Monday, 22 September 2014

Christa Biyela on her book Getting Dirty: How to get dirty

Activist, teacher, writer and mother, Christa Biyela says we can prevent the spread of HIV, protect our partners and children through honest conversations. After living with HIV for eight years she has written a book, Getting Dirty, Sex is Great, but lets be honest. Christa joins us now from our Durban studio...

Watch Interview Now

Zombie Apocalypse hits South Africa

Lee Herrmann’s new novel is a gripping tale of a new South Africa that you can really sink your teeth into.     

Monday, 15 September 2014


SIGNS OF A LITERATE SOCIETY. Pavement booksellers in Mumbai, India. Gail Robbins from Porcupine Press took this photograph in August 2014. Is South Africa heading in the same direction? Porcupine, through its African Narratives programme, is working towards the fulfillment of that dream.

Caption for image DSC 0214

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Carl Bates talking about Traversing the Avalanche in South African Warehouse issue Aug/Sept

Book Available Soon

Article in South African Warehouse Aug/Sept Issue Traversing the Avalanche

Book Available Soon

Review on Dick Mawson's The Gods who Fell from the Sky by Abbygail Zwane

Dick Mawson's The Gods who Fell from the Sky makes for inspiring reading

Published: 15 July 2014

Dick Mawson’s non-fiction debut is nothing short of inspiring. Titled The Gods who Fell from the Sky, it outlines his adventurous life including the loss of both his legs during two separate incidents.

By Abbygail Zwane

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction and Mawson has certainly gone out of his way to prove it. Mawson presents a memoir of a man who proves himself to the world, not just once, but many times.

Born in England, Mawson and his parents crash-landed in southern Africa during the 1940s. It was a few years later, at the age of eleven, that Mawson lost his right leg in a farm accident.
A few years after that Mawson experienced another life-altering trauma when a 100 mile per hour boat accident left his other leg badly injured. With an amputated right leg and the left badly damaged the young Mawson’s outlook was bleak, but he continued to live with tenacity and did not allow his disability to cripple his life.

This book outlines how the author managed to defy the odds and break the boundaries of the norm to live not only a normal life but a life of largesse. He was enticed into a world of speed and competition on water and ultimately on the race tracks of southern Africa and Europe, competing against and defeating his fellow drivers on a level playing field.

As I read the memoir and the story unravelled, I was reeled in by Mawson’s charm, his lust for life and his love of women. I finished the book feeling inspired. Here is a man, who against many odds, made a success of himself and of his life. He was never a victim, but a survivor and not just a survivor but someone who was willing, and still is, to not only chew on the meat and bones of life, but suck the marrow.

Mawson’s story is not without struggle; often he tries to ignore his disabilities in order to simply get on with it. He also finds inspiration in Douglas Bader – a World War Two pilot who lost both his legs in a plane crash, but taught himself to fly with artificial legs and went on to become a RAF squadron leader.

Dick Mawson’s The Gods who Fell from the Sky is proof that how we live our life is our choice. More importantly, how we choose to see ourselves is our choice.









Review on Mediaupdate for Christa Biyela's Getting Dirty







Christa Biyela’s Getting Dirty doesn't shy away from gritty issues

Christa Biyela’s latest book, titled Getting Dirty, is all about the gritty issues around sex, HIV and AIDS. She believes that the positive way forward is by having open and honest conversations with not only our partners, but also our children.

By Abbygail Zwane

There are instances, in fact whole chapters, when the book offers a bit too much information and I had to ask myself “when it comes to saving our children from HIV and AIDS how much is too much information?”

The voice inside my head would answer: “surely all of us need to be as informed as we possibly can be.”

In this respect (and in many others too numerous to list) I take my hat off to Biyela who has completely opened up to her reader, exposed wounds, scars and horrifying memories to ensure that our children will not need to endure what she has endured.

Biyela herself is living with HIV and is proof that you can still live life to the fullest. Through her book she outlines how the spread of HIV can be prevented and this starts with the education of our children.

Getting Dirty is provocative, candid and tells it like it is. She says “As adults we need to learn to be open-minded about sex. Let us have an open discussion about HIV whether we are married, dating, heterosexual or homosexual. If one is in a relationship let it be based on trust so we also act in a trustworthy manner thereafter. I believe HIV has come to our lives to better us, our relationships and motivate us to explore safer ways of making love. Nowadays having sex without a condom, being uncircumcised and not knowing one’s HIV status should be despicable.”

With Getting Dirty, Christa Biyela takes you by the hand and guides you through her life. At times it is traumatic, at times it is funny and poignant and at other times it forces you to stop reading for a moment and think. Getting Dirty is a book that should be read by everyone. In the words of director and playwright Clinton Marius, Getting Dirty offers “precious words of wisdom and advice that may save a life; hopefully more than one…”

About the Author:

Christa Biyela is a writer and motivational speaker whose career includes being a producer and co-host of Sihlomulelana Ngolwazi previously on Ukhozi FM. She is now the head writer for Kusa Kusa, Ukhozi FM’s first soapy.


Review in the July Issue of Sarie by Lydia van der Merwe

As die brein-oordragstowwe GABA en dopamien albei laag is, gaan jou kosdrange (cravings) jou oorrompel, sê dr. Hannetjie van Zyl-Edeling. Volgens haar werk Tim Noakes se hoë-vet-lae-koolhidraateetplan juis daarom vir baie mense. Proteïene voorsien die aminosure waarvan brein-oordragstowwe (veral dopamien) gemaak word. En as jy koolhidrate grootliks uitskakel, kry jy beheer oor jou wisselende bloedsuikervlakke.
’n Tekort kan onder meer lei tot gewigstoename, moegheid en die onvermoë om stres te hanteer. Jy het ’n drang na nikotien, koffie, soetgoed of ander energie-opkikkers.
Vul dit aan
  • Eet proteïenryke kosse soos hoender, maaskaas, eiers, laevet-kase, melk, jogurt, kalkoen, wildsvleis, okkerneute.
  • Oefen met gewigte, speel ’n potjie skaak, doen asemhalingsoefeninge.
  • Kyk ’n snaakse fliek of vertel grappies.
Dis betrokke by die maak van endorfiene – natuurlike pynstillers wat jou goed laat voel. ’n Tekort gooi jou van balans af en maak jou angstig, geïrriteerd en vol skuldgevoelens. Jy kan ’n binge-eter wees.
Vul dit aan
  • Vermy witmeel, -suiker en ander verfynde stysel, want dit laat jou bloedsuiker wipplank ry, vererger angs en is ’n sneller vir kosdrange.
  • Eet amandels en ander boomneute, piesangs, broccoli, bruinrys, lensies, sitrus, aartappels, spinasie, heelgraan (verkieslik nie koring nie).
  • Doen aërobiese oefeninge, loop in die natuur en drink kruietee vir angs.
Oefen minstens ’n halfuur per dag om jou brein-oordragstowwe te balanseer, bloedsuiker en depressie te beheer en jou metabolisme flink te hou.
Order your copy of Over the Moon Now 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Jozi Gold in GET IT Joburg West Magazine; 26 May 2014

Jozi Gold    

A woman with a past, a city with a future, a soccer team chasing glory …
Amidst the tension surrounding the run-up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa, one woman discovers her husband is having an affair, another meets up with a university sweetheart and a third heads for a nervous breakdown. Who is the man at the centre of the drama, and does he get to keep his gold?

Who the book is for:
Are you toying with the idea of reinventing yourself but haunted by the thought that your life could end up tasting like a failed casserole or looking like a bleach job gone wrong? You’ll relate well to Jeannie Parker. Where your relationships have worn tired, you seek ways to revitalise them. When you’re not scrambling to meet work deadlines, helping the kids with applications for car licences and college, or looking after the needs of elderly parents, you’re dreaming big dreams… Because you firmly believe that, if others have found happiness, so can you.

Book distribution by PSD Promotions.
For orders email or phone 011 392 6075 or visit

Retail price: R189 (including VAT)

Porcupine Book Makes News in the Mail & Guardian: Coolie Come out and Fight; 23 May 2014

A blessing and the fighter's lace

By: Jane Rosenthal

Coolie, Come Out and Fight

Mohamed F (Mac) Carim (Porcupine Press)
This engaging and interesting read is a politically modest “struggle” memoir, which may have been written primarily to please the author, and for his family and friends.
It reasserts the notion cherished by many, including this reviewer, that each individual life is significant and interesting. From humble beginnings in South Africa he and his family, including his siblings, parents and his own wife and children, have achieved remarkable success once they had emigrated.

Carim’s parents had a relentless struggle to establish themselves as traders of one sort or another, always beset by legislation restricting the business operations of South African Indians, and further complicated by the mixed-race status of Carim’s mother – a great beauty who raised six children in conditions of hardship and insecurity.

His memorable and often nostalgic account of his boyhood includes a period in Troyeville, where local white boys liked to call him out of the shop on to the pavement to fight (hence the title of this book). They also spent some time in a flat with a balcony overlooking Market Street in Jajbhai’s Building, in the Johannesburg central business district, and a stone’s throw from the Library Gardens in which they were not allowed to play even when the city centre was deserted over the weekends.

Carim enjoyed these, but points out the contrast with the extremely larney school in Pakistan to which he and his two brothers were sent for a while when the family’s fortunes were in an upswing.
The high adventure of the journey there by ship, and his experiences at the school, showed Carim that life could be better than it was for his family in South Africa.

On his return to South Africa he found the Johannesburg Indian High School in Fordsburg such a comedown that he left before matriculating and started in a variety of jobs – finally ending up with Pepsi South Africa, which led to work all over the world.

In his late teens he and a group of friends led a socially active life (with a few lapses of judgment and brushes with the law) in which good clothes, a cool hairstyle and dancing played a big part.
Luckily one of them had a car, a 1949 Chevy. When Carim was just 22 he married Hajoo – the start of a long and happy marriage.

The text shows signs of a battle to compress and streamline the narrative of complicated life events; a more ruthless edit may have produced a more elegant book, but lost its special savour.
Carim’s storytelling is a lively mix of fact and opinion, and he has an eye for beauty.
I especially enjoyed his little riff on white lace curtains as a symbol of Hajoo’s determination to keep things good and tranquil in the family home.

Similarly enriching are his meditations on people in his life from whom he learned something useful – such as the stupidity of racism from his friendship with Sally van Rensburg, a poor white girl in Troyeville, and from a Jewish teacher in Pakistan he learned that confidence and good planning lead to success.
From Johannesburg to Lahore, and later on to Nigeria and Canada, this is a rich and memorable story.

For obtain your copy, click on:

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Review of The Decarb Diet: "the lowcarbnews"; 17 April 2014

Some words to live (and eat) by…

By Gloria Malan

There are just as many diet books as there are diets and trying to find a truly helpful, easily absorbed read is like picking out an award-winning, drop-dead gorgeous outfit for a wedding or party – it just never seems to materialise. Like so many others, that has been my general experience to date.

That is until I discovered The Decarb Diet by Dr Howard Rybko, a diet and lifestyle read that actually makes sense and is practical in every sense of the word.

Part of the problem with many diet books is that they battle to engage the reader… they fail to establish that all-important connection and come across – either deliberately or unintentionally – as a prescription, not a genuine source of help.

But The Decarb Diet is different, easy to read and understand. There are attractive and easy to follow guidelines, with additional online support from the author to keep you motivated. So, if the words could be digested with ease, there may be hope for the actual diet. I decided to put it to the test.

The first thing I noticed is how it made me feel… it really did not feel like a diet at all. It is easy to follow, is based eating balanced, nutritious meals and is not rooted in extremities.
So… I felt happy eating and did not experience the usual levels of anxiety normally associated with diets.

And my happiness turned to elation when I could actually see results in the first week. Thus far, I have lost 1kg a week and I know my friends and family have also enjoyed some levels of success with the programme.

We all know that diets are sold on the promise of results within a time-span that sounds too good to be true…because it is. Not so with this diet. There are no over-zealous promises, no incredible statements, only basic facts and reference to science and research.

This is a fantastic read and a diet well worth following.

To obtain a copy click on the link: Porcupine Press

Porcupine Press "Bullet Proof Marriage" makes it to Exclusive's Online Store Front Page!

For your copy please click on: Porcupine Press

Review 'Bullet Proof Marriage' in YOU Magazine; 24 April 2014

To obtain your copy please visit our website: Porcupine Press

Resensie 'Bullet Proof Marriage' in Huisgenoot; 24 April 2014

Besoek asseblief ons webwerf vir meer inligting en bestellings: Porcupine Press

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Jozi Gold: MediaUpdate; 05 March 2014

Leanne Hunt's debut novel delves into the lives of the well-to-do

Published: 5 March 2014

What is special about this debut novel is not its characters, although they are well-rounded and deliciously real. It’s not the fact that on the surface it is a gentle meander through the lives of well-to-do South Africans living in the affluent suburbs of Johannesburg, while underneath it unlocks a world of human desire, anxiety and need.

Leanne Hunt's debut novel delves into the lives of the well-to-do
By Abbygail Zwane

Nor is it because it is set in the midst of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. It’s that the author of Jozi Gold, is in fact blind. You would never tell by reading the novel. Her descriptions, sense of space and place are astute and deliberate, taking the reader on a fast-paced journey through the lives of characters who are all connected.

The story revolves around Jeannie, a slightly overweight housewife with a good-looking husband, two sons and a bossy sister. In her mind she has the perfect life: a beautiful house and a good marriage. Until her sister arrives from Australia. Jeannie discovers that her husband is having an affair with a sassy radio journalist. Her world falls apart but her life takes an unexpected and satisfying twist. It turns out that it is not only Jeannie’s husband who has secrets.

The author Leanne Hunt describes her journey as follows: “In writing Jozi Gold, I was particularly interested in the networks which connect people, and how forces within those networks exert subtle, often unexpected pressure. The novel grew out of a picture I had in my mind of various individuals who were unknown to each other but linked by their context and their relationships to one man. What started out as a thought experiment ended up as a fast-paced, complex romantic drama. The characters came alive for me and drove the action forward in a way I could scarcely foresee. In fact, it came as a real surprise that the outcome was so deliciously satisfying.”

Jozi Gold will appeal to readers who enjoy romantic dramas and those in need of a fresh perspective as they approach mid-life.

Jozi Gold is available from Books Galore, Exclusive Books and


You are what you think you are……

Think more of yourself and there is MORE!

As a teenager I was quiet and really quite shy.  Deciding what I was going to wear and which pop star should go up on my wall was the scope of life’s choices but even at that stage I wanted MORE out of life. So I asked for MORE, not realising how much I would get. I got a life filled with challenges and many highs and lows but I also got an understanding that any adversity came to make me MORE.

Faces and Footsteps – A Simple Celebration of Life is a story of personal triumph; it is a story of overcoming utmost distress of an overwhelming nature; it is a story about being on a mission to succeed so strong that every stumbling block became a stepping stone to ultimate success.

I was born in Paisley, Scotland and came to South Africa as a toddler. Being brought up by parents who believed that children should be seen and not heard my life was uneventful. Until the early hours of June the 7th 1980.

On the way home after celebrating my 17th birthday the motorbike that I was riding pillion on was involved in a collision. My injuries were severe, amongst which I broke my neck and subsequently lost my right arm.   While I was hospitalised for 9 months I began my journey of self-discovery and my new lease on life.  During this time, I became inspired by overcoming the many obstacles that were presented to me, in turn loving life as I have come to know it.  I underwent numerous operations to get me safely on the right path to make my life an adventure of success.  Literal baby-steps were the order of the day, as I rediscovered how to walk, talk and breathe again.  I was able to move beyond the “if” word and experienced enormous benefit from my new limitations.

Among the mayhem, I completed my matriculation and was introduced to the open market as a working class girl with a difference. One hopes that a single life lesson is enough, but through the years I was to find out that opportunities would be lost should I choose to live in the past and that tests of compromise and adversity would be my destiny.

I progressed from strength to strength and felt rewarded and fulfilled when I got married.  I was able to put negativity aside and met each assault stronger than before.  The challenges I faced and overcame allowed me to unearth the ‘Morag’ from where my name is derived – the great one!

Many doctors, nurses, paramedics and physiotherapists invested much valuable time and knowledge to get me to the place that many spinal cord patients only dream of, - to walk out of hospital.

Completing a task on my own that I would normally have done with two hands does take me a while longer, but the satisfaction of being able to do it by myself gives me a renewed sense of purpose and is rewarding enough to justify my efforts.

Accomplishment is the building block to having a good opinion of yourself and for some reason I found myself giving thanks for all the little mundane things occurring around me that I had previously taken for granted. I found that living in this positive realm of thankfulness attracted all that was good.  Life was unfolding for me.

For whatever the reason, I was to be given a second chance and at the age of 17, the test of compromise and courage began. Had God appeared in my life? I did not ask Him to be there. Was this by divine intervention or had I innocently invited him? For whatever reason, He was there to carry me on my path to success.

Undoubtedly, I was to learn and grow from substantial adversity and through God’s grace I was to be guided and protected along the way.

This book is my story but it is my wish that it will make you look into the losses and challenges of your own lives, to enable you to find the Hero within yourselves.

Faces and Footsteps reaches out to the awesome people that I met on my journey and the ‘footsteps’ are also those of the faces that journeyed with me and how they too came to rise above adversity, how they also learnt how to celebrate life and learnt to grow victory beneath their feet.

I want this book to act as a mirror, to show the reader how to look deep within and to start a process of self-discovery that turns so called “misfortune” into hope and renewed opportunity.


Werner Weyer's ETERNITY: Media Update; 20 February 2014

Werner Weyer's Eternity hits the shelves

Published: 20 February 2014

A crazy desert prophet, a missing woman and a bloody dress, Ronny Searching got more than he bargained for when he took the road to Eternity.

“This was the Oasis Truck stop, a bar and grill that came to be more than a landmark or a place with the best ribs and shooters. It was here that a man in faded jeans sold wisdom for whisky. This stretch of desert highway came from somewhere and was going nowhere. Once on this road it was easy to forget where you were from, and the future was as far as the next turn-off. The beautiful barren landscape swallowed you whole. This was isolation heaven, a place conveniently forgotten except for those whose lives depended on it.” So the novel begins.

Eternity started out originally as a short story Werner Weyer wrote in his teens, and years later, when he found it between some papers he was going through he found himself inspired to turn it into a book. The novel explores identity and forgotten dreams in a made-up place with a landscape readers will find familiar, if only for a fleeting instant.

Weyer says, “For me, writing comes from the desire to share all of my emotions and experiences. Beyond creating a space of enjoyment and familiarity for readers, it is also a self-fulfilling act – the experience of ultimate freedom of expression.”

Weyer was born in the bushveld town of Groblersdal in the Limpopo Province in South Africa. He has been writing for many years, in between hitchhiking his way to the big city and finding a roof over his head wherever the road took him. He has been awarded various accolades for his writing and his passion for the craft clearly shines through in his first novel. He currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Eternity is available at Exclusive Books, on, and through

Coolie, Come Out and Fight: The Witness; 14 October 2014

A family’s journey in a callous time
14 Oct 2013   
Coolie, Come Out and Fight!
Mohamed F (Mac) Carim
Porcupine Press
BOOK REVIEWER: Annzra Naidoo
AS an (almost) born free, I was told countless stories about what is was like under the apartheid regime. Some of it was from my parents; most of it was from history books at school.
Although these stories and teachings made me think about what it was like in those times, this book made me think about what it would be like to experience it.
Coolie, Come Out and Fight! is a memoir written by Mohamed F (Mac) Carim that captures the callousness of apartheid without being a rant. Rather, Carim explores the memories of his life and the circumstances he faced, in a way that shows his understanding of the time, but with an emphasis on family and experience. The result is a nostalgic tale that may resonate strongly with many people in this country.
Starting from his grandparents’ arrival in South Africa from India, to his move to Nigeria, Carim tenderly tells the tale of his family, from all their hardships to all their joys. With an Indian father and coloured mother, Carim’s memories are filled with harsh points in-between carefree moments. The pace is slow, as Carim writes with incredible detail, but this does not detract from the story. We get to play in the streets of Troyeville, go off to boarding school and get arrested with Carim as he narrates the early years of his life. The way he and his family have persevered through many rough patches is truly inspiring. Older readers can reminisce on their own experiences during this time. For younger readers, reading this book is like hearing a story from a grandfather who teaches you about our important past in a way that does not feel like a lecture.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

JOZI GOLD: tame TIMES; 25 February 2014


With dreams of writing a book, final inspiration struck for blind author Leanne Hunt on New Year’s Eve in 2010 and now the novel Jozi Gold is the end result.
As an avid lover of 702 talk radio, the Linksfield mother closely followed their World Cup countdown. Leanne noticed that everyone was getting on board, making proudly South African merchandise, and the contractors were working endlessly to finish stadiums and roads. It was a very vibrant time and she was inspired by the goodwill of the people. However, Hunt was conscious of the tensions that came along with hosting an event of this stature, which brought along many nasty elements.

With this as an inspiration, Hunt set out to write Jozi Gold. Set in Senderwood, Jozi Gold explores the contrasting atmosphere of pride and tension during the 2010 World Cup.  The book follows Jeannie Parker, who believes that she is in a happy stable marriage with her husband Craig. It’s only when her sister arrives from Sydney and notices that Craig is hiding something that her views start changing. The book takes you on Jeannie’s personal journey that leads her to discover her true worth and the fight to hold onto it.
Jozi Gold is the perfect book for a woman who is ready to start living for herself. The book is meant for someone whose children have left home and is looking for a fresh start, among others. “It is for women who desire to be their true authentic self, maybe even find themselves again,” said Hunt.

Hunt was diagnosed with Star Gardt’s disease at the age of 14 and was deemed legally blind at the age of 17. However, this did not stop Hunt from studying. She completed her English Honours Degree with distinction at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She went on to be a freelance journalist, advertising copywriter, a PR editor and even ran a community newspaper in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga. Clearly writing is a natural talent and gift. Hunt wrote a one act play, Private Views, and it won the best original script at the Edenvale Acting and Drama society in 2011.

Jozi Gold is available at Exclusive Books or Exclusive Books online, Amazon and Kindle books and Porcupine Press.
For more information regarding Jozi Gold follow Leanne Hunt on Facebook: or Leanne’s Blog.

The DECARB DIET: tame TIMES; Tuesday 01 April 2014

This doctor-designed diet is easy to read and easy to start. It will guide you to weight loss and renewed health. The initial strike phase will take you from fat to lean without hunger or excessive exercise demands. When you reach your goal weight, stabilisation techniques will ensure that you stay slim and healthy for the rest of your life.

The Decarb Diet uses the latest nutritional research to fire up your fat-burning system, elevate your mood and beat back depression.
You will eat well and never feel hungry. At the same time, your heart disease, cancer, alzheimer’s and diabetes risks will be reduced.  The vitamin D and omega balance plan will lower inflammation and improve inflammatory conditions like arthritis, asthma and psoriasis.  
About the Author:
Howard Rybko was born in Johannesburg South Africa in 1956. He graduated as an medical doctor from the University of Witwatersrand Medical School in 1981. After two years in research, he went into private medical practice, specialising in diet and weight management. During the late 80's he became involved with medical software. He has also been active in sports nutrition and performance since 1992, specialising in cycling, a sport he continues to be actively involved in. He is currently working on using low carb ketogenic methods to enhance endurance in weekend warriors. 

The Decarb Diet:; 14 March 2014

Dr Howard Rybko's The Decarb Diet is now on the shelf

Published: 14 March 2014

It has to be said that here are diet books and there are diet books. Some offer impractical advice in a style of writing that makes my eyes glaze over. Others are so extreme that they make me wonder if I really want to go through all the effort to look like the woman on the cover, with the strained smile and bodybuilder pose.

Dr Howard Rybko's <i>The Decarb Diet</i> is now on the shelf
By Abbygail Zwane

The Decarb Diet is one of the better diet and lifestyle books I have come across in a long time. It has been described as “practical Noakes” taking the reader through the basic laws of the currently fashionable “paleo diet” without being condescending. As for the tone, it is energetic and snappy. In addition the chapters are presented in short, digestible chunks stuffed with clever observations.

Dr Howard Rybko is a medical doctor and he has used the latest nutritional research in creating the Decarb Diet eating and lifestyle plan. Dr Rybko has been involved in sports nutrition and performance since the early 1990s, specialising in cycling, a sport he continues to be actively involved in. As a diet cynic it gives me peace of mind that Rybko is an authority on nutrition and, judging by the comments on his website, the diet has helped many people shed kilograms of unwanted weight.

The book is an easy to navigate guide to weight-loss and a healthier lifestyle. In the introductory section it gives the reader a background on the principles of the diet, reasons to avoid carbohydrates, the benefits of balancing Omegas as well as how and when to exercise.

The next section of the book is titled “What” and is the preparation phase. It shows the reader how to set personal goals, prepare the kitchen, learn to read supermarket labels and survive eating out. The strike phase is all about the food – what to eat, what not to eat as well as examples of low-carb meals.

The section titled “Why” goes deeper into various issues that affect people unable to shift weight, including the sweet suicide of sugar, eating too much, ketones and the worldwide diabetes epidemic.

The “Toolkit”, positioned conveniently towards the back of the book contains guides, charts, recipes as well as sample journals to help with the journey to a healthier life and a healthier outlook on life.

I’d recommend the book to those wanting to better understand the paleo diet as well as those who are interested in sports, health and nutrition.

The Decarb Diet is available from Exclusive Books,, and all other good book dealers.

Why Israel: REVIEW (Weekend); 06 March 2014


Branding & Marketing YOU through Team Branding: themediaonline; 11 November 2013

Rachelson delivers lessons in team branding

Branding and Marketing
In her latest book, Branding & Marketing YOU through Teams, branding and marketing specialist Donna Rachelson examines how team branding can help high-performing teams to stand out in the competitive business environment.

She looks at six different teams, ranging from corporate business teams to a sports team and an NGO, and unpacks the lessons we can learn from them. One of the chapters focuses on the Sanlam Personal Finance Micro Marketing Team, which functions as the behind the scenes internal marketing engine to the Sanlam product and service distribution channel.
This team proves that you can have a high-functioning ‘team,’ spread all around a country – they don’t have to work under one roof. Because they embrace the same values and are self-motivated perfectionists, holding themselves and everyone they work with to very high standards, they deliver a phenomenal, evolving service. They constantly ask for feedback. From their peers, their clients, their team leader. The team leader is highly regarded across the board. They are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re comfortable with saying ‘no’ when necessary – because they understand that their role delivers greatest value when it’s strategic rather than operational.
Below are three of the lessons, excerpted from the book, that business teams can take from this dynamic group of people:

1.     Place the help where the help is needed. It’s in the interest of any business to get ‘newbies’ as we know them in this internet-driven age, up to speed. Sanlam has cleverly located members of this very supportive micro marketing team all around the country. So they’re based where the help is needed. Not at head office. We can learn from this.

2.     If we don’t understand we can’t contribute. Because they understand their internal Sanlam client’s needs and business so well, the micro marketing team is able to make a significant impact on a new arrival in a short space of time. The more we understand our client’s business, and that of their competitors, the better our chance of making a creative, proactive contribution.

3.     The digital age compels reinvention and renewal. Never in the history of business has change been driven as hard as it presently is by technological change. We’ve seen umpteen leading product or service providers go out of business in the last decade. The speed and volume of communication and messaging is also at an all-time high. So if we want to remain relevant, we have to be in tech-touch with what’s going on. We do that by reinventing ourselves and what we offer.