World No Tobacco Day!

We’re right at the end of May and as it goes in every year, it’s World No Tobacco Day! We here at Girl Boss stand in solidarity with The World Health Organisation (WHO), which, in a bid to drive and increase awareness on the harmful effects of the substance, observe today as a day of self-restraint from tobacco. 

It is reported that approximately 6 million people worldwide die due to tobacco and this is the number of people that the world loses each year. This is a huge number and a great cause for concern and whilst this speaks to the bigger issue of addiction, it is also understandable that the World Health Organisation, in 2008, called for a worldwide ban on the promotion, sponsorship and advertising of Tobacco. Their aim was to target advertising specifically directed at the youth as they dubbed their campaign “Tobacco-free youth”. Initially, back in 1987, when the World Health Organisation initiated the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), the goal was to encourage a 24 hour refrain from tobacco from its users with the hope that this step would encourage them to quit or motivate those trying to quit

Photo by Idy Tanndy

The World Health Organisation themes each World No Tobacco Day as a means to not only drive its deeply humanitarian message but to also highlight the industry’s attempt to derail the organisation’s work in creating awareness and pushing an initiative that makes it clear to all that tobacco is a life-threatening drug. In 2012, for example, the theme was “Tobacco Industry Interference”. Accompanying each annual theme are publicity materials such as brochures, fliers, press releases, websites and posters. The purpose of each theme is to also ensure that consumers are not misinformed and disillusioned about the effects of consuming tobacco.  World No Tobacco Day celebrations include the sharing and circulation of the latest research conducted on tobacco in order to keep people informed and as well challenge ‘anti-tobacco’ arguments circulating in the world

The theme of WNTD 2019 is “Tobacco and lung health”. This year the focus is on the numerous ways in which exposure to Tobacco affects the health of people’s lungs all over the world. Some of the related diseases that are highlighted include lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tuberculosis, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and lower respiratory infections, amongst others. The reduction of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure is motivated as an effective measure in improving lung health. As part of this year’s campaign, The World No Tobacco Day 2019 campaign will conscientise the world on the implications of tobacco smoking and second-hand exposure and it’s danger to lung health, it will raise awareness on the global fatalities as a result of lung diseases including tuberculosis deaths, it will highlight the importance of not only achieving lung health but general health and well-being and recommend the actions that people all over the world can take in order to reduce the risks of tobacco in relation to lung health

It is important for us to take such global matters to heart and support calls for action. Overall health matters and whilst it may not seem like an easy feat to quit smoking tobacco, we support our brothers and sisters in putting their health first by joining in on this years’ World No Tobacco Day. For at least 24 hours, let us all try to steer clear of tobacco and protect ourselves from second hand smoking. And for those of us who can take it a step further, let us make it a ‘World No Tobacco Weekend’!

It is, admittedly, tough for the youth to not adopt smoking as a habit as most marketing is directed at them and it would seem that in whichever way they turn, even people they look up to have a cigarette in hand. What immediately comes to mind is the latest music video release by South Africa’s most loved and celebrated rapper, Kwesta. His song, ‘Khethile-khethile’ is just plain sweet as he tells the world that he has chosen his ‘forever’ and that there’s no turning back for him. The music video beautifully captures his wedding and now and again we see him either with a cigarette in hand or smoking it. Even as a non-smoker myself, I must admit that there’s a look of ‘cool’ associated with it. And perhaps that’s why most young people easily pick up on habits such as drinking and smoking; it’s associated with a lifestyle; celebrating, partying and generally having a good time. 

Photo by Helzio Pires Cupertine

But, for today and perhaps for the rest of the weekend (and dare I say, and for forever and a day), let us, especially as young people, take heed of the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day 2019 and put our health first and the health of the ones around us. Let us also thrive to encourage one another as we join in, in creating awareness over the destructiveness of tobacco. Let’s circulate the brochures, fliers, posters and press releases and share the information we come across on websites. The World Health Organisation also encourages that, “Parents and other members of the community should also take measures to promote their own health, and that of their children, by protecting them from the harms caused by tobacco.”

Let’s meet today with some excitement, positivity and zeal. Cheers to World No Tobacco Day! Or, if you like, World No Tobacco Weekend!

Spirulina Is Still The Rage!

Written by Khanyisile Msebenzi

Every year or so there seems to emerge a new healthy trend or superfood. Spirulina was all the rage some 10 years ago and in my opinion should always be the rage and the one superfood supplement we should take as women in this age of busyness. By now we all know that our bodies don’t get enough nutrition, most of us overload our bodies with carbohydrates and take little other nutrients that our bodies need for optimal functioning. 
Spirulina is from the green and blue algae family and is a single-celled Cyanobacteria that grows both in salt and fresh water. It produces its energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. It is high in:

  • B Vitamins
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

It is also anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, heart disease and anaemia. Spirulina also helps improve muscle endurance and faster muscle recovery.

As a young woman these are the reasons you should consider taking Spirulina daily:

  1. Improved concentration and brain function. By taking Spirulina every day blood flow to the brain is increased due to anti-inflammatory properties of spirulina and it’s high iron content.
  2. Spirulina improves memory function because it protects your cognitive systems and stimulates your brain and nervous system.
  3. Spirulina’s main ingredient is tryptophan, which is an amino acid the human body needs to produce serotonin and melatonin. Our bodies do not produce tryptophan on their own. Serotonin is the ‘happiness’ hormone, regulates our moods and stress. Melatonin regulates our sleeping patterns so we get good sleep. Tryptophan is important in preventing conditions such as insomnia, anxiety and depression. 
  4. Spirulina gives energy, especially if you work out, but even if you don’t, Spirulina gives you energy to go through the day at high energy absorbing more with your brain. The energy comes from the high chlorophyll and protein content in Spirulina. 
  5. Spirulina keeps you full for longer. Eating heavy meals especially between classes can be draining. We all know the itis that hits in the afternoon that takes forever to get through, those hours lost can never be recovered. Spirulina keeps you fuller for longer because of its high protein content.

Spirulina comes in mainly two forms, in tablet form and powder form. In my experience taking the tablet form is easier, the taste of the powder is different to anything I am used to and makes it difficult for me to swallow, but it is not horrible at all, just different. If you choose the powder option, try to include it in your daily smoothie to mask the taste.
Dischem and Clicks usually have good specials on Spirulina and it is affordable on a student budget, in my view, you can’t afford not to take this superfood if you want to live life at high energy. 

 

Finding Different Ways to Exercise

We recently posted an article (https://girlbosssa.com/2019/02/13/the-healing-powers-of-celery/) that looked at the Healing Powers of Celery. But more specifically the article covered how we could go about achieving our body goals focusing on 80% clean diet and 20% exercise, the 80/20 rule. Health and fitness gurus are constantly developing innovative techniques to assist with physical exercising outside of the conventional gym institute. Nowadays heading to the gym only counts as a singular approach, and there is more than one way to obtain physical satisfaction.

As noted, what really contributes the most to one’s physical health is your diet. If we can simply get this under wraps than we are more than half way to reaching our desired body state. Eating 80% clean requires that we become more conscious about the foods we feed our body. If it does not fuel you then it may not be necessary. The best way to go about a clean diet is becoming informed about what you are consuming. Actively participating by reading food labels, understanding how many calories are required per day according to our Body Mass Index (BMI – Weight and height combined), eating more wholesome foods etc. In the past the idea of eating 5 – 6 meals a day is what was regarded to be the ideal, especially when trying to minimize unnecessary binging. However, not everyone is designed the same, and eating only when we find ourselves hungry is just as sufficient. The trick is eating well, with the occasional ‘cheat treat’.

Working out from home

I like to consider myself as somebody who is inconsistently consistent when it comes to maintaining an exercising routine. What I mean by this is that a long period such as 6 months could never go by without me engaging in some physical exercise, and by engaging I mean for a good 3 months. But I usually die out. That is why is has become imperative that I find other means to keep fit outside of the gym, because I speculate that the biggest reason behind my fall is boredom or simply finding the process tedious.

Home Workouts:

To be quite frank, the most amount of weight I have lost was outside of the gym, simply working out in an open space at home. Cardio was my main focus, as I knew that I needed to shed more fat. But shedding fat alone is not enough, as what helps your body maintain a certain weight is toning. This is muscle that is layered over the fat, so basically it is the process of converting the remaining fat into muscle, which would make it harder to revert back to fat. YouTube should be your best friend as there are plenty of free home videos at your disposal, catering to all type of workouts, ranging from toning, cardio, core strength, you name it. Alternatively, you can purchase DVDs or buy online videos. There are videos that don’t require for you to have any equipment.

I don’t know about your social media timelines, but mine is trending with home workout videos. Lately this has been my go to source, and it is as simple as monkey see monkey do. You can also Google or use Pinterest to source still imagines that guide you, e.g. 10 burpees, 30 squats, 1 min wall sit, I find that all of these are just as effective.

Yoga:

I just love yoga because it goes beyond hardcore training; it is also a spiritual exercise that coaches you on breathing as well as raising your consciousness. It highly underestimated but in all of my yoga classes I have died, because they are so intense.

There are different types of yoga practices, some focus on breathing, some on stretching and other strength. But it is definitely effective and you will break a sweat. YogaTrail is an app Iove to use. It provides you with classes that are happening nearby and in your city. It gives you information about the instructor, it also tells you which classes are free or not. You can reserve your spot for a class on the app and even go as far as communicating with the instructor. YouTtube is an alternative great source for practicing yoga in the comfort of your own space.

Hiking:

Even though I regard myself as inconsistently consistent, I still never seem to be fit enough for hiking. It always seems like I should opt for beginner level even though I want to think that I am at least intermediary level. Hiking is not joke, but it is refreshing as being out in nature has the propensity to relinquish and refresh one soul. But you must be prepared, especially when hiking with people who are experienced the sport, you will fall behind and you will work those quads! Download and look at the Komoot app for trails and information near you, it is helpful!

Boot Camps:

These are fun and exciting, especially if you enjoy outdoor training. I use to love boot camps that take place at the botanical garden. The energy is high and everyone is in on same mission. It is also a great way to make friends. You develop a fitness circle and in most cases your friends will push you beyond what you can push yourself. I honestly love boot camps, because I find outdoor training to be the most effective form or exercise, especially if you have established goals.

There really is no excuse as to why we cannot reach our desired weight or fitness level. The most work we have to do is find internal motivation, which should be easy because you are the person who is not happy with the scale or whatever reason. Training boosts our energy levels, it releases endorphins and hormones which make us feel good and happy, it is the ultimate solution to any of your internal and physical problems!

How To Enjoy Spring Cleaning

I can already see eyes rolling at the title of this article but if you’re reading this, then there must be a desire in you, one way or another, to live a cleaner life. It can be hard to keep a clean space, whether it’s at home or in your workspace. Cleaning takes up time and energy, and hiring someone to do it for you can become a strain on your pocket. But it has to be done either way. So hopefully I can help transform your attitude towards cleaning, even if it’s only just a little bit.

I’m not an extreme neat freak but I enjoy cleanliness to the point that I’ve dedicated a system to keeping my surroundings free of unnecessary dirt. It’s not a huge aspect of my life but its definitely one of the small habits that I use to improve my overall wellbeing. If you absolutely hate cleaning, I totally understand. It can be very tedious. If you’d like to hate it a little bit less, here are some tips to consider.

Step 1. Reshape your belief/attitude towards dirt.

This is especially easy if you’re quite spiritual. Somewhere along my spiritual journey I learned about how dirt carries lower frequencies, and that negative energy can hide in dirt and clutter. When you sage or cleanse the air, to remove bacteria from your space, the dirt and clutter in the room is like a safe haven for bad energy to hide in, making your cleansing attempts pretty much pointless.

It started with my prayer room. I became obsessed with making sure that it was clean before I could pray because it almost felt rude to invite love and light into a dirty space. Then that attitude carried out into all my personal spaces – my bedroom, my office, and even the bathroom, especially whenever I wanted to soak in the tub, everything had to be squeaky clean.

Step 2. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself.

Accept that you won’t have the energy to clean everyday. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Once a week is perfectly good for tackling dust and dirt build-up.

Step 3. Get the right tools.

My biggest issue with cleaning used to be the smell of bleach on my hands afterward and concerns about how the chemicals were affecting my skin. Make sure you get all the gloves, sponges and cloths you need in order to make the job easier. Have a variety of products. I typically use bleach for bathroom surfaces, Mr. Muscle for kitchen surfaces and Handy Andy for the rest. I love the smell of disinfected surfaces. Try to avoid feather dusters as they just spread the dust around and throw it into the air, which only settles back into place after a few hours.

Step 4. Make it FUN!

Play your favorite music! I’m always in my own personal musical when I clean. The broom becomes a microphone stand and I perform the most heartfelt ballads for absolutely nobody while I make the house glisten. So cleaning becomes a few hours of pure childish creative expression. Find the fun that works for you. I have a friend who likes to record her thoughts on voice memos while she cleans because she has the most interesting ideas and thoughts while she cleans. There is something therapeutic to be found in this activity.

Step 5. Don’t obsess over tiny details.

If there is a tiny spot that won’t go away no matter how hard you scrub, leave it and attend to it when everything else is done. Small things like that only take up time and energy you could be using on bigger, more important tasks, and can cause you to burn out sooner than you anticipated, making it hard to get everything done. Just keep it moving. You’ll be happier with the end result.

Step 6. Open the doors and windows.

This helps to ensure that you’re not inhaling potent chemicals. Inviting fresh air to flow through the space protects you from breathing all the products and the dust in. One time, I almost passed out from bleaching my shower surfaces because I was closed in there, surrounded by the fumes. Don’t be like me.

Step 7. Start with a basic plan.

If you set yourself a simple to do list, without too many details, it gives you an outline for your tasks and freedom to do them in whatever order you feel like. For example, think – “I’m going to spend one hour in the kitchen, one hour in the bathroom, 30 minutes in my study and 30 minutes in my room. Then I’ll get the laundry going while I have lunch and watch Netflix.” That’s an easy 3-4 hour plan with some downtime at the end.

And here’s how this whole routine is guaranteed to improve your wellbeing:

  • It’s Healthy

It reduces allergy symptoms. Dust particles irritate air passages in the body, especially nasal passages (for those who have conditions such as sinusitis and asthma). Clean linen reduces chances of getting rashes, acne and other skin breakouts.

  • Reduces Stress

Besides the fact that the act of cleaning can be extremely therapeutic in itself, the results of it can be equally beneficial as well. Looking around at a de-cluttered space has a calming effect and it can help to clear the mind. Plus, you’ll sometimes find items that you’ve been looking for, and you’ll also find yourself organizing items you didn’t even intend to. Being organized is great for reducing stress.

  • Increases Focus

The brainwork of doing little mundane cleaning tasks can help to silence your mind from its daily stressors. Once the house is clean and the mind is cleared of all the tasks that need to be done in the house, it frees up mental space to think more clearly about everything else.

  • Mood Boost

When done right, this can actually boost your mood. If you take your mind off social media for a few hours and just blast your music, dance, sing, move around and just enjoy your own company and productivity, this can serve as a great stress release.

For an over-all boost in moral, a sense of accomplishment and an increase in energy levels, plus a squeaky clean house – why not get into this routine once a week? This can help make you a Girl Boss that saves herself some money and stays organised.

Improve Your Wellness By Eating One Raw Vegan Meal a Day

Lately there has been an increase of awareness in diet choices. More and more people are going vegan, vegetarian and or gluten free. Sure, it may just be trendy but eating clean is a trend we can get behind.

You don’t have to change your entire diet, you can just incorporate elements of the health is wealth trend in your life. One of these could be simply incorporating one raw vegan meal a day. That is, one meal that is minimally processed. This excludes bread, all meat, eggs, dairy and those darn french fries.

This means one meal of only fruits, nuts, leafy greens, uncooked vegetables, seeds, sprouted legumes and cold pressed oils (as part of salad dressing). You can make smoothies, fruit platters, and glorious rainbow salads. Give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive. Besides feeling like you are taking care of yourself, there are many benefits of eating one raw vegan meal a day.

  • Eating minimally processed food is easier to digest. This means that you will have energy to be the Girl Boss you always dreamed of, because your body can convert the food you eat more efficiently. Why reach for a coffee, when you can reach for a banana? These foods also have increased fibre which is also good for digestion.
  • The water in fruit and leafy green keeps you hydrated and feeling refreshed. 
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • It’s good for the immune system
  • It’s good for the environment. Our natural world is in a crisis, eating clean decreases your carbon footprint and is better for mother nature.
  • It grounds you to the earth, as you are more connected to the seasons and the flow of abundance.
  • Its good for your skin, hair and nails. Eating healthy makes your skin glow and staying hydrated makes your hair grow.
  • Improves the quality of your life and helps you maintain a high vibration. Making it easier for you to stay in harmony and attract blessings.

If any of these benefits resonates with you, try eating one raw vegan meal a day and tell us here at Girl Boss how it makes you feel.

Photo by Fischer Twins