Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Health: An Alternative Healthier Sweet Tea Recipe

The popularity of sweet tea is rising in both America and internationally. However the high sugar content in most sweet tea recipes makes them incredibly unhealthy.

But don’t despair! There are alternatives to the traditional recipes that won’t put you into a diabetic coma or make you pack on [too] many pounds. 

If you are a lover of “All Things Southern” then be sure to try this recipe: 

Debbie’s Honey Bee Sweet Tea
What makes this recipe healthier is the fact that it makes use of natural honey as opposed to refined sugar. The ingredients are:

3/4 Cup of raw honey
2 Iced tea bags (any variety will do so pick your favourite)
3.5 Litres of purified water 
4 Litre glass jug / pitcher
1/8 Teaspoon baking soda
Lemon (to taste) – Optional
Ice for serving


  1. Boil 1.25 litres of the purified water (in a kettle or on the stove)
  2. Remove water from heat and steep tea bags in it for 6 to 10 minutes
  3. Remove the tea bags from the water and add the ¾ cup of honey and the baking soda to the mix and stir again. 
  4. Add the rest of the water (1.25 litres)
  5. Pour the mix into the glass jug / pitcher (once the mixture is cooled enough so the pitcher does not crack or explode from the heat) and place in the fridge
  6. Once chilled / cooled, serve with ice and lemon (to taste)


1.A trick to making the perfect sweet tea is to add the honey (or sugar if you opt for the unhealthier option) while the water is still boiling or just as it is removed from the heat (note: Do NOT add honey/sugar to an electric kettle; pour the water out first).
2.Another alternative to using honey is to use maple syrup. Although it is viewed as being a bit unhealthier than honey, maple syrup is still a better option than using refined cane sugar.
3.Be sure to stir the 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda into the mixture whilst adding the honey/sugar (when the mixture is still nice and hot) as this will help to remove the bitterness from the tea. 
4.If you like your tea flavour stronger, just add another teabag to the recipe. 


Debbie Nel


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Monday, 13 February 2017

The #debnelv3monthchallenge conclusion photo reveal

As you all know, I ended my #debnelv3monthchallenge a bit earlier than originally anticipated, since I was more than happy with the results I had reached as of the 2nd of February 2017 already.

This challenge was really great fun and I gained so much personally from it. I urge every single one of you out there that are reading this right now to at least give it a shot. What do you have to lose (except for weight that is)?

To recap briefly, I prepared for his challenge by firstly letting my overall appearance go and by gaining several kilograms. Once I was ready to begin my challenge, I gave myself three months in which to lose the weight and look/feel better.

I then planned out a weekly meal plan and exercise routine. The meal plan consisted of basic fruits and vegetables with only fish products as a source of meat (cutting out all red meat in the process). The exercise routine consisted primarily of aerobic/dance style workouts which I did on average for 20 to 40 minutes per day.

I upped my daily water intake and I treated my hair and skin with various oils and other organic remedies.  I also tried to minimise my stress levels and make use of yoga and meditation to centre myself.

Was I successful in what I set out to achieve?

Well you be the judge of that

Remember to keep checking my postings and blog to see when I release my e-book in which I shall be sharing all my hair, skin, diet, meditation and exercise tips, tricks and hacks. I have no idea when this shall be unfortunately as I have been incredibly busy as of late with all my writing endeavours, not to mention my impending Academics Can Kill Your Sanity.com website launch. One thing I can promise you all though is that the e-book will be finished and released in due time.

Thank you all once again for sharing in the experience of this challenge with me.

Let me know what you think of my results

Take care

Debbie Vermaak Nel

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Friday, 3 February 2017

Lifestyle trends: “Going Underground” Has A Whole New Meaning!

Normally if we hear someone speaking of “going underground”, we would assume that person means “going underground” in the sense of disappearing out of society for a while. However, the term “going underground” can literally mean you plan on living underground! What might surprise you even more is the fact that the concept of living underground is not a recent one and there even exists an underground town in Australia known as Cooper Pedy, which has been around since 1915!  You can read more about the town by visiting http://www.cooberpedy.net/ 

Interested in building an underground house of your own? If so, there are many companies that specialise in green building. For example you can visit http://kirknielsen.com/project/underground/  if you wish to view such a company. Incidentally they are the same company that built the structure you see below.

Many tourists flock to The White Cliffs Underground Motel in New South Wales Australia every year. Now I am not sure about all of you but I sure as heck won't be able to stay here! Hello claustrophobia! 

Cooper Pedy is by no means the only underground town around, in fact there are at least nine others scattered in different parts of the world. A good example of one being Dixia Cheng, situated in Beijing China. This city originally started out as an underground shelter for use during disasters and attacks.

A few years ago the concept house featured in this photograph below (known as Casa Brutale) was designed by a company known as Open Plan for Architecture. It was meant to be built overlooking the Aegean Sea in Greece but to my knowledge, up until now the company has not managed to find an investor for the project. 

If going underground is not your thing, you can always choose to live in a cave like Angelo Mastropietro. His house which he affectionately named The Rockhouse Retreat is all the rage!

So what do you think? Is underground living for you? 

Till next time

Debbie Nel


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Thursday, 2 February 2017

Healthy Lifestyles: Total Transformations - The #debnelv3monthchallenge conclusion

Hello all. Some of you might be wondering why I never posted a "week 10 and 11" update to my #debnelv3monthchallenge. Well there are two reasons for this. Firstly, I have been incredibly busy as of late with the impending launch of my Academics Can Kill Your Sanity website. Secondly, I have decided to end the above-mentioned challenge a little earlier than originally anticipated.

My previous D-Day was set to be the 13th of February 2017, however since I am more than happy with my progress I have decided that it is time to quit.  This challenge was originally started in order to prove a point to someone else but I can really say that I have actually amazed myself in all that I have gained from it personally.

The first thing I learnt is that by following the right eating habits and having a regular exercise routine, a person really can feel a million times better with recharged energy and a renewed zest for life! I have always been a bit of a fitness freak but I have never before taken it to the level I did now during this challenge.

I have also learned that I was too thin to begin with before starting this challenge. My original weight was 55kg before I packed on the pounds needed to embark on this journey with all of you. Although my doctor has been telling me for years that I was actually underweight according to my height and other factors, I chose to ignore him. However I have come to see for myself that he was indeed correct!

I originally gained just under 11 kg for this challenge (10.9kg to be exact) and for a while I had a bit of lag in shedding the pounds (with factors such as Christmas not helping much). This lag did a lot of good though, in that it helped me to really "see" what I looked like at pretty much every kg loss.

I henceforth came to the conclusion that the weight that suits me best is 59kg in that it is the weight class at which my eyes don't look sunken and my jawline does not appear so thin. As far as my other goals are concerned, I am very happy to report that these have all been reached with no problems. My skin is back to the way it was originally and my hair has never looked better.

I shall be keeping my photo reveal date as 13 February 2017, unless something else hampers my schedule.

That's it for now. On a last note though I want to add a message to all the ladies out there: - It does not help you look like a stick figure as it really does not suit anyone and it's not worth the price of your health.

Till next time, take care

Debbie Nel


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