World Doula Week

Since it is World Doula week, I thought it was only apt to feature someone who has used a Doula 8 times! Debbie Calo lives in Durban and has had a home birth for each of her children. I have seen her in action at yoga and I never imagined she had 8 children, she is a yoga master and looks incredible!

 

What does healthy mean to you?
For me health begins in your head!  You can eat well, exercise daily and take the best supplements but in the end if you are not happy then none of that matters. Being stressed or negative all the time does not support good health.  Besides that my family and I are vegetarians and we treat anything from the common cold to meningitis homeopathically, and as a result our immune systems are pretty strong!

 

What is your chosen form of exercise?
YOGA!!!  If my mat could talk!  My practice keeps me sane! I started practicing 27 years ago as it is the only exercise other than walking that I would recommend conception and during pregnancy. I also find it very grounding not to mention humbling.

Every pose has a meaning for it either releases what no longer serves a purpose in my life or strengthens me for what is still to come!  For me yoga is not only a physical exercise, you could go to the gym for that, it’s a spiritual, emotional and mental exercise. I always leave the studio with a great feeling of accomplishment.  I practice mainly heated Vinyasa yoga so I get a good detox at the same time! I also try and get to sculpt classes twice a week. Sculpt is a combination of yoga and medium to high intensity workout with weights.  It’s a lot of fun and you feel euphoric after burning up your yoga mat!  I do both yoga and sculpt at Tree Natural.

 

What does your way of healthy eating look like?
We are all vegetarian at home and my children have all been raised as vegetarians.  I have never been one to follow the latest trends in diets, I prefer to go with what I want to eat and I listen to my body. I always make healthy choices its just my way of honoring my body and good health.  My motto is “Eat when you are hungry, eat clean and the more organic the better”.

 

What is your passion project?
Actually my latest passion project is yet to begin!  It will be my yoga teacher training that I will begin early next year. Up until now it has been raising my eight children and I still have a way to go, I think one could definitely call that a ‘passion project!’.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?
Ok so I wake up with the birds which is pretty early! Morning is my best time of day. I love getting as much of it as possible. I go straight into fifth gear with cleaning up after my midnight snackers, packing school lunches, organising breakfasts, feeding the dog and then before waking up the troops I do a 20 minute mini workout in our gym at home, nothing hectic just a warm up for my day with some rowing, yoga stretches and a little dumbbell work.

Then it’s getting kids ready for school and doing the school drops. I walk my Rotti every morning on the beach, this is when I finally breath out! After that it’s a quick walk on the promenade (you can’t live in Umhlanga and not walk on the promenade at some point in your day!) then it’s my morning Yoga practice at 9am.  Tree is my little sanctuary, it’s my ‘happy place’. After class I get to sit with friends and get my caffeine fix.  By now I so have my ‘bliss’ on even the taxi drivers can’t get me going! Only now its back to the real world and the reality of having eight kids. To be fair though, one is in California and one is studying law at UCT so I only have six at home.  Next it’s the grocery shopping, then the school pick ups and sport spectating, homework and then a lot of kitchen time preparing dinner.

 

What would you like people to know about you?
That just because I have had eight kids I do not profess to ‘know it all’. I am open minded and believe that no matter how old you are or how much ground you have covered in life there is always something you can learn from everyone you meet. I have been practicing yoga for 27 years but still I have so much to learn. Life is a journey and we can learn from a 5 year old just as we can from a 50 year old. It’s about being humble and always, always keeping the ego at bay.  I chose to have my babies at home, not because I’m superwoman or have an above average threshold for pain, just because it felt ‘right’. I never put it out there simply because there was and still is such a stigma towards home birthing. I was considered primal and was  cast out of the pack so to speak. Sadly women have never been educated or encouraged to trust their own bodies. If there was one thing I could be given the chance to do, it would be to endorse having your baby at home, the greatest gift you can give your child.  That and beginning your childs education at home. I home schooled my kids during their formative years and it really payed off. As a result they all have a love for learning because they were gently and lovingly eased into schooling, they have a positive outlook to education.

So what do I want people to know about me?  I believe in being authentic to myself. I never wanted to talk the talk, I needed to walk the walk and lead by example. Anyone can talk about it, you gotta do it! My children are the ‘fruits of my labour’. I certainly don’t know it all, but my message to all you beautiful ladies out there is ‘Trust your bodies, trust your instincts, turn up the volume of that little voice within you and drown out the fear!


Favourite workout song?

Anything by Sia

 

Favourite quote/advice?
When thinking about life, remember this: no amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of anxiety can change the future.
Favourite quote: well I have a few so I had to narrow them down and just couldn’t stop at one!
“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed, it means the damage no longer controls our lives.”
“Face your past without regret, handle your present with confidence, prepare for the future without fear, keep faith, drop the fear.  Don’t believe your doubts and never doubt your beliefs.  Life is wonderful if you know how to live it!”

 

What was your experience with your doula?
I had a doula all eight times. The benefit of having a doula is that although you have the intimacy of your partner along with the expertise of the midwife, a doula brings about a calmness, she chases away your fears and empowers you with her words. My doulas were very gentle souls there was no judgement, no pressure, just reassurance that I could do this. I was perfectly able to bring this child into the world, I was designed for this, I was given the strength to do this and very soon I would be holding my beautiful baby in my arms. To me doulas are sent from heaven along with all the midwives that do home births. They should all be honored for the work that they do and the big hearts that they have.

 

 

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Debbie today!

 

Have you used a doula?

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Getting sporty with Dominique Mann

Dominique Mann is a South African athlete with more talent than should be legal for one person. She’s a South African champion and World Champion in Aerobic Gymnastics. I’ve seen her training and she is not only fit, strong, and flexible but determined as well!

Let’s get sporty with Dominique mann

 

What is your chosen sport?
I do Aerobic Gymnastics and I am part of the National Team.

 

What does eating for your sport look like?
I have to think about everything I put into my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, if I am craving chocolate or a delicious piece of cake, I will enjoy it, but then I have to adjust the rest of my eating plan for the day to account for my lack of self control. I follow a low carb, high protein diet. Aerobic Gymnastics is a high cardio sport, so it’s important for me to eat my daily carbohydrate before my toughest session of the day.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?
Crazy and very active! My day is broken up into three parts. The first part is a typical gymnastics session in a gymnasium with my amazing coach Alta Lategan and my two training partners/brothers Wilson Mafona and Happy Ledebwa. This is where we do all our routine training, fine tuning and reputation. The second part is cross training on an athletics track, this is where I do all my fitness training. The third and final part is done in a gym with my personal trainer, this is where I do all of my weight training.

 

What would you like people to know about you?
I am very serious and proud of my sport that I have worked hard to make my career. I have the most unbelievable team of people behind me to make all the magic happen and I get the most amazing support from my family and Fiancé. I’m also proudly sponsored by the best brand Mr Price Sport. Aerobic Gymnastics has taken me to the most incredible countries to compete against the best of the best.

 

What would you like people to know about your sport and training?
Being a high level Aerobic Gymnast, or any sport for that matter is a full time job. It’s long grueling hours of training and physically and mentally taxing at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s an honor to wear the Green and Gold colors on my back.

 

Are you a full time athlete or part time?
I am a full time athlete.

 

Favourite workout song?
At the moment it’s The Greatest by Sia, I can train like a champion to that song haha, love it.

 

Favourite exercise and why?
My favorite cardio is running, its a great full body cardio workout that leaves me always feeling satisfied. My favorite exercise is squats, every girl loves firm gluteus;)

 

Favourite part of your sport and competing?
I love the preseason training program. It’s high in fitness, and I LOVE fitness, but I have so admit that I am a very competitive person and the feeling of putting on my leotard and taking the floor excites me most. I perform well under pressure.

 

Favourite quote/advice?
Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.

Aerobic gymnastics

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Follow Dom on Instagram and Twitter!

 

 

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Getting to know Heather Mason

I met Heather on a trip to Cape Town for Gillette Venus Swirl. We met at the airport and straight away you could tell she was so spunky, bright and a pleasure to be around. Heather shares her travels around South Africa, and it’s so refreshing to see it from an American’s view. She makes me want to travel through Joburg and see more of our country!

Lets get to know Heather Mason…

What does healthy mean to you?
To me, healthy means living a life that makes me happy and doing everything in moderation.

 

What is your chosen form of exercise?
Boxing. I train three mornings a week at the Hillbrow Boxing Club in Johannesburg. I also do an occasional short run.

 

What does your way of health eating look like?
I used to be a lot more careful about what I eat: making an effort to eat only whole grains; buying local whenever possible; limiting fat, sugar, and processed foods; and eating tons of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. This is still what healthy eating looks like for me, but I must admit I’ve lost some of my discipline since moving from the U.S. to South Africa in 2010. I struggle to find the time to shop for super-healthy food (a time-consuming process in Joburg, because you have to visit so many different shops), and life as a travel blogger exposes me to a lot of naughty (but delicious) food. And to be honest I’ve just decided that life is too short 🙂

 

What is your passion project?
My blog, of course! I’ve made a life in South Africa for myself through my blog, and it means the world to me.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?
I work as a freelance writer and photographer, and no day is ever the same. But here’s one example of a day: I get up at 6:00 a.m. and drive to the Hillbrow Boxing Club for a morning workout. Come home, have coffee and breakfast, check emails and Instagram, catch up on work and write a blog post. In the afternoon, go out an do something in the city — visit a friend’s art gallery, go fabric-shopping at the Oriental Plaza, check out a new coffee shop that I want to blog about. Take pictures. Come home, have dinner, and hang out with my boyfriend and my cat. Go to bed early.

 

What would you like people to know about you?
Wow, that’s a difficult question to answer. I guess I want people to know that I’m genuine and real, both in my blog and in life.

 

What would you like people to know about your work/business?
I’m a storyteller. I love telling stories about my life in South Africa, and particularly my life in Johannesburg. I feel very privileged that I’ve been able to make a living out of doing that.

 

Favourite workout song?
“Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J.

 

Favourite exercise and why?
Boxing pad work. I’ve participated in many different sports and exercise programs in my life, but boxing provides the best full-body workout of anything I’ve ever done.

 

Favourite quote/advice?
I kind of hate quotes. But I guess my most useful piece of advice would be: Accept yourself for who you are and let go of everything that doesn’t matter.

Go and check out her blog www.2summers.net
Twitter: @2summers
Instagram: @2summers

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Getting to know Dr Megan Medina

I met Megan Medina a few years ago when she was teaching yoga at Virgin Active. She was basically my intro to yoga and I loved the way she taught. Fast forward a few years and since those 3 classes I attended, I now see her for yoga at Tree Natural at least twice a week! She is so sweet, so talented and she just draws you into her as well.

 

Let’s get to know Megan Medina…

 

What does healthy mean to you?
Healthy to me is freedom. Moving with ease, enjoying time with my family and friends. Being outdoors, being active, being at peace with my body, and my mind.
 
What is your chosen form of exercise?
Yoga always. I enjoy dancing, swimming, and weight training too.
 
What does your way of health eating look like?
A variety of fresh foods. Eating from the earth, food in its most natural form.
 
What is your passion project?
Uplifting women. Empowering women to find their strength, their self worth, to reconnect with their power.
 
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to practice Yoga in the mornings, followed by a day of consulting ( I work as a homeopath- treating pregnancy complaints, and pediatrics). I often teach yoga in the evenings. Amy spare time I have I write for my blog: healthy recipes, inspiring birth stories, Homoepathic first aid hints and tips) I try to spend a few hours studying for my post graduate degree in childbirth education.
 
What would you like people to know about you?
I love life, especially new life. And working as a doula is by far the most rewarding and life reaffirming vocation I have ever experienced. Being able to help support a birthing couple as they bring new life into the world is so powerful.
 
What would you like people to know about your work/business?
My business is very much apart of my every day life: the work I do, and the lessons I teach, fall in line with my philosophy to life, which is all about gentle, natural and holistic care. We have the power to heal ourselves, sometimes we just need a bit of guidance in the right direction.
 
Favourite workout song? I’m a lover of all John Mayer songs- the more sentimental the better.
 
Favourite exercise and why?
Yoga. It’s strong, it challenges you on a daily basis. It forces you to stay in the present moment, to stay focused on your breath and your body at all times. You can do it anywhere, at anytime, and after a class, you get the pleasure of lying still on your mat, and just chilling out. Pure bliss.
 
Favourite quote/advice?
Be true to what sets your heart on fire.
 
 

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Be sure to follow lovely Megan on Instagram and Facebook

Visit her website here!

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Getting to know Jane Weare
If you follow me on Facebook or snapchat, you’ll know how obsessed I am with We Are Food.
Today I get to introduce you to the lovely lady that basically feeds me every day (Please order their chicken soup, you’re welcome).

 

Let’s get to know… Jane Weare

 

What does healthy mean to you?
Everything in moderation!  I have dieted my whole life, and finally found balance in the last 5 years, where I don’t deny myself anything.  But just constantly try to make healthier choices.  I like to challenge myself whereby everytime I make a decision on a meal or treat, I take a second and choose something a little healthier.  So swap that white toast for Rye bread, Medium popcorn at the movies for a small etc.  I think making healthy short term choices, which (hopefully) become long term habits, is the way to a balanced lifestyle.

 

What is your chosen form of exercise?
Currently I torture myself at the gym 3-4 times a week with cardio/weight varying workouts.  My sister and I tag team between the treadmill and weights on the floor, so we constantly keep our heart rate up while doing moderate weights.  As I am getting older I find monotonous cardio does less for me!  So with the addition of weight training 3-4 times a week I have found my weight has remained constant, but my body shape has improved!  I am loving the results!
Then for fun on the weekend I try to get in the ocean at least once for a surf, but this is more for the soul than the body!
 

What does your way of health eating look like?
A green smoothie in the morning, it’s such a great way to start the morning, when I don’t have time to whip up complicated meals. For me personally, if I don’t prepare ahead of time, I fall off the wagon (I am a sucker for temptation!).  So boiled eggs, chicken and veg, soups (from We are Food) are a great, quick snack that is satisfying and healthy!

 

What is your passion project?
My business!  We are Food not only allows me to work within my passion; food!  It also means working daily with my Mum and Sister, Amy, in this family run business.  I never dreamt that one day I could make an income from one of my greatest passions! Everyday I spend time researching new dishes, recipes and ideas, then weekly my Mum and I have fun in our test kitchen trying them out!
 

What does a typical day look like for you?
4.45am wake up call to be at the gym by 5.15!
6.30am leave gym and head home.
7.15am, quick shower, grab my smoothie and head to our factory in Durban North to get the chefs going by 7.30am!
4.30am finish work, and then relax!
And then (I hate to admit it) I am usually in bed by 8.30pm!
 

What would you like people to know about you?
I never had a “real” plan for my future, and battled with self-doubt as to my abilities in the corporate world.  But when I took the dive into following my passion; cooking, suddenly not only did the hard work and late nights (or early mornings) become not only bearable, but exciting,  but awesome opportunities revealed themselves to me!  And the saying is totally true;  If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!
 

What would you like people to know about your work/business?
We are equally passionate about food, good business practice and our staff!  We want to be a formidable force in our field, whereby things are done properly, we push the boundaries of what is acceptable and run our business on the highest level possible!

 

Favourite workout song?
Our class instructor likes to throw in the odd sing-a-long like Christina Aguilera, or Moulin Rouge classics!  I love it!

 

Favourite exercise and why?
Currently I have been enjoying a really good 20minute stretch after my workout – some self adapted yoga poses – does this count??  I can’t say I LOVE any particular exercise, but I love the feeling of achievement after pushing myself!

 

Favourite quote/advice?
My good friend Erin Phillips who got me into weight training a few years ago once said something so simple, which made so much sense!  “when it starts to burn, and you want to stop, do a few more (reps, steps, another minute), that is the only way you will ever improve”

 

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Be sure to check out their amazing food offerings in Durban at www.wearefood.co.za
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