No Crash Diets or Crazy Restrictions: How This Woman Lost 80 Lbs. with Small Changes

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Vegan Maple Walnut Scones

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I Tried a HIIT Workout With Nina Dobrev’s Trainer and Totally Killed It, But I’m Still Sore

When it comes to working out, I’ll admit that I’m a total running junkie. Give me a treadmill or a sidewalk and a playlist full of Rihanna jams, and I’ll go for miles. While I’ve dabbled with yoga, Zumba, and other group exercise classes, I’ve never found an activity that makes me break a sweat like a good old-fashioned jog.

This all changed when I was invited by Reebok to be a part of actress Nina Dobrev’s “squad” for the ultimate staycation, which included two insanely intense workout sessions, brunch, and an overnight stay at the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Reebok also gifted me with new workout gear from the Reebok x Les Mills collection.

RELATED: Yoga for a Beautiful Body

The day started on the hotel roof (in 90-degree heat!) with Bodyflow, a Les Mills class that incorporates yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. Our group of reporters, fitness influencers, and all-around badass women bent our bodies into downward dog, pigeon pose, and more as the instructors encouraged us to feel calm and centered. Not only was the view of the Manhattan skyline spectacular, but I left the session feeling super relaxed.

The real fun, though, kicked off after brunch. Since Dobrev is a strong believer in switching up her workout routines, she made sure our afternoon would be exciting. “I’m one of those people who gets bored so easily,” she said to our group. “I like yoga, I like to do high-intensity workouts, I like to do all kinds of crazy things, and that’s exactly what Les Mills is.”

Dobrev promised that the next workout would kick our butts, and she kept her word. We took a boat across the East River and boarded a moving barge in the Hudson to do a Les Mills Grit session with Lissa Bankston, her trainer. Bankston explained that Grit is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout designed to define and build lean muscle. The moves are perfectly timed to whatever upbeat song is playing, and even the recovery periods are all about action.


Although the workout only lasts 30 minutes, Bankston says you have to be at your max capacity (read: give it your all) 85 percent of the time. You’ll really get your heart rate up, and you’ll sweat, a lot.

As we lifted our barbells, lunged, and jumped, Bankston rallied us to keep pushing for one more rep. “That’s the most important aspect of Grit,” she told me after the workout. “When you’re tired and feel like stopping, you have to find the will inside yourself to do just one more rep.”

The half-hour flew by, and even though every muscle in my body burned, I kept going while Bankston encouraged us to focus on self-love. I was surprised that my body could keep up with such a fast-paced workout, and I had never felt more powerful. Sure, my quads were on fire the next day, but Bankston reminded me to appreciate my body for all that it can do.

RELATED: Best Foods for Healthy Muscles

After the workout, Bankston admitted that the HIIT class was a challenge for her at first too, but since then, it’s gave her more definition and tone than ever before. “We switch up the moves in the classes every three months,” she said. “This way, your body never gets used to the moves and is constantly challenged.”

Les Mills offers Grit online, so you can test the classes from the comfort of your home. For now, I’ll stick to my treadmill workouts, but if the opportunity arises, or I need a reminder of how strong my body is if I push my boundaries, I'll be back at another HIIT session.

Brand Marketing Assistant (westlake, Cape Town)


Please Note:

If you do not fit the specification with the minimum requirements your application will not be accepted for this position. Shortlisted candidates may be required to complete an Assessment or Test to demonstrate your knowledge of this position.


  • Diploma/ Degree in Marketing or Business
  • 3 years relevant marketing and administration experience
  • Knowledge of Food industry and market
  • Eye for detail and aesthetic
  • Drivers license essential
  • Passion for food and cookery will be advantageous


Applicants must reside in WESTLAKE or surrounding area.

Only South African citizens, who are suitably qualified, live in the applicable area and meet the requirements of the position are eligible to apply for this vacancy.

Please take note: if you have not been contacted within 14 days, please consider your application unsuccessful.


Visit our website to view all of our current vacancies: | Stormers: So much leather … so little sting

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Whatever happened to that oft-stated desire by the bosses at Newlands for the Stormers to recapture a “Western Province rugby” sort of attacking ethic?

It only seems to remain a pipe dream; all big talk.

Never mind months, it has been many years since the Western Cape outfit produced the kind of crowd-pleasing, expressive and skill-laden fare that would all but fill the time-honoured stadium – including at domestic Currie Cup level – on a consistent basis.

Saturday was just another extremely costly, deeply frustrating modern instance where the Stormers, in front of an unremarkable long-weekend crowd, did so much of the groundwork (or read: murderous forward endeavour, for the most part) to tee up a much-needed victory against the Brumbies.

Instead they slipped to a costly 19-17 Super Rugby setback against the similarly mid-table side, despite governing two thirds of the territory and possession, and their offensive game proving all too sterile, uncertain and lacking in cohesion.

It was a swift, sobering correction after their Australasian tour drought-breaking triumph over the Rebels last weekend, also meaning that they are rooted to the foot of the SA conference instead of soaring to second, which would have been the case with the right result against the grimly-motivated, heroic-defending visitors from Canberra.

The fairly scant consolation for Robbie Fleck’s charges is that the group only appears to get more claustrophobic by the week: only four points now separate top (Bulls) from bottom.

We will also see the cat even more engulfed by pigeons should the Stormers bounce back – and who’s to say they won’t, considering the bumpy, hard-to-read fortunes that characterise almost all Super Rugby teams this year? – by beating the very Bulls at Newlands next Saturday.

For that to happen, though, the Capetonians may have to do so against mounting odds.

Yes, revenge should be a pretty strong motivator, considering the unpalatable memories down south of the 40-3 thrashing in the first-round encounter at Loftus.

But the Stormers also had to sweat blood in what was almost like an uncompromising Test match against the Brumbies, and that after only returning from Australia a few days previously.

They could really have done with a bye immediately after the four-match tour but now, having huffed and puffed to no avail in their first game back, must brace themselves for an immensely energy-sapping fortnight against the Bulls and Jaguares (in Buenos Aires) respectively before the overdue opportunity of a week off.

In addition, the injury toll in the squad is mounting – they are using what might be branded third-choice personnel in certain berths – and lock is an area where alarm bells will be ringing especially loudly.

Both chosen second-rowers against the Brumbies, Cobus Wiese and Salmaan Moerat, left the field prematurely – after strong shifts – due to concussion-related issues, simply meaning that they join the likes of Eben Etzebeth, JD Schickerling and Chris van Zyl on the present side-lines.

Springbok pack stalwarts like Steven Kitshoff, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Bongi Mbonambi must wonder, too, just what it is they are doing wrong (quick answer: it’s not them) to end up on the losing side several times this season when they have done so much to establish a platform for the altogether happier outcome.

Although forwards naturally play a far from inconsequential role in attacking play, too, the Stormers continue to exhibit a rank inability to get their backline functioning with any semblance of regular crispness and penetration.

It is reflected in the fact that one of their two tries against the Brumbies was an open-to-discussion penalty one, and the other the result of an industrial maul.

The Stormers are the lowest “points for” team in the competition at this point, with 180 posted from nine outings: that is an average of exactly 20 points per game (poor for this often high-scoring tournament) and only they and the Waratahs (192) have not yet gone beyond the 200-mark.

Their thinning of personnel options also comes at a time when next week’s derby foes, by contrast, have started to welcome back key figures like RG Snyman and Warrick Gelant from injury.

The Bulls will also be fresher, having come off their own Easter bye.

SuperSport pundit and most-capped Springbok Victor Matfield also made the point, post-match on Saturday, that if the Stormers were rattled by the Brumbies’ speed off the line, they might find the Bulls even more of a handful in that department.

He also suggested they revisit their flyhalf plans, considering the looming threat of runaway Bok first choice for the visiting cause, Handre Pollard.

“There was nothing on attack for the Stormers … all one-off (runner) stuff. Josh Stander was often too deep (at No 10) and I would like to see Damian Willemse get another chance at flyhalf; he at least goes to the line.”

Next weekend’s fixtures (home teams first, all kick-offs SA time):

Friday: Crusaders v Lions, 09:35; Sunwolves v Highlanders, 12:00. Saturday: Hurricanes v Chiefs, 09:35; Waratahs v Sharks, 11:45; Stormers v Bulls, 15:05; Jaguares v Brumbies, 23:40. Byes: Reds, Rebels, Blues.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing | Dagga wedding cake and rusks?! Cops shut down shop on opening day

A shop in Sedgefield that marketed itself as a nursery, health and coffee shop had barely opened its doors for the first time on Saturday when police shut it down after finding food items and other products with cannabis.

The shop on the Garden Route, whose name is known to News24, had advertised its opening day and address on its Facebook page, telling one person who commented that it would start posting items it offered with prices as soon as the shop opened.

It told its followers that people were welcome to join a Whatsapp broadcast list where it would be sending menus, specials and new products on a regular basis.

PICS: Dagga, magic mushrooms seized in Cape Town raid, two arrested

But it was not to be, according to Captain Malcolm Pojie, who said they got a tip-off and sent the Outeniqua K-9 (Dog Unit) to inspect the wares. 

“The merchandise included Cannabis oils, sweets, cookies/rusks, white widow, wedding cake, crossed with Gelato33, and Gorilla cookies, all of these containing Cannabis,” Pojie said.

The products had an estimated street value of R80 000. Officers also confiscated an undisclosed amount of cash.

A man, 31, was arrested on the spot and would appear in Knysna Magistrate’s Court as soon as he had been charged with illegal dealing in drugs.

Pojie said that eradicating the illegal distribution of drugs remained a priority for police “despite recent changes to legislation that has legalised the private cultivation and consumption of Dagga.”

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– FOLLOW News24 on Twitter | WATCH: The weirdest things that humans do

We human beings are a pretty strange bunch. On the one hand, we’re the most intelligent species on planet Earth.

On the other, we behave completely differently to the rest of the animal kingdom.

But what things do we do that nothing else does? What makes the human race so unique?

Image credit: iStock

NEXT ON HEALTH24X | Motorist in Gauteng nabbed for driving 196 km/h on N14, Easter holiday arrests scale 500

Well over 500 motorists have been arrested – the majority for drunken driving – since the beginning of the Easter holidays, authorities have said.

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane on Saturday said a whopping 549 motorists were arrested, with at least 312 of them caught driving under the influence of alcohol.

Zwane said the highest speed recorded was on the N14 in Gauteng where a motorist was detained for travelling at 196 km/h.

“Traffic authorities are now gearing themselves upon for another upsurge in traffic volumes when travellers return from different places of pilgrimage and holiday spots on Monday,” he said.

Zwane said roads were “extremely busy” on Thursday and Friday when motorists set off for on long-distance holiday trips.

A total of 92 629 vehicles were recorded passing tollgates on the N3 between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.

A total of 51 647 were recorded on the N1 between Gauteng and Limpopo on the same day.

Zwane said authorities staged 79 roadblocks on different routes and issued more than 65 000 traffic fines. 

Most fines were for speeding, driving without licenses, driving unlicensed vehicles, failure to wear safety belts and driving unroadworthy vehicles.

“The RTMC is again urging motorists to plan their return trips carefully with regular stops along the way to avoid fatigue,” said Zwane.

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Admin Clerk – Motor Dealership

Admin clerk – Motor Dealership in Pietermaritzburg | Other Administration/PA/Secretary | Job Mail | 4411091

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Beyoncé Went on a Vegan, Alcohol and Sugar-Free Diet to Lose the Baby Weight: ‘I’m Hungry!’

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