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Join the #PHLYJULY Challenge

Here’s the deal. Join Ngonyama Force and pledge to be part of #PhlyJuly. You’re aiming to slay in some type of way – you want to reach certain career goals, or lose fat, or have more vital energy etc.

There is no better time than now to be and build the ‘you’ you essentially are and want to be!


Ever seen a Van Damme movie? Warriors and sages of all cultures take a period of fasting and reflection. These usually entail less indulgent eating and drinking, and more physical training. These habits then serve the warrior mentally and spiritually for her or his ‘slayage’.  

So let’s take a month, warrior-style, to prep ourselves to: DO BEST! If not, why not?   


My friend and Ngonyama Force personal trainer Mandla Nhleko says that summer bodies are built in winter. Yet, in winter, we cosy up to our favourite comfort foods and delectable red wines, and switch the alarm off when it begs us to get to gym. Eish.

You have to be consistent in your efforts at wellness, all year around. Waiting until spring to try and – as Bob Marley put it – ‘wake up and live’ is too little too late. You have to do it now. For your entire living experience. And so that yes, on Spring Day, you’re that confident motherwhat who just shed off the unwanted weight and the unwanted emotional baggage while nobody was looking. Eat that!

I have outlined a very basic programme that can help us towards these aspirations. But this is adjustable according to where you are, to your goals and of course nutritional needs and fitness levels.

But if your goal is fat loss, measure yourself on Day 1. Then again on Day 31. Tell me nothing happened. But fat loss will be the least of the benefits! Improved energy, health, mood, esteem, productivity – we’re after all of that!


The blueprint is:


  • Eat whole foods
  • No sugar ie. don’t add sugar to anything and don’t consume products with sugar like tomato sauce, most dressings and spreads, desserts, juices etc.
  • No intake of alcohol, if you must, max 1 glass of red wine a week
  • No red meat, only fish and chicken
  • No refined carbs eg. no pap, pasta, white bread, white rice etc. Enjoy oats, brown rice, sweet potato etc.
  • Eat mostly vegetables, fish and chicken
  • No fizzy drinks or fruit juices, just water. Infuse with cucumber slices, lemon, ginger and/or mint leaves for taste
  • No junk food, pastries or sweets


Exceptions to every rule. If you can make your own rye protein muffins, go right in. But we’re more likely to go for store-bought cakes made of mostly sugar and white flour. I prefer to stay away from the stuff altogether.  If you can have the discipline to have two squares of 70% dark chocolate, indulge, but, again, what are chances?

Tap into your immense storehouses of self-control to stay away from things that are not good for you. Proving to yourself that you can honor your nutritional decisions does immense things for your powers of self-assertion in every aspect of your life.


  • Push yourself, depending on your fitness level and health. Some it’s 5-6 training sessions a week, some, 3-4
  • Alternate cardio and weight training days eg. Run today, lift weights on your next session – WOMEN MUST LIFT!

  • Journal every day. It’s not ‘Dear Diary’.  Once a day, give a moment to reflect on where you are with respect to where you want to be. Write a thought, an idea, a goal and how you plan to achieve it. Or write a feeling, or an observation on the world around you.
  • Be still for one moment every day. Even if it’s one minute. If it’s meditation or breathing with awareness or nothing, just be still. There’s enough chaos in our days.  


  • Eat clean
  • Train
  • Meditate

Don’t push yourself to do something you know you won’t stick to, but do challenge yourself.  Make small, significant changes.

Use this timeline (31 days) or create your own – go longer than July, or just go one week. Make it yours. You know what you need.


If you have cake or cocktails, move on. Make your next resolve. Life is too short to beat ourselves up. Just keep moving.

Why #PhlyJuly…

#PhlyJuly is not a diet. It’s about taking a moment to pay attention to ourselves intimately. The idea is to live a life always that’s full and satisfying and healthy and complete, all day every day.

Set this one goal for yourself and you will feel lighter, more awesome and slaying harder than you were before.

Pledge yourself as part of #PhlyJuly here: 

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