ISSUE 02 // 2016
SKINCARE TIPS FOR GLOWING, HEALTHY SKIN FAIL TO PLAN– PLAN TO FAIL 2017 RESOLUTIONS LIVING LIFE TRUTHFULLY WITH PENNY LEBYANE
Keep those extra kilos at bay this festive season
How to budget wisely for the Festive Season and into the New Year!
Join SA’s most caring medical aid scheme.
14 LIVING LIFE TRUTHFULLY WITH PENNY LEBYANE
21 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM
24 FAIL TO PLAN; PLAN TO FAIL 2017 resolutions
52 BREAST CANCER
Important Facts About Breast Cancer
56 WORLD AIDS DAY 2016
60 POST MATRIC EXAMS How to prepare yourself and your child before and post matric exams
28 Skincare tips for glowing, healthy skin 50 Jingle bells can become sirens
MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL OFFICER
38 Keep those extra kilos at bay this festive season
12 GETTING TO KNOW OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES
18 How to budget wisely for the Festive Season and into the New Year!
11 New 2017 Product Highlights 45 Member Mobile App Launch 64 Sizwe Baby: Member testimonial
67 Annual General Meeting 70 Product Launch Events
22 Snacks, wicked or wise? 42 Sprucing summer up with freshness!
46 Normal birth vs. a C-section 33
Beating the Festive Season Blues
MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL OFFICER
I have been eagerly anticipating this second edition of #caring4life to be able to express my immense pleasure concerning the gratifying feedback we have received from you, our treasured members. In fact, several of the articles included in this edition are penned as a result of the queries you sent, requesting information on specific topics. It is encouraging to note the widespread interest in issues that directly affect your health. Clearly, our education and healthy lifestyle initiatives and programmes are driving home the fact that each one of us is responsible for ensuring that we are aware of the health risks inherent in modern living. At Sizwe, we don’t believe in marking time, but constantly strive to pioneer the evolution of our industry, so we have developed new products for
It is encouraging to note the widespread interest in issues that directly affect your health.
2017 and we look forward to your response to them. Members’ needs change, especially in this changing economic climate where the rand is subject to sudden dips and food prices seem to be always on the up-and-up, so we focus on developing affordable products to support our members. We firmly believe that medical cover is just as essential as other basics of life and want to ensure that our members do not feel constrained to opt out because of financial considerations. This is the key reason why, for the third consecutive year, we continue to offer one of the lowest member contributions’
average increase in the market for 2017. We have once again outshined our competitors by announcing a single digit average increase. Recently, the Global Credit Ratings accorded Sizwe Medical Fund an A+ rating for claims - paying ability on a national scale, with a stable outlook, adding another feather in our cap as SA’s most caring medical aid scheme.
Sizwe’s solvency metric continued on an upward trajectory for the fourth
consecutive year, measuring very strong at 47%, which ultimately boosted our member benefits.
We are also proud to announce our brand new healthcare option – our very own Hospital Care Option, which provides unlimited cover at any private hospital. This is a very welcome addition to Sizwe’s compelling healthcare offerings, which also include Full Benefit Care, Affordable Care, Primary Care, and Gomomo Care options. As the saying goes, all good things come to an end, and sadly our Savings Care Option will be discontinued in 2017. All members who are currently on this option will be offered an option to buy up or down within the set window period. Post this period, all members who have not made their preferred selection, will automatically be moved to the Hospital Care Option. This is another way we are trying to streamline our healthcare offerings, improve efficiencies and offer our valued members the best value for money. We will be fine-tuning our healthcare offerings, and in particular, #caring4life magazine
on an ongoing basis to meet your queries and expectations, so please keep your comments and requests coming in. We consider this a work in progress, because it is our intention to keep it tailored to your own interests and needs – so don’t expect to find the same- old, same-old from one edition to the next! Every day, every month brings new challenges and new goals, so we need to keep designing and developing new answers and new tools to meet them.
We are here for you – because caring is the very heart of our business and your care is at the heart of everything we do. I am delighted to have
this opportunity to extend my best wishes to you for a new year of hope, positive change, fresh success and glowing health! Neo Khauoe Principal Officer: Sizwe Medical Fund
OUR CORE VALUES
CARING - We care for the health of our members and their families.
Heritage - HERITAGE - We are proud of our heritage that spans over three decades with a wealth of expertise in caring for the health of our nation.
Community COMMUNITY - We are a medical fund for the people by the people and we maintain a strong community-focused.
Simplicity - SIMPLICITY - We pride ourselves in designing products which are simple to understand and easy to use. We strive for simplicity in all we do.
Rich Benefit RICH BENEFITS - As a community focused medical fund, we offer a range of carefully crafted medical aid products which are simple to understand with generous and unlimited benefits.
WHERE IT MATTERS THE MOST. DIFFERENCE WE MAKE A Because we care about what is precious to you.
PUBLISHER/ EDITOR Nkini Phasha
COPY EDITOR Kgomotso Phasha
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kirstin Schorn
DESIGN Madelie Snyman
ADVISORY BOARD Neo Khauoe Gaynor Britton Dr. Katlego Mothudi Floyd Mathibela
ADVERTISING Bongani Yende
Tel: 011 022 5700 Eml: email@example.com
SIZWE MEDICAL FUND CONTACT DETAILS
We offer a range of medical aid products which are simple to understand with generous and unlimited benefits.*
7 West Street Houghton Johannesburg
Join SA’s most caring medical aid scheme.
Tel: 0860 10 08 71 Eml: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sizwe.co.za PUBLISHED BY BAKONE STRATEGIC CONCEPTS GROUP FOR SIZWE MEDICAL FUND
SIZWE MEDICAL FUND Your health in caring hands
0860 100 871 | www.sizwe.co.za *Terms and conditions apply
We CARE Share your stories, comments and suggestions with us by emailing us at email@example.com. The articles in this publication are for information purposes only and do not supersede the advice of a Medi- cal Doctor or Healthcare Professional. The views expressed by the authors of the articles in this publication are not necessarily those of Sizwe Medical Fund and Bakone Strategic Concepts Group. Sizwe Medical Fund and Bakone Strategic Concepts Group do not accept any responsibility for information contained in the articles and advertisements featured in this publication. Any information contained in this publication does not supersede the rules of Sizwe Medical Fund. A full set of the rules is available on our website: www.sizwe.co.za
Hobart Square Office Park Building B,1st Floor 23 Hobart Road Bryanston 2191
P.O. Box 4461 Rivonia 2128
W e knew that #caring4life magazine was filling a much felt gap, but we had no idea to what a remarkable extent it was going to be welcomed! Your positive reception is confirmation of the need for two-way communication and we are genuinely delighted that you have grasped this opportunity with such enthusiasm and eagerness. The Board of Trustees has been fulsome in its praise and we have received warm accolades from Sizwe members, brokers and other associates. And not a few envious glances from other quarters! #caring4life magazine is going to evolve with each edition as you increasingly explain your own expectations and requirements and we become ever more acquainted with the differing needs of our valued members. Please keep your comments, queries and recommendations coming - #caring4life magazine is being moulded around you and your family. Our promise to you is to keep the content relevant, entertaining while informative, fresh and innovative, so that there is something of interest and value for everyone.
This edition is distributed as we prepare for the festive season, which sadly is not always welcome to some. We recommend the article on Mental Health Awareness, because you might not realise how many people actually dread this time of year: mounting financial pressure, missing loved ones and the stress of meeting expectations are just some of the concerns that can cause people to over-indulge in alcohol and other recreational drugs, fall into depression and even attempt suicide. As many of you wanted to learn more about diet and healthy eating, we have provided some
fresh ideas for the trendy snacks and drinks that are gaining popularity among the health-conscious. We also have some words of advice on the short- and long-term effects of over- indulging, whether in food or drink, and we believe these articles will be of great benefit to many who
struggle with bad habits that could so easily lead to addictions.
We have also delivered a smorgasbord of other topics to cover as many aspects of this season as possible
We have also delivered a smorgasbord of other topics to cover as many aspects of this season as possible: budgeting, exercising, relaxing, fashion and entertainment among them. We are particularly excited that 2016 is ending on a high note for Sizwe and its members and that the promise of 2017 is all go! Take care over the holiday season, guard your health with the tips you will find in this issue, enjoy the delicious drinks and snacks we recommend, rest and restore your energy and optimism and let’s enter the New Year with renewed hope and enthusiasm. We wish you a very happy and peaceful festive season that is prosperous in every sense, physically, materially and emotionally…. Looking forward to walking the health journey with you in 2017! Nkini Phasha Group Chief Executive: Bakone Strategic Concepts Group
We CARE Have your say Share your stories, comments and suggestions with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Ndebele Reasonable increases, innovative & interactive!! Year- end made more palatable!
Thabiso Moloto I luv the fund
Sizwe Medical Fund Dear Lungile, Thank you for your enquiry. We believe that our contact centre has been in contact you. Please let us know if you need anything further. With Care, Sizwe Medical Fund team Lungile Simelane Thank you so much, yes a lady called and explained the process to me. Thank you for your swift reply.
Lulu Shades @Bee_Pee_Lu @SizweMedFundZA a very nice lady called me and resolved my query. Thank you very much
Nokwethemba Nkwanyan @Nokwe_Nkwanyana Is the number where I can call you guys from because it’s clear no one will ever call me from your side @SizweMedFundZA ???? Nokwethemba Nkwanyan @Nokwe_Nkwanyana Thank you @SizweMedFundZA the 2 friendly consultants called me and even sent me all the info I needed. Thank you
Sizwe Medical Fund
0860 100 871
Our Affordable Care Option offers generous comprehensive cover with unlimited hospitalisation in any private hospital. It also covers additional chronic conditions with specialised dentistry and preventative benefits. This option is suitable for young and healthy individuals.
FULL BENEFIT CARE
Our Full Benefit Care Option offers comprehensive cover and generous benefits to cover families and individuals who need access to unlimited hospitalisation at any private specialised dentistry, GPs, specialists, acute medication, preventative care benefits and more rich benefits. This is the only option which offers Top-up cover when in hospital up to 200% of the Sizwe rate. hospital. This option also offers additional chronic conditions,
The Hospital Care Option offers peace of mind knowing that in the event of hospitalisation, extensive cover is available at any private hospital. In addition, the Hospital Care Option provides cover for 27 Chronic Disease List (CDL) conditions.
Primary Care Option offers good value for money with unlimited hospitalisation at any private hospital. This traditional option has generous day-to-day benefits which cover acute medicines, GPs, specialists, radiology, pathology and more to meet the needs of any family.
This is our entry-level option. Gomomo Care Option provides excellent value for money. GPs, specialists and acute medicines are accessible through a selected network provider. Dentistry, radiology and pathology are also available from a network provider. No overall limit for hospitalisation at any private hospital. Covers the 27 Chronic Disease List (CDL) conditions.
2017 HEALTHCARE OFFERINGS
GETTING TO KNOW OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Trustees Brian Salters
How would you describe yourself?
What fulfils you about this role? I experience great satisfaction when a plan comes together and we successfully implement our strategy and I also derive considerable satisfaction when the Fund fulfils all its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and achieves internal stability. What is your favourite famous quote and by who? “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” Albert Einstein. Tell us about your hobbies / interests and how you spent time away from work? I'm a fanatical rugby supporter and have served for many years as a President of one of the leading rugby clubs in the Eastern Province. I prioritise the little spare
qualified as an Olifantsfontein Trade-Tested Artisan (Machine Tool Mechanician). What is your role at Sizwe Medical Fund Board of Trustees? I serve as the Deputy Chairperson of the Fund working in conjunction with the Chairperson to guide and lead the Board. Our aim is fourfold: • to ensure we implement our strategic plan • to encourage the management team via the function of the Principal Officer to strive to perform optimally at all times • to cultivate relationships with strategic service providers • to emphasise that all our goals as partners should be in sync with one another
I am an easy-going person who always strives to achieve goals I have set for myself and to better myself on an on-going basis. What did you study or qualify in? I'm both technically and academically qualified. I am of the firm belief that a person who is horizontally loaded in terms of study is better able to contribute towards South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). I'm a graduate from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Economics, Business Management and Industrial Psychology. I also hold a Post- Graduate qualification in Labour Law. On the technical side, I am
What is your favourite holiday destination in South Africa? Cape Town - the mother city just has that special something and it really feels as though you have the mountain in your backyard! Of course, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to the nightlife – and let’s not forget the fantastic restaurants. Tell us about your role models and what inspires you about them? Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who was the first Minister of Health during President Mandela’s term in office, Foreign Minister during President Mbeki’s term in office and Home Affairs Minister during President Zuma’s term in office. She held all these portfolios with considerable success despite the many challenges she had to confront.
time I have to spend with family and friends.
If there is one thing you can change in the world to make it a better place, what would it be? If I had the power and the means to enforce it, I would make sure that no child would ever go to bed hungry.
What do you like most about Sizwe Medical Fund? I particularly appreciate the great day-to-day benefits and the fact that Sizwe really lives up to its motto of caring for the health of the nation by having options that suit people from all spheres of life. How do you measure your own success? I set small objectives for myself as a short-term strategy. From there, I set medium- and long-term goals. However, it is important to me to review my short-term goals to determine whether I'm still aligned and to ensure that the goals are not unreasonable.
In a nutshell:
Favorite Sport: Rugby (of course!)
Favorite movie: I have more than one! Broken Arrow, Face Off , Raging Bull Favorite food/ cuisine: Seafood, chicken curry or just Buffalo wings
Who are the 2 people you would most like to have dinner with? Barack Obama and his family; and Robert Mugabe
BRIAN SALTERS (Mr.) Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Trustees
LIVING LIFE TRUTHFULLY WITH LEBYANE Penny
C onsistently in the public eye, often labelled controversial, glamorous and always chic, Penny Lebyane, co-host of eTV’s Sunrise breakfast show, has retained her sparkling spontaneity despite the pressures the entertainment world places on people to conform to certain perceptions of what celebrities should be and how they should appear. Her glowing personality and ready smile project the image of a woman content with herself and comfortable in her success, who is able to adapt and fit in to any situation in which she finds herself. But there are greater depths to Penny, which few had perceived until she herself revealed some
of the crushing emotional crises in her life that almost led her to commit suicide. “When you are a well known public figure, people become accustomed to seeing you confident, relaxed and smiling, and somehow they take it for granted that you are sailing through life in some kind of magic bubble, immune from worry, shielded from the bumps of daily life and detached from the emotions that ‘normal’ people experience,” she explains. “It’s a gross distortion of reality. If anything, ‘celebrity’ compounds the pressures on you, because the entertainment industry tries determinedly to mould you into the format it would like to believe and present, and the image that
you yourself create makes often inhuman and unrealistic demands on you. “People seem to think that you don’t have any of the worries and stress that the man-in-the-street goes through and that everything just falls the right side up in your life. Well, I can certainly disprove that misconception very easily!” she laughs. “And of course, because you are a celebrity, when things do go wrong, you can bet your bottom dollar that certain parts of the media, as well as misinformed people, will distort and exaggerate facts to such an extent that they become huge untruths. Words and opinions like that hurt and
damage your spirit. One feels the injustice and unfairness of them and of course they make your situation so much worse because of your own emotional and psychological reaction to them.” Penny found herself in just such a situation during 2008, when she was struggling through a period of contractual conflict with Metro FM. “People said I had been fired, which was completely inaccurate,” she continues. “What had happened was that the terms of the contract had been changed so that my income was drastically reduced and I was off the air for a long time. And to make matters worse, the dispute and unpleasantness occurred just as my relationship with the father of my children was being horribly shipwrecked.” I was going out of my mind with stress and anxiety.
emotionally and psychologically traumatising crises was exacerbated by the fact that her youngest child was only 30 days old! “I had to move out of our home. I had nowhere to go. I had no car. I had practically no income. I was responsible for my baby and my four-year old who now had to leave school to live with my mother. I was going out of my mind with stress and anxiety. “I moved in with my parents and in many ways I think when that happens after one has been independent, one perceives it almost like an admission of defeat, and that certainly didn’t help. And there was the added feeling of being a burden on others, having to ask for lifts if you want to go anywhere, depending on other people... “ Penny explains how depression started to overwhelm her as all she could see was the problems, the negatives and the impossibilities.
“Brooding about what is wrong and what could go wrong next is the worst possible thing one can do,” she cautions. “The problems seem to grow exponentially the more you focus on them. You begin to lose mental balance. You become increasingly self-critical and self-accusatory. And it’s not that the future looks black, it’s that there doesn’t seem to BE a future!” As the depression deepened, Penny seriously contemplated suicide. “When I think of it now, it seems insane, and yet at the time, it looked like a good, and even natural option.” The mounting stress led to a breakdown and Penny spent some time in a psychiatric ward. The experience led to some serious reflection about her life, what she wanted out of it and where she was going. “I began to pinpoint those things that were really worthwhile, the things of value that make life worth living,” she says. “I also realised that it’s when I try not to be me that life becomes difficult. So now I don’t try to live up to other people’s image of what and who I
The combination of these two
You be you, I’ll be me.
should be. The journey of my life is to wake up in the morning and just to be me. If people don’t respect my values, I am not going to lose sleep about it. My reaction is: You be you, I’ll be me.” Having survived this nightmare of skirting the edges of death, Penny has a deeper understanding of the damage emotional and psychological stress can wreak. In her way of bringing hope and building up people and society at large, she has become a Mental Health Advocacy Ambassador for the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. Founder and Director of SADAG, Zane Wilson, expresses her appreciation of Penny’s contribution. “Public perception of mental illness tends towards the negative,” she explains. “People often think that it is ‘the losers’
who suffer mental trauma, or people who are inherently weak or who are to be looked down upon. Unfortunately in our country, there is still somewhat of a stigma about mental illness. Because it can’t be readily seen, people fail to recognise it as a genuine sickness and shy away from victims. ambassador, she is helping to demonstrate that mental illness can trip anyone up, no matter who they are. In fact, in today’s pressurised, high-speed society, no one is immune. We believe Penny’s contribution is going to make a significant impact and help destigmatise mental illness in our country.” Penny concludes that “I now live a very fulfilling life, doing what I am passionate about and helping those who find themselves in similar misfortunes that I once found myself in”. Penny is helping to change that misconception. As an
FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON AND INTO THE NEW YEAR! budget wisely Financial CARE HOW TO
are spending time visiting one another to enjoy all the festivities that this season brings. Retailers are also adding their commercial excitement to this season. This is undoubtedly the merrier time of the year! But wait a minute…Not to burst your bubble, let me remind you of the reality that continues to be ignored. The reality is that we as consumers will probably spend money we do not have, on the things we do not need, and for the temporary pleasure of this season.
are at risk of finding ourselves indebted to creditors as soon as the first week of the coming year. How can we curb this though? Well, this FinancialCare column, which aims to provide you with insightful consumer financial advice, is to perhaps direct your habits differently for the short- term benefit and long-term peace of mind. Here are 5 thigs to consider doing before you go on holiday and spending some of your hard earned money.
Thapelo Dimpe Financial Advisor
and Mentor, Liberty Life.
W ell here we are, Everybody from employers to employees to Moms and Dads and students, have taken a break to rest and celebrate the festive season. Families and friends right in the middle of the festive season!
Simply put, as consumers we
2. Protect your home Review your home security if you are going to go away. Speak to your neighbors and ask them to be vigilant and to remove mail from
your mailbox, otherwise a full mailbox may attract unwanted visitors in your absence. Invest in motion lights and motion detectors, cameras etc.
1. Take care of your home Review the contents of your will in view of your wishes and the catering for debts and distribution of assets; guardian details and executor nomination. These are not the comfortable things to consider but considering the high mortality rates at this time of year, the uncomfortable things may be the most important things to consider as of first importance. the premiums are paid to date and that all details pertaining to policies, especially life insurance policies are up to date. To neglect an insurance policy by not paying a single premium to cater for extra expenses during this season is to gamble with your own life security. Life insurance policies are there to serve you in time of need, and the needs of your families. Second to that, look at your insurance policies and ensure that
Also, inform your security
company and your neighborhood watch group of your absence. In the long run, these will prove to be worthwhile investments. Review your short-term policy and know the terms of the insurance and about any help that you might need on the road or to protect your valuables at home. 3. Leave the wallet at home The temptation to shop impulsively will be at a high with all the commercialisation of this season by retailers and everyone’s expectations of you to spend money. We are all prone to personal risk of impulsive shopping. Ensure that you have a list of items you need before venturing into the stores to do your grocery shopping. Leave your wallet and extra cash at home and only take the store card or cash you need for that shopping. 4. Remember to be generous Yes, you have spent
most of the year giving yourself to work and other activities, be generous to those closest to you without breaking the bank. Make memories without breaking the bank. Take the children out to the park for a day, let them run around away from the madding crowd. Look for fun activities around the house that will not bore the kids. Make homemade popsicles, homemade crafts that they can take pictures of and be proud of. This will leave you with a little more disposable income in your pocket. 5. Invest in the future Set aside a percentage of your holiday expenses as emergency funds for the first month of 2017. Reduce the stress of not having sufficient cash on hand and use those for emergencies. Quantify what you will need exactly for necessary debts such as car, bond, policies, etc. You will begin the year on a continued merry note if you stay true to your obligations. Let’s’ face it, no one
wants creditors calling them for unpaid debts at the beginning of the year. A side note: inform family members where you are going and the contact numbers of that place to. Let your family member know that you have medical aid with which company and also nominate at least two people as emergency contacts and give their details as well as your medical aid details to the reception at the place where you are going to be staying. This will ease stress in case of an emergency. Your family; the place of accommodation and your medical aid will be on hand ready to assist and making the minimal calls for help I hope that the little insight into festive savings will encourage you to be more decisive in your spending habits and make the necessary, even if small changes in your habits for long term peace of mind.
DAYS OF ACTIVISM
T he 16 days of activism for violence against women and children takes place from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day. Thousands of people will be wearing the white ribbon that indicates support of the campaign and this year, the theme is “Count me in: Together moving a non- violent South Africa forward”. The official launch took place in Reiger Park, Ekurhuleni, on 25 November 2016. South Africa still
registers appallingly high statistics of violence, abuse and rape against women and children. According to TimesLive on 19 February this year, 150 women a day reported being raped. Fewer than 30 of these cases will be prosecuted and only about 10 will end in a conviction. This is a conviction rate of between 4% and 8%. What is worse is that this refers only to cases that have been reported to the police. It is estimated that hundreds more that take place every day are not reported because of fear, stigma
or intimidation. There will be numerous events and activities organised throughout the country, by government, NGOs, organisations and individuals. Do your part to support the campaign, get your ribbon, participate in the programmes. You can also support the initiative by encouraging victims to report the abuse and ensure they get help. If you are male, stand up to speak out about violence against women and children. You could also spread the message on social media using #16Days2016.
WISE OR WICKED? Snacks
A snack, Wikipedia assures us, is “ a portion of food, smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals”. On hearing the word, most of us will immediately think of foods like peanuts, chips, chocolate or energy bars, cookies, salted biscuits and sweets. And with the thought will come an instant desire to savour one! Together with a guilty feeling, because we have been taught by all the wise nutritionists that they are unhealthy and therefore consumption is unwise!
snacks and a stroll down the supermarket aisles will show how spoiled we are for choice. Nuts in various mixes abound. Small portions of yoghurt in countless different flavours. Vegetable chips that include butternut, beetroot and sweet potato are growing in popularity. And did you know that biltong is considered a healthy snack? Granola bars are available in many different sizes and mixes and healthy crackers and cookies shout their goodness from the shelves. The Banting craze has also led to the creation of a number of low- or no-carb goodies, not only in the supermarkets, but in bakeries and shops that sell home-baked products. So next time you feel the urge, don’t reach automatically for the potato crisps or chocolate. Treat yourself to a portion of fresh fruit, a handful of nuts, a tub of yoghurt or a granola bar. And next time you do your shopping, stock up on the health snacks and foods. You will find they not only promote energy, but also help to control your weight – and the cherry on top is that they are delicious!
Africans from making snacks a regular and normal part of daily diet as well as an essential part of any braai, party or outing. Snacks are also blamed as a significant contributing factor to the growing obesity problem in the country and people trying to lose weight are nearly always sternly admonished to abstain at all costs. But this doesn’t have to be true, because there are snacks and there are snacks. Healthy snacks? Yes, such a thing really exists – “healthy snack” is not an oxymoron! A brief browse through the internet will immediately point to “nuts, fruit, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products” which don’t sound very exciting or enticing, but don’t despair! In the right combinations, they produce some mouth-watering snacks that are not only satisfying but also nutritious and healthy. Because we have become more health-conscious, there has been a boom in the production of health
“Healthy snack” is not an oxymoron!
Much of the “unhealthy” stigma actually arose in the United States. Snacks like peanuts, which were introduced as far back as the 17th century, pretzels and popcorn, were sold uncovered by unhygienic street hawkers. They were further stigmatised by the stuffy Victorians of the 19th Century who considered any food not eaten with proper utensils to be lower-class. The years have largely undone these negative perceptions, proving that taste triumphs over tradition and class! However, it remains generally true that eating too much of the widely available snack or junk food today is unhealthy because of the ingredients as well as the method of cooking. Many additives, preservatives and colourants used in snacks have a negative impact on health especially if consumed in quantity. Even knowing this, though, has not stopped South
2017 RESOLUTIONS Fail to plan – Plan to fail
N ot everyone knows that the famous quote: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” was first uttered by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), famous American author and scientist, remembered particularly for his experiments with electricity and for the invention of the lightning rod. Despite being some four hundred years old, the saying still holds true for us today in the 21st Century. And now, as 2016 trails to an end, it would be a good idea to review the past year, learn
from it, and plan for an improved and more fulfilling 2017. This, for many people, means “New Year Resolutions” – which some rather cynically re-baptise as “New Year Revolutions” because of the common, though unfounded, perception, that New Year Resolutions last all of one day. The many jokes that abound about New Year Resolutions have their origin in the fact that some people make completely impractical and unrealistic resolutions that are way beyond their ability – and often, to be honest, beyond their desire!
– to achieve. What’s more, such resolutions are often made during the euphoria of New Year’s Eve celebrations, oiled with copious quantities of some delightfully intoxicating drink! But on a serious note, New Year’s Resolutions can be positive, helpful and inspiring, creating a strong platform for a promising entry into the new year. They prepare you for an optimistic start that will energise you in the face of challenges. They will also provide a type of benchmark against which you can measure yourself
Review the past year, learn from it, and plan for an improved and more �lfilling 2017!
so that you can see how you are progressing and improving. They assist you in planning your life so that you don’t live each day just reacting to everything that comes your way. How should you go about making resolutions that can We like to gloss over or preferably forget the negatives we experience, but in fact, we should learn from them so that we don’t make the same mistakes. So as painful or perhaps even embarrassing as it might be, review the past twelve months and those incidents or circumstances that were the real low-lights of your year, especially if they happened more than once. Ask yourself what role you played in causing them. What did you do or say that led you to find yourself in those situations? It might even impact your life meaning�lly?
be something that to some would seem quite trivial, like forgetting someone’s name. Perhaps you were late for an appointment and as a result missed what could have been a wonderful opportunity. Maybe you were asked to do something – by your boss, or a friend or family member – and forgot, with negative consequences. Or you had too much to drink at a party and made an idiot of yourself. Make a list of those things. become simple and practical resolutions. For instance, to remember someone’s name, determine to concentrate when being introduced and repeat the name to yourself several times, then write it down when you get home. To avoid being late for things, resolve to arrive at least ten minutes before the appointed time. A resolution to write down whatever you are asked to do will ensure you don’t forget. Now look at ways in which you could have avoided them. These
avoid any risk of getting tipsy! There are other kinds of resolutions too: those that you make as a self-improvement initiative or simply to do something that blesses someone every day. Let’s say you want to lose weight. Be realistic! Set achievable goals. Research the best nutrition plans for you and adopt those tips and hints that suit your character, lifestyle and metabolism. Don’t get over-ambitious in aiming to lose weight fast – it has been proven that, weight that is lost too quickly through crash diets is regained with alarming rapidity. Your resolution might be to improve your time management. Examine the activities that consume your time but contribute little to quality of life. For instance, how many hours a week do you waste watching meaningless television programmes? Eliminate those time-wasters. Those hours could be spent far more constructively.
Setting an absolute limit to the number of glasses you drink will
Get up half an hour earlier. Draw up a schedule of how you are
going to spend each day for the first week – reward yourself when you succeed! Don’t give up if you haven’t always hit the mark. The corollary to this resolution is to stick to your resolution! It will help if you get support from loved ones who can encourage you when you hit the weak or low spots in your life and are tempted to throw in the towel. Whatever you decide to do: learn a new language, control your temper, exercise more, stop smoking, make more friends, cut down on alcohol, you have a world of resources at your fingertips to find the very best
solutions. Don’t go rushing into decisions. Take the time to browse the internet, ask questions on social media, speak to others who have successfully achieved what you are aiming for. Find those answers that are going to be suitable for the person you are. And then make the most important resolution of them all: determine not to give up, to follow through on your decisions no matter what. The first time you manage to hang in there despite temptation or difficulty will be the hardest, but once you have succeeded, you will find that each subsequent challenge will be
easier and easier to overcome. Celebrate your victories! This will be motivation and inspiration to face the next stage. Start now: don’t put it off until “tomorrow”. Put your list up on the mirror, believe in yourself and plan for a positive 2017! Happy New Year! Don’t give up if you haven’t always hit the mark.
TIPS FOR GLOWING, HEALTHY SKIN Skincare
M any will be surprised to learn that skincare is essentially the same no matter what the colour of your skin is. Our ethnic background is about as important to skincare as food is to our nutrition. We all need the same minerals, proteins, vitamins, fats and carbohydrates no matter what our culture or nationality. In the same way, our skin needs the same basic care, because all skin colours are affected by the same issues: oily or dry skin, clogged pores, uneven skin tone, signs of ageing, and damage that can be caused by unprotected exposure to too much sun. Excellent advice to ensure healthy, glowing skin is to cleanse thoroughly, moisturise and protect from excess sun. Cleanse Do not use harsh cleansers that will strip your skin in the process of removing makeup, oil and dirt. Soft, water-soluble cleansers are best – not bar soaps which tend to dry skin and can also clog pores.
If you have oily skin, then gels and serums are more suitable for your skin type, whereas creams and lotions are best for dry skin. Moisturise Many people with oily skin that is susceptible to acne, choose not to use moisturiser. It is recommended though, that you opt for a light moisturiser, preferably one designed to control oil and the occurrence of acne, because if you skip moisturiser altogether, your skin can start to feel dry. And that could well lead to it producing more oil to protect itself. Read the list of ingredients on the product label to select products with antioxidants, skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients. If you are unsure, consult the beauticians who can provide expert advice at most cosmetic counters. Generally, darker skin shows less ageing than lighter skin, with wrinkles and lines appearing later. However, there tends to be an
Sun protection and the risk of cancer Skin always needs protection from exposure to the sun, especially in our climate. Darker skin enjoys greater natural protection from the sun than lighter skin, but still remains at risk of suffering from the same problems if exposed to the sun for long periods of time. The effects of sun damage are cumulative. If you do not apply a suitable sunscreen you can expect the same effects no matter what your skin colour: early signs of ageing, rough skin, mottled or dry skin, uneven skin tone and loss of firmness. Many experts recommend that you apply broad-spectrum sunscreens every day of the year. If you are not spending protracted periods in the sun, then you should use at least an SPF 15 daily. If,however, your skin is exposed to the sun for extended periods, then you should make a habit of applying at least SPF 30 every two or three hours.
increase in skin growths in black skin, and more uneven skin tone. Preventative skin care will keep your skin looking even and healthy, and undesirable growths can be removed easily with cosmetic procedures. Unique characteristics of darker skin tones While acne is colour-blind, in black skin, it can lead to discolouration if the wrong product is used. Treatment of acne should include the regular use of leave-on
products that contain benzoyl and salicylic acid treatment. The beauty consultant will give advice, but the best option would be to ask a dermatologist who specialises in ethnic skin. Some darker skin tones have naturally curly hair shafts which can be problematic, because after shaving, the hair could curl back into the skin and cause ingrown hairs. This can be prevented by using alternative hair removal methods instead of shaving. Black skin could also form keloids, a type of scar that is larger than the original wound, and stands out from the natural skin colour. These can be removed surgically or with non-surgical processes such as steroid injection, but they do have a tendency to grow back. Generally though, the only notable difference between black and lighter skin is a certain skin thickness and the degree to which unprotected sun exposure affects the skin.
neck, grows slowly and will not generally spread.
Melanoma is more deadly because it is not all that easy to detect in its early stages. In the United States, statistics show that 52% of African-Americans realise they have it when it has already spread, compared with 16% of white people, resulting in a higher death rate. It generally shows up in the mouth, palms of the hands and soles of the feet and under the nails. You can self-check by noticing the following signs: • A mole changes in size, colour or shape • There are brown spots on your hands, soles, or under your nails • Injuries bleed, ooze or scab but don’t heal • You have anal or genital warts • An ulcer or sore near scarred or inflamed skin doesn’t heal For peace of mind, we recommend visiting a dermatologist at least once a year for a proper check-up.
There are three basic types of skin cancer: • Basal cell carcinoma • Squamous cell carcinoma • Melanoma The main contributing factor to all three types is an excess of ultraviolet light. Black skin is more susceptible to squamous cell carcinoma which can be quite serious since it can spread to the lymph nodes that are part of your immune system, as well as to other organs. It tends to appear on your legs, bottom or private parts.
Over the past two decades or more, research has increasingly demonstrated that over-exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Unfortunately there is a misconception among many people that black skin is immune to skin cancer, and nothing could be further from the truth. One of the problems is that it is usually diagnosed later, because of a general misconception that black people don’t contract skin cancer because of the higher levels of melanin in their skin. This often means that the cancer has spread more before it is picked up, and consequently leads to more frequent mortality rates.
Basal cell carcinoma appears more frequently on the head or
Festive Season BEATING THE Blues
a disappointment at what has changed, or stayed the same.
the fact that it seems nothing has changed that causes them stress.
If you associate the holidays with a bad time in your life - the loss of a loved one, a previous depression - this time of year will naturally bring those memories back. The holiday season is a break from your normal routine and, as such, gives you time to think and reflect – sometimes to your detriment. The holiday season often highlights what has changed in your life. If these changes are good ones – a great new job, a marriage, a new baby – they had a certain stress but a happy one. If however you've experienced traumatic change through the year like a divorce, or a death in the family these changes can unsettle you and your holiday gathering." It can be hard to deal with these
The monotonous sameness of family holiday gatherings can be depressing - the same faces, the same jokes, the same food, looking at the same skew tree can be a reminder of a stuck life.
Zane Wilson Founder and Director: South African Depression and Anxiety Group
The holiday season is a break from your normal
What about this time of the year that gets you down - really? F or many of us there's a general sense of unease and anxiety but once you are able to cut through that vague sense of dread and identify specific problems, you are able to deal with them directly. Holiday stress can be triggered by a variety of things including unhappy memories, toxic relatives, or self-reflection and
"My cousins and I always laugh and mouth the words of the jokes that my uncle tells at Christmas. They've been the same jokes since I was 5", says 28-year old Ronny. "We laugh about it but inside I feel angry, numb. I wonder routine and, as such, gives you time to think and reflect
emotions and memories, particularly over the festive
season. Keeping things bottled up is a very bad idea and can make matters so much worse.
For some people, however, it is
why I'm stuck in the same old rut and can't seem to escape it."
depression symptoms for weeks or months. If you're worried or not sure how to handle holiday depression, rather call us. Experts say the season can make people feel out of control. We may feel at the mercy of our relatives, steamrolled by family tradition. But you do have a say and the key to surviving the holidays is to take some control instead of letting them control you. The festive season can offer plenty of reasons to be stressed out and our tendency to compare our families with their idealised versions is a recipe for disaster. Most of us have less than perfect holiday gatherings. We have family tension, a drunk uncle, and dry turkey too. So if you are feeling a tad less than festive coming up to the holidays, don't try deny your feelings. There's nothing wrong or odd about feeling a bit down during the holidays. So this holiday season, don't unthinkingly do things the same way just because that's how you always do them. Make a choice, take a stand, and do something
Let's face it, many of us simply don't like certain members of our family. The drunk uncle who makes lewd jokes, the tactless aunt who blithely asks whether you're still on your medication… The festive season can put you in the same room with relatives you avoid the rest of the year. And people struggling with depression may face stigma, too. "Some relatives just don't get it", says 42-year-old Depression sufferer Mpumi. "My family seriously still doesn't believe I'm depressed. They don't understand that this is a horrible time of year for me, I have too much time to think, reflect and wallow. They think I'm lazy. It can really hurt." Balancing the demands of shopping, gift wrapping, family obligations, visitors and financial expenses may leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. You may develop stress responses like headaches, you may drink
excessively or over-eat, or you may develop insomnia.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) warns that signs of depression or serious stress should not be written off as mere holiday blues in the hope that they'll disappear in January.
It can be dangerous to ignore
8. If you take medication, don't miss doses. In the hustle of the holidays, it's easy to slack off and miss medication. Don't let that happen. For help, contact SADAG Helpline open 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm on 011 262 6396 or toll-free Suicide Helpline on 0800 12 13 14 or Substance Abuse Helpline on 0800 12 13 14 and confidentially speak to a trained counsellor who can offer you a friendly compassionate ear, support and advice; or visit www.sadag.org for more information.
different even volunteer and allow a hospice worker, an old age home assistant or hospital clerk time off with their family. Finding the Holiday Spirit: 1. Lean on your support system. If you've been depressed, you need a network of close friends and family to turn to when things get tough. Take time to get together with your support team. 2. Ask for help and be specific. Ask your sister to help you cook, invite a friend along on shopping trips. People are usually happy to help if you tell them what you need. 3. Don't stay longer than you want. Going to a party doesn't obligate you to stay until the bitter end. Instead, just drop by for a few minutes, say hello, and explain you have other engagements. Knowing you have a plan to leave
can really ease your anxiety. 4. Forget about the perfect gift. Don't stress about finding the absolute best gift ever. 5. Stick to a budget. The cost of holiday shopping mounts quickly and can make people feel out of control and anxious. Draw up a budget before you start shopping and stick to it. 6. Stay on schedule. As much as you possibly can, try to stick with your normal routine during the holidays. Don't stay too late at parties. Don't pull an all-nighter wrapping presents. Disrupting your schedule and losing out on sleep can make your mood deteriorate. 7. Don't rely on substances. Remember that alcohol is a depressant and abusing it will leave you feeling worse. Be particularly careful if you are taking medication.
The festive season can put you in the same room with relatives you avoid the rest of the year.
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