How to choose natural hair products that work for you

Finding the right natural hair products is a top priority of any natural.

It can also be the most frustrating and expensive process, since there are so many options available on the market today.

Here are some quick tips to choosing the right natural hair products, the first time:

Know that expensive doesn’t always mean quality

When I began my natural hair journey, I’d spent my first year just testing products. I bought every sulphate-free shampoo on the market, and experimented with several conditioners, hair butters, and gels. By the end of 2014, I’d accumulated a cupboard full of half-used products that didn’t work for my hair, and was just wasting away.

Let’s try to avoid you having to go through the same process.

Find out what your hair type is

  1. Straight
  2. Wavy (2a, 2b, 2c)
  3.  Curly (3a, 3b, 3c)
  4. Kinky (4a, 4b, 4c)
natural hair type natural hair products be whole
Chart by

If you don’t know what your hair type is, you can take this quick quiz by Know your hair type

Learning the name of your hair texture is helpful to determine which products will suit you. Chances are that you will have more than one hair type. I have two – tight, thirsty 4a curls in the front, and looser 3a curls throughout the rest of my head.

Use products according to your styling method

You get out what you put in. If you wash your hair more than twice a week, you’ll need to replenish your hair with a moisturizer as frequently.  If you’re using a gel that isn’t made from organic products, ensure that you pay special attention to hydrating your hair. Low-manipulation hair styles like twist-outs and braid-outs are great ways to wear your hair untied but still retain moisture.

Read the labels on your products

It makes sense to choose a rich hair butter for thick, dry hair, or a light leave-in conditioner for curls that already retain a lot of moisture. Stay away from alcohol-based products. Choose gentle, clarifying shampoos, and pop into the food isle for some DIY moisturizers that may surprise you (olive oil is my go-to).

Don’t just buy products that other naturals are using

Your hair type is unique. I can recommended 1000 products that work perfectly for my hair but they may not give you the same results if your hair texture is different to mine.

Which products are you using for your hair type? I’d love to hear from you. Perhaps something you’ve been using is the product that’s lacking in my routine. Let me know below 🙂


What is my hair type?

3c, 4a

natural hair - robyn ruth thomas - be whole
Photo/ Luc Haupt

Which products do I use?

  • Shampoo:

Lush Curly Wurly Shampoo/ Dark and Lovely Moisture Replenishing Shampoo

  • Conditioner:

Tresemme Moisture Rich Conditioner/ Dark and Lovely Knot-out Conditioner/ Lush American Cream Conditioner

  • Mask:

Pantene Pro-V Intensive Hair Masque (Daily Moisture Renewal) /DIY honey and Olive oil mask

  • Leave-in Conditioner:

Dr. Miracles Leave-in

  • Daily Moisturiser:

Olive Oil (I swear by it. Also use as a daily moisturiser on my hair, body and face. It absorbs really well and leaves my skin glowing.

  • Styler:

For wash-and-go:  My DIY Flaxseed gel/ Perfect Touch Alcohol free gel (available at selected Dischem Pharmacies)

For Twist-outs, braid-outs, up styles: Dark and Lovely Afro Moisturising Butter, Cantu Curling Cream/ Auntie Jackie’s Curl Custard

Do you have natural hair and would like to retain length? I’m starting a hair growth challenge and would love you to join me. Leave me a comment in the space below for more information about my hair growth methods.

Feature photo/ Clay Simelane

2016 SA blogger Awards| Vote for Be Whole!

vote for be whole sa blogger awards

Our tribe now reaches over 10 600 people.

(Screenshots and forwards to everyone who says people don’t read).

This is the power of the digital age and I’m so grateful to be connecting with each of you on platforms from Facebook and Youtube, to WordPress, Twitter, and Instagram.

+10k may not seem like much but there’s a hell of lot more people finding enthusiasm to work on themselves and this deserves celebration.

I thoroughly enjoy engaging with you via emails and comments, and supporting your ventures when prompted.


What a learning curve

Be Whole is a one-woman show. I recently had a guest feature on the blog and would love to share more insightful content from others so if you have a topic that you’d like me to feature or re post, leave me a comment in the space below or email me directly to

Blog tips

There’s is so much useful information out here. If you’re an aspiring blogger who could use some tips on how to get started, you can get FREE, invaluable blogging advice from UK based bloggers, Sarah and Kevin Arrow  – right now, via Sarah’s website. Or pop over to by Dana Fox to get easy design and web developing tips that will make your blog look awesome.

Writing tips

Next year, I will be enrolling in a course by fellow blogger and USA pen pal, Janet Sunderland. She’s an exceptionally talented Writer and Author. Take a look at some of her reads, here.

Janet’s course, which I prefer not to delve into too much (but which you can already view on her website), will assist me in completing a special project that I’ve been longing to work on for a while.

You can watch hair tuts now too

A lot of what I post are questions that are posed via my social networks. Most questions are related to my diet and natural hair journey. Often, I’ve been asked to explain my hair maintenance methods, which has prompted me to create a Youtube channel where you can now watch my hair vlogs.

Please vote for Be Whole as 2016 Lifestyle Blog of Year by clicking on this badge below:

SA Blog Awards Badge

Also, Which blog category is your favourite? Recently, one of you had mailed me asking for more Eat Well posts as it’s simply her favourite section of Be Whole. I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going below and don’t forget to vote 🙂

P.s. More tribe members are going natural!

natural hair be whole

natural hair be whole

natural hair be whole

Thank you so much for every like, comment, and share! It means the world to me.

Feature photo: Clay Simelane

Quick Summer smoothie bowl 100% Delicious

smoothie bowl - be whole

One thing I love more than food is travel. And when I’m exploring a new place, whether it’s two hours from my home or across the ocean, rest assured I’m going to indulge in the local specialty meal.

In Botswana, before I’d stopped eating meat, I’d had the most delicious shredded beef. I couldn’t even describe the seasoning – it was just spectacular and that was the highlight of my trip.

In Scotland, I’d had haggis and black pudding – not the tastiest of cuisine but I sure did enjoy the scotch eggs and hand cut fries, served to me at a corner Hipster Restaurant in Islington, London.

This December, while my heart yearns for a cruise along the Portuguese Islands, I also really want to enjoy time with family and prioritize getting to know some of my cousins who will be in Cape Town for Summer.

Matching my love for food and travel is Cape Town based Foodie and Travel blogger, Naturally Tescha. I’ve lived vicariously through her stories and tapped into the culture of foreign lands through her recipes.

Her tropical mango and pineapple smoothie bowl is especially a treat for me to imagine that I’m on some wonderful sunny island, and not packing tons of calories. Take a look at Tescha’s recipe below:

Ingredients for your Smoothie Bowl

1/2 Cup of fresh/frozen mango
1/2 Cup fresh/frozen pineapple
1 Small banana
½ cup of coconut water
Fresh or frozen blueberries (about 5)
Fresh or frozen raspberries (about 5)
1 Sliced Kiwi fruit
2 Tablespoons of shredded coconut

smoothie bowl - be whole
Who said healthy eating can’t be mouth-watering 😉 (Photo/ Tescha Chetty)



Blend (or sift ) the frozen mango, pineapple, banana, and coconut water until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with your choice of fresh fruit such as kiwi, blueberries, raspberries and shredded coconut.

This is also a great dessert idea for Christmas lunch or any festive gatherings.

Check out more delicious, healthy recipes from Tescha at, or connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Try this recipe and send us your pics. You can tag us in a pic of your smoothie bowl, using the hashtag: #naturallyteshca

WATCH: 10 tried and tested natural hair tips

Starting a natural hair journey is like owning a car. It needs continual maintenance and will cost you a lot if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Everyone’s hair is unique and what works for me, may not necessarily work for you but it’s definitely worth giving it a shot as it’s applied by countless naturals across the globe.

These are 10 of my best natural hair tips which I’ve tried and tested over the past two years as a natural:

1. Sleep with your hair covered

I don’t know about you but my type 4 natural hair is fragile. My hair loves breaking off. I’m just getting used to having longer hair now and it’s so gentle. Covering your head with a silk/satin bonnet/scarf at night is 0% sexy but 100% protective against friction and breakage.

Used by Naturally Quinn, Frogirl Ginny

2. DIY hair gel

I make my own hair gel. It takes about 10 minutes to make, I use Flax seeds which are rich in protein and super hydrating for your hair. I use a lot of gel and I really don’t want to dry my hair with alcohol based products so this is my go-to.

Used by Alyssa Forever, Naptural85

3. Babyliss Twist Secret

It’s lovely having a free flowing afro but my goodness it’s high maintenance if you don’t have the right tools. Sometimes, on a Sunday, when I’m washing my hair, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour and a half sectioning my hair into twists. And the wrist pains. No, thanks. Speeding up your twist method from an  hour and a half to just over 20 minutes, is a miracle. You can get the Babyliss Twist Secret for R399 at any Clicks store or online via their website at

natural hair tips - babyliss twist secret - be whole

Used by MademoiselleBlush, Shahnaz Saleem

4. Know when to trim

Hairstylists will tell you that you’re supposed to trim your hair once a month. And a lot of natural hair bloggers live by regularly trimming their hair for growth and overall health.  But if you consider that every person’s hair is unique, surely your hair has different trimming requirements? The best way to know when you really need a trim is when your hair starts forming knots at the ends, especially single strand knots. The easier your hair is to detangle when wet, the more manageable. Try to trim your hair about four times a year.

Applied by Curly proverbz, Nik Scott

5. Abandon your fine-tooth comb

Don’t bother trying to detangle your hair when it’s dry. It will take hours, if not days, and can easily damage your hair. I mostly use my fingers to detangle my hair. I personally don’t use a comb, except for straight sectioning hair. You can also use a Denman brush with soft bristles – ensure that your hair is completely wet for an easier run through.

Applied by Dephne Madyara, SunkissAlba

6. Low maintenance hairstyles

We all love wash-and-go’s. It’s the easiest to style, it offers the most natural volume on day#1 (for me), and it’s cute AF. The problem is that they only last for about 3 days if you’re not using extreme hold gel and excessive washing can also cause your hair to break off. This is why twist-outs are my favourite. My hair is protected in twists at gym and while sleeping with a satin bonnet. The Babyliss Twist Secret is such a convenient tool to have, especially if you like braiding your hair. Imagine how much money and time you’ll save twisting your own hair instead of going to a salon.

Applied by Samantha Pollack, Mini Marley

7. Get yourself a good turban

There will be days when you just can’t. A bun won’t look chic enough, your twist-out will be worn out, there may not be time for a wash-and-go or dealing with frizz. Just cover it. Rushana Isaacs has an amazing, easy-to-learn turban tutorial for taking your outfit from boring to on-point in a matter of minutes. Watch her video, here.

 natural hair tips - be whole

8. Monitor your diet

Everything that happens on the outside, is a result of what’s going on inside your body. I’d noticed that when I began eating healthier and taking supplements to improve my skin, that my hair began to grow much faster and is healthier looking.

Applied by My Natural Sistas

9. Use a mask as a conditioner

Naturally curly and wavy hair require lots of moisture. If you can’t find a conditioner that hydrates your hair completely, opt for a hydrating mask to swap out your usual conditioner. This requirement various from hair type to hair type so only apply this rule if you have super dry hair like mine.

Applied by Definitely Donnalee, Jaleesa Moses

10. Focus on your scalp health

A lot of naturals focus on the look and feel of their hair but neglect caring for the major source, their scalp. Your scalp and ends need the most nurturing so ensure that you’re clarifying your scalp frequently, hydrating it, and not suffocating it with too many products. It needs to breath. Have you ever noticed steam come from your scalp after washing on a cold day? That’s because your scalp works like your skin, look after it.

Do you have a tip to add to the list? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the space below or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

This easy egg muffin recipe tastes amazing |Packed with protein

Okay. So. Egg muffins aren’t new at all. People have been making them for years but I’ve just made my first batch and it’s delicious.

I love cooking my own meals. Ever since I went for a Bio-resonance screening at the Still Centre, I’ve become quite mindful of what I put into my body. The other day, I’d read that almond milk by my favourite brand – Almond Breeze, actually only has 2% almonds in one carton of milk. That’s a topic for another blog post but when you make your own meals, you know exactly what you’re consuming.


What you’ll need for this egg muffin recipe:

6 eggs
1 onion
1/4 head of broccoli
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp baking powder

Optional: Cauliflower or green pepper
Makes 8 muffins

Step 1

Pre-heat a pan with coconut oil or an oil of your choice while preparing the other ingredients.
Also pre-heat your oven on 180°c.
Chop your onions, spinach and broccoli finely to avoid having huge chunks of veg in your muffins.

Ready to chop finely for a delicious egg muffin recipe

Step 2

Braise your chopped onions in the preheated pan, allowing them to turn brown before adding the spinach and broccoli. Frying the veg will decrease baking time, once your egg muffins are in the oven.

Broccoli, spinach, and braised onion for a savoury egg muffin

Step 3

Mix your 6 eggs well in a separate bowl. Add pepper, cayenne pepper, baking powder, and salt for flavour.

Step 4

Once the broccoli is 50% soft, pour the veg into your egg mixture and stir well.

Step 5

Using a measuring jug or if you have a bowl with a lip like I do, carefully pour your mixture into a baking tray. Ensure that your baking tray is non-stick, or that you’ve lined it with butter or oil before adding the egg muffin mixture. I used coconut oil.
It’s not necessary to fill each cup of the baking tray because the egg muffin will rise.

Voila! An easy breakfast that can be refrigerated for up to a week. Let Me know if you try this egg muffin recipe

Step 6

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 180°c.

The egg muffins will be ready when they’ve risen, the mixture has solidified, and the egg muffins develop a golden brown tinge to it.

Once you’ve taken them out of the oven, allow it to cool before removing from the tray.

And then, enjoy!

I’d actually made this batch to enjoy four of them for lunch since I’d already prepped some overnight oats for breakfast the night before.

Try this recipe and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment in the section below or connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

WATCH: Protective styling | My twist out method for natural hair

twist out on natural hair be whole

One of my go-to protective styles since I’d began my natural hair journey, is the twist out. It’s low maintenance and lasts me up to 5 days.

It’s also a style that you can try if you’re transitioning because having two different hair textures to style can be extremely frustrating. And it’s the main reason why I’d finally big chopped, two years ago.

Take a look at this video of my twist out tutorial:

For your twist out, you’ll need:

  • A wide tooth comb for sectioning
  • 4 hair ties or hair grips
  • A spray bottle with water
  • A preferred oil for your hair ( I use olive oil)
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Styling product (gel or cream)

How to apply your products:

  1. I start by sectioning my freshly washed, damp hair into four paths and using my hair ties (made from stockings) to tie my hair. I don’t mess around with elastic bands covered in cotton because my hair snatches those in three uses.
  2. Next, I apply my leave-in conditioner to each section, and tie it back into buns to hold the moisture. Apply the product from ends to root because the ends are the oldest and driest part of your hair – in need of the most moisture.
  3. After applying the leave-in conditioner, I apply extra virgin olive oil. I prefer olive oil because it absorbs easily and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. I start at the end and work the oil through my hair from the root.
  4. Lastly, apply your styling product, using the same method – starting at the ends and then working the product through your hair from the root.

Getting the twists right

Start by taking two sections of hair  – twist the first piece of hair (whichever one you choose) over the other section, ensuring that the original sides are always facing you . It’s like a u-turn. Twist both sections at the same time in opposite directions. Each hair strand must return to its original position.

Tip: Add some more product to the ends of our hair if it’s needed and finger curl so it doesn’t untie.

If your hair starts to dry, spritz it damp using your  spray bottle of water.

I make about 20 twists which takes me just over an hour. The smaller sections  of hair you use, the smaller your twists will be.

To dry – I air-dry, preferably overnight. But if I’m not able to air-dry my hair, I’ll usually diffuse my hair with a hair dryer, using medium heat.

And that’s it.

Ensure that your hair has completely dried before untying your twists to avoid frizz.

Finally, I add some olive oil to my hands before untying the  twists, which reduces frizz and gives added shine to my hair.

Did you enjoy this video tutorial? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the space below or email me directly to

Connect with me Instagram: @robynruththomas

Review: Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Range

dark and lovely au naturale haircare range - be whole

I’ve had my hands folding in prayer position since I began using Dark and Lovely‘s new Au Naturale range.

It’s amazing how much length I’ve been able to retain over the past two weeks of using these products, and while standing in the shower, washing, and then conditioning my hair, I kept thinking, “OMG! OMG! My hair has really grown!” Something all naturals with type 3 to 4 hair would celebrate.

Dark and lovely and I go way back. I can’t tell you how many boxes of relaxer I went through as a child. And when I began my transition to natural hair, I swore that a relaxer would never touch my head again. Since then, I hadn’t used any Dark and Lovely products, aside from a Blonde hair colour for ethnic hair because I wanted to go lighter and there’s only one stylist I trust do my hair, and she wasn’t available.

The colouring results worked out well, even though I have so much hair – one box wasn’t enough. I’d managed to DIY an ombre effect but steered away from using any Dark and Lovely product other than that. But now, since Dark and Lovely’s own transition to natural hair care, I was eager to try it out.

But now, since Dark and Lovely’s own transition to natural hair care, I was eager to try it out.

Take a look at my full review of each Au Naturale product below:

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Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Moisture Replenishing Shampoo –   R34.95 (250ml)


A slim, transparent bottle with a secure, flip lid. The shampoo’s fruity scents of mango oil and bamboo milk become more distinct as the product lathers, making wash day a fragrant experience.


I generally use small amounts of shampoo, parting my hair in four sections before washing and then working through each section separately. A 250 ml bottle/tub of shampoo could last me over two months, even though I always shampoo twice on wash day.

The Moisture Replenishing Shampoo lathered my hair instantly in one use and got quite foamy. I used an almond size amount for each of the four sections and while massaging my scalp, felt that I could have used less product. I decided not to shampoo twice because my scalp felt clarified.

This is not a detangling shampoo so be sure to part your hair before washing, focusing only on your scalp or follow through with the Au Naturale Knot-Out Conditioner.

What’s in it:

Water, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamide mea, sodium chloride, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, polyquaternium-7, polysorbate 20, potassium sorbate, glycol stearate, mangifera indica seed oil/ mango seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, polyquaternium-10, citric acid, sodium PCA, disodium edta, sodium benzoate, benzyl salicylate, linalool, benzyl alcohol, bambusa vulgaris extract, ci 19140/ yellow 5, ci 14700/ red 4, ci 17200/ red 33, ci 42090/ blue 1. f.i.l. d54782/2

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Knot-out Conditioner –   R34.95 (250ml)


Identical to the packaging of the Moisture Replenishing Shampoo, the Knot-out Conditioner comes in a slim, transparent bottle with a secure, flip lid. The consistency is thick and mask-like which works well for detangling naturally thick hair, easily.


I was surprised at how effortlessly I’d managed to detangle my hair using this product. The distinct fragrance of mango oil and bamboo milk perfumed my entire bathroom, which automatically put me in a good mood. Wash day can be pretty exhausting so spending less than 15 minutes detangling all of my hair was miraculous.


This is big and literally no exaggeration.

I stood in the shower, looked at the drain, and shrieked; “is that all?!” Nearly no shedding! I was even a little concerned because my hair was retaining so much length and I thought that maybe the product had loosened my curl pattern. But nothing of the sort.

I used quite a generous amount of product as usual. By the end of my first use (during week one), the bottle was already half empty so I’m hoping that there will be an increase in the bottle size in future. You probably don’t need to use as much conditioner as I do but I’d prefer to coat my hair liberally for finger detangling.

For extra moisture, scrunch your hair from root to tip, leave for about 15 minutes, and then rinse.

What’s in it:

Water, cetearyl alc o h o l , e l a e i s g u i n e e n s i s o i l / p a l m o i l , behentrimonium chloride, parfum / fragrance, glycerin, phenoxyethanol, isopropyl alcohol, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, mangifera indica s e e d o i l / m a n g o s e e d o i l , c a p ry l i c / c a p r i c , t r i g ly c e r i d e , c i t r i c a c i d , c h l o r h e x i d i n e dihydrochloride, benzyl salicylate, linalool, bambusa vulgaris extract. f.i.l. d158442/3

dark and lovely au naturale be wholeDark and lovely au naturale haircare range - be whole

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Plaiting Pudding Cream – R69.95 (250ml)


A transparent tub of thick, pinkish pudding with a creamy texture, gel-like hold, and a mild fruity fragrance.


After first use?

Not so great.

I usually style my hair using the LOC method – applying a leave-in conditioner, oil, and then a cream to seal the moisture. This time,  while attempting a twist out, and following the Plaiting Pudding Cream instructions, I went straight from rinsing my conditioner, to t-shirt drying, and then applying the pudding.

Because I didn’t apply my usual olive oil seal, my hair became knotty again and the pudding’s gel-like hold worked so quickly that it was difficult for me to slip my fingers through my hair. The result was soft, wavy hair that frizzed after a few hours.

The next day, I’d applied more pudding, retwisted, and left to air dry for the entire day. The result was an oily residue and an undefined, frizzy head  of hair.

You win some, you learn some.

Don’t expect great results by applying generic instructions. Let your hair tell you what it needs because your texture is unique.

Once I’d washed again, reverted to my own routine, and then applied the pudding as needed – beautiful!

What’s in it:

 Water, glycerine, glycine soja oil / soybean oil, polysorbate 80, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, triethanolamine, oleth-5, carbomer, parfum / fragrance, phenoxyethanol, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, caprylyl glycol, mangifera indica s e e d o i l / m a n g o s e e d o i l, butylene glycol, benzyl salycylate, linalool, benzyl alcohol, limonene,  ci 14700 / red 4, geraniol, bambusa vulgaris sap extract, ci 19140 / yellow 5, citric acid. (f.i.l. d55311/4)

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Afro Moisturising Butter – R69.95 (250ml)


A transparent tub of creamy, white butter with a refreshing herbal fragrance, centred on honey and Gaurana Root.


*Closing my eyes and stretching my open hands up to the sky.

If you’ve been searching for a hydrating cream to give your hair the moisture and definition it needs, go out and get yourself a tub of this butter.

Parting my hair  into 8 sections, after washing, conditioning, and applying about a R5 coin size of olive oil to my hair, I carefully slid the Afro Moisturising Butter onto each section.  I start at the ends and then clasp the hair through my hands from root to tip. My curls were so defined. Take a look at what my wash-and-go results looked like below.

Style suggestion: Apply a coat of hair gel if you’d like to wear your wash and go for a few days. I use a Flaxseed gel that I make myself – it takes about 10 mins and you only need 3 ingredients. You can find the recipe, here.

What’s in it:

Water, caprylic /capric triglyceride, cocos nucifera oil / coconut oil, stearyl alcohol, glycerin, dimethicone, butylene glycol, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, stearic acid, palmitic acid, parfum / fragrance, steareth-100, polyacrylamide, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, c13-14 isoparaffin, steareth-2, limonene, hexyl cinnamal, hydroxypropyltrimonium honey, laureth-7, mannan, xanthan gum, paullinia cupana seed extract, methylisothiazolinone, citronellol, citral, geraniol, benzyl alcohol, linalool, ci 19140 / yellow 5, ci 15985 / yellow 6, ci 14700 / red 4, ci 17200 / red 33, ci 42090 / blue 1Defined curls using dark and lovely au naturale - be whole

To view more pics and join a tribe conversation, connect with me on Instagram: @robynruththomas

All products provided by Dark  and Lovely South Africa

*Available in major retailers such as Clicks and Dischem Pharmacy from October 2016.

Photos/ Lucienne Haupt


Why you should stop drinking milk immediately

stop drinking milk

75% of Africans are lactose intolerant, according to an in-depth article published by USA Today.

If you love cream, milk, and cheese, and happen to consume lots of it, how much can you consume before your stomach starts running? Any given percentage is a sign that you could actually be lactose intolerant. You may want to stop drinking milk immediately.

It won’t be a sacrifice.

I recently had the most delicious dairy-free ice cream from Legendairy Creamery at Root44 Market in Stellenbosch. A vanilla and chocolate ice cream packed with crunchy peanut butter pieces and crushed Oreos. Cue the singing angels! Oreos are not milk-based biscuits. And, almond milk ice cream tastes just as great, if not better than cow’s milk ice cream.

Whoever decided that we (as humans) should be sucking on the udders of cows for nutrients in the first place, was a questionable chap. Drinking cow’s milk originated in Europe, 7500 years ago. This explains why fewer Europeans than any other nation are lactose intolerant.

Cow’s milk produces one of the best forms of calcium. It’s packed with Vitamin D which helps your body absorb the calcium and also hydrate. So with all these benefits, why should you avoid drinking milk?

You’re not a cow, you’re human.

When calves are born, their bones are brittle; they can’t walk, and they need to size-up quickly. After a few short months of continuously drinking milk, calves become full grown cows/bulls. It’s amazing. When you consume the same milk as a young child, your body experiences great benefits but as you grow older, the same amount of milk consumption can be detrimental to your health.

Watch this video by New York Times’ best-selling author, Dr Mark Hyman, to find out why you should be avoiding milk completely:

According to Dr Hyman, this is why milk is not good for you:

  1. Milk doesn’t promote sport performance
  2. There’s no evidence that dairy’s good for your bones
  3. Dairy is linked to prostate cancer
  4. It’s full of saturated fat and linked to heart disease
  5. Dairy causes digestive problems for 75% of the world’s population who are lactose intolerant
  6. Dairy aggravates irritable bowel syndrome

For me, consuming dairy meant acne activation and increased inflammation. I am currently treating my acne by taking Omega 3+6 capsules, Green Power tablets, and a dairy-free diet. View my photos on Instagram.

Would you consider cutting dairy out of your diet, or is it out of the question? I’d love to hear from you.  Drop me a comment in the space below or email me directly at

Road trip through the world’s longest Wine Route: Route 62

montagu springs trip

Grab some snacks, your camera, a buddy, and take a drive through Route 62.

You won’t be sorry.

If you’re looking for a cosy, affordable destination to escape to – not too far from Cape Town, stopover in the quaint town of Montagu.

The town is absolutely peaceful.

Shops are closed on a Sunday, there’s no rush to go anywhere – the people are friendly, and you can find  some genuinely mouthwatering healthy snacks at the markets.

Nothing beats catching wind on the back of a bakkie; getting to drive through messy puddles, sifting through heaps of vintage treasures, and taking home the bulk of the town’s specialties. Home baked biscuits, nuts, biltong, dried fruit and wine, wine, wine – is what you’ll find lots of at low cost, along Route 62.

One disappointment; I curse Cape Town’s coffee shops and restaurants for treating me to variety – unless you’re planning a sit-down at a restaurant for coffee, the most exotic option you’ll find is a Cappuccino with full cream milk. No Chai Lattes, no soy milk or honey substitutes, not even a decaf Cappuccino to go (to be found), anywhere from the N1 to Ashton. I packed my almond milk for the weekend, in case I wanted to have some Oats for breakfast at Montagu Springs Resort.

The self-catered experience

Who doesn’t love waking up to a rich breakfast in the morning. Staying over at a place that doesn’t offer breakfast can sometimes be inconvenient, especially if you’re trekking to the middle of nowhere. I love traveling light so I usually ensure that wherever I go, there’s a place to grab breakfast nearby. This is why staying at Montagu Springs Resort was perfect. While the resort is a fully self-catering venue, we could walk (but chose to drive) to Main Road, where restaurants and grocery stores lined the streets. There is also a superette just outside the resort where you  can find the essentials like tea, bread, milk, and biscuits.

At the resort, there are three swimming pools, one heated – it’s like getting into a bath, except that it’s outside, surrounded by greenery and mountains. There’s also three tennis courts, lots of space to braai, a huge playground where kids can jungle gym, swing, and run around, and bicycles for hire (at about R30 per hour). Avalon Springs is right next door with a restauarant, two bars, a spa, and the natural mineral springs. We popped into Avalon Springs but didn’t use any of the facilities so I’m not too sure whether it’s any good.

Our chalet was spacious and cosy. We checked into a Josmont Heights Chalet, which had a private deck with a braai place, a walk-in bathroom, a fully self-catering kitchen with cutlery and crockery, and a glass door in the main bedroom, leading out onto the deck. Waking up to the sound of birds, spotting the greenery and towering mountains, is definitely worth the experience. This is not a luxury resort so don’t expect percale linen or fancy furniture. Check out the resort pricing and chalet specials on their website for more information and photos.

accommodation along route 62accommodation along route 62accommodation along route 62

The drive Through Route 62 and using GPS

You don’t really need GPS for this road trip, it’s pretty straight forward. The road is long and scenic, something a writer like me finds inspiring. The towns you’ll pass through, if you’re travelling from Cape Town, and let’s stay, stopover in Montagu, are Paarl, Worcester, Nuy, Robertson, and Ashton. There’s more than enough to explore on the way there and back.

We’d planned to go hiking in the mountains, a few steps from our chalet at Montagu Springs; we wanted to cycle through the town, enjoy a Saturday lunch at one of the restaurants but we just didn’t have enough time. At leas three to four full days to absorb the atmosphere – to really explore all that Route 62 has to offer, would have sufficed. If not more.

Here’s how to get to Montagu from Cape Town

Roadtrip essentials

  • Water
  • Cash or credit card for e-toll gate
  • Sunnies
  • Warm clothes or blanky
  • Padkos (road trip snacks)
  • GPS or road map (if you must)

Montagu is just over 2 hours drive from Cape Town and there are quite a few pitstops along the way where you can refuel, refresh, and take lots of photos.

What has been your best road trip yet? I’d love to hear from you. Pop me a comment in the space below or email me directly to




An introduction to eating well

breakfast for healthy eating

breakfast for healthy eating

a snack for healthy eating

healthy eating snack

I stayed up late last night, thinking about food. You’d never believe how many free 30-day eating plans one can find online, for just about any diet.

I’m ovo-pescatarian which means that my major food sources are eggs, vegetables, beans, nuts, grains, and fish. I don’t eat meat, poultry, or dairy products since I discovered how dairy and meat contributes to my hormonal acne. Take a look at what Dr Hyman, a New York Times bestselling author, physician and leader in functional medicine, says about what cutting milk out of your diet can do for your body, click here to watch the video.

I miss milk and especially cheese but every time I sneak in a delicious slice of cheese, my face turns into a pine cone. That’s enough motivation for me to stay way. Almond milk is my staple for oats, creamy dishes, puddings, and shakes. Woolworths’ unsweetened Almond milk finds its way into my fridge regularly but when I do manage to get to a Pick ‘n Pay or Dischem Pharmacy, I love getting the Almond Breeze brand – it’s a lot cheaper.

My eating habits are mostly suited to improving my skin because I’m determined to treat my acne naturally – regardless of how long it takes. If you don’t have any skin concerns but you want to eat well, here are three things to think about that can guide you on your path:

Eat foods that benefit your body

A friend of mine, bless her, works out five days a week and has been training for quite a while but doesn’t see body progress. Her biggest setback is that she has a busy schedule and rarely has time to cook so sometimes finds herself in line at a drive-thru after a good work out. Some people would argue that you deserve to reward yourself for working hard but like the guy at my favourite spice shop said to me one day, “I never consume what doesn’t benefit my body.” Not even eat the very sweets he sells.

Plan what you’ll be eating

Decide what your goal is, whether to lose weight, gain weight, or simply live well. Planning your meals helps to avoid eating fast foods, overeating, and getting the right nutrients. How would you know what’s good for your body? Pay attention to the foods that upset your stomach, make you feel bloated or lethargic, those are usually warnings from your body to avoid those foods.

Keep it simple

If you’ve read 4 things I wish I’d known about moving out, you’ll know that I’m not fond of grocery shopping but that I generally eat well.

A colleague often jokes that whenever he spots me, I’m always eating something. It’s true, I absolutely love food and I do eat often. I’ll have breakfast and then a snack, lunch, followed by another snack, and then supper. It seems like a lot but I don’t have over sized portions and the quality of the meals in terms of how beneficial it will be to my body, are always high. On a weekday my breakfast would usually include a whole fruit (on an empty stomach), followed by overnight oats. For lunch, I would either have a tuna or alternative seafood sandwich, a vegan wrap or salad, or vegetarian curry if I was up to cooking it the night before.

I eat much less at supper than I would eat for lunch because by supper time I’ve already had lots of water during my workout and  don’t feel exceptionally hungry. Hake or an alternative seafood, sometimes mussels or calamari with a big portion of steamed country veg like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and carrots, is what I would quickly cook for supper on any given weeknight.

Would you like to know more about my ovo-pescatarian diet or share some tips for eating well? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the space below or connect with me on Instagram to view my favourite eats.