Health & Wellness

 

Staying fit and healthy is no longer just an option, especially in this time of global pandemic. A nutritious diet, backyard gardens, exercise and mindfulness are imperative for avoiding disease, depression and anxiety.

 

INMED South Africa’s school- and community-based nutrition and healthy lifestyle programmes have been improving the lives of thousands of South African children and families for more than a decade. Here, we share some helpful and entertaining resources to you to stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally wherever life takes you.

 

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Story Time

Tell All Kids About Coronavirus and COVID-19 (South Africa)

Sixteen-year-old Ashleigh reads an ebook for children on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus, written by INMED South Africa Programmes Director Unathi Sihlahla. To download a free copy of this book, please visit https://inmed.org.za.

A Bucket Full of Dinosaurs!

Reyvan reads his favorite story and hopes it will become yours, too!

Create Your Own Backyard Garden

You don’t need a lot of space to plant your own garden. Health in Action Break Time Buddy Sipho instructs you every step of the way—from germinating seeds in a food container to digging holes with a stick to watering your crop with wash water. You don’t need any fancy equipment or a lot of space to grow fresh, organic and nutritious vegetables and fruit for your family.

Not Enough Space for a Garden? Try this Nifty Tip

Health in Action Break Time Buddy Zandile demonstrates how to create a container garden out of old tires to fit any space constraints.

Transplanting Makes Your Garden Grow Bigger

Keep your container plants healthy by transplanting them to larger pots. Mondelēz International Health in Action Volunteer Nishanie shows you how.

Backyard Garden Step 1

Plan your garden and germinate your seeds

Backyard Garden Step 2

Prepare your garden for planting

Backyard Garden Step 3

Plant your seeds and seedlings

Backyard Garden Step 4

Tend and water your garden with rainwater you can collect in a barrel or save from washing dishes. Enjoy watching your garden grow and eating its delicious produce.

Healthy Eating

Healthy Braai Recipes and Ideas For a Heritage Day Family Meal

Summer is all about being outdoors and taking advantage of the warm weather and enjoying tasty healthy meals grilled outside on an open fire or braai, with family and friends. To celebrate our unique and diverse South African culture and summer, our Health In Action specialist, Dr Sandra Pretorius encourages you to try out these tasty braai recipes and sides.

The Value of Fish

Along with being a tasty protein, fish rates high as one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It is packed with important nutrients that can boost brain health, heart health, your immune system and eye health.

Most fish species contain high levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve blood flow, support brain function, aid in reducing your risk of becoming depressed and improve your memory. It also contains vitamin B2 (which helps the body produce energy), vitamin B6 (which helps to reduce your risk of heart disease), vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium, in turn giving you strong bones) and niacin (which also plays a role in energy production).

Follow the recipe below to for a tasty satisfying fish braai.

Whole Fish on the Braai

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fish of your choice
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 TBSP margarine or vegetable oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Ask your fishmonger to gut and scale the fish before you bring it home. Wash thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with kitchen paper. Butterfly the fish and score the flesh a few times in diagonals across.
  2. Brush the margarine or vegetable oil over the entire outside surface of the fish and season with salt and pepper. This will help the skin brown and crisp.
  3. Stuff the cavity of the fish with sliced lemons and fresh herbs. Place it skin-down on a foiled grill.
  4. Light the coals at least 30 minutes before the grilling starts. (The biggest challenge on an open braai is the fish sticking to the grid. Most of the grilling can happen from underneath, through foil and skin. You can cook your fish two-thirds of the way through from the bottom.)
  5. Lay foil over the braai grid and place the fish and lemons on top; cook for about 15 minutes.
  6. To prevent precious juices and marinades from pouring off the fish onto the coals, cover the second half of the grid with foil, as well. Now close the grid, flip the fish and braai the fleshy side for a few minutes.
  7. To check that the fish is cooked, take the thickest part and try to pull the meat away from the bone. If it gives way easily, it is cooked. The skin should be browned and crispy. Don’t worry if the thickest bits look raw in the middle when you take it off; the fish will continue to cook in the residual heat.
  8. Spoon over the rest of the buttery juices from the foil and serve with lemon wedges and a fresh crunchy garden and herb salad.

Eat the Rainbow with Colorful Vegetables and Salads

Aim to fill half your plate with salads or vegetables, which are high in fiber and filling, so you won’t eat as much of the rich and fatty foods if you’re having a potluck. Try some of these flavourful ideas:

  • Colorful vegetable kebabs – roasted on the braai or raw.
  • Butternut baked in foil on the coals – fill with fat-free cottage cheese.
  • Roasted vegetables – drizzle with olive oil and add balsamic vinegar or rosemary or garlic for flavour.
  • Tossed salads with a low-fat dressing or a vinaigrette (see recipe below). Limit high-calorie salad extras, such as bacon bits, blue cheese, croutons.
  • Coleslaw made with half mayonnaise and half plain yoghurt.
  • Beetroot salad or carrot and pineapple salad.

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe: Mix the following in a blender for 30 seconds (store in a jar for 1-2 weeks):

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons water (more or less depending on the consistency you want)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (can be replaced with agave or brown sugar)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

You can also make wonderful flavoured vinaigrette by adding herbs like rosemary and basil or fruit like mango or strawberry.

 

To Drink: For alcohol alternatives try fruit-infused still or sparkling water, diet fizzy drinks or diluted fruit juice.

Best Bets for Braai Snacks

For a healthy alternative to crisps, try these tasty treats:

  • Oven-baked pretzels
  • Lightly salted popcorn
  • Game or lean biltong
  • Raw, unsalted nuts
  • Roasted, spicy chickpeas
  • Vegetable crudités and dip (e.g., celery, snap peas, baby carrots, baby corn, cucumber, baby tomato, etc. with hummus, cottage cheese, guacamole, butter bean dipor salsa)

Sides that Satisfy

Make the most of your braai by using it to grill your side dishes.

  • Grill a variety of vegetables on the braai, such as eggplant slices, zucchini slices, asparagus spears or whole large mushrooms on skewers.
  • Add wholegrain breads of seed-covered rolls to your braai meal. Make your own garlic bread by spreading a mixture of fresh garlic, fresh herbs and light margarine onto slices of wholegrain bread and toasting on the braai.
  • Try sweet potato or baby potatoes wrapped in foil and baked in the coals.
  • Pep up your corn on the cob by spreading it with light margarine and herbs, wrapping it in foil and roasting on the grill. Serve with fat-free dipping sauces or salsa.
  • Reduce the fat in your potato salad by with combining cooked baby potatoes and a mix of half mayonnaise with half plain yoghurt.
  • Try adding couscous instead of a pasta.

And to Top It Off – A Few Healthy Dessert Ideas

  • Grilled fruit kebabs, such as pineapple, peaches, nectarines, plums, kiwi, banana, apricot, apple or pear on the braai and served with a dollop of frozen yogurt or sherbet
  • Homemade popsicles
  • Fruit crumble

Super Smoothie for Your System

Mondelēz International Health in Action volunteer Itumeleng shares a recipe for an immune system-boosting smoothie that will improve your energy and your spirits.

Super Simple Smoothie

Mondelēz International Health in Action volunteer Ntendeni shares her favorite recipe for a quick, easy and delicious smoothie.

Quick and Easy Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

Try these easy exercises from INMED South Africa’s Health in Action programme. You don’t need any workout equipment to stay fit and healthy. Just follow along as our Break Time Buddies show you how.

Full-body Workout with Nokuthula

Get your endorphins pumping with this quick, 5-part workout with Mondelēz International Health in Action volunteer Nokuthula.

Workout with Mmabatho

Try this workout with Health in Action Break Time Buddy Mmabatho at home every day and you will get into shape in no time.

Exercises You Can Do with Your Kids

This energetic son of Health in Action Break Time Buddy Dineo leads a super quick workout you can do as a family between chores or while you’re waiting for dinner to cook.

Socially Distanced Fitness for Recess Time

Break Time Buddy Nevan leads a rigorous session of ab strengthening and stretching you can do while wearing PPE and socially distanced at school or home.

Kicking it into High Gear with Thandiwe

Health in Action Break Time Buddy Thandiwe pumps up the volume for this short but rigorous workout.

Pre-workout Stretches

It’s important to take 5 minutes to stretch your muscles before doing any fitness activities. In this video, Health in Action Break Time Buddy Onesimo demonstrates some easy but effective stretches.

Funny Walk for Strong Glutes and Legs

Health in Action Break Time Buddy Onesimo demonstrates a great exercise to try while walking to or from school, work or market. It may look a little silly, but it will give you great results.

Ready, Set, Go!

Health in Action Break Time Buddy Onesimo runs a one-person relay and wins every time. You can too!