All about Food Allergies

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Know about Food Allergies

Millions of people around the world are allergic to certain food allergens. While allergic reactions can be mild and require almost no treatment, severe allergies can be life-threatening, with exposure to the food allergen in question causing anaphylaxis, suffocation by swelling of the throat, and death.

The eight most prevalent food allergens are:

·         Milk

·         Eggs

·         Fish

·         Crustacean shellfish

·         Tree nuts

·         Peanuts

·         Wheat

·         Soybeans

Many countries now have strict labeling laws regarding the above ingredients and any ingredient containing a protein derived from one of the above food allergens. This is to help consumers know exactly what is in prepared food and if it is safe for them to eat.

The Typical Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

The typical symptoms of allergic reactions are listed below. Symptoms can appear in as little as a few minutes after ingestion. However, symptoms which may not seem severe at first can become more severe and it is advised that patients go to a doctor or emergency room for treatment.

Mild to moderate symptoms:

·         Skin redness, hives or welts

·         Tingling mouth

·         Swelling of the face, lips, and eyes

·         Abdominal pain, vomiting

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) requiring urgent medical treatment:

·         Difficult/noisy breathing

·         Wheeze/persistent cough

·         Swelling or tightness of the throat

·         Swelling of the tongue

·         Difficulty talking/hoarse throat

·         Persistent dizziness or collapse

Precautions to Take

Education is the first step to taking adequate precautions against ingesting food stuffs containing specific food allergens. Knowing how to read food labels and which products to avoid all together is a good start. Special precaution must be taken with small children who may not know what is safe to eat and what is not. Schools must therefore also be involved in ensuring that food allergens aren’t ingested by children.

When dining in a restaurant or even just at a friend’s house, make sure that they know about your allergy and how to avoid cross contamination of work surfaces and food while it’s being prepared. Those who have severe food allergies must be especially on their guard and try to educate people on the serious health dangers certain food allergens can pose.


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.




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Meaning, beware of those little rascals keeping us from living a life of abundance and prosperity in all areas, not only financially. Life has become more difficult in recent economical times, locally as well as globally and we need to take charge of our own economy. We can at least make some definite decisions and changes where necessary. No job, business or income is ever secured anymore. Life as we knew it is changing and the only way to survive/ thrive is to adapt.

It’s actually all in the mind. The beliefs we acquire during the years, will determine the outcome of our lives. If we can get our minds in place, the rest will follow.

Here are some of the little pipe dream stealers you might recognize, keeping us in debt and robbing us of our joy:

1. FEAR:

Mostly we commonly have a deep seeded fear of failure, right? No-one would like to fall on their faces, so to speak. Due to fear, we hesitate to start a new business or live the life of our dreams. Strangely, many have an unconscious fear of success as well. The fear of the necessary life changes and uncertainty accompanying that success can also prevent us from taking positive action towards a better life. We human beings like things to be stable and comfortable, right? In the curious little book: “Who moved my Cheese”, Dr. Spencer Johnson shows us how devastating stagnation can be and how necessary it is for us to adapt and embrace new changes. No-one knows everything when deciding on a new business. Don’t find yourself all alone and terrified. Seek the help you need to get you going, learn as much as possible and team up with the right people.


It is so easy (and popular) to blame time, or the shortage of it, for not achieving the success and lifestyle we want. If we can just tame the “time monster”, not only our finances will be better, but our whole lives really! We tend to spend way too much time on trivialities such as gossiping, watching the news and then complaining about it to others, instead of reading and learning to our advantage. We can’t do anything about it anyway. Complaining and worrying won’t make any difference, but taking positive action just might.


Now this can be really exhausting, equally so to you and your credit card! Trying to keep up with the Jones’ was the downfall of many over the years. You might have the best intentions of getting out of debt, just until the neighbours bought their new car or the newest television set, etc. This is a dangerous game to play and will almost always urge you to spend more than you earn. In turn, the neighbours might want to top your newest purchase or holiday and the vicious cycle spirals lower and lower down.


As children, we learn the beliefs of our parents, teachers and other influential adults. Unfortunately, some of those beliefs aren’t always correct or serve us well in our own lives. We have to be aware what is holding us back and deal with it before we can move forward.


There is enough help available for starting your long wanted business or generating your own income and so securing your financial future. INDIVINEUR will be your trusted partner and adviser and will do just that for you! Bookstores are also jam-packed with books from the best teachers up for grabs. They all have one thing in common: they walked the road themselves and teach from personal experience. All we have to do is to take it to heart and live by those teachings and our lives and finances will prosper. It is as easy as that!

Many of us know about the Law of Attraction and inspiring quotes like the following,

mentioned just for a little motivation:

  1. “What you resist persists.” – Carl Jung
  2. “Whatever you think about you bring about.” – Dr. John F. Demartini
  3. “Where attention goes, energy flows”. – James Redfield
  4. “What you sow, you’ll reap.” – The Bible
  5. “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.” – Winston Churchill.
  1. “It is not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.” – Robert Kiyosaki
  1. “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

So why not take action and manage your own economy, because life will do it for you.


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

The Importance of Reading

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The Importance of Reading for Pleasure

Many believe that the pinnacle of relaxation is sitting down with a good book and a cup of tea, or reading before going to bed. However, only a small percentage of the population (even in developed countries) read for pleasure. The importance of reading is often given little attention to, especially with the lack of libraries in South Africa. I agree that, “if you don’t like reading, you’re not doing it right” and that reading for pleasure should be cultivated. Many are ignorant of the enormous variety of genres and authors available today.

While people can be told that reading is important, the true importance of reading – and reading widely – is much too often overlooked. Reading is not simply staring at a page with letters on it; it is a window into another world, into the minds of others, into stories you would otherwise never know of. For this reason it is important to read various genres and authors to find which type of stories you personally enjoy. The freedom to choose what you want to read will ensure that you enjoy reading, simply because it’s stories you truly care about and fires up your imagination. Brandon Sanderson wrote: “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon” and this encapsulate why reading will improve a person’s reasoning, empathy and knowledge. Reading a story puts you in another person’s shoes, showing not only how others live or think, but why they live or think in that way. It gives you the chance to “Open your eyes and then open your eyes again” (Terry Pratchett).

Neil Gaiman said that by reading fiction “You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed”. Reading also gives you an escape from everyday drudgery and problems. “Escapism” is often used as a way to say “you should only focus on the here and now, not dreaming about change, not finding out if the world can be made a better place, not realizing that you can escape the crab bucket”, but I, like many, see it as one of the most positive things about reading and exactly why reading must be encouraged. JRR Tolkien said: “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape? If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”. And that, I believe is of the greatest importance; giving each who use books to go on adventures, to read about the past or to think about the future the freedom to dream of a better world and use the knowledge and understanding they receive through reading to change the world for the better. That is why reading for pleasure should be imperative in each life and why it is so extremely important to make books and libraries available to all. That is why the importance of reading must not be underestimated.


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Timeshare and Holiday clubs

Family on holiday sunset

Pressure selling of Timeshare and Holiday clubs

The marketers of Timeshare and Holiday clubs are well trained and smooth talkers. They have a way to make everything sound like an idyllic fantasy world of sun, surf and cocktails, all around the world. When it comes to paying though, you are totally on your own. Nobody in their office can help you get rid of what you bought but can’t afford! Be careful, don’t get caught.

Holiday clubs are a reinvention of the dodgy schemes that have long blighted the timeshare industry, particularly in the 1980s. Usually, you get a phone call at home, or are approached while on holiday.

Definition of Timeshare and Holiday Clubs

Timeshare is the annual right to use accommodation during one or more specified weeks in a holiday property or several properties.

A holiday club is where you pay an affiliation fee which allows you to reserve and pay for holidays through the club at a discounted price.

Caution when offered Timeshare or Holiday Clubs

A few tips to prepare you:

1. Be wary of forceful sales

Timeshare and Holiday Clubs are often sold using aggressive techniques, some even illegal. Sometimes you may be offered a scratch card which regularly wins a prize. To receive the prize, you’ll be enticed to a presentation and bullied into signing a contract. Be suspicious of people approaching you on the street whilst on holiday.

2. Be wary of Timeshare and Holiday Clubs resale offers

When you are in trouble and need to sell your ownership, a company may offer to resell it on your behalf for an upfront fee, which you can’t really afford, but desperation kicks in. Once you paid the fee, sales rarely happen or where they do, it is at a selling price that barely covers the fees.

Timeshare marketers may also try to convince you to buy another ‘better’ property, promising that they will sell your existing property. These sales may never happen and you’ll sit with two timeshares!

3. Contract cancellation: holiday clubs

If you are already affiliated to a holiday club and want to cancel, check the terms of your contract carefully and request cancellation immediately. There may be a cooling of time written into the small print, which allow you to walk away scot-free  in the early days.

Regulations for Timeshare and Holiday Clubs

Regulations now incorporates both Timeshare and Holiday Clubs, replacing innumerable complex systems. A cooling-off period is now stipulated. During this time, it is illegal to ask you for any money, such as a deposit or administration fee.

The regulations also state that payments are once a year and the contract can be terminated when any payment becomes due.

To avoid being scammed twice, if you want to sell your Timeshare and Holiday Clubs affiliation, only use an accredited resale broker.

VOASA, or Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa promotes ethical and fair trading since 1990.

Don’t be caught by pressure selling of insurance policies!





This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Reasons for a dead car battery

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Dead Car Battery?

Dead car battery at the most impossible time?

It’s Monday morning and your car won’t start. That horrible sound echoes in your ears and eventually you just hear click … click … click.

What causes a dead car battery?

The following 10 reasons are the most prevalent causes of finding a dead car battery when you really don’t need it.

1 Headlights

You may have left the headlights on, causing the battery to go flat.

2 Inside Light/s

The car’s inside lights or radio may have been left on and this will also cause a dead battery.

3 Electrical Connection

There may be a loose or damaged Electrical connection.

4 Ignition Switch

A faulty ignition switch may cause the problem.

5 Starter

If your starter is out of order, your battery may appear to be flat and the car won’t start.

6 Coil

A faulty coil will cause problems when trying to start your car.

7 Distributor Cap

If your distributor cap is faulty, the car won’t start.

8 Fuel Pump

Take a look at your fuel pump. If damaged, the fuel won’t be able to flow.

9 Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter will cause problems when you want to start your car.

10 Open door or Trunk

Door or trunk left open and lights burning.

10 Ways to guard against a dead car battery

The best way to guard against a dead car battery is to take the proper precautions. The following precautions will help you keep your car battery charged and in good order:

1 Battery fluid should be maintained at the correct level

2 Check the charging system regularly

3 Keep the battery clean of dirt, grease and build-up

4 Ensure that all internal switches and lights are kept in working order – defective dashboard switches may drain the battery.

5 Ensure that your batter is sealed correctly.

6 Never overcharge your battery.

7 Do not charge your car battery for longer than 12 hours.

8 Remove build-up from your dead car battery by mixing one to two teaspoons of baking soda with two cups of water. Clean  the terminals carefully and charge the battery.

9 Have your battery water checked regularly.

10 Always carry a battery charger lead in the trunk of your car.





This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.


Is mentorship for you?

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Mentorship and your future

Mentorship is a concept that in South Africa has been around for many years, but yet many companies have not embraced it for the incredible opportunity and career advancement and indeed nation advancement that it deserves.

You may not be one hundred percent certain of what mentorship is. Wikipedia describes mentorship as being a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The person in receipt of mentorship may be referred to as a protégé or a mentee.

Mentoring in Europe has existed since at least Ancient Greek times. Since the 1970s it has spread in USA mainly in training contexts, and it has been described as ‘an innovation in American management’.

This is not a specialised skill. It involves one person with business knowledge, generalist or specialist in nature, transferring their knowledge on to somebody less experienced. It is about a relationship of trust and knowledge transfer. It has a starting point, and must be governed by guidelines agreed to by both parties, inter alia how long will the relationship last, which party will be responsible for meeting dates, meeting venues etc, what the goals and objectives for each party will be.

Start-up companies and SMMEs in particular can benefit from such a relationship, but so can employees within an organisation, in career advancement and indeed personal development. Managers, CEOs and MDs, in the same vein, can benefit as they learn from those who have been there and done that.

It is not archaic, it is not soft, it is indeed vital! Research this, read more about it, and explore the amazing world of mentorship toady.



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Power Cuts at Home

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How to Cope with Power Cuts at Home

Now that power cuts and loadshedding are almost a part of daily life, we’re all trying to find the best way to cope. It is probably a good idea to learn a few breathing exercises to use when the power is cut – even when it is scheduled. While having a braai with friends or a romantic candlelight dinner is an option for the odd power outage, it is coping on a normal work or school day that is at the top of everyone’s lists. There are some relatively easy steps that you can take without feeling as if you’re preparing for doomsday or a zombie apocalypse.

The sun always shines on… solar panels

If your budget allows you, invest in solar heating, gas appliances or a generator for your home. You must keep in mind that you will be required to use qualified technicians to install these options. Another option is a battery or solar charger for your cellphone and/or laptop.

Watch your batteries

Make sure that your cellphone, laptop or other electronics are always fully or almost fully charged. Carry an extra charger for your cellphone with you if you can. This is especially important when you need your laptop or phone for work. Be sure to unplug all your appliances and electronics when there is a power outage or loadshedding.

Turn a light on

The local camping store is a great place to look for different lighting solutions to suit different budgets. While candles are most probably one of the cheapest ways to light your home during a power outage, you can also use lanterns, solar lights, rechargeable LED lights and torches.

If you do use candles, be sure to keep them away from flammable materials, children, and pets. Don’t leave candles burning unattended. For more illumination, you can put candles in front of a mirror. If work or homework needs to be done, be careful not to get wax on the books – or set them on fire!

Think of Food

Unless you have a gas fridge, generator or solar power, you must keep food storage during a power outage in mind. Food will still be safe to eat if the power was only cut for a few hours, but you should keep your fridge and freezer closed as much as possible. Don’t keep a lot of meat in your fridge, as it can be extremely dangerous to eat meat that wasn’t stored correctly. Do not refreeze meat after it has defrosted. You should also try to keep food in the house that needs no or very little cooking to prepare. You can also keep long life milk in the cupboard to ensure that you have some fresh milk available.

Take a breather

Take the time to dig into your list of “to-read” books, or go and get some books at the local library. If you have speakers that work with batteries, you can also listen to audio books or music. You can always get out some board games (or invest in some), or get crafting with some hobbies you don’t need electricity for. Or you can simply take the time to chat and catch up with everyone. And, if you need to, you can do some more breathing exercises.


Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.

This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Your Financial future starts NOW!

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Future is a word that makes you automatically think of a time, far far ahead, when you are old and grey and ‘big’. When you are an ‘adult’. Let me tell you, at 38, I am still not a grown up. In my head. But the reality is that in actual fact I have been working for 20 years. I have another 20-30, and then I am done. And then? Who will support me? How will I earn my salary?

Well, I won’t. And the reality is, me. I have to support me. Most South Africans have no idea just how scary the real amount needed is for retirement. They think if they save a little here, and open a pension fund there, they will be fine. The truth is, you cannot be an ostrich. The amount is huge, and the sooner you start, the better. The more you save, the safer you are.

Financial Advisor

The time is now, not next week, not when you clear an extra R500. It is now. My advice? Get a financial advisor to come and see you. In fact, get a few. Choose who you like the most, as remember this is a relationship that will hopefully span a good few years. Let him be independent, and let him offer you various solutions for YOUR needs.  It doesn’t matter if you earn R10 000 or R100 000 a month, the future is guaranteed to nobody. Financial futures need to be created. They don’t just appear, and the chances of winning the lotto, let’s face it, are slim.

Examine your options, be it unit trusts, RAs, pension funds. Even stashing the money under your Sealy. But start now. Make a decision and commit to your relationship with your future, with your money, and with your security. Don’t delay!


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Get the best from your people

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Get the best from your team

Developing skills to get the best from your people

People are at the heart of any successful organisation. To lead them is a challenge, but there are tools and techniques to develop your people management skills.

Get the best from your people this way:

1. Focus on your integrity and manage the impression.
This is important in closely integrated societies who are inherently part of the social fabric. Reputation remains important as people need credibility to succeed.

2. Create a career plan.
It will help you make educated decisions to get the best from your people, along the way. It is important to plan leverage for rising opportunities.

3. Develop flexibility to cope with delays, challenges and expectations.
Rapid growth and ambitious aspirations in the workforce creates uncertainty, instability and stress, where your own flexibility is the key factor in supporting success and getting the best from your people..

4. The art of coaching to get the best from your people.
Helping people to learn, grow and progress is one of the most gratifying roles of a leader. This is crucial where on-the-job development is important, and with the increasing demographic of Generation Y. They value and thrive in a coaching style of leadership.

5. Influence without formal authority.
Coaxing and convincing people of your ideas, help build your reputation and credibility. The limits of formal authority are known. A true leader has willing followers. Influencing is a critical skill in project-based organisations and to Generation Y, who become responsive and involved through influence rather than dictation.

6. Use good facilitation skills.
Like influencing, as a leader you must efficiently engage others through effective facilitation methods which reveal your thoughts, ideas and perspectives.

7. Know what motivates and demotivates.
Create a working milieu that makes people feel empowered and motivated. This can be very challenging if there are diverse needs and inspirations.

8. Clarify the performance you expect and know what is expected of you.
Clear goals and objectives are crucial to know what the aim is. The key to effective performance management is gathering feedback. Prevent conservation of a quality relationship over confronting a difficult performance issue.

9. Deal with conflict and confrontation.
Innovation is crucial to manage the competitiveness between public sector services and private sector. The conflict in the different perspectives is a key part of the process.

10. Understand relational intelligence.
Effective relationships are an essential currency for successful teams and organisations. Relationships should be valued as little is achieved without it.

11. Recognise resistance of change and the reasons.
Develop methods to deal with the inevitable change that is part of business life. Leaders must be ‘change literate’ to guide their people through constant change.

12. Be aware of potential de-railers.
Derailment is getting knocked off course or not achieving what was expected. Be on the lookout for this and help your team to understand what might go wrong.
Many leaders’ careers overturn because they are not aware that altered skills are required at various stages of their careers.

13. Be appreciative.
Show your appreciation and thank people for contributions. This common courtesy will build your reputation as a leader. Appreciation creates positive energy and engagement. People respond best to optimistic situations.

14. Understand psychology.
Combine this with humility and resilience. It may not be easy, but it will be an interesting journeys.


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Need Credit Information Amnesty?

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What does Credit Information Amnesty mean?

Soon South African consumers will have any undesirable credit information removed from their credit records. This act should not be interpreted as debts written off. It is unfortunate that the word amnesty was used, as it translates to forgiveness which is the wrong perception. Some debtors could now stop repayments of debt.

It is important that consumers understand they are still required to repay any existing debt as no debt is going to disappear. The process of credit information amnesty is not simple which leads to confusion for consumers to understand what information will be removed and what not.

Regulations for Removal of Adverse Credit Information

Information relating to paid up judgments wil be removed. Registered credit bureaus must remove the information relating to a negative credit history within 2 months. When removed the information cannot be recalled on the credit bureau’s register or be given to credit providers during or after the 2-month period from April 1.

From then on credit bureaus are required to remove all information relating to paid-up judgments received by credit providers. Credit providers in turn are not allowed to use negative consumer credit information for any reason, including credit scoring and assessment.

Consumers will not have to go to court to cancel a judgment, once the capital portion of their debt is paid in full. It will be done automatically and consumers will have no excessive legal fees. Their credit record will not reflect the judgment and they will not be negatively affected when applying for a job or rental contract.

Once consumers have paid their debt in full, information on their credit record for late payments, missing payments, or not paying at all, will be automatically removed.

Why Credit Information Amnesty?

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), deems the regulation necessary because, among other things, credit information can harm an opportunity to employment. Consumers whose financial positions have changed will be given the ability to start on a clean slate and maintain a clean credit record in future.

A second chance for all consumers with a bad credit record!



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.