
1 pack Tastic Dal Palak heat & eat curry
410g tin of chickpeas, drained
Rotis/ wraps

1. Fry the onion and carrot in a medium to large pot over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes before adding the curry powder and frying for another minute or two – don’t let it burn. Now add the mince and cook until brown, about five minutes.
2. Add the stock, chickpeas and packet of curry and reduce the heat to low-medium. Allow to cook through for about five to ten minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Serve with the rotis and sambals.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Spend wisely

Money’s tight for almost everyone these days, but looking after yourself is not just about money – it’s also about giving your body what it needs. And while there are some things you should buy, no matter the cost, it’s okay for you to skimp on others.

4 things you shouldn't skimp on:
Insurance. Medical aid or a hospital plan is a non-negotiable. In terms of insurance cover, what you need is comprehensive insurance on your home contents and car; combine the two if you can. Take out basic life insurance to cover any debt if you don't have children.
A decent bed. You spend a third of your life on it. A sagging mattress will give you back problems in the long run, and this will cost much more than it would have cost to buy a decent mattress in the first place.
Fruit and veg. An apple a day keeps the doctor away – that’s no joke. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not expensive and eating these every day will lower your chances of picking up viral infections doing the rounds. It will also aid your digestive system.
Time out. Relaxation time is a non-negotiable. If you are constantly on the run and never get the time to chill out, your body has a way of forcing you to rest. This is called flu.

4 things you can definitely skimp on:

Cigarettes. A packet of cigarettes could cost more than R20. It’s expensive, and you're at a much higher risk of developing serious health problems. So smoking is a bit like paying lots of money so that you can become ill and miserable.
Medication. Whenever you get a prescribed medication, ask about generic equivalents. These often cost much less and mostly have the same contents as the expensive version.
Clothing brand names. Why pay five times as much for something just because it has the right label? If you’re 16 one can understand it, but once you have your own driver’s license, it’s time to grow up.
Fancy vitamins. These can cost hundreds of rands every month, and do not work as efficiently as just simply eating the food that contains those vitamins. Living on hamburgers and chips and taking a vitamin tablet is no substitute for eating a healthy diet.
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