Saturday, 31 December 2016

Healthy Lifestyle: Week 6 and 7 of my weight loss/ body transformation

A lot has changed since my last posting two weeks ago. As you all know, it has been the Christmas/festive season and I am afraid that temptation has gotten the better of me.

I initially only planned to "cheat" on my diet a tiny bit, however the treats of the season have proved to be way too much enticement for my less than perfect willpower. Not only have I gained weight as a result of my excessive binging (over which I swear I had no control due to being enslaved by the mocking seduction of the delicacies spread out before me), but I have also been too lazy to exercise (obviously as a result of my temporary state of "gluttony-insanity").

However I truly feel that all is not lost and I plan to resume my challenge in full force as from next week. I still have a month and a half to reach my goals and because of the success I had achieved rather early on in my challenge, I honestly do believe that I will still obtain my desired results in the end. 

Fortunately my hair and skin have not suffered due to my weaknesses and my spirit of endurance is still fully intact. All I need to get on track with again, is my weight loss and fitness regime. The four kilograms of weight I have gained back, are truly not the end of the world, therefore I am confident that all I really need to do to get back on "the wheel" is to increase the amount of time I exercise per day (when I actually resume my routines in full force again that is). 

Here's to my last official day/night of binging! Enjoy your Old Year's Eve celebrations and be safe. Only 43 days left until D-Day!


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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Five New Year's resolutions you should adopt today!

This year has really flown by and once again we are standing at the edge of 2016. I am not sure if it is just me, but the years seem to grow shorter and shorter the older I get. So much so, that I have begun contemplating my own mortality of late. 

We as humans tend not to think about the inevitable reality of our own senescence, however aging is an undeniable fact of life. Bearing this in mind, don't you think that now is a good time to make a few positive changes from which you can reap the rewards in your golden years?

There is no better time to take on a new outlook, as well as new positive habits, than in the beginning of a brand new year! 

Below you will find my list of five great New Year's resolutions for everyone to adopt this coming 2017:

1. Resolution number one: Eat healthier (and live longer) 
As Anthelme Brillat-Savarin first said in 1826, "we" truly "are what we eat", so why so many of us poison our systems by consuming vast amounts of junk food each year, is totally beyond my understanding. Since starting my #debnelv3monthchallenge, I have never felt better! Yes it is true I do cheat sometimes (like now over the Christmas season) and eat some foods considered to be quite unhealthy, however, I honestly try not to make a habit of this. You have nothing to lose so why not find a healthy diet that suits your lifestyle and budget and try and stick to it for at least a few months as part of your positive changes for yourself this New Year? You are not only going to feel bounds and leaps better, with tons of renewed energy and positive vibes, but you are also guaranteed to awaken your taste buds to new, natural healthy flavours that will make you wonder (after just a few short weeks) why you never tried anything like this before. 

2. Resolution number two: Save more money (and consider your retirement)
So many people simply cannot afford to retire at the ages they initially planned anymore. In fact, even those who have retired have come to realise, that with the global economy being in the state that it is they don't have even nearly half of what would be needed to sustain themselves in a comfortable manner for the rest of their lives. Adopting a simple budgeting and saving strategy today could help you in remedying this ailment in the future. 

3. Resolution number three: Stress less (and get over all the bull in life)
We as humans really have more than enough problems in life, yet we insist on creating more issues for ourselves by adopting the habit of stressing over virtually everything. It is really simple. If you stress about something it is not going to make the situation magically disappear. In actual fact, it is most probably going to just make things worse for you in the long run (for example due to factors such as hasty decision making or overreaction as a result of stressing excessively et cetera). The same goes for the bull issues in life. If you hold onto it, it will plague you. If you let it go, the issue vanishes. 

4. Resolution number four: Make more time for actual living (since your life is passing you by)
How many times have we heard older people say things such as, "I wish I did..... when I was younger" or "I should've made more time for ........"? Don't let this be you in the future. Do all the things you want to do in life and stop waiting for "one day", since that "day" may never come. 

5. Resolution number five: Ignore the stupidity of others (and know when to move on)
People have an absolutely extraordinary way of getting under each others' skin. So much so that entire events can be ruined by just the sheer stupid utterances of one narrow minded individual. It however doesn't have to be this way. A while ago I adopted a mannerism that I wish I thought of embracing years ago, which is to simply ignore others and in doing so, not allow them to have any influence or effect in/on your life. The same rings true when it comes to knowing when to move on from negative people. If someone in your life is affecting it in a not-so-positive way, then the solution is quite simple - Move on!

And there you have it, five resolutions guaranteed to better your life now and in the long run! 

Have a fantastic New Year and thank you to all our readers/subscribers for your support in 2016! Here is looking towards all the fabulous new adventures (such as the launch of the much anticipated Academics Can Kill Your Sanity .com website early in January 2017) we will be having together in the future!

Much love, Debbie Vermaak Nel (Mortal Life Modes)


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Friday, 16 December 2016

Healthy Lifestyle: Week 4 and 5 of my weight loss/body transformation

This coming Sunday I will officially be five weeks into my #debnelv3monthchallenge! The time has truly flown by and before you know it, it will be 13 February and the end to this epic journey.

So much has happened since my last posting (of 7 December 2016). For starters, I am happy to report that the "stagnant weight" issue is no more. Once my body got used to the daily water intake increase, I started dropping kg's again. My weight now stands at 60kg (5kg shy of my goal). My skin and hair also looks amazing and I feel great! 

I cannot believe all the energy I have now! So much so, that I am battling to switch off and sleep at night (since my body and mind just keeps wanting to go on). It seems that the diet, meditation, skin and hair care routine, I have developed, is truly working wonders for me. So much so, that a friend of mine suggested I write an e-book highlighting all my hair, skin, diet, meditation and exercise tips and tricks. I liked the idea so much that I have decided to do just that!

In fact I have already started writing my book and I anticipate its release early in next year. My readers will be able to look forward to a bevy of healthy recipes, easy exercises and cheap yet amazing hair and skincare tips, amongst other useful information.

However, don't despair as I will still be sharing many free tips, tricks and recipes during this challenge as well, since I would never dream of disappointing all the loyal followers who have been tracking my progress with me since the very beginning of this journey. My real reason for wanting to write a book is simply that I have discovered way too much information to cover in a few blog postings and it would be a total shame, not to share all this knowledge gained with the world. 

Okay, back to my challenge. My diet has pretty much stayed the same in the last two weeks with the simple addition of some chicken and lean meat dishes for protein, as well as the addition of a few different fruits, to those I have been eating thus far for lunch (to prevent my taste buds from getting bored).

I am also still drinking six glasses of water a day which has increased my bathroom visits quite a bit, however my skin looks and feels amazing due to this and I have also noticed a reduction in cellulite on my legs (which I definitely attribute in part to my increased water intake). Therefore I definitely recommend an increase in purified water intake for everyone. Why I added the word "purified" is due to the fact that I do not recommend anyone to drink water directly out of a tap, in any country in this world, since there is no guarantee of its cleanliness and safety. 

I have also since increased my daily exercise time to forty minutes of which thirty minutes still consists of my basic aerobic, hop around/dance workouts. However, the final ten minutes now consist of five minutes of weight exercises and five minutes of abdominal exercises. 

Another note I shall add in closing is that since Christmas is around the corner, I definitely plan on cheating on my diet which is okay as long as I don't make a habit out of this (as stated before). Only 58 days left until D-Day!


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Friday, 9 December 2016

Financial Life(style):- How to have a super cheap but fabulous festive season!

The Christmas season is once again upon us. With the global economy being the way it is, this year we could all do with a few money saving tips and tricks to make Xmas more pleasurable and less (financially) taxing and painful.

Just like with other holidays, such as Diwali for instance, Christmas has become a time of spending vast amounts of money, causing many people to lose sight of the true meaning of this Holiest of events. It need however not be this way and you can still enjoy all the traditions that go with this occasion, without breaking the bank in the process.

Think out of the box when it comes to gift giving. Less can indeed mean more and it is honestly not about the cost of the gift/gifts you give to others that gives it/them true value. Creative thought comes into play when it comes to your festive menu as well, and with a little initiative and some inner magic, you can create fabulous spreads on a shoestring budget. 

Below I shall be sharing a few money saving tips when it comes to yummy Christmas food as well as some heartfelt yet cheap gift ideas to help you out where it counts (in your wallet region that is). 

Here are some great and budget friendly Xmas (and New Years) meal ideas:

1. Instead of cooking a whole expensive leg of lamb or gammon, why not have a cold cut/ cold meat Christmas? This works especially well in countries where it is summer during Xmas time (like South Africa). 

2. As an alternative to cold cuts and expensive meats, one could also prepare a few delectable fish dishes as an easier as well as cheap alternative to meat. Trout, salmon and haddock are great choices that won't strain or drain your finances.

3. Why spend a fortune creating elaborate side dishes whereas a few simple yet delicious salads will compliment just about any main dish you choose to serve (cold cuts and fish dishes included)? You could for instance make a simple three bean salad by adding one can of baked beans, one box or can of French green beans and one can of red kidney beans. Another easy salad you can make is a basic three ingredient potato salad for which you will need four medium sized peeled and boiled potatoes (cut up into bite sized pieces), three hard boiled eggs ( also cut up into small pieces) and two cups of mayonnaise. The focus should be on simple. For more ideas do an internet search entitled "simple, easy and cheap salads". You will be amazed at just how many recipes are out there. The above-mentioned two salad ideas I have given you are just simple ones I have been making for years when I am short on time and not in the mood for great cost or effort. I guarantee you will find many more exciting choices online when you go in search of ideas.

Now for some budget friendly gift and decorating ideas:

1. Instead of buying elaborate gifts for your parents and/or in-laws, you could take a few photographs of your family (or if single, just of yourself) and print these out at home for placement into simple cheap wooden frames. Once framed, let your children decorate the frames or if childless/single you could decorate these yourself. Trust me, a gift like this would mean way more to any parent than even the most expensive store bought item. Sentimental gifts are all the rage! 

2. If you have children, you can alternatively give them a little holiday project in which they draw a picture with special meaning for each relative, which you can frame in budget, seamless glass frames and then give to the intended respective family members as gifts with an ultra special meaning. 

3. Child-free? Then why not bake a few holiday cookies/fudge, or make a few holiday style candies or other treats, which can then be placed in beautiful, inexpensive tins and given out as gifts to friends and loved ones. This type of gift is such a thoughtful gesture with a personal touch that adds to its charm. 

4. Why purchase expensive holiday crackers when you can use toilet roll inners, left over wrapping paper and/or crepe paper and some cheap corner shop sweets/candies to make your own at a fraction of the cost?

4. Don't purchase expensive Christmas tree or table decorations when simple objects (such as pine cones, roll on deodorant balls and string et cetera) paired with a can of metallic silver/gold spray paint can make ornaments to die for at the price of pennies compared to their store bought counterparts. 

These are just a few ideas to awaken the frugal and creative genius that lives inside each and every single one of us. As said before, search the internet for more ideas and/or be creative and brainstorm!

Here's hoping you have and absolutely amazing Christmas and a blessed new year! Be safe and be happy!

With love, Debbie Vermaak Nel/Mortal Life Modes.


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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Healthy Lifestyle: Week 2 and 3 of my weight loss/total body transformation

It has been two weeks and one day since my last posting concerning my total body transformation challenge (aka #debnelv3monthchallenge). I am aware of the fact that I initially stated that I would be posting weekly updates regarding this challenge, however there has not really been that much to write about since my last update. 

My weight for some reason is still at 63.9kg and my diet has stayed basically the same, as in the first week of my challenge, with the simple addition of an alternative dish of cut up avocado pear, tomatoes, boiled eggs, cheese and asparagus spears for lunch some afternoons, when I am not in the mood for the normal lunch menu/ meal plan. 

I have started drinking 6 tall glasses of water a day, which could explain my currently stagnant weight, due to my body adjusting to the sudden water intake increase. I have also upped my skincare routine somewhat by adding a daily gentle scrub made out of simple brown sugar and olive oil, in addition to the castor oil moisturiser which I am still using religiously. I must say that my skin is already looking more radiant and years younger, which I attribute to a combination of my increased water intake as well as the daily use of the two oils. My hair care regime now also includes a weekly castor oil treatment, in which I simply saturate all my hair in castor oil, which I then leave in place for three hours before rinsing off. 

As for my self-discipline since starting my exercise routine and diet, well let's just say I have cheated somewhat. One or two nights I simply did not have the energy to hop around like a disembodied lizard tail, so I skipped my workouts. Also, I have indulged in the odd sweet thing or two, even giving into my urges and baking a chocolate and caramel cake last night (image here below). I try not to cheat but I am only human and therefore I do not beat myself up unnecessarily for giving in once in a while, I have just made a vow not to make a habit out of it, since sugar is a major no no when it comes to weight loss. 

Well that's about it for this week. Once again thank you all for reading and for following me in this journey. Only 67 days left until D-day! 


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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Healthy Lifestyle: Week 1 of my weightloss/total body transformation

It has been a little more than one week since embarking on my total body transformation aka #debnelv3monthchallenge journey, therefore it is time for a report back. I shall be giving you all short updates regarding my diet and progress, such as this one, on a weekly basis, for the duration of this, my three month challenge.

The first week was very enjoyable and I feel so much better (health and fitness wise) already. I have dropped down to 63.9kg (from 65.9kg), which is a full two kg loss, with very little effort. All that I have been doing different is, I have changed my eating habits and I have added an intense half an hour long, daily aerobic style workout to my routine. 

The workouts are quite fun as all I basically do is hop around and dance to the rhythm of fast paced 80's and 90's music. Add squats, some weights and standing crunches to the equation and you have my whole workout. It's amazing as it raises my heart rate sufficiently and burns calories like nobody's business. 

As for my diet this week, I have been eating two small meals a day that have consisted of the following:

Sunday the 13th: Supper - two steamed potatoes (skin on) with steamed spinach and some feta cheese sprinkled over the top.

Monday: Lunch - small green salad, Dinner - coleslaw and fish (hake)

Tuesday: Lunch - cut up fruit (apple, pear, blueberries and cherries), Dinner - tuna filled avocados 

Wednesday: Lunch - small Greek salad, Dinner - steamed broccoli and steamed carrots

Thursday: Lunch - cut up fruit, Dinner - steamed corn on the cob

Friday: Lunch - small green salad, Dinner- tuna filled avocados

Saturday: Lunch - cut up fruit, Dinner - steamed potatoes with a little low calorie, natural mayonnaise 

Sunday: Lunch - steamed gem squash filled with peas and sweetcorn, Supper - fish (hake/trout) and coleslaw

I am not a big breakfast eater, however, if you choose to add breakfast to this meal plan, you can by adding foods such as boiled eggs, yogurt and cut up banana's. 

My skin and hair treatments for this past week have been very basic to start out with. I have begun using castor oil on my skin at night after cleansing and I have done two intense damage repair hair masks (which can be purchased at any drug store) so far. From this week onwards, I shall be going more intensively into my hair and skin repair regime, and of course, I shall be writing about this in my next article in order to keep you all in the loop!

Thanks for reading and thank you all for following me in this journey. Only 82 days left until D-day!



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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Healthy Lifestyle: Total Transformations - The #debnelv3monthchallenge

A few months ago, whilst talking to a fellow writer, the whole debate about genetics and weight/beauty arose. My colleagues' beliefs are that the way we are built/shaped and the way we look (our overall appearance/beauty), is solely predetermined by our genetic make-up. 

Although there is some truth in the above-mentioned, I believe that anyone can be beautiful (have great youthful skin and radiant hair). I also know for a fact that anyone can have the body they desire by following the right eating patterns, and by putting in a little effort exercise wise. 

I conveyed my perspectives through to my colleague, who in turn still held firmly onto hers - that having a nice body/skin/hair and such, are traits we are either born with, or like most celebrities, traits we otherwise need to go under the plastic surgery scalpel to obtain. 

Knowing full well the assumptions of my colleague are total and utter bull, I decided on the spot to create a three month body transformation challenge in order to prove mine. However I first needed to make a few changes to my existing appearance. For a full two months I have been eating all the wrong foods, drinking excessive alcohol, purposely creating hair damage (by using constant heat styling methods) and exposing myself to extreme amounts of normal as well as unusual stress elements (sometimes doing utterly crazy things in order to achieve this). 

As a result, I have gained a full 11 kg, my hair is in an awful state, I am extremely out of shape, my skin looks severely dehydrated and aged, and I feel very run down in general. The pictures here below are all of me (how I look as of today). 

 Since the condition/state of my body is now perfect for the test/task, I have decided that today is the day I shall be starting my three month total transformation challenge. You can follow this challenge by subscribing to this blog (Mortal Life Modes) within the NewsDog App, and by following me on Instagram (instagram.com/debnelv_blogs_photos/).

My challenge shall officially end on the 13th of February 2017 (the day before Valentine's day) and I am extremely confident that I will succeed in transforming my body, skin, hair and overall health. 

Anyone can do this and succeed, as all that is needed is the right diet, the correct light exercises, a reduction in your stress levels and a few cheap beauty tricks and tips. 

I look forward to your support and remember, anyone can be gorgeous and have a rocking body! All we have to do is put in the effort and believe in ourselves. 


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