How to maintain clear adult braces + giveaway!

clear adult braces, robyn ruth thomas, be whole

Did you know that having oral health issues can affect the rest of your body?

Forgetting to brush your teeth and avoiding floss when you should really be doing it, can bring on far more problems than just bad breath.

I’ve been strict about maintaining a healthy dental care routine since I got my braces.

Trying to brush your teeth with brackets stuck to them can be tricky in the beginning but if you’re using the right cleansing method and products, it can actually be fun.

How I clean my teeth

I’m going to miss this metal when my teeth are fixed. I’ve finally gotten the hang of brushing the bristles up and down between my brackets to polish those hard-to-reach places.

I brush twice a day as recommended and keep a bottle of mouthwash in my bag for whenever I need to quickly gargle, after a stringy lunch or snack.

Flossing is not my favourite – I also carry a box of floss in my handbag but since I have gaps, I tend to prefer to swish, swish with an oral rinse.

Follow my adult braces journey below:

Vlog 1: Getting Clear Adult Braces

In this video I share what it felt like to get my braces put on, as well as which foods my orthodontist recommended that I avoid.

Vlog 2: Dealing with broken brackets

Watch what I had to do when I accidentally broke my first bracket.

Vlog 3: How quickly my teeth have moved

In just 4 months, the state of my teeth have improved dramatically. The only downside is that I’d developed an even bigger gap than I had before.

Vlog 4: What stained my clear bands

If you’re thinking of getting clear braces with clear bands, these are the foods to avoid so that your bands don’t stain.

Vlog 5: The best colour bands for clear braces

Find out what the best colour for clear braces is – hint: it’s not clear bands 😀

Giveaway!!

Win 1 of 5 Oral B Electric toothbrush hampers, including an Andolex-C Anti bacterial Oral Rinse

Enter to win below and share this post with someone you know would love to win too!

Terms and Conditions: 

*Entries open to South Africans only.

5 five winners will be notified via email on 25 March 2018.

This prize excludes any products not mentioned in this blog post.

*I am not a medical professional. This post is purely for informational purposes and true to the best of my knowledge. Please chat to a dentist if you have any questions or concerns.

WATCH: My experience as a pescatarian

pescatarian diet, robyn ruth thomas, be whole, food

Adopting a pescatarian diet has made a big difference to how I lead the rest of my life.

I’d say that it’s definitely better.

Are you thinking of going meat-free, or have you already? Drop me a note in the comment section below to let me know 🙂

If you’re new to my blog, (hello) I recently asked Youtube viewers what type of videos they would like to see from me and the majority of people requested uploads related to my diet.

So here we are:D

In this video I share more about my life as a pescatarian – what I mostly eat, and why I decided to go meat-free.

What is pescatarianism?

Pesce means fish so I’m basically a vegetarian who eats seafood.

I also don’t eat gluten and dairy, although I am allowed to have cheese and yoghurt since they are considered good bacteria.

Why I am pescatarian:

My diet is prescribed.

Recently in my video about my acne, I shared how my homeopath guided me towards eating foods that my body was happy with and away from stuff that gave me breakouts and left me feeling bloated.

After I stopped eating meat, drinking milk and cutting out gluten, I saw a dramatic improvement in my skin.

When did I stop eating meat?

2015.

I don’t miss meat at all.

I’d met a couple at a seminar who spoke about the changes they’d made to their diets due to the number of hormones that are injected into animals during farming.

I’d already dabbled with the idea of going meat-free so speaking to them just helped affirm my decision.

What I mostly eat?

I rarely eat fish and get most of my nutrients from veg, legumes, nuts, and fruit.

Brown rice is my staple. I use it to make rice cereal, stews with rice, savoury rice and because rice is gluten-free, I also have rice noodles, rice pasta, rice wraps.

Broccoli and spinach are also major sources of protein for me.

Polenta – cornmeal, is one of my breakfast options. Look for a GMO-free label on the packaging of products to know if it’s been genetically modified or not.

I also eat a lot of chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.

Milk alternatives include almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk. When cooking creamy dishes, coconut cream is my go-to.

Is it expensive?

Yes and no.

If you plan what you eat you can save a lot of money.

I love buying dry foods in bulk and storing it for later use, which also works out cheaper.

Fruit and veg are generally also more afforable if you only eat foods that are in season.

What to take to a Braai:

Being a guest of a meat-eating host can be awkward if your diet hasn’t been catered for.

Bringing a shareable portion of my favourites to gatherings has always eased any uncomfy feelings and soothed lots of tummies.

Braais are big in Cape Town but you don’t have to miss out. You can braai mielies, butternut, broccoli, and stuffed sweet potato wrapped in foil 😀

6 primal movements to keep you going this winter

primal movements be whole

Movement symbolizes life.

It’s at the core of our early growth and development and remains the central theme throughout our being. It’s how we survive, communicate, procreate and thrive.

Human movement arises from patterns designed to protect and feed us i.e. to help us receive pleasure and avoid pain.

Movement patterns are purposeful combinations of mobile and stable segments working in harmony to produce effective sequences. These linked sequences give us a command of physical posture during activity and movement through our surroundings.

Basic and advanced full-body movements include crawling, running, jumping and climbing. But less talking, let us get moving!

Here are your six movements:

  • Lunge with a knee up
    Take an easy step forward and then drop the knee of the rear leg towards the ground just behind the heel of the lead foot, but do not let the knee make contact with the ground. This is your lunge position. Then bring the knee up towards your chest as you come to standing, balancing on the lead foot/leg. Bring the lifted leg down as you take step, which is now your leading foot/leg, and drop the opposite knee down. Move forward in this sequence.
  • Bear crawl
    Get in a toddler crawling position and lift the knees (still bent) off the ground. Move forward by taking a step with your opposite hand and foot (e.g. right hand, left foot). Keep the knees low throughout the movement.
  • Walking kicks
    Standing upright, kick your foot/leg out in front of you as you reach with the opposite hand/arm to touch your foot. Get on your toes on the opposite foot. Once you make contact with the ground with the kicking foot, swing the rear foot up to kick and reach for the foot with the opposite hand. Continue moving forward in this sequence.
  • Side steppers
    Turn to your side and bent your knees to get into a squat position, hold the position. Take a step to the side with the lead foot and follow with the rear foot. Once you reach the marked destination, step back to the starting position in the squatting position.
  • Bunny hops
    In a deep squat position, place your arms between your feet/leg. Take a leap forward with your arms, then resting on your arms, kick off with your legs towards your hands/arms to bring you back into that deep squat position. Move forward in this pattern.
  • Walkovers
    Turn to your side and get into a push-up or straight arm plank position, hold this position. With your rear hand reach over the leading hand, and simultaneously take step with the opposite foot/leg. Move the leading hand under the rear hand and take a step with the opposite foot/leg to return to starting position. Move in this sequence. Once you reach the marked destination, move back to your starting point in the same sequence.

Do each exercise 2-3 times over 15-30m. The movements should be controlled and intentional, so do not rush through them. The aim is to move.

Our bodies are miracles capable of unbelievable durability and resilience, with an amazing performance and physical capacity. We are made to age gracefully. Reclamation of authentic movement is the starting point. We cannot simply have better fitness, conditioning and sports performance. We must cultivate it. – Gray Cook.

Want to know more about these exercises or train with Oupa? Leave us a comment below or chat to me during the week via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Can a gluten free diet really improve my health?

gluten free be whole

If you ever feel bloated, tired or need to go to the loo after having a few slices of bread, you may be gluten intolerant.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. You can’t tell whether there’s gluten in food by just looking at it. But if you scan the labels of sauces, salad dressings, cereals, breads, milkshakes, and pastas, you’ll see that many of them contain gluten. You may even find that some cosmetic products and supplements are made with gluten.

How a gluten free diet can affect your body

People who are sensitive to gluten but still consume it may suffer from diarrhea, tummy aches, and bloating. This happens because when they consume gluten, the lining of their stomachs become inflamed, which makes it difficult to digest food properly.

There’s been many studies on the benefits of gluten free diets. According to an article by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, adopting a gluten free, casein (dairy) free (GFCF) diet may improve the development of autistic patients.

The article notes that while the intervention improved the development of some autistic patients, a lot of research still needs to be done before this can be conclusive.

Cutting out gluten doesn’t mean saying goodbye to delicious food.

Here’s a list of some gluten free foods :

  • Fruit
  • Veg
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Teff
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Legumes
  • nuts

I’ve been gluten free for a month now and my body is happy. After seeing a homeopath to help me clear my skin, I was advised that there was a much greater problem happening inside my body. It made a lot of sense when she explained that my acne was my body’s way of warning that something wasn’t working well internally.

Without realizing that I was sensitive to gluten, I satisfying munched on the freshest breads, saucy pastas, and those wonderfully seasoned salty cracks. My taste buds were in heaven but my digestive system was in turmoil. I had been maintaining a healthy diet for years to my mind, but my body wasn’t able to absorb all of the nutrients because every time I would consume gluten, I would damage my stomach lining.

I immediately stopped eating gluten based foods (I also don’t consume dairy) and haven’t have a breakout since.

Have you considered going gluten free or are already maintaining a gluten free diet? I’d love to know your thoughts. Drop me a comment in the section below 🙂

How to make overnight oats in a jar

I eat oats for for breakfast everyday of the week. Sometimes I’ll skip having oats over a weekend because I’m either away from home or going for breakfast. But this really is my favourite breakfast recipe. It’s filling but doesn’t make you feel sluggish, it’s nutritious, and best of all, easy to make.

I usually prepare my oats in a glass jar since it’s the safest container to use today. Plastic containers, especially those that don’t have the BPA free label on it, contain chemicals that transfer to your food when you’re heating food in the container or the plastic begins to wear. Eatright.org has an in-depth article on glass versus plastic – if you’re interested in finding out more about that, click here.

I also prepare (at most) three jars of overnight oats on a Sunday night to make sure that I have breakfast for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Wednesday’s jar is always the tastiest.

Meal planning for breakfast saves me a lot of time and money because I’ve had to calculate exactly how much ingredients I need and once I’ve made the oats on Sunday and Wednesday night, I can just hop over to the fridge to enjoy my already-set creamy oats.

You’ll definitely enjoy this if you’re on a tight schedule and don’t want to have to worry about what you should have for breakfast.

overnight oats

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 banana

1 cup almond milk

Preparation time: five minute 🙂

Optional (add):

a pinch of salt

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Pour all the dry ingredients into a glass jar or container of your choice. Add the container lid and shake to mix the contents.
  2. Remove the lid to add milk. I use almond milk because of my dairy-free diet but you can use any milk or water since almond milk is actually only 25% almonds, and 75% milk.
  3. Once you’ve added the milk, seal to make sure that all your dry ingredients have been coated with milk and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Enjoy in the morning!

That’s it. Quick and easy. I never get tired of this breakfast recipe because there are so many different ways to make it.

Tip:

Try to get rolled oats and not instant oats because the texture of the oats is quite different. Rolled oats are the larger white flakes that take a while to lose it’s crunch.

Also, this is my go-to recipe but you can add any of your favourite fruit, seeds, or milk.

I’ve love to know if you’ve tried this recipe or already prepare your own overnight oats. Drop my a comment in the section below and let’s connect on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter.

Guest Recipe: Coconut Fish Curry

fish curry

My fragrant coconut fish curry recipe is incredibly easy to prepare. If you’re looking for something quick and healthy that’s rich in flavour, creamy, and delicious – this is it.

I’ve used easily accessible ingredients so there’s no need to spend hours hunting through shopping aisles.

This nutritious dish can be prepared in less than 45 minutes.

The subtle blend of exotic spices will tickle your taste buds with each mouthful. And the broccoli and carrots add a beautiful, vibrant colour to the mild yellow curry.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: 40- 50 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tsp coconut oil
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 tbsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tsp fresh or dried chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger, grated
coconut milk 400 ml (shaken well)
2 cups chicken stock/ veg stock if you’re pescatarian
½ head broccoli florets
½ head cauliflower florets
750 g firm white fish, cut into bite-sized cubes (I used hake fillets)
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, minced

Method

1. Heat coconut oil in a medium-sized pot.

2. Add onions and allow to cook until golden in colour. Add tomatoes, carrots, turmeric powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, dried chillies, garlic and ginger.

3. Cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until sauce thickens.

4. Add chicken/ veg stock, coconut milk, broccoli, cauliflower and fish, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables and fish are cooked to your liking.

5. Garnish with minced cilantro and serve on a bed of brown rice or Quinoa.

8 of the best gym equipment for training at home

There’s really no excuse to skip training if you have your own home-gym. When its raining or you don’t feel like leaving home, here is some exercise equipment to help improve your fitness and overall health:

Skipping Rope

Boxers use skipping ropes as a cardio workout. While skipping, you burn a lot of calories, improve your cardiovascular system, and build muscle. Most sport shops stock skipping ropes. They’re relatively cheap and you can take them anywhere.

Workout intensity depends on the weight of the rope, the heavier you go, the more intense your workouts will be. But with basic models, you can achieve the same result if you skip with increased speed and effort.

Kettle bells

Kettle bells are similar to dumbbells but have a unique shape that makes training with them quite convenient. You can do a variety of different exercises with them; they come in different shapes and are also available in adjustable form.

gym equipment

Stability Ball

This ball is perfect for working your abs, upper body and lower body workouts. They’re also useful for rehabilitation exercises like stretching or sitting on which can help to improve your posture. You can do push ups, bridges and back extensions on a stability ball.

Chin Up Bars

Chin up bars are widely available at sport and fitness shops. They are affordable, easy to set up, and work by mounting them to a door frame.

Chin up bar exercises mostly include, pull ups, chin ups and hanging leg raises with the purpose of strengthening your back or working your abdominal muscles.

Medicine Balls

Simple yet effective exercise equipment. They’re mainly used for upper body exercises. They come in different sizes and weight. You can easily find one that will fit your fitness level.

gym equipment

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are a must-have as home gym equipment. They’re quite useful for training all the major muscle groups, building up strength and isolating muscles.They also help to improve coordination and balance as dumbbell exercises needs more control

Ab Wheel

Constructed with a bar and wheel in the middle, this piece of exercise equipment is useful for exercising your core or abdominal muscles, but can also sculpt your back, arms, chest and shoulders.

TRX

Relatively new to the fitness industry, this set of equipment can be used to perform a variety of body weight exercises. The TRX system combines both stability and strength exercises especially for core training.

Do you workout at home? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment in the space below or connection with me on Instagram, facebook, and Twitter.

5 home workouts to boost your metabolism

We all have those days where we don’t feel like leaving the house to go to gym and of course not many of us can’t afford the costly home gym equipment either. But since exercise is important, being inactive is not an option.

So how can you work around your limitations and especially get to do exercises that are enjoyable?

If the weather’s great, you can easily go for a walk around the neighbourhood, but if it’s not, you still work up a sweat using this metabolism boosting workouts:

 Jogging in place

This workout is a great warm up for any other exercise that follows. You can jog on the spot in front of the TV or while listening to music and it really gets the heart going. Of course you’ ll have  to make enough room for yourself but the only equipment you’ll need for this exercise, is a be a good pair of running shoes, which helps to  alleviate stress on your legs.

Jumping Jacks

Another fantastic warm up workout is jumping jacks. It’s a really fun exercise that gets your heart pumping, and adds excitement to your training.

Squats

Squats are exceptionally great for toning your legs and buttocks. Use of a chair to assist you with your squat posture. Simply stand and then sit down again. Repeat this in sets, of course the more regularly you train, the more sets you’ll be able to do. You’ll feel a squeeze in the buttocks and legs and this shows that it’s a good workout.

Push Ups

These are known to be the best exercises for building and strengthening your abs. With your hands firmly on the ground, lift your body up until you feel your muscles stretch. Once you’re comfortable with doing a few sets of these, focus on bringing your head all the way up to give you an added workout.

Light Weight Lifting

This is a fantastic home workout because there’s many weight lifting options. You can use anything from a tin of beans to bottled water as a weight. Combine this with jogging on the spot for a full body workout. Once you feel comfortable and would like to move onto the next level, start using heavier weights like used bottles of laundry detergent that you’ve refilled with water. The options are endless.

Remember that at home you can play your favourite music to help you get into action or even just try these workouts while catching up on some series.

Do you have a workout routine that you’ve become addicted to? Scroll down to the comment section below, and let me know what that is.

 

Dinner Ideas: Easy Kidney Bean Pasta

kidney bean pasta be whole

One thing that I miss about having supper at home-home (where my family live) is that we’d take turns to cook supper during the week.

I was lucky to learn about mean planning and healthy eating well before moving out and have quite healthy eating habits, aside from my trips to Snoekies for Hake and Chips on weekends, and my sorbet binges while watching movies.

The biggest struggle with maintaining a healthy diet is finding time to prepare not only nutritious, but equally tasty meals.

This easy kidney bean pasta is a quick dinner idea for meat-free suppers or lunches. I often use this recipe as an inclusion to my meal plan, which makes two lunches and two dinners.

I generally cook meals for up to three days – no longer – to preserve the freshness of all ingredients and to switch up my meals.

Meal planning is great for ensuring that you continually eat the right foods. You’ll also save money as you’ll be reluctant to buy quick snacks and lunches if you’ve already packed your own.

Is pasta healthy?

Yes, and no.

Controlling your portions of pasta is what matters. I avoided high-carbohydrate foods like potatoes, pastas and bread for a long time because these foods are key contributors to weight gain. What I didn’t know at the time, was how much vitamin B, fiber, and protein could be found in pasta.

Whole-grain pasta (brownish coloured), has the same amount of calories as white pasta, expect that you’ll find more nutrients in the whole-grain selection.

I’ve used white Fusili pasta (screws) for this recipe but whole-grain pasta will suit this meal perfectly, if preferred. You could also use Penne Rigata pasta (quills), if you prefer.

spinach with pasta be wholecooking pasta be wholekidney beans for pasta be wholepasta sauce be whole

What you’ll need to make Kidney Bean Pasta:

300 – 400 g Pasta

1 Finely chopped onion

400 g Kidney Beans

500 g Spinach

1 tbsp Hemp seeds

200 ml Napoletana Sauce (as desired)

2 tbsp Olive Oil

500ml hot water

Method:

  • Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into a saucepan and braise your onion.
  • Pour 5oo ml of boiled water into a pot to cook your pasta. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the water to ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick together, then add pasta to cook for 10 minutes. Using hot water instead of cold water will largely increase your preparation time.
  • Once your onion is golden brown, add spinach and hemp seeds to cook while you wait for the pasta.
  • Once the pasta has cooked, strain it, then add it to the saucepan with kidney beans and Napoletana sauce
  • Once your Napoletana sauce (with added ingredients) has been heated, your pasta is ready to eat
  • Allow to simmer for 5 minutes

Let me know if you try this recipe. Any meat-free dinner ideas you think that I should try? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the section below or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

 

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)

 

Method

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 www.naturallytescha.com, 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