They Say a Change is as Good as a Holiday

Hi all you lovely readers!


Here in South Africa, we have just said goodbye to summer and are welcoming in autumn. Normally, I would woefully say my farewells as this born-in-winter-baby is actually a summer-loving-girl! Endless sunny days, cool flowing dresses, big bowls of icy sorbet, watermelons, mangos and peaches in abundance, the sun on my face and the wind in my hair (hmmm, or is it my hair on my face and the wind in the sun?! You can never know for sure in this “Windy City”!) Anyway, this is the first time I have said goodbye to summer with a hint of hope and gladness as I, along with the rest of Cape Town, await with bated breath for the coming winter with its promise of rainfall. As you may have heard (or maybe not – how often is Cape Town mentioned on your news channels? I’m sure not nearly as often as we hear about all things American 😉 ) we are currently experiencing a terrible drought – in fact, it’s the worst we have had in years. The land and vegetation have literally sucked up any last drop from the rare drizzle we have had over the last few months and our dams are currently in critical condition at less than 20%. We are showering in buckets and emptying our bath water onto our plants in a desperate effort to save and utilize every last drop.


But, I digress. What has this geography lesson got to do with today’s topic? Well, as we in the Southern Hemisphere are entering into autumn, and the Northern Hemisphere enter into spring, these positive and necessary changes in seasons are the perfect opportunity for positive and necessary changes in our lifestyles. Now before you stop reading and think that I am going to suggest something drastic, please bare with me and continue until the end (and if you have already read my ramblings thus far, I am in awe and salute you!)


Often, the best and most lasting changes in life are the little adjustments and alterations we make along the way, one step at a time. Yes, those major, life-altering events in our lives can bring about a very positive change too, but how many of us are likely to welcome such events with open arms? However, a little change here and there, made with purpose and commitment can result in the most beautiful metamorphosis given enough time, patience and love. You may not notice these changes straight away, but think of that little caterpillar curled up in his dark and cramped cocoon – if he could speak or think, I’m very sure it would be something along the lines of, “Wow, this change is sure taking long. Why can’t I just shed all this extra skin of mine right now and transform instantly? Surely there must be a better and faster way of getting the results I want? How much longer do I have to endure this uncomfortable and painful position I am in?!” Ok, maybe I spend too much time with my students out in nature, but you get the picture!


What I am trying to say and encourage you with is this: take that first small step, work at it for a few days, weeks or even months (however long it takes) then take the next small step. This may seem like slow going but I can almost promise you, once you have reached the top of that “impossible-to-reach” mountain peak and look down on where you began, you will be so proud of how far you have come and of what you have accomplished. You will also be less likely to run all the way back to where you started when you have overcome this first big obstacle and have developed the strength, stamina and motivation along the way.


So, whether your goal is something big such as losing weight, healing your body of disease or lowering your blood sugar levels, or whether it is simply making a decision to include more healthy, life-giving foods into your diet, I hope today’s article will give you the tools (in this case, your “walking/hiking shoes”) to begin your journey. Remember that it does not matter how long it takes you to reach that goal, what matters in the end is that you finally made the decision and stuck to it, one step at a time.


As mentioned previously, my mentor, Mary Ann Shearer, is the author of Perfect Heath as well as various other books and cookbooks. Her vision is to change the world for the better and to help every person get healthy and well. Sound a bit grand? Maybe, but she has made a start and has already helped thousands of people make the necessary changes. People have come to her for help and advice with everything from cancer to diabetes, indigestion, skin and hormonal problems. Those who have taken her advice and have stayed committed to their necessary changes have seen their lives turned around completely and are not just doing well but thriving. Who would want to settle for feeling good when you can feel amazing and alive? When every last cell and fibre in your body is functioning to its fullest potential and is singing with joy?


Mary Ann has made it fun and easy to begin this incredible journey by offering many tools, tips and tricks. Today, we will touch on the first one – something that will jump-start your health journey and set you on the right track!


100 Days to Health is an amazing programme that Mary Ann has designed and is now offering for FREE! You simply sign up with your name and email address and will receive an email everyday for 100 days with simple, easy to follow tips and tricks as well as at least one delicious recipe to try out (everything from healthy dips and dressings to salads, smoothies and meals). These tips are not radical or difficult and she emphasizes adding in the good stuff to start with rather than eliminating the bad stuff. She does mention certain whole food supplements (I will cover supplements in a later article/podcast) which will help you to get even greater results out of the programme, but even if you just follow the tips and recipes, you will be well on your way to a happier, healthier and more vibrant YOU!! The programme is well laid out and the recipes are definitely keepers – in fact, I suggest that you print the emails out upon completion of the programme and have the pages bound for quick and easy access to this wellspring of wisdom and knowledge. Even if you just choose to sign up for all the free recipes (over 100!) it will be worth it!


An example of a simple tip (which is covered in more detail in the programme): start all cooked meals with raw food. As Mary Ann explains, “raw fruit and vegetables are loaded with anti-oxidants which help your immune system fight off disease. They contain water soluble fibers and many phytonutrients. These help your digestive system and your hormonal system function more efficiently. Raw foods are very alkaline-forming in your body so the more you eat, the sharper your brain will be and the more efficiently you will convert fuel into energy resulting in higher energy output and weight loss if overweight. Eating raw vegetable and fruit before meals also takes the edge off your appetite and you end up eating less food – naturally. It is not important at this stage to be concerned about what you eat after the raw food. You may eat anything you like. There is also no restriction to the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat before the cooked food. For more details see the meal guidelines…”


Sound doable? Most definitely! No drastic changes, no feelings of guilt or loss of your favourite (possibly unhealthy) food, BUT, you have just included a whole lot of raw fruit and vegetables each day and your body will thank you for it!! Not a huge fruit or veg fan? Find one or 2 which you do like and stick with those to start. As your taste buds and body start to adjust, try venturing out and tasting some different fruit and veg – I think you may be pleasantly surprised!! For me, the most exciting thing when I first did the programme a few years ago, was the fact that I truly learned to listen to my body. Now if this sounds a bit strange, think about this: do you experience cravings (of course you do!)? Learn to speak your body’s language and find out what it is really asking for. About to reach for that tasty looking treat or an extra plate of food? Ask yourself, “am I really hungry or am I just bored or trying to feed a deeper physical or emotional need? Most of our bodies are so saturated with unnatural, man-made foods that we have slowly stopped looking for and listening to our body’s signals. Or perhaps our bodies are so confused they have stopped sending them out all together. But, start feeding your body with natural whole foods and you are allowing it to start repairing itself while at the same time, learn to have a healthy relationship with food. All it needs is 3 months – 100 days – to begin this amazing transformation. So, who’s with me?! 😀


I have completed the 100 days programme a few times before, but as it is a great way to refocus and get back on track, I will be signing up again from next week. I am really excited to have a few of my friends and family join me this time and we will all be signing up together. I have created a Whatsapp group where we will keep each other accountable, share inspiring tips and ideas, post photos of recipes we are making etc. I want to encourage you to do the same! Sign up for the programme. Find friends and family who will join you on your journey. Form a social group. Interact. Inspire. Share. Motivate. Hold each other accountable.


I will be posting pictures on my new instagram account at least once a week of some of the recipes I will be making from the programme, so be sure to follow me if you need some inspiration: zarah_z4zest. Comment on my pictures and feel free to ask questions (or you can email me directly). I would love to hear from you!!


What results can you experience from the programme?

  1. It rewires your taste buds, so you stop craving the bad stuff without feeling deprived
  2. After a few weeks, without realizing it, you start eating less
  3. It is easy and you see results quickly (within 3 days to 4 weeks)
  4. It is uncomplicated with on-going support
  5. The changes are small but permanent – hard to go back to your old way.
  6. Energy will increase
  7. Rid you of depression, mood swings and feel inspired & motivated
  8. You will sleep better
  9. Bowel function will improve – become more regular and comfortable
  10. Get rid of gastric reflux, bloating and discomfort
  11. Gets rid of sinusitis, post nasal drips and snoring
  12. Results in hormonal health
  13. Improves brain function – clearer thinking, no more fog brain
  14. Balances weight – excess weight goes slowly and stays off – not weight seesawing – this is a LIFE changing way to live permanently!
  15. Gets you pain free – no more arthritis, growth and fibromyalgia
  16. Improves skin, hair and nails
  17. Put you on the road to avoid cancer, heart disease and diabetes
  18. Improves overall quality of life
  19. Radical health improvement – allows your body to heal & repair itself
  20. Will save you thousands in medical bills
  21. Will save you thousands of hours of wasted time
  22. No weighing of food
  23. No giving up because this is genuinely not a diet!


To wet your appetite even more, I have included below one of my favourite salads from Mary Ann which I have adapted slightly. You will find recipes like this and many more on the programme. So, who is ready to join me?!


Here’s to your health and happiness!

Until next time…




Recipe: Colourful Cabbage and Corn Salad



  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage (white or red, or a combination)
  • 2 cups corn off the cob (organic if possible)
  • 1 handful chopped coriander (essential to the salad – don’t leave out!)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup roughly chopped almonds, lightly toasted/pan fried (can leave raw)
  • juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 – 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • seasoning salt to taste (I use about 1-2 TBS of Mary Ann’s Garlic and Herb salt, but any herb salt will do)



  1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl and serve (tip: leave it to stand for a few minutes before serving so that the cabbage can soften and all the flavours can be absorbed)

To sign up for 100 Days to Health, click here.


To hear Mary Ann Shearer talk briefly about the programme, click here:


For more info on Mary Ann and the various health topics she covers, check out her youtube channel 100 Days to Health:





To sign up for 100 Days to Health, click here.


To hear Mary Ann Shearer talk briefly about the programme, click here:


For more info on Mary Ann and the various health topics she covers, check out her youtube channel 100 Days to Health:


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