Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sunny Daze

The Shark Whisperer

I wouldn't let anything with teeth like that close to my basket!

Losing it in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

By Neal McKenna
Like Kermit the frog says: “it’s tough being green” – or whatever falls outside the social norm. In today’s world, being portly – rotund – okay, fat – is practically a cardinal sin! Heavy people are the butt of insensitive jokes and they’re supposed to take it all with jolly good humour. And, people who are not necessarily perfect specimens themselves make all kinds of judgments about the “chubs” around them. ‘Overweight people are lazy couch potatoes’ or ‘they haven’t any restraint when it comes to food.’

Admittedly, in some cases, such harsh judgements may be warranted but they certainly do not apply to all who are obese. So what makes some people fat while others stay slim no matter what or how much they eat? Metabolism is a big factor. Some burn up every calorie they consume, while others – the fatties – save every single kilojoule for a rainy day that never comes. On the emotional side, people often bulk up with girth, using it as armour plating to protect themselves from “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” to quote Will Shakespeare. It’s done subconsciously but the result is excess weight and plenty of it!

Recently, my doctor told me I had to lose some serious tonnage otherwise I was destined for some nasty health problems in the not too distant future. He told me I was “morbidly obese.” Nobody wants to be described as morbidly anything, let alone obese! So with that motivation, I went to a dietician. I was assigned an eating plan rather than a diet and it was specifically tailored for me.

I stuck to my programme religiously for a week. Then I fell back into my sinful ways of eating foods not included in my personal plan like peanut butter, croissants and cheese. Am I guilty of lack of control? Possibly. But the truth is I’m more culpable of not exercising enough. Writing is a sedentary pursuit. I sit a computer most days so I need a lot more assistance than just a list of items to create healthy meals!

And, to be completely honest, I’ve always had weight issues and have been engaged in the Battle of the Bulge for donkey’s years. Now, I’m losing not just the battle but the entire war! What I need is a serious adjustment in how I feel about myself in relation with food as well as getting motivated to exercise more. As the fates would have it, soon after my epiphany, I was assigned to write this feature on the Namasté Retreat at Fordoun Spa, in the KZN Midlands. I was sent there for an eight-day stay.

First of all, Fordoun Resort Spa is five-star spectacularThis get-away venue has seventeen luxurious double suites with private verandas, under-floor heating and no two units are identical. Each has a dressing area, a capacious bathroom with a large tub and separate shower. There is even a double suite with wheelchair access and a specially adapted bathroom for those who need this kind of accommodation.
For those participating in the Namasté Retreat, the only things missing from typical five-star digs are lavish meals and flowing alcohol. In their place, corpulent guests partake in a personally exclusive weight-loss and detoxification initiative. Conceptualised and operated by Nadine Johnston and Storme Kennedy, this programme includes juice fasting, vitamin supplements, colonic hydrotherapy, lymph drainage massages, daily exercise, yoga, one-on-one wellness coaching as well as several informative lectures to help one lose weight and break bad eating habits.

However, the new eating regimen actually begins at home, one week before arriving at the resort. To reduce the shock to your body, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, red meat, salt, butter, oils and as many food preservatives as possible must be removed from your diet. If you adhere to this restricted diet, you have already begun a slow gentle detox. This helps to ensure detox side-effects experienced on the retreat are minimised allowing you to spend your energy on more constructive activities such as enjoying the luxurious surroundings.

Upon arrival, each client receives a physical assessment, lifestyle evaluation and weigh-in. I tipped the scales at a delicate 145.2kg. This routine is again repeated just before going home to track your progress and to be sure you are in tip-top condition. Wellness coaching sessions assist in revealing emotional and habitual barriers to weight-loss and everyone receives a personalised take-home eating and exercise plan. In short, they make falling off the wagon as difficult as possible.

At first, it felt very much like boot camp – a posh one – but boot camp none-the-less! Four cleansing juices and a bowl of broth were administered each day. The initial six days – the juice fasting daze – are definitely the toughest because even though you have prepared your body, you can move from feeling not-so-good to utterly terrible – physically and emotionally. Toxins are ugly things and they do their worst as your body begins to expel them.

The “live food diet” plus nutritional supplements nourish, cleanse and detox your body so it will more readily shed weight. I honestly admit I never really felt hungry but by day four, I was ready to kill for solid food! Illicit visions of Beef Wellington and fudge brownies danced in my head. And there I was, supping on scouring, but actually quite good tasting, juice blends I had never ever considered ingesting before. This was the strict regimen for six days.

On the evening of day six, solid food was reintroduced into my life. I was so happy, I wanted to sacrifice a bull and eat it! Unfortunately, no porterhouse appeared on my plate. Instead I was presented with Namasté Life Foods. These specially designed meals involved a combination of brown rice, lentils and organic fruits and vegetables. Everything served to us was very tasty and I could drink all the Happy Water™ I wanted. In case you haven’t heard of it, this elixir is also called structured or primordial water. It is a concentrated colloidal solution of original Himalayan Crystal Salt in ultra-purified, re-energized, re-vitalized and re-oxygenated water.

That was the food aspect of “taking the cure” but there was a whole lot more to the Namasté programme. To encode the proper mind-set, daily activities included guided morning walks, guided meditation and yoga sessions. The resort offers a five-star onsite Spa including a world-class Bioenergy centre, a fully equipped gym, yoga studio, heated indoor pool, an outdoor pool and walking trails. There are even fly-fishing dams close-by but don’t expect to eat any of the fish you catch. It won’t be on your menu. In lieu of forbidden sustenance one might hunt or snag, a daily one-hour massage helps to soothe one’s tortured psyche. 

So, did my stay at the Namasté Retreat work? Yes, absolutely! I detoxed my system, dropped a whopping 7.2 kilograms and learned how to begin taking care of my body for the long haul. A healthier, more active lifestyle is in my future. But in spite of all the pampering and luxurious surroundings, it was still very, very hard work. As wellness program director, Nadine Johnston says: “What you are prepared to put into it is exactly what you are going to get out of it. It’s all up to you.” 
– For more information, click this link.

Signposts timeline perspectives on the past

Time Travel! We've all read about it in sci-fi and now the quantum world is telling us it's theoretically possible. But for the moment, we still are only able to visit the pasts in are minds. Click the link above to help you on your way.

Breakthrough. Scientists Identify 

T-Rex Proteins

By John Noble Wilford - Published: Friday, April 13, 2007, the New York Times

In a retrieval once thought unattainable, scientists have recovered and identified proteins in a bone of a well-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex that lived, died and was fossilized 68 million years ago.
The scientists say the success, attained with advanced research techniques, opens the door for the first time to exploration of the molecular-level relationships of ancient, extinct animals, instead of just relying on their skeletal remains. For more, click this link.  Jurassic Park, here we come!

Love Simon's Cat 

Way Gay!

I'm Coming Back to You 

The Lennon Sisters 1967
He's got no right to hold you tight... 
his days are over beginning tonight. 
Hmmm... sounds a little lezbo to me.
Now here is 

I'm Coming Back to You

sung by Julie London in 1963.
Don't get me wrong, I like both versions but London's performance is a lot more sultry even without the 
Lennon's unintentional sexual flip-flop.

Great Moments in South African TV 


Whoop-see-daisies on SABC2 Morning Live

Dave, You're so Suave 

If only it had been this way!

And now... Here is a bit 

of shameless self-promotion.

Cover Image of Evil Little Stories by Neal McKenna 
This collection of short stories introduces you to a world where freakish events turn the lives of ordinary and not so ordinary people inside out. Each one starts firmly planted in everyday reality but quickly skews off into a nightmarish, yet familiar realm.

‘Evil Little Stories’ asks insane questions like: How far can self-actualization really go? What do modern-day vampires do when they tire of existence? What runs through the mind of a man who doesn't know he's dead? Does voodoo really exist in the modern world? Should we have reason to fear the delete button? How real is reality? You'll find all these answers and more in Neal McKenna’s tour of the dark side...  
This collection of eight gems from author Neal McKenna really does hit the spot for connoisseurs of the frightening, the surreal, and the strange. Encounters with vampires, deals with demons, flirtations with a parallel universe, murder, mystery, eroticism, life, death, voodoo, and the hereafter - the gang's all here! Catch your breath and turn the page! Sweetly crafted little masterpieces, all very different, but each comes with the same sobering reminder - nothing is as it seems. Rod Serling would have been proud to put his name to these tales; they're more twisted than a pretzel, and just as tasty. One tip though - read it in daylight if your nerves are weak; only read it at night - if you've got the guts. A winning release from Neal McKenna and SynergEbooks, but trust me, you'll need therapy after this one... 

Bradley Brian Drain

...Well, here's a peek.
When she was offered the job as stone angel, she didn’t realise just exactly how long Emelyn Story was going to be dead.
When she was offered the job as stone angel... 
she didn’t realize just exactly how long Emelyn Story was going to be dead.
There will be gays in the future too.
“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” 
— Norman Bates
“So little of what could happen does happen.” — Salvador Dalí

I hate to say it but here's Kylie doing 

a really bad Marilyn impersonation.

Now, here is the real thing...

Church Bulletin Bloopers

The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water”…The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus”

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals… 

Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale.  It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.  Bring your husbands. 

Don’t let worry kill you off….let the Church help. 

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on Oct 24 in the church.  So ends a friendship that began in their school days. 

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be What is Hell?”…Come early and listen to our choir practice. 

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered….. 

The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainments and gracious hostility. 

Potluck supper Sunday at 5.00pm – prayer and medication to follow 

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind.  They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon. 

This evening at 7.00 pm, there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church.  Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. 

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7.00 pm.  Please use the back door. 

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7.00pm.  The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. 

Weight Watchers will meet at 7.00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church.  Please use large double door at the side entrance. 

The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday... I upped My Pledge – Up Yours!

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That's all for today.

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links to this post 

here or below. It will take you to a stand-alone copy of this page. There, you will find the comments box, so feel free to let 'er rip.


  1. i found your blog during search on Google about vitamin supplements . Thanks for sharing such informative blog...

  2. I am speechless after seeing these photos! I love them all! I teach kindergarten and I intend to make a theme like this, and your photos have given me so many ideas! You are so talented! Thank you!