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Crushes + Product Reviews, Wellness + Nutrition

Sustainable swimwear & cold water swimming’s amazing benefits Cold Water Swimming Benefits & Sustainable Swimwear

14th October 2019

Recently I was listening to a podcast about the incredible health benefits of cold water swimming – off-course I balked at the idea (and especially in winter this seemed like madness). But the more I read about how it could enhance my wellbeing the more determined I became to give it a go. It helped that another mom whose daughter is in my 10 year old’s class encouraged me with her own experience of cold water swimming.

Last Friday morning at 7:45 am I finally scraped up the courage to take the plunge :)…and guess what, it  wasn’t horrifying or traumatic…. it was exhilarating and I felt AMAZING afterward. And the feeling of wellbeing and calmness stayed with me for hours afterward. I could literally feel my body zinging with life and energy and since then I have a had a freezing, yet delightful swim every morning. 

I am lucky enough to live near the ocean (the West Coast of South Africa… which translates directly into brrrr and goosebumps) but if you’re keen and not near the ocean (or a cold body of water), why not fill your tub with a bit of cold water and add a few trays of ice a couple of times per week, the water can be recycled to the garden or for hand washing clothes… you will become addicted I promise. 

Below I am pleased to share an article from Life Hack that eloquently highlights the awesome benefits of cold water swimming, read it, then take the plunge and reap the benefits!

Ending with a big thank you for reading, and with this quote ‘When diving, go deep”. 

Happy swimming friends,

Marlien x

1. It boosts your immune system

The effects of cold water on the immune system have been studied widely. Cold water helps to boost the white blood cell count because the body is forced to react to changing conditions. Over time, your body becomes better at mobilizing its defenses.

There’s a reason why so many people who participate in cold water swimming are rarely sick

2. It gives you an endorphin high

Endorphins are what the brain produces to make us feel good about certain activities. Cold water swimming is a form of exercise, and exercise has been proven to treat depression. Cold water swimming brings us close to the pain barrier. Endorphins are released when we’re in pain to help us cope.

Cold water swimming is particularly helpful for endorphin release for this reason. Who can say no to a few extra endorphins.

3. It enhances your circulation

Cold water swimming flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries. It forces blood to the surface and pushes the cold downwards. In other words, it helps to warm our extremities. Repeated exposure adapts us to the cold.

In older and vulnerable people, this is essential. It helps them better cope during harsh winters. The seasons become less of a health risk and more enjoyable

4. It increases your libido

Cold water was traditionally seen as a way to repress sexual urges. The fact is that it actually increases libido. A dip in some cold water boosts estrogen and testosterone production, adding an edge to fertility and libido

5. It burns more calories

The heart must pump faster and the body must work harder to keep everything warm while swimming in cold water. Overall, you will burn far more calories than swimming in hotter conditions. The idea that drinking cold water increases the number of calories you burn may be a myth, but it’s a fact that cold water decreases your body temperature so much that the body has to act. It’s no coincidence that cold water swimmers are generally thin

6. It reduces stress

Stress is a demon in the modern world. When stressful times come, we are woefully unprepared for them. Reducing stress means you will feel better, you will feel more optimistic, and you will be more resilient when stressful times come along.

Cold water swimming places stress on the body physically and mentally. Many studies have told us about the link between cold water and stress reduction. Cold water swimmers are naturally calmer and more relaxed. They are stronger in the face of adversity.Ic

When taking the plunge, do it in Sustainable Akina Swimwear 

Akina has beautiful swimwear, which is locally & 100% sustainably manufactured, below more info:

Fabrics:

We always source locally first. Except for our swimwear fabric, all our supplies are local. All of our cutting and sewing is done in our own factory to ensure we have full control over safe and fair labor.

Swimwear: Our fabric is 78% Recycled Polyamide and 22% Lycra Elastane. We double line our garments to ensure the entire garment is made from superior recycled fabric. The yarn is made from EcoNyl, which is manufactured in Italy from post-consumer waste including fishing nets, fluff, and rigid textiles at the end of their life cycle.

Sleepwear and undies: Our fabric is made in a local mill from 50% organic cotton and 50% modal, then dyed using plant based dyes. While any cotton is not our forever fabric, it’s the best we could find.

Packaging:

Our swimwear is packaged in a 100% recycled plastic zip bag, and we hope they get reused to and from the beach. Or to carry your snack around which ever 🙂

Sleepwear and undies get packaged in bags made from sleepwear fabric off cuts. Small drawstring cotton modal bags- happy to be stuffed with lavender for your sock drawer.

Shipping: We use recycled plastic courier bags, but working on solutions to bypass this step – stay tuned!

Sustainable supplies:

– We use recycled paper in the studio and to print our waybills.

– All cleaning products are nontoxic and biodegradable.

– 90% of our sewing supplies are packed/ stored in brown recycled boxes.

– Our cutting table and storage units are all made from recycled wood.

Future plans:

We invest a lot to save energy, water and waste. Our future plans include our own green manufacturing plant with solar, energy star appliance and efficient technologies.

We always want to be better – If anybody wants to work with us to develop even more sustainable solutions, please get in touch – hello@akinalabel.com

 

 

Crushes + Product Reviews, Salad, Wellness + Nutrition

a sublime salad dressing Crede Pumkinseed Oil rocks!

3rd October 2019

It feels like Summer is here, and I have given myself an intermittent fasting challenge to shed some of my winter padding, and more importantly give my body the opportunity to run in a low-grade ketosis state which is optimal to brain and gut health. This means skipping breakfast and then having lots and lots of vegetables of all different colours for lunch/ brunch with a little good protein and lots of good fats for fuel.

Needless yo say the carbs have to be cut, but I find that when the weather gets warmer its much easier to stick to big salads for lunch. Supper is a little more tricky as I have two young children to consider…but that’s a whole other post….

Today’s lunch was so good and effortless, I felt compelled to share it – and you can add any raw veggies as this recipe is really about the dressing (the combination of veg I used has certainly been featured here before), but the addition of roasted peanuts is new which added crunch, protein and some extra good fats.

My salad combination was:

  • 1 x grated organic carrot
  • lots of spinach – as much as you can eat
  • 1/2 a baby red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1/2 a cup of crushed roasted peanuts (you can replace peanuts of any nut of your choice of course)

And now for the lovely dressing:

  • 1/4 cup of Crede Pumpkin Seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (I use Tabu Food which is naturally fermented & unpasteurised)
  • the juice of one small lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut sugar
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Sea-salt to taste
  • Shake it up in a jar and pour over this but of heaven ver literary any salad, you won’t regret it and eating your vegetables will not be a hardship with this one.

In dedication to your radiant health,

Marlien x

 

Crushes + Product Reviews, Wellness + Nutrition

Frozen versus Fresh Soga Frozen Juice

7th April 2019

Did you know that buying from frozen means you are getting a far superior product?

If you get most of your produce from a supermarket, you may be short-changing you’re nutrition when you skip the freezer cases. Frozen produce can be equal, or superior, in terms of nutrient value, quality, shelf-life and cost. Fresh-picked vegetables and fruits straight from the farm or your own garden are of the highest quality, but when you’re shopping at the supermarket — choose a mix of fresh and frozen to maximize your nutrition intake.

In a nutshell, many produce for the fresh market are picked before they are perfectly ripe, and as a result have not reached its optimal nutritional value yet.

I am discovering some lovely products in the frozen section, one of which is SOGA organic citrus. Their range of products include Orange Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice lollies as well as lemon juices that come in handy sachets for single use. This means no wastage and all their products are just ‘squeezed and freezed”, as well as being from certified organic origin.

As winter approaches Soga juices are a wonderful way of adding bioavailable Vitamin C to your diet. You can find a SOGA freezer in your local SPAR and in most other supermarkets too, if not approach the manager and ask them to start stocking it. #YUMYUM

 

 

 

Crushes + Product Reviews, Lunch + Dinner Recipes

Delicious Veggie Nachos Meatless Monday family friendly recipe

20th August 2018

Vegetarian Nachos – an easy meal to prepare that is both child and parent friendly, and as a bonus it’s a time saver too. I use the lovely Santa Anna Nachos which are made from organic, non-GMO corn and have added plenty of gut-loving fibre-rich ingredients. Recipe below.

Ingredients 

serves 4

  • 1 large packet of Santa Anna corn chips
  • 1 or 2 400g tin/s of baked beans (yep, that’s right)
  • 200g / 2 cups of baby spinach, shredded
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup of baby Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese (or vegan cheese)
  • 2 avocados mashed
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander and cumin
  • kosher or pink salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil

Start by sauteing the shredded spinach in ghee or coconut oil until it is fully wilted, then add the baked beans, salt & coriander and cumin, gently simmer for 10 min to allow all the flavors to mature.

While the bean & spinach is simmering prep the spring/ green onions and tomatoes, and mash the avocados with a little salt, fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

Then place the corn chips in a deep baking tray, covering them here and there with your bean mixture, then grate over a little mozzarella cheese (as little or as much as your heart desires). and sprinkle some spring onions over the whole dish, then pop it under the grill for a few minutes (about 3 or so).

Once the cheese has melted, remove the baking tray from the oven and serve with dollops of mashed avocado and diced baby tomatoes.

And there you have it, meatless Monday happiness on a plate.

Happy cooking & eating.

 

 

 

Crushes + Product Reviews, Lunch + Dinner Recipes, Wellness + Nutrition

Sesame & Miso Broccoli

29th May 2018

When you need a healthy AND delicious side to your supper, this is a must-try recipe, and is so easy to prepare if you have one of these handy little steamers from EHK Speciality Kitchenware

PS; eating the the stems/ stalks of broccoli is especially beneficial for your gut health as our microbes crave difficult to digest fibers like vegetable stems and stalks as well as the peels of potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut.

Sesame Miso Broccoli

Medium bunch of tender stem (sprouting) broccoli

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of miso paste

2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

Sea or pink salt to taste

Place the tender-stem broccoli in tour steamer over a pot of boiling water for about 3-5 minutes, you want to retain the crunch and colour, so remove immediately once you have reached your desired steaming time and toss through the sesame oil, miso paste and salt. Finish by sprinkling over lightly toasted sesame seeds before serving:

Note: Toast the seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for about three minutes stirring continuously until they are golden, then allow to cool completely before using them.