Eliminate plastic from your hair care routine

By Angeliz Venter

I will start this blog post on an honest note and say that I’ve never been brand loyal to a brand for hair care and would usually just buy what is on sale or what my mom brought and doesn’t want anymore. Ironically what started bothering me when I started my sustainability journey, was the amount of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles in my bathroom, not to mention the treatment containers! It’s at this stage that I started researching shampoo bars and came across Serein Formulas.

I think South Africans still have a long way to go on our sustainability mindsets, because the first thing that crossed my mind is the thought that a bar soap won’t clean my hair without drying it out (like a bar of dish soap we all use in our kitchen) and that I still have to buy conditioner, because at the time Serein Formulas didn’t have conditioner bars available. Luckily, fast forward a few months, my perception has completely changed and Serein Formulas added an excellent conditioner to their range!

I’ve been using their Intensive Hydration shampoo bar for a few months now and they also recently sent me their Complete Care conditioner bar, an in-shower and travel container and diatomite soap dish that I use in the shower. Let’s start with the diatomite soap dish, as all of their items, it’s ultra-stylish and minimalistic and makes me feel so much better than using the plastic containers you find in stores (that ultimately takes away the whole purpose of using bar soap to minimize your plastic usage). It’s made from diatomaceous earth, zeolite and clay. It keeps your bars dry and lasting for longer, through its strong water absorption capabilities and natural antibacterial and mildew proof properties. It is skid resistant, which prevents the bar from slipping off and falling on the tiles. I love that it is made from 100% natural materials and contains 60% diatomite.

Next up is the Serein Formulas in-shower and travel container. This would be my second favorite item from their store, besides their new conditioner bar. Again, I love this, because it’s a sustainable alternative to the plastic containers you usually find in stores, which brings plastic back into your bathroom and we don’t want that! As the diatomite soap dish, it’s very minimalistic and stylish and both bars can fit into it when you travel. One of my ultimate pet peeves are when I have to travel and take shampoo and conditioner with, because I either have to take the full bottle, buy smaller bottles that’s way overpriced, just because they are travel sized or use my reusable plastic travel containers (which is what I opted for, but it is still plastic). Now I can quickly put both bars into the container, it’s less space in my luggage and more sustainable all round! Above all of that, this container is durable, waterproof and non-flammable. It’s oil and heat resistant and very easy to clean. I love that it is 100% biodegradable after 1,5 years (keep in mind that plastic takes more than 450 years to decompose), this is due to the outer white container being made of corn starch and bamboo fiber and the inner part contains bamboo plats, this also ensures that the bars stay dry. Furthermore it is FDA approved as non-toxic and SGS heavy metal free. Lastly, the container comes in a natural Sisal bag.

Now, for the important part, the actual shampoo and conditioner! I started using the shampoo a few months ago and I absolutely loved it, firstly because of the fact that it reduces the amount of plastic in my bathroom and it is so small that I can easily travel with it. It also didn’t dry my hair out like I thought it would and it lasts longer than liquid shampoo as I would tend to just squeeze out too much and the bar shampoo prevents you from doing that, because as soon as you have enough foam you stop and just massage your scalp and hair. I start by placing the bar between my hands and creating a bit of foam I then apply the foam and the bar to my scalp and roots, just rubbing and massaging it until I have enough foam and shampoo on my hair. I’ve only tried their Intensive Hydration shampoo bar and I doubt that I would purchase or try their other types seeing that I am so satisfied with the quality of this bar. I am always swimming or doing something outside in the sun and wind, so I want to give my hair a bit of extra care.

As I’ve mentioned I recently received the conditioner bar, diatomite soap dish and the in-shower and travel container. These products were just a game changer for me and elevated their shampoo bar. The conditioner bar is absolutely amazing! It works better for me than regular conditioner that we are all used to, because it’s a blend of shea butter, mango seed butter, cocoa butter, grape seed oil, coconut oil, wheat protein, jojoba esters and vitamin E which feeds your hair and you can actually feel it! It hydrates and nourishes your hair and that is why I also use it as a treatment and just leave it in longer (around 30 minutes, which is longer than the suggested 1-2 minutes for their conditioner) and this also takes the plastic treatment jars out of your shower, bonus! I love the natural jasmine scent and it makes my hair much more manageable afterwards as I usually struggle with lots of knots and frizz. It also gives my hair a radiant shine and I can rest assured that it is achieved naturally.

Serein is derived from the word Serene, which means calm, quiet and confident. This is the feeling I received from the brand since the first time I started engaging with them and their products also radiates the same energy. Serein Formulas are definitely my go to brand for bar shampoos and conditioners and I would actually consider myself brand loyal for once! Minimalistic, classic, stylish, sustainable and the products works and feeds your hair, what more can you want?

Order online at https://sereinformulas.co.za/ and use my discount code Angeliz20 for 20% discount or on Takealot, they also offer FREE shipping on all orders over R300, so add that cute travel container to your cart!

Shaving gone eco-friendly!

By Angeliz Venter

I will start off this blog by admitting that I hate shaving, any part of my body.

I think it comes down to my mom not wanting me to start shaving too early and therefore took me for my first leg wax at 13, which was very “traumatic”, but I stuck to waxing for quite a few years until I couldn’t grow my leg hair long enough to wax due to my modeling career. I was never particularly good at shaving and I used to cut myself quite often, no matter what blade or brand I used. After I decided I am definitely not passionate about modeling, I also went through a feminist stage of some sort where I just wouldn’t shave my legs, but I started feeling itchy and uncomfortable and still wanted to shave my legs at least once a month.

Fast forward a bit and I am now in my mid-twenties, sustainability conscious and I still have a strong dislike for shaving, except now I know the impact this disposable shaver has on our environment, which makes me dislike the whole process even more! If we look at the statistics, the average person goes through 40-50 disposable razors or shavers a year, which amounts to more than 2500 in the average persons lifespan! Now multiply that by each person on earth! Disposable razors cannot be recycled due to it being made of non-recyclable plastic and metal, which makes it too difficult and time costly to separate. But to contradict that, safety razor blades can effectively decompose over time without releasing toxic chemicals into the environment. As shocking as it is, a disposable razor comes packaged mostly in even more plastic that is non-recyclable. For example, Gillette’s Fusion Razor won the DUMP award for the use of too much useless packaging in 2009, according to Leaf Score. The DUMP award stands for dangerous and useless materials in packaging and exposes the 7 worst packaging materials on store shelves.

These few facts alone contributed to my excitement when I received Re-Store’s Safety Razor bundle! Firstly, the packaging is recyclable or can be used as a travel container, making it a win already! It comes with a Himalayan Salt shaving bar soap, cutting out more useless packaging of shaving products and toxic chemicals in them. It’s made from coconut oil, castor, shea and cocoa butter, Himalayan salt grapefruit and lime essential oils. You also receive a double-edged blade, made from stainless steel and then lastly, the safety razor. Safety razors can be used for many years and the blade can just be replaced and recycled with your normal recycling. It’s available in silver and rose gold, making it the perfect switch for him and her and also giving you options if you are not a rose gold fan like me! The safety razor is made from Zinc Alloy, making it much more environmentally friendly than a disposable razor.

The first time I used this razor, it went really well, until I got lazy and distracted (as usual) and cut myself in two places on my leg. The blades are very sharp, so I suggest you use this razor very carefully. But I have to add that my legs have also never felt so smooth and silky after shaving and it’s definitely the best shaver I’ve used in terms of actually doing its main job! I also loved the soap, seeing as I haven’t brought shaving products in years and just used whatever I can find in the shower. After a few tries and consciously telling myself to concentrate, I got the hang of it and now I love it!

Here are a few tips on how to shave effectively with this razor:
• Wet your legs with water, to soften your skin and the hair.
• Apply the Himalayan soap bar to the area before shaving.
• Shave in the direction that your hair grows.
• Tilt the shaver a little bit diagonally.
• Rinse the hair out after every streak that you shave.
• Store your razor in a dry place or container.

Overall, this bundle is so cost effective and easy to use. I will definitely keep using it as I just can’t force myself to pollute the earth even more with disposable razors and I got used to my dolphin like legs after shaving with this bundle.

You can buy it online at https://therestore.co.za/product/the-re-store-safety-razor-bundle/ and hurry they have a clearance sale on from 1 March 2022 – 10 April 2022 as Re-Store would be closing temporarily, so this is your last chance to get this amazing ecofriendly bundle at a massive discount!

Facial rollers and Gua Sha sets, is it worth the hype?

By Angeliz Venter

If you have an Instagram account and spent a few hours online since the start of the pandemic, you would’ve noticed an influx of people posting their skincare regimes. One thing that kept popping up on my feed was facial rollers and Gua Sha sets. What is it exactly? What does it do? And ultimately does it work wonders as everyone says? I have recently started using a rose quartz facial roller and Gua Sha set from Mika and this is my opinion on it.

Let’s start with facial rollers. A face roller, as you can see in the picture above, consists mostly of two balls or rollers on each side of the handle and are used to roll on your face and use contouring lines for directions in which to roll. I use my facial roller after I get out of the shower and finished washing my face. I apply a few drops of Apicare serum and use the facial roller to lightly massage it into my skin. It is important to make sure you use a serum or cream with the roller otherwise it can have the opposite effect and cause wrinkles. It is recommended to start on your neck and roll upwards, without going backwards. Thereafter start in the middle of your jaw and lightly roll towards your ears. Roll from your eyebrows over your forehead towards your hairline and lastly roll from the start of your eyebrow to the ends. Thereafter, I use the Gua Sha, which I will explain in more detail below.

There are many claimed benefits of using a facial roller including, but not limited to:
• Improves blood circulation in your face, which ultimately makes your skin tone look brighter.
• Decreases puffiness by stimulating lymphatic drainage.
• It can improve your mood by making you relax.
• It can delay aging, although it hasn’t been proven yet.
• It cools and soothes your skin, especially if you store it in a cool place or place it in the fridge 30min before you use it.
• It can aid your application of skin care products.

A Gua Sha set is a flat tool and is used to massage your face. The Gua Sha practice is actually not as new and trendy as you might think. It is an ancient Chinese practice and although the original Gua Sha practice is much more intense, it still has similar healing properties today. I use my Gua Sha after using the facial roller to apply my night serum. I mainly use it under my eyes and jawline. The benefits that stood out for me is the fact that it can aid the sculpting of your jawline and reduce acne by going over the inflamed areas. It also reduces puffiness like the facial roller and share most of the same benefits. That is one of the most prominent reasons why I love using these two products together.

Lastly let’s talk about my choice of rose quartz. The most superficial reason is that I love the colour pink and it fits into my aesthetic, but rose quartz actually helps to get rid of toxins and negativity in your body and it the best option for smoothing your skin and smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines. Rose quartz are also associated with love and compassion, which just makes me feel more relaxed and happier when using it.

Ultimately, I am not 100% sure that I can see the results of all the benefits within a few weeks, but I can definitely say I am more relaxed after using them and I love using them as I can find time to use them properly. Saying that, I believe that the real benefits will show after a few years when aging starts setting in and I am a true believer of preventing issues instead of doing damage control later. You can purchase these products from @mika_allthingspretty on Instagram. They also have multiple other products and colours available!

Sustainable armpits!

By Angeliz Venter


As you all know, I have recently found a business in South Africa called Recology and their mission, is to bring sustainable replacements for products we use every day to South Africa. In SA, our options are still very limited and supermarket brands claiming to be more sustainable, are not always that reliable and very expensive!


That said, I have always been obsessed with smelling good, I have an irrational fear of smelling bad and I also sweat more than the average person. Although I am not 100% sure what caused my problems with excessive sweat, it is something I am always cautious about and trying to solve or reduce. This is the reason why Nuud stood out for me on the Recology website. First of all, it is vegan, which is a big plus for me when it comes to cosmetics and personal hygiene products and 100% natural. Furthermore, there is no microplastics inside and it is also a certified negative plastic product.


So, what exactly is Nuud? It is a gel or cream like product that you apply under your armpits after you’ve showered. When your armpits are dry and clean, you can apply a pea size squirt of Nuud onto your armpit and rub it in with your hands.  It prevents odor by neutralizing bacteria with micro silver. You can apply it every 3 days in the beginning and as your body adapts to it and your sweat reduces, you can apply it every 5 days. The thing I love about it, is the fact that being active, swimming or taking a shower doesn’t have an effect on it or how often you need to apply it. It also lasts more than ten weeks because it is very concentrated for a 20ml tube. It’s important to know that Nuud doesn’t mask your smell, but rather prevents you from smelling in the first place. That is why your clothes need to be washed and odor free before you can completely reap the benefits of Nuud. The best thing for me about Nuud is the fact that the longer you use it, the more effective it is and the less you have to use it, this is because of the fact that less and less bacteria returns to your armpits with every use. This will save you money in the long run.


Here’s some benefits and facts about Nuud:

  • It doesn’t contain aluminum, fragrances, alcohol or unknown chemicals.
  • No microplastics or nanoparticles.
  • Cruelty free and vegan.
  • Doesn’t cause and clogging or staining.
  • The tube is made of sugarcane bioplastic.
  • The production process and distribution strives to be sustainable.


All in all, I absolutely love using Nuud and will continue doing so in the future. The only thing I would change is the accessibility of the product in South Africa, but Recology makes up for that and provides a good opportunity to order other sustainable products at the same time!


If you want to order NUUD in South Africa, you can visit www.recology.co.za and use the discount code KICOCO10 at checkout!

All about PlantCeuticals

By Angeliz Venter

Doesn’t the name ‘PlantCeuticals’ just sound so refreshing and nourishing? That is what I thought when I first heard this brand name. It immediately registered its true intention with me… Switching back to plant-based and herbal remedies, for a natural treatment and prevention.

So, what exactly are herbal remedies and why should we rather opt for them instead of ‘traditional’ pharmaceutical medicines? Herbal medicine is categorized within the study of Pharmacopoeia and the use of medicinal plants. Plant based medicine has been used for thousands of years by different indigenous cultures and forms the basis of medical treatments across many cultures. Ayuvedic medicine for instance, are believed to have a history that goes back 3000 years and forms the basis of medical treatments across the Eastern world. In contrast, European ‘folk’ medicine forms the basis of many of today’s pharmaceutical medicines. A well-known plant extract is Aspirin which was originally derived of ‘willow bark’. As evidence arises of the negative side effects of 21st century medicine, it wouldn’t hurt to start switching back to using some natural remedies.

With Covid still around, I have been trying to boost my immune system in as many natural ways as possible and this is why I love the Immunity Defense Elixir from PlantCeuticals. It is recommended to be taken under the tongue, but it’s easier for me to dilute it with water. It is also recommended to be used at the first signs of infection, but I use it daily as a preventative measure. This elixir is made up of two of Africa’s most renowned and proven herbal ingredients, African wormwood and Sutherlandia. It also contains holy basil, which is a trusted adaptogen with microbial and immune boosting properties. These three herbs are blended with raw honey and fermented garlic. By fermenting these ingredients, the bioavailability and efficiency of their natural antibacterial and antiviral properties are enhanced. African wormwood is an aromatic bitter herb that has been used for millennia in traditional and folk medicine. Most famously, it has been used in the treatment and prevention of malaria, colds and influenza and it’s also been proven to assist your immune systems and boost your digestive function. Sutherlandia is an African immune booster and adaptogen, used to treat viral, fungal and bacterial infections. It has also been proven to assist in controlling type 2 diabetes and treating digestive disorders. In African traditional medicine it is used for the treatment of HIV and Aids.

The other product I love from PlantCeuticals is their Dewormer and Anti-parasitic elixir. We live on a small holding surrounded by animals and as we spend a lot of time interacting with our dogs, deworming has become essential for me. When using the traditional deworming tablets, I have always felt as if they were too chemically based and would kill even the healthy bacteria in my gut. This elixir changed the game for me as it targets the worms and parasites you want to get rid of without feeling like you just consumed too many harsh chemicals. This elixir consists of African wormwood, Mugwort and fermented garlic in raw honey. For optimal results use when it is full moon as the eggs of worms’ hatch on a full moon. Use the elixir from one full moon to the next completing one full cycle and by using it over two full moons you will ensure that all the unwanted eggs and worms are eliminated.

What I love about PlantCeuticals is that all their ingredients are grown chemical free on their farm in Van Reenen, South Africa and they regularly post about this on their social media platforms. Their transparency gives me a sense of surety and confidence, that I don’t often get with other herbal and natural brands. They also extract the ingredients without using chemicals. I also like the fact that the owners actually treat their own children with half doses of the elixirs, this makes me so much more comfortable using the products myself. Children as young as 18 months are able safely to use these Elixirs.

Although there are many ways to use herbal remedies and especially PlantCeutical products, the most efficient way for the remedy to work is to ingest it similarly as a ‘bitter’. This means dropping the herbal drops directly onto your tongue (or under your tongue) and not diluting it with another fluid. By ingesting it this way, your bitter receptors promote healthy digestion and increase your digestive secretions, which ultimately aids with the better absorption of nutrients, natural detoxification of the liver and can aid the receptor action between your brain and gut. Although it was a particular taste to get used to in the beginning, I soon made it part of my daily routine and got used to the taste.

It is also recommended to use the same method for children, but as we all know, some children are just very picky with what they eat and as an absolute last resort you can add it to their smoothies. With summer approaching and temperatures rising, this is the perfect opportunity to cool down and get your childrens’ recommended dose of PlantCeuticals in. (Diluting it with a smoothie will affect the effectiveness of the remedy, so still try to get your children to ingest it orally directly onto the tongue).

My go-to summer smoothie:
• 3 slices of pineapple
• 200ml of almond milk
• 1 cup of sliced papaya
• 1 table spoon of Berry Beetroot superfood mix
• 1 cup of ice (optional)
• Your recommended dosage of the Immunity Defense Elixir

My green full moon smoothie:
• 3 slices of pineapple
• 5 mint leaves
• ½ of an avocado
• 4 slices of cucumber
• 1 cup of spinach
• 1 tea spoon of Just Matcha
• 200ml almond milk
• Your recommended dosage of the Dewormer & Anti-parasitic Elixir

I love the fact that I found a natural alternative to deworming tablets and immune boosting supplements. Although these two products are my favorite of the PlantCeuticals range, they have many more herbal remedies available on their online store. You can order on www.plantceuticals.co.za and these two products are also on sale at the time of publication of this blog.

*IMPORTANT! I am not a medical doctor or expert in the field, this is merely my personal opinion and you should consult your doctor or a professional first before switching over to any natural remedy.

*Please tag @angeliz_venter and @plantceuticals on Instagram when you use the products and let us know what you think!

This summers’ necessity

By Angeliz Venter

I recently wrote a blog about Apicares’ skincare range, especially their products containing Manuka honey. (Read more here). But for this blog post I want to focus on their Manuka Sun Protect, which is essentially their ‘sunscreen’, but more pure and environmentally friendly.

Since I was a little girl, I hated applying sunscreen and never particularly liked the smell of it, except when I am on a December holiday in Durban, because there are very few things in life that reminds you of the beach like the smell of sunscreen. But fast forward a few years and I still don’t like to apply sunscreen for many reasons including, I don’t like it when my face and skin turns white from the sunscreen and I don’t like the strong smell, as it reminds me a bit of unnatural ingredients, which I am trying to stay clear of. At the same time, I have also heard and read multiple times that a woman needs to apply sunscreen more regularly when exposed to the sun and some experts even claim that you need to wear it everyday to protect you against UV rays and aging. Therefore, I have started looking into finding more natural and light sunscreens for my face specifically and that is when my path crossed Apicares’ path and I mentioned to them that I would love to try their Manuka Sun Protect. I have been using Apicare products for a few months now and I would never buy anything else.

Here’s my honest review of Apicares’ Manuka Sun Protect. At first, I thought there is no way that this will actually protect your skin, because it doesn’t have a strong smell and feels so light on my skin, where I usually feel like my skin can’t breathe and I have breakouts from ‘normal’ sunscreen. BUT I was wrong. I have tried it now multiple times in South Africa, France and in all seasons of the year and it definitely works! I just apply it a little bit more regularly than other traditional sunscreens, seeing that it is so light, due to the fact that it is a natural zinc-based moisturizer with a 100% natural SPF15.

So, what makes this specific product so much better than other sunscreens? The Manuka Sun Protect obviously contains Manuka honey which is produced from the nectar collected by bees from the indigenous Manuka tree in New Zealand. Manuka honey has been tested to have a higher content of anti-bacterial activity, compared to other honey. Manuka interacts with your skin cells, differently and more intensely than normal honey. It speeds up your skins healing process, diminishes the appearance of blemishes and scarring from acne and stretch marks. It also helps with moisture retention in your skin and hair, while it encompasses antibacterial properties which protects your skin from developing fungus, infections and inflammation. On all Apicare products containing Manuka, you will see a UMF (unique Manuka factor) rating and stamp, this refers to whether it has been tested for higher anti-bacterial activity and the rating it received in terms of strength. One of the most important factors to look at when buying a product containing Manuka is the content of honey, the higher it is the better.

The other ingredients that stood out for me in this Sun Protect is Zinc Oxide and Jojoba oil. The Zinc Oxide is responsible for the sun protect not feeling thick on your skin and clogging your pores, which evidently causes breakouts. It helps create a barrier without irritating your skin and is also non-allergenic. The Jojoba oil is used for its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory qualities and contains natural collagen. This helps to make this Sun Protect an excellent moisturizer under your make-up or just for everyday wear, without drying out your skin.

Although I still don’t use this moisturizer every day, I use it every time I am exposed to the sun for long periods of time and it is always in my handbag for incase! I definitely would recommend the Manuka Sun Protect if you are looking for a light weight protector that moisturizes at the same time. I also believe that it is best to use it in conjunction with their other products for optimal effect and minimal breakouts.

Visit Apicare South Africa’s website to shop or view their list of stockists.

Your new make-up essential

By Angeliz Venter

For someone who doesn’t wear foundation or make-up very often, because it feels ‘fake’, I was a bit hesitant to try out this new product, because I couldn’t imagine why this mystery product will make my foundation smooth and natural if no other beauty blender or brush could do it. BUT it surprised me beyond what I could’ve imagined, and therefore I introduce to you the newest make-up invention… THE MARSHMALLOW SPONGE!

When I first received my box of four Marshmallow sponges, I immediately wanted to eat it, as it just looked so yummy and even smelled nice! It is round, soft and silky with the trusted brand name ‘MARBLE SKIN CO’ engraved on the side. As someone who is definitely not an expert on make-up and beauty related products, I decided to let Elaine, a trusted make-up artist and Kryolan branch owner test the sponge on me and give her expert opinion as well. Her first words were “Oh my word it is so soft, I love it” and this was before we even started applying my foundation. As soon as she started applying my foundation with the sponge, I loved it! The sponge is so soft on your skin, you barely feel it and it blends the foundation almost immediately leaving no streaks or big lumps of foundation in one place. I will be honest and admit that I did not read the care guide and instructions before I used it and it still came out amazing, but here is the correct instructions and care guidelines.

How to use your Marshmallow sponge:
• Run your sponge under water for a few seconds to dampen it and watch it grow in size. (This is normal and will help you apply your foundation and blend your make-up optimally)
• Squeeze out all excess water and let it dry for a minute.
• Before applying your make-up, the sponge should feel extremely soft and airy, even softer than an actual marshmallow.
• Apply a little bit of foundation on your blender or face and blend it softly. Don’t press too hard and let the sponge do its magic.
• Apply your contouring as needed and blend lightly with the sponge.

Care instructions:
• After using the sponge, rinse it with water and clean it using a mild soap or gentle baby soap. (Little secret, Marble Skin Co will soon be launching a Marshmallow scented cleaner)
• VERY IMPORTANT, do not close it in a container or store it in a place where it cannot dry properly as it will develop mold. (As any damp or wet product does)
• After it is completely dry store it in a safe place or container until your next use.

Ultimately, I love this new marshmallow sponge and will never go back to a traditional method of applying foundation, as I’ve been using brushes up until now. If you are craving for a natural look, like me, this is definitely the way to go and much better than any other beauty blender or brush I’ve come in contact with.

To order visit www.marbleskinco.za or email info@marbleskinco.co.za for wholesale options.

Can drinking red wine actually benefit your health?

By Angeliz Venter

The first time I got exposed to the idea that drinking red wine might actually be healthy was when I was in high school and took French as a subject. We studied the language, as well as the cultural aspects of the French and one common theme throughout, was their love for wine and how they even dilute wine with water for their children. As and avid wine drinker, this thought stayed with me and led me to this blog post, can drinking wine actually benefit our health?

Let’s start at the beginning; if we look back into history, people have been drinking wine since 6000 BC. I think for a beverage that’s been around for that long you can’t be wrong for drinking it occasionally! A simple definition for red wine is that it is made from dark red grape varieties. You can find many different red colour variations, which is caused by the skin of the grape that is darker and not the flesh, which is actually white or lighter. The grapes are picked, either by machine or hand and afterwards it goes through a destemming and crushing process. Normally when the grapes arrive at the winery a preservative, sulfur dioxide is added to prevent oxidation and delay fermentation. It is then cooled before the fermentation takes place. During this process the separation of the solid and liquid phases starts and this happens by “pumping over” the liquid from the bottom of the tank. The temperature is then controlled to prevent the fermentation overheating the soon-to-be wine. Then it’s time for pressing, aging, fining and stabilizing the wine which helps clarify the wine before it is filtered and bottled for consumption.

Now, that we know how our beloved red wine is made… Can we get to the point where we have a healthy excuse for drinking a glass more than once a week? Yes! Let’s go!

The health benefits of drinking red wine:
• It is rich in antioxidants.
• Lowers bad cholesterol.
• Sustains your heart health.
• Regulates blood sugar.
• Reduces the risk of cancer.
• Can aid in treating a common cold.
• Keeps your metabolism active.
• Increases memory retention.
• Reduces the risk of depression.
• The anti-bacteria in red wine helps your digestive system.

That being said, excessive wine drinking can actually have the opposite effect of all these benefits and severely impact your life in a negative manner! Which includes and are not limited to high cholesterol, depression, alcoholism, weight gain, liver failure and even threaten your life. So now you may ask me, what is the perfect amount of red wine per week for it to act as a health benefit? Ideally, it shouldn’t exceed 1 to 1 and a half glasses of wine per day for women and 1 to 2 for men. All of this depends on the individual and studies have shown that the positive effects increases if you skip a day or two in between to let your body rest. This should also be the only acholic beverage that you consume that day and be your total drinking limit. If these facts scare you or if you are not an avid wine drinker, you can reap the same benefits by adding the red wine to your cooking.

So, my dear wine drinkers, as much as we want to highlight the benefits and replace our green smoothies with our red wine, we have to be cautious of how we consume our wine and our habits around it, because as much as it can be good for your health, it can also be detrimental.

Cover picture: GD Life Sweet Shiraz. This wine has a hint of spice with sticky raspberry flavours and is naturally sweet for any occasion.


Ashwagandha, the Indian Ginseng.

By Angeliz Venter

If you are anything like me, you have no idea what Ashwagandha is, how to use it or why it would help you. The first time I heard about Ashwagandha, I was scrolling endlessly through Instagram and saw a local vegan restaurant, Lexi’s Eatery, post the benefits of their Moon Milk, which contains Ashwagandha and I immediately went on a research spree to learn more about this foreign ingredient.

Ashwagandha is a plant. More specifically it is an evergreen shrub, commonly known as Indian Ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry. You can find it mostly in India, the Middle East and some parts of Africa. It is an adaptogen herb and an Ayuverdic herb. Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbs have been used in India for more than 5000 years in collaboration with lifestyle practices like yoga, meditation, massages and dietary changes to increase good health and certain illnesses. It helps the body reject physiological stress, psychological stress and adapting your body’s needs. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha translates to ‘smell of the horse’ which refers to the ability that it has to increase your stamina, while nourishing both the female and male reproductive and nervous systems.

While researching this herb, the following benefits clearly stood out for me and pushed me towards trying it:
• Supports a healthy immune system.
• For your skin it produces natural oils, has astringent properties and moisturizes your skin.
• It calms your mental processes, while giving you a boost of energy.
• Helps you sleep better.
• For your hair it fights dandruff, stimulates your scalp and improves blood circulation.
• Aids in having a healthy reproductive system for both females and males.
• Supports a healthy back and joints.
• Promotes thyroid health and healthy functional adrenals.
• Increases good muscle health

After reviewing all these benefits, I decided I had to try it, because I struggle with anxiety, especially since Covid started and I couldn’t do my usual activities as often to ease my stress and help my mental health. I love warm drinks, so the easiest way for me to consume Ashwagandha was to try and recreate Lexi’s moon milk at home.

Here is my recipe:
• Add 150ml oat milk to a pot on the stove
• Add in a ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Ashwagandha (if it is your first time using it, add ¼ as the effects was quite strong for me)
• Add a heaped teaspoon of Berry Beetroot superfood mix
• Add an organic coconut sugar (the quantity depends on your liking), but I used one teaspoon
• Stir until the mixture comes to a boil and pour it into your glass
• Sprinkle some Berry Beetroot mix on top for the perfect Instagram picture 😉

After drinking 2 big sips, I could definitely feel the effects and I loved it!! Although I felt very relaxed, I also felt very energized. I was a bit hesitant that it would make me sleepy during the day, but as long as you stay active it energizes you and as soon as you lie down, you will most probably go sleep. So, for me it felt like the herb adapted to my mood and what I am doing, which is great!

I got all the ingredients from Faithful to Nature and delivery was so fast! Try my Moon Milk recipe and let me know what the effects was on your body!

Guilt free laundry days

By Angeliz Venter
Edited by Marcelle Jordaan

“Having an empty laundry basket is the best 5 seconds of the week”. Sounds familiar? I feel you!

Besides the fact that most people hate doing laundry, doing laundry is currently a very big problem for our environment. More than 700 000 000 of plastic jugs end up in our landfills and oceans every year! It is estimated that only 9% of all plastic gets recycled, and by 2050, there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish. What a scary prediction…

Putting the environmental facts aside, laundry days are the worse for all of us. It is not a fun activity, and most of the time, it cannot be done quickly. In the past, another factor that made laundry days even worse for me, is the fact that I could not find an affordable, yet sustainable detergent option. A lot of people suggested that I make my own laundry detergent and I thought I would give it a try… but where do you find the time to make the detergent, when you don’t even have the time to use it for the purpose you have to make it for? This relentless cycle of searching but not finding anything, combined with the busy schedule that most of us have, made me opt for the cheap bulk packs you find at any supermarket, and each time I used it, I felt extremely guilty, because I try my best to live sustainably and find eco-friendly alternatives for everything I can.

I recently found a business in South Africa called Recology. Their mission is to bring sustainable replacements for products we use every day in our country. In SA, our options are still very limited and the supermarket brands that claim to be more sustainable, are not always very reliable and then they cost you a fortune! One product Recology resells, that I was interested in immediately, was their Earth Breeze laundry detergent eco-sheets. This is basically a little sheet that you either put into the holder where you would normally put your detergent, or you put it directly in with the clothes. I prefer the latter as I’ve realized that it creates more foam this way and I am one of those consumers who struggles to believe that something can be clean where there hasn’t been foam involved! The sheet dissolves within seconds in either hot or cold water and you can also use it for hand washing your clothes. Another big plus for me is the fact that it is safe to use with a septic tank and grey water.

So, why should you switch over to Earth Breeze’s laundry detergent eco-sheets?
• They are paraben, phthalate, phosphate, bleach, AND dye free
• They are cruelty free and vegan
• It will lower your carbon footprint
• They are hypoallergenic & dermatologist approved
• Works in HE machines
• ZERO plastic packaging

I love the fact that I can be environmentally friendly while at the same time, not even having to measure out my detergent. Half a sheet can be used for a smaller load, one sheet for a full load and two sheets for heavily soiled clothes. This is an important fact to remember when using these eco-sheets. The first time I used it, I only put one sheet for a full load of heavily soiled clothes (we have dogs, and we play outside with them every day, so most of our loads are heavily soiled). When I took the clothes out, there was still some marks left over on the clothes and I thought it didn’t work, but I tried again with two sheets, and it removed all the stains. So don’t try and “save” sheets by using less, use two when you must! I also love that it saves space and is basically a document envelope size, that you can put into a cupboard and not see until it’s laundry day again. With each pack you can wash up to 60 loads, depending on usage- which is so comforting, seeing as most sustainable or organic brands only produce small quantities, which is not cost effective in the long run. The packaging is also 100% decompostable.

Earth Breeze eco-sheets are available in both a fragranced option, as well as a fragrance-free option, which is a perfect option for people with sensitive skin or eczema. I personally prefer the fragranced sheets, but we do rotate between the two sheets as my partner prefers the non-fragranced sheets, so it just comes down to personal preference and skin type. All in all, I am so happy to have found a sustainable solution for my detergent problem and I am so excited to see which other products Recology will bring into South Africa to help us make more sustainable choices!

If you want to order Earth Breeze Eco-sheets in South Africa, you can visit www.recology.co.za and use the discount code KICOCO10 at checkout!